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From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin -- and now Mike Brown

59 years after an all-white jury in Mississippi acquitted Emmett Till's murderers, a majority-white grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the man who killed Mike Brown. [more inside]
posted by Ragini on Nov 24, 2014 - 1177 comments

Akai Gurley

Last night, a 28 year old man named Akai Gurley was shot to death in a stairwell by an NYPD officer who was patrolling the Pink Houses in East New York. Gurley and his girlfriend had decided to take the stairs because the elevator was taking too long. Police Commissioner Bratton said today that the victim was “a total innocent” and called the shooting "an unfortunate accident." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 21, 2014 - 113 comments

And The Motorcade Sped On

How do you get your VIPs from A to B? The motorcade, that seemingly endless stream of steel and blue light which takes possession of however much public highway it likes. If you're America, Russia or China, it's almost a competitive sport over who has the longest, with city blocks and motorway lanes locked off for the security bubble. London does it a little differently... [more inside]
posted by Devonian on Nov 10, 2014 - 50 comments

Breaking: The Mayor of Minneapolis is not in a gang

Twin Cities TV station KSTP ran a story alleging that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges threw gang signs titled "Mpls. Mayor Flashes Gang Sign with Convicted Felon; Law Enforcement Outraged." Shawn King suggests it's an early frontrunner for most racist news story of 2014. Commentator Nekima Levy-Pounds points out that the media went to tired stereotypes instead of telling the actual story of civic engagement. Images tagged #Pointergate have proliferated online. Former Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe refuses to weigh in, saying he "can only deal with one 'gate' idiocy at a time", despite the fact that this one actually is about journalism ethics.
posted by larrybob on Nov 7, 2014 - 86 comments

"They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out."

Audio recordings show that airspace restrictions over Ferguson following the killing of Mike Brown, supposedly due to shots fired at helicopters, were actually to keep the media out. Meanwhile federal charges against Darren Wilson are looking increasingly unlikely.
posted by Artw on Nov 3, 2014 - 141 comments

Crisis in Mexico: the government is killing students - again

Something happened the night of September 26th, 2014 near the town of Iguala, 100 miles from Acapulco, Mexico. According to The New Yorker: “Scores of uniformed municipal police and a handful of masked men dressed in black shot and killed six people, wounded more than twenty, and rounded up and detained forty-three students in a series of attacks carried out at multiple points and lasting more than three hours [...] The forty-three students taken into police custody are now ‘disappeared.” All 43 students, all young men who were studying to become rural teachers, are still missing, presumed dead. [more inside]
posted by omegar on Oct 28, 2014 - 35 comments

"So no I don't always believe them and yeah I let them know that."

While working within the Chicago Police Department, Rebecca Campbell (PhD, Professor, Michigan State University) was told by a detective that "most victims lie" about sexual assault. She, on the other hand, was certain that most victims told the truth. Wondering how both she and the detective could be so certain, she began to do the research to find out. Her work examines how the legal and medical and mental health systems respond to the needs of adult, adolescent and pediatric victims of sexual assault. [Warning for graphic descriptions of assaults] [more inside]
posted by VioletU on Oct 24, 2014 - 49 comments

RIP Loukanikos

A farewell to paws. "The beloved Greek riot dog is dead – and so is his revolution." [Previously]
posted by homunculus on Oct 16, 2014 - 19 comments

The rural school to prison pipeline

No Country for Young Men: The Rural School to Prison Pipeline
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 7, 2014 - 45 comments

Tenny mucho mucho deniro in su trucky-trailer?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver takes on the issue of civil asset forfeiture, including "Law & Order: Civil Asset Forfeiture Unit", a preview of how police procedurals could handle the topic. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 6, 2014 - 49 comments

Censorship of the Arts in Australia

"Not since the days of Mike Brown’s conviction of obscenity over 50 years ago have Australian police successfully prosecuted an artist over such charges. These repeated failures have not, however, stopped the police from trying." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 4, 2014 - 20 comments

Born Suspect.

This afternoon, the NAACP released "Born Suspect: Stop and Frisk Abuses & the Continued Fight to End Racial Profiling in America." (pdf) The report comes on the same day that Ferguson, MO Police Chief Thomas Jackson released this video, apologizing to the family of Michael Brown for the death of their son, and the day after South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Sean Groubert was arrested for opening fire on an unarmed Black man, Levar Jones, whom he had pulled over for a seat belt violation. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 25, 2014 - 100 comments

How a Squad of Ex-Cops Fights Police Abuses

In 1997, Smith retired from the police force. He needed a job to help cover his two daughters' college expenses, so he signed up as an investigator in the Broward County Public Defender's Office. He had little idea that he'd end up a key player in a bold experiment in criminal justice, one that aims to give tens of thousands of people who can't afford lawyers a fighting chance in a system stacked against them. It's an effort that suggests new ways for court-appointed attorneys to get at the truth, despite their insane caseloads. And a big part of it is getting former cops to police the police.
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 23, 2014 - 25 comments

Stop and Seize: An Investigation into Asset Forfeiture

Stop and Seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
posted by milquetoast on Sep 7, 2014 - 67 comments

Black Males, Autism, and the Police

"He’s black, male and autistic," she says. "[I] never know if he’ll be accosted. You ask questions later and you shoot first. It’s happened too many times all over this nation." In the wake of Ferguson, parents of autistic young men of color discuss their fears. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Sep 3, 2014 - 13 comments

Down with autocracy in Russia

In honour of Labour day, enjoy a documentary on Jewish anarchism at the turn of the 20th century, and the story of The Free Voice of Labour, their Yiddish newspaper that ran from 1890-1977. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Sep 1, 2014 - 3 comments

"The problem is I'm black. That's the problem."

St. Paul police roughly assault and arrest man, who is black and sitting in public area waiting for his kids. [SLYT] Police defended arrest but all charges were dropped by St. Paul police against 27-year old Chris Lollie. Lollie is filing complaint and now plans on suing.
posted by Mike Mongo on Aug 29, 2014 - 420 comments

Escalating Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri

We are now entering day 10 of protests in Ferguson, MO, protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by local law enforcement officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. [more inside]
posted by Phire on Aug 18, 2014 - 3292 comments

Five-O

Georgia Teens Develop App to Document Police Abuse - Five-O, allows citizens to enter the details of every interaction with a police officer. It also allows them to rate that officer in terms of courtesy and professionalism and provides the ability to enter a short description of what transpired. [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity on Aug 15, 2014 - 26 comments

"Respectfully officer, I don't have to answer that."

Infographic for the next time a cop pulls you over. (via Infographic Pics)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 14, 2014 - 125 comments

"Don’t shoot me"

Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
posted by Artw on Aug 12, 2014 - 3381 comments

Mack

"No one knew who killed (13 year-old) Mackenzie Howard that cold February night last year — and people were terrified that the killer was still in their midst. But in the remote community of Kake, only accessible by air or boat, there was no law enforcement officer."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 3, 2014 - 19 comments

The true measure of a society is how we treat our children

When the Bough Breaks. "Children often can’t tell detectives what happened to them. But their injuries always tell a story. The essence of a child abuse investigation is determining the plausibility of an adult’s story, given the child’s condition. Could the child have sustained the injuries by falling off a bed, tumbling down stairs, or any number of accidents that parents routinely describe? Or does the story fail to account for the injuries?" A profile of Sergeant Brenda Nichols, the head of the Dallas Police Department’s Child Abuse Squad, and one of her cases. (SFW, but the article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse that some readers may find disturbing.)
posted by zarq on Aug 2, 2014 - 17 comments

To Swerve and Deflect.

On July 29, 2014, the City of Chicago released to the public a set of documents long sought by journalists and civil rights lawyers. Here they are. [more inside]
posted by stinkfoot on Jul 31, 2014 - 25 comments

"It made me proud of my town to see everybody come out for her"

Small South Carolina town rallies for fired lesbian police chief
LATTA, S.C. (AP) -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over. Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.

The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and the town council rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.

posted by Lexica on Jul 22, 2014 - 62 comments

The death of Eric Garner

Last week, a 43 year-old man named Eric Garner died during an arrest on Staten Island, New York, when he was put in what looked like a choke hold. The NYPD claims that Mr. Garner was selling illegally cigarettes outside a store. The entire encounter, which was videotaped and posted to YouTube, (graphic) has so far resulted in the removal of the badge and gun from the arresting officers, as well as the suspension of two EMTs and two paramedics who were seen on another video taking Garner's pulse but apparently doing little else for about two minutes. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 22, 2014 - 167 comments

"Another search warrant 'for pictures of his erect penis'"

A 17 year-old Virginia teenager who is under investigation for sending a consensual sext to his 15-year-old girlfriend may be forced to have an erection in front of police as evidence in the case. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 9, 2014 - 85 comments

A Canadian perspective on the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model

The Walrus magazine looks into Toronto police shootings of the mentally ill and the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model:

Memphis, one-quarter of Toronto’s size but with a homicide rate nine times higher, has developed a progressive approach to de-escalate high-tension confrontations, improve police attitudes toward those suffering from mental illness, and divert them from the criminal justice system. The Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model centres on dispatching specially trained beat cops to emergency calls as quickly as possible, and giving them the authority to take charge of the scene. That approach triggered a revolution in policing that has now been emulated in 2,700 jurisdictions across the US, including large urban centres such as Chicago and Los Angeles. A handful of Canadian cities, among them Hamilton and Vancouver, have also adopted the CIT model. While the TPS has not, senior officials claim that all of its 5,500 uniformed officers receive some training in how to handle mental illness, which makes the recent proliferation of shootings that much more perplexing.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 3, 2014 - 11 comments

Tax-supported SWAT teams claim immunity from open access laws

Massachusetts SWAT teams claim they’re private corporations, immune from open records laws
posted by Vibrissae on Jun 26, 2014 - 42 comments

Caveirão

Caveirão (SLVimeo) It's 3:33 AM! Do you know where the spirits of your city are? In honor of the Brazilian World Cup - and the sacrifices made for it - an animated short feature in the tradition of Ghost Busters and Night Watch, with a decidedly modern, Brazilian take.
posted by Slap*Happy on Jun 12, 2014 - 2 comments

War Gear Flows to Police Departments

In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 9, 2014 - 128 comments

Philip K Dick meets the more twisted stories of Isaac Asimov

Psycho-Pass is a fantastic anime written by Gen Urobuchi, the man who brought us 2011's brilliant Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Even if you are not an anime fan (I'm iffy on it myself), Psycho-Pass is worth checking out. Set in a "utopian" society where psychological profiles can be analyzed remotely, police carry guns that can only fire at would-be criminals, and aptitude tests determine how to provide "the greatest number of people with the greatest amount of happiness", Psycho-Pass asks intriguing, provocative questions about the relationships between humans and computers, criminals and society, and the responsibilities we owe society, versus the responsibilities said societies owe us in turn. There is also a good deal of people shooting each other, if you're into that sort of thing.

Psycho-Pass can be watched for free, either subbed or dubbed, at Hulu (as can Madoka if "lighthearted" "fantasy" is more your cup of tea).
posted by Rory Marinich on May 26, 2014 - 39 comments

Women, submit!

Project ROSE is a Phoenix city programme that arrests sex workers in the name of saving them. In five two-day stings, more than 100 police officers targeted alleged sex workers on the street and online. They brought them in handcuffs to the Bethany Bible Church. There, the sex workers were forced to meet with prosecutors, detectives, and representatives of Project ROSE, who offered a diversion programme to those who qualified. Those who did not may face months or years in jail.

posted by urbanwhaleshark on Apr 16, 2014 - 86 comments

"Tell them to be careful - the police."

7 month old baby pulls tail of cat. Cat scratches baby. Father of baby kicks cat butt. Then things go rapidly downhill between the 22 pound house cat "with a history of violence" and the family... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Mar 11, 2014 - 143 comments

In defense of the First Amendment

A police officer forcibly escorted Baltimore Sun photo editor Chris Assaf away from the scene of a police-involved shooting on Feb. 21. He had been taking pictures from outside the police lines, but an officer told him he had to move back further. Assaf protested, stating he was within his First Amendment rights to be where he was standing. Another officer then forced him to move. The Sun is posting all of Assaf’s images from the shooting scene as well as photos taken by Sun photographer Lloyd Fox, who witnessed and documented the incident. Lt. Eric Kowalczk, the chief spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, said the department has opened an internal investigation into the allegation. He declined to comment more specifically on the incident, “because we have an investigation and we don’t want to prejudice that.” (contains some mildly graphic pictures in both links)
posted by josher71 on Mar 7, 2014 - 112 comments

Undercover - Keep it all out of sight

George Monbiot - "...Before I explain it, here’s a summary of what we know already. Thanks to the remarkable investigations pursued first by the victims of police spies and then by the Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis (whose book Undercover is as gripping as any thriller), we know that British police have been inserting undercover officers into protest movements since 1968(2). Their purpose was to counter what they called subversion or domestic extremism, which they define as seeking to “prevent something from happening or to change legislation or domestic policy … outside the normal democratic process”(3). Which is a good description of how almost all progressive change happens."
posted by marienbad on Feb 5, 2014 - 50 comments

Full Of Juveniles Not Using Seat Belts

What does the police blotter look like in one of the most expensive zip-codes in the US?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 22, 2014 - 65 comments

Am I being detained? Am I free to go?

Contempt of Cop Activists range from hard-conservative gun rights types, who carry copies of the Constitution in their pockets, to left-leaning civil liberties advocates. In both cases, they triumphantly upload video trophies of their confrontations to the internet. Quite a few show "checkpoint refusals" at roadblocks erected by police looking for drunken drivers, or by federal agents hunting illegal aliens. Courts here have held that police have the right to operate such stops. But the courts have also ruled that citizens are free to remain silent, and can refuse to allow searches and ignore orders to submit to "secondary inspections" unless police detain them — which requires the higher hurdle of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe an offence has been committed. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jan 20, 2014 - 168 comments

Every Penny You Make

Sting makes $2,000 a day because Puffy Daddy and his record label didn't bother clearing the rights when they sampled "Every Breath You Take" for "I'll Be Missing You." Even though Andy Summers wrote the guitar line that you hear. It's still a sensitive subject.
posted by goatdog on Jan 6, 2014 - 126 comments

Did Your Father Touch You?

NY Mag on the fallout of false testimony that sends an innocent parent to jail.
posted by reenum on Jan 4, 2014 - 44 comments

The Manhunt of Christopher Dorner

The LA Times recounts the Manhunt of Christopher Dorner from Feb. 3-12, 2013 through a series of interviews and research. Previously [more inside]
posted by fizzix on Dec 27, 2013 - 30 comments

I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

"From Brownsville to downtown Manhattan, I would estimate that I passed more than 200 police officers, some from a distance, some close enough to touch. Though I was conspicuously casing high-profile public targets while holding graffiti instruments, not one of them stopped, frisked, searched, detained, summonsed, or arrested me. I would have to go further."
posted by katemonster on Dec 17, 2013 - 147 comments

I was mugged and shot, but I also wasn't.

"Am I safe? Is what I have, my memory of the event and your scribbled notes, enough to get this guy? Should I tweet about this?" C. D. Hermelin is mugged in broad daylight in Manhattan’s Financial District.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Dec 12, 2013 - 85 comments

Working while being black

Earl Sampson has been stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens police 258 times in four years. He’s been searched more than 100 times. And arrested and jailed 56 times. Almost every citation was issued at the same place: the 207 Quickstop, a convenience store on 207th Street in Miami Gardens. But Sampson isn’t loitering. He works as a clerk at the Quickstop.
posted by PenDevil on Nov 22, 2013 - 59 comments

A Police Chief Tries to Reform the System from Within

"Let's say you have neighbors complaining about a drug house on the corner," he says. "They don't feel safe. It's a menace. Now, you could do a long investigation, culminating in a big raid. But in the meantime, the neighbors still have to live with the menace. Why not just send two uniformed cops to the house that same afternoon? They knock. They say, 'Hey. Knock it off.' The drug dealers pick up and leave. No guns drawn, no raid. Which approach will have a more immediate effect on the neighborhood?" - Salt Lake City police chief Chris Burbank's efforts to reform policing.
posted by Slap*Happy on Nov 9, 2013 - 73 comments

He would know

An Ex-Cop's Guide to Not Getting Arrested (single link Atlantic Cities)
posted by bearwife on Nov 7, 2013 - 110 comments

You can't outrun a GPS receiver.

Police firing GPS tracking 'bullets' at cars during chases. The GPS Launcher sits behind the grille of a police vehicle and deploys tracking tags onto fleeing vehicles. The launcher is activated by a control panel (located inside the vehicle) or by a remote key FOB. The launcher, containing two tags, is activated by a control panel (located inside the vehicle) or by a remote key FOB. The system also includes an on-board air compressor. Installation required. Starchase: The Pursuit Ends Here.
posted by three blind mice on Oct 29, 2013 - 63 comments

Nightmare in Maryville

Nightmare in Maryville - The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously) and anger on the internet.  Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up.
posted by Artw on Oct 15, 2013 - 168 comments

If you put up posters in the right place, witnesses know.

After 22 years, an arrest has been made in the 1991 murder of "Baby Hope." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 13, 2013 - 30 comments

"Only fear can stop it. We are the youth of India. We are her voice."

On Tuesday, a court in India convicted four men of "rape, unnatural sex, murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence" after they brutally gang-raped a woman on a bus in Delhi last December. The woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. When news broke, it sparked protests (previously) and raised awareness worldwide about the plight of many women in India. Now that the verdict is in, the Guardian analyzes the incident to see how "the nation's surge to superpower status has left millions behind struggling on the margins." (Links in this post contain descriptions of rape and assault which some may find disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 12, 2013 - 16 comments

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