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NYPD temporarily blocked from releasing officers’ body camera footage

PBA argues that videos are personnel records that can’t be released.

A body camera is affixed to the front

A body camera is affixed to the front of an NYPD officer's uniform. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

A New York State judge has temporarily blocked the NYPD from releasing body camera footage, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said on Tuesday.

The ruling comes just two weeks after a judge dismissed the case and ruled against the police union.

Tuesday’s ruling ordered the city and the PBA to submit briefs by June 5, which a panel of judges will then review.

“Each time the NYPD illegally and arbitrarily releases body-worn camera footage, they are harming police officers’ safety, the public’s right to privacy and the interests of justice in ways that can’t be undone,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement.

“The Legislature enacted laws limiting public disclosure of police officers’ personnel records to guard against exactly this scenario, and police officers have a clear right to challenge the NYPD’s tortured attempts to twist the law to serve its own purposes. We are grateful for this judge’s ruling and look forward to bringing our case before the full appellate panel.”

A representative for the city’s Law Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order comes after a judge ruled against the PBA on May 4.

The PBA has argued that releasing the footage would be a violation of section 50-a of the state’s civil rights law because body camera videos are considered personnel records.

The NYPD has released body camera footage in select situations, but has not blanket-released the footage.

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