‘Not a good look’: Speaker Adams says cops tell her they’re ’embarassed’ by NYPD brass’ social media use

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.
Credit John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Thursday said rank-and-file police officers have told her they are “embarrassed” by a few NYPD honchos’ recent aggressive use of social media to hit back at perceived critics of the department.

During a Thursday news conference, the speaker said her conversations with on-the-ground police officers — who she did not name — confided with her that they believe the brass’ more forceful social media behavior has made their jobs harder.

“Rank-and-file officers are not proud of this, I’ve spoken to a lot of them,” the speaker said. “They’re a bit embarrassed by it and, in the current vernacular, it’s not a good look.”

The speaker made the comments when asked how she felt about the NYPD leaders — including Chief of Patrol John Chell and Deputy Commissioner for Operations Kaz Daughtry — skipping a City Council hearing last week where council members were hoping to press them on their use of their official social media accounts. 

NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters Michael Gerber, who did attend the hearing, declined to answer the speaker’s questions about how the policy works — citing a recently launched city Department of Investigation (DOI) probe into how Chell, Daughtry and others have used social media.

NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell
NYPD Chief of Patrol John ChellFile photo/Dean Moses

The policy has seen Chell, Daughtry and other top NYPD chiefs confront elected officials, advocates and journalists they see as critical of the department on the social media platform X — formerly Twitter. It has drawn widespread criticism from good government groups and council members, including Speaker Adams — who was the one that called for the DOI probe earlier this month.

Speaker Adams said it was “very disappointing” that Chell, Daughtry and NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Tarik Sheppard, chose to skip the hearing. She went on to say the NYPD executives’ recent behavior on social media has been “

“Some of the comments have been inflammatory, they’ve been incorrect and I quite frankly can’t see how this approach improves public safety,” the speaker said. “I can’t see how it builds public confidence in the department when some executives are actually attacking members of the public, attacking journalists, attacking elected officials, attacking journalists and thinking that this is okay, that this behavior is alright.”

Speaker Adams appeared to call for the DOI probe after Chell went after progressive Queens Council Member Tiffany Cabán on X in a May 1 post.

Chell blasted Cabán for a statement she posted criticizing the NYPD’s operation to shut down the pro-Palestinian encampments at Columbia University and the City College of New York. He called her comments a “horrifying affront to democracy” and told New Yorkers to “seek the change you want by getting involved.”

A mayoral spokesperson referred a reporter to the NYPD. The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment.

The mayor earlier this week defended Chell and Daughtry’s online conduct.

“Chief Chell and Commissioner Daughtry were saying ‘listen, y’all need to stop attacking these officers who are putting their lives on the line,’” Adams said. “And these guys are saying that it’s not acceptable anymore.”

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