This Week in Police Violence
vicemag:

Everyone’s Tweeting Photos of Police Brutality Thanks to the NYPD’s Failed Hashtag 
Twitter is a cool website where you can type any old thing into a box and senpecid it out into the ether for the entire internet to read. Some people use it to joke around, some people use it to be like, “HEY INJUSTICE IS HAPPENING, WHOA #GETINVOLVED” and some people use it in order to roleplay as characters from Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you like heated arguments with total strangers. 
Large institutions like corporations and government agencies use Twitter too, usually pretty badly. “Hey, we’re a pizza company, send us pictures of you eating our pizza and hashtag them #pizzapics” is an example of a typical lousy tweet from one of these accounts. Generally institutions try to drum up something vague called “social engagement”—basically they want to get people tweeting good stuff about them so other people see those tweets and, I guess, come to think good thoughts about the institution who started the engagement campaign. The New York Police Department was probably thinking they could do one of those social engagement thingies when they launched the hashtag #MyNYPD with this tweet:

What the person running the Twitter account probably failed to realize is that most people’s interactions with the cops fall into a few categories:

1. You are talking to them to get help after you or someone you knew was robbed, beaten, murdered, or sexually assaulted.
2. You are getting arrested. 
3. You are getting beaten by the police.

Continue

vicemag:

Everyone’s Tweeting Photos of Police Brutality Thanks to the NYPD’s Failed Hashtag 

Twitter is a cool website where you can type any old thing into a box and senpecid it out into the ether for the entire internet to read. Some people use it to joke around, some people use it to be like, “HEY INJUSTICE IS HAPPENING, WHOA #GETINVOLVED” and some people use it in order to roleplay as characters from Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you like heated arguments with total strangers. 

Large institutions like corporations and government agencies use Twitter too, usually pretty badly. “Hey, we’re a pizza company, send us pictures of you eating our pizza and hashtag them #pizzapics” is an example of a typical lousy tweet from one of these accounts. Generally institutions try to drum up something vague called “social engagement”—basically they want to get people tweeting good stuff about them so other people see those tweets and, I guess, come to think good thoughts about the institution who started the engagement campaign. The New York Police Department was probably thinking they could do one of those social engagement thingies when they launched the hashtag #MyNYPD with this tweet:

What the person running the Twitter account probably failed to realize is that most people’s interactions with the cops fall into a few categories:

1. You are talking to them to get help after you or someone you knew was robbed, beaten, murdered, or sexually assaulted.

2. You are getting arrested. 

3. You are getting beaten by the police.

Continue

theatlantic:

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

A sergeant in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department compared the experiment to Big Brother, even though he went ahead with it willingly. Is your city next?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

A sergeant in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department compared the experiment to Big Brother, even though he went ahead with it willingly. Is your city next?

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

marxvx:

Alabama Prisoners to Strike on Easter Sunday
Building on the mass hunger strike of prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison in July of last year, several hundred prisoners across Alabama have declared that, beginning Easter Sunday, they will stop prison-mandated labor in protest of detestable living conditions.
The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many people as the 16,000 that can be housed “humanely”, with everything from black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and general disrepair. They are also run by free slave labor, with 10,000 incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to $600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.
Unpaid labor includes cooking and cleaning, production of license plates, furniture, chemicals, and linens, and farming. The slavery analogy is more than metaphorical: African-Americans comprise only 26% of Alabama’s population, but make up more than 60% of the prison population due to reactionary legislation and racist targeting of communities of color. Reports of beatings and systemic rape and sexual abuse of women inmates by guards at Tutwiler State Prison have surfaced in the media over the last year.
(In the US, forced labor produces everything from military equipment to lingerie, school supplies, and food.)
On the outside, labor unions and prisoners’ advocacy groups have been instrumental in helping prisoners organize themselves. The Free Alabama Movement is pushing an “Education, Rehabilitation, and Re-entry Preparedness Bill” to the Alabama legislature, while the Industrial Workers of the World labor union has vowed to provide support and assistance to the incarcerated laborers.
Melvin Ray, spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) said:

When we look at our situations inside of the Alabama Department of Corrections, we have no choice but to engage in this nonviolent and peaceful protest for civil and human rights. We sleep with rats and roaches. We work for free and eat slop unfit for human consumption. We serve decades in prison solely to provide free labor and without any real prospect for parole, and without any recourse to the courts for justice or redress of grievances. Our mothers, wives, and daughters must expose their breasts and panties just to visit us. This should not be acceptable to anyone. Prison is supposed to be a place where people go to work out issues and return to society. But when there is no focus on education or rehab but solely on profit margins, human suffering is inevitable. ADOC is about free labor and the new slavery no one wants to talk about. That is no longer going to work for the 30,000 of us who suffer because of it.

The Industrial Workers of the World was involved in a similar campaign in 1987, in which they organized 400 incarcerated laborers in an Ohio state prison, before the government ruled that prisoners are not legally entitled to the right to form a union - a right which all other workers enjoy.

marxvx:

Alabama Prisoners to Strike on Easter Sunday

Building on the mass hunger strike of prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison in July of last year, several hundred prisoners across Alabama have declared that, beginning Easter Sunday, they will stop prison-mandated labor in protest of detestable living conditions.

The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many people as the 16,000 that can be housed “humanely”, with everything from black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and general disrepair. They are also run by free slave labor, with 10,000 incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to $600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.

Unpaid labor includes cooking and cleaning, production of license plates, furniture, chemicals, and linens, and farming. The slavery analogy is more than metaphorical: African-Americans comprise only 26% of Alabama’s population, but make up more than 60% of the prison population due to reactionary legislation and racist targeting of communities of color. Reports of beatings and systemic rape and sexual abuse of women inmates by guards at Tutwiler State Prison have surfaced in the media over the last year.

(In the US, forced labor produces everything from military equipment to lingerie, school supplies, and food.)

On the outside, labor unions and prisoners’ advocacy groups have been instrumental in helping prisoners organize themselves. The Free Alabama Movement is pushing an “Education, Rehabilitation, and Re-entry Preparedness Bill” to the Alabama legislature, while the Industrial Workers of the World labor union has vowed to provide support and assistance to the incarcerated laborers.

Melvin Ray, spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) said:

When we look at our situations inside of the Alabama Department of Corrections, we have no choice but to engage in this nonviolent and peaceful protest for civil and human rights. We sleep with rats and roaches. We work for free and eat slop unfit for human consumption. We serve decades in prison solely to provide free labor and without any real prospect for parole, and without any recourse to the courts for justice or redress of grievances. Our mothers, wives, and daughters must expose their breasts and panties just to visit us. This should not be acceptable to anyone. Prison is supposed to be a place where people go to work out issues and return to society. But when there is no focus on education or rehab but solely on profit margins, human suffering is inevitable. ADOC is about free labor and the new slavery no one wants to talk about. That is no longer going to work for the 30,000 of us who suffer because of it.

The Industrial Workers of the World was involved in a similar campaign in 1987, in which they organized 400 incarcerated laborers in an Ohio state prison, before the government ruled that prisoners are not legally entitled to the right to form a union - a right which all other workers enjoy.

vicemag:

The Police Raided My Friend’s House Over a Parody Twitter Account 
Jon Daniel woke up on Thursday morning to a news crew in his living room, which was a welcome change from the company he had on Tuesday night, when the Peoria, Illinois, police came crashing through the door. The officers tore the 28-year-old’s home apart, seizing electronics and taking several of his roommates in for questioning; one woman who lived there spent three hours in an interrogation room. All for a parody Twitter account.
Yes, the cops raided Daniel’s home because they wanted to find out who was behind @peoriamayor, an account that had been shut down weeks ago by Twitter. When it was active, Daniel used it to portray Jim Ardis, the mayor of Peoria, as a weed-smoking, stripper-loving, Midwestern answer to Rob Ford. The account never had more than 50 followers, and Twitter had killed it because it wasn’t clearly marked as a parody. It was a joke, a lark—but it brought the police to Daniel’s door. The cops even took Daniel and one of his housemates in for in-depth questioning—they showed up at their jobs, cuffed them, and confiscated their phones—because of a bunch of Twitter jokes.
Now Daniel’s panicking.
“I’m going to fucking jail,” he told me yesterday when he was on a break from his job as a line cook. “They’re going to haul me away for this shit.”
Continue

vicemag:

The Police Raided My Friend’s House Over a Parody Twitter Account 

Jon Daniel woke up on Thursday morning to a news crew in his living room, which was a welcome change from the company he had on Tuesday night, when the Peoria, Illinois, police came crashing through the door. The officers tore the 28-year-old’s home apart, seizing electronics and taking several of his roommates in for questioning; one woman who lived there spent three hours in an interrogation room. All for a parody Twitter account.

Yes, the cops raided Daniel’s home because they wanted to find out who was behind @peoriamayor, an account that had been shut down weeks ago by Twitter. When it was active, Daniel used it to portray Jim Ardis, the mayor of Peoria, as a weed-smoking, stripper-loving, Midwestern answer to Rob Ford. The account never had more than 50 followers, and Twitter had killed it because it wasn’t clearly marked as a parody. It was a joke, a lark—but it brought the police to Daniel’s door. The cops even took Daniel and one of his housemates in for in-depth questioning—they showed up at their jobs, cuffed them, and confiscated their phones—because of a bunch of Twitter jokes.

Now Daniel’s panicking.

“I’m going to fucking jail,” he told me yesterday when he was on a break from his job as a line cook. “They’re going to haul me away for this shit.”

Continue

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Police in Los Angeles tested wide-area surveillance technology on the streets of Compton.
It’s described as “Google Earth with a rewind button and the ability to play back the movement of cars and people.” 
Curious: Does surveillance technology like this make you feel safer? Creeped out?
Gif via Gizmodo

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Police in Los Angeles tested wide-area surveillance technology on the streets of Compton.

It’s described as “Google Earth with a rewind button and the ability to play back the movement of cars and people.” 

Curious: Does surveillance technology like this make you feel safer? Creeped out?

Gif via Gizmodo

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Police in Los Angeles County recently piloted a new technology known as wide-area surveillance to monitor Compton’s streets from the air. Imagine Google Earth with a rewind button for law enforcement.So why have local residents heard little about this experiment until now?Our new special with KQED gives you a first-hand look at emerging surveillance technologies that are being used to fight crime – and the privacy concerns they raise.
Read the full story and watch the segment here.

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Police in Los Angeles County recently piloted a new technology known as wide-area surveillance to monitor Compton’s streets from the air. Imagine Google Earth with a rewind button for law enforcement.

So why have local residents heard little about this experiment until now?

Our new special with KQED gives you a first-hand look at emerging surveillance technologies that are being used to fight crime – and the privacy concerns they raise.

Read the full story and watch the segment here.

There are very, very few African-American astrophysics PhDs. That’s for a reason. I was doing something people of my skin color were not supposed to do.

I was stopped and questioned seven times by University police on my way into the physics building,” he explained. “Seven times. Zero times was I stopped going into the gym — and I went to the gym a lot. That says all you need to know about how welcome I felt at Texas.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an anomaly in American science

Follow policymic

(via policymic)

Perhaps in the 1980s the intent was to secretly infiltrate radical movements unbeknownst to the participants, yet in later decades when knowledge of such infiltrations became commonplace, strategy shifted to capitalise on the disruptive effects of presumed surveillance. As it is established that officials were aware of undercover officers forming sexual relationships within target communities, it must be assumed that such actions were understood as aiding their larger goals. It is also entirely possible that the police agencies responsible for dispatching undercover officers became aware that knowledge of their embedded presence would serve to destabilise communities, and thus facilitated (or failed to stop) leaks of information that would lead to such a strategy being exposed. The production of the expectation of surveillance may serve to be a more valuable feature than the actual surveillance, in the same way that the anticipated guillotine serves a more efficient disciplinary power then its public usage.

A hundred drunk white children yelling, “Fuck. Da. Po-lice.”

You can literally make people crazy by keeping them in solitary.

Dr. Bruce Perry, a child psychiatrist and senior fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, explains the mental and physical toll that solitary confinement takes on kids.

Learn more in the full Q&A with CIR reporter Trey Bundy here

(via centerforinvestigativereporting)