law enforcement

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People 'Checking In' to Pipeline Protest in Droves on Facebook

To confuse law enforcement—but cops insist they're not tracking protesters on social media

(Newser) - Dakota Access Pipeline protesters continue to face down law enforcement in North Dakota—and now they're trying to use social media to confuse the police, the Daily Dot reports. On a Facebook page labeled as an unofficial account for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, the feed is filled with... More »

7 Bay Area Cops to Be Charged in Teen Sex Scandal

DA waiting to file charges until alleged victim is back in the state

(Newser) - Prosecutors said Friday they will charge seven current and former San Francisco Bay Area officers in a sexual misconduct scandal involving a teenager . The wide-ranging scandal surfaced when a teenage girl who described herself as a prostitute said she had sex with about 30 law enforcement officials in Oakland and... More »

Are We Ignoring an Easy Fix to Police Woes?

Proponents call for more female officers

(Newser) - On the heels of a damning report showing discrimination and sexism in the Baltimore Police Department, women’s groups are calling for what they say is a logical solution: more female cops. Among other things, they argue that accusations of rape and sexual assault would be better addressed if handled... More »

Taco Bell Worker Out of Job After Not Serving Deputies

Female cashier fired in Alabama

(Newser) - A Taco Bell employee in Alabama has been fired after authorities say two Lee County deputies were denied service. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said in a statement that the uniformed deputies were told by the cashier at 9:40pm Saturday in Phenix City that they wouldn't be served... More »

Sheriff: Restaurant Owner Told Deputies They Can't Eat There

But owner says it was big misunderstanding due to language barrier

(Newser) - The sheriff of a county about 70 miles north of Seattle says the owner of a Chinese restaurant has asked that law enforcement no longer dine there. Per the AP , Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt said on Facebook that after four deputies finished lunch at Lucky Teriyaki in Sedro-Woolley Thursday,... More »

No More Grenade Launchers, Bayonets for Local Police

Obama puts new rules on military equipment transferred to local departments

(Newser) - If a police department wants to outfit itself with military equipment, it will now have to make a very strong case for why it needs to. After an uproar over a program that allowed law enforcement to get surplus military gear—including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, bayonets, and camouflage uniforms—... More »

Holder Reins In Police Seizure of Cash, Property

Critics say old policy had been severely abused

(Newser) - In what's seen as a major check on police abuses, Eric Holder today gutted a program that allowed state and local law enforcement to seize citizens' cash and property even when there was no evidence of a crime, reports the Guardian . The attorney general effectively ended the Equitable Sharing... More »

Hackers Used Police Tool to Steal Celeb Photos

'Wired' reports on software that's easy to obtain

(Newser) - Hackers who stole nude photos of female celebs used software intended for police and spies to parse data from iPhones, reports Wired . "What this demonstrates is that even without explicit backdoors, law enforcement has powerful tools that might not always stay in law enforcement," a forensic tech expert... More »

Ferguson's New Plan: Police Cameras

City calmer ahead of Holder visit

(Newser) - Ahead of a visit from Attorney General Eric Holder today, officials in Ferguson, Missouri, say they want to make big changes to law enforcement and end the "discord and heartbreak" that has followed the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A statement released by city leaders says it... More »

LAPD Seat Belt Crackdown Targets ... LAPD

Half of cops in America don't buckle up

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Police Department has launched a new "buckle up" campaign—for the LAPD. Studies show that around half of police officers in America don't wear seat belts and though seat belt laws generally exclude law enforcement officers, traffic-related deaths are the leading cause of death of... More »

Ohio Secretly Using Facial Recognition Technology

...which your state probably uses, too

(Newser) - Ohio has been using new facial-recognition technology to aid in law enforcement for nearly three months—without mentioning it to residents, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. State Attorney General Mike DeWine says he didn't believe a public announcement was necessary, given that 26 states already use similar systems, he tells... More »

Why Cops Can (and Do) Take People's Stuff

'Civil forfeiture' fills law enforcement coffers every year

(Newser) - A drive through Tenaha, Texas, can cost you thousands of dollars—because police in this sleepy town are known for pulling over out-of-state cars and confiscating anything they want. Highway robbery? Maybe, but it's called "civil forfeiture," a legal practice that allows police to take money or... More »

With 100K Ankle Bracelets, Alarms Often Unheard

GPS devices on offenders give 'false sense of security'

(Newser) - Ankle bracelets that let authorities track parolees and sex offenders released into the community are now being worn by more than 100,000 Americans, but what happens when the alarm sounds? All too often, the answer is nothing, an AP investigation finds. The devices are generating vast numbers of alerts—... More »

For Cops, DNA Databases Are the New Fingerprints

Departments around the country keeping profiles

(Newser) - Across the country, local cops are quietly building DNA databases in much the same way they might build a fingerprint catalog, the New York Times reports. New York City has the genetic info of some 11,000 suspects on file, and Orange County, Calif., makes even that trove look tiny,... More »

Judge: Tax Hike Needed to Fight UN in US Revolution

Texan warns of 'civil war' if Obama is reelected

(Newser) - The freedom-loving people of Lubbock County, Texas, could be crushed under the heel of the United Nations if they don't approve a 1.7-cent rise in the tax rate, warns a local official. Judge Tom Head told a local radio station that the extra funds are needed to prepare... More »

LA Sheriff Tells Pols to Turn in Their Badges

Move has nothing to do with nightclub photo, says his office

(Newser) - LA County Sheriff Lee Baca has told politicians in dozens of towns to turn in their badges. The badges, which look like those issued to deputies but read "City Official Los Angeles County" instead of "deputy sheriff," came under scrutiny after three small-town officials were busted on... More »

Cell Phone Surveillance Surges

Carriers got more than 1.3M demands for info last year

(Newser) - Cell phone surveillance has exploded over the last five years, and carriers received more than 1.3 million demands for information from law enforcement last year, a Congressional report reveals. The carriers are dealing with thousands of requests a day from all levels of law enforcement, but some legally questionable... More »

More Officers Shot to Death Than Killed in Car Accidents

2011 marks a disturbing first for police departments

(Newser) - The New York Times takes a look at the rising number of police officers getting shot, according to FBI stats. A few of the details:
  • Spike in 2011: 72 officers were fatally shot last year, up 25% from 2010 and 75% from 2008.
  • Bad milestone: That marks the first time
... More »

New Threat to Cops: 'Sovereign Citizens'

FBI warns that anti-government crusaders can easily turn violent

(Newser) - Anti-government crusaders have apparently become dangerous enough that the FBI issued an official warning about them yesterday. These extremists sometimes call themselves "sovereign citizens," and they may refuse to pay taxes, defy government regulations, or argue fervently for a return to the gold standard . They also pose a... More »

Police Line-of-Duty Deaths Up 13%

173 federal, state, local officers killed this year

(Newser) - Law enforcement deaths in the line of duty rose 13% this year to 173—the second sharp rise since 2009's 50-year-low, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Gunfire claimed the lives of 68 officers, making this the first year since 1997 in which more law enforcement... More »

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