NYPD shares footage taken outside Drake’s concert in Harlem after Twitter uproar over police surveillance tactics

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — The NYPD has released the videos they took outside Drake’s concert at the Apollo Theater Sunday night.

Twitter was thrown into a frenzy over footage of about a dozen NYPD officers, in plain sight, taking videos of people leaving the concert in Harlem. The department insists it’s not what it looks like.

The NYPD says the videos that officers took were for a social media post. On Wednesday the 28th precinct posted their video, what they are calling a social media project.

Drake performed for the first time ever at the Apollo Theater, but the five second clip of the officers went viral, with 20 million views and counting.

It angered users on social media, including Twitter, about NYPD surveillance tactics.

“Well, first we have to be honest with ourselves. Twitter is not real and those little people that goes back and forth all the time talking to themselves,” NYC Mayor Eric Adams said.

The department assured everyone that the video will only be used for their Twitter post, which they say is a project aimed at showing officers involved in the community.

“It was a large event. Drake back at the Apollo! We want that. We want our police and community involved,” Adams said.

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The NYPD said the final Drake concert video will look similar to a video created from a December toy drive.

The 28th Precinct has been posting highlights from local events, trying to promote a positive relationship between the community and the NYPD.

“When you have those that are sitting at home in the corner of the room, trying to find a reason to divide NYPD from everyday New Yorkers, then they are going to say that,” Adams said. “Thumbs up to that great captain up in the 28 Precinct. I know that precinct. I know that captain. He’s very community-minded and community-centered and I commend him for doing so.”

But the clip reignited concerns raised last week when Madison Square Garden admitted to using facial recognition to remove litigants with actions against the arena. This prompted state legislators to introduce a new bill Monday, that would ban the use of facial recognition at sporting events.

Still, with the NYPD providing an explanation as to why cameras were filming people leaving the Apollo, a lot of New Yorkers still aren’t buying it. Meaning, the NYPD has a lot more work to do in improving community relations.

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