Police / Policing
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jul 21, 2016 Trump’s Republican National Convention speech massively distorted national crime statistics
QUOTE: When Donald Trump took the stage in Cleveland on Thursday night (July 21), he immediately made some strong comments about law and order. They were, however, in typical Trump fashion, a rather blatant distortion of the facts.
Quartz Jul 16, 2016 Philando Castile, Fatally Shot in His Car, Was a Magnet for Minor Traffic Stops
QUOTE: In a 13-year span, Philando Castile was pulled over by the police in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region at least 49 times, an average of about once every three months, often for minor infractions....The episode, to many, is a heartbreaking illustration of the disproportionate risks black motorists face with the police... growing national debate over racial bias in law enforcement.
New York Times Jul 12, 2016 The Near Certainty of Anti-Police Violence: By ignoring illegitimate policing, America has also failed to address the danger this illegitimacy poses to those who must do the policing.
QUOTE: 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson murdered five police officers in Dallas. This abhorrent act of political extremism cannot be divorced from American history—recent or old. In black communities, the police departments have only enjoyed a kind of quasi-legitimacy. That is because wanton discrimination is definitional to the black experience, and very often it is law enforcement which implements that discrimination with violence. A community consistently subjected to violent discrimination under the law will lose respect for it, and act beyond it.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Jul 10, 2016 Police used a robot to kill -- The key questions
QUOTE: While there are links to the discussion on the future of killer robots, known as LAWS (lethal autonomous weapons systems), there are also three important differences to keep in mind.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 10, 2016 Something more is required of us now. What?
QUOTE: How many politicians have been prosecuted for taking millions of dollars from private prisons, prison guard unions, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, tobacco companies, the NRA and Wall Street banks and doing their bidding for them...Our entire political system is financed by wealthy private interests buying politicians and making sure the rules are written in their favor. But selling CDs or loose cigarettes? In America, that’s treated as a serious crime, especially if you’re black.
Medium Jul 09, 2016 Black Lives Matter Was Gaining Ground. Then a Sniper Opened Fire.
QUOTE: Inside Black Lives Matter, the national revulsion over videos of police officers shooting to death black men in Minnesota and Louisiana was undeniable proof that the group’s message of outrage and demands for justice had finally broken through....Black Lives Matter now faces perhaps the biggest crisis in its short history: It is both scrambling to distance itself from an African-American sniper in Dallas who set out to murder white police officers and trying to rebut a chorus of detractors who blame the movement for inspiring his deadly attack.
New York Times May 02, 2015 Baltimore Prosecutor Faces National History of Police Acquittals
QUOTE: Brutality cases against police officers are notoriously difficult to win...whatever case prosecutors make will have to overcome the inherent deference to police officers that most jurors take with them to the courtroom, experts said.
New York Times Mar 04, 2015 Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here’s Why. Shots were fired in Long Island, but there was no rush to call 911. It made perfect sense to ProPublica’s Nikole Hannah-Jones.
QUOTE: For those of you reading this who may not be black, or perhaps Latino, this is my chance to tell you that a substantial portion of your fellow citizens in the United States of America have little expectation of being treated fairly by the law or receiving justice. It’s possible this will come as a surprise to you. But to a very real extent, you have grown up in a different country than I have. As Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author of The Condemnation of Blackness, puts it, “White people, by and large, do not know what it is like to be occupied by a police force. They don’t understand it because it is not the type of policing they experience. Because they are treated like individuals, they believe that if ‘I am not breaking the law, I will never be abused.’”
ProPublica Dec 05, 2014 The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate: The crooked math that's going to crash American law enforcement if policies aren't changed
QUOTE: Law-enforcement resources are now distributed so unevenly, and justice is being administered with such brazen inconsistency, that people everywhere are going to start questioning the basic political authority of law enforcement. And they're mostly going to be right to do it, and when they do, it's going to create problems that will make the post-Ferguson unrest seem minor. The Garner case was a perfect symbol of everything that's wrong with the proactive police tactics that are now baseline policy in most inner cities.
Rolling Stone Dec 03, 2014 Wave of Protests After Grand Jury Doesn’t Indict Officer in Eric Garner Chokehold Case
QUOTE: A Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday ended the criminal case against a white New York police officer whose chokehold on an unarmed black man led to the man’s death, a decision that drew condemnation from elected officials and touched off a wave of protests....The decision came barely a week after a grand jury found no criminality in the actions of another white police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Mo.
New York Times Nov 30, 2014 Justice Is Swift as Petty Crimes Clog Courts: Cases Adjudicated in Minutes or Less, Often Without Lawyers
QUOTE: Years of aggressive policing tactics and tough-on-crime legislation have flooded the American court system with misdemeanor cases—relatively small-time crimes such as public drunkenness, loitering or petty theft. The state courts that handle such charges often resemble assembly lines where time is in short supply, according to judges and lawyers who work in the courts. Many poor defendants, despite their right to court-appointed legal counsel, don’t get lawyers, and those who do often receive scant help in the rush to resolve cases.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Nov 19, 2014 A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA
QUOTE: UVA's emphasis on honor is so pronounced that since 1998, 183 people have been expelled for honor-code violations such as cheating on exams. And yet paradoxically, not a single student at UVA has ever been expelled for sexual assault. "Think about it," says Susan Russell, whose UVA daughter's sexual-assault report helped trigger a previous federal investigation. "In what world do you get kicked out for cheating, but if you rape someone, you can stay?"
Rolling Stone May 27, 2014 Rebelling Against Abuse, Afghan Women See Signs of Change
QUOTE: Her violent act [burning her husband--Ed.]has unexpectedly brought quiet expressions of support from other Afghan women, some of whom say they are fed up with lives of abuse with no recourse....Humaira Mohammedi, who recently stepped down as the head of the women’s shelter in Baghlan and is now working on human rights issues, believes that women are being driven to speak out by desperation and anger rather than any sense of empowerment.
New York Times May 22, 2014 Why colleges fail at investigating and punishing sex crimes (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: the demise of in loco parentis left colleges in an uncertain and awkward position. If they now had little or no control over student conduct, what role should they play — if any — when students misbehaved? And what if students acted in ways that would be criminal in broader society?...The disciplinary systems of colleges, designed to deal with plagiarism and roommate spats, have proved utterly inadequate to deal with the more serious issue of sexual assault.
Los Angeles Times Jan 10, 2014 The corruption of Britain: UK’s key institutions infiltrated by criminals
QUOTE: Secret report shows how organised crime infiltrated judicial system as well as police with prison service and HM Revenue & Customs also compromised
Independent News (UK) Dec 21, 2013 When the Right to Bear Arms Includes the Mentally Ill
QUOTE: a central, unresolved issue in the debate over balancing public safety and the Second Amendment right to bear arms: just how powerless law enforcement can be when it comes to keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are mentally ill. Connecticut’s law giving the police broad leeway to seize and hold guns for up to a year is actually relatively strict. Most states simply adhere to the federal standard, banning gun possession only after someone is involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility or designated as mentally ill or incompetent after a court proceeding or other formal legal process....A systematic review of these cases — from cities and counties in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee — underscores how easy it is for people with serious mental health problems to have guns.
New York Times Nov 02, 2013 The grabbing hand of the law: How prosecutors seize the assets of the innocent
QUOTE: Under “civil forfeiture”, however, it can grab first and ask questions later. Property can be seized merely on the suspicion that it has been involved in a crime. Citizens have no right to a swift hearing. For a small business, that can be fatal.
Economist Oct 19, 2013 High School Sexual Assault Case Is Revisited, Haunting Missouri Town
QUOTE: Ever since The Kansas City Star ran a long article last Sunday raising new questions about the Nodaway County prosecutor’s decision to drop charges against a 17-year-old football player accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, the simplicity of small-town life here has been complicated by a storm of negative attention.
New York Times Oct 15, 2013 Dear John: Think twice before picking up that prostitute in Sanford
QUOTE: the Sanford Police Department will send "Dear John" letters to registered owners of vehicles spotted lingering in areas known for prostitution....Some lawyers are criticizing the initiative, which they say could have negative repercussions if police erroneously send the letter to someone who was not looking for a prostitute.
Orlando Sentinel Sep 26, 2013 Public Nuisance: What happens when calling 911 could cost you your home.
QUOTE: the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and Briggs’ lawyer sued the borough of Norristown on behalf of Briggs, arguing that its disorderly behavior ordinance—and hundreds of similar laws around the country—unconstitutionally punish protected First Amendment speech, fall most heavily of victims of domestic violence, and recast those victims as a public nuisance.
Slate Sep 10, 2013 New details in how the feds take laptops at border
QUOTE: President Barack Obama and his predecessors have maintained that people crossing into U.S. territory aren't protected by the Fourth Amendment. That policy is intended to allow for intrusive searches that keep drugs, child pornography and other illegal imports out of the country. But it also means the government can target travelers for no reason other than political advocacy if it wants, and obtain electronic documents identifying fellow supporters.
Yahoo News Aug 18, 2013 Glenn Greenwald's partner detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours David Miranda, partner of Guardian interviewer of whistleblower Edward Snowden, questioned under Terrorism Act
QUOTE: "This is a profound attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process," Greenwald said. "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ. The actions of the UK pose a serious threat to journalists everywhere."
Guardian Unlimited Jul 13, 2013 Law and Justice and George Zimmerman: The exoneration of Travyon Martin's killer is a stark reminder of the limitations of our judicial systems and the choices we make about the laws under which we li
QUOTE: what the acquittal of George Zimmerman means -- to the nation, to its rule of law, to its politics, to its racial divide, to its deadly obsession with guns, to Florida's ALEC-infused justice system, and to probably 100 other things....To me, on its most basic level, the startling Zimmerman verdict -- and the case and trial that preceded it -- is above all a blunt reminder of the limitations of our justice system. Criminal trials are not searches for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They never have been. Our rules of evidence and the Bill of Rights preclude it. Our trials are instead tests of only that limited evidence a judge declares fit to be shared with jurors, who in turn are then admonished daily, hourly even, not to look beyond the corners of what they've seen or heard in court.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Jul 07, 2013 “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control
QUOTE: It wasn’t even the first time a Virginia SWAT team had killed someone during a gambling raid.....Police have justified this sort of heavy-handedness by claiming that people who run illegal gambling operations tend to be armed, a blanket characterization that absurdly lumps neighborhood Hold ’Em tournaments with Uncle Junior Soprano’s weekly poker game. And in any case, if police know that people inside an establishment are likely to be armed, it makes even less sense to come in with guns blazing. Police have also defended the paramilitary tactics by noting that poker games are usually flush with cash and thus tend to get robbed. That too is an absurd argument, unless the police are afraid they’re going to raid a game at precisely the same moment it’s getting robbed. Under either scenario, the police are acknowledging that the people playing poker when these raids go down have good reason to think that the men storming the place with guns may be criminals, not cops.
Salon Jul 03, 2013 Commit any felonies lately?
QUOTE: two broader phenomena. One is the militarization of domestic law enforcement. In recent years, police departments have widely adopted military tactics, military equipment (armored personnel carriers, flash-bang grenades) — and, sometimes, the mindset of military conquerors rather than domestic peacekeepers. The other phenomenon is the increasing degree to which civilians are subject to criminal prosecution for noncriminal acts, including exercising the constitutionally protected right to free speech.
Richmond Times-Dispatch Jun 19, 2013 You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent: The Supreme Court’s terrible—and dangerous—ruling this week on the Fifth Amendment.
QUOTE: the Supreme Court held that you remain silent at your peril. The court said that this is true even before you’re arrested, when the police are just informally asking questions. The court’s move to cut off the right to remain silent is wrong and also dangerous—because it encourages the kind of high-pressure questioning that can elicit false confessions.
Slate May 31, 2013 Shakedown 'justice' in Mexico
QUOTE: Those of us who visit Mexico know you never get on a bus. It makes you easy pickings for bandits and bad cops, and sometimes you can't tell the difference. Bandits might take your money, and let you go on your way. Bad cops take your liberty, and hold it until someone back home sends enough money to let you go on your way.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 15, 2012 Police Killing in Kenya Deepens Aura of Menace
QUOTE: a spectacularly dysfunctional national police force. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give our police a 2,” said Macharia Njeru, the chairman of Kenya’s new police oversight board, citing corruption allegations, human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, failed inquiries and lost public trust.
New York Times Sep 09, 2012 Fighting for Bangladesh Labor, and Ending Up in Pauper’s Grave
QUOTE: For years, mutual suspicion has defined the relationship between the labor federation and the Bangladeshi establishment. Citing labor abuses, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. is currently petitioning Washington to overturn trade preferences for Bangladesh, infuriating Bangladeshi leaders and casting suspicions on the domestic labor groups nurtured by the federation, including those where Mr. Islam worked.
New York Times Aug 10, 2012 Why Asset Forfeiture Abuse Is on the Rise: It’s time to build a wall of separation between government power and the profit motive.
QUOTE: throughout the United States, government agencies increasingly rely on “civil forfeiture” to bolster their strained budgets. The more assets these modern-day tax collectors seize, the more money they have for new equipment and other things....We should all be concerned that district attorneys—who are, by law, supposed to pursue justice first and foremost—are perpetrating abuses of property rights so that they can fill their coffers with money that comes primarily from people who have not been convicted of any crime.
Reason Jul 13, 2012 That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker.
QUOTE: Thanks to the explosion of GPS technology and smartphone apps, these devices are also taking note of what we buy, where and when we buy it, how much money we have in the bank, whom we text and e-mail, what Web sites we visit, how and where we travel, what time we go to sleep and wake up — and more. Much of that data is shared with companies that use it to offer us services they think we want.
New York Times May 07, 2012 No Room for Dissent in a Police Department Consumed by the Numbers
QUOTE: This, too, is Mr. Kelly’s police force, a department that can claim many victories but is consumed by a single imperative: crime and homicide rates must keep falling...There’s no definitive proof that top officials systematically manipulate crime data and set arrest quotas. But officers have stepped forward in recent years to talk of such practices in widely scattered precincts...
New York Times May 04, 2012 Using NYPD Warrant Squads to Monitor Protesters May Violate Constitution: Experts
QUOTE: Executing old warrants -- no matter how minor -- is legal. But legal experts say the tactic becomes illegal if it is done solely to investigate political activity.
WNYC Apr 21, 2012 Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle
QUOTE: Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters....The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
New York Times Apr 17, 2012 DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency
QUOTE: Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents, to ensure that “no defendant’s right to a fair trial was jeopardized,”...The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Not the results of its case reviews of suspect lab work. Not the names of the defendants who were convicted as a result. And not the nature or scope of the forensic problems it found. Those decisions more than a decade ago remain relevant today for hundreds of people still in the U.S. court system, because officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes.
Washington Post Mar 31, 2012 Police Are Using Phone Tracking as a Routine Tool
QUOTE: Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show. The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too...
New York Times Mar 26, 2012 Trayvon's killing and Florida's tragic past
QUOTE: No matter the state, the circumstances are eerily familiar: a slaying. Minimal police investigation. A suspect known to authorities. No arrest. Protests and outrage in a racially charged atmosphere. Florida is known for its amusement parks, beaches and pensioners from the North. But history bears out that Florida has been as much a part of the South and its vigilante-enforced racial caste system as Georgia and Alabama.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 14, 2012 Domain seizures for copyright infringement likely to go global
QUOTE: Efforts to take down websites for copyright infringement are likely to move beyond U.S.-based registries, with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) promising to more closely cooperate with global law enforcement agencies and governments.
Computerworld Mar 07, 2012 More Angst Over Pepper Spray
QUOTE: The UC police union and the former officer at the center of the controversy filed for the stay after hearing from a lawyer that the report would contain confidential personnel information, the release of which is prohibited under state penal code....Cruz Reynoso, the law professor emeritus at Davis and former associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was tapped to chair the task force, was outraged at the request – in particular, at its last-minute delivery – and worried that it could prevent the truth of what happened from coming out.
Inside Higher Ed Feb 17, 2012 Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies
QUOTE: A new federal law, signed by the president on Tuesday, compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors... Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones. But while businesses, and drone manufacturers especially, are celebrating the opening of the skies to these unmanned aerial vehicles, the law raises new worries about how much detail the drones will capture about lives down below — and what will be done with that information.
New York Times Feb 12, 2012 Malaysia deports Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari
QUOTE: Malaysian authorities have deported a Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a tweet. Police confirmed to the BBC that Hamza Kashgari was sent back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday despite protests from human rights groups.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Jan 23, 2012 Justices Say GPS Tracker Violated Privacy Rights
QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days. A set of overlapping opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad privacy principles to bring the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches into the digital age...
New York Times Jan 02, 2012 The Rules on News Coverage Are Clear, but the Police Keep Pushing
QUOTE: But the decade-long trajectory in New York is toward expanded police power. Officers routinely infiltrate groups engaged in lawful dissent, spy on churches and mosques, and often toss demonstrators and reporters around with impunity. When this is challenged, the police commissioner and the mayor often shrug it off and fight court orders.
New York Times Dec 23, 2011 CIA report: No issue with spy agency's partnership with N.Y. police
QUOTE: the agency helped police conduct covert surveillance on Muslims living in New York, raising broader civil liberty questions about the legality of the methods and scope of federal efforts to counter terrorism.
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 15, 2011 Arizona sheriff faces federal allegations of discrimination against Latinos
QUOTE: Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has engaged in systemic discrimination against Latinos...A comprehensive investigation found the practices include "unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Latinos,"...
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 20, 2011 Officers Put on Leave After Pepper Spraying Protesters
QUOTE: The University of California, Davis, said on Sunday that two police officers had been placed on administrative leave after using pepper spray on seated protesters in a widely recorded encounter on Friday afternoon. Reflecting widespread anger over the police behavior...
New York Times Nov 19, 2011 Document Trove Exposes Surveillance Methods (Censorship Inc.)
QUOTE: a retail market for surveillance tools has sprung up from "nearly zero" in 2001 to about $5 billion a year, said Jerry Lucas, president of TeleStrategies Inc., the show's operator. Critics say the market represents a new sort of arms trade supplying Western governments and repressive nations alike. "The Arab Spring countries all had more sophisticated surveillance capabilities than I would have guessed..."
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Nov 12, 2011 Keep government out of mind-reading business (My Take)
QUOTE: Now, for the first time in human history, we are peering into the labyrinth of the mind and pulling out information, perhaps even information you would rather we did not know....If my right to privacy means anything, it must mean the right to keep my innermost thoughts safe from the prying eyes of the state, the military or my employer.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 11, 2011 On Campus, a Law Enforcement System to Itself
QUOTE: On most of these campuses, law enforcement is the responsibility of sworn police officers who report to university authorities, not to the public. With full-fledged arrest powers, such campus police forces have enormous discretion in deciding whether to refer cases directly to district attorneys or to leave them to the quiet handling of in-house disciplinary proceedings....But many serious offenses reach neither campus police officers nor their off-campus counterparts because they are directly funneled to administrators.
New York Times Nov 08, 2011 Which Way Privacy? The Supreme Court asks whether the government can put a GPS device on your car without a warrant.
QUOTE: The warrant expired after 10 days, but the police nevertheless used the GPS to monitor everywhere he drove, every 10 seconds, for 28 days....Jones tried to have his conviction set aside, arguing that warrantless GPS surveillance violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable government searches and seizures. The government replied that GPS tracking is no different from police observing activity in public spaces and roadways, which is not protected under the Constitution.
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