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Police raid high school; place kids on floor at gunpoint.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jimpeel, Nov 7, 2003.

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  1. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    I am LIVID at this! If I lived in this town, and they did this to my kids, I'd be organizing to march on the police department -- ARMED. I'd arrest the bunch of them, and the school principal, and turn their sorry a$$e$ over to the FBI for charges. :fire:


    http://www.charleston.net/stories/110703/loc_07bust.shtml

    Police fail to find drugs in Stratford High raid

    BY SEANNA ADCOX
    Of The Post and Courier Staff

    GOOSE CREEK--Reports of drug deals at Stratford High School led to an early-morning police raid this week in which about 15 officers cordoned off the main hallway to search for marijuana. Several drew their guns but did not use force, police said.

    Officers did not arrest anyone during the lockdown at 6:40 a.m. Wednesday.

    A police dog sniffed residue on 12 book bags but found no drugs, said Lt. Dave Aarons of the Goose Creek Police Department.

    "Several officers did unholster their weapons in a tactical law enforcement approach," he said. "There was no force whatsoever. Everyone was very compliant."

    Officers charged a ninth-grader Wednesday afternoon with filing a false police report.

    The juvenile said an officer shoved her to the ground during the search, Aarons said. Principal George McCrackin said he, other school officials and the girl's parent reviewed video surveillance tapes and determined she wasn't even in that hall at the time.

    McCrackin went to Aarons on Monday with suspicions about marijuana exchanges at the school, based on camera recordings and reports from students and teachers.

    "Within the last three weeks, there's been an influx of drug activity. I've been in this business for 34 years, and I've never seen the amount of activity we've experienced recently," said McCrackin, who has been principal at the school since it opened in 1983.

    Several weeks ago, a student was arrested trying to pass out between 200 and 300 prescription pills, he said. After school ended Friday, one student threatened another and claimed to have a weapon.

    "We're not going to tolerate it," McCrackin said. "We have to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff."Aarons said he watched school surveillance tapes from four days that showed students congregating under cameras, periodically walking into a bathroom with different students and coming out moments later.

    The suspected group of about 10 students comes to school in early buses. Tapes show a network of lookouts, Aarons and McCrackin said.

    "They're pretty knowledgeable in terms of where to stand. They know where the cameras are. If they stand directly under them, the cameras don't look directly down," Aarons said. "Faculty can view the students from other cameras, but from quite a distance away. They see silhouettes."

    Fourteen officers and a police dog sealed off the main hallway Wednesday as about 20 administrators and teachers helped steer other students away, Aarons said. There were 107 students who happened to be in the hallway at the time, he added.

    Police told the students to sit on the floor and put their hands out, McCrackin said.

    Officers searched only book bags that the police dog responded to, not students, he said.

    McCrackin said he believes a lookout alerted the group Wednesday morning by cell phone after seeing police arrive.

    Later in the day, two other students who fought in the cafeteria during lunch were charged with disturbing school.

    One of those received a five-day suspension, while the other received a 10-day suspension and is recommended for expulsion, he said.

    About 2,760 students attend Stratford High, the largest school in Berkeley County and among the largest statewide.

    Two officers work in the school full-time. The high school in the county's growing southern end has an academic reputation as one of the Lowcountry's best. It received a score of excellent on state report cards released Wednesday.

    McCrackin, who has two children at the school, said the problem mostly stems from students who transferred into the school this year from out of state.

    "No school is immune, whether it's one of the best or one of the worst. It's anywhere and everywhere," said Harriett Dangerfield, chairwoman of the Berkeley County School Board. "I'm proud we don't deny those things occur. I'm delighted we're being proactive and not reactive, because it is out there."
    :banghead:
     
  2. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    Sounds like that school has a serious drug problem.

    Jim, now as to the inflamitory title, where in the aricle does it support your title "POLICE RAID HIGH SCHOOL, PLACE KIDS ON FLOOR AT GUN POINT"?
     
  3. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    My take on this

    Drawing a firearm on unarmed persons is the ultimate in the threat of force. Drawing a weapon IS force.
    So the entire thing was a great big snafu.
    What if they are merely members of the school LGBT club?
    If this is not reactive I apparently don't know the meaning of the word.
     
  4. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    Well, they didn't search the kids or have the dog sniff the kids, so the drugs could have been on them.
     
  5. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    So having the firearm unholstered, at low ready, is NOT gunpoint?

    I can't believe you are defending this action!
     
  6. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    No Jim, it's not. Pointing a firearm at or in the direction of someone is at gun point. By your defenition everytime you're on the firing range or hunting you are holding everyone at gun point...

    I'm not defending anything, just clearing up inaccurate statements.
     
  7. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    Indicators of a SERIOUS drug problem in that school

     
  8. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

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    The police and the school admins. did the right thing.
     
  9. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Serious enough to place every kid in the hall under gunpoint -- and YES I do consider that gunpoint!

    Your retort is specious.

    When I am at the range, my firearm is directed to an area where no person is, or is allowed to be. I am not walking up and down the firing line with my drawn loaded firearm. I am not walking around in a crowd situation with a drawn loaded firearm.

    Know the difference.
     
  10. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Then we are lost. If that is acceptable behavior in a school setting, then the sound of rifle butts banging at the door cannot be far in the future.

    What are you hiding in your attic?
     
  11. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

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    I believe a severe problem requires an equal response.
     
  12. winstonsmith

    winstonsmith Member

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    Frisco... unfortunately...
    There's a drug problem at my school, we're infamous for it. I personally have never imbibed, and my friends haven't either. I can't beleive that some of you would feel it appropriate for armed policeman to brandish their guns and forcibly search. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?:banghead:
     
  13. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

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    Sounds like they knew were they were going...

    Thugs get there at 6:40
    They were in certain areas
    Hiding from camera views

    Looks like the officers hit the school at the right time and location. Unfortunately the thugs might have been "tipped off."

    Note: This was not a massive school searh/ lockdown.
     
  14. Augustwest

    Augustwest Member

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    From this, it sounds more like the principal's POed that the little buggers are cutting into his action. :D

    I'll readily admit that I have a bit of an "authority problem," but cops with unholstered weapons, no matter where they're pointed, is a response way out of balance with trying to take doobies away from a few high school kids.

    This is a use of force. A heavy-handed one. And unless there's more information that we're not aware of yet, new cops and a new principal are in order.

    JMO
     
  15. kbr80

    kbr80 member

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    Pulling your weapon, pointed at someone or not, is FORCE.
     
  16. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    Correct, it was one specific hallway (where the problem was observed occuring).
     
  17. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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  18. Harold Mayo

    Harold Mayo Member

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    I saw some video of this. I have to say that I'm with jimpeel on this. The officers may not have beaten the students, but their aggressive stances and attitudes as well as the unholstered firearms went beyond what really should have been done in this particular situation. I am not so sure, either, that they didn't hold some students at gunpoint or, at least, passed their muzzles over the high school students.

    If I were a parent and saw the video that I saw, I would be VERY upset and would take my opinions to the school administration, the police, the mayor, etc. and, ultimately, if I didn't get satisfaction, I'd explore legal action based on whatever taped evidence and personal statements that I could find. It might be totally ineffective in the long run, but it would make things uncomfortable for those who were involved.

    I WOULD NOT appreciate the treatment that was given if I were on the receiving end of it.
     
  19. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    The video was on MSNBC and FOXNews this morning. It will likely be repeated this afternoon.

    Those of you at work should call the spouse and have them set the VCR to tape several hours of either so yoiu might catch it and see for yourself what went on.
     
  20. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

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    Is this not any different than raiding a drug house? Does not everyone in the drug house have to get down and searched?

    Drugs in house
    Drugs in the school hallway

    Weapons suspected in house
    Weapons suspected in hallway

    Information/ history says drugs/ possibly weapons in house
    Information/ history says drugs/ possibly weaponsin hallway

    Tactics used in both cases
     
  21. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Well, what do you expect when you cram youths into little concrete rooms to do pointless and inane busy work, running from room to room every 50 minutes to the sound of a bell 7 hours a day for 12 years straight?


    <sarcasm>

    Winstonsmith - This is DRUGS we're talking about! They're such a huge problem that we can't afford niceties like 'innocent until proven guilty.' Besides, it wasn't your school, so why are you complaining? What is it that you're trying to hide, anyway? :scrutiny:

    </sarcasm>
     
  22. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    jimpeel

    A question Sir. Do you object to the search for drugs period, or just the conduct of the Officers doing the search?
     
  23. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Sportcat - Only if they're lucky. Sometimes they're just shot right off the bat. Can't be too careful, you know...and it's not like those druggies are real people with rights to life and liberty or anything. :barf:
     
  24. cordex

    cordex Member

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    "Gunpoint" or not, the officers threatened (dare I say, menaced?) the kids with their firearms. Didn't read anything suggesting the kids acted in a manner requiring threat of deadly force.

    I know I would get in some serious trouble for drawing my gun in public without a good reason.
    Oh?
    One dealer busted and one threat of force with weapon is a sign of a serious drug problem in a school? *snicker* Someone hasn't seen a public school in about twenty years.

    The high school I went to had dogs go through it from time to time (they even found stuff now and again), but the officers stopped short of drawing down on students who happened to be in a given hallway.

    A few of the kids there might have been scum of the earth drug dealers. I don't think that excuses the action of the police. Since I disagree with the actions, how about I offer a solution?
    Late one night, put up a few new cameras. You know where the activity is supposed to be taking place, so hide them in such a manner that they cover that area. No problem.

    It is not conducive to respect of authority (especially the police) when the authorities draw their guns on you just because you're walking in a school hallway.
     
  25. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Member

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    cordex

    Not having the benefit of training or experiance Sir, you have missed some glaring waring signs in the article.
     
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