Cop impersonator arrested after trying to pull over actual cop

Crimetip for cop impersonators! Police departments do not issue fully loaded 4Runners to officers. The Miami Herald:

“I thought, that’s weird. Well, they must have better undercover cars than they did when I was undercover,” he said.

When the driver in the SUV finally gave up trying to pull over Martinez, he changed lanes and tired to pass the commissioner, Martinez said. But Martinez said he stuck with the vehicle and eventually flagged down an officer in a squad car on the roadside, who radioed for help.

Martinez, 61, said he was there when the driver was pulled over on State Road 836 near Northwest 45th Avenue. The driver, he said, wasn’t wearing a police uniform and he had a firearm.

Read the rest

Courthouse shut after sheriff notices bedbugs "falling out of" lawyer's clothes

The courthouse in Rogers County, Oklahoma was shut down last week when a sheriff noticed that a lawyer had bedbugs "bed bugs are crawling all over them certainly in abundance" -- the lawyer was also accused of shaking out his jacket over the prosecution's files, and gave the impression that he didn't care about his infestation. (via Lowering the Bar) Read the rest

Washington State sheriff used courtroom camera to zoom in on defense attorney and juror's private notes

A San Juan county assault case has been thrown out after it was revealed that Sheriff Ron Krebs had used the courtroom's cameras to zoom in on the notes of the defense attorney and a juror. Read the rest

Lawsuit says that America's "break even" court records website shouldn't be making 98%+ profits

PACER (previoulsy) is the controversial US system for publishing court records; although the records themselves are in the public domain (US government documents are not copyrightable), you have to pay $0.10/page to read them, which is supposed to pay for the cost of serving them. Read the rest

Another Apple engineer accused of stealing autonomous vehicle secrets for China

For the second time in 6 months, the FBI is accusing a Chinese national engineer who worked for Apple of stealing Apple trade secrets related to self-driving cars, to help a China-based competitor. Read the rest

Supreme Court lets military transgender ban go into effect

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today allowed the enforcement of President Trump's ban on transgender people from the military. The Trump administration was earlier blocked from implementing the policy by lower courts; today's ruling lifts those injunctions while the legal battle continues.

The split was partisan: John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh pemitted the restrictions to go into effect, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in the minority.

Under the ban, transgender people are permitted to serve only if they do not seek to transition and do not suffer from gender dysphoria. Some post-transition trans people may continue to serve, a distinction that the conservative justices highlighted in asserting the prohibition was not a "blanket ban." Read the rest

Using pikes to confront and immobilize knife-wielding troublemakers

If American police were trained to do this sort of thing, how could they experience the joy of lethal escalation? [via]

The British police don't use pikes, but they do have ways and means. Read the rest

Unsealed court documents reveal that Facebook knew kids were being tricked into spending thousands of dollars on their parents' credit cards

In 2012, Facebook settled a class-action suit with parents who claimed that their kids were being tricked into spending real money on game items, thinking they were spending virtual in-game currency; the parents said that Facebook had structured its system to allow kids to use their parents' credit cards without the parents' intervention, unlike competitors like Google and Apple, who required password re-entries when a card was re-charged for in-game purchases. Read the rest

A month after the statutory restoration of expat Canadians' voting rights, Supreme Court says taking those rights away was illegal

In 2015, Stephen Harper's Tory government began enforcing a 1993 law that stripped expatriate citizens like me of our right to vote in Canada; last month, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government restored our voting rights. Read the rest

Federal workers must show up and can't strike even when not paid in Trump's Shutdown

Did you know all those hundreds of thousands of U.S. government workers who aren't getting paid during Trump's 18-days-and-counting shutdown still have to show up for work, even if they are not getting paid? Hard to believe, right? Read the rest

Ontario court rules that Uber can't use arbitration to keep its drivers from suing it

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that Uber can't use binding arbitration "agreements" to stop its drivers from joining a class action suit against the company; the court held that the arbitration clause was "illegally outsourcing an employment standard." Read the rest

In a huge win for open data, Congress passes the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary Government Data Act

In 2009, Obama signed an executive order requiring the administrative branch to embrace the broadest, most liberal approach to the Freedom of Information Act, reversing John Ashcroft's 2001 memo that instructed government agencies to turn over as little information to the public as possible. Read the rest

Lawsuit: US citizen suing CBP for coercing him into unlocking his phone during boarding at LAX

Haisam Elsharkawi is a US citizen of Egyptian descent who was travelling to Mecca in 2017 when he was pulled out the boarding line for his flight from LAX by CBP agents who demanded that he unlock his phones; when he refused and asked for a lawyer, he was handcuffed and taken to an interrogation room where he was questioned and bullied until he unlocked his phones; the CBP officers spent 15 minutes paging through his emails, making snarky remarks about his Amazon purchase history and how many unread emails he had, and then let him go. Read the rest

Kansas judge tells government debt collectors they can't hound a broke 58-year-old woman until her 84th birthday

In 1991, Vicky Jo Metz borrowed $16,613 to pay for tuition; now she's 59, and has paid back 90% of that money -- and she still owes $67,277. Read the rest

Charter will pay $174.2m for defrauding New Yorkers over data speeds, the largest settlement ever paid by a US ISP

Charter-Spectrum has settled a lawsuit brought by the New York Attorney General that accused the company of defrauding New Yorkers through false advertising about the data-speeds they could expect from their plans (among other things, the AG accused Charter of supplying customers with modems that were too slow to attain the speeds they'd paid for). Read the rest

Citing Brett Kavanaugh appointment, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quit the GOP

In California, the GOP scores below "no party preference" in voter registration, but much of the state's elites -- business leaders, prosecutors, judges -- have remained Republican, even as the party has moved away from overt support of unlimited capitalism supported by quiet racism and misogyny to overt racism and misogyny as a smokescreen for quiet support of unlimited capitalism. Read the rest

Trump ex-attorney Michael Cohen sentenced: 3 years prison, $500,000 forfeiture, $1.4 million restitution, $50,000 fine

Donald Trump's longtime “fixer” and personal attorney has been sentenced to to 36 months (3 years) in federal prison, plus an additional 3 years of supervised release, in a case in the Southern District of New York. Read the rest

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