We’ve written a number of stories about police officers interfering with citizens who are trying to record the actions of police in public places. In some cases, cops have arrested citizens for making recordings in public. In others, they’ve seized cell phones and deleted the recordings.
The courts and the Obama administration have both said that these activities violate the Constitution. And at least one police department has gotten the message loud and clear.
In a new legal directive first noticed by DCist, Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier explains the constitutional rights of DC citizens and gives her officers detailed instructions for respecting them. She addresses a number of scenarios that have led to controversy in recent years.
“A bystander has the same right to take photographs or make recordings as a member of the media,” Chief Lanier writes. The First Amendment protects the right to record the activities of police officers, not only in public places such as parks and sidewalks, but also in “an individual’s home or business, common areas of public and private facilities and buildings, and any other public or private facility at which the individual has a legal right to be present.”
On Thursday, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that a small aircraft piloted by democracy activists had violated Belarusian airspace in July when it crossed over from Lithuania. The aircraft was carrying a cargo of teddy bears, which parachuted into the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on July 4.
Lukashenko was peeved at his military commanders and air traffic control had failed to stop the plane’s raid into Belarus. Government officials have been trying to sort out how the activists planned the attack and why national security operatives failed to stop the small planes raid into controlled air space.
The plane was piloted by the cofounder of a Swedish ad agency on behalf of Charter 97, a Belarussian democracy advocacy group. The group has since organized other teddy bear assaults, including staging of teddy bears in front of the Belarusian Embassy in London-which caused embassy officials to call the police– to protest Lukashenko’s repression. Protestors have adopted the teddy bears as a symbol of resistance against Lukashenko.
I love this story on ‘predictive policing’. Researchers use data to predict “hot spots” for crime and then send it over to the police. The cops on the beat patrol those areas more often and crime drops.
Math for the win.
The best way to fight crime is to keep it from happening in the first place. And while they don’t wield guns or carry badges, three UCLA faculty members are helping the Los Angeles Police Department do just that.
The scholars bring cold, hard science to predicting where certain crimes are most likely to be committed, a practice that, until now, relied largely on cops’ experience and intuition. In development for six years, the “predictive policing” software helps cops identify potential crime hotspots and stop illegal activity before it takes place.
In its initial test, the software did a great job of befuddling bad guys. During one five-week period last fall, police recorded about 100 fewer burglaries and motor vehicle thefts than they had during the same timeframe in 2010.
At the heart of the work is the premise that certain crimes—home invasion, burglary and grand theft auto are prime examples—are more likely to occur in rapid succession and close proximity to one another, which Anthropology Professor Jeffrey Brantingham calls a “self-exciting process.”
As the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prepares to let civilian unmanned aircraft operate in domestic airspace, universities including Embry-Riddle have created majors in flying and building drones. Enrollment is accelerating as students look for new opportunities in an aviation job market pummeled by airline bankruptcies.
The drone industry, estimated worldwide at $5.9 billion annually, will expand to $11.3 billion by 2021.
During the past 10 years, drones have become a vital military tool in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a platform to attack terrorists without risking pilots’ lives and giving ground troops a chance to see their opponents from the air.
Congress passed bills in December and February that ordered the FAA to create six test sites for flying unmanned aircraft alongside regular planes. The agency must also complete a plan for integrating unmanned flights into the aviation system by Sept. 30, 2015.
Unmanned aircraft could be used for photography, police surveillance and monitoring pipelines and power lines. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has special permission to use drones.
If you’re a fan of W hotels then the new W Paris Opéra is going to delight you.
Among the many artists brought in to remodel the 1870s Haussmann era building was French artist Zevs, known for his style of “exploring not what is seen, but what is left to the imagination.”
For the Suite 112 installation, Zevs worked with invisible ink that he created in a laboratory in New York City, mimicking the special red pigment used by police at crime scenes. “This red reminds you of the blood of a crime scene, but it’s also the most visible color, so I like the extreme aspect between the invisibility of the ink and the extreme visibility of the color,” he says.
We caught up with the artist at the opening night party, where a man dressed as a CSI expert shone a UV light slowly over the walls to reveal patterned Louis Vuitton wallpaper with Zevs’ signature dripping logos. “With the idea to place logos into a crime scene, I think simply the idea is to continue to investigate the territory of this fashion victim project I did last year,” he says, referring to a Sao Paolo Fashion Week event in which a naked model was “murdered” by a Louis Vuitton logo and Zevs outlined her body on the street in chalk.