Following recent widespread demonstrations demanding police reform, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams plans to introduce a bill mandating all NYPD body-worn camera footage be released five days from the time video was captured. The bill would override Mayor Bill de Blasio's recent policy announcement that gives the NYPD 30 days to turn over footage of incidents where officers kill, shoot, or seriously injure someone.

Williams is expected to introduce the bill during Thursday afternoon's New York City Council meeting.

"This applies...not just to when a high profile incident occurs. It's just general keeping of public records," Williams told Gothamist on Thursday.

The proposed measure would also ensure copies of body camera footage are given to the NYPD inspector general and the New York City Department of Records, the city's official repository for city-related matters. Williams says talks to ensure privacy concerns will happen once the bill is heard.

Since its announcement in 2014, the body camera policy introduced by de Blasio has been marred with controversy and calls for greater transparency. All 20,000 uniformed patrol officers are equipped with the small body cameras clipped to their shirts. Officers are required to activate their cameras when interacting with the public and keep them on.

"Having access to these things I think provides an atmosphere of trust around these discussions, seeing that this is not hidden," said Williams.

Up until last week, the NYPD had sole discretion in releasing body camera video, according to guidelines it quietly released last year. The rules had allowed the department 30 days to determine whether to release any footage where officers engaged with the public, specifically in cases involving police brutality. That determination, however, was only considered after the NYPD's Force Investigation Unit wrapped up investigations of fatal encounters deemed "critical incidents."

The proposals don't address the lumbering process through which the Civilian Complaint Review Board currently receives NYPD footage. Common practice often involves CCRB requesting footage for investigations into police misconduct by submitting it to a liaison that's then forwarded to the Internal Affairs Bureau. IAB then reviews the request with lawyers to determine its release. Last year, Gothamist/WNYC reported that a third of the CCRB's probes against officers had pending requests for footage.

Videos taken by witnesses continue to show NYPD officers using excessive force, most recently against protesters marching against racist police violence, as well as social distancing enforcement. Last Sunday, the NYPD immediately released body camera video of an incident showing an officer applying an illegal chokehold on a Queens man. The officer, identified as David Afanador, has since been suspended without pay and was charged on Thursday with strangulation.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson's office did not respond to a request for comment about the proposed legislation.