NYPD officers assault Associated Press journalist, force crew to stop covering protest

NYPD forced an Associated Press film crew to stop covering protests in New York City, the news agency reported today, pushing and threatening to arrest the journalists in lower Manhattan. The AP describes it as the latest act of aggression against media by police during protests against the killing of George Floyd.

Portions of the incident were captured on video by videojournalist Robert Bumsted, who was working with photographer Maye-E Wong to document the protests in lower Manhattan over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The video shows more than a half-dozen officers confronting the journalists as they filmed and took photographs of police ordering protesters to leave the area near Fulton and Broadway shortly after an 8 p.m. curfew took effect.

An officer, using an expletive, orders them to go home. Bumsted is heard on video explaining the press are considered “essential workers” and are allowed to be on the streets. An officer responds “I don’t give a shit.” Another tells Bumsted “get the fuck out of here you piece of shit.”

Did you know the NYPD's annual budget is $5.6bn? The only other force with a budget this big appears to be London's Metropolitan Police. Together the two forces have a similar budget to the Iranian military. Either alone would rank in the top quartile of the world's armed forces.

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Own a drone? Law enforcement will soon be allowed to shoot it down

I own a DJI Spark. It's not the most expense drone out there, but it's a good one. I love its ability to take video and photos from angles that I could never manage from the ground. I do not, however, love the fact that law enforcement officials in the United States will soon be able to shoot it down. Read the rest

U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of trademark protection for offensive terms

An Asian-American band has a first amendment right to call itself The Slants and to register it as a trademark, ruled the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.

From Reason:

At issue in Matal v. Tam was a federal law prohibiting the registration of any trademark that may "disparage...or bring...into contemp[t] or disrepute" any "persons, living or dead." The Patent and Trademark Office cited this provision in 2011 when it refused to register a trademark in the name of The Slants, thereby denying the band the same protections that federal law extends to countless other musical acts. Justice Samuel Alito led the Court in striking down the censorious rule. "We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment," Alito wrote. "It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend."

From NPR:

The case could inform arguments over other, much larger entities than The Slants.

As NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported, "the trademark office has denied registration to a group calling itself "Abort the Republicans," and another called "Democrats Shouldn't Breed." It canceled the registration for the Washington Redskins in 2014 at the behest of some Native Americans who considered the name offensive."

From Hollywood Reporter:

Today's decision also has the potential of alleviating a great amount of confusion as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's response to offensive marks hasn't been particularly consistent over the years. For example, N.W.A

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Journalist Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months in federal prison

He's already served more than two years in prison on charges related to sources within the Anonymous hacktivist entity.