The First Department determined police officers’ body-worn-camera footage did not constitute a personnel record within the meaning of Civil Rights Law 50-a. Therefore the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assn. of the City of N.Y.’s petition for a preliminary injunction prohibiting release of the footage was properly denied:
We find that given its nature and use, the body-worn-camera footage at issue is not a personnel record covered by the confidentiality and disclosure requirements of § 50-a … . The purpose of body-worn-camera footage is for use in the service of other key objectives of the program, such as transparency, accountability, and public trust-building.
Although the body-worn-camera program was designed, in part, for performance evaluation purposes, and supervisors are required, at times, to review such footage for the purpose of evaluating performance, the footage being released here is not primarily generated for, nor used in connection with, any pending disciplinary charges or promotional processes. New York Civil Liberties Union v New York City Police Department (__NY3d__, 2018 NY Slip Op 8423 ), which involved disciplinary matters, does not constrain this analysis. The footage, here, rather, is more akin to arrest or stop reports, and not records primarily generated for disciplinary and promotional purposes. To hold otherwise would defeat the purpose of the body-worn-camera program to promote increased transparency and public accountability. Matter of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assn. of the City of N.Y. v De Blasio, 2019 NY Slip Op 03265, First Dept, 4-30-19