An increased view on police officers and the black community has brought forth startling news on multiple occasions.
Nine researchers from Stanford reviewed 183 hours of official police body cam footage from nearly 1,000 police stops, involving near 250 different officers. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, accounted for specifics, such as race, word tone, and multiple linguistic patterns.
Professional transcribers utilized the audio data while watching the videos, each of whom had undergone extensive background checks to be allowed access to the centrally-located private information regarding this study.
The researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to assess the level of respect officers employed throughout 981 Oakland Police Department (OPD) traffic stops in a month; the officers stopped 682 black community members and 299 white community members. Equipped with AI, the investigators analyzed transcripts from each traffic stop to determine how respectful officers were to people they stopped.
The findings revealed that officers were 67 percent more likely to address black community members than white community members with less respectful language, which included commands like “hands on the wheel” and slang terminology like “dude” and “bro.” The officers were 57 percent more likely to address white community members than black community members with apologies and signs of appreciation like “thank you.”
Phrases and words were identified by the driver’s race to classify different levels of respect.
Throughout an earlier study conducted on four UK-based police forces and two US-based police departments, the implementation of body cams for the safety of the public have drastically changed approval ratings for police, while also giving a sense of comfortability to stopped drivers and holding officers accountable for behavior.
Through recent attempts by police, we’ve seen dramatic decreases in the public’s negative opinions towards the police force as a whole. With the implementation of body cams and thorough surveillance of police relations with the public, approval ratings are on the incline, though there are still incidents.
In Ohio, police officers aggressively forced Richard Hubbard from his vehicle. As seen in footage released by the Euclid police department the following Monday, officers relentlessly beat Mr. Hubbard while prone on the ground. At no point during the encounter did Mr. Hubbard appear to be fighting back.