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]
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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]
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.
Further to the cover up and the initial claims the jury has reached a verdict in the De Menezes inquest. [more inside]
"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]
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.
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."
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)
A SWAT team in Maryland raids a city's mayor's house and kills his dogs. Oh, and the warrant was wrong.
Most Americans are aware of their Miranda rights, the most important of which may be the right to remain silent. Apparently, many people don't take advantage of that right. Professor James Duane makes some compelling arguments why you should, and Officer George Bruch agrees. Of course, if you choose to ignore their advice and have something to hide, you will be going up against pros in interrogation. Good luck.
"We like to play gladiator. You know what I mean? Let two gangs beat each other up without weapons, and the winner gets to deal on the corner. Or, we grab a bunch of muggers, or maybe two crews who steal cars, and tell them, “Okay, you all fight each other — the one still standing gets to avoid jail.” I know: it sounds awful, but believe me, this really works."
Cops tell Freakonomics "the things that cops do to keep the peace that no one wants to know about.”"
Cops tell Freakonomics "the things that cops do to keep the peace that no one wants to know about.”"
In a pilot project with Canada's National Film Board, Katerina Cizek is Filmmaker-in-Residence at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital (Flash site with videos). She directed The Interventionists: Chronicles of a Mental Health Crisis Team, a film about a unique crisis team in downtown Toronto. A mental health nurse and a police officer ride the streets of the inner city together in an unmarked police car, responding to 911 calls involving "emotionally disturbed persons." The team is a partnership between St. Michael's Hospital and two downtown police divisions. Their mandate is to de-escalate crises and avoid unnecessary arrests and emergency room visits by providing referrals, services and resources within a patient's own community. [more inside]
NYPD in action. There is really not much anywhere written about this, but here is the youtube link of some policemen threatening and beating people in front of the UN building in New York. Some pics (stills from the video) here.
London's Metropolitan police have a press campaign to help us
inform on each other identify terrorists. How do you spot your terrorist? Well he could be the one with the camera pdf. Or he could be the one with two mobile phones pdf. Or the one with a chemistry set and a house pdf. Flickr folk have their alternative takes on the poster campaign. Photographer's rights in the blue previously. And the met have already gone to bat against the terrorists an innocent photographer
On February 19, Armenia hosted a presidential election. The winner with 52% of the vote was (as expected), current Prime Minister and BFF to the current president, Serge Sargsyan. The runner-up with 21.5% of the vote was former president (taken out by the current president in 1997), Levon Ter-Petrossian. The elections were flawed, lots of people protested over the past week, the protests have gotten violent, LTP is under house arrest and the government has issued a 20 day state of emergency. At least 3 (including a police officer) have been killed. [more inside]
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!
Policestate Filter: Woman who is a crime victim brutally strip searched by police. Hope Steffey's cousin called 911 to report that Hope had been assaulted. When the police arrived, Hope accidentally turned over her dead sister's driver's license, which she keeps in her wallet as a memento. After being arrested, and brutally strip searched, she is made to spend six hours in a cell, naked. Warning: the video of the incident is disturbing.
Did the Victorian police overreact in spraying capsicum spray into spectators at the Australian open tennis on Tuesday night? The officers say they were protecting themselves, it seems not all agree and legal action might ensue. Is the Australian Open (or any international sporting contest in Australia) still a family friendly environment?
The Los Angeles Police Department are enlisting feral cats for rat patrol at police stations that are experiencing rodent problems. These hardworking kitties -- part of the Working Cats Program -- are doing a stellar job keeping the rat population in check.
The rush to clear police in shootings. An eight-month Chicago Tribune investigation of 200+ police shootings going back 10 years. (h/t Radley)
Juststolen.net "was created by police officers to provide the best possible asset tracking and property recovery services in the world. JustStolen.net is an innovative tool designed to easily register assets in order to facilitate their recovery if they are lost or stolen. JustStolen.net joins forces with online auctions to help identify stolen property."
Post a controversial comment, get arrested. "Some were disturbed by the post police say James Buss left on a conservative blog, but other observers said it was a sarcastic attempt to discredit critics of education spending."
"A detective does his job in the only possible way. He follows the requirements of the law to the letter -- or close enough so as not to jeopardize his case. Just as carefully, he ignores that law's spirit and intent. He becomes a salesman, a huckster as thieving and silver-tongued as any man who ever moved used cars or aluminum siding -- more so, in fact, when you consider that he's selling long prison terms to customers who have no genuine need for the product." [more inside]
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]
Teacher Dude takes photos of Greek riot police who beat him up. Police say he wasn't allowed to photograph them without accreditation.
This just isn't a good week for police. Video included. On the bright side (however dim), no taser was involved this time.
The killing of Jamie Dean. "Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
Police overreact, and attack bikers with no provocation at Minneapolis Critical Mass. Responses from witnesses tell one picture of what happened, but local news says "nobody was hurt" despite squad cars knocking bicyclists from their bikes. What gives?
Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Que. The video of the events leading to the accusation can be found online.
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.
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?
cell mobile phone helped police find the body of missing student Kelly Nolan. "The average citizen is not aware that they are carrying a location-tracking device in their pocket..."
Listen to the Newmarket Police try to deal with "Outstanding Elephants". Elephants from the circus escape. They wander through Newmarket, Ontario, munching on people's landscaping. Some people out for a late night walk happen upon them and (mp3) call into the York regional police to report the errant elephants. Then the police (mp3) deal with getting them back to their home. "Police said no one was hurt, no property was damaged and that the two well-behaved animals spent their free time snacking on plants and trees as they wandered the quiet downtown streets." Sounds like a good way to spend a summer evening to me!
In late March the body of Lindsay Ann Hawker was found in a bathtub on the balcony of a Chiba apartment. This week, with the help of UK officers, the Hawker family has returned to Tokyo, to seek help to find the main suspect Tatsuya Ichihashi, who has been missing since the discovery of the body.
Go skateboarding Day didn't end well for a bunch of teenagers in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Youtube Video. Unreasonable/Excessive force by the police? You decide.