Anonymous Blackmails New Jersey Police into Reasonable Conduct
Three days ago, members of Anonymous went public regarding the recent, brutal killing of unarmed Phillip White by a Vineland, New Jersey K-9 unit.
Officers involved claimed that White was out of control at the time of his death, but video evidence revealed otherwise, showing the man laying on the ground, compliant in every sense of the word. The officers allowed the German Shepard with them to maul the African American to death just a few yards from his home.
Below is how the local news reported the incident. Notice the break from the usual “cops got to do what cops got to do” mantra. Instead, real reporting takes place, even gaining the shocked commentary of a cop far senior to any of those involved, who gave them cause to say:
Our law enforcement says that demand [for the cell phone capturing the murder] was inappropriate and police have no right to take anyone’s cell phone because they are recording uniformed police officers making an arrest.
You Should Have Expected Us
Though many throughout the security and technology communities have in recent times chalked Anonymous up to a very bad joke due to things like its bullying of the BBC, the following video could be seen as a return to the hacktivist group’s roots. In this case, they got results, with some of their demands being met.
As you can see, the group makes plain what will become of the department if it does not comply. Not only will all of the personal information of every officer involved be released, but:
For every hour these names are not released, we will release a name and all personal information, beginning with the Cumberland County Prosecutor, to the last member hired by the Vineland Police Department. We will also begin cyber attacks on your websites & your databases until our demands are met.
Within a few days, the public would have all the information it needed to exact justice on its own. But, the by the time the deadline came, the police had decided not to comply. That was when, on Tuesday, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of Officer Louis Platania and Officer Jeffrey Travaline were released via a known Anonymous hacking dump. Platania is the one you see holding the dog’s leash, clearly able to call him off before the fatal blows occur. Travaline is the one who tries to destroy evidence.
The local police union lawyer, Stuart Alterman, told the local news that the dead man had been demonstrating “super human strength.” He must have taken a page from the case of Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot and killed an 18-year-old Mike Brown last year and was cleared by a Grand Jury of wrongdoing. One of the hallmarks of the case was Wilson’s post-court statement to the news media that Brown “looked like a demon.”
The dispatch recordings of the events tell a convoluted story, and we will leave it up to the readers to make sense of them from here. One thing is clear: the video shows the man under control while the audio demonstrates the police trying to convince their superiors that they were under duress. Overuse of deadly force by police in this country is at an all-time high, and it’s nice to see Anonymous make a comeback, however minor, to push events in justice-minded direction.
Images from Shutterstock.