Apr 092017
 April 9, 2017  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

Scott Greenfield writes:

Long after the rest of the policing world accepted the premise that body cams weren’t going away, and might actually help police when they were in the right, New York Police Department persisted to fight against them. It’s not just that it’s as big as a medium-sized country’s army, but that they were scared to death of what it would show about the job. With good reason. Stop and frisk, anyone?

So then-Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered a pilot program of 1000 body cams. That was in 2013, before Bill de Blasio was elected mayor so he (she, xe, they, it?) could turn NYC into a progressive mecca, and before BdB got his butt kicked by the police union. Almost four years later, New York City is finally discovering what police across the country have known for years, that body cams exist. Right on top of things, guys.

But like all good bureaucracies, NYPD has to have rules and regs, and they take time to establish since no excellent bureaucracy isn’t required to reinvent the wheel as if everybody hasn’t been using body cams already. And the rules they created are, as one might guess, peculiar to the New York experience.

Read more on Simple Justice.

  One Response to “New York City Finally Gets Body Cams. All Wrong”

  1. NYPD’s Proposed Body Camera Policies Are a Disaster for Police Accountability:

    There’s a number of gaps in both transparency and accountability with the new policies. First, there’s no simple process for the public to request footage, nor any assurances that requests will be answered quickly. Officers across the country have taken steps to either restrict or outright ban releasing footage to the public. The NYPD instructs that the public file Freedom of Information Law requests, admitting that it’s a “slow and cumbersome” process and that “the release analysis can be more complicated when there is a third-party requester.” The NYPD isn’t holding itself accountable for releasing footage in a timely manner.

    Second, the proposed policy doesn’t detail the disciplinary actions for officers that don’t comply with recording policies. Officers are required to record most “investigative encounters” and meaningful interactions with suspects and the general public (exceptions are made for victims). In the past, officers have claimed that cameras have “fallen off” or serendipitously powered down before fatal shootings. There’s no clear protocol for dealing with officers who fail to record their own use of force.

    Additionally, officers are able to review body camera footage before filing an official report, even if there’s lethal use of force. This doesn’t just provide the opportunity for officers to tailor their reports to the footage, it makes it really easy.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.