How Body Cams Have Changed the U.S. Legal

How Body Cams Have Changed the U S Legal


Police-worn body cams are changing how the legal system works. Lawyers are reporting that body cams are working to help free innocent people and convict those that are guilty. Body cams provide information about arrests, police interactions, and processing that has never been revealed before. Here is how a lawyer uses police body cams to help defend their clients and how they are changing the legal system..

Instant Replays

Sporting competitions rely on instant replays when a play is questioned. That instant replay feature is exactly one of the key benefits of police officer-worn body cams. A judge that is on the fence about how things played out can look at the body cam footage to make an informed decision. Body-cam footage, according to lawyers that have used them to defend their clients, even the playing field, so to speak. All a lawyer needs is to pull the footage to defend their clients in many cases.

It is not only the lawyer and judge that are finding the body cam footage helpful. According to a Department of Justice study, about 25.2% of police consider these cameras helpful when interacting with the public. Cameras make it easier for police to support their positions if they are in the right. It is instant evidence.

Collecting Data

In court, like in life, every story has three sides. Your story, their story, and the truth. Police body cams allow evidenced-based policy-making and practices. Data collected from the Pennsylvania State Police found that police officers were two-three times more likely to search people of color than they were to search for Caucasians. Additionally, the data also shows that Caucasian drivers were more likely to be driving around with contraband.

A lawyer can use the data that is collected in these studies to petition the court for changes to the laws and how police interact with the public. It is one thing to believe that systemic prejudice affects police actions, but there is an entirely different thing when you have video proof. Police cameras can help to provide data support to change how the legal system works.

Transparency and Civility

The legal system must be transparent to earn public trust. The same is true of police actions. Police body cams can provide transparency and help to encourage civility among the people that live in the United States. The legal system is only as good as the public support. Body cams help to record incidents of police interactions which can be replayed in court.

Body cams can result in a higher rate of compliance. When people know that their next action will be caught on camera, it can encourage more compliant behavior. A lawyer often uses body camera footage to defend a client charged with civil disobedience, resisting an officer, and other charges. Body cameras make it more difficult for “trumped up” charges to stick in court.

Quicker Case Resolutions

Body cam footage is often the most valuable evidence in a case because it can help to quickly resolve the case. It is hard to argue with body cam footage. According to the Bail Bonds National, a bail bond’s primary purpose is to pay the bond and get the person out of jail. It is a quick process. However, getting out of jail is only part of the process of putting the matter behind you before body cams were on an entirely different time level. Court proceedings can drag on for years.

Guilty or innocent before body cams, lawyers, and defendants had a long wait period before the case would ever see trial. Bodycams are making the process much quicker and keeping courts accountable for the time they spend per case basis.

Police body cams are giving lawyers hard evidence they can use in court, making courtrooms more efficient and improving transparency. Body cams are having a tremendous impact on the legal system in America. Learn more about how a lawyer can use body cams and all the changes they are bringing about today.

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