Contact: Mandela Jones 646.214.1031

CPR Responds to NYPD Body Camera Policy

In response to the NYPD releasing its final body camera policy for approval by the court, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) released the following statement by spokesperson Mandela Jones.

“The NYPD’s newly released body camera policy fails New Yorkers and police transparency – it won’t help address police brutality, abuses and unjust killings of New Yorkers. Body cameras are no solution or substitute for accountability, but they can enhance transparency – however critical flaws in the policy undermine efforts to hold police accountable for brutality, and instead provide mechanisms to protect abusive officers instead of the public. New York City should not deploy body worn cameras unless the significant flaws in the policy that undermine transparency and accountability are addressed.
“Officers are given far too much discretion and loopholes to not record, making it likely that most instances of police brutality that escalate quickly will not be recorded. While there’s a list of instances mandated for recording, there are important categories left out, including a mirroring of the NYPD’s continued efforts to dangerously erase records of what civilians experience as stops by exempting Level 1 encounters. Allowing officers who are the subject of investigations to view footage before making official statements, even in allegations of brutality and misconduct, demonstrates how the public interest is being put last. The NYPD also failed to include clear disciplinary policy for officers who do not comply and mandatory footage review of documented incidents by supervisors, despite recommendations by several organizations and the NYPD inspector general for such policies.
“It’s highly troubling that the public comment process also failed New Yorkers most impacted by abusive policing, choosing to prioritize restrictions to accommodate the NYPD instead of prioritizing meaningful input and influence from affected New Yorkers. This is not the way to advance police transparency and accountability and it’s shameful that the de Blasio administration is once again turning its back on New Yorkers affected by abusive policing.”
  • The public comment process not only failed to survey a racially representative sample of New Yorkers most impacted by stop-and-frisk, which continues to be over 80% Black and Latino, it failed to even reflect the proportion of Black and Latino New Yorkers in NYC.
    • For the public comment process administered by the Policing Project, 15% of respondents were Black, despite Black New Yorkers being 22% of NYC’s population and 54% of all stop-and-frisks in 2016. 11% of survey respondents were Latino, despite Latino New Yorkers being 29% of NYC’s population and stop-and-frisks in 2016. 60% of survey respondents were white, despite white New Yorkers being only 33% of NYC’s population and 10% of stop-and-frisk in 2016. 
  • Members of CPR are amongst the plaintiffs of the federal litigation that mandated the pilot program.
Additional References


Topics: Police Body-Worn Cameras Stop-and-Frisk