In response to an expected announcement later today that the NYPD will soon begin a pilot program where officers wear body cameras, the leadership of the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement, attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:
“Body cameras ought to be a win-win for both the police and the communities they serve as long as their use is limited to police interactions and addressing complaints of abuse or wrongdoing. But we also have concerns about mission creep and privacy. The NYPD has a long history of engaging in surveillance of innocent New Yorkers, and body cameras can’t become yet another tool for massive police surveillance. Safeguards must be in place to protect the privacy of both officers and the public.”
Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin initially ordered the program when she ruled against New York City in a class action stop-and-frisk lawsuit last year.