Racial Profiling And The Public Perception Of Police Essays

821 Words Mar 16th, 2016 4 Pages
On August 9th, 2014, eighteen year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, an officer of the law. It was an event that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth; the same taste this country deals with every time a young person dies in such a manner. Every year, numerous African Americans are killed by the police, causing division and distrust between law enforcement and the community. But does it always have to be this way? Some experts believe that body worn cameras, or BWCs, could allow for more legitimacy in cases of racial police brutality. Police legitimacy has a very strong link to the public’s perception of the police, as well as the willingness of citizens to follow their orders. Studies have shown that racial minorities tend to doubt the legitimacy of police officers much more than white citizens. BWCs change the public perception of police dramatically. According to the Rialto Study, a highly-cited study by the Rialto Police Department, “Use of BWCs reduced citizens’ complaints by 87.5 percent.” This is likely because body worn cameras decrease use-of-force incidents. The study also states, “Use of BWCs reduced use-of-force incidents by 59 percent”. Use of force against African American members of the community often detracts from an officer’s legitimacy (or, at least, the black community’s perception of their legitimacy). Body worn cameras also increase legitimacy by causing a substantial increase in video evidence. Video evidence can be…

Related Documents