Turkeys attacking cops

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The above clip from a U.K. television show compiles dashcam footage of turkeys attacking police officers. It continues below:

The following video of a terrified reporter being pursued by a turkey is even better.

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Man exonerated after video shows unprovoked police beating, cops insist all is well

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Three officers from the Caldwell County, Texas Sheriff's Department -- Sgt. Dustin Yost, Deputy Michael Taylor and Deputy Houseston -- beat the shit out of Larry Faulkenberry in his driveway and lied about it, a fact that only came to light when Faulkenberry produced footage from a CCTV that (ironically) the same police department had advised him to install after a burglary. Read the rest

Cops arrest public defender who was representing her client, face no discipline

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San Francisco's Office of Citizen Complaints found that the San Francisco cops who arrested public defender Jami Tillotson after she told them to stop photographing her client in a courthouse hallway were in the wrong, and that they engaged in "conduct reflecting discredit on the department." Read the rest

Cops in small MA town warn about roving rap-battle challengers

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The police in Charlton, Massachusetts (one of the fifty safest towns in America) have issued a warning to the citizenry that they've heard tell of young men in a black SUV who are driving around town, challenging teenagers to rap battles. Read the rest

Sheriff says rape kits are irrelevant because most rape accusations are false

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Bingham County, Idaho Sheriff Craig Rowland told a TV interviewer that he opposes a bill to centrally collect and track rape kits because "the majority of our rapes that are called in are actually consensual sex." Read the rest

Family: police high-fived after tasering our handcuffed relative to death

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Chase Alan Sherman experienced a psychiatric episode after taking the drug spice, that prompted his family to call the police and an ambulance. When sheriff's deputies from Coweta County, GA arrived, they subdued him by kneeling on his chest and, according to the family, handcuffed him, and then two deputies repeated tasered him until he went into "medical distress" and died. Read the rest

French Parliament votes to imprison tech execs for refusal to decrypt

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Amendment 90 to France's penal reform bill provides for five year prison sentences and €350,000 fines for companies that refuse to accede to law enforcement demands to decrypt devices. Read the rest

Calculating US police killings using methodologies from war-crimes trials

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Statistician Patrick Ball runs an NGO called the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, which uses extremely rigorous, well-documented statistical techniques to provide evidence of war crimes and genocides; HRDAG's work has been used in the official investigations of atrocities in Kosovo, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, Syria and elsewhere. Read the rest

Disgraced ex-sheriff of LA admits he lied to FBI, will face no more than 6 months in prison

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Lee Baca is a piece of work. The former LA County Sheriff -- tied with Arizona's Joe Arpaio for worse in the nation -- presided over a series of scandals, none so grotesque as the ring of corrupt deputies whose abuse and misconduct in the county jails were capped off by an attempt to intimidate an FBI agent who was investigating them, and a breathtaking act of criminality in which an FBI informant was moved to a new jail under a fake name, surrounded by a round-the-clock detail of 13 deputies who prevented him from speaking with the FBI. Read the rest

NYPD arrest man for crashing drone into the Empire State Building

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Seems the charges are "reckless endangerment and aviation in and over the city."

Via Philly.com

A New Jersey man was arrested on Thursday after a drone he was flying crashed into the 40th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City, police said.

The 29-year-old man was taken into custody after a small aircraft he was piloting struck the iconic building before coming to rest on the 35th floor on Thursday evening, the New York City Police Department said.

The man asked building security personnel for his drone back after they retrieved it, but instead they called authorities, a police spokesman said.

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Julian Assange had promised to turn himself if the UN ruled his detention lawful

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When a UN panel from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention upheld Julian Assange's claim that he was being unlawfully detained in London's Ecuadorean embassy, they also stopped Assange from turning himself in to the London police. Read the rest

Video emerges of Pittsburgh cop beating up teen

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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.

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.

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Justice Department to investigate SF Police, as protests over Mario Woods killing continue

Mario Woods, shot to death by SFPD officers in Dec., 2015.

As protests continue over the death of Mario Woods, who was shot and killed by an SFPD cop in December, the Justice Department announces it will conduct a “comprehensive review” of the San Francisco Police Department.

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Police training eagles to take down drones

The Dutch National Police are attempting to train eagles to take down drones. (Here's an unintentional example of an eagle doing just that!) From IEEE Spectrum:

The Dutch police have partnered with Guard From Above, a raptor training company based in Denmark, to determine whether eagles could be used as intelligent, adaptive anti-drone weapon systems. The eagles are specially trained to identify and capture drones, although from the way most birds of prey react to drones, my guess is that not a lot of training was necessary. After snatching the drone out of the sky, the eagles instinctively find a safe area away from people to land and try take a couple confused bites out of their mechanical prey before their handlers can reward them with something a little less plastic-y. The advantage here is that with the eagles, you don’t have to worry about the drone taking off out of control or falling on people, since the birds are very good at mid-air intercepts as well as bringing the drone to the ground without endangering anyone.

Except maybe the eagles?

"Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones" (IEEE Spectrum)

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Report: Chicago PD dashcams sabotaged by officers

Police body cameras are seen on a mannequin at an exhibit booth by manufacturer Wolfcom at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago

80 percent of Chicago PD dashcam videos have been tampered with or otherwise damaged, according to technicians' reports, with audio missing due to 'intentional destruction' in many cases.

Radley Balko:

At minimum, intentionally destroying dash-cam equipment is destruction of public property. You could argue that it’s also tampering with or destroying evidence, particularly if there’s proof that it was done after a shooting or other major incident. [state’s attorney Anita] Alvarez tried to imprison a woman for recording the alleged harassment she received from police while attempting to file a report alleging sexual assault by another police officer. But when cops tamper with evidence of a police shooting of an unarmed man, all she can say is that it’s “frustrating” and that she’d “prefer to have the audio”?

The lack of consequences is the thing. This goes for everything from internet comment trolls right up to killer cops. Read the rest

Hackers release data from Fraternal Order of Police, largest U.S. police union

Fraternal Order of Police president says the union had called in security contractors to investigate, and the hack was traced to an IP address in the UK. Photo: Reuters

Sensitive electronic files from America’s biggest police union were posted online this week after a hacker breached the Fraternal Order of Police website. The ill-gotten dump includes officers' names and addresses, message board posts bashing Barack Obama, and details of eyebrow-raising contracts made between the union and city authorities.

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Anaheim: the happiest surveillance state on earth

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Orange County has many claims to fame: Richard Nixon, the S&L scandal, subprime boiler-rooms, Disneyland, an airport honoring a cowboy named Marion, and now, the revelation that its police force secretly uses low-flying surveillance aircraft to break the encryption of thousands of cellphone users, track their movements, and intercept their communications. Read the rest

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