In May, we published a story about how police body cams can be employed in the worst way—for planting evidence, or staging a crime scene. In what was among the first instances of its kind, we revealed that a Colorado cop had staged the body cam footage of the search of a vehicle in which he is seen finding drugs and cash. Pueblo prosecutors dropped the drug charges, and the Pueblo Police Department said it disciplined the officer, as an internal matter. No charges against the officer were lodged.
Now there's word of another such incident in Baltimore, related to video from a January drug arrest. The officer's trickery was revealed by the fact that his body cam, by default, retained footage for 30 seconds before it was activated to begin recording. During that time, according to the footage and the Baltimore public defender's office, officer Richard Pinheiro puts a bag of pills in a can in an alley and walks out of the alley.
The Axon cam's initial 30 seconds of footage, by default, doesn't have sound. After 30 seconds, viewers of the video can both see and hear the officer looking for drugs in the alley. Lo and behold, he finds them in the same soup can that he placed them in, according to the footage, which was released Wednesday. Pinheiro can then be heard yelling "yo" to his fellow officers, telling them he found drugs in the alley.
It's eventually going to have to be that the camera is on the entire time the officer is on duty. The technology is basically there, but I don't think most of them can record enough quite yet. They wouldn't need to keep the full day's recording for very long, maybe a week or a month or so if nothing happened.
There won't be a technology solution to this problem. Something will "magically" obscure the camera during the time the drugs are planted. The problem is that the police in this country believe they are at war with the people they are being paid to serve.
The automation revolution, where most of our jobs are replaced by robots and we spend the rest of our days floating around on rubber rings sipping piña coladas, has hit a snag: a Knightscope K5 security bot appears to have fallen down some stairs and drowned itself in a water feature.
The scene, which took place at the mixed-use Washington Harbour development in Washington DC, was captured by Bilal Farooqui on Twitter. One local office worker reported that the K5 robot had only been patrolling the complex for a few days. Knightscope said in a statement that the "isolated incident" was under investigation, and that a new robot would be delivered to Washington Harbour this week for free.
We first wrote about the Dalek-like K5 back in 2014. The first bots were deployed on campuses and shopping complexes near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company has never disclosed how many robots are on active duty, but this is the first time I've heard of a K5 deployment outside of Silicon Valley.
“Knowing that they were losing “valuable product” due to their slaves’ propensity to swim, slave owners began taking drastic steps to protect their property. One of these steps was to instill a fear of the water by dunking disobedient slaves in water until they nearly drowned and by creating fear through stories of creatures living in the water. Thus it didn’t take long to excise or destroy the West African swimming tradition from African- American culture. The Jim Crow laws that were enacted after The Civil War prohibited blacks from the popular seaside resorts in places like Atlantic City, N.J. and Revere Beach, Mass. And by the 20th Century, as the swimming pool began to gain in popularity in the United States, the color line prohibited blacks from enjoying this pleasant recreational skill.
In addition, self-segregation also played a role in limiting those of African ancestry from getting in the water. I remember my Aunt saying to stay away from the pool because, “black folk don’t swim.””
Next time you hear someone ask questions like, “Why don’t black people swim?” Or “Why are so many black people afraid of dogs?” And, “Why are there do so many black people live in poverty?”…..let ‘em know that those aren’t coincidences. These things didn’t just happen naturally, all on their own. There’s a reason for it, and you don’t have to be an historian to know they’re all interconnected through slavery, endemic racism and persistently racist cultural norms.
It's well known among economists that most people don't like income disparities, especially when they're on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. This is reflected in polls and scientific studies, but also just everyday common sense. Yet many of our societies suffer from a widening gap between the haves and have-nots. If we hate economic inequality so much, why do humans keep supporting institutions that concentrate wealth in a tiny percentage of the population? A new cross-cultural study led by economists working in China suggests one possible reason: people are not willing to redistribute wealth if they think it will upset the social hierarchy.
Zhejiang University business school professor Zhou Xinyue and his colleagues conducted a simple experiment using a game that allows players to redistribute income between two people. They describe the results in Nature Human Behavior. Players were shown pictures of two people and told that one has randomly been given a large amount of money and the other a small amount. Then players were asked whether they would be willing to allow the money to be redistributed under two basic conditions: one, if the redistribution leaves the "rich" person still richer than the other; and two, if the redistribution reverses the roles and leaves the "rich" person poorer than the other.
Zhou and colleagues did tests on subjects in China and continued their tests with Indian and Caucasian subjects via Mechanical Turk. They found that responses were surprisingly uniform: 76.87% of people were willing to redistribute money if the rich person remained slightly wealthier than the poor person, thus keeping "social ranking" intact. But only 44.8% of people were willing to redistribute the money if it meant reversing the fortunes of the "rich" and "poor" people.