Pentagon tried to give $1.2 million in guns and bombs to a fake police department

The military is so eager to put war machines in cops’ hands that it doesn’t bother making sure they’re, you know, actually cops.Police in a U.S. city, or soldiers occupying a foreign one? In Ferguson, MO, in 2014, it was often hard to tell. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, FileWant some surplus military hardware? Hankering for simulation rifles and pipe bombs that can be easily converted to active … [Read more...]

In Trump’s world, Sessions is unfit because of Russia investigation, not his racist past

Sessions’ perceived display of disloyalty was an unforgivable sin.Attorney General Jeff Sessions. CREDIT: AP Photo/John LocherAs the federal probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government expands, an outraged President Donald Trump is narrowing his ire on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.It’s an ironic turn of events. Trump exhibited no concern over … [Read more...]

Department of Justice reduces Harley-Davidson’s pollution fine by $3 million

The fine was part of an Obama-era settlement for selling motorcycle tuners that increased air pollution.CREDIT: Photo by Darren Hauck/Invision for Harley-Davidson/AP ImagesThe Trump administration’s Department of Justice has dropped a $3 million penalty imposed on the motorcycle company Harley-Davidson by the Obama administration, citing “certain new developments” in the department’s policy.The … [Read more...]

O.J. Simpson granted parole after serving minimum sentence

He served just nine years out of a maximum of 33.Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson enters for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. CREDIT: Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, PoolOn Thursday, O.J. Simpson was granted parole after serving nine years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping. His freedom, unanimously … [Read more...]

Jeff Sessions is making it easier for cops to confiscate private property

Even from citizens who haven’t been charged with a crime.Attorney General Jeff Sessions listens during the Justice Department’s National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, in Bethesda, Md., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinPolice officers can now seize property from individuals who have not been charged with a crime, a policy known as asset forfeiture, even in … [Read more...]

Texas’ slow, tortuous fight to kill a mentally ill man

The state’s fight to kill Scott Panetti is now in its third decade.CREDIT: Texas Department of Criminal JusticeScott Panetti is very seriously mentally ill. He once buried his furniture in his backyard in the belief that this would purge the devil, who Panetti believed to have possessed his home. He was institutionalized about a dozen times, often involuntarily, for suicidal and homicidal … [Read more...]

With long odds in Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial, the cover-up case offers hope

Nothing will fix Chicago’s broken police-citizen relationship overnight, but a new conspiracy case could be an important first step.Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes announces conspiracy charges against three Chicago police officers for their alleged cover-up of the truth about a 2014 on-duty killing. CREDIT: AP Photo/G-Jun YamChicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is still awaiting trial … [Read more...]

Donald Trump Jr.’s legal problems

Soliciting information is just enough to get you in trouble.Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016 in New York. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn KasterEver since news broke on Saturday that Donald Trump Jr., along with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, attended a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer, details have only continued to snowball. The most recent reports indicate that … [Read more...]

Kesha’s new single sounds like the rallying cry of a valiant survivor

But she’s a long way from being able to claim a legal victory.Kesha performs on Day 3 of the 2017 Firefly Music Festival at The Woodlands on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in Dover, Del. CREDIT: Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/APThe spoken-word intro is a risky move, especially when you mean it — when it isn’t the kitschy, oh my God, Becky of “Baby Got Back,” or the come-to-Jesus girl talk that Janet … [Read more...]

Three Chicago cops indicted in Laquan McDonald cover-up

Indictment leaves room to add defendants to a case that could reach Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. CREDIT: AP Photo/M. Spencer GreenThree officers who helped cover up the circumstances surrounding the police killing of teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014 will face criminal conspiracy charges, a special prosecutor in Illinois announced Tuesday.McDonald’s killer, Officer Jason … [Read more...]

Minnesota town offers settlement almost as large as its police budget in Philando Castile killing

St. Anthony, MN — population 9,007 — spends roughly that much each year to have its own police force.Valerie Castile, second from left, marches alongside the casket of her son Philando during his funeral last summer. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jim MoneValerie Castile will receive nearly $3 million from the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota, family lawyers announced Monday.The payment preempts a wrongful death … [Read more...]

Second mistrial in Cincinnati leaves officer who killed Sam DuBose free

One week, three non-convictions in police killing trials.Hamilton County, Ohio, prosecutor Joseph Deters announces murder and manslaughter charges against University of Cincinnati police Officer Ray Tensing on July 29, 2015. CREDIT: AP Photo/John MinchilloDeeming the jury’s days-long deadlock hopeless, an Ohio judge declared a mistrial Friday in the case of University of Cincinnati police officer … [Read more...]

Traffic stops in Georgia are leaving children without their immigrant parents

It would appear any infraction found during a police interaction can lead to deportation.Foreign nationals were arrested in February 2017 during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). CREDIT: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/ Bryan CoxAlicia Ortiz-Mojica, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was driving with her two daughters for a … [Read more...]

Cosby trial juror reveals details on the deadlock

A juror reveals behind-the-scenes details about the deliberations.Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial was declared in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Cosby’s trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt RourkeA juror in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case has revealed the votes, and behind-the-scenes … [Read more...]

D.C. cops used ‘rape as punishment’ after Inauguration Day mass arrests, lawsuit says

Wide array of unconstitutional tactics alleged in suit over chilling round-up that hit peaceful protesters, journalists, and anarchists alike.Cameras, gas, and chaos on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. CREDIT: AP Photo/Mark TenallyWhen black-clad marchers began smashing windows in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, the city’s police force — reputedly the best in the country at upholding … [Read more...]

This is what a for-profit justice system looks like

“We have your son here in handcuffs, and he’s going to jail unless you can bring me the money.”GCREDIT: AP Photo/Kathy WillensRonald Egana was at work the first time the bounty hunters came for him.The hired guns handcuffed Egana and brought him not to jail but to a bail bonds office, where they forced him to call his disabled mother to ask for money in exchange for his release, according to a … [Read more...]

New video reveals police shot Philando Castile in 7 seconds, waited 5 minutes to deliver first aid

The tape reveals a disturbing contrast: alacrity in gunplay, languor in medical attention.Protesters blocking a highway in Minnesota hold pictures of slain Philando Castile. CREDIT: AP Photo/Joe DanbornBarely seven seconds passed from the moment Philando Castile alerted Officer Jeronimo Yanez that he had a gun in the car and the moment when Yanez fired seven shots at Castile, dash camera video … [Read more...]

What’s next for Bill Cosby?

All your questions, answered.Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a mistrial in his sexual assault case in Norristown, Pa., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Cosby’s trial ended without a verdict after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision. CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt RourkeOn Saturday, the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby — thus far, the only criminal case against the man who has been … [Read more...]