In what country would it be acceptable to stop and question millions of people? Certainly not America the land of the free, right?
Police take millions of dollars from motorists every year
For years, police have had to meet ticket quotas during their shifts. A Google search for “do police have quotas” returned over 5 million hits and a Google search for “police ticket quotas 2017” returned close to 6 million hits.
“Any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state shall be deemed to have given consent to field testing of his or her mobile telephone and/or personal electronic device for the purpose of determining the use thereof while operating a motor vehicle, provided that such testing is conducted by or at the direction of a police officer.”
That’s language from the text of a bill currently working its way through the New York state legislature. The legislation would allow cops to search through drivers’ cell phones following traffic incidents — even minor fender-benders — to determine if the person was using their phone while behind the wheel.
Most states have laws banning the use of mobile devices while driving, though such laws are rarely enforced. This is largely because it’s nearly impossible to catch someone in the act. What person would admit to an officer that they broke the law, the argument goes, particularly when it’s after the fact? After all, cops don’t show up until after the accident occurs.
Now, technology exists that would give police the power to plug drivers’ phones into tablet-like devices — being called “textalyzers” in the media — that tell officers exactly what they were doing on their phone and exactly when they were doing it. And if the readout shows a driver was texting while driving, for instance, the legal system will have an additional way to fine them.
“Recording your every click, tap or swipe, it would even know what apps you were using. Police officers could download the data, right on the spot,” Jeff Rossen of NBC News said in a video report on the technology.
Proponents of the legislation point to the rise in traffic fatalities associated with using mobile devices while driving. But rights activists, such as Rashida Richardson of the New York Civil Liberties Union, says it’s a societal issue and no excuse to violate an individual’s privacy:
“This is a concern because our phones have some of our most personal and private information — so we’re certain that if this law is enforced as it is proposed, it will not only violate people’s privacy rights, but also civil liberties.”
New York state isn’t alone. Currently, similar legislation is being considered in Tennessee and New Jersey
Detroit police and city officials are drafting an ordinance that would make it mandatory for all venues that serve customers after 10 p.m. to join Project Green Light, a program that allows officers to monitor businesses’ high-definition video feeds in real time.
All businesses open that late — from party stores and gas stations to sports stadiums like Comerica Park and venues like the Fox Theatre — would be subject to the ordinance if it’s passed, police said.
Police report double-digit reductions in violent crime at businesses that have enrolled in Project Green Light, and they hope the ordinance will result in similar drops in crime citywide. Others insist it would be government overreach to force businesses to join the program, raising privacy concerns and questioning whether such a broad ordinance would be legal.
Companies that sign up for the Green Light program install video cameras, and the live footage is sent to the Detroit Police Real-Time Crime Center, where officers and civilian employees monitor the activity. Businesses in the program also agree to keep their properties well-lit. Officers perform extra patrols at the city’s 123 Green Light locations.
University of Detroit-Mercy law professor Larry Dubin said the ordinance could face challenges in court.
“This ordinance would raise certain issues if challenged,” he said. “Are there alternative ways to accomplish its goals? Do other cities have this type of ordinance, and if so, (what are) their results? What are the unintended consequences of having this law? These types of issues could raise doubt as to whether this law would be a proper exercise of power.”
The program can cost as little as $1,000 down and $160 a month to lease the equipment, although Woody said prices will vary, depending on the size of the business. The original cost was $5,000 down, in addition to monthly lease charges, but Woody said the city worked with Comcast and DTE Energy to allow businesses to make the remaining $4,000 of the down payment in installments, rather than having to pay it all at once.
Detroit business owners are divided about Green Light.
(ANTIMEDIA) Last week, Human Rights Watch penned an open letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees voicing their strong opposition to a new bill that would make it nearly impossible to sue police for constitutional violations. Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.) proposed the identical bills on May 16th “to protect law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.”
Co-Director of Human Rights Watch Alison Parker writes that H.R. 2437/S.B. 1134, or the “Back the Blue Act,” doesn’t protect police from danger, but rather “protects police departments from liability, and removes incentives for those departments to monitor themselves and improve the quality of their policing.”
The proposed bill would make significant amendments to Sections 1983 and 1988 of the U.S. Code, shielding police officers from civil liability even in cases of grievous misconduct, making new federal crimes out of offenses already covered by state laws and imposing harsh mandatory minimum sentences.
Qualified immunity already provides police with broad protection from liability by requiring proof that not only were an individual’s rights violated but whether or not a reasonable officer was aware that their misconduct violated the plaintiff’s rights. Qualified immunity has been described by experienced civil rights litigator and professor of law Alan K. Chen as “one of the most impenetrable barriers to liability for constitutional violations.” According to Professor Chen, “the Court has shaped the doctrine in ways that make it more closely resemble absolute immunity.”
Under the Back the Blue Act, if police can prove that the violation and any injuries or damages inflicted“incurred in the course of, or as a result of, or . . . related to, conduct by the injured party that, more likely than not, constituted a felony or a crime of violence . . . (including any deprivation in the course of arrest or apprehension for, or the investigation, prosecution, or adjudication of, such an offense),” the offending officer would be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses only. The law would also preclude victims from recovering attorneys’ fees.
As the letter explains:
“This amendment means that if police arrest someone for selling marijuana, and beat him without justification, that person may only recover medical expenses, but nothing for emotional distress, pain and suffering or punitive damages to deter future misconduct. If a police officer unlawfully shoots and kills someone committing an act of vandalism, the police department would be liable for funeral expenses and nothing more. Such a limit on liability would make it much harder for victims of abuse to secure effective legal representation, and remove a major restraint on unjustified violence by police officers.”
The new bill also imposes harsh mandatory minimum sentences under federal law for any assault on a police officer causing “bodily injury,” which is defined to include injuries as minor as a bruise, abrasion, or even the temporary feeling of physical pain. This removes the court’s discretion, preventing judges from issuing sentences proportionate to the individual circumstances of the case. In addition, the Back the Blue Act will expand the federal death penalty to include those convicted of killing police, removing certain habeas corpus protections and again limiting judicial discretion — even in states that have abolished the death penalty.
“Under the guise of protecting officers, this bill would make police less accountable, which can only undermine their legitimacy with the communities they serve,” said John Raphling, senior criminal justice researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Congress should reject this dangerous bill.”
Human Rights Watch’s observations are all the more vital considering at least 385 Americans have been killed by police this year alone, and officers around the country continue to impose constitutional violations on citizens every day.
Everyone is so smitten with high tech and other political correctness ‘awareness’ goings on, no one is paying attention to the fact our Constitutional Rights, especially those emphasized in the first ten amendments, aka the Bill of Rights, originally proposed and then written by James Madison, are being overlooked, denied and, basically, thrown to the winds as if they did not exist!
As I hear the drumbeats of what’s going on around the country with regard to all sorts of consumer and taxpayer issues, I think I understand how all these crises are being rolled out simultaneously so everyone thinks they are the new norm. Well, let’s think again! I say. We still have the U.S. Constitution, which is the basic law of the USA, and also we have individual state’s Constitutions which, in most cases, parrot some of the rights in the U.S. Constitution. So, what’s gone wrong, you say?
Well, there are two perfect examples in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first occurs in a sleepy little Borough of Pottstown. Pottstown’s ‘city fathers’ apparently enacted a biannual rental inspections policy requiring rental properties to be inspected, even against the renter’s wishes!
Question: Doesn’t that type of inspection require a warrant based upon probable cause? According to KYW 1060 radio news reports, those inspections can include moving beds, looking into closets—actions which are “off limits for government” unless there is “probable cause.”
Dorothy and Omar Rivera, who rent a home from landlord Steven Camburn, filed a lawsuit against the borough to prevent such inspection. Coincidentally, their landlord also joined in the suit! The Riveras contend such inspections are unconstitutional; they are represented by an attorney with the Virginia-based Institute for Justice.
So, which Constitutional rights are the Riveras concerned about? According to Dorothy Rivera, “I’m a private person. I’ve done nothing wrong, and I don’t want people snooping around my house.”  Add to that the fact their landlord says, “Everybody deserves privacy. If there’s no real probable cause, they should not be entering a house that is occupied.” 
Meagan Forbes, the plaintiffs’ attorney, says, “People should know about how intrusive these searches are.”  However,
In the lawsuit, attorneys claim that Pottstown’s policy is too broad, allowing for inspectors to conduct “highly-intrusive, wall-to-wall searches for compliance with on-the-spot standards that inspectors are free to make up as they go along.” 
Hold the phone! Stop the presses! How about AMI Smart Meters?
What’s going on in Pottstown regarding rental property inspections is NOTHING compared with what’s happening to every Pennsylvania utility customer who is supplied electric, natural gas and water with more than 100,000 customers.
Customers’ appliances and usage are being monitored, collected and SOLD to third parties unknown to consumers without their knowledge and consent, nor a legal warrant to collect such personal information. Check out Onzo and what that algorithm does with smart meter data and information.
Talk about “highly-intrusive and wall-to-wall searches” and being “too broad”!
AMI Smart Meters surveil and collect information, plus interact with customers’ appliances 24/7/365 in total violation of Amendments IV, V, and XIV §2 of the U.S. Constitution, including the Pennsylvania Constitution art. 1 §1. 
And the most egregious part about the AMI Smart Meter snooping without a warrant is that AMI Smart Meters and their incessant snooping are mandated ‘supposedly by law’ by an erroneous interpretation of the PA Public Utility Commission’s “belief” interpretation of HB2200/Act 129 (2008), which actually was enacted in reality as an Opt-In Smart Meter bill as publicly published of record in section 2(i) below:
(2) Electric distribution companies shall furnish smart meter technology as follows:
(i) Upon request from a customer that agrees to pay the cost of the smart meter at the time of the request.
(ii) In new building construction.
(iii) In accordance with a depreciation schedule not to exceed 15 years. 
Furthermore, PA State Senator Fumo is on record in PA Senate Journal October 8, 2008 (pp. 2626-2631) stating, “In addition we did not mandate smart meters, but we made them optional.” 
However, the piece de resistance is this most damning of admissions by the PA PUC’s Office of Communications’ Dave Hixson in his letter to Thomas A. McCarey dated March 22, 2017 wherein Hixson says:
As I stated in my earlier email correspondence with you, the Commission believes that it was the intent of the General Assembly to require all covered electric companies to deploy smart meters system-wide.
[CJF emphasis added. Thereby supposedly and illegally, the PA PUC made smart meters mandatory—not the state legislature!]
But that’s not all!
Every U.S. state—bar none, except those states which provide opt-outs from AMI Smart Meters—are breaking federal law! Did you know that? The federal law which individual states are violating when they mandate smart meters is Public Law 109-58, The Energy Policy Act of 2005, §1252 Smart Metering . Nothing is said about AMI smart meters being mandated! That would be unconstitutional, I contend, so that’s why “mandated” is not in the language! However, the feds offered a few ‘carrots’ i.e., grants and monetary incentives, to those utilities that would implement AMI Smart Meters. What does that tell you? Follow the money!
In essence, sleepy little Pottstown is “small potatoes” compared with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in denying Constitutional rights to citizens.
What’s going on in your state?
Have you looked into your state’s AMI Smart Meters ‘law’; how AMI SMs are snooping on you; and that you don’t have to have them retrofitted; plus how your constitutional rights are being abrogated?
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.