Boing Boing 

Justice Department issues "scorching" report on Ferguson's Police Department


The police department "routinely" blocks citizens from recording their activities under a bizarre rubric of "officer safety," according to the Justice Department's investigation.

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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.

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First-hand reports of torture from Homan Square, Chicago PD's "black site"


In the wake of last week's revelations about Homan Square, the off-the-books "black site" where Chicago PD disappear prisoners for violent, aggressive interrogation, four of the site's victims have come forward to describe the highly racialized human rights abuses at the secret site.

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Think you have the right to demand police identify themselves? Look closer.

Police officers are required to display and provide their identification on request—except when they aren’t.

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Chicago Police Department maintains "black site" for illegal detention and torture

Homan Square is the Chicago Police Department's "secure site" where people as young as 15 are detained without charge and without access to counsel, subject to beatings that result in head wounds, and, in one case, death.

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Police questioning techniques make it easy to elicit false accusations


Horrified psychologists discontinued a study into how police interrogation tactics can create unshakable false memories of crimes; but it turns out that police questioning tactics are even better at elicting false accusations of crimes that never even occurred.

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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.

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Police interrogation techniques generate false memories of committing crimes


Psychologists terminated a study that showed the ease of implanting false memories of committing terrible, violent crimes in the recent past in their subjects -- the experiment was terminated because some subjects couldn't be convinced that they hadn't committed the crime after they were told the truth.

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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.

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Transparency, Wichita-style

Wichita, KS police released this "public incident report" documenting the circumstances under which an officer shot a member of the public, but not before helpfully blacking out nearly every single word on all five pages of it.

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London cop who repeatedly kicked, beat woman who wouldn't leave her child's sickbed cleared

Officer Warren Luke was cleared of the charge of "actual bodily harm" after he admitted to causing more than 40 injuries to a woman who wouldn't leave the hospital bedside of her seven year old daughter, who has cerebral palsy.

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​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.

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Should cops be allowed to see bodycam footage before filing reports?

As bodycams roll out in more and more American police departments, officers are asking to be allowed to review footage of shootings before they file their reports, on the grounds that fallible memories from high-stress moments can be augmented by footage -- but of course, this would also help an officer know how much he can lie without getting contradicted by the video evidence.

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NYC report reveals troubling patterns in illegal chokeholds

NYCdeptinvestigation

New York City's Department of Investigation released a report on 10 illegal NYPD chokeholds since 2009. Former Commissioner Ray Kelly rejected all 6 that were recommended for disciplinary action.

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Fox affiliate fakes "kill a cop" protester chant

Baltimore's WBFF -- a Fox affiliate -- edited protests of an anti-police-violence protest to make it sound like the protesters were chanting "kill a cop."

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TX SWAT team beats, deafens nude man in his own home, lies about arrest; judge declines to punish cops or DA


A well-meaning friend of Chad Chadwick called the Missouri City, TX police to say that he was afraid that Chadwick was having emotional difficulties; the cops lied to a judge to say that they had reason to believe Chadwick was heavily armed, then they sent a SWAT-team to his house (where he was asleep in the tub), beat 11 kinds of shit out of him, gave him permanent hearing loss, held him in solitary confinement, fraudulently accused him of resisting arrest, and tried to have him imprisoned -- he was acquitted, but a judge wouldn't punish the cops or the DA, because "There is no freestanding constitutional right to be free from malicious prosecution."

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Cops cancel "let us search your house for guns" program

Police in Beloit, WI planned to fight gun-violence by asking citizens to let them come into their houses and search for guns, but not many people were interested in this offer.

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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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Modified London police brag-sheets


These are a refreshing antidote to the Metropolitan London Police's poster campaign trumpeting their 2014 achievements.

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Georgia cops pay $100K for jailing woman who said "Fuck the police"


Amy Barnes was jailed and held in solitary in 2012 when she called out "fuck the police" as she bicycled past Cobb County cops who were questioning a suspect by the roadside.

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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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Taxpayers pick up the tab for violent, abusive, murdering cops 99.8% of the time


99.8% of the $735 million paid out by in 9,225 large-city police misconduct settlements came from tax revenues; 0.2% was paid by the officers who committed the infractions. In more than 80 small/mid-sized cities studied, police officers contributed nothing to settlements for their misconduct.

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Reminder: some US police departments reject high-IQ candidates


Even if you think that IQ tests are unscientific mumbo-jumbo, it's amazing to learn that some US police departments don't, and furthermore, that they defended their legal right to exclude potential officers because they tested too high.

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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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Obama Calls For Turret-Mounted Video Cameras On All Police Tanks


As always, the Onion's headline nails it.

UK police arrest man built anti-immigrant nail-bomb, decline to press terrorism charges

Ryan McGee came from a multi-generational white supremacist dynasty and told police he built his nail-bomb because he didn't like immigrants, the Crown Prosecution Service said that "it was never McGee’s intention to use the device for any terrorist or violent purpose."

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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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FBI investigating Denver cops who erased citizen video of beatdown


Denver police were videoed savagely beating David Flores and his pregnant girlfriend by Levi Frasier, who had his tablet confiscated and the video deleted after one of the cops shouted "camera" -- but the video had already backed up to the cloud.

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Cop who shot Mike Brown won't go back to policing because “something terrible would happen to him”

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in a photo, presented to the grand jury, taken shortly after the shooting of Michael Brown. REUTERS/St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office


Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in a photo, presented to the grand jury, taken shortly after the shooting of Michael Brown. REUTERS/St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office

Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black 18-year-old Mike Brown, will leave the Ferguson police force. "It's not a question of if, it's a question of when," said Wilson's attorney, Neil Bruntrager.

In a CNN interview, the attorney said that Wilson, who claims his conscience is clear over the killing, simply cannot go back to police work given the public outrage.

"The first day he would be back on the street something terrible would happen to him or to someone that would be working with him," said Bruntrager on CNN.

The same lawyer joked to reporters that Wilson has resorted to being a transvestite to hide his identity. So funny, this lawyer!

"He's had to learn to live in a way that makes him completely unnoticeable. As a consequence, there are several techniques that he utilizes that make that happen," Bruntrager said without elaborating. "It's an odd way to live your life. But for him, it's all about his family."

Except for his getting married last month, Bruntrager told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Wilson mostly stayed out of the public eye.

Wilson preferred going to the movies because it was dark, Bruntrager told the paper, jokingly saying that the officer "cross-dressed a lot."

[via Yahoo]

John Oliver on Civil Forfeiture

As always, John Oliver's take on something newsworthy, corrupt, and jaw-droppingly absurd manages to nail it straight through the beating heart.

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