1 Police Plaza

NYPD Revises Police-Brutality History

Attempts to edit and delete Wikipedia entries concerning high-profile police-brutality cases were linked to computers at 1 Police Plaza, headquarters of the NYPD.

By Sheryl Estrada

1 Police Plaza

Edits made to Wikipedia entries describing events surrounding the deaths of Eric Garner, Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo, including allegations of police brutality, have been linked to computers on the New York Police Department's network.

The edits tried to make the details of the events appear friendlier to police officers involved.

Capital New York reports that the changes—and even attempts to delete some entries—were linked to computers operating at 1 Police Plaza through a series of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Eighty-five NYPD addresses that have edited Wikipedia pages were identified.

The same day a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's death, several edits to the entry "Death of Eric Garner" were traced to a user on the 1 Police Plaza network.

Capital says changes included:

  • "Push 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."
  • Instances of the word "chokehold" were replaced twice, once to "chokehold or headlock" and once to "respiratory distress."

As of March 12, three of these edits ("chokehold or headlock," "respiratory distress," and "head down") remained in "Death of Eric Garner" article, while the rest had been removed in later Wikipedia users' revisions.

Capital reports a user with an NYPD IP address attempted to delete the Wikipedia entry "Sean Bell shooting incident." On Nov. 25, 2006, Bell was killed when undercover NYPD officers fired 50 times at three unarmed men.

Also, on Nov. 23, 2013, a user at 1 Police Plaza made two edits to an entry for Diallo, an unarmed man who was killed when police mistook his wallet for a gun.

"Officer Kenneth Boss had been previously involved in an incident where an unarmed man was shot, but remained working as a police officer" was changed to "Officer Kenneth Boss had been previously involved in an incident where an armed man was shot."

Edits were also made to NYPD scandals, information on the departments Stop and Frisk policy, and the bios of prominent figures in the city's political and police leadership.

NYPD spokeswoman Detective Cheryl Crispin told Capital the changes are under an internal review.

Wikipedia has become a go-to website for general knowledge about a topic or event, or a starting point for research. It's the sixth-most-visited website in the U.S. and seventh globally.

The Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia, describes it as "the world's largest and most popular encyclopedia." The site has been "added to and edited by millions of people during the past twelve years: anyone can edit it, at any time."

For that reason, there's no guarantee the information is up-to-date or even accurate. One does not need to be an expert in a certain field to post gathered facts. And if someone so desires, he or she may even provide misinformation.

Using a permanent Wikipedia log of edits made via NYPD IP addresses, Capital wrote a computer program that would search the site for all anonymous edits made with IP addresses registered to 1 Police Plaza.

Click here for a list of every NYPD IP address with anonymous Wikipedia edits.


Three LA Fitness Employees Immediately Fired for Racism

Unlike Starbucks, LA Fitness makes the right move and terminates the employees responsible.

Three employees at an LA Fitness in Secaucus, N.J., were terminated after they were accused of harassing two Black men who were simply trying to work out.

Read More Show Less
Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, hugs a supporter at a rally. / REUTERS

Officers Thought Stephon Clark Was 'Pretending' To Be Dead: Video

Officers waited more than five minutes to approach him after shooting him — and then handcuffed him before attempting CPR.

New video footage shows that police believed Stephon Clark was faking his death after officers fired 20 bullets at him, a possible example of him being perceived as a threat due to the color of his skin.

Read More Show Less

Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for one Afternoon for Racial-Bias Training

The company will also provide training materials for non-company workers at the roughly 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes that will remain open in locations such as grocery stores and airports.

(Reuters) — Starbucks will close 8,000 company-owned cafes for the afternoon on May 29 so 175,000 employees can undergo racial tolerance training in response to protests and calls for boycotts after the arrest of two Black men waiting in a Philadelphia store.

Read More Show Less

Starbucks CEO Whitesplains Defense of Manager Who Called Cops on Black Men in Philly

CEO Kevin Johnson said the manager "never intended" for the men to be arrested.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson's white privilege shone brightly in his apology over the weekend after two Black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks.

Read More Show Less

Sheriff Donny Youngblood: 'Absolutely' Better 'Financially' to Kill Suspects Than to 'Cripple' Them

Police in Kern County, Calif., killed more people per capita than in any other American county in 2015.

A video shows Kern County, Calif., Sheriff Donny Youngblood, who is currently seeking re-election, telling an employees union that it is better "financially" to kill suspects than to "cripple" them.

Read More Show Less

Video Shows Cop Beating, Strangling Black Jaywalker

"What would have happened if he had killed me? Then what?" asked Johnnie Jermaine Rush.

Additional videos of a white police officer in North Carolina beating, choking and using a Taser on a Black pedestrian suspected of jaywalking were released on Monday.

Read More Show Less