Mayor Wants Ban On Public Surveillance Lifted, Claims It Limits Ability To Fight Crime
Mayor Wants Ban On Public Surveillance Lifted, Claims It Limits Ability To Fight Crime by MassPrivateI via Activist Post
What should be headline news across the country is relegated to a single local newspaper fighting back against illegal government surveillance.
Over the past two years, Memphis, Tennessee Mayor Jim Strickland and the Memphis Police Department have claimed that a 1978 consent decree barring them from conducting political surveillance limits their ability to fight crime.
The Commercial Appeal warns that Strickland wants to destroy the 41-year-old ban on public surveillance without a warrant.
Before the Memphis municipal election, Strickland’s administration filed documents under seal in federal court asking to modify the 1978 Kendrick consent decree — the court order in question. That order keeps the Memphis Police Department from keeping people under surveillance unless they’re believed to be committing a crime.
How much shadier can things get?
Memphis Police Director Michael W. Rallings said “that monitoring these public social media posts is simply good police work.” And Mayor Strickland claimed two years ago “that several dozen names he signed a trespassing arrest authorization for were done without his knowledge.”
Memphis Daily News reporter Bill Nies asked if the City Hall list of active protesters was a result of police surveillance; Strickland said, “I don’t know. I didn’t create the list. I didn’t even know it existed as of 10 days ago.”
Strickland claims he didn’t create a government blacklist but signed off on it anyway? Nothing shady about that right?
The ACLU notes that the police department and Homeland Security decided to ignore the consent decree three years ago and secretly monitor activists and protesters.
In 2016 and 2017, Memphis Police Department’s Office of Homeland Security decided it was legally appropriate and a good use of resources to create a fraudulent Facebook profile whose purpose was to deceive activists and gather information from them, including information from private posts.
They even went so far as to create a PowerPoint presentation about BLM activists who protested police shootings. (To view the timeline of police surveillance click here.)