Shocker: Police Lied About Killing of Suspect


A Chicago police officer has been charged with first degree murder in the killing of a suspect he chased. The suspect had a knife in his hand, but was nowhere near anyone to be a threat to them. This officer pulled up at the scene, got out of his car and opened fire from a distance, shooting the guy 16 times, including several times after he was on the ground and motionless. Here's what the Chicago police said about it a year ago when it happened: … [Read more...]

White PA Police Chief Thinks ‘N***ers’ Need to Learn to Read


A newly hired police chief in Farrel, Pennsylvania is in hot water after it was revealed that a letter he sent to friends and colleagues before he was hired that encouraged people to donate money for a book drive because "niggers gotta learn how to read." And he says he's very sorry, but he uses that word a lot because "that’s just the way that it is here our area.” … [Read more...]

Trump Tweets Non-Existent Crime Statistics


Donald Trump continues to show his complete disregard for truth and accuracy by tweeting out a graph full of wildly inaccurate crime statistics, allegedly from an organization that does not exist, for 2015, a year for which we do not have crime statistics yet (the official crime stats in the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI will not come out until well into 2016). … [Read more...]

Black Lives Matter Meets the Innocence Project


Alexandra Natapoff, a law professor at Loyola University in Los Angeles, has a long column in the Washington Post about the ways that law enforcement sweep up young black men, in particular, with a number of catch-all charges that force them to plead guilty to misdemeanors whether they are guilty or not (and often, there's really nothing to be guilty of). … [Read more...]

The Mother of All Ironies

As I'm sure you know by now, voters in Houston repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the city council this month on the specious grounds that men would dress up like women so they could peep at your daughters in the bathroom. One of the leaders pushing for that ordinance to be repealed, using that very argument, is now defending a man who admits to having -- wait for it -- peeped on women in the bathroom without their knowledge. … [Read more...]

Cop, Prosecutor Go Full-On Demagogue Over Asset Forfeiture


A Republican state legislator in Oklahoma is trying to pass a bill that would require a criminal conviction before the government can keep property seized during an investigation. That is, of course, the only constitutional way to do it. But a police officer and a district attorney from Tulsa are fighting against that with lurid tales of Mexican drug cartels taking over the state and forcing kids to shoot the marijuana. … [Read more...]

This Guy is a Frickin’ Genius

I love stories about people who do spectacularly stupid things, like the bank robber who wrote "give me all the money, I have a bomb" on the back of his pay stub and handed it to the teller. They arrested him about half an hour later at home. But how about this dumbass, who was wanted on sexual abuse and rape charges but decided to apply for a job at a sheriff's office and go through the background check anyway. … [Read more...]

Government Wants Even More Power to Seize Assets


As if asset forfeitures in this country weren't already out of control, the Obama administration wants to make the rules even more unconstitutional than they already are. In a case heard by the Supreme Court this week, the DOJ argued that the government should be able to seize assets that they admit have no connection to a crime before someone is ever even put on trial for a crime they're accused of. Friend of Dispatches Radley Balko cites Damon Root on the facts of the case: … [Read more...]

DOJ Doing Something About Unjust Indigent Defense System


I've said many times that Obama's record on civil liberties issues is generally very bad, but there are some bright spots. His support for the right to record the police is one. And now the DOJ is getting involved in pushing for reform in our indigent defense system, which is so unjust and ineffective that it should be viewed as a constitutional crisis. … [Read more...]

Cop Put on Leave for Wearing Pro-Legalization Button

A police officer in Vermillion, Ohio has been placed on administrative leave because he wore a small button on his jacket supporting drug legalization during a police auction. Meanwhile, a huge number of cops routinely violate the rights of the people they're supposed to protect, break the law, extort people, plant evidence on them, beat them and even kill them without ever being punished for it. … [Read more...]

Another Massive Injustice in the Courts


I've been writing about the incredible injustices in our criminal "justice" system for a long time, but here's something I did not know: Most states charge poor people for their public defenders. They can't afford to pay, of course, and they plead guilty 95% of the time whether they're guilty or not, and then in many states if they can't pay that bill, they can then be sent to jail for that as well. … [Read more...]

SCOTUS Lets Cop Get Away With Murder. Again.


In a per curiam decision (which means it's unsigned), the Supreme Court has dismissed a case against a police officer in Texas who violated a direct order from his superior officer and opened fire the vehicle of a suspect who had been fleeing the police, killing the suspect. They did so on the basis of qualified immunity, the doctrine that says you can't sue a police officer unless they violate a clear right that has been long-established and spelled out. … [Read more...]