All Things Warrior Cop

originalSince I don’t regularly update this blog anymore, I figure it’s a good place to put up a post of my speaking schedule and various items related to my book. It’ll stay at the top of the page. So check back here often. We’re also still adding dates on the book talk/signing tour.

 

Year-End Lists

•The Nieman Foundation’s Top 10 Investigative Journalism books of 2013.

• The Kansas City Star’s top books of the year.

• Gizmodo’s best books of the year.

 

Public Events:

• January 29th, 2013, noon, Southern Illinois School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois.

• February 11, 2014, noon, University of Hawaii School of Law, Honolulu, Hawaii.

• February 21, time TBA, debate with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Phoenix, Arizona. (Exact location TBA.)

• March 4, 2014, noon, University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas.

• March 5, 2014, noon, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, Kansas City, Missouri.

• March 25, 2014, noon, University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland.

• April 8, 2014, noon, Penn State University School of Law, University Park, Pennsylvania.

 

(Previous Events)

• September 26, Time, Woodburn Hall, Room 120, 7:30pm, Bloomington, Indiana: Speech and book signing.

• July 9 — Book signing. Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tennessee, 6:30pm.

• July 10 — Book release party. Mercy Lounge, Nashville, Tennessee, 7pm. With music from the Cold Stares and Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden.

• July 22 — Book release party. HR-57, Washington, D.C., 6:30 pm. With music from the Cold Stares.

• July 23 — Talk, panel, and book signing. Busboys & Poets, Washington, D.C., 6:30pm. Co-sponsored by the ACLU, the Cato Institute, the Huffington Post, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

• July 24 — Capitol Hill Book Forum, with Mark Lomax of the National Tactical Officers Association. Rayburn Office Building, Washington, D.C., 12pm. Sponsored by the Cato Institute. (Watch video of this event here.)

• July 27, 3pm: Talk, book signing at Big Blue Marble Book Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

• August 17, 2:20pm, Austin, Texas, Police Accountability Summit, sponsored by Peaceful Streets Project: Speech and book signing.

• August 24, 1pm, Libertas Found,  5430 West Chester Rd., West Chester, Ohio: Book signing. Sponsored by the Ohio Libertarian Party.

• August 29, 7pm Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah: Speech and book signing, sponsored by Libertas, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy at the University of Utah.

• September 3, noon, University of Memphis Law School, Memphis, Tennessee:

• September 5, Time TBA, Indy Reads Books, Indianapolis, Indiana: Book signing, sponsored by the Marion County Libertarian Party.

•September 18, noon, University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois.

• September 18, 6:15pm, Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, Angel Reading Room, Chicago, Illinois: Speech, panel discussion, and book signing. Co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union Illinois, Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, Illinois Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Mansfield Institute for Social Justice & Transformation (Roosevelt University), National Lawyers Guild (Chicago), People’s Law Office, Project NIA, TruthOut, Women’s All Points Bulletin

• October 14, Woody’s Roadside, 3008 Bienville Blvd, Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Sponsored by the Jackson County, Mississippi Libertarian Party.

• October 15, Mobile, Alabama: Speech and book signing. Sponsored by the Mobile Federalist Society.

October 17, 5:30pm, Independence Institute, Denver, Colorado: Book forum. Sponsored by the Independence Institute.

• October 21, University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, Colorado.

• October 22, noon, University of Denver College of Law, Denver, Colorado.

• October 26, Students for Liberty Regional Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

• October 30, noon, University of New Hampshire Law School, Concord, New Hampshire.

• October 31, noon, Boston University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts.

• November 2, Students for Liberty Regional Conference, Boston, Massachusetts.

• November 12, noon, Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Book Reviews:

• A review from Kirkus Reviews.

• A review from Publishers Weekly.

• A review from the New York Journal of Books.

• A review from the Economist.

• Bruce Schneier’s review in the Wall Street Journal.

• Former Baltimore police officer and Cop in the Hood author Peter Moskos’ review in the Pacific Standard.

• New York criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield’s review at his Simple Justice blog.

Former NYPD Det. John J. Baeza’s review at the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition blog.

• Former Redondo Beach, California Lt. Diane Goldstein’s review at Huffington Post.

• L.A.P.D. officer and pseudonymous writer Jack Dunphy’s review for National Review. (Behind a 25 cent paywall.)

• Gene Healy in the Washington Examiner.

• Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy.

• John Payne in the American Conservative.

• Hal from the Right Thinking From the Left Coast blog.

• “Mad Rocket Scientist” at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen blog.

Phillip Smith’s review at the Drug War Chronicle.

• Nate Carlisle review in the Salt Lake Tribune.

• Mike Riggs’ review at the Weekly Standard.

• Chase Madar in the Washington Spectator.

• Damian J. Penny in Canadian Lawyer.

• Paul J. Wyden in the Charleston Gazette.

• Mark Draughn: (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5).

Amazon reviews.

 

My Articles:

“Rise of the Warrior Cop,” in the Wall Street Journal.

“A Gallery of Notable Police Raids,” in the ABA Journal.

My “Raid of the Day” series at Huffington Post.

“7 Ways the Obama Administration Has Accelerated Police Militarization,” at Huffington Post.

“Former Cops Speak Out on Police Militarization,” at Huffington Post.

“Welcome to the Police-Industrial Complex,” at Huffington Post.

“The Marketing of Police Militarism,” at Huffington Post.

• “Too Many Cops Are Told They’re Soldiers Fighting a War. How Did We Get Here?” at the ACLU blog.

• “Senator Sam Ervin, “No-Knock” Warrants, and the Fight to Stop Cops from Smashing into Homes the Way Burglars Do,” at the ACLU blog.

• “ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation Into Police Militarization,” at Huffington Post.

My response to PoliceOne: “SWAT Cop Says American Neighborhoods Are ‘Battlefields,’ Claims Cops Face Same Dangers As Soldiers In Afghanistan”

 

Excerpts:

Salon: Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four.

ABA Journal.

Alternet.

The Nashville Scene.

Business Insider.

TruthOut.

 

Other Coverage:

BBC video on police militarization. (This is one is a favorite. They did a great job.)

• “Uphold the Third Amendment,” by Glenn Reynolds at USA Today.

• “SWAT-Team Nation,” by Sarah Stillman in The New Yorker.

• “In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Radley Balko tackles the dangers of militarized police units run amok on U.S. soil,” the Nashville Scene.

• “Family pets get it as Swat warrior cops go in all guns blazing,” in the  Sunday Mail U.K. (Paywalled.)

• “Overkill: Police SWAT teams sent to fight poker games, liquor violations,” Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (reporter blog).

• “SWAT Teams Save Lives,” Alfred Regnery at Breitbart.com. (Negative.)

• “Editorial: Does city need a BearCat? Think carefully, please,” Concord Monitor.

• “From Tom Paine to Glenn Greenwald, we need partisan journalism,” Jack Shafer at Reuters.

John Stossel’s column on warrior cops.

• The Heritage Foundation on police militarization.

• Coverage in the Greenfield, Indiana Daily Reporter.

Editorial in the Washington Times.

Blog post at the San Francisco Chronicle.

• A series of (mostly negative) responses on the website PoliceOne.

• Coverage in the Deseret Review.

• Coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Blog post at the Washington Monthly.

• Op-ed by Rick Holmes at the Metro West Daily.

• Coverage of a Chicago book event from Huffington Post.

• First Things.

• Editorial in the Idaho State Journal.

• Discussion of the book and related issues in the Harvard Policy Review.

Kansas City Star list of the top books of 2013.

 

Interviews:

Text:

Interview with Tennessee’s Chapter 16.

Interview with Vice.

Interview with Antiwar.com.

Interview with Salon.

• Interview with the Washington Times: Part One. Part Two.

Forum at Crooks & Liars.

Book Salon at Firedoglake.

My Reddit AMA.

Truthout.

 

Audio:

ABA Journal podcast.

Op-Ed News podcast with Rob Kall.

City Journal podcast with Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis.

The Sex, Politics, and Religion Show with Jamila Bey (and Ed Brayton).

think, with Krys Boyd on KERA in Dallas, Texas.

Free Talk Live.

The Peter Schiff Show (requires subscription).

Cultural Baggage, with Dean Becker.

Majority report with Sam Seder.

• Hour-long interview with KUER public radio in Salt Lake City.

Interview with Stansbury radio.

• Podcast interview with Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller.

Occupy Radio interview.

 

 

Video:

• BBC narrative. (This one is really great.)

 

• “All-In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC:

 

• Reason.tv:

 

• “The Real News,” on The Blaze TV:

 

• RT America:

 

• HuffPost Live:

 

• The Thom Hartmann Show, on RT.

 

• “Happening Now” on Fox News.

 

• “Morning Joe” on MSNBC:

 

• Debate with an Ohio sheriff on Fox Business News’ “Stossel.”

 

 

• “The Majority Report” radio show:

 

Interview with Ron Paul for The Ron Paul Channel.

 

Real Time with Bill Maher (Overtime segment — book interview itself not available online.)

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I’ve Moved

Still a few kinks to work out, but as promised, your daily agitation is moving to the Huffington Post. Future posts will go up over there, starting now.

The web address will redirect in a bit. But until then, here’s where you need to go.

MORE: Yeah, comments is one of the kinks we’re working out. They’ll be up soon. Some of you have asked about an RSS feed. I’ve asked about that. I’ll post here when I hear back.

MORE: To get to comments, you need to click on the headline of the post. They’re fixing this to make the comments more accessible. You can subscribe to an RSS feed for the blog here, and here.

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Saturday Links

  • Whether you support abortion rights, oppose abortion rights, or are somewhere in between, there’s one position on which we can all join together in agreement: Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais is an asshole.
  • Virginia man exonerated of rape after accuser admits to a detective that she lied. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is still blocking the man’s release, claiming the judge didn’t have jurisdiction to exonerate him. Remember, following procedure to the letter is only important when you’re trying to exonerate someone. When you’re trying to convict them, straying from the rules is just “harmless error.”
  • Good article looking at how and why conservatives joined the prison reform movement.
  • Spokane police officer who beat a mentally disabled man to death after falsely accusing him of stealing from an ATM . . . gets a four year prison sentence. Otto Zehm’s last words: “All I wanted was a Snickers bar.”
  • TSA detains, jails a man for wearing a “weird watch” and having “unusually large boots.”
  • Headline of the day.
  • Runner-up.
  • Step 1: Take advantage of nepotism to get elected to Congress. Step 2: Be corrupt. Step 3: Go into a deep depression when you’re caught for being corrupt. Step 4: Offer to resign, but only on the condition that you get disability pay because of the depression you’ve suffered after you got caught being corrupt.
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Scenes from Militarized America

From a drug raid in Wilson, North Carolina.

 

 

 

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Morning Links

  • I'm overcompensating.Your drug war at work: St. Paul, Minnesota cops stomp a man’s head, then fire a flash grenade at his disabled mother curing a cocaine raid. She suffered third-degree burns. They found three grams of pot and a legal handgun. Taxpayers, not the cops, will pay the two a $400,000 settlement.
  • Man attempts to become the walking embodiment of New York Times trend stories.
  • LDS elders get swept up in a SWAT raid while at the home of two drug suspects they were counseling.
  • Last night, Reason’s Nick Gillespie debate former DEA administrator Asa Hutchinson on drug legalization. You can watch here.
  • The federal courts continue to shield even egregious prosecutorial misconduct from any real accountability. Smart lawyerly people: I haven’t read the 11th Circuit opinion yet, but given that absolute immunity is judge-made law, wouldn’t the Hyde Amendment, which is statutory law, take priority in this case?
  • Headline of the day.
  • Striking photos from the Munich subway system.
  • Naomi Klein: People who oppose corporate welfare are just shilling for corporations. Or something like that.
  • The photo is from a series of raids on backyard marijuana gardens in Santa Rosa, California. Best line from the article: “O’Leary, the sheriff’s lieutenant, said the show of force by authorities and their tactics were deliberate, selected in part because there is a heavy gang presence and lots of children in the neighborhood.” Ah, so there are children nearby. Well then let’s make the raids as volatile as possible!
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Is America Getting Less Punitive?

Over at Huffington Post, I look at that question in light of recent election results.

The article is almost optimistic. Longtime readers may find that confusing. But I promise, I really did write it.

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Morning Links

  • More evidence that the public is nearing a tipping point in the war on drugs.
  • This will surprise all of you. The Omaha police union is defending the officer who tackled a man out walking his dog, then shot the dog.
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the fact that City Hall reporters illegally recorded journalists without their permission is “much ado about nothing.”
  • America! F*ck yeah!
  • This New York Times review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant is burning up the Internet at the moment. On the one hand, it kind of makes me want to try the place. On the other hand, I’m not putting anything called “Donkey Sauce” into my mouth.
  • Headline of the day.
  • “He’ll push to loosen marijuana penalties, legalize undocumented immigrants and pursue a less aggressive American foreign policy.” Guess who?
  • Man uses garden hose to spray fire at neighbor’s house. Police tell him to stop. He does. But when firefighters don’t arrive minutes later, he gets frustrated and starts spraying the fire again. So they Tase him.
  • Finally, via Gawker:

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Not a War on Patients

I still get a couple emails like this each week in response to the painkiller series I wrote for Huffington Post back in March.

My husband died 4 years ago from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He had multiple health problems but the worst one was a severely degenerative disc disease. Because he was on Plavix he was not a candidate for surgery. He took 80 Oxycontin daily for 3 years and 9 months prior to his death. But then the  doctor at the pain management clinic he went to regularly informed him that the clinic was quitting prescribing oxycontin. In those last three months of his life he was . . .  in agony. All he wanted to do was be able to walk across the living room to get to his potty chair without pain. He wanted to sleep but couldn’t because of the pain. He was incapacitated by the pain, and not because of drug abuse, but because the doctors at the clinic were afraid of losing their licenses. If I had known he was going to die, I would have found some way to get the Oxycontin for him. He was never high or stoned. He just wanted to be free of pain. As much as I miss Roger, I am glad he is now pain free.

But remember, this federal campaign against opiods is not a war on pain patients.

I know because the drug czar himself has assured me that patients like Roger have never had any problem getting the medication they need.

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World Press Photos of the Year

This one was taken in Pyongyang. More here.

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It Isn’t a Crime When the Government Does It

So remember when Chicago police were arresting people for recording them, and charging them with crimes punishable by 10 or more years in prison? Remember the woman who was arrested and charged because she attempted to record Chicago PD internal affairs police browbeating her when she tried to report a sexual assault by a Chicago cop? Remember all that stuff we heard from Chicago PD and Cook County DA Anita Alvarez’s office about protecting privacy?

So this happened . . .

[A] court filing in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city raised questions about whether a city spokeswoman had recorded Tribune reporters without their consent as they conducted a phone interview with Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in October 2011.

And in separate incidents this past September, city spokespeople twice recorded a Tribune reporter as he conducted phone interviews with a top city official involved in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s controversial speed camera program. The spokespeople acknowledged that they independently recorded the interviews without asking the reporter for consent.

Gerould Kern, senior vice president and editor of the Tribune, declined to comment Friday about the recordings. Instead, he cited the letter sent by Tribune Co. attorney Karen Flax to Patton, demanding that city officials cease recording Tribune reporters without consent. The letter also asked that the city preserve copies of all recorded conversations and turn them over to the Tribune.

In its response Saturday, the city said it was unclear whether there would be any tapes to turn over. While City Hall acknowledged the two improper September recordings, it insisted they were mistakes.

“What we have told city employees is that our position is that you follow the law,” City Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said Friday. “And when this issue was brought to the city’s attention, we reminded employees to continue following the law.”

If you work for the government and you violate a the law in order to record journalists who cover the government, you get a gentle “reminder.” If you’re someone like Michael Allison, Tiawanda Moore, or Christopher Drew and you violate a bad law in order to expose government abuse, you get arrested, cuffed, jailed, and charged with felonies.

Seems about right.

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Headlines

It’s almost like we went to bed Tuesday night and woke up in an alternate, slightly saner universe.

 

 

 

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Milton Friedman, the War on Drugs, and Last Tuesday Night

In light of this week’s milestone victories for common sense in Colorado and Washington, here’s Milton Friedman—one of my personal heroes—writing an open letter to Drug Czar William Bennett in the Wall Street Journal.

In Oliver Cromwell’s eloquent words, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken” about the course you and President Bush urge us to adopt to fight drugs. The path you propose of more police, more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish.

You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve.

Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault.

Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

I append excerpts from a column that I wrote in 1972 on “Prohibition and Drugs.” The major problem then was heroin from Marseilles; today, it is cocaine from Latin America. Today, also, the problem is far more serious than it was 17 years ago: more addicts, more innocent victims; more drug pushers, more law enforcement officials; more money spent to enforce prohibition, more money spent to circumvent prohibition.

Had drugs been decriminalized 17 years ago, “crack” would never have been invented (it was invented because the high cost of illegal drugs made it profitable to provide a cheaper version) and there would today be far fewer addicts. The lives of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent victims would have been saved, and not only in the U.S. The ghettos of our major cities would not be drug-and-crime-infested no-man’s lands. Fewer people would be in jails, and fewer jails would have been built.

Columbia, Bolivia and Peru would not be suffering from narco-terror, and we would not be distorting our foreign policy because of narco-terror. Hell would not, in the words with which Billy Sunday welcomed Prohibition, “be forever for rent,” but it would be a lot emptier.

Decriminalizing drugs is even more urgent now than in 1972, but we must recognize that the harm done in the interim cannot be wiped out, certainly not immediately. Postponing decriminalization will only make matters worse, and make the problem appear even more intractable.

Alcohol and tobacco cause many more deaths in users than do drugs. Decriminalization would not prevent us from treating drugs as we now treat alcohol and tobacco: prohibiting sales of drugs to minors, outlawing the advertising of drugs and similar measures. Such measures could be enforced, while outright prohibition cannot be. Moreover, if even a small fraction of the money we now spend on trying to enforce drug prohibition were devoted to treatment and rehabilitation, in an atmosphere of compassion not punishment, the reduction in drug usage and in the harm done to the users could be dramatic.

This plea comes from the bottom of my heart. Every friend of freedom, and I know you are one, must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence. A country in which shooting down unidentified planes “on suspicion” can be seriously considered as a drug-war tactic is not the kind of United States that either you or I want to hand on to future generations.

Friedman wrote that 22 years ago.

In writing my book over the last several months, I’ve been waist-deep in the drug war propaganda of the early 1970s, and then of the 1980s and 1990s: the government dissemination of flat-out lies, the ceaseless efforts by politicians (ably abetted by a media always eager to pounce on sensationalism) to degrade and dehumanize drug offenders, the relentless martial rhetoric and calls to arms. There were the insane court decisions that shredded the Fourth Amendment. I’ve decided my favorite is United States v. Montoya de Herandez, in which the Supreme Court ruled that customs agents can seize someone coming in on an international flight, hold her incommunicado, then detain her until government agents can watch her defecate in front of them. There were the deeply cynical policies pushed by politicians, like the no-knock raid, which was never asked for police officials or recommended by criminologists, but was an idea dreamed up by Nelson Rockefeller aides (then later adopted by Nixon in the 1968 campaign) as a way to appeal white fears about black crime. There was a time when it was railed against on the floor of Congress (yes, really) and in the Supreme Court (yes, really) as a constitutional abomination, as an affront to the founding principles of the Castle Doctrine and the right to be let alone. When Congress first imposed the policy on Washington, D.C., the city’s police chief refused to use it (yes, really!). Today, it’s such an ingrained part of law enforcement, you’d be hard pressed to find a narcotics cop who could imagine ever doing his job without it. And of course, there are the scores and scores of heart-wrenching stories of death and destruction wrought by all of this madness.

Anyway, all of this was fresh in my head as I watched the election results come in Tuesday night. Whether or not Obama respects the wishes of voters in Washington and Colorado is really only relevant in the short term. I’m now convinced that we are finally winning the long game. I mean Jesus, medical marijuana just barely lost in Arkansas. I guess what I’m getting at here is that spending the last several months reading and writing about just how insane things were at the height of the drug war made me particularly aware of just how magnificent Tuesday night was. The tide is turning. It isn’t often easy to find reasons for optimism when you cover these issues day in and day out. Seeing outright legalization pass in two fairly large states—there’s no other way to interpret that as a sign that we are slowly returning to sanity. This would have been unthinkable 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 years ago.

Friedman’s was always the voice of reason on this issue. But 22 years ago it was a relatively lonely voice, particularly on the right (William Buckley was good on pot). That’s no longer the case. Yes, some of the most obstinate opposition still comes form the right, although as you’ve seen on this site,  it also comes from left-of-center paternalists and editorial boards. And most politicians of all stripes are, typically, a good 10 years behind the public on all of this. But the culture warriors are dying off. The coalition for sensible drug policy is broad, diverse, and has been gathering strength and momentum with each election.

The public is turning. Tuesday was historic. Enjoy it.

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The New Professionalism

Florida cop responding to a report of a stolen motorcycle snoops around a cemetery at night, knocks on the door to an equipment shed without first identifying himself. Cemetery owner is in the equipment shed, hears the knock, fears he’s being robbed, and so opens the door holding a gun. Cop opens fire. The guy lived, and the cop has now been cleared of any wrongdoing. The motorcycle was on the property, but given that he wasn’t charged, it appears the cemetery owner had nothing to do with its theft.

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t announce yourself if you hear someone in the shed. Not just for the other guy’s safety, but for yours. This particular case may not seem as egregious as others you might see on this site, until you consider this particular cop’s history:

A 13-year FHP veteran, Cole has been the subject of 10 internal affairs investigations. In 2001, Cole shot a man in the hand during a traffic stop when the man made a sudden movement toward Cole after ignoring commands to show his hands. The man turned out to be a Christian minister who was unarmed and was driving erratically after getting lost. He said he was trying to show the trooper his wallet when he was shot.

Last year, Cole was investigated after he used a Taser to subdue a handcuffed woman, who fell and hit her head. She fell into a coma and suffered debilitating brain damage.

Cole was cleared in both cases.

Maybe it’s time the Florida Highway Patrol found Officer Cole a desk job. Or at least the sort of job where he’ll never need to use force.

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Morning Links

I’ve been neglecting you. But just think, in the spring you’ll have your own portable collection of groin-punching, blood-pressure raising stories to pull down off your bookshelf—any time you like!

I do have some thoughts about the election. I just don’t have time to put them into a more substantive post at the moment. And they’re more about the various ballot measures than the election itself. Summary: I think that for the most part, there’s lots of reason for optimism in Tuesday night’s results. Even on the GOP side, the one Republican senator who managed to win a competitive Senate seat this week was Jeff Flake, a devoted fiscal conservative and principled advocate for limited government who also happens to be pro-immigration, pro-internet gambling, favors ending the sanctions with Cuba, and who generally avoids the culture wars. He’s a huge improvement over his predecessor. And he won in a state filled with Latinos and rock-ribbed conservatives. He’s a template for the rest of the party.

On to the links:

  • Cop tries to kill dog during drug raid, shoots fellow cop instead.
  • “The Permanent Militarization of America.”
  • In Colorado, legalization of marijuana got more votes than Obama.
  • Carlos Miller wins again. And how he’s suing the cops who deleted the video depicting his illegal arrest. You’d think Miami police would know to just leave him the hell alone.
  • North Korean court rules that the country’s military can torture dissidents with impunity.
  • A new front in the war on vegetable gardens. Don’t know about you, but if these stories ending up pitting the militant locavores and anti-obesity paternalists in an epic battle with the petty zoning tyrants . . . I’m making popcorn.
  • Hey, remember when super PACs were going to destroy American democracy? Not so much. Of course, when the anti-Citizens United crowd would say things like “this will destroy American democracy,” they actually meant, “this will help the candidates I don’t like!” Which means that if and when the GOP ever gets its act together (more likely: when they Democrats inevitably overplay their hand), we’ll be back to blaming money in politics for election results again.
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Steven Hayne Admits to Perjury

It’s been a while since we visited the Steven Hayne saga in Mississippi. There was some big news today.

If you’ll remember, when my story about Hayne broke and the Innocence Project went after him a short time later, Hayne was asked by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger about why he was never board certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology. Here was his response:

He said the American Board of Pathology hasn’t certified him because he walked out of the examination. He said he got angry at what he regarded as a stupid question – ranking in order what colors are associated with funerals instead of asking questions about forensic pathology.

“I’ve got a temper. I don’t put up with crap like that,” he said. “I walked out and took another examination from another board.”

After that article ran, the paper was contacted by the American Board of Pathology:

“As the executive director of the American Board of Pathology I was surprised by Dr. Hayne’s description of the ‘stupid question’ (related to colors associated with funerals) on his forensic pathology examination that caused him to walk out of the exam,” Dr. Betsy Bennett said by e-mail. “Dr. Hayne took the forensic pathology examination in 1989. I pulled the text of this examination from our files, and there was no question on that examination that was remotely similar to Dr. Hayne’s description.”

When confronted with this information, Hayne responded:

“She is flat wrong. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

He said he would stake his reputation and career on that question appearing on the test, saying, “It’s like remembering where you were when men landed on the moon.”

And now, the latest.

The latest salvo comes in a post-conviction relief motion filed in Monroe County Circuit Court by attorneys for former Mississippi State University professor David Parvin, convicted last year in the 2007 shooting death of his wife.

Hayne now acknowledges a previous statement he made in connection with his credentials isn’t true, according to the documents filed by Parvin’s attorneys on appeal, James L. Robertson of Jackson, Jim Waide of Tupelo and Tucker Carrington, who heads the Mississippi Innocence Project.

Hayne had testified under oath in a 2004 trial and reiterated to The Clarion-Ledger in 2008 that he walked out of an 1989 exam for certification in forensic pathology because of a stupid question about ranking in order what colors are associated with funerals.

In a recent deposition by the Innocence Project, Hayne was confronted with the exam and admitted there was no such question about death, lawyers wrote.

At the time Hayne “walked out” of the exam, he was failing it, lawyers wrote.

That means he not only flat-out lied to the Clarion-Ledger in 2008, he has now admitted under oath that he lied in his testimony at a murder trial. And probably not just one.

Longtime defense lawyer Matthew Eichelberger recalled quizzing Hayne about the same matter.“That man looked me in the eye, looked all 12 jurors in the eye and looked Circuit Judge Betty Sanders in the eye,” he said. “And he swore that he walked out of the exam because it contained all of these absurd questions. Of course, we now definitively know that not to be true.”

In the case that brought all of this out, Hayne claimed under oath that he could tell by a shotgun wound how far away the muzzle of the gun was from the victim when it was fired. So we now have definitive evidence that Hayne has lied under oath about his qualifications. He has also repeatedly lied about them out of court. And the Mississippi Supreme Court itself has found that Hayne gave testimony in a murder case that was unsupported by science (preposterous is more like it). What do you think, will Mississippi finally show some sense of shame and admit that every case in which this guy was involved now needs to be reexamined? Think we’ll see him arrested and charged with perjury?

Nah. Me neither.

By the way, Jeffrey Havard was convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s little girl almost exclusively because of Hayne’s testimony. That testimony has since been called into question by qualified forensic pathologists. Havard was denied again by the Mississippi Supreme Court earlier this year. His post-conviction petition is now in federal court. If he loses there, he’ll likely get an execution date.

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