Posts Tagged ‘ACLU’

Newark, New Jersey cop chokes photographer while photographer is cuffed. Photographer’s “crime”? Filming on a public sidewalk.

November 23, 2008

Newark, NJ cop apparently forgets about the First Amendment as he arrests cameraman for filming.  In broad daylight.  On a public street.  I’m sure this is an isolated incident.

More on this story here.

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New Hampshire police DUI “crackdown”-480 cars pulled over in one night: a whooping 7 arrested for alcohol-related charges

November 10, 2008

New Hampshire’s new DUI “mobile command post,” managed to pull over 480 cars in one night Friday night and early Sat. morning. The purpose was to “crack down” on people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Of the 480 cars pulled over, police racked up a whooping 7 arrests for alcohol-related charges. For some perspective, for every 68 cars pulled over, police arrested 1 person. That’s some fine police work, Lou.

The sad thing is that this waste of money will be explained away as a success for the initiative. Some talking head from the state will stand in front of a podium touting the arrest numbers and making a case for how “police presence” kept impaired drivers off the road which=safety, which=keep funding our agencies. Of course, had police arrested more drivers, they would then make a case for increased funding levels. That’s the business of government for you.

chiefwiggum11

Via Seacoastonline

Riviera Beach Police Having Arrested Every Violent Offender in City, Move On To Arresting Men Whose Pants Sag

September 12, 2008

Just kidding, I’m sure there’s probably several violent offenders with arrest warrants roaming Riviera Beach. But, dear residents, fear not, for your police department is protecting you from anyone that is showing between 2 to 5 inches of their underwear by sagging their pants. This very necessary ordinance was passed after several recent drive-by boxer showings that resulted in the deaths of 7 people. Those poor victims’ memory will be honored by Riviera Beach’s finest getting those dangerous pairs of underwear off the streets.

So far, 11 people have been arrested, and charged with a misdemeanor and face fines of up to $150.00. Repeat offenders could face up to 30 days in jail. Yes, this is your tax dollars at work. That’s some fine police work, Lou…….

I shouldn’t be too harsh on the police, they don’t make these asinine laws, but they will be the ones who will certainly face an even more hostile community as a result of enforcing the ordinance. Guess which racial group this law has affected the most so far? The collected mugshots of 8 of the 11 arrested men are shown below. What’s that ringing sound? I think it’s the ACLU.

Via The Smoking Gun

LOLcats for freedom

August 6, 2008

Bureaucrash, a kick arse website that strives to remind us all of how we’ve been surrendering our liberties to the government for decades, posted some very funny LOLcats. Here’s but a sample below.

See more here.

U.S. govt now given power to seize anyone’s laptops upon entering the country

August 3, 2008

U.S. citizens and foreign travelers can have their laptops seized without warrant “or without suspicion of wrongdoing” for an unspecified amount of time.  Wasn’t there something in the news lately about China censoring foreign journalists’ access to the internet while at the Beijing Olympics?  Ask your local patriot about how these policies differ……

Agents are empowered to share the contents of seized computers with other agencies and private entities for data decryption and other reasons, the newspaper said.

DHS officials said the policies applied to anyone entering the country, including U.S. citizens, and were needed to prevent terrorism.

Read the rest of this bullshit very necessary security policy. We thank you government for keeping us safe!

More here.

Chinese Police….wait, I mean Memphis Police file lawsuit to uncover identity of blogger that is critical of the department

July 27, 2008

Source

Police director sues for critical bloggers’ names
Site popular with citizens, officers
By Amos Maki Memphis Commercial Appeal
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin and the city of Memphis have filed a lawsuit to learn who operates a blog harshly critical of Godwin and his department.

The lawsuit asks AOL to produce all information related to the identity of an e-mail address linked to MPD Enforcer 2.0, a blog popular with police officers that has been extremely critical of police leadership at 201 Poplar.

“In what could be a landmark case of privacy and the 1st Amendment,” the anonymous bloggers write on the site, “Godwin has illegally used his position and the City of Memphis as a ram to ruin the Constitution of the United States.

“Some members of the Enforcer 2.0 have contacted their attorneys and we are in the process of filing a lawsuit against Larry and the City of Memphis. What’s wrong Larry? The truth hurt?”

It wasn’t clear if the lawsuit is aimed at shutting down the site or if it’s part of an effort to stop leaks that might affect investigations.

Many of the documents in the case, filed in Chancery Court on July 10, have been sealed by Chancellor Kenny Armstrong. Police officials would not discuss the action, citing pending litigation.

Whatever the reason, Internet and free-speech advocates said they had serious problems with the city’s actions.

“You can complain about the government, and you should be able to do that without fear of retaliation or threatening actions on the part of the people in these positions,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based watchdog group. “I guess they’ve kind of annoyed them at some level, but you really don’t want to see law enforcement or government resources spent in this way.”

AOL has been ordered to turn over similar records in the past.

In 2001, Japanese company Nam Tai filed a complaint in California state court against unknown Web posters claiming they committed libel and violated the state’s unfair business practices statute.

Nam Tai was able to obtain the e-mail address of one of the posters and then obtained a subpoena from a Virginia state court to AOL seeking the name behind the e-mail address.

AOL filed a motion to have the order quashed, but lost that bid in trial court and the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee said they will be watching the case closely and that anonymous speech is essential to the free flow of ideas in a democracy.

“We are quite interested in preserving the anonymity of the bloggers,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. “Anonymous speech has long been protected speech under the First Amendment.”

The bloggers, who operate under the name of Dirk Diggler — the name of the porn star in “Boogie Nights” — say their site provides an important service to officers and citizens.

“This is another attempt at disrupting an outlet for officers to gather and complain about the administration,” they said on the site.

“Further, this allows us unrestricted communication with the citizens of Memphis. The citizens should be made aware of the scandals that rock the administration and shudder the rocky foundation in which they operate today.”

The bloggers also said city attorneys earlier this year wrote a threatening letter on city letterhead to a company that produced T-shirts for the bloggers.

Cop arrests man for (spins the wheel of made up laws)…”unlawful photography”

July 15, 2008

Nearly everyone carries a cell phone and it’s hard to find one without that camera feature.  It’s convenient when you want to take that impromptu photo, but a Tri-Cities area man ended up behind bars after snapping a shot of a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.

The cell phone photographer says the arrest was intimidation, but the deputy says he feared for his life.

“Here’s a guy who takes me out of the car and arrests me in front of my kids.  For what?  To take a picture of a police officer?” said Scott Conover.

A Johnson County sheriff’s deputy arrested Scott Conover for unlawful photography.

“He says you took a picture of me.  It’s illegal to take a picture of a law enforcement officer,” said Conover.

Conover took a picture of a sheriff’s deputy on the side of the road on a traffic stop.  Conover was stunned by the charge.

“This is a public highway,” said Conover.

And it was not a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy as Tennessee code states.  The deputy also asked Conover to delete the picture three times.

“He said if you don’t give it to me, you’re going to jail,” said Conover.

Under the advice of the Johnson County attorney, the sheriff would not comment and the arresting deputy said he didn’t want to incriminate himself by talking to us.

In an affidavit, the deputy said he saw something black with a red light which he thought was a threat.  Conover was also arrested for pointing a laser at a law enforcement officer.

“At no time did I have a laser.  I had an iPhone,” said Conover.

When you take a picture in the dark with Conover’s Apple iPhone, there is no flash or any light that comes from the phone that could be mistaken for a laser.

In a witness statement by a Mountain City officer, is says the deputy asked about the picture rather than looking for a laser.

“If you arrested me, wouldn’t you take the laser?  If you arrested me, wouldn’t you take the camera?” said Conover.

He expects these charges to be dismissed.

“This guy maliciously arrested me, charging me with phony charges that he don’t even understand himself,” Conover said.

The American Civil Liberties Union would not comment on Conover’s case without fully reviewing the allegations, but told us there is no law that prohibits anyone from taking photographs in public areas, even of police.  Taking photos is protected by the First Amendment.  Conover is ordered to appear in a Johnson County court on August 6th.

Source

A good resource utilized by photographers that gives an overview of a photographer’s rights can be found here.

ACLU to file suit against FISA

July 13, 2008

Wired’s Threat Level blog reports that the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Recently passed by both the House and Senate, FISA was signed into law on Thursday by President Bush. The ACLU has fought aspects of FISA in the past. The new complaint (PDF) alleges the following: “The law challenged here supplies none of the safeguards that the Constitution demands. It permits the government to monitor the communications of U.S. Citizens and residents without identifying the people to be surveilled; without specifying the facilities, places, premises, or property to be monitored; without observing meaningful limitations on the retention, analysis, and dissemination of acquired information; without obtaining individualized warrants based on criminal or foreign intelligence probable cause; and, indeed, without even making prior administrative determinations that the targets of surveillance are foreign agents or connected in any way, however tenuously, to terrorism.”

Source

The Petty Police State in Dallas, Texas

June 23, 2008

From Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Petty Police State

June 19, 2008

Could the most important thing one does for one’s community be to send a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution to local politicians and police?

Some officers in the Dallas Police Department are doing things against the letter and the spirit of our laws. After writing a traffic ticket up, and getting the signature, too many on the force then add on infractions.

Gretchen West was stopped for a burned-out tail light. She took away her ticket for $220. And paid. Then she got a letter in the mail, saying she owed an extra $378 for failing to wear a seatbelt and driving without her headlights on.

But, but . . . the officer had not mentioned those alleged violations!

The Dallas Morning News informs us that an assistant city attorney documented about a dozen cases like this in recent months.

This weird twist on ex post facto law is Kafkaesque, actually, the kind of thing you’d expect from a police state.

Now, I know: Dallas, Texas, today, is a better place to live in than was Moscow, USSR, circa 1950. The Soviets set in place a totalitarian police state.

Here in America, when our rulers and enforcers forget the importance of the rule of law, and the primacy of citizen liberties, they tend to set up not totalitarian police states but petty ones.

Sure, the pettiness is a bit of a relief. But it’s just not the American way.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

And, according to Pegasus News, you can now pay your tickets, legitimate and (allegedly) fabricated online. How convenient!

Paying traffic citations is now a lot more convenient, thanks to the City of Dallas Court Services new e-Payment System.

“We want to give customers every possible opportunity to pay their tickets,” said Director of Court and Detention Services Gloria Carter. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this online option, which we believe will make paying traffic citations simpler and more convenient.”

To pay citations online, visit www.dallascityhall.com and click on “other tickets” in the left hand margin. After reading the “Terms and Conditions” page, click on “Make Payment” at the bottom of the page and enter the information on the citation. The system will provide a total due and accept payment by credit card or personal/business check.

This 24 hour convenience is in addition to the 24 hour, seven days a week window operation for handling Class C Misdemeanors at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center Lobby , 111 W. Commerce.