civil liberties

Hey everyone, just a reminder that yesterday the supreme court decided that its unconstitutional for the police to look through your phone unless they have a warrant, EVEN if you are placed under arrest.

HOWEVER, the police CAN search your phone without a warrant if given verbal consent and they AREN’T required to tell you that you can request that they get a warrant. It’s up to you to know your rights, so PLEASE PLEASE reblog this so we can spread the word!

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Today in #FergusonOctober (10.22.14): Day 75 and the resistance continues. After being denied entrance to a public meeting, protesters in St Louis occupy the county police headquarters, demanding justice for Mike Brown and for their constitutional right to assemble peacefully AND their rights as citizens to attend/participate in local government. This is power in action. This is a movement. #staywoke #farfromover

Seriously, the image of bdoulaoblongata is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen. It’s been 75 days. Where has there even been a glimmer of justice in Ferguson? The pain is real.

EDIT/UPDATE TO: “PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST! Tomorrow, Ukrainians will be cut off from the world; no internet, no television, no telephones.”

EDIT: This post was made in January 2014 when I saw a Facebook article stating there was a very real possibility of massive censorship in Ukraine. Many friends of mine had shared the article, and the above title was a statement I saw with each post. Naturally, I became scared, both for my family and the people in Ukraine. I felt I needed to do something, anything, to spread awareness. I gathered the information that I could and created this post.

I understand now that the wording of the title is misleading. This was due to the article I read (found here) that stated the situation as such (there’s now a note from the editor, basically saying the info in the article was sensationalized). My intention was not to spread false information; however, I’m fully aware that this post and the information below is now a bit outdated. I’m including some updated links at the end of this edit, as many of the links now don’t work. Addressing the comments accusing me of using this information to just get notes and attention: in no way was I doing this for personal gain. It was a desperate attempt to spread awareness during a time where it seemed no one in the world knew what was going on apart from those within the Ukrainian community. 

~NEW INFORMATION~

BBC News compiled a collection of links about the crisis in Ukraine (found here). You’ll find articles providing more background on the crisis, updates on the MH17 crash, the occupation of Crimea, and more. The latest post seems to be from October 2015.

Here’s a similar collection from NBC News. This includes general updates on Ukraine in general as well, such as issues in Parliament, the migrant crisis and more. The latest post is from December 2015.

A December 2015 update on the extension of the Minsk II agreement, which outlines measures needed to be taken to hopefully end the conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

A live reddit thread on the conflict: https://www.reddit.com/live/3rgnbke2rai6hen7ciytwcxadi

A regularly-updated map (fueled by eyewitness reports) on what’s going on in Ukraine: http://liveuamap.com/

It’s not a very extensive list, but hopefully will be enough for those you interested in Keeping Up with the Konflict in Ukraine. There’s also an Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary, “Winter on Fire,” that is a great look into the conflict from 2013 to 2014. Some links: Wikipedia; New York Times.


Keep reading

We’ve been coming up on six years of existence and we don’t have a use of force on our unit. Which means we never tased anybody. We’ve never shot anybody. We’ve never hit anybody with [a baton]. But patients, talking to them, we get the result we want in the end. And we don’t have to force it on them.
— 

A San Antonio police officer who has been trained to recognize mental illness and respond to it in a nonviolent manner. The training has saved taxpayers $50 million over five years and dramatically reduced the number of violent interactions between police and citizens.

This needs to be implemented EVERYWHERE. 

Watch on odinsblog.tumblr.com

BLACK MAN SHUTS DOWN THE POLICE

YouTube is full of videos where young white men, often times armed, stand up to police and force the officers to back down. With African-Americans, however, the rules are often different and knowing your rights will get you Tasered or worse. One African-American man recorded an encounter with police where he avoided getting arrested or shοt while preserving his rights.

When cops knocked on his door looking for a fugitive, Avel Amarel was determined to record the incident and not allow officers to illegally enter his home, according to a video posted on TheFreeThoughtProject.com.

Police told Amarel that they wanted to search his home because of an incident that occurred in the parking lot, but Amarel told the officers that the person they were looking for was not inside his home and he wasn’t allowing police to enter without a warrant.

Officer, I can’t let you inside without a search warrant,” he says.

Early in the encounter, an officer attempts to get Amarel to stop recording cell phone video, using the excuse that he didn’t know what the object was. Amarel informed the officer that the object in question was a cell phone and continued recording.

Throughout the video, Amarel refuses to let up, asking officers for three forms of identification. The officers never present any ID, but ask Amarel for ID, but he refuses. Amarel asks the officers whether he’s suspected of a crime and when the officers explain again about the fugitive, Amarel tells them that only he and his family are at the home.

When one officer asks for permission to search the home, Amarel tells him to come back with a warrant. Eventually the officers leave in frustration.

(h/t blacklikemoi.com)

I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.

It’s become apparent over 2014 that we are at the beginning of a social & political revolution.

We are fighting for equality, acceptance, the right to be who we are. We are fighting for our civil liberties.

In a time when we should be rejoicing together with the shared spirit of the human experience, we are at odds.

Do not let the decisions of today effect your tomorrow. Fight for a different outcome. Do not lose hope. 

We will have peace one day.

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noharmdon said to superheroesincolor:

Luke Cage is seriously the realest Marvel character, his first reaction to registration in Civil War is flawless and probably the most badass thing I’ve ever seen. Basically “I’m gonna stay right here in my apartment, in my community and they can come and try to take me.” Takes no shit from Stark himself when it comes to civil liberties

Fair warning: This story is sickening.

The man pictured above is Chad Chadwick of Fort Bend, Texas. He had no criminal record as of September 27, 2011, when, feeling distraught, he had a little too much to drink and fell asleep in his bathtub. Maybe not the greatest decision (my neck hurts just thinking about it) but certainly he was not breaking any laws.

Unfortunately for Chadwick, a friend was concerned about him and—rather than just checking up on him in person as would be the normal thing for friends to do—he called the police.

That call resulted in a full SWAT team heading to Chadwick’s apartment. Seriously, look at this photo from that night:

That cop is pretty much ready to go into battle, but he’s on a call to do…what? Make sure a guy is feeling ok and not self-harming? This is absurd.

So the police storm Chadwick’s apartment where he’s sleeping in the bathtub. I’ll let his narrative take over from here:

They told a judge I had hostages. They lied to a judge and told him I had hostages in my apartment and they needed to enter,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick did own a single shotgun, but had threatened no one, not even himself. Chadwick’s firearm possession apparently prompted SWAT to kick in his door, launch a stun grenade into the bathroom and storm in, according to Chadwick, without announcing their identity.

While I had my hands up naked in the shower they shot me with a 40 millimeter non-lethal round,” said Chadwick.

A second stun grenade soon followed.

“I turned away, the explosion went off, I opened my eyes the lights are out and here comes a shield with four or five guys behind it. They pinned me against the wall and proceeded to beat the crap out of me,” said Chadwick.

That’s when officers shot the unarmed Chadwick in the back of the head with a Taser at point blank range. "They claimed I drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle,“ said Chadwick. And it wasn’t over.

"They grabbed me by my the one hand that was out of the shower and grabbed me by my testicles, slammed me on my face on the floor and proceeded to beat me more,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick, who hadn’t broken a single law when SWAT burst through his door, was taken to the Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what’s proven to be permanent hearing loss.

So this SWAT team completely fabricates a story to a judge to get a warrant to enter Chadwick’s house, finds him asleep and unarmed, brutally attacks him, deafens him permanently, and then what? Well, then they arrest him, charge him with six crimes—including felonies—and throw him into solitary for two days.

Needless to say, calling the police did not make Chad Chadwick less distraught.

But this story has a better ending than most tales of police brutality. Over the course of the last three years, Chadwick succeeded in getting all felony and misdemeanor charges against himself dropped. He was able to keep his job and build his relationship with his daughter.

Yet the officers on the SWAT team have yet to face any consequences for their actions, so Chadwick is still working to hold them accountable for their abuse. “They came in did what they did, figured out that they messed up and now they are doing everything they can to cover it up,” he says. “They treated a normal American citizen like an animal. It’s not right.”

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The violent video of Sandra Bland’s arrest is like a 21st century Rorschach test for detecting racists

Remember that time Reese Witherspoon’s husband got arrested for drunk driving, and she interfered with the arrest and (gasp) talked back to a cop who had no idea who she was? And remember how the police got mad, pointed a taser at her head and threatened to light her up, physically assaulted her even after she was handcuffed, and then slammed her head into the ground and put their knees on her back, all because she was being “too mouthy” and not obeying them?

Me neither…funny how the police managed to treat an “uncooperative” white woman with dignity and respect, and not brutalize her even though she was being “combative” and interfering in an arrest, and even “talking back” after the police repeatedly and politely told her to stay away. 

“Talking back” is not against the law; in fact, it’s a constitutionally protected right - remember these things called the 1st and 4th Amendments?

When dozens of armed white people can publicly point loaded weapons at law enforcement officers to defend some racist hick like Cliven Bundy, and no one gets so much as a ticket, I don’t want to hear jack shit about Sandra Bland’s “bad attitude”…not from the “don’t tread on me” Tea Baggers, and certainly not from the so-called “civil libertarians” crowd that rides so damn hard for Ed Snowden. 

Speaking of which, isn’t it odd how neither party - Libertarians nor the Tea Party - is officially making a big fuss or complaining about Sandra Bland’s civil liberties being violated. edit: I don’t want to leave out the “liberals” who celebrate the Stonewall Riots, but wagged their fingers at Baltimore and Ferguson protesters. Hmm… It’s almost like there’s two Americas with two completely different sets of rules and double standards, depending on your race. 

aclu.org
FBI Releases Secret Spy Plane Footage from Freddie Gray Protests
In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI has released more than 18 hours of video from surveillance cameras installed on FBI aircraft that flew over Baltimore in the days after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in 2015.

In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI has released more than 18 hours of video from surveillance cameras installed on FBI aircraft that flew over Baltimore in the days after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in 2015. The videos, which were released to the ACLU before being posted online by the FBI this week, offer a rare and comprehensive view of the workings of a government surveillance operation. While the release of the footage addresses some questions, it leaves others unanswered.

Last year, the ACLU obtained records from the FBI showing that the agency had flown at least 10 surveillance flights over Baltimore from April 29 through May 3, 2015, when the streets of the city were filled with people protesting and mourning Freddie Gray’s death just days before.

Records from the Federal Aviation Administration showed that the FBI’s aircraft, which were registered to front companies to conceal their ownership, carried sophisticated camera systems on board, complete with night-vision capabilities. FBI evidence logs showed that the agency had retained copies of surveillance videos and perhaps other electronic surveillance information from the flights, but the agency initially declined to release the actual videos. To its credit, the FBI reconsidered, and the footage is now a part of the public record.

We have been able to review most of the footage. Here are some of the most significant questions and observations we have after viewing it.

You can watch the videos here.