Civil Libertarians Are in Love with Big Brother’s Body Cameras

December 18, 2015 in News

Guillermo Jimenez | Call me a cynic, but it seems like the wool has been pulled over our eyes. Following a rash of police-brutality cases in recent years, civil libertarians across the country — and around the world, even — are now nearly in lockstep behind the idea of body cameras as a means to curb the use of excessive force.

Video Didn’t Save Eric Garner, Body Cameras Won’t Save You

December 16, 2014 in News

Guillermo Jimenez | Daniel Pantaleo choked a man to death on camera. He wrapped his arm around his victim’s neck and squeezed until the life escaped his body. The victim was, of course, Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black father of six, whose final words, “I can’t breathe,” have become a rallying cry for social justice…

Witness: Laredo Police Knew It Was a Pellet Gun When They Killed Jose Garza

September 5, 2014 in News

Guillermo Jimenez | An eyewitness to the police killing of Jose Walter Garza in Laredo, Texas, on Saturday has come forward to contradict the official account of events. In an interview with local, independent journalist Hector Cubillos, Gateway Truck Stop CFO Victor Treviño said police know…

#Narconoia Updates Move to Twitter

July 5, 2014 in TOR Blog

Danny Benavides | A quick note about the #Narconoia Updates on Traces of Reality. You can now stay up-to-date with news from the US-Mexico borderlands by following me on Twitter @Narconoia. Expect daily links in your timeline to stories and analysis surrounding Mexico’s narcos and the drugwar police state developing at home.

April Fool’s: Checkpoint Refusal in the Land of the Free

April 1, 2014 in TOR Blog

Guillermo Jimenez | (VIDEO) This is what a “checkpoint refusal” would look like in a free country. Produced by Reason, this video serves as a hilarious reminder that you are not free. April Fool’s? For TOR’s coverage of suspicionless Border Patrol checkpoints, check out the following links…

#Narconoia Update: Mar. 6, 2014

March 6, 2014 in News

#Narconoia Update | Since the arrest of El Chapo on February 22, the facts of the operation and the lead-up to the bust have come into better focus. Update includes: Chapo Continues to Make Headlines, News from the Constitution-Free Zone, and Madness in Michoacan

All Your Data Belongs to the State

January 7, 2014 in TOR Blog

Guillermo Jimenez | When it comes to suspicionless snooping and collection of our electronic data, the NSA is far from the only federal agency with their prying eyes in the game. Perhaps the most under-reported and least understood of these agencies is Customs and Border Protection, and the staggering authority…

The Police-Industrial-Entertainment Complex

December 2, 2013 in News

Radley Balko | In my book on police militarization, I have a section on the role pop culture has played in blurring the line between cops and soldiers, particularly with the onset of reality(ish) shows like A&E’s Dallas SWAT or Spike TV’s DEA. Over at the blog Gun Culture 2.0, sociologist David Yamane…

Drones, Tanks, and Grenade Launchers: Coming Soon to a Police Department Near You

November 20, 2013 in News

John W. Whitehead | Why does a police department which hasn’t had an officer killed in the line of duty in over 125 years in a town of less than 20,000 people need tactical military vests like those used by soldiers in Afghanistan? For that matter, why does a police department…

Assume the Position: In the Search for Drugs, the State Finds a New Low

November 13, 2013 in TOR Blog

Guillermo Jimenez | If not for the badge that designates the aggressors as duly authorized actors of the state, and therefore immune to the rules that you and I live by, this act of physical violence would be considered nothing less than first-degree rape.