People concerned after police film everyone leaving Drake's concert
The Toronto-born rapper performed at the historic venue in a 90-minute set that depicted his nearly 15-year musical career.
Drizzy first took the stage in a Degrassi basketball jersey, sitting on a bed in a set reminiscent of his bedroom in his mother's Toronto basement, where he wrote some of his first songs.
Drake kicked off the 42-song setlist with classics like Marvin's Room, Best I Ever Had, and Started From the Bottom, before performing his new hits like Spin Bout You and Rich Flex from his joint project, Her Loss, with rapper 21 Savage.
The concert at the 1,500-capacity venue went on without any issues, and much of the controversy ensued when fans began leaving the concert.
In one video posted to Twitter, an NYPD officer is shown holding a propped-up phone, seemingly recording fans as they made their way out of the venue.
here’s the video pic.twitter.com/xeCB96veU0— Jon Caramanica (@joncaramanica) January 22, 2023
"NYPD recording every single person exiting The Apollo after the Drake show. Eric Adams is a legit super villain," one person wrote.
"I saw them filming inside the venue on the balcony overlooking the crowd...I've never seen that before," another person said.
But why? What are they trying to achieve here?— James Bullows (@jbullows1) January 22, 2023
When one person questioned the purpose of filming, another person suggested it had to do with "overt surveillance" or "facial recognition technology to single out people."
Overt surveillance is the official terminology for it. The idea is that they can use facial recognition technology to single out ppl that might want to grab. And it’s no coincidence whatsoever that it’s following a rap concert.— Dee Phunk (@DeePhunk) January 22, 2023
Other people questioned the legality of the whole ordeal.
NYPD recording everyone coming out the drake show is crazy. Like the legality behind that must be a little iffy too that’s wild.— 🇹🇹 West Indian Bad Mon 🇹🇹 (@bevonstlouis) January 23, 2023
Another person questioned why the police department would dedicate resources to surveil Drake's concert attendees.
WTAF?!— Xun-ling Au 歐迅灵 🏴 (@XunlingAu) January 23, 2023
This is some authoritarian shit.
Why are Drake fans considered enough of a threat that the NYPD spends resources on surveilling them?!
The US is really fucked up. DO BETTER. https://t.co/w3qlvNyEai
Other people questioned if this type of filming happens at other concerts with a different type of genre or artist.
Something tells me they don’t do that after Billy Joel shows at MSG.— Julian Spivey (@julianspivey44) January 23, 2023
I get that CCTV is everywhere but this shouldn’t be allowed.
Although it's unclear whether the filming was in fact a form of facial recognition technology, that didn't stop people from expressing their privacy concerns.
Facial recognition technology is legal in New York and used by the NYPD, but has been used sparingly by corporations due to privacy concerns.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which controls entertainment venues like the Garden and Radio City Music Hall, picked up considerable backlash this year for its use of facial recognition technology.
"Facial recognition technology is a useful tool widely used throughout the country, including the sports and entertainment industry, retail locations, casinos and airports to protect the safety of the people that visit and work at those locations," the company said in a statement.
The NYPD has also called facial recognition technology a "valuable tool" in solving crimes and increasing public safety.
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