Oh look. A bunch of American police cadets giving a Nazi salute. Whom ever could have seen this coming?
From the Charleston Gazette-Mail:
Several West Virginia state employees have been suspended after a photo emerged depicting a training class of roughly 30 correctional officers performing a Nazi salute.
Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Director Jeff Sandy sent a letter to all employees Wednesday describing the photo as “distasteful, hurtful, disturbing, highly insensitive, and completely inappropriate.”
The photo, on state letterhead, shows almost all of Basic Training Class No. 18 displaying the Nazi salute. Text above the photo reads: “HAIL BYRD!” [a reference to the trainees' instructor]
This reminds me of something. It almost makes me feel a certain … animosity towards an automated contrivance.
While it's good to know that a "number" of these employees have been "suspended," it would be far more comforting to know that they were all fired, along with all the other officers who condone such activity. But I'm not actually expecting much more than a few slaps on the wrist and one or two high-profile Fall Guys before the whole thing gets brushed aside and these Neo-Nazis end up patrolling the streets.
WV employees suspended after photo emerges of correctional officers' Nazi salute [Jake Zuckerman / Charleston Gazette-Mail]
Image via West Virginia state officials Read the rest
On Tuesday, December 2, the current Attorney General and former Iran-Contra fixer gave a speech at the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing in which he threatened to take away police protections from communities who refused to bow down and respect worship law enforcement.
American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officer. And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves ― and if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.
There's the obvious problem here, which is that serving and protecting the public should not be contingent upon the public's lavish praise. That's not a service; it's blackmail. If police truly covet public veneration, then they should be selfless enough to serve and protect without the expectation of reward, and simply because it's the right thing to do.
But the other, more ironic issue is about government dependency. Conservatives in the modern GOP love to give lip service to independence — to by-your-bootstraps self-determination. "People need to stop relying on the government, and take care of themselves!" they say. But here's Bill Barr, threatening to take away a government service as if it's a bad thing. We all know what "communities" he's referring to in this speech; they're the same ones that have been historically targeted, bullied, and oppressed by police. That's why these communities don't respect the police. Read the rest
A resident of Erie County, Ohio called police on Tuesday when she spotted a large pig outside her back door. The police attempted to capture the suspect but as body cam footage (below) shows, it was no easy task. Eventually, the sheriffs used apples to lure the pig into a barn and located the animal's owner.
"We try and avoid pigs," said Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth.
Read the rest
“The final resting spot of the once glorious glazed donuts.” Read the rest
KHQ6 reports that John Rabago, a Hawaii cop accused of forcing a homeless man to lick a public urinal, plans to plead guilty on a civil rights charge. Another officer, Reginald Ramones, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: "Ramones says Rabago convinced him not to report it."
More from the AP:
The homeless man feared he would be arrested and reluctantly obeyed Rabago’s orders, according to Ramones’ plea agreement. Rabago had previously threatened another man he was questioning by saying he wouldn’t be arrested if he stuck his head in a toilet, the document said.
Alt headline: Blue water blues for the boys in blue Read the rest
A sheriff's deputy in Pima, AZ was video-recorded wrestling with and screaming at a 15 year old Black teenager with no arms or legs; the cop, who was not named, was called to a group home where the teen lived, because the teen had been upset and yelling and shouting, and had knocked over a trash can.
Read the rest
At Medium's OneZero [@ozm], new reporting based on “thousands of pages of previously undisclosed emails” confirms “the existence of a massive, secretive network of police departments working together to share controversial facial recognition tools.” Read the rest
Police shut down part of a train station in Westchester County, New York to investigate a suspicious package. Turned out that the suspicious package was a new emergency calling device for passengers to report suspicious packages and behavior.
Read the rest
“It’s not clear why the resident ordered the uranium.”
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.
(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
Amazon's Ring surveillance doorbells are part of a secretive, nationwide police surveillance network, with cops being offered covert incentives to act as street-teams to buzz market the products, and with Amazon repeatedly misleading the public and reporters about when and how police can gain access to footage from the cameras.
Read the rest
I was scrolling through Jalopnik earlier today when HOLY CRAP THERE'S A COP SAVING A DUDE FROM GETTING HIT BY A TRAIN!
From the Utah Department of Public Safety:
This morning, Trooper Ruben Correa pulled an unconscious driver from his vehicle seconds before it was struck by a train. Trooper Correa had been on a traffic stop close by before he responded to the area on a call of a car on the tracks. As he spoke to the media about this incident this morning, Trooper Correa said, "At that point, I actually wasn’t really thinking, I was just doing my job."
Image via PXhere
Read the rest
AirCSI is a prototype drone system that scans crime scenes from above, identify possible pieces of evidence, and then collect more detailed images and data of such items of interest. Leading the development of the system is Pompílio Araújo, a researcher at the Intelligent Vision Research Lab at Federal University of Bahia who often assists the Federal Police of Brazil in crime scene investigation. From IEEE Spectrum:
"...AirCSI provides a sketch with the localization of the evidences, as well as a detailed crime scene imagery,” says Araújo. His team used simulation software to test this newer version of AirCSI, and found that using multiple angles to detect evidence is up to 18 percent more effective than using only one angle...
While the researchers have yet to test the new, multi-angle approach beyond simulations, they expect to try it out in a real environment by the end of this year or early next year...
He also plans on developing a way to completely reconstruct crime scenes using the drone footage, creating a virtual environment that investigators can explore indefinitely—or at least until the crime is solved.
"Multi-Perspective Object Detection for Remote Criminal Analysis Using Drones" (IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters)
Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "More than 30 civil rights organizations, including Fight for the Future, Color of Change, National Immigration Law Center, and CAIR, have signed an open letter calling for elected officials to investigate Amazon Ring’s business practices and put an end to all Amazon-police surveillance partnerships. This is the first major action taken by groups to pressure lawmakers to address these partnerships and the threats they pose to privacy, civil liberties, and democracy. Our elected officials are supposed to protect us, both from abusive policing practices and corporate overreach. These partnerships are a clear case of both. If you're concerned about Amazon's surveillance partnerships, there's a petition you can sign to your local elected officials here."
Read the rest
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this week released new rules that limit when police can access family tree DNA databases to identify crime suspects. This new genealogy policy is the first ever at the federal level to address how online genetic databases sold as services to the public can be used in law enforcement. Read the rest
Also applies to everyone else, as it happens. [via] Read the rest
For two decades, the Phoenix police union has had a secret deal with the police department that required that the disciplinary records of cops would be "purged," so that no one, not even their supervisors, would be able to retrieve them.
Read the rest