1. The first tag that I chose was the connection of surveillance and behavior. The uses of body-worn cameras have a beneficial effect in the way that they have a certain level of certainty when deterring people from crime. “It’s a fundamental tendency of humans to exhibit more desirable behaviors when they know they are under surveillance” (Michael White, 556). Officers also act differently when they know that they are under surveillance. From her article Consider whether body-worn cameras are right for your unit, Cynthia Gomez states “…The cameras serve sort of as a conscience, reminding officers to act professionally” (4). This human tendency is shown in the BBC article How Being Watched Changes You – Without Knowing. It acknowledges that when we know we are being watched, “We change our behavior and choices without even realizing” (Jason Goldman, 1).
- The second tag I chose was the use-of-force. Use of force is an extremely large problem in our society today. It can be seen as a major component of police brutality. Body-worn cameras help eliminate the use of force and the excessiveness it can have. “Any use of force can have detrimental effects on police-public relations” (Barak Ariel, William Farrar, Alex Sutherland, 514). There have been many studies that have showed significant progress in the amount of complaint filed in relation to the use of force. The first was a “One year pilot study [that] yielded a 40% decrease in complaints and a 75% decrease in use-of-force” (550). In this study, 50 police officers wore body cameras and were compared to another 50 who did not. “Officers without cameras were more likely to use force without having been physically threatened” (White, 4).
- The opinion of officers was my next tag. The officers said to of demonstrated “high levels of agreement that they felt that citizen behavior would improve…” (Wesley Jennings, Mathew Lynch, 552) Police are often viewed in a very negative way, in fact, someone who has encountered police and had a “bad experience” is “…15 times more likely to evaluate the police negatively – this negative attitude translates into complaints” (Ariel, Farrar, Sutherland, 531). This is important because it shows how after wearing these cameras, officers didn’t encounter as much negativity and “after wearing the camera for three months, some officers’ attitudes improved significantly” (White, 5). In another police unit, “Officers’ skepticism quickly dissipated when they learned all the ways that using the cameras could help them better do their jobs and stay out of hot water” (Gomez, 5).
- For the next tag, I chose two that are interchangeable: Court and law. An extremely vital aspect of the criminal law is the use of evidence. Without evidence, it can be hard to know what actually happened in a situation. The body cameras have helped law enforcement in cases against them by showing that the defendant is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. One police unit stated, “…having footage from the cameras to show jurors has helped…some jurors reported that without the footage as evidence, they would not have let the defendant walk” (4). Another aspect of the court system that the cameras have helped is the quickness in which disputes are resolved. “[They] will facilitate quick resolution of complaints and lawsuits against police officers…” (White, 7) Cases are also “…more likely to be resolved with guilty please rather than criminal trials” (8). This helps the state save money and time by avoiding costly trials.
- The final tag that I chose was (citizen) complaints. Prior to this surveillance, there have been countless of complaints against police officers that haven’t been resolved because of lack of evidence, or the challenge of “he-said, she-said.” The cameras eliminate this. With the cameras you can “…easily see what happened, rather than relying on the reports of the conflicting parties and witnesses” (Gomez, 4). They also “…reduce the filing of frivolous complaints by citizens” (White, 5). And lastly, “…the process of considering any complaint was made much easier by using the evidence…” (7)
The three dreamers I chose to analyze my text were Vannevar Bush, Doug Engelbart, Alan Kay, and Adele Goldberg.
First, Vannevar Bush would agree with the use of these forms of technology. This is because he is a proponent of creative thinking and mixing it with arithmetic to solve problems. He uses examples of the cathode ray tubes and photocells. He says that these technologies and others like it increase man’s control of his material environment.
Doug Engelbart would be excited about these body cameras. He would say that the complex problems like police brutality and citizen complaints is a great example of the problems that are in need advanced technology to solve. These problems are becoming bigger as society grows.
Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg would also see body-worn cameras as beneficial. They are both proponents of technology that makes problem solving and information-gathering easier. They would like how these cameras are complex in how many problems they solve, and also how simple and accessible they are to use.
Before this assignment I didn’t really have a clear grasp on what I was going to do with my project and how I would use my sources to prove my point. After completing this, I feel much better about the progress of my project. My sources are much more organized and I have a much better grasp of what each of my investigators as well as my dreamers would say about my claim. My sources will be very helpful in proving my claim in terms of in both evidence and reasoning.