Category Archives: News

Forney police release video of George Zimmerman’s traffic stop

We try to provide you information as a means of education, power and as way to better prepare and protect yourself from dirty cops. Here is an example of dirty cops showing that the law does have problems because if this was a patch member that just told a cop he has a loaded firearm in his car or on his bike who was just in shooting someone just or not, that patch member would be on the ground at gun point.  Read it for yourself amke your own decision.

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Two weeks after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the Fenruary 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was in Forney, being pulled over by police there.

According to inForney.com, Zimmerman was stopped Sunday heading west on US Highway 80 just past FM 548. TMZ is reporting that when he was pulled over, Zimmerman told officers he had a gun in his glove compartment.

When contacted by The Dallas Morning News, Forney police would not immediately confirm; they asked instead for a public-records request concerning the incident. They eventually sent a report that shows he received a verbal warning. The document, which contains Zimmerman’s birthdate, says the Floriday resident was pulled over at 12:47 p.m. Sunday in a gray 2008 Honda; it doesn’t say how fast he was traveling. inForney.com and TMZ feature different screengrabs from a dashcam video said to stem from the traffic stop. The truck in question appears to have Florida plates, confirmed by the police report.

inForney.com says the officer asked Zimmerman where he was headed. His reply: “Nowhere in particular.”

“Nowhere in particular,” said the officer, according to inForney.com. “Why is that?”

“You didn’t see my name?” said Zimmerman.

“Wow,” said the officer, “what a coincidence.”

According to KTVT-Channel 11, “At some point Zimmerman asked the officer if he recognized him from television, and the officer said he did not.”

The documents provided by Forney say the officer ran Zimmerman’s records to make sure he had no outstanding warrants, then cut him loose after four minutes. The officer told Zimmerman to “just take it easy, go ahead and shut your glove compartment and don’t play with your firearm, OK?”

Zimmerman has more or less disappeared since the not-guilty verdict, save for a July 22 incident in Florida involving a family trapped in an overturned SUV. His legal team has this and only this to say on the traffic stop: “For his safety, we won’t make any comments about Zimmerman’s whereabouts, and we will work to protect his privacy.”

Source: Dallas News.com

TESTILYING: COPS ARE LIARS WHO GET AWAY WITH PERJURY

So, I just got done with a briefing from my attorney, I’m going to say this and I don’t care if you are offended, but cops, especially gang task force are liars. And if you are one those cops who thinks I am wrong, when was the last time to spoke up against an injustice by a cop? We all know they happen. There’s something seriously wrong with the country and the law enforcement that is in place, which is sworn to protect and serve the people. Nobody really wants to address the issue about cops, who are liars, who hurt and kill people, who are negligent in their jobs and duties, and cause pain and suffering. We as a country are so naïve and stupid when it comes to the subject, that we are willing to overlook the facts that are stated in a straight face. Just because someone wears a uniform, carries a badge and a gun does not make him above reproach. It is this type of thinking and mentality that has cost many people their lives, years spent in prison, and so much more. And these cops who choose to live and be deceitful and hurt people get away with violating people’s constitutional rights.

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If you find yourself on a jury. Do not be full by these perpetrators in uniform, they do live in, they will line to protect themselves, their institution of lies and their brotherhood of lies. Don’t be fooled.

You are a police officer, patrolling your route in East New York. You see someone walking down the street; they are carrying a bag. You are bored and not really doing anything else and have been thinking for a while that you’d like to get noticed by your boss, make him proud. So you stop this guy, just to see what will happen.

Maybe he starts to get a little nervous and you start thinking that he’s actually up to something. Why would he be nervous just talking to you? So you take his bag and open it up despite his protests, and maybe there are 15 kilos of cocaine inside and $50,000 in cash. This is suddenly a heck of an arrest.

You call into your sergeant, and he arrives, asking you how it was that you came to make this great collar. You tell him, and he waits quietly until you are through. He tells you there is just one problem: The search was illegal, you violated the guy’s rights, and you cannot bring this story to the district attorney’s office to prosecute the arrest.

You and the sergeant have one legal option: Take the drugs and cash into custody, and let the guy walk. But it’s a big arrest, and you don’t want to let him go. So Sarge leads you through a new scenario. Now you saw the man kneeling down, opening the bag near the wheel well of a car. As you approached you saw inside the bag what looked to be, according to your training, a brick of cocaine. The guy looks up at you, and the drugs fall out into the street. You stop to talk to him, and he offers you the $50,000 as a bribe not to arrest him. Your supervisor concludes by saying, “You didn’t hear it from me.”

While the specific circumstances of this hypothetical are perhaps a bit flashy, the routine is typical in the life of a street cop, according to former NYPD Detective Carlton Berkley. An even more ordinary case would involve possession of a small amount of marijuana, the most common arrest in New York City.

“At the district attorney’s, you can tell them that story,” Berkley explains. “It’s not even necessarily a believable story. No one in their right mind would examine drugs like that in the street. When you step out into the street with 15 kilos of cocaine and $50,000, you already know what you have in the bag. But the pressure is put on the arresting officer, because you always want an airtight case, you are supposed to win, and the cop is supposed to come out looking like the good guy.”

Misrepresentation, deception, and outright lying appear to be part of a police officer’s job description, so much so that the term “testilying,” now common vernacular for police falsifications, was actually coined by NYPD officers as something of an inside joke.

Even done in the interest of public order, or some imagined ideal of keeping the bad guys off the streets, this practice has wretched results. Today there are 7.5 million people under the control of the US criminal justice system and countless more impacted by the kidnapping and caging of their family members, loved ones, employers, employees, coworkers, neighbors, etc. The disparate impact on demographic groups with darker skin—primarily people perceived to be Black, Latino/a or Muslim—has been well documented.

It is the exception, not the rule, that these lies are exposed by judges or prosecutors in the courtroom for the public to consider (for the defendants the lies are quite apparent), and the results, when it happens, are twisted.

On November 17, 2012, a 40-year-old father from Harlem, Greg Allen, defending himself pro se (Latin, he says, for when you fire your attorney), won acquittal in a case brought against him by the Brooklyn District Attorney and the New York City Police Department. The Judge determined that the witnesses, two officers from Brooklyn’s notorious 73rd precinct, had lied.

The police officers, William Gardner and John Blanco, had accused him of disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration (crimes he did not commit), and the cop’s own video evidence showed his innocence. The police and the district attorney prosecuted the case anyway even though their own videotapes exposed the police testimony as a fabrication. They refused to back down from their original story. The judge didn’t buy it.

“It’s like you’re sitting there in the courtroom watching a video with the judge and the cops, and the cops are just saying something totally different than what the video shows,” Allen says.

So used to this absurd process was the young prosecutor, Seth Zuckerman, that he never flinched as the cops went through the charade. Perhaps more tellingly, the district attorney’s office, Zuckerman’s bosses, didn’t drop the case even after learning that their only physical evidence contradicted the officer’s story of the arrest.

A few weeks later, US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin upheld claims of NYPD misconduct in another case, finding the testimony made by police officers Miguel Santiago and Kieron Ramdeen not credible. Scheindlin sort of piled it on. The officers’ account “makes no…sense,” it was “implausible,” she said. She noted that Santiago had previously lied in the scope of his police work, issuing summonses to an innocent person to help a friend of his in a bizarre revenge scheme.

Scheindlin’s ruling hinged on the fact that officers in the Bronx, Santiago and Ramdeen among them, routinely invented justifications for stopping people outside certain buildings in the borough and at times made arrests without cause. People doing nothing wrong were stopped, harassed, illegally searched, and arrested at the whim of the officers who then created legal justifications for their actions after the fact.

First- and second-degree perjury is a felony, and yet none of these cops will face any charges for straight up lying in a courtroom under oath. The rules are different for cops. As infuriating as that might seem, this pattern of behavior has been known fact for decades.

A 1987 study from Chicago found that 76 percent of officers agreed that that they frequently bent the facts to establish probable cause; 48 percent said that judges were right in tossing police testimony as untrustworthy.

Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, publicly stated in the 1990s:

“It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers … police lie to avoid letting someone they think is guilty, or they know is guilty, go free.”

By not acknowledging rampant police misconduct, by not demanding that criminal justice is meted out in a fair way, what are we giving up? Are we sacrificing a moral claim to justice by sanctioning the police—and thus the state—the freedom to circumvent the rule of law in the pursuit of a particular type of social order?

“That is assuming that the justice system ever had any moral claim, which I would not assume,” former NYPD officer and Queens county prosecutor Eugene O’Donnell says. “There is dishonesty in court, prosecutorial dishonesty. It’s legislative dishonesty that sets up this system and by no means are cops exempt from a system that is dishonest and fundamentally flawed.”

***

The course of a legal proceeding provides law enforcement officers with several opportunities to perjure themselves. Immediately following an arrest, the officer and a prosecutor fashion a “complaint” – the legal document that officially charges the defendant with a crime. The officer swears that the document is truthful.

Then there is an indictment, which typically includes a grand jury that again calls on the officer to testify to the events that led up to the arrest. If the defendant challenges aspects of the arrest, for example by arguing that the officers had searched him and his belongings without his consent, then a “suppression hearing” is convened to determine what evidence can be used at a subsequent trial. During the hearing the officer will again testify to the events of the arrest.

Cops didn’t always have to lie to square away their arrests. The historical irony is that a Supreme Court ruling barring evidence obtained illegally gave birth to today’s practice.

The art of testilying seems to have developed in response to the so-called exclusionary rule, which bars evidence acquired by the police in an unlawful manner: the fruit of the poisonous tree. The US Supreme Court, through landmark Fourth Amendment rulings in Mapp v. Ohio (1961) and Terry v. Ohio (1968), limited the methods by which police could gather evidence to be presented at trial.

Prior to Mapp, police had little incentive to lie in court because there was nothing wrong with truthfully detailing the many ways in which they broke the law. Instead they could openly testify that they had stopped a man for no reason, found drugs, and arrested him. While the search was technically illegal, the evidence was admissible and could be used at trial. After Mapp, these sorts of cases were challenged, and police started making up justifications for illegal stops and seizures.

Writing in The Nation in 1967, in the wake of the new Mapp rules, Irving Younger explained the routine:

“Then the police made the great discovery that if the defendant drops the narcotics on the ground, after which the policeman arrests him, then the search is reasonable and the evidence is admissible. Spend a few hours in New York City Criminal Court nowadays, and you will hear case after case in which a policeman testifies that the defendant dropped the narcotics on the ground.”

And thusly “the dropsies” entered the police lexicon.

Although judges and juries are not supposed to consider the word of an officer above that of a defendant, most typically do. Most people have been socialized to see the police officer as a generally good person and the accused as generally bad. Upon closer inspection, this assumption doesn’t make much sense, but nevertheless it empowers law enforcement to stretch the truth. They can count on getting the benefit of the doubt.

“Everyone assumes that the defendant is self-interested and is motivated to lie, and that the officer is there just to say what happened,” said former New York City assistant district attorney Bennett Capers, now a professor at Brooklyn Law School.

But this is not really true.

Officers may gain some tangible benefits from seeing that their arrests turn into convictions—such as promotions or preferential assignments—but more powerful still is the culture of law enforcement that degrades any type of perceived weakness and indoctrinates an us-against-the-world mentality that provides rationalization for almost any activity, legal or not.

***

“Police see the world in black and white, there are not a lot of shades of gray. There is us, on the job, and our families and people who are sympathetic to our worldview and everybody else is an asshole…. Anything that I, as one of the good guys, that I can do to get the bad guys in jail is justifiable,” former Boston Police Department Lieutenant Thomas Nolan says.

It’s this mindset that makes a police officer feel he is entitled to lie, justified to do whatever it takes and even, in a way, obligated to violate people’s rights if he deems it necessary to his purpose of getting the “scum” off the streets.

“The thin blue line and all those bullshit rhetorical phrases are thrown out there, telling them they are the only thing between order and anarchy,” Nolan says.

The police are a fraternity built upon a false reality. Officers see themselves in a dangerous, noble cause against the underworld, and this is further instilled through the same types of bonding, secrecy, and war metaphors that have historically been part of the languages of those engaged in the practices of exterminating the “other.” Psychologically the police are indoctrinated into something akin to genocidal project: the forced removal of a class of people from their homes to prison.

There is a deep-seated disregard for what they consider to be silly little laws made by a silly little Supreme Court in a backroom far removed from the dangerous streets they are trying to bring into order.

Beyond the sociology, it is also embarrassing for an officer when a defendant walks—when cops lose a case. Now his fellow officer brothers are telling him he doesn’t know how to testify, they can’t believe he lost such an easy case. Part of this is just making sure you save face.

“Winning is what counts with the NYPD and the district attorney’s office,” Berkley said. When the cop wins, he gets a pat on the back, even when everyone knows that it was a bullshit case.

But it’s not all on the officers. Former NYPD commissioner William Bratton, laid the blame for testilying on prosecutors, suggesting that through their efforts to win cases, they sometimes “coerced” young, well-meaning officers into perjury.

The district attorneys do whatever they can to keep you as an officer sticking with your story. If you start changing it up, the district attorney will get you back in line, according to Berkley.

An Capers agrees. The prosecutors don’t want to be embarrassed and lose the case either. As a prosecutor, it’s tempting to explain to an officer-witness what he would need to say in order to make the conviction, and then ask him what it was that he saw.

Prosecutors and judges tend to look the other way, even though sometimes the lies are quite apparent. This is partly due to prejudging the defendant as guilty.

But political implications also play a role. The district attorneys rely on the gravy train of arrests to make their cases. A world without criminalization would mean the obsolescence of the police, the prosecutors, the judges, the court staff—and no one already in the mix wants that.

If the district attorney were to accuse an officer of perjury, it’s basically a declaration of war, Berkley said. All of a sudden you will have a lot of DWI check points outside those office holiday parties.

“At the Southern District of New York, if we really thought that an officer had lied, and we had evidence or a judge had made a finding on the record that the officer had lied, our response was to keep using that officer,” Capers said. “We’d avoid bringing him to the stand, we’d call his partner rather than him, but we’d never take the next step of filing a perjury case because that might mean he’d lose his job.”

Meanwhile, officers can rely on further protection from each other.

“You’ve been brainwashed into this way of thinking it’s us against them. You are spending more time with these guys than with your wife and kids; they might save your life in a shoot out. You do whatever you can for your brother,” Berkley said.

If you go against this code, you are labeled a “rat” and there are real repercussions, he added. All of sudden your tires are flat at the end of a shift, you have urine or feces on your locker, your wife is getting phone calls, you’re getting a type of supervision where you can’t really breathe.

“It’s not worth it, because these guys are capable of really carrying out their threats, because who are they? They are the police,” Berkley said. Meanwhile, if you play by the rules you are beloved by everyone.

This code, the Blue Wall of Silence, has been one reason that holding police accountable is so difficult. In 1995 Boston Police officers beat one of their own, a Black undercover officer named Michael Cox, nearly to death after mistaking him for a homicide suspect. As he lay intubated in a hospital, the 21 officers at the scene each denied having any idea what had happened to their “brother.”

In November 2012, a federal judge in Chicago held the city responsible for the pervasive deception of its police department after its officers refused to properly investigate the complaint of a bartender who was severely beaten by a drunk off-duty cop to whom she had denied service. The arresting officers went to great lengths to protect their coworker, and another city employee attempted to bribe the victim into silence. The city is appealing the ruling and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed legal papers suggesting that there should be a code of silence about the code of silence.

***

The public’s reverence for law enforcement is also to blame for the impunity that police officers enjoy when they break the law and violate the most basic of human rights. There is a shared social understanding that police officers have a tough job to do, that we should cut them a little bit of slack, and really, protect them, Capers said.

Even in New York City people seem to approve of the NYPD. Ray Kelly has a 70 percent approval rating, O’Donnell notes, explaining that every New Yorker is complicit in sanctioning the practices of the city’s police force just as every American is responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Ordinary people are more hardnosed about crime than is generally acknowledged,” he said.

Capers finds there are distinctions on this issue along racial, class and neighborhood lines. There is a particular disparity between how mainstream America views police officers and how the residents of poor urban communities do, he said.

“For a lot of minority communities, they see evidence of police abuses and manipulating the evidence all the time. They show up in the courthouse and say ‘That’s not what happened!” In poor communities we’ve seen officers harassing people on the street, using excessive force and then claiming they did not, and so how can we take any officers seriously?” Capers said.

The continued surveillance of the police by civilians has been critical, both to the protection of people’s lives, liberty, and rights, and to the creation of a culture that might become more amenable to acknowledging the abuse of police officers and its corrosive impact.

“With people monitoring the police on their cell phones, evidence of police lying is much more common. Now we can prove it,” Capers said. “We really only prosecute officers when we can prove it, and I mean prove it by it’s on tape or we have several preachers up there to say this is what happened.”

As more of mainstream America sees this type of footage, the political will to make institutional changes will grow, perhaps supporting a higher level of disobedience to law enforcement.

People do not have to tolerate police abuse, but you have to be willing and able to get arrested and maybe go to jail if you are going to stand up for yourself, Berkley said. Filming the police and organizing community support for the purpose of combating police abuse are some of the only ways to protect ourselves and to win these types of cases at trial, he said.

We know that people are more likely to follow laws that they think are just, and more likely to support a legal system that treats them fairly. By giving law enforcement a free pass to break the law, by bending over backwards to ensure that there is no accountability for police officers except in the most unavoidable circumstances (i.e. alleged cannibalism), we are making illegitimate our entire system of justice and thus likely creating more so-called crime than we are eliminating by doing whatever it takes to get convictions on a handful of cases.

If we started taking police lies more seriously—prosecuting them as we would civilian perjurers—people in the communities most negatively impacted by police abuses (also typically communities with high levels of violence) would get the message that they are being protected by the law not persecuted by the law. People might even develop faith in the system. Until then, it’s hard to argue against the old saying that this is not a broken system but one functioning just as it was created to.

It’s not a problem of a few bad apples, as some people suggest, but instead a matter of irresponsible leadership, a pathological law enforcement culture, and a public ready and willing to sacrifice notions of justice, fairness and humanity for… what exactly?

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Hells Angels, Outlaws And The Politics Of The Patch

While searching for research information for a story I came across this online at Sabotage Times, it is always interesting seeing how people are quick to cash in on making money off of motorcycle clubs by bashing them and slandering their names and members.

Don’t, whatever you do, call them badges. And please don’t confuse MCC’s with MC’s, or it will get nasty very quickly…

Bikers can be found riding en masse in every city on every continent. Often they are drawn together because they are fans of a particular make or model of machine, or because they live in a certain area, but more often than not they bond simply through the sheer joy of riding. Many such clubs identify themselves with ‘patches’ or ‘colours’ sewn onto their jackets, but what untrained eyes see as random choices over positions and designs are actually the result of delicate and lengthy negotiations within the complex world of biker politics.

The majority of organised bikers belong to MCCs – Motor Cycle Clubs – and wear their patches on the front or side of their jackets. Joining such a club is easy and requires little in the way of ongoing commitment. Patches are available for purchase by anyone who turns up to a rally or meeting and the main goal of the club is to enhance the social life of its members.

At the other end of the scale are the MCs – Motorcycle Clubs. The absence of that one letter makes a world of difference. An MC is about more than brotherhood, more than camaraderie; it is less a club, more a way of life. MC patches cannot be bought, only earned, a process that can take many years. To be accepted by an MC you have to be prepared to give up everything and anything and make the good of the club your number one priority.

MC members wear a three part-back patch, sometimes sewn directly onto a jacket but usually on a leather or denim cut-off. The club name appears at the top on a curved bar known as a rocker. The club colours are in the centre while a bottom rocker will name the territory. Prospective members wear only the bottom rocker as a mark of their reduced status.

The major MCs also sport a diamond shaped patch with ‘1%’ inside on the front of their colours. This originates from a massive drunken riot that followed a 1947 drag race meeting attended by thousands of bikers in the small town of Hollister, California. In the aftermath the organisers, the American Motorcycle Association, said the trouble had been caused by a small minority and that ninety-nine per cent of those who attended had been well behaved. The riot went on to inspire the Marlon Brando film ‘The Wild One’ and MC gangs have called themselves ‘one percenters’ ever since.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of a set of patches to an MC member. They are his most prized possession and the loss of them under almost any circumstances is an unbearable disgrace. Patches are absolutely sacred and it is no exaggeration to say that MC members consider them worth fighting for and, if necessary, dying for.

With painfully few exceptions – such as when two new clubs emerge from an unclaimed area at roughly the same time – no new MC will ever wear a bottom rocker laying claim to an occupied area unless they are prepared to declare outright war on the current incumbents.

(When the Mongols MC launched in the early 1970s, their members wore a ‘California’ bottom rocker much to the annoyance of the Hell’s Angels who not only dominated the west coast state but also considered it sacred: the gang had been founded there in the aftermath of World War Two. The Angels warned the Mongols to remove the rocker. The Mongols, composed mostly of Hispanics who had been refused entry to the HA on account of their race, stood their ground. It took 17 years and dozens of murders on both sides before the Angels eventually agreed to a compromise.)

The 1% MC gangs not only control their territory but also, to some or other degree, oversee the activities of all other biker clubs within their area.  Nothing happens without their say so and any potential threat to their superiority, no matter how small, is dealt with harshly.

If you have any doubts that this is indeed the case, I suggest you try the following experiment: gather together a group of male friends (women are generally not allowed to join back patch clubs), equip yourselves with large motorcycles – ideally Harley Davidson’s – and choose a club logo. Stitch your colours to the back of a leather jacket with the name of your club above and the name of your county or state below.

Hold elections to appoint a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Sergeant-At-Arms (responsible for club discipline) then go out riding as a group and get yourselves seen by as many people as possible.

More…

Life Magazine: The Original Hells Angels

Forget Fear & Loathing, Hells Angels Is Hunter S. Thompson’s Masterpiece

Within days, possibly within hours, you and your friends will be intercepted by the massed ranks of whichever MC club is dominant in your area. If you are lucky and show sufficient reverence – that is, if they feel you can drink and party and fight and fuck with the best of them – they will invite you to a meeting at their clubhouse, explain the error of your ways, request that you stop wearing your patches (or charge you a hefty weekly fee in return for permission to wear an altered version) and then lay out the rules for your future conduct.

Far more likely, however, is that you and your friends will be stomped and beaten and chain whipped to a pulp, your patches and possibly even your bikes will be confiscated. Your arms or legs will be broken (to prevent you riding) and you will be told in no uncertain terms that your little club no longer exists. Period. The patches will be burned and the bikes stripped down for spares or resold. And if you even consider going to the police, you’ll just make an enemy of every other MC in the world and instantly prove that you didn’t have what it takes to make it in the scene anyway.

This scenario becomes even more certain if the dominant club in your area is one of the big three international gangs: the Hell’s Angels, the Outlaws or the Bandidos, or if you attempt to use a ‘protected’ colour combination: red on white for the Angels, black on white for the Outlaws, red on yellow for the Bandidos. Copying the designs of one of the big gangs would bring even more trouble – all three are trademarked and protected by international copyright law.

The issue of showing appropriate respect to an MC applies even when it is crystal clear that the other club is in no way any kind of a threat. In August 2010 a sixty-three-year-old bike-riding preacher from Altoona, Pennsylvania was beaten and robbed by members of the Animals MC after failing to seek permission to wear a back patch which featured a red cross on a white background along with the words: ‘Shield of Faith Ministries’.

In the UK the Brothers of the Third Wheel (BTW) go to great pains to point out that they are an association, not a club, for trike riders. They have many female members, revel in a family atmosphere and have never been involved in any form of conflict. Following careful negotiations their members are allowed to wear a symbol on their backs because the 1% clubs have designated it a badge, not a patch. Despite this the Hell’s Angels have forbidden BTW members from wearing their badges anywhere in Kent.

Such rules exist because an MC has to be seen to be the dominant club in the area it controls and the best way to do this is to ensure that no other club ever wears their colours there without permission. When clubs fail to follow this rule, wars start and all too quickly escalate out of control.

‘Outlaws: Inside the Violent World of Biker Gangs’ by Tony Thompson is published by Hodder & Stoughton at £12.99

 

 

Bikers Claim They’re Getting Profiled

Initially, charges of racial profiling by law enforcement were brought largely by African-American drivers. But in Maricopa County, Arizona, it’s Latinos who say they’re the victims of race-based policing. Now there’s another group that says they’re being singled out by cops despite their claims they have done nothing wrong. Bikers, individuals who belong to “clubs” like the Hell’s Angels are crying foul and want their legislative representatives to do something. In Washington State, where the law enforcement community is mourning multiple officers killed in the line of duty, legislators working on the state’s House Public Safety Committee heard from scores of individuals about what they say is a travesty of justice.

The bikers, the kind who don leather and “get their motors running,” told the committee that they have been targeted by police, stopped for no apparent reason, searched, questioned and generally harassed simply because they ride motorcycles. The bikers say it’s profiling plain and simple.

They say it’s similar to charges made by predominantly young black drivers that they are singled out by police. It’s illegal to profile minorities, so it should be illegal to profile motorcycle riders, the bikers contend. “It does occur,” Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, the sponsor of a bill to outlaw profiling of motorcyclists, told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. “It’s just wrong and it has to stop.”

The Washington State Patrol is particularly apt to pull them over. Those charges were leveled by David Devereaux, of Tacoma. He is a member of the Outsiders Motorcycle Club.

When bikers showed up last year for their annual lobbying day at the state house, a state trooper took down all their license plate numbers, Devereaux said. The bikers videotaped the trooper and posted it on YouTube to back up their claim of harassment. But Capt. Jason Berry, head of government and media relations for the State Patrol, denied that troopers profile bikers or any other group.

The agency did collect license information on all motorcycles at Black Thursday in 2009 because some outlaw bikers were “showing off colors and paraphernalia.” But Capt. Berry says that was standard practice for everyone that showed up. It was just a precaution in case “something bad were to happen,” Berry said.

When nothing did, “the information was thrown away.” In addition, the Washington State P says it has no problem with Kirby’s bill because the agency does not profile and is proud of it. Some committee members tried to flesh out major differences between various types of biker clubs.

Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, a police officer when he’s not a legislator, asked if there weren’t legal biker gangs and illegal gangs.

“Weren’t the Hells Angels running methamphetamine out of California and into the Northwest a few years back?”

But there are many types of motorcycle organizations, from Christian bikers to stockbroker bikers according to Mr. Devereaux.

The Hells Angel stereotype sells movie tickets, but it’s a fraction of the larger group.

“We’re working Americans. I’m raising two children. I’ve been married for 15 years,” he told The Spokesman-Review.

US Supreme Court Considers Forced Blood Draw From Motorists

The nation’s highest court on Wednesday considered whether police should be able to forcibly draw the blood of a motorist without a warrant. Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in the case of Missouri v. McNeely to decide whether Tyler McNeely’s constitutional rights were violated when he was taken to a hospital for a blood draw after a state patrolman accused him of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in October 2010.

“The issue in this case is whether the state may stick a needle in the arm of everyone arrested on suspicion of drunk driving without a warrant and without consent,” McNeely’s lawyer, Steven R. Shapiro, argued. “Missouri’s answer to that question is yes, even in routine DWI cases like this and regardless of how quickly and easily a warrant could be obtained.”

Prosecutors insist obtaining a warrant takes too much time. Since, they argue, evidence of alcohol is purged from the body over time, police were right to cite “exigent circumstances” to bypass the Fourth Amendment requirement to have a independent judge review the evidence before authorizing the blood draw. Several justices seemed skeptical about the claim.

“So how can it be reasonable to forego the Fourth Amendment in a procedure as intrusive as a needle going into someone’s body?” asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “I say this because breathalyzers in my mind have a much different intrusion level. They don’t intrude into your body.”

Many states have a program where judges are on standby to receive warrant applications over the phone for DUI cases. In these programs, warrants can be issued very quickly.

“The virtue of it is this man or woman is trained to listen to policemen and others say things and try to pin him down a little bit and make an independent judgment,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said. “So — so why would it take more than 5 minutes? …. It would make it less likely that people who are really innocent in fact have this happen to them and so forth.”

Prosecutors argued such a system would not be feasible with all the paperwork and delays inherent in the legal system. Even if it were possible to obtain a speedy warrant, the protection it offered would be meaningless.

“I think if we were to the point where we were approving search warrants in three minutes, it would essentially be a rubber stamp,” Jackson, Missouri prosecuting attorney John N. Koester Jr said.

Twenty-five states currently prohibit warrantless blood draws, fifteen of which joined this case to formally oppose the prosecution’s argument that the warrant requirement is just too burdensome in rural jurisdictions. Justice Antonin Scalia suggested setting a precedent that applied nationwide based on current limitations could be a problem if technology advances to make it easier to present evidence to a judge in rural areas. He also wondered whether the warrant has become something of a formality that holds little meaning in DUI cases.

“In these DUI cases it’s always going to be the same thing,” Scalia said. “The policeman is going to say, well, you know, his breath smelled of alcohol; we gave him the walk a straight line and turn around test, he flunked it; he couldn’t touch his nose with his index finger. What is the impartial magistrate possibly going to do except to say, hey, you know, that’s probable cause.”

The defense answered that warrants generally are not turned down, regardless of the subject matter.
Source

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Should Foreign Hells Angels Be Allowed in the United States?

How Much More Do We Have To Take?

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has filed a lawsuit against several federal agency heads — including Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — claiming the group’s foreign members have been wrongfully banned from entering the United States.

The federal lawsuit contends that several foreign Hells Angels members applied for visas last year to attend one of the club’s major events in New Hampshire, and they were denied, based on their membership with the Hells Angels.

The lawsuit recognizes that Homeland Security and the Department of State made an agreement to define the Hells Angels as a “known criminal organization” in the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual — thus making them ineligible to obtain a visa.

But, according to the lawsuit, “[m]any members” of the Hells Angels don’t have criminal records, and the club says it’s not a “criminal organization.”

Well, they are a “street gang” in Maricopa County — at least, according to disbarred and disgraced ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

The Hells Angels are ultimately seeking a permanent injunction against the rules that are keeping its members from getting visas — which would likely apply to other biker gangs listed by the State Department, like the Outlaws, Bandidos, and Mongols, as well as street gangs like MS 13 and the 18th Street gang.

That said, should the feds let the Angels in?

Cast your vote below:

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Another Blant Act Of Profiling Motorcycle Club Members As Gang Members and Terroist

Should Foreign Hells Angels Be Allowed in the United States?

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has filed a lawsuit against several federal agency heads, claiming the group’s foreign members have been wrongfully banned from entering the United States.

Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas are named as defendants in the lawsuit, as the lawsuit claims their executive rules could be violating the Hells Angels’ constitutional rights.

The federal lawsuit contends that several foreign Hells Angels members applied for visas last year to attend one of the club’s major events in New Hampshire, and they were denied, based on their membership with the Hells Angels.

According to the lawsuit, “[m]any members” of the Hells Angels don’t have criminal records, and the club says it’s not a “criminal organization.”

On the other hand, the lawsuit recognizes that Homeland Security and the Department of State made an agreement to define the Hells Angels as a “known criminal organization” in the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual — thus making them ineligible to obtain a visa.

But the Hells Angels’ lawsuit claims this rule flies in the face of the congressional immigration legislation that allows immigration officials to deny visas for security reasons.

“Defendants will deny visas to all aliens based solely on their membership in a Hells Angels charter without further analysis into whether or not that individual seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in unlawful activity,” the lawsuit states.

The Hells Angels are ultimately seeking a permanent injunction against the rules that are keeping its members from getting visas — which would likely apply to other biker gangs listed by the State Department, like the Outlaws, Bandidos, and Mongols, as well as street gangs like MS 13 and the 18th Street gang.

Source: Valley Fever
Hells Angels Napolitano

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Facedeals: New App Uses Facial Recognition To ID You

Facedeals: New app uses facial recognition to ID you for discounts

Red Pepper — an advertising agency specializing in marketing technologies — has announced that it is finalizing testing for Facedeals, a facial recognition-marketing app. Still in its preliminary stages, the software has generated criticism from those who think this technology crosses the line. For others, however, Facedeals represents the next exciting step in customizable marketing.

If you opt into this service, Facedeals cameras will recognize your face when you pass by a store. The service will simultaneously check you into that location on Facebook and offer you customized deals based upon your Facebook history, including products you “like.”

Samara Andreson, business director at Red Pepper, said the company is always looking for new ways to connect seamlessly with the lives of consumers. “At Red Pepper, we explore technologies that can create relevant ways for marketing to intersect with consumers and their lives, as provide some added values,” she told the Daily News.

Facedeal Facedeals is an app that uses facial recognition to offer personalized marketing at participating stores.

Red Pepper discovered that only six businesses in its home city of Nashville, Tenn., were using Facebook check-ins to create consumer loyalty. They see this as a missed opportunity to enhance the lives of consumers and businesses. By using facial recognition, the company hopes to increase Facebook check-ins. But for that to happen, the consumer will need to grant Red Pepper access.

“The idea is not to invade privacy, which is a big issue right now,” Anderson said. “Your face wouldn’t be in any sort of database unless you opt into it.”

To make use of Facedeals, users activate it on their Facebook accounts and verify their recent photographs for Facedeals to identify them. This allows the app to recognize them in each participating store to offer deals customized to fit their interests.

Facedeal Facedeals offers discounts to users through facial recognition. Once you sign up for the app, it uses your Facebook photos to identify you with cameras placed in participating stores.

Not everyone is so enthused about facial recognition spreading to the retail level — PolicyMic and The Globe and Mail likened the technology to that found in the movie “Minority Report.”

Anderson says that unlike such dystopian views, the app requires voluntary acceptence and is not forced on anyone. “We’ve been pleased with the response from people who really do their homework on both sides of the argument,” she said. “I think people are certainly giving it some good thought and it’s causing some good discussion.”

Facedeals is maintaining a bit of privacy, itself. The name is just a working name. The app will come to market with a different one.

Source: Daily News

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The Right To Video Cops and Security

 

A female officer spotted Hurlbut recordingand told him that he was not allowed to take pictures. Hurlbut took a few steps back, but continued recording as the security guards brought the arrestee to their cruiser.

After the man was placed in the cruiser, a male trolley cop approached Hurlbut, demanded to see his trolley pass, and told him to stop taking pictures. Hurlbut asked if it was against the law and the guard replied that it was. Hurtlbut asked again and the guard responded “It’s against out rights.” Hurlbut asked the guard what law made it illegal to take pictures, but the guartd refused to give him an answer. Finally, Hurlbut shut off the camera out of fear that the trolley cops might confiscate it and delete his footage.

Hurlbut said that several minutes after he shut off his camera, he was approached by another trolley cop who demanded to see his pass. Hurlbut said he produced it and the officer grabbed it out of his hands and threatened him.

On September 18, Ken Moller, president of Heritage Security Services, the company that employed the trolley cops, issued an apology to Hurlbut and confirmed that it is legal to take pictures and shoot video. “We have no right to tell people they can’t shoot down there,” he said. “My officers were wrong in telling him that. And I put that word out as soon as I saw the video. It’s a public place and people can certainly shoot video down there if they want to.

Heritage Security Services refused to release the arrest report for the smoker despite the fact that Hurlbut’s video showed the trolley cops using excessive force.

Sources

Carlos Miller, “Photographer receives apology after armed guards harass him for shooting video,” Photography is Not a Crime, February 5, 2010

Kathryn Snyder, “We Don’t Want You Taking Pictures,” San Diego Reader, February 24, 2010

Videos

Hurlbut’s footage of the incident

News video about the incident

12th & Imperial Transit Center, San Diego, CA 92101

Source: copblock.org

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Atlanta, GA Police Harass Copwatchers For Filming Traffic Stop

Two members of East Atlanta Copwatch saw police officer conducting a traffic stop and began recording. One of the officers approached them, told them that what they were doing was illegal, then accused them of blocking the sidewalk, and ordered them to leave. The officer ignored multiple requests to identify himself.

The Copwatchers continued to document the traffic stop and noticed another officer sitting in a police cruiser who pointed his phone at them and appeared to take pictures of them.

The Copwatchers continued recording and were again ordered to leave. They ignored the orders and continued to document the traffic stop.

Sources:

Videos:

Source: copblock.org

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