At long last, America's racist, crazy tough-on-crime prosecutors are losing elections


Historically, being an elected prosecutor was a sweet gig: operating with "unchecked power and no transparency," you generally got to run unopposed for re-election, and on the rare instances in which someone did dare to run against the incumbent, the incumbent usually won. Read the rest

Turkish court fines bystander/tourist who sued police for shooting out his eye


Shavkatbek Saipov was vacationing in Turkey in 2013 when he was hit in the eye by a teargas cannister fired by police during the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests; he lost the eye and sued the Turkish police. Read the rest

By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear


Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor's office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear. Read the rest

Half of all U.S. adults are in face-recognition databases, and Black people more likely to be targeted


One in two American adults is in a law enforcement face recognition network.

“The Perpetual Lineup” report out today from a Georgetown University thinktank makes a compelling case for greater oversight of police facial-recognition software that “makes the images of more than 117 million Americans — a disproportionate number of whom are black — searchable by law enforcement agencies across the nation,” as the New York Times account reads.

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Everything Belongs to the Future: a tale of pharmadystopian, immortal gerontocrats

Laurie Penny's first science fiction book, Everything Belongs to the Future, is available to the public as of today: if you've followed her work, you're probably expecting something scathing, feminist, woke, and smart as hell, and you won't be disappointed -- but you're going to get a lot more, besides.

Report finds over 125,000 complaints against more than 25,000 Chicago police officers


An analysis of five decades of police records by The Chicago Tribune found that a small group of Chicago police officers have racked up over 100 complaints each over the course of their respective careers, “including notoriously corrupt cops who wound up in prison but also others whose allegations of repeated wrongdoing were never before made public.”

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The coming fight over "nonlethal neuroweapons"


The Chemical Weapons Convention has a giant loophole in that it allows for the stockpiling and use of chemical agents in law-enforcement; with the Eighth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) coming up next month, there's an urgent question about whether "neuroweapons" (chemical agents intended to pacify or disperse people) will become tools of law-enforcement and "defensive warfare." Read the rest

Social media surveillance software used by cops faces backlash

Geofeedia bills itself as a way for marketers to reach potential customers through geotagged "hashtag listening," but they also sell it to police departments for "predicting, analyzing and acting on social media conversations," like, say, peaceful protests. Read the rest

Though crime happens everywhere, predictive policing tools send cops to poor/black neighborhoods


Researchers from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (previously) reimplemented the algorithm Predpol predictive policing system that police departments around America have spent a fortune on in order to find out where to set their patrols, and fed it Oakland's 2010 arrest data, then asked it to predict where the crime would be in 2011. Read the rest

The FCC helped create the Stingray problem, now it needs to fix it


An outstanding post on the EFF's Deeplinks blog by my colleague Ernesto Falcon explains the negligent chain of events that led us into the Stingray disaster, where whole cities are being blanketed in continuous location surveillance, without warrants, public consultation, or due process, thanks to the prevalence of "IMSI catchers" ("Stingrays," "Dirtboxes," "cell-site simulators," etc) that spy indiscriminately on anyone carrying a cellular phone -- something the FCC had a duty to prevent. Read the rest

Merciless reporting on the Chicago Police Department's extortion racket, & the senior officials who covered it up


The more we learn about the Chicago Police Department, the worse it gets -- there's the sabotage of dashcams, the widespread corruption, the investigators fired for refusing to cover up police crimes, off-the-books "black site" where the CPD kidnaps and tortures suspects, the Accountability Task Force Report that called the force racist, corrupt and broken. Read the rest

Study: with body-worn cameras, complaints against police "virtually vanish"


Complaints against police dropped by 93% when they were wearing body cameras, according to a University of Cambridge study that examined 2,000 officers in the US and UK. Read the rest

Twice, Sacramento cops tried to run down mentally ill man, then they shot him 14 times


Twice, Sacramento police Randy Lozoya and John Tennis tried to run down Joseph Mann with their cruiser, saying "Fuck this guy. I’m going to hit him" and "OK, go for it. Go for it," before shooting him 14 times. Read the rest

Arkansas lawmaker who pushed law protecting right to video police is arrested for videoing an arrest


Officer Jeff Thompson of the Little Rock Police Department arrested Arkansas state Representative John Walker for recording their treatment of a black man who had been put in handcuffs during a traffic stop. Read the rest

Hundreds of cops misuse databases yearly, says report


An investigation by the Associated Press found 675 police officers were jailed or disciplined for misusing police databases from 2013 to 2015, and that's just the ones who were caught.

Read the rest

El Cajon police say unarmed black man pointed vape at officer before he was shot to death

Agnes Hasam, a family friend of the late Alfred Olango, speaks to protesters at El Cajon Police HQ to protest the killing of an unarmed man Tuesday by officers. September 28, 2016.  REUTERS
Alfred Okwera Olango, who was black, was fatally shot by police in El Cajon, California on Tuesday. Police in the San Diego suburb city say the 38 year old Ugandan immigrant pointed a vape pen or e-cigarette device at them, before police shot the man to death.

Officers were responding to a call of a man behaving erratically, and walking in traffic. Olango's friends and supporters say court records show that he suffered from mental illness, and may have been experiencing a seizure before his death. An El Cajon police officer is believed to have shot Olango within as little as one or two minutes after arriving at the scene.

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California will collect public records for all police use of force, using open source software


There are a handful of states that keep records of police force, but they are incomplete records, and they're maintained on paper; contrast that with URSUS, California's new tool that collects every single use of force, storing it in open, transparent free software maintained by Bayes Impact, a nonprofit. Read the rest

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