Tag Archives | Law Enforcement

Houston Cops to Wear Body Cams

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 10.22.18 AMCop Block reports that some Houston cops will be waring body cameras. Step toward public accountability? Latest signs of an encroaching surveillance state?

Via Cop Block:

Over the past few weeks 100 Houston police employees have been given wearable body cameras. The head of their outfit – Charles McClelland – said that, “in trying to be accountable to the public, and being open and transparent, we’re very excited about this” and listed as benefits a lessening of citizen complaints, more convictions in court, better attitudes adjusted on both sides of the camera, and an officer safety enhancement as the video can be used for training purposes. But are body cams a step in the right direction or just the latest attempt to try to maintain authority?

As 90% of police interactions happen away from the area captured by dash cams, McClelland noted that that these body cams will make moot that need.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Future Crime Comes to Texas: Police Can Get A Warrant For Crimes You Might Commit Later

minority-report

Picture: Tom Cruise in ‘Minority Report’

Y’all better not let ’em think that you’re ‘fixing’ to commit a crime.

Via Raw Story:

An appeals court in Texas ruled last week that police may obtain a search warrant based on the prediction of a future crime.

Officers in Parker County took Michael Fred Wehrenberg and some associates into custody in summer 2010, after watching his home for about a month as part of a drug investigation.

A confidential informant told police that Wehrenberg and others were “fixing to” cook methamphetamine, and investigators searched the house while he and his friends stood outside in handcuffs.

Police said they found pseudoephedrine, stripped lithium batteries and materials used to make meth and then asked a judge to grant them a warrant to search the house.

They did not mention in the warrant application that officers had already gone into the house, and instead only based their request on information supplied by the confidential informant.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Sadistic Cops Videotape Themselves Torturing Mentally Ill Man With Taser


As stupid as they are sadistic, a bunch of cops and their paramedic buddies taped themselves torturing a mentally ill man witha  stun gun.  Naturally, they uploaded it to YouTube.

Via BoingBoing:

Police and paramedics in Millvale, Pa., were recorded on video laughing as they repeatedly stunned a handcuffed and mentally-ill man as he pounded his head against the side of a desk. The video–predictably–ended up on YouTube, and the police officers involved became targets of an FBI investigation and a federal lawsuit.

Keep reading.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Inside the World of Hitman for Hire Stings

wrong-hit-man-gq-magazine-november-2013-article-03GQ’s profile of an undercover ATF agent who poses as a hitman to foil murder for hire schemes is an interesting read.

Via GQ:

“Tell me what you want done,” the hit man says. “Do you want something done?”

“Oh, I want something done. I want that bitch’s face cut.”

Just saying it out loud, it’s the first step toward healing. Lucero knows that for sure now, and he says it repeatedly—cut her face up—and each time he feels lighter, a load off his heart, his pounding, suffering heart. The love of his life, she walked away laughing.

The hit man has ice blue eyes that don’t wander, don’t shift or pierce with disdain. “So you don’t want her dead, you want her scarred up?”

“Yeah,” Lucero says. “For all the money she took from me. All the money I gave—I gave her the world. And I got this back?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Another Victim of Fed’s Anal Probing Obsession Comes Forward

assAbductions, anal probing and medical scans… This reminds me of all of the UFO abduction reports from the eighties. Makes you kind of wonder.

Via KOB4:

It may be hard to believe that this could happen to yet another New Mexican. KOB’s 4 On Your Side team found a woman who claims she was violated by federal agents and doctors.

Laura Schaur Ives, Legal Director for the New Mexico Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, is representing the woman.

Schaur Ives said the woman doesn’t wish to be identified because she considers herself to be a victim of sexual assault. Schaur Ives said the woman crossed the border at a Port of Entry from Juarez, Mexico into El Paso.

A dog alerted to the woman, and Schaur Ives said federal agents stripped searched her at the facility, asked her to undress, to spread her genitalia and to cough. Female agents also allegedly pressed their fingers into her vagina looking for drugs.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Notorious Arizona Sheriff Sheriff Joe Arpaio To Deploy Unmanned Drones

SheriffJoePhoenix’s ABC15 reports on the forging ahead with new forms of corrupt policing:

Arpaio confirms to ABC15 he has a plan to use drones, if he can get them. While Arpaio didn’t specify exactly the types of drones he wants, at a Tuesday press conference, he said the models they’re eyeing are between $5,000 and $20,000, and he’d like them outfitted with cameras and infrared capabilities.

The first drone, if obtained, would circle or hover in the areas above Arpaio’s jails, he explained. “Surveillance regarding crime scenes and drugs, catching dope peddlers,” Arpaio described.

When asked about people’s privacy, Arpaio responded without hesitation. “Privacy in the jails? Privacy for criminals, privacy for those with drugs? They better watch out.”

As for the cost of the drones, Arpaio says the money would come mainly through drug seizure dollars. “Isn’t it great? It would be the criminals buying these to arrest more criminals,” said Arpaio.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

How To Reverse The Militarization Of Police In America

militarization

Via the Huffington Post, the militarization of our police can be turned back, and Radley Balko explains how:

Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year – a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today’s deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. The question is, how could the U.S. roll all of this back?

End the Drug War – Even decriminalization would take away many of the incentives to fight the drug war as if it were an actual war. Your average small town SWAT team would probably continue to exist, at least in the short term. But these teams are expensive to maintain, and without federal funding, it seems likely that many would eventually disband.

End The “Equitable Sharing” Civil Asset Forfeiture Program – Under civil asset forfeiture, police agencies can seize any piece of property – cash, cars, homes – that they can reasonably connect to criminal activity.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Photographer Detained by LAPD for ‘Interfering with Investigation’

“Interfering with an investigation” is one of those wondrously ambiguous catch-alls that law enforcement uses with impunity to restrict people’s constitutional rights. Award-winning documentary photographer Shawn Nee is only the latest to get shut down by camera-phobic cops.Good thing he has back-up cameras on his person – something I’d recommend for anyone who may have cause to question “authori-tah“.

Bonus: ACLU’s Photographer’s Rights page.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

“They Throw Kids on the Ground, Put Guns to Their Heads” — The Horrors Unleashed by Police Militarization

Picture: Wikipedia (PD)

Picture: Wikipedia (PD)

Radley Balko writes at Alternet:

Betty Taylor still remembers the night it all hit her.

As a child, Taylor had always been taught that police officers were the good guys. She learned to respect law enforcement, as she puts it, “all the time, all the way.” She went on to become a cop because she wanted to help people, and that’s what cops did. She wanted to fight sexual assault, particularly predators who take advantage of children. To go into law enforcement—to become one of the good guys—seemed like the best way to accomplish that. By the late 1990s, she’d risen to the rank of detective in the sheriff’s department of Lincoln County, Missouri—a sparsely populated farming community about an hour northwest of St. Louis. She eventually started a sex crimes unit within the department. But it was a small department with a tight budget. When she couldn’t get the money she needed, Taylor was forced to give speeches and write her own proposals to keep her program operating.

Read the rest
Continue Reading