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Letitia James calls for NYPD body cameras

Request comes after Eric Garner incident

August 12, 2014 Associated Press
Public Advocate Letitia James. Photo from
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A New York City official is calling for body cameras on police officers as a check on misconduct, citing last month’s death of a man who was put in a police chokehold.

Public Advocate Letitia James on Monday called for a pilot program to put body-worn cameras on patrol officers in 15 percent of the city’s precincts, with the eventual goal of outfitting all patrol with the cameras.

“We are living in an increasingly technological world, and we should take measures to incorporate video cameras into policing to improve public safety,” James said.

Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered some patrol officers to wear the cameras in a pilot program in her 2013 stop-and-frisk ruling.

A police spokeswoman said Monday that the department is exploring the feasibility of camera technology.

But Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch says his union wants to see evidence of the cameras’ effectiveness.

James said the body cameras could put a dent in the $152 million the city paid to settle claims of police misconduct in 2013.

Lynch countered that the city “refuses to fight even the most ridiculous and baseless of the claims.”

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