Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Posts Tagged ‘police

Reports from the police state

with one comment

Andrew Sullivan:

Stunning pictures of protesters at the RNC. More here. Money quote from a photographer:

By the time I realized I was at the center of the conflict it was too late. The bombs and tear gas were exploding all around me and cops were screaming at everyone to go south toward the bridge. I yelled to one cop “I’m media! Where do I go?!” but he pointed his rubber bullet gun at me and yelled “Go to the fucking bridge!” It was utter chaos. The police were throwing gas and bombs in between the bridge and people being told to go to the bridge. Poor aim? Amid the mayhem I managed to click away a few frames, but I couldn’t help but notice what was going on. They had surrounded the area and were corralling what seemed like 300 people, including a large number of media and legal observers, onto the bridge for a mass arrest.

If you aren’t creeped out by what has been going on these past two weeks in America, you are not paying attention.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Government

Tagged with

Police officers and daily life

with 8 comments

First, a little video from Treehugger taken during a “Critical Mass” rally.

Critical Mass is a peaceful, nonviolent bicycle ride promoting the use of nonpolluting transportation,” said Critical Mass participant Barbara Ross, in a statement. “There is no reason for the police to use such unprovoked violent tactics.” Cyclist Richard Vazques then evidently had to spend 26 hours in jail for resisting arrest.

Now you’re prepared to watch these two videos, offering very sound advice.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2008 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Daily life, Government

Tagged with

Interesting reaction to the Utah Highway Patrol tasering incident

with 3 comments

The Salt Lake City Tribune has a story on the incident, and the comments on the story are particularly interesting. The UHP officer doesn’t get a lot of support. (Here’s the CBS news story.)

Written by Leisureguy

24 November 2007 at 11:12 am

Posted in Daily life, Government

Tagged with , ,

Reckless & unwarranted use of the Taser

leave a comment »

This story includes a video, which catches the officer in a lie.

Written by Leisureguy

21 November 2007 at 8:04 pm

Posted in Daily life

Tagged with ,

Limitations of fingerprint identification recognized

with 3 comments

An important decision in Baltimore:

A Baltimore County judge has ruled that fingerprint evidence, a mainstay of forensics for nearly a century, is not reliable enough to be used against a homicide defendant facing a possible death sentence – a finding that national experts described yesterday as unprecedented and potentially far-reaching.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Susan M. Souder’s order bars prosecutors from using at trial the partial fingerprints lifted from the Mercedes of a Security Square Mall merchant who was fatally shot last year during an attempted carjacking at the shopping center. Prosecutors say the fingerprints – as well as those found in a stolen Dodge Intrepid in which witnesses said the shooter fled the mall parking lot – link a 23-year-old Baltimore man to the killing.

In her ruling, Souder outlined the long history of fingerprinting as a crime-solving tool but says that such history “does not by itself support the decision to admit it.” In explaining her reasoning in a 32-page decision, the judge leaned heavily on the case of an Oregon lawyer mistakenly linked through fingerprint analysis to the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

With defendant Bryan Keith Rose scheduled to go to trial today in Towson, prosecutors and defense attorneys in the capital case declined to comment yesterday on the judge’s ruling.

But others who have researched the issue and litigated cases involving fingerprint evidence said the decision – if it stands up on appeal – could have implications that reach even beyond the use of fingerprint evidence in criminal courts.

“The repercussions are terrifically broad,” said David L. Faigman, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and an editor of Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony.

“Fingerprints, before DNA, were always considered the gold standard of forensic science, and it’s turning out that there’s a lot more tin in that field than gold,” he said. “The public needs to understand that. This judge is declaring, not to mix my metaphors, that the emperor has no clothes.

“There is a lot of forensic science that is considered second to fingerprinting,” Faigman added, mentioning firearms and toolmark analysis, hair identification, bite pattern analysis and evidence used in arson investigations as examples. “If fingerprinting turns out to not be so good, people could start questioning that science as well.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

25 October 2007 at 10:40 am

How the US fails to address crime

leave a comment »

Things are improving, but still the US has a long way to go to show by actions that it’s really interested in reducing crime.

The LA Times recently ran an article that told how the police have finally begun to co-operate with ex-gang members to reduce retaliatory murders among gangs—and it’s working:

Los Angeles has seen a significant decline in homicides so far this year — including a 50% drop in killings in some South L.A. neighborhoods, such as Watts — as police embarked on a new strategy involving asking ex-gang members to help prevent violence.

And Bob Herbert notes other improvements in his column today—along with some indications that more improvement is needed:

• Since Sept. 11, 2001, when the nation’s attention understandably turned to the threat of terrorism, nearly 100,000 people — men, women and children — have been murdered in the U.S.

Each year hundreds of thousands of criminals, having served their terms, are released into communities with very few jobs and almost no support services for ex-offenders. These are people with advanced degrees in criminality. In just the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, approximately 600,000 offenders will have been released.

The F.B.I. reported this week that violent crime rose in the U.S. in 2006 for the second year in a row. The more thoughtful members of local law enforcement already knew that from their own careful studies.

On Wednesday, dozens of police chiefs from around the country met in Chicago to assess the crime trends that have developed since the beginning of this year.

They are trying to understand why there has been a surge in homicides in big cities in Florida, and in Baltimore, Washington, and Oakland, Calif., at the same time that there have been substantial decreases in places like Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis, Sacramento and Nashville.

In an echo of the now-famous Compstat system, their goal is to analyze national crime data with an eye toward developing preventive strategies and squelching emerging crime trends before they spin out of control. If Los Angeles is doing something that Baltimore could benefit from, that information should be shared.

This is not sexy stuff, and it doesn’t get a lot of public attention. But it saves lives.

The Chicago gathering was sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization of top law enforcement officials from some of the largest departments and agencies in the country. The forum has been sounding the alarm for some time about the spike in violent crime, and correctly noted early on that the trend was not uniform.

“Some cities are showing dramatic increases and some are showing dramatic decreases,” said Chuck Wexler, the forum’s executive director. “We’re almost like epidemiologists. We’re trying to figure out why.”

Gangs and guns are huge problems. So are armed juveniles who have exhibited a startling willingness to kill over virtually any slight, or during street-corner holdups in which electronic devices like iPods and cellphones are prized items.

Some cities are suffering from a shortage of police officers (they’re expensive) and the withdrawal of federal support for anti-crime initiatives.

As crime increases, police officers become more engaged, which means they become more vulnerable. So far this year, 138 police officers have died in the line of duty, a 38 percent increase over the same period in 2006.

Written by Leisureguy

29 September 2007 at 10:17 am

Posted in Daily life, Government

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: