On voting with your heart, Oklahoma passes bill banning abortion, GOP's sneaky switcheroo on LGBT equality
  • On voting with your heart, Oklahoma passes bill banning abortion, GOP's sneaky switcheroo on LGBT equality
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NYC! Don’t miss Jamie Kilstein and The Agenda with special guest Janeane Garofalo June 1:https://www.facebook.com/events/1555123141459794/. Allison answers more Patreon questions about Hillary VS. Bernie and voting with your heart; spin that abortion wheel!: Oklahoma passes bill effectively banning abortion, meet the woman opening an abortion clinic in the most anti-choice state, and Oklahoma isn’t the only state taking steps to ban abortion. The Democratic Party is giving Bernie Sanders a bigger role in shaping its platform, the GOP’s sneaky switcheroo on LGBT equality, President Obama is set to release two dozen more prisoners from Gitmo, and the NYPD’s records of its own misbehavior have mysteriously vanished

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NYPD Cop Wins $15M After Fellow Cops Falsely Arrested & Beat Him at His Daughter’s Birthday

After suing his fellow officers for savagely beating and falsely arresting him at his daughter’s birthday party, an NYPD cop was awarded $15 million by a federal jury on Wednesday. Although he identified himself as an officer, his colleagues viciously struck him with batons and fired pepper spray into his face before bothering to check the badge and ID in his pocket.

On August 22, 2010, NYPD Officer Larry Jackson was off-duty at his daughter’s birthday party in Queens when an unidentified man with a gun appeared in the street breaking a bottle. Although Jackson did not have his gun with him, the off-duty cop confronted the armed man and asked him to leave while Jackson’s wife called 911. As Jackson attempted to calm down the armed man, a crowd of roughly 15 to 20 men armed with bats and sticks began to approach them.

Instead of attacking Jackson or the armed man, the crowd immediately dispersed as a marked patrol car arrived in front of Jackson’s house. Even though Jackson’s wife told dispatchers that her husband was a cop and Jackson immediately identified himself as a fellow officer, the cops ignored him while trying to assess the situation. Hearing an argument from inside Jackson’s home, one of the officers suddenly ran into his house without a search warrant.

After striking one of Jackson’s friends with a police baton, the officer ordered Jackson to step back. Standing his ground, Jackson again identified himself as a cop and informed the officer that they were in his house. Instead of requesting to see Jackson’s police ID or badge, the officer slammed the baton against Jackson’s throat and shoved him into the living room.

While repeatedly punching Jackson in the face, the officer accidentally tripped over a cooler leftover from the birthday party. As Jackson attempted to help the officer up, another cop placed Jackson in a chokehold. Unable to speak, Jackson tried to pull his police ID out of his pocket but another officer restrained his hands.

Falling backwards, Jackson and the cop choking him landed on Jackson’s 82-year-old mother-in-law, briefly knocking her unconscious. As the officer released his chokehold, Jackson again informed the cops that he was an NYPD officer when another cop struck him in the head with an ASP tactical baton. After stumbling down the front steps, Jackson remained on the ground as a group of bloodthirsty officers began beating him with their batons and pepper-spraying him in the face. While placing him in handcuffs, the cops repeatedly kicked his body and kneed him in the back.

Following the brutal assault, the officer who initially attacked Jackson asked him, “Yeah, you motherfucking dirt bag, if you are really a cop, where is your ID?”

“My ID has been in my front pocket the whole entire time,” Jackson responded. “I told you that in the house.”

After finally checking his pockets, the crowd of cops immediately dispersed upon the realization that they just brutalized one of their own without justification. Despite the fact that he had his police ID and did not commit a crime, Jackson was detained at the police station for 20 hours before being transported to a local hospital. According to his medical records, Jackson’s face and torso were covered in large bruises while his right hand was fractured due to numerous baton strikes.

SOURCE

The story shows the lack of trust to black people, the stupidity and recklessness of police and finally the lack of justice. NYPD Officer Larry Jackson got $15 million (!) while families of other victims of police are still fighting for compensations or receiving lower amounts of money. That’s America!

Model Cipriana Quann Was Wrongfully Arrested By NYPD

A model known for her trademark hair is suing the NYPD, claiming they falsely arrested her outside a Brooklyn dance club.

Cipriana Quann, a 27-year-old fashion blogger who runs the site Urban Bush Babes with her identical twin, said she was “aggressively shoved” by an NYPD lieutenant while heading into the nightspot Verboten in Williamsburg with some friends May 2, according to a Brooklyn federal lawsuit.

Officers were already on the scene arresting a drug suspect, but Quann said she had nothing to do with the buy-and-bust operation.

She said she tried to explain that she wasn’t involved to one of the cops, identified in court papers as Stephen Conforti, but he got more aggressive with her.

“Can you please watch where you are pushing? I am a woman,” she said, according to the papers.

Quann — who has appeared in Vogue magazine and was called an “influential millenial” in a 2013 Gap ad campaign — said she was promptly frisked out and then handcuffed “extremely tightly,” according to court papers.

Quann was held in police custody for 24 hours on disorderly conduct charges, which her lawyer said she “reluctantly” copped a plea to land a conditional discharge. She had her case dismissed last month.

Court papers say she suffered “fear, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, frustration, extreme inconvenience, anxiety, loss of liberty and harm to reputation” from the incident over the spring.

She is suing the NYPD for unspecified damages.

A city Law Department spokesman said the complaint would be reviewed.

Link

24 hours for reasonable remark? The lack of respect for women is not appropriate for police or anyone else - especially considering that Cipriana Quann did nothing wrong. The lack of respect to people is a major problem of American cops. How can police support security and order when they are so rude and so fast to escalate the violence? It’s okay for cops to threaten innocent people and even to kill or beat them. I hope Quann’s lawsuit will be satisfied. Anyway the manner of policing should be changed.

There’s something I’ve noticed while acting as an NLG Legal Observer at Black Lives Matter actions in NYC over the last year and a half.

One common tactic the protesters use during the actions is to talk to the police officers. Sometimes they ask them where they’re from, if they have any children, telling them stories of their own painful experiences or the experiences of their family members our friends, try to connect with them on a human level, try to provoke some empathy. Other times, they express frustration, telling them that their presence isn’t needed and they should go home, pointing out that it’s the officers who’ve come dressed for a riot, that they’re causing the violence their job is ostensibly to prevent. Sometimes the officers respond, and sometimes they stay silent and ignore what’s being said to them.

One thing I see protesters say fairly frequently to police officers is: “Say ‘Black Lives Matter.’” Trying to get them to participate in a very basic affirmation of the humanity of the person speaking to them.

Invariably, the police officers reply, “*All* lives matter,” as if they’re correcting them. Every single time I’ve heard a protestor try to get an officer to say “Black Lives Matter,” the officer has responded by saying “All lives matter.” As if it’s coordinated - as if it’s NYPD policy to respond that way.

And obviously, on many occasions, this happens just minutes before or after that same officer is shoving protesters into the street, throwing them to the ground, kicking and punching and bodyslamming them, treating them like animals whose pain doesn’t matter, who must be made to obey or else contained. I don’t need to tell you about what Black Lives Matter protesters suffer at the hands of the NYPD - if you don’t know by now, it’s because you’re refusing to hear.

So every time I hear someone - often a well-meaning white person - say “All lives matter,” the only thing I can think is that those words are compatible with that behavior. Those officers don’t experience a contradiction between saying “All lives matter” and the way they treat black people. “All lives matter” describes the status quo for them, which devalues and destroys black lives.

I just wanted to make sure you all know that. When you say “All lives matter,” you quite literally and without any exaggeration *sound like a cop.* Those are words and that is a sentiment that does not resist state violence, but condones it and bears it up.

Black lives are singled out for violence, punishment, and scapegoating by the systems and agents of white supremacy. Saying “All lives matter” is refusing to acknowledge and resist that separation and that violence, which allows it to continue.

“All lives matter” is not “Black Lives Matter” *light,* it’s not a less controversial or more general way of expressing the same thing. It’s exactly the opposite, and you can tell for certain that that’s the case because of how effortlessly it comes out of the mouth of an NYPD officer with a baton in his hand and a bunch of flex-cuffs hanging off his belt.

The NYPD Was Systematically Ticketing Legally Parked Cars for Millions of Dollars a Year- Open Data Just Put an End to It

New York City is a complex place to drive.  And when it comes to parking, there are plenty of rules and regulations to follow.  It’s no wonder that sometimes people get confused and end up getting their cars ticketed or towed. 

But in all of these rules, there is one thing that very few drivers seem to know. As of late 2008, in NYC you can park in front of a sidewalk pedestrian ramp, as long as it’s not connected to a crosswalk.  It’s all written up in the NYC Traffic Rules, and for more detail, take a look at this article. The local legislation making these parking spots legal was proposed by Council Member Gentile, and adopted by the Department of Transportation before it ever made it for a vote.  Though few people seem to know about the change.

Is it a problem that drivers don’t realize that there are some extra parking spots they are now allowed to park in?  Not so much.  But, I’ve got a pedestrian ramp leading to nowhere particular in the middle of my block in Brooklyn, and on occasion I have parked there.  Despite the fact that it is legal, I’ve been ticketed for parking there.  Though I get the tickets dismissed, it’s a waste of everybody’s time. And that got me wondering- How common is it for the police to give tickets to cars legally parked in front of pedestrian ramps?  It couldn’t be just me…

In the past, there was not much you could do to stop something like this. Complaining to your local precinct would at best only solve the problem locally.  But thanks to NYC’s Open Data portal, I was able to look at the most common parking spots in the City where cars were ticketed for blocking pedestrian ramps.   It’s worth taking a moment upfront here to praise the NYPD for offering this dataset to begin with.  Though we are behind on police crime data in the city, we are ahead in other ways and the parking ticket dataset is definitely one of them.  

What I found when I dove into the data surprised me.  To start, I found the top address where this ticket were given: in front of 575 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, where over $48,000 in parking fines were issued in the last 2.5 years. 

To my surprise, the spot, (or really spots since there are two ramps), are legal, since they are in the middle of the block, with no crosswalk.  $48,000 in tickets at a legally parked spot, and that is just the last 2.5 years.  If we had more historical data, I suspect we would see a similar story. 

The next top spots on the list had the same story to tell.

1705 Canton Avenue in Brooklyn, 273 Tickets, $45,045: Legal.

270-05 76 Avenue in Queens, 256 Tickets ($42,440) Legal.

143-49 Cherry Ave, Queens, 246 Tickets, ($40,590).  Legal.

Those were of course the most extreme cases that topped the list.  I started to skip down the list.  This spot in Battery Park, ranked #16 on my list and the top spot in Manhattan, had 116 tickets ($19,140) and turned out to be legal.  (Yellow paint has no meaning in NYC traffic enforcement, and the spot has no crosswalk)

I started to skip down the list faster and faster.  Take #1000 in my top list, at 1059 Virginia Avenue, where 8 tickets had been given ($1320).  It is a classic T intersection, meaning it’s legal.

See the pattern?  I did.  So I then selected 30 random spots that had received 5 or more tickets over the time period, and based on Google Maps found that all of them appeared to be legal parking spots!  (Randomly selecting spots with a single ticket in the database showed some illegal spots as well, so I chose 5 as a conservative cutoff.)

How many spots received 5 or more of these pedestrian ramp tickets in the last 2.5 years?  We are talking 1,966 spots that are generating about 1.7 million dollars a year in tickets at parking spots that are mostly legal.  Are all 1966 spots legal?  Surely not, but the majority sure are and many more that have fewer than five tickets are likely legal too.  

To see where the hotspots were for this sort of abuse of drivers, I mapped the top 1000 pedestrian ramps generating parking tickets below, so you can see if you have a spot in your neighborhood that the police have been wrongly ticketing.  Clicking on a spot tells you if the tickets are given in front of, or opposite the address, as well as how many tickets have been given.  

My challenge to you…  click on a spot and then look at pictures of it on Google Maps to determine if its legal.  You will most likely find it is. 

Other findings in the data:

Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct seems to have the most cars wrongly ticketed, bringing in over $100,000 in fines a year.  The 77th, also in Brooklyn, comes in second:

So what is going on here? Well, it seemed from my browsing that many police officers were systematically ignoring the 2009 rule change, all across the city.  

But that is not where the story ends. As mentioned, we live in a city progressive enough to release parking ticket data.  I’ve repeatedly said that putting data into the hand of citizens will make our city run better and more equitably.  So, I reached out to the NYPD via the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s Office (who is one of NYC’s earliest NYC’s Open Data champions)  to tell them about the findings.  They helped me get in touch with the appropriate people at the NYPD, and then I waited.

After a couple of weeks, I received the following quote from the NYPD:

“Mr. Wellington’s analysis identified errors the department made in issuing parking summonses. It appears to be a misunderstanding by officers on patrol of a recent, abstruse change in the parking rules.  We appreciate Mr. Wellington bringing this anomaly to our attention.

The department’s internal analysis found that patrol officers who are unfamiliar with the change have observed vehicles parked in front of pedestrian ramps and issued a summons in error. When the rule changed in 2009 to allow for certain pedestrian ramps to be blocked by parked vehicles, the department focused training on traffic agents, who write the majority of summonses.

Yet, the majority of summonses written for this code violation were written by police officers. As a result, the department sent a training message to all officers clarifying the rule change and has communicated to commanders of precincts with the highest number of summonses, informing them of the issues within their command.

Thanks to this analysis and the availability of this open data, the department is also taking steps to digitally monitor these types of summonses to ensure that they are being issued correctly.”

I was speechless.  THIS is what the future of government could look like one day. THIS is what Open Data is all about.  THIS was coming from the NYPD, who is not generally celebrated for its transparency, and yet it’s the most open and honest response I have received from any New York City agency to date. Imagine a city where all agencies embrace this sort of analysis instead of deflect and hide from it.   (For comparison purposes, see NYC Department of Health response to earlier work as example of how NOT to respond to Open Data.) 

Democracies provide pathways for government to learn from their citizens. Open data makes those pathways so much more powerful.  In this case, the NYPD acknowledged the mistake, is retraining its officers and is putting in monitoring to limit this type of erroneous ticketing from happening in the future.  In doing so, they have shown that they are ready and willing to work with the people of the city.  And what better gift can we get from Open Data than that. 

——

See Previous Government Changes brought on by this blog below: 
-DOT Repainting Streets due to confusing fire hydrant
-TLC Reprogramming Cabs due to odd tipping algorithms
-MTA Redoing subway vending machines due to change issues.

See all blog coverage on NYPD here.

——

Parking Ticket Data Available here, here and here.  
Map made in cartodb
Analysis done in pandas with IPython.

photographyisnotacrime.com
NYPD Cop Shooting Dog Extended Video Emerges, They Beat Owner Too

PINAC’s national investigator Felipe Hemming, obtained the full-video of an NYPD cop shooting a tail-wagging dog when they arrived the wrong apartment after receiving a domestic violence call at another nearby apartment.

“He died wagging his tail,” Yvonna Rosado told New York Daily News.

Other media outlets edited out the time between Cuesta shooting the dog and Rosado tripping down the stairs.

But we think it’s important to see in order to understand the graphic nature and the actual scope of police abuse.

The graphic video shows two NYPD cops outside of Rosado’s door, and when she opened the door, her dog Spike walked out and wagged his tail at Ruben Cuesta who immediately shot the dog.

The complete video below shows Rosado and neighbors rushed out to witness Spike as he bled out.

A pool of blood formed around him as he wagged his tail for the last time.

Later, a neighbor put a blanket over Rosado, since she was in only her underwear early that morning, dancing with her dog.

After seemingly going into shock, Yvonna Rosado later began to comfort Spike as he laid dying, while officers offered no assistance to take him to an animal hospital.

The NYPD Officers didn’t even try to console Rosado.

But it didn’t stop them from sending the bill.

countercurrentnews.com
Cop Harasses Off-Duty NYPD Police Chief Who He Didn’t Recognize
It's fairly common for New Yorkers who are stopped and frisked by the police to claim that they have been targeted, or profiled. But this time, a lot more people are listening to this claim than usual. A Caucasian police officer has in fact been punished and pulled off active duty after he was proven to have have harassed NYPD Deputy Chief Douglas Zeigler. Zeigler is the highest-ranking African...