License Plate Readers. Smart Guns. Connect the Dots

Topeka po-po defends license plate scanners (courtesy cjonline.com)

“Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department [not shown] refused to release data about what license plates police cameras had captured on the grounds that every single car seen is under investigation. All of them. And a judge bought that argument,” reason.com‘s J.D. Tuccille writes. “Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Southern California are looking to the California Court of Appeals for a dose of sanity (yes, that strikes me as a Hail Mary pass, too) and a ruling that the public has a right to know how many people’s movements are being monitored by the police, whether deliberately or through incidental data gathering.” TTAG Reader JB makes a good point about that . . .

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33 Stockton, CA Police Officers Fire 600 Bullets at Bank Robber, Knowing He Had a Hostage in the Car

“A female hostage kidnapped during a Northern California bank robbery was killed by police in an ensuing chase and shootout, likely during a final gun battle where the lone surviving suspect used her as a human shield,” mintpressnews.com reports. “The results of a preliminary ballistics report show that police in the city of Stockton fired the 10 bullets that struck Misty Holt-Singh, 41, and all her wounds likely came during a final burst of gunfire, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones [above] said at a news conference.”

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All Law Enforcement Officers Should Wear Body Cams [Video NSFW]

Warning! The video above shows a Cleburne, Texas police office calling over a pair of stray dogs, who wag their tails at him – moments before he shoots them. One appears to survive the incident. The Cleburne police have released the following statement: “The City is obviously concerned about the video showing an officer shooting a dog. As is often the case, the short video does not tell the whole story. The officer was responding to a 911 call for assistance. Three dogs had pinned some residents in a vehicle. One dog was secured without incident before the shooting. The officer was attempting . . .

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Question of the Day: Is It OK for a Cop to Shoot Suppressive Fire?

Vonderrit Myers Jr. showing off his handguns on social media (courtesy fox2now.com)

The post-mortem on the recent fatal officer-involved shooting of Vonderrit Myers Jr. in St. Louis continues. We now learn that Mr. Myers was tooled up and proud of it before his fatal encounter with a St. Louis cop. Brian Millikan, the attorney for the officer who shot Myers, seems to have something of a slam-dunk in this case. But maybe not. “Millikan said the officer was at the bottom of a hill and forced to get down,” fox2now.com reports. “Millikan explained why his client fired 17 shots. He said, ‘Part of those rounds were suppression rounds to try to get the suspect to stop shooting at him.  So the way it was described to me is the policeman’s got his gun up here, he’s down trying to avoid fire coming at him and his gun is raised slightly above his head, shooting up at back up at the suspect.’” The cop involved is a Marine, FYI. But that doesn’t change the question: is suppressive fire OK for police?

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Watervliet, NY Asks Pistol Permit Applicants for Facebook Passwords. Or Not.

The photo above shows an application for a pistol permit as used by the Watervliet, New York police department. It comes to us from “Mazz,” a member of the nyfirearms.com forum [registration required]. As you can see the app asks applicants for their “Facebook & Password.” Considering the document’s homemade look and the absurdity of the request, I called the Watervliet PD for confirmation and clarification. I got Chief Ron Boisvert . . .

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Nashville Police Chief: Secret Service Tried to Fool Armed Homeowner with Fake Search Warrant

“Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson recently sent a letter to Congress alleging that Secret Service agents asked Nashville police to falsify a warrant so that the agents could search the home of a Nashville resident who had posted about President Obama on Facebook,” benswann.com reports. More specifically, “in January of 2013, Secret Service agents working out of the Nashville field office visited the home of the resident who made the Facebook postings and knocked on his door. Then, an agent called local police and asked for backup, stating that the individual was refusing to let them in without a warrant and appeared to be armed. When Nashville police arrived . . .

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Wrong House Raid SWAT Team Shoots Family Dog “For No Reason”

Clohe (courtesy huffingtonpost.com)

“On June 18, Katti Putnam answered her door to find her home surrounded by police and a tactical team,” the antimedia.org reports. “She was told they were looking for a fugitive, but as she was talking to them, an officer pointed out that they were at the wrong house. They had actually meant to raid the home next door. As Putnam walked to get her ID, she says she heard a loud popping noise.” You guessed it . . .

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Sgt. Patrick Hayes: When Armed Law Enforcement Crosses the Line, We All Lose

Sgt. Patrick Hayes writes

RF recently sent me a link to an article entitled Is resistance futile? The Cost of Challenging the American Police State. The piece was written by attorney and author of (A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State) John W. Whitehead, posted in Huffington Post politics. Normally, I don’t trust anything Arianna Huffington’s inheritors publish; the writers never met a Big Government idea they didn’t like. This piece was different . . .

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NYPD Officers Caught Pistol Whipping Suspected Marijuana Dealer

“According to court records, law enforcement sources and the video, the encounter started in front of 1311 St. John’s Place at 2:20 a.m. when three anti-crime officers spotted the 6-foot-2 teen peering into the window of parked mini-van,” huffingtonpost.com reports. “When the officers got out of their car to approach Tribble, he allegedly tossed away a small black canvas bag and took off running. The officers — one with his gun drawn — gave chase, concerned that the suspect had a weapon, sources said. Shortly thereafter . .

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GA Grand Jury No-Bills SWAT Team for Flash-Banged Toddler

(courtesy myajc.com)

“While labeling the drug investigation that ended with the disfigurement of a toddler ‘hurried and sloppy,’ a Habersham County grand jury on Monday ruled the law enforcement officers involved should not face criminal charges,” myajc.com reports. Because .  . . ? “’Rather than seeing unfeeling or uncaring robots, what has not been seen before by others and talked or written about is that these individuals are suffering as well,’ the jurors wrote. ‘We have seen and heard genuine regret and sadness on the part of the law enforcement officers involved, and we think is it fair and appropriate to point out that they are human beings as well.'” Translation: the Grand Jury thinks it’s OK for ostensibly trained sworn law enforcement officers to screw-up and hurt innocent members of the public as long as the cops’ intentions are good, and they’re remorseful afterwards. Did you know that the flash bang thrown into 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh’s crib detached his nose from his face? It gets worse . . .

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Tallahassee Cop TASEs Woman Walking Away [Video NSFW]

“Tallahassee officers were responding to recent complaints from citizens about drug deals in the neighborhood located just a few blocks west of the governor’s mansion,” the AP reports. “Viola Young approached one of the police cars parked on the narrow street to inquire about one of the people — two women and a man — who had been arrested. The officer standing outside the squad car advised the woman to stay back. Officer Terry Mahan approached Young and attempted to take her into custody. In the video, Young appears to be walking away when the officer uses his stun gun, striking her in the back. She falls face-first to the ground. Officers surrounded her and eventually helped her to her feet and walked her to a squad car, the video shows.” The police officer has been suspended pending investigation. Meanwhile, I wonder what life was like before cell phone cameras . . .

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Federal Bureaucracy Holding Up Police De-Militarization

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Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Or, indeed, bureaucracy. Case in point: the stymied post-Ferguson move to ditch MRAPs, “tanks,” full-auto rifles and other Pentagon provided kit. First, the good news [via motherjones.com]: “Law enforcement agencies across the country have quietly returned more than 6,000 unwanted or unusable items to the Pentagon in the last 10 years, according to Defense Department data provided to Mother Jones by a spokeswoman for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has spearheaded a Senate investigation of the Pentagon program that is arming local police.” What was a trickle is becoming a rush. And no wonder. While the ex-mil toys cost pennies, the upkeep is not insignificant – especially for small town cop shops. Now the bad news . . .

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