(SIGH) Is this happening more often?


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ebd10
June 8, 2007, 11:56 AM
Or just being reported more often?

http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2007/06_07-70/TOP

Police raid wrong home

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Resident says officers didn't ID themselves, kicked husband in groin
By JEFF HORSEMAN and E.B. FURGURSON III Staff Writers
Annapolis narcotics officers hit the wrong apartment last night while serving a search and seizure warrant, terrorizing the four tenants and damaging their home.
With rifles in hand, police forcibly entered the apartment at 905 Primrose Road at 8:20 p.m. while a couple was fixing dinner. The other two tenants were at the grocery store.
According to police reports, a woman in the apartment barricaded a bedroom door with her body as about 15 officers burst through the front door. The tenants are natives of El Salvador and spoke little English.

The Annapolis Special Emergency Team then used what was described as a noise flash device and were able to enter the bedroom.

The woman, identified by police as Silvia Bernal, 30, said police never identified themselves and kicked her husband in the groin and pushed her to the ground before handcuffing them both.

Through an interpreter, she said she felt like she "was going to die right then."

The other tenants would not give their names for fear of retaliation.

As the second couple returned from the store, they heard Mrs. Bernal screaming. While attempting to come to her aid, police pushed them to the floor, the victims said. The second woman, who is 4-months pregnant, clung to a railing inside the building while her husband pleaded with police to take it easy on his pregnant wife. The husband said an officer replied: "I don't care."

Moments later, an officer on the scene exited the building and realized a mistake had been made. They were supposed to have hit 901 Primrose.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Bernal, who said she has a heart condition, told officers she couldn't breathe.

One them pushed her to the outside balcony before all four residents were taken to the hospital.

Realizing the error, police then gave assistance to the four. Mrs. Bernal said someone apologized for the mistake and an officer asked her to sign a paper. She refused.

Mrs. Bernal was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

The pregnant woman, who complained of having stomach pains, was evaluated and released.

Mary Schumaker, a board member of the Centro De Ayuda, called the raid unconscionable and said her center would provide prenatal care to the pregnant woman along with other assistance.

"We don't know how the mistake was made," said Officer Hal Dalton, city police spokesman.

"Something went wrong in the briefing before the operation.

Regrettably it happens, not very often to us, but it happens."

He said an investigation is under way to find out what happened. "We are evaluating it to see what steps can be made to prevent similar events in the future."

After checking with the officer who obtained the warrant, the narcotics officers and tactical squad proceeded to the correct address, which was found empty.

The apartment maintenance crew arrived to make repairs.

This morning, the large dent remained in the front door and two large black stains from the flash-bang grenades were on the carpet.

Latisha Marshall, property manager of Spa Cove, said police gave them no warning of the raid or any drug activity and said officers did more damage to the apartment they accidentally raided than the intended target.

"We were blindsided by this," she said. "People should be treated with decency."

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Biker
June 8, 2007, 12:06 PM
When did kicks to the groin become SOP? Things are getting a bit out of hand.

Biker

Flyboy
June 8, 2007, 12:07 PM
And we wonder why we get a "stop snitching" campaign. I certainly wouldn't be motivated to help thugs such as these, and, like it or not, this is the image that sticks in peoples' heads. Most cops are good people trying to do a hard job, but that's not what lingers in the mind.

Also, I wonder what the "paper" was. Anybody want to guess it's a waiver of rights?

MrRezister
June 8, 2007, 12:09 PM
Resident says officers didn't ID themselves, kicked husband in groin

I lol'ed.
I cried later, but it was mostly laughing after that first line.

El Tejon
June 8, 2007, 12:16 PM
Flyboy, don't think it was a Miranda waiver, probably a hold harmless agreement of some sort ("we agree not to sue because nothing was damaged and no one was hurt", etc.). Smart city attorneys are having their SRTs carry them around with them now.

This will not stop, it cannot. The War of Some Drugs is a self-perpetuating war that, like a boulder down a mountain, cannot stop. Too much money (via the feds--police have to meet quotas to receive their WoD grants), perks (toys and training seminars) and power at stake for the police to stop.

We know what will stop it but we cannot talk about it here.

exar
June 8, 2007, 12:21 PM
We know what will stop it but we cannot talk about it here.

SSHHH...:evil:

Mr. James
June 8, 2007, 12:21 PM
We know what will stop it but we cannot talk about it here.

Precisely so. And what a sad, sorry state of affairs that is.

HiroProX
June 8, 2007, 12:27 PM
I don't know if this stuff is happening more now, but I will say that we probably hear about it more.

gometika
June 8, 2007, 12:29 PM
Sad. I hope these poor people get a very good lawyer. Good luck to them.

jojosdad
June 8, 2007, 12:40 PM
Thanks to mvpel over in a thread on his on TFL, I found this link to a CATO Institute map of botched raids. http://www.cato.org/raidmap/#

Siderite
June 8, 2007, 12:50 PM
For a good overview of the situation with these raids, the Cato Institute tracks them:
http://www.cato.org/raidmap/

ah, I see jojosdad beat me to it.

kingpin008
June 8, 2007, 12:52 PM
I REALLY gotta get out of maryland..

Neo-Luddite
June 8, 2007, 01:00 PM
I wonder if the correct apt. was 'empty' as in un-occupied or literally cleaned out--like the intended target had been tipped off about the raid.

MilsurpShooter
June 8, 2007, 02:00 PM
Holy crap. You know, I'm reading the New York ones 35 cases since from 1992-2006 and nearly every single one of them mention an informant and bad info... Now I wonder if they were just scapegoating the informant or not?

Art Eatman
June 8, 2007, 02:12 PM
California has had a fair number of bad-info-from-informant events. Several innocents have died, these last nine years--just since I first got on the Internet and TFL and started reading about them.

Still, some perspective is in order: Millions of people drive millions of miles without wrecks. Millions of business transactions occur daily without lying or cheating. Millions of arrests are made without excitement of any sort. Stupid events as in this case are news precisely because they are relatively rare.

Art

billhilly66
June 8, 2007, 02:18 PM
Not rare enough.

kingpin008
June 8, 2007, 02:44 PM
Not rare enough.

+1,000,000,000 to that. Call me crazy, but I don't see any viable comparisons between botched police raids where innocent people lose their lives and everyday trips to grandma's house or business transactions. There are elements of risk in each, this much is true...but the car accidents and business rip-offs are preventable. Don't drive, and don't do business. How does one avoid a botched raid, when all they were doing to be involved in one to begin with was living their everyday life in the supposed safety of their own home?

MilsurpShooter
June 8, 2007, 02:49 PM
I agree with you Art, but see, there in lies the rub. They're rare, so they're newsworthy. When the news get's a hold of it, it becomes sensationalized, it get's sensationalized so it's seen as more common and prevalant. And when that happens lawmakers, regular Joe's don't see it as uncommon, but the newest scourge to humanity. I witnessed this personally back in high school. Big issue was underage drinking. They had meetings, interviews, discussion panels on how it was an epidemic... They all seemed to miss the study that showed it was down Twenty Percent from the previous 4 years. I'm glad it's an uncommon occurence, but I still can't help but think and pray it would never happen to me or anyone I know.

Tyro
June 8, 2007, 03:19 PM
One partial solution would be to strip the raiding officers and their superiors of their qualified immunity in the event of raids on the wrong property. Currently they are covered regardless. But it doesn't seem that they are surveilling these properties to confirm that they are the intended target. If so there's no reason to protect them from a civil action.

==================================================
We know what will stop it but we cannot talk about it here.

I'm seeing this unmentionable solution mentioned in a lot of forums, and hope that LEOs on these boards are making their superiors aware how the public's perception of LE is changing due to these practices.

What worries me is that a dramatic nationally publicized incident - let's say they kill several children - could provoke multiple incidents of retaliation against police nationally. Suddenly a half dozen people will get the same idea at the same time.

baz
June 8, 2007, 03:28 PM
Stupid events as in this case are news precisely because they are relatively rare.No excuse. We need a "national dialog" about whether these kinds of raids are what we want as Americans. Cut back the number of raids, and the number of mistakes will decline too. Forcible entry should be a rarity, not an everyday occurance.

billhilly66
June 8, 2007, 03:33 PM
Oops doesn’t cut it!
People naturally follow the path of least resistance. If’ I’m not required by law to pay minimum wage and I have qualified people willing to work for $5 and hour, what do you think I will pay? There is no incentive to double check addresses, confirm informant information, or treat people with respect if all you have to do is say “oops, sorry. It doesn’t happen that often” when mistakes are made.

If a regular Joe accidentally causes someone harm and it is determined that he could have prevented it by taking reasonable precautions, he is liable to be charged with negligence of some sort. In all to many of these cases, reasonable precautions were not taken because there was no real incentive to do so. Take away the immunity and see what happens.

gometika
June 8, 2007, 03:35 PM
Well, one botched raid is one, too, many in my opinion. Traumatic effects for those involved not to mention lives and limbs lost are irrepairable.

Neo-Luddite
June 8, 2007, 04:13 PM
Anyone screen the movie 'Brazil' lately (Buttle instead of
Tuttle)?

"Don't fight it sir, you're going to jeapordize your credit rating".


-----
"Something went wrong in the briefing before the operation.

Regrettably it happens, not very often to us, but it happens."

Art Eatman
June 8, 2007, 04:22 PM
I don't see any way to drive such events toward zero except by pressure on local elected officials who control police department policies.

We're stuck with the WOD stuff. It's not gonna go away. But mayors and councilfolks don't like to be blamed for PD policies--yet by their selections of police chiefs, they are indeed responsible for those policies and the results of them.

"Mr. Murderer, 'scuse me, Mr. Mayor, maybe it should be policy that no SWAT raid occur from information from just one snitch? In the absence of other investigative actions?" Etc., etc.

Better that several guilty scum go uncaught than one innocent person die. This ain't an omelet and egg deal. But the pressure oughta be on the politicos; they asked for the Hot Seat jobs.

Art

jselvy
June 8, 2007, 04:40 PM
I find it laughable that some say it is rare enough to be acceptable collateral damage.
Would you feel the same if it was your door and your groin?

Jefferson

never_retreat
June 8, 2007, 04:58 PM
I think I need to harden my doors.:neener:

grampster
June 8, 2007, 05:06 PM
Get the government out of the drug business and I can see no reason for ever having a no knock or violent entry ever again anywhere. I agree with El T.

ebd10
June 8, 2007, 05:08 PM
I think I need to harden my doors.

Good luck with that:

http://www.policeone.com/police-products/vehicles/specialty/articles/1244834/

U.S. police departments deploying heavy armor

BY RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI
The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — After six people were shot in the city's Homewood neighborhood, Pittsburgh police rolled in with a 20-ton armored truck with a blast-resistant body, armored rotating roof hatch and gunports.

No arrests were made during the sweep in the $250,000 armored vehicle, paid for with Homeland Security money. But the show of force sent a message.

Whether it was the right message is a matter of debate.

With scores of police agencies buying armored vehicles at Homeland Security expense, some criminal justice experts warn that their use in fighting crime could do more harm than good.

When the armored truck moved through the Homewood neighborhood late last year, residents came out of their homes to take a look. Some were offended.


''This is really the containment of crime, not the elimination, because to eliminate it you have to address some of the social problems,'' complained Rashad Byrdsong, a community activist.

Law enforcement agencies say the growing use of the vehicles, a practice that also has its defenders in the academic field of criminal justice, helps ensure police have the tools they need to deal with hostage situations, heavy gunfire and acts of terrorism.

''We live on being prepared for 'what if?' '' said Pittsburgh Sgt. Barry Budd, a memer of the SWAT team.

Critics say that the appearance of armored vehicles may only increase tensions by making residents feel as if they are under siege.

Most departments do not have ''a credible, justifiable reason for buying these kinds of vehicles,'' but find them appealing because they ''tap into that subculture within policing that finds the whole military special-operations model culturally intoxicating,'' said Peter Kraska, an expert on police militarization.

jselvy
June 8, 2007, 05:12 PM
Does the ongoing militarization of the Police qualify them as the standing occupation army that the Founding Fathers worried so much about?

Jefferson

budney
June 8, 2007, 05:27 PM
ebd10:

That's just scary. I live east of Pittsburgh; Homewood is a neighborhood notorious for its crime, and the vast majority there all belong to a certain demographic.

And here just yesterday I was talking about how much good it would do to arm the women of Homewood to resist the rampant crime in their neighborhood! Big pink pistols for poor and minority women everywhere! :cool:

Unsurprisingly, the authorities have a different idea: start patrolling Homewood in a tank. It may not make the victims of crime any safer, but at least "gang bangers" make a satisfying crunch under the treads. :banghead:

--Len.

<SLV>
June 8, 2007, 05:27 PM
What is the history of police "raids", and are they really necessary? It seems to me that raiding was previously reserved for Federal agencies, but now everyone is raiding - even the Mall Ninja!

If my house was accidentaly raided you can bet that in the confusion of the moment I would get a few rounds off before being out gunned. WHO WOULDN'T! I mean, wouldn't any respectable husband and father shoot back if his family was under seige by unknown assailants???

budney
June 8, 2007, 05:31 PM
"Dynamic entry" raids are brought to you courtesy of the "War on Drugs." The theory is that if they don't get in there right smart quick, you might flush your doobies down the toilet. The obvious answer is riot gear, assault weapons and tear gas.

Once the precedent is set, of course, "no knock" warrants become easier to get over time. They're used today even in situations where there's no danger of the evidence being flushed, which was the original justification.


--Len.

pacodelahoya
June 8, 2007, 05:38 PM
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



I personally think that was an unreasonable search.

Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
From Ron Pauls weekly column.

TallPine
June 8, 2007, 05:39 PM
police rolled in with a 20-ton armored truck with a blast-resistant body, armored rotating roof hatch and gunports

Um ... does this answer the question about why private citizens might need a crew served weapon...? ;) :D

Elza
June 8, 2007, 05:43 PM
<SLV>: If my house was accidentaly raided you can bet that in the confusion of the moment I would get a few rounds off before being out gunned. WHO WOULDN'T! I mean, wouldn't any respectable husband and father shoot back if his family was under seige by unknown assailants???Small problem here: you shoot a cop (and through some miracle manage to live through it) you’ll end up with a needle in your arm. Circumstances won’t matter.

Cops harm/maim/kill innocent people all they have to do is say “oops” and wink at each other on the way back to the station.

jselvy
June 8, 2007, 05:45 PM
Or an anti-tank one?


Jefferson

Elza
June 8, 2007, 05:56 PM
http://www.policeone.com/police-prod...icles/1244834/

We keep hearing more and more of cops using armored vehicles. How long is it going to be before the bad guys start arming themselves with RPG’s?

“For every better mousetrap there comes a better mouse”.

pcosmar
June 8, 2007, 05:59 PM
All of this made my blood run cold. Then I stumbled on this. It will make your blood boil.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8WijDe5BhQ&mode=related&search
It is a 5 part video.
This is Fouad Kaadys page.
http://www.fouadkaady.com/

Lucky
June 8, 2007, 08:16 PM
pacodelahoya Can you link to the column?

Elza - criminals don't need them. And every dept simply prays for the day when they capture a criminal who had one and planned to use it as such, so that they could justify purchasing M1 Abrams with a TUSK package. Of course it's actually you who pays for it, and you who is stopped by it at internal check-points though.

Elza
June 8, 2007, 08:51 PM
The videos as linked to by pcosmar are simply disgusting.

Can you imagine the public outcry if a GI had done this to a prisoner in Iraq? What the government would have done to that soldier? Yet, it is entirely acceptable for our citizens to be treated this way by a cop. Something is really wrong here!

pacodelahoya
June 8, 2007, 09:13 PM
http://www.house.gov/paul/

ask and ye shall recieve

obxned
June 8, 2007, 10:28 PM
KGB in USA

thexrayboy
June 8, 2007, 10:40 PM
Does the ongoing militarization of the Police qualify them as the standing occupation army that the Founding Fathers worried so much about?


This has been discussed here before and the consensus among most of us is yes, these alphabet soup named teams using military equipment, military tactics and operating with hoods anonymously would qualify most distinctly as
the standing army we were warned to avoid by Jefferson et.al.

As for the question of whether these injustices are occurring more frequently or are they simply being reported more I'd have to say probably both. They are happening at an ever increasing rate and thanks to the internet more and more people are being made aware of them.

The only realistic solutions to this at the moment is to force our legislators to
remove immunity to civil action from the table. If a JBT has no fear of being held accountable the JBT has no reason to act responsibly.

Neo-Luddite
June 8, 2007, 10:54 PM
Quote:
I think I need to harden my doors.



Doing so might be illegal depending on what state/town you're in--no kidding.

(I'm really suprised this thread isn't locked yet.)

brerrabbit
June 9, 2007, 03:23 AM
Art

All due respects.

Still, some perspective is in order: Millions of people drive millions of miles without wrecks. Millions of business transactions occur daily without lying or cheating. Millions of arrests are made without excitement of any sort. Stupid events as in this case are news precisely because they are relatively rare.


The problem with comparing driving to no knock warrants is two fold. If there are millions of no knock warrants being served, then that is the first problem. The second problem is that because the no knock warrants are relatively rare, the amount of problems that arise from them that become newsworthy is relatively high.

Just my two cents on no knocks.

I would submit the story of Rocky Eales. IIRC an Oklahoma highway patrolman that was shot and killed by Ken Barrett while assisting in a no knock warrant for drugs.

The Oklahoma jury mistrialed in first court case over the matter of Eales death, the second trial awarded him only 30 years over Eales death. The third trial which was federal trial awarded Barret a death sentence over it.


There was no doubt in the jury's mind that Barrett's rifle fired the round that killed Eales in any of the trials. Yet two out of the three trials they refused to award the death penalty. It can be argued that in the second trial the only reason they gave him thirty years was to appease the prosecution because on all the other convictions he recieved, he would have never walked out of jail.

Considering the prosecution overall had three bites of the apple to convict him and the only way they got it was effectively having two practice trials, a stacked jury and the entire resources of the DOJ to convict him, it seems to me that the local population is starting to withdraw support for stronghanded tactics by LEO.


Jury nullification will eventually remove the ability to convict cop killers if LEO continue acting in an abusive manner to the constitution.

BTW I am not sticking up for Barrett, he was and still is a dirtbag.

Tyro
June 9, 2007, 04:12 AM
''tap into that subculture within policing that finds the whole military special-operations model culturally intoxicating,''

One side of my family has a tradition of service in law enforcement. What the author refers to is a known problem. Frankly a lot of cops are very uncomfortable with this trend.

Nowadays you get an element of people joining the force who have no interest in community service - they're Special Forces wannabes - and regard themselves as 'a force within the force'. They don't consider themselves standard LEOs and they look down on cops who aren't 'tactically trained'. But when they screw-up they wrap themselves in the mantle of law enforcement.

blo0dyhatchet
June 9, 2007, 05:09 AM
"If my house was accidentaly raided you can bet that in the confusion of the moment I would get a few rounds off before being out gunned. WHO WOULDN'T! I mean, wouldn't any respectable husband and father shoot back if his family was under seige by unknown assailants???"

I have to say, if it was at night, and some people kicked in my door and came running in with guns, not mentioning that they were the police..... If i did not get a good look at them, a few rounds probably would go off. That is just a moronic thing to do.

Deanimator
June 9, 2007, 09:10 AM
I think I need to harden my doors.



Doing so might be illegal depending on what state/town you're in--no kidding.

(I'm really suprised this thread isn't locked yet.)

Now that raises a very interesting question about Chicago and other cities with repressive gun controls. I haven't lived there since '86, but still have relatives there and visit once a year.

Violent crime is so bad, the police are so incompetent [and criminal themselves], and people disarmed by the law, that houses on the South Side look like little fortresses, with high fences and bars on doors and windows.

When I was in gradeschool, home invasions got so bad, and so frequent, that my father bought a steel prop-rod kit for our front door [along with bars on the back door and windows] to prevent someone from kicking in the door. There were corresponding sockets in door and floor into which the steel rod fit. You literally had to destroy the door to get in when the rod was set.

Are such devices illegal there now?

What does it say about a city [or state] which:

Will not [in truth CANNOT] protect its citizens
Will not allow them to protect themselves
Will not even allow them to barricade themselves in their own home

You'd start to think the fix was in, WOULDN'T you?

Of course there have been some recent police home invasions in Chicago [NOT raids]...

Sindawe
June 9, 2007, 10:12 AM
It will make your blood boil.Nope, not no more. I've heard and read about so many such incidents that I no longer get angry about such. I make note of it and move on. I have come to view (a bit unfairly I will admit) the majority of the police departments and individual cops the same way I do wasp nests and individual wasps. A nuisance and a hazard to be avoided when possible, eradicated when they make a pest of themselves. Since I don't muck about with my fellow citizens and generally conduct my affairs in what others see as a law abiding fashion, the cops have not made pests of themselves in my life.

Yet.

I think I need to harden my doors.Same thought here. Since I can not find steel door and frame sets that would fit into the look of my HOA, I'm strongly considering using the products from these folks.

http://www.djarmor.com/Home-Page

Then moving on to strengthening the windows in my home so they are penetration resistant.

Neo-Luddite
June 9, 2007, 10:54 AM
There is (or was) a law in IL about 'fortifying' a house. It was aimed at drug dealers. Don't know the status.

TallPine
June 9, 2007, 12:48 PM
There is (or was) a law in IL about 'fortifying' a house. It was aimed at drug dealers.

So ... how would they enforce that ???

Would that mean that they may try to break down your door just to see if they can ? :rolleyes:

Neo-Luddite
June 9, 2007, 01:19 PM
They can't. It would be a 'value added' set of charges to stick on someone who was a gang member/drug dealer, etc. Illinois also had a law about having a hidden compartment in your car -- that one was recently stuck down by the IL Sup Ct. The intent isn't to keep honest people from keeping 'the bad guys' out-- it suppossed to prevent a drug dealer from making a 'drug citadel' or something. The 'law makers' (never called reps or senators anymore) like making laws--ones that sound good.

Art Eatman
June 9, 2007, 01:47 PM
brerrabbit, there seems to be some confusion in all this. From what every cop who posts here has said, "No Knock" is a rare event. The use of SWAT teams is not, and the procedures are not the same.

I'm against the no-knock thing except maybe in a hostage situation and with highly-trained personnel. I remember when John Mitchell was Attorney General under Nixon and persuaded Congress to authorize the no-knock idea. The second time it was used was at a wrong address: Typographical error on the search warrant. A resident wound up as permanently paralyzed in his legs, IIRC. Anyway, it's beyond being just a "snitch problem".

Again, I'm of the opinion that SWAT is over-used. However, in some areas they're very much necessary. Example: I went to the Steel Challenge at Los Angeles in 1982. That's when I learned that LA firefighters would not go to some areas when called, until after the "Sunlight" helicopters were overhead, and a SWAT team was in control of the area. The problem? Fake calls and rooftop snipers who would shoot at the firemen. And that was 25 years ago; things are reportedly much worse, now.

Back around that time I picked up a lot of once-fired .45ACP brass at one particular range. A dope peddler's girlfriend was the official owner of a Thompson, and they'd burn up several boxes of ammo and leave the brass. I often wondered at the scenario if revolver-armed Austin cops had to try to arrest the guy at his house, in those days before SWAT.

The "militarization" has come about as a reaction to what Bad Guys are doing. It seems that all us honest folks can do is harumph on the internet about it, as though the cops themselves want to be militarized. As though the cops themselves like being shot at as an excuse to have "new toys".

Damfino...

Art

Deanimator
June 9, 2007, 03:46 PM
The "militarization" has come about as a reaction to what Bad Guys are doing. It seems that all us honest folks can do is harumph on the internet about it, as though the cops themselves want to be militarized. As though the cops themselves like being shot at as an excuse to have "new toys".

It depends upon the department.

I'm VERY critical of police, but departments are not all created equal. Take two examples.

The Chicago PD is a cesspool of corruption, incompetence and criminality. Look at news reports just since Christmas of last year to see what's going on in that department. The Weems/Pleasance shooting is a textbook example of the recklessness and corruption which is pervasive in the Chicago PD as an ORGANIZATION.

The Cleveland PD has problems, some of them major. It's got a history of corruption, but NOTHING to hold a candle to Chicago. Controversial shootings are closely investigated, some would say TOO closely investigated. But you don't see Cleveland PD officers shooting unarmed, unthreatening people in the head, and claiming they were surrounded and being attacked, when surveillance cameras show exactly the opposite. When Cleveland PD officers misbehave in public, on or off duty, you don't see the Chief giving them a pass and lying to the public the way Superintendent Cline did with Officer Weems. When two Cleveland officers started a racially motivated fight in a bar, they weren't treated with deference. They were FIRED.

If I learned NOTHING else from being an Army officer, it's that subordinates do what they think the organizational culture tolerates.

Cops will uphold the law... if the people at the top make it clear that there isn't another option. The alternative is chaos.

jselvy
June 9, 2007, 04:32 PM
"Cops will uphold the law... if the people at the top make it clear that there isn't another option. The alternative is chaos."

Welcome to chaos

Jefferson

Art Eatman
June 9, 2007, 04:40 PM
Deanimator, don't your comments merely reinforce the thrust of my earlier comments about pressure on local political establishments? That is, absent enough screaming and yelling at those who are actually allowing such to happen, corruption will forever continue?

The only difference between Chicago and, say, Denver, is the comparative honesty and integrity of the governing electees. Comparative, not absolute, of course...

Art

coylh
June 9, 2007, 05:00 PM
I thought the Predator drones were supposed to preclude these kinds of mistakes.

;)

precisionshootist
June 9, 2007, 11:29 PM
Here in Texas we just passed the castle law. This law as I understand it removes the requirement to retreat in any way if you are invaded in your home. I wonder how this will mix with a wrong address no knock or even a correct address no knock for that matter.

The best solution to this problem is not the removal of immunity. The police must be immune to being prosecuted for a mistake or no one will enforce the law. The answer lies in limiting police power to begin with. No knock warrants should not be legal under any circumstances except a hostage situation. I believe they will be made illegal again eventualy, but it's likely to be a horrible tragedy that brings it about.

Richmond
June 9, 2007, 11:30 PM
My .02, with due respect to all who may disagree on one or more points.

Some of this I posted on TFL after a few too many Red Bull :evil:

no knock warrants
A "no-knock" raid occurs when police forcibly enter without first knocking and announcing that they're the police. Certainly, the tactic is appropriate in a few limited “emergency” situations. Virtually all of the notorious “no knock” cases you see in the news arise when the tactic is used to serve routine search warrants for illegal drugs.
While the Cato figures are shocking, it is hard to determine exactly how many “no knock gone wrong” raids occur each year. Police and prosecutors try to cover them up.

To understand how we continue to have tragic outcomes related to drug searches, you need to understand the connection between “The War on Drugs”, militarization of the police, and the sudden use of “no knock” warrants.
When the police use a “no knock warrant” it is intended to be “shock and awe”, typically carried out by masked, heavily armed SWAT teams using paramilitary tactics. Before the late 1970s / early 1980s (about when I entered legal practice) “no knock” warrants and tactics were relatively rare and confined to cases where there was an actual rationale for the use of the tactic, such as hostages, a known armed and violent offender, etc. Two trends in law enforcement run in a tightly linked course – the rapid increase in the use of “no knock” warrants and the spread of SWAT teams and their use. Typically, a major portion of a SWAT team’s activity will be serving drug warrants. The “no knock, shock and awe” tactical raid usually involves early morning entry with masks, overpowering weaponry, and sometimes flash bangs (although these are now out of favor a bit).

This Cato briefing paper tracks the militarization trend, as previously noted:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-050es.html

I put together a series of posts that track recent SCOTUS activity and how the justices are lined up on this on the current Court. I don't see the need to re-post all that and force y'all to read it - but if you want to, here it is, links to the cases are here as well:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250655&page=2

A couple of things where I disagree with some previous posts.

This sort of thing does happen a lot - and the no knock warrants have been used really broadly throughout the "War on Drugs". Local regulation is really the key, including the action of local Courts under their own state constitution. That has been the trend in MN. Following Richards and in light of several high profile, tragic fatalities, MN courts have clamped down on the use of the no knock provisions in warrants, and the emphasis has been on really requiring the warrant to provide sufficient grounds before a no knock is issued.

The result? Ten years ago virtually all the drug warrants I saw were done by SWAT entry teams - it was standard to approve that provision in all drug cases. Ten years forward, that is rare - just don't see it used much anymore.

The other is thing I disagree with is that the War on Drugs is alive, well and will be with us always. In the academic end of criminal justice and corrections, what is coming out is that much of what was done during the past 20 years did a great deal of damage to the criminal justice system at all levels. In real world corrections and criminal justice, the current view of the War on Drugs is probably overall one of embarassment. The view that is increasingly held is that drugs are a public health problem, and that the focus of billions of criminal justice and law enforcement dollars was wasted. The other view is that we have to rely on actuarial data in corrections an do what is effective, rather than what makes some guy up for election look good.

This is precisely the view I have heard, in the past year:

In seminars for State corrections put on by DEA
expressed by agency heads at the state level
expressed by chief law enforcment officials and chief prosecutors in policy making settings



I really do think a bit of fresh wind has blown away a lot of the stink arising from the excesses of the War on Drugs - which was always a political scam. Perhaps I am just fortunate that in the jurisdiction that work in, that is the overall trend.

Deanimator
June 10, 2007, 09:58 AM
Deanimator, don't your comments merely reinforce the thrust of my earlier comments about pressure on local political establishments?
My comments were an expansion, not a refutation.

TallPine
June 10, 2007, 10:58 AM
No knock warrants should not be legal under any circumstances except a hostage situation. I believe they will be made illegal again eventualy, but it's likely to be a horrible tragedy that brings it about.
How many more horrible tragedies have to happen ...?

Wasn't Kathryn Johnston enough ????

jselvy
June 10, 2007, 10:59 AM
I say strike the immunity and let a jury decide if it was necessary or not.
The Police don't want their immunity removed because it would expose the very mistakes they are trying to cover up.
I'm sure there are good cops, a minority I believe, but I'm sure they exist.
To turn the tables "If you have nothing to hide, why do you resist the prosecution?"

Jefferson

Deanimator
June 10, 2007, 11:47 AM
I'm sure there are good cops, a minority I believe, but I'm sure they exist.
The problem with the assertions of others that "most" cops are good is that it's irrelevant.

I have absolutely NO idea what the ratio of "good" cops to "bad" in the Chicago PD is. It doesn't matter. From top to bottom, from the Superintendent on down, the BAD cops are running the show.

If a cop can blow an unarmed man's brains out ON VIDEO and get a thirty day suspension and a promotion to detective from the man at the top, it doesn't matter that EVERY other cop is "good". What Phil Cline and Alvin Weems did was to THOROUGHLY compromise the integrity of the Chicago PD... if it hadn't been utterly destroyed DECADES ago. Responding to this by saying that "most" cops are "good" is a nonsequitor. The bad cops have the reins in some places, and the good cops aren't doing anything about it. Whether that's because they're intimidated or because they're complicit doesn't matter. The effect on the public, and on the integrity of the entire justice system is the same. Anybody who claims that in Chicago the "good" cops ARE doing something needs to:

Prove it. There isn't one IOTA of proof of ANY effort within the Chicago PD to make things any better. In fact, there's documented proof [some of it on VIDEO] of precisely the opposite. Cops in the Jefferson Tap beating actually allowed themselves to be waved off by the PERPETRATORS of a felonious assault, who just happened to be Chicago cops.

Show SOME result. I've been paying close attention since the Obryczka beating. All I see is attempts at coverup, obstruction of justice, favoritism and deferential treatment toward criminals like Officer Abbate and Detective Weems. Of course speaking out or turning in a bad cop could probably get a good Chicago cop killed. If the cops themselves have no confidence in the system, why on earth should _I_???

jselvy
June 10, 2007, 12:04 PM
Your points are valid.
Their immunity to prosecution and civil liability fosters the belief that they are not answerable for their misdeeds. That is my beef.

Jefferson

Richmond
June 10, 2007, 12:14 PM
Actually, the civil remedy may be available, and that was relied upon by Justice Scalia in the recent decision in Michigan v Hudson. Scalia maintained that police are sufficiently deterred from improper searches by the right of occupants to bring a Bivens action. In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed claims against federal officials who violate an individual's constitutional rights in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). A Bivens action is the federal equivalent of a 1983 action and would apply to employees of the Public Health Service, the CDC, and other federal agencies. Bivens actions, 1983 actions, and related actions against public health officials have similar requirements.

In his dissent, Justice Breyer countered that such lawsuits are rare and often do not bring much relief for victims.

Unfortunately, the two most recent SCOTUS decisions in this area are hostile to the rights of homeowners. in 2003 the Court adopted an entirely different approach. In U.S. v. Banks, the Court ruled unanimously that 15 to 20 seconds was an adequate wait time between police announcement and forced entry.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-473.ZS.html

Of concern here is that the reasoning of Justice Souter’s opinion was vastly different than the preceding line cases. His concern was the opportunity to destroy evidence, drugs, and stated that it was the fact of imminent destruction of evidence rather than the time it would take to answer the door, that determined when police could enter.

In effect, Justice Souter:

-ignored the common-law principle that announcement protects the innocent from an unjustified home invasion

-instructed police to treat everyone named in a drug search warrant as if they were already guilty.

Then along came Hudson v. Michigan. In that case, the Supreme Court held that drugs or other evidence seized at a home could be used in a trial even if police failed to knock and announce their presence in violation of such a requirement. This ruling was a major shift in Supreme Court rulings on illegal searches by police.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-1360.ZS.html

The 5-4 decision in Hudson undercut the rule that evidence found during an unlawful search cannot be used. The decision also indicates that the Court is more likely to rule in favor of the government in such cases with Justice Samuel Alito in the place of retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

O'Connor, who was on the court when the case was first argued, had worried about "the sanctity of the home." Alito, on the other hand, sided fully with Justice Antonin Scalia's majority opinion, which emphasized that tossing out evidence acquired in violation of the knock-and-announce rule — but with a valid warrant — could mean "releasing dangerous criminals."

In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer called the majority’s decision "doubly troubling."

"It represents a significant departure from the court's precedents. It weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitution's knock-and-announce protection." Breyer wrote in his dissent, joined by John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In Hudson, officers had a warrant to search for drugs and firearms. They called out their presence and, after three to five seconds, entered through an unlocked front door.
Hudson tried to suppress the cocaine that police found, failed and was convicted of drug possession. On appeal, he argued that unless tainted evidence is suppressed, police will not be deterred from barging into homes.

O'Connor was sympathetic at oral argument.

After she retired, the eight remaining justices were deadlocked. The case was re-argued with Alito on the court. His vote gave Scalia the majority. Joining them were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy.


Note that the issue of self defense is specifically noted in the majority opinion. Justice Scalia said this in Part III.A: "One of those interests is the protection of human life and limb, because an unannounced entry may provoke violence in supposed self-defense by the surprised resident."

Unfortunately, Justice Scalia’s hostility to whole chapters of 20th-century jurisprudence extends to the notion of self-defense. A lawsuit, in the form of a Bivens action, seems to be his solution.

jselvy
June 10, 2007, 12:21 PM
It is my understanding that many local jurisdictions have legislation in place that specifically prevents civil action against police officers regardless of the charge. I may be wrong, but that is what I am given to understand. Filing in Federal court is of no real help as most often it is the lower end of the financial spectrum that are most damaged by these police actions. In other words if you cannot afford a lawyer, the police have every right to abuse you with impunity.

Jefferson

TallPine
June 10, 2007, 12:33 PM
Thanks for your analysis, Richmond. Any reasonable person would have to conclude that we do live in a police state in the USA, albeit a relatively benign one so far.

It's hard to sue for your rights after you're dead :(

OTOH, I don't think they do any flavor of "no-knocks" in the county where I live. It would just be too dangerous since virtually every household is armed. ;)

Nil
June 10, 2007, 01:02 PM
One partial solution would be to strip the raiding officers and their superiors of their qualified immunity in the event of raids on the wrong property. Currently they are covered regardless. But it doesn't seem that they are surveilling these properties to confirm that they are the intended target. If so there's no reason to protect them from a civil action.

Agreed. I'd like to see those responsible for any mistaken raids due to gross incompetence (e.g. not looking at the house number on the door) charged with at least breaking and entering.

Flyboy
June 10, 2007, 04:47 PM
Flyboy, don't think it was a Miranda waiver, probably a hold harmless agreement of some sort ("we agree not to sue because nothing was damaged and no one was hurt", etc.). Smart city attorneys are having their SRTs carry them around with them now.
That's kinda what I figured. Now, the real question: are such agreements likely to hold up in court, or are they likely to be tossed? There seems to be a huge disparity in bargaining power between the two parties.
Still, some perspective is in order: Millions of people drive millions of miles without wrecks. Millions of business transactions occur daily without lying or cheating. Millions of arrests are made without excitement of any sort.
At the same time, even those who are injured in collisions, or cheated in business deals, have to acknowledge that they voluntarily engaged in that activity, and assumed the risks involved. I've done nothing to assume the risks of being abused/kicked in the groin/shot/house burned down/etc. by a bad raid, other than existing.

This, incidentally, is my fundamental objection to the all-trumping "officer safety:" while I certainly don't wish to see any (decent, honest) officer harmed, I do maintain that citizen safety should be a higher priority, simply because the officer volunteered for the dangerous duty with open eyes; the private citizen didn't. Certainly, it would be nice if everybody came home safely, but think of it this way: what would we say about a fireman who refused to fight a fire because it's dangerous, while letting a family perish inside? Certain jobs come with danger; people who volunteer for those jobs know--or should know--that, and assume the risks, just as a skydiver assumes the risks of his parachute not opening.

lee n. field
June 10, 2007, 05:05 PM
(SIGH) Is this happening more often?
Or just being reported more often?


I suspect it's very common. I personally know someone, a 70-something little old Sunday School lady, who had the black armored drug cops show up at her door. Fortunately her visit was resolved with an "Oops, wrong address, bye."

For a while there, when I was paying attention, I'd see (paying attention to national news) a wrongful death reported from a wrong house raid about once a month.

HiroProX
June 10, 2007, 05:40 PM
Let's see...

The "officer safety" excuse doesn't wash. Sorry, policework is a dangerous profession. It wouldn't be an issue, except that everything police unions and their pet lawmakers parade under the banner of "officer safety" tends to be further whittling away at 2nd and 4th amendment rights that are part of the very agreement which establishes the legitimacy of the government. When those are violated, the government they establish is in breach of contract and thus abdicates its legitimacy.

Likewise, such matters undermine the concept of rule of law. They breed contempt for the rule of law. When the law is demonstratively unjust, it opens the door to the viewpoint that all of the laws are unjust and its enforcers are corrupt. Screw-ups and the overuse/misuse of SWAT and no-knock warrants pushes that little train right along.

It's like watching a trainwreck. You don't want to watch but you can't look away.

Deanimator
June 10, 2007, 08:54 PM
The "officer safety" excuse doesn't wash. Sorry, policework is a dangerous profession. It wouldn't be an issue, except that everything police unions and their pet lawmakers parade under the banner of "officer safety" tends to be further whittling away at 2nd and 4th amendment rights that are part of the very agreement which establishes the legitimacy of the government.
Actually, a lot of police union advocacy is more fundamentally pernicious since it strikes at the very heart of equality under the law.

Recall that the Chicago police union wanted ONLY cops to be exempt from laws forbidding those convicted of domestic violence from owning or possessing firearms. They went as far as to THREATEN the general public regarding the behavior of cops who were disarmed after being CONVICTED of domestic violence.

I can't tell you what percentage of rank and file cops favor a two tier society, with cops above the rest of us. I CAN tell you that it is the OFFICIAL policy of the Chicago police union that cops should be able to own and carry firearms AFTER being convicted of domestic violence. Am I mistaken in my belief that it is their position that YOU shouldn't have a handgun AT ALL?

wjustinen
June 11, 2007, 02:26 AM
one of the perps complains bitterly about the repeal of prohibition and the damage it did to their operation and financial position. He says that they are going to get prohibition re-instated and will never let it be repealed again.

Well now, some bright boy figured out that drug prohibition would be much more lucrative and you can see the results. Raids like this are just a small part of the problem. Making some of the worst scum on the planet filthy rich and extemely powerful is even more significant.

But, just as with guns it is important to support the .gov in keeping the worst ... out of the wrong hands. Honto ni :banghead::fire:

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