Require Body Cameras On for NYPD At All Times

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The invention and distribution of body cams was meant to facilitate the recording of the interactions between the police and civilians to help determine, on a case by case basis, the validity of an arrest, the use of force, etc. This has been greatly upended, however, by the ability of police departments to both delete and hide body camera footage, as well as power off their body cameras altogether during interactions with civilians and presumed suspects. It goes without saying that this is both a danger to potential suspects and victims of police force and brutality. 

In NYPD, despite 20,000 cameras being distributed to Police officers in 2017:

1. From May 2017 to June 2019, the CCRB reported receiving BWC video in only half of the roughly 4,000 cases it requested footage for. 
2. The NYPD has increasingly turned to editing or redacting footage before handing it over to CCRB investigators
3. Between April and July 2019, roughly two-thirds of all body camera footage received by the CCRB had been redacted by the NYPD’s Legal Bureau, according to the report.
4. The CCRB raised concerns about officers failing to record a full civilian interaction: turning their cameras on late, off early, or obstructing the lens with their clothing
5. In 2017, when officers killed Miguel Richards, a 31-year-old college student, inside his own home, the department had initially released edited footage showing Richards holding a fake gun and knife. 

(Sources: Gothamist, Gotham Gazette, Official NYPD Site)

These two links below are just one of many examples of officers committing atrocious acts with their cameras off: from assaulting citizens, to sexually fondling dead women. We need to prevent this from occurring.

This being said, it is the belief of the Justice Education Project that:

1. Body cameras be mandated by law to be on and remain on during interactions between police and civilians as a form of legal protection and evidence for both parties 
2. Tampering with footage be deemed a felony
3. All footage regarding civilian interactions be inspected by the police dept. 
This standard should be kept for prisons as well. Officers should not be allowed to turn on or off their cameras whenever they want, abusing and brutalizing the citizens they are designated to protect. 

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