BDS Testimony before New York City Council Committees on Public Safety and State and Federal Legislation regarding Access to Firearms

BDS is concerned about increased funding for surveillance programs, using the pretext that this will put an end to gun violence in New York City. Since January, much of the public political discourse around responding to current levels of gun violence has touted surveillance and policing based investments as the New York City “solutions” to guns. For example, the Mayor’s Blueprint to End Gun Violence, which he released shortly after being elected, touts the creation of a panopticon of surveillance technology. But there is nothing new or innovative about this technology deployment; New York already built this panopticon, and should instead dismantle it. The surveillance foundation of the Mayor’s Blueprint has been repeated in his proposals to deploy “gun detection” technology in our subways or speaker-armed drones in our neighborhoods. While technology and its attendant insights and conveniences are alluring in their seeming objectivity and infallibility, real-world application—divorced from marketing claims—demonstrates that technological solutions to law enforcement’s surveillance agenda merely replicate the biases and failures of our historical Handschu and stop-and-frisk past without meaningful contribution to public safety.

View the full testimony here.

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