Security robot taken off streets after allegations it was harassing homeless people in San Francisco

Knightscope Inc. CEO William Santana security robot

    

Organisation that deployed the robot denies the intent was to disrupt those sleeping rough

A security robot has been pulled from the streets amid claims the machine was harassing homeless people.

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had deployed the robot to try and bolster security and reduce crimes, like car break-ins and vandalism, that had become rampant on the SPCA’s campus, the organisation’s president said in a statement.

The robot’s intent was “not to disrupt homeless people”, Dr Jennifer Scarlett said.


Comment: Err… The robot had an intent?

But local media reports quoted people living in a nearby homeless encampment saying they felt targeted, with Dr Scarlett telling the San Francisco Business Times that people erecting a camp “put a tarp over it, knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors”. She said sidewalks around the organisation’s campus were often cluttered with “needles and tents and bikes”.


Comment: For future reference, when the robots finally rebel against their human masters, make sure you have some barbecue sauce in stock.

Since a report on those concerns went viral, Dr Scarlett said: “We’ve received hundreds of messages inciting violence and vandalism against our facility, and encouraging people to take retribution.”

She added: “We are a nonprofit that is extremely sensitive to the issues of homelessness.

“We provide essential animal welfare services to the animal companions of homeless individuals, including twice monthly mobile clinics that offer free services to people and pets that otherwise might not have access to training or veterinary care.”

“We piloted the robot programme in an effort to improve the security around our campus and to create a safe atmosphere for staff, volunteers, clients and animals,” she said. “Clearly, it backfired.”

Knightscope, the company that manufactures the robot, slammed as false “sensationalised reports” that the autonomous patellar was “brought in to clear area of homeless individuals”.

“Our client has right to protect their property, employees and visitors. SPCA has reported fewer car break-ins and overall improved safety and quality of the surrounding area,” the company said in a tweet.

In a subsequent Twitter message, Knightscope CEO William Santana Li said the company’s goal was “to make the United States of America the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone”.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/371447-Security-robot-taken-off-streets-after-allegations-it-was-harassing-homeless-people-in-San-Francisco

‘Because You’re White!’: Teens Record Cop Harassing Them For Their Skin Color

teensteens

Chicago, IL — A Lake Villa police officer is in hot water after a group of teens secretly filmed him going off on a racist tirade. Lake Villa Police Department detective Esteban Gomez is now ‘YouTube Famous’ after telling a teen he is harassing him “because he’s white.”

Dezi Baczek, the teen who recorded the video, explained to the local news station that she was with friends at a local pawn shop, selling an item so her little brother could buy a book he wanted. When they came out of the shop, Gomez accosted them.

“I was yelled at to sit down,” Baczek told NBC 5. “I said, ‘What’s the reason?’ And he said sit down or I could turn around and be arrested, so I sat down at that point.”

After she sat down, Baczek pulled out her phone to record this belligerent peace officer.

In the video, Gomez is seen screaming at one of the teens who asked what he did wrong. He then starts to yell and says, “Wanna be hard with me? Be hard with me, go ahead. Think you’re a tough guy?”

In an attempt to intimidate the teens, Gomez starts to walk away and then turns around and says, “Who’s got the weed on them?”

The group reacts to his comment and Gomez turns around once again as he’s walking away and says “Did someone say fuck off?”

The group responds and says, “no,” just as Gomez points at two of the teens and says “You and you.”

As NBC 5 reports, police said the detective was conducting a theft investigation at the time and was questioning someone in the group. While the remaining members of the group sat on the curb, one teen can be heard in the video recording asking why he’s being detained.

“Because I’m a teen? Because I have baggy pants?” the teen asks, just before the cop lost his demeanor and turned back to the group.

“Because you’re white!” barked Gomez just before walking away again.

“I was speechless,” Baczek said. “Like I wasn’t comprehending what he actually said for a minute.”

After she saw the video, Baczek’s mom call the Lake Villa Police Department to file a complaint against Gomez.

“I was outraged. I was very upset,” Missy Maczek said. “I felt like we were being outcasted because we’re white, which is just unheard of.”

Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville said Detective Esteban Gomez reported the group of teens was accompanying the suspect of a theft investigation at the pawn shop and one of the group members gave the officer a false name. That person was charged with obstructing police, according to NBC 5.

“When the subject questioned Gomez about his arrest, Gomez reacted by answering the teens [sic] inquiry with an inappropriate response,” Somerville said in a statement.

Somerville claimed that Gomez knew about the video and told him before it went viral. However, no statement was released until the video was picked up by local media.

“Det. Gomez admitted his words were poorly chosen and insensitive and he immediately regretted what he had said,” Somerville said. “The Lake Villa Police Department does not condone this type of behavior of its officers.”

Somerville claimed that Gomez was disciplined “for behavior unbecoming an officer.” However, no details of the alleged ‘discipline’ were released publicly and Gomez remains on active duty.

“I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by what is depicted on this video,” Somerville’s statement read. “This occurred on my watch and I assume full responsibility.”

If a non-law enforcement worker acted the way this detective did, while on the job, they would most assuredly be fired immediately. Instead, this man will get a pension and golden parachute at the taxpayer’s expense.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/youre-white-cop-tells-teens-hes-harassing-skin-color/

Cop Suspended in Retaliation For Him Reporting That His Supervisor Had Been Sexually Harassing Women


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A new lawsuit has been filed against the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff, his then-chief deputy, and the Madison County Commission by a longtime deputy who claims he was punished for aiding a female colleague facing sexual harassment at work.

Deputy Gregory Gray, a veteran member of the office’s SWAT team, alleges he was discriminated against and faced retailiation for attempting to help then-Deputy Shelby Holt.

Holt has also sued claiming she was fired for reporting harassment by a supervisor.

That lawsuit alleges that Holt faced numerous instances of sexual harassment and that male deputies who engaged in a variety of sexual misbehaviors did not face discipline. Gray’s lawsuit repeats those claims.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, contends that Gray had advised Holt -– while she was still employed — to report the harassment to her supervisors, that he spoke to his colleagues about her situation and that he called a non-emergency number to get her assistance after she showed signs of distress.

“The retaliation and discrimination against Deputy Gray has had a chilling effect on employees of the Sheriff’s Dept. reporting and complaining about violations of the policies and procedures of the Sheriff’s Dept., Madison County, and the Commission; violations of Title VII protections; and, violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution – the Fourteenth Amendment,” the lawsuit argues.

“The retaliation and discrimination against Deputy Gray has sent a signal everyone else working in the Sheriff’s Dept. that if they complain about and report sexual harassment, discrimination based on sex, etc. that they will face some form of punishment and retaliation.”

The lawsuit alleges that in August 2016 — the same day Holt hand-delivered a letter describing the harassment to Sheriff Blake Dorning, County Commission Chairman Dale Strong, and county personnel and legal staff members — Gray was placed on administrative leave. The lawsuit claims he was not given a reason for the paid leave.

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Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/cop-suspended-retaliation-reporting-supervisor-sexually-harassing-women/

Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein Accused Of Sexually Harassing & Raping Multiple Women







Next Story

After an astonishing number of people came forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing or raping them, The Weinstein Company officially fired its co-founder this past Sunday. Surprising most of the nation, Weinstein’s reputation instantly shifted from Hollywood mogul to sexual predator.

Both Harvey and The Weinstein Company are currently under public scrutiny. One-third of the company’s all-male board has already resigned and another four members have taken a leave of absence. Though the company hasn’t fully addressed these allegations yet, they maintain that Harvey was fired because he broke their code of conduct.

The sexual harassment cases date back decades, as multiple former employees and actresses have come forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of such crimes. Politicians are publicly expressing how appalled they are by his actions and are returning his contributions, women’s rights organizations are speaking out against him, and actors and actresses alike are publicly addressing what happened.

Not only was this abuse taking place right under the noses of The Weinstein Company and Miramax, the previous company Harvey co-founded, but Harvey paid off many of these women as well. Well, no longer will these women be silenced, as more and more victims are coming forward to speak their truths.

The Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment and Abuse Cases 

Let’s start from the beginning. Harvey Weinstein has been making international headlines for the past week, after a report was published by the New York Times revealing decades’ worth of sexual harassment and abuse allegations.

The article started by addressing some of the older cases, including one involving Ashley Judd. Weinstein invited Judd to a “business breakfast meeting” about two decades ago, which ended up being an invitation to his hotel room. Weinstein continuously harassed her, asking her to massage him, watch him shower, etc.

Eventually, Judd ended up “weaselling” her way out of the hotel room, but while connecting with other women harassed or abused by Weinstein she learned that she was not the only woman to experience this. As Judd explained, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”

While interviewing multiple women harassed by Weinstein, the interviewers noticed a very clear pattern of behaviour. The women were typically in their mid-20s and looking to get ahead in the film industry. He often approached them, requesting for these naked massages in the same “quid pro quo” manner. And it wasn’t necessarily a secret within the industry, as one woman interviewed even advised other women to “wear a parka when summoned for duty” by Weinstein.

To refresh your memory, here’s a portrait of the Hollywood star:

The New York Times then fast forwarded decades later to a case in 2014, when Weinstein asked Emily Nestor, a temp who had been working at the company for only one day at the time, to “accept his sexual advances” and in return he’d kickstart her career.

Only a year later, another female employee came forward, admitting that Weinstein harassed her until she agreed to give him a massage while he was naked. A memo was then drafted about the incident and sent to multiple executives, explaining that sexual harassment and other misconduct had occurred by Weinstein, and that “there is a toxic environment for women at this company.”

Weinstein paid off at least eight women to keep quiet about their sexual harassment and “unwanted physical contact.” These cases ranged from as early as 1990 and as recent as 2015, and keep in mind that these are only the known settlements as published by the New York Times.

“From the outside, it seemed golden — the Oscars, the success, the remarkable cultural impact,” explained Mark Gill, former President of Miramax Los Angeles. “But behind the scenes, it was a mess, and this was the biggest mess of all,” he stated in reference to Weinstein’s mistreatment of women.

Popular actress Gwyneth Paltrow also came forward, explaining that Weinstein sexually harassed her, asking for more of these naked massages while “placing his hands on her.” Though she refused his sexual advances, she confided in her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, who addressed the matter directly with Weinstein. Weinstein then confronted Paltrow, intimidating her so she wouldn’t tell anyone else about what happened.

Angelina Jolie also addressed Weinstein’s sexual harassment, detailing her own experience with him.

“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Jolie explained. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

Three other women came forward and admitted that they were raped (forced vaginal or oral sex), and four women stated that they experienced unwanted touching that they considered to be sexual assault. I will not go into detail regarding the specific details of these rapes, but you can read them in The New Yorker‘s article.

This wasn’t necessarily news to the companies he co-founded, either. Sixteen former and current executives as well as assistants at Weinstein’s companies stated to The New Yorker that they witnessed or knew that Weinstein had sexually assaulted or harassed people at events associated with Weinstein’s movies or in the office.

According to these employees, it wasn’t uncommon for Weinstein to hold meetings that would end up being “a little more,” as he’d make sexual advances towards the women he was meeting with. These employees all noted that his misconduct and mistreatment of women was a well-known fact within both of these companies, yet people continued to turn a blind-eye.

“This wasn’t a one-off. This wasn’t a period of time,” a long-term executive who worked with Weinstein told The New Yorker. “This was ongoing predatory behaviour towards women—whether they consented or not.”

Final Thoughts 

The sad part is that this isn’t uncommon within the entertainment industry. Tons of people and children have been victims of sexual assault and harassment, as so many executives have used their positions of authority to either rape or sexually harass others working within the entertainment industry.

One example that comes to mind is former child start Corey Feldman, who explained:

I can tell you that the number one problem in Hollywood was, and is, and always will be pedophilia. That’s the biggest problem, for children in this industry. . . . It’s all done under the radar . . .  it’s the big secret. I was surrounded by them when I was 14 years old . . . they were everywhere, like vultures… there was a circle of older men that surrounded themselves around this group of kids, and they all had either their own power or connections to great power in the entertainment industry.

Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood has spoken out about this issue as well (though he was never sexually abused himself). “Let me be clear: This subject of child abuse is an important one that should be discussed and properly investigated,” Wood said.

“What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power,” Wood stated. “That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: They can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

Another example is the Jimmy Savile pedophilia case. Savile was an eccentric TV personality who hosted a number of TV and radio shows, including positions within the BBC. Many people knew him as a flashy, opportunistic celebrity, but what they didn’t know was that over the course of his career, he used his celebrity status to exploit and sexually abuse hundreds of children.

These are only a few examples of sexual abuse and harassment within the entertainment industry, and they really only scratch the surface.

However, what’s particularly inspiring about the Weinstein case is the number of women who came forward, and the overwhelming amount of support they’ve received from the public. Celebrities have publicly addressed this subject, standing by the victims and expressing their support for them, and even politicians have spoken out about this particular case.

It’s crucial that we remain supportive and allow victims to be heard with open minds and open hearts, so we can encourage people to feel safe in sharing their experiences with the public. The best way to prevent these cases from happening in the first place is to share these stories with others. Not only will this warn other people about the abusers themselves, but it could also help to give the victims peace of mind.

I’ll leave you with the words of Meryl Streep, who publicly expressed her remorse for the victims and how appalled she was by Weinstein’s actions: “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”

Much love!

 


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Cops Brag About Harassing Homeless Man Fixing Bikes for Money, So Facebook Destroyed Them

facebookfacebook

Kennewick, WA — A 38-year-old homeless man was attempting to earn some honest money by providing a much-desired service to the residents of Kennewick, Washington last week, when he was threatened with extortion and arrest by the local police department who effectively ended his enterprise. After the Kennewick Police Department threatened the homeless man and prevented him from making a living, they took to Facebook to shamelessly brag about it. However, Facebook was not buying it.

The homeless man was not selling drugs, panhandling, or harassing local businesses and their patrons. He was providing willing customers, who were in need of bicycle repairs, with a service for which they agreed to pay him.

The man was operating out of a van and was set up in a parking lot behind a bank, under a tree, out of the way. He was harming no one, and, in fact, was actually helping.

However, he had not asked his local government for permission to make a living through the offering up of his skills — so, they set out on a mission to destroy him.

The Facebook post on the Kennewick Police Department Facebook page reads:

We responded a call where the businesses in the 100 block of Vista Way were complaining about a 38 year old transient out of Spokane who had set up a make shift bicycle repair business behind the CHASE bank. Officers stood by until he had packed all his stuff up and left He was also warned about getting charged with not having a business license and or trespassing if we find him set up somewhere else.

After bragging about ruining a man whose only ‘crime’ was trying to make a living by selling his skillset, the police department received some much-needed backlash.

They’ve received hundreds of comments on their post calling them out for shutting down an honest man trying to put food on his plate as well as bragging about it.

One user summed up the situation nicely, noting that threatening the man with arrest over a business license is nothing short of extortion.

“Hi, we’re the police/government. We steal your right to sell your skills for your own survival and be a productive member of the community, and then sell it back to you in the form of a license. Because we’re above the law and too cheap to earn a living besides through extortion”. Which is worse: people running their own businesses, or bums sleeping in corners all over the city? Taxation, licenses, and fines are all Theft and Extortion.

Another user pointed out how senseless it is to go after a man who is earning money, trying to not be homeless, while at the same time decrying their approach to homelessness.

Way to go Kennewick PD, you have successfully stopped a dangerous criminal. If he wants to eat he should beg for money like all the other homeless in this communist state. It’s a shame that some of them actually try to work instead.

Taking a humorous and sarcastic approach to the ridiculous nature of this post, one Facebook user pointed out the obvious.

Please go to every yard sale, every kid mowing a lawn, and everyone who has a car posted for sale and ask them for a business license. I don’t want anyone doing business without paying their extortion fees to you and your gang.

Don’t you have a church bake sale to go bust up some where?

Summing the situation up perfectly, Facebook user, Brent, wrote:

You proudly publish the fact that you harass entrepreneurial people and make it hard for them to work and earn an honest buck? What was the public safety concern? Might he have accidentally left someone’s tires a bit squeaky? Thank God you were there to keep the community safe!

What the response to the Facebook post illustrates is that a heartening trend is growing on social media showing that people are waking up to the state persecuting individuals over victimless crimes. A previous example of this trend was illustrated by the Alameda County Sheriff’s department posting a photo of a deputy arresting a man for selling fruits and vegetables on the roadside and attempting to justify it. When people read the department’s justification, they lashed out — peacefully — to let them know what they were doing is wrong.

Legality does not dictate morality. 

The photo, which has sparked so much backlash online, depicts a deputy confiscating strawberries and mangos while the man selling them sits on the sidewalk in handcuffs.

What’s going on in the photo is clear as day. However, the sheriff’s department took to penning a lengthy post in a futile attempt to explain and justify it. Naturally, they were owned by Facebook.

Hopefully these police departments heed the advice on their own pag because this is how progress is made. The citizens already see it. It’s time for cops to see it too.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-brag-shut-homeless-mans-makeshift-business-facebook-destroys/

CBS Skips Over Russian Fighter Harassing U.S. Reconnaissance Jet

High in the sky over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, a United States Air Force spy plane was subjected to extremely dangerous maneuvers by a Russian fighter pilot. According to reports, at one point the Russian jet was roughly five feet away from the wing tip of the U.S. plane. The provocative encounter was reported by both ABC and NBC during their evening news broadcasts later that evening. But on CBS Evening News, not a word was spoken about the incident.

“Turning to an alarming confrontation in the sky between the U.S. and Russia,” announced Anchor Lester Holt during NBC Nightly News. “With tensions escalating between the two countries, U.S. officials say a Russian fighter jet intercepted an American spy plane over international waters.”

Pentagon Correspondent Hans Nichols started off his report on the buzzing by giving a play-by-play of the Russian fighter’s actions with a detailed digital recreation:

The dramatic incident happening between a U.S. spy plane like this one and an armed Russia jet over the Baltic Sea. The Russian fighter jet approaching at high speed, tracking along the American reconnaissance plane’s right wing at a close distance, then passing under it only to emerge off the other wing. At one point, coming within five feet of the American aircraft.

On ABC’s World News Tonight, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz noted that “Russian aircraft have buzzed and intercepted not only U.S. aircraft but U.S. warships in the last year.” She also recalled how she once flew with U.S. Air Force pilots and described the great care they took when flying close to each other.

Nichols also mentioned the previous harassment by Russian pilots. “Just two weeks ago, the Russians intercepted this B-52 training over the Baltic,” He added. “And Russian fighters have also buzzed American destroyers in the Black Sea.”

“While the U.S. intercepts Russian planes as well, it has been within the safety norms,” Raddatz added.

The Russian intercept occurred on the same day the U.S. apparently shot down an armed drone that was menacing U.S. forces in the region. “In southern Syria, a U.S. F-15 intercepted an armed Iranian-made drone heading towards a U.S. Special Forces training base,” Nichols stated. “Within minutes, and without warning, the Russians on a military hotline, the American pilot shot it down.”

The action by the Russia fighter was both shocking and disturbing. The dangerous maneuvers came after a recent warning by Russia that they would track U.S. planes as potential targets over the western part of Syria as retaliation for shooting down a Syrian fighter. That being said, it’s surprising that CBS News thought that it wasn’t worth reporting. Instead, they chose to report on grizzly bears testing the sturdiness of garbage cans and coolers.

In addition, neither Spanish-language networks (Univision and Telemundo) reported on the Russian fighter.

Transcript below:

<<< Please support MRC’s NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

ABC
World News Tonight
June 20, 2017
6:41:33 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Next tonight to the U.S. and Russia. A Russian fighter jet flying within just a few feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane today. And it comes after a plane was shot down a Syrian plane, saying. Syria of course supported by Russia. ABC’s Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Marsha Raddatz tonight.

[Cuts to video]

MARTHA RADDATZ: The jets were flying high over the Baltic Sea. A U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane suddenly intercepted by a Russian fighter approaching from behind, coming just five feet from the wingtip of the U.S. jet. An encounter the Americans called unsafe.

STEPHEN GANTARD: It came in at such a high rate of speed, and was seemingly out of control, that it really concerned the U.S. aircraft pilots.

RADDATZ: Russian aircraft have buzzed and intercepted not only U.S. aircraft but U.S. warships in the last year. Last summer, during a training exercise in the Baltics with the U.S air force, our fighter jet which flew wing tip to wing tip safely with US jets, was warned by nearby Russian pilots we were getting too close to their border. We’re flying over Estonia now, but just over to the east, to the right is Russia. The Americans said the Russians were just being provocative and continued the exercise.

FIGHTER PILOT: There we go. Roll in left.

RADDATZ: While the U.S. intercepts Russian planes as well, it has been within the safety norms.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Martha Raddatz joins us from Washington tonight. Martha, this comes in a tense time between the U.S. and Russia. And tonight, we’ve learned the U.S., just today, shot down a drone used by forces loyal to the Russian-backed Syrian government?

RADDATZ: That’s right. The drone was threatening U.S. advisers on the ground. And it comes, or course, just a few days after the U.S. shot down that Syrian jet. The Russians now warning they are tracking U.S. jets as targets west of the Euphrates, David.

NBC Nightly News
June 20, 2017
7:12:54 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Turning to an alarming confrontation in the sky between the U.S. and Russia. With tensions escalating between the two countries, U.S. officials say a Russian fighter jet intercepted an American spy plane over international waters. As NBC Pentagon correspondent Hans Nichols explains, the aircraft came within feet of each other.

[Cuts to video]

HAN NICHOLS: The dramatic incident happening between a U.S. spy plane like this one and an armed Russia jet over the Baltic Sea. The Russian fighter jet approaching at high speed, tracking along the American reconnaissance plane’s right wing at a close distance, then passing under it only to emerge off the other wing. At one point, coming within five feet of the American aircraft.

These kinds of moves known as intercepts can be common, but unsafe ones like this are rare. Just two weeks ago, the Russians intercepted this B-52 training over the Baltic. And Russian fighters have also buzzed American destroyers in the Black Sea.

Barry MCCAFFREY: Sounds to me like a hot-dogging Russian pilot. This doesn’t make any sense. It’s dangerous air maneuvers.

NICHOLS: The latest intercept coming on the same day that Russia’s defense ministry warned that any U.S. planes fighting ISIS in Syria would be considered targets when they fly west of the Euphrates River.

And today, the U.S. testing Russia’s warning. In southern Syria, a U.S. F-15 intercepted an armed Iranian-made drone heading towards a U.S. Special Forces training base. Within minutes, and without warning, the Russians on a military hotline, the American pilot shot it down.

[Cuts back to live]

U.S. Military officials claim that the hotline is open, but refuse to say whether or not the Russians are answering it on their end. Lester?

Source Article from http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2017/06/20/cbs-skips-over-russian-fighter-harassing-us-reconnaissance