The New York Police Department reached out on Twitter to ask people to tweet pictures of their interactions with New York’s Finest. Oh sure, they got a couple of nice shots of cops smiling in selfies.
The NYPD showed it knows a lot more about fighting crime than it does about Twitter when it asked users to post pictures of friendly cops on the Web site — and online trolls responded with a flood of tweets depicting police brutality.
The NYPD’s attempt to court Twitter members blew up in its face on Tuesday, shortly after the department started the Twitter hashtag #myNYPD.
“Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD,” they wrote.
Instead of a social-media coup, the department’s net naiveté was exposed by cop-hating members of Occupy Wall Street, who used the hashtag to post every photo they could find of officers manhandling people.
The hashtag hijacking soon went viral and left the NYPD with egg on its face.
“Here the #NYPD engages with its community members, changing hearts and minds one baton at a time,” a user of Occupy NYC’s twitter handle wrote under a picture of cops struggling with protesters.
It’s hard to judge on the basis of a snapshot. Arrests of violent or disorderly people can look awfully rough when the only goal is to render the person harmless to himself or others. We all know examples of excessive brutality, but as all the reality TV shows like Cops and the prison shows make depressingly clear, cops face much more violence in their line of duty than they dish out.
And if these were indeed Occupy Wall Street people, I can’t very well criticize cops for doing what I so very badly wanted to do myself.
Lest ye forget the true… uh, face of the Occupy movement:
Here’s one picture I can’t see my way to defend, however:
Police can and should be held accountable for excessive force. And the unwashed anarchists of Occupy wherever can and should be doused with a fire hose if their pestilence ever returns.