AI Used to Review Police Body Camera Footage

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One of the hurdles with police body camera use is the sheer amount of footage collected that should be reviewed. According to ProPublica, “Axon, the nation’s largest provider of police cameras and of cloud storage for the video they capture, has a database of footage” that amounts to “100 petabytes,” or “25 million copies of last year’s blockbuster movie ‘Barbie.’”

However, a growing number of police departments are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to review the footage. Departments have several nascent programs to choose from, all of which are capable of scanning videos and flagging behavior that should be addressed “such as when officers interrupt civilians, use profanity, use force or mute their cameras.”

Anthony Tassone, the cofounder of Truleo, an AI company that reviews body camera footage, touts the benefits for training and early intervention in an officer’s career: “There are certain officers who don’t introduce themselves, they interrupt people, and they don’t give explanations. They just do a lot of command, command, command, command, command. That officer’s headed down the wrong path.”

Those who would like to hold police officers accountable for the actions captured by body cameras may be out of luck, even with AI help. Many police unions and departments have kept the results of the AI scans secret and many departments ban officer discipline based on camera footage.

However, AI is also being used to help defense attorneys sift through hours of body camera footage to verify or refute that police reports match what actually happened in the field. That information may be used in court to support a client’s defense. 

1. Should police wear body cameras? Why or why not?

2. Should AI be used to review body camera footage? Why or why not?

3. If body cameras are used, should the video be available to the public? Why or why not.

Russell Contreras, “AI Helps Defense Attorneys Sift through Police Body Cam Videos,”, Nov. 16, 2023

Umar Farooq, “Police Departments Are Turning to AI to Sift Through Millions of Hours of Unreviewed Body-Cam Footage,”, Feb. 2, 2024