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.
Communities United for Police Reform responds to Commissioner Bill Bratton’s claim that civilians documenting the police are an “epidemic” that escalates police violence against civilians.
Either Bill Bratton is desperate for national attention or is seeking to deflect from corruption investigations and his impotence in addressing systemic failed police accountability, but it could be all of the above.
QUEENS, N.Y. — On a recent evening in a nondescript apartment building in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, a small group of young social justice activists gather for a weekly ritual.
Armed with handheld video cameras and know-your-rights pamphlets, they hash out a strategy and exchange information about police movements in the area. All write on their arms the phone number of a lawyer who will bail them out of jail if things go awry.
CopWatchNYC.org is a website to help citizens document police conduct and hold the police accountable. The site provides quick access to important Cop Watch tips, resources, support and best practices for individuals, organizations and teams of community members who want to safely and legally conduct Cop Watch in their communities.
The first step in protecting your rights is knowing them! CPR has developed a brief booklet to help New Yorkers of all backgrounds understand their rights when interacting with the police. Print copies are available through CPR member groups, or you can download it here.