Tales of piss-headed police officers dominated the news in the week before New Years (at least, in my social circles, if we discount everything related to Star Wars). In West Virginia, the governor has finally recommended the firing of the full Hitler Heil-ing cadet class. In Kansas, another cop was (allegedly) terminated after writing "Fucking Pig" on his own McDonald's coffee cup and trying to blame it on the hard-working, underpaid workers whom he should be theoretically serving and protecting. (Some cops in Alabama also made a mocking "homeless quilt" that the department later apologized for, though the officers weren't actually reprimanded as far as I can tell.)
On the surface, this is largely a good thing. Although these are somewhat-minor acts in the grand scheme of police behaviors, the fact that there are actually repercussions for police misconduct already represents a sea change from the way things have been. Police departments across the country have kept secret lists of criminal crops who remain in their employ; typically, when cops are caught lying about things (even as dumb and small as a McDonald's coffee cup), the rest of their testimony is still given weight. Hell, the National Center for Women and Policing found that at least 40% of police officers self-reported domestic violence in the home … and still keep their jobs.
But these guys in West Virginia and Kansas? They might actually lose their jobs over a couple of pictures.
The public outrage towards unfair and overly aggressive policing has noticeably swelled alongside the raise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and particularly in the aftermath of that obscene military occupation in Ferguson. Read the rest
SCAN (Scientific Content Analysis) is a lie-detecting method invented by Avinoam Sapir, a former Israeli spook turned polygraph examiner that involves picking out small textual details from writing samples to determine when someone is lying. Sapir has used his method to determine the veracity of the Book of Genesis, and to conclude that Anita Hill might be a secret lesbian and that James Comey was likely sexually assaulted as a child.
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“The cameras are already transforming modern day policing in Uganda, with facial recognition and artificial intelligence as part of policing and security.” — Ugandan Police.
Two police officers in Louisiana lost their jobs this week after one said Democratic Party legislator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot and the other signaled their agreement.
Charles Rispoli wrote that she "needed a round" and Angelo Varisco "liked" the post. Rispoli was responding to a fabricated news item falsely reporting that Ocasio-Cortez had called for US troops to get a pay cut.
"This vile idiot needs a round...and I don't mean the kind she used to serve," he wrote.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, 29, worked as a waitress and bartender before stunning the political world last year by defeating veteran Joe Crowley in their party's congressional primary in New York City. Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson told reporters that both Charles Rispoli and a fellow officer who "liked" the post, Angelo Varisco, had been fired.
"These officers acted in a manner which was unprofessional, alluding to a violent act to be conducted a sitting U.S. congresswoman," Mr Lawson said.
The extent to which U.S. policing is infested with and inflitrated by white supremacists is still more or less ignored, despite the FBI's own investigation and plenty of reporting on the matter. Read the rest
Cops see themselves as a thin blue line, but the job is is turning into a scarlet letter.
Nationwide, interest in becoming a police officer is down significantly. In Nashville, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. ...
Videos of police misconduct and fatal shootings have damaged the perception of American police officers but not irrevocably, said Antoinette Archer, director of human relations for the police department in Richmond Many people are “taken aback by the brutality, not by the profession,” she said. “If we can be inclusive” of women and people of color, “those individuals who can see a part of their fabric in the department will come forward. ... If the environment is not inclusive, you’re going to lose them.”
Too many cops and too little crime. The invisible fist, it turns out, prefers "less cops" to "more crime," however hard some departments try to manufacture the latter.
Archer is maybe concerned with recruitment standards falling to make up numbers, creating a vicious cycle with respect to the "white supremacists and outright psychos" policing problem. Read the rest
There are about 4,200,000 surveillance cameras in United Kingdom. According to a feature in Wired UK, police want to take an even closer look.
The West Yorkshire Police Service is currently testing a mobile fingerprint scanning system that's connected to databases containing the fingerprints of 12 million immigrants and criminals. 250 mobile fingerprint scanners have been issued in the North Eastern region of England and will be used, as part of a pilot program, to help identify individuals who refuse to or are unable to tell the police who they are or are. The Yorkshire Police Service says that the system would most likely only ever be used on suspects at the scene of a crime, those who are found to have no identification papers or anyone found dead or unconscious. Read the rest
For years, racist authoritarians in New York City defended the stop-and-frisk program in which primarily black and brown people were repeatedly stopped without any particularized suspicion and forced to turn out their pockets, empty their bags, even strip naked in public on frozen-street corners.
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