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NYPD Launches First Phase Of Body Camera Program

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The New York Police Department is rolling out its body camera program, with the first wave beginning in Washington Heights.

An estimated 60 officers at the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights started wearing body cameras Thursday afternoon. By the fall, about 1,200 officers in 20 precincts will be outfitted with the cameras, with the ultimate goal being to eventually equip all 23,000 NYPD officers with the cameras over the next two years.

By the fall, about 1,200 officers in 20 precincts will be outfitted with the cameras, with the ultimate goal being to eventually equip all 23,000 NYPD officers with the cameras over the next two years.

Moving forward, police will be required to turn on their cameras during arrests and vehicle stops and will have to notify people that they are being recorded, unless it compromises the person’s safety or an investigation.

Prior to the pilot program’s start, New York residents opposed the policies on the body cameras, voicing their concerns that the NYPD did not address concerns from advocates and community members directly affected by police abuses.

There is also a skepticism surrounding the benefits of police body cameras.

In North Carolina, a police body camera captured an officer threatening to kill an unarmed man.

According to police in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area of North Carolina, James Yarborough was a passenger in a car that was pulled over during a traffic stop on March 26, 2016. Yarborough attempted to run from the police during the stop, with the cops ultimately apprehending him and using excessive force for four minutes — even threatening to kill him.

Following a review of the case, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division ultimately sided with Dunham, with Police Maj. Stella Patterson saying:

“When you look completely at the totality of the circumstances, you have to ask yourself ‘Was that reasonable in that situation?’ and, based on everything, it was reasonable.”

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