A malfunctioning fan sparked the MTA’s surveillance cameras at a Brooklyn subway station the day before a maniac fired shots at straphangers there last month, agency officials revealed.
NYPD sources said the lack of crucial video footage during the chaos slowed their hunt for accused gunman Frank James, who had fled across the platform on a train amid the chaos without their knowledge.
The glitch also disrupted feeders at the 25th Street and 45th Street subway stations, where James entered and exited the transit system – and then remained on the run for more than 24 hours before being caught and charged in the April 12 slaughter.
Transit crews have been working to fix the fan issue since April 7, MTA CEO Janno Lieber wrote in a letter to congressmen late Monday, demanding answers. He said the actual surveillance feed remained untouched through April 11.
The cameras’ surveillance feed was cut off “less than 24 hours” before James allegedly fired 33 shots at a subway car that pulled into the platform, injuring 29 people, Leiber said.
“Technicians replaced the fan assembly on the morning of April 8, but network diagnostics still showed an issue,” Lieber wrote. “MTA technicians performed a series of repairs to resolve the issue, and on the morning of April 11, when technicians were installing new communications hardware, camera streaming failed.”
Lieber said technicians were working on the station’s feed at the time of the shooting and were then ordered by the NYPD to leave during the shooting.
MTA “network specialists” retrieved the new equipment from the site and reinstalled it on the station “at 12:30 p.m. on April 13,” Lieber wrote.
Lieber and his team have defended the camera malfunction as a rare event offset by 36 other MTA video feeds used by the NYPD during their investigation into the shooting.
“On any given day, we have about 99 [percent] Availability of our subway security cameras,” Lieber wrote in the letter to U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), John Katko (R-NY) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY).
The three representatives had demanded answers as to why cameras were failing during filming, noting a recent Congress-passed $5 million boost in transit safety funding for New York.
In his reply, Lieber said these funds were “estimated” but insufficient.
The MTA needs $1.3 billion to “continue to grow and improve” its surveillance system, but currently only has $300 million available, he said.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/03/faulty-fan-led-to-camera-fail-during-brooklyn-subway-shooting-mta/ A defective fan led to a camera failure during filming of the Brooklyn Subway: MTA