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Officer Herrera Goes Public Score: More about Printer Friendly Send to a Friend Save as PDF Read More...

Posted on Saturday, June 07, 2008 @ 21:09:07 EDT in America
by Southern

When seven of the Chicago Police Department's most elite cops were charged with crimes including armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping and home invasion- and one of them was even accused of planning a murder-the nation's second largest police force was thrown into turmoil.

They were members of a unit known as "SOS," the Special Operations Section, the department's answer to violence that once made Chicago the murder capital of the country. But what 60 Minutes has learned paints a disturbing picture of a chain of command that put such a premium on getting guns and drugs off the streets that officers felt justified breaking the law to do so.

One of those indicted officers is 30-year-old Keith Herrera. He's been telling his story in private to federal investigators. Now, out on bail, he tells it publicly to Katie Couric and takes 60 Minutes inside a world where cops who did so much good ended up accused of doing so much wrong.

Prosecutors have said Herrera and his partners were bold, brazen and malicious. His response?

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Big Brother Is Watching You... Score: More about Printer Friendly Send to a Friend Save as PDF Read More...

Posted on Monday, June 02, 2008 @ 18:34:39 EDT in America
by Southern

...but luckily he's overstretched and has underestimated the job of keeping track of us all

Phil Hendren

The Government is planning to introduce a giant database that will hold the details of every phone call we have made, every e-mail we have sent and every webpage we have visited in the past 12 months. This is needed to fight crime and terrorism, the Government claims.

The Orwellian nature of this proposal cannot be overstated. However, there is one saving grace for people who fear for their civil liberties. The probability of the project ever seeing the light of day is close to zero. This proposal - like so many grandiose government IT schemes before it - is technologically unfeasible.

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Adventures in Police Professionalism Score: More about Printer Friendly Send to a Friend Save as PDF

Posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 23:21:41 EDT in America
by Southern

Radley Balko

D.C. Police Chief Kathy Lanier rehires 17 police officers previously fired for misconduct.

Then she decides the city will arm them with semiautomatic weapons.

Sounds like a fantastic couple of ideas. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, a coda to the Kathryn Johnston botched drug raid case in Atlanta: Arthur Tesler was the only officer on the raid who didn't take a plea bargain. Despite admitting that he lied, helped cover up Johnston's murder, and stood watch outside while other officers handcuffed the bleeding 92-year-woman—allowing her to die while they planted marijuana in her basement—he was convicted today only on the charge of lying to investigators. He'll face a maximum of five years in prison.

The one good thing to come out of the case is we got to see just how vast, deep, and pernicious the culture of corruption and disregard for civil rights ran in Atlanta's police department. Tesler testified that narcotics officers were required to serve nine warrants and make two arrest per month, or they'd risk losing their jobs. This led to routine lying on warrants and bullying and intimidation of informants. What we don't know is how many people were wrongly raided, arrested, and jailed because of all of this.

Reason

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Report: U.S. Soldiers Did 'Dirty Work' for Chinese Interrogators Score: More about Printer Friendly Send to a Friend Save as PDF Read More...

Posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 23:17:31 EDT in America
by Southern

Alleges Guantanamo Personnel Softened Up Detainees at Request of Chinese Intelligence

JUSTIN ROOD

U.S. Army troops stand guard over Sally Port One at Camp Delta where detainees are held at the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
(REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

U.S. military personnel at Guantanamo Bay allegedly softened up detainees at the request of Chinese intelligence officials who had come to the island facility to interrogate the men -- or they allowed the Chinese to dole out the treatment themselves, according to claims in a new government report.

Buried in a Department of Justice report released Tuesday are new allegations about a 2002 arrangement between the United States and China, which allowed Chinese intelligence to visit Guantanamo and interrogate Chinese Uighurs held there.

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'I wanted to get control' Score: More about Printer Friendly Send to a Friend Save as PDF Read More...

Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 @ 00:08:17 EDT in America
by Southern

That's the claim of Sgt. Jeff Newnum of the Yavapai County, Arizona, Sheriff's Department, as the trial of Dibor Roberts on charges of ticking off a polic-- ... err ... felony counts of resisting arrest and unlawful flight from a law officer gets under way.

"My only concern was to gain control of the situation." He used his collapsible baton to break out the rear passenger window and opened the front door.

Dibor Roberts

Roberts at that time was yelling, "No. No. No. You can't do this to me." He said he could hear the words clearly, but did not understand, he said.

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Prison Nation Score: More about Printer Friendly Send to a Friend Save as PDF Read More...

Posted on Friday, May 02, 2008 @ 16:31:11 EDT in America
by Southern

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Americans, perhaps like all people, have a remarkable capacity for tuning out unpleasantries that do not directly affect them. I'm thinking here of wars on foreign lands, but also the astonishing fact that the United States has become the world's most jail-loving country, with well over 1 in 100 adults living as slaves in a prison. Building and managing prisons, and locking people up, have become major facets of government power in our time, and it is long past time for those who love liberty to start to care.

Before we get to the reasons why, look at the facts as reported by the New York Times. The U.S. leads the world in prisoner production. There are 2.3 million people behind bars. China, with four times as many people, has 1.6 million in prison. In terms of population, the US has 751 people in prison for every 100,000, while the closest competitor in this regard is Russia with 627. I'm struck by this figure: 531 in Cuba. The median global rate is 125.

What's amazing is that most of this imprisoning trend is recent, dating really from the 1980s, and most of the change is due to drug laws. From 1925 to 1975, the rate of imprisonment was stable at 110, lower than the international average, which is what you might expect in a country that purports to value freedom. But then it suddenly shot up in the 1980s. There were 30,000 people in jail for drugs in 1980, while today there are half a million.

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