Category Archives: Police Brutality / Abuse

Supreme Court rules cops can be filmed!

Good news, for a change. :)

open quoteSmile for the camera, coppers — the US Supreme Court has decided to let stand a lesser ruling that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties.

Up until just last year, an anti-eavesdropping legislation on the books across Illinois meant any person within the state could be imprisoned for as much as 15 years for recording a police officer without expressed consent. In August 2011, a federal appeals court struck down the law, but an Illinois prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court — unsuccessfully — to challenge that ruling.

On Monday, the top justices in the US said that they would not hear the case and will instead rely on last year’s ruling where a federal appeals court in Chicago agreed that the eavesdropping law, as written, “likely violates” the First Amendment.

“The Illinois eavesdropping statue restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny” and that the “statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests,” the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals opined previously.

Under that ruling and thanks to the Supreme Court’s refusal to weigh in this week, last year’s decision to not allow the enforcement of that law will stand, essentially making it for once-and-for-all perfectly legal at the highest level to tape record cops on the job.

Harvey Grossman, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, says in a statement that the ACLU was “pleased that the Supreme Court has refused to take this appeal.”close quote (Read more)

Mom arrested for letting her children play outside

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A stay-at-home mom from La Porte has filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department, an unknown officer and one of her neighbors.

Tammy Cooper said she was wrongly accused of endangering her children and was even forced to spend the night in jail, all because she let her kids play outside.

She said her children, ages 9 and 6, were riding their motorized scooters in the cul-de-sac where they live while she watched from a lawn chair in her front yard just a few feet away.

“I was out there the entire time,” Cooper said. “I never left that lawn chair the entire time.”close quote (Read more)

NYPD officer canned for ticketing dead people says he was doing it to meet ‘quotas’

open quoteA cop who was canned for ticketing dead people says he was doing it to meet the NYPD’s supposedly non-existent monthly quotas.

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Paul Pizzuto says he started issuing bogus summonses after brass at the 120th Precinct in Staten Island told him he had to produce more than the 125 to 150 he was already writing. close quote (Read more)

Kidnapping victim found tied up in NYPD detective’s garage, sources say

There are the people who have a monopoly on the providing of security.

open quotePolice tracked the victim to the house in St. Albans off the victim’s cell phone pings.

When police arrived Friday night, they found the victim tied up in the garage.

Johnson denied any involvement with the kidnapping, but his cousin, Hakeem Clark — who lives in the other half of the detective’s two-family home — has been charged with kidnapping, along with three other men.close quote (Read more)

Man Loses $22,000 In New ‘Policing For Profit’ Case

open quoteIn this latest case, a Monterey police officer took $22,000 off the driver — even though he had committed no crime.

“You live in the United States, you think you have rights — and apparently you don’t,” said George Reby.

As a professional insurance adjuster, Reby spends a lot of time traveling from state to state. But it was on a trip to a conference in Nashville last January that he got a real education in Tennessee justice.

“I never had any clue that they thought they could take my money legally,” Reby added. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Reby was driving down Interstate 40, heading west through Putnam County, when he was stopped for speeding.

A Monterey police officer wanted to know if he was carrying any large amounts of cash.

“I said, ‘Around $20,000,'” he recalled. “Then, at the point, he said, ‘Do you mind if I search your vehicle?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t mind.’ I certainly didn’t feel I was doing anything wrong. It was my money.”

That’s when Officer Larry Bates confiscated the cash based on his suspicion that it was drug money.close quote (Read more)

Kelly Thomas calls for his father while 6 cops beat him to death

open quoteThe city surveillance video that shows a group of Fullerton police officers beating a homeless mentally ill man to death last year was finally released today, laying to rest any argument that Kelly Thomas was a threat to officers.

The shocking video, which was combined with an audio recorder worn by one of the police officers on the night of July 5, 2011, was shown in court today, then later released to the media.

“Now you see my fists?” Fullerton police officer Manny Ramos asked Thomas while slipping on a pair of latex gloves.

“Yeah, what about them?” Thomas responded.

“They are getting ready to fuck you up,” said Ramos, a burly cop who appears to outweigh Thomas by 100 pounds.

“Well, start punching,” Thomas responds, never once displaying any physical aggression towards Ramos.

Moments later, as Thomas is standing while Ramos is ordering him to get on his “fucking knees,” Fullerton cop Joseph Wolfe, who is not charged in the case, walks up and starts beating his legs with a baton.

. . . .

At one point he yells out, “Dad, they are killing me.”

Even after seven minutes into the video, when six cops are on top of him and all Thomas is doing is crying for his father, they keep telling him to “relax.”

Last year, Ron Thomas, a retired Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, said the City of Fullerton offered him $900,000 to just go away, which would have allowed the two cops to remain on the force unpunished for killing his son.

Thomas was pronounced dead on July 10, five days after the beating that left him in a coma.close quote (Read more)