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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Feb 08, 2022
In FILMING THE POLICE
Without any dissent, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case that could have protected the public’s right to record on-duty police officers, but will instead make it even harder to hold police accountable. Failing to prevent police from threatening observers creates a “chilling effect” that undermines the freedom of the press, warned dozens of newspapers, magazines, and media companies in an amicus brief that urged the Supreme Court to take the case. For well over a decade, Denver has instructed its police officers to respect the public’s “right to record them performing their official duties in public spaces” and required police supervisors to attend a course on this First Amendment right. Nor was Denver an outlier: In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a “guidance on the right to record police activity” that unambiguously declared that “individuals have a First Amendment right to record police officers.” But in August 2014, that training was flatly ignored by multiple officers who tried to suppress footage depicting police brutality. With his Samsung tablet, Levi Frasier recorded an officer repeatedly punching a man in the face, after that man was wrestled out of the car and pinned down by police. After Frasier stopped filming, police demanded to see the video. Officer Christopher Evans allegedly told Frasier, “Well, we could do this the easy way or we could do this the hard way,” and pointed to the backseat of a squad car. Frasier saw that as a thinly veiled threat to arrest him. Soon, Frasier found himself encircled by five officers, including Evans, who suddenly snatched the tablet and searched (unsuccessfully) for the footage—all without a warrant. Fortunately, Frasier was able to provide Fox 31 News with a copy, which ran a story that November. After the altercation went public, the Denver Police Department modified its use-of-force policy, while Frasier sued the officers in federal court. Although he found partial success at first in the district court, the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw out his lawsuit. According to the Tenth Circuit, the officers were entitled to “qualified immunity,” which shields any and all government workers from legal liability, unless they violated a “clearly established” right. Even though Denver had instructed its officers since 2007 about the right to film police, the Tenth Circuit declared that “whatever training the officers received concerning the nature of Mr. Frasier’s First Amendment rights was irrelevant to the clearly-established-law inquiry.” Instead, “judicial decisions are the only valid interpretative source” that can clearly establish the law. Incredibly, the court then refused to decide whether there is a First Amendment right to record police. That effectively gives a free pass to any officer operating within the Tenth Circuit’s jurisdiction, which covers not just Denver and Colorado, but also Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. Moreover, by deeming training materials “irrelevant,” the Tenth Circuit’s rule in Frasier “undermines the executive’s ability to police its own officers,” which “violates fundamental separation-of-powers principles,” the Institute for Justice argued in its amicus brief. By setting policy, putting officers on notice, and supervising its employees, the executive branch (which includes law enforcement) places clear limits on the power of police officers. But the Tenth Circuit’s decision “prevents the executive from effectively training its own officers to respect the public’s constitutional rights.” Yet without training from the executive branch, “the only way to put officers on notice about their constitutional obligations would be for one officer to go too far, get sued, and for the circuit court to publish an opinion explaining why the conduct was wrong.” That leads to the “absurd result” seen in Frasier, where “despite fourteen years of training, officers can still claim qualified immunity for retaliating against a citizen-recorder today.” With its decision, the Tenth Circuit is a stark outlier. The First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, covering a diverse array of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, have all held that filming police is a “clearly established” First Amendment right. In addition, four federal appellate courts—the First, Second, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits—have held that training materials and law enforcement policies “are also relevant” for qualified-immunity analysis, not just court decisions. Attorneys for both sides did not respond to requests for comment. Written By Nick Sibilla Follow on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Feb 08, 2022
In NEWS
The court rejected the maps that the redistricting commission approved on Jan. 22, according to the ruling. It has previously rejected another version of the maps submitted on Jan. 12. “It is clear that the map drawers and the commission knew that their approach — starting with the invalidated map and switching competitive Republican-leaning districts to competitive Democratic-leaning districts — would have the dual effect of eliminating weak Republican districts and creating weak Democratic districts,” the ruling said. The ruling referenced new constitutional language for the state that requires districts to favor parties in proportion to the make up of the statewide vote, which is 54 percent Republican and 46 percent Democratic. But the court said that the latest plan that was submitted favored Republicans winning 58 percent of the seats.
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Feb 02, 2022
In NEWS
Joe Biden hasn’t yet picked a nominee to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, but conservatives already know that the nominee is unqualified. After all, Biden has vowed to nominate a Black woman. As New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait writes, conservative outlets are lamenting that Biden has elevated “skin color over qualifications,” accusing Biden of trying to foment “tribal warfare” and of engaging in “discrimination,” and insisting that the eventual nominee would be “an affirmative-action hire, a kind of a trophy in a display case. The token Black woman.”
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Oct 05, 2021
In NEWS
Effort aims to reduce false confessions, as other measures seek to reduce prison population and support restorative justice.
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Jun 14, 2021
In NEWS
A woman was killed and three people were injured when a car rammed into a group of protesters in the Minneapolis neighborhood where a Black man was fatally shot this month during an attempted arrest, police said Monday.
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Jun 05, 2021
In NEWS
A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms. https://apnews.com/article/california-gun-politics-government-and-politics-3d72caa3b52667b2a450cae41a087468?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
May 25, 2021
In NEWS
Texans will soon be allowed to carry handguns without a permit, background check or training. State lawmakers approved a controversial bill Monday that would lift some of the remaining gun-carry restrictions in the Lone Star State — and Gov. Greg Abbott has said he plans to sign it into law.
Texas to allow carrying handguns without permit or background check content media
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Ibrahem Alhaidari
VERIFIED
VERIFIED
Apr 08, 2021
In NEWS
https://wjla.com/news/local/va-on-the-verge-of-legalizing-recreational-marijuana-limited-cultivation
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