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NYPD Officer Reprimanded for Tweeting #BlackLivesMatter From Her Personal Twitter Account

An officer with the New York City Police Department’s 76th Precinct is in hot water with her superiors after she reportedly replied to a department Twitter post with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Police Officer Gwendolyn Bishop is black, and the New York Daily News reports that she was hit with departmental charges and accused of inappropriately writing on Brooklyn’s 76th Precinct Twitter page in response to a Feb. 17, 2016, post about a gun arrest by an NYPD special-ops team in her precinct. “Sad day for the 76th Pct. #BlackLivesMatter,” Bishop allegedly wrote. The remarks were posted under Bishop’s personal account, @ducklipzanddimplzz, which has since been taken down, along with Bishop’s replies, the Daily News reports. The original tweet from the 76th Precinct remains online. The Daily News reports that Bishop has been on the force for four-and-a-half years, and that when asked about the tweets, she told her superiors she didn’t remember replying to the post. At a departmental trial Tuesday, Bishop said she meant to write #BlueLivesMatter and blamed her phone’s autocorrect feature for the “error.” Attorney John Tynan, who represents Bishop, said that she had used the #BlueLivesMatter hashtag in two of the three comments she posted. Bishop, who said she was not responding to the gun arrest, told David Weisel, an assistant police commissioner, “I vaguely remember the tweets. If I had to guess, there were a lot of changes in my precinct about shifts being switched, but it had nothing to do about this gun arrest.” Bishop responded to a tweet from the 76th Precinct that read: “#76thPct Special Ops Team makes arrest and recovers a loaded 9MM hand gun #onelessgun.” Tynan said that Bishop has not violated any of the NYPD social media rules because she did not access the official 76th Precinct Twitter account, and her replies were made from her personal Twitter account. “She can reply to a tweet just as the 500 million others who use Twitter can,” Tynan said. From the Daily News: The NYPD has strict guidelines about who can post to a precinct’s official page as well as the contents in the posts. Her private Twitter account did not identify her as a cop in any way, Tynan said. Lt. Steven Rios, the 76th Precinct’s integrity control officer, said that a picture on Bishop’s now defunct Twitter page was the same as on her Facebook page, where she identified herself as a cop who patrols Red Hook. The 76th Precinct covers Red Hook, as well as Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. The Twitter account also goes to a Veronica Bishop, which is the cop’s middle name. Bishop also has been accused of “mouthing off” to superior officers and violating departmental rules. If found guilty of all the violations, she could lose up to 30 vacation days and be put on a year of probation, according to NYPD officials. Let’s be honest: Bishop tweeted this from her personal Twitter account, and the only reason she is getting in trouble for it is that people continue to want to see the phrase and hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as some sort of threat. As if the mere mention of black people being as important as everyone else is an attack. Had she simply tweeted #BlueLivesMatter, we wouldn’t even be discussing this.

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