Becoming the Camera: Body Worn Video and Shifting Expectations of Police Work

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Creator: 

Chapman, Jessica Jaimie Lynn

Date: 

2016

Abstract: 

Traditionally positioned at the top of the hierarchy of visibility, police are being incorporated into the surveillant assemblage as a result of the proliferation of citizen cameras and viral footage of misconduct. As they struggle with their new visibility, many departments have turned to body worn video (BWV) as a solution. These devices record from a first-person perspective, giving police the opportunity to present their point-of-view.

By discrediting external footage and positioning their own as ‘official’ police are able to manage their visibility strategically, establishing a privileged position within the assemblage. The creation of technologically extended officers with superior claims to truth gives police the opportunity to shape narratives.

A consequence of these embodied devices is that officers are turned into collectors of visual evidence, tasked with ensuring the camera is interpreting the situation appropriately in the moment. This new responsibility forces officers to adopt the logic of their cameras.

Subject: 

Mass Communications
Law

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Communication

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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