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The number of incidents of police brutality haven’t significantly increased, but video proof of the cases has increased because of cell phones and video surveillance. According to Kari Paul on Mashable:

Although incidents of police brutality are not new, the ubiquity of their documentation, both by mobile phone and surveillance cameras, has brought the issue to the fore.

The use of force by police isn’t necessarily on the rise — the Department of Justice says there was no statistically significant increase from 2002 to 2008 — but the combination of proliferating cameras and viral videos makes it seem as though the recordings just keep coming.

In the last week, there have been videos released of a a South Carolina state trooper shooting an unarmed man during a routine traffic stop and a pregnant woman in New York being taken to the ground on her belly.

Despite video evidence, Paul says it doesn’t always result in a conviction:

Though the videos have drawn attention to the issue of excessive force in arrests, they do not always lead to prosecution. On Aug. 5, 22-year-old John Crawford III was killed by police in a Walmart while carrying an air rifle (also known as a BB gun) sold in the store. The incident was caught on tape.

A grand jury decided Wednesday after reviewing the video that the shooting was justified, and no officers involved would be indicted.

Crawford’s family said in a statement they are “disgusted” by the decision.

“The Walmart surveillance video and eyewitnesses prove that the killing of John H. Crawford, lll was not justified and was not reasonable,” they said.

Public outcry in a case in California did result in a $1.5 million settlement for a woman brutally beaten by a California Highway Patrolman.

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