Akron, Too

Monday, April 21st, 2008

In Memphis this week, it was a "terrorism sweep" that failed to catch any terrorists. In Akron, police embarked on a citywide "gun sweep" that didn’t turn up any guns.

But like the authorities in Memphis, they did find plenty of other ways to stay busy:

Authorities arrested 72 people in the third night of a Gun Violence Reduction Sweep on Friday night and Saturday morning, Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards said.

Edwards said 115 charges were filed. Of those charges, five were felonies, 35 were misdemeanors and 75 warranted arrests for people with outstanding warrants, Edwards said. Of the warranted arrests, seven were felonies and 68 were misdemeanors.

Authorities also issued 88 traffic citations, including four for operating a vehicle under the influence.

During the sweep, authorities also conducted bar checks at the Bank Lounge at 1078 Kenmore Blvd., where patrons were arrested on drug charges, and at the Boulevard Lounge at 995 Kenmore Blvd., where liquor violations were issued against the liquor permit holder and several patrons were charged with drug offenses, Edwards said.

During the citywide sweep, officers confiscated 5.2 grams of crack cocaine, one-tenth of a gram of powdered cocaine, 13.1 grams of marijuana, 9 Oxycodone pills and 19 Percocet pills, Edwards said.

No guns were confiscated during the Friday-Saturday action, Edwards said.

These allegedly-regulatory "alcohol inspections" of bars that include searching patrons for drugs are becoming increasingly common.

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9 Responses to “Akron, Too”

  1. #1 |  Wayne | 

    No guns confiscated in the largest gun sweep in Akron history? What does that mean? I’ll bet means that the focus was on law-abiding gun owners and not on criminal activity. It’s way easier (and far less dangerous) to intimidate a law-abiding gun owner than it is to hunt down a gang banger. Either that or the whole thing was just a show of force and you can count on (1) the police to show up at the scene of the crime to take your weapon after you shot someone in self defense or (2) the police to show up in the ER after you have been the victim of a gun crime to fill out a report. Also, exactly how do you use a helicopter in a gun sweep? From a thousand feet in the air, it would seem that the only guns you could see would be howitzer-type weapons, which I am sure are banned in Ohio.

  2. #2 |  Marty | 

    the helicopter is watching for people dodging or running around checkpoints. this immediately gives them justification that the person running is a criminal.

  3. #3 |  Against Stupidity | 

    Its all a matter of semantics. Replace the phrase ‘unlawful unwarranted search’ with the word ‘sweep’ and it magically changes the constitutionality of investigation.

    The media should be ashamed of using colorful or nice sounding euphemisms and more people should have the intelligence to understand the true meaning of these euphemisms.

  4. #4 |  MacK | 

    Were these patrons of the bars smoking joints, and snorting coke off the tables?
    If not what would be the probable cause for a search of any patrons?
    Last time I checked being in a bar, at the fair, or waiting for the bus was not a probable cause for search!

  5. #5 |  Burrow Owl | 

    ” Its all a matter of semantics. Replace the phrase ‘unlawful unwarranted search’ with the word ’sweep’ and it magically changes the constitutionality of investigation. ”

    Yep. Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.

  6. #6 |  scottp | 

    the helicopter is watching for people dodging or running around checkpoints. this immediately gives them justification that the person running is a criminal.

    While it may appear suspicious, avoiding a police checkpoint is not a crime. Nor is it evidence that the person avoiding it is a criminal.

  7. #7 |  Wayne | 

    I was being facetious about the helicopter. I should have continued on and said that I expect that with more/better helicopters and more/better optical equipment, purchased as military surplus of course, thereby further contributing to the militarization of the police, these sweeps can become more “effective,” whatever “effective” means to those that advocate these types of things. Heck, soon we’ll have facial identification from police helicopters and be able to track down those damn annoying smokers violating the “no smoking within 20 feet of door” at the entrances of public buildings.

  8. #8 |  Lennie | 

    I’d really like to get some more information on these drug confiscations. Do they seriously just search every patron in a bar when they’re conducting “alcohol inspections?” Has that been upheld in court, yet? I guess nothing should surprise me anymore, but it’s just so blatantly unconstitutional. . . .

    The only way you can think this is still a free country is if you never leave your property.

  9. #9 |  Wayne | 

    And what is a “sweep” anyway? I “sweep” my kitchen floor every Saturday morning, but I spot clean it throughout the week to remove bits of food and larger chunks of crud. So on Saturday morning, all I pick up is microscopic dust, not really anything dangerous, just annoying little specks that build up over time. Seems a law enforcement “sweep” works the same way — they found no guns, a few pockets of illicit drugs, some deadbeat dads, some people wanted for failure to appear in court — ooooh, I feel safer now. I’m currently arguing with a co-worker here who thinks these sweeps are good, but she doesn’t understand that it’s just the “circus” part of the “bread and circuses” thing.

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