Database by state and county
Alternet - One group of people is decidedly happy about the militarized response in Ferguson: those who work in the weapons industry. The array of police forces--the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Louis county and city police and local Ferguson officers--that descended on the largely black Missouri city have used the products these corporations are selling in abundance. Tear gas, rubber bullets, smoke bombs, stun grenades, armored personnel carriers, sound cannons and high-caliber rifles have all been deployed to quell the unrest, though they have contributed to anger over police tactics.
The police response is the perfect showcase for the companies that manufacture military equipment for law enforcement use. They can point to the police tactics to sell their products to other law enforcement agencies preparing for demonstrations. And in Missouri, the polices massive use of armaments like tear gas mean that their stock is becoming depleted and they will need to re-up their purchases. These companies will profit from the tension in Ferguson, and could fuel even greater militarization of the police, a trend that began with the war on drugs and has accelerated in recent years with the advent of the war on terror.
Washington Times - More than 400 fatal police killings a year are sanctioned by local, state and federal authorities as justified homicides, but the FBI doesnt specifically track how many times officers are prosecuted for improperly causing a persons death.
The FBI said that it doesnt keep statistics on specific prosecutions of law enforcement officers because it doesnt track crimes by profession, though it does track justified homicide rulings.
USA Today - Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012, according to the most recent accounts of justifiable homicide reported to the FBI.
On average, there were 96 such incidents among at least 400 police killings each year that were reported to the FBI by local police. The numbers appear to show that the shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., last Saturday was not an isolated event in American policing.
The reports show that 18% of the blacks killed during those seven years were under age 21, compared to 8.7% of whites.
Intercept - The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americansincluding a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyersunder secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.
According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:
Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;
Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;
Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;
Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.
The individuals appear on an NSA spreadsheet in the Snowden archives called FISA recapshort for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under that law, the Justice Department must convince a judge with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is probable cause to believe that American targets are not only agents of an international terrorist organization or other foreign power, but also are or may be engaged in or abetting espionage, sabotage, or terrorism. The authorizations must be renewed by the court, usually every 90 days for U.S. citizens.
...The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.
I just dont know why, says Gill, whose AOL and Yahoo! email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. Ive done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my communityIve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.
NY Times, Neenah, WI - Inside the municipal garage of this small lakefront city, parked next to the hefty orange snowplow, sits an even larger truck, this one painted in desert khaki. Weighing 30 tons and built to withstand land mines, the armored combat vehicle is one of hundreds showing up across the country, in police departments big and small.
The 9-foot-tall armored truck was intended for an overseas battlefield. But as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called Americas long season of war, the former tools of combat M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice.
During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.
The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units. Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of barbering without a license.
When the militarys mine-resistant trucks began arriving in large numbers last year, Neenah and places like it were plunged into the middle of a debate over whether the post-9/11 era had obscured the lines between soldier and police officer.
It just seems like ramping up a police department for a problem we dont have, said Shay Korittnig, a father of two who spoke against getting the armored truck at a recent public meeting in Neenah. This is not what I was looking for when I moved here, that my children would view their local police officer as an M-16-toting, SWAT-apparel-wearing officer.
A quiet city of about 25,000 people, Neenah has a violent crime rate that is far below the national average. Neenah has not had a homicide in more than five years.
interference in domestic affairs
Where police abuse people the most
FOOLS' GOAL: ZERO TOLERANCE: How infinite intolerance of some things -- but not others -- is damaging our land