Browsing: The Police State

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‘At a time when the right to protest in the nation’s capital has never been more important, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has appointed an abuser of First Amendment freedoms, Peter Newsham, as the city’s new police chief.

From the Pershing Park mass arrests of 2002 to dragnet arrests at Donald Trump’s inauguration, Newsham has shown a recurring pattern of violating protesters’ civil rights, said one of the lawyers who sued the city after the 2002 protests and won a multi-million-dollar judgement for protesters and policing practice reforms.’

Read more: Protesters Beware: D.C. Mayor Appoints New Police Chief With Long Record of Mass Arrests and Depriving Rights


‘A so-called Specialized Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Saudi national to 15 years in prison for taking part in anti-regime protests, local media reports say.

The man from Tarut, an island in the Persian Gulf belonging to the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, was found guilty of participating in an anti-regime protest, keeping and carrying illegal weapons, and provoking unrest and violence, Riyadh-based news channel al-Ekhbariya reported on Sunday.

Chanting anti-regime slogans, throwing fiery materials, blocking path of security forces were among other charges leveled against the defendant.

According to the report, the court also fined him 5,000 riyals, about $1,125.’

Read more: Saudi dissident gets 15-year jail term for taking part in anti-regime protest

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‘Travelers entering New York City after a cross-country flight were met by border agents who insisted everyone show them official identification. They were seeking to serve a deportation order on an illegal immigrant.

On Wednesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alerted Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City that an undocumented immigrant was suspected to be arriving on Delta flight 1583 from San Francisco.

CBP officers were at the gate to check every deplaning passenger’s ID, until they identified the person ordered to be deported by an immigration judge.’

Read more: ‘Papers, please’: Immigration agents check IDs of passengers arriving from domestic flight

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‘Head of Durham University Law School Professor Thom Brooks has told a Commons inquiry that people found guilty of committing ‘hate crimes’ should be put on an official register.

A professor of law and government at the university, Brooks advised that a ‘Hate Crime Offenders Register’ would work in a similar fashion to the sex offenders register, putting restrictions on what jobs people who are listed are allowed to do.

Such an approach would send a “clear signal” about the severity of such offences, the professor argued in a written submission to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, which is holding an inquiry into hate crime and its consequences.

He said: “Given increasing concerns about hate crimes, there may be scope for Parliament to consider establishing a Hate Crime Offenders Register along the lines of the Sex Offenders Register – and to similar effect.’

Read more: Top UK Academic Calls for Sex Offenders-Style ‘Hate Crime Register’, Restricting Access to Jobs

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‘Police tasered a blind man at a train station on Thursday evening after mistaking his walking stick for a gun.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police were called to a platform at Levenshulme Station after receiving a call that a middle-aged man had been seen holding a firearm.

Arriving at the scene, officers tasered the man with a 50,000 volt stun gun, after he failed to respond to police calls to drop what they believed to be a weapon.

In fact, the 43-year-old was blind and had been holding his cane, folded up, as he waited on the platform for a train home.’

Read more: Blind man Tasered by Manchester police as cane mistaken for gun. Well, they do look so alike


‘An Israeli justice ministry probe is expected to contradict police claims that a Palestinian citizen was attempting a car ramming attack when he was shot dead in January, Israeli media reported this week.

Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, 50, was shot by police while driving his vehicle during a pre-dawn raid to destroy homes built without permits in Umm al-Hiran. The Israeli government seeks to evacuate the Palestinian Bedouin village in the south of Israel in order to build a Jewish settlement in its place.

An officer was also killed and several demonstrators – including a Palestinian member of Israel’s parliament – were injured by sponge-tipped bullets and other weaponry fired by police during the 18 January raid.’

Read more: Israel framed slain Palestinian as Islamic State terrorist


‘Rioting in Arizona could soon result in charges under organized crime laws, according to a new bill approved by the state Senate. Republicans want to crack down on “paid rioters,” while Democrats warned of “chilling” effects on protests.

SB1142 would make participating in or helping organize a protest that turns violent a criminal offense under the state’s racketeering (RICO) laws. Even those who have committed no overt action could be prosecuted on charges of conspiracy to riot, and their property seized under RICO statutes, AP reported.

The bill was proposed by Senator Sonny Borrelli (R- Lake Havasu City), who said it was needed to deter violent riots and go after groups paying protesters, according to Arizona Capitol Times.’

Read more: Arizona Senate bill aims to crack down on ‘paid rioters’ & seize their property


‘One of the Bible Belt states is Alabama. Alabama and three other states in the U.S. mandate a life without parole sentence for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana by people with certain prior felony convictions. This means if you live in Alabama and you have been convicted on a felony charge before, you will risk a life jail sentence if caught in the possession of even a small amount of marijuana.

Many people have spoken vehemently against the draconian law in the past, but state officials have deliberately ignored voiced concerns. The unjust and draconian law has now caught up with an innocent poor man in the state.

A court in the state has sentenced a 77-year-old disabled veteran, Lee Carroll Brooker, to life in prison for possessing a small amount of marijuana. What is more appalling regarding the sentence is the fact that the elderly man didn’t possess the plant for his pleasure.’

Read more: Court Sentences 77-Year-Old Disabled Veteran To Die In Prison For Treating Illness With Marijuana


‘Police have broken up a gathering of students at Ankara University campus, protesting the mass expulsion of academics. The police stepped in after they heard some “Kurdish music,” which turned out to be a theme from a US TV series.

The police officer in charge, apparently unfamiliar with the popular Netflix series Narcos, from which the protesters reportedly borrowed the background music for the event, believed that the tune with indiscernible words might contain “Kurdish propaganda,” according to the Turkish BirGun daily.’

Read more: Turkish police disperse student protest after mistaking Spanish music for Kurdish songs