NYPD commissioner defends releasing footage of deadly shooting

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill is defending the decision to publicly release the body camera footage from a deadly police-involved shooting in the Bronx.

The decision received from pushback from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which said the move violates officers' rights. O'Neill said he knows what it's like being an officer, but felt that it was important to show the video to the public.

Four different officers from the 47th Precinct recorded the incident, which authorities released stitched together in a 16-minute video. It shows officers responding to a wellness check in the Edenwald section of the Bronx. The officers can be heard numerous times telling 31-year-old Miguel Richards to drop his weapons, a knife and what turned out to be a fake gun.

When Richards raised the imitation gun in the direction of the officers, police say that's when one officer fired a stun gun and the other two fired their service weapons, killing Richards.

This is the first time the NYPD has released body camera footage of a deadly police-involved shooting.

"I think it is to build a trust within this great city, to increase our transparency, but also to let people know what our police officers face each and every day," O'Neill said of releasing the footage.

The officers involved have been identified as Mark Flemming and Redmond Murphy, who both fired their service weapons, and officers Jesus Ramos and Marco Oliveras, who showed up later.

Go here to watch the bodycam video. (WARNING: Graphic content)

The New York Civil Liberties Union said of the footage: "This video shows precisely why the public deserves to see the circumstances around police shootings. It shows New Yorkers the deadly consequences when unprepared police encounter people in crisis. It is apparent from the footage that these NYPD officers are not equipped to handle people experiencing a mental health crisis. The police department was right to release the video but must now use this opportunity to address its longstanding shortcomings in dealing with people in crisis."

Elin Waring, a sociology professor at Lehman College who has done research on law enforcement, said that while body cameras could be useful, it is still a fairly new technology.

"When you are a researcher you kind of hope that when you are observing a situation that you being there isn't changing the situation," Waring said. "We don't really know whether having body cameras is changing officer behavior or if it is changing public or suspect behavior like that's an open question."

Waring agrees with Commissioner O'Neill that the cameras could help with transparency.

  • NYPD commissioner defends releasing footage of deadly shootingMore>>

  • NYPD releases bodycam video from deadly shooting

    NYPD releases bodycam video from deadly shooting

    Thursday, September 14 2017 10:20 PM EDT2017-09-15 02:20:40 GMT
    The NYPD has released body camera videos taken of a deadly encounter between officers and an armed man.The NYPD has released body camera videos taken of a deadly encounter between officers and an armed man.

    The NYPD has released body camera videos taken of a deadly encounter between officers and an armed man. 

    The NYPD has released body camera videos taken of a deadly encounter between officers and an armed man. 

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Historical photos of the Coney Island Boardwalk

    Historical photos of the Coney Island Boardwalk

    Thursday, May 24 2018 10:57 AM EDT2018-05-24 14:57:42 GMT
    The Coney Island Boardwalk has officially been declared a historical landmark. Here are some photos of the boardwalk taken nearly 120 years ago.
    The Coney Island Boardwalk has officially been declared a historical landmark. Here are some photos of the boardwalk taken nearly 120 years ago.
  • PHOTOS: Fleet Week 2018

    PHOTOS: Fleet Week 2018

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:53 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:53:14 GMT
    Fleet Week 2018Fleet Week 2018
    Fleet Week 2018Fleet Week 2018

    Photos of the 2018 Fleet Week ships coming up the Hudson River to Manhattan. There are 14 ships for the public to visit and tour. The celebration lasts a week. It has been held nearly every year since 1984.

    Photos of the 2018 Fleet Week ships coming up the Hudson River to Manhattan. There are 14 ships for the public to visit and tour. The celebration lasts a week. It has been held nearly every year since 1984.

  • Memorial Day 2018 Photos

    Memorial Day 2018 Photos

    Whether you are honoring loved ones, attending a parade or spending time with family, News 12 wants to see your Memorial Day photos. Post them on Instagram or Twitter with #N12MemorialDay.

    Whether you are honoring loved ones, attending a parade or spending time with family, News 12 wants to see your Memorial Day photos. Post them on Instagram or Twitter with #N12MemorialDay.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."