Morning Links

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
  • Kentucky police upset because drug suspects turned themselves in, robbing cops of the chance to do some raids.
  • This might be my favorite story in months. Thirty-two years ago, two men made a pact that when they turned 50, they’d put on tuxes and have a pie fight. Next weekend, they’re going to do it.
  • As public public opinion grows more and more open-minded about marijuana, we continue to set new records for marijuana arrests. Odd how that works.
  • Connecticut town will fine residents $50 per day for failing to clean up leaves.
  • Feds deploy flashbang grenades, a helicopter and use a Humvee to ram into a home during the arrest of a man suspected of a white collar crime. I told you this was coming.
  • I’m not sure what to make of this. A heavily-armed drug raid on a home owned by an active-duty D.C. cop during a birthday party turns up nothing. Another isolated incident? Or is something else going on, here?
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  • 31 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  MacK | 

      We can’t have suspects just turning themselves in, because if we do not go into a home, bust the shit out of it, shoot a dog or two, maybe a person, stand on someones neck, wear cool looking fatigues (like real soldiers), and use our high powered death dealing weapons, then what is the point of us being law enforcers.

    2. #2 |  MacK | 

      I think this is my favorite quote:

      “Having suspected drug dealers know police were likely coming for them also was potentially dangerous to officers”.

      Yes it was so much more dangerous when they walked into the police station saying: Here I am, I give up!

    3. #3 |  Tom G | 

      That first story _is_ pretty funny, but are charges being pressed against those employees (in the courtroom) who told the accused parties of the charges? IANAL, but it sounds like obstruction of justice to me.

    4. #4 |  Bernard | 

      Without any opinion on the perspectives behind the last story it’s always instructive watching police and other authorities react to strong-arm tactics when used against, rather than by, them.

      I’d love to see how the captain might react to claims of corruption or of politically motivated raids if a private citizen raised them.

    5. #5 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Gresham is already suing the police department for $100,000 after he was accused of asking a junior officer to alter a report on a traffic crash in which Gresham was involved. Gresham is also a witness for a fellow officer who is suing the department for alleged sexual assault and battery.

      Probably unrelated…

    6. #6 |  Scooby | 

      Tom G,
      When the names are read in open court, the charges are public information- that’s the whole point of reading them in open court.

      If the employees were violating grand jury secrecy or something, then that would be a crime. Passing along information published in open court? Not so much.

    7. #7 |  scott clark | 

      I like how in the DC cop story, the guy plans to sue for $2 billion. What a great number. I’m sure they’ll get everybody’s attention now. Why not $10 billion or $100 billion?

    8. #8 |  chsw | 

      This is my favorite headline today – Tallahassee police taser naked man walking dog:

      http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880913007

      chsw

    9. #9 |  Nando | 

      #3 | Tom G | September 16th, 2008 at 7:58 am

      That first story _is_ pretty funny, but are charges being pressed against those employees (in the courtroom) who told the accused parties of the charges? IANAL, but it sounds like obstruction of justice to me.

      It’s already public information.

      The reason why the police think it’s dangerous is because if Doug the drug dealer knows the cops are coming, he’ll bunker down with his 23 full-auto AK-47s and shoot every cop that comes through his door, claiming he thought someone was trying to rob him :rollseyes:

    10. #10 |  Balloon Maker | 

      I think you misread the story about the SWAT raid on the so-called “white collar crime.” Turns out the suspect was Mexican all along.

    11. #11 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      What police want are secret police warrants, secret “trials” and secret punishments. They also love Judge Dredd waaaay too much.

    12. #12 |  dave smith | 

      Notice how quickly the cops are going to reevaluate procedure. The fact that they don’t reeval proceedure after all the botched raids speaks volumes.

    13. #13 |  Cynical In CA | 

      Mencken wrote: “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

      I fell victim to this phenomenon on reading of the fraud Juan Rangel. Except for quaint notions of due process, which the state abides by at its whim, I felt what befell Mr. Rangel was entirely appropriate. Shame on me.

    14. #14 |  Cynical In CA | 

      “I’m not sure what to make of this. A heavily-armed drug raid on a home owned by an active-duty D.C. cop during a birthday party turns up nothing. Another isolated incident? Or is something else going on, here?”

      Two words: turf war.

    15. #15 |  Mojotron3000 | 

      I like how in the DC cop story, the guy plans to sue for $2 billion. What a great number. I’m sure they’ll get everybody’s attention now

      That $2 billion figure would only pay for 40 pairs of pants!

    16. #16 |  BloodyMaryBreakfast | 

      Kentucky cops aren’t in a snit, it’s Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Interdiction, Treatment and Education, Inc. It’s a 501(c)(3) corporation mostly funded by the DOJ. They employ 23 detectives with law enforcement powers under KY Revised Statutes.

      If your assets are seized in KY, UNITE, Inc. gets it to distribute as they see fit. Although they handed out $324k last month to local PDs and sheriffs, future assets will be retained because of “budget cutbacks”.

      http://www.operationunite.org

    17. #17 |  Steve Verdon | 

      I’d love to see how the captain might react to claims of corruption or of politically motivated raids if a private citizen raised them.

      Oh no need to wonder. He’d scoff and say it wasn’t possible. If you point out his claims he’d say, “That’s different!” and then mumble about some sort of conspiracy and what not.

      Cops, in general, are not smart people. The idea of consistency, intellectual honesty, and honesty in general mean little to them if anything at all.

    18. #18 |  Frank | 

      Affecting bad Sylvester Stallone Accent: “I am DA LAW!”

      “Cops, in general, are not smart people.”

      There is, in fact, an IQ ceiling in law enforcement recruiting. Some BS about smart people getting bored. The real reason is that smart people know when orders from the chief/mayor are illegal. The real reason is that smart people who become cops get sick of the system, go to law school, and become defense attorneys.

      I just love that last story — a cop who probably participated in his fair share of drug raids and dog shootings gets hoisted on his own petard. Too bad he wasn’t shot during the event.

    19. #19 |  Andrew Williams | 

      I predict that we’ll hit the million mark for marijuana arrests this year or next year.

      Next on FOX: Good Hitting Police!

    20. #20 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      “Cops, in general, are not smart people. The idea of consistency, intellectual honesty, and honesty in general mean little to them if anything at all.”

      If you inserted the name of any other minority group (in Bell Curve fashion) Agitator readers would be (rightly) appalled. For some reason, this comment is probably ok though. Frank, for a change, makes more sense than Steve, though he ends his comments by wishing for violence (as usual). I have been, and am still involved in testing for a couple agencies and I suspect that indepence and critical thinking skills are not highly sought. I believe the “IQ ceiling” concept is probably just an urban legend that Frank picked up in the blogosphere.

      Aside from the morality of this kind of comment, you totally miss the point. Moral courage, not intelligence (and the definition of intelligence is fairly subjective), is the problem here. Tribalism (“us vs. them”) is another big problem. If you guys want to be taken seriously, you might stick to policy changes and cultural problems in law enforcement instead of using grade school insults. Ok, feel free to downgrade my karma now. I’ll probably have a good cry about it.

    21. #21 |  Ukulele & All That Jazz | 

      A 32-year-old pie fight challenge…

      I found this via the Agitator and it’s just plain cool.

      Next weekend two old friends are going to don tuxedos and have a public pie fight, keeping a vow they made to each other back in 1976, when they were both 18. They had decided that they di…

    22. #22 |  Wayne | 

      Further to Frank’s and Helmut’s input, I went to law school with a guy who dropped out after the first semester to go to the police academy. He was rejected because his IQ scores were too high, he brought suit, and he lost because of the “we have a cap on IQ scores because those with higher scores get bored and move on” argument. It’s more than an urban legend, but if I remember correctly it is something that is determined state-by-state, so it may not be applicable everywhere. Oh, and I have two relatives that are cops — while I don’t personally know what their IQs are, I suspect they are within some well-defined range with a cap on the upper end.

    23. #23 |  mds | 

      The Kentucky story is marvelous:

      That meant police couldn’t look for evidence during surprise searches at their homes or try to interview people during searches to get additional information.

      Yeah, that’s a shame, all right.

      Meanwhile, increasing the humor value, one of the Possibly Related Posts that turned up when I clicked through was “Police search without warrant.” It was a post from an attorney who answers legal questions online:

      POLICE: My boyfriend was driving home one Friday night and the police stopped him. They asked him to get out of the auto and the police searched the auto for drugs. Can the police do that without a warrant?

      Yes, the police can do that. The police can do whatever is necessary if it is reasonable for them to suspect a crime is being committed or to prevent a crime from being committed even entering a home without a warrant. My advice is always to co-operate with the police. Remember, the police are also there to help and protect people generally.

      Yeah, I’d hire the guy.

    24. #24 |  Red Green | 

      If everyone of those pot smokers ,would just turn themselves in,they would deprive the taskforcers of all the fun ,and fill the arrest reports at the same time…..could be “THE BIGGEST” year ever. IQ ,is the ability to think outside the BOX. Police, are the BOX.

    25. #25 |  BobO McFadden | 

      “Feds deploy flashbang grenades, a helicopter and use a Humvee to ram into a home during the arrest of a man suspected of a white collar crime. I told you this was coming. ”

      Military tactics against criminals that ACTUALLY HARM OTHERS?

      LOLWUT

    26. #26 |  nathan | 

      #8 chsw:

      That story may have the best line of the week:

      “It was unfortunate we had to use the Taser. … It was the only way we could subdue him without having to hurt him.”

      Thank goodness they had the Taser, or he might have been hurt!

    27. #27 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      Only -2. Wow, I was expecting worse. Good to know there are a handful of commenters on this site who don’t fear a nuanced discussion of law enforcement issues.

    28. #28 |  Frank | 

      “I believe the “IQ ceiling” concept is probably just an urban legend that Frank picked up in the blogosphere.”

      Nope, it came from East Hartford, CT about seven years ago, where a police candidate was washed out for scoring too high on the intelligence test. The candidate sued the township. And lost.

    29. #29 |  Frank | 

      And while we’re on the subject of cops that aren’t very bright, here’s an ELECTED cop who rode the short bus to school:

      http://celebgalz.com/kentucky-sheriff-joe-gaddie-brought-back-wrong-suspect-joe-oros-from-california/

      http://nky.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/b2/20080818/NEWS01/808180392

      Hmmm, ever think of sending a mug shot to California or maybe a fingerprint card BEFORE you get in your cruiser for a 4200 mile prisoner-transport junket? And how many stones does it take to refuse to sign a waiver of extradition with a bunch of armed government thugs hanging around just looking for an excuse to hand out a wood shampoo or a multiple tasering?

      Lawsuit? You betcha. If that were me, the notice of claim would be written on a cement block, signed in blood, and dropped on this inbred mouth-breathing redneck Roscoe P. Coltraine wannabe’s scrotum. There is no excuse for this. None. In the real world, things like “due diligence” and failure to perform same have real world consequences. This clown will probably be reelected, if Joe Arpaio is any indication.

    30. #30 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      Frank: Yes, there should be real world consequences for LEO’s that abuse the public’s trust. But, when I say this, I generally speak of professional disbarrment or prison. You always seem to have some kind of grisly violence in mind. Tell me Frank, did you by any chance have fire-setting or animal-mutiliating issues when you were just a little fella hunting dem black helicopters and gubmint agents in your backyard. Just asking.

    31. #31 |  Frank | 

      “Tell me Frank, did you by any chance have fire-setting or animal-mutiliating issues when you were just a little fella hunting dem black helicopters and gubmint agents in your backyard. Just asking.”

      I smell a fed. Or a Sarah Brady cultist, which amounts to the same thing. Any time someone stands up for their liberties they drag out the tired old junk science quoted above. It’s about as honest as “when did you stop beating your wife”.

      Cops have no problem using violence against the general populace for all sorts of reasons, few of which actually involve any kind of threat. Most of the time it involves for all intents and purposes summary judgment for a Contempt Of Cop citation. The question quoted above should be asked of most law enforcement in this country, given that’s the kind of scum that seems to gravitate towards that career.

      When a long train of abuses are not rectified, and when it is made clear that no politicians care about reforming the system, no criminal charge will stick and no civil lawsuit will actually bring punishment upon the malefactors (thanks to government indemnity), guess what’s left? The second amendment ain’t about duck hunting — it’s about tyrant hunting. And if cops continue to act as tyrants or tools of tyrants, and as an army of occupation, don’t be surprised if the people play their part in turn.

      The second civil cold war has already started. Denver and Minneapolis, as well as the 30 months handed to David Olofson for a firearm malfunction are a giant wake-up call. The Maquis isn’t that far behind — and everyone who has ever read Unintended Consequences or Enemies Foreign And Domestic knows what happens next.

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