NYC study: More civilians use video in police complaints

New York City's independent police review board says civilians are increasingly using video evidence in complaints against New York Police Department officers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 794 of the 4,426 complaints closed by the Civilian Complaint Review Board in 2016 included some form of video evidence. In 2012, there were just 43 closed complaints with video evidence out of 4,268.

The review board says recordings help increase transparency when examining cases of alleged police misconduct.

FILE PHOTO - A police body camera is seen on an officer during a news conference on the pilot program of body cameras involving 60 NYPD officers dubbed 'Big Brother' at the NYPD police academy in the Queens borough of New York, December 3, 2014.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo - RTX2Z30U

FILE PHOTO - A police body camera is seen on an officer during a news conference on the pilot program of body cameras involving 60 NYPD officers dubbed 'Big Brother' at the NYPD police academy in the Queens borough of New York, December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo - RTX2Z30U

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The First Amendment protects civilian recording. But officers can legally stop people who are endangering themselves or someone else while recording or interfering with police activity.

The board is recommending training for officers on the subject.

The New York Police Department declined to comment on the study.