A year-long investigation of private Facebook hate groups by REVEAL finds close to 400 current and retired law enforcement officers are members, including officers from small towns as well as big cities -- including NYPD. Read the rest
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
A cop working for the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (the French national domestic surveillance agency) used the darknet marketplace Black Hand to sell access to France's prodigious national surveillance apparatus to criminals: give him a phone number and he'd track its location; give him a name and he'd tell you whether that person was under police investigation and disclose the contents of the associated files; he'd also sell you everything you needed to forge papers and other official documents (he took payment in Bitcoin). Read the rest
Thwarting Darwinism, or, more likely, a pair of earbuds, a cop from the Perth Amboy Police Department in New Jersey, hauled ass to save a man from being smooshed by a train--and it was all caught on the officer's body camera. Why anyone, unless they were in some emotional distress, would decide that walking down a set of train tracks oblivious to an oncoming locomotive was a good idea is beyond me. Fortunate for the fella in the video, the police officer that came to his rescue was in good enough physical shape that he was able to sprint with the 20 pounds of gear that most cops wear, without slowing him down. Read the rest
Tim McCormick, a cop in Fort Myers, publicly accused a local Burger King of serving him dirt on a burger. But after an investigation, the "dirt" was found to be the burger seasoning.
Fitzpatrick said that after the officers watched the video they determined that nothing inappropriate had happened to the food cooked for McCormick.
So what was it?
As part of the prep process for cooking the meat, Fitzpatrick said, there is a salt and pepper blend applied to the food. He said it is possible that the spice mixture, as well as the flame-broiled grilling process itself, may have left particles the officer thought was dirt.
McCormick, posting under the Facebook name of Mac O'Durham, added that he noticed that his receipt had block letters with the word POLICE on it, something he said he had never noticed in previous visits.
But the restaurant has more receipts:
"Every one of our guests we ask 'May we have your name to better serve you?'," he said.
In this instance when the server asked McCormick for his name he simply said "officer." When the clerk didn't understand and asked him to repeat his name, McCormick said "police officer."
Christ, what an asshole. Read the rest
Here's yet another reason to install a dashcam. Joshua was rolling through Brooklyn around midnight when an undercover cop car ran a red light as he was turning left from the opposite direction. He's then treated to a lot of lip by the officers as he protests his innocence while pulled over. Read the rest
A Montreal woman is contesting a $169 ticket that a cop got her to sign by making up a new law. She was driving in the carpool lane with her daughter; the cop falsely said that carpool passengers must have driving licenses.
"I was surprised with the cop, when she saw my daughter, that she still issued a ticket," Émond told CBC News. "The police officer was really sure [of] what she was telling me."
The rules on carpooling are laid out in article 295 of the Highway Safety Code, which merely states that reserve lanes are for the exclusive use of road vehicles carrying the number of passengers indicated by signs along that route.
The cop didn't see the kid in the back, got mad at having wasted her time, so she lied to the mom in hopes of convincing her to agree not to contest a ticket. Read the rest
The Associated Press reports that two Baltimore police officers were convicted today of racketeering and robbery. I'm not sure off the top of my head which case it is, because it's Baltimore and the apple barrel is so rotten as to be a gooey tub of lovecraftian matter that converts public trust into settlements.
BREAKING: Jury finds 2 Baltimore police detectives guilty of racketeering and robbery.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 12, 2018
Read the rest
Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were shackled and led out of the courtroom after the verdict was read.
Federal jurors deliberated for two days after hearing nearly three weeks of testimony centered on details of police wrongdoing. The jury was released late Thursday afternoon after a few hours and returned to their deliberations Monday morning.
Hersl and Taylor faced robbery, extortion and racketeering charges that could land them up to life in prison. They were convicted of racketeering and robbery under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits interference with interstate commerce, but were cleared of possessing a firearm in pursuance of a violent crime.
Hersl put his head down and shook it as the verdict was read. Taylor had little reaction. Hersl’s family in the gallery wept and his father called out, “Stay strong, Danny.”
Christopher Ferguson, an off-duty cop in Algood, Tenn., going 20 miles over the speed limit, will not be inconvenienced after ramming into James and Rena Cryer's SUV with such force James was thrown into the road. Amazingly, the elderly couple survived—and District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway found them at fault.
“Both of them did things they shouldn’t have done, and both of them violated the law,” said Dunaway, who represents the 13th judicial district. “They violated the rules of the road.”
Cryer failed to yield, according to the THP. The investigative report, obtained by the News 4 I-Team, also found Ferguson was speeding.
Documents state at one point, Ferguson was traveling up to 26 miles over the speed limit.
“If the officer had been driving the posted speed limit…the collision would have been avoided,” an investigator wrote.
“Even with this knowledge, you still felt comfortable not prosecuting?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.
“Even with that knowledge, yes,” Dunaway replied.