Tag Archives | Police State

NYPD ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ Cards Selling On eBay

City officials are outraged at the reselling, yet don’t question the existence of cards which allow you to skirt justice. The New York Post reports:

Buying a “get out of jail free” card is just a mouse click away. Police union cards that cops hand out to friends and family free of charge are selling on eBay for as much as $100 a pop, even though the resale of the coveted plastic is strictly prohibited by the unions.

The cards are often used to get out of minor jams like speeding tickets or parking violations — flashing one with your driver’s license is a way of suggesting you’re a member of law enforcement or at least related to someone who is. “It’s a way for a police officer to vouch for another person,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “That type of recommendation shouldn’t be available to the highest bidder.”

Police union heads and elected officials are calling for a probe and an end to the practice.

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Have US Police Forces Become Too Militarised?

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.
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Arkansas Town Enacts Martial Law, ID Checks Of Everyone In Public

The mayor explains that normal constitutional protections don’t apply, because, due to the high rate of property crime, anyone walking outdoors in his city is a criminal suspect. Via Russia Today:

In order to curb the rising crime rate in this town of barely 25,000, Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall endorsed a plan to send cops dressed in full-fledged SWAT gear and equipped with AR-15s into downtown Paragould starting in 2013. What’s more, Stovall says, is he intends to have the cops collecting identification from everyone and anyone.

“If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID,” the Daily Press reports him saying during last week’s meeting. “We will be asking for picture identification. We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area. We will be keeping a record of those we contact.”

“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” he said.

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Artist Behind Faux-NYPD PSA Ads Arrested Following Investigation By Counter-Terrorism Unit

The creator of the previously noted fantastic poster campaign was apparently regarded as a terrorist threat and subject to a manhunt for daring to mock the police, the Verge reports:

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.

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Handcuffs Of The Future Administer Shocks And Drugs To The Detained

CNET reports on handcuffs that practically do the police’s work for them:

A patent for next-generation handcuffs offers a future in which the detained can be zapped directly from their restraints, and even injected with a medication, sedative, irritant, paralytic, or other fine substance. The patent is called “Apparatus and System For Augmented Detainee Restraint” and is the brainchild of Scottsdale Inventions.

The augmentations it offers are truly quite something. The handcuffs are “configured to administer electrical shocks when certain predetermined conditions occur.” These shocks might be “activated by internal control systems or by external controllers that transmit activation signals to the restraining device.”

These handcuffs might also be used to inject the detained with a substance in the form of “a liquid, a gas, a dye, an irritant, a medication, a sedative, a chemical restraint, a paralytic, a medication prescribed to the detainee, and combinations thereof.” Yes, you really did read the word “paralytic.”

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Louisiana Supreme Court Upholds Police Right To Seize Motorists’ Cash

The burden of proof is on the driver to explain how they earned their money — otherwise, it belongs to the police. Information Liberation reports:

Drivers in Louisiana unable to document the source of every dollar they carry could find their money seized by police. The state Supreme Court yesterday ruled officers were right to grab $144,320 from motorist Tina Beers because, in the high court’s opinion, she was unable to come up with a credible explanation of where the funds came from.

On January 10, 2009, State Trooper Dupuis pulled over Beers’ minivan on Interstate 10. Beers traveling with her three children. The court record no longer preserves the cause of the original traffic stop because Dupuis quickly lost interest once he obtained permission to search the vehicle. The trooper found nine bundles of cash in compartment on the minivan floor. Dupuis knew his department might be able to keep the money, [which they did], but there were no drugs in the minivan nor did prosecutors ever find a criminal charge to lodge against Beers.

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Police State 101, Torture Impunity, Obama’s Second Chance?

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to Ian Freeman, Host of "Free Talk Live", about the police state and the erosion of American civil liberties. Abby then talks to RT Arabic Correspondent, Reema Abu Hamdieh, about the polarized views of Arabs in the Middle East toward a second Obama Administration. BTS wraps up the show with a look at torture, murder and rape by US military contractors going unpunished.
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Police Arrest Black Friday Protesters On Behalf Of Walmart

On Black Friday, peaceful protest is a jailable offense, while violent mobs are acceptable so long as they are spending money. Rania Khalek writes:

The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn’t be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

On Friday, at least 1,000 Walmart employees throughout the country walked off the job to protest Walmart’s poor labor practices. Local police departments have been happy to disperse and even arrest strikers and their supporters on behalf of the world’s largest retailer.

At a Walmart store in Paramount, just outside of Los Angeles, some 1,500 people rallied against Walmart. Josh Eidelson, live-blogging about the Walmart strikes at The Nation, reports that “Nine people have been arrested for sitting in the street on Lakewood Boulevard, including three striking Walmart retail workers from area stores.

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The Boomerang Effect Of Domestic Colonization

Via the New Inquiry, Jacob Silverman on how methods of control developed in the War on Terror and previous imperialist endeavors return home to our own shores:

In 1975 and 1976 Foucault argued that Western imperialism didn’t merely force Western institutions on imperial subjects. Rather, “a whole series of colonial models was brought back to the West, and the result was that the West could practise something resembling colonization, or an internal colonialism, on itself.”

This boomerang effect has been resurgent over the past decade, when one can observe practices from the neocolonial frontiers of Baghdad, Kabul, and Hebron now being instituted in New York, Washington, D.C., and London. So-called green zones, security buffers, checkpoints, novel nonlethal weapons, drones, and CCTV—all have become indelible features of the West’s urban centers of political and financial power. Though they originate in the military campaigns prosecuted by Western forces and security contractors, these elements are largely facilitated by the police.

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