Wikipedia pages about Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo—unarmed men who were controversially killed by New York Police Department officers—have been edited in NYPD-friendly ways from the organization’s headquarters at One Police Plaza in Manhattan, Capital New York reports:
Capital identified 85 NYPD addresses that have edited Wikipedia, although it is unclear how many users were involved, as computers on the NYPD network can operate on the department’s range of IP addresses.
NYPD IP addresses have also been used to edit entries on stop-and-frisk, NYPD scandals, and prominent figures in the city’s political and police leadership.
Here are some of the five changes Capital says an NYPD-affiliated IP address made to the page about Garner, who was killed in 2014 when officers detaining him on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes put him in a chokehold (no officers were charged with crimes related to the incident):
- “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.”
At one point a One Police Plaza user attempted to delete the entry for “Sean Bell shooting incident” altogether. The NYPD says it is investigating Capital’s findings.
Capital also found that One Police Plaza IP addresses had edited the page about British band Chumbawumba and edited a health-related page to add a reference to “gay man on man butt sex.”