In January 2017, a new wave of photos were posted online showing the homeless sleeping rough in the city’s most famous tourist spots.
But the photos were deleted after the photos’ authors claimed they were stolen and that they were used to sell the photos.
Now, the photos are back online, albeit with an edited title.
The New York Post reports that the photos on the Facebook page of photographer Scott Belsky, which have since been deleted, show people sleeping in front of the Statue of Liberty, New York’s iconic skyline, a park named after Christopher Columbus and, most recently, the New York State Supreme Court building, all while a police officer is standing by.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a homeless man in one of the photos, according to the Post.
“These are the homeless.”
According to the newspaper, the post had more than 10,000 shares by the time the photo was taken.
Belski told the Post that he never intended to “sell” the photos and that he only posted the ones he liked.
He said he only thought they would be useful for the “social media savvy” community.
Belsky’s Instagram account has since been suspended, but he says that he’s received support from the local homeless community.
In the meantime, he has started a new blog to share his experiences as a photographer.
Belfast City Councilman and mayoral candidate Anthony B. Weiner said that the city needs to take a stand on the homeless, adding that he has been receiving hundreds of calls and emails from New Yorkers about homelessness.
“People who have been in our streets for years have seen the impact this has had on people and have experienced homelessness firsthand,” he said in a statement.
“It’s time for the city of New Yorks to step up and say ‘Enough is enough.'”
The Post said the photo has been shared more than 2,000 times, but the police department told the paper that they are unable to comment because of privacy laws.