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(5,336 posts)
Tue Oct 24, 2017, 07:03 PM Oct 2017

Ari Melber just echoed a point I made last Friday about police cameras. [View all]


For seven months, just over a thousand Washington, D.C., police officers were randomly assigned cameras — and another thousand were not. Researchers tracked use-of-force incidents, civilian complaints, charging decisions and other outcomes to see if the cameras changed behavior. But on every metric, the effects were too small to be statistically significant. Officers with cameras used force and faced civilian complaints at about the same rates as officers without cameras.

This test completely misses the point. We all know that there are corrupt police officers, but the purpose of body cameras shouldn't be to somehow transform them into law-abiding, civil rights-respecting, enforcers of the law, it should be to catch them in the act, prosecute them, and convict them. With that in mind the fact that these officers aren't dissuaded by body cameras could actually be good news. It should make it easier to catch them and deal with them.

Maybe the reason the cameras don't seem to make a difference is that those corrupt officers know they'll get away with what they do, camera or no camera. Prosecutors won't prosecute them, juries won't convict them, and above all, they have the backing of our nation's president.

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