New York City Council holds hearing on how NYPD officials use social media accounts

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Friday, May 10, 2024
Department of Investigation launches probe into NYPD social media use
Darla Miles has details on the NYPD's hearing on social media practices.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A New York City Council hearing on Thursday got heated at times as it focused on the social media use of officials with the New York City Police Department.

It comes amid allegations that the department is improperly using social media accounts to target public officials and private citizens.

Three NYPD officials listed to testify at the hearing -- Chief of Patrol John Chell and Deputy Commissioners Kaz Daughtry and Tarik Sheppard - did not show up.

Other members of the NYPD brass were in the hot seat Thursday morning as City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams demanded answers about a post by Chell on X.

Last week, Chell called a post by City Council member Tiffany Caban criticizing the NYPD response to the Columbia University protest "garbage" said she was a "colossal disgrace."

At the request of Adams, the Department of Investigation has launched an investigation into the department's use of its 250 official social media accounts.

The NYPD has dramatically increased its online presence earlier this year.

"I give my executives autonomy to speak directly to the public and they do that through social media, and I can also tell you that my executives are very passionate about what they do in their bureaus," said NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban.

Chell posted in March that the department would be taking advantage of all social media platforms to confront anti-police rhetoric and would never apologize.

But there has been some concern he may have gone too far.

In one post, they criticized a judge about releasing a recidivist without bail - but it was quickly determined he named the wrong judge.

"When a precinct commander has a social media account, he is the one that decides what is going to go out and how they are going to inform the community," said NYPD Assistant Commissioner Carlos Nieves.

The posts in question have not been deleted.

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Raegan Medgie has details from Washington Heights.


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