n the last few years, smartphones have become cheaper and more plentiful. According to recent statistics, the number of cellphones in the hands of Americans has been rising steadily every year. It is estimated that 182.6 million Americans will own a smartphone in 2015, an increase from 163.9 million in the previous year.
182 million smartphones means that nearly every adult in the country has a camera in their pocket.
Since the increase in smartphones, there has also been an increase in police brutality videos. This increase in videos led to the question of whether brutality is on the rise or merely that the frequency of filming the instances has risen.
While the answer to this question is up for debate, one thing is certain — the number of police brutality allegations being substantiated by video has increased.
New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board is an independent agency that is empowered to receive, investigate, mediate, hear, make findings, and recommend action on complaints against New York City police officers. According to the CCRB, nearly half (45%) of all claims of brutality and excessive force of NYPD cops have been substantiated by video in the first six months of 2015.
The camera is power as it is a means of exposing unacceptable behavior — and police are beginning to understand its power.
In the video below, Cameron Ford begins filming what he refers to as an unauthorized arrest. It appears that during the incident, the officer looks back at the man filming, realizes that he is being held accountable, and then ceases his false arrest.
According to Ford:
This video right here proves why you should ALWAYS FILM THE POLICE. This is the same very officer who trumped up charges on me stemming from an arrest days earlier on Wednesday, October 14th 2015.
I saw the same officer arresting someone else for absolutely nothing. Several people got my attention saying that same cop is arresting a black male for NO REASON, I pulled out my camera and started documenting the arrest by filming from a distance. The Police Sgt,. on the bike (Sgt. Hall) advised the arresting officer, that I was filming, you see the officer look back at me with a sneaky mischievous grin and then you see him unhandcuff the male and release him back into the wild.
In a second clip, you will see the officer Stare me down, like I am going to get payback on you. Again days earlier he trumped up 3 felony charges on me, in a great attempt to have me sitting and rotting in jail for crimes I never committed.
As the Free Thought Project’s Andrew Emmet reported this week,