Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Video in Patrol Cars
Perhaps no issue has been debated more hotly by both the public and law enforcement than the validity of police stops. The issue has touched nearly every large-city police department in the United States. Much of this debate focuses on how traffic and pedestrian stops transpire between the police and ethnic/ racial minorities. Since the 1980s, for example, the policy of profiling has been used as a campaign against drug trafficking throughout various states. Media coverage of the 1998 allegations that the New Jersey State Police used race as a criterion to combat such trafficking, as well as the 1991 Rodney King incident in Los Angeles, catapulted the issue of biased enforcement onto the national stage, fueling the debate. Distrust of the police led various citizens’ groups to begin videotaping police activity during stops in order to ensure that the stops were not being made on the basis of ethnicity ...