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Empire State Weekly: Privacy vs. public safety

April 18, 2022

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This week on Empire State Weekly, New York State’s gun problem is back in the spotlight after a shooter opened fire on a Brooklyn subway train filled with commuters. City leaders are debating solutions to prevent future attacks like enhanced security measures.

Meanwhile, public safety, and privacy advocates argue that not only are current policing measures not working as promised, but more aggressive tactics could lead to widespread stops and searches of innocent people. According to Albert Fox Cahn, Executive Director of The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, proposed weapon detection systems that are being considered by New York City Mayor Eric Adams would not be beneficial to the state’s public safety problems.

“After 9/11 we spent billions of dollars over decades to install massive camera systems, to install all these predictive policing algorithms and social media monitoring that was promised as a way to prevent the next attack,” said Cahn. “Not only did it fail to prevent this attack, but it also failed to even capture the images properly.”

Following the recent subway shooting, Cahn says every day New Yorkers are the ones suffering from the failed promises made by officials that more technology keeps more people safe. “As much as we want to believe that it can actually protect us, the facts show something very different,” said Cahn.

We also examine the fallout of Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned from his position after being indicted on federal bribery charges. We hear insight from Dr. Grant Reeher of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and Criminal Law Attorney Ryan McCall with Tully Rinckey, both echoing sentiments that the consequences of the Hochul administration’s lack of oversight when first selecting a Lieutenant Governor will not bode well for the Governor or state Democrats, as we near the June primaries.

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