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Congresswoman Clarke Proposes Cameras for NYPD Stops

Brooklyn, N.Y. – 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.”

The letter proposing cameras for police officers was sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio by Public Advocate Letitia James, Congressman Charles Rangel, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez, Council Member Vanessa Gibson, and Council Member Deborah Rose.

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.