Monthly archives: September 2011

September 30th, 2011

Illinois Wiretapping Law Reaching A Boiling Point 0

By Carlos Miller

Illinois police officers have to be the most smug cops in the nation knowing they have the power to arrest citizens on felony charges for recording them in public while they themselves have every right to record citizens.

That smugness is very evident in the latest case to emerge from the Land of Lincoln.

Louis Frobe was pulled over last year by Lindenhurst police for speeding. Frobe didn’t think he was speeding so he pulled out his Flip camera to record the interaction.

Meanwhile, the officer who had pulled him over was recording the interaction with his own dash cam.

Here is the conversation recorded by the officer’s dash cam and obtained by ABC7 in Chicago.

Officer: “That recording?

Frobe : “Yes, Yes, I’ve been…

Officer: “Was it recording all of our conversation?

Frobe: “Yes. Officer: “Guess what? You were eavesdropping on our conversation. I did not give you permission to do so. Step out of the vehicle.”

Louis Frobe was then cuffed and arrested for felony eavesdropping.

“I was terrified. I was absolutely terrified. I was begging him, I said I didn’t know about this law. Would you please take the camera – this is no big deal – and smash it. You know I didn’t know about the law,”

Frobe, who ended up spending the night in jail, was facing 15 years in prison.

Fortunately charges against him were dropped, even though he was technically breaking the law as absurd as that law is.

And he has since filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

And let’s not forget the ACLU is also challenging the constitutionality of the law. And let’s not forget an Illinois judge dismissed felony wiretapping charges against Michael Allison earlier this month.

However, prosecutors plan to appeal that decision, which should turn out to be one of the most laughable arguments in the history of law.

September 29th, 2011

NYPD Supervisor Caught On Video Punching Citizen At Protest 0

By Carlos Miller

Another video has emerged showing a white-shirted New York City police supervisor punching a citizen during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The video doesn’t capture much before the incident but if you slow it down and watch it frame by frame, it doesn’t appear as if the citizen had done anything to provoke the punch.

A second white-shirted cop then jumps in and helps slam the man down on the ground where he is arrested.

The video was posted to Youtube on Wednesday and further confirms what we’ve seen in almost two weeks of protests – that the white-shirted police supervisors are clearly more aggressive than the blue-uniformed rank and file officers.

The protesters have continually reached out to the blue-uniformed cops, encouraging them to join them in solidarity.

While the rumors that 100 cops refusing to show up to work in support of the protesters were never confirmed, numerous Youtube videos show the blue-uniformed cops to be much more sympathetic than their white-shirted supervisors – who seem to be oblivious to the multitude of cameras around them.

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In its 12th day, the protest is gaining momentum with various groups joining the original twenty-something protesters who swarmed Wall Street on September 17.

On Tuesday, more than 700 pilots from Continental and United Continental marched down Wall Street in protest of “slow contract negotiations and misinformation regarding merger integration.”

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The Raging Grannies, an activist group made up of elderly ladies, have also joined the protest. And next week, labor unions and other community organizations are planning on joining.

Time magazine published a piece today stating that there are about 300 activists camping out at Zuccotti Park with hundreds more joining them throughout the day and many more arriving this weekend.

Time also stated that the protest grows more organized with each passing day.

Over the past 12 days, however, those numbers have grown. On a late-night visit to Zuccotti Park on Tuesday, the fecklessness and disorganization reported earlier in the New York Times seemed largely absent. A protest that began in utter dysfunction has given way to a fairly organized movement with a base camp for its most stalwart members, now numbering more than 300 people, who have slept in the park for 12 nights straight–and who say they intend to stay.

September 28th, 2011

NYPD Commander Anthony Bologna Pepper Sprays Citizens In Second Video 0

By Carlos Miller

A second video has emerged showing NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna recklessly unleashing pepper spray on non-violent protesters as well as fellow officers at the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Bologna, who was identified as the cop who pepper sprayed a pair of women who were already detained on Saturday, apparently keeps his pepper spray canister in his hands at all times, unleashing streams of pepper spray on unsuspecting citizens before disappearing back into the crowd.

The 29-year veteran of the NYPD is already a defendant in a lawsuit accusing him of abusing the rights of protesters during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

On Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the department will investigate Bologna’s actions.

Pepper spray is meant to be used as a self-defense tactic and is believed to have lead to some deaths, according to Wikipedia.

Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits persons using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape.

Although considered a non-lethal agent, it may be deadly in rare cases, and concerns have been raised about a number of deaths where being pepper sprayed may have been a contributing factor.

How long before Bologna – who was nicknamed Tony Baloney back in grade school – will score the hat trick?

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September 27th, 2011

NYPD Cop Berates, Threatens Citizen Photographing 9/11 Memorial 0

By Carlos Miller

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New York City police officer Mark DeSimone began experiencing “ill effects from the aftermath of 9/11” in 2003, which prompted him to begin participating in triathlons as a way to cope with these repercussions.

But he doesn’t appear to have fully recovered because he practically lost his mind on a citizen who was photographing the National 9/11 Memorial last week.

DeSimone detained Meredith Dodson for 20 minutes after she snapped a photo of the long pathway into the site.

Here is how she explained it to Gothamist:

The officer continued to berate me and stood within inches of my face to yell at me and say how he had lost many friends on 911 and he just barely survived and how he was protecting the area from terrorists. He asked me where I was from (I said Georgia) and he said he was from Alabama and that I should know not to take pictures through a mesh. I said I didn’t know about a no photography rule for inside the area. I was crying by this point and asked why I was still being detained and was I begin charged with anything.

He did not answer my question and continued to threaten me by saying that he would do a background check and that he could arrest us and charge my friends and me with trespassing. He said that “my friends are assholes” and that if they came back there would be problems. I didn’t understand why he was continuing to be so aggressive towards me. My husband and friend had already left the area (about 50 feet away) and I was certainly not being anything but polite to him. I didn’t even know why he was threatening me with these things especially since I had already had the background check to be allowed into the area. I signed up for tickets two weeks prior and was still in the cordoned area where all the tourists were. I didn’t even attempt to go into an area that I wasn’t allowed. I took a picture from inside the visitor area.

In August 2010, DeSimone was honored as Athlete of the Month in the New York World Police and Fire Games.

Police Officer Mark DeSimone has been with the New York City Police Department since 1999.  Throughout his years with the department, he has worked as a patrol officer in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spent some time with the Narcotics division, and taught for two years as a specialized training instructor at the Police Academy.  In 2003, Mark began to experience some ill effects from the aftermath of 9/11. Inspired by an article on an NYPD Captain who participated in Triathlons, he began to train in an effort to offset the and participated in his first event that same year.  Since then, he has competed in numerous triathlons all around the country.  In 2009, he organized a First Responders triathlon group consisting of Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS workers and Federal Agents from around the country. He hopes to build upon the success of this organization and participate in the 2011 games in New York.

Sounds to me as he needs to be treated for post stress traumatic disorder.

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September 26th, 2011

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell Criticizes Cops As Aggressors 0

By Carlos Miller

Veteran reporter Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC delivered harsh words against the New York City Police Department for arresting hundreds of people without just cause. He especially berated them for arresting a man with a video camara.

“The reason that man is being assaulted by the police is because of what he has in his hand,” O’Donnell said, while showing a video clip of a man with a video camera being tackled by police. “He’s holding a professional grade video camera. Since the Rodney King beating was caught on an amateur video camera, American police officers have known video cameras are their worst enemy. They will do anything they can to stop you from legally videotaping how they handle their responsibility to serve and protect you.”

“Everything those cops did this weekend to those protesters they’ve done to someone else when no video camera was rolling,” he later added.

Perhaps this is the media coverage the protesters were hoping for all along.

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