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While body-worn cameras (BWCs) are rapidly diffused into policing, much remains unknown about their use. Specifying generalized linear models, we examine the use of BWCs in officer-involved shootings spanning 2015-2016. We analyze if there exists differential deployment of BWCs with respect to (1) civilian race and (2) whether the civilian was armed when fatally shot. We find that Hispanics were fatally shot by officers without activated cameras at a disproportionately high rate compared to other groups. We also find that unarmed civilians were more likely than armed civilians to have been fatally shot by an officer wearing a body camera during the fatal encounter. We conclude that whatever criteria the police used to deploy BWCs produced a disparate impact on the basis of a civilian's race and armed status.
Johnson, Hope C., "A Statistical Analysis of Body-Worn Cameras in Officer-Involved Shootings" (2017). Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science Honors Projects. 56.
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