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

Twitter went into a frenzy over footage of a dozen NYPD officers, in plain sight, taking videos of people leaving the concert in Harlem. The ministry insists that is not what it looks like.

The NYPD says the videos taken by officers were intended for posting on social media. On Wednesday, the 28th arrondissement released its video, which it calls a social media project.

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

This has angered users on social media, including Twitter, over the NYPD’s surveillance tactics.

“Well, we have to be honest with ourselves first. Twitter isn’t real and these little people who come and go all the time talking to themselves,” said the mayor of New York, Eric Adams.

The department assured everyone that the video would only be used for their posting on Twitter, which they say is a project to show officers involved in the community.

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

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The NYPD said the final video from Drake’s concert will look like a video created from a toy drive in December.

The 28th Precinct posted highlights of local events, trying to promote a positive relationship between the community and the NYPD.

“When you have those who are sitting at home in the corner of the room trying to find a reason to separate the NYPD from ordinary New Yorkers, then they’re going to say that,” Adams said. “Bravo to this great captain of the 28th arrondissement. I know this neighborhood. I know this captain. He is very community-minded and community-focused and I commend him for that.”

But the clip reignited concerns raised last week when Madison Square Garden admitted to using facial recognition to weed out litigants with actions against the arena. That prompted state lawmakers to introduce a new bill on Monday banning the use of facial recognition at sporting events.

Yet with the NYPD providing an explanation for why cameras were filming people leaving the Apollo, many New Yorkers still aren’t buying it. This means the NYPD still has a lot of work to do to improve community relations.


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