At long last, America's racist, crazy tough-on-crime prosecutors are losing elections


Historically, being an elected prosecutor was a sweet gig: operating with "unchecked power and no transparency," you generally got to run unopposed for re-election, and on the rare instances in which someone did dare to run against the incumbent, the incumbent usually won. Read the rest

By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear


Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor's office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear. Read the rest

VERIFIED Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook's association with Peter Thiel


Update: According to The Verge, Facebook has verified the authenticity of the screenshot below.

In what appears to be an internal Facebook post, Zuckerberg defends his company's ongoing association with Peter Thiel -- Facebook investor/board member and major donor to white-supremacist/pro-rape presidential candidate Donald Trump. Read the rest

Though crime happens everywhere, predictive policing tools send cops to poor/black neighborhoods


Researchers from the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (previously) reimplemented the algorithm Predpol predictive policing system that police departments around America have spent a fortune on in order to find out where to set their patrols, and fed it Oakland's 2010 arrest data, then asked it to predict where the crime would be in 2011. Read the rest

Diverse fantasy writers of non-European-derived worlds: opening for novella submissions


Submissions open on Oct 12 for at least three months; they're considering 20,000-40,000 novellas "that fit the epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, high fantasy, or quest fantasy genres, whether set on Earth or on an original fantasy world" but "will only be considering novellas that inhabit worlds that are not modeled on European cultures" and the editors "actively request submissions from writers from underrepresented populations." Read the rest

Merciless reporting on the Chicago Police Department's extortion racket, & the senior officials who covered it up


The more we learn about the Chicago Police Department, the worse it gets -- there's the sabotage of dashcams, the widespread corruption, the investigators fired for refusing to cover up police crimes, off-the-books "black site" where the CPD kidnaps and tortures suspects, the Accountability Task Force Report that called the force racist, corrupt and broken. Read the rest

Matt Furie on the experience of having his Pepe the Frog character hijacked by white supremacists


Before Pepe the Frog was a hate symbol used to promote white supremacists and Donald Trump, he was a sweet webcomics character in Matt Furie's gently weird webcomic Boy's Club. Read the rest

Arkansas lawmaker who pushed law protecting right to video police is arrested for videoing an arrest


Officer Jeff Thompson of the Little Rock Police Department arrested Arkansas state Representative John Walker for recording their treatment of a black man who had been put in handcuffs during a traffic stop. Read the rest

The dubious upsides of having a Syrian passport


Marcell Shehwaro's magnificent, sarcastic, angry essay in Global Voices expresses her gratitude for her Syrian passport, because it has allowed her to see how states are willing to punish the already brutalized out of rage and fear. Read the rest

Lawn Jawas with solar-charged light-up eyes


Thinkgeek's $80 Lawn Jawas are a weird mix of kitsch, bad taste, technology, and fandom. Read the rest

Brexit's proposed racist immigration policy will backfire


The UK's Brexit Minister, Boris Johnson, has proposed a new immigration regime for a post-EU UK, in which the "white Commonwealth" countries (Canada, Australia and New Zealand) will have a relatively easy time migrating to the UK, while EU nationals, Africans, and post-colonial, racialised people will be excluded. Read the rest

How America abandoned the only policy that consistently closes the black-white educational gap


After 1954's landmark Brown v Board of Ed ruling, America's (largely racially segregated) cities began racially integrating their schools by busing black kids to white neighborhoods, a project that hit its stride at the start of the 1970s. It worked. Read the rest

Week two for the largest prison strike in US history


As many as 20,000 US prisoners are going into their second week on strike against forced labor and inhumane prison conditions, though the US prison system has locked down the centers of the strike, denied all conduits for information, and put the leadership into solitary confinement. Read the rest

When "computers" were young, brilliant black women mathematicians


Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures recovers the lost history of the young African American women who did the heavy computational work of the Apollo missions, given the job title of "computer" -- her compelling book has been made into a new motion picture. Read the rest

Cop fired and denied severance for not shooting suicidal man holding an unloaded gun

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Stephen Mader, a former police officer in Weirton, W.Va, was fired without severance because he decided not to shoot Ronald D. "R.J." Williams Jr, who had threatened to kill himself and was holding a gun that turned out to be unloaded. Read the rest

Tomorrow: largest prison strike in US history


America imprisons more people than any other country in history, in both absolute and relative terms. American prisoners -- disproportionately racialized and poor people -- are held in inhumane conditions that include long periods of solitary confinement, in violation of international protocols against torture. Read the rest

Blackballed by machine learning: how algorithms can destroy your chances of getting a job


The Guardian's published a long excerpt from Cathy O'Neil's essential new book, Weapons of Math Destruction, in which O'Neil describes the way that shoddy machine-learning companies have come to dominate waged employment hiring, selling their dubious products to giant companies that use them to decide who can and can't work. Read the rest

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