police state

NYC: police slaying survivors protest return of Bill Bratton

Posted on December 28th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York CitySome hundred New Yorkers gathered in the bitter cold Dec. 27 in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem to protest mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's appointment of Bill Bratton as police commissioner. Nicholas Heyward is leading the effort to remind New York City of Bill Bratton's record the last time he ran the NYPD, from 1994 to 1996. During that time period, an officer of the Housing Police shot and killed Heyward's 13-year-old son, Nicholas Jr, as he held a toy rifle while playing cops-and-robbers in the  stairwell of his apartment building in Brooklyn's Gowanus Houses in September 1994. Said  Heyward: "It was painful for me to hear [de Blasio] chose William Bratton, who was police commissioner when my son was murdered. I cannot accept that he will be police commissioner again... Under William Bratton there was over 30 innocent unarmed people that were killed from 1994 to 1996 in New York City. And Bill Bratton failed to hold any of those officers accountable."

Urban Shield police confab protested in Oakland

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaHundreds of police officers, sheriffs' deputies and military servicemen from across the country—many donning battle fatigues—converged on downtown Oakland's Marriott Hotel Oct. 25 for the opening of the Urban Shield security confab and weapons show. National and international law enforcement agencies joined with defense industry contractors to attend seminars and display wares for three days. Outside the Marriott, scores of community activists protested the event. United under the name Facing Urban Shield, the coalition said the militarist tone of the event highlighted the worsening human rights records of police forces around the US, and the waste of billions of tax-dollars on prisons. They also charged that the showcasing of arms dealers undercut crime-plagued Oakland's efforts to stem gun violence.

Louisiana: 20 years for half an ounce

Posted on September 25th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

LouisianaIt seems positively surreal that in the same USA where states like Colorado and Washington are legalizing cannabis, states like Louisiana are sending hapless souls up the river for possession of less than ounce—but this is indeed the case. New Orleans public interest attorney Bill Quigley in a Sept. 23 piece on the website Common Dreams notes the case of Corey Ladd, 27, a local man who on Sept. 24 was sentenced by a city criminal court to a full 20 years of "hard labor" at a state facility for holding 15 grams—that is, just slightly over half an ounce. 

Stacey Theis and her magic Cannabus

Posted on September 15th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

cannabusBefore the 1988 GMC Thomas Built school bus was dubbed the "Cannabus" and made over with its marijuana-themed paint job, it was a red ski resort shuttle bus until two guys from North Carolina bought the bus in 2012 and set out on the "Green Bus Tour for Marijuana Legalization." The pair toured the East Coast for approximately nine weeks before certain events kept them from continuing, and the CannaBus went up for sale on eBay.

Judge rules NYPD 'stop-and-frisk' policy unconstitutional

Posted on August 12th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York CityA judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Aug. 12 that the New York Police Department (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Over the past decade, the city has conducted about 5 million stop-and-frisks, with more than 80% of those targeted Black or Latino. Judge Shira Scheindlin noted: "A lot of people are being frisked or searched on suspicion of having a gun and nobody has a gun. Only 0.14 percent of stops have led to police finding guns. So the point is suspicion turns out to be wrong in most cases." Scheindlin said she was not putting an end to the policy, but would name an independent monitor to help develop reforms to the practice. She also ordered that officers test out body-worn cameras in precincts where most stops occurred. 

DEA-NSA collaboration revealed

Posted on August 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

DEAReuters reports that it has reviewed documents revealing the existence of a DEA Special Operations Division (SOD) that partners with the FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS and Homeland Security to share information. The documents show that agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to cover up where the information originated—a nod to the supposed firewall between national security and law enforcement investigations. The SOD, launched in 1994 to combat Latin American cartels, has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred. (Reuters, Aug. 5)

George Zimmerman acquitted

Posted on July 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Evidence of Trayvon Martin's marijuana use was allowed by the judge, but not submitted in the George Zimmerman murder trial, which wrapped up this week in Florida with a not guilty verdict. As a result, when the defense rested its case on July 11, jurors did not hear about the trace amounts of THC that were uncovered in Martin’s autopsy. The limited value of the evidence likely played a part in the defense team's decision. For one thing, the THC level (around 1.5 nanograms, according to the medical examiner) almost certainly indicates that any marijuana use by Martin didn't take place on the evening that he was shot by Zimmerman and probably wasn’t even recent.

ACLU report finds racial disparities in cannabis arrests

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

leafA report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) June 4 finds a racial bias in cannabis arrest rates, with Blacks 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites. The report, "The War on Marijuana in Black and White," is the first of its kind, concluding that the "war" on cannabis is a failure, with billions of dollars wasted on racially biased arrests. The ACLU found that both marijuana arrestsand racial disparities in these arrests increased between 2001 and 2010—despite the fact that Black and white folk use cannabis at a similar rate. In some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, Blacks were up to eight times as likely to be arrested. The report offers suggestions on policy and policing:

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