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Police Decline Pursuing Harassment Charges Against Noel Clarke

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/03/2022 - 1:18am in

Reports are the London Metropolitan Police will not pursue charges against Noel Clarke regarding claims of sexual harassment & bullying.

Surreptitiously subversive shop

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/03/2022 - 9:45am in

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Police

Surreptitiously subversive shop front. Campsie.

Cartoon: Newly diagnosed ailments

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 19/03/2022 - 8:50am in

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Met Police crisis accurately reflects Conservative small government narrative…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/02/2022 - 9:03am in

I think that Priti Patel , who had to pay out for unfair dismissal (let us not forget) for her bullying, is entirely unsuited to any part in recruiting a police officer. Chief or Constable. She has nonetheless said that she needs “strong and decisive leadership” to restore confidence in the Metropolitan Police. It is... Read more

Cressida Dick’s resignation and iznomoney…

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/02/2022 - 9:26am in

Her resignation is, I suggest, long overdue. She should have taken the command hit for instructing her officers to kill Jean Charles de Menezes and being complicit in constructing a false report around his death. She should also have properly investigated ‘Vote Leave’. and acknowledged police institutional corruption – even if and when it was... Read more

Newark Cops and Residents Put Down Their Guns to Talk About Trauma

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/02/2022 - 7:00pm in

This story was originally published by The Trace. It is part of the SoJo Exchange from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems. Sign up for their newsletter.

Khalil Odom’s interactions with police started early.

Years ago, officers scoured his neighborhood to find a shooting suspect. Odom, then a teenager, saw the police, got scared, and ran. When the officers caught him minutes later, one grabbed him by the back of his neck. “The cop picked me up by the hood like a cat, busted me in the head,” Odom said, pointing to a scar on his head.

He was recounting the experience at a meeting between Newark residents and city police, hoping to show how even a single, brief interaction could shape a person’s views on law enforcement. Across the room, Darren Sinclair listened. What the Newark police officer, a Black man, heard was the story of a teen whose mistake of fleeing had triggered a logical response from the officers. “When you see the police and you know, you didn’t do anything wrong,” Sinclair told Odom, “don’t run.”

“You sound like someone who has a white supremacist way of thinking,” Odom snapped back. “I am feeling like I am not being heard.” The two began to argue loudly, but after a brief moment, Lionel Latouche stepped in.

“Underneath what brother [Odom] was saying, there is a deep, severe trauma,” said Latouche, senior project manager of Trauma to Trust, the program that organized the meeting.

In a handful of cities across the country, interactions between police and communities have grown so tense that municipal leaders have turned to conflict resolution sessions, where residents and the cops work with mediators to hash out differences. Los Angeles and Baltimore have operated complaint mediation programs since 2014 and 2016 respectively, allowing residents who file complaints to sit down with a mediator and the cops they have accused to work through the dispute.

Trauma to Trust is Newark’s spin on such a program, an attempt to get the two sides to better understand each other’s stress and trauma.

The city agreed to pilot the practice in the hopes it would help cool decades of conflict, tension, and strife. In 1967, Newark exploded in civil unrest after the police beat a taxi driver. Since then, the Newark Police Department has had routine brushes with controversy, from questionable shootings, to beatings, to discriminatory traffic and pedestrian stops. In 2016, Equal Justice USA, a national criminal justice reform nonprofit, partnered with the city to create the program. Trauma to Trust is fully funded through grants, and the city has not spent any of its municipal budget on the training. Organizers of the project encourage participants to confront the ways in which police contribute to the collective trauma of a community and understand the stress police officers endure on the job.

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Since its launch more than five years ago, about 500 people, including 220 Newark police officers, have participated in the program. Sinclair has been through Trauma to Trust three times. The long history of distrust in Newark means emotional exchanges like the one between Odom and Sinclair are routine occurrences during these training sessions, and facilitators have had to learn to respond in ways that make everyone feel heard and respected.

When Latouche intervened, Sinclair paused. He leaned back, listening as the moderators explained compound trauma and the role bias played both in the interaction Odom described and in the way Sinclair had interpreted it. The officer thought for a moment, then leaned forward and addressed Odom. “Those sound like historical traumas,” Sinclair said, adding that trauma was probably the reason why Odom ran.

Barbara Prempeh, a Black clinical psychologist who facilitates the sessions, used the interaction to delve into the topic of officers’ implicit bias, which can lead cops like the ones who struck Odom to target the wrong person based on the color of their skin.

“What is it about the Black and brown body that makes people automatically assume that I’m a beast?” Prempeh said. “Whether you’re a Black, brown, white officer, officers are typically more likely to associate aggression with Black and brown, especially Black individuals.”

Trauma To Trust is the direct result of calls to reform the city’s Police Department. Over the decades since 1967’s uprising, the Newark Police Department has often been embroiled in controversy, and remains a frequent target of activists’ demands for reform. Those appeals went unanswered until Ras Baraka became mayor in 2014 and asked the Department of Justice to investigate the city’s police force. Federal investigators found numerous examples of discriminatory policing practices and instances of abuse by officers. The resulting federal consent decree put the department under the watch of a court-appointed monitor.

By that point, Equal Justice USA had already recognized the need to address trauma in overpoliced communities, and realized that it needed to bring the officers and the residents experiencing either end of this stress into the same room. With Newark entering the consent decree, the program found a place that welcomed the new approach. “We want to get past us versus them,” Zayid Muhammad, a community activist who helps arrange the sessions, said of why the city was the right place for this work. “The story and the image of Newark for years has been, ‘Oh, that city has gone to hell since the riots.’”

Trauma To Trust includes two full days of training. The residents and the cops learn how physical abuse, sexual abuse, and poverty — which is pretty common in Newark — add up and create a basis of trauma early in life that can contribute to depression, addiction, or struggles with self-regulation in adults. Both officers and residents get a dose of critical race theory, including lessons on the implicit biases embedded in the legal system. They hear about how common it is for law enforcement officers to struggle with depression and anxiety, and the prevelance of suicide among their ranks.

Late in the first afternoon of the fall training session, officer Eric Paro told participants about the time he arrived to answer a call from a young mother whose infant was unconscious. Paro tried to administer CPR, but it was too late. “The baby died in my arms,” he said. The incident occured in the morning, just as his day began. When he got to the police station, there were no counselors waiting to talk about his grief. No one suggested or even mentioned that Paro might take the day off; he was sent right back into the field. In fact, outside of the report he filed, Paro didn’t mention the baby’s death at work at all.  “I went home and talked to my wife about it, that’s it,” Paro told the group.

The room fell silent. Dan Ortiz, one of the trainers, said police departments often ignore stress levels on the force, endangering the officers, their families, and all those who come in contact with police. This year alone, 132 officers in the United States have committed suicide. Ortiz offered a simple, but potentially powerful, solution. “Don’t put an officer who was traumatized this morning” out on another call immediately, he said. “Don’t put an officer who was just shot at [right back] on the street.”

Newark residents and police both tout the city’s progress toward building a better relationship. Many are quick to recount what happened in Newark after George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer, proudly reflecting on how a city that burned in 1967 didn’t in 2020. And they will tell you that Trauma To Trust is vital to that progress.

The program is still new. It’s run for less than a decade, and won’t roll out to a second location until this spring, when Equal Justice USA will launch Trauma to Trust in Baton Rouge. And despite the efforts and improvements, Newark’s residents still have some reservations about the Police Department, which has killed nine Black men since 2015.

On the first day of training this fall, this division was on full display in a literal sense. The cops and the residents sat at tables on opposite ends of the room, facing each other across the distance.

On the second day, facilitators used a word association activity to prompt the two groups to sit with each other. The small, mixed groups used one word to describe a traumatic experience. Usually, facilitators said, people return to their respective sides of the room after the task. But in this session, that didn’t happen.

“Look at where we’re at now,” Ortiz said, pointing to an officer and a resident who had chosen to continue sitting next to each other. After almost 16 hours together, the two sides had begun to see beyond their differences. They even enjoyed each other’s company.

The post Newark Cops and Residents Put Down Their Guns to Talk About Trauma appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Cartoon: Ron DeSantis's emotional support police

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/01/2022 - 9:50am in

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Jolyon Maugham speaks to Owen Jones

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 15/01/2022 - 6:30am in

I thought this interesting 17 minutes well worth it – in which Jolyon Maugham outlines his incredulity at the corrupt government practices he discovered and what he and the Good Law Project are trying to do about it: Jolyon Maugham explains things simply and well – and in the current situation his Good Law Project... Read more

Police Are Keeping Mugshots Locked Away for Justice’s Sake

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 14/01/2022 - 7:00pm in

This story originally appeared in The Marshall Project. It is part of the SoJo Exchange from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.

Julie Levitch had never been arrested until one sweaty evening in August 2020, when a neighbor heard breaking glass and called the police.

Levitch, a 52-year-old mother of two, had gone to her boyfriend’s house to return his phone. The doorbell was broken, so she knocked on the window. It was cracked, and when she rapped on the glass, her hand broke right through, leaving a bloody gash, she said. When Phoenix police arrived, the couple explained there was nothing amiss — but officers arrested Levitch, charging her with misdemeanor criminal damage.

She spent the night in jail, where she says she was sexually harassed, cavity searched and tossed in solitary confinement for 16 hours. Three months later, prosecutors agreed to drop the charges.

Now, Levitch is suing — not over her arrest and incarceration, but because the county jail published her mugshot online. Like many law enforcement agencies, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office routinely posts photos of people booked into the local lockup, potentially wreaking permanent havoc on their lives before they’ve been convicted.

“That photo is going to be out there forevermore,” Levitch told me, worrying about how it would affect everything from job opportunities in her work as a technical writer to new friendships. “We live in a society where you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but I was found guilty the minute that mugshot went up.”

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has not yet responded to Levitch’s lawsuit, and a spokeswoman declined to comment on pending litigation.

mugshotsJulie Levitch was arrested by Maricopa County law enforcement in 2020 after accidentally breaking her boyfriend’s window. The charges were dropped, but Levitch’s mugshot was posted and remains online. Credit: Caitlin O’Hara / NBC News

In the digital age, those images of people’s worst days are forever lurking as internet clickbait. Many news outlets have stopped publishing mugshots — or at least so many of them — but some states and cities are beginning to grapple with a more fundamental issue: Why do police release those mugshots — and should they be allowed to?

“You assume criminality when you see a mugshot,” said Imani Gandy, a journalist who covers law and courts and is a vocal critic of how people of color are represented in the news media.

The first time I saw my own mugshot was the day after I got booked into jail in New York state for heroin. It was December 2010, and I was still in a druggy haze when the other women in the cellblock woke me up to point out my scowling face on the evening news.

Scabby-cheeked and red-nosed, it was the worst picture I’d ever seen of myself. I had no idea then how doggedly it would follow me around. Long after I stopped getting high, articles about my arrest — with that “faces-of-meth”-style image attached — were the first results when I typed my name into Google, like a digital ball and chain linking me to a past life.

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Despite that, I was lucky and privileged enough to get a second chance, unlike so many others. When I started working as a reporter, part of my job included attaching mugshots to dozens of local news and crime stories. Media outlets have long published the images, which drive web traffic and, in turn, advertising dollars.

It wasn’t until some newsrooms started shifting away from that practice that I started questioning why we’d ever done it, and pushing my own newsroom at the time to stop. And it wasn’t until more recently that I started questioning why police needed to release mugshots in the first place.

Some law enforcement agencies are asking that question, too. The Justice Department has repeatedly refused to release mugshots, arguing to a federal appeals court that there’s no public safety interest in releasing pictures that are a “lasting image of what can be one of the most difficult episodes in an individual’s life.”

Last year, the San Francisco Police Department stopped releasing them as well.

“Widespread publication of police booking photos in the news and on social media creates an illusory correlation for viewers that fosters racial bias and vastly overstates the propensity of Black and brown men to engage in criminal behavior,” Chief Bill Scott said at the time.

Now, the department only publishes arrest photos when they serve a clear law enforcement purpose — like finding a suspect or a missing person. Last month, police in Newark, New Jersey, announced a similar policy change.

At least three states have gone a step further, barring the release of some mugshots. In 2019, New York changed its open records law to ban the release of mugshots unless doing so actually helps law enforcement. This year, California prohibited police from putting the images on social media, and Utah banned publishing mugshots until after conviction.

The changes generated some pushback, especially from civil liberties groups and journalists. At a hearing in February, Salt Lake City investigative reporter Nate Carlisle begged lawmakers to reject the Utah bill, pointing out that sometimes mugshots are the only evidence of police brutality carried out during an arrest.

“I just don’t think it’s a good public policy to be releasing less government documents,” he told me a few weeks ago. “Whether journalists should be publishing them is a different discussion.”

Because mugshots are often considered public records instead of criminal records — the latter of which are deemed too personal to release in many states — it’s hard to win a lawsuit like Levitch’s.

“These lawsuits usually get dismissed because the agency just says, ‘It’s a public record, and we have a right to publish these,’” said Sarah Lageson, a Rutgers sociologist who studies mugshots.

There are some exceptions, she said. A 2016 court decision allowed the Justice Department to withhold mugshots, and in a Pennsylvania case, former prisoners won cash damages when a federal jury decided releasing mugshots violated open records law.

“It should be a legislative change, and then we wouldn’t have to rely on a judicial interpretation of what is a public record in the digital age,” Lageson said.

Some in law enforcement say that posting mugshots can spur other victims to come forward, and others claim — without evidence — that the threat of a public mugshot can help deter crime.

But to people who’ve had their mugshots posted publicly, it seems like the practice deters rebuilding a life, too. Sometimes, it’s hard to identify the exact harms, because if a would-be job or a landlord or a date ghosts after spotting a stigmatizing image online, we usually never know. To Levitch, that seems to undermine basic protections that our justice system is supposed to have.

“Is it constitutional to be putting up mugshots that damage the reputation of people when they’re still innocent?” Levitch said. “It just seems inherently unfair, and not American to do this.”

The post Police Are Keeping Mugshots Locked Away for Justice’s Sake appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Particular threat for the Met Police

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/01/2022 - 10:03am in

Many organisations are going to face a huge challenge trying to rebuild public trust when this government is finally thrown out. And surely and most prominently, the Metropolitan Police will find it particularly difficult? Their chief, who was probably a onetime spy, are now too close to this overtly corrupt, Conservative government, to suggest they... Read more

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