Leaked Stingray manual shows how easy warrantless mass surveillance can be!


The Intercept has got hold of a set of Harris's super-secretive manuals for their even-more-secret Stingray devices: fake cellular towers used to spy indiscriminately on whole populations by hacking their cellphones into giving up identifying information and more. Read the rest

It's really easy for fired, dirty cops to walk into a new police job in a new town


Sean Sullivan was fired from his police job in Oregon in 2004 for sexual contact with a 10 year old girl; in 2005, Cedar Vale, KS hired him to be their police chief, where he was accused of having sexual contact with another young girl, and eventually convicted of burglary and criminal conspiracy -- he's currently doing time in a Washington state prison for meth possession and identity theft. Read the rest

Leaked catalog from UK surveillance arms-dealer full of gadgets sold to US cops

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1173

Cobham PLC is a surveillance vendor who sells to some of the world's most egregious human rights abusing governments; in 2014, they provided a catalog of cyberweapons and spy tools to Florida Department of Law Enforcement, from whom it leaked. Read the rest

Police unions are a public enemy


Thanks the the contracts police unions get from local governments, it's not only hard to get rid of violent, corrupt cops, but investigating them in the first place is made nigh-impossible. They beat, steal and grift with impunity. The New York Times' editorial board says it's time for legislators to rip up these agreements and force the rule of law on those who represent it.

Across the country, municipal governments have signed contracts with police unions including provisions that shield officers from punishment for brutal behavior as well as from legitimate complaints by the citizens they are supposed to serve.

That may soon change, as public outrage over police killings of civilians is ratcheting up pressure on elected officials to radically revise police contracts that make it almost impossible to bring officers to justice.

The most striking case in point is Chicago, which has been roiled by a police scandal stemming from a cover-up in the case of a 17-year-old named Laquan McDonald, who was executed by a police officer nearly two years ago.

What's changed? Even old white folks are becoming scared of the cops. If it shows just how bad this problem has gotten, it's also a bitter reminder of what it takes to get something done about it. Read the rest

Oklahoma woman, 84 and black, pepper-sprayed in the face by police in her home

Ms. Geneva Smith of Muskogee, OK

Police in Oklahoma pepper-sprayed an 84-year-old black woman in the face, inside her home.

Read the rest

Baltimore police respond to report they secretly spied on city with aerial surveillance tech from Iraq War


A report out this week from Bloomberg says that since January, 2016, people in the city of Baltimore, Maryland have secretly and periodically been spied on by police using cameras in the sky. Authorities today effectively admitted that the report is accurate.

Read the rest

Amusing drunk caught on police bodycam wants footage off the net


In this footage, Sgt. Eric Kannberg deals calmly with a belligerent drunk, Cory Counts, using de-escalation techniques even after Counts gets physical. After Kannberg gets a push from Counts and it comes time to haul him to the drunk tank, Kannberg decides not to pursue through a crowd, instead stalking him at a distance until a safe opportunity presents itself. Counts earned a misdemeanor charge and the the ignominy of having the footage posted to Spokane P.D.'s Facebook page. Read the rest

Bronx cops can steal anything they want by calling it "evidence"


In the Bronx (and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere) when your belongings are seized as "evidence," it can be impossible to ever get them back, even if you're never charged with a crime. Read the rest

Woman sues cops because they destroyed her empty house, thinking a suspect was hiding in it

Shaniz West house 1

The police in Caldwell, Idaho told Shariz West that they thought her ex-boyfriend might have run into her house and they asked for permission to look inside; she said yes, but then the cops engaged in a 10-hour armed standoff against her empty home (the family dog was inside, but there were no humans), blasting holes in the walls, crashing through the ceilings, smashing out the windows, and filling the house with tear-gas, which destroyed most of the family's possessions. Read the rest

Predictive policing predicts police harassment, not crime

The Blues Brothers 3

In Chicago, the "Heat List" system is used to direct policing resources, based on data-mining of social media to identify potential gang-members; the model tells the cops where to go and who to arrest, and is supposed to reduce both violent crime and the likelihood that suspects themselves will be killed -- but peer-reviewed analysis (Scihub mirror) of the program shows that while being on the Heat List increases your chances of being harassed and arrested by Chicago PD, it does not improve crime rates. Read the rest

Not one Boston cop volunteers to wear a bodycam

Protestors at a march in Roxbury, MA. Photo: CBS News

Boston's police do not want to be accountable for their actions: not a single officer volunteered to participate in a pilot program for the force's bodycams, which will now be randomly distributed.

The Boston Globe reports [Police Commissioner William ] Evans made the comments Tuesday during his monthly "Ask the Commissioner" interview on WGBH-FM's Boston Public Radio. The move comes after Evans warned that he might have to force officers to wear them because no officers volunteered. The rollout date for the pilot program is Sept. 1.

The Boston Herald reports that they're still trying to find a way to avoid wearing the cameras.

Patrolman’s Association President Patrick M. Rose has said forcing officers to wear body cameras goes against the deal the union reached with the department. Rose did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. ... Attorney Leonard Kesten, who regularly represents officers, said the union may claim “unfair labor practices” if it deems that body cameras are a change in working conditions. But personally, he said he is in favor of them.

A sad reminder that it's not a case of bad apples, in many police departments, but a rotten barrel. What better reason to place public servants under scrutiny than their attempts to evade it? Read the rest

Study: bodycams increase some fatal police shootings


"Use of wearable video cameras is associated with a 3.64% increase in shooting-deaths of civilians by the police," according to a research paper from Temple University. Here's where this research gets more interesting:

Read the rest

Hijab-wearing Muslim woman racially profiled as 'terrorist' sues Chicago police

Itemad “Angel” Al Matar
A young Muslim woman is suing Chicago police who decided she was a "lone wolf" terrorist because she wore a hijab, or headscarf, and was walking briskly out of a city subway station on the Fourth of July last year while wearing a backpack.

Read the rest

#RightToRecord: DOJ must investigate arrests of citizens who document police killings


Editor's Note: The International Documentary Association has released a petition that asks the Department of Justice to investigate the arrests of citizen journalists who videotape police killings of citizens in marginalized communities. Boing Boing asked documentary filmmakers Laura Poitras and David Felix Sutcliffe to share with our readers why the fight to protect the rights of these amateur documentarians matters so much for all of us.—Xeni Jardin

Citizen journalists are reporting from the frontline of police violence in the United States. Using camera phones, they recorded the final moments of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner. In each case, the police retaliated by arresting those citizens - either in the immediate aftermath of the killings, or within 24 hours of the deaths being ruled homicides by medical examiners.

Read the rest

America will finally gather statistics on which and how many people are killed by law enforcement


As the highly controversial deaths of black people at the hands of American law enforcement officers has crept into our public discourse this decade, so too has the revelation that no federal agency maintains statistics on killings by police officers, prompting The Guardian -- a UK-based newspaper -- to launch The Counted, a project to piece together a national picture of death-by-cop from the fragmentary evidence of press reports and open records requests. Read the rest

How racist traffic stops criminalize black people, and what to do about it


When Philando Castile was killed by a Minneapolis cop after a traffic stop, we learned that he had been stopped 46 times before and had been fined for driving without a license. Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen


The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

More posts