Why Police Body Cams Aren’t What They Seem to Be

"Few people have looked at these issues as closely as Harlan Yu at Upturn, a nonprofit based in Washington DC, who studies technology’s impact on civil rights and social justice issue.

Yu believes that policies governing the use of body cameras and the video they produce—from access by the public to use by officers and prosecutors—now strongly favor the police and the state.

This month in The Illusion of Accuracy, Upturn argued that the lack of policy requiring “Write-Watch-Supplement” is maybe the single biggest barrier to justice with body cameras.

“If body worn cameras have any chance of holding police accountable for misconduct,” Yu said in a Skype interview, “having officers be able to watch footage before writing the report makes it much easier for them if they were to try to push a false narrative to act for the camera and to do so.”"