A Practical Agenda on Police Violence: Radley Balko

writes: ...As a whole, these proposals are well-argued, practical and smart. For the most part, they’re supported by empirical data and real-world experience. The Campaign Zero leadership has clearly given these proposals a lot of thought.That said, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’re portrayed as radical and reactionary, especially by police organizations. This discussion has been so lopsided over the years that any reform, no matter how sensible, is bound to be met with intense oppos … [Read more...]

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“The Supreme Court’s Massive Blind Spot”: The Stories It Knows About Criminal Justice

Radley Balko explains, in a fascinating & depressing piece: ...Each term, the Supreme Court decides a dozen or so cases in which the justices attempt to balance the public’s interest in keeping order (which manifests in the powers we give to police and prosecutors) with our constitutional rights. Yet for the vast majority of Supreme Court justices now and in recent history, you could quite literally say that the criminal justice system is merely academic. Some justices may have seen a cri … [Read more...]

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Former Baltimore Cop Tweets the Corruption He Saw on the Force

The tweets are here (and as always it's a great mix of violence, systematic racism, and contempt--without the attitude and belief system that leads to crapping on suspects' beds, would you get as much beating and profiling? Dehumanization through humiliation is the core of torture, again some more) and here's an interview with the guy: ...Your tweets suggest that you were once part of what you consider to be the problem in policing, but that you had an awakening of sorts. What caused … [Read more...]

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Tomorrow’s Shuttered Prisons and Yesterday’s Shuttered Pools: A Cops and Prisons Link Roundup

"When Bail Is Out of Defendant's Reach, Other Costs Mount":By the time Mr. Torrence was released from jail, for instance, his imprisonment had taken a toll on the family he shares with his girlfriend, Markeisha Brown. Since Mr. Torrence normally takes care of Ms. Brown’s two sons, she was forced, she said, to stop working and drop out of cosmetology school, losing the $18,000 she had borrowed on a student loan. The couple are still trying to come up with June’s rent.more (his case was dro … [Read more...]

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“St Louis Co. Towns Continue to Treat Residents Like ATMs”: Radley Balko

Hey man, people rarely beat on ATMs: ...It isn’t difficult to guess which groups of people are most likely to be affected by laws against walking in the street, wearing one’s pants too low, or “spending time idly.” It’s also probably a lot easier to avoid citations for having toys lying about (I’m still a little surprised this could be illegal) if you have a nice long drive way, or trees or fences to conceal the front yard.According to the Post-Dispatch, Pagedale has increased non-traffic re … [Read more...]

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Radley Balko’s Civil Liberties Predictions for 2015

See if you can guess the sci-fi twist. Sometimes, real life can be stranger than parody. This can be particularly true when it comes to the beat we cover here at The Watch, civil liberties. With that in mind, I’ve gone out on a limb to make some predictions about what might happen on the civil liberties front in 2015. I realize that some of these prognostications may seem a wee bit hyperbolic, a bit paranoid, maybe even a little nutty. But I think we can all agree that we should hope none of t … [Read more...]

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“Washington Bails on Demilitarization After Ferguson”

Seasons Greetings: Lawmakers vowed changes to the Pentagon programs that deliver military-grade equipment to local police after images of cops climbing out of armored vehicles with military-grade weapons filtered out of Ferguson, Missouri, in August.But months later, the chaotic 1033 program — which sends surplus military gear built for combat to local police forces with little oversight — hasn’t changed at all.The 113th Congress will end without substantive changes to the program. The W … [Read more...]

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