HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — Twitter went into a frenzy over the weekend after footage captured the NYPD taking video of people leaving a Drake concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, but the department insists it’s not what to what he looks like.
“It was a big event. Drake back at the Apollo! We want it. We want our police and our community involved,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.
It was an epic weekend at the Apollo. Drake performed for the first time at the historic theater.
After the Sunday night concert, fans made their way to a dozen NYPD officers, in full view, filming video of those leaving the performance.
The five-second clip went viral, with 20 million plus views, and angered users on social media, including Twitter, over the NYPD’s surveillance tactics.
“Well, we have to be honest with ourselves first. Twitter isn’t real and these little people who come and go all the time talking to themselves,” Adams said.
In a statement to Eyewitness News, the NYPD said the officer seen in the blue jacket holding the camera is from the 28th Precinct’s social media team and the officer was taking video for an upcoming Twitter post that will put highlight local community events. The video will not be used for any other reason.
They said the final Drake concert video would look like a video created from a toy drive in December.
The 28th Precinct posted highlights of local events, trying to promote a positive relationship between the community and the NYPD.
“When you have those who are sitting at home in the corner of the room trying to find a reason to separate the NYPD from ordinary New Yorkers, then they’re going to say that,” Adams said. “Bravo to this great captain of the 28th arrondissement. I know this neighborhood. I know this captain. He is very community-minded and community-focused and I commend him for that.”
But the clip reignited concerns raised last week when Madison Square Garden admitted to using facial recognition to weed out litigants with actions against the arena. That prompted state lawmakers to introduce a new bill on Monday banning the use of facial recognition at sporting events.
Yet with the NYPD providing an explanation for why cameras were filming people leaving the Apollo, many New Yorkers still aren’t buying it. This means the NYPD still has a lot of work to do to improve community relations.
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