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At #Cheesesandwich Headquarters, Checking out the New SEPTA Police Body Cameras

By Joshua Albert, Kenneth Lipp, and Dustin Slaughter The original publication of this article mistakenly named only Albert and Lipp as authors – On Monday afternoon, Chief Thomas Nestel of the SEPTA Transit Police tweeted the announcement that his department would begin a trial of body-worn cameras by 3 on-duty officers, starting this Wednesday. He also held a … Continue reading

Art/Culture / Human interest / Immigration / Inequality / Local News / Local Politics / Philadelphia history / World Politics

Looking at SW Philly fire tragedy through the eyes of the city’s Liberian community

By Newsworks Staff – The July 5 fire that claimed the lives of four Liberian-American children in Philadelphia has sparked tension between that immigrant community and the city. A history of trauma and mistrust may be feeding it. The four children killed in Southwest Philadelphia were all 4 or younger. One was an infant. While … Continue reading

Health / Local News / National Politics / Public Interest

Inquirer: Disarray, data manipulation at Phila. VA, report finds

By Tricia L. Nadolny (Inquirer) – Inspectors surveying Philadelphia’s Veterans Affairs benefits center in June found two stunning signs of disarray: mail bins brimming with claims dating to 2011 and other benefits that had been paid twice. More alarming, the team from the VA Office of Inspector General found evidence that staff tasked with managing … Continue reading

Criminal Justice / Local News / Public Interest / Surveillance state

Philadelphia Weekly: 100 percent of Philly wiretaps drug-related, monitor portable devices

By Josh Kruger (Philadelphia Weekly) – As required by federal law, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) recently disseminated a report detailing the nature and scope of all wiretaps, known as intercepts, in the United States last year. Based upon the report, it appears that the overwhelming majority of wiretaps were related … Continue reading

Crime / Headlines / Law Enforcement / Local News / Public Interest / Surveillance state / Technology

SEPTA Police Launch Body Camera Pilot Program

By Dustin Slaughter   Very excited to start an equipment test period to evaluate body cameras for the Transit Police. — Thomas J. Nestel III (@TNestel3) July 14, 2014 SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III announced via Twitter this afternoon that his department has started a body worn camera (BWC) pilot program. Nestel … Continue reading

Criminal Justice / Legal / Local News / National Politics / Public Interest

PA Superior Court: Search of Smartphones Requires Warrant

By Max Mitchell (The Legal Intelligencer) – Based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, the state Superior Court has held that pictures obtained through a warrantless search of a smartphone violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Superior Court in Commonwealth v. Stem ruled to affirm a lower court’s suppression of photographs … Continue reading