According to a law enforcement source, social-media tools are leaving the NYPD at a disadvantage when it comes to stopping unruly protests on the streets of New York City. Referring to demonstrators who last week marched the streets of NYC in response to the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, the source says tools such as “burner-phones” and Twitter allowed so-called “anarchists” to run circles around the NYPD.
Speaking with the New York Post, one counter-terrorism expert says:
They wore me out, their ability to strategize on the fly is something we haven’t dealt with before to this degree.
Another source goes on to say a “technology gap” favors the activists:
A lot of these anarchists are from the Occupy Wall Street group. They are little rich kids, little techie brats. They get their money from Mommy and Daddy.
The acknowledgement that some organizers are from Occupy Wall Street proves that this concern over technology is really nothing new. Occupy demonstrators used social media to aid their demonstrations in 2011. That movement began with nothing but a poster and a hashtag. Furthermore, the Arab Spring and Iran’s Green Revolution first showed the protest potential for technology.
Now the NYPD is worried that the upcoming grand jury decision regarding the choke-hold death of Eric Garner could create similar unrest and tech-assisted protests.
As ANIMAL mentioned last week, current and former NYPD members are worried that the police force’s tactics are stuck in the 1990s. This sort of talk about “techie-brats” is just another example of our out of touch law enforcement in New York. The agency could possibly avoid this organizational disadvantage by addressing the overzealous tactics that create outrage in the first place.