NEW YORK - The NYPD is accused of having someone inside their headquarters alter Wikipedia pages that cast the department in a negative light.
A report from the online news publication "Capital New York" claims computers from inside police headquarters were used to alter the Wikipedia pages for alleged police brutality cases, including the death of Eric Garner, Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo. The investigation showed some significant edits were made.
On the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the page used to read "Use of the chokehold has been prohibited." It was altered to, "Use of the chokehold is legal, but has been prohibited." Instances of the word "chokehold" were replaced with "headlock" and "respiratory distress."
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Perhaps the most shocking allegation in the report is that the NYPD requested that the page on the killing of Sean Bell, the man who was shot 50 times by police, be removed in its entirety.
The request for removal written to Wikipedia said, "Bell was in the news for about two months, and now no one except Al Sharpton cares anymore. The police shoot people every day, and times with a lot more than 50 bullets. This incident is more news than notable."
According to Wikipedia, conflict-of-interest editing involves contributing to Wikipedia to promote your own interests, including your business. Conflict-of-interest editing is "strongly discouraged" by the site.
The NYPD sent News 12 a statement, saying, "We are conducting an internal investigation to identify what member of the service may have accessed the department's server. These incidents did not originate from computers located at police headquarters."