Abuse of Power by Ordinary Cops

The very best cops in this country are the ones you never hear about.  They go about their thankless jobs, they stick their necks out every day, trying to make the world a safer place.  They sweep drunks off the street at 3:00 a.m.  They fill out paperwork constantly.  One their days off, their neighbors expect them to act as the neighborhood security guard, referee and guidance counselor.  One fellow I know was a cop for several years, and upon leaving the profession, one of the first things he noticed was that his nose stopped hurting.  Apparently he got into street fights every night, through no fault of his own, and it was just part of the job.

For a good overview of the dirty work performed by ordinary cops, read What Cops Really Do.

In fact, I've known a lot of people who have been law enforcement officers, and a few who still are, and they truly are America's Finest.  Without people like them, this country (or any other) would be an awful place to live, because there are so many nearby residents who simply won't behave themselves without forcible external control (for a number of reasons).

But unfortunately there are also the cops at the bottom of the curve.  The ones who are only marginally qualified.  The ones who should be at the city jail — on the other side of the bars.  The ones who are only working as cops because that's the best job they can get at the moment.  And worst of all, the ones with more ego than brains:  self-important badge-happy goons who should never have been hired.  Generally, cops of this sort are only found in small towns, because the police departments in major cities filter their applicants quite stringently.

In some cases, formerly reasonable men and women have been put into positions where they have to justify their paychecks by generating revenue for the cities that hired them.  It is a stereotype I'm sure you know very well:  There's a cop in every small town handing out speeding tickets to tourists on the biggest highway around.  But stereotypes don't just materialize out of nowhere.  There really are small towns that make a lot of money off the speeders on interstate highways.  Rather than taking a bite out of genuine crime, many cops spend their days hiding in the roadside bushes with a radar gun and writing tickets.  This sort of activity has very little to do with public safety, but is instead a pretense to stop passing motorists and search their cars for guns, drugs, seat belt violators, or any of several other petty offenses.  If you fail the "attitude test", you'll pay dearly.  You might assume they're just following orders, but you might be wrong.

This page shows some examples of what can happen when local and state police agencies have too much power, too little restraint, and too many bad ideas.




Subtopics:

The local police have been given too much authority
Special rights and privileges for police officers
Cops used for political leverage
Surveillance cameras
License plate readers
Warrantless GPS tracking
The use of your cell phone by the police and the government to obtain evidence against you
The militarization of the police
Federalization of the police
Ordinary cops have too much fire power
The use of drones against civilians
Seat belt laws
You're guilty of something, we just need to figure out what it is
Distracted driving
No offense is too petty to overlook
The War on Little Kids with Lemonade Stands
Cops believe their computer terminals, no matter what they say
Cops believe their polygraph machines, no matter what they say
Please refrain from defending your own life and property
Sluggish response
Warrantless searches
SWAT teams
The Harding Street Raid
Cops and their dogs
Cops and your dog
Excessive force
The death of Laquan McDonald
The death of Eric Garner
The Department of Justice vs Apple Computer
Anything you have ever said can be used against you
Stingray and Dirtbox
Laptop computer searches and seizures
Radar traps
Parking tickets and other fundraising mechanisms
Cops will not stand for insults
Wasted money
Incompetence
Selective enforcement
The School Shooting in Parkland, Florida, February 14, 2018
The School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022
The Case of Officer Mohamed Noor
Dishonesty
Misbehavior and other objectionable traits
Property seizures
Video recordings of the police
Video recordings made by the police
The use of Traffic Signals as Fundraisers
The use and abuse of Tasers
The use and abuse of pepper spray



Related pages:

The Road to Tyranny is All Downhill From Here
Abuse of Power
Sanctuary cities
The Use of 9-1-1 as a Weapon, also known as SWATting
Snitch on your neighbor
Zero-Tolerance Laws
Cases in which guns saved lives
The Police State on the Subway
Gun Control
Abusive and Invasive Searches at the Airport
The Homeland Security report on right wingers
Waco
Waco II
The case of Steven Hatfill
Ruby Ridge
FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Invasion of the Food Police
Carnivore, Einstein, Tempest, and Echelon
Domestic surveillance
Hate Crime Laws
The Proposed National ID Card



"There is not a truth existing which I fear
or would wish unknown to the whole world.
"

Thomas Jefferson             


The local police have been given too much authority

LAPD uses January 6 techniques to identify Jewish students who fought back at a UCLA pro-Hamas protest.  They're studying Facebook posts.  They're using frame-by-frame video screenshots of faces to match with gargantuan databases of named faces.  They're seeking and taking tips from "friends" and relatives and ex-boyfriends.  For the UCLA Jewish students who got into a scrap with pro-Hamas illegal campout protestors, no doubt after hearing a slew of antisemitic statements and being blocked from attending class, they're doing exactly what they did to identify and hunt down January 6 protestors. [...] So now they're spending big bucks to target UCLA Jewish students again, with the same use of intensive investigative techniques as they used on January 6 protestors.  They're taking years to do it, calling it their biggest operation, even as Los Angeles is awash with real crime, but this is more important to them, getting their man, or woman, as the case may be, championing a protest the establishment didn't like, same as they did with the January 6 protestors.

Appeals Court Rules That Cops Can Physically Make You Unlock Your Phone.  As we keep more and more personal data on our phones, iPhone and Android devices now have some of the most advanced encryption technology in existence to keep that information safe from prying eyes.  The easiest way around that, of course, is for someone to gain access to your phone.  This week, a federal court decided that police officers can make you unlock your phone, even by physically forcing you to press your thumb against it.  In November 2021, Jeremy Payne was pulled over by two California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers over his car's window tinting.  When asked, Payne admitted that he was on parole, which the officers confirmed.  After finding Payne's cellphone in the car, officers unlocked it by forcibly pressing his thumb against it as he sat handcuffed.  (The officers claimed in their arrest report that Payne "reluctantly unlocked the cell phone" when asked, which Payne disputed; the government later accepted in court "that defendant's thumbprint was compelled.")

Keywords:  arrogant, privileged, egomaniac, tyrant, loose cannon.
Nasty Female Cop From Washington Got Suspended After This TikTok Video.  Officer Breanna Straus receives a suspension from work after posting a controversial video to TikTok.  Straus told viewers, "I can go 90 miles per hour.  You can't."  [Video clip]

San Francisco Police Spent 193 Hours Over 3 Months Watching Private Surveillance Footage.  In 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that would allow the city's police department to access footage from private security cameras under certain circumstances.  A new city report sheds light on just how much the police have used the privilege.  Between 2021 and 2022, news reports depicted a wave of "smash-and-grab" retail thefts across California.  San Francisco Mayor London Breed complained that city policy did not allow police to access security camera footage during emergency situations. "Where there were multiple robbery crews hitting multiple stores, [police] couldn't even access those cameras, which is ridiculous," Breed said in December 2021.  "There is a balance to be had, I know," she noted.  "But right now, if our officers cannot use cameras during a mass looting event, then that policy is out of balance."

This AI Watches Millions Of Cars Daily And Tells Cops If You're Driving Like A Criminal.  In March of 2022, David Zayas was driving down the Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale.  His car, a gray Chevrolet, was entirely unremarkable, as was its speed.  But to the Westchester County Police Department, the car was cause for concern and Zayas a possible criminal; its powerful new AI tool had identified the vehicle's behavior as suspicious.  Searching through a database of 1.6 billion license plate records collected over the last two years from locations across New York State, the AI determined that Zayas' car was on a journey typical of a drug trafficker.  According to a Department of Justice prosecutor filing, it made nine trips from Massachusetts to different parts of New York between October 2020 and August 2021 following routes known to be used by narcotics pushers and for conspicuously short stays.  So on March 10 last year, Westchester PD pulled him over and searched his car, finding 112 grams of crack cocaine, a semiautomatic pistol and $34,000 in cash inside, according to court documents.  A year later, Zayas pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking charge.

The Editor says...
If all they're doing to capturing drug dealers, few others will object to this system.  But we've seen how this goes.  The Patriot Act was supposed to be a tool to detect and thwart Islamic terrorist attacks, but now it's a tool for spying on political opponents.  Don't give tools like this to the local cops without some oversight on the ways they use those tools.

Secret Police in America.  [Scroll down]  Now, take a real example from U.S. Federal law which is applicable here.  Federal law prohibits propagating "hoaxes and false information" but then exempts the FBI, intelligence community, and local police from such a law.  (A separate U.S. government document on other laws clearly explains such wording in the law is a "law enforcement exemption" and the Department of Justice uses nearly identical language in what it labels as "exceptions for law enforcement activities" in a separate Federal law.  Thus, one might conclude that the law implies that "false information and hoaxes" may be propagated or enacted by entities like the FBI, local police, and secret police entities in America.) Reasonable Americans, then, might question reported crimes publicized in the media.  Reasonable Americans also might question non-criminal occurrences published in the news as being potential intelligence community, FBI, or local police hoaxes.  This is partially due to "law enforcement" including "crime prevention," getting "potential criminals" or "potential threats" "off the streets."

Mugged By The State?  Did you know that a doctrine known as "qualified immunity" shields local and state police from accountability?  Federal cops enjoy an even broader, absolute immunity based on recent Supreme Court rulings that have eroded an earlier 1971 Supreme Court decision that allowed some lawsuits.  Each of the federal circuit courts interprets prior high court rulings in its own way.  In several cases, judges have shown common sense, allowing citizens to find a remedy when a federal cop violates their rights.  Still, the weight of the law favors the feds.  Bizarre rulings in the Fifth and Eighth Circuits establish that, unless a federal incident exactly mirrors the 1971 case of Webster Bivens — a man who was handcuffed, arrested, and later strip-searched by federal agents after a warrantless search of his home — people whose rights are trampled by a federal officer have no remedy available to them.

Reading Body Language: The New Phrenology?  America has excellent (but not perfect) procedures for settling disputes among citizens in civil court and attributing guilt for crimes based on evidence arising from the actions of the offense.  Yet, America always has an audience for the alternative — including non-investigative, alternative methods to detect lies and withheld truths.  Experts decipher the meanings of eye movements or gestures.  Exotic drugs called truth serums supposedly do "in vino veritas" one better.  A machine that measures breathing, sweating and heart rate, is fitted onto the interviewee after a practice session and elaborate explication of the examiner's expertise and the machine's reliability.  (If it's the machine detecting lies, why do examiners boast expertise?  A microwave heats food whether the button is punched by Gordon Ramsay or a toddler).  The American justice system requires patience of participants and citizens[.]  This virtue can be difficult for police wanting to reassure the community with a rapidly apprehended suspect.

Police Get a Green Light to Use Force Against Unarmed Individuals Who Have Already Surrendered or Complied.  The U.S. Supreme Court has once again refused to hold police accountable for using force on unarmed individuals who have already surrendered or complied with police orders.  Despite a series of high-profile incidents involving the use of unnecessary and excessive force by police against unarmed individuals, the Court declined to narrow the scope of qualified immunity granted to officers who assault non-violent suspects who have ceased to resist arrest.  Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute and Cato Institute had filed a joint amicus brief before the Supreme Court in Salazar v. Molina, challenging a lower court ruling that essentially gives police a green light to punish and harm suspects solely based upon their initial nonviolent resistance or flight.  The legal coalition warned that the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which granted qualified immunity to a police officer who tased a non-violent suspect in the back after he lay down to surrender, undermines public safety by discouraging suspects from surrendering or complying with police commands.

Should the Police Be Allowed to Draw Your Blood?  In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Mitchell v.  Wisconsin that the police don't need a search warrant to have medical personnel draw the blood of an unconscious person suspected of DUI.  This ruling significantly complicates life for emergency room doctors and nurses because if the patient is unconscious, the blood draw is legal, but if the patient is awake, verbal consent or a search warrant is required.  Justices Alito, Thomas, Breyer, and Kavanaugh, along with Chief Justice Roberts, formed the majority opinion.  Justice Thomas wrote that the evidence dissipates over time, and thus the states can invoke the "exigent circumstances doctrine" to allow for the exception to Fourth Amendment protections because the suspect could become sober by the time he finally regains consciousness.  However, the Court ruled only that police officers can ask medical personnel to draw blood without requiring a warrant.  The ruling doesn't say anything about the police officers drawing the blood themselves.

Supreme Court Decides Suing the Feds is Mission: Impossible.  The Supreme Court recently gave the cold shoulder to an American assaulted by a Border Patrol agent.  No matter what party or ideology you ascribe to, this should set off alarm bells.  Too often, conversations about U.S. border policy are swept up into culture war rhetoric and stick firmly to partisan lines.  This pattern plays directly into the hands of bureaucrats who wish to centralize power, shred the Constitution, and build an apparatus that can ultimately inflict more harm on American citizens than on those attempting to cross the border.  The recent Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in Egbert v. Boule is yet another example of this, as it strikes a blow to U.S. citizens seeking recourse when federal agents behave badly.  While law enforcement officials deserve recognition for choosing a job that can put their life on the line, it is also true that the vast majority of Americans favor recourse for citizens wronged when those officials are negligent in their duties to protect and serve.

NYPD Sued Over Illegal Collection And Storage Of Citizens' DNA.  The NYPD's DNA database is comprised of an ever-growing number of genetic profiles of thousands of innocent New Yorkers, including children, a lawsuit alleges.  The Legal Aid Society, in a suit filed Monday [3/21/2022] in Manhattan Federal Court, is asking a judge to declare unconstitutional the "practice of secretly taking, analyzing and maintaining peoples' DNA in its suspect index."  The public defenders group seeks an order the NYPD expunge those DNA files and records.  There are 31,826 DNA profiles in the database at last count, according to the suit.  The database, which is maintained by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, has been the subject of much debate the past few years.

Supreme Court Sees Nothing Wrong with Prolonged, Warrantless Spying of One's Home by Police Using Hidden Cameras.  The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to stop police from using hidden cameras to secretly and warrantlessly record and monitor a person's activities outside their home over an extended period of time.  In refusing to hear an appeal in Travis Tuggle v. U.S., the Supreme Court left in place a lower court ruling which concluded that no "search" in violation of the Fourth Amendment had occurred because the private activity recorded by the hidden surveillance cameras took place in public view.  The Rutherford Institute and the Cato Institute had filed an amicus brief in Tuggle warning that without adequate safeguards in place, there would be no turning back from the kinds of intrusions posed by such expansive, ever-watching surveillance technology capable of revealing intimate details of a person's life.

Use of rape-kit DNA to probe other crimes shocks prosecutors.  The San Francisco district attorney's stunning claim that California crime labs are using DNA from sexual assault survivors to investigate unrelated crimes shocked prosecutors nationwide, and advocates said the practice could affect victims' willingness to come forward.  District Attorney Chesa Boudin said he became aware of the "opaque practice" last week after prosecutors found a report among hundreds of pages of evidence in the case against a woman recently charged with a felony property crime.  The papers referred to a DNA sample collected from the woman during a 2016 rape investigation.

Meet the Capitol Police's New Spy Chief.  When most Americans hear the term "Capitol Police," they likely conjure visions of uniformed officers manning metal detectors at the numerous congressional buildings or helping tourists navigate the sprawling Capitol grounds:  a D.C. version of a mall cop.  That imagery, however, is in stark contrast to reality as Democrats have weaponized yet another federal agency to target their political enemies on the Right.  After January 6, 2021, Capitol Police officials announced plans to expand beyond the legislatively authorized purview of the agency and open offices in Florida and California, as well as in other states.  Congress overwhelmingly supported a bill last year to fork over $2.1 billion in new funding to the Capitol Police.  Now flush with cash and immune from any serious public oversight, the agency is returning the favor by spying on dissidents of the Biden regime.  According to Politico, Capitol Police investigators are preparing secret dossiers on lawmakers, congressional staff, donors, and even constituents who visit their representatives in public or in private.

The Empire of Lies Breaks Down:  Ugly Truths the Deep State Wants to Keep Hidden.  [#6] More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us[.]  [#10] You no longer have to be poor, black or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America.  All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class — that is, the citizenry — of the American police state.  As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent.  [#12] Private property means nothing if the government can take your home, car or money under the flimsiest of pretexts, whether it be asset forfeiture schemes, eminent domain or overdue property taxes.  Likewise, private property means little at a time when SWAT teams and other government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, wound or kill you, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family.  [#14] All of those freedoms we cherish — the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right to free speech and assembly, due process, privacy, bodily integrity, the right to not have police seize our property without a warrant, or search and detain us without probable cause — amount to nothing when the government and its agents are allowed to disregard those prohibitions on government overreach at will.  [#16] Our freedoms — especially the Fourth Amendment — continue to be choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Blindly Defending Police Officers Is Not Conservative, It Is Authoritarian.  For people claiming to cherish the idea of limited government as a foundational principle of their beliefs, many who call themselves conservatives don't seem to apply that principle in situations involving malfeasance committed by police officers.  Over the past few decades, the conservative movement has developed a rather odd habit when dealing with corrupt law enforcement officials.  At some point, too many on the right became something closer to right-wing authoritarians rather than actual conservatives.  Whenever footage of a violent encounter with police becomes a national story, this authoritarian streak presents itself when right-leaning influencers employ a messaging strategy designed to protect the officer involved. [...] One can see this in action with the shooting of Daunte Wright.  One did not need a crystal ball to predict how the authoritarian right would react to this story.  As with other cases, the first step was to defend Potter, who recently resigned and is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge.  In this case, it wasn't easy to defend the officer, but at least two right-leaning commentators argued that she should not be punished for her actions.

Georgia Becomes The First State To Allow Police To Sue People For Harassment.  Police across the country are so upset by public harassment that one state will allow cops to sue people who they perceive as harassing them.  CBS 46 described Georgia's new 'police protection law' as giving police more rights.

Mississippi Cops Can Now Use Your Ring Doorbell Camera To Live Stream Your Neighborhood.  The Jackson, Mississippi police department is piloting a 45 day program that allows them to live stream private security cameras, including Amazon Ring cameras, at the residences of its citizens.  It's no surprise that Amazon's Ring cameras were the only brand named for the pilot program, as EFF pointed out, since they have over 1,000 partnerships with local police departments.  The program allows Ring owners to patch their camera streams to a "Real Time Crime Center" - i.e. a dispatcher on desk duty whose new favorite way of passing the time is to watch you bring out your garbage twice a week in a bathrobe.

Protest Also Against Police Unions and Qualified Immunity.  [Scroll down]  I encourage you to listen to Juliette [Sellgren]'s entire discussion with [Clark] Neily.  You'll learn much — including, especially, just how frighteningly dysfunctional is the legal doctrine of "qualified immunity" for police officers.  This doctrine was created by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Neily, "out of whole cloth."  It effectively shields government officials, including on-duty police officers, from being held legally liable for whatever damages they have caused by violating a person's civil rights.  This near-complete immunity from civil suits greatly lessens the incentives that would otherwise encourage police officers to act with common decency.  When combined with the abominable role of police unions, along with some other defective institutions, police-officers' incentives to behave decently shrivel to gossamer weightlessness.

Connecticut police to test 'pandemic drone' that monitors health of residents.  Police in Westport, Conn., said they will be testing a "pandemic drone" that can scan the body temperatures of residents to determine if they have fevers or other health symptoms in an effort to combat the coronavirus.  Aerospace company Draganfly announced in a news release the drones will be equipped with a specialized sensor and computer vision systems that can display heart and respiratory rates.  They can also detect people coughing in crowds, police said.

Authoritarian Overreach Is Unnecessary to Fight the Pandemic.  "An overreach by our police officers."  Yeah, I'll say.  "Overreach" was the concession that the police department in Brighton, Colo., grudgingly offered regarding their arrest of Matt Mooney, a 33-year-old former state trooper.  Mooney was handcuffed in front of his six-year-old daughter.  His "crime"?  Playing tee-ball with her on an empty field.  Cops on the scene capriciously decided that this transgressed the state's social-distancing restrictions.  The incident would be madness under any circumstances.  But it wasn't even true as alleged.  Under the rules — which are executive edicts, not criminal laws enacted by the people's legislative representatives — the fine print said the park was not closed to groups of fewer than five.  Mooney, his wife, and their toddler were social distancing.  Indeed, they were farther apart on the empty softball field than at home. [...] The state is really sorry.  And its officials would love to tell us more but, you see, an internal investigation is underway so they can't be expected to comment — just to shelter in place, hoping this lunacy slides down the memory hole but quick.  And who's to say it won't?

Because all violent crime is completely under control...
Chicago Police to Conduct 'Roadside Safety Checks' to Educate Public About 'Stay-at-Home' Order.  Chicago police officers will conduct roadside safety and informational check points in each police district to provide information to motorists about the state of Illinois' ongoing "stay-at-home" order.  According to police, the checkpoints will take place beginning Tuesday night at 10 p.m.  The checkpoints will last approximately 45 minutes each night, and could take place between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.  The checkpoints will also be deployed on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to the department.

The Editor says...
The police are always on the lookout for an excuse to stop passing motorists, look for drugs and weapons, check the expiration date on your inspection sticker and your license, and sniff around for alcohol and marijuana.  The current virus hysteria is merely a convenient justification to suspend the Fourth Amendment.  After all, what are you going to do about it?

Tennessee Supreme Court Allows Police to Carry Out Warrantless, Suspicionless Searches of Probationers' Homes, Undermining Fourth Amendment.  Pushing back against government efforts to chip away at the privacy and security guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a state court decision allowing police to search the homes of probationers without any suspicion or justification.  In an amicus brief filed in Hamm v.  State of Tennessee, Institute attorneys have asked the Court to overturn a Tennessee court's ruling that police have carte blanche to search the residence of probationers, arguing that it violates the Fourth Amendment's overriding purpose to protect the sanctity and security of a person's home.

If You've Given Your Genetic Code To A DNA Database, US Police May Now Have Access To It.  GEDmatch lets users upload their raw genetic data, obtained from companies such as Ancestry or 23andMe, to be matched with relatives who have also uploaded their data.  Law enforcement's capacity to use GEDmatch to solve crimes became prominent in April last year, when it was used to solve the Golden State Killer case.  After this raised significant public concern around privacy issues, GEDmatch updated its terms and conditions in May.  Under the new terms, law enforcement agencies can only access user data in cases where users have consented to use by law enforcement, with only 185,000 people opting in so far.  The terms of the warrant granted in Florida, however, allowed access to the full database — including individuals who had not opted in.  This directly overrides explicit user consent.

DOJ allowing foreign police to see your private data.  A privacy organization is lobbying Congress to stop an agreement that will allow police in the United Kingdom to access the online private information of Americans without a search warrant.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted an extensive report on the new law enforcement deal between the U.S. and the U.K. under the CLOUD Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in 2018.

Your DNA Profile is Private?  A Florida Judge Just Said Otherwise.  For police officers around the country, the genetic profiles that 20 million people have uploaded to consumer DNA sites represent a tantalizing resource that could be used to solve cases both new and cold.  But for years, the vast majority of the data have been off limits to investigators.  The two largest sites, Ancestry.com and 23andMe, have long pledged to keep their users' genetic information private, and a smaller one, GEDmatch, severely restricted police access to its records this year.

The DNA database used to find the Golden State Killer is a national security leak waiting to happen.  A private DNA ancestry database that's been used by police to catch criminals is a security risk from which a nation-state could steal DNA data on a million Americans, according to security researchers.  Security flaws in the service, called GEDmatch, not only risk exposing people's genetic health information but could let an adversary such as China or Russia create a powerful biometric database able to identify nearly any American from a DNA sample.  GEDMatch, which crowdsources DNA profiles, was created by genealogy enthusiasts to let people search for relatives and is run entirely by volunteers.  It shows how a trend toward sharing DNA data online can create privacy risks affecting everyone, even people who don't choose to share their own information.

Florida Police Using FINDER System to Create Lists of Gun Owners.  Pawnbrokers are required to enter information on firearms transactions into the FINDER system.  The system transmits the serial number of the firearm along with the make and model to the local sheriffs' department to make sure that the person pawning the gun, did not steal it.  A bug in the system also transmitted the names and addresses of the transfers to local law enforcement.  The Charlotte County Sheriff's Department used the information to create a list of gun owners.

Blank Check Policing:  Cops Stop Cars Registered to Unlicensed Owners, Whether or Not Owners Are Behind the Wheel.  The Rutherford Institute is challenging the police practice of stopping cars registered to unlicensed owners, whether or not the owners are behind the wheel (such vehicles are often driven by licensed family members and friends) and in the absence of specific wrongdoing.  In an amicus curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court in State of Kansas v. Glover, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that allowing police to stop a vehicle anytime the registered owner is unlicensed gives police too much leeway to violate the standards established by the Fourth Amendment requiring particularized and articulable evidence that the specific individual being stopped has, is, or soon will be engaged in unlawful conduct.

When Does the Deep State Morph into the Police State in Our Country?  The East German state police agency, the Stasi, was granted virtually unlimited power to monitor and spy on the lives of their citizens with the objective of maintaining absolute control over all aspects of the personal and professional lives of its people.  The Stasi was renowned for being highly proficient and effective in its ability to subjugate East Germany's citizens.  This movie is a warning to Americans about the dire consequences of increasing the powers of the state.

Supreme Court:  Police Can Forcibly & Warrantlessly Carry Out Blood Draws On Unconscious Drivers.  In a ruling that gives police greater leeway to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of anyone driving on a public road, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police may forcibly and warrantlessly carry out blood draws on unconscious drivers suspected of drunk driving.  The Court's 5-4 decision in Mitchell v. State of Wisconsin found that an unconscious driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol constitutes an emergency situation that allows police to ignore the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement and draw blood from that suspect without consent or a warrant, regardless of whether there is an opportunity to obtain a warrant.

How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty.  [Scroll down]  Some of the towns in St. Louis County can derive 40 percent or more of their annual revenue from the petty fines and fees collected by their municipal courts.  A majority of these fines are for traffic offenses, but they can also include fines for fare-hopping on MetroLink (St. Louis's light rail system), loud music and other noise ordinance violations, zoning violations for uncut grass or unkempt property, violations of occupancy permit restrictions, trespassing, wearing "saggy pants," business license violations and vague infractions such as "disturbing the peace" or "affray" that give police officers a great deal of discretion to look for other violations.

Police Facial Recognition Systems Have Registered Over 117 Million Americans.  Massive nationwide study in 2006 reveals that thirty-six percent of Americans are in a facial recognition database, and the number is growing rapidly.  Law enforcement is mostly unregulated and agencies are free to drift toward a police state reality.

Supreme Court hears DUI case in which blood was ordered drawn from unconscious driver without a warrant.  A Wisconsin DUI case in which police officers ordered the blood of an unconscious man be drawn for evidence without first getting a warrant was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday [4/23/2019].  Prosecutors argued that drawing the blood of unconscious drivers helps convict those who kill thousands of people a year in alcohol-related car accidents, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.  They said the process of getting a warrant is too inconvenient and that Wisconsin's implied consent law does not require officers to get a warrant before drawing the blood of those suspected of driving while intoxicated, including individuals who are unconscious at the time.

Police Sicced a Dog on a Surrendering Man.  Will the Supreme Court Review the Doctrine That Gave Them Immunity?  When two Nashville police officers responded to a home burglary report in 2014, they found Alexander Baxter hiding in a basement.  Baxter put his hands in the air.  Nevertheless, the police unleashed a K-9 unit, which bit Baxter under his armpit.  Baxter sued the officers for excessive force, but in 2018 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, whether or not Baxter's rights were violated, the officers were immune from his lawsuit.  It wasn't clearly established, the court said, that using a police dog to apprehend him while his hands were raised was unconstitutional.  The decision hinged on a notorious doctrine, known as "qualified immunity," that protects police from lawsuits when reasonable officers wouldn't know they were committing a constitutional violation.  Now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking the Supreme Court to reconsider not just Baxter's case but the entire doctrine of qualified immunity, which has faced a growing bipartisan chorus of criticism.

You may soon have to give your DNA to the state and pay $250 for the privilege.  Arizona could soon be one of the first states to maintain a massive statewide DNA database.  And if the proposed legislation passes, many people — from parent school volunteers and teachers to real estate agents and foster parents — will have no choice but to give up their DNA.  Under Senate Bill 1475, which Sen. David Livingston, R-Peoria, introduced, DNA must be collected from anyone who has to be fingerprinted by the state for a job, to volunteer in certain positions or for a myriad of other reasons.

Coming Soon to a Police Station Near You:  The DNA 'Magic Box'.  They call it the "magic box."  Its trick is speedy, nearly automated processing of DNA.  "It's groundbreaking to have it in the police department," said Detective Glenn Vandegrift of the Bensalem Police Department.  "If we can do it, any department in the country can do it."

Uncle Sam Wants Your DNA: The FBI's Diabolical Plan To Create A Nation Of Suspects.  Actually, if the government gets its hands on your DNA, they as good as have you in their clutches.  Get ready, folks, because the government — helped along by Congress (which adopted legislation allowing police to collect and test DNA immediately following arrests), President Trump (who signed the Rapid DNA Act into law), the courts (which have ruled that police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime), and local police agencies (which are chomping at the bit to acquire this new crime-fighting gadget) — is embarking on a diabolical campaign to create a nation of suspects predicated on a massive national DNA database.

Twenty Things You Probably Didn't Know about Kamala Harris.  [#2] Harris strongly supports "familial DNA searching," in which police take DNA samples from crime scenes and compare them to existing databases to look for not just any direct matches in criminal databases, but any familial matches.  Police have gradually expanded the practice's reach, from checking DNA collected against existing samples of convicted criminals to checking them against samples in the databases of genealogy web sites and genetic-testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com.  California allows the collection and preservation of DNA samples from anyone who is arrested, even if they're not charged with a crime.

Police Want the Ability to Control Self-Driving Cars.  It seems the number of perplexing regulatory questions relating to self-driving cars are piling up as fast as automakers can create workable prototypes.  So will we have it all settled by the time these autonomous vehicles are "street-ready?" A new report suggests — maybe not.  Reuters recently covered a 39-page summary of a March meeting amongst regulatory stakeholders, including the federal DOT and several industry groups, where they settled on a fairly scary thesis:  that the question is not IF but WHEN a massive cyberattack targeting autonomous vehicles would occur, and that it was imperative to spend time now in preparation.

Incrementalism:
Scientists call for lowering drunk driving threshold.  Most women would need to draw the line at two drinks, and men at two or three if states follow a blueprint by a prestigious scientific panel for eliminating the "entirely preventable" 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the United States each year.

The Editor says...
Laws are tightened a little at a time — for the children! usually — to give the police more power, to bring in more fines, and to make crimes out of things that are not crimes.

Don't Register Anything.  [Scroll down]  Actually, entering your information into a medical marijuana registry can put a red flag next to your name in so many ways.  Colorado marijuana patients have been surprised during traffic stops to discover that cops knew they were registered users.  Cops are supposed to have access to the registry only under limited circumstances, but the data has obviously been shared more widely than many people envisioned.

What Country Is This?  Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies.  Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases:  these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over our bodies, our lives and our property, especially when it comes to interactions with the government.  Worse, on a daily basis, Americans are being made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are — our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.) — in order to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States:  we are now guilty until proven innocent.

How the Supreme Court Came to Embrace Strip Searches for Trivial Offenses.  The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority.  For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official.  The framers would be appalled.

How California police are tracking your biometric data in the field.  EFF and MuckRock teamed up in August to reveal how state and local law enforcement agencies are using mobile biometric technology in the field by filing public records requests around the country.  With the help of members of the public who nominated jurisdictions for investigation, we have now obtained thousands of pages of documents from more than 30 agencies.  Because of the volume of records we've received so far — docs continue to flow in faster than EFF and MuckRock's teams can read through them — we're starting with California.  Nine of the agencies have responded to our requests with documents, while many more claimed they didn't have any records.  Of those that did respond, most employed a digital fingerprinting device.  Facial recognition has also been widely embraced among agencies in San Diego County, with Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies close behind.

GA Cops Arresting Innocent SOBER People For DUI?  Katelyn Ebner is one such victim who spent a night in jail and months fighting DUI charges, all because of what one attorney accurately calls police "guesswork."  Georgia law enforcement officers are now given the amazing power of arresting people on the "suspicion" they're under some type of influence.  You heard right.  That means no breathalyzer or blood test.  Just an certifiable "expert" law enforcement officer deciding he or she can know more than the processes that science has already proven it can do — with 99.9% accuracy.

Washington's DUI-E Law Now Makes It Illegal to Text, Smoke and Even Eat While Driving.  The charge of "driving under the influence" used to only apply to drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol — but it will now apply to drivers who text, eat, smoke, read or groom while driving in the state of Washington.  The implementation of the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act was expedited from January 2019 to July 23 after Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a partial-veto, and insisted that "public safety is better served by implementing this bill this year."

Appeals Court Says Right To Bear Arms Isn't A Right If Cops Are Banging On Your Door In The Middle Of The Night.  Qualified immunity — a legal doctrine that originates from court decisions rather than statute — received another boost from the federal court system last week.  Qualified immunity is the concept that allows overreaching and abusive government employees and officials to stay one step ahead of accountability.  If their actions don't "clearly violate" established law and/or precedent, police officers, etc. can walk away unscathed from deprivations of other people's life and liberty.

Cops Given Pass For Shooting Innocent Man In His Own Home.  At issue in this case isn't whether these shootings by cop will continue in the future.  They will, and this case just makes that more likely, but judges should not be deciding cases based on their social import.  In other words, there is an objective standard against which their actions should be judged in this particular case, and that doesn't change one iota based on what may or may not happen in the future.  Judges aren't social workers, soothsayers or witchdoctors — or at least, they shouldn't be.

Cops given pass for shooting innocent man in his own apartment.  There was no warrant and no reason to suspect the apartment resident in Lake County, Florida, of a crime.  But police officers who said they were investigating a speeding motorcyclist, to which the man had no links, pounded on the door at 1:30 in the morning.  When Andrew Scott, 26, answered the door, carrying a weapon for defense because of the vigorous knocking at an unlikely hour, an officer shot and killed him.  Now, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given the officer a pass for the killing, prompting an outraged dissent from four justices on the panel.

How California police are tracking your biometric data in the field.  [Scroll down]  Nine of the agencies have responded to our requests with documents, while many more claimed they didn't have any records.  Of those that did respond, most employed a digital fingerprinting device.  Facial recognition has also been widely embraced among agencies in San Diego County, with Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies close behind.  In addition, In addition, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's biometrics system includes tattoo recognition, while the Orange County Sheriff's Department is also investigating iris recognition.

Boston police pause plans for $1.4-million social media surveillance program.  The Boston Police Department on Friday [1/13/2017] announced it was putting a hold on its plans to purchase $1.4 million worth of social media surveillance software, signaling a win for civil liberties activists who said the program was poised to chill free speech and hindered other constitutionally-protected activity.  Local law enforcement had sought social media analytic technology capable of scouring the internet for potential threats, including the ability to monitor platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in real time for any data of interest to investigators, according to an Oct. 2016 request for proposals.

Police Use Surveillance Tool to Scan Social Media.  A Chicago company has marketed a tool using text, photos and videos gleaned from major social media companies to aid law enforcement surveillance of protesters, civil liberties activists say.  The company, called Geofeedia, used data from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as nine other social media networks, to let users search for social media content in a specific location, as opposed to searching by words or hashtags that would be less likely to reveal an exact location.  Geofeedia marketed its abilities to law enforcement agencies and has signed up more than 500 such clients, according to an email obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Local Police Using CIA-funded Software to Track All Citizens' Social Media Posts.  Stories from across the country have revealed that several local law enforcement agencies — in Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Oakland among others — and corporations — the Mall of America and McDonald's — have purchased surveillance software from a company called Geofeedia.  The program will inform police of the physical location from which you made your last social media post.  It will provide the content of your posts, too.  Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are all included in the surveillance sweep, and all the updates posted to any one of these popular services will be uploaded to one single database available all day, every day, to police.  Geofeedia's pamphlet promoting the service touts their intelligence platform's ability to provide "targeted surveillance" and "perpetual monitoring" of social media posts.  Literature produced by Geofeedia also promotes its software's ability to track large crowds, including "protests," athletic events, and natural disasters.

Police use TEN different types of checkpoints, with more on the way.  Police and the Border Patrol are using 'general crime control checkpoints' to harass and detain motorists across the country. [...] Sixteen years ago, the Supreme Court held that checkpoints established for general crime control purposes are unconstitutional.  So why are police and the Border Patrol stopping innocent motorists?  DHS admits DUI checkpoints are REALLY about checking a person's immigration status.

Watched.  Police forces across the United States are stockpiling massive databases with personal information from millions of Americans who crossed paths with officers but were not charged with a crime.  A person can end up in one of these databases by doing nothing more than sitting on a public park bench or chatting with an officer on the street.  Once there, these records can linger forever and be used by police agencies to track movements, habits, acquaintances and associations — even a person's marital and job status, The Post and Courier found in an investigation of police practices around the nation.  What began as a method for linking suspicious behavior to crime has morphed into a practice that threatens to turn local police departments into miniature versions of the National Security Agency.  In the process, critics contend, police risk trampling constitutional rights, tarnishing innocent people and further eroding public trust.

'Pre-Search' Is Coming to U.S. Policing.  News that the city of Baltimore has been under surreptitious, mass-scale camera surveillance will have ramifications across the criminal justice world.  When it comes to constitutional criminal procedure, privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, it's time to get ready for the concept of "pre-search." [...] Since January, police in Baltimore have been testing an aerial surveillance system developed for military use in Iraq.  The system records visible activity across an area as wide as thirty square miles for as much as ten hours at a time.  Police can use it to work backward from an event, watching the comings and goings of people and cars to develop leads about who was involved. [...] But the technology collects images of everyone and everything.  From people in their backyards to anyone going from home to work, to the psychologist's or marriage counselor's office, to meetings with lawyers or advocacy groups, and to public protests.

Supreme Court OKs warrant-less breathalyzer tests in drunk driving arrests.  The Supreme Court on Thursday [6/23/2016] issued a split ruling on a trio of drunk driving cases, deciding that while law enforcement may require a breathalyzer for suspected drunk drivers without a warrant after an arrest, a warrant is required for a blood test in the same circumstances.  The consolidated cases, referred to as Birchfield v.  North Dakota, came from three separate drunk driving arrests where the men arrested were prosecuted or threatened with prosecution for refusing a blood or breath test.

The Editor says...
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that "No person [...] shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

Supreme Court gives police more power to stop and question people.  The Supreme Court on Monday [6/20/2016] gave police more power to stop people on the streets and question them, even when it is not clear they have done anything wrong.  In a 5-3 ruling, the justices relaxed the so-called exclusionary rule and upheld the use of drug evidence found on a Utah man who was stopped illegally by a police officer in Salt Lake City.  The court, in an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that because the man had an outstanding arrest warrant for a traffic violation, the illegal stop could be ignored.

Opposing viewpoint:
The Fourth Amendment wasn't created to protect the guilty.  The Libertarians are up in arms over yet another Supreme Court decision this week which involves the question of when police are allowed to use evidence of a crime in the prosecution of a suspect.  In a five to three ruling which crossed the normal ideological battle lines of the SCOTUS justices, the court found in the case of Utah v.  Strieff that evidence of a crime discovered during a traffic stop could be used if the suspect has an outstanding warrant for an unrelated offense. [...] The protests against this decision are simply making my head spin.

Oklahoma governor suspends use of controversial card readers.  Oklahoma state police have suspended a program that uses scanner technology to detect counterfeit credit cards amid growing concerns that it could allow cops to empty the bank accounts of law-abiding citizens.  The decision was ordered by Gov. Mary Fallin hours after FoxNews.com published a report Friday about concerns that the scanners could make civil forfeiture too easy.  "The Department of Public Safety needs to formulate a clear policy for using this new technology," said Fallin.  "It can be a viable tool for law enforcement only if authorities are able to ensure Oklahoma motorists and others driving through our state that it will be used appropriately."

Pot breathalyzers and saliva tests:
Police ask motorists to "volunteer" to submit to drug tests.  Just when you think you've seen it all, police state America invents a new way to destroy our rights.  Two years have passed since, police were forced to stop using 'voluntary' DNA checkpoints across the country. [...] Since January of this year, the Colorado State Police has been pilot-testing drug saliva kits for private corporations!  Colorado troopers have been using five different untested drug saliva test kits on suspected drugged drivers.  There are currently only a handful of manufacturers making saliva test kits and the state police are pilot-testing them all on motorists.

Indiana High Court Rules People Cannot Resist Illegal Entry by Police Into Homes.  People have no right to resist if police officers illegally enter their home, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a decision that overturns centuries of common law.

Drone owners are warned that their aircraft will be SHOT DOWN if they fly within 32 miles of the Super Bowl.  Drone owners have been warned to leave their aircraft at home during the Super Bowl.  The FAA has released a statement insisting any unmanned planes flying within 32 miles of Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday [2/7/2016] will be shot down.  The government agency produced a 20-second video that tells people to bring their lucky jerseys, face paint and team spirit to the game — but leave the gadgets as it is a 'No Drone Zone'.

The Editor says...
I suppose they've got to draw the line somewhere, but... 32 miles?  Why not 132 miles?  Most battery-powered drones are barely able to lift a TV camera.  How much damage could such a device possibly do?  If the cops shoot down a drone someplace just inside the 32-mile radius, isn't that (falling debris) a threat to public safety?  Does that not deprive the drone's owner of his property without due process?

The Editor continues...
The earlier version of my commentary above had said "36 miles" instead of 32.  I have corrected the error and made the necessary stealth-edits -- eight years after I should have.

The FAA says it will shoot down your drone if you fly within 36 miles of the Super Bowl.  The Federal Aviation Administration is taking a tough stance on drones at the Super Bowl this year:  bring them, and we'll shoot them down.  The "no-drone-zone" spans much further than just the stadium itself too, extending out 36 miles from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.  The no-fly zone encompasses nearly all of San Francisco to the north and west, Santa Cruz, Morgan Hill and Gilroy to the south, and San Jose and Pleasanton to the north and east.

The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat 'score'.  As a national debate has played out over mass surveillance by the National Security Agency, a new generation of technology such as the Beware software being used in Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens.  Police officials say such tools can provide critical information that can help uncover terrorists or thwart mass shootings, ensure the safety of officers and the public, find suspects, and crack open cases. [...] But the powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists, who say they represent a troubling intrusion on privacy, have been deployed with little public oversight and have potential for abuse or error.

Supreme Court says police officers can be ignorant about the law, but you and I can't.  The protests sweeping across the country in the wake of Ferguson, Mo., and the death of Eric Garner were sparked, in part, by the notion that police can get away with things no other person can.  On Monday [12/15/2014], the Supreme Court added fuel to the fire when it ruled, for the first time, that police are allowed to make "mistakes of law" during the course of enforcing the law.  If that doesn't make much sense, you've gotten a taste of how the Supreme Court works.

Gun owners fear Maryland cops target them for traffic stops.  A year ago this New Year's Eve, John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.  The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis' Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe.

Supreme Court Erodes Key Check On Government Power.  Briefly, the facts in Heien v. North Carolina are that a North Carolina police officer pulled over Nicholas Heien because one of his car's brake lights was out.  The state's law requires only one light to be working, so the stop was based on a mistake of law.  After Heien was pulled over, he gave consent for the officer to search his car.  The officer found cocaine in the car, then placed Heien under arrest.  Heien later claimed the initial stop was not legal under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The Supreme Court ruled that the mistake for the initial stop, which was a seizure under the Fourth Amendment, was reasonable and therefore lawful.

Residents criticize roadblocks in search for Pennsylvania ambush suspect.  Last week, troopers issued a "shelter-in-place" order that kept some residents from leaving their houses for more than a day; those who weren't already at home could not go back.  Residents contend the directive left elderly relatives unattended and pets unfed, and resulted in lost wages for workers who couldn't leave their houses.  The American Red Cross opened a shelter for displaced residents from two townships late Monday [9/22/2014].

Suspect in Pennsylvania trooper slaying planned for months, police say.  "Based on our investigations, we know Frein has prepared and planned extensively for months or maybe years," State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Sunday [9/21/2014].  He planned his attack and retreat.  However, we believe we are closing in on him." [...] Frein is on the run and possibly armed, but there is no indication that he is a danger to anyone other than law enforcement, Bivens said.

[Italics added.]

The Editor says...
If the suspect at large is no danger "to anyone other than law enforcement," why are the neighborhood residents being kept out of their own homes?

An Open Letter To My Friends In Law Enforcement.  Let me just be blunt: ever since Ronald Reagan left office, both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations — along with both Republican and Democrat congresses — in Washington, D.C. are turning the United States of America into a giant Police State. [...] The totalitarian regimes of history could not have succeeded in implementing their enslavements over the people without the submission and cooperation of the citizen-policemen within their countries.  Nor can a Police State be constructed in America without your submission and cooperation.  My concern is, the Police State is already being constructed in this country; and most of you don't seem to even realize it — or don't want to realize it.  In fact, some of you become angry with people like me when we try to warn the American people about it.  This shows that you have already become acclimated and accepting of it.  Here is the problem:  in today's America, virtually every police agency and sheriff's office is being dictated to, intimidated by, and bribed by the federal government.  Much of the policies you operate under — and training you receive — comes straight out of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Justice Department.

America's expanding police state.  Keep in mind, people in the political class constantly reveal their contempt for regular citizens.  That contempt is the inevitable result of a group of people who have convinced themselves that big government is necessary because the little people can't control their own lives.  These same politicians and bureaucrats then begin to see themselves a genuinely better than everyone else.  After all, if they were just like us, then they'd be part of the rabble, and they can't have that.  The solution to their dilemma is a police state.

Supreme Court: Pennsylvania cops no longer need a warrant to search citizens' vehicles.  Pennsylvania police officers no longer need a warrant to search a citizen's vehicle, according to a recent state Supreme Court opinion.  The high court's opinion, released Tuesday [4/29/2014], is being called a drastic change in citizens' rights and police powers.  Previously, citizens could refuse an officer's request to search a vehicle.  In most cases, the officer would then need a warrant — signed by a judge — to conduct the search.  That's no longer the case, according to the opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.  The ruling, passed on a 4-2 vote, was made in regard to an appeal from a 2010 vehicle stop in Philadelphia.

Checkpoint Charlie:
Police halt Montgomery County commuters on I-270 to hunt for bank robbery suspects.  Police arrested three bank robbery suspects in Montgomery County on Tuesday after officers set up a roadblock on Interstate 270 and walked car to car with pistols, shotguns and semiautomatic rifles drawn.  The rapid show of force stunned late-morning commuters but allowed officers to nab the trio 44 minutes after the robbery.  "I guess it turned out well, so it's hard to argue with success," said Don Troop, who was heading to the District when traffic came to halt.  A group of officers made its way to his car and other cars around him.  "They were just walking along saying: 'Pop the trunk!  Pop the trunk!'"

Horror: Police force man to undergo invasive anal operation.  When New Mexico police stopped a local driver for committing a minor moving violation, they decided to check whether he was carrying drugs in his anus.  So they procured a warrant, drove him to two different hospitals, forced him to endure eight medical procedures — including an invasive colonoscopy — and stuck him with the bill.  No drugs were found.

The Drift toward Despotism.  David Eckert was pulled over by police in Deming, N.M., for failing to come to a complete halt at a stop sign in the Walmart parking lot.  He was asked to step out of the vehicle, and waited on the sidewalk.  Officers decided that they didn't like the tight clench of his buttocks, a subject on which New Mexico's constabulary is apparently expert, and determined that it was because he had illegal drugs secreted therein.

Supreme Court appears to support a warrantless police search.  In a case that could narrow legal protections against police searches, a majority of Supreme Court justices sounded ready Wednesday [11/13/2013] to reject an appeal from an imprisoned Los Angeles gang member who contended that after he objected to a search and was then taken away under arrest, police unconstitutionally entered his apartment.  Justices appeared to agree with attorneys for the Los Angeles Police Department, who defended the search as legal because the gang member, Walter Fernandez, was not present and his girlfriend gave police permission to enter their home.

E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York — Not Just At Toll Booths.  After spotting a police car with two huge boxes on its trunk — that turned out to be license-plate-reading cameras — a man in New Jersey became obsessed with the loss of privacy for vehicles on American roads.  The man, who goes by the Internet handle "Puking Monkey," did an analysis of the many ways his car could be tracked and stumbled upon something rather interesting:  his E-ZPass, which he obtained for the purpose of paying tolls, was being used to track his car in unexpected places, far away from any toll booths.

The Real Purpose of Oakland's Surveillance Center.  City leaders have argued that Oakland needs a massive surveillance system to combat violent crime, but internal documents reveal that city staffers are also focused on tracking political protesters.

NYPD Designates Mosques as Terrorism Organizations.  The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.  Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.

The Editor says...
What's the difference between that and profiling?  And where are the "separation of church and state" people now?

Turning public schools into forts.  [A]s I point out in my book, "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State," with every school police raid and overzealous punishment that is carried out in the name of school safety, the lesson being imparted is that Americans — especially young people — have no rights at all against the state or the police.  Indeed, the majority of schools today have adopted an all-or-nothing lockdown mindset that leaves little room for freedom, individuality or due process.

Supreme Court OKs DNA swab in serious arrests.  A narrowly divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can collect DNA from people arrested but not yet convicted of serious crimes, a tool that more than half the states already use to help crack unsolved crimes.  The case, described by Justice Samuel Alito as "the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades," represented a classic test between modern crime-fighting technology and centuries-old privacy rights.

Law enforcement applaud ruling on DNA swabbing.  The Supreme Court has ruled that is now legal for law enforcement to take the DNA of people arrested, even though they have not yet been convicted of a crime.  The decision was a big victory to police and victim rights groups in the fight over how and when your DNA can be used, with the justices being nearly split down the middle.

Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees.  A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday [6/3/2013] cleared the way for police to take a DNA swab from anyone they arrest for a serious crime, endorsing a practice now followed by more than half the states as well as the federal government.

Court's DNA Ruling Brings U.S. a Step Closer to 'Gattaca'.  The day that DNA cheek swabs officially became the new fingerprints deserves to be marked and remembered — and not just because of the inevitable march of technology.  No, the Supreme Court's 5-4 holding today [6/3/2013] in Maryland v. King, that anyone arrested for a "serious crime" can have his or her DNA taken without any suspicion, is a landmark because it represents a major step toward a "Gattaca" world.  This means that evidence of a crime can be collected without any particular suspicion, avoiding the pesky requirement of a warrant that the Founding Fathers thought would give us liberty and privacy.

A few days later...
Off-duty cops collect DNA samples at Alabama roadblocks.  Off-duty cops in two counties in Alabama spent the weekend collecting saliva and blood samples from drivers at roadblocks.  According to Lt. Freddie Turrentine with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, drivers were asked to voluntarily offer samples of their saliva and blood for a study being conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

Why were roadblocks in St. Clair and Bibb counties asking for blood and DNA samples this weekend?  St. Clair and Bibb county authorities are confirming there were roadblocks at several locations in their counties Friday and Saturday [June 7-8, 2013] asking for blood and DNA samples.  However, the samples were voluntary and motorists were paid for them as part of a study, they said.  According to Lt. Freddie Turrentine of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, it isn't the first time such roadblocks have occurred in the area.

The Editor says...
The samples were voluntary, huh?  How voluntary is it when the police stop your car on an Alabama highway and demand evidence?  I suspect you'll be detained until the cops get what they want.  Is it legal for off duty cops to set up a roadblock?  It sounds like an Alabama shakedown to me.

Police Agencies Are Assembling Records of DNA.  Slowly, and largely under the radar, a growing number of local law enforcement agencies across the country have moved into what had previously been the domain of the F.B.I. and state crime labs — amassing their own DNA databases of potential suspects, some collected with the donors' knowledge, and some without it.

Another instance, in another state:
Pa. town latest to force drivers over and ask for cheek swabs for federal study.  Drivers in a southeastern Pennsylvania town were forced off a local street and into a parking lot, so a federal contractor — aided by local police — could quiz them about their road habits and ask for a cheek swab, in a replay of an incident last month in Texas.  The checkpoint, in downtown Reading, was one of several conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which was hired by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Motorist checkpoint in Reading draws questions.  A private firm with a federal contract — and backed up by city police — forced motorists off Laurel Street and into a private parking lot Friday [12/13/2013] to question them about their driving habits and ask for a swab of their mouth.  "I feel this incident is a gross abuse of power on many levels," Reading resident Ricardo Nieves, one of those stopped, told City Council Monday.  He said federal and local tax dollars were being used to stop innocent people without probable cause, and allow a private company to hire uniformed police to force citizens to listen to their questions.  He said he wasn't told what the swab was for, but added, "Clearly it was for DNA."

Police presence at traffic stop troubling.  Appearance is everything.  So when a police car's lights are flashing along the side of a city street lined with cones, and someone forces motorists into a parking lot that contains uniformed city police, forgive the motorists for believing police are operating that checkpoint.  And when people with no ID tell motorists they want to ask about their driving habits but also ask for a mouth swab, forgive the motorists for believing they want a DNA sample without a warrant.  And when the same people say the questions and the swab are voluntary but don't take no for an answer, forgive the motorists for thinking it's not really voluntary after all.  Because that's the way it's supposed to appear:  not voluntary.

Red flags raised after local drivers asked for DNA samples at police checkpoint.  Drivers in St. Charles County were asked to take part in a government survey that involved the odd request of blood and saliva samples.  One driver who emailed News 4 said a deputy and others dressed in safety vests directed drivers to take part and answer questions about alcohol and driving.  The study is being conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and is supposed to be voluntary.  Constitutional Law attorney Bob Herman said the study does raise some red flags.

NTSB recommends lowering blood alcohol level that constitutes drunk driving.  The National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend to states that they lower the blood-alcohol content that constitutes drunken driving.  Currently, all 50 states have set a BAC level of .08, reflecting the percentage of alcohol, by volume, in the blood.  If a driver is found to have a BAC level of .08 or above, he or she is subject to arrest and prosecution.

The Real Threat to America.  Of the many uncomfortable truths emerging from last week's bombing and subsequent manhunt — including the fact that American cities are still vulnerable to Islamic terrorism — one of the most troubling but least talked-about is the fact that martial law may now become part of the municipal playbook.  It was not two immigrant brothers — "losers," their uncle called them — who closed down Boston, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, put military vehicles in its streets, and sent men in helmets and flak jackets into peoples' homes.  It was our elected leaders:  our local, state, and federal political officials and law-enforcement authorities.  If any Bostonians objected to having their civil liberties trampled on, they were drowned out by their cheering neighbors who massed in the streets to celebrate the authorities who had turned their city into something resembling Fallujah under American military occupation.

Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules.  A federal judge ruled on Monday [8/12/2013] that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city, repudiating a major element in the Bloomberg administration's crime-fighting legacy.  The use of police stops has been widely cited by city officials as a linchpin of New York's success story in seeing murders and major crimes fall to historic lows.

The Editor says...
Martial law would bring the crime rate to historic lows, too, but is that the kind of country we want to live in?

Ted Nugent to Newsmax: 'Stop and Frisk Violates the 4th Amendment'.  "As I sit here with you today, I am convinced that the concept of stop-and-frisk violates the Fourth Amendment," Nugent said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax before taking the stage at the packed House of Blues in Orlando.  "But I don't agree with the judge in New York — that gal that presumed the cops are stopping someone based on the color of their skin.  "That is wrong.  They do not profile based on color of skin.  They profile on suspicious behavior.  It's a behavioral response, not an ethnic or skin-color response.  I am certain of that."

Stop-and-Frisk in Court, Police Testify About Orders to Increase Stops.  The NYPD's stop and frisk program began in 2002 and since then, according to data compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the police have conducted 4 million such "interrogations," peaking in 2011 with 685,724.  The vast majority of stops are of blacks and Hispanics.  Little more than ten percent end in any kind of summons.  The program is currently being challenged in court, where testimony yesterday [3/21/2013] revealed police officers were ordered to increase their number of stop and frisks.

Opposing viewpoint #1:
How to Increase the Crime Rate Nationwide:  A racial-profiling lawsuit over the New York Police Department's "stop, question and frisk" policies is now in the hands of a judge whose decision is expected within weeks. [...] A decision against the NYPD would almost certainly inspire similar suits by social-justice organizations against police departments elsewhere.  The national trend of declining crime could hang in the balance.  And the primary victims of such a reversal would be the inner-city minorities whose safety seems not to figure into attempts to undermine successful police tactics.

Opposing viewpoint #2:
Don't Stop Frisking.  Since the early 1990s the New York Police Department has used a crime-prevention strategy that it calls "stop, question, and frisk."  Accordingly, officers stop and question a person based on reasonable suspicion and sometimes pat down the clothing of the individual to ensure that he is not armed.  The department credits the strategy in large part for the huge declines in murder and major crimes over two decades in what is now the nation's safest big city.

Gun Conviction Buckles Under Stop and Frisk.  Police officers may question an individual "where there is an 'objective, credible reason, not necessarily indicative of criminality,' to initiate the level one encounter," the unsigned opinion states.  [Jeffrey] Johnson's conduct, however, "did not provide an objective credible reason" for the officers to question him.  The officers said their suspicions were heightened because of a history of crime and drug dealing in the building, but the appellate majority rejected that explanation.

Technologies of Surveillance.  The NYPD is testing a new type of security apparatus that uses terahertz radiation to detect guns under clothing from a distance.  As Police Commissioner Ray Kelly explained to the "Daily News" back in January, If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation — a weapon, for example — the device will highlight that object.  Ignore, for a moment, the glaring constitutional concerns, which make the stop-and-frisk debate pale in comparison:  virtual strip-searching, evasion of probable cause, potential racial profiling. [...] We're scared of both terrorism and crime, even as the risks decrease; and when we're scared, we're willing to give up all sorts of freedoms to assuage our fears.  Often, the courts go along.

NYPD Commissioner says department will begin testing a new high-tech device that scans for concealed weapons.  The department just received a machine that reads terahertz [sic] — the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects — and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance.  "If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object," Kelly said.  A video image aired at a Police Foundation breakfast Wednesday [1/23/2013] showed an officer, clad in a New York Jets jersey and jeans, with the shape of a hidden gun clearly visible under his clothing when viewed through the device.

The Editor says...
No doubt the system is being fine-tuned to search for marijuana.  Overlapping objects could easily appear to be a gun, which could lead to an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Could Martial Law Be Right Around The Corner For Americans?  Merely a week after military exercises featuring Blackhawk helicopters were flown over the Miami skyline, the Florida Highway Patrol has informed the public that it will set up "vehicle inspection checkpoints" on specific roadways in at least six Florida counties that will be established during daytime hours.  State troopers will be requesting drivers licenses and conducting a visual inspection of every third vehicle once the checkpoint has been established.

Dear Mr. Security Agent,  Today, we already see genital groping by federal agents and at least one Texas state trooper who was caught on film.  Their goal is not "public safety," but public humiliation, intimidation, and control.  Cowing the peasants into meek obeisance to unchecked authority.  Can waterboarding American "detainees" in clandestine torture centers really be that far behind?

Ron Paul Correctly Rebuts LaPierre's Call For Fed to Fund Armed School Guards.  With just days remaining in his final term in Congress, veteran congressman Ron Paul has come out strongly against NRA President Wayne LaPierre's recommendation that armed officers should be stationed in schools nationwide.  Paul has consistently called attention to the growing technological apparatus of the police state — surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners and other intrusive devices aimed at keeping tabs on criminals and ordinary citizens — some of which are necessary, other parts of which are questionable and objectionable.

Guns and the Government.  The Supreme Court has ruled consistently and countless times that the "police power," that is, the power to regulate for health, safety, welfare and morality, continues to be reposed in the states, and that there is no federal police power.

It's not about public safety.  It's all about raising money for the state government.
Oklahoma HB 2525.  HB 2525 will allow police to pull you over... Not because you are speeding, not because you are driving erratically, but to check and see if your auto insurance is expired.  In fact, it can be the primary reason you are pulled over. ... Plain and simple, HB 2525 is ripe for abuse and would let the police pull you over for any reason they wanted.  All they would have to say is that they were checking to see if your insurance is current.

HB 2525 would allow stops for no insurance.  The proposed law, House Bill 2525, would allow law enforcement officers to pull over a vehicle if they believe it is uninsured.  Currently, officers do not have "probable cause for a stop" on that basis alone.

A blogger was dragged off to a mental ward because of his Facebook posts.  Exactly what you'd expect in North Korea, China, or Cuba.
'Outraged' judge frees veteran Raub from Virginia psych ward.  [Scroll down]  His saga began Aug. 16.  That's when [Brandon] Raub was taken into custody at his Richmond home by FBI and Secret Service agents and Chesterfield County Police.  He was not charged with a crime, yet he was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle.  From there, Mr. Raub was taken to a police station and then to the John Randolph Medical Facility in Hopewell, Va., for a psychiatric evaluation.  He was never formally arrested or charged with a crime, Mr. Whitehead said.  "He was in his underwear, in his living room, he sees a group of police, FBI agents walking up, he talks with them, he's asked about some Facebook postings, they handcuff him," Mr. Whitehead said.

There is more about Brandon Raub on this page.

The Case Against Driver's Licenses:  Even a person merely walking down the street, having committed no crime, can be compelled to produce his ID.  And if that person lacks an ID, that person will very likely be arrested on the spot and held until his identity is ascertained.  This is the reality of Homeland America.  You must have permission to move.  You do not move freely.  Even if you are walking.

When Government Knows No Limitation: New DOJ Rules Allow More Intrusive Searches.  Shouldn't law-abiding citizens be able to live their lives free from the fear that our own government would underhandedly manipulate our rights in their pursuit of an investigation?  After all, the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution enumerates a limitation on the federal government, one that prevents "unreasonable search and seizure."  Today, this enumerated protection is being ignored by — of all institutions — the U.S. Justice Department, under the darkened shadow of Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Indiana Supreme Court Guts the Fourth Amendment.  A ruling by the state of Indiana's Supreme Court last Thursday [5/12/2011] in Barnes vs. Indiana has seemingly vacated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment provision against unreasonable search and seizure.  The case involved a domestic dispute and the Court ruled 3-2 that police can force their way into a person's home without a warrant if they deem such entry is necessary.

Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home.  Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday [5/12/2011] that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.  In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes.  The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.

Department of Pre-Crime.  Moral of this story:  If you hear the cops at the door, quietly get off the john, and whatever you do, don't flush.  Read the whole account of the case, which ought to get your blood boiling.

Indiana Sheriff: If We Need to Conduct Random House to House Searches We Will.  According to Newton County Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., random house to house searches are now possible and could be helpful following the Barnes v. State of Indiana Supreme Court ruling issued on May 12th, 2011.  When asked three separate times due to the astounding callousness as it relates to trampling the inherent natural rights of Americans, he emphatically indicated that he would use random house to house checks, adding he felt people will welcome random searches if it means capturing a criminal.

Giving too much license to cops.  A series of recent court rulings, including one this week from the US Supreme Court, appear to erode one of our bedrock defenses against the arbitrary, abusive power of the state.  At risk:  the Fourth Amendment guarantee to all American citizens of the right to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."

Home Insecurity.  While the U.S. Supreme Court said police may force their way into a home to prevent the destruction of evidence, the Indiana Supreme Court, in a less noticed decision issued the week before, said police may force their way into a home for any reason or no reason at all.  Although the victim of an illegal search can challenge it in court after the fact, three of the five justices agreed, "there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers."  They thereby nullified a principle of common law that is centuries old, arguably dating back to the Magna Carta.

US Police State Begins Exponential Expansion.  The recent Indiana Supreme Court ruling against the US Constitution, rendering the Fourth Amendment null and void in that State by patently leftist activist judges, is only the latest unconscionable step in a series of actions designed to unravel each and every portion of the Bill of Rights.  It is also one of the latest actions designed to compliment and enhance the already jack-booted Obama police State march into our States, our cities and homes.

Rally held in protest of 'unlawful police entry' ruling by Indiana Supreme Court.  Protesters showed up on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday [5/25/2011], to rally against a controversial ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court.  The ruling, which allows police to enter your home without a warrant, sparked threatening emails and phone calls from those angry with the court's decision.

High court urged to rethink ruling on resisting police.  A group of 71 state lawmakers is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider a ruling that says people don't have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally.

Tennessee Speeders Could Get Fingerprinted.  Motorists stopped for traffic violations in Tennessee could be fingerprinted if state lawmakers approve a bill pending in the legislature.  Currently, when drivers are cited during traffic stops, police officers ask for the driver's signature on the ticket, but the proposed bill would allow police departments to eliminate signatures and collect fingerprints.

Cops pay 3 a.m. visit to tell man his door is unlocked.  A Lakeville man says he feels violated after two police officers woke him up at 3 a.m. to tell him his door was unlocked.  Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign to remind residents to secure their homes to prevent thefts.

The Editor says...
This is just inexcusable conduct on the part of the local cops.  Leaving the door to one's house unlocked is not a crime, and with no evidence of a crime in progress, the police had no right to enter the house.  It is the police officers who were violating the law in this case, and if they were to face civil liability for their actions, it would go a long way toward preventing the spread of this behavior.  If these "public service campaign[s]" go unchallenged, police departments in other cities will try them out.

Stories of Anguish at the Hands of Police:  Nine stories of abuse at the hands of California policemen.

California police state:  The totalitarians are fully in control of America's largest state.  The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 last Thursday [1/24/2002] that police in the state may search cars if a driver fails to produce a license or registration, regardless of whether the officer has a warrant.

Washington DC is a police state.
Walled-Off Washington.  It's hard to remember, but Washington wasn't always a city of walls.  Thomas Jefferson held a public reception at the White House after his second inaugural, and citizens were able to freely wander through the building to personally ask presidents like Abraham Lincoln for jobs and other favors.  Harry Truman took long walks around Washington each morning protected by just a handful of Secret Service agents.  Capitol Hill had no roadblocks or barricades, and cars and trucks passed directly in front of the White House as they drove down Pennsylvania Avenue, one of the city's busiest thoroughfares.

The End of "The Right to Remain Silent":  Every kid who has watched a re-run of TV cop shows knows that "you have the right to remain silent" when the police come knocking.  Except that, now, you don't.  In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District of Nevada, the Supreme Court, in one stroke, turned Justice Jackson's advice on its head, and turned generations of TV cop shows into so much false advertising.  Silence, said the Court, is not only not privileged:  it can get you thrown in jail.

Court Opens Door To Searches Without Warrants.  It's a groundbreaking court decision that legal experts say will affect everyone:  Police officers in Louisiana no longer need a search or arrest warrant to conduct a brief search of your home or business.  Leaders in law enforcement say it will keep officers safe, but others argue it's a privilege that could be abused.

None Dare Call It Fascism.  Fascism operates under the principle of "might makes right," through the exercise of raw, naked governmental police power.  In America today, the increasingly rough-shod violation of constitutional rights by government agents in the name of "protecting the environment" or the "war on drugs" is an indication of how far we are proceeding in this direction.

Busting Posse Comitatus: Military Cops Arrest Civilians in Florida City.  In Homestead, Florida, Posse Comitatus is dead.  The Air Force now responds to civilian crime in the small city, population around 30,000.  "Here at Homestead Air Reserve Base we have the Crime Stop hotline that allows anyone either on base or off the installation to anonymously report a crime," explains the Homestead Air Reserve Base website.

Police Turn to Secret Weapon:  GPS Device.  Across the country, police are using GPS devices to snare thieves, drug dealers, sexual predators and killers, often without a warrant or court order.  Privacy advocates said tracking suspects electronically constitutes illegal search and seizure, violating Fourth Amendment rights of protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and is another step toward George Orwell's Big Brother society.

Random Pat-Downs Turn PATCO Into Police State.  Commuters who ride PATCO trains between southern New Jersey and Philadelphia should expect random searches of their clothing, pockets, bags and vehicles on their morning trip to work.  Twelve Transportation Security Administration screeners, armed with an explosive-sniffing K-9, checked 663 commuter bags randomly selected from the morning rush at the Lindenwold station Tuesday [9/7/2010]. ... "We can conduct any kind of search we want," said [Delaware River Port Authority Police Chief David] McClintock.

Wisconsin court upholds GPS tracking by police.  Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody's movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday [5/7/2009].

Courts Divided on Police Use of GPS Tracking.  If a police officer puts a GPS tracking device on your car, should he or she have to get a warrant first?  It's a simple question, but one, so far, without a clear legal answer.  In an example of how unsettled the issue is, in just the past week, appeals courts in two different states delivered completely opposite rulings.

Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Warrantless GPS Monitoring.  At the Obama administration's urging, the Supreme Court agreed Monday [6/27/2011] to review whether the government, without a court warrant, may affix GPS devices on suspects' vehicles to track their every move.  The Justice Department told the justices that "a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another," and demanded the justices undo a lower court decision that reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month without a court warrant.

Officer admits to hiding GPS device in woman's car.  A former Costa Mesa police officer has admitted to hiding a Global Positioning System device in a woman's car without her knowledge, court records show.  Aaron Paul Parsons pleaded no contest Monday to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully using an electronic tracking device, according to Orange County Superior Court records.

Cops must get warrant if DUI suspect balks at blood test.  Blood samples taken from motorists without their explicit on-the-spot consent can't be used to convict them of drunken driving, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday.  The justices acknowledged Arizona has an "implied consent" law saying motorists agree to provide a sample of blood, breath or urine for testing if they are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Supreme Court to decide whether police can take your blood without your permission.  The case involves a traffic stop in Missouri, but its ramifications could range far wider, potentially rewriting drunk-driving laws in all 50 states.  "It comes down, basically, to are you going to see blood draws every single time someone gets pulled over for a DUI," said Michael A. Correll, a litigator with the international law firm Alston & Bird, who examined the legality of blood draws in the West Virginia Law Review last year.

The NDAA Repeals More Rights.  Innocent people are wrongly accused all the time.  The Bill of Rights is there precisely because the founders wanted to set a very high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty.  To lower that bar is to endanger everyone.  When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured.

Protests Near Secret Service Protected Folk Effectively Outlawed.  In case you question the value of having a Justin Amash or a Ron Paul in the House of Representatives, they were two of only three votes against H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." ... Although [Secret Service] protection isn't extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Can the Secret Service Tell You To Shut Up?  When the Framers of the Constitution wrote the First Amendment, they lived in a society in which anyone could walk up to George Washington or John Adams or Thomas Jefferson on a public street and say directly to them whatever one wished.  They never dreamed of a regal-like force of armed agents keeping public officials away from the public, as we have today.  And they never imagined that it could be a felony for anyone to congregate in public within earshot or eyesight of certain government officials.  And yet, today in America, it is.

Another Brick Removed.  HR 347 was recently signed into law by President Obama.  This statute had wide support amongst both parties of Congress.  In essence, it criminalizes disruptive behavior upon government grounds, at specially designated national events (Super Bowl, nominating conventions, etc.) and anywhere that Secret Service is protecting "any" person.  Obviously, the goal of this law is to enhance the ability of the Secret Service to protect those persons it is charged to do so; but in extending this power, this law eviscerates the citizens' rights to assemble and petition under the First Amendment.

Surveillance without proper authority is illegal.  On June 2, 2009, a janitor in an office building in New Brunswick, N.J., noticed what he thought was terrorist-related literature and sophisticated surveillance equipment in an office he had been assigned to clean.  He told his boss, who called the local police, who notified the FBI.  Later in the day, the FBI and the New Brunswick police broke into the office and discovered five men busily operating the equipment.  Four of the men were officers from the New York City Police Department, and the fifth was a CIA agent.  The conundrum faced by all of these public servants soon became apparent.  Who should arrest whom?

Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Offense.  The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.  Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court's conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Highway Checkpoints Illegal.  Kentucky's Supreme Court has ruled that highway checkpoints of drivers who refused to display a $10 city sticker in their window are in fact unconstitutional and therefore, illegal.  The city of Liberty required all 1,850 residents and anyone working within the city limits to purchase and display the sticker, but teachers at a local school had failed to do so, prompting local police to take action.  Those individuals who refused to purchase a $10 sticker and place it in their vehicle windows were targeted by city officials, who mandated that police set up roadblocks.

The Forfeiture Racket: Police and prosecutors won't give up their license to steal.  [Scroll down]  Criminal forfeiture can also prevent defendants from effectively contesting the charges against them.  When the DEA accuses a doctor of illegally prescribing pain medication, for example, one of the first actions it takes is to freeze his assets for possible forfeiture.  Since most doctors make their entire living from their practice, nearly everything they own can be frozen.  Many accused doctors therefore don't have the resources to hire legal representation, much less experts to counter government assertions that they're prescribing controlled substances outside the normal practice of medicine.  Forfeiture makes it nearly impossible for them to mount a credible defense.

FBI, DEA warn IPv6 could shield criminals from police.  Relax.  This has nothing to do with criminals.  It's cop bluster designed to get us to wiretap ourselves "before the cops get Congress to force us to".

We Don't Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena.  Meet the administrative subpoena:  With a federal official's signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation.  Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge.

DNA test jailed innocent man for murder.  Scientists, lawyers and politicians have raised new concerns over the quality of forensic evidence testing — so is the criminal justice system too reliant on lab tests without realising their limitations?




Special rights and privileges for police officers

Criticising Cops May Soon Become A Hate Crime, New Law Proposal.  Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), has asked Congress to expand the hate crime laws in order to protect law enforcement employees — calling on members of the public who "targets" these individuals to be punished.  The definition of a hate crime, according to Congress is criminal offence against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation".  But Jim Pasco, director of the National Fraternal Order of Police has said that the definition isn't enough. "Right now, it's a hate crime if you attack someone solely because of the color of their skin, but it ought to be a hate crime if you attack someone solely because of the color of their uniform as well".

Kentucky Senate Passes Bill to Make Taunting Police a Crime.  It could become a crime to taunt a police officer in Kentucky, under a bill that passed the state Senate on Thursday [3/11/2021].  The measure was filed months after Louisville, the state's largest city, became the site of huge protests in the wake of the police killing of Breonna Taylor.  The bill passed the Republican-dominated Senate 22-11 and now awaits House input.  Under the legislation, anyone who "accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response" would be guilty of a misdemeanor and face up to 90 days in jail and fines.

Kentucky Bill Would Make It A Crime To Insult Police Officers.  A bill advancing out of a Kentucky Senate committee on Thursday would make it a crime to insult or taunt a police officer to the point where the taunts provoke a violent response.  Senate Bill 211 passed by a 7-3 vote, according to reports.  The proposal was a response to riots throughout the country last summer, said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Benton, a retired police officer.  "In these riots, you see people getting up in officers' faces, yelling in their ears, doing everything they can to provoke a violent response," Carroll said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Georgia Gov. Kemp signs new law to protect police, other first responders.  Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law Wednesday a measure designed to offer additional protections to police officers despite opposition from a national anti-police brutality movement.  House Bill 838 makes bias-motivated intimidation of first responders a crime.  It would apply to anyone responsible in the death or serious bodily injury of a police officer, firefighter or emergency medical technician, and to anyone who causes damage of $500 or more to property owned by police and first responders.  The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.  The measure says the sentence must be stacked atop any other related sentence, which could lead to long sentences for violations such as vandalism aimed at officers.

Texas: Man Gets 99 Years In Prison For Kicking A Cop While Child-Murdering Cop Walks Free.  The Free Thought Project has reported on, quite literally, thousands of instances of police officers hurting or killing citizens, many of them entirely innocent.  In the overwhelming majority of the cases, the officers are not charged with a crime and most of those keep their jobs.  If those roles are reversed, however, and a citizen dares fight against a police officer, that citizen will face punishment every single time.  A Texas man learned this the hard way this week after being sentenced to 99 years in prison for kicking a cop.

Sheriff Mistakes Innocent Man for Suspect, Dumps 10 Rounds Into Him — NO CHARGES.  Kimble County Sheriff Hilario Cantu is taking fire in the form of criticism after he opened fire on an innocent man, dumping 10 rounds into him and his truck.  Quite unlike what the general public would face, in the form of criminal charges, Cantu will likely face no charges, serve no time in jail, and will potentially not even be disciplined for shooting up the wrong moving vehicle.  What started out as a traffic stop for a missing license plate nearly turned deadly for both one police officer and one hapless innocent bystander.

After Admitting to Felony Sex Crimes, Deputy Gets No Jail, Won't Register as Sex Offender.  A Contra Costa County cop who had sex with inmates will not have to face jail time nor will he have to register as a sex offender following what some are calling a sweetheart deal he and his lawyers made with prosecutors.

NY bill to make water attacks on cops a felony faces Democratic opposition.  A Republican bill that would increase penalties for throwing water on cops, after a series of incidents in which members of New York's Finest were doused by bucket-wielding mobs, is facing some initial Democratic opposition months before the bill could even be taken up.  Republicans in the state's assembly were angered by viral videos of cops being drenched by groups of local residents — with NYPD officers apparently feeling unable to respond and walking away.  Police have since made a number of arrests related to the cases, but the incidents have sparked national attention, with President Trump calling the incidents "a total disgrace" last month.

The Editor says...
Yes, there is a problem to be addressed, but I'm opposed to such a law unless it applies to everyone, not just police officers.  Thus, if anyone throws water at anyone else, it would be a felony.  Obviously that would be ridiculous, and the jails would quickly fill up with high school kids whose victims were other high school kids.

Everything They're Telling You About Mass Shootings Is Wrong.  Democrats have complained about police brutality for years.  The police, they assure us, are out of control.  And, the story goes, they have it in for anyone whose skin is not lily white.  You can't trust the racist cops, they tell us.  Remember Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, and others.  But these same Democrats also tell us that the police are the only ones who should have guns, which is to say that the police we're not supposed to trust, who are guilty — in their view — of unspeakable crimes against Americans, should be given a monopoly on physical force and that private citizens should be deprived of their most effective means of defending themselves.

Mayor de Blasio's NYPD vehicle was driving wrong way when it crashed with truck, sparking cover-up.  Mayor de Blasio's NYPD SUV was cruising the wrong way with lights and sirens blaring when it got into a car crash, sparking a frantic cover-up by his security detail, a new accident report obtained by the Daily News shows.  NYPD Det.  Edgar Robles was driving west against traffic on E. 135th St. in the unmarked black Chevy Tahoe when he collided with a boiler truck at Fifth Ave. at 8:15 a.m. on a Saturday in August 2015, according to the report provided by the department.  The mayor and two other detectives were in the vehicle at the time.

Rapper Charged With Terrorism for Lyrics Criticizing Police.  Individuals who engage in controversial and unpopular political or artistic expression, by criticizing the police for example, can be labeled terrorists and subject to prosecution and suppression by the government as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to let stand a lower court ruling in Knox v. Pennsylvania.  By refusing to hear the case of rapper Jamal Knox (a.k.a.  "Mayhem Mal"), who was charged with making terroristic threats after posting a song critical of police on Facebook and YouTube, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved the government's expansion of the definition of "true threats."

Under Texas Law Banning Annoying or Offensive Electronic Messages, Man Faces a Year in Prison for Criticizing Police.  Warning that the government must not be given the power to criminalize speech it deems distasteful or annoying, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the prosecution of a Texas man who faces up to one year in jail and a $4000 fine for sending emails to police criticizing them for failing to respond to his requests for assistance.  In an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the prosecution of Scott Ogle for sending complaints to a sheriff's office, including one email stating that officials were "[figuratively urinating]" on the Constitution, violates the First Amendment's safeguards for freedom of speech and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.  Moreover, Institute attorneys argue that the Texas law under which Ogle was charged, which makes it a crime to send "annoying," "alarming" or "harassing" electronic messages, is so over-broad that it could be used to punish a negative review of a restaurant posted online or caustic Facebook posts.

Can It Be a Crime to "Intimidate" Police Officers by Threatening to Complain About Them?  No, says the Fifth Circuit, striking down as unconstitutionally overbroad a Louisiana statute that apparently bans threatening public employees with lawsuits or complaints — and not just with violence — "with the intent to influence [the employee's official] conduct."

Why should hitting a cop be a federal crime?  Last week, the House of Representatives — by a margin of more than 10 to 1 — approved a completely gratuitous, blatantly unconstitutional bill that would make assaulting a police officer a federal crime.  The lopsided vote was a bipartisan portrait in cowardice that vividly showed how readily politicians forsake their oaths of office to keep their hold on power.  The Protect and Serve Act prescribes a prison sentence of up to 10 years for anyone who "knowingly assaults a law-enforcement officer," thereby "causing serious bodily injury," or "attempts to do so."  Such conduct is, of course, already illegal in all 50 states, and there is no reason to think local law enforcement agencies are reluctant to arrest and prosecute people guilty of it.

If You Limit ANY Free Speech, This Is What You Ge.  There are so many problems with this law.  Why are masks not protected forms of expression?  What about hats, hoods, and sunglasses?  At what point do those fit the definition of a mask?  Ironically, police routinely wear gas masks and face-covering riot helmets at these kinds of events.  Apparently, the law doesn't apply to them.  But that is fitting since most laws don't apply to the people who enforce them.  Have you ever threatened to shoot someone with a rifle because they had a mask on?  Me neither.  Police are a different breed.

No Charges for Wichita Officer Who Killed Innocent, Unarmed Man in 'Swatting'.  A Kansas district attorney announced yesterday that a police officer who shot an unarmed man on his own porch will not face charges because the officer was operating under the impression that he was responding to a hostage situation.  The fatal shooting of Andrew Finch in Wichita, Kansas, drew national attention in December, as it appeared to be the first case of a "Swatting" call turning deadly.  "Swatting" is a particularly nasty prank in which someone calls 911 and falsely claims to be involved in a dangerous hostage situation, drawing a SWAT raid to somebody else's home and terrifying the targets.  In this case, a Los Angeles man reportedly made the false call as a result of some video game dispute.

Off-Duty Cop Kills Baby After Smashing into Car Going 94mph — Mom Charged with Homicide.  A mother has been grieving the loss of her baby for the last few months after an off-duty cop — recklessly driving 94 mph — smashed into her car, killing her daughter and injuring all the other occupants.  Now, months after this officer took the life of her child, his fellow officers are charging HER with homicide.  Brittany Stephens, 20, was arrested on Tuesday [2/27/2018] on charges of homicide — in spite of the fact that the officer caused the deadly crash.

8 Really Bad Laws That Went Into Effect Today.  [#4] Enhanced sentencing for crimes against first responders:  In Nevada, enhanced penalties kick in today [10/1/2017] for hate crimes committed against first responders, including police and firefighters, because they are first responders.  Criminals convicted of such crimes can face between 1 and 20 years in prison on top of the sentence for the crime.  The enhancement, at least, can't exceed the length of the original sentence.

Police Union Tries to Cast Criticism of Police as 'Blue Racism'.  The New York Police Department Sergeants Benevolent Association is catching hell — deservedly so — for a YouTube video titled Blue Racism.  The union's video is exactly what its title suggests it is.  It suggests that mass criticism of police behavior is akin to actual racism, judging people on the basis of wearing a blue uniform.

Hate Crime Laws Codify Inequality.  Because hate crime laws elevate some victims above others, their scope tends to expand over time.  If race and religion are covered, doesn't fairness demand that disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity be included as well?  A Louisiana law that took effect last summer classifies attacks on police officers, firefighters, or paramedics as hate crimes too.  Similar "Blue Lives Matter" bills have been introduced in several other states.  This unseemly competition, in which interest groups vie for recognition and status, has very little to do with justice, which requires equal treatment under the law.

Louisiana Passes 'Blue Lives Matter' Law To Make Attacking Cops A Hate Crime.  Louisiana enacted a new law Thursday [5/26/2016] to make it a hate crime to attack police officers.  Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the "Blue Lives Matter" bill Thursday afternoon, adding police to the list of protected categories under hate crime law such as race and religion.  Louisiana law adds an additional five years in prison and $5,000 in fines for an offense against one of the listed groups, which now includes cops, firefighters, and EMS personnel.  "The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Edwards said.

Louisiana Makes it a "Hate Crime" to Target Police Officers!  State Rep. Lance Harris introduced the bill after Darren Goforth, a Texas sheriff's deputy who was in uniform, was killed in 2015, while getting gas for his patrol vehicle.  "It looked like it was strictly done because someone didn't like police officers, like a hate crime," Harris told CNN.  "In the news, you see a lot of people terrorizing and threatening police officers on social media just due to the fact that they are policemen," he added.  "Now, this protects police and first responders under the hate-crime law."  A similar bill was introduced at the federal level in March.

Blue Lives Matter bill makes targeting police a hate crime in Louisiana.  Thursday [5/26/2016] the Democratic Governor of Lousiana, John Bel Edwards, signed a bill making it a hate crime to target police officers or other first responders.  The bill is known as blue lives matter, a take off on the Black Lives Matter movement that has been critical of police in the past year.

Louisiana governor signs 'Blue Lives Matter' bill.  Louisiana's governor signed a first-of-its-kind bill Thursday afternoon [5/26/2016] that makes it a hate crime to target police officers and first responders.  Called the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, the measure expands the state's hate crime law to include law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency medical services personnel.  "The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards told FoxNews.com in a written statement.  He added that he has "great respect" for the work that law enforcement officers do and the daily risks they take.

The Editor says...
Criminal justice is supposed to be administered without regard to the class or status of the parties involved.  For example, one does not (ostensibly) receive a lighter sentence for a violent crime if one is caucasian.  Hate crimes introduce variable punishment based on the perpetrator's thoughts.  That idea is bad enough, but this proposed new law features increased punishment based on the status of the victim, regardless of the perpetrators thoughts or intentions.  It puts cops, firemen and paramedics into a new category of better-than-first-class citizens.  Once we get accustomed to it, the law will probably be modified to include all government workers.  This proposed law is nothing more or less than a means of putting more people in prison with longer sentences.

Louisiana governor signs 'Blue Lives Matter' bill.  Louisiana's governor signed a first-of-its-kind bill Thursday afternoon that makes it a hate crime to target police officers and first responders.  Called the "Blue Lives Matter" bill, the measure expands the state's hate crime law to include law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency medical services personnel.  "The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana," Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards told FoxNews.com in a written statement.  He added that he has "great respect" for the work that law enforcement officers do and the daily risks they take.

The Editor says...
Hate crime laws will always exhibit "mission creep" — incrementally expanding in one direction only, to include various new features that would never have been approved at the outset.

Killing law enforcement would be a hate crime under new bill.  Attacking or killing cops and other first responders would be a hate crime under a bill passed by the state Senate on Tuesday [5/9/2017].  The Community Heroes Protection Act would make cops, firefighter and EMTs among those to be included in the state's hate crimes laws which bump violent crimes up a level and impose harsher penalties.  The legislation, sponsored by retired Upstate undersheriff, Republican Sen. Fred Akshar, was spurred in part by the death of 135 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the United States last year.  That's the highest number since 2011 and 21 of those resulted from ambush killings, the highest number in two decades.

The Editor says...
Awwww....  Community Heroes!  How could anyone vote against Community Heroes?





Pawns:  Cops used for political leverage and favors -- and scapegoats

White Pennsylvania State Trooper Is Fired For Arresting A Black Transvestite Who Clearly Broke Several Laws.  The Pennsylvania State Police are no longer employing the state trooper who arrested Philadelphia transgender and husband LGBTQ+ officials back in March 'it's not cause you're black.'  "We can confirm he's no longer employed by our department," a Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson said on Friday, May 10.  Pennsylvania State Police said that the state trooper initially pulled over a gray Infinity sedan for 'multiple Vehicle Code violations.'  Morrison's husband reportedly pulled up behind the trooper's car, and police said the driver was 'verbally combative' and 'resisted arrest.'  [Video clip]

DC Police Refuse to Clear Protesters From George Washington University Campus Because of Bad 'Optics'.  At 3:00 AM on Saturday morning, Washington, D.C. police were lined up and prepared to enter the campus of George Washington University to clear anti-Israel protesters from a tent encampment they had built.  [Advertisement]  However, according to the Washington Post, the police got the order to stand down from their superiors.  Two sources told the Post the cops were "worried about the optics of moving against a small number of peaceful protesters, according to two officials familiar with the talks."  The office of Mayor Muriel Bowser was also involved in the decision for the cops to back off.  The Post reported that "city officials told their university counterparts they wanted to avoid images of violent altercations between police and protesters flashing across TV screens across the country."

The Editor says...
In other words, the mob won.

London: Met Police Tell Jewish Man He Will Be Arrested For Being 'Openly Jewish' At A Pro-Hamas Rally.  The Metropolitan Police of the UK approached a Jewish man who was walking near a pro Hamas protest:  "You are quite openly Jewish.  This is a pro-Palestinian march.  I am not accusing you of anything, but I am worried about the reaction to your presence."  Another officer "Because your presence is antagonizing them."  [Video clip]

Trans-hating 'parody of JK Rowling' was created by Police Scotland officers.  A fictional trans-hating character called "Jo", who women's groups claim is an offensive parody of JK Rowling, was invented by Police Scotland officers, it has emerged.  The national force faced scrutiny this week over a "scenario" presented at an official hate crime event in which "Jo", a gender-critical campaigner who, like Rowling, has a large social media following, states that trans people should be sent to gas chambers.  The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign group, which ran the hate crime event in collaboration with police, revealed the Jo character had been "written by officers at Police Scotland based on their expertise".  Women's groups said the revelation raised new doubts over the ability of police to impartially enforce new hate crime laws, which come into force on April 1.  They say the fictional narrative written by officers is offensive as it reinforces inaccurate claims commonly made by trans-rights activists that gender-critical campaigners such as Rowling have been radicalised.

Swiss Police Shut Off Electricity During An Anti-Immigration Speech, Arrest Speaker.  In a shocking development, armed police intervened to shut down the power and arrest Martin Sellner just as he was preparing to deliver a controversial anti-immigration lecture in Switzerland.  [Video clip]

NY cop claims he was fired for writing traffic ticket to lawyer who flashed PBA card to try dodge trouble.  A Westchester County cop claims he was unceremoniously fired just months into the job for writing a traffic ticket to a PBA-connected lawyer — and is now suing the county in federal court.  Joseph Saetta, 29, said he got into hot water with the suburban department just two months after joining the force — all because he didn't honor a police benevolent association "courtesy card," part of an unspoken code in law enforcement for cops to look the other way on minor infractions.  It ended up costing him his job, the lawsuit claims.

Polish Farmer: "Everything was peaceful and suddenly the police came out of nowhere, [...] simply provoking people".  Just before I left on my vacation, demonstrations by farmers across Europe had made an impact, as the European Parliament nixed some of its unrealistic green plans for a global utopia.  Gone, for example, are rules to force the reduction of nitrogen (essential for fertilizers) and methane (generated by cattle) and plans to persuade European citizens to eat less meat.  At least for now.  Protests are continuing, and in Poland, there are reports that farmers clashed with police. [...] Tomasz Obszanski, a farmers' union leader and protest organiser told Reuters that police began blocking protesters from leaving as the demonstration ended.  "Everything was peaceful and suddenly the police came out of nowhere, there were loud bangs, the police started using (tear) gas and simply provoking people leaving the protest," said Obszanski, leader of the NSZZ RI Solidarnosc union for individual farmers.

Another City 'At the Brink of Disaster' After Defunding Police.  [W]ho could have guessed that defunding the police in your city would cause problems?  Well, residents of Austin, Texas, have discovered just that the hard way.  The city has been plagued by police staffing shortages and longer 911-call response times since the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department in 2020.  Last week, the shortages resulted in a section of the city being completely without any police officers for a few hours.  "Previous councils and leadership have actively worked against our officers and department, which has now put us in a free-falling staffing crisis," Austin Police Association President Michael Bullock told Fox News Digital. "Twice now we've had our contract voted down or it has been allowed to expire.  Each year since 2017, we've lost more officers than we've hired.  We had to gut our specialized units and force detectives to work backfill on patrol just to try and respond to 911 calls."

Embattled Democrat mayor [is] accused of using police as personal 'Gestapo' to target those who didn't support her campaign.  By now, you've probably heard of Tiffany Henyard, the embattled Biden-loving Democrat mayor of Dolton, Illinois, who recently came under fire for raking in a "combined salary of nearly $300k" to fund her glamorous first-class lifestyle and high-maintenance beauty routine — for context, the town's residents have a median income of around $24,000.  But Henyard refused to concede that perhaps isn't the best example of a civil servant and lambasted her dissenters, telling them they should be "ashamed" of themselves for daring to petition for accountability and financial transparency.  (Note: all Henyard's critics were also black.)  Well there's been a development, and the allegations are simply scandalous.

We're Living Under A Tyranny Of Mediocre Morons.  You might think that it would be difficult to cause any kind of serious problem in a Wendy's drive-thru.  The concept is pretty simple:  You sit in the car, and when it's your turn, you drive up, get your order, and then you drive off.  In an orderly society, it's a pretty straight-forward, fool-proof system.  But in the days after George Floyd was canonized, of course, all rules were suspended.  Things started breaking down.  Accordingly, on June 12 of that year, a 27-year-old man named Rayshard Brooks decided to treat the Wendy's drive-thru like a motel room.  He got drunk out of his mind and passed out in his car, as he waited to get his hamburger and frosty.  Then, when two police officers arrived in an attempt to keep the drive-thru moving, Brooks started fighting with one of the officers, stole his taser, and began running away.  A few seconds later, Brooks turned around and pointed the stolen taser at the officers, at which point he was shot and killed.  It was not only a justified police shooting but perhaps one of the most justified police shootings ever caught on film.  Nevertheless, just a few days later, the top prosecutor in Fulton County Georgia, a guy named Paul Howard, decided to charge both officers on the scene with a variety of crimes.

The cops don't want to offend Muslims, even if they're murderers.
'Group of People' Kill Teenage Boys, U.K. Police Caution Public Not to Identify Suspects.  The British authorities are fearful that the brutal killing of two teenagers could trigger another wave of public unrest.  A 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, who are yet to be publicly identified by police, were stabbed by a "group of men" on Saturday night [1/27/2024].  The fatal stabbing incident took place in Knowles West in South Bristol, which is the most populous city in Southwest England.  The police, as has become customary in Britain, refused to identify the suspects as anything other than a "group of men," despite apprehending a 44-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy in connection to the heinous crime. [...] "We have also identified several witnesses who we will be taking statements from," he went on.  "Detectives are particularly keen to speak with passengers on a bus which was on Ilminster Avenue at the time of the incident."  The police commander then cautioned the public not to share information about the murder.  "It is extremely important there should be no commentary or sharing of information or images online which could in any way prejudice and any future proceedings," he commented.

Ohio Official's Arrest After She Criticized Sheriff at Public Meeting a Free Speech Violation, Judge Orders Damages.  On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the constitutional rights of an Ohio elected official were violated when she was arrested for criticizing the sheriff at a public meeting, AP reported.  U.S. District Judge J. Philip Calabrese ruled that the arrest violated the First Amendment.  Niki Frenchko, the sole Republican on the three-member Trumbull County Board of Commissioners, was arrested during a commissioners' meeting on July 7, 2022.  She was charged under a contentious Ohio law that criminalizes actions or speech intended to "prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting."

Blue States Are Hiring Illegals as Police, Giving Them Guns.  As you likely know, blue states have been playing a cute and dangerous game to drive up their gun crime stats:
  [#1]   Release prisoners from jail
  [#2]   Keep them free with cashless bail
  [#3]   More criminals on the streets with guns means more crime
  [#4]   Use the inflated crime stats to take away your gat

The Editor says...
I play Scrabble as much as the next guy, but I thought gat was a typo until I looked it up.  It's slang for a gun, as you might have inferred from the context.

Canada Goes Full Communist After Cop Deliberately Walks Into Conservative Journalist, Then Arrests Him For Assault.  "I came here to do my job, and now I'm handcuffed."  Rebel News' beloved Mission Specialist David Menzies was just brutally arrested for practicing journalism in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.  Menzies was physically obstructed by an unnamed RCMP officer, who interfered with his attempt to question Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.  Menzies was then swarmed by officers and hauled off in a paddy wagon for an unknown charge at a memorial service held for Canadians killed after the Iranian military shot down Flight PS752 four years ago.  "Welcome to [Justin Trudeau]'s Canada," Menzies can be heard saying.  "This is what they do to journalists.  I was merely trying to scrum Minister Freeland and the RCMP officer blocked me, and evidently this is a trumped-up charge of assault, folks.  I came here to do my job and now I'm handcuffed."  [Video clip]

Toronto Cops Deliver Hot Coffee To Jew-Hating Protesters Blocking The Road To A Jewish Community.  Facing mounting criticism for an alleged tolerance of a series of road-closing anti-Israel protests, Toronto police members have sparked renewed outrage thanks to a video showing them delivering coffee to said protestors.  Posted to social media platform 'X' at 2 p.m. on Saturday by Toronto lawyer and online commentator Caryma Sa'd, the video shows a Toronto police constable — his face concealed behind a black neck gaiter — delivering a cardboard urn of Tim Hortons coffee and a stack of cups — to anti-Israel protestors occupying the closed Avenue Road bridge over Highway 401.  The bridge, located within Toronto's largest Jewish area, was the site of numerous demonstrations by anti-Israel activists.  That prompted Toronto police to close the bridge during the protests, prompting criticism of police kowtowing to protestors over enforcing the law.  [Video clip]

Philadelphia's police department fired its first-ever DEI officer.  It is news that is sure to be welcomed by the throngs of people who are tired of the race-obsessed society the nation has become.  Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Police Department fired its first-ever DEI officer, Leslie Marant, Philadelphia's WPVI reported.  Marant was hired by former Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw in April 2022, according to multiple sources.  It was considered an odd move at the time by Outlaw, especially since the city was in the middle of a wave of violent crime.  Less than four months after setting a Philadelphia record for most homicides in a single year, Outlaw chose to pander to left-wing politics and hire Marant as DEI officer.  Moreover, Philadelphia would go on to have the second-highest total for homicides in its history in 2022, recording over 500 murders for the second consecutive year.

If it all goes wrong, with whom will the police side?  [Scroll down]  Local Police:  These are county sheriff's offices and municipal police forces.  There will be a real blue/red divide, but it will be pretty much limited to large blue cities and red everything else. [...] Line cops tend to distrust and dislike such political slugs as much as the political slugs distrust and hate them. [...] As with the military, some line cops will play along, at least at first, out of a misplaced sense of duty, but that won't last long, nor will they if they don't quickly wise up.  As with our military, cops tend to be conservative.  Duty, honor and integrity are part of their everyday lives, as are grooming standards.  If a cop loses his reputation for integrity, his career is over.  Americans don't realize it, but cops actively apply the Constitution every day.  They may not be able to quote chapter and verse, but they know how vital it is.  Some of them are also veterans or members of the National Guard.  They're not going to be killing their friends, relatives, neighbors and the people they see every day.

Law requires California police to use suspect's pronouns upon release of mugshot.  A California law taking effect Monday will include preferred pronouns with suspects' mugshots while also limiting their presence on social media.  California's AB 994 amended the current law on publishing mugshots, only allowing the mugshots of suspects with violent charges to remain on social media for two weeks.  Those posted on social media should also only be posted if "the suspect is a fugitive or an imminent threat to an individual or to public safety and releasing or disseminating the suspect's image will assist in locating or apprehending the suspect or reducing or eliminating the threat."  This law will apply retroactively, meaning that agencies will have to delete old mugshots from their social media.  However, this law will not apply to the websites or data systems of agencies.

The Editor says...
In other words, the police will know that 90 percent of the violent criminals are "minorities," but the general public won't be informed, because that would turn us all into racists.

Dem who defunded Austin police under fire for requesting enhanced patrols around his home.  Just days after Rep. Gregorio "Greg" Casar of Texas openly criticized the Austin Police Department, and following his stint on the city council where he called to defund the same department, Casar reportedly "requested enhanced patrols around his house," according to the Austin Police Retired Officers Association.  "It's come to our attention that Anti police king of the defund movement in Austin @GregCasar who only last week called APD an agency with racist practices has requested enhanced patrols around his house for the next week," APROA posted Tuesday on X.

Pathetic Police In The UK Arrest An Elderly Man Because He Challenged The Pro-Hamas Mob Yet Didn't Break Any Laws.  British police officers detain an elderly man dressed in a suit to 'prevent potential breach of peace' after he made a comment to pro-Palestinian protesters who had taken over Leicester city center chanting pro-Hamas slogans.  [Video clip]

Stalker case took deadly turn after police redeployed to monitor lockdown breaches.  An investigation into a stalker who is believed to have gone on to murder a 23-year-old woman was dropped after police officers were redeployed to monitor lockdown breaches, an inquest heard.  Gracie Spinks is thought to have been stabbed to death by Michael Sellers four months after she reported him to Derbyshire Police in February 2021.  Sgt Matthew Adams, who supervised Pc Sarah Parker, the officer who initially investigated the case, gave evidence at day five of the inquest into the death of Ms Spinks at Chesterfield Crown Court on Monday.  He told the court that during the coronavirus pandemic, Pc Parker had been moved over to a response team and therefore he had not been managing her, or the case, as closely as he normally would have.

If the police can scour the internet for hate speech, surely they can arrest protesters calling for the eradication of a nation.  On Saturday night, senior officers at Scotland Yard no doubt poured large Glennhoddles all round and congratulated themselves on a job well done.  By their own estimation, they were certainly entitled to do so.  After all, a potentially volatile large pro-Palestinian demonstration had passed off 'peacefully' and with few arrests.  The fact that elements of the 100,000-strong crowd appeared to be calling for a holy war to wipe Israel off the face of the earth didn't seem to trouble the police.  No laws had been broken, the cops insisted, pointing out that chants of 'jihad' could be interpreted in several ways.

Five times the Met Police stood aside during pro-Palestine protests.  The Metropolitan Police has been criticised for its handling of a pro-Palestine rally in London on Saturday.  Police said that around 100,000 people attended the rally, where protesters scaled buildings in Whitehall, chanted "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free", and called for "jihad".  Only 10 people were arrested during the protests.  The arrests were for offences involving fireworks, public order and assaulting an emergency service worker.

If you see something, say something.  And you'll be ignored.
London police stood by as pro-Palestine demonstrators called for a 'jihad' on London streets.  Suella Braverman will today demand an explanation from police after they stood by as pro-Palestine demonstrators called for a 'jihad' against Israel.  The Home Secretary will confront Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley over the force's low-key approach to anti-Israel demonstrators peddling hate on Britain's streets.  Ministers reacted angrily after the police said no laws were broken at an event on Saturday where protesters in central London called for 'Muslim armies' to launch a jihad to 'liberate Palestine'.  According to one report, up to 15 officers stood by and watched.

Police should follow the law in the Nashville shooter manifesto case.  It's been nearly seven months since a transgender man entered the Covenant School in Tennessee and shot and murdered three nine-year-old children and three adults.  According to court filings, this murderer left behind at least 20 journals, a suicide note, and a memoir.  Yet, they have not been released to the public to allow for an understanding of the killer's motive.  Leftists have fought against the release, either knowing or fearing what information the documents contain. [...] The delay makes it appear that they are attempting to hide something, and since the shooting quickly became a political hot potato, it looks like they are playing politics.  The delay only allows speculation to grow over what the documents contain, and that speculation could be more harmful than the truth.

The Profit Incentives Driving the American Police State.  As with most things, if you want to know the real motives behind any government program, follow the money trail.  When you dig down far enough, you quickly find that those who profit from Americans being surveilled, fined, scanned, searched, probed, tasered, arrested and imprisoned are none other than the police who arrest them, the courts which try them, the prisons which incarcerate them, and the corporations, which manufacture the weapons, equipment and prisons used by the American police state.  These injustices, petty tyrannies and overt acts of hostility are being carried out in the name of the national good — against the interests of individuals, society and ultimately our freedoms — by an elite class of government officials working in partnership with megacorporations that are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions.  Everywhere you go, everything you do, and every which way you look, we're getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

Army called in as Met firearms officers put down their guns.  Soldiers will be drafted in to replace armed police officers following a mass walkout by firearms teams to protest against the decision to charge one of their colleagues with murder.  More than 300 officers — 10 percent of all firearms staff — have refused to carry a gun, forcing Scotland Yard to submit a formal request to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for help with counter-terror policing.  On Sunday Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, issued an open letter calling for an overhaul of the way police officers are treated by the justice system and better legal protection for those who use force while on duty.  His comments came just hours after Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, gave her backing to firearms officers and said she would launch a review "to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all".

DC-Area Police Department Turns to Puerto Rico To Alleviate Officer Recruiting Shortages.  Officer shortages are so dire in the Washington, D.C., area that one county police department is planning to send officials to Puerto Rico in an attempt to bring back hundreds of new recruits, the department announced Monday.  Law enforcement officials in Maryland's Prince George's County, which borders D.C., told the city's Fox affiliate that they plan to travel to the Caribbean island "soon" in an attempt to hire the roughly 350 officers they need to achieve a full staff.  In addition to the tropical recruitment trip, the county's police department is targeting Hispanic communities at parades and other events across the country and running ads in Spanish.  The effort provides a window into the unique strategies that police departments are employing as they work to address the officer shortages that have plagued America's police departments since the height of the Defund the Police movement in 2020.

Trump Caravan Blocked in Manhattan by Three Leftists with a Sheet.  Trump supporters organized a caravan in Manhattan today.  The Trump supporters were planning on traveling through the city and passing by Trump Tower.  But then three leftists with a spray-painted sheet stood in the street and blocked traffic.  Police did nothing to remove the leftists from the road.  [Tweet]  The police did not remove the protesters blocking traffic.

Asking About Dead Kids In Maui Is Not Allowed.  [Tweet with video clip]

Search warrant against Marion County Record is Withdrawn by attorney after raid on newspaper offices and 98-year-old co-owner's home triggered her death.  The search warrant that authorized a sensational raid on a local newspaper's headquarters and its co-owner's home has been withdrawn.  All seized items from the Marion County Record have been released to the newspaper's attorney, five days after they were swiped by the police department.  The police chief, Gideon Cody, was accused by newspaper owner Eric Meyer of using 'Hitler tactics' during the raid.  His mom, Joan, died following the intense stress.

Did 'Gestapo' Raid Over Unpublished NEWS Article Lead To Elderly Woman's Death?  Above a certain age, the body is less able to cope with certain stressors.  A police raid of a newspaper owner's home over a story that had never been published is a serious source of stress.  In the general sense, none of us is guaranteed to be here tomorrow, and the older we get the more deeply that truism is felt.  How much more so when someone is nearing their hundredth birthday?  But even if we're not guaranteed tomorrow, there is always the possibility that we can manage a few more trips around the sun, even at an advanced age like ninety-eight.  Unless some kind of an unexpected shock puts a sudden strain on you.

Local police raid, shut down local newspaper.  A local news story out of Marion County, Kansas is rapidly going national because of its potential implications for the First Amendment and freedom of the press, along with the puzzling details that set the events in question in motion.  The office of the local newspaper, the Marion Country Record was raided by the police on Friday, along with the home of the publisher, Eric Meyer.  Computer equipment, cell phones, and boxes of records were seized.  One reporter's hand was injured by a police officer.  Mayer's nearly 100-year-old wife was so distraught by the events that she could neither eat nor sleep and she died yesterday, despite being reportedly "in otherwise good health for her age."  The police claim they were justified in taking these actions, but outraged free speech advocates are demanding answers.

This is not off-topic, once you hear the whole story.
Newspaper's co-owner, 98, collapses and dies after being left 'overwhelmed' by 'Gestapo-like' police raid to seize.  The co-owner of local newspaper the Marion County Record has died after being 'traumatized' by a police home raid that was green-lighted to seize information on a story that hadn't even been published.  Joan Meyer, 98, collapsed and died following the intense stress and grief she felt when her home was raided by the entirety of the Marion Police Department in Kansas.  The elderly woman, who co-owned the newspaper with her son Eric, was subjected to the raid by five officers and two sheriff's deputies on Friday - which caused her to be 'stressed beyond her limits and overwhelmed by hours of shock and grief.'

Police Officers Raid Local Newspaper, Sparking Major First Amendment Concerns.  In a bizarre and alarming incident, local law enforcement in a Kansas town raided a newspaper, seizing computers, cell phones, and reporting materials.  It is believed that the police department's actions were the result of a response to the media outlet's publishing of articles portraying a restaurant owner in a negative light.  This is a rather strange case based on the details that are currently available.  But the most obvious concern in this tale is the potential violation of the First Amendment protections of freedom of the press. [...] "As far as I can see, the entirety of law enforcement in Marion County was involved in this," [Eric] Meyer explained, noting that all four employees of the department were present at the search.  There is quite a bit to unpack here.  From a freedom of the press perspective, this action on the part of local law enforcement raises some critical implications regarding Constitutional protections for media.  It is possible that the warrant used to justify the raid could violate federal laws protecting the ability to gather and distribute information.  This raid could easily have a chilling effect on journalists in the state if it is allowed to stand.  Critics like Emily Bradbury, executive director of the Kansas Press Association, blasted the raid as an "assault on the very foundation of democracy and the public's right to know."

Update:
The police chief who led a raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended.  The police chief who led a highly criticized raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended, the mayor confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday.  Marion Mayor Dave Mayfield in a text said he suspended Chief Gideon Cody on Thursday.  He declined to discuss his decision further and did not say whether Cody was still being paid.

Kansas Police Chief Who Led Raid on Small Kansas Newspaper Owner's Home and Caused Her Death Has Been Suspended.  The Kansas Police Chief who led a raid on a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended from his post.  Dave Mayfield, the mayor of Marion, suspended Chief Gideon Cody on Thursday.  He did not go into detail or discuss whether or not he is being paid.  The searches occurred on August 11th, and has brought Marion into the spotlight regarding freedom of the press and First Amendment rights.

Another update:
Police chief took steps toward charges against journalists days after Kansas newspaper raid.  Marion's police chief still worked toward criminal charges against a city councilwoman and two journalists in the face of an intense national backlash several days after he led raids on the local newspaper, as well as the homes of the paper's publisher and the councilwoman.  Records obtained by the town's newspaper, the Marion County Record, and provided to The Star show in the days following the raid Cody coordinated with the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to consider charges against councilwoman Ruth Herbel and Marion County Record editor and publisher Eric Meyer, as well as reporter Phylis Zorn, for viewing the driving records of a local businesswoman.  "It's just remarkable.  Joan Meyer dies on Saturday and on Wednesday he's trying to arrest Eric Meyer and the rest of these so-called co-conspirators," Bernie Rhodes, an attorney representing the Record, said, referencing the death of the 98-year-old co-owner of the paper the day after the raid.  Rhodes also represents The Star and The Eagle.

Wisconsin Police 'Acting Like Thugs' Arrest Christians for Preaching at 'Trans' Event Targeting Children.  Crackdowns on religious — that is, Christian — freedom in America are growing.  Over the weekend, a group of Christians protested a so-called "trans" event targeting children in Wisconsin.  But once they began to read and quote from the Bible, police quickly moved into action, detaining, handcuffing, and arresting.  The incident was videotaped.  One speaker can be heard saying, "You guys are acting like thugs" to the police as they arrest a young man who is reading from the Bible.  [Tweet with video clip]

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Signs Law Allowing DACA Illegal Aliens to Police Americans.  Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed into law a plan that allows foreign nationals with work permits, some of whom are illegal aliens, to become police officers in the sanctuary state.  Democrat legislators, with a supermajority in the Illinois House and Senate, passed legislation in June that opens law enforcement jobs to thousands of illegal aliens enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as well as thousands of other foreign nationals with work permits from the federal government.

Illegal Aliens with Work Authorization Now Permitted to Become Police Officers in Illinois.  It may be entirely possible in Illinois now for a police officer to demand to see your papers for identity compliance even though that police officer may be an illegal alien who broke U.S. law to enter the United States.  Under a bill recently signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, illegal aliens can now become police officers.  The downstream ramifications of this effort are not difficult to imagine.  As if the crisis of confidence in the U.S. legal and law enforcement system was not under enough pressure, the reality of lawbreaking foreign nationals and border crossers now controlling law enforcement is a rather remarkable escalation in social fracture.

LA police union boss tells cops to leave the city: 'Go somewhere that understands your worth'.  The vice president of a Los Angeles police union encouraged officers to ditch the city and find work elsewhere during unsuccessful salary negotiations with the city.  Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) Vice President Jerretta Sandoz made the statement in a comment from her personal Facebook page as the negotiations were being handled in late June.  Sandoz wrote in the now-deleted statement that the L.A. City Council was stacked against police.  "Go somewhere that respects the work you do and you don't have to beg for a great contract," she wrote, according to a screenshot of the comment posted last month and now obtained by the Los Angeles Times.  "Go somewhere that has a city council or city manager that openly acknowledges the great work you do, go somewhere that doesn't have two or more City Council members who hate you (no exaggeration)."

Boston mayor under fire after sending list of critics and protesters to police.  Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a Democrat, is facing criticism for "Nixonian tactics" after her administration admitted to creating a list of her most vocal critics and providing it to local authorities.  "The list was made in response to a request from the Boston Police Department after the Mayor had been harassed and physically intimidated by individuals for several months outside her home, at city functions such as the annual neighborhood parks coffee hours, and at other public events," Wu spokesman Ricardo Patron said in a statement to the Boston Herald.  The acknowledgment by the administration that it had compiled the document came after the list was uncovered in an email obtained through a public records request by Wu's opponents, the outlet noted.

Sanctuary State Illinois: Gov. Pritzker Considers Allowing DACA Illegal Aliens to Police Americans as Cops.  Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is considering signing legislation into law that would allow illegal aliens, enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to become police officers in the sanctuary state.  Democrat legislators, with a supermajority in the Illinois House and Senate, passed legislation late last month that would allow thousands of DACA illegal aliens living in the state to become police officers or deputy sheriffs.

Bill de Blasio ordered to pay $475,000 for misusing police detail during failed presidential run.  New York City's Conflicts of Interest Board on Thursday ordered former Mayor Bill de Blasio to pay nearly $475,000 for misuse of his New York Police Department security detail during his failed 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.  De Blasio was fined $5,000 for each of the 31 times he used city resources for non-city purposes by traveling with his NYPD security detail on out-of-state campaign trips from May 2019 through September 2019, the board's report states.  The $155,000 fine is the largest ever amount issued by the board, according to Patch.  The board also ordered him to pay the city $319,794.20 in travel costs for his security detail during those 31 trips.

What Will Police Do if Ordered To Enforce Pandemic Quarantine?  Dr. Bill Lionberger is a physician who has studied and is an opponent of the forced vaccination of America's military and police.  He is part of the organization America's Frontline Doctors.  He's also a 12-year veteran Police Officer.  He foresees another pandemic in the future and knows that plans are being put into effect that the government may require the forced quarantine of those who refuse vaccination.  The question is, who will enforce it?  American Law Enforcement Community swears an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, so what will they do if ordered to enforce an unconstitutional order?

Man Arrested While Attempting To Read Bible Verse At Pennsylvania Pride Event.  A video shows Reading, Pennsylvania, police arresting a man after he tries to read a Bible verse during public Pride event.  Damon Atkins was attempting to read 1 Corinthians 14:33 when the police confronted him.  The Bible verse reads, "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God's holy people."  "Let them have their day.  Respect it," an officer told him.

Might as Well Put Them to Use: Chicago Police Stations Become Migrant Shelters.  At last, the Left has found a use for police stations that is consistent with its guiding principles and overall philosophy.  Chicago is a showcase city for far-Left policies.  Crime is through the roof, drug use is rampant, and the police are cowed, defensive, and defanged.  But now the city, in its infinite Marxist/Leninist wisdom has found a new use for the police stations that have become largely ceremonial in outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot's (and soon to be incoming Mayor Brandon Johnson's) Chicago:  they're being used to shelter illegal migrants.  How wonderfully fitting.  Fox News reported Wednesday that "Chicago police sources say that their stations have become shelters for migrants, with at least two police precinct lobbies housing asylum seekers."  How enlightened!  How progressive!

Report: U.S. Marshals Were Told Not to Arrest Protesters Outside Supreme Court Justices' Homes.  U.S. Marshals assigned to guard Supreme Court justices during the controversy over Roe v. Wade last year were reportedly told not to arrest protesters that gathered outside their private homes.  Last year, individual Supreme Court Justices were targeted by protesters after an illegal leak of a draft decision aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade before it had been officially decided.  At the time, even the left-wing Washington Post admitted such protests were likely illegal according to Title 18, Section 1507, of the U.S. Code.

For their personal feel-goodery, the Denver School Board shoots three, kills one, and endangers thousands at East High.  Like many school boards, the Denver School Board years ago asked the police for help in quelling violence in the schools.  The police succeeded to some extent.  So far, so good, though it's a poor reflection on our society, our schools, our students, and their parents.  In 1975, about 1% of schools had cops onsite.  By a few years ago, it was over 50%.  The presence of cops did help.  But the Denver School Board was disappointed that the encounters by the school police involved a disproportionate number of students of color.  That was no surprise to anyone paying attention to crime statistics.  A disproportionate number of police encounters in society at large involve people of color, and so it's natural that it would be the same in the schools.  All serious observers know that's because a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by people of color. [...] For example, it has been well documented that Black people commit murder at roughly seven times the rate of white people.  Most people murdered by Blacks are themselves Black.  The response of the Denver School Board was not to focus on the message that a disproportionate number of violent crimes are by students of color, but to shoot the messenger — the police.

LAPD chief accused of feeding personal data to anti-police activists: 'Bounty on our officers'.  Thousands of photos, names and other personal information for police in Los Angeles were released to an anti-police group that has published the material on a website — sparking a complaint against the city's top cop from the officers' labor union.  The information's release endangers police across the city and exposes undercover cops, the union claims, though the group said the information is public information and doesn't include private addresses.  "This site just went up a day or two ago and puts a bounty on our officers," Robert Rico, general counsel for the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), told Fox News Digital on Thursday.  "We are going to court to try and get it taken down and have sent cease-and-desist demands to Google and Twitter."

Chicago Inmates Claim Guards Are Trying To Get Them To Vote Illegally For Mayor Beetlejuice.  Chicago inmates have claimed they are being pressured to illegally vote in the city's mayoral election.  The inmates, some who are accused of murder, argued guards at Cook County Jail were pushing them to vote - despite some being registered in a different jurisdiction.  They claimed the guards were receiving orders from higher up and were 'just doing what I'm told' when confronted over the move.  It comes amid fears of ballot harvesting as insiders claimed the jail was the 'ideal environment' due to no cameras or election observers.  [Video clip]

LA Mayor Bass calls to root out 'right-wing extremist' police, signals lowering the bar for new recruits.  Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called to remove "obstacles" for new police recruits and pledged to root out officers with ties to "right-wing domestic extremist organizations."  Bass is looking to remove "obstacles" for police recruits who fail to initially qualify for training as a means of further diversifying the LAPD, according to a summary of her public safety goals obtained by Fox News Digital — but police union leaders are questioning the move.  Bass' summary of goals for police reform includes a list of provisions as well as dates by which the department must report back regarding progress.  One provision says a deputy mayor will work in conjunction with a "third party" to "evaluate the personnel process and identify obstacles to entry for recruits who fail to qualify for training."

Forget 'Defund The Police': There's A New Movement To Handcuff The Cops.  Leaders in multiple states and cities are embracing efforts to bar police from pulling drivers over for certain less-severe traffic violations, a move that some experts believe endangers public safety.  Lawmakers in Washington state are pushing a plan that would forbid police traffic stops conducted to address some lower-level traffic lawbreaking, and Oregon has already established a similar policy, while San Francisco is considering a city-wide plan of this kind after Los Angeles and Minneapolis instituted their own.  Such restrictions could effectively impede enforcement against more serious offenses and put innocent civilians at risk, according to experts who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

'Defund the Police' LA City Council member asks LAPD for extra patrols around his office.  A newly-elected Los Angeles city councillor who campaigned on a pledge to abolish the police has been left red-faced after a staff member rang the LAPD to request protection for his broken-down car.  Hugo Soto-Martinez, a trade union activist and member of the Democratic Socialist party, was elected in December.  Soto-Martinez campaigned against 'armed militias occupying our neighborhoods,' saying that the existing policing system was 'completely corrupt, immoral, and needs to be changed drastically.'

The Paul Pelosi Story Has Been so Thoroughly Muzzled, News Outlets Now Sue to Get Information.  ## That a dozen outlets are banding together to get this access is a sign of how unique it has been to have these particulars held back from the public.  It is a clear sign of controlled messaging taking place from a higher position.  Just take as one item that police officers being outfitted with body cameras was pushed in order to have greater transparency with the public.  This is footage intended to be revealed, and yet we are seeing it completely blocked from being released.  The preeminent question in the face of this is, of course, "Why?"  Even given the sensitive nature of things, you would expect that if this were as clear a crime as we're led to believe, there would be no need for this level of obfuscation.  The argument of this being a public official and that personal or sensitive details might be revealed in the footage from inside the home is mitigated by having editing done or aspects of the video blurred out.  What justification would there be to prevent the 911 call recording from being shared?  Why can we not see the police interview with Depape from that night?

Rebellion Against the People.  They say they want to import these people to vote for Democrats, socialists, communists, but they're not here to vote, they're here to attack.  They're here to trash what good is left, destroy what safety one might have felt in their small towns and rural existence.  They're here to show Americans how to rid themselves of the last vestige of sovereign individuality and to demonstrate how to accept servility and kill them if they resist further.  California intends to employ these disassociated masses as policemen, thugs, to terrorize and dispose of those who question their authority, any authority.

Rogue Virginia ABC Sends Police to Enforce COVID Lockdown.  Virginia has a famous Republican Governor, Glenn Youngkin, who has made his opposition to arbitrary COVID-19 mandates clear.  But his predecessor, Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, although out of office for ten months, apparently still calls the shots at the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board.  He does so through board members he appointed.  Indeed, every one of them, including Board Chair Maria J. K. Everett and Board CEO Travis Hill, are rogue agents bent on enforcing Northam's infamous Executive Order 72 even after it was withdrawn in May of 2021.  For the current members of the Virginia ABC Board, elections appear to be irrelevant.  So long as the Board members have the power to contradict one of Governor Youngkin's key policy positions, they appear intent on doing so.  And so it is that in all their fulsome Democrat glory, they authorized a police raid the early morning of December 2 against an honest, hard-working veteran who owns one of Fredericksburg, Virginia's most popular restaurants, Gourmeltz.  That owner, Matt Strickland, is a prominent Republican, a popular prospective candidate for the Virginia State Senate, and a party opponent of the Board members.

Policing in Democrat cities: Don't say we didn't warn you.  Democrats have defunded their police departments, elected or appointed weak prosecutors, abolished pre-trial confinement for violent criminals, legalized drugs, weakened sentencing laws, and released violent criminals early from prison.  Police unions have become typical left-wing unions that constantly demand more pay and benefits for police instead of advocating for better laws and policies to reduce crime and enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement while preserving constitutional rights.  Many local and national police unions actually support left-wing Democrats, who enact policies that put police officers at risk, enable criminals, and endanger public safety.  Police departments in big cities are adopting an unofficial "react after the crime" policy instead of being proactive and trying to prevent crimes from occurring.  All too frequently now, police officers in many jurisdictions hesitate to enter a situation involving a high risk of injury, death, or use of deadly force to accomplish their mission to uphold and defend the Constitution and protect citizens' lives.

Seattle Police Justify The "Defund the Police" Movement by Arresting a Preacher for Reading His Bible Too Close to a Gay Pride Event.  I'm going to return to a theme that I've harped on in the past.  Too many conservatives have bought into the "back the blue" nonsense in response to the "defund the police" movement and BLM rioting.  This is misguided.  Police aren't guarantors of freedom; they are the enforcers of the administrative state.  Police unions and cliques of senior police officers are one of the major forces against gun rights.  Time and again, you find the police cheerfully enforcing the most shameful regulations.  During the "pandemic," police in (at least) New York and New Jersey broke up funerals and gatherings in private homes.  They arrested people in empty parks and on deserted beaches.  They arrested people for not wearing masks.  Their record on protecting the First Amendment rights of Christians is similarly checkered.  Dearborn, Michigan, had to pay a substantial settlement because the police arrested Christian preachers outside the venue of a Muslim street fair.

10 Cops Arrest Man For Reading His Bible Near Pride Event In Seattle.  A Seattle street preacher says he was arrested for simply reading his Bible at a public park near a Seattle Gay Pride event.  Matthew Meinecke was surrounded by Seattle police officers and taken to the police station, where he was fingerprinted before being released.  "So at this point we can no longer stand by," a police officer told Meinecke as he arrested him.  "The risk that you pose for public safety by remaining here can be mitigated if you leave, it's your last chance."  "I don't want to leave because I'm not in danger," Meinecke responded.

Internal probe faults Capitol Police for photographing congressman's private work.  An internal investigation has confirmed Capitol Police entered Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls' office and photographed a whiteboard containing his sensitive legislative plans, concluding the officer who took the picture exercised "questionable judgment" and the department lacked policies and training to avoid an unnecessary intrusion on lawmakers' constitutionally protected work.  The episode from last November exposed the need for Capitol Police to strike a "proper balance of protecting congressional representatives and their staff from physical outside threats while simultaneously protecting their legislative proposals and work product from possibly inappropriate photography, scrutiny, and questioning," the department's inspector general wrote in a lengthy report reviewed by Just the News.

Leftist Infiltration of the Police Will Lead To Tyranny.  There is an old saying in policing, "No one hates bad cops more than good cops."  It's true.  When good officers see videos of cops brutalizing unarmed, innocent, nonviolent citizens — they get a sick feeling in their stomachs.  This reaction is caused by two things.  First is the natural revulsion to the unfairness of seeing a bully abuse a weaker person.  Second is the disgust of watching an officer who has sworn to protect the weak and uphold the rule of law — dishonor the oath, the uniform, and the badge.  During the past year, I've felt this revulsion more than once.  Most recently, observing the vicious brutality by members of the Ottawa Police Department (OPD) in their unjustified and criminal use of force against peacefully protesting truckers in Ottawa, Ontario.  The images of the OPD Mounted Unit smashing into a peaceful crowd with their horses and trampling an elderly disabled woman, an officer repeatedly striking a protester with a rifle butt as he lay on the ground, and others savagely kicking an unarmed trucker who had just peacefully submitted to arrest — were disgusting.  OPD's Interim Police Chief Steve Bell's enthusiastic execution of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's dictatorial orders to violently attack the truckers was particularly disturbing.  With malevolent glee, Bell announced OPD's future mission.  Instead of public safety, crime suppression, and crime prevention, his municipal police department will now identify, hunt down, and prosecute protesters and their supporters.  The objective?  To crush their finances and destroy their lives.  This is what a police chief and department in the service of the totalitarian Left looks like.

Woke Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has secret unit of 70 cops protecting her.  One-time Defund the Police advocate Mayor Lori Lightfoot has a secret group of Chicago cops known as Unit 544 protecting her alongside her bodyguards, it has been revealed.  The unit of 65 officers, five sergeants and a lieutenant are provide round-the-clock protection for the city's mayor, together with her bodyguard detail of about 20 men, The Chicago Sun Times has revealed, citing city records.  The revelation comes as crime in the Windy City has surged to frightening new rates not seen in half a decade, and after Lightfoot proposed slashing a whopping $80 million from the Chicago Police Department budget in 2020 during the Defund the Police protests.

Dozens of Chicago cops guard mayor and family in below-the-radar security unit created in 2020.  Nearly two years ago, the Chicago Police Department quietly created a special unit to protect Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home and City Hall and oversee her personal bodyguard detail.  Unit 544 began with a handful of officers and has grown, as of March 21, to a roster of 65 officers, five sergeants and a lieutenant, city records show.  Like previous Chicago mayors, Lightfoot also has a separate personal bodyguard detail, which includes about 20 officers, the records show.

More Than 100 People [in Germany] Have Their Homes Raided by Police After Insulting Politicians Online.  Tuesday [3/22/2022], German officials searched and questioned more than a hundred individuals for hate speech on social media during election campaigns of 2021.  More than 600 statements were analyzed and checked for criminal contents, according to police chief Holger Muench, The Local reported.  "Freedom of expression reaches its limits as soon as it comes to defamation, insults and threats," Muench said.  With Tuesday's action, he said officials are making it clear that "anyone who posts hate speech must expect the police to show up at their door," he said.

For Whom the Horns Honk.  The trucker's convoy was crushed as soon as the police were unleashed.  It took law enforcement only two days to remove every protestor and vehicle from Parliament Hill.  They used simple riot control techniques.  Friendly and fraternizing police were replaced with tactical units, who had more protective equipment and better weapons, and unencumbered by body cameras and badge numbers.  The suspension of usual protocols was likely planned to avoid accountability, since a future investigation would have been considered, especially due to the controversial invocation of the Emergency Act.  For riot control purposes, police stand in what's called square formation, whereby officers position themselves side by side in echelons.  Each echelon has a specific role.  The first line was tightly formed of men, who would advance after a cannon shocked front-line protestors, forcing them back.  They would only advance two or three steps at a time.  This first echelon held riot shields and hardwood batons, and would bludgeon anyone who held ground. [...] It was the arresting team who were caught on video ramming gunstocks onto faces or lunging knees into ribs, to pummel already submitted protestors.

Capitol Police issue emergency declaration over People's Convoy.  US Capitol Police issued an emergency declaration on Sunday in response to the arrival of the 'People's Convoy' of truckers in Washington, DC to protest Covid-19 mandates and restrictions.  The declaration will reportedly allow authorities to receive assistance from the National Guard and pay the food and accommodation bills for officers to stay nearby.  According to Bloomberg, the Capitol Police Board expressed fears that the protesters could shut down roads and bridges in the US capital in a similar situation to what happened in Ottawa with the 'Freedom Convoy' last month.

The State's Monopoly on Violence.  [Scroll down]  I live in downtown Toronto and everywhere I go I see police cars blocking of intersections, impeding or actually stopping traffic.  There are so many of them that even the vehicles of parking constables and court agents have been commandeered into use.  They haven't recruited the dog catchers yet — at least not in Toronto but in Ottawa they have indeed started impounding the truckers' pets under the pretense that the truckers are unable to take care of them.  There is no truckers convoy here in Toronto.  For some months now there have been entirely peaceful marches, first protesting vaccine mandates and then demanding freedom in general, that have ended up in front of the provincial legislature.  These police cars are a warning:  don't start up because if you do, we are ready for you with the entire force of the state.  What they say is that the state has a monopoly on violence and will do everything it can to preserve it.

Ottawa Police Highlight International Trend of Jackboot Aggression Toward Citizens.  We have watched police disturbingly follow orders from federal, regional, state and local politicians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  So much so, the severity of increasingly brutal tactics from law enforcement has been one of the most eye-opening revelations of recent memory.  The most recent behavior by police officers and RCMP officials in/around Ottawa, Canada, reflects this increasingly hostile approach.  There are thousands of recent examples from the U.S, U.K, France, Europe (writ large), Australia, New Zealand and now Canada.  What was once rare, perhaps unimaginable, is now commonplace.  It is far beyond unnerving to see this descent into totalitarianism, and it is even more unnerving to gain an understanding of how previous horrific events in history took place.  Yet, we must face these issues as they exist, and not as we would prefer them to be.  Unfortunately, the result of their behavior, a behavior that must be seen in the totality of its visibility, has been a significant drop in support from the general public.  We have long passed the time when "a few bad actors" could be accepted as the excuse, and we now enter that dark period where most people accept that police officers as a group are the enemy of free and democratic society.

Why are the police we revere doing the tyrants' bidding?  The outrageous mismanagement of COVID as an instrument of population control will go down as the second worst political crime against the American people in U.S. history.  The first is the Hillary Clinton-conceived Russia hoax.  She and her cohorts belong in prison as do Fauci, Collins, Birx, and all those who pushed unsafe, ineffective injections on the millions of people who believed their lies about COVID.  Each of those bureaucrats abused his position of power over the people and has blood on his hands. [...] So how do we explain the fact that in countries around the world, Australia, the U.K., the U.S., France, Belgium, Austria, and Canada, the police, those who were not fired for refusing the vaccine, have taken the opportunity to act like tyranny's handmaidens rather than protectors of the people, their essential charge, the reason they signed up for the job?  In Canada, a few have sided with the truck drivers' cause, but the rest seem to enjoy the opportunity to roust good, law-abiding, non-violent protesters.

Mayor Adams says it 'makes no sense' NYPD officers are allowed to live outside of NYC: Report.  According to Mayor Eric Adams, it "makes no sense" uniformed police officers aren't required to live in New York City.  Adams addressed the policy Monday following a press conference about gun violence, the New York Post reported.  "I want you here in this city," Adams said.  "I want you to go to the cleaners.  I want you to go to the churches, to the supermarket, your children should be in our schools.  We shouldn't have 30 something percent of officers residing [out of New York City]."

The Editor says...
Cops who live in the city will pay city taxes.  That's what this is about.

The police and sheriffs protect us.  Or do they?  Will they?  Ostensibly democratic governments around the world have reacted shamefully to the spread of COVID, with law enforcement personnel helping them abuse their power.  What has happened in New Zealand and parts of Australia is truly frightening.  Those two formerly free and democratic nations have seen the exercise of cruel totalitarianism in the past months.  Despite the fact that lockdowns have not mitigated the spread of COVID anywhere in the world, despite the failure of mask mandates to affect the number of cases when compared to regions without mask mandates, some states in Australia and all of N.Z. have continued the most rigid restrictions, and their citizens are suffering the consequences.

Top investigator:  De Blasio NYPD detail used as 'concierge service' for son.  The head of the city's investigatory agency ripped Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday [10/7/2021] for allowing his NYPD security team to be turned into a "concierge service" for his son.  During a press conference following the release of a scathing Department of Investigation report, DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett declared that the mayor's security team members have in recent years chauffeured son Dante de Blasio around the five boroughs for personal needs rather than the unit's intended purpose.  "In practice, what is happening is that, you know, it's not security; it's essentially a concierge service, primarily for Dante," she said.  "And that, I think, you know — based on the view of experts we spoke to, and our examination of the facts and this matter — it's either not good security, or it's not good government, or both."

Nancy Pelosi Orders the Arrest of Those Without Masks and the Capitol Police Play Along.  Throughout the "back the blue" craze of the Trump era, one thing became abundantly clear that largely quelled it — police follow orders.  That includes orders that are patently absurd and violate the basic freedoms of individuals.  Yes, law enforcement officers generally do good work and are to be respected for that, but if you are expecting them to stand up to their authorities to protect the rights of individuals, they are almost always going to disappoint you.  Take that revelation and do with it what you will. [...] Another example of that has emerged within the Capitol of the United States.  Nancy Pelosi has ordered the Capitol Police to arrest people who aren't wearing masks.  [Tweet]  If the USCP weren't such a ridiculously politicized department, they'd scoff at the notion of using manpower to arrest people for not wearing masks, especially when the edict is coming from a purely political place.  There is no science behind the idea of further mask-mandates anywhere.  That's especially true regarding the Capitol Building, where almost every person in attendance is vaccinated and has lasting protection from the effects of COVID.  Pelosi put this mask-mandate back into place for one reason — to poke at Republicans.  No data exists to actually supports the mandating of masks, much less in the Capitol.

Miami-Dade police unveil LGBTQ Pride-themed patrol vehicle.  The Miami-Dade Police Department is honoring the LGBTQ community with a rainbow-themed patrol vehicle.  The vehicle — which is decorated with the colors of the Pride flag and the words "hope," "love," "equality," "inclusion," "kindness," "peace," and also the phrase "strength through unity" — will be used "to establish a more trusting relationship within our communities," MDPD Sergeant Orlando Lopez said during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday [5/27/2021] in Doral.

New York Cops stationed at tunnels and bridges to scan license plates.  Travelers coming into New York City from 35 COVID-19 hotspot states were met at road entry points Wednesday under a program announced earlier in the day by Mayor Bill de Blasio.  At a press conference on Wednesday morning, de Blasio said those who do not self-isolate for 14 days once they arrive in the city from those locations could face a $10,000 fine.  He failed to explain how he would enforce the order.  Pictures taken by DailyMail.com show police officers stationed at the Goethals Bridge toll plaza Wednesday evening.  The sheriff's department scanned plates and pulled people over, onlookers say.

Charity Event for Mass Shooting Victims Canceled after City Officials Object to Republicans' Participation.  A charity event in honor of a police officer killed while responding to a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California last year has been canceled after the local police chief and a Democratic politician objected to the participation of prominent Republicans, according to organizers who spoke with a local Fox affiliate.  The event, a flag-football game called the Blue Bowl, was supposed to have taken place at Newbury Park High School in Thousand Oaks.  Los Angeles Rams football players were scheduled to show up and sign footballs imprinted with pictures of the fallen officer, Sgt. Ron Helus.  And thousands of dollars, which will now be returned to donors, had already been raised for Helus' family.

Police charity event on hold after chief withdraws because Republicans were invited: report.  A charity event planned in honor of an officer killed in a 2018 mass shooting at a country music bar in in Southern California has been postponed indefinitely — reportedly because a police chief didn't want Republicans invited.  The Blue Bowl, a charity flag football game, was intended to raise money for the family of fallen Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus as well as other officers killed in the line of duty, FOX 11 of Los Angeles reported.

LAPD ad on pro-police Breitbart makes LAPD, leftists lose their minds.  The Los Angeles Police Department was apoplectic over a recruitment ad appearing on the conservative website Breitbart News.  But it seems the LAPD — and liberals in general — have little grasp of how Google Ads work.  A more troubling take is just how liberal many police departments are in America.  The left has the media and education on lockdown, and are making significant gains in religion and now law enforcement, too.

Donor who gave $45K to elect sheriff got coveted gun permit from her office.  A manager for a prominent private security firm that provides bodyguards to Silicon Valley executives received a concealed-gun permit from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office months after he made a $45,000 contribution to an independent committee supporting Sheriff Laurie Smith's 2018 re-election, newly disclosed records show.  The campaign contribution is one focus of an investigation by the Santa Clara County district attorney's office into whether the sheriff gave out the coveted gun permits in exchange for campaign support, sources familiar with the probe have told The [San Francisco] Chronicle.

Right Shrugs, as Left Protects Bad Cops.  [T]wo reporters from UC Berkeley's Investigative Reporting Program made a routine public-records request to the Commission on Peace Ocer Standards and Training.  POST provided the reporters with a list of thousands of current and past officers and police job applicants with criminal convictions in the past decade, which are used in background checks when hiring officers.  This is how the system should work:  Reporters make a legitimate request and receive important information from a public agency, which provided the information.  Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a progressive Democrat, ordered the reporters to destroy the records they legally obtained.  He has threatened legal action, claimed the records were confidential, and said that POST inadvertently released them, according to news reports.  Becerra also has been resisting immediate compliance with a new law that gives the public the right to view disciplinary records.  This is typical.  Despite some newfound enthusiasm for criminal-justice reform, the state's Democrats have largely been the tools of police unions.

Is Anything Off-Limits for California's Police Unions?  A few weeks ago the Costa Mesa Police Association (read:  Police Union) and their former law firm agreed to pay $607,000 to settle a lawsuit after their scheme against two Costa Mesa city councilmen came to light.  As I wrote in my book, this settlement represents a small but important victory in the broader philosophical war between California's public employee unions' unquenchable demand for more and the handful of public officials willing to stand and say there is simply no more to give.  This result should also give hope to public officials across the state who have been at the pointy-end of the public employee unions' so-called "advocacy" during labor negotiations or an election cycle.

Video shows de Blasio donors allegedly delivering bribes to cops.  Accused cop-briber Jeremy Reichberg and cohort Jona Rechnitz donned Santa hats and cruised around in a black Aston Martin convertible to deliver Christmas grifts to officers on Staten Island, according to videos and photos released Tuesday [11/20/2018].  The pricey goodies, including Nintendo games and American Girl dolls, were delivered to Reichberg's co-defendant, former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, as well as retired cop Eric Rodriguez and already-convicted ex-Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Rechnitz testified in Manhattan federal court.

California Mayor Who Proposed Pension Reforms Says Police Tracked and Intimidated Him.  The recent announcement that a now-defunct law firm will pay $600,000 to a former Costa Mesa mayor and a current councilman and his wife puts to bed an ugly chapter in that Orange County city's recent history.  Nevertheless, it would be wrong to ignore the deeper statewide lessons from that controversy, which also spotlights the aggressive "playbook" that some police officials had used to muscle political opponents into submission.

Town's entire police force resigns, citing officer safety concerns.  The entire four-person police department of Blandford, a small Massachusetts town, resigned Monday evening, citing various safety concerns.  "Attention Blandford residents:  If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, please continue to call 911 as you normally would.  The entire Blandford Police Department resigned this evening, effective immediately," the department's Facebook post read.  For now, 911 calls will be handled by county officials and other neighboring police forces.

Legal Update:  "What is the NYPD Hiding?".  This is a story of a cop and the case that haunts him.  Forty-six years ago, NYPD Patrolman Phillip Cardillo was gunned down inside Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam Mosque #7 in Harlem.  After a lengthy investigation strewn with roadblocks Detective Randy Jurgensen made an arrest.  But evidence had disappeared, the crime scene had been erased, and a special prosecutor later determined there was "a concerted and orchestrated effort" by senior members of the NYPD to impede the murder investigation.  Jurgensen — a legendary NYPD detective who helped put away five cop-killers — believes he got the right man.  Much of the law-enforcement community in New York agrees with him.  But the trial of Lewis 17X Dupree resulted in a hung jury.

Broward County deputies ordered to defend their Sheriff?  The Sheriff of Broward County is taking some heavy metaphorical fire in the news, on social media and from the community over the failure of his former deputy to enter the school during this month's tragic mass shooting.  Even more to the point, revelations that there were so many red flags about the shooter which resulted in no action which might have prevented the attack have people up in arms.  Under conditions such as these, you would expect any agency to begin circling the wagons if the members were of a mind to protect their boss.  But it's not the sort of thing one discusses in public, right?  That's generally the case.  But yesterday [2/26/2018], Laura Ingraham revealed an internal memo allegedly leaked by someone associated with the Sheriff's office indicating that this wasn't exactly a simple case of esprit de corps.  The deputies were being instructed to go out and defend the Sheriff against the media onslaught.

Safety second!  Frisco's public transit officials shield thugs from racial stereotyping.  The Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) has been plagued by a spike of violent crimes with assaults, robberies and rapes up a staggering 41 percent from last year. [...] Yet again, public safety is supposed to be paramount, except when the progressives eclipse safety with political correctness.  To avoid being accused of racial stereotyping, they're even willing to refer to rape, robbery and assault as "minor crimes."  Frisco's public transit head honchos are more concerned about the race of thugs as opposed to doing the right thing for law-abiding people being victimized.

PC Police:  Seattle cops told to replace "suspect" with "community member".  In an effort to be more sensitive and less judgmental, an edict was recently issued to law enforcement in the liberal paradise of Seattle that from now on, the correct term for "suspect" when writing up reports should be "community member".

NYPD shows support for gay pride with new-look patrol SUV.  The NYPD is supporting gay pride with a new rainbow colored patrol vehicle.  The SUV was apparently painted for the city's gay pride parade Sunday in Manhattan and carries a message of support for Orlando in the wake of the country's largest mass shooting incident earlier this month.  The vehicle also has a heart sticker that reads "NYC Pride 2016" and the words "Pride Equality Peace" — both in rainbow colors.

They probably had a really good reason to do this, but still...
Residents of Colorado town baffled after entire police force suddenly quits.  If you find yourself in an emergency situation in Green Mountain Falls, Colo., don't bother calling police.  In this scenic western hamlet, they no longer exist.  All four members of the 700-person town's police force — Tim Bradley, the police chief, and three volunteer reserve officers — resigned April 14 because of an alleged policy dispute with the municipality's newly elected mayor, according to Fox affiliate KXRM-TV.

Conversion to Islam:
Islam: Some Religions Are More Equal Than Others.  Captain Paul Fields of the Tulsa Police was suspended and then transferred for refusing to order his officers to attend an event at the Masjid al-Salam, the Islamic Society of Tulsa (IST). [...] The officers were to meet with the leadership of the mosque, view the Quran, learn about Islam and were urged to buy pamphlets and books.  I'm sure they were also urged to convert.  Radical Islam is religious fascism.  You can bet they are moving into every police department across the nation, converting officers and recruiting warriors for Islam and Sharia — just as they are doing in the prisons.  They want the strongest warriors among us — violent or not — prisoners, athletes, military, police officers.

Immorality:
Hawaii law allows undercover police officers to have sex with prostitutes.  Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations, touching off a heated debate.

Participating in a political vendetta:
Political terrorism in Wisconsin: The American Police state begins.  Cops are bursting into homes, seizing computers and other "evidence" while groups are being hit with subpoenas that require them to turn over voluminous and sensitive information — including the names of political donors. [...] In Wisconsin, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz is going after conservative groups that were involved in the fight over the recall of Governor Scott Walker and Walker's union reforms.  Subpoenas are requesting "all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation."  They are seeking lists of conservative donors.

Harvesting data from government agencies:
Obamacare Marketplace: Personal Data Can Be Used For 'Law Enforcement and Audit Activities'.  Maryland's Health Connection, the state's Obamacare marketplace, has been plagued by delays in the first days of open enrollment.  If users are able to endure long page-loading delays, they are presented with the website's privacy policy, a ubiquitous fine-print feature on websites that often go unread.  Nevertheless, users are asked to check off a box that they agree to the terms.

Your Personal Data Can Be Used For 'Law Enforcement, Audit Activities'.  Maryland's Health Connection, the state's Obamacare marketplace, has been plagued by delays in the first days of open enrollment.  If users are able to endure long page-loading delays, they are presented with the website's privacy policy, a ubiquitous fine-print feature on websites that often go unread.  Nevertheless, users are asked to check off a box that they agree to the terms.

Obamacare Exchange Confirms: 'We Are Required to Respond to Certain Requests from Law Enforcement'.  An email had been sent to the MHC on October 3 requesting clarification of the policy, and included these inquires:  Does that include both federal and state authorities?  What type of information from the application might be of interest to law enforcement and/or state/federal auditors?  However, no response was received before the story was published.

An unnecessary show of force:
Police presence inside a showing of 'The Butler' causes outrage.  [Tiffany Flowers] said that after waiting in line and having their tickets double validated, with the second ticket taker just ten feet from the first employee to tear their stubs, she and Hanson approached the theater entrance, only to find a police officer directing people's movements.  Flowers told theGrio the officer "herded everybody to the right, and then around the corner there's another police officer, then we round the corner and there's a third police officer."  She said the police who remained inside the theater throughout the show were not in uniform, but dressed in all black with their badges exposed, and wearing bullet-proof vests, and that she later learned they were contracted by the Montgomery County Police Department.

Collusion with Big Brother:
NSA tips off law enforcement, asks them to keep the practice secret.  Just days after the NYT wrote about the NSA denying other federal intelligence agencies access to their surveillance tools comes the disclosure that a US Drug Enforcement Administration unit called Special Operations Division (SOD) has been channeling information collected by the NSA to law enforcement agencies in order to help them start investigations of suspected criminals.  The SOD, whose existence is little known to the greater public, is a sort of middleman that receives information regarding traditional criminal activities and suspected perpetrators gathered by the NSA via wiretaps, informants, intelligence intercepts, and decides how much of it to share with which field offices and agents.

NEW Spying Scandal — Is This One the Last Straw?  The NSA is spying on you and sharing this information with the DEA.  The DEA is then sharing this information with local law enforcement.  If you get arrested because of this, abandon all hope because [#1] Law enforcement is hiding where the evidence came from[, and #2] This means you cannot effectively challenge the evidence in court.  But it gets worse... The DEA unit responsible for this program — the ominous sounding Special Operations Division — is a secret organization.  It cannot be investigated by defense attorneys or called into court.  Even the location of the Special Operations Division is classified.

The NSA-DEA police state tango.  In the latest post-Snowden bombshell about the extent and consequences of government spying, we learned from Reuters reporters this week that a secret branch of the DEA called the Special Operations Division — so secret that nearly everything about it is classified, including the size of its budget and the location of its office — has been using the immense pools of data collected by the NSA, CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies to go after American citizens for ordinary drug crimes.  Law enforcement agencies, meanwhile, have been coached to conceal the existence of the program and the source of the information by creating what's called a "parallel construction," a fake or misleading trail of evidence.  So no one in the court system — not the defendant or the defense attorney, not even the prosecutor or the judge — can ever trace the case back to its true origins.

Letting personal politics interfere:
Woman threatened with arrest because of a bumper sticker.  A Denver police sergeant is under investigation for allegedly threatening to arrest a woman Monday [1/24/2005] for displaying on her truck a derogatory bumper sticker about President Bush.  "He told her that this was a warning and that the next time he saw her truck, she was going to be arrested if she didn't remove the sticker," said Alinna Figueroa, 25, assistant manager of The UPS Store where the confrontation took place.  "I couldn't believe it."

Back the Blue?  However, my thoughts on this issue have taken a sharp turn in recent months, directly relating to behavior I've witnessed from law enforcement, particularly during the time of COVID lockdowns and restrictions. [...] In many cases, we have seen very troubling behavior by our police officers.  We've seen them forcefully keep citizens out of public town meetings and the police stand by while Antifa thugs attacked people in the street.  We've seen people arrested for not falling into line with mandates that are very questionable legally.  We've seen businesses shut down and livelihoods destroyed by lousy public health policies.  And who was there enforcing these lousy policies?  The police. [...] Finally, probably the most high-profile situation to date is what is going on in Australia right now regarding their truly Orwellian mandates and lockdowns.  The police are behaving in an incredibly disturbing manner.  This video was recently posted on a story on the Gateway Pundit and shows exactly what is going on Down Under.  The video makes it pretty damn clear that these aren't reluctant officers forced to do their duty but doing so in a caring and responsible way.  No, this is a case where these people appear to have been given carte blanche to brutally quash any dissent and go out and crack some skulls.  And they appear to be enjoying it.

How Louis Farrakhan got a police escort for his 'unofficial motorcade'.  Wouldn't it be great if you could get a police car to accompany you for "traffic control" when you drive somewhere?  It would be sort of like the president, except for the bulletproof limo and Secret Service.  Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, despite lacking any public office, has enjoyed such convenience, courtesy of his son Mustapha, whose arrangements to drive a police car for escorting his father's "unofficial motorcade" are currently under investigation by a police agency in Illinois.

The Nifonging of George Zimmerman.  No civilized society can tolerate a sheep dog that turns on the sheep, or a police officer or prosecutor who uses his or her authority against innocent people for personal or political gain.

Retaliation:
Phoenix Cops Raid Blogger Critical of Police.  In what should send a frightening chill down the spine of every blogger, writer, journalist and First Amendment advocate in the United States, Phoenix police raided the home of a blogger who has been highly critical of the department.  Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, said the officers confiscated three computers, routers, modems, hard drives, memory cards and everything necessary to continue blogging.  The 41-year-old software engineer said they also confiscated numerous personal files and documents relating to a pending lawsuit he has against the department alleging harassment — which he says makes it obvious the raid was an act of retaliation.

If it had been a Christian event, we'd be hearing howls about Separation of Church and State.
Creeping Sharia on the Tulsa PD?  The Tulsa PD is punishing a police captain for refusing to attend an Islamic "cultural event" at a local mosque.




Surveillance cameras

Oakland [is] Installing Hundreds of Police Cameras.  Liberals [are] Outraged.  It seems as if the closure of In-N-Out Burger in Oakland, California was a bridge too far.  Crime was already out of control in Oakland, particularly retail theft and carjacking.  Now Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Sheng Thao are finally ready to do something about it.  Or at least they're going to throw some money at the problem and give the appearance of doing something.  The Governor announced yesterday that they have entered into a contract with Flock Safety to install nearly 500 security cameras around the city.  The cameras will primarily monitor vehicular traffic.  Unfortunately, the usual list of anti-police suspects immediately showed up to complain about a rising police state, racism, and all the rest of the accusations we typically hear any time anyone tries to do something about crime.

A.I., Brain Scans and Cameras: The Spread of Police Surveillance Tech.  A brain wave reader that can detect lies.  Miniaturized cameras that sit inside vape pens and disposable coffee cups.  Massive video cameras that zoom in more than a kilometer to capture faces and license plates.  At a police conference in Dubai in March, new technologies for the security forces of the future were up for sale.  Far from the eyes of the general public, the event provided a rare look at what tools are now available to law enforcement around the world: better and harder-to-detect surveillance, facial recognition software that automatically tracks individuals across cities and computers to break into phones.  Advances in artificial intelligence, drones and facial recognition have created an increasingly global police surveillance business.  Israeli hacking software, American investigation tools and Chinese computer vision algorithms can all be bought and mixed together to make a snooping cocktail of startling effectiveness.

11,000 Police Surveillance Cars With 360-Degree Cameras and "Perimeter Alerts" To Patrol NYC.  The Wausau Police Department is already using Ford's 360-degree police surveillance vehicles to quietly surveil everyone.  According to Yahoo News the New York City Police Department (NYPD), which employs more people than the FBI, has announced it is turning all their police vehicles into 360-degree surveillance vehicles.  To put the public's mind at ease of having 11,000 spying police vehicles monitor everyone, the NYPD has decided to put QR codes on their new patrol cars.  If and when the public finally cares about losing their privacy, all they have to do is scan a police vehicle's QR code.  This will bring them to a carefully worded law enforcement website that will reassure them that the government really cares about their privacy and that 360-degree surveillance cameras are for the public's safety.  When a concerned citizen approaches a 360-degree police surveillance vehicle, they may be surprised to find out what is really happening inside.  Ford's Police Interceptors come with a factory-installed version of"Surveillance Mode" or a built-in "Police Perimeter Alert" that automatically analyzes people for officer perceived threats.  Because nothing says public safety like an AI that automatically analyzes people for so-called threatening behavior.

Court rules cops violated Constitution by filming man for 3 months.  A police force can't set up a camera to peer over the top of a man's privacy fence, then record him for months, before finally filing criminal charges against him.  That's the ruling from the state supreme court in Colorado, where the decision freed suspect Rafael Tafoya from what was expected to be a significant prison sentence.  According to a report in Courthouse News, officers in Colorado Springs set up a special camera on top of a utility pole next to Tafoya's home after a "tip" from an anonymous source.  Without a search warrant, they watched him and his property, recording events there, for months.

1 in 10 police departments can now access videos from millions of consumers' Ring security cameras.  Nearly one in 10 U.S. police departments have access to videos from millions of privately owned Amazon Ring devices.  Ring's Active Agency Map shows the home security camera company now has partnerships with more than 1,800 police departments in the U.S. out of nearly 18,000 total departments across the country.  The company's "Neighbors" app notifies Ring users when neighbors or local law enforcement agencies send out public safety alerts.

Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department.  Three years ago, Customs and Border Protection placed an order for self-flying aircraft that could launch on their own, rendezvous, locate and monitor multiple targets on the ground without any human intervention.  In its reasoning for the order, CBP said the level of monitoring required to secure America's long land borders from the sky was too cumbersome for people alone.  To research and build the drones, CBP handed $500,000 to Mitre Corp., a trusted nonprofit Skunk Works that was already furnishing border police with prototype rapid DNA testing and smartwatch hacking technology.  Mitre's unmanned aerial vehicles didn't take off.  They were "tested but not fielded operationally" as "the gap from simulation to reality turned out to be much larger than the research team originally envisioned," a CBP spokesperson says.  But the setback didn't end CBP's sci-fi dreams.  This year, America's border police will test automated drones from Skydio, the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that on Monday [3/1/2021] announced it had raised an additional $170 million in venture funding at a valuation of $1 billion.

Detroit Police Commission Board Approves Use Of Facial Recognition Technology Despite National Backlash.  The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners voted to approve the Detroit Police Department's use of controversial facial recognition technology on the public, Courthouse News reported.  According to the directive, police would be limited to using the system when officers have "reasonable suspicion" of home invasions and violent crimes involving incidents like shootings, sexual assaults and carjacking.  Further, the system doesn't have assess to check immigration status on individuals and was restricted from accessing live surveillance streaming video or any security camera device.  Outside agencies would be allowed access to the information if needed after proper paperwork is filed.

Don't Smile for the Camera.  Great Britain is currently the most watched country in the Western world — watched, that is, by its own police forces.  In London alone, the police have erected more than 420,000 surveillance cameras in public places.  That amounts to 48 cameras per 1,000 residents.  What do the cameras capture?  Everything done and seen in public.  The cameras use facial recognition technology that can capture a grimace, a pimple, a freckle, even an eye blink as you walk the streets.  Software then compares whatever the camera captures to government databases.  By touching the screen showing your image, the police can have at their fingertips instantly a full dossier on you — your medical, financial, law enforcement, educational, personal and employment records. [...] These procedures were recently challenged by a privacy advocate named Ed Bridges in a trial in Britain's High Court.

CEO of facial-recognition company calls police use "irresponsible".  Last month, controversy erupted around news that at least two police departments have deployed or tested Amazon's Rekognition platform.  Facial-recognition algorithms have been shown to be less accurate at identifying people of color, often because their images are underrepresented in the datasets that algorithms are trained on.

LAPD Drones Threaten Privacy.  Today, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) civilian police commission voted to approve proposed guidelines for a one-year unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) pilot program.  According to the LAPD's guidelines, UAVs will not be equipped with lethal or nonlethal weapons and will only be deployed in a narrow set of circumstances.  The guideline also requires officers to obtain a warrant before using a UAV "when required under the Fourth Amendment or other provision of the law."  This looks all well and good, except that the Fourth Amendment and California law provide little protection when it comes to aerial surveillance.  The Fourth Amendment protects "persons, houses, papers, and effects" from "unreasonable searches and seizures."  Many Americans could be forgiven for thinking that this constitutional provision would act as a shield against warrantless aerial surveillance.  Sadly, this is not the case.

Hackers Took Over DC Police Cameras Ahead of Inauguration.  Police surveillance camera in Washington, D.C. were infected by hackers just days before Donald Trump's inauguration, the Washington Post reported Friday.  City officials were cited saying 123 of the city's 187 cameras were infected with ransomware, leaving them unable to record between Jan. 12 to Jan. 15.  Although the issue was reportedly resolved easily — by simply removing the software — it remains unclear who was behind the cyberattack.

Philly cops try to illegally disguise powerful surveillance SUV as Google Street View car... and fail badly.  A Philadelphia police surveillance SUV crudely disguised as the Google Maps car has left local residents baffled after it was spotted Wednesday [5/11/2016] — and triggered an internal investigation.  The large silver SUV, which has chunky black cameras on its roof that can photograph thousands of license plates in a minute, looks nothing like the colorful cars that Google uses to create its 360-degree interactive Street View maps.  But that didn't stop someone — presumably within the police — sticking a pair of large, unconvincing Google Maps decals on its back windows in an apparent attempt to disguise the vehicle's true purpose.

BART killing exposes security gap — many train cameras are decoys.  BART police investigating the weekend killing of a passenger on a train in Oakland have no onboard video of the crime, even though the transit agency had what appear to be surveillance cameras just feet from where the suspect shot the victim at close range, The [San Francisco] Chronicle has learned.  Although all BART cars have what look like cameras mounted to their ceilings, the vast majority of the devices are decoys incapable of capturing footage, BART officials conceded Wednesday.  And some of the actual cameras are broken, two police sources said.

The Editor says...
This is what's know as security theater.  They sure look like security cameras!  But they are only there to make you think you're safe.  In reality, even if all the cameras work and they're all well-positioned, they cannot prevent crime.  They can only provide clues about the identity of the suspects — and then only if the suspects aren't completely covered up with a hoodie (in July) and sunglasses (at night).

Hidden cactus cameras are freaking out the residents of a small Arizona town.  In a small Arizona town, about half an hour drive from Phoenix, the hills don't have eyes, but the cacti do.  Residents of Paradise Valley told Fox 10 that cameras have started appearing in fake cactus plants on the sides of roads throughout the town. [...] In fact, neither town police nor City Hall were eager to speak about the cameras, with city officials saying they were waiting until every camera was installed before making an announcement.

Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face.  I had slathered the paint on my face in order to hide from computers.  The patterns in which I applied the paint were important:  To the pixel-calculating machinations of facial recognition algorithms, they transformed my face into a mess of unremarkable pixels.  In the computer's vision, my face caused a momentary burst of confusion.  That's why the patterns are called computer vision dazzle (or CV dazzle).  When it works, CV dazzle keeps facial-recognition algorithms from seeing a face.

Cameras coming to monitor St. Petersburg trail.  Police will soon have a new tool to protect cyclists and joggers on a crime-ridden stretch of the Pinellas Trail:  camera surveillance. [...] The cameras are unlikely to be monitored 24 hours a day, but police officers would be able to view camera footage from police headquarters and in patrol cars using from laptops and smart phones.

Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America's standing army?  As Charlie Savage reports for the Boston Globe, the DHS has funneled "millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a 'surveillance society' in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost."  These camera systems, installed on city streets, in parks and transit systems, operating in conjunction with sophisticated computer systems that boast intelligent video analytics, digital biometric identification, military-pedigree software for analyzing and predicting crime and facial recognition software, create a vast surveillance network that can target millions of innocent individuals.

New Chicago traffic cams hit as way to track innocent people.  A new traffic camera that gives Chicago police a 360-degree view of an area is being hit as a way to potentially track people with no ties to criminal activity.  The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the American Civil Liberties Union in the state raised concern about using cameras from Xerox State & Local Solutions, while city officials insist they are not abusing citizens' rights.

Court Says Police Can Install Cameras On Your Property Without Warrant If Your Property Is A 'Field'.  This is in response to the two defendants in the case seeking to have footage from said surveillance cameras thrown out in their court case on unreasonable search and seizure grounds.  Judge Griesbach made this ruling on the recommendation of US Magistrate William Callahan, who based his position on a US Supreme Court Case ruling that open fields were not covered under the 4th Amendment and didn't require a warrant. [...] And this doorway to abuse has been opened all because police didn't want to bother to get a search warrant to put video equipment on private property.

Federal Judge OKs Installation of Surveillance Cameras Without a Warrant.  On October 29, a federal district court judge ruled that police can enter onto privately owned property and install secret surveillance cameras without a warrant.  The judge did set forth a few guidelines that must be followed before such activity would be permissible, but the fact that such a scenario is accepted as constitutional by a federal judge is a serious setback for privacy and for the Fourth Amendment.

Surveillance Cameras Are Not All That.  Cameras were a big help in Boston, but that doesn't mean they are generally a good idea.

Mayor Bloomberg admits soon NYPD surveillance cameras will be on nearly every corner.  Envisioning a future where privacy is a thing of the past, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday [3/22/2013] it will soon be impossible to escape the watchful eyes of surveillance cameras and even drones in the city.  He acknowledged privacy concerns, but said "you can't keep the tides from coming in."  "You wait, in five years, the technology is getting better, they'll be cameras everyplace ... whether you like it or not," Bloomberg said.

The Editor interjects...
"Whether you like it or not"?  Is that representative government, or an omnipotent nanny state?

Spy Cameras Won't Make Us Safer.  CCTV cameras have minimal value in the fight against crime.  While it's comforting to imagine vigilant police monitoring every camera, the truth is very different, for a variety of reasons:  technological limitations of cameras, organizational limitations of police, and the adaptive abilities of criminals.  No one looks at most CCTV footage until well after a crime is committed.  And when the police do look at the recordings, it's very common for them to be unable to identify suspects.  Criminals don't often stare helpfully at the lens, and [...] tend to wear sunglasses and hats.  Cameras break far too often. [...] Cameras afford a false sense of security, encouraging laziness when we need police to be vigilant.

GOP Rep. Peter King On Boston Bombing: "We Need More Cameras".  ["]So yes, I do favor more cameras.  They're a great law enforcement method and device.  And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.["]

Boston's Top Cop Warns Against "Police State".  Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis warned against creating a "police state" in the aftermath of the marathon bombings during testimony in front of a congressional hearing today [5/9/2013].  "We do not, and cannot, live in a protective enclosure because of the actions of extremists who seek to disrupt our way of life," Davis told lawmakers, adding "I do not endorse actions that move Boston and our nation into a police state mentality, with surveillance cameras attached to every light pole in the city."

Australian Activist Defeats Spy Cameras In Landmark Case.  Expansion of the global surveillance grid was dealt a major blow in Australia last week after a legal challenge by an individual against the State of New South Wales brought about a landmark ruling.  A local resident opposed to the introduction of CCTV cameras succesfully [sic] proved that public surveillance carried out by his city council not only broke Australia's privacy laws, but also did nothing to prevent crime — the supposed reason for its installation.

Seattle [is the] Latest City to Install DHS Surveillance Equipment.  Add Seattle to the list of local governments taking money from the Department of Homeland Security to put their citizens under federal surveillance. [...] Perhaps wiring the city with high-tech, federally funded surveillance equipment is what Seattle mayor meant when he described the city's budget as "a moral document.  It puts resources behind our vision of the city we want to see."  Apparently, part of those resources are coming from the federal government and they are earmarked for use to putting the city under the vision of the Department of Homeland Security.

Is Crazed Super Bowl Security a Taste of America To Come?  In the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII (just be happy they don't use Egyptian numerals), the New York City Police Department is deploying an "amazing arsenal of security initiatives," including 200 "temporary" surveillance cameras to ensure that dirty deeds remain undone at the big game. [...] But never fear, security at the the Super Bowl itself promises to make attendance at football's championship game an awful lot like spending several hours at a very cold TSA checkpoint — with some watery beer.  Get used to it America, this massive demonstration of pointless security theater just may be a glimpse of the future.

Homeland Security Uses Local Police to Set Up Surveillance Buffer Zones.  In order to sweeten the pot of federalization, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is giving gifts of expensive gadgets to local police forces. [...] How is all this new technology being used?  Who is being watched?  Why are they being targeted for surveillance?  Neither law enforcement nor federal agents are talking.




License plate readers

NYC council members urge feds to crack down on 'ghost car' fake plates.  Dozens of New York City council members have urged the Biden administration to step in and crackdown on bogus paper license plates amid a drastic influx of so-called "ghost cars" flooding Big Apple streets, The [New York] Post has learned.  In a letter sent to Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg Thursday, 33 Big Apple pols called on the federal government to enact a slew of reforms to curb the sale of fraudulent plates in other states in a bid to prevent them from running amok in the city.  "The sale and use of fraudulent paper plates has created new challenges in New York City: cars using such plates cannot be easily traced, and thereby pose a street safety threat to New Yorkers," the letter, led by Bronx councilman Oswald Feliz, said.

Police Stop A Car Full Of Armed Carjackers & Things Got Wild Pretty Fast.  Illinois is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States but lately, reminds us of our hard past in the wild West where street shooting is a daily routine!  Security camera footage captured a wild shootout as Chicago police officers stopped a trio of carjackers in a stolen car, wounding one of the suspects.  According to Cook County prosecutors, Perez was sitting in the passenger seat of a stolen vehicle Wednesday evening [1/26/2022] that was being driven by 20-year-old Noel Centeno.  A third man, 21-year-old Jesse Sanchez was sitting in the back seat.  The men were allegedly driving on Lower Wacker Drive near Columbus Avenue at around 8:48 p.m., when officers in a nearby squad car were notified by a license plate reader that the vehicle the men were driving had been reported stolen in a carjacking.

COVID Became Excuse To Run Statewide Surveillance Programs.  Cash-strapped states are using COVID as an excuse to create AI-driven vehicle recognition or license plate reader surveillance programs.  As Rekor Systems president and CEO Robert Berman proudly boasts, "because our technology works so well for vehicle recognition, we do more, we identify the vehicle's make, model, color, body type, bumper stickers or window decals, rust, dents and other things like speed of travel and vehicle direction."  Berman revealed that fast-food restaurants are using Rekor's vehicle surveillance program "because it helps the folks who are making the food to do it more efficiently" claiming that it helps companies like Starbucks, ID customers who order the same thing everyday.  Berman also admitted that Rekor's vehicle surveillance program is tied to smart city surveillance, saying "this is where things are headed, this is where things are going to converge."

State court allows spy operations by police using license plate readers.  The Rutherford Institute is calling a decision by the Virginia Supreme Court to give police departments unrestricted use of Automated License Plate Readers to gather data statewide about residents a "blow to privacy."  The legal team had asked the court to decide in its Fairfax County Police Department v. Neal case that the use of the computerized spy programs violated a state law restricting government collection of personal information.  But the court ruled that Americans "cannot even drive their cars without being tracked by the government," according to the institute.

The "Officer-Friendly" Police Fantasy.  Uncle Sam has brought the surveillance state to the nearest police car dashboard.  Federal grants have enabled many states and localities to equip police cars with license-plate scanners that provide plenty of bogus pretexts to harass hapless drivers.  License-plate readers often misread plates.  Brian Hofer was pulled off Interstate 80 in California and handcuffed and held at gunpoint after his rental vehicle was misreported as stolen.  Hofer commented in 2019, "I'm sitting ice-cold and saying nothing because I do not want any itchy trigger fingers."  With an error rate approaching 10 percent, license-plate readers effectively generate potentially thousands of false accusations each day.

Clothing Line Fools Big Brother Surveillance by Making You Look Like a Car.  As Vice explains, "If you've ever gotten a traffic ticket in the mail — sometimes complete with a photo of your vehicle, with yourself and passengers looking stunned in the front seat — your car has likely encountered an ... ALPR."  "Like many surveillance technologies in American cities, ALPRs are everywhere, always watching," the site continues.  "They're attached to everything from public telephone poles to cop cars, but they're much more than speed trap cameras.  ALPRs are privately-owned systems that capture everything resembling a license plate within their purview, collecting up to a thousand plates per minute.  So while you're driving around, or traveling in a rideshare, these systems read the vehicle's plates and collect its GPS location and registration information, as well as the date and time."

Report: ICE Agents Given Access to Private License Plate Database.  The more important lead story of this article is buried within the outcome story of ICE agents using a private license plate database to capture illegal aliens. [...] Use a private-sector database to track down people for missed property tax payments; or use the database to track lawful gun owners; or use the database to stop a traveler from entering an airport until they pay an unpaid parking fine, and hey, no biggie.  But start using that private database to arrest illegal aliens, and Whoa, now the ACLU says we've got a problem.

Customer loyalty rewards programs used to convince the public to accept 9,000 private license plate readers.  The die has been cast, whether it is digital drivers licenses, digital license plates, license plate readers or facial recognition cameras.  Everyone from private corporations to law enforcement follows the same script; offer Americans customer loyalty rewards programs in exchange for the loss of their privacy.  Surveillance politics and law enforcement regularly tout license plate readers as a necessary extension of public safety at the expense of our privacy.  But now things have gotten out of control as a recent Quartz headline warned "In just two years, 9,000 of these cameras (ALPR) were installed to spy on your car."  A Massachusetts company called Novume which recently acquired Open ALPR Technology Inc. boasts that their free software is being used by private corporations and governments in more than 9,000 private license plate readers worldwide.

Special laws for the rich:
Texas Bill Would Nix Front License Plate Law For Pricey Cars.  Yes, front-mount license plates can mess up the sleek styling of modern cars, but they've been proven time and again to help law enforcement.  31 states require front license plates so it's not like Texas is the exception.

The Editor says...
Having license plates on both ends of every car makes it easier to collect tolls on the many highways that have license plate readers.

Florida man claims license-plate readers let cops know your 'daily routine' in suit.  A Florida man earlier this month filed a lawsuit against his city and its law enforcement, claiming that its use of license-plate-reading technology is unconstitutional, The Miami New Times reported.  Raul Mas Canosa, a Coral Gables resident, claimed in a lawsuit filed Oct. 5 that Coral Gables operates 30 cameras around the city and shares its data with at least 80 law enforcement agencies.  "They pretty much know your daily routine every single day," Canosa told The Miami Herald.  "I think they have a legitimate law enforcement purpose but what is troubling is what are the parameters for this?"  Coral Gables will have scanned more than 30 million license plates by the end of the year, despite having a population of 50,000, according to The New Times.

Turning the Tide on Police Surveillance.  The stories seem non-stop.  The NSA, FBI, and other federal agencies are spying on us in new ways and with new programs or authorities.  But surveillance that is most overlooked, but is equally as pervasive, is how state and local police spy on their own residents.  In Baltimore, the police department secretly deployed Stingrays to track the phone calls of residents in primarily black neighborhoods.  In New Orleans, the police entered into a six-year contract with data mining firm Palantir to conduct predictive policing.  When residents found out, their opposition was so fierce that within two weeks, the city canceled the agreement.  And in cities and towns all over the country, police departments are tracking people's movements with surreptitiously installed automatic license plate readers.

License Plate Risks.  I leave it as an exercise for the reader as to what risks exist in either [regular or electronic license plates].  Asides that is from pointing out the stupidity of an electronic tag in the age of high quality Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems linked to a licensing computer.  However, there is a second risk in being able to detect unlicensed vehicles; work overload.  The Western Australian Police have had to turn off the unlicensed vehicle feature in their ANPR system because there are too many alerts!

Georgia Power Company leasing license plate readers to police departments.  It appears the police in Brookhaven, Georgia are not content with just having their own 'Operation Plugged In' cam-share program.  What they have done is create one of the most disturbing corporate/police relationships I have had the displeasure of writing about.  Last year the Brookhaven Police Department and the Georgia Power Company entered into a unique partnership.  It is unique because the power company has begun leasing their utility poles equipped with their license plate readers and CCTV cameras to police departments.

Liberals Upset That License Plate Readers Are Used To Find Illegal Aliens.  The battle of public safety and law enforcement versus privacy concerns isn't going away any time soon.  Much of the debate these days revolves around increasingly affordable and available technology allowing the use of publicly mounted (or drone-based) cameras which can record both automobile license plate numbers and even human faces.  Scanners and facial recognition software can interpret this data and assist law enforcement agencies in locating suspects more quickly and accurately.  But this has some people highly upset.

ICE is about to start tracking license plates across the US.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month.  The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians.  The source of the data is not named in the contract, but an ICE representative said the data came from Vigilant Solutions, the leading network for license plate recognition data.

The Rise of the American Police State.  The Mobile Plate Hunter 900 is a type of license plate reader that demonstrates the high-tech capabilities of the police.  ELSAG, the company that developed the Mobile Plate Hunter 900, describes it as "a $20,000 piece of equipment ... consisting of two cameras mounted on top of a police cruiser to fit in light bars or can stand alone and can record up to 900 license plates an hour on vehicles driving at highway speeds."  This license plate reader is currently used by over four hundred agencies across thirty U.S. states.  The plate reader can have some difficulty reading plates from certain angles, but for the most part, the reader can chart and estimated eighty-five to ninety percent of the plates that pass by.  ELSAG further explains, "The snapshot recorded is taken in order to catch fugitives, so the numbers are matched with a computerized list from the National Crime Information Center, alerting the officer within milliseconds of capture if there is a match."  The plate reader therefore determines if the car's registered owner has a suspended or a revoked license, if the car has been reported stolen, or even if the car's owner has a criminal record.

A Banana Republic, If We Choose to Keep It.  Here's what Americans have learned in the last two weeks alone.  As revealed by The Wall Street Journal, in 2010, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials "persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor constitutionally protected activity."  How they do it?  They use license plate readers.  Why they do it is far more germane.  Under the auspices of "fighting crime," government is taking down the license plate numbers of innocent Americans and putting them in a database.  A database that can be used for detailed surveillance of peoples' daily activity. [...] When the Journal received documentation after filing an FOIA request they noted that "[M]ore than half of the pages provided by the agency were completely redacted, or blacked out; others have large sections redacted, apparently to keep secret how the surveillance was undertaken."

Federal Agency Pushed Law Enforcement to Scan License Plates of Gun Show Attendees.  The emails date back to 2010 and were obtained by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).  According to WSJ, "[ICE] crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers — devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars — at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar."  ICE then "compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation."

Automatic Number Plate Recognition: ANPR/ALPR.  Number plate recognition cameras have been mis-sold to the public.  Back in the 1980s it was claimed that the cameras were developed only to find stolen vehicles.  Then as a nationwide network of thousands of cameras was quietly constructed in the early 2000's it was said to be for finding incorrectly registered, untaxed or uninsured vehicles.  However another little noticed use was stated in the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) ANPR Strategy documents, that of tracking vehicle movements.  Not just vehicles linked to ongoing criminal investigations but all vehicles, with the information to be stored in national and local databases for two years.  This is a mass surveillance tool which was constructed without any public debate.

Smile! Your Car's on Camera.  It's an automatic license-plate reader, based on technology conceived in the U.K. in the late '70s.  It comprises two external fender-mounted cameras that resemble Cyclops eyes, plus a breadbox-sized processing unit in the trunk.  The cameras are essentially optical-character scanners similar to those that read bar codes at the grocery store.  "They search for a defined pattern of numbers and letters," says Elsag's VP of marketing and communication, Nate Maloney, "and when they find that pattern, they take a picture of it."  In August alone, the MPH-900 in [Officer Brian] Walczak's cruiser photographed 32,710 plates.

City Wants Surveillance Cameras to Record Every License Plate.  Police in North Carolina want to build surveillance cameras that would record every car license that passes by and run it through the FBI's criminal database, alerting authorities in real time if it finds a match.  The system would store license plate numbers for up to a year to provide authorities with historic data should they want to review the data later.  "There is no expectation of privacy to a license plate number," said John Carey, the police chief in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, since a license plate is a displayed public record.

You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used to Record Americans' Movements.  A little noticed surveillance technology, designed to track the movements of every passing driver, is fast proliferating on America's streets.  Automatic license plate readers, mounted on police cars or on objects like road signs and bridges, use small, high-speed cameras to photograph thousands of plates per minute.  The information captured by the readers — including the license plate number, and the date, time, and location of every scan — is being collected and sometimes pooled into regional sharing systems.

Oklahoma Robo Cop Alert!  It's called ALPR-Automatic License Plate Reader, and these things are all the rage.  ALPRs are not ordinary cameras.  Attached to police cruisers, or fixed on telephone poles or other stationary places, the cameras snap an image of nearly every license plate they encounter.  The device produces a file for each image captured, which includes searchable text displaying the time, date and GPS location of the car when and where the plate was 'read'.  This information is fed into a database, where it can be shared with other agencies and databases, and "mined" or analyzed.

Automated License Plate Readers Threaten Our Privacy.  Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using sophisticated cameras, called "automated license plate readers" or ALPR, to scan and record the license plates of millions of cars across the country. [...] Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when that data is put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing.

Red light cameras more of a 'Go' sign for state license plate re-do.  The economic future of Florida apparently relies on the redesign of our license plates.  I had no idea what a problem the current license plates have been.  But it turns out that they're wreaking havoc on what was supposed to be a lucrative business of photographing red-light violators at traffic intersections across the state.

The Editor says...
Maybe that explains why Texas has recently switched to plain black-and-white license plates with larger characters.  The previous series of plates had smaller black letters and numbers on an artistic background that looked nice but was completely illegible at night.

New Traffic Camera Checks Taxes, Insurance.  Cities increasingly rely on traffic cameras as moneymakers, even though the evidence suggests they increase accidents.  But there's so much more traffic cams could do.  Finland is testing a camera system that can scan the license plate to see if taxes and insurance are paid up.

Red Light Cameras Out, Mobile License Plate Scanners In.  Arlington County, Va., tax collectors are using the mobile scanning of license plate numbers to search for individuals who owe the county money.  Once the tax or parking fine scofflaws are discovered, treasury department personnel are then able to take their license plates away.

California License Plates May Go Digital.  California drivers may soon come bumper to bumper with the latest product of the digital age: ad-blaring license plates.  State lawmakers are considering a bill allowing the state to begin researching the use of electronic license plates for vehicles.

At Newark Airport, the Lights Are On, and They're Watching You.  Visitors to Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport may notice the bright, clean lighting that now blankets the cavernous interior, courtesy of 171 recently installed LED fixtures.  But they probably will not realize that the light fixtures are the backbone of a system that is watching them.  Using an array of sensors and eight video cameras around the terminal, the light fixtures are part of a new wireless network that collects and feeds data into software that can spot long lines, recognize license plates and even identify suspicious activity, sending alerts to the appropriate staff.

License plate recognition tools led to abduction arrest.  The swift arrest of a San Jose man in the abduction of a 12-year-old girl this week was aided by an eye-opening gadget that can scan the license plates of a street full of cars and instantly alert police to which vehicles have been reported stolen.  It was a breakthrough moment for license plate recognition, a technology that is spreading to law enforcement around the Bay Area — and is prompting privacy concerns.

License reader company offers trove of info to Texas cops, for a cut.  The long arm of the law in Texas is getting a controversial boost from a tech company's people-tracking database, in what one critic called a "huge invasion of privacy."  Vigilant Solutions, which operates license plate readers around the state, has given at least two Lone Star law-enforcement agencies access to its massive automated database.  Information culled from plate readers in police cars and affeixed to traffic signals, as well as software programs that analyze it, is used to help cops track down deadbeats and scofflaws.  And Vigilant, which in one case even collects the debt on behalf of the public agency, get a 25-percent cut.

License Plate Readers in Texas Are Now Also Debt Collectors.  Vehicle surveillance broker Vigilant Solutions has offered Texas law enforcement agencies "free" access to its massive automated license plate reader databases and analytical tools — but only if the police give Vigilant access to all of their data on outstanding court fees and hand the company a 25 percent surcharge from money collected from drivers with outstanding court fines.  Vigilant also gets to keep a copy of any license-plate data collected by the police, even after the contract ends, and can retain it indefinitely.  The EFF warns that it turns police into debt collectors and data miners.  Neither policymakers nor the public have evaluated the technology, it contains a non-disparagement clause, and it uploads everyone's driving patterns into a private system without any ways for these individuals to control how their data is used or shared.

An Unprecedented Threat to Privacy.  A private company has captured 2.2 billion photos of license plates in cities throughout America.  It stores them in a database, tagged with the location where they were taken.  And it is selling that data.

License Plate Readers Exposed!  ALPR systems are a form of mass surveillance, plain and simple.  This technology captures information on every driver, regardless of whether they are under suspicion.  In fact, when EFF and the ACLU sent a public records request for ALPR data to the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, the agencies refused to hand over the data, citing a provision in California law that allows them to withhold investigative records.  Who are they investigating?  The answer:  all cars in California.

Reality TV: Live feeds from police license plate readers posted online, claims report.  It was technology, not shoe leather, that brought to justice the killer of Walter Bailey, a 49-year-old grandfather who was gunned down for $10 on a Kenner, La., street five years ago this week.  But now, automatic license plate readers — like the one that helped crack the Bailey murder case and send his killer to prison for life — and the company that manufactures them are under fire from a tech watchdog that found more than 100 of the systems streaming live on the web, potentially compromising personal information of countless Americans.

Manhunt for TV shooter ended on the side of a Virginia highway after a license plate reader found his rental car.  [Scroll down]  Overton said they tracked the vehicle as it traveled along Interstate 81 for hundreds of miles after the shooting.  A license plate reader was able to pick up the Sonic's location on Interstate 66 in Fauquier County, Virginia traveling east, where Virginia State Police Trooper Pamela Neff began to follow him until backup arrived to assist.

More about Vester Lee Flanagan II a/k/a Bryce Williams.

Woman goes to doctor for X-rays after hitting her head ... then her phone turns off.  Connie Ditto hit her head when she fell last week.  She texted her husband Mark that she was going to the doctor to get it checked out with X-rays.  That was the last he ever heard from her. [...] Connie was eventually found by a police license plate reader, hiding out in an Extended Stay hotel.

WSJ Report: "U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars" — Aligns With Our 2013/2014 Maryland MCAC Hub Research.  Over a year ago we brought you the story of Mr. Filippidis and his family, a Florida Driver who was pulled over by law enforcement in Maryland.  The traffic stop would have been typical except for the fact the responding officer demanded, at random, Mr. Filippidis's firearm.  [...] Sensing more to the story, we began an official public records request inquiry to get to the bottom of the issue(s).  What we found was a network of federally funded, but state operated, Maryland APLR (automatic license plate readers) which were tied into an intelligence hub (ie database) called MCAC (Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center).

8News Investigates: Mobile Plate Hunters.  An increasing number of police forces throughout Central Virginia are using infrared cameras mounted on their patrol cars to snap photos of every license plate they pass.  But many fear the revolutionary crime-fighting tool is a massive invasion of privacy.

Spying On Every Car Entering And Leaving Town Ruled Disproportionate.  The UK is famous for its abundant CCTV cameras, but it's also pretty keen on the equally intrusive Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras that can identify cars and hence their owners as they pass.  Here, for example, is what's been going on in the town of Royston, whose local police force has just had its knuckles rapped by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for the over-enthusiastic deployment of such ANPR systems there: [...]

License plate camera
Would License Plate Reader Jammers Work And Be Legal?  The news that the police departments in California routinely scan and record license plates to create a database that can be used to retroactively track any driver's motions and activities broke at political and civil liberty websites and is now percolating through the autoblogosphere. [...] Like the current issue over NSA monitoring of electronic communication involves balancing national security with Americans' privacy from government intrusion, recording and tracking license plates can be a useful tool in solving crime but it also seems contrary to American values and rights like freedom of motion and freedom from random surveillance without probable cause.  Still, if I had a vote on the matter, since law enforcement in this country hasn't exactly had a sterling record in protecting civil liberties, I wouldn't trust them with this technology.


Mobile Plate Hunter-900.  Operations Center User's Manual [PDF]

U.S. Spies on Millions of Drivers.  The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document.  But the database's use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Homeland Security Role in the Mexican War Against Drug Cartels.  The purpose of the LPR Initiative is to combine existing DEA and other law enforcement database capabilities with new technology to identify and interdict conveyances being utilized to transport bulk cash, drugs, weapons, as well as other illegal contraband.  Almost 100 percent of the effort and cost associated with monitoring southbound traffic is directed at the identification, seizure, and forfeiture of bulk cash and weapons, while the effort and cost of monitoring northbound traffic is both enforcement and forfeiture related, in that suspect conveyances can be identified for later southbound monitoring.  DEA components have the ability to query and input alerts on license plates via an existing DEA database, and other law enforcement agencies can do the same via EPIC.

ACLU sues Fairfax County police over license-plate data.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is suing Fairfax County police over a policy in which they store data collected on thousands of drivers through the use of license-plate readers.

Documents reveal that FBI lawyers were worried about invasive license plate readers.  Privacy advocates have long raised the alarm about government use of license plate readers.  But it appears the FBI itself has had serious concerns over their use and, at one time, was "wrestling over" their impact on privacy.  Internal documents obtained by the ACLU reveal that, in 2012, the FBI's lawyers recommended that they no longer buy license readers.

DHS, IRS, Debt Collectors Fight to Expand Use of License Plate Tracking Devices.  Despite the objections of millions of Americans and civil liberties advocates, the Department of Homeland Security refuses completely to abandon its license plate tracking program.  And now, other government and industry agencies are joining in the surveillance.  While there has been some slight scaling back of the scope of the surveillance, DHS will continue using the controversial technology in almost half of the United States, comprising most of the largest population centers.  "The LPR [License Plate Reader] data service shall compile LPR from at least 25 states and 24 of the top 30 most populous metropolitan statistical areas to the extent authorized by law in those locations," a contract issued by DHS Immigration and Customs officials reports.

The end of the license plate.  Public and private entities are scanning license plates, snapping photos of our cars, and storing the times and locations where they appear.  Close correlation between license plate numbers and particular drivers means that databases of mundane information about auto movements also reveal quite sensitive information about doctor and psychologist visits, business meetings, trysts, gatherings of legal advice and participation in political advocacy.

The DHS isn't backing down on tracking your license plate.  A year ago, the Department of Homeland Security began a new initiative to track license plates nationwide.  Luckily it was abandoned due to overwhelming opposition over privacy concerns.  Organizations such as the ACLU warned that license plate databases could be used to track the locations of all American drivers, criminal and non-criminal.  The ACLU even released a report — "You Are Being Tracked" — which detailed the issues with several localities that allow license plate readers.  Authorities can keep tabs on people's movements with little regard for privacy.

Georgia bill would regulate license plate readers used by police.  Citing privacy concerns, House Republican leaders filed legislation this week that would regulate the license plate readers police use.  House Bill 93 — Sponsored by Deputy Majority Whip John Pezold of Columbus — would require police to delete images captured by the devices after 30 days.  Mounted on police cars, road signs or traffic lights, the readers capture images of license plates as well as the date, time and location of each scan.  Police use that data to help spot stolen cars or suspects wanted on criminal charges.

Why are a bunch of "3 letter agencies" gathering intel on gun owners?  The NSA is monitoring phone calls and data, the Internet is an open book to the government and recently we learned that Uncle Sam has been tracking our vehicles.  According to the Wall Street Journal, "The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists."  We are continually assured this is for own safety; the government is not opposed to the citizens' rights, it is only looking to protect us with the data.

License-plate readers violate our principles.  In 2008, the Drug Enforcement Agency created a program to read and monitor vehicle license plates near border crossings in California, Arizona, and Texas.  Seeking cooperation from local officials, federal authorities explained that the system would be used strictly to track the movement of contraband and money by Mexican drug cartels.  Today, however, the federal government gathers information from hundreds of cameras and scanners from California to New Jersey to Florida.  The resulting database tracks the movement of millions of vehicles — maybe yours — throughout the United States.

Georgia bill would regulate license plate readers used by police.  Citing privacy concerns, House Republican leaders filed legislation this week that would regulate the license plate readers police use. [...] Mounted on police cars, road signs or traffic lights, the readers capture images of license plates as well as the date, time and location of each scan.  Police use that data to help spot stolen cars or suspects wanted on criminal charges.

ACLU Report: Feds Using Mobile License Plate Readers To Scan Gun Show Vehicles For Database.  According to emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, federal authorities planned to monitor gun show parking lots with automatic license plate readers.  The insight comes from a damning report released by the ACLU this week on a secretive program by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to build a massive database of license plates['] images collected by automated license plate reader devices.

DEA and ATF cooperated to record gun show attendee license plates.  According to emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, federal authorities planned to monitor gun show parking lots with automatic license plate readers.  The insight comes from a damning report released by the ACLU this week on a secretive program by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to build a massive database of license plates images collected by automated license plate reader devices.  As part of this investigation, emails released through the Freedom of Information Act detailed a planned cooperation between the DEA's National License Plate Recognition initiative and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to scan and record the plates and vehicle images of gun show attendees.

FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American's Whereabouts With License Plate Readers.  The DEA is currently operating a National License Plate Recognition initiative that connects DEA license plate readers with those of other law enforcement agencies around the country.  A Washington Post headline proclaimed in February 2014 that the Department of Homeland Security had cancelled its "national license-plate tracking plan," but all that was ended was one Immigrations and Customs Enforcement solicitation for proposals.  In fact, a government-run national license plate tracking program already exists, housed within the DEA.  (That's in addition to the corporate license plate tracking database run by Vigilant Solutions, holding billions of records about our movements.)  Since its inception in 2008, the DEA has provided limited information to the public on the program's goals, capabilities and policies.  Information has trickled out over the years, in testimony here or there.  But far too little is still known about this program.

U.S. Spies on Millions of Drivers.  The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.  The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document.  But the database's use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

DEA Has Abandoned Plans to Track Cars at Gun Shows.  The head of the Drug Enforcement Agency announced yesterday [1/28/2015] that the agency had abandoned plans to use surveillance cameras to photograph license plates appearing in the vicinity of gun shows. [...] Why would the government even think it should "keep track" of law-abiding citizens participating in a purely legal social activity?  Cameras are everywhere now, on police cruisers, utility polls, traffic lights and mounted in front of private businesses.  Does the government have the right to catalog and monitor innocent comings and goings?

As You Drive, So You Are Watched.  Simply put, I am quite happy to live in a world in which, in the course of acting locally and in response to a discrete threat, the state is able to thwart the plans of those who would harm the innocent people.  At the same time, I do not want to live in a world in which the state films everybody in public as a matter of unprovoked routine.  As so often, the key here is necessity.  Can the security forces intrude upon my liberties in a genuine emergency?  Absolutely.  Should they be watching or recording the movements of private citizens absent a specific, time-limited, and easily explicable reason to do so?  No, they should not.

DEA chief: US abandoned plan to track cars near gun shows.  The Drug Enforcement Administration abandoned an internal proposal to use surveillance cameras for photographing vehicle license plates near gun shows in the United States to investigate gun-trafficking, the agency's chief said Wednesday [3/25/2015].

The next NSA? Police departments under scrutiny for phone, license plate surveillance.  The NSA isn't the only government agency raising concerns about electronic privacy.  Local police departments are coming under similar scrutiny — not only for using spying technology, but for hiding their use from the public.  At least 25 police departments now use what is known as "Stingray," a briefcase-sized box that swallows up cell phone data within a mile radius.  More than one in three large police departments are also using license-plate readers, which can record every plate — even on a four-lane highway — from vehicles going at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.

Justice Department Reportedly Spies on Millions of Cars to Build National Database.  The U.S. Department of Justice secretly spies on millions of cars by gathering and storing information about motorists in order to build a national database to track movements, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal.  The database was originally used by the Drug Enforcement Administration to hunt vehicles involved in drug crimes by tracking license plates, but according to the WSJ, the program expanded to hunt for criminals sought for crimes that were non-drug related.

California man arrested, accused of duct-taping license plate to beat GW Bridge tolls.  Ashwin Kumar, 28, of Pittburgh, Calif., was charged with theft of services and tampering with public documents, meaning his license plates, said Al Della Fave, a PAPD spokesman.  The cash toll for six-axle vehicles, including tractor trailers, is $78 at all times.

Surveillance For Hire: Would You Take Money to Record Fellow Drivers?  If you could mount a camera on your car that simply scanned license plates as you drove — and earned you $200 to $400 each time it registered a stolen or repossessed car — would you do it?  That's the gig several repo men have lined up across the country:  selling location information they gather to companies like Texas-based Digital Recognition Network.

Private Companies Are Scanning Your License Plate And Location, Selling The Data.  When you hear the phrase "vast hidden network of cameras that scan license plates," what do you think of?  The police?  The Department of Homeland Security?  While the government and privacy advocates argue over government use of plate-scanning data, private companies are already collecting and selling that data with little regulation.  The Boston Globe's BetaBoston brought this industry to our attention.  There happens to be a bill up for discussion right now that would ban private-sector license plate data collection and scanning in Massachusetts.

Fort Worth firm creates high-tech aid for a repo man.  On the streets of Laredo, repo man Rey Martinez bags three or four cars a week using license plate recognition cameras and software that instantly alert him to targets.  Sometimes he gets a ping for a vehicle while cruising a Wal-Mart parking lot.  Occasionally he snags a car that pulls in front of him on the road.  "We follow them and eventually they stop and we explain to them what's happening and we take the vehicle," said Martinez, who owns Home Chasers Auto Recovery.

Repo Scan: License Plate Readers Fuel Private Surveillance Industry.  The privacy issues surrounding the use of license plate scanners isn't exactly a new story. [...] But The Boston Globe presents a troubling picture of how far and fast license plate scanning has come, and how the combination of super-efficient scanning with cloud based applications and Big Data analytics are empowering private companies to surveil law abiding citizens across much of the country.

New East Palo Alto license plate readers will run plates through crime databases.  By the new year, the East Palo Alto Police Department will be using automatic license plate readers to identify law breakers.  The City Council has agreed to pay for the new devices — including two sets of high-speed cameras and sophisticated computers — with a $37,540 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America's standing army?  DHS has already distributed more than $50 million in grants to enable local police agencies to acquire license plate readers, which rely on mobile cameras to photograph and identify cars, match them against a national database, and track their movements.  Relying on private contractors to maintain a license plate database allows the DHS and its affiliates to access millions of records without much in the way of oversight.

Use of license plate photo databases is raising privacy concerns.  A growing number of cameras — hundreds around Los Angeles, thousands nationwide — are engaged in a simple pursuit:  Taking pictures of license plates. [...] Law enforcement officials say the data collection is invaluable for tracking down stolen cars and catching fugitives.  But such databases are also being built by private firms, which can sell access to anyone willing to pay, such as lenders, repo workers and private investigators.  That is raising worries among privacy advocates and lawmakers, who say the fast-growing industry is not only ripe for conflicts of interest but downright invasive.

Homeland Security is seeking a national license plate tracking system.  The Department of Homeland Security wants a private company to provide a national license-plate tracking system that would give the agency access to vast amounts of information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers, according to a government proposal that does not specify what privacy safeguards would be put in place.  The national license-plate recognition database, which would draw data from readers that scan the tags of every vehicle crossing their paths, would help catch fugitive illegal immigrants, according to a DHS solicitation.  But the database could easily contain more than 1 billion records and could be shared with other law enforcement agencies, raising concerns that the movements of ordinary citizens who are under no criminal suspicion could be scrutinized.

Lawmakers kill bill to spy on motorists with license plate scanners.  Touting the privacy rights of New Hampshire citizens, House members Wednesday voted overwhelmingly — 250-97 — to kill a bill that would have allowed police to use license plate scanners, and then banned the issue for the rest of the session.  With the House vote, New Hampshire continues to be the only state in the country to prohibit the use of license plate scanners.  Collecting license plate information at toll booths and bridges is allowed.  Recording license plate data is the same as Big Brother watching citizens in George Orwell's novel "1984" opponents said — or at least a big step down that slippery slope.

Chips Could Track Car Plates.  A controversial plan to embed RFID chips in license plates in the United Kingdom also may be coming to the United States, experts told UPI's Wireless World.

Malaysia to embed car license plates with microchips to combat theft.  Malaysia's government, hoping to thwart car thieves, will embed license plates with microchips containing information about the vehicle and its owner, a news report said Saturday [12/2/2006].  With the chips in use, officials can scan cars at roadblocks and identify stolen vehicles, the New Straits Times reported.  The "e-plate" chip system is the latest strategy to prevent car thieves from getting away with their crimes by merely changing the plates, the report said.

The Editor asks...
[Why would they need roadblocks?  Why not scan every car at every major intersection?]

Brit License Plates Get Chipped.  The British government is preparing to test new high-tech license plates containing microchips capable of transmitting unique vehicle identification numbers and other data to readers more than 300 feet away.

RFID-enabled license plates to identify UK vehicles.  The UK-based vehicle licence plate manufacturer, Hills Numberplates Ltd, has chosen long-range RFID tags and readers from Identec Solutions to be embedded in licence plates that will automatically and reliably identify vehicles in the UK.

Car tag scanners would track Tybee, Ga., tourists.  City officials on Tybee Island want to know more about the tourists who visit Georgia's largest public beach, and they plan to spend nearly $29,000 on a pair of computer-linked cameras designed to read and record the license plate of every car and truck that comes and goes on the island.  But the officials in this town may have inadvertently thrust it into a national privacy debate by approving the use of scanners to track cars entering and leaving their community.

DHS Building National License Plate Reader Database.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to build a national license plate reader database, according to a recent job posting for government contractors.  The posting, first reported by Ars Technica, seeks a contractor to build a national license plate recognition database for DHS and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.  Automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technology uses cameras to identify cars, alert police departments if they match a license plate on a "hot list," and track their movements.

The Editor says...
This sounds like a cover story planted in the malleable news media, to announce the formation of something that already exists.  I would be very surprised if such a system hasn't been in place for several years already.

License plate readers: A useful tool for police comes with privacy concerns.  Scores of cameras across [Washington, DC] capture 1,800 images a minute and download the information into a rapidly expanding archive that can pinpoint people's movements all over town. ... More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time, helping police pinpoint stolen cars and fleeing killers.  But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.

National RFid Center General Newsletter 09/02/2006:  The roadway, known as the "Golden Corridor" is the first in the country to install all-video toll collection.  Using license plate information photographed by cameras, money will be deducted from customer accounts.  Those without toll accounts will have bills sent to their address, based on information from their license plates.

Video eye to scan for Newton parking lapses.  Automatic license plate recognition — a kind of RoboCop of the parking world that uses a panoramic video camera, laptop computer, and sophisticated software — detects cars that have been parked too long and sounds an alert to write a ticket.  The city bought three systems for $50,000 and plans to install them in parking enforcement vehicles this month.

Police partner with license plate readers.  A growing number of police departments are turning to mobile camera systems to fight motor vehicle theft and identify unregistered cars.  The cameras read license plates of parked and moving cars — hundreds per minute — and check them against vehicle databases, said Lance Clem, a spokesman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which purchased several systems for its police vehicles last fall.

This license plate-scanning technology has been around for a few years already, and is in use on side streets as well as freeways.  The following commentary was written in 2004:

License Plate "Guns" and Privacy:  New Haven police have a new law enforcement tool:  a license-plate scanner.  Similar to a radar gun, it reads the license plates of moving or parked cars and links with remote police databases, immediately providing information about the car and owner.  Right now the police check if there are any taxes owed on the car, if the car or license plate is stolen, and if the car is unregistered or uninsured.  A car that comes up positive is towed.

Lawyer: Cop scanner 'crosses line'.  Civil libertarians are raising the alarm over the state's plans to create a Big Brother database that could map drivers' whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour — storing that information indefinitely where local cops, staties, feds and prosecutors could access it as they choose.

In England:
CCTV at petrol stations will automatically stop uninsured cars being filled with fuel.  Cameras at petrol stations will automatically stop uninsured or untaxed vehicles from being filled with fuel, under new government plans.  Downing Street officials hope the hi-tech system will crack down on the 1.4 million motorists who drive without insurance.  Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are already fitted in thousands of petrol station forecourts.

A stalker's dream come true.
New Service Allows People to Text Strangers Using License Plate Number.  A new service allows individuals in San Francisco to anonymously send text messages to strangers through their license tag numbers.

Arkansas police photograph license plates, store data.  Little Rock may not be a likely terrorism target or a gang crime hotspot, but the Arkansas capital has decided to follow the example of high-security cities by expanding electronic surveillance of its streets.

DHS cancels national license plate tracking plan.  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday [2/19/2014] ordered the cancellation of a plan by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to develop a national license-plate tracking system after privacy advocates raised concern about the initiative.  The order came just days after ICE solicited proposals from companies to compile a database of license-plate information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers.  Officials said the database was intended to help apprehend fugitive illegal immigrants, but the plan raised concerns that the movements of ordinary citizens under no criminal suspicion could be scrutinized.

The Editor says...
The system is only there to catch illegal immigrants!  How could you possibly object to that?  Think ahead:  Suppose the system works perfectly and every illegal immigrant is captured and deported (Ha!).  Their surveillance system will still be in place, and the bureaucrats will need to think of something to do with it — probably hunting for "deadbeat dads," and people with outstanding warrants.

Testing the license plate readers:
Car hits 220 MPH on new Texas highway.  Hennessey Performance, builders of some of the fastest custom cars on the planet, including the 275 mph Venom GT, offered up one of their 1,200 hp Cadillac coupes to test the cameras fitted to the automated toll system on the brand new SH-130 toll road, which boasts the highest speed limit in the nation at 85 mph.

IRS, other federal agencies reportedly used license plate-tracking technology.  The Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies reportedly awarded contracts to a license plate-tracking company to provide access to license-plate recognition databases or technology used to collect plate information.  Bloomberg News reported that the IRS and other government agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to Livermore, Calif.-based Vigilant Solutions before the Department of Homeland Security dropped a plan for similar work after privacy concerns were raised.

IRS Among agencies that hired license plate-tracking vendor.  The Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to a license plate-tracking company before Homeland Security leaders dropped a plan for similar work amid privacy complaints.  Federal offices such as the Forest Service and the U.S. Air Force's Air Combat Command chose Livermore, Calif.-based Vigilant Solutions to provide access to license plate databases or tools used to collect plate information, according to government procurement records compiled by Bloomberg.

Toll road cameras looking beyond scofflaw drivers.  Harris County Toll Road Authority cameras are now on the lookout for more than just those drivers who blow through EZ Tag lanes without paying.  County authorities promise new, upgraded cameras can help catch murderers and other violent criminals.  The cameras have the capability to search their databases and issue alerts to county dispatchers when a wanted criminal crosses their lenses. ... The system, which has been operating for about a month, has proved so promising that the Houston Police Department wants a piece of the action.

Big Brother? — Area cameras would record all license plates.  If recent grant applications win approval, all vehicles traveling on certain local traffic arteries would have their license plates automatically recorded and checked against a U.S. criminal records database.  A surveillance system would run every plate number through the National Crime Information Center, a computerized index maintained by the FBI.  If the number matches someone with an outstanding warrant, or a criminal record, or perhaps just a person of interest in a local investigation, police would be alerted.

RFID embedded
Chip del Repuve Obligatorio en Mexico.  El Repuve (Registro Público Vehicular) es un proyecto a nivel nacional, que consiste en el Registro Público de Veh'culos previo cumplimiento de un proceso de validación de información, además de ser un instrumento de información del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública.  Para todos los autos nuevos de agencia, ya salen con el registro en la base de datos, ademús de tener pegada la calcoman'a del Chip del REPUVE que es un engomado o calcoman'a, que tiene un código de barras que puede ser escaneado con un aparato de manera inmediata y saber el estatus legal en que se encuentra el automóvil.  También mostrara la información del NIV.


Translation by Google:
The REPUVE (Public Vehicle Registry) is a project at the national level, which consists of the Public Registry of Vehicles following compliance with a process of validation of information, in addition to being an information tool of the National Public Security System.  For all new agency cars, they already come with the registration in the database, in addition to having pasted the chip sticker REPUVE which is a sticker or decal, which has a bar code that can be scanned with a device immediately and know the legal status of the car.  Also it will show the information of the NIV.

The Editor says...
The MX_XM logo is obviously a dipole antenna for the RFID chip — without which the chip will not work.  The article above was brought to my attention by a reader in Mexico, who reports a rapidly increasing number of tag readers on the highways.  This is a system that can locate a car quickly, if the car is on one of those highways; and at the very least, the system can report the last known location of a specific car.  This would make "Amber Alerts" obsolete.  It would also make it impossible for someone to move freely from place to place without being followed by the government.  That's an idea most Americans would oppose — I hope.




Warrantless GPS tracking

GPS Tracking Devices.  Do you ever get that feeling that you're being followed?  Maybe you are.

Court Rules Probable-Cause Warrant Required for GPS Trackers.  An appellate court has finally supplied an answer to an open question left dangling by the Supreme Court in 2012:  Do law enforcement agencies need a probable-cause warrant to affix a GPS tracker to a target's vehicle?  The Third Circuit Court of Appeals gave a resounding yes to that question today [10/22/2013] in a 2 to 1 decision.  "Today's decision is a victory for all Americans because it ensures that the police cannot use powerful tracking technology without court supervision and a good reason to believe it will turn up evidence of wrongdoing," said ACLU attorney Catherine Crump in a statement.  "These protections are important because where people go reveals a great deal about them, from who their friends are, where they visit the doctor and where they choose to worship."

Obama Administration Argues No Warrant Required for GPS Tracking of Citizens.  The federal government informed an appeals court on Thursday [5/31/2012] that it has the right and the power to place GPS tracking devices on the privately owned vehicles of citizens without obtaining a warrant.  This is in open rebellion to a Supreme Court decision from January that held that such warrantless installation of tracking devices on cars was unconstitutional.

After GPS tracking banned by court, privacy fight turns to cell phone data.  The D.C. nightclub owner at the center of a landmark Supreme Court case about GPS tracking is now also challenging prosecutors' extensive use of data from cell phone towers to monitor his location.  The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that police violated Antoine Jones' Fourth Amendment rights when they placed a GPS device on his Jeep and tracked the vehicle for a month without a valid warrant.

Groups warn high court of big government intrusion in GPS case.  The high court will decide whether warrant-less GPS tracking by law enforcement is a violation of Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure.  The U.S. vs. Jones case is scheduled for argument in early November. ... With an expired warrant that applied only to the District of Columbia, police officers installed a GPS tracker on nightclub owner Antoine Jones's vehicle when it was parked in a public lot in Maryland.  The information they obtained from tracking Jones, whom they suspected of involvement in a cocaine-distribution operation, over the course of a month allowed them to trace Jones's movements to a house in Maryland.  Police reportedly found cocaine, crack and cash inside the residence.

High court case on GPS surveillance could break new ground.  In a potentially groundbreaking case on high-tech tracking by police, the Supreme Court will decide whether constant surveillance is such an intrusion on people's lives that police need a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a person's car.

Supreme Court Hears Whether GPS Counts as 'Big Brother'.  Citizens traveling public highways should have no expectation of privacy just because police are tracking their movements through GPS rather than in person, the U.S. government argued Tuesday [11/8/2011] in a case before the Supreme Court that pits the interest of law enforcement against individual privacy rights.  The dispute springs from a situation in which police affixed a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car without a proper warrant.  It monitored the suspect's movements for several weeks, noting where his vehicle went and how long it stayed at each location.

Supreme Court justice: Warrantless GPS tracking 'sounds like 1984'.  The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in United States v. Jones, a case that will determine whether the government has the right to use GPS devices to track the locations of criminal suspects without a warrant.  Several justices reportedly expressed concern over the government's argument, but Justice Stephen Breyer seemed particularly unnerved, bringing George Orwell into the legal debate.

Justice Breyer warns of Orwellian government.  A Supreme Court justice on Tuesday [11/8/2011] expressed major concerns that the government would engage in round-the-clock surveillance reminiscent of the totalitarian world of the George Orwell novel 1984 if the court ruled in the government's favor.  The court heard oral arguments in the Jones case, in which the outcome will determine whether warrantless GPS tracking by law enforcement is an invasion of Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

Supreme Court: Police Need Warrant for GPS Tracker.  The government argued that attaching the tiny device to a car's undercarriage was too trivial a violation of property rights to matter, and that no one who drove in public streets could expect his movements to go unmonitored.  Thus, the technique was "reasonable," meaning that police were free to employ it for any reason without first justifying it to a magistrate, the government said.  The justices seemed troubled by that position at arguments in November, where the government acknowledged it would also allow attaching such trackers to the justices' own cars without obtaining a warrant.

All Hail Samuel Alito, Privacy Champion Extraordinaire!  Yesterday [1/23/2012] the Supreme Court handed down the most important privacy case of the Roberts era, U.S. v. Jones.  The unanimous decision is an occasion for dancing in the chat rooms.  In holding that the government needs a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a suspect's car to track his movements 24/7 for a month, all the justices rejected the Obama administration's extreme and unnecessary position that we have no expectations of privacy when it comes to the virtual surveillance of our movements in public places.

Why the Supreme Court GPS Decision Won't Stop Warrantless Digital Surveillance:  On January 23 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that law enforcement authorities do not generally have a right to affix a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car without first obtaining a valid warrant.  Of the many things that can be said about the case, which has been called the most important Fourth Amendment test in a decade, perhaps the most sobering in the long run will be this:  the decision is based on technology assumptions that are rapidly becoming irrelevant.

Setback for Big Brother.  Authoritarians nationwide were disappointed to learn Monday that a unanimous Supreme Court had denied their ability to place hidden global-positioning-system (GPS) tracking devices on cars without a warrant.  The decision is long overdue in a society where government officials have quietly turned to technology to spy on the public.  A number of lower courts saw no problem with letting police record the movements of any motorist at any time for any reason.

FBI Turns Off Thousands of GPS Devices After Supreme Court Ruling.  The Supreme Court's recent ruling overturning the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices has caused a "sea change" inside the U.S. Justice Department, according to FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann.  Mr. Weissmann, speaking at a University of San Francisco conference called "Big Brother in the 21st Century" on Friday [2/24/2012], said that the court ruling prompted the FBI to turn off about 3,000 GPS tracking devices that were in use.

The Editor says...
I would have guessed there were 300, but not 3,000.




The militarization of the police

I suspect the average cop probably watches too many crime-fighter movies.  Ordinary cops are, with increasing frequency, acting like soldiers on a battlefield rather than professionals whose primary concern is law and order.  This is particularly troublesome because of the military-style weapons they now use, which is the subject of the section below this one.

Report: Austin Police Knew About Dangerous Bean Bag Rounds Before May 2020 Protests.  In a revealing report, the spotlight has been placed once again on the Austin Police Department (APD) over its handling of the May 2020 protests against police brutality.  An internal investigation revealed some concerning details about the department's use of "less lethal" bean bag rounds that resulted in a slew of injuries to several people demonstrating in the city.  The continued scrutiny comes amid a wider assessment by the Justice Department into the APD's practices and policies and a push on the part of the APD to promote transparency and accountability while still addressing crime.  The KVUE Defenders published an exclusive report detailing Travis County's request to have the DOJ further investigate the matter.

22 Years of Blowback from the USA Patriot Act.  A standing army — something that propelled the early colonists into revolution — strips the citizenry of any vestige of freedom.  How can there be any semblance of freedom when there are tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, Blackhawk helicopters and armed drones patrolling overhead?  It was for this reason that those who established America vested control of the military in a civilian government, with a civilian commander-in-chief.  They did not want a military government, ruled by force.  Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution.  Unfortunately, we in America now find ourselves struggling to retain some semblance of freedom in the face of police and law enforcement agencies that look and act like the military and have just as little regard for the Fourth Amendment, laws such as the NDAA that allow the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens, and military drills that acclimate the American people to the sight of armored tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, and combat aircraft patrolling overhead.

Police Killings More Likely in Agencies That Get Military Gear, Data Shows.  Americans have seen it time and again in recent months on the nightly news:  Protesters in the streets confronted by local police officers carrying assault rifles, some atop armored vehicles, looking more like soldiers than public servants.  Much of that equipment has trickled down to police departments from a controversial Defense Department initiative known as the 1033 program, a 30-year-old federal initiative that provides a way for the military to dispose of surplus equipment by sending it to local police.  The impact on policing has been huge.  In Georgia alone, police departments and sheriff's offices have received more than 2,700 military rifles, night-vision goggles and laser gun sights, and literally hundreds of armored vehicles, including more than two dozen mine-resistant vehicles built to fight the war on terror abroad.  To get the military equipment, police departments pay only for the shipping costs.  But that does not mean the program comes without other costs.

Opposing viewpoint:
The Myth of Militarization.  As disturbances around the country explode after officer-involved suspect deaths, law enforcement is standing by to provide a measure to mitigate violence and property damage.  Dramatic video of armored vehicles and riot-gear clad police often incite cries that the police are provoking violence, as though donning protective gear lights a match to an otherwise peaceful protest.  As someone who has been trained in crowd control as a member of the National Guard, and who has been on the scene during the disturbances in Ferguson and Portland, these claims reflect a gross misunderstanding of the tools used by police to keep others safe.

Pastor Jailed During 'Drag Queen Story Hour,' SWAT Team Snipers Positioned Atop Library Roof.  A Baptist pastor was arrested and jailed on Saturday [6/15/2019] after refusing to move across the street from the Spokane, Washington Public Library while exercising his free speech against a "Drag Queen Story Hour."  The event had a significant militaristic police presence, including camouflaged snipers positioned atop the roof to oversee the large crowd that stood both for and against the men dressed like women reading stories to children.  Afhsin Yaghtin of New Covenant Baptist Church was arrested for obstructing an officer as he contended with police that the South Hill Library is public property and that he should be able to speak adjacent to the facility instead of being required to stand across the street.

The Cops Were Chasing a Shoplifter.  They Ended Up Destroying an Innocent Man's Home.  Over the course of June 3 and 4, 2015, a devastating police raid systematically destroyed [Leo] Lech's old home.  The cops were responding to a crime that Lech had nothing to do with:  A suspected shoplifter had barricaded himself inside the house after a chase, sparking a 19-hour standoff with a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team.  Unleashing a display of force commonly reserved for the battlefield, the tactical team bombarded the building with high-caliber rifles, chemical agents, flash-bang grenades, remote-controlled robots, armored vehicles, and breaching rams — all to extract a petty thief with a handgun.  When it was over, Lech's house was completely unlivable.  The City of Greenwood Village condemned it, forcing Lech to topple the wrecked structure.  Making matters worse, the municipality refused to pay fair market value for the destruction.  Now Lech is suing for compensation.  The outcome of his case may bring clarity to the property rights of Americans living in the shadow of police militarization.

The Militarization of the Hamptons.  A few weeks ago, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival held one of its occasional outdoor concerts at a nearby Long Island winery.  It was well attended — 400 concertgoers came to sip wine and listen to the music of Bach and Django Reinhardt — but that wasn't a surprise:  Now in its 34th year, the music festival is one of the mainstays of the Hamptons summer season.  Here's what was surprising, according to my friend and former New York Times colleague Susan Lehman, who was there:  "Driving in," she emailed me the other day, "it was impossible not to notice two figures with the word POLICE emblazoned in white on their spruce black costumes, and very noticeable automatic weapons in their hands."  She added that while the musicians were on stage, "two armed guards milled around in the open space in the front of the tent where the concert was being held."  Afterward, when someone inquired about the presence of these heavily armed police, he was told that the Southampton police department required the extra protection.

Trump plans to lift Obama-era ban on giving local police military equipment.  The Trump administration will bring back the movement of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement.  Documents obtained by Fox News reveal President Trump will sign an executive order reversing an Obama-era policy which restricted local police agencies' ability to get access to gear such as armored personnel carriers, grenade launchers and other military-grade equipment.  Trump's executive order will restore "The full scope of a longstanding program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense."

President Trump Reverses Obama Executive Order Blocking Military Surplus From Police Purchase.  Today President Trump has issued an executive order revoking a previous Executive Order #13688, put in place by President Obama, which blocked local and state law enforcement from purchasing military surplus gear.  Effective with today's order local law enforcement will have access to U.S. military equipment.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited two studies which concluded that the use of military-style equipment can have positive effects, reducing citizen complaints and assaults on officers.

Cops Gun Down Innocent 86yo Navy Vet as He Protected His Wife from Intruders.  The widow of an 86-year-old Navy veteran who was gunned down by armed intruders in his own home, has filed a lawsuit against her husband's killers — the Santa Clara County sheriff's department.  Eugene Craig was gunned down by police as he attempted to shield his wife from armed intruders who'd just broken into his home.  The armed intruders were cops. [...] The tragic irony of this situation is that police claim they were there to protect the couple, noting that they had gotten word that someone inside the home was in distress.  Sadly, this is what happens when militarized police are sent into an innocent couple's home to check on their wellbeing.

Innocent 58yo Man Raided by SWAT, Assaulted, Flashbanged, Kidnapped for 3 Days for 'Welfare Check'.  Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have identified eight members of a tactical police squad in an amended complaint to a lawsuit against Virginia police over a "welfare check" on a 58-year-old man that resulted in a two-hour, SWAT team-style raid on the man's truck and a 72-hour mental health hold.

Cops Kill Man With Asperger's Whose Viral Video Touched Millions — Family Sues.  According to Mesa police, they received a call about a suicidal person around 11 a.m. — it was Clarke's friend who'd just received an email from him saying "Take care of Sampson."  Sampson is the dog seen in the viral video.  When officers responded to Clarke's apartment, they say he stated that he had a knife and was going to hurt himself.  At this time, police claim, Clarke moved toward them with a knife, causing them to fear for their lives and they both fired their duty weapons.  Apparently, simply backing up was not an option — nor was waiting for the other officer who had just gone back outside to retrieve a beanbag gun.

The Illusion of Freedom:  The Police State Is Alive and Well.  [Scroll down]  In fact, the American police state has continued to advance at the same costly, intrusive, privacy-sapping, Constitution-defying, relentless pace under President Trump as it did under President Obama. [...] The Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security haven't stopped militarizing and federalizing local police.  Police forces continue to be transformed into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones.  In training police to look and act like the military and use the weapons and tactics of war against American citizens, the government continues to turn the United States into a battlefield.

A Journalist Accidentally Filmed Herself Getting Shot by DAPL Police.  [J]ournalist Erin Schrode was not expecting to be shot in the face with a rubber bullet as she interviewed a peaceful protester on camera.  The land she was standing on appears to be Standing Rock Reservation territory and is located on the opposite side of the creek where protesters were demonstrating.  [Video clip]  This incident of law enforcement using violence against a journalist is not isolated; rather, it's becoming a pattern at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Dozens of journalists have been arrested, pepper sprayed, and now shot.  Last week, our own Derrick Broze was tased by law enforcement while covering the protests for Anti-Media — immediately after he told officers he was with the media.

The Imperial President's Toolbox of Terror:  [Scroll down]  A Dictatorship Waiting to Happen.  What began in the 1960s as a war on drugs transitioned into an all-out campaign to transform America's police forces into extensions of the military.  Every successive president since Nixon has added to the police's arsenal, tactics and authority.  In fact, the Obama Administration has accelerated police militarization by distributing military weapons and equipment to police and incentivizing SWAT team raids and heavy-handed police tactics through the use of federal grants and asset forfeiture schemes.

Militarized Police Turn Peaceful Native American Protest Into a War Zone.  Following the activation of the North Dakota National Guard on September 8, peaceful Dakota Access Pipeline protests quickly became flooded with militarized law enforcement.  Native American activists, or "water protectors," have been standing in the way of the pipeline's construction for months, successfully blocking it at the Sacred Stone camp near the Missouri River.  When the situation initially took a turn for the worse earlier this month, journalists on the ground who were broadcasting live video complained Facebook was blocking their streams.  Now, videos and images from Wednesday are emerging that show an overwhelmingly militarized response to the peaceful prayer and protest.

New York City police upgrade gear after Texas, Louisiana shootings.  "You name it, we're buying it," Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference.  "There's not a police department in America that is spending as much money, as much thought and interest on this issue of officer safety."  Bratton said the NYPD has purchased 20,000 military-style helmets, 6,000 heavy duty bullet-proof vests, trauma kits and ballistic doors and windows for patrol cars.  He said the new bullet-proof vests are capable of stopping rounds fired from the type of weapon used in the Baton Rouge shooting that killed three officers and the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead and seven wounded.

Do your local police have banned military equipment?  Today, the Obama administration announced an immediate ban on certain types of military equipment transfers to local police, including grenade launchers and some armored vehicles.  However, it's unclear what that means for ordnance the police may already posses — thanks to an earlier collaboration with The Marshall Project, you can find out if your local law enforcement agencies have any of the restricted gear.

From the Pentagon to the Police:  The 1033 Project.  As we saw in Ferguson, and most recently in Dallas and Baton Rouge, every day American police look less like a neighborhood watch and more like a paramilitary force.  Here's how and why that happened.

In California, the officer driving a 18-ton MRAP could have as much as 20 hours of training time — or as little as 15 minutes.  Much like our previous audit of Texas police departments' proposals to train officers in the operation of military-grade armored vehicles, similar documents from Californian law enforcement agencies revealed that there is no clear qualification standard when it comes to use of 18-ton Mine-Resistant vehicles.  The biggest discrepancy between these proposals is the number of hours police departments are allotting to learn how to properly deploy and operate an MRAP.

The Editor says...
I wasn't aware that mines had been used against police officers, or that it was such a widespread problem, especially in urban areas.  Do the police needed Mine-Resistant vehicles, really?

Cleveland seeking to buy 2,000 sets of extra riot gear for Republican National Convention.  Cleveland is advertising for thousands of sets of riot suits and batons ahead of the Republican National Convention later this year.  The Ohio city is stepping up it's [sic] preparations for security during the July event, including spending some of its' [sic] $50 million security budget on 2,000 sets of riot gear.  This comes just months after an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department found that the Cleveland Police Department systematically engages in excessive use of force against civilians.

Some Officers Bristle at Recall of Military Equipment.  On the day a heavily armed couple fatally shot 14 people and wounded more than 20 others in San Bernardino, Calif., last month, Michael J. Bouchard, a sheriff here in the Detroit area, got an order to return his department's 14-ton armored personnel carrier to the federal government.  It was one of hundreds of similar notifications from the Obama administration to law enforcement agencies across the country — from Los Angeles to rural areas like Calhoun County, Ala. — to give back an array of federal surplus military equipment by April 1, in response to concerns that the equipment was unnecessary and misused.  The items to be returned:  armored vehicles that run on tracks, .50-caliber machine guns, grenade launchers, bayonets and camouflage clothing.

Government Seizes Sheriff's Armored Vehicle At Behest Of Obama.  The federal government, under orders from President Obama, seized military surplus vehicles from Calhoun County, Alabama Sheriff Larry Amerson Wednesday [11/19/2015].  For over 20 years, under the federal government's 10-33 program, the Defense Department distributed military surplus equipment and vehicles to local law enforcement, such as the Calhoun County sheriff's department.

Outrage as military vehicles, equipment taken from officers in wake of Obama order.  Valuable vehicles and equipment are being yanked from law enforcement agencies across the country by the Obama administration in the wake of the president's post-Ferguson order — as sheriffs and lawmakers tell FoxNews.com the equipment is needed, and losing it could put officers and the communities they serve in danger.  "These things are useful tools and the president taking them away will put more officers in jeopardy and at risk of harm or even death.  I don't know how he can sleep at night knowing his actions will have those repercussions," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., told FoxNews.com.

Sheriff: Obama's 'Meddling,' Making Cops 'Less Prepared'.  The sheriff of Oakland County, Michigan, Mike Bouchard, says the Obama administration's decision to ban armored tracked vehicles and bayonets for cops is "micromanaging police departments all across America" and "meddling in really something that's not their affairs." [...] Armored tracked vehicles are not the only tools being banned.  Weaponized aircraft and vehicles, .50 caliber firearms and ammo, camouflage and bayonets, are also banned.

Resistance To Militarized Cops Begins.  [Scroll down]  But now resistance to such militarization of local police has been enacted with a bill signed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that bans local law-enforcement agencies from obtaining such equipment without authorization from their local government.  According to the Tenth Amendment Center, which monitors and reports on issues of state and federal authority, it's "an important first step toward blocking federal programs that militarize local police."  The bill, S2364, by state Sen. Nia Gill, a Democrat, puts local government officials directly between the federal government and local law enforcers.

Obama bans police from using certain types of military gear.  Thanks to military surplus programs and federal funding, in recent years local police forces have snatched up a bevy of heavy-duty military equipment — from armored tanks to grenade launchers.  Ferguson threw this new, militarized law enforcement into the spotlight, as police in camouflage and armored vehicles faced down citizens.

Obama blocks sale to police of paramilitary hardware in effort to halt decline in public trust.  In a surprise announcement coming nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama is banning the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to some local departments.

U.S. Cracking Down on 'Militarization' of Local Police.  The federal government will no longer provide heavy military equipment like tanks and grenade launchers to local cops following weeks of backlash against officers who confronted protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in armored vehicles and camouflage last year, President Barack Obama said Monday [5/18/2015].  And if they want other, less-imposing military equipment, local law enforcement agencies will have to submit to stringent federal oversight and restrictions, according to the White House.

Obama orders review of police militarization.  President Obama on Friday [1/16/2015] took steps to curb a federal program that arms local police with surplus military equipment.  Through an executive order, the president created a working group — composed of top Cabinet officials — to examine the Pentagon's 1033 program and recommend reforms to ensure that the law officers receiving the equipment are trained both in its use and in "the protection of civil rights and civil liberties" of local communities.

Obama Wants to Avoid 'Militarized' Police Culture.  President Barack Obama said Monday [12/1/2014] he wants to ensure the U.S. isn't building a "militarized culture" within police departments, while maintaining federal programs that provide the type of military-style equipment that were used to dispel racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Editor says...
Another problem solved by our fearless leader!  Don't build a "militarized culture" in local police departments, he says, but let's keep sending them grenade launchers, in case the need arises.

Fishing without a license in NJ? The game warden has a machine gun, aimed at you.  Why does a New Jersey game warden need an M-14?  Because, shut up.

Obama to issue executive order on military weapons for cops.  Obama, hosting a trio of meetings at the White House on Monday devoted to the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, will instruct his staff to draft an executive order improving safeguards of a federal government program that allows local police departments to claim unused military weapons, senior administration officials said.  The images of heavily armed officers in combat gear patrolling the streets in Ferguson invited comparisons to war settings, with some lawmakers suggesting that such equipment should not be used to break up violent protests.

Militarization and Policing — Its Relevance to 21st Century Police.  This work examines the blurring distinctions between the police and military institutions and between war and law enforcement. In this article, the author asserts that understanding this blur, and the associated organizing concepts militarization and militarism, are essential for accurately analyzing the changing nature of security, and the activity of policing, in the late-modern era of the 21st century.

Dozens of police agencies report loss of Pentagon-supplied military weapons.  The Daytona Beach Police Department was suspended after reporting a lost M-16 in January.  "We still have not been able to find it," Daytona Beach Police spokesman Jimmie Flynt told Cox.  The Napa County Sheriff's Office was banned after someone stole a rifle from an employee's personal vehicle.  "If I knew where it was, I'd go get it," Undersheriff Jean Donaldson told Cox.  "It's equipment we can obtain at no cost to our budget, so the taxpayers don't get taxed twice."

The truth about libertarians, police and Ferguson's fury:  Libertarians warned for years that government is force, that government always grows and that America's police have become too much like an occupying army.  We get accused of being paranoid, but we look less paranoid after heavily armed police in Ferguson, Missouri, tear gassed peaceful protesters, arrested journalists and stopped some journalists from entering the town. [...] If authorities arm cops like soldiers, they may begin to think like soldiers — and see the public as the enemy.  That makes violent confrontations more likely.

Missouri Governor Helped Ferguson Get Surplus Military Equipment.  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who yesterday said he was "thunderstruck" to learn how militarized police in Ferguson had become, signed off as recently as January on statewide participation in a Pentagon program providing local police departments with surplus equipment. [...] Should Nixon, a Democrat elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, have been surprised?  Participating jurisdictions, including agencies in St. Louis County, received weapons and equipment as early as 2010 and again in 2012, 2013 and this summer.  Ferguson is a St. Louis suburb.

Jake Tapper compares the police presence in Ferguson to a U.S. base in Afghanistan.  CNN's Jake Tapper called out police in Ferguson, Mo., on Monday night [8/18/2014], comparing the weapons and body armor employed by the police to Bagram, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan.  The clip above shows Tapper pointing at the protesters, showing them moving away from the police.  Tapper then turns the camera on the police.

Jake Tapper In Ferguson: "This Doesn't Make Any Sense".  ["]Absolutely there have been looters, absolutely over the last nine days there's been violence, but there is nothing going on on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram.  Nothing.["]

Tanks? Grenade launchers? Police stocking up on military's gear giveaway.  From California to Connecticut and several states in between, local police departments have been steadily arming themselves over the years with billions of dollars' worth of military-grade equipment — including grenade launchers, helicopters and machine guns.  The materiel comes from a U.S. military program that, until this week, received little public attention.

Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies Obtain Unwanted Military Equipment.  The conflict in Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed teen was shot by police has raised the issue whether police agencies are becoming too militarized.  And records show several Colorado law enforcement agencies have an array of equipment that the military no longer needs.  CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger looked at what local agencies have gotten and how they're using it.

Playing Soldier in the Suburbs.  In the name of local preparedness, Washington has been bestowing antiterror grants and Pentagon surplus on communities barely touched by major crime, let alone by terrorism.  Tanks and aircraft, helmets and armor, guns and grenade launchers have flowed to police departments from Des Moines (home of two $180,000 bomb-disarming robots) to Keene, N.H. (population 23,000, murder rate infinitesimal and the proud custodian of an armored BearCat).  Last week, The New Republic's Alec MacGillis ran the numbers for Missouri and found that the state's Department of Public Safety received about $69 million from the Department of Homeland Security in the past five years alone.  Which helps explain why the streets of a St. Louis suburb flooded so quickly with cops in gas masks and camouflage, driving armored cars and brandishing rifles like an occupying army.

Pentagon program put $4.3 Billion worth of equipment in the hands of American police forces.  The U.S. Defense Department has been contributing to the militarization of local police forces since at least 2007, handing over heavy armaments, battle helicopters and armored vehicles for use in urban policing scenarios.  'I think it's probably useful for us to review how the funding was done, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars,' [President] Obama told reporters at the White House [8/18/2014], 'to make sure that what they're purchasing is stuff that they actually need.'  'There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don't want those lines blurred.  That would be contrary to our tradition,' he said.

Ferguson Is Not Binary.  No conservative is saying police do not need to be able to outshoot and out arm the bad guys.  But many of us are saying police are more quickly than ever before resorting to playing soldier when they could accomplish the same as just a policeman.  One can view the events of Ferguson, MO and decide it was a good call to, before rioting even began, suit up the police as soldiers.  But the world is not binary.  Regardless of how one views the events of Ferguson, we should all be troubled by the over-militarization of routine police activity.  We should all be troubled at the growing number of well documented cases of heavy handed local and state police.

Ron Paul: Local police not 'warriors'.  Former Rep. Ron Paul on Monday [8/18/2014] called for the elimination of the Defense Department program that has transferred billions of dollars in surplus military equipment to local and state agencies.  "It should be gotten rid of," the Texas Republican said on MSNBC of the Pentagon 1033 program, which has come under increased scrutiny because of the equipment used by St. Louis County police forces in Ferguson, Missouri.  "Police are supposed to be local people, and they're supposed to be peace officers," he added.  "They're not supposed to be warriors."

America has a 'militarization moment'.  We have seen something like Ferguson, Mo., before. A police officer shoots and kills a young black man, which touches off protests and looting. Which prompts headlong rushes to judgment about the actions of everyone involved — the cops, elected officials, activists and the media. Which causes us to question our progress on race, our politics and our national character.  We saw it with the beating of Rodney King in 1992 in Los Angeles.  We saw it again with the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Sanford, Fla.  What's different this time is police officers armed with equipment and weaponry normally associated with overseas military operations.  And a lot of Americans don't like what they see.

Ferguson: A Fire Alarm in the Night.  [Scroll down]  It is sadly true that in the contemporary world we do have to worry about large-scale acts of violence associated with international (and sometimes homegrown) terrorism, and so law enforcement agencies, as first responders, probably need to be better equipped than they were before 9/11.  However, it is also true that for normal police work, armored personnel carriers and the like normally do more harm than good. [...] Equipping local police forces like the 82nd Airborne is not the road to lower crime or to better relations between the forces of order and the communities they are supposed to serve.

I can support Democrat Hank Johnson 100 percent on his latest bill.  Under President Obama — who famously claimed (twice) that America needed a "civilian national security force just as powerful as the military" — law enforcement agencies around the country have become the paramilitary wings of local governments.  Nowhere has this fact become more obvious than in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the shooting of a young black man.  Now, Democrat Hank Johnson is calling for a demilitarization of law enforcement.

Must We Have a Dead White Kid?  Conservatives have long lamented the buildup of armaments and stockpiling of bullets by the Department of Homeland Security.  The media has mostly treated these conservative concerns with derision.  Suddenly, last week, when reporters were detained by the police in Ferguson, MO, the media had to pay attention to the militarization of the police and overkill by local police forces.  Given what happened in Ferguson, the community had every right to be angry.  The police bungled their handling of the matter, became very defensive, and behaved more like a paramilitary unit than a police force.  Property damage and violence by the citizenry cannot be excused, but is also the result of a community seeing those who are to protect and serve instead suiting up and playing soldier.

Opposing viewpoint:
The "militarization" of police was not only inevitable, but necessary.  Before you're too quick to demand the "demilitarization" of the police, you might want to remember who it is that stands between the neighborhood you have now and South Central L.A circa 1992.  And Ferguson has shown us that you don't need a huge metropolitan area for it to happen.

Congress goes after police.  Lawmakers are targeting police with new and old pieces of legislation in the wake of riots in a St. Louis suburb sparked by the killing by a police officer of an unarmed black teenager.  Much of the focus has been on the heavy military equipment many local police agencies have received from the Pentagon under a 1991 law meant to combat drug dealers.  Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Friday [8/15/2014] that program will not get a rubber stamp when it comes up for reauthorization later this year.

How to Eliminate Almost Every Federal Agency.  Since 2006, the Pentagon has distributed 432 mine-resistant armored vehicles to local police departments.  It has also doled out more than 400 other armored vehicles, 500 aircraft, and 93,000 assault rifles.  As The New York Times reported in June, the Defense Department has been making use of unused military equipment by giving it to local precincts.  This is despite the fact that violent crime in the U.S. has steadily plummeted since 1993.  Between 1993 and 2012, the violent-crime rate dropped by nearly 50 percent.  Yet today, local police — in cities and small towns across the country — are increasingly loaded for bear.  How did this militarization of the police force come about?  It all seems to have started with an obscure section in a defense bill passed more than 20 years ago.

How America's Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program.  America has been quietly arming its police for battle since the early 1990s.  Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to "transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is — (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense." [...] By providing law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment free of charge, the NDAA encourages police to employ military weapons and military tactics.

The Pentagon Equipped Ferguson's Police Dept..  This week, the Midwestern town of Ferguson, Mo., was transformed into a war zone — occupied by heavily armed police officers wearing Kevlar helmets, driving armored trucks and spraying tear gas at protestors and journalists. [...] Images emerging from the St. Louis suburb have alarmed the rest of the country.  Most people don't expect to see Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) intended for the deserts of Afghanistan driving down the same roads normally occupied by school busses and minivans.  "We rolled lighter than that in Afghanistan," Paul Szoldra, a Marine veteran-turned-journalist noted in Business Insider.

Military surplus
Mapping the Spread of the Military's Surplus Gear.  State and local police departments obtain some of their military-style equipment through a free Defense Department program created in the early 1990s.  While the portion of their gear coming from the program is relatively small (most of it is paid for through department budgets and federal grants), detailed data from the Pentagon illustrates how ubiquitous such equipment has become.

The Editor says...
The map shows Pecos County, Texas, (population 15,619) received 24 assault rifles, one MRAP, and 20 pieces of body armor.


Cheyenne police get armored vehicle.  As America's overseas wars have wound down, much of the military equipment used there has come home.  But rather than sit unused, it is going to law enforcement agencies across the country, including right here in Laramie County.  While the scope of police work in Wyoming is different from that of Iraq or Afghanistan, law agencies say they have found value in surplus military equipment like weapons, armor and vehicles.  Even small departments have benefitted.

Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America's standing army?  The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms.  This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, "paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams."  The end result?  An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war — and the citizenry are the enemy combatants.

War Gear Flows to Police Departments.  During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.  The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.  Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs.  Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection.  In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of "barbering without a license."

Cops, MRAPs and the Heartbreak of Police Operator Syndrome.  I shake my head every time I see a cop dressed in modern Army camouflage; we soldiers hate that camouflage because it doesn't work anywhere, so why are cops wearing it? [...] I imagine many street cops aren't too excited about MRAPs either.  They're bulky, slow, impractical and not likely to ever be needed.  And based on what we see online and on TV, way too many cops seem to fall under a magical spell and think they have to dress and act like operators when their police department gets an MRAP.

The absurdly dangerous militarization of America's police.  [Scroll down]  What we have here is the absurdly dangerous militarization of America's police departments. Our sprawling Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon (which gave the MRAP to Bastrop [Texas]) are haphazardly spreading war equipment, war techniques and a war mentality to what are supposed to be our communities' peacekeepers and crime solvers.  Having the technology and mindset for military actions, local authorities will find excuses to substitute them for honest police work, turning common citizens into "enemies."

Towns Say 'No Tanks' to Militarized Police.  Residents in some towns have begun standing up to the large armored vehicles that local police departments are receiving from the federal government.  Six-figure grants from the Department of Homeland Security have been funding BearCats and other heavily fortified vehicles in towns and cities nationwide since soon after the 2001 terrorist attacks.  Beginning last summer, the government also has handed out 200 surplus vehicles built to withstand mines and bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is considering requests from 750 more communities.

How Every Part of American Life Became a Police Matter.  If all you've got is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail.  And if police and prosecutors are your only tool, sooner or later everything and everyone will be treated as criminal.  This is increasingly the American way of life, a path that involves "solving" social problems (and even some non-problems) by throwing cops at them, with generally disastrous results.  Wall-to-wall criminal law encroaches ever more on everyday life as police power is applied in ways that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.  By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where "the War on Crime" and "the War on Drugs" are no longer metaphors but bland understatements.

Small town America shouldn't resemble war zone.  Something potentially sinister is happening across America, and we should stop and take notice before it changes the character of our country forever.  County, city and small-town police departments across the country are now acquiring free military-grade weapons that could possibly be used against the very citizens and taxpayers that not only fund their departments but who the police are charged with protecting. [...] This trend is not only sweeping America's small cities, it's hitting American college campuses as well.  Ohio State University recently acquired an MRAP.  Apparently, college kids are getting too rowdy.  These are just some of the most egregious examples.  There are countless stories of police departments getting (and often later selling) assault weapons, drones, and other military-grade equipment that is absolutely ill-suited for America's main streets.  The Pentagon's 1033 program, which "provides or transfers surplus Department of Defense military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies without charge," is a big part of this disturbing trend.

Scenes from a militarized America: Iowa family 'terrorized'.  When critics (like me) warn about the dangers of police militarization, this is what we're talking about.  You'll see the raid team, dressed in battle-dress uniforms, helmets and face-covering balaclava hoods take down the family's door with a battering ram.  You'll see them storm the home with ballistics shields, guns at the ready.  More troubling still, you'll see not one but two officers attempt to prevent the family from having an independent record of the raid, one by destroying a surveillance camera, another by blocking another camera's lens.  [Video clip] From the images in the video, you'd think they were looking for an escaped murderer or a house full of hit men.  No, none of that.  They were looking for a few people suspected of credit card fraud.

Troubling new details about the violent police raid in Iowa.  The raid was apparently for suspected credit card fraud.  Ankeny Police Department officials are now speaking out.  But I'm not sure they're helping their cause. [...] So they see nothing wrong with how the raid was handled, and the department has no stated policy for executing warrants.  All of that is troubling enough.  (The lack of a written policy also suggests a lack of training.)  As is the "officer safety" justification, as if that in itself trumps the rights of the people inside the house.

Indiana town's police force gets armored carrier from military.  An armored carrier the West Lafayette police department recently acquired from the U.S. military is being refitted and will soon serve as a "moving shield" for officers, the city's police chief said.

DoD Program 1033 Militarizing Local Police Departments.  Those who are paying attention are seeing the constant notices of military equipment from overseas war-zones being dispersed to domestic police departments.  These giveaways are usually in the form of armored vehicles (as far as the public knows).  This is all made possible by the Defense Department's Program 1033.  In place since 1997, the program allows the DOD to give away the equipment — often free of charge — to local police departments who apply for the equipment grants.  This year has been the year of the MRAP, or Mine Resistant Armor Protected vehicle.  For the first time these fighting vehicles, costing an upwards of $600,000 each, are being sent out to American cops, and in rapid fashion.

Boston police state
The Price I Paid for Fighting for a Library Free of Porn and Sex Offenders.  [Scroll down]  I've noticed more stories about the militarization of local police and harassment of citizens happening at an alarming rate across this country.  Salinas, California just got an armored police vehicle which is disturbing its residents.  They don't understand why their police need such a thing in such a little town.  Places like Boulder, Colorado and Preston, Idaho also received these vehicles, disturbing their inhabitants too.  Stories of police acting above the law, searching without warrants and abusing their power are on the rise also.  There are videos all over YouTube of concealed weapons permit holders being forced to the ground and threatened with a bullet to the head over a legally carried weapon by officers too caught up in their own power to abide by the law.  It's a frightening time to be a private citizen.

Militarized police.  With almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participating in a military "recycling" program, community police forces across the country continue to be transformed into outposts of the military, with police agencies acquiring military-grade hardware-tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield-in droves.  Keep in mind that once acquired, this military equipment, which is beyond the budget and scope of most communities, finds itself put to all manner of uses by local law enforcement agencies under the rationale that "if we have it, we might as well use it" — the same rationale, by the way, used with deadly results to justify assigning SWAT teams to carry out routine law enforcement work such as delivering a warrant.

Leftover armored trucks from Iraq coming to local police agencies.  The Albany County sheriff's office is among eight law-enforcement agencies in New York that have received the free mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, made for $500,000 apiece.  Civil liberties advocates, meanwhile, see it as the increasing militarization of police forces.

Salinas CA armored vehicle
Let's start with a little Police State this morning... .

Defense Department gives local police equipment designed for a war zone.  The Defense Department recently announced it would be giving domestic law enforcement forces hulking vehicles designed to efficiently maneuver in a war zone for use in thwarting any potential high-scale activity.

Will domestic law enforcement paranoia turn US into a police state?  In an article for The Guardian earlier this month that raised questions about the 1033 program — an initiative that allows the Defense Department to donate surplus military equipment to local police forces — Michael Shank pointed to the mounting evidence that suggests the police force in America is looking more and more like the military.  "The growing militarization of the United States appears to be occurring at home as well as abroad, a phenomenon which is troublesome and sure to continue without decisive action," he wrote, warning of, "the blurring line between military forces and the local police who are meant to protect and serve."  Someone is training law enforcement officials in this heavy-handed behavior.  The question is, why?

Beware Of The Police's Increasing Militarization.  In early August, a SWAT team broke through the gates of a 3.5-acre farm in Arlington, Texas, that promotes a sustainable lifestyle and did a 10-hour search of the property.  Residents were handcuffed and held at gunpoint as police looked for nonexistent marijuana plants and various city code violations.  As the owners watched, 10 tons of their private property was hauled off in trucks — dangerous items such as blackberry bushes, okra, tomatillo plants, native grasses and sunflowers that provided food and bedding for animals, everything from furniture to compost.

Whatcha Gonna Do If They Come for You.  [Scroll down]  For [Radley] Balko, the crackdown on illicit drugs is the driving force behind police militarization.  Battlefield rhetoric — we speak of the drug "war," for instance — encouraged an "us vs. them" attitude that superseded the old "protect and serve."  Hundreds of police forces began to insist that they needed SWAT teams to combat dangerous drug traders.  In dress and in tactics, SWAT forces are far closer to military than police.  The book's cover features a phalanx of state troopers wearing Kevlar vests and face shields, gear more reminiscent of the battle suits from the Halo video game series than of a local sheriff.  As military-style police became the norm, the need to treat suspects like enemy combatants changed the legal landscape.

Will domestic law enforcement paranoia turn US into a police state?  Judging by the way the Department of Homeland Security is spending your money, domestic unrest may be coming soon to a city near you.  The DHS has been making purchases lately that seem to signal a federal fear of riots across the nation in the coming months.  The obvious question is, what do they know that they American people don't?  A more enduring and chilling question is what will be the end result of America's increasingly militarized police force?

Dallas County Now Has Its Very Own Bulletproof, "Mine-Protected" Military SUV.  The initial plan was to shove the vehicles, called MRAPS (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) into a warehouse and let them collect dust.  That changed when someone decided that, having served so admirably overseas, it would be only just to bring the MRAPs stateside and deploy them in the domestic war on crime.  And so, for the past couple of months, news reports have been popping up announcing that places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Ohio State University have been receiving their very own military-grade armored SUVs.

The cops at Ohio State have an armored fighting vehicle now.  The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety has acquired an armored military vehicle that looks like it belongs in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Gary Lewis, a senior director of media relations at OSU, told The Daily Caller via email that the "unique, special-purpose vehicle is a replacement" for the "police fleet."  He called the armored jalopy "an all-hazard, all-purpose, public safety-response vehicle" with "obviously enhanced capabilities."  Lewis did not specify exactly what previous mode of transport was replaced.

Is America Inching Toward a Police State?  In his book, [John W.] Whitehead warns of the gradual transformation of America into a police state in which stronger law enforcement and a robust surveillance apparatus might give rise to a state governed by the strong arm of the law.  He contends that the lines between foreign and domestic surveillance and between law enforcement and military agencies are dissipating.  This has resulted in an increasing number of military-style SWAT raids and the rapid growth of the government surveillance programs led by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Beware Warrior Cops.  We need police to catch murderers, thieves and con men, and so we give them special power — the power to use force on others.  Sadly, today's police use that power to invade people's homes over accusations of trivial, nonviolent offenses — and often do it with tanks, battering rams and armor you'd expect on battlefields.

Lewiston police unveil armored vehicle at Night Out.  People flocked to Marcotte Park on Tuesday for National Night Out as the Police Department showed of its newest additions:  a robot and an armored personnel carrier.

When your own police label you a terrorist.  Concord Police Chief John Duval recently begged Washington, D.C., for more than $250,000 to buy a military-style "armored personnel carrier" — the Lenco BearCat G3.  Chief Duval claims he needs this military personnel carrier because of groups like the "Free Staters."  He stated in his application that their threats were "real and here" and are providing Concord police "daily challenges."  A "Free Stater" is a person loosely participating in peaceful, social and economic migration:  to move 20,000 Americans who believe in smaller, responsible government to New Hampshire.  I did that.  I came to New Hampshire for that very reason.  So, yes, I guess I am a "Free Stater."  I am also a Republican, a lawyer and a computer nerd.  Concord police want a military-style vehicle because of people like me?

Their Constitutional Rights Violated By Authorities.  A Nevada family files a lawsuit after police literally seize their house to use as a command post after entering without a warrant and assaulting family members.  Isn't this what helped start the American Revolution?

A Real Live Third Amendment Case.  The most obvious obstacle to winning a Third Amendment claim here is that police arguably do not qualify as "soldiers."  On the other hand, as Radley Balko describes in his excellent new book The Rise of the Warrior Cop, many police departments are increasingly using military-style tactics and equipment, often including the aggressive use of force against innocent people who get in the way of their plans.  If the plaintiffs' complaint is accurate, this appears to be an example of that trend.  In jurisdictions where the police have become increasingly militarized, perhaps the courts should treat them as "soldiers" for Third Amendment purposes.

And Now They Trample The Third Amendment.  Henderson police arrested a family for refusing to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic violence investigation of their neighbors, the family claims in court. [...] The Mitchell family's claim includes Third Amendment violations, a rare claim in the United States.  The Third Amendment prohibits quartering soldiers in citizens' homes in times of peace without the consent of the owner.

State Capitol troopers begin carrying assault rifles.  Regulars around the state Capitol will soon be seeing something different:  Troopers carrying military-style assault rifles. [...] Officers once armed only with handguns will be walking around the Capitol with M-6 carbines, a variant of the AR-15.  We don't have to explain the irony.  Not all officers will be so armed — just enough to make a public statement.

Cops with Machine Guns: The Killing of Michael Nida.  In October 2011, the police-related shooting death of unarmed man, Michael Nida, 31, raised serious questions about the state of policing in the city of Downey, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.  Why did it raise questions?  The father of four who worked in construction wasn't shot with a handgun by one of the Downey Police Department's officers.  He was shot with an MP5 submachine gun, the same gun used by the Navy Seals.

Battlefield Main Street.  A rapidly expanding Pentagon program that distributes used military equipment to local police departments — many of them small-town forces — puts battlefield-grade weaponry in the hands of cops at an unprecedented rate.  Through its little-known "1033 program," the Department of Defense gave away nearly $500 million worth of leftover military gear to law enforcement in fiscal year 2011 — a new record for the program and a dramatic rise over past years' totals, including the $212 million in equipment distributed in 2010.

The Militarization of Policing in America.  American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war.  Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters — and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend.

Tanks on Main Street: The Militarization of Local Police.  Take a close look at your local police officers, the ones who patrol your neighborhoods and ensure the safety of your roadways.  Chances are they look less and less like the benevolent keepers of the peace who patrolled Andy Griffith's Mayberry and more like inflexible extensions of the military. ... Moreover, as an investigative report by Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz reveals, in communities large and small across America, local law enforcement are arming themselves to the teeth with weapons previously only seen on the battlefield.  "Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles.

The Creeping Militarization of the Home Front:  Deploying troops on the home front is very different from waging war abroad.  Soldiers are trained to kill, whereas civilian peace officers are trained to respect constitutional rights and to use force only as a last resort.  That fundamental distinction explains why Americans have long resisted the use of standing armies to keep the domestic peace.  Unfortunately, plans are afoot to change that time-honored policy.

Super Bowl 2012 Security Patrols Use Robots, Toxin Monitors, F-16s.  Weeks before this year's Super Bowl championship contenders were set, massive security teams were hard at work to secure the city of Indianapolis, deploying some of the most advanced defense technologies ever used at the big game.  The U.S. military, police and federal agencies, including NORAD and Customs and Border Protection, all have officers on the ground, who specialize in multiple types of emergency situations.

World Trade Center to be kept safe using military-grade technology.  The New York Post reported the high-tech system of thousands of "intelligent" cameras and computer processors can recognise people's faces and retinas and then compare that information with databases such as terrorist watch lists, sources said.

Pentagon halts free guns for police.  The Defense Department recently fired off a round of letters warning state law enforcement officials to track down every gun, helicopter and Humvee that the military had given them under a $2.6 billion surplus program, or have their access to the handouts cut off.



"When the government fears the people, that is liberty.
When the people fear the government, that is tyranny."

— Thomas Jefferson        




Ordinary cops have too much fire power

The local police, with the help of the feds, have become militarized, using weapons and tactics that were once reserved for foreign battlefields.

DHS has equipped 400 police departments with military-grade sound cannons.  A recent article in the Mohave Valley Daily News revealed that DHS is using grant money to equip Arizona police departments with military-grade sound cannons or Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD).  The Bullhead City Police Department received $54,000 in grant money to purchase a 100X model and a 450XL model LRAD.  The mass media has known about DHS's plan to equip police departments with LRADs for more than a decade but has remained largely silent.  A Washington Times article from 2009, titled "DHS helps local police buy military-style sonic devices" warned everyone that military-grade sound cannons are being used against Americans.

Police across the country are adding sonic weapons to their crowd control arsenal.  With forms of police crowd control such as worrying as tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets — not to mention batons, boots, and fists — why spend time covering long range acoustic devices?

Connecticut Bill Would Allow Police to Arm Drones.  The Connecticut State Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill on Wednesday [3/29/2017] that would allow local police to weaponize drones. [...] Three cities in Connecticut — Hartford, Plainfield, and Woodbury — already use unarmed drones.  If this bill becomes law, it would make Connecticut the first state in the union to allow police to use armed drones in their work.

Watch out, Yogi!
Assault Rifles, Flash Bang Grenades Bought for Park Rangers, Report Finds.  A supervisor at the Mojave National Preserve in California violated policy by buying fully automatic assault rifles and dozens of flash-bang grenades, according to a federal study released Thursday [1/14/2016].  A supervisory park ranger at the immense desert park northeast of Los Angeles bought nine Colt M-4 fully automatic rifles between 2008 and 2010, and 24 grenades some years later, according to a report from the inspector general's office from the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The purchases violated park service policy, which specifies semi-automatic rifles and requires prior approval for defensive equipment, although the policy doesn't specifically mention flash-bang grenades, the report said.

Less-lethal weapons get new interest amid police shootings.  Police in more than 20 North American cities are testing the latest in less-lethal alternatives to bullets — "blunt impact projectiles" that cause suspects excruciating pain but stop short of killing them.  Or at least that's the goal.

The latest in non-lethals: A stink bomb for crowd control.  You may have heard of non-lethal weapons like Tasers, plastic bullets, flash bangs and smoke grenades.  But there's a new kid on the block that has taken the playground concept of stink bombs to the next level.  Skunk is like a grown-up stink bomb on steroids.  It's been used in Israel, but it's now coming to the U.S.  Both the Israeli police and the Israel Defense Forces began deploying the technology several years ago and it is now available in the U.S. through Bethesda, Md.-based Mistral Security.

Blinded by laser-armed cops — scared yet?  Last summer's riots in Ferguson, Missouri, prompted much talk by President Obama and certain members of Congress about the need to demilitarize local police forces.  Nearly a year later, the opposite is happening.  New and more powerful weapons are flowing into local police departments daily, and still others are new to the marketplace.  One weapon about to make its debut is the "Z-Ro Retinal Obfuscation" gun.  When fired, the gun allows an officer to temporarily blind his targeted subject for up to 15 minutes.  The new "compliance weapon" made a splash at the Urban Shield trade show last October in Boston.

Pinellas schools add M16 rifles to police cache.  The Pinellas County School District has purchased 28 M16 rifles for its internal police department, according to Law Enforcement Support Office documents.  The guns aren't currently in use, but school police officers will begin training to use and store the weapons, school district spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra said.

Bring it back with a full tank of gas, and I don't want to see any scratches on it.
San Diego school district to return armored military vehicle.  The San Diego school district will return its armored military vehicle to the Department of Defense, school officials announced Thursday night [9/18/2014].  The district joins a list of agencies returning excess military equipment amid a national controversy over local law enforcement agencies using such equipment.

The Kampus Kops get grenade launchers.  What could go wrong?
Pentagon gives guns, grenade-launchers, armoured vehicles to US schools.  The US Defence Department program accused of fuelling the militarisation of local law enforcement is stirring controversy again, this time for providing equipment and weapons to school police.  Law enforcement agencies affiliated with at least 120 schools, colleges and universities have received gear through the program, according to a Washington Post review of data from 33 states.  The items received include at least five grenade launchers, hundreds of rifles and eight mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, the hulking machines designed to withstand the kind of roadside attacks seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

13 Ways The American Police State Squanders Your Tax Dollars.  [#1]  $4.2 billion for militarized police.  Almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participate in a military "recycling" program that allows the Defense Department to transfer surplus military hardware to local and state police.  In 2012 alone, $546 million worth of military equipment was distributed to law enforcement agencies throughout the country.  [#2]  $34 billion for police departments to add to their arsenals of weapons and equipment.  Since President Obama took office, police departments across the country "have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft."

Surplus US military gear, including MRAPs, going to local police.  But the program also has its critics, who say arming police with military-grade equipment blurs the lines between cops and soldiers and encourages unnecessary confrontations and injuries.  "The military is trained to search and destroy — to go find the enemy and subdue them," said Tim Lynch, director of the Project on Criminal Justice with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think thank [sic].  "What we want from our civilian police departments is to use the absolute minimum amount of force that may be necessary in some cases to bring a suspect into a court of law, where disputes can be resolved peacefully."

Incoming Boston mayor, police clash over AR-15 proposal.  Boston police are clashing with the city's incoming mayor over a proposal to arm some officers with AR-15 rifles.  Mayor-elect Martin Walsh came out against the plan over the weekend.  The Boston Police Department had been pushing for a limited number of officers to carry the high-powered rifles, in light of recent mass shootings as well as the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year.

The Editor says...
Bigger guns do not equate to faster response and smarter cops.

Cops can use radio waves to bring your car to a halt.  Finding a safe way to stop fleeing cars has been a difficult problem for law enforcement for a long time.  Police have tried everything from spike strips to PIT maneuvers to bring fleeing villains to a halt.  Now, however, a British company has a slightly more high tech idea:  radio waves.  The company, known as E2V is working on a system called RF-Safe Stop that projects radio pulses which overwhelm and shutdown engine electronics.

The Editor says...
I would not want to be in the vicinity when that weapon was used.  Will the police pay for knocked-out engines on nearby cars?  Probably not.  If the radio signal is powerful enough to kill an automobile engine, wouldn't it also kill all the electronics in the area, and wouldn't it be a severe health hazard?  At the very least, this would almost certainly violate the FCC's RF exposure standards for "uncontrolled exposure areas."  If the weapon kills the electronics in your engine, wouldn't it also kill your pacemaker?  This idea comes from the same nanny state that requires warning signs where there's a microwave oven in use in a public place!

Online Ammunition Salesman Says One Police Department Is Ordering Lots Of Ammo.  Seems like more than just the Social Security and DHS etc are gearing up for what is coming.  Reading about these .gov agencies buying all the ammo that they have been buying is eye opening, but to be on the phone talking to someone trying to procure this much ammo for a police department, is chilling!

On the other hand ...
Why one cop carries 145 rounds of ammo on the job.  Before the call that changed Sergeant Timothy Gramins' life forever, he typically carried 47 rounds of handgun ammunition on his person while on duty.  Today, he carries 145, "every day, without fail."  He detailed the gunfight that caused the difference in a gripping presentation at the annual conference of the Assn. of SWAT Personnel-Wisconsin.  At the core of his desperate firefight was a murderous attacker who simply would not go down, even though he was shot 14 times with .45-cal. ammunition — six of those hits in supposedly fatal locations.

New York's Long-Distance Body Scanners Challenge 4th Amendment.  The NYPD, sometimes referred to as the world's "seventh largest army" with 35,000 uniformed officers, already does a brisk business frisking potential suspects, with little pushback.  In the first quarter of last year, 161,000 New Yorkers were stopped and interrogated, with more than nine out of 10 of them found to be innocent.  And there are cameras already in place everywhere:  in Manhattan alone there are more than 2,000 surveillance cameras watching for alleged miscreants.

New Anti-Crime Cameras Being Installed Downtown.  Officials said 38 anti-crime cameras will soon be installed in downtown Los Angeles.  In the coming weeks, this new equipment will replace cameras which have been broken or failing for years.

Police in Iowa city to buy their own semi-automatic AR-15s.  Police in one Iowa city could soon be buying their own assault rifles to carry in squad cars to ensure they aren't outgunned by criminals in the wake of several high-profile shootings involving semi-automatic AR-15s, FoxNews.com has learned.  Half of the 50-member force in Marion, Iowa, will take part in the upgrade, paying for the $2,000 guns in installments deducted from their paychecks, according to Police Chief Harry Daugherty.

San Francisco to Test Big Brother Cameras.  The United States continues its slow morphing into Big Brotherdom, this time through the use of cameras that predict crimes before they take place based on "suspicious" behavior.  The cameras will then summon law enforcement to help pre-empt the crime from taking place.  The Daily Mail (Britain) reports, "Using a range of in-built parameters of what is 'normal' the cameras then send a text message to a human guard to issue an alert-or call them."  They can track up to 150 people at a time and will build up a "memory" of suspicious behavior to begin determining what is inappropriate.

Just like the Telescreens in 1984:
Talking Surveillance Cameras Coming to U.S. Streets.  Talking surveillance cameras that bark orders at passers-by and can also record conversations are heading for U.S. streets, with manufacturer Illuminating Concepts announcing the progress of its 'Intellistreets' system.

ACLU launches nationwide look into police 'militarization'.  ACLU cites ten cases where the use of excess force and weaponry demonstrate the need for investigation.  In one case, police blinded themselves with a flash bang grenade and then mistakenly shot a sleeping nine-year-old.  Police in Paragould Arkansas had to pull back from a plan to patrol streets in full SWAT gear after public pressure mounted.  The Paragould Police Chief had said he expected most people stopped would be innocent of any crime, but claimed it was the civilian's responsibility to "prove" innocence.

DHS deploying in Homeland with 'weapons of war'.  Compounded by the administration's now "on the radar" push to further restrict civilian firearm ownership, the recent controversy over the potential use of drones over American soil to kill citizens without due process, and a longstanding and documented train of abuses tied to the militarization of law enforcement activities, those who keep an eye on such things are noticeably distressed.

NYPD's Kelly says cops could take down an aircraft.  The NYPD now has anti-aircraft capability.  New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tells "60 Minutes" that the NYPD has "some means to take down a plane" in what he termed an "extreme situation," during an interview tonight on CBS, according to a transcript of the exchange.

Bossier sheriff launches 'Operation Exodus'.  The Bossier Parish sheriff's office is launching a program called "Operation Exodus," a policing plan for an end-of-the-world scenario involving a mostly white group of ex-police volunteers and a .50-caliber machine gun, inspired in part from the Book of Exodus in the Bible.

Big Brother Not Only Watches Us, It Toys with Our Children.  Lego, for example, in 2003 began marketing a plastic construction set depicting a police 18-wheeler housing a surveillance unit, complete with monitoring devices and control panels to track movements of little Lego citizens. … While the Lego surveillance play set is — according to the company — oriented toward 8-year-olds, a rival company, Playmobil, which produces plastic figures for younger darlings, apparently has determined there is a market for toys teaching 4-year-olds the benefit of submitting oneself to intrusive police searches.

Court OKs searches of cell phones without warrant.  The California Supreme Court allowed police Monday [1/3/2011] to search arrestees' cell phones without a warrant, saying defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they're carrying when taken into custody.  Under U.S. Supreme Court precedents, "this loss of privacy allows police not only to seize anything of importance they find on the arrestee's body ... but also to open and examine what they find," the state court said in a 5-2 ruling.

Where have you gone, Sheriff Taylor?  [Scroll down]  Not long ago I reported on an even more absurd case, in Shreveport, Louisiana.  There, the police chief cooked up this hare-brained idea of holding gas station employees and owners criminally liable in cases where drivers drive away without paying.  I can almost hear your incredulity. ... Well, you see, the chief got the town council to require station attendants to make their customers pre-pay.  If they don't, and the driver drives off without paying, then the attendant is also a criminal!  This sort of regulation of everyday life is all too common.  The basic idea is to scribble out a criminal code to make it easy for law enforcement.

The Rise of the American Police State.  The increasingly antiterrorism-oriented police units have begun to regard dissenting citizens, or even innocent and unsuspecting citizens, as the "enemy" in domestic "war zones." ... The militarization of the police does not occur instantaneously, but is the cumulative result of each military tool amassed, each protester silenced based on his political views, or each wrongful search that goes unchallenged.

SWAT tank: Associated Press Photograph
Child abuse! Call the SWAT team!  Apparently they take their polygamy very seriously in Texas.  Our troops in Iraq might be able to use a piece of equipment like the one at [left], pictured during the raid on the FLDS compound in Texas.

S.W.A.T. Team Use In U.S. Law Enforcement Dramatically Increases.  The SWAT teams wear camouflage, body armor and gas masks, and use weapons such as diversionary "flashbangs" (a diversionary device), submachine guns, explosives and chemical weapons.  Kraska's survey shows that the SWAT teams receive training by active and retired military experts in special operations.  Heckler and Koch, makers of the MP5 submachine gun used by the Navy Seals, also provide training to the SWAT teams.  Some units also have helicopters and armored personnel carriers at their disposal.

Our Growing Police State.  The Giffords/Roll shooting was brought to an end by a bystander.  The Ft. Hood massacre on November 5, 2009, which killed 13 American soldiers and wounded 29 others was brought to an end by two base police officers using conventional sidearms and procedures.  The warning signs for this terrorist attack, the first on American soil since 9/11, were ignored and yet it was the local cops on the beat who faced and dealt with a terrible crime.  Every case one can think of was resolved by conventional methods.  And yet the police powers of government on a local and national level have been growing at an alarming rate.  And despite a dissonant data base there is a growing trend towards militarization of police forces and of an invasive state security apparatus.

Obama and his Syndicate.  [Scroll down]  Now the extremely bad news for US citizens.  First, on 19 January 2012, multiple videos were made of a shipment — via rail — of hundreds of Bradley armored vehicles and related equipment moving from Northern California Southward. ... The US military, Department of Homeland Security and LOCAL Police are conducting "urban warfare exercises" in recent and unprecedented "showings of force" under the now undeniable (by any intelligent beings) Dictator-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama.  These military forces are inhabiting the streets and air of and over Los Angeles, Boston, Little Rock, Miami and Colorado amongst others.

Homeland Security seeking assault and sniper rifles.  The Department of Homeland Security issued a bid for 36 Colt LE901 rifle systems, which will accept and function any military specification (Mil-Spec) .223 caliber upper receiver, and is thus backwards compatible with all CBP/U.S. Border Patrol M4 upper receivers.  Not surprisingly in this matter is the recent award by DHS, but no solicitation can be found for, .223 caliber Remington Enhanced Performance ammunition.

Who Does The Government Intend To Shoot?  The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S.  No one has yet said what the purpose of these purchases is, though we are led to believe that they will be used only in an emergency to counteract and control civil unrest.  Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used — those causing the civil unrest — must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens. [...] If this were only a one time order of ammunition, it could easily be dismissed.  But there is a pattern here.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has ordered 46,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition.

It's illegal for passengers to ride in a trailer — unless you're a cop.
Passaic County sheriff's department enlists 16-foot trailer for mass arrests response.  No longer will Passaic County law enforcement have to take separate cars to respond to a scene where mass arrests are expected.  Now the sheriff's department has a 16-foot dual axle trailer to transport up to 20 officers to parades, demonstrations, shopping frenzies or college parties that might get too rowdy.  The $130,000 trailer came from the state's Department of Corrections through a federal Homeland Security grant, putting Passaic County on New Jersey's Mass Arrest Response Team.

Why do America's police need an armored tank?  If the new American paramilitary is being created not to repel a massive invasion of Al Qaeda based terrorists unleashed on our homeland, then why are we militarizing our society to a point that surpasses the wildest dreams of former Iron Curtain leaders of the 1970's?  Perhaps it is not to keep the masses protected but incarcerated; to hold their wealth and prevent it from leaving the country, to control their spending with strict illegal monitoring and currency manipulation, to tax without representation, and to modify behavior just like prison inmates are manipulated using controls beyond the scope of most inmates mental capacity.

Somewhat related...
DNA Gun Tags Rioters for Future Arrest.  [A] new high velocity DNA tagging system, designed by UK firm Selectamark, fires small soft green DNA pellets which could remain on the target's skin for weeks.  Andrew Knights from Selectamark said:  'On contact with the target the uniquely-coded SelectaDNA solution leaves a synthetic DNA trace mark that will enable the relevant authorities to confirm or eliminate that person from their involvement in a particular situation and could ultimately lead to arrest and prosecution.'





The use of drones against civilians:

Introduction:
Unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially referred to as drones, are now being used as a high-tech law enforcement surveillance tool.  (When did we vote on this?)  The UAVs are used to obtain aerial video from an altitude of 400 feet or less.  They might not make enough noise to alert you to their presence, and in the event of a SWAT situation, the SWAT team can make plenty of noise to be sure you don't hear any aircraft.  The UAVs I've seen do not appear to be powerful enough to lift a good camera lens, to say nothing of an image stabilizer, so the resulting video is probably not that great.  (If the video is completely useless, that fact will never be made public.)  So far there has been nothing said about the penalties for shooting down a drone, or confusing it enough to make it crash, but after that happens you can be sure there will be legislation written, debated, passed and signed into law in a matter of 24 hours — much like the way the 300-page Patriot Act materialized in six weeks and was signed into law without being read by anyone in Congress.  (What's the rush?)  The penalty for shooting at a UAV will probably be the same as the penalty for shooting at a police car, and the first person to do so will be prominently featured on the evening "news" (which is usually nothing more than an infomercial for big government — but that's another story).

Police Use Drones To Spy On Suspicious People At "Potential Crime Scenes".  For years, law enforcement has been claiming that drones will only be used for natural disasters, crime scene investigations, car accidents and rescue operations.  That is the bill of goods, being sold to the public but it is all a lie.  A perfect example of how law enforcement promises the public one thing and after time passes, uses it for something else is taking place in Texas at the Memorial Villages Police Department (MVPD).  Two years ago, Click2Houston reported how the MVPD claimed that they would only use drones for "better emergency response during disasters."  They also used police officer and UAV pilot, Larry Boggus to solidify their claim that drones would only be used for natural disasters saying, "drones are a huge asset for us because very quickly we were able to see the amount of houses that were damaged" during a 2018 storm.  I love it when police department's provide comic relief to prove my point.

Six ways to disable a drone.  Civilian drone activity has increased exponentially as drones become more easily accessible and affordable.  With more drones in the sky every day, there have been some creative and sometimes dangerous attempts to disable drones.  The reasons for disabling a drone can vary from boredom and curiosity to privacy and safety concerns.  To be clear, the Center for Technology Innovation does not condone or promote the act of harming drones.

Pentagon admits it has deployed military spy drones over the U.S..  The Pentagon has deployed drones to spy over U.S. territory for non-military missions over the past decade, but the flights have been rare and lawful, according to a new report.  The report by a Pentagon inspector general, made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, said spy drones on non-military missions have occurred fewer than 20 times between 2006 and 2015 and always in compliance with existing law.  The report, which did not provide details on any of the domestic spying missions, said the Pentagon takes the issue of military drones used on American soil "very seriously."

Pentagon admits operating military drone flights over U.S..  The Pentagon has deployed spy drones to fly over U.S. territory for non-military missions over the past decade, but the flights were few and lawful, according to a new report.  The domestic drone flights have occurred less than 20 times between 2006 and 2015 and were always conducted in compliance with existing laws, according to the report by the Pentagon Inspector General which was made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, according to USA [T]oday.  The Pentagon did not provide details of the domestic spy missions, but said it takes the issue of military drone flights over America soil "very seriously."

American Police Start Pushing to Weaponize Domestic Drones.  Police are now voicing their concerns about domestic drone use — specifically, they want the option to be able to employ weaponized drones in the future, should the need arise.  As if police brutality and aggression weren't already an epidemic in the United States, police departments in Connecticut oppose a bill to outlaw the weaponization of drones.  The bill also address unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with cameras, and their potential to violate the privacy rights of individuals.  But law enforcement departments in the state appear far more concerned with being deprived of the possibility of arming them with weapons, rather than cameras.

Can Police Drones Save Money for Ohio?  Law-enforcement official in Ohio hope that drone deployment may make their jobs more effective and trim down their aerial budgets.  Several departments across the Buckeye State are reporting successful uses of UAV tech to complement or even replace more expensive helicopters.  WSYX reports:  "If departments are successful in establishing drone projects, the unmanned aircraft will be whizzing 400 feet above neighborhoods."

North Dakota just made it perfectly legal for cops to arm drones with weapons.  Just when you think you've seen the wildest story about drones (like that kid who strapped a handgun to one), something even crazier always seems to be just around the corner.  Well today we've reached that corner, as a recent bill amendment in North Dakota officially legalized police use of armed drones anywhere within the state.  This is no joke.  Cops in North Dakota now have the legal ability to tase lawbreakers with unmanned aircrafts.

The First Legal, Armed Police Drones Are Here!  It is a small start.  The first armed police drones only have taser weapons.  But it is still a start.  Where will it end?  The most disturbing element in this is the role of technology businesses in taking sides in the legislative process.  Much of the Daily Beast article is taken up with the debate in the legislature about whether to require a warrant for drone surveillance over private property.  I tend to favor a warrant but I can also see why law enforcement would claim they have a right to public space.  It isn't a straightforward Constitutional issue because human flight was not reality when the Constitution was written.

North Dakota cops will be first in nation to use weaponized drones.  North Dakota's Bill 1328 was supposed to be cut and dry.  "In my opinion there should be a nice, red line:  drones should not be weaponized.  Period," Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), the bill's original sponsor, told a committee hearing back in March, per The Daily Beast.  That was going to happen too, at least until an industry lobbying firm got involved.  Now, law enforcement agencies in North Dakota are legally allowed to arm their UAVs with any manner of weapons, so long as they aren't "lethal".

Illinois State Police will fly "unmanned aircraft" not "drones".  The Illinois State Police recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to add "unmanned aircraft" to its list of tools for the next two years.  In a statement released to the Sun-Times Media Wire, the police department said that it was intentionally avoiding the word "drone" because "it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information."  The state police said they worked with legal professionals and civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union to minimize the privacy impact on average citizens.

Homeland Security's Drone Program a Waste of Money, Audit Finds.  Homeland Security's drone program has been a waste of money so far, according to the department's inspector general, who on Tuesday told the department to cancel plans to spend nearly half a billion dollars on more of the aircraft.  The department paid more than $12,000 an hour to fly its drones, kept them in the air far less than it had promised and chiefly used them over just 170 miles of the 1,993-mile border.

Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones.  [Scroll down]  The Governor of Virginia said in 2012 that he thought it would be "great" to have drones flying over his State.  The Miami-Dade Police Department in Florida used Federal grant money to purchase a small drone vehicle.  Reports dating back to 2008 explain that Miami was seeking to use a small drone known as a Micro-Air Vehicle, "to gather real time information in situations which may be too dangerous for officers."  However, police have admitted that the drone can be used to look into houses.  As of December 2010, the FAA was reporting that they were cooperating with urban police departments in Houston and Miami on test programs involving unmanned aircraft.  One drone manufacturer advertises on its webpage that police offices that want to own a drone should seek funding from the Department of Homeland Security.

Defense Department Launches Surveillance Blimps.  On Friday, December 19, 2014, the US army will deploy drone surveillance blimps just north of the nation's capital.  The surveillance blimp system, known as "JLENS," is comprised of two 250' blimps.  As deployed in Iraq, one blimp contains aerial and ground surveillance technology that covers a 340-mile range, while the other has targeting capability including HELLFIRE missiles.  The surveillance blimps fly as high as 10,000 feet and can remain operational for up to 30 days straight.  The JLENS system is manufactured by defense contractor Raytheon.  Raytheon has tested the JLENS system with the company's MTS-B Multi-Spectral Targeting System.  The MTS-B offers long-range video surveillance that allows the real-time tracking of moving targets, including vehicles and persons, on the ground.

Speaking of JLENS...
Report: Army's runaway blimp flew for hours due to missing batteries.  An Army blimp that broke loose in Maryland in October stayed airborne for hours because someone failed to put batteries in its automatic-deflation device, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday [2/14/2016].  The blimp escaped from Aberdeen Proving Ground and its dangling tether caused power outages in Pennsylvania.  The mishap led to widespread ridicule of the Pentagon's blimp surveillance program, known as JLENS for Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, which has cost taxpayers $2.7 billion since 1998.

Missing batteries among issues that caused Army's runaway blimp.  The blimp that broke loose from an Army facility in Maryland last fall, wreaking havoc with its milelong tether, flew uncontrolled for hours because someone neglected to put batteries in its automatic-deflation device, Pentagon investigators have found.  The pilotless, radar-carrying blimp was part of the troubled JLENS missile-defense system, which has failed to perform as promised while costing taxpayers more than $2.7 billion since 1998.

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front.  Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June.  The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said. ... The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers.  The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.

Is there a drone in your neighbourhood?  There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.  The unmanned planes — some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects — are being launched from locations in 20 states.

Surveillance Drones Don't Live Up To Expectations.  Predator Drones have proven not to be worth the cost in their ability to curb contraband, drug traffic, and illegal alien activity.  Nearly two years after Predator B drones were deployed along the Texas/Mexico international border, the unmanned surveillance aircraft have proven to be, well, not worth it.  The drones were intended to augment the presence of border agents and physical barriers such as some 700 miles of intermittent border fencing along the Rio Grande River.  The Hill reported on June 10, 2010 that setting up a single drone in Corpus Christi, Texas (on the Gulf Coast), would have an estimated cost of between $20 and $80 million to focus on the Texas border alone.

Krauthammer On Drones Flying In US: "Stop It Here, Stop It Now".  "I'm going to go hard left on you here, I'm going ACLU," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said in opposition to the use of drones on the U.S. homeland.  "I don't want regulations, I don't want restrictions, I want a ban on this.  Drones are instruments of war.  The Founders had a great aversion to any instruments of war, the use of the military inside even the United States.  It didn't like standing armies, it has all kinds of statutes of using the army in the country."  "A drone is a high-tech version of an old army and a musket.  It ought to be used in Somalia to hunt bad guys but not in America.  I don't want to see it hovering over anybody's home. [...]"

A Predator Drone in the USA Could be Spying On You.  Americans are familiar with unmanned spy drones providing surveillance of Iranian nuclear complexes and Taliban armed militants combating American troops along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Now the Obama administration has quietly authorized Predator Drone use by law enforcement officials in the United States to spy on American Citizens.

Government Withholds Information on Drone Flight Authorizations.  State and local law enforcement are increasingly using unmanned aircraft for investigations into things like cattle rustling, drug dealing, and the search for missing persons.  Any drone flying over 400 feet needs a certification or authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, part of the DOT.  But there is currently no information available to the public about who specifically has obtained these authorizations or for what purposes.

Privacy concerns as US government rolls out domestic drone rules.  Unmanned drones could soon be buzzing in the skies above many U.S. cities, as the federal government green-lights the technology for local law enforcement amid widespread privacy concerns.  The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday [5/14/2012] began to explain the rules of the sky for these newly licensed drones at potentially dozens of sites across the country.

Is There a Drone In Your Backyard?  Earlier this week, the federal government announced that the Air Force might be dispatching drones to a backyard near you.  The stated purpose of these spies in the sky is to assist local police to find missing persons or kidnap victims, or to chase bad guys.  If the drone operator sees you doing anything of interest (Is your fertilizer for the roses or to fuel a bomb?  Is that Sudafed for your cold or your meth habit?  Are you smoking in front of your kids?), the feds say they may take a picture of you and keep it.  The feds predict that they will dispatch or authorize about 30,000 of these unmanned aerial vehicles across America in the next 10 years.  Meanwhile, more than 300 local and state police departments are awaiting federal permission to use the drones they already have purchased — usually with federal stimulus funds.  The government is out of control.

Despite Change to Drone Policy, Drones Still Controversial.  The use of drones by the United States is so controversial that even mainstream media outlets cannot ignore it.  Earlier this week, CBS News asked who would be targeted by U.S. drones, and who would decide whom the drones target.  According to that report, the decision would be "concentrated" in the hands of a very small group of people at the White House.

America: The Home of the... Compliant?  If you want a quick measure of the state of American society, you might consider the federal government's use of unmanned aerial drones to monitor U.S. citizens, and in particular the EPA's matter-of-fact defense of its use of drones over the Midwest as necessary to "verify compliance" with environmental laws.  And as the EPA's "environmental justice" agenda is quickly becoming the government's official overarching priority, we might describe the Obama era as the dawning of the Age of Compliance.

U.S. government to use 'drones the size of Golf Balls to spy on American citizens'.  A 30-page memorandum issued by President Barack Obama's Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley on April 23 has stated that the drones, some as small as golf balls, may be used domestically to 'collect information about U.S. persons.'  The photos that the drones will take may be retained, used or even distributed to other branches of the government so long as the 'recipient is reasonably perceived to have a specific, lawful governmental function' in asking for them.

Sen. Paul proposes bill protecting Americans from drone surveillance.  Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday [6/12/2012] introduced the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which would require the government to get a warrant before using aerial drones to surveil U.S. citizens.  More broadly, Paul's bill is aimed at preventing "unwarranted governmental intrusion" through the use of drones, according to the lawmaker.

Rand Paul Tries To Shoot Down Drone Surveillance.  Does the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures include aerial surveillance of your house and property?  Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., thinks so.

Talk of drones patrolling US skies spawns anxiety.  The prospect that thousands of drones could be patrolling U.S. skies by the end of this decade is raising the specter of a Big Brother government that peers into backyards and bedrooms.

Dumb and Dumber Drones.  On Valentine's Day (politicians know that holidays and weekends are ideal times to pull the wool over our eyes), Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act.  This law allocates $63.6 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration between 2012 and 2015.  Basically, it authorizes the FAA to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to loosen and expand drone regulations for both military and private/commercial use.

The Drone Zone.  It took a few seconds to figure out exactly what we were looking at.  A white S.U.V. traveling along a highway adjacent to the base came into the cross hairs in the center of the screen and was tracked as it headed south along the desert road.  When the S.U.V. drove out of the picture, the drone began following another car.  "Wait, you guys practice tracking enemies by using civilian cars?" a reporter asked.  One Air Force officer responded that this was only a training mission, and then the group was quickly hustled out of the room.

GPS Hijacking: Team of U.S. Faculty, Students Take Control of Drone.  Faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin have proven that a sophisticated surveillance drone can be hacked mid-flight via its GPS.  The same could be done with virtually any type of drone, or even with a commercial airliner.  Drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), are used both domestically — particularly along our southern border — and by the military and the CIA abroad, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere.  Last week, a small team of faculty and students was able to take control of a Department of Homeland Security drone by "spoofing" its GPS.

U.S. Drone Manufacturers Contribute Millions to Congressional Campaigns.  President Obama's drone fever is contagious and is spreading worldwide, and the American industries that build the drones are slavering over the chance to supply the demand.

Air Force Wants Tiny Drones That Squirt Trackable Sensor Goo.  The Air Force wants a new kind of tracking tech in which a tiny drone surreptitiously "paints" an individual with some kind of signal-emitting powder or liquid that allows the military to keep tabs on him or her.  Or perhaps upload his coordinates to a hellfire missile.  On Tuesday, the Air Force put out a call for proposals for such technology, though it didn't specify exactly what kind of drone might deliver the magic powder, or what the magic powder might be.

FAA Has Authorized 106 Government 'Entities' to Fly Domestic Drones.  Since Jan. 1 of this year, according to congressional testimony presented Thursday [7/19/2012] by the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Aviation Administration has authorized 106 federal, state and local government "entities" to fly "unmanned aircraft systems," also known as drones, within U.S. airspace.  "We are now on the edge of a new horizon:  using unmanned aerial systems within the homeland," House Homeland Security Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Michael McCaul (R.-Texas) said as he introduced the testimony.

Drone Use Increases Worldwide; Trade Rep Says Only the Guilty Need Fear.  It's been about a year since a North Dakota man was arrested after a local SWAT team tracked him down using a Predator drone it borrowed from the Department of Homeland Security.  Although the story has not been widely reported, Rodney Brossart became one of the first (if not the first) American citizens arrested by local law enforcement with the use of a federally-owned drone surveillance vehicle after holding the police at bay for over 16 hours.

Laser-Powered Drone Could Remain Airborne Forever.  A drone being used by the United States Special Forces has the potential to remain airborne indefinitely if engineers can get the science right.  Using lasers beamed from the ground to the unmanned aerial vehicle, the military could send a continuous source of power to the drone allowing it to fly without landing for refueling.  This is the "exciting possibility" demonstrated during an indoor test flight conducted by Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the Stalker drone.  Lockheed Martin has already developed an electric version of the Stalker that has a two-hour battery life and this latest experiment is an attempt to perfect the technology that will recharge that battery from the ground while the drone remains in flight.

Bill would clip wings of private drone use.  Concern over the personal privacy implications of the nation's inevitable drone boom continues to grow on Capitol Hill.  This week, Rep. Ted Poe, a Texas Republican and former judge, will introduce the Preserving American Privacy Act, which sets strict limits on when, and for what purpose, law enforcement agencies and other entities can use unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.  Drones are being used on a limited basis by some police and federal departments, but they will be available for commercial and private use in 2015.

Grain of salt:  This comes from a Russian news site.
Predator drones to start operations over North Dakota.  The FAA has authorized the use of remote-controlled Predator drones in the airspace above nearly 10,000 acres in North Dakota.  As of this fall, unmanned military aircraft will use lasers to aim at ground targets from nearly 2 miles above the earth.  Grand Forks, North Dakota — the third largest city in the state — will host a domestic training facility for the military's unmanned aerial vehicles starting in October.  Several times a week pilots will remotely guide robotic drones through the sky at altitudes as high of [sic] 9,999 feet above sea level and zone in [sic] on ground targets with the use of dangerous lasers.

This is an indication of the state of the art:
X-47B Completes First Pax River Flight.  Naval aviation officials chose 11 a.m. on Sunday morning [7/29/2012] to make history as the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator made its first flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. [...] Pax River has a simulated aircraft carrier environment to test the incredible feat of landing an unmanned aircraft on a carrier at sea.  Navy leaders hope to make the first X-47B landing on a carrier in 2013.

Somewhat related:
Self-Guided Bullets and Super Sniper Scopes Deliver Death From 2 Km.  As the technology facilitating the expansion of the surveillance state becomes more advanced, the need for proximity to the target of the surveillance diminishes.  For example, very soon drones will be equipped with lasers that can penetrate walls, map the interior of a home or other building, and scan a targeted individual's genetic code from 50 yards with dizzying speed and accuracy.  Additionally, the ability to keep drones perpetually airborne is being engineered thanks to multi-million dollar research and development grants offered by the Pentagon to companies on the edge of technological advancement.

Remember, military hardware and tactics eventually find their way into local police departments.
U.S. Air Force Training More Drone Pilots Than Traditional Pilots.  The U.S. Air Force is training more drone "pilots" than those who will be at the controls of traditional aircraft, according to the Air Force chief of staff.  To date, there are reportedly around 1,300 people controlling the Air Force's arsenal of Reaper, Predator, and Global Hawk drones, and the Pentagon plans to add about 2,500 pilots and support crew by 2014, according to an article in published August 3 by The Times (of London).  The UK paper reports that 350 new drone pilots were trained in 2011 "compared to 250 conventional fighter and bomber pilots."

Drones in the sky over America.  In a few years the skies over the United States will be filled with hundreds if not thousands of of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, doing a variety of tasks — border security, disaster relief, search and rescue, counter-terrorism and looking down on people and streets on behalf of police departments.

One nation under surveillance.  America is no longer "one nation under God."  Today, America is "one nation under surveillance."  Cameras monitoring our every movement, satellites taking pictures of our homes, listening devices being used to record our conversations, hi-tech computers capturing virtually every piece of correspondence, banking institutions forwarding our private financial records to Big Brother, and now armed drones flying over the neighborhoods of the American citizenry all reveal that America is anything but the "land of the free."

Police Chief Group Suggests Guidelines for Use of Police Drones.  In advance of law enforcement's deployment of their drones, a group representing police chiefs have issued recommended guidelines for the lawful use of the unmanned aerial vehicles.  The Aviation Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) published a three-page pamphlet suggesting ways local police can successfully and safely include drones in their law enforcement efforts.  The document breaks down its directions into four broad categories:  community engagement, system requirements, operational procedures, and image retention.

Law enforcement groups back drone-use guidelines.  The Airborne Law Enforcement Association, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the FBI National Academy Associates joined the International Association of Chiefs of Police in supporting rules designed to keep police and other agencies from abusing the power that comes with drone use.  The guidelines call for law enforcement personnel to "secure a search warrant prior to conducting the flight" if a drone could infringe upon "reasonable expectations of privacy."

Drone may be coming to Miami-Dade.  A new piece of technology may soon be coming to South Florida, but is already raising concerns from residents.  The Miami-Dade Police Department recently finalized a deal to buy a drone, which is an unmanned plane equipped with cameras.  Drones have been used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war against terror.  Many residents are concerned that the new technology will violate their privacy.

Drone Gives Texas Law Enforcement Bird's-Eye View on Crime.  The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is weeks away from launching an unmanned aerial asset to help deputies fight crime.  The ShadowHawk helicopter is six-feet long, weighs fifty pounds and fits in the back of an SUV.

At America's Biggest Drone Show, the Focus Shifts Toward Domestic Skies.  If you want to know what the future looks like, sit down and have a talk with Roy Minson.  He's the senior vice president and general manager of unmanned aircraft systems at Aerovironment, the manufacturer of nearly 85 percent of the Department of Defense's unmanned aircraft fleet — not the Reapers and Predators that so often make headlines, but small aerial systems that make up the vast majority of the DoD's 7,000 strong unmanned aircraft fleet.  That is to say, business with the defense sector is good at Aerovironment.  But today Minson is talking almost exclusively about non-military applications for the company's hardware — him, and just about everybody else at the nation's largest robotic systems show.

U.S. Navy Cloak Blade Inherently Stealthy Micro-Copter Presentation.  A presentation accompanied a recent demonstration of the Cloak Blade, a micro-copter developed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory under contract from the U.S. Navy.

Will Police Drones Destroy the Fourth Amendment?  Although the president's use of drones to execute the war on terror and those he assumes are associated with it has so far occurred only outside the United States, soon drones will slice through the domestic skies, as well.  While the sight of drones over U.S. cities and towns is rare now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that by 2020, 30,000 of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be patrolling American airspace.  Scores of these UAVs will be deployed by state and local law enforcement, adding to the many that will be sent airborne by the federal government.

The coming drone attack on America.  Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations.  In time, they will likely be weaponised.

The anti-drone hoodie which can make its wearer invisible to spies in the sky.  Those concerned about the conspiratorial machinations of the state surveillance infrastructure can now swap their tin-foil hats for a more fashion conscious accessory.  A New York-based artist has designed an 'anti-drone hoodie' stitched from metallised material used to counter the infra-red cameras that spy drones use to spot people on the ground.

Incredible U.S. military spy drone.  A sinister airborne surveillance camera gives the U.S. military the ability to track movements in an entire city like a real-time Google Street View.  The ARGUS-IS array can be mounted on unmanned drones to capture an area of 15 [square] miles in an incredible 1,800 MP — that's 225 times more sensitive than an iPhone camera.

City in Virginia Becomes First to Pass Anti-Drone Legislation.  Charlottesville, Va., has become the first city in the United States to formally pass an anti-drone resolution.  The resolution, passed Monday, "calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia to adopt legislation prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court," and "pledges to abstain from similar uses with city-owned, leased, or borrowed drones."

Texas "Anti Drone" Laws Would be Toughest in USA.  Texas would have the toughest anti-drone legislation in the country under a bill filed by State Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell).

Which police departments want drones?  Following a FOIA request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Federal Aviation Administration has released an updated list of bodies, both public and private, that have applied for permission to fly surveillance drones in U.S. airspace.  The FAA lists 81 entities altogether including police departments, government agencies and universities such as Cornell and Penn State.

FAA moves closer to widespread US drone flights with plan for test sites.  A future in which unmanned drones are as common in U.S. skies as helicopters and airliners has moved a step closer to reality with a government request for proposals to create six drone test sites around the country.

FAA To Kick Off State Drone 'Competition'.  States will soon compete to operate six unmanned aircraft test sites, commonly known as drones, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Wednesday [2/13/2013].  The FAA wants states to compete for the drone test sites, which were mandated by Congress last year in the 2012 FAA Reauthorization bill.  The sites will test the safety of drones before they are introduced into the National Airspace System by 2015.

Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet.  An Air Force simulation says researchers are at work on killer robots so tiny that a group of them could blend into a cityscape.

DHS re-designs Predator drones to spy on Americans.  The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department's unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States' northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

US Drones Intercept Electronic Communications and Identify Human Targets.  New records obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is operating drones in the United States capable of intercepting electronic communications.  The records also suggest that the ten Predator B drones operated by the agency have the capacity to recognize and identify a person on the ground.  Approximately, 2/3 of the US population is subject to surveillance by the CBP drones.

Will drones be used to spy on Americans?  A small group of police and fire departments around the country are using new high-tech drones for emergency response situations stoking fears about misuse of the unmanned aircraft.  Some are using sophisticated fixed-wing drones that can remain in the air for hours as well as online digital mapping software to create virtual crimes scenes.

Homeland Security Drones Designed to Identify Civilians Carrying Guns.  Recently uncovered government documents reveal that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) unmanned Predator B drone fleet has been custom designed to identify civilians carrying guns and track cell phone signals.  "I am very concerned that this technology will be used against law-abiding American firearms owners," said founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, Alan Gottlieb.  "This could violate Fourth Amendment rights as well as Second Amendment rights."

Weaponized drones.  Drone manufacturers may offer police remote controlled drones with weapons like rubber bullets, Tasers, and tear gas.  Congress has required the Federal Aviation Administration to loosen their regulations on drones and allow more drones in domestic airspace by 2015.

Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public.  Do you want to keep drones out of your backyard?  An Oregon company says that it has developed and will soon start selling technology that disables unmanned aircraft.  The company, called Domestic Drone Countermeasures, was founded in late February because some of its engineers see unmanned aerial vehicles — which are already being flown by law enforcement in some areas and could see wider commercial integration into American airspace by 2015 — as unwanted eyes in the sky.

The Other Drone Question: Is Obama Building A Federal Police Force?  [Scroll down]  Put it all together, and it sure looks like Obama is building the backbone for that national police force he wanted the first time he ran for office.  Worse yet, both Democrats and Republicans are now openly discussing a plan to put all the drones flown in America's skies, including those owned and operated by local police departments, under the ultimate supervision of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, consolidating the country's surveillance and law enforcement powers under one powerful federal police jurisdiction.

17 Civilian Drone Facts You Really Should Know.  [#13]  Connections between UAVs and the operators are easily broken.  The frequency between the drone and its operator is easily lost.  Civilian drones use the same frequencies (GPS) as your cell phone.  The frequencies are subject to interference from variables such as weather or deliberate jamming.  [#14]  Drones are easily hacked.  Under the direction of the US Department of Homeland Security, engineering students were told to see if they could hack a drone.  They did, and were easily able to substitute their information for the drone's programming via GPS.

GAO report on unmanned aircraft systems, September 2012.  [Scroll down to page 36]  Additionally, a June 2012 poll conducted by Monmouth University reported that 42 percent of those sampled were very concerned about their own privacy if U.S. law enforcement started using UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] with high tech cameras, while 15 percent said they were not at all concerned.  However, the poll reported that of those sampled, 80 percent said they supported the use of UAS for search and rescue missions while 67 percent said they oppose the use of UAS to issue speeding tickets.

Hundreds of Drones Go Homeless.  As the war in Afghanistan winds down, many commanders are asking what is going to happen to the large fleet of drones that have patrolled the skies, according to the Air Force Times [...]

The Editor says...
See if you can predict the fate of surplus military UAVs.  What's going to become of them?
    (A)  They will be dismantled and sent to a recycling company.
    (B)  They will be sold at Army Surplus stores.
    (C)  The weapons will be removed (if we're lucky) and they will be given to big-city police departments.

Somewhat related:
PETA Plans to Fly Drones That Would 'Stalk Hunters'.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is actively shopping for a drone that would "stalk hunters," the organization said Monday [4/8/2013].  The group says it will "soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves" and that it is "shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds."  The group says it will not weaponize the drones, but will use them to film potentially illegal hunting activity and turn it over to law enforcement.

The Editor says...
The PETA people obviously do not understand hunting or hunters.  I don't know much about it myself, but here's what I think I know:  Most hunting takes place on private property in the middle of nowhere with the permission of the property owner.  The people who engage in "illegal hunting activity" aren't gonna hesitate to blow a PETA drone to pieces, and the PETA people would be wise (for once) to forget about looking for those pieces.  In any event, how can you tell a private drone from a police drone?

Glenn Beck: If Police Get Drones, 'The 2nd Amendment Is Absolutely Dead'.  Senator Rand Paul's media tour following his "misunderestimated" statements on drones brought him to Glenn Beck's radio show Friday, where the two men discussed the prospects of a terrifying future where police cars have "robotic firing arms" that take down criminals with the push of a button.  If that ever happens, Beck told Paul, "the Second Amendment is absolutely dead."

Dodging drones.  The mayhem following Boston's Marathon massacre left four dead and 260 injured, prompting Police Commissioner Edward Davis last week to endorse the use of unmanned spy aircraft above next year's marathon.  "Drones are a great idea," he told the Boston Herald.  Actually, they're not. [...] Surveillance cameras don't prevent crime.  There was no lack of video footage of the marathon, and the images were useful in quickly identifying the suspects after the fact.  Much of the useful footage came from men and women filming the finish line or from cameras installed to watch over nearby shops and stores. Government drones would not have thwarted the attack.

Bill to Allow Police to Use Drones Without Search Warrant Heads to Maine Senate.  In a narrow decision, lawmakers accepted an amendment to a bill offered by Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, that could allow police to use a drone without a search warrant.  In a 7-6 vote on May 1, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee sided with Maine Attorney General Janet Mills on the issue of how police can employ unmanned aerial vehicles in criminal investigations.

Chicago Suburb Approves Two Year Ban on Drones.  The Evanston City Council voted 5-4 for a two year ban on the use of airborne drones.  The vote brought together an odd coalition of people:  the anti-war groups were joined by the libertarians and the privacy advocates to pass the measure.

Mueller: FBI deploys drones in US for 'limited' surveillance.  The FBI uses drones to watch specific targets within the United States, the bureau's chief said Wednesday [6/19/2013].  FBI Director Robert Mueller told senators the agency uses drones infrequently for surveillance in the U.S., and only in regards to specific investigations.  "Our footprint is very small," Mueller said in testimony.  "We have very few and have limited use."

FBI Chief Admits Use of Drones in Skies Over U.S..  Federal Aviation Administration officials claim that within the next five years there will be close to 10,000 civilian drones in use once the FAA grants them greater access to U.S. skies.  Congress had directed the FAA to provide drones with widespread access to domestic airspace by 2015, but the agency is behind in its development of safety regulations and isn't expected to meet that deadline even though the FAA has granted more than two hundred permits to state and local governments, police departments, universities and others to experiment with using small drones.

Colorado town, concerned about surveillance, considers drone hunting licenses.  The small Colorado town of Deer Trail is considering an ordinance that would create drone-hunting licenses and offer bounties for hunters who shoot down an unmanned aerial vehicle.  "We do not want drones in town," Phillip Steel, a resident in town who drafted the ordinance and submitted it for approval by the town board, told The Denver Post.  "They fly in town, they get shot down."

FAA warns shooting at drone could result in prosecution similar to shooting at manned airplane.  People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned Friday [7/19/2013].  The FAA released a statement in response to questions about an ordinance under consideration in the tiny farming community of Deer Trail, Colo., that would encourage hunters to shoot down drowns.  The administration reminded the public that it regulates the nation's airspace, including the airspace over cities and towns.

The Editor says...
This is one of the symptoms of impending tyranny:  "The authorities" establish severe penalties for interference in their pet projects.  In this case, they are equating unmanned aircraft with manned aircraft, much like the way they equate a police dog with a police officer.

Bravado is contagious.
FBI says it doesn't need warrant to use drones.  The FBI has told Congress it does not need to get a warrant to conduct surveillance with drones, in a letter laying out some of the top federal law enforcement agency's policies for how it uses unmanned aerial vehicles.  In a July 19 letter to Sen. Rand Paul, Stephen D. Kelly, assistant director for the FBI's congressional liaison office, said the agency has used drones in 10 instances, including twice for "national security" cases and eight times for criminal cases.  The FBI authorized the use of drones in three other criminal cases but didn't deploy them.

Drone industry gives journalists not-so-subtle hint — don't use the word 'drones'.  "Drone" is a dirty word at this week's drone industry convention in Washington.  The sector long has opposed use of the term, seen by some as having an inherently negative connotation that doesn't accurately describe the awesome technology and potential positive uses of today's unmanned aerial vehicles.

Even a small aircraft overhead can put you in danger.
Toy helicopter kills teen in Brooklyn: report.  A model helicopter hobbyist was killed Thursday [9/5/2013] when a remote controlled helicopter cut off the top of his head in a Brooklyn, N.Y., park.

Texas law gets tough on public, private drone use.  More than 40 state legislatures have debated the increasing presence of unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, with most of the proposals focused on protecting people from overly intrusive surveillance by law enforcement.

What could possibly be the motive, other than chest-thumping supremacy?
FEMA threatens to arrest volunteer drone operators during Colorado flood relief.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) threatened to arrest anyone flying drones over the Colorado flood damage over the weekend, even those volunteering with the relief effort.  On Saturday [9/14/2013], FEMA grounded Colorado company Falcon UAV — a drone manufacturer that had been helping local authorities map the disaster area in near-real time — and threatened to arrest anyone flying a drone over the disaster area, IEEE Spectrum reports.

Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey to team for drone tests.  Maryland has agreed to work with Virginia and New Jersey on research into unmanned aircraft, a move that could strengthen Maryland's bid to land one of the six drone test sites to be awarded this year by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The three states are among the 25 finalists seeking an FAA-sanctioned site to study how unmanned aircraft might safely be integrated into U.S. airspace.

Ignoring the Constitution.  [Scroll down]  The president also has stepped up the use of airborne drones to spy on Americans in apparent violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable and unwarranted searches.  Previously owning up to only two instances of domestic unmanned aerial surveillance, officials of the Customs and Border Protection service released a list last week of 500 occasions over three years in which the agency flew Predator drone missions on behalf of other federal agencies.

How drones will change your life.  Apart from what they do for the military; drones have already proven themselves capable sheep herders, delivery boys, tour guides, filmmakers, archaeologists, and — possibly — spies.  The global economic potential of these machines is astounding; a recent study estimated the worldwide market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at $89 billion in 2013.

US announces six drone test sites.  The US aviation regulator has announced the six states that will host sites for testing commercial use of drones.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) picked Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia.  The sites are part of a programme to develop safety and operational rules for drones by the end of 2015.

FAA says New York, five other states chosen to host drone test sites.  New York was among six states selected Monday to develop sites to test drones, a decision that likely will bring the unmanned aircraft to New York's skies and badly needed jobs to upstate.  The New York site will be at Griffiss International Airport, a former Air Force base in upstate Rome. Aerospace firms and universities in New York and Massachusetts will be involved in the research.

FAA names 6 sites for testing drones.  The Federal Aviation Administration named six teams across the nation that will host the development and testing of drones to fly safely in the same skies as commercial airliners.  The announcement represents a major milestone toward the goal of sharing the skies by the end of 2015, in what is projected to become an industry worth billions of dollars.  But technical hurdles and privacy concerns remain in a regulatory program that's already a year behind schedule.

Blimplike surveillance craft set to deploy over Maryland heighten privacy concerns.  They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above I-95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard.  But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war.  The aerostats — that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground — are to be set aloft on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, near Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a three-year test slated to start in October.

Drone Surveillance Leads to Man's Arrest, Prison Sentence.  Rodney Brossart has a unique distinction, although it may not be one he wanted.  The North Dakota man became the first person to be sentenced as a result of drone surveillance in the United States.  Brossart's three-year sentence comes following a 116-hour stand-off with a SWAT team on his ranch in 2011.  The team was called in after Brossart resisted arrest for not returning livestock from a neighboring farm that had wandered on to his property; Brossart and his three sons then engaged in the stand-off before authorities brought in the Predator drone.

Meet CUPID: The Drone That Will Shoot You With an 80,000 Volt Taser.  Are drones not scary enough for you yet?  How about this?  A drone helicopter that spots you and identifies you as an intruder.  It tells you to stop and put your hands behind your head.  Instead, you keep coming.  The drone then shoots you with barbed Taser darts that pump 80,000 volts into you.  If you try to get up, it will continue pumping voltage into you until you submit and the authorities arrive.  This isn't some dystopian theory.  It's very real already, and I just saw it in action.  Yes, it is terrifying.

Prepare for drones that 'perch' on power lines to recharge, never have to land.  Imagine a world where drones never have to touch the ground after takeoff.  That's what MIT PhD. candidate Joseph Moore did, and now he's on the cusp of creating a drone that can "perch" on power lines just like birds to recharge its batteries.

L.A. drones: LAPD gets new UAVs to combat crime.  The Los Angeles Police Department announced Friday [5/30/2014] it had added two "unmanned aerial vehicles" to it's arsenal on Friday.  The department received the two Draganflyer X6 aircraft as gifts from the Seattle Police Department, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday [5/30/2014].  Both drones are equipped with a camera, video recording and infrared night-vision capabilities, the newspaper reported.  LAPD officials were hesitant to refer to the gifts as drones, avoiding negative connotations the word has taken on alluding to privacy concerns.

Somewhat related:
BP allowed commercial drones by US regulators in unprecedented decision.  The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it has granted the first permission for commercial drone flights over US land to the BP energy corporation, the latest effort by the agency to show it is loosening restrictions on commercial uses of the unmanned aircraft.

Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America's standing army?  The DHS has been at the forefront of funding and deploying surveillance robots and drones for land, sea and air, including robots that resemble fish and tunnel-bots that can travel underground.  Despite repeated concerns over the danger surveillance drones used domestically pose to Americans' privacy rights, the DHS has continued to expand its fleet of Predator drones, which come equipped with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar.  DHS also loans its drones out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for a variety of tasks, although the agency refuses to divulge any details as to how, why and in what capacity these drones are being used by police.

Military Blimps Will Float In Aberdeen, Tracking Potential Threats.  As Mike Schuh reports, two large blimps will soon rise over Harford County and stay put.  Radar blimps like these have been used on the battlefield to track the enemy, and in the Caribbeanto intercept drug runners.  Testing in Utah is complete.  Now they're being packed up and sent to Maryland.

The cops like their drones, but they don't like YOUR drones.
2 arrested after drones nearly take out NYPD chopper.  Two drones nearly took out an NYPD chopper over the George Washington Bridge on Monday, and cops arrested the wayward devices' operators, law-enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.  The Aviation Unit helicopter was on patrol around 12:15 a.m. when it had to swerve to avoid the small, unmanned aircraft, the sources said.  The NYPD pilots "observed flying object[s] at 2,000 feet in vicinity of the George Washington Bridge, then circling heading toward the helicopter," a police report said.




Seat belt laws:
They're not about public safety, they're about control.

Seat belt laws give cops an excuse to stop motorists and look for other violations.  This has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with justifying the cop's paycheck.  Your local TV reporter is much too eager to assist in this effort, telling you only the government's side of the story.

Should you wear a seatbelt?  Of course.  I wouldn't drive 50 feet without wearing my seatbelt.  But in a "free country" it should be voluntary.

How Can We Lose?  Thirty years ago I suffered my first infringement of reasonable liberty.  It was a little thing, it was the passage of a seat belt law, that few thought meant very much at all.  To me, it was the state laying claim to my body, determining that it was their role in my life to tell me when I should put Tab A into Slot B.  Now, I have studied the statistics and I have never claimed that seat belts are not good ideas, or that they don't save lives, because it is and they do, but a law claiming that the state has a greater interest in my life than I do is absurd.  It didn't take much digging to uncover the real factors involved, which were insurance company lobbyists and the statists teaming up to pass a law that instantly achieved two goals:  1) save money for the insurance companies; 2) establish a precedent that the state has the right and the role to dictate the actions of its citizens.

Feds Propose Tracking Black Boxes in All New Cars.  The vehicle black boxes — which are either tiny standalone devices or part of a vehicle's computer system — are to record speed, engine throttle, breaking, ignition, safety belt usage, the number of passengers, airbag deployment, and among other things time of the recording and sometimes a passenger's location, depending on a vehicle's model.

The Editor says...
There will be no need for the cops to ask you if you were wearing your seatbelt two minutes ago.  Your car will snitch on you.

Buckles and bucks:  The seat belt mandate is back.  The people of New Hampshire are about to find out if their legislators are so hard up for money that they will sell their principles for cash.  Every legislative session, leftist and "moderate" lawmakers try to pass a law requiring drivers to wear seat belts.  The argument is always the same:  The law will save lives.  This year, the argument is different:  The law will bring cash.

Facts About State Mandatory Seat Belt Harness Laws:  While the use of a seat belt has saved some people in certain kinds of traffic accidents, there is ample proof that in other kinds, some people have been more seriously injured and even killed only because of forced seat belt use. ... The public is denied the right to know there is a legitimate contrary side to the seat belt law controversy.  At one time, it was the same with air bags until one investigative reporter decided to start printing the truth about air bag dangers in certain kinds of traffic accidents.

Big Brother There's a web site about this specific issue:
Seat Belt Choice dot com.  There is a concerted effort from Washington through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to pressure every state in America to enact a primary seat belt law and make everyone buckle up or lose federal transportation money.  A primary law means you can be stopped solely if you or someone else in your vehicle is not wearing a seat belt.  And if you are stopped, you may be ticketed, fined and perhaps even arrested.

The truth about seat belts:  When we read the instructions to police officers and emergency personnel for filling out the FARS data forms, we learn that all persons who fell off the bed of a pickup truck or fell off a snowmobile or a three-wheel or four-wheel ATV or from a go-cart are to be listed as having been "ejected".  Moreover, there is no evidence to prove that all the persons who are listed as having been "ejected" actually were. ... When we look at the actual data we find that most of these data points are coded as "9" which is the FARS code in this category for "unknown".  In other words, all they really know in most cases is that the victims was outside the vehicle when they arrived on the scene.

Seat belt laws:  Primary seat belt laws give law enforcement agents a virtual carte blanche to conduct traffic stops.  Nevada's recent experience proves states don't need more intrusive statutes to persuade more people to buckle up.

The cops aren't always wearing seat belts themselves.
No seat belts in 42% of fatal police car crashes.  The study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which analyzed 733 crashes from 1980 through 2008, comes less than a week after a separate report found that fatal traffic incidents in 2010 were the leading cause of officer deaths for the 13th straight year. ... Some officers resist wearing seat belts because the restraints slow their movement in and out of the cars, Floyd says.  Others complain that the straps get tangled in utility and gun belts.

Dangerous Changes in Seat Belt Law:  Primary enforcement allows the police to freely go on a "fishing" expedition to find sometime wrong under the pretense of not using a seat belt.  Primary enforcement resuscitates the once dreaded "general warrants" of King George III of colonial America against motorists.

On the other hand...
In Praise of Routine Traffic Stops:  In July 2004, Michael Wagner's not wearing a seat belt got him stopped in a SUV near Council Bluffs, Iowa, that had in it "flight training manuals and a simulator, documents in Arabic, bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, a night-vision scope for a rifle, a telescope, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition."

One more step toward cradle-to-grave nanny state paternalism:
Stricter booster seat requirements begin Sunday.  Six- and 7-year-olds who had "graduated" from their booster seat to a passenger seat will find themselves back in the saddle come Sunday [1/1/2012], thanks to a new law designed to increase child safety in California.  California state law currently requires parents to keep their kids in booster seats until they reach the age of 6 or weigh at least 60 pounds.

The Great Golden State Business Exodus.  One would think that given the serious nature of [California's] problems, the legislature would focus on solutions at the exclusion of all else.  Instead, lawmakers — what would we ever do without them? — found the time in 2011 to trespass even deeper into Californians' personal lives.  Topping off Sacramento's monument to foolishness is a law requiring children younger than 8, except for those taller than 4 feet 9 inches, to sit in booster seats in cars.  Previous law let kids leave their boosters at 6.  Now children who had moved out of cars seats are being forced back into them.  Actually, the law is more authoritarian — and offensive and infuriating — than it is silly.

The Editor says...
This is another example of incremental changes in restictive laws, and once again, the changes only move in one direction.

Not buckling up your pet in the car can mean big fines.  Judging from the alarming number of summonses issued so far for failing to buckle up in the back seat, motorists don't seem overly concerned about the current Click It or Ticket crackdown.  After all, most unrestrained drivers and passengers can afford a measly $46 fine.  But if you drive with an unrestrained pet, don't expect a slap on the wrist.  Penalties range from $250 to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail.

The Editor says...
Just imagine if they catch you with a box of kittens in the back of your truck!

Ranch exempt from 'Click It or Ticket'.  President Bush found himself in a flap Tuesday about seat-belt use, a day after a federal agency began a campaign to encourage drivers to buckle up.  Video cameras caught Bush without his seat belt while driving a pickup on his Texas ranch last weekend, giving a tour to NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

The Editor says...
Most of the reporters who cover the White House beat probably have very little experience with wide-open ranch land.  It is also possible that some of the reporters have never considered the possibility that certain laws do not apply on private property.

Obama and Biden don't use seatbelts
If you're important enough, you don't need to wear seatbelts, even while surrounded by cops.
(White House photo by Pete Souza)




You're guilty of something, we just need to figure out what it is.

There are so many laws on the books these days, it's almost as if every activity is either mandatory or prohibited.  If you look suspicious and you fail the "attitude test", it won't take long for the neighborhood policeman to think of some charge to file.

When you call 9-1-1 for help, the first thing the cops investigate is YOU.
911 Call Led to Man's Own Arrest; 28 Firearms, Drugs Seized in San Diego.  A 25-year-old man called the police saying that he found several dead people in his Encinitas apartment.  However, there were no dead people in the residence, but the police arrested two people and seized weapons and drugs because of the call, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department reported Jan. 20.  Around 11 a.m. on Jan. 9, deputies responded to the apartment where Ryan Lander, 25, lived to conduct a welfare check.  No dead people were found, but law enforcement found multiple illegal firearms in plain view, according to the department.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just handed down a refresher on suspicion.  Police officers thought an anonymous tip about a man carrying a gun and someone running away from them created enough suspicion to chase down Daniel Brown, stop him at gunpoint, and search him for contraband.  Contraband was found, leading to Brown's motion to suppress.  The lower court said this combination — an anonymous report of a gun and Brown's decision to run when he saw the police cruiser — was reasonable enough.  Not so, says the Ninth Circuit, pointing out the obvious fact that a person carrying a gun can't be inherently suspicious in a state where carrying a gun in public is permitted.

Ninth Circuit:  There's Nothing Inherently Suspicious About Running From The Police Or Carrying A Gun.  [Scroll down]  See, carrying a weapon isn't a valid reason to stop people, innocent or not.  [Nathaniel] Black was in fact a felon in possession of a firearm and the Fourth Circuit let him go and vacated his sentence, as they should have.  Innocence or guilt has nothing whatsoever to do with anything concerning rights, the behavior of the police, and precedent.  But LEOs don't learn the law these days, so sadly, I know more about it than most cops do.  And you do too.

Notable testimony from the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force corruption trial.  A federal jury has convicted two Baltimore Police detectives, Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, for their roles in one of the biggest police corruption scandals in recent memory. [...] [Detective Maurice] Ward testified that his squad would prowl the streets for guns and drugs, with his supervisor, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, driving fast at groups of people and slamming on the brakes.  The officers would pop their doors open to see who ran, then give chase and detain and search them.  Ward said this occurred 10 to 20 times on slow nights, and more than 50 times, "easy," on busier nights.  The officers had no reason to target the crowds other than to provoke someone who might have drugs or a gun into running.  "A lot of times" guns and drugs were recovered in this way, Ward said.

Students Sue After Entire High School Illegally Groped And Molested By Cops.  Violated children and furious parents have just filed a massive lawsuit after the Worth County Sheriff's office conducted an illegal search of 900 students — in the name of the war on drugs.  The rights-violating intrusive and aggressive patdowns and drug dog searches at the school yielded absolutely nothing.  An Atlanta attorney is now representing multiple students who were subjected to invasive and outright horrifying body searches during a mass — and warrantless — search for drugs at a South Georgia high school.  Attorney Mark Begnaud, who filed the class-action lawsuit, called out the sheriff for conducting "900 illegal, suspicionless searches."

Playing with water guns is now deemed 'suspicious activity' by police.  DHS must be throwing office parties nationwide, as Americans call police to report kids playing the "Assassin" water gun game.  NH police, said the game poses a threat to public safety and has resulted in a rise in suspicious person calls.  Neighbors are calling police to report 'suspicious activity'.  DHS's "See Something Say Something" program is out of control, it's created a nation of spies.

How One Missouri Town Generates Revenue By Treating Its Residents Like Criminals.  One March day in 2013, Valarie Whitner received a rude welcome when she came home to Pagedale, Missouri:  A police officer spotted Valarie, arrested her and threw her in the back of a squad car, before driving her to city hall.  Only after Pagedale's chief of police became involved was Valarie free to go.  Incredibly, an unspecified "building code violation" caused Valarie to get handcuffed.

When everything is a crime.  What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent.  Criticisms of the overcriminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally.

Kick Open the Doorway to Liberty: What Are We Waiting For?  Just consider some of the First Amendment battles that have taken place in recent years, and you too will find yourself wondering what country you're living in:
  •   Harold Hodge was arrested for standing silently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, holding a sign in protest of police tactics.
  •   Marine Brandon Raub was arrested for criticizing the government on Facebook.
  •   Pastor Michael Salman was arrested for holding Bible studies in his home.
  •   Steven Howards was arrested for being too close to a government official when he voiced his disapproval of the war in Iraq.
  •   Kenneth Webber was fired from his job as a schoolbus driver for displaying a Confederate flag on the truck he uses to drive from home to school and back.
  •   Fred Marlow was arrested for filming a SWAT team raid that took place across from his apartment.

NY Deputy Attacks Man For Refusing Search Over Legal Gun.  Saratoga County, NY Deputy Sgt. Shawn Glans can likely kiss his law enforcement career goodbye after assaulting a young man who refused to consent to the search of his vehicle after deputies spotted an otherwise legal rifle in the back seat of the vehicle.  The stunning example of law enforcement abuse of power was caught on video.

Connecticut Supreme Court Says State Cops Can Detain You Simply For Being In The Vicinity Of Someone They're Arresting.  Gideon, the pseudonymous public defender who blogs at A Public Defender, has a thorough rundown of a very disturbing ruling recently issued by the Connecticut Supreme Court. It involves every Connecticut citizens' civil liberties, which have now been thrown under a bus bearing the name "officer safety."  The court's decision basically makes everyone a suspect, even if they're suspected of nothing else than being in the relative proximity of someone a police officer suspects of committing a crime, or someone simply "matching the description."

Cop beats up model Air Force captain in his own home, issues arrest weeks later.  An Air Force captain discovered he was banned from Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, due to pending charges against him from a previous encounter with a cop who had tried to arrest him for entering his own home.  The charges — resisting arrest and obstructing an officer — have infuriated Captain Nicolas Aquino, a first-generation immigrant whose parents came to the United States from Paraguay as political exiles.  Last December, an officer paid a visit to Aquino's Monterey residence.  Apparently, a neighbor had seen a man entering Aquino's home, and reported a possible burglary to the authorities.  The "burglar" was Aquino himself.  No one else was in the house.

Lawsuit: Cops found nothing in raid, so they planted drugs to frame innocent woman.  California cops planted drugs in a woman's home to frame her after finding nothing in their illegal search of her home, a lawsuit alleges.  Allison Ross has filed a federal lawsuit against against the Santa Clara sheriff's department, crime lab and 12 officers that she claims participated in a conspiracy to plant drugs in her house and frame her for a crime she did not commit.  Ross was initially charged with being under the influence of methamphetamine, but the case against her was thrown out after the district attorney determined that the police made false statements about Ross's arrest.

Annie Dookhan's Falsified Lab Data: Symptom of a Corrupted System.  Friday [12/6/2013], former Massachusetts chemist Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty to all 27 counts of falsifying nearly 40,000 criminal drug cases, effectively upending the Massachusetts criminal justice system.  Dookhan admitted to filing false test results, mixing drug samples together, and lying under oath about her job qualifications. [...] Dookhan's "dry labbing" is just one part of a structure that incentivizes people working in the criminal justice system to get convictions — not truth — and put as many people in prison as possible without regard to their actual guilt.

No One Is Innocent.  Have you ever thrown out some junk mail that came to your house but was addressed to someone else?  That's a violation of federal law punishable by up to 5 years in prison.  Harvey Silverglate argues that a typical American commits three felonies a day.  I think that number is too high but it is easy to violate the law without intent or knowledge.

We're all potential suspects and should be treated as such, apparently.  Earlier today [6/19/2013], a Washington Examiner editorial warned that "if phone records are useful now in stopping terrorist attacks, how long before politicians and bureaucrats decide archiving the entire phone call would be even more useful?  How long before the limitations and safeguards now in place are set aside?"  Within a few hours, King provided an illustration of precisely what the [Washington] Examiner editors fear.  Responding to a question by Fox News' Bill Hemmer about why the government needs everyone's phone numbers and not just suspects', King said, "Because if you don't have all of them, the system is incomplete."

6,125 Proposed Regulations and Notifications Posted in Last 90 Days — Average 68 per Day.  It's Friday morning, and so far today, the Obama administration has posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its reguations.gov website.  In the past 90 days, it has posted 6,125 regulations and notices — an average of 68 a day.

Once You're On the 'List,' You Can't Get Off.  Thanks to the all-encompassing nature of federal databases, and the seamless integration of the "Homeland Security" apparatus, every police officer and sheriff's deputy has the ability to ruin the life of any Mundane who displays something other than instant and unconditional submission.  This was demonstrated in the case of Los Angeles resident Shawn Nee, an amateur photographer, who was accosted by sheriff's deputies while taking photos of subway turnstiles.

Court Rules Motorists Can Be Detained For Paying By Cash at Toll Booths.  The Eleventh Circuit US Court of Appeals has ruled that private contractors operating toll roads on behalf of the state have the power to detain and store records on motorists who pay by cash at toll booths — another example of how using cash is increasingly being treated as a suspicious activity.

The 5 Dumbest Drug Laws in America.  In Texas, it's illegal to buy or sell chemistry equipment without the state's permission. [...] In Florida, every drug user is a potential drug trafficker.

Paying Cash for that Latte? It May Land You on FBI's Terrorist List.  Really?  Yes, crazy as it sounds, in our post-9/11 snitch/spy/surveillance society, if you "always pay cash," you may be marked as a potential terrorist.  That's according to an FBI flyer that appears to be aimed at proprietors and employees of Internet cafés.

Some laws are on the books just in case the cops can't think of anything else you've done wrong.
Use a Computer, Go to Jail.  If you are reading this column online at work, you may be committing a federal crime.  Or so says the Justice Department, which reads the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) broadly enough to encompass personal use of company computers as well as violations of website rules that people routinely ignore.  In April the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rightly rejected this view of the CFAA, which Chief Judge Alex Kozinski noted could conceivably make a criminal out of "everyone who uses a computer."

Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist.  A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity.  The document, part of a program called "Communities Against Terrorism", lists the use of "anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address" as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity.  The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using "software to hide encrypted data in digital photos" or other media.  In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone "overly concerned about privacy" or attempting to "shield the screen from view of others" should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.

Insult added to injury:
Florida man who lost hand charged with feeding gator.  A Florida airboat captain whose hand was bitten off by a 9-foot alligator faces charges of feeding of the animal.

Student jailed for 2 nights when she can't show ID.  News about the Police Department lately could run under the headline of the daily Dismal Development, starting with a judge declaring Tuesday that an officer was guilty of planting drugs on entirely innocent people and continuing back a few days to gun-smuggling, pepper-spraying and ticket-fixing.  Here, in the pointless arrest of Ms. Zucker, is a crime that is not even on the books:  the staggering waste of spirit, the squandering of public resources, the follies disguised as crime-fighting.

Did the U.S. Sanction Murder?  In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers said one of the reasons for their rebellion against King George is that he had "erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance."  Those brave gentlemen wouldn't believe how many Swarms of Officers harass us today, or how much of our Substance they consume. ... Our government has created so many rules and regulations and has so many agents and inspectors to enforce them, there is no way on earth you can obey them all.  If they want to get you for something, they can.  And worst of all, in many cases you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

We All Have Something to Hide.  Criminalizing huge swaths of behavior is one of government's favorite weapons.  Not only does it bring much of life under rulers' control, it also silences dissent.  Authorities can easily muzzle critics by investigating them.  Given an endless list of laws and the likelihood of having broken some, which of us wouldn't quail at the threat of such a fishing expedition?

Victims of Over-Zealous Police Officers:  No one disputes the fact that seat belts save lives.  Most states, therefore, have buckle-up laws that make it a misdemeanor to drive with being properly belted.  However, in Texas, the Transportation Code not only permits a police officer to stop a driver for the non-use of seat belts, it also permits the officer to arrest the driver for violating that law.  Gail Atwater was one of those unfortunate Texans.

Running From the Police — Is It Sufficient For A Stop?  In a 5-4 decision decided in January, the United States Supreme Court effectively dished up more power onto the plates of law enforcement officers, giving them the authority to detain a person who flees at the mere sight of a policeman.

A nation choking on endless laws.  Heading back to work this week, Americans were greeted not only by a new year but also by a whole slew of new laws — 31,000 of them at the state level — covering everything from guns to 100-watt light bulbs to, of course, "health care."  As usual, most of these laws tell us what we can't do:  texting while driving (duh), cyberbullying and smoking in bars.  In the near future, everyone will be a criminal for at least 15 minutes, whether they know it or not.

Every American Is Now a Criminal!  You think you are a law abiding citizen, don't you?  Think again!  You have been, you are now, and you will continue to break the law for the rest of your life, because there are too many laws, with millions more laws to follow.  Many of these laws are totally unconstitutional but have never been challenged in the courts.  Sometimes you break the law without any knowledge of it, even though ignorance of the law is not an excuse, if you are caught.  But worse, millions are breaking the law because they are convinced the laws are illegal, or just plain stupid.  With more people intentionally breaking the law, eventually the rule of law breaks down, as does our Republic.  The examples of stupid laws would fill volumes.  Examples of conflicting laws would fill even more volumes.

Top Ten Campus Follies of 2002:  [For example] An American University student was pinned down and handcuffed outside a Tipper Gore speech by plainclothes campus police who refused to identify themselves.  The student was charged with stealing Gore's intellectual property by videotaping her speech, which was open to the public.

How Free Are We Really?  There is neither such thing as a people with complete freedom nor one completely bereft of it; it's a matter of degree.  While many realize this, few understand that there is a barometer with which liberty can be measured:  The number of laws in existence.  By definition, a law is the removal of a freedom, as it dictates that there is something you cannot or must do. ... Every year our nation enacts more and more laws but hardly ever rescinds any, which means every year we become progressively less free.  I call this "creeping totalitarianism."

Federal Regulations Back to Near-Record Levels.  Federal government regulators issued 4,148 new rules in the 71,269-page Federal Register in 2003, 19 fewer than they did in 2002.  The cost of those rules appears nowhere in the federal budget.  According to the Federal Register, the five most active rule-producing agencies — the Departments of Treasury, Transportation, Homeland Security, and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency — account for 46 percent of the rules under consideration.

Ten Thousand Commandments 2011.  Thanks to the bailouts and other amplified spending, CBO projects a FY 2011 deficit of a previously unthinkable $1.48 trillion, greater than FY 2010's actual deficit of $1.294 trillion.  With the unveiling of the 2012 budget, President Obama projects an even larger FY 2011 deficit than CBO does:  $1.645 trillion.  This figure will be the largest deficit since World War II, at 11 percent of the entire U.S. economy.

Time to stop the flood of federal regulation.  According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's just-updated annual snapshot of federal regulations — "Ten Thousand Commandments" — the federal government spent $49.1 billion to enforce regulations in 2008, costing businesses $1.17 trillion to comply.  In other words, businesses are being forced to allocate vast sums of money and time to comply with the federal government's bewilderingly complex rules and mandates.

10,000 Commandments (2010 edition).  Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known, because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect.  But scattered government and private data exist on scores of regulations and on the agencies that issue them, as well as on regulatory costs and benefits.  Some of that information can be compiled to make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible.

Earlier issues of "10,000 Commandments":
[1996] [1999] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006] [2007] [2008] [2009]

Law restricting cell use in cars takes effect today.  Beginning today [3/1/2008], police in New Jersey can write $100 tickets to motorists they catch using hand-held cell phones behind the wheel.  Cell phone use by drivers has been against the law in New Jersey since 2004, but it has been a secondary offense.  A police officer could only write a ticket if the driver had been pulled over for speeding or running a stop light or some other infraction.  The updated law makes talking or texting on a hand-held cell phone a primary offense.

The Editor says...
Oh, yes, and it makes another handy excuse to look for guns and drugs in the car during a traffic stop.  That's where the real money is anyway.  But what about the use of CB radio, FRS walkie-talkies and other two-way radios?  What about other activities that require the use of a hand, such as smoking, taking a sip of a beverage, or catching a sneeze with a Kleenex?  Is it now illegal in New Jersey to apply make-up while driving to work?

Why the Proposed Car Cellphone Ban Is Wrong.  It has been said that we can't go a day without breaking the law.  This one is for those who haven't broken any of the millions of others yet.  The ruling class can always put your in jail for something.  You're only exempt if you are a member of the ruling class.

6 Laws You've Broken Without Even Realizing It.  Say hello to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it a crime to gain "unauthorized access" to a computer or a website.  What does "unauthorized access" actually mean?  Nobody knows.  But the law says it applies to wireless routers.

Buckle up laws were just the beginning.
Unsafe at Any Smoke.  A study just released by the CDC characterizes second-hand smoke as the latest threat to "safety" — and of course, "the children."  It urges what you'd expect:  That it be made illegal to smoke in your own car, at least, if "the children" are present and possibly even if they're not.  For as any smoker knows — as anyone who has shopped for used cars knows — any car that has been smoked in retains the essence of the Marlboro Man for years, even decades after the last butt was crumpled in the ashtray.

California's New Frisbee Law Just Latest Attempt to Raise Cash.  This week, Los Angeles County okayed a new regulation banning the throwing of Frisbees or footballs on the beaches — which, of course, destroys the purpose of living in Southern California in the first place.  The first offense will earn you a hefty $100 fine; the second, $200; the third and beyond, $500.  You can, of course, apply for a permit.  For parents with industrious children, holes deeper than 18 inches are also banned — so get your kids the cheap plastic shovels or pay a fine.

Los Angeles County Bans Frisbees on Beaches.  The moonbat micromanagers ruling La-La Land must finally be running out of things to ban.  Now they're suppressing fun on the beach.

End the Drug War, Mr. President.  The War on Drugs has been a massive failure by any serious estimation.  Sixty-seven percent of our nations' [sic] police chiefs consider it so.

The War on Drugs: Because Prohibition Worked So Well ...  Forty years ago, the United States locked up fewer than 200 of every 100,000 Americans.  Then President Nixon declared war on drugs.  Now we lock up more of our people than any other country — more even than the authoritarian regimes in Russia and China.  A war on drugs — on people, that is — is unworthy of a country that claims to be free.

Why black people don't trust the police:  I don't trust cops and I don't know many black people who do.  I respect them.  I sympathize with them.  I am appreciative of the work they do.  But when you've been pulled over for no good reason as many times as I have; when you've been in handcuffs for no good reason as many times as I have; when you run out to buy some allergy medication and upon returning home, find yourself surrounded by four squad cars with flashing lights and all you can think about is how not to get shot, you learn not to trust cops.

IRS May Draft Cops to Catch Tax Cheats, Official Tells Senate.  One police officer's responded, "We're prevented from going after illegal alien lawbreakers, but we're going to go after American citizens who try to keep more of their own money?"

Shredding the Constitution.  In Dearborn, Michigan, in June, 2010, a pastor and two lay Christians were arrested outside an Arab festival, under the pretense that they were blocking a tent entrance, creating a public danger, and "screaming into a crowd."  Video footage of the event clearly showed that this was untrue.  Last year, an assistant evangelical pastor from a Southern California church and two church members were arrested by the California Highway Patrol for reading the Bible outside a DMV office to those waiting in line almost an hour before opening time.  Although the Christians were 50 feet away from the entrance, they were cited for "impeding an open business."

Radioactive man? Milford resident pulled over by state police.  Mike Apatow was minding his own business Wednesday, driving to an appointment for work in Washington Depot when a state police car appeared suddenly and signaled for the Milford resident to pull over. [...] "I asked the officer 'What seems to be the problem?'" Apatow said.  "He said 'You've been flagged as a radioactive car.'"  Apatow's doctor had given him a document attesting that he'd had a medical procedure involving a small amount of radioactive material that he handed to the officer.  A Stratford firefighter, Apatow was more curious than annoyed by the incident.  "I had no idea the police even had devices like that," he said.

The Editor says...
It is safe to assume that the officer took a good look at Mr. Apatow's car while it was pulled over, looking for expired stickers, guns, drugs, or cash.





Distracted driving

Get Ready for In-Car Ads.  Because being bombarded with roadside signage while taking a leisurely Sunday drive isn't enough, Ford has patented a new system that uses a vehicle's cameras to detect billboards and then pull them up on a car's infotainment display as inescapable in-vehicle advertisements.

Political Idiocracy:  Driving and Using a Zoom Background — While Debating Legislation on 'Distracted Driving'.  The winner of this week's "Superior Achievement in the Field of Political Idiocracy" is GOP Ohio state Senator Andrew Brenner, who participated via video conference in the Ohio Legislature's Controlling Board Committee debate on legislation concerning "distracted driving."  The meeting was conducted via Zoom, and Brenner attempted to use a couple of different virtual backgrounds behind him.  To do so, he needed to handle his cell phone and pick a background to appear.  But, that was just the beginning of the fun.

Driver's Alleged Crime: Drinking Coffee.  There's a good chance you broke the law on your way to work today — at least in the eyes of Minnesota police.  The offense:  drinking coffee while driving.  Lindsey Krieger tells KMSP she was "dumbfounded" when an officer told her she'd been pulled over for the apparent crime in St. Paul on Wednesday [10/21/2015].  "It's against the law to drink coffee while you're driving,'" she quotes the officer as telling her.  As it turns out, the cop let her off with a warning for the coffee but gave her a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt (which Krieger says she unbuckled only after being pulled over).  So was the officer right?  Well, "kind of," a post at Munchies explains, because drinking coffee would fall under rules against distracted driving.

Text a driver in New Jersey, and you could see your day in court.  [Scroll down]  On Tuesday [8/27/2013], three appeals court judges agreed with it — in principle.  They ruled that if the sender of text messages knows that the recipient is driving and texting at the same time, a court may hold the sender responsible for distraction and hold him or her liable for the accident.  "We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted," the court said.

Study:  Distraction Behind Most Car Crashes.  Those sleep-deprived, multitasking drivers — clutching cell phones, fiddling with their radios or applying lipstick — apparently are involved in an awful lot of crashes.  Distracted drivers were involved in nearly eight out of 10 collisions or near-crashes, says a study released Thursday [4/20/2006] by the government.

Statistics disprove the "study" cited above.
Cellphones and Distracted Drivers:  Cellphones have gone from a rare luxury to ubiquitous in the last ten years.  Yet over the same time period, automobile accidents have declined steadily:  from 1994 to 2004 the fatality rate per 100 million miles has gone from 1.73 to 1.44, and the injury rate from 139 to 94.  For cars (which are the most common vehicles) the numbers for fatal crashes went from 2.07 to 1.57, injury crashes from 191 to 123, and property-only crashes from 351 to 260 over the same period.

This is a distracted driver The Editor says...
Obviously this "study" was published to generate popular demand for a new law against driving while distracted.

Every new car in America is marketed with distracting features, like GPS navigation systems, Onstar, satellite radio, and Pandora compatibility, whatever that is.  The illustration (left) comes from the front cover of a recent issue of QST, which is a magazine about the ham radio hobby.  The picture shows the inside of a vehicle (a lot bigger than my car!) in which the ham operator has mounted a shortwave radio, a VHF/UHF radio and two or three GPS devices.  He also has a laptop computer, a large camera, a smart phone, and wires going everywhere, as they tend to do in a ham radio station.  This fellow is one of the most distracted drivers in the country, yet his setup is being hailed on the front cover of ham radio's most prestigious magazine, presumably set forth as an example we should all hope to follow someday.  If he is distracted, that's okay because he's providing mobile communications for a public event — in this case, the MS Bike Tour in Alberta, Canada.  Perhaps in bad weather he serves as a "storm spotter."  (With hailstones bouncing off the windshield, wouldn't that driver be distracted?)  As long as you're assisting the government, as a public service, all these distractions will be forgiven.

I'm not putting down ham radio, really.  Why do you suppose I have a fresh copy of QST on hand?)  Ham radio operators can and do provide valuable services in actual emergencies, when no other communications are available.  Events like the charity bike ride (in the photo) are used as drills, so the hams will be ready if needed.

This leads to another point:  Have you seen the inside of a police car lately?  Besides the lights and sirens, guns, and multi-channel two-way radios, they have computer terminals through which they receive almost all their instructions from headquarters.  (Not to mention car-to-car text messages about where they're going to eat lunch.)  Some have GPS maps that show the location of other police cars as well as their own.  Occasionally there's a rowdy drunk in the back seat.  So you see, the cops are in no position to judge others as distracted drivers.

Talking on a cell phone or sending text messages while driving are serious concerns.  And if that's what the distracted driving laws address, they have my support.  But if the purpose of this campaign against distracted drivers is to establish another technicality and a very broad and fuzzy law that will allow the police to stop random cars and look for drugs, weapons, large amounts of cash, I'm opposed to it.


Distracted much?
Appended 6/12/2018:
Here is another even worse example of a ham operator with so much stuff in the front seat of his (or her) car that he (or she) must have trouble fitting in.  (Original source here.)


Police forced to get creative in battle to make drivers to put down their phones.  In Bethesda, Maryland, a police officer disguised himself as a homeless man, stood near a busy intersection and radioed ahead to officers down the road about texting drivers.  In two hours last October, police gave out 56 tickets.

The Editor says...
"Distracted drivers" are about to become the biggest cash cow since the invention of the radar gun.

Oregon school district scrutinized after memo ordered bus drivers to stop playing rap music.  An Oregon school district has discussed reversing its ban on rap music on buses after allegations of racism.  The Oregonian reported Wednesday [8/24/2016] that Portland Public Schools had ordered its bus drivers to stop playing hip-hop music after it deemed rap "inappropriate."  Teri Brady, the senior director of transportation in the district, sent a memo to bus drivers in March ordering them to stop playing "religious, rap music or talk show programs."  The only acceptable music to play was pop, country and jazz, according to The Oregonian.

The Editor says...
Why are school bus drivers listening to the radio at all?  Isn't that "distracted driving?"

Rise of Selfies Adds to Distracted Driving Problems Across the U.S..  Over the weekend, a driver in Maine injured several of his passengers after he attempted to take a selfie while behind the wheel.  He now faces a distracted driving summons.  On Saturday, August 29th, 29-year-old Jordan Toner of Hampden was driving himself and several friends through Orient, Maine, when one of his friends leaned in to take a selfie.  Toner reportedly leaned into the frame for the picture, and ended up crashing into the tree.

Indiana driver distracted by GPS, food in fatal crash is charged with misdemeanor.  A warrant was issued Tuesday, Sept. 22, against Travis Fox, 40, for one count of moving violation causing death, a one-year misdemeanor, according to court records.  He has yet to be arraigned.  The crash, which occurred Aug. 3, was caused by Fox, who told police he was distracted while eating a sandwich and checking his GPS.  He didn't notice the traffic in front of him had slowed due to construction.

Driver in I-93 rollover accident charged with distracted driving under Hands-Free Law.  A rollover accident on Interstate 93 in Canterbury on Monday night was caused by a distracted driver using a mobile device, police said.  Two vehicles, a Honda Civic and a Toyota Tacoma, were involved in the crash on I-93 southbound about 9:30 p.m. Monday, said state police Trooper Micah Jones.  The accident was caused by the driver of the Honda, he said, who was cited under the state's Hands-Free Law.

Woman Charged in OC Distracted Driving Case Appears in Court.  Jorene Nicholas' first trial ended in 2014 with a deadlocked jury.  In court Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors photos of a mangled Hyundai that belonged to 23-year-old Deanna Mauer.  Nicholas is accused of killing Mauer in 2011.  Prosecutors say Nicholas was using her cellphone while driving 85 miles per hour on the 405 Freeway.  Traffic had stopped and she ploughed into Mauer's car in Westminster.





No offense is too petty to overlook

The Editor says...
There are parts of any big city where the streets are crawling with truly awful people who have served time in prison, or should be in prison, yet the cops seem to spend most of their time making themselves visible to non-violent citizens who are just trying to get from one place to another.  Law and order is a wonderful thing, but hair-splitting legalism is not.

Crime-Infested Oakland Is Going After A 102 Year Old Wheelchair Bound White Man For Not Cleaning Graffiti.  The city of Oakland is now going after a 102-year-old man in a wheelchair.  His crime?  He was unable to remove all the graffiti painted all over his home by thugs.  Victor Silva Sr. faces a $1,100 fine, PLUS additional $1277 fines for each failed re-inspection.  [Video clip]

Calls for jobsworth councils to scrap speed limits which 'serve no useful purpose' and are fining 'terrified' pensioners for going 22 mph.  Police forces are trying to fine pensioners for travelling just 2 mph above the speed limit in 20 mph zones[,] leaving them 'absolutely terrified', it has been claimed.  The aggressive approach to enforcement in some areas in recent months has seen motorists in Britain face a record number of fines for 20 mph offences last year.  More than 216,000 fines for travelling between 20 mph and 30 mph were handed out by forces across the UK in 2023[,] quadruple the number issued compared to 2018.

He Was Arrested for Making a Joke on Facebook.  A Jury Just Awarded Him $205,000 in Damages.  On a Friday in March 2020, a dozen or so sheriff's deputies wearing bulletproof vests descended upon Waylon Bailey's garage at his home in Forest Hill, Louisiana, with their guns drawn, ordered him onto his knees with his hands "on your [...] head," and arrested him for a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  The SWAT-style raid was provoked by a Facebook post in which Bailey had made a zombie-themed joke about COVID-19.  Recognizing the harm inflicted by that flagrantly unconstitutional arrest, a federal jury last week awarded Bailey $205,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

Making a crime out of something that is not a crime:
Washington state Democrat bill would jail people for using new gas leaf blowers.  Washington state Democrats are proposing to outlaw new gas-powered lawn equipment, like leaf blowers, with legislation that could land violators in jail. [...] Under the proposed law, the Washington state Department of Ecology would have a Jan. 1, 2026, deadline to "adopt rules to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new outdoor power equipment."  The bill carries limited exemptions for gas-powered equipment used by government agencies and for commercial or residential use when there is no "suitable zero emissions outdoor power equipment technology" available.

Florida Man Arrested After Throwing Oreos at His Wife During Argument Over Empty Coffee Maker.  A 70-year-old Florida man wound up taking a trip to jail this week after an argument with his wife over an empty coffee maker turned into an assault involving Oreo cookies.  Police from the Lake County Sheriff's Office say an argument between John Sandoval and his wife of over 40 years took place last weekend when his morning coffee routine was ruined by a coffee maker without any water in it.

People Who Were Arrested For Eating Food.  Back in 2000, 12-year-old Ansche Hedgepeth got handcuffed for eating in a Washington, D.C., subway station.  At the time, police were cracking down on people eating in the metro.  Over a short amount of time, they arrested or cited 35 people, almost all of whom were minors.  Hedgepeth, a seventh grader, was searched, handcuffed, booked, and fingerprinted after school for unlawful snacking in public.  While the preteen knew she was not supposed to eat at the metro, she didn't believe it would lead to her arrest. [...] The transit police initially had no remorse for the arrest, citing its zero-tolerance policy.  However, Ansche Hedgepeth's arrest led to a lawsuit, leading the Metro Transit Police to change its no-food policy enforcement policy from arrests to warnings.  In her case, Hedgepeth requested her record be expunged because her Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

Handcuffed and charged for public transit conversation?  The Democracy Fund (TDF) has agreed to take on the cases of two men charged under a Calgary Transit bylaw for allegedly 'interfering with the comfort of an unknown transit user' while on their way to the 1 Million March 4 Children in Calgary, Alberta on September 20, 2023.  The ambiguous and apparently selectively applied bylaw prohibits transit users from engaging in conduct that would "interfere with the comfort, convenience, or quiet use and enjoyment of the transit system of any reasonable person."  Folks familiar with Calgary Transit, especially the downtown leg of the C-Train tracks, have no doubt witnessed their fair share of conduct that could be described as interfering with comfort, convenience or quiet on a near daily basis, and whether it be fisticuffs or drug related hysterics, those folks will attest that response times aren't always prompt.

Alabama school suspends 1st-grader for making finger gun while playing cops and robbers, says outraged parent.  An outraged parent and gun rights groups are speaking out against an Alabama elementary school that suspended a first-grader, reportedly for making a finger gun.  Jerrod Belcher, whose six-year-old son J.B. attends Bagley Elementary School in Jefferson County, Alabama, says the school over-reacted to a game of "cops and robbers."  A notice of suspension shared with Fox News Digital states that Belcher's son committed a "Class III" infraction on September 1 by "using his fingers to shoot at another student."

Retired social worker, 73, is quizzed in her own home by hate-crime police for taking a photo of a STICKER.  Police officers quizzed a pensioner in her home on suspicion of a hate crime after she stopped in the street to take a photo of a sticker which said: 'Keep males out of women-only spaces.'  The sticker had been placed on to a LGBT+ pride poster which had the slogan Stand By Your Trans.  Officers told the 73-year-old retired social worker that she had been identified from CCTV footage.  The woman told The Mail on Sunday she was 'in a state of shock' when officers arrived at her door.  The incident [...] comes after fury over police forces failing to send officers to investigate burglaries and other serious crimes.

Just another Christian arrested for sharing biblical messages in public.  In a video clip that has gone viral on social media, a young Christian man is seen being arrested by police as he and a few other young men preached at a recent Pride in the Park celebration in Watertown, Wisconsin.  [Tweet with video clip]  The footage shows a young man reading from the bible, speaking into a microphone, before he is surrounded by multiple police officers.  One of the officers then grabs the microphone and pulls it away from the Christian while those around him question what the officers are doing.  The person who recorded the video claims the group was told that they could speak outside on the sidewalk.  However, another officer allegedly told them that they could not use the speaker and microphone to do this.  In any case, several of the officers then proceed to grab the young man who was preaching and ask him not to resist as they arrested him and hauled him away.

GOP Rep. Ronny Jackson Handcuffed, Detained While Trying to Help with Medical Emergency at Rodeo.  On Saturday, trying to do the right thing led to Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas being put in handcuffs and briefly detained.  The incident happened at the White Deer Rodeo in the town of White Deer about 40 miles from Amarillo, according to the Texas Tribune.  A statement from Jackson's office said he was attending the rodeo when he was "summoned by someone in the crowd to assist a 15-year-old girl who was having a medical emergency nearby."  The statement that Jackson, who was a White House doctor for former President Barack Obama, was informed by a relative that the girl needed help in addition to the assistance being provided because "no uniformed EMS providers on the scene at the time."

The Editor says...
Bad things should happen to any local cop who puts handcuffs on a U.S. Congressman.  The cops in a small town in the middle of nowhere should be well aware that a Congressman is in town.

Third lawsuit filed against cop who arrested veteran for 'God bless the homeless vets' sign.  A third lawsuit was filed Monday against the police officer who arrested a veteran for holding a "God Bless the Homeless Vets" sign outside of a city hall building in Georgia, according to the watchdog group that filed the lawsuit.  The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a free speech advocacy group that provides legal defense, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jeff Gray alleging that Port Wentworth police officer Robert Hemminger knew that Gray was within his constitutional rights to protest when he arrested him in 2021, according to the lawsuit.  This marks the third lawsuit that FIRE has filed on behalf of Gray after the organization previously challenged another arrest of his and a citation he received.

A Violent Horde of Police Break down a Door and Arrest a Father for the Crime of Piercing His Son's Ear.  Police in full-on SWAT mode break down a door to arrest a father — for the 'heinous' crime of...piercing his son's ear?  Yes, you heard that right.  Apparently, this dad committed the ultimate parental sin of allowing his son to get his ear pierced, even though the boy had asked for it.  It's a shocking and bizarre story that highlights the absurdity of some of our laws and law enforcement practices.  [Video clip]

No Constitutional Right To Honk Your Car Horn, Court Says.  A federal appeals court says honking isn't First Amendment-protected activity.  There's no constitutional right to honk your car horn, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  The case involves Susan Porter, who repeatedly honked her car horn while driving past protesters in California in 2017.  A deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff's Office issued Porter a ticket, saying she had violated a state law against misuse of car horns.  Porter pushed back, filing a federal lawsuit in 2018.  In it, she alleged that honking her horn in solidarity with the protesters was protected First Amendment activity and that the California law used to ticket her — which prohibits using a car horn except "when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation" or when used "as a theft alarm system" — was unconstitutional.

Bad New Idea From Florida: Ban Dogs From Sticking Their Heads Out of Car Windows.  Not content to merely regulate human fun, a Florida lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for drivers to let their dogs stick their heads out of car windows.  Senate Bill 932, introduced last week by state Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation), tackles a wide range of animal welfare issues.  It would ban the declawing of cats, prohibit the sale of rabbits in stores in March and April, create a registry of animal abusers, and limit cosmetic testing on animals, among many other policies.  The legislation centers on what Book believes would improve the quality of life for Florida's animals, but one section of the bill would single out a favorite activity of the state's canine population.  Dogs would be banned from sticking their heads "or any other body part" outside a vehicle's window while on a public roadway.  Drivers would also be banned from holding dogs on their laps while driving.

Battling the Leftist Education Playbook.  Several years ago, my husband and I learned a valuable lesson when we visited San Diego: Ignorance is not an excuse.  After returning to our car from a beach trip, we noticed that we'd been ticketed.  We drove to the police station and discovered that we'd parked in a red curb zone.  We hadn't seen any No Parking signs, and the curbs weren't red.  However, there doesn't have to be red paint to signify a restricted area; people are expected to know the rules.  We weren't excused from that ticket, and we were chided for not knowing the law, even as vacationers.

Obnoxiously loud car?  A traffic camera might be listening.  Over the years, there have been numerous efforts to quiet the cacophony [in New York City].  One of the latest:  traffic cameras equipped with sound meters capable of identifying souped-up cars and motorbikes emitting an illegal amount of street noise.  At least 71 drivers have gotten tickets so far for violating noise rules during a yearlong pilot program of the system.  The city's Department of Environmental Protection now has plans to expand the use of the roadside sound meters. [...] The new devices record the license plates of offenders, much like how speedsters are nabbed by roadside cameras.  Vehicle owners face fines of $800 for a first noise offense and a penalty of $2,625 if they ignore a third-offense hearing.  City officials declined to reveal where the radars are currently perched.

The Editor says...
Every big city is noisy.  The population density is high, and everybody has a leaf blower, a subwoofer, a couple of dogs, or a crying baby.  Sirens are necessary.  Gunshots abound.  Jackhammers mean progress.  The big city airport has lots of big planes arriving and leaving every few minutes.  The big city is where it's at, and it comes with unavoidable byproducts.

Police Arrest 82-Year-Old Alabama Woman For Not Paying $77 Trash Bill.  An elderly Alabama woman last Sunday [11/27/2022] was arrested for an unpaid trash bill totaling $77.80.  The 82-year-old woman was cuffed and charged with misdemeanor offense of 'failure to pay solid waste fees.'  Martha Louis Menefield, of Valley was released on bond, according to a statement from Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds.

Ohio Cops Decide First Amendment Doesn't Exist, Arrest Newspaper Editor For Committing Journalism.  Ohio cops just can't seem to get their head around First Amendment protections.  A case hopefully en route to a Supreme Court review involves Parma, Ohio cops who decided it was completely legal to arrest a town resident for creating a clearly satirical Facebook page that suggested the Parma PD was offering free abortions in a roaming van and promoting a "pedophile reform" event.  In another case, a cop temporarily managed to obtain an injunction forbidding people from publishing his name while he sued several Cincinnati residents for libel for suggesting he might be a racist.  That cop's name is Ryan Olthaus and he has a long history of use of force complaints.  And, in yet another case, a woman was arrested by Ohio cops for repeating a false rumor that a gun had been found at a school.  She did not originate the rumor.  She just repeated it.  And for that, she was sentenced to 180 days in jail and stripped of access to social media sites for a year.

It's now illegal for anyone under 21 to buy canned whipped cream in New York.  It is illegal for New Yorkers under age 21 to purchase a can of whipped cream, according to recently-passed state law.  The law, which went into effect in November 2021, is meant to prevent teenagers from using canned whipped cream to inhale nitrous oxide, otherwise known as "whippets."  "Inhalants are invisible, volatile substances found in common household products that produce chemical vapors that are inhaled to induce psychoactive or mind-altering effects," according to a US Drug Enforcement Administration factsheet.

Coming soon:  You must also prove that you own a pumpkin pie.
You Now Have to Prove You're 21 to Buy Whipped Cream Canisters in New York.  Do you periodically enjoy an adult beverage?  I'm talking, of course, about a milkshake — the kind with whipped cream on top.  New York stores are now checking identification per a state law aimed to reduce drug deaths.  The measure bans the sale of whipped cream canisters to anyone under 21.

Couple fined $1,500 for parking in their driveway after nearly 40 years of doing so.  In what appears to be an instance of bureaucratic excess if not a lack of common sense, San Francisco officials threatened to fine a couple $1,500-plus for illegally parking in their own driveway, a spot they've been using for nearly four decades.  The sudden notification, which was reportedly prompted by an anonymous complaint, came from the city's Planning Department.  Longtime residents Judy and Ed Craine, who live on a steep hill, received the $1,542 ticket, for parking on a carport in front of their home in apparent violation of code.

Seattle Police Justify The "Defund the Police" Movement by Arresting a Preacher for Reading His Bible Too Close to a Gay Pride Event.  A Seattle man was arrested for reading aloud the Gospel of Saint Matthew in a public park as a "Gay Pride*" event was taking place.  Matthew Meinecke, often referred to as a "street preacher," was on public property reading aloud from the Bible without the benefit of amplification when he was rousted and then arrested by Seattle's finest.  Meinecke was also arrested last week for reading his Bible aloud near a pro-Moloch demonstration.  I'm not sure what the facts were there, but according to reports, the Seattle city prosecutor does not plan on charging Meinecke for anything.  This reveals the true purpose of the arrest was to silence Meinecke so the Gay Pride bunch wouldn't be upset.

Alabama man is fined and handed a suspended jail sentence for placing boxes of flowers on his fiancée's grave.  An Alabama man has been convicted of criminal littering and ordered to pay $300 for repeatedly placing boxes full of flowers on the grave of his fiancée, whose father didn't like the gifts or approve of their relationship.  Winston 'Winchester' Hagans was convicted Thursday in Auburn city court after the Reverend Tom Ford, the father of Hannah Ford, signed a warrant against him.  Hannah died in a wreck in January 2021 about a month after becoming engaged to Hagans, according to The Opelika-Auburn News.

Hey, subway cops:  Arrest the mango merchants after you get real bad guys.  "Broken windows" policing is a strong deterrent to more serious crimes.  But the NYPD's mango-sale crackdown at a Brooklyn subway station was just goofy when cops seem unable or disinclined to go after the real bad guys right under their noses.  Anyone who uses the Broadway Junction subway station in Brooklyn — which frightened me as a child and feels even creepier today — knows what might be in store.  The dilapidated, century-old, mostly elevated iron structure where East New York and Ocean Hill touch is Brooklyn's third-busiest subway hub.  With 100,000 daily users, it's intimidating despite omnipresent crowds that might lend a sense of safety elsewhere.  Mayor Eric Adams defended the cops who cuffed the hapless mango merchant last month, an incident that went viral on YouTube:  "Next day, it's propane tanks being on the subway system.  The next day, it's barbecuing on the subway system.  You just can't do that."

C'mon, man!
Lancaster County man arrested after putting Joe Biden sticker on gas pump.  The average price of gasoline hovers around $4.139 per gallon at the moment and some people are putting their frustrations into action by taking to the streets with stickers.  Yes, stickers.  All across the country, people are placing stickers on gas pumps that depict President Joe Biden pointing, if placed correctly, at the price of gas with "I did that" scrawled beneath.  One Lancaster County man was arrested, however, after an employee at a Turkey Hill convenience store saw him placing a Biden sticker on a gas pump there on March 31.  According to a bystander who filmed the incident, things got heated between the employee and Thomas Richard Glazewski, 54, of Manor Township, and police were called.

Denver man faces felony after city accuses him of making pickleball court without permission.  A 71-year-old Denver man is facing a felony charge after city officials say he made a pickleball court without permission.  With prosecution on the table, some believe the punishment doesn't fit the crime.  "The whole pickleball community is really saddened and shocked," said Jan Devor, a friend of 71-year-old Arslan Guney and fellow pickleball player.  Guney and others use a basketball court at Denver's Central Park Recreation Center for pickleball.  Last Monday, the markings on the court had faded, so Guney re-marked them with a Sharpie.  Three days later, an arrest warrant for felony criminal mischief was issued for Guney.  The court document also claims ten thousand dollars in damages.

Great-grandfather, 78, is handcuffed by cops in Ottawa for honking his car horn in support of Freedom Convoy.  An elderly man was cuffed and arrested in Ottawa for honking his horn in support of demonstrators on Sunday [2/6/2022], a day before a judge outlawed honking, as protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates rage on in the Canadian capital.  A bystander filmed while two officers pulled over Gerry Charlebois, 78, for beeping his horn.  'What did he do wrong?' the bystander asked.  'None of your [...] concern, man,' one officer responded.

The Editor says...
Is it really necessary to handcuff a 78-year-old man whose only offense is making too much racket?  If a little old man is really such a threat, you need to find another line of work.

Ottawa Police Are Now Arresting People For Honking Their Horns In Solidarity With The Truckers.  An elderly man was arrested in Ottawa Monday morning after he was pulled over by police for apparently honking.  He was arrested in a tense confrontation in which he refused to provide an officer his driver's license and people on the sidewalk derided the officer. [...] A passerby filming the incident informed the man he didn't have to show his identification to the officer.  The officer replied he did because honking a horn "is an offense."  [Video clip]

Chicago: Authorities Seize 130 Fake Vaccination Cards as 22 Shot over Weekend.  U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities in Chicago seized two parcels of counterfeit vaccination cards bound to the greater Detroit area from Moldova.  In a tweet Wednesday morning [1/26/2022], CBP Chicago announced it had intercepted the packages, one containing 100 false vaccination cards and the other carrying 30 phony cards.  According to CBP Chicago, the cards were headed to two separate addresses in Livonia, Michigan, and were sent from the Eastern European country of Moldova.  In a separate incident in upstate New York this month, a couple allegedly presented falsified vaccination cards to enter a Buffalo Bills playoff game on January 15, Breitbart News reports.  They were arraigned Tuesday and could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Pregnant Woman Is Detained By Police For Not Wearing A Mask Around A Swimming Pool.  A pregnant woman and her husband were detained by police in Nanaimo, British Columbia recently for failing to comply with B.C.'s "Limitation Order #2", but more generically the infractions mentioned by police appeared to be for failing to wear a mask, provide identification and not having a vaccine passport.  [Video clip]

German police arrest Santa Claus for not wearing a mask at Christmas market.  Perhaps panicking over Germany's record COVID case count (despite 68.1% of its population being fully vaccinated), the Polizei there have invited worldwide scorn and ridicule in recent days for their punctiliousness in enforcing arbitrary and mostly ineffective regulations supposedly aimed at inhibit the spread of the virus.  Although it happened last month, video of police arresting a Santa Claus at a Christmas market in Stralsund, a Hanseatic city on the Baltic coast, has just surfaced in American media.

German Jackboot Cops Arrest Santa For Not Wearing A Mask!  German police arrested Santa Claus for not wearing a mask at a Christmas market, surreal footage shows.  Video circulating on social media shows a group of police officers surrounding a man dressed as Santa before frog-marching him from the event as the crowd cheered for him in solidarity and booed the police officers.  This comes just a day after German police were seen walking in between anti-lockdown demonstrators using a long ruler to keep them socially distanced by 6 feet.  [Video clip]

Watch As 16 Year Old Girl Is Arrested For Not Wearing a Mask In High School, Entire School Is Locked Down.  A 16-year-old high school student was arrested Thursday over a mask dispute, forcing the school into lockdown for over an hour.  Grace Smith, a student at Laramie High School, was suspended from school for six days via three separate two-day suspensions, she claimed in an interview with Wyoming Sen. Anthony Bouchard about her arrest.  She also allegedly received $1,000 in trespassing fines for refusing to leave school grounds.  "It makes me angry," Smith said.  "It makes me feel unwanted by the school system.  It makes me stressed out that I have to fight this battle as a 16-year-old.  Right now, I should be playing sports and having fun.  And instead, I'm fighting for the rights that were supposed to be won hundreds of years ago."  [Video clip]

Wyoming teenager arrested after refusing to wear mask on school grounds, family says.  A 16-year-old girl in Wyoming was arrested Thursday [10/7/2021] at her school after she refused to wear a mask on school grounds, she and her father said.  Grace Smith, a junior at Laramie High School, told state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, in an interview posted online, that police placed her in handcuffs for trespassing after she was suspended for not following the school's mask mandate and refused to leave school grounds.

16-Year-Old Wyoming Student Arrested for Not Wearing Mask, Entire School Placed on Lockdown.  A 16-year-old student in Wyoming was arrested and the entire school was placed on lockdown — all because she refused to wear a mask.  Grace Smith, 16, had already been suspended twice from Laramie High School in Wyoming for refusing to wear masks in class.  As the brave student attempted to go to class unmuzzled once again, she was met with police and given a $500 citation.  When she was told to leave the school, she refused to comply.  At that point, she was handcuffed and arrested.  As the situation unfolded, an announcement over the loudspeaker said that "we are in a lockdown, please stay in your rooms."

Concerned Parents Protesting CRT Arrested After Virginia School Board Meeting Declared Unlawful Assembly.  Parents were arrested while protesting against Critical Race Theory (CRT) and a transgender policy at a Virginia school board meeting Tuesday [6/22/2021].  The meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia abruptly ended after the crowd became too rowdy and was later declared an unlawful assembly, footage posted to Twitter showed.  Two arrests were reportedly made for trespassing after some parents refused to leave.  [Video clip]

Things Explode at School Board Meeting Over CRT, Arrests Are Made.  Things are popping off in Loudon County, VA tonight as the debates over critical race theory and transgender issues in schools heat up.  Over 200 parents signed up to give public comments at a local school board meeting, and things just got crazier from there.  Eventually, an unlawful assembly was declared and several arrests were made. [...] All the crowd did was clap in support of someone's comment.  That's literally the extent of their "eruption," but that was enough for the little tyrants on the school board to shut down the meeting and get the cops involved.

Police Arrest Woman at School Board Meeting for Not Wearing Mask.  You know, one argument AGAINST cops is they follow orders, like good Nazis — and at one level you can't blame them if they were ORDERED to arrest someone if a law was broken, but what law was broken here?  NONE.  [Video clip]

Ontario is now handing out tickets for shaking hands.  As a Michigander, I live pretty [...] close to the new totalitarian nightmare that is Canada.  Having lived under Queen Gretchen's thumb for the past year, one of the only positives has been looking across the Detroit river and feeling sorry for the citizens of Ontario.  If you're wondering just how far our neighbors to the north have descended into lunacy, they are now issuing tickets for shaking hands.

Police Ticket Journalist For Violating Virus Rules - Including for 'Shaking Hands'.  Whenever we think that the rules imposed upon us to "beat" the Wuhan coronavirus are screwy, just remember, you could always be in Canada, where it's still really nuts.  Ontario is on lockdown with a stay-at-home order prohibiting people from having any social gatherings outside of their household.  People are prohibited from traveling outside of their public health region and are only "allowed" to go out for necessities.  If you don't comply, you can be fined and face potential jail time.  Folks came out in Hamilton, Ontario to protest the rules on Sunday.  They've gotten tickets in the past even when socially distanced.  Efron Monsanto, who reports for Rebel News, came out to cover the action and he got nailed by the police, too.  [Tweet]

New Hampshire Police Arrest Maskless Parents Attempting to Confront School Board — Following Arrests Board Cancels Meeting To Avoid Parents.  Comrades, it is interesting — some would say disturbing — to watch law enforcement arrest people for not violating laws.  The requirement to wear a mask is a local school board policy, created by random fiat, not a law.  The arrested maskless parents were proactively accused of 'disturbing the peace', before any disturbance could be identified.

Police arrest unmasked attendee as maskless group shows up at Timberlane school meeting.  A Sunday school teacher was arrested at Thursday night's [5/20/2021] Timberlane Regional School Board meeting moments after she and several other unmasked attendees showed up to demand an end to a school mask mandate.  The meeting was planned to be held in person at the district's Performing Arts Center, but board Chairwoman Kimberly Farah quickly shut it down before it began and required that it be held remotely.  "I didn't want to jeopardize the health of the staff and the students," Farah said as several Plaistow police officers and state police troopers swarmed inside and outside the auditorium.

Security At A Baseball Game Cuff And Slam A Man In Front Of His Crying Child For Having His Mask Down While Eating.  This was the pathetic scene at an Omaha Beef baseball game at the Ralston Arena last week when security cuffed, then body-slammed a man in front of his family for daring to eat with his mask down.  They dragged the poor man out of the arena while his young son cried.  [Video clip]

Former Oklahoma resident had unknown charge of felony embezzlement for not returning VHS tape rental 21 years ago.  A woman says she didn't know she had a felony charge for over two decades for not returning a VHS rental.  Caron McBride says she found out she was charged with a felony when she changed her name on her driver's license in Texas after getting married.

This is exactly the kind of cops America does not need:
Ron Paul:  She Wouldn't Wear A Mask; Galveston Police Broke Her Foot.  A 65 year old Galveston woman found herself tackled, handcuffed, arrested, and with a broken foot after she refused to leave a local Bank of America branch without her money.  The bank demanded she put on a mask, she refused, so they called in the police.  [Video clip]

Roaming Mask Cops Writing Tickets for No Masks, Improper Wearing of Masks — 'We'll Arrest You Right Here'.  Another sad day for civil liberties in America — or what's left of it.  [Video clip]

Skid marks
West Vancouver, where tire treads are hate symbols.  If ever you find yourself driving in West Vancouver, British Columbia, don't.  You may find yourself on the wrong side of the law for the supposed crime of ... leaving a tire mark on a public crosswalk?  "West Vancouver Police are investigating a mischief to property, after someone defaced the department's new Pride crosswalk," law enforcement officials announced this week in a statement.  It adds, "On July 7, 2020 at 4:04 pm staff inside the police station heard a loud and sustained tire squealing outside.  When officers took a closer look, they discovered that someone had just left tire marks across a portion of the crosswalk, at the intersection of 16th St and Esquimalt Ave."


Alameda Police Release Body Cam Footage Of Black Man's Arrest For Dancing In Street.  A video showing Alameda police officers arresting an African American man who had been exercising in the street has gone viral and has prompted a response from city officials.  The video shows four Alameda police officers restraining the unidentified man and wrestling him to the ground on the 2000 block of Central Ave. in Alameda.  On Friday [6/5/2020], Alameda Police released several officer body camera videos of the incident along with the audio of the call to police dispatchers reporting an African American man walking and dancing in the street.

As Rioters Destroy New York, Cops Kick Jewish Families Out of a Playground.  Jewish community leaders are condemning New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for a "blatant double standard." He singled out the Jewish community in enforcing coronavirus restrictions, yet defended protesters who violated social distancing rules in order to protest the heinous police killing of George Floyd.  In fact, videos showed police officers dispersing Jewish mothers and their children at a playground while a larger group of protesters gathered in violation of lockdown rules.

Stopping Petty Tyrannies Is How We Beat the Serious Ones.  As states across the country begin the process of reopening, Americans continue to battle over the methods governors and local authorities have used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.  Unfortunately, many states and localities have set up arbitrary and, in many cases, absurd rules that do little more than aggravate citizens and almost nothing to stop the spread of the virus.  For instance, some Americans have been pulled over and ticketed for merely driving, hardly an activity that is likely to spread disease.  One Pennsylvania woman received a $200 ticket for violating Gov. Tom Wolf's statewide stay-at-home order when she said she had merely gone on a drive to relieve her quarantine restlessness, according to the York Dispatch.

Cops Lecture Parents About 7-Year-Old's Toy Gun.  There's really nothing worse than neighbors ratting out neighbors.  But that's what Democrats are urging citizens to do across the country.  And more often than not innocent Americans are getting caught in the crosshairs.  Sheila Perez Smith tells the Todd Starnes Show that she was stunned when the police showed up at her home near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Mrs. Smith's 7-year-old son had just completed a zoom class from the den of their home when she received an urgent email from her son's first grade teacher.  It just so happened that the little boy had recently been gifted a toy gun and the child had placed his "new favorite thing" on the table next to the computer.

Wisconsin Police Visit Mom Because She Allowed Her Child to Play at Friend's House.  A video surfaced yesterday [4/30/2020] showing Wiscosin police officers visiting the home of a parent who allowed her child to play at their friends house during stay-at-home orders.  The video starts as the mom answers the door and is greeted by two police officers, one male and one female.

North Carolina Police Arrest Man for Attempting to Reopen His Business, Others May Follow Suit.  As RedState managing editor Streiff wrote earlier today [4/29/2020], the "Reopen" rebellion against North Carolina's stay at home order is in full effect.  The arrests of protesters are continuing as well, with four arrested during Tuesday's ReopenNC protest, which was the third one held to date.  But in a disturbing incident that happened around lunchtime today, an Apex, NC man was seen on video being being led away by police from his business in handcuffs after attempting to reopen his tattoo parlor.

Cops Wage Elaborate Undercover Scheme to Arrest Woman for Giving a Manicure Out of Her Home.  Two Texas police officers went undercover in an elaborate sting operation to catch citizens giving salon services for money in their own home.  The cops posed as regular citizens needing to get a manicure.  Tipsters (also known in some neighborhoods as "rats" or "snitches") pointed police to a woman who was advertising manicure services on social media — the horror.  Laredo police arrested Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia, 31, at the 1200 block of Harding Street after she allegedly agreed to provide an undercover officer with a manicure.  Again, the horror.  Castro-Garcia was arrested and charged with "Violation of Emergency Management Plan C/B" and was taken to the Webb County Jail where she was offered a $500 bond.

Idaho Police Arrest Subversive Mom For Taking Children to Playground.  Comrades, after the Meridian cornavirus enforcement police received several calls from compliant citizens, a dangerous group of subversive moms were identified engaging in non-approved playground activity against the interests of the state.  Local authorities activated an emergency response task force & arrested the lead scofflaw mom at the park.  According to video smuggled from the park by an underground network of rebellious female breeders, Mrs. Sarah Brady was instructed by the COVID-19 compliance officers to vacate the playground.  Ms. Brady refused to comply with the order and was subsequently handcuffed and arrested for violations of the state lock-down, ie. misdemeanor trespassing.

Gang Of Cops Arrest Some Guys For Eating Pizza In A Car Together.  As first reported by Pedestrian.TV, footage from Facebook page Sydney Crime News shows a swarm of police on a group of four men in Condell Park, who had been eating pizza in a car on Saturday afternoon.  The video begins with one man in handcuffs sitting on a driveway, with a friend soon tackled by four police after attempting to move his friend onto the grass as the two argue over the amount of police present.  [Video clip]

NYPD Arrests Young Boy Selling Candy On Subway.  This video is blowing up all over social media showing a young boy being arrested by NYPD for selling candy and chips to make money for his family.  A user posted:  Thousands of NYPD officers have the coronavirus and they are still going all over the city harassing and touching and grabbing and breathing all over people.  People are out here hurting.  This boy wasn't selling drugs, he was selling candy and chips BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO.  These boys are out here doing this because they provide for their families.  [Video clip]

Here's One Thing Officials Can Do to Make Lockdown Life Better:  Stop Being Hypocritical Tyrants.  Too many of our elected and unelected officials are acting like toddlers testing their boundaries.  There are the police officers who thought it was a good idea to pester a little girl shooting baskets alone in a park.  She was socially distanced.  She was fine.  If a game of street 3-on-3 suddenly broke out, well, that's a different story.  But she was alone.  So leave her alone.  The police later apologized, but they should have just used some common sense and avoided the whole situation.  And there are the police officers in Colorado who arrested a dad playing ball with his daughter in a park.  Leave people alone or this could start getting ugly.  Most Americans support the police, but we don't support a police state.

Cops Smashed A Residents Door In Looking For 'Social Gatherings'.  The Coronavirus will pass but losing our freedom is something that we will regret.  The criminals are being released from prison and being replaced with peaceful, law-abiding citizens who dare go outside. [...] We don't know about third world countries but in Britain, we had the first case where the police entered a man's home and broke his door.  In the recording, which went viral online, the officers appear to forcibly enter his house after he refuses to open the door over coronavirus fears.

The "Officer-Friendly" Police Fantasy.  [Scroll down]  Unfortunately, there are endless pretexts for people to be arrested nowadays because federal, state, and local politicians and officials have criminalized daily life with hundreds of thousands of edicts.  Capt. Steve Powell of the Colorado State Patrol commented, "Ninety percent of the cars out there are doing something that you can pull them over for.  There are a jillion reasons people can be stopped — taillights, windshields cracked, any number of things."  Gerard Arenberg, executive director of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me in the 1990s, "We have so damn many laws, you can't drive the streets without breaking the law.  I could write you a hundred tickets depending on what you said to me when I stopped you."

Jail time for defiant Ohio lady who feeds homeless cats.  Finally, authorities in suburban Cleveland are cracking down on an old lady who feeds cats without homes.  Now that officials in Garfield Heights have conquered serious crimes, they're focused on Nancy Segula, a 79-year-old widow who lost her husband two years ago.  Segula feeds stray cats, lots of stray cats[,] and in bad weather she takes some in.

Elderly woman given 10-day jail sentence for feeding stray cats.  A 79-year-old woman has been given a 10-day jail sentence after she was repeatedly cited by police for feeding stray cats in her Ohio neighbourhood.  Since 2015, neighbours of Nancy Segula have been complaining to officials about the strays.  She claims the cats were left behind by an ex-neighbour.  "I'm a cat lover," she told Fox 8 in Cleveland, after learning of her coming term in the Cuyahoga County Jail.  Mrs Segula has been ordered by a judge to begin her sentence on 11 August.

Man Gets Interrogated By Police For Liking A 'Transphobic' Limerick On Twitter — It's Recorded As A 'Hate Incident'.  In the UK lives a man named Harry Miller.  As per Metro.co.uk, Harry has a particular viewpoint:  "Trans women are not women."  On Twitter, there arose a post containing a limerick.  The poem appeared to mock transgenderism.  Harry "liked" the tweet.  Subsequently, he was interrogated by police for half an hour.

Texas is about to make sex jokes on campus a criminal offense.  Republican lawmakers seem to have a better grip than their Democratic colleagues on the inherent censorship of so-called free speech zones and viewpoint-based security fees.  David French of National Review counted eight states that have passed campus free-speech bills in less than six months, most recently Texas.  He has one major quibble with the new Texas law:  its failure to define a phrase that dictates when students can be punished for disruptions.

Officer quits after confronting black man picking up trash.  A white Colorado police officer who confronted a black man picking up trash around his dormitory resigned this week under an agreement that lets him collect $69,000 in salary despite violating department policies.  Body camera footage released Thursday provided a full video account of the tense encounter, which gained national attention based on video shot by someone inside the building.

Man charged after spraying children, home with water from a hose.  An 18-year-old faces charges after authorities say he sprayed a group of children and their home with water from a hose, according to court records.  A criminal complaint states Zachariah Manahan faces one count of stalking because of bias, a felony.  He also faces one count of third-degree damage to property and one count of disorderly conduct.

Australian man fined for giving money to a homeless man.  [Scroll down]  A motorist from Perth, Western Australia named Luke Bresland was fined A$50 earlier this year when he gave A$1.50 (that's a little more than 1 US dollar) to an apparent homeless man who washed his windshield while stopped at a traffic light.  When the light turned green, Mr. Bresland continued on his journey, only to be pulled over by a local policeman.  The policeman asked him if he had given money to the homeless man, and then cited him for violating a local ordinance.  Under local law, it is illegal for anyone in a vehicle to buy or offer to buy an article or service from a person who is on the road.

Fined over $1.50: Perth driver takes fight against obscure window-washer charge to court.  WA Police have conceded a $50 fine handed to a Perth driver who gave a window washer some coins while stopped at traffic lights was "heavy handed".  Luke Bresland was gearing up to fight the charge in court and had already entered a not guilty plea after receiving the obscure fine for 'buying a newspaper from a person' earlier this year.

Cops Strip-Searched a 4-Year-Old After Mom's Errand Took Too Long.  A mom who let her six children wait ten minutes in the car while she ran in to get them muffins at a local Kentucky cafe is the focus of this oped I co-authored in The Washington Post.  Perhaps you can guess what happened next to the mom, Holly Curry.  In fact, I'll bet you can.  Though it was 67 degrees and partly cloudy, and though it is statistically safer to let kids wait in the car than drag them across a parking lot — the heart-wrenching stories of kids who die in cars almost always involve children forgotten there for hours, not simply waiting out an errand — Curry found herself in trouble with the police.

Florida man arrested for refusing to remove vulgar sticker: 'They're just words'.  A Florida man was arrested over the weekend for refusing to remove a sticker from his vehicle's window that crudely described a person's sexual appetites.  Dillon Shane Webb, 23, was charged with misdemeanor counts of violating Florida's obscenity law and resisting an officer without violence, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office report said.

Innocent Child Harassed, Threatened by Cops for Shoveling Snow Without a Permit.  Residents in Normandy, Missouri are questioning a new ordinance they are calling ridiculous which requires anyone who wishes to shovel snow for money to have a permit.  To be clear, this is not just for adults running businesses, but as the following case illustrates, it's being enforced against children trying to earn some extra money.

Veteran facing fine for buying light bulb, bug spray.  Police created a temporary zone of heightened security restrictions for the downtown mall area that required all people entering have their bags searched.  Some items were being prohibited.  However, a disabled veteran went into the mall, purchased a number of ordinary household items, and then was arrested when leaving the security zone because the items were banned.  "Talk about overkill:  government officials spent more than $3 million on security for the August 12 anniversary events, only to have a dozen police swarm a disabled veteran with a walker buying cans of iced tea and bug spray from a CVS," said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.  "This case is yet another vivid example of how dysfunctional, excessive and out of sync the government has become at all levels."

Smith Canteen sign
New York coffee shop fined $300 by Sanitation Department for sign announcing how many cups they've kept out of landfill.  A coffee shop in New York was allegedly fined $300 by the Department of Sanitation for a misplaced sandwich board on the sidewalk, which announced that the business had kept over 2,000 cups out of the landfill in 2018.  Smith Canteen's owner, Kerry Diamond, posted about the ironic incident on Facebook, claiming the sign has been in the same spot for the past seven years.  "I've been spending a lot of money and time trying to figure out waste reduction, composting, and single-use plastic alternatives at the Canteen, so this really burns me," she wrote.


Michigan brothers face $450,000 in fines for tree removal on their property.  Brothers in Michigan are facing nearly $500,000 in fines for allegedly removing more than 1,400 trees from their 16-acre property without permission, a report on Monday said.  Gary and Matt Percy removed the trees with the intention of creating a Christmas tree farm on the Canton Township plot, their attorney Michael Pattwell told MLive.com.  The attorney said that the land was filled with invasive plants.

Vietnam War hero sentenced to 7 years for decades-old rifle purchase: report.  A decorated Vietnam veteran and firearms collector was sentenced to seven years in federal prison Wednesday for a decades-old purchase of a rifle.  Alfred Pick, 70, purchased the M14 — a fully automatic weapon illegal to own — at a Ft. Worth gun show in the early 1980s, the Dallas Morning News reported.  The rifle, which had a scratched-off serial number, was similar to the one Pick used as an Army lieutenant in Vietnam, where he earned a Silver Star after participating in more than 100 combat missions and his brief time as a POW.  "The man is a Silver Star winner, he saved lives, he took care of his wife, he's been in custody for a year, I would think that when a man turned 70 and is an American hero you don't destroy the rest of his life for one mistake," Mark Shackelford, a friend, told KDFW-TV.

Virginia Cities Make it a Crime for Kids Older Than 12 to Go Trick-Or-Treating.  A town in Virginia has now passed a law ruling that kids older than 12 can face jail-time for trick-or-treating on Halloween.  And several other towns have similar rules, including hefty fines.  You read that right.  Cities in Virginia have passed rules to jail and/or fine kids for tick-or-treating and it's all in a purported effort to "keep everyone safe."

Criminal Charges for North Carolina Woman Who Sheltered Pets During Hurricane Florence.  A North Carolina woman says she just wanted local pets to have a safe place to stay as Hurricane Florence made landfall earlier this month.  But now she's facing upward of a dozen criminal charges related to the medical care she freely provided to the animals.

Michigan Cop Forced an 80-Year-Old Great Grandmother To Spend a Night in Jail Over an Expired Medical Marijuana Card.  Your outrageous cannabis story of the day — maybe even the summer — comes from Clare County, Michigan, where 80-year-old Delores Saltzman, a great-grandmother and arthritis patient, was jailed for the first time in her life after a Clare County deputy found her in possession of a small amount of medical marijuana and an expired medical cannabis recommendation.

Couple gets 'parking ticket' at their own wedding.  A woman passing by a wedding at a town hall in Somerset, England was appalled to spot a parking ticket on the happy couple's car.  The white Audi convertible was wrapped in a ribbon and clearly part of the festivities.  She snapped a photo and shared it with local media, telling them "I was really shocked.  I know a lot of newlyweds get money or gifts but that seems a bit extreme.  They are now having to give someone else money on one of the happiest day of their lives."

Lawsuit Argues Honking Your Car Horn Is Protected By The First Amendment.  The First Amendment covers a whole lot of area.  Since it covers "expression," it doesn't necessarily have to be anything commonly thought of as "speech."  It doesn't have to be printed.  It doesn't have to be said.  Lighting a flag on fire requires no statement of intent.  The act itself is expressive enough.  Passively gathering information (like recordings or public records) is protected by the First Amendment.  Taking photos is a protected act, even if the photos are never used to express anything more than a memory of an event or place. [...] A plaintiff currently suing a sheriff and the head of the California Highway Patrol is arguing that honking a car horn is protected speech and that the citation she received after engaging in this expression is unconstitutional.

Woman detained in US for 2 weeks after accidentally jogging across Canada border.  A French citizen visiting Canada said she was detained for two weeks after she accidentally jogged across the U.S.-Canada border in May.  Cedella Roman, 19, said she did not realize she crossed the border during her jog along a beach in White Rock, British Columbia on May 21.  The young woman said she stopped during her jog to take a picture of the beach before deciding to turn around to run back when she was apprehended by two U.S. Border Patrol officers who told her she illegally crossed the border into Blaine, Washington.

The Editor says...
How I wish the Mexican border was given this level of fastidious scrutiny!

Student, 13, Charged With Felony for Recording a Conversation With His Principal.  Paul Boron is 13 years old.  And he's facing a felony eavesdropping charge that could change the course of the rest of his life.  His story stands as another chapter of controversy surrounding an eavesdropping law some experts have criticized as ripe for abuse and misapplication.  On Feb. 16, 2018, Boron was called to the principal's office at Manteno Middle School after failing to attend a number of detentions.  Before meeting Principal David Conrad and Assistant Principal Nathan Short, he began recording audio on his cellphone.

Amarillo Man Arrested for Clapping.  Let it be known that clapping is not allowed at Amarillo City Council meetings.  Just ask Kip Billups, who was arrested Tuesday [4/3/2018] at the request of Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson after applauding a speaker during open forum.  Ironically, the arrest was made in an attempt to create a "less intimidating" environment during city council meetings.  "We are not going to clap," Nelson said at the beginning of the meeting.  "I want to make sure that we create an environment that's not intimidating for folks ... If that's not something you can abide by that's fine, you can leave now."  Billups, along with other attendees, applauded in response to public comments made by resident Michael Greene, who expressed grievances with the city council's conduct.  Of those grievances, Greene noted city council's repeated violations of the Open Meetings Act as well as Nelson's "clapping ban" infringing on First Amendment rights.

Amarillo man involved in the "clapping controversy" explains his applause.  Applause is used to express approval, but clapping got one Amarillo man in trouble with the law.  He spoke exclusively with ABC 7 News about the incident at Amarillo city council Tuesday night [4/3/2018].  "You can all clap if you want," said Mayor Ginger Nelson.  It was a statement followed by applause after the Amarillo city council issued a proclamation on child abuse awareness.  Minutes later that changed during public comment.  "We are not going to clap," said Nelson.  She followed that statement with a loud bang of her gavel.

'We are not going to clap' at council meetings, mayor said.  One guy even got arrested.  Clapping may be commonplace at council meetings when officials give out keys to the city or other grip-and-grin awards, but let it be known, there is to be no applause during the public comment portion of City Council meetings in Amarillo, Texas.  You might even be arrested for it, as was Kip Billups, a local homeless advocate, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

Woman, 27, is arrested in Georgia for driving with a Canadian license after she was unable to show the police officer her original passport.  A Canadian woman was reportedly arrested in Georgia last month because she was driving with a Canadian license.  Emily Nield, of Ontario, said the arrest 'was the most horrendous incident of my life'.  'It was mortifying.  I was terrified the entire time,' she told CBC.  Nield, 27, who was charged with driving without a license, was traveling from Tennessee where she had just finished her master's degree in geology.

Driver in Virginia Beach given $100 ticket for smoking in a vehicle with a child.  A person in Virginia Beach has been ticketed $100 for allegedly smoking with a child in the car with them.  According to the citation, which was tweeted out by Virginia Beach Police Department Traffic Safety, the violation happened on Monday [5/7/2018] around 8:30 a.m.  The official charge on the citation was smoking in a vehicle with a minor present.

A deputy sheriff came to inventory family's property — over a $160 trash bill.  Joe Kirby was at work in Maryland when he got the phone call.  He drove back to his Pennsylvania home, texting his boss that there was an emergency.  His wife, Christina, was hysterical.  There was a member of the York County Sheriff's Office going through every room of their house, taking inventory of their property to eventually put up for sale.  The deputy sheriff told her he'd already done it with the cars in the driveway:  a 2002 BMW 3 Series and 2007 Volkswagen GTI.  It was over their unpaid trash bill to Penn Waste.

What good are police?  Police have morphed from the quaint notion that they were once "peace officers" into the reality that they are "law enforcers." But as the late columnist William Norman Grigg pointed out, policing was militarized from the start.  LEOs see it as their job to "enforce" the law no matter what it takes, no matter how ridiculous the law may be or even regardless of whether the law actually exists.  Most of the laws they enforce are victimless crimes (traffic laws, pedestrian laws, gun possession, prostitution, drug use, etc.) with laws forbidding those acts created to serve as revenue streams for local government and/or to steal the people's liberties.  If there's no actual law to enforce, police often make one or more up out of thin air, claiming that innocuous activities like watching or videotaping police activities — including arrests on public streets, walking in certain neighborhoods, parking on certain streets and putting trash in trash cans — are crimes.

Bill would charge owners of wandering chickens with trespassing.  The New Hampshire Legislature is considering a bill that would make trespassing fowl a violation, not for the chicken, but for its owners.  Under the proposal, anyone who knowingly, recklessly or negligently allows their domestic fowl to enter someone else's property without permission can be convicted of a violation if the birds damage crops or property.

Texas Tech student questioned by TSA for brandishing school's 'finger gun' salute.  Taking a semester off from Texas Tech University to help her family recover from Hurricane Harvey, Diana Durkin was thrilled to return to campus for her sophomore year.  But ironically, it was her enthusiasm that nearly halted her plans when she was stopped by the TSA before a Jan. 6 flight out of William P. Hobby Airport in Houston.

The 10 Worst Helicopter Parenting Moments of 2017.  An Omaha woman taking her niece out of an SUV when the wind blew the door shut and the car locked with her keys and the child inside.  The mom, the aunt and two other relatives tried frantically to open the door using a hanger and screwdriver, and when they couldn't, they called 911.  The cops arrived, broke the window, and got the child out, safe and sound.  Then ticketed mom on "suspicion of child abuse by neglect."

Woman faces criminal charges for rescuing starving dog.  A dog rescued in Scioto County was so emaciated, an official said it lost half of its body weight.  That official, Rhonda Rose from the Scioto Area Humane Society, said she rescued the dog at the last minute, only to be charged with two crimes.  Rose works as the Treasurer of the Humane Society.  She has been charged with criminal trespass and petty theft after rescuing the dog.

Good samaritan could face charges for trying to help rescue child from burning truck.  An Idaho woman who acted as a good Samaritan when a child was stuck inside a burning truck could face charges — all over a fire extinguisher.  "I'm in absolute shock," said Tequila Isaacson who jumped in to help when the pickup truck went up in flames.

Food Truck Giving Free Food to Hurricane Workers, Kicked Out of Town for Not Having a Permit.  After Irma devastated Florida, most restaurants and stores were shut down in certain areas.  Green Cove Springs was one of those places.  So, when Jack Roundtree, owner of the Triple J BBQ food truck, arrived in town, not only was he welcomed with open arms — he was desperately needed.  As he sold BBQ to paying customers, Roundtree used the extra money to feed utility workers for free for all their hard work.  However, once officials saw a man who'd dare sell food in their town without paying them first, police were called in to make quick work of this entrepreneurial good samaritan.

Now, bringing an American flag to Arlington Cemetery can get you one year in jail.  Current law does not permit people to bring American flags to grave sites after Congress passed legislation following protests from the Westboro Baptist Church at service members funerals, The Washington Post reported Tuesday [7/4/2017].  Former Michigan GOP Rep. Mike Rogers helped pass the Respect For America's Fallen Heroes Act in 2006, making it illegal to protest funerals within 300 feet of a cemetery.  The legislation had the unintended consequence of barring the bringing of "any placard, banner, flag, or similar device."  Flags are permitted, however, if they are "part of a funeral, memorial service, or ceremony."  Violating the law can bring penalties of up to a year in jail.

People's Cube Artist Faces 5 Years in Prison for Hanging Up Anti-Terror Posters at GMU.  The artistic genius behind the highly acclaimed conservative satirical site The People's Cube has been arrested and released on $8,000 bail for putting up pro-Israel posters to combat a pro-Islamist conference at George Mason University.  He now faces the prospect of five years in prison for allegedly committing a "class 6 felony."  Beloved satirist Oleg Atbashian (who has contributed to PJ Media) has gotten in trouble for defying authorities before:  "Back in my Soviet dissident days, when I was collecting signatures in defense of Andrei Sakharov, I was screamed at, threatened, and lectured by the KGB and Communist functionaries," Oleg says.  "What I never imagined was that in the United States, the land of the free, I would not only be subjected to similar treatment, but go to jail."

Who Knew It Was A Crime To Hang Anti-Terrorism Posters?  My friend and compatriot Oleg Atbashian found that out the hard way.  Imagine my surprise this morning to find out he had been roughed up and arrested in Fairfax, Virginia.  His crime was hanging anti-terrorism posters on the university campus.  Oh, and bonus... he wasn't even read his rights.

Cop shoots driver — Justified?  You be the judge.  These incidents pretty much all seem avoidable.  Blacks seem to want to run, even from a ticket.  This infraction was "Driving While Dangling Your Handicap Sticker."

Prosecutors Gone Wild?  IHOP Employee Actually Arrested For Giving Away Too Many Free Drinks.  The gig is up for a 27-year-old man accused of giving away $3,000 worth of free drinks at a Downtown Brooklyn IHOP.  William F. Powell, was arrested after Akrell Cox, the owner of the IHOP, grew suspicious of Powell's dismal beverage sales.  "I am the modern day Robin Hood," Powell told investigators after he was caught.  "I am not stealing, I am serving the ones in need, I take from the rich and give to the poor," the former employee said, according to a criminal complaint.

Single Mom Faces Jail Time After Participating in Facebook Food Group.  A Stockton woman faces an impending trial and potential jail time after she joined a social media community food group, and sold some of the meals she cooked, which county San Joaquin County officials say is against the law.  Mariza Reulas was cited by San Joaquin County for selling an illegal substance, but it wasn't a powder, a pill or a plant.  It was her bowl of homemade ceviche.  "It was just like unreal that they were saying you could face up to a year in jail," said Reulas.

Florida man behind bars for having a milk crate.  The crate was attached to a bicycle that Timothy Troller was riding when he was stopped in Auburndale Thursday night [10/6/2016] by a deputy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, WFLA-TV reports.  Troller was arrested and charged with possession of a dairy crate, a misdemeanor, the station reported Friday.  As of Saturday the 34-year-old man was still being held at the Polk County Jail.  Troller's grandfather Edward Hale told the station he didn't know having a milk crate was a crime.  "I never heard of it," he said.  "This is the first time ever.  He didn't know it was against the law or he wouldn't have put it on the front of the bicycle and rode up and down the road."

What a Middle Schooler's Arrest for Stealing 65-Cent Carton of Milk Says About America's Justice System.  Teenager Ryan Turk faces criminal charges for disorderly conduct and petit larceny for allegedly stealing a 65 cent carton of milk from his middle school cafeteria in Virginia.  That's right, the criminal justice system is utilizing the time, expense, and effort needed to adjudicate a criminal matter in a dispute over a carton of milk.  The mere fact that an eighth-grader can face a criminal charge for such a minor transgression points to a failed exercise of discretion by both the school administration and the law enforcement official involved in this incident, which can be a significant contributor to overcriminalization — the misuse of criminal laws and penalties to try to solve every problem and punish every mistake.

Ohio Man Acquitted For Making Parody Police Department Facebook Page that Led to SWAT Raid.  An Ohio man facing criminal charges for making a satire Facebook page mocking the Parma Police Department got the last laugh last week after he was acquitted by a jury that unanimously decided the page did not violate the state's felony disrupting public services law.  Anthony Novak made international headlines after he created the satire page on March 2 and posted jokes like suggesting helping the homeless was illegal for three months, encouraging minorities not to apply to the department and announcing a police-sponsored 'Pedophile Reform' event that offered sex offenders a chance to become an "honorary police officer of the Parma Police Department."

Vietnam Vet Arrested for Hanging US Flag Upside Down to Protest Eminent Domain.  Homer Martz is a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran who's never committed a crime.  He is so dedicated to protecting and practicing his rights that he stood up for the rights of people to protest the Vietnam war — even after they spat on him.  So, when Homer Martz is arrested for do nothing other than practicing the very rights he stands to protect, and the flag that ostensibly represents them — something has gone awry.  Last week Martz attempted to practice the very rights that the United States government claims its military protects, and for this, he was arrested.

Cops Force Activist to Stop Cleaning Up Neighborhood Trash Left To Rot by City.  Government intrusion into the lives of private citizens knows no bounds.  Reports of citizens living off the grid, camping on their own land, and collecting rainwater, for example, have pushed local and state governments to write, rewrite and re-interpret laws to punish those who have sought to diminish dependence on the existing social hierarchy and seize control of their own lives.  Yet another example comes from the city of Fairfield, Alabama, where local activist Mercutio Southall Sr. — whom readers might remember as the first in a long line of people of color none too gently escorted from Trump rallies across the nation — stepped out onto the streets of Fairfield to visit family and noticed garbage was piling up.  House after house had rotting piles of garbage possibly infested with rats, roaches, ants, and maggots in residential neighborhoods throughout the city.

13-Year-Old Strip Searched Then Thrown in Jail for Burping in Class.  Because of his loud burps, his teacher, Margaret Mines-Hornbeck, reported the boy to Officer Arthur Acosta.  The seventh grader was then taken to an administrative office after being searched for drugs, as the assistant principal accused the 13-year-old of participating in a marijuana transaction.  During the search, the boy was asked to remove his jeans and shoes, then flip the waistband of the shorts he had been wearing underneath.  This was all in vain considering no drugs were found.  After the traumatizing experience, the boy was suspended for the remainder of the year, all because he burped too loud.  But sure enough, that wasn't the end of it.

Court rules for middle school, officer in teen's burp arrest.  A federal appeals court has upheld the petty misdemeanor arrest of an Albuquerque student accused of repeatedly disrupting his middle-school class with loud burps [8/1/2016].

Michigan Family Arrested for Overdue Library Book.  After receiving four notices from the library asking them to return the books and pay the resulting late fees, the Duren family did indeed return The Rome Prophecy.  However, they did not return A Hatful of Seuss, as their son had lost it.  Because the Durens did not return the Dr. Seuss book, the library contacted the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) of the Lenawee County Prosecutor's Office.  A detective by the name of Robert Kellogg became involved, demanding the family pay the library late fees; the amount owed has not been disclosed.  However, local reporting by The Tecumseh Herald found that between 2013 and 2014, library patrons had a total of 248 overdue items, and those overdue items generated $3,061 in late fees.  That equals, on average, around $12 in fees per item.  The actual amount the Durens owed to the library remains unknown, but the Dr. Seuss book can be acquired on Amazon for as little as 63 cents.

Man Asks Girls If They Are Selling Girl Scout Cookies.  It Was Plausible.  Cops Were Called.  Let's hear it for the Caledonia, Wisconsin police, who are alerting neighbors in the proximity of something truly terrifying:  A man who spoke to two girls without getting out of his car.  Perhaps the best thing about this story is the headline, from WDJT in Milwaukee:  "Potentially Suspicious Man Asks Girls about Buying Girl Scout Cookies.  Is "potentially suspicious" even a thing?  Aren't we all potentially suspicious?

Parents to face charges if they approach school to pick up child under new policy.  Texas parents have had enough of an elementary school's new pick up policy that reportedly could have them face trespassing charges if they try to get their child after the school day is over.  Bear Branch Elementary in Magnolia implemented the policy at the beginning of the school year.  Under the new rules, if a student does not take the bus, parents must wait in the mile-long car pick up line to get their child, according to Fox 26 Houston.  Now, some parents have pulled their kids from the school.  "She's threatening to arrest people," Wendy Jarman said about Principal Holly Ray to the Fox station.

School's new policy bans parents from walking children to school.  Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing.  That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD.  This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.  Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year.  The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line.  Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

The Editor says...
No matter how close you live, you can't walk to that school.  Is the school not on public property?  Can pedestrians with no connection to the school walk by?  Why are the schools centrally located in neighborhoods if the kids can't go there on foot?  And aren't these the same nanny-state bureaucrats who preach about childhood obesity?  Maybe walking to school would be good for them.  And if walking to school is prohibited, what does the parent do who does not own a car, or the car's in the repair shop?

Ohio Cops Think This Guy Should Go to Jail for Making Fun of Them.  Anthony Novak's parody of the Parma Police Department's Facebook page included what the Cleveland Plain Dealer describes as "obviously fake news posts," but this is not one of them:  The Parma Police Department wants to charge the 27-year-old with a felony for creating the page.  The felony, disrupting public services, is punishable by up to 18 months in prison — a pretty steep penalty for irking local police officials.  "We believe the material that Novak posted on the fake account crossed the line from satire to an actual risk to public safety," Lt. Kevin Riley told The Plain Dealer.  "We presented the facts of this case and the investigation to our law department, and they agreed that Novak's actions were criminal in nature."  It is hard to see how.  Novak's page is no longer online, but there is nothing in The Plain Dealer's description of of it that sounds like a crime.

Charleston's storied history is off-limits to the unlicensed.  [Scroll down]  And of course there's more antebellum mansions than you can shake a stick at.  And if I were telling you all of this while standing on a street in Charleston, there's at least a small chance I'd be arrested for doing it.  That's because anyone who wants to talk about Charleston's history must first obtain a license from the city.  Getting that license means passing a 200-question written exam — a passing grade is 80 percent or higher — and then passing an oral exam conducted by taxpayer-funded city officials.  To pass both exams, would-be tour guides have to memorize pretty much the entire history of Charleston.

In advance of big storm, New Jersey lifts licensing laws for shoveling snow.  Just days ahead of an expected blizzard on the East Coast, New Jersey has officially repealed a nonsensical rule banning the shoveling of snow without a license.  Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday signed a bill making it legal for New Jersey residents to offer snow shoveling services without first registering with their town.  Last year, two entrepreneurial teens going door-to-door and offering to shovel snow for a small fee were stopped by local police in Bound Brook.

Man charged with felony for passing out jury rights fliers in front of courthouse.  A Mecosta man is charged with a felony for obstruction of justice and misdemeanor of tampering with a jury for passing out fliers about jury nullification rights on the sidewalk of the Mecosta County courthouse.  Keith Wood, 39, faces these charges after handing out about 50 fliers on Nov. 24, which the Fully Informed Jury Association wrote, that describe juror rights that are typically not given by judges during jury instructions before a trial.

Florida Woman Arrested, Accused of Riding Sea Turtle.  Multiple media outlets report that 20-year-old Stephanie Marie Moore was arrested by Melbourne police early Saturday [9/26/2015] on the felony charge of trying to "possess, sell, molest marine turtle."

Student Arrested For 'Impeach Obama' Sign Sues the Police.  I live on Long Island and am fairly sure no one ever got arrested for hanging an "Impeach Bush" sign anywhere, which there were a lot of. [...] The judge tossed the charges against him because it was a violation of his free speech.

Marine Vet Charged for Painting Picnic Table.  Charges are expected to be dropped against a disabled Marine veteran who painted a deteriorating picnic table at his Virginia apartment complex.  Mickey Triplett was charged with destruction of property for painting a picnic table at the Potomac Ridge Apartments.

Woman who lifted baton during fatal Los Angeles police shooting could receive long prison term.  An officer dropped a nightstick during a struggle with a homeless man who was shot to death by police on Los Angeles' Skid Row, and the woman who picked it up now faces an assault charge that could send her to prison for 25 years to life.

The Editor says...
Stealing a nightstick is a serious offense — but not serious enough to send someone to the penitentiary.

Woman Jailed For Not Renewing Dog License.  This is just stupid.  I can see charging her a fine for being late with getting the dog license, but this is way out of line.  She is 3½ months late on renewing the dog license, gets repeated calls, emails and threats on it, with the last one being a threat of a warrant being issued.  She renewed the license and went down the next day to prove it.  Instead of accepting the proof, they left her 14 year-old daughter in the car, frisked her, printed her and threw her in jail.

Since when are offensive signs illegal?
Colorado Springs man arrested on suspicion of posting offensive signs.  A 44-year-old man was arrested Tuesday [6/30/2015] on suspicion of posting offensive signs in the city, Colorado Springs police said.  Vincent Broughton of Colorado Springs is accused of posting signs near a church at the 200 block of East Platte Avenue earlier this month, according to a police news release. [...] One said "Black men be aware, you are the target."

Black Suspect Arrested After Racist Message Discovered Outside Predominately Black Church.  A Colorado Springs man was arrested after police believe he left racist messages outside a church.  Vincent Broughton, 44, who is black, is facing charges for committed a bias-motivated crime and disorderly conduct.

Florida Town to Make it Illegal for Homeowners to Back Into Own Driveway So it's Easier for City to Fine Them.  The city bosses in Jacksonville, Florida are floating a new ordinance that would make it illegal for homeowners to park their cars with the front end pointing toward the street.  The new rule is meant to help city cops and government officials to more easily fine homeowners if they have a disabled car on their property.

Federal Court Says It's 100% Legal To Give Cops The Finger.  It's now perfectly legal to flip off a cop.  A police officer can't simply pull you over because you gave them the "finger," according to a federal appeals court ruling from 2013.

State Rep Wants to Make it Illegal to Taunt Police.  Before he was elected to the House in 2009, Democratic Pennsylvania State Representative Dom Costa was the Chief of Police in Pittsburgh.  In total, he spent nearly three decades as a member of the force. He was even shot in the line of duty in 2002.  He is no stranger to what police have to go through on a daily basis.  He knows that it's one of the toughest jobs there is.  But it's more than a little troubling that Costa wants to take a permanent marker to the Constitution, drawing a big old line through that little thing we like to call the First Amendment.  You see, Costa has decided that it should be against the law to taunt a police officer.  Yes, taunt.

Let 'free range' kids roam home.  Two Sundays ago, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv of Montgomery County, Md., got a call from Child Protective Services.  Police had taken their two children, ages 10 and 6, into custody three hours earlier and were holding them at the crisis center.  Had the children been abused?  No.  Were they lost?  No.  So what prompted this extraordinary intervention?  A concerned pedestrian had seen the children walking alone and called 911.  It was the second time in four months that the Meitivs' children were reported to authorities as they walked home from parks about a mile away.

'Free range kids' and the dangers of an overprotective society.  [Scroll down]  In Sunday's event, the police lured the children into their car by telling them they would take them home from the park.  Instead, they were, in their mother's words, "confined to the back of a police car for almost three hours without any explanation of why they were being detained."  They were not fed and were unable to call or speak with their parents who were growing frantic with worry.

'Free-range' kids and our parenting police state.  They were coming home from a park, on this gorgeous, blossoming weekend, after playing.  And for this, a 10-year-old and his 6-year-old sister ended up in the back of a squad car.  Again.  For hours this time.  In the bizarre nationwide culture war over how much freedom children should have to play outside alone, the youngest combatants — Rafi and Dvora Meitiv — are the ones being damaged the most.  This is getting pretty ridiculous.  Somehow we've morphed from being a village that helps raise children to a parenting police state.

'Free-Range' Parents Will Sue CPS for Grabbing Their Kids.  The Meitivs are lawyering up, and will file some kind of lawsuit against Montgomery County, Maryland, officials who took their children while the youngsters were walking outside by themselves. [...] Aren't prisoners allowed one phone call, or is that just on TV?  Because the Meitiv kids weren't able to contact their parents in the six hours they were held by the authorities.

You are probably breaking the law right now.  If you walk down the sidewalk, pick up a pretty feather, and take it home, you could be a felon — if it happens to be a bald eagle feather.  Bald eagles are plentiful now, and were taken off the endangered species list years ago, but the federal law making possession of them a crime for most people is still on the books, and federal agents are even infiltrating some Native-American powwows in order to find and arrest people.  (And feathers from lesser-known birds, like the red-tailed hawk are also covered).  Other examples abound, from getting lost in a storm and snowmobiling on the wrong bit of federal land, to diverting storm sewer water around a building.

Atlanta-area garbage collector jailed for going to work too early: 7 Online.  A sanitation worker in an Atlanta suburb is behind bars for getting to work too early.  Kevin McGill was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating a Sandy Springs ordinance that says workers can only haul trash between the hours of 7am and 7pm.  McGill was cited for picking up the trash just after 5am one morning.

72-Year-Old-Man Facing 10 Years In Prison Over Antique Pistol.  Gordon van Gilder, a retired teacher and self-proclaimed history buff, is facing 10 years in prison and the loss of his pension over his possession of an unloaded antique flintlock pistol.  The day after van Gilder told a deputy during a routine traffic stop about his antique gun, four law enforcement officers showed up at his house to arrest him, because New Jersey state law classifies antique firearms the same way it classifies regular guns.

New Jersey man facing ten years in prison for possession of 300 yr old flintlock pistol.  There's trouble brewing in New Jersey, as reported by our Townhall colleague Matt Vespa.  72 year old retired teacher Gordon VanGilder was arrested and now faces trial on weapons possession charges.  That's a sad, but not terribly unusual story in the Garden State which remains fairly unfriendly to Second Amendment rights.  What gives this story a seriously tragic twist is that the weapon VanGilder was "caught" with is nearly 300 years old.

When letting your kids out of your sight becomes a crime.  One recent Saturday afternoon, six police officers and five patrol cars came to my home in Silver Spring.  They demanded identification from my husband and entered our home despite not having a warrant to do so.  The reason for this show of force?  We had allowed our children to walk home from a neighborhood park by themselves.  A few hours later, a Montgomery County Child Protective Services (CPS) social worker coerced my husband into signing a "temporary safety plan" for our children by threatening to take the children "right now" — a threat she backed up with a call to the police.

NYPD Has a Plan to Magically Turn Anyone It Wants Into a Felon.  On Wednesday [2/4/2015], NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton urged state legislators to consider increasing the penalty for resisting arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony.  The change, he argued, would help New Yorkers "get around this idea that you can resist arrest.  You can't."  It would also give cops an easy way to turn victims of their own worst impulses into the worst class of criminal.  In theory, a resisting arrest charge allows the state to further punish suspects who endanger the safety of police officers as they're being apprehended; in practice, it gives tautological justification to cops who enjoy roughing people up.

Police stop teens seeking snow shoveling work.  School was closed for the blizzard that wasn't, but there was still enough snow on the ground that two high school seniors thought they could make a few extra bucks.  In the process, Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, both 18, also learned a valuable lesson about one of the costs of doing business:  government regulations.  The two friends were canvasing a neighborhood near this borough's border with Bridgewater early Monday evening, handing out fliers promoting their service, when they were pulled over by police and told to stop.

This is a lot like the zero-tolerance nonsense in the public schools.
Eagle-Eyed Detective Thwarts Inmate's Theft Of Jail Spork Valued At Two Cents.  After completing a jail sentence, a Florida woman left the Manatee County lockup last month with a smuggled memento of her time behind bars.  In a Facebook post, the woman wrote, "just a pic of a souvenir I picked up on my 6 month vacation."  Next to that caption was a photo of a spork, the spoon/fork hybrid used by inmates during jail meals.  In a subsequent message, the inmate noted that, "it wasn't easy to get out with me... that's for sure!!!"  What the inmate, whose last name is Jones, did not anticipate was that her Facebook page was being monitored by Detective Todd Zink of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

George Zimmerman Police Report.  Apparently the Lake Mary Police Department made the decision to charge George Zimmerman despite the non-existence of an actual cooperating victim.  The LMPD went to rather extraordinary lengths in order to generate an arrest. [...] Six investigators, body cameras, squad car cameras, DVD's, neighbors questioned, and eight pages of investigative testimonials later — you discover the Lake Mary Police must have a lot of free time on their hands.

Tea Party mom wins lawsuit after being arrested for her beliefs.  The situation that landed 58-year-old Nancy Genovese in jail for four days in 2010 was subject to quite a bit of interpretation on the part of her arresting officer.  The Long Island native might have been taking a picture of a decorative helicopter in the hopes of using it as a feature on a "Support our Troops" website after leaving a rifle range with her legally owned and registered weapon.  Or she might have been taking surveillance photographs of the Gabreski Airport at the Westhampton Beach Air National Guard base with a deadly weapon in her car.  Guess which of these interpretations won the day?

Man From Fruitvale Arrested For Pointing Banana at Officer Bunch.  Nathen Channing, a 27-year-old resident of Fruitvale, Colorado, was taken into custody on Sunday night for pointing a banana at a pair of Mesa County Sheriff's deputies, both of whom initially believed the piece of fruit was a handgun.  The two involved Mesa County deputies were identified as Joshua Bunch and Donald Love, both of whom were identified as victims in the case against Channing, who was arrested on two counts of felony menacing.

Man arrested after pointing banana at police.  A man is facing a felony menacing charge, because two Colorado sheriff's deputies say they thought a banana he pointed at them was a gun. [...] According to an arrest affidavit, Mesa County deputies Joshua Bunch and Donald Love said Channing pointed the fruit at them while crossing a street.  The deputies said they feared for their lives even though they saw that the object was yellow.  Bunch wrote in the affidavit that he has seen handguns in many shapes and colors.

Jail Time for Feeding The Homeless?  Fort Lauderdale, Florida Police charged two pastors and a 90-year-old man, for feeding the homeless in public.  The charges were made on Sunday [11/2/2014], following a new ordinance effectively banning feeding the homeless in public that took effect Friday.

Is this the worst person in America?  Somewhere out there, possibly in Rockaway, N.J., is a person who enjoys making senior citizens suffer.  This hater of the aged decided to rain on their parade by reporting their 10-cent bingo game to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs this past May, according to the Asbury Park Press.  But don't place all the blame on that Grinch.  For instead of laughing off the complaint — because come on, it's 10-cent bingo at a senior home — New Jersey's Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission made the decision to drop the hammer.

Nanny-State Mindset Leads to Police Brutality.  In Florida recently, police pulled up to a young boy playing in the park and asked where his mother lived.  According to a report on WPTV, the mom was then arrested for "allowing her son to go to the park alone."  Her son had a cellphone, and she would check in with him along the way.  The mom believes "he's old enough, but Port St. Lucie Police disagree."  There is a tendency to dismiss stories such as this as a silly mistake by an overzealous police officer, but sadly it's part of a larger problem.

Md. police investigate 'No undocumented Democrats' graffiti as hate crime.  Maryland state police are investigating as a hate crime graffiti that protested illegal immigration on the wall of a former Army Reserve Center that was mulled for use as a shelter for unaccompanied alien children.  "No illeagles [sic] here.  No undocumented Democrats," the graffiti said in capital letters, according to the Carroll County Times.  Lt. Patrick McCrory, commander of the state police Westminster barracks, said the message likely went up Saturday night or early Sunday [7/13/2014].  He said he considered the message to be a hate crime.  "This is definitely a racial, religious, ethnic incident," he told the paper.

The Black Market For Dinosaurs.  On the morning of October 17, 2012, a cadre of federal agents and sheriff's deputies in Gainesville, Florida, went to the home of a suspected fossil smuggler named Eric Prokopi and arrested him.  As I reported in The New Yorker in January, 2013, the case against Prokopi was unusual and aggressive:  it included several counts of felonious smuggling, and characterizations of the defendant as a "one-man black market."  Two months after his arrest, Prokopi pleaded guilty to smuggling the bones of a Tarbosaurus bataar, a Tyrannosaurus rex cousin that lived seventy million years ago in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, which prohibits the commercialization of natural history.

Texas man faces possible life sentence for selling pot brownies.  A couple of weeks ago, I put up a post about the absurd method in which the drug laws allow law enforcement officials to determine the quantity of an illicit drug for which a suspect can be charged.  The laws aren't written to punish offenders for the amount of a given drug they have made available to the public (or, put another way, for the amount of harm they have done).  They're written to inflict the maximum possible amount of punishment.

Diabetic pastor sues after being arrested, denied food and water for holding pro-life sign.  On March 30, 2011, Pastor Stephen Joiner was driving through the streets of Columbus, Mississippi, when he saw dozens of members of Pro-Life Mississippi peacefully holding signs supporting the unborn child's right to life.  He pulled over and learned they were trying to build support for the state's Personhood Amendment, which failed to pass the following November.  Joiner, the pastor of the city's Church of the Nazarene, supported the cause, so he picked up a sign and stood alongside them. [...] Joiner says that Police Captain Frederick Shelton told him to move, because he was blocking traffic, although he was several feet from the road.

Young children could face bullying charges in city.  The Carson City Council gave preliminary approval this week to an ordinance that would target anyone from kindergarten to age 25 who makes another person feel "terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested" with no legitimate purpose.

ACLU backs Nebraska man arrested for handing out religious fliers.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska said Wednesday [4/16/2014] that Larry Ball was on a public sidewalk and exercising his First Amendment rights when he handed out the fliers.

Rappers selling CDs in Times Square file joint suits against city.  Eight rappers say the NYPD treats them differently than other vendors and argues that their music sales are protected free speech.  The most common charges are for disorderly conduct and aggressive begging, but the rappers say the allegations are phony and their cases are ultimately dismissed.

Austin Police Arrest Jogger Because She Couldn't Hear Them.  Austin, Texas, is supposed to be weird.  It is not supposed to be a police state. [...] Jaywalking is a class c misdemeanor, not typically an offense that leads to arrest.  Police say the jogger was arrested for failure to identify herself and for a traffic signal violation.  The arrest is under investigation.  Municipalities often use traffic violation citations to generate revenue.

Boy, 13, arrested for allegedly throwing snowball at cop.  A 13-year-old boy arrested for allegedly hitting a Chicago police officer with a snowball says he was wrongly picked out of a crowd of kids walking home from school.  And besides, he adds, the snowball didn't even hit the cop.  "It made me mad," said the eighth-grader, who is facing a felony charge of battery to a police officer.

Drivers ticketed for failing to clear snow off their vehicles under new 'ice missile' law.  A new law requiring motorists to remove snow and ice from their vehicles has become a new source of revenue for Connecticut.  State police are aggressively ticketing drivers who ignore the so-called 'ice missile' law.  Since the law took effect Jan. 1, state police have issued at least 230 tickets to truckers and motorists who were driving snow-covered vehicles.  At $120 per summons that amounts to $27,600 in tickets in a month and a half.  The fine is $75, plus $45 in various surcharges.

When you ask the police for help, the first thing they investigate is YOU.
South Carolina woman jailed after failing to return movie rented nine years ago.  A South Carolina scofflaw movie renter spent a night in jail this week after police busted her for failing to return a Jennifer Lopez movie she rented nine years ago.  WHNS reports the scenario unfolded after Kayla Michelle Finley went to the Pickens County Jail in the northwestern tip of the state Thursday [2/13/2014] to report an unspecified crime — but instead got charged with one, herself.

Woman jailed for not returning 2005 video rental.  Kayla Michelle Finley may be wishing that services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime had been around a little earlier.  The South Carolina woman spent a night in jail last week for failing to return a video she rented — in 2005.  It was a VHS tape.  Of a Jennifer Lopez movie.  Finley, 27, was arrested Thursday in Pickens County, South Carolina, on a misdemeanor charge of failure to return the video, according to CNN affiliate WYFF-TV.

Woman Says Duke Police Opened Investigation [of her] After She Called To Complain About Muslim Chant.  An Ohio woman who says she called Duke University — to speak her mind about a plan to allow a Muslim student group to issue a weekly call-to-prayer on campus — claims she was contacted by a member of the Duke University Police Department who said she was conducting an investigation about the phone call.  The woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Pam, said she called the office of the Duke men's basketball team early Thursday [1/15/2015] after she read that the school was planning to allow the Muslim Students Association to chant a call-to-prayer, the "adhan," over a microphone from the Duke Chapel bell tower each Friday.

Man discovers it is illegal to wash his car in his own driveway.  A couple of friends cleaning up a car they had just purchased were threatened by the police for car washing in their own driveway.  The reach of the nanny state truly has no bounds when it comes to dictating what people must do on their own private property.

Electric car owner charged with stealing 5 cents worth of juice.  One Saturday in November, Kaveh Kamooneh drove his Nissan Leaf to Chamblee Middle School, where his 11-year-old son was playing tennis.  Kamooneh had taken the liberty of charging the electric car with an exterior outlet at the school.  Within minutes of plugging in the car, he says a Chamblee police officer appeared.  "He said that he was going to charge me with theft by taking because I was taking power, electricity from the school," Kamooneh said.  Kamooneh says he had charged his car for 20 minutes, drawing about a nickel's worth of juice.

City Shuts Down 11-Year-Old Selling Mistletoe to Fund Braces.  An 11-year-old Oregon girl who wanted to help her father pay for her braces by selling mistletoe over the holidays, found herself embroiled in city bureaucracy.  On Saturday, Madison Root went to the downtown market to sell fresh mistletoe she cut and wrapped herself from her uncle's farm in Oregon.  She told KATU News, "I felt like I could help my dad with the money."  However, a private security guard hired by Portland Saturday Market blocked her path to a straighter smile by telling her to stop selling the mistletoe, citing city rules that ban conducting business or soliciting at a park without proper approval and documentation.

Orders for mistletoe pour in after Oregon girl told she can't sell them, but can beg for money at city park.  It appears the Oregon girl who was told she could not sell mistletoe in a public park, but could beg for money to pay for her braces, will be able to pay for dental work... and then some.  Hundreds of mistletoe orders have poured in after reports of 11-year-old Madison Root being told by a security guard that she cannot sell the item at a public park, but she could, if she wanted to, beg for money, KATU.com reported.

Georgia restaurant told to remove flags honoring USA, troops.  Three months ago, Miller put up the American flag, the Georgia state flag and banners for every branch of the military.  On Friday [11/15/2013], he was told they have to come down.  "I'm just floored," said Miller.  "And I called the guy and asked what they're for.  And he said I'm in violation with my flags flying above my restaurant."

Christianity Under Attack in America.  [Scroll down]  This prohibition against Christian religious practice is not limited to the military.  Police throughout the land also frequently come down hard against Christians.  In 2010, a group of students from the Arizona-based Wickenburg Christian Academy were ordered by a police officer to cease their quiet prayers on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.  The officer cited a statute that prohibits demonstrations on the steps, but no official policy bars prayer at that location.

Woman Forced To Strip And Serve Jail Time For Overdue Ticket.  A North Texas woman was handcuffed, stripped down and booked into jail — all because of an overdue traffic ticket.  It was just a ticket.  Sarah Boaz was cited in August after an officer said she ran a stop sign.

D.C. businessman faces two years in jail for unregistered ammunition, brass casing.  Mark Witaschek, a successful financial adviser with no criminal record, is facing two years in prison for possession of unregistered ammunition after D.C. police raided his house looking for guns.  Mr. Witaschek has never had a firearm in the city, but he is being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  The trial starts on Nov. 4.  The police banged on the front door of Mr. Witaschek's Georgetown home at 8:20 p.m. on July 7, 2012, to execute a search warrant for "firearms and ammunition ... gun cleaning equipment, holsters, bullet holders and ammunition receipts."

The Editor says...
When the cops start raiding houses looking for gun cleaning equipment, holsters and receipts, we are living in East Germany.

Viva the shutdown! Like Atlas Shrugged in reverse.  You or I might think one of the main points of sequestering a wilderness zone like Yellowstone Park would be so visitors could get more intimate with nature by skinny-dipping in a cooling stream, perhaps under the influence of alcoholic beverages.  But the park rules say no — and there's a whole army of uniformed government employees just itching to enforce them.  Is this really what government is for?  Really?

Park Service threatens to arrest WWII vets who try to visit their memorial.  So, you've heard the story today about the group of World War II veterans who had to break through barriers deliberately placed there by the Obama administration as part of its game-playing over the Democrat-forced government shutdown.  It's bad enough that they were deliberately inconveniencing 80-90 year old men who honorably served their country.  I thought that was pretty low.  And I was right, but I didn't think they could sink any lower.  Well, they did.

CO Rescue Pilot Issued Parking Ticket for His Helicopter.  So ridiculous it's funny... and sadly idiotic.

You step out of line, the man comes and takes you away.
Seattle cops to don opponents' jerseys.  The Seahawks announced Wednesday that undercover law-enforcement officers will wear opposing team jerseys at games this season in an effort to quickly detect fans exhibiting unruly and inconsiderate behavior.

This was either an act of nit-picking legalism or political activism:
Hidden camera catches culprit taking man's Second Amendment sign.  A New York man, frustrated when his pro-Second Amendment sign kept disappearing, was surprised when the hidden camera he set up revealed the culprit to be a local cop.  Jon Gibson, of rural Lake Lincolndale, about 50 miles north of New York City, told FoxNews.com he set up a hunting field camera near the sign, which reads "Protect the Second Amendment," and features the silhouette of an assault rifle, after two mysteriously vanished.  A third sign disappeared before the camera finally captured the sign stealer — a police officer from the nearby Somers Police Department.

Caught On Camera: Cop Kicks, Confiscates Pro-2nd Amendment Sign.  A police officer from Somers Police Department in New York has been caught kicking and then taking a pro-Second Amendment sign from the yard of Jon Gibson of Lake Lincolndale, New York.  Gibson's sign said, "Protect the Second Amendment," with a silhouette of an AR-15 across the top.

Every action requires a permit.
Police Stop Effort to Feed the Homeless.  In Raleigh, North Carolina the non-profit religious group, Love Wins Ministries, makes an effort to feed and help the homeless every Saturday and Sunday.  But this weekend was different.  The group was attempting to hand out coffee and sausage biscuits when the police officers arrived.

State Seizes Two-Year-Old Child From Parents Because They Smoked Pot, Child Dies in Foster Care.  Statistics on child abuse in foster care are, perhaps unsurprisingly, hard to come by, but children in foster care may be up to 10 times more likely to die than children in the care of their own parents; one estimate places the number of children who die in foster care in the US every year at about 1540.

Auburn cop fired for blowing the whistle on ticket, arrest quotas.  Do police officers write tickets because of quotas?  Most law-enforcement agencies will deny that any exist, but the police department in the college town of Auburn, Alabama will find that difficult.  One of their officers secretly recorded briefings in which quotas were explicitly demanded for traffic citations, arrests, and other "contacts," which if enforced would have meant nearly 1.5 police contacts per resident each year.

Man charged with Brandishing for putting gun away.  [Scroll down]  I grew up in a legal family, married a judge's daughter and have known dozens of judges both good and bad over the years.  I have never however, seen a judge behave as badly as the one in this case.  He simply did not want to hear any of the defense.

Free Justin Carter Now.  In the state of Texas, a 19-year-old man named Justin Carter sits in prison, ruthlessly stripped of his freedom for making an offensive joke. [...] For this he was arrested by Austin police, charged with making a "terroristic threat," and thrown into prison. He may languish there until the start of the next decade. [...] He's been incarcerated since March without trial.

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Exercise Their 1st Amendment Rights.  This last winter a Texas teenager, Justin Carter, made a very stupid and tasteless mistake. [...] Carter has been jailed on (an unaffordable) $500,000 bail since the late winter/early spring (accounts vary), through the spring and now well into the summer.  According to his parents (who claim that he is a danger to no one at all), he has been assaulted numerous times and is now in solitary confinement on suicide watch, stripped naked in a dimly lit cell with a hole in the ground.

Indiana man faces possible jail time for nursing bald eagle back to health.  This reminds me of a 2011 story in which an 11-year-old Virginia girl rescued a woodpecker from the family cat only to be approached by a Fish & Wildlife agent flanked by an armed state trooper informing them of a court date and a $500 fee.

When everything is a crime, government data mining matters.  Prosecutors have become kings, with the ability to find a crime committed by just about anyone.  Data mining and access to internet activity can help find terrorists, but it also can be used to find crimes which were not previously known to have been committed by political opponents.  A "find the target first, then find the crime" political approach requires access to information of an unprecedented level.  Which is exactly what is happening.

Philly Activists Arrested and Cuffed at Independence Hall for Handing Out Fliers.  Mark Passio wrote about his experience last Saturday [5/25/2013].

Yep, it's those last two bullets that'll really do some damage.
NY Man Arrested for Having Nine Bullets Instead of Seven Loaded in Gun.  Gregory D. Jean of New York was pulled over Sunday evening because the lamp over his license plate was not working.  He ended up arrested for violating the new NY SAFE Act.  The troopers saw Jean's .40 caliber pistol in the front seat and asked to inspect it.  The weapon is legally registered and possessed, but it contained nine bullets instead of the new legal amount of seven.

DA Refuses to Prosecute Man Arrested For Having Two Extra Bullets.  Gregory Dean Jr. was recently arrested — pulled over when authorities noticed a license plate lamp was out on his vehicle.  The lamp wasn't the problem, however.  Troopers noticed a handgun in the vehicle.  The weapon was legally registered to Dean, but upon further inspection, the gun was noted to have 9 rounds as opposed to 7 — a violation of the SAFE Act.  He was charged with 'Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices', and faced a possible 6 months in jail.  For two extra bullets.

Dad in New York Arrested For Letting His Daughter Play With Plastic Airsoft Gun in Park.  A father in New York City has been arrested on a host of charges after letting his daughter play with an Airsoft Gun in a park.  The father let the child fire a couple of plastic BBs at a tree and then carry the "gun" around the park.  The father was arraigned Thursday on charges including reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and violating city weapons laws.  The man was also charged with resisting arrest after he objected to the arrest.

Mother of 3-Year-Old Fined $2,500 for Toddler's "Public Urination".  A Piedmont [Oklahoma] police officer was fired for writing an excessively hefty fine for her three-year-old's "public urination" on the family's property.

The $4,000 Trash Can.  [Martha] Boneta, a Fauquier County farmer, hosted a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls — an occasion for which she lacked the proper "events permit."  For this, the county slammed her with a $5,000 fine.  She also got in hot water for selling items, such as yarn and birdhouses, that she had not made herself.

The Mayor of East St. Louis is the New Baby Sitter.  A new restriction passed by Mayor Alvin Parks of East St. Louis has enacted a new curfew and dress code for the city's youth.  Anyone under 18 that is caught out of class during school hours, outside after 10pm or out of the house or school anytime without a parent or guardian, they will be arrested.  Additionally, the mayor decided that youth should also be prohibited from wearing any blue or red.

'Overcriminalization' Making Us a Nation of Felons?  Critics argue there are so many new laws, rules, and regulations that it's all too easy to violate one of these laws and never know you did it.  Take, for example, Texas retiree George Norris and his wife, Kathy:  federal agents raided and ransacked their Texas home in 2003.  Originally, the indictment against them was sealed, so they weren't even told why they were targeted at first. [...] George wound up serving nearly two years in federal prison alongside killers, rapists, and other hardened criminals.  What was his crime?  A paperwork violation related to flowers in his backyard nursery:  buying, importing, and selling perfectly legal orchids.

The Environmentalists' Police and Welfare States.  The story about the abuses by Fauquier County against Martha Boneta, the farmer, of pitchfork protest fame, just gets creepier and creepier.

Duncan, South Carolina Police Ticket Parents for Cheering During High School Graduation.  [In Duncan, South Carolina,] it's against the law to cheer for your kid during the graduation ceremonies.  In the past, parents and relatives who cheered were escorted by cops from the stadiums.  But Duncan residents went civil disobedience in response, standing to cheer and then simply leaving the stadium on their own. [...] This year, the cops busted 13 parents for nefarious cheering.

The Nanny State Meets the Quota Cops.  Here's the kind of story that makes me fear for the future of the nation.  It is a disturbing example of both government stupidity and soft tyranny.

Pitchfork Protest Farmer Confronts Government Corruption and RetributionAmerican Thinker was the first to report about how Fauquier County, Virginia attempted to fine farmer Martha Boneta for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a special events permit.

I'll bet they wouldn't have stopped a Muslim from doing the same thing.
City tells woman she can't pass out free water in 112-degree heat.  The city of Phoenix is facing a possible lawsuit after a woman claimed a city worker told her she could not pass out free water in the Arizona heat without a permit.  Dana Crow-Smith tells ABC 15 she was passing out water bottles in the 112-degree heat along with others in an attempt to share their Christian beliefs with people attending a festival downtown last month, when a city worker ordered them to stop.  She said the worker told the group they would be cited if they continued passing out the water because they did not have a permit.

Connecticut town threatens to take overgrown pet bunny from girl, 7.  A 7-year-old Connecticut girl will lose her 20-pound pet rabbit if North Haven officials get their way.  Zoning Enforcement Officer Arthur Hausman issued a cease-and-desist order to the Lidsky family two weeks ago, informing them that they were violating town zoning regulations because their property was smaller than the 2 acres required to keep rabbits and other types of livestock.

The Editor says...
The city government thinks a rabbit needs two acres of land?  Really?  Who has two acres or more in Connecticut?

Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail — for Collecting Rainwater on His Property.  Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon, says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called "three illegal reservoirs" on his property — and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

NJ dad saves 5-year-old, car plunges over cliff, dad gets traffic tickets.  Some stories so teem with action that they create a nightmare for headline writers.  This one not only teems with action but has a galling anticlimax.

Business Owner Threatened with Jail Time for Flying American Flag.  A Georgia man was slapped with a ticket and threatened with jail time after he refused to remove an American flag that's been flying outside his business for more than thirty years.  An Albany code enforcement officer alleged that Tom Gieryic's flag was in violation of the city's sign ordinance.  The standard size American flag was posted on a pole outside Gieryic's automotive repair shop.

Choc and Awe.  I am looking this bright Easter morn at a Department of Homeland Security "Custody Receipt for Seized Property and Evidence".  Late last night, crossing the Quebec/Vermont border, my children had two boxes of "Kinder Eggs" ("Est. Dom. Value $7.50?) confiscated by Customs & Border Protection.  Don't worry, it's for their own safety.

Woman cuffed for not holding escalator handrail.  Anyone who has ridden an escalator and bothered to pay attention has seen — and likely ignored — little signs suggesting riders hold the grimy handrail.  In Montreal's subway system, the friendly advice seems to have taken on the force of law, backed by a $100 fine.  Bela Kosoian, a 38-year-old mother of two, says when she didn't hold the handrail Wednesday [5/13/2009] she was cuffed, dragged into a small holding cell and fined.

D.C. Cops Throw Drivers in Jail for Expired Tags.  In a city that hosts its fair share of murders and terror plots, Washington, D.C., police are cracking down on another threat to the nation's capital — expired vehicle registrations.  To the frustration of forgetful drivers, Metropolitan Police Department officers are throwing people in jail for letting their tag renewals lapse.

Vertical tag law costs unsuspecting biker.  Antonio Gonzales rode his customized Harley-Davidson from New Mexico to Bike Week, and then his wallet got a painful welcome from a Flagler Beach police officer — a $1,151 citation for having his bike's license plate mounted vertically on a saddle bag.  "I rode all the way out here and all I have is 700 bucks," Gonzales said.  "Then I get a $1,151 ticket."  Many bikers who ride customized motorcycles mount their plates vertically.

Girl, 10, Arrested for Using Knife to Cut Food at School.  A 10-year-old Florida girl faces felony weapons charges after bringing a small steak knife to school to cut up her lunch, according to a report on MyFOXOrlando.com.  School officials say the Ocala 5th grader had brought a piece of steak for her lunch, and a four and a half inch steak knife with which to cut it.  According to the report, a couple of teachers took the utensil and called authorities, who arrested the girl and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.

Many more stories like this are on the Zero Tolerance Page.

Topeka Cracks Down On Unlicensed Bicycles.  Topeka police are warning local bicycle owners they could face up to $76 in fines and court costs if they're caught pedaling unlicensed bikes.  Already this year 27 cyclists have received citations that include a $10 fine plus $66 court costs for riding unlicensed bikes.

Police in Laramie, Wyo., Cite Teen Girls Who Threw French Fries for 'Hurling Missiles'.  Three 13-year-old girls accused of throwing french fries during lunchtime at their school were cited for "hurling missiles," an adult infraction covered by city ordinances.

Woman Arrested for Dancing at the Jefferson Memorial.  At 11:59, just four minutes after the event's start, U.S. Park Police had detained and were handcuffing the aforementioned "Jefferson 1" … ostensibly for unauthorized dancing.  Or, as former Bureaucrash chief Jason Talley puts it, "One minute I'm taking video of people celebrating the freedoms etched in the walls surrounding us, the next we see armed agents of the state putting chains on a friend of ours."

Woman cuffed, booked for not paying library fines.  A Wisconsin woman has been arrested and booked for failing to pay her library fines.  Twenty-year-old Heidi Dalibor told the News Graphic in Cedarburg that she ignored the library's calls and letters as well as a notice to appear in court.  Still, she was surprised when officers with a warrant knocked on her door, cuffed her and took her to the police station to be fingerprinted and photographed.

The U.S. police state:  Attorney Russ Stein details his arrest for "idling."  You have to read it to believe it.

Subway Rider Busted for Selling a Token.  Transit police handcuffed and cited a man who sold a $1.75 subway token to another rider who was having trouble with a token vending machine.  Transit authority spokeswoman Jocelyn Baker … acknowledged that [Donald] Pirone sold the token at face value and did not make a profit.  But the law is the law, she said.

A similar but different case:
Just for a nickel token.  Because Mrs. Romanski picked up an abandoned token, she was surrounded, arrested and led to a security office.  There the guards stole her orphaned nickel.  They refused to let her use a restroom by herself.  They prevented her from having lunch with her friends.  Finally they threw her out of the casino.

Police Arrest NH Man For Giving a Manicure Without a License.  A self-proclaimed manicurist decided to open for business in Concord [NH] on Monday [5/9/2005] without the state's approval, attacking state licensing laws with a nail file.  Michael Fisher, 23, of Newmarket, N.H., was arrested and charged with violating the state's license law.  He said he organized the protest to call attention to what he said are needless obstacles facing small businesses in the state. … The manicure performed without a license was undertaken right outside the state Board of Barbering, Cosmetology and Esthetics office.

HPD still issuing tickets for license plate borders.  "It was never the intention of the Legislature for people to be receiving traffic citations for having license brackets," said state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, who sponsored the bill.  "It's clearly out of bounds for them to be issuing tickets now." ... The [Houston police] department's most prolific officer, Matthew Davis, issued at least 1,216 license bracket tickets since January.  He wrote 30 in one day in February and has issued more than 200 since [Governor] Perry signed Williams' bill.

$185 fine for dropping sunflower seed.  It could be called a case for the birds, but an Oklahoma woman is crying fowl over a $185 fine for dropping a sunflower seed in public.

Boston transit police begin passenger ID stops.  Although officials would release few details about the initiative, the identity checks will mark the first time local rail and subway passengers will be asked to produce identification and be questioned about their activities.

It's illegal to recite the Gettysburg Address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  It is illegal to deliver the Gettysburg Address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial without permission from the U.S. National Park Service.  On President's Day — standing where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream Speech" — Phillip Howell, 25, recited Lincoln's famous address and was quickly stopped by a Park Police officer.  He told Howell that he could not give speeches on the steps of the memorial without a permit.

Woman Ticketed for Sitting on a Playground Bench with No Kids.  The Rivington Playground on Manhattan's East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child. … [The ticket] could bring a one thousand dollar fine and 90 days in jail.

What ever happened to respecting our elders?  An 82-year-old California woman says an officer cited her for taking too long to cross an intersection.  Mayvis Coyle insists when she entered the crosswalk the signal was green, but it turned red before she reached the other side where an officer was waiting with a $114 ticket.  "He treated me like a six year old, like I don't know what I'm doing," Coyle said.

Woman arrested over 96 cents.  A Mansfield, Ohio, woman was arrested and jailed for failure to file a 2001 city income tax bill totaling 96 cents … [after] she explained the situation to a city employee who told her not to bother with the trifling amount.

Handicap permit should let a man sit.  Arthur doesn't want me to tell you his last name because he'd rather not get on the bad side of the police. … His wife walks into the store to shop.  Arthur likes to wait in the car.  "I can't follow her around for an hour and a half," he tells me.  They've been doing it this way the past year and a half … This worked out fine until the other day when a community service officer working for the Cudahy Police Department leaned in Arthur's open window and told him it was not legal for him to sit in the car and wait like that.

In a police state, everyone is a criminal suspect.
Guards make woman remove bra that triggered metal detector at Idaho courthouse.  Security guards refused to allow a woman into a federal courthouse in Idaho until she removed a bra that triggered a metal detector.  Lori Plato says she and her husband, Owen Plato, were stunned when U-S Marshals Service employees asked her to remove her bra after the underwire supports set off the alarm.

Criminal barbering?  Raids at Orange County shops lead to arrests.  As many as 14 armed Orange County deputies, including narcotics agents, stormed Strictly Skillz barbershop during business hours on a Saturday in August, handcuffing barbers in front of customers during a busy back-to-school weekend. ... In "sweeps" on Aug. 21 and Sept. 17 targeting at least nine shops, deputies arrested 37 people — the majority charged with "barbering without a license," a misdemeanor that state records show only three other people have been jailed in Florida in the past 10 years.

Pennsylvania Woman Cited for Cursing at Toilet.  A Scranton woman who allegedly shouted profanities at her overflowing toilet within earshot of a neighbor was cited for disorderly conduct, authorities said.  Dawn Herb could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.

No suspect is too young.
Texas school police ticketing students as young as six.  School police officers in Texas are doling out more tickets to children as young as 6, who under past disciplinary practices would have been sent to the principal's office instead, according to a report by a Texas nonprofit.

No suspect is too old.
Failure to Water.  In another example of overcriminalization, police in Orem, Utah decided to enforce an ordinance against neglected yards by arresting Betty Perry, a grandmother and widow who was seriously negligent in watering her lawn.  The 70-year old was handcuffed, arrested, and taken to jail.

Police target careless drivers in crosswalk sting.  Coos Bay Police were kept busy Tuesday [2/9/2010] targeting drivers who didn't comply with crosswalk safety laws during a pedestrian safety operation in Empire.  For three hours Tuesday morning, officers were staked out at the intersection of Cammann Street and Newmark Avenue, while a non-uniformed decoy pedestrian used the crosswalk.

Lawsuit: Student arrested for burping.  A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque public school principal, a teacher and a city police officer.

DC Resident Fined Thousands For Not Recycling Cat Litter.  Dupont Circle resident Patricia White says she has been fined eight times for throwing homemade cat litter in her trash.  The fines total $2,000.  White says she shreds old newspaper and junk mail to use as cat litter.  She believes she is helping the environment by reusing the paper and avoiding cat litter you will find in stores.  After being fined several times, White says she called the Department of Public Works inspector who issued the tickets.  According to White, the inspector admitted to digging through trash looking for violations.

Milledgeville Police Handcuff 6-Year-Old Girl for Misbehaving at School.  Milledgeville's acting police chief, Dray Swicord, said Tuesday [4/17/2012] that he stands by an officer's decision to handcuff an elementary school student for safety Friday after she allegedly threw a tantrum.  Swicord said the arresting officer is not under investigation for his actions.




Taking a bite out of crime:

The War on Little Kids with Lemonade Stands

This isn't too far off-topic:
Wyoming Girl Scout Fined $400 for Selling Cookies in Her Grandparents' Driveway.  A Wyoming Girl Scout has been fined $400 for selling cookies in her grandparent's driveway.  Emma McCarroll, 13, nearly missed her sales goal due to a stickler municipal code officer in Pinedale.

Wyoming Girl Scout, 13, Fined $400 For Selling Cookies.  No one likes a story where a Girl Scout doesn't win a prize for selling cookies.  But that's just what nearly happened when a by-the-book municipal code officer in Pinedale slapped a Girl Scout and her mom hundreds of dollars in fines for selling cookies.  Emma McCarroll, 13, almost didn't meet her sales goal because the code enforcement officer was an expert on the rules of where a Girl Scout in Pinedale can stand — and where her mom could park their car while selling them.

Ohio girl's lemonade stand near food festival shut down after complaint.  An 8-year-old girl selling lemonade near an Ohio food festival had her operation shut down by local police after they received a complaint.  Asa Baker was selling lemonade in an alley outside the business where her father works near the Alliance, Ohio Rib and Food Festival last weekend when she says a local police officer asked her to shut down the stand, WJW-TV reported.  "Well, they were really sad that they had to shut me down but they gave me $20 to try and pay for it," Baker said, explaining that the officer gave her $20 for her to use to purchase the needed permit.  Alliance Police Lieutenant Don Wensel told WJW-TV that police received a complaint from festival organizers who seemed to be conflicted about voicing their concerns but ultimately, officers are required to enforce local ordinances.

Everett neighbors say 7-year-old's lemonade stand shut down by the city while complaints over homeless encampment go unaddressed.  An Everett neighborhood is confused at the city's priorities after a 7-year-old girl's lemonade stand was shut down in Rucker Hill Park while complaints over a nearby homeless encampment have gone unaddressed.  Every summer, Elsa LaMaine sets up her lemonade stand at Everett's Rucker Hill Park.  "It's so much fun!" Elsa said.  She sold drinks, treats and flowers at her stand until one day her business was shut down due to a complaint.  "There was a wicked witch who called the ranger," Elsa said, referring to a neighbor who complained to the city's parks department.  A park ranger showed up last Saturday and told Elsa and her grandmother, Cherie LaMaine, to close up shop.  According to the pair, they were told the city doesn't allow people to peddle products on public property.

Texas children hit with cease-and-desist order from local government after selling eggs to neighbors.  A pair of Texas children was hit with a cease-and-desist order by the local government after selling eggs to neighbors in the San Antonio area.  The two girls, 10-year-old Indiana and 8-year-old Phoenix, started collecting extra eggs from the chickens on their property and sold them to those in the community following the devastating Lone Star State freeze in February that roiled the region's food supply.  The sisters generated about $70 per week under the guidance of their father, Brian Johnson, an Army veteran, before the city of Bulverde intervened.  Johnson received a letter in the mail that demanded that he and his girls stop selling the eggs, he told CBS Austin on Thursday [4/22/2021].

Sweet summertime story:  KraftHeinz covering permits/fines for kids' lemonade stands.  For generations, American parents have taught their children the entrepreneurial spirit by helping them open front-yard lemonade stands.  Sometimes even stocked with homemade cookies.  Don't know about you, but my car has to stop at every one of them.  Inevitably, they can't change a $5, so we just have to leave it.  But there's a problem, a big problem.  In 36 of the 50 states, these innocent little kids' projects are illegal by municipal code.  No license to sell.  No permit.  Whatever.  Some grumpy neighbors, who can't remember being young, have even complained to authorities.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott just signed a law overriding such rules in his state and letting local police pay attention to real law-breaking.  But Texas was only the 14th state to okay kids' lemonade stands.

The Editor says...
It's a shame that the police have to be told to "pay attention to real law-breaking."

Texas Gov. Abbott signs law allowing kids to run lemonade stands.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that allows kids to run lemonade stands without fear of being shut down.  The law goes into effect in September and prohibits cities and neighborhood associations from implementing rules that block or regulate children trying to sell nonalcoholic drinks such as lemonade on private property, according to the Texas Tribune.

New York state shuts down child's lemonade stand.  A 7-year-old lemonade stand operator has been put out of business by the New York State Health Department.  The shutdown occurred after vendors at a nearby county fair complained he was undercutting their price, according to the New York Post.  The young entrepreneur, Brendan Mulvaney, was selling lemonade, water and Sno-cones from the porch of his family's home, which just so happens to be right outside the Saratoga County Fair in upstate New York.

NY boy reopens lemonade stand, raises nearly $1K after health dept. shutdown.  A 7-year-old boy running a lemonade stand in Ballston Spa, New York, raised $946 for a sick friend on Saturday, one month after the state's health department caused an uproar by shutting down his operation.  Mulvaney donated proceeds to the family of Maddy Moore, a 12-year-old girl battling Blount's disease, a rare bone development disorder.  When the stand first opened, he had been raising money for a family trip to Disney World.

The Inexplicable War on Lemonade Stands.  I'm beginning to think that there's a nation-wide government conspiracy against either lemonade or children, because these lemonade stand shutdowns seem to be getting more and more common.  If you set up a stand for your kids, just be prepared for a visit from the cops.  In Coralville, Iowa police shut down 4-year-old Abigail Krstinger's lemonade stand after it had been up for half an hour.

The Government War On Kid-Run Concession Stands.  Denver police shut down a lemonade stand [5/29/2018] that two young children were running to raise money to help a 5-year-old Indonesian child; the police claimed that the children were required to obtain a $125 permit from the city.  The shut-down was prompted by a complaint from a nearby adult vendor who was trying to sell lemonade for $7 per cup — he was apparently frustrated that the children were selling their own lemonade at the price of two cups for $1.

America's Attack On Lemonade Stands.  If lemonade stands are symbols of the American dream, and if lemonade stands are under attack in the United States, then the American dream is under attack.  Sure, it's a somewhat breathless syllogism, but there is truth in it.

What's the point of regulating lemonade stands?  In 1983, 6-year-old Ali Thorn's lemonade stand in Belleair, Fla., was closed down after police received an anonymous complaint that her sign did not comply with city ordinances, but was quickly allowed to reopen.  In 1988, 9-year-old Max Schilling's seven-foot high lemonade stand in Watchung, N.J., was shuttered after city officials claimed it was a permanent structure that sat too close to the street and threatened to fine him $500 a day.  After a brief legal fight, Schilling's stand was allowed to reopen.  In 1993, 12-year-old Sarah Knott and 13-year-old Margaret Johnson's stand in Charleston, S.C., was shut down by police officers because they didn't have a peddler's license.  However, after a public outcry, the city apologized to the girls and allowed them to continue.

6 Illicit Lemonade Stands Towns Had to Shut Down.  For generations, entrepreneurial kids have set up card tables in front yards to sell ice cold drinks to passers-by.  But sometimes the law catches up with these renegade youngsters.

New York state shuts down child's lemonade stand.  A 7-year-old lemonade stand operator has been put out of business by the New York State Health Department.  The shutdown occurred after vendors at a nearby county fair complained he was undercutting their price, according to the New York Post.  The young entrepreneur, Brendan Mulvaney, was selling lemonade, water and Sno-cones from the porch of his family's home, which just so happens to be right outside the Saratoga County Fair in upstate New York.  A woman wearing a Health Department T-shirt turned up Friday [7/27/2018] and shut it down because the family didn't have a permit.

Woman seen threatening to call cops on girl selling water resigns from job.  The CEO of a San Francisco marijuana company resigned Tuesday [6/26/2018] after she was seen in a viral video appearing to call police on an 8-year-old African-American girl who was selling bottles of water.  Alison Ettel, founder of TreatWell Health, ignited a wave of backlash after the girl's mother posted footage of Ettel on her Instagram account, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Kraft Heinz paying kids slapped with lemonade stand fines.  Kids getting busted and fined by cops for running neighborhood lemonade stands without permits could come to an end this summer — thanks to food giant Kraft Heinz.  The brand's Country Time Lemonade unit announced Thursday that it will personally defend and pay for any fines that children get for trying to sell the summertime drink.

Cops Raid Little Boys' Lemonade Stand, Shut it Down for Not Having a Permit.  A four-year-old and a six-year-old had their entrepreneurial spirit crushed this week as police descended on their lemonade stand and shut them down for not having a permit.

California girl, 5, cited for operating lemonade stand without a license.  A 5-year-old girl in Porterville, Calif., received a citation in late October for operating a lemonade stand without a license.  In June, Autumn Thomasson decided to operate the stand to raise money to pay for a new bike.  Gabby Dehaas, Autumn's mother, got the word out on social media about her daughter's idea, and in less than 24 hours the girl had enough money for a new ride.

Ottawa bureaucrats shut down children's lemonade stand.  Eliza Andrews, 7, and her sister Adela, 5 set up a lemonade stand to earn money for summer camp.  They had been selling lemonade for $1 a glass from their front lawn for a couple of weeks, but then, like true entrepreneurs, they decided to change the location in order to increase their sales.  That's where they went afoul of Canada's bureaucrats.  They set up shop on federal land which means they needed a permit.  Some passerby apparently snitched because before too long, an agent working for the National Capital Commission showed up and shut them down.

This country has no shortage of power-crazed bureaucratic control freaks.  The nationwide crackdown on lemonade stands is not about health concerns or standing too close to the street.  It is all about control.  No transaction can be allowed to take place without a stack of permits and, most importantly, sales tax.

Almost all these stories have the same ending:  The news media get involved and the public officials back down.  They don't lose their pencil-pushing jobs, but they do back down when embarrassed by the local newspapers.

Summer Has Arrived with the Annual Shutting Down of a Kid's Lemonade Stand.  [Scroll down]  It gets better, by which I actually mean worse.  They can't get this permission that they need to get.  Texas has legislation to regulate home cooks.  Food that requires any sort of temperature control to prevent spoilage cannot be sold without inspection and a permit.  Lemonade qualifies under this rule because it could grow bacteria if left out.

Sisters selling lemonade to raise money for Father's Day gift shut down by police.  Police in Overton, Texas, forced a pair of little girls to shut down their makeshift lemonade stand after only an hour of business.  Sisters Zoey and Andria Green, 7 and 8, were trying to raise $105 for a Father's Day present to take their dad to Splash Kingdom, a local ABC affiliate reported. [...] She and her sister had been open for business about an hour Monday [6/8/2015] and had made more than $25 when police showed up.

25 Reasons To Dislike Liberals.  [#1]  Only liberals would be cruel enough to pick on kids running lemonade stands with a permit, children putting on Christmas plays at school and the Boy Scouts.

Food Freedom Fighters Organize Lemonade Freedom Day.  The Lemonade Freedom Day organization is drawing attention to the increasing number of incidents in which local officials have shut down children's lemonade stands because the kids hadn't obtained the proper permits or were otherwise violating ordinances known only to the bureaucrats.  "Police in Midway, Georgia shut down a lemonade stand run by three girls trying to make money for a trip to a water park in Savannah because the youngsters didn't have the license and permits required for their fledgling enterprise," The New American reported last summer.  "City ordinances require a business license, a peddler's permit, and a food permit for the vending of food or beverages, even on residential property."

Why Lemonade Freedom?  The lemonade stand is one of the great symbols of entrepreneurialism.  When a child opens a lemonade stand, that child is learning how to operate a business, how to provide a product, and how to be a productive member of society all while having fun.  In the recent past, bureaucrats and law enforcers have shut down lemonade stands for not having permits or licenses.  Last year thousands of people across the world participated in Lemonade Freedom Day to show these bureaucrats and law enforcers that they could not shut down kids' lemonade stands.  It was a great success.

Lemonade Stands Find Government Hurts, Rather Than Helps, Business.  Lemonade stands are an iconic American example of children opening businesses.  No government program helps them and these businesses seek no special favors from the state.  That does not mean, however, that the relationship between lemonade stands and government is nonexistent.  As Reason magazine noted in an article one year ago, police have cracked down on unregulated lemonade stands.

I Tried to Open a Lemonade Stand.  In Midway, Ga., a 14-year-old girl and her 10-year-old sister sold lemonade from their front yard.  Two police officers bought some.  But the next day, different officers ordered them to close their stand.  Their father went to city hall to try to find out why.  The clerk laughed and said she didn't know.  Eventually, Police Chief Kelly Morningstar explained, "We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade and of what the lemonade was made with."

Is this still America?  Police officers in Midway, Ga., closed down three girls' front-yard lemonade stand.  Why?  "We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, of what the lemonade was made with, so we acted accordingly by city ordinance."  Well, at least the enterprise-crushing control freaks can't be accused of age discrimination.

Lemonade Wars: The State Battles Entrepreneurialism.  Governments are targeting neighborhood lemonade stands throughout the land of the free.  The reasons behind these "lemonade raids" are similar no matter their location.  Young businessmen and businesswomen, like their mature counterparts, are running afoul of local codes and health ordinances, lacking required permits and licenses, or tripping over bureaucratic red tape.

The Inexplicable War on Lemonade Stands.  I'm beginning to think that there's a nation-wide government conspiracy against either lemonade or children, because these lemonade stand shutdowns seem to be getting more and more common.  If you set up a stand for your kids, just be prepared for a visit from the cops.

Lemonade map
The Government War On Kid-Run Concession Stands.  Map shows cities where authorities have shut down kid-run concession stands.

Map of the Government War on Lemonade Stands.  What's next, a "lemonade czar"?

Appleton police shut down lemonade stand.  It's a summer tradition, especially for two Appleton neighbors.  "The kids have been setting it up for six or seven years now," said Margi Mann.  Two young girls sell lemonade and cookies every year near their house during Appleton's Old Car Show.  But this year that changed.

The War on Lemonade Stands.  In localities around the country this summer, cops have raided and shut down lemonade stands.  The incidents get — and deserve — national attention as telling collisions between classic Americana and the senseless pettifogging that is increasingly the American Way.  There should be an easy rule of thumb for when enforcement of a regulation has gone too far:  When it makes kids cry.

The War on Lemonade.  America is a country founded on entrepreneurship and free enterprise.  That's why one of its most enduring childhood traditions is the lemonade stand.  It teaches children initiative, about the value of money and how to earn it.  Recently, however, children have been learning entirely different lessons — that bureaucrats are in charge and you cross them at your peril.

Government Declares War On Lemonade Stands.  It is the startling fact that all across the country, children are being told that their lemonade stands are against the law.  And not just lemonade stands, but sales of Girl Scout cookies and Japanese green tea have also been declared enemies of the State.  I kid you not.  In community after community, these budding entrepreneurs are being told to pack it up and scoot before they're charged with various violations.  In some instances, in fact, fines have been levied.

Georgia cops bust 10-year-old's lemonade stand.  When three girls in Midway, Georgia set up their lemonade stand, they intended to raise enough money to go to the water park.  But the ever-vigilant local police quickly identified the girls' effort as criminal enterprise and shut them down.

The War on Lemonade Stands! Nanny of the Month, June 2011.  This month's lineup of busybodies includes two regulars:  the FDA, which is slapping new, more graphic, possibly counterproductive, warning labels on cigarette packs and the goldfish grabbers on San Francisco's Animal Control and Welfare Commission.  But top dishonors go to the sour bureaucrat who put the squeeze on a group of kids for running a lemonade stand.

Massachusetts State Police Shutdown Twelve-Year-Old's Green Tea Stand.  Christopher Carr's twelve-year-old stepson had set up a smoothie and green-tea stand near their house when they moved back to the States after the earthquake in Japan.  After they'd set up shop, Christopher took his daughter back inside to get some lunch, leaving his son to manage things at the stand.

Girl's lemonade stand shut down.  Police closed down a lemonade stand in Coralville last week, telling its 4-year-old operator and her dad that she didn't have a permit.

Lemonade stand wins fight with city.  The St. Louis Health Department closed a curbside lemonade stand run by two little girls, ages 10 and 12.  A Health Department inspector told them they didn't have the proper business licenses and were selling unsafe ice cubes.  The girls were using powdered lemonade mix with ice cubes bought from a store.

Sweet Lemonade Kid $lapped.  Three sourpuss Parks Department agents put the squeeze on a 10-year-old girl in Riverside Park yesterday, slapping the tyke with a $50 ticket for hawking lemonade without a permit.  Clementine Lee, who lives just blocks from the Upper West Side park, had dreamed of opening a lemonade stand since last year and took advantage of yesterday's beautiful weather to set up shop. This material came from akdart.com

Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate.  Turns out that kids' lemonade stands — those constants of summertime — are supposed to get a permit in Oregon, particularly at big events that happen to be patrolled regularly by county health inspectors.

Update:
County Apologizes for Closing Girl's Lemonade Stand.  The Food and Drug Administration apparently has only enough food investigators to check out about 2 percent of the questionable seafood coming into West Coast ports from the Far East and India. ... But not every jurisdiction has dropped the ball.  Just ask Julie Murphy.

Girl With 'Illegal' Lemonade Stand Earns $1,838.  The 7-year-old Oregon girl who found herself at the center of a national flap about childhood lemonade stands versus government bureaucrats is going to Disneyland.

If Life Hands You Lemons, Don't Make Lemonade without a Permit.  I know you all grew up watching movies about the Wild West and think everybody can just strap a shootin' iron to his hip and sell unlicensed lemonade willy-nilly, but this is reality.  In a society facing threats like bird flu, obesity, and Glenn Beck, we can't let people just run around doing whatever they want.

Obama couldn't run a lemonade stand.  The Obama administration has mindlessly flooded the country with hundreds and hundreds of billions of federal tax dollars. ... Just as you would not pour gas on a fire in hopes of putting it out, infusing more than a trillion taxpayer dollars into the economy has not and will not work to put the economy on the path to prosperity.  An artificial economy cannot be repaired with more artificiality.  Who doesn't know this?

Kids Lemonade Stand At U.S. Open Fined $500 And Shut Down By Montgomery County.  You can make a fortune selling parking spots outside the US Open, but don't even dream of setting up a lemonade stand.

Obama Era Economic Stagnation Explained by Lemonade and Cookies.  In Bethesda, Maryland parents were fined 500 dollars when their kids had the temerity to run an "un-authorized" lemonade (and other cold drinks) stand.  In fact, the venture was in part a fundraising effort to boot. ... The bureaucratic mindset regarding lemonade in blue-state Maryland stands as a microcosm of the Obama administration.

All charges dropped against lemonade protesters.  The Superior Court of the District of Columbia dropped all charges Monday [10/24/2011] against three activists arrested in August for selling 10-cent cups of lemonade on the lawn of the Capitol building.  Will Duffield, Meg McLain and Kathryn Dill were arrested on Aug. 20 for selling the lemonade as part of National Lemonade Freedom Day — a nationwide protest formed in response to a recent rash of children's lemonade stands being shut down by police.


And it's not just lemonade they're after...

The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit.  Three years ago, The Los Angeles Times published a feel-good story on the Little Free Library movement.  The idea is simple:  A book lover puts a box or shelf or crate of books in their front yard.  Neighbors browse, take one, and return later with a replacement.  A 76-year-old in Sherman Oaks, California, felt that his little library, roughly the size of a dollhouse, "turned strangers into friends and a sometimes-impersonal neighborhood into a community," the reporter observed.  The man knew he was onto something "when a 9-year-old boy knocked on his door one morning to say how much he liked the little library."

Kansas boy fighting back after outdoor library shut down by ordinance.  A 9-year-old Kansas boy says he is fighting back after city officials forced him to take down the outdoor library he had created on his front lawn as a Mother's Day gift.  Spencer Collins told Fox4KC he had the idea to create a "free little library" after his mother, an elementary school teacher, saw the idea in another state.  The idea is to share books and a love of reading among neighbors by placing books in a clear box, and encouraging others to take a book from it or leave a book in it.

Government shuts down 11-year-old's cupcake business.  The government has pulled the plug on an 11-year-old Illinois baker's oven.  A day after a local newspaper ran a story about the young and ambitious Chloe Stirling, who operated a cupcake business out of her parents' kitchen, the local health department came calling.  "They called and said they were shutting us down," Heather Stirling, Chloe's mother, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Boy, 12, fined for selling food to help vets.  A twelve-year-old boy who raised more than $25,000 for World War II veterans faced the threat of substantial fines from a local health department in the small town of Chewelah, Washington last weekend.

Chewelah boy fined for Honor Flight fundraiser.  A Chewelah student who has raised more than $25,000 dollars for World War II Veterans is facing a hefty fine for his good deeds.  12-year-old Justin Peterson holds fundraisers year round for the Honor Flight Program.  Last Saturday [8/4/2012], he held another fundraiser at the Chewelah City Park.  While selling hamburgers, a health inspector stopped by Peterson's booth and fined him $170 for not having the proper food permit.

Health Department fines Honor Flight fundraiser.  While selling hamburgers for a fundraiser, a health inspector from the Tri-County Health Department stopped by [Justin] Peterson's booth and fined him $170 for not having a Temporary Food permit.  Both Peterson's parents have food handler's permits.

10-year-old's salsa business gets visit from health department.  Diego Bartolome just wanted to start a salsa business to help his mom after she lost her job.  What the El Dorado County fourth-grader didn't expect was a crash course in red tape.

Teen's Worm Sales Squished by Connecticut Town.  For the last three summers, 13-year-old Joey Cadieux has headed outside with his flashlight on rainy nights to collect nightcrawlers from his yard.  Purchased by passing fishermen for $2.50 a dozen, the wriggling worms brought him $7 to $10 in a good month, just enough for bike trips to his favorite neighborhood pizza joint.  But when a town official recently objected to his stenciled black-and-white "nite crawlers" yard sign, Joey's business got the hook.

Feds Target School Bake Sales.  On December 3, the lame-duck House passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, previously approved by the Senate.  President Obama, doubtless preoccupied with such trivia as taxes, unemployment, Korea, and China, has yet to sign it into law.  A mere two hundred and twenty pages long, it has lots of provisions for allocation of funds, demonstration projects, and the like.  Many may be worthwhile.  However, included in the legislation is a provision authorizing the secretary of Agriculture to regulate school fundraising bake sales to ensure that they are infrequent and that the goodies sold are nutritionally acceptable.  Far from innocuous, that is yet another distasteful and unnecessary intrusion of the federal government into our daily lives.

Taking a bite out of crime...
Pennsylvania Pie Fight:  State Cracks Down on Baked Goods.  On the first Friday of Lent, an elderly female parishioner of St. Cecilia Catholic Church began unwrapping pies at the church.  That's when the trouble started.  A state inspector, there for an annual checkup on the church's kitchen, spied the desserts.  After it was determined that the pies were home-baked, the inspector decreed they couldn't be sold.

Armed environmental police shut down ice cream stand.  Armed environmental police officers shut down a popular long-running ice cream stand in Massachusetts over the weekend and stood guard to make sure potential customers were turned away.  The officers claimed that the operator had failed to secure construction permits to make improvements to the stand.  But operator Mark Duffy, who has leased the property from the state for 26 years, says that he has never been required to get permits to make improvements.

Bake sale ban in Massachusetts sparks outcries over 'food police'.  A bake-sale ban in Massachusetts schools, designed to combat youth obesity, has spawned a sort of nationwide food fight.  The crackdown on cookies is being met with a widespread criticism from bloggers, parents, and students who see it as a case of government gone too far.  Turning brownies into contraband, they say, is the latest sign of a burgeoning "nanny state" that doesn't know its proper limits.

Teenager not allowed to sell hot dogs now homeless.  Nathan Duszynski, a 13-year-old whose hot dog cart was shut down by city officials in Holland, Mich., is now homeless, along with his disabled parents.  Nathan had saved up money for a hot dog cart to help his parents pay their bills.  His mother suffers from epilepsy and his father suffers from multiple sclerosis, limiting their ability to work.





Cops believe their computer terminals, no matter what they say

What is the Post Office scandal?  The [British] Post Office had prosecution powers and, between 1999 and 2015, it prosecuted 700 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses — an average of one a week — based on information from a computer accounting system called Horizon.  Another 283 cases were brought by other bodies including the Crown Prosecution Service.  Some went to prison for false accounting and theft.  Many were financially ruined, even though they had repeatedly highlighted problems with the software.  After 20 years, campaigners won a legal battle to have their cases reconsidered.  To date only 93 convictions have been overturned.  Under government plans, victims will be able to sign a form to say they are innocent, in order to have their convictions overturned and claim compensation.

Man was arrested, held for six days over faulty facial recognition tech: lawsuit.  A black man visiting his mother in Atlanta was wrongfully arrested and held for six days after facial recognition technology incorrectly identified him as a fraudster and thief in Louisiana, according to the latest lawsuit aimed against the controversial tech.  Randal Quran Reid, 29, was visiting his mother on Thanksgiving last year when DeKalb County police pulled him over, claiming he had two arrest warrants against him for crimes in Jefferson and East Baton Rouge Parishes, according to the lawsuit filed in Atlanta federal court in September.  "I was confused and I was angry because I didn't know what was going on," Quran told the AP, as he tried to explain to the officers that he has never even been to Louisiana.

Woman Sues City For Arresting Her While Pregnant Based On False Facial Recognition.  A woman sued the city of Detroit following her arrest while eight months pregnant based on an alleged false facial recognition match, according to several reports.  Porcha Woodruff, 32, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging wrongful arrest, The New York Times (NYT) reported.  Woodruff was arrested for robbery and carjacking back in February while eight months pregnant and getting her two daughters ready for school, per The NYT.  Woodruff, a licensed aesthetician and nursing school student, reportedly asked the officers, "Are you kidding?" given her state of pregnancy.  The carjacking victim had reportedly picked up a woman on the street and had sex with her in a liquor store parking lot.  Afterwards, the victim allegedly gave up his car at gunpoint at a gas station to a man who was allegedly waiting to pick up the same woman, The NYT noted.

Facial Recognition Software Leads to Mistaken Arrest of Georgia Man.  Anyone who has ever seen a Hollywood dystopian action flick knows that the more automated life becomes, the closer we are to huddling in giant, underground cities while an elite few humans battle the machines for dominance of the planet.  When it comes to law enforcement activities, the use of artificial intelligence takes on a particularly sinister feel. [...] One Georgia man recently discovered the dark side of facial recognition technology when he was arrested on a warrant from Louisiana.  Randall Reid, 28, was picked up in DeKalb County, Georgia, last November.  Authorities had connected him to a string of purse thefts in Jefferson Parish and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Randall insisted he'd never been to Louisiana in his life, and didn't even know what "Jefferson Parish" was.  He couldn't have done it.  The problem is, the computer said he did.

Whistleblowers: Software Bug Keeping Hundreds Of Inmates In Arizona Prisons Beyond Release Dates.  According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.  KJZZ is not naming the whistleblowers because they fear retaliation.  The employees said they have been raising the issue internally for more than a year, but prison administrators have not acted to fix the software bug.  The sources said Chief Information Officer Holly Greene and Deputy Director Joe Profiri have been aware of the problem since 2019.  The Arizona Department of Corrections confirmed there is a problem with the software.

Colonie mom spent three days in jail due to 'clerical error'.  It began as a minor dispute over a free pizza.  But when the police got involved, a Colonie mother ended up in handcuffs and thrown in jail for three nights due to a "clerical error" on an arrest warrant that should have listed her ex-boyfriend.

A Mother Spends a Week in Jail, Is Fired From Her Job, and Temporarily Loses Her Kids After a Police Mix-Up.  Aberdeen, Ohio, police are searching for two people accused of trafficking heroin and fentanyl and possessing drug paraphernalia.  They identified two suspects a Facebook post on the department's page, including a woman named Ashley Foster.  About a week after making the post, a deputy in Hamilton County found an Ashley Foster outside of a Target.  It was the wrong woman.  FOX 19 reports that the warrant used to arrest the wrong Foster contained the correct picture, birthday, and Social Security number, but had the wrong address.  Though Foster insisted that the officers were mistaken, she was still handcuffed.  Her two sons were in the vehicle and Foster said that she was not allowed to feed or change her 8-week-old as he cried.  Child protective services took her children after the arrest.

Peninsula woman battles DMV over alleged false conviction.  Maryann Raab says she hasn't been to Florida since 1977, yet the DMV claims it has proof she was convicted of DUI there in 2005 and as a result suspended her driver's license last month.

Innocent Man Stuck With 100 Parking Tickets.  After two years, innocent man is still fighting parking tickets incorrectly issued because of a personalized license plate.  In the two years since San Carlos resident Nick Vautier moved to California's San Francisco Bay Area, he has received over a hundred parking tickets worth $3000.  He is not responsible for a single one of them, but several jurisdictions continue to prosecute him without ever having established any guilt.

Elderly Woman Slammed in the Slammer.  In a very sad story, 78-year-old Garland resident Betty Smith related her horrendous tale of woe to Dallas County Commissioners at their January 9th meeting.  Her story of abuse by the Dallas County judicial system and Sheriff's Department began when she was awakened by knocks on the door at 4:00 one morning.  The officer told her she was being arrested for illegally ordering a duplicate copy of her driver's license.  Never mind that Ms Smith's car had been carjacked not long ago, along with her purse and personal belongings, including her driver's license. [...] On the way to jail, the deputy told her that her record indicated that she had committed a homicide in Arizona.

Wyoming woman arrested on false federal charges.  Hope Clarke was put in handcuffs on a bench warrant for failing to put away her marshmallows and hot chocolate while staying at Yellowstone National Park last year.  Federal agents apparently blindly relied on a computer database, even though the court had a copy of the citation showing she had paid.

Proof that the minimum wage is too high:
Prisoner wrongly freed after officials get phony, typo-filled fax.  Officials mistakenly released a prisoner from a Kentucky facility after receiving a phony fax that ordered him freed, and it took them nearly two weeks to realize it.  The fax contained grammatical errors, was not typed on letterhead and was sent from a local grocery store.

Computer snafu is behind at least 50 'raids' on Brooklyn couple's home.  Blame it on a computer.  Embarrassed cops on Thursday [3/18/2010] cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys.

Homeland Security sifts through internet traffic looking for "suspicious" words.
Sticks, stones and dangerous words.  [Scroll down]  The bureaucrats trying to keep the homeland secure, even at the cost of damage to the First Amendment, concede that the manual's language is vague and should be "updated."  In the hands of normal speakers of English, the lists can be harmless enough, but computers are only as smart as whoever is punching the keyboard.  That's not always very smart.  The hands of government agents are heavy on all of us.

Fraudster escapes from one of Britain's most secure prisons by forging letter granting him bail.  Neil Moore, 28, crafted an elaborate ruse to dupe wardens into believing he had been given bail by the court before brazenly walking out of Wandsworth jail in south London where he was being held for a £1.8 million fraud.




Cops believe their polygraph machines, no matter what they say

EU border 'lie detector' system criticised as pseudoscience.  The EU has been accused of promoting pseudoscience after announcing plans for a "smart lie-detection system" at its busiest borders in an attempt to identify illegal migrants.  The "lie detector", to be trialled in Hungary, Greece and Latvia, involves the use of a computer animation of a border guard, personalised to the traveller's gender, ethnicity and language, asking questions via a webcam.  The "deception detection" system will analyse the micro-expressions of those seeking to enter EU territory to see if they are being truthful about their personal background and intentions.  Those arriving at the border will be required to have uploaded pictures of their passport, visa and proof of funds.  According to an article published by the European commission, the "unique approach to 'deception detection' analyses the micro-expressions of travellers to figure out if the interviewee is lying".

Christina Blasey Ford's Polygraph Was [Suspicious].  The fact that Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers refused to release the results of her polygraph exam until the day before her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month caused some suspicion.  And when we finally got a look at them, a lot of Judge Kavanaugh's supporters were confirmed in their suspicions. [...] Even if Ford's exam had been entirely on the up and up, despite the credence most people give them, polygraph tests are something of a joke among serious research psychologists.  The American Psychological Association will tell anyone who cares to listen (which unfortunately isn't many) that "most psychologists and other scientists agree that there is little basis for [their] validity."  The APA has such a dim view of the procedure in part because, though research indicates that a polygraph exam can detect deception better than chance, there's still a significant likelihood of error.  And doing better than flipping a coin isn't all that great when someone's reputation is on the line.

The Truth About Polygraph Tests.  News organizations would render a valuable service if, whenever they report that someone has taken or proposes to take a polygraph, they reminded readers (or explained to them) that polygraphs are voodoo.  Junk science.  They are no more reliable than a pack of Tarot cards.  Polygraph evidence is inadmissible in court.  There is a good reason for that. [...] The only value of a lie-detector test is as an interrogation tool — if you're dealing with someone who believes in it.  But it's insanity to rely on it.  People can be trained not to crack upon interrogation.  If the polygraph is administered by someone friendly, there will be no interrogation.

How to Beat a Polygraph Test.  "A polygraph is nothing more than a psychological billy club used to coerce and intimidate people," says Doug Williams, a former Oklahoma City police detective and polygraph examiner who for 36 years has trained people to pass the lie-detector test.  The first step is not to be intimidated.

The Polygraph Has Been Lying for 80 Years.  Eighty years ago, Leonarde Keeler's lie detector made its debut in court. Decades later, we're still paying the price for his con job.

DEA settles suit alleging government lie-detector abuses.  The Drug Enforcement Administration has agreed to pay 14 contractors $500,000 to settle a lawsuit that accuses the agency of illegally requiring them to undergo highly intrusive lie detector tests to keep their jobs as translators.  The settlement appears to be the first time that a federal government agency has settled allegations involving contractors' lie detector tests since a 1988 law banned the use of polygraph screening for most private employees, said a lawyer for the group.

Seeing threats, feds target instructors of polygraph-beating methods.  [Scroll down]  The federal government previously treated such instructors only as nuisances, partly because the polygraph-beating techniques are unproven.  Instructors have openly advertised and discussed their techniques online, in books and on national television.  As many as 30 people or businesses across the country claim in Web advertisements that they can teach someone how to beat a polygraph test, according to U.S. government estimates.

How accurate are lie-detector tests?  [Scroll down]  If polygraphs are so fallible, why use them at all?  In part because testing can intimidate people into confessing, deter bad behavior, and create an impression (however misleading) of vigilance.  In other words:  security theater.

The Truth About Lie Detectors (aka Polygraph Tests).  The accuracy (i.e., validity) of polygraph testing has long been controversial.  An underlying problem is theoretical:  There is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception.

The truth about lie detectors.  The county prosecutors offered Buzz a deal:  they would drop all charges if he agreed to take a polygraph — a lie detector test — to prove his innocence.  Convinced the whole episode was one big mistake, Buzz readily agreed.  He took two tests but both suggested he was lying about his innocence.  This, along with circumstantial evidence, sealed his 1979 conviction and he spent two-and-a-half years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.

'Elephant in the Room' Ignored by Prosecutor After Conviction of 'Beat the Polygraph' Instructor.  As someone who spent much of the past four years conducting an exhaustive investigation of the U.S. Government's use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph, I didn't expect MacBride to mention the proverbial "elephant in the room" — that is, the fact so many countermeasures exist to make it possible for any individual to "beat" or pass a polygraph exam.  And he didn't.

Indiana Man Sentenced to Prison for Teaching People How to Beat Polygraph Exams.  Eight months in prison.  That was the sentence handed down to Chad Dixon today by a federal court judge in Alexandria, Va.  His crime?  Teaching people — in particular, government job applicants — how to beat polygraph exams.

The Editor says...
Sounds to me like a violation of the defendant's rights to free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of association.  He is apparently being silenced because the government does not want the general public (jury pool) to know that it is possible to spoof a polygraph exam.

The polygraph is merely a psychological rubber hose, not a way of detecting deception.  [T]here is nothing in the polygraph procedure that can discriminate between nervousness caused by anxiety in the innocent in response to a question, and nervousness caused by fear of getting caught in a lie in the guilty.

The Lie Behind the Lie Detector.  The polygraph pens don't do a special dance when a person lies.  The polygrapher scores the test by comparing physiological responses (breathing, blood pressure, heart, and perspiration rates) to these probable-lie control questions with reactions to relevant questions such as, "Did you ever commit an act of espionage against the United States?" (commonly asked in security screening). [...] If responses to both "control" and relevant questions are about the same, the result is deemed inconclusive.

The curious story of how the lie detector came to be.  Ninety years after its invention, the polygraph still has not been accepted by the scientific, legal or political communities.  "The whole process smacks of 20th Century witchcraft," said Senator Sam Ervin, who died in 1985.  It does not help that every now and again serious criminals trick the polygraph.  In 2003, Gary Ridgway admitted he was the Green River Killer, having murdered 49 women in the Seattle area.  Ridgway had passed a lie detector test in 1987, while another man — who turned out to be innocent — failed.




Please refrain from defending your own life and property

Man Is Charged For Chasing His Own Stolen Truck While Prosecutors Downgrade The Thugs Charges In Washington.  Aaron Babcock chased his stolen truck while law enforcement watched due to current laws.  He has been charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and is scheduled to appear in court on May 13 in Eatonville, Washington.  Pierce County deputies said Aaron Babcock ran two red lights during the pursuit.  The suspect Kiliona Hunkin, 28, was initially charged with stealing a vehicle, failure to obey, reckless driving, duty in case of damage to the attended vehicle or property, and duty on striking an unattended vehicle.  The prosecutor's office later amended the charges to second-degree vehicle theft.  [Video clip]

Arizona Man on Trial for Shooting Illegal Immigrant Walking Through His Property.  A legal battle has begun in Nogales, Arizona, that captures the essence of the nation's border crisis.  A 75-year-old rancher is facing charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault after he fatally shot Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, a 48-year-old illegal immigrant who passed through his property while trying to gain entry into the country. [...] The group of illegals, including Cuen-Buitimea, had turned around after seeing Border Patrol agents as they attempted to make it into the country.  They wandered through Kelly's property on their way back to Mexico.  This is where the shooting occurred.  This is a tragic case highlighting the negative impact the border crisis has had on everyday Americans.  The proceedings come just weeks after the murder of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student in Georgia, at the hands of an illegal immigrant.  Kelly, like many others living in border towns, appears to have experienced the same fears with people walking through their property from Mexico.  These regions have become hotbeds for cartel activity as they smuggle and traffic humans across the southern border.

Amazon driver fends off attack from drunk, naked NYC migrant — and ends up in cuffs.  A Big Apple Amazon driver said he had to slam a naked and drunk migrant in the head with a snowball to keep the deranged asylum seeker from making off with his packages — only to find himself in handcuffs.  The migrant, identified by police sources as Yeison Sanchez, 26, was allegedly stumbling drunk and clutching a beer bottle when the Amazon driver said he caught him red-handed trying to make off with packages he was delivering in Clinton Hill around 4:45 p.m. on Sunday.  That's when things got out of hand.  "I was unloading my stuff, and a guy — he was like a pervert, he had his penis out," the driver, who asked that he only be identified as Abu, told The [New York] Post on Monday.

Porch pirates deserve privacy, police warn not to post pictures.  Police officers are urging Canadians not to publicly share home security footage of porch pirate mail thieves, claiming it could be a violation of their privacy rights and defamatory.  Quebec provincial police (SQ) communications officer Lt. Benoit Richard told citizens "You cannot post the images yourself because you have to remember, in Canada, we have a presumption of innocence."  Instead, Richard suggested calling 911 if anything was stolen.  "We'll do the investigation, bring that person to justice and file some charges," he added.

Texas Woman Facing Eviction After Using Firearm To Shoot Intruder.  A Forth Worth, Texas woman says she is facing eviction from her federally subsidized home due to using a firearm to defend her family against an intruder.  The woman, Aleah Wallace, says she saw the outline of a person attempting to open her 8-year-old daughter's bedroom window.  She says this was the second time in 24 hours that she was the target of an attempted home invasion.  Wallace used her firearm to shoot the suspect who wound up being a 14-year-old male.  The teenager died of his injuries.  Wallace says she is sorry that the person wound up being 14, but she did what she did what was necessary to defend her four daughters.  Her children range in age from 2 to 9.  Legal experts say it is illegal for landlords in Texas to enforce an anti-firearm rule on tenants.  Wallace faces no charges for the shooting.

Jewish NYC Councilwoman Inna Vernikov arrested for carrying gun at pro-Palestinian rally.  Republican Brooklyn Councilwoman Inna Vernikov was arrested Friday [10/13/2023] after she was spotted toting a firearm at a pro-Palestinian rally on Thursday, resulting in calls for her to be removed from office.  The councilwoman, who is Jewish and has spoken out against pro-Palestinian supporters, was in attendance as protesters convened on the campus of CUNY's Brooklyn College Thursday afternoon.  Vernikov, 39, was seen "with the butt-end of a firearm protruding from the front portion of her pants" while observing the protest between noon and 2:45 p.m. Thursday, police sources told The [New York] Post.  She turned herself in to the 70th Precinct with her lawyer shortly before 3 a.m. Friday.

Man tells cops he tracked down teens he accused of stealing his car, shot them both amid confrontation — then police arrest and charge him.  Houston police said they arrested a 22-year-old man who indicated he tracked down a pair of teens he accused of stealing his car and then shot them both amid a confrontation.  Addrian Nicolas Garcia told investigators two males stole his vehicle from his residence, and he shot them both amid a confrontation around 5:50 p.m.  Tuesday after he tracked them down in the area of the 8200 block of Gulck Lane, Major Assaults & Family Violence Division Detective Q. Nguyen said.  Officers responded to the scene and found two juveniles had been struck by gunfire, police said.  The juveniles, both 15 years old, were taken to area hospitals in critical but stable condition, police said, adding that they are expected to survive.  Garcia remained at the scene, police said.  Following further investigation and consultation with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, Garcia was charged with two counts of aggravated assault-serious bodily injury in the 248th State District Court, police said.

When Americans Do the Job Their Police Won't Do.  Recent instances of Vermont store-goers detaining and even assaulting would-be thieves reveal growing societal tensions seeded by progressive policies.  Vermont's law enforcement services are anemic due to anti-police rhetoric, racialization of courts, and lax prosecutorial policies.  Vermont is not enforcing basic criminal laws, as gang-related violence and property crimes transform communities, drug overdoses skyrocket, and businesses are compromised.  Citizens are tired of being victimized by government failure:  many are taking matters into their own hands.

Punishing 'Hate' but Not Criminals.  [Scroll down]  To use an extreme but hardly inconceivable possibility, a local Progressive district attorney would likely dismiss charges against those robbing a 7-11 convenience store or at least reduce the offense to a minor infraction without jail time.  But if the clerk shadows a young black who enters the store ("racial profiling") and waves around a baseball bat, he might be accused of race-based hatred.  Thus, at least for the Progressive D.A., the clerk, not the would-be miscreants, must be punished.  And this would occur even if the clerk did not physically injure the would-be thief or bar him from entering the store.  In fact, woe to the clerk if he shoots that would-be black shoplifter in self-defense.  The victim (the shopkeeper) now becomes the criminal while the shoplifter is transformed into the victim thanks to hate crime laws. [...] In the above hypothetical, the situation would be totally reversed if the would-be criminal were a rich white male and the clerk a black lesbian.  Note that existing anti-hate laws have no provision for crime committed against whites due to hatred of whites, though such animus surely exists.

Seattle law enforcement tells citizens to give criminals 'whatever they're looking for'.  Seattle, like many American cities long controlled by Democrats, is experiencing significant police shortages and rising crime rates — especially large increases in staged carjackings.  What does law enforcement suggest citizens do in these trying times?  Sheriff David Robinson recommends that "they give up their car keys" and give the criminals "whatever they're looking for."  That's the spirit!  Just surrender to evil!  It's the New American Way!

Sikh Man Who Turned the Tables on Shoplifter Facing Criminal Charges.  As RedState reported, a Sikh convenience store owner turned the tables on a shoplifter as he attempted to get away with thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise.  The viral scene unfolded in California, showing a man shoveling entire shelves worth of tobacco and other products into a trash can while taunting the owner with proclamations that "there's nothing you can do."  The shoplifter quickly learned that wasn't true, though, as he was tackled to the ground and beaten with a rod.  [Tweet with video clip]

Braveheart 7-Eleven shopkeepers could face action for defending their shop against an armed thug.  [Scroll down]  In a functioning society, the shop owners and their employees would have been felicitated for rising against lawless elements.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, they were doing the job that taxpayers pay law enforcement to do.  Secondly, by giving the thugs his deserved comeuppance, they probably deterred him from repeating a similar offense.  But in California, things don't quite operate that way.  KCRA-TV reported that Stockton police said they are investigating the "assault of a 7-Eleven robbery suspect by two workers."

Update:
Sweet Justice:  No Charges for California 7-Eleven Clerks Who Pounded Would-Be Robber.  The pair of 7-Eleven employees in California who recently thrashed and held down a suspect in their store are not in danger of facing charges.  The workers took matters into their own hands when a man allegedly tried to steal cigarettes from behind the counter, Fox 11 reported Wednesday.  However, the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday the employees were not in trouble.  In a statement, District Attorney Ron Freitas said, "The Stockton 7-11 Store Clerks are not & have never been, suspects of the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office."

Update on the 7-Eleven Clerks Who Brought the Smack Down on Robber.  The 7-Eleven clerks who were seen in a viral video stopping and beating a shoplifter, who threatened to kill them and has robbed the location before, are now being investigated by Stockton Police for assault.  KCRA reports the shoplifter stole cigarettes on July 28 and threatened the clerk he would shoot him if he intervened.  On July 29 at the same 7-Eleven, a worker said the suspect demanded money at the store while simulating that he had a handgun.  When the worker didn't comply, the suspect grabbed food items and put them in a garbage bag before leaving.  The suspect came back later that same day to steal even more cigarettes, this time using a garbage can to take more at once, and started to rob the place when the workers beat him with a large pole or stick.

He's Facing Life in Prison for Owning Firearms Without a License.  A New York City man is facing a mound of criminal charges and a sentence that would amount to life in prison after he shot and killed a man who, according to surveillance footage, was attempting to mug him.  The kicker: The government appears to agree with the defendant, Charles Foehner, on at least one major point: that the shooting was justified.  Indeed, prosecutors have not attempted to indict Foehner, 65, on any homicide-related charge.  The counts he's facing — there were reportedly more than two dozen of them at his arraignment — are related to criminal possession of various weapons, after police searched his apartment and found that only some of his firearms are licensed with the state.  In other words, he is staring down decades behind bars for having guns that didn't have the proper stamp of approval from bureaucrats, despite the government conceding that the practical use of his weapon — in service of protecting his life — was defensible.

Now, TWO men who've stepped in to protect others on NYC subway have been arrested.  Twitter tempers are boiling over in response to the arrests of New York City subway riders Daniel Penny and Jordan Williams, both of whom were forced to defend themselves and others against crazed threats from fellow riders with long rap sheets.  "Both men were on the Subway when a lunatic started making violent threats.  Both men stepped in to save the passengers and themselves.  Both men get thrown in jail by New York DAs on manslaughter charges," the popular End Wokeness account tweeted.  "Free Daniel Penny.  Free Jordan Williams."

Man who shot NYC mugger arraigned on multiple gun charges, held on $50K bail.  The Queens man accused of gunning down a would-be mugger earlier this week was arraigned Friday on dozens of gun charges related to the weapon he used in the incident and for allegedly stockpiling illegal firearms in his apartment.  Charles Foehner, 65, was slapped with 25 counts of criminal possession of a weapon for using an unlicensed gun to fatally blast mugger Cody Gonzalez, 32, in the chest in a Kew Gardens driveway Wednesday — and for allegedly keeping an arsenal of illicit handguns, revolvers and rifles at this home in the quiet neighborhood.  In a confession, Foehner allegedly told authorities he was packing the illegal pistol in question to protect himself as New York City crime rates soar, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Randazzo said in court.

Alvin Bragg to New Yorkers: don't get involved.  Suppose I deliver a solid punch to the aggressor's head and, even though a punch is not reasonably expected to result in death or serious injury unless it is directed at a smaller and weaker person, he falls the wrong way, hits his head on the pavement, and dies.  Then, even though I've just stopped a violent crime, I get charged with a felony in response to demands from leftists who think criminals have the right to do whatever they want to whoever they want.  Now my freedom is at risk for trying to do the right thing, and I am likely to incur six figures in legal costs.

Daniel Penny, man who choked subway rider Jordan Neely, to face manslaughter charge: DA.  Daniel Penny turned himself in to New York City police on Friday to face criminal charges in connection with the chokehold death of Jordan Neely aboard a subway train.  Penny, 24, was seen walking in to the New York City Police Department's 5th Precinct in Chinatown shortly after 8 a.m. ET.  He's expected to appear in court Friday afternoon.

We Must Defend Self-Defense.  Their wicked plan is perfectly obvious — to criminalize normal people and normalize criminals.  Thieves, bums, losers, junkies, whores, and other trash — they are the heroes in this morally bankrupt morality play, and we normals are the villains.  The first step to fighting back is to see the truth, and the truth is right there.  You just have to be hard enough to accept it and to not allow them to leverage your empathy or compassion into tolerating having to be afraid as some sort of price you owe for the crime of not being a lowlife.  They want us, quiet, complacent, and obedient.  They want a society where we live in fear.

NY Governor says there's no right to self-defense.  It's hard to find any other interpretation of Gov. Kathy Hochul's latest statement about the death of Jordan Neely; the mentally disturbed New York man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a Marine veteran on a NYC subway after allegedly threatening passengers.  Hochul's been taking heat from progressive activists for not immediately condemning the veteran and convicting him in the court of public opinion, as well as for her first statement after the incident, in which she vaguely spoke about "consequences for behavior".  It was unclear whether Hochul was talking about Neely or the veteran, but in her attempt to clarify her earlier remarks she also made it clear that she doesn't think self-defense is ever justified.

Manhattanites are again reminded that self-defense is illegal.  Manhattan under D.A. Alvin Bragg is Bizarro World.  It's not just that this out-of-control politician indicted Donald Trump for a non-crime; it's also that he's making self-defense illegal for ordinary citizens.  Last July in Manhattan, a video captured a thug brutally stabbing Jose Alba, a Manhattan bodega clerk.  Alba, defending himself, proved to be the more effective fighter, leaving the thug dead.  It was a textbook case of self-defense, so Alvin Bragg and his team charged Alba with murder and sent him to Rikers Island.  Only a public outcry saved Alba from the maw of Braggs' criminal injustice system.

Update:
Bragg Backs Down, Won't Pursue Charges Against Man Who Shot Robber in Self-Defense.  It was reported last week that Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney, was seeking murder charges against Moussa Diarra, a parking garage attendant in Manhattan who had shot a thief in an act of self-defense.  However, Bragg has since changed his stance and will no longer pursue charges against Diarra.  The original charges stemmed from an incident in the garage where Diarra worked on West 31st Street, where he encountered a thief peering into cars.  Diarra suspected the man of stealing and asked him to reveal the contents of his bag.  However, the thief had a gun, and when Diarra tried to grab it, the gun went off, injuring him in the stomach and grazing his ear.  Diarra then used the gun to shoot the would-be thief in the chest.

Bragg brings murder charges against man who shot thief who shot him first.  Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is really making a name for himself on a national level, likely much to his eventual regret.  After convincing a grand jury to bring preposterous charges against Donald Trump, Bragg had to find something to keep himself busy until Tuesday, and a New York garage attendant named Moussa Diarra offered him that opportunity.  Diarra was working the overnight shift yesterday when he spotted Charles Rhodie rooting around the garage with a bag, apparently attempting to steal some of the tools and equipment in the garage.  Diarra confronted Rhodie and demanded to inspect the bag.  Instead of complying, Rhodie pulled a gun from the bag and shot Diarra twice, once in the stomach, with the second shot grazing his head.  Despite his injuries, Diarra wrested the gun away from Rhodie and shot him in return.  So what did Bragg do about it?  Obviously, he charged the garage attendant with attempted murder.

Rancher, 73, is charged with murder on his Arizona land after shooting dead Mexican, 48, who had history of illegal crossings into US and multiple deportations.  An Arizona rancher has been charged with first-degree murder and had his bail set at a whopping $1million for fatally shooting a Mexican citizen on his property.  George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested following the January 30 fatal shooting of Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, on his ranch in Kino Springs, just a mile and a half north of the US-Mexico border.  Authorities are still investigating the fatal shooting, with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's chief deputy saying it does not appear that Kelly knew Cuen-Butimea ahead of the shooting.

Art Gallery Owner Who Was Caught On Video Spraying A Homeless Person Sleeping In Front Of His Business Is Arrested.  The San Francisco art gallery owner who was filmed hosing down an unhoused person last week has been arrested, according to police.  The San Francisco District Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant for Collier Gwin on Wednesday afternoon.  Gwin has been charged with misdemeanor battery for the alleged "intentional and unlawful spraying of water on and around a woman experiencing homelessness," DA Brooke Jenkins tweeted.  [Video clip]

New Jersey Bus Driver Gets Assaulted By Thugs, Pulls Gun And Shoots, Gets Arrested For Protecting Himself.  A New Jersey Transit bus driver was arrested after allegedly shooting at several teenagers and critically injuring one of them after an altercation in Jersey City on Saturday night.  Charles Fieros, 48, of Staten Island, was "outside the bus when he retrieved an illegal handgun and shot at the group of males who had allegedly assaulted him," Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said, adding that the weapon recovered by Jersey City police came back as stolen.  The injured teen, a 15-year-old, arrived at a local hospital by taxi with three gunshot wounds to the abdomen and is in critical but stable condition, Wallace-Scalcione said.  [Video clip]

Baltimore police arrest 'good guy with the gun' who stopped armed attacker.  After Marine veteran Lloyd Muldrow stopped an attack by an armed assailant at a Baltimore bar, police officers thanked him — and then they arrested him.  Now the Good Samaritan credited with saving a man's life faces up to a year in prison, charged with violating a city ordinance that forbids bringing handguns within 100 feet of a public building, even though he neutralized the attack without drawing his pistol.  Mr. Muldrow, a North Carolina security specialist, holds a concealed weapons permit, but it was issued in Virginia, not Maryland.  Even so, he has no intention of accepting a plea deal when he appears at his Oct. 31 hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Man Tried To Rob Another Man By Gunpoint, However, The Man Being Robbed Also Had A Gun.  During an attempted robbery at Ryan Howard Jersey store in Philadelphia, the would-be robber received instant justice and was killed.  As a man tried to get money out of an ATM just after 1 a.m., another man walked into the store and announced a robbery, police said.  Police believe the victim then took out his own gun and shoot the would-be robber who died.  Police are now looking for the victim and they would like to charge him because of Pennsylvania's stand your ground rule.

Mom who ran into Uvalde school during shooting to save her kids said police were more aggressive with her than the shooter.  The mother who ran into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, during the recent mass shooting there told a news crew this week that police officers were "more aggressive" in trying to prevent her from entering than they were with the shooting suspect.  The woman, Angeli Gomez, told the CBS News crew interviewing her that after rushing to the scene and seeing that responding officers were taking up positions along the school's perimeter even while gunshots were ringing out inside a classroom, she told police she was going inside to retrieve her two sons.  Continuing, she said that officers told her she could not go inside and handcuffed her for a short time.  After marshals removed her handcuffs at the direction of Ulvade police, she bolted over a fence and into the school, eventually returning with her sons.

Uvalde mom handcuffed by 'coward' cops for trying to rush inside school and save her kids says police threatened her if she spoke to media.  A mom who was handcuffed by cops for trying to save her children during the Texas school shooting has blasted police for threatening her for talking to the media.  Angeli Rose Gomez slammed officers for warning her with a probation violation for obstruction of justice over her interviews with journalists.  She said she was called by an officer who said she would be hit with legal trouble over a charge against her from over a decade ago.

Mother trying to save children at Uvalde was handcuffed by federal marshals.  After it was revealed on Thursday that not only did police delay their response to sending tactical teams into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex. amid a school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead but prevented parents from entering, the Wall Street Journal reported that one mother sprinted into the school to get her children, over objections from law enforcement.  Angeli Rose Gomez drove 40 miles to the school upon hearing of the shooting, and she arrived, said "The police were doing nothing.  They were just standing outside the fence.  They weren't going in there or running anywhere."

Fourth Circuit:  A Person has a Right to Come to the Door with a Firearm.  On March 30, 2022, a three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit published an opinion in the case of Knibbs v Momphard.  The Court found for the Estate of Knibbs, which is suing Deputy Momphard of the Macon County Sheriff's Department.  It was a split opinion, for the Knibbs Estate.  Important precedents involving firearms and the Second Amendment are solidified by this opinion, which cites several previous cases.  The Constitutional Amendment primarily cited is the Fourth Amendment.  However, the citation to the Fourth relies on the Second Amendment, which includes the possession of a firearm in the home for self defense.  This author sees the important issues in this case, clarified by the March 30 opinion, as:
  [#1]   The mere possession of a firearm by a homeowner is not sufficient to justify the use of deadly force by officers.
  [#2]   There is a right to come to the door with a firearm.
  [#3]   Officers must identify themselves as officers to gain qualified immunity.
  [#4]   Mere verbal announcement, without visual confirmation, is not sufficient to gain qualified immunity.
  [#5]   Sufficient precedent exists for officers to be aware of their duty in these situations.

Car Owner Booby-Traps His Truck So When These Thieves Show Up, They Got A Big Surprise.  A Metairie man rigged a flashbang to deter people from breaking into his truck, and the incident was caught on video.  The man who rigged the flash bang said he understands this wasn't the best way to go about deterring car burglaries, but was frustrated with how often his truck was broken into it.  He rigged a flash-bang inside his truck that would trigger if someone broke in.  Surveillance shows that the flashbang went off while someone broke into his truck in New Orleans. [...] NOPD released the following statement about the incident:  "While we understand the frustrations our citizens have with crime, rigging an explosive device to detonate inside a vehicle is illegal and a bad idea.["]

Somewhat related:
Subway Employee Defends Her Own Life From Robber, Subway Fires Her Even After Watching This Video.  A local Subway worker has been suspended after defending herself during an attempted robbery.  The incident happened Sunday morning [9/5/2021] at the restaurant located at 1120 East State Street.  [Video clip]

[Black] Creep Sexually Harasses Two [White] Women, One Woman Pulls A Knife To Warn Him Away, Both Women Get Arrested.  Police arrested the two females after it was determined by police they got into a verbal argument with a male victim over political matters according to Sgt. Emil Brimway of the Burbank Police Department.  "During the argument, one of the females pushed the victim.  The second female then pulled a knife and walked toward the victim.  The victim and suspects then separated without further incident.  No injuries were sustained to the victim," according to Brimway[.]  He identified the suspects as 21-year-old Miranda Marinch from North Hollywood who was arrested and booked for 417(a)(1) PC — Exhibiting a deadly weapon.  The second suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Melissa Gutirerrez from Van Nuys who was arrested and booked for 242 PC — Battery.  [Video clip]

Trump supporter pulls a gun on ANTIFA rioter who tried to smash his truck's windows during clash between rival groups.  This is the moment a Trump supporter pulled a gun on rock-throwing Antifa protesters after they vandalized his truck and maced him during a rally near the Oregon Capitol.  Footage captured the demonstrators spraying paint across the windshield of the man's truck and smashing the tail lights in Salem on Sunday [3/28/2021].  The driver, who was wearing an American flag sweatshirt, stepped out of his vehicle as he engaged with the protesters, who then appeared to mace him.  The video then shows him pulling out his gun and pointing it at the anti-fascist protesters. [...] As police arrived, the man could be seen putting his gun into the back of his truck before putting his hands up and kneeling on the ground.  The man was rubbing his eyes as the officer approached to arrest him.

ANTIFA Terrorists Throw Paint On Elderly Man's Car, Pepper Spray Him, Smash His Windows, Man Pulls Gun To Protect Himself, Salem Cop Arrests Elderly Man.  One thing has been made crystal clear by those who run Oregon:  STAY [...] OUT OF OREGON.  That is if you are one that believes in freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of not being assaulted at random, equal protections, those sorts of things.  This elderly man in Salam found out, none of those thing apply to him as ANTIFA terrorists destroyed his pickup for the crime of flying a flag off the rear bumper.  The gentleman's car first had paint tossed on it.  When he got out of the truck, he was pepper-sprayed, and then his passenger side window was smashed out.  At this point, the elderly man pulls a gun to get the mob away from his vehicle.  Now at this point of the story, you would have figured the cops, who were standing just about 50 feet away would have arrested a bunch of Black Blocheads but no, this cop pulls his gun and aims it at the victim, arrested the old man.  [Video clip]

Also posted under Violence and hate speech come from the left.

Update:
Drivers Have to Go Through Gauntlet of Antifa Attacking Them, It Doesn't End Well for the Radicals.  My colleague Brandon Morse reported earlier about some of the Antifa violence in Salem, Oregon, about an encounter that one driver had with some of them.  The Antifa people attacked him, throwing rocks at his car and yellow paint.  Then when he got out of the car to see the damage, they bashed parts of his car more and maced him.  Bad move on their part because at that point he pulled out his gun to get them to back off.  Then the anti-police radicals suddenly were all hot to have the police respond to protect them, which is so hypocritical and hilarious.  When the police responded, they temporarily held and questioned the victim, but he was the victim and he was not charged.

Additional update:
No charges for man who drew gun at dueling Oregon protests; four others arrested.  A man who drew a gun during Sunday's [3/28/2021] dueling statehouse protests in Salem, Oregon, was not arrested after complying with police officers.  The incident was captured in dramatic video, as Antifa protesters clashed with demonstrators taking part in a "Freedom Rally."  The white-haired man got out of his American flag-adorned pickup truck to look at the damage allegedly caused by Antifa protesters.  That's when he was attacked with pepper spray, by a mob that was surrounding him, police said.  He dropped his weapon at the orders of police, the video showed.

The Left's Campaign Against Self-Defense.  The case of journalist Michael Strickland is emblematic: he was found guilty by an Oregon court for defending himself by pulling out and pointing a gun for which he had a concealed carry permit.  Covering an Antifa-BLM protest in Portland in 2016, he was surrounded and attacked.  Fearing for his life, he pulled out his handgun — and with finger off the trigger — got the mob to back off so that he could escape.  He was arrested, accumulated 21 charges, ten of which were felonies, found guilty by a stacked jury, and ordered to jail.  The prosecuting attorney launched a media smear campaign against Strickland and the presiding judge, who ended up denying that the case met the "reasonable person" standard, refused to allow exculpatory evidence.  Strickland served 40 days, received five years' probation, and was stripped of his Second Amendment rights.  He is no longer allowed to practice journalism and cover leftist mobs.

This is only slightly off-topic:
Oakland Chinatown store owner who intervened in robbery arrested.  An Oakland Chinatown liquor store owner was arrested by police after he intervened in a robbery outside his store on Monday [2/15/2021], KTVU has learned.  A 36-year-old man faces one count of felony assault with a firearm, authorities said.  A community member told KTVU that the store owner fired four gunshots when he witnessed a woman being robbed for her camera outside his store at 9th and Franklin streets on Monday at about 5:45 p.m.  No one was injured after his gun went off.

Therese Duke, Massachusetts mom punched at DC rally, loses hospital job.  The punched Massachusetts nurse who went viral after her teenage daughter publicly shamed her for being at a violent pro-President Trump rally has now lost her job of 15 years — and fears she'll never get another.  Therese Duke told the Boston Herald she was innocently "looking for a place to eat" in Washington, DC, with "like-minded" Trump supporters when they were accosted by counter-protesters near the White House.  The melee on Jan. 5 — the night before rioters stormed the Capitol — saw her getting punched in the face, with her sister getting arrested for retaliating on the alleged attacker.  "I did nothing wrong," Duke insisted to the Herald.  "I was the one who was assaulted."

DC Police Chief Threatens Pistol-Packing GOP Rep. Boebert.  It appears as though our country becomes more divided by the day, politically speaking, as evidenced by the behavior displayed by public officials in Democrat-run cities when it comes to Republicans and conservatives.  You may have heard in recent days that freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) led a successful effort to preserve a 1960s-era congressional rule that allowed lawmakers to carry concealed weapons on the Capitol Hill grounds.  In a letter signed by 83 current and freshmen lawmakers, she wrote to House leaders, "If Members can't carry on Capitol grounds, they can't protect themselves in D.C. while making their way to and from their offices to perform their official duties.  The 'last-mile' transition of self-protection is critical.  The current regulations provide transitional coverage once the Member is physically on campus."  The Second Amendment is near and dear to Boebert.  She is the owner of a gun-themed restaurant, Shooters Grill, in Rifle, Colorado (not even kidding) where the wait staff all open-carry handguns.  In a fundraising message after arriving being sworn in, Boebert reiterated her support for our fundamental right to keep and bear arms — anywhere.

GOP congresswoman Boebert defends decision to carry gun in DC: 'I am my own security'.  U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., told "Fox & Friends" there is "no question" she will carry her Glock handgun in Washington, D.C., despite pushback from the chief of police.  The newly elected lawmaker and owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., defended her viral ad Tuesday [1/5/2021].  "It's right there in our Constitution.  It's an amendment to our Constitution, and there's an absolute uproar over people wanting to defend myself," the 34-year-old mother of four said.  "I mean, come on.  I'm 5-foot, 100 pounds.  I am now in one of the most dangerous cities in America.  The violent crime rate here is 158% times the national average.  I will be walking alone a lot," she said.  "Just like I say in my ad, being a member of Congress is pretty basic.  I don't go to work in an armored vehicle.  I don't have personal police escorts.  I am my own security here and my most basic right is my right to defend myself," Boebert concluded.

CT man arrested after shooting bear to protect his dog.  A 26-year-old Thomaston man was arrested Tuesday [9/22/2020] by environmental conservation police after killing a bear to protect his dog, officials said.  The mother bear was killed and her two cubs survived.  The dog was not hurt.  Will Healey, spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said William O'Connor had let his dog outside Tuesday afternoon.  The dog ran toward a bear and her cubs that were foraging in the woods near O'Connor's Walnut Hill Road property line.

Buy Guns and Ammo — You can't count on the state for your security.  Recently I have noticed an interesting new trend taking shape on my phone.  More and more, my liberal friends are texting me with concern for their safety, wondering how to buy a gun.  A friend in NYC was recently threatened with violence — he's gone from being passionately anti-gun to being dead-set on buying a firearm.  But regulations in NYC make it practically impossible to do so.  In today's world you can burn down a church, tear down an abolitionist statue, or pour fake blood on the portrait of a founding father, and you'll be praised.  But don't dare defend your family from a violent mob threatening to kill you, your wife, and your children — that would be wrong.

Governor says Pardon will be likely if St. Louis couple is charged.  Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) suggested during an interview that a pardon would likely happen if the controversial St. Louis couple was charged with a crime.  The interview took place on the Marc Cox Morning Show, where they asked Gov. Parson if he would even consider issuing a pardon over this incident.  "I think that's exactly what would happen," Parson said.  He later added that based on what he knows about the case, "I don't think they're going to spend any time in jail."

Hawley calls for civil rights probe of prosecutor investigating gun-wielding St. Louis couple.  Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) called on the Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner and her office after Gardner announced an investigation into a white couple who were seen on video threatening Black Lives Matter protesters at gunpoint.  In a letter to the Justice Department obtained by The Washington Post, Hawley said that Gardner had established "a pattern of politically motivated prosecutorial decisions" during her time as St. Louis's top city prosecutor.  "The Second Amendment is not a second-class right.  No family should face the threat of harassment or malicious prosecution for exercising that right," he wrote to Attorney General William Barr.

Couple Who Defended Home: 'Rumor Is That We Are Going To Be Indicted Shortly'.  Mark McCloskey, the homeowner who defended his St. Louis home recently from a large mob of demonstrators, told Fox News on Monday that he excepts to be "indicted shortly."  The segment came after St. Louis law enforcement officials served a warrant on the McCloskeys late last week and confiscated the rifle that he used to defend his home.  "The police were really very professional and very nice," McCloskey said.  "The cops that came out to issue the search warrant on us, they were almost apologetic.  They didn't want to have to be there.  They were doing their job.  Patty wanted to take a picture to document it, and she asked if they wouldn't mind facing away from the camera so that people wouldn't get mad at them if their faces were shown on TV."

The Editor says...
The cops didn't want to be there.  They didn't want to take the couple's guns.  They were only following orders.  Does that sound familiar?  Adolph Hitler only needed a few cops and bureaucrats like these guys to get where he got.  People who were willing to follow orders, no matter what those orders were.  The same thing is happening now in the U.S.A., not only with gun confiscations, but with the Mask Police making sure we all wear muzzles in public.  The mask mandate will end as soon as you take your mask off!  What are they gonna do about it?

Local St. Charles Gun Store Announces Free AR15 to McCloskeys After Police Confiscate Their Rifle.  On Friday night [7/10/2020] St. Louis Police served homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey with a search warrant and confiscated their rifle.  The McCloskeys made national headlines when they defended their home from hundreds of BLM protesters who trespassed into their neighborhood to protest at the home of the St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.  Following the visit to their home by St. Louis City Police local gun store Alien Armory Tactical announced they will donate a free AR15 to the McCloskeys after Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner sent police to their house to confiscate their rifle.

Missouri AG On Warrant Served On St. Louis Couple:  Democrat Prosecutor Has History Of 'Politically Motivated Decisions'.  Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt responded to Friday night's breaking news that a search warrant was served and at least one gun confiscated from the St. Louis couple who defended their home last month from an angry mob by saying that the Democrat prosecutor who was handling the decision has an alleged track record of making politically motivated decisions.  "I know this is being handled by a local prosecutor, not something you'd be involved with, but what is your take on what we're seeing tonight?" Fox News host Shannon Bream asked Schmitt.  "The local warrant there signed off by a judge and being executed by St. Louis police?"

Have we reached the point at which self-defense is a crime?  Thirty-five American states have stand-your-ground laws, while the remaining fifteen require retreat only when it can be done with absolute safety (although none require retreat when the attack takes place in a person's own home or "castle"). America strongly supports self-defense.  Or does it?  Recently, activist prosecutors seem to be criminalizing self-defense when whites use it against blacks. [...] With Democrats defunding the police or driving them off the streets, people of all colors are going to resort to self-defense.  It's legal in one form or another across America, and people's lizard brains are going to react hard when threatened.  We're at a perilous moment in America if leftists first deprive people of police protection and then activist prosecutors criminalize self-defense only when whites do it.  If people do not believe they are getting the benefit of equal protection under the law, they will stop complying with the law entirely.

Missouri couple who defended home have rifle seized during police search: report.  Authorities in St. Louis executed a search warrant Friday evening [7/10/2020] at the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who made headlines last month when they took up arms to defend their home from protesters.  During the search, police seized the rifle that Mark McCloskey was shown holding during the June 28 incident, KSDK-TV of St. Louis reported, citing information from a source.  The couple claimed the pistol that Patricia McCloskey held during the June confrontation was already in the possession of their attorney, the station reported.

Police Consider Charging Crowd Confronted By Armed St. Louis Couple With Trespassing, Intimidation.  A group of protesters in Missouri who famously found themselves facing an armed husband and wife may soon be facing multiple charges.  As a group of demonstrators marched toward the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's home on Sunday night to demand that she resign, they marched through an area that was closed off to the public, where a husband-wife team stood outside with a rifle and a gun to protect their property.

St. Louis Authorities Will Investigate Homeowners Who Met Trespassing Protesters With Guns.  St. Louis attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey went viral when they stood in front of their million-dollar home with firearms and confronted protesters — but now Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has vowed to have them investigated.  The McCloskeys, Mark armed with a rifle and Patricia with a handgun, stood outside as protesters marched by on the way to Democratic St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's home.  The protesters had broken down a gate to march onto the private drive — and McCloskey repeatedly yelled at them that it was private property.

Soros Funded St. Louis Circuit Attorney Threatens Legal Action Against Property Owners Who Defended Themselves Against Rampaging Mob.  This is a great example why law-abiding citizens need to be very involved in local elections.  The husband and wife who defended themselves and protected their property from looters/protestors are now being threatened by a Soros funded STL Circuit Attorney.  Ms. Kimberly M Gardner is an activist within the legal profession who has an expressed purpose to destroy property rights, advance the cause of a socialist society, and collapse the legal system that allows citizens to protect themselves from the rampaging mob.

Police Chief Forced Out After Offering Support For Armed Citizens.  It's hard to believe that we're now at the point where expressing support for a constitutional right can cause a public official to lose their job, but that Orwellian nightmare's come true in Lowell, Michigan, where police chief Steven Bukala was forced to resign just days after expressing his support for armed citizens who decided to patrol the downtown area while legally carrying firearms in an attempt to thwart any looting in the area.  The small town of about 4,000 people is located just a few miles from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where riots resulted in burned out buildings, looted storefronts, and the arrests of at least eight individuals on charges related to rioting or looting.  Shortly after the riots took place, the Lowell police department posted on Facebook about several individuals who were lawfully carrying in the small downtown area in an effort to prevent looting or rioting.

Virginia Store Employee Jailed for Shooting Masked Burglars.  An employee working at a smoke shop business in Arlington, Virginia has been arrested and charged after the Arlington County Police Department says he shot at people trying to break into the store where he was working, according to The Daily Caller.  Jowan Zuber, the smoke shop owner defended the jailed employee who could face decades in prison for firing his weapon at a group of masked burglars, wounding one.

Virginia Clerk Is Locked Up for Shooting at 3 Masked Robbers in His Store.  A Virginia store clerk heard a crash that sounded like a car had crashed into the place at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.  He grabbed a gun and shot at three masked men he found stealing merchandise and cash from the shop.  When it was over, the clerk was the one in handcuffs.  He now sits in jail on no bail, charged with crimes for which he could be locked up for 20 years.  Those charges include:  "Malicious Wounding, Reckless Handling of a Firearm and Violation of a Protective Order."  Police say they'll get around to charging the robbers later.

Busted For Defending Your Own Home.  This is probably one of my least favorite subjects to cover, but it's the sort of thing we need to remain aware of.  Questions of self-defense, the castle doctrine and home security come up often enough, and they can impact nearly anyone in the country if your luck runs low.  But a story from upstate New York is now making the rounds for an unusual reason.  The Daily Signal has the story of Ronald Stolarczyk, who lives in the Utica, New York region.  He found himself forced into a position where he had to use lethal force to save his life in his own home when armed intruders broke in.  He thankfully survived (the intruders did not) but that turned out to only be the beginning of his problems.

This New York Man Got Arrested After Defending His Own Home.  All too often, advocates of strict gun control promise that more complex and convoluted laws will save lives without imposing a serious burden on the right of law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional rights.  Their argument simply doesn't hold up.  Their gun control laws fail not only to address how actual criminals get their firearms, but they also impose a real burden on ordinary citizens' Second Amendment rights.  They even risk making felons out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.  If that sounds like an exaggeration, just look to the case of Ronald Stolarczyk of Oneida County, New York.

Elderly Man Who Shot Two Burglars In His Home Charged With Felony Over Inherited Gun.  An elderly man in New York was arrested for shooting two burglars in his house, not for murdering the intruders, but for shooting them with an unregistered gun.

Elderly NY man kills repeat burglars, is charged for using inherited gun, loses his home.  Imagine being arrested and losing your home after two repeat burglars break into your house again and rush toward you with the possible intention of murdering you.  This exact scenario played out in New York late last month thanks to the far-left state's draconian gun control laws.  A 64-year-old Deerfield homeowner was charged with illegal firearm possession and arrested after he used a gun he'd inherited from his deceased father to kill two repeat burglars.  Then upon his release from a jail a couple of days later, he found himself homeless because his house had been condemned.

Oklahoma: Cop Caught On Video Harassing, Fining Flood Victims For Trying To Help Each Other.  Residents in Oklahoma are experiencing near-historic flooding this week as well as damaging wind and tornadoes.  Thousands of people have been displaced and have lost everything.  Adding to the extreme harsh hand dealt out by mother nature is the fact that in at least one instance, people trying to save their property or rescue others are being harassed and fined by police — for being good Samaritans. [...] In the video, we see the cop identified as Sperry Police Officer Bobby Sappington Jr. swearing at residents receiving help, calling them "stupid" and threatening to arrest them.

Leader of armed militia that held migrants arrested on weapons charges.  The leader of a militia operating along the southern border has been arrested by the FBI days after the armed group detained over 200 migrants who had just illegally crossed into New Mexico.  Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, of Flora Vista, New Mexico, was arrested Saturday [4/20/2019] on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the FBI Albuquerque office said.  Hopkins was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, which lies right on the border with Mexico and is just 8 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas.

Maryland's "Red Flag Law" Claims Its First Victim As Police Kill Gun Owner.  While most of us were focused on the upcoming election, there was a tragic story unfolding on Monday [11/5/2018] in Ferndale, Maryland, a suburb to the south of Baltimore.  Maryland has enacted a new "red flag" law which allows people to call in reports of gun owners who are acting erratically and may present a danger to themselves or others.  Under this new law, that gives the police the right to show up and confiscate their firearms.  (The law has only been in effect for a month.)  That's what happened to 61-year-old Gary J. Willis.  Unfortunately, when the police rolled up at his house before six in the morning, Mr. Willis answered the door holding his handgun.  Then everything went wrong.

Police fatally shoot armed homeowner who had just shot and killed an intruder: 'Sad and screwed up'.  Police fatally shot an armed homeowner in Aurora, Colorado, just after the homeowner shot and killed an intruder early Monday morning [7/30/2018], the Denver Post reported.  Dispatchers received a 911 call about an intruder at the home, and officers heard gunshots from inside the home when they arrived around 1:30 a.m., the paper said.  An officer shot an armed man police encountered — and that man turned out to be a resident of the home, the Post added.  The armed homeowner — whose name hasn't been released — was taken to a hospital where he died, the paper said.

Rancher faces 4 years in jail for stopping intruders.  Eddie Maurice was home alone with his family when two people snuck onto his property, one was shot in the arm and now Eddie faces up to four years in prison.  [Video clip]

Connecticut assault victim gets 18 months in jail for stabbing attacker.  A Connecticut man who was assaulted by three juveniles while at work has been sentenced to prison for stabbing one of the attackers.  The Connecticut Post reports 21-year-old Jeffrey Sumpter of Bridgeport received 18 months in jail Monday [7/2/2018] at a Stamford courthouse. [...] Sumpter was working at a Dunkin' Donuts in Norwalk last October when he was jumped by three males.  During the assault, Sumpter stabbed one of them in the leg.  "I was defending myself," Sumpter said during the hearing.

Man Shoots Intruder, Turns Out to Be Cop — Gets 13.5 Years.  Tyler Harrell was found guilty of a charge of aggravated assault today in a case that should concern anyone who cares about the right to self-defense.  Back in 2016, Harken [sic] grabbed his AK-47 after being awaken by a loud bang.  With him and his mom believing his house was being broken in to, he went on to shoot one of the intruders in the knee.  Unfortunately for Harken [sic], the people that broke down his door had government badges.  The Austin SWAT team, allegedly responding to Snapchat photos of Harrell with drugs, guns, and cash, were conducting a no-knock raid on the house.  Their search found no drugs, but Harken [sic] faced the assault charge as well as an even more ludicrous charge of attempted capital murder, of which he was found not guilty.  He now faces thirteen-and-a-half years in prison.

Redwood City man shoots and kills his own dog after surprise attack.  A Redwood City man shot and killed his own dog when it attacked him on a walk Wednesday [12/27/2017], police said.  The 76-year-old man was walking his dog, a large mastiff, in the 1300 block of Elmer Street in unincorporated Belmont when the dog turned and bit him in the lower leg.  The attack continued, police said, until the man pulled out a handgun and fatally shot the dog.  The man was taken to the hospital for treatment but police said he is expected to recover.  The gun was recovered and secured as evidence.  Police said the man did not have a permit for a concealed weapon.

Father Uses .44 Magnum to Shoot Grizzly Bear off Son.  [Scroll down]  The FWP officers told Dave if he had bear spray, he might have avoided having to shoot the bear.  Dave noted the FWP officers were all armed with shotguns and had loaded pistols on their hips. [...] Dave told me if he had spray and had sprayed the bear, he would have had to spray Rory as well.  Then, if the bear turned on him, Rory would have been unable to help. [...] David Buckallew said "I will depend on my .44 magnum."  The bear never vocalized during the attack.  Dave said you could hear the loud breath of the bear, but there were no warning growls, or other sounds from the bear.  FWP found the dead bear the next day. [...] The bear did not have any tags, or previous history of aggressive encounters with humans.  Unprovoked grizzly attacks have been noted throughout the history of grizzly bears.  The current fad is to always assign a human motivation.

Army officer dealing with terror threats denied concealed carry permit in N.J..  The state of New Jersey told an Army officer dealing with terror threats at Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton that there is no "justifiable need" for him to have a concealed carry permit.  Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell, the product manager for the Army's Individual Weapons and Small Arms program, requires a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance for his job.  The base where he works was chosen as a terrorist "dry run" for a a Vehicle Borne Improved Explosive Device, and hackers have tried to obtain information on personnel.  Regardless, Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus still denied the solider a permit, a decision ultimately backed last month by Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley.

Guns found at TSA checkpoints could mean fine, jail time for travelers.  Starting June 1, anyone who forgets they have a gun in their carry-on luggage will be looking at up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine if the firearm is caught at the security check point at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Until Georgia law was changed two years ago, "we didn't really have any issues here," Britt Johnson, who is head of the Atlanta FBI office, said of the "Guns Everywhere Law" that expanded the list of places guns were allowed.  The law said gun owners with a permit could take guns discovered in their carry-on luggage back to their cars or give them to someone for safe keeping, and they would not face criminal charges.

Brooklyn teen tries to steal Air Jordans, loses arm in Craigslist robbery gone wrong: police.  A robbery victim, who decided to take the law into his own hands by mowing down an armed teen thief, severing his right arm, is now in handcuffs himself, police said.  Police arrested the robbery victim, Philip Pierre, 39, of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and charged him with attempted murder.  The alleged teen thief, Zachary Sam, 17, also of Canarsie, Brooklyn, was charged with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon in the Craigslist robbery gone wrong.  Both were charged on Friday [2/12/2016].  Police sources say the teenager connected with Pierre on Craigslist on Friday.  Pierre was selling a pair of Air Jordan sneakers.

The Editor says...
Craigslist would work as intended only among moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the transactions of any other.

NJ Man who Shoots Three Problem Bears gets $4,000+ Fines and Fees.  In October, 2014, a 76-year-old New Jersey resident shot three problem bears on his property.  One was an adult sow that was on his deck and looking in through his sliding glass door.  The location of the two juvenile bears when they were shot, is disputed, but was either on the deck or close to it.  Bears are more dangerous as they are larding up for the winter hibernation.  Bears that display this level of familiarity with humans, who associate humans with food, are a severe problems waiting to happen.  It is why the conservation community has come up with a well used phrase:  A fed bear is a dead bear.  Judge James G. Devine handed down the fines against Robert Ehling on the 28th of January, 2016.  I found the judges attitude a bit disturbing in one particular sense.  He thought that Robert C. Ehling acted as a "vigilante".

Colorado homeowner robbed at gunpoint may face charges for killing suspect.  A Colorado homeowner who was tied up and robbed at gunpoint Sunday [1/24/2016] may face charges for shooting and killing the suspect who was fleeing in a stolen car, Fox 31 reported.  The unidentified homeowner, who managed somehow to untie himself after the robbery, reportedly went outside his home in Littleton and fired shots into the car at the fleeing suspect.  The man in the car was reportedly identified as David Martinez, 38, who has a long criminal history of burglary, theft and drugs.  Martinez crashed the car about a block later and died.  The Denver Channel reported that under the state's Make My Day law, a homeowner is able to shoot an intruder who enters the home, but, according to one legal analyst, the law does not protect a homeowner if the shooting occurs from the porch, yard or driveway.

Sacramento Democrats Made Students Sitting Ducks for Criminals/Terrorists.  If you carry a gun on a California campus you are breaking the law.  If you use your gun to stop a massacre or a terrorist event, YOU are in trouble for having a gun.  The great news for wannabee terrorists is that they can shoot up a California campus and not worry about the teachers, professor's staff or students shooting back or trying to stop you.  The Sacramento Democrats have students and professor's ducks in a shooting arcade, like at a Fair. [...] Think about this when you send your children off to a California college — they are not allowed to protect themselves from predators.  This, in a so-called free nation.

There aren't many cops near your house.
Don't count on the police.  Of the just under 800,000 combined full time, sworn law enforcement officers in the U.S., in 2000, only about 150,000 were on duty on the streets at any given moment to protect a population of roughly 281 million, at that time.  That means that there was one policeman to protect almost 1900 civilians in 2000.  That ratio has not changed significantly in many years.  But, it's worse than even that sounds.  In 2000, over 43,000 of the listed law enforcement officers were classified by the Bureau of Justice statistics as "Special Jurisdiction".  More than 88,000 are federal officers, who do not respond to 911 calls.  They are the officers whose job is certainly not to protect you, as an individual.  So that means that a rather significant number of the 150,000 on-duty officers, mentioned above, are not dedicated to general police work, but to "special tasks".  But, even those numbers are inflated.  Many cities, like Houston, have large, dedicated traffic task forces, that do not fall into that "Special Jurisdiction" category, yet who are dedicated to special tasks.  Not only are such groups dedicated to special tasks, but they most often operate on a different radio frequency than regular patrol officers, so they won't even hear your emergency call.

South Carolina Pastor Defies Cop's Orders, Rescues Casket From Historic Flood.  A South Carolina pastor defied police orders to save an unearthed casket from historic floodwaters.  Pastor Wayne Reeves witnessed two caskets surface and began walking towards the water, but a police officer ordered him not to go.

11 Year Old Thwarts Home Invasion With A Gun, Cops Criticize Mother.  An 11-year-old boy shoots an almost 17-year-old who had broken into his home, saving his 4-year-old sister and scaring away another burglar.  The burglars repeatedly tried to break into the home, finally succeeding on their third attempt.  The mother apparently purchased the handgun because of several previous attempted break-ins of her home.  One can only imagine the relief that the mother had that her children were safe.  Yet, the reaction from police and authorities was to question why the gun was so easily accessible.

Police union wants more exemptions from L.A. proposal to lock up handguns.  Los Angeles lawmakers have been mulling new rules that would require residents to lock up their handguns or disable them with a trigger lock when they are not being used.  But the plan, championed by Councilman Paul Krekorian as a way to spare children from deadly accidents, spurred opposition from the city police officers' union, which argues that current and former officers shouldn't be held to those rules.

The Attack on Self-Defense.  Some years back, a public service TV ad depicted patients being told by a doctor that they had a tobacco-related illness:  lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, etc.  It asked, "If you're not planning to quit smoking, then what are you planning?"  So let me ask:  If you're not planning to use a firearm to defend your home against invasion, what are you planning to do?

Homeowner is handcuffed after being gunned down by police after she shot estranged husband.  This is the dramatic moment a homeowner was gunned down and handcuffed by police after she blasted her estranged husband who allegedly broke into her house and tried to kill her.  Lisa Skinner, 52, shot the male home invader, who has now been identified as her estranged husband Bradley Skinner, 59, after he broke into the house she shared with her mother around 6 p.m.  Police said Mr Skinner was armed with both a pistol and a large knife.

Not Guilty, and Handcuffed; Woman Forced to Shoot Attacking Ex.  If you are in a defensive shooting, do not be surprised if you are treated as a criminal as the police sort things out.  This is especially likely in large city police departments, where crime is common, such as in Houston.  Expect it.  In some cases you will be held in jail for a period without seeing a lawyer or a judge.  The police are allowed up to 24 hours to process your case.  If they forget or make mistakes, it can take much longer.

911 dispatcher tells grandmother to 'put the gun down' during break-in.  A Florida grandmother whose home was broken into says a 911 dispatcher ordered her to put her gun down in the middle of the invasion.  NJ Logan, 80, was recovering from hip replacement surgery upstairs in her Holmes Beach home when she heard noises coming from downstairs, EAG News reported.  "I kept hearing a commotion, like there were people walking around down there," she said.  "Once I realized it wasn't my husband, you have no idea how fast you can go. ... Honestly, all I wanted was my gun."

NYC alarms with notice: 'Immediately surrender your rifle'.  New York City authorities have been sending out notices to residents who own guns that now violate new ammunition capability laws, demanding they relinquish their weapons — and even though the notifications may just be standard police procedure, the text is a shocker.  At issue:  Weapons that hold more than five rounds of ammo, The Blaze reported.

Man shoots intruder at 2am, gets charged with murder.
A man's home is his castle, except in Maryland.  US Air Force Tech Sgt. Matt Pinkerton shot an intruder in his home on September 13th just before 2 am.  That is not in question.  Yet somehow, in Maryland, where Castle Doctrine does not exist by statute but rather only by case law, Sgt. Pinkerton is being charged with 2nd degree murder.

Defenselessly 'sheltered' as anti-gun fortress is breached.  As any decent American knows, there is no feeling more powerless than to realize that a couple of mass murderers are loose in your neighborhood and you are denied the right to keep a gun to defend yourself, your family or your home.  A sickening knot tightens in your gut. [...] Then came the latest Orwellian phrase in the "homeland security" lexicon:  "Shelter in place!"  So, not only are you not allowed to defend yourself against mass murderers, you are not supposed to run from them, either.  This, my fellow countrymen, is pure insanity.

Son who locked boys who were vandalizing father-in-law's home in a closet faces jail.  A man who says he caught four boys vandalizing his father-in-law's home has been charged with child endangerment after corralling them in a closet until police arrived.

Man Charged For Stopping Youth Gang Vandalizing Family's Home.  And before you assume there is more to this story... there isn't.  Just another victory for convenient 'victims' preying on the few producers that remain in Amerika.  Get this, the four thugs are of ages 8 and 10.  They and their 'parents' should be taken out to the woodshed.  But they won't, because today's 'entitled misunderstood youth' and their [amoral] guardians are free to destroy anything that offends their parasitic reality-TV lifestyle.

Clyde man arrested after corralling vandals in a closet until police arrived.  [Scroll down]  Upon entering the house, Daniels saw a great deal of the damage downstairs and went upstairs to confront the intruder.  Jesse encountered four young boys, all with hammers.  The boys tried forcing their way out several times, Daniels corralled them into a closet awaiting police arrival.

Update:
DA says he won't prosecute upstate NY man who put 4 boys in closet after vandalism spree.  A district attorney says he won't prosecute a New York man who corralled four boys in a closet when he found them vandalizing a relative's home.

Millionaire points gun at burglar, and guess who gets arrested.  George Bardwil, who owns linen company Bardwil Home, was at home in his E. 51st Street apartment in Manhattan in January, when a man broke in.  Bardwil, 60, brandished the gun at the intruder, who then fled, and the businessman called 911.  But when he showed police footage of the incident recorded on his home security system he was arrested on suspicion of possessing an illegal gun.

The feverish de-legitimization of personal self-defense .  Three Florida high school students disarmed another student who was armed with a loaded pistol while riding home on a school bus.  The school district then promptly suspended all three students for being involved in an "incident" with a weapon.  One of the suspended students asked, "How are they going to suspend me for doing the right thing?"

Excuse Me, Your Illogic Is Showing: Orwell's Vision Emerges In California.  Emeryville, California Police Chief Ken James claims that guns are not defensive weapons.  If true, then why do police carry them?

Why I own an AR-15.  I bought an AR-15 so that I wouldn't have to ask twice for a criminal to get out of my house.

California police chief: The idea that a gun is a defensive weapon is a 'myth'.  California Police Chief Ken James insisted earlier this month that the idea of a gun as a "defensive weapon" was a "myth."  Speaking at a news conference about gun control with California lawmakers, James explained that he was concerned with the amount of weapons owned by American citizens.  "One issue that always boggles my mind is that the idea that a gun is a defensive weapon," James said.  "That is a myth.  A gun is not a defensive weapon."

Utah Resident Forced to Forfeit Gun Used to Stop Home Invasion.  In late January, 64-year old Clare Niederhauser was arrested for shooting at burglars fleeing from his property.  At a plea deal hearing, he apologized for firing the shots, agreed to pay a $700 fine, take a weapons class, and forfeit the weapon he used.  Fellow residents of Layton, UT are coming to the aid of the elderly man, who was arrested after firing a shot at a burglar's vehicle and a fleeing accomplice after they attempted to break in to his property with a crowbar.

A Gun Ban That Misfired.  The D.C. gun ban, enacted in 1976, prohibited anyone other than law-enforcement officers from carrying a firearm in the city.  Residents were even barred from keeping guns in their homes for self-defense.  Some in Washington who owned firearms before the ban were allowed to keep them as long as the weapons were disassembled or trigger-locked at all times.  According to the law, trigger locks could not be removed for self-defense even if the owner was being robbed at gunpoint.

If you're counting on the government to keep you safe, you can expect to be disappointed.
Homeland Security: In an Emergency; Grab Your Scissors.  Continuing the idea that only the government can protect you the Department of Homeland Security has released this video of options if you are in a dangerous situation.  Key in the DHS plan is to take cover and hide. [...] One has to wonder if teaching actual self defense tactics might be a better plan.  Or maybe an offer to put a baseball bat at every cubicle.

Homeland Security has advice for confronting mass murders: scissors.  Is your workplace getting shot up by a crazed gunman?  No problem — just grab a pair of scissors and fight back!  That's some of the helpful advice in a new instructional video from the Department of Homeland Security that was posted on the agency's Web site just a month after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

'Tackle crazed gunmen with scissors or just hide under your desk'.  The U.S Government has issued a controversial video telling office workers what to do should a crazed gunman storms their building.  Issued by Homeland Security, the video, called Active Shooter Situation:  Options for Consideration, tells workers to flee if it is safe or find a hiding place if trapped should a gunman storm the building.  The video even advises using scissors as a weapon to defend yourself if your are caught in the open.

Rep. Nadler: Two to Four Self-Defense Shots is Enough.  Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) applauded his state's expansion of the current gun control laws on Tuesday [1/15/2013] telling Breitbart News, "I'm glad New York passed strong legislation.  Would I have preferred stronger? — always — without knowing the details of what they did."  The passage of the new gun control laws make the New York legislation the strictest in the nation.

Chicago Police Chief: We'll Shoot Licensed Civilians With Guns.  During an interview on radio station WVON 1690 am this week Chicago's Police Chief Gary McCarthy surprised listeners when he commented on the upcoming concealed carry law that must be passed in Illinois within the next six months.  McCarthy made a scary prediction that citizens carrying legally could be shot by Chicago police.

Chicago Police Chief: We'll Shoot Licensed Gun Owners.  Under Chicago's Police Chief Gary McCarthy and the hack that hired him, Chicago has quickly become Murder City USA.  Last year by a substantial amount, more Americans died from gunfire in the Windy City than died in Afghanistan.  The gunfire is coming from the violent street gangs that infect the streets of Chicago.  Since they have failed to solve the real problem of gunfire killing people in their streets, the current administration has invented a problem their media pals can fool the dupes that vote for them into thinking they are solving.  Their invented problem is:  what to do about "dangerous" people who are licensed gun owners?

Tucson Gun Turn in — First Hand Account.  As I walked the line for the next two hours, I saw very few guns that had any value in excess of the value of the $50 gift card being offered.  Quite frankly, most of the guns were rusted, inoperable junk.  I saw only three firearms that I would value in excess $400, two S&W revolvers and a single 4" blue Colt Python.  Most of the guns worth anything were comprised of .22 rifles, and all of those were of nominal value.

Progressives and the Phony Gun Debate.  To typical Progressives, government is the very essence of life, and anyone who is not directly employed by government or who has been given police powers by the State stands in the way of the State providing life and happiness.  Lest anyone believe that denial of individual self-defense is a top agenda for Progressives, think again.  Both Canada and Great Britain essentially have outlawed individual self-defense, and should any individual use any kind of "offensive weapon" in self-defense, then that person faces extremely harsh punishments.

People are Buying Guns and Ammunition for a Reason.  Police response time to a 911 call is roughly 8 minutes, but making that call may attract the intruder's attention.  There are other sounds that are sure to get his attention as well.  For instance, there's the sound that a 12 gauge pump shotgun makes when you chamber a round, and then there's the sound of an AR 15 when you release the charging handle.  Both of those sounds will put the fear of God into anyone with any sense, and the response time of an AR 15 is 3200 feet per second.

Congratulations to Mayor Rahm Emanuel for Chicago's successful gun control policies: only 19 shot in 18 hours yesterday!  Curious how the cities that are most restrictive when it comes to law-abiding citizens possessing firearms to protect themselves and their loved ones are also the cities that are awash in violent crime.

Cops Arrest Homeowner for Crime of Self-Defense.  A man in New York recently scared off some gang members by firing a couple of warning shots into the ground.  When the cops arrived, did they congratulate the man for protecting his family and start looking for the thugs?  That's what would happen in a logical and just society, but the anti-gun mentality in New York is so pervasive that the cops actually arrested the homeowner.  Needless to say, I can't imagine this happening in Georgia or Wyoming — places where both the law and cops seem to be more rational.

The police can't protect you.  The Aurora, CO police force is a fine, highly motivated department — I know because the police association was formerly my client.  There were officers already at the theatre for the midnight showing of Batman to deal with the anticipated crowd.  Only 90 seconds elapsed between the first 911 call and officer's arrival on scene.  This is a spectacular response time.  Yet 12 people were already dead and 58 wounded.  Which is why they are called "first responders" and not "first preventers."

Gun Crazy II.  [Scroll down]  But waiting for the Man is not an option.  "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away" — in Newtown, they were twenty minutes away.  The obscene horror of mass-shooting sites is often compounded by how long the killers have to go about their deadly work in "gun-free zones" (which should be re-dubbed "free-fire zones") before being interrupted — at which point they typically kill themselves.  In the recent Oregon mall shootings, the killer decided to turn his gun on himself when he caught sight of an armed civilian, and the Connecticut monster shot himself once the "first responders" started to arrive.

Until We All Understand Police Limitations, Some Will Put Faith in Gun Control.  [Scroll down slowly]  Response times for emergencies vary enormously from place to place.  In some rural or semi-rural areas, emergency response is measured in hours.  Even in towns or cities, a five-minute response — from the moment an officer receives the radio call until he arrives in a school parking lot — would be amazingly fast.  Consider, however, that a radio call likely would not have been made until someone at the school realized what was happening and made a call, a call that will take precious seconds — even minutes — to make and to be understood.  By the time a radio signal flashes out, a shooter could easily have been shooting for five minutes or more.

Sandy Hook shooting timeline.  Authorities say the first emergency call about the shooting came in at "approximately" 9:30 a.m.  "Sandy Hook school. Caller is indicating she thinks someone is shooting in the building," a dispatcher told fire and medical personnel, according to 911 tapes.  Police and other first responders arrived on scene about 20 minutes after the first calls.  Police report that no law enforcement officers discharged their weapons at any point.

When Seconds Counted, The Police Were 20 Minutes Away.  The murder of 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook is both a massacre and a tragedy.  The fact that the murderer met no armed resistance during the 20 minutes of his massacre is an obscenity.  The solution to this problem seems pretty simple.  The only way to stop a person with a gun is another person with a gun at the time and place of the crime — and, as former police officer Mike McDaniel writes at PJM, because of response times, that will rarely, if ever, be a member of the police.

Disarming We the People.  In America, there were no "police" forces as we understand them today until 1835, and their creation by no means negated either the citizenry's unalienable right of self-protection or the expectation that ultimate responsibility for the individual's safety fell squarely on his own shoulders.  The police are public employees, there to add to the safety of the citizenry; they are not the sole arbiters of public order.  To suggest otherwise is to misunderstand the role of government and its relationship to the individual.

Cops: Man, 80, charged after shooting burglar in his Englewood home.  Awakened by his 75-year-old wife, [80-year-old Homer] Wright confronted a 19-year-old burglar who had broken through some plywood over a bathroom window in hopes of stealing liquor, according to police.  Wright grabbed his 38.caliber pistol, loaded with four rounds, and shot the intruder in the leg.  The suspect was arrested — but so was Wright.

80-year-old bar owner who shot burglar would like his gun back.  Homer "Tank" Wright says he's happy prosecutors dropped charges filed against him after he shot a suspected burglar last week.  But the 80-year-old tavern owner in Englewood is upset they did not return the .38-caliber pistol he used to shoot the intruder in the leg.

SWAT and the Second Amendment.  In a free society, a society with a fundamental right to keep and bear arms, police officers believing they may shoot a citizen in his own home simply because he is carrying a firearm cannot be tolerated.  Officers must absolutely avoid putting citizens in situations where they might be armed, or even pointing firearms in the direction of police officers banging on or breaking down their front doors.  If such misconduct is tolerated, as in the cases of Jose Guerena and Andrew Scott, the next knock on any citizen's door may be the last they ever answer.

City official insists residents shouldn't defend themselves.
D.C.'s crime solution: Be a victim.  Washington residents are up in arms, though not armed.  With violent crime up 40 percent in the first two months of the year — including double the number of robberies at gunpoint — residents are looking for ways to protect themselves.  Elected officials and police have no solution.

Shotgun-wielding Minnesota farmer, 74, charged after chasing down thief.  A farmer who chased down a thief and held him at gunpoint until authorities arrived now faces a more serious charge than the thief himself.  Kenneth Englund, 74, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony.  The thief, who the sheriff said admitted stealing about $5 worth of gasoline from Englund's neighbour, was charged with misdemeanour theft.

Felonized for Foiling a Real Crime.  Bradford Township, Minn., doesn't have its own police force, relying instead on deputies sent from 15 miles away.  When Bradford Township Board member Kenneth Englund detected thieves stealing gasoline from his neighbor's farm, he attempted to detain the thieves using his unloaded shotgun. ... [Now] Englund faces the most serious charge from the incident.

The government goes after the victim rather than the perpetrators.
Elderly man facing serious charges for shooting at thieves.  Legal analyst Dan Recht said he believes the Jefferson County District Attorney is "seriously overcharging" a Wheat Ridge homeowner, accused of attempted first degree murder for shooting at two thieves.  82-year-old Robert Wallace said he fired two shots at two men when they tried to run him over while stealing his flatbed trailer.  Wallace now faces twelve felony counts, including four counts of attempted first degree murder, for what he described as an act of defending his property and his life.

Stolen Trailers.  Say you're 82 years old.  Say that you see two people a third of your age with criminal records stealing your trailer.  Say that you run out to stop them and they almost run you over.  You fire two shots.  The thieves are let go, and you find yourself facing life in prison.  It's not a hypothetical scenario.

Defend your family, go to jail.  A Brooklyn man who shot and wounded an intruder while defending his family will spend three days in Rikers Island, the same jail housing the burglar who terrorized his home, because he owns an unregistered gun.

One law for us, another for you.  The California state Senate voted 28-8 Wednesday [6/1/2011] to exempt itself from the pointless gun-control laws that apply to the rest of the populace.  Legislators apparently think they alone are worthy to pack heat on the streets for personal protection, and the masses ought to wait until the police arrive.

Thanks to Otis McDonald and the Supremes.  The fact is that most crimes cannot be deterred because the bad guys don't generally mug people in front of the officer on patrol.  Since the police can't be everywhere, people need a way to protect themselves.

State "Emergency Powers" vs. The Right to Arms.  After Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans residents legally armed themselves to protect their lives and property from civil disorder.  With no way to call for help, and police unable to respond, honest citizens were able to defend themselves and their neighbors against looters, arsonists and other criminals.  However, just when these people needed guns the most, New Orleans's Police Superintendent ordered the confiscation of firearms, allegedly under a state emergency powers law.  "No one will be able to be armed," he said.  "Guns will be taken.  Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns."

Why do civilians need assault weapons?  One self-defense situation that comes to mind is the L.A. riots.  Who can forget the nightly news's live footage of thugs hurling rocks at passing cars, buildings on fire, and looters smashing storefront windows?  Then there was the savage beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.  What was stunningly absent from the video footage?  There were no police or fire personnel.  According to the Los Angeles Times, police were ordered to stay out of the area for three hours.  Numerous 911 calls for assault, murder, and fire-bombings went unanswered. [...] When there's no law and order — only chaos — that's when civilians need assault weapons.

Dial 911 and Die.  Do the police owe a duty to protect you from criminal attack?  In most of the United States, the answer is "no."  In fact, in most cases the police do not even have to respond to your emergency 911 call.  Don't believe it?  Read the true stories from all across America about citizens who depended solely upon their telephone and police response for emergency help against a violent criminal.  Not only did those crime victims not get help, the local government and police escaped legal responsibility for failing to help those victims.

DC 911 Puts Woman on Hold... During a Home Invasion.  When seconds count, the cops are minutes away or... they put you [on] hold.  A Washington DC woman was recently the victim of a home invasion and when she called the police for help, the 911 operator made her wait.  As a reminder, the average crime happens in one minute.

Sleeping 911 Operator Cost FL County $75,000.  Pasco County, Fl. owes a family $75,000 because of a 911 operator who grew frustrated with a caller and dropped the call to fall asleep while the caller's girlfriend died due to choking.  According to WTSP out of Tampa, Nancy McGhee died while choking on food because when her boyfriend called 911, the certified operator grew frustrated and passed the call along to his subordinate.

The Best Defense:  The basic premise of this book is: defensive use of firearms is not just for the military and police; it is for every citizen confronted or assaulted by violent criminals violating their personal and property rights.  This book contains numerous examples of citizens who used firearms to save their own lives, or the lives of others, before law enforcement arrived.

Cases in which guns saved lives:  There are approximately two million defensive gun uses per year by law abiding citizens, according to a recent national survey.*

The Police Have No Obligation To Protect You.  Americans have come to believe that first responders, particularly the police, not only will protect them but have a duty to protect them.  It is this belief that underpins arguments about gun control and every other nanny state social policy.  Don't worry, be happy for the benevolent state will provide for and protect you.  Leave it to the experts.  In truth, the state can't protect anyone and has no such legal obligation.  As the citizens of Alameda discovered, the state has no conscience and can decide — on the spot — which services it will provide.  A little-known yet vital Supreme Court case explains why.

Have gun, will travel.  Law-abiding gun owners can run into serious trouble when on the move.  Venturing into firearm-unfriendly states creates confusion about what individuals need to do to abide by a confusing maze of regulations.  Congress should act to prevent honest citizens from winding up behind bars because police are misinformed.

Gun Control Laws Only Control the Law Abiding.  Just like the majority of police officers who never have to fire their gun during the course of a career, most civilians will never be shot at while watching a movie, browsing in a shopping mall or attending school.  But for those few that do have the misfortune to be an unwilling participant in an ambush here are a few rules of thumb you may find useful.

Dispelling bullet myths.  Terms like "stockpile" are used to scare people, but gun owners know they can go through that amount in a couple days of training.  The handful of people who buy ammunition with the intent of committing a crime could just circumvent Mr. Lautenberg's provisions by buying 999 rounds in local stores.  As usual, the gun grabbers won't do anything to stop actual crime, but they'll hinder innocent Americans who just want to protect themselves and their families.

Milwaukee Sheriff: Calling 911, Waiting Not Best Option for Defense.  Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. has released a 30 second public announcement calling on the citizens of Milwaukee to familiarize themselves with a firearm and aid the police in defending life between the time they dial 911 and the time the police arrive.

Wisconsin sheriff urges residents to arm themselves.  A sheriff who released a radio ad urging Milwaukee-area residents to learn to handle firearms so they can defend themselves while waiting for police said Friday that law enforcement cutbacks have changed the way police can respond to crime.

Police Poll: Armed Citizens, not Gun Control, Will Lower Violent Crime.  In a poll conducted by PoliceOne, a majority of law enforcement personnel said universal background checks, "assault weapons" bans, and "high capacity" magazine bans do not make police safer and will not lower violent crime.  Armed citizens, on the other hand, do make a positive difference.

Huge cop poll: 85% say gun control won't work, 86% want civilians armed .  An authoritative new poll of more than 15,000 cops released on the eve of this week's Senate anti-gun debate shows that a sweeping majority of officers don't believe gun control will work or keep them safer, and nearly nine in 10 believe having more armed citizens would curb gun violence.

News that must be suppressed.  If our major media were not fully committed propagandists, they would report the findings of a large scale survey of law enforcement personnel on the subject of further gun legislation.  After all, they are currently following the President's strategy of distracting the public from the awful state of the economy by exploiting the victims of Newtown to push for further erosion of Second Amendment rights.  So the views of law enforcement personnel ought ot [sic] be of some interest.




Sluggish response, or no response at all

Austin Police Tell Citizens Not to Call 911 for Robberies Amid Rising Crime and Staff Shortages.  In response to surging urban crime rates and a concerning lack of personnel, the Austin Police Department in Texas has advised its residents to use the 311 hotline for reporting incidents of theft near ATMs. This is a marked shift from the more immediate 911 emergency service.  The Austin Police Department conveyed the directive via a message on X (previously recognized as Twitter). The message emphasized, "Even if you are cautious & follow all the safety advice, you may still become the unfortunate victim of a robbery."  The post further advised, "Make a police report & provide as much information as possible so we can recover your property quickly and safely."

Austin police ask robbery victims to call 311 amid staffing shortage, crime crisis.  Austin police in Texas are asking residents to call 311 if they get robbed near an ATM as the department struggles amid an increase in urban crime and staffing shortages.  The Austin Police Department posted a graphic in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, to urge residents to call 311 or make an online report if they're robbed — 311 is a number usually used for non-emergency requests, as opposed to 911.  "Even if you are cautious & follow all the safety advice, you may still become the unfortunate victim of a robbery," the Austin Police Department wrote on X.  "Do you know what your next steps should be?"

San Francisco Cops Sit In Their Cruiser And Watch A Car Get Jacked.  A press conference meant to herald a renewed crackdown on vehicle break-ins in San Francisco instead got overshadowed on social media by two break-ins that went viral the same day.  One theft happened right around the corner from where the news conference was being set up.  The other was caught in a video that appears to show a San Francisco police officer watching a break-in happen right in front of him.  [Video clip]

Anarchic violence and the rising tide of medical tyranny in - you guessed it - Portland.  First up, we have the story of Dr. Mary Costantino, a "highly distinguished" radiologist with institutions like Stanford and Georgetown on her curriculum vitae, who found herself on the receiving end of an unprovoked and violent attack.  While walking with a friend last week in an upscale Portland neighborhood, Costantino was hit in the face by an aluminum water bottle, thrown by a homeless man.  She was knocked unconscious, and when she awoke she dialed 911.  However, thanks to the "defund the police" movement, officers didn't arrive until nearly thirty minutes later.

Portland doctor knocked out by a 'homeless' attacker reveals bloody wounds to her face and blames the city for slow police response.  A Portland doctor who was knocked out by a 'homeless' attacker has revealed the wounds to her face, and blames the city for the slow police response.  Radiologist Mary Costantino was attacked last Friday night shortly after 10:30 in the Oregon city while walking with a friend. Shocking surveillance footage of the incident shows a man throw a large silver bottle directly at the 50-year-old, rendering her unconscious.

Woman alleges police ignored 911 calls prior to her husband being killed.  On Thursday, the family of a slain man in Colorado Springs accused the police for ignoring the 911 calls from the victim's wife before his death.  Talija Campbell called 911 after receiving a text message from her husband Qualin that showed a picture of him in the car with another man, with the words, "911, Send please!" written.  According to a KUSA, Campbell had called the police around 1 p.m. and told them that she believed that her husband had been kidnapped while providing them with his location.  Campbell said she spoke to two different dispatchers who told her they would check on the issue and then get back to her.  However, she felt there was no sense of urgency from either one.  Cambell ended up driving to the location herself, where she found her husband slumped over in his work car without a pulse after being shot in the abdomen.

Cops Basically Tell a Woman She's On Her Own as a Mob of [black] Kids Destroy Her Work Truck.  In a shocking incident captured on camera, a woman finds herself in a nightmarish situation as a mob of unruly [black] kids unleashes chaos on her work truck.  With no assistance from the authorities, she is left to navigate the mayhem on her own until an elderly man shows up and chases the little badasses off.  [Video clip]

What the Arrest of Daniel Penny is All About.  Experienced subway riders know that they are trapped for minimally three minutes, longer on express trains and, occasionally even longer if there's a track fire, a broken switch, or a stuck train.  You are also stuck with all the people on the ten-car train (usually a 100+).  Furthermore, though walking between cars is prohibited, people ignore the restriction (doors are unlocked), so forget about choosing only cars with non-threatening fellow passengers.  That scruffy vagrant you saw sleeping in the end car before you boarded a crowded middle car may soon be standing over you requesting a "donation."  This is not an airplane with screened passengers, cabin staff, and FAA rules banning unruly passengers.  The subway's unpleasant reality has been made even worse as cops now ignore turnstile jumpers.  Nor is there any police protection while you are trapped.  Mayor Eric Adams has flooded the subway with cops, but the bad news is that you only see them outside the train, often chatting while watching their cellphones.  Worse, they typically just mill about at the station entrance many yards from subway platforms.  In other words, when the next Jordan Neely corners you yelling and screaming, you're on your own until the next station and then, if lucky, you can exit to summon law enforcement.

The Editor says...
In Dallas, there are several differences:  The trains are mostly above ground, the cops are sometimes seen on board the trains (if only to check to see if you really bought a ticket), and a substantial percentage of the riders are carrying weapons, legally or not.

The disappearing law-enforcement presence in San Francisco.  Last month a group of business owners in Seattle gathered for a town hall to discuss persistent crime in the city.  All of the owners had experienced break-ins, often several of them in a year.  And the cost to repair broken windows and doors was often more than the value of whatever thieves had stolen.  Several of the owners had been dropped by their insurance because they'd made too many claims.  They wondered why the police never seemed to have time to walk around their neighborhood at night to keep the thieves at bay.  The situation doesn't seem to be much different in San Francisco.  When Joe Vernieri, the owner of the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge, reported his bar had been broken into it took police 15 hours to respond and even then they responded in the middle of the night when no one was around. [...] So as far as Vernieri is concerned there are no police in San Francisco.  None that will help him.

Something About School Shootings.  [Scroll down]  Without fail, such events encourage those who'd like to wipe the Second Amendment off the books and deprive lawful citizens from the means to defend themselves.  Does the fact that the cops stood outside the school for an hour during the slaughter give you comfort?  It doesn't ease my friend Betsy Gorisch:  "Among all the other things we need to keep in mind about the Uvalde school shooting there is this:  In what is arguably the only true test of whether or not we should rely on the police to protect us, the courts have ruled that they cannot be sued for failure to do so."  That's another way of saying law enforcement has no legal duty to protect you.  Professor Ann Althouse also finds that the police response diminishes the anti-gun crowd's arguments:  "If the police don't arrive and save us from violence, how can this event support the argument for restricting guns?  This is the very situation that makes the most responsible people want to own guns.  It reminds me of the summer of 2020, when there were riots, and the police stood down."

Regarding the Uvalde shooter, are we really being told the truth?  Where was Salvador Ramos born?  Early reports say he was from North Dakota.  North Dakota is a big state.  In what town in North Dakota was the future mass killer born?  Where is a copy of his North Dakota birth certificate? [...] America is sick and tired of the invasion aided and abetted by the Swamp in D.C.  What would happen if we learned that our latest mass killer entered America illegally?  What president and what party would get the blame?  I realize that I will be labeled as racist and xenophobic for voicing these questions, but I suspect I am asking what many others are wondering.  If Ramos is from south of the border, leftists will have a tough time pinning this latest fiasco on Trump.  Didn't he warn us about the folks flooding into this country?  Wasn't his election in 2016 a sign that Americans want a sensible immigration policy?

Police Have No Duty to Protect You, Federal Court Affirms Yet Again.  Following last February's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, some students claimed local government officials were at fault for failing to provide protection to students.  The students filed suit, naming six defendants, including the Broward school district and the Broward Sheriff's Office, as well as school deputy Scot Peterson and campus monitor Andrew Medina.  On Monday [12/17/2018], though, a federal judge ruled that the government agencies "had no constitutional duty to protect students who were not in custody."  This latest decision adds to a growing body of case law establishing that government agencies — including police agencies — have no duty to provide protection to citizens in general.

NYC woman calls 911 three times as she's terrorized, slashed by ex-boyfriend, but cops don't show up until next day.  The breakup was followed by a break-in.  And then — despite three calls to 911 — a Bronx mom's 12-hour wait for help.  Jennifer Vega recounted the terrifying winter's night when her recent ex-boyfriend arrived uninvited through her apartment bedroom window, slashed her leg with a liquor bottle and hung around for hours as she waited in vain for someone to save her this past Feb. 18.  Spurned boyfriend Manual Rivera at one point went outside to wait for police after hearing sirens during the ordeal on Teller Ave. near E. 166th St.  Vega first dialed 911 after his 9:05 p.m. arrival and made the final call hours before help finally arrived at 9:27 a.m. the next day.

Bowie woman waits 22 minutes for police during attempted break in.  A Bowie woman said it took Prince George's County, Maryland, police over 20 minutes to respond to an unknown man trying to enter her home last Tuesday.  They said it was due to staffing shortages.  Kezia Williams was outside her house when a stranger in a Lakers hoodie came onto her lawn.  She quickly went inside and called police.  "I immediately started to put down the blinds in my house and shut my windows," Williams told our news partners at NBC Washington.  Williams was on the phone with 911 dispatchers, who told her not to trigger an alarm and to wait for police to arrive.

BLM: A Righteous Cause or Communism in Blackface?  According to the Gallup Center on Black Voices, 81% of black Americans either want to retain police presence, or want more. [...] [I]n many cities, including my hometown of Stockton, California, one of our biggest complaints about the police is that they don't come fast enough when called; that sometimes, police don't show up for up to two hours, if they show up at all.  In my city, that has a lot to do with the fact that our police officers were reduced by a third in 2010, after a former mayor cut $14 million from the department.  The reduction was felt across the city as crime drastically increased in the subsequent years and Stockton set new records for most homicides in 2011 and 2012.  When the cuts were made, it was so dire that Stockton PD officers had to reluctantly let the city know that they could no longer guarantee our safety.

Sobbing mother stuck in raucous BLM protest is told police will not respond to her 911 call because it is a 'sanctioned event'.  A 911 call has been released documenting a mother's frightening experience of having a stranger jump on her car during a Black Lives Matter protest in Virginia last month, and her futile attempts to get police to help her.  On June 13, Tara Durant was driving with her 12-year-old daughter in the backseat in downtown Fredericksburg when she found herself trapped by a group of George Floyd protesters who were blocking Caroline and Hanover streets.  Unable to drive through the intersection because of the crowds, Durant called 911 at 7.34 pm seeking assistance, only to be told that police 'can't do anything about it' beyond monitoring the protest, which has been sanctioned by the city.

911 calls bring no response after break in at auto shop near Capitol Hill protest zone.  Capitol Hill auto shop, Car Tender, says it was broken into overnight by protesters in the "CHOP" or "CHAZ" area Sunday night.  A suspect tried to start a fire and stole cash, as well as car keys.  The business owner, John McDermott, says he and his son managed to detain the suspect — but despite more than a dozen 911 calls, police and fire never showed up.  McDermott said he got a call Sunday after the suspect smashed a window and got inside his business.

Aurora workplace shooter was set to be fired by company, police chief says.  The gunman in a deadly shooting spree at a manufacturing warehouse in Aurora, Ill., where five employees were killed and five officers were wounded Friday [2/15/2019], was set to be fired by the company, Police Chief Kristen Ziman told reporters at a news conference Friday night.  The suspect, identified as Gary Martin, 45, of Aurora, used a handgun and had worked for the Henry Pratt Co. — one of the largest makers of industrial water valves — for 15 years, she said.  He was killed at the scene.  The attack lasted 90 minutes.

The Editor says...
Hmmm.  The attack lasted 90 minutes.  Why?  Does it take that long to set up the Mobile Command Unit and set up the robots?

Maine: Gang of young Somali Muslim thugs are now attacking citizens in the streets of Lewiston.  On any given day, dozens if not hundreds of Somali youth can be found occupying Kennedy Park and the violence is nothing new.  Local residents bearing the brunt of these violent mobs are growing frustrated.  Maine First Media was told it took police at least 7-8 minutes to arrive on the scene — despite the police station being right across the street from the park.

Trenton man says he held off intruder for 30 minutes before police arrived.  Police officials are examining the response to a 911 call Sunday night that left a city man struggling with an intruder at his building without any officers arriving.  Dan Dodson said it was 20 or 30 minutes before two officers eventually arrived in response to his wife's calls to police telephone numbers.

911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About to Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts.  An Oregon woman was told by a 911 dispatcher that authorities wouldn't be able be able to help her as her ex-boyfriend broke into her place because of budget cuts.  Oregon Public Radio reports that an unidentified woman called 911 during a weekend in August 2012 while Michael Bellah was breaking into her place.  Her call was forwarded to Oregon State Police because of lay-offs at the Josephine County Sheriff's Office only allows the department to be open Monday through Friday.

Call 911, Wait two hours; Buy Gun.  On March 16, Teri Bice awoke to the sound of someone trying to break down the door of her home in New Orleans.  She did what most Americans would do:  dial 911.  One big problem, there was no answer at the other end.

10 things that just don't add up about the Las Vegas mass shooting.  [#8] When seconds count, the police are only 72 minutes away... but why?  I'm not trying to diss the cops here.  As you know, I'm an advocate of honest, local police, and it's clear that the beat cops did a fantastic job helping people seek cover on the ground below.  But I do have an issue with the 72-minute response time during a full-auto machine gun spree in a city where there are dozens of cops within a one-mile radius.  Seventy-two minutes?  Really?  Was there a committee involved somehow?  Why is it that the FBI's former traitor-in-chief James Comey can decide in an instant that Hillary Clinton is innocent of everything, but all the cops in Las Vegas can't breach a simple hotel door in anything less than 72 minutes?

New Orleanians on average wait over 1 hour for police to arrive.  New Orleans businessman Trey Monaghan, writing in an opinion piece last month, shared with agonizing detail how he chased a suspected burglar outside his newly opened restaurant on St. Claude Avenue, only to have to wait more than an hour for a police officer to show up. [...] A call to New Orleans police, many residents have learned, likely comes with a wait — a long wait in most cases.

Family calls 911 when intruder tries to enter home, waits hours before police show up.  [Terri] Bice believes it wasn't the door, but barking from Molly that stopped the intruder in their tracks.  So, she did what anyone would do.  Grabbed her phone and dialed 9-1-1.  She got no answer.  "We all know about first responders and what their importance is that's not going to happen if no one answers," said Bice.  She documented her calls for help:  two to 911; two to the NOPD's non-emergency line; and one to NOPD's Second District.  The final call was answered and Bice confirms an officer showed up two hours after the attempted home invasion.





Warrantless searches

This 9-0 SCOTUS Ruling on Guns Shows Just How Extreme (and Dangerous) the Biden Administration Really Is.  Did you hear that Joe Biden's Department of Justice wanted the Supreme Court to rule that police could search Americans' homes for firearms — and confiscate them — without a warrant?  In the case of Caniglia vs.  Strom, this issue was in play.  Had SCOTUS ruled that police could do that, your Second Amendment rights would have been in grave jeopardy.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Warrantless Gun Seizure 9-0.  In some ways this was a very narrowly tailored opinion, in that the Second Amendment was not invoked at all, only the Fourth.  And indeed, Justice Samuel Alito' concurring opinion specifically states that "Our decision today does not address those issues" in relation to the constitutionality of red flag laws.  However, the decision was a blow for individual rights against warrentless police seizures in the home.  Also, by explicitly including guns as property that is equally protected from such warrentless seizures, the Supreme Court has properly supported Second Amendment rights against the state's overreach.

The Supreme Court bans most warrantless gun seizures from homes.  [Scroll down]  During a fight with his wife, Petitioner Edward Caniglia grabbed his handgun, put it on the table, and said, "Shoot me now and get it over with."  Instead, his wife headed for a hotel.  The next day, when she couldn't reach him, she called the police for a wellness check.  When the police met up with Caniglia, he willingly went for a psychiatric evaluation on the condition that the police wouldn't take his gun.  The moment he was in the ambulance, using a ruse the police got Caniglia's wife to show them the gun, which they seized.  Caniglia sued, claiming the police violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.  The First Circuit gave the case short shrift.  It relied on Cady v. Dombrowski, a 1973 case in which the Supreme Court held that, if officers patrolling public highways concluded that "community caretaking functions" militated in favor of seizing a gun from a car, they could do so.  The First Circuit, therefore, declined to consider whether Caniglia consented, whether there were exigent circumstances justifying seizing the gun, or whether state law permitted the police to seize a gun from a home without a warrant.  Justice Thomas, in a miraculously brief four-page opinion, reamed the First Circuit for its careless, cavalier, and erroneous decision.

Supreme Court shuts down police attempts to search homes without a warrant.  The case arose out of a 2015 incident in which a Rhode Island married couple argued over attempted suicide.  At one point, the husband, Edward Caniglia, gave his wife, Kim, an unloaded gun and told her to kill him.  She left the house instead and later called local police to check on him.  When the police arrived, they entered the house and confiscated Caniglia's guns.  He later sued.  A district court sided against him.  When he brought the case to an appeals court, it also decided against him — and extended the "community caretaking exception" for police to search cars without a warrant to homes as well.  It was in this last decision, Thomas wrote, that the lower courts had erred, arguing that the home is a much more private sphere than a car.

Oregon Supreme Court:  Cops Can't Collaborate with Garbage Haulers to Paw Through Your Trash Without a Warrant.  The Oregon Supreme Court scored a victory for privacy rights yesterday, ruling that cops can't paw through your garbage without first getting a warrant.  The decision came in response to the case of a Lebanon, Oregon, couple, Tracy Lien and Travis Wilverding.  Convicted of unlawful delivery of meth and heroin — both felonies — they appealed on the grounds that crucial evidence had come from an illegal, warrantless search of their garbage.  Back in 2014, Lebanon law enforcement officers asked the local waste management company to collect the couple's trash separately so police could search it.

Smartphone passcodes are protected by the Fifth Amendment, says US court.  If someone wants to view your photos or contacts on your passcode-protected iPhone they may be able to gain access to the device with Siri.  But if the federal authorities in the US want to see the contents of your phone in the old fashioned way — by asking you your password — they won't get any help from the judicial system.  So says Judge Mark Kearney of the federal district court in Eastern Pennsylvania who recently ruled that passcodes on all such smartphones are protected by the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

WSJ Report: "U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars".  Over a year ago we brought you the story of Mr. Filippidis and his family, a Florida Driver who was pulled over by law enforcement in Maryland.  The traffic stop would have been typical except for the fact the responding officer demanded, at random, Mr. Filippidis's firearm.  Mr. Filippidis did not have his legally owned — CCW permitted — hand gun, it was home in Florida.  Nor did Mr. Filippidis ever say he had a firearm — yet the officer was insistent Mr. Filippidis owned one, handcuffed Mr. Filippidis, and strip searched his vehicle on the side of the road.  Numerous Maryland state police arrived to assist in the search.  They found nothing, because Mr. F was telling the truth.  After two hours Mr. Filippidis and his family were allowed to continue their travels, but the entire process was unnerving.

New police radars can 'see' inside homes.  At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.  Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used.  The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant.

Chris Johnson: an Example of why you Do not Consent to a Search of your Car.  It has become a hallmark of advice from lawyers.  Do not give consent to police to search your vehicle or your home.  If they had probable cause to search, they do not need to ask.  Politely refuse to give consent.  Believing that you "have nothing to hide" is escapist fantasy in today's world of overlapping amd vague laws.

Report: D.C. police need guidance to avoid unlawful home entry.  D.C. police officers need a refresher on when it's legal to enter a home without a warrant, according to a report issued Wednesday [6/12/2013] by the city's Police Complaints Board.  The board said it routinely receives complaints about officers entering homes — the complaints comprise nearly 14 percent of all those received since 2009 — and recommends the department should write a general order clarifying the exigent circumstances that would justify a warrantless search.  "Providing better training and developing a general order on warrantless entries for officers will aid them in carrying out their duties all the while protecting the rights of the public," said Philip K. Eure, director of the Office of Police Complaints.

Suit Against SAFE Act Claims it Allows 'Warrantless' Police Searches.  The registry process of New York's SAFE Act allows for warrantless police searches into gun owners' homes, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to plaintiffs of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Eastern District.  The law firm representing plaintiff Gabriel Razzano argues the registry process is "essentially secret and results in a mandatory, warrantless Penal Law 400 gun removal visit from police."  "The entire purpose of the registry is a sham to permit intrusions into a person's home on consent without a warrant for a 'gun removal,'" La Reddola, Lester and Associates said in a release.  "The entire registry and database seek to justify warrantless police searches, which my client and I now believe to be the real purpose of the SAFE Act."

The SWAT Team Would Like to See Your Alcohol Permit.  How police use regulatory inspections to conduct warrantless searches.

How police use regulatory inspections to conduct warrantless searches:  In August [2010] a team of heavily armed Orange County, Florida, sheriff's deputies raided several black- and Hispanic-owned barbershops in the Orlando area.  There were more raids in September and October.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, barbers and customers were held at gunpoint, some in handcuffs, while police turned the shops upside down.  A total of nine shops were raided, and 37 people were arrested.  By all appearances, these raids were drug sweeps.  Shop owners told the Sentinel police asked where they were hiding illegal drugs and weapons.  But in the end, 34 of the 37 arrests were for "barbering without a licence," a misdemeanor for which only three people have ever served jail time in Florida.  Two arrests were for misdemeanor marijuana possession.  Just one person was arrested on felony drug and weapon charges.

Local Government Stupidity Contest.  [Scroll down]  Contestant Number Two is the Metro Police in Washington, DC, which has decided to harass random travelers by searching their bags before they board the subway.  This is akin to the TSA's mindless bureaucracy — but even worse. [...] Good intelligence by the CIA and FBI is the way to stop these crackpots, not empty security theater that makes life more difficult for law-abiding people.

Police push for warrantless searches of cell phones.  This is an important legal question that remains unresolved:  as our gadgets store more and more information about us, including our appointments, correspondence, and personal photos and videos, what rules should police investigators be required to follow?  The Obama administration and many local prosecutors' answer is that warrantless searches are perfectly constitutional during arrests.

Editor's note:
Additional information about warrantless searches can be found in the cell phones subsection.




SWAT teams

Map of Botched Paramilitary Police Raids.

78-year-old grandmother wins $3.76M in lawsuit after Denver police raid the wrong house.  A 78-year-old woman has been awarded millions from a lawsuit against police officers after a jury found that the woman's rights were violated when Denver police executed a search warrant on her home.  Law enforcement performed a SWAT-style raid on Ruby Johnson's home after using a cellphone-finding app in an attempt to locate evidence.  Jurors found that two officers were liable for the raid, the officer who initiated the affidavit for a search warrant and the sergeant who approved it.  Johnson was awarded $1.25 million from each in punitive damages and $1.26 million combined for Johnson's pain and suffering, totaling $3.76 million.  The city will be ordered to pay the total damages, despite the officers being individually sued on behalf of Johnson by the Colorado ACLU.

Elderly Denver Woman Wins Gargantuan Payout After SWAT Team Wrongly Raided Her Home.  A Colorado resident has won a significant case against members of law enforcement who wrongly raided her home in 2022. She filed a lawsuit against the authorities after a SWAT team forced its way into her home under false pretenses, leaving her shaken.  Now, the woman is about to be $3.76 million richer after a jury ruled in her favor.  The raid has sparked discussions about police misconduct and qualified immunity. [...] To obtain the warrant to search Johnson's home, the officers overestimated the reliability of the iPhone app when it came to pinpointing exact locations.  They provided erroneous information to the judge who issued the warrant.  The lack of understanding about how the app works led to a terrifying experience for the homeowner.  The ACLU explained that the SWAT unit "ransacked Ms. Johnson's home... based on an alleged location ping from an iPhone's 'Find My' app that the officers did not understand and for which they had no training."

Who Pays the Price for Botched SWAT Team Raids?  We Do.  Nationwide, SWAT teams routinely invade homes, break down doors, kill family pets (they always shoot the dogs first), damage furnishings, terrorize families, and wound or kill those unlucky enough to be present during a raid.  No longer reserved exclusively for deadly situations, SWAT teams are now increasingly being deployed for relatively routine police matters such as serving a search warrant.  There are few communities without a SWAT team today, with more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out per year, often for routine law enforcement tasks.  SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of so-called criminal activity or mere community nuisances: angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling.  Police have also raided homes on the basis of mistaking the presence or scent of legal substances for drugs.  Incredibly, these substances have included tomatoes, sunflowers, fish, elderberry bushes, kenaf plants, hibiscus, and ragweed.  In some instances, SWAT teams are even employed, in full armament, to perform routine patrols.  These raids, which might be more aptly referred to as "knock-and-shoot" policing, have become a thinly veiled, court-sanctioned means of giving heavily armed police the green light to crash through doors in the middle of the night.

Texas Cops Held a Terrified Couple at Gunpoint After Raiding the Wrong House.  Tyler Harrington and his wife were asleep in their beds when four Harris County, Texas, Constable Officers burst into their home and held the terrified couple at gunpoint.  While the cops eventually realized they were in the wrong house, they didn't leave without admonishing the couple for keeping their door unlocked.  Harrington has now filed a lawsuit, arguing that the officers' invasion of his home was an unconstitutional breach of his Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Ohio SWAT Team Raids Wrong House, Seriously Injures Baby With Flashbang Grenade, Denies Responsibility.  Courtney Price was at home on Wednesday taking care of her one-year-old son, Waylon, when they experienced a terrifying and traumatic altercation with local law enforcement.  What should have been an ordinary day took a turn for the worse when SWAT officers broke into the home, searching for a suspect.  In the aftermath of the raid, it was revealed that law enforcement had targeted the wrong home, and tragically, their actions resulted in the baby sustaining injuries.  The events that unfolded left the family shaken and seeking justice for Waylon's suffering.  Price told RedState that she had been staying with her aunt Redia and her husband for one week before the incident occurred.  She recounted her experience, describing how she stood petrified as the police burst into her aunt Redia's home, throwing a flashbang grenade into the residence and breaking windows.  She was feeding her son, who has a condition requiring the use of a G-tube because he cannot eat by mouth.

Another SWAT raid screw-up?  The New York Times reported that SWAT raids resulted in at least 81 civilians and 13 officers killed between 2010 and 2016.  Unnecessary deaths, inappropriately equipped raids, and general incompetence have reflected badly on the organization.  Because management has not intervened it appears that they are satisfied with current policies. [...] Law enforcement officers have been responsible for numerous deaths.  Craig Robertson, Theodore Deschler, Ashli Babbitt and Vicki Weaver, who was shot in the head while holding an infant in her arms.  These deaths have all been thoroughly investigated by their law enforcement agencies.  Remarkably the law enforcement officers have all received a clean bill of health.  Lon Horiuchi, Vicki Weaver's killer, retired from the FBI in 2006 with a full pension.  Michael Byrd, the Capitol police officer who killed January 6 protestor Babbitt, apparently did not follow the use of force doctrine to not fire into a crowd, but nevertheless has been promoted.  Media coverage of these killings does not compare with the George Floyd hysteria.

Gang violence update: another SWAT raid fatality.  [Scroll down]  Christoper Wray claims that the decision to use SWAT teams is made locally.  He testified, "Those decisions are made — as they should be — by the commanders on the ground, in the field office."  Attorney General Merrick Garland said essentially the same thing:  "The determinations of how to make arrests under arrest warrants are made based by the tactical operators in the district."  Yet the similarities of these raids would mean that the "commanders on the ground" were using the same playbook.  That's the playbook written by the Soviet KGB.  This playbook recommends pre-dawn raids in which the arrested person is dazed and half-asleep.  An enormous show of force is advised to terrify neighbors.  Military equipment, helicopters and tanks emphasize the seriousness of the arrest.  The raid on Joshua James's residence used an armored vehicle with a turret, two vans, six FBI vehicles, and three local police cars.  These raids are an enormous expense.  Top leaders cannot be unaware of this.  Judge Andrew Napolitano estimated the raid on Roger Stone cost approximately half a million dollars.  It is not unusual for SWAT raids to go terribly wrong.  Innocent people, including children, have been maimed and killed in their homes.  The New York Times examined SWAT team raids in 2017 and found that at least 81 civilians and 13 officers had died from 2010 through 2016 in such searches.

Law Enforcement Severely Damaged an Innocent Person's Property.  In a number of cases around the country, law enforcement agencies have destroyed or severely damaged the homes or businesses of innocent people.  When property owners sue for compensation under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment (which requires payment of "just compensation" when the government takes private property), law enforcement usually claims they aren't required to provide it because their actions fall within the "police power" exception to takings liability.  The latest case of this kind involves an LA SWAT team that severely damaged an innocent man's store in the process of unsuccessfully trying to detain a suspect.

Chicago Police Raided at Least 21 Wrong Houses.  Chicago police raided the wrong house at least 21 times between 2017 and 2020, according to an inspector general report released this week, but shoddy record keeping means the true number is unknown.  The Chicago Office of Inspector General released its final report Wednesday on the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) search warrant policies, concluding that CPD's inadequate record keeping made it impossible to count or fully analyze wrong-door raids.  The records the inspector general did get, however, showed that inexperience and failures to do basic investigative work contributed to botched raids.

Homeowner is fatally shot by police when officers went to the wrong address.  The Farmington Police Department released body camera footage from the deadly shooting at the wrong address earlier in April.  FPD officers were dispatched to 5308 Valley View Ave for a domestic violence call.  However, New Mexico State Police, who are investigating the fatal shooting, said FPD went to 5305 Valley View Ave.  Farmington's officers were heard expressing confusion over whether they were at the correct address moments before gunshots were fired from FPD.  [Video clip]

Officers kill homeowner after responding to wrong address.  Officers with the Farmington Police Department in northwestern New Mexico shot and killed a homeowner when they showed up at the wrong address in response to a domestic violence call, state police investigators said.  The shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.  New Mexico State Police released more details late Thursday, and Farmington police confirmed Friday that the three officers involved are on paid administrative leave pending a review of the case.

FBI handcuffs, interrogates innocent Delta Air Lines pilot in botched Boston training exercise.  The FBI and other federal agents burst into the wrong Boston hotel room Tuesday night during a training exercise, startling the guest inside who had no idea what was going on as he was handcuffed.  The incident occurred on the 15th floor of the Revere Hotel as agents were conducting a mock investigation.  FBI agents were assisting the U.S. Department of Defense in a training exercise inside the hotel to simulate a situation that DOD personnel might encounter in a deployed environment.  "Based on inaccurate information, they were mistakenly sent to the wrong room and detained an individual, not the intended role player," the FBI said in a statement.  The agents targeted room 1505, where a Delta Air Lines pilot was sleeping inside and opened the door, WBZ-TV reported.

Police Chief Under Investigation For Raiding the Wrong Home.  Galveston, Texas, Chief of Police Doug Balli gets an unscheduled 10-day vacation on administrative leave while the internal investigation unwinds.  His SWAT team raided the wrong house.  They were searching for a teenager in connection with a murder.  They had that wrong, too.  The suspect was "falsely accused."  Every day, it seems there's another story about investigators under investigation.  From the FBI right on down to the individual precincts.  Police have a huge target on their back to start with and what happened in Memphis, Tennessee, doesn't make their job any easier.  We need law enforcement to keep the public safe from lawless anarchists.  Thanks to the general deterioration of society, cops can't seem to do any better at their crucial job than the kids behind the drive through window.

Illinois State Cops In Full Tactical Gear And Armored Truck Break Through Fence, Aim Guns At 6 Year Old Over An Old Property Dispute.  Some larping Illinois state cops busted through someone's fence to point guns at their 6-year-old without a search warrant in their hand... over an old stolen property estate claim from 2018 that was settled in court.  The cops came equipped with full tactical gear and armored truck as if they were raiding Osama Bin Laden's compound.  [Video clip]

SWAT Team Wakes Up Couple, Shoots Unarmed Disabled Husband, Attempts to Cover It Up.  If you read the original headlines in December 2022 after police filled Jason Harley Kloepfer, 41, with bullet holes, you would have thought that police acted heroically and saved the day.  Headlines, however, especially when they involve "official" statements from police, are often very wrong. [...] After the SWAT officer drags Koepfer's body from the trailer, they realize they are on camera and quickly acknowledge it.  "F***, cameras," an officer says after seeing the video recording device.  Police then turn the lights back on as they appear to put on night vision in a futile attempt to cover their actions — apparently unaware that the camera had night vision as well.  Kloepfer, who was disabled before the shooting, has been in recovery ever since, having undergone multiple surgeries.  He has been sharing his recovery on Facebook and says he and his wife are staying out of state, claiming they fear for their lives with the Cherokee county SWAT team giving them ample reason to do so.

SWAT Team Storms Grandma's House Based On An iPhone Ping, Turns Out It Was The Wrong House.  A SWAT team stormed a grandmother's home after an app led them to the wrong house, the ACLU of Colorado said in a recently filed lawsuit.  Ruby Johnson, 77, was in her Montbello home of 40 years in January when a Denver Police Department SWAT team wearing body armor and holding automatic weapons rushed in, according to a news release by the ACLU of Colorado.  The operation was "based on a manifestly deficient search warrant and turned up nothing," according to the lawsuit filed Dec. 1.  The SWAT team left Johnson's home "damaged, in disarray and caused (her) physical and emotional harm," according to the release.  [Video clip]

SWAT Team Blew Up Innocent Woman's Home & Gave Her A $50,000 Bill!  She Fought Them & Won!  In July of 2020, Vicki Baker, 75, was excited to move on to the next chapter of her life in Montana by selling her home she owned for 12 years in McKinney, Texas.  That sale would never take place on schedule, however, because the day before she was supposed to close, a SWAT team destroyed it.  After destroying her home, Baker was told by local government that she was on the hook for the $50,000 bill to repair it.  After fighting for nearly two years, however, a federal jury ruled this week that the city was liable and awarded her $59,656.59 in damages — and more may be coming.  The case marks a "sea change in the law," according to Baker's attorney, Jeffrey Redfern of the liberty-minded Institute for Justice.

Woman wins a round in fight over SWAT team's demolition of her home.  A Texas woman has won a round in her fight to force the city of McKinney, Texas, to be held accountable for the destruction of her home.  The Institute for Justice explained a federal judge ruled recently the lawsuit by Vicki Baker over the destruction of her residence by the city's SWAT team can move forward.  "The court recognized that the city of McKinney is not exempt from the Constitution," said IJ Attorney Jeffrey Redfern.  "This is the first step towards Vicki getting her due, but it's a big one.  The government must compensate individuals when it deliberately destroys their property."

And here's the rest of the story.  BLM terrorists are not interested in the truth, but the Breonna Taylor case is not unique.  There have been numerous cases of innocent residents being attacked in their homes due to no-knock warrants and that is the real case for reform.  These warrants were originally approved to prevent criminals from destroying evidence like drugs or money.  What is more important, loss of evidence or loss of innocent life?  There is no need for tactical swat teams attacking private residence like they are cartel hideouts.  These are the forces that need vigorous retraining and more strenuous vetting by judges of each individual case.  If there is any positive result from Breonna's tragic death, it will be the complete end of reckless issuance of no-knock warrants.

A Just Decision Not to File Homicide Charges in the Tragic Breonna Taylor Case.  The criminal law is not designed to address every human tragedy.  That is the lesson of the tragic death of Breonna Taylor.  It was also the theme repeatedly struck by Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron on Wednesday, in announcing the indictment of one of the three officers involved in the raid that lead to her death.  The charge will not satisfy the mob.  Neither the peaceful protesters nor the radical rioters, who have taken to the streets since shortly after Ms. Taylor was killed on March 13, are interested in the facts of the case.  They could not care less how the law applies to the evidence a Lexington grand jury pored over this week.  Their interest is only to set in stone a distorted narrative:  Police officers on the hunt for a young black man, callously gunned down an innocent young black woman after supposedly crashing into an apartment without warning.  In light of that, the indictment will just fuel the mob's outrage.  The two officers who actually shot Ms. Taylor a total of six times were not charged.  The indictment, instead, lodges three counts of wanton endangerment — not homicide — against Brett Hankison, then a detective (since fired), whose wild firing put neighbors in harm's way but did not kill the young woman.

Breonna Taylor:  Yet Another Grand Jury Defies the Fake News Narrative.  [Scroll down]  The cops executed their warrant and never found any drugs.  The boyfriend shot at men invading the premises without their manifesting clear reason to be breaking in.  The cops shot back at a guy shooting at them.  Horrible.  Tragic.  But not at all racial.  It was just a horrible, horrible thing.  The grand jury did not indict anyone for Breonna Taylor's shooting, but the City of Louisville agreed to pay her family $12 million and to adopt new police reforms so that this awful tragedy never recurs.

Everything the Media Claimed About Breonna Taylor's Death Was a Lie.  Everything the media and lawyer Ben Crump claimed about the death of Breonna Taylor and the circumstances around her death was based on lies.  The officials in Kentucky allowed a mountain of lies to grow until the evidence was finally presented to a grand jury and the Kentucky Attorney General was forced to admit the truth.  According to evidence revealed at a press conference by AG Daniel Cameron, the police executed a search warrant by knocking on the door.  Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker refused to answer the door after the police identified themselves.  The police broke down the door.  Kenneth Walker was armed and shot first at police.  The police returned fire and that's how Breonna Taylor was shot and killed.

Breonna Taylor's Family to Receive $12 Million Settlement From City of Louisville.  After months of protests that turned Breonna Taylor's name into a national slogan against police violence, city officials agreed to pay her family $12 million and institute changes aimed at preventing future deaths by officers.  The agreement, announced Tuesday [9/15/2020], settled a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the young woman's family.  As her mother, her lawyers and leading activists walked into the council chamber alongside the mayor, there was a momentary show of unity, after months of nightly, sometimes violent demonstrations that have left Kentucky's largest city boarded up.  It comes six months after the death of Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, in a botched drug raid, but before the state's attorney general has said whether the officers involved in the shooting would be criminally charged — a key demand of protesters.  "My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again," said Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville.

Three Nashville cops are 'decommissioned' after raiding the wrong home, again.  Three Nashville police officers have been "decommissioned" (a.k.a. paid vacation to disneyland) after raiding the wrong home, again, and breaking down the door of an innocent family during a botched investigation early Tuesday morning [8/18/2020]. Lieutenant Harrison Dooley, Sergeant Jeff Brown, and officer Michael Richardson, were "suspended" on Wednesday, The Metro Nashville Police Department said. [...] Police Chief John Drake said officers did not give the family enough time to answer the door and failed to exercise due diligence in confirming that the person they were looking for lived at the apartment.  [Video clip]

3 Nashville police officers decommissioned after raiding innocent family's apartment.  Three Nashville police officers were decommissioned late Wednesday, and the metro police department has launched an investigation into the department's execution of a search warrant on an innocent family's residence.  The department released body camera footage of the 6:05 a.m.  Tuesday incident in which officers used a battering ram to knock in the door of a home occupied by a mother and her two children.  The subject of the search warrant, however, was a 16-year-old who did not live at the home and had not resided there for at least four months, The Tennessean reported.

Three Nashville Police Officers Decommissioned After Raiding Wrong Home.  Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake has ordered an investigation into the department's execution of a search warrant at the home of an innocent family.  He also decommissioned three officers on Wednesday while the investigation is ongoing and adjusted the approval requirements for search warrants.  Officers at 6:05 a.m.  Tuesday used a battering ram to knock in the door at the Edgehill home of a mother and her two children.  MNPD has released body camera footage of the incident.

Breonna Taylor and the Moral Bankruptcy of Drug Prohibition.  Last Friday [6/19/2020], three months after Louisville, Kentucky, police officers gunned down a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse named Breonna Taylor during a fruitless drug raid, acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder initiated the termination of Detective Brett Hankison, who he said had "displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life" when he "wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds" into Taylor's apartment.  But Hankison's recklessness is just one element of the circumstances that led to Taylor's senseless death, which never would have happened if politicians did not insist on using violence to enforce their pharmacological prejudices.  The March 13 shooting, which has figured prominently in recent protests against police brutality, followed a sadly familiar pattern.  Hankison and two other plainclothes officers broke into Taylor's home around 12:40 a.m., awakening her and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who mistook the armed invaders for robbers.  Walker grabbed a gun and fired a single shot, which hit one of the officers in the leg.  The cops responded with a hail of more than 20 bullets, at least eight of which struck Taylor, who was unarmed. [...] Taylor had no criminal record, and there was no evidence that she or Walker was involved in drug dealing.

I Like My Cops Like I Like My Surgeons:  Cautious, and Not Looking to Kill Me.  You only become a surgeon by excelling academically in school, getting a great grade on your MCAT, successfully completing your medical degree, successfully completing your medical residency, successfully completing your specialization in surgery, passing your board exams, and successfully interviewing and beating out several other candidates for an available position.  And even still, despite all this education and training, and in the face of ample evidence of sound judgment and decision-making ability, surgeons STILL use a big black marker to draw a large 'X' on someone's leg so that they don't accidentally amputate the wrong limb. [...] I know this is going to sound crazy, but maybe our police need to adopt that same sort of precautionary attitude and approach before breaking into somebody's home.  Just by having someone who waits outside of the home with a photograph of the suspect, for example, and who's responsible for comparing the person in the home to the person in the photo, and who, if the two don't match with 100% certainty, would be responsible for saying something on the order of, "The person who lives here is 7-feet tall with three arms, but the person in the photo is 2-feet tall with four legs.  Weird.  It's almost as if they're entirely different people.  Perhaps we should take a beat to double-check everything before proceeding."

A Kentucky EMT was shot and killed during a police raid of her home.  Kentucky woman working as an EMT was killed after officers forced their way inside her home and exchanged shots with her boyfriend, according to a lawsuit filed by her mother.  The officers were executing a search warrant in a narcotics investigation, the Louisville Metro Police Department has said, when they entered Breonna Taylor's apartment just before 1 a.m. on March 13.  Taylor's mother, in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last month against the three police officers involved, argues that the officers should have called off their search of Taylor's apartment because a suspect police were looking for had already been arrested by other officers executing a warrant at a separate location.

Armed SWAT Team Raids Bar Who Dared To Open During Lockdown!  Texas police have arrested a bar owner and six armed men who were protesting lockdown orders issued amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Cops were called to Big Daddy Zane's Bar in West Odessa Monday evening after owner Gabrielle Ellison, 47, re-opened the establishment, violating laws put into place by Gov. Greg Abbott.  Upon arrival, cops were met by a group of men who said they were there to support and defend Ellison as she opened the premises back up.  Six of the men were wearing armor and were armed with guns.  [Video clip]

Texas sheriff sends SWAT team with guns drawn to arrest armed lockdown protestors.  A Texas sheriff sent his department's SWAT team with guns drawn to break up a rally in support of a bar owner who reopened her business in violation of Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) coronavirus lockdown on Monday [5/4/2020].  The protestors say they did nothing wrong and argue they were simply practicing their First and Second Amendment Rights, while the sheriff says the demonstrators exhibited "a show of force" in their demonstration.  Eight people were arrested — six of them for unlawfully carrying a weapon on a premises licensed to sell alcohol.

Texas sheriff receives threats from 'all over the country' after arresting anti-lockdown protesters.  A Texas sheriff is being inundated with threatening phone calls days after his deputies arrested eight protesters outside a bar in Texas.  Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said anti-lockdown protesters had rallied outside the county's office and at a house they believe belongs to Griffis this week in response to his decision to detain bar owner Gabrielle Ellison and members of Open Texas, who attempted to reopen Big Daddy Zane's bar in Odessa on Monday [5/4/2020].

Dumb And Corrupt Cops Risk Losing Our Support.  Here's the thing — we normals respect our police not merely because they have badges and funny hats but because they take personal risks to protect us from those who would violate our rights.  Usually, these violators are criminals.  But the category of "People who violate our rights" also includes political hacks and bureaucratic petty fascists.  And we reasonably expect to be protected from those creeps too.

Be vewwy vewwy quiet.
I carry a badge. And a fork.  It was 11 AM, second breakfast.  Luther and I were working Candy Crush detail out of the Shoney's near the interstate when the call came in... American citizens, protesting.  We got our waffles, bacon, eggs, and more waffles, to go and suited-up.


Innocent EMT Killed in Her Bed by Cops Raiding the Wrong Home.  According to his attorney, Kenneth Walker woke up in the middle of the night to armed intruders kicking in his door.  He then grabbed his legally owned firearm to defend himself.  A hail of gunfire subsequently ensued, all but one of the bullets coming from police weapons, and Walker's girlfriend 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, a certified EMT working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, was killed in her bed. [...] After the raid, Walker was arrested for defending himself in his own home against armed invaders because he shot one of the armed invaders in the leg.  Showing the unnecessary nature of the entire deadly debacle is the fact that Walker was released from jail after his arrest because he is not a threat.  Naturally, this infuriated the police union.

Cops Destroyed This House To Arrest a Shoplifter.  A Federal Court Says Police Don't Have To Pay for the Damage.  A federal appeals court ruled this week that the Colorado man who had his home destroyed by a police raid in 2015 is not entitled to compensation for the damage, which was severe enough to require a complete demolition of the house.  "Under no circumstances in this country should the government be able to blow up your house and render a family homeless," Leo Lech, the homeowner, told NPR after the court ruling on Wednesday [10/30/2019].  The raid that left Lech and his family homeless had nothing to do with any of them.  They weren't even home when an armed shoplifter broke into their house on South Alton Street in the leafy Denver suburb of Greenwood Village.  Although the burglar was armed only with a handgun and was fully barricaded inside the home, local police responded as if they were confronting Osama bin Laden.

SWAT: Overkill and Out Of Control.  Being a supporter of our Law Enforcement community does not mean that we give license to destroy a person's home without consequence.  Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT) have increasingly gone beyond the pale to destroy homes and buildings with little to no reason for that level of destruction.  When it happens, we expect that Law Enforcement Department to take responsibility for their over-zealousness, as we expect the average Joe to take responsibility for his behavior and actions.  However, recent cases show that the situations are getting worse, not better.  And the courts are backing up the fanatical destruction of these SWAT teams.

Demonization of Gun Owners:  Philadelphia "Wellness Check" Results in Hysteria, Propaganda.  On 28 August, 2019, relatives of a former gun dealer called police because, they said, they were concerned the 72-Year-Old man might be depressed and/or suicidal.  I do not know if the man was suicidal or not, but old white men commit the largest percentages of suicides.  They tend to use guns to do the deed.  The police raided the house, on the authorization of the relatives.  It appears to be a nice home in a nice neighborhood.  Bustleton is home to many of Philadelphia's police officers and firefighters.  The wellness check turned into a full blown media circus.  Swat was called "to assist in clearing weapons".  The bomb squad was called.  Hazmat was called.  Why?  Because the man involved, who had been a gun dealer, according to relatives, had a modest gun collection, some inert grenade bodies (easily and legally purchased), a smoke grenade (totally legal), some mercury (totally legal), and about a thousand rounds of ammunition.

Amir Worship Lawsuit.  Amir Worship is the 12-year-old son of Crystal Worship, an Illinois mother who filed a lawsuit Thursday [8/8/2019] accusing police of "terrorizing" her children.  Amir, Ms. Worship's youngest son, was shot in the knee by a white officer while sitting on his bed with his hands raised.

Arizona SWAT busts down door to take 2-yr-old unvaccinated boy with 105° fever away from home for help.  After the parents of a sick 2-year-old child refused a doctor's recommendation late last month that they take their unvaccinated son to the emergency room for treatment for the boy's 105 degree fever, he reportedly sicced a police swat team on them via the Arizona Department of Child Safety.  Shocking police surveillance footage released by the media this week shows Chandler Police Department officers busting down the parents' front door and storming into their home as if they were taking down drug dealers or trying to apprehend armed fugitives.  Except they were, in reality, looking for the 2-year-old because they incorrectly believed he was in danger.

Swat Team Takes Children from Home because of Political Liability.  On 26 February, 2019, the Chandler Police SWAT team raided a home where the children were sick.  The parents had not committed any crime, nor was any child in any substantial danger.  The raid itself created far more danger than the danger it was supposed to mitigate.  It was a perfect storm of the conflict of rights and the Nanny State, parental responsibility and bureaucratic fear of liability.  In short, it resulted from the basic conflict in our society between those who insist on perfection, and reality.  It shows how creeping tyranny is advancing in society.

Phony Houston Drug Warrant Prompts FBI Investigation and Review of 1,400 Cases.  The fraudulent search warrant that authorized last month's deadly Houston drug raid has prompted an FBI investigation and a review of more than 1,400 cases involving the narcotics officer who obtained the warrant.  "The FBI Houston Field Office has opened an independent civil rights investigation into allegations that a search warrant obtained by Houston police officers was based on false, fabricated information," the FBI announced in a press release yesterday.  "The execution of that search warrant at 7815 Harding Street, Houston, TX, on January 28, 2019, resulted in the deaths of Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle as well as serious injuries to several Houston police officers."  Officer Gerald Goines, who was shot in the neck during the no-knock raid, obtained the warrant by claiming that he had sent a confidential informant into the house on January 27 to buy heroin from a man matching Tuttle's description.  The C.I. supposedly returned with "a quantity of brown powder substance," subsequently identified as black-tar heroin, and reported that there many more bags of it in the house, along with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.  Police found neither of those things, or any other evidence of drug dealing, when they searched the house the next day after they killed Nicholas and Tuttle during a shootout they started by breaking into the house and killing the couple's dog with a shotgun.

TBI investigating raid on wrong house in Bradley County; DEA apologizes to family.  The Drug Enforcement Administration acknowledged it made a mistake when officers raided Spencer Renck's house Tuesday morning [5/29/2018].  The Bradley County Sheriff's Office assisted in the raid, which happened during the search for a murder suspect staying at the house next door.  The federal agency says it's sorry for the mix-up.  But, will it pay for any damages?  On Wednesday morning, District Attorney General Stephen Crump asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to review the incident to see what went wrong.  "Clearly on property issues, the DEA and/or the Bradley County sheriff's department is going to liable for that," said attorney Bill Speek.  He sees a lot of situations like this unfold.  There was severe property damage inside the Rencks' home.  Door frames are busted, ceilings dented and clothes are ripped.  The family says agents threw flash bangs while four children slept nearby.  But Speek says it could have been much worse.

The SWATting Death of Andy Finch.  There's body cam video of the shooting, but the cops were a good distance away from Finch and the video provides little insight.  You can hear a cop yell "show your hands, walk this way."  To the cop, who knows why he's taking charge, his commands make sense.  To a good guy, who couldn't possibly conceive of why a distant cop was yelling at him, it makes no sense.  There is a good chance he wasn't sure they were yelling at him, and he was looking around to see who else they might be screaming at.  The idea that police would command him to "show his hands," not the clearest phrase to a good guy to begin with, must have seemed absurd.  Why would a cop tell him to show his hands?  He was in his home, with his family, having an ordinary evening.  Finch was unarmed.  He didn't have any object in his hand that might have been mistaken for a gun, even though there would have been nothing wrong, nothing even unusual, if he had.  The cops saw no glint of steel.  They weren't open and exposed, but distant and protected.  But the cops had it in their head that he was a killer, and so they saw his every move as a killer's move.

Elderly Vet Accidentally Trips His Medical Alert System, Cops Show Up and Kill Him — No Charges.  A police officer who shot and killed an innocent 68-year-old mentally ill veteran who accidentally hit the medical emergency button in his home, will face no consequences after acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim determined that there was insufficient evidence to press