A Flickr account operated by the union representing New York Police Department sergeants has spent the last week or so prolifically shaming the city’s most destitute residents. So far, the Sergeants Benevolent Association has posted 241 photos of homeless New Yorkers, some alongside “funny” captions about their subjects.
The SBA initiative, incredibly, is called “Peek-a-Boo, We See You!”, according to the New York Post. One photo, of a person holding their head in their arms behind a sign that says “Hungry, Broke, Travelin’,” is captioned “disgusting.” Another, of a man sleeping on the sidewalk, reads “bed and breakfast.” A third photo is captioned “progressive agenda”—an apparent swipe at the policies of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Post, no slouch itself when it comes to publicly embarrassing the incredibly poor for a few cheap political points, reports that SBA president Ed Mullins is hoping to use the initiative to critique the de Blasio administration and strike back against the trend of citizens recording the police.
Noting that more cops are being recorded on the job, Mullins wrote, “Shouldn’t accountability go both ways?”
“We, the ‘Good Guys,’ are sworn to protect our citizens. Shouldn’t our public officials be held to the same standard?” he said.
Mullins said he was responding to the past two years of “failed policies, 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.”
Mullins correctly notes that it’s against NYPD policy for cops to photograph the public while on duty, but encourages members to send in photos “while traveling to and from work or any time off duty.” If you happen to see an officer in uniform pulling out his smartphone to snap a hilarious pic of someone sleeping on the sidewalk, we encourage you to take your own photo of the scene. And in the spirit of “Peek-a-Boo, We See You!”, why not send it to us?