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.
Stop and Seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
Taken: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture. "Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?" [Via]
Boston taxi cab drivers, often cheated, work in a world where risk and reward are a mismatch. [more inside]
Timeline: Christopher Dorner is a former U.S. marine and police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is wanted in the largest manhunt in LAPD history. Dorner is wanted for the alleged murder of a police officer and a young couple from Irvine (though evidence linking the murders to him is still largely circumstantial). During the ongoing investigation, LAPD officers have wounded various civilians in three separate cases of mistaken identity. In once incident, officers fired dozens of shots at a car in Torrance, CA, wounding two women who were delivering newspapers. [more inside]
Five senior journalists and editors at the News International tabloid the Sun were arrested on Saturday along with three public officials as Operation Elveden, the British investigation into bribery of police by News International papers, broadened to include corruption of officials in the armed forces and Ministry of Defence as well. The Guardian reports that the new arrests escalate the stakes of the ongoing US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation of News Corporation, which carries potential penalties of millions of dollars of fines and prison sentences for senior executives. [more inside]
Well, to put it simply, The Big plan is the same as the immediate plan: they want you dead. It’s not that they want to kill opposition; they want to kill the opposition, literally. This country ain’t big enough for the both of you, and they have everything to lose. And they have guns. And the media. And all the keys of power. And you want to overthrow them. How do you think they will react to that? Give you cookies? - an on the ground report of what's going on in Egypt now from a blogger turned parliamentary candidate.
Fans of "The Shield" should learn more about the LAPD's Rampart scandal. Rafael Perez and his cronies were the inspiration for Vic Mackey and the Strike Team. [more inside]
During the last week, a senior detective in Novorossiysk, Russia named Alexei Dymovsky had a viral hit on YouTube with a series of videos (in Russian: 1, 2. With English subtitles: 1) complaining about working conditions, accusing officers of corruption, and claiming that he and other police were ordered to stage crimes in order to put innocent people in jail. Dymovsky was promptly fired, but the Russian government has since admitted that parts of the police have been turned into criminal businesses. More here and here.
At 5 am today, Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland was raided (video). The hub of Yusuf Bey's empire and religious sect, it has a checkered history involving murders, child rape, political corruption, vigilante justice, liquor store vandalism (previously), and internecine killings. Is today's raid related to yesterday's assassination of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey?
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.
Is every cop a criminal? At least 41 officers in the Tennessee Highway Patrol have a criminal record. Ranging from drunk driving and driving state vehicles without a valid license to assault and child abuse. Gov. Bredesen called for a comprehensive background check of the THP and was surprised by the "inherent cronyism" with the force. Further scandals have forced the Commander to resign and the interim Commander is under some doubt as well. Will this be the end of the Good 'Ole Boys in Brown?
From The Slow Wheels of Justice [Department] we read that "there have been persistent complaints of excessive force by officers of Prince George's County Police Department, Maryland over many years. Cases of concern include police shootings; deaths in custody from dangerous restraint holds or other force and unresisting suspects mauled by police dogs....In November 2000 the US Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the police department to determine whether it engaged in a "pattern and practice" of brutality and racial discrimination....However, after 20 months of investigation, the Justice Department has not yet issued any public findings or recommendations to the police department."
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Aye, Corumba!