TaserTube

Taser International co-founder and CEO Rick Smith shows how the company's X-26 Taser can be mounted to a rifle. The X-26 is being used in this manner by the military in Iraq. (pic. In These Times)

In November there was outcry after a 10-year-old American girl was tasered by police called in by her mother when she refused to take a shower. Police have so often been accused of using Tasers gratuitously that the firm started fitting them with digital cameras that recorded every firing. This “Taser-cam” got the firm’s boffins thinking: why not equip police with cameras that can record entire incidents (not just the brief moment when a Taser is used) and even beam the recordings instantly back to the higher-ups at headquarters?

The result is a “tactical on-officer network computer” called AXON, which is being tested by several police forces in America. Recordings are uploaded to a restricted website, evidence.com, to be viewed by approved personnel. Mr Smith says that the creation of a sort of “secure YouTube of global law enforcement” could be beneficial both for the public, who would get more accountable police, and for officers on the beat, who could be vindicated more quickly if falsely accused of brutality. But the biggest winner would be Taser, which expects to charge $1,700 for the hardware, plus $99 per device per month to manage all the data.

Mmm yes if there’s one thing our police murdering people has shown is that when video exist of the crime they certainly are forthcoming with it…Jeebus, Martina and Jeremy, this will give Taser inc and police HQ a head start in muddying the waters, counter claiming and defending from brutality and wrongful death suits and if the video inescapably proves Tasers killed a person… Yeah that will get released voluntarily by the police and Taser Inc. sure it will, you can have their word on that as manufactures and users of non-lethal weapons …that have killed over three hundred people. Who have autopsy reports altered and sues local authorities for protecting their own citizens as part of an ‘aggressive’ global legal campaign to destroy negative information about their non-lethal lethal weapons.

Oh and remember all the new gear they have coming, of course we are buying some-

Last June it launched the XREP (extended range electronic projectile), a wireless device that can be fired from a shotgun to zap someone up to 100 feet (30 metres) away. Unlike the pinprick caused by the original wired dart, which has a range of up to 35 feet, “this will leave an ugly mark, but it won’t kill you,” says Mr Smith. In November it launched the X3, a semi-automatic stun-gun that allows three shots, “in case the first one misses”.

the Home Office is considering issuing UK police forces with the new wireless stun gun called the Taser X-REP

One Third of UK TASER Usage is by Non-Firearms Officers

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So They’re Admitting We’re Under Occupation?

Independent Northern Ireland-style go-betweens could ease tensions between police and protesters, say MPs. The Joint Committee on Human Rights said poor communications lay at the heart of problems at the G20 protests on 1 April.

And furthermore is it admitting the police do not work for us but for the government/ruling capital? Also in the reports no one mentions Tom Brake MP’s observation of the Met’s use of agent provocateurs.

Liberal Democrat Tom Brake says he saw what he believed to be two plain-clothes police officers go through a police cordon after presenting their ID cards. Brake, who along with hundreds of others was corralled behind police lines near Bank tube station in the City of London on the day of the protests, says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon.

So in summation, yes this is class war and yes the police are not on the people’s side and at last they have decided to admit this?

Anyways, ‘poor communications’ oh no I think the comms worked fine, what went wrong was we got them on film killing a man. There was no ‘failure’ they just got caught doing what they do under orders from on high.

Institutionally Criminal

The Metropolitan police officer being investigated for an assault on Ian Tomlinson before he died had a chequered history which should have barred him from the force, it has emerged.

Investigations have revealed that the officer, who was in the Tactical Support Group during the G20 protests, had previously been accused of using unnecessary force while serving with the Met.

Vetting blunders meant that this was never identified and he managed to leave the force and rejoin.
<…>
Details of the past of the officer at the centre of the IPCC inquiry into Tomlinson’s death emerged yesterday. He had been on a disciplinary charge and facing a misconduct hearing earlier in his Met career.

The charge related to an incident while he was on sick leave with a shoulder injury when the officer became involved in a road rage incident. It is understood he tried to arrest the other driver involved in the incident, who later complained that the officer had used unnecessary force.

Before the discipline board convened, however, the officer took early retirement from the Met on medical grounds, and was awarded a medical pension.

Some years later he rejoined the Met as a civilian. He then applied to join Surrey police as an officer. When he was vetted the unresolved disciplinary matter should have shown up but does not appear to have done so. The officer was recruited to Surrey police with no blot on his disciplinary record. He later applied for a transfer to the Met, which again did not reveal the unresolved disciplinary charge.

In his career at the Met he was moved to the TSG, the elite public order unit within the force. It seems that at no point was his history flagged up during interview and vetting for this role.

Honduras Coup Just Got Chile

As in torture regime Old-cold(war)-School, first we have Battalion 316 (y’know John Negroponte’s fave gang of cowardly butchers) ghoul Joya in charge of repression-

The de facto government of Roberto Micheletti in Honduras named Billy Joya as ministerial assessor, known for coordinating and directing tortures and assassinations in the country during the 1980s

Then we have the US ambassador who was mysteriously unavailable

Foreign Minister Rodas has stated that she has repeatedly tried to make contact with the U.S. Ambassador in Honduras, Hugo Llorens, who has not responded to any of her calls thus far.

Y’know Hugo-

a Cuban refugee who served as President Bush’s security advisor to the Andean region during the 2002 Venezuelan coup,

And now the coup de grace (ha fucking ha) they just suspended key constitutional protections-

The Honduran congress has given police expanded powers to move against opponents of the military-backed interim government in the wake of a coup which deposed the elected president. Congress passed laws on Wednesday which will allow police to arrest people in their own homes without a warrant during a nightly curfew that has been in place since Manuel Zelaya was ousted. “The deputies have decided to suspend several liberties, among them the liberties of free movement and association – people can be arrested for 24 hours without having any rights,” Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez, reporting from the capital, Tegucigalpa, said.

Via IKN

SUSPENDED, Article 71: No person can be detained for more than 24 hours without being presented to the orders of the competent authority for judgment. Judicial inquiry detention cannot exceed six days from the moment of detention.

That’s Habeas Corpus done with.

SUSPENDED, Article 78: Freedom of association and reunion is guaranteed as long as it does not contravene public order and good custom.

No protests.

SUSPENDED, Article 81: All persons have the right of free passage, to leave enter and stay in national territory. No person can be forced to move from their domicile or residence, except in special circumstances and when the requisits of law allow.

Checkpoints and ‘cleansing’.

SUSPENDED, Article 84: No person can be arrest or detained without the virtue of a written mandate of the competent authority, expidited with legal formalities and for a motive previously established by law. However, in-fragranti criminals may be apprehended by any person in order to deliver them to authorities. The arrested or detained must be informed in the act and with total clarity of their rights and the reasons for the arrest; also, the authority must communicate theri detention to a family member of choice.

Ad hoc state militias get to arrest anyone and disappear them.

SUSPENDED, Article 88: No class of violence or coercion may be exercised on persons to force or make them declare. In a penal, disciplinary or police issue, nobody can be made to declare against themself, against a spouse or living companion, or against family members inside fourth grade of bloodline or second of affinity. Only in front of a competent judge make statements be taken. Any decalration obtained by infringement of these dispositions is null and void.

Torture for fun and false confessions.

SUSPENDED, Article 99: The domicile cannot be violated. No entry or register can take place without the consent of the person who resides in the domicile or without a resolution from acompentent authority. However, the domicile may be searched in the case of emergency to impede the commission or the impunity of a crime or to avoid serious harm to person or property.

Summary house invasions by thugs, you are not safe in your home.

What of the Empire, civil war in Washington? Although it’s not encouraging one of Obama’s heroes is Ronnie Raygun.

The IPCC’s Inexhaustible Supply Of Whitewash

The police officer, who was granted anonymity at the inquest (because who wants an accountable non secret police force) did these things-

Before he gave evidence, he revealed that he had made a note on the Metropolitan police computer in late July 2005, before he made his original statement in November 2005. He had then accessed and altered the note in October 2008 before handing it to the Met’s lawyers.

Owen had been present in New Scotland Yard’s room 1600, which was under the direct command of Commander Cressida Dick on 22 July 2005, although he was not within the nucleus of senior officers commanding the operation, the IPCC said.

The text he deleted read: “Management discussion. CD [Cressida Dick]: can run onto Tube as not carrying anything. Persuaded otherwise by UI [unidentified] male amongst management”.

The independent investigation found Owen had acted alone both in failing to disclose his note, as required by the IPCC in 2005, and in redacting it on 7 October 2008.

So today the IPCC concluded-

But the IPCC said today there was no evidence of deliberate deception in this instance by the Met as a whole or any individual within it.

Bear in mind he is a Special Branch officer, they liaise with the intelligence services, they are literally secret police, he gave evidence anonymously and is now found to be blameless while Dick has been promoted. What does this note suggest? That prior to Jean Charles de Menezes being shot at point blank range multiple times the officer in charge was thinking he was not carrying anything, ie. not a bomb threat. The common refrain of the killers (the coached and rehearsed testimony they were able to collude on) was they were acting in self defence because they claim to have believed he could have been a suicide bomber.

That she was dissuaded or failed to communicate her judgement to the armed personnel means the ‘UI [unidentified] male amongst management‘ bears great responsibility for the killing, as does Cressida Dick who is shown to make weak & faulty judgements and bad communication shows up these professional paramilitaries to be utter chumps. Clearly evidence was concealed then altered to protect senior officers. But no such issues will be addressed because the IPCC doesn’t think it important or that any malfeasance has occurred in relation to the note. They are as capable at investigating abuses of power by the police as Tony Blair is at not lying a country into war.

Best case: The armed security forces, licensed to employ state violence couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.

Worst case: Execution by state paramilitaries protected from legal responsibility by the establishment.

Yasmin Khan, spokeswoman for the Justice4Jean campaign, accused the IPCC of failing to hold police officers to account. She said: “It doesn’t matter if you are a policeman fiddling notes after a shooting or a politician fiddling expenses on the sly, no-one should be above the law. This latest decision is one of a long line of IPCC decisions which have led every police officer involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes off scot-free. This weak and woefully poor excuse of a watchdog must now be overhauled and replaced with a robust body that can actually hold police officers to account.”

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Every Car Journey Logged By Police

The BBC have a new series Who’s Watching You, a filleted excerpt (sans establishment friendly ‘balance’) from the story they are leading with to promote it-

A national network of cameras and computers automatically logging car number plates will be in place within months, the BBC has learned.

A number of local councils are signing up their Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems to the ANPR network. As long as the cameras are technically good enough, they can be adapted to take the software.

John Dean, who is co-ordinating the ANPR network for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “It’s the finest intelligence-led policing tool we’ve got.

John Catt found himself on the wrong side of the ANPR system. He regularly attends anti-war demonstrations outside a factory in Brighton, his home town.

It was at one of these protests that Sussex police put a “marker” on his car. That meant he was added to a “hotlist”.

This is a system meant for criminals but John Catt has not been convicted of anything and on a trip to London, the pensioner found himself pulled over by an anti-terror unit.

“I was threatened under the Terrorist Act. I had to answer every question they put to me, and if there were any questions I would refuse to answer, I would be arrested. I thought to myself, what kind of world are we living in?”

Sussex police would not talk about the case.

The police say they do not know how many cameras there are in total, and they say that for operational reasons they will not say where the fixed cameras are positioned.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, whose job it is to protect personal data, has concerns about the lack of regulation. He said: “There’s very little monitoring. I mean, my office has very limited powers. We have very limited resources. We are not actively monitoring that area. You’re right to ask the question. No one’s checking it at the moment”

Note the repeating themes -the private corporation the Association of Chief Police Officers working with government, surveillance industry friendly surveys & implementation and the misuse of terror laws to harass dissenters. End stage neoliberal authoritarianism is shaping up nicely (even with the odd hiccup). Worth reading again- China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export. We have this myth put about that capitalism = democracy/freedom (not least by Edward Bernays) it is PR concocted by corporations, China is a capitalist as they come these days. We are converging towards endemic surveillance, it’s funny London will host the next Olympics. It’s all going to be a shiny happy corporate world and anyone who says different, might need to be watched, closely.

Life In A Garrison State

An excerpt from a piece by Mirjam Hadar Meerschwam, read in full @ Mondoweiss

Following the “raid” on our house by two non-uniformed policemen, Miki and Eytan, at 7:15, last week, just as I was helping our daughter to get dressed for school, it occurred to me that our house, in a regular, boring suburb, is actually surrounded by “security” related individuals and organizations. On the left, there’s D., whom I just mentioned, and on the right it’s Y. who has a fairly senior job in the military industries and stopped being friendly once he understood our family were leftists. Very near is the ugly “duplex” – an ungainly two-family house which after standing empty for years was recently let to a nameless firm. Its windows are still as shuttered as they were during the empty times, and its front yard remains a garbage strewn desert as before – but casually dressed young men carrying various types of briefcases and rucksacks come in and out. It is common knowledge by now that this is what they locally call a “shoo-shoo house”: the army’s secret services use civilian property, everybody knows that. Nobody asked or informed us. At the bottom of the road is a huge, pastoral looking area – disenchantingly protected by electronic fencing and a number of forbidding guard dogs. This no-go park belongs, again, to Israel’s military industries: they develop explosives here – underground. At times our buildings shake with the impact. Much has been said and agitated about the way these underground adventures have affected our environment – there are fearful rumors about cancer incidence. Meanwhile work has not stopped.

 I’ve often thought and spoken about these things, one way or another. For instance during the recent attack of the Israeli army on Gaza, when the Israeli public was told about the cruelty of Hamas who presumably placed themselves squarely among Gaza’s civilian population.

 But this morning, in the context, now, of my own and my friends’ recent interrogations I thought specifically about the more subtle work of intimidation, delegitimization, social ostracizing.

 An Israeli feminist antimilitarist group and registered non-profit organization, New Profile, the group of which I am a member, is these days subject to an unprecedented attack carried out by means of the state and the police. New Profile addresses itself to Israeli society. It is our aim to raise public consciousness to what militarism is and how it affects civic society. We also give moral and legal support and information to young people who contact us having decided not to enlist in the military. This is information about the army’s own accepted and legal routes toward exemption. Typically, such information is not part of the eye-catching display in my son’s former high school. On that poster the various army units vie to win the favors of the not-yet recruits with promises of their various “challenges”. Across the entrance hall, facing it in sinister unselfawareness, the national flag gives permanent honor to a list of former pupils who lost their lives in military service.

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