1st Edition

Police on Camera Surveillance, Privacy, and Accountability

Edited By Bryce Clayton Newell Copyright 2021
    282 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) are at the cutting edge of policing. They have sparked important conversations about the proper role and extent of police in society and about balancing security, oversight, accountability, privacy, and surveillance in our modern world. Police on Camera address the conceptual and empirical evidence surrounding the use of BWCs by police officers in societies around the globe, offering a variety of differing opinions from experts in the field.

    The book provides the reader with conceptual and empirical analyses of the role and impact of police body-worn cameras in society. These analyses are complimented by invited commentaries designed to open up dialogue and generate debate on these important social issues. The book offers informed, critical commentary to the ongoing debates about the implications that BWCs have for society in various parts of the world, with special attention to issues of police accountability and discretion, privacy, and surveillance.

    This book is designed to be accessible to a broad audience, and is targeted at scholars and students of surveillance, law and policy, and the police, as well as policymakers and others interested in how surveillance technologies are impacting our modern world and criminal justice institutions.

    Introduction: The Ayes Have It—Should They? Police Body-Worn Cameras

    Gary T. Marx

    Section 1: Setting the Stage: Theory and Practice

    1. Taking Off the Blinders: A General Framework to Understand How Bodycams Work

    Sander Flight

    2. Theorizing Police Body-Worn Cameras

    Richard Jones

    3. Reading the Body-Worn Camera as Multiple: A Reconsideration of Entities as Enactments

    Kathryn Henne, Jenna Harb

    Section 2: Accountability and Discretion

    4. Can We Count on the Police? Definitional Issues in Considering the Promise of Body Worn Cameras to Increase Police Accountability

    Keith Guzik

    5. The Camera Never Lies? Police Body Worn Cameras and Operational Discretion

    Emmeline Taylor, Murray Lee

    6. Does Surveillance of Officers Lead to De-Policing? A Block Randomized Crossover Controlled Trial on Body-Worn Cameras in Uruguay

    Barak Ariel, Renée J. Mitchell, Maria Emilia Firpo, Ricardo Fraiman, Jordan M. Hyatt

    7. Police Body-Worn Cameras in the Canadian Context: Policing’s New Visibility and Today’s Expectations for Police Accountability

    Gregory R. Brown

    8. Commentary: Accountability, Discretion, and the Questions We Ask

    Amanda Glasbeek

    9. Commentary: Questioning Assumptions of De-Policing and Erasures of Race: A Rejoinder to Ariel’s Study of Camera-Induced Passivity Among Traffic Police in Uruguay

    Krystle Shore

    Section 3: Privacy and Surveillance

    10. Not Just about Privacy: Police Body-Worn Cameras and the Costs of Public Area Surveillance

    Benjamin J. Goold

    11. Privacy, Public Disclosure, and Police-Worn Body Camera Footage

    Mary D. Fan

    12. The Rise of Body-Worn Video Cameras: A New Surveillance Revolution?

    William Webster, Charles Leleux

    13. Commentary: A Republican and Collective Approach to the Privacy and Surveillance Issues of Bodycams

    Gerard Jan Ritsema van Eck, Lotte Houwing

    14. Commentary: Protecting the Rights of Citizens on Camera: Why Restricting Disclosure of Police Body Camera Footage is Better than Giving Victims Control over Recording

    Katerina Hadjimatheou

    Conclusion: Body Worn Cameras, Surveillance, and Police Legitimacy

    Anthony A. Braga


    Bryce Clayton Newell is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. His books include Surveillance, Privacy and Public Space (2019) and Privacy in Public Space (2017; both with Tjerk Timan & Bert-Jaap Koops).