April 13, 2012
End The Lie
By Madison Ruppert
“If the police weren’t doing something wrong, why would they care if you filmed them?” -KTRN
Professional photojournalist Philip Datz has had a long and tumultuous history with the Suffolk County Police Department and finally Datz has moved to file a lawsuit against the County of Suffolk and Sergeant Michael Milton in the United States District Court, Eastern District, New York.
This is part of a much larger and thoroughly troubling trend of Americans being beaten, arrested and harassed for exercising their right to legally film police, which is just part of the growing American police state and the general erosion of our most essential liberties.
The lawsuit surrounds an incident on July 29, 2011, which was caught on film and has gained a considerable amount of notoriety for the clearly absurd actions of Sergeant Milton.
Watch the events below:
Jason Russell Co-Founder Of Invisible Children, ‘Kony 2012′ Reportedly Detained In San Diego For Lewd Acts
March 16, 2012
“These are the kinds of people behind Invisible Children. The statement from the group is ludicrous. The real question is why aren’t officers going to press charges?” –KTRN
Jason Russell Arrested
NBC San Diego is reporting that Jason Russell, the co-founder of Invisible Children, the advocacy group behind the “Kony 2012″ viral video, was detained at 11:30 am on Thursday morning for allegedly masturbating in public.
TMZ reported Friday afternoon that law enforcement officials don’t plan to bring charges against Russell.
According to TMZ, Russell was allegedly under the influence of alcohol. Police also told TMZ that he was vandalizing cars.
Scroll down for video of alleged incident. WARNING: Video provided by TMZ contains nudity.
In a statement posted online, Ben Keesey, the CEO of Invisible Children, said: “The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue.”
Scroll down for Keesey’s full statement.
Russell created the 30-minute film featuring himself, his son, Gavin, and a former child soldier from Uganda named Jacob. Last week, the film received millions of views and rocketed Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, to fame. However, many were quick to respond with criticisms of the film and the organization’s spending practices.
Jason Russell is described on the organization’s website as a “grand storyteller and dreamer” who dreams of “redefining the concept of humanitarian work” and having “nine more children” with his wife.
A phone call to the San Diego Police Department department had not been returned at the time of publication, and the phone line at Invisible Children was not operating.
“Kony 2012″ has received nearly 100 million views on Vimeo and YouTube.
October 20, 2011
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By David Ibata
Atlanta police are launching an internal investigation into the case of a woman who was arrested by mistake and held in jail for nearly two months, Channel 2 Action News reports.
Police are seeking to determine what happened and if any policies or procedures were violated in the arrest of Teresa Culpepper, who spent 53 days wrongfully incarcerated in Fulton County Jail because she had the same name, Teresa, as a woman wanted by authorities.
“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get out this situation,” Culpepper told Channel 2.
The woman’s nightmare began Aug. 21, when she called police to report her truck had been taken from in front of her Hawkins Street home. She ended up being arrested for an aggravated assault allegedly committed by another woman named Teresa.
“Her birth date didn’t match. Her address didn’t match. Her description didn’t match. Other than the name Teresa, nothing matched,” said Culpepper’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant.
Channel 2 tracked down the Teresa actually wanted by police, and the woman told the TV station she had never been arrested for the alleged offense.
Culpepper finally was released Oct. 12 after her public defender got the crime victim to come to court and say the woman in custody was not the attacker.
“I was like real rejoiceful, glad and happy that it came to an end and that somebody was out there, out there trying to help me,” Culpepper said.
Ashleigh said the city now must either settle with her client or face legal action.
July 18th, 2011
By: Vikram Dodd and Juliette Garside
Rebekah Brooks has been arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World and allegations that police officers were bribed to leak sensitive information.
The Metropolitan police said a 43-year-old woman was arrested at noon on Sunday, by appointment at a London police station.
Brooks, 43, resigned on Friday as News International’s chief executive. She is a former News of the World editor and was close to Rupert Murdoch and the prime minister, David Cameron.
A spokesman for Brooks said she did not know she was going to be arrested when she handed in her resignation.
Brooks was taken into custody at midday on Sunday, after agreeing to attend a London police station for questioning. Her spokesman, Bell Pottinger chairman David Wilson, said she did not know she was to meet with police until late on Friday, and that she did not know the appointment would result in her arrest.
The News International chief executive announced her immediate departure from the company on Friday morning. She had agreed to give evidence this coming Tuesday to the culture select committee’s inquiry into allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World.
Her lawyers are currently in discussion with the committee about whether she should attend. Wilson said: “It’s left Rebekah in a very difficult position and has left the committee in a very difficult position”.
An arrest by appointment on a Sunday by police is unusual.
In a statement the Met said: “The MPS [Metropolitan police service] has this afternoon, Sunday 17 July, arrested a female in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking.
“At approximately 12.00 a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station by officers from Operation Weeting [phone hacking investigation] together with officers from Operation Elveden [bribing of police officers investigation]. She is currently in custody.
“She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to Section1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977 and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.
“The Operation Weeting team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking.
“Operation Elveden is the investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police. This investigation is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
“It would be inappropriate to discuss any further details regarding these cases at this time.”
July 18th, 2011
The New Yorker
By: Ken Auletta
For nearly two weeks, Rupert Murdoch and his people have claimed that the newspaper scandal in London was caused by a few rotten apples. Now that a very large apple, Rebekah Brooks, has been arrested, it is clear that it is the entire barrel that is rotten. Since many editors had to have known of the illegal hacking, and many people on the business side would have had to sign off on large, illegal payments to the police for information, more apples will drop in coming days. And not only at News Corp.: Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, resigned Sunday. The best public-relations advice in the world will not help contain what is, for Murdoch, a spreading contagion that is no longer confined to London.
In the United Kingdom, Murdoch and his son James will have to tell a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday what they knew and when they knew it. More than that, they will have to try to rescue their company from multiple government onslaughts and criminal investigations from members of Parliament who think they must impose curbs on News Corp.’s ownership of newspapers and television and sports in England, and from shareholders who claim they have been cheated.
In the United States, News Corp., as an American company, will, among other things, have to explain why it has not violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it unlawful to pay bribes to government officials overseas—a proscription that includes the London police; whether the New York Post (or any of the company’s British newspapers) hacked into the mail or phone calls of celebrities in this country or of the families of 9/11 victims; and why their unethical behavior does not disqualify them under F.C.C. rules that require that those who license TV stations must be of solid moral character. Les Hinton, the head of Dow Jones and one of Murdoch’s senior executives in this country, has already resigned. (I wrote about Hinton’s departure on Friday.)
Murdoch’s influence with government officials here and abroad will not help him escape this time. In the current environment, will politicians, even those who courted him in the past, want be seen at his side, or risk their careers to come to his aid? The dam has sprung multiple leaks, and Rupert Murdoch doesn’t have enough fingers to stop the gushing water.
June 22nd, 2011
By: Kase Wickman
Often, crimes are borne of desperation. However, most robberies aren’t motivated by a desperate need for health care.
James Richard Verone, of Georgia, attempted to steal one dollar from a bank so that he would be arrested, taken to jail and — most importantly — provided with health care, the Gaston Gazette reported.
Verone worked for Coca-Cola for 17 years, but lost that job three years ago. Now 59 years old, Verone can’t handle the physical demands of the part-time jobs, like working in a convenience store, that he has successfully been hired for. Hence, he has no health care.
“The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he told the Gazette. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”
He had no criminal record prior to the planned robbery June 9, either. On that day, he walked into a bank, handed the teller a note demanding a dollar, then sat and waited calmly for the police to arrive and arrest him.
Verone has problems with his back, an aching left foot, arthritic hands, carpal tunnel syndrome, and an undiagnosed protrusion on his chest. He’s hoping to be examined and treated, and serve enough time that when he is released, he will be able to collect Social Security benefits. Verone is banking on a lengthy stay: Before he robbed the bank, he sold his furniture and moved out of his apartment.
Verone plans to represent himself in court during his hearing for his crime, larceny from a person (because the amount he demanded was so small, he was not charged with bank robbery). If he is released, or if his sentence is unsatisfactorily short, Verone said he would again turn to crime.
“I knew that a felony would not hurt me. I cannot work anymore,” he said. “That felony is going to hurt my reputation.”
March 21st, 2011
By: Ben Nuckols
Hundreds rallied outside a Virginia Marine Corps base to protest the treatment of an imprisoned Army private suspected of providing classified data to Wikileaks.
About 30 people were arrested today at the rally protesting the pretrial detention of Pfc. Bradley Manning. About two-dozen rallies were held around the world.
Manning is being held in solitary confinement at the Quantico base’s brig. He’s confined to his cell 23 hours a day and forced to strip naked before bed. The military says the conditions of his detention are justified.
Protesters chanted “Free Bradley Manning” and confronted dozens of police officers in riot gear outside the entrance to the base. A short scuffle ensued. The arrests were made after protesters refused to vacate the intersection at the base entrance.
January 28th, 2011
By: Tori Richards
A school police officer who reported getting shot in the chest — prompting the lock-down of 9,000 students during a dragnet — shot himself and has been arrested for filing a false report, authorities said.
During a hastily called news conference, LA Police Chief Charlie Beck said investigators processed more than 350 clues and talked to hundreds of people before concluding that the purported gunman who shot officer Jeffrey Stenroos was fictitious.
“The current state of the investigation refutes Stenroos’ initial account of the incident, and we are now certain that there is no outstanding suspect in this shooting,” Beck said. “We go where our investigations take us — if it is to a suspect that is named in a crime or is to a law enforcement officer of another agency.”
Stenroos claimed that he was on patrol Jan. 19 outside El Camino Real High School in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills when he confronted a man who had been breaking into cars. He said the suspect tried to kill him.
The shooting prompted the largest area lock-down in history. Hundreds of officers from local, state and federal agencies vainly combed a seven-mile area looking for an armed gunman in his 40s with a long, gray pony tail. Helicopters, SWAT teams and K9 units were deployed.
Children from nine schools remained locked in their classrooms for seven hours, unable to get access to restrooms or food out of fears that the suspect would enter a campus and create a hostage situation.
“I’m flabbergasted. I don’t know what to say,” City Councilman Dennis Zine told AOL News. “To do something like this is unconscionable, stupid and asinine. To stage something like this puts a very negative mark on himself and law enforcement.”
Zine said that the incident caused panic and hysteria in the community and that investigators spent hundreds of hours looking for a suspect in the following days.
“If this is true, we need to go after him to repay the taxpayers,” said Zine, a former LAPD officer. “I would press for a civil claim against him. I’ve spent 43 years in law enforcement, and I can’t fathom coming up with this story.”
After the shooting, Stenroos, 30, was transported by ambulance to a hospital, where he was treated and released for a bruised chest caused by his bulletproof vest. The bullet hit him squarely in the center, and authorities praised the device for saving his life. He worked with a sketch artist that evening, and on the following day a composite drawing of the alleged suspect was widely disseminated.
At least two men who fit the description of the suspect were detained and later released.
Beck refused to give further details on how the shooting occurred, saying the investigation is ongoing. However, CBS2-TV cited an unidentified source as saying Stenroos was mishandling his gun when he was shot.
Los Angeles’ KFI640 radio reported that no neighbors in the vicinity of the shooting heard a gunshot and that investigators soon began to doubt Stenroos’ story.
The school district’s superintendent, John Deasy, dismissed any negative claims in the following days, telling ABC7-TV that Stenroos — an eight-year veteran of the Los Angeles School Police Department — has “an impeccable record and should not be questioned.”
Apparently, Stenroos’ chief was taken by surprise as well, because his department’s website on Thursday night still had a notification on its home page wishing Stenroos a speedy recovery and saying, “We expect him to be back with the team soon.”
In a tersely worded statement titled “An Embarrassment to Law Enforcement,” Paul Weber, the head of the LAPD’s officers’ union, apologized to the community on behalf of the police and said Stenroos deserves to be in jail if the allegations are true.
January 4th, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
A member of We Are Change Chicago (WACC), a grassroots peace and social justice movement, was assaulted and arrested on Nov. 6, 2010, for questioning Dr. Oz about vaccine safety following a health expo. Oz and his entourage were walking through Millennium Park in Chicago when a WACC member began asking Oz questions. Oz politely responded, but after a few minutes, a man in Oz’z group physically grabbed and pushed the WACC member aside. The WACC member responded by calling the police, but upon their arrival they falsely arrested him instead of the perpetrator.
The incident began when the WACC member began to ask Oz about the safety of toxic chemicals like mercury found in vaccines. Oz responds by denying that the chemicals are toxic, insisting that foods like fish have more mercury than vaccines. The WACC member continues to question Oz about the negative side effects of vaccines, to which Oz responds that such side effects are to be expected since “all medicines have side effects.”
Oz concedes that nobody should be forced to take vaccines because of these side effects, but that they are part of the package when getting vaccinated. Oz then states that his wife would “rather get sick” than presumably get vaccinated. A few moments later, one of the men in Oz’s group begins to push the WACC member. The WACC member tells the man not to touch him and continues to try to ask more questions. But a second man in Oz’s group tells the first man who pushed the WACC member to “get this guy out of here.”
The assaulter grabs and pulls aside the WACC member who repeatedly tells him not to touch him. The assaulter insists that he is a cop, and the WACC member asks his name, but the man does not provide a name or any credentials. The WACC member finally calls the police, who eventually arrive only to take the side of the assaulter. They fail to question any of the witnesses, and instead trick the WACC member into coming over to their squad car for questioning, only to frisk and arrest him.
Officers do not read the WACC member his rights, and they refuse to tell him who he is being accused of assaulting. They proceed to hold him in custody for ten hours, deliberately prolonging his processing, according to reports. He is finally released, but the assaulting officer is not held responsible for his violating actions.
December 28th, 2010
The Economic Collapse
Doesn’t it seem like almost everything is becoming a crime in America now? Americans are being arrested and charged with crimes for doing things like leaving dog poop on the ground, opening up Christmas presents early, not recycling properly, farting in class and having brown lawns. But is it healthy for our society for the police to be involved in such silly things? Every single day the United States inches closer to becoming a totalitarian society. While there are some that would welcome this shift, the truth is that throughout history the societies that have experienced the greatest economic prosperity have all had at least a certain level of freedom. Business thrives when people feel free to live and work. When a government tightens the grip too much many people just start shutting down. Just look at places like North Korea. Even though the rest of the world is sending them huge amounts of food starvation is still quite common in that totalitarian regime. That is why it is so disturbing that it seems like almost everything has become a crime in America now. As we continue to criminalize relatively normal behavior our slide toward becoming a totalitarian state will only accelerate.
We are throwing anyone and everyone in prison these days. It is getting absolutely ridiculous. Today, the United States leads the world in the number of prisoners and in the percentage of the population in prison. The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but approximately 25% of the world’s incarcerated population.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of the end of 2009 a total of 7,225,800 people were either on probation, in prison or on parole in America.
That is a sign of a very, very sick society. Either we have a massive crime problem or the “control grid” that our leaders have erected for us is wildly out of control.
But how in the world are we supposed to have a healthy economy if our entire nation is being turned into one gigantic prison?
Sadly, it is not just hardcore criminals that are being rounded up and abused by authorities these days. The following are 14 of the most ridiculous things that Americans are being arrested for….
#1 A Michigan man has been charged with a felony and could face up to 5 years in prison for reading his wife’s email.
#2 A 49-year-old Queens woman had bruises all over her body after she was handcuffed, arrested and brutally beaten by NYPD officers. So what was her offense? The officers thought that her little dog had left some poop that she didn’t clean up.
#3 A 56-year-old woman who was once a rape victim refused to let airport security officials feel her breasts so she was thrown to the floor, put in handcuffs and arrested.
#4 In Milwaukee, one man was recently fined $500 for swearing on a public bus.
#5 Several years ago a 12-year-old boy in South Carolina was actually arrested by police for opening up a Christmas present early against his family’s wishes.
#6 In some areas of the country, it is now a crime to not recycle properly. For example, the city of Cleveland has announced plans to sort through trash cans to ensure that people are actually recycling according to city guidelines.
#7 A 12-year-old girl from Queens was arrested earlier this year and taken out of her school in handcuffs for writing “Lex was here. 2/1/10″ and “I love my friends Abby and Faith” on her desk.
#8 Back in 2008, a 13-year-old boy in Florida was actually arrested by police for farting in class.
#9 The feds recently raided an Amish farmer at 5 AM in the morning because they claimed that he was was engaged in the interstate sale of raw milk in violation of federal law.
#10 A few years ago a 10-year-old girl was arrested and charged with a felony for bringing a small steak knife to school. It turns out that all she wanted to do was to cut up her lunch so that she could eat it.
#11 On June 18th, two Christians decided that they would peacefully pass out copies of the gospel of John on a public sidewalk outside a public Islamic festival in Dearborn, Michigan and within three minutes 8 policemen surrounded them and placed them under arrest.
#12 A U.S. District Court judge slapped a 5oo dollar fine on Massachusetts fisherman Robert J. Eldridge for untangling a giant whale from his nets and setting it free. So what was his crime? Well, according to the court, Eldridge was supposed to call state authorities and wait for them do it.
#13 Once upon a time, a food fight in the cafeteria may have gotten you a detention. Now it may get you locked up. About a year ago, 25 students between the ages of 11 and 15 at a school in Chicago were taken into custody by police for being involved in a huge food fight in the school cafeteria.
#14 A few years ago a 70 year old grandmother was actually put in handcuffs and hauled off to jail for having a brown lawn.
Why in the world would anyone approve of the police arresting ordinary Americans for such things?
It seems like ever since 9/11 the whole country has gotten “security fever”.
Suddenly we need to “get tough” on everyone.
Yes, crime is making a comeback, but once upon a time the police in this country were able to handle crime quite well and be courteous and helpful to ordinary citizens at the same time.
But today it seems like nearly every single encounter with police ends up being negative.
It does not have to be that way.
The rest of the world sees what is going on in this country and many of them are deciding that they simply do not want to spend their tourist dollars here anymore. That is not a good thing for our economy.
As the government continues to get even bigger and exerts even more control over our lives, many of our own people are getting sick of it and are moving abroad.
America used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
That is no longer true.
Now we get thrown to the floor, handcuffed, beaten and arrested for things that we did not even know were crimes.
If America continues to move in this direction it is going to ruin our economy, our reputation in the world and our national spirit.
Unfortunately, history has shown us that once a free nation starts to lose that freedom it is hard to reverse that slide. Perhaps we will be different. Perhaps the American people will stand up and demand that we restore the principles of liberty and freedom that this country was founded on.