National Center for Campus Public Safety

Body-Worn Cameras and Gender-Based Violence: Practical Considerations from the Prosecution Perspective

AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, 2017

Over the past decade, law enforcement’s use of body-worn cameras (BWC) has significantly increased and public awareness of, and demand for, use of cameras has risen. While BWCs can provide helpful evidence in cases involving gender-based violence (GBV), their use may also adversely impact victim safety and privacy. Standard procedures in many departments call for the activation of BWCs during any responsive citizen-police encounter, but there are often no special provisions related to GBV. Going forward, agencies should develop victim-centered policies or protocols that address the impact of BWCs on victims during response to these crimes.

This webinar recording discusses many of the issues law enforcement, prosecutors, forensic examiners, and other allied professionals must consider when BWCs are used in GBV investigations. The presenter describes the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration at the local, state, and federal levels in order to develop effective BWC policies that address victim safety, privacy, and autonomy. The presenter also addresses issues such as deactivation of a BWC at appropriate points during the investigation, privacy and safety considerations, discovery, redaction, protective orders limiting dissemination, and requests under freedom of information or open records statutes.

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