Hochul signs weakened subway security bill that fails to mandate platform cameras

Hochul signs weakened subway security bill that fails to mandate platform cameras

The MTA will be encouraged — but not required — to install security cameras on all of its subway platforms under a weakened version of “Sedrick’s Law” signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday.

Sedrick’s Law, as originally proposed by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Sen. Kevin Parker, both Brooklyn Democrats, would have required the MTA install cameras on all of its subway platforms within six months of its becoming law.

But the neutered language that ultimately earned Hochul’s signature only stipulates that the MTA “reasonably maintain” cameras throughout the system, and that they “may” be placed on the platforms as opposed to “shall.”

The changes made to her initial proposal “allow flexibility for potential changes of camera placements to ensure maximum safety, due to a looming NYC budget gap and ongoing major MTA transit system redevelopment projects,” Bichotte told The Post.

Transit officials already maintain “more than 11,000” cameras at every station in the system, an authority spokesman said.

a security camera at a subway station
The MTA has added thousands of new surveillance cameras in recent years.
Paul Martinka for NY Post

“We appreciate the legislature’s support for the MTA’s ongoing camera security program that already has installed cameras in all 472 subway stations,” MTA Communications Director Tim Minton said.

“We agree that having cameras throughout the system serves as deterrent to crime and material support for investigating crimes that occur and for catching those responsible.”

The MTA’s surveillance camera program faced scrutiny in April after a gunman wounded 10 people on a subway platform in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Station cameras that could have caught the incident and its aftermath were out-of-order at the time of the shooting — prompting several ongoing investigations.

Brooklynite Sedrick Simon died in 2019 when he was hit by a train at a station without platform cameras.

a woman in a green suit (governor hochul) speaks at a podium in front of subway train car
“Big Brother’s watching you,” the governor has warned criminals.
Dennis A. Clark for NY Post

Bichotte, Simon’s assemblywoman, proposed her bill in 2020 and again after the Sunset Park shooting.

Simon’s sister Jennifer Muhammad said she did not know the bill had been changed, but welcomed its passage regardless.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that we were looking for, but I am happy that something was done to bring forth a conservation that acknowledges the lives that have been lost as a result of the negligence in not having cameras on the platform,” she said.

“This is the beginning, a very good and strong beginning to bring about change and accountability for the MTA.”

https://nypost.com/feed

Zach Williams, Ben Kesslen, David Meyer

Leave a Reply