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Ferguson Police Cameras

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Police transparency a winner for everyone.

Last fall in Ferguson, MO a police shooting resulted in mass demonstrations. Lack of recorded evidence increased community distrust and the demonstrations escalated resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. Most of this could have been avoided if the officer had been using a body camera and the video had been shared with the public immediately.

Citizens waited for the state and local government to take action. Unfortunately the legislature did not take action to correct these issues. The city council now requires the police to use body cameras but they have not mandated constant use instead they allow for officers to use their own judgment. They also make no provisions for citizen access to the video.

Fortunately local initiators have taken it upon themselves to propose legislation to remedy these problems. They are now circulating a petition let voters decide the issue. Their proposed charter amendment will:

  • Require all on duty officers to wear a functioning camera to record all their on duty activities.
  • Require all recorded data be accessible to persons who appear in the video.
  • Require use of force incidents be reviewed by the city council.
  • Require documented action be taken when a civilian makes a complaint against an officer.
  • Require all video recordings be deleted after 2 years unless otherwise required by law.

This measure has great potential.

Police are protected in the case of frivolous complaints, citizens are protected in the case of police misconduct.

Who will watch the watchers? Citizens.

Elected officials will be forced to take ownership of police misconduct.

Nick Kasoff a local community leader has provided this great write up.

Please consider supporting their campaign. They need assistance gathering signatures and educating voters on the details of the initiative. If you are able to donate even $10 or $25 it will make a big difference. If you’re able to circulate petitions or help in other ways please reach out to the campaign through their website, www.policecamerasforferguson.com .

Donate to the campaign here.

 

 

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by | July 10, 2015 · 3:11 pm

Ferguson: Problem & Solution

Months of unrest, including the riots and looting in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision earlier this week not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, might have been avoided.

How, you ask? The use of personal police cameras is growing.  These cameras are worn on the officer’s uniform and record what goes on during their sh1408552000000-AP-Stop-and-Frisk-Camerasifts.  Having a video record of what is said and done by officers and by others who interact with the officers can make a world of difference in determining fault in a violent incident, and also on a daily basis, even when there is no such incident.

In Rialto, California, near Los Angeles, these body cameras have been used by 70 of its uniformed officers and a study conducted after their introduction showed public complaints filed against officers plunged an incredible 88 percent compared with the previous 12 months. Moreover, officers’ use of force fell by a whopping 60 percent.

The use of these cameras can only serve to help police do their job more effectively. The video recording can be a strong factor in keeping the police from abusing their powers and in protecting those same law enforcement officials when they must defend themselves.  Had Ferguson, Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson been wearing such a lapel camera, the events of that fateful day in August might have turned out differently. But almost certainly the events since that fateful August day, which have split the community and to an extent the entire country, would have been far different.

Knowledge is power. The truth shall set us free.

 

Townhall: Justice Vision by Paul Jacob

http://townhall.com/columnists/pauljacob/2014/11/16/justice-vision-n1919323

 

CNN: Protesters torch police car in another tense night in Ferguson

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/25/justice/ferguson-grand-jury-decision/index.html

 

The Guardian: California police body cameras cut violence, complaints

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/04/california-police-body-cameras-cuts-violence-complaints-rialto

 

 

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by | November 26, 2014 · 5:07 pm

Leading the Charge for Term Limits

Michigan native and Liberty Initiative Fund Field Director Scott Tillman and his father Jeff are leading a grassroots effort in the Wolverine State to keep legislative term limits as they currently exist.  He has created an organization called Citizen Cavalry to bring attention to the efforts of outgoing State Senate majority leader Randy -486c9a655825d994Richardville, who is making the weakening of term limits one of his priorities of the lame duck session.

Tillman is touring the state with a 10-foot wooden horse, adorned with banners bringing attention to Richardville’s efforts.  The legislative term limits were approved by voters on a 1992 ballot measure, which amended the state’s constitution.

“It takes a big horse to scare away lame ducks.” Scott Tillman said of the horse. “We don’t want professional politicians, we want citizen legislators.”

Tillman has already found support in a Lansing area lawyer, Gregory Schmid.

“Long-term power breeds corruption,” Schmid said. “We want smart people to be in the legislature and to be experienced in government, but not entrenched. We’re trying to stamp out longtime fiefdoms.”

Read more from: Michigan Live

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by | November 21, 2014 · 9:05 pm

Add 22 Pages to Arkansas Constitution?

ISSUE 3 KILLS TERM LIMITS, HIKES POLS’ PAY!!!

Have YOU Read It?

While you’re reading this story, thousands of Arkansas voters are being cheated, robbed of their right to vote – at least, to vote without their votes being counted against them.

Issue 3 on the Arkansas ballot kills and guts the term limits law voters enacted by citizen initiative in 1992 and supported again in even higher numbers ten years ago.

TrojanHorseTermLimits

Now comes Issue 3 to weaken the current House limit of 6 years to a whopping 16 years! Senators now limited to 8 years would be able to stay in power for 16 years as well. SIXTEEN YEARS? That’s no limit!

WORST OF ALL? The ballot wording doesn’t tell voters this simple fact. If it did, as the politicians who devised this dirty trick well know, Issue 3 would go down in flames.

Instead of informing voters that the amendment lengthens the limits, the ballot wording actually lies to voters, telling them that the measure is “setting term limits.”

Here is what voters will read on their ballot about Issue 3:

AN AMENDMENT REGULATING
CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES FOR
STATE OR LOCAL OFFICE, BARRING GIFTS
FROM LOBBYISTS TO CERTAIN STATE
OFFICIALS, PROVIDING FOR SETTING
SALARIES OF CERTAIN STATE OFFICIALS,
AND SETTING TERM LIMITS FOR MEMBERS
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The first part of the ballot wording is about contributions because Issue 3 outlaws corporate contributions. Not mentioned is the fact the U.S. Supreme Court has already said that provision is unconstitutional.

The second part says it will bar gifts from lobbyists to certain state officials. But this watered down provision will continue to allow plenty of gifts to legislators, including all-expense paid travel junkets from the biggest, richest lobbyists and special interests.

The third part of the ballot wording says the measure “provides for setting salaries.” Care to know how it “provides” for those salaries? Issue 3 sets up an “independent citizens commission” to set salaries. Elected? No. They’re appointed. By whom? By the very same politicians behind Issue 3.  So much for “independence”!

Issue 3 allows a group of cronies appointed by legislative leaders to hike the pay of legislators and other elected officials. How high, you ask? Well, there is no limit. The pay raise could be $25,000 or $50,000 or $100,000.

What can citizens do about that? If Issue 3 passes, NOTHING. This crony commission has absolutely no check on their power to set salaries – and to set them as high as they wish.

Last, but not least, is the ballot wording’s FLAT-OUT FALSEHOOD about “setting term limits.” Issue 3 is a world record for lies and deceptions – even for politicians!

THE PEOPLE ARE ARKANSAS ARE BEING DECEIVED AND DEFRAUDED.

Virtually no one – including the media – has read the entire 22-page, more than 7,500-word longest constitutional amendment in Arkansas history and knows what’s in it. And there has been a nearly total news blackout about its numerous provisions, with little if any reporting about the UNLIMITED PAY RAISE in Issue 3 or the DESTRUCTION of TERM LIMITS.

Already about a third of registered voters in Arkansas have cast their ballots in early voting completely unaware that the “tough-on-politicians” sounding Issue 3 is a lie written by politicians to destroy their term limits and snatch a big fat pay raise.

If you live in Arkansas, please warn your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. And do it NOW. If you know people in Arkansas, please call them or email them a link to this story. Don’t let the politicians and special interests steal their vote.

READ ALL 22 PAGES POLITICIANS ARE ATTEMPTING TO JAM INTO YOUR STATE CONSTITUTION (the gutting of term limits is on Page 16):

Issue 3 – Longest Amendment in AR History

 

 

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by | October 30, 2014 · 7:50 pm