Boing Boing 

America's growing gangs of armed, arrest-making, untrained rent-a-cops


With just a (very) little training and some paperwork, you can become a "special conservator of the peace," empowered to carry a gun, wear a badge and arrest your fellow citizens, all while wearing a POLICE vest, even though you're not a cop.

Read the rest

Man gets life in prison for selling $20 worth of weed to undercover cop

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast.


Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast.

A homeless and hungry man agreed to purchase $20 worth of weed for a stranger in exchange for a $5 finder's fee. After the man received his $5 (marked by the police) he was arrested and jailed.

Read the rest

Grim meathook future, Singapore style


Charlie Stross's "Different Cluetrain" is a set of theses describing the future we live in, where capitalism not only doesn't need democracy -- it actually works better where democracy is set aside in favor of a kind of authoritarian, investor-friendly state.

Read the rest

Man, jailed for 3 months, released after "drugs" turn out to be vitamins

keystone-kops

Minnesota cops pulled over Joseph Burrell for driving out of a grocery store parking lot without turning on his headlights.

Read the rest

Use Facebook while in South Carolina jail, go to solitary for 37 years


Prisons have a legitimate interest in controlling contraband, but in South Carolina, using social media from behind bars is a Class I offense, carrying stiffer penalties than murder, escape and hostage-taking.

Read the rest

SF Muni spends anti-terror money on fare evaders because it's a gateway to terrorism


Cmdr. Mikail Ali, the former top transit police officer in San Francisco, justified spending anti-terror funding on fare evaders because "Fare evasion is the nexus by which we make those initial contacts [with criminals]" and cracking down on it lets them find terrorists.

Read the rest

Cop who switched off traffic cam in order to make illegal threats will keep his job


Niles, OH Patrolman Todd Mobley followed an acquaintance home in his cruiser and yanked him out of the car and threatened his life; when another cop arrived, Mobley had the cop turn off his dashcam and continued his illegal behavior; he has served a 30 day suspension and is back on the job.

Read the rest

Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA


Michael from Muckrock sez, "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under martial law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to 'subversive' organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack. There was no Plan A or B."

Read the rest

​Oakland cops' license cams follow drivers everywhere

EFF obtained and analyzed records from the Oakland Police Department's secretive automatic license plate readers, showing that the department has mounted a program of incredibly intrusive, highly racialized secret surveillance of an entire city.

Read the rest

WATCH: Police hose down crowd of sports fans with pepper spray and tear gas

Revelers in Ohio get treated to a chemical hosedown by heavily militarized police.

Universal wants to take away prisoners' mixtapes


They're suing a group that sends care-packages to prisoners that include mixtapes featuring funk, soul and hiphop artists.

Read the rest

Oklahoma GOP wants to outlaw hoodies, unless you are part of a minstrel troupe

Read the rest

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."

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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."

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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."

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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."

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

Australian PM trades freedom for security, deserves neither

Tony Abbot's given a speech warning Australians that the police state is inevitable, saying there would be "more restrictions on some so that there can be more protections for others."

Read the rest

Alameda Sheriff boots reporter from SWAT show for "unauthorized photos"

Read the rest

St Louis police offer to fingerprint all the children in #Ferguson


The free fingerprinting kits are part of the long-running national push to fingerprint children in the name of public safety, and are a new tone-deaf low from the region's cops.

Read the rest