Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Police Abuse, Corruption and Civil Liberties Roundup

Stories listed below hit the news in the last week and are not meant to defame the reputation of almost one million law enforcement and corrections officers.

They do however show that corrupt, brutal, criminal and stupid police conduct is not that uncommon. This is no surprise, since cops, like most humans are far from perfect. Putting on a badge should not automatically make one above reproach or the normal rule of law.

Official corruption and law enforcement conduct is a fundamental aspect of a livable- or unlivable city.

I spent several hours compiling this list which lists a large number of very, very serious reports, - in only a week! There is no official database of people killed or injured by police.


Cleveland cop involved in Tanisha Anderson death lied about past use-of-force case (

Cleveland police officer charged, accused of staggering, urinating in public while wearing loaded gun

Suburban Cleveland Police chief and former social media sensation resigns after charges of sexual harassment (

Disturbing picture of abuse and harassment by former Brimfield, Ohio Police Chief  (WKYC News)

Brimfield officer who stood up to chief Oliver, recounts bullying, vulgarities and retaliation (Akron Beacon Journal)


Mentally Ill, 62 year old man arrested for cursing dies in jail, 10 days later (Opposing Views) (January 12)

Two inmate deaths prompt county to review privatized prison infirmary


Lawmakers, advocacy groups push for civil asset forfeiture reform (Pennsylvania Independent)

West Virginia

Moundsville, West Virginia police officer charged with having sex with 15 year old girl

Other police abuse, corruption and civil liberties news

Video shows man shot and killed by Bridgeton, New Jersey police was raising his hands (The Salt Lake Tribune)

West Monroe, Louisiana police officer charged with negligent homicide in fatal shooting of homeless man (The News Star)

Video shows Penellas County Florida detention deputy pushing wheelchair bound inmate down, beating him and breaking his dentures (Officer fired) (St Petersburg Tribune)

Columbia, South Carolina police officer accused of beating a man outside a nightclub (Herald Online)

Brooklyn DA to probe allegations of NYPD cops planting guns (New York Daily News)

Ex-NYPD cop sentenced for insurance fraud, ticket fixing, selling fake DVDs and plotting to kill witnesses (New York Daily News)

NYPD detective, lieutenant accused of sexually assaulting and harassing a rape victim (New York Daily News)

Dallas, Texas cop arrested on 2nd domestic violence charge (Dallas Observer)

St Louis County police officer apologizes for arresting and (severely) beating wrong man (Chicago Defender)

Jacksonville, Florida corrections officer charged with food stamp fraud (

Hillsborough, Florida judge charged with domestic violence (The Tampa Tribune)

Shelby County, Tennessee sheriff's deputy accused of assaulting two year old toddler for a dirty diaper (MyFox Memphis)

Former Buffalo, NY cop sentenced for operating a large Marijuana grow operation (

Prescott Valley, Arizona police commander after video shows him stealing drugs from police storage unit

Indiana correctional officer charged with trafficking cell phones and drugs  (Michigan City News Dispatch)

New Castle County, Delaware cop accidentally shoots himself on the job (ABC News- Philly)

Orange County, Florida corrections officer charged with rape (Click Orlando)

DeLand, Florida police officer resigns after being stopped with gang member, marijuana in his vehicle (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Connecticut corrections officer arrested in fatal hit and run accident (Connecticut Post)

St. Francis, Minnesota cop investigated for snooping into private data (Watertown Public Opinion)

Winter Haven, Florida community service officer accused of stalking (CBS 10 News)

California probation officer arrested for insurance fraud (My News LA)

Ocala, Florida police officer suspected of having sex with a 16 year old prostitute is fired (

Off-Duty New Jersey cop charged with DUI after gun goes off and wounds friend (Newsday)

Del Rio, Texas high school security guard arrested for sexting underage female students (Fox News San Antonio)

Former NYPD cop who had sex with hooker inside Manhattan DA's office arrested for DWI (New York Daily News)

Ex-Chicago cop who tortured 118 black men over 30 years ago released from prison after 31/2 years- with full pension (Parhlo)

Related in-depth stories and opinion

Over 50 police agencies deploy radars that can see into homes without search warrants or much oversight (USA Today)

Report shows 1/3 of NYC hired corrections officers had criminal histories, gang ties or psychological issues (RT News) 

US government aided Mexico's Sinaloa Drug Cartel with secret deal (Time Magazine)

Florida Senate panel to review Department of Corrections abuse allegations  (Tampa Bay Times)

West Valley City, Utah brings back drug unit disbanded after systemic corruption and abuse

FBI files tell how addicted agent was able to get the drugs (Washington Post)

The downside of hospital-based police (Healthcare Dive)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1/7/15 - 1/15/15 Arts, Urbanism and Civil Liberties Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.
The other huge story is the terror attack on French satirical magazine and the widespread censorship of "offensive" cartoons by major media.


Extended Tamir Rice video shows cops gave no aid of any kind in first minutes after shooting and brutally restrained Tamir's sister. (

Full Tamir Rice video released: Attorney calls it "cruelest thing I've ever seen" - and you will too (Reason)

Police killed Tamir Rice at playground: Do safe places for black children exist? (Huffington Post)

Suspended Cleveland police officer, a "serial abuser of women" with three prior incidents of domestic violence (

Judge OKs arbitrators ruling to rehire fired Cleveland police officer, reverse two demotions (related to killing of two unarmed drivers after police chase) (

Ex-Municipal court bailiff charged with bribery, having sex with an inmate (

Judge releases former Bedford, Ohio Law Director from jail early in corruption case (

GOP sets dates for July, 2016 convention in Cleveland (Columbus Dispatch)

Columbus, Ohio

Pepper spray use on Ohio State football revelers to face Columbus police review (Columbus Dispatch)

Columbus rediscovering urbanism, walkability (Columbus Dispatch)


Mayor Peduto defends hiring "dear friend" for parks dept job (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Mayor Peduto blames "Undercover Boss" scheduling for delay in identifying donors (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

West Mifflin school board member uncovers questionable credit card use by district employees (Pennsylvania Independent)

Coraopolis police chief charged for driving at 80 mph into a woman's vehicle causing serious injuries (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Pennsylvania State Trooper in Uniontown sentenced to 6 months probation for pepper spraying 13 year old son who didn't want to go to school (WTAE News)

Other police abuse, corruption and civil liberties news (Ohio and Pennsylvania incidents outside the "Cleveburgh" region listed here)

Stories listed below hit the news in the last week and are not meant to defame the reputation of almost one million law enforcement and corrections officers.

They do however show that corrupt, brutal, criminal and stupid police conduct is not that uncommon. This is no surprise, since cops, like most humans are far from perfect. Putting on a badge should not automatically make one above reproach or the normal rule of law.

Official corruption and law enforcement conduct is a fundamental aspect of a livable- or unlivable city.

I spent several hours compiling this list which lists a large number of very, very serious reports, - in only a week! There is no official database of people killed or injured by police.
Incident reports

Oklahoma City, cop indicted on 36 counts of rape, sexual battery and indecent exposure - for crimes allegedly committed on duty (Cop has been fired- for now)

DA files murder charges against 2 cops for Abuquerque shooting of homeless man (KRQE News)

Brigantine, New Jersey police officer indicted on child sex assault charges in crime committed with another cop (

Former Irwindale, California who sexually assaulted woman pulled over for traffic stop sentenced to 9 years in jail

Irvington, NJ police captain arrested for trying to run over Newark councilman (

Plano, Texas cop arrested twice on indecency with a child and child porn charges (WFFA News)

Dallas, Texas cop commits suicide amid charges he sexually abused prostitutes (New York Daily News)

Trial begins for Park Forest, Illinois cop who killed a 95 year old World War II veteran in an assisted living facility (Chicago Tribune)

NYC subway conductor allegedly assaulted by NYPD cop feared for her life (New York Daily News)

Georgia sheriff's deputy arrested for hunting at night, on private property while drunk (Cordele Dispatch)

Miami-Dade, Florida cop charged with aggravated assault with a firearm for shooting at a corrections officer during road-rage incident (NBC 6 News)

L.A. County sheriff's deputies implicated in towing thefts, bribes (Los Angeles Times)

Bradford County, Florida sheriff's deputy resigns after drug charges (First Coast News)

San Antonio, Texas cop arrested for stealing drugs, a rifle and thousands of dollars- crime captured on dashcam video (News 4 San Antonio)

San Diego Parking enforcement officer punches and attacks ambulance crew over alleged insult (ABC 10 News)

Utah police chiefs could face punishment for not reporting officer misconduct (Fox 13 News)

Wisconsin State Trooper arrested for DWI after crash that seriously injures passenger (Leader Telegram- Dec 30)

Broward County Florida sheriff's deputies investigated for shooting out car window, almost hitting Palm Beach cops (No charges filed) (PINAC)

Tuckerton, New Jersey police officer faces more charges after unleashing dog on restrained woman and falsifying report (

Former Memphis Police Officer gets probation for on duty sexual assault (See details) (

Travis County, Texas sheriff's deputy charged with DWI, and drug possession. (KVUE)

Hanceville, Alabama police sergeant charged with domestic violence (The Cullman Times)

Pinellas, Florida Detention deputy charged with grand-theft (Tampa Bay Times)

Bronx police handcuff and interrogate 7 year old boy for hours over missing $5 (New York Post)

Two Houston police officers resign, one retires amid accusations of 6000 rigged speeding tickets (Another accused cop committed suicide) (KHOU Houston)

Multi agency, 150 man Swat team demolishes house of New York DUI suspect, family left homeless (Free Thought Project)

Off-duty Rosemont, Illinois cop shoots and kills brother-in-law (

Waterbury, Connecticut cop fired for lying on statement about armed suspect (Republican American- Dec 29)

Still waiting for justice after Massachusetts SWAT team kills innocent grandfather (Washington Post)

Welch, West Virginia police officer arrested on stalking charge (WVNSTVcom)

Bucks County, Pennsylvania corrections officer arrested for making sexual advances on male inmates (

Kentucky corrections officer arrested for "promoting contraband" in prison (WKYT News)

Former Baltimore County Police Department civilian employee pleads guilty to stealing  large amounts of drugs from evidence room (The Avenue News)

Chester County, Pennsylvania homeless man claims victory in wrongful arrest case (Officers still on the job) ( Jan 2)

Ex- South Carolina police chief on trial for killing unarmed man (Detroit Free Press)

University police officer involved in shooting death of student in San Antonio resigns (KSAT 12 News)

Former Savannah, Georgia cop pleads not guilty to drug dealing charges (

High level DEA agent in Mexico swapped gifts for favors to Mexican nationals (The Washington Times)

Arizona State University moves to fire police officer for brutal arrest of English professor (AZ Central)

Mentally ill Savannah, Georgia man dies in restraining chair while in police custody (WASV News- Savannah)

Ex-Cook County Illinois sheriff's deputy gets one year in prison for unprovoked attack on prisoner (Chicago Sun Times) (Officer also lied and falsified reports)

Former New Jersey cop sentenced to 3 years in prison for stealing over a half million $ of cigarettes and extortion (

New Orleans police officer arrested for domestic abuse, battery and home invasion (

Durham, North Carolina cop arrested for domestic violence (

Des Moines, Iowa police officer fired after domestic violence arrest likely to be reinstated (WHO TV  News)

Wichita, Kansas police supervisor charged domestic violence (KWCH 12 News)

Bounty Hunter pleads guilty in conspiracy and bribery scheme involving New Jersey sheriff's officers (two sheriffs have already plead guilty in scheme) (Associated Press)

Off-duty Mississippi cop accidentally shoots roommate in the head while showing off new gun (Clarion-Ledger)

Former high ranking, Denver sheriff's officer sentenced to two months in prison for stealing $20,000 work of tax software over 4 years (CBS Local- Denver)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana public works employees arrested for stealing truckload of limestone (Crime not committed by police) (The Advocate)

Former southwest Ohio cop pleads guilty to stealing almost $100,000 while treasurer of police lodge- sentenced to only 30 days in jail

Americus, Georgia corrections officer arrested for giving inmates alcohol, drugs and weapons
(Americus Times-Recorder)

Related opinion and in depth stories

In the Bronx, residents fear both criminals and the NYPD (Buzzfeed News)

How the NYPD came to see itself as different from those it protects (New York Magazine)

New York police officers are quick to resort to chokeholds, Inspector General finds (The New York Times)

Hotter than Lava: Every day, cops toss dangerous military style grenades during raids, with little oversight and horrifying results (The Atlantic)

A cops stunning admission on "broken windows" policing (Many cops don't like being pushed to enforce minor laws that anger the public) (

The thin blue line is not a hiding place for bad cops (Press Telegram)

No, settlements over police brutality Don't bring accountability to cops or prevent future police brutality (Reason)

Lawmakers urge end to program sharing forfeited assets (seized without trial or proof of guilt) with state and local police (Washington Post)

Other urbanism, transit and city news

Newark's huge Four Corners Millennium tower project moves forward (New York YIMBY- Dec 31)

Calgary council consider allowing developer to sell condo units with no parking- for 75,000 less per unit (Calgary Herald)

Some of NYC's most expensive Condos are struggling to attract buyers (Crain's New York)

The myths of municipal mergers (Governing)

California's high housing costs drive out poor, middle-income workers (LA Times- Jan 1)

Explore Chicago's architectural gems through new database (Fast Co- Design)

Just because you can't find a place to park doesn't mean there aren't way too many parking spots (Citylab)

Atlanta's formerly sprawling Buckhead area embraces walkability, green space with new five mile trail (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Miami considers four bus rapid transit corridors (Miami Today)

Increased apartment supply pushing Washington DC rents down (Washington Post)

Gentrification comes to the long dangerous, Brownsville area of Brooklyn (New York YIMBY)

Other arts, architecture and archeology news

Suspected Islamists kill 12 in attack in Paris attack on a satirical magazine (Reuters)

Three likely Islamic attacks in one week underline threat to France (CNN)

Cartoonists pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo victims (New York Magazine)

The men behind the cartoons at Charlie Hebdo (New York Times)

News outlets are censoring cartoons that may have "incited" Charlie Hebdo attack (Slate)

Art Spiegelman criticizes US press for not publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoons (Hyperallergic)

Associated Press takes down "Piss Christ" image after complaints about censorship double standard (Slate)

How France legitimizes violent responses to offensive speech (Reason)

The last Jews of France (New York Observer)

Are cartoons more powerful than art? (Artnet News)

Violence against cartoonists shockingly common (Detroit Free Press)

Clampdown sends Russian artists into exile (The Art Newspaper)

Why the art world needs to ditch the rich Russians (The Guardian)

New documentary peels back complex layers of UK's National Gallery (The Art Newspaper)

Whitney Museum massively expands online collection database (Art News)

Half a million people have seen MOMA's Matisse cut-outs show (Or the back heads of other people who saw it) (Art News)

Boston museum opens a time capsule left by Paul Revere (Hyperallergic)

New York's Lombard Freid Gallery to close after 2 decades (Artnet News)

MoMA to sell off a Monet at Sotheby's (Artnet News)

MFA Houston plans a $450 million expansion (Including 400 underground parking spaces) (Artnet News)

How erotic can fine art get before it becomes pornographic? (Artnet News)

New FAA rules likely to limit artist's use of drones (The Art Newspaper)

US educators test new (government imposed) national "art standards" (Hyperallergic)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

12/31/14 - 1/6/15 Arts and Urbanism Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.


Cleveland seeks outside probe of boy's (Tamir Rice) shooting (New York Times)

Death of mentally ill, Cleveland woman, Tanisha Anderson ruled a homicide by county medical examiner (Cleveland Scene)

The Plain Dealer finally has a new editor (Cleveland Scene)

Cleveland based artist, Meg Wilson's online comic, Buntitled gains a hefty following (Cleveland Scene)

Photos of Mick Jagger on display at The Cleveland Museum of Art (RTT News)

An electronic dance music festival 5K is coming to Cleveland in September (Cleveland Scene)

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus lags other areas in walkability (Columbus Dispatch)

Youngstown, Ohio

Private prison in Youngstown to stop housing inmates in May after losing federal contract (

Youngstown Playhouse is getting a new tenant (WKBN News)


Amid ongoing federal scrutiny, Pittsburgh's new police chief works to ease local tensions (Government Executive)

Fittsburgh are you ready? Staying in shape in the steel city (Essential Pittsburgh)

Orthodox churches prepare for Christmas (WESA Pittsburgh)

Pittsburgh Arts in France program lets students and artist create in the French mountains (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Art Institutes operator, EDMC cuts 225 more jobs nationwide, 10 in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Business Times)

City's older buildings being transformed into artist studios (CBS Pittsburgh)

17 important discoveries and attractions in Western PA that will surprise you (Huffington Post)

Other Pennsylvania news

No, agriculture is not Pennsylvania's top industry (WESA)

State slot-machine revenues fall almost 3% in 2014 (WESA)

Pennsylvania settles lawsuit over treatment of mentally ill inmates (WESA)

Other police abuse, corruption and civil liberties news

Stories listed below hit the news in the last week and are not meant to defame the reputation of almost one million law enforcement and corrections officers.

They do however show that corrupt, brutal, criminal and stupid police conduct is not that uncommon. This is no surprise, since cops, like most humans are far from perfect. Putting on a badge should not automatically make one above reproach or the normal rule of law.

Official corruption and law enforcement conduct is a fundamental aspect of a livable- or unlivable city.

Dozens of retired New York police, (most are cops) firefighters and corrections officers charged with faking disability claims (7 online)

Video of Missouri drug task-force detective kicking a restrained, prone suspect in the head raises many questions (

Virginia Police officer charged with sodomizing 7th grader will spend just 30 days in jail, following plea bargain (Liberty Warrior)

North Carolina cop shoots and kills tased, restrained, 100 lb mentally ill teenager. (Boing Boing)

Boston violating public records law by not releasing names of officers caught driving drunk (The Boston Globe)

New York state deputy sheriff arrested for peeping and photographing women (

San Francisco sheriff's deputy arrested for assault on hospital patient, perjury and filing a false police report (SFGate)

NYPD facing $3 million lawsuit for police nightstick attack caught on video (RT News)

California sheriff's captain arrested on child abuse charges (CBS Local: Sacramento)

Wichita police officer arrested for aggravated assault and battery (

Illinois cop arrested for stealing money, guns while on duty (New York Daily News)

Ellen DeGeneres, inspired ; Dance Dare" prankster thrown on the ground by NYPD (Reason)

Many questions about police shooting of purple heart, Iraq War veteran in Utah (Officer wearing body camera but it was not turned on)  (

Illegitimate "no photography" arrest leads to $1.2 million lawsuit victory on Long Island (Reason)

Hialeah Gardens, Florida cop arrested for DUI after an accident (Miami Herald) (one of many cop DUI stories)

Cook County, Illinois Sheriff's deputy charged with attempted sexual assault of a prostitute (Chicago Tribune)

Chattanooga, Tennessee cop arrested for domestic assault (9 News)

Tennessee cop arrested twice in four months, still on paid leave (Seems to be the same cop as in story above) (PINAC News)

Boston police officer charged in attack on Uber driver (WCVB 5 News)

Peachtree, Georgia police chief accidentally shoots his wife (11 News, Atlanta)

Retired NYPD cop arrested in Florida for sexually abusing 13 year old girl (New Times)

Yonkers, New York cop arrested for perjury and using falsified search warrant in fatal police raid

NYPD police officer seriously injured while riding on hood of patrol car for fun (Live Leak)

Other Urbanism, transit and city news

Innovating for smart, sustainable cities: A Q and A on urban mobility with Zipcar founder, Robin Chase (The City Fix)

Here's the right way to make transit and density work in the suburbs (Grist)

An increasing number of towns now ban the innocent joy of sledding (Reason)

8 ways American policing could change this year (Next City)

Ancient city ruins warn us about our urban future (Next City)

Iowa urbanizes as large farm operations put small towns out of work (The Grid)

More than half the world's Zoroastrians call Mumbai, India home (The Grid)

These maps show your city's best-trod running routes (Grist)

Public transit helps New Yorkers earn more money (Gothamist)

Louisville, Kentucky's underground dirt bike course gains national attention (

San Francisco loves to hate the design of its newest tower (Citylab)

The economics (and nostalgia) of dead malls (The New York Times)

The complications of our deteriorating inner ring suburbs (Belt Magazine)

Other arts, architecture and archeology news

Amateur Christmas coin dig in England yields millions in rare medieval coins (UK Mirror)

Two bibles on view in NYC showcase the art and violence of medieval books (Hyperallergic)

The long march of Pop Art (The Art Newspaper)

Anish Kapoor given solo show at Versailles next year (The Art Newspaper)

Prominent Swiss art dealer confesses to homicide (Artnet News)

Picasso's granddaughter is selling $290 million worth of his art (Artnet News)

Value added tax rate on French art cut from 10% to 5.5% (The Art Newspaper)

Artist who tested freedom of expression in Cuba arrested 3 times in last 30 days- warned not to attend Havana Biennial (The Art Newspaper)

Judge approves Christo's controversial Colorado project (Hyperallergic)

Charges dropped against protestors for projecting message on Metropolitan Museum of Art (Hyperallergic)

A long lost artist of the 1950's sexual underground (Hyperallergic)

Monday, January 05, 2015

Filmmakers trying to fund documentary about Cleveland's lost, Rock Hotel, Swingo's Celebrity Inn

The 70's and 80's were a dark time in Cleveland. The river caught on fire, crime was rising and industry was leaving. But at the same time, a huge list of celebrities and especially musicians were drawn to one hotel- Swingos was the place to be!

The story probably starts when Elvis decided to rent 100 rooms and make it the base for his Ohio tour. Later, almost every actor, comedian and especially musicians Sinatra, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Bruce Springsteen etc.. passing through seemed to stay there.

"One relationship that became very lucrative was with the British heavy metal band Led Zeppelin. They had a habit of “redecorating” their rooms wherever they stayed -- even going so far as pushing a piano out of a hotel window in Chicago. “I loved Led Zeppelin, because they always traveled with their accountant,” Swingos says. “Whatever damage they did to their rooms, the accountant always took out his checkbook and paid for everything down to the penny. I didn’t mind because I always got new stuff for whatever rooms they stayed in after they left.”

Actual Kickstarter page

A lot of the known stories have become legends and who knows what we don't know?

Mott the Hoople's Ian Hunter said "Swingos was a place you remember checking in and out of, but can't remember anything in between" (Quote from the Guardian)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12/23/14 - 12/31/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.


Theft count upheld against Pittsburgh police detective (Action 4 News)

Western Pennsylvania police chief gets lucrative buyout, despite scathing report (Pennsylvania Independent)

Fights close Monroeville Mall (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Pittsburgh based bike Magazine, Urban Vello shuts down (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Penn Avenue in Garfield reopens to two way traffic after years of construction (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Ohioville borough's former police chief falsified and forged records to increase state aid (Pennsylvania Independent)


Cleveland NAACP calls emergency meeting of lawyers to address police misconduct, protect protestors (

Evaluation of officer who killed 12 year old, Tamir Rice, raised many red flags

Cleveland's "I can't breath" police case happened four years ago (

Cleveland police union defends fired cop, saying others did far worse (

East Cleveland cell phone service provider cuts off service for non-payment as city considers bankruptcy (

Operator of Cincinnati and Cleveland casinos on the brink of bankruptcy (

Filmmakers launch Kickstarter for documentary about Cleveland's Swingo's Celebrity Inn (Cleveland Scene)

Review: Kirk Mangus/ Things Love survey show of the late Ohio ceramicist @ MOCA Cleveland (Art Hopper)

Other Pennsylvania Urbanism and Transit news

10 charged in major PennDOT corruption probe (

Pennsylvania legislator  used taxpayer dollars to advance his acting career (The Morning Call)

Pennsylvania considers handing York School District to charter operator (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Other Police Abuse, Corruption and Civil Liberties news

Rand Paul will bring up police militarization in Senate next year (BuzzFeed News)

Horrifying civil liberties predictions for 2015 (Washington Post)

Two architects of "broken widows" policing go on the defensive (CityLab)

Tension rises after police shoot another black teen near Ferguson, Missouri (Reuters)

Off duty, black cops in NY feel threat from fellow police (Reuters)

No charges against Lodi California police in killing of mentally ill man (CBS Sacramento)

New Mexico cop arrested for Christmas Eve sexual assault (New York Daily News)

Alleged towing kickbacks land Miami cops in hot water (Miami Herald)

Ex-Baltimore cop alleges retaliation for reporting police brutality  (Reason)

In Brooklyn gun cases, suspicion turns to the police (The New York Times)

Family of toddler injured in Georgia Swat raid faces over $1 million in medical bills (Think Progress)

Washington state police gain more military firepower (Seattle Times)

Want to cut down on police brutality? Make police pay for their own misbehavior (The Week)

The NYC police union has a long history of bullying City Hall (CityLab)

E-Cig users and vapers need to join anti-drug war movement (Huffington Post)

Drug War fuels rather than fights crime (

Law enforcement now inspecting sewage for clues about community drug use

Other Urbanism and Transit news

New Jersey is a terrible place for small businesses, analysis finds (

"Social urbanism" experiment breaths new life into Columbia's Medellin (The Globe and Mail)

The smartest cities rely on citizen cunning and unglamorous technology (The Guardian)

Rise in loans linked to cars is hurting poor (The New York Times)

Florida passes New York to become the 3rd most populous state (US Census Bureau)

San Diego urbanism took a beating in 2014 (Opinion) (Voice of San Diego)

2014's dumbest local ordinances (CityLab)

How the San Diego suburb of Vista, California became the capitol of craft beer (CityLab)

Other Arts, Architecture and Archeology news

Deaccessioning crisis has UK museums group contemplating stricter guidelines (Hyperallergic)

A new book argues quilts are art  (Hyperallergic)

Dizzying dioramas of the world's major cities (Hyperallergic)

Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" takes a look at art fraud (The Art Newspaper)

Year of record sales but at what cost to the art? (The Art Newspaper)

Cuba's art scene awaits a travel boom  (The New York Times)

Hello! Exploring the superweird world of Hello Kitty (Boing Boing)

20 years of street photography shows people around the world are pretty boring (CityLab)

It's been a big year for outrage in public art (CityLab)

The art world's patron satan (The New York Times Magazine)

The 15 weirdest and wildest art stories of 2014 (Artnet News)

Japanese "vagina kayak" artist indicted, faces up to two years in prison (Artnet News)

Son of former Beatles manager wins $1 million art lawsuit (Artnet News)

Monday, December 22, 2014

12/17/14 - 12/22/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.

The Pittsburgh City Paper did an excellent 3 part story on problems with the city's unmarked. "99 cars".


99 problems: What public records reveal about the city's unmarked police units
 (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Police records show "99 units" lack department-wide mission, regulation, oversight (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Run-in with Jordan Miles wasn't first controversial incident for three 99-car cops (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Councilman seeks to prevent Pittsburgh police from acquiring surplus military equipment (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Oakmont's businesses, walkability gain notice of empty-nesters, downsizers (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)


Scenes from the Department of Justice investigation into the Cleveland Police Department (Belt Magazine)

Cleveland police officer accused of shoving girlfriend down stairs, knocking her unconscious (

Made in Cleveland: The rise of the maker economy in Cleveland (Cleveland Scene)

Why I left Los Angeles for this (Belt Magazine)

Fodor's names Cleveland a top 25 travel destination (Freshwater Cleveland)

Stepping up efforts to create a more livable, connected downtown (Freshwater Cleveland)

Ashtabula, Ohio

Couple moves from NYC, turns old meat market into dining destination (Cleveland Scene)

Other Ohio Urbanism, Arts and Transit news

Columbus, Ohio "complete streets" engineer and intern run over on downtown sidewalk (Streetsblog USA)

Other Pennsylvania Urbanism, Arts and Transit news

Pennsylvania police seize couple's $160,000 wine collection, want to destroy it all (Reason)

D.A. charges 2 Pennsylvania lawmakers with corruption in sting (

PA state legislators commonly engaged in jobs, investments that benefit from their office (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Recusals are rare in Pennsylvania Legislature (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

West Virginia and Appalachia

Appalachian Christmas traditions are still alive (Wilkes Journal-Patriot)

Parade will bring Appalachian dancing to Brooklyn (The Brooklyn Paper)

Other Urbanism and Transit news

Perth Amboy, New Jersey police chief charged with theft, suspended without pay (

Former Louisiana police officer indicted for multiple incidents of assault (US Department of Justice)

Oregon State Police detective pleads guilty to forgery, destroying evidence in major case (

NYC, cop accused of stealing and pawning jewelry stolen from boyfriend's mom

NYPD cop suspended after video shows brutality (The Chicago Tribune)

Former Saratoga County, NY Sheriff's deputy sentenced for dealing drugs (Albany Times Union)

Police killings increase calls for independent investigations (Times News)

Former suburban Chicago deputy police chief found guilty in brutality case (CBS Chicago)

Police violence sparks disability rights movement (Al Jazeera News)

Gunman executes 2 New York cops in "Garner Revenge" (New York Post)

How corrupt is your state government? (Acton Institute)

The rules of engagement: How militarized police units enforce the law around the world (Washington Post)

How far will cop unions go to halt reform? (Reason)

Millennials fleeing government employment (Reason)

Is Ann Arbor affordable? Nope. (And that's official) (SE-ME Start-Up)

Why the rent is too high, reason #239 (The Urbanophile)

High-end home sales surging in Southern California (Contra Costa Times)

A scary sign that more colleges may be forced to shut down football programs (Business Insider)

The simple change to truck design that could save lives (Streetsblog NYC)

To build safer streets, cities have to challenge state departments of transportation (Streetsblog)

Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct (elevated highway) must come down

The importance of driving to the US economy started waning in the 1970's (Streetsblog)

Other Arts and Archeology news

Brazil's most popular film is about militarized police

After outcry, Flickr stops selling prints of creative commons photos (Hyperallergic)

The Tate Museum digitizes 52,000 artifacts from the lives of British artists (Hyperallergic)

The lost histories of women at war: photo essay (Hyperallergic)

The physics of Pollock (Hyperallergic)

Mexican museum overwhelmed by popularity of Yayoi Kusama retrospective (The Art Newspaper)

Syria and Iraq's neighbors can help contain the looting (The Art Newspaper)

Uzbekistan museum staff replaced collection with forgeries, then sold originals (Artnet News)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Three Canton Exhibits Highlight Prolific Folk Artist Who Documented 19th Century Pennsylvania and Ohio

Ferdinand A. Brader, immigrated to America from Switzerland and for more than 20 years produced almost 1000 intricate pencil drawings. Most are accurate likenesses of farms and local houses from Eastern, Pennsylvania to Ohio.

The large drawings on craft paper have only been recently appreciated as both great folk art and a detailed look at rural life in the region.

From the Canton Art Museum exhibition page

"Ferdinand A. Brader was born in Kaltbrunn, St. Gallen, Switzerland in 1833. Many details of Brader’s early life are incomplete, but by the mid-1860s, he had married and had a son—and he had also likely begun drawing. Brader came to the United States in the early 1870s (according to research, possibly following a brother) and traveled extensively in Pennsylvania and Ohio. As payment for room and board, he created large pencil drawings of the farms and properties where he was given temporary residence. Families have passed down stories that he slept in a barn or other outbuildings.

Brader’s monumental drawings (30-by-40 inches and larger)—using paper and graphite pencil, which were readily available at the time—are dramatically accurate scenes, and they are mostly portrayed from an elevated perspective. Brader’s first drawings of farms and homes were made in Pennsylvania and dated 1879. Brader presumably created several hundred drawings in the counties of Berks, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Lebanon and as far west as the counties of Somerset, Beaver, and Allegheny. The majority of Brader’s drawings were done in Ohio. His first Ohio drawings appeared in Tuscarawas and Columbiana counties in 1884. From research, it appears Brader’s Ohio pictures were done in nine different adjoining counties: Portage, Medina, Wayne, Stark, Summit, Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Tuscarawas, continuing through 1895, with the majority featuring subjects in Portage and Stark counties. While best known for his farmstead pictures, Brader also recorded scenes of both the Portage and Stark County Infirmaries; railroad stations; and rural industries, such as grist mills, potteries, mines, and quarries."

The curator even put all the known locations on Google Maps!

From the New York Times

"Brader was, by all accounts, homeless. A German-speaking native of northeast Switzerland, he came to the United States in the 1870s, around the age of 40, after a career carving wooden molds for baked goods and textile-printing equipment. He left behind a wife, Maria Katharina Karolina, and a son, Carl Ferdinand, in Switzerland; little is known about them.
His drawings filled cheap paper sheets up to nearly five feet long, depicting window frames, weather vanes, porch benches, street signs and pets. He also created flowery birth certificates for his clients’ children.  
Andrew Richmond, a curator of the Canton exhibitions, said that Brader catered to industrious immigrant families proud of their new acreage. The marketing pitch, Mr. Richmond said, was in effect, “Why not capture the dream in a drawing and hang it over the fireplace?”  
Brader was paid for his work partly with room and board. He advertised by displaying renderings at stores in nearby towns. In the winter, when he could not sketch outdoors, he moved into public infirmaries. He eventually went back in Switzerland, after inheriting a small family fortune, but died before he could spend much of it. "

All three exhibits run from December  4, 2014 - March 15, 2015

Canton Museum of Art
1001 Market Avenue North,
Canton, Ohio

McKinley Museum
800 McKinley Monument Drive, NW
Canton, Ohio

Little Art Gallery,
North Canton Public Library
185 North Main Street,
North Canton, Ohio

Obviously, I would love for a local museum like The Frick, Westmoreland or Heinz History Center to host an exhibit. Sadly, this probably won't happen.