Police in Prince Georges County, Maryland, plan to live-tweet photos of johns that it arrests. “We won’t tell you when or where, other than it’s somewhere in the county sometime next week,” according to a statement on the police agency’s web site.
The sting will be conducted by the vice unit, which will target johns with smart phones in tow: “From the ads to the arrests, we’ll show you how the PGPD is battling the oldest profession. Suspect photos and information will be tweeted.” The announcement characterized the tactic as a “progressive” and “unprecedented.”
Evidently, police there haven’t read The Scarlet Letter.
If convicted johns were sentenced to walk around with a scarlet J sewn into their shirts I’d find it distasteful—but at least the punishment would follow a criminal conviction.
Read more. [Image: pds209/Flickr]
In cities across the country, stop-and-frisk strategies have gained great currency. They aim to get guns off the street, to glean information and solve crime sprees, and, perhaps above all, to act as a deterrent, by letting criminals and would-be lawbreakers know that they might find themselves getting a pat-down at any given moment. Arguably, the policies have succeeded, helping to cut crime dramatically from New York to Los Angeles. But they have also stirred the loudest and most painful present debate in American criminology: Are young men of color being unfairly—and unconstitutionally—singled out?
Read more. [Image: Philip Montgomery]
A journalist is tracking incidents of gratuitous pet deaths around the country.
Read more. [Image: Cogdogblog/Flickr]
One of the murkiest areas in Fourth Amendment law.
Remember the scene of Boston area police surrounding the backyard boat where a bloodied Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lay in hiding? The Boston Globe has published an interview with the people who own the boat, the backyard, and the house. And it doesn’t inspire confidence in law enforcement’s response to terrorism.
Let’s return to the scene. Tamerlan Tsarnaev is dead. Metro Boston is shut down and a whole neighborhood of people confined to their homes to catch one young man. Unbeknownst to police, Dzhokar is hiding inside the perimeter they set up — they somehow failed to look in the boat during their yard-to-yard search, and finally lifted the order on residents to stay indoors. Enter David Henneberry.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
The recent Capitol Hill shooting of an unarmed woman by police officers, and the uncertainty surrounding her mental state at the time she drove her car into a White House barricade, is a stark reminder of the uncomfortable interplay between mental illness and law enforcement in times of crisis.
Without the appropriate amount of mental health training for police, experts say, rash stigmatization and misinterpretation of the intentions of the mentally ill can cause vital errors and ultimately make the difference between life and death.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) strives to increase awareness and understanding of the mentally ill through its partnership with the University of Memphis Crisis Intervention Training Program, but within the law enforcement population, much is still to be done.
Read more. [Image: Evan Vucci/AP]
Last week, a 56 year-old farmer named Deng Zhengjie and his wife arrived in the town of Linwu, Hunan Province, in order to sell watermelon they had grown on their farm. Within a few hours, the municipal police approached them and asked them to move to a designated vendor area. The couple complied. But later, according to eyewitnesses, a scuffle broke out between Deng, his wife, and the police. Multiple policemen began beating the couple, eventually leaving them for dead. Deng’s wife survived the attack. Deng did not.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
This weekend, a state-sponsored cash-for-guns program in Camden County, New Jersey, saw the return of 1,137 firearms — the most successful buyback in state history, and not the only record-breaking return haul since Friday’s massacre.
Read more. [Images: AP]
[Images: Julie Dermansky]