WYFF: Police: Asheville Firefighter Shot Bicyclist

Officers said the victim was riding with his wife and had his 3-year-old son in a child seat attached to his bicycle when a driver approached him.

Police said the driver, Charles Diez, claimed he was upset that the victim was bike riding with his child on the heavily traveled Tunnel Road.

Diez pulled a gun and opened fire, hitting the victim in his bicycle helmet, according to police.

And the bicyclist, amazingly, survived without even being hit by the bullet. Whatever brand of helmet he owns, I want to buy it.

On Monday, they confirmed he has been placed on paid investigative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.

Well, we wouldn't want him to be out of money to buy more bullets, would we?

Associated Press: Police: Fake officer tries to stop real officer

Oakland police say a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over a real undercover officer and was arrested.

Police say 21-year-old Antonio Fernandez Martinez of Oakland was arrested Wednesday in the Fruitvale district after trying to pull over an unmarked police vehicle. Martinez was driving a Ford Crown Victoria outfitted with flashing lights, a microphone and speakers.

And the guy was on probation too. I suspect he will be a long term resident of California's notorious

Philadephia Daily News: Store video catches cop bullying woman

Lawless was standing at the counter of the store, at Comly Road and Roosevelt Boulevard, smiling and chatting with the clerk, when she was grabbed from behind and violently pushed back with a police officer's gun in her face.

The officer's son had hit her car, so he called dad claiming she hit him. So the officer went to the convience store and assaulted this woman. Not only that, he brought along a civilian witness, his son, who participated in the assault and was himself armed.

The clerk on duty the night that Lopez confronted Lawless told investigators that three times after the incident, police officers spoke with him about the security tape and that two asked if he would erase it.

An Internal Affairs investigation found no misconduct among officers who spoke with the clerk about the tape.

On top of everything else, he and his buddies try to tamper with evidence, and the police department does nothing.

The District Attorney's Office reviewed the case and declined to prosecute Officer Lopez in December. Eight days later, he was reissued his weapon and returned to full duty.

The cop remained on duty until the above story appeared Monday. Today, he is thankfully off the street, at least temporarily.

theNewspaper.com: UK Council Considers Speed Camera Photos Copyrighted

The East Sussex, UK Police are attempting to have speed camera photographs removed from websites by claiming they represent copyrighted material. In particular, the police are targeting a set of images taken in June 2008 that motorcyclist Peter Barker used to prove that a radar device that clocked him at 38 MPH must have been wrong. Based on measurements of the photographic evidence, a Brighton Magistrates Court judge agreed and threw out the case against Barker.

Obviously, copyright laws are there to protect the works of creators, not the products of an automated camera which may embarrass the police department. The UK should go the route of the US and make this kind of thing a public record, accessible to all. This should tell you why such transparency is a good thing for the general public:

While officials may prefer that drivers simply pay the tickets when they arrive in the mail, tens of thousands of innocent motorists have seen good reason to challenge their citations. In May, the National Prosecutors Office in The Netherlands refunded 9298 photo citations and another 2640 in because of uncertain camera accuracy. In March, 3000 automated tickets in Lausanne, Switzerland were thrown out after a "technical problem" caused tickets to be issued to law-abiding motorists. In February, prosecutors in Nuremberg, Germany began investigating a police chief for tampering with a photo radar evidence log. A major investigation in the UK last year concluded that 2660 speed camera tickets were unlawfully issued in Lancashire. In Arizona, 589 bogus speed camera tickets were canceled after faulty speed sensors were discovered.

Associated Press: Wisconsin court praises drunken concert goer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An Illinois teen knew he was too drunk to drive home after a Dave Matthews Band concert south of Milwaukee. So he fell asleep in his car, only to be awoken by a state trooper. Travis Peterson, 19, of Dixon, Ill., said even though he told the officer he was drunk and sleeping it off, the trooper ordered him to leave because the lot was being cleared.

Once out of the parking lot, Peterson was arrested for drunken driving. He was subsequently found guilty and ordered to spend 60 days in jail.

You can't get much more of an open and shut case of entrapment than this one. The police ordered a man to commit a crime then arrested him for that crime.

A Wisconsin appeals court on Wednesday commended Peterson for doing the right thing by trying to sleep it off, and said the trial court was wrong not to let him argue that police had entrapped him.

The state had argued successfully at trial that people who choose to drink too much can't argue they've been entrapped when stopped for drunken driving. The 2nd District Court of Appeals disagreed.

It's not often you get a Court of Appeals which praises a drunk teenager. The teenager was convicted initially, likely because we as a society essentially criminalize certain types of behavior - drinking, concert going, being a teenager - and when something happens to someone engaging in such behavior, we say they "had it coming" by engaging in what should be regarded as perfectly acceptable behavior. In this case, the Court of Appeals rightfully disagreed with this, saying it didn't matter that he was an underage drunk after a concert, he tried to do the right thing and shouldn't have been punished for it.

AP: Town on SF Bay wants to photograph every car

TIBURON, Calif. — Visitors should be prepared to have their pictures taken as they enter and leave this picturesque town of million-dollar views and homes along the San Francisco Bay.

Officials want to photograph every car and use the license plate information to solve crimes in the town of 9,000. Critics see the plan as an intrusion into the rights of visitors, but proponents say it is a sensible precaution that absolutely will not cross privacy lines.

"As long as you don't arrive in a stolen vehicle or go on a crime spree while you're here, your anonymity will be preserved," said Town Manager Peggy Curran. "We don't care who you are and we don't know who you are."

Right. So you have nothing to worry about unless you have something to hide, I suppose. So what recent crime spree prompted this measure?

Curled on the edge of the San Francisco Bay in Marin County, Tiburon is not a high-crime spot. In 2008, police report there were 99 thefts, 20 burglaries and two auto thefts.

Two whole autothefts? Why not fingerprint everybody too?

Boston Globe: Harvard professor Gates arrested at Cambridge home

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation's pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. The incident raised concerns among some Harvard faculty that Gates was a victim of racial profiling.
Police arrived at Gates’s Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, had trouble unlocking his door after it became jammed.

An honest mistake, perhaps? Overly cautious police? No.

Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said.

So they arrested him in his own home knowing that he was in fact the resident.

BBC News: Police helicopter sent to 'rave'

Action to prevent an "illegal rave" in Devon last week has been defended by police, despite claims the event was merely an organised birthday barbecue.

Locals feared a rave was to take place at Sowton, near Exeter, on Saturday and called the police, who closed the event down. A force helicopter was deployed.

Andrew Poole, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, claimed police riot vans turned up before any music was played.

This news article doesn't specify, mentioning merely the internet, but others note that Poole had put up a Facebook page advertising the party, just like thousands of other Facebook users make pages for their own birthday parties.

"We were nowhere near anyone, we weren't even playing any music," he said.

"What effectively the police did was come in and stop 15 people eating burgers."

Good show! Even when they discovered it was a perfectly legal barbeque, they still broke it up at the late hour of 4 PM in the afternoon. And still, the police defend their actions and the expense of the operation.

"Had it gone ahead, it is likely that far more of our resources would have been used to police the event and there would have been considerable disruption to neighbouring properties."

Yes, we know how crazy those 15-member barbque parties get. If it had gone on, they might have shot at the police helicopter.

New York Daily News: Sting nabs sticky-fingered JFK airport workers going through luggage

A sting captured by security cameras nabbed two sticky-fingered airport workers who swiped electronics planted by authorities, officials said. Brian Burton, 27, and Antwon Simmons, 26, stole a laptop and cell phone from the decoy luggage as it moved through Kennedy Airport, Port Authority officials said.

Good to see someone is watching the watchmen.

Associated Press: Taser, pepper spray used as Texas pastor arrested

WEBSTER, Texas (AP) — Police used a Taser on a pastor and pepper spray to disperse his congregants Wednesday after the pastor allegedly interfered with a traffic stop in the church parking lot.

Congregants say they were in the Iglesia Profetica Peniel church for an early morning prayer when pastor Jose Elias Moran went to assist the stopped driver, a church member, by asking the police what had happened.

An incident report on the Webster police department's Web site said Officer Raymond Berryman tried to calm Moran and arrest him. But police say he pushed the officer, went inside the church and returned with 40 other congregants.

The congregants say Moran fled into the church when the officer grew angry and began to yell, and Moran's family disputes that the pastor touched the officer.

Moran's son Miguel said 30 witnesses saw the officer turn aggressive and repeatedly kick the church door. Several members were hit with pepper spray and children were present, Miguel Moran said.

I'm curious how this one will turn out. Not sure who to believe on this one, but the eyewitness testimony about kicking the church door seems oddly specific and leads me to think that the cop did in fact chase the pastor down.

St. Petersburg Times: Police officer quits after admitting he slashed homeless man's bike tires

TARPON SPRINGS — On Jan. 28, Tarpon Springs police Officer Jeffrey Robinson says he encountered a barrage of racial slurs when he drove a homeless man to the Pinellas County Jail.

On Feb. 8, he retaliated.

On Wednesday, Robinson resigned from the Tarpon Springs Police Department after a three-month internal investigation, complete with video evidence, determined that he slashed the bicycle tires of John Bilawsky, the homeless man.

Now I understand that, if you unleash a barrage of racial slurs at a police officer, certain things may happen, your handcuffs might be a little too tight or your head might bounce off the roof of the patrol car. I don't necessarily condone that, but I understand things happen in the heat of the moment. But premeditated revenge after the fact is another thing entirely, no matter how much you may think this guy has it coming. You don't want a cop prone to petty revenge attacks out on the streets, especially one too stupid not to get caught on videotape. I must add I am impressed with the professionalism of the officers in property storage, who attempted to reinflate the tires and reimbused the owner for new tubes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Air freshener disrupts RAF parade

A suspicious package which led to an RAF parade being cancelled in Lincolnshire, has turned out to be a phone box air freshener.

A bomb disposal team exploded the black BT device, which was spotted in the red telephone box in Market Place, Boston, by a worried member of the public.

My favorite part is this:

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: "We had no idea what it was, it was something we'd never encountered before."

Never encountered an air freshener before? Remind me to stay out of their police cars.