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Author Topic: Police State - Official Thread  (Read 78933 times)
Skeletor
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« Reply #1225 on: June 24, 2013, 03:49:41 AM »

It's a good thing they had the camera. I hope the family will go after these lying thugs.

Wonder what would happen if a police dog attacked a citizen and the citizen shot at it?
 Ah yes, the police dog is often a "sworn officer" (because the dog obviously understands and upholds the Constitution) and in such case attacking it would be like attacking a human officer.
But in such a case a citizen can't dismiss everything and claim he was "following policy" and get "leave with pay".
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« Reply #1226 on: June 24, 2013, 05:04:48 PM »

It's a good thing they had the camera. I hope the family will go after these lying thugs.

Wonder what would happen if a police dog attacked a citizen and the citizen shot at it?
 Ah yes, the police dog is often a "sworn officer" (because the dog obviously understands and upholds the Constitution) and in such case attacking it would be like attacking a human officer.
But in such a case a citizen can't dismiss everything and claim he was "following policy" and get "leave with pay".



Yeah...so much for the shaking the fence claim.  My brother once told me, it's all in how they write it up.  And they'll lie through their fucking teeth...as clearly demonstrated here.


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« Reply #1227 on: June 24, 2013, 06:04:55 PM »

Agnostic007, this is the sort of thing I was talking about before. Cops not only being allowed to violate citizens right, but to flat-out abuse them with little or no consequence. And let's be realistic: four days of paid vacation isn't a consequence.

What message does this send to other officers? What about to the public? It's that cops are bullies; that they can bully you under the color of authority, they can abide you, and they can walk away scot free. Their friends won't "turn" on them and the union will fight for them. So it's all good.

Abuse the public, then go on a short paid vacation.

This cop should have been fired on the spot. And anyone involved with the decision of giving him four days of paid leave should be fired on the spot.

[Sidenote: And you know just as well as I do that if there wasn't video ("the camera malfunctioned!") there's no way anything at all would have happened and this poor woman would not even be believed.

First, I'll start off by saying that was inappropriate on the cops part. Definately crossed the line. I read a news report that I will include parts of that is more recent...

Lakeland police have responded to the bra shake search controversy by suspending Fetz with pay and releasing a statement about the incident, reading:
 
“After the Lakeland Police Department became aware of the allegations against Officer Fetz, and prior to receiving a complaint from the victim, an internal investigation was initiated. Chief [Lisa] Womack takes these matters very seriously and the department will conduct a thorough investigation into the allegation.”

.. It sounds like he is taken off the road until the investigation is complete. A suspension is part of a disciplinary process governed by Civil Service in many cases and would sometimes take months before the conclusion of the investigation. Sometimes it is a lot quicker but rarely within a month. So it may be that additional or the real discipline will be forthcoming upon conclusion of the investigation. That's how it works here.

Police officer are rarely fired on the spot. There is again a due process governed by civil service to keep the Mayor from having the Chief fire an officer for writing his daughter a ticket. If it turns out 4 days paid "suspension" is all he ever gets, I'm right there with you yelling for heads to roll     
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« Reply #1228 on: July 07, 2013, 06:29:39 PM »

Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots
     

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. / WETV



(CBS News) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.

CBS Affiliate WETV reports that Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday.


Under Florida's mandatory minimum sentencing requirements Alexander could receive a lesser sentence, even though she has never been in trouble with the law before. Judge Daniel said the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum.

"I really was crying in there," Marissa's 11-year-old daughter told WETV. "I didn't want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don't think this should have been happening."

Alexander was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence. She said she did not believe she did anything wrong.

She was recently denied a new trial after appealing to the judge to reconsider her case based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The law states that the victim of a crime does not have to attempt to run for safety and can immediately retaliate in self-defense.

Alexander's attorney said she was clearly defending herself and should not have to spend the next two decades behind bars.

Alexander's case has drawn support from domestic abuse advocates - and comparison to the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed a "Stand Your Ground" defense in his fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
 © 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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« Reply #1229 on: July 07, 2013, 07:18:58 PM »

Wow.
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« Reply #1230 on: July 07, 2013, 07:20:27 PM »

Wow.

So FD up.   20 years?   GAFB!
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« Reply #1231 on: July 07, 2013, 07:25:42 PM »

For trying to defend herself.

Fucked up man... fucked up. She shoulda killed him.



I think StrawMan posted a lot of additional info about this case.  It's not as cut and dry as the article is making it out to be (if this is the same one).

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« Reply #1232 on: July 08, 2013, 09:37:56 AM »

When A Teen's 'Sarcastic' Facebook Message Goes Terribly Wrong

Alyson Shontell      59 minutes ago       9,212    24 


19-year-old Justin Carter could face 10 years in jail for a Facebook comment his family says was sarcastic.


On February 14, just two months after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, an 18-year-old in Texas named Justin Carter was arrested.

Carter, an avid gamer, got into a spat with a fellow League of Legends player on Facebook. After being provoked and told he was "messed up in the head," Carter fired back with a startling comment:

I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten / And watch the blood of the innocent rain down/ And eat the beating heart of one of them.

Carter's father says the next messages Carter wrote included "lol" and "jk" to imply he was kidding.

"It's incredibly inappropriate when you take it out of context for sure," Jack Carter, Justin's father, tells NPR. "It was a sarcastic remark in response to an insult."

A woman in Canada was alarmed by Carter's questionable comment and notified authorities. Carter's home was then searched (although no weapons were found) and his computer was taken. The teen spent his 19th birthday in jail; this is the first time he's been incarcerated.

A jury in Texas' Comal County charged the teenager with making a terroristic threat in April, which is considered a third-degree felony. That means Carter could spend ten years in jail for the Facebook comment. The judge also gave him an unusually high bond, $500,000, which his family can't afford to pay.

Carter's trial is beginning this month but in the meantime, the teen's father says his son has fallen into a deep depression.

"He's very depressed, he's very scared," Jack Carter said, telling CNN that his son feels like he'll never leave prison. "He's pretty much lost all hope."

And in an interview with NPR, Jack Carter painted a more gruesome picture of his son's experience in jail. He says his son has had "concussions, black eyes" and "moved four times for his own protection." He also says his son is nude in solitary confinement because of his depression.

Carter's mother Jennifer posted the situation on Change.org and acquired nearly 100,000 signatures in support of her son's release. In addition, the Carter family has found a pro-bono lawyer to take on the case.

The trial will come down to this:

In a social media world where younger generations are learning to speak now and think later, how far does freedom of speech really go?

While Carter's father understands why authorities had to investigate his son, he doesn't feel an impulsive comment on Facebook should be this detrimental.

"He says he's really sorry. He just totally got caught up in the moment of the argument and didn't really think about the implications," Jack Carter tells NPR. "I miss my son. He's my friend. And I just want him out. Nobody's life should be ruined because of a sarcastic comment."


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/teen-justin-carter-faces-trial-and-jail-for-facebook-comment-2013-7#ixzz2YTN5CvCF

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« Reply #1233 on: July 09, 2013, 07:05:02 AM »

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/07/%E2%80%9Cwhy_did_you_shoot_me_i_was_reading_a_book_the_new_warrior_cop_is_out_of_control/singleton



FUCKED UP!!!!
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« Reply #1234 on: July 09, 2013, 07:13:18 AM »

When A Teen's 'Sarcastic' Facebook Message Goes Terribly Wrong

[...] Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/teen-justin-carter-faces-trial-and-jail-for-facebook-comment-2013-7#ixzz2YTN5CvCF

I read about this case before you posted. While the original statement by this kid was (undeiniably) stupid. But kids often say stupid things, and doing so is almost never against the law. This ridiculous overreaction by adults who should know better has not only a chilling effect but shows how fucked up our society is fast becoming and how completely out of whack our justice system is.

Frankly the cops, prosecutors and Judges involved in this case need to be tarred and feathered. And they should certainly be removed from their positions. We give you fucking idiots discretion for a reason...
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« Reply #1235 on: July 09, 2013, 07:14:45 AM »

I read about this case before you posted. While the original statement by this kid was stupid, saying stupid things is simply not against the law. This ridiculous overreaction by adults who should know better has a ridiculous chilling effect.

Frankly the cops, prosecutors and Judges involved in this case need to be tarred and feathered. And they should certainly be removed from their positions. We give you fucking idiots discretion for a reason...

I AM DISGUSTED AT ALL OF THIS
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« Reply #1236 on: July 09, 2013, 07:20:27 AM »


Wow... I don't think "fucked up" quite describes this. This article is worth a read. What has our society devolved to?!
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« Reply #1237 on: July 09, 2013, 07:36:28 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barring-high-iqs-cops/story?id=95836#.UdwfkT7D_IU



LOL!!!!   What else needs to be said. 
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« Reply #1238 on: July 09, 2013, 09:08:43 AM »

Fugitive caught after sending taunting tweet, authorities say

Published July 09, 2013
Associated Press





tweetingfugitiveap.jpg


UNDATED: Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 60, is shown in this law enforcement handout photo from the San Diego County, Calif., District Attorney's office. (AP)



SAN DIEGO –  "Catch me if you can."

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Wanda Podgurski sent that taunting tweet after skipping trial in January while facing charges of insurance of fraud.

But then authorities did catch her.

Podgurski, 60, was captured on the Fourth of July in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, a popular retirement spot for American expatriates only 15 miles south of San Diego. She pleaded not guilty Monday to failure to appear while free on bail.

Podgurski was sentenced in absentia last month to more than 20 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in fines and restitution.

Three weeks after her initial tweet on June 5, Podgurski's feed read, "'Help find me before I con anyone else." Two other posts were links to stories about her vanishing act.

Podgurski's Twitter profile reads, "On the run possibly in Iran."

Her account follows 32 people and agencies, many of them FBI branches and other law enforcement authorities. Dumanis' office said the district attorney was the only one Podgurski followed while on the run.

The district attorney's office declined to say how authorities tracked down Podgurski, saying only that information from the Twitter account was turned over to its Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team, known by the acronym Catch.

Podgurski's attorney, Philip Kent Cohen, declined to comment.

The district attorney's office said Podgurski received $664,555 in disability payments when she was charged. While earning $44,000 a year as a clerk for Amtrak, she allegedly held six insurance policies with premiums that topped $60,000.

She made claims with all six insurance companies after reporting that she fell at her home in August 2006, prosecutors said. Private investigators working for the insurers reported seeing her walk stairs without assistance and drive to the store.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/09/fugitive-caught-after-taunting-tweet-authorities-say/?test=latestnews&cmpid=cmty_twitter_fn#ixzz2YZ6Mlgj0



LOL!!!!!
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« Reply #1239 on: July 09, 2013, 09:11:14 AM »

Wow... I don't think "fucked up" quite describes this. This article is worth a read. What has our society devolved to?!
Holy fucking shit... a cop befriends a guy making bets with his frienss, convindes him to raise the stakes until its illegal, and then callsbthe SWAT teakvon him. Wtf?
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« Reply #1240 on: July 09, 2013, 10:17:02 AM »

And then he's DEAD... they settled for 2 Million bucks... 2 Million over a life?

Fucking disgusting.

I'm no lawyer but this doesn't just scream "entrapment". It reeks of it. I don't know what, if anything, happened to the cop, but hopefully he wasn't only fired but not allowed within a mile of a police station for any purpose whatsoever.

333386, generally speaking (since jurisdictions differ) wouldn't this sort of thing qualify as entrapment? The police can't egg you on to do something illegal and then arrest you when you try. What are the "important" elements in determining if something is entrapment or not.

This overuse of force pattern is disturbing and the ridiculously poor judgement almost seems like it's endemic...

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« Reply #1241 on: July 10, 2013, 06:31:22 AM »

How A Crazy Sex Drug Inspired Mass Police Raids Across America


 

Radley Balko, Rise Of The Warrior Cop      Jul. 9, 2013, 6:07 PM       7,369    17 
 


Swat team drugs
AP Photo/Karie Hamilton

SWAT team members patrol a Washington state neighborhood looking for a meth suspect.
On November 2, 2002, a large group of police officers in tactical gear descended on a rave party in Racine, Wisconsin. The cops kicked in doors, dragged young people from bathroom stalls, threw others to the floor, and held dozens more at gunpoint.

The police issued more than 450 citations of $968 each to partygoers merely for attending an event where some attendees were breaking the state’s drug laws. Only three people were arrested on actual drug charges. With help from the ACLU, the city of Racine eventually dismissed the charges against all attendees who hadn’t yet pleaded guilty.

The trendy new drug throwing the media and politicians into hysterics was Ecstasy. Raves were the new, weird, and different dance parties where teenagers were allegedly taking this crazy sex drug. Cue the moral panic, political grandstanding, and ensuing aggressive crackdown. Prior to the raid in Racine, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware seemed particularly obsessed with rave parties. Politicians seemed to think that any party with techno music, pulsing lights, and neon inevitably degenerated into underage kids getting high on Ecstasy and engaging in mass orgies.

In the summer of 2002, Biden was pushing his RAVE Act, an absurdly broad law that would have made venue and club owners liable for running a drug operation if they merely sold the “paraphernalia” common to parties where people took Ecstasy — accessories like bottled water and glow sticks. After attempting to sneak the bill through Congress with various parliamentary maneuvers, Biden was finally able to get a slightly modified version folded into the bill that created the Amber Alert for missing children.

Once again a politician had demagogued worries over a mostly harmless drug into a climate of fear. And once again that fear led to aggressive, wholly disproportionate crackdowns across the country.

A few years later, a rave raid was captured on video. In August 2005, more than 90 police officers from several state and local SWAT teams raided 1,500 people at a peaceful, outdoor dance party in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah. The police were armed with assault weapons, full SWAT attire, police dogs, and tear gas. Many in attendance say that police beat, abused, and swore at partygoers.

Police denied the allegations, though amateur video/audio clearly showed the police barking out orders punctuated with profanity. In truth, the party appeared to have been pretty well run. Private security guards had been stationed outside the event, and confiscated any illegal drugs they found on attendees. The raiding SWAT cops then arrested the private security guards for the drugs they had confiscated, and charged them with possession.

The other new concept at work in Racine and Spanish Fork was the willingness to subject large groups of people to commando tactics in hopes of catching even a few offenders. By the late 2000s, SWAT teams were increasingly called out to raid entire bars and nightclubs for drug activity. A search warrant for a bar’s owner or a description of the place as a drug market could allow police to go in and give the SWAT treatment to everyone inside.

And it wasn’t just bars and nightclubs that were treated this way. In November 2003, police in Goose Creek, South Carolina, raided an entire high school, conducting a blanket commando-style raid on Stratford High School. Students were ordered at gunpoint to lie face-down on the floor while police searched their lockers and persons for drugs. Some were handcuffed, while K-9 units deployed dogs to search their lockers, backpacks, and bodies. Oddly, media reports indicated that the school had a stellar academic reputation.

Le’Quan Simpson, a fourteen-year-old, was forced to kneel at gunpoint. His father had once served on a SWAT team. “They hit that school like it was a crack house,” he said. “Like they knew that there were crack dealers in there armed with guns.” The raid was based on a tip from the school’s principal that a single student might have been selling pot. The raid turned up no illicit drugs, and the police made no arrests.

Still, though these raids of schools and parties were somewhat new, drug cops had been conducting massive drug sweeps of entire neighborhoods for years, subjecting innocent people to violent tactics simply because of where they happened to live. There were more of those police actions too.

In February 2002, for example, one hundred Durham police officers, two National Guard helicopters, and ten North Carolina Bureau of Investigation agents seized an entire neighborhood on Cheek Road, then engaged in a series of forced-entry drug raids. They called the whole episode Operation TAPS, short for The Aggressive Police Strategy. The police arrested thirty-five people and confiscated an “undisclosed” amount of drugs, plus two pistols. Superior Court judge Orlando Hudson later threw out all the arrests and evidence, ruling that the entire operation was unconstitutional and “partially illegal” and that some of the officers’ behavior amounted to “criminal conduct."

One particularly aggressive action peppered with war rhetoric oc- curred in April 2006, when police in Buffalo, New York, staged a series of drug raids throughout the city under the moniker Operation Shock and Awe. They borrowed the phrase from the US military, which had used it to describe its strategy in the early days of the Iraq War. Shock and Awe in Buffalo meant thirty-eight SWAT raids over three days. The cops even invited along a couple of reporters from the Buffalo News to cover the invasion.

A month later, the Buffalo News ran a follow-up report. The original six pounds of marijuana police claimed to have found was actually four pounds, thirteen ounces. Three and a half pounds of that came by way of an unrelated traffic stop on the same day that had nothing to do with the raids. They found all of five guns. Not surprisingly, the revised haul wasn’t enough contraband to keep the seventy-eight people in jail. Sixteen were immediately released with no criminal charges. Another thirty-two were out of jail within twenty-four hours due to insufficient evidence.

City leaders were furious, not because city police had just terrorized innocent people with fruitless SWAT raids, but because so many petty offenders were let off. City officials demanded tougher drug laws, and discussed the possibility of sending drug cops and SWAT teams out with housing code inspectors to clean up suspected crack houses without those pesky Fourth Amendment warrant requirements.

Buffalo’s chief of detectives, Dennis Richards, told the newspaper that Operation Shock and Awe was “just the beginning.” “There will certainly be more raids in the future,” he said. “You can count on that. . . . We’re looking at small-scale, large-scale, street-level. . . . We’re looking at top to bottom."

From RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP: The Militarization of America's Police Forces by Radley Balko. Reprinted with permission from PublicAffairs Books.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-crazy-sex-drug-inspired-mass-police-raids-across-america-2013-7#ixzz2YeJIZiTM
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« Reply #1242 on: July 10, 2013, 10:11:54 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/florida-police-officers-entangled-in-horrifying-sex-scandal-2013-7

"Life on the line"   Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1243 on: July 10, 2013, 10:14:16 AM »

Have any of you bros ever been cavity searched?  Do the police stick their fingers in your ass?  Any of your girlfriends had their pussies poked by cops? 
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« Reply #1244 on: July 10, 2013, 10:42:07 AM »

Have any of you bros ever been cavity searched?  Do the police stick their fingers in your ass?  Any of your girlfriends had their pussies poked by cops? 

I try to avoid criminal thugs police.
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« Reply #1245 on: July 10, 2013, 10:45:53 AM »

Wow... I don't think "fucked up" quite describes this. This article is worth a read. What has our society devolved to?!

Fuckin vermin, I'd like to see them all drawn and quartered.  They would all be following Hitler if he was to return.
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« Reply #1246 on: July 10, 2013, 01:38:49 PM »

7 Ways The Obama Administration Has Accelerated Police Militarization
Posted: 07/10/2013 3:57 pm EDT 


There were signs that President Barack Obama might rein in the mass militarization of America's police forces after he won the White House. Policing is primarily a local issue, overseen by local authorities. But beginning in the late 1960s with President Richard Nixon, the federal government began instituting policies that gave federal authorities more power to fight the drug trade, and to lure state and local policymakers into the anti-crime agenda of the administration in charge. These policies got a boost during Ronald Reagan's presidency, and then another during President Bill Clinton's years. Under President George W. Bush, all of those anti-drug policies continued, but were supplemented by new war on terrorism endeavors -- yet more efforts to make America's cops look, act and fight like soldiers.

But Obama might have been different. This, after all, was the man who, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004, declared the war on drugs an utter failure. As Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum wrote in a 2011 critique of Obama's drug policy:

Obama stood apart from hard-line prohibitionists even when he began running for president. In 2007 and 2008, he bemoaned America’s high incarceration rate, warned that the racially disproportionate impact of drug prohibition undermines legal equality, advocated a “public health” approach to drugs emphasizing treatment and training instead of prison, repeatedly indicated that he would take a more tolerant position regarding medical marijuana than George W. Bush, and criticized the Bush administration for twisting science to support policy -- a tendency that is nowhere more blatant than in the government’s arbitrary distinctions among psychoactive substances.

Indeed, in his first interview after taking office, Obama's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said that the administration would be toning down the martial rhetoric that had dominated federal drug policy since the Nixon years. "Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them," Kerlikowske told The Wall Street Journal. "We're not at war with people in this country."

This was an notable break from previous administrations. Rhetoric does matter, and for a generation in the U.S., cops had incessantly been told that they were in a war with drug offenders -- this, in a country where about half the adult population admits to having smoked marijuana.

Unfortunately, while not insignificant, the change in rhetoric has largely been only that. The Obama administration may no longer call it a "war," but there's no question that the White House is continuing to fight one. Here's a quick rundown of where and how Obama's policies have perpetuated the garrison state:

1. Pentagon Giveaways

In 1997, Congress added a section to a defense appropriations bill creating an agency to transfer surplus military gear to state and local police departments. Since then, millions of pieces of equipment designed for use on a battlefield -- such as tanks, bayonets, M-16s, and armored personnel carriers -- have been given to domestic police agencies for use on American streets, against American citizens.




Under Obama, this program has continued to flourish. In its October 2011 newsletter (motto: “From Warfighter to Crimefighter”), the agency that oversees the Pentagon giveaways boasted that fiscal 2011 was the most productive in the program's history. And by a large margin. “FY 11 has been a historic year for the program,” wrote program manager Craig Barrett. “We reutilized more than $500M, that is million with an M, worth of property in FY 11. This passes the previous mark by several hundred million dollars. ... Half a billion dollars in reutilization was a monumental achievement in FY 11.”

2. Byrne Grants

In 1988, Congress created a new federal crime-fighting program called the Byrne grant, named for Edward Byrne, a New York City narcotics officer killed by a drug dealer. Over the years, these grants have created multi-jurisdictional anti-drug and anti-gang task forces all over the country. Because these task forces usually cover more than one jurisdiction, they often aren't fully accountable to, say, a police chief or an elected sheriff. Moreover, they're often funded either with additional Byrne grants, or with money seized in asset forfeiture proceedings. They can operate with little or no funding from the polities they police.

The results have been unsettling. These task forces have caused numerous deaths, been responsible for botched drug raids on the wrong houses, and have been implicated in corruption scandals. It was Byrne-funded task forces that were responsible for the debacles in Tulia and Hearne, Texas, about a decade ago, in which dozens of people -- nearly all poor and black -- were wrongly raided, arrested and charged with drug crimes. One woman falsely charged in Hearne was Regina Kelly, subject of the movie "American Violet." In a 2007 interview, Kelly told me that the violent raids had been going on for years in Hearne before the task force was finally caught.

"They come on helicopters, military-style, SWAT style,” Kelly said. “In the apartments I was living in, in the projects, there were a lot of children outside playing. They don’t care. They throw kids on the ground, put guns to their heads. They’re kicking in doors. They just don’t care.”

The George W. Bush administration had actually begun phasing out the Byrne program. It had been funded at a half-billion dollars per year through most of the Clinton presidency. By the time he left office in 2008, Bush had pared it to $170 million a year. But the grants have long been a favorite of Vice President Joe Biden. And so Obama campaigned on fully restoring their funding, declaring that the Byrne grant program “has been critical to creating the anti-gang and anti-drug task forces our communities need.” On that promise at least, he has delivered. As part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama infused the program with $2 billion, by the far the largest budget in its history.

3. COPS Grants

The Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, program has followed a similar trajectory. Its aim is noble, at least in theory. Community policing is the idea that cops should be proactive, and consider themselves part of the communities they serve. They should know the names of school principals, be friendly with business owners, attend neighborhood meetings.

This isn't the definition of community policing held by many police officials. In the late 1990s, criminologist Peter Kraska found, for example, that many police chiefs consider frequent SWAT raids and similarly aggressive policing to be a core part of a community policing strategy. In fact, some said they considered sending SWAT teams to patrol entire neighborhoods to be sound community policing.

Moreover, police department budgets are fungible -- there's really no way to control how these grants are spent once they arrive at the police station. A 2001 report by the Madison Capital Times found that many Wisconsin police agencies that received COPS grants in the 1990s had in fact used them to start SWAT teams. When presented with these findings, one criminologist was aghast, telling the paper, "Community policing initiatives and stockpiling weapons and grenade launchers are totally incompatible.”

Just as it had with Byrne grants, the Bush administration was phasing out the COPS program in the 2000s. But like the Byrne grants, COPS grants have long been a favorite of Biden. In fact, Biden often takes credit for creating the program, and claims it's responsible for the sharp drop in violent crime in America that began in the mid-1990s. (There's no evidence to support that contention, and a 2007 analysis in the peer-reviewed journal Criminology concluded “COPS spending had little to no effect on crime.”)

And so Obama resurrected COPS, too. During his first year in office, he increased the program's budget by 250 percent.

4. DHS Anti-Terror Grants

The Department of Homeland Security has been giving its own grants to police agencies. These grants have been used to purchase military-grade equipment in the name of fighting terrorism. The grants are going to cities and towns all over America, including to unlikely terrorist targets like Fargo, N.D.; Fond du Lac, Wis.; and Canyon County, Idaho. Once they have a new armored personnel carrier, or new high-powered weapons, most of these police agencies then put them to use in more routine police work -- usually drug raids.

According to a 2011 report by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the federal government has handed out $34 billion in grants since Sept. 11, 2001. The grants have also given rise to contractors that now cater to police agencies looking to cash DHS checks in exchange for battle-grade gear. All of which means there's now an industry -- and inevitably a lobbying interest -- dedicated to perpetuating police militarization.

5. Medical Marijuana Raids

Despite campaign promises to the contrary, Obama has not only continued the Bush and Clinton administration policy of sending SWAT teams to raid medical marijuana growers, shops, and dispensaries in states that have legalized the drug, he appears to have significantly increased enforcement. Just two years into his presidency, Obama's administration had conducted about 150 such raids. The Bush administration conducted around 200 medical marijuana raids over eight years.

Obama has also stepped up the heavy-handed raids often used to enforce immigration laws. In 2012, his administration deported more people than in any prior year in American history. He's on pace to deport 2 million people by 2014, a figure equal to the total number of people ever deported from American until 1997.

6. Heavy-Handed Police Tactics

In 2011, an armed team of federal agents raided the floor of the Gibson guitar factory in Nashville, Tenn. The raid made national headlines and picked up traction in the the tea party movement, largely because it had been conducted to enforce the Lacey Act, a fairly obscure environmental law -- not the sort of policy most people would think would be enforced by armed federal agents. The same year, a SWAT team from the Department of Education conducted a morning raid of what they thought was the home of a woman who was suspected of defrauding federal student loan programs -- again, not the sort of crime usually associated with a SWAT action. (They also got the wrong house -- the suspect had moved out months earlier.)

The Obama administration has defended the use of aggressive, militaristic police actions in court. In the case Avina v. U.S., DEA agents pointed their guns at an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old during a drug raid on the wrong house. The agents had apparently mistaken the license plate of a suspected drug trafficker for the plate on a car owned by Thomas Avina. Obama's Justice Department argued in federal court that the lawsuit should be dismissed before being heard by a jury because the agents’ actions were not unreasonable.

To be fair, the Justice Department almost always defends federal employees from lawsuits. And it seems likely that any other modern administration would do the same thing. But it wasn't always this way. In 1973, even the drug-warring Nixon administration fired, and then criminally indicted, 12 narcotics cops for raiding the wrong homes and terrorizing innocent families. Obama may be no different than Bush, Clinton, or his rivals for the presidency in defending drug cops who point guns at children during botched raids. But there was a time in America when even the original tough-on-crime administration was appalled enough at the idea to hold such overly zealous drug cops accountable.

7. Asset Forfeiture

Under the policy of civil asset forfeiture, the government can seize any cash, cars, houses, or other property that law enforcement can reasonably connect to a crime -- usually a drug crime. The owner of the property must then go to court to show that he legitimately earned or owns it. Often the owner is never actually charged with a crime. And often, these seizures are made against people suspected of low-level crimes, so the value of the property seized can be less than the costs and hassle of hiring an attorney and going to court to win it back.

If the owner doesn't try to get his assets back, or if the court rules against him, asset forfeiture proceeds go to the police department that made the seizure. Critics say the policy creates perverse incentives for police to find drug connections that may not exist. But the policy has been lucrative for police agencies, and has been a huge contributor to the growth and use of SWAT teams to serve drug warrants. SWAT teams can be expensive to maintain. Instead of reserving them only for genuinely dangerous situations, asset forfeiture (along with Byrne grants) creates a strong incentive to send them on drug raids. A number of states have tried to curb forfeiture abuses by requiring that proceeds from seizures go to schools, or to a general fund. But under the Justice Department's equitable sharing program, a local police agency simply needs to ask the DEA for assistance with a raid. The operation then becomes federal, and is governed by federal law. The DOJ takes a cut of the assets, then sends a large percentage back to the local police agency, effectively getting around those state laws.

Under Obama, forfeiture has flourished. According to a 2012 report from the General Accounting Office, the Justice Department's forfeiture fund swelled to $1.8 billion in 2011, the largest ever. That same year, equitable sharing payouts to local police agencies topped $445 million, also a record.

Obama has fought for broad asset forfeiture powers in court, even for local governments. In the 2009 case Alvarez v. Smith, the Obama administration defended a provision of Illinois' asset forfeiture law that allows police to seize property they believe is connected to drug activity with little evidence, then hold it for up to six months before the owner gets an opportunity to win it back in court. It's one of the harshest such laws in the country.

The argument could be made here that the Justice Department has a responsibility to defend law enforcement in court. But Obama has shown a willingness to back down from laws he opposes -- notably by instructing government attorneys to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act from court challenges.

But even if one believes that the solicitor general has an obligation to defend federal law, this is a state law. Moreover, it's a state law that's actually harsher on property owners than corresponding federal laws. The Illinois law also applies only to property valued at less than $20,000, meaning it disproportionately affects the poor. The Obama administration could have plausibly argued against the law, or simply not taken a position. Instead, Justice Department attorneys argued for it to be upheld. The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed the case without ruling on the law.

In many of these examples, Obama is merely continuing policies that began in previous administrations. And there are some areas where he has made progress, notably by apportioning a greater portion his anti-drug budget to treatment instead of enforcement. But in several of the examples above, he has actually stepped up the policies he inherited.

Obama the candidate made some unusually frank and critical statements about the drug war, incarceration, and the criminal justice system. His drug czar then showed some rare insight into the dangers of war rhetoric when discussing domestic policing. Obama the president has been more of the same, and in some cases worse.

HuffPost investigative reporter Radley Balko is author of the new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces, from which this article was adapted.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/obama-police-militarization_n_3566478.html

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« Reply #1247 on: July 17, 2013, 09:39:17 AM »

http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/craig-bannister/govt-bureau-creating-google-earth-every-financial-transaction-senator


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« Reply #1248 on: July 17, 2013, 09:46:21 AM »


Driving somewhere? There's a government record of that




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Posted:  Jul 17, 2013 10:33 AM EDT Updated:  Jul 17, 2013 10:36 AM EDT 
 



 
 

By ANNE FLAHERTY

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chances are, your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong.

Using automated scanners, law enforcement agencies across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movement of every vehicle with a license plate, according to a study published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. Affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, the scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.

As the technology becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, and federal grants focus on aiding local terrorist detection, even small police agencies are able to deploy more sophisticated surveillance systems. While the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that a judge's approval is needed to track a car with GPS, networks of plate scanners allow police effectively to track a driver's location, sometimes several times every day, with few legal restrictions. The ACLU says the scanners assemble what it calls a "single, high-resolution image of our lives."

"There's just a fundamental question of whether we're going to live in a society where these dragnet surveillance systems become routine," said Catherine Crump, a staff attorney with the ACLU. The civil rights group is proposing that police departments immediately delete any records of cars not linked to a crime.

Law enforcement officials said the scanners can be crucial to tracking suspicious cars, aiding drug busts and finding abducted children. License plate scanners also can be efficient. The state of Maryland told the ACLU that troopers could "maintain a normal patrol stance" while capturing up to 7,000 license plate images in a single eight hour shift.

"At a time of fiscal and budget constraints, we need better assistance for law enforcement," said Harvey Eisenberg, chief of the national security section and assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland.

Law enforcement officials also point out that the technology is legal in most cases, automating a practice that's been done for years. The ACLU found that only five states have laws governing license plate readers. New Hampshire, for example, bans the technology except in narrow circumstances, while Maine and Arkansas limit how long plate information can be stored.

"There's no expectation of privacy" for a vehicle driving on a public road or parked in a public place, said Lt. Bill Hedgpeth, a spokesman for the Mesquite Police Department in Texas, which has records stretching back to 2008, although the city plans next month to begin deleting files older than two years. "It's just a vehicle. It's just a license plate."

In Yonkers, N.Y., just north of the Bronx, police said retaining the information indefinitely helps detectives solve future crimes. In a statement, the department said it uses license plate readers as a "reactive investigative tool" that is only accessed if detectives are looking for a particular vehicle in connection to a crime.

"These plate readers are not intended nor used to follow the movements of members of the public," the department's statement said.

But even if law enforcement officials say they don't want a public location tracking system, the records add up quickly. In Jersey City, N.J., for example, the population is only 250,000 but the city collected more than 2 million plate images on file. Because the city keeps records for five years, the ACLU estimates that it has some 10 million on file, making it possible for police to plot the movements of most residents depending upon the number and location of the scanners, according to the ACLU.

The ACLU study, based on 26,000 pages of responses from 293 police departments and state agencies across the country, also found that license plate scanners produced a small fraction of "hits," or alerts to police that a suspicious vehicle has been found. In Maryland, for example, the state reported reading about 29 million plates between January and May of last year. Of that amount, about 60,000 — or roughly 1 in every 500 license plates — were suspicious. The No. 1 crime? A suspended or revoked registration, or a violation of the state's emissions inspection program accounted for 97 percent of all alerts.

Eisenberg, the assistant U.S. attorney, said the numbers "fail to show the real qualitative assistance to public safety and law enforcement." He points to the 132 wanted suspects the program helped track. They were a small fraction of the 29 million plates read, but he said tracking those suspects can be critical to keeping an area safe.

Also, he said, Maryland has rules in place restricting access for criminal investigations only. Most records are retained for one year in Maryland, and the state's privacy policies are reviewed by an independent board, Eisenberg noted.

At least in Maryland, "there are checks, and there are balances," he said.

___

Follow Anne Flaherty on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnneKFlaherty

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/Story/22863801/driving-somewhere-theres-a-government-record-of-that#ixzz2ZK262bGA
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« Reply #1249 on: July 17, 2013, 01:48:56 PM »


This is pretty fucked up. But Mike "The Hypocrite" Enzi... here's a man who voted for the Patriot Act, the reauthorization of FISA/FISC, a number of privacy-destroying bills. And he has the balls to stand up and say:

“You can't tell 'em to stay out of your records. It's not possible. If your data is being collected, you do not have the option to opt out. Nor, does the CFPD need any kind of permission from you to gather your personal information.”

Fucking hypocrite. The legislation you voted for in the past doesn't let me opt out and let's the government peruse my records and my information without any kind of permission. Where was your outrage then scumbag?

People like Mike Enzi should be tarred and feathered; not elected to public office.
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