MassPrivateI | June 17, 2017 

 

According to a Stanford Institute project called “The Open Policing Project” which looked at over 100 million police traffic stops.

“Police pull over more than 50,000 drivers on a typical day, more than 20 million motorists every year.”

Does that mean 50,000 people are breaking the law everyday?  Is there an epidemic of lawbreakers on our streets?  

Of course not, so why are police stopping 20 million motorists every year?

Police across the country don’t just ticket millions of Americans every year, they’re also questioning them.

Unfortunately the “Open Policing Project” doesn’t mention how many passengers are stopped and questioned by police every year.

Most people travel with someone, so it’s fair to say police are stopping and questioning approximately 40 million motorists every year.

Police are also using at least fifteen different types of checkpoints to stop and question motorists.

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.

In 2015, a Boston Globe story said “Traffic ticket quotas are real.”

“Officers were told to issue more revenue-generating tickets. Office Tom Delaney said that officers who didn’t operate under the system wouldn’t get overtime assignments and other perks.”

It’s the same story across the country.

Police departments send text messages to officers on the road reminding them to reach their quotas during their shifts.  In 2015, an NYPD officer claimed he was texted about not meeting ticket quotas and denied a night off. And a recent story in the Advocate revealed that police deleted every text message to keep the public from reading their texts.

Read Full Story Here

New Device Allows Cops to Download All of Your Mobile phone Activity in Seconds

 

     ANTIMEDIA | June 26, 2017

“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



 

Urgent Warning Issued by Human Rights Group over New Police Bill in Congress

 

 

| May 30, 2017

 

(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.