A drastic drop in complaints immediately after San Diego outfitted its police with body cameras


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Surprise, surprise! Immediately after San Diego outfitted its police force with 600 body camera the number of complaints plunged.

The report, which took one full year into account, found that complaints against police have fallen 40.5 percent and use of “personal body” force by officers has been reduced by 46.5 percent. Use of pepper spray has decreased by 30.5 percent.

Two benefits can be seen immediately. First, the police are being harassed less from false complaints. Second, and more important, the police are finding ways to settle most disputes without the use of force, which means they are abusing their authority less.

These statistics do confirm what many on both the right and the left have begun to believe in recent years, that the police have been almost certainly using force against citizens inappropriately too often. In San Diego at least the cameras are serving to stem this misuse of authority.

Posted from Tucson International Airport, on my way to Vandenberg to get a tour and give a lecture.

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3 comments

  • Cotour

    Cameras tend to make everyone behave a bit better behaved on both sides of the equation, which is not an endorsement on my part of having them everywhere. I think the trend will be to substantiate how dangerous the job of policing actually is and how EF’n crazy a segment of the public can actually be.

    This will be like the TV show cops on steroids, up close and personal. Ah technology, thou are a two faced Hi Def bitch.

  • pzatchok

    I think it has more to do with the fact that the citizens are now acting far better when interacting with the officers instead of acting like animals and a-holes.

    The cops don’t have to use as much force when the citizens just shut up and sit down. Acting nice and polite until everything is over.
    Leave the acting stupid and crazy to the stupid and crazy people.

    Even if the cop is wrong and you know it just sort it out in court. You have a far better chance of suing for something if it gets all the way to court.

    People didn’t argue and fight with Andy and Barny. Why do they do it now? Whats the point?
    Does fighting, arguing and running from the cops really produce good results often enough to be worth it?

  • Cotour

    I am happy that you find that acting reasonably and respectfully when dealing with the public, knowing how crazy a segment of the public is, is the best and most civilized way to go in such instances when one is engaged in dealing with the public.

    This rule applies to both the police and the private sector, its just the best policy, but you have to take care of business when you are forced to take care of business whether there are cameras or not.

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