Mayor Eric Adams, NYPD address response to viral video of officers taken after Drake concert at Apollo Theater in Harlem

Harlem, Manhattan (WABC) — Twitter was thrown into a frenzy over the weekend after video of people leaving a Drake concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem was captured by the NYPD, but the department says it’s not what it seems.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “This was a major incident. Drake back at the Apollo! We want that. We want our police and community involved.”

It was an epic weekend at the Apollo. Drake performed for the first time at the historic theatre.

After the concert Sunday night, fans walked up to about a dozen NYPD officers, in plain view, shooting video of those leaving the performance.

The five-second clip went viral, with 20 million views and counting, and angered users on social media, including Twitter, about NYPD surveillance tactics.

Adams said, “Well first we have to be honest with ourselves. Twitter isn’t real and they’re little people talking to themselves all the time.”

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In a statement to Eyewitness News, the NYPD said the officer in the blue jacket holding the camera is from the 28th Precinct social media team and was taking video for an upcoming Twitter post that will highlight events in the local community . The video will not be used for any other reason.

He said that the final Drake concert video would look similar to the video made from December’s Toy Drive.

The 28th Precinct has been posting highlights of local events, while trying to foster a positive relationship between the community and the NYPD.

Adams said, “When you have people sitting in the corner of the room trying to find a reason to separate the NYPD from everyday New Yorkers, they’re going to say that.” “Thumbs up to that great captain in Precinct 28. I know that precinct. I know that captain. He’s very community-minded and community-focused and I applaud him for doing that.”

But the clip raised concerns last week when Madison Square Garden admitted to using facial recognition to deflect litigants with action against the arena. That prompted state legislators to introduce a new bill on Monday that would ban the use of facial recognition at sporting events.

Even so, even after the NYPD provided an explanation for why cameras were filming people leaving the Apollo, a lot of New Yorkers still aren’t buying it. Which means, the NYPD has a lot more to do to improve community relations.


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