NYC Councilman's Bill Mandates Surveillance Cams In Bars to 'Stop Sexual Harassment,' 'Consent' Signage

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Nov. 16, 2018

This is not The Onion.

From Reason:
Intent on leaving no space unmoderated by peeping bureaucrats, New York City Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr. is advocating for sophisticated surveillance cameras in all nightlife establishments, mandatory sexual-harassment intervention training for their staff, and fines for establishments that don't display signs telling patrons that they're in a "harassment free zone" and "consent is mandatory."

Espinal's proposal would establish all sorts of mandatory digital surveillance of patrons at New York bars, clubs, and restaurants. Per the new rules, businesses would have to install digital video cameras "sufficient [in] number, type, placement, and location to view and record all activity in front of and within 15 feet of either side of each entrance or exit" and these cameras "shall be sufficiently light sensitive and provide sufficient image resolution (supported by additional lighting if necessary) to produce easily discernible images recorded at all times."

Footage obtained must be "indexed by dates and times and preserved for a minimum of 30 days so that they may be made available to the police department and other government agencies acting in furtherance of a criminal investigation or a civil or administrative law enforcement purpose," says the bill, which was discussed by the Council last week.

"We can promote consent and fight sexual harassment through our nightlife venues," tweeted Espinal, who represents Bushwick, Brownsville, Cypress Heights, and nearby areas in Brooklyn, and is also the author of a recent effort to ban plastic straws. "Legislation I introduced working with @houseofyesnyc will do that."

[...]Legislation Espinal introduced on October 31 would make the display of "Consent Is Mandatory" posters mandatory, and require bartenders, security guards, waiters, and other staff to go through so-called "bystander intervention training," centered on dealing with harassment among patrons. Per the draft legislation: "every nightlife establishment with five or more employees shall annually conduct a harassment training for all employees employed within the city of New York." Security guards would also be subject to more stringent licensing requirements and checks.

Failure to hang the posters in the right spots or keep adequate records of staff training could mean a $500 fine. Violating surveillance-camera requirements could cost businesses $1,000 per violation.
Here's a preview for how they'll determine what constitutes "sexual harassment":



This is the poster from the LGBTBLTBBQ+ group he's working with:


Here's a shot of their Instagram:



This is who is setting policy in New York City.


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