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NY Protesters Stage "Die In" at Apple Store and Macy's

The protests in New York over the grand jury's failure to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner and over-aggressive police conduct in general continue. Earlier tonight, about 100 protesters staged a "die in" at the Apple store on 59th & 5th (across from the Plaza Hotel and entrance to Central Park)and at Macy's at Herald Square and Grand Central Terminal.

In a surprising departure from previous nights, however, more than a hundred people stormed into an Apple Store on Central Park South and Fifth Avenue to stage a brief "die-in," sprawling on the floor of the crowded showroom as shoppers and employees watched. The group left without incident after about five minutes.

Similar demonstrations were staged at Macy's .... As they did at the Apple store, police stood by but allowed the protesters to briefly occupy both locations.

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Chicago to Pay $32 Million Settlement in Police Misconduct Claims

The Chicago City Council today unanimously approved payments of $32 million to pay two claims of police misconduct.

A mentally ill woman, Christina Eilman, will get $22.5 million.

Christina Eilman now suffers severe brain damage after police ignored pleas for help from her out-of-town family and turned the mentally ill woman lose in one of Chicago's most crime-ridden neighborhoods. She was raped and either fell or was pushed out of a seventh floor window.

Alton Logan will get $10.2 million for the 26 years he spent in prison for a crime he didn't commit. did not commit. [More...]

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Feds Charge East Haven Cops For Mistreating Immigrants

The investigation into abuse of immigrants by the East Haven, CT police force has taken years.

Today, the Department of Justice charged four officers, Dennis Spaulding, David Cari, Jason Zullo and Sgt. John Miller, with conspiracy, deprivation of rights and obstruction of justice. Miller is the head of the local police union.

The Indictment is here. The officers were arrested by the FBI. One agent said of the misconduct, "They behaved like bullies." [More...]

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San Francisco to Dismiss Dozens of Drug Cases For Police Misconduct

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced today that his office will drop at least 57 drug cases due to perjury, illegal searches and other misconduct by police officers.

The investigation has been prompted by a series of surveillance videotapes — released by Jeff Adachi, the city’s public defender, and private defense lawyers — showing officers suspected of falsifying reports, illegally entering residences and, in one instance, making a purposefully flawed arrest for drug possession.

“This is not a game,” Mr. Gascón said. “This is real, this involves people’s lives, not only for those who have been incarcerated, but for victims.”

The feds are now investigating officers from the city's Southern Station. The public defender says thousands of cases may be in jeopardy. [More...]

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Chicago Torture Cop Jon Burge Sentenced to 4.5 Years

Bump and Update: Burge was sentenced today to 4 1/2 years in prison. More here. The Judge told Burge, "The case "demonstrates at the very least a severe lack of respect for the due process of law and your refusal to acknowledge the truth in the face of all this evidence," she said."

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Original Post

Jon Burge, the Chicago cop who allegedly tortured arrestees until they confessed during a period of 40 years, will learn his punishment today in a Chicago federal court.

His name has become synonymous with police brutality in the nation's third-largest city, with allegations stretching back nearly 40 years and the case even affecting the state's debate over the death penalty. Dozens of suspects — almost all of them black men — claimed Burge and his officers tortured them into confessing to crimes from robbery to murder.

Burge's sentencing hearing began yesterday, with the Government asking for 30 years. The Probation Department concluded his guideline range is 15 to 21 months. Burge agrees but is asking for a below guideline sentence. Because Burge was only convicted of lying and obstruction in relation to a civil case, and the judge, as explained below, has sided with Burge and the Probation Department on the calculation of his guidelines, his sentence is likely to be in the 15 to 21 month range, or close to it. [More..]

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New Orleans Officers Charged in Post-Katrina Deaths

The Obama Adminisration may be serious about ramping up the civil rights division.

Six New Orleans police officers have been charged in the post-Kaatrina deaths of unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005.

The 27 count Indictment alleges some ugly facts. Five other former police officers have pleaded guilty and admitted that they participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice and cover up what happened that date.

The four officers charged with killing civilians face maximum penalties of life in prison or the death penalty. The officers face additional penalties for the remaining counts, which include charges related to a conspiracy to cover up what had happened on the bridge, and conspiracies to file charges against two of the victims, Lance Madison and Jose Holmes, on the basis of false evidence.

The other two face 70 and 120 years.

The New York Times reports eight other incidents of alleged police misconduct are still under investigation.

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Two Miami Cops Charged With Aiding Cocaine Traffickers in FBI Sting

Two veteran Miami police officers have been charged in an FBI undercover operation:

Two veteran police officers were charged Friday with providing protection for purported shipments of cocaine and stolen goods in what was actually an undercover FBI operation.

Officer Geovani Nunez and Detective Jorge Hernandez are accused in court documents of helping protect shipments of what they thought were stolen televisions and computers and at least 12 kilograms of cocaine — sometimes by using their police cars to escort trucks.

The officers have been fired. This isn't the first time cops have gone bad in Florida.

The case is similar to a recent FBI sting that led to guilty pleas from five officers in Hollywood, Fla. Four received lengthy prison sentences.

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