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It’s ‘misleading’ to say the manhunt is being held up by broken subway cameras

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has claimed it is ‘unfair and misleading’ to claim that non-functioning subway security cameras delayed the manhunt that followed the shooting of mass this week.

NYPD Assistant Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said in a statement Thursday that suspect Frank James was identified hours after the Tuesday morning rush hour shooting. While a “technical glitch” rendered some cameras inoperable, Miller said the suspect was quickly identified through eyewitnesses, truck rental evidence and other Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) cameras in the Subway.

“Reports that the lack of cameras on the station delayed the manhunt by several hours are unfair and misleading,” Miller said. “We had witness descriptions of the suspect and the distinctive brightly colored clothing he was wearing during the attack… A rental truck key with a serial number and ID were recovered at 11:00 a.m. .”

“This allowed us to retrieve video of the suspect from the Pennsylvania rental location as well as a name and driver’s license photo from the motor vehicle records,” he continued.

NYPD Assistant Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said it was ‘unfair and misleading’ to claim that non-functional security cameras at the site of Tuesday’s mass shooting delayed the subsequent manhunt. Above, passengers are pictured waiting near subway trains at the 36th Street station in New York on April 13, 2022.

Miller went on to say that cameras operating in other parts of the system acted as “essential components” in determining James’ “movements before and after the shooting,” while MTA personnel “worked with us 24 hours a day. out of 24 to identify and retrieve images. in this case.”

“While it has become common to lay blame in many directions after an incident, we must remember that the shooter is solely responsible for this attack,” Miller added.

Although a suspect was quickly identified, the MTA was heavily criticized for the camera failure. The NYPD statement was released shortly after three members of the New York City Council sent a letter on the surveillance blackout to MTA President and CEO Janno Lieber.

The letter asserted that “New Yorkers should know what the MTA is doing to close these coverage gaps and maintain safe conditions on the subway” and demanded that “the MTA submit a comprehensive report to the Board on the network monitoring of the agency”.

Newsweek contacted the MTA for comment.

Lieber confirmed at a press conference Thursday that surveillance at the train station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood has since been restored. He also noted that “the cameras themselves were working” and that the outage was caused by “the internet connection which apparently failed”.

During an interview on CNN Wednesday night, Lieber credited the MTA cameras that remained operational on Tuesday for providing “a lot” of assistance to the police investigation.

“There were a few cameras that definitely had internet connection issues yesterday, but the police department went through the video top to bottom,” Lieber told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“There were 600 cameras just on that one line in Brooklyn and they found a lot of material, including visuals from multiple angles of this stopped guy entering the system and leaving it,” he added.

At least 23 people were injured in the shooting, including 10 victims who suffered gunshot wounds. James, who was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with a federal terrorism offense that applies to attacks on public transit systems, is being held without bond.


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