Failed NYPD Digital Outreach Program Shines Spotlight on Police Brutality

The NYPD is currently undergoing a social makeover of sorts with efforts on multiple fronts to address allegations of abuse, brutality, and unfavorable tactics. This all came to a head when the controversy surrounding the "stop and frisk" policy made headlines around the world. Since then New York's Finest have been under a social media magnifying glass. Mayor De Blasio is the driving force behind this clean up and has suspended "stop and frisk" but the specter of police brutality remains. It really wasn't surprising when a misguided attempt at social outreach through digital media played badly for the NYPD, focusing a worldwide spotlight on alleged police brutality in New York City.

NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster was fully on board with the department's well-meaning #myNYPD Twitter campaign. The program encouraged New Yorkers to post pictures on social media with officers in uniform. The intention was to show the human on the other side of the fabled "Thin Blue Line." But the campaign backfired when users began posting pictures which allegedly showcased instances of graphic police brutality in New York and abuse of power (including this snap which allegedly shows a young child handcuffed to a railing presumably in a NYPD station house).

Deputy Chief Kim stood behind the campaign even as users across the country-and even the world-hijacked the social media hashtag with images which paint the NYPD in an unsavory light. He stated that the department was actively seeking new ways to communicate with the community and the "uncensored exchange" on Twitter created an "open forum" in which New Yorkers could engage with the city's police force.

However, images of officers pulling a woman's hair, parking a motorcycle on top of a man, shooting dogs, and even sleeping while in uniform flooded Twitter and other social media outlets as human rights advocates and concerned citizens alike fought to keep the pressure on, refusing to let the NYPD sweep these cases under the rug.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of police brutality in New York (including the use of excessive force), call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.

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