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Assessing the effects of body‐worn cameras on procedural justice in the Los Angeles Police Department*

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Criminology

Published online on

Abstract

--- - |2 Abstract In this article, we explore variations in procedural justice delivered in face‐to‐face encounters with citizens before and after the implementation of body‐worn cameras (BWCs). We draw on recent advances in the measurement of procedural justice using systematic social observation of police in field settings in the Los Angeles Police Department. Data collected on 555 police–citizen encounters are examined in bivariate and multivariate models exploring the primary hypothesis that BWCs affect procedural justice delivered by police directly and indirectly. Our results indicate that significant increases in procedural justice during police–citizen encounters were directly attributable to the effect of BWCs on police behavior as well as to the indirect effects on citizen disrespect and other variables. The implications for policy include explicit measurement and monitoring of procedural justice or elements such as officer discourtesy in departments adopting BWCs. Further research questions such as more detailed examination of citizens’ behavior changes under BWCs are also considered in the context of the findings. - 'Criminology, EarlyView. '