back to article FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

The director of the FBI, James Comey, has again claimed that citizens' use of mobile phones to record the police is causing an increase in crime, despite previous direct criticism over the claim from President Obama. According to Comey, the recent spate of videos recorded by ordinary citizens that have shown the police acting …

  1. Dave Harvey

    Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

    If the police have nothing to hide, then surely they have nothing to fear - isn't that what everyone else is told about surveillance ?

    1. cyke1

      Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

      Here is the problem, most these "videos" when they get uploaded they will neglect to show the whole incident either cause the fool was slow to start the recording or they cut it off and only show when the officer responses to other other person does. SO it makes cop look bad when other guy started the fight or scuffle. Its very common problem where something that happens is taken outta context and people take the video as 100% and never consider what person did to cause the officers response.

      1. Dadmin
        Holmes

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        Completely true, but the issue I'm having with this is; where are the officer's video files? Every single police person needs to have the video recorder strapped on and running before they strap on their gun. You say "that's too much to deal with?" Then I say, fuck you, idiot, they have a camera in every single squad car now, they can get a camera (hey, gopro, are you guys getting a boner over there about this yet?) on every officer. We need new episodes of cops. And before you call me part of the problem, consider my young nephew is a new recruit at a nearby Sheriff's office, so I'm straddling the fence on this one. Hate the crime, don't hate the officers, love the video. It's the best solution thus far.

        1. Bigkahuna456

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          I know of one police force here in the UK where the wearing of body cams has become mandatory. The effect of this has been a reduction to near zero in complaints about that forces officers. where there is a complaint, the force simply produces the video of the incident or arrest as evidence. In that force, failure to wear your camera and have it working is a serious offence which can lead to dismissal.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Captain Obvious

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        I have no idea why so many downvotes on your post. It is VERY true that even the news deliberately edits out parts to make sensational news headlines. Just look at what they cut out of the Rodney King videos! I actually consider the news more criminal than any other organization.

      4. Woofy

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        It very often doesn't depend on who started the fight, etc. You're a cop, you shoot an unarmed suspect who's running away... that's on YOU. Contempt of Cop is not a capital crime.

      5. Nehmo

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        Fools (your word) make that argument every time. Since viewers hear it every time, the viewers make their judgments understanding the video could have something missing.

        But fine, if the cops want the whole picture to be released, then why not have the cameras roll constantly while an officer is on duty? And every bit needs to be made public to everyone instantly. The cops work for the public. The public should have access to their products.

        As it is, the cops fight in court to keep the videos hidden. Sometimes they lose, and that's when we see how the cops behave. But often they win, and we don't see anything.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

      More and more PD's are seeing the wisdom of not just dash cams but body cams. I wonder how Fearless Director feels about them?

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        His FBI may optionally record an interrogation, sound/video, but it's never done. Instead they may write it up for the casefile. Interesting policies.

      2. JustWondering
        Unhappy

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        Our local police told us they were looking into body cams but unfortunately, budget pressures forced them to cancel the program. They are still getting the $350K armoured vehicle and $200K worth of fancy shootin' irons to poke out of the gunports but there just wasn't any money for cameras.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          They are still getting the $350K armoured vehicle and $200K worth of fancy shootin' irons to poke out of the gunports but there just wasn't any money for cameras.

          And that sort of choice of priorities just makes me wonder if they really know they are the police, rather than say a millitary occupation force.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

            And that sort of choice of priorities just makes me wonder if they really know they are the police, rather than say a millitary occupation force.

            While the militarization of the police in the US (and elsewhere) is definitely a huge problem, this particular case may not be a "choice of priorities". In many cases the military hardware is being foisted on police departments through "grants" as a way of shuffling unwanted Department of Defense property around and cashing out stuff they don't want. It's a shadow budget for the DoD and a way to prop up the defense industry boondoggles.

            So, a few years ago, Congresscritter X calls up the local Chief of Police and says, hey, fill out this form and we'll give you this armored vehicle plus some, er, "training" budget. Hard to pass that up - it's some extra cash for the always-tight budget, you don't want to piss off the 'critter, and you don't want to look "soft on crime", and if in some crazy situation the local populace thinks you could have used an armored vehicle you don't want to be the guy who turned it down.

            But that's the offer on the table. It's not "hey, spend these fungible resources on body-cams or ridiculous military hardware". That is, for some departments it may well be, but often that's not the case.

            JFTR, police departments in my neck of the woods have been evaluating body-cams from various suppliers, looking to equip all patrol officers with them.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

      Please don't use this argument.

      "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is a bullshit argument that should be opposed, not adopted. If we force cops to wear cameras at all times, we're actually increasing the gulf between Us and Them, not closing it.

      As Sam Vimes so pungently put it: "A policeman is a civilian, you inbred streak of piss!" Our rights are also their rights.

      1. RIBrsiq

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        A policeman/woman is a civilian. But, unfortunately, increasingly one with military hardware s/he is ill-trained to use and not enough accountability.

        Anyway, as I understand it, the police force in a modern, well-adjusted country is supposed to serve and protect the populace, no? They're employees of the people and so on. So checking how they do their job is not a bad place to start.

        Finally, if you find yourself essentially agreeing with the policies of the Eternal Regime in the DPRK, then it's probably a good idea to take a few steps back and check if maybe you've gone wrong, somewhere.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          Actually, no. Once you take up a martial role in society (martial in this case meaning you have the capacity to act with force to defend it), your status changes. You're no longer a civilian because you've taken up arms in an official capacity (that's why military and civilians are considered mutually exclusive--police as law enforcers are the former rather than the latter). As Vimes himself once said, that badge doesn't come off even when you're off duty. Anyway, martial power carries intrinsic power (including the ability to influence anything with the power to restrain them), and with it comes intrinsic responsibility.

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        "A policeman is a civilian, you inbred streak of piss!"

        Civilians don't own attack helicopters and APCs. Police forces do.

        1. David Roberts Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          I suspect that in some areas of the USA civilians DO own all sorts of military grade hardware.

          Certainly APCs and probably helicopters.

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          "A policeman is a civilian, you inbred streak of piss!"

          By Jingo!

        3. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          Civilians don't own attack helicopters and APCs. Police forces do.

          And therein lies the rub. A modern police force should not function as a military organization. I know that we here in the US have a tendency to wage war on everything, including Crime. The problem with this is that in a war, there has to be an enemy and in this case there is little to differentiate combatants from non-combatants. Our criminal justice system has created massive incentives to incarcerate people and to take their stuff on the slimmest of pretexts. In other words, we have set up a system in which there are rewards for the police to act as de facto kidnappers and thieves. None of this is the way it should be done.

          As far as citizens filming police while on duty, I have not heard a reason why there should be an expectation of privacy for a public official performing their job in a public venue. There is just no way around this. I understand there are a number of issues concerning body cams that still need to be worked out - costs, chains of custody, when they should be turned on, what can be released to the public and when, training... OK, more than a few issues, but none of these things are that much different from what has been dealt with during the introduction of similar tech, especially dash cams.

          Concerning the FBI director's claims concerning crime: there are lies, damn lies and statistics. He admitted to a lack of statistics.

        4. Alistair Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          Trevor:

          Have to admit that on average our police forces (up here) are generally much better behaved than they are down south.

          But I'll agree that the ones down south have been more or less loosing the war, and their minds. Which makes those armouries kinda scary scary boom boom bang.

      3. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        "...Please don't use this argument..."

        You missed the point by such a wide margin, I am not sure you even realised there was one in the vicinity.

      4. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        @veti

        Please don't use this argument.

        "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is a bullshit argument that should be opposed, not adopted.

        It was fairly obvious to me that he was taking the mick with that comment. The cops/law enforcement/politicians use it all the time, so he was turning it around on them.

        1. Dave Harvey

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          Much as it's fun to sit and watch people debate what they think I meant, it's probably time to clarify - I was most definitively being ironic. Quite apart from the context, there was a clue in my use of the word "surely", so apologies to anyone whose command of ironic English wasn't up to spotting the subtlety.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        As Sam Vimes so pungently put it: "A policeman is a civilian, you inbred streak of piss!" Our rights are also their rights.

        Our laws their laws, so I see no problem unless you think they are above the law and should not be accountable for their actions.

        The police should be jumping at the chance to wear body cams as it proves they act within the law. However the fact that some are not says something different about the state of policing in America.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

          Our laws their laws

          But the laws are in favor of THEM.

          For example, murder of a police officer (not for hire, not while committing another crime) usually qualifies you for a Capital Murder charge, where murder of a optometrist in the same circumstances would not.

      6. Archie Woodnuts

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        As a fictional character in a fantasy universe once said, "THAT IS NOT MY COW."

        Also, you missed the point entirely.

      7. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

        Everything a given police officer does while on duty (or off-duty if still in uniform or if he identifies himself as an officer) is, by proxy, an action taken by each member of the community he represents. Every action he takes is in our names, using authority that is delegated to him by us. We certainly have every right to know what people we employ are doing while on the clock, just as assuredly as Microsoft has the right to monitor what employees in its call centers are saying to customers.

        There's one big difference, though: Microsoft employees don't wear armor, carry guns, pepper spray, tasers, or clubs to do their jobs. They don't have the power to bind and capture people and put them in cages, or to sometimes beat or kill them. The call center employee's words aren't considered so inherently trustworthy that a simple statement while on a witness stand can destroy a person's life, and they're not called on to deliver those trusted-by-default words that can change lives nearly every week of their career.

        If Microsoft can monitor calls for quality assurance, and the worst their employees can do is not help you find an answer as to why Office or Windows are screwing up, isn't it even more important that we monitor those who, at worst, can kill people or send them to jail wrongfully (in our names) if they decide to do so?

        Sorry, but no, our rights are not also their rights. Not while they're on duty as heavily-armed agents of the community they serve. It's more like their ACTIONS are our ACTIONS. We have every right to know what those actions are, and if they don't want those actions to be known by the very people they are supposed to be serving, there's probably something very bad going on.

        You're right when you say that "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is a terrible argument. It's wrong because the government is ALWAYS something to fear, and it is the fool who forgets that power corrupts. It's the cops who represent the government in that example, and it is they who have the power that corrupts. The argument simply doesn't apply (or even make sense) in reverse.

  2. Darryl

    So if the cops are left alone to club, tase, and shoot whomever they want, then the murder rate will go down? Makes perfect sense.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      When the cops shoot someone it's rarely a murder. The system much prefers to describe it as a justifiable homicide.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >The system much prefers to describe it as a justifiable homicide.

        Or if the victim is black - theft of police bullets

    2. JustWondering

      Not necessarily, but the crime rate will go down because fewer officers will be charged.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      So if the cops are left alone to club, tase, and shoot whomever they want, then the murder rate will go down

      The Daily Fail (and itis local equivalent) readership will support it. Martial law tends to cut down crime quite a bit (at the expense of the thing called Freedom which they are unable to grok).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Martial law tends to cut down crime quite a bit [...["

        It may cut down officially recorded crime. However as such power corrupts it often leads to the law enforcers demanding bribes - or even setting up their own criminal operations with impunity.

        IIRC In the early 1970s there was a scandal in South Africa when a large proportion of Pretoria police officers were found to have been committing burglaries.

        In Germany immediately after the war many in the the occupying forces were guilty of crimes against both the local population and their own organisations. Also see the more recent UN peace keepers' crime scandals.

      2. Vic

        Martial law tends to cut down crime quite a bit

        Martial law tends to cut down reported crime quite a bit...

        Vic.

    4. Yesnomaybe

      "The rate of murders in cities across America have been going up this year, raising questions over why. "

      Probably something to do with the incredible disparity between rich and poor. There is a very large group of people who basically have nothing. Well, nothing, except for very easy access to guns. Quite a potent mix...

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        "The rate of murders in cities across America have been going up this year, raising questions over why. "

        *cough*Trump*cough*

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        No, disparity of income doesn't cause crime. People having more stuff than you doesn't make you go out and kill people.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Disparity of income @ Updraft102

          "... disparity of income doesn't cause crime. People having more stuff than you doesn't make you go out and kill people."

          For certain values of "more stuff". When the "more stuff" is access to food, healthcare, shelter etc*, and the difference is they have some and you have none, then there is a change in the view of respect for life. If society has basically said "You are poor, you can die", then it is no surprise that you take n a reciprocal point of view -"I am poor, you can die". The USA has a lot of places where this is the case, so it comes as no surprise to me that the haves are the victims of the have-nots (even if the difference is small in real terms, in relative terms it can be huge).

          * Yes, drugs would count too - relief from the reality of a no-hope existence is worth a great deal.

        2. Triggerfish

          @Updraft

          No, disparity of income doesn't cause crime. People having more stuff than you doesn't make you go out and kill people.

          Please explain the reasoning behind that because it goes against what I thought, that poverty can be a major factor in the cause of some crimes. (I'm not talking white collar stock fraud, or say running a bank ).

        3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          "disparity of income doesn't cause crime."

          Bullshit. Our society functions only because everyone agrees to play by the rules. Why would anyone agree to play by the rules if the rules say that you can't get enough food/water/shelter/clothing/health care/education/honest work?

          The only incentive for the poor to obey the laws of society is the threat of force. Once you impoverish an individual - let alone a group! - enough, they have nothing to lose (because they're dead either way) and so the threat of force is meaningless.

          Income disparity doesn't just lead to crime, it leads to revolution. The totality of human history is that tale told over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

          May all those that weren't able to learn from it be first against the wall when the proles rise up.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Probably something to do with the incredible disparity between rich and poor. There is a very large group of people who basically have nothing. Well, nothing, except for very easy access to guns.

        So, you'd think Republicans would be in favor of gun control, requiring huge licensing fees ($20000) to anyone who wants one (so the rich can have the guns, but the poor can't).

        Then you realize that without the crime, there would be nobody to fill the private prisons, and spending on police would be reduced [On a side note, why do they keep wanting to cut "wasteful" spending such as medical research but keep increasing military spending??].

        The high crime rate is another reason for the right want to keep the wealth inequality gap.

    5. Triggerfish

      I believe it was the New Orleans police department that was investigated some years back. by the time internal affairs had finished going through them and making some arrests, they found the murder rate, armed robbery rate and corruption/ organised crime rate in the city as a whole dropped.

  3. Youngone Silver badge

    I'm going to go ahead and assume that Mr. Comey is a politician and is doing what politicians do, pander to their constituency.

    In this case that would be the extremely powerful police unions. The fact that the unions have come out against his statement says to me that he hasn't explained his thinking to them yet.

    His thinking might be along the lines of:

    Create a climate of fear (videoing police at work encourages crime)

    Panic legislators into knee-jerk reactions (new laws outlawing the filming of police at work).

    Police are now free to shoot people without the fear of independent evidence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pandering...but not to a union

      Sure, he's pandering. But what "powerful police union?" All you truly need to do is to look up his poltical affiliation: Republican.

      The 'pandering' that he is doing is to the authoritaian wing of his political party, the same authoritanians who are, right now, fighting to make sure that "their" candidate (Mr "T") represents the entire party during the elections.

      "Small government"...except when said government needs to serve their interests - military spending, "moral" legislation, (excessively) strong police enforcement including military tactics and equipment - then they are all FOR bigger government. Their belief? Government shouldn't get in the way of free enterprise, the freedom to make money, but it should enforce quality-of-life issues by making sure those who aren't socially worthy are kept, errr, "in their place". Women in the kitchen, and all that.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Pandering...but not to a union

        I can see why you checked the anonymous box on that post. I wouldn't want to be associated with it either, had I made it.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Police are now free to shoot people without the fear of independent evidence."

      ...especially those people caught using a camera in public!

      1. Tom 64
        Coat

        "It's a camera?"

        "damn, it looked like a gun before I shot him!"

  4. Captain DaFt

    People are funny that way

    Having more public awareness of police acting badly and receiving nothing more than a slap on the wrist (if that) for the harassment, brutality and deaths they cause just might incline some people to behave badly in return.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: People are funny that way

      I know! Crazy, right? Don't they know the beatings will continue until moral improves?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: People are funny that way

        Trouble with that statement is that people can't physically have a state of morale while they're unconscious. Meaning at some point, in order to have a morale to improve, you have to wait for someone to wake up.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: People are funny that way

          You have to do that anyway, no point in beating an unconcious person, you need them awake just to enjoy the added value of them still not knowing why you are doing it but now being awake enough to suffer as well. ;)

  5. Snafu1

    Comey [...] did say "something is happening; a whole lot more people are dying this year than last year"

    Perhaps because they're shot by cops?

  6. ma1010 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Amazingly Stupid.

    Perhaps we have more crime not because of videoing cops abusing their power, but because the head of the FBI is a cretin?

  7. Preston Munchensonton
    Megaphone

    Simple solution

    The US could cut their "crime" rate tremendously by removing all statutes that do not involve harming a victim, e.g. drug offenses. The laughably termed "War on Drugs" is just a convenient excuse to discriminate against minorities and poor people.

    1. ma1010 Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Simple solution

      The war on drugs is an absolute disaster. You'd think people would learn from what happened here during Prohibition, but nope. Instead of 10 years of madness, we've had about 50 years of spiraling violence, a "business" that fuels the "gangsta" culture and causes most of the murders that happen in this country, police raids, not to mention the draconian sentences for violating federal drug statutes.

      Yep, END IT. If idiots want to fry their brains using drugs, they're going to do it, regardless of whether it's illegal or not. Criminalizing drug possession/distribution just drives it underground and funds the cartels and keeps the "gangstas" in business.

      I've seen criminal cases where people were killed over, literally, a $3 weed deal. Another "drug deal gone bad." How many people get killed over a "beer deal" or a "whiskey deal"? Zero. The problem is the laws. They don't work. They do FAR more harm than good. Repeal them.

      If anyone is interested in getting involved against this madness, you might want to look at contributing to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

      Sorry. </rant>

      1. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

        Re: Simple solution

        There are people in law-enforcement and anti-alcohol groups whom to this very day claim that Prohibition was a success story.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Simple solution

          During Prohibition, alcohol-induced crimes went down (e.g. fighting, violence, drunken guys deciding to joyride etc), car accidents as a result of drinking went down, and domestic violence went down. Absenteeism because of alcohol was reduced. Percentage of wage packets what had been going into the saloons dropped like a stone. Most people drank little or nothing. The idea that folks all went off to speakeasies and that gangsters were machine-gunning rivals on every street corner is much exaggerated. Yes, people made bathtub gin or bought smuggled alcohol, but on the whole the population was more sober and therefore less violent.

          What we don't grasp is the dominating position of alcohol up to 1919. The Prohibition people were not prudes and killjoys, but people extremely concerned that the level of drunkenness was crippling society. Our tolerance for drunkenness continues to decrease. There was shock when the TV show Mad Men depicted the standard levels of drinking during that time. Two or three highballs once Daddy got home was not unknown in middle class American families in the 1950s. Wine at lunch over here in the UK rendered senior managers unfit to run their companies every afternoon. We don't find that acceptable today, because we find it less and less appealing to have drunken people as part of our society.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Simple solution @ Hollerithevo

            ... and all achieved with no need for prohibition! The same would work for drugs.

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Simple solution

        Look, do you want what has happened in Colorado to happen nationwide? Less crime means more law enforcement are out of work! That's just crazy commie talk!

        You some kinda pansy ass librul or somethin?

        /s

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: Simple solution

          No, they switch to policing M.D.s writing scripts. I wish I was joking.

      3. Triggerfish

        Re: Simple solution

        You know I always wondered if we did this abroad how it would work out?

        Off topic I know. But we often have had our forces wandering through Afghanistan burning opium fields. I can't help wonder, what would have happened if we bought it?

        I mean we get our opium at the moment from places like Australia for medical drugs. Surely if we had bought it off a bunch of poor farmers in Afghanistan we would not only have been edging out the drug trade there, raw opium kg price in places like that is low, we could have probably beat it, and said we will not pay these prices if you sell a little extra to a dealer (and why would you anyway if you make less). But we would have also been making the sort of contacts that would have helped bring stability to the region, it's a lot harder to make believe westerners are evil and turn people against them, if they have only turned up with cash to spend, and maybe then started investing in infrastructure that improves the country and the future for your children. Considering a lot of people fighting out there are doing it for cash as well and could not give a shit whose side they are on, the boost to the economy may have saved that as well. Can't help feeling we miss the trick because we want to promote our war on drugs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Simple solution

          Read "No Good Men Among the Living", if you want to know why we lost the war in Afghanistan. What you read in the news about US foreign wars isn't remotely similar to what actually happens, which is why it's easy to get confused about why we keep losing.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Simple solution

            I'll look at that, I did see one fact that was fascinating, that most of the Afghans do not know why we turned up, and had not heard of 9/11. I've never believed what we hear about the wars, too many friends in the UK millitary trust a lot of the news, plus the facts/ causes are usually delivered by politicians.

    2. LaeMing Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Simple solution

      Pollies won't end the 'War on Drugs' while they are getting so much slush funding from the big drug cartels to keep it up. Just like the illegal alcohol producers were the biggest fans of prohibition, the cartels like the prices being kept higher than they would be in a fair market.

    3. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Simple solution

      "...Simple solution

      The US could cut their "crime" rate tremendously by removing all statutes that do not involve harming a victim, e.g. drug offenses. The laughably termed "War on Drugs" is just a convenient excuse to discriminate against minorities and poor people..."

      I do wonder at this.

      How much money would be saved, and potentially raised, if these things were legalised and policed? How much less petty crime would there be? How many needless lives lost in the ongoing, constantly losing "war"?

      Likewise, if prostitution were fully legalised and we could protect the women involved, how much less sex slavery would there be? How much more would we actually be able to protect the women involved?

      We've lost these "wars" so why can't we have a grown up conversation now about what happens next?

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Simple solution

        Colorado has the answers regrading the legalization of marijuana. They are public and available with a quick google search.

        The resulting drop in crime was significant as was the costs saved and increased tax revenue from the sale thereof.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Simple solution

        "We've lost these "wars" so why can't we have a grown up conversation now about what happens next?"

        Religious nutters Activists.

  8. John Tserkezis

    Yeah, it's real inconvenient when you can't beat who you want to be a perp into submission.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irh3JUch7Hg

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tune in for next week's episode, where Comey decries the jury system

    "So what I'm hearing is that this is very demoralizing for law enforcement professionals, that long after the crime was committed and the perpetrator apprehended, a bunch of random citizens, without the professional training and unlike the LEO without even having been there when it happened, they then decide, in private mind you, whether or not the LEO made the right call."

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Tune in for next week's episode, where Comey decries the jury system

      And the following week... "Even thinking about a police officer doing something inappropriate is demoralizing. We need to control thought-crime."

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Tune in for next week's episode, where Comey decries the jury system

      Er, you know BOTH of those things have already been publicly stated and tried?

      Google it. Then join those of us desperately trying to get off this fucked up planet.

  10. shovelDriver

    "According to Comey, the recent spate of videos recorded by ordinary citizens that have shown the police acting with disproportionate violence are causing the police force to act more tentatively and that in turn is leading to an increase in the crime rate."

    But wouldn't the decrease in police actually doing their job (not 'an increase in crime') be offset by the decrease in crimes committed by police, because they know they are now unable to lie effectively?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      That's Thoughtcrime there, buster! Be careful!

  11. Adam 1 Silver badge

    unanswerable question

    Did the crime rate increase or did the reported crime rate increase.

    Because I am quite confident that knowing the whole thing is on camera, when an overreach inevitably occurs, the appropriate investigation occurs*. I wonder out loud whether in the old days the junior gets taken aside for a quiet word about not being allowed to tase someone just cause they made some snide comment under their breath now gets officially recognised as a crime.

    *not counting the well publicised exceptions that led to various riots.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's the thing

    People that go into policing are fundamentally on the whole good individules - I doubt many people go into the job going "I want to be a dickhead" and I doubt that most people are. However there are people who end up cunts and they must be caught and as such all police have to uphold that burden to protect themselves and other good people to ensure that the cunts get caught.

    I wouldn't want it in my day job but then I don't get given weapons and the ability to take away someone's freedom. And that is the difference between a normal civilian and someone working in a line of potentially dangerous authority.

    Though the question is where should you end the recording of people. Front line police, paramedics, firemen, back office civil servants, Social workers, nurses, doctors, surgeons, security professionals, call centre staff, etc... You can probably make a reasonable argument for all the above (and more) to have personal body cameras and audio recorders... but where should it begin and stop?

    1. Ohb1knewbie

      Re: Here's the thing...

      I agree, most LEOs are good people. I have worked with many over the years and found on a personal level they were some of the finest people I've met.

      Having said that, it is also true that there is something about the badge and the gun. Once the uniform goes on and they've spent a few years dealing with the lowest common denominator of humanity, there's some serious dissociation that happens.

      The result produces an effect that can cause even the most casual observer to make the conclussion that my friend OBZ made years ago:

      "There are two kinds of cops. Bad cops and accessories after the fact." OBZ

      I try hard to remind myself that I know differently, but a few more officers stepping back to the public's side of the blue line in these situations would certainly make keeping my faith easier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's the thing...

        "... most LEOs are good people..."

        Yep. No argument.

        But nearly 100% of all law enforcement officers will participate in passively overlooking, white-washing, or even actively participating in cover-ups of their 'brother' officer's serious crimes (which are, as you pointed out, rare).

        Nearly 100%.

        Citizens with complaints without video haven't got a hope in Hell.

        When small Cop Cameras were first invented, police actively desired them to 'protect them from false complaints'. It only took about two years for the police to realize that the video evidence was indicting their own. Perhaps not often, but very seriously on occasion.

        Now most DON'T want to wear Cop Cameras.

        I salute those that have no objection.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Here's the thing...

          "When small Cop Cameras were first invented, police actively desired them to 'protect them from false complaints'. It only took about two years for the police to realize that the video evidence was indicting their own. Perhaps not often, but very seriously on occasion."

          So they lose either way. Having cams incriminates crooked cops while not having them leaves them open to staged claims like the guy who beats himself up when no one's looking and then claims police brutality, lying while the whole anti-cop block swears by it.

          Look, it comes with the territory. This is one thing the cops can't win because haters gonna hate. Some people are culturally conditioned to be anti-authroitarian and you can't fix that at this time since the causes for that are longer-term with no easy fix available.

          1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

            Re: Here's the thing...

            "Some people are culturally conditioned to be anti-authoritarian"

            Yep; the poor, the disenfranchised, the dispossessed, the minority, the marginalised. They've been "conditioned" by the lack of care of the state whose laws and will is enforced by the police on behalf of those who benefit from that same social order.

            Call it anti-authoritarian all you like, but I prefer to call it oppression.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Here's the thing...

          Yeah I have made a similar comment before the police in general are good. For me it's the fact they will not admit mistakes.

          For most people you expect the law and it's reprasentatives to be shining examples, whiter than white, but these are big organisations you always will get bad apples.

          Problem is the authorities are so worried they don't appear whiter than white, they cover up or close ranks on fuck ups. I'd have more faith if they admit there's some that are just wrong uns and absolutely hunted them down and punished them, as soon as they found them for bringing them into disrepute.

          Do think you guys into the US need to look into why your police need to be so heavily armed, although things like the Norco and the North Hollywood shootouts, makes me think maybe thats what you need when you have a heavily armed populace, tricky one that makes you wonder on the psycholgy of a traffic stop in the US, must be a bit tense.

          1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: Here's the thing...

            Do think you guys into the US need to look into why your police need to be so heavily armed

            There's a simple reason: Cops in the US must be heavily armed because the population are heavily armed (or at least, are allowed to be, can easily be and often the criminal elements, who they need to deal with, are).

            For the rest, I agree that, in general, police officers join the force to help people (or as the US cops say "Protect and Serve"). There is the odd bad apple who joins because they are power-hungry sociopaths with no other route to the power they crave, but I believe they are the exception.

            In reality, though, there are some who are corrupted by that power. While in uniform/on duty, the cops should be held to a higher standard than the general population. They should be shining examples of how one should follow the law, among other things.

            As a trivial example, my brother was once overtaken by a marked police car exceeding the speed limit (by a large margin, around 40 in a 30 zone) without blues and twos. He accelerated and kept pace with the cop. After a short while, the cop noticed him and slowed to less than the speed limit, encouraging my brother to pass him. Instead, he maintained a safe gap and matched speeds. The cop then proceeded to accelerate and slow down several times to try to force my brother to pass, which he didn't.

            Eventually the cop put his lights on and signaled my brother to pull over. "Do you know what speed you were doing?" he asked. "Same speed as you, officer," my brother replied. After a brief argument, including "I'm not sure exactly what speed I was doing, but I was doing the same as you, and as an officer of the law you wouldn't have been breaking the law, would you?" he was issued with a ticket.

            Luckily for my brother, we knew a high-ranking officer in the area. He tore up the ticket, gave the cop involved an official warning, and busted him down to beat work. However, both my brother and the officer involved should really have been prosecuted for speeding. In reality, this was another police cover up.

            There are many more examples I could cite, but it all comes down to the fact that the police should always be held to a higher standard. They should never be speeding or breaking other traffic laws (except in an emergency, indicated by blues and twos), they should never be corrupt, never violate privacy laws, never violate a suspect's rights etc. They should be whiter than white. When something bad happens, it should not be covered up, but exposed and "cleaned" in public.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Here's the thing... @Dr Mouse

              Do think you guys into the US need to look into why your police need to be so heavily armed, although things like the Norco and the North Hollywood shootouts, makes me think maybe thats what you need when you have a heavily armed populace,

              I think you missed the rest of my comment.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @Triggerfish -- Re: Here's the thing...

            You do raise some valid points. As far as heavily armed... I remember going into Mexico and certain other countries back in the 60's/70's and being surprised the that local cops carried what can best be called "heavy artillery". Machine guns, assault rifles, helmets. And these were the local cops. At that time, the average US cop only had a .38 cal. revolver and if in a car, a shotgun in the trunk.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Though the question is where should you end the recording of people."

      Simple. Any person in a position of elevated trust in regards to society. That is, anyone whose job necessarily gives them power over their part of society. Police have this power because they enforce laws. Medicos have this power because of their knowledge of the human body and their necessary power to act in an emergency. Similar with firefighters who may need to damage property in the performance of their duties.

      Frankly, all government facilities (or at least all official chambers) need to be taped while in session. And I also have to question whether a government really absolutely MUST have some degree of secrecy. I suspect there is for the fact that the mere existence of public knowledge of something could instantly jeopardize its very existence. Still, it should be absolutely minimized since, while so important, it's also so easy to abuse.

    3. glen waverley

      Call centre body cameras?

      AC said Call centre staff... body cameras?

      Really? But i think they are already recorded (for training and quality control purposes)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's no question it's a very difficult job. Especially, in a country where guns are as easily available as they are in the US. I think that the requirements for becoming a police officer should be at minimum a University degree, in a social science like Criminology, and then a two year police training programme. Of course, the pay would have to be higher to go with that. Then anyone still a "beat(?)" cop should have to retire after 20 years, but with a full pension. It is a tough job and I can't imagine doing it. Body cams that cannot be turned off should be a prerequisite. Psychological testing for post traumatic stress should be an annual event, also after events found to more stressful than the norm. It is expensive to run a police force, properly.

    5. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      People that go into policing are fundamentally on the whole good individules

      Is that true though?

      The police don't seem to be fundamentally good enough to weed out the racists who join the force and exercise their bigotry nor hold wrongdoers to account, aren't fundamentally good enough to demand change in laws which allows cops to mostly do whatever they want and get away with it.

      If those in the forces are fundamentally good then why did they not speak out, left it to Black Lives Matters and other groups to highlight the problem and instigate change?

      Those fundamentally good people need to explain themselves.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        If those in the forces are fundamentally good then why did they not speak out, left it to Black Lives Matters and other groups to highlight the problem and instigate change?

        There's a fallacy here perpetrated by the media. If #Black Lives Matter really believed their name, they would be taking to the streets in their own neighborhoods anytime one black killed another. Instead, it's silence. They only open up when it's a white cop and a black kid. If someone kills a black cop, do they protest? No. There's no media value for either the BLM people or the media to put the attention anywhere else.

        If we look at Ferguson, what did the protestors do? Did they actually protest the death? Where they sad about it? From here, it looked like many of the protestors found an opportunity. They looted and burned black owned businesses (starting with a liquor store). So how exactly is this "getting back at whitey"?

        Answer these and realize that All Lives Matter and then maybe there will be less crime and violence.

    6. Triggerfish

      Actually maybe we should put cameras on doctors, nurses and paramedics for a week, then make Michael Gove watch it, that way he'll understand why so many of us would like to give him a good kicking.

  13. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Linux

    Baltimore - Chicago

    Oh, that's why crime is up especially in those places. It's not because they really, really WANT to crucify a few to 'encourage' the others.

  14. ecofeco Silver badge

    Of course it is

    By cops being CAUGHT more often.

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Dear Director Comey

    Unlike the rest of society, law enforcement is given the right to stop, question, detain and even kill their fellow citizens. In return, we expect serious levels of honesty and accountability.

    If you are conducting public business in public in a manner that I seem suspicious, I am going to film you. Like the rest of us, the actions you perform in public carry no expectation of privacy. If that causes some cops to think twice about using force, it's probably because using force dramatically heightens the chance of something going wrong, with all kinds of costs. We'rd just pushing a more just amount of that cost back on law enforcement.

  16. MooJohn

    Boo hoo

    Sometimes policing isn't pretty. The poor "unarmed thug" that was shot in Ferguson just robbed a store and attacked the officer before getting shot. He was an alpha male and nobody was going to tell him what to do. If he wanted something, he took it. No damn store owner was going to keep him from his cigars! That stupid cop told him to get out of the street. It was HIS street and nobody tells him what to do.

    There is no reason any officer should have to compete in hand-to-hand combat before escalating their response. There is no point during a fight at which the action stops while he picks his next weapon. An officer who loses consciousness loses control of their weapons and may very well die as a result. Their only option is to stop the threat NOW. You can critique it all you want when it is over. Anyone attacking a police officer should expect to be shot. That's just common sense. And yes, by a real gun, not a tazer or baton. Those frequently have no effect and by the time you know it hasn't worked it can be too late.

    I don't want any officer to fail to act because of what it might look like on camera. It could get innocent people or themselves killed. Now they are more likely to hesitate because their career could be ended because they dared to be aggressive while putting and end to a dangerous situation.

    The movie Road House summed it up perfectly:

    Dalton: "I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice."

    Bouncer: "How are we supposed to know when that is?"

    Dalton: "You won't. I'll let you know."

    When it's time to "not be nice" it means decisive action is taken to subdue or take down the criminal. If the officer is being threatened, end the threat. The criminal is the one who put on his "big boy" pants and decided to fight with law enforcement. This is real life, and if he decided he isn't going to jail he can go to the morgue. I won't lose any sleep with either of his choices because he made the choice, not the officers.

    And for all the "drugs should be free" pot heads, down-vote all you want! (if you can find the button in your stupor)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boo hoo

      I'm not saying you're a fascist, but if you were....what would be different?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boo hoo

      Shooting handcuffed prisoners is a war crime - unless they are American civilians

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ1qMUmsTy8

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Boo hoo

      I presume you can't imagine that you would ever mistakenly be targeted by police attention, perhaps because your name was wrongly entered in some database or because they mis-identify your car and pull you over and perhaps speak to you in a way that you, a free-born male aware of his rights, finds objectionable. You assume that the police will know that you are an upstanding citizen who only happens to wear a hat and jacket seen in that fuzzy footage of a corner-store robbery and that your assurances that they have made a mistake will be respected.

      You can take the attitude you have taken because you think you will never be the target of any uptoward police action. As with many right-wingers who object to 'socialist' medicine or pensions or other civic support, you never think you'll be old or ill or poor. Or on the receiving end of police attention.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Boo hoo

        I suspect MooJohn is white, so naturally he doesn't think it could ever happen to *him*.

    4. Triggerfish

      Re: Boo hoo @MooJohn - Tamir Rice

      Nice one, you obvioulsy have a deep understanding of the criminal mind, can you explain what threat the 12 year old kid carrying a toy gun in the park was? BTW thats the one where they rocked up and the copper was firing the gun before they even stopped properly.

      Just if we are picking individual cases to prove a point, then come one justify this one, also please explain why they did not think it neccessary to attempt first aid immediately.

    5. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Boo hoo

      There is no reason any officer should have to compete in hand-to-hand combat before escalating their response. There is no point during a fight at which the action stops while he picks his next weapon. An officer who loses consciousness loses control of their weapons and may very well die as a result. Their only option is to stop the threat NOW. You can critique it all you want when it is over. Anyone attacking a police officer should expect to be shot. That's just common sense. And yes, by a real gun, not a tazer or baton. Those frequently have no effect and by the time you know it hasn't worked it can be too late.

      I completely disagree.

      A police officer should always offer a proportionate response to a situation.Weapons of any kind should only be drawn when the officer feels there is an imminent danger to their own person or others. They should only be used in the last resort to protect their own lives or the lives of others. The chosen weapon should be proportionate to the circumstances, and the use of that weapon proportionate.

      An unarmed man is acting in a threatening and violent manner. Is it appropriate to draw a weapon? Probably, although the officer should first use words to try to calm the situation.

      Is it appropriate to draw a gun, if they have a taser or baton at their disposal? Probably not, and here is my reasoning. If the gun is drawn as a threat (a legitimate tactic, as many would back down from the threat of being shot), and the suspect escalates (attacks, or threatens to attack), there is only one escalation available to the cop: shoot him. Someone skilled with a gun may be able to shoot the leg or arm, intending to injure and incapacitate the suspect, but even that could kill them. If, instead, a baton or taser had been drawn, it is easier to non-lethally incapacitate the suspect, and there is still the option of drawing a firearm (albeit with more difficulty).

      Police in America seem far too quick to draw their gun. There are many occasions where a suspect was killed when they could have been incapacitated and/or apprehended. To say "Anyone attacking a police officer should expect to be shot" shows a complete lack of thought. What if the person was mentally ill, suffering some kind of break down? Do they deserve to be shot, or should they be apprehended?

      Accepting that the cops may shoot anyone who attacks (or looks likely to attack) them makes them judge, jury and executioner. If the suspect is, instead, caught and tried, the criminal justice system can determine an appropriate action (which is unlikely to be "shoot them in he chest and let them die horribly").

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Boo hoo

        "Is it appropriate to draw a gun, if they have a taser or baton at their disposal?"

        The problem with your idea is that a policeman has to work with incomplete information. Sure the suspect may have a less-lethal weapon, but if the suspect is skilled with it (or is simply a highly-skilled brawler who can operate unarmed), you find that a gun is not always effective even then as skilled assailants know how to dart and weave to throw off an aim, all the while closing distance quite quickly and taking the fight hand to hand where the gun is less effective. And if the suspect is better than the cop at close quarters, the gun can be turned against the cop, as has happened so many times, usually with fatal consequences not just for the original owner but anyone else who comes along since the suspect can always ambush. Plus there is a pervasive gang presence in America, probably worse than anywhere else in the Western world. We're talking a world where some people's reactions to a cop is to shoot first and forget about the questions. If you were a cop in such a "Sword of Damocles" environment, wouldn't you be at least a little overprotective since you don't want your fellow cops to be the one to tell your widow in the morning.

        PS. In some parts of Latin America, there are less gangs and more paramilitary outfits, and these kinds of organizations DO take the fight to the cops. Police stations HAVE been bombed in the past. The US probably doesn't want things to escalate to that level.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Boo hoo

          Which is why we need to strike first.

          Cops of America, Nuke America, to Save America

        2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Boo hoo

          Part of a cop's job is to judge the situation. If they consider the situation warrants it, a gun can be drawn.

          However, it seems that many American chips consider it their first option, and point a gun at a suspect as a matter of course. This is unacceptable. Shooting a suspect should always be a last resort, and if there is another way to deal with it, they should use that.

          While I don't have all the facts, I have heard that the cops shoot a lot of suspects in the USA, many of which could have been apprehended and tried (albeit with a potential increased risk to the police officer involved). Some of these suspects will have been either innocent or guilty of something with a much lesser sentence than death.

          The cops have a dangerous job, granted, and police deaths are unacceptable. They still need to respond in a proportionate manner, as the death of a suspect is also unacceptable except where the cops life or the lives of bystanders is at immediate risk, and there is no other option.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Boo hoo

        A police officer should always offer a proportionate response to a situation.Weapons of any kind should only be drawn when the officer feels there is an imminent danger to their own person or others.

        I do agree with this. The problem is the media second-guesses and stirs the pot royally. Remember Rodney King? He wasn't about to be subdued due to the drugs in his system. The cops used batons and tasers and multiples of them. They got accused of beating the poor innocent guy.

        I can't answer for myself or anyone else if I were in those cops shoes. What would any of us have done? I know the cops have been pushed hard into making choices, so maybe today, they would have just shot him after the initial scuffles. Who knows. The media isn't helping things by only focusing on the wrong choices such that every cop is guilty. Nor is it a white vs. black thing as they paint it.

        The media and what is reported is a big problem. They want to sell their papers, news sites, etc. Shoveling crap pays the bills. The sad part, way too many people don't dig a bit deeper and go beyond the headlines.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Boo hoo

          Not only that, like I said, a cop in such a situation has to deal with incomplete information. Meaning a perfect judgment is nigh impossible. Meanwhile, the first impression of a "safe" situation and an "imminent danger" situation may come out identical, and the cop has to think not just of himself but anyone else in the vicinity (including other officers that might appear). Plus you have to realize these police are not crack shots (that that show the talent end up tapped as specialists: sharpshooters and snipers), so they're given the most basic training with their guns, and rule number one is you shoot until the threat is down, and that means go for the body. Targeting limbs or the head raises the risk of a miss (or worse, a mishit) which can be fatal since, like I said, a determined crook can close distance in just a second or two. There are actual training courses about how an unarmed individual can equalize a fight with a gunman.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    James "Mayor Duterte" Comey.

  18. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    More cobblers from the "encryption = win 4 terrorists" man.

  19. JustWondering
    Thumb Down

    Bollocks!!

    Let me say that again. Bollocks!!

    As a result of videos, crime is down. Well, crimes by police anyways.

  20. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Comey for Idiot in Chief

    Cameras do not lie, they record what happens without any prejudice. Police cameras are probably more like instant replay in sports. More often than not the replay verifies the officials made the correct call and this often happens with the police. With a camera, you have the classic he said/she said with a twist; an impartial third party.

    The rise in murders in the US is not uniform. Some areas are getting hit much harder; areas that historically have had miserable police-people relations. The distrust is caused by the local Stasi playing minor league Himmler.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Comey for Idiot in Chief

      It is very, very easy for video evidence to be misinterpreted.

      We had one the other day. Officer was standing supporting the head of a seated person who was attempting to self-harm harm by biting. From the body worn video it looked like he was repeatedly kicking her in the face. If that video had been leaked lots here would have been calling for the officer's head on a plate.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Comey for Idiot in Chief

        "It is very, very easy for video evidence to be misinterpreted."

        And what is the statistical frequency of that kind of event?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Comey for Idiot in Chief

          Given the natural human tendency to try to weasel their way to an advantage, especially when already disadvantaged, I'd give it at least 50/50.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comey for Idiot in Chief

      It suggests that Comey doesn't want to clean house of bad cops, if he prefers to cover up their misdeeds by concealing evidence. Which doesn't speak well for the FBI under his leadership.

      How many OTHER times has he suppressed evidence against the police? How many other videos of police crimes does he have that he hasn't acted on? Lest they undermine his officers?

      Is he the one who tried to use a test case to undermine Apple encryption?

      Because he's probably out on a limb already, he's basically trying to run the country from his office, driving his political agenda, one issue at a time. It will be interesting to see if the police follow HIS lead and try to arrest people for photographing their acts, or they'll follow the LAW and allow it.

  21. Schultz
    Go

    But he knows that the crime rate increased...

    because one officer told him 'I was so pissed with the Ferguson thing that I walked on, pretending that I didn't see the burglary'. So there is at least one extra crime.

    (and no, this is not comparable to hat other time last year when the officer was so pissed that he drove his cruiser in the wall.)

  22. teknopaul Bronze badge

    crime rates going up?

    Or reporting of crime going up because victims feel safe/able to report it since they have it on video?

    Police statistics are damn lies, I remember when the clean up rate in my area rather embarrassingly went from 90% to 102%.

    Real crime rate is unknown. Only stats are crime as viewed by the police.

  23. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Comey Island

    What a joke.

  24. DougS Silver badge

    It makes sense

    If cops are able to randomly kill unarmed citizens without any consequences, some of those citizens who will have gone on to commit crimes are prevented from doing so. Thus a reduction in crime!

    Seriously though, the fix for the police is obvious. Have dash cams & body cams so they have their own evidence. That prevents the claim of only showing part of the story. But that's not really the problem, what makes some cops fear to act is that previously they knew without a shadow of a doubt they'd never face consequences for anything, even shooting an unarmed suspect eight times in the back while he ran away. Because cops would investigate cops, and always clear them of any wrongdoing.

    Must suck to have to actually follow the laws they enforce on the rest of us for a change. If that causes an uptick in crime, that's a small price to pay. Violent crime is still down massively from the peak in the early 90s, any claimed uptick is probably just a natural variation as the factor that has been proven to be responsible for that peak (leaded gasoline - see http://www.ricknevin.com/uploads/Nevin_2000_Env_Res_Author_Manuscript.pdf) is no longer present so violent crime has returned to its "natural" levels

  25. ZedThePirate

    Just do what they did in the UK

    Just do what they did in the UK and make it illegal to photograph/video a police officer!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Just do what they did in the UK

      Citation required. Good luck.

    2. Da Weezil

      Re: Just do what they did in the UK

      Do try to keep up - some Officers of the plod tried that one on a few years ago and were swiftly corrected. It is NOT illegal to film UK Police in a public place.

      source :- http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice

      Its not hard to find this stuff!

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Just do what they did in the UK

        Actually it is if you prefer to remain baised, you sort of go blind to anything but one side.

    3. Andrew Taylor 1

      Re: Just do what they did in the UK

      Bollocks, go back your Noddy books.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just do what they did in the UK

        You have every right to film a police officer -

        You also have the right to be arrested for "impeding an officer", be tazered while resisting arrest and the right to fall down stairs during questioning.

  26. BurnT'offering

    So, when you retire from the FBI, Director Comey

    Are you by any chance thinking of running for a political office?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just another election year here in the USA

    The crime in question includes many shootings. More gun violence means more support for gun control, more votes for anti-gun politicians, and more revenue for gun control businesses. Coincidentally, anti-gun politician Hillary Clinton is running for president. And American gun control businesses have a history of making illegal campaign contributions to anti-gun politicians when those businesses are flush with cash. And the increase is sharpest in cities like Chicago which are controlled by Hillary's political allies. And the Obama administration's "Project Fast and Furious" supplied thousands of guns to trigger-happy drug dealers, entirely by accident, of course, while Hillary was Secretary of State. This is all just a coincidence, just like Bill Clinton happened to pardon 14 gun-smuggling FALN terrorists when Hillary ran for the Senate the first time. Nothing to see here, move along.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Just another election year here in the USA

      What are "gun control businesses"?

      The businesses that do best when there's an anti-gun president in office are gun and ammo manufacturers. Look at all the "Obama is going to take away your guns" scare tactics they've used repeatedly, resulting in record gun sales and ammo shortages for months during his first team. They will do the same if Clinton is elected - or if Trump is elected (because he's kind of a wild card)

      If I owned a gun or ammo manufacturing company, I'd be secretly donating to Clinton's campaign because for damn sure a president that's on record as wanting gun control is great for business!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just another election year here in the USA

        The Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Incorporated). Americans for Gun Safety, etc, are all gun control businesses that raise money by exploiting shootings. They have paid staff who know their jobs depend on people being shot, especially children. Here in the USA we call that a "conflict of interest."

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Just another election year here in the USA

          Those aren't businesses, they are lobbyists. You can raise money and lobby for anything you want, and the NRA which lobbies for the opposite is far larger and employs a lot more people. They exploit shootings for their goals too, arguing that if more bystanders were armed all the time they couldn't have taken place.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I understand Mr Comey correctly...

    ... if police officers aren't allowed to (illegally) kill and/or beat the crap out of perps, then they can't do their job at all and so the crime rates rise. In other words, to do his job properly, a police officer has to (illegally) behave like a thug.

    The candour of this admission is quite unexpected!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "causing the police force to act more tentatively"

    Should read...

    Since they are getting caught, the general attitude has shifted to that of a bad employee and saying 'frack it, let's see how long they'll last if we don't do our job'.

    Even though it's a few bad cops, most of the rest of them do know about it and allow it to go on. They cause they're own problems. I doubt the idiots we've had in SC got caught the first time they did something dumb: shooting a fleeing unarmed man to death in the back then lying about it (with fellow officers), shooting an unarmed man after asking that he get his wallet out of the truck, beating a shackled inmate that was not causing a problem (broke his leg)...

    They may deal with the bad side of the public and get paid jack, but they still are representing law enforcement and because of extra rights that go with that, are expected to act to a higher standard.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting question

    "While Comey has chosen to reignite the debate at this time is unclear, especially when he is simply reiterating the same argument as last time which saw him heavily criticized."

    The great mass of the people will more easily believe a big lie than a small one - Hitler/Himmler?

    Pick a simple lie and repeat it incessantly - also Adolph (although the exact wording may be slightly different.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No statistical proof

    means he pulled it out of his (fill in relevant orifice)

  32. imanidiot Silver badge

    Repeat after me:

    Correlation does not equal causation!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chilling Effect

    “What does a scanner see? he asked himself. I mean, really see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does a passive infrared scanner like they used to use or a cube-type holo-scanner like they use these days, the latest thing, see into me - into us - clearly or darkly? I hope it does, he thought, see clearly, because I can't any longer these days see into myself. I see only murk. Murk outside; murk inside. I hope, for everyone's sake, the scanners do better. Because, he thought, if the scanner sees only darkly, the way I myself do, then we are cursed, cursed again and like we have been continually, and we'll wind up dead this way, knowing very little and getting that little fragment wrong too.”

    ― Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly

  34. teebie

    "causing officers to be more careful in confronting suspects"

    "avoiding aggressive interactions with members of the public"

    These both sound like good things

  35. Big_Boomer

    MORE GUNS!

    I know,... the solution is MORE GUNS! Everyone should be required to carry a gun at all times, even in the shower or on the loo. That will help lower the murder rate. <LOL> It still stuns me how an entire nation can be so oblivious to utterly obvious facts that having guns in every ones hands leads to more gun deaths, especially when so many of those with the guns are young, poor, reckless and have nothing to lose.

    As for Police brutality, it is everywhere but is almost always just a few bad eggs. I do feel sorry for the cops in some instances as they get constantly provoked and everyone has a breaking point. This brutality almost always happens in "low rent" areas where the public are poor and far more likely to turn to violent crime as they have little to lose, but the cops as many others have said HAVE to hold themselves to a much higher standard of behaviour. If you can't handle it then you shouldn't get the badge.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: MORE GUNS!

      "If you can't handle it then you shouldn't get the badge."

      But you said yourself some people have no alternatives. For many, this is the ONLY way to stay on the right side of the law. Otherwise, as you've said, they'll have no choice but to go to the OTHER side.

  36. cortland

    It wasn't very long ago that the new police chief in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, addressing one of the religious communities here, pointed out that the number of murders in Grand Rapids has been dropping for years, even though the number of shootings hasn't dropped.

    Grand Rapids is home to a number of very good hospitals near the neighborhoods where shootings occur, and they're saving many people who would otherwise die – which has NOTHING to do with whether anyone is videotaping the police.

  37. Brian Allan 1

    "Congress is looking at sentencing reform and how to change the world-beating number of US citizens held in prison."

    Decriminalize and legalize drug usage! And see the jails empty... Let's start with marijuana. Take drug distribution out of criminal hands, regulate it, tax it, do anything because the War on Drugs has been a total frigging failure!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some things are too dangerous to handle, such as heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy (all three have been known to kill in a single, regulated dose). Meanwhile, what about the social factors when people die taking drugs and leave widows and orphans who become wards of society? No one lives in isolation these days, so any action taken by an individual, even in isolation, has inevitable knock-on effects throughout society.

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