Police Body-Worn Cameras

40 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2015  

Alexandra Claudia Mateescu

Data & Society Research Institute

Alex Rosenblat

Data & Society Research Institute

danah boyd

Data & Society Research Institute; Microsoft Research

Date Written: February 24, 2015

Abstract

Police Body-Worn Cameras breaks down what’s known – and not known – about the promises, perils, and potential best practices around police body-worn cameras. Both law enforcement and civil rights advocates are excited by the potential of body-worn cameras to improve community policing and safety, but there is no empirical research to conclusively suggest that these will reduce the deaths of black male civilians in encounters with police. There are some documented milder benefits evident from small pilot studies, such as more polite interactions between police and civilians when both parties are aware they are being recorded, and decreased fraudulent complaints made against officers. Many uncertainties about best practices of body-worn camera adoption and use remain, including when the cameras should record, what should be stored and retained, who should have access to the footage, and what policies should determine the release of footage to the public. As pilot and permanent body-worn camera programs are implemented, it is important to ask questions about how they can be best used to achieve their touted goals. How will the implementation of these programs be assessed for their efficacy in achieving accountability goals? What are the best policies to have in place to support those goals?

Keywords: surveillance, body cameras, police, civil rights, data, Michael Brown, Evidence.com, Taser, footage, bias, interpretation, justice

Suggested Citation

Mateescu, Alexandra Claudia and Rosenblat, Alex and boyd, danah, Police Body-Worn Cameras (February 24, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2569481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2569481

Alexandra Claudia Mateescu

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
New York,, NY
United States

Alex Rosenblat (Contact Author)

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
New York,, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.datasociety.net

Danah Boyd

Microsoft Research ( email )

One Memorial Drive, 12th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://research.microsoft.com/

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
11th Floor
New York,, NY 10011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.datasociety.net

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