Video taken by an officer's body camera on September 20 shows part of the NYPD's response during what became a police-involved shooting on Staten Island that day.
The release of that video is the NYPD's first step in following a new policy, approved last month, in regards to distributing footage captured on police body cameras. All NYPD patrol officers are now equipped with the technology.
"What it does, it promotes transparency within the realm of policing," said retired NYPD Lieutenant Dr. Darren Porcher. He is now a professor of criminal justice at Pace University.
"The department is committed to releasing footage of critical incidents captured by body-worn cameras within 30 days, with limited exceptions, while also balancing privacy concerns, protecting against compromising criminal investigations, and the need to comply with federal, state and local disclosure laws," the NYPD said in a statement.
But Donna Lieberman, the executive director at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), says these rules aren't helping the department be more transparent.
“The policy leaves just an enormous amount of discretion to the NYPD... It's actually set up so the NYPD can just use the body camera footage to shape its own narrative," said Lieberman.
THE NYCLU fears the NYPD won't always release unedited footage from the cameras, as they did with the video from Staten Island. They also want the police department to release the video within 7 days, rather than 30.
"Instead of being a vehicle to generate trust between the police department and the communities, they are sworn to protect, it really breeds a lot of skepticism," Lieberman said.
Others would like the department to restrict what's released. Earlier this year, the Police Benevolent Association filed a lawsuit to block release of body-cam footage.
Dr. Darrin Porcher, a retired NYPD lieutenant, says it’s in an officer’s interest to have the video made accessible to the public.
“The truth of the matter is, if you look at the historical timeline of when the body cameras came into effect, they actually cleared more officers than convicted them of misconduct,” Dr. Porcher said.
The NYPD says it will be releasing similar videos in the coming weeks and months of other police-involved shootings. It's not clear which ones they plan to release first.