The new contract to provide the NYPD with body cameras is being probed by the city's department of investigation (DOI). But there are questions about those allegations themselves and where they came from. NY1's Courtney Gross explains.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has an ambitious goal to outfit every NYPD patrol officer with a body camera in the next three years.
But that plan has already run into some technical difficulties.
"He is not blocking this contract," de Blasio said Monday. "This contract is going forward."
"It's unfortunate that the mayor decided to play politics and talk about different issues but nothing related to the DOI investigation," City Comptroller Scott Stringer said.
Stringer resisted signing off on the city's new body camera contract last week. He relented Wednesday. The delay, NY1 is told, is because the contract with a Seattle-based company, Vievu, is under investigation.
"We can't talk about — we don't and can't talk about what we do," DOI Commissioner Mark Peters told Errol Louis on "Road to City Hall" on Tuesday.
The department would not tell NY1 what is the subject of that investigation.
But Vievu may have an idea. "VIEVU is not aware of any investigation...Our competitor is just whining because they lost a public process fair and square," Vievu spokesman John Collins told NY1.
He is referring to the company's competitor, Taser. For months, Taser has had an aggressive lobbying campaign to derail the contract, even possibly coordinating with local ministers to protest a routine city contract hearing.
Taser filed several formal complaints with the NYPD about the bidding process, at one point urging the city to investigate Vievu.
The department of investigation was CC'd on the paperwork, fueling speculation that the new inquiry is just the handiwork of Taser.
A spokesman at Taser told NY1 that no one from the company, to "the best of his knowledge," has met with investigators.
"I don't think it's the first time in the history of the free enterprise system that we have seen one company try to smear the other," de Blasio said Monday.
NY1 did get our hands on the actual contract.
For 5,000 cameras, the city will pay $6.4 million, which was a little more than a third of what Taser had offered.
The contract also says there will be unlimited data storage, regardless of how many videos that the NYPD records.