In Washington D.C. yesterday a snowball fight was organized via Twitter. About two hundred people showed up at 14th. and U Streets and were having a fun time. Some cars got caught in the crossfire. The driver of a Hummer was not pleased. He got out of his car and brandished a gun. A 9-1-1 call was made. Police responded to reports of a man with a gun. It turns out that the Hummer driver is a plain-clothes D.C. detective. Detective Baylor admitted to pulling out his gun. [more inside]
We've talked about tasers on Mefi before. We've all heard about the tasing of mouthy grandmothers, recalcitrant students, and diabetics. But as a method of controlling a 10 year old's temper tantrum? Stanford University [PDF] released a report saying that tasers should only be used in situations where the suspect is dangerous, and should not be used on children. However, there seems to be a trend where the taser is being used as a threat and a disciplinary tool, rather than as a tool to protect officers.
During the last week, a senior detective in Novorossiysk, Russia named Alexei Dymovsky had a viral hit on YouTube with a series of videos (in Russian: 1, 2. With English subtitles: 1) complaining about working conditions, accusing officers of corruption, and claiming that he and other police were ordered to stage crimes in order to put innocent people in jail. Dymovsky was promptly fired, but the Russian government has since admitted that parts of the police have been turned into criminal businesses. More here and here.
Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio is controversial to be sure. He has been accused of using his office to retaliate against critics, and he has thumbed his nose at the feds. Are his rank and file officers following his lead? What's up with this?
Alleged serial killer and convicted rapist Anthony Sowell is creating even bigger problems for the Cleveland police department, who have been accused of joking about missing victims, passing the blame onto those victims and outright incompetence. As of today, the body count is up to 10 (plus one skull), and people around the world are wondering what went wrong.
3 o' clock in the morning, you're buying a pie from the BP station, what must you always do? New Zealand police officer delivers a stern warning on the hazards of thermo-nuclear pies and becomes a Youtube Hit. [more inside]
After a spate of recent deaths, efforts to rehabilitate homeless chronic inebriates in Anchorage now include involuntary confinement. Other city-wide efforts include a mayoral decree that established homeless camps should be scattered. [more inside]
When Northern Illinois University entered the national spotlight it was for tragic reasons. One of the university's public faces during the tragedy was University Police Department Chief Donald Grady. Now, the university is conducting a performance review of the chief after he spent three hours berating, yelling at, and trying to bribe a student journalist with a job at the university in exchange for favorable coverage. [more inside]
Ai Weiwei, one of the leading Chinese artists of his generation, has undergone emergency brain surgery after being beaten by police. [more inside]
JERICHO, Ark. — It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps. The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.
Two Jersey Shore cops stop Bob Dylan, taking an afternoon walk in Long Branch, NJ. Neither recognizes him. He has no I.D with him. but the situation is soon peacefully rectified. At least he didn't start up with them like he might have long ago.Don't think twice, it's alright.
Pictures of military subjects, many of them annotated, from all over such as Russia, Malaysia, Japan (Special Police), Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Canada. [more inside]
Acting on criticisms and pressure from law enforcement, Craigslist has announced it will shut down its "erotic services" category in the U.S. Reaction is mixed and some are suggesting that online prostitution will simply find a new name.
Police in Denmark target bike riders. SLYT Police in Denmark take drastic steps to change the habits of bike riders...
The Wire - David Simon's original pitch and series bible. "At the end of thirteen episodes, the viewer - who has been lured all this way by a well-constructed police show - is not the simple gratification of hearing handcuffs click. Instead the conclusion is something Euripides or O'Neill might recognize: an America at every level at war with itself." [Previously.] (via)
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)