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Member since: Sat Jun 23, 2012, 05:03 PM
Number of posts: 3,183

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Wisconsin police billboard features officer who shot two people in 10 days

Image posted by Kenosha Professional Police Association prompts anger from community after Pablo Torres killed Aaron Siler, 26

The Kenosha Professional Police Association (KPPA) posted a billboard thanking the community for its support. Some residents question the message behind the ad. It features Pablo Torres, a young officer who shot two people within a 10-day period in March. In the second shooting, Torres killed 26-year-old Aaron Siler.

Police have said the shooting occurred after a chase, when Torres was confronted with a weapon. A spokesperson for the Siler family, Kathy Willie, told the Guardian the billboard was “hurtful”.

“To me that doesn’t make the department look good,” she said. “What are they trying to say? Are they trying to say he’s not guilty and they know that for a fact? Why are they thanking him?”

The investigation is ongoing. Torres is on administrative leave.

The Kenosha News called for the billboard to come down, and said: “The billboard, and events such as the Back the Badge rally in Pennoyer Park on Saturday, may be intended as support for law enforcement and appreciation for that support, but they could also be seen as attempts to intimidate people who might criticize the police.”

*Another local outlet reported that Torres’s record shows nine citizen complaints for excessive use of force and seven departmental reprimands, including improper chase and failing to appear in court.

Michael Martin Bell is a retired air force pilot and long-time resident of Kenosha. In 2004 his son, Michael Edward, was shot in the head and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Bell and his son are white. The officer was cleared within 48 hours. "

Bell said that if he, a retired military officer with financial means, could lose a child to police violence, there was little hope for those with fewer levers to pull.

“I spent 10 years of my life on this,” he said. “I spent a million dollars of my money on this. I know the system is broken.”

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Apr 26, 2015, 09:02 PM (2 replies)

How could he admit something like that on national television?

How can you explain to your family Bruce that you're a Republican? Transgender is fine but oh man the Republican thing is scary.
Posted by damnedifIknow | Sat Apr 25, 2015, 10:33 AM (5 replies)

The Sun Must Go Down on the Patriot Act

Not long after the Patriot Act was passed in 2001, I had dinner with the late Senator Paul Wellstone in Washington, who was a stalwart defender of civil liberties throughout his career. I asked him how he could have possibly voted for a law that so vastly expanded the government's spying powers. He told me that he was facing a tough election, but as soon as it was over he'd invite my organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, to testify before Congress about the Patriot Act's flaws and the threats it presented to privacy and civil liberties. "We'll work together to get this repealed," he promised. Unfortunately, that day never came, as the senator tragically died in a plane crash in October of 2002.

Almost 13 years later, the most egregious part of the Patriot Act, Section 215 -- which underlies the National Security Agency's call-records program -- is scheduled to expire on June 1. Some legislators want Congress to reauthorize it in its current form -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has just introduced a bill that would do exactly that, extending it for another five years. Others want to make relatively minor changes. Congress shouldn't do either of these things. Unless Congress can coalesce around far-reaching reform, it should simply let the provision expire."

*Predictably, the Patriot Act has been at the root of many of the most serious abuses of government spying powers. It was the Patriot Act the FBI relied on to vastly expand its use of "national security letters," which the FBI now issues thousands of times every year to obtain information about innocent Americans who have no connection to terrorism. It was the Patriot Act the government relied on to conduct clandestine searches in investigations having nothing to do with terrorism. It was the Patriot Act the government invoked to permit the FBI to disregard the Fourth Amendment's usual requirements -- criminal probable cause, a particularized warrant -- in ordinary law enforcement investigations. And it's the Patriot Act the government is now using to justify the NSA's call-records program. "

Posted by damnedifIknow | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:21 PM (19 replies)

Baltimore officer suspended in Freddie Gray case accused of domestic violence

The Baltimore police officer who led the initial chase of Freddie Gray, the young man who died after being arrested and suffering a broken neck, has twice been accused of domestic violence and was temporarily ordered by a court to stay away from a second person.

Lieutenant Brian Rice faced actions in Maryland’s civil courts over alleged domestic violence in 2008 and 2013, according to public filings. In both cases, requests for protective orders were denied by the judge. For a week in 2013, Rice was also ordered not to abuse, contact, nor go to the home or workplace of a second person who took him to court."

* According to the court filings, a judge in Baltimore County denied the first accuser’s request for a protective order against Rice in April 2008, ruling there was “no statutory basis” for it. A clerk in Carroll County said the accuser’s request for an emergency protective order there in January 2013 was denied by the court.

A judge in another Carroll County court revoked a “peace order” that was implemented for a week in January 2013 in response an application by the second accuser, also ruling “no statutory basis” existed for it to continue.

A ruling of “no statutory basis” does not necessarily mean the allegations were unfounded. It may mean the accuser could not meet the required burden of proof or that the nature of the alleged abuse was not covered by the order they requested under Maryland law.


Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Apr 21, 2015, 10:02 PM (3 replies)

5 worst right-wing moments of the week

1. Bill O’Reilly rails absurdly about how it’s open season on White Christian males. Even John Stossel can’t sway him with facts.

2. Sarah Palin’s reaction to Hillary Clinton’s campaign start: Hey, what about me?

3. Michele Bachmann says Obama will bring about the second coming of Christ.

4. Chris Christie: Poor me. Wah wah.

5. Men’s rights blogger: Women with short hair should be monitored by the authorities.

Posted by damnedifIknow | Tue Apr 21, 2015, 07:41 AM (3 replies)

Marijuana Prohibition and Idaho's Prison-Industrial Complex

Josh Tewalt has a drug problem that led to several arrests. Like many others afflicted with that weakness, Tewalt eventually wound up in prison. Unlike most of them, however, he landed on the right side of the bars in the very lucrative position of Deputy Chief of Corrections for the State of Idaho.

Without the dubious benefit of a college degree or substantial experience in law enforcement apart from his own time in jail, Tewalt receives a base salary of at least $83,000 a year to manage the human inventory of Idaho’s prison-industrial complex.

Under Idaho’s state code, Tewalt’s repeated DUIs constituted an aggregate felony. Many – perhaps most – of the people whose lives he now controls committed offenses less serious than his. More than a few of them were convicted of felonies under Idaho’s pre-medieval laws against marijuana possession. The inmate population over which Tewalt presides may soon include desperate parents of children suffering from conditions for which non-intoxicating cannabis oil (CBD) is the only effective treatment."

* On April 16, Idaho Governor Butch Otter vetoed a measure (S1146a) that would not have decriminalized possession and use of CBD, but would have created an “affirmative defense” for those who obtain and use it for treatment of several medical conditions, including cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and various kinds of seizure disorders. "

*Many, if not most, of the people consigned to live in Josh Tewalt’s domain are imprisoned because of vices, rather than crimes. But it’s difficult to imagine anything more vicious than Butch Otter’s willingness to imprison virtuous parents whose only “offense” is to use cannabis oil to treat their incurably sick children. "


Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10:56 PM (2 replies)

Cops Mistake Family for Burglars, Break Into their Home, Shoot and Kill their Dog

Gwinnett County, GA — A family has been devastated after returning to their home to find that their beloved 7-month-old dog had been killed by police.

The Rios family was moving into a home that had been vacant for quite some time. The “see-something, say-something” neighbors quickly called the police to report the suspicious activity of a family moving things into a home.

Police, with apparently very little research, decided to enter the home to look for the supposed burglars. Instead of burglars, however, they found the family pets.

According to WSB-TV, the officer said the dog rushed toward him. He said he backed up and then began circling around. The officer said that’s when the pit bull dove at him and bit at his pants and leg. The officer says he fired two shots and his partner fired a shotgun.

The Rios family did nothing wrong, they had committed no crime, yet their dog was killed by police and they have no recourse. Police said that the shooting was entirely justified because the dog tried to bite the officer. They also stated that there will be no internal investigation.

“I don’t know why they did this to me. Now I’m afraid to go back to the house,” said Karen Rios.

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 05:08 PM (8 replies)

Editorial: Police Excessive Force Complaints a National Crisis

We have a national excessive use of force problem in our law enforcement community. The onslaught of examples in the last nine months has moved this issue to the forefront. This is not a new issue, but our awareness is particularly heightened in light of the rapid dissemination of written and visual information. Our use of force problem isn't isolated to racially charged communities, although we are more likely to find excessive use of force in urban and large metropolitan areas where, not by coincidence, we are also likely to find minority communities. Use of force is endemic throughout our nation, including a small community in northern Connecticut"

* Police officers are trained to use necessary force. They must be able to protect themselves and members of the community and we do not advocate constraints that would endanger them or the public. However, it is time that we, as a nation, demand that our law enforcement community ensures that officers do not engage in illegal, unapproved, excessive or lethal use of force against those they are sworn to protect and that appropriate sanctions are leveled against officers who do engage in such use. Excessive use of force is unacceptable."

Posted by damnedifIknow | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 04:48 PM (5 replies)

Seems So

"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
Ayn Rand

Posted by damnedifIknow | Sun Apr 19, 2015, 10:08 PM (4 replies)

Tavis Smiley Gets in Bill O’Reilly’s Face About Police Brutality

Radio and television host Tavis Smiley appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to spar with Bill O’Reilly about the police brutality problem in America.

O’Reilly began the program by disparaging anti-police brutality protesters across the country. Conservative cop lovers like O’Reilly tend to downplay violent incidents in which the police are the aggressors. He believes these are all isolated incidents. Smiley then corrected O’Reilly.

“My question to you, Bill O’Reilly, is: How many isolated incidents equal a pattern?”

At this point, O’Reilly backpedaled and dodged the question, something that he accused Smiley of doing earlier in the debate."

*O’Reilly tried to use the fact that people of all races are attacked by police to undermine and downplay the problem of violence. Smiley uses the fact to highlight the problem. When there are violent police whose only goal is to hurt people, then everyone is in danger. That’s something Bill O’Reilly doesn’t seem to grasp."

Video at link: http://www.ringoffireradio.com/2015/04/tavis-smiley-gets-in-bill-oreillys-face-about-police-brutality/
Posted by damnedifIknow | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 08:26 PM (0 replies)
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