Donald Trump hires plainclothes security to investigate and interdict protesters

Donald Trump rallies are notoriously violent, as his supporters, security staff and even Secret Service detail beat up protesters and members of the press who get too close to violent incidents (Drumpf himself explicitly encourages his supporters to beat up protesters). Read the rest

French Parliament votes to imprison tech execs for refusal to decrypt

Amendment 90 to France's penal reform bill provides for five year prison sentences and €350,000 fines for companies that refuse to accede to law enforcement demands to decrypt devices. Read the rest

Calculating US police killings using methodologies from war-crimes trials

Statistician Patrick Ball runs an NGO called the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, which uses extremely rigorous, well-documented statistical techniques to provide evidence of war crimes and genocides; HRDAG's work has been used in the official investigations of atrocities in Kosovo, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Syria and elsewhere. Read the rest

Understanding American authoritarianism

As part of his PhD research for UMass Amherst, Matthew MacWilliams surveyed the psychological characteristics of authoritarians -- not the people who lead authoritarian movements, but the followers, those who defer to them. Read the rest

South Korean lawmakers stage filibuster to protest "anti-terror" bill, read from Little Brother

Since 2001, authoritarians in the South Korean government have been attempting to pass mass surveillance legislation (see also), and they have seized upon the latest North Korean saber-rattling as the perfect excuse for ramming it through the SK Parliament. Read the rest

Man gasps dying words into officer's bodycam: "They're killing me right now... I can't breathe."

In 2013, Ana Biocini called the Oakland police because she'd heard a noise and thought there might be an intruder in the house. When the police arrived, they handcuffed her brother, Hernan Jaramillo, "without any lawful reason or justification," dragged him 20 feet down the sidewalk, threw him facedown into the ground, and three officers knelt on him while he begged for breath. The 51 year old man died at the scene.

Read the rest

Police sergeant: 16 year old girl probably saw penises before I showed her mine, NBD

Boston Police Sergeant Edwin Guzman's lawyer says that it's not really a big deal that he sent a photo of his penis to the sixteen-year-old daughter of a friend, because "You can’t tell me someone her age has never seen a picture of a penis on the Internet." Read the rest

Chinese snatch-squads roam the globe, kidnapping dissidents and critics

It's not just dissident Hong Kong booksellers who're being snatched -- China's snatch-squads have kidnapped expatriate dissidents (including those with foreign passports) from Sweden, Burma and Thailand. Read the rest

England's most senior civil judge rules that Terrorism Act violates human rights

Lord Dyson, the most senior civil judge in England and Wales, has ruled that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act -- the law that lets the police detain anyone they like for six hours, without a warrant or access to legal advice, and compel them to answer questions -- violates the UK's international human rights obligations. Read the rest

12-year-old girl suspended because she lent her inhaler to a gasping classmate

A 12-year-old honor student from Texas got suspended from school for giving her asthama inhaler to another girl who was wheezing and gasping in gym class. She could also be tranferred to an "alternative school" for up to 30 days. The girl told Fox 4 News she feels the punishment is not fair. “I was just trying to save her life. I didn't think I was trying to do anything bad,” she said.

The district says 30 days at alternative school is an initial automatic punishment for sharing a controlled substance including prescription drugs like inhalers - until there's a hearing to weigh all the facts. The final punishment could change and range from no days to the maximum of 30 days.

First, albuterol is not a controlled substance. Second where was the teacher or coach and why didn't they do anything to help the girl who was wheezing and gasping?

[via] Read the rest

TSA screener insists that full-body screening is mandatory

Sai, who is seeking an injunction against the TSA's new mandatory full-body screening test (but only for people they don't like), flew out of SEA-TAC on Dec 31 and was told that the full-body scanner was mandatory. Read the rest

Cops have way more rights than you do

When you get arrested, what happens next depends on the law and the Constitution, but when a cop arrests their co-worker, what happens next is determined by a cushy contract between the police union and the city that gives suspected crooked law enforcement officers every benefit of the doubt, and lots of ways to walk away free, regardless of the facts. Read the rest

Gamified compliance: China's reputation network Huxleys to the full Orwell

The Extra Credits video series has a great segment on Sesame Credit, the Chinese government's public-private "reputation economy" that uses your social media postings, purchases and known associates to assign you a public score rating your citizenship and reliability. Read the rest

NM judge believes daily prison rape is a fit punishment for nearly all defendants

New Mexico Second Circuit Court Judge Christina Argyres told an 18-year-old first time offender who'd pleaded guilty to burglary that she would grant him probation because if he went to prison he'd be "someone's bitch" and be "raped every day." Read the rest

South Carolina sheriff fires the school-cop who beat up a black girl at her desk

Ben Fields, the South Carolina sheriff’s deputy who was video-recorded beating up a black schoolgirl who was sitting peacefully at her desk, has been fired. Read the rest

Cop bravely attempts to stop mother from breastfeeding her baby

An Omaha, Nebraska policewoman substituted her ignorance of the law with an authoritarian compulsion to shame a mother who was feeding her infant the way mammals have done so for 65 million years. Rosalyn Mizzell, the mother who was breast feeding her child at a school forum meeting, said the officer told her, "Don't do that in front of me. Have more respect for yourself and everybody else here." The officer threatened to cite Mizzell for indecent exposure.

When Mizzell complained, she said the officer's apology "went along the lines of, 'I was offended, other people were offended, if you wanted to breastfeed you could have done it in the bathroom or stayed home.'"

The Omaha Police Department issued a statement that read: "Officers responded to a complaint from a citizen who thought the breast feeding was inappropriate. Officers followed up and did not cite the woman for any offense."

According to Nebraska state law, it is legal for mothers to breastfeed their children in "any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be." Read the rest

Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana

One day, when I was in the sixth grade, a classmate came to school with a baggie containing tea leaves from a couple of Lipton bags. He joked that it was pot. The teacher saw it, told told the kid he was stupid for doing it, and tossed the baggie in the trash. End of story. That was the 1970s. Today, a kid in Virginia brings a Japanese maple leaf to school (which has a passing resemblance to cannabis) and he gets suspended for a year.

The student, the 11-year-old son of two school teachers, had to enroll in the district's alternative education program and be homeschooled. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist for substance abuse problems, and charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court. In the months since September, he's become withdrawn, depressed, and he suffers from panic attacks. He is worried his life is over, according to his mother, and that he will never get into college.

The only problem? The "leaf" found in the student's backpack wasn't what authorities thought it was -- it tested negative for marijuana three separate times.

Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana Read the rest

More posts