Body Worn Cameras Research

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From Ferguson to New York City to Oakland, more and more people have gathered together to voice their support for a growing movement—“Black Lives Matter.” Inspired by the displays of solidarity in Ferguson, Missouri, these protestors carry with them signs and adorn shirts inscribed with “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “I can’t breathe”—phrases related to the fatal shooting of Michael brown and the fatal use of a chokehold on Eric Garner. The main focus of these protests is to call for justice, police accountability, and an end to unnecessary violence inflicted on African Americans throughout the United States. Outraged by the grand jury’s decision to not indict police officers for the killing of many unarmed African Americans, protestors and politicians …show more content…

In 2012 the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology conducted a research in Rialto, California, that proved the effectiveness of body-worn cameras. Over the course of 12 months, the Rialto police department randomly assigns body-worn cameras to different officers in a total of 988 shifts. The study found that, “During the 12-month Rialto experiment, use of force by officers wearing cameras fell by 59% and reports against officers dropped by 87% against the previous year’s figures.” On the other hand, the shifts that were not issued body-worn camera had double in the number of use of force incidents compare to those that did. Not only does it prevent unacceptable use of force, but body-worn cameras also decrease the amount of citizen complaints against law enforcement officers. Similarly with the Rialto Police Department, Mesa Police Department teamed up with Arizona State University and also implemented a 12 months body-worn camera program. Instead of randomly selecting officers to adorn the body-worn cameras, 50 officers were picked to be the control group without cameras and another 50 were picked to be the experimental group with cameras. The officers in these groups were demographically similar in age, race, as well as other characteristics. According to the researchers, “during the first eight months of deployment, the officers without the cameras had almost three times as many complaints as the officers who wore the camera…officers assigned body-worn cameras had 40 percent fewer total complaints and 75 percent fewer use of force complaints during the pilot program than they did during the prior year when they were not wearing cameras.” Researchers believe the reason for a reduction in complaints and violence is due to the “self-awareness” that the event is

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