As she's laid to rest, questions remain about whether her arrest was good policing, a bail system that is especially harsh on the poor, the stigma of marijuana use, treatment of depression and, of course, the long history of American racism, as seen in Waller County, Texas, were the initial incident occurred. [more inside]
"some of these prognostications may seem a wee bit hyperbolic, a bit paranoid, maybe even a little nutty" What will American civil liberties look like in 2015? If things take a turn for the worse, they might look a little familiar. Slate also explored this terrain today, but not at such length. [more inside]
"The criminal's daughters" Mementos of childhood, meticulously documented by the secret police of Romania.
When police carried out a routine stop-and-search of her boyfriend on the London Underground, Gemma Atkinson filmed the incident. She was detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest. She launched a legal battle, which ended with the police settling the case in 2010. With the money from the settlement she funded the production of this animated film, which she says shows how her story and highlights police misuse of counterterrorism powers to restrict photography. [more inside]
We've all heard about the proliferation of CCTV in the UK. Now, accounting firm Ernst & Young has a new scheme for the Brits: Uninsured drivers won't be able to fill up. [more inside]
Following a widely-reported incident in which TSA agents required a 95-year-old cancer patient to remove her adult diaper for inspection before being allowed to board her flight, TV pundit Keith Olbermann has designated TSA chief John Pistole the "Worst Person in the World" and called for his removal. In other news, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) says it has obtained evidence that "the Department of Homeland Security has failed to properly evaluate the level of risk from airport body scanners." Documents obtained by EPIC via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that "even after TSA employees identified cancer clusters possibly linked to radiation exposure, the agency failed to issue employees dosimeters - safety devices that could assess the level of radiation exposure." (News report with video: TSA workers fear radiation dangers from scanners.) EPIC says the documents also indicate that DHS "mischaracterized the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, stating that NIST 'affirmed the safety' of full body scanners.". In a private email response (PDF link), NIST stated that the institute had not tested the safety of the scanners. And yesterday the Texas legislature approved a watered-down version of its TSA "anti-groping" bill. The Idaho legislature is also considering an anti-TSA-groping bill. [more inside]
How “secure” do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?Supreme Court OKs More Warrantless Searches [more inside]
... the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. (previously)
Early on New Year's Day, Oscar Grant was involved in a scuffle with an older man he hadn't previously met. The fighting continued and when the train reached Fruitvale, BART police stopped the fight and took Grant and several others into custody. The officers were armed with stun guns as well as sidearms. Three BART officers then proceed to place Grant face down to handcuff him, then one of them stands up, draws his weapon and shoots him in the back. Graphic video of the incident.
2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
Hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and even utility workers have been trained and recently dispatched as "Terrorism Liaison Officers" in Colorado and a handful of other states to hunt for "suspicious activity" — and are reporting their findings into secret government databases.
On April 3, The Memphis Flyer ran a story describing a town hall meeting in Shelby County in which citizens were instructed on the art of finding a potential terrorist. Among the 'qualifications' are having a camera and taking pictures of well known or important structures.
Surveillance Society Clock. "It's six minutes before midnight as a surveillance society draws near within the United States." [Via Danger Room.]
First Responder Training Sites. For police training purposes, in Southern California ten locations have been set up to look like "anytown, usa", where target practice & hostage situations are acted out. These areas are known in the industry as situation simulation villages, tactical training sites, or Hogan's Alleys (?). Emergency State is an online exhibit of over 200 photographs of these strange prop towns.
A rather well-edited and well-editorialized video of anti-protester police tactics as seen from perspective of police-operated cameras from the infamous protest in Portland of 2002. (Coral Cache here.)
Pump up the volume: Utah, 8/20/2005. A small fully permitted outdoor Drum and Bass gathering called "Versus 2" was the scene of a surreal amount of excessive force and tactics of cultural intimidation. Approximately 60 armored, helmeted and camouflaged Utah County Sheriffs officers armed with Police dogs, Tasers, MP5 submachine guns, rifles, batons and tear gas stormed the DJ booth and the dance floor. Still and video camera operators were singled out for abuse, police violence and confiscation of image recording devices. At least one video clip has made it to the net, helping spread the news globally within the Electronic Dance Music community within 24 hours. (Video Links: please use the torrents here or randomly choose one server here (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ) to help spread out the bandwidth costs.) Flashback to 6/31/2005 in the Czech Republic. Flashback to 70 years ago. More coverage: Daily Kos - Utah Indymedia - Drug Policy Alliance - Democracy Now (Audio) - more.
Another benefit of globalization: Third World-style political oppression right here at home. From the Ottawa Citizen (of all places): "Officers from various police forces and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have infiltrated, spied on or closely monitored organizations that are simply exercising their legal right to assembly and free speech. Targets of such intelligence operations in recent years... [include] a senior citizens' satire group that sings about social injustice... Individuals have been arrested for handing out literature condemning police tactics... "
No Hiding Place "According to most experts in the field, a police state with powers of control and surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of Hitler or Stalin could now be established in Britain within 24 hours" Here's how...
judge orders police to stay out of convention protest headquarters... without a search warrant or urgent circumstances. so far, so good. let's see how it goes....