Last Week Tonight with John Oliver takes on the issue of civil asset forfeiture
, including "Law & Order: Civil Asset Forfeiture Unit", a preview of how police procedurals could handle the topic. [more inside]
Stop and Seize
: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes
. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
Contempt of Cop Activists range from hard-conservative gun rights types, who carry copies of the Constitution in their pockets, to left-leaning civil liberties advocates. In both cases, they triumphantly upload video trophies of their confrontations to the internet.
Quite a few show "checkpoint refusals" at roadblocks erected by police looking for drunken drivers, or by federal agents hunting illegal aliens. Courts here have held that police have the right to operate such stops. But the courts have also ruled that citizens are free to remain silent, and can refuse to allow searches and ignore orders to submit to "secondary inspections" unless police detain them — which requires the higher hurdle of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe an offence has been committed. [more inside]
Taken: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture.
"Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?" [Via]
Bernie "Whistling" Smith, a legendary, no-nonsense Vancouver cop was the subject of this 1975. Oscar nominated documentary
. [more inside]
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]
When it hits you, no matter how much you expect it, it comes as a surprise — a literal shock, like a baseball bat swung hard and squarely into the small of your back. That sensation — which is actually two sharp steel barbs piercing your skin and shooting electricity into your central nervous system — is followed by the harshest, most violent charlie horse you can imagine coursing through your entire body. With the pain comes the terrifying awareness that you are completely helpless. You cannot move. You lose control of almost everything and the only place you can go is down, face first to the floor.
That’s what it feels like to be hit with a Taser.
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series
(direct links: 1
) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf)
from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime,"
NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings
. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
- Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider
) has investigated News Corporation
for PBS Frontline [transcript]
. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered
" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air
But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK
. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
In 1991, Troy Davis
was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of policeman Mark MacPhail in a Savannah, Georgia parking lot. Since then, seven of the nine prosecution eyewitnesses have recanted
all or part of their testimony, with some citing pressure from the police to make false statements. An exception is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who made the initial report of Davis’s guilt, and is regarded by the defense as the chief suspect. New witnesses have sworn affidavits that Coles confessed the crime to them. An array
of figures have called for a stay of execution, including death-penalty supporters Senator Bob Barr and former FBI director William S. Sessions. Today
, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
denied clemency; barring action
from the District Attorney, Davis is set to be executed
by lethal injection tomorrow at 7pm. [Previously
It took the photographer Donald Weber more than five years to make his way inside a Ukrainian police interrogation room.
For months, Weber showed up every morning at police headquarters
, where he sat on a wooden bench in a drab hallway, waiting to ask the suspects if they’d let him witness their interrogations. When they agreed
, he sat and watched from his chair in a small room as a damaged light fixture cast spider-web patterns on the wall. [more inside]
Constable Adam Josephs of the Toronto Police
is now known across the internet as "Officer Bubbles" for his questionable shenanigans
during the recent G20 summit protests
is now suing YouTube
for hosting videos
related to in incident.
The Smoking Gun has come into possession of an unusual RFP
from the DEA: they want 'Ebonics experts' to help decipher wiretaps
ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance.
"The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website
Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report
(PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles
, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying."
- "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
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.
On December 18, 2004, Ascension Alverez-Tejeda
and his girlfriend were stopped at a traffic light near La Pine Oregon, and when the light turned green, the car in front of them stalled. Alverez-Tejeda stopped in time but a pickup truck behind him rear-ended him. When he got out to look at his bumper, the police showed up and arrested the truck driver for drinking and driving. The cops then convinced Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend to go to a nearby parking lot, ordered them out of their car and into in the back of the cop car for 'processing.' While they were in the cruiser, a person jumped in their car and took off. The cops ordered the pair out and set off in full pursuit up the road.
But it was all a set up worthy of David Mamet. DEA agents were tracking a drug gang and. . .decided to stage something, perhaps even a carjacking, in order to seize the drugs without tipping off the conspirators. They never consulted a judge, but every person in the story, other than Alverez-Tejeda and his girlfriend, was a cop of some sort.
"If we can't take care of each other then who will.
Your a disgrace to any police dept. u no ball havin piece of @#%$. I hope when your out there alone writing a ticket "joe citizen" pumps u full of lead and leaves u there to rot u fuckin @#%$ u." Welcome to Cops Writing Cops. Be sure to check out "Dick of the Month"
and the forums
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.
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]
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.
Register article on Greek arrest of well known programmer
I'ved been watching this story since it surfaced at the rixstep.com page here
; also covered at Techdirt.com in a couple of threads. Worth a look.
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."
Bad Cop, No Donut!
is a weekly wrap-up of North American police brutality, misconduct and corruption. (mp3 archive
.) Unsurprisingly, not everyone is a fan.
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.
, Ann Arbor , 7/20/04
Groom Tries To Keep Pimp Hand Strong With Dowry Demand - Gets Arrested
A bride who got the police to arrest her bridegroom has become something of a celebrity in India.
Nisha Sharma, 21, called the police after her father was asked for more dowry money just minutes before her wedding ceremony.
and equal treatment "under the law." (pun anyone?)
Outraged prosecutors said Thursday that they will appeal the sentence given to Edwin "Ed" Mann, a former Orlando Police Department sex-crimes detective, for having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old girl who had earlier dated his son.
Mann, a former leader in Cops for Christ, pleaded guilty last week to four felony charges resulting from an ongoing sexual relationship he had with the girl two years ago when he was a sex-crimes detective.
Do you think being "religious" and policeman merits special treatment from a judge?
Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism...
Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.
BROWN v. MUHLENBERG TOWNSHIP
A municipal law enforcement officer violates the Fourth Amendment when he intentionally and repeatedly shoots a pet without any provocation and with knowledge that it belonged to a family readily available to take
When police go bad: Boycott Starbucks
A Seattle community’s response to what was seen as racially motivated use of excessive force by police was to boycott the company that is funding their own schools and projects. A strange story all around.
Granted I don't speed anymore, but handcuffs hurt.
Is it just me? But the Supreme court, it seems, cares nothing for the citizenry of this country. Who's hoops are they jumping through, dragging us along with our sore handcuffed wrists?
Strathclyde Police, Scotland,
given the right to take DNA samples from anyone arrested. Previously DNA samples were taken only from those suspected of murders, sex attacks or serious assaults.
Sir John Orr, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, denied that compulsory testing would infringe people's human rights. He said: "The tests are not invasive, not intrusive and not against civil liberties. The vast majority of people will be asked only to give a simple mouth swab, which can be done in seconds. This is a magnificent tool which will help detect crime and the public should be very pleased."
Read: you have nothing to fear if you're innocent...