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The increase in police brutality in this country is a frightening reality. 500 innocent Americans are murdered by police every year (USDOJ). 5,000 since 9/11, equal to the number of US soldiers lost in Iraq.

Civil asset forfeiture sounds like a a dry legal term, but it has a deeper impact on people’s lives and our justice system than you might expect. It’s a practice that threatens property rights, rewards discriminatory policing, and has interesting and unexpected connections with the violations of constitutional rights that have come to define the “war on terror.” Civil asset forfeiture refers to the process of law enforcement seizing property — like cars, money, or houses — suspected of being involved in, or paid for by, illicit activities. This occurs without a charge or conviction because bizarrely, civil forfeiture law names the property itself as the defendant in the lawsuit, rendering the owner’s innocence irrelevant. It is difficult if not impossible to challenge civil asset forfeiture, and police disproportionately apply this practice to poor people, immigrants, and people of color who are already disempowered by the legal system.

A father's attempt to teach his son a lesson for taking his truck without permission ended in tragedy Monday after a local police officer shot the teenager dead. UPDATED: Police dash cam footage shows reckless endangerment of both the surrounding public and the officers in pursuit, including two separate instances of the truck driver ramming the police vehicle.

According to The Daily, the Tampa police produced this vehicle to deal with some protesters.

One of the central themes of my book is that that too many cops today have been conditioned to see the people they serve not as citizens with rights, but as an enemy. My argument is that this battlefield mindset is the product of a generation of politicians telling police that they're at war with things -- drugs, terrorism, crime, etc. -- and have then equipped them with the uniforms, tactics, weapons, and other accoutrements of war.

Benjamin Carlson at The Daily reports on a little known endeavor called the "1033 Program" that gave more than $500 million of military gear to U.S. police forces in 2011 alone.

Police departments across the country are coming under criticism for using excessive force against Occupy Wall Street protesters during the past two months. In Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn apologized Wednesday, hours after an 84-year-old retired Seattle school teacher named Dorli Rainey was pepper-sprayed in the face during a protest.

Oakland protesters re-Occupy plaza

OAKLAND, Calif. - Anti-Wall Street protesters in Oakland have erected more than two dozen tents in a plaza declared off limits for overnight camping, vowing to remain at the site despite city orders to vacate.

A Lesson in Love From the Protest at the Port

On Monday evening, I was brutally beaten by my brothers on the Seattle Police force as I stood before an entrance to Pier 18 of the Seattle Port, wearing my clergy garb and bellowing, “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!”

Why Was I Arrested?

At about 11:30 PM, on 12/6/11, during finals, I was arrested in the main library on my college campus. I spent the next 22 hours under full surveillance (including while I was using the toilet), subjected to verbal abuse, being repeatedly uncuffed and cuffed, patted down on my entire body, stripped naked and made to stand and squat in full view of a man named ‘Dog’, all while being deprived for various amounts of time of things like toilet paper and a place to lie down. I didn’t get my bookbag back for 34 hours on top of that. Why did this happen?

Read it at DirtsEyeView