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View Diary: Exxon orders sheriffs to disperse reporters with threats of arrest (207 comments)

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  •  Apparently, the deputies were working as (10+ / 0-)

    off-duty private security for Exxon.

    The location of the command center (public or private property) and the status of the location of the reporters' line 10 ft back (public or private property) are critical factors here.

    But, no matter what, the deputies may not abuse their authority under color of law. (off duty conduct can be considered, if for example, a sheriff's deputy is wearing their official uniform while violating rights)

    That’s why it’s a federal crime for anyone acting under “color of law” willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive a person of a right protected by the Constitution or U.S. law. “Color of law” simply means that the person is using authority given to him or her by a local, state, or federal government agency.

    The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating color of law abuses, which include acts carried out by government officials operating both within and beyond the limits of their lawful authority. Off-duty conduct may be covered if the perpetrator asserted his or her official status in some way.

    During 2009, the FBI investigated 385 color of law cases. Most of these crimes fall into five broad areas:

        Excessive force;
        Sexual assaults;
        False arrest and fabrication of evidence;
        Deprivation of property; and
        Failure to keep from harm.

    Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141 makes it unlawful for state or local law enforcement agencies to allow officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or U.S. laws. This law, commonly referred to as the Police Misconduct Statute, gives the Department of Justice authority to seek civil remedies in cases where law enforcement agencies have policies or practices that foster a pattern of misconduct by employees. This action is directed against an agency, not against individual officers. The types of issues which may initiate a pattern and practice investigation include:

        Lack of supervision/monitoring of officers’ actions;
        Lack of justification or reporting by officers on incidents involving the use of force;
        Lack of, or improper training of, officers; and
        Citizen complaint processes that treat complainants as adversaries.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 05:56:30 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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