Posts Tagged ‘aclu’

Some Fair Points are Made Here by SFPD Police Chief Greg Suhr: “SFPD Response to ACLU Arrest Racial Disparity Report”

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Not exactly sure which “local newspaper” San Francisco Police Department Chief Greg Suhr is referencing today, so this bit from Chris Roberts posted yesterday in the San Francisco  Examiner will have to suffice:

Report: Blacks Arrested Four Times As Often As Whites For Marijuana

Looks like the ACLU report applies to the whole country, Vermont, Iowa, Illinois:

Anyway, here’s the response from Chief Suhr:

“SFPD Response to ACLU Arrest Racial Disparity Report.

In one of the local newspapers this morning, it was stated that African Americans are arrested at a far higher rate than whites, according to an ACLU report issued today. This is not so. The San Francisco Police Department does not racially profile. No one is arrested in sufficient numbers for marijuana possession here in San Francisco to substantiate such a claim. In fact, the article even states that there were only 11 people arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession in all of 2011, Chief Suhr’s first year as Chief. 

To put this number in context, in 2011, the SFPD made over 23,000 arrests, of which 14,000 were classified as misdemeanors. Today, Chief Suhr reviewed all 11 misdemeanor marijuana arrest reports from 2011. All 11 misdemeanor marijuana charges were secondary to other charges, e.g., outstanding warrants, weapons possession, drunk in public, for which the person (four white males, three black males, two black females, one Hispanic male, and one white female) were arrested and booked. 

It is evident that the misdemeanor marijuana arrests cited in the article were made using sound police procedure pertaining to criminal activity and not by racial profiling. 

http://sf-police.org/index.aspx?appType=5&recordid=685

San Francisco Police Department
sf-police.org”

Does somebody want to look into these arrests, to see if the SFPD is using sound police procedure pertaining to criminal activity and not by using racial profiling?

Well, be my guest and let us know how it goes.

Until then, it looks like ACLU 0, Greg Suhr 1.

OBEY GIANT, OBEY LAWS: No Prison Time, After All – “AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SHEPARD FAIREY”

Friday, September 7th, 2012

All right:

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SHEPARD FAIREY:

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through this difficult time. Your thoughts, actions, and good will, have made a significant impact on my ability to move forward and close this chapter of my life. I am very grateful to my family, friends, fans, and supporters.

I accept full responsibility for violating the Court’s trust by tampering with evidence during my civil case with the Associated Press, which, after my admitting to engaging in this conduct, led to this criminal case by the Southern District of New York. I accept the Judge’s sentence and look forward to finally putting this episode behind me. My wrong-headed actions, born out of a moment of fear and embarrassment, have not only been financially and psychologically costly to myself and my family, but also helped to obscure what I was fighting for in the first place— the ability of artists everywhere to be inspired and freely create art without reprisal.

I entered into litigation with the AP because I believe in Fair Use and I wanted to protect the rights of all artists. The Obama HOPE poster was created and distributed by a belief in what Obama could do for this country and my hope that I could inspire others to thought and action. Making money was never a part of the equation. As funds came in, I used them to create more posters and stickers and make donations to the Obama campaign. Most of the remaining proceeds were given to causes I support and believe in from the ACLU to Feeding America.

I believed, and still believe, that I had a very strong Fair Use case, which I could have prevailed. There was no intent to deceive on my part at the outset. When I discovered that the photo I had referenced was indeed the one the AP argued it was and not the one I thought I had used, I was embarrassed and scared to admit they were right and I was wrong even though it would not have had a material bearing on my case. Not amending the record was a big mistake and short-sighted. My actions damaged my ability to proceed effectively with my case and allowed the AP to focus on my credibility. I regret my actions every day and those who know me well know it is out of character.

Throughout my artistic career I have seen art as a powerful tool of political speech and social commentary and I try to use my art to stimulate a constructive dialogue. I believe in intellectual property rights and the rights of photographers, but I also believe artists need latitude to create inspired by real world things, just as news organizations need to use exception to copyright in order to report the news. The ability for an artist to creatively and conceptually transform references from reality is essential to their artistic commentary on the realities of the world. If artists find that freedom curtailed, it is not just artists, but all of us, who will lose something critically important.

The damage to my own reputation is dwarfed by the regret I feel for clouding the issues of the Fair Use case. I let down artists and advocates for artist’s rights by distracting from the core Fair Use discussion with my misdeeds. The decision today will, I hope, mark an ending to what, for me, has been a deeply regrettable chapter. But the larger principles at stake—Fair Use and Artists’ Freedom—are still in jeopardy, and I hope we will remain vigilant in depending on the Freedom of Expression.

- Shepard”

 

News from Santa Cruz: Born a Man, Died a Woman – Ashawna (Shawn) Hailey Bequests Millions for Marijuana Legalization

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Pretty much.

Check it:

“Software Pioneer Leaves $10 Million Bequest To Five Leading Non-profits In Health And Drug Policy Reform

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., May 30, 2012  – This year, five leading non-profits at the forefront of health and drug policy reform will benefit from a generous bequest of approximately $10 million from the estate of software pioneer Ashawna (Shawn) Hailey. The gift will dramatically increase these organizations’ ability to reform government policies and public attitudes about health and drug policy.

Half of the total bequest–approximately $5 million–will benefit the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a non-profit research and educational organization working with the FDA and international regulatory agencies to develop psychedelics and marijuana into prescription treatments for patients with unmet medical needs. The gift will be the largest that MAPS has ever received, and will support research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This treatment is currently in Phase 2 pilot studies and is showing very promising results.

MAPS is conducting an international series of Phase 2 pilot studies into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These studies are laying the groundwork for two larger multi-site Phase 3 trials, required to show the FDA that MDMA is a safe and effective adjunct to psychotherapy for patients with PTSD.

The rest of Ashawna’s gift–about $1.25 million each–will support the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Ashawna’s generous bequest is one of only a small number of such gifts to the ACLU. “Her bequest puts a spotlight on our nation’s punitive drug policies, which have failed to achieve public safety and health while putting unprecedented numbers of people behind bars and eroding constitutional rights,” said Vanita Gupta, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU.

The Drug Policy Alliance will use Ashawna’s gift to strengthen its movement-building efforts. “Ashawna was generous to DPA in her lifetime and beyond because she wanted to build the strongest movement possible to end the drug war and replace it with policies that promote her values of freedom and compassion,” said Ethan Nadelmann, DPA’s executive director. “We’re honored by this bequest, and we will use it to sustain and strengthen the aspects of the movement that were important to her.”

“Our budget this year is only $5 million, so this bequest is turbocharging our efforts to end marijuana prohibition in the United States,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. “In fact, Ashawna will likely be our biggest donor this year, and we’ll be using half of her gift to pass the ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado on November 6.”

“This transformative gift from Ashawna will help to ensure that everyone in our community who needs a meal can get one,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “She accomplished so much both in her professional life and through her philanthropy, and we are honored that she put her trust in Second Harvest Food Bank with this legacy gift.”

Hailey died on October 14, 2011, in her San Jose, Calif., home at the age of 62. She passed peacefully, and is survived by her children Neal and Nora, and by her twin brother Kim.

After graduating from Texas Tech University in 1970, Shawn designed the launch sequencer for the Sprint Antiballistic Missile System for the Martin Marietta Corporation and in 1974 designed the 9080 microprocessor for AMD. Shawn and Kim co-founded Meta-Software Corp. in 1979 and their HSPICE program remains the gold standard circuit simulator for the electronic design industry.”

And that’s your news from Santa Cruz.

Have Your Shyster Try to Opt You Out of SF’s Gang Injunctions, If You Want

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I mean, it’s your right, after all.

All the fresh new deets, and .pdf forms as well, are right here.

“City Attorney Herrera has obtained civil injunctions against five violent street gangs that have long plagued San Francisco neighborhoods with their criminal and nuisance conduct.  Named in the gang injunctions so far issued by the San Francisco Superior Court are the following:

  • The Bayview/Hunters Point-based Oakdale Mob
  • The Mission-based Norteño gang
  • The Western Addition-based Chopper City gang
  • The Western Addition-based Eddy Rock gang
  • The Western Addition-based Knock Out Posse gang

Herrera is currently pursuing a new injunction against two more gangs:

  • The Visitacion Valley-based Down Below Gangsters
  • The Visitacion Valley-based Towerside Gang”

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Visitacion Valley Gang Injunction Against Towerside / Down Below

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Our City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera can’t abide street wars in San Francisco so he’s working on another gang injunction, this time for 100-something acres of Visi Valley.

It’s this part of the VV, roughly:

Click to expand

That’s the Sunnydale Projects on the left:

It’s the Down Below gangsters vs. the Towerside gang:

Lots of different names involved:

DBG symbols include: “Down Below Gangsters,” “Down Below Gang,” “DBG,” “324″ (referring to the letters “D”, “B”, and “G” on a telephone key pad), “Down the Hill,” “Down Below,” “The/Tha/Da Low,” “Lo/w,” “Low Boys,” “LB,” “Sunnydale,” “SD,” “Nolia”(referring to Magnolia, a New Orleans public housing development), “N.O.”(referring to the Nolia), “Sunnydale 42nd/42,” “42″ (referring to a parking lot at the Sunnydale Housing Development), “1800 Block” (referring to the 1800 block of Sunnydale Avenue), “1700 Block” (referring to the 1700 block of Sunnydale Avenue), “1600 Block” (referring to the 1500 block of Sunnydale Avenue), “1500 Block” (referring to the 1500 block of Sunnydale Avenue), “Spunk Squad,” “YGs,” “Young Guns/z,” “Young, Young Guns/z,” “YYGs,” “Borderline,” “BL,” “Borderline Posse,” “Borderline Players,” “BLP,” “257″ (referring to the letters “B”, “L”, and “P” on a telephone key pad), “Border Low,” “Swampy D,” and “The Swamp.”

TOWERSIDE symbols include: “Geneva Towers,” “Towerside,” “Towers,” “Tower Block,” “TB,” “T,” “T-Side,” “33,” “33rd,” “The/a 3s,” “312,” “1100 Block” (referring to 1100 Block of Sunnydale Avenue), “Brick Home Posse,” “BHP,” “Brick Homes,” “The Bricks,” and “Bricks.”

Anyway, all the deets:

Herrera seeks civil injunction against warring criminal street gangs in Visitacion Valley

Complaint begins process to enjoin 41 members of ‘Down Below Gangsters,’ ‘Towerside’ in safety zone encompassing both turfs

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 5, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against two warring criminal street gangsthat have terrorized San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley for more than three years.  The civil complaint filed in Superior Court this morning names the Down Below Gangsters and Towerside Gang as defendants in a civil action that seeks to prohibit an array of gang-related criminal and nuisance conduct by 41 adult gang members within a proposed “safety zone” covering less than two-tenths of a square mile. 

If granted by the court, Herrera’s civil gang injunction would bar named gang members from engaging in intimidation, graffiti vandalism, loitering, trespassing, displaying gang signs or symbols, and associating with other gang members under most circumstances within the safety zone.  The injunction would additionally prohibit the possession of guns and other weapons, drugs, and graffiti implements within the area at all times.  Violations of such injunctions can be pursued civilly by the City Attorney, for contempt of court, or prosecuted criminally by the District Attorney, as a misdemeanor for up to six months in county jail. 

“The residents of Visitacion Valley have been caught in a crossfire by warring criminal street gangs, and the injunction I’m pursuing today intends to put an end to it,” Herrera said.  “This injunction names 41 adult gang members in two rival gangs, representing the most active and dangerous threats to public safety.  As is typical in these cases, most live outside the community they’ve chosen to victimize.  As the California Supreme Court majority held in its 1997 Acuna decision on gang injunctions, ‘Preserving the peace is the first duty of government, and it is for the protection of the community from the predations of the idle, the contentious, and the brutal that government was invented.’  The gang injunction we’re pursuing today asserts the right of Visitacion Valley families to live in the peace and safety to which they’re entitled.”

“Gang injunctions like the ones City Attorney Herrera has successfully fought to put in place give law enforcement another important weapon in the fight against criminal street gangs who terrorize our communities,” said District Attorney Kamala D. Harris.  “As the chief elected law enforcement leader in San Francisco, I consider this another vital tool in the prosecution of violent criminals.  I thank the City Attorney for working with me to help keep San Francisco safe.”

Ever more deets, after the jump

(more…)

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Fights ACLU, Catches Grim Sleeper with “Familial DNA”

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide ACLU attacking the DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act. So he held a news conference today at the Ninth District United States Court of Appeals down at Seventh and Mission. Read about the presser here at the L.A. Weekly and read all about the law that California voters approved in 2004 right here.

O.K. then. For Jerry Brown, the time to swab your mouth to get DNA is when you get arrested for a felony, but the ACLU thinks that law enforcement should wait until you get convicted of a felony. That’s the focus of today’s oral arguments at the 9th Circuit.

Now, one of the recent successes of the state’s DNA program is the capture of the Grim Sleeper down in L.A. County. That’s an amazing story involving the use of “familial DNA,” an approach that’s illegal in some parts of the U.S. but A-OK here due to JB’s approval back in in aught-eight.  

Here’s what the ACLU has to say about that:

“If you are going to use familial DNA testing, this is probably the case for it,” says ACLU staff attorney Peter Bibring.”

I’d say so. But you can’t even attempt a shot at making a connection with familial DNA if you don’t have the DNA collected in the first place so that’s what today’s court fight is about.

Mark Sconce of the Surviving Parents Coalition with JB this AM.

Jerry was all pumped up today. Getting kind of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western look in his eyes these days. He’s an intense dude.

Will the long arm of the law (in the words the father of one of the victims of the Grim Sleeper) get shorter today?

Stay tuned…

The Quasi-Unconstitutional Prayer Book Cross of Golden Gate Park

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Just look at this monstrous cross, complete with rune grafitti, on govmint land in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park:

“The Prayer Book Cross was erected in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 1894 as a gift from the Church of England. Created by Ernest Coxhead, it stands on one of the higher points in Golden Gate Park. It is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive, near Cross Over Drive. This 57 ft (17 m) sandstone cross commemorates the first use of the Book of Common Prayer in California by Sir Francis Drake’s chaplain on June 24, 1579.” 

Didn’t the City have to sell off the similar Mount Davidson Cross (Yelp-rated) after a lawsuit back in the 1990s? Yes it did.  So, do you think the Prayer Book Cross creates an “appearance of governmental endorsement of religion” as well, particularly considering that we’re living in a post-Everson world?

Do these trees help to make this cross kosher, cause fewer people see it? Potentially, yes. Click to expand:

IMG_6293 copy

In other words, does the City’s ownership and maintenance of Prayer Book Cross violate the No Preference Clause and the Ban on Aid to Religion Clause of the California Constitution and the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution?

Or maybe it’s all good, because the  cross communicates “primarily non-religious messages” ala the shorter Mount Soledad Cross down in Fun Diego County? This is a close call.

Read all about the Mount Davidson case here, where the  United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit lays down the law. It’s pretty accessible.

IMG_6295 copy

You see it on the right here, as seen back in the day, during the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Electric Tower at Night, with Search Light on Prayer Book Cross in Golden Gate Park:

I0015220A copy

The PB cross was a big deal back in the 1800′s, even making the New York Times.

But should it be on government land today?

Just asking…

Presented to Golden Gate Park at the opening of the Midwinter Fair, January 1, A. D. 1894, as a memorial of the service held on the shore of Drake’s Bay about Saint John Baptist’s Day, June 24, Anno Domini 1579, by Francis Fletcher, priest of the Church of England, chaplain of Sir Francis Drake, chronicler of the service. Gift of George W. Childs, Esquire, of Philadelphia. First Christian service in the English tongue on our coast. First use of the Book of Common Prayer in our country. One of the first recorded missionary prayers on our continent. Soli Deo sit semper gloria.”