Posts Tagged Cops
July 25, 2012
Officials with the police department in Washington, D.C. issued a bold statement this week: their officers have been instructed to recognize the First Amendment rights of citizens. It might sound silly, but cops have been caught harassing and arresting Washingtonians for video-recording and photographing police, even though doing such is protected by the Bill of Rights. Will their latest statement actually bring transparency to the force? Or will accountability still be absent from law enforcement? To discuss this Steve Silverman of Flex Your Rights joins RT’s Liz Wahl.
Law enforcement and emergency response personnel are either being terminated or their wages cut to the federal minimum. Crime is rampant on our city streets, on Wall Street, and in the halls of our most hallowed institutions.
For those who just stepped away from reality TV into reality, heads up, your country and the world as you know it is collapsing right before your eyes.
In Chicago, Illinois police report that almost all of the violence in the city is originating from gangs and what’s been dubbed “tribal warfare” akin to the violence experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Former Obama Chief of Staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now having to plead with criminals to take mercy on the citizenry.
The Chicago police department, undermanned and outgunned, is doing what it can, but the odds are stacked heavily against them with some 100,000 gang members roaming the streets and only about 200 officers in the city’s gang unit – a ratio of 500 to 1.
At least 275 people have been killed in the city so far this year and many more have been shot, many of them innocent bystanders to the gang violence. Among the latest victims were 12- and 13-year-old girls shot Tuesday night. They survived.
Sgt. Matt Little leads one of the teams in Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit. There are about 200 such officers in the city– versus 100,000 gang members.
“Almost all the violence we’re seeing now is from the gangs,” Little said. “When there’s a shooting we’ll respond to the shooting. We’ll figure out where we believe the most likely area for retaliation is and we’ll work that area trying to both prevent retaliation and possibly build a case on offenders.”
“The gangs have lost their hierarchy, so to speak, and without a chain of command, there’s really nobody keeping things in check,” Little said. The leaders are mostly in prison — or dead. Those left are young, reckless, and often terrible shots.
“Instead of a bullet with somebody’s name on it, we have a bullet that reads ‘To whom it may concern,’” Little said. The result is a spate of shootings that have killed or wounded young children, even toddlers.
Sgt. Little is a decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that parts of Chicago are comparable to what he saw in combat.
It’s “tribal warfare,” he said, “and it continues to build unless we manage to interdict it, and manage to stop it long enough for the blood to stop boiling, the heat to die down.”
Posted: 3/19/2012 11:11:14 AM
Updated: 3/19/2012 2:12:39 PM
Edward Krawetz, the Lincoln police officer convicted of kicking a handcuffed woman in the head outside Twin River casino in 2009, will serve no jail time.
Superior Court Judge Edward Clifton Monday sentenced Krawetz to a 10-year suspended ACI sentence and 10 years’ probation. The state had asked for seven years with 18 months to serve behind bars. Krawetz could have faced up to 20-years in jail. The judge also ordered that Krawetz have no contact with the victim and to undergo mental health counseling.
In imposing a sentence of less than jail, the judge said he had explored the possibility of home confinement, but said a statute bars such a sentence in cases involving crimes of violence. The judge also cited a 2007 incident which led Krawetz to briefly seek out psychological counseling. He would not disclose details of the incident, saying accounts of it remain under seal.
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin issued a statement following the sentencing, and said that the actions of Krawetz must not reflect poorly on other police officers.
“I know firsthand the duty of a sworn police officer; to serve the public and uphold the law. When a police officer or other public official engages in criminal conduct, dishonesty, or an abuse of power, the public trust is seriously undermined. Once that trust is broken, it is difficult, if not impossible, for police officers to do their jobs. The inexcusable actions by Edward Krawetz should not and must not reflect the actions by the thousands of police officers who perform their duties each day with pride, integrity, honesty and within the legal and ethical boundaries of the law,” said Kilmartin in a statement.
“I don’t care about no damn lawsuit” officer yells at media
March 19, 2012
Two NBC journalists were handcuffed and threatened by Chicago police after attempting to report on the murder of a 6-year-old girl yesterday, NBC Chicago reports.
Another NBC journalist was also detained by police outside Mt. Sinai Hospital, where the girl had been taken following a fatal shootingduring city wide violence over the weekend.
Police were called to the hospital shortly after reporters arrived on the scene. The journalists said they has already moved away from a public sidewalk and across the street at the request of the police.
One police officer was then caught on camera telling other members of the media “Your First Amendment right can be terminated if you’re creating a scene or whatever. Your First Amendment right has got limitations.”
When the reporters asked for clarification on how they were creating a scene, the officer replied, “Your presence is creating a scene.”
“This is what we do for a living!” one reporter replied, before another added“You’ve got a lawsuit coming.”
“I don’t care about no damn lawsuit!” the officer fired back. “F*ck a lawsuit. Just ’cause you sue doesn’t mean you’re going to win.”
Photographer Donte Williams and WGN Reporter Dan Ponce were then handcuffed and briefly detained by the officer, who threatened them with trespassing charges.
March 19, 2012
The First Amendment right to assemble and protest is going to get a black eye in 2012—as it has every time there has been an upsurge in America’s social justice movements.
Already in city after city, protesters and civil rights lawyers are troubled by proposed and newly enacted anti-protest rules, many of which are likely to be found unconstitutional if they have their day in court. In the meantime mayors, police and in some cases federal agencies are making detailed plans to thwart protests at local and national events.
In many cities, ordinances aimed at Occupy protesters are emerging to restrict protests and anything resembling camping on sidewalks, streets and parks. New fees are being drawn up to discourage large demonstrations. Anti-leafleting and postering rules are also muzzling people trying to spread the word about events. And all of that is being shepherded with a new pretext for using paramilitary tactics, replacing last year’s “health and safety” excuse for sweeping away Occupy sites with the rationale of protecting “national security” in a presidential election year.