TIME justice

Oklahoma Cop Charged With Raping 6 Women While on Patrol

Some of the alleged assaults took place during traffic stops

An Oklahoma City police officer was arrested Thursday and charged sexually assaulting at least six women while he was on patrol, though police expect more alleged victims to come forward.

Daniel Holtzclaw is charged with rape, oral sodomy and sexual battery. The three-year veteran of the force is being held on a $5 million bond, Reuters reports.

Police said the assaults took place while Holtzclaw was on the job, in some cases as a result of traffic stops.

[Reuters]

TIME justice

Chelsea Manning Says Military Still Denying Gender Treatment

Motion Hearing Held In Bradley Manning Case
U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is escorted as he leaves a military court at the end of the first of a three-day motion hearing June 6, 2012 in Fort Meade, Maryland. Alex Wong—Getty Images

A year after requesting gender-reassignment treatment, convicted national-security leaker Chelsea Manning says the military has given her nothing but “lip service.” In an exclusive statement to NBC News, the former Army private once known as Bradley Manning said life in the military lockup at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has restricted her ability to express her gender identity.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

 

TIME Crime

What Anonymous Is Doing in Ferguson

Ferguson Anonymous
Ron Johnson of Missouri State Highway Patrol speaks to a protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask while he walks through a peaceful demonstration in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 14, 2014 Lucas Jackson—Reuters

What the "hacktavist" group does, how it dealt with the affiliated member who misidentified Michael Brown's killer and how many members are involved in Operation Ferguson

On Aug. 12, Ferguson City Hall’s website went black, its phone lines died and officials had to communicate by text, according to the St. Louis Dispatch and the New York Times. Self-identified members of the amorphous, hard-to-define hacker community Anonymous had struck again, according to the papers, this time in response to the shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer. A Twitter account allegedly associated with Anonymous — @TheAnonMessage — threatened Jon Belmar, the St. Louis County police chief, with publicly releasing his daughter’s information “in one hour” unless he released the name of the officer who killed Brown. While Belmar didn’t give in, and @TheAnonMessage dropped the ultimatum, the account and other self-identified Anonymous members would post two days later the home address, Social Security number and phone number of Belmar, telling him to “run, Jon, run.” While that practice, known as doxing, is a common Anonymous cyberattack, @TheAnonMessage would go on to wrongly accuse a citizen of killing Brown. Twitter subsequently shut down the Twitter account @TheAnonMessage without much uproar from the Anonymous community, which prides itself on fighting censorship.

A week later, Anonymous is still at work, marking Thursday as a nationwide “day of rage” to protest police brutality. To better understand why Anonymous, whose targets have been varied (including MasterCard, a Tunisian dictator and Kiss singer Gene Simmons), is interested in the Brown shooting, TIME spoke with Jay Leiderman, an attorney who includes among his clients Anonymous hackers, and Gabriella Coleman, a McGill University anthropology professor who is writing a book on the loose-knit community. We also spoke about how many people were involved in Operation Ferguson and how the organization dealt with one of its own after falsely accusing someone of murder.

Why is Anonymous involved in the Ferguson protests?
Anonymous’ “main demand” is “justice” for Brown and his family, Leiderman says. They can grab the attention of the Ferguson police and “let them know that they’re serious,” he says. Operation Ferguson falls in line with previous Anonymous efforts to unmask alleged perpetrators, like the 2012 Operation Red Roll, which released private information about people allegedly complicit in the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio.

The “whole reason why” Anonymous got involved was a local rap artist — Tef Po — who called out for help on Twitter, according to Coleman, and the affiliated members responded. A day after the Brown shooting, Anonymous, through Operation Ferguson, released a statement asking Congress to pass a bill to set “strict national standards for police conduct.” It also warned the Ferguson government and police department of cyber-counterattacks if the protesters were abused, harassed or otherwise harmed.

“If you attack the protesters, we will attack every server and computer you have,” wrote the Operation Ferguson author. “We will dox [document trace] and release the personal information on every single member of the Ferguson Police Department, as well as any other jurisdiction that participates in the abuse. We will seize all your databases and e-mail spools and dump them on the Internet. This is your only warning.”

Coleman says that there isn’t unanimous support within the hacker community nor Anonymous on shutting down websites. “It’s a big contentious debate between hackers who have a purist, free-speech view, and others who have a more contextual one,” says Coleman. “There’s also a debate within Anonymous itself where a lot of hackers who really do the work of intrusion are not fans of doxing for two reasons: a) it’s technically uninteresting and b) sometimes they’re actually trying to gain access to those sites to hack them.”

“Really the main point is to gain media attention,” she says. “That’s kind of why that’s done more than anything else.”

How many Anonymous members are involved in Ferguson?
Anonymous is by definition a secretive group, one without leaders, an agenda or a set list of members. “No one has any idea” how many people are involved in Operation Ferguson, according to Leiderman, who called Anonymous a “nebulous and decentralized collective.”

“It’s impossible to say who is and who isn’t a member of Anonymous,” says Leiderman. “There is now way to disprove it.”

But Coleman says you can see which causes are more popular than others.

After the arrest of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange in 2010, and Anonymous disrupted the websites of MasterCard, Visa and PayPal for declining to serve WikiLeaks, around 7,000 people logged onto the Anonymous chat channel and downloaded hacking tools, according to Coleman. That ad hoc association was “probably the largest ever,” Coleman says, and by her estimates, much more than the current Operation in Ferguson. (Anonymous distanced itself from Assange in October 2012 after he asked supporters to pay money for access to documents.) The Ferguson channel is used by up to 160 people, she says, although “thousands and thousands” are “within the orbit” supporting the cause through Twitter.

“It is really hard to tell in terms of the numbers,” says Coleman. “You do get a sense of which ones are bigger and smaller and I would probably put this in the definitely not small, [but] definitely not as big as something like WikiLeaks. Probably in between.”

How is the Anonymous community dealing with the member who misidentified the officer who shot Michael Brown?
The Twitter account @TheAnonMessage was not a very well-respected one within the Anonymous community, according to Coleman and Leiderman, despite the fact that it had been around for awhile.

“People had suspicions, but because he was being really active and contributing a lot to the operation,” says Coleman, “they kind of put their skepticism aside in some ways until it was too late … This is something that in some ways is perennially a problem and just has to do with the kind of architecture of Anonymous where you can’t really control what people are doing. There are norms and rules and ethics that definitely push behavior towards certain areas and not others, but by no means [are they] foolproof.”

After Twitter took down the account, an Anonymous member wrote a post to show a detailed ticktock “that this was the work of an Anon who was acting against the advice of others.” Other Twitter accounts associated with the group, like Operation Ferguson’s account, declined to name the Brown shooter as it looked for additional sources.

Coleman says that with the exception of a few cases, Anonymous has “generally been correct” in uncovering the right information. She calls @TheAnonMessage a “loose cannon” that had earned “skepticism” because of erratic actions in the past. Coleman says there “was no outcry” when Twitter shut down @TheAnonMessage despite Anonymous being “so famous for hating censorship.”

“Anonymous attracts people who are willing to push the envelope,” she says. “But there is always a hope that people who are doing it are getting the right names and information … I think that there was this expectation that people are doing that work carefully so when they’re not, people in Anonymous get really pissed off.”

When asked if Anonymous’ reputation was hurt after @TheAnonMessage released inaccurate information, Leiderman first blamed the media for going with an untrusted source before saying that Anonymous usually does a better job of establishing a correct verdict.

“Really you can’t pin that all on Anonymous,” he says. “The media that ran with it [failed] to confirm or deny the veracity of the statement … If the older and larger accounts run with something, it usually has a better chance of being more accurate.”

“You really want to see more consensus in the collective before you run with something like that,” he adds. “People that identify with Anonymous are really good at asking, ‘Are you sure?’, ‘How do you know?’, ‘Can you share the data with us in a secure way?’… and I’m not sure that happened in this case.”

TIME LGBT

U.S. Judge Strikes Down Florida’s Gay Marriage Ban

Gay male wedding figurines
Peter Dazeley—Getty Images

(MIAMI) — A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining judges across the country who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida’s constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples. That also means gay couples legally married in other states will not immediately have their marriages recognized in Florida.

Hinkle, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, compared bans on gay marriage to the long-abandoned prohibitions on interracial marriage and predicted both would be viewed by history the same way.

“When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination,” Hinkle wrote in his ruling. “To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Gay rights have long been a contentious issue in Florida, a politically complex swing state where the northern counties tend to lean Republican like their Deep South neighbors and parts of South Florida are reliably Democratic. In the 1970s, singer and orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant lobbied to overturn a Dade County ordinance banning discrimination against gays, though the protections were later reinstated.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican, has appealed previous rulings striking down the ban, which were issued earlier this year in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Hinkle’s ruling allows time for appeals in the federal case. Bondi wants the Florida cases to remain on hold pending a definitive national ruling on gay marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The U.S. Supreme Court, they need to decide this case, they are going to decide this case, hopefully sooner than later so we will have finality,” Bondi said earlier this week. “There are good people on both sides of this issue and we need to have finality for everyone involved.”

Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions against state same-sex marriage restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court delayed an appeals court decision that would end Virginia’s gay marriage ban and, in January, the justices did the same thing in a same-sex marriage case in Utah. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati recently heard arguments in six same-sex marriage cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The latest Florida ruling came in a pair of lawsuits brought by gay couples seeking to marry in Florida and others who want to force Florida to recognize gay marriages performed legally in other states. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which represented some of the gay couples, said the tide of rulings makes legal same-sex marriage in Florida appear inevitable.

“We’re very pleased to see the ban held unconstitutional in such unequivocal terms so that all Florida families will soon finally have the same protections,” said ACLU staff attorney Daniel Tilley.

Hinkle did add one wrinkle in his decision: he said the delay on marriages should have no effect on a proposed change to the death certificate of Carol Goldwasser, who was legally married in New York in 2011 to Arlene Goldberg before Goldwasser died earlier this year.

Goldberg, according to the ruling, has been unable to obtain Social Security survivor benefits because of Florida’s refusal to recognize their marriage, which could force her to sell her house. Hinkle said the amended death certificate showing the couple as spouses should be issued by Sept. 22, or 14 days after officials receive all the required information.

“There is no good reason to further deny Ms. Goldberg the simple human dignity of being listed on her spouse’s death certificate.” Hinkle said in his ruling. “Indeed, the state’s refusal to let that happen is a poignant illustration of the controversy that brings us here.”

___

Associated Press writer Gary Fineout in Tallahassee contributed to this story.

TIME justice

Guilty Plea From Marathon Bombing Suspect’s Friend

(BOSTON) — A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded guilty Thursday to impeding the investigation into the deadly attack.

Dias Kadyrbayev, 20, is accused of removing a backpack containing emptied-out fireworks from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after realizing he was suspected of carrying out the 2013 attack with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Kadyrbayev was scheduled to go on trial next month on obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors said Kadyrbayev and another friend, Azamat Tazhayakov, decided to take the items from Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth several days after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260. The items, along with Tsarnaev’s laptop computer, were removed hours after the FBI publicly released photographs of Tsarnaev and his brother as suspects in the bombing.

Tazhayakov was convicted last month of agreeing with the plan to remove the items.

During Tazhayakov’s trial, witnesses said Kadyrbayev took the backpack and threw it in the trash.

Prosecutors said the items were removed from Tsarnaev’s room hours after Kadyrbayev received a text message from Tsarnaev saying he could go to his dorm room and “take what’s there.”

The backpack and fireworks were recovered later in a New Bedford landfill. Prosecutors said the fireworks had been emptied of explosive powder that can be used to make bombs.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police several days after the bombings. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges and faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted. His trial is scheduled to begin in November.

A third college friend, Robel Phillipos, of Cambridge, is charged with lying to federal investigators. He is scheduled to go on trial next month.

TIME

Hearing Set in Amish Girls’ Kidnapping in NY

The couple is accused of abducting 7-year-old and 12-year-old sisters from the family's rural farm and sexually abusing them

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A woman accused along with her boyfriend of abducting two young Amish sisters from a farm stand and sexually abusing them is due in court for a preliminary hearing.

Nicole Vaisey, 25, was expected to be in court Thursday.

The couple from Hermon were arrested Friday, accused of abducting the 7-year-old and 12-year-old sisters from the family’s rural farm stand near the Canadian border. The sisters turned up the next night at the door of a house 15 miles from their home.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain said last week that they were sexually abused and other charges are likely.

Vaisey’s lawyer said she was the victim of an abusive relationship.

“She was in a master-slave relationship,” with 39-year-old boyfriend Stephen Howells Jr., said attorney Bradford Riendeau. “I believe she’s not as culpable as he is.”

Howells waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his case will go straight to a grand jury. There was no answer late Tuesday at the county public defender’s office, which is representing Howells.

The couple is in jail without bail.

The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse and is not naming the girls.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said the couple were prowling for easy targets and may have planned to abduct other children. He said the girls were able to provide details to investigators about their time in captivity.

TIME Crime

National Guard Pulled From Ferguson After Night of Relative Calm

Soldiers from the Missouri National Guard stand in front of their Humvee vehicle outside a Burger King restaurant, operated by Burger King Worldwide Inc., as they man an entrance to a temporary police command center in Ferguson, Missouri, U.S., on Aug. 20, 2014.
Soldiers from the Missouri National Guard stand in front of their Humvee vehicle outside a Burger King restaurant as they man an entrance to a temporary police command center in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 20, 2014. Luke Sharrett—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to withdraw from Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday, as tension in the area appeared to cool off Wednesday evening for the first time in nearly a week.

“As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson,” Nixon said in a statement.

Nixon dispatched the National Guard to the St. Louis suburb Monday to help respond to protests that have rocked the area since a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9. Nixon said the National Guard’s mission would be limited to protecting a police Unified Command Center near the site of nightly protests, which he said had been attacked during previous violence.

Ferguson’s protests have been mostly peaceful during the day, but have generally erupted into violence at night. However, people demonstrated in relative calm Wednesday, with rainy weather likely contributing to a smaller turnout among demonstrators. Earlier in the day, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson and met with Brown’s family.

The National Guard had been operating under the authority of Missouri State Highway Patrol, which was charged with leading security in the city after the heavily-equipped local police force on the scene came under increasing scrutiny for its tactics.

“I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson,” Nixon said.

TIME Crime

Ferguson Protests Stay Peaceful for the First Night in Nearly a Week

Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 20, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 20, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Scott Olson—Getty Images

Peace reigns after nightfall in Ferguson for the first time in nearly a week

Justice is a long way off. But on Wednesday night in Ferguson, Mo., there was finally a stretch of peace.

For the first evening in nearly a week, protests here went off unmarred by any major skirmishes between police and protesters. On a rainy night, a smaller-than-usual group of protesters still paced the wet streets, doing laps along West Florissant Avenue as their voices grew hoarse from chanting slogans. Small groups huddled along the battered boulevard, mostly unbothered by a police presence reduced from previous nights.

It was a rare respite. For nearly a fortnight, days in Ferguson have been boisterous but peaceful. But when the sun goes down, the dynamic has changed as a cadre of confrontational youth stir up trouble under the cover of night.

Wednesday was different. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder touched down in Ferguson Wednesday morning, meeting with community leaders, local residents, students and patrons at a local diner. The trip was a bid to turn down the thermostat on an overheated city that has been aflame since Aug. 9, when Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was shot to death by a white police officer.

The visit from Holder, who is not just the nation’s top cop but also a black man who has spoken frankly about race, seemed to calm a mostly black community that has complained vehemently about its treatment at the hands of a nearly all-white police force. Holder also arrived on the day that a grand jury began to hear evidence in Brown’s shooting death. The attorney general’s trip was a token of solidarity, as Holder offered assurances that the federal government—which is conducting its own civil rights probe into the case—will conduct a thorough investigation.

The beleaguered city also got help from the weather. Wednesday was sweltering, with a soggy humidity that kept daytime street protests to a minimum; at mid-afternoon, West Florissant almost seemed back to normal. As darkness descended, lightning forked through the sky and thunder rumbled, announcing a rainstorm that kept troublemakers off the streets.

However, there were still some skirmishes. At one point, two white people—a woman and a man—arrived brandishing signs advertising support for Darren Wilson, the 28-year-old six-year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department who shot Brown on Aug. 9. They slid into the crowd, sparking a brief outrage. Water bottles went flying. But the police did not overreact, instead spiriting the agitators away from the crowd and off the scene. Throughout the evening, angry protesters vented at police, screaming about their treatment, including a rule that prohibits people from gathering in place, forcing the crowd to stay mobile by looping up and down the street.

And so they did. “We’re young! We’re strong! We’re marching all night long!” they chanted. Peace hasn’t come yet to this troubled St. Louis suburb; it remains a tinderbox susceptible to a spark. But for the first time in a long time on Wednesday, that spark never came.

TIME

In The Latest Issue

Ferguson Tragedy Time Magazine Cover
Photograph by Scott Olson–Getty Images

Inside the Tragedy of Ferguson
The shooting death of Michael Brown, and the violence that has followed, have only made the town’s problems worse

Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police
Anyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention, Sen. Rand Paul writes for TIME, amid violence in Ferguson, Mo. over the police shooting death of Michael Brown

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race
Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it’s about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Trayvon Martin’s Mom: ‘If They Refuse to Hear Us, We Will Make Them Feel Us’

Beyond a Simple Solution for Ferguson
Why we need to address race relations in a thoughtful, provocative way

Banking Is for the 1%
Can’t get credit? You aren’t the only one. Why banks want to do business mainly with the rich

Governors Behaving Badly
Rick Perry’s criminal indictment blurs politics and the law

Backlog at the Border
Immigration courts are buckling from the influx of children

The New Rules of Viral Fundraising
How the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge made a splash

Colleges Launch New Anti-Assault Efforts for the New Year
New apps, web courses and policy changes aim to prevent sexual violence

The Most Dangerous Room in the World
Three-and-a-half years after a catastrophic meltdown, Fukushima is far from fixed

The Evolution of a Narcissist
We’re all born to adore ourselves, but not all of us grow up

The Culture

Primping Pooches at the 2014 World Dog Show
20,000 hounds hit Helsinki, all vying to be named top dog

To Be Takei Means There’s No Such Thing as Oversharing
Audiences learn even more about the very social star in a new documentary

TV Goes to the Ends of the World
How the apocalypse became fodder for mainstream television

Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
His latest book shows Murakami in Living Color

Living in a Fantasy World
In an era of techno marvels, we still crave magic

Humanities, All Too Humanities!
Incoming college freshmen should study great books rather than come up with great apps

10 Questions With Paul Ryan
The congressman on how to fix America, why Rand Paul is wrong and evading John Boehner’s toxic smoke

Pop Chart

Briefing

Milestones

Don Pardo
Iconic voice

Jim Jeffords
Former Vermont Senator

Mammograms Go 3-D
A high-tech imaging breakthrough could pick up more cancers

Everything to Everyone

What You Said About …

World

 

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