Posts Tagged ‘Transparency’

Seattle ICE Immigration Attorney Arrested for Stealing Immigrants Identities

Thursday, February 15th, 2018
Chief Counsel Raphael Sanchez for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Seattle was arrested for stealing immigrants’ identities and then paying his bills with the stolen information.
Sanchez resigned on Monday and had his first court appearance on Thursday.
Sanchez devised a scheme to use immigrants’ identities in order to defraud financial institutions including American Express, Bank of America Citibank, Discover, and JPMorgan Chase, according to a charging document, which was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Sanchez stole the identities of seven people in various stages of immigration proceedings to defraud credit card

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North Carolina Cop Robs Bank and Gets Arrested 5 Min. Later

Thursday, February 8th, 2018
Desperate people do desperate things. A North Carolina cop acted under that notion when he robbed a bank at gun-point on Tuesday afternoon.
Deputy Jeff Athey, 51, of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office was arrested for robbing the F&M bank in Rockwell, NC.
Athey’s past includes working as a private security contractor for Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars.
WXII 12 News reports the robbery happened at the F&M Bank just after 3:30 pm. According to Rockwell police, Athey walked into the bank and pulled out a black Glock 42 handgun.
Athey then pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded money.

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California Cop Arrested for Inappropriate Contact with Minor

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
A California cop was arrested over super bowl weekend for sexual crimes involving a minor.
The Sacremento Bee reports that on Saturday, Officer Matthew Huff of the Stockton Police Department was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges, including contacting a minor to commit a felony, sending harmful matter to seduce a minor and annoying or molesting a child under 18.
“These actions are a major departure from the values and professionalism of the Stockton Police Department. Accountability is critical to maintaining public trust,” said Joe Silva, public information officer with the department.
The department said that the charges reveal

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Miami Officer Arrested for Running Ponzi Scheme on Other Cops

Friday, February 2nd, 2018
A Miami cop was arrested by the FBI this week at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as he tried to board a flight to Costa Rica– skipping town to avoid prosecution for his Ponzi scheme loan company.
Miami Police Department Officer Dermis Hernandez, 41, ran a Ponzi scheme that targeted active and retired cops. But it was one of Hernandez’s colleagues who tipped off investigators that something wasn’t right about the officer’s investment practices.
Hernandez is the second Miami police officer arrested in 2018 so far. Officer Adrian Santos was arrested in January for doing cocaine at popular Miami nightclub E11even.
The Miami U.S.

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Connecticut Female Cop Arrested for Punching Man in Face, Busting Lip

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018
The Office of the Chief State’s Attorney confirmed that a New London, Connecticut police officer was arrested on Monday for punching a man in the face giving him lacerations on his lip.
NBC Connecticut reports that Officer Deana Nottand, 50, was charged with third-degree assault in the June 2016 incident. Now, over a year and a half later Nottand is finally being formally charged for her actions. Nottand has been with the New London Police Department for 17 years.
In June 2016 a man was being placed under arrest for an assault charge that incurred during a bar fight. Once in

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NORTH CAROLINA FEMALE COP KILLS HUSBAND, HUSBAND WAS COP TOO

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
It is not often that a cop kills a cop, especially when they are married to each other.
But a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy killed her husband in a domestic dispute on the Martin Luther King holiday. The police department revealed today that no charges have been filed yet and the case is still under investigation.
Deputy Sheriff Rataba Hawkins shot and killed her husband, Deputy Sheriff James Hawkins.
Rataba Hawkins has been with the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office since 2002 and is assigned to field operations. James Hawkins was with the office since 2005 and was assigned to arrest processing.
The shooting took

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Arizona Man Sues Prosecutor for Wrongful Arrest that Kept him in Jail for Two Months

Friday, January 5th, 2018
Imagine spending two months in jail for a robbery that you didn’t commit. Well, that is exactly what happened to an Iowa man after he was falsely charged with first-degree robbery.
Now he is suing the prosecutor that threw him in jail.
Joseph McBride, 23, was arrested for his assumed role in a January 2017 home invasion robbery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
McBride was in Phoenix at the time of his August 2017 arrest, several months after the original crime was committed.
And he showed authorities a time-stamped cell phone selfie proving he was in Arizona at the time of the Iowa home

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Motel 6 Chain Sued For Releasing Guest Information to Feds

Friday, January 5th, 2018
Motel 6 is known for being a cheap motel.
But now the national chain is being sued by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for handing over thousands of motel guest’s information to federal officials.
Several Motel 6 locations in Washington routinely provided U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with confidential guest information, some of which occured on a daily basis. Some guest were even arrested based on the information provided.
PINAC News obtained the lawsuit which was filed on Wednesday in Seattle. The lawsuit details how since 2015 Motel 6 gave 9,000 guest’s information to ICE without any search warrants being issued

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Miami Officials Vote to End Revenue Generating Red Light Camera Program

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

City commissioners in Miami agreed on Thursday to pull the plug on their red light camera program early next year.
The city voted unanimously to cancel its contract with American Traffic Solutions, which operates has 147 cameras placed around the city.
Ninety-eight of them are operational.
Now the company has 60 day to discontinue its lucrative operations in the city.
Citations of $158 per ticket will stop after the program vanishes.
But anyone who receives a ticket before the program ends will be responsible for dealing with it.
So-called activists who profit from the program, along with an ATS spokesman, criticized the move.
“Don’t be responsible

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Homestead PD Still Doesn’t Know Photography Is Not A Crime

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
Homestead Police Department (HPD), in South Florida, has myriad problems respecting the First Amendment. I went to HPD this week to serve some officers in a civil rights suit, the story was covered earlier. While entering I discovered that HPD still has not learned that photography is not a crime.
I covered HPD officer John Frank, last year, him initially claiming that I could not take his picture. He quickly backed down once I started recording the video below. HPD adopting a policy such as shown in the sign above makes it understandable that some of their officers would fail to realize that photography is not a crime.

However, HPD officers such as Tony

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Florida Man Fights Extensive Public Records Request Abuse

Friday, May 26th, 2017

INTRODUCTION
 
The City of Homestead has a torrid reputation, and a pattern of willfully refusing to comply with the public records law. Homestead is a little town at the southern end of Miami-Dade County, rarely receiving the scrutiny it deserves as a cesspool of public corruption and maleficence.
 
I have used the records request process, as a pre-discovery method for investigating my civil rights claims. Homestead has failed to comply with the public records law on the majority of the nearly one hundred requests I have filed.
 
Homestead has a pattern and practice of unlawful noncompliance as it relates to the records law

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Ohio Cop “Accidentally” Deleted 100,000 Dash Cam Videos Dating Back to 2015

Friday, March 24th, 2017
An Ohio cop deleted an estimate 100,000 dash cam videos of Columbus Police Division traffic stops and call responses after a sworn officer working in the Technical Services Bureau made a few errant key strokes on March 8.
The mass deletion has caused skepticism and distrust among many community members and activists who don’t believe the vanishment of 100,000 videos was an accident.
Police officials didn’t even realize the files disappeared until March 13, which prompted an internal affairs investigation to look into whether or not it was actually an accident.
The officer, who so far has not been named, deleted all

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Bad nursing homes benefit from AHCA’s passive-aggressive war on #transparency

Monday, March 6th, 2017
Somebody please give Shelisha Coleman a big fat raise.
The Agency for Health Care Administration’s (AHCA) high profile flack works hard duty playing hardball with some of Florida’s best reporters, but makes tens of thousands of dollars less than men paid by taxpayers to tell tall tales about #Transparency.
Coleman had to drop a whopping load of horsefeathers on the Orlando Sentinel last week in a laughable effort to justify AHCA’s unlawful redactions to public records.
Taking up the cause of families who love their grandparents, reporter Kate Santich asked AHCA to explain why inspection reports are being scrubbed of “dates, places

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House panel votes to raise the bar for proposed constitutional amendments

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
A lively debate on governing principles broke out Thursday as a House committee voted unanimously to ask the voters to raise the threshold for amending the Florida Constitution.
HJR 321 would require approval by 66 2/3 percent of the voters to change the state’s foundational document. At present, that requires 60 percent approval.
Sponsor Rick Roth, a freshman Republican from Loxahatchee, acknowledge his proposal would make it harder to change Florida’s basic law.
“I watch politics very closely, and have for 30 years, and it seems like it’s becoming, more and more, who has the money to put something on the ballot,”

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Florida Cops Keep Innocent Man in Jail for Eight Months, Resulting in $150,000 Settlement

Monday, January 9th, 2017
The Fort Lauderdale police department got it wrong when they arrested the wrong man thinking he was a burglary suspect.
But the Florida police department still kept him in jail for eight months for the crime he did not commit.
Dmitry Lyubimov was not released until authorities finally acknowledged that they lacked physical and DNA evidence.
Now the city has reached a wrongful arrest settlement of $150,000 with the 26-year-old man.
Lyubimov was minding his own business on the streets of Fort Lauderdale when he was arrested by police in July 2011, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Police claimed Lyubimov matched the description

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Visit Florida housecleaning continues: Rick Scott calls on chief Will Seccombe to resign, board to publish business

Friday, December 16th, 2016
Gov. Rick Scott called on Visit Florida’s Executive Director Will Seccombe to resign Friday afternoon, continuing a bloodbath at the pseudo-state agency that saw two other top executives fired earlier in the fallout from how it handled a marketing contract with Miami rapper superstar Pitbull.
In a letter the governor sent to Visit Florida’s board chairman, Scott called on a complete overhaul of how it does business, telling the board he wants to see it publish details about how it spends money, including contracts. And Scott said that in order to do so, Seccombe has to go.
“The major changes outlined

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Visit Florida housecleaning continues: Rick Scott calls on chief Will Seccombe to resign, board to publish business

Friday, December 16th, 2016
Gov. Rick Scott called on Visit Florida’s Executive Director Will Seccombe to resign Friday afternoon, continuing a bloodbath at the pseudo-state agency that saw two other top executives fired earlier in the fallout from how it handled a marketing contract with Miami rapper superstar Pitbull.
In a letter the governor sent to Visit Florida’s board chairman, Scott called on a complete overhaul of how it does business, telling the board he wants to see it publish details about how it spends money, including contracts. And Scott said that in order to do so, Seccombe has to go.
“The major changes outlined

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Visit Florida housecleaning continues: Rick Scott calls on chief Will Seccombe to resign, board to publish business

Friday, December 16th, 2016
Gov. Rick Scott called on Visit Florida’s Executive Director Will Seccombe to resign Friday afternoon, continuing a bloodbath at the pseudo-state agency that saw two other top executives fired earlier in the fallout from how it handled a marketing contract with Miami rapper superstar Pitbull.
In a letter the governor sent to Visit Florida’s board chairman, Scott called on a complete overhaul of how it does business, telling the board he wants to see it publish details about how it spends money, including contracts. And Scott said that in order to do so, Seccombe has to go.
“The major changes outlined

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Missouri Police Association Sues Missouri Police Department Over Public Records Violations

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

A Missouri police association filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbia, accusing its police department of violating the state’s public records law by refusing to provide records in a timely manner, then charging an exorbitant amount for the requested records.
Last summer, the Columbia Police Officers’ Association requested two months worth of email correspondence between Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton Deputy Chief of Police Jill Schlude.
But the emails were not produced within three days as required by state law nor did the association receive a detailed explanation providing “reasonable cause” of the delay as outlined in Section 610.023 of the Missouri

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Senate and House not that different, Joe Negron says

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
Senate President Joe Negron said his approach to budgeting isn’t that different from fellow Republican and House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Negron
Negron met with reporters Tuesday after he officially became president during the Legislature’s biennial Organization Session.
In sweeping changes to the House’s traditional way of doing business, Corcoran said senators would need House sponsors for special spending requests, such as hometown projects, often derided as “turkeys.”
But Negron, who along with Corcoran is a former Appropriations chair, said he “would encourage senators to find someone in the House” to support a budget item, and “we’ve always done that,” he said.
“The chances of an appropriation

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Pennsylvania Governor Vetoes Bill that Would have Illegalized Release of Names of Cops who Kill in Line of Duty

Monday, November 21st, 2016
Pennsylvania politicians tried their best to pass a law making it illegal to release the names of cops who shoot citizens that result in death of “seriously bodily harm” for at least 30 days from the incident or until an investigation is completed.
The bill sailed through both the house and the senate with legislators on both sides of the political spectrum saying it was important to hide the identities of cops who kill for their own safety – even though there has not been any documented cases of killer cops being retaliated against for their actions.
But the bill was vetoed

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Philadelphia Cops Threaten to Seize Man’s Phone for Recording them Arresting Other Men

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
Philadelphia cops were arresting two men on a darkened street when one of the men called out to a passing bicyclist, asking him to record the interaction.
The cyclist, Jean-Jacques Gabriel, wasted no time in stopping his bike, pulling out his smart phone and video recording on Facebook Live.
The cops then began harassing him with their usual bullying routine of accusing him of obstructing traffic, even though Gabriel was standing across the street on his bike in a bike lane.
When Gabriel continued recording, the cops then threatened to confiscate the phone as “evidence,” which is another tiresome routine that cops

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PINAC’s Executive Director Sues Miami Beach Mayor over Social Media Censorship

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
Like most politicians, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine campaigned on a platform of promising better transparency to his constituents.
And like most politicians, he proved to be a liar.
But unlike most politicians, he is being sued over his broken promise.
The lawsuit, which you can read here, was filed by Photography is Not a Crime’s very own Grant Stern, nonetheless.
Stern, who is PINAC’s Executive Director, filed his lawsuit Monday after Levine blocked him from the mayor’s official Twitter account over the summer, then deleted a comment from the mayor’s official Facebook account before blocking Stern from that page as well.
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Massachusetts Police Refuse to Disclose How Much it Paid Lawyers to Fight Release of Brutality Video

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
On May 7, 2014, Anthony Ferrier was viciously beaten by a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police detective inside a subway station in Boston, and the entire incident was captured by one of the agency’s surveillance cameras—but the public wouldn’t know the truth for nearly a year.
Instead, the public “learned” in the immediate aftermath of the incident that Detective Sean Conway had heroically saved Ferrier from committing suicide; that Conway’s behavior was, in the words of then-MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, “tremendous.” Conway even claimed that Ferrier—who suffered multiple facial fractures at the detective’s hands—had thanked him.
The MBTA actually

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WATCH: LAPD Releases Video Footage from Carnell Snell Police Shooting Showing him Holding Gun

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Los Angeles police released surveillance video from the moments before they shot and killed an 18-year-old man Saturday, showing him wielding a gun.
However, the video does not capture the actual shooting of Carnell Snell, Jr., one of four police shooting deaths in Southern California within a week that sparked protests.
And the word on the street is that Snell ditched the gun as he was being chased.
But LAPD said he turned towards them with the gun in his hand, making them fear for  their lives. And that the gun was found less than five feet from his body.
Whether that’s true or

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Massachusetts Police Refuse to Disclose Internal Affairs Records for Cops Named in Lawsuit

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The Amherst Police Department in Massachusetts has refused to comply with a public records request from PINAC that asked for the internal affairs records for two police officers who were named in a civil rights lawsuit this month.
According to the suit filed by Joshua Sampson, Amherst police officers Marcus Humber and Jamie Reardon refused to provide the teen with his epilepsy medication after arresting him in June 2014, which led to life-threatening seizures that caused language and short-term memory problems.
PINAC requested the officers’ internal affairs files to see if they have histories of misconduct.
In response, the department refused to

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Open government office goes behind closed doors

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
According to the Associated Press, the governor’s office just got a $153,000 makeover. Well, technically it was to the reception area outside the place where Gov. Rick Scott conducts the weighty affairs of state.
There was new carpet to replace the 13-year-old stuff that covered the floor. That’s good. We want visitors to think we run a classy joint here in Florida.
There was what AP called “bulletproof material” in the reception desk. No problem there. I don’t make jokes when it comes to protecting the chief political officer in the state and his staff. People who know about security said

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PINAC’s Jeff Gray Gets Assaulted for Making Public Records Request; Returns With Television News Crew

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

October is School Bus Safety Month, which means school bus contractors will go out of their way to show the public that their buses are in compliance with safety standards.
Or more likely, go out of their way to push and shove citizens making these requests out of their office.
That’s exactly what they did to PINAC reporter Jeff Gray this week after he walked into a Student Transportation of America office in Jacksonville, asking to inspect and photograph safety and maintenance records for a particular bus.
Only seconds after Gray walked into the building, making his request, a man named Tyrone

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Chicago Tribune Sues Mayor Emanuel for Refusing to Release Private Emails About Corrupt Red Light System

Friday, October 30th, 2015
The Chicago Tribune is suing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for not complying with public records requests after the mayor refused to release communications about city business conducted through private emails and text messages.
The lawsuit states that the mayor uses private phones and private emails to conduct city business as a way to avoid the public release of his city related correspondences and activity.
The Chicago Tribune seeks to receive emails and electronic communications pertaining to a controversial red light camera system in Chicago, a system mired in controversy and corruption.
The yellow lights were timed shorter with an intended outcome to

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Ohio Police Assault Man for Recording, Who Then Tells Them, “Say Hello to YouTube, Motherfuckers”

Friday, October 30th, 2015
Police in Ohio arrested a man in July, claiming he rolled up on them on his bicycle as they were conducting an investigation and began yelling profanities at them.
But now that they’ve released his camera, we can see they lied.
The video shows he only yelled profanities at them after they assaulted him for recording.
We can also see they also lied to him when they told him it was illegal to record a juvenile without parental permission.
Parma police ended up charging Deo Odolecki of Cleveland Cop Block with disorderly conduct and obstruction, charges that are still pending.
But charges that should

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