On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will decide whether cops should be allowed to force people they arrest to give a DNA sample. Since the early 1990s, 26 states have passed laws requiring DNA to be collected upon arrest for a serious offense, and loaded into a national database, where it can help match offenders to unsolved crimes. This is the first time the Supreme Court has reviewed this practice, and the case promises to produce one of the most significant Fourth Amendment rulings in years.
The case at hand, Maryland v. King, centers around Alonzo King, who was arrested in 2009 after he was accused of pointing a gun at a group of people in Maryland. The police took his fingerprints and swabbed the inside of his cheek for DNA. King was convicted on assault charges and sentenced to four years in jail, but when his DNA profile was found to match evidence from an unsolved 2003 rape case, he was charged with that crime and sentenced to life in prison. King appealed his sentence, arguing that because the police took his genetic info without his consent, the DNA sampling violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. The Maryland supreme court agreed, and the state appealed to the highest court in the land.
Maryland, and the other 49 states, argue that DNA collection is essential to help correctly identify arrestees and solve crimes, since it allows for more accurate identification than fingerprinting or other methods. The federal DNA database has helped solve thousands of crimes by linking evidence from unsolved cases to people who have been arrested months or years after the trail has gone cold.
Tennessee police might need better instruction in botany and Buckeye football.
A 65-year-old woman recently came under suspicion, she reported, for having a Buckeye leaf decal on her car. The cops mistook it for a marijuana symbol.
What they really need is better instruction in the First Amendment and
“It’s just amazing they would be that dumb,” Bonnie Jonas-Boggioni said.
She lives in Plano, Texas, but she grew up in Columbus and is known as a lifelong Buckeyes fan.
She has served as president of the Ohio State Alumni Club in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
On Feb. 4, Jonas-Boggioni and husband Guido Boggioni, 66, were driving home to Plano after a trip to Columbus to attend the funeral of his mother, Eleanor, 92.
They were in the westbound lanes of I-40, a few miles east of Memphis, when a black police SUV with flashing lights pulled them over, Jonas-Boggioni said.A second black SUV soon pulled up behind the first one.
“Knowing I wasn’t speeding, I couldn’t imagine why,” she said.
Two officers approached, one on each side of the car.
“They were very serious,” she said. “They had the body armor and the guns.”
Because the couple’s two schnauzers were barking furiously, one of the officers had Jonas-Boggioni exit the car so he could hear her better.
“What are you doing with a marijuana sticker on your bumper?” he asked her.
She explained that it is actually a Buckeye leaf decal, just like the ones that Ohio State players are given to put on their helmets to mark good plays.
Neither the Tennessee Highway Patrol nor the Shelby County sheriff’s office in Memphis had information about the traffic stop. A marijuana sticker would not be a sufficient reason to stop a car, said a spokeswoman for the West Tennessee Drug Task Force.
Even if it were, Jonas-Boggioni said, police hunting drugs should know that a Buckeye leaf — which has five leaflets — doesn’t look much like a marijuana leaf, which typically has seven leaflets and a narrower shape.
Before they let her go on her way, the officers advised Jonas-Boggioni to remove the decal from her car.
“I said, ‘You mean in Tennessee?’ and he said, ‘No, permanently.’
Update: I guess I should get that Texas Star hibiscus leaf off my car.
Three days before Independence Day, Milton Hall died in a fusillade of police gunfire outside a strip mall.
He had been arguing with officers in a parking lot next to a shuttered Chinese restaurant when he was shot, in full view of passing motorists and while he was holding some sort of knife. Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael Thomas said later that the squad of police confronting him opened fire “because apparently, at this point in time, he was threatening to assault police.”
Thomas’ office and the Michigan State Police are investigating Hall’s death. Saginaw Police Chief Gerald Cliff said Hall was “known to be an assaultive person” with “a long history” of contacts with law enforcement, “not only with police from our department but with the county.”
Hall’s cousin, Mike Washington, acknowledged Hall had been jailed for minor offenses like vagrancy in the past, but, “He was not violent.” And Hall’s mother is growing impatient with the probe and questions why police opened fire so furiously on her son, whom she said was mentally ill.
“It appeared to be a firing squad dressed in police uniforms,” Jewel Hall told CNN from her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “There was another way. They did not have to kill him. He had not done anything. He was not violent. He was not a murderer. He was not a criminal.”
Watch the video. Unacceptable.
The website I saw the video at is not CNN who purchased the video. I have no idea about this website, but looked at it, it seems legit and on point.
Whatever. This is happening in our country so often. If there wasn’t video, we would never hear a word about it.
(Oh, when I filed this under “crime” it’s not meant to mean Milton’s, it’s meant to be the PD)
OCTOBER 5—A naked 71-year-old woman and her equally clothes-free male companion, 54, were arrested last month for indecent exposure after a Michigan cop found them trysting in the back seat of a Buick Regal that was rocking gently and had its windows steamed over, according to a police report.
When the officer opened the vehicle’s rear door and asked the nude couple what they were doing, Tim Adams offered a concise answer. “I’m fucking this chick,” he said.
Yes, Adams referred to his septuagenarian consort, Rita Daniels, as a “chick.”
According to a City of Farmington Police report, Daniels’s 2002 Buick (license plate: DIVA 145) was in a shopping center parking lot, adjacent to a restaurant whose customers, including a 10-year-old-boy, apparently had a view of the illicit nighttime action on September 3.
Officer Andrew Morche noted that the car’s windows “were covered with heavy condensation,” and that Daniels was atop Adams “and the two were engaged in sexual activities.” The pair was parked in a spot outside the restaurants Luigi’s and Tre Sorelle (which can be seen in this Google Street View image).
A police investigation determined that the couple’s courtship was a brief one. They had met for drinks at a nearby bar “before moving to the back seat of the Buick.” When questioned by cops, neither Daniels nor Adams—both of whom were unsteady and smelled of booze—knew the other’s name. A Breathalyzer test recorded Daniels’s blood alcohol content as .15, nearly twice the state limit.
Daniels and Adams were busted for indecent exposure and disorderly intoxication and booked into the local jail, where they were held until sobriety returned. While in custody, cops noted, “Adams decided to strip to his underwear.”
Misdemeanor charges against Daniels and Adams, who are pictured in the above mug shots, are pending in Michigan’s 48th District Court. (2 pages)
It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 has obtained surveillance pictures of a State Police officer having sex with a woman on the hood of a car in broad daylight.
State Police aren’t saying anything about the photos, but KOB Eyewitness News 4 is pressing for answers.
Two weeks ago KOB reported a story about an officer caught on camera having sex while in full uniform, an act shown on security camera at the Santa Fe Canyon Ranch.
KOB has blurred out the woman’s image, but you can see it’s during daylight hours and the officer is still wearing his utility belt.
The Santa Fe Sheriff’s office released the pictures to KOB after we filed a public records request. They say they also gave them to State Police over a week ago.
We got reaction from people who saw the photos.
“It’s an inappropriate use of time,” said Cate Campbell of Albuquerque.
“Inappropriate use of our tax money, I mean we pay these guys,” added Jacob Powers.
Albert Loma said if charged and found guilty, the officer should be fired.
“With that kind of judgment you don’t want him carrying a weapon,” said Loma. “I think it’s an embarrassment to the state patrol, they should be ashamed.”
Others say it hurts the reputation built by good officers.
“I expect them to be the mark. State Police should be the standard to which other police departments hold themselves to,” said a man identifying himself as Jeremy.
KOB is working to find out who was on shift at the time these pictures were recorded.
Right now State Police will not comment about the pictures or any internal investigation against the officer.
State Police turned down an on camera interview Monday saying they need more time to gather the information we’re asking for.
So far no officer faces any charges.
Amid all the outrage, has any of the howling mob stopped to consider the very real possibility that the woman is his wife bringing him lunch and a special dessert?
I found this little vintage video interesting. Here they are blatantly marketing faux weaponry to children, but it would be interesting to see if this had any correlation with gun violence (especially since they’re strictly playing the role of law enforcer and not outlaw). Thoughts welcome.
The Village Voice has learned that New York City’s Police Department has spent nearly two years covering up an ugly, alcohol-fueled street brawl in which 10 rookie cops beat up a taxi driver outside a trendy Upper East Side bar. The NYPD has allowed the rookies’ boss—a captain who witnessed the fight but didn’t act to stop it and left the scene without speaking to investigators—to escape scrutiny.
None of the rookies were charged criminally with the December 2008 assault. Instead, it was the cab-driver victim who was arrested, records show. Meanwhile, the captain, William Pla, was subsequently promoted to commanding officer of the 23th Precinct in East Harlem.
And Sergeant Anthony Acosta, the man who waded into the melee and broke up the assault—a highly decorated sergeant who has made more than 1,000 arrests in his 20-year career—was slapped with administrative charges and chained to a desk without his gun or his shield for almost two years.