What Are My Rights Against Police Brutality?

Police brutality is an issue that affects many across the world, but in the United States, it is particularly serious due to a variety of factors. One of the more serious aspects is how police brutality affects certain groups more than others; non-white people and members of the LGBT community being among the most affected,[…]

A History of the Cold War and Its Effect on Militarization in Law Enforcement

North Penn Tactical Response Team of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, practicing Cellular Team Tactics / Photo by Tim McAteer, Wikimedia Commons To find the origins of modern militarized policing, we have to look back to the Cold War. By Dr. Joy Rohde / 10.22.2014 Assistant Professor of Public Policy University of Michigan To find the origins[…]

From Blue Lobsters to Friendly Giants: Visual Representations of the Police, 1840–1880

Gloucestershire Constabulary at Northleach 1850s Pictures of Victorian policemen contain varied, conflicting and interacting strands of meaning. By Jane M. Card / 08.27.2018 Historian Introduction Images from the past are never to be taken at face value since, made according to contemporary visual conventions and artistic tastes, they reflect not objective reality but contemporary opinions[…]

The Legal System in the United States

Gordon County Courthouse in Calhoun, GA / Photo by Brent Moore, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt has this vital role in our criminal procedure for cogent reasons. The accused, during a criminal prosecution, has at stake interests of immense importance,[…]

Ancient Egyptian Pigment Provides Modern Forensics with a New Coat of Paint

Latent fingermarks dusted with micronised Egyptian blue on a $20 note, viewed in the Near Infrared. Simon Lewis, Author provided   By Ivy Shih and Dr. Simon Lewis / 05.29.2016 Shih: Editor, The Conversation Lewis: Professor of Forensics and Analytical Chemistry, Curtin University It was during a trip to Indianapolis that Professor Simon Lewis, a[…]

Use of Body-Worn Cameras Sees Complaints Against Police ‘Virtually Vanish’

Year-long study of almost 2,000 officers across UK and US forces shows introduction of wearable cameras led to a 93% drop in complaints made against police by the public – suggesting the cameras result in behavioural changes that ‘cool down’ potentially volatile encounters. 09.29.2016 Body-worn cameras are fast becoming standard kit for frontline law enforcers,[…]

After Two Fatal Police Shootings, Trump Calls for ‘Nationwide Stop-and-Frisk’

The NYPD’s controversial use of “stop-and-frisk” was struck down in 2013 by a federal judge, who found it unconstitutional. (Photo: Reuters) ‘The idea of creating a national stop-and-frisk policy is the equivalent of advancing martial law and is beyond the constitutional power of the presidency’ By Nika Knight / 09.22.2016 As the nation reels from[…]

DNA Dragnet: In Some Cities, Police Go From Stop-and-Frisk to Stop-and-Spit

Frederick Harran is the public safety director of the Bensalem Township Police Department in Pennsylvania, which has used the DNA program to solve burglaries.  “This has probably been the greatest innovation in local law enforcement since the bulletproof vest,” he said.  / Greg Kahn, special to ProPublica Police in Florida and other states are building[…]

In Privacy Win, Federal Judge Rejects ‘Stingray’ Evidence for First Time

“This opinion strongly reinforces the strength of our constitutional privacy rights in the digital age,” the ACLU said. (Photo: sj carey/flickr/cc) By Nadia Prupis / 07.13.2016 For the first time, a federal judge has thrown out evidence obtained by police without a warrant using the controversial “Stingray” device that mimics cell phone towers to trick[…]

Busted: False Positive Roadside Drug Tests Landing Thousands in Jail

Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them? Graphics by Fathom  |  Photography by Todd Heisler, The New York Times Story Co-Published with the[…]

iCensor: Apple Patents Remote ‘Kill Switch’ for iPhone Cameras

“Free speech rules don’t apply to Silicon Valley,” observes a civil liberties advocacy group. (Photo: Ian Higgins/flickr/cc) Technology could allow police and government forces to stop citizens from recording abuses of force By Nika Knight / 06.30.2016 Owning an iPhone could someday mean being blocked from recording anything that someone in power doesn’t want you[…]