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Archive for January 13th, 2017

Federal Suit Challenges Chicago Police Use of “Stingray” Spying Devices

Posted by Admin On January - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Attorneys for long-time National Lawyers Guild legal observer Jerry Boyle filed suit in federal court today to challenge the sweeping use of “Stingray” cell phone spying devices by Chicago Police.


The suit, which aims to be certified as a class action, alleges that the stingray devices are frequently used without warrants or any official guidance, indiscriminately sweeping up cell phone data from innocent people, including attendees at political rallies, demonstrations and other 1st Amendment-protected activities.

Stingrays have the power to obtain identifying information about cell phones, access the content of phone calls and texts made on the phone, reveal website browsing histories, and track a phone’s cumulative movements.

According to the suit, “CPD owns and operates an arsenal of cell site simulators with these intrusive capabilities,” spending over a half million dollars between 2005 and 2010 to obtain them. The devices typically can access cell phones located more than a mile away from them, and capture data from up to 60,000 phones simultaneously.

The suit alleges that the Chicago Police Department’s use of cell site simulators “is secretive and widespread…and [CPD] has long refused to disclose information about its use of cell site simulators to the public and fought attempts to obtain such records in the courts, choosing to conceal its use of the technology.”

“The City does not even maintain any policies or procedures on what its officers may do with the personal information seized from thousands of individual cell phones without a warrant. The City has also, as a matter of practice, refused to train its officers about constitutional issues associated with officers’ use of cell site simulators. In addition, the City has maintained a widespread practice of permitting its police officers to deploy cell site simulators without a warrant specific to each phone that is searched in the process, and has frequently failed to obtain warrants even for the phone of the target in question.”

The suit cites as an example of the illegal surveillance a January 15, 2015 “Reclaim Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” demonstration organized by Black Lives Matter protesters at which Boyle’s and hundreds of others’ cell phones were illegally surveilled.

“The people of Chicago should be able to exercise their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and assembly without being spied upon by police,” said Boyle. “Government spying on its citizens without appropriate judicial oversight is inconsistent with the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”

“The Chicago Police Department can’t give its officers weapons that have the power to search and seize our most personal information without any instructions about how to use them,” said Craig Futterman, a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and one of the lawyers representing Mr. Boyle. “That’s like giving officers guns and telling them to go get the bad guys, without even teaching them how to shoot. We’ve recently seen how this lack of surveillance oversight has played out at the NSA, where employees abused surveillance tools to spy on their spouses.”

“Any surveillance of political groups is particularly troubling,” said Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, another of Boyle’s attorneys, “but there is no dispute that even when CPD has a valid basis to track a legitimate suspect, the technology results in a search of every other phone in the area to find the suspect. This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent bystanders every time it is used.”

Defendants named in the suit include former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and current Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

Besides Futterman and Topic, Mr. Boyle is also represented by Mike Kanovitz, Ruth Brown and Josh Burday of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.

Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms, and over the past decade has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country. Last November, Loevy & Loevy successfully obtained the release of the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death at the hands of Chicago police.

The University of Chicago Law School’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project is one of the nation’s leading civil rights clinics focusing on issues of criminal justice. The mission of the Law School’s clinical programs is to teach students effective advocacy skills, professional ethics, and the effect of legal institutions on the poor; to examine and apply legal theory while serving as advocates for people typically denied access to justice; and to reform legal education and the legal system to be more responsive to the interests of the poor.

President Obama Designates Monuments Honoring Civil Rights History

Posted by Admin On January - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Statement by President Barack Obama on designating monuments honoring Civil Rights History:


Today, I am designating new national monuments that preserve critical chapters of our country’s history, from the Civil War to the civil rights movement.  These monuments preserve the vibrant history of the Reconstruction Era and its role in redefining freedom. They tell the important stories of the citizens who helped launch the civil rights movement in Birmingham and the Freedom Riders whose bravery raised national awareness of segregation and violence. These stories are part of our shared history. From designating Stonewall National Monument, our country’s first national monument honoring the LGBT movement, to recognizing the movement for women’s equality through the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, I have sought to build a more inclusive National Park System and ensure that our national parks, monuments and public lands are fully reflective of our nation’s diverse history and culture.

I am also expanding existing areas for some of our country’s treasured and historic natural resources in Oregon and California today, including stretches of California’s scenic coast and unique wildlife habitat in rugged mountain ranges and forests in Oregon and California.  Over the last 8 years, I have sought to work with local communities, Tribal governments, businesses, sportsmen, members of Congress and others to protect the most important public lands for the benefit of future generations.  Today’s actions will help ensure that more of our country’s history will be preserved and celebrated, and that more of our outdoors will be protected for all to experience and enjoy.

The Department Of Justice Releases New Report On The Attorney General’s Twelve-City Community Policing Tour And Regional Justice Forums

Posted by Admin On January - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

As part of the Department’s commitment to working with communities and law enforcement to build stronger relationships and mutual trust, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch today announced the release of the “Attorney General’s Community Policing Report,” a summary of the Attorney General’s twelve-city Community Policing Tour and the Department of Justice’s four Regional Justice Forums. The Attorney General’s Community Policing Tour Report builds on President Obama’s priorities to engage with law enforcement and other members of the community to implement key recommendations from the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

“This document is not meant to be a comprehensive, step-by-step guide, but, rather, a useful blueprint—a window into what citizens across the nation are doing to build stronger bonds between police and the people they serve,” said Attorney General Lynch. “I hope that this report will help inspire ideas and foster cooperation in communities from coast to coast—so that, together, we can continue our work toward a stronger, a safer, and a more united nation.”

During the Community Policing Tour, Attorney General Lynch visited 12 jurisdictions in two phases. Phase I focused on jurisdictions that had addressed difficult histories of mistrust between communities and law enforcement through strong collaboration and innovation. During this phase, the Attorney General traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama; East Haven, Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, California. Phase II highlighted cities that had made outstanding progress implementing the six key pillars identified in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. During this phase, the Attorney General visited Miami/Doral, Florida; Portland, Oregon ; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Phoenix, Arizona; and Los Angeles, California, with each site focusing on one of the report’s pillars.

In the wake of the horrific tragedies of the summer of 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas; and St. Paul, Minnesota, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates convened a series of Regional Justice Forums with members of the local law enforcement, youth, faith, non-profit and civil rights communities. These meetings were designed to help local stakeholders critically examine community policing issues in their respective cities and regions and to seek concrete solutions together. The Attorney General convened Justice Forums in Detroit, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey. The Deputy Attorney General hosted forums in Denver, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia.

This report chronicling the community policing work of the Department of Justice highlights innovative local approaches to policing that help foster stronger ties between officers and the people they are sworn to serve and protect. The document is meant to serve as a tool for communities and law enforcement agencies seeking to deepen their own commitment to community policing principles and practices.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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