In April 2015, the New York City television station NY1 filed a open-records request for “unedited video files from the NYPD’s body camera program” captured during five specific weeks in 2014 and 2015. Four months later, the New York City Police Department agreed to review and release the footage—but only after NY1 paid a $36,000 “copying fee.” NY1 appealed the N.Y.P.D.’s decision and, in a letter dated September 16 of last year, was once again denied by the N.Y.P.D.’s deputy commissioner of legal matters.
Last month, the Journal News sparked a firestorm of protest when it published a mappable database of every licensed gun owner in Westchester and Rockland counties, north of New York City. The paper obtained the data—which New York state law explicitly and unambiguously demands be made public—through open records requests. The reaction was swift and furious—gun rights and privacy advocates published the names and addresses of the paper's editors in retaliation, and the paper (ironically) hired armed guards to protect against threats.