Surveillance State: Why Is OWS Blanketed With NYPD Cameras -- And Are Police Breaking the Law?
It's unclear what the NYPD plans to do with footage obtained by TARU SkyWatch tactical platform unit . But recording legal protest activity violates the Handschu decree, a set of legal guidelines designed to check the NYPD's historic tendency to steamroll First Amendment rights.
The NYCLU has called on police commissioner Raymond Kelly to stop surveillance of the protests, citing the cameras pointed at Zuccotti Park and an incident where NYCLU representatives observed TARU members filming a peaceful march.
"This type of surveillance substantially chills protest activity and is unlawful. In light of the mayor's recognition of the peaceful nature of these protests, we call on you to stop the videotaping of lawful protest," read the letter.
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