Archive for the ‘racial profiling’ Category

Lawsuit claims DPD officers committed racial profiling 
c/o Denver Daily News

[Jose] Sanchez was visiting his girlfriend in July 2010 when he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and talked in Spanish with an acquaintance. Police officers approached Sanchez and “demanded that Mr. Sanchez identify himself” and provide an ID, according to the ACLU. When Sanchez said the ID was in the apartment and he could go get it, police officers instead went inside without getting the consent of Sanchez’ girlfriend, who was in the shower, says the ACLU.

Police located Sanchez’ photo ID in a backpack and declared it was a fake, accused Sanchez of having multiple pieces of fake ID, arrested him and took him to jail, according to the ACLU. However, the ACLU claims that the officers could have quickly checked the validity of the card with Homeland Security. [BTC – I’m flagging down this sentence. DHS, a federal agency, should not be the authoritative fallback position in local police affairs. Nor should any citizen bear instant burden of proof of identity in an aggravated police situation without probable cause of wrongdoing.  I don’t know if this author is putting words in the mouth of the ACLU or if the local chapter mistakenly believes DHS is somehow a higher authority than dealing with their local PD for routine police work. This sentence lends airs of guilty-until-proven innocent.  We do not have to answer to federal powers when we walk outside our doors for non-criminal mundane reasons. It doesn’t resonate “typical” of the ACLU.  Regardless, the Denver PD clearly invoked police might-is-right towards the spanish speaker or someone simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.]

“The Denver Police Department has authorized its officers to enforce an ordinance that prohibits the carrying of false identification. But the department has failed to train its officers to recognize valid government-issued photo ID cards,” Silverstein said in a statement. “That’s a set-up for more false arrests and illegal detentions like this one and a recipe for the continuing deterioration of police-community relations.”

DPD Spokesman Sonny Jackson said police received a complaint about the Sanchez incident last summer. An investigation was started, but the person complaining did not cooperate with the investigation so both internal affairs and the Office of the Independent Monitor declined the case, according to Jackson.  :::MORE HERE:::

Haekel’s Radiolarium illustrations

BTC-   I made a discovery following up on the work of Ernst Haekel.  His study and art revolving around single celled organisms were painstakingly documented in the beautiful film, Proteus.  Haekel’s achilles heel in social politics was validating something called “racial anthropology”. This a discipline which teaches the superiority of one human race to another as a scientific fact.

This part of Haekel’s history is shocking.  His later ideas in naturalist philosophy steered into the notion that all of nature is inextractable from diety or “God” concept, including all mankind.  However, I seem to recall the Hindu’s having a similar belief but managing to hang onto the caste system.  The unfortunate truth is that Haekel’s take on racial politics influenced some of the greatest ethnic cleansing despots in world history.

This throwback along with other observations make me uneasy.  I recently noticed a pattern with a lot of socio-political theory; which has pitched America right back into the late 1880’s and 1890’s – anti-trust, monopolies, Muckracking [whistleblowing] journalism, the critical mass adoption of more technology, entertaining world policing, pre-world war conditions and the Wall Street collusion with the Senate branch of the government.

From wikipedia’s entry on scientific racism : 

Like scientific racism, eugenics grew popular in the early 20th century, and both ideas influenced Nazi racial policies and Nazi eugenics. In 1901, Galton, Karl Pearson (1857–1936) and Walter F. R. Weldon (1860–1906) founded the Biometrika scientific journal, which promoted biometrics and statistical analysis of heredity.Charles Davenport (1866–1944) was briefly involved in the review. In Race Crossing in Jamaica (1929), he made statistical arguments that biological and cultural degradation followed white and black interbreeding. Davenport was connected to Nazi Germany before and during World War II. In 1939 he wrote a contribution to thefestschrift for Otto Reche (1879–1966), who became an important figure within the plan to remove populations considered “inferior” from eastern Germany.

Even some fashionistas started to get wise.  

Mormon’s for Racial Profiling?
c/o Greg Moses for The Rag Blog (Austin)

What’s up with the Mormons? Orem, Utah legislator Stephen Eric Sandstrom last week pledged to follow the lead of “my friend” Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce and expand the number of states with show-me-your-papers bills aiming to criminalize, jail, and deport irregular migrants.

Rep. Sandstrom, who is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a former Mormon missionary to Venezuela, takes credit for co-founding a state’s rights organization called the Patrick Henry Caucus.

Sandstrom’s “friend” Sen. Pearce of Arizona, sponsor of the recently signed SB-1070, hails from the Mormon stronghold of Mesa and claims to be the mastermind behind Maricopa County’s infamous Tent City Jail.

For Pearce and Sandstrom, the crucial issue of liberty in the 21st Century would appear to involve the rights of states in relation to the federal government of the USA — never mind the rights of individual people who reside in those states.

What’s curious about this particular Pearce-Sandstrom movement for state’s rights over individual rights is how it seems to contradict the interests of the Mormon family itself, which has been witnessing an increase in Spanish-speaking congregations.

Last summer, Salt Lake Tribune writer Peggy Fletcher Stack reported increasing fears among Spanish-speaking members of the Mormon Church of Latter- day Saints (LDS) who were concerned about travel restrictions they were facing for missionary work and then-impending implementation of Utah’s anti-migrant law, SB-81. “People are very scared,” said one woman via translator.

“Other than for its missionaries, the LDS Church takes a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach toward the immigration status of its members,” reported Fletcher Stack. “But some estimate between 50 percent and 75 percent of members in Utah’s 104 Spanish-speaking congregations are undocumented. That includes many bishops, branch presidents, even stake presidents.”

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank declared that Utah’s SB-81 would require illegal racial profiling, so he openly refused to enforce the self-contradictory statute. Last week Chief Burbank “blasted” Arizona’s SB-1070, telling KSL NewsRadio talk-show host Doug Wright: “This sets law enforcement back 30 to 40 years.”

Mormon Times columnist Jerry Earl Johnston shook his head last year in dismay over the unwisdom of the Utah anti-migrant legislation:

“I can only speak from my own LDS experience here, but I hold Utah lawmakers responsible for breaking up good LDS families and forcing young American citizens out of their native land,” wrote Johnston, predicting that victory would not reward the shortsighted anti-migrant forces.

“I could see these Hispanic brethren were going to win,” wrote Johnston. “I could see their faith, resilience and strength. They wanted to be in Utah more than Utah lawmakers wanted them out. They had weathered tribulations with good humor and without malice toward those who persecuted them.”

Meanwhile, in the Mormon stronghold of Mesa, Arizona, represented by SB-1070 sponsor Sen. Pearce, the number of Spanish-speaking LDS congregations had grown from five to 13 between 2002 and 2007 according to East Valley Tribune reporter Sarah N. Lynch.

Last fall, official LDS printing presses in Salt Lake City ran off an approved Spanish-language edition of the Mormon Bible — The Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera 2009 (Publicada por La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, Salt Lake City, Utah, E.U.A.) — with an initial press run of 800,000 copies.

“It is one of the most significant scripture projects ever undertaken by the Church,” proclaimed a notice of Sept. 14, 2009, posted at “The volume contains new chapter headings, footnotes and cross-references to all scriptures used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Announcement of the volume was reportedly shared among “thousands of Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints congregations.”

Mormon political leaders, like everyone else in today’s global economy, are confronting a real crisis in human welfare. Maricopa County in particular is a frontline disaster zone for the crisis in real estate values, mortgage defaults, unemployment, and revenue shortfalls.

“In Maricopa,” according to an April report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Q3 2009 unemployment, “every private industry group except education and health services experienced an employment decline, with construction experiencing the largest decline (-32.2 percent).”

Crisis reveals character. So when Mormon political leaders campaign for agendas of states’ rights according to Patrick Henry rhetorics of “liberty or death,” perhaps their Spanish-speaking LDS brethren can remind them that there are millions of people of goodwill in need of actual freedom-loving legislators in whatever state they have freely chosen to congregate and build up.

[Greg Moses is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He can be reached at]

The Rag Blog

CLG >>UK Independent

Police forces have been arresting people simply to add them to the controversial DNA database as a result of lax rules that have developed with almost no public scrutiny, the Government’s independent DNA watchdog warns today.

The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) also says there is little evidence that the national DNA database, the largest of its kind in the world, is of any use in solving crimes. In its two-year report examining the database, published today, it concludes that allowing police to add anyone arrested to the DNA database damages the assumption of innocence.

The report received testimony from one senior police source, a retired chief superintendent, who said it was “the norm” for officers to arrest someone to obtain their DNA profile.

VIDEO: DNA database crtiticised

Cindy Cohn for EFF

EFF today released an Interim Report on the Automated Targeting System (ATS) through which the Department of Homeland Security monitors and assigns risk assessment scores to Americans and others who cross into or out of the United States. The data reviewed under the ATS system includes seven large government databases, plus the Passenger Name Record data from the airlines (which includes data like whether you’ve ordered a Muslim or Hindu or Jewish special meal). Effectively, if you travel internationally, ATS creates an instant, personal and detailed dossier on you that CBP officers use to decide whether you get to enter the country, or will be subject to an enhanced (and potentially invasive) search. EFF’s report details what we’ve learned about the ATS program from the over 2,000 pages released by the government so far. We note that because of government’s very heavy redacting and refusal to release key information Americans remain in dark about how this powerful system is used on travelers. EFF’s Interim report was written by Shana Dines.

DHS has continued to release documents to EFF so we’ll update the report as additional useful information comes out.

FOIA Litigation for Accountable GovernmentTravel Screening