He had no arms! come on…. and… try to forget this happened, keeps happening, and will happen again and again and again.
An unarmed, emotionally disturbed man shot at by the police as he was lurching around traffic near Times Square in September has been charged with assault, on the theory that he was responsible for bullet wounds suffered by two bystanders, according to an indictment unsealed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday.
The man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, created a disturbance on Sept. 14, wading into traffic at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue and throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.
A curious crowd grew. Police officers arrived and tried to corral Mr. Broadnax, a 250-pound man. When he reached into his pants pocket, two officers, who, the police said, thought he was pulling a gun, opened fire, missing Mr. Broadnax, but hitting two nearby women. Finally, a police sergeant knocked Mr. Broadnax down with a Taser.
The shootings once again raised questions about the police use of firearms in crowded areas and drew comparisons to a shooting a year ago, when officers struck nine bystanders in front of the Empire State Building when they killed an armed murder suspect.
Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan district attorney’s office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr. Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”
“The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders,” said an assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey.
The two police officers, who have not been identified, have been placed on administrative duty and their actions are still under investigation by the district attorney’s office, law enforcement officials said. They also face an internal Police Department inquiry.
Mr. Broadnax’s lawyer, Rigodis Appling, said Mr. Broadnax suffered from anxiety and depression and had been disoriented and scared when the police shot at him. He was reaching for his wallet, not a gun, she said. “Mr. Broadnax never imagined his behavior would ever cause the police to shoot at him,” she said.
After his arrest, Mr. Broadnax was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he told a detective that “he was talking to dead relatives in his head and that he tried throwing himself in front of cars to kill himself,” according to a court document released on Wednesday.
A judge ordered a mental evaluation, and a psychiatrist later found Mr. Broadnax competent to stand trial, Ms. Appling said.
On Wednesday, Justice Gregory Carro set bail at $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash.
Mariann Wang, a lawyer representing Sahar Khoshakhlagh, one of the women who was wounded, said the district attorney should be pursuing charges against the two officers who fired their weapons in a crowd, not against Mr. Broadnax. “It’s an incredibly unfortunate use of prosecutorial discretion to be prosecuting a man who didn’t even injure my client,” she said. “It’s the police who injured my client.”
Police Bullets Hit Bystanders, and Questions Rise Yet Again (September 16, 2013)
The Hill side Strangers in LA used to pose as cops…. If you are a woman or ANYONE alone at night – drive to a public place BEFORE pulling over! Use this case as your defense!
SAN ANTONIO – Friday morning. On duty. Full Uniform. Marked Squad Car. Officer Jackie Neal, 40, made a traffic stop and then allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman, according to the San Antonio Police Department.
Police said the 11-year veteran pulled the victim over on the south side and managed to get her to stand behind his squad car. San Antonio police Chief William McManus described the events that followed as “unthinkable.”
An investigation was opened after the victim contacted police. According to a statement issued by the department, Neal was taken into custody by SAPD Special Victims’ Unit detectives after officers pulled him over around 2 a.m. Saturday. He was arrested on a warrant for sexual assault, a second-degree felony.
“I am angry. I am outraged. It’s a punch in the eye to the police department, this kind of conduct,” McManus said. “We won’t tolerate it for a second. And I think the swiftness of the investigation and the arrest is indicative of that.”
Neal has been placed on administrative leave with pay, in accordance with department protocol. If indicted, the pay would cease. He was released from custody Saturday morning at 7:25 a.m.
He was suspended in September, according to an agenda for the San Antonio Police and Firefighter Civil Service Commission, but circumstances surrounding that suspension have not been made clear.
Here is a report on new rules published in the Federal Register. This may hit 3,400 this year, and 77,000 pages. Here is a report.
- Last week, 66 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 78 new final rules the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 33 minutes.
- All in all, 3,186 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,604 new final rules.
- Last week, 1,689 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 68,313 pages.
- At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 77,278 pages, which would be good for fifth all time. The current record is 81,405 pages, set in 2010.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. No such rules were published last week, keeping the total at 35 so far in 2013.
- The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.42 billion to $11.82 billion.
- So far, 289 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
- So far this year, 629 final rules affect small business; 86 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- The FAA had a busy week, issuing 26 final rules. See them all here.
- If two businesses want to merge, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act often requires them to get permission first from the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC issued a rule changing some of the Hart-Scott-Rodino procedures for pharmaceutical companies.
- The FDA formally approved spirulina extract for use as a safe food coloring additive. (Gee thanks…. We now have 1/2 hearted permission to use the best green ingredient on earth!)
- If you’ve been longing to import ovine meat from Uruguay, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is giving you the go ahead to satisfy your craving. This rule could cause lamb to become slightly cheaper, depending on demand.
Read more here
Fort Worth police apologize for its role in federal survey
Ed: It was ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL in the Texas Supreme Court to use checkpoints (Barring Border Patrol allegedly)- By default, eleven states do not use DUI checkpoints for monitoring driver sobriety. These eleven states are: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In Texas, the police are not allowed to perform DUI roadblocks as the State Supreme Court ruled that they were in violation of each resident’s constitutional rights.
Some drivers along a busy Fort Worth street on Friday were stopped at a police roadblock and directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.
It was part of a government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.
“It just doesn’t seem right that you can be forced off the road when you’re not doing anything wrong,” said Kim Cope, who said she was on her lunch break when she was forced to pull over at the roadblock on Beach Street in North Fort Worth.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is spending $7.9 million on the survey over three years, said participation was “100 percent voluntary” and anonymous.
But Cope said it didn’t feel voluntary to her — despite signs saying it was.
“I gestured to the guy in front that I just wanted to go straight, but he wouldn’t let me and forced me into a parking spot,” she said.
Once parked, she couldn’t believe what she was asked next.
“They were asking for cheek swabs,” she said. “They would give $10 for that. Also, if you let them take your blood, they would pay you $50 for that.”
At the very least, she said, they wanted to test her breath for alcohol.
She said she felt trapped.
“I finally did the Breathalyzer test just because I thought that would be the easiest way to leave,” she said, adding she received no money.
Fort Worth police earlier said they could not immediately find any record of officer involvement but police spokesman Sgt. Kelly Peel said Tuesday that the department’s Traffic Division coordinated with the NHTSA on the use of off-duty officers after the agency asked for help with the survey.
“We are reviewing the actions of all police personnel involved to ensure that FWPD policies and procedures were followed,” he said. “We apologize if any of our drivers and citizens were offended or inconvenienced by the NHTSA National Roadside Survey.”
NBC DFW confirmed that the survey was done by a government contractor, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, which is based in Calverton, Md.
A company spokeswoman referred questions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
An agency spokeswoman sent an email confirming the government is conducting the surveys in 30 cities across the country in an effort to reduce impaired-driving accidents.
She did not respond to another email from NBC DFW asking specific questions about the program..
But a Fort Worth attorney who is an expert in civil liberties law questioned whether such stops are constitutional.
“You can’t just be pulled over randomly or for no reason,” said attorney Frank Colosi.
He also noted the fine print on a form given to drivers informs them their breath was tested by “passive alcohol sensor readings before the consent process has been completed.”
“They’re essentially lying to you when they say it’s completely voluntary, because they’re testing you at that moment,” Colosi said.
He also questioned the results of the “voluntary” survey — speculating that drivers who had been drinking or using drugs would be more inclined to simply decline to participate.
Cope said she is troubled by what happened.
“It just doesn’t seem right that they should be able to do any of it,” she said. “If it’s voluntary, it’s voluntary, and none of it felt voluntary.”
Asked Tuesday if she accepted the police department’s apology, Cope said she would wait to see what the review showed.
“They need to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.
Get ready to jump through yet another ”security” hoop next time you travel by plane.
The TSA is now installing exit “detention pods” at major airports that will temporarily “jail” passengers before they are allowed to leave terminals.
Here is how the pods work: when passengers are ready to leave a terminal, they will be forced into the pods, one at a time. Each passenger must remain in the pod until an electronic voice gives them permission to leave and the door opens.
After passing through a pod, passengers may not re-enter the terminal without going through security again.
Currently at most airports, TSA agents stand at terminal exits for safety purposes. The idea is that these new pods will replace such agents, therefore saving money and increasing security.
The pods are already being used in the Syracuse International Airport.
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RT via the Stranger
Police in Seattle, Washington have responded to a major public outcry by disabling a recently discovered law enforcement tool that critics said could be used to conduct sweeping surveillance across the city.
Last week, Seattle’s The Stranger published an in-depth look at a little known new initiative taking place within the city that involved the installation of dozens of devices that would create a digital mesh network for law enforcement officers. The devices — small white-boxes equipped with antennas and adorned on utility poles — would broadcast data wirelessly between nodes so police officers could have their own private network to more easily share large amounts of data. As The Stranger pointed out, however, those same contraptions were able to collect data on internet-ready devices of anyone within reach, essentially allowing the Seattle Police Department to see where cell phones, laptops and any other smart devices operating within reach were located.
The SPD said they had no bad intentions with installing the mesh network, but The Stranger article and the subsequent media coverage it spawned quickly caused the system to receive the type of attention that wasn’t very welcomed. Now only days after citizens began calling for the dismantling of the mesh network, The Stranger has confirmed that the SPD are disabling the devices until a proper policy could be adopted by the city.
“The wireless mesh network will be deactivated until city council approves a draft policy and until there’s an opportunity forvigorous public debate,” Police Chief Jim Pugel told The Stranger for an article published late Tuesday.
“Our position is that the technology is the technology,” Whitcomb said, “but we want to make sure that we have safeguards and policies in place so people with legitimate privacy concerns aren’t worried about how it’s being used.”
The SPD told The Stranger previously that the system was not being used, but anyone with a smart phone who wandered through the jurisdiction covered by the digital nodes could still notice that their devices were being discovered by the internet-broadcasting boxes, just as a person’s iPhone or Android might attempt to connect to any network within reach. In theory, law enforcement could take the personal information transmitted as the two devices talk to each other and use that intelligence to triangulate the location of a person, even within inches.
When the SPD was approached about the system last week, they insisted that it wasn’t even in operation yet. David Ham of Seattle’s KIRO-7 News asked, however, how come “we could see these network names if it’s not being used?”
“Well, they couldn’t give us an explanation,” Ham said at the time.
“They now own a piece of equipment that has tracking capabilities so we think that they should be going to city council and presenting a protocol for the whole network that says they won’t be using it for surveillance purposes,” Jamela Debelak of the American Civil Liberties Union told the network.
Now just days later, the SPD has admitted to The Stranger that indeed the mesh network was turned on — it just wasn’t supposed to be.
“SPD maintains it has not been actively using the network — it was operational without being operated, having been turned on for DHS grant-mandated testing and then never turned off — so shutting it down won’t hamper any current SPD activities,” The Stranger reporter.
According to The Stranger, the SPD will begin disabling the system immediately, although Whitcomb said it involves “more than just flipping a switch.”
Some blog called “Armed With Science” decided to be a propaganda mouthpiece for the NSA for at least one post (perhaps that’s the blogs regular shtick; with a .mil domain, that wouldn’t surprise me). They interviewed General Keith Alexander and let him tell us whatever least untruthful statements he could devise.
“We [the NSA] collect foreign intelligence for our country, and we provide information assurance for national security systems,” Gen. Alexander says. “We have two great missions, and those missions provide us with some tremendous capabilities.”
These capabilities and the information that they collect are what enables them to defend the nation. They do not choose between national defense and privacy. It must always be both.
Alexander goes on to the spiel about the 9-11 terrorist attacks—the greatest national security failure in national history. Naturally, having failed to protect us, all the overseers involved were promoted and the same government that let us die was given more power, prestige, and wealth. As soon as we have another terrorist attack, the NSA or some other agency will be given even more power over us.
But the post is rather boring. The most interesting part is how Alexander’s alleged mission protecting us from dire terrorists is smudges with “exploitation of intellectual property.” But that is a topic for another post.
The interesting stuff is in the video, starting at 21:05:
I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000—whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these—you know it just doesn’t make sense. We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on.
Seriously. Just abolish the First Amendment and it should all be easy, General.
Alexander doesn’t realize he’s a bureaucrat in the wrong country. He needs to move to China or some other totalitarian state that allows press censorship.
And while I really appreciate his mention of the courts, the NSA has kept their stuff secret precisely so no Fourth Amendment case against them could reach the courts. Besides, it is hard for me to imagine that Alexander doesn’t have an idea of one “way of stopping it.”
Read more HERE
TOO F*N BAD GOONS!
(Reuters) – Public disclosures about U.S. government surveillance threaten the ability of police to use powerful new technologies such as drones and mobile license plate readers, a top law enforcement official said on Sunday.
The leak of highly classified documents by National Security Agency Edward Snowden prompted tighter restrictions on key technology advances, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan, speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference.
The disclosures, including about monitoring of U.S. phone records, threaten to erode existing authority to use high-tech equipment, he said.
“The scrutiny that the NSA has come under filters down to us,” Keenan said at the annual gathering that draws top law enforcement from the United States and elsewhere with workshops, product exhibits and conferences.
He said guidelines for collecting data varied widely from state to state. License plate data is retained for 48 hours to five years, for example, depending on local law, he said.
For many new technologies, there is no clear legal standard to govern their use, he said.
“If we are not very careful, law enforcement is going to lose the use of technology,” he said.
New technology including advanced facial recognition software, mobile license plate readers and unmanned aircraft are reshaping U.S. law enforcement, officials said.
Such advances will be “both the benefactor and the curse of policing” and demand that law enforcement be thoughtful about their deployment, Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey said on Saturday at the start of the weeklong conference.
“Imagine instead of driving down the street scanning license tags, driving down the street checking the faces of individuals walking down the street,” Ramsey said.
“We have to remind ourselves – just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do it.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are scheduled to address the roughly 13,500 conference attendees on Monday.