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A Canadian perspective on the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model

The Walrus magazine looks into Toronto police shootings of the mentally ill and the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model:

Memphis, one-quarter of Toronto’s size but with a homicide rate nine times higher, has developed a progressive approach to de-escalate high-tension confrontations, improve police attitudes toward those suffering from mental illness, and divert them from the criminal justice system. The Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model centres on dispatching specially trained beat cops to emergency calls as quickly as possible, and giving them the authority to take charge of the scene. That approach triggered a revolution in policing that has now been emulated in 2,700 jurisdictions across the US, including large urban centres such as Chicago and Los Angeles. A handful of Canadian cities, among them Hamilton and Vancouver, have also adopted the CIT model. While the TPS has not, senior officials claim that all of its 5,500 uniformed officers receive some training in how to handle mental illness, which makes the recent proliferation of shootings that much more perplexing.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 3, 2014 - 11 comments

The Skunk - A Riot Control Hover-Drone

The Skunk is designed to control crowds without endangering the lives of security staff. Bright strobe lights and on-board speakers enable operators to communicate with and warn the crowed. If things get out of control the Skunk can use its four paintball guns to disperse or mark people in the crowd. Four ammunition hoppers can load different types of ammunition such as dye marker balls, pepper spray balls or solid plastic balls.
The early customers are South African mine owners, who hope to use them to control striking workers.
posted by Slap*Happy on Jun 16, 2014 - 119 comments

War Gear Flows to Police Departments

In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 9, 2014 - 128 comments

"And I require the ATF to pay for the removal"

28 year old Chauncey Wright, brain damaged, with an IQ in the 50s, had trouble holding a job. Seeing some men handing out flyers at a Walmart parking lot, Wright asked if they needed a helper. Soon, Wright found himself handing out flyers on his bike, eventually procuring drugs and firearms for his employers. And inidicted on several drug and gun charges after finding out his employers were undercover ATF officers running a sting operation in a curious Milwaukee storefront. During which the storefront was burgled, damaged, the owner stiffed on repair costs, and several guns stolen from ATF vehicles, including a machine gun that has yet to be recovered. This wasn't an isolated incident. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Dec 8, 2013 - 30 comments

The Disappearance of N

Last year, a friend of mine disappeared, and I found him in jail. I had a blizzard of thoughts about that experience; here are many of them. They didn't fit in a linear essay, so I wrote some code to present them in a tree. [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola on Oct 14, 2013 - 28 comments

Domestic spying now (secretly) used by law enforcement

The NSA is handing the Justice Department information, derived from its secret electronic eavesdropping programs, about suspected criminal activity unrelated to terrorism; meanwhile the DEA is using information from NSA programs to launch criminal investigations, and then 'recreating' the trail of investigation in order to hide where the information originated.
posted by anemone of the state on Aug 5, 2013 - 168 comments

"Promises to get data retention, privacy policies in place later."

On July 30th, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to accept $2 million in federal funds to create a 24/7 "Domain Awareness Center" that would "link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data into a unified 'situational awareness' tool for law enforcement." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 1, 2013 - 53 comments

Cop Selfies

Cop Selfies
posted by Greg Nog on Jul 29, 2013 - 94 comments

Mail Covers for everybody.

Concerned about privacy and government surveillance? Not even snail-mail is safe: With Mail Isolation Control and Tracking, the US Postal Service is now photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail in the United States, and storing the data indefinitely.
posted by anemone of the state on Jul 3, 2013 - 100 comments

Sympathy for the Cabbie

Boston taxi cab drivers, often cheated, work in a world where risk and reward are a mismatch. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Apr 4, 2013 - 37 comments

More bad news from the Government.

You know, Stingrays killed the Crocodile Hunter... During the case of United States v. Rigmaiden it was revealed that the DOJ had been using Stingray cell phone trackers concealed in other warrants/without explicit warrants. [more inside]
posted by Samizdata on Mar 29, 2013 - 41 comments

Are Western tourists being poisoned in Asia?

Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead, likely poisoned. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks", or the use of Chlorpyrifos in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.. A Facebook group was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated, deaths could be made public.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 9, 2013 - 75 comments

I Saw Drones

The street artist behind the satirical "NYPD Drones" posters has been tracked down by forensics teams and a "counter-terrorism unit" and arrested.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, NYU grad student Josh Begley, also known for his Apple-rejected Drones+ app which sends push notifications every time there is a drone strike, began tweeting times, dates, and casualty counts for every US-ordered drone strike via @Dronestream. So far he is only up to August 2010.

On a different front, Milo Danger takes a look at what is needed to make a fully-equipped civilian drone.
posted by dunkadunc on Dec 15, 2012 - 71 comments

Can Murder Be Tracked Like An Infectious Disease?

Researchers found that the pattern of murder in Newark, NJ is very similar in pattern to the spread of an infectious disease. Could this research show law enforcement a new way to predict where murders will occur?
posted by reenum on Dec 6, 2012 - 14 comments

Coming Home to Roost: Domestic Drones (U.S)

"When most Americans think of surveillance drones, it conjures up an image of a Predator drone in a far-off land unleashing a missile against a terrorist suspect. The last thing they think of is a flying surveillance vehicle over their own city. But an increasing number of federal, state, county and municipal police departments are purchasing drone surveillance vehicles of one sort or another to watch Americans. And a few have even discussed arming the drones." - Drones over America. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to more than double its fleet of Predator drones for surveillance missions inside the United States. Despite Problems, there is a push to expand domestic use. Much of that push comes from a "powerful" lobbying group that most Americans have never heard of: the Unmanned Systems Caucus. Drone Makers Push Congress to Move Up Domestic Deployment Date (follow the money). More? ACLU blog posts related to domestic drones. Here is a Map of Domestic Drone Authorizations, last updated in April. Insiders assure You have nothing to worry about, but a little remarked-upon court decision may bring the domestic drone age one flight closer to your doorstep. (previously)
posted by spock on Dec 3, 2012 - 72 comments

"Criminal issues from herbal incense? We can help."

The Fake-Pot Industry Is Coming Down From a Three-Year High - a fascinating read on the multibillion-dollar "herbal incense" business and its latest legal woes after the introduction of more severe legislation on synthetic cannabinoids. Featuring the rise and downfall of Mr. Nice Guy, rogue chemists, warehouses exploding, DEA undercover operations and "the Saul Goodmans of synthetic cannabinoids" - two attorneys specialized in providing "Cutting Edge In Incense Testing and Compliance" services to manufacturers to help them "stay one step ahead of the law". (via longform) [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen on Sep 15, 2012 - 37 comments

Law Enforcement Theatre

The FBI has orchestrated "14 out of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks [on U.S. soil] since 9/11" according to the NY Times' counting. As noted previously though, Mother Jones' investigative report found that "all [but three] of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings" and one third of terrorist defendants were actually led by an FBI agent provocateur, often outside contractors. A Rolling Stone blogger has now called out the FBI for "singling out ideological enemies [of the State]", including the FBI's recent Ohio bridge plot, while ignoring much more dangerous right wing groups, including white supremacists. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 4, 2012 - 134 comments

1st Circuit Upholds Right to Record Police in Public

The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals has held that recording police officers performing their duties in public is a "clearly established first amendment right". [more inside]
posted by epsilon on Aug 31, 2011 - 132 comments

"F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
posted by Trurl on Jun 13, 2011 - 46 comments

7. Look For "The Signs"

A rare video excerpt from 1994's Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults [more inside]
posted by hermitosis on Nov 16, 2010 - 200 comments

Oil Change & GPS Tracker Removal, Only $19.99!

A mechanic noticed a strange device under the hood of a customer's car and offered to remove it for him. The customer, an Egyptian-American student named Yasir Afifi, shows his roommate, who posts pictures of it on Reddit to find out what the heck it is. Turns out it's an FBI GPS tracking device, and the agency turned up quickly demanding he give it back. The ACLU is reportedly getting involved. [more inside]
posted by richyoung on Oct 8, 2010 - 121 comments

"I wanted to get it over with, get home, and get some sleep."

Why do people confess to crimes they don't commit? UVA Law Professor Brandon Garrett has been researching the contamination effect in interrogation. Modern interrogation practices are informed by the (copyrighted) Reid Technique. John R. Reid and Associates, Inc. responds to critics.
posted by availablelight on Oct 4, 2010 - 87 comments

Red light for AZ traffic cameras

Arizona has turned off every speed camera on its highways after complaints that they violated privacy and were designed to generate revenue rather than promote road safety. The 76 cameras took 2.7 million photographs, but only 16 per cent of drivers who received a speeding ticket paid up. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jul 19, 2010 - 155 comments

Dead or alive

Wanted: Jonah Hex - on making a movie prop, and a little about actual Old West wanted posters.
posted by Artw on Jul 1, 2010 - 43 comments

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses who have special training and experience in forensic evidence collection (conducting “rape kits”) and survivor-centered care. They also increasingly conduct forensic examinations on suspects accused of sexual assault(PDF). There is evidence that, through this work, SANE programs increase the prosecution rates of sexual assault cases. However, as a result of a recent Supreme Court Case, Crawford v. Washington, the role of SANEs is being increasingly curtailed(behind a pay wall). [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jun 16, 2010 - 57 comments

The tiniest are small enough to fly through a house window.

Feds under pressure to open US skies to drones. Last week, the FAA released a fact sheet, which states in part that "one of the most promising potential uses for small UASs is in law enforcement." They've already allowed the Border Patrol to use Predator drones as a "key force multiplier" along the Mexican border. Local law enforcement wants in on the game. Britons, you're next - or first? [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jun 14, 2010 - 126 comments

Acting!

Slate goes meta on Balloon Boy. Some good questions here about the accuracy of law enforcement in determining veracity.
posted by Jimmy Havok on Nov 2, 2009 - 30 comments

There Will Be Blood

"I was just sick and tired of Texas law that allowed the defendant to destroy the very evidence that we need to protect society." Starting September 1st, police in Texas will be able to draw blood for alcohol testing from anyone involved in an auto accident without a warrant. Lauded by law enforcement officials such as Williamson County DA John Bradley (quoted above), and Dallas Police Chief David "we believe in the no-refusal process," Kunkle, it has others worried about what happens if someone refuses the test.
posted by nushustu on Aug 25, 2009 - 121 comments

The FBI looks Beyond Survival for law enforcement officers

The May 2009 issue of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has a special focus: "Beyond Survival," helping law enforcement officers to do more than survive in their careers. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Jul 22, 2009 - 6 comments

Jackie Chan is... SUPERCOP!

High speed chase in which the pursuing cop shoots out the back window of the fleeing vehicle, leaps out of his own car onto the target car, climbs through the shotgunned window pane, and finally throws the driver out of the car, Terminator style.
posted by lilbrudder on Jun 23, 2006 - 40 comments

Big fucking mess

The Mara Salvatrucha gang or MS-13 is an international street gang. Operation Community Shield spearheaded by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Dept. of Homeland Security has been arresting street gang members from gangs such as " Sure Inos (which seems to be spelled wrong and even Wiki knows it USA Today & Detroit Free Press); the 18th Street Gang; Latin Kings; the Mexican Mafia; Border Brothers; Brown Pride, Azian Pride;" etc. etc. (all you wanna know about gangs here or going way back - here) over the past few months and recently arrested 582 members of MS-13. So far, ICE has made 1,057 arrests as part of the sting. Rumor has it MS-13 linked with Al-Quedia to smuggle nukes into the US. C'mon, world net daily? The Dept. of Homeland Security (thru ICE) is using federal immigration databases coupled with the names of thousands of suspected gang members from state and local police departments to - at the very least - deport them. Is that ok? Under the new laws it seems legal. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the gangs "a threat to our homeland security and ... a very urgent law enforcement priority." Yet non-Hispanic whites apparently commit more than half of all violent crimes, but make up only one-quarter of the prison population. I see the need to stop MS-13 and other gangs with international ties as much as the El Rukins were, but they were stopped by the state and local police and the FBI. So is it smarter policing or does the new law enforcement model target 'foreigners' and have the laws been tailor-made to target ghetto and barrio youth? I don't know, but why when I read ICE investigations cheif Marcy Forman say: "We're just getting started" do I get an Einsatzgruppen chill?
posted by Smedleyman on Aug 3, 2005 - 33 comments

All killer no filler

"You can't buy any better heroin in the world than you can buy in New Jersey" The Drug Enforcement Agency cites New Jersey has having the purest heroin in the United States.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket on Dec 13, 2004 - 32 comments

like you and me, but stupider.

Just a week in the life of a san diego county police officer. Linked from YouCSD, a news alternative weblog for the UCSD community.
posted by radiosig on Dec 5, 2004 - 28 comments

Ashcroft's terror warning

One of Ashcroft's "credible sources" from last week's terror warning came from Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, a group that has also claimed responsibility for the blackout in the Northeast last year, the power outage in London, the Madrid bombing and has been called "notoriously unreliable" by U.S. officials. “The only thing they haven't claimed credit for recently is the cicada invasion of Washington". Ashcroft blames the FBI who have admitted that claims that terrorists were 90 percent ready to attack came not from al-Qaida, but from the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades’ statements.
posted by gfrobe on May 29, 2004 - 12 comments

Fastlight

Operation Fastlight: Piracy Crackdown [2][3] [4] Let the international war on Piracy begin. DOJ rules for computer seizures. Targetted Groups: Fairlight, Kalisto, Echelon, Class, Project X and APC. Overview of the warez scene. Previous anti-warez operation - buccaneer.
posted by srboisvert on Apr 22, 2004 - 31 comments

Operation TIPS calls routed to "America's Most Wanted"

Operation TIPS calls routed to "America's Most Wanted" (Salon premium, sorry) What hack wrote this script we Americans now find ourselves playing out, and why does he have such an on-the-nose sense of humor? Is this funny, depressing, painful or outrageous? Or all four?
posted by busbyism on Aug 6, 2002 - 11 comments

Florida state troopers pull over motorists to fill out a survey.

Florida state troopers pull over motorists to fill out a survey. "Off-duty troopers picked motorists at random and directed them to pull off the interstate into a rest stop, where Palm Pilot- toting interviewers waited." Shit, I'd be pissed. Yeah - it's only a 90 second survey but still... (from Camworld)
posted by ao4047 on Jul 30, 2002 - 32 comments

Thank God for Police hypocrisy

Thank God for Police hypocrisy for keeping me so amused. Seriously though, this is one of the best articles I've read in a long time. It's a five part series regarding the controversy of redlight cameras, and the evidence that those that administer them are in it for the $$$. For one, they seem to be placed on high-traffic / short yellow light intersections instead of the high-accident intersections. Oh, and it's made D.C. alone over $15 million in two years. Read it to find out how the researchers stretched numbers to get " tiny 3 percent increase in rear-enders" from a 767% increase.
posted by LuxFX on Apr 9, 2002 - 35 comments

The new COINTELPRO?

The new COINTELPRO? In an age of massive databases, shared law enforcement intranets, and wire-taps that can collect terabytes of data, privacy may well become an antiquated notion as legislators and law enforcement work to fight the current menace.
posted by skallas on Jan 28, 2002 - 5 comments

America's Finest!

America's Finest! I don't know what my favorite part of this article is, the quote "their hearts were in the right place" (as well as other body parts) or the law that says police officers can have sex if they are in a dangerous or "life-threatening situation."
posted by sassone on Sep 8, 2001 - 6 comments

More than half

More than half of all black men report that they have been the victims of racial profiling by police, according to a survey by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University.

Overwhelming majorities of blacks, Latinos and Asians also report they occasionally experience at least one of the following expressions of prejudice: poor service in stores or restaurants, disparaging comments, and encounters with people who clearly are frightened or suspicious of them because of their race or ethnicity. This is 2001?
posted by owillis on Jun 22, 2001 - 62 comments

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies now have access to software that can remotely record every keystroke and see every file on a target PC.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies now have access to software that can remotely record every keystroke and see every file on a target PC. Data Interception by Remote Transmission (D.I.R.T.), developed by Codex Data Systems (you need a username and password to get past the opening screen) can supposedly see through PGP, firewalls, whatever you throw at it apparently. Only works against Win95 so far, but that won't last. Is this hogwash or something crucial?
posted by aflakete on Jun 4, 2001 - 15 comments

Hmmm, Big Brother is checking out my motor,

Hmmm, Big Brother is checking out my motor, and no one seems to care anymore. Pretty soon Big Brother will track my personal movements and know my genetic make up! Well, I'm outta here in four days and who knows what life will be like on this Sceptered Isle by the time I get back? Why doesn't anyone seem to care about this anymore!
posted by davehat on May 21, 2001 - 5 comments

Why Cops Shoot

Why Cops Shoot Police columnist Fred Reed gives practical examples of simulated situations that provoke gunplay. "Test yourself in a dark alley." Maybe the men in blue aren't as brutal as you think.
posted by Erendadus on May 19, 2001 - 15 comments

Pain Compliance

Pain Compliance -- Is it a revolutionary new tool for law enforcement, or legalized torture?
posted by snakey on Jan 4, 2001 - 34 comments

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