Poll: Overwhelming majority want police to wear body cameras

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The majority of Americans support body cameras for police officers but say there needs to be clear rules on how the cameras and the footage are used, according to a poll released Monday by a D.C.-based democratic polling firm and a civil rights advocacy group.

Anzalone Liszt Grove Research and The Leadership Conference Education Fund found that nine out of 10, or 88 percent, of Americans want police to be required to wear body cameras while on duty. The highest support came from Africans-Americans, with 73 percent saying they strongly support requiring the cameras, compared with 62 percent of people overall who said that.

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The online poll showed that 88 percent of the public believes cameras would help hold police accountable and over two-thirds, 67 percent, said they feel cameras would reduce police brutality.

But three-quarters of the 880 adults polled from July 28 to Aug. 2 said they strongly believe police should work with their local communities and civil rights advocates to establish clear guidelines on how the cameras and the footage from them is used.

Of those polled, seven out of 10 said they oppose letting police officers view footage before they write their incident reports, and 72 percent said they want clear limits on how facial recognition technology can be used with the cameras.

There was also broad support for making the footage available to the public or a criminal defendant when police misconduct is reported. Eighty percent said the footage should be available to help hold police accountable.

The poll also found that 60 percent of Americans oppose communities of color being disproportionately targeted by police surveillance.