Tagged: police

Ferguson, Missouri, police arresting and attacking media

Olson arrest
Scott Olson from Getty Images taken away by Missouri highway patrolJoe Raedle/Getty

The thug police force in Ferguson, Missouri, continues wage its campaign against the public it is sworn to defend…

Obviously, the most tragic consequence of their savage brutality was the slaying of unarmed teen Mike Brown, but the police in Ferguson have also tried to light the First Amendment on fire, arresting and attacking reporter after reporter in an attempt to intimidate the media from covering their world.

The list of reporters arrested so far, according to the Poynter Institute:

Ryan Devereaux (The Intercept)

Frank Hermann (Die Welt)

Ansgar Graw (Die Welt)

Lukas Hermsmeier (Die Welt)

Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Robert Klemko (Sports Illustrated)

Rob Crilly (The Telegraph)

Neil Munshi (Financial Times)

Ryan J. Reilly (The Huffington Post)

Wesley Lowery (The Washington Post)

And it’s not going to get better…

I started this – my personal blog – to point out the work of a diminishing breed. Good, professional journalists.

The biggest problems most face are cowardly editors and even more chickenshit owners of their publications. Ownership more and more relegated to narrow-minded profiteers who would confine the Free Press into that intellectual jail called entertainment.

OTOH, you know you must be doing your job when you’re threatened by goon squads pretending to be police.

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Mortuary moves – leaves eight bodies behind in the vacant building

Police shut down an East Fort Worth funeral home Tuesday where they discovered eight bodies in “varying stages of decay,” but the owners of Johnson Family Mortuary said the episode is simply a “miscommunication” between them and their landlord.

“We’ve done nothing wrong,” said Dondre Johnson, who runs the business with his wife, Rachel. “This is a funeral home. This is where dead bodies belong.”

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office removed the bodies of six adults, one child and an infant from the mortuary on South Handley Drive. The owner of the building asked the Johnsons to vacate two weeks ago. Officers received a call around 8 a.m. Tuesday after the owner went to check on the property and found bodies inside, authorities said.

Police said in a statement Tuesday that officers entered the building “to conduct a protective sweep” and determine if anything had happened to the Johnsons, who were not there at the time.

Though some of the bodies had identification tags, officials were working Tuesday night to identify the rest and notify family members, said Linda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office.

No criminal charges had been filed Tuesday in connection with the incident.

Police said the bodies were not stored in refrigerated rooms. A foul odor came from the building while officers worked.

Dondre Johnson, who eventually showed up at the scene along with his wife, said the bodies inside the mortuary had been properly stored, and one was embalmed and in a coffin bound for Nairobi, Kenya. He said the rest were kept in black trash bags…

Records show Johnson Family Mortuary has had an active funeral director’s license with the state since July 2011. The license is current through the end of this month but cannot be renewed because there are five open complaints against the business filed with the Texas Funeral Service Commission.

Officials said they can’t talk about the details of the complaints until they are closed. Two of three previous complaints were closed without findings of wrongdoing. The third, filed over a late death certificate, resulted in a six-month probationary penalty…

According to the company website, Dondre Johnson and his twin brother, Derrick Johnson, began working in the funeral business when they were 11. They were later mentored by noted Fort Worth pastor and funeral director Gregory Spencer, who was found strangled at an Arlington motel in June 2003.

No doubt there are an abundance of regulations in the mortuary business. There are additional concerns given the clients you’re working with – in the depths of despair and sadness. From what’s made it to the press, so far – I’d be worried that this particular enterprise ain’t exactly up to par on either.

SCOTUS rules coppers must get a warrant to search cellphones

Coppers snooping cellphones

In an emphatic defense of privacy in the digital age, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police generally may not search the cellphones of people they arrest without first getting search warrants.

Cellphones are unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court. They are “not just another technological convenience,” he said, but ubiquitous, increasingly powerful computers that contain vast quantities of personal, sensitive information.

“With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life,” Roberts declared. So the message to police about what they should do before rummaging through a cellphone’s contents following an arrest is simple: “Get a warrant…”

The Obama administration and the state of California, defending cellphone searches, said the phones should have no greater protection from a search than anything else police find. But the defendants in the current cases, backed by civil libertarians, librarians and news media groups, argued that cellphones, especially smartphones, can store troves of sensitive personal information.

“By recognizing that the digital revolution has transformed our expectations of privacy, today’s decision is itself revolutionary and will help to protect the privacy rights of all Americans,” said American Civil Liberties Union legal director Steven Shapiro…

In the cases decided Wednesday, one defendant carried a smartphone, while the other carried an older flip phone. The police looked through both without first getting search warrants…

A ride on horseback and a flight to the moon both “are ways of getting from point A to point B, but little else justifies lumping them together,” Roberts said…

The decision will protect cellphones from warrantless searches going forward, but it may not be of much help to defendants in pending cases, or those whose convictions are final, said lawyer Gerry Morris…He said that courts could allow evidence to be used from police searches of cellphones that were done in “good faith” and relied on the law as it stood when the searches were conducted.

Still a two-fold victory. We’ve acquired the sort of protection many folks – from geeks to civil libertarians – agree we need in a digital age. Now, the task remains to take the modernized version of privacy and stick in the eye of paranoids ranging from the White House and Congress to the NSA.

Hawaii coppers fail at exemption allowing sex with prostitutes

Hawaii lawmakers in both chambers agree that legal permission for police to have sex with prostitutes should end.
House and senate members are still negotiating on the version of House Bill 1926 they will send to the governor. But they concur that the crime bill should revoke a peculiar exemption that permits police in Hawaii, in the course of their duties, to have sex with prostitutes.

The bill began in the house and was amended as it passed out of that chamber’s judicial committee. At the time, Honolulu police told lawmakers that vice-officers needed the exemption in law to prevent pimps and prostitutes from knowing the limits of police methods.

The Associated Press wrote about the successful police lobbying against removing the sex exemption after the bill passed the house. When the senate judiciary committee took up the bill, lawmakers revised it again to reflect the backlash against the exemption, with many expressing strong convictions that police should not have the legal ability to bed prostitutes.

Honolulu police, while assuring the public that their internal policies prevent such abuse, dropped their opposition to removing the exemption.

Nice try, guys. You realize you’ve probably set an example for Congress to try the same stunt.

Woman abandoned by her lover after falling down a 15-foot well while having sex


No – I don’t know if this is the actual well

Spanish police are hoping to speak to a man who allegedly left 21-year-old Edelia Aponte at the bottom of a well after she fell in while they were having sex.

Aponte got stuck in the water at the bottom of the 15-foot hole for about a half hour after failing to notice that the wood covering the well’s opening was loose.

Police found out about the young woman’s situation after they received an anonymous phone call alerting them about her whereabouts. It’s possible that the man, whom she had only just met that evening, placed the call.

If Ciudad Real police are able to track him down, the man could be charged with failing to aid someone in need of assistance.

Firefighters rescued Aponte from the well and she was taken to a hospital and treated for hypothermia.

“It could have ended in tragedy,” fire service spokesman Leni Portillo told El Crisol de Ciudad Real. “Luckily, she could swim and she wasn’t knocked out as she fell.”

The range of preparations requisite for modern impulsive sex never seems limited. I guess swimming lessons are now required.

Delhi Police don’t respond to complaint hotline for eight years — say they lost the password!

Police in India have failed to act on hundreds of corruption complaints over an eight-year period because they did not know a computer password, it seems.

Delhi officers could not operate a portal holding more than 600 complaints – a lapse that has gone undetected since 2006, the Indian Express Newspaper said. The complaints came from India’s anti-corruption agency, called the Central Vigilance Commission.

But two senior police officers have now been trained in the system, and can access the 667 cases that have piled up since the portal launched. One officer told the paper the oversight was “a technical problem”, and complaints are now being addressed…

Despite the confusion, police in Delhi “remain committed to public grievances“, a senior officer told the Indian Express.

Um, OK.

What does growing pot in New Mexico have to do with the NSA?

pot chopper

Fourteen marijuana plants and seven years later, a New Mexico high court has overturned a lower court opinion and ruled that a police helicopter search operation in rural Taos County was illegal and unconstitutional.

The subject of that search, who said he had the 14 plants for personal use to smoke to alleviate physical ailments, was elated when contacted on Friday.

“It has been a lesson in the slow progress of the legal system … I’m happy that justice was served,” said Norman Davis, now 78.

Davis’ home was one of several checked out during a 2006 operation dubbed “Operation Yerba Buena” – a joint State Police, National Guard, and state Game and Fish effort that was targeting marijuana plantations in the sparsely populated Carson area…

Davis had his privacy jarred when, on a summer day as he was sitting on his sofa and feeling a bit out of sorts, he “heard this helicopter overhead.

“It was loud. Very loud,” Davis said at the time. “And I looked out the window and see these guys hovering over me.” The drug raid by the New Mexico State Police, using National Guard helicopters, involved six or seven officers armed with semiautomatic weapons and at least five police vehicles…

Continue reading

80 coppers and firemen charged in social security fraud


Too depressed, too ill to work

Eighty retired New York City police officers and firefighters were charged on Tuesday in one of the largest Social Security disability frauds ever, a sprawling decades-long scheme in which false mental disability claims by as many as 1,000 people cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, according to court papers.

Scores of those charged in the case essentially stole in plain sight, according to a 205-count indictment and a bail letter, collecting between $30,000 and $50,000 a year based on fabricated claims that they were completely incapacitated by serious psychiatric disorders. Many said that their actions in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were responsible for their psychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression.

But their Facebook pages and other websites, according to the court papers, tell a starkly different story.

The bail letter includes photographs culled from the Internet that show one riding a jet ski and others working at jobs ranging from helicopter pilot to martial arts instructor. One is shown fishing off the coast of Costa Rica and another sitting astride a motorcycle, while another appeared in a television news story selling cannoli at the Feast of San Gennaro on Mulberry Street in Manhattan.

Indeed, prosecutors charge that they were coached by the scheme’s organizers to appear disheveled and disoriented during interviews, in which doctors initially evaluated their disability applications before finding them to be mentally disabled and incapable of any work whatsoever.

Read ‘em and weep, folks. Weep for the legitimate needs of so many first responders dying of cancer because the city and state won’t admit to carcinogenic materials in building codes.

Save your anger for the scumbags who participated in the scam. Keep a cynical eye on the judicial processes convened to prosecute the ringleaders. These fine upstanding members of the NY legal community, independent experts who consult on compensating the injured and ill, folks chartered to represent the needs of working people. While stealing from the whole community.

Massachusetts coppers pay bitcoin ransom in malware scam

Massachusetts police have admitted to paying a bitcoin ransom after being infected by the Cryptolocker ransomware.

The Cryptolocker malware infects a computer, normally via a legitimate-looking email that urges the reader to open an attachment often posing as a voicemail, fax, invoice or details of a suspicious transaction that is being queried.

Once the Windows computer is infected, the malware encrypts the user’s hard drive and then begins displaying a countdown timer, while demanding payment for the release of the data of 2 bitcoins – an almost untraceable, peer-to-peer digital online currency – which at current exchange rates equates to about…$1338.

“(The virus) is so complicated and successful that you have to buy these bitcoins, which we had never heard of,” Swansea Police Lt. Gregory Ryan talking to the Herald News. “It was an education for (those who) had to deal with it.”

Ryan insisted that the Massachusetts police systems were now clear of infection, and that essential operational computers were not affected, nor was there any data stolen…

If a computer becomes infected it should immediately be disconnected from any networks and a professional called in to clear the machine. However, the current state of encryption technology means that it is unlikely the encryption can be unscrambled, and therefore the hard drive will likely have to be erased and restored from a backup.

The rules and procedures needed for protection are the same as they ever were. Don’t open attachments within unexpected emails. Social engineering is what it’s all about folks. Showing up on your cyber-doorstep with a plausible tale that sounds interesting and especially profitable. So, emails imitate correspondence from your bank, your best friend – whose system is already compromised – your grocery store or Doctor Oz.

Verify and validate on your own separate from any links you can click on. Your world isn’t going to come to an early demise if you miss an “important” communique from Microsoft. Even if it is genuine, they’re probably just trying to sell you something.

The solution is always easier if you’re doing regular backups. You then can wipe your hard drive – or even buy a new one – and restore your backup from a verified safe source and date. I use Apple’s Time Machine to perform incremental backups on my desktop computer once an hour. I use SuperDuper once a week to backup the whole hard drive. Each of those are to separate standalone hard drives.

Computer-generated image – Sweetie – catches online predators

More than 100 Britons were among 1,000 men caught trying to pay a computer-generated child to perform sex acts online, after a Dutch children’s charity set up a fake profile.

Terre des Hommes carried out a 10-week sting near Amsterdam, posing on video chat rooms as “Sweetie”, a 10-year-old Filipina girl.

Some 20,000 men contacted her, with 1,000 found to have offered her money…The names of these men – including 110 Britons – were passed to police…

When I visited the charity’s operations room – in a warehouse on the outskirts of Amsterdam – I watched as a researcher logged on to a chat room as Sweetie – incredibly life-like but created by a computer.

Within seconds, like sharks, men were circling.

Of the 1,000 men who were willing to pay Sweetie to take off her clothes in front of a webcam, 254 were from the US, followed by 110 from the UK and 103 from India…

The charity has now handed over its findings to police and has said it will provide authorities with the technology it has developed.

But European policing agency Europol has expressed reservations about the findings…And Andy Baker, of the UK’s National Crime Agency, also said that “tackling child sex abusers is best left to specialist law enforcement agencies”.

But he praised the campaign, saying it had “widened awareness of a global child sex abuse threat”…

Sweetie will not be used again. She has done her job – showing the predators that they can easily become prey.

If they’re keeping the program going, they should invest in better software. Sweetie ain’t near the sort of realism approached in computer-generated images for lots of movies.

OTOH, maybe this shows how strung out and weird the guys are who attempted to liason with Sweetie.