Police video surveillance was in the spotlight during yesterday's City Hall hearing on security measures at large events, as supervisors voiced a desire to strike the right balance between security and civil liberties. And while they got some reassurance and small signs of restraint from the SFPD, they also learned about secretive new security measures that go beyond what the public was aware of.Read more »
Now, I'm not one to stand in the way of reasonable security precautions. But we shouldn't just defer to the SFPD on whatever it says it wants because then we'll have cameras on every corner, spy drones overhead, stop-and-frisk, and an ever-greater portion of our tax dollars going to expand the police state. Because the cops will always want more tools to police us, tools they will always say they need to protect us – it's just in their nature. But it's up to the rest of us to strike the right balance and not lose our heads every time some whack-job resorts to violence.
After public outrage stopped the San Francisco Police Department from instituting controversial — and unconstitutional, say civil libertarians — new video surveillance requirements in bars and clubs more than two years ago, the department quietly began inserting that same requirement into new liquor licenses, a move met with concern at City Hall last week.Read more »
Tree-sitting is nothing new. It's happened all over California, going back decades. It's a dangerous, but often effective protest tool that stops logging in its tracks.
Nobody with any official sanction is going to cut down a tree while there's a human perched in it -- and it's been notoriously difficult for the authorities to remove people from platforms high above the forest.
And now, in Mendocino County, police response has entered a new phase.Read more »
Following a highly attended and closely watched meeting on Tuesday, Oakland City Council voted 7-1 to approve a $250,000 contract to hire a team of police consultants which includes controversial stop-and-frisk advocate Bill Bratton. Read more »
Nothing like a dog story to captivate a city that has so much else going on. And while there are (sadly) dogs euthanized in this city fairly often, mostly because they're unadoptable or found to be dangerous, the particulars of Charlie's story -- and the press attention it's gotten -- has turned this one incident into a world-wide campaign against the Canine Death Penalty.Read more »
In New York State, cops are routinely misusing Tasers, zapping suspects who are laready handcuffed, zapping people in the chest, zapping people who aren't menacing or carrying any weapon ... pretty much, it seems, zapping away at will.Read more »
Police hosted a Mission community meeting yesterday in response to the Sept. 16 death of Jesus Solis, 20, who was shot at Treat Ave and 26th St. But before the meeting could take place on its scheduled date, another shooting took place; police officers shot Oscar Barceñas, 22, Sept. 20. Barceñas has survived his injuries.
The second shooting sparked two nights of late-night demonstrations during which protesters broke the windows of banks and a local business and painted “killers” on the Mission police station. Read more »