NYPD blasted for bragging post about arrests of people for stealing diapers and medicine: ‘This is not public safety’

Bronx cops were pictured with haul worth $1800, closing 23 warrants; social media was horrified by kids’ items

Sheila Flynn
Friday 18 February 2022 03:32 GMT
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The NYPD has come in for harsh criticism after proudly tweeting a photo of shoplifted items – an alleged $1,800 worth of diapers, Mucinex and toiletries.

The tweeted photos, which were quickly deleted by the NYPD News account as backlash spread like wildfire across social media, featured masked officers posing with the merchandise; the Bronx police officers “arrested 12 individuals following an enforcement initiative targeting shoplifters”, the tweet said.

“The arrests made led to the closure of 23 warrants & the recovery of $1800 worth of merchandise,” it continued.

New Yorkers and others immediately reacted with horror.

“The NYPD deleted this tweet, but the fact is they proudly displayed having caught people who took diapers and cough medicine,” reality contestant and public defender Eliza Orlins tweeted on Wednesday.

Social media users were horrified that the seizure by Bronx cops seemed to show basic necessities, as opposed to the drug or gun hauls usually promoted
Social media users were horrified that the seizure by Bronx cops seemed to show basic necessities, as opposed to the drug or gun hauls usually promoted (Twitter - deleted)

“Basic. Necessities. This is not public safety. This is cruelty on display.”

It’s not uncommon for police on social media to proudly display seizures – but those usually showcase guns and drugs, not Pampers and Huggies.

User rachel_lawal tweeted: “When this is the photo the NYPD release about reclaimed stolen merchandise, you can’t help but ask what kind of society we live in where police take back soap, infant diapers, OTC pain medication, and laundry detergent, and arrest and incarcerate the people who took them.”

While the NYPD News account deleted the tweet, a post without pictures remains on the local Bronx precinct’s account as of Thursday afternoon.

“The 44th Pct Special Ops conducted a very thorough operation at the local Rite Aid,” the precinct tweeted. We were able to recover $1,800 in merchandise, closed 22 warrants, by arrested 12 ppl. We were also able to apprehend an individual that was wanted in a bank robbery pattern in Manhattan.”

The NYPD has come under fire after tweeting a photo of $1,800 worth of baby items and toiletries seized
The NYPD has come under fire after tweeting a photo of $1,800 worth of baby items and toiletries seized (Twitter - deleted)

Twitter users were unimpressed.

“You left out, of course, that the merchandise was diapers and infant care essentials,” user NotMyLinkedin tweeted. “People love when the cops lock poor people up for trying to take care of their kids.”

Another user, @courtmii, tweeted: “If those parents didn’t try to steal those diapers, soap, and medicine, you’d arrest them for child neglect. Are poor people just not allowed to have families and be happy?”

Responding to a request for comment from The Independent, the NYPD provided the names and criminal histories of those arrested but declined to address the social media firestorm.

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