New York State Changes its Tinting Law

New York State has changed several of its driving laws and regulations. If you are driving around with street legal tints, you may want to check to make sure that your tints do not violate recent changes to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law does not allow a windshield or front side windows to block more than 30 percent of the light coming into a vehicle, meaning that 70 percent or more of the light from the outside must pass through the window.  This law also applies to the rear window unless the vehicle has outside rear-view mirrors on both sides that provide the driver with a full and clear view behind the vehicle.  Rear side windows must also allow at least 70 percent of light from the outside to pass through the window if the vehicle is classified as a station wagon, sedan, hardtop, coupe, hatchback or convertible.  A vehicle falls into one of these categories if it is labeled “Passenger Car” on the Federal ID label found on the left front door panel.  But if the label says MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), truck, bus, etc., then the vehicle’s side windows to the rear of the driver’s seat are exempt from widow tint inspection.

Continue reading

NYT: Jury Sees Deadly Shooting Footage from Body Camera

In the prosecution of a police officer, the New York Times displayed a graphic, twelve second, video showing the shooting of a suspect in a crime, reporting that

Prosecutors showed the video, taken by the officer’s body camera, in court on Thursday for the first time.

The trial of the officer, Dominique Heaggan-Brown, is being closely watched in Milwaukee, where the killing of Mr. Smith, 23, last August set off a few days of protests, arson and rioting.

Prosecutors argued that Mr. Smith was unarmed and on the ground when Mr. Heaggan-Brown fired the final shot, but the former officer’s lawyers said Mr. Heaggan-Brown was doing what he had been trained to do when pursuing a suspect who was carrying a gun. The episode — beginning with the moment Mr. Heaggan-Brown and his partner confronted Mr. Smith during a traffic stop — unfolded in only about 12 seconds.

What is Solitary Confinement…

The Atlantic:

The Torment of Solitary Confinement

Jun 22, 2016 | 428 videos

Video by Cali Bondad and Gabrielle Canon

Inmates in Pelican Bay State Prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU) spend 22.5 hours of the day in a windowless cell—it is one of the most notorious supermax prisons in the United States. In this short documentary, Our Voices Are Rarely Heard, the filmmakers Cali Bondad and Gabrielle Canon recorded inmates’ experiences in the facility. The film aims to provide “a cinematic glimpse of the personal anguish and monotony described by inmates living in long-term isolation,” Bondad wrote in an email. You can read the article that accompanies the film on Medium. Our Voices Are Rarely Heard was produced by the production company Sister.

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/iframe/487970/

SunSentinal: Judge upholds sentence in DUI manslaughter wrong-way triple death

The ABAjournal picked up on this story, stating that “a judge gave Jenkins nearly 33 years at his 2011 sentencing, unfavorably influenced by a private investigator’s videotape that showed the defendant playing beer pong within weeks of the sentencing, the Palm Beach Post reported at the time. A cousin of one of the victims who died in the 2008 wrong-way crash hired the PI after hearing that Jenkins was still partying after the accident.”

The Sunsentinal reported that:

Jenkins testified Feb. 16 that he had wanted to accept blame, but continued to trust his lawyers Jack Goldberger and Michael E. Dutko.

Markus said the delay in not resolving the case until 2011 led to the disastrous circumstance of Jenkins, while still out on bail, getting caught on video playing beer pong at a bar.

A private investigator hired by a cousin of Rutman had shot the video and turned it over to the court.

While sentencing Jenkins, Circuit Judge Richard Oftedal said Jenkins’ participation “in a drinking game on the eve of sentencing is a slap in the fact and an affront to the victims and their survivors and friends.”

State guidelines then called for a minimum of 32 years, 10 1/2 months in prison; the maximum possible was a life term. Oftedal could have justified going below the minimum but declined.

Continue reading

Washington Post: Boy shot in back by stray bullet after pleading in video for end to Chicago violence

The Washington Post Reports:

on Friday, in a tragic twist, Trotter, became one of its latest victims.

Trotter, now 13, was struck by a stray bullet Friday night while walking home after playing basketball, according to the Chicago Tribune. He was shot in the back, close to his spine, and remains in critical condition. No one else was injured, and there have been no arrests so far.

The teenager was one of more than a dozen people injured in shootings across Chicago on Friday, according to the Tribune. The city has had a spike in shootings so far this year, with shootings nearly double what they were at this point last year and homicides up 84 percent, according to the New York Times.

So far this year, the city is averaging more than seven shootings and one homicide per day.

Continue reading

The Daily Signal: Inside the Push to Make It Harder for Government to ‘Steal’ Property, Cash in America’s Heartland

Michelle Alexander discusses the problems with forfeiture laws or, in other words, when the police take property from the public. Indeed, “A report from the Institute for Justice found that from 2000 to 2014, state law enforcement agencies reported nearly $99 million in forfeiture proceeds, of which 72 percent came from cash seizures. Current state law allows agencies to keep up to 100 percent of forfeiture proceeds.” Melissa Quinn published this beautifully written article about ‘policing for profit’ to which I share with you but can be viewed in its entirety here. Enjoy. Continue reading

Chicago Tribune: Family of woman accidentally shot by Chicago police files lawsuit

The  Chicago Tribune recently reported that a lawsuit has been filed by a women who was shot and killed by police fire in Chicago. The article reports that:

The lawsuit says Bettie Jones was inside the building in the 4700 block of West Erie Street when she was fatally struck. The officer’s response to a domestic dispute involving her neighbors, Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and his father, Antonio, was “an excessive use of force,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit contradicts a law enforcement source who told the Tribune last week that the officer said he had gotten to the second-to-top step of the two-flat’s front porch when LeGrier came running out of the building, swinging a bat, before the officer opened fire. LeGrier also was killed.

Larry Rogers Jr., who is representing the Jones family, said the officer was about 20 feet away when he opened fire.

Continue reading

NYLJ: Cuomo’s Order to Remove Homeless From Streets Is Challenged

Another Executive Order has been issued based in large part on an “emergency.” What emergency you ask, homeless people on the streets of New York City when the temperature drops below zero. The New York Law Journal Reported:

As bitter winter weather arrived in the Northeast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring the homeless to be forcibly removed from the streets in freezing temperatures, an unprecedented government intervention that faced immediate legal questions and backlash….

The order, believed to be the only one of its kind in any city or state, would require communities to reach out to their street homeless populations and take those people to shelters, voluntarily or not, once the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below….

The Department of Justice’s civil rights division has increasingly cracked down on municipalities for enacting laws criminalizing sleeping on public streets even as many U.S. cities are battling a surge of homelessness during the dead of winter.

Advocates are concerned and it seems that this emergency order is without sounds basis when homeless people have been living on the streets of New York for quite sometime…

Read the entire article here: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202746298606/Cuomos-Order-to-Remove-Homeless-From-Streets-Is-Challenged#ixzz3wUFneF00

Wash. Post: Justice Dept. launches investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s use of force

The Justice Department will investigate the Chicago Police Department to see whether the force “has engaged in a pattern or practice of violation of the Constitution or federal law,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced Monday.

“Our investigation is focused on use of force and the accountability within the police department,” Lynch said.

The probe follows similar federal civil rights investigations that were launched in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, in the wake of unrest in both cities. In Chicago, federal investigators will look at how officers use deadly force and examine any racial or ethnic disparities in how force is employed, as well as how the department handles discipline and allegations of misconduct.

This investigation into the country’s second-largest local police department comes less than two weeks after the Chicago force came under the national spotlight because of recently released video footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager. The Washington Postfirst reported Sunday that the Justice Department would open this investigation, putting Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s force under the microscope of his former colleagues in the Obama administration.

Read the rest of the article at the Washington Post; the Wall Street Journal also reported a similar story.