Whoops – NYPD Tweets Wrong Picture For Officer Funeral, Multiple Times

The NYPD sadly held the funeral for one of it’s own, Officer Rafael Ramos, this morning. Tragically slain along with Officer Wenjian Liu by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, the nation’s hearts grew heavy with yet another tragic loss of life. The warning came too late to avoid the slaying. Some tried to politicize the funerals, but in general, people turned out to mourn for the officer and his family.

One would think, on such a solemn occasion, the NYPD would be careful in handling its social media. Instead, multiple NYPD feeds presented “pictures of the funeral” which, it turned out, were anything but.

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The image is actually from a New York Times article on the funeral of NYPD Officer Russel Timoshenko, back in 2007. Timoshenko was killed by Robert Ellis, who Officer Timoshenko had pulled over along with Dexter Bostick and police informant Lee Woods. The death was widely covered, notable due to the use of an illegally obtained handgun from a Virginia dealer who had his license revoked.

It has to be asked why the NYPD chose to use the wrong photograph of the funeral. It is not as if there were not mourners for Officer Ramos. It may have been a mistake, but for a mistake to have been repeated, over and over, is plain incompetence for the NYPD’s social media system.

Or, perhaps it was not a mistake at all, and the NYPD is trying to cover for the disrespect it has shown the people of New York City, and their dutifully elected mayor, Bill de Blasio. The antagonistic stance of the department against the elected representative of the people they have sworn to protect is not something they would wish widely known. So replacing that with an image of solidarity is in their best interest.

Will the NYPD learn from it? History tells us no, as the issues described by Frank Serpico 40 years ago have never been properly resolved. The department, one of many across the US, exists to support itself, not to do its duty.

The wrong picture can be a simple mistake, incompetence, or just plain misdirection. Whatever it is, the NYPD remains in trouble, and does nothing to fix the problems it still carries with it.