Four Queens men sue NYPD after being held for 30 hours, busted for laughing at cops

Four Queens men claim they were locked up for more than 30 hours by cops seeking revenge on a crowd of men who laughed at an officer who couldn’t catch a fleeing drug suspect.

The men insist they didn’t even laugh, says their lawyer Gabriel P. Harvis, who filed suit against the NYPD and 10 unidentified officers in Brooklyn Federal Court. They believe they were arrested because cops wanted to take their frustration out on them, he said.

“The cops knew my clients had done nothing wrong, but they didn’t care,” said Harvis, who represents Abdul Kabba, Isaiah Barnes, Hasan Allen and Ishmial Deas. Police “were embarrassed, so they abused their power by locking them up anyway.”

The four were held for 27 hours in the 103rd Precinct stationhouse before the Queens district attorney’s office dropped the charges.

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Fort Drum Army scum faces child porn charges

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Federal prosecutors say an Army officer at Fort Drum who served in Iraq has been charged with possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors say Lt. Col. Christopher Butler used the screen name “daddyformommies” and sent images of child pornography over the Internet to an undercover federal agent in October 2008. The complaint unsealed Friday also claims Butler offered to share four child pornography videos and kept more than 200 images depicting child pornography on his computer.

The 43-year-old officer was arrested Friday and made his initial appearance in federal court in Syracuse. He has not yet entered a plea. His lawyer did not immediately return a call.

Fort Drum officials say Butler had been deployed to Iraq twice, most recently from May 2008 through May 2009.

Efforts to silence Aafia Siddiqui continue

Efforts to silence Pakistani citizen Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who is charged with attempted murder of US military and Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel, are continuing during her trial.

In a letter to the New York Federal judge presiding over her trial, Siddiqui’s defense team said that she is not mentally fit to testify.

In the letter, the lawyers said that they believe she suffers from “diminished capacity,” the NY Daily News reported on Tuesday.

“We feel it is our duty under relevant ethical rules to take protective action to safeguard her interests,” the letter read.

Siddiqui’s trial started on January 19, 2010.

See also:

Case against Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel

My children were tortured, this trial is a sham: Aafia

‘US torturing females in Afghan prisons’

Rights groups seek Siddiqui extradition

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Prisons too expensive

The Extravagance of Imprisonment Revisited

How much could the government save by cutting prison costs?

According to a new report issued by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, billions of dollars could be saved through reforming the United States prison system. California alone could save an estimated $1.4 billion.

As of 2006, the United States has imprisoned over 1.6 million people. The United States also has the highest incarceration rates in the world. This rate is predicted to rise as “get tough on crime” laws continue to be issued.

This report “analyzes prison and jail populations in the United States as a whole and in four key states–California, Florida, New York, and Texas–to determine 1) how many prisoners are non-serious offenders and what it costs to lock them up, 2) what proven effective alternatives are in use and what they cost, and 3) what savings could be realized if a portion of the non-serious offenders were sentenced to alternatives instead of prison and jail.”

NYC Government Releases Guide To Heroin Use

The New York City Health Department and Mental Hygiene has released a 16-page pamphlet that, among other things, teaches the city’s citizens how to shoot heroin. Also useful for tourists who need to learn these things fast during their visit. From the New York Post:

The city spent $32,000 on 70,000 fliers that tell you how to shoot heroin, complete with detailed tips on prepping the dope and injecting it into your arm.

The 16-page pamphlet features seven comics-like illustrations and offers dope fiends such useful advice as “Warm your body (jump up and down) to show your veins.”

The manual does have some sound advice. It stresses the importance of kicking the habit, seeking professional help and not sharing needles. The Health Department defended its brochure, saying it was helpful and necessary, and has been distributed only to addicts or those at risk of becoming abusers.

Code That Protects Most Cellphone Calls Is Divulged

BERLIN — A German computer engineer said Monday that he had deciphered and published the secret code used to encrypt most of the world’s digital mobile phone calls, in what he called an attempt to expose weaknesses in the security of global wireless systems.

The action by the encryption expert, Karsten Nohl, aimed to question the effectiveness of the 21-year-old Global System for Mobile Communications (GMS –  Groupe Spécial Mobile), a code developed in 1988 and still used to protect the privacy of 80 percent of mobile calls worldwide.

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NYPD Must Give NYCLU Data on Race of People Shot at by Police

A Supreme Court of the State of New York judge has ordered the New York City Police Department to turn over to the New York Civil Liberties Union data concerning the race of all people who were shot at by police officers between 1997 and 2006.

The NYCLU sued the NYPD in August 2008 for access to racial data about police shooting victims. In response to the lawsuit, the NYPD agreed to disclose the race of people who were shot by police officers between 1997 and 2006. It refused to release racial data about people who had been shot at by police officers but not struck by the bullets.

In an opinion dated Dec. 15, Supreme Court Judge Joan A. Madden ruled that the NYPD had not met its burden under the state’s Freedom of Information Law to withhold the data.

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