With everything going on in the nation regarding police brutality, you would think one of the largest police departments in the U.S. would have implemented body cameras by now. Especially considering the New York Police Department was one of the first to agree that technology could curb unwarranted stop and searches of black and Hispanic men.
Back in 2013 when the issue of the unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices were flagged by a NYC judge, he demanded the pilot program take place in at least five precincts immediately. Fast forward three years, there are still no New York officers equipped with body cameras.
Footage from body cameras have been used to help piece together many stories across the U.S and is even causing an uproar in the most recent shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina. So why has it yet to be implemented in New York?
Police officials are saying that the city’s procurement process is the cause, as well as the department’s need to select the appropriate equipment. Although there was a pilot that consisted of 54 officers that took place in March, it did not meet the requirements of the federal government.
On Monday, the department had announced that they have finally chose the right company to supply the equipment and plan on having up to 5000 officers equipped in body cameras within the next five years.
“There are still things that have to be worked through,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “But I want to be very clear that they are coming.”
The final say on what gets recorded and when, as well as who gets access to the footage has yet to be determined.
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