Tag Archives | NYPD
Body scans seem poised to move from the airports to the street corners. ANIMAL New York reports:
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Just when we thought it was safe to assume that the NYPD’s decidedly unconstitutional Stop-and-Frisk policy might be on its way out, Commissioner Ray Kelly announced a major development yesterday: New York City, meet Scan-and-Frisk.
A new scanning device– which detects heat energy naturally emitted by humans– is to be deployed sometime in the near future. The device can fit in a police car or on a “suspicious” street corner, and can supposedly detect concealed weapons, which would block the natural radiation, from a great distance. Activation of the device will be considered probable cause for an officer to search a suspect more thoroughly.
The device is already being tested “with encouraging results at the NYPD range Rodman’s Neck in the Bronx,” with more testing soon, at unknown public locations. Whether the scanner can be activated by other (less lethal) inanimate objects has yet to be known.
A street artist who hung satirical posters criticising police surveillance activities has been arrested after an NYPD investigation tracked him to his doorstep. Essam Attia placed the Big Brother-style adverts in locations throughout Manhattan, using a fake Van Wagner maintenance van and uniforms to avoid detection. Attia now faces 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property.
Months after forensics teams and a “counter-terrorism” unit was spotted on the scene, the NYPD last Wednesday successfully tracked down and arrested the 29-year-old art school vandal, who identified himself in the video as a former “geo-spatial analyst” serving US military operations in Iraq.
Via BUST Magazine, Erika W. Smith writes:
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Last weekend, I experienced an unexpected form of street harassment. After a Friday night out, I was walking home from the neighborhood bar with my roommate when a car full of men pulled up next to us. It was the NYPD.
They trailed us down the street, shouting at us. Our crime: being 22-year-old women out at night.
First, they shouted out to ask if we were okay — fair enough, no harm done. But after we answered and kept walking, they continued trailing us, asking what we were carrying (we’d stopped to buy snacks), telling us to give it to them, and then, when we stopped answering, shouting at us to come over to the police car and get in. After our first answers, we stopped responding and kept walking straight ahead, as quickly as we could, not looking at them.
They trailed us in their car for over a block, always staying a few feet behind us and continuing to shout at us to come to them, even though we’d stopped responding.
Shocking for those who remember 1970s NYC, but apparently true per this report from BBC News:
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For the first time in living memory, New York has spent a day entirely without violent crime.
The city police department’s chief spokesman said that Monday was the most bloodshed-free 24-hour period in recent history.
Not a single murder, shooting, stabbing or other incident of violent crime was reported for a whole day.
Despite a July spike in homicides, the city’s murder rate is on target to hit its lowest point since 1960.
Just a few months ago, residents were living through what one tabloid newspaper called the “summer of blood”.
Aggressive prevention tactics
Despite the fall in homicides, statistics point to a 3% overall rise in crime.
There has also been a 9% increase in larceny, which police blame on a surge in smartphone thefts.
But killings are now down 23% compared with last year, which represents a 50-year low.
The Mercury News on the frustrating lack of insidious plots by the city’s residents:
In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department’s secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.
[The NYPD had] help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames. Police hoped the Demographics Unit would serve as an early warning system for terrorism.
But in a June 28 deposition as part of a longstanding federal civil rights case, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati said none of the conversations the officers overheard ever led to a case. “Related to Demographics,” Galati testified that information that has come in “has not commenced an investigation.”
You have the right to be tasty.
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A Harlem cop plotted to kidnap, torture, cook and eat dozens of women — even going so far as to discuss the best way to slow-cook a grown human in a series of disturbing on-line chats, the FBI charged Thursday.
The feds busted alleged cannibal cop Gilberto Valle, 28, after intercepting multiple internet discussions in which the 26th Precinct cop offered gory details about a nightmarish plan straight out of a horror flick.
“I was thinking of tying her body on to some kind of apparatus, cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible,” Valle wrote during one particularly harrowing chat.
The FBI and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau quietly arrested Valle Wednesday at his apartment on Yellowstone Blvd. in Forest Hills, Queens, and he was to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court Thursday.
...In the course of the two-minute recording, the officers give no legally valid reason for the stop, use racially charged language and threaten Alvin with violence. Early in the stop, one of the officers asks, “You want me to smack you?” When Alvin asks why he is being threatened with arrest, the other officer responds, “For being a fucking mutt.” Later in the stop, while holding Alvin’s arm behind his back, the first officer says, “Dude, I’m gonna break your fuckin’ arm, then I’m gonna punch you in the fuckin’ face.”...
In the era of smartphone video, cities may no longer be able to afford their police forces’ misconduct. The city of New York now budgets a whopping $180 million a year for payouts to victims of police brutality and wrongful arrest, New York World writes:
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Lawsuits against the city’s police soared to a record 2,004 cases entering the courts in the year that ended July 1, indicat[ing] that the flood of cases brought against the New York City police — which have seen a 63 percent rise over the last decade — has not subsided.
Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled this week that the city is liable for hundreds of arrests the NYPD made during the Republican National Convention in 2004, opening up the possibility that plaintiffs could sue for false arrest and further exacerbate the problem.
For fiscal year 2013, now underway, the NYPD has budgeted $180 million for payouts.