Body Cameras

Are body cameras necessary for society?

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Prompt

Introduction

Body worn video, also known as body cameras, is a video recording system that is typically utilized by law enforcement to record their interactions with the public, gather video evidence at crime scenes, and has been known to increase both officer and citizen accountability. However, the utilization of body cameras are not mandatory for all law enforcement officers’.

Assignment:

Read the following sources, as well as the introductory information. Then carefully develop a position and qualify, support or refute whether body cameras should be mandatory for all law enforcement officers’ to wear while on-duty. You must include a claim, evidence and commentary to support your argument. Consider all of the information that has been provided as well as any relevant background knowledge about the topic when constructing your essay.

SOURCE A

Chicago Police Destroying Their Own Body Cameras

Brandon, Russel. Chicago Police are Destroying Their Own Dashboard Cameras. The Verge. Vox Media, 2016. Web.28 Jan. 2016

SOURCE B

Pros and Cons of Body Cams

Pros of Police Body Cameras:
  • Use of the cameras while on-duty provides hard video evidence of decisions made by officers in high intensity situations.

  • Video recorded by body cams protect any false accusations, misconduct, or abuse against officer.


Cons of police body cameras:

  • Officers decide when to activate the camera, and for how long the footage is stored, and if and when should it be made accessible to public.

  • Use of body cameras may prevent people from coming forward as credible witnesses to help assist with investigations, due to fear of retaliation or fear of public exposure.

"Police Body Cameras: Do They Reduce Complaints of Officer Misconduct?"

Police Body Cameras: Pros And Cons For Officers And Citizens. N.p.,

n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2016.

SOURCE C

Yee, Vivian, and Kirk Johnson. "Body Cameras Worn by Police Officers Are No 'Safeguard of Truth,' Experts Say." The New York Times. 6 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2016.

SOURCE D

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Zyglis, Adam. " Cops and Cameras. " http://www.cagle.com/. 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

SOURCE E

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Sneed, Tierney. "Effect Of Body Camera Use." Photograph. U.S. News & World Report LP 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2016.

SOURCE F

RAW: Cincinnati cop shoots unarmed Sam Dubose in head

Cincinnati cop shoots unarmed Sam Dubose in the head

RAW: Cincinnati Cop Shoots Unarmed Sam Dubose in Head. Youtube.com. Youtube, 29 July 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.

SOURCE G

Officers Fear Body Cameras Raise Privacy Concerns

"Most law enforcement leaders and civil liberties advocates believe the cameras will ultimately help officers because the devices give them a way to record events from their point of view at a time when citizens armed with cellphones are actively scrutinizing their every move.

They say, however, that the lack of clear guidelines on the cameras' use could potentially undermine departments' goals of creating greater accountability of officers and jeopardize the privacy of both the public and law enforcement officers."


Abdollah, Tami. "Officers Fear Body Cameras Raise Privacy Concerns." Policeone.com. , Policeone, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2016

SOURCE H

Do body cameras change how police interact with the public?

September 2015 study published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology used a controlled experiment with the Mesa Police Department in Arizona to determine how body cameras influence police-citizen interactions. For the report, entitled “The Impact of On-officer Video Cameras on Police-Citizen Contacts: Findings from a Controlled Experiment in Mesa, AZ,” Justin Ready and Jacob Young of Arizona State University analyzed 3,698 field reports completed by 100 sworn patrol officers. The officers — half were assigned to wear body cameras — filled out the reports after having contact with members of the public between Nov. 1, 2012 and Oct. 1, 2013.

Key findings:

  • Officers who did not wear body cameras conducted more “stop-and-frisks” and made more arrests than officers who wore the video cameras. Officers who did not wear cameras performed 9.8% more stop-and-frisks and made 6.9% more arrests.
  • Officers assigned to wear cameras issued 23.1% more citations for ordinance violations than those who did not wear cameras.
  • Officers with body cameras initiated 13.5% more interactions with citizens than those who did not wear them.
  • Officers wearing cameras were 25.2% more likely to perceive the devices as being helpful during their interactions with the public.
  • The cameras did not have a significant impact on whether or not officers gave verbal warnings to citizens.


Young, Jacob. "The Impact of On-officer Video Cameras on Police–citizen Contacts: Findings from a Controlled Experiment in Mesa, AZ." Journal of Experimental Criminology, June 2015. Web. March 2016.

SOURCE I

Stanley, Jay. "Body Cameras Should Not Be Live-Streamed." American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.

SOURCE J

Police Body Cameras Paying off in Vicksburg

Simmons, Scott. "Police Body Cameras Paying off in Vicksburg." WAPT. Hearst Media, 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

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Lukovich, Mike. "Hands Up Don't Shoot." Atlanta Journal Constituion. Web. 25 May 2016.