Do some police social media posts do more harm than good?

The videos are difficult to watch.

In one, a man dangles over the edge of an Oklahoma City overpass, his legs swinging in midair as police grab his arms and pull him from the brink. In another, a woman hangs high above the Los Angeles Harbor as a half-dozen officers drag her, head-first, up the side of the bridge. The panicked voices of cops cry out, “We got you, we got you!” just before they pin her to the ground and pull out handcuffs.

The short clips were posted on official law enforcement social media accounts, part of a longstanding practice by police agencies to showcase their lifesaving efforts online — especially in 2021 as desperation grows for positive press amid accusations of excessive force and racism following George Floyd’s murder, and rising gun violence and killings.

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