Morning Links: More sex abuse in U.S. prisons, DoD to give away 13K armored vehicles, S.C. deputies train with military units

• The Richland County, South Carolina Sheriff’s Department and unnamed military units from Ft. Bragg recently engaged in “a secretive joint exercise around the county.” It sounds as if the exercise was extensive, and involved simulated ammunition. This is troubling, to say the least—especially when you consider the history of Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

•  Allegations of sex abuse in America’s prison are on the rise. Half of the allegations are against prison guards. Less than one percent of the allegations result in a conviction. ProPublica points out that because inmates may be afraid to report sex abuse,  these figures are likely low. Direct surveys of inmates—as opposed to counting official reports of abuse—put the estimates much higher.

• A Connecticut police officer has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after illegally arresting a priest who was recording him and his colleagues. This is pretty rare, but it’s a good step toward letting police in the state (and for that matter, across the country) know that it is perfectly legal for citizens to record them.

Headline of the day.

• The Pentagon hopes to give away over 13,000 landmine-resistant armored vehicles from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan police departments across the country.

Great post from Ta-Nehisi Coates on the enduring myth that victims of totalitarian regimes have or can fight back.

A star just exploded, and “it’s practically next door.”

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."
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