A recent New York Times investigation into the NYPD has revealed that the department has used rubber bullets in police shootings since the 1980s.
This was before the advent of body cameras and widespread public acceptance of them as a form of transparency.
In recent years, the New York Police Department has been using the highly lethal bullets to stop and arrest people in more dangerous situations, such as a person wielding a knife or a man with a gun who has crossed into the public space in broad daylight.
As the Times noted, this use has been widely criticized.
But the rubber bullets are far from new, and they’ve been around for decades.
What is new is that the public has become more informed about the use of these deadly bullets and what to expect in a police encounter.
And some of the public reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.
“In a country where a person can be shot by police with impunity, that’s a huge change,” said Jennifer Sexton, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Pittsburgh.
“The public really believes that the police are there to protect them and are there for them.”
In fact, the public generally agrees that the officers are there when they need to be, even if that means going through a dangerous situation.
The Times found that the vast majority of police departments across the country, as of 2014, had adopted body cameras, and nearly a quarter of police officers nationwide have been trained in the use and care of body camera footage.
But that’s not all.
In addition to the use in the recent New Times investigation, the Times also discovered that the NYPD used rubber bullet cartridges in its 2015 fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo, a mentally ill black man in Brooklyn.
Diallo was unarmed when he was shot and died the next day.
Police initially said Diallo had a gun, but later said he had a knife.
But after Diallo’s death, the NYPD released a video showing that Diallo didn’t have a knife, and that the officer who shot him had a rubber bullet in his holster.
As of late August, the Brooklyn district attorney had filed charges against the officer in Diallo’t shooting Diallo.
But a grand jury declined to indict him.
The department later released video footage showing the officers firing rubber bullets into Diallo at least six times.
“I think it’s clear that the body camera video is very critical,” Sexton said.
“It’s important that the community knows what happened, and what was going on, because I think that’s what is going to help people make informed decisions.”
The use of the bullets in the Brooklyn shooting is far from isolated, though.
In fact it’s common in the US.
“A police officer in New York City is more likely to shoot a person with a rubber-tipped bullet than a person who is not armed,” Sextons study found.
“Police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, for example, have shot and killed unarmed people at least five times in the last year alone.
But their officers are not wearing body cameras.”
And in Los Angeles, which has the most police shootings of any US city, about 10% of the city’s police are using rubber bullets.
In many cases, however, the police officers involved in those shootings were never charged with any crime.
That has led to a backlash among the public.
“You can’t really blame the officers for shooting somebody because you don’t know if it’s going to end up in court,” Seyttons study said.
But Sexton believes that in the long run, people are more likely not to be charged for shootings in the first place.
“People just want to see the police as doing their jobs, but they don’t want to have the officers in the city shooting each other,” she said.
Some of the officers who were charged in Dialles death were also acquitted, and the cases have been appealed.
But not everyone agrees with the way the case has gone.
In 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in New Orleans, Louisiana, against the city, claiming that it violated Diallos civil rights when it failed to arrest Diallo after he was killed by police.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU also said that Dialless family and friends of the officer were not informed of the charges against him before the shooting.
The New Orleans city attorney, meanwhile, argued that the district attorney’s office failed to provide the Diallese family with any notice of charges against Officer Raul Hernandez, who had fired his gun at Diallo five times.
In response, the Diallo family filed a complaint against Hernandez with the state Department of Justice, and in June, the district attorneys office announced that Hernandez would not face charges.
However, a judge later upheld Hernandez’s acquittal, and Hernandez will still be on the force for another year.
“He’s been suspended for the foreseeable future, but it’s