James Comey Still Trying To Blame Increase In Violent Crime On 'Viral Videos'

from the pitching-woe dept

FBI Director James Comey says we're "going dark" as more platforms move towards encryption. Nobody's buying it. Not Congress. Not NSA officials. Definitely not those who have actually researched the subject.

He also says people with cameras are causing spikes in crime rates by making police officers so self-conscious they can't do their job. Comey blamed citizens with cameras for escalating crime rates last October. He was immediately contradicted by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Having learned nothing from the experience, Comey has dusted off his 2015 talking points for redeployment in 2016.

FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday he believes a "viral video effect" causes weak police work and could be "at the heart" of a spike in violent crime in some American cities.

“There’s a perception that police are less likely to do the marginal additional policing that suppresses crime—the getting out of your car at 2 in the morning and saying to a group of guys, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’” he told reporters at FBI headquarters.
This is a guy with access to some of the best intelligence and advice your tax dollars can buy. And yet he'd rather tuck his thumbs into his suspenders, lean towards reporters and aw-shucks at them with his "I may just be a simple director of the most powerful law enforcement agency in the United States, but…" pitches.

He sounds like a small town local running for sheriff, rather than a top government official with his finger on the pulse of criminal activity and law enforcement technology.
Comey spoke to reporters after being briefed on crime statistics from 40 major cities, most of which saw an increase in murders, he said.

"I was very worried about it last fall and I am in many ways more worried," Comey told reporters at FBI headquarters. "The numbers are not only going up, they're continuing to go up faster than they were going up last year. And I worry very much it's a problem that most of America can drive around. ... I don't know what the answer is, but, holy cow, do we have a problem."
That's classic Comey: You've got problems? I don't have answers.

Encryption got you down? I'm sure the "smart people" in tech can deliver unicorns on command. No, I'm sorry. I don't have any technical details but, you know, those guys at Apple and Google are so damn smart. They'll think of something.

Crime rates spiking in major cities? "Holy cow, do we have a problem?" Any ideas, Mr. Top of the Law Enforcement Food Chain? "I don't know what the answer is."

OK. Well… um… keep on earning that paycheck... I guess.

Not for nothing has James Comey earned a petition calling for his removal. Comey claims criminals are somehow exploiting a "tech gap" the FBI can't seem to close, despite its hundreds of millions of dollars. I don't know how many criminals are staying one step ahead of the FBI in a tech arms race anyone can participate in. (The fact that the FBI can buy/obtain/hoard exploits and malware, along with other high-tech tools the general public can't purchase, somehow always gets lost in law enforcement's portrayal of this so-called "race.") But it can certainly be said criminals are one step ahead of the FBI's top man, who often seems genuinely baffled by the issues confronting his agency.

It may be that Comey is playing dumb because he believes it's the best way to advance his agency's agenda. But he's been doing this for more than a year and there's been no forward movement. If anything, the FBI is less likely to receive Congressional assistance than it was before Comey began running his mouth on these two subjects.

Not only has he lost the support of Congress, but he's not winning any powerful friends within the law enforcement community.
“He ought to stick to what he knows,” James O. Pasco Jr., executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, told the New York Times. “He’s basically saying that police officers are afraid to do their jobs with absolutely no proof.”
Unfortunately, this -- and "going dark" -- appears to be all Comey knows.

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Filed Under: blame, crime, fbi, james comey, law enforcement, transparency


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 9:55am

    i want to know which of the viral videos hes referring to that have ever been of cops doing the right thing and not abusing their authority

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:14am

    These viral videos are causing cops to be charged with crimes, and so they are responsible for an increase in (reported) crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 14 May 2016 @ 1:58am

      Re:

      You could well be right about that. The FBI collects crime statistics, but their only source of those are the annual and monthly reports by police departments.

      If police departments are reporting an increase in officers being charged with crimes and citing video evidence as to why they had to charge them, that WOULD tend to look like video is causing officer crimes from a purely statistics view.

      After all, to a bureaucrat, problems don't exist until someone officially takes notice of them, and then the problem was created by the official notice. This is why people with a bureaucratic mentality tend to attack whistleblowers, people who find serious bugs in products, etc.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      mb (profile), 16 May 2016 @ 8:17am

      Re:

      That would be true if the cops were actually charged with any crimes, but usually they are not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:15am

    Comey's an idiot

    He needs to go. He's too stupid for the job he's in. There are cameras everywhere these days. There's no escape. Do these cops look scared of anything?

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/11/video-police-beating-driver-new-hampshire-ma ssachusetts

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:19am

      Re: Comey's an idiot

      The only violent crime I see there is done by the officers themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Comey's an idiot

      I started writing a pretty long comment at the Guardian, and came to the realization that 'James Comey is a fucking moron' is all that need be said about him at this point. Saves me about three hours a day.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:29am

    Comey is a last bit of left over legacy of the Bush administration. An administration that differs from the present on merely by degree. He basically supports fascism when it comes to government rights and abilities and is out of touch with what the American people want. There are already being passed around petitions to get him out of office, calling for his resignation. While those petitions have no power to enforce his resignation it is the first step in getting it done.

    Were cops not doing policing for profit and actually doing their jobs by their motto of Protect and Serve, none of this filming would be happening. Now everyone has a camera with a cell phone pretty much. Citizens are filming cops for self protection as their word is not equal to a cops in court. The videos are the only way to raise any sort of doubt as to what happened when their own cameras mysteriously malfunction at critical times.

    As the government loves to argue in court about expectations of privacy, cops have no expectations of privacy in public. Either deal with the bad apples on the forces or be caught red handed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:33am

    No Comey, you have it backwards. Its the weak police work that when caught on video makes the video go viral, not the other way around.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:36am

    Comey is such a commie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    SteveMB (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 10:56am

    If the police have nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:58am

    Dumberest

    "It may be that Comey is playing dumb..."

    "Playing"?

    I pray daily that an undetected aneurysm finally ruptures and blows his brains out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 11:02am

    At 2 AM: Hey whare are you guys doing here?

    None of your business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    lars626 (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 11:04am

    What does it take for someone to tell this paranoid clown to shut up. Mr. President are you listening?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 11:18am

    He graduated from the Obama & Hillary school of deflection

    He is only doing what Obama and Hillary taught him to do by blaming Benghazi on a YouTube video. Why would you expect Obama's administration to behave any differently than he does?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 11:20am

    "Heckuvajob" Comey?

    Exactly how did he get into his position. It sounds like it wasn't the result of years and years of walking the beat and chasing serial murderers.

    Something tells me he was a fellow frat-buddy of a president.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 11:32am

    I thought it was comics and rock and roll that was behind violent crime increases.

    Or was it that crazy new dance the charleston?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 12:17pm

    "marginal additional policing" = shooting black people in the back from 300 foot away then suppressing the evidence and threatening the guys family that they'll "get the same" if they don't drop the matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    American People, 13 May 2016 @ 1:50pm

    FBI Director James Comey = enemy of America

    I have nothing to say after reading this other than FBI Director James Comey is an enemy of America

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 2:15pm

    So, what can cause people to comment severe crimes?

    I dont know...
    REALLY...

    1. NO JOBS
    2. TRYING to get money because you dont have any to pay the rent..
    3. We have better pollution protection in the USA,(that isnt working) then other nations, the cost of materials in other nations is CHEAPER, we ship WOOD to china to be processed into PULP, to be made into FAKE wood, then SHIPPED back, and we think its CHEAPER??
    4. we debate renewable resources and then we dont USA them?? Hemp and bamboo are great materials and have TONS of uses..and we STILL import more then we raise??
    5. WE WOULD RATHER ship jobs to other nations, then create them HERE, because we dont know any other way to get rid of the pollution's from processing..
    6. we SHIP GARBAGE to other countries..who take the time to process it, and make NEW and send it back..
    7. A law that says a Corp is not responsible to the citizens, only to its STOCK HOLDERS for making money. not improving the nation, not improving society...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hephaestus (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 3:36pm

    Dear police and FBI,

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

    Sincerely,
    The general public.

    PS. Kindly shut the fuck up and do your jobs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 3:46pm

    I think he's talking about videos like

    Collateral Murder - Wikileaks - Iraq

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 4:41pm

    Funny that...

    Police and government agencies push for more cameras and more intrusive surveillance on everyone that isn't them and one of the excuses used is that it's to catch bad people and/or act as a deterrent to prevent crime, and innocent people have absolutely nothing to worry about because 'If you're not doing something wrong you have nothing to fear.'

    Suggest that cameras watch them on the other hand and now suddenly it's keeping police from performing their jobs comprised of perfectly legal and not at all suspect actions, is a violation of privacy and just so much of a hassle and so on.

    'One law for me and another for thee' as the saying goes, the public is supposed to be perfectly fine with having cameras watching them at any and all times, with only the guilty having reason to worry yet when police object to being recorded their privacy is suddenly of utmost importance and cameras make even the 'innocent' afraid to do their jobs?

    If you're going to defend mass surveillance by claiming that only the guilty have something to hide you don't get to turn around and say that the innocent can't do their jobs when they're being recorded. That's either a glaring bit of hypocrisy, an admission that those you are defending are perhaps not quite as innocent as you would have others believe, or both.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whatever, 13 May 2016 @ 5:33pm

    Of course it's the fault of the public. If the police know there's going to be a bunch of entitled idiots brandishing their smart phones shouting them down constantly they can't do their job, and then when they have to end up shooting these ignorant assholes who insist on getting in the way, they get blamed for it too. I keep pointing out these obvious truths but it's clear that Techdirt hates authority, and keeps on churning out these hit pieces for clicks and stirring up the typical anti-cop sentiments among the pirate fanbase.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 9:26pm

    Well, you know the old saying, "Misery loves Company. And James Comey is a fucking idiot."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2016 @ 12:59am

    Goodbye everything

    And I worry very much it's a problem that most of America can drive around.

    Depending on how you read this, Comey might also be calling for a ban on cars in the near future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zem, 14 May 2016 @ 10:27pm

    And here I thought it was those encrypted heavy metal violent computer games viral videos.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Funny clips, 21 Jun 2016 @ 12:17am

    Hey Admin!
    James Comey Still Trying To Blame Increase In Violent Crime On 'Viral Videos' you can choose an interesting topic for discussion. I am sure people like this topic and like the blog information by the way thanks for sharing nice post.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jesse, 2 Feb 2018 @ 7:16pm

    Comey

    Comey is an idiot, just ask other members of the FBI, the rank and file members. The hard-working men and women who protect this country and don't get into the political bullshit!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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