Category Archives: Civil Liberties

DOJ Issues Report On Baltimore Police: It’s Not Good

Following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody last year, the City asked the Department of Justice to investigate police practices on a systemic level. More than a year later, the report was issued today and the results are as depressing as they are predictable. The report’s executive summary begins: Today, we announce the outcome of the Department of Justice’s… Read more »

Maryland Court: Police Need Warrants For Stingrays

No, not the kind you find at the Aquarium. For years, Baltimore police have been employing a device called a “stingray” which acts like a cell phone tower, “triggering all cell phones in an area to connect with it and determine where a particular phone is located.” There’s been such secrecy around the use of the devices that the agreement between… Read more »

Guest Blog: Dana Beyer On Discrimination And Fear

A few days after the holiday, but it’s still relevant. Dana Beyer’s Huffington Post column from Thanksgiving Day. Civil rights should matter to everyone. It could be you next time. Reprinted with her permission. Thanksgiving and Its Discontented in Montgomery County, Maryland Thanksgiving is our annual day for family and friends, one divorced from any religion other than the civic… Read more »

How To Take Down A University President

Tim Wolfe was hired to be the president of the University of Missouri in 2012, vowing to run the university “like a tech company.” Needless to say, that didn’t go well. Last week, a graduate student went on a hunger strike over Wolfe’s failure to address racist incidents on campus. Jonathan Butler said he wouldn’t end the strike until Wolfe… Read more »

Body Cameras Alone Won’t Solve The Problem

If the public can’t get them, or if only police officers are allowed to watch them, then instead of creating transparency, body cameras just perpetuate the problem. The Post has a lengthy story which shows the problems are much deeper than just body cameras. Nationwide, police have shot and killed 760 people since January, according to a Washington Post database tracking… Read more »

Selective Use Of The Bible, Chapter Eleventy Billion

So y’Know that court clerk down in Kentucky who doesn’t want to issue marriage licenses because some same sex couples might be getting married? And she’s worried about going to hell for violating the Bible? Turns out she has nothing to worry about. The Kentucky county clerk facing potentially stiff penalties for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses has been married… Read more »

So Much For That Whole “Libertarian” Thing

Rand Paul, bloviating with Sean Hannity tonight, decided that the whole civil liberties/libertarian thing just isn’t working for him with Republican voters, and dropped any pretense about it. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested Wednesday night that the Black Lives Matter movement should change its name. “I think they should change their name maybe … if they were ‘All Lives Matter’… Read more »

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In a maneuver that has been known to occur in Maryland a time or two, a bill banning the police from weaponizing drones was hijacked by the law enforcement lobby and turned on its head. There’s a new sheriff on the high plains. Or rather, just above them. North Dakota’s police agencies can fly drones armed with Tasers, tear gas, bean-bag… Read more »