Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged abuse

St. Louis County police said they have spent around $100,000 stocking up on riot gear and other items they may need if protests turn violent after prosecutors announce whether a Ferguson officer will face criminal charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
“And CNN reports that citizens are also preparing for the grand jury ruling: gun sales are up in St. Louis.

A state grand jury has been meeting since shortly after Brown, who was 18 and black, was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, on Aug. 9. Brown was unarmed and some witnesses said he was trying to surrender. Wilson’s attorneys have repeatedly declined comment.

More.

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Nash Bearcat

Roger Hoeppner was in a dispute with the city about tractors on his property. The police came to collect an $80,000 fine with a BearCat and 24 officers.

Earlier this month, nestled between the antique tractors he restores and the wood pallets he uses for his business, were 24 police officers, and, eventually, the armored truck.

Marathon County sheriff’s captain Greg Bean declined to answer multiple requests for comment, but told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the large police presence was called in because law enforcement officials expected they would have to seize large equipment.

And precisely how was a BearCat supposed to help move this large equipment? Was it going to tow tractors behind it?

He also defended the decision to use the armored vehicle because he said it can save time, money and increases safety in such situations.

“I’ve been involved in about five standoff situations where, as soon as the MARV showed up, the person gives up,” Bean told the Journal Sentinel.

So, the police would rather use a big vehicle to scare and intimidate people instead of actually doing their jobs.

Hoeppner has for years been embroiled in a legal battle with the city of Stettin, which has just over 2,500 residents, according to the 2010 US census.

The city sued him in 2008 because of the state of his property, which sits off of a major highway and is packed with wood pallets and land equipment. They complained again in 2010, saying he had not complied with an order to clean up the property, at which point a judge intervened. The city did not approve of adjustment he made to his land and in 2011 a judge authorized the town to take away some of his items. A final judgement was issued in April 2013, with Hoeppner receiving a $500 fine every day he did not comply. He lost an appeal in March – bringing the total he owed to $80,000.

The same day as the police intervention, Hoeppner paid out the sum, with officers escorting him to the bank he said he has been going to for 50 years. He said the incident depleted his 401k and caused his wife Marjorie to go to the hospital because of distress. “The United States is not supposed to terrorize its hardworking people,” Hoeppner said.

“I just don’t understand why a dollar and a half of postage on an envelope that I would have had to pick up at the Wausau post office wouldn’t have done the same thing as 24 officers and an armored vehicle,” Hoeppner told the Guardian.

No one else does either, sir.

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Did you know police can just take your stuff if they suspect it’s involved in a crime? They can!
It’s a shady process called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it would make for a weird episode of Law and Order.
See?

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A man is suing the TSA after he says he opened his suitcase to find his mother’s ashes dumped out.

According to court documents, Mr. Thomas had followed all of the guidelines and properly packed his mother’s “heavy and sturdy” urn inside of his suitcase for check-in.

The urn was tightly screwed closed and he says it was packed with extra clothing for padding and protection.

But when he arrived in Puerto Rico, he found his mother ashes dumped inside of the suitcase, all over his clothing and with a TSA notice of inspection.

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Seattle’s elected prosecutor says he’s dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.

In a briefing to the City Council on Monday, City Attorney Pete Holmes said he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department between Jan. 1 and July 31. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for those who have already paid their $27 ticket.

Through the first six months of the year, a single officer wrote about 80 percent of the tickets, addressing some of them to “Petey Holmes” or writing that he considered the pot law “silly.”

The officer, Randy Jokela, is now under official investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability.

In one ticket, the officer wrote that he found two people smoking marijuana and made them flip a coin to decide which person would be cited.

“(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe,” the ticket reads.

Others in the city are standing up for the officer.

A gallery of citations can be viewed online.

Komonews.

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