Title

Videos Don’t Lie: African Americans’ Support for Body-Worn Cameras

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2-2019

Publication Title

Criminal Justice Review

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0734016819846229

ISSN

1556-3839

Abstract

In light of growing concern regarding the policing of inner-city communities—including questionable incidents of use of force—equipping officers with body-worn cameras (BWCs) has emerged as a salient proposal for reform. Based on a national-level survey of African Americans (n = 1,000), this project shows that wide consensus exists among Black citizens in favor of BWCs. Since ostensibly “videos don’t lie,” implementing camera technology thus may be a means to increase police legitimacy. Importantly, the analysis also reveals that African Americans support a broad range of reforms to improve inner-city policing, of which BWCs are only one. Finally, the survey included a subset of 45 Black police officers. These officers also supported BWCs and most other proposed reforms but at a level that was lower and less intense than African American members of the public.

Comments

*Winner of the James L. Maddex Jr. 2020 Paper of the Year Award from Criminal Justice Review

*Top-cited manuscript at Criminal Justice Review between 2017-2020

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