Surreptitious edit of Wikipedia pages belonging to Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, and Sean Bell have been traced to the New York headquarters of the NYPD according to reports today.
The edits are currently being investigated by an NYPD internal review team.
In the case of Garner, who died while placed in a chokehold by a NYPD officer last summer, the word “chokehold” was swapped for “respiratory distress” and the line “Garner, who was considerably larger than any of the officers, continued to struggle with them” was added. The changes ostensibly suggest Garner’s death was his own fault.
Such modifications echo the views of NYPD supporters, including Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) who adamantly declared Garner would not have died had he not been so “obese.” In August, the city’s medical examiner officially ruled Garner’s death a homicide due to the chokehold.
The Wikipedia activity brewing at 1 Police Plaza took a distinctly more bizarre turn with edits to the pages “Ice Cream Soda,” “Who Moved My Cheese?” “Chumbawamba,” and “Stone Cold Steve Austin.”
Following Capital New York’s story on Friday, the Twitter account “NYPD Edits” was created to keep tabs on any future changes authored by the NYPD.