By Micah Lee and Lauren Feeney for The Intercept. Planning on going to a protest? You might not be aware that just by showing up, you can open yourself up to certain privacy risks — police often spy on protesters, and the smartphones they carry, and no matter how peaceful the demonstration, there’s always a chance that you could get detained or arrested, and your devices could get searched. Watch this video for tips on how to prepare your phone before you go to a protest, how to safely communicate with your friends and document the event, and what to do if you get detained or arrested. This is the first in a new series of videos I’m hosting called Cybersecurity for the People. In future videos we’ll dive into topics such as encrypted messaging apps, password management, and how to become a whistleblower.
By Robert Preidt for HealthDay – WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) — More than 50,000 Americans are treated each year for injuries inflicted by police, a new study says. While deaths at the hands of police have garnered national attention, less focus has been paid to nonfatal injuries by U.S. law enforcement. Nationwide, there were more than 355,000 emergency department visits for injuries caused by police between 2006 and 2012, according to researchers from New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. The number of injured each year — about 51,000 — remained stable over the seven-year period, the researchers found. “While it is impossible to classify how many of these injuries are avoidable, these data can serve as a baseline to evaluate the outcomes of national and regional efforts to reduce law enforcement-related injury,” Dr. Elinore Kaufman and colleagues said in the study. Substance abuse and mental illness were common in patients injured by police, the researchers said. The findings were published online April 19 in the journal JAMA Surgery.
By Perry Stein and Keith L. Alexander for The Washington Post – D.C. police this month searched the home of a local activist they say helped spearhead Inauguration Day protests that injured six police officers and resulted in extensive damage in downtown Washington. Dylan Petrohilos, a 28-year-old graphic designer, said officers broke through the door of his Petworth home early April 3. Police were led to the house after an undercover police officer secretly attended protest-planning meetings in the weeks before the Jan. 20 inauguration, court documents show. Authorities seized cellphones, computers and a black “anti-capitalist, anti-fascist” flag from Petrohilos’s front lawn, according to the court documents. Petrohilos has not been charged with any crimes. He says he did nothing illegal as he helped plan the protests and participated in them. The search was part of an effort by authorities to build a legal case against hundreds of activists accused of conspiring to riot and incite violence on the day President Trump was sworn in. But it also has reignited concerns from activists and others who question whether police went too far in making mass arrests Jan. 20 or in investigating demonstrators exercising their right to free speech.
By Staff for CBC News – The head of the Quebec provincial police revealed Monday that its officers had a seventh journalist under surveillance — Nicolas Saillant of the Journal de Québec. Sûreté du Québec Chief Martin Prud’homme revealed the information about Saillant in his testimony Monday at the commission tasked with looking into police surveillance of journalists. The commission is led by Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Jacques Chamberland. The revelation about Saillant came out of a cross-examination by Christian Leblanc, the lawyer representing a number of news organizations in the province, including CBC / Radio-Canada, before the commission.
By Kyle Jaeger for ATTN – The jail came under fire in August after it released photos of two other black Muslim women without their hijabs. Department policy requires Muslims wearing head scarves to take two mugshots — one with the covering and one without — but it also stipulates that photos of Muslims without their head scarves will not be released. Activists called the decision to release the photos “a form of public shaming” and “a violation of their First Amendment religious rights.” Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce apologized for releasing the photos in September 2016, The Portland Press Herald reported. Courthouse records show that the five black protestors received more charges than the dozen white protestors who were arrested.
By Kelsey Baker for The Understory – Ms. Nooyi was obviously taken by surprise in the middle of her speech, as she was confronted with this huge banner hanging from the balcony directly in front of her. People in the audience began to turn around in their seats to check it out, causing a stir throughout the whole crowd. In addition to dropping the eye catching banner, activists also left postcards around the venue with information about Ms. Nooyi’s company’s failure to address the human rights and labor abuses in its supply chain. Thousands of people attending the event learned about PepsiCo’s true business practices – the ones that Ms. Nooyi failed to mention during her speech. PepsiCo earns billions by turning Conflict Palm Oil, one of the world’s most controversial commodities…
By Sari Horwitz, Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery for The Washington Post – Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Justice Department officials to review reform agreements with troubled police forces nationwide, saying it was necessary to ensure that these pacts do not work against the Trump administration’s goals of promoting officer safety and morale while fighting violent crime. In a two-page memo released Monday, Sessions said agreements reached previously between the department’s civil rights division and local police departments — a key legacy of the Obama administration — will be subject to review by his two top deputies, throwing into question whether all of the agreements will stay in place.
By Ashoka Jegroo for Truthout – This story is the fourth in a new Truthout series, Severed Ties: The Human Toll of Prisons. This series will dive deeply into the impact of incarceration on families, loved ones and communities, demonstrating how the United States’ incarceration of more than 2 million people also harms many millions more — including 2.7 million children. Paula Clarke and her family found themselves crawling half-naked on the floor of her Bronx home at 4:51 am on April 27, 2016, after multiple heavily armed men broke through her front door and demanded that she tell them where her son was. Helicopters could be heard hovering right about her home.
By Rachael Revesz for Independent – More people have died at the hands of law enforcement in the US so far this year than during the same period in 2016, casting a dark shadow over the Donald Trump administration as it invests more power in the police. By 19 March this year, 271 people have already been killed by police, compared with 262 people by the same date in 2016, according to a database called Killedbypolice.net. There were fewer deaths (255) in 2015 and even fewer (209) in 2014 by the same point. The rising numbers do little to reassure critics of Donald Trump, who signed an executive order in February to invest more power in the police and who has all but scrapped the former Justice Department’s investigation into law enforcement violence around the US.
By Yana Kunichoff for Yes! Magazine – He was among the first of at least 120 young, primarily Black men whom Chicago police officers would torture into false confessions. Yet while many who suffer at the hands of the police never get justice, Smith’s story ended differently. More than 40 years later, following the passage of historic reparations legislation, he became one of the first Black people in America to be granted reparations for racial violence. After receiving parole, Smith moved out of the city and attempted to rebuild his life. But his struggles were far from over. Given the conviction on his record, Smith faced difficulty in everything from finding work to accessing his car insurance benefits. He remained haunted by his experiences as a teen inside the interrogation room and never felt at ease in Chicago again—until May 6, 2015.
By Melissa Hellmann for Yes! Magazine – Seattle City Council members took their seats on Sept. 19 with the unhurried pace of business as usual. One of them called for public comments, but after a few people spoke, a commotion erupted in the back of the chambers. Six black and brown people shuffled down the central aisle, bounded by chains on their wrists, ankles, and stomachs. Some were clad in orange jumpsuits, while others wore black shirts bearing the phrase “Block the Bunker” in white letters. White activists donning police hats and pig noses trailed behind, nudging them forward with toy batons. “I’ll throw you around if I want to throw you around!” one of them screamed.
By Justin Bachman for Bloomberg – The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has declined to say exactly where—and how—employees will be touching air travelers as part of the more invasive physical pat-down procedure it recently ordered. But the agency does expect some passengers to consider the examination unusual. In fact, the TSA decided to inform local police in case anyone calls to report an “abnormal” federal frisking, according to a memo from an airport trade association obtained by Bloomberg News. The physical search, for those selected to have one, is what the agency described as a more “comprehensive” screening, replacing five separate kinds of pat-downs it previously used.
By Sabal Trail Resistance for It’s Going Down. The story is still unfolding about a man, 66 year old James Leroy Marker, who lost his life to police bullets after an act of sabotage that disabled a section of Sabal Trail pipeline construction in Marion County last week, on February 26, 2017. We know that there will be more to say in the coming days or weeks, as family and friends come forward with stories of James’ life. But we felt a need to acknowledge what has happened while the incident is fresh on peoples’ minds and questions are surfacing around his motivations, the value of the actions he took and the response of law enforcement. First off, it must be noted that his action effectively disabled recent construction activity in a highly controversial area, mere miles from the crossing of preserves including Pruitt, Halpata Tastanaki and the Marjorie Carr Greenway, with sensitive wetlands and endangered species being impacted.
By Staff of Crystal Resistance – Yesterday, on the heels of swearing in Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Trump signed three executive orders that bolster, back, and expand the authority of law enforcement and policing in the U.S. Trump’s three executive orders are “fully and totally” supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the country with more that 330,000 cops in its membership, clearly demonstrating whose interests are being served. Trump and Sessions chose to use lies about the “threats of rising crime,” in order to claim that these latest executive orders are about protecting the “health and safety of America.” However, in September 2016, the FBI showed in its latest Crime in the United States report that crime rates overall remain at historic lows and that violent crime in particular is 16.5% lower than a decade ago. And, even then, we know policing is not a solution to what they call crime, nor does it ever increase healthy and safety. Despite the lies of Trump, Sessions, and the Fraternal Order of Police, we know policing itself is a health hazard and an inspiring, broad movement has been mounting to fight it.
By Staff of ACLU – LOS ANGELES – The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a coalition of advocacy groups today sent a letter to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members, demanding that they take steps to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from impersonating police officers to gain access to homes and businesses in Los Angeles. The deception critically endangers LAPD policies that seek to assure immigrant community members they can report crimes and assist police investigations without fear of deportation. These policies have been vital in furthering public safety. ICE permits its agents to misrepresent themselves as police officers, probation officers, religious workers and other officials to gain community members’ permission to enter homes without warrants. The ruse has also been used to get individuals to volunteer information they might not otherwise divulge.