Archive for the ‘fuck the police’ category

Torture!

September 26, 2008

Just read the whole damn post, but in case you don’t, read this much:

The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Plus:

The US military has given the first public display of what it says is a revolutionary heat-ray weapon to repel enemies or disperse hostile crowds.

Called the Active Denial System, it projects an invisible high energy beam that produces a sudden burning feeling.

A Reuters journalist who volunteered to be shot with the beam described the sensation as similar to a blast from a very hot oven – too painful to bear without diving for cover.

And:

The agony the Raytheon gun inflicts is probably equal to anything in a torture chamber – these waves are tuned to a frequency exactly designed to stimulate the pain nerves.

I couldn’t hold my finger next to the device for more than a fraction of a second. I could make the pain stop, but what if my finger had been strapped to the machine?

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Democracy Now producer Nicole Salazar films her own arrest

September 5, 2008

As noted where I found this, trigger warning.

Protest is illegal

September 3, 2008

Via Don’t Tase Me, Bro!, this Indybay story:

Berkeley, CA — At 10:30 am on Wednesday, August 27th, the UC Berkeley police, plainclothes FBI agents, and an Alameda County sheriff raided at gunpoint the Long Haul, a long-standing community library and info shop. Police spent at least an hour and a half searching the premises without allowing Long Haul members entry to their building. More than a dozen computers and other equipment were seized in the morning raid. Having made no attempt to contact Long Haul members, agents forced their way into the building by entering a neighboring non-profit office with guns drawn. Police refused to provide a search warrant until after the raid was over and property was seized.

Most of the computers taken were removed from an un-monitored public space where people come to use the computers just as they would at a public library. The remaining computers were taken from closed offices where they are needed for the day-to-day operation of the work done by members. Offices were rifled through, and a list of people who had borrowed books from the library was checked, as was the sales log. The warrant, which was produced after the raid, had little relevant information (claiming the officers were searching for 1 – Property or things used as a means of committing a felony; 2 – Property or things that are evidence that tends to show a felony has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a felony).

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now arrested at RNC Convention

September 2, 2008

Good links here.

Can’t say I’m surprised. A little scared for what this represents, but not surprised.

UPDATE (9/2/08 at 1:10 PM): Goodman has been freed.

Police State USA

August 31, 2008

From Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and Glenn Greenwald of Salon, this amazing story:

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.


Please note that these are people merely suspected of exercising free speech. Note that what was being seized was not bomb-making materials, but political pamphlets.

This is very depressing.

For anyone interested in following what’s happening to the RNC protesters, I highly recommend the Indymedia network, specifically the Twin Cities Indymedia site. I mention it because there’s apparently no mainstream media coverage of this whatsoever (with the arguable exception of the Minneapolis Star Tribune). Indymedia, of course, is all over it – and they’ve had plenty of journalists arrested already.

Let’s be clear about what’s happening: Law enforcement officers are cracking down on would-be legal protesters to protect a political party that’s intimately entwined with innumerable corporations. Very fascistic. Very authoritarian. Very American.

UPDATE: CNN has a blurb.

Albany Police….

August 18, 2008

From the DH:

An Albany woman is seeking witnesses to an incident in which she says a police officer used excessive force on her 13-year-old son during Thursday’s River Rhythms concert.

Albany police say that any use of force was appropriate and that it was in response to the teenager not following an officer’s instructions.


I really hope that second sentence is a construction of the reporter and not what the officer actually said. Making a blanket claim that any use of force is appropriate is both really bad PR and a really bad idea. What if they had, say, Tasered him? Would that have been OK? What if they had broken a limb of his while restraining him? Would that have been OK? He’s a 13-year-old with a skateboard, for fuck’s sake.

The police point of view is reiterated in this quote later in the article:

“The force used was appropriate,” Carter said. “The force used was a result of the young man refusing to do what (the officer) said to do.”


That last phrase is the important part: Use of force is authorized explicitly because someone ignored a police officer, not because someone was endangering others. This should be raising a lot of red flags for people – it’s a short hop from there to misusing a gun or a Taser or even a badge. In fact, I’d argue that’s what happened here.

And no, I don’t believe this is fundamentally new behavior. But I have noticed a distinct uptick in the number of times that failure to listen an officer is cited as justification for violence on the part of the police, rather than failure to obey a law. That it is implicit in the former that the latter is also present is not, in my eyes, good enough, because it’s often not true.

Almost worse than the story are all the rabid commenters complaining about how unruly youth are. THE KID WAS 13 AND HAD A SKATEBOARD IN A PARK. Call me when he’s chucking eggs at cars or stealing or something. Jeebus. And people wonder why kids dislike cops or other authority figures.

Update 8/18 @ 7:15 PM: I should note that there are two things going on here, and I don’t want to conflate them. The first is that I think the use of force in this particular case is inappropriate. The second is an idea that I’ve seen more and more often, that the justification for the use of force is simply because an officer told someone to do something.

Fan, Meet Shit. Shit, Here’s Fan.

July 29, 2008

From the Lebanon Express website:

Lebanon police officer Ronnie “Kyle” Randleman, 36, resigned July 14 after investigations by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and the Lebanon Police Department determined that he had lied to detectives probing allegations that he had an improper relationship with a female Lebanon High School student


And away we go…. for the record, I never heard anything about this while I was subbing.

(Sad) Congrats to Express reporter Larry Coonrod for breaking the story, and to the Express for beating the DH (what with the DH being daily and all).

Click the link for the full story.

Immediate Update: While I am normally loathe to make claims about whole populations, I feel compelled to make one here: Just about everyone who works in a high school has thought about this topic – staff/student relationships – at some point or another. It happens in different ways, for different reasons, and in different contexts, but I will just about guarantee it’s crossed everyone’s mind.

Make of that what you will.