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Police brutality and car chases in black neighborhoods bemoaned by NAACP listen

06/19/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The NAACP is crying foul over the St. Petersburg Police Department’s use force and frequent car chases in predominantly black neighborhoods. Tuesday night during a town hall meeting at their midtown office, more than 40 people weighed in on the problem. Angela Owens is an attorney working with the group.

“The value of apprehending a suspect verses the possible danger to innocent people, that’s what they’re supposed to be weighing. But, the real irony of it is that, if they’re weighing it ...

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Uhuru activists want St. Pete Police out of their neighborhoods for good listen

05/03/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Activists from the Uhuru are demanding that St. Pete Police officers remove themselves from black communities. During a protest in front of the police station today, nine people spoke out against the agency for what they call terrorizing black neighborhoods.

“The street crimes unit is a special unit of the police department that act as armed thugs in the African community.”

That’s Chimerenga Waller with the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement. Waller led the group in ch...

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Arrested activist claims St. Pete Police harass people without homes in Williams Park listen

03/28/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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A longtime homeless activist in St. Petersburg is claiming that police officers hurt him while he was trying to defend a homeless man in Williams Park Wednesday. Bruce Wright was arrested and charged with obstruction after another man being arrested got away. According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, officers had an arrest warrant for a man in the park. That report quoted Wright as saying “stop harassing that man” and then asking what he had done wrong.

“You stiffen up a bit...

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Some Tampa Bay law enforcement agencies use same flammable tear gas that led to fugitive cop death listen

03/12/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A few weeks ago in Southern California, police who tried to arrest a former LA Police officer accused of murder burned down the house where the suspect was hiding using incendiary tear gas. Some police agencies in the Tampa Bay area are equipped with the chemical weapon. It’s used by specially trained police units to smoke out dangerous suspects during certain situations. But the consequences of an unintended fire can be deadly. We spoke to several law enforcement agencies in the area to f...

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St. Pete's new armored surveillance vehicle has cameras, not guns listen

11/08/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The St. Petersburg Police Department unveiled the newest addition to their crime stopping fleet this morning – it’s an armored surveillance vehicle. The mobile monitoring device can record activity in a 360-degree radius during the day or night. The former Brinks cash truck won’t be manned by a police officer. But that doesn’t mean no one is watching the area around it. It will instead by monitored remotely by officers on an as-needed basis. St. Pete Police Chief Chuck Harmon said the idea ...

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St. Pete Police get armored vehicle but say it won't be used for Republican convention listen

07/31/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The City of St. Petersburg has purchased an armored vehicle less than one month before the kick-off event for the Republican National Convention. But team leader for the St. Petersburg Police Department’s SWAT unit, David Gerardo, said the more than $200,000 expense isn’t related to the massive event being held at Tropicana Field.

“Really, that’s just total coincidence as far as timing.”

And Mike Puetz, spokesperson for the agency, doesn’t expect protesters, journalists or delegates a...

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