Tag Archives: aclu

Stop and Frisk App

Most everyone carries a phone with video capabilities today so it is not surprising that when something happens in the community, the footage we see on the news is from someone who just happened to be passing by rather than a professional journalist.

Most all of the headline news video evidence against police wrongdoing over the past few years has been shot from bystanders who saw the encounter and pulled out their cellphones. These videos can not only help to get bad cops off the street but, it can also be used to protect the good ones who are often accused of negligence but later exonerated because of amateur video evidence.

The ACLU has developed an app called “Stop and Frisk App” or “Mobile Justice App” which was designed to serve this purpose, to both protect the rights of those suspected of malfeasance and the officer from those who foolishly resist their authority.

Here is how it works. You install the app on your phone and when you are pulled over or detained by the police, you trigger the app. It then sends out a message to nearby users where the police encounter is happening. Those community groups who monitor police activity can then go to the scene and record the interaction. The video is recorded live and also saved on the ACLU servers where it is inspected and preserved as evidence.

I have to repeat that this app is a great tool to both protect the police and protect the rights of those who are being detained by the police. It is also a message to Big Brother that Little Brother is watching, too.

Check it out at the ACLU website:

https://www.aclu.org/feature/aclu-apps-record-police-conduct

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Criminalizing Life in the United States

A new study came out today that said 49% of the drivers on the road text while they drive.  Another study said 4 out of 5 college students text while driving.  Of course, politicians will now want to draft new legislation to increase the penalties on top of the already existing penalties for texting while driving.  Police departments will get additional grant money to purchase more vehicles so they can peer down into your vehicle to see if you are texting in your lap.  Senators will get to appear on TV news spots so they can inform the public of the wonderful job they are doing to protect you.

Texting laws don’t actually make our roads more safe, they make them less safe.  If 50% of drivers are texting, which is against the law, making another law isn’t going to stop them.   They obviously don’t care about the law or they think they can get away with it (those criminals).  When cell phones first came out, I used to see people texting all the time by holding their phone up in front of their steering wheel so they could see both the road and their phone.  Now that it is against the law and they don’t want to get caught, they text in their laps where they have to take their eyes off the road.  This is more dangerous than playing with your GPS, radio or cruise control.  The roads were more safe when they held their phones up to the road.  These laws have probably caused more accidents than they prevented.  People who text are not going to stop texting.  Period.  It’s against the law to drive drunk, too.  What about marijuana, burglary, and prostitution?  Laws only stop honest people because either they are afraid of getting caught or the are educated by the law.

If our politicians rescinded the texting law and promoted education about the dangers of texting while driving, our roads would be more safe because the people who don’t care about their own life or your life will at least be texting back up in the open where they can  maintain partial eye contact with the road.  This way, also, the taxpayer won’t have to foot the bill for police departments to purchase new undercover SUV and vans used to catch people texting.  There will also be less arrests, court costs, incarceration, fines, increased insurance rates and the ancillary burden to the pocketbooks of the people who don’t break the law.

Our politicians are excellent at creating laws that don’t work and cost us more than they save.  Skylar Capo was 11 years old when she rescued a woodpecker who was about to be eaten by a cat.  Since the bird was injured, she wanted to nurse it back to health and she carried it to a local hardware store to get a cage for it.  While there, a USFWS agent issued a $600 ticket to Skylar and informed her that she faced up to one year in prison for violating a federal law against transporting migratory birds. 

Carey Mills procured all the state and local permits to build a camp on his waterfront property.  The day he began clearing for what was to be the foundation, the EPA arrested him for violating the Clean Water Act and he did 21 months in prison despite getting permits from the state. 

Steven Kinder ran a caviar business on the Ohio River which forms the Ohio-Kentucky border.  Mr. Kinder was arrested because he reported that his business was in Kentucky but was seen harvesting from “Ohio waters.”  He faced $250,000 in fines and five years in prison.  He took a plea deal for three years probation and a $5,000 fine.

Lisa Snyder was a say-at-home mom and as a favor to her Michigan neighbors, would watch the local children for 15 minutes every morning until they caught the bus – because the bus stop was in front of her house.  When the police caught wind of this, she was threatened with 90 days in jail for operating a daycare and offering “babysitting services” without a license. 

Jeff Counceller and his wife found an injured baby deer and nursed it back to health.  Jeff was charged with possession of a deer and the animal was to be euthanized per state law.  Fortunately it “escaped.”  The greater lesson is not to post pictures to Facebook.

Eddie Anderson of Idaho took his son camping where they found an “Indian” arrowhead.  He found himself facing two years in prison for theft of archaeological resources and  a $1,500 fine but took a plea deal for one year of probation.  The greater lesson is not to post these finds to Facebook.

Nancy Black operates a whale watching business and had videotape of a crew member whistling at whales to get them to stay near the boat.  After viewing the footage, NOAA burst into her home demanding the unedited tapes of the day in question.  She is facing 20 years in prison for withholding evidence.  The greater lesson is not to post your life to Facebook.

Ashley Warden was fined $2,500 after her three year old son Dillan pulled down his pants to urinate in his front yard.  A police officer spotted him committing this crime of exposure and he was facing charges and being put on the sex offender registry. 

Ann videotaped her husband changing their grandson’s diaper.  Grandpa tickled the boy’s “new-no” as he wriggled with glee and laughter. After posting pictures on their Facebook page, Ann was charged with distribution of child pornography and her husband did five years for molestation.  They are now registered sex offenders and were forced to move from their home of 40 years due to residency restrictions.  

Gary Harrington dug three ponds on his property to control rain water and snow runoff.  Gary was sentenced to 30 days in jail for collecting rainwater without a permit, which is against the law in Oregon.  He is now forced to continually drain his ponds.

Abner Schoenwetter of Florida shipped some marginally small lobsters in plastic bags to prevent leakage.  By law, lobster can only be transported in cardboard.  Abner was sentenced to eight years in prison because he didn’t know of this regulation. 

Wallerstein and Wylie conducted a study of 3,000 New Yorkers who have never been arrested and found that 91% of them have “innocently” committed felonies but were not caught.  100% of them committed a misdemeanor of some type.  The next time you go out in public, know this, you are most likely walking among criminals. 

What can you do to reverse the orvercriminalization caused by politicians who feel they have to do SOMEthing in order to justify their high salaries?  Sign up for email updates from Heritage.org, NACDL.org, RightOnCrime.com, ACLJ.org, JusticeFellowship.org, ACLU.org, ALEC.org, FAMM.org.  Share your concerns with your elected representatives.  Demand that they focus on rescinding laws rather than pyramiding more laws on top of more laws.