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NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the hug-a-cop dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A NYPD community outreach campaign designed to show images of citizens with cops turned ugly quickly when a deluge of images depicting police brutality came in. From the article: 'The responses soon turned ugly when Occupy Wall Street tweeted a photograph of cops battling protesters with the caption "changing hearts and minds one baton at a time." Other photos included an elderly man bloodied after being arrested for jaywalking.' Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says, 'I kind of welcome the attention,' of the #myNYPD project."
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NYPD's Twitter Campaign Backfires

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  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:11PM (#46829021)

    Well now we know of one more sociopath who is gainfully employed.

  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:15PM (#46829047)

    ...then they wouldn't consider this a failure. Truth and evidence should never be considered a failure. Identifying police brutality so that those individual cops can be punished, and thus hopefully prevent other cops from doing the same, should be considered a success. But obviously that's not how it works.

    There are plenty of good cops out there, but by not punishing the bad cops it makes them all look bad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:17PM (#46829055)

    I keep seeing this referred to as "bad PR" or (as here) "ugly images" as though that's the problem. NO, YOU FUCKS! THE PROBLEM IS COPS BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF PEOPLE!

  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:18PM (#46829059)

    He also said:

    The photos are "old news," Bratton said. "They’ve been out there for a long time."

    Well, Commissioner Bratton, since these photos are old news and you are welcoming the attention they are getting, I'm sure you'd be happy to share with us what sort of investigation into these incidents there were and what punishment the officers received?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:22PM (#46829075)

    There are plenty of good cops out there, but by not punishing the bad cops it makes them all look bad.
    Uh, no. By not punishing the "bad cops" those "good cops" become "bad cops". It's really that simple. It's also why as a species, humanity is fucked.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:29PM (#46829109)

    I understand that the police can go too far, but protesters and rioters certainly can and do go too far as well.

    We hold the police to a higher standard for a very good reason. If the occupy people did that crap to me, I'd probably stop so I could kick the guys ass. But I'm not a cop, I'm not on duty, and it's not my job to put up with that kind of crap. Annoyed with protesters? Don't get a job as a cop dead center in the protest capital of the country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:29PM (#46829113)

    That was what struck me at first, upon reading the article.

    "The photos are 'old news,' Bratton said."
    "'They’ve been out there for a long time.'"

    That's their public image. That's what the people they serve, and the people around the country, see them as. He's the boss... and he can't be bothered to give a shit. Clearly the problems with the NYPD go all the way to the top. Above Commissioner Bratton. Since this problem spans multiple mayoral administrations we have to just ask... does a politicians political appointees EVER represent the best choices for their constituency, or only the administration doing the appointing?

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:33PM (#46829129)

    One of these shows a police officer pinning a guy to the ground with his knee so that he can cuff him (presumably after the guy already did something wrong and tried to resist arrest.) That is hardly what I'd call brutality.

    I've seen full video for something like that. The person was compliant, but the police treated him roughly anyway, knowing that the abuse apologists like you would justify it.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:47PM (#46829215) Journal

    There are plenty of good cops out there, but by not punishing the bad cops it makes them all look bad.

    Does it merely make them look bad? A bad cop is a more dangerous criminal than most of the people the cops are there to deal with. If the 'good cops' aren't enthusiastically hunting them down, I'd say that they are ineffectual at best and complicit at worst, not merely sullied by unfortunate proximity.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:53PM (#46829247) Journal
    The nice thing about the knee-pin move is that, while it lacks the drama and blood of a good mag-lite to the face and thus plays comparatively well for the cameras, there is a relatively thin line between 'pinning' and 'compressive asphyxia'. Just a matter of how much weight you put on that knee...
  • by Guest316 (3014867) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @08:54PM (#46829255)
    Spoiler: They think it's hilarious. Because they're the good guys. And anyone in those pictures had it coming. And what are you going to do about it anyway?
  • by Guest316 (3014867) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @09:01PM (#46829285)
    No, there are good cops. They can be found in good PDs where bad cops aren't tolerated. But when you have bad cops, you can be pretty sure their PD, its culture, and their union are all part of the problem.

    And naturally the bad ones get the most publicity, which isn't fair even though it's to be expected.
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @09:32PM (#46829463) Homepage Journal

    There are plenty of good cops out there

    I suppose that's arguable but if the majority of cops were good, how could bad cops continue to exist?

    Good cops are the minority.

    LK

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @09:53PM (#46829569)

    Exactly. Like when Kelly Thompson was beaten to death by police. There was full video of the whole incident showing that 1) the police had no reason to bother him, other than the fact that he was homeless, 2) he was not resisting arrest or refusing orders, and 3) even when they clearly had him detained, they continued to taz, kick, punch, etc..

    Now that all seems rather damning, except you weren't there on the ride with the police! One of them had a bad day earlier, so that makes it acceptable to beat people to death. At least, the judge seemed to think so.

  • by ClintJCL (264898) <clintjcl+slashdot&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @10:09PM (#46829657) Homepage Journal
    By that logic, the Nazis who killed Jews were just doing what they were hired for. Fuck you and your fallacious logic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @11:35PM (#46830047)

    No, but you apparently intend to remain willfully ignorant of the whole point of what I was saying. Maybe you should start by taking a look at the case I mentioned?

    Police corruption is a real thing. Even when there is incredibly strong evidence, detailing everything that happened, police still band together and cover each other when they fuck up. Sometimes, the result is that they get away with a minor offense such as a traffic violation, and other times it directly results in the death of another person. If you honestly think it is acceptable for police to behave in that sort of fashion, then there's something wrong with you.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @11:36PM (#46830057) Journal

    I'm sure all the perps were sternly admonished to avoid cameras before beating people up in the future.

    -jcr

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @11:38PM (#46830063) Journal

    willfully ignorant

    He's obviously far better informed than you are.

    -jcr

  • by BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @11:57PM (#46830129)

    Nor did she leak information the government considered confidential. What's with all the pro-government retards bashing Snowden? Just because Snowden isn't suicidal or masochistic doesn't mean he did anything wrong. We now have all the information we need, and we need to act on it.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @12:20AM (#46830211)
    I have done ride alongs. The police assume everyone is a criminal. There are only two types of people. Cops and criminals. We never played "cops and innocent bystanders" as kids. We are trained that there are two sides. Long gone are the beat cops that proactively prevented crime by building relationships with the neighborhood. The cops swoop in arrest everyone, and let the lawyers sort it out. Cops that want to rise will work on beating out confessions to protect conviction rates. After all, if you are talking to a cop, you are a criminal, they just might not have proven it yet.

    No, a ride along doesn't give justification as to why the armed cop is beating the unarmed person. The number one reason people are beat is "contempt of cop". If you don't follow orders fast enough, you are resisting. If you are resisting arrest, they can beat you. That's how it's done.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2014 @12:56AM (#46830335)

    In this case all but one were bad. How can they not get the most publicity when the entire department is rotten to the core? The only honest one among them was abused and tossed out in disgust. The fact that there are police departments like that and no good cop comes forward to arrest them all means that there are no good cops in that jurisdiction at all. Local, county, state, and federal are all rotten for such a thing to take place and not one single law enforcement officer did their job.

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @01:37AM (#46830441)

    Nonsense.

    The "bad cop busted" is still news, and the "hero cop does the bust" just makes it better news. I have NEVER heard of a "bad cop" bust (and there have been many over my lifetime) where it was a "good cop" on his force that did it. It has always been outsiders.

  • no offence intended ... but are you white/caucasian/member of the majority race?

    i am a sri lankan living in sri lanka, and i am (officially) sinhalese .. the majority race .. i know that my being part of the majority has got me out of a lot of grief ... and because of that i go out of my way to help people that are getting grief because they are the minority ..

    i am not blaming you, far from it. but saying that a white person running with a laptop would probably be treated far FAR differently from a POC doing the same thing

  • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @07:29AM (#46831435)

    Think about this: If you deliberately provoke a reaction, do you think it's possible that you just might succeed in getting one?

    Yes. Now, would that excuse let me walk away with a not guilty verdict, or better yet avoid a trial entirely, after I'd beaten someone bloody with a baton? Because I don't think it would.

  • by MitchDev (2526834) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:05AM (#46831587)

    Because thanks to camera phones, it's a lot more visible that a lot of cops are not "good cops" they are brutal thugs who even the good cops protect.

    We have a corrupt government, bought and paid for by the rich, and a police force that often acts like they run a police state, and yet some are so blind or intellectually dishonest they actually wonder why people don't trust the police.

  • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:09AM (#46831607) Journal

    I have done ride alongs. The police assume everyone is a criminal. There are only two types of people. Cops and criminals. We never played "cops and innocent bystanders" as kids. We are trained that there are two sides. Long gone are the beat cops that proactively prevented crime by building relationships with the neighborhood. The cops swoop in arrest everyone, and let the lawyers sort it out. Cops that want to rise will work on beating out confessions to protect conviction rates. After all, if you are talking to a cop, you are a criminal, they just might not have proven it yet.

    No, a ride along doesn't give justification as to why the armed cop is beating the unarmed person. The number one reason people are beat is "contempt of cop". If you don't follow orders fast enough, you are resisting. If you are resisting arrest, they can beat you. That's how it's done.

    I think one solution to this is for us to remind them they are actually our public servants as often as possible. If you are lost, then go up and ask them for directions if they seem to be standing around doing nothing. Hell, maybe even ask them if you are not lost just so they get to talk to a law abiding citizen for a change. Then, if they are helpful, be polite and courteous and make sure you say thanks.

    They will still have to deal with utter some scumbags, but maybe if they spent more time dealing with people who are not then they might find it easier to not treat everyone like they are.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:31AM (#46832163)

    Sorry, there is just too much risk involved in that approach. You never know what might set a cop off. Maybe his wife left him, maybe he has a hang-over, you just don't know. Even if 99% of the time the interaction is going to be just fine, do you want to take the risk that you will end up in that 1%?

    I know that is exactly how they think about interacting with the public too, which has lead to them being overly aggressive and assuming everyone is a criminal. The difference is that they have near immunity for any bad behavior, so the risk to them for abusing you is nil. I'm not even saying you are going to get a beat-down. I'm just talking about abuse by process - like deciding to give you a pat-down because they don't like how you look, or detaining you until you give permission for him to search your car (but they claim you smelled like weed, so totally justified) etc.

  • by Baki (72515) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @11:42AM (#46833241)

    Times that policemen got respect automatically are over. The enforcement of unjust laws, such as most related to the war on drugs, undermines public respect for the police, at least amongst a large minority. I think that it the greatest danger of unjust or ineffective laws.

    The best thing the police could do to improve its image, would be to advocate the abolotion of unjust laws, even if these provide them with easy money.

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