The Year in NYPD Public Relations Disasters

Categories: NYPD

CSMuncy-Arrest.jpg
C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice
This year has not been a good one for the NYPD. The department has found itself in an uphill PR battle for pretty much all of 2014, starting as far back as December 2013 with then-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's announcement that Bill Bratton, considered to be the architect of the NYPD's much-reviled "broken windows" policing policy, would be returning to the force as its commissioner. There was the death of Eric Garner, who was killed when Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo used an apparent chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes on Staten Island. There was the shooting death of Akai Gurley at the hands of a rookie police officer. And then there was the Garner grand jury decision and the subsequent protests. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the NYPD will probably be happier than anyone to see the ball drop on New Year's Eve.

But this isn't to say that the NYPD hasn't tried to paint itself in a better light. It's just that they happen to be terrible at it. New York's finest have just not been able to keep their collective foot out of their collective mouth. Time and again this year, the department's best intentions managed to turn into exploding cigars. Here is a selection from the NYPD's greatest hits of 2014:

More »

Twitter Trolls #BlueLivesMatter With Meme Featuring Smurfs, the Na'vi, and Tobias Fünke

Categories: NYPD

AvatarTrailer.jpg
Screenshot via YouTube
While the New York Police Department battles its growing, and vocal, critic base, a group of NYPD supporters have spent the last several days trying to make the hashtag #bluelivesmatter a thing. Well, they've definitely succeeded. Because it's a thing now.

The police advocates, calling themselves "Thank you NYPD," launched the hashtag after creating a Facebook page to help promote a rally they are planning to hold at City Hall on December 19. But with public opinion of the NYPD in free fall since the July death of Eric Garner, who was choked by an NYPD officer during an arrest -- and a grand jury's decision earlier this month not to indict the officer in question -- many activists have bristled at the group's efforts to give police a show of support. And, perhaps inevitably, their bristling has turned into a full-blown Twitter meme as #bluelivesmatter has turned into fodder for anyone wishing to promote the rights of such noted "blues" as the Smurfs, the Na'vi from the movie Avatar, and Arrested Development's Tobias Fünke.

The media war started on December 14 when Twitter user @blogdiva expressed annoyance that people were using #BlueLivesMatter in response to #BlackLivesMatter, a rallying refrain against systemic racism frequently heard at recent protests against the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

"People are still trying to make #BlueLivesMatter and #ThankYouNYPD happen?" she said. "I didn't even know blue people were marginalized."'

More »

Legal Groups Fight in Court for More Info on Eric Garner Grand Jury

Categories: NYPD

10193509.87.jpg
Skyler Reid for the Village Voice
A demonstrator at the Millions March on December 13
The call to release testimony heard by the Staten Island grand jury that cleared Daniel Pantaleo got a big boost last week, when Public Advocate Letitia James and two legal advocacy groups applied to have a wide range of materials from the proceedings disclosed.

More »

#ThankYouNYPD Rally Is Still a Go, But Its Organizers Might Not Show Up

Categories: NYPD

CS-Muncy-Batons.jpg
C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice
Police officers wield batons as activists protest the lack of indictment after Eric Garner's death.

Despite significant backlash from online activists, organizers of a pro-police rally at City Hall want you to know that they will not be canceling the event. They just don't want you to come. And they, themselves, might not be able to make it.


More »

French Tourist Who Climbed Brooklyn Bridge Gets 240 Hours Scrubbing New York Toilets

Categories: NYPD

yonathan-souid-sm.jpg
Courtesy Yonathan Souid
Yonathan Souid in France in happier times
The Brooklyn District Attorney's office was not thrilled with Yonathan Souid when he became the fourth person to climb the Brooklyn Bridge in the span of a few months.

More »

While Manhattan Rages, Eric Garner's Family Protests Alone in Staten Island

Categories: Eric Garner, NYPD

20141211_erica-garner.jpg
Katie Toth, the Village Voice
Erica Garner adjusts a rose on the memorial for her father, Eric.
Over the last two weeks, New Yorkers have disrupted commuters at Grand Central Terminal, snarled traffic on the city's streets and bridges, and occupied a handful of Manhattan's major retail stores. The actions were all staged in the name of Eric Garner -- the Staten Island man who was killed this summer as an NYPD officer deployed a chokehold while trying to arrest him. After the announcement on December 4 that a special grand jury was not going to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, protestors have been willing to stop traffic to get their point across

But just a ferry ride away in Staten Island, the response to Garner's death has been eerily silent.


More »

Police Supporters Plan to Hold #ThankYouNYPD Rally Outside City Hall. This Should Go Well

Categories: Eric Garner, NYPD

police-zipties-csmuncy.jpg
CS Muncy for the Village Voice
Police officers in Times Square hold zip ties for handcuffing protesters.
After weeks of anti-police protests, advocates for the New York Police Department are planning a rally to show their support for the NYPD, which has come under fire in the wake of the Eric Garner decision.

More »

The NYPD Wants You to Know It's Shooting Fewer People Than You Think

Categories: Eric Garner, NYPD

15429974280_cfb058335d_z.jpg
Photo credit: Eino Sierpe via Flickr

Last year, eyewitnesses were certain that 16-year-old Kimani Gray was unarmed when two plainclothes officers shot him seven times in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. But the officers alleged that Gray pointed a .38-caliber Rohm's industry revolver at them.


More »

How the NYPD Disciplines Its Officers Is Now Less Transparent Than Ever

Categories: NYPD

10178293.87.jpg
C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice
New Freedom of Information Law directives have curtained the public's only window into police discipline.
An obscure legal determination has gone a long way toward making New York's police discipline process even less transparent.


More »

Governor Cuomo Is Weighing AG Request to Investigate Cop Abuse Claims

Categories: NYPD

officers.jpg
C.S. Muncy
A police officer faces the crowd during protests against police abuse on December 3, 2014.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he wants Governor Cuomo to let him investigate and prosecute claims of NYPD violence against New York City civilians.

The claims are currently prosecuted by the city's district attorneys and police officers, with local D.A.s often working together to prepare a well-researched case that will stand up to trial. But in a letter to the governor, Schneiderman argues that such an arrangement can be perceived as a conflict of interest.

"It is unfair to charge a local District Attorney with the task of investigating and prosecuting those officers when they are accused of a serious crime committed in the course of their duties," Schneiderman says.

In a press release, he argues that "the overwhelming majority of my fellow prosecutors are...conscientious about [their] ethical duty to see that justice is done in every case." But, he adds, "the question is whether there is public confidence that justice has been served."

More »
Loading...