A board that investigates misconduct complaints against the New York Police Department credits video recordings for its highest rate ever of substantiated cases, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the first half of 2015, the Civilian Complaint Review Board verified 21 percent of cases against officers, its highest rate since the board's creation in 1993 and six points higher than January-to-June 2014. Just as video recordings have changed the landscape of police oversight cases across the U.S., footage of incidents in New York City both verified officer misconduct and, in other instances, exonerated officers.
“No longer are the lion's share of cases 'he said/she said' where additional corroboration is almost always required, and substantiation is quite difficult,” said board chairman Richard Emery. “Now almost half of substantiated force allegations are possible because of video evidence.” The board substantiated 237 cases against 354 police officers in the first half of 2015. This is 104 more cases than the same period last year, when the board substantiated 133 cases against 187 officers. Video has played a particularly large role in complaints of improper or excessive use of force. Despite the verification of more cases, the number of complaints fell to 2,092, the lowest total since 2001.