Grand Jury Indicts NYC Police Officer

Finally! We get an answer to what a lot of people were waiting to hear about. In a tragic event an unarmed black man shot by an NYC police officer clearing a building. Officer was evidently clearing the building with his gun drawn and shot the man when he was startled. The Grand Jury will in fact indict which is causes much uproar considering this seemed to be more of an accident compared to what was considered a deliberate event in the choking of Eric Garner months prior. Let me know what you think about the decision in the comments below.

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Share CJNews!

Sharing my material is going to be really crucial once my site gets fully underway. The foundation of this site is complete, it’s just a matter of creating more content and reaching out to my followers to spread the word about my website. The biggest and most obvious resource through social media is going to be Facebook. I still see a ton of posts on Twitter about criminal justice issues but that turns into conversations that are hard to follow. Facebook is a great hub for conversation that would be able to lead people to my website. I’m excited to post more content now having my class assignments completed because I enjoyed all the feedback I received. Interacting with people over these issues was my favorite part of doing this website and I getting more followers to comment would be great. So help me out by posting links of my upcoming posts on Facebook and Twitter and I definitely will look to return the favor!

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GoAnimate: Dodgeball

Quite an experience as I’ve never really messed around with animations too much. Get’s frustrating when you’re not familiar with the program or isn’t possible to accomplish something you want to do. All in all I got through it and I think it come out pretty well. Chose a scene from the movie Dodgeball, where the Average Joes are introduced to the Globo Gym Purple Cobras. Put a little spin on it but kept it the same for the most part. The original scene can be watched here:

My animation link is below. Hope you enjoy!

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My GoAnimate Video

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NYPD: Keep Calm and Carry Some Pot

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Read an article the other day from PoliceOne.com that you all should definitely check out. It talked about how finally the New York Police Department is considering changing their arrest policies for marijuana charges. The main issue being is that a huge amount of people of all races, ethnicities, and ages are found with small amounts of pot on them, clearly for personal use. Often times these cops will let it go using discretion based on the situation but other times police are just looking to make as many arrests as possible. Mayor De Blasio and the NYPD Commissioner Bratton are finally coming to grips with the fact that most of these arrests are thrown away by dismissal or plea bargains. The problem with these cases is that they just end up flooding the court system and slowing down the justice process. Making these arrests in the first place takes police focus off harsher crimes that should be getting their attention. I think most people nowadays would agree that marijuana is not a dangerous substance in many ways. I personally think it should be treated like alcohol in regards to law making and I think that is becoming a popular notion as we see in states like Colorado and Washington. I believe the lifestyle choices frequently associated with marijuana is the most dangerous thing about it. Putting less of a focus on a drug that’s pretty much proven harmless besides impairing judgement and motor skills, opens up the opportunity to keep the community safer. Using police to hunt down the real criminals instead of making petty arrests enables police work to be much more beneficial to society as a whole (and no I do not smoke weed, I’m just realistic).

Click the bit.ly link below for the PoliceOne article:

http://bit.ly/1xtf9K8

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Creative Commons/Controversy of Police Body Cameras

It’s no surprise that in places like New York City, citizens are calling for the use of body cameras throughout the police force. The NYPD answered the call by installing the cameras for a trial period and looks to be moving towards that department wide in the long run. The main reason for this is to cut down on misconduct regarding police use of force. Body cameras would allow the whole context of the scene be filmed and archived if there was such an incident with an officer and citizen as we have seen countless times on YouTube. Other states have also introduced these cameras and the flip-side has been a reduction in citizens being able to lie about officer harassment. I’ve seen many videos of people getting arrested already, one in particular being a woman that had snuck her phone into jail and called a friend in the bathroom to see how she could get out of her DUI charges. The officer heard this conversation and when she came out she accused him of assaulting her and handling the DUI arrest wrongly. The camera proved otherwise and charges were added as she was prepared to lie to the police about the situation that had unfolded.

A great example I found using the Creative Commons search engine shows a specific scenario acted out with a police camera:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLNEJn7ZXuQ

This video obviously fits my blog as an up and coming, current criminal justice issue. In it we see an officer response to a situation where he needs to make an arrest. This media is ok to use on my blog under the fair use checklist because besides being on a public domain like YouTube, it is attempting to sell a product to departments. In my blog this video is is being used for news reporting, criticism, and comment. Using it in my blog only promotes the owner’s interests as the video is essentially a commercial for a Wolfcom Vision product. Spreading that product to multiple mediums of the internet only increases his market size especially on a blog dealing with criminal justice. YouTube licensing also allows the sharing of these videos, requiring the owners to sign off on that implied contract.

All seems to be going as planned in this video until the officer attempts to handcuff him and the situation escalates and the suspect resists. The suspect then picked up a brick as a weapon and lunging at the officer, causing the officer to discharge his firearm. In this type of situation, the officer was in a confined space, having no witnesses to back his story but as the video shows, the camera footage tells the whole story. There are definitely ups and downs to carrying this new tool. I believe the jury’s out on the positives potentially outweighing the negatives because I think these cameras will really make the public feel safer and it causes the officer to be more consciousness of his/her decisions. The downside of these cameras is the amount of private situations officers are put in, entering homes for domestic issues and witnessing things that by law need to be handled. The cameras limit the officers discretion in these scenarios because someone monitor the tape would constantly be questioning their actions. Besides this privacy issues, police already have to carry about thirty pounds of equipment on them so added weight is clearly going to be unappreciated, especially in a city like New York.

Let me know your opinions in the comments below!

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Know Your Meme!

It’s safe to say memes aren’t the most popular among policemen solely for the reason that they’re almost always negative towards them. Now there is definitely something to be said for the memes that are not just downright disrespectful, because they can actually provide a laugh. However, most of the memes you will see on the internet are not meant to be humorous and carry the “Fuck the Police” theme. These are typically a lot of police brutality and a usually out of context situations. These memes aren’t like most others because the text is usually what stays the same with the background changing. The meme originates from the 1988 NWA song “Fuck tha Police”. Here is the link the knowyourmeme that has plenty of examples:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/fuck-the-police

Most memes generally depict a pretty negative image of police and on this blog I definitely want to show both sides and not ignore the situation. However, there are some funnier memes dealing with police such as:

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The first meme has a background from overseas and it was even funny to me seeing the squad car involved in the accident. Europe has such random police vehicles compared to the classic crown vic and charger models we see in America. The second meme is based off a man filmed on the TV show Cops where a dwarf gentleman in convinced he can break the officers handcuffs and finds out the hard way he cannot. I definitely recommend taking a look at the scene on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpXbEVT7o4U

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Civilian Flags Down Police Officer for Identification

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Before I comment, here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPtudZ3R6U4

I’d like to begin by mentioning I don’t understand the fascination some people have with causing stupid problems with the police. I get that people may have had bad experiences but why go out looking for trouble? In this incident, Gav Seim confronted Deputy Camfield asking for identification. The deputy was in an unmarked charger and Seim claimed that unmarked cars were in violation of Washington State law. He was concerned for his safety knowing there could be people out there posing as police officers in the same types of cars. I understand his concern with police impersonation because it actually a serious problem. The revised code of Washington states “all publicly owned vehicles must be marked except for some Washington State Patrol vehicles, and other vehicles permitted special exemption used by law enforcement.” Essentially what ended up happening was this “liberty speaker” named Gav Seim decided to bust balls because this squad car was awaiting decals. Yes, hold officers accountable for knowing the law, but in this case, the obscure mistake was on the part of the department and not the deputy. I can’t help but commend the deputy for being so patient with Seim as tone was not very respectful and that can often set officers off. This patience is crucial to keep relations with the people they’re trying to serve as everything is recorded nowadays. This video could have easily spiraled out of control by the officer not giving the man the time of day. Overall, I think both of these individual’s time could have been better spent and it was crazy to see how fast this video went viral, blowing up to over 800,000 views in ten days.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Spread The Word!!

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Starting up a new blog brings about all different kinds of challenges and taking them all on by myself is tough. As we all know, social media is really the ultimate platform to get a brand out there. With that being said, I need your help! I want to take advantage of any outlet possible to get my blog out there. So what I ask of you as my viewers is, to share any criminal justice story I blog about on your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Understanding that my site is just getting underway, I would appreciate any help down the line in getting my opinions out there. If there’s a particular story that hits home with you, or even something you don’t agree with, give me a shoutout by tweeting a link of the post or sharing it on Facebook. I also plan on creating a Facebook page for the site allowing any followers to like it, spreading the word to all of Facebook instead of just my followers friends. As followers of mine, another great way to help me out would be to putting my on your website’s blogroll! This way anyone that enjoys your blog, will see a link for mine as they might be interested in checking out the blogs you follow as well.

Thanks so much for the help guys!

Mike

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Ebola!

I want to address this topic because of how huge it is in the media right now. I recently read an article about the Ebola outbreak and it dealt with how police officers in Texas were dealing with those being put in quarantine. The Dallas police chief was giving praise to his patrolman that have essentially been used to “hunt” down those that could possibly be infected. Obviously communication with the public is crucial in a situation like this where the virus has no cure and the public needs to know exactly what’s going on. What frustrates me is how the media spins the topic scaring the shit out of the general public. There’s no doubt that ebola is a serious virus and should raise serious concern not just with the American public but also throughout the world.

The fact that Ebola reached our shores is something the President should have never promised wouldn’t happen. However that fact that he did, has now caused media hysteria because politically biased media corporations are use that against him. What I liked about the story of Dallas police officers was that they continued to do their job and handle the situation professionally knowing they were in a dangerous situation. Although dangerous, one can easily understand that the virus doesn’t just get spread by being near those infected but by the transfer of bodily fluids. These policemen didn’t just react like the news seems to be stirring everyone too, and runaway from the problem which was cool to read about. They understood the task at hand and dealt with it protecting the public not through force and getting criminals off the street but by securing the safety of the public during this health epidemic. Not so much controversy with police tactics here, just more of pat on the back in the wake of the media continuously causing undue panic.

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Screencast Assignment

This screencast assignment was really not that complicated. The program Jing was really easy to install and its functions are easy to navigate. When it came to finding a site I started out by looking for popular blogs on Google. I ended up picking a blog that I visit a lot during the week, which is called SBNation. Just like for the commercial assignment, I created a script to run through as I recorded the screencast. Like most guys, I’m very interested in sports especially in the middle of football season. It’s convenient to have the latest news right at my fingertips with a site like this that prioritizes breaking news compared to ordinary posts.

This skill is definitely very useful to know. I’ve screencast many things on my mac laptop but never recorded a video like this. I think employers would value this skill a lot out of a college student because of all the new technologies available in today’s day in age. Just today, I helped one of my professors setup his laptop for class because something so simple to me, is tough for those who don’t deal with it on a daily basis. Being in school and adapting to new technologies gives us a leg up on the older generations. The main advantage I see from screencasting would be enabling me to give tutorials on how to operate certain programs or to show how I created something to a boss or friend.

After quickly being shown in class how to work Jing, I didn’t have too many problems doing so on my own. There are that many tools to the program because it has a pretty basic function. I do wish there was a way to go back and record over a mistake so that I didn’t have to start over. After going to screencast.com it was simple enough to grab the link and throw it onto my blog. Although probably the easiest of the assignments so far, I honestly felt it was pretty boring to do and talk about. Hopefully not for you though!

http://screencast.com/t/c1e7eudk

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