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Oops! NYPD’s Community Twitter Turns into Epic Fail as Users Tweet Pics of Police Brutality

The New York City Police Department was trying to put on a friendly face on Tuesday when it sent a message to the twitterverse asking for images of citizens interacting with New York’s finest.

“Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD,” the NYPD’s twitter account read. “It may be featured on our Facebook.”

Instead of shots showing smiling children and tourists posed next to mounted police, however, the #myNYPD campaign was flooded with pictures of police using excessive force and brutalizing New Yorkers under arrest.

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community,” said Kim Royster, an NYPD spokeswoman cheerily said about the campaign as it was going painfully wrong. “Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

One tweeted image showed a woman being pulled by her hair as she was forced into a police car. Another showed a person cowering while a police officer screamed. Still another showed a man being smashed into the trunk of a car by the NYPD.

In all, over 70,000 people responded to the NYPD’s call for pictures, which would have been an amazing response, if it were not for the fact that all but a handful of snaps showed the cops in a bad light.

Anthony Rotolo, a social media strategist and professor at Syracuse University, explained that what the NYPD public relations team failed to realize is that on the internet, your past can come back to haunt you.

“What the NYPD did is fail to see that if there are things that can be dredged up in your environment, the louder voices of discontent will tweet them,” he said.

He did say that the NYPD made a right move when they did not back down. “It would mean the crowd had shouted them down,” he stressed, encouraging them to learn from their bad PR but not run away from it.

Photo Credit: Twitter

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.