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St. Petersburg City Council votes in favor of red light camera contract

 

The city of St. Petersburg voted to award a contract to American Traffic Solutions to install red light cameras.

Today, the City Council looked over a fast-track contract. It will add red light cameras at 19 intersections.

However, City Council member Wengay Newton questioned why the cameras are needed.

"It is confusing to me, because in my four years on Council, the Chief of Police or the Chief of the fire department has never come before council and said they had a problem with these intersections," said Newton.

Red light cameras have generated big money for the state. If the cameras are repealed, municipalities would lose the $70 million generated by citations.

The Council voted 5-3 in favor of awarding a contract to American Traffic Solutions to furnish, install, operate and maintain the red light cameras.
http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/april/235920/St.-P...

St.Petersburg Red Light Cameras

Mr69 wrote:

The city of St. Petersburg voted to award a contract to American Traffic Solutions to install red light cameras.

Today, the City Council looked over a fast-track contract. It will add red light cameras at 19 intersections.

However, City Council member Wengay Newton questioned why the cameras are needed.

"It is confusing to me, because in my four years on Council, the Chief of Police or the Chief of the fire department has never come before council and said they had a problem with these intersections," said Newton.

Red light cameras have generated big money for the state. If the cameras are repealed, municipalities would lose the $70 million generated by citations.

The Council voted 5-3 in favor of awarding a contract to American Traffic Solutions to furnish, install, operate and maintain the red light cameras.
http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/april/235920/St.-Petersburg-races-to-install-red-light-cameras

Yea for Wengay Newton he is usually the only one who questions why things are done on the city ouncil,not in a bad way he just wants answers instead of rubber stamping city staff recomendations (sp)Thanks for the update)

Shouldn't They Wait..!!..?

I just read that one of the State legislation bodies (don't remember if it was the House or Senate), has voted and passed a amendment to get rid of all the red light cameras. Now it's in the other body for a vote.

Why then are cities and counties in Florida voting contracts and installing cameras when the Florida Legislature is in the process of doing what their doing?

Wouldn't it be a lot smarter to wait until they find out what's going to happen in Tallahassee before spending (wasting) our tax money on something that very well could be outlawed shortly?

Nuvi1300WTGPS

--
I'm not really lost.... just temporarily misplaced!

Because

Nuvi1300WTGPS wrote:

I just read that one of the State legislation bodies (don't remember if it was the House or Senate), has voted and passed a amendment to get rid of all the red light cameras. Now it's in the other body for a vote.

Why then are cities and counties in Florida voting contracts and installing cameras when the Florida Legislature is in the process of doing what their doing?

Wouldn't it be a lot smarter to wait until they find out what's going to happen in Tallahassee before spending (wasting) our tax money on something that very well could be outlawed shortly?

It is because they are greedy bastards

--
"Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Because

Double Tap wrote:
Nuvi1300WTGPS wrote:

I just read that one of the State legislation bodies (don't remember if it was the House or Senate), has voted and passed a amendment to get rid of all the red light cameras. Now it's in the other body for a vote.

Why then are cities and counties in Florida voting contracts and installing cameras when the Florida Legislature is in the process of doing what their doing?

Wouldn't it be a lot smarter to wait until they find out what's going to happen in Tallahassee before spending (wasting) our tax money on something that very well could be outlawed shortly?

It is because they are greedy bastards

Not only are they greedy they think if they pass the cameras in different cities before the state bans them the ones that are passed before the state ban those cameras will be able to stay in use.Pretty stupid I know.

The city of Lakeland has

The city of Lakeland has been saving all the money they have generated in a special account just in case the cameras are repealed and it goes even further and becomes unconstitutional, which would no doubt generate a class action lawsuit seeking refunds.

At least they are being fiscally responsible while keeping their fingers crossed.

Sorry....

I just don't understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras. So what if they are money generators????? If people run red lights why shouldn't they get a ticket no matter how they are caught...What's the big deal...If I run a red-light and get caught I would expect to pay....never have had to worry about it though...

--
Bobby....Garmin 2450LM

Give em time...

I'm just wondering how much of a stink everyone will make when some politician comes up with pay toilet cameras.

because...

enforcement of laws should be about safety and protection, not about revenue generation. A justification for cameras is how much the civil authority will "profit". This is the same logic used in establishing speed traps and judging officers by how many tickets they write.

Has there been a list of the

Has there been a list of the 19 intersections in St. Petersburg that are being considered for red light cameras?

Are you for real? Or just trolling?

farrissr wrote:

I just don't understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras. So what if they are money generators????? If people run red lights why shouldn't they get a ticket no matter how they are caught...What's the big deal...If I run a red-light and get caught I would expect to pay....never have had to worry about it though...

Let me answer you like this. Do you as well don't understand why people have so called "civil liberties"? From your post I understand that you have no problem with installing surveillance system at private houses? Or chipping people so they will be easy to identifying? Or spying on everybody just in case? After all if people brake the law it doesn't matter how they would get caught.

If so I can tell you that in Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany and Mao's China you will be model citizen and feel like home. They had exactly this same opinion about how law should be enforced.

Civil Liberties

grzesja wrote:

Are you for real? Or just trolling?

farrissr wrote:

I just don't understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras. So what if they are money generators????? If people run red lights why shouldn't they get a ticket no matter how they are caught...What's the big deal...If I run a red-light and get caught I would expect to pay....never have had to worry about it though...

... Do you as well don't understand why people have so called "civil liberties"?

One commentary on Civil Liberties says:
"Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery and forced labour, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to privacy, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to marry and have a family."

I cannot see that red-light cameras impinge on what most people would agree are their "civil liberties". It is certainly not privacy since the person getting the ticket is in a public space. The offender has the right to dispute the citation at a trial.

Help us understand what "civil liberty" is being denied.

Be serious!!!!!

grzesja wrote:
farrissr wrote:

I just don't understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras. So what if they are money generators????? If people run red lights why shouldn't they get a ticket no matter how they are caught...What's the big deal...If I run a red-light and get caught I would expect to pay....never have had to worry about it though...

Let me answer you like this. Do you as well don't understand why people have so called "civil liberties"? From your post I understand that you have no problem with installing surveillance system at private houses? Or chipping people so they will be easy to identifying? Or spying on everybody just in case? After all if people brake the law it doesn't matter how they would get caught.

If so I can tell you that in Stalin's Russia, Hitler's Germany and Mao's China you will be model citizen and feel like home. They had exactly this same opinion about how law should be enforced.

Are you not overblowing my comment....they have cameras in banks, stores, atms, etc. Is that spying???

--
Bobby....Garmin 2450LM

~

farrissr wrote:

Are you not overblowing my comment....they have cameras in banks, stores, atms, etc. Is that spying???

Those cameras are private property for protection of their owners. Red-Light cameras are the government, protecting an income stream.

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone5 + Navigon*

man witn no understanding

jgermann wrote:
grzesja wrote:

Are you for real? Or just trolling?

farrissr wrote:

I just don't understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras. So what if they are money generators????? If people run red lights why shouldn't they get a ticket no matter how they are caught...What's the big deal...If I run a red-light and get caught I would expect to pay....never have had to worry about it though...

... Do you as well don't understand why people have so called "civil liberties"?

One commentary on Civil Liberties says:
"Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery and forced labour, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to privacy, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to marry and have a family."

I cannot see that red-light cameras impinge on what most people would agree are their "civil liberties". It is certainly not privacy since the person getting the ticket is in a public space. The offender has the right to dispute the citation at a trial.

Help us understand what "civil liberty" is being denied.

As usual jgermann, man who never saw law enforcement or government revenue program he didn't approve of is quick as usual. I doubt you will ever understand but there is how it goes. You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new. Like this:

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholds unlimited police use of GPS tracking without a warrant.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3467.asp

Data from motorist GPS units handed to Dutch police for the purpose of setting up speed traps.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3466.asp

The written report submitted by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck emphasized that "expert opinion" supports shorter yellow times combined with the use of automated enforcement.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3460.asp

Internal emails regarding Ridgeland, South Carolina speed camera system shows profit drives deployment decisions.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3459.asp

ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3458.asp
or: http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-national/michigan-sta...

The New Generation of [security] Scanners (additional links in text)
http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/86578.html

Federal court cites terrorism as legitimate reason to search an occupied vehicle in a parking lot.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/33/3356.asp

More news on police officers assaulting citizens for videotaping them doing their job (links in text)
source: http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2011/04/more-news-on-police-...

Just samples specially for you. It's just drop in the ocean of cases. Just wondering how long you respond with your usual "it's government business, pass along, nothing to see here". And of course, I'm sure you have statistic that will show it's not a big deal.

But this is big deal, as cities are breaking law with improper engineering of traffic or even making on purpose intersections prone to accidents to get enough money from RLCs. If you don't see problem with this, then talking to you about this issue is like talking with blind man about colors: totally pointless.

@grzesja

As usual, most of your sources are from thenewspaper.com which I have repeatedly shown is very good at selectively taking quotes from other places and acting as if they were reporting the central theme from the study or report or article.

I know you like to characterize me "who never saw law enforcement or government revenue program he didn't approve of" but the record shows that I will criticize officials when they overstep. What I do is read the articles and follow the links to see if what is implied is supported. Most of the time it is not supported, but sometimes it is.

I find it interesting that, while you seem to think that it pointless to respond to me, that you always do.

Quote:

But this is big deal, as cities are breaking law with improper engineering of traffic or even making on purpose intersections prone to accidents to get enough money from RLCs.

Once again I followed all your links and I did not see that any of them supported your "big deal".

@grzesja - Critique of link 1

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and he then cited some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided. If someone wants to debate the facts as seen in the Court finding, I will be happy to do so.

Headline:
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholds unlimited police use of GPS tracking without a warrant.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3467.asp

In the case at hand, thenewspaper.com has totally misrepresented the Appeals Court finding.

Facts:
A GPS device was attached to the vehicle of a suspected drug distributor. It remained in operation for some 28 hours until its battery ran out. Thereafter, visual surveillance was made. The Illinois State Police were asked to pull the driver over which they did. NOTE: the violation was “remaining in the left-hand passing lane, a minor violation of Illinois traffic law”, according to the Appeals Court.

The suspect pleaded guilty on condition he could appeal based on an argument that the drug evidence had been procured in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

If one reads the court case cited by thenewspaper.com,
http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/2011/us-gps7.pdf ,
an entirely different interpretation emerges.

The Appeals Court specifically distinguished the case at bar in which the GPS operated for only 28 hours from other decisions. The Court said:

“The foundational Supreme Court precedent for GPS-related cases is United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983), which held that the use of a beeper device to track a drug suspect did not violate the Fourth Amendment because it did not amount to a search or seizure. The Court explained that “[a] person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements from one place to another.” In United States v. Garcia, 474 F.3d 994 (7th Cir. 2007), we considered the Fourth Amendment implications of the installation and use of a GPS device. In reliance on Knotts, we explained that GPS tracking is not a search. (“GPS tracking is on the same side of the divide with … surveillance cameras and … satellite imaging, and if what they do is not searching in Fourth Amendment terms, neither is GPS tracking.”). We noted in particular that GPS surveillance utilizes technology to substitute “for an activity, namely following a car on a public street, that is unequivocally not a search within the meaning of the Fourth
Amendment].””

“The use of GPS by law enforcement is a Fourth Amendment frontier. Undoubtedly, future cases in the tradition of Maynard will attempt to delineate the boundaries of the permissible use of this technology—a technology surely capable of abuses fit for a dystopian novel. But the present case does not call on us to codify the limits of allowable GPS use; indeed, in our view the case before us cannot be distinguished from the quite recent decision of this court in Garcia in any legally meaningful way. Viewing the present case as controlled by that precedent,
we AFFIRM.”

Note that this Court was concerned about what might happen in the future.

BUT it certainly did not “uphold police use of GPS tracking without a warrant”

@grzesja - Critique of link 2

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissrI also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

Headline:
Data from motorist GPS units handed to Dutch police for the purpose of setting up speed traps.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3466.asp

This forum has been discussing this, so I will only observe that no one has claimed a violation of civil liberties.
See http://www.poi-factory.com/node/32968

@grzesja - Critique of link 3

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

The written report submitted by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck emphasized that "expert opinion" supports shorter yellow times combined with the use of automated enforcement.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3460.asp

Headline:
California: Police Officials Narrowly Back Red Light Cameras

Facts:
Thenewspaper.com article clearly references “[t]he written report submitted by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck”. If you follow the link given
Source: Response to Safer Streets in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Police Department, 4/19/2011)

You would expect to find the words “expert opinion” somehow related to “shorter yellow times”. I could not find this. I did find the sentences:

“Expert opinions indicate that a significant amount of red light running is intentional and that enforcement countermeasures can sometimes have a more dramatic impact than engineering countermeasures. However, the two should always be considered together as a multi-pronged traffic safety strategy.”

and

“Furthermore, the cited studies which show significant benefit to lengthening the yellow change interval typically examined locations where the yellow change intervals were shorter than engineering guidelines, and thus were lengthened to meet those guidelines.”

I thought that maybe thenewspaper.com got the apparent “quote” from one of the other studies, but they did not contain the quoted material either.

Chief Beck did make comments about “where the yellow change intervals were shorter than engineering guidelines, and thus were lengthened to meet those guidelines.” However, this is quite different in meaning than what thenewspaper.com had him saying.

My reading of all the studies and reports cited within the article leads me to believe that thenewspaper.com has grossly misrepresented the report by Chief Beck.

@grzesja - Critique of link 4

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

Link 4

Internal emails regarding Ridgeland, South Carolina speed camera system shows profit drives deployment decisions.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3459.asp

From what I read, this certainly seems to be an effort to increase revenue for the town.

Thenewspaper.com article says that “In an October 18, 2010 email to Ridgeland town administrator Jason Taylor, Danzell made it clear his primary motivation in deciding when and where to place the cameras was generating the maximum possible number of citations” The entire text of the Oct 18 email is “Just a follow-up to our lunch on Friday. We should be consistently be delivering 120 to 130 tickets to Sandy on a daily basis. The potential is 200 but further improvement are required in the backoffice to achieve this number. We are working on this … but, we are not there yet. I’ll keep you posted.”
I cannot understand why thenewspaper.com implies that this email has anything to do with when and where to place the cameras. None of the emails discussed where.

Still, I can find nothing that indicates that any civil liberties are being violated by Ridgeland. Thenewspaper.com article says “The new venture looks to target the estimated 1000 vehicles that pass through the town's 70 MPH zone at 81 MPH or more each day -- enough to generate $40 million.” Nothing is said about the town reducing speed limits to catch speeders unawares even though it clearly can be called a “speed trap”

@grzesja - Critique of link 5

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

Link 5

ACLU seeks information on Michigan program that allows cops to download information from smart phones belonging to stopped motorists.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/34/3458.asp
or: http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-national/michigan-sta...

Headline:
Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

Facts:
The Michigan State Police (MSP) have devices that can extract data from cellphones. However, thenewspaper.com did not claim, nor have I yet found any other article that claims that any cellphone was actually “searched”

NOTE: the headline clearly implies that has, and is, happening.

So, I needed more information and I searched for other articles.
At http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/04/aclu-conc...

“After the ACLU of Michigan posted the letter on its website and a few news outlets covered the story, the Michigan State Police issued a statement on the data extraction devices, which it calls DEDs.

"The MSP only uses the DEDs if a search warrant is obtained or if the person possessing the mobile device gives consent," said Tiffany Brown, a state police spokeswoman, in a statement. "The department's internal directive is that the DEDs only be used by MSP specialty teams on criminal cases, such as crimes against children."

Brown said the DEDs are not being used to extract anyone's personal information during routine traffic stops.

"The MSP does not possess DEDs that can extract data without the officer actually possessing the owner's mobile device," she said. "The DEDs utilized by the MSP cannot obtain information from mobile devices without the mobile device owner knowing."

Brown also said the DEDs the agency is using have been adapted for law enforcement use because of an increasing use of such devices by criminals to steal data from others, noting that such technology has become “a powerful investigative tool used to obtain critical information from criminals.”

At http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/michigan-sta...

What is the DED?
CelleBrite Universal Forensic Extraction Device [UFED] is straightforward. It knows how to extract data like a phonebook, camera pictures, videos, audio, SMS text messages and everything else in fairly short order, and it has a cable pack that can interface with most cell phones

Once a police officer connects the gadget to a suspects' handset, the handheld displays five options:

•Extract Phone Data: the option for taking the information directly from the mobile
•Extract SIM/USIM Data: for physical extraction directly from a SIM card
•Clone SIM ID: allows the user to copy a SIM card, enabling the officer to analyze the phone without it being able to take incoming calls
•Memory dump beta (for password disabling)
•Services: software upgrades and administrative tasks
Option one is easy. The officer connects to the phone, clicks number one, and is directed to a menu of hundreds of mobile vendors. She then picks the vendor and model through a series of drop down displays. Next the operator must tell the device to extract from the phone (as opposed to a SIM card), and whether access a USB or SD data drive.

I searched for and finally found the response of the MSP to the ACLU. It is at
http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/201116/7094/Michiga...

On Wednesday, the MSP issued a statement of their own, addressing the ACLU's claims. In addition, they offered an update on the FOIA requests.

“Since 2008, the MSP has worked with the ACLU to narrow the focus, and thus reducing the cost, of its initial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. To date, the MSP has fulfilled at least one ACLU FOIA request on this issue and has several far-lower cost requests awaiting payment to begin processing,” the statement explained.

As for the UFED, which the agency calls a data extraction device (DED), the MSP said they are used only when a warrant has been obtained and by specialty teams. Moreover, they’re not being used to extract citizens' personal information during routine traffic stops.

“The MSP only uses the DEDs if a search warrant is obtained or if the person possessing the mobile device gives consent. The department’s internal directive is that the DEDs only be used by MSP specialty teams on criminal cases, such as crimes against children…The MSP does not possess DEDs that can extract data without the officer actually possessing the owner's mobile device. The DEDs utilized by the MSP cannot obtain information from mobile devices without the mobile device owner knowing.”

As a final jab, the statement ended with a note that the implication by the ACLU that the MSP uses the devices to bypass Fourth Amendment protections “…is untrue, and this divisive tactic unjustly harms police and community relations.”

I would say that this story is not yet over. If it can be shown that the MSP extracted information from devices without the owner’s consent or knowledge, then this would be a violation of Fourth Amendment rights in my opinion.

However, thenewspaper.com headline was not supported. There is no evidence that cellphones have been searched during traffic stops.

@grzesja - Critique of link 6

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

Link 6

The New Generation of [security] Scanners (additional links in text)
http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/86578.html

This link verifies that grzesja is worried about the slippery slope. The first paragraph of this links says:

The slippery-slope argument against the warrantless, illegal searches that the TSA conducts is to point out that body cavity searches will be next. That day has arrived, at least in jails, but the promotional materials for Canon’s new RadPRO SecurPASS scanner specifically mentions airport and border checkpoints and “Passenger friendly inspection.” A press conference held by a Illinois county sheriff last month states that a paper clip in a body cavity can be detected by these scanners.”

There has already been a forum discussion on the airport scanners. The original post by Chewbacca was titled “TSA Sexual Assualt” The link is
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/31202

It would seem that the outrage over airport scanners has died down although there are still a number of people who feel that it is an invasion of privacy. The author for this blog post makes the statement “They’re as worried about these laws as the feds are about the 4th Amendment rights that we are stripped of in the airports”

I have not seen anyone actually challenge scanners based on Fourth Amendment grounds (as opposed to just claiming that it violates Fourth Amendment rights), but that might have happened and I just missed it. If anyone knows, I would be interested.

The scanner discussion has always fascinated me. If we do not want the “government” to take the lead in making us safe while in a plane, who are we tasking with that responsibility?

Since we have no inalienable right to board a plane, I can not see that any of our “civil liberties” are violated by either the original airport scanners or the new version discussed in the blog.

@grzesja - Critique of link 7

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

Link 7

Federal court cites terrorism as legitimate reason to search an occupied vehicle in a parking lot.
source: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/33/3356.asp

Headline
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Car Search in the Name of Terrorism Prevention
Federal court cites terrorism as legitimate reason to search an occupied vehicle in a parking lot.

Facts:
From the link to the Court decision

The issue presented is whether, within weeks of the Madrid commuter rail bombings in 2004, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) police had reasonable suspicion of a terrorist plot on a major Boston bus and rail station permitting an officer to open the door of a van, which was, unusually, sitting stationary but with a driver and passengers inside, in the station's commuter parking lot. The prosecution and defendant agree that this action of the MBTA police, for Fourth Amendment purposes, amounted to a "seizure," requiring reasonable suspicion that criminal activity may have been afoot. That this proved not to be a criminal terrorist plot at all but rather a criminal plot to transport aliens illegally is immaterial.

The driver of the van, Edgar Ramos, moved to suppress evidence stemming from the MBTA's investigative search. The district court held four days of evidentiary hearings and ultimately denied the motion, concluding in a well-reasoned opinion that there was reasonable suspicion. See United States v. Ramos, 591 F. Supp. 2d 93 (D. Mass. 2008). Ramos then conditionally pled guilty to illegally transporting aliens in Charlestown, Massachusetts. See 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii). We affirm the district court's denial of Ramos's motion to suppress.”

The PDF of the Court ruling contains a very interesting discussion of claims about the extent of Fourth Amendment rights. I recommend that everyone read the PDF. It is not too long and is a straightforward read. If, after reading the case, you find that you do not agree with the ruling, I would be interested in your reasons.

I found the facts of this case to be very mild considering the fact that, for some period of time after 9/11, the government was interception private phone conversations without warrants.

I see no "civil rights" violations or "slippery slope" in this link.

@grzesja - Critique of link 8

When farrissr made the comment that he did not understand why people get so uptight about red-light cameras, grzesja responded and asked “Do you as well don't understand why people have so called ‘civil liberties’?”

Like farrissr, I also could not see how red-light cameras (or the cameras that monitor turn lanes and activate the turn arrows if a vehicle is in the turn lane) impinged on “civil liberties”, so I asked grzesja which of his “civil liberties” had been denied him by the red-light camera.

Grzesja’s response to me included the statement “You are allowing officials to get away with small thing like cameras and before you know there is something new.” At that point I understood the grzesja was concerned about all of us being on the so-called “slippery slope” and cites some articles “Like this:” and then provided 8 links – 6 of which were from thenewspaper.com.

Usually thenewspaper.com extracts some comment or quote from an article or study and uses it in a way that causes a reader to draw an entirely different conclusion that the article or study itself made.

So let’s just see what grzesja thinks is happening and if his fears are justified based on the links he provided

Link 8

More news on police officers assaulting citizens for videotaping them doing their job (links in text)
source: http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/2011/04/more-news-on-police-...

If one reads this link, one will certainly conclude that there are police officers who grossly overstep their authority. I agree with a comment in the blog that says:

The police are public servants who are getting mad at being videotaped on public property. There is simply no excuse for this type of mentality. Unfortunately, this isn't the first in a string of incidents of police not liking their public work being videotaped.

However, since our community just recently lost a police officer when he responded to a burglary in progress at a pawn shop, I can understand the fact that some police officers will respond inappropriately to various stimulus. This link is not, in my opinion, about “civil liberties”. It is about rouge police officers.

I think most of us are thankful that our police officers are a good as they are.

I also note that many police cars have video cameras that are taping the activities of the officer. One of the uses of this video feed should be to root out officers who do not behave in a professional manner.

Since this is the last of the links, I will go back to grzesja's post

Quote:

Just samples specially for you. It's just drop in the ocean of cases. Just wondering how long you respond with your usual "it's government business, pass along, nothing to see here". And of course, I'm sure you have statistic that will show it's not a big deal.
But this is big deal, as cities are breaking law with improper engineering of traffic or even making on purpose intersections prone to accidents to get enough money from RLCs. If you don't see problem with this, then talking to you about this issue is like talking with blind man about colors: totally pointless.

I found no evidence of "improper engineering of traffic"

I rate the statement "making on purpose intersections prone to accidents to get enough money from RLCs" as "pants on fire"

Given the amount of time that it took me to follow the links and read the material, I can only assume that the headlines of the articles were accepted as fact and not checked.

If someone has followed these links and disputes my interpretation of the underlying facts, I would love to engage in a discussion.

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