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Andrea Pritchett, Berkley CopWatch founder is a friend. Make a donation and tell her I sent you.
She puts her life on the line , show her some respect........



New post on Berkeley Copwatch


Help us print and distribute copwatch literature!

by briancw

We've set up a crowd-funding campaign to print and distribute copwatch literature!

Online fundraising for Berkeley Copwatch Literature Distribution

We want to print:

7,500 KNOW YOUR RIGHTS CARDS: These are a quick pocket guide that provides important basics of your rights as well as useful phone numbers in case someone is arrested. These cards are provided to other groups to distribute in Oakland, SF and around the Bay Area.

500 copies of PEOPLE'S INVESTIGATION GUIDE: This is our latest publication and represents what we have learned about gaining access to information and conducting credible community based investigations. We don't need to wait for government agencies to investigate. We have to support each other in understanding what actually happened at an incident before people will feel comfortable making demands.

1000 copies of COPWATCH HANDBOOK: This is our basic training guide and what we use when teaching highschool, college students, members of the community to copwatch. The book includes legal points, non-violence guidelines, practical tips about what information is important to gather at the scene and what to do if abuse has ocurred.


Incidents of police brutality, murder and corruption are increasing. Communities across our country are struggling with this problem and seeking solutions. While we don't have all the answers, we do believe that every community needs to be educated about their rights, how to assert them and how to come together when police violate our rights, and the law. Please help us to spread the word and refuse to be abused


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Essex police apologise for failing to investigate drug-related death
Graham Philpott, whose son Trevor died in 2011, took action under Human Rights Act and received out-of-court settlement

Trevor Philpott died on Boxing Day 2011 after taking a series of drugs, including controlled substance Subutex.

Rob Evans

Tuesday 30 September 2014 13.48 EDT

A grieving family has used human rights law to force police chiefs to admit they failed to investigate the unexplained death of their son properly.
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2. stories

1st read

Community Members See What It's Like to be an FBI Agent
Posted: Oct 03, 2014


From taking gangs off the streets to investigating crimes, the FBI office in Midland sees it all.

On Friday, members from the community got some hands-on experience at what it's like to be in their shoes.

They're not as visible as other law enforcement agencies.

"We cover 29,000 square miles and I have approximately 10 agents," Troy Murdoch, Supervisory Sr. Resident Agent with the Midland FBI, said.

However, the FBI office in Midland is actively working with local agencies to keep you safe.

"Criminals that are doing these types of things don't really care if it's a federal crime or a state crime or a felony or whatever the issue is so we try to work together and try to bring the best tools to bear against that," Doug Lindquist, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI office in El Paso, said.

Between gang takedowns, drug busts and sex trafficking stings, agents are always on the go.

"Extremely busy, we're running all over Midland, all over Odessa," Murdoch said.

The FBI held their annual Community Relations Executive Seminar Training Day to show a little of what they do.

"The stuff you see on TV touches on some of that but it's not realistic so we wanted to give everybody a hands-on opportunity to see how intricate and detailed that information can be," Lindquist said.

Participants did live firearms training, evidence recovery like fingerprints and even a shooting simulator.

Agents said it's about as close to real life as you can get.

"You have to make a split-second decision as to whether or not to p

2nd read

FBI agent doesn't have to register as sex offender for peeping Tom incidents in Hershey, elsewhere, court says

July 11, 2014

A former FBI agent who admitted sneaking into bathrooms to watch girls and women use toilets doesn't have to register as a sex offender, the state Superior Court has ruled.

The decision, issued this week in response to a plea by Ryan Seese, comes nearly four years after the Derry Township man was sentenced to 1 to 23 months in Dauphin County Prison, plus 3 years of probation, for committing the crimes at the Hershey Middle School and a private gym.

In its ruling, the Superior Court concluded that Seese isn't subject to sex offender registration because of amendments the state Legislature made to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which took effect two years after his sentencing.

Seese pleaded guilty and no contest in 2010 to three charges of invasion of privacy and pleaded guilty to additional counts of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Police said two adult women were the victims in the incident in the women's locker room at the private gym and that Seese spied on two teens in a girl's bathroom during a concert at the middle school.

Seese left the FBI in 2007 after being convicted of another peeping Tom incident in a women's restroom at the University of Arizona.
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see link for full story


Ascension Sheriff Offers Policing Deal to Sorrento
October 9, 2014
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office has proposed charging the Louisiana town of Sorrento $353,832 for the first year with a possible increase of up to 5 percent the next year to provide policing services if voters decide Nov. 4 to abolish their police department.

Mayor Mike Lambert calls the deal a bargain.

The town’s police department currently exists in name only.

The police department lost its liability insurance nearly a year ago when Risk Management Inc. declined to continue providing coverage. The town has been unable to find an insurance provider willing to take on a department known for a history of lawsuit payouts and officer misconduct.

Currently, the town pays the sheriff’s office a temporary overtime rate of $36 per hour, or approximately $315,000 if calculated annually.

Lambert tells The Advocate the sheriff’s proposal is $100,000 cheaper than the annual operating costs of former Police Chief Earl Theriot Jr.’s administration.

In a Sept. 29 letter, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said the sheriff’s office is willing to provide, under contract, law enforcement services, including full-time patrol presence; specialized investigators and traffic enforcement as needed; administrative oversight of all Sorrento law enforcement operations; and ongoing training exceeding state requirements.

Wiley also wrote that the sheriff’s office would assume all liability for actions by employees assigned to Sorrento.

“That’s the biggest thing right there,” Councilman Don Schexnaydre said during Tuesday’s council meeting. “The assurance of no more liability.”

The town is involved in three pending lawsuits stemming from the Police Department.

On the same Nov. 4 ballot, voters also will decide whether to allow either Fern Barnett or Jerry P. LeBlanc to continue Theriot’s term ending June 30, 2017.

Theriot resigned in February as part of a plea agreement for lying to an FBI agent over “inappropriate sexual contact” with a woman he picked up while on duty. He was sentenced to 24 months’ probation and fined $2,500.
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Peter Martin, a lawyer, gets pulled over by Mike Malinowski, a St. Albans police employee, for an alleged “window tint.” While he’s pulled over, Peter’s car gets stuck on the side of the road. Mike Malinowski calls a wrecker, who refuses Peter’s AAA insurance. Mike demands that that Peter pay the tow driver anyway, even though Peter doesn’t want his car to be towed. As Peter tries to physically intervene from having his property wrongfully seized, Mike Malinowski cannot handle the challenge to his authority, flips out, and assaults Peter.
Further coverage from the St. Albans Messenger.
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Now that a grand total of "three" people in the U.S. have contracted ebola, politicians and pundits are jumping on the "close our borders" bandwagon. It made us wonder, are they allowed to do that? And, when can local, state and federal authorities impose a quarantine? We took a look and found out the answer: they can do it pretty much whenever they want to. Read Steven Wishnia's report: When Can the Government Impose a Quarantine? [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/when-can-the-government-order-a-quarantine/]

"Among the other stories we covered in the past week:"

In Pennsylvania: the state legislature has fast-tracked the "Silence Mumia" bill [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/pennsylvania-legislature-passes-silence-mumia-bill/] to prevent prisoners and former convicts from speaking out if thier vicitms say it will cause them mental anguish. Governor Corbett is expected to sign the bill.

In Florida: better news out of the state of Florida where the state supreme court has ruled that police must get a warrant [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/florida-court-rules-stingrays-might-be-illegal/] before using people's cell phone data to track them.

In Missouri: it was all out for FergusonOctober. We have a report from Kris Hermes [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/pennsylvania-legislature-passes-silence-mumia-bill/], the National Lawyers Guild Legal Worker Vice President about the many arrests and the inspiring on-the-ground organizing the NLG and others are doing to protect protesters.

In Michigan: the jury in Rasmea Odeh's immigration fraud trial will meet at a secret location and be spirited into the courthouse [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/judge-grants-partial-sequestration/] so they can't be swayed by protests, a federal judge has ruled. Her support committee says it creates a false atmosphere of danger and will give jurors the wrong impression about the defendent.

At the U.N.: President Obama spoke about the importance of nurturing civil society worldwide, but the Charity and Security Network's Kay Guinane questions whether the administration has a blind spot about the effect counterterrorism measures have on civil society here at home. [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/obamas-stand-with-civil-society-agenda-is-it-real/]

Over at [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/watchlists-unconstitutional/]BigBrotherBlog [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/watchlists-unconstitutional/], over 60 organizations sent a letter to the Obama administration last week demading a meeting and specific reforms to the country's watchlisting procedures to protect privacy and civil liberties.

Our new blog, [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/espia-la-raza-fbi-infiltrated-60s-chicano-movement/]FBIWatch [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/espia-la-raza-fbi-infiltrated-60s-chicano-movement/] reveals newly released files show the FBI infiltrated the Chicano movement in Los Angeles in the 1960s-1970s. Surprised?

If you thirst for even more news, check out Suraj Sazawal's curated news collection at our InTheNews [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/inthenews/] blog for articles from around the mainstream media that will surely pique your interest.

And, breaking news that will stir emotions among our longtime supporters: David Greenglass is Dead [ http://www.defendingdissent.org/now/news/david-greenglass-is-dead/].
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Police Dept. Requests Facebook PASSWORD From Gun Permit Applicant
Request violates Constitution & Facebook's Terms of Service

by Kit Daniels | Infowars.com | October 18, 2014
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter396Share on Google+0Email this to someonePrint this page
The Watervliet, N.Y., Police Department is asking pistol permit applicants for access to their Facebook accounts.

The department recently sent an applicant a form which asked for his Facebook username and password, and after the applicant complained, the department claimed the form was sent to him by mistake and was only used during face-to-face interviews when the department asks applicants for access to their Facebook accounts.

“It is… a common practice to view social media as a means to identify and determine character of a pistol permit applicant, in addition to other investigatory methods,” the department’s spokesperson told the applicant. “Typically all we ask is that an applicant access their account during an interview.”

But if the police dept. gets the applicant’s login credentials as requested on the form, and the applicant does not change his password afterwards, the police and the court reviewing the application can theoretically access his Facebook account as much as they want.

“It is what it is,” the Chief of Police, Ron Boisvert, told gun rights advocate Robert Farago after Farago told him the request was unconstitutional.

So essentially, the Watervliet Police Dept. and the court are violating the First, Second and Fourth Amendments by strong-arming applicants into a warrantless search, which allows the court to deny applicants their Second Amendment rights based on their views expressed on Facebook.

“…If you decline – such information is no doubt handed up to the judge deciding yes or no on your application,” reported nyfirearms.com. “The question remains – How many people actually gave into this blatant violation of their rights when applying for a pistol permit?”

The request is also a violation of Facebook’s terms of service which prohibits users from sharing their passwords.

“…We’ve seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles or private information,” Erin Egan, the site’s chief privacy officer, wrote. “This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends.”
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the Office of Inspector General, and other investigation findings. The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Talton’s termination, according to the VA, is the first the VA has made under a new law that helps speed up the process of demoting or removing top VA executives for poor performance or misconduct.

The Montgomery Advertiser said, “Since May, CAVHCS has been under scrutiny for poor veteran care, long wait times for patients and falsified records. Reports show that more than 2,000 patient X-rays and other images went unread over the course of five years. We also obtained police reports, investigations, emails and court records that document repeated unethical and criminal behavior by CAVHCS staff members, including one situation where an employee took a patient in the drug treatment program to a crack house.”
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Former Des Moines officer's fate now in hands of jury

link for full story


Colin Boone "took the easy way out" when he kicked a suspect in the head instead of pinning him to the ground, a prosecutor told a federal jury Thursday during her closing argument.
The jury will begin deliberations Friday morning in the federal trial against a former Des Moines police officer. U.S. Attorney Kelly Mahoney said Boone, 38, is guilty of kicking Orville Hill, 29, in the face on Feb. 19, 2013 and leaving the incident out of an official report.
"It was easier to run and kick him than get down on his knees and into the fray," Mahoney told jurors. "It was easy because that's how Colin Boone does things."
One of the questions the jury will decide is whether Boone's use of force against Hill was necessary.
"We have an arrest that for whatever reason went bad," defense attorney Michael Smart said in his closing arguments. "It's not what the government is trying to portray as a rogue cop or a Rodney King incident, kicking and beating a guy over and over."
Rodney King was an American construction worker whose beating by a Los Angeles policeman in 1991 was caught on videotape. Mahoney said it doesn't require a Rodney King incident to prove excessive force.
"One kick is enough," Mahoney said.
Boone testified Thursday that he thought he swept his foot at Hill's shoulder instead of his face.
"I took the outside of my foot and hit the shoulder and took hold of the left arm after," Boone told the jury.
But other officers at the scene testified that they saw a "direct" or "straight" kick to the head, face or teeth. The four officers that struggled with Hill said they had him under control; some said the kick was not necessary or even disrupted the arrest.
Hill, who has said he had a seizure, crashed his vehicle into a concrete barrier on Des Moines' south side.
Police reports show that after Hill was removed from the vehicle, he became violent and had to be restrained by four officers. While he was being held down, then over-400-pound Boone arrived on the scene and kicked Hill in the face, according to testimony and video shown at the trial.
Smart argued that the injuries on Hill's face depicted in photos taken at the hospital are not consistent with a kick from a 400-pound man.
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Addtional charges filed against SFPD officers in corruption case

November 3, 2014

San Francisco police Sgt. Ian Furminger in the Tenderloin in 2012.
After securing a guilty plea and an agreement to cooperate from one San Francisco police officer, federal prosecutors have added theft and corruption charges against two veteran officers accused of taking money and drugs from suspects.

The timing of the new federal grand jury indictment against Sgt. Ian Furminger and Officer Edmond Robles suggests the additional charges resulted from statements by former Officer Reynaldo Vargas. Vargas was charged in the original indictment in February, along with Furminger and Robles, but pleaded guilty to four felonies on Oct. 21 and agreed to testify against his former colleagues.

The new charges, issued Thursday, include two counts of depriving the public of the officers’ “honest and faithful services through bribery, kickbacks, and the concealment of material information.” The indictment also accuses them of stealing money during four police searches in 2009 in Newark and San Francisco.
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Calexico police chief says City Council, police union members interfered with investigation

November 19, 2014 -
CALEXICO, California — The newly installed police chief of a California border city said Wednesday that members of the local City Council and police union have been interfering with a police investigation, and he said that police officers have spied on councilmembers in what he called "extortion."

Calexico police Chief Michael Bostic made the allegations at a news conference at City Hall. He said the interference with the investigation was an attempt to make "political hay to get the city manager and I fired," the Imperial Valley Press reported.

Both Bostic and Interim City Manager Richard Warne have said they hoped to transform the Police Department and root out corruption in
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Drunk Police Refused to Pay Taxi Driver
November 21, 2014 Posted in Crime & Accident, Judiciary, Video |
Reports of police officers drinking and acting unruly while in police uniform frequent our news table. Now there is another such report.
According to information received at around 7:30 pm on Thursday, Police Constable Luis Cobarruvias, attached to the Belmopan Police Station, was socializing around taxi stand near the Belmopan bus terminal. He had just come off his shift and therefore was still in his uniform.
Reports are that he had been drinking prior, and was highly under the influence when he stepped inside a taxi operated by Moises Aguirre of San Martin Area
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see link for full story
and historic interview


Donald Lacy’s historic interview: Gary Webb tells how the CIA flooded Black neighborhoods with crack cocaine
November 29, 2014

‘Superheroes,’ which Donald Lacy calls ‘the most important play written in the last 25 years,’ was inspired by Gary Webb; it runs through Dec. 21 at the Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco

by Donald E. Lacy Jr.

In “Superheroes,” Donald Lacy as Rev reassures Britney Frazier, who plays Magnolia, the Rick Ross character’s girlfriend. She’s the one who gives the story of the CIA-crack connection to the reporter.
In “Superheroes,” Donald Lacy as Rev reassures Britney Frazier, who plays Magnolia, the Rick Ross character’s girlfriend. She’s the one who gives the story of the CIA-crack connection to the reporter.
I want to invite my community to come see the world premiere of a play I have the pleasure of acting in called “Superheroes.” The play is written and directed by one of our Bay Area artistic geniuses, Sean San Jose, and looks at the impact of the crack cocaine epidemic on Black and Brown communities.

The play is 10 years in the making and has been workshopped for the past four-five years. The cast is incredible, featuring Juan Amador, Myers Clark, Delina Patrice, Britney Frazier and Ricky Saenz. It is a powerful slice of life realism that will be presented at the Exit Theater, 277 Taylor St. in San Francisco, a few feet from Glide Memorial Church. This is a co-production between Campo Santo and Cutting Ball Theater.

The idea for the play was inspired by Sean being at a live broadcast of my Wake Up Everybody show from the Jahva House when I interviewed Gary Webb in front of a live studio audience. Wake Up Everybody is heard every Saturday morning, 7 a.m.-12 noon, on KPOO 89.5 FM and on the web at http://www.kpoo.com. The interview took place in June 2004.

For over a year we did my Wake Up Show at the Jahva House, thanks to D’Wayne Wiggins. I had read “Dark Alliance,” and I knew about the possibilities of the CIA and crack cocaine before the series came out. But “Dark Alliance” was the smoking gun that proved it. So here it is.

I am honored and thankful to the San Francisco Bay View for printing this 50-minute radio interview that I did with a true American hero, who sacrificed everything, including his life, to tell the truth. It is incumbent on us to hold the U.S. government accountable for the facts that Mr. Webb uncovered. I am honored to present to you The Great Gary Webb!


Donald Lacy: Broadcasting live from the Jahva House. Joining us now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to welcome to our microphone journalist Mr. Gary Webb. How are you, sir?

Gary Webb: I’m fine. How are you?

Donald Lacy: Good, good. We meet at last. We have been trying to get you – and first of all let me congratulate you for the series “Dark Alliance” that appeared in the San Jose Mercury; it was very thought-provoking, very pivotal journalism. First of all, how did the story come to you and subsequently make it to the paper?

Gary Webb: The story came to me in sort of in a roundabout way, which is usually the way stories come to reporters. I had been working on a series of articles about the drug war and looking specifically at the asset forfeiture laws, where they go in and take people’s houses away and take their cars away from them if they’re a drug dealer. And I had done a series on that for the Mercury and had gotten the law abolished.

And after that series came out, I had a call from a woman who lived here in Oakland, ironically, who said that her boyfriend had a similar situation. He was in jail and he had been in jail for three years and had never been brought to trial. All of his assets – all of his houses, all of his businesses – had been confiscated and she thought that it might make a good follow-up story to what I was working on.

And I said well, it might, but I had already done this story a lot of times and I didn’t see anything new in what she had to say. You know, it’s sad but it’s a fact of life in the drug wars. You know, you don’t have to be guilty to lose your property.

And then she said, “Well, there’s something about this story that I’m sure that you haven’t written about before,” and I said, “What’s that?” And she said, “One of the witnesses in this case used to work with the CIA, and he used to sell crack cocaine in Los Angeles.”

And I said: “Wait a minute. He used to work in the CIA and he sold drugs?” And she said, “Yeah,” and I said, “Do you have documents?” because I didn’t believe her, and she said, “Yeah, I can prove it.”

So I said, “Let me take a look at it.” So I go over to Oakland and I met her and she had a lot of documents. And I don’t know what the federal government was thinking to release these things to her.

But there were grand jury transcripts and FBI reports about this drug ring that existed here in the Bay Area and LA for about 10 years during the ‘80s and ‘90s and the grand jury testimony was that during the startup of this drug ring, they had been selling drugs to support the Contras, which was the Nicaraguan army the CIA was supporting in Central America.

Donald Lacy: During the Reagan administration?

Gary Webb: Yes, during the Reagan-Bush administration. And the thing that struck me about it was that this grand jury transcript was the testimony of somebody who had been a drug dealer for a long time.

Donald Lacy: This is Freeway Ricky?

Gary Webb: No, this is a guy named Danilo Blandon, who was a Nicaraguan who had come to the United States after the revolution in Nicaragua and had started selling drugs in LA. And at the point in time when he was testifying before the grand jury, he was now working for the government. And I thought, well, if the government is putting this guy on the stand and he’s saying this, they must believe it or they wouldn’t have him up there testifying.

The all Black and Brown cast of “Superheroes,” running Nov. 21-Dec. 21 at the Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor in Frisco, from left, are Britney Frazier, Myers Clark, Delina Brooks, Donald Lacy, Juan Amador and, in front, Ricky Saenz. This play is a must-see for the Black and Brown communities and everyone who cares about justice.
The all Black and Brown cast of “Superheroes,” running Nov. 21-Dec. 21 at the Cutting Ball Theater, 277 Taylor in Frisco, from left, are Britney Frazier, Myers Clark, Delina Brooks, Donald Lacy, Juan Amador and, in front, Ricky Saenz. This play is a must-see for the Black and Brown communities and everyone who cares about justice.
So I went back to my editors, and I said I think we have an interesting story here. We have a federal witness – we’ve got a guy here who’s working for the federal government saying he sold drugs to support the Contras. I think this is a good story. And they agreed.

It had been something that had been sort of rumored during the ‘80s, but nobody ever nailed it down. So they turned me loose on it, which wasn’t unusual. I had been an investigative reporter at that point for 17 years, I’d won a lot of awards and I had written for the Mercury for nine years and they said, “If you see a story, go after it.” So I started working on it. It took me like a year to finish it up, but that’s how it got started.

Donald Lacy: So once you found this story or this story found you, what was Freeway Rickey’s involvement? Was he a distributor for Blandon?

Gary Webb: I didn’t know about Freeway Rick until about halfway through the story. I was concentrating on these Nicaraguans who were bringing cocaine into the country, and it turned out that Freeway Rick was their customer. I had some familiarity with Rick because when I was doing the asset forfeiture series, I had ­­­­­researched his case.

And I knew from reading the LA Times story that this guy was the biggest crack dealer in LA during the early ‘80s. And suddenly it occurred to me, well, if this was the biggest crack dealer during the ‘80s and he was buying his cocaine from the Nicaraguan Contras, there’s a bigger story here than I thought.

At that point I went back to my editors, and I said, “Look, I think this a pretty big story now, and I think we need to go to Nicaragua, I think we need to go to Central America and I think we need to go around the country to sort of tie up these loose ends and document this thing,” because from what I knew about Rick and from what I knew about the quantity of cocaine these Nicaraguans were bringing it into the country, this was a huge, huge drug ring that had a major impact on LA and had never been written about before.

Donald Lacy: So then when you went back to your editors and said we’ve got a bigger story here. We need to go around to these various places and tie up these loose ends and see how this whole puzzle fits together. Then what happened?

Gary Webb: Well, I ended up down in Nicaragua interviewing a drug kingpin named Norwin Meneses, who was the head of a drug operation. He had been living here in San Francisco for a long time and running a drug ring out of a couple of houses in the Mission district and in Pacifica. And he was in jail in Nicaragua at the time, and we set up an interview with him and we went to talk to him.

He basically admitted that, yeah, he had been working with the Contras, that this was part of an effort to fund the Contras because Congress had cut off money for supporting them. These men thought what they were doing was very patriotic, and frankly a lot of Americans thought the Contras were – well, Reagan described them as the moral equivalent of the founding fathers.

The idea that they were selling drugs was to them – you know, the end justifies the means – that old saying. And they were using cocaine to sell here in the United States and using the money to buy weapons for the Contras – trucks, uniforms and that sort of thing.

Danilo Blandon
Danilo Blandon
Freeway Ricky Ross
Freeway Ricky Ross
Norwin Meneses
Norwin Meneses
So once we sort of completed the circle – we had Blandon as the guy who was down in LA selling to Rick, and we had Meneses as the guy who was selling the drugs to Blandon and bringing them into the country. And then we started wondering how can a drug ring of this size operate for this long in the midst of the war on drugs without anybody ever busting them?

So that’s what we decided to do next is to try to find out how. What happened, we found out, is that they were being protected the whole time they were selling drugs – from the time these planes left Colombia until the time they arrived in San Francisco, it was a protected operation. The FBI knew about it, and they weren’t allowed to investigate it. The DEA knew about it. The specific agents found out about it. They weren’t allowed to investigate it, or their investigations were compromised.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department found out about it, and they actually tried to do something about it. And their investigation was blown, and the officers believed it was blown by the CIA, because at that point in time, if anybody had found out that the Contras were dealing coke, it would have been the end for the public support in the United States.

The thing to me that made this so outrageous was that once this cocaine came into the country, it didn’t just disappear, you know, and that’s sort of where the trail ended with these previous investigations. And we tracked it back down to the street and found out that Freeway Rick’s customers, the Crips and the Bloods, who were turning it into crack and selling it all through South Central and eventually through the United States.

So when we put all this stuff together, we did a story that said this was the first major drug pipeline into South Central, this was the drug ring that fed the crack epidemic and caused it to explode in South Central and that was the extent, in essence, of the three-day series we did for the Mercury.

Donald Lacy: And then from that South Central base, it spread up here and like an octopus antenna it spread all over the country.

Gary Webb: Ironically, it started here simultaneously – I mean here being Oakland and the Bay Area – simultaneously with it starting down in South Central, because half the Contra drug operation was based here in the Bay Area. When I went back and I dug out old police raid files, I found out they had safe houses here in Oakland for the people they were selling it to, and they were starting making inroads into the Black community up here at the same time they were making inroads down in South Central.

Donald Lacy: If you’re tuning in late, our guest once again Mr. Gary Webb, the author of the searing series of articles that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, “Dark Alliance,” and we’re here of course discussing this crack cocaine epidemic.

Now, I want to get back to the complicity of the government and the CIA in particular. But it had to go further than the CIA – in other words, the CIA wasn’t just operating as some lone independent wing without the Reagan administration. And then what was Oliver North’s connection to this whole crack cocaine distribution and the Iran-Contra scandal?

Gary Webb: Well, first of all, the idea that the CIA is this rogue elephant agency that operates on its own is nonsense. They report directly to the president. And during these years, William Casey was the head of the CIA. He was Reagan’s former campaign manager; he was a friend of his. So Casey was basically the one who was in charge of this. Whether Reagan knew about it personally or not I’ve never been able to tell. But William Casey certainly knew about it.

And one of the things that came out after my series came out, thanks largely to Maxine Waters, was this document called the Memorandum of Understanding, which had been signed between the CIA a
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Two-phone standoff after cop stops man for 'walking with hands in pockets'
In Michigan, a police officer stops a man who apparently was doing nothing wrong. They both pull out their mobile phones and film each other.
December 1, 2014 7:28 AM PST
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see link for full story


Report: Hundreds of police killings not reported

More than 550 law-enforcement killings were not included in FBI statistics between 2007 and 2012, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, which concluded it is nearly impossible to tally how many people are killed by police officers in any given year.

Police killings have come under increased scrutiny following a spate of fatal shootings, most notably the August shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Journal said it studied police killing records provided by 105 of the biggest police forces in the nation. The data showed 1,825 officer-involved killings in those departments between 2007 and 2012 - nearly 50 percent more than the FBI's tally.
Alexia Cooper, a statistician with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, said that the FBI is unable to identify which agencies choose not to report police killings.
"What we know is that some places have chosen not to report these, for whatever reason," Cooper told the Journal.
According to the Journal, local agencies are not required to provide the FBI with detailed records, including statistics that show which killings came at the hands of police officers.
States and police departments have developed their own policies that generally permit officers to use force when they reasonably fear imminent physical harm. The Supreme Court shaped the national standard in a 1989 decision that said the use of force must be evaluated through the "perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene" rather than being judged after the fact. That means officers are often given the benefit of the doubt by prosecutors and grand jurors reluctant to second-guess their d
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DEA Program Manager Charged in Credit Card Fraud Involving $115,000; Prosecutors Allege She Took Out 33 DEA Credit Cards

see link for full story

A DEA program manager from Maryland has been charged in a fraudulent scheme involving DEA credit cards.

She’s charged with using the cards to withdraw from ATM machines about $115,000 for her own use.

Keenya Meshell Banks, age 41, of Upper Marlboro, Md. is charged in a criminal complaint with access device fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. She made her initial appearance on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

According to the press release:

Specifically, Banks allegedly submitted applications that included the names and identifying information of individuals who did not work for DEA and therefore were not eligible to receive DEA government credit cards. On at least one occasion, Banks submitted an application that matched a current DEA employee. The employee never received the card and Banks allegedly used the personal information of the employee without the employee’s knowledge or approval. The credit cards were ordered by Banks via email, and the cards were sent to Banks via Federal Express or other mail, based on her certification on the applications.

The criminal complaint alleges that Banks used the cards at Automated Teller Machines in Maryland and Northern Virginia, withdrawing approximately $115,841.74 over the course of the scheme. No payment was ever made to the credit card issuer.

Posted on December 19, 2014
- See more at: http://ticklethewire.com/2014/12/19/dea-program-manager-charged-in-credit-card-fraud-involving-115000-prosecutors-allege-she-took-out-33-dea-credit-cards/#sthash.SVj7TjjQ.dpuf
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The San Diego Police Department has rarely had a year as bad as 2014, when allegations of misconduct and other problems forced the departure of the veteran police chief. VOSD reporter Liam Dillon takes a look at what 2015 holds and finds that the police department has more hurdles to cross next year (http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/12/23/misconduct-issues-will-follow-sdpd-into-2015?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 as it tries to rebuild.

For one thing, a promised federal review of misconduct in the police department hasn’t come out yet, even though it was supposed to be done and released by the end of this year. There’s no word about why it’s been delayed.

Meanwhile, the city is still wrangling over how to boost salaries for cops to avoid their exodus to better pay at other law enforcement agencies. Then there’s the issue of the new body cameras for cops. We’ve been pushing the department to be more open about the video captured by these cameras, but the police don’t want to cooperate.

• KPBS provides more detail on the lack of a deal (http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/dec/22/no-deal-yet-raise-san-diego-cop-pay/?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 over cop pay.

For background on the police salary issue, take a look at our Fact Check of a claim (http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/09/24/fact-check-18k-more-working-for-the-sheriffs-department/?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 regarding SDPD officer pay versus sheriff’s deputy pay and read why the city’s best bet (http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/11/19/the-case-for-giving-veteran-cops-bigger-raises/?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 is to give veteran cops bigger raises.

• Sue Quinn, retired peace officer and first first elected president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, writes in a VOSD commentary (http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/12/22/police-review-boards-walk-a-fine-line/?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 that the model relied on by the San Diego police review board has weaknesses: “If it gets most of its training from the department it oversees, the board may not recognize problems in investigations, or may not recognize when evidence is insufficient. Another potential problem: The board may be co-opted by the department it oversees.”

• The U-T examines newly released documents that offer insight (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/dec/22/stingray-cellular-tracking-police-documents/?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 into the police department’s secretive new cell phone-monitoring technology: “The documents indicate, among other things, that the police department signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI that prohibits it from releasing information about the technology, and that officers do obtain a warrant before using the device to track cellphone signals.”

Here’s the city attorney’s documents (https://twitter.com/GerryBraun/status/547226497556041728?utm_source=Voice+of+San+Diego+eNewsletter+List&utm_campaign=171894f7a6-Morning_Report_format_updated_3_24_14_new_replicat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013&goal=0_c2357fd0a3-171894f7a6-83528013 .
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Monarch Mountain, sheriff: Attempted sex assaults not kept from public

POSTED: 01/05/2015

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office and Monarch Mountain are defending themselves against allegations they failed to publicize two attempted sex assaults at the ski area in an effort to not scare away holiday visitors.
The attempted assaults were reported over a two-week span starting last month and not made public until the sheriff's office distributed a press release on Friday.
"We all feel vulnerable," said Miki Hodge, a frequent Monarch visitor who lives in Salida and has been outspoken about her anger at the lack of publicity. "We're the backbone of that resort."
The Monarch Mountain sign at Chaffee County’s Monarch Ski Area.
The Monarch Mountain sign at Chaffee County's Monarch Ski Area. (Jason Blevins, Denver Post file photo)
The first attempted assault happened on Dec. 19 at the ski area located about 20 miles west of Salida on U.S. 50 off Monarch Pass. The date of the second incident has not been released.
The resort has not made its own announcement about the incidents to skiers and riders.
"We did not inform patrons at the resort when the information was released," said Jessie Smith, a spokeswoman for the ski area. "We left the distribution of the information to the sheriff's office, it being their investigation."
"Public safety is always our number one concern," said Undersheriff John Spezze, calling the idea that information was withheld "totally erroneous
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January 14. 2015

Parents file $100M suit in gym-mat death of Kendrick Johnson

Kendrick Johnson
The parents of Kendrick Johnson, the Georgia teenager whose lifeless body was mysteriously found rolled up in a wrestling mat at his high school two years ago, have filed a $100 million lawsuit against 38 people —including local, state and federal law enforcement officials and three classmates.

Kendrick, 17, a member of the wrestling team at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, in southern Georgia, was found upside down in the rolled-up mat on Jan. 11, 2013, when other students climbed on a 6-foot-tall stack of the stored mats.
In a civil suit filed Monday in Superior Court in DeKalb County, in metro Atlanta, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson accuse the respondents of cooking up a conspiracy to make sure no one is ever prosecuted for Kendrick's death. The lawsuit names juveniles it accuses of crimes, even though an official autopsy found that Kendrick died of asphyxiation and investigators ruled his death an accident.
RELATED | Local investigators conduct new interviews in gym mat death
Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney for middle, said in a statement last week that a federal investigation remains open because the case has "proven more complicated" than he expected..
Among the respondents are an FBI agent whom the suit accuses of ordering his two sons to attack Kendrick along with a classmate and two other unnamed people. That agent has sued Ebony magazine for libel and slander for articles that he says falsely associated him and his sons with Kendrick's death. Ebony has since removed the articles from its website.
Other respondents include the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, five GBI agents, the Valdosta police chief, numerous sheriff's deputies, the state medical examiner and the Lowndes County school superintendent, the Valdosta-Lowndes crime lab and the City of Valdosta, all of whom the Johnsons accuse of taking part in a conspiracy to cover up what they allege was Kendrick's murder.
"Defendants from the various law enforcement agencies deliberately and maliciously mishandled the subject investigation in such a way that anyone who might ever be charged with Kendrick's death would never be convicted," it says.
Lowndes County Attorney Jim Elliot called the allegations "unfounded," saying in a statement that any response to the "baseless accusations" would be made in court.
The lawsuit — the second the family has filed, following an action against the school board in July 2013 — couldn't be brought in Lowndes County bec
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Subject: please call Portland Oregon city council

please call Portland Oregon City Council
and tell them to keep the FBI out of Portland Oregon
City Council revisits FBI task force issue
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Hales wants to be 'all in or all out'; ACLU says out
Less than two weeks before President Obama convenes an international conference on fighting terrorism, the City Council is once again scheduled to discuss its involvement with the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Mayor Charlie Hales has tentatively scheduled a work session on Portland’s participation in the JTTF for Feb. 5. The White House has announced plans for world leaders to gather Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C., to better coordinate their efforts against homegrown terrorists and other extremists. The “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” was called in the wake of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebo in Paris, where 17 people died.
Portland’s current involvement in the JTTF is limited. No police are permanently assigned to the JTTF, but they are allowed to participate in its investigations on an “as-needed basis,” provided they are investigating suspected criminal activity. The Portland police chief must also present an annual report to the council on activities in the previous year.
Mayor Hales is not pleased with that level of participation, according to spokesman Dana Haynes. Hales also thinks the annual reports have not provided enough information for the council to understand what the investigations involving the police have entailed.
“The mayor thinks the city should either be all in or all out. He does not have preference at this point, but wants the council to discuss it and make a decision, one way or another,” Haynes says.
Portland FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory Bretzing says his agency prefers the city to be fully involved in the task force.
“We think Portland is safer if the police are fully involved. They have a unique perspective of the city and have knowledge of people we night not be aware of,” Bretzing says.
The ACLU of Oregon believes the city should fully withdraw from the JTTF, however, according to Legislative Director Becky Straus.
“The FBI has a well-documented history of abusing the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Straus says.
According to Straus, although the ACLU supported the current arrangement when it was approved in 2011, the organization has been disappointed by the lack of information in the annual reports.
“We think Portland should be a national model for protecting rights and transparency, and there is not enough information in the reports for us to tell if the arrangement is working,” Straus says.
Homegrown extremists

Hales first requested the work session in December, weeks before the Paris attacks and upcoming international terrorism summit. Haynes says those events could affect the council’s deliberations, because they are so emotional and high profile. At the very least, they have focused attention on the role of local law enforcement agencies in fighting homegrown extremists.
The Paris attacks and others in Canada and Australia in recent months involved “lone wolfs” who are not easily tracked by national authorities.
“Recent events show the nature of terrorism is changing and we need to respond to that,” Bretzing says.
According to Bretzing, even if Portland completely withdraws from the JTTF, the FBI will brief Hales and new Police Chief Larry O’Dea on any imminent threat to the city.
Portland and the FBI

The FBI Portland JTTF is one of 104 task forces based in cities involving federal, state and local law enforcement officials in the county. The first was established in New York in 1980. More than half — 71 — have been created since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
Portland’s involvement in the local JTTF always has been controversial. When the council voted to authorize Portland police to participate in 2000, civil libertarians complained about the FBI’s civil rights violations, among other things. Hales, who was a city commissioner at the time, was the lone “no” vote. Haynes says Hales always has opposed assigning police to duties, such as border patrol, outside the scope of the Portland Police Bureau.
Objections surfaced each time the council reauthorized the participation until 2005, when then-Mayor Tom Potter complained he could not properly oversee the officers’ involved in it and the council voted to withdraw.
The council came up with its current arrangement in 2011 after 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested by the FBI on charges of trying to detonate a bomb in Pioneer Courthouse Square several months earlier. The deal was brokered by Dwight Holton, who was the Oregon U.S. Attorney. He argued Portlanders would be safer if the police were once again participating in the JTTF. The council only agreed to limited involvement, however, and required the annual reports that have proven controversial. Former Police Chief Mike Reese explained the information in them was limited to not compromise ongoing investigations.
Controversy has accompanied all of the JTTF’s known investigations. Mohamud’s lawyers unsuccessful argued he was entrapped in the bomb plot by overzealous undercover agents who took advantage of his young age. Six years before that, the FBI apologized for suspecting Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim, of participating in a terrorist bombing in Spain. Some people even criticized the FBI for pursuing the Portland Seven, a group of local Muslims whose members tried to travel to Afghanistan to fight coalition forces in 2002. Although some of them talked about attacking local targets when they returned home, local Muslims and others accused the FBI of setting them up.
More recently, Reaz Qadir Khan, a Portland Bureau of Environmental Services employee, was arrested in March 2013 on charges of aiding a terrorist attack on a Pakistani government compound four years ago that killed 30 and injured 300 people.
The White House says the Feb. 18 terrorism summit will “highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence.”
The announcement specifically mentioned the role local governments can play in such efforts. Officials from such cities as Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St.Paul are scheduled to discuss strategies they have used.

2. read


Dozens of Stanford students arrested after shutting down Bay Area bridge in #ShutItDown protest
Several dozen demonstrators identifying as Stanford students were arrested Monday night after they shut down traffic for more than an hour on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Just before 5 p.m., at least 50 people lined up across the bridge, which traverses the San Francisco Bay, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Peter Van Eckhardt.

The seven-mile bridge has no pedestrian access, so demonstrators were dropped off by drivers that continued onward, Van Eckhardt said.

At one point, the crowd -- some of whom donned Stanford sweatshirts -- blocked both directions of traffic, but CHP officers corralled the group toward the westbound direction.

The group identified itself as Silicon Shutdown, a collective of Stanford students organizing against police brutality and oppression, according to its website and Twitter account. At one point, protesters
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LAPD updates website after sheriff's inspector general report


The Los Angeles Police Department is updating the information on officer-involved shootings and officer discipline posted on its website in response to a report by the inspector general for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

More transparency needed at L.A. County Sheriff's Department, report says
More transparency needed at L.A. County Sheriff's Department, report says
The report by Inspector General Max Huntsman focused on transparency issues with the sheriff’s department, analyzing other agencies’ practices for comparison. Huntsman noted that the LAPD posts annual use of force reports and quarterly discipline reports on its website, whereas the sheriff’s department does not.

But the LAPD's information was not current, Huntsman wrote. Only the 2009 and 2010 Annual Use of Force Reports were posted, and the quarterly discipline reports stopped in 2012.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith, an LAPD spokesman, said the lapses were not intentional, and the department would be posting the latest reports.

JANUARY 22, 2015
As of midday Thursday, the quarterly discipline reports, which include the number of complaints against officers, the types of allegations and the penalties imposed, had been updated through 2013.

But no new Annual Use of Force Reports had been added. The reports list the number of officer-involved shootings, broken down by whether anyone was hit, whether the target was an animal or human and whether the discharge of the officer's weapon was intentional. They include the time each shooting took place and the area where it occurred, as well as the officer's rank and years with the department.

The LAPD website also contains the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners' use of force findings for incidents through 2013. The reports provide detailed narratives of shootings and other major force incidents.

In press releases, the LAPD routinely names officers who have shot civilians, whereas the sheriff's department does so only in response to public records requests.
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