TENNESSEE — Labor Day: another holiday, another excuse to push the limits of the police power over citizens. All across the state, Tennessee police will be performing another round of highly-publicized “no refusal” blood-draw DUI checkpoints this weekend. With police armed with a 2012 law that allows them to forcibly extract blood from drivers, its a bad time to be a citizen who does not consent to searches.
The Obama administration petitioned the supreme court last week to resolve 4th Amendment confusion over whether searches & seizures of cell phones without a warrant are indeed lawful. The Administration argues that there is a large body of case law that allows police officers to search possessions on the person of an arrested suspect, including hand-written notes and files, as well as personal electronic devices. The government contends that a cellphone is no different than any other object a suspect might be carrying.
BURNS, OR — Prohibition enforcement agents, while “eradicating marijuana” by searching for plants growing in the middle of the wilderness, crashed a federally subsidized aircraft into the Malheur National Forest.
ST. IGNACE, MI — An annual tradition since 1958, the Labor Day walk/run across the Mackinac Bridge creates the kind of family memories that last a lifetime. New for this year, families and friends will have the demeaning experience of police performing warrantless bag searches to add to their priceless memories and timeless photographs. For the 56th annual event, the Michigan State Police (MSP) will conduct searches of bags, purses, and backpacks for all attendees wanting to make the walk across the bridge — all without probable cause of a crime.
OHIO — Ohio citizens were shocked to learn that law enforcement, including civilian employees of police departments, have had access to a database of millions of images for facial recognition since early June. This database has been accessed thousands of times in the short two months that it has been online, all without informing the public of its existence.
FREDERICK, MD — New details have emerged of the death of a mentally handicapped man, killed inside a movie theater in January while wearing police handcuffs. The official cause of death was asphyxiation, and an autopsy has revealed that the man suffered a peculiar injury — fractured throat cartilage — which one expert says could only have been caused by force of some kind. Force, which could have included a direct blow or manual strangulation. The officers still remain on the force, and many questions remain.
ILLINOIS — Dropping cigarette butts out a car window could now result in felony charges in Illinois, according to an amendment to the state’s Litter Control Act, passed this month. A 3-strike offender could receive years of imprisonment and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, plus living the scarlet letter of being a convicted felon, and all the freedom-restricting things that come along with that title.
LOS ANGELES, CA — A family has filed a lawsuit over the killing of an unarmed man by police last year. Witness statements and the autopsy report contradict the officer’s story, drawing into question whether the use of force was justified at all. It would be hard to make that case for how putting 5 rounds in the back of someone who was unarmed was justified.
One of the village residents, Mr. Robert Fenton, is in danger of being evicted from his family’s home due the accumulation of three violations of the village code system . With each of the violations being of the three-point variety, for a grand total of nine nuisance points, just one more code violation could lead to eviction proceedings against him. According to Poststar.com, Hudson Falls law allows for the village to seek the eviction of “problem tenants” who have accumulated 12 points under the nuisance code system.
SYRIA — Days after evidence of a chemical attack in Syria was exposed to the world, foreign governments have been beating their war-drums and taking steps toward military intervention to topple the Syrian government, leaving critics to wonder if the al-Assad regime was truly responsible for the attacks. Why would Bashar Al-Assad risk regime suicide by attacking his own people with chemical weapons, knowing full well that the United States would use any such attack as an excuse for military adventurism? Wouldn’t any leader have to be certifiably insane to use chemical weapons on his own capitol city?
LUDINGTON, MI — Startling reports of government surveillance inside public bathrooms has been revealed through the use of hidden cameras. Now attorneys and city managers grapple over the definition of “reasonable expectation of privacy,” and whether a person has it while standing at a urinal, washing their face in a mirror, or even sitting on a toilet.
ROCHESTER, NY — An officer for the Rochester Police Department was recorded on video getting punching a pregnant woman in the back of the head and a body-slamming her face first into a sidewalk.
SAN ANTONIO, TX — A woman is being sued by a police officer after she dialed 9-1-1 for help. The officer, who was injured in a confrontation after responding to the call, claims the woman did not provide enough information about the suspect. Critics say that a lawsuit against a person calling 9-1-1 could have a chilling effect on people who turn to the police for help.
Any time you give a state agency a goal with an extremely broad, malleable definition, the agency is going to tend to interpret its mission as broadly as possible. And when that goal is inherently incompatible with a free society, the agency’s powers will inevitably grow at the expense of individual liberties and the rule of law.
HUMBOLDT, AZ — A man says that within hours of making an impassioned post on Facebook, he was being interrogated by police and the FBI.
SARASOTA, FL — New details have emerged about the out-of-control U.S. Marshals who terrorized an innocent Sarasota woman by breaking into her home and holding an armed stand-off with her. It has now been revealed that the same task force, perhaps the same agent, has also been involved in other abusive and shocking behavior, including tackled an innocent cookie decorator during the same July search, and breaking into a home weeks earlier to interrogate two innocent people.
AUBURN, AL — After a department’s change in leadership, policing took a turn for the worse in this small Alabama town. One honorable police officer took issue with the offensive new tactics and documented his supervisor giving controversial orders to generate traffic tickets whether they were justified or not. The cop who blew the whistle was fired.
GLENDALE, AZ — A day at the football game turned into a nightmare for a father and son, thanks to oppressive beverage laws and overzealous prohibition enforcers ready to use them.
An investigative reporter was given a leaked memo from November 24th, 1997, outlining the “end-game of the World Trade Organization financial services negotiations”, and it directly implicates the financial meltdown of 2008 was engineered by a cabal of bankers and their respective institutions.
CALIFORNIA — Recent increases in budget and staff are enabling California cops to escalate their efforts to confiscate guns from people the state has deemed to be “Prohibited Persons” — people living amongst the public whom the state has decided, for one reason for another, are not deserving of exercising all of the inalienable rights enumerated in the Constitution. Victims of these disturbing raids describe how residents are met with overwhelming numbers of cops, frightened into letting the cops into their homes, and in at least some cases, are forced to the ground with guns pointed in their faces while police seize their property.