When it was discovered that several members of the NYPD were editing entries around police brutality, including one about the death of Eric Garner, we assumed it would raise some alarms not just among the public, but within the NYPD as well. That doesn’t seem to be the case, however. According to DNAinfo, two cops who edited the entry about Garner will not be reprimanded.
The original report, by Capital, traced 85 NYPD IP addresses back to Wikipedia entry edits over the past decade, which a significant number of edits made to articles involving police-related controversies. The NYPD only keeps records on computer usage for a year, however, and identified the officers. They work in separate units.
One officer told DNAinfo that the cops have a “First Amendment right” to make edits to the site. Instead, they will likely get a talking to by the Internal Affairs Bureau for using the NYPD’s computers for personal use. “But barring any additional infractions,” DNAinfo explains, “sources said they will not face any punishment for what they did to the Wikipedia pages.”
They edited descriptions of the chokehold and Garner’s physical description in a series of edits immediately following a Staten Island jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
The names of the cops were not released.
(Photo: Dave Hosford)