New York, NY — NYPD police have recently been showing how compassionate they are by taking photos of homeless people and publicly shaming them online. The activity is not only condoned by the department, but it is being sanctioned and encouraged by high-ranking officials at the NYPD.
The ironically named “Sergeants Benevolent Association” sent out an email this week, ordering both police officers and their families to take photos of homeless people in embarrassing situations so they can later be posted publicly.
“As you travel about the city of New York, please utilize your smartphones to photograph the homeless lying in our streets, aggressive panhandlers, people urinating in public or engaging in open-air drug activity, and quality-of-life offenses of every type,” SBA President Ed Mullins said in the email.
The letter went on to criticize the fact that police are being filmed more and more recently and suggested that it is now time to turn the cameras back on the public.
“Shouldn’t accountability go both ways? We, the ‘Good Guys,’ are sworn to protect our citizens. Shouldn’t our public officials be held to the same standard?” the email read.
According to the email, the photos are intended to motivate politicians to “do something about the homeless problem,” but what they actually want to be done is unclear. Do they want laws that outright ban homelessness? Or just more power, in general, to use against the population?
The email cites examples of public urination and drug use, but these are activities that police are already arresting people for, so it seems that they may be pushing for more strict and specific laws against homelessness.
The letter railed against “failed policies, more homeless encampments on city streets, a 10 percent increase in homicides, and the diminishing of our hard-earned and well-deserved public perception of the safest large city in America…. Attempts to pass self-promoting agendas are not the answer to building relationships with communities who don’t trust the police. It only serves to lie to people who are trying to live life and share in a piece of the American Dream.”
One of the “failed policies” that Mullins was critical of was the recently proposed “Right to Know Act,” which would require cops to get permission from a suspect before conducting a search without probable cause for arrest.
Sadly, this sick NYPD homework assignment was even praised by the NYPost, who also seemed to have no compassion for the homeless population of New York City.
The police are now collecting all of the photos in a public Flikr album.
Below are some of the photos uploaded to their album. After looking through their photos, the only one deserving to be publicly shamed in this situation, is the NYPD.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter-culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work, he organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.
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