Members of a New York Police Department union who are fed up with the homeless want New Yorkers to snap photos of people living on the street and then post them to a Flickr campaign, with a goal of “creating accountability across the board,” the New York Post reported Tuesday. The campaign, created by the Sergeants Benevolent Association, is in response to what the union said has been two years of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “failed policies.”
Leaders of the Sergeants Benevolent Association e-mailed its members Monday, requesting that they use their smartphones to photograph the homeless in a variety of situations, from lying on the street to urinating in public. The union has planned to then, “notify our public officials in writing of what is being observed,” union President Ed Mullins wrote in the e-mail.
Mullins added that the presence of the homeless is a direct result of de Blasio’s “failed policies, [which have led to] more homeless encampments on city streets, a 10 percent increase in homicides, and the diminishing of our hard-earned and well-deserved public perception of the safest large city in America,” the e-mail said.
— Joo-Hyun Kang (@JooHyun_Kang) August 11, 2015
Mullins criticized a multitude of pending City Council proposals regarding the NYPD, including the Right To Know Act, which would require police officers to obtain permission from a suspect before conducting a search without probable cause for arrest. Mullins noted that police officers are being recorded on the job, and wrote, “Shouldn’t accountability go both ways?”
Police officers are not allowed to take photos of members of the public while on duty, so Mullins wrote that photos can be taken while traveling to and from work or any time while off duty. The Flickr campaign, titled “Peek-A-Boo,” currently features photos of numerous homeless people passing from the street to the subway.
"Attempts to pass self-promoting agendas are not the answer to building relationships with communities who don't trust the police," Mullins wrote in the e-mail. "It only serves to lie to people who are trying to live life and share in a piece of the American Dream."