James Patterson is in no need of a bailout.The author of bestsellers including “Along Came a Spider” and “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” currently occupies spots on four different New York Times bestseller lists with three discrete books. (Those would be “Alex Cross, Run”; “Now You See Her,” written with Michael Ledwidge; and “I, Michael Bennett,” written with Ledwidge also.)Despite his success in a strain of genre fiction not often recommended in classrooms, Patterson has become, suddenly, the closest thing the publishing industry has to an ambassador. The multimillion-seller author placed an ad last weekend in the New York Times Book Review and in Publishers Weekly (depicted below) advocating for government intervention — the same sort of bailout Goldman got — in order to save an industry besieged by bookstore closings and consolidation of the few remaining major publishing houses.Continue Reading… …
The police of the fine city of Baltimore are
hard at work — costing the taxpayers a fortune. It seems they
locked up a man based on the assumption that he’d helped knock over
a Chinese restaurant. They assumed his guilt because they’d been
told that “Mookie” was the second culprit (they already had a guy
in custody), and “Mookie” must be Darren Brown. But he
wasn’t. Which they admitted only after Brown had been locked up for
seven months. That was three months after the first suspect’s
mother had identified her nephew as the real “Mookie.”
An innocent man imprisoned for seven months by Baltimore police
on the basis of his reputed nickname will be awarded $150,000 to
settle his lawsuit.
The Board of Estimates is set to pay the sum tomorrow to Darren
Brown, who charged four police officers with acting “with
deliberate and/or reckless disregard for the truth” while
conducting an investigation of an August 2008 shooting at a Chinese
carry-out on Harford Rd.
The case was settled after U.S. District Court Judge Richard D.
Bennett denied a motion by the four defendants to dismiss the suit.
The cash settlement will terminate the case, with the proviso that
the plaintiff and his lawyers not publicly discuss the lawsuit.
The Brown case is the latest of scores of settlements since 2008
– costing taxpayers an average of $3.5 million a year – paid to
citizens who have accused police of misconduct. Included in these
fees are as much as $700,000 a year that the city spends for
outside counsel defending officers from lawsuits.
Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.
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readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at
email@example.com, or tweet us stories at ;@reason247. …
http://www.youtube.com/v/3kBDifgykRQ?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Continue reading: Slut Shaming Exposed…
Joe Handley of Idaho faces federal assault charges for allegedly slapping a young toddler amid a Delta Airlines flight to Georgia on February 8. “Jonah starts crying because he’s feeling the pressure in his ears,” Jessica Bennett, the toddler’s mother, told ABC News. The…
Christopher Jordan Dorner (Reuters / Handout)As authorities intensify the manhunt for accused LAPD-killer Christopher Dorner, law enforcement agencies are doing everything under the sun to search for their suspect, apparently even deploying drones. The specifics regarding the tools being used to track Dorner, a 33-year-old former Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected in three recent murders, is a mystery for now. But with a $1 million bounty out for his arrest and a nation at high-alert, it’s no surprise that the search for Dorner is on the way to becoming one of the most remarkable in ages. Now according to some reports, police are relying on high-tech unmanned aerial vehicles to snoop from the sky.Britain’s Daily Express cites a senior police source in a report this week as saying that the surveillance capabilities of UAVs might be the only option for locating Dorner, who has been at large since a string of murders that began last Sunday. “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him. On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” the source tells the paper.The Express adds that police figures on both a city-wide and federal scale have suggested drones are being deployed to search for the triple-murder suspect. In his report, journalist Mike Parker writes that Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz responded to a direct question about UAV usage by saying, “We are using all the tools at our disposal.” Parker adds: “The use of drones was later confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began.”“This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement. That’s all I can say at the moment,” DeSio told the paper. In a bold affirmation from the facts ascertained by the Express, though, the paper concludes that “Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil.”But while sending a missile-equipped Predator drone to execute Dorner without trial or jury is without a doubt illegal and, frankly, improbable, it’s not entirely unlikely that special UAVs affixed with surveillance cameras are combing the West Coast for him right now. After all, the government has a collection of aircraft to use in these missions and has to make a case that they have been an acquisition that’s fiscally worthwhile.The US Department of Homeland Security had an arsenal of at least ten drones as of November, right around the same time that they signed a contract with General Atomics for $443 million: money expected to go towards the acquisition of another 14 surveillance drones that will be used to conduct domestic investigations. In all, those two dozen UAVs are believed to cost roughly three-quarters of a billion dollars, but the end result of having the fleet on the ready is so far one that’s flawed. When the Los Angeles Times discussed the matter of drones and the DHS last April, reporter Brian Bennett called into question the success of the program.“The mixed results highlight a glaring problem for Homeland Security officials who have spent six years and more than $250 million building the nation’s largest fleet of domestic surveillance drones,” he wrote. At the time, the DHS was reported to have nine Predator drones, but Bennett said they “have yet to prove very useful in stopping contraband or illegal immigrants.”In that same article, the Times touches on just what exactly these drones can do for the DHS. As it turns out, it’s not just sub agencies like the Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement that have access to those UAVs. According to Bennett, the small collection of DHS drones have been lent to the FBI, Texas Rangers and other government agencies for law enforcement opportunities. Since that April article, drone discussions have only intensified. In the last week, debate about the use of robotic aircraft to conduct kill missions overseas opened news programs across the US, and talk of putting a UAV into the sky to search for the LAPD’s public enemy number one earned regard on the Web as well. But while the Obama administration’s use of Predator drones to executive suspected terrorists overseas is indeed documented, the deploying of drones in the Dorner case remains a matter that is for now only a likely possibility.“The story is plausible,” writes Parker Higgins of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a Monday morning blog post. “The Department of Homeland Security (CPB’s parent agency) does loan out drones to police agencies, and they’ve kept the terms of such deals almost completely secret. EFF is currently suing DHS to find more information about that program. But in this case, the factual support isn’t there.”Until the LAPD or FBI offer a clean confirmation, use of drones to track down Dorner starts and ends as speculation brewed by the UK’s Express that’s also absent of any concrete validity. That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t happening. The use of drones on the US/Mexican border by the DHS and its sub-agencies has been documented since at least 2004, and just two years ago drones were being borrowed by small times forces in North Dakota for at least one surveillance mission. “Whether or not these drones are being used in this manhunt, and whether or not they’re armed (they’re not), there is real cause for concern. A secret aerial surveillance program wherein federal agencies loan military technology to local police forces raises serious questions and we should demand to know more,” Higgins says. …
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Hollywood celebrities and children of slain Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy joined shooting victims Wednesday in demanding tougher action from US lawmakers on reducing gun violence. Comedian Chris Rock, aging Grammy-winner Tony Bennett and actress Amanda Peet brought their starpower…