Los Angeles Times: The value of body cameras for police
Law enforcement agencies across the nation have recognized the value of a body-camera program that captures images of critical incidents and makes them publicly available under prescribed circumstances. Police video is often the best or even the only bit of evidence that people who’ve been wrongly accused can use to defend themselves in court, or that plaintiffs can use to support their civil claims of excessive or inappropriate police force. The mere existence of publicly accessible video tends to resolve disputes faster and with lower costs, and may protect officers from claims that are fabricated or overblown (which helps to explain why some sheriff’s deputies have bought their own).
Video may also change the behavior of officers for the better, leading them to treat people they encounter with greater dignity and respect, knowing that their interactions are being recorded.
— Los Angeles Times