The NYPD will being training officers this week on using body cameras. The new program precedes a ruling in the choking death of Eric Garner over the summer. A bystander recording cops restraining Garner for selling illegal cigarettes, as he screamed about not being able to breathe.
An autopsy revealed that the 43-year-old father of six’s death was caused by “compression of the neck [choke hold] , compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”
Reports the New York Post:
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the Big Brother pilot program involving the cameras would begin in three areas where cops have racked up the highest rates of “stop and frisk” investigations of street suspects.
They include Staten Island’s 120th Precinct, where a bystander used a smartphone to record Garner’s fatal arrest on charges of illegally selling loose cigarettes July 17.
The high-crime 40th Precinct in the South Bronx and the Housing Bureau’s Police Service Area 2 — which covers 42 developments in Brooklyn — are also being targeted for the program.
In August, thousands gather to protest Garner’s death calling for the NYPD to pluck out the “rotten apples” amid various instances of brutality and racial profiling.
President Obama yesterday (Dec. 1), asked Congress for more than $250 million to aid 50,000 police departments around the nation in purchasing body cameras, and train officers on using the devices.
The purchase doesn’t necessarily mean that cops will or will not follow protocol, however. An LAPD investigation revealed that officers tampered with their video monitors when patrolling Black neighborhoods.
A grand jury is expected to render its decision in the Garner case before the end of the month.