Category: Constitution


U.S. Court Will Not Block Lawsuits Over Connecticut SWAT Raid

 

 

 

 

” A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Connecticut police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from a botched 2008 raid by a SWAT team that severely injured a homeowner and killed his friend.

  The decision by the U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals in New York clears the way for a judge to decide whether five suburban Connecticut police departments violated the constitutional rights of homeowner Ronald Terebesi by using excessive force.

  On May 18, 2008, a heavily armed SWAT – or special weapons and tactics – team unit knocked down Terebesi’s door, threw stun flash grenades into his Easton home and fatally shot 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norfolk as the two men watched television.

  Guizan, who was visiting the home, died after being shot a half dozen times.”

 

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How Did America’s Police Departments Lose Loads Of Military-Issued Weapons?

 

 

 

 

 

” Haunting images of local police officials using military-issued equipment to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have raised new concerns about the Pentagon’s controversial program to equip local and state police departments with military surplus weaponry.

  The program, now under White House review, has been plagued by messy bookkeeping, bureaucratic confusion and scores of missing weapons.”

 

 

 

 

 

” Fusion has learned that 184 state and local police departments have been suspended from the Pentagon’s “1033 program” for missing weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines. We uncovered a pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles across the country, as well as instances of missing .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and 2 cases of missing Humvee vehicles.

[The program] is obviously very sloppy, and it’s another reason that Congress needs to revisit this promptly,” said Tim Lynch, director of the CATO Institute’s project on criminal justice. “We don’t know where these weapons are going, whether they are really lost, or whether there is corruption involved.”

  More troubling yet is the possibility that some of the missing weapons, which were given to local police departments as part of a decades’ old government program to equip cops for the wars on terrorism and drugs, are actually being sold on the black market, Lynch said.”

 

Read the whole , in-depth article at Fusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Man Records Himself Getting Attacked By Cop For Not Rolling Down Window All The Way

 

 

 

Traffic Stop Beating

 

 

 

” A horrifying video has emerged showing St. Petersburg police forcing a man out of his car before pouncing on him, leaving him hospitalized with several injuries, all because the cop claimed he was in fear for his life.

  At least that what he says in his report, where he wrote the following:

  I exited my marked patrol cruiser and walked towards the vehicle and I noticed the driver staring at me with a blank stare as he continued revving the engine louder and louder. I thought by his actions the subject was going to attempt to hit me with his car.

  The video, however, shows it was Curtis Shannon, a young man from Florida who was probably fearing for his life during the arrest.

  It also shows that he remained professional as he tried to hand the cop his license and registration through a small opening after the cop pulled him over for what he claimed was erratic driving. “

 

Read it all at PINAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government To Track ‘False, Misleading’ Ideas On Twitter

 

 

Truthy

 

 

 

 

” Nope, this isn’t unsettling:

  The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

  The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

  The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

  One G-man’s “social pollution” is another free man’s First Amendment right. The very term sounds like something out of a 1920s Italian fascist tract. And why is the federal government even deciding which ideas are “false and misleading,” let alone tracking them?

  According to the project’s grant, the service “could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.” 

 

 

Ricochet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago Robberies Drop 20% After Concealed Carry Permits Are Issued

 

 

 

” When’s the last time you heard any good news out of Chicago, at least as it relates to crime figures? Well, prepare yourselves for a change from the status quo. While the murder rate and gang violence are still bad – and frequently in the local news – the robbery rate has gone down recently. And the police think they might know why.

  Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

“ It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.” “

 

 

Hot Air has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policing Ferguson-Style: Officer Who Pointed Rifle At Protester And Warned ‘I Will F****** Kill You’ Is Suspended Indefinitely

 

 

 

An unnamed police officer from St. Ann, Missouri, has been relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely after he was caught on camera pointing an assault rifle at a protester, in Ferguson, on Tuesday night

 

 

 

” An unnamed police officer from St. Ann, Missouri, has been relieved of duty and suspended indefinitely after he was caught on camera pointing an assault rifle at a protester, in Ferguson, on Tuesday night.

  The officer was supposed to part of the effort to keep the peace, but instead two separate videos uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday show him pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at protestors and shouting: ‘I will f****** kill you.’

  The incident happened just before midnight on Tuesday during the latest of several protests that have followed the August 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.”

This is a follow-up piece to the events we reported on here . Here is one of the videos …

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Right Wing News

 

 

 

 

 

How do you like it now ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cops Cleared More Than 400 Times Each Year For Justified Homicides

 

 

 

 

” More than 400 fatal police killings a year are sanctioned by local, state and federal authorities as justified homicides, but the FBI doesn’t specifically track how many times officers are prosecuted for improperly causing a person’s death.

  The FBI said Tuesday that it doesn’t keep statistics on specific prosecutions of law enforcement officers because it doesn’t track crimes by profession, though it does track justified homicide rulings.

  In 2012, the last year available for full statistics, law enforcement ruled a total of 410 deaths as justified homicides, the FBI said. The annual number has been steady for much of the past few decades, officials said.

  The FBI defines justifiable homicide as “the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.”

  The key word in the definition is “felon,” implying someone who already has been convicted of a crime. That leaves a lot of areas out of the data, including people who have committed crimes but completed their sentences, and civilians at large. “

 

Washington Times reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rightwing News

 

 

 

 

 

Why can’t we get this response at the border ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Ferguson, MO And Police Militarization (HBO)

 

 

 

 

Published on Aug 17, 2014

” In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, John Oliver explores the racial inequality in treatment by police as well as the increasing militarization of America’s local police forces.”

 

 

 

Document: Army Preparing To Use Lethal Force Against “Unarmed Civilians” During “Full Scale Riots” In U.S.

 

 

trauma-chart

 

 

 

” A document released by the U.S. Army details preparations for “full scale riots” within the United States during which troops may be forced to engage in a “lethal response” to deal with unruly crowds of demonstrators.

  The appearance of the document amidst growing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, with the National Guard now being called in to deal with the disorder, is an ominous coincidence.

  The 132-page document, titled U.S. Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33: Civil Disturbances (PDF), was written in April 2014 and recently obtained by Public Intelligence.

  The document makes it clear that the techniques detailed therein are to be applied both outside and inside the “continental United States (CONUS)” in the event of “unruly and violent crowds” where it is “necessary to quell riots and restore public order.”

  The training manual outlines scenarios under which, “Civil unrest may range from simple, nonviolent protests that address specific issues, to events that turn into full-scale riots.”

  The most shocking aspect of the document is the fact that it describes the deployment of a “lethal response” directed against “unarmed civilians,” including “sniper response” and “small arms direct fire.”

  Under the heading “sniper response,” the document states, “Ensure that target leaders or troublemakers are targeted,” in addition to a passage which states, “Exploit the psychological effect of an attack.” “

   This is exactly why the Founder’s feared the creation of a standing army  . Download and save the entire PDF document here

” Whenever people…entrust the defense of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens…” – “A Framer” in the independent gazetteer, 1791″ 

Read more

Mapping The Spread Of The Military’s Surplus Gear

 

 

Police Military Gear

Click on the pic to go to interactive page and view your county’s arsenal

 

 

 

” State and local police departments obtain some of their military-style equipment through a free Defense Department program created in the early 1990s. While the portion of their gear that comes from the program is relatively small (most of it is paid for by the departments or through federal grants), detailed data from the Pentagon illustrates how ubiquitous such equipment has become. Highlighted counties have received guns, grenade launchers, vehicles, night vision or body armor through the program since 2006.”

 

NY Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Rethinks Giving Excess Military Gear To Police

 

 

 

 

 

 

” After a decade of sending military equipment to civilian police departments across the country, federal officials are reconsidering the idea in light of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.

  The public has absorbed images of heavily armed police, snipers trained on protesters and tear gas plumes. Against that backdrop, Attorney General Eric Holder said that when police and citizens need to restore calm, “I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message.”

  Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said police responses like that in Ferguson have “become the problem instead of the solution.” Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said he will introduce legislation to curb the trend of police militarization.

  Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department’s surplus equipment is being used as intended.

  One night after the violence that accompanied the presence of military-style equipment in Ferguson, tensions eased when a police captain, unprotected and shaking hands, walked through a crowd in a gesture of reconciliation. The contrast added to the perception that the tanks and tear gas had done more harm than good.

  As the country concludes its longest wartime period, the military has turned over thousands of surplus weapons and armored trucks to local police who often trained alongside the military.

  A report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June said police agencies had become “excessively militarized,” with officers using training and equipment designed for the battlefield on city streets. The report found the amount of goods transferred through the military surplus program rose in value from $1 million in 1990 to nearly $450 million in 2013.”

 

 

Read more at AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Ferguson Cops To Media: GET THE F**K OUT OF HERE

 

 

 

Published on Aug 17, 2014

” “Get the fuck out of here or you’re getting shot with this” – full 2:40 clip from Argus Radio livestream, Sunday 17 Aug, 2014

  Reportedly Captain Todd returned a bit later with info about the threatening officer. Didn’t catch that because I was editing the video.

  This isn’t me in the clip. I’m just watching the livestream and tweeting at @xor. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mexico Protests Texas National Guard Troops On US Border

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Mexico’s foreign ministry late Friday protested Texas Governor Rick Perry’s deployment of National Guard troops to the southern US border to halt the surge of child migrants.

  Mexico “reiterates, in a firm and categorical way, its rejection of this measure,” read a statement from the foreign ministry.

No circumstance at all or change in border security exists that justifies this measure taken by the state.”

  The troop deployment “does not contribute in any way to solving the immigration problem,” and is inconsistent with US-Mexico talks aimed at “building a modern, prosperous and safe border,” the statement read.

  On Thursday Perry deployed some 1,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.

  National Guard troops are soldiers under the authority of the state governor. They cannot detain undocumented migrants, which is a federal responsibility, but they can take over some duties that allows more US Border Patrol agents to monitor the borderline.”

 

Yahoo News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cigars, But Not Close

 

 

 

 

 

” The “narrative” of Ferguson, Missouri changed somewhat today. But, amid the confusion, the blundering stupidity of the city’s police department remains consistent.

  This morning the Police Chief, Thomas Jackson, released security-camera shots of the late Michael Brown apparently stealing a five-dollar box of cigarillos from a convenience store. So the 18-year old shot dead by Chief Jackson’s officer was no longer a “gentle giant” en route to college but just another crappy third-rate violent teen n’er-do-well.

  This afternoon, the chief gave a second press conference. Why would he do that? Well, he’d somehow managed to create the impression in his first press conference that the officer who killed Mr Brown was responding to the robbery. In fact, that was not the case. The Ferguson policeman was unaware that Brown was a robbery suspect at the time he encountered him and shot him dead. Which is presumably why Chief Jackson was leaned on to give his second press conference and tidy up the mess from the first. So we have an officer who sees two young men, unwanted for any crime, walking down the middle of the street and stops his cruiser. Three minutes later one of them is dead.

  On the other hand, Jackson further confused matters by suggesting that he noticed Brown had cigars in his hand and might be the suspect.

  It’s important, when something goes wrong, to be clear about what it is that’s at issue. Talking up Michael Brown as this season’s Trayvonesque angel of peace and scholarship was foolish, and looting stores in his saintly memory even worse. But this week’s pictures from Ferguson, such as the one above, ought to be profoundly disquieting to those Americans of a non-looting bent. “

 

Mr Steyn addresses the mess that is Ferguson , Missouri . Read it all .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize The Police

 

 

Police Shooting Missouri
              Police in riot gear watch protesters in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 13, 2014.Jeff Roberson—AP

” Anyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention, Sen. Rand Paul writes for TIME, amid violence in Ferguson, Mo. over the police shooting death of Michael Brown

  The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.

  If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.

  The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

  The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

 

  Glenn Reynolds, in Popular Mechanics, recognized the increasing militarization of the police five years ago. In 2009 he wrote:

  Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. … Police look inward. They’re supposed to protect their fellow citizens from criminals, and to maintain order with a minimum of force.

  It’s the difference between Audie Murphy and Andy Griffith. But nowadays, police are looking, and acting, more like soldiers than cops, with bad consequences. And those who suffer the consequences are usually innocent civilians.

 

  The Cato Institute’s Walter Olson observed this week how the rising militarization of law enforcement is currently playing out in Ferguson:

  Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? (“‘This my property!’ he shouted, prompting police to fire a tear gas canister directly at his face.”) Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone”? “

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From RT America

 

 

 

 

Published on Aug 14, 2014

” The police shooting and killing of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown has made Ferguson, MO known worldwide as citizens continue defying heavily armed police to protect their rights. Although the details of the initial incident remain murky, the tragedy has thrust the issues of racial disparity, police militarization and media portrayals of minorities into the mainstream’s attention, and no one knows what will happen next. RT’s Manila Chan takes a look at the now historic series of events.”

 

 

13 Photos From The Protests In Ferguson, Missouri, You Won’t Believe Happened In The United States Of America

image

” Protests entered their fifth and most tense day in Ferguson, Missouri, in response to a police officer on Saturday fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, and it’s hard to look at the photos and believe the scene is in the United States.

  From heavily armed SWAT officers aiming rifles at unarmed civilians to the use of intimidating armored vehicles — it looks less small-town U.S.A. and more like Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. The behavior of police is similar — albeit less deadly — in the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and a deafening loudspeaker meant to break up the demonstration officers had declared “no longer peaceful.”

  Various live streams showed a defiant but mostly peaceful crowd chanting and singing songs. But some protesters have indeed been seen, as St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s David Carson tweeted, throwing rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails.”

Business Insider

LAPD Shoots, Kills Black Man During ‘Investigative Stop’

 

 

 

 

 

” The Los Angeles Police Department shot and killed a black man in South L.A. on Monday.

  Police conducted an “investigative stop” in the Newton area around 8:20 p.m., according to a news release from the LAPD. “During the stop a struggle ensued, which resulted in an officer-involved-shooting. It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations,” the release continues. “The suspect was transported to a local hospital and after lifesaving efforts he succumbed to his injuries.”

  A woman claiming to be the deceased man’s mother called KTLA and identified the man as Ezell Ford. Tritobia Ford said her son was lying on the ground and complying with the officers when he was shot three times

  An unnamed man who claimed to be Ezell Ford’s cousin also spoke with KTLA.

“ They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems,” he said. “The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her … they pull the billy clubs out.”

 

Huff Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deval Patrick Gun Bill Triggers Fierce Criticism Among Some Gun Rights Advocates

 

 

 

 

 

” The sweeping new measure, effective immediately, is the first of its kind in the country. The bill signed Wednesday toughens penalties for some offenses involving weapons, creates a digital portal for background checks in real time from the sale of private arms, and calls for the creation of a firearms trafficking unit within the state police.

  It also allows police chiefs to ask a court to refuse firearms ID cards, which are needed to buy rifles or shotguns, to people they deem inappropriate.”

 

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Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey The Damage

 

 

 

tattooguns777.JPG

Mike Gutierrez (left) and Adam Weinstein (third from left) brought guns to guard their store during the riots in Ferguson last night.

 

 

” Nobody is robbing St. Louis Ink Tattoo Studio anytime soon. Or County Guns, for that matter.

  The two north county businesses share a storefront in a Florissant strip mall less than ten minute drive from the epicenter of last night’s riots in Ferguson. After nightfall, what began as a community’s peaceful demonstration against the Ferguson Police Department’s shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown turned increasingly violent. Crowds plundered a QuikTrip and burned it to the ground, and local news began reporting brazen raids on other stores in the area.

  After hearing of the roving bands of looters, Mike Gutierrez knew he had to protect his tattoo shop. He brought a posse with him, including Adam Weinstein, owner of County Guns, who was acutely worried about criminals getting their hands on his merchandise.

” We didn’t want them coming in here and then running around with a bunch of free guns,” Weinstein told Daily RFT when we arrive at the store around 12:30 a.m. this morning. Weinstein was outfitted with an assault rifle, pistol and tactical vest. Gutierrez cradled his own rifle in his hands.”

 

RiverfrontTimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NJ Cops Arrest Gun Owner For “Creating A Risk Of Widespread Injury Or Damage

 

NJ cops unceremoniously relieve Robert Litner of his gun collection (courtesy nj.com)

 

 

“ Police on Saturday revealed the extent of the arsenal seized from a township resident and evident gun enthusiast, the day after they charged Robert Lintner, 65, with ‘creating a risk of widespread injury or damage,’” northjersey.com reports. I know what you’re thinking: how many guns equals an “arsenal” in New Jersey, a state whose gun laws are the dictionary definition of Second Amendment infringement. I won’t keep you in suspense. Or will I? . . .

  Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler said police removed approximately 300 pounds of black gun powder from the basement of Lintner’s home on Washington Street. With the assistance of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department, they also removed nearly 200 long and short firearms from five large gun vaults in the home, Kugler said, adding that tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition were also taken.

“ Nearly” 200 guns = a New Jersey arsenal. Fair enough? Only the word “arsenal” implies something nefarious in this context, does it not? Google defines the word as “an array of resources available for a certain purpose.” In New Jersey, where the number of concealed carry permits is roughly equivalent to the number of Israeli supermodels I’ve dated, anyone who has more than, say, three guns is immediately suspected of being a gun nut (a.k.a., ticking time bomb).”

 

 

This incident only proves how calling the cops is never a good idea , even if your wife attempts to stab you …

 

 

” Lintner was taken to police headquarters shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, capping a day that had begun with a morning 911 call that his wife allegedly stabbed him in the neck during a domestic dispute. When police discovered the weapons and the ammunition stored at the house, they ordered an evacuation of the adjacent homes on Washington Street.

  His wife, Eileen Lintner, was charged with second-degree aggravated assault and illegal possession of a weapon, a knife, police said. She was released after posting $75,000 bail on condition she have no contact with her husband.”

 

 

Read more at The Truth About Guns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left To Obama: Check Spy Agencies

 

 

 

” Activists on the left are demanding President Obama flex his muscle over the country’s spy agencies.

  The CIA’s admission that a handful of officials spied on Senate staffers is proof that the White House has lost control of the intelligence agencies, critics say. They are also discomforted by the continued support Obama has offered for agency Director John Brennan. 

“ This is not an isolated incident,” said Becky Bond, political director with the progressive group Credo.

“ The fact that these intelligence officials are able to keep their job when major breaches or major assaults on the Constitution are made public — let alone all the things that are happening that we don’t know about — it sets a very dangerous precedent,” she added.

  In recent days, more than 42,000 people have signed Credo’s petition calling for Obama to “fire” Brennan, along with agency officials who knew about the snooping on Congress. The petition also calls for the Justice Department to file criminal charges against people involved in the congressional snooping.

  The spying is just “the latest evidence that America’s shadowy intelligence agencies are out of control,” the group said in its petition. “Yet disturbingly, President Obama is still defending Brennan.”

  The administration’s positions have inflamed civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle. But for liberals who supported Obama based in part on his opposition to the powerful security apparatus of the administration of President George W. Bush, the shift is especially painful. 

“ It looks incredibly hypocritical relative to the promises he made over the campaign, and that’s completely been made transparent,” said Demand Progress executive director David Segal. “

 

The Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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