CURRENT NEWS--->>>>Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race--Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americans, mothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair ramps, Jews, expats from Argentina and Spanish speakers. Every single ad was approved within minutes.------Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery-Using his father’s, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Combs’ unmarked patrol car, 22-year-old Christopher Combs drove south to Pompano Beach Florida to terrorize his ex-girlfriend of five years and her current boyfriend.------Ten days after a homeless man was beaten to death near Ft. Lauderdale, Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives issued a warrant for one of his acquaintances and took him into custody on Halloween night.----Homicide investigators obtained a warrant for Bizarro-Cermeno’s arrest on Oct. 31 and located him two hours later near the scene of the crime. ------No more excuses. Now you can Register to Vote Online in Florida. TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA– Register to Vote Online-The Florida Department of State today announced the upcoming launch of RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, the state’s new online voter registration website that offers Florida residents another way to register to vote or update an existing registration that is convenient, secure and easy-to-use.>>>>>>TEN ARRESTED IN PATIENT BROKERING SCHEME-Earlier this month, five South Florida attorneys and five of their accomplices were arrested in a patient brokering scheme that earned them more than half a million dollars in profits. The attorneys names----Adam Hurtig, 46, Alexander Kapetan, 44, Vincent Pravato, 48, Steven Slootsky, 57, Mark Spatz, 58------County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-A Broward County employee spent several hours trapped inside an inmate holding cell at the new main courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale last Wednesday after she mistakenly walked through the wrong door and couldn’t get out.------Body Cameras Bill Signed by Governor Rick Scott-Recently, a bill signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott, now requires Florida police departments that have their officers use body cameras establish policies and procedures for the proper use, maintenance and storage of the cameras and the data they record.------DETECTIVES ARREST SPIDERMAN ROBBER & ACCOMPLICE-Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested 19-year-old Chestlie Saintmelus, and 20-year-old Trenard Young for a series of robberies including the April 12 armed robbery at the 7-Eleven at 12 N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach.------

Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver

 

Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver

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Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver 

Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver

On January 18, 2016, Mesa Police Department officer Philip Brailsford shot and killed Daniel Leetin Shaver of Granbury, Texas in the hallway of a La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel. Shaver was confronted by police responding to a report he was pointing his rifle out a fifth-floor hotel window. Hotel guests near the pool had notified the front desk of the incident. The hotel immediately notified the police.

Following an investigation, Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder and a lesser manslaughter charge and found not guilty by a jury.

Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver 

Incident

According to a police report, Daniel Leetin Shaver (December 29, 1989 – January 18, 2016), a pest-control worker and resident of Granbury, Texas, had been staying at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites on business.

He invited two acquaintances to his room for drinks. There he showed them a scoped air rifle he was using to exterminate birds inside grocery stores. At one point the gun was pointed outside his hotel window, prompting a witness to notify the front desk; the police were immediately called.

Upon arrival, police gave Shaver and his acquaintance’s detailed orders for several minutes, with frequent admonitions that failing to comply with them would get them shot.

Eventually, Shaver was ordered to crawl on the floor towards them. While complying with their request, Shaver, who was intoxicated and could be heard sobbing, begging officers, “Please don’t shoot,” brought his hands toward his waist. Brailsford yelled at Shaver that if Shaver did anything that deviated from his instructions he would shoot him and he probably wouldn’t survive.

The officer told Shaver to put his hands up in the air and not to bring them down for any reason.

A few seconds later, the officer ordered Shaver to crawl towards him, to which Shaver complied.

Shaver then reached his right hand back towards his waistband, at which point Brailsford can be heard yelling “Don’t!” while simultaneously opening fire with his AR-15 rifle, striking Shaver five times and killing him almost instantly.

Shaver was unarmed.

Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver

Aftermath

In early March 2016, Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder in relation to the incident Later that month, the Mesa police department, citing several policy violations that included the words “YOU’RE FUCKED” engraved into his rifle dust cover and unsatisfactory performance, fired Brailsford. Brailsford pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution and defense have interviewed 34 witnesses, but key witness Monique Portillo has not cooperated with any requests for media interviews. Portillo, who had been drinking in Shaver’s room with Shaver and a co-worker, exited the hotel room with Shaver when commanded by police to enter the hallway.

Brailsford’s trial for second-degree murder was originally scheduled for February 2017.

A defense motion challenging the state’s probable cause to send the case to trial, and appeals to the Arizona Supreme Court over the release of controversially redacted footage from Brailsford’s body camera, made a February trial unrealistic.

On February 10, 2017, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge George Foster rescheduled the trial for October 23, 2017. Brailsford faced up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of second-degree murder.

On December 7, 2017, after a 6-week trial, a jury acquitted Brailsford of all charges.

 

Police Shooting of Daniel Shaver

Body Camera Footage

 

Shaver’s wife and her lawyer requested that the Mesa Police Department release bodycam footage of the event. The request for the bodycam footage was initially refused.
In a recording released by Shaver’s wife, purportedly of a meeting between her and Maricopa County prosecutors, she was told that she could watch the video only if she agreed not to discuss its contents with the press.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys in Brailsford’s murder trial asked that the bodycam footage be sealed.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sam Myers granted the motion to seal the footage.
On May 25, 2016, Myers ordered portions of the video released. The released video omits the shooting itself.
The redacted version includes footage from Brailsford’s body camera up to the time when someone exits Shaver’s hotel room and footage from another officer’s camera while he escorts a woman from the hotel.
The footage shows that Shaver was on the floor as ordered and crying when he was shot five times in the back with an AR-15 rifle by Brailsford.
The full unedited body camera footage of the shooting was unsealed by the Court immediately after the end of the trial.
The family has filed a civil suit, and is asking the U. S. Department of Justice to investigate.
They  can use all the support they can get. Here’s their Facebook page:

 

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FATAL DEPUTY INVOLVED SHOOTING IN LAUDERDALE LAKES

 

FATAL DEPUTY INVOLVED SHOOTING IN LAUDERDALE LAKES

OUR PRAYERS FOR ALL INVOLVED

News Release
Broward Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Office
Date: December 6, 2017 Time: 4:44 p.m.

Place of Occurrence: 3610 N.W. 21st St., Unit # 103,
Lauderdale Lakes.

Victim(s): 1. BSO Deputy Sean Youngward, 48, hire
date 10/5/2015

2. BSO Deputy Steven Briggs, 49, hire date 4/5/1999

FATAL DEPUTY INVOLVED SHOOTING IN LAUDERDALE LAKES-Jean Pedro Pierre-Instagram
Jean Pedro Pierre-Via Instagram

Suspect(s): Jean Pedro Pierre, 42, 5/15/75, male,
Lauderdale Lakes (DECEASED)

Description of Incident:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents continue to investigate a fatal deputy-involved shooting that occurred Wednesday in Lauderdale Lakes.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Sunset Hills Condominium, located at 3610 N.W. 21st St. in reference to a disturbance.

Deputy Sean Youngward was the first to arrive and went to unit
103 on the first floor to assess the situation.

He was confronted by a man, later identified as 42- year-old Jean Pedro Pierre, who attacked him.

Witnesses said Pierre struck, punched and kicked Dep. Youngward.

Dep. Youngward tried to stop the violent attack by deploying his taser and using his ASP (extending baton). Neither form of less-lethal force stopped Pierre from assaulting him.

During the scuffle, Dep. Youngward was able to call for help over his radio. When Deputy Steven Briggs arrived, Dep. Youngward was on his back being assaulted by Pierre. Dep. Briggs ordered Pierre to stop. Instead, Pierre charged at Dep. Briggs and several shots were fired. Pierre was not armed.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue transported Pierre to Broward Health Medical Center where he later died.

Per BSO policy, both deputies were placed on administrative leave.

INVESTIGATORS: FDLE

THIS REPORT BY:
Veda Coleman-Wright/Dir. of PIO
Lauderdale Lakes
December 7, 2017 1820

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Broward County Judge Claudia Robinson in Trouble

 

Broward County Judge Claudia Robinson in Trouble

 

December 01, 2017-Broward County Judge Claudia Robinson in Trouble-Yesterday the Investigative Panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (“JQC”), filed formal ethics charges against Broward County judge Claudia Robinson.

Claudia Robinson-Twitter
Judge Claudia Robinson-Via Twitter

“The Investigative Panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (“JQC” or “the Commission”), at its meeting on November 3, 2017, by a vote of the majority of its members, pursuant to Rule 6(t) of the Rules of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, and Article V, Section 12 (b) of the Constitution of the State of Florida, finds that probable cause exists for formal proceedings to be instituted against you…” Excerpt from Notice of Formal Charges

On November 3, 2017, the Investigative Panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission conducted a hearing, reviewed a written response, and took sworn testimony from Judge Robinson.

Judge Claudia Robinson was represented by attorney John P. Seiler of Broward County.

At the conclusion of this hearing, pursuant to FJQC Rule 6(f), the Investigative Panel of the Commission found probable cause by a majority vote of its members, and authorized the filing of Formal Charges against Judge Robinson for creating the appearance of impropriety, and appearing to favor a former campaign adviser, Michael G. Ahearn, with mediation work.

Broward County Judge Claudia Robinson in Trouble

The Campaign

The Investigative Panel found that Judge Robinson largely self-funded her 2014 campaign for judicial office, and she did not employ a paid campaign manager or consultant.

However, attorney Michael Ahearn, a well-known political consultant, played a significant role in the campaign as an unpaid advisor for Judge Robinson. The November 2014 election was a close contest in which Judge Robinson defeated the incumbent judge in a runoff, receiving approximately 50.1% of the vote.

Michael G Ahearn
Michael G Ahearn

Mr. Ahearn’s role within the campaign, although unpaid, was significant, as acknowledged by Judge Robinson and Mr. Ahearn. Mr. Ahearn actually approached Judge Robinson and recommended to her that she should run for the judicial seat after conducting a statistical analysis of the race. Once the campaign was underway, Mr. Ahearn continued to assist Judge Robinson with strategy, messaging, and media relations on an as-needed basis.

The Mediations

 

Upon taking the Broward County bench in 2015, Judge Robinson began appointing Mr. Ahearn to serve as a private mediator in county civil and small claims cases.

Court records obtained by the Investigative Panel revealed that between April 2015 and March 2017, Judge Robinson ordered a total of approximately 296 cases into private mediation.  

Mr. Ahearn was assigned as the default mediator in 245 of those cases. That’s approximately 80% of the total cases. 

The Commission is guided by Canon 3C(4), which requires that appointments be made impartially and on the basis of merit rather than favoritism.

Judge Robinson insists that the appointments were based upon the quality of Mr. Ahearn’s work, rather than any prearranged agreement.

However, she does concede that the disproportionate number of appointments to Mr. Ahearn does create the appearance of favoritism and impropriety in violation of the Canons.

Judge Robinson points out that merely because a person is appointed as the default mediator, does not necessarily mean that person conducted the mediation.

In Broward County, an order sending a case to mediation contains the name of a default mediator, and parties are given ten days to file a stipulation with the Court agreeing to use a different mediator.

If a stipulation is not filed within ten days, the default mediator is automatically assigned to conduct the mediation.

To be sure, in some of those cases where Mr. Ahearn was listed as the default mediator, the parties also agreed and stipulated to use the services of Mr. Ahearn. The Commission is mindful, however, that, “Consent by the parties to an appointment or an award of compensation does not relieve the judge of the obligation prescribed by 3C(4).” Commentary to Canon 3C(4).

JQC Mitigation

 

Judge Robinson insists her inappropriate conduct was the result of a lapse in judgement and lack of attention to the mediation appointment process, and that there was no prearranged agreement for repayment to Mr. Ahearn through the mediation appointment process. Having thoroughly reviewed the available evidence, the Commission is unable to demonstrate otherwise.

Since the matter was brought to her attention, Judge Robinson has expanded the list of qualified mediators that she uses, and more carefully monitors how many cases are being assigned to each mediator. In addition, Judge Robinson has apologized, expressed remorse, and cooperated with the JQC investigation at all stages, including admitting to violating the canons.

JQC’s Conclusion

The Commission has charged, and Judge Robinson has acknowledged and admitted, that her conduct in appointing her former campaign advisor, Mr. Ahearn, to a disproportionate number of mediations failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary in violation of Canon 1, created the appearance of impropriety in violation of Canon 2, and fostered the appearance of favoritism toward Mr. Ahearn in violation of Canon 3C(4).

The Judicial Qualifications Commission hereby finds and recommends that the interests of justice, the public welfare, and sound judicial administration are best served by a public reprimand of Judge Robinson, the imposition of a 30-day suspension without pay, and the payment of the Commission’s investigative costs.

These findings and recommendation of discipline were filed concurrently with a Notice of Formal Charges, and a Stipulation reached between Judge Robinson and the JQC Commission.

Today, The Florida Supreme Court took jurisdiction over the case, and will decide in the near future if they will go along with the JQC’s recommendations.

If the past few years are any indication of what the Supreme Court will do with the JQC  recommendations, we can expect they will impose some sort of stricter punishment, or just chuck the JQC’s recommendations all together, as they should in our opinion.

Let’s Look at This

County Judge Claudia Robinson Admits to Official Misconduct

Michael Ahearn worked for free to “help” judge Robinson get elected. Do you believe for free?  Who works for free?

The Judge acknowledged that he had “a significant role” in her 2014 campaign, and that he helped her get elected in a very close election. For Free!

After being elected, records show that between April 2015 and March of 2017, the judge ordered approximately 296 cases into private mediation.

In 245 of those cases, she listed Mr. Ahearn as the default mediator who would be assigned if the parties did not stipulate to a different mediator within ten days.

Mr. Ahearn actually conducted mediations in approximately 174 of those cases, charging between $250 to $300 per hour, with at least a one hour minimum.

Even with the more conservative rate of $250.00, 174 cases at that rate totals  $43,500.

That’s a “very” conservative estimate by simply taking $250.00 X 174. The real amount is probably a lot higher.

Most mediations will require more than one hour. We found the following posted on a popular courthouse blog, that claims to be what the people ordered into mediation actually received from Ahearn’s mediation firm:

Enclosed please find the Notice for Arbitration indicating the date and time of the arbitration for the above referenced case. Please be advised that the flat fee for the arbitration is $750.00. Each party will be responsible for bringing a check in the amount of $375.00 made payable to: AHEARN DISPUTE RESOLUTION, on the day of the hearing.

In the event the arbitration process exceeds three hours, an additional fee of $100.00/hour will be charged for any subsequent time expended.
Additionally, please be advised that if the Arbitration is cancelled within one day or less notice of the scheduled arbitration time, the full fee of $750.00 ($375.00 per side) shall be accessed. If the Arbitration is cancelled within seven (7) business days’ notice of the scheduled Arbitration time, a cancellation fee of $300.00 (three-hundred dollars) i.e. $150.00 (one hundred fifty dollars per side) will be assessed.

Going with that figure of a minimum $750.00, the amount the Ahearn firm took in is probably more like $130,500.   $750.00 X 174.

Does anyone still think he did it for free?

Both the judge and Mr. Ahearn have a very good reason to want to settle and bury this matter. If it can be shown the two of them had any arrangement to send cases to the Ahearn’s mediation firm, under Florida law, (Statute 104.071), that would be a third degree felony.

It seems the Florida JQC is that gullible. Shame on the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission for their attempt to let the judge off so easy when anyone with a functioning brain can see what went on here.

Under FJQC Rule 60), the Investigative Panel “may reach agreement with judge on discipline or disability,” and the Supreme Court has the discretion to accept or reject the terms of the Stipulation.

We can only hope The Florida Supreme Court isn’t as outrageously gullible as the JQC in this matter. Over the past few years the Supreme Court has tended to throw out the recommendations of the JQC and imposed even harsher penalties for judicial misconduct. Especially when it comes to Broward judges.

The graphic below might give some insight into why.
judge-claudia-robinson-in-trouble-Florida-judges-tri-county-comparison.png
Florida judges tri-county comparison

Our guess is they will impose harsher penalties on the judge.

At the very least this is deserving of a public reprimand, going by the courts previous rulings concerning Broward judges who tarnish the integrity of the court.

A Word About Michael Ahearn

Michael G Ahearn
Michael G Ahearn

Attorney Michael G. Ahearn is a very well know political consultant to attorneys in Broward interested in running for a judicial seat, and incumbent judges seeking re-election.

His tactics have been rumored to included some very low and sleazy methods of insuring his clients victory.

He’s been very successful at it too. Over the past ten years or so, he’ gotten a lot of judges in Broward elected.

If this current JQC case is any indication of his methods of operation, than this could very well be just the tip of the iceberg.

It seems this JQC complaint came from someone that knows a lot of whats going on and has promised that more Broward judges  will be implicated in the near future, so stay tuned Broward we might be seeing the beginning of a huge scandal here.

To view the case files directly from The Florida Supreme Court’s JQC website:

Click Here

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OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF

 

OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF

OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF-Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the woman captured by security cameras  on at the Walmart, located at 2300 W. Atlantic Blvd. in Pompano Beach, using a stolen credit card.

On the morning of Oct. 27, the victim discovered that her car, which was parked outside her home, had been burglarized. The car’s rear driver side window had been smashed and the victim’s purse, wallet, ID and credit cards had been taken.

The subject is described as a woman with a heavy build, possibly in her 30’s, with a dark complexion and long black hair. She wore a gray sweater, a green blouse with a print, green pants and dark shoes.

OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF-Suspect Pic-1
OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF-Suspect Pic-1
OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF-Suspect pic-2
OPPORTUNITY MAKES A THIEF-Suspect pic-2

Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO
Det. C. Silva at 954-321-4834 or Broward Crime
Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or:

http://www.browardcrimestoppers.org.

Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

PIO 17-11-22 case# 90 1710 010982

THIS REPORT BY: Broward Sheriff’s Office

Gina Carter/PIO

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THIEF’S VERSION OF HOLIDAY STUFFING

 

THIEF’S VERSION OF HOLIDAY STUFFING

THIEF’S VERSION OF HOLIDAY STUFFING-On the afternoon of Nov. 17, an unidentified man walked into the 7-Eleven located at 8100 W. McNab Road in North Lauderdale and walked out with his arms and pants full of stolen loot.

The thief wandered around the store stuffing items including wireless speakers, virtual reality goggles and car cleaning supplies down the front of his pants.

In the middle of his shoplifting spree, the man brazenly grabbed a drink from the store’s refrigerator and drank it on camera. He then filled his arms with items and slowly walked out of the store.

THIEF'S VERSION OF HOLIDAY STUFFING-Suspect
THIEF’S VERSION OF HOLIDAY STUFFING-Suspect

The thief is described as a male in his 30’s, with a medium build and a dark complexion. He weighs approximately 180 pounds and is about 5 foot 9 inches tall. On the day of the theft, he wore a red T-shirt, ripped and distressed blue jeans, dark sandals with white socks and a black baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Det. Justin Panza at 954-720-2250 or-

Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or http://browardcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

THIS REPORT BY: Broward Sheriff’s Office

Gina Carter/PIO

PIO Number: 17-11-21

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Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

 

Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

 

After ProPublica revealed last year that Facebook advertisers could target housing ads to whites only, the company announced it had built a system to spot and reject discriminatory ads. We retested and found major omissions.

Author Name, ProPublica.

In February, Facebook said it would step up enforcement of its prohibition against discrimination in advertising for housing, employment or credit.

But our tests showed a significant lapse in the company’s monitoring of the rental market.

Last week, ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads on Facebook, but asked that they not be shown to certain categories of users, such as African Americansmothers of high school kids, people interested in wheelchair rampsJewsexpats from Argentina and Spanish speakers.

All of these groups are protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to publish any advertisement “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Every single ad was approved within minutes.

The only ad that took longer than three minutes to be approved by Facebook sought to exclude potential renters “interested in Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam.” It was approved after 22 minutes.

Under its own policies, Facebook should have flagged these ads, and prevented the posting of some of them. Its failure to do so revives questions about whether the company is in compliance with federal fair housing rules, as well as about its ability and commitment to police discriminatory advertising on the world’s largest social network.

facebook-discriminatory-ads
Facebook’s advertising portal lets users choose their audiences based on specific traits, demographics and behavior profiles. Our ad for an apartment rental excluded African Americans, Asian Americans and Spanish-speaking Hispanic audiences. It was approved in under a minute. Graphic courtesy propublica.org

Housing, employment and credit are the three areas in which federal law prohibits discriminatory ads. However, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — the agency responsible for enforcing fair housing laws — told us that it has closed an inquiry into Facebook’s advertising policies, reducing pressure on the company to address the issue. In a 2015 newspaper column, Ben Carson, now HUD secretary, criticized “government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality” in housing.

Facebook’s failure to police discriminatory rental ads flies in the face of its promises in February that it would no longer approve ads for housing, employment or credit that targeted racial categories. For advertising aimed at audiences not selected by race, Facebook said it would require housing, employment and credit advertisers to “self-certify” that their ads were compliant with anti-discrimination laws.

Based on Facebook’s announcement, the ads purchased by ProPublica that were aimed at racial categories should have been rejected. The others should have prompted a screen to pop up asking for self-certification. We never encountered a self-certification screen, and none of our ads were rejected by Facebook.

“This was a failure in our enforcement and we’re disappointed that we fell short of our commitments,” Ami Vora, vice president of product management at Facebook, said in an emailed statement. “The rental housing ads purchased by ProPublica should have but did not trigger the extra review and certifications we put in place due to a technical failure.”

Vora added that Facebook’s anti-discrimination system had “successfully flagged millions of ads” in the credit, employment and housing categories and that Facebook will now begin requiring self-certification for ads in all categories that choose to exclude an audience segment. “Our systems continue to improve but we can do better,” Vora said.

About 37 percent of U.S. households rented in 2016, representing a 50-year high, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. On average, renters earn about half as much as homeowners, and the percentage of families with children that rent rather than buy has increased sharply in the past decade, the study said. Minority renters have long faced pervasive housing discrimination. A 2013 study by HUD found that real estate agents show more units to whites than to African Americans, Asians and Latinos.

Facebook has long been a popular destination for rental listings, on pages hosted by real estate brokers, property owners and building managers. Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it had added two large providers of rental listings to its Facebook Marketplace service. “Marketplace is a popular place for people to look for a home to rent,” Facebook product manager Bowen Pan said in a press release.

Facebook warns rental advertisers in its Marketplace section that “listings that discriminate against a protected class can be reported and will be removed from Facebook.”

Facebook’s anti-discrimination initiative was prompted by an article published last year by ProPublica. For that story, we bought a Facebook ad targeting house hunters. We were able to use Facebook’s features to block the ad from being shown to anyone with an “affinity” for African American, Asian American or Hispanic people. Our ability to narrow the audience based on race raised the question of whether such ads violated the Fair Housing Act.

After ProPublica’s article appeared in the fall of 2016, HUD, then under the Obama administration, began examining Facebook’s practices. Facebook then said it would build an automated system to spot ads that discriminate illegally. “We take these issues seriously,” Facebook Vice President Erin Egan wrote in a blog post. “Discriminatory advertising has no place on Facebook.”

In February, Facebook announced it had built its system and was rolling it out. The press lauded the announcement: “Facebook cracks down on ads that discriminate” was the Washington Post’s headline.

Facebook has been under fire for other aspects of its automated ad buying system as well. Two months ago, the company disclosed that it had discovered $100,000 worth of divisive political ads placed by “inauthentic” Russian accounts. And in September, ProPublica reported that Facebook’s ad targeting system allowed buyers to reach people who identified themselves as “Jew haters” and other anti-Semitic categories. Facebook pledged to remove the offending categories and to hire thousands more employees to enforce its ad policies.

“We’re adding additional layers of review where people use potentially sensitive categories for targeting,” Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch said during Senate testimony earlier this month.

After Stretch’s public statement, we wondered whether the ability to buy discriminatory housing ads had really been addressed. So we set out to buy an advertisement with the exact same targeting parameters as the ad we bought last year. The ad promoted a fictional apartment for rent and was targeted at people living in New York, ages 18–65, who were house hunting and likely to move. We asked Facebook not to show the ad to people categorized under the “multicultural affinity” of Hispanic, African American or Asian American.

(ProPublica generally forbids impersonation in news gathering. We felt in this instance that the public interest in Facebook’s ad system justified the brief posting of a fake ad for non-existent housing. We deleted each ad as soon as it was approved.)

The only changes from last year that we could identify in Facebook’s ad buying system was that the category called “Ethnic Affinity” had been renamed “Multicultural Affinity” and was no longer part of “Demographics.” It is now designated as part of “Behaviors.”

Our ad was approved within minutes.

20171121-targeting-before-after-B
Left: A screenshot of ad targeting categories ProPublica submitted and Facebook approved in 2016. Right: Categories ProPublica submitted and were approved in 2017, raising questions about what the social network has done to police discriminatory ads.

Then we decided to test whether we could purchase housing ads that discriminated against other protected categories of people under the Fair Housing Act.

We placed ads that sought to exclude members of as many of the protected categories as we could find in Facebook’s self-service advertising portal. In addition to those mentioned above, we bought ads that were blocked from being shown to “soccer moms,” people interested in American sign language, gay men and Christians.

We also tested whether it was possible to use geography as a way to target racial groups — a practice known as redlining. We bought a housing ad that targeted ZIP codes in Brooklyn whose residents are more than 50 percent non-Hispanic white people, according to the U.S. Census bureau. By definition, that meant the ad was not shown to Facebook users living in Brooklyn neighborhoods where minorities are a majority of the residents.

20171121-bluelining-zip-by-race-map

Facebook drew blue lines around our target neighborhoods and told us our “audience selection is great!” It approved the ad.

Filed under: Civil Rights

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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WALGREENS PERFUME THIEVES ARRESTED

 

WALGREENS PERFUME THIEVES ARRESTED

WALGREENS PERFUME THIEVES ARRESTED-Broward Sheriff’s Office North Lauderdale detectives arrested the duo wanted for stealing more than $1,000 worth of perfumes from a Walgreens pharmacy. 

WALGREENS PERFUME THIEVES ARRESTED-Mugshots
Mugshot photos courtesy Broward Sheriff’s Office

After surveillance video was released on October 26 of the two thieves sneaking behind the perfume counter at the North Lauderdale pharmacy, BSO investigators received a Crime Stoppers tip identifying the pair.

Original Video

Detectives caught up with Shaunta Major, 28, and Desmand Lyles, 19, around 10 this morning (Nov. 17) after they exited an apartment in North Lauderdale and got into a white rental van, which was loaded with merchandise presumed to have been stolen.

Major and Lyles are facing retail theft charges. Major has a lengthy criminal history in Broward County and was out on bond after being arrested on similar charges in Palm Beach County.

Anyone with information about their crimes is asked to contact BSO Detective Lisa Sokol at 954-722-5800. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at http://browardcrimestoppers.org.

Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

THIS REPORT BY: Broward Sheriff’s Office

Keyla Concepción/PIO

 

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Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery

 

Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery

Palm Beach Sheriff's Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery-Christopher Combs-BSO Mugsahot
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery-Christopher Combs-BSO Mugsahot

Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery-Using his father’s, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Combs’ unmarked patrol car, 22-year-old Christopher Combs drove south to Pompano Beach Florida to terrorize his ex-girlfriend of five years and her current boyfriend.

Palm Beach Sheriff's Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery-PBSO Lt. David Combs, commander of the Loxahatchee district
PBSO Lt. David Combs, commander of the Loxahatchee district (PBSO.org photo)

At about 1 a.m. Saturday October 14, in West Pompano Beach, Combs started following another vehicle where his old girlfriend was riding alongside her new boyfriend.

According to the arrest affidavit, Christopher Combs activated his dad’s unmarked Taurus’ blue lights and pulled the couple over, then used the P.A. system to order driver Robert Allen Roberts to get out of his pickup truck.

The victim complied with the demands, that “included to walk back towards the unmarked police vehicle with his hands up, to lay on the ground, and to empty out his pockets and place the contents on the ground.”

The victim reported to police he felt a hard, cold object in the back of his neck as Combs allegedly picked up Roberts’ wallet, credit cards, cash and pocket knife and left traveling east toward US 441.

Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery-911 Call

Combs allegedly staged his robbery in a rural part of Pompano Beach, on Loxahatchee Road near the intersection with University Drive.

A PBSO spokeswoman confirmed Christopher Combs is a party-time civilian employee of the sheriff’s office. He is a cadet, which means he is paid while going to college.

He’s been with the agency since August 2016, but is not a sworn law enforcement officer.

He has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, (A third degree felony), robbery with a weapon, (A first degree felony), and two counts of false imprisonment, (Third degree felonies).

The arrest report says the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Cadet Accused of Armed Robbery was arrested on active felony warrants.

At the time of his arrest, his bonds totaled $300,000

(1) Robbery With a Weapon –  Bond: $100,000

(2) Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer – Bond: $100,000

(3) False Imprisonment – Bond: $ 50,000

(4) False Imprisonment – Bond: $ 50,000

But at his first appearance hearing the next morning (bond court), being the first case called in front of Broward County Judge GIUSEPPINA MIRANDA, who apparently seems to have more concern for members of law enforcement from another county than the safety of her own constituents, his bonds were lowered to nearly one third of the original set bonds at $300,000 to $120.000.

Judge Miranda, 55, of Fort Lauderdale has been a general magistrate with the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court since 2007. From 2004-2007, she was in the private practice of law and from 1999-2004, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit. Miranda has been a Board Member of the Broward County Women Lawyers’ Association since 2009.

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from Nova Law School. Miranda filled a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Stacy Ross to the Circuit Court bench in 2013.

She was appointed by Governor Rick Scott on November 15, 2013 for a term that expires in 2017, this year. Meaning no one in Broward voted for her.

Miranda has been a Board Member of the Broward County Women Lawyers’ Association since 2009

Palm-Beach-Sheriff's-Cadet-Accused-of-Armed-Robbery-Judge-GIUSEPPINA-MIRANDA
Broward County Judge GIUSEPPINA-MIRANDA, age 55

Miranda has been a Board Member of the Broward County Women Lawyers’ Association since 2009-We find that a little surprising since the alleged criminal actions of Christopher Combs are clearly a very serious, and potentially deadly, case of Domestic Violence.

It seems the judge didn’t even take that into consideration other than “the standard” stay away from the victims order.

This guy took his fathers unmarked police car, and possibly using a firearm, sought out and found his ex-girlfriend and current boyfriend in another county, and terrorized them.

This poor woman, who’s name we’re not releasing because we feel this was no different than any other rape, must of been terrified especially knowing it was her “psycho” ex, wanna be cop, with a gun.

It doesn’t matter if he actually had a firearm or not, he made them believe he did. Showing up in a police car, who wouldn’t.

Where is Women in Distress? Guess when the perpetrator is law enforcement, or family of, they’re not to be bothered.

 

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Cops on Camera Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct

 

Cops on Camera Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct

Cops on Camera Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Originally aired: October 23, 2014

 

Video Featuring Jonathan Blanks, Research Associate, Center for Constitutional Studies (@BlanksSlate); Steve Silverman, Executive Director, Flex Your Rights (@FlexYourRights); Matthew Fogg, Retired Chief Deputy U.S. Federal Marshal, (@USMarshal77); Moderated by Kat Murti, Digital Marketing Manager, Cato Institute (@KatMurti).

Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Matthew Fogg
Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Matthew Fogg

Police misconduct and abuse have been getting a lot of extra media attention lately. In just the past few months,   

Americans have been horrified by stories of grenades thrown in children’s cribs, homeless men beaten to death, unwarranted anal probes, and more. The outrage in Ferguson underscored the rapid growth in police militarization, highlighting the perceived code of silence upheld by those behind the “thin blue line” and driving demand for more accountability among the nation’s law enforcement officers. Could cameras offer a viable solution to the problems at hand?

 

Does filming police make for more accountable law enforcement?

Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Johnathan Blanksa
Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Johnathan Blanksa

Will on-body cameras (such as those adopted by D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department as part of a pilot program) force accountability, or will they suffer from the same problems that have plagued existing cameras placed in police vehicles?

What are your rights as a citizen journalist when it comes to filming police actions in a public space?

Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Steve Silverman
Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct Steve Silverman

As you will find out from watching the video, to “openly’ record “on duty” police officers in the performance of their duty is legal in all fifty states.

That also includes the so called two party states that require that “all” parties must consent to being recorded, the courts have ruled that “on duty” police officers are not covered by those statutes and recording them is ok.

Remember, that does not give you the right to interfere in an officers performance of their duties, so if your told to back up, than do so.

Join us for a lunchtime discussion about technological solutions to many common complaints about police misconduct

Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct
Cops on Camera-Tech Solutions to Police Militarization & Misconduct

Jonathan Blanks, a research associate in Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies and a frequent commentator on criminal justice issues, Steve Silverman who founded Flex Your Rights to improve the constitutional literacy of all Americans, and Matthew Fogg, a 32-year veteran of the United States Marshals Service, will touch upon some of the biggest victories and concerns surrounding police work and cameras.

 

This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution –NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

 

 

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OPIATE-OBSESSED BURGLARS Stole $4,100 Worth of Opiates in 90 Seconds

 

OPIATE-OBSESSED BURGLARS Stole $4,100 Worth of Opiates in 90 Seconds

Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives are searching for a two-man crew who broke into a Weston pharmacy and stole $4,100 worth of opiates in 90 seconds.

Just after 5 a.m. Oct. 26, security cameras at the Walgreens at 199 Weston Road captured two men using a yellow crowbar to pry open the front doors.

The burglars quickly made their way to the pharmacy where they forced open the security gate. The men rummaged through pill bottles and stole various pharmaceuticals intended for pain relief.

The stolen medications included Opana, Oxycodone, Methadone, Oxycontin, Endocet, Morphine, Hydrocodone and Methylphenidate which is categorized as a central nervous system stimulant.

The first burglar is described as a male with a thin to medium build and approximately 5 foot 10 inches tall. He wore blue latex gloves, a black hooded sweater, dark gray Adidas pants with a white stripe, dark shoes and black fabric covering his face.

OPIATE-OBSESSED BURGLARS Stole $4,100 Worth of Opiates in 90 Seconds-Suspects-1
OPIATE-OBSESSED BURGLARS Stole $4,100 Worth of Opiates in 90 Seconds-Suspects-1

The second man is also described as a male with a thin to medium build and approximately 5 foot 10 inches tall. He wore a black hooded sweater, black Adidas pants with a white stripe, dark shoes, a light-colored mask and a red backpack.

OPIATE-OBSESSED BURGLARS Stole $4,100 Worth of Opiates in 90 Seconds-Suspects-2
OPIATE-OBSESSED BURGLARS Stole $4,100 Worth of Opiates in 90 Seconds-Suspects-2

Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Det. Juan Hernandez at 954-389-2010 or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or

http://browardcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

THIS REPORT BY: Broward Sheriff’s Office

Gina Carter/PIO

 

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