Speaker Carl Heastie today announced the Assembly has passed legislation to establish the New York State Body-Worn Cameras Program to increase accountability and evidence for law enforcement and the residents of the state by providing body-worn cameras to all state police officers while on patrol.
"Over the last few years, there has been a national conversation taking place surrounding law enforcement accountability and transparency," said Speaker Heastie. "For years, the Assembly Majority has been ready to deliver real change and has fought tirelessly for much needed criminal justice reforms. We join the nation in mourning the death of yet another unarmed black man, and we stand ready to answer the call for action."
"As one of the largest state police agencies in the country, the New York State Police should be one of the first agencies to set an example, to show others how to properly use body cams to deliver transparency and accountability to the public," said Assemblymember Latrice Walker. "This legislation will help bring to light when excessive force is used, and hopefully ultimately reduce the number of ‘use of force’ incidents and take a critical first step in repairing the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."
Under the bill, the Division of State Police would provide body-worn cameras to all New York State Police officers to be worn at all times while on patrol (A.8674-A, Walker). The cameras would record:
The legislation would also allow the attorney general to investigate any instance where body cameras fail to record an event. At the discretion of the officer, body cameras may not record:
The Division of State Police is required to preserve the recordings of the body-worn cameras and perform all upkeep on the equipment.