Stop and Frisk Criticized


NYPD graduation ceremony in Madison Square Gar...
NYPD graduation ceremony in Madison Square Garden, July 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Stop and Frisk as used in New York is in my mind the commission of a series of crimes in the hope of deterring other crime. The New York City Police Department commits crimes by frisking using racial profiling and quotas not legitimate police methods. There is no way you can within the law stop and frisk people based on pigmentation and an arbitrary number of stops while still passing constitutional muster.

 

 

 

But I’m also worried about the effect this has on the individual policeman. If the public is just a series of quota targets to be harassed, searched or arrested, when does doing justice or serving the public come into the question? At what point, does police work become the practice of an occupying military force as opposed to public service? What does this practice do to public perception of police? When does a police department become a military force to be used at the discretion of its leadership (like below)?

 

 

 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at

MIT on Wednesday about the city’s workforce, overreached with his

description of the police force which has been lambasted for pepper

spraying protesters lining Wall Street in recent weeks.

 

 

 

‘I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh largest army in the world,’ he said.

 

 

 

If the police are an army to be used at the whim of a mayor, the goals of law enforcement are being threatened by politicization. This is poor policy.

 

 

 

Public trust and cooperation are critical elements in police work. The public is not a single community but a variety of communities based on economics, race and geography. Writing one or two off is bad police work and will have critical long term results.

 

 

 

Stop and frisk as a form of pre-emptive strike against minority crime is clearly unconstitutional.

 

 

 

It needs to end now.

 

 

 

James Pilant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYPD Officer Adhyl Polanco Speaks Out Against Stop And Frisk In Video

 

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/nypd-stop-and-frisk_n_4066335.html

 

 

 

Adhyl Polanco, an officer since 2005, has become an outspoken critic of the NYPD\’s policy, which critics say disproportionately targets blacks and Latinos for police stops. He recorded his supervisors asking beat cops to meet a monthly arrest quota and testified in the recent federal trial that found New York City\’s use of stop and frisk unconstitutional.

 

 

 

\”This is not what I became a cop for,\” Polanco says of stop and frisk in the video, which was produced by the reform advocacy group Communities United for Police Reform and released on YouTube on Monday. \”This is not what I wanted to do.\”

 

 

 

A Vera Institute of Justice study released last month found that the experience of being stopped made New Yorkers less likely to trust the police. New York City is currently appealing a federal judge\’s recent ruling against stop and frisk, which prompted outrage from critics at a Monday rally.

 

 

 

via NYPD Officer Adhyl Polanco Speaks Out Against Stop And Frisk In Video.

 

 

 

From around the web.

 

 

 

From the web site, The Bronx Beat.

 

 

 

http://thebronxbeat.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/stop-and-frisk-intended-for-minorities/

 

 

 

Mayor Bloomberg has always been a strong

supporter of the New York Police Department. After Mayor Bloomberg Came

into office, those stopped and frisked has increased by more than 600%

reported nyclu.com (New York Civil Liberties). He has vetoed two bills

that were supposed to reform the stop and frisk policy that has caught

the attention of so many, especially those of minority groups reported

slate.com

 

 

 

Minority groups have always been the red

dot on the dart board, the scapegoats, the ones to who get slapped in

the head and no one gets punished. Thousands of Latinos and African

Americans are stopped and frisked on a yearly basis; up to 85% according

to slate.com. Mayor Bloomberg is convince that this is a very

productive policy.

 

 

 

The stop and frisk policy is not only

embarrassing but also condescending. Often times the police racially

profile young men on the streets and if they fit a certain description

then they must be guilty of something. The system is meant uphold white

supremacy as long as possible and this scheme of theirs shouldn’t be a

shocker when we recall historical events.

 

 

 

From the web site, The Bronx Beat.

 

 

 

http://thebronxbeat.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/prejudiced-policies/

 

 

 

As he walks home, a man of color is susceptible to be stopped and

frisked by police. Why? Because he simply looks suspicious to them.

Wearing baggy clothing alone could tempt an abusive police officer to

stop him. This man who was stopped can easily be a certified lawyer, a

college student, or even a hardworking father. This man could have been

very busy. However, he patiently waits to ensure that the police collect

evidence of his “unlawful” behavior – which most of the time turn out

to be perfectly legal.

 

 

 

Government abuse like the one mentioned above is a daily routine for

people of color. Whether they like it or not, race remains an essential

element that aids the police to their main targets, and they, whether

they are adults or teenagers, have to live with it.

 

 

 

Blacks, Hispanics and other minority groups who simply look

“threatening” to those stereotyping them have to deal with intrusive

police suspicion. They must endure frequent subway searches that prove

to lessen the amount of street crime and violence in New York State.

 

 

 

From the web site, The Bronx Beat.

 

 

 

http://thebronxbeat.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/stop-and-frisk-colored-people-only/

 

 

 

“Judging by the cover of the book,” A mentality is drawn upon certain

races so when an authority sees that race, already, he or she is

thinking that this person might be doing something illegal.

 

 

 

The Stop and Frisk policy is a policy that over years has caused

problems to many people and their lives. The simple idea of stopping,

when asked to then later being let go because you’re safe is more

embarrassing and hurtful then actually being caught if you had some sort

of bad possession on you. Why do I say this? Because it’s embarrassing

and hurtful to be stopped and frisked because you’re being suspected of

something, the reason being you’re dressed a certain way and/or your

race.

 

 

 

Literature Promotes Insight


I firmly believe that literature is a guide to how other people think, an insight into how other minds differ from yours. I recommend to my business students that they take classes in art, science and literature. Business courses prepare you for business problems. Liberal arts prepare you to live a life of meaning and purpose.

 

Of course, my students don’t read enough. Oh, they do, if you count their social media and the powerpoints they see in class but real reading is tackling college level text for more than five minutes. That kind of reading develops brain power, and according to the study here referenced, an enhanced ability to empathize and understand others.

 

James Pilant

 

Statue, Tomsk. "Anton Pavlovich in Tomsk—...
Statue, Tomsk. “Anton Pavlovich in Tomsk—drunkard’s view, lying in a ditch, who never read Kashtanka” Print issues, Siberia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Jonathan Franzen can help you read people – Salon.com

 

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/06/literary_fiction_helps_us_read_people_partner/

 

Beach reading season is over, so it’s time to plunge into some serious fiction. But if the idea of plowing through a Pynchon feels a bit too much like work, here’s a piece of news that may inspire you: Doing so may help you better discern the beliefs, motivations, and emotions of those around you.That’s the conclusion of a just-published study by two scholars from the New School for Social Research in New York. David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano report that reading literature uniquely boosts “the capacity to identify and understand others’ subjective states.”Literary fiction, they note in the journal Science, “uniquely engages the psychological processes needed to gain access to characters’ subjective experiences.” Unlike most popular fiction, which “tends to portray the world and its characters as internally consistent and predictable,” these works require readers to contend with complex, sometimes contradictory characters.According to Kidd and Castano, this sort of active engagement increases our ability to understand and appreciate the similarly complicated people we come across in real life.The researchers provide evidence for their thesis in the form of five experiments, all of which were conducted online. In the first, the 86 participants read either a short literary work (by Chekhov, Don DeLillo, or …

 

(Please visit the web site and read the whole article! jp)

 

via Jonathan Franzen can help you read people – Salon.com.

 

From around the web.

 

From the web site, Stephanie’s Wicked Awesome Words.

 

http://myotts.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/the-importance-of-classic-literature/

 

The great writers of the classics were masters in their craft. They
knew how to write well and effectively, and how to compose pieces that
would continue to instill wisdom centuries into the future. In other
subjects, such as chemistry, calculus, and history, students study those
people who were masters in these fields. They concentrate on gleaning
knowledge from those who were the most accomplished and had the most to
offer. Why should literature study be any different? Although YA
literature is a good device to get children interested in reading, it
should not be the main focus of study in the classroom. In general, YA
literature does not have the universal appeal or level of skill that
classic literature does. That would be equivalent to history teachers
teaching their students only about the lives of ordinary people rather
than those of people like Napoleon, Washington, or King, Jr. That would
be equivalent to chemistry teachers teaching their students only about
experiments conducted in high school labs, and not about scientists and
discoveries that have changed the world. Classic literature has a place
in the classroom, one that should be revered and never substitued with
work that is simply mediocre.

 

From the web site, Writings by Abhishek.

 

http://pravimalabhishek.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/literature-and-its-importance-in-our-lives/

 

Tim Gillespie in one of his essays to ‘The English Journal’ says, “We
rightly worry that many youngsters lives are circumscribed by poverty,
discrimination, low expectations, cultural insularity, and other
conditions that may render them unable to see beyond the limits of their
immediate horizons. Literature does offer-inexpensively-a vision of
other lives and other vistas. One of its potential benefits is to
enlarge a reader’s sense about the many possible ways to live. This
enlarged sense seems to me an important part of our traditional national
ethos. Hope for a better world and belief in the possibility of
re-making oneself or improving one’s situation breed optimism and elbow
grease. We have rich testimony of this imaginative function of
literature. ”


The ability of literature to provoke its reader to imagine is
generalized in the above sentences. What I mean to say is that
literature of any kind has a generalized power to make the reader
imagine things. Of course, Tim throws more light on living life in
various ways and imagining situations that one cannot experience but
literature of any kind, whether a science textbook or a novel makes the
reader to imagine. This power of imagination deepens the intellectual
quotient of a person.

 

“The tale’s the thing, for every generation”

 

Kitten Killer Josh Barro


Kitten Killer Josh Barro

New York Needs a Mayor With the Resolve to Let the Subway Kittens Die

The next mayor of New York, if he or she is to do a good job, will have to say “no” a lot. “No” to public employee unions who want a retroactive raise the city can’t afford. “No” to city councilmembers who will try to spend every tax dollar that comes in instead of rebuilding the city’s reserve funds. “No” to NIMBYs who don’t want anything new built in their neighborhoods. “No” to commuters seeking relief from fare increases, bridge tolls, parking fines, and an alleged “war on cars.”

Now, I will note that as far as I know, Josh Barro has not personally killed any kittens. He merely advocates that others do it, a candidate for major in particular, pointing out the “real New Yorkers” don’t care about this. I have had the pleasure of meeting New Yorkers and those have I met strike me as a compassionate and worthy lot. Perhaps he meets a different group.

Statue of Liberty seen from the Circle Line ferry, Manhattan, New YorkNew York does not need a mayor with the “resolve” to kill kittens. New York is not yet a business theocracy where order is preferred over the democratic rabble. Those kitten lovers, those unions, those neighborhoods are constituents in a democracy. They have a voice. They deserve that voice. They participate in society. They pay taxes and obey the laws. That they don’t meet the standards of Josh Baro is not a legitimate reason to disenfranchise or ignore them.

There is a certain implication here that killing kittens, ignoring unions and overruling local populations is a matter of courage. I often hear that acting in defiance of the wishes of those that elected you, for instance, cutting medicare and social security, is a matter of resolve and courage. No, it’s a matter of acting anti-democratically. It’s a matter of denying necessary benefits long proven successful because it disempowers millions of Americans and making them subject to the whims of our “betters.”

We can safely assume that the title of the article is meant to be provocative. I’ll buy that. But I think he means it. And I have seen a number of kitten hating blogs take up the cry and I find this depressing. There is a place for compassion and kindness and I believe that what “real New Yorkers” believe is far more varied than Josh Barro’s friends in the business community.

How can we have business ethics if we live in a country where order and profits (saving time by running over kittens with subway trains) trump moral and compassionate concerns? We might as well fold up our ethics tents and drift away in the night.

I have seen a good number of ethics professors and textbooks explain that business ethics is actually profitable. Businesses that practice ethics have greater customer trust and loyalty, and over time this and other ethics practices produce profits. I don’t doubt this for a moment but it misses the point of ethics. We do it not because it is profitable but because it is right. We do it because we want to live with some sense of purpose beyond counting our money and giggling like Bond villains.

Ruthlessness and profits above all other values are popular right now with the one percent. That you and I are not wealthy is a sign of our unworthiness. But we in the middle class, who do the work, who sacrifice for our values, and who do the jobs of fireman, teaching and policeman are the heart of the nation, the ones that make this country work. I have nothing but pride for being one of those citizens.

James Pilant

 

 

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Best Use of Police Time?


img15_thBest Use of Police Time?

NYPD Spent 1 Million Hours Over Last Decade On Marijuana Arrests, Analysis Finds | ThinkProgress

New York Police Department officers have spent 1 million hours making 440,000 marijuana arrests between 2002 and 2012, according to a new report from the Drug Policy Alliance. DPA put together the data in response to a request from New York City and New York State, as they consider measures to decriminalize marijuana. Each of these arrests can cost $1,000 to $2,000, according to a 2011 DPA estimate, costing New York City $75 million in just a single year (2010). The report explains:

In our ongoing research about marijuana possession arrests in New York, we have found that a basic misdemeanor arrest for marijuana possession in New York City varied from a minimum of two or three hours for one officer, to four or five hours or even longer for multiple officers. […]

NYPD Spent 1 Million Hours Over Last Decade On Marijuana Arrests, Analysis Finds | ThinkProgress

 

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Arrest Quotas and Police Misconduct


 

The Lion?
The Lion?

Arrest Quotas and Police Misconduct

Kendell Richburg Baltimore police: Do arrest quotas encourage cops to break the law?

Richburg was part of a plainclothes police unit known as the Violent Crimes Impact Section. The VCIS was charged with getting guns and drug dealers off the streets of Baltimore. (The unit was renamed and effectively disbanded last December by new police commissioner Anthony Batts, in the wake of citizen and City Council criticism that its tactics were too aggressive.) Lots of urban police departments have employed specialty units like these, tasked with moving into high-crime areas and rapidly lowering crime rates. These units persist because they work. They make a lot of arrests, seize a lot of guns and drugs, and generally produce the kind of statistics that police officials can proudly tout to politicians and the press. They are blunt objects, and sometimes you need a blunt object if you want to make a dent.

But look closely at incidents of police brutality or corruption and you’ll often see them connected to these “jump-out boys,” so named because the officers tend to jump out of cars and aggressively pursue their targets. In 2011, the city of Chicago disbanded its extremely effective Mobile Strike Force unit, in part because citizens complained that its members played too rough. (In a 2012 Chicago magazine story about the city’s new police chief, Noah Isackson mentioned the 2006 revelations that “some officers robbed and kidnapped residents, and the accusations a year later that one officer plotted to murder another.”) In 2002, New York City disbanded its Street Crimes Unit, three years after four plainclothes officers fired 41 shots at an unarmed man named Amadou Diallo, killing him on the steps of his apartment. (The proximate cause of the unit’s downfall was the lawsuit Daniels , et al. v. the City of New York, brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights in the wake of the Diallo shooting, alleging racial profiling in the Street Crimes Unit and the NYPD at large.)

Kendell Richburg Baltimore police: Do arrest quotas encourage cops to break the law?

Let me say it again – Policing is not a business. It’s a public service. Introducing corporate number crunching as performance measures takes police from defenders of the public to a constant threat to a citizen’s freedom or wallet. For a business model is a totalitarian model, money and power become the drivers of policy not justice and fairness.

James Pilant

From the web site, Bossip:

“He stated that he targeted and focused on (Blacks and Latinos) because he wanted to instill fear in them that every time that they left their homes they could be targeted by police,” Adams said while questioned by plaintiff attorney Jonathan Moore. “First of all I was amazed that he was comfortable enough to state that that in that setting,” Adams continued.

After Sen. Adams expressed dismay at Kelly’s alleged admission, the commissioner allegedly replied, “How else are we going to get rid of guns?”

From the web site, sreaves32:

This high-profile case will contribute to many more people seeing how in fact stop-and-frisk is racist, illegitimate, and illegal. In just the first few days, some damning testimony has already come out. The lead plaintiff in the case, David Floyd, a Black medical student in the Bronx, testified how he has been subjected to stop-and-frisk twice: once as he was just walking down the sidewalk and a second time when he was helping a neighbor who had been locked out of their apartment. Floyd said, “I felt like I was being told I should not leave my home… First and foremost, I didn’t do anything; I am not a criminal.” 16-year-old Devin Almonor also testified, recounting how he was stopped and frisked and then arrested when he was 13-years-old as he was walking home. A lawyer representing the City of New York suggested a cellphone in his front pocket might have “created a bulge,”— as if that was reason enough for a cop to stop him to look for a concealed weapon.

Bronx NYPD officer Pedro Serrano taped his supervisor telling him, “The problem was what? Male blacks. And I told you that at roll call, and I have no problem telling you this: male blacks 14 to 20.” That tape was played in court.

From the web site, uscop.org:

Stop-and-frisk recreates the signification of criminality attached to black and brown skin and creates real forms of social stigmatization, diminishes life opportunities, limits basic rights, and reproduces mass joblessness.

Race-based policing thus contributes to cycles of violence, both state violence and violence between people, and reinforces the very practice of race-based policing while allowing the social conditions that lead to crime in the first place to go ignored.

In this way, the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactic is a case of what Loïc Wacquant calls the “racialized penalization of poverty” in the United States, with state-sanctioned violence used to subdue marginalized populations of highly-expendable surplus humanity, a population whose labor is no longer needed, all the while blaming the individual for social conditions far out of their control.

Rather than breaking the cycle of violence and deterring crime, tactics like stop-and-frisk recreate the conditions that produce violence and criminality, thus further contributing to their existence.

From the web site, Point of View:  (This is a very fine, thoughtful post.)

Predictably, most of the mayoral candidates who support stop and frisk are white. Indeed, most of the most vocal supporters of stop and frisk are white. Most of these men and women (and their sons) have never been on the business end of a police stop and even if they were the odds are that they were treated with a level of dignity and respect rarely seen by black and Latino young men.

Even more interesting are the black and Latino public figures that support stop and frisk “with modifications”. The fact is that even if a person is stopped and frisked and is not cursed at or threatened with a beat down, even if that person is not thrown against a wall or subjected to racial epithets, they are still being stopped and frisked without probable cause. That black and Latino public figures would be complicit in degradation and humiliation “with modifications” is disturbing and distressing.

Black or white or Latino, it would seem that the supporters of stop and frisk either believe that only guilty people get stopped – but the statistics overwhelmingly show that this is not true. The alternative is that these apologists for illegality somehow believe that degradation and humiliation “with modifications” is a price that some people have to pay so that crime can be reduced.

The question has to be asked of these advocates of constitutional dilution – what price would be too high?

 

 

 

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Zombie Housing Apocalypse Arrives


English: U.S. Household Property Foreclosure C...

English: U.S. Household Property Foreclosure Chart 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

evil_bankerZombie Housing Apocalypse Arrives

Foreclosed ‘Zombie’ Homes Exceed 300,000 Properties: Study

A national survey found 301,874 “zombie” properties dotting the U.S. landscape in which homeowners in foreclosure have moved out, leaving vacant property susceptible to vandalism and degradation.
Florida tops the list of zombie properties with 90,556 vacant homes in foreclosure, according to a foreclosure inventory released on Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real estate information company in Irvine, California.
Illinois and California ranked a distant second and third with 31,668 and 28,821 zombie properties respectively on the list.
The number of homes overall in foreclosure or bank-owned rose by 9 percent to 1.5 million properties nationally in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.
Another 10.9 million homeowners nationwide remain at risk because they owe more than their property is worth, according to company vice president Daren Blomquist.
RealtyTrac for the first time analyzed data on zombie properties after a Reuters’ special report in January examined the special problem of zombie titles, Blomquist said.
Reuters revealed the plight of people who walked away from their homes not realizing that their names remained on the deed and that they were financially liable for taxes and other bills related to the abandoned property.

Foreclosed ‘Zombie’ Homes Exceed 300,000 Properties: Study

 

The zombie apocalypse has arrived but it’s not people risen from the dead, it’s houses. Our broken, ill administered foreclosure system has produced this mess. But don’t worry, Congress will quickly and simply fix the problem. Whoops! I forgot who I was talking about, the greatest band of malingerers since George III sent appointees to run the colonies.

Vital housing that could be used to shelter the nation’s homeless and unfortunate is decaying into wreckage while the homeowners – a colloquial phrase for those driven from their homes by a mortgage industry as calculating, cold and inhuman as the Martians in H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds.

See if I am mistaken: (From the opening paragraph of the book.)

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.”

The law has not kept up in this relationship between predator and prey, and we all suffer for it. Foreclosure should pass the duty of care to the banks and not compound the misery of losing one’s home with an avalanche of fees to shatter any remnant of security and pride.

James Pilant

From around the web:

From the web site, Foreclosure Defense Group:

GG has been successfully fighting the banksters since 2008 and continues that battle today. She is still in her happy home, but the capitalist onslaught is relentless. On February 14th (although a judge had promised her personally that it wouldn’t happen), the court sent an eviction order to the Alameda County Sheriff to evict her, her roommate and all furniture and personal belongings.

The eviction is set for February 26 (next Tuesday) at 6 am.

GG is no stranger to the fight against capitalist imperialists. Her parents demonstrated for Tom Mooney at the 1932 Worlds Fair. Her mother got 6 months and her father got a year in prison. Her father was in the historic heroic general strike in San Francisco in 1934. Her father later organized the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) local in Sacramento. He was a union leader and was paid the same as the workers. The Workers always said “he’d give you the shirt off his back”

From the web site, The Foreclosure Detonator:

Values declined not because of the market, they declined because those very same banks who oppose these write downs created this mess by providing mortgages to almost anyone creating a housing boom that was destined to crash.  Yes, they know what they were doing but greed took control of corporate governance and patriotic spirit.  The attitude of  let’s rake in as much cash as we can then when it all fails we can take back all those homes and rake in even more cash for homes we have no investment in.

The housing crash was created by the banks unlike what New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg says.  He says blame it on Congress (and Fannie Mae who he says makes loans – wrong!).  Yes, while I believe it was a direct mandate from the White House beginning with Bill Clinton, the banks could have and should have used their better judgment and declined the push from above.  But GREED is a very dangerous intoxicant.   Given the green light by those high up in our political circles – the ones in charge – they quickly did what they believed was their patriotic duty to comply and fill their own pockets.

And from the web site, Foreclosure Testimony /:

What is a Wrongful Foreclosure Action?

A wrongful foreclosure action is an action filed in superior court by the borrower against the servicer, the holder of the note, and usually the
foreclosing trustee. The complaint usually alleges that there was an “illegal, fraudulent or willfully oppressive sale of property under a power of sale contained in a mortgage or deed of trust.” Munger v. Moore (1970) 11 CA.App.3d. 1. The wrongful foreclosure action is often brought prior to the non-judicial foreclosure sale in order to delay the sale, but the action may also be brought after the non-judicial foreclosure sale. In most cases, a wrongful foreclosure action alleges that the amount stated as due and owing in the notice of default is incorrect for one or more of the following reasons: an incorrect interest rate adjustment, incorrect tax impound accounts, misapplied payments, a forbearance
agreement which was not adhered to by the servicer, unnecessary forced place insurance, improper accounting for a confirmed chapter 11 or chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Wrongful foreclosure actions are also brought when the servicers accept partial payments after initiation of
the wrongful foreclosure process, then continue with the foreclosure. Companion allegations for emotional distress and punitive damages usually accompany any wrongful foreclosure action.

 

 

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New York Police Hammered Occupy Wall Street Protestors


14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

Of the 14, I have selected this one for this posting. I would like all of you to read Mr. Friedersdorf’s full article.

A member of the Research Team witnessed officers arresting a protester. A number of officers took the protester to the ground, and restrained him as he lay face-first on the street. The Research Team member heard the protester cry out, and knelt down to observe the arrest. She then witnessed an officer pull back his leg and kick the protester hard in the face. Another witness also saw the incident. Efforts to obtain the badge number of the responsible officer were thwarted by police, who refused to identify the officer and then took him away in a police van.

14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic

 

 

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Occupy Wall Street Poster!!


My understanding is that this poster is free to use and I recommend you post it as well and visit OCCUPYWALLST.ORG. The struggle is just beginning.

James Pilant

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Ethics Bob Journeys to Zuccotti Park, Home of Occupy Wall Street


"Thousands gather at the Subtreasury Buil...

Image via Wikipedia

Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street; Ethics Bob

My buddy, Ethics Bob, has journeyed to the wilds of New York, in particular, the semi-encampment of Zuccotti Park, the home of Occupy Wall Street.

Here’s a little of what he has to say

Zuccotti Park was a friendly place, surprisingly orderly, contrary to expectations from television. People sweeping, others staffing the free food tent, others reading or cheerfully chatting with visitors like me. There was a library, several pet dogs (apparently OWS is dog-, not cat-friendly) and a few baskets seeking donations. I saw lots of American flags and posters, but nothing ugly or much beyond run-of-the-mill progressive political ideas.

That’s been my perception as well, that Occupy Wall Street is replaying elements from previous eras of American Progressivism. Certainly, you can catch glimpses of the Grange, early labor organizers like Samuel Gompers and more than a little Chautauqua.

But there is definitely some new stuff here. These guys are very media savvy and, however, much disdain the fact attracts, the truth is that the Occupy Wall Street Movement is part and parcel of the demonstrations across the Arab World a few months ago. Citizen activism is catchy like the flu. And there is a lot of this flu going around. I expect to see more and more in Europe as their austerity budgets kick in.

Please go to Ethics Bob’s web site. I have provided several links. You should never rely on one paragraph to get the whole sense of his writing.

James Pilant

 

Map of Wall Street and the surrounding streets...Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street « Ethics Bob

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Lessons from the Brooklyn Groper – Falsifying Crime Reports – Salon.com


This story talks about an obvious sexual assault with multiple witnesses and a video of the incident which the police have tried very hard to ignore.

They don’t want to investigate it because it will throw off their successful record of reduced rapes. The numbers are more than important than actually doing police work.

It is appalling: another police department manipulating crime data by falsifying their crime reports.  You would have thought the seriousness of that kind of manipulation in Puerto Rico would have caused other departments to become cautious but apparently not.

When crime reports are little more than a collection of self serving lies, the crime statistics they generate are meaningless nonsense.

But that nonsense has serious consequences.

It’s major factor in budget allocations. If there are few rapes reported than there is less money for that kind of enforcement and police will be diverted to other duties. The city may provide few rape kits and counseling for victims.

The media is, of course, influenced by this train of events. Salutory articles delineating the new wonderful statistics of falling numbers of rapes are published. The major and police are praised as conquering heroes. The only problem is that the rapists can operate with less impediment, their victims will multiply and the victims’ chances of any justice become more and more remote.

James Pilant

Lessons from the “Brooklyn Groper” – Violence Against Women – Salon.com

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