Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on her proposal to provide New York City police officers with cameras to record stops, to prevent civil rights violations and to protect officers from false allegations of misconduct.
Recently, witnesses have recorded police officers applying a chokehold, intended to prevent normal breathing, during stops, despite that the practice has been prohibited by the police department since 1993. Eric Garner, a resident of Staten Island, died after he was placed in a chokehold earlier this month.
"The tragic death of Eric Garner demonstrates that we need to have a definitive record of interactions between police officers and members of the public. Cameras will not only allow us to determine whether any misconduct occurred, but also to prevent misconduct before it occurs," said Congresswoman Clarke. "We should also remember that civil liberties violations are expensive: in 2012, New York City spent more than $152 million on tort claims for misconduct by police officers, an amount equal to the annual operating expenses of the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, and Prospect Park -- combined."