When Las Vegas cops put on bodycams, they used 37% less force and generated 30% fewer complaints

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/20/did-i-do-that.html


And that’s on top of saved medical bills, therapy bills (well, in a country that gave a shit…), and the cumulative cost of encouraging people to hate and mistrust the state, laws and their fellow human beings. And that’s just the financials

I routinely ask people in my office to check up more regularly on projects I’m working on. I have the kind of personality/work ethic and environment where I like myself better as an employee when I know I’m accountable, but people tend to leave me to my self. The sunlight can be good for everyone involved. I’m sure there are a lot of medium-to-ethical cops out there who appreciate this sunlight.


One thing to keep in mind is that cameras do change the individual’s behavior, though it may not impact the officer as much. People are less inclined to do bullshit when there’s a camera directly facing them. There is a downside, which was less citations, but it’s still a net positive.

On the one hand, hey that’s great!

But on the other hand, does that mean 70% of cops don’t care who sees them abusing the public?


You’re failing at reading comprehension. 462/500+ is over 92%, though to be honest I’ve yet to find either number in the study.

According to the study, camera footage has been used to close more than 500 internal investigations, with 462 of those exonerating the officer.

Seems Cory missed on the reading comprehension as well with the 37%. The 37% was referencing a previous study (on Page 28 referencing a report in the European Journal of Criminology), and only three sites of the eight in that particular study. The study itself indicates a percentage in the officers with a complaint by 16.5% (Page 61) and does not appear to indicate any particular references to the actual number of complaints. I’m still looking, though.

One officer was fired? Might of been too honest and jeopardizing careers of other officers through a truthful and straight forward approach to law enforcement.

Yep, I just took the number from the headline. Guess I’m an idiot, huh.

Do you have a comment on the efficacy of body cameras, or just checking my math?

1 Like

This falls within my expectations, as it provides a sense of security as it does accountability. And letting people think they are being filmed does make them less likely to get violent as it limits their space to “get away with it”.


So wait, it benefits both honest cops (by holding the public accountable, and perhaps having the public be less aggressive in the first place), and it benefits the people by holding cops accountable, and perhaps keeping their behavior a bit more in line with the law as well?

Why the F are we not making this mandatory for all LEOs? Oh yeah, it also helps bust the obviously extremely rare “bad apple”. That must be why there’s so much resistance by police unions and police forces in general…


Why the hell are less citations a negative except the obvious income stream aspect?

1 Like

Somebody’s watching the watchmen.

This just shows that bodycams are good for the general public (less police brutality) and police (fewer complaints). The only people who have a reason to complain are the cops who expect to engage in pointless violence.


The officers who wore the camera did not report a subjective change in their behaviour

I see why you would say that, but self reporting is the least accurate measure of behaviour. I’d be willing to bet that being recorded affects police behaviour as much as it affects anyone else’s.



I say we make it mandatory for CEOs too. Goodness knows that their actions have proven worthy of more watching.


I can’t process this.

Well, that one’s a bit more complicated. You’d have to design software first that would be able to translate “corporate weaselspeak” into standard english…

1 Like

Conscientious objector.

Hey, it’s not pointless to THEM. Experience has told me that there is a downside to everything. I’m thinking that the benefits of cameras outweigh the negatives, for now.

I think a lot of dishonest activity from the police comes from covering their asses. Now it will just become a full time job. Don’t think that bad people (with or without badges) are going to suddenly be good because they’re being watched.

A 92% exoneration rate by other cops is not necessarily an indication of a high rate of good behavior. It may just mean the usual: gangs cover for their own.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.