Posts Tagged ‘NYPD’

Six years late and too many lives short: Obama & Holder on racial profiling

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 10:10 am by

Last month’s police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri revealed to many Americans for the first time how unaccountable police have grown. Around the country, local police forces are effectively militarized, widely discriminate against people of color, and suppress democratic dissent despite its constitutional protection.

This week’s announcement of new forthcoming federal guidance by the Justice Department addressing racial profiling — as well as Holder’s decision to leave the Department — are welcome signs. Both, however, come with disturbing implications.

Better late than never

Proposed changes to the Justice’s Department guidance to law enforcement agencies include prohibiting religious profiling, and closing longstanding loopholes allowing blatant profiling in the context of national security and border integrity. These are intelligent choices, not only for the rights at stake, but also for the national security and border integrity interests that profiling also undermines.

The timing, however, is striking. First, why are these changes being implemented on the eve of the Attorney General leaving office? Without being codified in law, the new standards will survive only at the whim of the AG’s successors.

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The Court finally shows up for work (Part II)

Monday, June 30, 2014 at 8:12 am by

Part I of this series explained the Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v. California, and why it represents so dramatic an evolution from prior cases where the Court failed to grasp the implications of digital technology for the privacy values pervading the Bill of Rights. This follow-up post explains the social forces animating the decision, with crucial implications for any number of social issues going forward.

Where it came from: is the Court “in front,” or behind?

It remains important to recognize how a broader social debate made possible last week’s decision in Riley v. California. Only in examining the influence of mass debate on elite legal discourse can we understand how digital privacy — or other contested rights — will evolve in the future.

A long-running debate among legal theorists questions whether, and how, courts are influenced by broader public debates beyond the courtroom. On the one hand, courts are inherently reactive institutions.

On the other hand, courts have occasionally advanced justice while the political branches remain mired in majoritarian prejudice: in Brown vs Board, the Court — not Congress — forced desegregation on the South, just as Goodridge v. Dep’t of Public Health placed a Massachusetts court near the front of the marriage equality movement (disclosure: I was part of the legal team representing the mayor of new Paltz, NY in a 2004 marriage equality case).

Brown vs. Board is relevant not only in demonstrating an example of the Court’s occasional proactivity, but also in rejecting “separate but equal” systems for people of different races. Lost in most commentary about the Riley decision has been an awareness of its serious implications for race, which in turn help reveal whether Riley reflects a Court “out in front,” or instead, one lagging behind American society.

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Racial profiling, Muslim surveillance, and the NYPD

Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 10:28 am by

NYPDOn Tuesday, April 15 the New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced it was disbanding a controversial unit that had been spying on Muslims since its inception in 2003. The NYPD’s “Demographics Unit” specifically gathered intelligence on Muslims living in New York City, New Jersey, and even as far away as Philadelphia. It sent plain clothed detectives to cafes, restaurants, and other community centers frequented by Muslims with the stated purpose of identifying potential centers of terrorist activity. Detectives were told to speak with the employees at such establishments about political issues in attempt to identify anti American sentiment. The NYPD also sent informants to Muslim student groups on various college campuses. Despite the wide breadth of surveillance, even the NYPD acknowledged that the program has failed to create a single lead.
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BORDC News Digest for 04/02/14

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm by

Current News 

4/2, Fred Fleitz, National Review, The Senate’s CIA Report

4/1, Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, The CIA Torture Debate Is Only Beginning

3/31, Washington Post, Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

3/30, Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Fighting the Militarized State

3/28, Celeste Katz, NY Daily News, Reaction Roundup: DC’s Philip Eure appointed NYPD inspector general

BORDC News Digest for 03/31/14

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm by

Current News 

3/31, Thomas Claburn, Information Week, Microsoft Clarifies Email Snooping Policy

3/30, Brian Knowlton, New York Times, Feinstein Gives Tentative Nod to Data Curbs

3/30, Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Fighting the Militarized State

3/29, Lawrence Shapiro, Liberty Voice NSA and British Signals Intelligence Spy on German Tech Companies

3/28, Paige Lavender, Huffington Post, Dick Cheney On Torture: ‘If I Would Have To Do It All Over Again, I Would’

3/28, Celeste Katz, NY Daily News, Reaction Roundup: DC’s Philip Eure appointed NYPD inspector general

BORDC News Digest for 03/20/14

Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm by

Current News

3/20, Saadia Faruqi, TruthOut, Why Everyone Should Care About the NYPD’s Surveillance of Muslims

3/19, Shahid Buttar, Huffington Post, Beyond CIA and NSA Spying: Corruption

3/19, Connor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, Beyond CIA and NSA Spying: Corruption

3/18, Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, Judge rebukes Feds for overbroad search warrant applications for e-mail

3/17,Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, Obama Transparency Promises Just ‘So Much Hot Air’

3/11, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, Snowden accuses Senate intelligence chair of hypocrisy over CIA disclosures

The NYPD can’t hide anymore

Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:44 am by
Oirignal photo from PopularResistance.org

Oirignal photo from PopularResistance.org

In 1971, a lawsuit was filed against the New York Police Department (NYPD) for engaging in unconstitutional surveillance practices against activist groups including the War Resisters League and the Black Panthers. This fight eventually brought on reform within the Department, but since the 9/11 terrorist attacks these changes have been rescinded. Now, the people are looking to the courts to, once again, curb the abuses of the NYPD.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the Department in regards to its surveillance program, which specifically targets Muslim communities. This program has allegedly classified Mosques as terrorist organizations, in order to secretly infiltrate them and spy on their members.  It has been reported that the NYPD has even created a wide-ranging map of the Muslim communities, recording intimate details of their lives, from where they pray to where they eat.

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Bratton and de Blasio: an opportunity for meaningful police reform in New York as long as we don’t waste it

Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm by

Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio Announces William Bratton As City's Next Police Chief

Last week, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the most recent addition to his administration, naming Zachary Carter the chief lawyer of the city. Carter served as United States attorney in Brooklyn from 1993 to 1999 and oversaw high profile cases like that of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was brutally assaulted and tortured by NYPD officers in 1997. Like de Blasio, Carter has expressed a commitment to creating opportunities for disadvantaged groups and fighting police misconduct. This appointment appears to be a step in the right direction towards greater fairness in policing and an end to the rampant profiling and abuse that have come to define the NYPD.

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News Digest for 12/19/13

Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm by

Current News 

12/19, Rocco Parascandola and Barry Paddock, New York Times Daily, Counterterrorism officials will make exit from NYPD with Raymond Kelly

12/18, Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, NSA review panel stops short of concrete surveillance reforms

12/18, Mike Lee, Deseret News, Mike Lee: Senate setting dangerous precedent on defense authorization bill

12/18, Ellen Nakashima and Ashkan Soltani, Washington Post, Panel urges new curbs on surveillance by U.S.

12/17, Ben Botkin, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clark County Commission takes symbolic stand against ‘indefinite detention’

News Digest for 12/09/13

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

12/9, Steven Nelson, US News, New Legislation Would Ban NSA From Arizona

12/9, USA Today, Cellphone data spying: It’s not just the NSA

12/9,Bridie Jabour, Paul Farrell, Josh Halliday and Paul Owen, The Guardian, Internet companies demand spying overhaul after NSA revelations – live reaction

12/8, Glenn Kanton, Huffington Post, Bratton: Curious Choice to Be de Blasio’s NYPD Commissioner

12/5, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, Trashing the Law against warrantless GPS tracking: NSA nabs 5 Billion Phone location Records a Day

12/5, Norman Solomon, Common Dreams, Under the Global Shadow of Big Brother, Journalism Must Light Up the Political Sky