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NYPD Twitter campaign implodes, flooded with photos of police abuse

Published time: April 22, 2014 21:30
Edited time: April 23, 2014 13:27
Reuters / Eduardo Munoz

Reuters / Eduardo Munoz

Just before 2pm EDT, the New York City Police Department called via Twitter for photos of citizens with its officers. Almost immediately the campaign #myNYPD seemed to backfire, as users flooded the hashtag with photos decrying alleged police brutality.

The #myNYPD hashtag trended nationwide not long after the above NYPD tweet.

The hashtag gave users an opportunity to recall several individuals involved in major cases of NYPD brutality, false accusations, or extrajudicial execution, including Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, Abner Louima, Kimani Gray, the Central Park Five, and a peaceful Occupy Wall Street demonstrator - Cecily McMillan - who is currently on trial and may face years in prison despite being beaten into a seizure by officers back in 2012.

A photo of Louima:

The department responded with a statement at about 6:30pm EDT.

“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.”

The backlash against the New York Police Department even spilled over into a user-generated campaign focused on the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday evening, dubbed #myLAPD by social media users.

The NYPD’s unforced blunder is akin to JPMorgan Chase’s planned Q&A session in November. The financial giant called for inquiries via the hashtag #AskJPM. JPMorgan was compelled to cancel the event when the hashtag was bombarded with criticism of the bank’s operations.

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