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NYCLU Calls For Safeguards By The NYPD In Wake Of A Suicide Captured On A Police Surveillance Camera

The New York Civil Liberties Union is calling for clear regulations by the NYPD in the use and distribution of their surveillance cameras videotapes. A disturbing situation has taken place involving a videotape of a tragic suicide at the Morris Housing project in the Bronx. The videotape recently appeared on a porn site and the NYCLU believes there is absolutely no justification for dissemination of such videos to the public.

“Just as technology makes it possible for us to use video surveillance techniques to capture information, that same technology magnifies the likelihood of harm from their improper use,” say Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. News reports indicate the surveillance videotape of the suicide was part of an extensive police surveillance system installed in 15 of New York City’s housing project.

Now tenants at the Morris Houses project and the other developments need to worry that every time they go in and out of their homes, it will be captured on camera and may be broadcast to the world. Indeed, this should be the fear of all New Yorkers who may find the most private details of their lives unwittingly captured on camera.

The NYCLU is concerned about the apparent lack of safeguards and monitoring of this police surveillance system to ensure that the tapes are not improperly distributed. The NYPD needs to take a good, hard look at its procedures concerning these video records and put policies in place to safeguard against abuse.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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