Legal Information

Urban sensing - light poles have eyes, ears, etc. (Chicago)

Big Brother? Chicago to measure pedestrians' movements
by Jolie Lee

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/06/24/chicago-big-dat...

By year's end, Chicago could have as many as 50 sensors attached to downtown light poles collecting data on everything from the humidity to air quality to the noise level.

The project, called "Array of Things," has the potential for far-reaching applications. For example, air quality data could help you navigate a route through the city that avoids pollution and allergens. Or traffic data could inform the city where best to install bike lines.

wtf?! Robocop tech rolls through SF like a Dalek.

http://knightscope.com/

Sci-Fi movies have a remarkable way of freeing the mind to think through future possibilities. It is for that reason that I treated my team to opening day at the movies to see the remake of Robocop. The movie paints a vivid, albeit extremely dramatized, picture of how robotics might influence and redefine what lies ahead in public safety.

Knightscope is definitely a hot topic! Most recently, Gartner named Knightscope in its annual "Cool Vendors" report (Gartner Cool Vendors in Automotive, Thilo Koslowski, 9 April 2014). Plug and Play Tech Center selected Knightscope from over 350 start-ups as its Hottest Company for March 2014. And Knightscope’s previous awards include the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce 2013 Award for Startup Company of the Year and Best of Show at the Plug and Play Winter Expo in December 2013. Knightscope was also featured at the LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco for a fireside chat with Jason Calacanis.

Excessive Police Raid Due to Protest Graffiti (Vancouver)

http://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/police-raid-house-in...

At around 9AM on June 3, 2014, approximately 16 cops from the Vancouver Police Department raided a house in East Vancouver under the pretext of investigating six mischief charges related to graffiti tags dating from June, July, and October of 2013. The four residents of the house, and one guest, were removed one by one by police aiming pistols at them. One person inside the house looked out their bedroom window and saw a cop pointing his pistol at him.

The house targeted by the raid is comprised of radicals involved in Indigenous resistance as well as anarchist projects in the city (including myself, the editor of the Warrior Publications wordpress site).

Once removed from the house, the five people were placed in a prisoner transport van parked out front while a K9 team entered the house to search for any remaining people. After the K9 team searched the house, a forensic identification unit with a video camera appeared. They first filmed the exterior of the house and the yard, then entered the house itself. After filming the interior, they then used a camera to take photos.

SF Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

 

Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Graffiti-taggers-could-face...

Graffiti in San Francisco is a mess - literally and figuratively. That's not a scoop, it is merely a discouraging reality.

It begins with the city being a mecca for spray paint vandals from across the country. (Check YouTube.) It continues to the criminal courts, where, when taggers are finally caught red- (or yellow- or green-) handed, they are generally treated as misguided youths and given community service instead of meaningful punishment.

And then there's the final insult. Property owners who have their buildings tagged - sometimes daily - are ordered by the city to clean up the mess themselves or face a fine or even a lien on their property.

"It cost me $15,000 to clean up my building last year," says Laurance Mathews, who owns the building at 245 Van Ness, which, ironically, houses a paint store. The Department of Public Works had a mural painted on his building to try to stop the tagging, "but since they did the tagging increased from a few times a week to several times a day. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it."

A new strategy
Well, maybe there is. It's just a start, and Mathews is skeptical, but Supervisor London Breed has announced a citywide graffiti plan that might begin to turn the tide.

SF Takes Aim at Graffiti Vandals

SF takes aim at graffiti vandals, tries to lessen burden on victims
Posted by Joshua Sabatini on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Supervisor London Breed has introduced legislation targeting graffiti vandals; police made 203 graffiti-related arrests in 2013, most of them adults.

San Francisco’s $20-million-a-year graffiti problem has seemingly caused more problems for victimized property owners and public agencies than for the vandals.

But now the City Attorney’s Office could be allowed to go after graffiti vandals in civil proceedings that would force them to pay for the damage and perform community service.

Supervisor London Breed and other city officials say the current process does not work and penalizes the victims, since property owners must remove graffiti within 30 days or face fines.

“We estimate that over 90 percent of the graffiti offenses are committed by the same people,” Breed said Tuesday, when she also introduced legislation to address the issue. “The criminal courts have proven an inappropriate medium for prosecuting such offenses.”

Additionally, Breed’s proposal has come with an agreement from city departments to provide more resources for the effort and collaborate. The Police Department, Breed said, “will have an additional crime analyst and a police officer on an as-needed basis so that they can develop these particular cases.”

Stencil graffiti practically legal in NYC - if you're white and wearing a suit

 


I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

By Bobby Constantino
Left to right: A snapshot of the author's graffiti; a "selfie" of the author, dressed in his suit and tie and ready to vandalize; a surveillance video still of the work in progress (Bobby Constantino)

 

This article available online at:

Legal Dept: Techies Developing Apps to Fight Graffiti

Just a few examples from a simple Google search:

Graffiti Buster: http://www.troyweb.com/graffiti-buster/
Since the days of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, graffiti has adorned the walls of our urban neighborhoods. In modern times, spray paint and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. Graffiti is a quality-of-life issue that can result in costly cleanup and lowered property values. It generates the perception of blight. The appearance of graffiti is often perceived by residents and passers-by as a sign that a downward spiral in a neighborhood has begun, even though this may not be true.

The Graffiti Buster App was created as another tool to combat blighting graffiti in our neighborhoods. With the app, the reporting of graffiti is now streamlined, providing all needed information directly to municipal authorities. Reporting graffiti for cleanup is now as easy as a snap of a photograph and push of a button!

San Francisco: On the SF311, (http://www.sf311.org/index.aspx?page=797) you can submit requests for:
Abandoned Vehicles, Graffiti, Illegal Postings, Street or Sidewalk Cleaning, Streetlight Repair, Blocked Sidewalk or Space, Damaged Public Property, Litter Receptacle, Park Issue, Sign Repair, Street and Sidewalk Defect, and Tree Maintenance.

Woman Arrested for Instagramming Street Art

 

Woman Arrested for Instagramming Street Art
by Hrag Vartanian on April 4, 2013

Original here: http://hyperallergic.com/68151/artist-arrested-for-instagramming-street-...

20-year-old artist Jennifer Pawluck was arrested Wednesday morning at 10:30am after posting a picture of anti-police street art on her Instagram feed a few days before.

“Many of my friends do not like the police,” Pawluck told the Huffington Post Québec in French. “I thought it would be funny to put the picture on Instagram. I do not even know who he is, Ian Lafrenière.”

Pawluck took the photo in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood of Montreal, where she lives, and police arrived early yesterday with a warrant accusing her of uttering threats to the Montreal police spokesperson Ian Lafrenière.

The photo in question depicts a hand-drawn image of Ian Lafrenière with a gunshot wound to the head flanked by the words “Ian Lafrenière” and “ACAB” — a popular graffiti acronym that stands for “all cop[per]s are bastards.”

According to what she told the Huffington Post, Pawluck was brought to the police station and detained for nearly four hours. The arrest warrant alleges that Pawluck acted with intent to harass Lafreniere and gave him reason to fear for his safety.

Graffiti Conference Seeks Public's Help

Graffiti conference seeks public's help
S.F. CRIME
Neal J. Riley
Published 4:51 pm, Thursday, January 17, 2013

Graffiti is a more than $20 million-a-year problem in San Francisco, and though city officials put out a call Thursday to eradicate graffiti blight, there's still disagreement on how vandals should be punished.

At the first Zero Graffiti International Conference, hundreds of people from around the world gathered at St. Mary's Cathedral to discuss fighting graffiti and browse products to take spray paint and markers off any surface.

"Graffiti vandalism is a drain on our city's resources, impacting our neighborhoods and quality of life," said George Gascón, San Francisco's district attorney. "We ask the public to help out by reporting graffiti crime."

Split over penalties

Mohammed Nuru, the Department of Public Works director, said his agency takes an average of 3,000 calls a month about graffiti and has seen an increase in tagging on trees and artists' murals.

SF's Zero Graffiti Conference Goes International

Back in 2009, San Francisco's DPW held a Zero Graffiti conference. They released a video talking about problems of blight (i.e., graffiti) that cities face across the world. Out of curiosity and continued research on how people interact and react to graffiti, public art, etc., I attended the event. Beyond the government hurrumphing and back patting (for spending millions of dollars to not solve a "problem"), I was impressed by all the statistics that the City government presented that day: stats that showed complaints and arrests (not many arrests) in a zoned SF. There was also talk of new technologies for detecting spray paint on a wall, but I do not know if this has advanced since then.

For 2013, Zero Graffiti has gone international. They are bringing in people from Canada and elsewhere in the USA to talk about tactics and means to eradicate graffiti. While the last event was free, this one is not. I saw a few artists in the mix at the first conference (where about 100 total people attended, mostly working with government agencies), mostly seeking legal walls to spray on. I doubt anyone who is not an abatement professional will attend the upcoming conference, which carries a $289 price tag (that includes "city-wide tours").

While the last conference had no sponsors, this one has at least a dozen, including the Academy of Art. I guess we now know where this art school stands on zero graffiti. Conference topics will include "Catching the Graffiti Vandal", "Best Use of Volunteers", and "Using Technology and Social Media".

Since I frequently post legal articles, documents, ordinances, etc. that pertain to potential and alleged illegal public placement of pigment and media, I felt that it is fair to post this new and much larger conference that is dedicated to "stopping urban blight." And, as I've stated many times, in public, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

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