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Police Corruption News Articles
Excerpts of Key Police Corruption News Articles in Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important police corruption news articles from the major media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These police corruption news articles are listed by order of importance. You can also explore the articles listed by order of the date of the news article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Ex-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca convicted in jail corruption case
2017-03-15, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-la-county-sheriff-lee-baca-found-guilty-in-jai...

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was convicted Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation into corrupt and violent guards who took bribes to smuggle contraband into the jails he ran and savagely beat inmates. The trial ... cast a dark shadow over a distinguished 50-year law enforcement career that abruptly ended with his resignation in 2014 as the corruption investigation spread from rank-and-file deputies to his inner circle. Baca appeared to have escaped the fate of more than a dozen underlings indicted by federal prosecutors until a year ago, when he pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to federal authorities about what role he played in efforts to thwart the FBI. A deal with prosecutors called for a sentence no greater than six months. When a judge rejected that as too lenient, Baca withdrew his guilty plea and prosecutors hit him with two additional charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The federal probe began in 2011 when Baca’s jail guards discovered an inmate with a contraband cellphone was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings and report what he witnessed. Word quickly reached Baca, who convened a group to derail the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said during closing arguments that corruption in the nation’s largest jail system “started from the top and went all the way down.” Baca’s subordinates hid the FBI informant from federal agents [and] tried to intimidate his FBI handler by threatening to arrest her.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the prison system.


The FBI Has Quietly Investigated White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement
2017-01-31, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/01/31/the-fbi-has-quietly-investigated-white-su...

White supremacists and other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies. [FBI] policies have been crafted to take this infiltration into account. An October 2006 FBI internal intelligence assessment ... raised the alarm over white supremacist groups’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” In 2009 ... a Department of Homeland Security intelligence study, written in coordination with the FBI, warned of the “resurgence” of right-wing extremism. The report concluded that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The report caused an uproar. Faced with mounting criticism, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano disavowed the document. The agency’s unit investigating right-wing extremism was largely dismantled and the report’s lead investigator was pushed out. “They stopped doing intel on that, and that was that,” Heidi Beirich, who leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s tracking of extremist groups, told The Intercept. Daryl Johnson, who was the lead researcher on the DHS report ... says the problem has since gotten “a lot more troublesome.” Homeland Security has given up tracking right-wing domestic extremists. “It’s only the FBI now,” he said, adding that local police departments don’t seem to be doing anything to address the problem.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Where Secret Arrests Were Standard Procedure
2016-12-28, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/opinion/where-secret-arrests-were-standard-...

For a shocking glimpse of what’s been happening in the name of criminal justice in America, look no further than a Justice Department report last week on police behavior in Louisiana. Officers there have routinely arrested hundreds of citizens annually without probable cause, strip-searching them and denying them contact with their family and lawyers for days - all in an unconstitutional attempt to force cooperation with detectives who finally admitted they were operating on a mere “hunch” or “feeling.” This wholesale violation of the Constitution’s protection against unlawful search and seizure ... was standard procedure. The report described as “staggering” the number of people who were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more” with no opportunity to contest their arrest, in what the police euphemistically termed “investigative holds.” The sheriff’s office in Evangeline, with a population of 33,578, initiated over 200 such arrest-and-grilling sessions between 2012 and 2014. In Ville Platte, which has 7,303 residents, the local police department used the practice more than 700 times during the same years. The residents faced demands for information, the report said, “under threat of continued wrongful incarceration,” resulting in what may have been false confessions and improper convictions. “Literally anyone in Evangeline Parish or Ville Platte could be arrested and placed ‘on hold’ at any time,” the report found.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


U.S. police chiefs group apologizes for ‘historical mistreatment’ of minorities
2016-10-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/10/17/head-of-u-s-poli...

The president of America’s largest police management organization on Monday issued a formal apology to the nation’s minority population “for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.” Terrence M. Cunningham, the chief of police in Wellesley, Mass., delivered his remarks at the convention in San Diego of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, whose membership includes 23,000 police officials in the United States. The statement ... comes as police executives continue to grapple with tense relationships between officers and minority groups in the wake of high-profile civilian deaths in New York, South Carolina, Minnesota and elsewhere, the sometimes violent citizen protests which have ensued as well as the ambush killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Cunningham continued, “While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future ... For our part, the first step is for law enforcement and the IACP to acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.” He concluded, “It is my hope that, by working together, we can break this historic cycle of mistrust and build a better and safer future for us all.” Jeffery Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, applauded Cunningham’s statement. “It seems to me that this is a very significant admission,” Robinson said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


NYPD sent undercover officers to Black Lives Matter protest, records reveal
2016-09-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/29/nypd-black-lives-matter-under...

Legal papers filed by the New York police department reveal that the department sent its own undercover officers to protests led by Black Lives Matter after the death of Eric Garner. The NYPD documents also show that it collected multimedia records about the protests. The revelations come from the same records request that led to the Intercept’s release of documents last summer showing that MTA and Metro-North transit police had regularly spied on Black Lives Matter protesters in and around Grand Central, deploying plainclothes officers to monitor demonstrations, track their movements, and share photos of activists. The NYPD’s newly revealed operations are potential constitutional violations. “The fear and disarming effect caused by undercovers being assigned to what were and continue to be extraordinarily peaceful protests is disturbing,” said MJ Williams, one of the attorneys involved in the records request. “As someone who was present at the protests, it’s disturbing to know the NYPD may have a file on me, ready to be used or to prevent me from getting a job simply because I’ve been active in some political capacity.” The MTA and Metro-North disclosures from last summer revealed that transit police tracked activists’ locations and shared images of some activists. If similar multimedia images are being held by the NYPD, they could be a violation of the NYPD’s protest monitoring rules ... which are supposed to prevent the department from deploying undercovers or collecting images of protesters solely to keep tabs on their political activity.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Some Women Won’t ‘Ever Again’ Report a Rape in Baltimore
2016-08-11, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/us/baltimore-police-sexual-assault-gender-b...

America has been enmeshed in a wrenching discussion about how the police treat young black men. But this week’s blistering report from the Justice Department on police bias in Baltimore also exposed a different, though related, concern: how the police in that majority-black city treat women, especially victims of sexual assault. In six pages of the 163-page report documenting how Baltimore police officers have systematically violated the rights of African-Americans, the Justice Department also painted a picture of a police culture deeply dismissive of sexual assault victims and hostile toward prostitutes and transgender people. It branded the Baltimore Police Department’s response to sexual assault cases “grossly inadequate.” Baltimore officers sometimes humiliated women who tried to report sexual assault, often failed to gather basic evidence, and disregarded some complaints filed by prostitutes. Some officers blamed victims or discouraged them from identifying their assailants. And the culture seemed to extend to prosecutors, investigators found. In one email exchange, a prosecutor referred to a woman who had reported a sexual assault as a “conniving little whore.” A police officer, using a common text-message expression for laughing heartily, wrote back: “Lmao! I feel the same.” Other “pattern or practice” investigations of police departments - including in New Orleans; Puerto Rico; and Missoula, Mont. - have also identified gender bias.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


Police will be required to report officer-involved deaths under new US system
2016-08-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/08/police-officer-related-deaths...

Police departments will be required to give the US justice department full details of deadly incidents involving their officers each quarter, under a new government system for counting killings by police that was influenced by the Guardian. Announcing a new program for documenting all “arrest-related deaths”, federal officials said they would actively work to confirm fatal cases seen in media reports and other open sources rather than wait for departments to report them voluntarily. The new system, which aims to replace a discredited count by the FBI, mirrors that of The Counted, an ongoing Guardian effort to document every death caused by law enforcement officers. Writing in the Federal Register, Department of Justice officials said their new program should increase transparency around the use of force by police and improve accountability for the actions of individual officers. The federal government has kept no comprehensive record of killings by police officers, even as a series of controversial deaths set off unrest in cities across the country over the past two years. An annual voluntary count by the FBI of fatal shootings by officers has recorded only about half the true number. The new system is being overseen by the department’s bureau of justice statistics (BJS). It would, like the Guardian’s, document deaths caused by physical force, Taser shocks and some vehicle crashes caused by law enforcement in addition to fatal shootings by officers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


We Should Beware Police Killings by Robot or Drone
2016-07-12, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/we-should-beware-police-killings-robot-or-drone-47970...

On July 7, Dallas police officers used a bomb robot to kill the suspected perpetrator of a shooting that left five Dallas-area police officers dead and seven others wounded. While police have used robots to deliver chemical agents and pizza, it looks as if the deployment of the robot bomb on Thursday night was the first time American police officers have used a robot to kill someone. According to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was.” The death of the alleged shooter in Dallas should prompt us to think carefully about how new technologies will be used by police to deliver lethal force. Robots like the one used by Dallas police are used by police departments across the country as part of bomb squads. But it’s worth keeping in mind that these robots will continue to improve, making it easier for police to use them in situations like the standoff in Dallas. Other tools such as drones could also potentially be used to kill suspects. In fact, North Dakota has legalized the use of armed drones in some circumstances, and Florida law defines a police drone as one that can “carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.” As technology improves, using tools such as robots to kill dangerous suspects will become easier, and we shouldn’t be surprised if they proliferate. Amid such changes we should keep a careful eye on how and when police use remote devices, especially in cases not as clear cut as the recent standoff.

Note: The use of robots in warfare has been increasing. Militarization of US police, led by the Pentagon, suggests that robots will also be increasingly used in domestic law enforcement. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


What does Dallas's 'bomb robot' mean for the future of policing?
2016-07-09, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2016/0709/What-does-Dallas-s-bomb-rob...

Havoc broke out at a peaceful protest against police violence and racism in Dallas on Thursday evening when a sniper opened fire, shooting 12 officers and 2 civilians. Police cornered the suspect, now known to be Micah Johnson. Around 3 a.m., police reported that the sniper ... was killed by explosives delivered by a remote-controlled robot. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” said Dallas police chief David Brown. Experts say this is the first use of a robot to kill a suspect in the history of US law enforcement. Debate about Johnson's death is situated within a larger conversation about police militarization and why it has become a law enforcement trend. That question has been central to the Black Lives Matter movement. Militarized equipment, including this bomb-wielding robot, has become increasingly common in domestic police forces, as a result of the government’s 1033 program that filters excess military equipment into domestic law enforcement departments. Joseph Pollini, a retired NYPD lieutenant commander, [said] the use of an explosive was more surprising than the use of a robot. “In my entire career I’ve never heard of using an explosive device to terminate someone,” he says. “There is a huge concern about the weaponization of robotic platforms, as these technologies become more sophisticated and more autonomous, and weapons are actually quite easy to attach to them,” both by civilians and police, he says.

Note: The use of robots in warfare has been increasing. Militarization of US police, led by the Pentagon, suggests that robots will also be increasingly used in domestic law enforcement. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Supreme Court winks at an illegal police stop
2016-06-21, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-police-stop-20160620-snap-sto...

At a time of justified concern about arbitrary police stops, the Supreme Court on Monday made such harassment more likely. By a 5-3 vote, the court upheld the search of a drug defendant that grew out of a stop that the state conceded was unlawful. The decision in a Utah case pokes yet another hole in an important principle: that courts may not consider evidence that is the result of an illegal search or seizure – the so-called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Edward Strieff was stopped by a police officer after he walked out of a house in South Salt Lake City. After Strieff identified himself, the officer ran his name through a database and discovered an outstanding arrest warrant for a traffic violation. The officer then arrested Strieff on that charge and searched him, finding a bag containing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The state subsequently admitted that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop Strieff, as required under Supreme Court interpretations of the 4th Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas concluded that it didn’t matter if the officer had no basis on which to stop Strieff; the evidence was admissible anyway. The decision could have far-reaching consequences. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a powerful dissent: “This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants - even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about judiciary corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Colombia's Police Chief Resigns Over Sexual Misconduct Probe
2016-02-17, ABC/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/colombias-police-chief-resigns-...

The head of Colombia's police resigned Wednesday amid accusations of illegal enrichment and sexual misconduct with young cadets that threatened to tarnish the reputation of one of the South American nation's most-prestigious institutions. Gen. Rodolfo Palomino's resignation came a day after Colombia's inspector general opened an administrative probe into the accusations, which surfaced in the media late last year. The accusations against Palomino range from his purchase of a luxury home outside Bogota that was apparently incompatible with his police salary and alleged illegal wiretaps against journalists. But the most damning charges, which have monopolized public attention the past few days, are Palomino's alleged participation in a male prostitution ring, dubbed the "Community of the Ring" by local media, that allegedly forced entry-level cadets to cater to high-ranking officers and even members of congress. Palomino has for months fought accusations by a former colonel that he abused his position for sexual favors years ago. In announcing the probe Tuesday, Inspector General Alejandro Ordonez said authorities obtained testimony and a videotaped conversation from 2008 between a then-senator and police captain that it said corroborates existence of the prostitution ring.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’
2016-01-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-new-way-police-are-sur...

A national debate has played out over mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. [Meanwhile], a new generation of technology ... has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens. The powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists. “This is something that’s been building since September 11,” said Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “First funding went to the military to develop this technology, and now it has come back to domestic law enforcement. It’s the perfect storm of cheaper and easier-to-use technologies and money from state and federal governments to purchase it.” But perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them ... to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red. Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so ... only Intrado - not the police or the public - knows how Beware tallies its scores. The system might mistakenly increase someone’s threat level by misinterpreting innocuous activity on social media, like criticizing the police, and trigger a heavier response by officers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


A year of reckoning: Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000
2015-12-26, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning...

Nearly a thousand times this year, an American police officer has shot and killed a civilian. In a year-long study, The Washington Post found that ... the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt. Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year. The FBI is charged with keeping statistics on such shootings. Fewer than half of the nation’s 18,000 police departments report their incidents to the agency. The Post documented well more than twice as many fatal shootings this year as the average annual tally reported by the FBI over the past decade. The research also noted whether victims were mentally ill or experiencing an emotional crisis. Officers fatally shot at least 243 people with mental health problems: 75 who were explicitly suicidal and 168 for whom police or family members confirmed a history of mental illness. Most of them died at the hands of police officers who had not been trained to deal with the mentally ill. An average of five officers per year have been indicted on felony charges over the previous decade; this year, 18 officers have been charged with felonies. Such accusations rarely stick, however.

Note: A similar project run by The Guardian called "The Counted" tracks police killings by all methods - not just shootings - and had noted 1117 such deaths in 2015 as the above story went to press. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


Case spotlights code of silence among Chicago police
2015-12-17, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-police-code-of-silence-convicti...

At his trial on drug charges nearly a decade ago, Ben Baker told a seemingly far-fetched tale about a corrupt band of Chicago police officers who ran a South Side housing project like their own criminal fiefdom, stealing narcotics proceeds, shaking down dealers for protection money and pinning cases on those who refused to play ball. A Cook County judge at the time said he believed the testimony of veteran Sgt. Ronald Watts and officers under his command, not Baker's accusations that Watts and his crew had framed him. But two years ago Watts was convicted on federal corruption charges after being snared in an FBI sting. Now, Baker is seeking to overturn his own conviction and 14-year sentence in a case that casts a spotlight on the police code of silence. In a court filing this week, his lawyers [cite] a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two Chicago police officers who ... faced repeated retaliation after going to supervisors about their discovery of the police corruption. FBI reports [show] that at the time of Baker's trial, Watts was already the target of an ongoing joint investigation by the FBI and Chicago police internal affairs investigators into allegations of corruption nearly identical to those made by Baker. Five years later ... FBI agents were able to build a criminal case against Watts, based in part on the undercover work by the two [whistleblowers], Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria. After Watts was charged in 2012, Spalding and Echeverria filed their lawsuit naming ... a dozen high-ranking officers as defendants.

Note: Explore an excellent website run by former police officers exposing police corruption and calling for accountability. Included on that webpage is a long list of police officers who were severely threatened, harassed, and fired for exposing police corruption. Then explore concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from the major media.


San Bernardino shooting: Dramatic video shows police storming Inland Regional Center
2015-12-02, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-bernardino-shooting-dramatic-...

At first, Dorothy Vong assumed it was a drill - just like all the others at her work. At the Inland Regional Center, where she’s a nurse, the staff works with clients and parents of clients who are sometimes angry. They have active-shooter drills every month or so. “Drill started,” she texted her husband, Mark, around 11 a.m. She walked to a window nearby and filmed a video as law enforcement sprinted toward the building. “Oh, that is scary,” a voice says calmly in the background. “They’re all geared up!” someone else says. “Rifles and everything!” Then the reality set in. She texted her husband again: “Well it’s real.” Mark Vong said he told his wife to stay calm and not to panic. “They train for this,” he said, standing outside a police barricade Wednesday afternoon. “They know it’s going to happen.” The shooter or shooters who attacked the center apparently opened fire on a Christmas party being held by county employees, federal law enforcement sources and a witness told the Los Angeles Times. The shooting, which left at least 14 injured and at least 14 dead, happened on the grounds of the Inland Regional Center, which serves people with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Note: How strange they had been having active shooter drills every month or so at the exact place where the shooting happened! Could this be just a coincidence? The very same "coincidence" happened in the recent Paris shootings, on the day of 9/11 where a team was training in DC for an attack where a plane would hit a government building, and the London bombings where a team was training for a subway terrorist attack that very morning at the same stations where the bombings occurred. Explore the impossible odds that all these training happened the way they did. .


My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.
2015-11-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/18/my-white-neighbor...

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice ... near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. “What’s going on?” I asked. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?” I had no idea what was happening, but I saw [that] something about me - a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman - frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening. I again asked what was going on. I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come. Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color - Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray - to be written off as an outlier. What happened to them did not happen to me, but it easily could have.

Note: For more along these lines, read about the increasing militarization of police, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties.


Citizens taking video of police see themselves facing arrest
2015-08-31, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Police-sometimes-turn-on-the-citizen...

Thomas Demint's voice is heard only briefly on the eight-minute video he took of police officers arresting two of his friends, and body-slamming their mother. "I'm videotaping this, sir," he tells an officer. After he stopped recording, Demint says three officers tackled him, took away his smartphone and then tried, unsuccessfully, to erase the video. They then arrested him on charges of obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest. Demint is part of a growing trend of citizen videographers getting arrested after trying to record police behavior. "By all accounts the situation has gotten worse," said Chris Dunn ... of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "People are more inclined to pull out their phones and record, but that is often met with a very bad response from police." What makes the situation hard to define ... is that no one is ever arrested on a charge of recording police because that has widely been upheld as protected under the First Amendment. Instead, they are being hauled into court on obstruction, resisting arrest or other charges. Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said the right to take videos of police encounters in public is clearly protected by the First Amendment. He said the trend is for police to detain people who are shooting video, and subsequently drop the charges. "State and federal courts ... have made it abundantly clear that citizens have right to film police in public," he said. "Police are ignoring this clear precedent and continue to threaten citizens."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops
2015-08-26, The Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/26/first-state-legalizes-armed-...

It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way. The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones. Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed ... to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones. Even “less than lethal” weapons can kill though. At least 39 people have been killed by police Tasers in 2015 so far. The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department ... is hiding a full accounting of how many drone missions they’ve flown since 2012. The FAA notes 401 drone “operations” performed by the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department from 2012 to September 2014, while [County Sheriff Bob] Rost and [drone pilot Al] Frazier maintain just 21 missions have taken place. “We don’t make a practice of snooping on people,” Rost said recently. However, Rost’s statement was followed by an admission that the sheriff expects drones to be used in criminal investigations in the near future. Few noticed when HB 1328 passed with a clause allowing them to be armed.

Note: For more along these lines, read about the increasing militarization of police in the U.S. after 9/11. Also, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about ""non-lethal weapons", or read about how sophisticated and deadly some of these weapons technologies can be.


Undercover Police Have Regularly Spied On Black Lives Matter Activists in New York
2015-08-18, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/18/undercover-police-spied-on-ny-b...

Nearly 300 documents, released by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad, reveal more on-the-ground surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists than previous reports have shown. Conducted by a coalition of MTA counterterrorism agents and undercover police in conjunction with NYPD intelligence officers, the protest surveillance ... raises questions over whether New York-area law enforcement agencies are potentially criminalizing the exercise of free speech. In [one] document, sent February 13 concerning a demonstration at Grand Central, Anthony D’Angelis, identified in the document as an MTA liaison with the NYPD’s counterterrorism division, shared and labeled a photo of Alex Seel, a local photographer. Several protesters at Grand Central say they are perturbed by the photo file’s existence, considering that Seel did not share his name publicly that night and usually only comes to the protests as a quiet photographer. Another document from a December 7 protest [includes] a photo of prominent activist and former Philadelphia police officer Ray Lewis, [and mentions] Lewis’ past activities with Occupy Wall Street. Alex Vitale, a Brooklyn College [sociology professor] argues this is part of a long history of police surveillance of activists, [noting that], "in the post-9-11 environment, there’s been a ... massive expansion of intelligence gathering. Protest activity often gets lumped in with terrorism investigation.”

Note: For more along these lines, read about Cointelpro, the program used by corrupt intelligence agencies to spy on and attack the U.S. civil rights movement beginning in the 1960's. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties.


What happens to Americans who film police violence?
2015-08-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/15/filming-police-violence-walter...

18-year-old Michael Brown ... was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson. The final few minutes of Brown’s life had been captured by a small surveillance camera rolling inside a nearby grocery shop. As protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate over Brown’s death, even a year on, so a legion of amateur cameramen and women have begun watching officers closely, posting recordings that undermine the monopoly once held by police on the official version of events. The surge in vigilante recording is being met with aggressive resistance from police. Judges uphold the right of American people to film law enforcement officers under the first amendment of the US constitution. But officers increasingly complain that filming interferes with their duties. An increasing number are taking direct action to prevent recordings – snatching or smashing phones or demanding the handover of footage, sometimes even after it has been livestreamed directly online. For many who capture horrific acts of violence, returning to a normal life becomes impossible. They complain of harassment by police, of threats against their life and of recurring trauma as a result of the death and brutality they have witnessed. Carlos Miller [is] a former journalist who now tracks the issue on his website Photography Is Not A Crime. Already this year, the site has reported on 87 cases in which people were arrested, manhandled or threatened for filming police. The rate of such incidents has increased in recent years, Miller says.

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