Bodycam footage involving cops and dogs is rarely pleasant viewing, but this one--featuring an officer rescuing a dog snarled in a wire fence--has a great twist ending. I shalln't ruin it for you. Read the rest
Cops in Warrnambool, Australia, broke Chris Karadaglis' neck when they arrested him. But The Age reports this as "man's neck breaks during arrest" because they're afraid of identifying the breakers, even in an article that's supposedly about their failings.
Barrett told The Age that while he can’t talk about the specifics of the ongoing investigation into Chris’s arrest, he immediately concedes what in the past may have been shrouded in police speak: no innocent Victorian should be so seriously injured after an interaction with police.
Barrett describes Chris’s interaction with the three uniformed officers as a ‘‘life-changing experience, devastating for the family of that individual.’’
"Precisely what police did to cause his injury that November day two years ago has been blurred in a sea of pain and terror," write Nick McKenzie and Grace Tobin, whose story remedies this lack of clarity by suggesting Karadaglis' neck broke itself.
It's interesting they mention "police speak" because that's what the headline is. I covered cops for a while as a young reporter and this is the language of arrest and incident reports. Cops are trained not to describe themselves in the active voice, which makes them appear responsible for their actions. Instead they are mere observers, there when things did happen. The gun did fire. The bullet did enter the suspect's body. The suspect did die at that time.
This example is particularly grim because The Age's story is supposed to be a heartfelt investigation into the victim's plight and police misconduct—one subverted from the outset with that mangled, servile headline. Read the rest
The "Straight Pride" Parade that was held in Boston in the end of August was just another example of thinly-veiled alt-right trolling. Unfortunately, it also worked. A hateful parade of a hundred-or-so people managed to divert hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars into overtime police coverage and shutdown streets during the busiest weekend in the city (Labor Day + college move-ins = hell).
Thanks to WBUR, we now know that that cost included 9,000 hours of overtime work for local police officers—the equivalent of 4 years of full-time policing service. And none of it was officially caught on film, despite the police aggressions caught on social media and the 3 dozen counter-protestors who were arrested during the parade.
Charging into protestors who were protesting peacefully on the sidewalk, beating, arresting, and pepper spraying.
Make no mistake straight pride is hate pride and cops are here to protect and uphold white supremacy. pic.twitter.com/ey2Rc4uneA
— Ian🎃Gobblins👻 (@deluxian54) August 31, 2019
Boston Police Department spraying pepper spray into the crowd of protestors of the Straight Pride Parade #boston #straightpride #cityhall #pepperspray #protests #policebrutality pic.twitter.com/TLTIbdcu2A
— Lizzie Heintz (@lizzieheintz) August 31, 2019
(Coincidentally, the Massachusetts State Police Union was also embroiled in an overtime scandal in the months leading up to this parade.)
There are plenty of pros and cons to debate around the use of body cameras for police officers. In this case, it means that the public only has access to choppy, not-necessarily-reliable videos that arguably paint a picture of excessive police aggression against protestors. Read the rest
An off-duty Dallas cop who killed a man in his own home was convicted today of murder. Amber Guyger, armed with a gun, claimed she thought she was in her own apartment—a floor down—when she shot Botham Jean, armed with a bowl of ice cream. At trial she availed herself of a stand-your-ground defense: that even the mistaken belief he was the intruder justified shooting him dead. Jurors disagreed ... or simply didn't believe her story.
The jury has found former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder in the killing of Botham Jean.
The jury deliberated less than two days on the killing.
The sentencing phase will resume at 1 p.m.
His home was not her castle. Read the rest
British cops have an (unearned?) reputation for restraint. So it's always wild to see them do things that even the rootin'-tootin' murderers of America's thin blue line would balk at. Here's one simply ramming a suspect with his cruiser, on foot: "There's a myth that if they take their helmet off or take to the pavement, we won't pursue them," says officer lawnmower.
Met police use "tactical contact" to take down a moped rider who escaped by riding at speed through a park and down pavements. Officers also sprayed DNA identification spray in the incident in case the offender escaped and then potentially could be identified later. Rider arrested for failing to stop for police, theft of motor vehicle, possession of Class-A drug with intent to supply, failing a road-side drug test, and dangerous driving.
Police have gotten in trouble for 'tactical contact', but the sands are shifting underfoot thanks to Brexit rage, the normalizing effect of documentaries such as this one, and of course to posts like this one, inevitably experienced as facile entertainment irrespective of any sentiment or framing I might apply to it.
"We recovered your stolen scooter, sir! What's that, sir? No, actually you'd best come get it in your car." Read the rest
As Michigan State Police have it, 27-year old Carlos Martinez was at fault when his vehicle and one driven by an officer collided at a Detroit intersection. But security footage from a nearby porch has made a liar of the officer, showing him driving through a stop sign, causing the accident, then treating Martinez like a criminal.
"The police officer say [sic] 'you're 27 years old, you're old enough, you don't need no parents, and plus you don't have no rights right now.'"
Maria Martinez told the channel that her son is a U.S. citizen without any criminal history or involvement with gangs.
Read the rest
MSP says after reviewing both the black box from the officer's undercover vehicle, and security camera from a nearby homeowner, police confirm the officer failed to stop at the stop sign. MSP is currently investigating both the crash and the arrest the officer made.
Chicago police are urging people not to use mobile phone cases that look like handguns because, y'know, it's just stupid. Apparently Illinois Conservation Police officers stopped a stolen car and saw a handgun in a passenger's waistband. According to a Facebook post by the agency, the police officer “observed this object and was able to quickly secure the individual in handcuffs and remove it. Only then was it apparent it was a cell phone case and not a real firearm." The people in the car were all minors and while the mobile phone gun cases are illegal in many places, they are not banned on state property where the incident occurred. From the Chicago Tribune:
After the juvenile was released to a parent, the case was returned to the parent “and the parent was reminded of the dangers of carrying a product like that,” Torbert said.
The department’s Facebook post said the incident “serves as a reminder how quickly situations unfold for officers under high-stress conditions, often leaving fractions of a second to make critical decisions.”
Despite such bans, which exist in other states too, the cases — in black, white and pink — appear to be easily available to purchase on eBay and from stores that ship them from overseas.
A warning for the good people of Wyoming! You never know when a trigger-happy Colorado cop might drop by to see the sights.
Emily Mieure, from The Jackson Hole News & Guide:
“Mr. Becerra, a diminutive 17-year-old Hispanic resident, was late one morning and running to catch his bus after leaving the apartment where he lived with his parents,” attorney Alex Freeburg stated in the complaint. “Without any more information, and without investigating any further, [Ms. Schultz, on vacation from Colorado] exited her vehicle, pulled out a pistol, and ordered Mr. Becerra to stop and get on the ground. ... While witnesses urged her to stop, and while Mr. Becerra pleaded with her, Ms. Schultz yelled ‘stay down’ and screamed ‘I have a gun and will shoot,’” the complaint states.
Taxpayer-dinging lawsuits are the remedy here because prosecutors show little interest in taking action. Shultz did nothing illegal, according to Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun, “because it is reasonable to assume a running teen has committed a crime. Read the rest
The "sovereign citizen" movement is a grifty, anti-Semitic/white-nationalist-adjacent cult whose conspiratorial beliefs include a bunch of reasons that neither law enforcement nor courts have jurisdiction over them, and also that the federal government is not allowed to own land (this being the rubric for the Cliven Bundy terrorists' seizure of the Malheur Oregon Wildlife Refuge. Read the rest
Police in Boulder, Colorado, drew their guns on a black man who was picking up trash on his own lawn. The first responder suggests that the man's trash grabber is a weapon; more cops soon arrive to escalate the confrontation, with eight eventually surrounding him in his own yard. The victim's housemate, Vanardo Merchant, took video and made sure the officers knew they were being filmed.
“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash,” the man says. “I don’t have a weapon! This is a bucket, this is a clamp.”
“I’m not sitting down and you can’t make me,” the man says as additional officers arrive. “This is my property, this is my house — I live here.”
Check out officer cool dude here, relaxing with his shades and very eager to tase a man.
Another circled him while holding a shotgun the way Prince Charles holds a newspaper.
USA Today reports that a police station christmas tree garlanded with stereotypically black items and posted to social media resulted in demotions and suspensions.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo noted that it was "racially insensitive" in a post on the department's Facebook page.
"As soon as it was realized what the display was, it was removed," Arradondo said. "I am ashamed and appalled by the behavior of those who would feel comfortable to act in such a manner that goes against our core department values of Trust, Accountability and Professional Service."
Menthol ciggies and Old English, very clever. This seems to be a thing in Minnesota.
For framing innocent black men, a police chief in Florida will go to prison for three years. Impunity is the norm in America for cases like this, so the conviction is a big deal. Read the rest
You're wheeling your haul out of Costco only to be accosted by the receipt-checker at the exit. You're fine, though, because you're not shoplifting anything. That slightly annoying feeling that the store assumes you're a criminal, it turns out, is tragically unwarranted, because those guys don't even care if you're shoplifting. In fact, the receipt-checkers are some kind of internal store Gestapo keeping tabs on the checkout cashiers.
Writes one former employee: “Trust me, we’re not loss prevention, we have loss prevention in the store and that’s not us. We’re literally just trying to make sure our cashiers do the job right, and when we DO catch it, all the information gets stored. Who did it, what time, etc...and those cashiers get spoken to. This is not to benefit anyone but the member to improve the experience overall.”
It's useful to remember that everything is not only worse than you think it is, but in ways you haven't yet considered. Read the rest