Tag Archives: police

The opaque blue line

Source: Reason
by CJ Ciaramella

"The Burlington Police Department's online transparency portal features a telling quote from political and legal theorist Jeremy Waldron: 'In a democracy, the accountable agents of the people owe the people an account of what they have been doing, and a refusal to provide this is simple insolence.' In that spirit, the portal is a model for proactive transparency, giving quick links to raw data and quarterly reports on how, when, and where police have used force. Several hundred miles south of the sleepy capital of Vermont, the country's largest police force is providing a model for insolence. The 35,000-strong New York Police Department (NYPD) is one of the most stubbornly opaque law enforcement agencies in the country." (for publication 05/17)


The problem with how Jeff Sessions talks about crime

Source: The Nation
by Collier Meyerson

"Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that consent decrees — formal agreements between municipalities and the Department of Justice (DoJ) to improve local policing, often put in place in response to discriminatory practices — can 'reduce the morale of police departments.' He wasn’t just paying lip service to police officers; earlier in the month, Sessions ordered a review of all consent decrees across the United States. … 'Every place these decrees, and as you’ve mentioned some of these investigations have gone forward, we’ve seen too often big crime increases,' Sessions continued …. The Nation asked the Justice Department what evidence Sessions has connecting spikes in crime to cities under consent decree. A spokesperson for the agency declined to comment. This isn’t the first time Sessions has connected scrutinizing law enforcement to an increase in crime. During his confirmation hearings in February, Sessions falsely connected criticisms of police forces to high rates of crime in urban centers." (04/20/17)


Taser is being renamed and offering US police a free trial of body cameras

Source: The Verge

"Taser is making a big bet on body cameras. This morning, the company announced it would be renamed after its line of police-worn body cameras, Axon, and that it would offer any interested law enforcement agency a one-year trial of its equipment. That includes a camera for every officer on the force and use of Evidence.com, the company’s website for tracking body camera videos and other media. The offer is meant to make it easier for police departments to start outfitting their officers with body cameras, which many hope could cut down on police brutality by holding officers accountable while also protecting officers from inaccurate complaints. Of course, for Axon, it’s also just about selling cameras and the tech required to run them." (04/05/17)


Proposed law would forbid ICE thugs to impersonate police officers

Source: New York Post

"Federal immigration officers would be barred from wearing the word 'police' on their uniforms under new legislation to help undocumented immigrants distinguish between the NYPD and deportation agents. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) said she'll introduce legislation Thursday to address growing fears immigrant communities have of federal immigration and border patrol agents. … ICE and Customs and Border Patrol agents using 'police' on their vests have confused immigrants into letting federal agents into their homes without a warrant, immigration advocates say." (04/05/17)


FL: Two detectives ambushed, shot in unmarked car

Source: Miami Herald

"Police on Tuesday continued their search for six people involved in an ambush-style shooting of two undercover Miami-Dade police officers in their unmarked car. The detectives were working a gang detail in Brownsville when they were shot late Monday night by suspects who walked past them, opened fire and fled. The officers, who were taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in the back of a pickup by cops who were on the perimeter of the shooting scene, were in stable condition, one grazed by a bullet, the other shot in the leg." [editor's note: Cue the "war on police" rhetoric. What likely happened is that one gang's members mistook a couple of guys sitting in a strange car in a neighborhood they weren't from for members of a rival gang. Which, come to think of it, is true 😉 – TLK] (03/28/17)


Cop supporters share the guilt

Source: Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal

"Cop — all cops — are evil gang scum, not because of who they were born, but because of what they choose to do. That is simply the plain truth. But, it would be a waste to spend all your life worrying about it. Or them. So, I don't. There are many harmful things in the world. Disease, natural disasters, a variety of bad characters, thieves, and bullies. Cops are just one of many. You'd go crazy focusing on all the bad stuff. Yes, police are a cancer on society, but just like other forms of cancer, they aren't going to magically go away tomorrow. I accept this fact and ignore the Blue Line Gang most of the time. The biggest problem, the one which makes me speak out, is that here you have a deadly cancer … that people worship! What's up with that?" (03/27/17)


NYPD cop who killed unarmed teen quits before he's fired

Source: CNN

"A New York police officer who fatally shot unarmed teen Ramarley Graham during a 2012 chase, resigned Sunday after an internal disciplinary trial on Friday. According to an NYPD statement, police officer Richard Haste quit after the NYPD trial commissioner 'found him guilty on all counts and recommended his employment be terminated.' … Federal prosecutors closed their investigation in March 2016, saying there was insufficient evidence for a criminal civil rights case against Haste for the shooting. In 2013, Haste pleaded not guilty to charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter for the February 2, 2012 shooting of 18-year-old Graham. A Bronx Supreme Court Judge later dismissed the manslaughter indictment against Haste." (03/27/17)


Public record

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Police departments nationwide have begun to outfit their on-duty officers with body cameras. These small recording devices make great sense, so we can better judge police encounters. And it turns out that not only do police behave better when wearing body cameras, so do the citizens with whom they interact. Yet, cameras aren't magic. They do not work when turned off. And video recorded by police offers little value when tampered with or deleted." (03/23/17)


KY: Mayor calls in FBI after local cops are accused of raping children

Source: The Free Thought Project

"Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called allegations of sexual abuse and rape by police officers of children in the department's Youth Explorer program 'our worst nightmare' — and has now appealed to the FBI to open an investigation. 'If there has been an injustice,' asserted the mayor, 'it will be remedied.' A previous probe into the accusations by the Louisville Metro Police will also be subject to inquiry by former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey, whom Fischer hired to determine whether 'errors were made' — including by top cop, Police Chief Steve Conrad." (03/19/17)


In Chicago, bad policing doesn't stop crime

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

"It's not only the Justice Department that has found that Chicago police engage in needless brutality. Crain's Chicago Business reported last year that misconduct cases have cost the city $662 million in judgments, settlements and outside legal fees since 2004. If ferocious methods were the solution to crime, Chicago would be suffering a shortage of criminals. Even before last year's jump, though, its homicide rate far surpassed those of New York and Los Angeles. But when cops misuse their authority, residents of high-crime areas regard them as an occupying force they should fear, not an ally they should assist." (03/13/17)