Controlling Crime Through Media and Public Relations

Highlights Law enforcement and justice agencies get to tell their story through proactive media and public relations. We decide how our story is told. We are no longer dependant on the media. This is revolutionary! The public needs to be involved and take ownership of crime problems. Editor’s Note I am doing a seminar on […]

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Highlights Law enforcement and justice agencies get to tell their story through proactive media and public relations. We decide how our story is told. We are no longer dependant on the media. This is revolutionary! The public needs to be involved and take ownership of crime problems. Editor’s Note I am doing a seminar on […]

The post Controlling Crime Through Media and Public Relations appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

DOJ, State AGs to Discuss Tech Firms’ Anti-Conservative ‘Bias’

The Justice Department warned that leading technology companies may be “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas” and hurting competition, an ominous development for an industry already under fire from Capitol Hill, President Trump and a range of conservative critics.

The Justice Department warned that leading technology companies may be “intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas” and hurting competition, an ominous development for an industry already under fire from Capitol Hill, President Trump and a range of conservative critics, the Washington Post reports. The DOJ statement, which didn’t elaborate on the allegation or explicitly threaten legal action, echoed tweets by Trump claiming that the technology industry was biased against conservatives. The White House threatened new regulation of the search giant Google, which legal experts said would violate constitutional protections on free speech.

The Justice Department made its announcement at the conclusion of a Senate hearing in which Facebook and Twitter executives faced sharp questioning on allegations that social media platforms mute conservative voices. The government action, including a coming meeting between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and several state attorneys general, alarmed the technology industry. It has been playing defense for nearly two years over allegations that it failed to combat the spread of phony news reports and Russian disinformation during the 2016 presidential election. Legal experts expressed concern that the rising political pressure over unproved allegations of bias will end up chilling constitutionally protected speech by technology companies. The meeting with state attorneys general will “discuss a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms,” DOJ said. The Sessions meeting with the state attorneys general is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Sandy Hook Parents Press Alex Jones Defamation Case

Lawyers for parents of Noah Pozner, killed in the 2012 Newtown school shooting, will be in court to argue their case against Alex Jones of Infowars, who has contended that the shooting was an elaborate hoax.

In the five years since Noah Pozner was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., death threats and online harassment have forced his parents, Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner, to relocate seven times. They now live in a high-security community hundreds of miles from where their 6-year-old is buried. On Wednesday in an Austin, Tx., courtroom, the struggle of the Sandy Hook families to hold to account Alex Jones, a powerful leader of this online community, will reach a crossroads, the New York Times reports.  Lawyers for Noah Pozner’s parents will seek to convince a Texas judge that they and families of eight other victims in the 2012 shooting that killed 20 first graders and six adults have a valid defamation claim against Jones, whose Austin-based Infowars media operation spread false claims that the shooting was an elaborate hoax.

The Pozner hearing is a bellwether in three cases filed by relatives of nine Sandy Hook victims. It comes as the social media platforms Jones relies on to spread incendiary claims try to curb him. On Thursday in the same courthouse is a hearing in a separate defamation case against Jones brought by Marcel Fontaine, who was falsely identified on Infowars’ website as the gunman in the Parkland, Fl., school shooting in February.  Jones is trying to have the cases dismissed under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which protects citizens’ right to free speech against plaintiffs who aim to silence them through costly litigation. He seeks $100,000 in court costs from the Pozner family. Jones gained a national spotlight and millions of followers after President Trump appeared on his show during the campaign, praising his reputation as “amazing.” Last week, Jones broadcast a bizarre accusation that special counsel Robert Mueller was involved in a child sex ring.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Will the Roberts Court Defend Online Fake News?

A professor at the University of California Davis School of Law predicts Supreme Court justices will defend the First Amendment principles of free speech against government attempts to curb Internet abuses—even when those abuses involve promoting falsehoods online.

How will the Roberts Supreme Court weigh in on the emerging debate over how to prevent the abuse of online media and social networks?

A forthcoming paper argues that, although the justices are now evenly divided between “technology optimists and technology pessimists,” they are likely to defend the principles of free speech against attempts to regulate content on the Internet.

Ashutosh Bhagwat, a law professor at the University of California Davis School of Law, bases his prediction on several recent rulings—although he notes that it is “astonishing” that Internet and free speech issues have rarely been addressed in the 12 years since Chief Justice John Roberts was appointed.

“It seems inevitable that going forward, this is going to change,” Bhagwat writes in an article scheduled for publication this month in the Washington University Law Review.

“Recent calls to regulate ‘fake news’ and otherwise impose filtering obligations on search engines and social media companies will inevitably raise important and difficult First Amendment issues.”

Basing his analysis on reviews of several cases brought before the Roberts Court, Bhagwat identifies Justices Roberts and Samuel Alito as the “pessimist” justices most in favor of stricter regulation; and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan as those most aligned with defending free speech.

The remaining justices—Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer and Neil Gorsuch—are somewhere in the middle, he writes.

According to Bhagwat, the court’s future rulings on Internet issues can be gleaned from an analysis of several recent cases that touched on free speech and technology, most recently Brown v Entertainment Merchants Association (2011), and Packingham v. North Carolina (2017).

Packingham concerned a challenge to a North Carolina statute that forbade any registered sex offender from accessing a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages.

The Court upheld the challenge, ruling the statute unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, held that First Amendment protections could be constitutionally extended to the “vast democratic forums of the Internet…and social media in particular.”

The Court’s decision in a non-Internet case, United States v. Alvarez, which upheld an individual’s right to make a false claim that he had received the congressional Medal of Honor, made clear that “even intentional falsehoods are entitled to some level of First Amendment protection, and there is no reason to expect that principle not to be extended” to cyberspace, Bhagwat wrote.

“Given the enormous risk of self-serving political manipulation or bias posed by government regulation of social media falsehoods on political topics, I would expect all the Justices to balk” at similar attempts to discipline the use of so-called fake news, he added.

Why Supreme Court Justices lean one way or another is uncertain, but Bhagwat argues the Roberts Court’s approach to free speech issues reflects the “longstanding tension in American political thinking between Jeffersonians who embrace change and individual autonomy at the cost of occasional disorder; and Hamiltonians, who embrace order at the cost of occasional limits on liberty.”

But the paper finds that more Justices lean in the direction of free speech and openness when it comes to regulating technology.

“I think it likely, but not certain, that a working majority of the Roberts Court will vote to fend off heavy-handed efforts to assert state control over new technology such as the Internet and social media,” he writes.

He cautions that for the “technology optimists” to succeed in future cases they only have to persuade one of the three “uncertain” Justices, whereas the technology pessimists would have to persuade all three.

Nevertheless, he adds, the most critical element in shaping how the Constitution is interpreted on these issues will be the regulatory initiatives emanating from Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and state legislatures.

“If past history is any guide, content-neutral structural regulations such as the Net Neutrality policy adopted by the Obama-era FCC (and recently repealed by the Trump-era FCC) are likely to fare well in courts and the Court, especially given the existence of precedent, authored notably by Justice Kennedy, upholding similar structural regulations of cable television,” writes Bhagwat.

The full report can be downloaded here.

This summary was prepared by TCR news intern John Ramsey. Readers’ comments are welcome.

Facebook Bans Violence, Crime and Criminal Behavior-Is That Possible?

Observations Facebook is banning violence, crime and criminal behaviors from its platform (see guidelines below). Social media is now a super-highway for mass murderers and their grievances. It’s also used for day-to-day criminal activity. Can offenders communicate criminal intentions without being obvious? Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning […]

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Observations Facebook is banning violence, crime and criminal behaviors from its platform (see guidelines below). Social media is now a super-highway for mass murderers and their grievances. It’s also used for day-to-day criminal activity. Can offenders communicate criminal intentions without being obvious? Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning […]

The post Facebook Bans Violence, Crime and Criminal Behavior-Is That Possible? appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Police-Justice Public Relations Suck

Observations Within law enforcement and the overall justice system, we are our own worst enemies through a lack of aggressive media and public relations. My book, “Success With The Media,” outlines a comprehensive, doable gameplan, Amazon. I offer additional suggestions in this article. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of […]

The post Police-Justice Public Relations Suck appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

Observations Within law enforcement and the overall justice system, we are our own worst enemies through a lack of aggressive media and public relations. My book, “Success With The Media,” outlines a comprehensive, doable gameplan, Amazon. I offer additional suggestions in this article. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of […]

The post Police-Justice Public Relations Suck appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

The value of your professional networking relationships

Guest Blogger: Lt. Christopher Cook, Arlington, Texas, Police Department Most of you can probably remember when you were a rookie officer or an entry-level professional team member with your organization. The thought of professional networking likely meant making friends with … Continue reading

Guest Blogger: Lt. Christopher Cook, Arlington, Texas, Police Department

Most of you can probably remember when you were a rookie officer or an entry-level professional team member with your organization. The thought of professional networking likely meant making friends with those inside your organization or meeting colleagues at neighboring agencies. As you moved up the ladder or received a specialized assignment that had more influence, networking opportunities probably presented themselves in greater frequency.

Your membership in the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is one way to extend your professional network. I have been involved with the IACP since 2011 and served as the Chair for the Public Information Officers (PIO) Section since 2015. In my many travels to conferences, forums, and other meetings, I have made many friends along the way and built strong relationships with agencies across the globe.

I can recall many times reaching out to my peers at agencies from coast to coast to get expert advice and guidance on issues that I was facing in my hometown organization. It was always refreshing to know that some of my peer contacts had already dealt with similar situations and could offer help when I needed it most.

I wanted to take a moment and share a recent exchange between my home agency and one in California and Florida. Back in early April, Kaitlyn Perez, Community Affairs Director for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, reached out to me because a suspect they were looking for happened to be traveling through the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The result was coordinating a joint arrest of the suspect and ensuring the right messaging was put out on social media. Through our prior knowledge of one another, the telephone and email exchange went flawlessly. Ultimately, the community messaging from Sarasota was wonderfully orchestrated.

In a second but unrelated turn of events, the Arlington, Texas, Police Department where I work came across two videos that depicted youth violence and gang activity. While I reported the videos to Google as a violation of their terms of service, I did not get anywhere with removing the videos from the public YouTube site. I reached out to my colleague and friend, Captain Chris Hsiung of the Mountain View, California, Police Department, since I knew Google had business assets in the Mountain View community. As luck would have it, Captain Hsiung was able to connect me with a retired Mountain View lieutenant who works as the lead in Google’s Global Security Operations Center. This allowed us to expedite the request to have YouTube remove the two videos. YouTube removed the videos almost instantaneously after the connection was made.

It was then my honor to return a favor to Mountain View when they reached out to Arlington about our practices on releasing body-worn camera footage. Captain Hsiung inquired into best practices when preparing to release footage of a YouTube shooting suspect encounter. The insights would be instrumental in assisting the agency with their media push and strategy.

These are great examples of the value of belonging to professional organizations which allow you to grow and expand influence during important incidents. During the next IACP conference that you attend, be sure to get out and meet new people, exchange business cards, and forge new friendships. You just never know when you may have to call upon another colleague to get some help.

from https://theiacpblog.org

Is Social Media Responsible for Bill Cosby’s Takedown?

Experts argue that social media has given sexual assault victims the platform they need to come forward and speak out. But prosecutors need to do their part and file charges against powerful men, one lawyer said.

Social media was a key factor in the prosecution of actor and comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, formerly of Temple University, experts told The Crime Report.

Victims can now come forward with “the push of a button” said Jeff Herman, a lawyer in Boca Raton, Fl., who handles sexual abuse cases. “We saw a flood of victims coming forward on social media, which created a platform for women to join together and support each other.”

Herman noted that in the days before the internet, powerful men like Bill Cosby engaged in “bad behavior” and could use their power to protect themselves. Consequently, victims felt they had no voice.

Cosby’s case was the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-in-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad, the Associated Press reports.

Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors had more courtroom weapons at their disposal than they did the first time: They put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, who has been married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. Cosby is expected to argue in an appeal that the other women should not have been allowed to take the stand.

By the time the verdict was read on Thursday, the public view of Cosby had fully shifted, but it took more than a decade, and a previously hung jury, to get to this point, noted Columbia Journalism Review. 

It was nearly 12 years ago that Philadelphia magazine published the first investigation into sexual assault allegations against hometown hero Cosby. The story said that Constand’s accusations might “amount to nothing, yet there is also the possibility that [they] will bubble up to destroy him.”

On Thursday, Cosby lashed out loudly at District Attorney Kevin Steele after the prosecutor demanded Cosby be sent immediately to jail. Steele told the judge Cosby has an airplane and might flee. Cosby angrily denied he has a plane and called Steele an “a–hole,” shouting, “I’m sick of him!”

In 2015, Steele made good on his promise to prosecute Cosby, a move that Wendy Murphy, a lawyer in Boston who specializes in crimes against women and children, said was “worthy of a prosecutor” in an interview with The Crime Report.

Murphy emphasized the importance of Steele’s decision to prosecute Cosby.

“We need to take page from the playbook of Kevin Steele and use it in counties across the country” she said. “He should be the standard bearer on what a worthy prosecutor looks like. What a worthy prosecutor does. If we don’t do that, this case will not have turned a chapter.”

For Murphy, Cosby’s case has three important messages for society:

1. To men like Cosby … beware. You may have thought you could get away with this, but that has obviously changed and you cannot expect to get away with it. You may end up behind bars.

2. To women and victims, no matter who you are in society or how long ago your case happened, you should report it and speak up because it is never too late for justice. In whatever form it happens.

3. Every prosecutor who doesn’t file rape charges on the grounds that it doesn’t matter because women’s lives aren’t that important may find himself out of a job.

The system is moving in the right direction, but it remains to be seen whether prosecutors will fall in line, she concluded.

Megan Hadley is a reporter for The Crime Report. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Facebook ‘Black Lives Matter’ Page Was a Scam

For at least a year, the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam with ties to a middle-aged white man in Australia, CNN reports. The page, titled simply “Black Lives Matter,” had almost 700,000 followers on Facebook, more than twice as many as the official Black Lives Matter page.

For at least a year, the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam with ties to a middle-aged white man in Australia, a review of the page and associated accounts and websites conducted by CNN shows. The page, titled simply “Black Lives Matter,” had almost 700,000 followers on Facebook, more than twice as many as the official Black Lives Matter page. It was tied to online fundraisers that brought in at least $100,000 that supposedly went to Black Lives Matter causes in the U.S. At least some of the money, was transferred to Australian bank accounts.

Fundraising campaigns associated with the Facebook page were suspended by PayPal and Patreon after CNN contacted each of the companies for comment. Donorbox and Classy had already removed the campaigns. The discovery raises new questions about the integrity of Facebook’s platform and the content hosted there. In the run-up to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress this week, Facebook announced plans to make the people running large pages verify their identity and location. It’s not clear that the change would affect this page: Facebook has not said what information about page owners it will disclose to the public. Facebook initially said the page didn’t violate its “Community Standards.” After almost a week of emails and calls between CNN and Facebook, Facebook suspended the page, and then only because it had suspended a user account that administered the page. Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, said Black Lives Matter had, suspecting the page was a scam, contacted Facebook about removing it a few months ago.

from https://thecrimereport.org

D.C. Police Chief Blocks Two Twitter Followers

Chief Peter Newsham cited tweets he calls “cruel and nasty.” His actions may set up a test of whether public officials violate the First Amendment when they weed out critics on social media.

Brendan Orsinger does not like Washington, D.C.’s police chief. He has made his views clear on Twitter, writing “Peter Newsham is a liability to this city,” and calling officers “a bunch of violent bullies.” Newsham, citing tweets he calls “cruel and nasty” — and sometimes inaccurate — blocked his 36-year-old social-media antagonist, and at least one other activist on Twitter. They can no longer follow @ChiefNewsham or see the chief’s tweets, the Washington Post reports. Advocates of open government argue that Newsham, along with other elected and appointed public officials across the U.S. who have weeded out critics on social media, are running afoul of the First Amendment. Hitting Twitter’s “block” key, they argue, is akin to government cracking down on speakers in what has become the nation’s new town square.

The District’s police chief has joined the legal debate over the intersection of social media, transparent government and communicating with the public. The Supreme Court could end up deciding whether the First Amendment applies to public forums run by government officials on the Internet. The American Civil Liberties Union took Maryland’s governor to court over the issue, and another group is suing President Trump. In Virginia, a federal judge ruled that the chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County, Va., violated the U.S. Constitution by blocking a critical Facebook follower for 12 hours. That decision is being appealed. Newsham set up his @ChiefNewsham Twitter account in 2016 and had posted nearly 400 times as of Friday . He has a modest 1,294 followers.. The account is separate from the main police Twitter account, @DCPoliceDept, which has more than 200,000 followers and sends alerts on shootings, robberies, carjackings, missing persons, as well videos of crime suspects who are being sought. No one has been blocked from that account.

from https://thecrimereport.org