In August, a federal judge ruled that the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional because it resulted in discriminatory practices and unreasonable searches.

As part of her ruling, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan ordered the department to establish a pilot program requiring officers in the five precincts where most of the stops occur to wear small cameras as part of their uniforms. The cameras would record officers’ interactions with the public, an “objective record of stop-and-frisks,” Scheindlin wrote.

New York City is appealing the judge’s ruling.

Alexis Karteron, senior staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, discusses the stop-and-frisk ruling.


  • Watch this video to see how officers in one California police department use the cameras every day.

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Sam Ward is a former senior digital producer for Reveal, where he oversees the web team. He has years of experience producing creative digital media projects for Oregon Public Broadcasting, PBS, ITVS and the Smithsonian, and he has managed projects for funders such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and Annenberg Media. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Ward is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.