'Testing...Testing': Racial Profiling and In Car Camera Usage in Two Suburban Police Departments

Jennifer Dierickx, Wayne State University
A. Jay Meehan, Oakland University

Legislatures are increasingly proposing the use of in car cameras to reduce racial profiling. However, there is little systematic research on the viability of this "solution" let alone what camera car archives maintained by departments actually contain. This paper examines how two departments deploy in car cameras, and maintain and strategically use their video archives. We examine how officer discretion impacts on videotaping police citizen encounters and measure the extent of unrecorded stops by comparing videotaped data with patrol logs. The implications for research on racial profiling are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006