March 20, 2014
Is Stop-and-Frisk Worth It?

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]

Is Stop-and-Frisk Worth It?

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]

February 12, 2014
Policemen Who Shoot Dogs

A journalist is tracking incidents of gratuitous pet deaths around the country.
Read more. [Image: Cogdogblog/Flickr]

Policemen Who Shoot Dogs

A journalist is tracking incidents of gratuitous pet deaths around the country.

Read more. [Image: Cogdogblog/Flickr]

February 5, 2014
How Long Can a Cop Keep You After a Traffic Stop? No One's Sure

(Source: theatlanticcities)

October 17, 2013
The Alarming Mistakes Police Made After the Boston Bombing

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 Alarming Mistakes Police Made After the Boston Bombing

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]

October 11, 2013
How Police Officers Are (or Aren’t) Trained in Mental Health

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]

How Police Officers Are (or Aren’t) Trained in Mental Health

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]

July 22, 2013
Meet the ‘Chengguan’: China’s Violent, Hated Local Cops

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]

Meet the ‘Chengguan’: China’s Violent, Hated Local Cops

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]

December 19, 2012

Gun Buyback Programs Are Thriving Like Never Before After Newtown

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]

November 30, 2012
"When we think about Stand Your Ground laws, I think it’s worth considering the effects of such a law beyond the immediate. Accepting Dunn’s story, that Davis had a shotgun and police simply haven’t found it yet, it may seem perfectly logical to say, “If you threaten my life, I have the right to take yours.” But the argument rests on an shockingly optimistic view of human nature. Guns are power. But we can’t really bring ourselves to think about how power might alter our calculus."

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the killing of Jordan Russell Davis

September 18, 2012

Occupy Wall Street’s Raucous Birthday Party: Arrests, Sermons, and Signs

[Images: Julie Dermansky]

May 11, 2012
German Police Used Only 85 Bullets Against People in 2011

According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011, a stark reminder that not every country is as gun-crazy as the U.S. of A. As Boing Boing translates, most of those shots weren’t even aimed anyone: “49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed.” […]
Meanwhile, in the U.S., where the population is little less than four times the size of Germany’s, well, we can get to 85 in just one sitting, thank you very much. 84 shots fired at one murder suspect in Harlem, another 90 shot at one fleeing unarmed man in Los Angeles. And that was just April.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

German Police Used Only 85 Bullets Against People in 2011

According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011, a stark reminder that not every country is as gun-crazy as the U.S. of A. As Boing Boing translates, most of those shots weren’t even aimed anyone: “49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed.” […]

Meanwhile, in the U.S., where the population is little less than four times the size of Germany’s, well, we can get to 85 in just one sitting, thank you very much. 84 shots fired at one murder suspect in Harlem, another 90 shot at one fleeing unarmed man in Los Angeles. And that was just April.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

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