Broken Windows policing is nonsense

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For years, the NYPD and other police departments have justified the highly racialized practice of stop-and-frisk and zero-tolerance approaches to turnstyle hopping, etc, by citing the "broken windows" theory of policing -- the idea that if the police stop petty crime, major crime will follow. Read the rest

Freddie Gray case: Officer Caesar Goodson not guilty on all charges

Officer Caesar Goodson arrives at the courthouse in Baltimore, June 23, 2016.  REUTERS

Caesar Goodson, the Baltimore Police van driver accused of giving a violent "rough ride" that broke Freddie Gray's neck and killed him was acquitted of all charges Thursday by Circuit Judge Barry Williams. Goodson was the driver of the van in which Gray died, and faced the most serious charges of the 6 cops accused in Gray's death while in police custody.

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Oakland mayor denies firing police chief over officers who statutorily raped teen sex-worker

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According to Mayor Libby Schaaf, Police Chief Sean Whent resigned for "personal reasons," and not because of a report in the East Bay Express that revealed that at least 14 of his officers (along with 4 Alameda County sheriff's deputies and a federal officer) trafficked and had sex with a prostitute who was underage when the trafficking began. Read the rest

Surviving Edged Weapons, fabulous police training video from the VHS 'n' Crack era

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"Of course, you're aware of the balisong," intones the deep-voiced narrator, "... or butterfly knife."

Awesome, terrifying, paranoid and goofy, Surviving Edged Weapons is a relic of another era, an age of fishhook earrings and razor blade-impregnated ballcaps, where reality itself stars Charles Bronson. Which, of course, it did. Read the rest

Elijah Wood says Hollywood has a major pedophile problem

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Before we knew him as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Elijah Wood was a child actor. In a recent interview with Britain's Sunday Times, Wood spoke out on sexual abuse of young actors in Hollywood, and says “a lot of vipers” roam the upper echelons of the entertainment biz, preying on naïvete and eagerness for fame.

“Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” he told the Times.

“There is darkness in the underbelly. What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

“If you’re innocent, you have very little knowledge of the world and you want to succeed,” he added. “People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey. What upsets me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power.”

Wood is now 35. As a child, he performed with fellow child star alongside Macaulay Culkin in “The Good Son,” and had a part in the “Flipper” remake. He said his mother, Debra, protected him from predators back then, and he “never went to parties where that kind of thing was going on.”

Here's a non-paywalled report that quotes extensively from the Times: Elijah Wood Calls Out Hollywood's Pedophile Problem [the daily beast]

The paywalled Sunday Times interview was booked to promote his latest film The Trust, which tells the tale of corrupt cops who plan to steal drug money. Read the rest

FBI Director: viral videos make cops afraid to do their jobs

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FBI Director James Comey told reporters that "viral video effect" (which is his latest term for what used to be called the "Ferguson effect") is responsible for increased violent crime in some US cities, in that police are scared to do their jobs because they might end up on Youtube in an unflattering video. Read the rest

'She out! She out!' Video shows high school official choking 15 year old girl unconscious

Still from phone video. [The Kingstree News]

An assistant principal at a South Carolina high school is under investigation after police say the man restrained a 15-year-old student in a chokehold, and kept her in a chokehold until she passed out. The Kingstree, SC police department is reported to be seeking assault and battery charges against the man.

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Ferguson spends itself into the poor-house defending cops' dirty "failure to comply" busts

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Ferguson's cops aren't just notorious for being an invading domestic military force: long before that, they were notorious for "failure to comply" arrests, where (mostly brown) people who were minding their own businesses were arrested for refusing to show ID, move along, or following other orders from uniformed officers. Read the rest

A Burglar's Guide to the City: burglary as architectural criticism

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For years, Geoff Manaugh has entertained and fascinated us with his BLDGBLOG, and now he's even better at full-length, with A Burglar's Guide to the City (previously), a multidisciplinary, eclectic, voraciously readable book that views architecture, built environments, and cities themselves through the lens of breaking-and-entering.

NYPD cops charged with felonies after beating up mailman

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Two NYPD detectives who beat up a uniformed U.S. Postal Service mail carrier were charged with felony assault in Queens wednesday. Angelo J. Pampena, 31, and Robert A. Carbone, 29, were also charged with perjury after CCTV footage of the incident demonstrated that they had lied in their official reports of the arrest.

Mailman Karim Baker's harassment by NYPD began after giving street directions to a stranger who later killed two officers, reports the New York Times. But the October 2015 incident went beyond the usual stop and search, leaving Baker disabled.

Mr. Brown and Mr. Subin said the detectives approached Mr. Baker as he left work on Oct. 21, 2015, in Corona, Queens. Mr. Subin said the encounter was captured on surveillance video from a building across the street, and had been paired with audio from a 911 call from Mr. Baker’s cellphone that recorded what occurred.

Mr. Subin said the officers had asked to see his client’s identification and when he asked why he was being stopped, the officers told him he was parked too close to a fire hydrant. Mr. Baker then called 911 to ask for help, but he dropped the phone when the officers began pummeling him, Mr. Subin said.

The district attorney said Mr. Baker was seated in his car when the detectives punched and kicked him multiple times in the face and body and dragged him from the vehicle. Mr. Baker sustained spinal fractures and a knee injury and has not been able to return to work, Mr.

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Nebraska just abolished civil forfeiture

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Crooked cops and prosecutors in Nebraska are gnashing their teeth today. The state has taken away their license to steal cash and property from innocent people and use the proceeds to fatten their bloated budgets.

In some states where civil forfeiture is still allowed, high ranking police officers drive in luxury sports cars taken from owners who were never arrested for a crime.

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Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report: racism, corruption, and a "broken system"

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Chicago's Police Department are notorious: the force maintains a "black site" where prisoners are secretly held under fake names and tortured, uses political shenanigans to suppress information about corruption, sabotages their own dashcams, secretly operates illegal mass-surveillance equipment (bought with asset forfeiture money, natch), forces out internal investigators who do their jobs conscientiously, and don't get me started on the evils of the Illinois prison system! Read the rest

China's Internet censors order ban on video of toddler threatening brutal cops

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China's Internet censors have ordered the country's social media companies to block further sharing of a viral video that shows a toddler threatening members of the notorious urban management police squad with a long pole, telling them to leave his grandmother alone. Read the rest

Lady Liberty arrested at US Capitol with 400 others protesting money in politics

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Journalist Alejandro Alvarez took this striking photo of a campaign finance reform activist being arrested at a Democracy Spring demonstration at the US Capitol yesterday.

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Mass arrests at DC protest over money in politics

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At least 400 people were arrested at a Democracy Spring demonstration at the US Capitol yesterday. The protesters were calling for controls on the influence of big money over politics. Read the rest

White SC cops pull black passenger out of car, take turns publicly cavity-searching him

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White cops from Aiken, SC improperly stopped a car driven by a black woman (they claimed the stop was motivated by temporary tags, but driving with current temporary tags is not grounds for a stop), then improperly questioned her passenger, who voluntarily gave them his ID, then induced a drug dog to "alert" on the car, then forced both black people to expose themselves in public, culminating with two officers taking turns sticking their fingers up the passenger's rectum, again, in public. Read the rest

DA: Racist texts shared by SF cops mocked previous scandal in which SF cops shared racist texts

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr walks through Super Bowl City in SF, Jan. 27, 2016. [REUTERS/Noah Berger]
The San Francisco Police Department is in trouble all over again, over claims that officers swapped texts that appear to mock public outcry over a previous texting scandal--stay with me here, now--a previous scandal in which another group of SFPD officers are said to have circulated racist texts.

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