Police-involved shootings and other use-of-force cases have received heightened scrutiny over the last few years, causing many to call for policing reforms that increase public safety and community trust. While not a substitute for broad reforms, police body cameras—now being rapidly deployed in cities across America—might be a step in the right direction. These tools, which offer both promise and risk, have the power to reduce misconduct and use of force but could undermine trust, accountability, and civil liberties if improperly used for surveillance.
The fact that body cameras provide promise but not a panacea demonstrates how critical it is to evaluate guidelines. This is not simply a matter of bureaucratic efficiency: Police body cameras raise concerns on a broad range of constitutional rights. However, law enforcement agencies and state lawmakers must weigh the pros and cons and enact effective rules before deciding whether and how such devices should be used.
On May 2, 2017, please join the Charles Koch Institute, The Constitution Project, Upturn, and a broad panel of experts to discuss pressing issues related to police body cameras—e.g., public access and facial recognition—and how effective guidelines could promote public safety and officer accountability.
Reception to follow.
Sen. Tim Scott, U.S. Senate, South Carolina
Sakira Cook, counsel, Leadership Conference
Ralph Ennis, commander, Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia
William Ruger, vice president for research and policy, Charles Koch Institute
Harlan Yu, principal, Upturn
Jake Laperruque, senior counsel, The Constitution Project