With overwhelming public support, pressure has been mounting on police departments to improve accountability and public trust by equipping their officers with body worn cameras (BWCs) to reduce police violence and hold officers responsible for excessive use of force, unjustified shootings, and other forms of misconduct. As police departments have begun to employ BWCs, however, concerns have risen regarding the application of this new technology and its potential to benefit police officers more so than the communities they serve. This study focuses on the city of Chicago’s recently implemented Body Worn Camera Pilot Program. The goals of this study were to determine if racial demographics could predict which of Chicago’s 22 police districts received BWCs during its pilot program, and whether and to what extent BWCs and the racial makeup of those districts influenced the arrest to crime ratios within them. A preliminary analysis revealed crime rates were not a statistically significant predictor for whether a district received BWCs. There was, however, an association between race and BWCs, where majority white police districts were much less likely to receive the technology. Standard multiple regressions indicate that as the white population percentage increases, arrests decrease. This finding was statistically significant at the .05 alpha level while controlling for the crime rate and BWC implementation. Three-way mixed ANOVA models were run to compare arrest to crime ratios pre- and post-BWC implementation for overall crime, serious crime, violent crime, non-index crime, and property crime. Although no significant two- or three-way interactions were found in any of the ANOVA models, when plotting the pre- and posttest arrest ratios there were noticeable differences between control and experimental groups across race.
|Commitee:||Frey-Spurlock, Connie, Kauzlarich, David|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|Department:||Sociology & Criminal Justice Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law, Sociology, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Arrest rates, Body worn cameras, Chicago, Critical race theory, Policing, Surveillance|
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