NYPD Tweets “We Hear You” About Eric Garner, Twitter Responds “Why Didn’t You Hear Him?"
New York's law enforcement has come under serious scrutiny recently, but one thing that's certainly, definitively not under question? The NYPD sucks at Twitter. Looks like the NYPD hasn't learned its lesson from its last Twitter fail — the #MyNYPD hashtag campaign that took on a life of its own — because the police department just created a new hashtag that's infinitely worse than the last one. The NYPD tweeted #WeHearYou in response to the public's outrage over Eric Garner's death and promised to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the community. Coming the day after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo was acquitted for killing Garner, this tweet is basically a pat on our heads that feels more like a slap in the face.
Right now New Yorkers are outraged, matching a nationwide anger that seems to intensify by the day. First, Darren Wilson was acquitted in the shooting of Michael Brown, and now NYPD officer Pantaleo is walking free as well. Both cases involve white police officers killing unarmed black suspects after stopping them for questionable reasons (likely stemming from racial profiling). And in both cases, the officers were not indicted. No wonder police officers in this country feel invincible — they can literally get away with ... well, a lot.
So yeah, we're angry, and that anger is still fresh because it hasn't even been 24 hours since Pantaleo was acquitted. But the NYPD's community affairs chief, Joanne Jaffe, felt that it was appropriate to post this tweet immediately following his acquittal:
Seriously? It's been like three seconds since the grand jury's decision, so how could you possibly hear us? It's clearly an attempt to preemptively assuage our anger, and it totally backfired. Even if the tweet conveyed some poignant message and was actually reflective of our frustration, it's still a tweet. Tweets don't change policies, and tweets don't deliver justice. As for this specific tweet, it's a completely tone-deaf and laughably feeble attempt to extend an olive branch, and all it did was piss us off even more.
Twitter users took the utterly ridiculous #WeHearYou hashtag and ran with it, with many asking the critical question: "Why didn't you hear Eric Garner?"
Some are fed up with the NYPD acting like they give a damn.
Some even went so far as creating a new hashtag that they found to be more appropriate for the NYPD.