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Tag Archive: San Francisco


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People Are Waking Up to the Dark Side of American Policing, and Cops Don’t Like It One Bit

Pushing back against a creeping police state.

If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming — and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do.

 

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A ‘promise’ Obama made years ago

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by Christina Sarich
Posted on October 28, 2015

In a huge legal win, a federal judge in San Francisco has issued a landmark ruling that could serve to halt the DEA’s overly liberal interpretation of laws that have allowed them power to conduct search and destroy missions for medical marijuana.

In possibly the first-ever federal decision of its kind, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, slapped more than the DEA’s wrists. His decision stated that the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment clearly prevents the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to hunt and chase marijuana users in states that have established medical marijuana programs.

The federal ruling comes from a case involving the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana founder, Lynette Shaw, who was forced to close down her medical marijuana dispensary in 2011 after the Justice Department served her with a federal injunction.

yazakchattiest yazakchattiest

Published on Jan 28, 2014

Larry Brinkin, who worked at the Human Rights Commission for the City of San Francisco for 22 years and was a prominent homosexual rights activist for more than 40 years, pleaded guilty to felony child pornography possession last week.

Brinkin is expected to serve six months in jail, five years of probation, and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life when he is sentenced on Mar. 5. But he likely will get to keep his city pension because possessing and viewing child porn apparently is not considered a crime of “moral turpitude” under San Francisco’s retirement/pension rules.

According to police, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly, Brinkin had photographic images of children between the ages of 1 and 3 who were being sodomized and forced to perform oral sex on adult men.

Also, in e-mails attributed to Brinkin using the account “Zack3737@aol.com,” he praised interracial adult-child sex saying, in one message, “I loved especially the [N-word] 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White D— Rules!”

Brinkin, who is “married” to partner Wood Massi and has a son with two mothers, retired from the city’s Human Rights Commission in 2010, when he was 64 years old. At the time and with the support of city official Bevan Dufty, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in honor of Brinkin’s work over the years to combat discrimination, passed a resolution declaring the first seven days of February 2010 “Larry Brinkin Week.”

While on the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin had worked as a compliance officer, responsible for helping to ensure non-discrimination against employees. He had been instrumental, back in 1982, in implementing San Francisco’s Equal Benefits Ordinance, which required employers to provide equal coverage for “domestic partners.” Further, Brinkin has been a long-time advocate for gay “marriage.”

The archived pages of SF Pride say of Brinkin, “Larry Brinkin has been an activist in San Francisco for over 35 years, co-founding Bay Area Gay Liberation, the Lesbian/Gay Labor Alliance, and the Gay & Lesbian Alternative Dispute Resolution Service. He was a pioneer in the struggle for domestic partner benefits and currently is the manager of the LGBT&HIV Division of the SF Human Rights Commission. He played a major role in recent years in the struggle for transgender rights.”

Brinkin was first arrested in the child pornography investigation in June 2012. According to the news reports, in early 2012 America Online (AOL) had contacted authorities after discovering e-mails and child pornographic images in one of the company’s subscriber accounts.

The Los Angeles Police Department, then put in charge of the case, traced the IP address of the e-mail account Zack3737@aol.com to Larry Brinkin. Police then confirmed that Brinkin had paid for the e-mail service with his credit card.

Read more at:
CNS News: San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/micha…
San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. gay rights advocate arrested over child porn
http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/S…
SF Weekly: Larry Brinkin, S.F. Gay Rights Icon, Arrested on Child Porn Charges
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2…

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Larry Brinkin, San Francisco gay rights icon, arrested on child porn charges: police

Gay rights icon Larry Brinkin, 66, has been arrested on charges of child pornography, according to San Francisco police, for allegedly exchanging emails that contained images of children as young as a year old.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 1:11 PM
Larry Brinkin, 66, a San Francisco gay rights icon, was charged on possession of child pornography Friday night.

YouTube

Larry Brinkin, 66, a San Francisco gay rights icon, was charged on possession of child pornography Friday night.

Gay rights icon Larry Brinkin has been arrested on charges of child pornography, according to San Francisco police.

Brinkin, 66, best known for fighting for equal rights on behalf of the LGBT community, was booked into San Francisco County Jail on Friday night. He posted bail and was released Saturday, SF Weekly reports.

The San Francisco Police Department seized computers, videos, VHS tapes and a floppy disc from Brinkin and his husband’s home, according to a search warrant obtained by SF Weekly.

Police say Brinkin had exchanged emails that contained pornographic photographs involving children as young as 1-year-old being sodomized or performing oral sex on adult men, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The emails also contain graphic sexual and racist commentary, including, “I loved especially the n—er 2 year old getting nailed,” as well as a rant about white supremacy.

The disturbing messages were traced to Brinkin’s IP address, and his name and credit card information are registered with the AOL account, identified as zack3737@aol.com, according to police.

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Former SF city employee pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

larry brinkin
KTVU.com Staff
larry brinkin

KTVU and Wires

SAN FRANCISCO —

A former San Francisco Human Rights Commission employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony possession of child pornography.

Larry Brinkin, 67, agreed this morning to a plea deal with San Francisco prosecutors, who dropped a second charge of distributing child pornography.

Under the terms of the agreement, Brinkin will serve six months in county jail, six months of home detention and four years’ probation.

He remains out of custody after posting $240,000 bail and will return to court for sentencing on March 5.

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Double: Radiation counts per minute (CPM) taken in the snow this week in St Louis, Missouri, show levels double the normal numbers

Double: Radiation counts per minute (CPM) taken in the snow this week in St Louis, Missouri, show levels double the normal numbers

  • A San Francisco beach has five times the safe level fueling concerns over Fukushima’s impact
  • The findings – reaching over 150 micro-REM per hour – prompted federal officials to launch an investigation
  • Officials said they were ‘befuddled’
  •  Snow in Missouri has been found to contain double the normal radiation amount
  • In September, a BBC report said radiation readings around the Fukushima power plant were 18 times higher than previously reported

By Marie-louise Olson

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A beach in San Francisco contains five times the safe levels of radiation fueling concerns that Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant’s crisis is impacting areas across the country.

It comes just days after radiation readings were found to be double the normal amount in Missouri’s recent snowfall.

According to YouTube user, DutchSinse, who posted a video of him taking the Geiger readings in St Louis, the findings mean that ‘small particles of radioactive material are indeed coming down in the precipitation. Past tests show around 30CPM in the same spot on a nice day with no precipitation’.

 

Source: Could Fukushima's ongoing crisis be the reason the US is experiencing abnormally high radiation levels?

Source: Could Fukushima’s ongoing crisis be the reason the US is experiencing abnormally high radiation levels?

Dangerous: A beach in San Francisco contains five times the safe levels of radiation. In this picture the radiation device is in the foreground with the beach in the background

Dangerous: A beach in San Francisco contains five times the safe levels of radiation. In this picture the radiation device is in the foreground with the beach in the background

Higher near the water: Once the man approaches the water itself, the radiation spikes to at least 500 per cent safe levels

Higher near the water: Once the man approaches the water itself, the radiation spikes to at least 500 per cent safe levels

Read More and Watch Video  Here

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Officials reject concerns over 500 percent radiation increase on California beach

Published time: January 06, 2014 17:22
Edited time: January 07, 2014 15:10

AFP Photo / Spencer Platt

AFP Photo / Spencer Platt

Health officials in California are now telling residents not to worry after a video uploaded to the internet last month seemed to show high levels of radiation at a Pacific Coast beach.

The video, “Fukushima radiation hits San Francisco,” has been viewed nearly half-a-million times since being uploaded to YouTube on Christmas Eve, and its contents have caused concern among residents who fear that nuclear waste from the March 2011 disaster in Japan may be arriving on their side of the Pacific Ocean.

Throughout the course of the seven-minute-long clip, a man tests out his Geiger counter radiation detector while walking through Pacifica State Beach outside of San Francisco. At times, the monitor on the machine seems to show radiation of 150 counts-per-minute, or the equivalent of around five times what is typically found in that type of environment.

After the video began to go viral last month, local, state and federal officials began to investigate claims that waste from the Fukushima nuclear plant has washed ashore in California. Only now, though, are authorities saying that they have no reason to believe that conditions along the West Coast are unsafe.

The Half Moon Bay Review reported on Friday that government officials conducted tests along California’s Pacific Coast after word of the video began to spread online, but found no indication that radiation levels had reached a hazardous point.

“It’s not something that we feel is an immediate public health concern,” Dean Peterson, the county environmental health director, told the Review. “We’re not even close to the point of saying that any of this is from Fukushima.”

Screenshot from YouTube user Kill0Your0TV

Screenshot from YouTube user Kill0Your0TV

According to the Review’s Mark Noack, counts-per-minute does indeed measure radiation, but “does not directly equate to the strength or its hazard level to humans.” And while the paper has reported that testing conducted by Peterson’s department on their own Geiger counters has since revealedradiation level of about 100 micro-REM per hour, or about five times the normal amount, officials are confident that there is nothing to be concerned about.

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Fukushima radiation hits San Francisco (Dec 2013)

Kill0Your0TV Kill0Your0TV·

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  • December 22, 2013

Animal control officials are searching for answers following the discovery of an injured puppy who was found on a conveyor belt at the city dump in San Francisco, Calif., reported Sunday’s San Francisco Gate.

The puppy, dubbed “Gem,” was discovered on Saturday.

Gem has multiple injuries on her neck which appear to be bite wounds and her rear legs appear to be “lame.”

On Sunday, Animal Care and Control of San Francisco turned to social media to help solve the mystery of Gem’s appearance on the dump’s conveyor belt; they stated on Facebook:

We’re trying to figure out how this young poodle pup ended up on the sorting conveyer belt at the SF dump. She’s injured, but doing well. If anyone has information about how she got there, call SFACC at 415-554-6364.

 

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Starting my blogging day off on a beautiful note. I stumble across this video and wanted to share it with all of you.

Deborah Cohan is an OB/BYN who has been scheduled for Double Mastectomy Surgery. Her love for life is amazing. This flash mob in the operating room was done at her request. Cohan requested that friends and family make videos of healing joy of themselves dancing to Beyonce as well so that she can watch them during her recovery.

“I have visions of a healing video montage,” she wrote. “Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies. Are you with me people?”

Her joy and love for life are inspiring. May her positive energy and her love of life bring her many years of joy with her children. Blessings of Love and Light to Deborah and all those who made it possible for her to celebrate life in her very own unique way.

You can read messages from Deborah’s fans dancing in solidarity on her CaringBridge page.
~Desert Rose~

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SF transit agency, unions reach deal to end strike

 

Associated Press

With the BART transit system on strike, people line up along the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building to catch a ferry to Oakland, Calif., during the afternoon commute Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, in San Francisco. Frustrated bay area commuters started the work week Monday facing gridlocked roadways and long lines for buses and ferries as a major transit strike entered its fourth day, increasing pressure on negotiators to reach a deal that resumes train service. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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With the BART transit system on strike, people line up along the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building to catch a ferry to Oakland, Calif., during the afternoon commute Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, in San Francisco. Frustrated bay area commuters started the work week Monday facing gridlocked roadways and long lines for buses and ferries as a major transit strike entered its fourth day, increasing pressure on negotiators to reach a deal that resumes train service. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco Bay Area’s main commuter train system and its unions reached a tentative agreement on a new contract Monday night, ending a crippling four-day strike.

Union officials announced the deal, which still requires approval from union members, then from the Bay Area Rapid Transit’s board of directors.

BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said limited service would begin Tuesday at 4 a.m. on all lines. BART officials hoped trains would be running at full strength in time for the afternoon commute.

BART is the nation’s fifth-largest rail system, with an average weekday ridership of 400,000.

Workers walked off the job on Friday after talks broke down. Commuters endured jammed roadways and long lines for buses and ferries, as they looked for alternate ways around the region.

The talks between BART and its two largest unions dragged on for six months— a period that saw two chaotic dayslong strikes, contentious negotiations and frazzled commuters wondering if they would wake up to find the trains running or not.

“The public expects us to resolve our differences and to keep the Bay Area moving,” BART general manager Grace Crunican said Monday night.

Crunican said there would be no immediate announcements on the details while union leaders explained the agreement to their members, but she said it was a compromise and added: “This deal is more than we wanted to pay.”

 

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Strike over: Bay Area transit workers reach compromise with management

A transit strike that for four days halted normal commutes in San Francisco has ended, but the deal was not immediately released

 

 

Bart strike over

Striking Bart workers picket on Friday in Oakland. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

 

A transit strike that crippled the San Francisco Bay Area has ended, raising hopes of a swift return to normality after four days of commuting chaos.

Union leaders and managers of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) system agreed a tentative deal late on Monday; service is expected to slowly come back on line over the course of Tuesday.

The stand-off had paralysed the US’s fifth-largest commuter rail system, which has an average weekday ridership of 400,000. Gridlocked roads and long queues for buses and ferries caused widespread disruption and recrimination since Bart workers walked off the job last Friday in a dispute over pay and conditions, and both sides were under immense pressure to come to an agreement.

“This offer is more than we wanted to pay but it is a new path with our workers and it delivers the Bart of the future,” said the agency’s general manager, Grace Crunican, after emerging from negotiations on Monday.

Bart strike over

The standoff had paralysed the US’s fifth-largest commuter rail system, which has an average weekday ridership of 400,000. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

Details of the deal were not immediately released, and it is still pending ratification by Bart’s board of directors and members of the Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555. The accord was brokered by a federal mediator, Greg Lim. A previous strike in July had halted services for four days.

 

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Examiner.com

 

San Francisco evacuated: Bomb threat has area evacuated, unknown package found

Bay Area News, NBC

San Francisco evacuated today over a serious bomb threat led to the Union Square area being on lockdown for a couple of hours following an unknown package being found on the premises. According to KTVU this Thursday, Oct. 17, the Union Square in San Francisco was sealed off for a majority of the afternoon following an anonymous call of a bomb threat and a mysterious package sighting, confirmed law officials.

Having San Francisco evacuated soon began to trend among national news after police officers reacted to the call just before noon today. The anonymous call, says the source, warned of an unknown package that led to the bomb scare, near Stockton and Powell streets.

 

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More than 100 teens rescued in weekend sex-trafficking raids, FBI says

More than 100 teenagers — many of them children from broken homes — were rescued over the weekend in a sex-trafficking crackdown that swept more than 70 cities, the FBI said Monday.

The youngest victim was 13 years old, the agency said.

The sting resulted in the arrest of 159 “pimps” from San Francisco to Miami who were involved in the commercial exploitation of both adults and children, said Ronald Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division.

It was the FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children, and took law enforcement agencies to streets, motels, casinos and social media platforms, Hosko said. He said he hoped it would focus attention on sex trafficking, “this threat that robs us of our children.”

The pimps preyed in particular on troubled children, authorities said. In some of the cases, they used a popular online classified site, Backpage, to sell the children for sex, authorities said.

 

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One by one, homes in Calif. subdivision sinking

Updated 6:36 pm, Saturday, May 11, 2013
This photo taken Monday, May 6, 2013 shows the wreckage of the Tudor-style dream home of Robin and Scott Spivey who were forced to abandon after the ground gave way causing it to drop 10 feet below the street in Lakeport, Calif.  Officials believe that water that has bubbled to the surface is playing a role, in the collapse of the hillside subdivision that has forced the evacuation of 10 homes and the notice of imminent evacuation of another 10 in this upscale subdivision. Photo: AP

This photo taken Monday, May 6, 2013 shows the wreckage of the Tudor-style dream home of Robin and Scott Spivey who were forced to abandon after the ground gave way causing it to drop 10 feet below the street in Lakeport, Calif. Officials believe that water that has bubbled to the surface is playing a role, in the collapse of the hillside subdivision that has forced the evacuation of 10 homes and the notice of imminent evacuation of another 10 in this upscale subdivision. Photo: AP
In this photo taken Monday, May 6, 2013, the bedroom carpets hang from the home of Jagtar Singh, left, after the ground gave way in Lakeport, Calif.  Shortly after Singh moved his wife, 4-year-old daughter and his parents the hill behind his home collapsed taking the underside of his home. Officials believe that water that has bubbled to the surface is playing a role, in the collapse of the hillside subdivision that has forced the evacuation of 10 homes and the notice of imminent evacuation of another 10 in this upscale subdivision. Photo: AP

In this photo taken Monday, May 6, 2013, the bedroom carpets hang from the home of Jagtar Singh, left, after the ground gave way in Lakeport, Calif. Shortly after Singh moved his wife, 4-year-old daughter and his parents the hill behind his home collapsed taking the underside of his home. Officials believe that water that has bubbled to the surface is playing a role, in the collapse of the hillside subdivision that has forced the evacuation of 10 homes and the notice of imminent evacuation of another 10 in this upscale subdivision. Photo: AP

 

LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) — Scott and Robin Spivey had a sinking feeling that something was wrong with their home when cracks began snaking across their walls in March.

The cracks soon turned into gaping fractures, and within two weeks their 600-square-foot garage broke from the house and the entire property — manicured lawn and all — dropped 10 feet below the street.

It wasn’t long before the houses on both sides collapsed as the ground gave way in the Spivey’s neighborhood in Lake County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco.

“We want to know what is going on here,” said Scott Spivey, a former city building inspector who lived in his four-bedroom, Tudor-style dream home for 11 years.

Eight homes are now abandoned and 10 more are under notice of imminent evacuation as a hilltop with sweeping vistas of Clear Lake and the Mount Konocti volcano swallows the subdivision built 30 years ago.

The situation has become so bad that mail delivery was ended to keep carriers out of danger.

“It’s a slow-motion disaster,” said Randall Fitzgerald, a writer who bought his home in the Lakeside Heights project a year ago.

Unlike sinkholes of Florida that can gobble homes in an instant, this collapse in hilly volcanic country can move many feet on one day and just a fraction of an inch the next.