Activists Build Their Own Facial Recognition System to ID Bad Cops Who Hide Badges

“Beat them at their own game.” “Flip the script.” “Give them a taste of their own medicine.” Any of these phrases will apply to the absolutely ingenious measures taken by  activists who are creating their own facial recognition systems to identify cops who hide their badges.

As TFTP reported during the George Floyd protests, across the country, in dozens of cities, cops were doling out unprecedented violence in the face of angry protests stemming from unchecked police brutality. Though Floyd’s death was the flash point of the unrest, the uprising represented something far deeper — systemic abuse by law enforcement of minorities, the poor, and everyone else not directly connected to the establishment. Countless incidents throughout this unrest involved officers who could not be identified and as a result of their anonymous instigation and violence, there has been no accountability.

In multiple states, police have been seemingly taking measures to avoid this accountability by removing their name tags or covering their badges. This is in direct violation of most departments’ policies. But no politicians, mayors, governors, or mainstream media seem to care.

Cops hiding their identification is ominous for two reasons. The first reason being that they can enact brutality against the innocent and we do not know who they are to hold them accountable. The second reason is the fact that anyone can dress up like a cop with no badge number and start doing whatever they want, up to and including inciting violence, detaining people, or any other numerous unscrupulous acts.

As we reported at the time, many of these departments appeared to have been given orders from the top down to cover their badge numbers and remove their name plates. This is not acceptable and thanks to a self-taught programmer, Christopher Howell, it no longer has to be.

Howell created a program that identifies cops who were permitted by their supervisors to cover their names while responding to protests.

“I am involved with developing facial recognition to in fact use on Portland police officers, since they are not identifying themselves to the public,” Howell told the NY Times.

Because Portland made it illegal to use facial recognition against the police, Howell had some barriers to using his software. However, as the NY Times reports, Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, told Mr. Howell that his project was “a little creepy,” but a lawyer for the city clarified that the bills would not apply to individuals. The Council then passed the legislation in a unanimous vote.

“There’s a lot of excessive force here in Portland,” Howell told the NY Times. “Knowing who the officers are seems like a baseline.”

This self-taught computer programmer has since created a system that has led to flipping the script on police accountability.

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National Guard Spy Plane Monitored Racial Justice Protest in Sleepy Sacramento Suburb Where Commander Lives: Report

Residents of a Sacramento suburb were left scratching their heads and asking questions on Sunday following a report that a National Guard spy plane was deployed to the largely gated community—where the commander of the California National Guard resides—to monitor racial justice protests earlier this year. 

The Los Angeles Times reports RC-26 reconnaissance planes were deployed to monitor protests in three major cities in early June: Washington, D.C., Phoenix, and Minneapolis, where police killed George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, on May 25.

A fourth RC-26  was dispatched to an unlikely location: the affluent Sacramento suburb of El Dorado Hills, where it—along with an Air National Guard Lakota helicopter—watched protesters below. 

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Nearly 1 In 4 College Students Say They’ll ‘Likely’ Protest If Trump Wins Election, Survey Says

Around 40% of college students said they will likely or certainly protest if President Donald Trump wins the election, according to an Axios poll released Friday.

Exactly 22% of students surveyed said they are likely to protest and 17% said they will protest should Trump win the 2020 election, the College Reaction/Axios survey found. More students, 30%, said they would not protest if Trump won and 31% said they are not likely to protest a Trump victory.

“The dissatisfaction with the status quo is also reflected by the number of students who are willing to protest Trump reelection with 40% of college students saying they will likely or certainly participate in protests,” the survey said.

Only 1% said they are “absolutely certain” to protest if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the election, according to the survey. Almost three quarters, 70%, said they “absolutely will not” protest if Biden wins the 2020 election.

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The Portland Police Bureau began using tear gas on Black Lives Matters protesters almost as soon as they first assembled in late May. Mayor Ted Wheeler acknowledged that the city has used “CS” tear gas. The commonly used formulation contains 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, a compound that was designed to induce immediate pain but can also have long-term effects, including chronic bronchitis. In early September, Wheeler ordered the police to stop using it. Tear gas is banned in war but can be used to disperse crowds of civilians.

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NEW YORK POLICE deliberately assaulted dozens of peaceful protesters, medics, and legal observers in one of this summer’s most violently repressed protests, trapping people in the streets past a city-imposed curfew before beating and arresting them in what Police Commissioner Dermot Shea described as “a plan which was executed nearly flawlessly.”

At least 236 people were arrested at the June 4 protest in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx, and at least 61 were injured by police, with some left with broken noses and fingers, lost teeth, and potential nerve damage, according to a detailed report released on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch. “The police response to the peaceful Mott Haven protest was intentional, planned, and unjustified,” the report concluded. “The protest was peaceful until the police responded with violence.”

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Police Apologize For Deploying Taser Shields To Use Against Protesters

The Shelby County Sheriff’s office in Tennesee has come under fire after deploying taser shields to protests that sprang up in response to the lack of charges against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor. After the strange shields were noticed by a group of protesters who gathered in front of the Criminal Justice Center, and images of the shields went viral online, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner was forced to apologize for the deployment of the shields, calling it a “regrettable mistake.”

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said that Bonner has “directed policy modifications that will prohibit those shields from being displayed or used outside of the Jail again.”

According to WREG, the sheriff’s office recently upgraded to the newest e-shields in July 2020 but has had other “less lethal shock shields” since a jail riot in the 1990s. The shields reportedly cost $895 each.

Police often use shields as weapons during protests. Just this week, an LA County Sheriff’s deputy was seen on film repeatedly striking a protester with a riot shield. Luckily, in that case, it was just a normal riot shield and not a taser shield, but one could imagine how much more dangerous these encounters could be if these devices were commonly deployed by police departments across the country. Luckily, there were no reports of the taser shields being used on any of the protesters in Tennessee.

Hunter Demster, one of the activists that saw the officers wielding the shields suggested that they were being used to intimidate the protesters.

“They are scary looking and once again I think that’s the point, to chill our 1st Amendment-protected rights,” Demster told Fox13 Memphis.

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U-Haul Seen Distributing Shields, Weapons to Louisville Rioters Rented to Holly Zoller of Soros-Connected Louisville Bail Project

The U-Haul that began distributing riot supplies in Louisville immediately following the announcement that no officers would be charged for Breonna Taylor’s death was rented to Holly Zoller of the Louisville Bail Initiative.

The pre-parked truck was loaded with shields painted with anti-police messages, umbrellas, gas masks, and other riot supplies.

Zoller confirmed it was her in a phone call from a concerned citizen who pretended to work for the rental company. You can listen to it in full at the end of this article.

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