Africans Outlaw Farting

January 31, 2011

MALAWI, AFRICA – Breaking wind is set to be made a crime in an African country.

The government of Malawi plan to punish persistent offenders ‘who foul the air’ in a bid to ‘mould responsible and disciplined citizens.’

But locals fear that pinning responsibility on the crime will be difficult – and may lead to miscarriages of justice as ‘criminals’ attempt to blame others for their offence.

One Malawian told the website Africanews.com: ‘My goodness. What happens in a public place where a group is gathered. Do they lock up half a minibus?

‘And how about at meetings where it is difficult to pinpoint ‘culprits’?

‘Children will openly deny having passed bad air and point at an elder. Culturally, this is very embarrassing,’ she said.

Another said: ‘We have serious issues affecting Malawians today. I do not know how fouling the air should take priority over regulating Chinese investments which do not employ locals, serious graft amongst legislators, especially those in the ruling party, and many more.’

The crime will be enforceable in a new ‘Local Court’ system which will also have powers to punish a range of other crimes in the bill set to be debated in the country’s parliament.

These include insulting the modesty of a woman, challenging to fight a duel, and trespassing on a burial place.

It also outlaws pretending to be a fortune teller, according to local press in the country.

Opposition leaders complain the new courts will be ‘kangaroo courts’.

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$5 Million Federal Lawsuit Charges Whitfield County Georgia Deputies With Torturing 29 Inmates At County Jail

January 31, 2011

WHITFIELD COUNTY, GEORGIA – Twenty-nine northwest Georgia inmates were forced to rub cream on their bodies and stand in their cells naked for 12 hours, according to federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed against the Whitfield County sheriff’s office in U.S. District Court in Rome, seeks $5 million in punitive damages, The Daily Citizen in Dalton reported. The suit contends the inmates were humiliated while behind bars at the Whitfield County jail in October.

A sheriff’s office captain told the newspaper the cream was an anti-lice treatment. Two members of the jail staff were disciplined following the incident, according to the report.

“They came into the dorm and told us to strip, and never told us why,” David Bennett, one of the two inmates that filed the suit, told the newspaper. “They said it’d be for a couple of hours with no covering. I’ve been in prison, but this had never happened. It seemed absurd to me. I was physically sick for a week afterward from the cold, and all because they think some 18-year-old kid who had left the day before had lice.”

Bennett has been arrested and booked 35 times at the Whitfield County jail since 1999, according to documents provided by the sheriff’s office. His most recent arrest in October was for sale of methamphetamine, use of a communication facility in drug transactions, felony probation violation and giving false information to officers, the newspaper reported.

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North Carolina Police Free To Collect DNA Without Warrants

January 31, 2011

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Tuesday marks the first day of a new law that allows law enforcement to take DNA from arrestees, not just those convicted of a crime.

The new state law begins February 1 and requires officers to take DNA samples from anyone charged with assault on handicapped persons, stalking, or any felony.

Previously, samples were only obtained from convicted felons with blood. Now officers can swab the inside of someone’s cheek to obtain DNA.

The samples will be sent to Raleigh for analysis and storage. They will be run against DNA taken from unsolved crimes to look for matches and stored to compare against evidence collected from crime scenes.

Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes previously said the extra effort will help solve a lot of cases.

The law requires a person’s sample be automatically removed from the state’s DNA database when the suspect is acquitted or charges are dismissed.

North Carolina’s DNA database, which is maintained by the State Bureau of Investigation, currently contains more than 200,000 profiles and has helped solve more than 1,900 cases since its inception.

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UK Immigration Officer Tried To Ditch His Wife By Adding Her To Terrorist Watch List And Hoping She Couldn’t Fly Home From Pakistan

January 31, 2011

UK – An immigration officer tried to rid himself of his wife by adding her name to a list of terrorist suspects.

He used his access to security databases to include his wife on a watch list of people banned from boarding flights into Britain because their presence in the country is ‘not conducive to the public good’.

As a result the woman was unable for three years to return from Pakistan after travelling to the county to visit family.

The tampering went undetected until the immigration officer was selected for promotion and his wife name was found on the suspects’ list during a vetting inquiry.

The Home Office confirmed today that the officer has been sacked for gross misconduct.

The incident is likely to raise new questions over levels of efficiency in the UK Border Agency, the organisation formed nearly three years ago by then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to take over all immigration controls.

It has been criticised for poor performance by the Parliamentary Ombudsman and has suffered its share of humiliating incidents – for example the incident 19 months ago when an illegal immigrant escaped from the channel tunnel port at Folkestone by clinging to the underside of a bus carrying Border Agency staff.

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* Jacqui Smith to make porn show for BBC: After her blue movie expenses humiliation, she’s doing a sex documentary on Radio 5

The Agency is charged with putting into operation the Coalition’s policy of reducing numbers of workers from outside Europe allowed into Britain.
Prime mover: Jacqui Smith set up the UK Border Agency three years ago, but these latest revelations have led to calls for tighter vetting

Prime mover: Jacqui Smith set up the UK Border Agency three years ago, but these latest revelations have led to calls for tighter vetting

A spokesman said: ‘We expect the highest levels of integrity. Allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated and we always take action swiftly where we find members of staff who have abused their position.

‘On the extremely rare occasions where this occurs, the strongest action is taken.’

The officer in the latest incident to come to light was employed by a unit maintaining watch lists.

He is understood to have worked at the Agency’s headquarters at Lunar House in Croydon, South London.

His wife visited family in Pakistan but when she tried to return to Britain she was not allowed onto the aircraft. Airline and immigration officials refused to explain to her why.

She was forced to remain in Pakistan for three years until her husband’s manipulation of the suspect list came to light.

He is understood to have applied for a promotion that would have meant a higher level of security clearance.

During the vetting process the name of his wife was discovered on the suspect list, to the surprise of security staff.

When questioned, the officer confessed to his alteration of the lists and was sacked.

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Audio File Surfaces Of Man Being Beaten By Westland Michigan Police Officers Michael Little And Kyle Dawley – Faced Bogus Charges And Was Convicted Of One

January 31, 2011

WESTLAND, MICHIGAN – An attorney plans to use an inadvertent 21-minute recording from an officer’s lapel microphone as grounds to overturn a misdemeanor conviction against a husband who allegedly was beaten by officers trying to mediate a dispute between the man and his wife.

The husband, Jeffrey Kodlowski, suspected his wife of cheating and initiated the March 18, 2009, incident when he took her cell phone in an attempt to prove her infidelity. Marlyn Kodlowski then began a series of phone calls to police that led to the arrival of officers Michael Little and Kyle Dawley to the Kodlowski residence on South Hanlon Street.

Jeffrey Kodlowski’s attorney, Joseph Corriveau, says the recording, captured by Little’s lapel microphone, shows the police overreached their authority and allegedly attacked his client, who was charged with assaulting the officers; he was acquitted of the assault charge and found guilty of resisting arrest.

Although assaulting a police officer is a felony in Michigan, Westland officials did not submit the case to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for review; instead, Kodlowski was charged in 29th District Court under city code violations of assault and resisting arrest.

“The audio shows these officers clearly stepped over the line,” said Corriveau, who filed a motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals in December, after Wayne Circuit Judge Craig Strong refused to hear the case on appeal.

“If the microphone hadn’t been on, this would’ve been just a ‘he said, she said’ situation. But the audio tells the story,” the attorney said.

Corriveau said he also plans to file a civil lawsuit against the police seeking damages for the beating, but is waiting to see how the appeal plays out first.

“(District Judge Mark McConnell) didn’t allow photos of my client’s injuries, or any mention of the beating these officers gave him,” Corriveau said. “The judge also wouldn’t let the jury see a transcript of the audio.”

Westland Deputy Chief Daniel Karrick said he couldn’t comment on the case because it was still being adjudicated, although he said there’s nothing unusual about trying assault cases against officers in district court.

“Most of those cases are charged as misdemeanors,” Karrick said. “I’d say 99 percent of our cases are charged that way.”
“Try to make me leave.”

The incident began at 4:01 a.m., when Marlyn Kodlowski called the Westland Police Department claiming her husband had taken her cell phone and car keys and wouldn’t allow her to leave the house. The desk officer asked to talk to her husband; Jeffrey Kodlowski told the officer, “There’s no fight, like hitting or nothing.”

“Let me ask you this — how come you won’t let her have the keys to leave?” the officer asked. Jeffrey Kodlowski agreed to give his wife the car keys, and the officer hung up.

Marlyn Kodlowski again called police at 4:12 a.m.

Little and Dawley arrived at 4:17 a.m. to find the woman sitting in her van outside the home. She told the officers her husband had handed over her keys and purse, but would not give up the cell phone. “He thinks I’m cheating on him,” she said.

She told the officers she planned to go to her sister’s house.

Corriveau said “it was obvious Mrs. Kodlowski was free to leave” when the police arrived. “At that point, they should have just left,” Corriveau said.

The officers instead entered the house and are heard ordering Jeffrey Kodlowski to give the cell phone to his wife. He refused.

“You don’t believe me or nothing I say; what because I’m the dude here?” he asked.

“You’re a loudmouth; you’re acting like a jerk,” Dawley said.

“Loudmouth? You’re in my house; no one’s yelling at you,” Jeffrey Kodlowski replied. “You come off with this pumping the chest and throwing your authority at me for nothing, dude. You have no right to sit here over a phone.”

“Because you’re acting like a jerk,” Dawley said.

“OK, well, I will act like a jerk and be quiet,” the husband said. “You have no right to sit here over a phone.”

Dawley cut him off: “Try to make me leave your house. Go for it.”

Jeffrey Kodlowski twice informed the officers that he’d had an operation for a brain aneurysm.
“Let’s take him.”

At one point, Marlyn Kodlowski and the officers tried to use her husband’s wallet as a bargaining chip to get Jeffrey Kodlowski to give up the phone.

Again he refused, saying he wanted to learn the code so he could see who his wife had been calling.

Jeffrey Kodlowski is later heard saying, “I’m the victim. I asked you guys to please leave; she’s got the keys to the car, she wants to leave. I talked to an officer on the phone; he said ‘Just give her the keys and go.'”

A few minutes later, Marlyn Kodlowski says she wants to leave. Her husband is heard saying, “I’m curious . . . this is my wallet there?”

“Don’t touch me,” Little said.

The officers later would say Jeffrey Kodlowski had spun Little around when he touched him, but no struggle is heard on the audio. Instead, Kodlowski apologizes twice.

Dawley then says to his partner, “You know what? Let’s take him. (Expletive) him.”

The sounds of a struggle are heard. “Nobody is touching him . . . I was pointing,” Jeffrey Kodlowski says.

“Don’t resist,” Dawley says.

The husband screams, “Man, dude. Ow, ow!”

“Stop resisting,” Dawley says.

“I ain’t doing nothing,” Kodlowski says. “He punched me in the face.”

Marlyn Kodlowski then begs the officers, “Stop, stop. My son is outside.”

“Go outside with your son,” Little says.

“Don’t touch him,” Marlyn Kodlowski says. “You guys, stop. Oh please, you guys.”

When the struggle was over, Jeffrey Kodlowski was bleeding profusely from a huge gash in his head, and is allegedly rushed to Annapolis Hospital.

Curt Benson, a professor at Cooley School of Law, said police officers are required to leave a private residence once they determine no crime has been committed, even if they were invited inside.

“If they believe someone has committed a crime, they can make an arrest,” he said. “But in a case like this, if they weren’t sure who owned the phone, as long as there was no evidence of a crime, they should have told them to talk to a lawyer. They’re required to leave if they’re asked to leave and there’s no crime.

“The problem is, some people use the police as arbitrators in family squabbles,” Benson said. “The police know that, and their job is to de-escalate the situation. It doesn’t sound like that’s what happened here.”

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Appeals Court Overturns Sentence By Albany New York Federal Judge Gary L. Sharpe – Based Prison Term On “As-Of-Yet Undiscovered” Child Pornography Gene – Dumbass

January 30, 2011

ALBANY, NEW YORK – A federal appeals court in Manhattan overturned a six-and-a-half-year sentence in a child pornography case on Friday, saying the judge who imposed it improperly found that the defendant would return to viewing child pornography “because of an as-of-yet undiscovered gene.”

The judge, Gary L. Sharpe of Federal District Court in Albany, was quoted as saying, “It is a gene you were born with. And it’s not a gene you can get rid of,” before he sentenced the defendant, Gary Cossey, in December 2009.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said in ruling on the defendant’s appeal, “It would be impermissible for the court to base its decision of recidivism on its unsupported theory of genetics.”

Judges Amalya L. Kearse, John M. Walker Jr. and Rosemary S. Pooler ruled that a sentence relying on findings not supported in the record “seriously affects the fairness, integrity and public reputation of judicial proceedings.”

The panel ordered that Mr. Cossey be resentenced by a different judge, a step it said was taken only where a judge’s fairness or the appearance of fairness was in doubt. “This is one such instance,” the panel said.

Judge Sharpe, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, has been a district judge since 2004. His chambers declined to comment.

Mr. Cossey, who had pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, said at his sentencing that he felt therapy was “helping me tremendously in a lot of ways,” a transcript shows.

But the panel said that Judge Sharpe had rejected two psychological evaluations that found Mr. Cossey was “at a low to moderate risk to reoffend,” and that the judge told Mr. Cossey that the “opinions of the psychologists and the psychiatrists as to what harm you may pose to those children in the future is virtually worthless here.”

Prosecutors argued that Mr. Cossey might again violate the law because he was found to have continued viewing child pornography after an initial investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the ruling said.

The panel quoted Judge Sharpe as telling the defendant, “I’m not sure there’s any answer for what I see here beyond what I’m about to tell ya,” and predicting that in 50 years, Mr. Cossey’s conduct is likely to be found to have been caused by a gene.

“You are what you’re born with. And that’s the only explanation for what I see here,” the judge said.

Mr. Cossey’s lawyer, George E. Baird Jr., declined to comment, as did William C. Pericak, a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Albany.

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Los Angeles California School Police Officer Jeff Stenroos Arrested, Charged After Bogus Police Report Saying He Had Been Shot

January 28, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Authorities arrested Los Angeles school police Officer Jeff Stenroos on suspicion of filing a false police report after he allegedly admitted to fabricating a story that he had been shot last week in Woodland Hills, according to a senior LAPD official close to the investigation.

The official said investigators are still piecing together how Stenroos pulled off the alleged hoax, which sparked a dragnet that inconvenienced thousands of people after police shut down a large swath of Woodland Hills in search of the supposed gunman.

The source added that Stenroos’ protective vest showed obvious signs of having been struck by a bullet, and the officer also suffered bruising on his chest. Detectives later raised questions about whether the officer shot himself accidentally and then fabricated a story or concocted the whole scenario.

The source declined to say whether additional arrests would be made in the case.

“Obviously, it’s as shocking to us as it is to anyone else,” Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department, said Thursday night.

Zipperman, who recently left the Los Angeles Police Department, where he had been a captain, said his department is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

The president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League called the incident an “embarrassment to law enforcement.”

“The law enforcement community is disgusted,” Paul M. Weber said in a statement. “While Mr. Stenroos is a disgrace to his badge, his individual and dangerous actions should not reflect on the hardworking men and women in law enforcement.”

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