Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Thursday, 6 October 2016
My letter to city hall regarding the Bad Police Contract - And Shutting Folks Out
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Portland police push, pepper spray protesters out of city hall





(email is copied below) 


From: Joe Anybody [mailto:callingzebra3@hotmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2016 1:11 PM
To: Commissioner Fritz <amanda@portlandoregon.gov>; Commissioner Saltzman <dan@portlandoregon.gov>; Commissioner Fish <nick@portlandoregon.gov>; Commissioner Novick <novick@portlandoregon.gov>; Hales, Mayor <mayorcharliehales@portlandoregon.gov>
Cc: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org
Subject: Dismissing public input and not listening to the public - shame on City Hall


Mayor Hales and all of City Council


Here is what the world is reading...regarding your games with the public citizen of Portland and the police



I am outraged to hear how you are shutting the public out of police accountability.

The groups and activists and concerned citizens are being left out in the cold.

All the while the mayor sends out lying notices to different neighborhoods on spinning the truth about police accountability. That is dirty and deceitful. 


The city is under fire from the DOJ regarding our Portland Police FORCE. (force was capitalized on purpose)

And at every turn you fight to do whats right, who close down meetings, refuse to cooperate, shut doors , and arrest people as well as scaring folks to "even dare try to use their opinions" with Homeland Security and armed cops inside the chambers.


You snub all the community who is concerned and care about these issues.

You have outraged citizens who wont even let you speak, you pushed back so hard and neglectful many don't even want to hear you anymore (cant blame em really)


You are taking the whole city down a serious rabbit hole 

While you "fix" the outcome and ignore good groups who really care ..like "Portland Copwatch" "AMA" "NAACP" "Consult Hardesty" Mental Health Advocates" and every other person who wants a better policing system that show up day after day on your doorsteps.


The following link is posted on Portland Indymedia which is read "internationally"

The whole world is watching you on the council play games as you close out the public



I sign my name "in bold print" along with the letter by Portland Copwatch that is on Indymedia

I have tweeted this information out to my (1,000 plus) followers

I am outraged how you treat the Portland citizens who care about these police contract issues 

You all should step back or down if you cant be honest and figure out how to have democracy in our city.

You DON'T have a right to close the doors and conduct your 'sneaky business' all behind locked doors


I really hold out hope ...that the DOJ will see through all these scandalous dirty trick the Portland City Council is using to stop any real police accountability. 


Further more you all should apologize to those you have insulted who are working hard in respectful ways to make "REAL" changes in how we are policed. You have insulted people of the city you work for.


Shame on all you

____ (My Name) _____






The Way they choose to deal with this is captured in this vido footage - as they bylldozed citizens out the doors of city hall sending some to the hosipital and outers to jail. A p[rotest in front of the Mayors house is going on now. City council shoud resign 



Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
The Whole World Is Watching Austin Police Bad Tactics in 2015
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: re-post - Austin Police Beat Up Men for Jaywalking in Texas

Austin Police Beat Up Men for Jaywalking in Texas (Updated)


Two men had just crossed the street when they were rushed by several Austin police officers who shoved them against a wall, punching and kneeing them while telling them to stop resisting.

When asked what crime had the men committed, one of the cops looked up and said, “crossed against the light.”

Yes, that heinous crime of jaywalking, which is taken very serious in Austin as we learned last year when the city made international news after police beat up a jogger for jaywalking.

Last Thursday police in Austin, Texas, began a “pedestrian enforcement” activity near the campus of the University of Texas, where they stopped and warned or ticketed jaywalkers.

When law enforcement officers attempted to issue a jaywalking citation to a jogger, Amanda Jo Stephen, she refused to stop. Some witnesses say she didn’t hear the officers, as she was wearing earphones. Police contend that the officers were clearly visible to her.

One way or the other, according to reports, police chased her down and detained her, at which point she became unco-operative and refused to give her name. Several officers then placed her under arrest, and she was carried, screaming into a police car and taken to jail, where she was booked for jaywalking and “failure to identify”.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo quickly came to the defense of the arresting officers, saying they may have been rough with the female college student, but at least they didn’t rape her.

This person absolutely took something that was as simple as ‘Austin Police – Stop!’ and decided to do everything you see on that video,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a press conference Friday, according to Austin NPR station 90.5 KUT.

“And quite frankly she wasn’t charged with resisting. She’s lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer, because I wouldn’t have been as generous. … In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas,” Acevedo said.

So yes, while beating up citizens up for jaywalking might seem a bit extreme, especially since jaywalking citations are supposedly meant for safety reasons, we should be grateful that they didn’t drag the young men into a back alley and sodomize them.

Instead, they dragged one of them into the street and handcuffed him.

But who knows what they would have done had the cameras not been there.

The video was uploaded to Facebook earlier today. But the incident took place Wednesday, according to the person who posted it.

Call the Austin Police Department at 512-974-5000 or leave a comment on their Facebook page. Be sure to make screenshots of your comments in case they start deleting them, which can be used in a potential lawsuit.

UPDATE: We exchanged Facebook messages with Rolando Ramiro, the young man who recorded the incident. He said he and his friends began crossing a barricaded street when the light changed as they were crossing, which made the cops demand their identifications, accusing them of jaywalking.

“Fuck no,” one of his friend’s said, pointing out that it was a barricaded street with no traffic, essentially a legal pedestrian walkway.

Apparently, the cop wanted them to stop for a yellow crossing light as they were stepping into the street, even though the street was barricaded forbidding any cars from entering.

And it doesn’t matter anyway. What matters is that the Austin Police Department acted like complete thugs. The punching. The kicking. The arrogance.


Ramiro did an excellent job recording the insanity. Note how he recorded holding the phone horizontally. Note the difference from the usual vertical videos. Make it instinct to record horizontally. Not enough people do.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:33 PM PST
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
My comments as a COPWATCH member to Portland City Council
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Portland Copwatch Talks to The MAyor and City Council 9.17.14

My Testimony                   September 17, 2014

Hello Mayor and City Council,

I’m a member of Portland Copwatch that wanted to sit down and meet with you about concerns our group had regarding filming by the police. I’m now using this time to speak to you because our group was not able to get a meeting with you without getting by Officer Wesson Mitchell's conflicts of interest. Her position on the issues we've raised comes off as defensive of Bureau behavior and policies. We feel this is not helpful for someone who should be listening to community concerns and figuring out how to implement change, rather than helping perpetuate the status quo.

We are concerned about the police filming residents of Portland. We have seen over and over the Police filming people at public gatherings and protests. When asked “why they are filming” or “what are they doing with the film footage”, the police usually reply “we are using it for training purposes and to ask the City Attorney for more information”. We know that ORS 181.575 states the police are not to be filming, spying on or recording citizens, religious organizations or political groups. And we are concerned that the police are continuing to film and collect this video footage to this day. We have written about this concern repeatedly.

This concern of filming by the police takes me to my next point about the use of lapel cameras that are to be worn by police. I’m speaking of the body worn camera by an officer while on duty. Because, for example, there is not enough information on what is happening with the camera data, and the use and storage of the video footage that is collected, and whether it will be viewed with transparent oversight, we at Portland Copwatch are not able support the police filming the residents of Portland using these cameras.

There has been only one public study made so far on this type of camera worn by police and the information doesn’t prove it makes police behavior any better or safer.  It was paid for in part by the cameras' manufacturer, who stands to make money from good press. Many people are saying that police worn cameras can stop police abuse and misconduct, but we don’t know if that is true or if it even changes police conduct.

We do encourage people to film the police, and in fact we offer trainings to the public on “how to film the police” and what a person's rights are, but it’s our opinion that having the “police film citizens” with body worn cameras is potentially illegal.

There needs to be more conversation with the public, oversight committees and organizations on what this type of filming does to our privacy, and how the recordings will be stored and accessed. Will the acquired footage be used for spying, tracing, investigating or data mined for information? We have no assurance the police will use the footage for accountability purposes.  We do not know how or who will be reviewing the video tapes and how it will relate to discipline or to correcting bad behavior. We are  concerned the footage will be used as a dragnet to hunt for evidence to prosecute people. We are concerned it could be used in assisting investigations that are not warranted nor would be allowed under the purview of legitimate police business. It seems the City already made up its mind to get these cameras, but these questions need to be discussed with residents who need to feel safe and secure in their rights to privacy and not to incriminate themselves. In conclusion, the police should not film the citizens of Portland by any type of camera without at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity as called for in ORS 181.575.




Our reason for meeting with the mayor in this manner can be expained by this article from our portland copwatch website. http://portlandcopwatch.org/mayormeeting2014.html

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:27 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014 9:34 PM PDT
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Keaton Otis Vigil - September 12 2014
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Police Accountability - Keaton Otis Vigil continues in Portland Oregon

2014-09-12 event is NE Portland at the site where Keaton was shot 23 times by the POrtland Police 

 A video was recorded from this vigil and will be posted here asap.






Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:27 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 13 September 2014 7:04 PM PDT
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Portland Police - Brutality and Abuse - Lawsuits and More Abuse
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Portland Citizens are dead, sick, & tired of Police Abusing Them - City Looses 35,000$ again in lawsuit

May 2013:

City to pay $35,000:

"officer caused man's face to hit pavement"






Portland police are protested against, due to

their escalation of deadly force and violence

on unarmed citizens. This march lasted for over

5 hours and took place all over the downtown area.










STOP THE KILLING (5 min clip)




These 2 video clips were filmed on 3.29.10 -  around 9 PM

This footage is when the police were pushing the crowd along the sidewalk with their horses.


(1) Before 9PM (6 min clip)



(2) After 9PM (9 min clip)





TAPE 1 of 4



TAPE 2 of 4



TAPE 3 of 4



TAPE 4 of 4


 Portland Copwatch Update!
> Lawsuit information:
> Fri, 17 May 2013 17:43:14 -0700

> From: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

> City to pay $35,000: officer caused man's face to hit pavement
> I was looking at this week's City Council agenda and read this item (known
> is item #477), wondering what the context was for the protest that led to
> this man having his face smashed to the pavement by a police officer (and
> now the City agreeing to pay him $35,000). Maxine Bernstein at the
> Oregonian did the leg work so I don't have to.
> Of course, I don't know that they had to echo the City's description of
> the protest as "anti-police" since it was "anti-police brutality" from
> what the story says.
> --dan h
> --Portland Copwatch
> City of Portland to pay $35,000 to settle civil lawsuit alleging false
> arrest, battery during anti-police march
> By Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
> on May 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM, updated May 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM
> The City of Portland would pay $35,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a
> man who was injured during a March 2010 anti-police protest, under an
> ordinance that will go before city commissioners Wednesday.
> The encounter, captured on television footage, resulted in injuries to
> Clifford Richardson. He was treated at OHSU Hospital after his head and
> face struck the pavement during a scuffle with an officer, according to
> city records.
> During the 2010 protest, Portland police formed a line with their bikes to
> keep protestors from moving into the street. Richardson, according to city
> documents, pushed at an officer and officers moved in to take him into
> custody.
> "During the struggle that ensued, Richardson's upper body was struck by a
> police officer's knee and as a result, his head and face struck the
> pavement,'' according to city documents distributed to commissioners.
> Richardson, then 24, was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting
> arrest, interfering with police and harassment. He was later acquitted of
> all charges at trial.
> Richardson then filed a civil lawsuit against the city in Multnomah County
> Circuit Court, alleging false arrest, battery and malicious prosecution.
> He was seeking $15,000 for past and future medical bills, plus $500,000 in
> general damages.
> The settlement figure was reached after significant negotiations,
> according to the city.
> "Approval of this settlement will avoid the cost and expense of a trial
> and a jury award that could potentially be significantly larger,''
> according to Randy Stenquist, of the city's risk management office.
> The protest was one in a series that followed two officer-involved fatal
> shootings that year: the Jan. 29, 2010 fatal shooting of Aaron Campbell by
> Officer Ronald Frashour, and the March 22 fatal shooting of Jack Dale

> Collins near a Hoyt Arboretum restroom by Officer Jason Walters. 



Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:47 AM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2013 12:10 PM PDT
Sunday, 24 February 2013
VIDEO: Unpermitted Does Not Mean Police Can Hurt People 2013 Portland Oregon
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Unpermitted March does not mean the police can now hurt the people for public safety!?


http://youtu.be/RLvJeU_V8ZI [20 minute video]


Unpermitted March does not mean the police can now hurt the people for public safety!?

This is a video with clips taken from the recent 2.14.13 unpermitted One Billion Rising March, recently in Portland in which the police treated peacefully the unpermitted marchers *this time.

In contrast:  There is out-takes added from May Day 2012 and from the N3 Austerity march in 2012 that were both unpermitted marches... where folks who were protesting were then pepersprayed, blocked and tackled by the police. [while in the street trying to march]

There is also a short out-takes from 2008 when the police took my camera, whereupon I filed a lawsuit and changed the policy regarding filming the police in public [and] I got my camera back, [plus $3,000 in lawyer fees and a tiny token 100 bucks for my personal fee but mainly we all got --> police policy changes regarding filming]. A small discussion about filming the police is included in this 20 min video.

The point of this video is to highlight the peaceful marches and the ones where their has been a (uncalled for) call for violence orchestrated by the police.

Which usually always is justified by them, by using words like; public safety, and anarchist [?] being involved, [etc.] The video from Veterans Day highlights the "A" word concern expressed by Officer Friendly (inches from my face) The police were there, for the possible Veterans "unpermitted march" {that didn't happen]. - And same for the One Billion Rising.

As many have pointed out the money paid for these police services, (related to unpermitted marches) could be used for better things, especially than paying from resulting lawsuits and more shift salaries, including OT pay. So rather than wasting taxpayers little money on violent tactics and so called "public safety" the people want better policing. The citizens also appreciate not having the police hurt and threaten them, [which also helps with better over -all- relationships]
There is no need for violence at non violent public demonstrations that don't have a permit. The violence must stop.



Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:09 AM PST
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Filming the police - Illinois sticks with the appeal rulling "Yes you Can"
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Supreme Court rejects plea to ban taping of police in Illinois

Horizontal Divider 8 


Supreme Court rejects plea to ban taping of police in Illinois


Phone interview with ACLU legal director Harvey Grossman as he reacts to the recent Supreme Court ruling. Content edited for time.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a controversial Illinois law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.

By passing on the issue, the justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the state's anti-eavesdropping law violates free-speech rights when used against people who audiotape police officers.

A temporary injunction issued after that June ruling effectively bars Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez from prosecuting anyone under the current statute. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit against Alvarez, asked a federal judge hearing the case to make the injunction permanent, said Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois.

Grossman said he expected that a permanent injunction would set a precedent across Illinois that effectively cripples enforcement of the law.

Alvarez's office will be given a deadline to respond to the ACLU request, but on Monday, Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Alvarez, said a high court ruling in the case could have provided "prosecutors across Illinois with legal clarification and guidance with respect to the constitutionality and enforcement" of the statute.

Illinois' eavesdropping law is one of the harshest in the country, making audio recording of a law enforcement officer — even while on duty and in public — a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Public debate over the law had been simmering since last year. In August 2011, a Cook County jury acquitted a woman who had been charged with recording Chicago police internal affairs investigators she believed were trying to dissuade her from filing a sexual harassment complaint against a patrol officer.

Judges in Cook and Crawford counties later declared the law unconstitutional, and the McLean County state's attorney cited flaws in the law when he dropped charges in February against a man accused of recording an officer during a traffic stop.

Alvarez argued that allowing the recording of police would discourage civilians from speaking candidly to officers and could cause problems securing crime scenes or conducting sensitive investigations.

But a federal appeals panel ruled that the law "restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests."

Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has said he would favor a change allowing citizens to tape the police and vice versa.

Meanwhile, several efforts to amend the statute in Springfield have stalled in committee amid heavy lobbying from law enforcement groups in favor of the current law.

Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributed jmeisner@tribune.com

Posted by Joe Anybody at 7:18 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2012 7:30 PM PST
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Damn - drones in portland oregon 2012 WW article
Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: OMG - DRONES in PDX - go back to sleep

Spying the Friendly Skies

Drone aircraft used for recon in Afghanistan are now in Portland.

IMAGE: Federico Yankelevich

{copied from WW under the Fair Use Laws}
Military surveillance drones of the kind used to spy on Taliban targets for U.S. forces in Afghanistan are now based in Portland, but U.S. government officials are unclear how or when they might be used over the city or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

An unclassified 2011 U.S. Air Force document revealed Portland’s status as a drone home. Publicintelligence.net first reported on the document last week, followed by Wired.

The Air Force document shows “current and projected” U.S. Defense Department operations involving “remote-piloted aircraft” at two Oregon sites, Arlington and Portland.

It’s already well known that a Boeing subsidiary, Insitu, builds drones in Bingen, Wash., about 70 miles down the Columbia River from its test airfield in Arlington. It is news, however, that Portland is a home to drones, although the specific location where they are stored remains undisclosed by the military.

A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command listed as the drone operator told WW in an email that the Air Force map contained inaccurate information. “U.S. Special Operations Command does not have nor will it have [a drone] base in Portland,” wrote deputy public affairs officer Ken McGraw.

But U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) confirms the drones are already here.

“Portland is basically a storage area for a few small drones attached to a nearby military group, neither of which are proposed launching sites for drones,” Wyden said in a statement to WW. “However, in the event of a natural disaster or other legitimate need, they could be launched from there, but it is inappropriate to say that they are primarily launch sites.”

The rapidly expanding domestic presence of remote-controlled spy planes—often without public knowledge or debate—is already sparking controversy. “We have a right to be concerned that the military is bringing drones home,” says Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the speech, privacy and technology program of the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C.

This year’s Federal Aviation Administration budget bill requires the agency to speed up plans for civilian drone use in the U.S. The FAA estimates 30,000 civilian law enforcement drones might be flying by 2030.

Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy organization, says the FAA bill will make the rollout of drone use less deliberative.

“We have no information on the drones public entities are flying, how many they have and where they’re authorized to fly,” Lynch says. “I think that’s pretty concerning.”

Wyden pushed the FAA bill. In 2009, Wyden backed a $3.2 million earmark for Insitu. Its parent, Boeing, donated $10,000 to Wyden’s campaign fund in 2009 and 2010.

Wyden spokesman Tom Towslee says the senator’s support for domestic drone use is no sign he is weakening his opposition to warrantless wiretapping, cellphone tracking and other surveillance programs that raise civil liberties issues. He calls his boss a “privacy hawk.”

“We’re not going down this road with the idea that this is going to be used to spy on people,” Towslee says. “It’s an economic development issue. It’s a jobs issue.”

The Air Force document indicates Portland could become home to the Raven and the Wasp, two small, hand-launched surveillance drones made by Monrovia, Calif.-based AeroVironment. The Wasp—weighing just under 16 ounces with a 28-inch wingspan—comes loaded with optical and infrared cameras. The larger Raven—with a 54-inch wingspan—has a longer range. Both have been used for reconnaissance and spying in Afghanistan.

The Oregon Army National Guard’s 41st Special Troops Battalion has a drone operator in Pendleton. A spokesperson at the Oregon Military Department didn’t return WW’s call.

In Seattle, the police chief came under fire this year for testing a surveillance drone without approval from the City Council. Houston police also reportedly conducted secret drone tests, and state police in Texas used a Wasp drone during the execution of a search warrant.

The Portland Police Bureau isn’t using drones, but The Rap Sheet, the Portland Police Association’s newsletter, republished an article about building pressure on local police to deploy drones.

An April 2012 Air Force policy directive says domestic drone flights may not target U.S. citizens, but information “incidentally” acquired will be provided to federal or local law enforcement agencies.

John Villasenor, a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA who has written papers on the policy implications of drone use for the Brookings Institution, says drones’ powerful and constant spying capabilities make current laws and precedents on aerial surveillance obsolete.

“Drones are part of this inexorable growth in technologies that are logging almost anything that we do,” Villasenor says. “It’s a sobering time for those of us who came of age in a world where we could move about without necessarily having someone perform surveillance on us.”



Posted by Joe Anybody at 3:00 PM PDT
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Newly Discovered Homeland Security Files Show Feds Central to Occupy Crackdown
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Feds at Occupy around the US cordinated attacks on freedom

Newly Discovered Homeland Security Files Show Feds Central to Occupy Crackdown

By Kevin Zeese - Posted on 15 May 2012


White House directed crack down on Occupy, worked to hide DHS involvement with false statements, include "background statements"

A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.

The new documents, which PCJF National Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard insists “are likely only a subset of responsive materials,” in the possession of federal law enforcement agencies, only “scratch the surface of a mass intelligence network including Fusion Centers, saturated with 'anti-terrorism' funding, that mobilizes thousands of local and federal officers and agents to investigate and monitor the social justice movement.”

Nonetheless, blacked-out and limited though they are, she says they offer clues to the extent of the government’s concern about and focus on the wave of occupations that spread across the country beginning with last September’s Occupy Wall Street action in New York City.

The latest documents reveal “intense involvement” by the DHS’s so-called National Operations Center (NOC). In its own literature, the DHS describes the NOC as “the primary national-level hub for domestic situational awareness, common operational picture, information fusion, information sharing, communications, and coordination pertaining to the prevention of terrorist attacks and domestic incident management.”

The DHS says that the NOC is “the primary conduit for the White House Situation Room” and that it also “facilitates information sharing and operational coordination with other federal, state, local, tribal, non-governmental operation centers and the private sector.”

A better description for a fascist police state network could not be written.
 Behind the Crackdown on Occupy, documents show

Portland Homeland Security:

Behind the Crackdown on Occupy, documents show

Remember, this sprawling yet centralized operation -- what Verheyden-Hilliard describes as “a vast, tentacled, national intelligence and domestic spying network that the U.S. government operates against its own people” -- was in this case deployed not against some terrorist organization or even mob or drug cartel, but rather against a loose-knit band of protesters, all conscientiously and publicly committed to nonviolence, who were exercising their Constitutionally-protected right to gather in public places and to speak out against the crimes and abuses of the corporate elite and the politicians who are bought and paid by that elite.

Among the documents obtained by the PCJF in this second batch of responses to its FOIA filing is one Nov. 5, 2011 from the NOC Fusion Center Desk, which collects at the federal level and then distributes the names and contact information of a group of Occupy protesters who were arrested during a demonstration in Dallas, TX against Bank of America, one of the nation’s biggest predatory lenders. Although none of the seven arrested were charged with any serious crime (six were charged with “using the sidewalk!”), their names and contact information were widely disseminated by the DHS.

Fusion Centers, a post-9-11 creation, are a federally-funded joint project of the DHS and the US Justice Department which are designed to share intelligence information among such federal agencies as the DHS, the FBI, the CIA and the US Military, as well as state and local police agencies. By their nature they are designed to circumvent legal constraints on various agencies, for example the ban on CIA domestic spying, or the Posse Comitatus Act, which bars active military activity within the borders of the US. There are currently 72 Fusion Centers around the US.

Another group of documents shows that on November 9, two days after a demonstration by 1000 Occupy activists in Chicago protesting social service cuts in that city, the NOC Fusion Desk relayed a request from Chicago Police asking other local police agencies what kind of tactics they were using against Occupy activists. They specifically requested that information be sought from police departments in New York, Oakland, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. Denver, Boston, Portland OR, and Seattle -- all the scene of major Occupation actions and of violent police repression. Realizing that it would look bad if it assisted in such coordination overtly, higher officials in the DHS ordered the recall of the request but then simply rerouted it through “law enforcement channels,” where presumably it would be harder for anyone to spot a federal role in the coordination of local police responses. In response to that order, the documents show that the duty director of the NOC wrote that he would “reach out” to "LEO LNOs (liaison officer) on the floor" to assist. Verheyden-Hilliard explains that LEO is FBI's nationally integrated law enforcement, intelligence and military network.

On December 12, when Occupy planned anti-war protests at various US ports, Verheyden-Hilliard says the new documents show that the NOC “went into high gear” seeking information from local field offices of the Department of Homeland Security about what actions police in Houston, Portland, Oakland, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles planned to deal with Occupy movement actions.

Another document shows that earlier, in advance of a planned Occupy action at the Oakland, CA port facility on Nov. 2, DHS “went so far as to keep the Pentagon’s Northcom (Northern Command) in the intelligence loop.”

Given the subterfuge revealed in these documents that went into trying to create the illusion that the DHS was and is not coordinating a national campaign of spying, disruption and repression against Occupy activists, it is almost comical to find documents that show the DHS was in “direct communication with the White House” to obtain advance approval of public statements by DHS officials denying any DHS involvement in anti-Occupy actions.

These documents show that both DHS and one of that department’s police arms, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) were in direct contact with Portland, Oregon’s police chief and mayor, discussing how to deal with protesters who were in part on federal property. The coordination between the feds and the local police and political authorities were intense. Yet the approved statement sent to DHS from the White House read:

Any decisions on how to handle specifics (sic) situations are dealt with by local authorities in that location. If a protest area is located on Federal property and has been deemed unsanitary or unsafe by the General Services Administration (GSA) or city officials, and they make a decision to evacuate participants -- the Federal Protective Service (FPS) will work with those officials to develop a plan to ensure the security and safety of everyone involved.

There was, comically, also a White House-approved DHS “background” statement, too! (Typically background statements by federal officials are supposed to be used when they want to tell a journalist the true situation but don’t want to have that statement attributed to them or their department. Having it pre-approved by the White House defeats that purpose and is simply a manipulation of the media.)

The faux “background” information included the following--a flat-out lie:

DHS is not actively coordinating with local law enforcement agencies and/or city governments concerning the evictions of Occupy encampments writ large.

Tellingly, the documents also include a Dec. 5 copy of the “Weekly Informant, ” an intelligence report published by the DHS’s Office for State and Local Law Enforcement. The issue includes an update from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) concerning the activities of the Occupy Movement. PERF, Verheyden-Hilliard notes, is the group that the federal government claims organized a series of multi-city law enforcement calls to coordinate the police response to Occupy, which led immediately to the wave of violent crackdowns. It was at those meetings that police were advised among other things to act at night, to use aggressive tactics and weapons like tasers and pepper spray, and to take steps to remove journalists and cameras from the scene of crackdowns.

The overall sense from these latest documents is that Washington and the DHS, along with the FBI, was the nexus of the crackdown, orchestrating it, encouraging it, and attempting to cover its tracks.

The documents among other things expose the massive hypocrisy of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, which this election year have tried to co-opt and claim as their own the anti-fat-cat theme of the “We are the 99%”-chanting Occupiers, while actually acting in the interest of Bank of America and its fellow financial sector mega-firms in trying to crush the movement itself.

To see all the new FOIA documents, go to the PJIF website.

Dave Lindorff is a founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He lives in Philadelphia.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 1:47 PM PDT
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Copwatching - Tips and Rules for Filming
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Filming the Police seven tips in 2012 you should know

7 Rules for Recording Police


Last week the City of Boston agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees to settle a civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2007 felony arrest for videotaping police roughing up a suspect. Prior to the settlement, the First Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Glik had a "constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public." The Boston Police Department now explicitly instructs its officers not to arrest citizens openly recording them in public.

Slowly but surely the courts are recognizing that recording on-duty police is a protected First Amendment activity. But in the meantime, police around the country continue to intimidate and arrest citizens for doing just that. So if you're an aspiring cop watcher you must be uniquely prepared to deal with hostile cops.

If you choose to record the police you can reduce the risk of terrible legal consequences and video loss by understanding your state's laws and carefully adhering to the following rules.

Rule #1: Know the Law (Wherever You Are)

Conceived at a time when pocket-sized recording devices were available only to James Bond types, most eavesdropping laws were originally intended to protect people against snoops, spies, and peeping Toms. Now with this technology in the hands of average citizens, police and prosecutors are abusing these outdated laws to punish citizens merely attempting to document on-duty police.

The law in 38 states plainly allows citizens to record police, as long as you don't physically interfere with their work. Police might still unfairly harass you, detain you, or confiscate your camera. They might even arrest you for some catchall misdemeanor such as obstruction of justice or disorderly conduct. But you will not be charged for illegally recording police.

Twelve states-California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington-require the consent of all parties for you to record a conversation.

However, all but 2 of these states-Massachusetts and Illinois-have an "expectation of privacy provision" to their all-party laws that courts have ruled does not apply to on-duty police (or anyone in public). In other words, it's technically legal in those 48 states to openly record on-duty police.

Rule #2 Don't Secretly Record Police

In most states it's almost always illegal to record a conversation in which you're not a party and don't have consent to record. Massachusetts is the only state to uphold a conviction for recording on-duty police, but that conviction was for a secret recording where the defendant failed to inform police he was recording. (As in the Glik case, Massachusetts courts have ruled that openly recording police is legal, but secretly recording them isn't.)

Fortunately, judges and juries are soundly rejecting these laws. Illinois, the state with the most notorious anti-recording laws in the land, expressly forbids you from recording on-duty police. Early last month an Illinois judge declared that law unconstitutional, ruling in favor of Chris Drew, a Chicago artist charged with felony eavesdropping for secretly recording his own arrest. Last August a jury acquitted Tiawanda Moore of secretly recording two Chicago Police Internal Affairs investigators who encouraged her to drop a sexual harassment complaint against another officer. (A juror described the case to a reporter as "a waste of time.") In September, an Illinois state judge dropped felony charges against Michael Allison. After running afoul of local zoning ordinances, he faced up to 75 years in prison for secretly recording police and attempting to tape his own trial.

The lesson for you is this: If you want to limit your legal exposure and present a strong legal case, record police openly if possible. But if you videotape on-duty police from a distance, such an announcement might not be possible or appropriate unless police approach you.

Rule #3: Respond to "Shit Cops Say"

When it comes to police encounters, you don't get to choose whom you're dealing with. You might get Officer Friendly, or you might get Officer Psycho. You'll likely get officers between these extremes. But when you "watch the watchmen," you must be ready to think on your feet.

In most circumstances, officers will not immediately bull rush you for filming them. But if they aren't properly trained, they might feel like their authority is being challenged. And all too often police are simply ignorant of the law. Part of your task will be to convince them that you're not a threat while also standing your ground.

"What are you doing?"

Police aren't celebrities, so they're not always used to being photographed in public. So even if you're recording at a safe distance, they might approach and ask what you are doing. Avoid saying things like "I'm recording you to make sure you're doing your job right" or "I don't trust you."

Instead, say something like "Officer, I'm not interfering. I'm asserting my First Amendment rights. You're being documented and recorded offsite."

Saying this while remaining calm and cool will likely put police on their best behavior. They might follow up by asking, "Who do you work for?" You may, for example, tell them you're an independent filmmaker or a citizen journalist with a popular website/blog/YouTube show. Whatever you say, don't lie-but don't let police trick you into thinking that the First Amendment only applies to mainstream media journalists. It doesn't.

"Let me see your ID."

In the United States there's no law requiring you to carry a government ID. But in 24 states police may require you to identify yourself if they have reasonable suspicion that you're involved in criminal activity.

But how can you tell if an officer asking for ID has reasonable suspicion? Police need reasonable suspicion to detain you, so one way to tell if they have reasonable suspicion is to determine if you're free to go. You can do this by saying "Officer, are you detaining me, or am I free to go?"

If the officer says you're free to go or you're not being detained, it's your choice whether to stay or go. But if you're detained, you might say something like, "I'm not required to show you ID, but my name is [your full name]." It's up to you if you want to provide your address and date of birth if asked for it, but I'd stop short of giving them your Social Security number.

"Please stop recording me. It's against the law."

Rarely is it advisable to educate officers about the law. But in a tense recording situation where the law is clearly on your side, it might help your case to politely present your knowledge of state law.

For example, if an insecure cop tries to tell you that you're violating his civil liberties, you might respond by saying "Officer, with all due respect, state law only requires permission from one party in a conversation. I don't need your permission to record so long as I'm not interfering with your work."

If you live in one of the 12 all party record states, you might say something like "Officer, I'm familiar with the law, but the courts have ruled that it doesn't apply to recording on-duty police."

If protective service officers harass you while filming on federal property, you may remind them of a recently issued directive informing them that there's no prohibition against public photography at federal buildings.

"Stand back."

If you're approaching the scene of an investigation or an accident, police will likely order you to move back. Depending on the circumstances, you might become involved in an intense negotiation to determine the "appropriate" distance you need to stand back to avoid "interfering" with their work.

If you feel you're already standing at a reasonable distance, you may say something like, "Officer, I have a right to be here. I'm filming for documentation purposes and not interfering with your work." It's then up to you to decide how far back you're willing to stand to avoid arrest.

Rule #4: Don't Share Your Video with Police

If you capture video of police misconduct or brutality, but otherwise avoid being identified yourself, you can anonymously upload it to YouTube. This seems to be the safest legal option. For example, a Massachusetts woman who videotaped a cop beating a motorist with a flashlight posted the video to the Internet. Afterwards, one of the cops caught at the scene filed criminal wiretapping charges against her. (As usual, the charges against her were later dropped.)

On the other hand, an anonymous videographer uploaded footage of an NYPD officer body-slamming a man on a bicycle to YouTube. Although the videographer was never revealed, the video went viral. Consequently, the manufactured assault charges against the bicyclist were dropped, the officer was fired, and the bicyclist eventually sued the city and won a $65,000 settlement.

Rule #5: Prepare to be Arrested

Keene, New Hampshire resident Dave Ridley is the avatar of the new breed of journalist/activist/filmmaker testing the limits of the First Amendment right to record police. Over the past few years he's uploaded the most impressive collection of first-person police encounter videos I've ever seen.

Ridley's calm demeanor and knowledge of the law paid off last August after he was arrested for trespassing at an event featuring Vice President Joe Biden. The arresting officers at his trial claimed he refused to leave when ordered to do so. But the judge acquitted him when his confiscated video proved otherwise.

With respect to the law Ridley declares, "If you're rolling the camera, be very open and upfront about it. And look at it as a potential act of civil disobedience for which you could go to jail." It's indeed disturbing that citizens who are not breaking the law should prepare to be arrested, but in the current legal fog this is sage advice.

"Shut it off, or I'll arrest you."

At this point you are risking arrest in order to test the boundaries of free speech. So if police say they'll arrest you, believe them. You may comply by saying something like "Okay, Officer. But I'm turning the camera off under protest."

If you keep recording, brace yourself for arrest. Try your best not to drop your camera, but do not physically resist. As with any arrest, you have the right to remain silent until you speak with a lawyer. Use it.

Remember that the camera might still be recording. So keep calm and act like you're being judged by a jury of millions of your YouTube peers, because one day you might be.

Rule #6: Master Your Technology

Smartphone owners now outnumber users of more basic phones. At any moment there are more than 100 million Americans in reach of a device that can capture police misconduct and share it with the world in seconds.

If you're one of them, you should consider installing a streaming video recording and sharing app such as Qik or Bambuser. Both apps are free and easy to use.

Always Passcode Protect Your Smartphone

The magic of both apps is that they can instantly store your video offsite. This is essential for preserving video in case police illegally destroy or confiscate your camera. But even with these apps installed, you'll want to make sure that your device is always passcode protected. If a cop snatches your camera, this will make it extremely difficult for her to simply delete your videos. (If a cop tries to trick you into revealing your passcode, never, never, never give it up!)

Keep in mind that Qik and Bambuser's offsite upload feature might be slow or nonexistent in places without Wi-Fi or a strong 3G/4G signal. Regardless, your captured video will be saved locally on your device until you've got a good enough signal to upload offsite.

Set Videos to "Private"

Both apps allow you to set your account to automatically upload videos as "private" (only you can see them) or "public" (everyone can see them). But until police are no longer free to raid the homes of citizens who capture and upload YouTube videos of them going berserk, it's probably wise to keep your default setting to "private."

With a little bit of practice you should be able to pull your smartphone from your pocket or purse, turn it on, enter your passcode, open the app, and hit record within 10 seconds. Keep your preferred app easily accessible on your home screen to save precious seconds. But don't try to shave milliseconds off your time by disabling your passcode.

Both apps share an important feature that allows your video to be saved if your phone is turned off-even if you're still recording. So if you anticipate that a cop is about to grab your phone, quickly turn it off. Without your passcode, police won't be able to delete your videos or personal information even if they confiscate or destroy your phone.

With the iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy Android devices I tested, when the phone is turned off the Qik app immediately stops recording and uploads the video offsite. But if the phone is turned off while Bambuser records, the recording continues after the screen goes black.

This Bambuser "black out" feature is a double-edged sword. While it could easily trick cops into thinking you're not recording them, using it could push you into more dangerous legal territory. As previously mentioned, courts have shown a willingness to convict citizens for secretly recording police. So if you're somehow caught using this feature it might be easier for a prosecutor to convince a judge or jury that you've broken the law. It's up to you to decide if the increased legal risk is worth the potential to capture incriminating police footage.

Other Recording Options

Cameras lacking offsite recording capability are a less desirable option. As mentioned earlier, if cops delete or destroy your footage-which happens way too often-you might lose your only hope of challenging their version of events in court. But if you can hold on to your camera, there are some good options.

Carlos Miller is a Miami-based photojournalism activist and writer of the popular Photography is Not a Crime blog. While he carries a professional-end Canon XA10 in the field, he says "I never leave home without a Flip camera on a belt pouch. It's a very decent camera that's easier to carry around."

The top-of-the-line Flip UltraHD starts at $178, but earlier models are available for $60 on Amazon. All flip models have one-button recording, which allows you to pull it out of your pocket and shoot within seconds. The built-in USB then lets you upload video to YouTube or other sharing sites through your PC.

Small businessman and "radical technology" educator Justin Holmes recommends the Canon S-series line of cameras. In 2008, his camera captured a police encounter he had while rollerblading in Port Dickenson, New York. His footage provides an outstanding real-life example of how a calm camera-toting citizen can intelligently flex their rights.

"I typically carry a Canon S5-IS," Holmes says. "But if I was going to buy one new, I'd go for the SX40-HS. If I were on a budget and buying one used, I'd go for S2-IS or S3-IS." The features he regards as essential include one-touch video, high-quality stereo condenser microphones, fast zoom during video, and 180x270 variable angle LCD. But the last feature he regards as "absolutely essential." With it the user can glance at the viewfinder while the camera is below or above eye level.

Rule #7: Don't Point Your Camera Like a Gun

"When filming police you always want to avoid an aggressive posture," insists Holmes. To do this he keeps his strap-supported camera close to his body at waist level. This way he can hold a conversation while maintaining eye contact with police, quickly glancing at the viewfinder to make sure he's getting a good shot.

Obviously, those recording with a smartphone lack this angled viewfinder. But you can get a satisfactory shot while holding your device at waist level, tilting it upward a few degrees. This posture might feel awkward at first, but it's noticeably less confrontational than holding the camera between you and the officer's face.

Also try to be in control of your camera before an officer approaches. You want to avoid suddenly grasping for it. If a cop thinks you're reaching for a gun, you could get shot.

Becoming a Hero

If you've recently been arrested or charged with a crime after recording police, contact a lawyer with your state's ACLU chapter for advice as soon as possible. (Do not publicly upload your video before then.) You may also contact Flex Your Rights via Facebook or Twitter. We're not a law firm, but we'll do our best to help you.

If your case is strong, the ACLU might offer to take you on as a litigant. If you accept, your brave stand could forever change the way police treat citizens asserting their First Amendment right to record police. This path is not for fools, and it might disrupt your life. But next time you see police in action, don't forget that a powerful tool for truth and justice might literally be in your hands.

Image credit: John Moore / Getty Images News

Steve Silverman is the founder & executive director of FlexYourRights.org and co-creator of the film 10 Rules for Dealing with Police.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:44 PM PDT

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