Last week, the NYPD released, for the first time, body camera video of a shooting. But what is the policy going forward, and when will the public be able to see more footage? NY1 Political Reporter Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said it's a video you don't want to miss.
"I think it's important that everyone in this city to take a look at that," he said.
Last week, the NYPD voluntarily released the first police body camera video to capture a shooting.
In the case in the Bronx, the NYPD said the officers appeared to follow department protocols.
It was the commissioner's decision to release the video. The department's policy is that he is the one to decide whether a video goes public, on a case-by-case basis.
"It is precedent-setting, but each shooting is different," O'Neill said.
But advocates point out that there are no real guidelines on when that happens.
"I don't think there is a clear enough policy now, or certainly a clear enough mandate, for a default in favor of transparency," said Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
"Is the NYPD only going to release footage that is favorable to them?" said Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "I think that is very much a question in a lot of people's minds."
NY1 sued the NYPD over access to videos from its body camera pilot program in 2014 and 2015. They gave us some footage, but not all of it.
Days before the Bronx shooting video was released, the NYPD sent us a list, hundreds of pages long, of all the videos that NYPD officials will not entirely disclose to NY1 under the state's Freedom of Information Law.
In it, the department list lots of reasons why. They cite privacy, or that it is personal or medical information — some of which could be applied to the video that was released last week.
"It seems that all of those conditions were also present in this video, yet the police commissioner still decided to release it," Charney said.
In the case of police-involved shootings going forward, the NYPD's release last week does set a precedent. It means it's possible that the public will at least see those videos going forward.