NYPD Officers Search Wrong Home; Post Photos Of Handcuffed Family To Snapchat

from the to-serve-and-humiliate dept

Police professionalism is on display again, this time by New York's finest -- which may as well be the nation's finest, as far as the NYPD is concerned. The police department that thinks so highly of itself it portrays itself as an intelligence agency when working with federal agencies and ships officers to crime scenes (uninvited) all over the world to lend a helping intruding hand is catching heat for an officer's decision to memorialize warrant service with some Snapchat posts.

A family in Brooklyn is outraged after NYPD officers raided their home, put everyone in handcuffs and then posted a picture of them on social media with the caption "Merry Christmas Its NYPD." The ordeal led to the suspension of an officer.

The Brownsville residents were so upset that not only did they file a report, but they also called 911.

The 911 call probably wasn't warranted (although it might have been the only way to get the NYPD's attention), but the anger is. The photos showed an entire family in handcuffs, their morning interrupted by the NYPD's search for someone who didn't even reside at this address.

The NYPD continues to claim the warrant was valid. Perhaps it was, but plenty of "valid" warrants result in homes being cracked open, but with no criminals, drugs, or anything else ever found. It's not uncommon for warrants to cite uncorroborated anonymous tips or information gathered months before the warrant is obtained. Waking up a family at 6:30 am to search for someone who isn't there is more than an inconvenience. Topping it off by celebrating a non-bust with a photo of a handcuffed family is just a disgusting display of misused power.

The officer involved has been suspended, but unlike the family outed by his Snapchat post, his name and face remain unpublicized. It took the officers three hours to determine the person they were looking for wasn't in the residence -- time one officer used to make jokes at the expense of a family that says it doesn't even know the person the NYPD was looking for.

The NYPD isn't particularly adept when it comes to social media. If it isn't officers taking photos of homeless people in a police union-backed attempt to bite at Mayor Bill De Blasio's ankles, it's the NYPD's official Twitter account going up in flames in the wake of a massively-ill advised hashtag campaign.

The suspended officer will likely return to work once the investigation concludes, but this sort of thing should always result in firing. There's no way the officer who posted this thought anyone would think it was acceptable. But he chose to do it anyway, most likely because the worst case scenario is what he's experiencing now: an Internal Affairs investigation and a suspension. If he truly thought he'd lose his job, he likely would have shown more restraint.

Police departments can't build relationships with communities while allowing officers to get away with this sort of behavior. There's little that's more intrusive than a search of your home by law enforcement officers. It completely strips away the privacy of the people involved. That's why warrants are required. Publicly posting photos during a search massively expands the boundaries of the intrusion. Turning this massive intrusion into a punchline shows the officer has no respect for the public he serves or the Constitution he's supposed to uphold.

Filed Under: nypd, raid, social media
Companies: snapchat


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:12am

    Well...

    "The officer involved has been suspended, but unlike the family outed by his Snapchat post, his name and face remain unpublicized. It took the officers three hours to determine the person they were looking for wasn't in the residence -- time one officer used to make jokes at the expense of a family that says it doesn't even know the person the NYPD was looking for. "

    When you actively promote the idea that the police are here to "Serve and Protect" when they actually are NOT here to "Serve and Protect" or even SWORN to do so this is what happens.

    It is my opinion that the police are actively antagonizing the citizens into getting into a blood filled shoot out so they have an excuse to load up on even more WAR GEAR so they can treat Americans like enemy combatants so they can just shoot first and throw away the questions later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:18am

    Sue the officer for everything he will potentially ever earn

    The only way to stop things like this from happening over and over is to go after the people who enable it. The cops need to remember that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. When you remove all protections and rights by taking perp photos and publishing them of people that have done nothing wrong, you lose your get out of jail free card as well. Police unions who protect cops like this are the problem and honestly should be made illegal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 29 Dec 2016 @ 9:16am

      Re: Sue the officer for everything he will potentially ever earn

      Actually, I believe this is Apple's fault for selling the iPhone to this officer without a "jackass filter" on it.

      Apple should pay up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Machin Shin (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:20am

    "There's no way the officer who posted this thought anyone would think it was acceptable."

    That is sadly where I think you are wrong. Time and time again we have seen that with the current culture inside police departments this kind of thing is acceptable. I hope I am wrong but even in this case he will probably get a slap on the wrist and told "Don't get caught next time"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:25am

    The old line about one bad apple spoiling the bunch isn't an excuse, its a warning. Remove it or they will all spoil.

    Somehow the true meaning has been lost and has changed to a lame excuse meanwhile the spoiling continues to happen and affects us all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:29am

    Police departments can't build relationships with communities while allowing officers to get away with this sort of behavior.

    Simpler version and more accurate version:-

    Police departments can't build relationships with communities while officers behave like this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jeremy2020 (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      Simplest Version: Police departments don't care about building relationships with communities.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Digitari, 28 Dec 2016 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        almost got it...

        Simplest Version: Police departments don't care about building relationships with Criminals (cause that is how they look at all of US!)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re:

        Your version is not quite true, either.

        Police departments do care about building relationships with communities — relationships where communities treat police as unquestioned heroes rather than civil servants who can (and do) make mistakes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 7:00pm

        In the same way that lords have a 'relationship' with their serfs

        Sure they do, you just need to warp the definition of 'relationship' to the breaking point. If you change it's meaning to 'one side tells the other what to do and they do it immediately, no questions asked', then yes, police absolutely want a 'relationship' with the public.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 12:05pm

    "But he chose to do it anyway, most likely because the worst case scenario is what he's experiencing now: an Internal Affairs investigation and a suspension. If he truly thought he'd lose his job, he likely would have shown more restraint."


    This can't be emphasized enough. The abuses, and by that I mean ANY abuse, will keep happening unless these sociopaths meet severe punishment for abusing power. But this has little chance of happening since the people in power are even worse simply because they allow such things to happen without taking action.

    Who judges the judge?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Trump says..., 28 Dec 2016 @ 12:05pm

    ...they are probably guilty of something!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 28 Dec 2016 @ 12:08pm

    The best part is that the NYPD has not named the officer because of their privacy policy!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 12:21pm

    So pictures of a completely innocent family in handcuffs are OK.

    Name/picture of public servant who took the picture (on company time, no less) is not OK.

    A note to police everywhere - attitudes like this are why an increasing number of the public think you're assholes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zem, 28 Dec 2016 @ 1:38pm

    You all seam to be missing the point. This was wrong even if they found something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 28 Dec 2016 @ 1:57pm

    But,,,,

    To the cop that posted this, it was funny, to be laughed at/about... until it wasn't funny any more!

    the mindset is "your Rights are a Joke to the boys in Blue"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 2:26pm

    "an Internal Affairs investigation and a suspension"
    Well thats what one imagines would happen, but given their history it is much more likely he'll get bought a few rounds to make him feel better about the 'punishment' he already got.

    From the history of ignoring video of officers abusing the public, believing a prepared statement from an officer over testimony of witnesses & video.

    While the 'war on police' narrative keeps getting spun, perhaps we should look at who has the surplus military weapons & training more suited for a war zone than policing a community. Perhaps if they want the public to care about them, they should clean their own house. Stop protecting cops who do stupid things like this, hand out actual punishments, & stop pretending its isolated. There is systematic abuse of the public from those charged with protecting them, and the system protects the abusers because it wants to not undermine public faith in the system. Its a great catch 22.

    The system is broken & allowing unions to threaten those who should hold them to account needs to end. They are involved in a racket protecting officers who break the law & using the safety of citizens as a bargaining chip.

    The NYPD is running wild drunk on the 'ZOMG 911 will happen again unless' hysteria... I doubt anyone would be willing to sacrifice their privacy in being detained & uploaded onto the unforgetting internet to be safer... especially when the danger they were looking for had never been there in the first place.

    How much longer until we find out that NYC is running a black site that makes Chicago's look like club med?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    streetlight (profile), 28 Dec 2016 @ 2:37pm

    Was the cop suspended with or without pay?

    Probably with pay and now is in a place with a warmer climate than NYC at Christmas time, on a vacation with pay and no reduction of Personal Time Off (PTO).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 3:18pm

    Bullies love to show off and brag.

    More of the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 4:42pm

    As I've said before and will say again:

    Cops are racists. If your color isn't "blue" you are neither human nor innocent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 4:48pm

    Would it have been that much work to blur out the faces? Sure anyone who wants to can find the originals, but sharing photos taken in a private home without consent seems in poor taste. How would you feel if it were your family?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2016 @ 6:48pm

    Gun Control at its finest
    When only the NYcriminalsPD have guns can they go around unimpeaded

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DavyB (profile), 2 Jan 2017 @ 6:45am

    Re

    Just another example that "Police Intelligence" just like "Military Intelligence" are BOTH oxymorons.

    Or should we paraphrase that as "Police and Military are Morons"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nico78, 4 Jan 2017 @ 10:43pm

    same same

    are you doing the family a favor by spreading the picture?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Jan 2017 @ 6:16am

      Re: same same

      Context is everything: we're pointing out
      a) their innocence
      b) their status as victims of police abuse

      The net result is to generate sympathy from TD readers, which does more good than harm.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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