The Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York’s police watchdog organization, released a report on NYPD interference with civilian photography, concluding that “officer interference with civilian recordings of police conduct is an issue in New York City.” A review of cases handled by the agency over a three-year period found 257 interference-related complaints against officers, ranging from verbal interference with filming to physical force and tampering with or deleting recordings.
In the Media
The State Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would make assaulting a police officer, EMT, or other first responder akin to a hate crime. The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Fred Ashkar of Binghamton, passed 56-6 with bipartisan support.
Camera footage helped substantiate 7 percent more Civilian Complaint Review Board cases last year compared to cases without video, according to a new report released by the agency Wednesday.
These statistics, according to the CCRB, show that police-worn body cameras could help resolve cases involving police misconduct allegations. The NYPD is expanding its use of body cameras and expects to have deployed 5,000 cameras through 2018 and about 22,000 by the end of 2019.
The New York Police Department’s body camera program launched this week, but not without a fight from activists.
Last week, Communities United for Police Reform and other community groups filed a legal opposition to the NYPD’s then-proposed policy. Submitted to Judge Analisa Torres, they wanted to halt the program’s rollout. The community groups, along with entities like The Center for Constitutional Rights, believe the language of the program renders the concept of body cameras for cops meaningless.
Council members will force a vote on hotly debated police reform bills if Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito refuses to allow a vote this year, they said Tuesday.
Jin Hee Lee, deputy director of litigation of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. and co-lead counsel in Davis, et al. v. City of New York and New York City Housing Authority, and Joo-Hyun Kang, director of Communities United for Police Reform, talk about some of the objections to the NYPD's plan for the body camera pilot program slated to start this week and the legal challenge that's been filed to change it.
NYPD body cameras are supposed to create police transparency and accountability, but police reform advocates are now seeking to block the program, arguing it could instead have the effect of protecting abusive officers. NY1's Bobby Cuza has the story.
A coalition of police-reform groups stepped forward Thursday to ask a federal judge to stop the NYPD’s body camera pilot project — set to begin next week — claiming the plan has numerous problems that need to be fixed.
In a news conference Thursday outside the gates of City Hall, advocates said the NYPD’s plan to outfit about 1,200 cops with cameras is flawed because it doesn’t require cops to record enough encounters with the public. The advocates also objected, among other things, to officers having the right to view their recordings before making statements or writing reports.