UK cops demand list of attendees at university fracking debate


Canterbury Christ Church University refused to give the Kent police a list of the attendees at a debate on fracking, despite the cops insistence that they needed to have the names to assess "the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety."

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Police, technology and bodycams

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's got a nuanced view on the proposal to give cops body-cams, noting the ACLU's view that these cameras need to be carefully designed so that they don't violate the privacy of citizens or make it easy to cover up official corruption.

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What military gear did the Pentagon give to America's cops?


Michael from Muckrock says, "After months of legal wrangling, MuckRock has finally received the complete list of military gear given to local police departments under the Pentagon's 1033 program, including bomb disposal robots, infrared gun sights, small aircraft and rocket launchers."

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In Chicago, it's impossible to get dirty cops investigated


Matthew Clark and Gregory Malandrucco were out for tacos at an all-night place when they gave offense to two Chicago off-duty cops who followed them into the parking lot and beat them so badly that they were hospitalized -- the uniformed officers who attended let their colleagues simply walk away.

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The clown-prince of DHS checkpoint refusal videos

We've covered Checkpoint Refusal videos before (1, 2, 3) -- these are videos recorded by people who object to the DHS's internal checkpoints, where you are asked (but can refuse) to state your citizenship and allow your car to be searched -- but I missed the most prolific, funniest, and weirdest checkpointer of them all: Robert Trudell.

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Molly Crabapple animation on the lessons Ferguson teaches us about policing in America

Molly Crabapple writes, "On August 9th, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot a black teenager named Mike Brown. Since then, the city has been protesting. The police did not react well."

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DOJ helps local cops get around state limits on civil forfeiture


Many states have passed laws limiting how much of your stuff the police can steal when they accuse you of a crime, but the Department of Justice has the solution for local cops: they will "adopt" a local seizure, making it federal and exempting it from state-level corruption controls.

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Pennsylvania passes a "Gag Mumia" law to silence prisoner's voices

The "Revictimization Relief Act" allows suits against offenders whose "conduct...perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim," but the fact that it was aimed at silencing jailed activist Mumia Abu-Jamal was never made a secret -- the governor signed it into law saying that it "was inspired by the excesses and pious hypocrisy of one particular killer."

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Ferguson's no-fly zone created to ground news-choppers


Freedom of Information Act requests from the Associated Press reveal that St Louis police requested the no-fly zone to prevent the press from getting overhead footage of the crackdown on demonstrations, and that the FAA was complicit in crafting an illegal ban that allowed commercial aircraft to land at the airport while still grounding the news-birds.

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Potato-chip surveillance: once you start, you just can't stop

The ongoing revelations about UK domestic spying on political activists, continued in some case for decades, and which included an incident in which an undercover police officer fathered a child with the woman he was spying on, illustrate an important point: once you decide someone is suspicious enough to follow around, there's no evidence that you can gather to dispel that suspicion.

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Database of military surplus equipment sold to US police forces


Kyle writes, "The US Department of Defense has a specific program to provide: "surplus DoD military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, and to enhance officer safety" (Excess Property Program, or 1033 Program). This equipment can account for things like planes and helicopters, grenade launchers and assault rifles.

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SWAT team murders burglary victim because burglar claimed he found meth


The Laurens, GA County Sheriff's Dept broke down David and Teresa Hooks' door and fatally shot David Hooks on a tip from Randall Garrett, a burglar with multiple felony convictions, who said he saw meth while robbing their house.

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Clown and cop: ridicule as protest


Remy Gabalda's photo for Agence France-Presse of an anti-Sivens Dam protestor confronting a riot cop is the perfect expression of the moral of Jacob Two-Two: the one thing authoritarianism cannot withstand is laughter.

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Finance industry profiteers exploit prisoners' families


Companies like Jpay lobby hard to be the exclusive conduit for remittances from prisoners' families to the inmates, taking a huge rake off the top of funds sent to pay for essentials like warm clothes, medical care and food.

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Photos from Stasiland


Stasi -- Secret Rooms is a 10-year project by Daniel and Geo Fuchs, who took beautiful, striking photos of the stark interiors of the spaces used by the Stasi, the terrifying secret police from the former East Germany.

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