Over the last decade, police departments across the U.S. have spent millions of dollars equipping their officers with body-worn cameras that record what happens as they go about their work. Everything from traffic stops to welfare checks to responses to active shooters is now documented on video.
The cameras were pitched by national and local law enforcement authorities as a tool for building public trust between police and their communities in the wake of police killings of civilians like Michael Brown, an 18 year old black teenager killed in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Video has the potential not only to get to the truth when someone is injured or killed by police, but also to allow systematic reviews of officer behavior to prevent deaths by flagging troublesome officers for supervisors or helping identify real-world examples of effective and destructive behaviors to use for training.
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