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Police Militarization in the US


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Q: When does an ordinary warrant magically become a no-knock warrant?

 

A: Whenever.

 

In 2005 (the wheels of justice can grind exceedingly slowly) the police in Cambridge, Md., acted on a tip and found a small amount of marijuana residue in a trash can. At 4:30 a.m. on May 6, a SWAT team executed a search warrant on the apartment of Andrew Cornish. A jury would later find the commandos failed to knock and announce themselves properly. As they rushed through the apartment, Cornish came out of the bedroom with a sheathed knife in his hand. The police say he advanced on them. One of the officers shot Cornish twice in the head, killing him.

 

Elapsed time: about 30 seconds.

 

...

 

"both the trial court and the appeals court that ruled against Cornish's father acknowledge both that the police violated the knock-and-announce rule, and that they lied about doing so."

 

Yet two out of three judges on the 4th Circuit panel (both George W. Bush appointees) decided nevertheless that Cornish bore all the blame for his own death. Other courts have reached similar conclusions in similar cases, you see—so that must make it OK: The police can break into your home unlawfully and shoot you dead, and nobody is at fault for that except you. Not only that, according to the court majority "no reasonable jury could have found that the Officers' knock-and-anounce violation proximately caused Cornish's death."

 

...

 

Cornish was somehow supposed to figure out that the people breaking into his apartment were police officers because they purportedly said so once they were inside. But the whole point of such dark-of-night raids is to disorient and confuse the residents so they don't have time to think carefully.

 

Moreover, the court says "according to the Officers . . . events in the apartment were so fast-moving and conditions for observation so poor that they could not discern—nor be expected to discern" that Cornish's knife was sheathed.

 

So under those circumstances a highly trained and fully alert SWAT team could not be expected to make the right choices. Yet an untrained man woken out of a sound sleep by loud intruders is supposed to be able to do so despite their failure to knock and announce themselves.

 

 

In Cambridge? A SWAT team?!

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The Breonna Taylor Shooting Shows How Reckless Drug War Tactics Lead to Senseless Deaths   I think it's more about preserving evidence than discouraging resistance.  

They've stopped doing it or the next Snowden will let us know. And if that happens, the people doing the illegal surveillance will NOT be the problem. Remember, it's the guy who reported them tha

I'd say the real question is why we don't have a word that is spelled sneek and means something different from sneak. We need another one that people just can't figure out, like peak and peek or

 

 

I wouldn't want to be the police chief who had rejected an armored vehicle and had to explain to the family above that they could have saved those people if they had had a Mrap but he had decided not to get one people he worried about public perception of it.

 

The money spent refitting and maintaining those things can be spent on things that are used every day instead of rarely.

 

For example, they seem to have a pretty nice tank in Ferguson, but perhaps the money spent on it would have been better spent on body cams?

 

In any case, I agree that the rescue example you posted shows that a tank can come in handy and that not every use can be called "militarization" with any fairness. That was probably a bad thread title. Tactics concern me more than equipment. Using a tank for a rescue concerns me not at all, except as a budget decision.

 

In other news, I ran across a pretty good piece on sneak and peek searches today.

 

The ACLU warned about these back in 2002. Here's an update.

 

>Title 18, Section 3103a provides that for any federal search warrant, “any notice required… may be delayed if… the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result.”

 

According to research done by Professor Witmer-Rich, there were only 25 DSW’s issued in 2002, and in a decade, that number had grown to 5,601 DSW’s issued in 2012 [6]. In fact, sneak and peek search warrants now constitute about 10% of all warrants served by the federal government [5].

 

Evidence shows that judges are rarely rejecting these warrants. Data in a U.S. Courts Administrative Office report shows that there was a 0.7% chance of a judge denying a request for a sneak and peek warrant in 2010. Out of 2,395 total DSW requests, only 16 were rejected [2].

 

The fourth amendment has adverse results sometimes. Too bad. Serving a search warrant is different from searching property and months later informing the subject, "By the way, we searched you." At least, it is to me, if not to our courts.

 

 

Surprise! Sneak and Peek turns out to be a drug war tactic, not a terror tactic

 

 

Update

 

A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy.

 

...

 

This basically formalizes what was already happening under the radar. We’ve known for a couple of years now that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS were getting information from the NSA. Because that information was obtained without a warrant, the agencies were instructed to engage in “parallel construction” when explaining to courts and defense attorneys how the information had been obtained. If you think parallel construction just sounds like a bureaucratically sterilized way of saying big stinking lie, well, you wouldn’t be alone. And it certainly isn’t the only time that that national security apparatus has let law enforcement agencies benefit from policies that are supposed to be reserved for terrorism investigations in order to get around the Fourth Amendment, then instructed those law enforcement agencies to misdirect, fudge and outright lie about how they obtained incriminating information — see the Stingray debacle. This isn’t just a few rogue agents. The lying has been a matter of policy. We’re now learning that the feds had these agreements with police agencies all over the country, affecting thousands of cases.

 

 

I miss Senator Obama. When he was running for President, he seemed to have a problem with using supposedly "anti-terrorism" tactics for routine law enforcement.

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No-Knock SWAT Raid Ruled Unconstitutional

 

A Hennepin County (Minn.) drug squad — known as the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) — conducted a pre-dawn no-knock raid on a house in North Minneapolis one morning in November 2015. They were looking for Walter Power, who they suspected of being a marijuana dealer. To search the home they believed Power to be sleeping in, they brought a force of between 28-32 officers, most clad in riot gear and carrying rifles, accompanied by a sniper seated atop a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response (BEAR) vehicle.

 

Why did law enforcement officials feel they needed to display a show of overwhelming force that would be intense even in a foreign occupied city? Because the primary resident of the house, Michael Delgado, was a registered gun-owner with a license to carry.

 

 

The presence of a concealed weapons permit holder justifies a no-knock raid?

 

Would that be because permit holders have a lower violent crime rate than cops, or what?

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30ish officers to serve a warrant? Wtf?

 

We take 10 at most and can get it done with less.

 

There must be more to that story, shit we have gone with 10 on warrants where our informant told us there were multiple guns in the house.

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30ish officers to serve a warrant? Wtf?

 

We take 10 at most and can get it done with less.

 

There must be more to that story, shit we have gone with 10 on warrants where our informant told us there were multiple guns in the house.

 

It must have been a lemonade stand... :ph34r:

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30ish officers to serve a warrant? Wtf?

 

We take 10 at most and can get it done with less.

 

There must be more to that story, shit we have gone with 10 on warrants where our informant told us there were multiple guns in the house.

 

Did you follow the article's link to the Minneapolis Star article on the raid?

 

More detail and context.

 

...Court records show that when officers want ESU back up, they must fill out a form to determine if the search will be high risk. Criteria include a suspect’s criminal history and the likelihood that weapons are at a home.

That was one reason why a Golden Valley officer sought the ESU team for the search of Delgado’s home. The officer wasn’t actually after the 30-year-old, but another man staying at his home, Walter Power, who was suspected of selling marijuana.

But because Delgado had a registered firearm and was licensed to carry, Bransford signed off on an application for “no-knock” search warrant to enter a home unannounced.

...

Before the raid, Delgado said he and Power were childhood friends, and he only put Power up for a few nights. After, he said he kicked Power out of the home and hasn’t spoken with him since.

Now he’s fighting Hennepin County in court to reimburse him for the broken windows and doors. The former Army combat veteran is also trying to get his gun back.

To Delgado, the search was entirely avoidable.

“They could have said, ‘We’d like to search your house,’ ” he said. “They could have just asked.”

 

 

I don't see why the judge agreed that Mr. Delgado's possession of a registered gun and a concealed weapons permit met the "risk" threshold in the first place.

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  • 1 year later...

Trumpa Claus Is Coming!

Quote

"We are allowing our local police to access surplus military equipment, something the previous administration for some reason refused to do," Trump said Friday. "Explain that one. Explain it to me, please. Never understood that one. Somebody out there can explain—anybody want to stand up and explain it, that'd be tough."

Bigly tough.
 

Quote

 

In fact, "2014 and 2015 were peak years" for the transfer of military weapons to local police, according to a report published last year by Open The Books, a pro-transparency nonprofit.

The Department of Defense's 1033 program, which transfers military surplus gear to local police, has been around since 1990 and was greatly expanded during the Clinton administration. Since it's origins, more than $5.4 billion in equipment has been transferred from the Pentagon to state and local cops. Police pay nothing for the gear, except for shipping costs.

Since 9/11, America's war on terrorism has seen military budgets skyrocket and created more leftover weaponry and materiel for local law enforcement agencies to snarf up. According to Open The Books, the 1033 program has sent 625 mine-resistant vehicles, 471 helicopters, and 329 armored trucks and cars to local police. Cops have also gotten their hands on rifles, shotguns, sniper scopes, infrared cameras, bayonets and rocket-launchers from the Pentagon's surplus store.

The result? Tanks at Ohio State football games and patrolling Delaware beach towns. A Mother Jones investigation in 2015 found that "law enforcement agencies claimed they needed [mine resistant ambush protected vehicles] to safeguard trailer parks, shopping malls, theme parks, Halloween festivals, and Lambeau Field.

Trump talked about rescinding the Obama administration's mostly-useless restrictions on the 1033 program while campaigning for president. In August, he officially repealed them. The ACLU panned the decision and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has introduced a bill to prevent the transfer of "offensive" military surplus like weapons while allowing police to access "defensive" gear like helmets and body armor.

"The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm," Paul said in a statement in August. "It is one thing for federal officials to work with local authorities to reduce or solve crime, but it is another for them to subsidize militarization."

Oversight of the 1033 program during the Obama years was virtually nonexistent. The Government Accountability Office in July reported that it was able to obtain $1.2 million in military gear applying for it as a fictitious federal law enforcement agency.

 

Jeff, can we take the word "anarchy" out of the club title? I'm thinking we could reorganize as a fictitious federal agency...

We're going to have to figure out a way to pay the shipping on $1.2 million worth of stuff, or maybe more since Trumpa Claus is coming to town. I'll figure out a way to store the stuff here.

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  • 1 year later...

Do you maintain an excel spreadsheet of old threads in which to drop articles? This bugger is 14 months gone!

I barely remember what I wrote a few days ago!  I'm a big fan of the 'Tell the truth, that way you don't have to remember what you said' concept for that reason :)

 

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On 3/14/2016 at 6:27 AM, Importunate Tom said:

This basically formalizes what was already happening under the radar. We’ve known for a couple of years now that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS were getting information from the NSA. Because that information was obtained without a warrant, the agencies were instructed to engage in “parallel construction” when explaining to courts and defense attorneys how the information had been obtained. If you think parallel construction just sounds like a bureaucratically sterilized way of saying big stinking lie, well, you wouldn’t be alone. And it certainly isn’t the only time that that national security apparatus has let law enforcement agencies benefit from policies that are supposed to be reserved for terrorism investigations in order to get around the Fourth Amendment, then instructed those law enforcement agencies to misdirect, fudge and outright lie about how they obtained incriminating information — see the Stingray debacle. This isn’t just a few rogue agents. The lying has been a matter of policy. We’re now learning that the feds had these agreements with police agencies all over the country, affecting thousands of cases.

From CNN:

The National Security Agency has stopped using a surveillance program in recent months that relied on bulk data collected from US domestic phone records, according to a Republican congressional official. 

The program authorized under the USA Freedom Act, requires reauthorization at the end of the year and the Trump administration may not seek to extend it, according to Luke Murry, national security adviser to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

...

The NSA last year disclosed that it had found technical problems with the program that led to collection of records on US persons that it didn't have authority to collect. The program relied on phone metadata, information such as who is called or text-messaged, and the duration and time of a call or text, but not the content of the communication. 

Murry made an apparent reference to the NSA's problems with the program in his podcast comments. "But the administration actually hasn't been using it for the past six months because of problems with way in which that information was collected," he said. "Possibly collecting on US citizens in the way that was transferred from private companies to the administration after they got FISA court approval."

 

So now we can trust them, right? Because as soon as they discovered the problem, they stopped using it, reported it, and don't want it continued. It's not like they've figured out how to make the storage easier so they can backtrack and cover the footsteps better, I'm sure.

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9 hours ago, cmilliken said:

Do you maintain an excel spreadsheet of old threads in which to drop articles? This bugger is 14 months gone!

I barely remember what I wrote a few days ago!  I'm a big fan of the 'Tell the truth, that way you don't have to remember what you said' concept for that reason :)

 

No, Scot helpfully maintains a searchable database of posts.

I knew I had posted about sneak and peek warrants. I searched Scot's database and found posts about sneak and peek warrants from me in this thread and in one other, so I chose this one.

8 hours ago, Fakenews said:

He does that all the time. usually to quote himself.  He also quotes himself from other threads.  I call him Tedious Tom

Had I found posts (or a thread) about sneak and peek warrants by anyone else, I might have replied to those. But I seem to be the only one to whom they are of interest. Other people are interested in gossip about what I might say. I'm interested in political issues.

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7 hours ago, phillysailor said:

So now we can trust them, right? Because as soon as they discovered the problem, they stopped using it, reported it, and don't want it continued. It's not like they've figured out how to make the storage easier so they can backtrack and cover the footsteps better, I'm sure.

They've stopped doing it or the next Snowden will let us know.

And if that happens, the people doing the illegal surveillance will NOT be the problem. Remember, it's the guy who reported them that's the problem. The ones doing the illegal spying need to continue working for (?) us.

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1 hour ago, Importunate Tom said:

No, Scot helpfully maintains a searchable database of posts.

I knew I had posted about sneak and peek warrants.

I was being silly. 

But, while we're on the topic, why is t 'sneak' and 'peek' and not 'sneek' and 'peak'?  <---   is why I can't spell!

** ANGRY FIST **

 

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22 hours ago, cmilliken said:

But, while we're on the topic, why is t 'sneak' and 'peek' and not 'sneek' and 'peak'?  <---   is why I can't spell!

I'd say the real question is why we don't have a word that is spelled sneek and means something different from sneak.

We need another one that people just can't figure out, like peak and peek or rain, rein, and reign, or affect and effect.

If we ever get a time machine, it will come from a foreigner trying to learn English. No one else has a similar motivation to go back in time and kill everyone responsible.

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On 3/6/2019 at 5:35 AM, cmilliken said:

But, while we're on the topic, why is t 'sneak' and 'peek' and not 'sneek' and 'peak'?  <---   is why I can't spell!

Particularly painful mangling of the language in an article about Colorado's Sanctuary Counties
 

Quote

 

“The principal of due process is at the very core of this issue,” Commissioner Sean Conway said. “What this bill does is create a system where a person must defend/prove their innocence against an action that hasn’t even been taken.”

Added Commissioner Steve Moreno: “This bill is nothing more than a feel-good measure that will not stop the actions it is aiming to prevent. There are other solutions that must be seriously considered when talking about mental health issues in this country. This bill is not it.”

Reams said the "red flag" bill would put deputies in greater danger.

"The way the bill is written is asking me or my agency to go out and affect one of these gun grabs, if you will, without any notification to person that we're coming," he said. "I think that puts my agency at undo risk."

 

I'm assuming the journalist transcribed the quotes. This is output from a paid wordsmith. And I wonder why Siri doesn't understand stuff.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Waco mass arrest of organized criminals has come to an end
 

Quote

 

...

Despite lacking any sure knowledge of who actually harmed anyone and who was just unlucky enough to be there, 155 people were indicted on the identical charge of "engaging in organized criminal activity" and held on punitively large $1 million bonds.

Despite causing severe harm to many of the arrestees' lives—by either the time they spent in jail or by the indictments hanging over their heads—only one of the indictments ever even went to trial in the intervening years, and that one "ended in mistrial in November 2017, with most of the jurors in his case favoring acquittal," as the Waco Tribune noted.

...

Reyna's bad actions and planning, Johnson claims, cost the county at least $1.5 million in preparation, trial, security, and overtime costs.

And the potential costs to the county aren't over yet. As the Waco Tribune reported, "more than 130 of the bikers have civil rights lawsuits pending against Reyna, former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman, the city of Waco, McLennan County and individual local and state officers who were involved in the arrests."

As attorney Don Tittle, who is representing over 100 such bikers, told the Waco Tribune:

Maybe if law enforcement had stuck with the original plan to focus on individuals who might have been involved in the violence and let the rest of the motorcyclists go after being interviewed, things would have gone differently.... It's hard to imagine that turning the operation into a dragnet wasn't a major distraction for the investigation, not to mention a public that grew increasingly skeptical as this thing played out. All this for an ill-advised attempt to prove an imaginary conspiracy theory, which to this day there's not a shred of evidence to support.

Reason has reported on the case from the beginning, on such elements as the police department's own role in the mayhem it claimed to be quelling, the civil rights implications of the mass arrests on the same generic charge, police attempts to obfuscate evidence, police presence on the grand jury, the absurd punitive nature of the $1 million bonds, the damage to defendants inherent from the start in the mass arrests, and the gradual falling apart of all the indictments over time.

 

The mass arrests and YUGE bonds were showboating to show how well government protects us.

The lawsuits will help show that as well.

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4 minutes ago, Importunate Tom said:

The tide will turn soon in the stupid drug war in Tennessee!

Once drug warriors can get past the minefields, they'll start WINNING!

Or something.

Maybe it's to help them with their next press conference?  Those gotcha questions are kinda tough..

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/06/tennessee-sheriff-caught-on-tape-killing-suspect-lawsuit

 

 

Shoupe arrived on the scene shortly after police had shot Dial at the conclusion of a low-speed chase, clearly upset he had missed the excitement.  

“I love this shit,” Shoupe said, apparently unaware that his comments were being picked up by another deputy’s body-worn camera. “God, I tell you what, I thrive on it.

“If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherfucker they’re full of shit,” he added, laughing. “Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county,” he said.
 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Minneapolis' Mayor Wants to End 'Warrior' Training That Teaches Cops to Treat Us All Like Threats
 

Quote

 

In the Minneapolis area Frey represents, Philando Castile's fatal shooting at the hands of a St. Anthony police officer became a national news story. Castile was abruptly shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez at a traffic stop after telling the officer he had a gun (which he had a permit to carry). Yanez was ultimately acquitted of any charges for the shooting.

Yanez had taken 20 hours of training in a program called "The Bulletproof Warror"—the kind of program Frey wants to stop. It encouraged the officer to treat all encounters as potential threats to his safety. By contrast, Yanez received all of two hours of training in de-escalation tactics.

The "warrior cop" mentality has also led to the use of violent, dangerous SWAT raids to execute basic search warrants in situations where they're not called for, often in the perpetuation of the drug war. This mimicking of "shock and awe" military-style raid tactics have led to innocent people—even children—hurt or killed.

And then, when the justice system attempts to hold officers responsible for these deadly overreactions, the training itself is invoked in court to justify these actions. One psychologist who teaches officers to see every encounter as a potential threat then presents himself as an expert witness on the stand, where he tells juries that it was reasonable for cops to fear for their lives regardless of whatever actions the citizens around them were taking. Yes, even if it turns out they're unarmed and completely innocent of any criminal behavior.

So Frey should be commended for trying to bring about an end to this sort of training.


 

I'm not a fan of police militarization but have to disagree with that last comment.

Quote

It's not entirely clear how Minneapolis could stop police officers from taking these courses on their own time, as long as they're not using any city resources and they're not getting paid for doing so, but perhaps we'll see.

And that bolded part is why.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/3/2019 at 9:54 AM, Importunate Tom said:

The Waco mass arrest of organized criminals has come to an end
 

Quote

 

...

Despite lacking any sure knowledge of who actually harmed anyone and who was just unlucky enough to be there, 155 people were indicted on the identical charge of "engaging in organized criminal activity" and held on punitively large $1 million bonds.

Despite causing severe harm to many of the arrestees' lives—by either the time they spent in jail or by the indictments hanging over their heads—only one of the indictments ever even went to trial in the intervening years, and that one "ended in mistrial in November 2017, with most of the jurors in his case favoring acquittal," as the Waco Tribune noted.

And in other anti-gang news...
 

Quote

 

On April, 27, 2016, roughly 700 federal and city law enforcement agents swept across the Eastchester Gardens housing projects in Bronx, arresting 120 people in what officials declared the biggest gang takedown in New York City history.

At a press conference the next day, New York officials said the raids targeted two rival Bronx gangs, the 2Fly YGz and the Big Money Bosses, that had plagued their neighborhood with shootings and violence for years.

Preet Bharara—now a podcast host, then the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York—said the charges included allegations of "multiple murders, attempted murders, shootings, stabbings and beatings committed in furtherance of federal racketeering conspiracies."

...

But a study released last month—three years after the initial raid—found something that may be more surprising. Despite the rhetoric of Bratton, Bharara, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, most of the prosecutions of the Bronx 120, as they became known, were for nonviolent crimes, and more than half of the defendants were never even alleged to be gang members at all. Dozens of the "worst of the worst" as they'd breathlessly been described by public officials, are already out of prison and trying to piece their lives back together.

"I was pretty stunned that what masqueraded as a prosecution of violent crime was actually a prosecution of almost pure association," says CUNY School of Law professor Babe Howell, one of the co-authors of the report. "There were people who [admitted to] violence in connection with the pleas they eventually took, but essentially those all seem to be individual acts and not actually part of any sort of enterprise."

The report's findings are an indictment of the "precision policing" gang sweeps, as Bratton started calling them in 2014, that the New York Police Department began to turn to after it drew down its infamous stop-and-frisk program. Specifically, federal court records show that:

  • In 35 cases, the most serious predicate act underlying the conspiracy charge was selling marijuana.
  • Two-thirds of defendants weren't convicted of violent crimes.
  • More than half of people charged were not even alleged to be gang members.
  • Of the more than 90 that were originally charged with firearm offenses, only 22 were convicted of the charges.
  • Eighty of the defendants had no prior felony record.

Federal prosecutors relied on the RICO Act to charge the Bronx 120 with conspiracy. This is an incredibly powerful tool. It was originally intended to take down mob bosses who insulate themselves behind layers of underlings and capos. Instead, prosecutors used it to tie dozens of young men who had grown up together in the same public housing projects to five murders and other violent acts.

 

 

Hmm... precision policing indeed. More than half of the gangsters were not alleged to be gangsters. Close enough for government work, I guess.

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  • 3 months later...

Cops Still Love Their Armored Vehicles
 

Quote

 

...

the federal Defense Logistics Agency's 1033 program continues to provide a pipeline of military equipment to law enforcement agencies. The tap is as wide open as ever, courtesy of the Trump White House's cancelation of earlier, short-lived Obama administration restrictions on such transfers. The brief wave of high-level concern over brutal policing and its corrosive effect on relations between cops and the people they supposedly protect also went the way of those restrictions.

...

 

I feel safer already.

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Iowa cops use $300k in drug war loot to buy an armored vehicle
 

Quote

 

On Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office in Linn County, Iowa, announced the purchase of a BearCat G2 armored vehicle with $297,061 in funds obtained via civil asset forfeiture.

Although Iowa established limits on asset forfeiture, the practice is alive and well in the state. In 2017, the state legislature passed a law requiring a criminal conviction before property forfeiture, as police could previously seize assets based solely on suspicion. Oddly enough, the change only applies to possessions valued at less than $5,000, meaning more valuable belongings can still be taken by law enforcement without a conviction.


 

Hmm... the message seems to be, "focus on the serious looting, not chump change." But that's another thread.

The source of the funds doesn't change the nonsensical waste of this purchase.

Some might say that

15 hours ago, d'ranger said:

The bad guys have bigger guns so the police need bigger guns, now SWAT teams and armored vehicles.


But the need for these vehicles is less than apparent to those familiar with some facts.

Quote

 

As A. Barton Hinkle points out in Reason, there are perhaps some instances when a police department would understandably want to use an armored vehicle. If "a police officer gets shot approaching a building," he writes, and "he's bleeding out in the street and the shooter is still active, you don't want to two plainclothes detectives with a stretcher trying to get him to safety."

"Armored personnel carriers also can prove useful during riots and other forms of urban unrest," he adds.

But those two situations are few and far between. They're also hard to justify given that police deaths are near record lows.

 

Police deaths are near record lows and instances of cops actually using needing these vehicles because they're facing extreme firepower are vanishingly rare. I can't think of one.

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I got curious about the "need" for armored vehicles and found a 2015 article

Why cops need armored vehicles: 13 times BearCats saved lives

A snowstorm rescue operation made the list. Perhaps it was assault snow.

In another case, a fugitive surrendered without incident because of "spectacle of the BearCat."  How he knows that the person would not have surrendered if surrounded by ordinary cop cars isn't obvious to me at all.

So he found an average of a bit over one use per year nationwide. Las Vegas alone has 21 of these things. Wiki says there are 500 nationwide, times a few hundred thousand each equals a hundred fifty million bucks.

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  • 6 months later...

Another No-Knock Tragedy
 

Quote

 

The Montgomery County Police Department said Friday that 21-year-old Duncan Socrates Lemp was shot after he "confronted" officers executing a search warrant on his family's house in Potomac, Maryland, for alleged firearms offenses. But Lemp's family says the young man was asleep in his bed when police opened fire from outside the house, killing Lemp and wounding his girlfriend.

"The facts as I understand them from eyewitnesses are incredibly concerning," Rene Sandler, an attorney for Lemp's family, told the Associated Press.

"Any attempt by the police to shift responsibility onto Duncan or his family who were sleeping when the police fired shots into their home is not supported by the facts," Lamp's family said in the statement released by Sandler.

The Montgomery County Police said in a press release that a tactical unit executed "a high-risk search warrant related to firearms offenses" at Lemp's house at 4:30 a.m. last Thursday. "Detectives were following up on a complaint from the public that Lemp, though prohibited, was in possession of firearms," the release continued.

The Montgomery County Police claim Lemp "confronted the officers." The statement did not elaborate on the circumstances. Police said they recovered three rifles and two handguns from the house.

A friend of Lemp told ABC News that Lemp was a libertarian. Lemp's social media accounts show an interest in cryptocurrency and guns. ABC News also reported that Lemp posted on militia forums, although Lemp's attorneys denied he was a militia member.

"The family is grieving the unimaginable loss of their loved one," Lemp's family said in its statement. "We will be investigating Duncan's death and will hold each and every person responsible for his death. We believe that the body camera footage and other forensic evidence from this event will support what Duncan's family already knows that he was murdered."

In a tweet Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland demanded that the Montgomery County Police Department release body camera footage of the incident.

 

I hope the meddlesome folks at ACLU Inc succeed in getting the body camera footage.

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  • 1 month later...

The Breonna Taylor Shooting Shows How Reckless Drug War Tactics Lead to Senseless Deaths
 

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The shooting of Breonna Taylor, which happened on March 13 but is only now getting national attention, highlights once again the deadly recklessness of "dynamic entry" police raids. The very tactics that police use to minimize violence, aimed at discombobulating their targets and catching them off guard in the hope of discouraging resistance, predictably lead to fatal misunderstandings. These tactics are especially inappropriate when police enter homes in service of the war on drugs, as they did in this case.

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse with no criminal history, was killed  by plainclothes Louisville police officers who knocked in the door of her apartment with a battering ram shortly before 1 a.m. At the time, Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker's lawyer says he fired once at the armed intruders, not realizing they were police officers. One officer was struck in the leg. The cops responded with a hail of bullets—at least 20 shots, according to lawyers representing Taylor's mother. Taylor was hit at least eight times.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that police were targeting two men they suspected of selling drugs at a house more than 10 miles away—one of whom, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested that same night. The no-knock search warrant for Taylor's apartment was based on a package that Glover had delivered there. The Courier-Journal says police believed that Glover, who had dated Taylor, "used her home to receive mail, keep drugs or stash money earned from the sale of drugs." No drugs were found in the apartment.

Although the search warrant authorized police to enter without announcing themselves, the Louisville Metro Police Department said the officers "knocked on the door several times and announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant." As Zuri Davis notes, four neighbors contradicted that claim. ...

 

I think it's more about preserving evidence than discouraging resistance.

 

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Is there anybody out there?

Anybody?

 

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7 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I thought it was more about rednecks shooting black people

Is there a basis for this speculation? Could be true but seems baseless to me.

You don't see the connection to the stupid drug war?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Joe Biden Basically Admits Libertarians Were Right All Along: Cops Shouldn't Have Military Gear
 

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In a Tuesday speech addressing the recent civic unrest that has roiled America since the killing of George Floyd, former Vice President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a series of reforms aimed at improving "oversight and accountability" in the nation's police departments.

Among those ideas is a proposal "to stop transferring weapons of war to police forces," Biden said in Philadelphia.

That's a good idea. Indeed, Biden is echoing something that libertarians have been saying for years.

Still, Biden is an awkward avatar for police reform. Back in 1997, the then-senator from Delaware voted in favor of the bill that expanded the Pentagon's role in handing off surplus gear to local cops. It was that year's National Defense Authorization Act that created the 1033 program, a vastly expanded version of previous military surplus programs that entitled "all law enforcement agencies to acquire property for bona fide law enforcement purposes that assist in their arrest and apprehension mission."

Like so many other bad ideas from the 1990s, this one was wrapped up in the war on drugs. The 1033 program gave preference to departments that sought military gear for counter-drug operations. That makes the program a double-whammy of bad ideas: It gave local police an incentive to more vigorously prosecute drug users in order to score free toys from the Pentagon.

...

 

The string of bad ideas spawned by the stupid drug war actually goes back a bit further, at least to 1983 when Biden introduced the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act. There was a lot more blessed bipartisan unity back then, so he had help from people like Ed Meese and of course Saint Ronald, who signed it. If we just have enough cops with tanks looting private property, we'll win this thing yet! Though giving noted heroin kingpin Tyson Timbs his car back is a bit of a setback.

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NRA Accidentally Forgets To Rise Up Against Tyrannical Government

nra-3-1-567x400.jpg

An embarrassed National Rifle Association says it totally forgot to do the one thing it has been saying for years it is solely there to do.

“Our whole reason for lobbying for looser gun laws and amassing huge personal arsenals of weapons these past years was so that we could ensure the security of a free state and protect the people from an oppressive government. And then it actually happened, and the whole rising up against a tyrannical government thing just totally slipped our minds, which is a little embarrassing,” a sheepish NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said.

He said the morale around the NRA has been pretty low. “The guys feel pretty silly. We had our well regulated militia stocked up and ready to go, just waiting for the moment when the Government would turn on its own people. And then the government started shooting protesters and rolling tanks down the street, and we were like ‘guys this is the one we’ve been talking about, let’s go!’. But then something else came up and we forgot to do it. Damnit!”.  

Observers were shocked that the NRA had missed their opportunity to defend their country. “I can’t believe it,” one analyst said. “It’s almost as if they weren’t worried about the government at all. It’s as if they were actually just scared of black people”.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Was the Search Warrant for the Drug Raid That Killed Breonna Taylor Illegal?
 

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...

Based on Jaynes' affidavit, Judge Shaw had no way of knowing about the relationship between Taylor and Glover, the contents of the packages, or the conclusion by the postal inspector's office that there was nothing suspicious about them. But if she had spent more time reviewing Jaynes' warrant applications, she might have thought to ask whether there could be an innocent explanation for the interactions between Taylor and Glover, which apparently had nothing to do with drugs. Although Jaynes presented compelling evidence of drug dealing by Glover, who was arrested along with Adrian Walker the same night that police killed Taylor, the detective's inferences about her were based purely on guilt by association.

"There was clearly no probable cause to believe drugs were being dealt from her apartment, and no probable cause that Breonna or her boyfriend were doing anything illegal," says Daniel Klein, a former Albuquerque police sergeant who writes about law enforcement issues, in an email. "Yet the assistant district attorney and the [circuit] court judge not only approved the warrant…they approved it to be a no-knock warrant executed in the middle of the night!"

Balko argues that the no-knock warrant was illegal because Jaynes did not cite any information specific to Taylor that would justify dispensing with the usual knock-and-announce requirement. Instead Jaynes offered boilerplate that is commonly seen in applications for no-knock warrants: "Affiant is requesting a No-Knock entry to the premises due to the nature of how these drug traffickers operate. These drug traffickers have a history of attempting to destroy evidence, have cameras on the location that compromise Detectives once an approach to the dwelling is made, and a have history of fleeing from law enforcement." Yet none of that was true of Taylor—another crucial point that a more diligent judge might have noticed.

...

 

As usual, no-knock raids value evidence over lives.

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1 hour ago, Saorsa said:
On 5/18/2020 at 4:04 AM, MR.CLEAN said:

I thought it was more about rednecks shooting black people

Do you think you actually think?

Well, it's a hard one but I'll go out on a limb and say that anyone thinks more than you do Sao.

Maybe with the exception of WarpedBird.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Deja Vu All Over Again
 

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A deadly pandemic originates in Asia and sweeps around the globe, killing more than 100,000 Americans. A successful manned space mission briefly unites a nation with a sense of wonder. Police and National Guardsmen face off against protesters demanding racial justice and suppress riots in city streets. The military is tied up in unwinnable foreign entanglements, a culture war rages, and electoral politics is a dumpster fire.

It is 1969.

Reason magazine is a baby, just over a year old, and editor Lanny Friedlander is wrapping up the November issue. It is a small operation, so he has also written most of the contents.

The question he poses on the cover is "The Cops: Heroes or Villains?"

...

 

 

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At the same time we demilitarize the police (what the hell is with the camo anyway?) we need sweeping gun reform laws passed so the police aren't so scared shitless that their immediate response to a call is to go into combat mode.

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  • 2 weeks later...

South Carolina Supreme Court temporarily bans no-knock warrants

 

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - The South Carolina Supreme Court has temporarily ordered judges to stop issuing “no-knock” search warrants.

The announcement, signed by Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty on Friday, said circuit and summary judges cannot sign off on the warrants until they receive further instruction from the state’s judicial branch on how to issue the warrants.

“A recent survey of magistrates revealed that most do not understand the gravity of no-knock warrants and do not discern the heightened requirements for issuing a no-knock warrant,” the order reads. “It further appears that no-knock search warrants are routinely issued upon request without further inquiry.”

...

 

It's a start but a permanent ban would be better. I continue to think they're about preventing destruction of evidence in the stupid drug war than anything related to officer safety.

 

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On 7/6/2020 at 11:14 AM, Jules said:

At the same time we demilitarize the police (what the hell is with the camo anyway?) we need sweeping gun reform laws passed so the police aren't so scared shitless that their immediate response to a call is to go into combat mode.

But .... but.... but... FREEDOM!! means I gotta have my gun ready

- DSK

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On 7/6/2020 at 11:14 AM, Jules said:

At the same time we demilitarize the police (what the hell is with the camo anyway?) we need sweeping gun reform laws passed so the police aren't so scared shitless that their immediate response to a call is to go into combat mode.

They're scared shitless that evidence will be destroyed in the stupid drug war. I suspect the cops are not idiots and understand that people who deal in illegal goods can get hold of illegal goods, so sweeping gun bans and confiscation programs will disarm the subjects of these raids about the time we win the war on drugs. Meaning, never.

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4 hours ago, Cacoethesic Tom said:

I suspect the cops are not idiots

In a conversation I had with a detective, he told me they regularly reject candidates they deem too smart.  They want people who will follow orders without question,  Smart people ask too many questions.

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6 hours ago, Cacoethesic Tom said:

 sweeping gun bans and confiscation programs will disarm the subjects of these raids about the time we win the war on drugs. Meaning, never.

Yeah, we know that because gunz control has never worked in other countries . . 

Oh wait. 

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17 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Yeah, we know that because gunz control has never worked in other countries . . 

Oh wait. 

What do you think the Aussie confiscation program directed against museum collections has accomplished? I can't even tell what problem they're trying to solve, let alone see that it is being solved.

But back on topic,

It's Time To Demilitarize the Police

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/22/2020 at 6:17 AM, Cacoethesic Tom said:

Was the Search Warrant for the Drug Raid That Killed Breonna Taylor Illegal?
 

As usual, no-knock raids value evidence over lives.

Those officers have some history of dangerous and pointless drug war raids
 

Quote

 

...

The warrant to search the house where Mario Daugherty and Ashlea Burr lived, which police executed on the morning of October 26, 2018, was based on a tip about a prior tenant, who allegedly was growing marijuana there. According to a lawsuit that Daugherty and Burr filed a year later, 14 SWAT officers stormed into their home without warning, breaking the front door, tossing flash-bang grenades, and shouting commands while threatening them and their three teenaged children with "assault rifles."

Although the warrant ostensibly required the cops to knock and announce themselves, body camera footage shows they shouted "Police! Search warrant!" at the same moment they used a battering ram to force the door open.

...

In his application for a warrant to search the house, Detective Joseph Tapp said police received a tip from someone who reported that "a black male named Anthony McClain is growing marijuana and has multiple bags of marijuana packaged for sale in the front bed room." According to Tapp, the tipster "also stated a white female named Holly was [McClain's] girlfriend and owned the house."

If Tapp had bothered to look up the property records, he would have seen that the house is in fact owned by a man named Kevin Hyde, who was renting it to Daugherty and Burr. The lawsuit also notes that "nobody named Anthony McClain or Holly lived at the house at or near the time of the raid," that "Ashlea is not white," and that "nobody in the house was growing marijuana or had multiple bags of marijuana packaged for sale."

...

Tapp argued that the tip, "the witness of the short stay," and "the strong fresh smell of marijuana on separate occasions," combined with his "training and experience," provided probable cause for a search. Yet the tip was demonstrably false, visiting a house for 10 minutes is not inherently suspicious, and apparently there is something wrong with Tapp's nose, since police found no evidence of marijuana cultivation or drug dealing at the house, just a small amount of cannabis. No charges were filed against Daugherty or Burr.

Vice News reports that "at least five of the officers involved in the raid"—Hankison, Jaynes, Cosgrove, Mike Campbell, and Mike Nobles—also took part in the case that resulted in Taylor's death. ...

 

Glad that there's body cam footage to show that "knock and announce" means "knock and break the door down" in the stupid drug war.

A tip from "someone" huh? I suspect that "someone" was facing some other drug war charge and made up a tip to get lenient treatment.

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Looks like Breonna Taylor's ex was another "someone" as referenced above.
 

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..."On Tuesday, we were told Breonna Taylor's ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was offered a plea deal, which would have required him to say that Taylor was part of his drug operation," Vice news correspondent Roberto Aram Ferdman noted yesterday, adding that "the family's attorney shared a picture of a plea deal that appears to show it is true."

To accept the deal, Glover would have had to sign a statement saying that Taylor was among several others who helped him in an "organized crime syndicate" as he "trafficked large amounts of Crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates" in the Louisville area and sold it "from abandoned or vacant homes."

If he agreed, the Jefferson County Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney was willing to shrink his possible 10-year prison sentence to only probation.

Even if Taylor had been part of this supposed "crime syndicate," it wouldn't justify what police did here, of course. They were still trigger-happy goons who did a middle-of-the-night raid, without announcing themselves clearly, as part of an unwinnable but endlessly violent, discriminatory, and abusive war on drugs that makes everyone less safe and routinely leads to avoidable tragedies like these....

 

He ultimately did not take the deal

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Washington Post Journalist Radley Balko on Civil Rights, Militarized Policing, and the Power of Video
 

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Radley Balko is a Washington Post opinion columnist and former Reason reporter who covers police abuse, the drug war, and criminal justice reform. His Reason coverage of Cory Maye—a black man who was put on Mississippi's death row for supposedly killing a police officer during a no-knock raid in 2001—helped bring about Maye's acquittal. His 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop (PublicAffairs) was ahead of its time in documenting the dramatic increase in the militarization of local law enforcement and the dangerous incentives and confrontations that creates between police and citizens.

His latest book—The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist (PublicAffairs), co-authored with Tucker Carrington—documents widespread problems with law enforcement, forensic evidence, expert testimony, and media coverage of crime. In June, Nick Gillespie spoke with Balko about how to dial back the militarized police tactics that have become commonplace and whether lasting reform might be possible.

...

 

The interview covers a number of topics but the most striking thing to me was Radley Balko's optimistic outlook about changing public perceptions of police power.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Louisville Will Pay $12 Million to Settle Lawsuit by Breonna Taylor's Family
 

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...

The no-knock warrant for the raid was based entirely on guilt by association. Since Taylor was still in touch with a former boyfriend suspected of drug dealing, who sometimes received packages at her apartment, police alleged that she was involved in his criminal activity. But the packages reportedly contained shoes and clothing, and no evidence has emerged to implicate Taylor in drug dealing. Furthermore, although the warrant authorized police to enter without knocking and announcing themselves, the affidavit presented no evidence specific to Taylor that would have justified dispensing with the usual rule.

In addition to the $12 million payout, the settlement commits Louisville to several reforms, including high-level approval of search warrant applications and SWAT operational plans. The city had already responded to Taylor's death by firing Hankison and banning no-knock warrants. A Jefferson County grand jury is soon expected to hear evidence that could lead to indictments of Hankison and other officers involved in the raid. The FBI is conducting its own investigation of the incident.

Another reform included in the agreement is a warning system that will look for "red flags" suggesting police misconduct. Hankison and at least four other officers who participated in the investigation that led to Taylor's death were also involved in a 2018 SWAT raid that terrorized a family wrongly suspected of growing marijuana. In both cases, police broke into people's homes based on dubious evidence, and the residents initially thought they were being robbed.

...

 

No knock raids and "knock then immediately break the door down" raids have become the norm in the stupid drug war. Glad to see the ban on no-knocks but I think "knock then immediately break the door down" raids will replace them, with little practical difference to the targets of the raids.

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Grand Jury Charges 1 Louisville Police Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting With 'Wanton Endangerment'
 

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...

Six months after Taylor's death, the grand jury declined to charge two of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers involved in the deadly raid but indicted former LMPD Detective Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. The charges are not directly related to Taylor's death, but rather for endangering her neighbors with wild shots.

"According to Kentucky law, the use of force[…] was justified to protect themselves," Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a press conference announcing the charges. "This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death."

...

Lawyers for Taylor's family say she was asleep in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, on the night of March 13, when LMPD officers serving a no-knock narcotics warrant broke down their door with a battering ram. Walker, a registered gun owner, shot at the officers believing it was a home invasion, hitting one officer in the leg. The officers fired back and hit Taylor eight times, killing her. No drugs were found.

...

Reason's Jacob Sullum wrote this June that the reckless raid once again showed the moral bankruptcy and fatal consequences of the drug war: "The problem is the attempt to forcibly prevent Americans from consuming arbitrarily proscribed intoxicants, which is fundamentally immoral because it sanctions violence as a response to peaceful conduct that violates no one's rights. That problem cannot be solved by tinkering at the edges of drug prohibition."

 

AG Cameron is right that officers who come under fire are justified in defending themselves. He's right that this is the state of the law, but the laws and practices of the stupid drug war created the danger in the first place.

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12 hours ago, benwynn said:

Strangers blast to through the door so her boyfriend started shooting.  You'd think the Well Regulated elk would be protesting this too. As it is the appearance of sidin' with the liberals and the darkies would be a twofold problem .


I'm not well regulated. Too much trouble. I have been addressing that stupid drug war fiasco since May though.

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The Legal Response to Breonna Taylor's Death Shows How Drug Prohibition Transforms Murder Into Self-Defense
 

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...

Legalities aside, it is clear that Mattingly, Cosgrove, and Hankison were the aggressors in this situation. The warrant that authorized their home invasion was based purely on guilt by association: Taylor's continued contact with an ex-boyfriend who was arrested for drug dealing that same night. The warrant was served in a reckless manner, using tactics that have led to fatal misunderstandings in cities across the country over and over again. And it was based on the immoral assumption that violence is an appropriate response to peaceful activities that violate no one's rights.

Earlier I said Walker "believed criminals were breaking into the apartment." It would be more accurate to say that criminals were breaking into the apartment—a reality that everyone would recognize but for the war on drugs. Taylor's death has been widely cited as an example of police abuse—actions that exceed the bounds of the law. But the real horror is what the law allows in the name of stopping Americans from consuming arbitrarily proscribed intoxicants.

 

It's the stupid drug war, stupid.

 

 

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I watched an interesting interview the other day with a local drug lord in the Sinaloa cartel.

The interviewer asked "Are you more powerful than the Mexican Government?" 

His reply was "We're as powerful as they want us to be".

There's a lot of money being made in the stupid drug war.  That'll take a lot of political capital to change.

 

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Cop Who Fired 16 Rounds at Breonna Taylor Said He Only Surmised That He Had Used His Gun
 

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Myles Cosgrove, a Louisville, Kentucky, detective who participated in the fruitless and legally dubious drug raid that killed Breonna Taylor last March, told investigators the incident unfolded so quickly that he was not consciously aware of using his gun.

...

A third officer, Detective Brett Hankison, blindly fired 10 rounds from outside the apartment, an act of recklessness that led the grand jury to charge him with three counts of wanton endangerment. Some of Hankison's rounds entered the unit behind Taylor's, which was occupied by a man, a pregnant woman, and a child. Hankison is the only officer who faces criminal charges in connection with the raid. State prosecutors concluded that the other two officers legally used deadly force in self-defense.

Cosgrove's description of the incident does not necessarily cast doubt on that conclusion, but it does underline the dangers inherent in the armed home invasions that police routinely use to enforce drug prohibition. Those dangers include not only the well-known risk that residents will mistake cops for robbers but the possibility that police will mistake their colleagues' gunfire for an assault by their targets. In such chaotic circumstances, there is also a risk that police will be injured or killed by friendly fire.

...

During his post-indictment press conference, Cameron said "our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker" (emphasis added). But he also made it clear that his prosecutors determined that charges against Mattingly and Cosgrove were not legally viable. "According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves," he said. "This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor's death."

Since that is the way Cameron's office framed the issue, it is hardly surprising that the grand jury did not approve charges against Mattingly or Cosgrove. But it is clearly a stretch to say "the grand jury agreed" charges were inappropriate; that is what state prosecutors, who dominated the proceedings as the only legal experts who offered an opinion on the matter, told the jurors. Accepting that guidance in the absence of an alternative legal theory is not quite the same as agreeing with it.

The distinction struck at least one of the jurors as important. Last week that unnamed juror filed a motion seeking the public release of the grand jury record so that "the truth may prevail."

That truth includes not just Hankison's recklessness, which was glaring enough to justify criminal charges, but the gratuitous risks that all of the officers took that night. The Times notes that Hankison "had not anticipated a firefight" because he "expected one unarmed woman, who had no criminal record, to be home alone." In a saner world, that expectation would have cast doubt on the tactics that police decided to use, even leaving aside the weak excuse of a search warrant that was built entirely on guilt by association.

Based on scant evidence and the immoral logic of the war on drugs, these officers created the situation in which Cosgrove found himself reflexively firing 16 rounds down a dark hallway.

...

 

It's the stupid drug war, stupid.

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And coming soon to a stupid drug war raid near you...

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The U.K. has developed a new fighting drone designed to help soldiers breach urban defenses. The i9 uncrewed aerial vehicle can navigate indoors, locate and identify targets, and then open fire with not one but two shotgun barrels. Like all weaponized drones, a human operator must make the decision to shoot or not shoot.

The drone, revealed by the Times of London, was developed for the British armed forces. The drone is meant to act as a breaching weapon, flying into a small room or house occupied by enemy troops and neutralizing them from within.

 

Things like MRAP's that are developed for military use have a way of creeping into our civilian wars.

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Just how many fucking times does it take to repeat the words Tom.

Are you bored yet?

Has it made a difference?

Is this an honourable way to make a living?

"What did you do Grandpa?"

"Ah well I was a ... ah I worked as a sh ... ah let's go out and play!"

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5 minutes ago, astro said:

Just how many fucking times does it take to repeat the words Tom.

Are you bored yet?

Has it made a difference?

Is this an honourable way to make a living?

 

Millions.

No.

Yes, polls show support for the stupid drug war waning after decades of advocacy by libertarians.

Yes, for those who are paid to oppose the stupid drug war, it seems honorable to me. No one wants to pay me so I do it for free.

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A Month Before Louisville Drug Warriors Killed Breonna Taylor, They Knew the 'Suspicious Packages' She Supposedly Was Receiving Came From Amazon

https://reason.com/2020/10/09/a-month-before-louisville-drug-warriors-killed-breonna-taylor-they-knew-the-suspicious-packages-she-supposedly-was-receiving-came-from-amazon/

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Even after Breonna Taylor broke up with Jamarcus Glover, he continued to receive packages at her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. That arrangement had lethal consequences, because it was the main justification for the reckless, fruitless March 13 drug raid that killed Taylor, an unarmed 26-year-old EMT with no criminal record.

Police obtained the no-knock warrant to search Taylor's apartment by suggesting that Glover, who was arrested for drug dealing that same night, had been stashing "narcotics and/or proceeds from the sale of narcotics" there. But according to newly released transcripts of interviews with Louisville police officers, they knew a month before they invaded Taylor's home that Glover's packages contained neither of those things.

...

 

It's the stupid drug war, stupid.

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5 year old article but a good summary of no-knock raids:

Cops do 20,000 no-knock raids a year. Civilians often pay the price when they go wrong.

https://www.vox.com/2014/10/29/7083371/swat-no-knock-raids-police-killed-civilians-dangerous-work-drugs

and when they go "right" they're pretty unsuccessful:

Quote

There isn't great data, but the ACLU's analysis showed that about 35 percent of SWAT drug raids turned up contraband, while 36 percent of them turned up nothing. (And 29 percent of SWAT reports didn't mention whether they found anything — a fact police are more likely to omit when they didn't find anything than when they did.) In forced-entry SWAT raids, the "success" rate of actually finding drugs dropped to about a 25 percent.

 

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  • 3 months later...

Bad cop! No MRAPs!

And no private prisons either.

Well, fewer of both anyway...

https://reason.com/2021/01/26/biden-orders-justice-department-to-phase-out-use-of-private-prisons/
 

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President Joe Biden issued an executive order today to phase out the Justice Department's use of private prisons.

...

"Today's executive order validates something we've been saying for years: No one should profit from the human misery that is caused by mass incarceration," David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's national prison project, said in a press release. "Prison privatization increases the potential for mistreatment and abuse of incarcerated people, and this move by the Biden administration will start curtailing this insidious practice."

...

In the grand scheme of the U.S. criminal justice system, the order will not have a significant impact. State prison systems hold the majority of the roughly 2.3 million incarcerated people in the country. And of the federal prison population, only 15 percent are held in private prisons.

...

CNN also reported that Biden will sign an executive order reinstating Obama-era limits on the transfer of military equipment to local and state law enforcement. The Pentagon's 1033 program distributes surplus military equipment to police. Most of those items are mundane things like cold-weather gloves and filing cabinets.

Amid national outrage over images of militarized police in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama administration limited the program in 2015, prohibiting the transfer of such items as camouflage, .50-caliber ammunition, tracked armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and bayonets. Police departments in possession of these items were asked to return them.

...

The 1033 program is not the most significant federal source of police militarization, though. The program is dwarfed by Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorism grants to local police, as well as shared revenue from property seizures and forfeitures.

 

It's a start anyway, so hat tip to Biden on those orders.

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  • 3 weeks later...
19 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

unfortunately the same people who oppose de-militarizing (and I'm coming to hate that overly generalized phrase)  also oppose improved firearm control.


Thanks for the morning laugh!

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  • 1 month later...

Kentucky Law Limits Use Of No-Knock Warrants, A Year After Breonna Taylor's Killing
 

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...

Beshear, a Democrat, invited members of Taylor's family to stand with him as he signed the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled legislature late last month. It prohibits law enforcement's use of warrants "authorizing entry without notice" except in certain circumstances.

No-knock warrants are still permitted, for example, in situations where "the crime alleged is a crime that would qualify a person, if convicted, as a violent offender" or if "giving notice prior to entry will endanger the life or safety of any person."

Such warrants must be executed by a specially trained response team equipped with body-worn cameras and "clearly identifying insignia," Beshear's office said, noting that counties with a population of less than 90,000 can get a court-approved exemption. An EMT must be on site to provide medical assistance, and entry without notice can only occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. unless a court determines otherwise.

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Good for KY

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another no-knock raid caused by the stupid drug war. Wrong residence again. And camera-shy cops.
 

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Officers with Maryland's Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) allegedly executed an illegal no-knock raid against the wrong residence, assaulting a man and terrorizing his family in their home, according to a new lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

The intended target was an alleged drug dealer.

Police instead raided the home of Hernan Palma, a Montgomery County firefighter who says he was awoken by "what sounded like an explosion" at 4:30 a.m. on September 13, 2019, as cops beat down his front door. He assumed they were burglars, as he has no recollection of the group announcing themselves as police officers.

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Police also failed to use their body cameras appropriately, shuttering the recording after a brief period without explanation.

 

I hope the Palma family wins their suit, but even nicer would be stopping the senseless war on weed and the abusive law enforcement practices it engenders.

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Federal Militarization of Law Enforcement Must End

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The origins of 1033 lie in America’s “forever wars” on drugs, crime, and terror. In 1989, Congress gave the Pentagon temporary authority to give equipment that was no longer being used by the military to local police and sheriff’s departments. Armored vehicles, planes, rifles, scopes, grenades, bayonets — nearly everything was on the table, so long as the military “deemed [it] suitable … in counter-drug activities.”

In 1996, Congress made the Pentagon’s temporary authority to give weapons of war to local law enforcement agencies permanent and expanded its purview to “counterterrorism” as well, creating 1033 as we know it. The wars on drugs, crime, and terror are responsible for some of the most egregious violations of civil liberties, civil rights, and human rights of the past quarter century: mass incarceration, police killings, the forty-fifth president’s “Muslim ban,” in the U.S., as well as systematic torture, drone strikes, extraordinary renditions, and extralegal killings abroad. Local police forces armed with weapons of war — and still targeting Black and Brown Americans — is yet another inheritance.

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ACLU Inc wants the 1033 program gone.

 

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