SECOND UP – Graffiti artist receives four year prison sentence and we wonder why the prisons are both overcrowded and a booming industry?
Two children ‘searched by police’
An inquiry has been launched after two children were allegedly stopped and searched by police under “terrorism legislation” in south London.
Two officers carried out a stop and search on a man, 43, his daughter, 11, and another child, six, near Woolwich Arsenal station, the man said.
The officers also took his mobile phones, USB stick and a CD, he added.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the “worrying” allegation.
The man said that during the search the plain clothes officers ordered him to stand in front of a CCTV camera to have his photograph taken.
They did not tell him when or how he could have his items returned, he added.
The IPCC is investigating the complaint with the Metropolitan Police Service’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said: “The use of Section 44 stop and search powers is a very sensitive issue and it is right that complaints of this nature are taken very seriously.”
He added: “It is particularly worrying that two young children were allegedly searched in this way.
“This investigation will look at whether the use of these powers in this case was lawful, reasonable and correctly carried out.”
The allegation comes after nine-year-old Jadan Shepherd was stopped and searched by police in Camberwell, south London, last month.
His mother Sandra Shepherd subsequently lodged a complaint, which is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards.
More than 157,290 stop and searches were carried out in London last year, nearly triple the number carried out in 2007.
Stop and searches led to 1,200 arrests in the year to September 2008.
Some Boing Boing thoughts … and links
UK police watchdog finally gets off its butt to investigate terrorism detention-and-search of children, theft of electronics
The UK police watchdog is finally looking into the widespread use of anti-terrorism stop-and-search powers by cops. The event that spurred them into it? Two plainclothes cops stopped a 43-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter and her six-year-old friend. They took the man’s USB sticks, phones, camera and CD, made him stand in front of a CCTV to be photographed, and then they searched and photographed the children.
They never told the man where he could go to get his property returned. They never returned it. Where I come from, that’s called “being mugged.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said todayit would “manage” the investigation into the incident in July, meaning that an independent investigator will control the inquiry conducted by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards…In a statement today, the IPCC said: “The complainant states that, when he asked under what legislation his property was being seized, he was told it was under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He also complained that he was given no information as to when he could retrieve his goods or who to contact in order to do so, and that there was no communication from police despite assurances that he would be told when he could collect his things.”
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Daredevil Tagger ‘Buket’ Gets Four Years in Prison
“Buket,” the daredevil tagger who gained Internet notoriety for his brazen, daylight tagging of a sign over the 101 Freeway and vandalism of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus, was sentenced today to three years and eight months in state prison.
Cyrus Yazdani, 26, was on probation after pleading guilty in December to 32 felony vandalism counts. In July, he pleaded no contest to one count of felony vandalism and accepted financial responsibility for five vandalism incidents. Four of the counts were dismissed today. Yazdani must pay $117,196 in restitution.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s transit investigators arrested Yazdani in May after “Buket” tags appeared on the 7th Street Bridge, the Cesar Chavez Bridge and in the 4200 block of South Broadway.
Sheriff’s officials said Yazdani was found in possession of scribers, which are used in tagging. He also had paint splatter on his clothing.
In December, after pleading guilty Yazdani was sentenced to 10 months in county jail, 256 hours of graffiti removal duty and five years’ formal probation. He was released from jail based on credit for time served.
That case stemmed from a tagging spree between 2005 and 2007, during which, authorities said, the 26-year-old San Jose State graduate slapped his tags on buses, freeway walls and overpasses as well as the concrete lining of the Los Angeles River.
Yazdani became something of an Internet sensation when he plastered his “Buket” bomb 20 feet above the busy Hollywood Freeway — vandalism that was captured on videotape and posted with a rap soundtrack on YouTube and numerous tagger-related blogs.
Another daylight attack, which was also videotaped, appeared to show “Buket” applying his moniker to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus as passersby and passengers watched in surprise.
A YouTube video that captured both tagging exploits has more than 450,000 views. But the notoriety also got the attention of sheriff’s transit investigators, who arrested Yazdani in May.
Sheriff’s officials said they had evidence that Yazdani had marked hundreds of freeway overpasses, concrete walls and transit buses across the state and southern Nevada.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified at least 20 “Buket” scrawlings along a stretch of the river spanning a couple of miles, causing an estimated $60,000 in damage. —Andrew Blankstein
Photo Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times