Police Misconduct

FBI employees were also disciplined for, among other naughtiness: knowingly marrying drug dealers, misusing their FBI status, shoplifting, using stolen ATM cards, purchasing child pornography, check fraud, perusing FBI databases for personal reasons and tax fraud. Personally, I don’t object to anybody hitching up with purveyors of illicit intoxicants or dodging taxes, but if you’re going to willingly enforce drug and tax laws against other people, it seems unsporting to return at night to a home stocked with cocaine and bundles of cash.

To be honest, in any large organization, you’re going to have disciplinary problems ranging from the minor to the mind-boggling. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is no different. But that’s just the point. As the government builds its databases, imposes ever-more intrusive laws and regulations and exercises increasingly unchecked power to monitor and track people’s activities, all that authority is inevitably wielded by people who get drunk and stick their Blackberries down their pants. There’s no way to avoid that.

FBI Sexting and Stealing a Great Reason To Not Give The Bureau More Power

You will submit to my authoitah

What about Kelly Thomas, who screamed for his father while five cops beat him to death? Or Patricia Cook, shot to death by a deranged alcoholic with a badge? Or Andrew Scott, killed during a wrong-door raid? Or Nick Christie, gagged and pepper-sprayed to death by prison guards? Or Seth Adams, shot four times by a cop behind his family business, then left to die? Or Wendell Allen, who was unarmed when a New Orleans cop shot and killed him during a raid? Or Ramarley Graham, the 18-year-old New Yorker shot and killed by plainclothes cops for trying to flush a small bag of marijuana down the toilet? Or Kyle Miller, killed by Colorado police for waving a BB gun in the air? Or Todd Blair, killed by Utah police for raising a golf club above his head?

That’s a smattering of names from the last year or so. A complete list is impossible, though you could spend months culling names from local media outlets. It would be significantly longer if we included people who were shot, but didn’t die; or people who were just shot at by cops. It would be exponentially longer if we included people who were beaten, intimidated, wrongly arrested/incarcerated, or otherwise abused by police officers.

We’re Not Going to Have an “Adult Conversation” About State Violence, Are We?

PoliceMisconduct.net – “A Cato Institute project to gather reports of allegations of police misconduct and find policies that improve ethics and professionalism.”

The most recent of the two eight-figure police settlements stems from the horrifying turn of events following the arrest and subsequent release of the then-21-year-old Eilman. The Tribune reports Eilman was arrested during a bipolar breakdown as she was trying to fly from Midway to California in May 2006. Instead of following protocol—and a watch commander’s order—and taking Eilman to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, officers transferred and then released the disoriented and still-erratic Eilmen without assistance into one of the city’s highest-crime neighborhoods.

Once released, the former UCLA student was abducted and sexually assaulted by gang members before plummeting seven stories to the ground below. Eilmen suffered a severe and permanent brain injury, and doctors say she will not recover.

The $22.5 million payment—a steep decline from the $100 million Eilmen’s parents were seeking—will be the largest single-victim settlement in city history.

Alton Logan Christina Eilman Police Settlement: City Could Pay Budget-Busting $33 Million For Police Abuse

Christina Eilman Nothing to see here. Move along

In the last couple years we’ve had a bunch of stories about people arrested for filming police. While it seems that more and more courts are recognizing that such filming is protected activity, there have been a few bizarre moments, including famed appeals court judge Richard Posner complaining about how allowing such filming would mean that it would actually happen.

But, as we’ve seen over and over again, filming police is one of the few ways to prove abuse of police power. Back in the summer of 2007, a police officer named Salvatore Rivieri in Baltimore decided to use his position to harass some skateboarding kids in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area. As part of his harassment, he took one kid’s skateboard after throwing him to the ground and screaming at him. The whole thing was videotaped by another kid… and it was uploaded to YouTube a few months later:

Police Officer (Salvatore Rivieri) Fired Over Questionable Confrontation, Would Have Gone Unnoticed Without YouTube Video

Big effin coward – “I am not Man! I am Officer Rivieri!”

Police Misconduct – ACLU of the Nation’s Capital

Video is your friend


Recording the Police: Is Citizen Journalism against the Law?

Last week the City of Boston agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees to settle a civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2007 felony arrest for videotaping police roughing up a suspect. Prior to the settlement, the First Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Glik had a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public.” The Boston Police Department now explicitly instructs its officers not to arrest citizens openly recording them in public.

Slowly but surely the courts are recognizing that recording on-duty police is a protected First Amendment activity. But in the meantime, police around the country continue to intimidate and arrest citizens for doing just that. So if you’re an aspiring cop watcher you must be uniquely prepared to deal with hostile cops.

If you choose to record the police you can reduce the risk of terrible legal consequences and video loss by understanding your state’s laws and carefully adhering to the following rules.

7 Rules for Recording Police: Courts are expanding rights but cops are cracking down. Find out how to keep your footage, and yourself, out of trouble.


Also see the Bill of Rights card from Two Seas Media 2CsBOR.com


Mockery is best, then enjoy the decline.

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