Uganda installs Huawei's AI-powered facial recognition surveillance system 'nationwide'

“The cameras are already transforming modern day policing in Uganda, with facial recognition and artificial intelligence as part of policing and security.” — Ugandan Police.

Texas police lead handcuffed black man through streets by rope

The photo shows two white police officers, on horseback, leading a roped black detainee through the streets. Galveston police chief Vernon Hale apologized, after it went viral, but said there was "no malicious intent" and that "the technique was acceptable in some scenarios." The BBC: "According to a news release from the Galveston Police Department, the two mounted officers, named only as P Brosch and A Smith, arrested Donald Neely for criminal trespass. The officers were taking Mr Neely to a police staging area. Police clarified that he was not tied with the rope, but 'was handcuffed and a line was clipped to the handcuffs"'". Read the rest

Amazon's surveillance doorbell marketers help cops get warrantless access to video footage from peoples' homes

Every time I write about the unfolding scandal of Amazon's secret partnerships with hundreds of US police departments who get free merch and access to Ring surveillance doorbell footage in exchange for acting as a guerrilla marketing street-team for Ring, I get an affronted email from Amazon PR, implying that I got it all wrong, but unwilling to enter into detailed discussions of what's actually going on (the PR flacks also usually ask to be quoted officially but anonymously, something I never agree to). Read the rest

Corruption is contagious: dirty cops make their partners dirty

Police unions have systematized and perfected the process of ensuring impunity for crooked cops, ensuring that even the most violent, lying, thieving, racist, authoritarian cops can stay on the force; at the same time, apologists for police violence and corruption tell us not to blame the whole force for the bad deeds of a few rotten apples. Read the rest

Amazon's secret deals with local cops give them access to realtime 911 data for use in scary alerts sent to Ring owners

Mining the results of public records requests relating to Amazon's secret deals with local law enforcement to promote its Ring surveillance doorbells (more than 200 agencies!) continue to bear fruit. Read the rest

Amazon's secret deals with cops gave corporate PR a veto over everything the cops said about their products

Last week, Motherboard broke a story revealing that Amazon had entered into secret agreements with local law enforcement agencies that had the cops pushing Ring surveillance doorbells to the people they were sworn to protect, in exchange for freebies and access to a system that let them request access to footage recorded by the Amazon's industry-leading internet-of-shit home surveillance tools. Read the rest

Violent mobs of alleged Triad gangsters dole out savage beatings to Hong Kong democracy protesters, cops nowhere to be found

The #612strike protests that have rocked Hong Kong for more than a month continue to gather steam, as Hong Kongers march to demand that China make good on its promise to respect the island's right to self-governance. Read the rest

How to hide from the cops

Step 1: be small enough to fit in a trashcan.

(Protip: recycling cans smell better) Read the rest

WATCH: Connecticut State Troopers accidentally recorded themselves discussing plans to falsify a police report, and they got away with it

In this footage, Connecticut State Trooper First Class John Barone, Sgt. John Jacobi and Master Sgt. Patrick Torneo are recorded discussing how to justify ticketing Michael Picard, an activist who filmed them detaining him.

According to a 2017 story in the Hartford Courant, they were exonerated by an internal investigation despite planning to falsify witness reports of the encounter. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2016, which remains active as of June 2019.

A state police internal affairs investigator concluded there was "no evidence" to support an activist's claim that three troopers conspired to concoct charges against him during a contentious interaction at a DUI checkpoint in 2015.

Michael Picard, who supports the open carrying of firearms and opposes random DUI checkpoints, was charged with two infractions while protesting at an I-84 ramp in West Hartford.

Police seized Picard's camcorder during the confrontation, which, unbeknownst to the troopers involved, captured them discussing whether to file charges. In the audio, one trooper is heard stating that the officers "gotta cover our ass," while another adds they could "claim that, um, in the back-up, we had multiple people stop to report" a man with a gun.

The best part is when trooper Barone claims that it's illegal to film him because state property isn't public property. The "oh shit!" when they realize the camera's still running is a close second.

They do this day in and day out, which is why catching them once is addressed by internal investigators as an attack on law enforcement rather than a problem to solve. Read the rest

Police cameras to be augmented with junk-science "microexpression" AI lie-detectors

The idea that you can detect lies by analyzing "microexpressions" has absorbed billions in spending by police forces and security services, despite the fact that it's junk science that performs worse than a coin-toss. Read the rest

Facebook hate group investigation reveals 400 police officers, including NYPD cops, to be members

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 discourage use of mobile phone cases that look just like handguns

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.

• Previously: "Man pointing bong shaped like a rifle causes major scare in San Diego" Read the rest

Two speeding cops crash into one another at intersection, killing 84-year-old woman in nearby car

The AP obtained footage from a security camera showing two speeding Chicago police vehicles, lightbars on, crashing into one another and then into a third car idling nearby. The driver of that vehicle, an 84-year-old retired teacher, was killed in the collision. The footage was released by her family, which is suing over her wrongful death.

The suit claims the officers driving the SUV and the marked van were traveling at “unconscionably high speeds through the densely populated Austin neighborhood.” It contends the risk from speeding outweighed the dangers of the suspect whom the officers were pursuing. Police said the cars were on their way to an emergency call for assistance, known as a 10-1, on the West Side when the crash happened. Chicago police initially said the civilians as well as the 10 police officers hurt in the crash all suffered “non-life threatening injuries.”

This isn't even the only story today about reckless Chicago cops killing bystanders with their cars: Chicago cop charged with DUI, reckless homicide in fatal crash while off duty.

An off-duty Chicago police officer has been charged with reckless homicide and DUI after he crashed his car into the side of a South Side restaurant, killing a registered nurse sitting with friends at a table, authorities said. Terrance Finley, 24, faces one felony count of reckless homicide with a motor vehicle and one count of aggravated driving under the influence resulting in a deadly accident, according to a statement Tuesday from Chicago police. Finley was also charged with a misdemeanor count of DUI and was cited for failing to reduce speed, police said.

Read the rest

Police officer says "F**k You is my name" when man asks

A police officer in Decatur identified himself as "Fuck You is my name" when asked by the innocent, handcuffed black man he was getting angry with.

Dizzy Dez writes about the cops turning up outside his home:

[Another officer] immediately started to place me in handcuffs and attempted to search me. I asked her was I being detained, she says no but proceeds to put me in handcuffs as I ask then why am I being cuffed?! Stating I don’t consent to any searches nor seizures that are unlawful, I wasn’t searched. So while this is going on two other officers pull up, She places Artist/photographer/ graphic designer( Sa'Von Hobbs )in cuffs and proceeds to search him. He proves he has a permit for the weapon he was holding and we confirm I wasn’t being held hostage. The female officer then asks for my info. And I refuse because I was being detained unlawfully and there was no need for my ID. She then says she knows I have a wallet in my pocket and I say yes I do but I don’t consent to being searched. She then says she’s going to search me anyways and starts to pull me up off the curb by my arm and reaches in my pocket and opens my wallet getting my information and calling it in. At the end of the day nobody can tell me what’s wrong with this officer, it’s like he was mad that he couldn’t violate my rights!

Read the rest

Axon makes false statements to town that bought its police bodycams, threatens to tase their credit-rating if they cancel the contract

Axon -- formerly Taser International -- makes police bodycams that they sell to towns on the cheap, betting that they'll make it up by gouging the towns for cloud-based storage for footage from the cameras (what could possibly go wrong?!). Read the rest

London police arrest man who covered face during public facial recognition trials

Police in London conducted a public street trial with facial recognition cameras. A man who covered his face as he walked by the cameras was stopped by officers, forced to submit to being photographed, and then arrested on a charge of public disorder after complaining loudly. The segment starts at 3:35 in the embedded BBC video; here's more coverage from The Independent:

The Independent revealed that more than £200,000 was spent on six deployments that resulted in no arrests between August 2016 and July last year. Two people wanted for violent offences were arrested after a trial in December.

Critics have called the force’s use of facial recognition a “shambles” and accused Scotland Yard of wasting public money ... The Metropolitan Police has described the deployments as “overt” and said members of the public were informed facial recognition was being used by posters and leaflets. But no one questioned by The Independent after they passed through a scanning zone in central London in December had seen police publicity material, and campaigners claim the technology is being rolled out “by stealth”.

I can barely beleive the motto of the Metropolitan Police is 'TOTAL POLICING'. Horseshoe theory is a limiting view of politics, but it is amazing how we get to the terminology of comic-book villainy by other means.

The jobsworth "for your own protection" attitude of British cops is incredibly annoying, albeit less annoying than getting executed in the street by American ones. The real danger, though, lurks in how the cops dance their way between that nonsense and, as one plain-clothes officer puts it, "covering your face is grounds for reasonable suspicion." When authorities pick and choose rationalizations depending on the audience, the true answer is a secret. Read the rest

Student painting depicting police office as pig pulled from art show at government building

At the Madeira Municipal Building in Ohio, a high school student's artwork depicting a pig in a police uniform was taken down by the organizers of an annual student art show. In the artwork, the pig is standing in front of collaged newspaper headlines about police using deadly force. Guess what? People complained.

The unnamed student created the artwork as a response to the following assignment:

“Take current event articles published in newspapers or magazines on a similar topic and then summarize those articles into a visual representation of the feelings and emotions within the articles selected.”

The Madeira Police Department would not confirm or deny whether they asked for the painting to be removed. From WCPO:

“The members of the Madeira Police Department fully respect and support the student’s right to free speech and recognize that this young artist is very talented,” (a police) statement reads. “However, officers are troubled by the perceived message of the student’s art project.”

So was Lt. Dan Hils, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police and a frequent defender of Cincinnati officers whose use of force becomes the subject of public discussion. On Monday night, Hils said he was saddened by the piece but would not have asked for it to be removed.

“For me, the word I think of is just a little disappointed — disappointed that there is youth that believe that of police officers,” he said, adding: “It’s a beautiful thing our country has — the ability for people to express how they feel and this young person was expressing how they feel.

Read the rest

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