A lawsuit is underway in Worth County, Georgia, where Sheriff Jeff Hobby is defending a mass-frisking of 900 high school students, performed in public without warrant or even the pretense of probable cause, during which cops reportedly manipulated student's breasts, inserted fingers inside bras, exposed bare breasts and reached into underwear and cupped and groped kids' genitals. This ostentatious display of power, by cops armed with guns and dogs, was supposedly a drug search. No drugs were found. Not a scrap.
[Interim Worth County Superintendent Lawrence] Walters said in March Sheriff Jeff Hobby told him his department was going to do a drug search at the school after spring break.
"We did not give permission but they didn't as for permission, he just said, the sheriff, that he was going to do it after spring break," said Walters. "Under no circumstances did we approve touching any students," explained Walters.
In the student handbook it says school officials may search a student if there is reasonable suspicion the student has an illegal item. Hobby says he was able to search every student, simply because he had an administrator with him.
The intimidatory purpose of this unconstitutional search is made disgustingly clear by the sexualized quality of the touching, as reported by the victims and their parents. From the lawsuit:
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The purported justification for the mass search was to discover drugs.
To that end, Sheriff Hobby had a list of thirteen students on a “target list” that he
suspected of possessing drugs.
An off-duty cop got into a fight with a group of children who walked on his lawn, dragged a 13-year-old unarmed boy into his yard, pulled his firearm, then fired a shot. Thankfully, he missed. The incident in Anaheim, California, was captured on camera and has already led to protests.
Christian alleged in the video that the off-duty cop called a girl a "cunt" when telling her to get off his property, and then tackled him first when he stood up for her.
The verbal exchanges led to the off-duty cop dragging the kid towards some bushes. It's unclear from the tape if he ever identified himself as a police officer. "I'd understand if you were a cop, but you're not a cop," Christian told the off-duty officer at one point during the video. One teen came in to shove the man over the bushes after the impasse. Another took a swing but missed. That's when the off-duty cop reached into his waistband and pulled out a gun. The surrounding youth started backing off—and then a shot rang out.
The kid was charged with battery on an officer. KTLA has other footage.
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The officer responds that the teen had said he was going to shoot him, and the teen denies that, saying, “I didn’t say that. Why you lying? I said, 'I’m going to sue you.'”
Then the pair tell each other to “get your hands off me.”
“I’m only like 13,” the teen says.
In this video a former sex worker describes what happened when an undercover officer had sex with her in an attempt to arrest her for prostitution. Shockingly, it's "not uncommon for police to have sexual contact with sex workers before arresting them for prostitution," says Tara Burns, who has started a petition to end this barbaric practice. "This is actually state-sponsored rape, and it's perfectly legal in Alaska."
Over 2,000 people have signed it so far. Read the rest
Fox News reports that kids watched as a Wynnewood, Oklahoma police officer used a high-powered rifle, retrieved from his vehicle, to kill a dog after it "lunged at him" when he entered their gated, fenced property searching for someone who had not lived there in a decade.
The police chief said the officer was serving a warrant, which gave him legal authority to be on the private property. However, the Malones said they were never shown any warrant. They were only told the officer was looking for someone who had listed that address as his ten years ago...
“I respect what the police do, but this was senseless, but he didn’t show any remorse and didn’t even act like he was sorry or anything,” Malone told FOX 25.
The Malones believe the death of their dog could have been avoided either by the use of less-lethal force or by fact checking on the warrant.
The Wynnewood cops have already been caught in a lie: the chief claims the dog was shot "coming around the house" to attack the officer, but video shows that the dog was killed behind a closed gate in an expansive, open yard. "The police chief said he hasn't seen the video," reports Fox. "He said 'His officers have every right to shoot dogs if they feel in danger.'"
The first rule of modern U.S. police training is that you are a soldier. The second rule is kill the dogs. Read the rest
Fresno cops pulled over Dylan Noble, an unarmed 19-year-old, and shot him because he failed to comply with orders to get on the ground. Then they approached him as he lay squirming on the asphalt, and executed him with a shotgun. The pretext: his continued failure to put his hands where they could see them.
California police were looking for a man in camouflage walking down the street carrying a rifle when they decided to pull over a man in a truck who was not wearing camouflage and not carrying a rifle.
An unarmed man named Dylan Noble whom Fresno police shot and killed anyway.
Today, after viewing body cam footage of the shooting, Noble’s family filed a claim to sue the Fresno Police Department, stating that they had no justifiable reason to shoot the 19-year-old man on June 25.
Fresno's police chief, Jerry Dyer, was unable to explain to CNN why his officers killed Noble.
"I do not have the answer for that today," Dyer told reporters in the central California city of 520,000 people.
An internal affairs investigation will look into whether police procedures were followed and whether there were other options. A review by the district attorney will determine whether the two Fresno police officers should be criminally charged.
"We're shocked and appalled that the city of Fresno would continue to defend the actions of its officers," said Stuart Chandler, an attorney for Veronica Noble, Dylan's mother. "Clearly the only appropriate response is to accept responsibility and commit to changing practices of the police department."
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The National Rifle Association has been silent after Wednesday’s police killing of Philando Castile, a 32 year old black man who had a conceal carry gun license, and whose legal right to that weapon played a key role in his death.
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In his police report, officer Robert Cooper claims he was "barely able to get out of the way" as a teen driver tried to run him over, forcing him to shoot into a moving vehicle. But his own dashcam footage made a liar of him.
A police video released Thursday by the State Law Enforcement Division of the May 19 shooting of a motorist by a Forest Acres police officer shows the officer firing seven shots into a slow-moving car as the motorist began to drive away.
“Stop! Stop! Do not make me shoot you!” yells the officer, who is on foot in front of the vehicle with his weapon drawn and pointed at the car’s windshield. The driver is inside a small sedan and is the car’s only occupant.
The officer fires seven shots, rapidly and from a close distance – perhaps less than 10 feet away – as the car moves slowly, turns toward the officer and then appears to try to go around the officer. The motorist then pulls away from the scene and moves out of range of the officer’s dash-cam, which recorded the event.
The "don't make me shoot" line (like "stop resisting") is key to understanding the problem with cops in America: a device to justify escalating confrontations as fast as possible to violence. Forest Acres is giving officer Cooper a paid vacation during its investigation.
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The Associated Press reports that the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of America's most fabulous protest, will become the first national monument to LGBT rights in the U.S.
The gritty tavern, known colloquially as the Stonewall, became a catalyst for the gay rights movement after police raided it on June 28, 1969. Bar-goers fought back, and many more joined in street protests over the following days in an uprising widely credited as the start of large-scale gay activism in New York and around the word. Annual pride parades in hundreds of cities commemorate the rebellion.
The White House declined to comment. Yet Obama has paid tribute to the site before, most notably in his second inaugural address in 2013. In what's believed to be the first reference to gay rights in an inaugural address, Obama said the principle of equality still guides the U.S. "just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall."
Tweet tip! Things that Stonewall was not:
• The birthplace of gay rights.
• A "gay" riot.
• Cornfed straight-acting country boys fixing the city. Read the rest
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.
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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.
A police officer in Fort Worth was taken off patrol Monday after video surfaced showing him pepper-spraying passing bikers from the side of the road. WFAA reports that a force spokesman admitted "pepper-spraying drivers is not a department-endorsed tactic" and confirmed an investigation was underway.
News 8 spoke Monday to Jack Kinney, the man who recorded the video with his helmet camera, and Chase Stone, who edited the video and posted it to Facebook. They say a group of about 200 motorcyclists were traveling up northbound U.S. 287 in Fort Worth Sunday afternoon when a Fort Worth police officer pulled over one of the motorcycle group's "safety vehicles," which is a vehicle that follows behind bikers in case of an incident.
In the edited video, which slows down and zooms in at one point, so viewers can see more clearly, the officer appears to spray something directly into oncoming traffic as he exits his vehicle. The bikers say it was pepper spray.… "His intent was to hit the bikers for sure, there’s no doubt about it," Stone says.
The emerging defense appears to be "people were complaining about the bikers weaving," as if pepper-spraying them at speed is going to make the roads safer. Read the rest
The only people who turned up to the much-hyped Anti-Beyonce rally in New York? Fans, one of whom waved a placard asking "Where yall at?"
New York magazine's The Cut reported a grand total of three anti-Beyonce protesters, including a man named Ariel Kohane who told reporters he thought the song "Formation" was a call for violence against police.
Early Tuesday a tweet from "Proud of the Blues" account called on protesters to attend.
Conservatives tried to organize the event, at NFL headquarters, to protest Beyonce's recent performance at the Super Bowl. Featuring black-clad dancers in vaguely-military outfits (and followed-up by a music video portraying police violence against minorities) it led to complaints she was being "divisive" and "the real racist."
But so few turned up to support the complaints yesterday that it's became an embarrassment to those who had promoted the event online.
Here's Saturday Night Live poking fun at white folks dealing badly with getting woke by the new song:
The above photo was taken by Miss Al Boogie on Twitter.
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Here's how you actually get fired sharpish if you're a bad cop: you go up to your ex-wife's new husband, put your service gun in his face, then tell him you're going to kill him.
“Although [victim] Knupp was scared for his life, (Knupp) said, ‘You don't scare me, Ed,' ” according to the affidavit.
The detectives said [Cpl. Edward J.] Huwalt resumed calling Knupp “pedophile,” “pervert” and other derogatory names. The detectives allege Huwalt told Knupp to pull over, but Knupp responded that he was leaving and drove away. Knupp reported the threat to borough officials the next morning, and Berger called the detective bureau to investigate.
Brown and Kranitz said they determined that Huwalt's service handgun, a Sig Sauer .357 caliber Magnum, has a blue finish “and matches the description given by Charles Knupp
Ligonier Borough Council unanimously voted to sack Huwalt, 61. Huwalt's also been charged with making threats, reckless endangerment and harassment. Read the rest
The City of Cleveland has filed a creditor's claim against Tamir Rice's estate. Tamir Rice is the unarmed 12-year-old kid shot dead on sight by a Cleveland cop; they want his parents to pay the EMS bill for the boy's "dying expenses."
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Last year, Pittsburgh Police officer Sgt. Stephen Matakovich was captured on camera beating up a 19-year-old outside Heinz Field. After lying about the circumstances, he was charged with assault—only to find the charges dismissed last week by a judge.
When video of the attack found its way to the media, however, the story changed: police chief Cameron McLay has now suspended Matakovich and says he will fire him, while prosecutors are planning to refile charges against the officer.
WPXI 11 reports that it'll be hard to make it stick: Matakovich can appeal the decision to city executives who can overrule McLay, then take it to an arbitration panel, where he can select one of the three people tasked with the final decision.
Deja vu: in 2003, Matakovich was recorded threatening to assault a superior officer, but was let off the hook over his own supervisor's objections.
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Following the release by hackers of a tranche of police union documents, The Guardian's analysis reveals that "more than a third of police departments allow or require destruction of civilian complaint records."
contracts obtained from the servers of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) found that more than a third featured clauses allowing – and often mandating – the destruction of records of civilian complaints, departmental investigations, or disciplinary actions after a negotiated period of time.
The review also found that 30% of the 67 leaked police contracts, which were struck between cities and police unions, included provisions barring public access to records of past civilian complaints, departmental investigations, and disciplinary actions.
Samuel Walker, a professor in criminology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, said there was “no justification” for the cleansing of officers’ records, which could contain details of their use of force against civilians.
“The public has a right to know,” Walker said. “If there was a controversial beating, we ought to know what action was actually taken. Was it a reprimand? A suspension?”
It's not just darkness clauses. Other union rules include a clause in Independence, Missouri's pre-2007 contract, where officers “involved in a shooting incident” could not be interrogated for at least 12 hours. The Guardian has many similarly ugly unions contract clauses on offer. A union spokesperson's excuse is blandly familiar: if the complaint isn't substantiated when the police investigate themselves, it should be expunged to protect the officer's reputation.
Leaked police files contain guarantees disciplinary records will be kept secret [The Guardian]
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Racist cops in Inkster, MI., set out to pull over a black motorist and beat him up. One of them, William Melendez, was jailed for no less than 13 months today for his part in the attack, and Judge Vonda Evans's sentencing statement was a powerful and stirring moral condemnation of his behavior and that of his fellow officers, police culture, and the cynicism it leads to.
Watch the footage at Fox 2 Detroit's website. Warning: racial slurs.
Judge Vonda also spoke before the sentencing, saying Melendez and his officer were playing a "game" when they decided to pull over Dent.
"You forgot the eye of justice was watching. The dash cam designed to protect you - caught you. You knew better," she said.
Update: thanks to Aaron Hamer for the embed link. If you're looking for the best quote, it starts at 4h 22m Read the rest
Only after assault charges against Pittsburgh police Sgt. Stephen Matakovich were dropped did the public get to see the video of him beating up a teenager.
The off-duty cop, working as a security guard, claimed that 19-year-old Gabriel Despres kept his hands in his pockets after being ordered to remove them and was therefore a "threat."
A judge agreed Monday that Despres was the aggressor and dismissed the charges against Matakovich, reportedly to cheers among police gathered in the courtroom.
But now the FBI plans to review the case after the video of the Nov. 28, 2015 incident outside Heinz Field was posted online.
Though Matakovich also maintained that Despres lunged at and punched him, the video shows otherwise. The grainy footage depicts Matakovich shoving Despres to the ground and launching a series of punches to his head. Despres lifts his arm at one point to shield himself from the blows, but does not appear to retaliate or resist.
It's not Matakovich's first time in the news: in 2003, he was videotaped threatening to beat up a superior officer on the Pittsburgh Police force, but was let off the hook despite protests from his own commander.
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Word of the review came a day after a district judge dismissed charges against Sgt. Stephen Matakovich, a 22-year veteran, who had been accused of using unnecessary force in taking down Gabriel Despres, 20, of South Park.… District Justice Robert Ravenstahl’s decision Monday to dismiss charges of simple assault and official oppression against Sgt.