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NYPD Installs $30 Million Monitoring System, Bloomberg “We are in the next century”
by Ezra Van Auken
New York Police officials revealed a brand new, high-tech system to the police force on Wednesday. The Domain Awareness System, designed by NYPD and Microsoft workers, carries data from cameras, license plate readers, crime reports and radiation detectors that combines the information into one source.
Ranging from $30-$40 million, the system is very expensive but NYPD officials expect to gain 30% of profits from Microsoft, when other devices are sold around the country to police departments.
The operation behind using Microsoft and NYPD’s new system is easy, allowing cops to manage multiple live feeds at once or record samples of radioactive substances, as well as license plate trackers which will have a programmed watch list.
Mayor Bloomberg supported the expansion of police equipment, explaining, “We’re not your mom and pop police department anymore,” as well as pointing out, “We are in the next century, we are leading the pack,” in regards to technology used by everyday law enforcement. This brings up debate between police officers and civil liberties advocates, due to the drastic steps taken by the State to watch over citizens.
Liberty advocates have good reason to believe that the United States has already become a police state.
Just weeks ago, the Anaheim PD in California came under questioning after relatives say Manuel Diaz was shot and killed defenselessly by cops while being chased down. According to reports, Diaz was first shot in the buttocks, falling to the ground where police then executed him. This hasn’t been the only fatal police shooting, recently.
In Jonesboro, Arkansas police found the 21-year-old body of Chavies Carter, who apparently had committed suicide in the back of a squad car. Carter’s mother disputes that theory and said her son wasn’t capable of shooting himself with handcuffs on, being left-handed, making it seem impossible with a wound to his right temple, which has brought controversy into the Jonesboro Police Dept. story.
On the east coast is Pennsylvania, and in 2010 Robert Leone had an experience worse than Diaz or Carter could have imagined. Leone was driving home on Route 6 in PA when Pennsylvania State Police flashed lights and rung sirens at the 31-year-old, once stopped, he witnessed his life flash before his eyes. The official lawsuit claims Leone was subdued to hours of beating and electrical shock by the use of taser, which nearly claimed his life.
Not only are police state-like factors occurring throughout the local law enforcement system, but on a federal level as well. In November of 2011, Senator Joe Lieberman sought to install a “terrorist” button on Blogger.com blogs so viewers could easily flag “terrorized” comments. In the same month as Senator Lieberman’s Blogger.com idea was the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) measure to start using social media websites such as Twitter for gathering information on any suspicious activity.
All of this snowballing into what many Americans have labeled the ‘police state’ due to the expansive monitoring and brute force going into the everyday job of policing a nation.