San Diego Police Department Trends On Twitter After Now-Deleted Replies Clap Back At Critics

June 24, 2020

San Diego Police Department was trending on Twitter yesterday after a now-deleted reply caused online backlash from critics.

San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to advance the "Racial Justice and Law Enforcement Realignment Policy Package" - a three-prong ballot measure that would create an independent commission on police practices and other reform measures, but this is not what caused the San Diego Police Department to trend on Twitter. Rather, it was the thousand plus responses to the San Diego Police Department's now-deleted reply to a tweet by user Andy Kopp (@andykoppsd) who criticized the amount of officers responding to an issue involving a single homeless man. While some Twitter users supported the SDPD's choice to "clap back" at critics, the majority of replies scolded the department's replies as unprofessional under the circumstances.

At a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit joined other community members in announcing the implementation of de-escalation requirements and a new policy requiring a duty to intervene for other officers witnessing excessive force. In acknowledging that sometimes police actions actually result in escalating violence, the new rules require officers to pursue de-escalation of potentially violent situations. The regulations were developed along with three local oversight bodies and are aimed to "reduce the use of force, further embrace the highest standards of accountability, increase public trust and protect against the unnecessary loss of life," said Mayor Faulconer.

We reached out to San Diego Police Department representatives for comment and for more information on who controls their Twitter account, as well as to the San Diego Mayor's Office and City Council Representatives, and we only received the below response.

"It is my responsibility to ensure accurate information is disseminated to the public including through the department’s social media accounts," responded Lieutenant Shawn Takeuchi, Public Information Officer San Diego Police Department. "I did not believe our response on Twitter aligned with our department’s vision of strengthening community partnerships therefore I made the decision to remove the tweet."