The NYPD’s latest tactics have New Yorkers and Americans alike fearing the future

Photo by spurekar, CC BY 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia

As crime rages on in many parts of the nation, many Americans have called for more funding for law enforcement agencies. 

However, as the saying goes, the grass is not always greener on the other side. 

And the NYPD’s latest tactics have New Yorkers and Americans alike fearing the future. 

Police forces everywhere are fighting to regain authority and power

Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, lawmakers across the nation slashed police budgets, which helped to facilitate a massive crime wave. 

Four years later, crime rages on, and many law enforcement agencies are doing everything in their power to regain some control and authority.

The New York Police Department, for example, has invested heavily in bolstering its online presence, producing digital communications that directly target its critics. 

Some residents and policymakers fear that this targeted media presence misuses taxpayer dollars to target individuals who get in the way of the NYPD. 

An NYPD spokesman, Tarik Sheppard, addressed these concerns in a recent statement, claiming, “We want to go on social media and push back on the misinformation that’s out there,” adding, “because if we don’t, it could cause damage to the reputation of our cops and the work that we’re doing.”

Just last week, an example of the danger of this revamped digital campaign emerged when NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell specifically called out a State Judge for releasing a man onto the streets despite the man allegedly committing a long list of serious crimes. 

However, it was quickly uncovered that Chell misidentified the Judge, prompting him to remove the post and issue an apology on X. 

Steven Zeidman, director of the criminal defense clinic at the City University of New York School of Law, has pushed back against this media campaign, citing Chell’s recent mishap. 

Per Zeidman, “It’s a naked form of intimidation against the judiciary, which is dangerous and scary.”

He added, “Their job is to investigate crimes, not to act as a mouthpiece to spew hate and fearmonger.”

Zachary Tumin, a former NYPD official who oversaw the NYPD’s social media campaigns, also chimed in, criticizing the NYPD’s new digital strategy. 

Tumin told New York’s Fox 44 News that when he served, “The basic guidelines were: Don’t attack, don’t personalize and don’t name,” adding, “picking fights on social media with members of the public … was something we wanted to stay away from.”

The real danger behind these revamped digital targeting efforts 

After radical leftists slashed police budgets following the death of George Floyd, many Americans were outraged and demanded more funding for law enforcement. 

Although most Americans can get behind efforts targeting violent criminals, the New York Police Department’s recent efforts demonstrate the dangers of giving even more power to law enforcement agencies. 

Targeting individuals on social media effectively circumvents the legal justice system, vilifying people before they get their day in court. 

As scholars, citizens, and former NYPD officials have pointed out, these premature accusations could have very negative ramifications for individuals in New York City and elsewhere. 

Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.

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