Scalia’s New Professionalism

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Remember Steven Blackman? He’s the man whose home Ft. Worth police raided last summer. His house was destroyed. They broke down his door, and fired four rounds of tear gas into the house. They also weirdly slashed the tires on his truck. Fortunately, he wasn’t home at the time, or he could well be dead. The cops had the wrong address, of course. They commenced the raid due to a mistaken, uncorroborated tip from an informant (but don’t worry, this almost never happens).

Well, the reviews and reports have been written. So what about all that professionalism, all those checks and balances, all that new police accountability Justice Scalia assured us was taking place all over the country in his opinion in the Hudson case?

One officer was suspended for five days. And last week, that suspension was reduced to one day.

Note also that the man police were actually looking for was wanted for possession of an illicit drug. Not distribution. They used tear gas bombs, a SWAT team, broke down the back door, and slashed the wrong guy’s tires trying to arrest someone for possession.

Keep that in mind too next time defenders of these tactics say they’re only used to go after the big-time dealers.

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