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 In the stir of the police shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, as well as the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country, there has been a serious issue with the use of body cameras to promote the interactions with the police and the civilians. Body-worn cameras have received positive appraisal from the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund,3 and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The latter has stated that their widespread use has “the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse.” In 2013, the Police Executive Research Forum sent surveys to 500 of the 12,501 police departments in the U.S and of the 254 who completed the survey only 63 of the departments reported using body-worn cameras. However, now law enforcement agencies in the country are now rapidly adopting the cameras. In December 2014, President Obama proposed the Body Cameras Partnership Program, which aims to invest $75 million through a 50% investment matching arrangement with states to cover video storage and equipment expenses, with the goal of underwriting the costs of 50,000 of body cameras being worn. The program is a three-year $263 million enterprise to help strengthen the community policing and the funding plan is part of President Obama’s proposed budget.Much interest in the technology stems from a growing recognition that the United States has a real problem with police violence. In 2011, police killed six people in Australia, two in England, six in Germany and according to an FBI count, 404 in the United States. And that FBI number counted only “justifiable homicides,” and “was comprised of voluntarily submitted data from just 750 of 17,000 law enforcement agencies,  Local news reports have resulted in estimates as high as 1,000 police killings per year in the United States and a quarter of the deaths involved a white officer killing a black person”.With the body cameras in affect we as people are clueless of the long-term impact they might have. There has been no research on their usage and the evidence available today is based on small local studies with limited results. Many doubts about practices remain unclear including when the cameras should be recording and what information should be stored and kept for the police departments can release the footage to the world.  Both law enforcement and civil rights supporters are excited by the potential of body cameras being worn to improve the unanswered situation civilians ae put through around the world. However, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that a wide roll-out of police body-worn cameras across many variable departments and jurisdictions will bring about the accountability, transparency, and changes to community policing that are being touted as the crucial tenets of their potential impact, especially given that many fatal or brutal encounters between police and civilians have, in fact, been captured on camera. During the trial of the LAPD officers who were arrested after being on camera beating Rodney King, their lawyers successfully claimed that the cameras failed to capture the allegedly aggressive behavior of King that caused their use of force to calm him. The use of camera footage can be used to legitimize the use of force against subjects in ways that continue to justify the types of policing practices that ended in Michael Brown’s death. it is important to recognize that police body cameras alone will not resolve the issues of the black community.  Although many police departments are currently using body cameras many have rules that covers some key issues, such as when to record and how long to retain recordings, those policies will likely need to evolve as departments develop better understandings of how body cameras affect policing practices on the ground. Prosecutors and defense lawyers will need to better understand how footage is used to negotiate and courts will also have to develop new practices and policies for the courtrooms they can see the full videos. Policies that effectively address body cameras will also necessarily need to consider many related technologies which may be combined with the cameras, such as facial recognition and other biometrics, data transfer methods, as well as storage and analysis tools.   The use of body cameras by police officers when they are interacting with or passing by civilians during their duties raises a number of privacy concerns. For example, embarrassing dashcam video footage of the arrests or traffic stops of naked women, athletes, and celebrities are sometimes disseminated online, and the same privacy concerns exist about the potential for body-camera footage to be consumed as public entertainment. Since body cameras are attached to police officers during their duties, they can represent a greater disturbance to privacy than dashcams, since officers can enter people’s homes or places where there is generally a greater expectation and sometimes a legal protection of privacy.  Current state and federal laws leave many police agencies with broad discretion to set policies for when and where subjects will be recorded by body worn cameras. In ten states, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington, wiretap laws require “two-party consent,” police will have to obtain records from the person they are recording unless specific rules apply to law enforcement activities. For example, in February 2014, Pennsylvania enacted Senate Bill, which waives the consent requirement for police officers. At the federal level, Fourth Amendment protections generally limit searches of private places such as a person’s home. The recent case United States v. Jones case suggests that surveillance of a person’s activities while in public may ultimately raise Fourth Amendment concerns if the surveillance is concentrated on the victim and prolonged.  It is common for policies to have exceptions to their rules that require or allow officers to stop recording in some cases where recording is generally expected. Some policies state that officers may refrain from recording when doing so would be unsafe and Other rules may forbid officers from recording nudity or private places. For example, Grand Forks, North Dakota requires officers to deactivate their cameras when “sensitive human areas are exposed.” San Diego’s policy forbids recording when “persons have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Vermont’s policy grants officers to “try to avoid” recording nude persons. Some policies also give officers will to avoid recording victims or witnesses. Grand Forks, North Dakota allows officers to deactivate body cameras to prevent recording “victims of sex offenses.” Florida gives officers the will not to record when “persons are unwilling to share information about a crime if they are being recorded.”  In Las Vegas, Nevada bars are not to recording “a formal statement from a victim or a witness.” Of the eleven polices examined for this report, eight say that officers should generally stop recording an event when that event is complete. The IACP model policy also states that officers should document why they failed to record or stopped recording an event that was suitable for recording under the department’s policy.While the allegations of body cameras are unknown, these technologies will become increasingly widespread soon. Given the rapid pace of their adoption, supporting policies and legal frameworks surrounding their regulation will likely struggle to keep up. Moving forward, it will be crucial to maintain awareness of the key issues at stake. Public interest groups are in the position to help shape the debate. Researchers can aid that effort, as research and analysis will allow public interest groups to better understand the implementation and deployment of new policing technologies, and to ensure that the effects of body-worn cameras and other surveillance technologies are consistent with the goals outlined for their use.It is my view that body cameras are the future of policing, however, there is still a lot of work to be done in addressing the concerns of privacy, camera costs, video storage, and video tampering. It is now up to state legislatures to agree on policies and procedures to successfully implement the use of body cameras by their police departments. Body cameras alone will not solve the issues that have materialized over the history of policing, but they are a really good way to start showing that police departments want to be transparent and start holding themselves accountable for their actions. This is a huge step in improving police and minority relations. Police departments around the U.S. will need to tailor their policies before implementing body cameras to meet their own individual needs. State law may mandate certain portions of their policies, but other portions will need to be adapted for use by each police department on its own.

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