NYPD Wants Your Videos to Help Fight Crime
"It's a fact of life," Kelly said. "Everybody has a camera in their telephones. When people can record an event taking place that helps us during an investigation, it's helpful."
The NYPD's motivation, however, might actually be founded not so much in trying to fight crime as to save face over a number of NYPD-caught-on-video moments that have embarrassed the department and outraged many who have seen the videos. First, a video shot by a bystander was posted on YouTube on July 27 of an incident between a NYPD officer and a cyclist during a Critical Mass (this video has already been seen over 1.1 million times on YouTube). Then two days later on July 29, WNBC News showed video footage--again shot by a bystander--of a police officer repeatedly beating a man with his baton.
Instead of cowering from the increased coverage and scrutiny police departments are receiving from the ever-increasing ubiquity of on-the-street video and online video sharing, the NYPD appears to be embracing the transparency that it offers, and hopes that it can also use it catch a few criminals in the process. While not quite as well-known as the "Don't Tase Me, Bro" video, the "jump up to get beat down" video of a group of teenage girls assaulting a man on the New York City subway also made the rounds online. This sort of crime-caught-on-tape is the exact sort of footage that the NYPD hopes that people will upload.
Credit: Legend Technologies
Kelly did not provide details at to when the video upload service to the NYPD would be rolled out, other than to say that it will be available soon. Also not known is whether the service will support anonymous upload, similar to the anonymous texting tip systems in place with several police departments.