Testing the Evidentiary Value of Police Body-Worn Cameras in Misdemeanor Court

Natalie Todak, Janne E. Gaub, Michael D. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We test whether the presence of police body-worn camera (BWC) evidence impacts case filing, processing, and outcomes, using data from over 50,000 misdemeanor cases charged in the Tempe, Arizona municipal city court (2014–2017). BWCs did not affect case flow but did affect processing and outcomes for most cases. Traffic and drug/alcohol cases involving a BWC were processed more quickly, while traffic and person offense cases with a BWC were less likely to be adjudicated guilty. Defendant and officer demographics were correlated with case processing time and outcomes, but BWCs did not reduce racial/ethnic disparities for any outcomes. BWCs appear to affect case processing and outcomes for some case types, but effects are not straightforward and warrant further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCrime and Delinquency
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • ARIMA
  • body worn cameras
  • courts
  • misdemeanor
  • police
  • policing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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