The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., has decided to move to do away with some post-9/11 police powers that assault civil liberties. Those powers made it easier for local, State and Federal authorities to spy on citizens and share information.
The Council began investigating the need for reforms following questions about why police officers were being used to control demonstrators during Occupy protests.
According to Contra Costa Times, the council decided this week to approve recommendations that would make it more difficult for police to report suspected terrorists and criminals to Federal authorities. Another provision restricts police from gathering intelligence about people who are engaged in nonviolent, non-felonious civil disobedience.
They also moved to stop police from holding some people the Federal government wants in jail for immigration violations. The new policy would prohibit the police department from holding prisoners beyond their normal release for the Federal government, unless they have been convicted of a violent or felonious crime in the preceding five days.
The City Council also says it wants police to follow stricter guidelines when they decide to report people they deem suspicious to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center. The center shares information with local police departments and Federal authorities. The intelligence-sharing hub was created following the Sept. 11 attacks and is one of 50 throughout the Nation.