Mayor Adams Complains About Citizens Documenting Police Abuse

NYPD beating up protesters.
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Photos: YouTube\Twitter

Wednesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams complained about citizens recording police (often their violent misconduct on New Yorkers) while introducing a specialized police group of 200 officers that will be targeting gun violence in the city. During the event, Mayor  Adams said the filming of police has supposedly "gotten out of control" and talked about the "proper way to document" what police are doing.

"If your iPhone can't capture that picture with you being at a safe distance, then you need to upgrade your iPhone. Stop being on top of our police officers as they're trying to do their jobs," Adams said."There have been officers on the ground and had people standing over them with a camera while they're wrestling someone. If an officer is trying to prevent a dispute from taking place, they shouldn't have someone standing over the shoulder with a camera in their face, yelling and screaming at them without even realizing what the encounter is all about."

Adams's comments received immediate pushback from the New York Civil Liberties Union. They tweeted this:

"Since @NYCMayor wants to teach New Yorkers how to film cops, allow us to teach cops how to respect New Yorkers who film:

- People have a right to film police work in public

- You can't order them to stop filming.

- You can thank them for doing their part to ensure transparency."

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams released the following statement after Adams' comments:

"In 2020, the city enacted “Right to Record,” legislation I sponsored, to enshrine and protect the ability of New Yorkers to safely document police activity while not interfering. This right is foundational, and critical to public safety. The reason we know names like Eric Garner and George Floyd is the right to record – and that right to public transparency and accountability is critical to preventing others like them from losing their lives. We cannot give into the false notion that communities must choose between accountability and transparency in policing or safer streets.

"The mayor’s comments on recording officers today could be perceived to contradict both the right to record and the importance of community and law enforcement working together to co-produce public safety. I plan to work with the department and the administration to ensure that New Yorkers’ rights are upheld."

Editor's Note: Mayor Adams' comments should concern us all--since he seems ready to make strange excuses for police. The mayor says the filming of police officers has "gotten out of control."

Here are a couple of questions for Mayor Adams.

Hasn't racist police brutality--and murder-- gotten "out of control" long ago, in New York City? And if there was real accountability (and criminal penalties) for police who abuse their power, would regular citizens feel the need to document the often violent escalations of the bullies who hide behind their badges, who you seem more concerned about?

Thank God for brave citizens who document police brutality--they help to expose killer-cops like: Michael Slager, Derek Chauvin and Daniel Pantaleo.

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