Monday, June 30, 2014 manipulates targeted user pages to influence long-term moods

Organized Stalking and Electronic Harassment: [link]

"Anger Follows Facebook's Secret Study to Manipulate Emotions; Facebook is using us as lab rats, and not just to figure out which ads we’ll respond to but to actually change our emotions"2014-06-30 by Jon Queally from "Common Dreams" []:
New details surrounding how Facebook allowed academic researchers to conduct a secret experiment on nearly 700,000 of its users to determine if digital manipulation of their emotions could be achieved has spurred widespread condemnation and new fears about the power of such systems when turned against the millions of people who use them on a daily basis.
The experiment in question, which sought to document evidence of a "massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks," was authorized by Facebook in 2012 and conducted with outside assistance by researchers at Cornell and the University of California.
As the Wall Street Journal describes it [], the purpose of the live experiment was to "determine whether it could alter the emotional state of [Facebook] users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content." To achieve this, the site secretly and without the knowledge of those being subjected to the research "enabled an algorithm, for one week, to automatically omit content that contained words associated with either positive or negative emotions from the central news feeds of 689,003 users."
According to the abstract of the study []:
[begin excerpt]
When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.
Though the research was first published in an academic journal earlier this year, new attention was brought to it over the weekend after the New Scientist reviewed its findings and reported that the real-life emotions of people, "like [computer] viruses, can spread through online social networks."
[end excerpt]
And blogger Sophie Weiner, writing for AnimalNewYork, responded []: "What many of us feared is already a reality: Facebook is using us as lab rats, and not just to figure out which ads we’ll respond to but to actually change our emotions."
Numerous outlets then picked up the story, with the Guardian reporting that the lawyers, internet activists and politicians it spoke with used words like "scandalous", "spooky" and "disturbing" to describe the mass experiment in emotional manipulation.
According to the New York Times []:
[begin excerpt]
Although academic protocols generally call for getting people’s consent before psychological research is conducted on them, Facebook didn’t ask for explicit permission from those it selected for the experiment. It argued that its 1.28 billion monthly users gave blanket consent to the company’s research as a condition of using the service.
But the social network’s manipulation of its users’ feelings without their knowledge stirred up its own negative reaction. Some Facebook users and critics suggested that the company had crossed an ethical boundary.
[end excerpt]
As the Guardian reported, online "commentators voiced fears that the process could be used for political purposes in the runup to elections or to encourage people to stay on the site by feeding them happy thoughts and so boosting advertising revenues."
The newspaper quoted Clay Johnson [], the co-founder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed Barack Obama's online campaign for the presidency in 2008, who said: "The Facebook 'transmission of anger' experiment is terrifying."
As Johnson wrote on Twitter: "Could the CIA incite revolution in Sudan by pressuring Facebook to promote discontent? Should that be legal? Could Mark Zuckerberg swing an election by promoting Upworthy [a website aggregating viral content] posts two weeks beforehand? Should that be legal?"

Friday, June 27, 2014

Police SWAT teams, overseen by Law Enforcement Councils (LEC), are incorperating as private entities with no public oversight

 United States Fascism: The Union of Private and Government agencies to oppress the people [link]

"Massachusetts SWAT teams claim they’re private corporations, immune from open records laws"2014-06-26 by Radley Balko from the "Washington Post" daily newspaper []:
As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization [], the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.
As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. In 2012, for example, the Tewksbury Police Department paid about $4,600 in annual membership dues to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC [] []. (See page 36 of linked PDF.) That LEC has about 50 member agencies. In addition to operating a regional SWAT team, the LECs also facilitate technology and information sharing and oversee other specialized units, such as crime scene investigators and computer crime specialists.
Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.
From the ACLU of Massachusetts’s report on police militarization in that state []:
[begin excerpt]
Approximately 240 of the 351 police departments in Massachusetts belong to an LEC. While set up as “corporations,” LECs are funded by local and federal taxpayer money, are composed exclusively of public police officers and sheriffs, and carry out traditional law enforcement functions through specialized units such as SWAT teams . . .
Due to the weakness of Massachusetts public records law and the culture of secrecy that has infected local police departments and Law Enforcement Councils, procuring empirical records from police departments and regional SWAT teams in Massachusetts about police militarization was universally difficult and, in most instances, impossible . . .
Police departments and regional SWAT teams are public institutions, working with public money, meant to protect and serve the public’s interest. If these institutions do not maintain and make public comprehensive and comprehensible documents pertaining to their operations and tactics, the people cannot judge whether officials are acting appropriately or make needed policy changes when problems arise . . .
Hiding behind the argument that they are private corporations not subject to the public records laws, the LECs have refused to provide documents regarding their SWAT team policies and procedures. They have also failed to disclose anything about their operations, including how many raids they have executed or for what purpose . . .
METROLEC, one of the largest of the law enforcement councils covering the metropolitan Boston area, operates a range of specialized resources, including a Canine Unit, Computer Crimes Unit, Crisis Negotiation Team, Mobile Operations Motorcycle Unit, and Regional Response Team, in addition to its SWAT force. The organization maintains its own BearCat armored vehicle, as well as a $700,000 state of the art command and control post. In 2012, METROLEC reportedly used its BearCat 26 times, mostly for drug busts, and applied to the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain a drone license [].
The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) similarly operates a SWAT team, as well as a Computer Crime Unit, Motorcycle Unit, School Threat Assessment & Response System, and Regional Communications and Incident Management Assistance Team. Its SWAT team members are trained and equipped to “deal with active shooters, armed barricaded subjects, hostage takers and terrorists,” and they dress in military-style gear with the words “NEMLEC SWAT” emblazoned on their uniforms. Given this training, it is not surprising that the NEMLEC SWAT team has over the past decade led numerous operations that involved armored vehicles, flash-bang devices, and automatic weapons [].
[end excerpt]
(Note: In addition to the LEC SWAT teams, the ACLU notes that at least 25 other Massachusetts cities and towns have their own SWAT-like units, along with the state police and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.)
Massachusetts also has a long history of accountability and excessive force problems with SWAT teams. A few examples:
* In 1988, Boston Det. Sherman Griffiths was killed in a botched drug raid later revealed to have been conducted based on information from an informant a subsequent investigation revealed that the police had simply made up.
* Six years later, the Rev. Accelyne Williams died of a heart attack during a mistaken drug raid on his home. The Boston Globe found that three of the officers involved in that raid had been accused in a 1989 civil rights suit of using fictional informants to obtain warrants for drug raids. In testimony for that suit, one witness testified that after realizing they’d just raided the wrong home, a Boston police officer shrugged, apologized and said, “This happens all the time.” The city settled with the plaintiffs.
* In 1996, the Fitchburg SWAT team was already facing a lawsuit for harassing a group of loiterers when it burned down an apartment complex during a botched drug raid. The SWAT team subsequently faced a number of other allegations of recklessness and misconduct.
* In January 2011, a SWAT team raided the Framingham, Mass., home of 68-year-old Eurie Stamps at around midnight on a drug warrant. Oddly, it had already arrested the subject of the warrant — Stamps’s 20-year-old stepson — outside the house. But because he lived in Stamps’s home, the team went ahead with the raid anyway. When the team encountered Stamps, it instructed him to lie on the floor. He complied. According to the police account, as one officer then moved toward Stamps to check for weapons, he lost his balance and fell. As he fell, his weapon discharged, sending a bullet directly into Stamps’s chest, killing him.
“You can’t have it both ways,” Jessie Rossman, a staff attorney for the Massachusetts ACLU, told me in a phone interview. “The same government authority that allows them to carry weapons, make arrests, and break down the doors of Massachusetts residents during dangerous raids also makes them a government agency that is subject to the open records law.”
In some states, police agencies can claim exemptions from open records legislation for certain types of requests, such as for internal personnel files, or investigation documents that could reveal the identities of witnesses or informants. In some parts of the country, like the Virginia suburbs of Washington, police agencies have broadly interpreted open records laws to allow them to turn down just about every request []. But this claim in Massachusetts is on a whole different scale.
“They didn’t even attempt to claim an exception,” Rossman says. “They’re simply asserting that they’re private corporations.”
The ACLU is now suing NEMLEC []. It’s worth noting that in addition to receiving taxpayer funding from its 51 member police agencies, NEMLEC has also received significant federal funding over the years, particularly from the Byrne Grant program. In fact, just last April, NEMLEC made a series of drug busts across the state in an investigation funded at least in part with Byrne Grants []. (NEMLEC seems to be involved in a lot of drug raids [as shown in a websearch at time of this article's publication].) In 2010, NEMLEC received an $800,000 Byrne Grant earmarked by then-Sen. John F. Kerry [].
Interestingly, in 2009, NEMLEC had to pay out $200,000 “to settle allegations that it made false claims related to the use of Justice Department grant funds” — specifically, funds obtained through the Byrne Grant program []. That sounds like an agency that could use a little oversight.
The argument that the LECs in Massachusetts are private corporations and therefore immune to the state open records law was made by Jack Collins, the general counsel for the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. I have contacted his office to request an interview but haven’t yet heard back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vallejo PD aim to shoot unarmed teenagers

Vallejo Police Department [link]

No crime committed but these officers have guns drawn, ready to shoot.
2014-06-23 News update from "Vallejo Times-Herald": A shooting occurred at about 7:30 p.m. near Fifth Street and Solano Avenue involving several juveniles. According to Vallejo police, there were no injuries to the victim and no weapons were found. No one was arrested, but two of the three juveniles were detained and later released.

An important message about Your Facebook account

2014-06-24 by Kevin Huang from [] (notes are numbered and placed below article):
Click here to see how Facebook is using your web browsing history and to opt out and say NO! [].
Facebook just announced a creepy new tracking system that watches you even when you’re not on Facebook. We’ve done a lot together to win real victories against government surveillance, now it’s time to address the big elephant in the room: companies like Facebook, whose business models are fundamentally at odds with their user’s rights.
Last week, Facebook announced that it will begin tapping into your web browsing and Internet data outside of Facebook to serve ads.[1] This is incredibly creepy. By selling and sharing your and every Internet user’s personal data to private companies and government agencies, Facebook is putting everyone at risk of having their basic rights abused. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, Facebook can still track you and hand your information over. [2]
We’re telling Facebook to stop and our campaign is growing fast! In the last two days, more than 50,000 of you have already taken action to tell Zuckerberg and Facebook to stop creeping on our every movement on the Internet. And the number of voices joining our action only keep growing each second.
This could be bad for all of us and not just because Mark Zuckerberg can look at your browsing history. Facebook’s close ties with government agencies like the NSA threaten your and every Internet user’s right to privacy. [3] If Zuckerberg is data mining every trace of your Internet usage, then the NSA has that same data too.[4] That’s why it’s so important that we take action and stop this abuse now.
Yes, I’ll support the campaign to tell Facebook to stop abusing my right to privacy!
We’ve won major victories for Internet freedom in the past, let’s add this to that list. If we can get enough people to demand that Facebook stop abusing Internet user’s right to privacy, we can stop them.

P.S.Taking action on this campaign won't de-activate your Facebook account or anything like that. We'll simply send the message to Facebook and demand that they stop this new invasive practice.

P.P.S. Taking on Facebook’s abuse of privacy is no small task, but our small team is working hard to make this campaign spread wide and far. Can you chip in to help us take on Facebook? Please donate $20 (or more) today!


[1] Washington Post. "Facebook draws fire from privacy advocates over ad changes". []

[2] Social Science Research Network. "Facebook Tracks and Traces Everyone. Like this!" []

[3] Bloomberg Businessweek. "Europe's High Court Will Look at Facebook's Possible Role in NSA Spying". []

[4] Mother Jones. "Where Does Facebook Stop and the NSA Begin?". []

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Justice for Alan Blueford!

"Protesting police murder of Alan Blueford and war on Afrikans"2012-05-23 by Malaika Kambon for the "San Francisco Bay View" newspaper []:
Malaika H. Kambon is a freelance photojournalist and the 2011 winner of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association Luci S. Williams Houston Scholarship in Photojournalism. She also won the AAU state and national championship in Tae Kwon Do from 2007-2010. She can be reached at
“Oro en paz, fierro en guerra” (“Gold in peace, iron in war”) – Motto of the San Francisco Police Department
(Alan Blueford’s family testified passionately at the May 15 Oakland City Council meeting. Here, his cousin Tanisha is at the mic, as his mother, Jeralynn Blueford, stands beside her holding the yellow sign. – Photo: Malaika Kambon)

On Tuesday, May 15, the bereaved family members of Alan Dwayne Blueford eloquently addressed those members of the Oakland City Council who were present, seeking justice in a case that is looking suspiciously like a criminal assassination of the 18-year-old student in his senior year at Skyline High School. He was due to graduate in June.
The video re-play of the Oakland City Council meeting for that evening shows members of the family, arm in arm, giving each other much needed support as they spoke before a standing-room-only public audience with hundreds more outside of the doors of the council chambers, addressing the issues of the cold blooded assassination of their child. They testified about the lies and criminalization of him that the police had told family members and stated on television and radio and posted online on the police website, and they described the OPD’s callous disregard for their grief and need for information as they tried to piece together precisely what had happened to their child and how.
(Mayor Jean Quan’s council seat was noticeably vacant. – Photo: Malaika Kambon)

Mayor Jean Quan and Oakland Chief of Police Howard Jordan were conspicuously absent.
It didn’t seem to matter. The Oakland City Council was interested only in addressing – behind closed doors – what to do about how police handle informing relatives of officer-involved shooting victims. Alan’s parents had been told to “go sit down” and wait in the police station lobby for over two hours, with no information about their son, while the police purported to be “continuing their investigation” of an alleged “shoot-out” between an allegedly “unidentified” Black person and OPD officers.
Jeralynn and Adam Blueford said they raced to Oakland police headquarters in the early hours of May 6 after their son’s friend called to inform them that their son, Alan Blueford, had been shot and killed by a police officer.
Alan Blueford, 18, would have graduated in June.
“We sat in the lobby of the Oakland Police Department for two hours, with not a glass of water, not a tissue to dry our eyes, not anything,”
Councilwoman Desley Brooks called repeatedly for someone to “find police Chief Howard Jordan” to facilitate a “discussion of police protocol for dealing with victim’s families,” but why does this issue overshadow the issue of another OPD slaying of an innocent Afrikan youth?
The OCC mindset bodes ill for any true investigation of this matter. Yet another pointless “internal investigation” will scream cover-up and “discussion of police protocol” will become nothing more than an administrative sound bite in the form of a report, while the deeper issue of an out of control department of killer cops goes untouched.
Note the similarities between five specific cases, in three separate cities, not more than three years apart, all of which included the police or vigilante murders of very young African men who were doing nothing that could even remotely be construed as criminal behavior.
And then, note the similarities between the assassins – and the consistent fact that all of the killers are free and white and that their criminal actions are protected under cover of law, no matter the evidence brought against them.
(Photo showing Miguel Masso, OPD)
Comes now Miguel Masso, the OPD assassin of Alan Dwayne Blueford in the small hours of the morning on May 6, 2012, in the 9200 block of Birch Avenue. Defended by Attorney Harry Stern, the same attorney who defended Patrick Gonzalez, killer of Gary King Jr., Masso lives in Los Banos (between Fresno and San Jose), not in the Oakland community in which he and his partner rolled up on three young Afrikan men in deep East Oakland, with guns drawn and lights off, sneaking up as though they were at war in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The three young Afrikan men were doing nothing more than awaiting the arrival of female friends to get a ride to go watch a televised professional boxing match.
This is not criminal activity. But the targeting of these young men for assault with deadly force was at the least inappropriate and quite probably a hate crime.

(Photo showing George Zimmerman, insurance underwriter cum vigilante)
Then we have the example of George Zimmerman, a wannabe cop, vigilante-stalker of young Black men and the assassin of Trayvon Martin in the small hours of the morning on Feb. 26, 2012, in a Florida gated community. Defended by Attorney Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman, formerly employed as a “forensic review analyst,” i.e., underwriter, at the Maitland, Florida, office of Digital Risk, LLC, a mortgage risk management firm, avoided arrest for months after the murder of Trayvon Martin and has an active permit to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida, despite having been charged with second degree murder. His current whereabouts are undisclosed, and according to his attorney Zimmerman had “several safe houses prepared” once released on $150,000 bail. Thus far, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is defending its decision to keep Zimmerman’s gun permit active. The argument that “short of a permit holder being convicted of a felony, the state does not have the authority to revoke a permit” is especially specious. Zimmerman is an armed and dangerous loose cannon. Yet he is free, has killed and is under no known court orders of supervision.
Were the situation not so serious, this would be comical, particularly since the FBI says it now seeks to charge George Zimmerman with a hate crime. By definition, the FBI and its history of counterintelligence programs of hatred against Afrikan people (COINTELPRO) makes this an extreme case of the pot literally calling the kettle black. The FBI, a federal organization built upon hatred, charging a hater with – ahem – hating!
(photo showing Johannes Mehserle, ex-BART cop)
 Johannes Mehserle is the ex-BART cop, assassin of Oscar Grant III, who on Jan. 1, 2009, shot and killed Oscar Grant because he was purportedly unable to distinguish his heavy Sig Sauer from his much smaller and lighter weight Taser. Mehserle was convicted of “involuntary” manslaughter. Instead of 14 years in prison, he was given two years in prison with credit for 292 days time served. After a few months, he walked out the door free as the breeze.
His attorney, Michael Rain, successfully lobbied the state of California to have his client’s trial moved out of Oakland to Los Angeles.
Rain also got the gun enhancement charge, which would have added 10 years to Mehserle’s sentence, dismissed by “convincing” Judge Robert Perry to believe that his client truly confused his Taser for his gun, even though Oscar Grant photographed Mehserle holstering his Taser, drawing his gun and firing what turned out to be the fatal shot.
After the deals were made, Mehserle dried his eyes and showed no remorse whatever for the murder. He and his appellate attorney Dylan Schaffer are now attempting to have his 2010 involuntary manslaughter conviction overturned on the grounds that the ruling “sets a precedent that makes it difficult for police officers to do their jobs.”
(Oakland Schools Police Sgt. Barhin Bhatt holds shut the gate to Fremont High School during a March 4, 2011, protest. – Photo: KALW)

Amid controversy within the OUSD stemming from racial harassment charges, the killer of Raheim Brown, Sgt. Barhin Bhatt was promoted to interim police chief of the Oakland Unified School District Police Department. Neither he nor his partner, Sgt. Jonathan Bellusa, was charged in the killing. (See “OUSD Police Protest.” [])
While Mehserle didn’t clean up quite as handily as did Zimmerman and Masso, note the similarities of the three murderers: While the police departments and mainstream media criminalized the slain Afrikan victims, the assassins completely altered their public image photographs and demeanor, hoping that taking geeky, boy next door photos, donning suits and ties, crying – while lying – in court, and making public apologies to grieving families will divert the public from focusing on the heinous crimes they and their respective departments have committed and continue to commit against a global Afrikan community.
(Every member of the large and close knit family of Alan Dwayne Blueford who could spoke truth to power at the Oakland City Council meeting on May 15 in support of justice for their slain loved one, who was gunned down on May 6 by one of the OPD’s paid killers behind the badge, Miguel Masso. – Photo: Malaika Kambon)

And do you seriously think that these guys aren’t networking while they’re notching their guns?
Note the further similarities between the Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Kenneth Harding, Raheim Brown and Alan Blueford shootings:
* All except Kenneth Harding were shot in the small hours of the morning.
* All were denied critical medical treatment.
* All were posthumously criminalized both by the police and by a mainstream press that wouldn’t have mentioned the shootings at all if the Afrikan communities of the world hadn’t taken to the streets in rebellion.
* All were unarmed; all shots were fired by police or an armed vigilante civilian.
* All were either fleeing from police or “co-operating” with police directives, despite racial epithets being spewed by police and/or police escalation of legal activities to justify their subsequent use of deadly force.
* None was threatening police.
* None was over 22 years old.
(This is George Zimmerman’s gun, a Sig Sauer. The .40 caliber of this model is the standard issue gun for the SFPD. All police officers carry other weapons and often carry a backup weapon as well. SFPD’s Weapons Training Video can be seen at

Oscar Grant was denied critical medical treatment and cruelly abused physically, emotionally and racially before and after being shot by a bullet in the back that ricocheted off the concrete platform back into him. And there is evidence of a system wide cover-up involving destruction of evidence and willful medical malfeasance by the Oakland Fire Department.
Trayvon Martin’s body had been left in the morgue for three days before his parents were notified; Kenneth Harding was forced to bleed out and die in public surrounded by heavily armed cops; Raheim Brown was shot multiple times to the head and chest while sitting in a car after a Skyline High School dance; Alan Blueford was shot three times in the back, his ID was stolen and his body was left on the street for over four hours – no telling how long he fought for life – and his parents were delayed at the police station without being told exactly what happened to their child and then fed a tissue of lies. Yet the allegedly clumsy cop was rushed to Highland Hospital post haste from the crime scene after shooting himself in the foot.
Meanwhile police departments purchase new SUVs and lethal toys such as the LRAD, used supposedly for the first time in the U.S. at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. Now the OPD has acquired one. See “Is Oakland Police Itching to use its LRAD Weapon…Is That Why We Keep Hearing About Riots?" [].

Not only that, but 35 percent of Oakland’s budget goes to the police in the form of retirement benefits, cost of living increases and a recent proposal for $276,842 to be used to retrofit 149 police vehicles.
One particularly interesting entry appears on pages viii and ix of the Oakland 2009-11 Proposed Policy Budget: “In March 2009, to avoid a year-end deficit of over $8 million (stemming mainly from overspending in Police), 5.0 FTE vacant positions were frozen to save $0.2 million, fees were raised to generate $0.01 million, $0.45 million in police expenses were authorized for transfer to other funds, and a $0.5 million insurance claim was submitted to seek reimbursement for unanticipated police costs following the recent BART police shooting. In addition, $4.2 million in project costs have been deferred to the next year.”
The retrofit, the war toys and the new SUVs are an alleged response to increased criminal activity of Oakland’s Afrikan citizenry that does not exist, while killer cops and armed “citizen” vigilantes roam free to kill with impunity and justify their actions with “officer protection” claims, “stand your ground laws” that apparently apply only to vigilantes, and with the incredible hubris to claim a need to safeguard cities in which the population runs from them if given a chance.
(Haiti Emergency Relief Fund and Haiti Action Committee co-founders attorney Walter Riley and Pierre Labossiere, with Aja Minor of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), spoke at Tuesday’s City Council meeting in support of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. Councilwoman Desley Brooks’ resolution urges President Obama to help Haiti recover, save lives and “end a double standard.” – Photo: Malaika Kambon)

This kind of thing happens in Afrikan Haiti hourly. Grassroots citizens are left in the street after being cruelly and horribly slain by U.S. and Canadian trained police and disease ridden U.N. MINUSTAH forces. Relatives have come home from work to find the bodies of their loved ones – fathers, children, wives, mothers – dead and decaying on the living room floor or in the street.
With the U.S./U.N. military occupation worsening conditions in Haiti, a petition for a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program has been sent to Obama, such that Haitians, like hundreds of thousands of Cuban, Indochinese and Kosovar refugees, can be paroled to the U.S. and a program like that for Cubans can be established for Haitians. Such a resolution was on the Oakland City Council agenda for discussion on May 15, File 11-0396.
(Adam and Jeralynn Blueford – shown here with SF8 and Black Panther veteran Richard Brown – and most of the family came to the annual Malcolm X Jazz and Arts Festival on May 19 in Oakland’s San Antonio Park. Jeralynn spoke to a crowd that had peaked at 10,000 people that day. She rocked the house and vowed that her son’s death would not be forgotten nor in vain. – Photo: Malaika Kambon)

But the character assassination of Afrikans has not ceased. The same FBI charging George Zimmerman with a hate crime “engaged in or encouraged a variety of actions intended to cause (and in fact causing) deaths of BPP members, loss of membership … and defamatory discrediting of constructive Party programs and leaders,” as Huey P. Newton wrote in “War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America” on page 54.
Atrocities such as these are always committed against peoples of color globally and predominantly against Afrikan people. We therefore must seriously connect what is happening on a larger and more realistic scale. Otherwise corrupt governments will continue to feed as we bleed.
(A BAMN member passed out fliers at the May 15 Oakland City Council meeting seeking justice for Alan Blueford. – Photo: Malaika Kambon)

In conclusion, it is popular to say that a badge isn’t a license to kill. But in actuality, it is. That is what the system has given the police: a license to kill with impunity, and that is what they do. People need to recognize that the police are licensed killers and stop trying to hang on to some vision of them as protectors. The police are at war.

Suggested reading: Dr. Jeffrey S. Adler’s “‘The Killer Behind the Badge’: Race and Police Homicide in New Orleans, 1925-1945.”

On Saturday afternoon, May 12, at the Eastmont Mall Oakland police substation, the family of Alan Blueford speaks at a rally supporting justice for their son, murdered by OPD early in the morning of Saturday, May 6, 2012, near the intersection of 92nd and Birch Street in East Oakland. – Video: Earl Black
Jeralynn Blueford, Alan Blueford’s mother, speaks to the Oakland City Council May 15 about the murder of her teenage son and her gross mistreatment by the OPD after his death. – Video: Oakland City Council, posted to YouTube by Lucas Wolf

Friday, June 20, 2014

"A Dozen Surviving Family Members of Police-Related Deaths, Local Attorneys, Religious Leaders & Community Organizations Call for DOJ Intervention in Sonoma County"

Justice for Andy Lopez Cruz! (d. 2013-10-22; Santa Rosa) [link]
press release from "Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez":
Sonoma County is racing toward the ignominious distinction as a major rural rival of urban centers such as Chicago and New York as one of the most likely locales in the U.S. for residents to die in police related incidents. Once known as a bucolic wine-producing region, with abundant tasting rooms and lush, green,scenic vineyards, the County continues to be rocked by almost one police-related death per month since the killing of Andy Lopez on October 22, 2013 the total number of deaths to date suffered in police related incidents since 2000 has already reached 61 and the trend continues unabated, reaching epidemic proportions.
After a spate of civilian deaths in police related incidents in the 1990’s, the U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division convened hearings in Sonoma County to ascertain the full extent of the crisis. The Commission’s Report, issued in May of 2000 after extensive investigation, concluded, “The Advisory Committee [of the DOJ] is appalled at the number of deadly incidents, justified or not, that have occurred within 25 months. The Advisory Committee agrees … that the number of events should be cause for alarm for all citizens of the county.”
The Advisory Committee issued 26 Recommendations for future implementation by the County and city jurisdictions, such as Santa Rosa, to address the vastly disproportionate number of police related deaths in Sonoma County, writing, “At a minimum, the departments must adopt policies and train officers to have the attitude that deadly force (emphasis added) is the option of last resort.” According to Mary Moore, one of the “community spokespersons” who brought the US Civil Rights Commission to Sonoma County in 1998, “The use of deadly force and excessive military tactics by law enforcement has unfortunately continued in an unabated pattern leading to 61 police related deaths since the issuing of the Commission Report. At best, a few minor cosmetic changes resulted from the 26 Recommendations proposed by the Commission in 2000.”
Fourteen years after the Commission visited Sonoma County, area residents, 12 surviving members of victims’ families, representatives of faith-based organizations, community organizations such as the NAACP and local area attorneys are demanding that the DOJ and U.S. Attorneys return to again investigate the abject failure of law enforcement to reduce the epidemic of the criminal overuse of deadlyforce and ramped up military-type confrontations.
According to Jonathan Melrod, the Sebastopol attorney and organizer for the Ad Hoc Committee sponsoring the outreach to the Federal Government, “This time we want the DOJ and the U.S. Attorneys to return to Sonoma County with full investigatory powers, including the power to subpoena, and at the conclusion of the investigation we are looking for an Albuquerque-type Consent Decree to force law enforcement to pull back from it criminal behavior and cease the war on Sonoma County civilians.”
At the press conference, attorneys from Adams Fietz and members of the Ad Hoc Committee will articulate the basis for the complaint to the Federal Government and WHY we are appealing to the Department of Justice for a much needed "outside" eye.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Google is an asset for security agencies

Google executive Regina Dugan is a former director at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) [] and Defense Sciences Office (DSO).

"DARPA Brain Chips to Implant False Memories"
2014-06-17 by Paul Joseph Watson []:
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing brain chips that will implant or remove specific memories from a subject, a prospect some may deem chilling given DARPA’s previous advocacy of authentication microchips.
Neuroscientists foresee a brave new world where minds can be programmed using lasers, drugs and microchips in order to create false memories, a technology that has already been used on mice.
“DARPA [the U.S. military’s R&D agency] seems to be going full steam ahead on these kinds of technologies,” neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux told MIT Review []. “What they plan to do is put chips in [the brain]. It would be like a prosthesis—instead of moving your arm, you’re fixing memory. I have no idea how they would achieve that.”
MIT Review’s Brian Bergstein admits that the notion of implanting or removing specific memories “often sounds creepy,” but that it will be useful in treating PTSD, reducing anxiety or combating addiction and depression.
Scientists are heralding the beginning of a “golden age” where minds could be manipulated to function better, although LeDoux acknowledges that ethical implications include the possibility that the application of the technology could lead to the creation of “fearless monsters.”
DARPA’s push for brain chips that could erase or implant memories takes on a somewhat sinister tone given the organization’s prior advocacy of edible “authentication microchips” and electronic tattoos that can read a person’s mind.
Former DARPA director and now Google executive Regina Dugan told an audience at the All Things D11 Conference last year that the tech giant was working on a microchip inside a pill that users would swallow daily in order to turn their entire body into a broadcast signal for identification purposes [].
When Dugan was asked by the moderator, “Does Google now know everything I do and everywhere I go because let’s face it….you’re from Google,” she responded by laughing and saying he should just swallow the pill.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Justice for Yanira Serrano! (d.2014-06-03, Half Moon Bay)

Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit filed for Yanira Serrano Garcia (2014-09-08) [link]

"Funeral for latest victim of police killings in N. California"
2014-06-13 press release from the Brown Berets Autonomous Chapter of Santa Rosa:
Saturday 1pm Mass Funeral @ Our Lady of the Pillar, Half Moon Bay
Tuesday 6:30pm Community Gathering @ Half Moon Bay City Council
Indict Deputy Menh Now!
On the afternoon of June 3rd, the quiet of the predominantly Spanish-speaking area of Moon Ridge was pierced with the crack of a bullet. 18-year old, mentally challenged Yanira Serrano lay dead in front of her house in a pool of blood. The blood curdling cries of agony from her family filled the air with despair. Only 30 feet from the Serrano house sits a Sheriffs’ substation, yet one officer – Deputy Trieu Menh – arrived on the scene in response to a 911 medical emergency call. Once on the scene, he pulled the trigger of his service weapon ending Yanira’s short life.
Most people remember Yanira as a good natured, happy girl who was a little bit “different”. Yanira was often seen by neighbors and friends either walking around Moon Ridge or riding her scooter. Yanira’s heartfelt desire was to be a “normal” kid -- just like her friends.
As with most people suffering from a mental impairment, there were times than Yanira didn’t want to take her meds – hoping to be normal. On those occasions, her family had called 911 for medical personnel to help them in those emergency situations. On June 3rd, however, Officer Menh arrived rather than medically trained or equipped personnel.
Officer Menh pulled out his service weapon and shot Yanira dead around 6pm. He immediately claimed, as Deputies have down in the last few months in Salina, Santa Rosa, Dublin, San Francisco, L.A. … that they shot mentally unstable people our of “fear for their lives.” Does a trained, full-grown, veteran officer really have no resort but a gun to face down a tiny 18-year old with an alleged kitchen knife?
On June 3rd, Yanira did not have to die. The use of deadly force by police in response to a 911 medical emergency is not an acceptable means of controlling or deescalating an emotionally fraught situation. The epidemic of police killings in California, largely directed at the mentally challenged and people of color is a rapidly growing cancer that must be eliminated before it continues to matasticize and kill more innocent victims.
For a week, the streets of Half Moon Bay have been filled with angry protesters demanding to know the true story of Yanira’s shooting and crying out for Justice for Yanira.
To carry on the struggle for Justice for Yanira and to Demand the Indictment of Deputy Menh, Yanira’s friends and family, members of the Half Moon Bay Community and their supporters from around the Bay will be joining a Mass Funeral on Saturday at 1pm. The funeral will commemorate Yanira’s short life and raise the cry for the DA to Indict Deputy Menh.
Tuesday, June 17th at 6:30pm will be the first Half Moon Bay City Council Meeting since Yanira’s death. Members of the community and Yanira’s family will attend the Council Meeting en masse to demand that the City Council pass a resolution demanding:
1.              The City Council of Half Moon Bay officially go on record demanding that District Attorney Stephan Wagstaffe conduct an immediate, thorough and fully transparent investigation of the June 3d shooting of Yanira Serrano.
2.              At the conclusion of that investigation DA Wagstaffe report all findings to the public in an open community meeting called for that purpose.
3.              Based on the evidence ascertained, Deputy Wagstaffe be charged with criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of Yanira Serrano.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stingray device

"Trickle down surveillance: How the NSA’s covert surveillance tactics are being employed by local law enforcement"
2014-06-12 by Nathan Freed Wessler []:
Nathan Freed Wessler is a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where he handles cases involving both free speech and privacy issues.
Cell site simulators, also known as “stingrays,” are devices that trick cellphones into reporting their locations and identifying information. They do so by mimicking cellphone towers and sending out electronic cues that allow the police to enlist cellphones as tracking devices, thus revealing people’s movements with great precision. The equipment also sends intrusive electronic signals through the walls of private homes and offices, learning information about the locations and identities of phones inside. Initially the domain of the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies, the use of stingrays has trickled down to federal, state and local law enforcement. In one Florida case [], a police officer explained in court that he “quite literally stood in front of every door and window” with his stingray to track the phones inside a large apartment complex.
Even when police are tracking a specific suspect, stingrays sweep up information about large numbers of bystanders who happen to be nearby; if stingrays yell out “Marco,” the mobile phones in the area reply, “Polo.” The result is that police gather the electronic serial numbers and other information about phones, as well as the direction and strength of each phone’s signal, allowing precise location tracking. Stingrays can also gather information about people’s communications, such as which phone numbers they call. Because we carry our cellphones with us virtually everywhere we go, stingrays can paint a precise picture of where we are and who we spend time with, including our location in a lover’s house, in a psychologist’s office or at a political protest. 
This sort of invasive surveillance raises serious questions about whether our tax dollars are funding violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. At a minimum, police should be required to go to a neutral judge, demonstrate probable cause and get a warrant before using stingrays, but many law enforcement agencies are not doing that. Instead, they seek permission using “pen register” and “trap and trace” statutes, which are based on a low legal standard and are designed to allow collection only of limited information about the numbers a phone dials or the numbers of incoming calls. Other agencies may not be going to a judge at all, or they may be concealing stingray use even when they do seek a court order [].

Murky and secretive -
The use of stingrays is murky and secretive, so it’s hard to tell how widespread it is. Over the past several months, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has submitted dozens of public records requests to state and local law enforcement agencies in Florida seeking information about which agencies own and use stingrays, how they use them, whether they have policies in place to restrict stingray use and protect bystanders’ privacy, and whether they get probable cause warrants from judges. The state’s practices were brought to our attention because of a Tallahassee case in which the cops secretly used a stingray without getting a warrant, but an appellate judge revealed at oral argument that local police had used the devices not only in that case but approximately 200 other times.
When we recently sent a records request to Florida’s Sarasota Police Department, it started off responding normally. It told us it had copies of court applications and orders authorizing use of stingray equipment, and invited a local representative of the ACLU down to take a look. Hours before the appointment, though, the police department canceled it, telling us that the U.S. Marshals Service (part of the Department of Justice) claimed ownership of the records because it had previously deputized the local detective who was storing the documents in his office. Then the marshals showed up at the local police station, seized the records and spirited them away to an unknown location — a blatant violation of state open-records laws.
What started out as a routine public records request has become a fight over the proper bounds of government secrecy and the importance of judicial oversight of police surveillance tactics [].

Broader patterns -
The marshals’ action was extreme, but it fits into a broader pattern of secrecy surrounding stingray surveillance. In other cases around the country, the federal government has persuaded local police departments to invoke national security concerns in an attempt to prevent judges from ordering the release of basic information about stingray use. Stingray technology was originally developed for use by intelligence and military agencies; now the NSA’s surveillance tactics, and the secrecy shrouding them, have trickled down to local law enforcement with the help of the federal government.
In Tucson, Arizona, for example, the FBI has opposed a public records request to the local police by arguing that releasing information about stingrays to a journalist would violate the Arms Export Control Act. Similarly, in Tallahassee, the FBI tried to defeat an ACLU request for access to judicial records describing police use of stingrays in a local investigation by invoking counterterrorism concerns. In May, a judge rejected that argument out of hand, recognizing that information about regular criminal investigations cannot be kept secret merely because a federal agency might use similar equipment in unrelated national security investigations [].
In other cases, police have tried to take a page from the CIA’s playbook by refusing even to confirm or deny whether they use stingrays []. Some police departments even tried to keep records secret (email pdf []) by pointing to a nondisclosure agreement they signed with the corporation that manufactures the devices or with an unnamed federal agency []. It shouldn’t need to be said, but local cops aren’t by law allowed to sidestep public records statutes by entering into secret agreements with private corporations or outside agencies.
Despite this secrecy, we have been able to obtain significant pieces of information about stingray surveillance elsewhere: a new ACLU analysis of press reports and publicly available records reveals that at least 37 state and local law enforcement agencies in 15 states own stingray devices []. From Anchorage, Alaska, to Alexandria, Virginia, local police are buying and using invasive surveillance gear in all kinds of local investigations. Other police departments are likely using stingrays in complete secret. This number also doesn’t include the many police departments that routinely borrow stingrays owned by the FBI, U.S. Marshals or state police. The Tallahassee Police Department has revealed, for example, that it has borrowed stingrays from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement more than 250 times since 2007. Numerous federal agencies own stingrays too, including the DEA, FBI, ATF, Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Nothing to hide -
Why is the government trying so hard to hide records from the public? Law enforcement agencies contend that releasing information would hamper their ability to fight crime, but that argument doesn’t hold because we aren’t seeking confidential information about active investigations. Police shouldn’t be able to hide basic facts about what kinds of cases they use stingrays in and what protections are in place to guard against abuse. 
Government transparency is crucial because when the public and lawmakers have information about stingrays, real debate and effective privacy protections result. Take Michigan, where the Legislature recently held an oversight hearing to investigate a county sheriff’s use of stingray devices. Or Indiana and Utah, where legislatures have enacted laws that require police to get a warrant before tracking cellphones using stingrays or other means. In Minnesota, public revelation that the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office wanted to buy a stingray several years ago led to robust debate at public county government meetings and passage of a law requiring that all future purchases of stingray equipment be explicitly approved by the county board. Government transparency leads to better policy and more robust protections of our privacy rights. That’s why the government’s reflexive secrecy around its use of stingrays is corrosive and detrimental to the public trust.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Justice for Jared Huey!

Jared Huey's father (center) is protected by a community and labor union alliance for Human Rights!

Never Forget!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Vallejo PD illegally harassing the Twerk Mobile

The RV bus has a parking space at a storage place, but on Thursday, June 5th, it was parked in front of my crib for a day... I only had it parked there yesterday. .. not no 72 hours!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

California Police Youth Charities

$2.3 Million, 84.6% percent spent only on fundraising, 6.1% on administrative costs, with -10.6% negative revenue growth.

Monitor their philanthropy at
(screen-grabs collected 2014-06-04):

Screengrab of an archived page originally posted 2014-04-10 []

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Sociology Students on Andy Lopez Case"

Justice for Andy Lopez Cruz! (d. 2013-10-22; Santa Rosa) [link]

2014-06 "Sonoma County Gazette" []:
Jesus Vasquez, Sociology student at Sonoma State University -
Erick Gelhaus shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California, on October 22, 2013. Andy was shot while he carried an airsoft gun while he was walking to his friend’s house.
Gelhaus and his unnamed partner got out of the car and Gelhaus yelled a still unknown command, forcing Andy to turn around. It only took about three seconds for Gelhaus to open fire, while his unnamed partner did not shoot. Andy was shot seven times and was pronounced dead at the scene. Gelhaus violated Andy’s fourth amendment, used excessive force and had a history of reckless acts. Andy’s death could have been prevented if Gelhaus would not have used unconstitutional practices. Gelhaus and his partner approached Andy from behind and when they yelled the command forced Andy to turn around. Gelhaus has been an instructor for a number of gun-training centers.
Including the Arizona based Gunsite Academy, a business that offers weapons training to law enforcement as well as citizens of the U.S. His LinkedIn page cites that he worked for Aimpoint, a company that develops sighting technology for firearms. On his LinkedIn account he is endorsed as a firearms expert and if he had taken a few more seconds to articulate the situation he would have noticed Andy was a thirteen-year-old boy and that the gun was a toy. Instead he decided to shoot Andy and then justify it by saying he feared for his life.
Tara Kostan, Sociology student at Sonoma State University -
Ever since the death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez, there has been uproar in the Santa Rosa community regarding oversight of police behavior. Deputy Gelhaus shot and killed eighth grader, Andy Lopez, after mistaking his toy BB gun for an AK-47 assault rifle on October 22nd. Over the past few months, there have been various protests, rallies and marches occurring in the Santa Rosa community, organized by the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez, which has continuously brought up the demand that our community must have formal civilian oversight for local law enforcement.
After a young boy’s life was cut short by a deputy of the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department, there has been concern in restoring the public’s confidence in local law enforcement agencies. There is currently an existing task force, which has been appointed by district attorney, Jill Ravitch to consider civilian oversight. However in order to restore the public’s trust with the Sonoma County law enforcement, the task force must be independent of Sonoma County supervisors. The task force needs consist of concerned civilians of Sonoma County who will independently investigate police behavior and review the use of deadly force.
It is important to assess the procedures used to recruit members of an independent civilian’s review board, and also to assess how members will be trained. The concerned citizens, who are interested in becoming a part of this task force, must do this by examining successful civilian review board models of communities outside the Sonoma County area.
The capabilities of the civilian’s review board must involve having authority to call witnesses, (including members of the law enforcement to testify about what happened) and produce independent reports that make recommendations to the board of supervisors and city council surrounding the county.
Our socio-political system has failed to provide justice for Andy Lopez and his grieving family. Community action is needed in order to avoid another tragedy like this occurring in Sonoma County again.