Nicaragua continues to be on its bullshit

It's been a while since we talked about Nicaragua, but the nefarious crap that's been going on in the Central American nation for more than a year hasn't stopped. In fact, according to the United Nation's human rights office, things are most certainly getting worse.

From Reuters:

The U.N. human rights office on Tuesday criticized the arrest of 16 anti-government protesters in Nicaragua accused of arms trafficking, saying that the charges appeared to have been “trumped-up.”

On Monday, Nicaraguan authorities said the 16 detainees included student protesters such as Nicaraguan and Belgian national Amaya Coppens, who has been arrested previously.

Nicaraguan police also said the protesters were suspected of planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the Central American country, which has been roiled by demonstrations against the administration of President Daniel Ortega since April last year.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman in Geneva for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters the arrests looked like an attempt to silence criticism of the government.

So yeah, same greasy tricks, different year and people. President/ gutter trash dictator Daniel Ortega and his Vice President/power hungry despot/wife Rosario Murillo have been using their nation's military, police and masked militia-types to terrorize those opposed to their government's abusive policies for over a year now.

Violence and incarceration have been used as ways to shut up members of Nicaragua's judiciary, students protestors, intellectuals, members of the media and anyone else willing to stand up to the Ortega government. It's believed that at least 320 civilians have been murdered since protests, sparked by Ortega's plans to screw with his citizen's social security system, started in April of 2018. Read the rest

The ACLU made the Border Patrol reveal its terrifying legal theories

After four years of Freedom of Information Act litigation, the ACLU has prevailed and forced the Customs and Border Patrol to release 1,000 pages' worth of training documents in which new agents learn when they can stop people and what they can do after they stop them. Read the rest

Fearing for their lives, 60,000 people have fled Nicaragua

Hundreds of Nicaraguans who took to the streets over the last eight months to protest President Daniel Ortega's corrupt government have been forced into hiding and, in some cases, to flee the country for their own safety. It's the end result of the Nicaraguan government's crackdown against protesters who voiced their outrage over Ortega's plans to gut the nation's social security system.

From The New York Times:

...many people in this desperately poor Central American nation now live in a bleak new reality. They have exchanged their routine lives as lawyers, engineering majors, radio broadcasters and merchants for one of ever-changing safe houses, encrypted messaging apps and pseudonyms.

They are hiding from an increasingly authoritarian state that is methodically tracking down those who participated in the large-scale and often violent protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

“They are hunting us like deer,” said Roberto Carlos Membreño Briceño, 31, a former legal clerk for a Nicaraguan Supreme Court justice, who gave up his law license and fled this year after his bosses saw a photo of him at a protest. He now lives in hiding on a ranch in Costa Rica with 50 strangers, including a ballet dancer who goes by code name “The Eagle.”

Instead of listening to the concerned voices of his constituents, Ortega, paranoid, autocratic shitbird that he is, declared that the uprising had nothing to do with anything he was doing. Rather, the protesters were in the street, acting on behalf of "well-financed political parties" who wanted to toss him and his cronies out on their ass as part of a coup. Read the rest

Sen. Wyden confirms that police Stingray cellphone surveillance gadgets disrupt emergency services

Cops use Stingrays—fake cellular towers that fool cellphones into connecting to them instead of the real thing—to track people and hack into their devices. Sen. Ron Wyden, in a publicized letter to the U.S. Department of Jusice, exposes the fact that these devices disrupt and disable attempts to call emergency services.

Senior officials from the Harris Corporation—the manufacturer of the cell-site simulators used most frequently by U.S. law enforcement agencies—have confirmed to my office that Harris’ cell-site simulators completely disrupt the communications of targeted phones for as long as the surveillance is ongoing. According to Harris, targeted phones cannot make or receive calls, send or receive text messages, or send or receive any data over the Internet. Moreover, while the company claims its cell-site simulators include a feature that detects and permits the delivery of emergency calls to 9-1-1, its officials admitted to my office that this feature has not been independently tested as part of the Federal Communication Commission’s certification process, nor were they able to confirm this feature is capable of detecting and passing-through 9-1-1 emergency communications made by people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled using Real-Time Text technology.

The EFF:

It is striking, but unfortunately not surprising, that law enforcement has been allowed to use these technologies and has continued to use them despite the significant and undisclosed risk to public safety posed by disabling 911 service, not to mention the myriad privacy concerns related to CSS use.

It's a cliché, but it's true: the cops are out of control. Read the rest

For a few thousand bucks, Detroit police will give a business higher 911 priority

If someone has been trashing your Detroit gas station for an hour, and cops still haven't responded, chances are your business hasn't enrolled in Project Green Light. Read the rest

Santa Cam knows when you are sleeping AND awake

Your kids thought that Elf on the Shelf was a dirty snitch, but just wait until they get a load of this Santa Cam.

For just $19.99 you can further perpetuate one of the world's biggest lie to children, the existence of Santa Claus. Because, that jolly guy in the red suit knows when you are sleeping and he knows when you are awake, with or without this (dummy) cam.

Santa can "check-in" from the North Pole to see when kids are kind to others, listen to their parents, and make good choices!

But wait, there's more! The let's-normalize-survelliance cam comes with the book, The Santa Cam Saves Christmas.

A big thanks to SF Slim! Read the rest

Business is booming for the surveillance state

Surveillance companies like Axon hope to turn every law enforcement officer into a data-gathering drone for a bodycam surveillance database they privately control. Now ShotSpotter, a listening technology that triangulates gunfire in "urban, high-crime areas," announced a planned IPO. Read the rest

Randomly Generated Catalog of Creepily Nondescript Domestic Surveillance Equipment

The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.

Carry the frustration of injustice in this game about racist police violence

Akira Thompson's striking work challenges one of the biggest misconceptions about police violence against black people in America, and offers privileged players the chance to experience the truth.

Texas releases full police dashcam video of Sandra Bland's arrest

The Texas Department of Public Safety has just released what is said to be a complete and unedited police dashcam video recording of the arrest of Sandra Bland. An altercation begins around 9 minutes in. Read the rest

WATCH: Police hose down crowd of sports fans with pepper spray and tear gas

Revelers in Ohio get treated to a chemical hosedown by heavily militarized police. Read the rest

WATCH: authorities obsessed with inspecting people's anuses

The case of Timothy Young made national headlines in 2012 when New Mexico police anally probed him in search of drugs (no contraband was found). His ordeal was the result of a false positive alert by a drug-sniffing police dog. Incredibly, the same dog was involved in a case involving another New Mexico resident that resulted in forced rectal exams that uncovered no drugs. That case ended with authorities paying a $1.6 million settlement (Young's case is still pending).

Although presented as impartial and infallible, it turns out that such dogs are not only often poorly trained, they are frequently wrong.

Read the rest

Police arrest North Carolina man for distributing voting rights leaflets

“They said they would charge me for distributing literature...” Read the rest

Buttle/Tuttle mixup: Cops tell innocent woman she is dead, then throw her in jail

Shannon Renee McNeal (right), a 42-year-old woman, has filed a lawsuit against St Louis police and court personnel after they falsely arrested her on felony drug possession charges that were meant for Shannon Raquel McNeal (left), who was 13 years younger. The booking officer at the jail acknowledged that Shannon Renee McNeal's fingerprints didn't match the wanted woman's (who, incidentally, had been dead for three months before the warrant was approved) but jailed her anyway, using the "not my problem" excuse.

A county clerk also allegedly confirmed the officer’s mistake, but Shannon Renee McNeal was still transferred to the city’s department of corrections and assigned a caseworker. After the caseworker also confirmed she was not the suspect, McNeal was allegedly told to retain her own attorney -- which she could not afford -- or notify prosecutors herself.

The suit states that McNeal was kept in jail for two days despite the multiple confirmations of her innocence, during which time she was sprayed with pesticides that burned her stomach and back, before being released on the orders of Circuit Judge Thomas Frawley.

McNeal was fired from her job from the mistake and has to pay to get her named expunged from public databases that falsely claim she has a criminal record.

Insane case of mistaken identity: Woman arrested, told she’s actually dead, jailed anyway Read the rest

10 facts about the SWATification of the US

SWAT team raids in the US have gone up 25-fold since 1980. Time's recent article about the militarization of the police reports that "the federal government has funneled $4.3 billion of military property to law enforcement agencies since the late 1990s."

End of the American Dream has assembled 10 facts about SWAT teams:

In 1980, there were approximately 3,000 SWAT raids in the United States. Now, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids per year in this country. 79 percent of the time, SWAT teams are deployed to private homes. 50 percent of the victims of SWAT raids are either black or Latino. In 65 percent of SWAT deployments, “a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device” is used to gain forced entry to a home. 62 percent of all SWAT raids involve a search for drugs. In at least 36 percent of all SWAT raids, “no contraband of any kind” is found by the police. In cases where it is suspected that there is a weapon in the home, police only find a weapon 35 percent of the time. More than 100 American families have their homes raided by SWAT teams every single day. Only 7 percent of all SWAT deployments are for “hostage, barricade or active-shooter scenarios”. Even small towns are getting SWAT teams now. 30 years ago, only 25.6 percent of communities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team. Now, that number has increased to 80 percent. Read the rest

Albuquerque police chief OKs shooting of homeless man who ran from flash grenade

.picture { background-color: #FFFFFF; font: 12px/1.5em Arial; color:#888888; sans-serif; } .picture img { vertical-align:middle; margin-bottom: 3px; } .right { margin: 0.5em 0pt 0.5em 0.8em; float:right; } .left { margin: 0.5em 0.8em 0.5em 0; float:left; } Still image from a video that shows officers assaulting and then killing a mentally ill man who was illegally camping

Travel tip for Albuquerque visitors: When a gang of police officers unleash their attack dog on you and startle you with a flash-bang grenade, stand very still. If you try to back away, Police Chief Gordon Eden has given the officers permission to shoot you on the spot.

The Albuquerque Police Department has been under federal review by the U.S. Department of Justice since 2012 when the agency’s record of shooting 25 suspect – 17 fatal – garnered national attention. The department has added 11 more shootings to that list since the end of 2012. Albuquerque officers have shot more persons than the NYPD, a department serving a city 16-times larger, since 2010.

Albuquerque cops assault and kill camping homeless man Read the rest

Nevada deputy who took $50,000 from a man ordered to return it

In September 2013 Tan Nguyen was pulled over by Nevada Deputy Sgt. Lee Dove for driving 78 MPH in a 75 MPH zone. Deputy Dove asked Nguyen for permission to search the car and Nguyen consented to the search. (Big mistake. He should have done this instead.) Deputy Dove found $50,000 in Nguyen's briefcase and confiscated it. Deputy Dove did not charge Nguyen with any crime. Nguyen asked Deputy Dove not to take his money, which he said was casino winnings. According to Nguyen's lawsuit, Deputy Dove "threatened to seize and tow his car unless he 'got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.'" This photo of Sgt. Dove with the money he took was posted to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department's Facebook page.

This story has a happy ending. Nguyen sued the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and got his $50,000 back, plus $10,000 to pay his lawyer. The Humboldt County District Attorney issued a laughably stupid statement that tried to deflect the blame from the sheriff's department over to the liberal media elite, which had "unfairly criticized the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office as the Sheriff's Office was acting in accordance with the law as they understood it and was not responsible for any procedural defects following the seizure of assets."

A Driver Had $50,000 Seized By A Nevada Cop, But Wasn't Charged With A Crime. Now He's Getting His Money Back Read the rest

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