Texas high-school students can't graduate without watching a video on not triggering snowflake cops

The "Civilian Interaction Training Program" is a project of the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement, aimed at teaching children how not to terrify heavily armed, easily-spooked Texas law enforcement officers, who, when triggered, are at risk of murdering children during traffic stops. Reviewing these training materials is mandatory for anyone hoping to receive a diploma from a Texas high school. The bill's author, Texas state senator Royce West, says the curriculum's purpose is to end "distrust for law enforcement." Read the rest

Officer of the month charged with rape

Prince George’s County Police Officer Ryan Macklin was charged with rape after a woman was attacked during a traffic stop last week. Macklin is listed as a two-time patrol officer of the month at the department's website.

During the traffic stop, Macklin reportedly forced the woman to perform a sex act while they were sitting in her car in a nearby parking lot.

Police say Macklin was “on-duty, in uniform, and driving a marked police cruiser at the time.”

Investigators are not sure why Macklin targeted this woman, but believe there may be other victims.

Read the rest

Against all evidence, city of Savannah claims googly eyes glued to Revolutionary War statue are "not funny"

An extremely funny prankster glued googly eyes to the statue of Revolutionary War commander Nathaniel Greene; the City of Savannah took to its Facebook page to insist that this was "not funny" but rather "vandalism" and saying that the police had been involved. Read the rest

Forensics company advises cops not to look at seized Iphones, to avoid facial-recognition lockouts

A leaked police-training presentation from digital forensics company Elcomsoft (a company that made history due to its early run-in with the DMCA) advises officers not to look at Iphones seized from suspects in order to avoid tripping the phones' facial recognition systems -- if Iphones sense too many unlock attempts with faces other than those registered as trusted, they fall back to requiring additional unlock measures like passcodes or fingerprints. Read the rest

Why cops beat you in the interrogation room

This video uses footage of real life police interrogations to reveal the psychological tricks that cops use to get people to incriminate themselves. Read the rest

Seattle cops announce registry for high-risk swatting targets

The Seattle Police Department, having coped with two (thankfully) nonlethal swatting incidents since June, has announced a registry where people worried they might be swatted (previously) can sign up; the registry is a modification of the existing, third-party, private-sector Smart911 system, and the SPD says that if your name is on it, they will tread extra-carefully in evaluating SWAT-like reports of hostage-taking, active shooters and other high-risk crimes at your home or office. (via /.) Read the rest

Mexican forces seize control of entire Acapulco police department

Mexico's governance crisis continues: beyond the clandestine mass graves, the kidnapping of elected officials (and assassination of political candidates) and coordinated attacks on anti-corruption candidates, there's the well-known problem of corrupt police officers and whole departments, including, it seems, the Acapulco police department, who have been raided and disarmed by federal forces, with two officers charged with murder and the rest under investigation. (Image: Tomascastelazo, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

Facebook reminds America's cops that they're not allowed to use fake accounts

Facebook's terms of service require users to use their real names; though thiis has lots of potential downsides (including allowing dictators to identify and round up opposition figures), you'd hope that it would at least be evenly applied -- for example, to law enforcement agencies like the Memphis Police Department, who use "Bob Smith" accounts to befriend and entrap activists online. Read the rest

Middle school cop who arrested seventh graders "to prove a point" may yet face consequences

In 2013, Deputy Luis Ortiz was the "school resource officer" at Etiwanda Intermediate in San Bernardino County, California, when he arrested a group of 12- and 13-year-old girls, cuffing them and taking them to jail in a police vehicle; at the time and afterward, Ortiz said he arrested them "to prove a point" because he felt they were "unresponsive and disrespectful" and in his belief, introducing them to the criminal justice system would make them "mature a lot faster." Read the rest

Kalamazoo criminalizes homelessness, arrests city commissioner and other activists

Mike DeWaele writes, "A group of homeless activists had maintained a peaceful occupation of Bronson Park in Kalamazoo for about a month in protests of a new ordinance that made it illegal to sleep in public parks. The protest was well organized, clean and well maintained- at one point involving up to 200 homeless citizens and their supporters, with extensive logistical support from the larger community. The protest had clearly articulated demands but the City Comission was willing to address them only on a very superficial level, with no comitment to action, and then only after weeks of public pressure. While the talks were still ongoing, the city manager ordered local police to clear the camp, which happened before his morning. Several homeless and other activists refused to vacate, including city commissioner Shannon Sykes, who had been the lone voice on the commission in (passionate) support of the encampment and who had spent several nights with the protest as a supporter and observer. Those activists have all been arrested on as yet unknown charges." Read the rest

Emails show Berkeley police celebrated 'retweets' & 'engagements' from protester mugshots cops posted on social media

Internal emails show that the Berkeley, California Police Department (BPD) talked of building a “counter-narrative” on social media against anti-fascist protesters as BPD tweeted out their names and mugshots, then boasted of retweets and “engagement” metrics when mugshots went viral. This amounts to cops doxxing protesters and high-fiving each other over it. That's creepy, and seems like an obvious abuse of power, if not also an abuse of the law. Read the rest

The sheriffs who cheered Trump's attack on the press have long histories of shady dealings, revealed by the press

Last week, Trump invited a collection to sheriffs to the White House for a rousing speech about the evils of the free press, exactly the kind of thing the leader of a democracy does all the time, and the sheriffs gave him a standing ovation, because that's exactly the kind of thing you'd want fairminded law-enforcement agents to do in a democracy. Read the rest

Dallas cop charged with manslaughter after killing neighbor in his apartment

Dallas cop Amber Guyger, 30, was charged this weekend with manslaughter after killing her neighbor Botham Shem Jean, supposedly under the belief that he was an intruder in her apartment. She was in fact intruding into his apartment after returning home from work. Authorities' refusal to arrest Guyger in the days after the slaying led to an outcry, and they were only forced to act after the story made national headlines.

Lawyers for Jean's family had been calling for Guyger's arrest, saying the fact that she had remained free days after the shooting showed she was receiving favorable treatment.

''Police say Guyger, a four-year veteran of the force, told investigators she was returning home from her shift Thursday night and accidentally entered Jean's apartment. Guyger believed Jean was an intruder and shot him, police said. Police have released few other details.

"Right now, there are more questions than answers," Police Chief Renee Hall said. "We understand the concerns of the community. That is why we are working as vigorously and meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of the case and the department is upheld."

Read the rest

$2m "fentanyl" bust turns out to be big bag of sugar

Last week, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon boasted of making “one of the largest seizures in the state” after hauling 12 pounds of "fentanyl" from a drug bust. Sadly for McMahon, the state crime lab says it is sugar.

“The job of the District Attorney is not to convict at all costs, but to be ministers of justice. That commitment requires us to move swiftly to dismiss or modify charges when we become aware of new evidence that calls into question a defendant’s guilt,” Ben David, the district attorney for New Hanover County, said in a statement.

The people busted aren't off the hook, as other "drugs" were found. Fortunately for them, "contributing to the epic self-own of a law enforcement officer" is not on the books in North Carolina. Read the rest

Denver cop tells reporter to "act like a lady" as he cuffs her for filming arrest of black man

Susan Greene, the editor of the Colorado Independent, was handcuffed and detained by Denver police while attempting to film them near the Colorado State Capitol building. When she points out to officer James Brooks that what she's doing is protected by the First Amendment, he claims that it does not supercede other laws, cuffs her, and orders her to "act like a lady."

Filming police officers in public is legal, and attempts to prevent it are oftentimes a warning that police feel they have something to hide.

Two studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10 percent of families in the general population.

District Attorney Beth McCann "last week called Greene to inform her that the D.A.’s office would not be pressing charges against the officers."

Here's the photo Denver cops didn't want Ms. Greene taking, which she published in a post about the incident.

I’d have plenty of colorful things to write about the moment when the officers were pushing me toward the police car and one of them – Officer Brooks, I think – told me to “act like a lady.” Or maybe it was “try to act like a lady.” In any case, I’m curious to hear, after reviewing the body-cam video, Denver police officials explain how exactly a woman should behave on a perp walk after having been blocked from doing her job, obstructed from exercising her First Amendment rights, handcuffed and otherwise manhandled by an ignorant and over-amped police officer and his sidekick.

Read the rest

'Act like a lady,' Denver police tell journalist as they handcuff and detain her for photographing them

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Susan Greene responds. “Act like a lady?”

“There you go,” the police officer says. “Now you can go to jail.” Read the rest

Cops destroyed man's house with explosives to flush out hiding shoplifter, offered $5,000 in compensation

A homeowner is suing police in Greenwood Village, Colorado, after they destroyed his house with explosives to flush out a shoplifter hiding there. The cops maintained a 19-hour siege to collar Robert Seacat, who "stole items from WalMart" and fired a gun at them during the showdown.

Police offered Leo Lech $5000 for the loss of his home.

“If you look at the photos of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, I would say his house looks better than mine does,” Lech said at the time.

After inspectors declared the home a total loss, the city offered Lech $5,000 in compensation.

Since then he’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars repairing the home.

He’s now filed a federal lawsuit, claiming civil rights violations, and unjust compensation from the government.

This story was from last year; his case doesn't seem to be going well.

Attorney Rachel Maxam, who represents Lech, isn't giving up. After U.S. District Court judge Philip Brimmer ruled against her earlier this year, she appealed the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. ...

But from the beginning, attorney Maxam knew that increasing that figure would be difficult. After all, the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act restricts suits against municipalities such as Greenwood Village, and complaints against individuals can only succeed if they're found to have acted willfully and wantonly

This situation has the whiff of "rich urban enclave" to it, where local government exists to keep other local government (and their taxes) out, and functions more or less as a glorified, armed HOA. Read the rest

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