US Marshals Seize Copies of Local Cell Phone Tracking Records Requested by ACLU

By: Tuesday June 3, 2014 3:05 pm

US marshals in Florida seized copies of local cell phone tracking records from the Sarasota Police Department, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter in the state had requested. The extraordinarily brazen act was a clear violation of public records law. And the ACLU quickly pushed for a temporary injunction from a judge to stop this from happening again.

The ACLU chapter was seeking records on police use of “Stingray” surveillance devices, which can be used to locate cell phone by acting a like a fake cellphone tower. The technology enables the “electronic equivalent of dragnet ‘general searches’ prohibited by the Fourth Amendment,” the ACLU argues.

 

City of Aurora, Police Sued for ‘More-Than-Two-Hour Mass Roundup’ of Innocent People in Search for Bank Robber

By: Monday May 19, 2014 7:57 am

The city of Aurora, Colorado, and police are being sued for what attorneys describe as a “more-than-two-hour mass roundup of innocent men, women and children at a traffic section” when officers were attempting to catch a bank robber.

The Militarization of Police in the U.S.

By: Wednesday May 14, 2014 5:45 pm

The militarization of US domestic police is evident in recruitment advertising and beyond. Through government grants, police are receiving military equipment that is fit for wartime combat, to use in civilian domestic communities. Civil law and civil rights are evidently suspended, and a form of military justice by police, or what some call a police state is the new norm.

‘People Carry Their Entire Lives on Cell Phones’—Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Police Searches

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 3:58 pm

The Supreme Court heard argument in two cases related to whether law enforcement must obtain a warrant to search a cell phone. In both cases, the justices seemed reluctant to impose a one-size-fits-all approach—either a prohibition on searches without a warrant or a categorical rule that would allow a search if it fit within a limited scope.

One case, Riley v. California, involves an officer who seized a “smartphone” from a person who was under arrest and began to scroll through its contents at the scene of the arrest. He was looking through text messages and the phone’s contact list. The second case, United States v. Wurie, an officer believed the person arrested had used a cell phone to arrange a drug deal. At the police station, an officer noticed that a “flip” phone was repeatedly receiving calls from a number labeled “my house.” The officer searched through the call log on the phone in order to obtain the home phone number.

Justice Department: Routine Use of Deadly Force by Albuquerque Police Result of ‘Culture of Aggression’

By: Thursday April 10, 2014 3:25 pm

A Department of Justice civil investigation has found that a majority of shootings by Albuquerque police officers between 2009 to 2012 were unconstitutional. Officers “too often use deadly force” when using their firearms.

Albuquerque Police Violence Update

By: Tuesday April 8, 2014 4:10 pm

Albuquerque made international news as the result of a police lapel-cam video gone viral, of officers killing a homeless mentally-ill man on March 16. James Boyd, or Abba, as he preferred, was the 37th person shot and the 22nd killed by police in Albuquerque since 2010. (The toll has risen to 23 after another police shooting on March 25. There was a non-fatal shooting by plain clothes US marshals (caution, graphic content and language) on March 28.)

It is due only to the lapel cams that we know how Abba died. The police have refused to make many of their (our) videos public, but the videos we have seen are difficult to watch. WHY was this video released? Soon after the shooting, the newly hired Chief of Police pronounced it “justified.”

ABC News Beats Other Networks, Will Get to Have Privilege of Fawning Over Ray Kelly on Regular Basis

By: Friday March 28, 2014 2:59 pm

There was apparently quite a competition amongst news organizations over who would get to have the privilege and honor of fawning over former New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly on a regular basis, but ABC News won.

The New York Times reported, “Several television news organization had been seeking to hire Mr. Kelly.” But he ultimately decided to go work at ABC News as “consultant and expert commentator on law enforcement issues” and will be appearing “on all ABC News programs.”

Torture, Racism, Drones & Unlawful Killings: UN Human Rights Committee Releases Report on US Government

By: Thursday March 27, 2014 3:18 pm

he United Nations Human Rights Committee completed its review of the United States’ compliance with a major human rights treaty. It takes issue with the government’s interpretation that the treaty only applies to persons when they are inside the country and also expresses concern with drones, racism, gun violence, excessive use of force by police, Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, mandatory detention of immigrants and impunity for those who commit torture and unlawful killings.

Local Law Enforcement Act Like CIA, Abuse Public Records Laws to Conceal ‘Stingray’ Surveillance

By: Tuesday March 25, 2014 5:20 pm

More and more local law enforcement agencies in the United States are manipulating or abusing public records request laws in order to conceal whether they are using “Stingray” surveillance technology to collect data for law enforcement activities, even going so far as to pretend that records do not even exist.

Police Impunity and Law Enforcement’s Increasing Acceptance of Body-Mounted Cameras

By: Monday March 17, 2014 12:31 pm

Having more and more police wear body cameras could potentially increase accountability for police. However, whether law enforcement agencies adopt policies that allow officers to turn the cameras on and off whenever they want is a key issue.

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