Several incidents of alleged police brutality have made headlines in recent months, it seems police in New York have come up with a new way to bolster their public image.
By editing Wikipedia pages on alleged police brutality incidents, they have made them look more favorable to the officers involved.
CapitalNewYork has checked recent edits to the Wikipedia pages for Eric Garner, Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo — all of whom died at the hands of NYPD officers under controversial circumstances.
They found discrepancies and tracked them to computers at the NYPD’s headquarters at 1 Police Plaza.
The edits were made to make the circumstances surrounding the shootings more favorable to the police officers.
In the case of Eric Garner, who died last year after an officer placed him in a chokehold that was prohibited by NYPD’s own rules, CaptialNewYork found that the following changes were made:
“Garner raised both his arms in the air” was changed to “Garner flailed his arms about as he spoke.”
“[P]ush Garner’s face into the sidewalk” was changed to “push Garner’s head down into the sidewalk.”
“Use of the chokehold has been prohibited” was changed to “Use of the chokehold is legal, but has been prohibited.”
The sentence, “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them,” was added to the description of the incident.
Instances of the word “chokehold” were replaced twice, once to “chokehold or headlock,” and once to “respiratory distress.