Police Commissioner Bill Bratton admits he was caught off guard after a Twitter request by the NYPD backfired in a very public way, but said Wednesday he has no plans to abandon social media.
The NYPD asked Twitter users Tuesday to share pictures of them posing with police officers using the hashtag #MyNYPD. The effort was put forward as Bratton tries to soften the department’s image following years of criticism over the stop-and-frisk policy.
Police even offered an example of a picture showing a man with his arms around two police officers and said it might feature pictures sent in on its Facebook page.
At first, similar pictures began popping up. But the responses soon turned ugly when some users started using the hashtag to send in photos of alleged police brutality.
Occupy Wall Street tweeted numerous photos, including one of cops battling protesters with the caption “changing hearts and minds one baton at a time.”
Another person posted a picture of what appears to be a cop sleeping on the subway.
On Wednesday, Bratton commented on the negative posts, saying most of the pictures were “old news.”
“They’ve been out there for a long time,” Bratton said. “Often times our activities are lawful, but they look awful and that’s the reality. And as I looked at some of those photos, those were officers engaged lawfully.”
“What we’re trying to do is be more open, more transparent and we’re going to engage in everything that will allow us to do that,” Bratton said.
Read more at CBS NY.