Contests by Southern California cops to see who can arrest the most people are sparking outrage across the nation. The object of one, called "Operation Any Booking," was the maximum number of arrests in a 24-hour period. The reward? "Bragging rights," said a Los Angeles deputy. "It's just a friendly competition to have a little fun," he told the Los Angeles Times.
Civil libertarians and defense attorneys condemned the practice, saying that it trivialized traumatic encounters, and could result in illegitimate arrests to boost statistics. "The arrest is one of the most potent tools of law enforcement and should be used with great thought," said one legal expert. "It's not a competition or a game."