- Three very good posts from Jacob Sullum illustrating the absurdity of hate crimes laws: one, two, and three.
- Coming to California: A new law inspired by a dead person.
- The U.S. Secretary of Transportation enjoys driving around to find drivers talking on their cell phones, then honking his horn at them.
- Federal court bars Mississippi from putting children in solitary confinement.
- U.K. police raid the wrong house after stolen iPhone pings to the wrong address: “Nottingham Police refused to reimburse Kerr for the repairs to his door — because officers ‘reasonably believed’ an offender was in the house.”
- The state of Utah has stopped the family of Matthew Stewart from raising funds for his defense. They say the family must first get a permit.
- Two years after he was stopped and illegally searched, Raleigh man just wants an apology. He hasn’t received one.
- So this is fairly terrifying. But remember — debt doesn’t matter!
- More coverage of Keene vs. the Bearcat from the local college paper.
- Rutherford County, Tennessee hires anti-Islam group to “train” deputies at a seminar run in an vocally anti-Muslim church. What could possibly go wrong? More here.
- Toronto head of DUI enforcement (allegedly) comes to work drunk.
- Ignorance of the law is no defense. Unless you’re in law enforcement.
A Highway Patrol trooper enters the scene first, gun drawn, and kicks the driver’s window of Greene’s four-door sedan. After several moments, the trooper opens the door.
The trooper, his gun still raised, then gives Greene conflicting commands. He first tells him not to move, then tells him to come forward.
A second trooper quickly cuffs Greene’s wrist and pulls him from the car, which rolls forward until an officer stops it.
Greene flops to the ground, clearly dazed as five officers rush him. A sixth officer, with Henderson police, enters the frame late and delivers five well-placed kicks to Greene’s face.
“Stop resisting mother (expletive)!” one officer yells.
Greene doesn’t scream until a second Henderson officer knees him in the midsection — and then does it three more times. Greene was later treated for fractured ribs.
Police suspected Greene was intoxicated as he weaved among lanes about 4 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2010, and finally stopped his car near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway in Henderson.
But that wasn’t the case, which they soon discovered after they searched Greene.
“Call in medical,” one officer says in the video. “We found some insulin in his pocket. … He’s semiconscious.”
“Let’s get medical out here. He’s a diabetic, he’s probably in shock,” the officer later tells dispatch.
Greene’s lawsuit said officers then forced him to stand by a patrol car in handcuffs and blow into a Breathalyzer, despite being injured. Paramedics later arrived and treated him for low blood sugar.
Greene was released without a citation, and officers apologized to him for “beating him up,” the lawsuit said.
He immediately went to a hospital, where he was treated for the broken ribs and the bruises to his hands, neck, face and scalp, the lawsuit said.
One of the harsher moments in the video comes near the end of the clip, when one officer can be heard laughing loudly.
One officer notes that Greene “was not a small guy.” An officer laughs and says, “I couldn’t take him by myself.”
- This certainly isn’t the first time cops have mistaken diabetic shock for intoxication—and with similar results. We’ve also seen a number of incidents where cops have mistaken epileptic seizures for aggressive behavior, often resulting in a Tasering. The root problem here is the same as that with the cops who mistakenly mistake a bounding or territorial dog with an aggressive one, and then kill it. The cops get excused because they made “honest mistakes.” (Though in this case, the honest mistake ended with mistaking low blood sugar for intoxication.) But that means they haven’t been trained properly. At some point, enough of these stories should have made the news that departments across the country would begin to implement such training. That doesn’t appear to be happening.
- Note that at one point in the video, after they’ve just beaten a helpless man, one cop asks his fellow officers if any of them are hurt.
- Not only were none of these cops criminally charged, every one of them is apparently still protecting and serving the public. The story indicates one seargeant was “disciplined,” but we aren’t allowed to know what that discipline was. The department also claims to have changed some policies in response to the incident. But we aren’t allowed to know exactly what those changes are, either.
- We also aren’t allowed to know the names of any of the officers in the video. This is inexcusable. It seems pretty clear that there’s a culture problem, here. Mistaking a diabetic for a drunk is bad enough. Beating him senseless when he clearly posed no threat is criminal. And yelling “Stop Resisting!” at a man who is clearly not resisting is indicative of a police culture in which excessive force is common enough that the officers know what to say as they’re beating someone to give them cover later. Laughing after you’ve just beaten a man, and after you’ve just discovered he was a diabetic is straight-up pathological. All of which means there’s plenty of reason to doubt this particular department’s internal review process. These officers names need to be released, so journalists and police watchdog groups outside of law enforcement can look into their histories on the job.
- Greene and his family were given a $292,500 settlement, which of course will be funded by taxpayers, not the cops who beat him senseless. This too needs to change. The cops who beat green should be forfeiting a portion of their paychecks to him for the rest of their lives. And those paychecks should preferably be compensation for work other than police work.
MORE: Digby runs off a few other incidents in which police Tasered diabetics after wrongly assuming they were intoxicated.
- Iran is planning to execute a Canadian-born software developer because his product was used by a pornographic website. (NOTE: Per the comments, the Guardian article linked in the Reason post actually say the Iranian high court quashed the death sentence. But it has since been reinstated.)
- More on how Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
- Judge allows Houston residents to become party to lawsuit between the city and a red light camera contractor.
- Feds end criminal investigation of Lance Armstrong, but “sources close to the investigation” continue to smear him in the press, anyway. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a criminal investigation into who is leaking grand jury testimony.
- Houston TV station bites on the vodka-soaked tampon story. Favorite quote from alleged expert on teen drinking habits: “More often than not, it’s happening in a lot of the Houston area.” More often than not? What could that possibly mean?
- Attempted puppycide.
- French court fines Google for providing a free map service, which is apparently an anti-competitive act of aggression against French companies that charge money to use their maps.
- Virginia drivers ticketed for breaking a law that doesn’t exist.
- Another tribute to Siobhan Reynolds from Eapen Thampy.
- Professional Courtesy: NYPD officer suspected of drunk driving after car crash wasn’t given a blood alcohol test until eight hours later.
- DOJ changes its position on the Wire Act, possibly clearing a path for legal online poker.
- Annapolis police arrest the wrong “Hot Dog.”
- The New York Times looks at the expanding bourbon market. I’m excited for the new Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.
- People Are Awesome, the 2011 edition.
- Puppycide. During a raid. That turned up nothing. And the dog was chained. Bonus points: The pup was shot in front of a three-year-old.
- A partial list of Kim Jong Il’s titles. Also, “State textbooks claim Jong-Il does not produce urine or feces.”
- More to the point: Remembering Kim Jong Il’s victims.
- Ron Smith, the libertarian radio host at WBAL in Baltimore, has died. Ron was always one of my favorite interviews. Never a demagogue. And he always gave his guests time to make a point, with some nuance and context, even.
- Anne Applebaum on Vaclav Havel.
- Headline of the day, unfortunate wording edition.
- In case Minnesota decides to invade.
- More on the NTSB and cell phone bans, from Walter Olson, and from the National Motorists Association.
- Rick Perry “retires” in order to engage in some pension/salary double dipping.
- Dog disguise kits to get around breed-specific prohibitions.
- Police meet man at airport baggage claim, then arrest, book him over expired vehicle tags.
- DOJ report finds that Seattle cops violate the Constitution one out of every five times they use force.
- Grandmother of convicted drug dealer fights to keep her home from the asset forfeiture brigade.
- If you’re a secretly gay mayor who preaches conservative politics, you probably shouldn’t fund trips to the adult bookstore with taxpayer money.
- Feds spend tens of millions of dollars to put Barry Bonds on probation for lying to a roomful of professional liars.
- Ice finger of death!
- Man falls off bicycle. Cop kills him.
- Red light camera vendor sues Knoxville, Tennessee for not issuing tickets when people turn right at a red light.
- The Pentagon’s $3 billion mercenary war on drugs.
- AFL-CIO, Teamsters, other unions firmly backing SOPA.
- All your fish are belong to government.
- A good reminder as the country goes into panic—and politicians go into “there oughtta be a law” mode—in response to Penn State: False allegations of sex abuse can also ruin lives.
- Your morning worry.
- Headline of the day.
- Smart kids do drugs.
- Georgia cop admits to falsifying breath test results in DUI cases.
- New York’s highest court ordered the state’s family courts opened to the public in 1997. They’ve mostly stayed closed, anyway.
- Yale law professors propose paying students to quit law school.
- Good question.
- Chicago journalism professor records an arrest in progress. Police threaten him, seize his camera, and delete the video. If he was using sound, it’s still illegal to record anyone in Illinois without their permission, in which case the police destroyed evidence of a crime. If he wasn’t using sound, they illegally confiscated his camera and destroyed his property.
- Cabin porn. (Link is SFW.)
- An interview with the great John Prine.
- Government announces plan to make citizens safer by devoting more resources to harassing and threatening them.
- Mitt Romney demonstrates one of the most important qualifications to be president.
- Finally, something heartwarming. The first paragraph is really all you need.