Police-worn body cameras do not reduce the instances of police use of force. Nor do they reduce citizen complaints about excessive force. These are the unexpected findings from the largest study to date on the subject, which casts doubt on the generally accepted wisdom regarding body camera effectiveness. “We found essentially that we could not detect any statistically significant effect of the body-worn cameras,” said Anita Ravishankar, one of the researchers behind the study.
Will this latest study cause police departments to abandon this expensive technology? In a 2015 survey, 95 percent of police departments reported that they had implemented or planned to implement police-worn body cameras. It seems unlikely that change will occur, considering that these shocking results were released and covered on a Friday — the day of the week favored for dropping unpleasant news so that it may be buried and forgotten over the weekend.
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