LOWER EAST SIDE (PIX11) -- The grassroots organization Cop Watch is training members of the public on how to safely and legally record their interactions with the New York Police Department.
Cop Watch coordinators hope the effort will cut down on police brutality cases, believing officers will be more aware of their actions with a camera rolling.
“So many cases we wouldn’t even know about if it wasn’t for video like Eric Garner or the pregnant woman who was tossed around and abused in Sunset Park,” said Aidge Patterson, a volunteer with the group.
“You cannot physically get in the way of a police officer doing the job,” explained Patterson. “Otherwise anything you are doing to observe the police is totally legal and your right protected right by the constitution.”
Cop Watch is taking their training to all five boroughs, but soon members of the NYPD will have cameras of their own. 60 officers will be equipped with body cameras in the coming weeks. The pilot program may grow larger if the initial test is effective.