New York police body camera program needs changes -civil rights lawyers




  • In US
  • 2017-04-19 23:27:16Z
  • By By Jonathan Stempel
FILE PHOTO - A police body camera is seen on officer during news conference on pilot program at NYPD police academy in the Queens borough of New York
FILE PHOTO - A police body camera is seen on officer during news conference on pilot program at NYPD police academy in the Queens borough of New York  

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Civil rights lawyers on Wednesday demanded changes to a pilot program for New York City police to wear body cameras, saying it does not ensure that officers are held properly accountable for how they treat people.

The court-ordered program, whose details were approved by a federal monitor last week, was intended to precede a rollout of the cameras to all patrol officers by the end of 2019.

That came after the New York Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" methods, faulted by critics as a means to conduct racial profiling, were declared unconstitutional.

But lawyers including Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Angel Harris of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said the year-long pilot program was vague about when officers must use cameras.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan, they said officers should be required to turn cameras on during "forcible" stops, encounters where people are free to walk away and when they are "generally" looking out for crime.

The lawyers also said the program should clarify when officers must alert people about the cameras, and that officers cannot review videos until after writing their reports or making statements, so the footage does not color their recollections.

"Details of the policy as approved by the monitor turn the cameras from an accountability tool into a tool for surveilling and criminalizing New Yorkers," the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement.

Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city's law department, said: "We are reviewing the plaintiffs' submission and will respond in due course."

The stop-and-frisk litigation helped start the body camera program in New York City, which joined cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., that also adopted the devices.

Such efforts were launched amid nationwide concerns about the use of excessive force by police, especially against black and Hispanic people.

The monitor, Peter Zimroth, on April 11 urged Torres to let the program go ahead without further court intervention. But the civil rights lawyers disagreed, citing a risk that police unions may try to block it in court.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who has had an uneven relationship with the police department, favors equipping patrol officers with body cameras. He is seeking re-election in November.

The cases are Floyd v City of New York, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-01034; and Davis v City of New York in the same court, No. 10-00699.


(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Trott)

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: Suspect
The Latest: Suspect's family heartbroken, saddened by attack
  • World
  • 2017-12-12 00:35:24Z

NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on an explosion in a New York City subway passageway (all times local):

Manhattan subway explosion 'was attempted terrorist attack', says mayor
Manhattan subway explosion 'was attempted terrorist attack', says mayor

A 27-year-old man was in custody on Monday after detonating an explosive device in a New York City subway station during the morning commute. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, was one of four people injured in the explosion, which occurred at about 7.20am in a passageway near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, in midtown Manhattan near Times Square, New York City police said. At a press conference, New York police commissioner James O'Neill said the suspect had "an improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body".

New York Subway bomb: Bangladeshi suspect 'armed with pipe device and battery pack' in 'Isil-inspired' attack
New York Subway bomb: Bangladeshi suspect 'armed with pipe device and battery pack' in 'Isil-inspired' attack

Suspected bomber named as Akayed Ullah, 27-year-old Bangladeshi national Device exploded on a subway platform at at the Port Authority Bus terminal near Times Square Five people, including the suspect, have been injured but none of the injuries are life-threatening The transit hub, one of the busiest in the US, has now reopened A bomb has exploded on a Manhattan subway platform leaving five people injured in a suspected-Isil-inspired attack. The suspected bomber is Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi national who is thought to have lived in the US for seven years.  Ullah, who lived in Brooklyn, was armed with a five-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack as he walked through a midtown...

Trump slammed for throwing insults at the media in the wake of attempted terror attack in NYC
Trump slammed for throwing insults at the media in the wake of attempted terror attack in NYC

President Donald Trump is receiving backlash for attacking the "failing" New York Times shortly after being briefed on an attempted terror attack in New York City Monday. ".@POTUS has been briefed on the explosion in New York City," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Twitter at 8:13 a.m.

Explosion rocks New York commuter hub, suspect in custody
Explosion rocks New York commuter hub, suspect in custody

A man with a bomb-like device strapped to his body set off an explosion at one of New York's busiest commuter hubs at rush hour on Monday, injuring himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect in the incident at the Port Authority

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.