The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 4/23/14, 11:03 PM ET

Twitter hijacks the NYPD's hashtag

The New York Police Department asked people to share stories using the hashtag #myNYPD, but the force got much more than it bargained for.

#myNYPD Twitter campaign backfires on the NYPD

Updated

A social experiment by the New York City Police Department quickly turned sour when users posted pictures of police brutality on Twitter.

On Tuesday. the police department asked New Yorkers to share photos of themselves with city police officers with the hashtag #myNYPD, even promising to post the best ones on its Facebook page.

But the department didn’t exactly get what they were hoping for when the Twitter-verse exploded with hundreds of pictures of police violence, including disturbing images of arrests during the Occupy Wall Street movement and bloody struggles with police officers who used their batons against civilians. 

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community,” NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster said late Tuesday. “Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

The #myNYPD hashtag has spread internationally, with comments coming in from South America to Europe. Los Angelenos, meanwhile, launched their own hashtag trend: #myLAPD. 

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday he was not bothered by the influx of images showing police abuse. “I kind of welcome the attention,” Bratton said. “We really broke the numbers yesterday.” 

“Most of the pictures I looked at, they’re old news,” said Bratton. “They’ve been out there for a long time.”

“Often times police activities are lawful, but look awful.”

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#myNYPD Twitter campaign backfires on the NYPD

Updated