There is another controversy over the level of force used in an arrest. The latest such controversy comes from Salinas California where police are investigating a new videotape and witness complaints about a beating given to a mentally ill who was being arrested after shoving his mother into a busy street. While 28-year-old Jose Velasco is shown trying to rise at one point, police below are shown beating him with batons and shooting him with Tasers while he is on the ground.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court reaffirmed yesterday that it rejects the most fundamental notions of due process, free speech, freedom of religion, and the free press. It was able to do all of that in one case — perfectly capturing the inherently abusive elements of Sharia law and religiously based legal systems.
A McKinney, Texas police officer has been suspended pending review after the posting of a videotape where he draws his gun and manhandles a group of teenagers outside of a pool party. The officer has been identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt and he is shown being verbally and physically abusive toward young people who are not clearly doing anything unlawful.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Those having great concern of the rise of Turkish President Recep Erdogan as a threat to free speech and his pursuit of an increasingly autocratic government can breathe, at least in the short term, a collective sigh of relief. With ninety-nine percent of the polling counted, Erdogan’s AK Party lost its parliamentary majority, preventing it from successfully pursuing constitutional changes that could solidify his power and what likely would lead further erosion of the traditionally secular state. This is the most significant setback to the AKP in the thirteen years it has governed over Turkey.
The announcement of the loss of majority came as a surprise as many feared manipulation of the voting process and witnessed numerous attempts at voter suppression and the jailing of media officials and those critical of the president.
We have previously discussed the increasing trend toward monitoring and disciplining private and public employees for comments on social media. These cases raise difficult questions of free speech in our society. The most recent such case involves Leslie Anderson, a law clerk for a New Jersey judge who resigned after being suspended after she made comments on Facebook criticizing a state trooper who was killed in a crash with a deer. While some praised 24-year-old Anthony Raspa (left) as a hero, Anderson also expressed sympathy for the dead animal, saying “I agree that it is sad and heart-wrenching for the family members left to suffer the consequences of the trooper’s recklessness—especially for the deer family who lost a mommy or daddy or baby deer.”
The English court system is considering a controversial new report by Dame Elish Angiolini that would establish a rule that women cannot be viewed as consenting to sex if they are found to be intoxicated. The report is pushing an amendment of the Sexual Offences Act to establish the rule.
Iran has continued its assault on free speech this week with the jailing of an artist for simply drawing a cartoon disparaging members of parliament. Atena Farghadani, 28, who is a peaceful activist and artist who sought to mock the decision to restrict birth control for women. Rather than respond to such criticism, the ruling Mullahs sent her to jail.