Laurel Hester, RIP
--because she and her partner fought, New Jersey police and fire department employees can now name anyone--not just a spouse--as a beneficiary for pension rights, helping to protect those they love after they're gone. Just one person who made a difference.
posted by amberglow
on Feb 20, 2006 -
I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?
posted by I Love Tacos
on Feb 18, 2006 -
Kicking the Pigeon:
On Sunday, April 13, 2003, at about 5:00 p.m., Diane Bond, a 48 year-old mother of three, stepped out of her eighth floor apartment in 3651 South Federal, the last remaining high-rise at the Stateway Gardens public housing development, and encountered three white men. Although not in uniform, they were immediately recognizable by their postures, body language, and bulletproof vests as police officers. Bond gave me the following account of what happened next.
“Where do you live at?” one of the officers asked. He had a round face and closely cropped hair. Bond later identified him as Christ Savickas.
“Right there,” she pointed to her door.
He put his gun to her right temple and snatched her keys from her hand.
posted by jennyb
on Feb 17, 2006 -
Video of an unarmed man being shot by a San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy while appearing to comply with orders.
Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21, had been riding as a passenger in a Corvette that was involved in a brief, high-speed chase with the deputy that reached speeds of 100 mph before the Corvette crashed into a fence, authorities said.
The videotape, shot by Chino resident Jose Luis Valdes, shows Carrion sprawled on the ground and repeatedly telling the deputy, "I'm on your side."
The deputy then seems to shout, "Get up!" after which Carrion appears to lean forward.
"I'm going to get up, all right?" he says.
The deputy then fires his gun three or four times from about five feet away.
"Shut … up, you don't get up …!" he shouts.
Moaning in pain, Carrion responds: "You told me to get up."
The deputy then radioed in to dispatch that shots had been fired. [LA Times]
posted by Mijo Bijo
on Feb 2, 2006 -
The police in the UK
recently fined a woman who was lost on one of our main motorways. Spotting a police car on the hard shoulder, she parked up behind it and asked for directions. They helped - and fined her £30 ($50) and endorsed her driving license for illegal use of the hard shoulder. (In the UK, it's for emergencies only)
The police here also use significant numbers of speed cameras to spot and fine drivers, with the some money going to the police. Is that right? Shouldn't the police just enforce the law not directly benefit from those that break it? If they benefit directly, doesn't it immediately question their integrity?
posted by jonthegeologist
on Jan 2, 2006 -
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
be the end of the Good 'Ole Boys in Brown?
posted by teleri025
on Dec 9, 2005 -
"'We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don't want people to feel their rights are being threatened. We need them to be our eyes and ears'....
[Police] officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats." While there have been no specific threats of terrorism against Miami, "'[t]his is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there,'
[Deputy Police Chief Frank] Fernandez said."
posted by orthogonality
on Nov 28, 2005 -
in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Nov 9, 2005 -
"Keith, Keith, I'm only 31!"
Those were the last words of Johnny Gammage, a black motorist who died just inside the city limits of Pittsburgh, when he was pulled over by police from
from some of the Steel City's wealthiest
suburbs, some time between 1:47 and 2:10 AM, 10 years ago today
. It made national headlines
at the time, but now you won't even find "Johnny Gammage
" in Wikipedia--and while the nation fixes on a more recent incident
, even the city that was torn apart by the scandal of it is passing the tenth anniversary virtually unnoticed
posted by jefgodesky
on Oct 12, 2005 -
Oakland police detaining photographers?
A month after being stopped for taking photos
of another building in San Francisco, blogger Thomas Hawk & some friends were detained for 20 minutes by an Oakland police officer for taking photos in the downtown warehouse district.
Among the topics of debate in the post's comments: was racial profiling an issue? is/should there even be a right to take the officer in question's photo? are SF residents more paranoid than the rest of us? is detaining a group of photographers a good use of police time? will commenters ever learn to spell "fascist" properly? and much more...
posted by bitter-girl.com
on Aug 26, 2005 -
Critical Mass in Milwaukee ran into some "problems"
with police on the July 29th ride:
“I unfortunately chose to lock my bike with a friend and go see what was happening with the group who had been stopped at the yellow light. I ran down the street just in time to see police tackle a man on a bike who had a baby carriage attached to end of his bike. After he was pulled to the ground another officer violently pushed over his baby carriage with the baby inside,” More coverage
and some photos
posted by nTeleKy
on Aug 24, 2005 -
Update on the killing of the innocent Brazilian man by London police at Stockwell station.
A special report by the Observer reveals some of the key elements emerging from the ongoing investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Jean Charles de Menezes "wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth
." So now the inquiry will have to rely exclusively on eyewitnesses accounts. It appears the man they saw vaulting the barrier was one of the armed officers in plain clothes, while de Menezes "simply walked towards the platform unchallenged". The plainclothes armed unit that shot de Menezes was not the same team that had been following him from his London flat: "there was a delay in calling an armed team to arrest de Menezes, which meant he had already entered the station by the time the officers arrived
". Also, it appears that once inside the station, the armed officers had no radio contact with police on the outside. As new details emerge, more questions remain unanswered.
(As previously discussed here
posted by funambulist
on Aug 14, 2005 -
Want to learn to be a CSI?
It's the U.S. government's multimedia website to train police and evidence recovery personnel. You can try the tests - the advanced one will tell you if you convicted the accused or not. Pretty slick for Uncle Sam.
posted by birdsquared
on Aug 8, 2005 -
Man shot 5 times in London.
Around 10am, suspected suicide bomber runs into a tube station and is shot and killed at close range by plain-clothes police officers. News still developing, high risk of further incidents.
posted by Acey
on Jul 22, 2005 -
WSJ - "FedEx's newfound enthusiasm for a frontline role
in the war on terror shows how the relationship between business and government
has changed in the past few years. In some cases, these changes are blurring the division between private commerce and public law enforcement."
"FedEx... has granted customs inspectors access to the company's database of international shipments, which includes the name and address of a shipper, the package's origin and its final destination. The databases also include credit-card information and other payment details that the government is not entitled to solicit outside of a criminal investigation. "Our guys just love it," says one senior customs official overseeing inspections at international courier companies." [UPS
, nor even the USPS
will provide this much assistance to the DHS without a warrant.]
"Two years ago, after intense lobbying by FedEx
of the Tennessee state legislature, the company was permitted to create a 10-man, state-recognized police force
. FedEx police wear plain clothes and can investigate all types of crimes, request search warrants and make arrests on FedEx property."
posted by pwb503
on May 31, 2005 -
How I Became a Black American
"I became a black American long before I acquired American citizenship. . . . I was not eager, upon my arrival to the United States, to assert a black American identity. My parents had taught me "better" than that. But I became a black American anyway. Before I freely embraced that identity it was ascribed to me. This ascription is part of a broader social practice wherein all of us are made intelligible via racial categorization."
posted by caddis
on May 20, 2005 -
May 13, 1985: Police drop bomb on occupied Philadelphia rowhouse.
On the morning of May 13, 1985, police commissioner Gregore Sambor spoke thusly through a bullhorn: "Attention MOVE, this is America!" A furious 90 minutes gun battle ensued, in which police fired an estimated 1,000 rounds. After a long stalemate, the decision was made to drop a bomb from a borrowed Pennsylvania State Police helicopter. The bomb did not dislodge the rooftop bunker as it was designed to do. instead, it started a fire that killed 11 people, including five children and destroyed 61 row homes leaving 250 people homeless.
posted by fixedgear
on May 12, 2005 -
LA Deputies: 100+ rounds, two wounded.
After firing nearly 120 rounds, some Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department deputies manage to wound the driver of an SUV they'd been pursuing, one of their own number, and punch lots of 9mm holes in a Compton neighborhood. Report says no weapon in the suspect's vehicle.
posted by alumshubby
on May 10, 2005 -
Cops engage in ID thefy - legally!
[sorry - reg. required was all I could find] Cops in Ohio were putting together a sting in a strip club. They paid a 24-year-old informant a $100 a night to work as a stripper in the club (What? After tips?) But in order to carry out the sting, they gave the informant a false identity. Instead of creating a new one, they simply plucked the details off of some poor girl’s drivers license and social security card, such that this girl now has being paid as a stripper on her record. And according to the law, this is PERFECTLY LEGAL — in fact the Ohio police’s right to do this was included as a provision in a new Ohio law that was aimed at stopping ID theft. Which also makes me wonder — was this a commonplace practice in Ohio or anywhere else? Is that why they sought to protect it in the law? Is some guy using my ID to infiltrate NAMBLA right now?
posted by Heminator
on Apr 13, 2005 -
Terry Bressi's long saga "I was stopped, threatened with lethal force, dragged out of my vehicle, and detained for several hours for no reason - other than requesting to know what law authorized the police to stop me and demand ID after admitting I wasn't suspected of violating any law and I wasn't being detained. Instead of answering my inquiries, the 'peace officers' preferred to initiate force against me."
posted by trharlan
on Apr 12, 2005 -
High school kids. Doing drugs!
A 23-year-old female undercover agent posed as a student at Milford High School. The investigation culminated Friday with the arrest of 16 students on drug-trafficking charges. Twelve are juveniles.
is running 20 - 1 in favor of the sting.
Sandy Howdyshell, a 34-year-old Milford graduate who has an elementary school student in the district, said she was undecided on the school district's $108.6 million bond issue that will appear on ballots May 3 - until she heard about the undercover investigation... "I think it was a brilliant idea to put an undercover cop in the high school," Howdyshell said. "This event certainly has made an impact in my eyes. Now I know I'll be voting to support Milford schools."
posted by trharlan
on Apr 8, 2005 -
“Not only is it illegal, but it's becoming increasingly dangerous,” Leggio said of underage drinking.
How dangerous? Well apparently dangerous enough that one affluent Kansas City community has decided that it is best to have police spy on teens during high school basketball games. Oh it gets better, apparently a carload of teens is enough for a Lenexa cop to follow you! So the parents should be up in arms right? Nope, they encourage the police, even calling them ("she told dispatchers that when she called home to check on her son, it sounded like a party was going on"). Yet surprisingly, despite this almost police-state like mentality against drinking, attitudes are slow to change
posted by geoff.
on Jan 2, 2005 -
The Just Cause Law Collective
is an excellent resource for outlining what your rights as citizens or non-citizens are within the U.S. in text and illustrations that are understandable by the layperson. It also includes advice on how to survive police encounters and a special section for activists.
posted by substrate
on Aug 23, 2004 -