Court Rules That NYPD Body Camera Footage Must Be Made Public
The state of New York's appeals panel ruled that police body camera footage can be accessed and viewed by the public.
On Tuesday, the state of New York's appeals panel ruled that police body camera footage can be accessed and viewed by the public. The Daily News reported this was a blow to detractors such as the city's largest police union which cited Civil Rights Law 50-A that argues camera footage is a personnel record and should be kept secret.
A Manhattan mid-level appeals court disagreed with the police union and lifted a temporary restraining order put in place by 50-A since May 2018. The appeals court stated it was "tasked with considering the record’s general nature and use, not solely whether it may be contemplated for use in a performance evaluation.”
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Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch said the police union might appeal.
“We believe that the court’s decision is wrong, that it will have a negative impact on public safety and on the safety of our members,” Lynch said.
NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the panel's ruling was "an important step forward for transparency."
"Not only is the public entitled to this information, but this footage overwhelmingly shows just how brave, skilled and dedicated our cops are every single day in the service of the people of New York City,” O’Neill said in a statement.
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