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  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 9:57am

    Love versus hate

    So he's already got a precedent for relying on the very same laws he hates in court.

    Like so many things among the completely unprincipled, his opinion of a law just depends on which side of the lawsuit he's on.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re:

    Uhmm, the whole article.

    The article is entirely about cops and prosecutors (and schools) involving ever younger children in the criminal legal system, a system from which there is really almost no escape.

    People are the raw materials that feed the system. Younger children = further up the supply chain.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 3:44am

    (untitled comment)

    With prisons (and probation and diversionary programs, etc) being such a cash cow for the law enforcement / prison / industrial complex, is it any wonder that we see these continued efforts to take control of the human supply chain further and further upstream?

    Next up: Baby cries too loudly in the neonatal ICU and out springs a cop with a pair of tiny tie-wrap handcuffs to whisk the baby off to kiddy kangaroo kourt.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 3:31am

    (untitled comment)

    Prisons -- for better or worse -- are a public service.

    This is what they should be, a public service to keep dangerous people from being able to further harm the rest of society. But to the law enforcement / prison / industrial complex they are a foundational block of the profit pyramid.

    We should really try to emulate this.

    But with the huge profit margins and the political power of the cops receiving the kickbacks driving significant resistance to simply elimating phone call extortion, don't expect foundational change anytime soon.

  • Mar 22nd, 2021 @ 8:50pm


    The FCC cannot stop you from protecting your property, even it if means jamming whatever radio frequencies criminals are using.

    Citation needed.

  • Mar 18th, 2021 @ 4:46pm

    Upside down priorities

    There have been cops that have gotten in more trouble for posting trash on FB (racist or similar) than for murder.

    "It's OK to shoot, just don't get caught throwin' shade" is a seriously perverted state of affairs.

  • Mar 18th, 2021 @ 2:30pm

    Re: A bit of math

    Yes, I know there are other costs, vehicles, buildings, etc. But the point still stands.

  • Mar 18th, 2021 @ 2:28pm

    A bit of math

    $10.9 billion / 36,000 officers = almost $303,000 per officer

    $10.9 billion / (36,000 officers + 19,000 other employees) = almost $260,000 per employee

    Data from here.

    Wow. You get paid the big $$$ to kill, maim, assault and rob people, with little to no chance of experiencing any consequences. The thug life doesn't get much better than that.

  • Mar 16th, 2021 @ 3:51pm

    The other side

    A decade of abusing the public and the public's trust and all the Pasco County Sheriff's Office has to show for it is a brand new lawsuit.

    The targeted residents of Pasco county have a lot more to show for it: a decade of harassment, fines, arrests, convictions, jail time, etc.

  • Mar 16th, 2021 @ 12:57pm


    Many (most?) lawyers spend a great deal of their educational and professional years perfecting the art of taking any act, statement, or circumstance and turning it into both incontrovertible evidence of "A," and also incontrovertible evidence of "Not A."

    This often starts in high school or even junior high debate clubs, and is a constant theme from then on. This is the root of the advice "Never talk to the police (or anyone else in law enforcement." The lawyers, particularly prosecutors, can turn literally anything you say into evidence of guilt of some crime or other.

    So it comes as no surprise that to a prosecutor:

    Google does something bad -> Google is guilty of crime X.
    Google does something good -> Google is guilty of crime X.

  • Mar 12th, 2021 @ 9:36pm

    A bit off topic, but security related

    I once saw Stevie Ray Vaughan at the Chastain Amphitheater in Atlanta, GA. The Chastain Amphitheater is a fairly small venue, in a nice area of town, with tables seating several people on the "floor" area in front of the stage. The venue was expensive, especially the tables, and catered to the somewhat older, rather affluent, "wine & cheese" crowd, both in the selection of acts and in the amenities provided. IIRC you could bring your own stuff to the tables, or have your food and drink catered ($$$), too.

    Standing on the floor, backs to the stage, was a row of big, burly security guards. They wore black T-shirts with the letters "PAS" in bright yellow on the front, in a font reminiscent of the Yes band logo. There were lots of them, shoulder-to-shoulder, from one edge of the stage to the other, with their arms crossed in front of them. They remained that way, never moving, for the entire show. It was very unnerving, and more than a little distracting.

    I never did figure out why Stevie Ray Vaughan (or the venue?) had such an intimidating security presence, particularly at such an up-scale venue that catered to such an up-scale "wine & cheese" type crowd.

    In any case, it was an excellent show!

  • Mar 12th, 2021 @ 2:01pm

    It's just a small start in (sort of) the right direction

    But this part:

    eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement.

    And the constant threat of litigation would have other negative effects, like deterring people from entering the law enforcement field.

    Sounds like two birds with one stone to me!

  • Mar 12th, 2021 @ 12:33am

    By the numbers

    From the NY Daily News article:

    After last summer’s repeal, the unions were granted a temporary restraining order but it was too late to stop the publication of CCRB records that showed about 4,000 of the current 36,000 cops had at least one substantiated complaint against them. For 303 of those officers, at least five allegations had been substantiated.

    4,000 out of 36,000 works out to just over 11%.
    303 with at least five substantiated allegations works out to "Why in the hell are these cops still on the NYPD and not in jail?"

    We do not yet have the data on complaints made versus complaints substantiated, but that will come. In general, the percentage of complaints that are substantiated by these review boards is very small. That is not surprising when you consider who appoints members to these boards.

    Another take on this situation, with a rather pointy headline.

    Considering just how egregious a cop's actions would probably have to be to have a complaint substantiated, this is not a good look for the NYPD.

    Not good, but also not unexpected.

  • Mar 11th, 2021 @ 1:46pm

    More reasons to just say "No."

    Amass enough market share and someone's going to want to see what you've collected.

    As long as this kind of data is available (exists on Internet connected computer = available), it will be accessed and abused by the wrong people.

  • Mar 10th, 2021 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Danger is not in the best, but in surveillance quality.

    Anyone could easily be framed with just a bit of supporting evidence / testimony to blurry video. Do-able NOW with off-the-shelf software.

    I think this could be a real problem, possibly sooner rather than later. Combine it with juries willing to believe BS "forensic evidence" like this and a corrupt, authoritarian government that is quite willing to present such "evidence" to discredit and imprison any opposition, and you have the makings for a distopian nightmare.

  • Mar 10th, 2021 @ 12:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    You just don't pass unconstitutional bills.

    This would basically put the US Congress and all state legislatures out of business.

  • Mar 10th, 2021 @ 8:57am


    It is not different at all, because the U.S. government is an authoritarian regime. Just because many people have not realized that does not mean it is not the case.

  • Mar 10th, 2021 @ 5:09am

    Re: A good start, now the follow up...

    reversing any conviction where their testimony or 'evidence' had any notable impact at all

    After that's done a pile of perjury charges would seem to be entirely fitting, followed by whatever charge(and there damn well better be one) would fit 'very nearly got multiple people killed due to gross negligence if not malicious indifference.'

    Unfortunately, this kind of thing almost never happens.

    What actually happens is that each and every one of the victims of Hayne and West will have to fight individually for their innocence to be recognized. Most will not succeed.

    Balko's excellent reporting has brought Hayne and West out of the shadows, but there are many more like them still selling their snake oil to juries and getting innocent people convicted.

    Most people like Hayne and West, even if they are exposed for the frauds they are, will be allowed to simply retire on their ill-gotten gains and quietly fade away, often while new shills for the law enforcement / prison / industrial complex take their places.

  • Mar 10th, 2021 @ 4:51am

    Re: How is this remotely constitutional?

    Of course this should have been "dead on first amendment grounds" before Andrea Sahouri was

    hit with a tear gas canister, pepper sprayed, and arrested

    While this was all abhorrent, and should never have been done in the first place to any peaceful protester, journalist or not, for a journalist it may at least eventually count as a sort of badge of honor, and may even wind up being a positive notation on a resume.

    For many (probably most) other people, this kind of unwarranted, abusive treatment could easily have other, far reaching and far more destructive, results: possible loss of employment, possible ostracization by friends and family, possible bankruptcy defending oneself against the charges, etc. These "side effects" can be incredibly damaging, both in the short and long terms, for the victim.

    Having the charges dropped, which probably will happen, but only after the damage has been done, is small consolation to someone who may now be standing, very much alone, in line at a soup kitchen.

    Getting a financial settlement will almost certainly not happen. Even if it does, it will be years after the fact, again, after the damage has been done.

    The concept of "Justice delayed is justice denied" certainly applies here, and in all similar cases. In order for justice to truly not be denied, Andrea Sahouri should have never been "hit with a tear gas canister, pepper sprayed, and arrested" to begin with.

  • Mar 9th, 2021 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Maced if you do, bludgeoned if you don't

    It might be a stretch to say there's been a concerted effort by law enforcement to target journalists during these protests.

    The quote just a short bit above would seem to suggest otherwise:

    The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented an alarming increase in arrests and detainment of journalists in 2020: at least 126, compared to nine in all of 2019. Most of them, like Sahouri’s, happened at protests as Americans took to the streets to demand change from their government, after the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of police, and preceding and following the tumultuous November election.

    To those in positions of power who would really prefer it if their narrative was the only one available an outside observer is very much a threat, and they seem to be reacting accordingly.

    This^. During these protests in particular, and especially during the Trump administration / rule, it could be reasonably argued that not wearing obvious press credentials was a self-defense measure, to avoid being specifically targeted by the government enforcers as "an enemy of the state."

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