Democratizing Proof: Pooling Public and Police Body-Camera Videos

njdiver

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Democratizing Proof: Pooling Public and Police Body-Camera Videos

There are two cultural revolutions in recording the police. From the vantage of police departments, there is the rapidly spreading uptake of police-worn body cameras. On the public side, community members are increasingly using their cell phone cameras to record the police. Together, these dual recording revolutions are generating important new questions and possibilities regarding the balance of power in producing proof and illuminating contested encounters. This Essay is about how pooling police body camera and public videos can address three emerging challenges in the police recording revolution. The first challenge is the controversy over failures to record contested encounters by officers wearing body cameras. The second is the perceptual biases and limitations of body-camera video. The third is nondisclosure and policy limits on use of body-camera video to detect violations.

 

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