B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘police’ tag

Red White and Blues was uploaded to Flickr

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Randolph Street

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I took Red White and Blues on January 11, 2011 at 12:29PM

A Game of Compare and Contrast

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Liberty Loans - Seattle
Liberty Loans – Seattle

I was amused to read about both of these incidents in the same morning.

Compare and contrast this story:

Police in Washington, D.C. are investigating NBC’s “Meet the Press” after the show’s host David Gregory appeared to display a high-capacity ammunition magazine during Sunday’s program, a spokeswoman for the police department confirmed to the Washington Post early Wednesday.

Washington, D.C.’s firearms regulations state that “No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device” even if it is not attached to a firearm. During his interview with National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre on Sunday, Gregory held what he said was a magazine capable of holding 30 bullets. 

(click here to continue reading D.C. Police Investigating ‘Meet The Press’ Over Gun Prop Used During Show (VIDEO) | TPM LiveWire.)

Party Favors
Party Favors

with this story:

Maybe the most bizarre part of that Post article on the Freedomworks coup is the part about Dick Armey’s henchman coming into the office with a handgun. So my question is: was that legal?

DC is really strict on gun laws, even after Heller, which tossed out some of the strictest gun regulations. So if there’s anywhere this would be illegal, it would probably be DC. But it sounds like the real issue might be something hard to get a read on beyond what’s contained in the Post article itself.

The article suggests an air of menace in the use of the gun — and that’s not terribly surprising if the situation was an inherently confrontational one (Armey was ordering people out of the office) and Armey associate came with a holstered handgun. But a lot of that is going to come down to perceptions. And the Post reporter might have played some of the gun angle up for effect.

But using a firearm to intimidate someone can be assault.

(click here to continue reading Is That Legal? | TPM Editors Blog.)

Written by Seth Anderson

December 26th, 2012 at 11:36 am

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , , ,

Jean Quan Is a Know-Nothing And Proud

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Sorry to hear of Mayor Jean Quan’s evasion of responsibility re: the horrific police riot in Oakland that left Scott Olsen, a 2-tour Iraq Veteran, in the hospital with brain swelling and skull injuries. If you haven’t seen the video, here’s a short version with commentary:

Oakland — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who is being criticized from all sides for a police sweep of the Occupy Oakland encampment, said Wednesday that she was not involved in the planning and did not even know when the action was going to take place.

The decision to raid the camp outside City Hall was made by City Administrator Deanna Santana on Oct. 19 with consultation from interim Police Chief Howard Jordan after campers repeatedly blocked paramedics and police from entering the camp despite reports of violence and injuries.

News conference

Quan told a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday that her input on the raid was limited.

“I only asked the chief to do one thing: to do it when it was the safest for both the police and the demonstrators,” she said.

The mayor said “I don’t know everything” when asked by reporters if she was satisfied with how police conducted the sweep. She said she spent Wednesday meeting with community groups.

She also defended “99 percent” of police officers “who took a lot of abuse” and who “have really been trying to re-establish that connection with the community.”

(click here to continue reading Occupy Oakland: Jean Quan ‘I don’t know everything’.)

So basically, the Mayor is saying she isn’t that interested in what the police are doing in her city, and doesn’t think that is important for her to be involved, or even informed. Oh, and stop being so mean to the poor, poor police, they were just trying to pet kittens.1

Keith Olbermann was disappointed as well, saying (on Current-TV)

Olbermann discussed Mayor Quan’s 20 year liberal career in Oakland and then said, “And in the last two nights Mayor Jean Quan has betrayed all of that. There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no rationalization for being the mayor who may have begun the great march backward in this country to the days when mayors like Sam Yorty of Los Angeles and Hugh Addonizio of Newark and Richard Dailey of Chicago stood back and their police incited, bullied, overreacted, and brutally assaulted protesters at the height of the Civil Rights and Vietnam movements. Those protests began non-violently, positively with singing and marching and cooperation with authorities, but the police like the police in Oakland, California this week, they injected the violence. Then it escalated and echoed, and soon there wasn’t just one Iraq vet in a hospital with a fractured skull, but there were dead men and women on the streets in this country and no one in this country wants to see that again today.”

He continued, “The mayor of any city is not out on the front lines with cops, and not everything they do can be lain at the mayor’s feet, but if one night a group of peaceable protesters exercising the rights given to them under the Constitution and not rights made up for the cops by the cops like lawful command and imminent threat. If they are attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets and the mayor’s only comments are to commend the police chief for a, “generally peacefully resolution to a situation, “ and after that claim democracy is messy, after the unprovoked actions horrify a nation, she is endorsing and assuming for herself whatever havoc the out of control police officers wrought.”

Later Olbermann closed by pointing out that it was only 15 months ago that Mayor Jean Quan was bullied by the police department, “Fifteen months ago Mayor Jean Quan was bullied by the Oakland Police Department, and tonight she is the bully. Mayor Quan is left with two choices. She can dismiss the acting police chief Howard Jordan and use her mayoral powers to authorize Occupy Oakland to protest again without harassment, or having betrayed everything she supported and all those who supported her, she must resign.”

(click here to continue reading Keith Olbermann Calls Out The Police for Instigating Occupy Oakland Violence.)

  1. Or funny versions []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 27th, 2011 at 8:52 am

Illinois Eavesdropping Act Should be Overturned

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Let Me Show You How to Eagle Rock

Police should be held to the same standards as citizens: and not allowed to hide behind this archaic, pre-digital law. I fail to see why the police are afraid of being recorded, unless they plan on bending the law in some way and don’t want to be caught. Other states don’t have this same law, and seem to be doing just fine…

The Illinois Eavesdropping Act has been on the books for years. It makes it a criminal offense to audio-record either private or public conversations without the consent of all parties, Mr. Schwartz said. Audio-recording a civilian without consent is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison for a first-time offense. A second offense is a Class 3 felony with a possible prison term of five years.

Although law-enforcement officials can legally record civilians in private or public, audio-recording a law-enforcement officer, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general or judge in the performance of his or her duties is a Class 1 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The A.C.L.U. filed its lawsuit after several people throughout Illinois were charged in recent years with eavesdropping for making audio recordings of public conversations with the police. The A.C.L.U. argued that the act violates the First Amendment and hinders citizens from monitoring the public behavior of police officers and other officials.

On Jan. 10, a federal judge in Chicago dismissed the suit for the second time. Mr. Schwartz said the A.C.L.U. would appeal. Andrew Conklin, a spokesman for Anita Alvarez, the Cook County state’s attorney, said, “We did feel the A.C.L.U.’s claims were baseless and we’re glad the court agreed with us.” Beyond that statement, Mr. Conklin said, “we have no comment because we have these two cases pending.”

(click to continue reading Eavesdropping Laws Mean That Turning On an Audio Recorder Could Send You to Prison – NYTimes.com.)


Written by Seth Anderson

January 23rd, 2011 at 3:12 am

Police Worried About being Caught Breaking Law

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Insanely ridiculous. How is this even remotely acceptable behavior? Police should avoid doing illegal acts if they are so worried about being videotaped.

Sheriff's Line Do Not Cross

In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

The legal justification for arresting the “shooter” rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where “no expectation of privacy exists” (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

Massachusetts attorney June Jensen represented Simon Glik who was arrested for such a recording. She explained, “[T]he statute has been misconstrued by Boston police. You could go to the Boston Common and snap pictures and record if you want.” Legal scholar and professor Jonathan Turley agrees, “The police are basing this claim on a ridiculous reading of the two-party consent surveillance law – requiring all parties to consent to being taped. I have written in the area of surveillance law and can say that this is utter nonsense.”

The courts, however, disagree. A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler’s license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

(click to continue reading Are Cameras the New Guns?.)

Police are public officials, paid with our tax dollars. Why should they be exempted from established principles? Horrible decision by lawmakers in Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland, and everywhere else considering similar draconian laws.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 3rd, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Everyblock and the Chicago Police Department

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I’ve been a long time fan of EveryBlock, from its earlier incarnation called Chicago Crime.org, through its purchase by MSNBC. I had noticed this police report information shortfall as well.

Sunday Morning Parking Lot

In Chicago, the police department declines to make any details available online to us or to EveryBlock, a five-member operation based here. EveryBlock was bought last year by MSNBC.com and cranks out daily updates for neighborhoods in 15 other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Dallas.

The site’s frustration with Chicago underscores how scant our access is to public records at most levels of government.

Take the city’s Department of Public Health. It stopped updating its Web site last year. That means that for months, citizens haven’t been able to find out about, say, what restaurants have been hit with violations. In part, the department blames technological problems.

EveryBlock is the brainchild of soft-spoken, angular Adrian Holovaty, 29, well-known in the online world for innovations in computer code. He retains oversight and, with two colleagues, operates out of an airy but bare Ravenswood loft about a mile north of Wrigley Field.

Mr. Holovaty is asking his audience here to sign a petition, to prod the Chicago Police Department to change its ways. He links to the petition from each crime. ‘Would you like to see more information about this crime? So would we!’ he asks.”

(click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – In the Age of Information, the Police Department Lags Behind – NYTimes.com.)

What is strange is that the local paper The Chicago Journal has a page of police reports written in English. I guess these are hand-crafted by Chicago Journal reporters? They are not as extensive, of course.

If you have a second, take the time to sign the EveryBlock petition.

Chicago Police Bomb Squad

Chicago Police Bomb Squad

As I hinted, I love Everyblock – I receive a daily email about my 8 block area, and another email1 that contains all news in a hand-crafted area of my own choosing, plus I subscribe to an RSS feed that covers similar ground, and have the EveryBlock iPhone app installed.

Neighborhood demarcations are like country borders, they are useful sometimes, but in real life, are less meaningful. When I walk around taking photos, there is an area that I usually stick to – about a mile in some directions, but it is not a geometrically perfect circle. I walk west to Ashland, but usually not beyond, walk south to maybe Jackson, or occasionally Van Buren, but not beyond, walk north to Chicago Avenue, along the Chicago River, but not west of Halsted, walk into the Loop proper, but not too far. In other words2 my personal stomping ground includes portions of 4 or 5 different neighborhoods, but to me, it feels like one. EveryBlock allows me to mark a map and then pulls information from this marked “personal” neighborhood3.

Anyway, I strongly agree with Mr. Holovaty that the Chicago Police should open up their data for EveryBlock, I don’t see the downside for CPD.

It’s one thing to know there was a $300 theft down the street; it’s another to read the police officer’s description. “Clearly, there’s a huge difference between a random break-in and, say, an ex-boyfriend breaking into an apartment to get his stuff,” Mr. Holovaty says.

We can get those details if we go to the police station. But the department won’t make descriptions available online. The end result is ignorance, possibly about the real dangers in a neighborhood. Lack of context can breed fear and needless anxiety.

Chicago is not alone in arguing that there are privacy concerns, notably names of victims, and what can be raw descriptions replete with misspellings. But Mr. Holovaty underscores that EveryBlock, as a matter of policy, does not run people’s names on any of its listings, be they crimes, real estate transactions or granting of business licenses.

Further, he says he could devise algorithmic solutions to dealing with privacy issues like bad spelling and raw language. But he meets resistance.

“The trend in the law is fairly robust when it comes to access for the public,” said Eve Burton, vice president and general counsel for the Hearst Corporation. “But the practice among those implementing the laws is less good, and media companies are no longer putting the time, energy and resources into being the watchdog of government.”

If government wanted to live up to its obligations, technology could make everything from crime reports to restaurant inspections available. But instead, the cat-and-mouse game will continue, with government preferring secrecy and the likes of Mr. Holovaty banging on doors, or at least their data servers.

  1. overkill I know, but what can I say, I adore collecting information []
  2. for non-Chicagoans []
  3. news, photos, real estate transactions, city permits, whatever []

Written by Seth Anderson

May 7th, 2010 at 8:34 am

Posted in Chicago-esque

Tagged with , , ,

Reading Around on March 2nd through March 6th

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A few interesting links collected March 2nd through March 6th:

Written by swanksalot

March 6th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Abbate Should Serve Time

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Let's Beat the Fuck Outta Anthony Abbate
[sticker reads, “Lets beat the fuck out of Anthony Abbate”]

A former Chicago police officer convicted of a bar beating seen around the world violated his probation by failing a drug test last month, Cook County prosecutors alleged today.

Anthony Abbate, 41, tested positive last month for opiates, prosecutors said. Circuit Judge Arthur Hill Jr. set a hearing on the allegations for March 12. Prosecutors could seek to have him imprisoned for up to five years if the judge finds he violated his probation.

The burly Abbate was convicted in June of aggravated battery for the 2007 off-duty beating of Karolina Obrycka, a bartender at Jesse’s Short Stop Inn. The attack was caught on video and circulated on the Internet.

Jesus Reyes, acting head of the Cook County Adult Probation Department, said test results do not specify the type of opiate for which Abbate tested positive, but the test screens for opium, heroin, morphine, codeine and a number of medications.

[Click to continue reading Ex-cop in bar beating fails drug test, authorities say – Chicago Breaking News]

Abbate gives regular hard-working police a bad name, yet the Chicago justice system seems intent upon letting Abbate stand as a mascot for the CPD.


Written by Seth Anderson

March 1st, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Chicago-esque

Tagged with ,

Overloaded Intelligence Gathering Leads to Poor Intelligence

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Too much data, indiscriminately accumulated, is just as much a problem as too little intelligence data, if not worse. Remember when we were America, land of the Free?

Do All Photographers Need a Warrant?

It has been demonstrated that when officials must establish before a court that they have reason to intercept communications — that is, that they know what they are doing — we get better intelligence than through indiscriminate collection and fishing expeditions.
[Rush Holt]

The failure of the U.S. Government to detect the fairly glaring Northwest Airlines Christmas plot — despite years and years of constant expansions of Surveillance State powers — illustrates this dynamic perfectly. As President Obama said [Janurary 5th, 2010], the Government — just as was true for 9/11 — had gathered more than enough information to have detected this plot, or at least to have kept Abdulmutallab off airplanes and out of the country. Yet our intelligence agencies — just as was true for 9/11 — failed to understand what they had in their possession. Why is that?  Because they had too much to process, including too much data wholly unrelated to Terrorism. In other words, our panic-driven need to vest the Government with more and more surveillance power every time we get scared again by Terrorists — in the name of keeping us safe — has exactly the opposite effect. Numerous pieces of evidence prove that.

Today in The Washington Post, that paper’s CIA spokesman, David Ignatius, explains that Abdulmutallab never made it onto a no-fly list because there are simply too many reports of suspicious individuals being submitted on a daily basis, which causes the system to be “clogged” — overloaded — with information having nothing to do with Terrorism. As a result, actually relevant information ends up obscured or ignored.  Identically, Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff and Mark Hosenball report that U.S. intelligence agencies intercept, gather and store so many emails, recorded telephone calls, and other communications that it’s simply impossible to sort through or understand what they have, quite possibly causing them to have missed crucial evidence in their possession about both the Fort Hood and Abdulmutallab plots:

This deluge of Internet traffic — involving e-mailers whose true identity often is not apparent — is one indication of the volume of raw intelligence U.S. spy agencies have had to sort through as they have tried to assess Awlaki’s influence in the West and elsewhere, said the officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information. The large volume of messages also may help to explain how agencies can become so overwhelmed with data that sometimes it is difficult, if not impossible, to connect potentially important dots.

Newsweek adds that intelligence agencies likely possessed emails between accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — as well as recorded telephone calls between al-Awlaki and Abdulmutallab — but simply failed to analyze or understand what they had intercepted.

[Click to continue reading Glenn Greenwald – Backfiring of the Surveillance State : Salon.com]

Pretty pathetic. And the solution is simple: start being much more targeted with information collection so there is less noise and more actionable signal. Allowing 8 year old kids like Mike Hicks to remain on the No-Fly List for seven years is just idiotic

Mikey, who would rather talk about BMX bikes and his athletic trophies than airport security, remains perplexed about the “list” and the hurdles he must clear. “Why do they think a kid is a terrorist?” Mikey asked his mother at one point during the interview.

Mrs. Hicks said the family was amused by the mistake at first. But that amusement quickly turned to annoyance and anger. It should not take seven years to correct the problem, Mrs. Hicks said. She applied for redress in December when she first heard about the Department of Homeland Security’s program.

“I understand the need for security,” she added. “But this is ridiculous. It’s quite clear that he is 8 years old, and while he may have terroristic tendencies at home, he does not have those on a plane.”

[Click to continue reading Mikey Hicks, 8, Can’t Get Off U.S. Terror Watch List – NYTimes.com]

and he’s not alone

For every person on the lists, hundreds of others may get caught up simply because they share the same name; a quick scan through a national phone directory unearthed 1,600 Michael Hickses. Over the past three years, 81,793 frustrated travelers have formally asked that they be struck from the watch list through the Department of Homeland Security; more than 25,000 of their cases are still pending. Others have taken more drastic measures. Mario Labbé, a frequent-flying Canadian record-company executive, started having problems at airports shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, with lengthy delays at checkpoints and mysterious questions about Japan. By 2005, he stopped flying to the United States from Canada, instead meeting American clients in France. Then a forced rerouting to Miami in 2008 led to six hours of questions.

“What’s the name of your mother? Your father? When were you last in Japan?” Mr. Labbé recalled being asked. “Always the same questions in different order. And sometimes, it’s quite aggressive, not funny at all.” Fed up, in the summer of 2008, he changed his name to François Mario Labbé. The problem vanished.

Boy, that makes me feel so much safer – just change your name, and voila, no problems!

Continuous Video Recording in Progress

The mind-set doesn’t appear to be ending soon, if Massachusetts Police policy is any indication:

A report from the New England Center For Investigative Reporting has chronicled a pattern of what civil liberties advocates say is a misuse of police powers: Massachusetts police are using the state’s stringent surveillance laws to arrest and charge people who record police activities in public.

It’s a situation that is pitting new technologies against police powers. With recording equipment now embedded into cellphones and other common technologies, recording police activities has never been easier, and has resulted in numerous cases of police misconduct being brought to light. And that, rights advocates argue, is precisely what the police are trying to prevent.

In October, 2007, Boston lawyer Simon Glick witnessed what he said was excessive use of police force during the arrest of a juvenile. When he pulled out his cellphone to record the incident, he was arrested and charged with “illegal electronic surveillance.”

In December, 2008, Jon Surmacz, a webmaster at Boston University, was attending a party that was brok

[Click to continue reading Massachusetts cops can arrest you for making them famous | Raw Story]

Even the Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the action

The Chicago Transit Authority is so “committed to safety,” that it is urging commuters to report people committing “excessive photography/filming.”

The sign posted inside the train stations places photographers on the same level as, say, a non-CTA employee walking the tracks or an unattended package or “noxious smells or smoke.”

In other words, it accuses photographers of being possible terrorists or just suicidal maniacs.

The problem is that these signs not only encourage commuters to dial 911 when seeing someone taking photos, which will tie up real emergencies, it contradicts the CTA’s own policy on photography and videography within train stations.

[Click to continue reading Chicago Transit Authority urges commuters to report photographers | Photography is Not a Crime]

More data, more clutter in the system for intelligence to sort out, or the already overloaded judicial system, and for what reason? We need a change in direction, and soon.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 19th, 2010 at 9:34 am

Reading Around on December 6th through December 7th

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A few interesting links collected December 6th through December 7th:

  • “Do I have the right to refuse this search?” | Homeland Security Watch – TSA Terrorism Theater is a Joke, and not the 911 kind1 “Within the last few months, I have been singled out for “additional screening” roughly half the time I step into an airport security line. On Friday, October 9, as I stepped out of the full-body scanning device at BWI, I decided I needed more information to identify why it is that I have become such an appealing candidate for secondary screening.

    Little did I know this would be only the first of many questions I now have regarding my airport experiences.

    Over these last few months, I have grown increasingly frustrated with what I view as an unjustifiable intrusion on my privacy. It was not so much the search (then) as it was the embarrassment of being singled out, effectively being told “You are different,” but getting no explanation as to why.”

  • Mark the Spot: Tell AT&T where the iPhone sucks – Well now there is an electronic version of that crosswalk button for me to push whenever my signal degrades. This app, free in the App Store lets you pinpoint your location when the call was dropped. Expect a good constellation of points around my house
  • Oxford American – The Southern Magazine of Good Writing :: Ode to a Pecan Pie – The pecan pie has been on the Brigtsen’s menu for all twenty-three years of the restaurant’s history. It is evidence of Brigtsen’s broader philosophy.

    “I wanted it to be just that: a classic Southern dessert. I am not out to change the world with my food. I am not out to reinvent the wheel. I’m only here to make people happy. And whatever it takes to do that is my goal. I also believe that just because something is one hundred years old or twenty-three years old doesn’t mean it isn’t good anymore.”

  1. or the 9/11 kind []

Written by swanksalot

December 7th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Reading Around on August 10th through August 11th

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A few interesting links collected August 10th through August 11th:

  • Which Tweets Matter ? – icerocket has added a Twitter search function, and allows a searcher to save more than the 10 searches that Twitter restricts a searcher to.
  • art-gop-fascism-poster.jpg
  • Nearly Getting Arrested in Downtown Atlanta – “I had a run-in with the law this evening while I was with my friends Scott Kublin and Rick Shearer. Just next door to the Olympic Park is the aquarium and the Coke Museum with a big field in between. There were about a fifty people or so there at the park. I set up my tripod to take a photo of downtown and the Coke Museum was in the middle of the shot. A female cop of came over and told me I had to take down the tripod because I looked like a professional. Coke does not allow that, so she said. I said I’m a blogger with expensive toys and hardly a threat. Then she got quite huffy and agitated before telling me if I did not take down the tripod that I would be arrested.”
  • Condi_greece2.jpg
  • Let’s talk about tasers – “Tasers are routinely used by police to torture innocent people who have not broken any law and whose only crime is being disrespectful toward their authority or failing to understand their “orders.” There is ample evidence that police often take no more than 30 seconds to talk to citizens before employing the taser, they use them while people are already handcuffed and thus present no danger, and are used often against the mentally ill and handicapped. It is becoming a barbaric tool of authoritarian, social control.”

Written by swanksalot

August 11th, 2009 at 1:01 pm


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As Mo Ryan, the Chicago Tribune television critic tweeted earlier today, there is Fox television drama being produced by Shawn Ryan. I might even watch an episode or two – especially if Chicago is the central character in the drama.1

City of Chicago Department of Police

Fox has given a put pilot order to “Ridealong,” a Chicago-set cop show from “The Shield’s” Shawn Ryan.
Project’s a personal passion project of Ryan’s, who grew up in nearby Rockford, Ill. “Ridealong” will center on three groups of police officers –ranging from uniformed beat cops to the female chief of police.

Ryan is set to write and exec produce the hourlong drama, which comes from 20th Century Fox TV.

Ryan plans to shoot the skein in Chicago, which he plans to make a major part of the show.

“It’s a city I’m very familiar with, and one I haven’t seen photographed much, at least on TV,” Ryan said, “In my opinion, Chicago has become the center of the universe: It’s the place that Barack Obama comes from, it’s a candidate to host the Olympics, and it’s where Oprah dispels her wisdom.

“When I pitched it to the people at Fox, (Chicago was) the first character I described,” Ryan said. “It’s a gorgeous town and is the most interesting architectural city in America.”

Ryan said Chicago is also a “city with a big crime problem at the moment,” which will inform the show.

Ryan said “Ridealong” will mostly take place on the streets of Chicago, and will be populated by unique people — including the central lead character, a Polish-American cop who plays up his heritage.

[Click to continue reading Fox on Ryan’s ‘Ridealong’ – Entertainment News, TV News, Media – Variety]

I wanted David Simon and Ed Burns to extend their show, The Wire, and set it in Chicago, but I guess they are busy working on the Haymarket Riot film without a working title. Ridealong (possibly) is an acceptable substitute.

April 6 2007

Ms. Ryan2, interviewed Mr. Ryan:

No filming dates have been set, but if the “Ridealong” pilot gets the green light, it would be shot in Chicago in the spring. If Fox orders a full series, Ryan wants to film that in the Windy City as well.

“These things always come down to finances and I’m told that at the moment that Chicago is film-friendly and feasible,” Ryan said.

The show is “mostly about cops, but we will deal with how cops are affected/stymied/supported by local political elements,” Ryan said. “Ridealong” will also feature a “young, female chief of police and her attempts to navigate Chicago politics.”

So how will the show be different from “Hill Street Blues” — or Ryan’s own influential cop drama, “The Shield”?

“I’ll take comparisons to either of those shows any time,” but Ryan said “Ridealong” will be “very different” from either the NBC classic or the influential FX drama.

“I definitely would not be interested in doing the network version of ‘The Shield,'” he noted.

“Ridealong” will be “filmed primarily on the streets with our cops’ vehicles serving as their offices. It will be part cop procedural, part buddy comedy, part political thriller, part undercover drama… or it will just be a huge mess,” he said. “But I’m going to try to make it good.”

[Click to continue reading The Watcher: ‘Shield’ creator’s new cop show a ‘love letter’ to Chicago ]

Alleys are life, embodied

Worth paying attention to, maybe they’ll need some photos for location scouting?

  1. television shows don’t really hold my interest, with a few notable exceptions []
  2. no relation to Shawn Ryan, as far as I know []

Written by Seth Anderson

August 10th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Metropolitan Correction Center Blues

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Metropolitan Correction Center Blues
Metropolitan Correction Center Blues, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

a Harry Weese joint, 1975

View On Black

such a strange building, really. According to Chicago’s Famous Buildings 5th edition, “The splayed windows (five inches wide at their narrowest) are the maximum that federal standards will permit without bars.” There is apparently a rooftop exercise yard, though it isn’t visible from the street.

Written by swanksalot

August 9th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Angry While Black

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Bob Herbert on Gates-Gate, as some wags have labeled the incident:

No more than five or six minutes elapsed from the time the police were alerted to the possibility of a break-in at a home in a quiet residential neighborhood and the awful clamping of handcuffs on the wrists of the distinguished Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

If Professor Gates ranted and raved at the cop who entered his home uninvited with a badge, a gun and an attitude, he didn’t rant and rave for long. The 911 call came in at about 12:45 on the afternoon of July 16 and, as The Times has reported, Mr. Gates was arrested, cuffed and about to be led off to jail by 12:51.

The charge: angry while black.

The president of the United States has suggested that we use this flare-up as a “teachable moment,” but so far exactly the wrong lessons are being drawn from it — especially for black people. The message that has gone out to the public is that powerful African-American leaders like Mr. Gates and President Obama will be very publicly slapped down for speaking up and speaking out about police misbehavior, and that the proper response if you think you are being unfairly targeted by the police because of your race is to chill.

[Click to continue reading Bob Herbert – Anger Has Its Place – NYTimes.com]

After all that has been said and written about the incident, the bottom line is that Professor Gates did nothing wrong, and Officer Crowley did. Yelling at an officer in one’s own house is not an arrestable offense1, no matter how many police apologists claim it is. The whole line of argument that police state enthusiasts continually restate – citizens must respect the authority of the badge – irks me. Police officers, more than nearly anyone else, must follow the letter of the law, and the right to free speech should be sacrosanct.

  1. now referred to as a felony according to Wikipedia []

Written by Seth Anderson

August 1st, 2009 at 11:50 am

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with ,

The definition of Cool

without comments

“Kind of Blue (Legacy Edition)” (Miles Davis)

Speaking of police arresting iconic black dudes, Miles Davis had his own dustup with the police, as Bernard Chazelle reminds us:

Why didn’t Professor Gates keep his cool? Not sure. Let’s ask the man who gave birth to the cool. In the words of Leonard Feather,

After escorting a young white girl out of the club to a taxi [outside Birdland in NYC] he was standing on the sidewalk when a patrolman came by and asked him to move on. When Miles said, “I’m not going nowhere — I’m just getting a breath of fresh air,” the patrolman threatened to arrest him. Miles said, “Go ahead, lock me up.” When the patrolman seized his arm, a scuffle ensued during which a painclothes cop passing by began hitting Miles with a blackjack. With blood dripping all over his clothes, he was taken to the police station where, with his distraught wife, Frances, at his side he was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and assault. At a hospital, 10 stitches were taken in his scalp.

Feather doesn’t tell us if President Eisenhower had the cops over for a beer.

[Click to continue reading A Tiny Revolution: “So What”]

[Miles Davis after resisting arrest]

From Miles Davis’ autobiography:

I had just finished doing an Armed Forces Day broadcast, you know, Voice of America and all that bullshit. I had just walked this pretty white girl named Judy out to get a cab. She got in the cab, and I’m standing there in front of Birdland wringing wet because it’s a hot, steaming, muggy night in August. This white policeman comes up to me and tells me to move on. At the time I was doing a lot of boxing, so I thought to myself, I ought to hit this motherfucker because I knew what he was doing. But instead I said, “Move on, for what? I’m working downstairs. That’s my name up there, Miles Davis,” and I pointed to my name on the marquee all up in lights.

He said, “I don’t care where you work, I said move on! If you don’t move on I’m going to arrest you.”

I just looked at his face real straight and hard, and I didn’t move. Then he said, “You’re under arrest!” He reached for his handcuffs, but he was stepping back. Now, boxers had told me that if a guy’s going to hit you, if you walk toward him you can see what’s happening. I saw by the way he was handling himself that the policeman was an ex-fighter. So I kind of leaned in closer because I wasn’t going to give him no distance so he could hit me on the head He stumbled, and all his stuff fell on the sidewalk, and I thought to myself, Oh, shit, they’re going to think that I fucked with him or something. I’m waiting for him to put the handcuffs, on, because all his stuff is on the ground and shit. Then I move closer so he won’t be able to fuck me up. A crowd had gathered all of a sudden from out of nowhere, and this white detective runs in and BAM! hits me on the head. I never saw him coming. Blood was running down the khaki suit I had on. Then I remember Dorothy Kilgallen coming outside with this horrible look on her face–I had known Dorothy for years and I used to date her good friend Jean Bock–and saying, “Miles, what happened?” I couldn’t say nothing. Illinois Jacquet was there, too.

It was almost a race riot, so the police got scared and hurried up and got my ass out of there and took me to the 54th Precinct, where they took pictures of me bleeding and shit. So, I’m sitting there, madder than a motherfucker, right? And they’re saying to me in the station, “So you’re the wiseguy, huh?” Then they’d bump up against me, you know, try to get me mad so they could probably knock me

[Click to continue reading Hot House: Race Relations, 50 Years Later]

Miles Davis after being arrested for standing next to a white girl, helping her catch a taxi

Back to Mr. Chazelle who subsequently enters into another kind of discussion, the kind I can read all day without really understanding the details. Just the feeling is enough. D-minor is a favorite chord of mine, albeit on guitar. I have never had a piano of my own that I could noodle/learn on, so haven’t ever figured out what chords are what without laboriously putting them together. I mean, I can create melodies on a piano, but don’t have enough formal musical training to sustain an entire 10 minute jam, much less explain what the hell Dorian modal scales are.

OK, What about the music? “Kind of Blue” is the most extraordinary jam session ever, featuring a dream team of jazz musicians (Miles, Evans, Coltrane, Adderley, Cobb, Chambers). It’s one of the most influential albums in jazz. It broke from bebop in a big way by going modal. But that’s not why I can listen to it a million times without ever getting tired. The reason for that is the dream team. All the modality does is give them space to breathe and explore melodic ideas that are ruled out in chord-heavy bebop (unless you’re Bird and you can play a full-fledged melody in two-and-a-half seconds).

“So What” is harmonically straightforward: you go Dorian for the first 16 bars, then move up half a step for 8 bars and then back to the original key for the last 8. Sounds so simple. Until, of course, it’s your turn to solo right after Coltrane. Good luck! It’s often said that jazz introduced modes to modern music. Nothing could be further from the truth. Satie, Debussy, Ravel and all those guys used modes heavily a good 50 years before Miles, using far more complex arrangements. But who cares? This video alone gives you a good sense of why jazz is the music of the 20th century par excellence.

Click to continue reading A Tiny Revolution: “So What”


Miles Davis and John Coltrane play one of the best renditions of SO WHAT ever captured on film-Live in 1958. Edit : in fact, was in New York, april 2, 1959. Recorded by CBS producer Robert Herridge. Cannonball Adderley had a migrane and was absent from the session. Wynton Kelly played piano–he was the regular band member at this time–but Bill Evans had played on the original recording of “So What” on March 2, 1959. The other musicians seen in the film were part of the Gil Evans Orchestra, who performed selections from “Miles Ahead”. Jimmy Cobb on drums.

Written by Seth Anderson

July 24th, 2009 at 9:41 pm