The mainstream narrative, that alleged Las Vegas mass-shooter Stephen Paddock’s father Benjamin Paddock was a bank robber, isn’t wrong. It’s just incomplete. Other than both Paddocks being criminals in the end, there is really no link between robbing banks and mass shootings. But do Stephen and his father Benjamin Paddock have more in common? Continue reading
We needn’t endorse the means of desperate people to acknowledge their ends are worth fighting for.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
I agree with Robby Soave that non-defensive violence is not a good solution, both for moral and tactical reasons. But I nonetheless find myself filled with empathy for the people—rioters? protesters?— who have been engaging in acts of violence against police property, corporate property, and police themselves this afternoon and evening in Baltimore. That’s not to say I condone their acts, but I find them understandable. Resistance isn’t always rational, nor necessarily kind. Or, to say it another way, desperate people do desperate things. And it is very clear that there are a lot of people in this country in a state of desperation over our unaccountable, ever-encroaching, fee-mongering, violence-first police force and its myriad biases.
I was never a police hater or even much of a police skeptic, you guys. Sure, I believed in bad apples and bad laws—especially concentrated on/around bad policy, like the drug war—but I still believed the vast majority of individual cops and law enforcement agents were basically good. And they still may be, but it doesn’t really matter in the face of a system that’s so thoroughly stacked, at all levels, against the vulnerable and disenfranchised, as well as toward the perpetuation of its own power and unaccountability. Covering “criminal justice” in various ways for the past year and a half at Reason—from the crafting of legislation aimed at cracking down on criminals of various sorts and the swelling/moral squalor of America’s jails and prisons to individual instances of police abuse and the “general warrants” that are vice laws … I don’t necessarily think most cops or prosecutors are bad people, but they’re fucked (as are we all) by a sweeping, self-perpetuating schemata that knows but one problem and one solution: bad guys and more (thorough) more (prisons) more (funds) more (fear) more (MORE) law enforcement. Continue reading
One of the most glaring myths propagated by Washington — especially the two parties’ media loyalists — is that bipartisanship is basically impossible, that the two parties agree on so little, that they are constantly at each other’s throats over everything. As is so often the case for Washington partisan propaganda, the reality is exactly the opposite: Continue reading
A new class action lawsuit claims Facebook violated its users’ privacy rights in acquiring what it describes as the largest privately held database of facial recognition data in the world.
According to a report from Courthouse News Service, lead plaintiff Carlo Licata, of Cook County, claims the social network violated Illinois privacy laws by not providing him with written notification that his biometric data was being collected or stored.
Furthermore, Licata claims that it’s also unlawful to collect biometric data in the state without clearly stating the purpose for which that data is being collected, along with notification of how long it would be stored for.
Licata, represented by attorney Jay Edelson, claims that Facebook began violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008 when it introduced its facial recognition tech in 2010 in a “purported attempt to make the process of tagging friends easier”. Continue reading
After years of denial, the UN Office of Drug Control Policy finally admits that Afghan Opium is supplying US markets.
ast Africa is becoming a major transit point for heroin from Afghanistan, especially for shipments to Europe.
Most of it still takes an established path known as the “Balkan route” through Iran and southeast Europe, Reuters reports. Recent seizures along the Kenyan and Tanzanian coastlines, however, point to a “southern route.”
Between 2002 and 2011, Africa was sporadically identified as an origin for heroin reaching Europe. In 2012, however, East Africa became a prominent spot, according to the UN.
Afghanistan is the source of 80% of the world’s illicit opium products, according to The United Nations’ 2014 World Drug Report.
Afghan opium cultivation has increased by 7% from 2013 to 2014 and production increased as much as 17% over the same period, the UN reported in November. “Authorities “are worried that a record opium harvest in Afghanistan will flood global heroin markets this year,” Reuters also notes.
Map covering the drug trafficking through the Middle East. (photo: UNODC)
The US Drug and Enforcement Agency has spent years chasing after one organization, known as “Akasha,” responsible for the production and distribution of huge amounts of narcotics in Africa, according to Reuters.
Increased drug trafficking could destabilize the already volatile region, Western officials say, fearing a repeat of what happened in Guinea-Bissau, Africa’s first “narco state.”
Adding to the global nature of the problem, opiates and opioids, like heroin, top the list of drugs that cause the most disease and drug-related deaths, according to the UN.
Source: The Guardian
- Exclusive: Secret interrogation facility reveals aspects of war on terror in US
- ‘They disappeared us’: protester details 17-hour shackling without basic rights
- Accounts describe police brutality, missing 15-year-old and one man’s death
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.
- Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
- Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
- Shackling for prolonged periods.
- Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
- Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead. Continue reading
Source: The DC Post
A deputy at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office tells about planting evidence, lying in reports and testimony under Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
One of the biggest defenses in contraband cases are that law enforcement officers planted evidence and lie to make their arrests. These cries from defendants are largely ignored by all parties involved, including the juries because of psychology. When it is the word of a defendant against the law enforcement officer, people have been conditioned to rely on the word of authority as truth. The question is, should this be the case?
One of our editors stumbled across a web site where local law enforcement deputies are free to post, and do so with 100% anonymity. In this web site, they exchange tactical information, procedural tips and methods to use to gain compliance of subjects or to arrest them for being difficult.
One such post, titled “Tricks of the trade – let’s exchange!” was started by a deputy who wrote,
“I have a method for getting people off the street that should not be there. Mouthy drivers, street lawyers, assholes and just anyone else trying to make my job difficult. Under my floor mat, I keep a small plastic dime baggie with Cocaine in residue. Since it’s just residue, if it is ever found during a search of my car like during an inspection, it’s easy enough to explain. It must have stuck to my foot while walking through San Castle. Anyways, no one’s going to question an empty baggie. The residue is the key because you can fully charge some asshole with possession of cocaine, heroin, or whatever just with the residue. How to get it done? “I asked Mr. DOE for his identification. And he pulled out his wallet, I observed a small plastic baggie fall out of his pocket…” You get the idea. easy, right? Best part is, those baggies can be found lots of places so you can always be ready. Don’t forget to wipe the baggie on the persons skin after you arrest them because you want their DNA on the bag if they say you planted it or fight it in court.”