A Third Party to Police Activity: How Body-Worn Cameras Impact Police Officer Language and Behavior, and How Officers Use Them


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Body-worn cameras were vastly integrated into American policing following the contentious officer-involved shooting deaths of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner in the summer of 2014. High start-up and management costs, as well as concerns about both officer and citizen privacy, keep some departments from fully embracing these surveillance devices. Essentially, they question whether the rewards of body-worn cameras outweigh their risks (White & Malm, 2020). This project aims to demonstrate the necessity of body-worn cameras in modern policing through analyzing if and how officers orient their speech and behavior towards these devices in officer-involved shootings, and whether that may benefit them in subsequent investigations. It will also cull findings from existing qualitative research and analyze body-worn camera policies to evaluate the benefits of technology for the police and society generally.



Police, Body-worn cameras, BWC, Police Science, Use of force, Officer-involved shooting, Police tactics, Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES, Surveillance, Criminal justice, Sociology