Here is a link to an article by Ronald Bailey on Reason.com, highlighting a Cambridge University showing dramatic changes once police are equipped with body cameras.
Here is the key part:
Who will watch the watchers? What if all watchers were required to wear a video camera that would record their every interaction with citizens? In her ruling in a recent civil suit challenging the New York City police department’s notorious stop-and-frisk rousting of residents, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the Federal District Court in Manhattan imposed an experiment in which the police in the city’s precincts with the highest reported rates of stop-and-frisk activity would be required to wear video cameras for one year.
This is a really good idea. Earlier this year, a 12-month study by Cambridge University researchers revealed that when the city of Rialto, California, required its cops to wear cameras, the number of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent and the use of force by officers dropped by almost 60 percent. Watched cops are polite cops.
And, while there is no way to prove it, but experience tells me it that there is a similar dip in “testa-lying” when cops know their interactions are being recorded.
Tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, where I first noticed this story.