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Twitter-Based Public Relations Campaign By NYPD Backfires — Sparks Tens of Thousands of Negative Tweets as Citizens Express Mass Dissatisfaction With Cops

Illustration adapted from opensource.com.

By Chris Francescani
A New York Police Department campaign to burnish its image via social media instead produced a flood of pictures of apparent police brutality and tweets critical of the force being shared at a rate of thousands an hour.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on Wednesday he would continue and expand the NYPD Twitter campaign a day after it backfired, triggering an outpouring of negative images including police violence at New York's Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, an NYPD officer pointing a gun at a dog, and an officer asleep in a subway car...

The department on Tuesday afternoon invited Twitter users to submit pictures of themselves with NYPD cops using the hashtag #mynypd, promising some would be posted to the NYPD Facebook page.

Within hours, a torrent of images depicting police brutality, violence and controversial tactics, most of which occurred under Kelly, deluged Twitter.

Some of the images and tweets referred to the fatal, controversial New York police shootings of Sean Bell in 2006 and Amadou Diallo in 1999, each of which led to criminal trials in which all the officers were acquitted.

By Wednesday morning, the #mynypd hashtag had been tweeted more than 94,000 times.


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