Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Ali M. Banister



As law enforcement in the United States struggles to improve relationships with the communities they serve, especially in the wake of unprecedented police use of deadly force incidents, police community relations continue to deteriorate. With advancements in technology and the creation and introduction of the Internet, footage of police misconduct including the use of deadly force has been shared on social media in real time. This has made situations between the community and police fragile to a point where it sometimes results in rioting and other public disturbances. Many have asked if the introduction of police worn-body camera systems provide an unbiased broader perspective where things are looked at from all lenses. Many studies have focused on the advantages and disadvantages of the technology by looking at the policies that govern the usage and how data is recorded. However, none of the studies reviewed examined the impact of the inconsistencies in the practice of police-worn body cameras on community relations. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with seven Minneapolis/ Saint Paul police officers and police professionals. Data analysis led to two themes: (a) Police body-worn cameras have become instrumental in building and cementing the relationship between the community and law enforcement, but it could also be misunderstood by the public as an extra eye that is manipulated by the police to fit their version of the encounter, and (b) The present climate of law enforcement in Minnesota and nationwide is perceived as unprofessional and hostile towards minorities with some calling for disbandment of the Minneapolis police department. This study provided policy makers with data to consider when developing policies, which contributes to positive social change.