Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The police state: Defending you from peeing pooches and tired tykes

If Radley Balko updates Overkill (his white paper on botched paramilitary police raids), this one is sure to make the cut:
SCHENECTADY -- A police strike team raided a woman's Prospect Street apartment and handcuffed her children and killed her dog early Tuesday in a $60 pot bust.


Woodyear said she is appalled about the way her children were treated -- and said her 12-year-old daughter was hit with pepper spray.

The dog, a pit bull terrier named Precious, urinated on the floor in fear and tried to run from the police before it was killed, Woodyear said.

Police said the animal was aggressive and left them no choice but to shoot.

Elijah Bradley said he awoke to find armed men in his home. "They had the shotgun in my face," the 11-year-old said. "I punched at him. I didn't know who he was."
All for a $60 bag of pot. I think this spokesperson from the NAACP said it best:
"That seems like an awful lot of firepower for marijuana," said Fred Clark of the Schenectady chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "That's like spending $125,000 for $5."
I would say it's like swatting a fly with a cruise missile.

A half-asleep, urinating fly.

(Thanks to SSDP alum Adam Scavone for the heads up on this one.)


800 pound gorilla said...

Has anyone successfully sued police for damages on these commando style raids? I know some of the police who enjoy this type of activity. For them it's like going on a picnic. It gives them a power rush to terrify people. They would probably get great enjoyment hazing freshman in fraternity initiations too.

We need to start holding people accountable at the highest levels - not just the "bad apples". Commando style raids - like the abusive interrogation techniques - are slyly encouraged by those at the top. They give law enforcement a high profile glamor event and people just assume that those targetted are really dangerous people. After all, our good government doesn't harass innocent people; only pinkos and leftists believe that!

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Adam Scavone said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adam Scavone said...

Micah, thanks for getting this one up here. I just want to highlight one more thing:

The cops launched this pre-dawn raid for drug sales alleged on August 28th and September 1st - 18 days before they raided the house and started pepper spraying kids and putting guns in their faces and shooting the urinating, fleeing dog.

In a not-too-distantly-related story, Cory Maye was taken off of death row last week in a case that's bringing attention to violent police drug raids. For a link to Radley Balko's coverage and some background on the case, H&R's got everyone's back.

I would much prefer that nobody got arrested for drugs in the first place, but if they insist on keeping it up, it would be nice if they stopped with their rampages.

Adam Scavone said...

LTE published in today's Times Union..interestingly, a composite of two letters I wrote to them - sent one in the heat of the moment, right after I read the story, and another the next morning after I had some time to cool down. Took 'em eight days to print it, so my lesson learned: when writing a LTE and really fired up about it, save it, sleep on it, THEN send it.