Tag Archives | Law Enforcement

Oakland’s Law Enforcement Economy

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 Area’s police and law enforcement economy is characterized by extraction. Oakland spends roughly 40 percent of its general fund budget on cops. The surrounding majority white and middle class suburban cities of the East Bay benefit from Oakland’s massive spending on cops via the redistribution of tax dollars from Oakland to other municipalities.

Most of Oakland’s cops don’t live in the city, meaning that their salaries and other compensation are spent on mortgages, consumer purchases, healthcare, and other forms of taxed consumption where they live. Thus, by our rough calculations, based on data provided by OPD and assembled from a database of public employee pay for 2010, at least $126 million left the city in 2010 in the form of officer compensation.

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The Science and Politics of Mind-Altering Drugs

Picture: Chris Breikss (CC)

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 “essential listening” and ”possibly one of the most sensible discussions of drugs and drug harms you are likely to hear in a long time.”

Prof. Nutt is quite well-known in the UK – largely due to being fired by the Government from their drugs advisory panel for pointing out in a scientific paper that the health risks of taking ecstasy are about equivalent to going horse riding.

Rather than doing the usual dishonest apology required of government advisors where they ask forgiveness for ‘unintentionally misleading the public’ away from a convenient collective illusion, he decided to take the government to task about their disingenuous drug policy.

He is now a straight-talking, evidence-based, pain-in-the-arse to the government who doggedly stick to the ‘war on drugs’ rhetoric that not even they believe any more.

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White Maryland Police Officer Caught on Video Beating Handcuffed Black Man

Image credit Vector Portal

Via Raw Story:

UPDATE: Video embed was disabled. Watch the video at NBC Washington.

A couple of Maryland police officers have been caught on video using the buddy system to beat a helpless, handcuffed suspect. The police department has launched an internal investigation. Any guesses on the outcome?

A police officer in Laurel, Maryland is under investigation after a witness came forward with video of him repeatedly striking a handcuffed man in the head.

Craig Reddix provided NBC Washington with video he shot outside the Laurel Station Bar and Grill, where police were responding to reports of a fight on Sunday.

The video shows two white officers escorting a handcuffed African-American man. One officer can be seen holding the suspect’s arms while the other strikes his head at least three times. It’s wasn’t clear from the video if the officer stuck the man with an open or closed hand.

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Indian Police Still Using Truth Serum

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 with a dose of “truth serum” in an attempt to elicit a confession. But some detectives in India still swear by so-called narcoanalysis despite India’s highest court ruling that it was not only unreliable but also “cruel, inhuman and degrading”.

The technique is back in the news after officers from India’s Central Bureau of Investigation asked a judge for permission to administer sodium pentothal to a high-profile Indian politician and his financial adviser embroiled in a corruption case.

There are no official figures for the number of suspects who have been subjected to narcoanalysis, but VH Patel, deputy director at the Directorate of Forensic Sciences in Gujarat, western India, [said] he had personally conducted narcoanalysis in nearly 100 cases.

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Calling Out The Police For Hiding Their Nameplates

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.

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Ohio Cop Goes Beserk, Threatens To Execute Man During Arrest (Video)

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.

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Americans Growing Tired of Traffic Light Spy Cameras

Traffic Light SpyAlex Johnson writes on MSNBC:

In more than 500 cities and towns in 25 states, silent sentries keep watch over intersections, snapping photos and shooting video of drivers who run red lights. The cameras are on the job in metropolises like Houston and Chicago and in small towns like Selmer, Tenn., population 4,700, where a single camera setup monitors traffic at the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and Mulberry Avenue.

One of the places is Los Angeles, where, if the Police Commission gets its way, the red light cameras will have to come down in a few weeks. That puts the nation’s second-largest city at the leading edge of an anti-camera movement that appears to have been gaining traction across the country in recent weeks.

A City Council committee is considering whether to continue the city’s camera contract over the objections of the commission, which voted unanimously to remove the camera system, which shoots video of cars running red lights at 32 of the city’s thousands of intersections.

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LulzSec Leaks Arizona Law Enforcement Papers

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.

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Over 570 Australians Arrested In Police Crackdown On “Booze-Fueled Violence and Anti-Social Behavior”

HarrisonMarissa Calligeros writes for Brisbane Times:

More than 570 people, including seven juveniles, were arrested in Queensland as part of a two-day police blitz targeting booze-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.

Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said more than 1000 uniformed and plain-clothed police officers flooded potential trouble spots across the state, including bars, from 6pm on Friday.

Over the two nights, 574 people were charged, including seven juveniles who were apprehended over a combined total of 28 charges.

‘‘We’re disappointed that this level of police enforcement is necessary to ensure community standards of behaviour are being met,’’ Mr Barnett said.

Officers were forced to move 322 people to safety during a sweep of nightclub precincts, and issued 154 move-on directions.

‘‘We will continue to enforce the law to ensure that all members of the community can enjoy a night out in public places without their evening being ruined by a selfish few who have no regard for the rights of others,’’ Mr Barnett said.

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