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FBI director blames spike in crime on viral videos

Many California residents have watched videos of police brutality that were taken on mobile phones. These raw videos often go viral on the Internet and inspire other people to film police officers during confrontations. Recently, FBI Director James Comey claimed that the 'viral video effect" causes police officers to be less aggressive and can also be blamed for a recent spike in violent crimes.

Comey's statements were not backed up with any statistical evidence linking viral videos to violent crimes. He said that he believes police officers are now more reluctant to suppress potential crimes by confronting suspicious looking people. Comey said that police officers have told him privately that they feel 'under siege" when they are surrounded by mobile phone cameras, and many officers do not want to get out of their vehicles.

Though there is no proven connection between viral videos and crime, it is known that there has been a dramatic increase in crime rates across the country. More than 40 U.S. cities have experienced higher crime rates this year, and the increase is higher than it was last year. In the city of Chicago, shootings are up by 70 percent and murders are up by 54 percent since last year.

The popularity of filming police confrontations can be beneficial for people who are accused of violent crimes as well as for their defense attorneys. When witnesses use their cellphones to take videos of police, these videos may be used as evidence in a criminal trial. For example, a charge for assaulting a law enforcement official could be disputed if there is a video of the defendant interacting peacefully with police officers.

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