Elite Baltimore police unit robbed with impunity, sold guns and drugs, loaned guns and armor to civilians sent to commit robberies

Detectives Marcus Taylor and Daniel Hersl of Baltimore's elite, seven-member Gun Trace Task Force are on trial for years of robbery, home invasions, drug dealing, gun dealing, and worse -- their defense is that they were not the primary participants in these activities, not that the crimes did not take place. Read the rest

Wichita cop who pulled the trigger in the first fatal swatting is being sued by the victim's family

When a serial bomb-report hoaxer reported a fake hostage-taking on behalf of a gamer upset at a $1.50 wager, he set in motion a string of events that ended with a Wichita police officer murdering an innocent bystander on his own doorstep, without warning. Read the rest

Motorists falsely arrested on DUI charges describe the life-ruining results

Imagine driving home from work clean and sober, getting stopped by police, then arrested on suspicion of DUI. Several people describe the months of stress and thousands of dollars they spent to clear their names. Read the rest

American cops kill more Americans than there are homicides in Japan of any kind

This country is a slaughterhouse and the police are not, contrary to given wisdom, the pigs. [u/udzu via Reddit] Read the rest

New York cops furious that the union has reduced the number of "get out of jail free" cards they can give to their pals

Every active NYPD cop used to get 30 Patrolmen's Benevolent Association "courtesy cards" from their union per year; now they'll only get 20 (retired cops used to get 20 and now they'll get 10). Read the rest

Amazon's useless "transparency reports" won't disclose whether they're handing data from always-on Alexa mics to governments

Amazon was the last major tech company to issue a "transparency report" detailing what kinds of law-enforcement requests they'd serviced, and where; when they finally did start issuing them, they buried them on obscure webpages deep in their corporate info site and released them late on Friday afternoons. Read the rest

New York City's Right to Know Act requires cops to record people's explicit consent to warrantless stop-and-frisks

You could write books about the evils of "broken windows" policing and its handmaiden, stop-and-frisk searches (this is a rather good one, in fact), and few places have been more prolific in the racist pursuit of this policy than New York City, where walking-while-brown is a one-way ticket to being stopped, searched, even stripped, all without a warrant or any particularized suspicion. Read the rest

A detailed look at how US police forces collude with spy agencies to cover up the origin of evidence in criminal cases

Since the 1970s, spy agencies have been feeding police forces tips about who to arrest and where to look for evidence, despite the illegality of their practicing surveillance within the USA. Read the rest

Hoaxer with a history of fake bomb threats SWATs and murders a random bystander over a $1.50 Call of Duty bet

Swatting is the practice of tricking police SWAT teams into storming your victim's home by phoning in fake hostage situations; it's especially prominent among cybercriminals, gamers and was a favored tactic of Gamergater trolls. Read the rest

When Las Vegas cops put on bodycams, they used 37% less force and generated 30% fewer complaints

A study published this year traces policing outcomes in Las Vegas between Sept 2014 and Oct 2015, comparing the conduct of 200 officers who wore bodycams and 200 who did not. Read the rest

Firefighters and cops save a horse that fell into a frozen pond

This risky rescue could have gone wrong in a number of ways, but the first responders were able to save a horse that had walked onto thin ice without injuring the horse or themselves. Read the rest

Even when a Chicago cop is convicted of wrongdoing, a secret appeals court usually overturns it

Chicago boasts one of the nation's most corrupt police forces: Chicago PD ran an off-the-books secret torture site; stole millions from innocents and used the funds to buy illegal surveillance gear; has more than 125,000 outstanding abuse complaints; conducted an illegal extortion racket and a coverup that went to the highest levels; is systemically racist and corrupt; a force that tolerates cops who cover up and celebrate murder (no surprise that the force trained the ex-Gitmo torturer who beat Dr David Dao unconscious for refusing to give up his seat on a United flight). Read the rest

I Can't Breathe: Matt Taibbi's scorching book on the murder of Eric Garner and the system that let the killers get away with it

Matt Taibbi is one of the best political writers working in the USA today, someone who can use the small, novelistic details of individuals' lives illuminate the vast, systemic problems that poison our lives and shame our honor; his 2014 book The Divide conducts a wide-ranging inquiry into the impunity of corporate criminals and the kafkaesque injustices visited on the poor people they victimize; in I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, Taibbi narrows his focus to the police murder of Eric Garner, a Staten Island fixture and father, and the system that put murderers in uniform in his path.

12 Michigan cops, looking for a 40-year-old white woman, draw guns on 11 year old black girl and put her in cuffs

A dozen Michigan cops from Grand Rapids broke into a family home and rushed an 11 year old black girl, pointing guns at her and cuffing her while her terrified mother begged them not to shoot her. Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Allen Ginsberg's HOWL and THE DEATH OF LENNY BRUCE

Lenny Bruce by Scott Marshall and Ethan Persoff

Previous Wilcock/Lenny comics on Boing Boing:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce! When Lenny Bruce Stayed at My Apartment

- Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall Read the rest

Killer cop off to jail for shooting unarmed black man in back

A South Carolina cop who shot an unarmed black man in the back is going to jail for at least 19 years.

Michael Slager killed Walter Scott in 2015, while an officer with the North Charleston Police Department. He was fired after video surfaced that showed Slager firing at Scott as he fled. It was clear from the footage that Slager was not in any danger: he just wanted to kill Scott.

Even then, it took two years and one mistrial to bring him to justice. ABC News:

U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled today that the former officer committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. The judge will announce Slager's final sentencing later today.

The judge's decision comes after Slager, who is white, pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense.

Read the rest

Cops chase innocent shoplifting suspect into stranger's house, then storm it with 50-person SWAT team and blow up every room except one

Leo Lech is suing the police in Greenwood, Colorado for storming his house with a 50-person SWAT team because they mistakenly believed that a man who ran into his house (whom Lech didn't know) had shoplifted a shirt and two belts from Walmart; the police engaged in a 19-hour standoff that led to the near-total destruction of Lech's house due to the use of "calculated destruction," a tactic through which explosives are detonated through the house, room by room, to isolate the suspect. Read the rest

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