Law Enforcement




International news agency Al-Jazeera (which also happened to recently purchase Current TV here in the states, y’all) asks whether the United States’ police forces have become too militarized. For those of us who get our news from independent, mostly online sources, this seems obvious. Anyone who was involved with or follows the Occupy movement has seen how local and state law enforcement have refitted themselves as paramilitary organizations.

Each week, seemingly every day, there are dozens of stories of police harassment, abuse, brutality, and infringement on civil rights; usually against people of color. It may not be that this is a trend on the rise, but as others have suggested, that there are simply more cameras and recording devices out there facilitating our constitutional right to keep the cops accountable. But there can be no doubt that the addition of SWAT tactics, zero tolerance, racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, warantless surveillance and wiretapping, armored tank-like vehicles, severe use of ‘nonlethal’ weapons, and the trigger-happy cowboys themselves have increased faster than you can say ‘counter-terrorism’ or ‘fusion center.’ Add in some DHS-supplied drones and you’ve got a local militia with a fraternal code of silence and protection from the very laws they were once sworn to uphold.





With municipalities desperate to reduce budgets, use of remotely-controlled robots for some law enforcement duties is an inevitability. CNET reports: Researchers at Florida International University’s Discovery Lab are working with a member…




A lot of thought is devoted to the prison-industrial complex, but what about the political economy of police and law enforcement? Pueblo Lands on the Oakland Police Department: Oakland’s position within the Bay…


British psychiatrist David Nutt specializes in neuropsychopharmacology, the research of drugs that affect the brain. In his recent interview with The Guardian’s Science Weekly Podcast, he discusses the science and politics of mind-altering substances. The neuroscience blog MindHacks refers to it as…



Critics say the results are more truth-y than truthful. The Guardian writes: It is the sort of scene that belongs in a film noir, not a 21st-century democracy: an uncooperative suspect being injected…


The California Penal Code states that uniformed police officers must wear “a badge, nameplate, or other device which bears clearly…the identification number or name of the officer”. Feel free to remind the police of this when they forget:

Officer Hargraves of the Oakland Police Department is called out by a citizen journalist for covering his name tag with a strip of black electrical tape. Police lieutenant Hu removes the tape while the camera rolls.

The issue of “anonymous police” remains a serious problem. This is especially true for “riot police” who wear dark anonymous uniforms while firing rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and flash-bang grenades into the crowd.


On June 8, 2011 the following unfortunate arrest took place in Canton, OH. Notifying the policy when you have a firearm is required by Ohio Law, but when this individual with a thirty-day old license tries to do that he is repeatedly ordered to look away, shut up, or interrupted and “forced” to change what he is speaking about by the actions of an aggressive cop who maintains verbal control of the situation.

A two man car dealing with three people put itself at risk when one officer started what appears to be an illegal search of the rear of the car without extracting or securing the driver — which would have given him an opportunity to notify. What follows is horrific example of a police officer losing all self-control, threatening to beat the female, threatening to beat the driver and eventually saying he should have executed him “and wouldn’t have lost any sleep over it” that night.




LulzSecRob Beschizza writes on BoingBoing:

LulzSec announced Thursday evening the publication at Pirate Bay of a trove of leaked material from Arizona law enforcement agencies. Arizona’s Department of Public Safety confirmed shortly thereafter that it was hacked.

In the press release included with the dump, a LulzSec affiliate outlines a more activist agenda than is usually associated with the group:

We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.

The documents classified as “law enforcement sensitive”, “not for public distribution”, and “for official use only” are primarily related to border patrol and counter-terrorism operations and describe the use of informants to infiltrate various gangs, cartels, motorcycle clubs, Nazi groups, and protest movements.