International rules of law admit that the police have the right to use legitimate force if necessary to make an arrest or maintain order. However, when a law enforcement officer uses unwarranted, excessive, or illegal force against a civilian, he or she violates the law. For years, forms of police brutality such as assault, battery, mayhem, torture, harassment, intimidation, murder, and verbal abuse, among other forms of mistreatment have been reported globally. 

Police brutality has been recognized as a global phenomenon, according to The Small Arms Survey about an estimated 19,000 people were killed each year between 2007 and 2012, during ‘legal interventions’(encounters with police). Clearly, police brutality is a universal issue and although some nations encounter more violence than others, it is beneficial for the safety of everyone if it comes to an end. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents the answer we need to terminate police brutality worldwide, this is because when AI is applied, it provides a more automated and objective way to detect police misconduct and prevent police brutality while ensuring justice for victims. In this article, we will be discussing some technologies that can be used to detect and ultimately end police brutality.

An AI-based intervention system

The use of AI is expected to ease the implementation of early intervention systems in police departments, wherein officers who are likely to engage in misconduct are spotted promptly. Benchmark Analytics LLC developed a one of a kind system tagged First Sign which applies machine learning algorithms that compare the present action of an officer by observing his/her past activities for any display of excessive force or problematic behavior. The advantages of AI in early intervention systems allow for faster metric analysis. First Sign analyzes arrest records, stop and service-call information, use-of-force data, internal affairs reports, dispatch information, and other data to monitor officer’s conduct. With this wealth of information, it provides a holistic view of officer behavior and potential warning signs of misconduct. The system allows supervisors to determine if officers are out of compliance with policies. Each officer is given a risk score based on the system metrics and supervisors then uses the risk scores to determine whether the officer needs counseling, training, or to be terminated. 

AI-Enabled Real-Time Speech Recognition 

In a research paper titled “Real-Time Speech Emotion and Sentiment Recognition for Interactive Dialogue Systems” by Bertero et al, an interface was established in order to distinguish between emotions and sentiment such as criticism, defensiveness/anxiety, hostility, loneliness, love, and sadness in real-time through speech recognition. In other to detect verbal aggression amongst police officers in the field, this real-time speech recognition system should be adopted. A speech recognition architecture that transcribes the audio to text followed by an RNN sentiment classification algorithm that performs classification on the resulting text, possibly can detect hostility and force from a law enforcement officer’s voice. In addition, by using real-time emotional recognition systems, audio feeds from police body cameras can be fed through an emotion recognition system and relayed to HQ if an officer is verbally abusive in the field. 

Axon Live Body Camera Powered by AI 

Although body cameras have spread widely among police departments in recent years, both as a means of improving transparency and also for documenting potentially controversial encounters, Axon presents a new generation of cameras powered by AI. With the Axon live body camera, shooting incidents are automatically streamed live while its Signal technology sends an alert when a firearm is removed from an officer’s holster or a TASER device is armed. Developed by Rick Smith, this live body-worn camera utilizes artificial intelligence software to track-record data for police behavior. Furthermore, it can classify use-of-force incidents, identify teachable moments, and build early warning systems to flag bad officers. Ultimately, the camera aims to digitize the police department’s workflow. The live stream of the body camera can be accessed remotely and can help the support team learn more about the officer’s location and violent situations as it unfolds.

Facial Recognition Systems

AI technologies like facial recognition are being used daily to identify people in photos, videos, or in real-time. Law enforcement agencies should leverage this technology to monitor their officers’ conduct. The benefits of facial recognition systems for policing are evident as it includes detection and prevention of crimes by law enforcement officers. With a Police central database system and satellite surveillance cameras already in place, it allows for the facial recognition technology to quickly detect when an officer of the law carries out illegal actions like harassment, torture, or murder of an innocent civilian. 

The rapid rise in artificial intelligence discoveries and technologies has fuelled the ability to detect police brutality incidences before, during, or after an altercation emerges. Nations are advised to infuse these AI-enabled technologies in their law enforcement agencies, as this adoption will lead to more accountability and transparency amongst the state’s enforcement officers.