The law enforcement community’s use of force policies dictates how police officers conduct policing. Many police departments have changed their use of force policies based on the demand of the public and the pressure from politicians. Coupled with recent controversial uses of deadly force under the keen eye of the public, media, and other social media platforms, policies across the nation have substantially changed. Do these changes put the officer’s safety, tactics, and the public’s general well-being a second priority? One of the LAPD’s Management Principals is the Use of Minimal Force, “The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives; And police should use only reasonable amount of physical force which is necessary on a particular occasion for achieving a police objective.”
Since 1991 when the Rodney King beating occurred on March 3, 1991, in Los Angeles appeared in the media, negative media coverage has led to public outcries and demands for police reform across the country. More recent incidents include Eric Garner in New York City on July 7, 2014, Breonna Taylor in Louisville on March 13, 2020, George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, and Jacob Blake in Kenosha on August 20, 2020, had led to demands for the defunding of police departments across the country.
This research will focus on the Los Angeles Police Department. Does implementing a body-worn camera program within the Los Angeles Police Department change the public’s perception of police? Would the amount of use of force in the department increase or decrease? This research aims to determine how LAPD is affected by the newly implemented body-worn camera program.