DragNet: February 1 – February 15, 2018


Image from ACLU.org

For this dragnet update we have several fascinating articles to highlight. Among the stories from the United states was  an article on  the NYPD’s unofficial power over legislation. In this article brought to us by ACLU.org we learn about how elected officials have a routine of  changing bills to appease the NYPD. In a vote for “the Right to Know Act”  a city council member spoke openly about the power the NYPD has over the legislation process.

We have several articles from NPR covering U.S. happenings. the first article covers the corruption trial in Baltimore. The report states that testimony has been given in the the gun trace task force case and the jury is now in deliberation. We have an additional update on the situation in Baltimore in a different article. According to update, while Baltimore’s gun trace task force is under investigation the BPD has decided to created an anti-corruption unit.before the trial concludes.

From feministing  we have an un-settling report on state violence and sexual assault. In the story a teenage girl named Anna lost a case against two officers that raped here while she was in their custody after her arrest. How could such a case be lost? According to the report it was because the officers claimed she consented (which the report claims was not the case), and in New York as well as in 34 other states police officers are allowed to have sex with individuals in custody. Laws prohibiting sex between prison guards and inmates are on the books in New York. There are also prohibitions on sex between probation officers and probationers. It is unclear why similar restrictions are not imposed on police officers and those they take into their custody.

In Chicago the police department started collecting electronic gang data for fifteen years and the result was a database that had less to do with gangs and more to do with race. National Public Radio reports that activists are saying the database is being used inappropriately. The issue is the labeling of many young people of color as gang members when they actually are not. The issue is even more serious due to the fact that once a individual is in the database there is no way to get out .

Thanks to another article from NPR we were able to bring a interview with Thomas Homan the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In the interview Homan talk about the agency and its trajectory in the near future.

Fortune brings us a interesting story about Fords recent patent of a autonomous police vehicle. The story goes on to explain that while the patent has been filed that doesn’t mean we will ever actually see this product come to fruition.

From Electronic Frontier Foundation we learned about the CLOUD Act. The CLOUD Act a proposed bill that would allow the United states and other nations to subvert national laws. In order to expand law enforcement power the bill would allow authorities to access private data such as emails and online content without concern for the 4th amendment or other national restrictions

We had a post from Community Policing Dispatch on the factors to consider when posting police  in schools. Five considerations were posited. clearly defining roles, selecting appropriate officers, officers are trained for the job, define policy, engage community partners.

We learned from the ACLU that the Boston police has been using social media for surveillance purposes without alerting city council of  their actions. In the years of 2014, 2015, and 2016 it was found that “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, YikYak, and Flickr” were all used to search for activity related to race religion and political activity but found nothing relating to terrorism or violent activity.

We also have an NPR report looking into the alleged practice of police use of secret evidence and tips, from agencies like the DEA. The allegations are that police agencies are get information from federal agencies then making pretext stops. This allows them search the car and  find contraband they were tipped off about. The admissibility of the evidence is then impossible to dispute due to the defendants inability to know the police were tipped off.

From Improving police we have a story on use of force issues in Wisconsin.  According to the report the Madison police department decided not to make recommended change to its use of force policy. This decision was made despite surveys evidence  that reported recent police shootings had 50% of those surveyed either “concerned” or “very concerned” about police use of force.

ACLU.com has brought U.S. news on how government agencies are using 6 different methods to work against the efforts of environmental activists. Methods include, but are not limited to, surveillance, infiltration, no fly zones, categorizing indigenous led movements as a form of terrorism, passing ag-gag laws, and Unconstitutional searches of Facebook pages.

In world news we posted a NPR story about unrest in Russia as protests come out to support a boycott of the march 18th vote. According to the report protest occurred in over 100 cities. During these protest police detained around 256 protesters, among them was Alexei Navalny leader of Russia progressive party

From Dailymail.com we have news about the United Kingdoms first private police force. The organization Know as TM Eye is offering a patrol service called “my local bobby” to those that can afford it, This has led some to believe this is the first step to a two tiered policing system in the UK

Interesting Engineering covered a story on the new facial recognition technology that the Chinese police have official implemented this year. In Zhengzhou officers can be seen with the new tech. 32 people are reported to have been located using these facial recognition devices.

From CrisisGroup.org we have a story on the issues African counties face when hiring vigilantes to combat terrorist insurgencies. Fro weaker African states the use of these armed group poses issues as vigilante groups that are successful in fighting off insurgencies run the risk of becoming difficult to demobilize once they aren’t needed.

Did I miss something? No worries- it does happen on occasion. If you have any suggestions for DragNet, or if you want to call attention to a specific blog or article, send an email to anthropologist@gmail.com with the words “DragNet” in the subject header and I’ll get on it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s