We have the arguments here about LEO misdeeds regularly, and it seems to come down to what some think are the 'cop haters' vs the 'sane citizens.'  But, has anyone ever thought that this has nothing to do with folks feelings about LEOs in general and more about the entire professions shift in attitude away from the American citizen rights? 

 

Lets look at 'No Knock Raids.'  There are countless stories of these raids being conducted at incorrect addresses or based on invalid or non verified information.  People rights trampled, their pets killed, even the mayor of one town was raided because his address was used for a drug delivery through a delivery service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B..._residence_drug_raid).  One woman was killed when her home was mistakenly raided (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10...l-mistaken-raid.html).  Here is another mayors home mistaken raided (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...1951.html?1360761979). 

 

Do a search for no knock raids and you will be shocked at how many mistakes are made.  You might say 'its the internet and ease of reporting national news now that puts these incidents in the spotlight' but that is far from the case.  The USA Today reports on the HUGE increase in no knock raids in the past 30 years:

 

The ... incident was among a growing number of no-knock police raids last year, a tactic that has grown in use from 2,000 to 3,000 raids a year in the mid-1980s, to 70,000 to 80,000 annually, says Peter Kraska, a professor of criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University who tracks the issue.

 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...4-noknock14_ST_N.htm

 

Could it be that those that are paranoid about the US becoming a police state feel that way because law enforcement in general is using more and more military tactics like the no knock raid?

Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life here......

Original Post

Well said James T. Quite insightful. 

I'm not a "cop hater" , but I do believe that as more and more people become aware of the increasing use of excess force, the people who believe law enforcement should be other than a bunch of stormtroopers in search of drugs at all cost, maybe we can get back to some sanity.

 

 

A lot of city police cars in several places I have seen lately have a sign on the back that I believe tells the entire tale of all these raids.
"This Car paid for by Dug Money": (or something very similar)

When it became legal for police departments to utilize the assets gained by drug raids etc, we started hearing about this. Drug seized assets, ie: houses, cars , cash etc, should NOT be avaliable to local police departments. That breads greed and greed breads corruption.

Capt., analytically speaking, based on news of increasing drug activity and the documented increase in street violence, would you agree that the increase in no knock warrants may bee a result of the times? No just the need of jack booted thugs to violate rights? With that said, a no knock warrant should, by policy and law, require extensive  research, surveillance, and reliability. And the primary purpose should be for the safety of the officers and not the prevention of the destruction of evidence.

 

Why should agencies not receive the forfeited money and property? They fight and scrape every fiscal year for budget needs. They usually lose out as well. A judge must award them the seizure. It's not like they can roll up, take a house, and start moving in. And Seeweed, forgive me for the "cop hater" remark. It wasn't necessary. But I will hold steadfast that the actions of the good are lost on you, due to the actions of the bad.

Originally Posted by wright35633:

Why should agencies not receive the forfeited money and property? They fight and scrape every fiscal year for budget needs. They usually lose out as well. A judge must award them the seizure. It's not like they can roll up, take a house, and start moving in. And Seeweed, forgive me for the "cop hater" remark. It wasn't necessary. But I will hold steadfast that the actions of the good are lost on you, due to the actions of the bad.

=========

I apologize to you as well. The actions of the good are not lost on me, they are just not run in the news papers . I have quite a few friends that are (mostly retired now so were) cops. As I have said before, the ones that I know , and respect, are the ones that do the kids of things that don't make news; like making sure the old people have heat when there's a power failure, or just checking on people in their "beat" .  There was an article I posted last week about some cop that went out of his way to help some people get on to where they were going. 

I have never had any bad experiences personally with the law enforcement , with the exception I talked about in Memphis with the DWI van and all that so it' is not personal with me. 
I still think most of these problems are a result of the "war on drugs" , and I also think that the "war on drugs" is a loosing proposition and should be stopped as I have posted in the past. 

And no, I don't use illegal drugs, although I do enjoy a gin and tonic most every day.

 

When I was an LEO, I took GREAT PRIDE in what I did.  I worked in a small town where everyone knew everyone.  While other officers found a convenient place to 'hide' and wait on calls, I patrolled.  My Crown Vic was a 'nail magnet'.  I knew where every street and alley in town was.  Heck, as a part-timer, I knew more about my town than most of the full-time officers.  I wrote my share of citations and made my share of arrests (domestic violence arrests and child-restraint citations were especially rewarding).  I stayed on top of all state/federal laws and local ordinances. Most importantly, I knew the value of 'officer discretion'.  I was (still am) naïve enough to believe that I could actually make a difference.   

I’ve never been in trouble with the law but I have had occasion to be present in the city courtroom on several occasions.  I am appalled at the disrespect the popo show the court. After the bailiff instructs the gallery that they should remain quiet, turn off cell phones and not to eat or drink in the court room a contingent of popo immediately disobey the instruction by their milling around in conversation with each other while eating snacks and drinking soft drinks and coffee up front for the public to see. This looks bad and needs to be halted. It is ridiculous the disregard they show for the justice system  in front of the public.

Originally Posted by Quaildog:

I’ve never been in trouble with the law but I have had occasion to be present in the city courtroom on several occasions.  I am appalled at the disrespect the popo show the court. After the bailiff instructs the gallery that they should remain quiet, turn off cell phones and not to eat or drink in the court room a contingent of popo immediately disobey the instruction by their milling around in conversation with each other while eating snacks and drinking soft drinks and coffee up front for the public to see. This looks bad and needs to be halted. It is ridiculous the disregard they show for the justice system  in front of the public.

Our judge had a strict 'no cell phone' policy.  If it went off in court, the bailiff confiscated it. One morning a cellphone went off. It kept ringing.  The judge finally looked at the bailiff, stood up and handed the bailiff his cellphone....

The biggest problem is wading through all the hype and getting to the actual number of "innocents" killed by cops each year. I've been looking and the most I can find is 2,002 in a three year period. Again, out of millions of calls and arrests made each year. The problem, there's no clear story of whether or not they were actually "innocents". Many of the claims of their innocence comes from family or friends, and people seem anxious to take their word for it instead of the cops word. Then you have people killed by the criminals in situations, and people blaming the cops because of the circumstances of the confrontations. Zero is the number you would want in a perfect world. We don't live in a perfect world. Cops, criminals, guns, both cops and criminals guns, adrenaline, bystanders, all can add up to bad situations and very bad outcomes. A cop is expected to bend over backwards to avoid shooting someone, even to save their own life. Yet when a civilian, such as a woman who had plenty of options besides murder, guns a man down at a service station, too many think it's funny and what he had coming to him.

 

Now, consider this. 

 

 

The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) seminal study of preventable medical errors estimated as many as 98,000 people die every year at a cost of $29 billion. If the Centers for Disease Control were to include preventable medical errors as a category, these conclusions would make it the sixth leading cause of death in America.

Further research has confirmed the extent of medical errors. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that there were 181,000 severe injuries attributable to medical negligence in 2003. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates there are 15 million incidents of medical harm each year. HealthGrades, the nation’s leading healthcare rating organization, found that Medicare patients who experienced a patient-safety incident had a one-in-five chance of dying as a result.

In the decade since the IOM first shined a light on the dismal state of patient safety in American hospitals, many proposals for improvement have been discussed and implemented. But recent research indicates that there is still much that needs to be done. Researchers at the Harvard School of Medicine have found that even today, about 18 percent of patients in hospitals are injured during the course of their care and that many of those injuries are life-threatening, or even fatal. The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that one in seven Medicare patients are injured during hospital stays and that adverse events during the course of care contribute to the deaths of 180,000 patients every year



Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012...e-ama/#ixzz2b28QBydD

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by wright35633:

Capt., analytically speaking, based on news of increasing drug activity and the documented increase in street violence, would you agree that the increase in no knock warrants may bee a result of the times? No just the need of jack booted thugs to violate rights? With that said, a no knock warrant should, by policy and law, require extensive  research, surveillance, and reliability. And the primary purpose should be for the safety of the officers and not the prevention of the destruction of evidence.

 

Personally, I think the no knock warrant, in many cases, is easier for the department to execute, so they use it whenever they can find a way to justify it.  I agree that it should be used for LEO protection only when there is no other way to execute the warrant safely.  I don't think its the proliferation of drugs as much as it is the want by the government to eradicate drugs through their so called 'war on drugs.'  When you declare a 'war on drugs,' I guess you give the impression that wartime tactics are a fact of life. 

 

One solution might be to require departments to get the judge to sign off on the no knock raid when the warrant is applied for, so the department would have to justify the reasoning behind the use of the tactic. 

 

As for seized property, Im all for giving it to the departments.  I don't see how it can breed corruption, corrupt officers will 'skim' the seized property regardless.  Im all of anything to lower my tax burden and shift it to criminal enterprises 

 

 

Unfortunately,  the asset forfeiture is not always so clear cut.

 

"Asset forfeiture distorts law enforcement priorities; instead of chasing violent criminals, some police target wealthy citizens. Early in the morning of October 2, 1992, a small army of 31 people from eight law enforcement agencies smashed their way into 61-year-old Donald Scott’s home on his 200-acre Trail’s End Ranch in Malibu, California. The raiders were equipped with automatic weapons, flak jackets, and a battering ram.[20] Scott’s wife screamed when she saw the intruders, Scott came out of the bedroom with a pistol in his hands, and police gunned him down. After killing Scott, the agents thoroughly searched his house and ranch but failed to find any illicit drugs.

 

Ventura County district attorney Michael Bradbury investigated the raid and issued a report in 1993 that concluded that a “primary purpose of the raid was a land grab by the [Los Angeles County] Sheriff’s Department.”[21] Bradbury revealed that at a briefing before the raid took place, government agents were informed that the ranch had been appraised at $1.1 million and that “80 acres sold for $800,000 in 1991 in the same area.”[22] The law officers at the briefing were told that if they discovered as few as “14 marijuana plants” on the ranch, the entire property could be seized.[23] Bradbury also concluded that a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy had lied to obtain a search warrant and declared: “This search warrant became Donald Scott’s death warrant. This guy should not be dead.”[24] Los Angeles officials claimed that a confidential informant told them that marijuana was being grown on Scott’s ranch, but the informant denied ever making such a statement.[25]"

 

Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman...rights#ixzz2b3KUwYTu

 

 A man was killed in  bogus search because, admittedly, the sheriff's office wanted his property.  The link show several more such forfeitures that are out of control.  If it were stacks of cash found with drugs and the cars and property directly owned by the suppliers, I'd have little problem.  But, like the no knock warrants, its gone over board.  Warrants should detail why there is no knock.  If circumstances prove to be false, evidence would not be allowed  If no evidence, the police are liable for all damages.  Need to be more controls on property seized, as well.

 

Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman...rights#ixzz2b3KUwYTu

One of my favorite stories involved the police seizure of a young man's corvette.  He'd bought it as junk and restored it.  Police stopped him for speeding and saw white powder on the floor. He told them it was baby powder, but police claimed it was cocaine.  The vette was seized and the man arrested.  Out on bail, he heard from friends his vette was being driven by the police all over town.  When he complained, the police chief stated to the local media, that the vette was police property and it was forfeit. A week later the lab test came back -- baby powder,  Man got a call to pick up his vette -- washed, waxed, and tank full.  But, many more miles recorded, than when seized.  Lawsuit cost the city quite a bit.  Cost the chief his job -- should have said alleged.

Here is the problem I have with the asset forfeiture laws.

When I was trying to get the AG to prosecute the people who broke the windows of my daughters car, stole her purse and went around town cashing checks (Daughter never did get that straightened out with that damm outfit that ok's checks) , one of my good friends who was a cop pulled me aside and told me straight "The only things they even try to prosecute are drug crimes and murder"

Turned out, apparently he was right, the girl that did all that was never arrested, or prosecuted , but my daughter was out about $500 for damage to her car, and the stolen gift cards.
In fact two weeks later, the same girl was caught breaking into a house over in Florence, and she just skated on that as well.

The AG told me she was a Confidential Informant for drug bust.

So, yea, being able to seize property is corrupting. We need law enforcement to protect us from bad people, not be after ever more and more property by putting all their efforts into enforcing drug laws. There are other laws that need enforcing as well.

 

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