US Law Enforcement Kill More People in 2022 Than Any Previous Year on Record

According to reporting in various independent news outlets during the first week of January 2023, American law enforcement personnel—primarily police and sheriff deputies—killed more people in 2022 than any proceeding year on record. This reporting relies upon research by the Mapping Police Violence Project which chronicled 1,183 people killed by American law enforcement between January 1st and December 31st 2022. Common Dreams, in its January 6th, 2023 coverage, noted that a 2021 study in the Lancet found about half of killings by law enforcement go unreported, meaning the 1,183 figure could in reality be double.

Nevertheless, the scope of the problem as reported is large, and increasing. Since 2013, when researchers at the Mapping Police Violence project began aggregating reports of law enforcement killings, the number has always been more than 1,000 per year. In 2017 it was 1,089; in 2018, 1,140; in 2019, 1,097; in 2020, 1,152; in 2021, 1,145. Between 2013 and

— source | Jan 20, 2023

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Police to fight online speech that undermines support for the U.S. government

The Intercept has revealed the Department of Homeland Security is expanding efforts to work with private tech companies to police online speech and shape online discourse. The Intercept’s reporting is based on years of internal DHS memos, emails and documents. According to one internal document, the agency is focusing on a number of topics, including, “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine”. The FBI has also played a key role in the effort.

Earlier this week, we reported this story that shows the evolving mission of the Department of Homeland Security, that they’re moving to police online discourse under the mantle of fighting alleged disinformation and misinformation. This effort began in earnest in 2017 after Russian interference in the 2016 election. There was kind of a dry run of efforts to censor and influence social media around the pandemic, around the 2020 election. But, as you mention, documents we obtained from litigation, from public resources and from whistleblowers shows a really massive expansion of this mission, that DHS plans to weigh in on inherently political topics — again, as you mentioned, the war in Ukraine, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the origins of COVID.

— source | Nov 04, 2022

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“Election Police” to Intimidate Florida Voters

Republicans like Governor Ron DeSantis are attempting to scare formerly incarcerated people with felony convictions from voting. DeSantis launched an election police force to arrest people on trumped-up voter fraud charges. The arrests overwhelmingly targeted Black people and demonstrate “the state’s failure to have a system in place that can assure any American citizen that lives in the state of Florida whether or not they’re eligible to vote,” says Meade, who spearheaded an initiative to reenfranchise 1.4 million people with prior felony convictions, before it was overturned by Republicans. While several charges of alleged voter fraud in past elections have been dismissed, Meade says the arrests still intimidate qualified voters from casting a ballot.

Republicans are still trying to scare former felons away from voting, even as trumped-up charges of voter fraud in past elections have been dismissed in the lead-up to the

— source | Oct 28, 2022

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Kansas City Police Ignored Warnings

Black residents in Kansas City, Missouri, say police ignored their warnings that a murderer was targeting Black women, until one of his captives escaped earlier this month. A 22-year-old Black woman in Excelsior Springs, just outside Kansas City, said she broke free from the basement where a white man held her captive for a month. She also claimed there were more victims, all of them Black women, who were similarly sexually abused. Timothy Haslett Jr. is now in police custody and faces rape, kidnapping and assault charges. Prior to his arrest, the Kansas City Police Department said concerns about a possible serial killer were “completely unfounded” rumors. “This speaks to the violent silencing of Black women specifically, of the Black community at large here in Kansas City,” says Ryan Sorrell, founder of the Black-led independent newspaper Kansas City Defender, which reported on the missing Black women

I mean, I think that this is one of the most horrific tragedies that I have ever come across in my lifetime. I know that when we first reported this story, we received it from numerous community members who were making these reports and testimonies, is what we refer to them as. The police department refers to them as “rumors,” largely because they come from the Black community. But we reported these reports and testimonies in mid-to-late September. And, you know, rather than reaching out to us to understand and gather more information about where we got this information from, rather than reaching out to the community to understand where these concerns were coming from, the police department, three days after we reported this initially, you know, came out and literally just said these are completely unfounded rumors, is what they called them. And as you mentioned, they said that there is no basis to support these claims.

— source | Oct 18, 2022

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Truth Cops

The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.

The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.

Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of

— source | Ken Klippenstein, Lee Fang | Oct 31 2022

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Facebook Gave Nebraska Police Data to Prosecute Teenager in Abortion Case

Facebook has turned over to Nebraska police the private messages between a mother and daughter as part of criminal abortion investigation. The case involves 41-year-old Jessica Burgess, who allegedly helped her 17-year-old daughter Celeste carry out an abortion, which is illegal in Nebraska 20 weeks after the egg is fertilized. Police in Norfolk, Nebraska, launched an investigation in April on a tip that Celeste had miscarried, and that her mother had buried the fetus, according(Opens in a new window) to the Lincoln Journal Star. Court documents filed(Opens in a new window) last month show that police used a search warrant in June to subpoena Facebook’s parent Meta for private messages between the mother and daughter — and that the social media company complied.

— source | Aug 9, 2022

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Police chasing white suspect wrongly arrest Black man

A suburban Boston police officer who was pursuing a white suspect pinned a 20-year-old Black man to the ground as he was walking home and placed a knee on the man’s neck despite having no evidence that he was involved in any crime, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday. Donovan Johnson was minutes away from home after leaving work in February 2021 when a white officer who had been chasing the white suspect ran up to Johnson, drew his gun and threw him to the snow-covered ground face first, the lawsuit filed against the town of Arlington, Massachusetts, and three of its officers alleges.

The lawsuit says that the officer at one point pinned Johnson to the ground by placing a knee on Johnson’s neck. The complaint says Johnson yelled “I can’t breathe!”, but the officer “continued to pin Mr. Johnson to the ground with his knee,” while the white suspect police had been pursuing “was left unattended.”

— source | Aug 4, 2022

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Conviction Rates in IPC Cases Highest in Non-BJP States

An interesting piece of data that got buried in the voluminous Crime in India, 2021 report, released recently by the National Crime Records Bureau, is that in all six states with the highest conviction rate for crimes registered under the Indian Penal Code – and which covers heinous offences – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not in power.

The data on conviction rates for crimes under the IPC is included in Volume III of the report. Mizoram leaders the list with 96.7% convictions, followed by Kerala (86.5%), Andhra Pradesh (84.7%), Tamil Nadu (73.3%), Nagaland (72.1%) and Telangana (70.1%).

A higher conviction rate reveals that the states worked hard to ensure the prosecution and conviction of those accused and thereby ensure justice to the victims.

The data also revealed that among the Union Territories, Ladakh had a high conviction rate of 91% while Delhi had a conviction rate of 86.6%. They were followed by Jammu and

— source | Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar | 02/Sep/2022

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