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Law enforcement adjusts to a world caught on tape

Video footage is changing our level of transparency

By Casey Curlin
The Washington Times

WASHINGTON — It went viral on YouTube and aired on a nearly continuous loop for a week on cable news networks, but the March 3 confrontation between a University of Maryland student and the Prince George's County police force dramatizes an even bigger change: the revolution in law enforcement wrought by video recorders and cell-phone cameras.

It began with the 1991 videotaped beating of Rodney King that sparked citywide riots in Los Angeles, but the modern ubiquity of video recording devices - and the likelihood that bystanders and even the suspects may be taping an incident - has had a major effect on the theory and practice of law enforcement.

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