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Image inside Nov 24 - Protesters Douse NYPD Police Chief In Fake Blood At Rally For Ferguson

By RAZAH CUTS - 1 day ago


After the grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the homicide of 18-year-old Michael Brown, protests erupted around the country. New York City saw one of the largest showings, with thousands flooding the streets around Times Square to speak out against police brutality and lack of accountability.

While the gathering was largely peaceful, the NYPD probably had better days. On scene was police commissioner William Bratton, who may have been the last person many in the crowd wanted to see.

As he worked his way through the crowd, an unidentified protester tossed fake blood on him and officers standing nearby. Activist Jeff Rae and photographer-activist Jenna Pope, who were among the crowd, managed to capture the scene only seconds after it happened.

Far away from Ferguson, Bratton became the face of New York’s police problem as he and his staff managed to spectucularly botch the handling of the choking death of an unarmed black man named Eric Garner, who’s only crime was allegedly selling cigarettes on a street corner illegally. Despite video of officers brutally holding the man down as he cries out for help and screams “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” an internal investigation by the NYPD found that the there was no wrongdoing by officers.

Tensions rose again this week when another officer accidentally killed an another unarmed black man who was simply walking down a darkened stairwell in an apartment building. The officer claims his gun simply went off. The NYPD has said it was a tragic accident but nothing more.

What happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson is quickly becoming a symbol of a larger, systemic problem that pervades the interactions of law enforcement and minorities across the country. No community is immune, but New York has a particularly dark and egregious history with police abuse. It is unsurprising that New Yorkers are now letting their officers know of their dissatisfaction in a very, very colorful way.

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Image inside Nov 24 - Ferguson Has It's Own Version Of Tiananamen's Tank Man

By RAZAH CUTS - 1 day ago


Ferguson, Missouri, 2014:

#Ferguson: What may become an iconic moment. One man stands with his hands up blocking armored vehicles.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989:

Read 25 comments »

Nov 25 - :iseeyou: robot rent-a-cops will eventually be equipped with weapons

By messy marv stan - 1 day ago

Showing a rather shocking disregard for the long-term safety of human civilization, Microsoft has become one of the first companies to deploy autonomous robot security guards. Dubbed the K5, MicrosoftÂ’s Silicon Valley campus was being policed last week by five of these roughly human-sized 300-pound (136 kg) robots, each equipped with enough cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, and alarms that they can replace most human security patrols. Fortunately, despite looking like uncomfortably like a Dalek from the Doctor Who universe, the K5 is not (yet) equipped with a ray gun or any other method for harming or detaining humans.

Updated: Microsoft contacted ExtremeTech to tell us that the robots were only temporarily deployed at its Silicon Valley campus, as part of a demonstration put on by Knightscope. Microsoft PR says it isn’t “aware of any future plans” to deploy such robots.

The K5, built by the Californian company Knightscope, is billed rather euphemistically as an “autonomous data machine” that provides a “commanding but friendly physical presence.” Basically, it’s a security guard on wheels.
Inside that rather large casing (it’s 5 foot tall!) there are four high-def cameras facing in each direction, another camera that can do car license plate recognition, four microphones, gentle alarms, blaring sirens, weather sensors, and WiFi connectivity so that each robot can contact HQ if there’s some kind of security breach/situation. For navigating the environment, there’s GPS and “laser scanning” (LIDAR I guess).
And of course, at the heart of each K5 is a computer running artificial intelligence software that integrates all of that data and tries to make intelligent inferences — like, should I tell HQ about that large gathering of teenagers, or should that man be climbing in through that window?

K5 security robot. The lights can change color (red for trouble, orange for caution, etc.)

A slightly odd photo of a US sheriff holding a gun to the head of a K5 robot

If a K5 decides that there’s a situation, it can use one of its built-in sirens to try and diffuse things — or it can message HQ to summon a human.
If you step in front of the K5, or otherwise interfere with it, it will gently warn you with some chimes — but if you don’t move, an “ear-piercing alarm” is triggered. Other than its sirens and its rather imposing design, the K5 isn’t equipped with any weapons or other tools for resolving situations.
(Does anyone else think it looks like the lovechild of a Dalek and EVE from WALL-E?)

K5 isnÂ’t just for catching criminals, either: If you find yourself in trouble/danger, thereÂ’s also a button on the top of the robot that summons help from HQ

The purpose of the K5, like most robots, is straightforward: To replace expensive human workers. The K5 can run for around 24 hours on a single battery charge, automatically navigates back to the charging point when it’s running low, and only takes 15-20 minutes to recharge. Obviously, in the long run, this is cheaper and more efficient than a human security guard — plus, as technology improves, the K5 will probably be more vigilant and capable of spotting smaller discrepancies than a human. In theory, because of the lower cost, you could also field lots of K5 robots, reducing the number of potential holes in security coverage.

It goes without saying, though, that deploying a fleet of roughly human-sized, autonomous robots is just a little bit scary. At the very least, a 300-pound robot would cause a lot of damage if it ran into something — a car, a shop window, a child. In all likelihood, though, if these robotic security guards are popular, they’ll eventually be equipped with weapons — perhaps a taser for subduing a suspect, and a tear gas launcher for clearing groups of people.
At that point, you need to be really sure that the AI is free of bugs

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Image inside Nov 25 - Ferguson burning: Torched cars, tear gas in massive night riots (DRAMATIC IMAGES)

By RAZAH CUTS - 1 day ago


The residents of Ferguson were outraged after learning of the Missouri grand jury's decision to acquit Darren Wilson of killing black teenager Michael Brown. Buildings were burnt, shops were looted, while clashes with cops were frequent.

A number of stores and cars have been set ablaze in Ferguson, in what police say is even more violent compared to the unrest in August in the aftermath of Brown's death.

The situation is still out of control in some areas of Ferguson, with protesters releasing fireworks into the streets.

Upon learning of the verdict, the crowd erupted in anger. They converged on a barricade that had been erected by police, who were standing nearby in riot gear. The protesters began throwing objects at the law enforcement officers, who stood their ground.

There was a heavy police presence, who used smoke canisters and trucks to force waves of violent protesters down the street away from the police building soon after sporadic gunshots were heard. Police cars were also vandalized by the protesters.

Following a night of unrest in the city, police Captain Johnson told journalists the Ferguson police officers on duty had "put a lot of courage and their heart and soul to make the community safe" throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning.

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Nov 25 - 2 sex offenders turned serial killers confess to slaying 4 hookers

By messy marv stan - 1 day ago

dumped the victims bodies in trash bins :ojiseeyou:

Steven Dean Gordon, 45, left, and Franc Cano, 27, were arrested on April 11 on suspicion of killing four women in Orange County. Both men, described as transients, had served prison terms for sex attacks on children under the age of 14 and were wearing court-ordered GPS devices, police said

Possible murder victims Kianna Jackson, 20, top left, Josephine Vargas, 24, top right, Martha Anaya, 28, bottom left, and Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 21, bottom right, at a press conference at the Anaheim Police Department

The body of Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 21, was found on a conveyor belt at an Anaheim trash sorting facility

Accused serial killer confessed to slayings of four women in O.C., according to grand jury testimony

Accused O.C. serial killers tripped up by GPS devices, cellphone records, according to testimony

A convicted felon confessed to authorities that he and a fellow sex offender strangled four prostitutes in Orange County and dumped their bodies in trash bins, according to grand jury testimony revealed Monday.

The case, which baffled authorities for months, was cracked by matching data from the GPS devices worn by Franc Cano and Steven Dean Gordon with location data from cellphones belonging to the women, all who called or texted relatives frequently, according to testimony in the matter

Cano and Gordon both are charged with raping and murdering the victims and are being held without bail. They could face the death penalty if convicted.

The four women -- each of whom was said to have a history of prostitution -- went missing from the streets in late 2013 and early 2014. It wasnÂ’t until March, when authorities found Jarrae EsteppÂ’s naked body on a conveyor belt at an Anaheim trash sorting facility, that investigators concluded that the disappearances might be related and perhaps the work of a serial killer

Although technology played a critical role in solving the disappearances, the first significant break in the case came with far more ordinary detective work when authorities were able to trace the trash found around EsteppÂ’s body to a trash bin outside the Anaheim auto body shop.

When authorities reviewed data from the GPS devices of all known sex offenders in the area, they got a hit on Cano, Anaheim police Det. Julissa Trapp testified.

Cano, she said, was the only one whose GPS tracking matched both the trash bin and the area of Estepp's final cellphone activity.

Trapp testified that police were able to lure Cano to the police station and obtained a DNA sample that matched evidence found on EsteppÂ’s body. But it was Gordon, known to police as one of CanoÂ’s associates, who finally confessed to the crimes, Trapp said

The detective said that during an exhaustive 13-hour interview, Gordon picked all four women out of a photo lineup.

"He actually picked the photographs I had shown them and put them in order," she said.

In recounting his encounter with the first woman, Kianna Jackson, Gordon confessed that he picked her up on Harbor Boulevard and took her back to the auto shop business to have sex, the detective testified.

Gordon said he decided to strangle her when he realized that her first name was the same as his own daughterÂ’s, Trapp testified

Gordon told the detective that hearing the name “triggered him.”

Trapp said that Gordon actually mapped out two versions of the alleged crimes, one in which he absolved Cano of participating in the alleged killings, another in which he described Cano as an active and aggressive participant.

All four women went missing over a span of several months starting in the fall of 2013

Jackson, 20, vanished shortly after speaking to mother while taking a bus to Santa Ana in the fall of 2013 to keep a court date. Twenty days later, Monique Vargas, a 34-year-old mother of three, left to walk to a market and never returned. Another 20 days after that, Martha Anaya, 28, asked her boyfriend to pick up their child from school so that she could work – which, when she was desperate for cash, sometimes meant looking for customers along East 1st Street.

Estepp had a history of prostitution, and once had been featured in a video aimed at exposing and shaming sex customers in Oklahoma City, where the 21-year-old lived at the time.

A week after the 21-year-old's body was found, police arrested Cano and Gordon.

Cano and Gordon reportedly lived together –sometimes in the back of an old RV, sometimes in the brush not far from the Anaheim body shop – in the months during which the women vanished.

Cano and Gordon both served time in state prison for sex crimes and both were wearing GPS devices when the women went missing. The two men had a history of escape and, though prohibited by the terms of their parole, had a close association with each other.

After serving time in prison, the convicted sex offenders cut off their GPS devices and fled to Alabama in 2010. Two years later, they cut off their monitoring devices again and spent two weeks together at the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas before being apprehended.

The case has raised concerns about the effectiveness of GPS devices as a crime deterrent. Politicians in California have called for an investigation into how well Cano and Gordon were monitored

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Image inside Nov 25 - Why police officers who shoot civilians almost never go to jail

By RAZAH CUTS - 1 day ago


A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilsonfor killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

Brown's death on August 9 set off a wave of protests in Ferguson. Since then, demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest broad issues of racially biased law enforcement in the small town — but also to specifically demand that Wilson be arrested and prosecuted for killing Brown.

However, the grand jury's decision was not a surprise. For several reasons, it's very difficult to prosecute police officers for killings or other misconduct — in Ferguson and elsewhere in the US. It is always unlikely that someone like Wilson will see the inside of a courtroom.

David Rudovsky, a civil rights lawyer who co-wrote the book Prosecuting Misconduct: Law and Litigation, is an expert on how and when police in America are prosecuted. He spoke to Vox recently about the "inherent conflict of interest" involved in holding police criminally responsible for potential misconduct on the job.

Amanda Taub: There can be a sense that the investigations into police misconduct are different from civilian crimes — that the prosecution standards are different, as are the likely outcomes. Is that accurate?

David Rudovsky: That's certainly accurate. The number of criminal prosecutions of police, whether by the federal government or by state prosecutors, is very, very low. They are very rare. They are difficult, for reasons I'll get into. So I think that perception is right.

If I was involved in a situation like the one in Ferguson — if I was in a car and my gun was used and somebody was killed — very likely, I would be arrested very soon. I might have a good self-defense claim, but that would be a defense at trial. In a lot of situations where civilians might be fairly quickly charged with assault or harassment, police are not. Sometimes for good reasons. We obviously authorize police to use force, and deadly force. We actually let them use it where civilians cannot. There will be situations where they can use force and you and I could not.


But there are obviously also institutional reasons why police are prosecuted so infrequently. So what you see is more care given to the investigation — or at least more time, because in a lot of situations it may just be a coverup to avoid charging the police. But even assuming good faith investigation, they'll take more time.

AT: Let's talk about some of these institutional reasons, starting with the police who investigate the incident.

DR: In many cases, the first inherent conflict is that the police are investigating their own.

Ferguson's a little different because you have a grand jury. But in many situations, it's often the police department that is charged with investigating a particular incident, deciding who's telling the truth, who used force first, and so on and so forth.

But even where it's done completely in good faith, or where an outside agency is brought in to investigate, such as a grand jury or the federal government, you're still talking about a pretty intense investigation.


Inherent in those cases are all kinds of questions of credibility. Unless we've got a very clear video of what happened, it's often the word of the officer versus the person who may have been criminally assaulted. If the person was killed, we don't have his word at all, so what do the forensics show? What do witness statements show?

Race undoubtedly plays a factor, to the extent that it's a white officer and a black victim. In this country, people like to ignore that, but that undoubtedly plays a role.

There are some cases where it's absolutely so obvious that what the officer did could be a crime that we have a quick arrest, but not often.

AT: Can you give me an example of cases that have moved more quickly?

DR: Those are usually of the corruption type. Where it's absolutely clear — someone's caught on tape giving a bribe. Something like that.

I'm not suggesting that there's complete immunity for officers, just because they're officers. But the corruption tends to be dealt with differently than what I'd call the possible physical misconduct.

AT: Why is that?

DR: Departments take corruption more seriously than they do excessive force. It's often easier to prove. It's there, you see it, you have it. But oftentimes with use of force, you get a lot of different versions from witnesses.

AT: Do some police departments internally consider certain kinds of force acceptable, even if that's not consistent with what the public would think or the legal standards?

DR: There's a mix here. Part of what the police departments do, and how they operate, is a reflection of how a lot of people in society feel that police should be given a free hand.


The more concern there is about crime, the more general political feeling there is that we have to give the police more powers and not be too rough on them if they cross the line slightly. I'd say the benefit of the doubt generally goes to the officer in close cases.

AT: Is it a popular sentiment that if police are not allowed to use force, that will put them in too much danger?

DR: It's central to this whole issue. Their position is that if you prosecute officers in a case like this, the next time the officer's going to hold back, and he's going to get killed.

It's this "split-second" argument: The officer's only got a split second to make a decision, so even if he makes a wrong one, why should we criminally punish him?

The other alternative message is that if you don't let them use that force, you're going to be less safe. More crime. More criminals. I don't necessarily agree with that, but that's certainly something you hear from the officers — and from other people as well.

AT: Let's move on to prosecutors. Are there conflicts or tensions when it comes to possibly prosecuting an officer from a department that they regularly call officers to testify from?

DR: Oh, sure. For example, that officer may have a dozen or more cases in which there are pending criminal charges — you charge that officer, those cases are going to certainly be called into question.

Beyond the individual officer impact, they work so closely on a day to day basis, it's very much like prosecuting one of your own. It's like prosecuting a fellow prosecutor. That doesn't mean that the right choice and decision isn't made in some cases. But it's an inherent conflict.

AT: Could prosecutors view police misconduct prosecutions as a barrier to obtaining a high-profile position, such as district attorney?

DR: In some localities, for sure. In certain areas, police and police unions are often very strong politically. And to get on the wrong side of the police is usually not a very good political move, so that may deter some prosecutors.

This is something that's particularly true in small communities. Even in larger cities, in places where they have very strong unions and strong support for police, it can be seen as a risky step — which is why the federal government should step in, in certain situations. They're independent.

But it's not easy for federal prosecutor to make that decision. They also rely on local police for some of their investigations, and the burden of proof in federal prosecutions of police is even higher than the state.


AT: Now let's turn to juries. You have mentioned that juries are often reluctant to convict officers. Why?

DR: There is a tendency to believe an officer over a civilian, in terms of credibility.

And when an officer is on trial, reasonable doubt has a lot of bite. A prosecutor needs a very strong case before a jury will say that somebody who we generally trust to protect us has so seriously crossed the line as to be subject to a conviction.

AT: Are there particular defenses that you see that are effective with juries?

DR: You often see — and it's very effective — a case like Ferguson, where the officer's defense appears to be, "there was a scuffle and at one point he was going for my gun, and he was running, and I didn't know if he had a gun or not" or "I thought he had a gun; he had something metallic in his hand."

The argument is: "Okay, members of the jury, the prosecutor is saying 'he shot too quickly, he should have waited,' but the fact is that if he'd waited another three seconds he could be dead. The fact is that a lot of cops are killed in the line of duty, and sometimes they're killed because they wait too long."

That's an effective emotional argument.

AT: Are there things that you think could be done about this? Suggested solutions?

DR: There will always be these difficulties, but they can be mitigated. If prosecutors and the federal government took this more seriously and invested the time and resources that they do in other types of investigations, there would be more cases that would be properly charged and get convictions. There are convictions sometimes in these cases, so it's not impossible!

It's about our political will. It's a matter of consciousness and political will and taking police misconduct as seriously as we take other crimes.

AT: What's going to inspire that kind of political will?

DR: That's got to be forced from the bottom up. If people don't demand that, we won't get it.

Who is Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown?

Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9.

Wilson has been a police officer for six years. He first spent two years in Jennings, Missouri, before moving to nearby Ferguson.

Wilson's first police job in Jennings was in a police force so dysfunctional and so mired by tensions between white officers and black residents that the local government disbanded the department and fired every officer, according to the Washington Post. The Jennings City Council then brought in entirely new officers to start a credible police department from scratch.

Wilson has no disciplinary actions on his record, according to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson. The police chief also described Wilson as a "gentle, quiet man" and "a distinguished officer."

After the shooting, video footage was released purportedly showing Wilson in 2013 arresting a man, Mike Arman, for recording the officer without his permission. But the video footage disproved some of Wilson's claims about the encounter, and the charges against Arman were ultimately dropped.


On August 9, Wilson was leaving from a previous call when he stopped Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, for jaywalking. The situation escalated, with conflicting reports on what led to the fatal shooting and how it played out. According to the police's version of events, Wilson shot and killed Brown after the 18-year-old physically assaulted the officer and tried to take his gun.

Following the shooting, Wilson quickly dropped out of public view. A neighbor told the Washington Post that Wilson and his family got "spooked and took off pretty quickly before [his] name was announced" to the public. Police officers have watched over his house since then.

There have been some protests in support of Wilson, with protesters saying Wilson is being victimized for "doing his job." The pro-Wilson support group even started a GoFundMe and T-shirt campaign to help the officer in case he incurs legal fees due to his prosecution, as Slate's Dave Weigel reported.

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Image inside Nov 25 - Darren Wilson Told Grand Jury ‘Brown Looked Like a Demon’ and Was Huge

By RAZAH CUTS - 1 day ago


We’ve often seen discussed in the media the numerous ways the Right Wing and Ferguson police have gone out of their way to demonize Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teen murdered by Officer Darren Wilson, but Wilson himself quite literally did it. In at least one instance, Wilson said that Brown “looked like a demon.”

Wilson described his encounter with Brown in both an August police interview, and again to the Grand Jury in September. In both cases, Wilson went out of his way to make Brown out to be some sort of monster or, as he told the Grand Jury, a “demon” in an attempt to play off of white people’s scientifically-proven tendency to attribute supernatural qualities to African-Americans.

And it worked. On Monday, the Grand Jury failed to indict Wilson on any of the five charges he faced.

The first interview with a police detective, which was suspiciously not recorded, features innocent, pristine Wilson immediately being abused by Wilson and his friend Dorian Johnson. Wilson described how he initially stopped the two teens for jaywalking, and claimed that they were immediately hostile. “F*ck what you have to say,” he claims Brown told him.

Wilson did not mention the alleged robbery that occurred in his August police interview. He claims that after Johnson cursed at him, “I put the vehicle in reverse, backed up about ten feet to ‘em, a, attempted to open my door. Prior to backing up I did a call out on the radio. I said ‘Frank 21, out with two send me another car.’ Um…”

Wilson stammered and stumbled over his words, unable to correctly pin down what he said to dispatch. He described how the evil teenager immediately attacked him as he attempted to exit his car. “Um, I back up ten feet, I go to open my door, say ‘Hey, come here.’ He said, ‘What the f*ck are you gonna do?’ And, he shut my door on me,” Wilson said. “A, the door was only open maybe a foot. I didn’t have a chance to get my leg out. I shut the door and he came up and approached the door. I opened the door again trying to push him back tell him to get back. Um, he said something. I’m not sure exactly what it was and then started swinging an punching me from outside the vehicle.”

Wilson then described the unprovoked attack he allegedly suffered at the hands of Brown. Though he described Wilson as a large man who had difficulty entering his vehicle, Wilson claims that the teen somehow had the room to launch an all-out assault on him. The cigarillos Brown allegedly stole did not come into play until after Wilson says Brown had already attacked him.

“The first time he had struck me somewhere in this area but it was like a glancing blow ’cause I was able to defend a little bit. Um, after that he, I was doing the, just scramblin’ tryin’ to get his arms out of my face and him from grabbin’ me and everything else,” Wilson said. He said that at that point, after Brown was able to use both hands to assault him, the teen handed off the cigars to Johnson.

“He turned to his…if he’s at my vehicle, he turned to his left and handed the first subject. He said “Here hold these” and when he did that I grabbed his right arm tryin’ just to control something at that point,” Wilson said. “Um, as I was holdin’ it, and he came around he came around with his arm extended, fist made, and went like that straight at my face with his…a full swing with his left hand.”

Wilson did not explain how Brown was able to take a full swing at the side of his face that, if Wilson was in the driverÂ’s seat, would have been facing the passenger side of the car.

Wilson claime he tried to grab his mace, but was unable to reach it. Shortly afterward, he explained he would not have used the mace he says he attempted to reach because he would have been “disabled per se,” as he “knows how mace affects me.” Wilson said that he does not carry a taser, so he went for his gun even though he could have grabbed a flashlight from a bag on his passenger seat.

He says that, despite Brown taking up a considerable amount of room in his car, he had room to draw his gun and point it at the teen, who he claims responded, “You’re too much of a f*cking p*ssy to shoot me.” He says Brown grabbed his gun, twisted it, and pointed it at his hip.

After Wilson heroically managed to take a shot at the teen, he claims that Brown came at him again and attempted to hit him multiple times.

Despite that he was being attacked by what he portrays as a giant madman, Wilson says he had time to unjam his gun and fire again. This time, even though he missed, Brown reacted entirely differently than when he was actually injured as a result of a gunshot: he ran. Wilson says he called for help, but his radio had been switched to “channel 3,” so the call did not go through.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that it “reviewed radio calls made during that period on all St. Louis County police channels, the fire channel used by Ferguson and other channels publicly archived online and could not locate the call” Wilson allegedly made.

Wilson says he gave chase and ordered him to stop and get on the ground. “When he stopped, he turned, looked at me, made like a grunting noise and had the most intense aggressive face I’ve ever seen on a person,” Wilson told the detective. He says Brown then began to charge at him. “I ordered him to stop and get on the ground again. He didn’t; I fired a, multiple shots. After I fired the multiple shots I paused for a second, yelled at him to get on the ground again, he was still in the same state Still charging hands still in his waistband, hadn’t slowed down. I fired another set of shots. Same thing, still running at me hadn’t slowed down, hands still in his waistband,” Wilson claimed.

“He gets about eight to ten feet away, and he’s still coming at me in the same way. I fired more shots. One of those, however many of them hit him on the head and he went down right there.” Wilson said that Brown’s hand was still in his waistband.

Wilson described Brown later in the interview as “crazy” and “aggravated, um aggressive, hostile.”

“The only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan,” Wilson described the early parts of the encounter. Wilson and brown are both 6’4”, with Brown being only slightly heavier than Wilson. “That’s just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm.” Wilson told grand jurors that Brown “had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked.”

The Grand JuryÂ’s decision is incredibly rare. Of 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which the Bureau of Justice Statistics has data, only 11 failed to return an indictment.

University of Illinois law professor Andrew D. Liepold wrote that, “If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong. It just doesn’t happen.”

FiveThirtyEight notes that:

There are at least three possible explanations as to why grand juries are so much less likely to indict police officers. The first is juror bias: Perhaps jurors tend to trust police officer and believe their decisions to use violence are justified, even when the evidence says otherwise. The second is prosecutorial bias: Perhaps prosecutors, who depend on police as they work on criminal cases, tend to present a less compelling case against officers, whether consciously or unconsciously.

The third possible explanation is more benign. Ordinarily, prosecutors only bring a case if they think they can get an indictment. But in high-profile cases such as police shootings, they may feel public pressure to bring charges even if they think they have a weak case.

“The prosecutor in this case didn’t really have a choice about whether he would bring this to a grand jury,” Ben Trachtenberg, a University of Missouri law professor, said of the Brown case. “It’s almost impossible to imagine a prosecutor saying the evidence is so scanty that I’m not even going to bring this before a grand jury.”

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Nov 25 - Unused TV frequencies could replace costly 4G networks w/ free super Wi-Fi, scientists say

By RAZAH CUTS - 1 day ago


Scientists suggest looking to the recent past to help meet growing demand for wireless Internet access.

German researchers have published a new study that suggests making disused television frequencies available for free – and powerful – mobile communications networks.

Governments have considered auctioning off those old TV frequencies as networks switch over from analog to digital transmission, but researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology suggested they be freed up entirely to transmit wireless data.

Wi-Fi transmitted over old TV frequencies could be transmitted at lower frequencies than most wireless networks, which are typically transmitted over wireless local area networks at frequencies of 2GHz or above.

These lower frequencies would essentially create “super Wi-Fi” that could cover much wider areas than pricey mobile services such as 4G, the researchers found.

That would greatly expand wireless Internet use and carry many economic benefits, the study showed.

About one-third of the worldÂ’s population is currently online, but a recent poll found about 80 percent of people in 24 countries believe Internet access is a basic human right.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a likely Democratic presidential candidate, recently said that wireless Internet access was a basic human right – which the United Nations also affirmed in 2011, following the Arab Spring uprisings.

SeattleÂ’s socialist city councilor, Kshama Sawant, wants the city to consider providing Wi-Fi access in homeless camps.

The German researchers plan to make their case to world leaders next year at the UN World Radiocommunication Conference.

They argue that Wi-Fi carried over old TV frequencies could penetrate walls and be automatically adapted to prevent interference, and they said their plan would carry great public safety benefits during disaster scenarios to go along with economic gains.

Many digital activists argue that telecommunications frequencies are common property and should be available free of charge, but that view faces stiff opposition from telecommunications providers and government officials.

The researchers hope they can convince government leaders that the long-term gains of opening up expanded Wi-Fi networks outstrips the short-term gains that would come from auctioning off the disused frequencies.

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Nov 25 - 17-year-old Florida girl arrested for running high school prostitution ring on Facebook

By matelyan - 1 day ago

A teen girl in Sarasota, Florida was arrested Friday and charged with running a high school prostitution ring that included girls from Sarasota High School and nearby Venice High School.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Alexa Nicole De Armas was charged with a felony count of human trafficking of a person under the age of 18.

One client was arrested, 21-year-old John Michael Mosher, who paid $40 and a bottle of liquor to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.

The scheme came to light when four girls at Venice High School confessed to a school administrator that they had been approached about joining the prostitution ring.

Venice Police Department Captain Tom Mattmuller told the Herald-Tribune that a third person will be arrested on Tuesday, but declined to comment further, saying the department’s investigation is ongoing.

De Armas is believed to have concocted the scheme over the summer as a way of making money and getting access to alcohol and drugs. She ran the business via Facebook private chat.

“Why pimp out old hoes when I have fresh young hoes I can give up for money?” De Armas wrote to one business associate. “As long as I’m getting paid I’m trafficking all these (expletive deleted).”

The encounter between Mosher — a homeless dishwasher at a local restaurant — and the 15-year-old girl took place in an empty pool shed in August. According to evidence in De Armas’ Facebook chats, the girl tried to back out of the transaction at the last minute, but Mosher became angry and assaulted her against her will.

Mosher is being held without bail at Sarasota County Jail on charges of felony sexual battery on a victim older than 12.

Sarasota County School District spokeswoman Debbie Tippen said that the district is declining to comment on an ongoing investigation, but echoed the police, who said that none of the illicit activities took place on school grounds.

According to police, who obtained a search warrant for De Armas’ Facebook chats, De Armas was charging “$50 to $70 to perform oral sex and $100 for intercourse with a virgin” with 40 percent of profits going to the girls who performed sex acts for clients.

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