(Source: iriot41)

"The so-called “government shutdown” isn’t really a government shutdown at all. It’s a public services shutdown. Food aid to needy families will stop. Over one thousand food safety and inspection workers will not go to work. Veterans looking to apply for benefits will face serious delays. The IRS won’t answer the phone to help you prepare your taxes, and will stop processing returns. Depending on where you live, you might have a difficult time getting your passport renewed. Zoos and museums are closed effective immediately.But the government’s guns and surveillance state apparatus chug on without much of a blip at all.

[…]

The NSA, fully funded and operational, won’t have any problem continuing to map our social and associational patterns. The FBI will still map ethnic communities and spy on peace and justice activists. The CIA will go on plotting and executing its extrajudicial drone killings in places like Pakistan and Yemen. The DEA will still use NSA intercepts to sneakily forward drug prosecutions while hiding from judges and defendants the intelligence that sparks investigations. Customs, Border Protection will go on harassing Muslims and immigrants at the border, humiliating citizens and visitors alike for no good reason. ICE will continue to deport and detain immigrants, tearing families asunder. The surveillance state will go on, ‘protecting’ a shell of a civilization. We might not be able to eat, but at least someone will be watching us starve."

Government shutdown is nothing of the sort while the police and surveillance states live on (via hagereseb)

(Source: rs620, via theyoungradical)

thepeoplesrecord:

Tar Sands Blockade published new videos today (4/7) showing oil from the Arkansas pipeline rupture diverted from a residential neighborhood into a wetland area to keep it out sight and, most importantly, out of the media & public view.
April 7, 2013

While it’s not clear if the oil was intentionally moved into the wetland, the company says it is cleaning pavement with power washing devices, which could cause some of the oil to be pushed off neighborhood streets and into other areas.

Activists also interviewed a local resident who claimed the oil has continued “flowing” into Lake Conway since the spill happened.

“I don’t have allergies,” the man said. “But now my sinuses are bothering me. My throat’s bothering me. My eyes water constantly. But Exxon acts like nothing’s wrong. They don’t have to live here, we do. And we’re not moving just because of them.”

The activists noted that they were turned away from the area several times before by police and Exxon spill cleanup workers, but they returned on Saturday just before sundown and managed to sneak in to capture footage of the oiled wetlands. In two separate videos, nearby residents say they’ve been made sick by the spill, which has tremendously affected their air quality.

This footage has largely remained out of the media due to the lockdown that’s descended upon Mayflower nearly a week since the spill. Reporters touring the damage with Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel were allegedly turned away by Exxon workers. One journalist, Inside Climate News’s Susan White, was even threatened with arrest when she asked a question of Exxon’s “public affairs” desk inside the spill cleanup command center. The company has also secured a no-fly zone over the spill area.

Video of Lake Conway’s wetlands shows thousands of what Exxon called “absorbent pads” — which appear to be nothing more than paper towels — littering the blackened landscape as thick, soupy crude bubbles across the water’s surface. The company insists that air quality in the affected region is being measured by the Environmental Protection Agency, and that tests show “levels that are either non-detect or that are below any necessary action levels.” Exxon also says that the area’s drinking water remains unaffected.

A phone number given by Exxon to reach the company’s “downstream media relations” team did not appear to be correct, and a spokesperson was not available for comment.

Don’t let Exxon sweep this thing under the rug! Share this now, far & wide, with everybody you know! We cannot allow these corporate-committed environmental tragedies to continue to claim people, land & our future as victims in the wealth-owning, corporate elite’s illogical profit-making endeavors.

Source

Oil companies/any companies, shouldn’t have this kind of power. Exxon should be shut down and held accountable.

(via politicsd00d)

vicemag:

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?

vicemag:

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?

(via theyoungradical)

anarcho-queer:

Why Police Lie Under Oath
By MICHELLE ALEXANDER
THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury’s believing their word over a police officer’s are slim to none. As a juror, whom are you likely to believe: the alleged criminal in an orange jumpsuit or two well-groomed police officers in uniforms who just swore to God they’re telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? As one of my colleagues recently put it, “Everyone knows you have to be crazy to accuse the police of lying.”
But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so.
That may sound harsh, but numerous law enforcement officials have put the matter more bluntly. Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”
The New York City Police Department is not exempt from this critique. In 2011, hundreds of drug cases were dismissed after several police officers were accused of mishandling evidence. That year, Justice Gustin L. Reichbach of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn condemned a widespread culture of lying and corruption in the department’s drug enforcement units. “I thought I was not naïve,” he said when announcing a guilty verdict involving a police detective who had planted crack cocaine on a pair of suspects. “But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.”
Remarkably, New York City officers have been found to engage in patterns of deceit in cases involving charges as minor as trespass. In September it was reported that the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were stopped and arrested for trespassing at public housing projects, unless prosecutors first interviewed the arresting officer to ensure the arrest was actually warranted. Jeannette Rucker, the chief of arraignments for the Bronx district attorney, explained in a letter that it had become apparent that the police were arresting people even when there was convincing evidence that they were innocent. To justify the arrests, Ms. Rucker claimed, police officers provided false written statements, and in depositions, the arresting officers gave false testimony.
Mr. Keane, in his Chronicle article, offered two major reasons the police lie so much. First, because they can. Police officers “know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer.” At worst, the case will be dismissed, but the officer is free to continue business as usual. Second, criminal defendants are typically poor and uneducated, often belong to a racial minority, and often have a criminal record.  “Police know that no one cares about these people,” Mr. Keane explained.
All true, but there is more to the story than that.
Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well. Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in.
Read More

anarcho-queer:

Why Police Lie Under Oath

THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury’s believing their word over a police officer’s are slim to none. As a juror, whom are you likely to believe: the alleged criminal in an orange jumpsuit or two well-groomed police officers in uniforms who just swore to God they’re telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? As one of my colleagues recently put it, “Everyone knows you have to be crazy to accuse the police of lying.”

But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so.

That may sound harsh, but numerous law enforcement officials have put the matter more bluntly. Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.

The New York City Police Department is not exempt from this critique. In 2011, hundreds of drug cases were dismissed after several police officers were accused of mishandling evidence. That year, Justice Gustin L. Reichbach of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn condemned a widespread culture of lying and corruption in the department’s drug enforcement units. “I thought I was not naïve,” he said when announcing a guilty verdict involving a police detective who had planted crack cocaine on a pair of suspects. “But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.

Remarkably, New York City officers have been found to engage in patterns of deceit in cases involving charges as minor as trespass. In September it was reported that the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were stopped and arrested for trespassing at public housing projects, unless prosecutors first interviewed the arresting officer to ensure the arrest was actually warranted. Jeannette Rucker, the chief of arraignments for the Bronx district attorney, explained in a letter that it had become apparent that the police were arresting people even when there was convincing evidence that they were innocent. To justify the arrests, Ms. Rucker claimed, police officers provided false written statements, and in depositions, the arresting officers gave false testimony.

Mr. Keane, in his Chronicle article, offered two major reasons the police lie so much. First, because they can. Police officers “know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer.” At worst, the case will be dismissed, but the officer is free to continue business as usual. Second, criminal defendants are typically poor and uneducated, often belong to a racial minority, and often have a criminal record.  “Police know that no one cares about these people,” Mr. Keane explained.

All true, but there is more to the story than that.

Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well. Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in.

Read More

(via theyoungradical)

cynicalidealism:

IMF singles out wealthy Greeks with Swiss accounts, journalist arrested for publishing list
Wealthy people around the world have stashed their money in secret accounts, avoiding taxes and scrutiny, yet the Greeks are targeted in order to blame the Greek government for failing to enforce taxes and justify the imposed austerity measures. Will the IMF director Christine Lagarde release names of people around the world who also reap rewards from society but do not return them?
-Greek Editor Is Arrested After Publishing a List of Swiss Bank Accounts

cynicalidealism:

IMF singles out wealthy Greeks with Swiss accounts, journalist arrested for publishing list

Wealthy people around the world have stashed their money in secret accounts, avoiding taxes and scrutiny, yet the Greeks are targeted in order to blame the Greek government for failing to enforce taxes and justify the imposed austerity measures. Will the IMF director Christine Lagarde release names of people around the world who also reap rewards from society but do not return them?

-Greek Editor Is Arrested After Publishing a List of Swiss Bank Accounts

(via theyoungradical)

anarcho-queer:

A bar owner protects dozens of Spaniard protesters after riot police charged at them. When the robocop approached the man, he put his hands on his hips and told the officer ‘You will not touch these people,’

anarcho-queer:

A bar owner protects dozens of Spaniard protesters after riot police charged at them. When the robocop approached the man, he put his hands on his hips and told the officer ‘You will not touch these people,’

(via theyoungradical)

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston police officer shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair Saturday inside a group home after police say the double amputee threatened the officer and aggressively waved a metal object that turned out to be a pen.

1) That close to the officer but the officer can’t tell it’s a pen?
2) Double amputee VS 2 officers and one can’t just move the chair?
3) Able to corner an officer, while another officer is present, in a wheelchair with one arm and leg? (All of that while waving a pen?)
4) The officer would even let himself be cornered?
Need I go on? This whole thing reads like a poor excuse for murder. (Not that there is ever a good excuse for murder.)

(Source: hermocrates)

"

So I’m at my local Greek diner on 2nd Ave, and the 55-year old owner says, “Did you see those kids protesting yesterday?” I thought, here comes this screed about lazy kids who should get jobs. Instead, he said, “The cops arrested them just because they were protesting the rich destroying our country.” And then he leaned over and whispered, “These rich guys are destroying small businesses like mine. They want to wipe us out and own everything.” Then he added, “They kill human beings for profit – and we’re not allowed to protest?”

To underscore this story, I’ve learned that Occupy organizer Aaron Black – whom I interviewed at the protests outside Romney’s Billionaire Breakfast on Friday – was put under preemptive arrest on Sunday, September 16th…and has just been released today.

"

Greg Palast, Tuesday, September 18

preemptive arrest. just let that sink in.

(via theyoungradical)

(Source: america-wakiewakie, via theyoungradical)

fightitrightnow:

Occupy not safe from FBI surveillance

From any government related surveillance likely.

(Source: )

northstarfan:

[TW: Sexual assault]
occupyallstreets:



Police Capt. Forces 15 Year Old Girl To Strip To Prove She Wasn’t Having Sex
Miramar Police Capt. Juan De Los Rios, 46, is free on bail after being arrested on Friday over lewd conduct charges stemming from a January 18 incident. According to the victims — a 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old male — Capt. De Los Rios approached a parked car the teens were in earlier this year, interrogated them and then insisted that the female passenger disrobe and demonstrate to the officer that she was not having sex.
The two teenagers say that they were parked outside of a Miramar, FL industrial complex when a man dressed in dark blue and brandishing a gold badge approached their car and began questioning them through the window.

“Well, were you having sex? What are you doing here?” they say the officer asked.
“No anal sex? No sex in general?” the officer continued.

According to the affidavit, the girl insisted to the officer that they had not been engaged in any sexual activity and that the two were just talking. The officer objected to the claims, though, and told the girl that he “needed to check.”

“Check what?” the affidavit claims the girl asked.
“I need to see inside,” Capt. De Los Rios responded.

From there, the girl claims that the officer used a flashlight to “inspect” her then offered further instructions.
The arrest report reveals that the officer allegedly added, “I need you to pull your pants down. I need you to take it all the way off,” then insisting, “I need you to open it.”
The male driver of the car adds that the officer then told the girl, “I need you to spread your legs wider so I can see,” after which he insisted that she pull down her blouse to check her breasts for bruising.
Days after the January 18 incident, the girl came forth with her allegations and a complaint was filed. She then later picked the officer out of a line-up. De Los Rios was off of work on administrative leave for the five months since, but volunteered himself in to authorities on Friday after an arrest warrant was issued. He has since posted the $30,000 bond and is free pending an eventual hearing, where a guilty verdict could come with a 15 year prison sentence. He is being charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious conduct upon a child under the age of 17 by an offender over the age of 18.


What an asshole.

northstarfan:

[TW: Sexual assault]

occupyallstreets:

Police Capt. Forces 15 Year Old Girl To Strip To Prove She Wasn’t Having Sex

Miramar Police Capt. Juan De Los Rios, 46, is free on bail after being arrested on Friday over lewd conduct charges stemming from a January 18 incident. According to the victims — a 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old male — Capt. De Los Rios approached a parked car the teens were in earlier this year, interrogated them and then insisted that the female passenger disrobe and demonstrate to the officer that she was not having sex.

The two teenagers say that they were parked outside of a Miramar, FL industrial complex when a man dressed in dark blue and brandishing a gold badge approached their car and began questioning them through the window.

“Well, were you having sex? What are you doing here?” they say the officer asked.

“No anal sex? No sex in general?” the officer continued.

According to the affidavit, the girl insisted to the officer that they had not been engaged in any sexual activity and that the two were just talking. The officer objected to the claims, though, and told the girl that he “needed to check.”

“Check what?” the affidavit claims the girl asked.

“I need to see inside,” Capt. De Los Rios responded.

From there, the girl claims that the officer used a flashlight to “inspect” her then offered further instructions.

The arrest report reveals that the officer allegedly added, I need you to pull your pants down. I need you to take it all the way off, then insisting, “I need you to open it.

The male driver of the car adds that the officer then told the girl, I need you to spread your legs wider so I can see, after which he insisted that she pull down her blouse to check her breasts for bruising.

Days after the January 18 incident, the girl came forth with her allegations and a complaint was filed. She then later picked the officer out of a line-up. De Los Rios was off of work on administrative leave for the five months since, but volunteered himself in to authorities on Friday after an arrest warrant was issued. He has since posted the $30,000 bond and is free pending an eventual hearing, where a guilty verdict could come with a 15 year prison sentence. He is being charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious conduct upon a child under the age of 17 by an offender over the age of 18.

What an asshole.

(via politicsd00d)

occupyallstreets:

Poverty And Police Corruption In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, or the ‘rich port’ in Spanish, is the poorest American territory with a poverty rate of 44.8%. That is more than three times higher than that in America. 56% of Puerto Rico’s children lived in poverty, the child poverty rate in America is 25%. Out of all U.S. jurisdictions, Puerto Rico has the highest percent of teens not attending school and not working (14.6%).
According to the 2010 Census, the average income per family in Puerto Rico is $26,870. It has a per capita income of $15,203 — that’s less than half the level of the poorest state, Mississippi, where it’s $31,046 — and the official unemployment rate is 14.2 percent as of May 2012. Forty-five percent of Puerto Ricans live below the poverty line, and 20 percent of personal income in the commonwealth comes from federal or Puerto Rican public funds. (Source)
On Wednesday, ACLU filed a lawsuit against Puerto Rico police, accusing officers of using excessive force and violating civil rights during demonstrations organized by university students and public employees.
The lawsuit alleges that Superintendent Hector Pesquera has encouraged a pattern of violence against demonstrators. It seeks an injunction to force the department to create a policy on how to handle demonstrations and use of force, and to establish a system that makes it easier to file complaints and for authorities to document alleged excessive use of force.
Police violence has been amply documented in a new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), titled “Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force”.
According to the report, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD)’s rampant violations of human and constitutional rights range from beatings with batons and nightsticks to sexual harassment of female protesters, from the administration of pepper spray at point-blank range and potentially lethal rubber bullets to the indiscriminate use of chemical agents - including tear gas dispersed from helicopters and a highly toxic form of gas not used in the US in 50 years. Other protest management techniques are described in the report as follows:

“Officers have also used painful carotid holds and pressure point techniques intended to cause pain to passively resisting protesters by targeting pressure points on protesters’ carotid arteries, under their jaws, near their necks, their ears, or directly on the eyeballs and eye sockets. Officers also dug their fingers deep underneath students’ ears and above their jaws … Pressure point tactics not only cause excruciating pain but they also block normal blood flow to the brain and can be… fatal if misapplied.”

A 2011 evaluation of the PRPD by the US Department of Justice reasonably concluded that the purpose of such tactics was to intimidate demonstrators rather than to address legitimate threats to public safety. As for other police pastimes not readily associable with the aim of protecting people, the ACLU notes:

“Over a five-year period from 2005 to 2010, over 1,700 police officers were arrested for criminal activity including assault, theft, domestic violence, drug trafficking, and murder. This figure amounts to ten per cent of the police force, or one arrest of a police officer every 30 hours.”

Also on the PRPD resume are incidents such as the death of Jorge Luis Polaco Jimenez, an unarmed black man reportedly “shot seven times in the back while in police custody”; the death of Jose Alberto Vega Jorge, a 22-year-old witness to a Burger King robbery who was shot in the head by police while waiting to give his witness statement; and the fatal shooting of Luis L Perez Feliciano, a mentally ill Vietnam veteran. The police officers reportedly responsible for the shooting of Perez Feliciano were later awarded the Gold Medal of Valour by Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño and the superintendent of the PRPD.
As the ACLU notes, a “ban on all First Amendment activity” was undertaken at the university and any expression of protest was limited “to small designated areas located outside the campus, called ‘free speech zones’”, also surrounded by police. It is safe to assume that parents beaten with nightsticks while attempting to deliver food to students striking against the commodification of education do not consider this sort of educational arrangement as something their kids “need”.
As for disproportionate police-to-resident ratios, the PRPD’s employment of more than 17,000 (the second largest police force in America) officers for a population of 3.7 million is more than twice the national average. However, the expansion of both mainland policing activities and of a reality in which those tasked with the protection of civil rights are often the ones violating them - indicates that Puerto Rican struggles may indeed increasingly “mirror those across America”. (Source)
The ACLU report comes nine months after the Department of Justice released its own scathing report, based on an investigation covering the years between 2004 and 2011 and outlining many of the same problems. “The Puerto Rico police department is broken,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said when the Justice Department report came out, and lawyers at the department began a series of negotiations with the Puerto Rican government to devise a “comprehensive blueprint for sustainable reform.”
Puerto Rico’s Police Force has killed 21 civilians in 2010-11. Rather than confront the issue, the administration of Gov. Luis Fortuno has instead pursued a policy of denial. Its lawyers have submitted court filings that called the DOJ report unreliable, flawed and biased. Its previous police superintendent denied its findings outright. And on the day the ACLU report was released, the current superintendent, Hector Pesquera, called its findings “incorrect and irresponsible” and part of a “political agenda.” (Source)

occupyallstreets:

Poverty And Police Corruption In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, or the ‘rich port’ in Spanish, is the poorest American territory with a poverty rate of 44.8%. That is more than three times higher than that in America. 56% of Puerto Rico’s children lived in poverty, the child poverty rate in America is 25%. Out of all U.S. jurisdictions, Puerto Rico has the highest percent of teens not attending school and not working (14.6%).

According to the 2010 Census, the average income per family in Puerto Rico is $26,870. It has a per capita income of $15,203 — that’s less than half the level of the poorest state, Mississippi, where it’s $31,046 — and the official unemployment rate is 14.2 percent as of May 2012. Forty-five percent of Puerto Ricans live below the poverty line, and 20 percent of personal income in the commonwealth comes from federal or Puerto Rican public funds. (Source)

On Wednesday, ACLU filed a lawsuit against Puerto Rico police, accusing officers of using excessive force and violating civil rights during demonstrations organized by university students and public employees.

The lawsuit alleges that Superintendent Hector Pesquera has encouraged a pattern of violence against demonstrators. It seeks an injunction to force the department to create a policy on how to handle demonstrations and use of force, and to establish a system that makes it easier to file complaints and for authorities to document alleged excessive use of force.

Police violence has been amply documented in a new report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), titled “Island of Impunity: Puerto Rico’s Outlaw Police Force”.

According to the report, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD)’s rampant violations of human and constitutional rights range from beatings with batons and nightsticks to sexual harassment of female protesters, from the administration of pepper spray at point-blank range and potentially lethal rubber bullets to the indiscriminate use of chemical agents - including tear gas dispersed from helicopters and a highly toxic form of gas not used in the US in 50 years. Other protest management techniques are described in the report as follows:

“Officers have also used painful carotid holds and pressure point techniques intended to cause pain to passively resisting protesters by targeting pressure points on protesters’ carotid arteries, under their jaws, near their necks, their ears, or directly on the eyeballs and eye sockets. Officers also dug their fingers deep underneath students’ ears and above their jaws … Pressure point tactics not only cause excruciating pain but they also block normal blood flow to the brain and can be… fatal if misapplied.”

A 2011 evaluation of the PRPD by the US Department of Justice reasonably concluded that the purpose of such tactics was to intimidate demonstrators rather than to address legitimate threats to public safety. As for other police pastimes not readily associable with the aim of protecting people, the ACLU notes:

Over a five-year period from 2005 to 2010, over 1,700 police officers were arrested for criminal activity including assault, theft, domestic violence, drug trafficking, and murder. This figure amounts to ten per cent of the police force, or one arrest of a police officer every 30 hours.

Also on the PRPD resume are incidents such as the death of Jorge Luis Polaco Jimenez, an unarmed black man reportedly “shot seven times in the back while in police custody”; the death of Jose Alberto Vega Jorge, a 22-year-old witness to a Burger King robbery who was shot in the head by police while waiting to give his witness statement; and the fatal shooting of Luis L Perez Feliciano, a mentally ill Vietnam veteran. The police officers reportedly responsible for the shooting of Perez Feliciano were later awarded the Gold Medal of Valour by Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño and the superintendent of the PRPD.

As the ACLU notes, a “ban on all First Amendment activity” was undertaken at the university and any expression of protest was limited “to small designated areas located outside the campus, called ‘free speech zones’”, also surrounded by police. It is safe to assume that parents beaten with nightsticks while attempting to deliver food to students striking against the commodification of education do not consider this sort of educational arrangement as something their kids “need”.

As for disproportionate police-to-resident ratios, the PRPD’s employment of more than 17,000 (the second largest police force in America) officers for a population of 3.7 million is more than twice the national average. However, the expansion of both mainland policing activities and of a reality in which those tasked with the protection of civil rights are often the ones violating them - indicates that Puerto Rican struggles may indeed increasingly “mirror those across America”. (Source)

The ACLU report comes nine months after the Department of Justice released its own scathing report, based on an investigation covering the years between 2004 and 2011 and outlining many of the same problems. “The Puerto Rico police department is broken,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said when the Justice Department report came out, and lawyers at the department began a series of negotiations with the Puerto Rican government to devise a “comprehensive blueprint for sustainable reform.”

Puerto Rico’s Police Force has killed 21 civilians in 2010-11. Rather than confront the issue, the administration of Gov. Luis Fortuno has instead pursued a policy of denial. Its lawyers have submitted court filings that called the DOJ report unreliable, flawed and biased. Its previous police superintendent denied its findings outright. And on the day the ACLU report was released, the current superintendent, Hector Pesquera, called its findings “incorrect and irresponsible” and part of a “political agenda.” (Source)

(via politicsd00d)

americanwanderlust:

Really and truely.  This is a fucking absurd charge.  Terrorism charges for Protesters, and the US government sinks lower and lower.

growfoodraisehell:

One of the several banners dropped today in Austin, TX in solidarity with those arrested in Chicago.

(via theyoungradical)

lifeisliterallylimited:

Policemen thugs in riot gear push protesters away from the site of the NATO Summit in Chicago May 20, 2012. Baton-swinging police clashed with anti-war protesters marching on the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday and a lawyers’ group representing the demonstrators said at least 12 people were injured, some with head wounds from police batons. 
REUTERS/Adrees Latif

lifeisliterallylimited:

Policemen thugs in riot gear push protesters away from the site of the NATO Summit in Chicago May 20, 2012. Baton-swinging police clashed with anti-war protesters marching on the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday and a lawyers’ group representing the demonstrators said at least 12 people were injured, some with head wounds from police batons. 

REUTERS/Adrees Latif

(via theyoungradical)

theyoungradical:

inothernews:

WORST AMENDMENT   Getty Images freelance photographer Joshua Lott is arrested by police while covering protests on the first day of the NATO summit in Chicago.  It’s unclear if Lott has been charged; his photos from the protests have been published by numerous Getty affiliates, including the Los Angeles Times.  (Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images via The Guardian)
What part of “a free press” do police departments not understand?

they understand it completely, they just don’t give a fuck, this needs to be realised sooner rather than later.

theyoungradical:

inothernews:

WORST AMENDMENT   Getty Images freelance photographer Joshua Lott is arrested by police while covering protests on the first day of the NATO summit in Chicago.  It’s unclear if Lott has been charged; his photos from the protests have been published by numerous Getty affiliates, including the Los Angeles Times.  (Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images via The Guardian)

What part of “a free press” do police departments not understand?

they understand it completely, they just don’t give a fuck, this needs to be realised sooner rather than later.

(Source: Guardian)