The NYPD Twitter account has backfired on New York City’s finest in a big way. The newly created #MyNYPD asked folks if they had a picture with a member of the NYC Police Department to tweet it, thinking this would be a positive campaign. Their visions of pictures depicting things like cops helping old folks across the street soon imploded as pictures of some horrific-looking acts were tweeted instead.
According to CNN News on April 23, some of the pictures didn’t depict the officers as the police department might have hoped for. Many of the photos were sent with comical captions like a picture of a man screaming with his arms behind his back as he is being held down by NYC police officers. The caption reads: “Free Massages from the #NYPD. What does YOUR Police Department offer?"
As USA Today suggests people took to the Twitter page of New York's finest to show their versions of police brutality in pictures. Police did think that this Twitter account would be a great place for New Yorkers and visitors alike to post pictures of New York's finest in pictures like the cop that purchased a pair of boots for a homeless man. Instead they got some brutal-looking photos.
Another picture had a woman in obvious distress as she’s being arrested and one cop is pulling her hair. The caption for that picture read: “The #NYPD will also help you de-tangle your hair.” The response to this new Twitter campaign was “overwhelmingly negative,” reports CNN today.
The police department is the first to admit it backfired, but it is staying up as this was meant to get people talking about the NYPD. The media caught up with the NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster who defended the Twitter page regardless of all the backlash. Royster said:
"The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city."
Another officer did say this is not what they expected, but they wanted to get attention and the new Twitter account did that and then some! The hashtag was hijacked and folks had a field day posting these pictures depicting cops in seemingly deplorable arrest photos. This is a case of be careful what you ask for because you might just get it!
To be fair you don’t know what preceded these photos. You are not told if the people in the pictures getting arrested just took a swing at a cop or if they were resisting arrest, so they are one-sided. This NYPD Twitter page sparked others to crop up across the country.
Critics of police brutality created hashtags for other cities including #MyLAPD, for Los Angeles, #MyCPD for Chicago and #MyAPD for Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pictures similar to the arrest pictures posted on NYPD’s Twitter page started popping up on the other cities’ new Twitter pages.
Some of the pictures posted under the hashtags for the other cities seemed even more brutal than what New York’s police Twitter page saw. In Chicago a cop looked as if he was about to punch someone with a camera. The caption for this picture read: #myCPD extending his fist out to the community.”