The Year in NYPD Public Relations Disasters


This year has not been a good one for the NYPD. The department has found itself in an uphill PR battle for pretty much all of 2014, starting as far back as December 2013 with then-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s announcement that Bill Bratton, considered to be the architect of the NYPD’s much-reviled “broken windows” policing policy, would be returning to the force as its commissioner. There was the death of Eric Garner, who was killed when Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo used an apparent chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes on Staten Island. There was the shooting death of Akai Gurley at the hands of a rookie police officer. And then there was the Garner grand jury decision and the subsequent protests. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the NYPD will probably be happier than anyone to see the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

But this isn’t to say that the NYPD hasn’t tried to paint itself in a better light. It’s just that they happen to be terrible at it. New York’s finest have just not been able to keep their collective foot out of their collective mouth. Time and again this year, the department’s best intentions managed to turn into exploding cigars.
New York’s Village Voice has the (not so pleasant) countdown.