US cops seized more through asset forfeiture in 2014 than US criminals stole through burglary


US police seized $4.5 billion through civil asset forfeiture (through which police can take money and valuables away from citizens without charging anyone with any crimes) in 2014; in the same period, the FBI estimates that burglars accounted for $3.9B in property losses.

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Activist tricked into 6-year relationship with undercover cop tells her story


It's been five years since the first cases of UK undercover police officers infiltrating environmental groups and tricking activists into having sex with them surfaced, and now, one of the survivors of the practice, "Lisa," has granted her first-ever interview. Read the rest

Sledge Hammer! A hilarious, prescient warning on police violence from the 1980s


I loved watching the 1986 comedy TV series "Sledge Hammer!" as a kid. David Rasche's portrayal of San Francisco's most aggressive, least sensitive, and completely absurd police detective, the titular Sledge, is fantastic.

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Protesters march in Minneapolis after police shooting


Officers reportedly shot an assault suspect who hindered EMS access to his victim in Minneapolis on Sunday, but many locals are unhappy with the force's version of events.

The man was handcuffed at the time he was fired upon, according to eyewitnesses, though police chief Janeé Harteau said Sunday afternoon that the man was not handcuffed when police shot him.

The Minneapolis NAACP identified the man as Jamar Clark, whose medical condition is unclear.

The confrontation began about 12:45 a.m. in the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue N., according to police. Authorities have yet to reveal the identities of the people involved or elaborate on the exact circumstances leading up to the assault.

Nekelia Sharp, who lives across the street, said an ambulance was called after the suspect and his girlfriend got into an argument. While paramedics were taking the girlfriend away, the suspect tried to talk to her. Sharp said that’s when he was handcuffed and then shot.

Bystanders swarmed as emergency vehicles were responding. In a video posted on Facebook by a witness, one woman was repeatedly shouting, “Y’all just killed that man!” Others nearby were pointing at police and taunting them.

A protest formed and marched on the police station, writes The Associated Press.

Jason Sole, chair of the Minneapolis NAACP's criminal justice committee, said many black residents of north Minneapolis are upset.

"We have been saying for a significant amount of time that Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson," he said referring to the shooting by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last year of black 18-year-old Michael Brown, which sparked nationwide protests.

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Cop who unplugged his cam before killing a 19-year-old girl is rehired

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Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear was ordered to wear a body-camera after many of the city's residents complained about their encounters with him. Afterward, he routinely failed to plug in the camera. His camera was not running when he shot and killed a 19-year-old girl in 2014. Read the rest

25% of people shot to death by LA police were unarmed. No cops were prosecuted.


Between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2014, Los Angeles County district attorney records show at least 375 people were shot by on-duty officers. No officers have been prosecuted for any of those shootings.

About one in four of those people were unarmed.

Law enforcement officers in LA fatally shot Black people at triple the rate of White and Latino people, relative to population.

That's the lede from Southern California Public Radio KPCC's important, interactive investigative report on “officer-involved shootings” in LA, and there's a lot more to be upset about in those numbers, too.

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Police union threatens "surprise" for Quentin Tarantino


The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police has upped the ante in the ongoing feud with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who recently said some deaths in police custody were murders.

"Tarantino has made a good living out of violence and surprise," Jim Pasco told The Hollywood Reporter. "Our offices make a living trying to stop violence, but surprise is not out of the question."

The FOP, based in Washington, D.C., consists of more than 330,000 full-time, sworn officers. According to Pasco, the surprise in question is already "in the works," and will be in addition to the standing boycott of Tarantino's films, including his upcoming movie "The Hateful Eight."

"Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element," says Pasco. "Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable.

Odd to see Tarantino's point about the police reinforced, by the police, in such hamfisted fashion. There's even a preemptive invocation of the abuser's creed: "you made us do it."

That the police are out of control and care little for the consent of the policed seems obvious. That they're so perfectly nasty and obvious about it is becoming a sick joke. Read the rest

Once again, the SFPD blames a cyclist for his own death without any investigation


47-year-old Mark Heryer was killed on October 11th when he was run over by a 38-Geary bus. The SFPD concluded, without investigation, that Heryer's death was his own fault. The city will not release the footage from the bus's camera -- not even to Heryer's lawyer. Read the rest

Cop arrested after admitting he wasn't shot by “Hispanic Man,” just shot himself and lied

David Houser's mugshot, via Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office, AR.

A police officer in Arkansas sparked a manhunt and investigation when he claimed he'd been shot during a traffic stop by a “Hispanic man in his 30s.” Turns out that was total bullshit. David Houser, 50, was arrested Tuesday after finally admitting to his colleagues that it never happened, there was no traffic stop, and no scary brown guy. The cop just shot himself, and apparently by accident.

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Police establish "Exchange Zones" for Craigslist buyers/sellers to meet


Police departments around the country are establishing "safe exchange zones" at police stations for people who buy and sell stuff on Craigslist to meet in person. From the Washington Post:

The practice appears to have started last year in Boca Raton, Fla., spread through central Florida and then through the law enforcement grapevine to police parking lots and lobbies throughout the country. Leesburg and Fairfax City in Northern Virginia have adopted the approach in recent months, as a way to give online buyers and sellers a sense of security when they meet.

“Over the summer of 2014,” said Boca Raton Officer Sandra Boonenberg, “we had three or four different robberies where the victim had made arrangements to meet someone to see either an iPhone or a computer. They met them in public places — one happened at a gas station — and they still got robbed. We decided we’re going to have to come up with something better, and the chief [Daniel C. Alexander] came up with the idea to use the police department for transactions.”

Officers do not get involved or actively monitor the transaction, although many police parking lots and lobbies have surveillance cameras as an added backup. In some smaller departments, such as Fairview Heights, Ill., east of St. Louis, an officer might go outside and meet the buyer and seller just to make public contact and reassure them, Lt. Mike Hoguet said.

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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

Survivor-count for the Chicago PD's black-site/torture camp climbs to 7,000+


In February, the Guardian reported stories about the Homan Square, the Chicago Police Department's off-the-books black-site, where (mostly black and brown) suspects are denied counsel while being brutalized into forced confessions. Read the rest

23andme & aggregated the world's DNA; the police obliged them by asking for it


When 23andme and began their projects of collecting and retaining the world's DNA, many commentators warned that this would be an irresistible target for authoritarians and criminals, and that it was only a matter of time until cops started showing up at their doors, asking for their customers' most compromising data. Read the rest

Police end round-the-clock Assange detail at London's Ecuadorian embassy


Three years and £12 million later, London's Metropolitan police has ended its 24/7 surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy, through which officers kept vigil for the day that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would leave the building. Read the rest

How To Recognize and Handle Abnormal People: A Manual for the Police Officer


In 1954, the National Association for Mental Health first issued the book "How To Recognize and Handle Abnormal People: A Manual for the Police Officer." Included were techniques on dealing with all kinds of "abnormal persons," from psychopaths, drug addicts, and the "mentally retarded" to civil protestors and those involved in family disturbances.

A selection of scans is below. And if you're not satisfied, you can purchase a copy of the 1975 edition on Amazon for the low price of $103.

(Print via Weird Universe)

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1 in 40 London cops have been arrested in the past five years


One UK police officer is arrested for criminal behaviour every day with the Metropolitan London Police accounting for the lion's share. Read the rest

Campus cops: all the powers of real cops, none of the accountability


Michael from Muckrock writes, "Want some transparency from your local police? Then public records law is probably on your side if you're in the US -- unless you happen to be a college student. MuckRock's Shawn Musgrave looks at the broad exemptions that give campus police almost all the rights and powers of regular cops, without any of the public accountability."

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