Nor would it change the fact that people would still bring (founded and unfounded) lawsuits against the police.
This is flat out wrong. All the evidence to date shows that cop-cams result in a dramatic reduction in complaints, for two reasons:
1. Since there is a recording, there are far fewer false allegations
2. Since they are being recorded, the cops behave better, so there are fewer incidents that result in valid allegations.
Here is a typical result:
THE Rialto study began in February 2012 and will run until this July. The results from the first 12 months are striking. Even with only half of the 54 uniformed patrol officers wearing cameras at any given time, the department over all had an 88 percent decline in the number of complaints filed against officers, compared with the 12 months before the study, to 3 from 24.
But body cameras will solve all that, right?
In the case of Michael Brown, YES, a camera likely would have prevented the riots. The riots didn't occur because a white cop killed a black kid, but because there was a perception that it was unjustified and the cop "got away with it". If there was a camera, there would be much less dispute about what happened. The camera would either show that the shooting was justified, or it would show that it was not and the cop would be charged with murder. In either case, I don't think there would be a riot.