New York Daily News

September 23, 2014


 

Stop-and-frisk judge says body cameras for cops could have prevented Eric Garner, Michael Brown deaths


‘If police in both of those encounters had been wearing body cameras, I expect that neither incident would have ended with a dead body,’ Judge Shira Scheindlin said in a speech to the Bronx Bar Association. Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch called her argument ‘absurd,’ pointing out that Garner’s arrest was filmed by cell phone cameras.

BY CHELSIA ROSE MARCIUS , CAITLIN NOLAN , EDGAR SANDOVAL , STEPHEN REX BROWN

The judge who initially handled the NYPD stop and frisk case said the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown could have been prevented if the cops involved had worn body cameras.

“In Staten Island, an unarmed man was killed by policemen arresting him from trafficking in untaxed cigarettes. And in Ferguson, Mo., an unarmed teenager was shot six times and killed by police officers,” Judge Shira Scheindlin said in a speech to the Bronx Bar Association, according to NY1. “If police in both of those encounters had been wearing body cameras, I expect that neither incident would have ended with a dead body.”

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch was not buying Scheindlin's argument, calling it “absurd.”

“These police officers were deployed to correct a crime condition by making a lawful arrest which Mr. Garner resisted, unfortunately resulting in this tragedy,” said Lynch, noting that the police were being filmed by numerous cell phone cameras. “It was obvious that they were being recorded and it didn't change anything.”

Last year, Scheindlin ordered a one-year pilot program for cops in some precincts to wear body cameras. She was later booted off the case by an appeals court. Her order — which remains on hold pending an appeal by police unions — is being used as the blueprint for the settlement between the de Blasio administration and stop-and-frisk opponents.