Independent Prosecutors For Police Misconduct Cases Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Many have suggested that prosecution of cases involving police misconduct should be handled by prosecutors who don’t work with local police departments on a regular basis. They’re right.

Professor-Cop Blames Victims of Police Violence

17-year veteran of the LAPD says, “If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.”

Police Are Not Soldiers; Our Communities Are Not War Zones

We should not tolerate them acting otherwise.

Dr. Dre Defends Right to Film Cops

Dr. Dre is arguing that police officers have no right to privacy.

Radley Balko Defends a Cop!

Radley Balko, as tough a critic of excesses by police officer as any journalist working, offers a plausible defense of former BART cop Johannes Mehserle.

Supreme Court: Suspects Must Explicitly Invoke Miranda Rights

The Supreme Court ruled today that mere silence in response to police questioning is not sufficient to constitute an invocation of a suspect’s Miranda rights: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting […]

More on Rand Paul, Civil Rights and Balancing Choices over Liberty

Yesterday, I noted that now that Rand Paul has gone from a primary race to the general election that:  “Paul is now facing a very different kind of campaign” because he is now going to be scrutinized in new ways and will have to explain himself to a different kind of electorate if he is […]

College Education Economics: Is A Degree Worth It?

Apparently, some economists are arguing that we’re sending too many people to college.   A piece by Jacques Steinberg for the May 14 NYT, “Plan B: Skip College,” outlines the argument. A small but influential group of economists and educators is pushing another pathway: for some students, no college at all. It’s time, they say, to […]

Arizona Illegal Alien Bill – A Weak Defense

Arizona’s ill conceived illegal alien crackdown, which is so obviously overbroad as to have drawn concern from Tom Tancredo, Marco Rubio, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and Joe Scarborough, has drawn one unlikely defender: George Will. It is passing strange for federal officials, including the president, to accuse Arizona of irresponsibility while the federal […]

Loch Ness Monster Real!

A senior police officer in the 1930s thought the Loch Ness monster existed.  QED:  It did. Thus, apparently, is the logic behind a new book on the mythic creature which sees evidence of a decades-long conspiracy. The revelation that a former Scottish police chief believed in the Loch Ness monster and was concerned for its […]

FBI ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ Inflation

One of the post-9/11 developments of particular annoyance to security scholars is the inflation of the term “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to encompass small-scale explosives.  Historically, it was reserved for nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological devices.  The FBI is an especially egregious violator, doing it again and again, most recently in touting the thwarting of […]

DC Shuts Down for Nuke Summit

A huge chunk of downtown DC will be closed for three days to accommodate next week’s Nuclear Security Summit.  A memo went out sometime yesterday and a colleague passed it on late in the afternoon. As Josh Rogin notes, this will be incredibly inconvenient in a city whose infrastructure is already stretched to capacity: If […]

Police Tasering Pregnant Woman ‘Justified’

The 9th Circuit ruled yesterday that police can Taser pregnant women posing no risk so long as judges can concoct an implausible risk years later. Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in […]

John Patrick Bedell, Pentagon Shooter: Terrorist or Nut?

It seems that John Patrick Bedell, who died from wounds received while shooting two policemen at the Pentagon Metro stop last evening, is, in the words of Patrick Frey,  “a 9/11 Truther and an anti-Bush nut case.” Matt Apuzzo and Devlin Barrett for AP: A California man killed in a shootout with Pentagon police drove […]

DC Police Leave Stolen Car in Traffic for Week

Here’s a story you don’t see every day:  A stolen car was left parked in traffic — even facing the wrong way — in a busy DC thoroughfare for a week. WaPo’s Mary Pat Flaherty reports. For more than a week, the silver Mercury Grand Marquis sat abandoned in a traffic lane of 15th Street […]

Soldier Waterboards Daughter Over ABCs

A British tabloid report of a soldier who waterboarded his 4-year-old daughter for failing to learn the alphabet is making the rounds. Joshua Tabor admitted to police he had used the CIA torture technique because he was so angry. As his daughter ‘squirmed’ to get away, Tabor said he submerged her face three or four […]

Chris Henry Dead at 26

Troubled football player Chris Henry has died after a bizarre accident. Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry has died, one day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck in what authorities described as a domestic dispute with his fiancee. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Henry died at 6:36 a.m. Thursday. Henry was 26.”It is with […]

Miranda Rights Rewrite Under SCOTUS Review

The Supreme Court is considering making the Miranda warning more explicit. The Supreme Court on Monday seemed headed toward telling police they must explicitly advise criminal suspects that their lawyer can be present during any interrogation. The arguments in front of the justices were the latest over how explicit the Miranda warning rights have to […]

Leave Tiger Woods Alone

Responding to reports that the Florida Highway Patrol is seeking a warrant to seize medical records to investigate Tiger Woods’ car crash to determine whether  “determine if the wounds Woods sustained are consistent with a car accident or domestic violence”, Tom Maguire snarks, “what kind of a world are we living in if the world’s […]

Census Worker Hanging Suicide, Not Right Wing Murder

Remember the bizarre case of Bill Sparkman, the census worker found hanging from a tree in Kentucky with the letters FED scrawled on his chest?  Remember the media frenzy about crazy Southerners and their hatred of the federal government?  At the time, I cautioned against jumping to conclusions, saying there could be any number of […]

Do You Have the Right Not To Be Framed?

The Supreme Court hears oral argument today in Pottawattamie County v McGee, wherein they will have to decide if prosecutors have immunity from lawsuits even if they frame someone for murder. On one side of the case being argued are Iowa prosecutors who contend “there is no freestanding right not to be framed.” They are […]

Three Felonies a Day

Radley Balko argues we are now seeing the fruition of Ayn Rand’s fear that government would eventually declare “so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws” in order to extend its power. Part of the drop can of course be explained by mass incarceration—America leads […]

Fire Chief Shot in Court Over Tickets

Yes, that headline is not an exaggeration. The Chief of the Jericho Fire Department went to court and was shot by the police for disputing two tickets requiring two trips to the court house. JERICHO, Ark. — It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet […]

Bob Dylan Arrested for Walking

Bob Dylan was on the pavement, thinking about the government. And they arrested him. Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighborhood. Dylan was in Long Branch, about a two-hour drive south of New […]

Riots at Town Hall Meetings

The theme of Wednesday’s edition of OTB Radio was “Crazy Politics.” Spurred by the bitterness of recent discussion threads on seemingly innocuous topics, Dave Schuler and I wondered where it was all headed. Well, we got a pretty good clue last night. Six people were arrested last night in St. Louis  after one of the […]

Justin Barrett Kills Two Jobs with One Stone

Justin Barrett, a 36-year-old soon-to-be-former Boston cop and Massachussetts Army National Guard captain, is making the headlines with a letter he circulated describing, a bit too enthusiastically, his views on a Boston Globe column on the Henry Louis Gates incident. Alan Colmes has the background: His palpable anger appears to be directed at Globe columnist […]

Police Taser Use: Cost-Benefit Analysis

In response to a commenter’s assertion in my Police Taser Deaf, Retarded Man post that “officers are killed in the line of duty are the time,” Jim Henley retorts, “Define line of duty and all the time.” Kelley Vlahos does just that in a piece for The American Conservative.  The numbers are surprising: According to […]

Police Taser Deaf, Retarded Man

Before turning in last night, we watched Monday’s “Colbert Report” which featured this segment on the increasing use of tasers by police forces, including on helpless old women: The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Current Events – Tasers Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Tasers This morning, I see that several […]

Obama: ‘Cambridge Police Acted Stupidly’ in Gates Matter

In last night’s press conference, President Obama weighed in on the disorderly conduct arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. “The police are doing what they should,” he said. “There’s a call. They go investigate. What happens? “My understanding is that Professor Gates then shows his I.D. to show that this is his house, and […]

Gates, Hazelton, and Chappelle

Robert Cox passes on the story of Demetrius Hazelton, the 17-year-old son a New Rochelle police detective, who is suing said PD after he was arrested after using a  “white racial monotone voice” which police claim is the same voice used by Dave Chappelle “when making fun of white people.” Bob supplies the following Chappelle […]

Irvine’s Little Police State

Kevin Drum links an LAT piece on the “charm” of Irvine, California, a “little planned community” that both conforms perfectly to Malvina Reynolds’ “Little Boxes” stereotype – with houses made out of ticky tacky that all look the same — and seems to make everyone who lives there feel safe and happy.   And, mostly, it […]

Radley Balko on No-Knock Raids

And why they are bad as a general rule. Even if police always got the right house and every raid were performed flawlessly (and that’s obviously not the case), the image of police dressed as soldiers routinely breaking into private homes to serve warrants for non-violent crimes is one we ought to find disturbing. At […]

English Iran’s Lingua Franca

Hilzoy and Andrew Sullivan pass along this interesting tidbit from Slate’s Christopher Beam: Post-election protests continued in Tehran for the fifth day on Wednesday. In many photos, riot police wear uniforms with the English word police on them. Ambulances, too, bear the word ambulance in English. Why not use Persian words instead of their English […]

UK Court: Blogger Anonymity Not a Right

A British judge has ruled against a blogger who sought an injunction against having his secret identity published in the Times. Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.  In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an […]

Biden to Cops: Sotomayor ‘Has Your Back’

Vice President Joe Biden has a bit of a mouth problem, he just can’t shut it, and whatever he thinks tends to come tumbling out. In this case, while speaking before a Law Enforcement group Vice President Biden told the cops present that “Sotomayor has your back”. Vice President Joe Biden may have crossed the […]

Different Rules for Different Classes of Citizens

Here is a good example of how being an “LEO” (Law Enforcement Officer for those of you not in the know) means getting treated differently than the rest of us. If one of the non-LEO readers here were to have allegations of sexual assault leveled against him by two separate women he’d likely be arrested. […]

Military Recruiting Shootings

One soldier was killed and another seriously injured in a shooting at an Army-Navy Recruiting Center in west Little Rock, Arkansas.  Thankfully, the second’s injuries are not considered life-threatening.  Contrary to earlier reports, both victims were “just out of basic training,” participating in the “Hometown Recruiting Assistance” program, and not Army Recruiters.  An arrest has […]

Pulling Over An Ambulance…

…that is transporting a patient to the hospital. The Oklahoma State Troopers are doing all they can to improve their public image and failing. White says he saw the trooper approaching from behind at a high rate of speed with lights activated, but he did not hear a siren. He says Franks had a car […]

Food Signaling

In separate posts, Tyler Cowen wonders why Heinz ketchup and Miller beer remain so much more popular in their home towns of Pittsburgh and Chicago* than elsewhere in the country and whether it’s a good sign if cops frequent a particular restaurant. As to the first, he offers two competing alternatives:  “Do area consumers develop […]

When Unreasonable Searches Become Reasonable

Tim Sandefur passes along this from Shaun Martin: You’re sitting in your car, minding your own business, in the parking lot of a motel. A cop sees you and starts questioning you, and you even consent to a patdown search and a search of your car, which finds nothing. What’s the reasonable suspicion? Nothing. But […]

Norwegian Motorist Has Sex

I just received the following as a CNN Breaking News Alert: An amorous motorist faces a fine and a driving ban after he was caught having sex with his girlfriend while speeding on a highway, Norwegian media reported Tuesday. Police spotted the car driving erratically on Sunday evening in Lier, southeastern Norway. It had been […]

They Don’t Always Shoot the Dog

Not an April Fools’ joke: The police visited Radley Balko‘s house this morning and left without assaulting him or shooting his dog.

Supreme Court to Hear Honor Student Strip Search Case

The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear the case of Savana Redding, who, as “a 13-year-old honor student who was subjected to a strip search by school officials in Arizona looking for prescription-strength ibuprofen.” The gist of the dispute, as described by Adam Liptak for NYT: The strip-search case was brought by the mother of […]

Elite Journalists

Deborah Howell, WaPo’s outgoing ombudsman, laments the downside of her profession becoming more professionalized. Journalism is better than it was in my early days, and changes in technology have opened up a new world. My worry is that journalists aren’t as connected to readers as they were in the days of my youth, when the […]

One Third of Atlanta Police Academy Grads Have Criminal Records

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 1 in 3 recent Police Academy graduates in Atlanta has a criminal record. More than one-third of recent Atlanta Police Academy graduates have been arrested or cited for a crime, according to a review of their job applications. The arrests ranged from minor offenses such as shoplifting to violent charges […]

ABC Producer Arrested for Photographing Democrats

An ABC News producer-reporter has been arrested for taking pictures of Democratic Senators and other VIPs, apparently from a public sidewalk. Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting […]

Obama Assassination Plot

Reports from several Colorado sources (although, curiously, not yet WaPo or the NYT) about an assassination plot against Barack Obama has the blogosphere abuzz. Denver’s CBS 4 appears to have broken the story: CBS4 has learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his […]

Yet Another Blow to the FARC

Via the BBC: Farc ‘co-ordinator’ held in Spain Spanish police say they have arrested the representative of the left-wing Colombian rebel group Farc in Spain. Maria Remedios Garcia Albert, a Spanish national, was detained near Madrid, as part of a joint operation by the Spanish and Colombian authorities. […] It is claimed that Ms Garcia […]

Bob Novak Hit and Run Accident

Veteran journalist Bob Novak hit an elderly man with his Corvette this morning. Fortunately, the injuries were minor although the ensuing controversy is heating up quickly. The Story: A Politico reporter saw Novak in the front of a police car with a citation in his hand; a WJLA-TV crew and reporter saw Novak as well. […]

Heller Denied D.C. Gun Permit

Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned Washington, D.C.’s 32-year-old ban on handguns and established that the 2nd Amendment provided an individual right to own guns, was denied a handgun permit by the District yesterday. He was among the first in line Thursday morning to apply for a handgun permit. […]

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