Leading experts weigh in on current policy issues and challenges

Evaluating the Impact of Police Body Cameras

Police body-worn cameras are meant to increase accountability, transparency, and trust—and they very well may. (Just last week, body-camera footage led to the indictment of University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing for the murder of unarmed Samuel DuBose.) But there’s still a lot we don’t know about the effects of this new, rapidly expanding technology. What are some of the potential consequences?

The Urban Institute is talking with...
Dave McClure Dave McClure
Daniel Lawrence Daniel Lawrence
Mathew Lynch Mathew Lynch
Michael Davis Michael Davis
Matthew Feeney Matthew Feeney
Brian Buchner Brian Buchner
Frank Straub Frank Straub
Nancy La Vigne
Moderated by:
Nancy La Vigne
Director, Justice Policy Center
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Police body-worn cameras are increasingly held up as a solution to preventing police conduct and enhancing police accountability.  And early research suggests that body cameras can have an impact on reducing officer use of force, citizen complaints, and other negative outcomes. But the use of cameras and dissemination of the video footage they generate are fraught with myths and misunderstandings. What are the pros and cons of body cameras from the perspective of officer accountability, police operations, and community relations and engagement? Let’s hear from our distinguished panel of experts, which includes law enforcement executives, a civilian oversight expert, a civil libertarian, and my fellow Urban Institute research colleagues.

Since the use of Police Body Cameras is expanding so quickly, there are a lot of long term consequences that we probably won’t see for a while. However, we are already starting to see the importance of several key issues:

  • Privacy protections for civilians recorded by the cameras
  • Policies about when officers should turn-on the cameras
  • If and how to provide the public with access to the recordings
  • Costs of storing the footage collected by the cameras

In addition to these issues that we are beginning to recognize, there are several other issues/consequences that are not yet well recognized, but I expect will result from the rapid expansion of this new technology:

  • Beyond fostering transparency and trust, how will the footage be analyzed to improve police practice?
  • Will the public be comfortable with body camera technology expanding from simply recording interactions to eventually providing officers with real-time information about the interactions (e.g., facial recognition, infrared imaging, deception detection, object recognition, etc.)?
  • How often will single body camera recordings misrepresent what actually occurs during an incident?

Needless to say, each of these issues is complicated and involves many related issues that I look forward to discussing in this debate.

In regards to police-community relations, I worry that much of the public sentiment toward police body-worn cameras (BWC) is that the programs will solve many of the challenges police departments face today. We read articles showing that police chiefs will hold officers accountable or that city councils expect increased transparency, and yet, to date we do not have the empirical evidence supporting the possibility of such outcomes.

Granted, numerous university-based studies evaluating pilot programs of BWCs have noted improvements in how officers equipped with BWCs behave. Notably, multiple random control trial studies have found decreases in officers’ use of force, however, it is unknown if these levels are sustainable as the officers cognitive awareness of the cameras fade and the cameras become more of a common tool available in officers’ daily work.

In line with these results, many scholars have been quick to jump to theorizing a “civilizing” effect for both officers and community members involved in face-to-face interactions. This is promising, but nothing new to policing research. Studies reviewing officers’ behaviors during an interaction have consistently shown procedurally just behaviors, for example, respectful, polite, and unbiased manners, to drastically improve community member satisfaction with the interaction as well as their views of authoritative legitimacy overall.

Body-worn cameras may increase the likelihood of officers behaving in a procedurally just way; however, only by surveying and interviewing the community members who have had officer-equipped BWC interactions can such determinations be made. The current research is severely lacking the community’s viewpoint, and as such, it is still too early to conclude how BWCs will impact police-community relations. 

Clearly there are a whole host of issues surrounding what body-worn camera video footage should be shared, how, when, and with whom. This relates to both widespread public dissemination (see Seattle's YouTube channel as one solution) as well as to that pertaining to specific incidents. For example, I was interested to learn that NPYD's Bill Bratton went on the record yesterday saying that he believes that officers should not be barred from viewing footage of incidents in which they were involved prior to giving formal statements to investigators. What do our experts think about that? What are the other issues and concerns about access to video footage that merit consideration?

I think several important issues have been raised regarding privacy issues, public records requests, cost concerns.

I agree wholeheartedly with improving police transparency and accountability - critically important at this time in our history.

To improve policing, we must join body worn camera programs with a larger effort to rethink how we approach some of the fundamentals of providing police services to our communities.

In Spokane, where we currently have 95 BWCs in the field and an additional 90 by year end, we have introduced a series of reforms in addition to BWCs.  All officers have received 40 hours of CIT training, we have created an Enhanced CIT program, all officers have completed de-escalation and procedural justice training, we have a civilian leading our Office of Police Accountability, and we have implemented a series of community engagement programs.  In 2014, we reduced use of force incidents by 22% as compared to 2013 - I believe it is the totality of the programs that led to the reduction in force - not a single program.

 

 

We are currently working with Arizona State University to capture community reactions to incidents in which they engaged with officers wearing body worn cameras.  Each week ASU randomly selects citizens who have had interactions and interviews them to measure the impact of the BWC on the encounter.

 

I believe we are the only department engaged in "post-interaction" surveys/interviews.

We allow our officers to review their  footage prior to writing or giving a statement.  I agree 100% with Bill's thoughts on the officer review.

Redaction is a time consuming process - approximately 2 1/2 hours per one hour of video/audio.  Another cost associated with the public records piece.

Not convinced that redaction can be completely automated.  There are things such as in-car computer screen images that have to be recognized and redacted, uninvolved persons, potentially background that could identify a victim, etc.

 

Dave raises some good points, and there are many more issues and questions surrounding the use of body cameras.  Not just storage costs but infrastructure needs and costs to properly maintain data networks and equipment.  It’s not cheap now and it won’t get much cheaper as capacities diminish, networks degrade, and equipment breaks down or becomes obsolete.  Public access is one of the bigger and as yet unresolved issues, particularly in states where access to police records is more limited and being debated or litigated.  The chasm between law enforcement and the public on this specific issue does not show signs of narrowing anytime soon.  Complicating matters are the numerous – and vastly different – bills being considered in state legislatures, as well as mixed signals from the courts, with some trending toward increased transparency while others seem to be moving toward limiting disclosure and public access to law enforcement records.

 

His last question, however, about how often will single body camera recordings misrepresent what actually occurs, might be the easiest to answer: never.  The camera will never misrepresent what actually occurs.  That’s one of the primary benefits of this technology.  Cameras will capture whatever is in front of them.  It's a completely objective witness.  It does have its limitations and the recording from a single body camera (likely) may not capture everything that occurs during an incident presenting challenges to investigators or departments to properly evaluate and interpret the evidence in the course of an investigation.  More to the point, the interpretation - or misinterpretation - of that recording is the real issue.  Protecting against that is much more difficult to address.

Chief Straub - It's wonderful to hear that your department is proactively working with a research organization to obtain community views. I am currently leading Urban’s BWC evaluation doing the same in three cities – Anaheim, CA; Long Beach, CA; and Pittsburgh, PA – using a similar methodology to what you described.

We, as researchers and leaders in the field, have to base our judgments on the empirical evidence. The accelerated adoption of this new tool has drastically narrowed the opportunity for research to inform practice before being displaced by anecdotes, assumptions, and soon to be entrenched “conventional wisdom.” Only until more studies are conducted and released on the community’s perceptions of BWCs can we make sound judgment on the tool’s use to improving community relations. The research is currently nonexistent in this area, and it's great that departments have recognized this gap.  

Good to know about the work you are doing with ASU, Chief. Urban is working with Long Beach, CA,  Anaheim, CA, and Pittsburgh, PA to evaluate the impact of body-worn cameras including community perceptions, with funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. We should compare notes.

On the topic of officer review of footage before statements, doesn't that afford them the opportunity to adapt their side of the story in accordance to what is captured on camera?

I share Chief Straub's skepticism about automated redaction - even if it were possible it would be imperfect. Plus any redaction also results in the loss of critical context with which to understand the officer-citizen interaction.

What do others think?

I largely disagree with Brian's points about data storage and misrepresentation by the footage.

Concerning data storage and infrastructure for the footage - Call me a technology optimist, but I believe that new developments and innovations will continue to drive down costs and overcome limitations for processing and storing data. Of course, there are many different ways to crack an egg, but in this case I can think of a few specific examples on the horizon that bolster my optimism:

Concerning footage misrepresenting the encounter - I agree with the point about human interpretation of the footage as a likely opportunity for misinterpretation, but I believe some of that can come from the nature of the recording itself. As Dan and I mentioned in a recent blog post, there are several ways the footage itself could provide a severely misleading depiction of events:

  • Any redaction of citizen(s) actions - for the sake of protecting their privacy - removes critical context for understanding the officer's actions. Without context, pretty much any instance of an officer physically restraining a suspect is going to look like a case of police brutality.
  • If a key element of the encounter is outside of the camera's view, such as a suspect reaching for a weapon, it could easily look like an officer acted without cause.
  • Within the cameras themselves, image enhancing features, such as glare reduction and low-light corrections, can present the footage in a way that was not visible at the time of the encounter.

I do agree with Brian's point about the large, complicated, and unresolved issue of how the public should gain access to footage. In the blog post I previously mentioned, Dan and I suggested the use of public access terminals for viewing footage in a manner that could not be openly distributed. I'd love to hear others' thoughts and reactions to that proposal.

There is much to discuss when it comes to police body cameras, and Dave has done a good job of outlining some of the most discussed topics. I have written on many of these topics before, but in my first post here I would like to discuss police access to body camera footage.

It is standard practice in the U.S. for police officers to file a report after they kill someone in the line of duty. Some law enforcement officials have proposed allowing officers to view body camera footage of such incidents before they file a report. Such recommendations are misguided and should be opposed.

Some law enforcement officials argue that allowing officers to view the footage before making a statement ensures that the incident report is accurate. In April, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners voted to approve a policy proposed by the LAPD that would allow officers to view footage of fatal incidents before being interviewed by investigators.

Defenders of such policies argue that an officer viewing body camera footage will be more likely to give an accurate statement to investigators. But the legality of a deadly use-of-force incident depends in large part on what the officer involved believed at the time of the shooting. Officers can use deadly force if they have reasonable belief that they or others could be killed or seriously injured by a suspect. Allowing officers to view body camera footage before speaking to investigators gives them a chance to search for reasonable suspicion, meaning that the officer's statements won't be a true reflection of what the officer remembers.

Law enforcement officials might be concerned about body camera footage being used as part of a "gotcha" strategy. Such a concern was articulated by Ron Miller, Chief of Police, Topeka (Kansas) Police Department, who said, "If you make a statement that you used force because you thought a suspect had a gun but the video later shows that it was actually a cell phone, it looks like you were lying. But if you truly thought he had a gun, you were not lying—you were just wrong."

Not all police executives agree. The Police Executive Research Forum sent surveys to 500 police departments (254 of which responded) and found that while a majority of police executives did favor allowing officers to review body camera footage before making a statement, some "said that it is better for an officer’s statement to reflect what he or she perceived during the event, rather than what the camera footage revealed."

Officer's statements should record what they remember rather than what they think after viewing footage. Allowing officers to see footage before making statements is not only troubling because their accounts will cease to be accurate reflections of what they remember, it is also unfair.

Body cameras should be treated in use-of-force investigations like any other camera. If a police shooting is filmed by a passerby or caught on film by a nearby store's security camera the officer involved would quite rightly not be entitled to view that footage before making a statement.

With the right policies in place body cameras have the potential to contribute to a much-needed increase in law enforcement accountability and transparency. Allowing police officers to view footage of incidents before they make statements will not increase transparency or accountability and will make many members of the public suspicious of police accounts of deadly use-of-force incidents.

The climate of police-community relations seems to have heated since the early days of BWCs in the United States.  In 2014, President Barack Obama promised to tackle the “simmering distrust” that exists between minority communities and police, recommending that police departments across the U.S. implement BWCs for patrol officers.  The capabilities of BWCs have been highly publicized, and often provide anecdotal evidence of effectiveness.  But in over a decade since the first significant deployment of BWCs in law enforcement, what do we really know about their impact in police-community relations? 

Echoing the sentiment of my colleagues, research on BWCs is still in its infancy.  Although numerous research studies are currently underway, to date, only two peer-reviewed journal articles have been published on the topic; one focusing on police use of force, complaints, etc., and the other, officer perceptions.  In the age of technology and the immediacy of information sharing, research has yet to catch up to the practice of deploying BWCs in the community.  We must be cautious when talking about the "impact" of BWCs.  This begs the question, are we becoming too dependent on the ability of BWCs to solve police-community issues? 

Chief Straub makes a great point, providing us with context for this question, and a potential look at the future.  It is clear that officers wearing BWCs is not the “end all” solution, but likely a piece of the “totality” of initiatives capable of making change.  I would be interested to hear what our other experts think, as well as thoughts on the potential long-term goals of the technology on police-community relations.  

Brian makes an excellent point that BWCs will never misrepresent because they are completely objective recorders of the images they capture. 

As I previously stated I support officers being allowed to review their footage before writing reports and making statements, that being said I do have some thoughts/Concerns:

1.  The body camera has the ability to "see" things that an officer may not see based on the technology of the camera, eg. greater efficiency in low light conditions than the human eye. So in fact, the camera may capture images, data, etc. that the officer did not because of stress, fear, physical defects, the brain's capacity to process huge amounts of data under stress. This brings me to my second point.

2.  Because the camera captures and records data that the officer may not have used or had available at the time of her decision making is it appropriate for the officer to be able to use that data during the preparation of reports or statements. An officer's decision to use force is based on very specific legal and policy guidelines. What happens if in the officer's "split second" decision to use force they did not see something the camera recorded that would, upon reflection and review, have caused them to use different tactics - how do they right the report? How do they, or should they be able to, readjust their thinking on "new found information?" 

The legal standard is that the officer articulate the danger to themselves, fellow officer and/or the community at the very moment they chose to use deadly force. I believe BWCs present a potential two-edged sword regarding the articulation of why and when they chose to use force.

 

 

 

Regarding privacy issues:

We had a incident in Spokane where an officer responded to a residence after the occupants next door neighbors had forced her way into their house and "evicted" them because they were "werewolves." The video went viral for two reasons:

1.  It was sadly - funny.  The people were clearly not werewolves and the discussion around them being werewolves was "interesting."

2.  The officer did an outstanding job deescalating the incident.

The problem becomes - the woman was clearly in a mental health crisis - and her crisis/challenge is now exposed forever to her neighbors, friends, family, future employers, etc. With treatment and/or drugs she may never go into crisis again - unfortunately there is no way in the State of Washington to  protect her privacy.

 A person challenged by cancer or another illness/disease would not have it exposed and yet every day we are exposing persons challenged by mental illness, autism, developmental disabilities, addiction, etc. We are creating and making public recordings of their illness and potentially creating life long consequences.

As we continue to move forward with BWCs we have to be cognizant of their impact beyond increasing police transparency and accountability. 

 

 

 

 I agree with Mr. Lynch that body worn cameras seem to be what many consider the panacea to police misconduct.  While clearly these devices add more transparency to the interactions that police officers engage in they often do not give the most complete picture of any particular event.  Aside from many of the considerations that have been mentioned, I would add another consideration in terms of the direction that we really need to be headed with police-community relations.  I would submit that over dependency on tools of oversight, such as BWCs, could distract from the real work that needs to done, both inside police departments and within communities.  Sometimes in policing we can gravitate towards a "fix" and don't work on the more causal conditions that created the problem/s in the first place.

We are in a moment in time where the need to bring the police closer to the community has never been greater.  Our collective time is best spent looking to build mutual understanding of perspectives and collectively working to challenge those conditions that lead to crime .     

I applaud the comprehensive approach that Chief Straub is taking in adding substantive analysis into the mix.  This type of effort is the only way that we can  work out the bugs of this tool that appears to be destined to become standard issue to all police officers across the United States.     

Separate from the growing body of BWC research, which, as Matthew points out is still in its infancy, I feel that some of the best work on examining and understanding the implementation of BWCs and BWC policy is coming from civilian oversight agencies in the U.S. This is not to take away from the work of groups like PERF or law enforcement agencies themselves that are critically reviewing their own programs. Civilian oversight has a unique and important perspective to add to the ongoing discussion of BWCs, locally and nationally. 

 

Four examples worth mentioning are as follows:

  1. Last week, the Inspector General for the New York Police Department released a report concerning the NYPD’s BWC program, in which the IG made a number of recommendations related to the implementation of BWCs in the NYPD. A copy of the report can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oignypd/assets/downloads/pdf/nypd-body-camera-report.pdf  
  2. The Denver Office of the Independent Monitor published a report on the Denver Police Department’s BWC pilot program. The OIM report can be found here: http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/374/documents/2014_Annual_Report%20Final.pdf
  3. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Office of the Independent Police Auditor reviewed the BART Police Department’s policy on the use of video and audio recorders, including BWCs. See the detailed and annotated analysis here: http://www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/OIPA_Policy_Recommendation_for_BPD_Policy_450.pdf
  4. The DC Office of Police Complaints has also weighed in on the issue: http://policecomplaints.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/office%20of%20police%20complaints/publication/attachments/Final%20policy%20rec%20body%20camera.pdf

Have you read the aforementioned reports?  What are your thoughts? 

These are all very valid concerns regarding officer review of the footage. Obviously, policy implications should attempt to respond to both sides of the debate. I believe the simple solution for incident reports would be a two-report system. The first report would follow traditional reporting protocol and would be required prior to the officer reviewing the footage. This would provide an official record from the officer's perspective and memory. The second report, which would be voluntary for the officer to complete, could occur after they reviewed the footage. This second report would provide an opportunity for the officer to make addition comments or address events that they may not have thought of originally. One concern with this policy in practice is that the control of the videos would require much more departmental oversight, to ensure that the officers were no reviewing the footage prior to the first report. The terminal method that Dave and I have offered in the blog post could provide a reasonable method for departments to do this.

Frank is making a great point, and an important connection between the objectivity of the footage and the issue of whether officers should be able to review the footage before writing their report.

I agree that the footage is an objective – though not comprehensive – record of events. The recording itself is free from bias and context. However, context is critical for understanding the events recorded by police body worn cameras. While the footage itself may technically be free of context, aspects of the recording (e.g., timing, limited viewshed, audio quality, image enhancements, etc.) can make the recording so suggestive of a given course of events that a human’s subjective interpretation of the footage can almost automatically attribute context to the footage.

As an extreme example, this cinematography project accentuates how the same facts can be interpreted very differently with only small amounts of additional information. As a more on-topic example, just last week the Lenexa PD in Kansas released body and dash camera footage of an arrest to counter the popular context attributed to footage captured and shared by a citizen on Facebook.

Since context is such an important part of interpreting the footage, and the aspects of the footage itself can be so suggestive of a given context, it seems all the more important that an officer provide the context before seeing the footage.

As Frank mentions, police body worn cameras present a double-edged sword when it comes to explaining an officer’s decision to use force. Before the body worn cameras, there was really only a “he said, they said” option available for understanding the context surrounding that decision. Now that cameras are available, there is a third point of reference available to help triangulate what really happened, which is supposed to help promote legitimacy of the process. However, if officers are allowed to make their official record of events after viewing the footage, it becomes more of a “he and the camera said, they said,” which doesn’t provide the same degree of impartiality and added legitimacy as recording the context of the suspect and the officer independent of the footage.

Thank you Brian for bringing up the role of civilian oversight bodies - they are critical to the BWC discussion specifically, and to police reform more generally.  This is truly their time to make very important contributions to the profession and the communities we serve by raising important issues and contributing thoughtful input to the conversation.

 

One final note, as we rolled out our pilot program we held over 150 community meetings of various sizes and make ups to ensure that folks understood the technology, policies and procedures re: BWCs.  In fact, we changed our policies as a result of some of these discussions. Specifically around the issue of turning off the cameras when entering someone's private residence (somewhat tied to Washington State's interpretation of the 4th Amendment and the fact that we are a two party consent state).  During the discussion, a woman in the audience what I would do if I responded to a domestic violence call and her husband answered the door and told me to turn off the camera while she was in the background asking for the recording to continue. We made the policy change that we would not arbitrarily turn the cameras off but would keep them on unless the victim requested that we turn them off.

Community engagement and input is essential to the success of the BWC program as well as fufilling our mission.

 

 

One thing that hasn't yet come up in this debate is the issue of discipline, which is actually much more complex than it may otherwise appear, or at least as it has been characterized in parts of the national conversation. There is the issue of whether and how severely to discipline officers for violating policy by activating their BWC late or not at all. There is the issue of discipline when misconduct is discovered through audits of BWC footage conducted by law enforcement or civilian oversight agencies. There is the issue of discipline in complaints or uses of force where BWC footage was a key piece of evidence in the investigation and adjudication.  And more. I'd be interested in hearing what the other experts have to say on this important topic.

I would like to briefly address two topics: 1) the objectivity of body camera footage, and 2) one of Frank's points related to officer review of footage.

1) Some of the debate participants have mentioned the objectivity of body camera footage. It is possible for a group of people to view the same footage and come to different moral conclusions. Research on footage that played a key role in a Supreme Court decision helps make this point.

In Scott v. Harris the Supreme Court ruled in an 8-1 decision that a police officer who had run a speeding car off the road had behaved reasonably and did not violate the driver's Fourth Amendment rights. The chase was captured by a dash camera. 

Researchers presented the footage to a diverse sample of Americans and found that differences of opinion related to the blameworthiness of the officer and the driver did appear along cultural and ideological lines.

2) It is true that body camera footage should not be considered identical to what an officer saw during a particular incident. For instance, if a body camera has night vision capability it would be unreasonable for investigators or jurors to assume that the footage recorded by that camera shows what the officer saw during a night-time incident.

Nonetheless, I am against officers viewing such body camera footage before they make a statement. Officers should have to articulate why they used deadly force without shaping their account around body camera footage or any other footage (passerby cell phone footage, security camera footage, etc.).

 

In addition to the impact on police-community interactions (e.g. civilizing, procedural justice, etc.) and effects on transparency/accountability of police officers and departments as a whole, body-worn cameras (BWCs) are capable of giving us a look into the future of policing, and likely the criminal justice system as a whole.   This includes the potential enhancement of officer recall as a result of viewing their BWC videos.  Although little has been done in this area in policing, the impact of video feedback has been examined in a number of fields (e.g. medicine, counseling, & education).  Research has shown video feedback to be an effective way of increasing positive behaviors and attitudes during interpersonal interactions; essential in police-community relations.  

Immediate feedback from BWC videos can directly impact officers’ interactions in the community.  Not only have BWCs yielded preliminary decreases on official complaints, recordings may be used to resolve unofficial complaints in the field.  In response to the discussion of police officer being allowed to (or not) use video footage to write reports, perhaps the answer lies in the use of formal trainings, and even more so on trainings that improve recall of incidents.   The use of video feedback in training scenarios may also benefit police officers in stressful situations where detailed recall is required (e.g. writing reports). 

Unique application of BWC footage has already begun, with police departments utilizing BWC recordings in semi-annual trainings of frontline officers that include improving observational techniques for report writing.  The International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) developed a model policy that emphasizes the use of BWC video to “reinforce appropriate behaviors and procedures,” as well as enhancing skills necessary for improving police-community relations (e.g. interpersonal skills training, de-escalation/CIT training). 

BWCs will continue to advance (and perhaps move beyond) the police profession.  BWCs will likely impact the number of cases resolved out of court (plea bargains), as well as the rates of cases that make it to a judge.   Already, BWC videos have begun to find their way to court rooms, making judge and jury decisions dependent on the same video footage.  In the future, are BWC videos capable of replacing police officer reports all together?  Ultimately time will tell, and research that focuses on the perception of video recordings can begin this discussion.   

To Matthew Feeny's point about the objectivity of the camera footage:

 

The Scott v. Harris case highlights differences in the interpretation of video recordings. In that particular case it happened to be an in-car video recording. The key distinction between that and the point that Chief Straub and I (and others) are trying to make is that the video itself, meaning the actual video recording, is completely objective. It's just a recording; a video and audio recording of what the camera lens and microphone were able to record from the camera's perspective, which is, as others have pointed out, different from the officer's perspective. The recording is evidence. It's not a subjective assessment of the reasonableness of the officer's actions or a conclusion about whether or not the cop running the speeding car off the road was a Fourth Amendment violation. Human's draw conclusions. Cameras do not.

I agree with you there have been, are currently, and will continue to be a diversity of opinions and interpretations of BWC video--in police agencies, in courts of law, and in the court of public opinion. These subjective interpretations will undoubtedly be influenced by the biases we all have. (See the work on implicit bias from Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt, Stanford; Dr. Phillip Goff, UCLA; and Dr. Lorie Fridell and Anna Laszlo.) But the case you cited as support for the argument against the objectivity of cameras speaks to the issue of the interpretation of video, and not the objectivity of the video recording itself. 

Thank you all for being a part of this important debate and sharing your varied perspectives on the issues surrounding police body-worn cameras. You’ve offered much to reflect on—so much, in fact, that I’m going revisit and dig deeper into some of these points in an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, I hope you’ll continue the discussion on Twitter.