New Mexico’s largest police department, mired in controversy over the use of excessive force, is about to supply military-style weapons to officers using taxpayer money. The investigative team at KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned that Albuquerque Police awarded a bid to a local vendor for the purchase of AR-15 rifles — the type of gun used to kill James Boyd in the foothills in March. According to the request for bid, which ended two weeks ago, the department would likely purchase 350 guns in the first year of a two-year contract. Thereafter, it would order quantities of 50 as necessary. “You’re asking for trouble, in my opinion,” Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Mexico said. Simonson was unaware of the department’s purchasing plans until KOB contacted him. He thought APD was moving away from using high-powered weapons after the Department of Justice said APD officers have a “pattern and practice” of using excessive and deadly force.
Last night’s second annual 300 Men March to End Violence, from one end of North Avenue to the other, attracted about 250 marchers at any one time, but was not without a contingent of politicians and police brass. Marchers of all ages walked from Hilton Parkway in West Baltimore to the Baltimore Cemetery in East Baltimore and back, a total of about 10 miles. The organizers hope that a show of solidarity will encourage young people to put their guns down. Or in the words of Second District Councilman Brandon M. Scott: “Men, remember the true work begins today. Every one of us must continue to be seen and heard in our communities. Every able-bodied man in Baltimore must be positively engaged in their community and, most importantly, in the lives of our young people. If a male is not meeting that standard, then they are not a man in the true sense of the word.”
Adam Kokesh, who recently served four months in prison in connection with an Independence Day incident in which he videotaped himself loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza, near the White House, sits down with Dennis to discuss Libertarianism, performance art in protest, and the book he wrote in prison, Freedom. In part 2 of the show, Eleanor Goldfield, the front woman of the band Rooftop Revolutionaries, joins Dennis to discuss the movement to get Money out of Politics, and her new venture Art Killing Apathy.
The NY Medical Marijuana Patients Cooperative announced Manhattan’s oldest marijuana buyer’s club was closing due to the passage of the new law named the Compassionate Care Act, the patient’s cooperative was known for it’s unique blend of harm reduction and medical marijuana. “The NYMMPC was the only dispensary in the nation that counseled its patients on how to use less marijuana. Group members included patients living with: AIDS, cancer, Glaucoma, Bi-polar disorder, PTSD, Krohn’s Disease, depression, anxiety, Multiple Sclerosis, and myriad other illnesses. “The new law was written to limit and exclude many care providers. Our policy was to accept any patient who could prove they had any serious disabling illness,” said an unnamed spokesperson for the club, “either with a doctor’s note or an equivalent.”
Remember the are doing this for all of us: It wasn’t until a couple hours ago when I saw the photo of the coffin inscribed with the all of the names of those killed by the Albuquerque Police Department that the tears in my eyes brimmed over, and thought that I needed to share this with you. For background, please read here, here and here. My admiration for these folks is extreme; they are in this important social movement for the long haul; their tactics have been precise and thoughtful; their social gospel unyielding and it is spreading among New Mexican citizens, and garnering international attention as well. I know all of our spirits are with them in solidarity, both today, and in the future.
The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned. Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment. Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.
This study focuses on post-9/11 claims by the U.S. government that it keeps the county safe from terrorism by arresting hundreds of so-called “terrorists” who were about to strike the U.S. until the FBI foiled their plots. In fact, this study shows that there have been remarkably few actual terrorism threats to this country in the last decade. The study shows that the war on terror has been largely a charade designed to make the American public believe that a terrorist army is loose in the U.S., when the truth is that most of the people convicted of terrorismrelated crimes posed no danger to the U.S. and were entrapped by a preventive strategy known as preemptive prosecution. The theme of the study links preemptive prosecution to the metaphor of “lawfare,” the use of the law as a weapon of war, in this case the war on terror.
Ahh the irony, as police arrest a man dressed as a pig for impersonating a police officer. A man who dressed up in a pig mask, toy bobby’s helmet and hi-vis jacket was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer. Steven Peers said he has often donned the mock outfit to perform ‘comical parodies’ of Greater Manchester Police after becoming unhappy with how officers behaved during the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests. He wore it around Manchester city centre while filming sketches yesterday but was stopped by an officer near Bootle Street police station. Video of the incident shows the policeman pose questions about the outfit before arresting Mr Peers, 46, on suspicion of impersonating a police officer. He said: “My reaction to being arrested was total disbelief. I was wearing a toy hat and a pig mask and was arrested for impersonating a police officer. It’s ridiculous. “If they want to take it to court they will be a laughing stock because there is no substance to it whatsoever.”
Cecily McMillan received a 90 day jail sentence plus five years’ probation. This comes after an unjust trial managed by a prosecutor in robes, Judge Ronald Zweibel. Cecily remained true to herself and true to the movement at her sentencing. During the sentencing Judge Zweibel hid behind a phalanx of court officers who surrounded the courtroom knowing that what he was about to do would spark outrage among many. Before issuing his sentence, Cecily spoke, refusing to acknowledge the guilt found by the jury in Zweibel’s Kangaroo Court. She described how she is on a “path where dignity is derived from the law of love” and that: “This being the law that I live by, I can say with certainty that I am innocent of the crime I have been convicted of. And as I stand before you today, I cannot confess to a crime I did not commit; I cannot do away with my dignity in hopes that you will return me my freedom.” She concluded her statement apologizing for any harm done to Office Bovell saying: “. . .the same law of love requires me to acknowledge the unintentional harm I caused another – for this accident, I am truly sorry. And in this spirit, your honor, I ask you to halt the violence there. Consider my words as I ask you to not perpetuate one injury with yet another.”
If you react out of white privilege it sets you apart. I have learned to respond as a collective, to speak to authority in a unified voice. And this has been good for me. I needed this.” “We can talk about movement theory all we want,” she went on. “We can read Michel Foucault or Pierre Bourdieu, but at a certain point it becomes a game. You have to get out and live it. You have to actually build a movement. And if we don’t get to work to build a movement now there will be no one studying movement theory in a decade because there will be no movements. I can do this in prison. I can do this out of prison. It is all one struggle.” McMillan has been held in Rikers’ Rose M. Singer Center, Dorm 2 East B, with about 40 other women. They sleep in rows of cots. Nearly all the women are poor mothers of color, most of them black, Hispanic or Chinese. McMillan is giving lessons in English in exchange for lessons in Spanish.
‘HailStorm’ is a new device obtained by the Oakland County Sheriff with monies from a U.S. Homeland Security Grant and so far, there isn’t much information available on what exactly it can and cannot do. There were no questions asked when Oakland County commissioners unanimously approved the use of this cellphone tracking device previously used by the US military in Iraq. Undersheriff Michael McCabe told The Detroit News that the federal Homeland Security Act bars him from discussing the Hailstorm device. Many privacy advocates are questioning why one of the safest counties in Michigan needs the very powerful, super-secretive military device called ‘Hailstorm’. The Detroit News sought basic information about Hailstorm and the county denied their Freedom of Information Act request.
After months of protests against deadly police shootings, the Albuquerque City Council heard from outraged activists and a few police supporters Thursday night as it considered alternate ways to select the police chief. But it heard nothing but silence from at least seven activists who had signed up to speak — some of whom turned their backs rather than address the civic leaders. They were ejected from the council chambers, cited for criminal trespass and banned from council meetings for 90 days. That penalty seemed to surprise at least some of the council members, however, and may be altered. “Silence is speech,” some audience members shouted, pumping their fists in the air as security ushered out the mute activists. The backdrop for the meeting was the Albuquerque Police Department’s 25 deadly shootings since 2010, and a U.S. Justice Department report, released last month, that found many of the shootings unjustified.
NY 1 Reports: Unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed by police officer Richard Haste inside the teen’s Bronx home in 2012. The officer was not indicted. On Friday, other mothers whose sons were killed by NYPD officers gathered for a Mother’s Day Rally urging the Department of Justice to take action in the case. This Mothers Day weekend stand with mothers whose loved ones have been killed by NYPD. Ms. Baez, Ms. Diallo, Ms. Bell and many more, will demand the DOJ open a full investigation into the killing of Ramarley Graham. Moms of New Yorkers killed by NYPD over past two decades are uniting to demand the U.S. DOJ open a full investigation into the NYPD killing of my son, Ramarley Graham, and calling on the NYC Inspector General to investigate this pattern. At Foley Square mothers of Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and many more as we all demand the DOJ open a full investigation into the killing of Ramarley Graham. This Mothers Day weekend, stand with mothers whose loved ones have been killed by the NYPD.
A new report released this week by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project reveals that marijuana arrests have actually increased in New York City under the new leadership of Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton. In March 2014, the NYPD performed more marijuana possession arrests than in any month in the last six months under the Bloomberg administration. In fact, March 2014 saw more arrests than in 10 of the 12 months in 2013 under the previous administration. The total number of arrests for first quarter of 2014 are higher than both the third and fourth quarters of 2013. These arrests also continue the disturbing trend of disproportionately falling on individuals of color. In Brooklyn, in predominately white Park Slope, police made just 7 marijuana possession arrests in the first three months of 2014. In Carroll Gardens and Red Hook they made 12 marijuana arrests in that same time frame. More affluent neighborhoods saw even fewer arrests. In Manhattan, Police only made two marijuana possession arrests.
We are devastated by the Jury’s verdict today. It has been clear from day one that Cecily has not received a fair and open trial. The job of a judge during a jury trial isn’t to guide the verdict to fit his opinion. Judge Zweibel, who consistently suppressed evidence,has demonstrated his clear bias by consistently siding with the prosecution. In addition to suppressing evidence, he imposed a gag order on Cecily’s lawyers, which is a clear violation of their 1st Amendment Rights, and placed the burden of proof on the defense, not the prosecution. He is rightly known as ‘a prosecutor in robes’. Beyond Judge Zweibel, it is disgusting to see vast resources from taxpayers wasted for over two years to prosecute Cecily. Manhattan DA Cy Vance has refused to drop this case, pursuing maximum charges against Cecily while ignoring police violence and misconduct. This is unfortunately not isolated to Cecily’s case but is indicative of a system concerned not with justice but with the unrelenting harassment of dissenters and the powerless.