NYPD Will Release Body Camera Footage Within 30 Days Under New Policy

The New York City Police Department is required to release all body camera footage of shootings or other instances when injuries or deaths result from use-of-force under a new policy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the additional step toward police reform on Tuesday, one day after disbanding the department's heavily-criticized plainclothes anti-crime unit.

Previously, the NYPD had wide discretion as to when it made videos public.

"Body-worn cameras are only as powerful as the transparency that comes with them," de Blasio said. "This is a good thing for everyone involved. ... When people see this kind of transparency, it will build trust."

The NYPD began equipping officers with body cameras in 2017, deploying 24,000 units. But the department has often delayed or denied release of the body cam footage, citing public concern and the need to "preserve peace."

Per the new policy, videos of incidents will be posted online after the civilians involved have seen them.

NBC New York reports the new policy could be challenged by prosecutors seeking to preserve police footage for trials.

The changes come after weeks of protests for police reform in New York City and several reports of violent clashes between demonstrators and officers.

In early-June, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea asked for peace in the city, noting that confusion from demonstrations had resulted in several officers being targeted in violent attacks. He also apologized for the department's history of racial bias and using excessive force.

Photo: Getty Images

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