Time Warner Cable News 1 is suing the New York Police Department over a bill it got after asking for 190 hours of footage from police body cameras.
The New York Post says a reporter for the cable TV news station asked the NYPD for five weeks of unedited body cam footage recorded between 2014 and 2015 under the Freedom of Information Act. The NYPD came back with a bill for $36,000, a charge which NY1 says has “no basis in law.”
“Indeed, the NYPD’s response to NY1’s footage runs counter to both the public policy of openness underlying FOIL,” reads the lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court. “…as well as the purported transparency supposedly fostered by the [Body Worn Camera] program itself.”
Reporter Courtney Gross wrote to the NYPD that “keeping the footage ‘under a cloak of secrecy’” thwarts efforts to foster better relations between civilians and police.
A spokesman for the city’s Law Department said, “We will review the complaint once we are served.”
The body-cam pilot program, promoted by Mayor de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James, operates in six police precincts across the city.