After the chokehold death of 43-year-old Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD, which was caught on video and ruled a homicide, civil libertarians have called for more, not less, surveillance in order to maintain "a form of checks and balances against police power."
The most cited study of the effects of body-worn cameras on policing is Cambridge University’s examination of the police department in Rialto, California. After cameras were introduced in February 2012, officers’ use of force dropped 59%, and complaints against officers plummeted by 88%.
“When you know you’re being watched you behave a little better. That’s just human nature,” Rialto police chief Tony Farrar told the Guardian at the time. The Rialto Department has become the poster-child for early adoption, as metro agencies in San Diego, Los Angeles and Fort Worth begin pilot programs or deploy the technology.
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