What We Are Getting Wrong About Police Reform 

Vann R. Newkirk II · 11/09/15 12:50PM

Are there too many police or are there too few? In the months since Black Lives Matter activists first organized protests against police violence, the concept of over-policing has become key in understanding the dynamic against which they fight, especially in dramatically over-policed places like Ferguson. Some opponents contend that black communities are actually under-policed, citing rates of violent crime and 911 response time as the reason to increase police presence. The focus on numbers, however, belies the fact that both over- and under-policing have been used to oppress black communities.

NYPD Harassment Stories: "Bitches Like You" Get Away With Everything

Jason Parham · 09/04/14 11:00AM

In July, a man was assaulted by police offers for allegedly falling asleep on the train on his way home from work. "For what?!" the man yells repeatedly, as officers attempt to cuff him. "I ain't do shit...I just wanna go home." The pain and distress in his voice are audibly clear, and the reasons for which he is being arrested seem arbitrary at best. "Record all of this, please!" he says to others on the subway car. This incident would seem outrageous if the occurrence of police officers abusing their power—a power, we should not forget, that is entrusted to them by the public—weren't so commonplace in New York City.

The FBI Is Desperately Looking to Hire Stoners With Hacking Skills

Adam Weinstein · 05/21/14 02:35PM

We know you don't blaze up. But you've got this friend who does, and he seriously wonders whether that endangers his chances to code and hack for the top federal law enforcement bureau. You know what? Tell your friend the boss cop says it's cool.

Adam Weinstein · 04/29/14 02:01PM

A Virginia reporter FOIAed any automatic license-plate reader data the local cops might have collected on her. The results were chilling, and possibly illegal: "The police know exactly where my car has been—and when—during the past few months."

Dutch Man Charged With Cyberbullying Amanda Todd

Michelle Dean · 04/18/14 10:00AM

Amanda Todd's cyberbully has reportedly been found. A 35-year-old Dutch man who was arrested in January for indecent assault and child pornography is now suspected of having been the man who tormented Todd, who committed suicide at 15 years old in 2012.

Now Sheriffs Will Choose What Laws to Enforce Because That's What Sheriffs Think the Constitution Says

Hamilton Nolan · 01/25/13 04:03PM

As all schoolchildren know, the Firsteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads, "No law passed by the federal government may be enforced UNLESS it is cool with a bunch of sheriffs of rural counties." Leave it to the NObama administration to flagrantly ignore this Divine Right of Random Sheriffs to Decide About the Legality All Laws Based on Just Whatever Pops Into Their Heads.

Columnist: If James Holmes Was a Muslim, The Shooting Might Not Have Happened

Hamilton Nolan · 07/23/12 11:30AM

By contrasting the ease with which Aurora shooter James Holmes ordered guns and ammunition online with the rapid FBI response when a Muslim would-be terrorist in Aurora sent a single suspicious email a few years ago, Denver Post columnist Chuck Murphy states the obvious in his column today: this mass shooting might have turned out very differently if James Holmes had been named Ibrahim or Mohammed.

What Counts as a Legitimate Threat on Twitter?

Max Read · 06/07/12 04:51PM

On Tuesday night, millions of people on Twitter were talking about the recall election in Wisconsin, in which Republican Governor Scott Walker beat his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett. Some were gleeful; some were despondent. And some were violent: "KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER! Ole Bitch Ass Pig Ass Nigga!!!!" tweeted a fellow named @__SupaMcNASTY__.

The Year in Dumb, Convoluted, and Non-Terrifying Terror Plots

Hamilton Nolan · 01/10/12 02:00PM

Once again this week, the FBI has foiled an incredibly unconvincing terror plot replete with plans that fail to strike fear in the heart of any American. Sami Osmakac, a 25 year-old in Tampa, Florida, has been arrested for allegedly plotting to destroy bridges and bomb nightclubs in the name of Islam. Anyone who's been to Florida knows that destroying nightclubs in Tampa would be a great public service, to the United States of America.

Idiot SWAT Team Tried to Catch Guy Who Was Already in Prison

Lauri Apple · 12/10/11 07:00PM

After collecting tips from (drunk? bath salts-addled?) witnesses and obtaining a warrant, a Santa Maria, California SWAT team stormtroopered the home of Hope and Javier Bravo Sr. in search of their son, Javier Bravo Jr. But he was already incarcerated. Which seems like something they should have known!

So-Called 'KKK Prank Trooper' Busted for DUI

Lauri Apple · 10/31/11 07:36AM

In 2008, on Martin Luther King Day Eve, Ohio State Trooper Eric E. Wlodarsky took a picture of a fellow trooper dressed up in "Ku Klux Klan-like garb" (small photo) and sent it to a sergeant as a prank. For extra bonus laffs, he did this while he and the other officer were both on duty.

Chicago Loses Its Shit Over Two 'Terror' Bricks

Lauri Apple · 07/10/11 05:20PM

Emmett DeFrisco became Chicago's most famous cosplay kid yesterday after someone found his homemade, duct-taped, bricks-and-wires contraption in a public park, determined that the unusual object was a Suspicious Package, and called law enforcement. The whole park got shut down because of this thing!

These documents prove Sheen's D.C. police escort violated law

Ray Wert · 04/23/11 12:15PM

The Washington D.C. police department used police cruisers as emergency vehicles at speeds of at least 80 miles per hour to escort Charlie Sheen from Dulles Airport in Virginia to his show in Washington, D.C. on April 19, 2011. Apparently, arriving in his private jet, Sheen was late for his performance and D.C.'s Homeland Security and Special Operations Division authorized and approved the high speed escort.