Let LAPD know that you reject their so called reforms and hold them responsible for deceptive practices!!posted at [http://stoplapdspying.org/2012/05/let-lapd-know-that-you-reject-their-so-called-reforms-and-hold-them-responsible-for-deceptive-practices/]
Please join us in demanding accountability from the LAPD for holding out so-called reforms to their spying program as an example of community involvement.
Take a moment to send an email to the LAPD and the Police Commission by clicking here [http://citizenspeak.org/campaign/stoplapdspying/we-reject-lapds-so-called-reforms-hold-them-responsible-deceptive-practices].
Then, join us by also calling the LAPD and letting them know you, like us, want rescision, not reform!
The number is: 213-486-0150. Once connected, please convey the sentiment of this script:
I am greatly concerned about the lack of transparency and opportunity for meaningful public participation regarding LAPD’s policy making and implementation of Special Orders 1 and 11 (SO 1 and 11). Why have there been back door negotiations between Deputy Chief Downing and only 3 organizations when hundreds of Los Angeles residents and dozens of organizations have publicly demanded that LAPD rescind SO 1 and 11?
I hold LAPD responsible for these deceptive practices and expect an immediate response from you. I reject your so called reforms and cosmetic changes, and I demand that LAPD rescind SO 1 and 11 immediately.
Thank you! There is power in unity!
What is LAPD Special Order 1?
Issued in January 2012, LAPD Special Order (SO) 1 is a revised version of SO 11 which was originally issued in March 2008. SO 1 is a policy directive by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck that infringes on privacy and civil liberties, and essentially legitimizes spying by local law enforcement and promotes racial profiling. SO 1 authorizes LAPD officers to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) on observed or reported activity and information, based upon what is termed “observed behavior”, a completely speculative and arbitrary concept.
This order lists numerous “suspicious” behaviors including non-criminal behaviors such as: using cameras in public, shooting video, using binoculars, drawing diagrams, taking notes, walking into an office and asking for hours of operation. The order makes the assumption that if you are shooting pictures or taking video in public then you are engaging in what is called “pre-operational surveillance.” The “suspicion” cast on such benign, daily behaviors opens the door for racial profiling and for such normal activities to be used as a pretext to open investigations on people who are just living their lives and abiding by the law. It is important to realize that SO 1’s fundamental premise is that each and every person is a potential suspect.
Who is targeted by SO 1?
Everyone is a potential target!
The campaign goes beyond SO 1’s impact upon “usual suspects/targets” of our times, meaning communities that have been recently targeted by the national security apparatus as potential suspects of terrorism, especially Muslims, South Asians, Arabs, or Middle Easterners. To better understand the impact of police surveillance, to begin with, the campaign is guided through the lives of people who are constantly deemed “undesirable”, who get surveilled regularly and face police brutality and abuse on a daily basis. It is through this understanding that we are building the campaign primarily informed by the experiences of Skid Row residents.
Similarly Special Order 1 targets many other individuals and groups as “undesirables.” These are populations who are considered “suspicious” by virtue of who they are or the work they do. They include Black and Brown youth, who are commonly described as “urban predators” and/or “domestic/street terrorists” and many of whom have been jailed or are on probation. For LGBT and queer transgender folks, SO 1 only adds to the multiple jeopardies they face anyway since their daily life is considered a “suspicious” activity. SO 1 also targets immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, women, low-wage workers, homeless and poor folks, artists, academics, environmentalists and other political activists, and social justice organizations. All deemed a threat to status quo hence “undesirable” and a target of surveillance and criminalization.
What are the long-term implications of SO 1? Why should we all be concerned?
LAPD Special Order 1 is the latest tool in the long standing tradition of creating the “other” and justifying unlimited power of the government to protect “us” from the “other.” Furthermore, the post 9/11 environment has seen a rapid increase in unlimited government powers granted through the USA PATRIOT Act and various legislative and executive actions with the blessing of the judiciary which has all but absolved its responsibility to uphold constitutional standards.
By allowing the criminalization of innocent behavior, SO 1 not only eviscerates individual rights and privacy but also reverses the long held basic premise from innocent until proven guilty to guilty till proven innocent and unlike previous covert, secret and mostly illegal actions by law enforcement of all stripes such as LAPD’s “Red Squads” – the “Public Disorder Intelligence Division (PDID):
SO 1 legitimizes and mandates police surveillance and spying and strongly encourages community members to spy and snitch on each other through the LAPD “i Watch” program;
* SO 1 opens the door for gathering unlimited amount of data on people based on innocent non-criminal activity which is then shared with every local and federal law enforcement agency and other departments and private contractors through Fusion Centers – hubs which tie local collectors and users of intelligence data into a national information sharing network;
* SO 1 uses the language of “observed behavior” and “reasonable indication,” completely arbitrary and speculative concepts. These concepts open the door for lowering current thresholds of probable cause and reasonable suspicion for “stop and search” which require specific and “articulable” facts to investigate someone. By laying the groundwork for speculative and predictive policing based upon a hunch due to “observed behavior” and “reasonable indication,” SO 1 raises great concern about unsubstantiated investigations and criminalization of innocent people causing unnecessary harassment and intimidation and potentially leading to false arrest and incarceration;
* SO 1 and how other cities and municipalities are modeling their Suspicious Activity Reporting on LAPD’s approach opens up tremendous corporate profit making opportunities in the rapidly developing “Surveillance Industrial Complex.”
These are unlimited powers, which are just ripe for abuse. There is a long history of police abuse and corruption and we cannot romanticize or lament that history. We need to organize, mobilize and actively demand that the city of Los Angeles rescind LAPD Special Order 1.