The New York Police Department must now release body-camera video within 30 days of any gun discharge or use-of-force incident, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.
The footage can no longer be withheld at the commissioner’s discretion, and will be published online after it’s shared with the family, the mayor said.
“This is another step that will build trust between the NYPD and the people,” de Blasio said at a press briefing.
The 36,000-officer department has been dealing with nights of protests and looting after the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. It’s now facing demands from the City Council that it slash $1 billion from its $5.6 billion operating budget. The mayor, who has agreed to move some funds from the police to youth programs, said his policies would bring change more effectively than budget cuts.
“A lot of the most important things we can do is change how we approach policing,” he said. “We need to focus on what will keep us safe, but also what will lead to fairness and equality.”
On Monday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the department would disband its precinct anticrime teams, deploying about 600 mostly plainclothes officers to its detective, intelligence and counterterrorism bureaus.
Shea described the move as “closing one of the last chapters” in reforms begun by reducing stop-and-frisk street tactics six years ago. Police activists have complained that officers disguised as civilians engender distrust of the department, and interfere with efforts to gain residents’ cooperation.