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The Case Against Bill Bratton

By Josmar Trujillo | Black Agenda Report | March 12, 2014

The first two months of the City’s post-Bloomberg era have seen little in the way of “progressive changes to the New York Police Department. While new(ish) Mayor Bill de Blasio may have seen his honeymoon period come to an end with a few notable controversies in February, the once-again commissioner of the NYPD, Bill Bratton, has largely stayed above the fray as he strategically manages the media and helps steer an embattled police department through a reform storm — one of his specialties.

Policing activists cheered last year when a federal judge ruled that the NYPD was engaging in (at least) “indirect” racial profiling and that reforms, including a federal monitor to oversee changes to the department, were needed. The idea of federal oversight, beyond the scope of City Hall, was music to the ears of many who questioned if the City could reform a police force whose reach stretched overseas. An appeal by the City would be the main obstacle to the court-order remedies.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appeal of the Floyd v City of New York case was expected. Bloomberg was his famously unapologetic self to the very end. De Blasio, a self-proclaimed “progressive,” on the other hand, promised change and accountability for an NYPD that had been trampling the Constitution for years. Some activists, perhaps, felt they had an ally in de Blasio. After 12 years of Bloomberg, expectations for Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager were informed by a sense of optimism–leading some to take “wait and see” approaches. At the end of his first month in office de Blasio and Bratton joined policing activists, civil libertarians and plaintiffs in the Floyd case to announce, to much fanfare, that he would instruct the City’s lawyers to drop the Bloomberg administration’s appeal.

Of course, simply not being Michael Bloomberg wouldn’t suffice in putting the brakes on a growing trend of police abuse, surveillance and militarization. Substantive changes are desperately needed to relieve communities of color living in what many see as a racialized police state. De Blasio, apart from his campaign rhetoric and the media narrative, had been speaking a message of only moderate reform. So moderate that many wondered if he was serious about changing the NYPD in meaningful ways.

The Returning Conqueror

The most obvious pause for alarm for community members and activists came in December when de Blasio announced he’d be bringing back Rudy Giuliani’s police commissioner, Bratton, for a 2nd run at the helm of the NYPD. Bratton is widely seen as the man who operationalized “Broken Windows” theory from an article in the Atlantic magazine into a philosophy that dominates law enforcement across the country today. His aggressive, pro-active approach, coupled with his introduction of CompStat, was the precursor to Stop and Frisk. A strange bedfellow for a “progressive” Mayor. For many who live in the front lines of aggressive policing, labels like “progressive” mean very little. Ditto for Stop and Frisk; police profiling and harassment of black and brown men is a time-honored tradition that preceded the policy. But the policy became a controversial issue the past few years and a central theme in last year’s mayoral election. De Blasio’s biracial son was featured in campaign ads touting his father as the only one who would “end the Stop and Frisk era.”

Bratton seemed an awkward choice to fulfill that pledge. Before the appointment, he said that cops who don’t do it “aren’t doing their job.” If you look back at Bratton’s cable TV appearances, his speeches and the philosophy of his little known consulting company, Bratton Group, he has never wavered from his support of the tactic. So far he’s been consistent: a few days into his second stint as commissioner, the famously media-savvy Bratton told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell that policing without Stop and Frisk is like a “journalist interviewing without asking questions.” In his most recent interview he said there’d be “anarchy” without it.

But New Yorkers were told that Bratton was different now than the Bratton of the past. A kinder, gentler Bratton wanted to save us from the excesses of the Ray Kelly era. Even Al Sharpton, who had famously been at odds with Bratton in the 90’s, gave his blessings to Bratton at an event honoring the late Nelson Mandela. An ACLU lawyer penned an op-ed in the New York Times praising Bratton. Bratton even met with his fiercest critics when he sat down with a small group of policing activists. It seemed many were willing to watch the Bratton sequel unfold–perhaps even support it. The architect of Stop and Frisk had also, to the outrage of some, invoked King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” at a recent MLK day celebration in Brooklyn.

Then Bratton laid out some of his cards. It was reported that Bratton was looking to bring on George Kelling as a consultant. Kelling, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute think tank, is both a friend of Bratton and one of the authors of the influential Atlantic magazine article that birthed “Broken Windows” theory and laid the framework for Stop and Frisk. Activists that had been tempered in their response to the Bratton appointment were now delivering some slightly stronger language as they criticized Bratton’s look to the past in shaping the NYPD’s future through the hiring of Kelling.

But whether you saw Bratton’s return as a change of direction from the approach of the Bloomberg-era, or as window dressing to business as usual, you couldn’t help but note that Bratton had now been linked with three police departments that have faced community outrage and subsequent legal challenges. Before re-joining the NYPD this year, Bratton had been hired (to significant protest) as a private consultant to the Oakland Police department, a department with a “pattern of resisting reform.” The OPD had been operating under a federal consent decree after scandal and corruption led to a legal settlement that required reforms. Before that he had been the police chief of the Los Angeles Police department, which had also been working under a federal consent decree following the infamous Ramparts scandals of the 90’s. In a case where both revolving-door and conflict of interest concerns were raised, he had just previously been working as a private consultant for Kroll Associates, the private independent monitor of the LAPD.

The fact that Bratton has been continually called in to help police departments navigate through legal oversight should raise questions for New Yorkers today who wonder if Bratton was brought in to reform or rebrand a police department that was facing legal and legislative pressure. A City Council bill that passed last summer would create potential oversight via the creation of an office of Inspector General for the NYPD. But this would be done under the auspices of the Mayor’s Department of Investigations and City Hall–offering a limited amount of independence. Similarly, the Floyd ruling called for a federal monitor to oversee reforms. But the de Blasio administration’s agreement with the Floyd plaintiffs made this a temporary role. Would a reform storm that activists, civil libertarians and outraged community members created in LA, Oakland and New York be something that Bratton would embrace–or simply get these troubled departments through

New York area activists of all stripes, but particularly those centered around policing, should keep in mind Bratton’s approach to protesters and marchers. Bratton’s LAPD violently quelled a May Day rally in 2007, and Bratton said he would have “cleared” protests in Wall Street “right away”–something not even Bloomberg or Ray Kelly did.

Bratton and The Media

Whether it’s stopping and frisking large numbers of young black or brown males in the City or cracking down on squeegee-men (both tactics derived from Broken Windows), aggressive policing is gospel and Bill Bratton is clearly the pastor of the flock. Still, as an article recently pointed out, while Bratton may have some moderate policy differences with his predecessor, Ray Kelly, he’s more concerned with rehabilitating the NYPD’s tattered image than anything.

How does he do this? He’s by far the most media-savvy commissioner of any department this City has probably ever seen. Even his counter-terrorism chief, John Miller, has media credentials that blur the lines between being a journalist and law enforcement spokesman. Miller was formerly a spokesperson for the FBI as well as a correspondent for CBS News. But Bratton’s best strategy is feeding the public quotes that suggest changes are in the works–but that inspire little hope upon closer inspection. He’s made clear that he’s “needed to use the media” to get “certain messages through.” The media is a willing partner in this regard.

Let’s take a closer look at the news from the end of Bratton’s first month back in office: A New York Times headline read “Bratton Says Rookies’ Role in Anticrime Effort Will End.” The local NY1 news channel reported “Bratton Wants NYPD Rookies Out of Operation Impact.” By those headlines you’d think Bratton was aiming to curb police harassment in frontline neighborhoods (and the backlash against it) by swapping out rookies with gracious, polite veterans. First off, the headlines were misleading–“Let me emphasize: Operation Impact is not going away. It is an essential tool” he said (echoing the fine print on Stop and Frisk “reform” he had also cautioned). Rookies will still go out to high-crime areas, he said, but they’ll be “mentored” first. It’s important to note that no policing activist had ever suggested replacing rookies with veterans (who may be more problematic in terms of profiling–it was commanding officers that pushed for quotas, as Bratton has conceded) would reform policing behavior. When one thinks of a dirty or aggressive cop, veterans may come to mind more often than rookies.

Then there was also a widely cited video message that Bratton posted to the Policeman’s Benevolent Association website. The PBA have been staunch defenders of Stop and Frisk since the Bloomberg administration and have been highly critical of reforms. They now, thanks to Bratton, also enjoy office space inside 1 Police Plaza–which might be a first for a civil service union. In the video, Bratton speaks to relying less on “numbers.” Media insisted he “bags bust quota” (an unspoken–and illegal–system that encourages cops to stop high numbers of people). But he never actually mentions quotas or explicitly says they shouldn’t be tolerated, although the impression is that he’s steering the department away from the numbers crunch.

But Bratton has always been about numbers. In fact, in an interview he did with NYU Professor Paul Romer (perhaps best known as an innovator of charter cities in the poorest regions of Latin America) a month before his appointment, Bratton points to computer “algorithms” as the next step forward for “predictive policing.” In 2009, under Bratton, the LAPD received a grant from the Department of Justice towards predictive policing technology. Any future computer programs ostensibly “predicting” crime would owe much to the legacy of Bratton and CompStat, the data driven computer policing program he introduced in New York during the 90’s. That was all about numbers. So in spite of his video message, Bratton seems very comfortable with both numbers and technology (Bratton has also recently joined Twitter).

But few public figures or voices in the media are willing to probe “America’s Supercop” very much. Not only has Bratton and his philosophy come to dominate our City (and nation) through an echo chamber of uncritical media and politicians, they resemble the talking points of previous commissioner Ray Kelly. For starters, de Blasio and Bratton’s insistence that Stop and Frisk not be ended is based largely in an argument that there is a correlation between aggressive policing and crime reduction; that without Stop and Frisk and Muslim surveillance the City would descend into New Jack City, or that we’d have another 9/11. This is almost indistinguishable from the prevailing logic of the Bloomberg/Kelly era–and isn’t clearly supported by evidence. Upon closer inspection, de Blasio and Bratton’s approach tries to encapsulate the political rhetoric that said the previous administration was too cavalier–but without undermining its logic.

Fear of a city descending into a crime-ridden replay of the past may have indeed led to the hiring of a figure of the past in Bratton. Fear is a prime ingredient for a highly policed society and it clearly makes the appointment of a controversial figure like Bratton easier to swallow for some. But it also demands media coverage that defers to the celebrity and expertise of Bratton–rarely asking tough questions. Bratton does his part by carefully managing his words, saving substantive discussions for closed-door speeches. Some may remember that it was Bratton’s media-mastery that was at the root of his ouster from Giuliani’s NYC in the 90’s.

Bratton 2.0

Research tells us that communities of color will usually be disproportionately dealt the receiving end of police profiling and brutality. If they are being sold a rebranded NYPD–one that emphasizes “collaborative” policing over constitutional policing–by a recycled Bratton, it is important to understand how that translates onto the streets, not just in press conferences.

Two weeks into the job, Bratton announced that Stop and Frisk was “more or less solved” and cited data from the Bloomberg era that suggested the practice was already in decline (statistically) since 2013. If true, then candidate de Blasio’s rhetoric to reign in Bloomberg and Kelly’s abuse of the policy was at odds with Bratton’s analysis. Had Bloomberg already reformed the NYPD in 2013? Then why the political rhetoric?

Crime statistics can be politicized depending on what the political climate is and what the incentives are. Robert Gangi from Police Reform Operation Project recently remarked that any figures provided by the NYPD about itself should be taken with a healthy skepticism. The Chief-Leader, a weekly civil service newspaper catered to cops, firefighters and other civil servants, has also written about politicized policing statistics. There is, also, the possibility that some officers simply won’t document all stops or interactions. Of course this is hard to prove and would require in-depth, independent studies. In a recent article the New York Times revealed that officers already fail to properly report friskings of drivers they pull over.

That Times article was also revealing in the context of Vision Zero, de Blasio and Bratton’s new initiative to crack down on drivers and pedestrians in the name of traffic safety. Public safety is often trumpeted when expansions of police power are rolled out. What in foreign policy is described as pre-emptive war can translate domestically into proactive policing. Who could oppose a plan to reduce traffic deaths–or keep ourselves safe from terror? But if police were focusing their attention on drivers and pedestrians with the latest enforcement crackdown, then what might the long term implications for New Yorkers be? In February, de Blasio placed a phone call to police officials after a member of his Transition Team, a black Brooklyn-based pastor and political ally, was jailed following an improper left turn stop by police.

While the Mayor took heat for the call and for a what many saw as a hypocritical driving detail that ran stop signs and sped over limit, Bratton’s NYPD was recovering from its own scandal in January when an elderly Chinese immigrant was roughed up and bloodied by cops after being targeted for jaywalking. Ironically it was the notoriously conservative New York Post that criticized the police crackdown–even as they have unabashedly championed aggressive policing most other times. In a recent interview George Kelling linked Vision Zero to Broken Windows as a “new threshold in terms of order maintenance.” He also may have inadvertently given an insight into the initiative’s other motivating factors: a crackdown on small crimes (jaywalking for pedestrians; improper turns and lane changes for drivers) as a “pathway” to uncovering other criminal behavior–what he called “side benefits.”

Amid the brewing controversies, it was becoming clear that Broken Windows was still the basis for policing in the five boroughs.

While for many New Yorkers, the term Stop and Frisk had become a dinnertime conversation topic, what did people know about Broken Windows? Back in September, de Blasio the candidate proclaimed himself a believer in the theory. Does it work? If you go by most mainstream media and Bratton, it’s death, taxes and Broken Windows. Criminologists and researchers aren’t too sure. In 2006, Bratton and Kelling reacted angrily in a written response for the conservative National Review magazine to academic research that had poked holes in their theory. In 2004, now-deceased James Q. Wilson, Kelling’s Broken Windows article co-author, tried to explain that “I still to this day do not know if improving order will or will not reduce crime… people have not understood that this was speculation.”

This year, in an apparent attempt to restore “order” in the City’s subway system, Bratton’s NYPD, along with the MTA, planned to make homeless sweeps in the subways. Bratton was known in the 90’s to target homeless New Yorkers and squeegee men with his quality of life policies. He had continued that trend with the LAPD in Skid Row where harsh quality of life crackdowns (like targeting homeless people for being on public grass) and gang injunctions raised questions of discrimination in the service of gentrification. The former transit top cop also targeted the transit system with his policies. In a recent article for the Times, spikes in arrests of panhandlers and peddlers included immigrant women selling Churros (Mexican pastries) in subway stations. It was clear that for Bratton some habits die hard.

But Bratton’s most recent homeless sweeps plans met outrage and push-back from community groups. A few grassroots groups, led by Picture The Homeless, a homeless-led advocacy organization, planned an action that apparently forced authorities to back off the early morning operation. In LA, Bratton’s policies had also met resistance from groups like the LA Community Action Network. So in spite of the generally fawning media coverage and relative ease with which he transitioned back into 1 Police Plaza, some activists were ready to oppose Bratton the commissioner as many had done to Bratton the consultant in Oakland and even Detroit. But would it be enough?

Most recently Mr. Bratton and the Mayor revealed a 7-point plan that instructed police officers to be more positive and courteous in their interactions with community members. Bratton indicated cops would be trained in “verbal judo.” And again this points to what is packaged as reform by the NYPD. Will training police along the lines of customer service reps (or verbal martial artists) address the constitutional concerns raised over the last few years? Lessons in civility sidestep demands that officers adhere to the standards of the Supreme Court’s Terry V. Ohio ruling. As noted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel pointed out, reforming Stop and Frisk wasn’t about a magic number of stops or simply the graciousness of police officers; it was about the legality of the stop. Kind words and improved language also wouldn’t make police accountable for abuses of power up to and including fatal shootings of unarmed New Yorkers–of which there were dozens during Bratton’s first stint.

But perhaps least inspiring is that this new initiative isn’t new–NYPD 2020 was spearheaded by Ray Kelly in the prior administration.

The World As a Battlefield

Apart from Bratton’s domestic resume, there are also some pretty telling indicators abroad.

Since the 90’s, Bratton’s police work has taken him across oceans. In 2001, Bratton was a special consultant to the capital of Venezuela when a failed coup d’etat briefly removed Hugo Chavez from the presidency. Bratton and the local police chief were at the helm when 17 pro-Chavez protesters were shot by police before Chavez returned, jailed the chief and sent Bratton packing. In 2007, Bratton tapped an LAPD Lieutenant who studied counterterrorism at Hosni Mubarak’s Egyptian National Police Academy to head that DOJ grant on predictive policing. In 2011, Bratton was in talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron to help advise the police crackdown on race riots in London that were sparked by the police shooting death of a black man.

Finally, both Bratton and the Mayor share an affinity for Israel. De Blasio fancies his role as Mayor as one of a “defender of Israel.” Bratton, meanwhile, forged a “close relationship” with the controversial government while on official visits for the LAPD to browse through its counterterrorism technologies. It’s safe to say the Israeli government sees most matters of security and policing through a prism of anti-terrorism and militarism, but numerous human rights groups and scholars also say that Israel engages in racial apartheid. A region marred by violence, military checkpoints and concentrated poverty; Israel and the occupied territories is a true Tale of Two Cities. New Yorkers, particularly those that find themselves in communities of color, should take note.

Josmar Trujillo is an organizer with New Yorkers Against Bratton.

March 12, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cop Harasses Photographer, Steals His Cellphone Battery And Attempts To Get YouTube To Pull The Incriminating Video

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | February 24, 2014

Recording a police officer in public isn’t a crime. Well, it isn’t anything a cop can cite or arrest you for doing. Instead, a bunch of vague infractions are listed in hopes that something will stick and deter future citizen recordings.

Shawn Randall Thomas, a New York photographer, was approached by NYPD officer Efrain Rojas when he noticed Thomas filming another officer’s interaction with a turnstile jumper in a subway station. “Approached” is putting it mildly. Rojas confronted Thomas and got physical when the photographer refused to stop filming.

A New York City cop beat up and arrested a man for video recording him inside a subway station from 30 feet away Saturday night, walking up to him and getting in his face all while claiming the man was invading his personal space…

Thomas also obtained footage from another man who had recorded Rojas with his knees on Thomas’ back as he lay face down on the sidewalk just outside the sub station, seconds after Rojas had bashed his face into the pavement, busting his lip.

The injury was so bad that they had to transport him to the hospital twice during his 24-hour incarceration where doctors described him as a victim of assault.

As if the impromptu “use of force” wasn’t enough, Thomas was also charged with the following:

[Thomas] is still facing charges of resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing government…

Here’s the video:

Note that Rojas had to come over to where Thomas was filming (nearly 30 feet away) in order to be “obstructed.” Note also that Thomas was filming in a public location, where it’s almost impossible to “trespass.” And note that the de rigueur “resisting arrest” is included only because Thomas didn’t apply his own handcuffs, hoof it to the nearest cruiser and slide into the back seat.

Here’s the description of “resisting arrest” from the arrest report itself:

Deponent further states that, at the above time and place, defendant did resist a lawful arrest by crossing defendants’ arm across defendant’s chest while deponent attempted to place defendant in handcuffs.

But it gets worse. Officer Rojas apparently grabbed Thomas’ cellphone and either deleted the footage or removed the battery in order to prevent Thomas from filming any further. (PINAC’s account of this event mentions “deletion” and Thomas using Recuva to recover the deleted footage, but the description of events only says Rojas took Thomas’ phone and pocketed the battery.) Thomas then took out his backup phone (a Blackberry) and tried to continue filming, at which point Rojas “knocked the phone out of [Thomas’] hand” and slammed him to the ground.

Either way, Rojas made an effort to prevent any further filming. The incident report filed by Rojas makes no mention of the fact that he seized a cellphone and either deleted footage or seized the phone’s battery. He also undermines the charge of trespassing by noting the area where Thomas was filming was public, which is contrary to Rojas’ filmed assertion that Thomas was “violating” his “personal space.”

Apparently, Rojas wasn’t done with feeling “violated” by Thomas’ filming. According to PINAC’s Facebook page, Officer Rojas filed a privacy complaint asking YouTube to remove the video. YouTube, fortunately, turned his request down, which means that Rojas will now have to deal with a recording that contradicts (or severely weakens) many of the claims he made in his sworn statements (the arrest report).

As PINAC and Thomas point out, the obstruction charge is especially baseless, given Thomas’ distance from the officers (approx. 30 feet compared to the report’s “close proximity”) and the fact that the entire situation appears to be completely under control by the time Officer Rojas arrives. Rojas seems to be the only cop there who viewed Thomas and his camera as somehow interfering with police business. Rojas then abandons his “partner” — who is presumably dealing with an actual criminal — solely to harass someone with a camera. If nothing else, Rojas has problems with prioritizing, giving the non-criminal (and protected) act of filming precedence over an actual law enforcement work.

Officer Rojas had multiple paths to take when he noticed a citizen filming him performing his public duties in a public place. Unfortunately, he decided to take the well-worn path and violate the rights of the photographer. And like many others, this decision has done nothing more than heap more negative publicity on the police department and the officer involved. The correct response — ignore it and do your job — still remains largely untested.

February 24, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , | 1 Comment

US court rejects lawsuit challenging NYPD’s spying on Muslims

Press TV – February 21, 2014

A federal court in the United States has rejected a civil rights lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department’s spying activities against Muslims.

On Thursday, the court in Newark in the state of New Jersey ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to show that the NYPD’s intelligence unit had discriminated against Muslims by spying on mosques and other locations in New Jersey.

The 2012 lawsuit was the first to challenge the NYPD’s spying operations against Muslim groups and individuals in the US. It had accused the police of spying on Muslims at several mosques, restaurants and schools since 2002.

The plaintiffs “have not alleged facts from which it can be plausibly inferred that they were targeted solely because of their religion,” US District Judge William Martini wrote in the decision. “The more likely explanation for the surveillance was to locate budding terrorist conspiracies.”

“The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself,” the judge added.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented the plaintiffs, warned that the ruling could give the green light to more spying on Muslims elsewhere in the US.

“In addition to willfully ignoring the harm that our innocent clients suffered from the NYPD’s illegal spying program, by upholding the NYPD’s blunderbuss Muslim surveillance practices, the court’s decision gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion,” CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy said.

February 20, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Posting Of NYPD Officers Around The World Found To Be A Waste, Embarrassment

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | January 10, 2014

As we mentioned recently, NYPD Chief Ray Kelly took a shot at the FBI on his way out of office, claiming the agency was unable to protect New York (and presumably lesser cities) from terrorist attacks. The problem, according to Kelly, is that the agency failed to share intelligence with his department, at least not enough to satisfy his counterterrorism officers. To that end, he formed the so-called Demographics Unit to violate the rights of surveil Muslims, mosques and anything else deemed potentially “terrorist-related” and placed it under the command of a former CIA official.

Not only that, but Ray Kelly figured his department could beat the FBI at its own intelligence-gathering game overseas. It sent out NYPD officers as uninvited guests to cities around the world. Again, this was done to fight the good fight against global terrorism. In reality, it was a waste of money that failed to produce useful intelligence, and the officers stationed overseas spent a lot of their time treading on the toes of the locals.

[F]ormer federal officials who served overseas told “On The Inside” the NYPD detectives are ineffective, often angering and confusing the foreign law enforcement officials they are trying to work with, and are usually relegated to the sidelines because they lack national security clearance.

For example, when bombs exploded at resorts in Bali in 2005, killing 20 and injuring hundreds, the Indonesian National Police “were astonished and irritated that the NYPD showed up,” a federal source explained.

Yes, even on an international scale, there’s never an NYPD officer around when you need one — just plenty of “help” no one asked for. (Presumably, the Bali police informed the bumptious interlopers that no one’s rights needed violating at the moment… ) Not only did the NYPD’s ad hoc diplomats show up at the worst possible time, but they weren’t even in their (very loosely defined) “jurisdiction.”

That’s because those NYPD Intelligence Division detectives were based in Singapore, and were sent into a chaotic terrorism scene where they had no previous relationship with local law enforcement.

And even in Singapore, those detectives had no security clearance and no standing with the Singapore Internal Security Department, which is the agency tasked with combating terrorism.

The end result of all this bumbling? The NYPD’s overseas officers declared that the Bali bombing had “no nexus” with the bombing in New York — something US federal agents had already determined and passed along to other agencies in the pipeline, including the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force.

But the bumbling wasn’t limited to offending Bali police or Singapore security forces.

Another source said that NYPD detectives showed up at the funerals of victims of the Madrid rail bombings in 2004, angering local officials and victims’ families.

So, in addition to further damaging international relations, the NYPD’s forcible insertion of itself into tragedies occurring in other nations failed to produce anything useful in the way of terrorist plots disrupted. This falls directly in line with its domestic efforts — casually stomping on civil liberties and civilian sensibilities in order to chalk up another zero in the “plots prevented” column.

Remember, the impetus for this program was Kelly’s belief the FBI didn’t share enough info with the department… or share it fast enough. But FBI agents who worked with the NYPD task force remember this a bit differently.

The NYPD already has more than 100 detectives on the FBI-Joint Terrorist Task Force with access to all the cutting-edge terror data available to the intelligence community. But apparently that’s not enough.

“The police brass always complained we were holding back information,” a top FBI official complained to me. “It bothered the s— out of me. We shared everything and never held back. Sometimes, they thought we were. But sometimes, we just did not know!”

Kelly trusted his own men more than he trusted the feds. There’s nothing specifically wrong with having confidence in your underlings. But when it results in the baffling decision to place NYPD eyes and ears around the world without seeking the permission or cooperation of local officials, it’s a problem. Kelly’s time at the helm of the NYPD has been marked by an insularity verging on paranoia.

Now that he’s leaving, it will be up to Commissioner Bill Bratton to decide whether the program, as useless (and expensive — $100k per officer per year) as it is, is allowed to continue. And, unfortunately, Bratton seems to believe the NYPD’s attempt to out-think the feds still has some merit.

He said he “understands Commissioner Kelly was very strongly supportive of it” and “I’ve heard nothing negative about it, quite frankly.”

That’s hardly a shocker. Maybe Bratton should consider asking someone not so heavily invested in obstinately pursuing useless programs to futile ends.

January 10, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

NYPD a ‘quasi-military organization,’ according to outgoing top-cop Ray Kelly

RT | December 31, 2013

During the last few hours of a lengthy tenure atop the New York Police Department tainted by both scandal and success, outgoing-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly echoed soon-to-be-ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg with big words about the city’s boys in blue.

Bloomberg provoked a fair share of criticism from Big Apple residents in late 2011 when he said, “I have my own army in the NYPD . . . the seventh biggest army in the world.”

Two years later and new comments from Commissioner Kelly might make the same sort of splash.

The increased militarization of the NYPD and other big city police agencies had already caused concern among many by the mayor’s remarks that November, but both Bloomberg and Kelly’s handling of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in Lower Manhattan that autumn and into the winter attracted previously unmatched opposition. Within just a few short months the city had arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters, and tales from Occupiers about being pepper-sprayed by the police became routine over social media.

Two years later, the NYPD’s reputation has not been repaired: the agency’s stop-and-frisk policy remains as controversial as ever, and an award-winning Associated Press report exposed a secretive intelligence-gathering wing of the force that singled out area Muslims for warrantless surveillance.

Now as he throws in the towel after serving as the civilian administrator of the NYPD for 14 of the last 24 years, Kelly has said something that doesn’t shy away from accusations he helped use his police force to make a police-state.

The New York Times was questioning what they called Kelly’s “tight control of the department” when he reportedly looked “pained” and told them, “You can’t win.”

“Obviously, in a quasi-military organization, you need an ultimate decision maker,” he said.

Ominous words about the world’s seventh-biggest army, or an actualization of what the NYPD has become under his command? The New York City blog Politicker was quick to throw Kelly’s quote into a headline for a post they published on Tuesday, and one of the most widely-subscribed Twitter accounts used by Occupy Wall Street linked followers to the Times article by way of Kelly’s quip.

“Oh, so he doesn’t know what ‘quasi’ means,” one Twitter user remarked back.

Rania Khalek, an independent journalist who watched the NYPD evolve under Kelly, weighed in on the comment as well.

“I was surprised by his candidness, but my first thought was, at least’s being honest,” she told RT on Tuesday. “The role of the NYPD, like most city police departments around the country, is indistinguishable from that of the military, especially in poor communities of color where police serve as occupying armies for the most part.”

And as the AP’s investigation has shown, ethnic minorities in the greater New York region have indeed been forced to endure specialized scrutiny under Kelly and Bloomberg by way of the NYPD’s so-called Demographics Unit: a faction of the force dedicated to collecting intelligence on Muslims by seemingly any means necessary.

“Investigations of any community which are not based upon indications of crime create fear and erode the confidence of a community in the power of a legal system to protect it,” New York University law professor Paul Chevigny told Newsday earlier this year.

Combined with an “army” of 35,000 or so police officers, it’s easy to see how that fear has made Kelly a person that many New Yorkers have grown to despise during his tenure. Additionally, retired NYPC Captain John A. Eterno told the Times this week that the way in which the commissioner has operated his organization in recent years has been cloaked in secrecy to a point of contention.

“He’s done very well with technology and made many innovations,” Eterno told the Times, “But lack of transparency is going to be his legacy.”

“He’s simply hidden things over and over that are harmful to democratic policing,” he said.

In a 1995 study, Victor Kappeler wrote in his abstract that the quasi-military structure that Kelly claims to have enforced cannot breed a “truly professional” police force. The “need to balance internal discipline with police-citizen interactions results in pressure on the individual officer to produce results,” he wrote, is accomplished in militarized units “often by relying on various degrees of misconduct.”

Between 2011 and 2012, misconduct within the ranks of the NYPD raised 22 percent, Controller John Liu confirmed back in June, causing a reported 229 NYPD officers to be disciplined last year.

At the same time, however, statistics suggest that the NYPD’s actual ability to fight crime could be on the up as well. The Times reported on Tuesday that the city is expect to log only 330 murders for this year — a record low.

“And these record-breaking successes are all due in great part to the professionalism and skill of the NYPD,” Bloomberg said during a ceremony earlier this month.

Others, however, had not so nice things to say. To commemorate Kelly’s last day as commissioner of NYPD, a few dozen New Yorkers gathered downtown for a “Good Riddance, Ray Kelly” party advertised on Facebook.

“We’re celebrating because we survived this asshole,” activist Cyrus McGoldrick told the New York Daily News from Tuesday’s demonstration.

As RT reported previously, Kelly will soon join the Council on Foreign Relations — a dominant international policy think-tank — where he will still be able to stay close to his fellow New Yorkers. Even in his post-NYPD career, Kelly will receive a taxpayer-funded ten-man security detail that is reported to cost NYC residents around $1.5 million a year.

January 1, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NSA’s Personal Propagandist For CBS Officially Takes Counterterrorism Job Everyone Knew He Was Getting

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | December 30, 2013

When 60 Minutes did its hack PR job for the NSA a few weeks ago, lots of people called out the fact that the reporter who handled the segment, John Miller, wasn’t just a former intelligence official working for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (which oversees the NSA), but that he was widely rumored to have worked out a deal for a new job for the NYPD, heading up “counterterrorism.” Even though there were multiple reports at the time, including one that claimed it was a “99.44% done deal,” when asked about it, Miller lied. He told a reporter, “you know as much about this as I do.”

That was clearly Miller lying — something that Miller has had an issue with in the past — as the “rumor” is now confirmed and Miller has accepted his job doing “counterterrorism” for the NYPD. And while some might say that doing counterterrorism for a city police force is different than working for national intelligence, that’s only because you’re not familiar with the NYPD, which has set up something of a shadow NSA/CIA to do all sorts of activities not normally associated with a police force.

And, of course, since the press was clearly familiar with Miller’s expected role, it raises serious questions about why 60 Minutes allowed the puff piece to move forward with a seriously conflicted “journalist.” While Miller has lashed out at critics, rather than respond to a single point raised, the brand that comes out worst in all this is clearly CBS and 60 Minutes — which basically let an intelligence official do an entire propaganda piece on the NSA. 60 Minutes used to be about hard hitting journalism. Now, apparently, they think it’s “journalism” to shill for the surveillance state.

December 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DeBlasio, Bratton and the Ongoing Criminalization of Youth in New York City

By ZHANDARKA KURTI | CounterPunch | December 6, 2013

Today, standing in front of news-cameras and press, newly elect mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio responds to the grievances of stop and frisk critics and progressive non-profits groups by appointing ‘America’s Top Cop,’ William Bratton as chief commissioner of the New York City Police Department. This is a slap in the face for many liberals across the city as their dreams of a progressive mayor are quickly dashed. Yet, for the few community activists that have not sold their hopes to city electoral politics, the appointment of Bratton signals the state response to dissent and a reaffirmation of the role of police in the neoliberal era with new points of interest, namely the criminalization of youth across New York City.

Now 66 years old, Bratton, admonished by many as “America’s Top Cop” comes back to the city that in the 1990s gave him the free pass to practice his zero-tolerance policing strategies, albeit, back then under a republican mayor. Some may question de Blasio’s decision. Given the tensions that have mounted recently against stop and frisk, why appoint someone that is so closely tied to this particular form of ‘quick-fix’ policing that continues to alienate communities of color?

Broken-windows policing was the brainchild of social science. James Q. Wilson and William Kelling in a 1982 article in The Atlantic proposed that eradicating graffiti, loitering, and other outward signs of community decay would effectively make communities safer and simultaneously address future crimes. The theory was taken up and applied by William Bratton, in his tenures as police chief in New York City in the 1990s and Los Angeles in 2000s. Since then the relationship between broken windows policing and crime rates has been debunked. Bernard Harcourt for example, in his book The Illusion of Order, challenges the correlation often drawn by criminologists between crime and disorder.  It is also important to note that broken windows theory, also known as zero tolerance policing became the main form of policing strategy as neoliberal agenda was being consolidated. The consequences of zero tolerance policing have been documented far and wide from heightened surveillance to harassment, police brutality, over-arrests and overall dehumanization of poor communities and communities of color. Zero-tolerance policing has effectively allowed the NYPD to practice search and stops that are similar to the counterinsurgency military techniques of ‘cordon and search’ used in Afghanistan.

So given the way in which Bratton was instrumental in implementing zero tolerance policing, out of which ‘stop and frisk’ is an aspect of, why assign him again to the task of overseeing the NYPD?

Before we get angry at DeBlasio for failing to fulfill the role that many liberals across the city have boxed him into, let us recall the mainstream response to stop and frisk policing by the “progressive” elements of NYC.

On February 4th, 2012 at a rally in the South Bronx for the beating of Jatiek Reed and the murder of Rahmarley Graham, city council members and progressive officials took the opportunity to get on the microphone and to speak against stop and frisk and to criticize the NYPD for the egregious assault of one young man and the murder of another. While politicians gave speeches on end, no one from the community was invited to speak about their experiences with the NYPD. Furthermore, the rhetoric remained one that was critical of ‘stop and frisk’ but supportive of the role that police play in combating crime. Take Back the Bronx along with other activists drew attention away from the banter of the politicians to the heart of the matter by chanting: “Fuck the NYPD.” The real problem community members shouted was not only ‘stop and frisk’: the real enemy was the NYPD.  The angry politicians tried to quiet the voices, but it was too late. The community members attending the march already left the politicians behind, chanting and taking over the streets of the South Bronx. This is a unique response to stop and frisk and to policing in general that is missing from progressive mainstream accounts.

Instead, the progressive activists and their non-profits have hijacked the discourse and have focused their energies on reforming the NYPD. Examples of this abound from so-called progressive East Flatbush councilmember Jumaane Williams to coalitions like Communities United for Police Reform (which includes many progressive non-profit groups throughout NYC). Together, they have been fundamental in channeling a radical critique of the NYPD to one that has boiled down to essentially legislative reform.

So, I wonder if these same groups will be surprised today as Bratton “the father of community policing” is called up to the task of overseeing the NYPD?

It may seem confusing to try to pinpoint why Bratton is hired at a moment when ‘stop and frisk’ has come under such scrutiny. Yet when we look at developments in Chicago and Oakland the picture is clearer.

Recently, in Oakland community groups came together to challenge City Council’s decision to hire Bratton as a consultant for its police department. In Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel[1] has openly embraced broken windows policing as a way to deal with violence. While politicians and their middle-class supporters cite violence as one of the main reasons for the need for heightened police presence, they do not look deeper to see the ways in which neoliberalism has affected Chicago, Oakland and New York City. Neoliberal re-structuring has displaced thousands. In neighborhoods that continue to ‘hold out’ and whose location is prime target for developers the only people that stand in the way are the youth. So, what we see in places like Chicago, Oakland and increasingly New York City is a focus on criminalization of youth, particularly street families or as the police likes to call them: gangs.

In Oakland, Bratton’s hire as a consultant for the police department was proposed at a time when community groups were heavily fighting gang injunctions, youth curfews etc. Similarly, in New York City, his appointment as Chief Commissioner of NYPD comes at time of increased scrutiny of police practices.  The state is making a particular choice when it hires Bratton as chief commissioner of the NYPD. It is responding to its critics and is clamping down on them. Bratton is coming into New York City at time when the NYPD is turning its attention to youth gangs like never before. In the next year, we will see the state focus more of its forces more heavily on criminalization of youth. What will be our response?

Zhandarka Kurti lives in the Bronx. She can be reached at zh.kurti@gmail.com

December 6, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberals should stop and frisk Bill de Blasio

By Charles Davis | False Dichotomy | November 7, 2013

Over at The Nation, a debate is raging over whether students at Brown University acted inappropriately when they shouted down New York police chief Ray Kelly, preventing him from delivering an undoubtedly dull lecture about the power and glory of stopping and frisking brown people in New York City with no more probable cause then, “they’re brown and shifty eyed.”

Columnist Katha Pollitt is one who thinks the students Went Too Far. Her particularly patronizing entry in the debate, “Campus Leftists, Use Your Words,” begins by creating a false choice between heckling assholes like Ray Kelly and “informational picketing, holding a teach-in or other counter event, [and] campaigning for a speaker’s of one’s own.” One can do all of those things, actually, while still heckling assholes like Ray Kelly.

But Pollitt’s broader point is that “campus leftists” – children – didn’t win any converts by appearing to bully a poor police chief. It may have been emotionally satisfying, but radical tactics like those only suggest the left lacks for ideas. So what should have those college hot heads done? Vote Democrat and write letters to the editor and good wholesome stuff like that:

It’s fashionable on the left to mock liberalism as weak tea—and sometimes it is. But you know what is getting rid of stop-and-frisk? Liberalism. A major force in the campaign against stop-and-frisk was the NYCLU, which carries the banner of free speech for all. And Bill de Blasio, who just won the mayoral election by a landslide, has pledged to get rid of the policy and Ray Kelly too. Those victories were not won by a handful of student radicals who stepped in with last-minute theatrics. They were won by people who spent years building a legal case and mobilizing popular support for change.

This is wrong and I don’t just say that as a radical leftist who thinks liberalism is weak tea compared to my anarcho-espresso. It is factually wrong. Bill de Blasio, the next mayor of New York City, has not in fact “pledged to get rid of the policy” of stop-and-frisk. What he has pledged to do is rather different. And very liberal.

Under the heading, “Fighting for Meaningful Stop-and-Frisk Reform,” de Blasio’s campaign website informs us that he “has pushed for real reforms in stop-and-frisk” and called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg “to immediately end the overuse and abuse of this tactic.” So de Blasio isn’t looking to “get rid” of anything but, if we’re being cynical – and since we’re dealing with politicians we should be – the public anger over stop-and-frisk. His issue is that the tactic is being overused and abused, not that it’s being used at all. He also boasts that he backed an initiative “which significantly expanded the number of NYPD officers on the streets.” Anyone know what the NYPD’s been up to lately?

Like other successful politicians, de Blasio campaigned in such a way that supporters of all stripes could see what they wanted. If you don’t like stop-and-frisk, you maybe read his condemnations of its “abuse” as a condemnation of the program as a whole – and he took advantage of that, benefiting from a public sick of Mike Bloomberg the same way Barack Obama took advantage of a public sick of George Bush, his mere election seen as repudiation of what came before. By now, we really ought to know better; we ought to know we should wait for concrete action before celebrating a promise; we ought to know those promises, even as weak as they may be, are made to be broken.

Meanwhile, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay that aren’t stuck inside being force-fed can expect partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 80s over the next week, with a slight chance of rain.

November 7, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recent Revelations Prompt Motion To Block NYPD’s Surveillance Of Muslims

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | October 4, 2013

A recent investigative report on the NYPD’s surveillance of mosques has led to a possible revisiting of the Handschu Agreement by the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit filed against the city seeking to bar further surveillance of Muslims in New York City.

According to the 1985 ruling, the Handschu Agreement limited indiscriminate surveillance of purely political activity. If such surveillance was to take place, it first had to be approved by the three-member Handschu Authority and performed only by the specially-designated Public Security Section, a division of NYPD Intelligence. It also prohibited the videotaping or photographing of large public gatherings when there was no indication of criminal activity and forbade the sharing of information with outside agencies unless they agreed to be bound by the limitations of the Agreement.

This is what was assumed to be in place. When the plaintiffs filed in February, their attorney pointed out that the police activity that had been observed clearly violated those limitations.

The police measures directed at Muslims violate the Handschu decree “because they’re not rooted in the fact that there’s a criminal predicate,” said plaintiff attorney Paul Chevigny. “They’re rooted in the fact that the subjects are Muslims.”

It was exactly as it looked: Muslims being placed under surveillance simply because they attended certain mosques — mosques the NYPD had declared to be “terrorist organizations.”

The city has countered by claiming that it closely observes the Handschu guidelines when making decisions about how to fight terror. A city lawyer, Peter Farrell, told the judge on Tuesday that the department launches investigations based on evidence of legitimate threats, not on religion.

“It’s undeniable that New York City remains at the center of the threat by Islamists who have been radicalized to violence,” he said.

What the city lawyer’s conveniently left out was that the Handschu guidelines had been deliberately weakened by the NYPD, thanks to the efforts of a former CIA officer and his CIA liaison, who formed a so-called “Demographics Group” that was charged with monitoring activity by the city’s Muslims.

[T]he activities that [CIA liaison Larry] Sanchez and [former senior CIA officer David] Cohen were proposing would not have been permitted under the Handschu guidelines. So, on September 12, 2002, Cohen filed a 23-page document in federal court asking a judge to throw out the guidelines and give his officers more leeway.

Cohen insisted that the world had changed since Al Qaeda attacked America, and the NYPD needed to change with it. “These changes were not envisioned when the Handschu guidelines were agreed upon,” he wrote, “and their continuation dangerously limits the ability of the NYPD to protect the people it is sworn to serve.”

The severely watered-down Handschu guidelines were approved by Judge Charles Haight. The name remained unchanged and most New Yorkers were unaware that hardly any limitations remained tied to the Agreement.

After securing this expanded definition (which also thoroughly abused the word “related”), the Demographics Group proceeded to declare entire mosques as “terrorist organizations” and began constant surveillance of their members. And, contrary to what the city’s lawyer declared, it has yet to be proven by the NYPD or anyone else that New York is the “center of the threat by Islamists.” The NYPD has spent millions of dollars and thousands of manhours surveilling and investigating Muslims and has turned up exactly zero useful leads.

When the plaintiffs filed this case, they had no idea the Handschu guidelines had been so thoroughly eviscerated. Armed with this new knowledge, the plaintiffs have asked the city to turn over so-called “investigative statements” related to these surveillance operations. The city won’t even meet them halfway, offering only to turn over a “handful” for the plaintiffs’ lawyers to view without making them part of the public record.

Technically, the city is correct: the NYPD is following the guidelines, as they have been altered, not as they were originally written.

The presiding judge says he will rule at a later date. However, one key factor is problematic. The presiding judge is Charles Haight, the same judge who agreed to relax those rules for the NYPD back in 2002. When he says something like this, it’s hard to know how to take it.

“I’ve come to think of this case as a volcano that’s asleep most of the time … but every now and then blows up,” U.S. District Judge Charles Haight said at the start of a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.

This “volcano” is at least partially of his own making. Haight knows how few restrictions remain under those guidelines. The NYPD can “closely observe” the relaxed Handschu guidelines and still place entire mosques under surveillance. The protections remaining are so weak and the scope of what is deemed “terrorist-related” so broad that even the CIA itself is unable to use the information collected by the Demographics Unit because doing so means violating CIA policies regarding domestic surveillance.

But it appears (although details are incredibly light) that Haight may revisit his own decision relaxing those guidelines. His upcoming ruling will determine whether the near-useless offer the city’s lawyer made will be sufficient or if the city will need to cough up what’s been requested: investigative statements related to “any operation targeting Muslims.” Haight will also make the call as to whether the documents will remain “off the record.”

The NYPD has never been very responsive when asked to turn over information, but considering this order may come from a federal judge, rather than a member of the public, the response time might be a little quicker. As for the plaintiffs, it would seem they drew possibly the least sympathetic judge to hear this case. But who knows, maybe Haight’s had a change of heart over the years. Many rash legislative and legal decisions were made shortly after the 9/11 attacks and there have been more than a few who have expressed regret for their decisions or dismay at the continual expansion of already-broad policies. Haight might be one of the ones who regrets his decision. Fortunately, he’s still in a position to make some changes.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Without Any Legal Basis, The NYPD Has Been Classifying Its Own Documents For More Than A Decade

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | September 19, 2013

Under the guidance of Chief Ray Kelly and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the NYPD has transformed into an autonomous militarized force. Technically, it answers to Bloomberg and Kelly, but they’ve both shown extreme amounts of resistance to reining in any of the PD’s excesses.

Any attempts at bringing oversight and accountability to the force are met with anger and condescension, despite the fact that the NYPD’s casual abuse of New Yorker’s civil liberties are the subject of major lawsuits and city council legislation, as well as a sizable contributor to the city’s annual outlay of $700-800 million in settlements.

We’ve previously discussed the department’s secretiveness that has seen it described by investigative journalists as worse than the NSA and FBI when it comes to responding to FOI requests. (Not for nothing does the New York law governing these requests do business under the acronym “FOIL.”) But the NYPD is doing something no other city law enforcement agency has done: classifying its own documents.

Since at least 2003, the New York Police Department has been labeling some of its internal documents “Secret,” a designation that has baffled government secrecy experts, journalists and civil liberties lawyers.

By labeling documents “secret,” the Intelligence Division appears to be operating its own in-house classification system, similar to those used at federal agencies like the CIA, where Intel’s chief, David Cohen, previously worked for 35 years.

Some of the documents also include the caveat, in all-caps, that “No portion of this document can be copied or distributed without the exclusive permission of the policy commissioner or deputy commissioner of intelligence.”

Why is this “baffling?” Because the NYPD’s in-house classification system has nothing legal to back it up.

“You know what that [label] means? It means diddly,” said Robert Freeman, executive director of New York’s Committee on Open Government. “I think the police department is following the lead of the federal government. The difficulty is, in my opinion, it does not have a legal basis for doing that.”

Christopher Dunn, associate legal director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, told HuffPost he has only seen the label on documents created after 2001. He agreed with Freeman that “as far as I know, this marking has no legal significance.”

The NYPD remains a law unto itself. Bloomberg has referred to it as the “seventh biggest army in the world” (and his own “personal army”) and has, over the course of his three terms, indulged every excess. It should be noted that former CIA officer David Cohen got the ball rolling on the civil liberties-violating “Demographics Group” (the one that labeled entire mosques as terrorist entities) late in 2002, which would explain the noticeable uptick in “SECRET” documents in 2003. Nothing drives overclassification more than a combination of dubious legality and working hand-in-hand with national intelligence agency liaisons.

And it would appear that the NYPD still has lots of secrets it’s not willing to share with the public. HuffPo points to this story from 2011 in which Chief Kelly makes the claim that the NYPD could “take down an airplane” thanks to its anti-aircraft weaponry. That itself should be troubling enough and a strong indicator that Bloomberg and Kelly are better qualified to run a banana republic than an American city, but when asked to comment on the PD’s anti-aircraft guns, Bloomberg responded with this smirk of a statement:

“New York City Police Department has lots of capabilities you don’t know about and you won’t know about them.”

That’s comforting. Nothing like having the commander-in-chief of the “seventh biggest army in the world” tell you his force might have even bigger tricks up its sleeve than anti-aircraft weapons.

On the bright side, Mayor for life Bloomberg will be leaving soon and the front runner for his position, Bill De Blasio, gave the police force a failing grade for its responsiveness to FOI requests and will be likely looking to force the PD to shoot for a low-C at minimum. If Chief Kelly sticks around, though, De Blasio will have an uphill battle to fight against the ingrained arrogance and contempt that pervades the NYPD’s upper management.

September 19, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Judge: NYPD stop-and-frisk tactic violates rights

Press TV – August 12, 2013

In a blow to New York City mayor’s claims regarding the effectiveness of stop-and-frisk practices by the NYC police, a federal judge ruled that the so-called crime-stopping tactic violates the constitutional rights of minorities.

eua-stopandfriskU.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled Monday that by targeting racially targeted groups of citizens, the police had adopted an “indirect racial profiling” policy, that resulted in discriminatory stopping of tens of thousands of blacks and Hispanics, according to Reuters.

The judge ruled that the Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, police commissioner and other city officials had “turned a blind eye” toward the injustice on city’s minorities.

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life,” Scheindlin wrote in her opinion.

The judge wrote in her 105-page decision that police personnel were under pressure to raise the number of stops by Mayor Bloomberg since he took office in 2002 and designated Raymond Kelly to be NYPD Commissioner.

As a result, officers stopped and searched young minority men without any reasons in violation of their constitutional Fourth Amendment rights that protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The New York Civil Liberties Union demonstrated in a 2012 report that there had been a sharp increase in number of police stops over the period of Bloomberg’s three terms in office.

The number of searches rose from 160,851 stops in 2003 to 685,724 in 2011, while half of the 2011 searches included physical searches.

Scheindlin ordered the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance with other remedies she ordered, including adopting written policy guideline specifying circumstances where stops are authorized. She also authorized to adopt a trial program requiring the use of body-worn cameras in one precinct in each of the city’s five boroughs; and to set up a community-based remedial process under a court-appointed facilitator.

August 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment