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Fresno Police Department to become Fresno Spy Agency

Posted by Rick · August 22nd, 2006 · 1 Comment

The Fresno Police Department — one of the only police departments in any city the size of Fresno to operate without any kind of citizen oversight whatsoever — has decided that they no longer need to be bound by the United States Constitution or the courts.

Recently, it was decided that the city would fund video surveillance activities of the Fresno Police Department. A related proposal to give the FPD the shorter, catchier, and more accurate moniker “Gestapo” failed by a vote of 147 to 151. (Okay, I made that last part up. The vote was actually quite a bit lower. We don’t really have that many city councilmen yet.)

Funding for the project was contingent upon acceptance of a policy manual which was to be written with community input. Apparently, though, the FPD did not like the recommendations of the community — recommendations aimed at protecting civil rights by refusing to allow the FPD to film peaceful rallies, or to follow people around and film them without warrants. So the FPD changed the wording of the policy manual. They not only excluded the sections that placed limitations upon the police, but wrote new sections that explicitly said the police were allowed to follow people around and film them wtihout first obtaining warrants (as they are currently required to do) and also said they could film demonstrations or rallies of any kind.

In other words, there doesn’t need to be any ordinary police issue involved. No criminality or threat of criminality is required. If the police want to film you, they film you. Period. No court order, warrant or probable cause required.

Thinks that’s not a problem? Apparently, you’ve never had the pleasure of accidentally “disrespecting” a police officer by taking a parking space he wanted when he was off-duty and you didn’t even know he was a police officer.

Remember what I’ve written before about America being a police state? You thought that was hyperbole.

Well, how do you define “police state”?

For more information, see the following pages:

Categories: Civil Rights


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