Monday, October 24, 2011

An official NYPD Statement on the Photo of the OWS protester?

OK, I contacted Ofcr. William Jenkins at the 81st precinct, Community Affairs: (718-574-0433). He could not verify that this was a real picture.

He suggested I contact NYPD, Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (646-610-5000) for an official statement and they were unable to verify the photo. They did not have an official statement. They said that the person who took the photo was the person we should contact.

I contracted the mayor's office with this query:

I am trying to verify a photo that was alleged to have been taken of an Occupy Wall Street Protester allegedly defecating on a NYPD Car (2361) from the 81st Precinct that was published in the British Newpaper: the Daily Mail.
I have contacted the NYPD, but unable to help me.
Is there anyone in the Mayors office who can provide an official statement regarding this photo?

As of now, the only person who can verify that this was a true picture would be the word of the photographer. That means we have to put any reliability on this photograph to the credibility of the photographer, its source: the Daily Mail, and the general reliability of the picture.



  1. I have no reason to doubt the photographer if they say that it happened and where it happened. It certainly not beyond belief or even the realm of probability that it would happen.

    That doesn't mean that a OWS protester did it. Not that I would disbelieve a dirty hippie and OWS protester would do such a thing either. Just that there is no more reason to believe that it was an OWS hippie over that of your average NYC daily excrement dropping nutjob.

  2. One comment I saw on the photo said that most New Yorkers have seen someone taking a crap on the street.

    The real issue is who, when, and where.

    Ofcr. Jenkins said it could have been photoshopped during our phone call.

  3. "The real issue is who, when, and where."

    Really. Just because it happened where OWS hippies are doesn't mean it was an OWS hippie that did it. Plenty of non-OWS filthy people in that city too.

  4. The NYPD never....October 24, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    Police resources between precincts....... ever?!?

    So there could not have been an 81st PCT vehicle in the 1st PCT and the fact that this photographer followed him around after the police ignored is observations means that he "must be lying",

    Meanwhile, Shootings way up in two weeks...

    "Since Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, the NYPD has relied heavily on its borough task forces, the department’s go-to teams for rowdy crowds."

  5. How about, this picture can't be verified and comes from a Newspaper with a reputation for dishonesty.

    But that sort of shit never bothered your type.

    And what's your point about the NY post Article: there needs to be more cops on the Street? Police resources could be better spent chasing criminals than law abiding protesters?

  6. OK, I looked up the weather date for the date the picture was alleged to have been taken:
    Minimum Temperature-55.0 °F
    Mean Temperature-60.4 °F
    Maximum Temperature-65.5 °F

    Our dero is a bit bundled up for a mean temp of 61°F (16°C), assume that since this was allegedly taken at 4 it was toward the cooler of the two temps. Still, it's warm sweater weather.

  7. Daily Mail's reputation, and this.

    I'd trust the Daily Mail as much as I'd trust the Weekly World News to be truthful.

  8. Laci The Dog:

    All the photographer has to do is furnish his camera's download for the day that photo was taken. It's pretty simple to change one photo's metadata, a couple of hundred, not so much.

    As for the weather; if the individual in question is homeless, it would not be a surprise to see him overdresses as the homeless tend to do that a lot. Otoh, if he is a homeless person it's odds on that he's got mental/emotional problems.


    "Bloomberg: 'Protesters are taking jobs away from the city'
    By Hannah Roberts

    Last updated at 10:11 PM on 9th October 2011

    Comments (439) Add to My Stories Share
    These are the shocking scenes that have led some people to accuse the Occupy Wall Street protesters living rough in New York's financial district of creating unsanitary and filthy conditions.

    Exclusive pictures obtained by Mail Online show one demonstrator relieving himself on a police car.
    Elsewhere we found piles of stinking refuse clogging Zuccotti Park, despite the best efforts of many of the protesters to keep the area clean.
    The shocking images demonstrate the extent to which conditions have deteriorated as demonstrations in downtown Manhattan enter their fourth week. Further pictures seen by Mail Online have been censored, as we deemed them too graphic to show.

    Read more:"

    says that the man was a "demonstrator". No name, no independent corroboration. Stefan is a fucking liar, unless he can provide more information that is verifiable.

    Whether the squad car was there or not, there is nothing but the Daily Mail's reporter and photo editor saying that this person was a "member" of the OWS group. Fairly typical of the kind of crap that the GOP, Murdoch and the FBI's CoIntePro have been doing since at least the 1960's.

  9. OK, the photo in the mail is closely cropped to hide the info on the back of the delivery van. But, the other people on the left are fairly bundled up.

    Other pics in the article have been discredited. One which is captioned "Pile: The rubbish has been building up in Zuccotti Park for days now" has a person's feet protruding from a sleeping bag in the middle foreground.

    Well, it could be a corpse.

    Another picture is captioned "Rubbish dump: Trash has built up in spite of best efforts by some demonstrators" has a person sitting in the middle of the pile as well as a duffle bag, which hardly looks like rubbish, to the right.

    Let's put it this way, it's questionable material from a questionable newspaper.

  10. Some of the supplies, including the cleaning supplies have been bagged or are under tarps for safekeeping. Those have on occasion been inaccurately labeled rubbish. Sleeping areas with sleeping bags and spare tarps have been incorrectly labeled rubbish with photos cropped so as to disguise their actual function and location.

    And finally, there are no garbage cans or bins in the area; garbage pickup is at curbside, and there have been photos claiming the area is littered that have focused on neatly tied bags of rubbish that were properly put out at curbside because of that pick up arrangement. I believe they now have a daily pick up, and have been quite effectively self-policing the area. There are a whole lot of little dishonest devils in the right wing smear photos.

  11. So, not only do we have a photo the police will not verify, we have NONE of the New York media carrying this story. If this were legit, if this could be verified, and especially if the Daily Mail could sell this photo - they would.

    The fact that no one in NYC is buying says that it is bogus.

    But more than that if you look at the vehicle, it is old. It is not the kind of vehicle that appears to currently be in use by the NYPD. I watched a lot of video on Friday and Saturday, showing dozens of cop cars in the vicinity of the OWS. NONE of them resembled this vehicle, they were all newer, all differently painted, and had a different logo.

    So, we have nothing within the photo that places this where the photographer claims it happened. We have no other shots showing buildings or street signs or protesters, despite claims from the photographer this is one of a series. We have a truck from Brooklyn in front of a car from Brooklyn, in an area where it is questionable that a Brooklyn police vehicle would be. We have a vehicle that significantly differs from current NYPD cop cars.
    We have nothing which indicates the person in the photo is actually relieving himself, versus is simply partially naked.

    And we have a photographer and a media source which are more than quetionable, they are chronically dishonest and consistently partisan.

    I hope we get something from the mayor's office, but absent that, and absent a positive confirmation from someone official in the NYPD or Mayor's office - this is fake. At this point in time there is nothing except the questionable and potentially self-serving claim of the photographer to support this photo.

    I'll reverse myself if the city of New York confirms it, but I call this a fake.

  12. I would point out btw, that New Yorkers are also calling this fake (and not just the protesters).

    Good work Laci! Excellent job - applause applause!

  13. Some people miss that people can lie with photographs: they can be photoshopped, cropped, misrepresented, etcetera.

    While some journalists detest computer manipulation of photographs, many editors and publishers are more than happy to take advantage of the potential to create the perfect image: and maybe sell a few more newspapers or magazines. And a disreputable rag like the mail ("if we are wrong, let them sue us") is more than willing to engage in that type of "journalism".

    New technology has created the possibility to alter photographs, with precision and quality, in a completely undetectable manner. Digital manipulation of photographs is happening more and more often these days, usually going unnoticed and without comment.

    Unfortunately, widespread understanding of the nature of photography has progressed little since Joseph Nicephore Niepce took the first photograph in 1826, nearly two centuries ago. Most people still voluntarily give photographs authoritative power, instead of understanding a photograph to be merely one individual's perspective of one moment in time.

    The belief that "the camera never lies" betrays the fact that someone chose what, when, where, why, and how to photograph. Every step a photographer makes in taking a picture involves subjective choices, from the camera angle (looking up, looking down, eye level) to the framing (what to include and what to leave out) to the moment of exposure (when to shoot and when to wait). A photograph is always a decontextualized representation of reality recorded by a human being who makes conscious and even unconscious choices based on his or her cultural upbringing, experiences and biases. Joan Fontcuberta, editor of the Spanish magazine PhotoVision, insists that the phrase "manipulated photography" is a redundancy, since every photograph is manipulated.

    Over a decade ago, magazine editor Fred Ritchin warned: "In order to contemplate its future role in society and the impact of new technologies, it is necessary to at least acknowledge that photography is highly interpretive, ambiguous, culturally specific, and heavily dependent upon contextualization by text and layout." For too long, too many media consumers have been laboring under the false assumption that photographs show the world "as it is" because the camera supposedly never lies. This myth of objectivity has contributed greatly to photography's power in society. Perhaps, given time, the practice of digital manipulation will shed light on the multiple manipulations that occur even before the shutter snaps.

  14. Apart from all the other reasons to be dubious about this photo, I used Google map street view to look around the area, to see if I could match up anything in the photo, beginning at Zuccotti Park:

    While Laci is correct that the more cropped version doesn't show much of the surrounding area, I didn't find anything that matched up with the larger view either.

    But maybe one of you who does believe this is a genuine photo, not a hatchet job, will have better luck matching up a specific location...

  15. Laci and Dog Gone, I heard you guys are up for a Pulitzer Prize for this intrepid and tenacious reporting.

  16. The photo stinks, the paper that published it is disreputable, and the camera does lie.

    Unless this picture is authenticated, it is untrustworthy.

  17. This was somehow lost, so I am reposting it:

    Neeee ...... has left a new comment on your post "An official NYPD Statement on the Photo of the OWS...":
    I can prove where this picture was taken......
    and you are not going to be happy.....

    By all means neener, prove where this photo was taken, prove that it was not photoshopped, and to make it authentic, you need to prove WHEN it was taken, that it was not altered or photoshopped, and why an outdated Brooklyn police car is in Manhattan and why it is that the authorities and the New York Media don't verify it.

    Most of all, you need to address how it is that there is no verification that this person has any connection to the OWS protests.

    But by all means - show us what you got. If you expect it to be accepted, it will have to be verifiable.

  18. I think if he had proof, he would have posted it instead of making the silly comment.

    But as Dog Gone said, and I will reiterate:

    By all means neener, prove where this photo was taken, prove that it was not photoshopped, and to make it authentic, you need to prove WHEN it was taken, that it was not altered or photoshopped, and why an outdated Brooklyn police car is in Manhattan and why it is that the authorities and the New York Media won't verify it.

    Most of all, you need to address how it is that there is no verification that this person has any connection to the OWS protests.

    But by all means - show us what you got. If you expect it to be accepted, it will have to be verifiable.

    As of now, no one, not even the photographer is provided proper verification that the person has any connection to the OWS protests.

    Additionally, Dog Gone is correct that this is an outdated Brooklyn police car in Manhattan.

  19. Google Maps
    160 Broadway

    then face SW

    look up into the sky and compare the image of the skyline to the reflection in the rear window of the police cruiser..........

    the trees over the back of mister cop a squat are the tops of the trees in Zucotti Park.

  20. That still doesn't address other issues - that this is not a legitimate type or correct precinct cop car, that any or all of it could be photoshopped, that so far neither the 81st precinct NOR the mayor's office has been willing to confirm that this is a cop car which was there. But most of all - no verification this is a protester,or that it is not a provocateur like the blogger at the Space exhibit in D.C. that was pepper sprayed.

    So, you have something, but far from actual full proof - very far.

  21. Yes, there are trees.

    And there are buildings.

    and there are people.

    And there is a police car.

    But, there is a lot you need to do to authenticate the picture, which you didn't do.

    And you couldn't do it since the photographer did not do it.

  22. ....Laci, are you saying that I am wrong on the position of the photograph?

    That I have not placed it one block away from ZP?

    7mph winds

  23. I did as Well so far suggested and I think the location is correct.

    Since the question, for me, was not really whether the cruiser was there but whether the man purported to be taking a crap was

    a.) doing so
    b.) a protestor/demonstrator at the OWS festivities

    my question remains unanswered.

    Like I said earlier, a copy of the cameras download with all of the photos showing metadata that supports the photographer's contention that he actually took the photo when he states that he took it AND something other than his contention that the person in the photo was actually doing what he is reported to have done as a protestor would be sufficient. I don't see that happening.

  24. Yeah, but you haven't shown that it was taken on the time and date claimed and that the person was indeed a protester as is claimed.

    So, nope.

    You still have to properly authenticate the picture.

    Which no one has done--not even the photographer himself.

  25. I'm going to repeat that Ofcr. Jenkins of the 81st Precinct mentioned that this could be photoshopped.

    The reflection in the back of the cop car seems wrong to me. Somebody like a Democommie, or someone else who is better at spotting this type of thing, could address that concern.

    But given the location of the car to the buildings, the reflection seems too distant and at the wrong angle.

    It's also too clear.

    As I say, this doesn't pass the smell test.

    Te photographer hasn't properly authenticated it.

    No secondary source corroborates it.

  26. Laci The Dog:

    There's actually a guy who comments at Free Thought Blogs/Dispatches from the culture wars, who IS an expert on this sort of thing. I'll see if I can locate the thread he weighed in on (it was a day or six ago) in re: the Obamandingo Green Screen Scandal.