Barbara J. Weiland, et al., The Journal of Neuroscience: Recent research has suggested that marijuana use is associated with volumetric and shape differences in subcortical structures, including the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, in a dose-dependent fashion...[The results of our recent study show that] No statistically significant differences were found between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest. Effect sizes suggest that the failure to find differences was not due to a lack of statistical power, but rather was due to the lack of even a modest effect. In sum, the results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures.
Fred Barbash, The Washington Post: The North Miami Beach police department was discovered last month to be using mug shots of African Americans for sniper practice at a firing range. NBC News Channel 6 in Miami broke the story after hearing from a member of the Florida Army National Guard who showed up with her unit for weapons qualification at the same commercial firing range used by the police and discovered the targets left behind, an array of six African Americans. North Miami Police Chief J. Scott Dennis, while conceding that his department "could have used better judgment," denied any racial profiling. He said the department uses pictures of people of all races for target practice. But the day National Guard Sgt. Valerie Deant showed up, she saw only African Americans. And what really upset her was that among the mug shots riddled with bullet holes was one of her own brother. read more
Sabrina Rubin Erdely, Rolling Stone: Though it smacks of suburban myth or TV makebelieve, undercover drug stings occur in high schools with surprising frequency... They're elaborate stings in which adult undercover officers go to great lengths to pass as authentic teens: turning in homework, enduring detention, attending house parties and using current slang... [A] San Diego-area sting last year that practically elevated policing to performance art, in which three undercover deputies had "parents" who attended back-to-school nights; announcing the first of the sting's 19 arrests, Sheriff Bill Gore boasted this method of snaring teens was "almost too easy." [The ease at which the officers were able to 'snare' drug dealing students could be explained by the borderline entrapment methods used in arresting 22 students, 9 of whom were classified as necessitating special education (is there any lower hanging fruit?).] read more
Jackson Marciana, Counter Current News: The ruling comes in response to a case where John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz were forced to bring suit against two police officers who arrested Swartz back in May of 2006. The arrest was made simply as a result of John Swartz flipping off the officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, New York.
Swartz was charged with "disorderly conduct," the common way that officers charge people when they have not committed any crime.
Even though a federal judge in the Northern District of New York had granted summary judgement in favor of the officers back in July of 2011, the Court of Appeals erased that decision. read more
Video was released this week of a December 30 incident in which two Bridgeton, N.J., police officers shot and killed an unarmed man who got out of a car with his hands raised at shoulder level. Jerame Reid of Bridgeton, a passenger in a Jaguar stopped for running a stop sign, was ordered several times not to move after police saw a gun in the glove compartment. Officer Braheme Days, who is black, told Reid, "If you reach for something, you're going to be f---ing dead." Either Reid or the driver said "I'm getting out and getting on the ground" and then Reid got out of the car and stepped towards Days. Reid was then shot six times. read more