» Cleveland police officer Luis Rivera gets caught trolling Copblock during work hours from IP belonging to city court system.


Anonymity on the internet continues to be a thing of the past after a Cleveland cop was exposed as most likely being the same person leaving hate-filled comments to a writer of Cop Block then following it up with a hate-filled email.

While the comments are not threatening, therefore not illegal, they can easily become grounds for termination under the conduct unbecoming of an officer policy, which is enforced every once in a while.

Especially if it is determined that Cleveland police officer Luis M. Rivera made those comments while on duty.

Davy Vara, the recipient of the comments, has already been in contact with the Cleveland Police Department, who confirmed that Rivera works the graveyard shift from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The initial comment regarding the suicide of Vara’s father was left at 1:12 a.m.

The woman who took Vara’s call today recommended he call Rivera’s commander as well as Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath on Monday, which Vara plans to do.

It started on November 14 when a commenter named BuckNut left a comment on an article Vara wrote on Cop Block stating the following:

Vara, whose father killed himself in 1993, has frequently posted that his heart has never healed from the suicide and that it is the driving force behind his activism as he explains on his blogtoday.

The comment wasn’t too hard to trace. All it took was plugging in the commenter’s email address, buckeyes838@yahoo.com, into Facebook’s search engine, which lead to a man named Luis M. Rivera, who describes himself as a “Garbage Collector” for the City of Cleveland, a man with a plethora of friends who happen to be police officers.

And a quick search on his IP address,, was traced to  “City of Cleveland Municipal Courts.”

Once Vara found Rivera’s Facebook page, he sent him a message in Spanish stating, “eres un cabron,” which is essentially calling him an asshole even though the word translates to goat.

Within minutes, Vara received an email from somebody using an anonymous proxy server stating the following:

The First Amendment protects us all, including police officers, but it does not protect us from being exposed for making anonymous offensive comments on the internet.

And it does not protect us from losing our jobs either…
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Will The Police Protect You?


Wendy McElroy

For years, I have declared a preference for taking my chances with criminals rather than with the police.

Criminals usually want my property, not to control my life or to cage me like an animal. With criminals, I can pull a gun in self-defense. Until lately, however, the average person has scowled my way whenever I voiced that preference.

The situation is changing. A tipping point in the public attitude toward law enforcement is under way… finally! A significant number of people have realized that America is either currently a police state or it is teetering on the crumbling edge to one.

Part of the sea change comes from the deliberate militarization of police departments, where tanks, drones, and SWAT teams have become standard. A military-style training, in which civilians are viewed as combatants, has deepened the antagonism of the police toward the public so that violent incidents are commonplace. Many police officers no longer bother to disguise their savagery.

Police at the University of California, Davis who pepper-sprayed peaceful, seated Occupy protesters a year ago come to mind. Why should they be subtle? Their anti-terrorism mandate has erased the restraints of civil liberties.

Meanwhile, there is no oversight. The police define their own rules of conduct, police departments investigate their own misdeeds behind closed doors, and district attorneys and police unions aggressively shield the criminal acts of cops. Victims who complain are often charged with elastic crimes, such as “obstructing law enforcement,” which are later dropped in exchange for their silence.

Part of the sea change also comes from the increased use of law enforcement against children in public schools. Last May, New Mexico police officer Chris Webb was visiting a school for career day when he asked a group of young boys to wash his police car. A 10-year-old refused. According to an ensuing lawsuit against Webb and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, the officer told the youngster, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” Webb then used a Taser on him, sending 50,000 volts of electricity into the 100-pound boy’s chest. He lost consciousness. Instead of seeking medical care, however, Webb merely carried him into the principal’s office. The officer claims it was all an accident and points to his punishment — a three-day suspension — as proof the police department believes him.

The incident is not isolated. Last month, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against a Mississippi school district that arrests students, handcuffs them, and ships them off to youth court for minor infractions like breaking the dress code.

Among the defendants are judges of the county’s youth court and the Mississippi Division of Youth Services. They are accused of violating the children’s constitutional rights through such practices as incarcerating them for days without a probable cause hearing.

The backlash goes on and on. The raw money grabs being made by police in the name of civil forfeiture have also sparked fury. Under civil forfeiture, property that was involved in a crime can be confiscated and sold by police departments. It doesn’t matter if the victims of the forfeiture have committed no crime or have never been charged with one.

On Nov. 5, for example, a pivotal civil forfeiture case commenced in Boston. Over a 20-year period, a handful of drug crimes were committed in a motel owned by Russ Caswell and his wife; the “crime scenes” represented about 0.05% of their total rentals. Nevertheless, the federal government and the local police department are attempting to take the Caswells’ $1 million motel and split the proceeds. Ironically, the money grab arose because the Caswells themselves reported suspicious activity.

These and other factors, including the rise of YouTube videos that capture police brutality, contribute to the discomfort with which average people are beginning to view the police.

The importance of this change cannot be overstated.

Years ago, I interviewed several dozen sex workers and surveyed about 200 more for the purpose of writing a book about the realities of the “profession.” The women expressed one political attitude over and over: They did not trust the police, the courts, or any aspect of law enforcement. They recognized the legal system for what it is — an enemy. From visceral experience, the women knew law enforcement as a corrupt system that brutalizes harmless people and criminalizes peaceful acts.

Their attitude was refreshing. The single greatest obstacle over which I used to stumble in arguing for fundamental legal change was the inculcated belief that the police were there “to serve and protect.”

I argued in vain that the police have no duty whatsoever to protect people from criminals; that’s not their job description. The courts have been clear on this point for over a century. In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court (South v. Maryland) found that law enforcement officers had no responsibility to protect anyone. Their duty was to enforce the law in general. More recently, in 1982 (Bowers v. DeVito), the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals held that “there is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.” Later court decisions concur.

Police vehicles often sport slogans like “Proud to serve!” If they aren’t there to protect you, the question becomes who are they serving? The courts have answered: Police departments exist to enforce the law. The police serve the government, not the people. They uphold the law with total disregard for whether their actions create or prevent violence. If government decides that certain forms of consent between adults must not be tolerated, then the police will draw their guns and barge into otherwise peaceful situations. To uphold an unjust law, they will create violence and victims.

To understand the reality that the police are not there for you is an extremely valuable piece of information. If you are depending on them to protect you, to guard you against real crime, to stop intruders or muggers and to prosecute after the fact, you have been sorely misled.

Every citizen who wants to be free must prepare for his or her own defense against violence. The market is there to assist with security services, alarm systems, property monitoring devices, ever more sophisticated locks, and, of course, guns of all sorts. In the end, we are responsible for our own security. The state will not come to your rescue. On the contrary, it is the market that provides the means by which we are rescued from the state.

Wendy McElroy is Author, lecturer, and freelance writer, and a senior associate of the Laissez Faire Club.


It’s a shame it tooks the recent bouts of violence from cops to bring attention to an issue blacks have been struggling with for decades

(Source: newstome1)


Heavily Armed Cop (M-16s) at New York Comic Con Violates Rights to Photo in Public

Why were they there in the first place?! HD
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» Wrong-Door SWAT Raid results in first- and second-degree burns on 12-year-old girl


The child was asleep in her upstairs bedroom when a stranger lobbed an incendiary grenade into her home at about 6:00 a.m. October 9. Within seconds the 12-year-old girl had suffered first- and second-degree burns. Her father, who had been awakened by an insistent pounding on the front door, arrived in the living room just in time to see a wolf pack of armed intruders break it down. He dodged another grenade that “blew the nails out of the drywall” and left a “large bowl-shaped dent in the wall,” the father later recalled.

This act of state terrorism was carried out by a SWAT team attached to the City-County Special Investigations Unit (CCIU) in Billings, Montana. The CCIU is typical of the federalized einsatzgruppen engaged in the Regime’s “war on drugs.” Billings Police Chief Rich St. John insists that the assault on the home was carried out because of “hard evidence” that a meth lab existed on the premises. This is why the stormtroopers blindly hurled incendiary rounds into the residence. …

No arrests were made, and no charges were filed. Jackie Fasching, mother of the injured child, correctly points out that criminal charges should be filed against the state-employed thugs who attacked her sleeping daughter.

“I would like to see whoever threw those grenades in my daughter’s room be reprimanded,” Fasching told the Billings Gazette. “If anybody else did that it would be aggravated assault.” …

In every sense, such force was wholly unnecessary:

Fasching also told the paper that the officers didn’t need to burn her daughter, or destroy her house, to conduct their investigation: 

“A simple knock on the door and I would’ve let them in,” she said. “They said their intel told them there was a meth lab at our house. If they would’ve checked, they would’ve known there’s not.”

Mr. Fasching, the report says, attempted to open the door seconds before SWAT officers battered it down. After the raid was over, no charges were filed and no arrests were made. Taken together, this information suggests that the Billings Police Department made several mistakes, ranging from burning a child to raiding the wrong house. 

It’s what they do:

SWAT operators were deployed to arrest a homicide suspect who wasn’t present in that unit of the duplex, and who could have been arrested the following morning in a conventional, low-key fashion. It went forward despite warnings from neighbors that children were present in the home – something that should have been obvious on account of the toys scattered in the front yard. Nevertheless, the paramilitary unit chose a Fallujah-style “dynamic entry,” hurling a flash-bang grenade through a closed window and storming through the front door with guns drawn. …

Somehow, it was decided that the Fasching home – which was occupied by a family that included two young children and a father suffering from heart disease and liver failure – posed a sufficient threat to the CCIU’s intrepid armored badasses that a full-scale, pre-dawn raid was justified. …

That the youngster survived the raid could be considered a species of miracle. She could easily have been murdered in her sleep, just like 7-year-old Detroit resident Aiyana Jones. Aiyana was burned by a flash-bang grenade and then shot in the head by a SWAT team staging a midnight raid for the benefits of a camera crew from the A&E cable network. …

The murder of Aiyana Jones, like the terrorist assault in Billings, is a product of the mindset described by Gabe Suarez, who spent 12 years as a police officer in Santa Monica: “When I was on [the] SWAT [team] our view [was] that ‘We will always win….even if we have to burn down your entire house by bombing it….we will win’.”

Never forget: Police are trained to see Mundanes not as citizens whose rights must be protected, but rather as a threat to be subdued and an enemy to be conquered.

I’m sure someone will pay for this - by taking two weeks probation with pay.

» Two Texan police officers are being sued for using a Taser to shock a man who was having a seizure, causing the 50-year-old to suffer a heart attack and permanent brain damage.


Scott Sheeley filed a federal complaint last week in Austin, TX, requesting a jury trial against two police officer who shocked him with a Taser. In May, Sheeley unsuccessfully asked for a settlement of at least $1.5 million to cover the costs of medical fees, attorneys and emotional damages.

The case involves a police response to a 911 phone call last November. Police responded to a request for medical assistance for Sheeley, who was suffering a seizure at his home in Austin. When officers Chard Norman and Kevin Sederquest arrived at the man’s house, they allegedly used violence to restrict him from movement, constrained his ability to breathe and repeatedly shocked him with a Taser gun.

The officers controlled the man by “pushing a knee on his back while he was in handcuffs, causing his head to be pressed against the back cushion of the chair, all while he was still convulsing,” the brother of the victim, Dustin Sheeley wrote in a complaint against the state.

Police continued to Taser the man, even after the brother told them not to, and even after the convulsing man was handcuffed. The 50-year-old was left with wounds on his shoulder, back and under his left armpit.

When paramedics arrived, Sheeley was injected with Haldol and Ativan – drugs which are used to control psychotic disorders and anxiety and which can also cause seizures and sudden death, the plaintiff said. The victim then had a heart attack.

“As a result of being improperly restrained, in particular after concurrently having received Ativan and Haldol, the plaintiff suffered respiratory arrest and ceased breathing… As a result of the respiratory arrest, plaintiff suffered cardiac arrest,” reads the formal complaint against the officers.

It took paramedics 11 minutes to revive the man and bring back his pulse.

Sheeley says he suffers and continues to suffer from respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, loss of heartbeat, loss of oxygen, Taser wounds to the torso, abrasions to knees and elbows, brain injury, loss of vision, headaches, broken ribs, physical pain, continued seizure and severe emotional anguish.

The man claims the police violated his Constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

“Mr. Sheely’s injuries were severe and impact him daily,” defense attorney Leslie Lienemann wrote in the complaint. “He is still receiving medical care for a number of medical symptoms and will continue to do so.”


» Four officers were charged with crimes as a result of conducting illegal rectal searches for drugs on the street, according to a criminal complaint.


Four Milwaukee police officers were charged Tuesday with felonies related to illegal rectal searches of suspects on the street and in police district stations over the past two years.

In one case, an officer held a gun to a man’s head as two others held his arms and a third put him in a choke hold while jamming a hand into his anus, purportedly searching for evidence, according to the criminal complaint. Another man bled from his rectum for several days after his encounter with police, the complaint says.

The complaint lays out in graphic detail how the primary suspect, Officer Michael Vagnini, conducted searches of men’s anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his fingers into their rectums. Vagnini acknowledged performing one of the searches. At least one suspect said Vagnini planted drugs on him.

State law and police procedures prohibit officers from conducting cavity searches. Only medical personnel are allowed to perform them, and police must first obtain a search warrant.

The charges are the latest blow to Chief Edward Flynn and his department, already under fire over the in-custody death of Derek Williams, detaining the mother of a slain boy and reporting inaccurate crime statistics to the FBI and the public.

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» A 61-year-old Tennessee man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house.


Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.

The two officers, 25-year-old Kyle Shedran and 24-year-old Greg Day, were placed on administrative leave with pay.

“They need to get rid of those men, boys with toys,” said Adams’ 70-year-old widow, Loraine.

John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police.

“I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,” she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday’s funeral.

Resident Fired First

Police say her husband fired first with a sawed-off shotgun and they responded. He was shot at least three times and died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Loraine Adams said she was handcuffed and thrown to her knees in another room when the shooting began.

“I said, ‘Y’all have got the wrong person, you’ve got the wrong place. What are you looking for?“‘

“We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made,” Lebanon Police Chief Billy Weeks said. “It’s a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again.” He said, however, the two policemen were not at fault.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating. NAACP officials said they are monitoring the case. Adams was black. The two policemen are white.

Family members did not consider race a factor and Weeks agreed, but said the shooting will be “a major setback” for police relations with the black community.

“We know that, we hope to do everything we can to heal it,” Weeks said.

Johnny Crudup, a local NAACP official, said the organization wanted to make sure and would investigate on its own.

Weeks said he has turned the search warrant and all other evidence over to the bureau of investigation and District Attorney General Tommy Thompson. A command officer must now review all search warrants.

First, this is what happens in a drug war. Surely there are better ways to go about this without bursting into someone’s home unannounced, scaring them so bad that they instinctively reach for their only means of protection (guns), and get themselves killed because the cops broke into the wrong home. This is a meaningless death!

These people have every right to defend themselves and their property and that right is being infringed with police behavior like this.

Since the cops broke into the wrong house, they are the one’s who should have been shot in the altercation. There is no justification for breaking into someone’s home for drugs, regardless if it’s the right house or not.

If you’re going to arrest people, how about you wait until they come outside and grab them while they’re more likely to be unarmed?

All of these cops are complicit and morally responsible for the death of this man and for ruining what’s left of his wife’s life. Now she will probably sulk in sadness and depression for the remainder of her life. Thank you police state!

» Maryland Cop Shoots Fleeing, Handcuffed Suspect in the Back


A District Heights police sergeant shot a handcuffed suspect in the back Thursday afternoon, inflicting a serious wound as the man tried to flee, according to authorities, law enforcement officials and family members.

Calvin Kyle, 26, had been pulled over, handcuffed and put in a police cruiser after he was seen riding a stolen motorcycle near County Road and Marlboro Pike in District Heights, law enforcement officials said. But as District Heights Police Sgt. Johnnie Riley attended to other matters, Kyle got out of the cruiser and began to run, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

That’s when Riley shot Kyle in the back, the officials said.

Because chasing down a man with his hands cuffed behind his back is just too easy. Instead, make it easier by escalating the situation and attempt to kill him.

» Getting shot and killed by the police is the price we pay to be protected by the police? I respectfully disagree.


The Utah Shooting Sports Council board decries the violence perpetrated by killer Jeff Johnson at the Empire State Building on Aug. 24, and we applaud the courage of the police officers who stopped this killer.

Yet the injury of nine civilians by police bullets is unacceptable. That atrocious count could have been reduced or eliminated had the New York Police Department supplied better initial training to its officers and reinforced it on a regular basis.

Admittedly, Monday-morning quarterbacking is easier than dealing with the pressure of a real-life situation. But close evaluation is needed in this and other shootings because public safety is at risk. Law enforcement must look at what worked and what didn’t, and then make appropriate changes.

Many are defending the cops on this shooting, and certainly some of what they did warrants defense. On the other hand, they shot nine times more innocent people than the assailant did. And any one of those rounds could have been fatal. Already, one victim has filed a claim against the city.

Of the 16 rounds fired by the two officers, three were recovered from the assailant’s body and four passed through it — better than NYPD’s average hit ratio, but not great. According to a 2008 Rand Corporation report, about 70 percent of police-fired rounds in that city go somewhere other than expected, sometimes into buildings, cars or (in this case) innocent bystanders a block or more away.

That’s a terrible hit rate compared to other departments. Depending on the report you look at, NYPD has a department-wide hit ratio of around 10-20 percent.

By comparison, the Los Angeles Police Department reported a 36.47 percent hit ratio for 2008, and that number jumps to nearly 50 percent if you exclude shootings with more than 30 rounds fired.

But even the LAPD hit rate isn’t particularly impressive. I’ve seen reports from some departments that have focused on modernizing their firearms training programs with hit rates in the 75-80 percent range.

The officers at the Empire State Building simply engaged beyond their training level, and people got hurt. And the buck must stop with the top brass.

Read More

My belief on this is pretty straight forward: As a cop, if you can’t hit 90%, you don’t get a gun. End of discussion.

» Henry, Tenn. institutes K9 program as revenue generator. Police chief says they can use it at every traffic stop for probable cause when drivers refuse a search. More arrests means more asset forfeitures.


A reader sends this story about a drug dog as a revenue raiser. The local PD wants to use a drug dog in every traffic stop. WMUF Radio: Henry Board approves K9 program, part time help for office:

Henry, Tenn.- At the Henry Mayor and Board of Alderman meeting on Tuesday, board members decided to allow police chief David Andrews to institute a K9 program for the Henry Police Department.

Andrews told board members that the city is missing out on possible revenues that a K9 would bring. He said when you make traffic stops and the driver refuses to allow a search, their hands are tied. If a drug dog alerts on a vehicle, its gives officers probable cause to search a vehicle for drugs or illegal proceeds from drugs. More drug arrests and drug, cash, and vehicle seizures lead to more revenues coming in for the police department and city.

So, the City states that they will detain every motorist for a drug dog check without any suspicion other than refusing to consent to a search, which the Police Chief equates with wrongdoing. In those states recognizing de minimus detentions within a detention, the people are being subjected to additional seizures without any cause other than asserting a constitutional right to refuse a warrantless search.


Outside Anaheim Police Department today. You might remember these officers from earlier in the week when they fired rubber bullets and released an attack dog on a protesting crowd (and then tried to buy evidence off the victims).
“Dress cops up as soldiers, give them military equipment, train them in military tactics, tell them they’re fighting a “war,” and the consequences are predictable.” — Radley Balko
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Imagine You’re The Parent



Imagine you are the mother and/or father of two daughters, 14 and 11.  You live in a trailer.  You are not rich, but you do the best you can for your kids.  You keep a roof over their heads, and try to keep them from going hungry, and keep them out of trouble.

Now imagine the following occurs:

On the morning of January 20, 2007, Plaintiffs Thomas and Rosalie Avina and their daughters were asleep in their mobile home. At approximately 7:00 a.m., DEA Agents approached the front door of the home. The agents banged loudly on the front door and yelled “police.” They waited briefly and then used a battering ram to break through the front door. The agents then entered the Avinas’ home with their guns drawn.  Upon entering the Avina home, the agents first encountered Thomas and Rosalie Avina. Thomas was standing in an area between the living room and his bedroom, and Rosalie was lying on a couch in the living room. One of the agents approached Thomas and told Thomas to  “get down on the [fuck]ing ground.” Thomas told the agent that he was “making a mistake.” After hearing Thomas’s response, another agent “forcefully pushed” Thomas to the ground, pointed his gun at Thomas’s face, and told Thomas, “Don’t you [fuck]ing move.” Both Thomas and Rosalie were placed in handcuffs.  When Rosalie noticed agents approach the rooms of her daughters, Rosalie screamed at the agents,  “Don’t hurt my babies. Don’t hurt my babies.”

You then watch these men with guns charge into your 14-year old daughter’s bedroom, scream at her to “get down on the fucking ground” and they handcuff her.  They then proceed to do the same to your 11-year old, who at first disobeys the cops because she’s fucking terrified:

At the time of the search, eleven-year-old B.S.A. was asleep in her room. Agents entered B.S.A.’s room with their guns drawn. The agents yelled at B.S.A. to “[g]et down on the f[uck]ing ground.” B.S.A. initially refused to get down on the ground because she was  “frozen in fear.” The agents then pulled eleven-year-old B.S.A. to the ground and handcuffed her. After the agents handcuffed B.S.A., the agents pointed their guns at eleven-year-old B.S.A.’s head  “like they were going to shoot [her].” The agents then picked up B.S.A. and moved her to B.F.A.’s room. 

And now the big finish:

Sometime later, agents moved B.S.A. and B.F.A. into the living room, with their hands still cuffed behind their backs. At this point, eleven-year-old B.S.A. began to cry because she could not find her father. At some point, B.S.A. noticed her father lying on the floor. According to B.S.A., the agents unhandcuffed her about thirty minutes after they first entered her bedroom. 


The agents searched the Avina home for approximately two hours. At approximately 9:00 a.m., agents left the Avina home.

But wait!  There’s a punchline to the whole ordeal.  It’s hilarious, really:

On January 19, 2007, DEA Agents obtained a search warrant for the mobile home located at 1601 Drew Road, space #14, in Seeley, California. At the time the warrant was issued, DEA Agents believed that a vehicle belonging to suspected drug trafficker Luis Alvarez was registered at the Avina residence. After executing the search warrant on January 20, 2007, the agents discovered they had inadvertently written down a license number of a vehicle belonging to Thomas Avina instead of a vehicle belonging to Luis Alvarez.

Yet another example of Scalia’s “New Professionalism” in action.

If someone hits you with their vehicle while you’re crossing the street, they are liable, whether directly or through their insurance company, for paying your medical bills.  If during your stay in the hospital afterwards, a doctor makes a mistake and writes the wrong number on a prescription for pain medication, and you get hurt as a result of their mistake, they are liable to you for medical malpractice.  If during settlement negotiations, your lawyer screws up and writes the wrong number in a settlement agreement, they are liable to you for legal malpractice.

But if a DEA agent storms into the wrong house, pushes you on the ground, points guns at your children, and traumatizes your family by invading the sanctity of your home in the most violent way possible, you have all your work ahead of your to hold them accountable.  Even if they admit they screwed up.  Even if they admit they had the wrong house.  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter that the police made a horrible mistake.  It doesn’t matter that you are undeniably a victim.  It doesn’t matter that you got roughed up, or that your children were forced to grow up early after having assault rifles pointed at their face, and being man-handled at a young age by heavily armed and armored Drug Enforcement Agents.

No.  All that matters is we get these drugs off the streets.

Because we need to protect our children.  From the drugs.

This case, in its own way, was a small victory.  The Ninth Circuit reversed the federal district court’s order granting the DEA’s motion for summary judgment, in which the district court judge found that the force used against the children in this case was constitutionally “reasonable.”  But the Ninth Circuit did not rule in favor of the Avinas.  They simply said that they have a right to have their day in court.  

That’s what it takes to get justice when law enforcement officials make a mistake.  Only after paying what likely amounted to thousands of dollars in legal fees required to investigate, research, search for expert witnesses, curate evidence, and develop a trial strategy that will convince a panel of jurors that innocent people deserve to be compensated when law enforcement officials raid the wrong house, rough up innocent people, and point guns at your 14 and 11-year old daughters’s heads.  And then, only after having your case dismissed on summary judgment, and appealing to the intermediate court, do you maybe get a shot at accountability.  You’ve got to fight your ass off for every inch of ground you get in court.  And even if you manage to get through the courthouse doors, you’ve still got all your work ahead of you at trial.

It shouldn’t be this hard.  But it usually is.  And given the current make-up of the Supreme Court, it’s not likely to get better anytime soon.

Considering these girls are about the same age difference as my two daughters, I have an initial response rife with monosyllabic wording that is wholly unfit for the typical decorum of this blog.

Suffice to say that merely hoping that the specific individuals in power improve, or are replaced with better ones, is not enough. The masses must come to the realization that this sort of injustice will persist so long as they continue to lend legitimacy to the entire malfeasant system by allowing it to claim sovereignty over any peaceful individual.

» Breaking doors and the Constitution


D.C. cops without a search warrant ransack veteran’s home in gun hunt

While Army 1st Sgt. Matthew Corrigan slept inside his Northwest Washington home, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) response teams were gathering outside. Dozens of SWAT and explosive-ordnance-disposal officers spent hours preparing a full-scale invasion of the residence in the middle of the snowstorm of the century. It was not an operation to protect the public from a terrorist or to stop a crime in progress. It was to rouse a sleeping man over a secondhand report that he might have an unregistered gun.

» Help EFF Find Out How Your Local Police Agency is Using Drones


ince last month, when EFF released a list of the sixty-odd public agencies that have already received from the FAA approval to fly domestic drones, the issue of drone surveillance has reached front and center in many Americans’ mind.  Yet barely any information is known about what law enforcement agencies plan to do with these unmanned flying vehicles. So we want your help to gather this information into one place.

The groups listed by the FAA included about two dozen local police agencies, but we expect this number to grow rapidly in the coming weeks and months. In February, Congress passed a bill mandating the FAA authorize drones to public agencies if they can prove they can fly them safely. More recently, the Department of Homeland Security, which was already handing out grants to local law enforcement agencies, announced a program to further “facilitate and accelerate the adoption” of drones by local police agencies. In addition, last month the FAA announced it had established new (though undisclosed) procedures to allow more law enforcement agencies quicker access to fly drones.

As the Huffington Post reported:

The $4 million Air-based Technologies Program, which will test and evaluate small, unmanned aircraft systems, is designed to be a “middleman” between drone manufacturers and first-responder agencies “before they jump into the pool,” said John Appleby, a manager in the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s division of borders and maritime security.

This is, or will become, a controversy all over the United States. From Seattle to Miami, Tennessee to Atlanta, and everywhere in between, local towns will soon grapple over the privacy dangers drones will create.

As we have explained before, the capabilities of drones are almost unprecedented in scope:

Drones are capable of highly advanced and almost constant surveillance, and they can amass large amounts of data. They carry various types of equipment including live-feed video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. Some newer drones carry super high resolution “gigapixel” cameras that can “track people and vehicles from altitudes above 20,000 feet[,] … [can] monitor up to 65 enemies of the State simultaneously[, and] … can see targets from almost 25 miles down range.” Predator drones can eavesdrop on electronic transmissions, and one drone unveiled at DEFCON last year can crack Wi-Fi networks and intercept text messages and cell phone conversations—without the knowledge or help of either the communications provider or the customer. Drones are also designed to carry weapons, and some have suggested that drones carrying weapons such as tasers and bean bag guns could be used domestically.

Given Congress’ inaction on privacy issues, and the fact that the FAA has never regulated privacy issues, we believe activism at the local level is the best way to stop drone surveillance.

What you can do

The FAA has so far not released any information on which model of drone or how many drones each public entity flies. We also don’t have much information on the type of data these drones will collect. So we need to find this information out.

We’ve made a simple form for the questions we want these police agencies to answer. We need you to call your local police department and ask them these questions. Check your local police department’s website for the “Public Inquiries” or “Community Relations” contact, and call or e-mail them these questions. Make sure to let us know your Twitter handle if you’d like us to tweet you a thank you from the @EFF Twitter feed.

Our list of drone certificates includes police departments that we already know have a drone authorization from the FAA.

This is just the first step. Once we’ve collected the data, we will release it and tell you how you can contact your local municipal government to demand that they ban law enforcement drones or install robust privacy safeguards that will protect citizens from unwanted—and unconstitutional—surveillance.

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