"Generations ago, legends like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe and countless others, they set a model for what athletes should stand for. So we choose to follow in their footsteps." In the wake of the violence this week in St. Paul, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, a quartet of NBA stars (Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James) open the 2016 ESPYS with a call to action. (SLESPN)
"What do you say to a police officer who tells you to stop when you are legally and not obstructively filming their interactions?" [more inside]
"We as a polity seem to think policing is the solution to every social problem." Political scientist Naomi Murakawa's book The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America tackles assumptions about how we got to today and what needs to change. In an interview at the Marshall Project, Murakawa argues "those being sentenced under punitive sentencing guidelines it doesn’t make a difference to them that Sen. Ted Kennedy was liberal and overall had a good voting record." [more inside]
Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Rely on a Flawed $2 Drug Test That Puts Innocent People Behind Bars [more inside]
"I cannot reconcile the divide between two of the biggest civil-rights movements I've covered—marriage equality and Black Lives Matter. How can two such quintessentially American fights occur so near each other yet feel so disconnected? How were the revelers on the steps of the Supreme Court so far from the implosion of a major American city happening just up the street?"
The Supreme Court has issued its opinion in Utah v. Strieff (pdf actual opinion), holding essentially that an active warrant remedies an unconstitutional stop. [more inside]
Badge of Dishonor: Top Oakland Police Department Officials Looked Away as East Bay Cops Sexually Exploited and Trafficked a Teenager [East Bay Express] According to a stunning set of allegations, a teenage human trafficking victim in the Bay Area was coerced into sex by at least 22 officers over a six month period. [more inside]
Fifty people were killed and at least fifty-three more were injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. According to ABC news, "The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, an American-born citizen with Afghani parents." Mateen had previously been considered a person of interest by the FBI in 2013 and 2014. Mateen was shot and killed by police. [more inside]
Between truancy and curfew laws teens can only legally be outside a few hours a day. In the US, the only country with teen curfew laws, millions have been arrested since the 90s for simply walking outside at night, with no strong evidence pointing to a reduction in crime.
Your long wait is over. Public service announcement: as of Tuesday, you can finally own Cop Rock on a triple DVD box. NYT: Sometimes “worst” is a misnomer for “ahead of its time.” On Tuesday Shout! Factory releases “Cop Rock: The Complete Series,” a three-disc package that provides a chance to revisit this TV curiosity. Watching the 11 episodes — the original 16-episode order was truncated when the show didn’t generate ratings — is fascinating, and not always in a train wreck way. When “Cop Rock” worked, though that was only intermittently, it worked quite well. Previously.
The Tampa Bay Times compared police visits to the number of calls at nearby Target stores, and even to an entire mall. There were four times as many calls to Walmart, on average, compared to Target. When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers. “Law enforcement becomes in effect a taxpayer-paid private security source for Walmart,” said New York-based leading retail analyst Burt Flickinger. (via)
The retired cops investigating unsolved murders in one of America’s most violent cities. by Christopher Pomorski [The Guardian] A former murder capital of the US, Camden, New Jersey has created its first cold case squad. Can solving old killings help restore an embattled community’s trust in law and order? [more inside]
An extraordinary piece (MarylandMorning) on the detailed unfolding of the Baltimore riots from one year ago, with police radio interspersed with interviews of students.
“prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically.” (pdf)
Police Body Cameras: What Do You See? An interactive simulated piece about the usefulness of bodycams in discerning the facts of a given situation. (SLNYT)
How Aerial Surveillance Has Changed Policing — and Crime — in Los Angeles Geoff Manaugh rides along with the LAPD's Air Support Division.
St. Louis turns to predictive policing software: "At a time when communities are crying out for justice," Crockford told me, "I never heard anyone in one of these communities say, ‘I think police need to use more computers!’"
Everyone commits crimes. There are so many laws out there making what's relatively banal behavior criminal if looked at in that light. Apparently a longstanding legal principle tho has been the idea of a "guilty mind," which has gotten somewhat lost recently. The idea is that if you can't write a law where it's possible for a person to commit a crime without meaning to commit a crime. More in the link.
The Police Use of Force Project investigates the ways in which police use of force policies help to enable police violence in our communities. (Proposed policy solutions from Campaign Zero) [more inside]
Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
Most American rapes go unreported and unpunished. In part because ideas about what constitutes a ‘‘real rape’’ still hinder investigations and prosecutions, and many police officers continue to read vulnerability as complicity. But there is another unacknowledged side to the investigation of sexual assault: the huge numbers of victims who are children or teenagers. New Haven, CT detectives estimate that more than 80 percent of their cases involve minors — a number only slightly higher than national statistics. Such cases are rarely reported immediately, which means that there is rarely any physical evidence to investigate. "To Catch a Rapist:" How New Haven's special-victims unit fights a hidden epidemic of sexual assault that is disturbingly difficult to investigate. (Some may find the descriptions and topics in this article disturbing or triggering.)
BBC: "[UK] Police have released a video telling people to "run, hide, tell" if they are caught up in a terrorist gun attack. The four-minute video advises on how to evacuate a building, where to hide, and what information to tell police. The video says people's first reaction if they hear gunshots should be to run - as long as it will not put them in greater danger - and not to let others' indecision "slow you down"."
The extensive catalog of complaints against officers appears to bear out the theory of a few bad apples: Among the 7,758 police officers who received a complaint during that time period, more than half received less than one per year (officers with zero complaints do not appear in the database). Meanwhile, the bad apples seem to be the ones racking up the grievances.
An incredible story by ProPublica and The Marshall Project. What happens when police believe rape victims? What happens when they don't?
If one year during the Toronto International Film Festival you’re engaging a Hollywood producer in conversation and have only a few seconds to pitch your action script before the bouncers drag you out from under the door of her bathroom stall, just fire off a three-word description of the two unlikely antagonists. Hollywood loves oddball enemies even more than unlikely buddy cops: cowboys versus aliens, mercenaries versus dinosaurs, Predators versus future governors of American states. Yet, inexplicably, no movie has been made of Toronto’s contribution to the genre: clowns versus firefighters.
An all-white jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw of rape. It's almost enough. [The Guardian]
It took 45 hours over the course of four days for an all-white jury in Oklahoma City to decide whether or not they should convict former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of sexual assault on the word of 13 black women. On Thursday night, the jury opted to believe (most of) them. There is perhaps no bigger test of how blind justice could possibly be than asking any American jury – especially one that is all white and includes eight men – to believe 13 black women over a former police officer and supposed hero football player. It’s easy enough to point to cases where the police were acquitted. And yet, against all expectations this time, justice was blind.[more inside]
The French government mulls laws to block Tor and public WiFi. Is this what happens when police ask Santa for presents ("liste au Père Noël", according to Le Monde)?. (via)
The County: the story of America's deadliest police. First in a five part series by the Guardian. Here is some data which has been posted before [more inside]
For the first time in 35 years, an Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality, in this case, that of 17 year old Laquan McDonald. Last night, the city of Chicago released the dash-cam footage that had been kept out of the public eye for more than a year, showing Mr. McDonald being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer. A second video, which was taken by a security camera at a nearby Burger King, was allegedly deleted by the police. [more inside]
In preparation for police raids tonight in Brussels, Belgian authorities asked journalists not to tweet using #brusselslockdown. The response has been a hundred thousand photos of cats.
Your Social Media Posts Are Fueling the Future of Police Surveillance - Any posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other location-tagged social media uploaded in [an] area will appear on a display at police headquarters. An uploaded Vine from one block away could show someone running away, and give the cops a starting point for their investigation. How long until that hypothetical situation is a reality? “We’re 100 percent there,” says Lee Guthman, head of business development at Geofeedia, a location-based social media monitoring site.
Whichever cameras are used, it’s increasingly clear police will control the footage. In a recent survey of 25 departments with body camera programs, only two made the footage available to individuals filing complaints against the department, and only four had systems to prevent tampering or unauthorized access. - Who controls the cop cam?
The Associated Press uncovered about 1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assault. Warning: the link contains descriptions of some of these events.
Friends call Constable Collins Rain Man or Yoda or simply The Oracle. But to Scotland Yard, London’s metropolitan police force, he is known as a “super recognizer.” He has a special gift of facial recall powers that enables him to match even low-quality and partial imagery to a face he has seen before, on the street or in a database and possibly years earlier.[slNYT]
"When a student at Spring Valley High School, South Carolina captured a cellphone video of a police officer flipping over a student and her desk, then throwing the student across the room, the video quickly got national attention: people were alarmed that a police officer in a school would do that to a teenager who didn't pose a threat."
Benjamin Dixon writes about the death of Corey Jones, a Florida musician who was shot and killed by a plainclothes officer in Florida on Sunday morning, after Jones' car had broken down on the side of the highway. [more inside]
"In New York City, the police now maintain an unknown number of military-grade vans outfitted with X-ray radiation, enabling cops to look through the walls of buildings or the sides of trucks ... The NYPD will not reveal when, where, or how often they are used."
“Every cliché was born for a reason. But why does a cop need a doughnut?” Cara Giaimo, in Atlas Obscura: The Long, Sweet Love Affair Between Cops and Doughnuts.
The Capital Times of Madison, WI follows city and university police minute by minute through a college football Saturday: out-of-control house parties, unexpected fire alarms, the game of "who lives here," BAC .273, and of course a little Big 10 football.
Death on Sevenmile Road
The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
stories.. that expose both the depths of what was taken from them and the challenges of rebuilding the lives they once had