Are Cameras the New Guns?

n response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.


Detroit police kill seven-year-old child

Detroit police shot and killed a seven-year-old girl during an early morning raid of a home on the city’s east side Sunday morning. The child, Aiyana Stanley Jones, was struck in the head and neck area while sleeping on a couch at the home on Lillibridge Street.

In a Sunday morning press conference Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee said police were executing a “no-knock” search warrant for a homicide suspect in the two-apartment home. He said the police—members of the heavily armed Special Response Team—threw a flash grenade through an unopened window around 12:45 a.m. before charging in with guns drawn.

Godbee claimed the policeman’s gun discharged after he “had some level of physical contact” with the girl’s 47-year-old grandmother, Mertilla Jones. The police were not categorizing the shooting as accidental yet, Godbee said, “although we don’t believe the gun was discharged intentionally.”

Charles Jones, father of the slain girl, said he rushed from a back bedroom to see his mother being pushed through the door and another police officer carrying his bleeding daughter from the house. “They came into my house with a flash grenade and a bullet,” Jones told the Detroit News. “They say my mother (Mertilla Jones) resisted them, that she tried to take an officer’s gun. My mother had never been in handcuffs in her life. They killed my baby and I want someone to tell the truth.”

The young father added, “I want this story to be heard. This was a wrongful death.”

Mertilla Jones, who was arrested at the scene and released Sunday, told the Detroit News, “They blew my granddaughter’s brains out. They killed her right before my eyes. I seen the light go out of her eyes.” She denied police claims she had a physical confrontation with the cops, telling WXYZ-TV, “I never touched none of them. No one gave them any struggle. My grandbaby is gone. The Detroit police killed my granddaughter.”


Columbia, Missouri Police Chief: “I Hate the Internet”

Columbia, Missouri Police Chief Ken Burton is apparently frustrated. At another press conference yesterday, a reporter asked the chief what he has learned from the international attention generated by the YouTube video of his department’s SWAT team conducting a drug raid last February.

His reply: “I hate the Internet.”

I’ll bet he does. For two-and-a-half months, Burton and his department were quiet about the raid. That’s likely because, as I wrote yesterday, the raid was really no different from the tens of thousands of similar raids conducted every year, and that are probably conducted by his own department a couple of times per week. Within days of the video hitting the web, Burton was forced to hold several press conferences, and has now laid out several reforms to the way SWAT raids will be conducted in Columbia in the future. I suppose it’s possible those reforms were brewing all along, and the timing of him announcing them after the video went viral was mere coincidence. It seems at least plausible, though, that the dread “Internet” sparked some actual policy changes, here.


Become supplementary FBI, get the right to “shoot to kill”, by Matthew Rothschild

The following is translated from the French press outlet VOLTAIRENET. Funny how this story is being covered in the foreign press while being largeley ignored here–and COMPLETELY ignored in the era of Obama.

The FBI enlisted the employees of large companies, not only as informants about their clients, but as supplementary to the law enforcement in a situation of martial law. This status implies the right to “shoot to kill”. This device, created during the Clinton era, was developed by George W. Bush when he established the Department of Homeland Security during its “war on terror”, and extended by Barack Obama.

More than 23,000 employees of private industry have been recruited as auxiliaries of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS English) [1]. They are responsible for collecting and providing information on their fellow Americans. They are attached to a unit, called InfraGard, which is growing visibly. They are privately warned of terrorist threats before the public, and sometimes even before some officials. “There is evidence qu’InfraGard is more of a ‘program of operation Total Information’ (TIPS, by his signs in English) referred to private companies, some of which can monitor the activities of millions of their clients-the eyes and ears of the FBI “, as confirmed by a report of the American Civil Liberties Union (the U.S. equivalent of a League of Human Rights) entitled The surveillance-industrial complex: how the U.S. Government enlists individuals and businesses in creating a surveillance society.

InfraGard brings together employees from 350 companies listed in the classification Forbes the 500 largest U.S. companies. It reproduces the model piloted in Cleveland in 1996, when the private sector of the city cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats. “At the time, the FBI cloned the experience,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the Office of the National Alliance of InfraGard members and principal architect of the growth of InfraGard over recent years [2].

Robert Mueller, FBI Director [3], Gave a speech at an InfraGard convention, August 9, 2005: “There are currently more than 11,000 members of InfraGard … from our perspective, it is 11,000 contacts, 11,000 partners involved … our mission is to protect the USA. ” He added: “The private sector employees are the first line of defense.”

On May 9, 2007, George W. Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive No. 51. It expanded the powers of the Secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate its activities with the “private sector owners and companies with vital infrastructure, as necessary to maintain essential services in a situation emergency.

“They are closely related to our preparation,” said Amy Kudwa, spokesperson for the secretariat to the Homeland Security. “We provide trainers and organize joint presentations [with the FBI]. In addition, we train with them, and they participated (often hundreds at a time) to exercise national preparedness. ”

According to several members interviewed, being a member of InfraGard means being allowed to “shoot to kill” under martial law, without incurring any legal proceedings.

“We gain access easily to information secure, exclusively for members of InfraGard,” says Schneck. “If you had to call 1-800 – FBI, you would not take the trouble to do,” noted the official. “But if you’ve met Joe at a meeting and you ate a piece with him, you may call it, is to give information or to obtain. We hope everyone has a little black book. ”

Jay Stanley, a leader of the ACLU, warned: “The FBI must refrain from creating a privileged class of Americans benefiting from special treatment. There is no “business class” in policing. If there is information the FBI can share with 22,000 private-sector bigwigs, why did not he would share with the public? The secret is not a festive gift that is offered to her friends … This is akin to a bribe that the FBI used for large companies to thank them for joining the national surveillance machine.

For the public, it is not easy to access InfraGard. Its communications with the FBI and DHS are working outside the framework of the law on access to information since they benefit from the exemption provided under the protection of “trade secrets”, so any conversation with the public or the media must be carefully prepared, it has been noted on its website.

Update from Matt Rothschild

The Progressive issued a press release on the InfraGard story and I was interviewed by Air America, Democracy Now! and by many other radio alternatives. The mainstream media chose to ignore this history, with the exception of a dispatch published by a small agency. But the FBI He has not ignored.

On 15 February, the FBI issued a statement denouncing the article. “The charges of the article are clearly false,” wrote Shawn Henry, deputy director of the Computer Division of the FBI. “The InfraGard members have no extraordinary power, and have no more right to” shoot to kill “than other civilians.”

“No more right?” Is this the appropriate language? It reminded me of a quote that I brought Curt Haugen, executive director of S’Curo Group and proud member of InfraGard. When I asked him if the FBI or Homeland Security had told members of InfraGard they could exercise at will of “deadly force” in a crisis, he replied: “I will not make too many comments on this issue, but individually, you have the right to use force if you feel threatened.”

Note that the FBI did not deny that he suggested to members of InfraGard to “shoot to kill”. Everything Henry has said, is that InfraGard members “have no more right. And it is not exactly what crippled my article …

The FBI seemed annoyed that I did not give further details on the meeting at which the author had participated in these revelations. “Unfortunately, the author of the article Progressive even refused to specify where and when was this’ small meeting where issues relating to martial law were discussed, “noted the press release from Henry. “If we get this information, the FBI certainly will follow up this matter and take care to dispel any possible misunderstanding.”

It goes without saying that I failed to specify the place and date of the meeting not to expose my source.

Unsurprisingly, the press release fails to mention that I received confirmation of statements on the “lethal force” made by another member of InfraGard, which it is named in the article. I keep each of the imputations of my article and I urge Congress to investigate InfraGard and the FBI review the plans not only in relation to that unit but which affects us all in times of crisis.

A final note: Since the article appeared I was put on new tracks, and some sources indicate that in addition to individuals, a private company was given the “lethality”.

The Progressive, February 7, 2008
Title of award-winning article: “Exclusive! The FBI Deputizes Business ”
Author: Matthew Rothschild
Student investigators: Chris Armanino and Sarah Maddox
Tutor: Josh Meisel, Ph.D.

Military Monitored Planned Parenthood and Supremacists Alike

The U.S. military monitored Planned Parenthood and a white supremacist group as part of the government’s security preparations for the 2002 Olympics in Utah, according to new documents released by the Department of Defense.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command liaison collected and disseminated information on U.S. citizens who were members of Planned Parenthood and the white supremacist group National Alliance regarding their involvement in protests and distributing literature, according to an intelligence-oversight report released by the Pentagon. The documents indicate that the JFC liaison was working with the FBI’s Olympic Intelligence Center at the time.

This and other intelligence-activity disclosures appear in heavily redacted documents that were released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They came in response to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act project the organization is conducting to obtain oversight information from intelligence agencies.

EFF received more than 800 pages from intelligence oversight reports created by the Defense Department inspector general that examine actions, conducted by various branches of the department, that are believed to be illegal.