a-ok for cops to run over cyclists while e-mailing

From the "unaccountable cops are bad cops" department:

No charges for LASD deputy who fatally struck cyclist while typing on computer

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against a sheriff’s deputy who was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer when he fatally struck cyclist Milton Olin Jr. in Calabasas in December, officials announced Wednesday.

...

“Wood entered the bicycle lane as a result of inattention caused by typing into his (Mobile Digital Computer),” according to the declination letter prepared by the Justice System Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office and released Wednesday. “He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed. Since Wood was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response, under Vehicle Code section 23123.5, he acted lawfully.”

Tags: 

Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid 4WD SUV off-road in the Outback

"The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV. " I hope more models will be on the market when it comes time (hopefully not for many years!) to replace Starbug, my Ford Escape hybrid SUV (not plug-in).

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to enter 2014 Australian Safari | Electric Vehicle News

Mitsubishi’s top selling Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is set to tackle a new frontier when it takes on one of the toughest off-road events in outback Australia next month.

With technical support from Mitsubishi Motors Australia (MMAL), Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia (TMR Australia) will enter a plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV in the iconic Australasian Safari, which takes place in Western Australia from 19-27 September.

It will be the first plug-in hybrid four-wheel drive officially entered in an Australian motorsport event – including the Safari, which is considered one of the most demanding off-road endurance rallies in Australia.

NY cop indicted for lying about illegal arrest

Rarity of rarities, a thug cop being prosecuted for his crimes. Though not for the actual assault and kidnapping of the illegal arrest, but just for the falsified paperwork. Will he actually be convicted? My money's on a plea deal and a slap on the wrist.

Officer Is Indicted on Charges of Lying About Photographer’s Arrest

The officer, Michael Ackermann, 30, claimed that the photographer interfered with an arrest last year of a teenage girl by repeatedly discharging his camera’s flash in Officer Ackermann’s face. But the officer’s account unraveled after the office of Robert T. Johnson, the Bronx district attorney, examined photographic evidence and determined that the photographer, Robert Stolarik, did not use a flash and did not have one on his camera at the time.

...

When an officer told Mr. Stolarik to stop taking pictures of a girl being arrested, he identified himself as a Times journalist and continued taking pictures. Another officer grabbed his camera and slammed it into his face, Mr. Stolarik said at the time. As he asked for their badge numbers, the officers took his cameras and pulled him to the ground.

Tags: 

Jihadism: it's not about religion

Religion makes a great cover for violence. But a driver? Only secondarily.

This Is What Wannabe Jihadists Order on Amazon Before Leaving for Syria (New Republic)

Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement. The swivel-eyed young men who take sadistic pleasure in bombings and beheadings may try to justify their violence with recourse to religious rhetoric— think the killers of Lee Rigby screaming “Allahu Akbar” at their trial; think of Islamic State beheading the photojournalist James Foley as part of its “holy war”—but religious fervour isn’t what motivates most of them.

In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit...revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could ... be regarded as religious novices.”...

...forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer Marc Sageman; the political scientist Robert Pape; the international relations scholar Rik Coolsaet; the Islamism expert Olivier Roy; the anthropologist Scott Atran....they point to other drivers of radicalisation: moral outrage, disaffection, peer pressure, the search for a new identity, for a sense of belonging and purpose.

are governments intentionally obfuscating the facts about killings by police?

D. Brian Burghart of the Reno News & Review has compiling a national database of deadly police violence. He believes that the lack of data is a deliberate policy:

What I've Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings (Gawker)

The biggest thing I've taken away from this project is something I'll never be able to prove, but I'm convinced to my core: The lack of such a database is intentional. No government—not the federal government, and not the thousands of municipalities that give their police forces license to use deadly force—wants you to know how many people it kills and why.

It's the only conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence. What evidence? In attempting to collect this information, I was lied to and delayed by the FBI, even when I was only trying to find out the addresses of police departments to make public records requests. The government collects millions of bits of data annually about law enforcement in its Uniform Crime Report, but it doesn't collect information about the most consequential act a law enforcer can do.

Ferguson shooter's first cop job was on another dirty force

We've mentioned how dirty the Ferguson PD had proved itself to be before the recent troubles. Turns out Darren Wilson's first job as a cop was in a PD so filthy it was disbanded. That doesn't prove anything about what happened the night he shot Michael Brown, but does reflect on his credibility and competence.

Darren Wilson’s first job was on a troubled police force disbanded by authorities (Washington Post)

FERGUSON, Mo. — The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch.

That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson.

Tags: 

teen arrested for writing story about shooting dinosaur

Just when you though the hoplophobia couldn't get more ridiculous...

High school student arrested for writing story about shooting dinosaur (The Mommy Files)

When a South Carolina student was given an assignment by his teacher to create a Facebook-type status report telling something interesting about himself, he allegedly wrote “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.”

School officials were alarmed by 16-year-old Alex Stone’s words and called police. ...

Police told My Fox Chicago that Stone was difficult during questioning and they arrested him and charged him with disturbing the school. Stone was also suspended from Summerville High School for a week.

did cop who shot Michael Brown have skull fracture? apparently not

I've seen some sources claiming that Wilson had a serious orbital fracture, and that this somehow justified his shooting of Brown. The second part of that allegation is clearly false, and it seems so is the first.

Did Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Suffer Broken Eye Socket in Struggle With Michael Brown? Apparently No. (Reason.com)

Two days ago, FoxNews ran an anonymously sourced story claiming that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer identified as the shooter of Michael Brown, suffered "severe facial injuries" including a broken eye socket during the altercations.

Now, CNN is saying that story is false.

Ferguson "free speech zone" non-existent

There is one "Free Speech Zone" in the United States. It is contiguous with the geographical borders of the United States.

Ferguson's "free speech zone" is a padlocked no-man's-land (Boing Boing)

“When inquiries were made to law enforcement officers regarding which law prohibits gathering or standing for more than five seconds on public sidewalks,” the ACLU of Missouri wrote in its emergency federal court filing to block the apparent policy, “the officers indicated that they did not know and that it did not matter. The officers further indicated that they were following the orders of their supervisors, whom they refused to name.”

...

So where and what was that free speech zone? “It’s supposed to be at the intersection of Ferguson and Florissant,” Rothert said. “There is a field there, but it is padlocked and no one can get in.”

charter schools: the long con

Here's another way I could make lots of money if I didn't have this pesky sense of ethics: start myself a charter school, take money from the educational system, hire unqualified teachers, and pay myself a handsome salary to run it all. And when the whole thing falls apart just declare the corporation bankrupt and move on.

The Con Artistry of Charter Schools

Charter schools are such a racket, across the nation they are attracting special attention from the FBI, which is working with the Department of Education’s inspector general to look into allegations of charter-school fraud.

...

“Originally, charter schools were conceived as a way to improve public education,” Buras says. “Over time, however, the charter school movement has developed into a money-making venture.”

Pages

Subscribe to the unreasonable man RSS