In the last 10 years, taxpayers have spent millions to outfit police officers across the country with body-worn cameras in what was sold as a new era of transparency and accountability. But a survey by ProPublica shows that when civilians die at the hands of police, the public usually never sees the footage.

At least 1,201 people were killed in 2022 by law enforcement officers, about 100 deaths a month, according to Mapping Police Violence, a nonprofit research group that tracks police killings. ProPublica examined the 101 deaths that occurred in June 2022, a time frame chosen because enough time had elapsed that investigations could reasonably be expected to have concluded. The cases involved 131 law enforcement agencies in 34 states.

In 79 of those deaths, ProPublica confirmed that body-worn camera video exists. But more than a year later, authorities or victims’ families had released the footage of only 33 incidents.

Philadelphia signed a $12.5 million contract in 2017 to equip its entire police force with cameras. Since then, at least 27 people have been killed by Philadelphia police, according to Mapping Police Violence, but in only two cases has body-camera video […]

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