Stop, question and frisk: Video shows how NYPD terrorizes its citizens

New York police officers detain and search hundreds of thousands of people every year under its stop-and-frisk law, a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment and a form of racial profiling. It’s the official policy of the NYPD to harrass, intimidate and bully citizens into submission, the vast majority of them minorities.

As the video above shows, some police officers have troubled consciences when their Captain tells them, “We’re gonna go out there and violate some rights!” and “We want 250’s [the Stop, Question and Frisk report form]!” And others, like the ones recorded by young Alvin, seem to relish the permission to unleash their sadistic urges.

Today the Associated Press reports that New York City Council will begin hearings on stop-and-frisk on October 10. Repeal seems unlikely, and it’s uncertain exactly what reforms will be considered.

Cracking Down on Occupy: Arrests on felony charges

Arrest at Occupy K St on Dec. 4, 2011

Police and prosecutors are getting fed up with Occupy protests and are employing a new tactic to crack down on them. Housto, Denver and New York have recently charged protestors with felony crimes instead of misdemeanors. Authorities may hope that amping up the consequences for civil disobedience will have a chilling effect on demonstrators.

When Houston prosecutors sought felony charges for seven protestors, a judge initially dismissed them.  But this week a grand jury indicted the demonstrators for their role in blocking a Houston port exit. The indictment accuses them of using a “criminal instrument,” a PVC pipe. They bound themselves to it to delay arrest.

Act Up lists the most common charges resulting from civil disobedience as disorderly conduct and trespass, resisting arrest, and riot in the second degree. All are misdemeanors. When more than ten people are involved and an injury results, riot in the first degree, a felony, is the charge.