Our police abuse lawyers have learned of changes to Wikipedia pages relating to high profile police brutality cases, particularly that of Eric Garner, have been tracked to the NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan.
Wikipedia is a global encyclopedia, written collaboratively by users from around the world using sources for each claim made. Thousands of changes to Wikipedia are made per hour to the nearly 5 million individual article pages.
Pages with information that may be viewed as uncomplimentary to the behavior of the NYPD have undergone several suspicious edits, minimizing police fault and changing descriptions of the victims’ actions. These changes have been traced back to 1 Police Plaza in New York, the headquarters for the police force.
Are Other Pages Being Targeted With Wikipedia Edits?
Garner’s case is not the only one that has been targeted with edits. Other changes tracked to 1 Police Plaza include minimizing police wrongdoing in the text of cases involving NYPD negligent discharge of weapons, like the fatal police shooting that killed Amandou Diallo in 1999 or the page outlining how Sean Bell was shot and killed by police on the morning before his wedding in 2006.
When examples of the changes were presented to the NYPD, spokeswoman Detective Cheryl Crispin wrote that “the matter is under internal review.”
Some of the changes to Eric Garner’s page, found by Capital, include the following:
- “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.”
- “Use of the chokehold has been prohibited” was changed to “Use of the chokehold is legal, but has been prohibited.”
Further information released by Capital revealed that these changes were not made at a single computer by a single employee, but came from at least 85 different IP addresses at 1 Police Plaza.
According to Newsday, if the changes to Wikipedia were made during office hours, on a department computer, “it could be a violation of department rules subject to disciplinary action.”
What Are The Rights Of Police Brutality Victims?
Victims of police brutality and misconduct often feel as though they have no rights. The false arrest lawyers and police brutality lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Lamonsoff have decades of experience of bringing justice to clients who have suffered from police misconduct and the negligent discharge of weapons. The Law Offices of Michael S Lamonsoff have represented several high profile victims of police misconduct, including several victims of the Empire State shootings and the wrongful police shooting of 25-year-old Kyoko Tachimoto.
If you or your loved ones are police misconduct victims, whether due to false arrest, police brutality, or in the worst case scenario, bereaved of someone who was killed by police, you may be entitled to compensation.
Never doubt that you have rights. Call us today for a completely free consultation about your specific case. Our clients are our priority. Make sure you’re given the treatment you deserve and call us at (212) 962-1020.