Study: bodycams increase some fatal police shootings

"Use of wearable video cameras is associated with a 3.64% increase in shooting-deaths of civilians by the police," according to a research paper from Temple University. Here's where this research gets more interesting:

We explain that video recordings collected during a violent encounter with a civilian can be used in favor of a police officer as evidence that justifies the shooting. Aware of this evidence, the officer may become less reluctant to engage in the use of deadly force. We conducted more in-depth analyses with incident circumstances (e.g. whether a subject was armed) and demographics of victims (e.g. race, age), and we obtained more intriguing findings. Notably, the above-mentioned effect of technology use on fatal shootings is more pronounced for (a) African American or Hispanic victims than Whites or Asians and (b) for armed suspects than unarmed civilians.

Temple University Business School researchers Min-Seok Pang and Paul A. Pavlou reached these conclusions by applying signal detection theory to crime statistics. The same study found that "use of smartphones by officers for intelligence access is related to 2.72% fewer deadly shootings," and t "in police departments that conduct statistical analyses of digitized crime data, there are 2.15% fewer fatal shootings." Their dataset comprised 2,652 local police departments. They used a Washington Post database of police shootings as well as alternative data from killedbypolice.net and the FBI.

The full study is available via the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Armed with Technology: The Effects on Fatal Shootings of Civilians by the Police (via Bureau of Justice Assistance)

Image: Ryan Johnson

Start the discussion at bbs.boingboing.net