A review by Capital New York revealed the NYPD computers were used in attempts to edit or delete Wikipedia entries for prominent cases of police brutality, including pages for Eric Garner, Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo.
“The matter is under internal review,” said NYPD spokeswoman Detective Cheryl Crispin when confronted with the claims.
85 IP addresses were identified as being connected to the edits and changes, though it is unclear how many users that actually translates into, since computers on the NYPD network can operate on a range of IP addresses.
Edits to the Eric Garner Wikipedia article were made as follows:
“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 incident description.
Instances of the word “chokehold” were replaced twice, once to “chokehold or headlock,” and once to “respiratory distress.”
Additionally, a user tried to get the Wikipedia entry for Sean Bell deleted. “He [Bell] was in the news for about two months, and now no one except Al Sharpton cares anymore. The police shoot people every day, and times with a lot more than 50 bullets. This incident is more news than notable,” the user wrote on Wikipedia’s internal “Articles for deletion” page.
A list of all edits can be found here.
UNR fam, what do you think of NYPD’s attempt to literally rewrite history?