Contact: Hannah Ross (202) 448-0246 press@changethenypd.org

Police accountability coalition slams NYPD's body camera testimony at November 18th New York City Council hearing

New York, NY: The NYPD released a new policy last month related to public release of body camera footage and testified at an oversight hearing held by the NY City Council on the policy today. In response to the NYPD's testimony, the following statement was issued by Milan Taylor, Executive Director of Rockaway Youth Task Force and spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform:

New York, NY: The NYPD released a new policy last month related to public release of body camera footage and testified at an oversight hearing held by the NY City Council on the policy today. In response to the NYPD's testimony, the following statement was issued by Milan Taylor, Executive Director of Rockaway Youth Task Force and spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform:

“Today's hearing clearly shows that the NYPD's new policy regarding release of body camera footage is a sham and a scam, designed to protect abusive officers, surveil New Yorkers and control the public narrative to criminalize police violence survivors and those killed by police. 

“While other municipalities release body camera footage within days of an incident, the NYPD plans to cement police secrecy and impunity as NYC's defacto policy. The new policy makes clear that the NYPD will continue to unilaterally decide what selective footage will be released, how it will be edited and when it will be released.  

“The selectively edited photos and footage that the NYPD released after the killing of Saheed Vassell are a frightening preview of how the department will use release of edited footage and photos to justify unjustifiable police action and criminalize those killed and brutalized by police. 

“It's been months since the police killings of Kawaski Trawick and Antonio Williams – the fact that their parents have still not been able to view footage or get the names of the officers who killed their children is clear evidence that the NYPD's body camera program aims to obstruct transparency and accountability, not improve it. The fact that the NYPD refused to clearly state during the hearing whether they will directly make unedited footage immediately available to families of those killed by police and their support teams is unacceptable.”

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About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.

CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.

Learn more: http://changethenypd.org/
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Topics: Police Body-Worn Cameras