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3 Upsetting New Abuses of Power by the Police

3 Upsetting New Abuses of Power by the Police

Despite being tasked with enforcing the law, certain police departments across the country have demonstrated staggering levels of lawlessness and corruption. In light of these documented abuses of power, this handful of new stories may not be entirely surprising, but they’re still no less upsetting:

 

1. LAPD Tracking All Drivers Like Criminals

The Los Angeles Police Department is looking more and more like the NSA with its unrestrained use of Automatic License Plate Readers. The technology allows police officers to collect data on all vehicles that their patrol cars pass and store this information for years to come. The idea is that the data can be used retroactively to place certain people at the scene of a crime or establish a pattern of behavior.

The average car in Los Angeles has already been scanned and stored 22 times, meaning that every motorist is being treated like a criminal by the LAPD. Both the ACLU and EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) are pursuing the matter in court in an effort to defend civil liberties and to hopefully shut down yet another senseless program of mass surveillance.

 

2. Kansas Police Could Arrest People Who File Complaints Against Them

A new bill being considered in Kansas would enable police abuse at a frightening level. The proposed legislation, clearly designed to free cops of accountability, is problematic in many ways:

  • People who file complaints against officers that are later deemed “meritless” can subsequently be tried for a felony. The implicit message is “don’t rat out a cop or they will retaliate.”
  • Citizens who allege wrongdoing must offer a sworn affidavit before the investigation even begins or an officer has to respond to the charges. Not only will this eliminate a way for people to file anonymous complaints, but it also provides every bit of evidence to the officer in advance. With all of the incriminating details at their disposal, the police department can better create a narrative around the existing details to excuse the behavior.
  • Once one police agency finds charges to be baseless, other agencies are not allowed to investigate. If the agency in question is corrupt or looking to protect its colleague as is often the case (police departments rarely assign themselves any blame), they can say the case has no merit and end the claim altogether with no further outside oversight.

Kansas Exposed offers a clear example of just how horrible this bill is: the Wichita Police Department, known by residents for seeking revenge on people who report police abuses, has ruled that 100 out of 100 allegations of racial profiling were “false reports.” Not only would this legislation prevent an outside group of giving these reports a proper look over, but also the WPD could charge those who filed the reports with felony perjury.

 

3. Stealing from Latino Drivers

The immigrant community in Suffolk County, New York is being straight up robbed by local police officers. Evidently, more than a dozen Latino drivers were pulled over without reason. Officers would ask the drivers to hand over their wallet, which would later be returned to them… minus the money. Many of these incidents went unreported for a while; as undocumented immigrants, some victims were fearful of being threatened with deportation for highlighting the theft.

A sting operation confirmed that this trend is legitimate. Sergeant Scott Greene pulled over an undercover Latino detective and was caught on camera swiping $100 from him before sending him on his way. Greene, who has been with the department for 25 years, has pled not guilty to the allegations.

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120 comments

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11:10AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Michael T. It's you who should put a cork in it. She's right, most of Congress are crooks and criminals, beholden to money they will do anything including enlisting criminal police thugs as their enforcers. It's that bad

8:33AM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

dont bring that kind of hate crap in here Nikolas

12:06AM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

Yes its the Zionist bankers who we need to go after. they control all elements of the system.

11:35AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Put a cork in it Deborah.

You are going after the wrong people.

6:40AM PDT on Apr 3, 2014

YOu are right that 2014 is an important election. But going even FURTHER towards fascism with todays right is absolutely the WRONG direction.

10:06AM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

Let's go bigger, start at the top where most things are learned and mimicked.

Think bigger than police, try Congress. Bigger than Republicans or Democrats, ALL or most of Congress. Harry Reid now under investigation, constant squibbling and blockage of progress for personal gain rather than what's best for WE THE PEOPLE, DOJ anything but fair or transparent, etc. etc. etc.

2014 critical in turning the corner ... or not. Harry needs to retire, go home and enjoy the reality of the world he helped shape (and drop Nancy off in California).

Both up for reelection, as well as other less know but equally questionable representatives. Research and vote with purpose, you'll own it going forward.

4:10AM PDT on Mar 29, 2014

No. 2 and no. 3 is so third world. Shame on them!

8:43PM PDT on Mar 27, 2014

@Karen, great post. I grew up knowing kids who lacked even the smallest ability to make the correct moral judgments later enlisting in local police forces. Most were also bullies.

There is no doubt this takes place Nationwide in sufficient numbers to make any of us worry.

Thanks Robby. Your comment is greatly appreciated.

6:35PM PDT on Mar 27, 2014

Dubya said, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”, which polarized the country. I’m not with terrorists, but I don’t want to go to war with a country that wasn’t behind the 9/11 attacks. We can stick closer to home to find the people responsible.
“Security” cameras were installed everywhere, and not everyone realized they were “surveillance” cameras to watch US. Now we’re moving into the era of Minority Report where people are arrested BEFORE they commit a crime.
How much is the LAPD spending to treat all drivers like criminals? What else could be done with that money?
I knew a kid who wanted to grow up to be a cop so he could kill (the N word). He became a cop and I pity the people of that area!

3:56PM PDT on Mar 26, 2014

Excellent posts Michael & I completely agree.

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