Late Sunday night, an unidentified person associated with the hacktivist group “Anonymous” released footage of the New York Police Department evicting Occupy Wall Street protesters from their encampment in Zuccotti Park last year.
A statement accompanying the 85 files said the footage was recorded by the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) and accused the department of “trying to cover up their brutality” by editing the video. The files have been uploaded to the Internet using the file-sharing service BitTorrent.
The NYPD had been “conspicuously and routinely videotaping protest activity” in Zuccotti Park last year, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. Police set up two surveillance cameras near the demonstration, which recorded the protesters nonstop.
The videos, which include footage from both stationary surveillance and hand-held cameras, shows NYPD officers removing protesters from the park in November 2011 and arresting those who refused to leave.
The eviction came as the Occupy Wall Street demonstration against economic inequality neared its two-month anniversary. The protesters had planned a provocative “day of action” to shut down Wall Street. During the raid, police surrounded the park and refused to allow anyone in, including reporters.
A number of reporters complained of a media blackout regarding the morning raid and several journalists were arrested by authorities.
It is unclear how the footage was obtained. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne has suggested the footage came from court records.
“The TARU’s detective voice, if genuine, sounds like it may have be taken from material turned over to plaintiffs who are suing the police. It was not ‘leaked’ by the police, but possibly by someone suing us, and not much of a leak since it’s part of the court record,” Browne told Politicker.