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  1. #61
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    ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody

    8.28.17

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake.

    ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs; regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.

    For years, advocates and communities across the country have denounced human rights abuses in the detention system. Many of the records that ICE proposes for destruction offer proof of the mistreatment endured by people in detention. Given the Trump administration’s plans to increase the size and scope of the system substantially, it is all the more disturbing that the agency wants to reduce transparency and accountability.

    NARA has provisionally approved ICE’s proposal and its explanations for doing so are troubling. In cases of sexual assault and death, for example, NARA states that these records “do not document significant actions of Federal officials.” It’s hard to believe that the actions of a federal official are not significant in the death or sexual assault of an individual who is in federal immigration custody. NARA also posited that in cases of sexual assault, that the “information is highly sensitive and does not warrant retention.”

    TELL YOUR SENATOR TO CO-SPONSOR THE DREAM ACT

    MAKE THE CALLKeeping these documents available is necessary for the public to understand and fully evaluate the operation of a system that is notorious for inhumane and unconstitutional conditions affecting hundreds of thousands of people every year. Even 20 years is far too short for keeping the record of a death or sexual assault of an individual in government custody.

    Recent reports by advocacy groups document sexual assaults in detention without adequate investigation or remedy, sub-standard medical care, the overuse of solitary confinement as well as threats and physical assault by custody staff. Since October 2016, there have been 10 deaths in immigration detention. Many of the records used in these reports and analyses would not have been made available without sustained public pressure to force ICE to maintain and divulge this information.

    The impacts of detention are devastating on immigrants, their families and communities. For an individual who has been sexually assaulted in detention or for a family member whose loved one died in detention, having a full and thorough record of ICE’s actions, its policies and investigation can be an important step toward vindicating their rights.

    If the Trump administration has its way, the number of immigrants in detention will increase, detention conditions will deteriorate further and more people will be subjected to life-threatening circumstances and denied their most basic rights. ICE shouldn’t be allowed to purge important records and keep its operations out of the public eye.

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants...e-3f52a4b8a669

  2. #62
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    Police officer tells woman ‘we only kill black people’ during traffic stop

    A police officer is under investigation after he told a woman ‘we only kill black people’ during a traffic stop.

    Dashcam footage shows Cobb County Lt. Greg Abbott trying to put the woman at ease as he speaks to her through the window of her car in Georgia.

    He tells her to use her phone which is on her lap, but she explains she’s cautious after seeing ‘videos of cops’.

    The cop replies: ‘But you’re not black. Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?’

    The woman is heard nervously laughing.

    Police chief Mike Register told WSB-TV that it should not have been said ‘no matter what context it was said in’.

    An investigation was launched on Friday.

    Suri Chadha Jimenez, who is representing the woman, said he believes the officer was being sarcastic. He added it’s ‘unacceptable’ and ‘makes you cringe when you hear it’.

    Attorney Lance LoRusso said Abbott was trying to ‘escalate’ a situation.

    He said: ‘Lt. Greg Abbott is a highly respected 28-year veteran of the Cobb County Police Department.

    ‘He is cooperating with the department’s internal investigation and will continue to do so. His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context.

    ‘He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.’

    http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/31/police...c-stop-6893150

  3. #63
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    Slavery in the US prison system


    If you want to find an example of modern day slavery, look no further than US prisons.

    Today marks one year since the largest prison labour strike in US history. More than 24,000 prisoners across 29 prisons in 12 states protested against inhumane conditions, timing it around the anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising, a prisoner strike now 46 years old.


    That violent uprising originated from prisoners rebelling against overcrowded cells, unsanitary conditions, medical neglect and abuse. From Attica to the strike led by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee last year, these protests draw attention to an ugly truth: Prisoner abuse runs rampant and it has extended into modern-day versions of slavery. Last year's strike organisers described slavery-like conditions in prisons in the nationwide call to action.


    Slavery persists by another name today. Young men and women of colour toil away in 21st-century fields, sow in hand. And Corporate America is cracking the whip.


    Influenced by enormous corporate lobbying, the United States Congress enacted the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program in 1979 which permitted US companies to use prison labour. Coupled with the drastic increase in the prison population during this period, profits for participating companies and revenue for the government and its private contractors soared. The Federal Bureau of Prisons now runs a programme called Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) that pays inmates under one dollar an hour. The programme generated $500m in sales in 2016 with little of that cash being passed down to prison workers. Stateside, where much of the US addiction to mass incarceration lies, is no different. California's prison labour programme is expected to produce some $232m in sales in 2017.


    These exploited labourers are disproportionately African American and Latino - a demographic status quo resulting from the draconian sentencing and other criminal justice policies ransacking minority communities across the United States. African Americans are incarcerated at a rate five times higher than that of whites. In states like Virginia and Oklahoma, one in every 14 or 15 African American men are put in prison.


    We lock people of colour up at alarming rates. We put them to work. Corporations gain. This story is an age-old American tradition. Throughout history, our nation has successfully pulled back corporate greed, but private corporations have always found new ways to reap enormous wealth from cheap labour.


    The historical circumstances following the abolition of slavery provide the necessary context to understand how corporations function in a de facto replacement for slavery. Although the US Constitution's Thirteenth Amendment prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude, it made an exception - a loophole for "punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted", which made prison labour possible.


    Following the Civil War, the Southern economy was in shambles and the slaves were emancipated. A cheap labour source was needed, and the convict lease system was invented. States leased out their convicts to industrialists and planters to work in locations such as railroads, coal mines and plantations, and entrepreneurs bought and sold these leases.


    With little capital investment required and no need to care for the health of the prisoners, the system of economic exploitation became highly profitable for businesses and states and even cheaper than slavery. For example, in 1883 convict leasing provided Alabama with 10 percent of its revenue, 73 percent in 1898. Leased convicts were treated abysmally, with death rates 10 times higher than prisoners in states that did not employ leased convict labour. Secret graveyards contained the bodies of prisoners who had been tortured and beaten to death.


    The viability of the convict lease system required that black people be returned to their former status as a source of labour. Hence, the Black Codes were enacted to suppress the rights of the recently emancipated African Americans, and criminalise them for minor offences such as vagrancy. Under the vagrancy laws, any black person under the protection of a white person could be swept up by the system for simply loitering, as black people were rounded up in this manner to provide a source of nearly free labour.


    Today, prison labour is a billion-dollar industry, and the corporate beneficiaries of this new slavery include some of the largest corporations and most widely known brands. For example, Walmart has purchased produce from farms, where women prisoners face bad working conditions, inadequate medical care and very low pay.


    Workers flipping burgers and frying french fries for minimum wage at McDonald's wear uniforms that were manufactured by prison labourers.


    Further, UNICOR manages 83 factories and more than 12,000 prison labourers who earn as little as 23 cents an hour working at call centres, manufacturing items such as military body armour, and in past years, defective combat helmets. In 2013, federal inmates made $100m worth of military uniforms.


    UNICOR has also provided prison labour in the past to produce Patriot missile parts for defence contractors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and parts for others such as Boeing and General Dynamics.


    Corporations such as Starbucks, AT&T, Target, and Nordstrom have also profited from prison labour at some point in the past as well.


    Some critics oppose the characterisation of the US prison system as a slave labour camp. For example, James Kilgore argues that prison labour is infrequently used, and identifying multinational corporations that profit from it loses sight of the key issues behind mass incarceration.


    Kilgore is correct in his analysis that a lack of economic opportunity coupled with draconian laws results in a perverse private incentive to drive up mass incarceration. We should enhance employment options for former inmates to reduce recidivism and integrate returning citizens back into society. However, this does not mean that corporations do not profit from prisons and prison labour today and it is obscene that this still happens.


    The Trump administration reversing the Obama-era order to phase out private prisons and enacting new law-and-order policies to increase arrests and fill these prisons will only increase opportunities for profit for Trump's corporate donors and their many investments in mass incarceration. Exploiting prison labour is consistent with this troubling trend.


    Over a century and a half since the abolition of slavery, the dreaded institution still lives on in another, dressed up form. Taking advantage of a constitutional loophole, corporate profiteers continue the modern-day version of the convict lease system. In the land of the free, the dollar still takes precedence over human rights, and that which can be monetised and exploited for profit will be, regardless of ethical or moral considerations.


    Once again, race, criminal justice and capitalism have joined forces to deprive captive black and brown bodies of their human rights. In the age of President Donald Trump and hardliner Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the return to "law and order" and a war on drugs signals a reversal of progress the US was making untethering itself from the expansive grip of a carceral state.


    The anniversary of last year's prison strike is a chilling reminder that one need not point to authoritarian regimes in distant countries to find examples of blatant labour rights violations. If you want to find slavery in the US, look no further than its penitentiaries, jails and detention centres where the consequences of being locked-up extend much farther than doing time.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...082522072.html

  4. #64
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    Supreme Court Rules that Cops DO NOT Need a Warrant to Search Your Home

    By Matt Agorist | February 26, 2014

    In another devastating blow to freedom, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police don’t need a warrant to search your property. As long as two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested, police may enter the residence.

    “Instead of adhering to the warrant requirement,” Ginsburg wrote, “today’s decision tells the police they may dodge it, nevermind ample time to secure the approval of a neutral magistrate.” Tuesday’s ruling, she added, “shrinks to petite size our holding in Georgia v. Randolph.”

    Georgia v. Randolph was a similar case the Supreme Court addressed in 2006, in which a domestic violence suspect would not allow police to enter his home, though his wife did offer police consent. The police ultimately entered the home. The Court ruled in the case that the man’s refusal while being present in the home should have kept authorities from entering.


    “A physically present inhabitant’s express refusal of consent to a police search [of his home] is dispositive as to him, regardless of the consent of a fellow occupant,” the majority ruled in that case.

    The majority, led by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., said police need not take the time to get a magistrate’s approval before entering a home in such cases. But dissenters, led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, warned that the decision would erode protections against warrantless home searches. The court had previously held that such protections were at the “very core” of the 4th Amendment and its ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, reports the LA Times.

    According to the AP, Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s 6-3 decision holding that an occupant may not object to a search when he is not at home.

    “We therefore hold that an occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason,” Alito said.

    In other words, you have no property rights slave, and we can snoop through your personal belongings if we wish.

    The implications for such a Stasi-esque interpretation of the 4th Amendment are staggering. This can and will open the door to even more unscrupulous police behavior. They will only need to say that someone may be in danger, and now they are justified in ransacking your home.

    While this doesn’t particularly allow for police to choose and enter any home they wish, it is nothing to be downplayed, especially since Justice Ginsburg, one of their own, even stated that this could lead to even more erosion of what is left of the 4th Amendment.

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/sup...t-search-home/

  5. #65
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    Woman Found Guilty and Faces Year in Jail For Laughing at Jeff Sessions

    She laughed at the idea that Sessions treats all Americans equally

    By Clark Mindock - 5/5/2017

    A woman who was charged with disorderly conduct for laughing during the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been found guilty and could face up to a year in prison.

    Desiree Fairooz has been convicted for laughing early in Mr Sessions' confirmation hearing after Alabama Senator Richard Shelby said that the future attorney general's record of "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well documented." She has been convicted alongside two other protesters who had donned Ku Klux Klan costumes during the confirmation. Those two protesters could also face up to a year in prison.

    The conviction comes after a two-day trial in the United States Superior Court in Washington. Ms Fairooz told the New York Times that she is "really disappointed" and that her lawyer are planning on filing post-trial motions to have the verdict cast aside. It is too early to discuss an appeal she says.

    All three protesters are connected to Code Pink, a women's rights activist organisation.

    "I felt it was my responsibility as a citizen to dissent at the confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions, a man who professes anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT policies, who has voted against several civil rights measures and who jokes about the white supremacist terrorist group the Ku Klux Klan," Ms Fairooz said in a statement released before the verdict came in.

    Prosecutors said they brought the charges because the laugh was an attempt to "impede, disrupt, and disturb orderly conduct" of the confirmation hearing.

    Mr Sessions was a controversial pick to become the nation's leading law enforcement official and his confirmation path was wrought with contentious moments. The former senator from Alabama was repeatedly accused of expressing racist views in the past - a history of racist accusations that includes a 1980s ad aired by Mr Shelby himself that accused him of calling the KKK "good ole boys."

    During his confirmation, Mr Sessions saw rare opposition from a fellow sitting senator, New Jersey's Corey Booker, who testified boldly against him during his hearings saying that his civil rights record disqualified him from the attorney general post. Mr Booker was joined by civil rights legend Representative John Lewis in voicing concerns about Mr Sessions during those hearings.

    Later in the confirmation process, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren refocused national attention on Mr Sessions' alleged racism when she was silenced by Republican leadership as she read, on the Senate floor, a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King wrote while Mr Sessions was up for a federal judgeship accusing him of using public office to intimidate black voters.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/je...-a7716456.html

    comments:

    This is the western justice? Their “free country”, with “free speech”, where it’s free speech to insult Islam but you can’t even laugh at racist politician.


  6. #66
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    Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person

    In April 2016, a 13-year-old boy was shot by officers of the Baltimore Police Department. The boy ran when faced with the police, so they gave chase. During the chase, the police spotted the boy holding a gun, and when he turned, they shot the teenager. The youngster wasn’t critically injured, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case of a justifiable use of force.

    Now people are wondering.

    The Baltimore Police Department is currently in court over one of the biggest scandals in the history of American law enforcement. The corruption case is replete with intrigue as police reveal secrets that sound like something out of an urban-fiction novel or a lost season of The Wire. It has revealed how one of America’s largest cities just happened to be filled with crooked cops, but no one seems to be talking about it outside of Baltimore.

    According to the Baltimore Sun, it started when a 19-year-old woman from New Jersey overdosed in 2011 and authorities began tracing the origin of the drugs. It led them to a Baltimore drug crew and the discovery that a Baltimore police officer was involved. By the time they finished investigating, eight members of the elite Gun Trace Task Force had been charged with crimes ranging from racketeering to robbery.

    You want robbery? How about the story of the corrupt squad stopping a drug dealer during a traffic stop and robbing him of $6,500, then going to the man’s home without a warrant and taking another $100,000 out of a safe? Sgt. Wayne Jenkins would ask suspected drug dealers, “If you could put together a crew of guys and rob the biggest drug dealer in town, who would it be?”

    If you’re interested in police targeting regular citizens, maybe you should read about how the Maurice Ward had a technique of driving fast at groups of people, slamming on the brakes and chasing whoever ran. Perhaps you hear how Jenkins believed that all young men with backpacks were dope boys. Or people who drove Honda Accords with tinted windows.

    And then there’s the revelation that the supervisor of the unit instructed officers to carry a toy gun just in case they found themselves “in a jam” and needed to plant one. When one of the officers, Marcus Tayor, was arrested, officials couldn’t figure out why he had a toy gun in his glove compartment.

    These revelations aren’t speculation. Six of the eight indicted officers have agreed to cooperate with federal law enforcement agents and are testifying in open court. An officer who was scheduled to offer evidence against the crooked cops won’t get to do so after he was mysteriously shot in the head with his own weapon the day before he was set to testify.

    I know what you’re thinking: After the death of Freddie Gray and the discovery of multiple officers who planted drugs on suspects, the Baltimore Police Department is one of the most corrupt departments in the country.

    Or maybe Baltimore is indicative of police departments all over the country. Maybe they’re like the one in Cleveland, which hired the cop who killed Tamir Rice after he was fired by another police department. Or like the South Carolina state trooper who said he shot a man because he was moving erratically while reaching for his wallet. Or when a paid police informant planted cocaine in a store owner’s shop.

    It is not just Baltimore cops. It is cops. They will shoot you in the face in front of your infant daughter. They will choke you to sleep for selling cigarettes. They will shoot you in the back for walking away. And they will get away with it so often that we are shocked when they are indicted.

    That’s the real story.

    https://www.theroot.com/baltimore-co...8-2eeaa142553a

  7. #67
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    Safety in Numbers? Prison Population Statistics - New York vs. Indiana

    August 15, 2011

    In the last decade, New York drastically reduced its prison population and at the same time experienced a huge drop in crime. Indiana, on the other hand, drastically increased its prison population — and consequently the burden to taxpayers — while seeing a much smaller drop in crime than the national average.

    graph - https://www.aclu.org/files/drugpolic...yinnumbers.pdf



    http://www.aclu.org/infographic-safe...ork-vs-indiana

  8. #68
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    Pedophile NYPD Sergeant Only Gets 3 Years for Raping 13 Year-Old Girl

    August 11, 2017

    It is a much shorter sentence than we would typically see for a non-cop, but at least the court showed us that raping a child can still land a cop in jail.

    An NYPD sergeant
    convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl on 3 separate occasions, was only given a 3 year prison sentence. The girl was also the daughter of the sergeant’s girlfriend at the time, reported CBS News.

    Vladamir Krull had been with the NYPD for over 12 years, but he was fired after this incident.
    He was also a marine veteran, having served in Iraq during the Gulf war. According to prosecutors, the abuse began in September 2013, when Krull kissed the girl on the mouth. Things escalated after that.

    He was found guilty for having had sex with the girl in her home and two incidents in his car. Krull
    forced the girl to perform oral sex on him after he took her to a father-daughter breakfast event for her eighth grade class.

    Krull’s lawyer condemned the conviction back in January, saying that despite the girl’s reports of abuse, there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime. According to Attorney Roger Blank, the girl’s testimony was false when she stated that the defendant had a heart tattoo that he does not have.

    He was convinced on multiple charges including second degree rape, second degree criminal sexual conduct, sexual abuse and child endangerment. For the severity of the crimes,
    the only explanation of the three year sentence, which equates to a year for each act of abuse, is that Krull was a cop.

    Bronx DA Darcel Clark didn’t comment on the light sentence, instead focusing on the fact that Krull will be off the streets.

    “The defendant horrifically abused the trust of this family and engaged in sexual acts with a child. He now faces prison time for his depravity, and I hope his conviction reinforces the message that we do not stop until we get justice for the most vulnerable of victims.” After three years of incarceration, Krull faces five years of probation and will have to register as a sex offender.


    comments:

    This guy probably raped girls in Iraq too, and so found it no problem to do it when back home. And then the criminals in power let their colleagues go without any real punishment.

  9. #69
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    Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System






    Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.

    Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.

    His "kids for cash" program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.



 

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