Tagpolicestate

Town hall in St. Loius nearly errupts in riot

Who knows what happened here. Conservatives are latching on to this part:

Kenneth Gladney, 38, a conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with “Don’t tread on me” printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was awaiting treatment for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack.

… which is horrible, but generally ignoring the part about police macing liberals for taking pictures. Sounds like an all around cluster fuck. I expect to see more of this.

St. Loius Today: Six people, including P-D reporter, arrested at Carnahan meeting

Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups

Newly declassified documents reveal that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was actually an informant for the US military. The man everyone knew as “John Jacob” was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis. The military’s role in the spying raises questions about possibly illegal activity. The Posse Comitatus law bars the use of the armed forces for law enforcement inside the United States. The Fort Lewis military base denied our request for an interview. But in a statement to Democracy Now!, the base’s Public Affairs office publicly acknowledged for the first time that Towery is a military operative. “This could be one of the key revelations of this era,” said Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations.

Democracy Now: Declassified Docs Reveal Military Operative Spied on WA Peace Groups, Activist Friends Stunned

(Thanks Gabbo)

NAACP creates site for citizens to report police misconduct via cell phone

An innovative national program to help fight crime in American cities and towns will be unveiled Monday, July 13th at the NAACP Centennial Convention in New York City.

The initiative includes a bold new online effort, the NAACP Rapid Report System (RRS), a quick, effective way for citizens to report instances of police misconduct, and to help public safety officials move beyond the “tough on crime” policies that have lost their effectiveness.

The Rapid Report System will be available starting July 6, through the NAACP website (www.naacp.org). The user-friendly online RRS form will allow residents to send instant texts, emails, or video reports of police abuse to the association via cell phone.

NAACP: NAACP Harnesses Cell Phone Power to Launch New High Tech “Rapid Report System” to Help Citizens Report Police Misconduct — Part of Sweeping New Civil Rights Initiative on Crime and Safety

End of the War on Drugs? Dream on.

Unfortunately, it’s the name he doesn’t like, not the policy. […]

According to the Journal, “Mr. Kerlikowske’s comments are a signal that the Obama administration is set to follow a more moderate—and likely more controversial—stance on the nation’s drug problems….The Obama administration is likely to deal with drugs as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice alone, with treatment’s role growing relative to incarceration, Mr. Kerlikowske said.”

Where have we heard this before? From Barry McCaffrey, Bill Clinton’s drug czar.

Full Story: Hit and Run.

(via Radley Balko).

As always, I recommend you read Balko’s Overkill (available in print or free PDF), his chronicle of how Reagan turned the “War on Drugs” into an actual war by militarizing the police, and how the Clinton administration escalated it.

Unless the Obama administration is planning on de-militarizing the police and/or legalizing drugs, they are not ending the drug war.

Training the Police State’s Next Generation

boy scout cops

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.

“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

New York Times: Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More

Militarization of the police force, in a nutshell

support our troops at home and abroad

Radley Balko summarizes the problem with militarizing our police force:

Once again, cops aren’t soldiers. American cities aren’t battlefields. And U.S. citizens aren’t potential combatants. This isn’t pedantry. It’s about the mentality with which police officers approach their job, and about what sort of relationship they’re going to have with the people whose rights they’re supposed to be protecting.

The Agitator: Part of the Problem

If you haven’t read it, Balko’s book/paper Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America is crucial reading for understanding contemporary America.

See also: US as Police State

Cities increasingly turning to private police

Facing pressure to crack down on crime amid a record budget deficit, Oakland is joining other U.S. cities that are turning over more law-enforcement duties to private armed guards.

The City Council recently voted to hire International Services Inc., a private security agency, to patrol crime-plagued districts. While a few Oakland retail districts previously have pooled cash to pay for unarmed security services, using public funds to pay for private armed guards would mark a first for the city.

Hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers. Oakland — facing a record $80 million budget shortfall — spends about 65% of its budget for police and fire services, including about $250,000 annually, including benefits and salary, on each police officer.

In contrast, for about $200,000 a year the city can contract to hire four private guards to patrol the troubled East Oakland district where four on-duty police officers were killed in March. And the company, not the city, is responsible for insurance for the guards.

Wall Street Journal: Cash-Strapped Cities Try Private Guards Over Police

(via Cryptogon)

Police raid home of Wikileaks.de domain owner over censorship lists

Shortly after 9pm on Tuesday the 24th of March 2009, seven police officers in Dresden and four in Jena searched the homes of Theodor Reppe, who holds the domain registration for “wikileaks.de”, the German name for wikileaks.org. According to police documentation, the reason for the search was “distribution of pornographic material” and “discovery of evidence”. Police claim the raid was initiated due to Mr. Reppe’s position as the Wikileaks.de domain owner.

Police did not want to give any further information to Mr. Reppe and no contact was made with Wikileaks before or after the search. It is therefore not totally clear why the search was made, however Wikileaks, in its role as a defender of press freedoms, has published censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries. Included on the lists are references to sites containing pornography and no other material has been released by Wikileaks relating to the subject. […]

The raid appears to be related to a recent German social hysteria around child pornography and the controversial battle for a national censorship system by the German family minister Ursula von der Leyen. It comes just a few weeks after a member of parliament, SPD minister Joerg Tauss had his office and private house searched by police. German bloggers discussing the subject were similarly raided.

Full Story: Wikileaks

(via Cryptogon)

KopBusters bust cops for busting Christmas tree grow operation

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

More info: The Agitator

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