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Privacy! You cannot... destroy... my PRIVACYYYY!!

"Now, I'm willing to admit the policeman has a difficult job, a very hard job. But it's the essence of our society that the policeman's job should be hard. He's there to protect the free citizen, not to chase criminals—that's an incidental part of his job. The free citizen is always more of a nuisance to the policeman than the criminal. He knows what to do about the criminal." Orson Welles' musings on privacy and its erosion, police harassment, and the need for an International Association for the Protection of the Individual Against Officialdom. (part 2) [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Jun 11, 2010 - 14 comments

Don't shoot like the police.

"In at least three states (Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland), it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists. The legal justification for arresting the “shooter” rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited." Previously. One of the illegal recordings, embedded in an article. [more inside]
posted by SixteenTons on Jun 5, 2010 - 83 comments

knock knock no knock

On the heels of the highly publicized Missouri raid that ended in the death of a corgi (previously), a seven year-old girl has been killed in a no-knock raid in Detroit. According to one of Radley Balko's commenters, the family may have been targeted because they shared a two-family duplex with the target of the raid.
posted by lalex on May 17, 2010 - 183 comments

Someone should give him a gas mask

Proposed austerity measures in response to Greece's economic crisis have led to riots and three deaths . However, this isn't the first time that riots have shaken Greece in response to the economic turmoil. One dog has seen them all.
posted by emilyd22222 on May 6, 2010 - 64 comments

If the wrong person sees this stuff coming in here, then IAB is going to be all over this place, all right?

Two years ago, Police Officer Adrian Schoolcraft, an officer in Brooklyn's 81st Precinct, became gravely concerned about how the public was being served. To document his concerns, he began carrying around a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors. Initially he carried the recorder to protect himself from the civilian complaints that can result from street encounters. But then he began to document things happening in the precinct that bothered him. After he ran afoul of precinct politics, he recorded what he viewed as retaliation by his bosses. The Village Voice is releasing portions of the tapes in batches and is also publishing several stories to deal with the issues that the recordings present.

In this week's installment, the Voice looks at the roll calls at the Bed-Stuy precinct and the conflicting instructions given to street cops, who must look busy at all times, while actually suppressing crime reports.
posted by anotherpanacea on May 6, 2010 - 93 comments

Blair Peach

Better late than never A report by Police Commander John Cass says an unnamed SPG officer dealt the fatal blow to Blair Peach.
posted by marienbad on Apr 27, 2010 - 16 comments

Police raid home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen

California police have raided the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, and seized his computers. Chen posted Gizmodo's review of Apple's next-generation iPhone, which had been left in a bar by a staff member (previously). Media reports say that police are considering criminal charges against the person who sold the phone to Gizmodo. Assuming that the police were not investigating Chen himself for breaking the law, the case raises the question of whether bloggers such as Chen are journalists under the law.
posted by Dasein on Apr 26, 2010 - 471 comments

10 Rules for Dealing with Police

1. Always be calm and cool. 2. You have the right to remain silent. 3. You have the right to refuse searches... 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. [more inside]
posted by alms on Apr 21, 2010 - 119 comments

Video Shows Maryland Police Beating Student

Video of University of Maryland student John McKenna being punched, kicked, and beaten with clubs by Prince George's County police. McKenna was charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer; the police report claims that he had punched the officers and their horses, and that his injuries were due to being kicked by the horses. The video shows otherwise.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Apr 16, 2010 - 121 comments

New Orleanians "captured" in mugshots

The New Orleans Public Library's Hidden from History exhibit, now online, uses turn-of-the-century mugshots from the NOPD to consider issues of public identity, private life, and the anonymity of history.
posted by liketitanic on Mar 29, 2010 - 12 comments

Weaponizing Mozart

Weaponizing Mozart - "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
posted by nthdegx on Mar 1, 2010 - 88 comments

The master of Spin Boldak: Undercover with Afghanistan's drug-trafficking border police

The master of Spin Boldak: Undercover with Afghanistan's drug-trafficking border police.
posted by chunking express on Feb 20, 2010 - 1 comment

“I'm not against the police; I'm just afraid of them.”

Executive Order 12425 grants INTERPOL "full immunity." Not dipolmatic immunity, but the immunities granted in the The International Organizations Immunities Act. It's causing some alarm.
posted by bigmusic on Jan 2, 2010 - 70 comments

The Silver Thief

The Silver Thief: The Story of a Burglar Who Was Too Good for His Own Good: The story of Blane Nordahl, an eminent silver thief in New Jersey and the hunt for him.
posted by reenum on Dec 22, 2009 - 28 comments

"Don't Bring a Gun to a Snowball Fight."

In Washington D.C. yesterday a snowball fight was organized via Twitter. About two hundred people showed up at 14th. and U Streets and were having a fun time. Some cars got caught in the crossfire. The driver of a Hummer was not pleased. He got out of his car and brandished a gun. A 9-1-1 call was made. Police responded to reports of a man with a gun. It turns out that the Hummer driver is a plain-clothes D.C. detective. Detective Baylor admitted to pulling out his gun. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Dec 20, 2009 - 268 comments

Take a shower or get tasered, these are your options, kid.

We've talked about tasers on Mefi before. We've all heard about the tasing of mouthy grandmothers, recalcitrant students, and diabetics. But as a method of controlling a 10 year old's temper tantrum? Stanford University [PDF] released a report saying that tasers should only be used in situations where the suspect is dangerous, and should not be used on children. However, there seems to be a trend where the taser is being used as a threat and a disciplinary tool, rather than as a tool to protect officers.
posted by dejah420 on Nov 19, 2009 - 91 comments

A Russian policeman speaks out

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.
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 12, 2009 - 11 comments

Law and Disorder in the Wild Wild West

Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio is controversial to be sure. He has been accused of using his office to retaliate against critics, and he has thumbed his nose at the feds. Are his rank and file officers following his lead? What's up with this?
posted by Crotalus on Nov 5, 2009 - 71 comments

Cleveland serial killer highlights police indifference

Alleged serial killer and convicted rapist Anthony Sowell is creating even bigger problems for the Cleveland police department, who have been accused of joking about missing victims, passing the blame onto those victims and outright incompetence. As of today, the body count is up to 10 (plus one skull), and people around the world are wondering what went wrong.
posted by bitter-girl.com on Nov 4, 2009 - 69 comments

Safer Communities Together

3 o' clock in the morning, you're buying a pie from the BP station, what must you always do? New Zealand police officer delivers a stern warning on the hazards of thermo-nuclear pies and becomes a Youtube Hit. [more inside]
posted by moorooka on Oct 27, 2009 - 108 comments

How can one evict the homeless?

After a spate of recent deaths, efforts to rehabilitate homeless chronic inebriates in Anchorage now include involuntary confinement. Other city-wide efforts include a mayoral decree that established homeless camps should be scattered. [more inside]
posted by stinker on Oct 25, 2009 - 52 comments

"He was wearing his gun . . . going off on a screaming tirade, throwing his arms everywhere".

When Northern Illinois University entered the national spotlight it was for tragic reasons. One of the university's public faces during the tragedy was University Police Department Chief Donald Grady. Now, the university is conducting a performance review of the chief after he spent three hours berating, yelling at, and trying to bribe a student journalist with a job at the university in exchange for favorable coverage. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Oct 8, 2009 - 14 comments

Ai Weiwei hospitalised

Ai Weiwei, one of the leading Chinese artists of his generation, has undergone emergency brain surgery after being beaten by police. [more inside]
posted by WPW on Sep 28, 2009 - 13 comments

The police chief has disbanded his force "until things calm down"

JERICHO, Ark. — It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps. The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.
posted by finite on Sep 3, 2009 - 151 comments

Like a complete unknown

Two Jersey Shore cops stop Bob Dylan, taking an afternoon walk in Long Branch, NJ. Neither recognizes him. He has no I.D with him. but the situation is soon peacefully rectified. At least he didn't start up with them like he might have long ago.Don't think twice, it's alright.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Aug 14, 2009 - 173 comments

"This is what happens to black men in America."

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested for "breaking into" his own home.
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 20, 2009 - 985 comments

Military pictures from around the world.

Pictures of military subjects, many of them annotated, from all over such as Russia, Malaysia, Japan (Special Police), Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Canada. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Jul 20, 2009 - 14 comments

Threatening the merc's way of life

Debate over government-funded services heats up. [SLSO]
posted by boo_radley on Jun 30, 2009 - 47 comments

Craigslist: Less erotic than before?

Acting on criticisms and pressure from law enforcement, Craigslist has announced it will shut down its "erotic services" category in the U.S. Reaction is mixed and some are suggesting that online prostitution will simply find a new name.
posted by stinkycheese on May 14, 2009 - 61 comments

Don't hug me, bro!

Police in Denmark target bike riders. SLYT Police in Denmark take drastic steps to change the habits of bike riders...
posted by HuronBob on Apr 28, 2009 - 49 comments

A world in which knowledge is always a double edged sword

The Wire - David Simon's original pitch and series bible. "At the end of thirteen episodes, the viewer - who has been lured all this way by a well-constructed police show - is not the simple gratification of hearing handcuffs click. Instead the conclusion is something Euripides or O'Neill might recognize: an America at every level at war with itself." [Previously.] (via)
posted by Electric Dragon on Apr 17, 2009 - 42 comments

You'll never walk again

20 years ago today, a crush of fans at the Leppings Lane entrance of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium killed 96 people, among them the cousin of current Liverpool player Steven Gerrard (who has the dubious honour of being the youngest victim). Coming just 4 years after the Heysel stadium disaster, which killed 39 people and was officially blamed on Liverpool fans, and almost two decades of hooligan violence, the most obvious or convenient conclusion was that history had repeated itself. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Apr 15, 2009 - 61 comments

Somebody's watching you...

When the economy slows down, ticket writing speeds up. Traffic cameras spark anger from citizens. Researchers find that they increase crashes. Find the red light cameras near you. Download a free warning system to your iPhone or Blackberry. In Mississippi? You're in luck. Red light cameras have been banned. In the Chicago area? Too bad. Speed cameras are coming too.
posted by desjardins on Mar 27, 2009 - 53 comments

The security is maximum and that's a law

The Wellesley College Daily Police Log is available online. Unfortunately, the individual days are PDFs. But it gives a glimpse into the gritty realities of day-to-day policing. Case Closed.
posted by Mayor Curley on Mar 26, 2009 - 27 comments

Beware of Internet Overshares

"Meet Officer Vaughan Ettienne, the bodybuilder who learned the hard way you shouldn't write like a thug online, or a jury might just suspect you of mistreating a suspect." Ettienne arrested Gary Waters for gun possession. At trial "the defense found things Ettienne said online and turned them against him." "Mr. Waters, on parole from a burglary conviction when he was arrested, beat the most serious charge, the felony possession of a 9 millimeter Beretta and a bagful of ammunition. He was convicted of resisting arrest, a misdemeanor."
posted by ericb on Mar 11, 2009 - 23 comments

Keepin' gay club nights safe for the Moral Majority.

Homophobia is still alive and well in... San Francisco?! The DNA Lounge, the high-tech nightclub of former Mozilla/Netscape wunderkind Jamie Zawinski, has apparently run afoul of the local Alcohol Beverage Control board. In 2008, during a period of time when the DNA Lounge -- with SFPD and neighborhood approval -- successfully appealed an ABC decision blocking the club from offering all-ages live music, the ABC sent agents into the club during their GLBT nights, and are now trying to shut the club down for "lewdness", "discrimination", and "running a disorderly house injurious to the public welfare and morals".(NSFW!) The DNA is determined not to go quietly into this goodnight.
posted by markkraft on Mar 1, 2009 - 36 comments

15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop

15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop Caught on Camera. 15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop. Not surprisingly the cop's lawyer didn't want this video published.
posted by ginky on Feb 28, 2009 - 157 comments

Atlanta police sentenced for death caused by paramilitary-style drug raid

Three police officers were sentenced today for killing 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in a paramilitary-style raid. The officers shot Ms Johnson five or six times and then handcuffed her while they planted drugs in her basement. She bled to death on the floor of her own home. The Agitator covers the story through a single headline headline. The officers will receive Federal sentences of between five and ten years each as well as - a nice touch - being forced to pay for her funeral.
posted by Joe in Australia on Feb 24, 2009 - 64 comments

Help the police

"Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations." To be fair, it's not just Republicans who like this idea.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Feb 22, 2009 - 60 comments

Racism in Austria on the hot seat

Racism in Austria is a problem that has been well documented for quite some time. With the recent rise of the far right political parties, however, things seem to be getting worse. The recent case involving an African American teacher who was mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten by the police however has the potential to bring some changes to the country.
posted by Slash_fan on Feb 19, 2009 - 31 comments

ACPO: We're Private, You're Public?

What is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)? It is a private company, financed by UK taxpayers, immune from freedom of information requests. It dictates police operations and sells police national computer data. It may also be engaged in covert domestic surveillance of what it deems as extremists: antiwar protesters, strikers, and others. According to an ACPO spokesperson ""there doesn't seem to be a single, commonly agreed definition."
posted by terranova on Feb 18, 2009 - 22 comments

I see her dark eyes glowing, she was only twelve

Back in 2006 on her parent's property in Galveston, a girl went outside to switch on a tripped breaker. She was wearing tight shorts. She was 12-years-old. Dymond Milburn got the living daylights beaten out of her and was hospitalized by 3 plain-clothes policemen on the mistaken pretense that she was a hooker. "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me." The final arguments of the trial were heard yesterday and it was declared a mistrial. The Milburns have launched a Federal suit against the officers.
posted by RockCorpse on Feb 10, 2009 - 238 comments

We wear our dungarees / Above our nelly knees!

Robert Pinter, a 52-year-old gay man who was arrested for prostitution at the Blue Door in the East Village on Oct. 10, spoke at the town hall meeting. He said a young man ... cruised him in the store. He was "charming and persistent, and we agreed to go home for consensual sex, but as we were leaving he said, 'I want to pay you $50 [to have sex].' I didn't respond, but I thought it was strange," Pinter recounted. As the men left the store, Pinter said, a group of men who did not show police identification pushed him against the wall. "I thought I'd been set up by a gang," he said. "I asked them why they were doing this to me. I was totally clueless. They handcuffed me and said, 'Why the f--- do you think we're arresting you — loitering for the purpose of prostitution.'"
Reminiscent of the criminalizing of consensual gay sex in the Stonewall era, New York City cops are using questionable tactics to target, entrap, and falsely arrest gay men.
posted by orthogonality on Feb 2, 2009 - 63 comments

Testilying

Cops regularly perjure themselves - Blue Lies. Though few officers will confess to lying -- after all, it's a crime -- work by researchers and a 1990s commission appointed to examine police corruption shows there's a tacit agreement among many officers that lying about how evidence is seized keeps criminals off the street.... Criminal-justice researchers say it's difficult to quantify how often perjury is being committed. According to a 1992 survey, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges in Chicago said they thought that, on average, perjury by police occurs 20% of the time in which defendants claim evidence was illegally seized. "It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers," though it's difficult to detect in specific cases, said Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals-court judge, in the 1990s. [more inside]
posted by caddis on Jan 30, 2009 - 75 comments

Sometimes bad cops do get punished

Police Officer Seen on Tape Shoving a Bicyclist Is Indicted - Update to the widely viewed video of a NYC police officer shoving a critical mass rider off of his bicycle, reported on MeFi here.
posted by caddis on Dec 16, 2008 - 228 comments

No 'Unlawful Killing' allowed.

Further to the cover up and the initial claims the jury has reached a verdict in the De Menezes inquest. [more inside]
posted by fistynuts on Dec 12, 2008 - 22 comments

Who is burning Athens?

"Night of terror - Madness and lunacy in Athens" reads the headline of one Greek newspaper this morning; "Night of agony and terror - Athens, Pireaus and Thessaloniki at the mercy of hooded individuals" reads another, and the rest follow suite. Three days of mass protests, demonstrations... and finally rioting, rampage and looting across Greece have followed Saturday's fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy by police in Athens' bohemian/anarchist neighborhood of Exarchia. [more inside]
posted by taz on Dec 9, 2008 - 66 comments

Typo-induced time warp

The story of a speeding ticket, in three acts (click to see full-sized, readable versions). The Cliffs Notes version: man gets speeding ticket complete with a typo on the date of issue, man responds to police with amusing tales of time-travel, infants driving, and automobile prototypes. I won't spoil the ending.
posted by mathowie on Nov 3, 2008 - 88 comments

Neverdrinkmilkagain, neverdrinkmilkagain, I promise, neverdrinkmilkagain...

I don't care how creative you think you are. You can't top this for terrifying imagery. "She was chasing children in a cow costume."
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Sep 30, 2008 - 83 comments

The Police go to eleven

This interview with Andy Summers has some real these-go-to-eleven moments, as well as some lick-my-love-pump [lego!] moments, as does this interview with Sting where he shows off his writing process on state-of-the-art 1981 gear. (QLYT)
posted by eperker on Sep 20, 2008 - 26 comments

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