Legal Aid Urges NYPD to Get Feedback from NYCHA Residents and Communities of Color on Body Worn Cameras
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016

Tina Luongo, the Attorney-in-Charge of The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice, urged the NYPD to ensure that the survey on a proposed New York City Police Department policy for body-worn cameras be made available to communities of color and NYCHA residents for their feedback.

"As data demonstrates," Luongo stated, "these are the people most policed." Luongo pointed out that asking New Yorkers to give input on the body worn camera rollout is a critical step in transparency and accountability and a means of building better police-community relations.

Feedback from the survey will be weighed as police policy is made. Survey questions include how strongly one feels about the use of cameras, the types of circumstances when they should be used and a person’s comfort ability reporting incidents to an officer with a camera.

The questionnaire and portal for comments from individuals and organizations can be found at www.nypdbodycameras.org. The comment period will run until July 31 and the materials will be available in various languages.

The Policing Project at the New York University School of Law will gather the public feedback and prepare a report for the NYPD. The body-camera pilot is one of a number of steps required of the police by a Manhattan federal court in a series of cases challenging the police’s stop and frisk practices. Among the cases is Davis v. City of New York; the lawsuit fought the police department’s improper and unlawful enforcement of criminal trespass laws in public housing through its routine stops and arrests of New York City Housing Authority residents and guests without reasonable suspicion or probable cause of illegal conduct in a racially discriminatory manner. The plaintiffs in the Davis case were represented by The Legal Aid Society, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Additional information on body-worn cameras can be found at www.nypdmonitor.org.