Next month, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will begin equipping all its officers with body cameras. They’re small, a little larger than a tube of mascara. And they’ll record both the audio and video of police interactions with the public.
Body cameras are seen as a way to build trust with communities and a way to hold both civilians and officers accountable. But at their heart they are a tool and nothing more. How they’re used will determine how effective they will be at building that trust.
In this two part series we’re examining the use of police body cameras and questions about privacy, access and transparency. We begin our series not in Charlotte, but 90 miles away, in Greensboro, where police body cameras have been standard issue since 2013.