A nine-month IndyStar-USA TODAY Network review of hundreds of police files and court cases from across U.S. shows that at least 368 American gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics in the last 20 years. That’s a rate of one every 20 days. It's likely an undercount. Many predatory coaches appear to have been protected by USA Gymnastics, one of the nation’s most prominent Olympic organizations. (TW: Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Molestation and Rape)
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.)
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 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.
August Never Ends -- by Zoe Quinn: The machinations of online abuse aren't going away - we need to talk about it.
It’s a head splitting cognitive dissonance to be fielding requests for help from friends who have just gotten swatted at the same time as giving someone else numbers on the harassment and abuse perpetrated by GamerGate because someone he’s talking to thinks it’s over and never had a big impact on people in the first place. This entire week has been spent putting out fires started by scriptkiddies and adults who should know better but are too empty to care about their victims. I’ve been trying to take a day to just be a regular person, recenter myself, and have the energy to get back to work with the same enthusiasm I tend to have, but every attempt gets cut short by some fresh, new, horrible news about someone trying to get into my accounts, a new asinine conspiracy theory being used as an excuse to dox people I went to high school with, friends freaking out because anonymous message board people are talking about how to mail them bombs, or just another death threat. At least the death threats have become somewhat routine.
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.
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.)
Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto, Canada We are thirsty again; it's been 15 hours in police custody. Still 39 guys overcrowded. Getting very scary. Awake for around 30 hours. Had one sip of water and cheese bun. People are detained, kept cuffed in cages for 23 hours with insufficient food, water, hygiene, and space. Many of them just happened to be in the wrong part of Toronto and had no connection to the protest.
Baltimore Police Officer V.S. the Skateboarder. (video) Officer, Salvatore "Farva" Rivieri, has been suspended and is the subject of an internal affairs investigation. "Hey, let's pop some Viagras and issue tickets with raging, mega-huge boners." Now gimme a litre o' cola!
On September 7, Brett Darrow drew national attention when he recorded video of an abusive police officer threatening to lock him up on "made-up" charges. The police officer was subsequently fired.
Now, the local police are staking out his home. [more inside]
Now, the local police are staking out his home. [more inside]
UCLA releases the results of an independent investigation into an incident where a UCLAPD officer repeatedly tasered a passively resisting student (previously on MetaFilter). The investigation found that the officer violated UCLA's use of force policies. Furthermore, it found that these policies are "unduly permissive" and that "the UCLAPD policy stands alone in its legitimization of the Taser as a pain compliance device against passive resisters." An internal investigation by UCLAPD previously determined that there was no violation.
Eygption Police officer use a cellphone to film a man being sodomized by police. Egyptian opposition media have claimed that in the police academy, recruits are trained to use torture to extract confessions. (NSFW) video on youtube.
Historian assaulted then arrested for jaywalking in Atlanta. A historian at the "Historians against the war" conference in Atlanta was stopped for jaywalking. Being from the UK, he thanked the officer, then realized the officer didn’t have any name tag or identification. He asked to see the police officers identification, and the police officer took offense stating "See my Uniform!". The officer kicked the mans leg out, pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him. The police officer had 5 other police officers step on the historian causing bruises on his neck. After being in jail for 8 hours, he arranged 1000 dollar bail. He refused to accept a please bargain that would effect his green card, so the case was dropped.
17 year old kid gets 2 years for selling 20 dollars of pot, enough for 1 joint. The entire town is basically a "No Drug Zone" so they used federal law to give the kid the mandatory 2 years. The Drug Policy Alliance has put together a video that really hits home on the war against the American people.
Federal Appeals Court opinion "We respectfully disagree and reach a different conclusion... Possession of a large sum of cash is 'strong evidence' of a connection to drug activity." Even if no evidence of a drug related crime is provided, you are guilty until proven innocent. BTW, they wont return the money.
Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses. This reporter went out to discover just how hard it would be to anonymously file a complaint report. As it turns out, he was threatened, roughed up, and even intimidated by the suggestion that he would be shot. After reporter Mike Kirsch filed this story, the retaliation was swift and one would have thought, illegal.
Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism... Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.
The male, heterosexual victims of spousal abuse. "Blood streamed down my face. Internal injuries dislocated my ribs. Lacerations and multiple abrasions marked my back and groin. My attacker had no injuries. I told the officer that I wanted the crime report to note my injuries and the names of witnesses. He responded, 'We ain't takin' a report from you, buddy.'" The officer refused to take Stanley seriously because he was a man who had been beaten by his wife.
Let the witch-hunt begin. Truthfully, I don't blame the police one bit for taking the guy down as hard as they did... he resisted arrest 2-3 times as well as exchanged gunfire with them twice before they subdued him.