The New York City Police Department and Microsoft have partnered up to bring the world a surveillance system straight out of a sci-fi novel. With a name both mundane and a little bit menacing, the Domain Awareness System allows the department to access around 3,000 CCTV cameras around the city and link the feeds with software to cross-check criminal and terrorist databases, take radiation levels, scan license plates, and more — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from a lower Manhattan headquarters. And when Microsoft turns around and sells the technology to other cities, New York gets a cut.
“We’re not your mom-and-pop’s Police Department anymore,” said Mayor Bloomberg yesterday at the system’s unveiling. “We are in the next century. We are leading the pack.” Ray Kelly added, “We can track where a car associated with a murder suspect is currently located and where it’s been over the past several days, weeks or months.” Months! The archival period for video is actually 30 days, but can be extended if the Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism feels like it.
The official documents ensure, “As with all NYPD operations, no person will be targeted or monitored by the Domain Awareness System solely because of actual or perceived race, color, religion or creed, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, military status, or political affiliation or beliefs.” But we’ve heard that one before.
Beyond the surveillance integration, the Domain Awareness System is an investment. “I hope Microsoft sells a lot of copies of this system,” the mayor said, “because 30 percent of the profits will go to us.” High-tech crime fighting and a business opportunity? It’s a Bloomberg-ian dream.
CENTENNIAL, Colo.—James Holmes, the 24-year-old charged in last month’s deadly Aurora, Colo., theater shooting, is mentally ill, his lawyers disclosed during a court appearance that featured an unusual outburst on Thursday.
Chief District Judge William Sylvester heard testimony from representatives of more than 20 news organizations asking for search warrants and other records related to the case to be unsealed.
Both the prosecution and defense argued that releasing such information would jeopardize their respective cases.
"The prosecution’s duty in this case is to ensure a fair trial with a just outcome," Jacob Edson, an attorney for the prosecution, said. "We are not even three weeks from the date of this crime. Law enforcement has been working very hard to interview witnesses and victims. This is not an ordinary case."
"The public is completely in the dark about what is going on in this judicial proceeding," Steven Zansberg, the attorney for several media organizations, told the judge.
Sylvester, who had issued the gag order, said he would not decide on the matter until next week.
Holmes, the former Ph.D student, looked as he has in previous court appearances: his hair dyed orange, dressed in a maroon prison jumpsuit. He did not speak during the hearing, but had “the same dazed demeanor,” the Associated Press said.
There was some drama during Thursday’s mostly procedural hearing. A woman seated in the second-to-last row of the courtroom stood up and said she had evidence of judicial misconduct on behalf of the public defender.
“I tried to deliver information vital to the defense of James Holmes to the public defender,” the woman—in a red dress with a shaved head—said, her voice shaking.
The woman, who was held by two deputies, said the defense team told her they were not willing to speak to Holmes about that information.
“It will do the victims’ families justice to have this information,” the woman, who identified herself as Allison Michelle Ernst, said as she was led out of the courtroom.
Twelve people were killed and 58 others injured in the July 20 massacre at a midnight screening of “Dark Knight Rises.”
The White House has filed an appeal in hopes of reversing a federal judge’s ruling that bans the indefinite military detention of Americans because attorneys for the president say they are justified to imprison alleged terrorists without charge.
Manhattan federal court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in May that the indefinite detention provisions signed into law late last year by US President Barack Obama failed to “pass constitutional muster” and ordered a temporary injunction to keep the military from locking up any person, American or other, over allegations of terrorist ties. On Monday, however, federal prosecutors representing President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta filed a claim with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of eliminating that ban.
The plaintiffs “cannot point to a single example of the military’s detaining anyone for engaging in conduct even remotely similar to the type of expressive activities they allege could lead to detention,” Obama’s attorneys insist. With that, the White House is arguing that as long as the indefinite detention law hasn’t be enforced yet, there is no reason for a judge to invalidate it.
Reuters reports this week that the government believes they are justified to have the authorization to lock alleged belligerents up indefinitely because cases involving militants directly aligned against the good of the US government warrants such punishment. Separate from Judge Forrest’s injunction, nine states have attempted to, at least in part, remove themselves from the indefinite detention provisions of included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA.
In section 1021 of the NDAA, the president’s authority to hold a terrorism suspect “without trial, until the end of the hostilities” is reaffirmed by Congress. Despite an accompanying signing statement voicing his opposition to that provision, President Obama quietly inked his name to the NDAA on December 31, 2011. In May, however, a group of plaintiffs including notable journalists and civil liberty proponents challenged section 1021 in court, leading to Just Forrest to find it unconstitutional one month later.
The gunman who opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and killed six people has been identified as Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran who left the service with a less than honorable discharge.
While in the Army Wade served as a sergeant, and later as a specialist based in Ft. Bliss in Texas and at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Wade’s job was as a Hawk missile system repairman, and he then became a psychological operations specialist, defense official confirmed to ABC news.
Authorities would not divulge the identity of the suspect in the Sikh temple shootings, and did not describe his motive other than to label his actions as “domestic terrorism.”
Officials at the Southern Poverty Law Center said they had been tracking Mr. Page for about a decade because of his ties to the white supremacist movement and they described him as “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.”
For example, a website called label56.com, which promoted Page’s bands and published his music on its label, also praises the likes of the Greek neo-nazi party, the Golden Dawn in its blog. It calls opponents of the Golden Dawn “neo fascists”.
They said he played guitar and sang vocals for a band started in 2005 called End Apathy.
In an interview, Mr. Page’s stepmother, Laura Page, 67, of Denver, expressed shock at the news that the boy she had known since he was 10 years old could be behind such a crime. “I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine what made him do this,” she said.
She said that he grew up with his mother, a dog groomer, in the metropolitan Denver area until she died when he was 12 or 13. Then he went to live with an aunt and a grandmother in Colorado.
Some neighbors said the man had initially lived on the south side of E. Holmes Ave. but moved across the street within the past few weeks.
After high school, he enlisted in the Army. “I think that he felt that he was misdirected and that the service helped him find a direction in life,” she said, saying that after he joined the Army he did not keep in regular contact.
The gunman, carrying a 9 millimeter semiautomatic handgun and with a 9/11 tattoo on his left shoulder, entered the temple about 10:15 a.m. Sunday, police officials said, and began firing at priests gathered in the lobby. He then stalked through the temple as congregants, including women preparing a meal for services, ran for shelter and barricaded themselves in bathrooms and prayer halls. They made desperate phone calls and sent anguished texts pleading for help as confusion and fear took hold.
Though violence against Sikhs in Wisconsin was unheard of before the shooting, many in this community said they had sensed a rise in antipathy since the attacks on Sept. 11 and suspected it was because people mistake them for Muslims.
The shooting came about two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people and wounded nearly 60 in an attack at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
(WXYZ) - Seven people have been killed in a shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
One of the dead is confirmed to be the shooter.
Police say 3 people, including a police officer, have been injured.
The police chief says they are treating the incident as a case of domestic terrorism and that both the FBI and the ATF are investigating.
Police say a 911 call came in reporting a possible shooting at the temple at around 10:25 a.m. CDT.
A police officer responded and was shot multiple times. The officer was able to return fire, shooting and, in the words of police, putting the suspect down.
The officer was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. He is described as a 20-year veteran with tactical experience.
Police say several dozen people were in the temple at the time of the shooting, getting ready for a service.
One local hospital told CNN they have received three patients from the scene. All three are men suffering from gunshot wounds to the face and extremities. They are all in critical condition.
Of the 7 people who died, four of them were killed inside the building. Three others, including the gunman, are outside.
Oak Creek is located about 20 miles south of Downtown Milwaukee. Another Sikh temple is located in nearby Brookfield, Wisconsin. Police were dispatched to that temple as a precaution following the shootings at the Oak Creek temple.