The death of Eric Garner in New York City and the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, prompted a call for a number of New York Police Department officers to wear body cameras. These pager- sized gadgets would capture video footage of law enforcement’s interactions with the public. Proponents like City Public Advocate Letitia James say the devices would add a new level of accountability to police work, reported the Wall Street Journal (8.21.14).
“Body cameras could go a long was in restoring trust in police officers,” said Attorney at Law David Perecman. “A camera could have captured both Garner and Ferguson’s confrontations with the police. Without video, the public is left with conflicting accounts.”
In July, Garner was placed in an apparent chokehold by a NYPD officer after he resisted arrest on Staten Island. He died about an hour after the confrontation. Like Brown, Garner was unarmed. Both incidents attracted national attention.
The Wall Street Journal reported that two brands of cameras that cost between $400 and $900 each were being tested for use by the NYPD. Outfitting every patrol officer with a camera would cost approximately $32 million. Comparatively, New York City spends about $152 million on police misconduct settlements annually.
“Looking at the numbers, the cameras may actually save the NYPD money by protecting them against lawsuits,” said Perecman.
“Cameras can create a win-win situation,” Perecman added. “Not only can they be used to ferret out abusive officers, they can also save an officer from a false accusation of abuse or unprofessional behavior.”
In August 2012, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the NYPD to test the use of use body cameras in the one precinct in each borough that had the highest number of stop-and-frisks, said the Wall Street Journal. The NYPD had not selected a camera vendor or started its pilot program.
“Of course, even with video, civil rights violation lawyers will continue to regard all the other evidence in any case. It should never be assumed that the video will tell all,” Perecman said.
The Wall Street Journal story is “NYPD Officer Camera Plan Proposed.”
For more than 30 years, the personal injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm in New York have aggressively helped individuals and-or their families obtain compensation following bus accidents in New York. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York construction accident, medical malpractice, auto accident, personal injury, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of New York vehicular accident cases, including auto accidents and bus accidents. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal’s Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine’s “The Best Lawyers in America” and The New York Times Magazine “New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition” for the years 2007-2010. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03) Supreme Court, New York County, a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04) Supreme Court, Kings County, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****Supreme Court, Kings County.
The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.
**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout
“Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.”