Tag Archives | Police

Chicago Police Detain Americans at Abuse-Laden ‘Black Site’

Spencer Ackerman writes at the Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Call to Militant Empathy

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

Peijman Kouretchian, writing at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, from December:

The streets look like war. Two NYPD police officers were just “assassinated” apparently as revenge for the Eric Garner chokehold death. This is the first major physical attack on actual police officers after the Ferguson riots ignited the #blacklivesmatter movement. Though this was just the act of one troubled person and doesn’t represent the mostly physically nonviolent movement that has been going on, it is absolutely paramount to be clear on what principles we are aligned with as we fight for justice.

Recently I became certified as a Kingian Nonviolence (a system of conflict reconciliation built on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) trainer. The protests bring to mind two important principles from what I learned:  “Avoid internal violence of the spirit, as well as external physical violence,” and “Attack systems of injustice, not individuals within those systems.”

When protests breakout there is often an abundance of rage.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Open-Carry Activists Police the Police—With Guns Of Their Own

Another Texas police story, but this one has a different spin: open carry gun rights activists are aggressively policing the police, often with armed confrontations, per this report at Daily Beast:

On any given night in Arlington, Texas, a group of open-carry activists turned self-appointed cop-watchers can be found walking by the side of the road, in safety-yellow reflector vests with cameras pointed at police. They carry “FILM THE POLICE” signs, and sometimes, in a habit that’s become of increasing concern to the officers being watched, they’re carrying guns of their own.

New Hampshire Open Carry 2009.jpg

Photo: Lucio Eastman (CC)

These armed activists’ mission—ostensibly to hold the police accountable by recording every interaction—has found new meaning in light of recent deaths of unarmed citizens like Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Indeed, members of the Texas group have adopted the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” cry popularized during protests of the men’s deaths.

The group is led in part by Kory Watkins, an Olive Garden bartender trainer and a bandwagon activist who also presides over Open Carry Tarrant County (OCTC).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

America’s Dirtiest Cops: Cash, Cocaine and Corruption on the Texas Border

police badgeIt sounds like a reality TV show: America’s Dirtiest Cops. In fact it’s an expose on Texas Border police corruption by Rolling Stone:

he temperature was nearing triple digits when Jonathan Treviño strapped on his bulletproof vest, slipped his .40-caliber Glock into his ankle holster and got ready to go to work. It was Thursday, July 26th, 2012, one of those summers in South Texas when the hot air settles on the Rio Grande Valley like a blanket. The Gulf breeze was already sticky as Treviño climbed into his unmarked Chevy Tahoe and started it up.

Treviño was a police officer in Mission, a bustling city of 80,000 on the Texas-Mexico border. Part of a flourishing bilingual metropolitan region with five international bridges, Mission also sits firmly in on e of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s 28 HIDTAs, or High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas – smuggling hot spots where the federal government spends an extra $240 million a year battling narcotics.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Refusing To Wage War

"Critics of police violence, all those who call for demilitarized law enforcement and an acknowledgement of America’s institutional racism, are, yet again, but with even more self-righteous ferocity, declared the enemy." (Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/cc)

“Critics of police violence, all those who call for demilitarized law enforcement and an acknowledgement of America’s institutional racism, are, yet again, but with even more self-righteous ferocity, declared the enemy.” (Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/cc)

Robert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

And so we grieve over another national tragedy.

Two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot — assassinated — as they sat in their patrol car this past weekend. Let the needlessness of their deaths rip our hearts open. Let the humanity come first.

“Now is a moment for empathy and deep listening.”

The words are from a statement issued by #BlackLivesMatter, a grassroots movement emerging this year over the spate of police killings of young men of color. The murder of the officers is part of the same tragedy. Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. All lives matter. Any thinking that embraces less than this is part of the problem, not the solution.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Raw Footage of Front Lines at UC Berkeley Protest

One professor is offering essay extensions to students who were harmed or teargassed during the protests.

The professor did get a lot of backlash over that Tweet, with one woman claiming this is why our education system is a failure.

h/t Jerome P. for the video.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

New York City’s Biggest Marijuana Problem Is the Police

Paul Stein (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Paul Stein (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Vice:

A few months ago, I was on a road trip with some friends in upstate New York when we were stopped and searched by state troopers who deployed a drug-sniffing dog. They pulled us all out of the car and tore through our rented minivan, discovering a small plastic baggy with about a gram of weed in it. When they turned up the bag, my homies and I—all young, brown men—instinctively held our hands out to our sides, palms out, as a show of surrender.

The cops started laughing. One of them approached me and said, “I get it. You’re coming from the city, it’s a long drive, you brought a little weed to smoke on the way. Put your hands down. It’ll be fine.” My friends and I exchanged quizzical glances. We’re all used to getting the third degree when it came to drugs and cops.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

WATCH: Police in riot gear arrest California Walmart workers during sit-in over wages, firings

Police in riot gear arresting Walmart workers (KTLA)

Police in riot gear arresting Walmart workers (KTLA)

via Raw Story:

Police decked out in riot gear arrested Walmart workers and supporters after they blocked an intersection in front of a Pico Rivera, California store Thursday evening.

KTLA reports dozens of protestors were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies wearing riot helmets and holding batons, several hours after the sit-in began, drawing hundreds protesting working conditions at the retail giant.

The sit-in followed a work stoppage  earlier in the day at the company’s Crenshaw Boulevard store in Baldwin Hills.

Employees in Baldwin Hills store stopped work and sat on the floor with tape over the mouths reading ‘strike,’ while holding signs saying, “Walmart stop the illegal threats.”

Walmart is currently under investigation for firing and threatening  employee activists.

Activists have been setting up protests at Walmart stores across the country, posting pictures on twitter at #walmartstrikers.

In Pico Rivers, some workers sat in the middle of the busy intersection holding signs and lit candles as deputies pulled them to their feet and loaded them into buses.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Never Get Busted Again

Hey Disinfonauts, thought you might like to know that we’ve uploaded Never Get Busted Again: Volume 1 Traffic Stops to YouTube. You can now watch it for free.

Watch Barry Cooper, a former police officer in Texas focusing on narcotics interdiction for eight years, teach you exactly what you need to know to stay out of jail. With over 800 felony and misdemeanor narcotics arrests, DEA training, and extensive experience with K-9s (drug dogs), Barry’s friendly, plain spoken and honest attitude makes it easy and entertaining for you to learn what you need to know.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Indiana Police Face Lawsuit After Officers Break Window, Taze Man During Traffic Stop

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

A family from Hammond, Indiana is suing the Hammond Police department for excessive force after what should’ve been a routine traffic stop turned violent. Lisa Mahone was driving with her boyfriend Jamal Jones and her two children to Stroger Hospital when Hammond police pulled her over for not wearing a seatbelt. CBS2 reports Mahone admitted to the violation and asked for a ticket so she could continue on her way to the hospital to visit her dying mother.

Though Mahone was the operator of the vehicle and produced valid identification and proof of insurance, police demanded to see identification from Jones as well. Jones informed the officers he didn’t have ID, as he recently received a ticket. After attempting to reach into the backseat and produce the ticket from a backpack, the officers drew their guns.

Mahone’s 14-year-old son then began recording the encounter with his cell phone and Mahone dialed 911.… Read the rest

Continue Reading