Who can make the NYPD look relatively citizen-friendly?

You guessed it, the NYPD’s union. Via Techdirt

The route to equipping the NYPD with body cameras ran through a federal courtroom. As part of the remedies handed down in a civil rights lawsuit against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program, body cameras became required equipment for officers.

NYPD officials seemed to support the plan. Not so the ostensible representative of the NYPD, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA).


Now, the PBA is going to court to block the release of camera footage to the public. The PBA hopes the court will read public records laws the way it does, tossing body cam footage into the gaping hole of New York public records exemptions.

The possible outcomes are:

  • The PBA wins, and body-cam footage is kept secret from the public.
  • The NYPD wins, and it can release body-cam footage… at its discretion, because it controls the cameras and the officers and has outsized influence on the other governmental groups that could possibly demand footage be released, namely, judges and city politicians.

I’m not confident about the “sousveillance” capabilities of police body cams, you see. As far as I’m concerned, they’re solely a surveillance tool and were always going to be.

But in fighting the PBA’s suit, the NYPD looks like the people’s champion. I wonder if that was the PBA’s intent.

Categories: NewscreatureTags: , , ,

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