Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged abuse

Yes, having your foot run over by a heavy wheelchair hurts. Most people would respond with an audible sound, usually a profanity. This officer, however, immediately responds by shoving the man in his head so hard that his wheelchair tipped over and he fell out of it.

The police told him to move along. The officer saw the wheelchair coming and deliberately left himself in the way, provoking the incident. A normal person would have stepped back or moved their feet out of the way.

Davidson tells Kincade, “You did not drive over me…. Now you’re going to jail.” Kincade replies that he did not see the lieutenant’s foot. He was then arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer, according to the station. That case was later dismissed.

Flannelly said he and six other members of the command staff unanimously felt Davidson used conduct unbecoming of an officer and an excessive use of force. An internal review of the incident by authorities determined that he should be fired, according to WLFI. On appeal, the five civilians on Lafayette’s Civil Service Commission ruled Davidson had not demonstrated excessive use of force and lessened the punishment, demoting Davidson in rank to officer and giving him 30 days of suspension without pay.

And that is police justice. What would have happened if a person shoved an officer like this? Do you think a demotion in rank at work and a short suspension would be the only consequence?

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Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor at Arizona State University, was body slammed by a police officer after being stopped for jaywalking near campus. Ore, however, is facing charges for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare..

The incident occurred on May 20 when Ore, an English professor who teaches classes on Race Critical Theory among other topics, crossed the street, she says to avoid construction. She was stopped by Officer Stewart Ferrin, who works for campus police, and Ferrin demanded to see her ID. From there, the situation quickly escalated:

OFFICER: Let me see your ID or you will be arrested for failing to provide ID

ORE: Are you serious?

OFFICER: Yes, I’m serious. That is the law. If you don’t understand the law I’m explaining the law to you…

ORE: …I never once saw a single solitary individual get pulled over by a cop for walking across a street on a campus, in a campus location. Everybody has been doing this because it is all obstructed. That’s the reason why. But you stop me in the middle of the street to pull me over and ask me, ‘Do you know what this is? This is a street.’…

OFFICER: Are you aware this is a street?

ORE: Let me finish

OFFICER: OK, put your hands behind your back

ORE: Don’t touch me, get your hands off me…

OFFICER: …Put your hands behind your back right now. I’m going to slam you on this car. Put your hand behind your back

ORE: You really want to do that? Do you see what I’m wearing? Do you see?

OFFICER: I don’t care what you are wearing.

ORE: Don’t talk to me like that. This entire thing has been about your lack of respect for me.

Naturally, the police department says there is “no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved.”

More at Think Progress.

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In a story that sounds like good old-fashioned government-sponsored eugenics, a California doctor is accused of sterilizing female patients illegally. This is the sort of thing that inspired the Nazis and Josef Mengele and was the predecessor of the Holocaust.

The California State Auditor criticized federal and state oversight of sterilization surgeries for female prison inmates after finding numerous illegal surgeries and violations of the state’s informed consent law.

Of the 144 inmates who underwent tubal ligations from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13, auditors found nearly one-third were performed without lawful consent, according to the report released Thursday.

In 27 cases, the inmate’s physician — the person who would perform the procedure in a hospital or an alternate physician — did not sign the required consent form asserting that the patient appeared mentally competent and understood the lasting effects of the procedure and that the required waiting period had been satisfied.

In some cases, physicians falsified the consent forms, indicating the proper waiting period had passed when it clearly had not.

The CIR investigation, published in July, found that 132 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules from 2006 to 2010 — and perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s.

Heinrich previously told CIR that the money spent sterilizing inmates was minimal “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children — as they procreated more.”

Dr. James Heinrich and his staff should be sued for their actions and have their medical licenses revoked and imprisoned. The story gets stranger, and creepier, when looking back at previous findings.

Dr. James Heinrich also has a history of medical controversies and expensive malpractice settlements both inside and outside prison walls. Female patients have accused him not just of trying to dictate their reproductive decisions, but also of unsanitary practices and botched surgeries that injured them and their infants.

Overall, the number of sterilization surgeries sharply increased after Heinrich joined the prison system and the federal court began oversight.

The responses to the increase site that Heinrich saw more patients than other doctors, but given his problems before being hired, why did the prison system decide to hire such a controversial figure?

Crystal Nguyen, a former Valley State inmate who worked in the prison infirmary, received a letter in August asking her to participate. “The Medical Board is currently examining Dr. Heinrich’s patient care,” it said.

Nguyen had many names to offer, she said, because Heinrich’s habits, like eating while conducting vaginal exams, were well known not just by inmates, but also by staff, who she said felt powerless to force him to change. Nguyen said she experienced those habits firsthand during her pregnancy at Valley State.

“He would be eating popcorn all the time. Popcorn, cheese and crackers. And he would be examining while he would be eating,” she said. “And to me, that’s not hygienic. … It was gross. It just creeped me out.”

To protect against infections, state and federal safety rules ban health care professionals from having food and drink in areas where patients are treated.

The CIR article gives several examples of how Heinrich simply didn’t care about his patients, whether they be in prison or not, and pushed unnecessary procedures on them. People place a huge amount of trust in doctors to know what is best. If something seems off, get a second opinion.

Download (PDF, 1.56MB)

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The militarization of American law enforcement continues.

The Caiman, a 12-foot tall armored vehicle is coming to the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio. It is one of 35 Caimans being made available across Ohio.

The vehicles were built with thick walls to handle gunfire and even explosives and provide protection to the soldiers and now law enforcement riding inside its V-shaped interior.

And why is such a vehicle necessary on the streets of America?

Sheriff Ray Stone thinks they are a great idea.

if there is a shooter still in a building or an area and there is an injured officer or person lying on the ground, it can be often be impossible to get medical assistance to them. Deputies and members of the county Special Response Team wear bullet proof vests, but often ride in vehicles with no more protection from bullets than any car or truck.

Now with the addition of the Caiman to the sheriff’s office equipment, Stone points out someone can drive the Caiman between the shooter and the injured person, which would make it safer to provide that assistance needed to save the life of a downed person.

The vehicle can be used as a shield for law enforcement to get behind while making an approach.

And this scenario is something that happens in a battlezone, not in every day America. An incident, such as the one described above, is rare enough that militarizing the police department is not a justifiable response.

Additionally, the Caiman is air conditioned and heated, which Stone pointed out can be really useful during a situation out in the elements for long periods of time. The vehicle can be used as a command center during a stand off or other operation when law enforcement could be on location far from a warm shelter for a long time.

So, in addition to instilling fear, which is what this vehicle aims to do, the police can’t survive unless they are in a climate-controlled vehicle in which the fearful public must pay for gas to keep law enforcement comfortable.

Imagine how intimidating it could be to meet this large armored vehicle coming down a road in Columbiana County or headed toward a home during a drug raid or standoff situation.

One does not need to imagine. The sheriff’s department will be parading it around soon enough.

It also has places where guns can be mounted. It was designed for a convoy of soldiers on patrol in Iraq to be able see and respond with gunfire if needed.

Explain, again, why this is necessary on the streets of America?

As U.S. troops withdraw from the region, the federal government has many of these $733,000 vehicles still in good condition and without a use. Instead of letting the Caimans sit, become rusty and be without a purpose, the vehicles are being offered to local law enforcement for the cost of shipping them. Stone said he is even hopeful the shipping cost may be covered by a grant in the end.

Chief Deputy Allan Haueter notes the Sheriff’s Office Caiman has only 17,000 miles on it.

It doesn’t matter how cheap these vehicles are or how few miles have been put on them, there isn’t a need for such a thing in the United States unless the U.S. government and law enforcement are planning on controlling the population through continued fear.

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The city of Lawrence, Indiana is arming itself for war.

The truck itself is not new, but the mechanical parts of it are, right down to the engine, tires and wheels. It’s built tough. The massive mass of metal and iron can handle everything from weather to potentially deadly situations.

“Rescuing citizens in an active shooter situation, we can drive right up on scene and get people out of the hotzone. We can use it for rescue,” said Capt. Tim Steele.

And exactly how often is this going to be used for rescue? Does the city of Lawrence have active shooter situations so often that something like this is really justified?

Capt. Steele says having this truck is special to him.

“Being prior military, I always like when we get a piece of equipment that we can still use for the citizens and keep a piece of equipment working,” Steele said.

Being prior military, it is likely that this is just another toy the police department is excited to play with.

“This piece of equipment can be used, and we’re using it to it’s fullest ability,” Steele said.

Really? Because when did the streets of America turn into a war zone where military grade equipment became necessary?

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