Category: Police Brutality


Protesters descend on Albuquerque City Hall to decry deadly shootings

Published time: April 08, 2014 03:59

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Protesters filled Albuquerque City Hall on Monday evening, forcing the city council to clear its legislative agenda and turn the podium over to citizens furious with police over a spiking number of fatal shootings.

City Council President Ken Sanchez told the Albuquerque Journal that more police officers would be assigned to make sure the meeting was peaceful, and that the meeting would be adjourned if tempers flared, but said the council is mulling legislation that would create more oversight over the department.

We need to make some dramatic changes,” he said. “We’re confronting a crisis situation at this time.”

Tension have been building between police and the public for years. Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski told Cindy Carcamo of the Los Angeles Times that, upon moving to Albuquerque, friends warned them to avoid the police. They did not take those warnings seriously until they watched police fatally shoot their neighbor, Alfred Lionel Redwine on March 25.

I’ve never been scared of crops, but out here, the cops terrify me,” said Michael, age 39. “They treat you like you’re out looking to cause trouble every time they talk to you.”

Chief Eden said in a press conference that Redwine brandished a weapon and shot at police during a standoff at a public housing complex, forcing the officers to return fire. Wynemda Gonzagowski disagreed, telling the Times that Redwine had surrendered to police with his arms out when he was hit.

They didn’t warn him, they didn’t tell him to freeze and get on the ground or to put his hand behind his hand,” she said.

 

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ReasonTV ReasonTV

 

Published on Feb 26, 2014

While Washington State is still adjusting to many changes since legalizing recreational marijuana—from growing space size to the number of licenses to give out—one of the biggest changes may be Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employees going to work in the private sector. Reason TV sat down with Patrick Moen, a former supervisory special agent with the DEA, who now works as compliance director and senior counsel at Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm that invests in cannabis.

“The more law enforcement officers acknowledge that prohibition [of marijuana] is wrong, the better off society is going to be,” said Moen. At the DEA he specialized in wiretaps and worked on cases varying from busting heroin and methamphetamine rings to rooting out pot and painkiller dealers. “Taking that first step is often the most difficult one, it just so happened that I was the one to take it.”

Moen says that he got a lot of support from friends and former colleagues, the latter of which privately asked him for jobs. He says people may be surprised to know that an overwhelming majority of agents he interacted with didn’t feel marijuana should be a priority for the DEA.

“Well, my own personal point of view is that drugs like methamphetamine and heroin have legitimate, observable, harmful effects to the user and people around the user and you definitely cannot say the same thing about cannabis,” says Moen.

Reason TV presented Moen with numbers from the Department of Justice’s 2013 National Drug Threat Assessment indicating an increase in the availability of methamphetamine and heroin in the U.S.

“There are some cases of mine in particular that I am very proud of that I can look back at and say that I had a measurable effect on this community for some period of time before it bounced back,” says Moen. “I don’t think anyone was under the illusion that we were going to stop it, that we were going to win the war on drugs.”

Moen is aware of the criticism of the DEA and the war on drugs in general.

“I think there is a certain subset of the population that views DEA agents as jackbooted thugs, that have an agenda to oppress them…. But it’s just another job, and there are guys there that are competent, and there are guys there that are less so, but they are all trying to do the job the best that they can.”

Privateer Holdings is looking to invest in businesses that surround the legal marijuana industry like the cannabis review site, Leafly.com, which also helps users find different strains and locations of cannabis around them. Leafly claims to have a website and app that generate more than more than 2.3 million visits a month.

The private cannabis industry isn’t without worries though. CEO at Privateer Holdings, Brenden Kennedy, told Bloomberg TV on January 28, that banking in the marijuana industry was nearly impossible because banks were concerned with the taboo nature of the product. “We have been kicked out of two banks, two large banks, very unceremoniously,” said Kennedy, who also said at least one employee at Privateer Holdings had experienced trouble with his personal bank account.

“The biggest risk we see is from the federal government. Bureaucrats and politicians are always the last ones to accept change,” said Kennedy.

Approximately 10:07.

Produced and edited by Paul Detrick. Shot by Alex Manning. Music is “A Freak” by Moby.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube Channel to receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

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The Telegraph

Ukraine and the growing number of disappeared

  David Blair reports on a secret campaign against dissent

Anti-government protests in Ukraine....epa04049795 A protester stands guard on a barricade near a line of riot police during the continuing protest in Kiev

A protester stands guard on a barricade near a line of riot police during the continuing demonstrations in Kiev Photo: EPA

In normal times, the route from the golden domes of Mikhailovsky Cathedral to the grandeur of Independence Square in the heart of Kiev might count among the most beautiful walks in Europe.

On the morning of January 3, a young Ukrainian set out on this 10-minute journey across a carpet of snow. But Rostislav Tolstoy, a 31-year-old protester swept up in the struggle against the country’s autocratic leader, never reached his destination.

Today, his face stares from a “missing” poster on the wall of Trade Union House, an occupied public building forming the nerve centre of Ukraine’s protest movement. At some point in his short daylight walk, he simply disappeared.

“We always warn people ‘don’t go anywhere alone’,” said Alexeiy Soloviyov, a fellow demonstrator and friend of Mr Tolstoy.

“Unfortunately, he did go out by himself. We called him constantly for three days, but he didn’t answer his phone. We called all hospitals, morgues and police stations – but there was no news.”

As Ukraine’s turmoil enters its third month, President Viktor Yanukovych remains locked in confrontation with tens of thousands of demonstrators occupying central Kiev behind icebound barricades.

An anti-government activist shines a laser pointer toward police at a barricade in central Kiev (AP)

Mr Yanukovych, a burly former electrician, who served time in jail for theft and assault in his youth, has not yet steeled himself to clear the protest camps in Independence Square with a full scale assault.

Rather than risk such bloodshed and obloquy, Mr Yanukovych’s security forces have chosen an alternative strategy: they are trying to cripple the rallies with a covert campaign of abduction and torture.

Daily incidents lift the veil on this silent offensive by a desperate president.

The first pillar of the effort is straightforward harassment. Thousands of demonstrators have found their names, addresses and birth dates suddenly appearing online. These long lists also disclose the colour, make and registration number of their cars.

The effect of releasing this information – which could only have emerged from a government database – was incendiary in the literal sense. Cars belonging to protesters have been set ablaze in the middle of the night, with perhaps 200 receiving this treatment so far.

This kind of vandalism is carried out by people derisively known as “Tutuskhi” – jobless youths hired by the government to cause trouble.

Above them stands a more dangerous tier of state agents, centred around the SBU, Ukraine’s domestic intelligence service. To retain deniability, the evidence suggests that hardened criminals are paid by the SBU to do the bloodiest jobs.

This nexus between the secret police and organised crime controls the second pillar of Mr Yanukovych’s hidden offensive: the kidnapping of protesters.

The ordeal of Dmytro Bulatov, a prime mover behind the protests, provides the most compelling recent evidence. After he went missing in Kiev on 22 Jan, nothing was heard from Mr Bulatov until Thursday night, when he staggered into a village outside the capital having been dumped in a forest by his captors.

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Related Articles

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Ukraine protest leader says he was tortured into saying he was a US spy

Anti-government activist Dmytro Bulatov calls for guarantee he will not be prosecuted after fleeing to Lithuania

Dmytro Bulatov holds up his hands to show marks where he says nails were driven through his hands

Ukrainian opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov at a press conference at Vilnius University hospital. He says his kidnappers beat him and drove nails through his hands. Photograph: Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images

A Ukrainian anti-government activist who fled the country after being abducted said he had been forced under torture to declare himself a US spy.

Dmytro Bulatov, the leader of a protest group known as AutoMaidan, said his kidnappers forced him to say on camera that he had accepted money from the US embassy to organise anti-government protests in Ukraine.

“I was telling them lies just to stop the torture … at one point I asked them to kill me because I couldn’t stand it any more,” the 35-year-old said on Thursday, speaking at the Vilnius University emergency hospital in Lithuania where he is being treated after leaving Ukraine on Sunday.

Bulatov was found bloodied and injured in woods outside Kiev on 30 January. He said unidentified assailants had driven nails through his hands in a “crucifixion” and had beaten him during a week in captivity.

EU leaders offered to help the activist after Ukrainian police said they wanted to charge him with taking part in “mass disorder”.

The potential charges relate to AutoMaidan’s protests, which involve convoys of sometimes hundreds of cars driving to the homes of allies of the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych.

Bulatov described his kidnap as “the worst experience I’ve ever had” and said he still suffers severe headaches and dizziness.

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Ukrainian protestor shows scars where he was nailed to a cross when he was crucified by government supporters ‘and forced to declare he was a US spy’

  • Dmytro Bulatov says kidnappers kept him in the dark for more than a week
  • 35-year-old told rescuers he was severely tortured then dumped in forest
  • He has scars from where nails were hammered through both hands
  • Bulatov is a member of Automaidan, an anti-government car owner group
  • Kidnapping is the latest attack on a Ukrainian anti-government protester
  • President Viktor Yanukovych is accused of ‘intimidating the opposition’
  • Attack comes as anti-government protests in Ukraine continue to grow

By Lizzie Parry and John Hall

|

A Ukrainian anti-government activist who fled the country after being abducted said he was tortured and forced to admit he was an American spy.

Dmytro Bulatov, 35, a member of Automaiden – a group of car owners that has taken part in protests against President Viktor Yanukovyvh – went missing on January 22.

He said he was kidnapped, crucified and had part of his ear cut off as his captors forced him to say on camera that he had accepted money from the US Embassy, to organise anti-government protests in the country.

He was discovered outside Kiev yesterday and told rescuers that his kidnappers kept him in the dark for more than a week, beat him severely, nailed him to a cross and sliced off a piece of ear, before eventually dumping him in a forest.

 

Ukrainian opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov holds up his hands to reveal the scars left when kidnappers nailed him to a cross, holding captive for a week

Ukrainian opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov holds up his hands to reveal the scars left when kidnappers nailed him to a cross, holding captive for a week

Bulatov said his captors forced him to admit he was a US spy. He said: 'I was telling them lies just to stop the torture'

Bulatov said his captors forced him to admit he was a US spy. He said: ‘I was telling them lies just to stop the torture’

The 35-year-old told rescuers that his kidnappers kept him in the dark for more than a week, beat him severely, nailed him to a cross and sliced off a piece of his ear

The 35-year-old told rescuers that his kidnappers kept him in the dark for more than a week, beat him severely, nailed him to a cross and sliced off a piece of his ear

Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko speaks to Dmytro Bulatov in the Kiev hospital where he is receiving treatment after the alleged kidnapping

Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko speaks to Dmytro Bulatov in the Kiev hospital where he is receiving treatment after the alleged kidnapping

Bulatov talks to the media in a hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania. He fled the Ukraine for fear of being prosecuted

Bulatov talks to the media in a hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania. He fled the Ukraine for fear of being prosecuted

Dmytro Bulatov's badly swollen hands appeared to show nail marks from his alleged crucifixion

Dmytro Bulatov’s badly swollen hands appeared to show nail marks from his alleged crucifixion

Opposition leader Petro Poroshenko (right) rushed to the hospital where Bulatov (left) was taken

Opposition leader Petro Poroshenko (right) rushed to the hospital where Bulatov (left) was taken

‘I was telling them lies just to stop the torture… At one point I asked them to kill me because I couldn’t stand it any more,’ said the 35-year-old, speaking at the Vilnius University Emergency Hospital in Lithuania where he is being treated after leaving Ukraine on Sunday.

He said unidentified assailants had driven nails through his hands in a ‘crucifixion’ and had beaten him during a week in captivity.

‘They crucified me, they nailed down my hands. They cut off my ear, they cut my face. There isn’t a spot on my body that hasn’t been beaten…Thank God I am alive,’ Bulatov told Ukraine’s Channel 5.

Footage shows his face and clothes covered in blood and his swollen hands showing nail marks.

EU leaders offered to help the activist after Ukrainian police said they wanted to charge him with taking part in ‘mass disorder’ related to protests consisting of convoys of sometimes hundreds of cars driving up to the homes of allies of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Bulatov described his kidnap as ‘the worst experience I’ve ever had’. He still suffered severe headaches and dizziness.

Video of his bloodied face has been replayed repeatedly on opposition television channels in Ukraine, fuelling anger among protesters occupying main streets and public buildings across the country.

Bulatov said he would not return to Ukraine unless he got guarantees that he will not be prosecuted.

‘I want my government to give guarantees to the international community that I will not be politically prosecuted,’ he said.

‘The government should close all criminal cases against activists, including me, who have taken part in the protests.’

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breakingtheset breakingtheset·

Published on Jan 23, 2014

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Worst of Congress, Georgism, a Police Abuse Round Up, and Snowden’s Q&A.
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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on fears by Iraqi officials that the al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could be gaining enough strength to attack Baghdad. Abby then calls out 6 of the most corrupt and least popular members of congress, going over some of the conflicts of interests and blatant hypocrisy that have come to characterize the 113th Congress. Abby then speaks with Scott Baker, president of Common Ground NYC about the Georgism Philosophy, and how the elimination of all taxes except a land use tax could be applied and sustained. Abby then calls attention to three recent cases of police abuse in the US, including an instance where an officer ruptured a young man’s testicle. BTS wraps up the show with an interview with David Seaman, journalist and host of the David Seaman Hour, going over Edward Snowden’s recent live online Q&A in response to Obama’s speech on the most controversial aspects of the NSA’s global spying apparatus.

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breakingtheset breakingtheset

 

Published on Jan 20, 2014

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Bill Maher Politically Correct, Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, Undocumented Police Brutality, and MLK’s Whitewashed Legacy.
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FOLLOW Abby Martin @ http://twitter.com/AbbyMartin
EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin calls out TV host Bill Maher for his contemptuous comments regarding Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks as a stunning display of arrogance and ignorance. Abby then remarks on the anniversary of President Eisenhower’s farewell address, citing his warning to the American people of the danger of the military industrial complex. Abby then speaks to RT Correspondent Liz Wahl, about the growing epidemic of police abuse in the US and the lack of official documentation of these statistics. BTS wraps up the show with a discussion on the ‘whitewashing’ of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and speaks with Howard University Professor Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, and Morgan State University Professor Dr. Jared A. Ball, about the aspects of MLK’s life that the corporate media overlooks.

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File:Hinged Handcuffs Rear Back To Back.JPG
Image Source  :  Wikimedia . Org
Author  Skiddie2003
Post-Gazette.com

A Ross woman sued Allegheny County today, claiming that sheriff’s deputies injured her arm and the jail’s former medical provider ignored her complaints, resulting in amputation.

Amy J. Needham, 35, of Ross, was arrested by county sheriffs on April 2, according to the complaint. Her attorney, Marvin Leibowitz, said she was the subject of a warrant because she missed a preliminary hearing on a charge that was ultimately reduced to a disorderly conduct.

When sheriff’s office employees arrived, Ms. Needham said she was using the bathroom, but they broke down the bathroom door, according to the complaint. They shocked her with a Taser, applied arm bars and wrist locks, and put on handcuffs “that were too tight,” the complaint said.

That treatment, according to the complaint, caused “compartment syndrome,” which is increased pressure in a muscle compartment that can damage both muscles and nerves.

Over the course of around a week in jail, according to Mr. Leibowitz, Ms. Needham made 16 requests to see a doctor, but was denied. She was finally hospitalized at UPMC Mercy where her arm was amputated above the elbow, according to the complaint.

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Allegheny County sheriff responds to lawsuit from Ross amputee

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(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

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The Rutherford Institute

By John W. Whitehead
December 30, 2013

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”—George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1

In Harold Ramis’ classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is forced to live the same day over and over again until he not only gains some insight into his life but changes his priorities. Similarly, as I illustrate in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we in the emerging American police state find ourselves reliving the same set of circumstances over and over again—egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc.—although with far fewer moments of comic hilarity.

What remains to be seen is whether 2014 will bring more of the same or whether “we the people” will wake up from our somnambulant states. Indeed, when it comes to civil liberties and freedom, 2013 was far from a banner year. The following is just a sampling of what we can look forward to repeating if we don’t find some way to push back against the menace of an overreaching, aggressive, invasive, militarized government and restore our freedoms.

Government spying. It’s hard to understand how anyone could be surprised by the news that the National Security Agency has been systematically collecting information on all telephone calls placed in the United States, and yet the news media have treated it as a complete revelation. Nevertheless, such outlandish government spying been going on domestically since the 1970s, when Senator Frank Church (D-Ida.), who served as the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence that investigated the NSA’s breaches, warned the public against allowing the government to overstep its authority in the name of national security. Church recognized that such surveillance powers “at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.” Recent reports indicate that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has actually gone so far as to intercept laptop computers ordered online in order to install spyware on them.

Militarized police. With almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participating in a military “recycling” program, community police forces across the country continue to be transformed into outposts of the military, with police agencies acquiring military-grade hardware—tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield—in droves. Keep in mind that once acquired, this military equipment, which is beyond the budget and scope of most communities, finds itself put to all manner of uses by local law enforcement agencies under the rationale that “if we have it, we might as well use it”—the same rationale, by the way, used with deadly results to justify assigning SWAT teams to carry out routine law enforcement work such as delivering a warrant.

Police shootings of unarmed citizens. Owing in large part to the militarization of local law enforcement agencies, not a week goes by without more reports of hair-raising incidents by police imbued with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a battlefield approach to the communities in which they serve. Sadly, it is no longer unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later, such as the 16-year-old teenager who skipped school only to be shot by police after they mistook him for a fleeing burglar. Then there was the unarmed black man in Texas “who was pursued and shot in the back of the neck by Austin Police… after failing to properly identify himself and leaving the scene of an unrelated incident.” And who could forget the 19-year-old Seattle woman who was accidentally shot in the leg by police after she refused to show her hands? The lesson to be learned: this is what happens when you take a young man (or woman), raise him on a diet of violence, hype him up on the power of the gun in his holster and the superiority of his uniform, render him woefully ignorant of how to handle a situation without resorting to violence, train him well in military tactics but allow him to be illiterate about the Constitution, and never stress to him that he is to be a peacemaker and a peacekeeper, respectful of and subservient to the taxpayers, who are in fact his masters and employers.

The erosion of private property. If the government can tell you what you can and cannot do within the privacy of your home, whether it relates to what you eat or what you smoke, you no longer have any rights whatsoever within your home. If government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property. If school officials can punish your children for what they do or say while at home or in your care, your children are not your own—they are the property of the state. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Likewise, if police can forcefully draw your blood, strip search you, and probe you intimately, your body is no longer your own, either. This is what a world without the Fourth Amendment looks like, where the lines between private and public property have been so blurred that private property is reduced to little more than something the government can use to control, manipulate and harass you to suit its own purposes, and you the homeowner and citizen have been reduced to little more than a tenant or serf in bondage to an inflexible landlord.

Strip searches and the loss of bodily integrity. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to protect the citizenry from being subjected to “unreasonable searches and seizures” by government agents. While the literal purpose of the amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our human dignity. Unfortunately, court rulings undermining the Fourth Amendment and justifying invasive strip searches have left us powerless against police empowered to forcefully draw our blood, strip search us, and probe us intimately. For example, during a routine traffic stop, Leila Tarantino was allegedly subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic, while her two children—ages 1 and 4—waited inside her car. During the second strip search, presumably in an effort to ferret out drugs, a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. No contraband or anything illegal was found.

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Josie Outlaw·

 

Published on Dec 1, 2013

Something you need to consider if you work in law enforcement–a question of life or death that you need to answer, and answer now.

(If you like what you see here, please consider visiting http://www.JOSIEtheOUTLAW.com and helping Josie to keep spreading the message of true freedom.)

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Reuters / John Gress / Files

Reuters / John Gress / Files

A minor traffic stop went nightmarishly wrong for a New Mexico man who was detained by police and forced to undergo a series of anal probes and other medical examinations against his will.

David Eckert had just finished shopping at Walmart in Deming, New Mexico when an officer pulled him over for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. According to the local KOB TV station, federal documents claim that police noticed Eckert clenching his buttocks when they asked him to step outside of the car, indicating that he may have been carrying drugs in his anal cavity.

After detaining Eckert and requesting a search warrant from a judge, police took him to a local hospital for doctors to perform a search. The doctor refused, saying the search was unethical. Police then took Eckert to the Gila Regional Medical Center, where doctors agreed to cooperate.

The doctors then performed a wide array of procedures, all without the consent of Eckert, who protested each one. First, doctors took an X-Ray of his abdomen, which revealed no narcotics hidden inside the body. Then, doctors performed two anal exams with their fingers, both of which failed to uncover any drugs.

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