NYPD spent $159mn on facial recognition, ‘stingray’ cellphone trackers & X-ray van spy tools using secretive fund, documents show | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

NYPD spent $159mn on facial recognition, ‘stingray’ cellphone trackers & X-ray van spy tools using secretive fund, documents show

For years, the NYPD used a “surveillance slush fund” for a range of policing tech with no public oversight – under a shadowy deal with city officials that kept equipment used in “confidential operations” secret.

Newly released documents reveal the New York Police Department (NYPD) has spent at least $159 million in public money since 2007, through a “Special Expenses” fund, on potentially invasive surveillance tools like facial-recognition software, predictive policing programs, “stingray” cellphone trackers – and even vans fitted with X-ray machines to spot weapons.

That year, the force entered into a “memorandum of understanding” (MoU) with the comptroller’s office – the city’s chief auditing agency – and the Office of Management and Budget that allowed it to bypass New York City council approval and keep details about its expenditures under this fund from official scrutiny.

The paperwork, which was made public by civil rights groups Legal Aid Society (LAS) and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), includes contracts, vendor agreements, bids, maintenance requests and special memos – all of which are heavily redacted.

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