Posts Tagged ‘police’

richardWe have no idea if Cliff Richard is guilty of having assaulted a young man under the age of 16, 25 years ago, or at any other time. He vigorously denies the charge, but then so have others who have subsequently been found guilty. What is undoubtedly true is that the worldwide publicity effectively organised by the police before he has been charged with anything is deeply worrying to anyone who values due process and concepts of privacy.

Famed QC Geoffrey Robertson outlines his concerns in an article we link to below, and it is well worth reading for anyone who value concepts of liberty under the law.

As Robertson points out, “Police initially denied “leaking” the raid, but South Yorkshire Police finally confirmed yesterday afternoon that they had been “working with a media outlet” – presumably the BBC – about the investigation. They also claimed “a number of people” had come forward with more information after seeing coverage of the operation – which leads one to suspect that this was the improper purpose behind leaking the operation in the first place.  This alone calls for an independent inquiry.”

We all need to consider the implications of this very carefully. Imagine, if you will, that a police officer (or team of police officers) has a suspicion that someone – anyone, you – is guilty of having committed a serious crime. If the way this matter has been conducted is to be a template for the future, then they make no effort to contact you directly, even though they know where you are, but they do confirm their investigation to the inquisitive media and invite their co-operation.

Remember, this is without proof, or charges having been laid. It seems nothing more nor less than a deliberate tactic to stir up other people to come forward with allegations or evidence against you.

This type of “fishing” behaviour, which must inevitably result in great damage to a person’s reputation before it is even known if charges will be laid, is not how police investigations happen in a liberal democracy, and it strongly implies that some Police in the UK are either unaware of the appropriate way to behave, or no longer consider themselves restrained by concepts of liberty and privacy.

Remember, Richard may be guilty of absolutely nothing at all. But we don’t expect to see him hosting any Christmas specials anytime soon.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-way-the-police-have-treated-cliff-richard-is-completely-unacceptable-9672367.html

For the record,

In a statement on Thursday, Sir Cliff took appeared to take aim at the force’s decision, saying: “The police attended my apartment in Berkshire today without notice, except it would appear to the press”.

He added: “For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online.

“The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen.”

He also said that he will “fully cooperate” with the police.

The televised raid was also criticised by Conservative MP and Former Deputy Commons Speaker Nigel Evans, himself previously cleared of sexual assault charges by a unanimous jury vote, and currently fighting furiously to retain his Parliamentary seat following a grassroots campaign to unseat him as an MP, who told ITV:

“It appears the press knew what was happening before he did and the world’s media were camped outside his doorstep. A press helicopter was up before the police even arrived — he is quite right to be angry about that. Questions have got to be answered.”

They have indeed.

For reasons which need not concern us here, we were this morning browsing the Victorian Police crime statistics for the last year on offer, 2012-13.

We came across this staggeringly depressing statistic:

Incidence of rape against minors

This year 542 +0.71%

Last year 538

Incidence of rape against adults

This year 1,106 +1.5

Last year 1,090

child abuseYou might imagine, Dear Reader, that we are about to fulminate against the growth in the incidence of rape in both cases, in a sort of Colonel Mustard-like “Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells” manner.

But although we deplore the fact that the figures are rising rather than falling, we suspect the slight rise recorded is due to natural population growth.

 

Yes, we would have hoped that we would be seeing a steady decline in these stats, given that we are all supposed to be becoming more “aware” of the disgusting nature of sexual violence. But it appears it is a very slow process.

Something for those with the purse strings of Government advertising budgets to consider, perhaps.

We should see all domestic violence and rape and sexual assault as part of the same patriarchal continuum, and until men take it seriously, it will continue.

But what really horrifies is the raw number of more than 500 rapes against children in a year. Coming up for one-third of all rapes.

500? Five HUNDRED?

How many of these are against sexually active teenagers isn’t the point.

Rape is rape, it is never justified, and no excuses or attempted slut-shaming of the victims is ever acceptable. And although they were all against people who are legally children, ie under 18, and so there will be some mid-teens in there, it’s a pound to a penny that many of these crimes were against what you and I would recognise as children. Kids. Little tackers.

And this is the REPORTED cases. Ye Gods, the mind boggles. Unreported cases would run into the thousands.

Given the high profile given to many of these types of cases in the UK in particular, and in the various enquiries into child abuse in Australia, especially involving religious and community organisations, not to mention the recent brouhaha in the UK press about whether or not there was a high-level pedophile ring operating at the top of British Government (involving, allegedly, those close to at least two Prime Ministers, and perhaps even one (now deceased) Prime Minister), we simply suck in our breath in disgust and horror that this most avoidable and heinous of crimes, which leaves lives shattered sometimes beyond repair, is so persistent and pernicious despite the obvious fact that for the offenders the advice is utterly simple and unavoidable: don’t.

Just don’t. Do something else for your kicks, don’t do that. They are KIDS, for fuck’s sake.

To steal the innocence from a child, to betray their trust, to warp and bend that child’s value system until it is unrecognisable, to sometimes terrify the child into silence: these are crimes which demand the most urgent enquiry and vigilance, and an unrelenting determination to root out the offenders. Not one adult offender in this area can possibly imagine, for one moment, that their activities are anything more nor less than utterly destructive and illegal.

We must be unyielding in our attempts to cure this plague. Period. Full stop. That’s it. End of.

(Post scriptum: this article obviously talks about Victoria, Australia. I would be very happy to publish statistics from elsewhere if you can look them up. I urge you to find out how prevalent this crime is in YOUR community. And if you know of a community where it is LESS prevalent, perhaps we can all learn why.)

The police have released an image of what the man may look like.

The police have released an image of what the man may look like.

Here’s something that could usefully “go viral”. Please feel free to share the story on whatever social media you use, if you are from Australia.

Police are searching for a man who sexually assaulted a young girl on Sunday night in Brisbane.

The man, who is described as being in his early 20s with fair skin and dark hair, entered an unlocked home in Capalaba on Sunday night, before sexually assaulting one young girl and attempting to remove her sister’s clothing.

The man entered the house at about 7.45pm, after the mother had left the house for 15 minutes to return a car she had borrowed for that day.

There were six sisters aged between five and eighteen at home during the time of the attack. Both of the victims were under 13.

Police have said that the man was not known to the family, and urged anyone who may have information about the attack to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

police

 

This story in today’s Age (and many other newspapers around the world) is very amusing. Click the link if you have ANYTHING to do with business, advertising, marketing or communications.

http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/nypd-social-media-campaign-backfires-20140423-zqy75.html

We keep trying to tell people, you cannot do one thing in social media (or any other type of communications) and another thing in “real life”. It will come back to bite you. Big time. Just like NYPD, who got their “hashtag” hijacked, very embarrassingly.

Remember: the best “social media” your business or organisation can use is the oldest one of all. It’s called “Word of Mouth”. People who want to say nice things about you to their friends, family and colleagues, and do.

You don’t got that, you don’t got nuttin’. And if you got nuttin’, don’t broadcast the fact to the world.

Incidentally, social media messages are often left to the least senior member of a communications department while the marketing manager and other important people focus on the sexy stuff like TV commercials and big colourful press ads.

That would be a mistake.

To enjoy the full list of “F*** Ups” we have spotted, reported or re-reported, just put F*** Up in the search box on the top left of our page. Enjoy :-)

Five Christians were arrested after their group held a prayer vigil in reaction to what they described as Australia’s “cruel treatment” of asylum seekers on March 21.

Christians released

Commonsense prevails. They look like dangerous violent radicals, don’t they?

A spokeswoman for the group has said the charges were dismissed after they pled guilty to trespass in Sutherland Local Court this afternoon.

She said the magistrate noted that the protest was peaceful. “This was the other end of the scale to the Cronulla Riots,” she said.

Earlwood resident Justin Whelan, 38, was one of those who faced court over the protest he described as an appeal to Mr Morrison to “rediscover the ideals of his maiden speech”.

“I have witnessed first-hand the conflict and suffering in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine I feel compelled to take action to draw attention to the plight of asylum seekers,” he said.

He was joined in court by Blue Mountains resident Donna Mulhearn, 45, Zetland resident Jaxon Jennings, 21, and Woolloomooloo resident Jody Lightfoot, 28. The fifth member of the group, 33-year-old Midland resident Jarrod McKenna, did not appear in court.

The group was supported by approximately two dozen protesters who gathered outside the court to hold another “asylum seeker prayer vigil”.

Protest spokesman Matt Anslow said the vigil participants had come from different Christian denominations, including Catholic and Uniting Church, as well as non-Christians.

Mr Anslow said his group had not had any contact with Mr Morrison since the March 21 protest.

“We recognise that we’ve been a party to allowing our government to continue these policies,” he said. “Today is less about an outcome, it’s about support”.

He had told the media that the March protest was not intended to target Mr Morrison in a negative way.

If ever a man needed praying for, it's this guy.

If ever a man needed praying for, it’s this guy.

“We were praying also for Mr Morrison, not in a way that was condemning or judgemental,” he said. “We were actually praying that Mr Morrison might have a change of heart. In his maiden speech for Federal Parliament, Mr Morrison gave a really amazing outline of his vision that included justice and compassion for vulnerable people. For us, we were hoping Mr Morrison might have a change of heart and join us.”

Wellthisiswhatithink has another and less gentle point to raise. What on earth were police officers doing wasting their taxpayer-funded time arresting these people in the first place? And once arrested, why on earth were they taken to court and not simply released? Who took that ludicrous decision?

I am reasonably sure the Christians who “invaded” Morrison’s precious little office would have left quietly if asked to do so, or would have allowed themselves to be moved outside, even if resisting passively. That should have been an end to the matter.

In a free country, people are free to say what they like, where they like, even if that causes minor inconvenience. What an utter nonsense this all was. Will the police in charge at this and other protests be counseled to show a little more restraint, and commonsense? Like hell they will. Will the prosecutorial authorities get dragged over the coals for wasted time, money and effort. No, they won’t.

Ridiculous.

Cassandra after the incident

Cassandra after the incident

This is a far too common and horrific occurrence in police stations the world over.

Read the full story here: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/10/chicago-police-brutality-video-cassandra-feuerstein/

WARNING: This video is genuinely graphic and shocking.

cassandra-feuerstein

This is police brutality. This is bullying male violence against women.

This is a disgrace.

Thank God we have CCTV footage. Otherwise I think we can be reasonably sure this woman would have been reported as having “tripped”.

We wonder if this footage would ever have been seen if she had broken her neck and died, and not just required reconstructive surgery?

Let us hope her case against Skokie results in exemplary damages, and we look forward to this idiot policeman being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Yes, Ms Feuerstein is complicit in her arrest for being asleep at the side of the road in her car, and over the limit. No, she should not have had her life imperilled by casual violence. End of. Period.

ass21

Sometimes a story come wandering across the Wellthisiswhatithink desk that make us righteously angry, squirming with embarrassment, and gets us shaking our heads in disbelief, all at the same time.

Toni Shelton, who lives in Sugar Creek, Missouri, has been repainting old tires to turn them into flower planters.

“I was just really interested in recycling and I’m really big on self-sufficiency,” she told KCTV news.

Dangerous radical seeks to make world more beautiful: authorities act

Dangerous radical seeks to make world more beautiful: authorities act decisively

Not only is Shelton using the tires decoratively, as painted flower planters, but also to grow fresh vegetables for her family.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

After all, recycling is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our planet for future generations.

Apparently, the authorities in Sugar Creek do not agree.

They have issued Shelton a citation, but she is refusing to pay the fine on principle. Instead, she is prepared to go to jail after she was threatened by authorities in her home town.

Why are these tires such a threat to Sugar Creek? Well, apparently the number of tires she was storing could attract mosquitoes and lower property values.

Oh no! What could be more important than property values?

Well, let’s even concede the town has a point. Citing her, and threatening to prosecute her, is ludicrous. Even though the police department said they don’t have a problem with her using the tires as planters, they told her to get rid of her unused supply and fined her before she had a chance to move them.

From rawstory:

“We’d asked her to put them somewhere else because there were quite a number of them,” Sugar Creek Chief Herb Soule insisted.”We try to keep people from accumulating tires because they retain water and they attract mosquitos. They detract from property values in the neighborhood too.”

She looks dangerous to us.

She looks dangerous to us.

In response, Shelton has now moved most of the old tires and is storing some of them inside of an old truck.

Still, she said she won’t get rid of all the tires because she said it would send the wrong message to her children. And to other environmentally aware people, presumably.

“I don’t want my kids to see me back down and not follow my heart,” she explained.

Anyhow, unless pressure not to do so can be brought to bear, the case will be heard in municipal court in Sugar Creek next week.

Missouri officials don’t seem to be aware, but here are some of the benefits of recycling:

•    Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness;
•    Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration;
•    Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials;
•    Recycling saves energy;
•    Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change;
•    Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
•    Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Shelton’s way of recycling these ugly objects should be applauded rather than punished. Shelton has moved her unused supply of tires to an enclosed space, but she says she’d rather go to jail than pay a citation for trying to set a good example for her kids.

Tell Sugar Creek recycling tires isn’t a crime.

If you agree that Toni Shelton is improving the environment by recycling old tires and that, far from being punished, she should be applauded, please sign the petition demanding that all charges against her be dropped immediately. They have 238 signatures already, (after I have just added mine), and are seeking at least 5,000. Let’s get it done, people.

Fellow bloggers, please PRESS THIS.

FUN FACTMr.Bumble_thumb

The phrase “the law is an ass” was popularized by Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, when the character Mr. Bumble is informed that “The law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”.

Mr. Bumble grumpily replies “If the law supposes that … the law is a [sic] ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”

Is this police brutality? Is it the wary arrest of a dangerous man? Is it over-policing gone mad?

I freely confess I do not like the GENERALISED criticism of police that is so common. My experience in the UK and Australia tells me they often do a thankless, difficult task and do it well. And the tone of this article is relentlessly certain that this is not necessary police force and the officers concerned are part of a broad pattern of abuse.

I am not sure. Despite the obvious violence we do not know enough about the alleged criminal. Perhaps these actions were justified. But I have my severe doubts. And police must be held to the highest standards of behaviour. So. What do you think? Watch the video – about 4 minutes – and tell me.

http://www.infowars.com/video-shows-cop-kicking-defenseless-man-in-the-throat/

Salecia Jackson. Looks pretty scary to me. Photo AP

 

I reproduce this article in full, without further comment, except to note my utter astonishment.

By Paul Joseph Watson. Infowars.com
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Police in Milledgeville, Georgia handcuffed and charged a 6-year-old girl (seen above) with assault for throwing a tantrum in school but instead of apologizing for such unnecessary treatment, the chief of police praised his officers for their actions.

After kindergartner Salecia Johnson knocked over a shelf that injured the principal, cops were called, Johnson was handcuffed and taken to the police station where she was charged with assault.

Milledgeville’s acting police chief Dray Swicord praised the actions of the arresting officer for dealing with the deadly threat posed by the girl.

“Our policy is that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back. There is no age discrimination on that rule,” Swicord told 13WMAZ.

“A 6-year-old in kindergarten. They don’t have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child,” said Earnest Johnson, Salecia’s father.

This is just the latest example in a growing trend of police officers treating young children as dangerous criminals. Zero tolerance has obliterated common sense and the routine arrest of children is another symptom that America is now a police state.

Back in December a 13-year-old middle school student in Albuquerque, New Mexico was handcuffed and hauled off to juvenile detention for “burping audibly” in class.

In January, 12-year-old Sarah Bustamantes was arrested by police in Austin, Texas for spraying perfume on herself.

Also in January, cops in Charlton, Massachusetts were despatched to collect an overdue library book from a 5-year-old girl.

A 6-year-old San Francisco boy was detained for two hours by the principal and forced to confess to “sexual assault” for brushing the leg of his friend during a game of tag. The boy was later charged with “sexual battery”.

A similar over-reaction ensued when an Orange River Elementary School assistant principal called cops after seeing a girl kiss a boy during PE class, labeling it a possible sex crime.

In Stockton, California, a 5-year-old boy with ADHD was “handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer,” after the cop claimed the boy had kicked him in the knee.

In Florida, 6-year-old girl weighing 40 pounds was handcuffed and then sent to a mental health facility for screaming and throwing objects in class.

These are just a handful of the cases that have occurred recently and there are probably scores more that don’t even get reported by the media.

How on earth can we expect police officers to deal with real crime and actual dangerous criminals when a significant number of them seem to be intimidated by children who throw temper tantrums?

When did cops become so pathetic?

The fact that elementary school children are being arrested for misbehaving or being charged with sexual assault for over-enthusiastic games of tag serves as another urgent warning that both law enforcement and the school system in America are rotten to the core and run by complete morons who have dispensed with all semblance of common sense.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Lieutenant John Pike walks up and down the line spraying students in the face.jpg

LIeutenant John Pike walks up and down the line spraying students in the face

Look at this Wikipedia report, or google “deaths from pepper spray” and click on a few links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_spray

Then watch – you really should – this truly shocking footage of police in California ruthlessly using pepper spray on sitting, peaceful, non violent protestors.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/11853436/shocking-video-shows-police-pepper-spraying-occupy-protesters

(Courtesy of Yahoo7)

Then reflect on the fact that any of of these protestors – you, a friend, your son or daughter, wife, husband, brother or sister – could die, for sitting in a road. For expressing a widely held opinion in a peaceful manner. For standing up for what they believe in.

Then remember that this is not footage of the violence used to counter the civil disobedience of the 1960s which aimed to racially de-segregate America, although it appears these thugs of policement have learned nothing in the last fifty years, and nor has the country.

Remember also, this is in happening in what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

Then reflect on the fact that equally violent scenes have been seen in many other places around the world, including my home of Melbourne, Australia.

We are on the slippery slope, and fascism lies at the bottom of it. This lunacy MUST stop, or these protests will go underground and turn violent, as in the late 60s and 70s. The Weathermen. Baader-Meinhoff. Wreaking havoc, and provoking yet more repressive responses.

So: any ideas on how to explain to these blockhead police and their political-economic masters that these people are behaving in line with the truest traditions of what we are actually supposed to value in the West? The very principles of free association, free speech, and the right to protest that their friends and siblings go to war and die to protect?

Your thoughts on how to stop this before it gets worse – or someone gets killed?

Oh, and if you’re a policeman reading this – or one of their masters – listen to what the crowd is chanting.

“Shame on you.” And more importantly, “The whole world’s watching.”

This may well be the “Kent State” moment of the whole “Occupy” movement. Well did Gandhi say “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Yes, we are watching. And we will remember. We know you are: did you expect, as you walked forward, Lieutenant John Pike, that you were about to become one of the most loathed and castigated individuals on the planet? Or did your colleagues?

Be warned: those using violence to break up peaceful democratic protest will be brought to account, sooner or later. Syria. Libya. Egypt. And now California. Only the degree of violence is different – until, of course, one of these young people dies.

Mechanic Michael Allison faces 75 years in jail for recording police

Mechanic Michael Allison faces 75 years in jail for recording police - this is his story

This story has just been brought to my attention in a different arena, and it shocked me. I think it will shock you.

I fear that in all those countries who regularly laud themselves for being “free”,  there is an extremely worrying trend to erode the rights of the individual, and to boost the powers of the state.

When I was growing up, in the UK, my Mum used to say to me “the best thing about this country, Stephen, is that your Dad fought for the right for you to say whatever you like, and we have free speech here as a result”.

That simple thought – that so long as one was not being defamatory or merely insulting, one was permitted to speak one’s mind openly and fearlessly on any topic – has guided my life ever since.

And I have tried to imbue it in my daughter, in my turn.

HMS Clare, 1941

One of the destroyers my Dad shipped on, the somewhat wobbly HMS Clare, in 1941

Mum lost her husband aged 46, a kindly but broken man, worn out by six years fighting the Nazis on tin-pot, turn-turtle lend-lease destroyers. (Those on board these ships (a valuable gift from the Americans at the start of the war) were more worried that they were always about to capsize than they were going to get a torpedo up their collective arses.) She was no great intellectual, but when she contemplated his sacrifice, which must have hurt her so badly, she drew comfort from the fact that “We can say what we like here, because of what your Dad did”. I used to try and talk to her about his sacrifice, and hers, but she would always brush it off, with an embarrassed wave of the hand. “It was just what we had to do, Stephen. We had no choice.” And she would say no more.

This essential freedom, paid for with the blood of millions, is so much a component of my social and intellectual DNA that I fear my world would crumble if it was seriously challenged. I would, without a backward glance, head for the barricades to defend my right to say anything I damn well please, so long as it adheres to the basic rules of civilised democratic behaviour.

That’s why I have so much admiration for the stand taken by this man in Illinois. This story goes directly to just such simple, core democratic freedoms as the right to free speech. How can recording the actions of police in public be a felony offence, equivalent to rape or murder? Especially when the police are specifically permitted, by the same laws, to record citizens? It’s just so ridiculous it beggars belief. The story, still running, is covered in this 14 minute (or so) You Tube video. It’s a long time, 14 minutes, in our time-poor world, but I think everyone who values our freedom really should watch it.

 

Although I suspect, watching him being interviewed, that Michael might be one of those annoyingly vexatious people who invariably clog up public policymaking and government, I am nevertheless in awe of his personal courage. I hope someone makes a Hollywood movie of his fight, which I trust will ultimately be successful, as that would reach more people than a thousand speeches or learned academic papers. And I trust Illinois, and America as a whole, is thoroughly embarrassed by his plight. Because whether or not he is, essentially, the type of character that causes officialdom to roll its collective eyes at his nuisance factor, the fact is that our democracy needs such nuisances to stay healthy and meaningful.

Whether it is this man’s fight to oppose this ludicrous statute (that is on the books in 12 states in America), or the rendition of subsequently-proven-to-be-innocent citizens to third world countries for torture – or to Guantanamo Bay – or the more swingeing statutes of the Patriot Act or its equivalent in the UK, Australia and elsewhere, or, indeed, the now blanket CCTV coverage of our streets, I believe I see evidence for a creeping disregard for our personal liberty in the West that is gathering pace. And fast.

There are what appear to be serious, intelligent people in Illinois defending this law. Look at the prevarication of the public officials. Can you see shame on their faces? I can. But I also see a determination to protect their turf at all costs,  instead of responding, as they should have, with a cheery “Hell, yes, what were we thinking?” and an apology. I note, also, that the state legislature failed to overturn the law.

Look: I think that police in modern society do a difficult and thankless job, and in general they deserve our wholehearted respect. But if they are operating within the law, as they must, then they should have no fear whatsoever of being recorded, whether in audio or video.

I mean, what is the difference between what this man did and jurisdictions insisting that police interviews are now recorded? It makes good sense in a police station, to protect the interests and bona fides of both the accused and the police, but not on the streets? Huh? What’s with that?

On this, as so many other issues, like climate change and casual violence on the streets, we seem to be suffering from what biologist David Suzuki called “Boiling Frog” syndrome.

Drop a live frog in to a beaker of boiling water and it will struggle to get out. But put it in a beaker of cold water and raise the temperature in steady one degree increases, and it will not, just sitting there as it gets sicker and sicker from the rising heat, until it becomes unconscious, and eventually dies.

I think our beakers are being heated up, in oh-so-many ways, and we are just sitting still and taking it. And it scares me.

Aux barricades, mes camarades.