Back to Chesapeake

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Ryan Frederick was arraigned today. He was charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and . . . simple possession of marijuana.

That’s right. Though police still haven’t told us how much marijuana they found, it wasn’t enough to charge Frederick with anything more than a misdemeanor. For a misdemeanor, they broke down his door, a cop is dead, and a 28-year-old guy’s life is ruined. Looks like the informant mistook Frederick’s gardening hobby for an elaborate marijuana growing operation, and those Japanese maple trees for marijuana plants.

The parallels to Cory Maye are pretty striking. You’ve got a young guy minding his own business, with no criminal record, whose worst transgression is that he smokes a little pot from time to time. A bad informant and bad police procedures then converge, resulting in police breaking down his door while he’s sleeping. He fires a gun to defend himself, unwittingly kills a cop, and now faces murder charges.

Here’s hoping Frederick escapes Cory Maye’s fate. This guy shouldn’t be in jail. He should be compensated by the City of Chesapeake. As should the family of Detective Shivers. And these raids need to stop.

You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes.

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58 Responses to “Back to Chesapeake”

  1. #1 |  Matt Moore | 

    steveaz – Please reread my comment. I didn’t say, much less believe, any of the things you attribute to me.

    The evidence against Frederick being a pot-smoker is hardly hearsay. He admitted to having a small amount of pot. In no way does this justify the raid. Nor did I ever claim that just because someone had been seen “smoking a doob” in the past does that mean they are guilty of whatever the cops say they are.

    I think cops planting evidence is wrong, even if they’re framing a guilty man (which could be what happened in this case), and cops that do so should be fired and prosecuted.

  2. #2 |  David | 

    To follow up Joshua’s idea, here’s another question to ask during Jury selection. “Do you believe that it would be possible for you persoanlly to continue living as a law-abiding citizen in your community after specifically identifying in a court of law, a member of the local police force as having acted in an illegal or unethical manner?”

    Again, I suspect the answer would be somewhat less than a unanimous “Of course.”

  3. #3 |  Center for the Common Interest » Blog Archive » One Month Down, 11 to Go | 

    […] addition to our growing Police State (which, sadly, is affecting my home area with this arrest of a homeowner invaded by a Drug Warrior), the government is threatening us in […]

  4. #4 |  Benito Hidalgo | 

    “You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes.”

    Radley, you poor deluded soul. Don’t you realize that without consensual crimes, there would be a lot of unemployed cops? Besides, it’s a lot more fun to raid houses and throw your authority around than it is to deal with vandals.

    “War is the health of the state.” -Randolph Bourne

  5. #5 |  The Straight Toke - THE Marijuana Blog » Julius’ link picks for February 1st | 

    […] A “Drug Bust” Gone Wrong: One Dead, One In Jail, No Criminal Possession – One of the saddest stories I’ve read in a while. Police received an anonymous tip that a man was growing marijuana. Police performed a no-knock raid. As anyone might do when armed men burst through your door, the man attempted to defend himself. Firing in self defense, he shot and killed an officer. As it turns out, the plants in the back yard that sparked the tip were not marijuana plants — the only cannabis the man had was in his personal stash; barely enough for a misdemeanor. […]

  6. #6 |  Lowell | 

    Law enforcement needs to justify having swat teams and drug task force units,after all we’re paying a lot of money for them. So swat teams do not get enough action in their orginal role, why not add them to drug raids they need the practice. The task force units are always glad to have them along when they arrest the Big time drug dealers. By the way, when was the last really big raid, where they had large quantity’s of drugs to show ?

  7. #7 |  appletree » Blog Archive » Yet Another Killing as SWAT Team Kicks Down Door of Suspected Dealer | 

    […] and sometimes he’s charged with murder because a policeman is killed. Here’s the latest manifestation of this […]

  8. #8 |  tom | 

    last night, i fell asleep on the couch watching TV. My girlfriend and 16 year old step daughter we asleep upstairs and my 60 something inlaws were asleep downstairs in their rooms. At 530am this morning
    (saturday) I was damn near shocked to death by what sounded like a bomb, but found it was a battering ram that forced open the door quickly followed followed by an M-16 assault rifle pointed at my head.
    After an hour of being handcuffed and humiliated, the cops left with $10 dollar street value worth of marijuana that my father inlaw once in a blue moon smokes to lessen the pain of gout an other health problems. Also found was trace amount of cocaine left behind in baggies that my girl keeps to remind her how much money she has lost on the drup. shes been clean for over a year. Not very smart but it worked for her so who’s to say.
    Three people led out of the house in handcuffs, charged with possession and paraphanelia(sp). two love ones face years of imprisonment for so – so little.
    I believe drugs are bad as well as liqour and tobacco. Cops need tools to stop the illegal flow of drugs into our neighborhoods but the tactics of raids should be limited to distributors and not occassional users who have enough problems with their demons.

    Warning – drugs without a tax stamp can lead the Gestapo to your door. I’m proof.