NY1 wins a partial victory in its legal battle to obtain footage captured by the NYPD’s body camera program, but the judge in the case wants to hear more about available editing software before making a final decision.
NY1 requested five weeks’ worth of footage last year under the state’s Freedom of Information Law, known as FOIL. The NYPD then demanded $36,000 for them to review and edit the video to protect witnesses and to address privacy and other concerns.
In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Kathryn Freed rejected that fee, but did not rule on the larger question of whether the request places an unreasonable burden on the NYPD. She did, however, chastise the department for using outdated technology as an excuse.
"She basically said, look, police department, you can’t hide your head in the sand and say, 'We have outdated software, and for that reason, it’s too burdensome for us to give this important body cam footage to NY1.' That’s not an appropriate way to deal with this. You’ve got to have the appropriate software, and then we can talk about whether or not you are actually overburdened," said Saul Shapiro, attorney for NY1.
Judge Freed called for a hearing to hash out questions about the department’s technology and possible software solutions, with the date for that hearing still to be determined.