Shootings by Philly police soar as violent crime plummets -
“The number of violent crimes fell last year in Philadelphia, as did assaults on police officers.
But the number of people shot by police is up.
The number of shootings by police in 2012 resulting in death or injury climbed to the highest level it’s been in 10 years. Philadelphia police shot 52 suspects last year while responding to calls for reported crimes. Of those shot, 15 people died.”
— Unrelated —-
5/10/2013? – Cops in Cotati, Cal. respond to a noise complaint call. Both the husband and wife report as being OK to officers and refuse them entry into the home. They recorded the events as they happened. Husband says he was filming and he and his wife were arguing over how to spent their tax return (fix disabled car or purchase another one). He is unemployed, disabled and a veteran of Afghanistan (according to an accompanying comment on the Youtube page). The three people in the home were arrested for refusing to open their door to police who had neither a warrant nor probable cause (I don’t think a noise complaint allows cops to violate your constitutional rights against unwarranted search and seizure). They were taken in for obstruction of justice.
—– meanwhile ——
The manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects offered the nation a window into the stunning military-style capabilities of our local law enforcement agencies. For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “War on Drugs.” For the average citizen watching events such as the intense pursuit of the Tsarnaev brothers on television, it would be difficult to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.
The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled“Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:
Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.
Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”
[read the rest, here]
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