Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged Civil Rights

This happened January 31st 2014 I’m the downtown st Paul sky way… And they confiscated the phones for 6 months.

It is abundantly clear that things did not escalate until the second police officer came on the scene. That officer threatened Chris Lollie from the moment he arrived, telling him he was getting arrested no matter what. The second officer never bothered to assess the situation. He came into the situation looking to arrest someone. Lollie asked several times what he did wrong and why he needed to show identification. The best answer the police could give is “because I said so.”

These police officers are the reason people hate the police so much. The second officer comes in, acts like a bully and demands his authority be respected. The first officer is an enabler who does nothing to stop the second officers abusive behavior despite no crime having been committed.

From KARE 11:

Chris Lollie was at the First National Bank Building last January when he was approached by St Paul Police officers, according to an incident report. He started recording video on his cell phone as they asked for his name.

But in the video Lollie can be heard telling the officers he was in a public space picking up his kids from New Horizon Academy and wasn’t breaking any laws. In just a few seconds things escalate.

Lollie did not commit any crime. He was walking out of the area, which is his right as he was not being detained. He stopped walking once the officer told him he was under arrest. Until that point, Lollie had no legal requirement to stop walking.

Minnesota also does not have a “Stop and Identify” statute, which would require you to stop and identify yourself if criminal activity has occurred in the area.

Lollie was exercising his first and fourth amendment rights. He broke no law. He was under no obligation to follow their commands.

Lollie was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction. But all charges were dismissed last month. Lollie did not respond to questions about why he released the video nearly eight months after it was recorded.

If they watch the original video, Lollie explains in the description of the video on YouTube, his cell phone was confiscated for six months. The charge of trespassing seems suspicious because he was in a public place in the middle of the day.

This is how the exchange should have gone. The first cop finds the person who made the complaint. If Lollie is in a public area, inform the person that they are allowed to legally be there and she could go on with her day. If he wasn’t allowed in that particular area, then the cop should have informed Lollie and asked him to move. The discussion would have been short and easy.

Cop 1: It is your right to not want to give me your name. You are not under arrest and you are free to leave if you wish, just please don’t occupy [whatever space it was he was allegedly in] because of [insert reason].

Lollie: That’s fine officer. I’m just on my way to pick up my kids.

And they both go their separate ways.

At no point in time was Lollie wrong and he was calm and reasonable until Cop 2 showed up.

Instead Cop 1 yammers on and on until Cop 2 comes along with a chip on his shoulder acting like Eric Cartman.

You can read more at The Atlantic.

flattr this!

FERGUSON, Mo. — Thousands have been protesting the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. He was due to start college just days after he was shot dead in broad daylight. Police left his bleeding corpse in the middle of the street for over four hours, behind police tape, as neighbors gathered and looked on in horror. Outraged citizens protested, and police brutally cracked down on them. Clad in paramilitary gear and using armored vehicles, they shot tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and flash-bang grenades, aiming automatic weapons at protesters. Scores of peaceful protesters, as well as journalists, have been arrested.

The protests have raged along Ferguson’s West Florissant Avenue. Four miles south of the protest’s ground zero, along the same street, in the quietude of Calvary Cemetery, lies Dred Scott, the man born a slave who famously fought for his freedom in the courts. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 is considered by many to be the worst one in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled that African-Americans, whether slave or free, could not be citizens, ever.
Scott was born into slavery in Virginia around 1799 (the same year noted Virginia slaveholder President George Washington died). Scott’s owner moved from Virginia, taking him to Missouri, a slave state. He was sold to John Emerson, a surgeon in the U.S. Army. In 1847, Scott sued Emerson for his freedom in a St. Louis court. Scott and his family prevailed, winning their freedom, only to have the decision overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court. The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source.

flattr this!

John Oliver makes many points that individuals have been making for the past 5-10 years.

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, John Oliver explores the racial inequality in treatment by police as well as the increasing militarization of America’s local police forces.

Source.

flattr this!

The film follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare.

It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

Source.

flattr this!

Los Angeles police have asked the city attorney’s office and county prosecutors to explore whether they can legally prohibit civilians from flying drones with cameras over department-owned parking lots.

The inquiry was sparked after a South Bay man who routinely films police activity and posts the footage on his website flew his drone over the parking lot of the LAPD’s Hollywood station this week and filmed squad cars going in and out.

He then posted the video on YouTube.

The police aren’t too happy about it.

“What concerns us is that they are filming over private property and it’s gated – you’re looking at the layout of the police station, how we operate, personnel license plates,” said police Lt. Michael Ling. “It’s kind of like if it was your house, if they’re flying over your backyard you’d start asking questions about it.”

The police seem to think that because their police parking lot is gated, it’s trespassing if someone photographs or records the cars. The police, their vehicles, and the parking lot are paid for by the taxpayers. Theoretically, it’s all owned by the citizens, so citizens should be able to be photograph it. It’s not private property.

flattr this!