To be fair to NYPD Chief Joanne Jaffe, there probably isn’t any combination of 140 characters that will soothe the public after an officer who choked a man to death for selling cigarettes escaped a trial.
Still, things were bound to go poorly when Jaffe used today’s grand jury decision not to indict the officer—whose killing of Eric Garner was ruled a homicide—as the impetus to launch a new hashtag. As you consider the NYPD’s position and social media strategy, remember that there is clear-as-day video footage of the officer using an illegal chokehold on Garner, who complains “I can’t breathe” until he stops breathing and dies.
— Chief Nilda Hofmann (@NYPDCommAffairs) December 3, 2014
What happened next as inevitable: The hashtag became an anti-NYPD rallying cry.
— This is a Harry Styles stan account (@dmcrawford) December 3, 2014
— Jia Tolentino (@jiatolentino) December 3, 2014
— Nelini is #NamingTheLost (@NelStamp) December 3, 2014
— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) December 3, 2014
Jaffe might be committed to rebuilding public trust, but she and her department have a long way to go.
Photo via Dave Hosford/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed