Federal Agencies May Be Regularly Hiding Surveillance Methods in Criminal Cases

The U.S. government uses secret evidence to build criminal cases, according to a report released today by Human Rights Watch.

The report offers one of the most comprehensive looks yet at "parallel construction," a tactic where federal law enforcement hides classified or sensitive methods from courts by building a parallel chain of evidence after the fact.

Prank SWAT Call May Have Led to Wichita Police Killing a Random Man on His Own Doorstep

Finch familyThursday night, Wichita, Kansas, Police sent out a SWAT team to respond to a 911 call that a man shot his father and was holding his family hostage in their home.

The telephone call was a lie. There was no hostage situation—but nevertheless a man at the home ended up dead, shot and killed by a police officer at his own front door.

A pregnant woman in California went into labor at a market. A butcher caught the baby with his apron.

A pregnant woman walked into a grocery store and meat market in Fresno, California, where’s she’s a regular customer, and made her way to the soda fountain. As ice was falling into her cup, she started screaming.

“I heard her scream ‘Oh my God, I think I’m having my baby!'” said store owner Issamar Sepulveda. “It happened in like seconds.”

The cashier called 911 but was put on hold. The cook called 911 and was put on hold. The butcher called 911 and was put on hold.

Cops Steal $91,800 From a Musician, Claiming He Gave It to Them

According to the story the Wyoming Attorney General's Office is telling, Phil Parhamovich was moved during a traffic stop last March to donate $91,800, his life savings, to the state's Division of Criminal Investigation to help it wage the war on drugs. Parhamovich's version is rather more plausible: He says state police took his money after pressuring him to sign a "waiver" that circumvented even the limited protections offered by Wyoming's civil asset forfeiture law.

The Cops Were Chasing a Shoplifter. They Ended Up Destroying an Innocent Man's Home.

Leo Lech owns a property parcel at 4219 South Alton Street in Greenwood Village, a sleepy suburban enclave tucked between Denver's bustling Tech Center and the scenic reservoir of Cherry Creek State Park. His quarter-acre plot rests near the end of a quaint cul-de-sac that fits every idyllic American stereotype: two-car garages, well-manicured lawns, the stars and stripes waving in front of each home.

While most houses on this block were built in the 1970s, Lech's is brand new: It received a certificate of occupancy in August after two years of construction.

LAPD Officers Recorded Themselves Apparently Planting Cocaine on a Suspect

The Los Angeles Police Department's response to demands that its officers' body camera footage be available to the media and the public has been simple and firm: No.

A news report from CBS' local affiliate showing what appears to be LAPD officers planting drug evidence during an arrest may challenge how long the department may be able to maintain that policy.

Justice Department Bizarrely Uses Madoff to Defend Taking People's Stuff Without Convicting Them First

Twisted incentives? What are those?
Rod Rosenstein doesn't seem to have heard of them.

The Department of Justice has brought out the big guns to defend the largely indefensible law enforcement tool of civil asset forfeiture. In a remarkably deceptive Wall Street Journal piece, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tries to use the Bernie Madoff fraud case to argue that civil asset forfeiture is an important tool to return stolen money to the victims of a crime:

NYPD Officer Found Not Guilty In Road Rage Killing

The New York attorney general's first prosecution of a police officer for a fatal shooting ended yesterday with an acquittal.

cop, victim
While he was driving home from his shift one day last year, Officer Wayne Isaacs of the New York Police Department (NYPD) shot and killed the unarmed Delrawn Small in a road rage incident. According to a passenger in Small's car, Small believed Isaacs had cut him off and exited his car at a stop light to confront him. Video eventually revealed that Isaacs shot Small as soon as he walked up to Isaacs' car window. That contradicted what New York police said they initially believed, based largely on Isaacs' own statement: that Small had reached in through the window to punch Isaacs.

Police insisted the video did not provide a complete picture of what happened, but Isaacs was placed on "modified duty"—that is, his gun and badge were taken from him but he still got paid—when the video surfaced a week after the incident. Once he was officially indicted for murder and manslaughter last September, he was suspended with pay.

The suspect told police ‘give me a lawyer dog.’ The court says he wasn’t asking for a lawyer.

When a friend says, “I’ll hit you up later dog,” he is stating that he will call again sometime. He is not calling the person a “later dog.”

But that’s not how the courts in Louisiana see it. And when a suspect in an interrogation told detectives to “just give me a lawyer dog,” the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a “lawyer dog,” and not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. It’s not clear how many lawyer dogs there are in Louisiana, and whether any would have been available to represent the human suspect in this case, other than to give the standard admonition in such circumstances to simply stop talking.

The ruling by Louisiana’s high court could have serious implications for a suspect charged with raping a juvenile, because it will allow his subsequent incriminating statements into evidence at his trial, which is pending. And it clarified that requesting a canine attorney need not cause the police to stop questioning someone.

Family held at gunpoint until police realized the dad didn’t rob his own home, he says

Two medical professionals said police swarmed their car Sunday night, handcuffed the newlyweds and pulled guns on their children before determining the family lived in the house a neighbor thought was being robbed.

“I totally think they racially profiled me,” said the father, Kelvin Fairley, a registered nurse who happens to be black. “They never would even tell me why they stopped me. From the moment they pulled us over, there were six to seven police cars. They immediately had their guns drawn.”

Pages

Subscribe to Penny Dean and Your Rights RSS