“Merry Christmas its NYPD! [sic]” read a Snapchat posted by New York police after conducting a raid on the Brownsville apartment of Kimberly Santiago. One-by-one, everyone within the apartment at the time of the raid had been rounded up and placed in cuffs, before arresting officers took the opportunity to post a photo of the arrests on social media.
Hours later Santiago was sent a second photo from a friend on Snapchat, this time displayed with the caption “Warrant Sweeps its still a party smh [sic].” Santiago and her other family members shown in the photos had been arrested during the raid, but police had gone to the wrong apartment. Turns out, the warrant Santiago had been served with was for a man no one at the apartment knew.
The photos were culled by Snapchat as part of their “New York Story” feed, which collects various photos from New York users of the app. Thousands of users had seen the photos before they were pulled from the site.
After three hours of being detained by officers, Santiago and her family were released from custody. A spokesman for the NYPD would not reveal details of the raid, but stated that the arrests were part of an on-going investigation.
Santiago recalled one of the officers on the scene had been standing at the back and playing with his phone. She told New York’s ABC affiliate, “We thought he was texting on his phone, because the whole three hours we were sitting here, he was the one standing there. We saw him on his phone, but we didn’t think an officer would do that.”
The family had been so upset over the incident that they filed their own report on the police with NYPD’s internal affairs department. The inappropriate Snapchat posts are currently under investigation and the officer who posted the photos online has been suspended without pay.