Society's Child

Gold Seal

10-year Florida cop fired after repeatedly Tasering unarmed black man

© Cop Block Fresno, CA/You Tube
A police officer from a Tampa suburb has been fired after footage from a bodycam emerged showing him using a Taser on a shoplifting suspect who had his hands up.

The officer, 36-year-old Tim Claussen, went to the house of Lester Brown, on September 9 to investigate a theft that had occurred at a local retailer earlier that day. The white officer asked Brown, who is black, to leave his house, but Brown didn't comply.

"Come outside now," Claussen said, "or you're about to get tased. This is the last time." The video then shows Brown being suddenly Tasered. He falls to the ground and the officer tells him that he had just "made it a lot worse" for himself. "Why," Brown asked, lying on his stomach, "'cause I'm in my house?"

Police authorities in Zephyrhills, Florida announced the firing of 10-year veteran Claussen on Friday. An internal investigation determined that "the deployment of the Taser was unjustified," city attorney Joseph Poblick said at a news conference. Brown, 42, was later arrested on shoplifting charges, but they were later dropped by prosecutors at the request of the police department.

This firing comes at a time of increased scrutiny of police conduct, particularly against unarmed black men and women. But Captain Derek Brewer of the Zephyrhills Police Department told the Tampa Bay Times that there was no evidence the incident had been "racially motivated."

"We recognized that there was an issue and that's why we acted quickly," Brewer said. "Given the circumstances of this incident, I feel like it was the right decision."

Comment: Firing police is not enough for the brutality innocent people have to endure. How about a few years of jail time for the offensive officer? How about huge fines paid to the injured by the City? If you hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook, you might see a reduction in violence local police and courts are condoning and encouraging. What thugs.

Seven reasons US police brutality is systemic, not anecdotal

Heart - Black

Ohio man dies when cop hits pedestrian - witnesses say he 'checks out his car instead of doing CPR'

Witnesses said over the weekend that a man died after an East Cleveland officer hit him with a police cruiser and then refused to perform CPR.

According to officials, the officer was responding to an emergency call shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday when he hit a 21-year-old man who was trying to cross the street. The man was taken to University Hospitals, where he later died.

A preliminary investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol found that the officer had his emergency lights on at the time of the accident, but WEWS reporter Kristin Volk spoke to witnesses who disputed that claim.

"Witnesses and others at the scene tell me the officer who hit the man checked out his car instead of doing CPR," Volk explained

"The officer, when the officer got out of the car, the officer went around the man, the young man on the ground, and checked his windshield out," the witness told Volk. "Then he put his hands on his hips. And everybody was like, 'What the f*ck are you doing? The guy you hit is on the ground. He's dying. He's dying.'"

Eventually a second officer arrived on the scene and performed CPR, but he was unable to save the victim.

The Highway Patrol, which is handling the investigation, had not released the name of the officer or victim, but officials said that the victim's family had been notified.

Life Preserver

Despicable: UK budget cuts to 'bare bones' social services force elderly, disabled to go without assistance, food and drink

Elderly and disabled people in the care system are going without regular food and drink due to government budget cuts, a report has found. A study by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) published on Tuesday discovered that care systems throughout the UK are failing to provide services for all those in need. Tens of thousands of adults are being denied long-term care and are instead receiving short-term or temporary care, while over 1 million adults have been turned away.

Charities have blamed the Conservative government's budget cuts and called on Chancellor George Osborne to ensure elderly and disabled people receive adequate social care. The report, "Community Care Statistics, Social Services Activity, England," found that of the 1.8 million requests for adult social care in the last financial year, only 36 percent resulted in people receiving care of any form.

Some 28 percent of people were turned down altogether while 31 percent were sent elsewhere, meaning 1.1 million vulnerable adults were turned away. Only 8 percent of people who applied for support were provided with long-term care either at home or in a residential setting. A survey published alongside the report found that 6 percent of elderly and disabled people receiving care - the equivalent of just over 40,000 people - did not always get adequate or timely food and drink. One percent of the 70,000 people surveyed said that in addition to not receiving enough food or drink, they also felt their health was at risk.

Comment: Plenty of money for wars in the Middle East, but no funding for UK's most vulnerable and needy.

1.6 million UK pensioners living in poverty


Reports of gunman cause Community College of Philidelphia to go on lockdown

© Wikepedia
Students and faculty at Community College of Philadelphia were finding shelter over reports of a gunman on campus. The suspected gunman is in custody.

The reports surfaced on Tuesday around 10 a.m. EDT inside the school's Bonnell Building. Authorities said that a male in the building said that he was threatened by another male with a gun, according to a local ABC affiliate.

There were no shots fired or injuries.

Comment: Whether this was an 'active shooter' situation or not, this is the third school-related shooting event in two weeks.

See also:

4 California Highschool students arrested over massacre plot one day after Oregon shooting

Student reporting from scene of Oregon college massacre: 'Two shooters likely professionals with silencers'


Another pilot passes out: United Airlines co-pilot loses consciousness during flight to San Francisco

© MyLoupe/UIG via Getty Images
United Airlines Boeing 747-400
A United Airlines co-pilot lost consciousness on a Houston-to-San Francisco flight Tuesday morning, according to a travel industry news website.

eTurboNews Group reported the United flight 1614 was diverted to Albuquerque International Sunport after the co-pilot lost consciousness mid-flight.

Word of the incident comes a day after an American Airlines pilot died during a flight from Phoenix to Boston. The co-pilot on the flight landed the plane safely in Syracuse, N.Y.

Comment: Pilot dies in mid-flight with 147 passengers, American Airlines


The city where residents have been taking mentally ill people into their homes for hundreds of years


Geel residents have been taking people with mental illnesses into their homes for centuries Mike Jau
Geel has a unique model of psychiatric care dating back to the 14th Century

"Half of Geel is crazy, and the rest is half crazy," runs a joke often told about the Belgian city of Geel.

On the surface, it may seem unremarkable with its pretty market square and river views, surrounded by the Antwerp countryside.

But wandering around its plazas and cafes, visitors may notice that some of the residents seem slightly "eccentric", and with good reason.

Comment: Social giving makes us happier
Selflessness Has Neuropsychological Connection
Social isolation affects DNA


'ISIS is not Islam' - Russian university fights extremism with anti-terror textbook

© Vladimir Vyatkin / RIA Novosti
A university in Russia's Urals region has published 3,000 copies of a book detailing the deceits used by Islamic State and describing the dangers that await the possible recruits to the terrorist group. The work targets young people, Muslim clerics and civil servants in Russia.

"Without any exaggeration, the whole world is now fighting with the Islamic State. Their principles are inhumane and destructive for the very foundations of humanity. As we study Islam and Orthodox Chistianity on the Theology Department of our university we can expertly explain the processes that are now taking place in the world," the chancellor of the Urals State Mining University said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

"The Russian President is now allocating a lot of his attention to the explanations over the issue. Our country is setting an example on how to correctly oppose extremists. These are the reasons behind our 'ISIS is not Islam' book," the rector said.

He also explained that the professors started to pay special attention to anti-ISIS propaganda after one of the university's students, 19-year old Varvara Karaulova left Russia for Turkey this summer in the hope of marrying an ISIS fighter she had met online. The girl was detained by Turkish law enforcement officers and returned to Russia, but the case gained a lot of attention in the media.


Peru: Civil liberties suspended, state of emergency declared following mining protests

© Observatory of Mining Conflict of Peru
The Peruvian government has declared a 30-day state of emergency following four deaths at a protest of the Chinese-owned Las Bambas mine project. The emergency status includes a startling suspension of civil liberties on Peruvians.

Latin Post reports:
After four people were killed amid anti-mining protests, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala declared a 30-day state of emergency in the Apurímac region on Tuesday [Sept 29].

Suspending civil liberties and authorizing military patrols, the government announced that extra troops would be sent to Apurímac "to restore internal peace."

The four protesters were shot dead during confrontations with the police. Aside from the deaths, 14 protesters were injured in demonstrations against a $7.4 billion copper mine project.


Activists airdrop flyers onto NSA base appealing to conscience of agents to quit their jobs

On Friday, a drone-like device dropped flyers over a key NSA intelligence facility that advised employees to quit their jobs on ethical grounds. The effort is the most recent attempt by privacy advocates to chip away at the power of the surveillance state using direct action campaigns.

Peng!, a tactical media and activist group, used a remote-controlled plane to drop flyers over a U.S. military base in Germany that serves as the NSA's European hub of signals intelligence known as the Dagger Complex. The flyers were designed by Intelexit, the specific campaign Peng! launched to encourage security agency employees to quit their jobs. A video posted to Youtube shows footage from the remote-controlled plane intercut with panoramic shots of the flying overhead.

Comment: In a career that is fraught with paranoia, secrecy, revolving doors, corruption, malfeasance, and law-breaking by any other description, dropping out and even whistle blowing requires an incredible amount of courage and fortitude. But it would probably do us well to remember that most many of the individuals who sign on to these jobs do so precisely because they fit in with the pathological culture of control, and lack the conscience to stand up to it to begin with.

See also:

Eye 1

California mayor detained at airport by DHS, forced to give up electronics and passwords

Stockton, California Mayor Anthony R. Silva attended a recent mayor's conference in China, but his return trip took a bit longer than usual. At the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) this week, agents with the Department of Homeland Security detained Silva and confiscated his personal cell phone among other electronics. According to comments from the mayor, that may not even be the most alarming part.

"Unfortunately, they were not willing or able to produce a search warrant or any court documents suggesting they had a legal right to take my property," Silva told SFGate. "In addition, they were persistent about requiring my passwords for all devices."

The mayor's attorney, Mark Reichel, told SFGate that Silva was not allowed to leave the airport without forfeiting his passwords. Reichel was not present for Silva's interaction with the DHS agents, either. The mayor was told he had "no right for a lawyer to be present" and that being a US citizen did not "entitle me to rights that I probably thought," according to the paper.