7 June, 2017
A new study from the United States suggests that police officers are more likely to speak to white community members with a higher level of respect than black community members.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in June 2017, is the first of its kind to use police body camera footage as data.
The study involved 183 hours of body camera footage taken during 981 routine traffic stops by 245 different Oakland, California Police Department officers in April 2014. The footage of the officers’ interactions with community members was transcribed and then analyzed.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE from CNN here: Police speak less respectfully to black drivers, study suggests, June 6, 2017.
The full study is available here: Language from police body camera footage shows racial disparities in officer respect,
Rob Voigt, Nicholas P. Camp, Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, William L. Hamilton, Rebecca C. Hetey, Camilla M. Griffiths, David Jurgens, Dan Jurafsky, and Jennifer L. Eberhardt
PNAS 2017 : 1702413114v1-201702413.
Police officers speak significantly less respectfully to black than to white community members in everyday traffic stops, even after controlling for officer race, infraction severity, stop location, and stop outcome. This paper presents a systematic analysis of officer body-worn camera footage, using computational linguistic techniques to automatically measure the respect level that officers display to community members. This work demonstrates that body camera footage can be used as a rich source of data rather than merely archival evidence, and paves the way for developing powerful language-based tools for studying and potentially improving police–community relations.