Toronto Police have suspended the Twitter account of a parking enforcement officer after allegedly receiving complaints about his posts calling out violators blocking bike lanes.
The 29-year-old officer, Kyle Ashley, has built quite the following on the social media platform under the handle @TPS_ParkingPal, especially with cyclists who appreciate how passionate it he is about making the roads safer for cyclists.
Ashley told Global News that he chose to voluntarily deactivate his account Friday morning after Toronto police approached him to discuss the issue.
He said it was never his intent to “driver shame” anyone and that he is very passionate about making roads safer and that he will continue to be an advocate for cyclists.
VIDEO: Toronto parking enforcement cracks down on drivers blocking bike lanes.
Police spokesperson, Mark Pugash, praised the efforts of Ashley to Global News but said that after numerous complaints were made about the account, they felt the most “appropriate” thing to do was to suspend it while they look into the concerns.
Pugash said Ashley has done “excellent work as far as raising issues of bike lanes” and that police are still very focused on raising awareness of respect for them.
Ashley, a parking enforcement officer of four years, has been very vocal about parking infractions in bike lanes, tweeting photos highlighting obstructions made by delivery vans such as Purolator, UPS, Fed Ex, and Canada Post, with the latter being one of the worst offenders.
He’s tweeted about numerous interactions with the violators he has written up, even taking a selfie with one driver who told Ashley she was also a cyclist and had “learned her lesson.”
In another incident, Ashley tweeted the Canada Post to tell them how one driver called him a jerk while another one used even more colourful language at a later date.
But Ashley told AM640 back in July that he doesn’t think twice about giving offending vehicles a ticket when doing his rounds.
“Kyle’s account has been temporarily suspended while we review concerns re: appropriateness of some of his posts,” echoed a tweet from the Toronto Police twitter account when Cycle Toronto inquired about the suspension.
There have been a number of people tweeting in response, voicing support for Ashley — some even using the hashtag #freeKyle
There is no word on how long the suspension will last.