Twitter Trip Up! Harlem CO Forced to Apologize

Originally Published in the Daily News

Twitter trip up! Harlem CO forced to apologize after sending personal tweet on precinct’s Twitter account

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 1:26 PM
A NYPD police captain was forced to apologized after he put a personal message on the precinct's Twitter account.A NYPD police captain was forced to apologized after he put a personal message on the precinct’s Twitter account.

A top NYPD official apologized on Monday after a police captain’s Twitter tirade accidentally shifted from his personal account to his Harlem precinct’s official account.

On Sunday, Capt. Thomas Harnisch of the 25th Precinct tweeted from his personal account, “Let me guess, driver’s fault right?” in reference to a woman fatally struck by a subway train at Union Square on Saturday.

The tweet was directed at Keegan Stephan, an organizer with pedestrian advocacy group, Right of Way.

“When I first received the tweet, I had no idea who it was. I thought it was some anti-safer streets troll,” Stephan said.

He was shocked when he realized the random Twitter troll was an NYPD captain after receiving a rebuttal from Harnisch’s professional Twitter account.

The precinct commander quickly realized his mistake and deleted the tweet from the official account and set his personal account to private.

“(Harnisch) recognized right away that this is something he didn’t want to have happened, and it should not have happened,” said Zachary Tumin, NYPD’s head of Strategic Initiatives.

Tumin also called Stephan on Monday to apologize for the captain’s actions.

“He said this was definitely not the NYPD’s opinion on traffic,” Stephan explained.

He then told Tumin it was completely irresponsible for an NYPD officer to anonymously attack him online.

“He should be moving our society toward being a safer and more just place,” Stephan said. “His tweets were the complete opposite of that.”

The 25th precinct’s account tweeted an apology on Monday afternoon for “insensitive & unprofessional tweets.”

Harnisch was one of the first five precinct commanders to have an official Twitter account. Tumin said there are 25 commanders now tweeting, with 20 more expected to join in mid-August.

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