House lawmakers demanding answers from MTA on camera malfunction during Brooklyn subway shooting


Members of Congress are demanding answers from the MTA about why multiple subway surveillance cameras were not fully functioning when a gunman opened fire on an N train pulling into the 36th Street station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn last week.

In a letter to MTA Chairman Janno Lieber, the lawmakers write that, “Although the suspect responsible for this attack has been arrested, it is imperative that we have systems in place to keep riders safe and ensure attacks like this never happen again.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS); Rep. John Katko (R-NY), the top Republican on the panel; and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), a member of the committee, took the lead in signing the letter. From New York, Democratic Reps. Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn, and two members from Long Island – Republican Andrew Garbarino and Democrat Kathleen Rice – also signed on.

The lawmakers note that MTA has received nearly $50 million through the Transit Security Grant Program over the past two fiscal years.

We “urge you to be more transparent regarding how your agency utilizes Federal funding to secure the subway system and protect riders,” they write.

They give the MTA a deadline of April 30 to respond to a variety of questions, including an accounting of how the transit agency is using that federal security funding, and how much has been put toward the subway system’s camera system.

They ask for clarification on how often cameras are audited, and what the process of fixing problems looks like.

The shooting occurred, police said, when a man dressed as a construction worker detonated smoke grenades and then fired a handgun 33 times. Ten people were shot, and all survived.

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