Police Computers Searched in Probe of Facebook Comments on West Indian Day Parade - NBC New York

Police Computers Searched in Probe of Facebook Comments on West Indian Day Parade

The commissioner says hateful speech is "unacceptable" by police officers.



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    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Internal Affairs investigators are subpoenaing some police officers' computer records amid allegations that they posted what he called "offensive" comments on Facebook about West Indian Day parade-goers.

    Kelly said investigators have already determined that 20 inflammatory comments were posted by names "that match those of police officers" and have begun interviewing them and tracking down computer records.

    Kelly said Wednesday that it hateful speech is "disturbing" anytime but "unacceptable when police officers do it."

    "Despite the assertion of First Amendment rights in social media cases, the Police Department reserves the right to discipline behavior it determines to be unbecoming of a police officer or detrimental to the service, especially when it is disrespectful of communities that officers have taken an oath to protect," he said.

    NYPD Looks Into Dancing Cops at Parade

    [NY] NYPD Looks Into Dancing Cops at Parade
    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the NYPD is looking into a video that shows police officers dancing suggestively while on duty at the West Indian Day Parade.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011)

    The New York Times reported Tuesday that officers referred to parade revelers as "animals" and "savages."

    The paper gained access to the group page -- entitled "No More West Indian Day Detail" -- before it was taken down in September. It had previously been viewable by anyone with a Facebook account. 

    One of the posts read, “Let them kill each other” and another called for a bomb to be dropped on the parade-goers and “wipe them all out,” the Times said.

    One of the posters who identified himself as a police officer told the Daily News his Facebook account had been hacked and he was not responsible for the comments posted under his name. 

    Brooklyn's annual West Indian Day Parade is a notoriously raucous affair, with revelers celebrating all weekend before flocking to Eastern Parkway for the parade on Labor Day. 

    The parade was particularly violent this year, with at least two reported shootings at different points along the route.

    This year's parade was also particularly rowdy, with NYPD officers appearing to get in on the excitement. A video taken during the event and later posted on YouTube shows several NYPD officers who appeared to be working the route grinding with barely clothed women in parade garb.