The police-abuse-of-power thread

freefall

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North Carolina police kill unarmed deaf man using sign language

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...deaf-mute-man-sign-language-article-1.2760714

I'll just leave this here.

[FONT=&quot]A North Carolina state trooper shot and killed 29-year-old Daniel Harris ? who was not only unarmed, but deaf ? just feet from his home, over a speeding violation. [/FONT]According to early reports from neighbors[FONT=&quot] who witnessed the shooting this past Thursday night, Harris was shot and killed "almost immediately" after exiting his vehicle.[/FONT]
 

LeVeL

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Soooo he was speeding, ran from the cops, and no one actually witnessed the shooting? Excuse me if I don't want to jump on the anti-cop bandwagon just yet...
 

Firecat

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Off duty cop tries to detain a teen he said threatened to shoot him (apparently the kids walked on his property)...the details aren't exact. Anyway, he ends up pulling a firearm and shoots (really not sure at what he's shooting, kind of pitiful training on his part).


*Edit

several of the teens were arrested. No charges or arrest on the officer involved.
 
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GRtak

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I know this thread has traditionally been used to highlight things like intimidation, assault, and murder, but I think this belongs here too.


Feds use anti-terror tool to hunt the undocumented


Detroit ? Federal investigators are using a cellphone snooping device designed for counter-terrorism to hunt undocumented immigrants amid President Donald Trump?s immigration crackdown, according to federal court records obtained by The Detroit News.

An unsealed federal search warrant affidavit obtained by The News is the first public acknowledgment that agents are using secret devices that masquerade as a cell tower to find people who entered the U.S. illegally, privacy and civil liberty experts said.

The secret device was used in March by a team of FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Metro Detroit to find Rudy Carcamo-Carranza, 23, a twice-deported restaurant worker from El Salvador whose only brushes with the law involve drunken driving allegations and a hit-and-run crash.

The use of the cell tower simulator comes amid the Trump administration?s immigration crackdown and attempt to temporarily ban travel from six Muslim-majority nations.

The cell-site simulator device, known as a Hailstorm or Stingray, tricks nearby phones into providing location data and can interrupt cellular service of all devices within the targeted location. Federal investigators are required to obtain a judge?s approval to use the device.

?While the warrant does ensure a modicum of judicial oversight, it is troubling to see the government using invasive surveillance technology on the streets of America to grease the wheels of the Trump administration?s deportation machine,? said Nathan Wessler, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union?s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. ?This is the first warrant I have seen specifically showing ICE?s use of a cell-site simulator in an immigration enforcement operation.?

The U.S. Attorney?s Office and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman declined to comment specifically about the case. Carcamo-Carranza?s lawyer, meanwhile, did not respond to a message seeking comment.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman defended using the device to catch criminals.

?ICE officers and special agents use a broad range of lawful investigative techniques in the apprehension of criminal suspects,? ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls wrote in an email to The News. ?Cell-site simulators are invaluable law enforcement tools that locate or identify mobile devices during active criminal investigations.?

The Justice Department and Homeland Security spent $95 million on more than 430 cell-site simulators from 2010-14, according to a congressional report late last year prompted by privacy concerns.

The FBI has 194 devices ? tops among federal agencies ? while Homeland Security has 124 devices nationwide.

The Hailstorm technology from Florida-based defense contractor Harris Corp. is believed to be an upgrade of Stingray. Cell-site simulators, in general, are suitcase-sized contraptions that can be installed in cars or planes to track nearby phones.

Harris sells the device to police agencies and requires them to sign nondisclosure statements. Oakland County, like other agencies, obtained Hailstorm using money from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.

Homeland Security also lets local law enforcement agencies pay for the devices using terrorism prevention grants.

Michigan State Police has owned the device for about a decade, according to documents obtained by The News. The equipment, originally designed for military and intelligence agencies, was upgraded in 2013, and an internal memo indicates it was used three years ago on 128 cases ranging from homicide to burglary and fraud, but not terrorism.

Federal investigators, meanwhile, were not required to obtain a search warrant to use the device until September 2015. That?s when the Justice Department implemented a new policy requiring a judge?s approval.

Under the Justice Department policy, all data from targeted cellphones must be deleted immediately after the device is located. Under the policy, Stingrays cannot be used to collect emails, texts, contacts or images during an investigation.

There is no similar policy governing local law-enforcement agencies in most states, said Shahid Buttar, director of grassroots advocacy for the nonprofit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation. The group is committed to defending civil liberties and privacy in the digital age.

Trump effect unclear

Agents using a cell-site simulator to find an illegal immigrant is further evidence of the creeping expansion of a terrorism fighting tool, Buttar said.

?As far as we know, this is a novel use of that technology,? Buttar said.

For perspective, federal agents in Detroit last fall revealed they used a cell-site simulator to find a low-level accused drug dealer.

Secrecy surrounding the devices on a federal level, before 2015, makes it impossible to determine exactly how investigators have used the device, he said.

?Once you start giving agencies fancy toys, and somebody is making money off of it, they are going to use them for more things, and ultimately oppress your rights,? Buttar said.

The expanded use likely would have happened under any administration but is partly due to the Trump administration?s crackdown on illegal immigrants, he said.

?A piece of the explanation would lie in the change of administration and rhetoric from the top,? Buttar said. ?Whether Trump was in office or someone else, these issues will continue to be ripe and pressing.?

Carcamo-Carranza has a history with law enforcement and twice has been kicked out of the U.S.

In 2005, he was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents after illegally entering the United States, according to court records. An immigration judge ordered Carcamo-Carranza be sent to El Salvador in April 2006, according to court records.

The court file indicates he was never removed from the U.S. and became a fugitive before being arrested again in 2012.

In November 2012, Carcamo-Carranza was sent back to El Salvador, according to Jeremy McCullough, a Homeland Security deportation officer assigned to the FBI?s Violent Gang Task Force.

Yet Carcamo-Carranza returned to the U.S. illegally on an unknown date, the officer wrote in a court filing.

He was arrested again in December 2014 and sent back to El Salvador the next month.

Carcamo-Carranza came back to the U.S. on an unknown date, the officer alleged.

In January 2016, Carcamo-Carranza was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Shelby Township. He made an illegal turn, struck a car and fled before being arrested, Shelby Township Deputy Police Chief Mark Coil said in an interview.

?Nobody was seriously injured,? Coil said.

Carcamo-Carranza was released before federal agents could take him into custody.

The investigation intensified Jan. 24. That?s when McCullough obtained a warrant to search Carcamo-Carranza?s Facebook account ? ?Rude Boy Carranza.?

Tracking down suspect

While reviewing his private messages, the deportation officer found Carcamo-Carranza?s address on Rome Avenue in Warren and a cellphone number.

Armed with Carcamo-Carranza?s address and phone number, McCullough spent two months trying to find him but failed.

On March 9, the deportation officer applied for a search warrant to locate Carcamo-Carranza?s phone. McCullough wrote in the search warrant request that investigators would use a cell site simulator to locate Carcamo-Carranza?s phone.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Patti approved the search warrant.

Data obtained from the search warrant showed Carcamo-Carranza?s phone was near a home in the 3500 block of Rome Avenue in Warren.

On March 16, Carcamo-Carranza was spotted leaving the home on Rome Avenue. A week later, investigators obtained a search warrant for the home.

On March 23, investigators raided the home, found Carcamo-Carranza and arrested him. At the time, he had an outstanding warrant for drunken driving and another warrant for the hit-and-run crash, according to court records.

During a search of Carcamo-Carranza?s home, investigators found a phony green card, the government alleges. The green card had Carcamo-Carranza?s photo, a phony Social Security number and an alias, according to court records.

He used the alias when he was hired at Kruse & Muer restaurant in Troy, Bar Louie restaurant in Rochester Hills and Art & Jakes restaurant in Shelby Township, investigators said.

Carcamo-Carranza is scheduled to stand trial July 11 in federal court in Detroit on charges that could send him to prison for up to 10 years.

Privacy experts want to stop investigators from using cell-site simulators to find alleged immigration offenders like Carcamo-Carranza.

Buttar proposes several restrictions. He wants all states to adopt laws requiring judicial authorization before local law enforcement agencies can use the device and limits on how long they can retain the data.

?It should be used only in cases that could implicate violence or harm to human life,? Buttar said, ?certainly not an immigration offense.?
 

Spectre

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The police-abuse-of-power thread

I know this thread has traditionally been used to highlight things like intimidation, assault, and murder, but I think this belongs here too.


Feds use anti-terror tool to hunt the undocumented
It was considered perfectly fine under Obama - little national or even regional media outrage over it, so long as it wasn't being used to go after illegal aliens. It was even fine if the police lied about using it, hid the fact they they were using it, or refused to disclose details. The Obama Administration even directly told cops to obfuscate their usage of Hailstorm or Stingray. The ACLU couldn't be bothered to get involved for the longest time until even their members started asking leadership WTF was going on in the wake of the NSA spying scandal.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com...lancecell-phone-stingray-2016jul31-story.html

The department has used the "Stingray" surveillance device, which masquerades as a cell phone tower, to intercept mobile phone calls. The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.
Why is this suddenly a cause for concern for you? It's been a cause for concern all along for me, no matter who is using it or why, but why are you protesting just now? If it was 'fine' under Obama to use it to investigate local, even minor crime and even lie about it, why is using this to locate a multiple-time Federal felon who has a valid warrant out for his arrest in yet another felony charge, illegal alien status or not, a concern *now*, hm?

I would also suggest you take a look at what Administration it was that provided the money, training and policies to start and maintain this over the past, oh, eight years.
 
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GRtak

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This has been a problem for me since I first heard about them. I haven't always been as vocal about it as I should, but I have other battles to fight as well.

I knew it would always be abused, but they have always assured us (not that I believed them) that it would never be used in certain ways. But I guess it is just too easy to keep finding ways to use the tools. This is part of the reason I went so long without a modern smartphone.

This has also been around longer than 8 years.
 

Spectre

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This has been a problem for me since I first heard about them. I haven't always been as vocal about it as I should, but I have other battles to fight as well.

I knew it would always be abused, but they have always assured us (not that I believed them) that it would never be used in certain ways. But I guess it is just too easy to keep finding ways to use the tools. This is part of the reason I went so long without a modern smartphone.

This has also been around longer than 8 years.
Yup, but the Feds weren't giving out gigantic grants for the things to all and sundry or just plain giving them away until 2009. Who was running the country then?

Also, FYI - this started when the FBI took open delivery and began warrantless use of a unit... in 1995.

"This is the first ever congressional hearing on Stingrays. This is a device the FBI started using in 1995. It shouldn't take 20 years to get a hearing on a surveillance technology," said ACLU technologist Christopher Soghoian, the nation's leading expert on Stingrays.
There's also cites on Wiki for when the FBI started openly using Stingray and related technology. There is some suggestion that the technology may have been in limited use as early as 1993. Considerably before smartphones.

But it was okay because it was Clinton and he could do no wrong in the eyes of the media and his supporters. Concerns about it were dismissed as tin-foil-hattery by the media.

By the way, warrantless use of Stingray and friends continued up until 2015, when the Administration rather cynically claimed they would require their people to get warrants to use it. The same people who were illegally monitoring the communications of all Americans, as we now know, and who on their way out of the White House decided to hugely expand the pool of people who could get access to all the surveillance records without a warrant. Again, where was your outrage at that?

With mere days left before President-elect Donald Trump takes the White House, President Barack Obama?s administration just finalized rules to make it easier for the nation?s intelligence agencies to share unfiltered information about innocent people.

New rules issued by the Obama administration under Executive Order 12333 will let the NSA?which collects information under that authority with little oversight, transparency, or concern for privacy?share the raw streams of communications it intercepts directly with agencies including the FBI, the DEA, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a report today by the New York Times.
Because that's never going to ever be used to prosecute a US citizen for, say, drug charges having nothing to do with terrorism. Or by some bureaucrat getting revenge.

If you believe that, I've got some prime real estate in Florida to sell you.
 
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GRtak

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If I went off every time I got outraged, I would already be dead. Where was all your outrage? Oh, right, you just have to hate on the Dems, or those that you think are.
 

Spectre

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If I went off every time I got outraged, I would already be dead. Where was all your outrage? Oh, right, you just have to hate on the Dems, or those that you think are.
Mmmh-hmm, you keep thinking that. Been an EFF member since 1997, donated to EPIC since 2005, worked to primary-out Republicans (and defeat Democrats) who thought this sort of shit was a good idea since about 2003.

Fortunately, there's a great deal of overlap between politicians who dislike legal gun owners/gun rights and politicians who love increasing the surveillance of the average citizen. Makes it slightly easier to apply resources. However, this is *not* a single party issue - there are plenty of assholes in both parties that support increased warrantless surveillance.

That said, of the previous five presidents, three significantly increased warrantless surveillance of the American citizen. Of those three, two were Democrats. Simple math would seem to point out that the Democrats did this more than the Republicans. Neither party should be trusted on this but the Democrat track record is significantly worse.
 

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It was considered perfectly fine under Obama - little national or even regional media outrage over it, so long as it wasn't being used to go after illegal aliens. It was even fine if the police lied about using it, hid the fact they they were using it, or refused to disclose details. The Obama Administration even directly told cops to obfuscate their usage of Hailstorm or Stingray. The ACLU couldn't be bothered to get involved for the longest time until even their members started asking leadership WTF was going on in the wake of the NSA spying scandal.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com...lancecell-phone-stingray-2016jul31-story.html
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/...known-technological-threat-cell-phone-privacy

That's an amicus brief from ACLU (and EFF) in 2012. A year before Snowden and the NSA spying scandal.
 

Firecat

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Recently released dash cam footage for Castille shooting. The officer was found not guilty. To me it seems like an overreaction. I don't get why the officer would think he would reach for his gun to shoot him moments after informing him that he had a firearm

 

LeVeL

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In order to find the officer guilty, you would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is, in fact, guilty. In light of that, all the defense has to do is plant even a little bit of doubt to get the officer to go free. Bear with me while I show you where this doubt is coming from:

-The traffic stop is legitimate and doesn't indicated that Castille was targeted specifically. His brake lights were out.
-The interaction starts off perfectly civilly with no indication of hostility.
-Upon being asked to produce his license and registration, Castille produces one of them and hands it to the officer without incident.
-Before producing the other document, Castille informs the officer that he has a firearm.
-In a seemingly calm voice, the officer responds with "okay, don't reach for it then".
-The officer twice instructs Castille "don't pull it out".
-Castille responds with what sounds like "I have to pull it out".

Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Castille wasn't reaching down near his firearm after being instructed three times not to?

This is a long way from the story we originally heard where the conversation was "I have a firearm" "WHAT!?!? bang bang bang", just like nearly all police shootings that get national attention.
 

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Counterpoints:

- Castile's words are hard to hear, but I'm hearing "I'm not pulling it out". That's what the county attorney's office heard too, and put in the transcript presented at the trial.
- An expert brought into the case concluded Yanez acted unreasonably.
- The jurors apparently had quite a discussion about the wording of the law before deciding to acquit. Here's the law they deliberated on for background.

I agree with Firecat, it sounds like Yanez did act unreasonably, but was acquitted because the prosecutors missed the bar set by the law.

Here, I'm making a distinction between the actors invoved. Charging Yanez with a crime the prosecutors couldn't or didn't reach (by a narrow margin going from the juror's interview) was a procedural mistake, no different than if they had grossly overcharged him with 1st degree murder, and in that sense Yanez was prevented from being unjustly jailed. But in acting unreasonably, Yanez unjustly killed Castile. It's a tough spot to be in, though even without a conviction the police department is letting Yanez go.
 

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I think the officer's own words are damming. At 9:20 ish, he says, "I was getting fucking nervous".
 

LeVeL

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Counterpoints:

- Castile's words are hard to hear, but I'm hearing "I'm not pulling it out". That's what the county attorney's office heard too, and put in the transcript presented at the trial.
- An expert brought into the case concluded Yanez acted unreasonably.
- The jurors apparently had quite a discussion about the wording of the law before deciding to acquit. Here's the law they deliberated on for background.

I agree with Firecat, it sounds like Yanez did act unreasonably, but was acquitted because the prosecutors missed the bar set by the law.

Here, I'm making a distinction between the actors invoved. Charging Yanez with a crime the prosecutors couldn't or didn't reach (by a narrow margin going from the juror's interview) was a procedural mistake, no different than if they had grossly overcharged him with 1st degree murder, and in that sense Yanez was prevented from being unjustly jailed. But in acting unreasonably, Yanez unjustly killed Castile. It's a tough spot to be in, though even without a conviction the police department is letting Yanez go.
All good points. What a clusterfuck. I think both parties could've handled the situation better and avoided all of this. RIP Philandro.
 

Firecat

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Considering Yanez said don't pull it out (twice) and Castlle responded with something (I heard I'm not pulling it out)....that's arguably quite a bit of time to have the conversation. I would think if you're pulling out a weapon to use it you wouldn't be doing some sort of slow draw.

Yes, the reason for the stop given to Castille was the brake light. However I believe Yanez indicated that the two fit a description of armed robbery suspects. Which may have played into why Yanez was nervous. His post reaction shooting to me sounds like he knew that he may have reacted too quickly (I think that's a better way to put it).

I read in an arcticle somewhere that Yanez also stated he smelled marijuana coming from the car. That's always a go to for cops isn't it.


*edit

If they were pulled over for fitting a description of Armed robbery suspects should they have approached with gun already drawn? That would at least give Castille the foresight to not make any movements and keep his hands visible
 
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Racin

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Considering Yanez said don't pull it out (twice) and Castlle responded with something (I heard I'm not pulling it out)....that's arguably quite a bit of time to have the conversation. I would think if you're pulling out a weapon to use it you wouldn't be doing some sort of slow draw.

Yes, the reason for the stop given to Castille was the brake light. However I believe Yanez indicated that the two fit a description of armed robbery suspects. Which may have played into why Yanez was nervous. His post reaction shooting to me sounds like he knew that he may have reacted too quickly (I think that's a better way to put it).

I read in an arcticle somewhere that Yanez also stated he smelled marijuana coming from the car. That's always a go to for cops isn't it.


*edit

If they were pulled over for fitting a description of Armed robbery suspects should they have approached with gun already drawn? That would at least give Castille the foresight to not make any movements and keep his hands visible
The expert report is pretty on point on that. He states that if Officer Yanez really thought that this was in relation to a armed robbery, he would've made a "high risk stop" (I imaging different approach to the car and so on). Also, if he really thought that Castille was reaching for a gun why not move behind the B pillar on the car? Officer Yanez also stated that it was hard to see inside the car but didn't use a flashlight, that he couldn't see what Castille was reaching for but also stating that he saw him holding something in a c-shape that was bigger than a wallet.

All in all, Officer Yanez explanation seems like an ad hoc justification for an overreaction (armed robbery, marijuama smell, obstructed vision and so on).
 

LeVeL

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Considering Yanez said don't pull it out (twice) and Castlle responded with something (I heard I'm not pulling it out)....that's arguably quite a bit of time to have the conversation. I would think if you're pulling out a weapon to use it you wouldn't be doing some sort of slow draw.
It's not easy to draw while seated and belted in.
 

LeVeL

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I'm not defending Yanez here. I'm just saying that there IS some room for reasonable doubt, which is why he was acquitted. Do I think he could've handled the situation better? Absolutely. But I can also see how he could've viewed the situation differently in the moment. Like I said, really shitty and unfortunate event from any angle.

With any luck, officers will read about this and think about how trigger happy and jumpy they might be, and civilians will reconsider how they act when interacting with LEOs while armed.
 
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