Tags: body cameras | police | officer behavior

Study: Body Cameras Have Little Effect on Police Behavior

Study: Body Cameras Have Little Effect on Police Behavior
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 21 October 2017 09:36 AM

A study released Friday showed police body cameras have almost no effect on behavior by officers, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The study followed more than 2,000 police officers in Washington who were equipped with cameras over an 18-month period. It found that officers' use of force and civilian complaints were about the same as those who didn't wear cameras.

The call for body cameras increased after the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-America man, in Ferguson, Missouri. By 2015, 95 percent of large police departments were using them, the article explained.

Chief Peter Newsham of Washington's Metropolitan Police Department said he found the results "surprising."

"I thought it would have a difference on police and civilian behavior," Newsham said. "Particularly for officers — and this is the exception — who might be more inclined to misbehave."

The cameras offer additional benefits, according to Newsham, including more accurate investigations, better training and bolstering the trust of the community.

The cameras also raise questions of surveillance and privacy.

"Police departments have been rushing to body cameras without sufficiently deciding what the goal is," said Seth Stoughton, a former officer and a law professor at the University of South Carolina. "When no one is sure what it is supposed to do, no one knows if it is working."

One 2012 study in Rialto, California, suggested the body cameras have a "calming" effect. During that study, the use-of-force incidents dropped by half and civilian complaints against officers declined by 90 percent over the previous year.

The federal government has provided police departments with $40 million for body cameras and state and local governments have contributed significant dollars to them as well.

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A study released Friday showed police body cameras have almost no effect on behavior by officers, The New York Times reported Saturday.The study followed more than 2,000 police officers in Washington who were equipped with cameras over an 18-month period. It found that...
body cameras, police, officer behavior
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2017-36-21
Saturday, 21 October 2017 09:36 AM
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