Today SCOTUS just handed out a decision that basically guts the Miranda warnings. If the police informally question you and you remain silent, your silence may now be used to indicate your guilt in court.

ETA: It wasn’t today, SCOTUS did this last Monday in a plurality decision that outlined that in order to invoke the protection against incrimination, you must expressly state that you are invoking it. Two Justices (Scalia and Thomas) think silence is not a protection against self incrimination. Let. That. Sink. In. The 5-4 plurality decision is from the case Salinas v. Texas (2013).

^Important. Memorize this procedure of vocalizing that you are enacting your fifth amendment right to remain silent.

Other common/important tips to memorize:

  • Vocalize that you do not consent to a search.
  • Vocalize that you do not consent to a vehicle search. 
  • You do not have to answer your door to police officers unless they have a warrant.
  • If a police officer has you, ask if you are being detained. If not, go. If so, ask if you are being charged and what you’re being charged with.
  • Do not speak to a police officer without your lawyer present other than to give your name and ask to speak with an attorney.

More on this decision here.


Three Aggressive NYPD Officers Handcuffed And Detain 15 Year Old Student For Using A Student MetroCard

A 15-year-old Harlem student claims she was roughed up, handcuffed, and detained by aggressive cops who mistakenly thought she was too old to be using a student MetroCard. “They called me liar,” Alexis Sumpter told the News of the July 26 incident. “Then they grabbed me by my arms and flung me up the stairs. I kept saying, ‘I’m only 15—why are you guys doing this?’ They said they didn’t owe me an explanation.

Sumpter, who attends Harlem Village Academies, was on her way to her first day at a marketing internship on Canal Street when two plainclothes cops spotted her using her student MetroCard at the 125th Street Station. “They didn’t approach me in a calm manner and they were very rude the whole time,” she said. “They were talking to me like they were trying to show they were superior to me.” The DOE confirmed the card is valid until Aug. 17.

The cops demanded to know how old she was, but didn’t believe her when she said she was 15—she told them she didn’t have ID because she had recently been mugged for her iPhone and wallet. She says a third cop joined them, and pressed her face to a wall while the other two cuffed her. Cops called her father, who vouched that she was 15; still not believing her, they called her mother, who rushed over with her daughter’s birth certificate. Alexis was held in custody for 90 minutes altogether, and wasn’t arrested or given a summons; but she did go to the hospital because the handcuffs caused swelling on her wrists.

Alexis says she avoids that train now: “I don’t want to see them again,” she said. “I don’t want to have to go through that again.” The whole situation sounds eerily similar to the frivolous arrest of a 21-year-old female student who was held by NYPD for 36 hours for not carrying ID in Riverside Park—Sumpter’s situation also calls to mind the Charleston-dancing couple who claims they spent 23 hours in custody for dancing while waiting for the subway.




Rapists, Beware: Detroit Prosecutor IDs 21 Attackers in ‘Rape Kit’ Investigation

“Kym Worthy has identified 21 serial rapists so far in a sweeping investigation that could have national implications. Abigail Pesta reports on the crusade to eliminate the rape-kit backlog.

Twenty-one serial rapists have been identified in a massive investigation led by Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy—and her manhunt has only just begun.”

 ”The thousands of rape kits had piled up in a dusty police warehouse in Detroit for years, ignored, until one of Worthy’s colleagues stumbled upon them in 2009.” Are you fucking shitting me.

“No one really paid attention to what I was saying and yelling about till about four months in,” she says. People finally took notice, she says, when someone in the police department leaked the news to the press. <— oh good, we just have to fucking publicly shame the police into doing any fucking thing.

“In one especially horrific case, Worthy says, a convicted rapist named Shelly Andre Brooks had raped and murdered five women after raping a woman whose kit was just recently entered into the database through Worthy’s initiative. If that rape kit had been tested and entered into the database sooner, the man could have been caught sooner—and five women’s lives could have been saved.” OH MY GOD.

The arrest rate for rape, 24 percent, has barely budged in the past three decades, she says, noting that it’s not because many cases are unsolved but uninvestigated. OH MY GOD.

I’m just going to point people at this when they think rape’s always taken seriously by the cops.

Wow. Kym Worthy is an American hero. Seriously, this woman is going out and doing what should have been done literally years ago. I really hope that when she’s done eviscerating these rapists and murderers, she starts cleaning house within the department. 

(Source: aerialcircus)

(Source: readnfight)



Why was girl, 12, forcibly removed by police from Montreal city bus?

SRS: Yellow

TW: Police brutality, ableism, racism, harassment, all against a 12 year old disabled black girl.







Michaella Bassey and her mother, Sofia Bassey, at a bus stop in T.M.R. on Wednesday.

Michaella Bassey and her mother, Sofia Bassey, at a bus stop in T.M.R. on Wednesday.

Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf , The Gazette

By Catherine Solyom and Roberto Rocha, The Gazette

MONTREAL - It’s difficult to imagine why two police officers would need to forcibly remove a 12-year-old schoolgirl from a city bus, her hands held behind her back.

The girl’s mother and two passengers on board the No. 16 in Ville St. Laurent Tuesday afternoon say there simply was no justification for how Michaëlla Bassey was treated, first by the bus driver and his supervisor, then by the police, as she tried to get home from school.

The STM says the girl was “arrogant” and refused to obey the bus driver when he told her to sit down. It was dangerous for him to be driving with her standing right next to him, and with her mother yelling at him from her cellphone.

But the witnesses, who didn’t know Michaëlla or her mother prior to the incident, paint the picture of a quiet girl sitting alone at the back of the bus being harassed then manhandled by a succession of men in uniform.

The incident began when Michaëlla, after finishing an exam at Lauren Hill Academy, approached the bus driver parked outside the school to ask when he would be leaving. The No. 16 bus route begins at the corner of Decelles and Abbott Sts.

According to her mother, Sofia Bassey, Michaëlla suffers from dyslexia, ADHD, and lexical access problems — she has trouble retrieving words from her memory. She often has trouble reading the bus schedules in the shelter, so she has been taught when in doubt to ask the driver.

But instead of answering her question — the bus would be leaving in seven minutes — the driver instead ignored her, Bassey said. So Bassey, talking to Michaëlla on the phone, asked her daughter to put her on speakerphone so she could ask the driver herself.

“He just said he didn’t want to talk to me,” Bassey recounted, and he shut the door in Michaëlla’s face.

When the bus driver drove up to the stop and opened the door for passengers a few minutes later, Michaëlla boarded and the bus took off around 12:20 p.m.

According to Marianne Rouette, a spokesperson for the STM, the girl was in front of the yellow line as she asked the driver for his name to lodge a complaint. He told her she had the route number and time, and that was sufficient, and asked her to sit down repeatedly, but she wouldn’t move.

That’s why he called his supervisor.

But Fatna Erritouni, who got on the bus four stops after Michaëlla, said that when she got on, at 12:33, the girl was the only other passenger and she was sitting quietly at the back of the bus.

The bus then stopped on the corner of Décarie and de l’Église Sts. to pick up about 10 more passengers, which included Petula Caine, a hairdresser on her way to work. But it didn’t leave.

“It waited on the corner for 10 minutes. Everyone was wondering why the bus was not going,” Caine said.

An STM supervisor then boarded the bus and asked the girl to apologize, Caine said. “Apologize for what?” asked Caine. “She was just sitting there, just a quiet little girl.”

“People thought she hadn’t paid,” said Erritouni — but she had. “The girl said I’m not getting off. Why should I get off? So the supervisor says get off or I’ll call the police.”

Still on the phone, this time with her older sister, Michaëlla refused to leave the bus. “She didn’t know where she was, and she’s not qualified to cross the street by herself,” Bassey said. “We told her to stay on.”

A few minutes later, the police arrived. According to both passengers, two police officers boarded, one of whom pulled Michaëlla brusquely by the arm, making the girl cry.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Caine said. “When we asked him to stop, he said, ‘We have to do our job. She doesn’t want to leave so we have to remove her by force.’ “

Erritouni said she saw an officer put his hand on the girl’s head and push it down, to force her out of the bus. The girl went pale and was obviously very scared, Erritouni said.

“It was catastrophic!” Erritouni said. “It was so obvious she was just a young girl who was scared. She wasn’t a rebel, she hadn’t disrespected anyone, she didn’t resist … Everyone started screaming “What are you doing? What is going on?”

Finally, the police told everyone to leave the bus, and the driver drove off without a single passenger.

One of the officers told Erritouni that she was being emotional, that Michaëlla wasn’t hurt, that the techniques they used (to get her off the bus) are meant not to hurt her, but that the police have weapons they don’t want turned against them.

When Bassey arrived to pick up Michaëlla, there were three police cars, two STM vehicles, and “a whole bunch of outraged people.”

“There has to be a minimum of customer service,” Bassey said. “You’re dealing with the public and with children — this bus leaves from a school. I wouldn’t even talk to a dog like that.”

The STM’s Rouette said she couldn’t comment on what happened after the police intervened. But she said the driver’s version of events differed substantially. The incident began because Michaëlla refused to wait at the bus stop and was insisting on getting on the bus while the driver was on his break, because she was all alone there. Then when she did get on, she continued to distract the driver while he was trying to pay attention to the road, Rouette said.

“So the supervisor came to get the girl off the bus because the situation was degenerating,” Rouette said. “The supervisor asked the driver what was happening, he said the girl was disrupting the service and all the people on the bus. So the supervisor asks her to get off and she refuses … The driver and supervisor said that even if she was only 12 years old, she was very arrogant, and because she wasn’t obeying, they called the police.”

Rouette said there is nevertheless an internal investigation under way, and that there may have been a security camera in the bus at the time.

As for how the police intervened, a spokesperson for the Montreal police said despite their best efforts they were not able to reach any of the police officers on duty in the area during the incident and they don’t have a police report to refer to, so could not provide any details.

ME: Fucking disgusting. Why we fight ferociously for our young? This is why. Because they will tell you a million and one things about why it was necessary to treat young black girls like shit. And then call it an investigation when we know what’s up.Diversity my ass. La connerie.

who guessed she was black before looking at the picture


i did

I guessed. I hadn’t even clicked the picture before I saw the headline. 

Ugh. Zero surprise that this happened in montreal too (allegedly very progressive) ‘cause french people are xenophobic assholes. 

Soon as I saw the word “arrogant” I knew the deal.

The good thing about this is that there were some witnesses around. “Arrogant”…because she had the audacity to stand up for herself. To be supported by her mother and other women in her community. Oh, how arrogant of this child. That bus driver was being a fucking prick and I hope he gets fired. Mama needs to sue that transit system. 

Perfect example of how ableism and racism function together. If she was white and had been asking those questions, she wouldn’t have been presumed to be “arrogant”. Shit she might have been labeled as inquisitive or something.

Comment #1 of importance on the article:

Comment #2 of importance on the article:

These bus drivers may need some work…


June 11, 2012    Original French Text:

I experienced my first political profiling today.

I had to go out to the Grand Prix as a volunteer to pick up garbage from Scouts who were running an ecological consortium at the request of the Grand Prix.  I went by bike.  A police officer approaches me, and tells me up front I have no business here. 

I explain to him why I was there and he retorts that that was the most original excuse he’d hear all day for needing to enter the site and stir up shit.  At this moment I was not trying to access the site: rather, I was waiting for others at our meeting point next to metro Jean-Drapeau.  They search my bag, take my ID and call their superior to see if I am on any lists, and they read all my personal papers. They find only a lunch and sunscreen.

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The 5 things you gotta know before you let that cop into your house



What do you do when you look through the peephole and see a badge?

  1. Remember: You do not have to let the police in the house unless they have a warrant — or probable cause. If you’re having a party, turn off the music, ask your guests to chill, and ask that anyone who’s too intoxicated carry on in another room.
  2. Go outside to speak with the cops. Close the door behind you. Although some scary precedents are being set these days, police cannot enter your home without a warrant or probable cause. By closing the door, you’re cutting off a visual — or olfactory — line to potential probable cause.
  3. Be polite. Ask why they are there. “Good evening, Officer. What can I help you with?”
  4. Where possible, assure them you will take care of the problem. If the police ask to enter, inform them, “I do not consent to any searches.” If a police officer gives you an order and you are confused about your position, ask, “Do I have to comply?” If they continue with questioning, tell them you’ll need to call your lawyer and that you will not answer any questions.
  5. Ask, “Am I free to leave?” This is especially handy if, say, a group of you’d been too bawdy on the patio and an officer stops by. If he/she is getting a bit hot under the collar, politely ask, “Am I being detained?” or “Am I free to leave?” If the cop has no reason to hold you, quickly, quietly, and politely retreat inside.

The POC’s Bill of Rights when it comes to the Police. Remember. These are your rights. 

FLEXYOURRIGHTS.ORG is one of the most informational websites. The videos are extremely enlightening.

(Source: bohemianarthouse)


Vincent Marissal    14 June 2012

Original French Text:

I was talking to Carl Vallée, press attaché for Stephen Harper, in the hall of the Hilton Bonaventure, where Harper had just given a speech, when an officer of  the Montreal City Police (Service de police de la ville de Montréal, SPVM) swept in, huge sunglasses covering half his face, chewing gum in his mouth, a day-glo green bib over his back and his baton almost dragging on the floor because of his diminutive stature.

We’ve  almost become accustomed, in Montreal, to seeing cops everywhere, but the scene, with business folk in suits in the hall and hotel guests in swimsuits lounging beside the pool seemed, nonetheless, a bit surreal.

A few minutes later, I heard the same officer say to a hotel guest, in front of the elevator: “There aren’t many of them [the protestors in front of the hotel] but they are there, stuck to the asphalt, and there is no way of getting them off.”

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