NPR's Embedded: Filming American Police

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Police interactions caught on camera. The NPR podcast "Embedded" digs into what three different videos reveal about policing in America.

In this file photo taken on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, a body camera is attached to the uniform of Whitestown Police Department officer Reggie Thomas during a traffic stop, in Whitestown, Ind. Police departments in at least two states are shelving the body cameras they outfitted their officers with, blaming the formidable costs of storing the video. About a third of the nation's 18,000 police agencies either have pilot body camera programs or full programs in place, despite the cost concerns. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
In this file photo from 2015, a body camera is attached to the uniform of Whitestown Police Department officer Reggie Thomas during a traffic stop in Whitestown, Indiana. (Darron Cummings/AP)


Jamiles Lartey, reporter for the Guardian, covering criminal justice, race and policing. (@JamilesLartey)
Kelly McEvers, host of the NPR podcast “Embedded." Host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” (@kellymcevers)

From Tom's Reading List

FastCompany: Police Body Cameras Will Do More Than Just Record You — "New capabilities for the cameras could, paradoxically, risk undoing the confidence and trust in the community that cameras are meant to inspire, adds Narayan. Citizens may be more reluctant to speak to police—and report crimes—if they know they’re being recorded."

Washington Post: We spend $100 billion on policing. We have no idea what works — "The truth is, we all want to be safe. The struggle isn’t about outcomes, it’s about methods. Should law enforcement have ready access to everyone’s phone location-tracking data? Should police be required to undergo deescalation training before being authorized to use force?"

Journalist's Resource: Do body cameras change how police interact with the public? — "The increased attention has renewed calls for law-enforcement officers to wear video cameras while on duty. Supporters say the devices are needed to provide transparency, build public trust and provide evidence against false complaints. But as more law-enforcement agencies begin using them, questions emerge as to when they should be turned on and off and how much footage should be made available to the public."

This program aired on March 15, 2017.


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