What the New York Police Department initially intended to be a social media public relations campaign has turned into a Twitter commentary on police brutality that has spread to other law enforcement units across the nation.
The #myNYPD hashtag became one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter Tuesday after the NYPD asked Twitter users to pos photos of police officers working in their communities. Instead, citizens began attaching the hashtag to pictures and video depicting scenes of alleged police violence.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 22, 2014
Initially, there were some positive responses to the campaign, but things turned ugly. With little context to many of the pictures, it’s difficult to determine the location and circumstances in which these incidents allegedly took place.
The backlash spread to the Los Angeles police department where #myLAPD began to trend, while others took to Twitter to compare the two police departments. From there, the tweets expanded to include the Seattle, San Francisco and Denver police departments, among others.
— Rudy Bucher (@Ruderealism) April 23, 2014
#mySPD (Seattle Police Department)
#mySFPD (San Francisco Police Department)
#myOPD (Oakland Police Department)
#myAPD (Austin Police Department)
#myDPD (Denver Police Department)
In an email NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster sent to ABC News affiliate WABC in New York, the department recognized that Twitter “provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”
ABC News reached out to the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Denver police departments for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
A Seattle Police Department spokesman did not comment specifically on individual photos attached with the #mySPD hashtag, but said that the community has generally responded “favorably” to their social media efforts.
The Austin Police Department said it would provide comment at a later time.