Highway Patrol Captain In Ferguson Blames Agitators from New York and California For Unrest [Update]

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Photo by Danny Wicentowski for the Riverfront Times
Tear gas floods the streets of Ferguson during a Sunday night protest. The melee continued Monday night.
It was another long, bad night in Ferguson, Missouri, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson continued for the ninth straight day. The National Guard was brought in yesterday, but their presence didn't seem to calm the situation: at least 31 people were arrested during the protests last night and two men were shot. Police said they were shot at by a small group of protesters but that they didn't fire their weapons , saying the men were shot by others in the crowd. At a news conference at 2 a.m., Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson displayed two guns and a Molotov cocktail he said arrested people had been carrying. Johnson blamed some of the unrest on outside agitators, saying, "I've said many of the criminal elements that have been coming to Ferguson are not from this area.Tonight, some of those arrested came from as far away as New York and California."

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Five Arrested During Citywide Marches Supporting Mike Brown, MO Teen Slain By Police

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Photo by C.S. Muncy. The Michael Brown protest in Midtown Manhattan.
Police "kettling" protesters in Times Square during the demonstration last night.
In 90 cities around the country last night, demonstrators marched in what was dubbed National Moment of Silence 2014 to honor Mike Brown, the teenager killed in Missouri by police last week, as well as other victims of police brutality. The marches were organized online in just four days by Feminista Jones, a writer and activist from the Bronx with a massive Twitter following. In New York, marchers massed in Bed-Stuy, Harlem and hundreds in Union Square; some of the Manhattan protesters made their way up to Times Square, where five men were eventually arrested during what both police and protesters alike called an otherwise fairly peaceful night.

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Police Union President: Ramsey Orta, Arrested Witness to Eric Garner's Death, Is "Demonizing the Good Work of Police Officers"

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Photo by Caleb Ferguson
Garner's pallbearers carry his casket after his funeral in Brooklyn July 23.
On July 17, 22-year-old Ramsey Orta filmed Staten Island police officers tackling his friend Eric Garner to the ground , watching as officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped Garner's neck in a chokehold. The New York City Medical Examiner ruled on Friday, August 1 that Garner's death was a homicide, caused primarily by compression of his neck and chest, exacerbated by his prone position as well as asthma, obesity and heart disease.

As Garner's death caused worldwide outrage, Orta told Time he faced increased harassment from the police. On Saturday night, he was arrested by plainclothes narcotics officers and charged with gun possession.

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Three Rikers Guards Indicted for Smuggling Cocaine and Oxycodone Into the Jail

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Photo by Flickr user Matt Green
The correctional officer-jail inmate relationship is often a fraught one, rife with resentment, misunderstandings and violence. But sometimes, just sometimes, the two groups can put aside their differences and work together. That's the silver lining we can take from the news that two current Rikers COs, Steven Dominguez and Divine Rahming, have been charged with smuggling cocaine and oxycodone into the prison with the help of an inmate and his girlfriend. Another former Rikers guard, Deleon Gifth, who resigned earlier this year, was arrested Monday on charges that he was paid $500 to deliver what he thought was oxycodone to an inmate back in February.

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Outside the Israeli Consulate, 26 People Get Arrested for Lying in the 2nd Avenue Crosswalk

Categories: Arrests, Gaza

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All photos by Zachary Roberts for the Village Voice
Norman Finkelstein and dozens of others lay down in the middle of 2nd Avenue in front of the Israeli Consulate.
Outspoken critic of the Israeli bombing and occupation of Gaza Norman Finkelstein was one of 26 demonstrators arrested today outside of the Israeli Consulate. The protestors laid down along the crosswalk of 43rd Street and Second Avenue, blocking traffic. All 26 were arrested and taken to the 7th precinct, where they are being charged with disobeying a lawful order.


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Shia LaBeouf Shouted "Do You Know Who the Fuck I Am?" as He Was Being Arrested at Studio 54 Theater Last Night

As you may have heard by now, actor and public problem-haver Shia LaBeouf had an unsuccessful trip to the theater last night. LaBeouf's viewing of Cabaret was cut short around 8 p.m., when he was reportedly escorted out of Studio 54 Theater for smoking, yelling, and, per Page Six , slapping the butts of various actors.

We've obtained the criminal complaint against LaBeouf. It says police were called to the theater by a custodian, Carlos Ortiz, who told officers that he'd witnessed LaBeouf "yell loudly" at the actors onstage. Ortiz asked LaBeouf to leave. He refused.

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Suffolk County Police Department Must Pay $200,000 For False Arrest of Video Journalist

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Screenshot via.
A Suffolk County Police Sergeant approaches videographer Philip Datz to prevent him from filming on July 30, 2011.
On July 30, 2011, members of the Suffolk County Police Department were chasing two men, Ramon Rivera, 24, and Camilo Tatis, 33, around the tiny Long Island town of Bohemia. The men were eventually caught by police on Sycamore Street, and arrested on a variety of drug charges. Meanwhile, a press photographer and video journalist named Philip Datz showed up and started filming the aftermath of the chase. What happened next became the subject of a lengthy lawsuit, and, as the New York Civil Liberties Union announced today, a hefty settlement for the cameraman.

Datz worked for Stringer News Service, which sells breaking news footage to other media outlets. He had his press credentials displayed and he was standing on a public sidewalk. And even if Datz hadn't been a reporter, it's still absolutely legal to film or photograph the police in public spaces, provided you're not interfering with police activities.

Datz wasn't. Just moments after he began filming, though, a sergeant with Suffolk County's Fifth Precinct crossed the street towards him, yelling "Go away!"

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Eight Arrested and 3,000 Birds Rescued As "Operation Angry Birds" Busts Cockfight in Queens

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Image via Google Maps.
74-26 Jamaica Avenue, where the cockfights were reportedly held.
On Saturday night, state police, investigators from the New York Attorney General's Office, and the Department of Homeland Security brought an end to a popular attraction held at an abandoned storefront in Queens: a cockfighting ring, where roosters raised in upstate New York and held at a pet store in Brooklyn were made to fight to the death. Really? We can't find anything better to do with our weekends, cockfighting spectators?

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced this weekend that investigators from his office's New York State Organized Crime Task Force had arrested and charged eight people in the alleged cockfighting ring, in an investigation they dubbed "Operation Angry Birds." During the Saturday night raid, according to the New York Times , officers watched as people paid $40 each and filed into the basement of a vacant storefront at 74-26 Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven. The roosters waiting to fight were held in sacks on the basement wall; many of the 65 birds rescued, per the NYT, had "their natural spurs clipped off and with sharper metal spurs attached to their bodies."

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Manhattan Topless Book Club on Brooklyn Woman's Arrest: Police Officer Was "Ignorant of the Law," "Abusive"

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Image via OCTPFAS official blog
Book club members enjoy reading (and not being arrested) in Central Park
Last week, we told you about Jessica Krigsman, a Brooklyn woman who's suing the city, alleging that she was wrongfully arrested last summer for sitting topless in a Gravesend park.

According to the suit, Krigsman was sitting on a bench when two police officers approached and told her to get dressed; when she declined, the suit alleges, Officer Colleen Canavan forced her shirt on her. Krigsman was cuffed, taken to the precinct, and, ultimately, charged with "obstruction of a sitting area," a charge that was later dropped.

Although going shirtless in New York is, for the nth time, totally, totally legal, Krigsman's lawsuit generated the usually flurry of commentary about whether it's right and appropriate and what about the children.

"Skank," offered one thoughtful commenter beneath a New York Post story.

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Stay Green, New York: Marijuana Arrests To Drop 20% In 2013

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You probably know the rules by now: in New York City, if you're caught in public view with pot, or in possession of 25 grams or more, you're getting a violation. Because of this (well, at least, partially), New Yorkers made up 99.2 percent (149,951) of the entire state's marijuana-related arrests (total: 155,048) last year. And, in 2012, getting thrown in the can for the reefer was still No. 1 in New York with the highest amount of arrests.

But lately, the external pressures placed on internal agencies by the incredibly high rates has become an engine for policy shifts. This is why Governor Cuomo continues to try to outlaw the public view provision in the criminal code last year. And why Bloomberg has opted out of the 'stay overnight in jail, be at court in the morning' situation for marijuana offenders. And why NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has even told his officers to chill (brah) with the pot arrests.

Luckily, it looks like these efforts are actually showing real-time results.

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