Report: NYPD Tried To Scrub Wikipedia Pages On Eric Garner, Other Killings

March 13, 2015 11:00 am

Scores of IP addresses responsible for editing and attempting to delete Wikipedia entries on police killings have reportedly been traced to the headquarters of the New York Police Department.

Any user can edit Wikipedia entries, but those who choose to edit anonymously are identified by their Internet Protocol addresses.

In a report published on Friday, Capital New York identified IP addresses registered to 1 Police Plaza, NYPD headquarters.

For several years, according to Capital New York, users from the addresses had altered pages for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo, all of whom were killed by New York City police officers. Users also reportedly altered pages on stop-and-frisk policy and scandals surrounding the NYPD.

In 2007, Capital reported, one address linked to the NYPD network attempted to delete the entry for the shooting of Sean Bell, an unarmed black man shot dead by police in 2006.

The NYPD’s fingerprints also showed up the same day that a Staten Island grand jury ruled not to indict a white NYPD officer in the death of unarmed black man Eric Garner, according to the Capital report.

Among the many edits made to Eric Garner’s page by the users at Police Plaza, according to Capital:

“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.” …
The sentence, “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them,” was added to the description of the incident.

“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,” the report said.

Capital presented some examples of the edits to the NYPD. A spokesperson told the paper that the matter was under “internal review.”

Read the whole report at Capital New York.

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