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American law enforcement elite vandalize property and put people at risk for own amusement.

By Arthur Treacher in News
Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:11:39 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

A police raid Wednesday night in San Antonio, Texas left a charred wall in the home of Marcos and Salvador Huerta, and sent an innocent man to a hospital with minor injuries. The raid was on the wrong house.


It began about 8 p.m. Wednesday when a team of SWAT officers stormed through a glass door at a home on Fairshire Road without warning, said the three cousins who live there.  The cousins said officers shot out the door with soft bullets and threw in a concussion grenade that left a hole and a black scar on the wall.  The men, who work at a Mexican restaurant, said they were watching television when the officers stomped in, flinging punches, kicks and profanities. The cousins said they thought they were being robbed.

"Everything was done by procedure," Deputy Police Chief Rudy Gonzales said of the SWAT unit that won state honors the past two years. "It was just an honest mistake made by SWAT officers at the location."

Later, after the scuffle, officers went to the correct address two doors down, knocked on the door and arrested the suspect without incident.

Will Harrell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said mistakes like this one are not uncommon. He said they are generally the result of an increased militarization by police.

"For the past decade or more, we've seen a shift from the notion of community-oriented police models to a militarized model, where the police operate with a siege mentality," he said.

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American law enforcement elite vandalize property and put people at risk for own amusement. | 237 comments (220 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
SWAT teams = government thugs (4.09 / 21) (#3)
by Bacillus on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 06:38:04 AM EST

Why has American law enforcement become increasingly paramilitarized over the last 20 or so years? The more an officer thinks of himself as a soldier, the more he thinks of the citizen as the enemy. And that isn't good for America, mmkay.

Why (3.50 / 6) (#56)
by godix on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:15:15 PM EST

"Why has American law enforcement become increasingly paramilitarized over the last 20 or so years?"
  1. 's: Often violent clashes with blacks rights protesters.
  2. 's: Often violent clashes with anti-war protesters.
  3. 's - current: Often violent clashes with street gangs and drug dealers.
  4. 's - Rodney King riots, WACO, and potential violence around Elian Gonzolaz remind police that dangerous groups and mob action are a possibility.
  5. 's - Often violent clashes with anti-globalism protesters.
  6. - current - 9/11, anthrax, the snipper, and worldwide terrorism turns many people into paranoids, either paranoid of everyone else or paranoid of the police because of civil rights abuses.
American law has become increasingly paramilitarized because American society has required a paramilitarized police force somewhat frequently in the last 50 years.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
DAMNIT (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by godix on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:16:26 PM EST

Well, autoformating seems to have screwed that up. The list should have been in the style of '1960's -' rather than the fucked up style it got. *SIGH*


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
I, for one... (3.75 / 4) (#79)
by DeepOmega on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:54:11 AM EST

...live in constant fear of The Snipper.

Peace and much love...
[ Parent ]

When I was little (4.00 / 2) (#94)
by frozencrow on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:44:34 PM EST

my parents would tell me to be good, or else The Snipper would come and CUT MY HAIR.

[ Parent ]
Hair? (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by FieryTaco on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:41:28 PM EST

You lucky bastard. For some of us the snipper comes for a target a little lower.

[ Parent ]
So you're jewish? (N/T) (4.60 / 5) (#102)
by godix on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:11:37 PM EST




- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
or... (4.00 / 1) (#159)
by nstenz on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:58:57 AM EST

A large majority of the American male population.

[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#178)
by haflinger on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:16:43 PM EST

I am astonished at this fact. Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?

Bah. American men will do anything to defend their homes, it seems, but their genitalia are fair game. Insane.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

It appears to be tradition here. (5.00 / 1) (#213)
by nstenz on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 06:52:09 PM EST

Actually, rumor is foreskin can be sold for a lot of money for skin grafts and such because there are so many nerve endings on it that, when stretched out, it has about as many as normal skin.

The doctors just do it as 'procedure', so who's going to question the doctors? They know what's best for the baby, right?

They're not touching my children.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by broken77 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 03:46:26 PM EST

It seems to me this outline is missing something. I'm no historian, but I know there were many, many riots that happened prior to the 1960s. Also, when was the prohibition era? Surely that sparked all kinds of illegal activity similar to the current drug war. Class War riots were commonplace before WWI, to my knowledge. Actually, it seems to me that rioting has decreased quite a bit in the last 50 years, or am I missing something?

On to something else now... Let's assume that even if more crime were occurring now (even though by all counts, crime has been steadily decreasing over the past decade), would that entail a necessity for more militaristic police behavior? Could better gains be had by the police continuing to be more "community-oriented"? Take for example the Chief of Police of the city of Pasadena, CA (where I'm typing this comment from right now), Bernard Melekian. I was listening to a radio program talking about his particular leadership style. He has basically worked to make the Pasadena police more of a "kinder, gentler" police department. And apparently he has had a great deal of success through this. Drops in crime in Pasadena, for example, has far exceeded the national average. I can't give you the exact details, because it was a radio program, and I can't find any info on the web detailing this information. But hopefully it can provide a little food for thought. Violence is not the only solution for things. Haven't we learned that yet?

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

American history starts in 1960? (4.50 / 2) (#211)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 04:37:12 PM EST

While the '40s and '50s were relatively peaceful American history is full of civil conflict, in fact the protests of the past 50 years have been considerably more peaceful than the labor rights protests of the 1880s-1930s.

Prior to that you had suffragettes and abolitionists, Catholics vs. Protestants (Philadelphia bible riots), etc.

I would say the recent militarization of the civil police has other reasons than the protests since the 60s.

But I guess for folks who think America started sometime around 1959, it might make a convenient thing to blame it on.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 1) (#224)
by godix on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 11:37:16 PM EST

"I would say the recent militarization of the civil police has other reasons than the protests since the 60s."

True enough, but I didn't really think I'd have to mention that Washingtons solution to the Whiskey Rebellion isn't popular anymore. However for the pedantic that can't distinguish between recent history and history so far removed it's no longer relevent to the topic I'll spell it out: The USA no longer accepts sending in the military to control riots. We've still had riots in the last 50 years or so though. Therefore we have required a paramilitarized police force somewhat recently in the last 50 years or so. Happy now?


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

No, because SWAT is not desinged to control (4.00 / 1) (#227)
by michaelp on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 12:00:38 AM EST

demonstrations (or even riots).

So not only is your list truncated, but your point regarding civil unrest is irrelevant: polic special weapons assault teams are designed mainly to fight armed violent criminals, not control public demonstrations.

I'd say that criminal's easy access to advanced military weapons coupled with illogical drug laws that make certain easily produced and widely desired substances ridiculously profitable have more to do with it.

I'd also say that the current psyche seems to be one where quick (even if bloody) results are valued over long term solutions has something to do with it.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Easily understood (none / 0) (#229)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 10:35:55 AM EST

The flood of money and weapons to the drug smugglers has made the job of the police much more dangerous. The police have responded by becoming much more dangerous.

The loss of liberty and security faced by all people is just "collateral damage."

If anyone comes up with an answer to this paradox, I'm willing to listen.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

No profit --> no weapons (5.00 / 1) (#234)
by aspartame on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:05:56 AM EST

A legal, regulated market for most recreational drugs (such as we currently have for alcohol and tobacco) would immediately make the smuggling and black market dealing of those drugs unprofitable. No astronomical profits from the black market means no weapons needed to protect those profits from rivals.

If that were to occur, then hopefully we could demilitarize our police force.

--
180 times sweeter than sugar
[ Parent ]

Very true. (none / 0) (#235)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:22:31 PM EST

If we had never started the "war on drugs" we wouldn't have this problem. Unfortunately, as our experience with prohibition showed us, it's a good bet the drug rings would just move into other "enterprises" if we legalized drugs at this point.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Part of the true cost of the war on drugs (4.20 / 25) (#4)
by pyramid termite on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:15:54 AM EST

Laws that try to control people's private behavior, which have nothing to do with what they may be doing to one another are inevitably going to result in this kind of thing happening. If you live in a house that is mistaken for a drug dealer's house, your door can be kicked down and your family beat up by law enforcement because your house is indistinguishable from a drug dealer's. The inevitable result of our drug laws are a police state.

And the irony of the police shooting off the door, throwing in a concussion grenade, beating up the residents - at the wrong house, while at the right house, they later knock on the door and calmly arrest the suspect with incident just slays me.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
It "slays" me (2.85 / 21) (#6)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:38:13 AM EST

That someone could write such a dire prediction without reading the linked article:
He said the element of surprise dissipated after people heard the commotion and began filling the street.
"SWAT" teams save lives, and not just those of police officers. Drug dealers have no regard for life; their livelihood depends on ruining it, and they are rarely afraid to take it -- even the lives of bystanders, whether they believe that killing witnesses strengthens their cases or simply for vengeance against suspected "'narcs." And, yes, it even protects the suspects, because when taken by sudden surprise they are rarely able to attempt to take an officer's life and foolishly lose their own.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
It slays me ... (4.35 / 14) (#7)
by pyramid termite on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:14:12 AM EST

... that you accuse me of not reading the article when I've cited facts that could only be known from the article.

Fact - the innocent parties were invaded and treated violently.

Fact - the accused was arrested quietly.

Fact - a government that doesn't regulate the private, non-violent behavior of its citizens isn't so reliant on the "element of surprise" to control its citizens.

Fact - there is one certain way to eliminate drug dealers who behave in the way you describe. Legalize drugs.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Selling drugs (2.33 / 12) (#8)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:54:30 AM EST

is hardly private, and there is simply no way "legalize" it. Either you control them or you don't. How would you like to buy a soda laced with some odorless, tasteless drug at a concession stand? The first one is only a buck; the second is a little more expensive -- but what can you do? I mean "you" indefinitely, of course, because you are no longer capable of sound judgement; you're now physically addicted, but it's cheap and available. You don't care. It's up to everyone else to take care of you.

You might as well argue that the government abandon its "wars" requiring the inspection of meat, or prescriptions for medicinal drugs; it's all or nothing. Is the war on self-medication no longer worth it as well?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

A little paranoid aren't we... (4.22 / 9) (#9)
by truth versus death on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:13:04 AM EST

Selling food with extra, non-disclosed ingredients is fraud. It has nothing to do with the drug war and would not become a consequence of legalizing drugs (any more than it is today). Resorting to such dire predictions of horrible, horrible consequences is the hallmark of anti-drug people. You too can be John Walters. Come on, lie through your teeth some more. Remember, this is an all or nothing proposition.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
What's the punishment for "fraud" (2.81 / 11) (#12)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:39:35 AM EST

where you're from? I have a feeling that you'll find that the punishment fails to fit the crime.

"Worst-case" scenarios may be improbable, but when they sufficiently demonstrate the weakness of another's argument, they serve their purpose. In any case, you're attacking the periphery of my argument.

My main point was simple, but since you seem unwilling or unable draw the necessary conclusions, I'll state it as directly as possible: you cannot "legalize" a controlled substance; you can only ease restrictions. These restrictions can never be lax enough to be called "legalization," because the potency of drugs is directly related to their harmful effects. To limit the dangers of drug use, you must control the dosages. Taken together with the fact that drugs are addictive and drugs reduce or remove your ability to make rational decisions, there is simply no way that they will ever be "legal" and "safe."

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Error. (3.25 / 4) (#61)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 05:56:46 PM EST

 The mistake you're making in your reasoning is that if something is unsafe, it must be illegal.

 When the danger is to other people, innocent people, I agree.

 But I think the federal law that prohibits using Lysol in any manner other than consistent with its labelling is foolish. If people want to drink Lysol, let them drink Lysol and die. Survival of the fittest.

 As far as I am concerned, the same applies with heroin.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

What the fuck is this survival of the fittest shit (3.00 / 2) (#99)
by FieryTaco on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:40:07 PM EST

Not going to get into arguing whether drugs should be legal or illegal, but survival of the fittest is just fucking bullshit. A person may use a drug for lots of different reasons. Maybe they had a bad day and someone they trusted told them that it would help them feel better. Maybe they have personality quirks that make them more suseptible to peer pressure. Maybe they are going through a rough period in their lives. It happens, people find difficulties in all kinds of different situations and it's fucking stupid to say that they aren't "fit" to survive because they made the mistake of using a drug.

I have a very good friend who is spending the next three years in prison because she thought that the only way to supply her habit was to deal herself. If she would tell me who got her involved in heavy usage and dealing I would go to their house and kill them. Because she's a wonderful person who has had her life fucked up because she was going through some hard times at home. She wanted to get away and went to a club and there she met up with some people who gave a simple way to feel better.

If she hadn't had that option, then perhaps she wouldn't have become willing to do anything for her next hit. Maybe she wouldn't have been assaulted, abused, and raped. Maybe she wouldn't have tried selling in order to avoid the more unpleasant methods of making enough for her next few hits. Maybe she wouldn't be so afraid that even now she won't identify the people who did this to her.

Ultimately there isn't anybody who can't become an addict. It has nothing to do with fitness.

[ Parent ]

She chose. (3.66 / 3) (#122)
by Korimyr the Rat on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:25:37 PM EST

 I hate to be cold here, man. I've known good people who got themselves fucked up over these things, too. A guy who used to be a good friend of mine is in a nursing home, now, fried out of his head on all kinds of things. He doesn't recognize me, his other friends, or even most of his family any more.

 I was hooked bad on crank when I was fourteen years old. I guess I'm lucky that a lot of the shit that happened to your friend didn't happen to me. Maybe it's just because it was cheaper, or maybe because there were other things I could do-- I don't know. I got better, and I needed a lot of help to do that.

 What it boils down to, though, is that neither she nor I was forced to get into this shit. We weren't forced to take it, she wasn't forced to sell it. We chose. And her situation right now is a consequence of her choices.

 I think that those consequences are too harsh, and that the laws that make them that harsh should be repealed. But I'm not going to make any excuses for her, myself, or anyone that gets caught up in these things. She made the choices she made. Noone made them for her, and noone else should be blamed for what happened.

 So, yes, survival of the fittest. Hopefully, when she gets out of prison, she'll know better, and can try to fix her life back up. And, even more hopefully, she'll be able to stop someone else from getting in there and fucking up their life, too. Whatever else can be said about her, she survived so far-- and I'm sure you'd like to think that's more than luck.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Agreed. (3.00 / 2) (#134)
by FieryTaco on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:18:11 PM EST

I agree completely. What happened is because of the choices she made. My only point of disagreement is that (and you should know this) the deeper you get into addiction, the less capable you are of making a rational decision. Additionaly, it's clearly not her fault that she was raped. Nor that she was beaten up repeatedly. Yes she put herself into an enviroment where such shit happens, but it's still pretty fucking horrible to think about. And nobody can sensically deny that there are people out there who prey on addicts.

[ Parent ]
Rational decisions (none / 0) (#196)
by tekue on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 08:33:36 AM EST

My only point of disagreement is that (and you should know this) the deeper you get into addiction, the less capable you are of making a rational decision.
The assumption you are making is that if she thought rationally, she would come to the came conclusions as you do.

She makes different decisions than you think you would make being in her place, but that alone doesn't make her decisions irrational — just different. She makes a calculation of cost/profit for her every action — just as you do — and chooses accordingly to the result. As her situation differs from yours (i.e. she's addicted to a drug), her results vary from yours.

You might say that she could get better results if she acted like you say she should, but there's absolutely no guarrantee that that would be the case if she did. You just can't say.

Of course, being addicted to a drug is not a great thing — I myself am addicted to nicotine — but it's something you can live with if you simply have enough of the drug to go by. If drugs were legal, she wouldn't have to distribute them — although she could, it would be a job like any other.

(Sorry for the spelling, I'm having a bad English day.)
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

We have to be accountable for our own government (3.00 / 2) (#135)
by newellm on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:33:02 PM EST

I hate to be cold here, man. I've known good people who got themselves fucked up over these things, too. A guy who used to be a good friend of mine is in a nursing home, now, fried out of his head on all kinds of things. He doesn't recognize me, his other friends, or even most of his family any more.

A victim of the War On Drugs. It is very sad that this happens to people every day.

I was hooked bad on crank when I was fourteen years old. I guess I'm lucky that a lot of the shit that happened to your friend didn't happen to me. Maybe it's just because it was cheaper, or maybe because there were other things I could do-- I don't know. I got better, and I needed a lot of help to do that.

If drugs were legal and distributed in a controlled manner, the crank would not have been available to you.

What it boils down to, though, is that neither she nor I was forced to get into this shit. We weren't forced to take it, she wasn't forced to sell it. We chose. And her situation right now is a consequence of her choices.

With proper education and sane drug policies, I strongly believe that your addiction could have been prevented.

I think that those consequences are too harsh, and that the laws that make them that harsh should be repealed. But I'm not going to make any excuses for her, myself, or anyone that gets caught up in these things. She made the choices she made. Noone made them for her, and noone else should be blamed for what happened.

I agree that the laws should be repealed, but that doesn't reduce my shame for the system that we have allowed our government to construct. I will not feel good about the situation until many of our government policies are changed. I desperatly hope that it will happen sooner, rather than later.

So, yes, survival of the fittest. Hopefully, when she gets out of prison, she'll know better, and can try to fix her life back up. And, even more hopefully, she'll be able to stop someone else from getting in there and fucking up their life, too. Whatever else can be said about her, she survived so far-- and I'm sure you'd like to think that's more than luck.

I agree with your attitude that we should let people make their own decisions, and learn from them. I also think that we should have a system that encourages people to educate themselves and make rational decisions based on unbiased information.



[ Parent ]
Wishful thinking (none / 0) (#183)
by roystgnr on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 07:22:29 PM EST

If drugs were legal and distributed in a controlled manner, the crank would not have been available to you.

Just like alcohol and cigarettes aren't available to minors today?

[ Parent ]

No, just the opposite. (none / 0) (#189)
by newellm on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:04:00 PM EST

I just believe that if some less dangerous drugs were legalized, addiction to more damaging drugs could be reduced. From what I have read, this is what happened in Amsterdam when marijuana became legalized.

If drugs were distributed in a controlled way, it would reduce the number of sources that would supply dangerous drugs such as crank to a 14 year old.



[ Parent ]
Yes, just like driving can never be legal. (4.00 / 3) (#128)
by truth versus death on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:09:29 PM EST

Come on, lie some more. Remember, this is an all or nothing proposition.

Just put the strawman down. No one has to get hurt here. Put the strawman down.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
drugs are addictive (4.00 / 1) (#152)
by pantagruel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:42:00 AM EST

which ones? Considering the varying natures of drugs banned in the U.S(both synthetic and natural), and thus by extension most of the rest of the Western World, the only thing that seemingly connects them all together is that they've been labeled drugs.

[ Parent ]
Short list (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:04:10 AM EST

Alcohol, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
short list of the not (4.00 / 1) (#162)
by pantagruel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:27:04 PM EST

khat, coca( in its natural form does not seem to be addictive ), lsd, pretty much any tryptamine, claims of marijuana addiction seem to be at best inconclusive, but you're right that alchohol stuff ruined my folks. ;)

[ Parent ]
War involves people, not objects (4.76 / 17) (#10)
by pyramid termite on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:23:58 AM EST

Selling drugs is hardly private, and there is simply no way "legalize" it. Either you control them or you don't.

Of course it's private - one private party buys something from another private party with cash. One could, of course, require all transactions to be recorded by the government, if one doesn't like private transactions. That's not a pleasant prospect.

How would you like to buy a soda laced with some odorless, tasteless drug at a concession stand?

Are you implying that I wouldn't know the drug was there? One hardly needs laws against drugs to have laws against dosing people unknowingly, any more than we've needed laws against rat poison to have laws against putting rat poison in someone's drink.

The first one is only a buck; the second is a little more expensive -- but what can you do? I mean "you" indefinitely, of course, because you are no longer capable of sound judgement; you're now physically addicted, but it's cheap and available. You don't care. It's up to everyone else to take care of you.

So, what is this magical drug that causes addiction with just one dose? It takes awhile for addiction to set in with any drug. Furthermore, you seem to be implying that anyone who takes drugs is an addict and that they are not able to do anything for themselves.

There are tens of millions of people who are addicted to a known, deadly drug who work for a living and do not want or need everyone to take care of them. The drug is tobacco.

You might as well argue that the government abandon its "wars" requiring the inspection of meat,

Are there millions of people in this country who want the freedom to consume feces and maggot infested meat? Is this meat being sold successfully on the black market by individuals standing on street corners mumbling, "Nickel bags of tainted baloney"? I don't think so.

or prescriptions for medicinal drugs;

There are many cases where it could be argued that the laws on prescriptions are too strict - especially in past cases where drugs have been changed from prescription based to over the counter.

it's all or nothing.

By that logic, we need to ban tobacco and alcohol, don't we? No successful society has ever been built on the idea that all things could be decided on an "all or nothing" basis.

Is the war on self-medication no longer worth it as well?

It's interesting that you use that phrase, as often, people with undiagnosed mental problems, such as depression or borderline personality disorder, use drugs or alcohol to attempt to treat the symptoms of their disease. It's certainly not a good thing to do this, but many people become addicts because they did this unknowingly. So, in that sense, the war on drugs IS a war on self-medication, and instead of receiving the proper medications and counseling for the problems people have, they're receiving jail time and society's rejection.

The war on drugs is not a war on inaminate objects, it's a war on people - and sometimes, it's a war on mentally ill people.

Is this really right?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
periphery (1.92 / 13) (#16)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:08:32 AM EST

Of course it's private - one private party buys something from another private party with cash. One could, of course, require all transactions to be recorded by the government, if one doesn't like private transactions. That's not a pleasant prospect.
Yes it is. The government has every right, and, indeed, an obligation to police "private" transactions. Remember "taxation?" Remember the Food and Drug Act?
So, what is this magical drug that causes addiction with just one dose? It takes awhile for addiction to set in with any drug. Furthermore, you seem to be implying that anyone who takes drugs is an addict and that they are not able to do anything for themselves.
There are numerous drugs with which a mental addiction can be established in a single dose; a physical addiction, less; but most are established by persons who prefer to take one "hit" after another rather than "come down."
There are tens of millions of people who are addicted to a known, deadly drug who work for a living and do not want or need everyone to take care of them. The drug is tobacco.
Most of the harmful effects of smoking are unrelated to the active drug. Although I agree that it's a problem, it's apples and oranges.
Are there millions of people in this country who want the freedom to consume feces and maggot infested meat?
There are millions who want affordable meat. No one asks for maggots, but no one asks for addiction either.
There are many cases where it could be argued that the laws on prescriptions are too strict - especially in past cases where drugs have been changed from prescription based to over the counter.
And many cases to the contrary.
By that logic, we need to ban tobacco and alcohol, don't we?.
Ban tobacco and alcohol? Ideally. Perhaps eventually.

But that's not what my "all or nothing" is concerned with. See this comment, if you prefer to play dumb.

So, in that sense, the war on drugs IS a war on self-medication, and instead of receiving the proper medications and counseling for the problems people have, they're receiving jail time and society's rejection.
We hold mentally ill people accountable for many things that they do. Sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong; but this time it's just another red herring, like all the previous points I've addressed. You've said nothing substantive.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Playing dumb (4.36 / 11) (#28)
by pyramid termite on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 11:32:34 AM EST

But that's not what my "all or nothing" is concerned with. See this comment, if you prefer to play dumb.

So you're arguing that we couldn't legalize drugs? Why, of course we could. We could elect representatives who would vote for a measure that would do just that. Now, if you want to argue that it wouldn't be wise or politically possible you can, but don't tell me that it's impossible. Don't tell me that it's inconceivable that a government could decide that such matters were best left to the individual judgement of its citizens.

We hold mentally ill people accountable for many things that they do. Sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong; but this time it's just another red herring,

People's lives aren't red herrings. It's obvious to me that in your idealized assessment of this issue that you haven't considered that there are real human beings who are involved in this issue. You see, I've had people in my life who were mentally ill and were addicted to drugs. Once one lives with these problems, it stops being so theoretical, doesn't it? One has to look at how society and the government are dealing with the problem and realize that the policies you advocate have not done one thing to actually help the people concerned. The drugs still get sold and taken. The mental illnesses still stay untreated. People's lives are still ruined. And using SWAT team tactics against those involved and locking them up in prison is not going to cure or help the people I have known. It hasn't and it won't. All it does it make things worse.

But I suppose that if you had ever actually had someone you loved fall into this awful situation, you would know that, wouldn't you? Instead of getting my knowledge from the politicians and the newspapers, I've gotten it from real life, and yes, from the streets.

Just what do you think you know about this that I don't? Just what do you think you know about this that makes it a nice and easy problem to solve? Just what do you think a person can do to make another person mentally healthy or recover from drug addiction? What's that? Put a gun to their head? Lock them up? Control them?

Welcome to the wonderful world of co-dependency. Welcome to the wonderful world of trying to control another person to save them from themselves. Argue with them, bargain with them, monitor how much they drink, smoke or snort, cry, demand, force and parent them to do the things you think they should do and then watch as none of it works and you continue to tighten down the screws as they unravel them. Watch yourself as you make yourself every bit as sick as they are.

It can happen to a government or a society as easily as it can happen to an individual or a family. It IS happening. Don't tell me it isn't. I know how this works. I've been there and done it.

Have you?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Real human beings (2.14 / 14) (#30)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:02:59 PM EST

You've described users, not dealers. "SWAT" tactics are rarely used on end users. But dealers are another matter; selling drugs is hurting other people.

But you speak of the mentally ill as if they have no free will and can't tell right from wrong -- like they are not people. If that's the case, I wouldn't want them to suffer in prison; but I sure as hell don't want them on the streets.

You can't deny that the system is sympathetic, but it simply can't be completely perfect. My anecdotes are irrelevant, and, I'm sorry to say, yours are as well.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Continuing to show your ignorance (4.00 / 11) (#33)
by pyramid termite on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:18:04 PM EST

You've described users, not dealers.

Often they're one and the same.

You can't deny that the system is sympathetic,

I most certainly can and do.

My anecdotes are irrelevant, and, I'm sorry to say, yours are as well.

You need to learn the difference between anecdote and experience - of course, not having any of the latter, I'm not sure how you'll do that. Your reason for dismissing my experience is plain - you don't actually want to struggle with this issue, you just want to hire some guys with guns to SWAT it away for you and not be bothered by the details. Such as entering the wrong house - unless of course, it's yours.

But we both know that could NEVER happen to an obviously fine upstanding citizen like yourself, right? And you could NEVER know anyone who was mentally ill or drug addicted because you don't associate with those kinds of people, right? It'll never be your problem, so just call in the thugs to break some heads and solve it, right?

Someday, you may know better, and it probably won't be pleasant when you find out.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
You know, (1.27 / 11) (#34)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:31:25 PM EST

I'd love to work myself up to your level of self-righteous fury, but this is as far as I'll indulge.
Such as entering the wrong house - unless of course, it's yours.
This would be unlikely, because you're more correct than you realize; I'd be standing outside pointing them in the right direction. But if it did, I'd take my licks with the satisfaction that a thousand or so criminals were put away for the cost of a few bruises. My experience reminds me that it could cost so much more.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Say what? (4.12 / 8) (#54)
by bjlhct on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:31:16 PM EST

You couldn't be standing outside pointing them in the right direction. What, you think they're going to call you to let you know in advance? You'd be inside, doing whatever it is you do. And believe you me, even if there was a thing you could do to instantly clear everything up and send them to the right house, you wouldn't remember it when a flash-bang went off next to you and there are a bunch of guns pointed at you.

Those bruises those people got, well they paid for those bruises. With the same tax dollars that also helped fund Saddam and bin Ladin. So that this SWAT team could arrest some people who may not have really done any harm. To take them to prison, probably, where they might just get a death sentence. Then, they can go back out into the world, rehabilitated, though, right? Except from associating with prison gangs (which they'd have to do just to survive) and being in that culture so long, and growing to hate the government....well, are they more or less likely to commit more crimes now?

It could cost more, that true. But it doesn't need to cost nearly this much.

Now, I don't mind fools. But I can't stand pompous fools. I'm just figuring that there's a chance you really can't read between the lines at all and have bought government and vested interest propaganda so thoroughly that you need to have everything hammered out in blindingly clear terms.
*

kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

Perhaps a little too subtle (2.00 / 5) (#55)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:55:57 PM EST

You couldn't be standing outside pointing them in the right direction. What, you think they're going to call you to let you know in advance?
I was simply stating that I am not apathetic toward drug dealing. If the people in a neighborhood aren't complacent toward drug dealers, there won't be any drug dealing there. Many drug dealers are caught because neighbors report suspicious activity: numerous suspicious people coming in for a minute and immediately leaving, all through the day. If you don't sit by while your neighbor commits a crime, you're not likely to have your home confused for a criminal's.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
strange world (4.00 / 4) (#78)
by sholden on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:53:23 AM EST

You couldn't be standing outside pointing them in the right direction. What, you think they're going to call you to let you know in advance?
I was simply stating that I am not apathetic toward drug dealing. If the people in a neighborhood aren't complacent toward drug dealers, there won't be any drug dealing there. Many drug dealers are caught because neighbors report suspicious activity: numerous suspicious people coming in for a minute and immediately leaving, all through the day. If you don't sit by while your neighbor commits a crime, you're not likely to have your home confused for a criminal's.

So you report someone, and the police bust down your door because someone made a typo on the street number.

Your wife and kid get shot because the kid got scared and made a sudden movement when some big men with guns kicked down the door and started beating on his dad. And then the wife in fear and despair tried to protect her now dead child. But that's OK, because five minutes later they went next door and knocked and politely arrested someone who was selling drugs.

You'd probably go on TV and praise the wonderful police officers who arrested the bad man with only some minor collateral damage.

Maybe your area has no drug dealers because everyone who ever had the music too loud after 9pm was carted away to jail. They could make a typo on the street name instead of the number...

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
Pretty much sums up your world view doesn't it? (3.00 / 2) (#98)
by patrat on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:09:22 PM EST

So it was their own damn fault for living in a neighbourhood where there are drug users? Serves them right I guess...
So where exactly do you live that you can be so sure there are no dealers in your neighbourhood?

I never could think of a good sig
[ Parent ]
Complacent? (none / 0) (#179)
by haflinger on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:23:01 PM EST

Drug dealers kill people. The serious, big boys. It's not complacent to be afraid for your life if you call the cops.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
retaliation (4.00 / 1) (#186)
by gibichung on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 07:54:11 PM EST

Against witnesses happens, but it is extremely rare. Much more common (not that this is any signifigant number) are heat-of-the-moment attacks against suspected "snitches" or "narcs" during or immediately before an arrest.

There is such a thing as an anonymous tip, you know. The courts have consistently upheld that such tips can be constitute probable cause for a warrant "in totality of circimstances," when considered in addition to some complimentary police investigation.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Sadly. (none / 0) (#187)
by haflinger on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:02:02 PM EST

There is also such a thing as a crooked cop who hands dealers the names and addresses of anonymous tipsters.

It's hard to know who to trust when you live in those areas.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

The interesting thing about being anonymous (none / 0) (#188)
by gibichung on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:08:30 PM EST

is that people generally don't know who you are -- not even police officers. "Snitches"/"moles"/etc. are an entirely different case.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Huh. (none / 0) (#198)
by haflinger on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 10:26:23 AM EST

Sure, if you're truly anonymous. But really. How many people want to go to a pay phone and use a voice-masking device? And how many cops would act on a tip from somebody who did?

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
I apologize (none / 0) (#201)
by gibichung on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 11:37:02 AM EST

for the tone, but I've been quick to snap at people here as of late. Most anonymous tips come in the form of a letter, and are generally judged by how many specific and verifiable details they contain.

For instance, "Gates sells dope." would be nearly useless, although further police investigation could make something of it.

"Suspicious persons regularly and frequently visit Gates's home at late hours and only stay for a few minutes. I believe that he's selling drugs." is similar to this actual case. Police investigation can verify some of the details; others can thus be considered more likely to be truthful.

And of course, the classic Ill. v. Gates:

Chicago police received an anonymous letter which stated that the defendants were involved in drug trade business. The letter clearly stated how the defendants went to Florida from Chicago to get drugs and how they came back to Chicago. The letter also gave the police the next date when the defendants were going to Florida to get drugs. The police detective who took over this case followed the actions of the defendants and everything written in the letter proved to be accurate. The detective made an affidavit based on the letter and his investigation and the judge issued the warrant. When the defendants reached their home back in Chicago, the officers searched their car and their house and found large amount of drugs and weapons.
And its "totality of circumstances" ruling:
The court ruled that a strict two prong test can not be used in a situation similar to the one in the current case. The court stated: "Informants' tips, like all other clues and evidence coming to a policeman on the scene may vary greatly in their value and reliability. Rigid legal rules are ill-suited to an area of such diversity." The court further stated that probable cause is a nontechnical concept which does not require the legal thinking of a legal scholars. The court ruled that even though the letter by itself did not establish probable cause, the investigation of the police detectives which confirmed every information given in the letter to be true, established probable cause, on the basis of which the warrant was issued.


-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
You're still missing the point. (none / 0) (#207)
by haflinger on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 01:14:28 PM EST

The point is, the wannabe tipster has to trust the police. And the police aren't always trustworthy. I mean, look at the record of the New Orleans Police Department, just to cite one of the most outrageous examples.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
ugh (3.50 / 2) (#88)
by Josh A on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 10:42:20 AM EST

recorded by the government, if one doesn't like private transactions. That's not a pleasant prospect.

Yes it is.

Maybe it's pleasant to YOU. Part of me is always surprised to meet people who like such ideas, but it's becoming so common that I'm more surprised to find someone who's not living from a place of fear, begging some authority or another for salvation.

There are millions who want affordable meat. No one asks for maggots, but no one asks for addiction either.

You say that all of pyramid termite's points are red herrings but what then is this? I think pt made an excellent point about what the existence of a black market says, and you completely sidestep it with this irrelevant comment?

Ban tobacco and alcohol? Ideally. Perhaps eventually.

Again, maybe that's YOUR ideal. Personally I find the idea noxious, not ideal. Why are you so concerned with what other people do with their lives?

---
Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


[ Parent ]
Ban skydiving and bike riding? (none / 0) (#212)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 06:24:15 PM EST


<i>Ban tobacco and alcohol? Ideally. Perhaps eventually.</i>

Everything dangerous? What about driving, number 1 killer?

How about the Govt. just ban getting out of bed and be done with it?

Or we could have rational drug laws where folks are told the risks and take responsibility for stuff they put into their own body...

By the way, where in the US Constitution exactly does it give the Govt. the right to make growing and smoking common weeds a crime?

I've read the dang thing hundreds of times, never seen anything in there about putting people in jail for growing plants...

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]

Here's one: (4.00 / 3) (#91)
by David McCabe on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:29:35 PM EST

"So, what is this magical drug that causes addiction with just one dose? It takes awhile for addiction to set in with any drug. Furthermore, you seem to be implying that anyone who takes drugs is an addict and that they are not able to do anything for themselves."

Tortia chips :-).

[ Parent ]

Caffeine? (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by Tsuraan on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:55:09 PM EST

You are talking about caffeine, right? Well, I could quit whenever I want to. I just like the taste... Anyhow, I can't tell if you have a point, but while we're illegalizing your drug of the week, we'd better thrown out caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too.

[ Parent ]
Don't forget sugar! (none / 0) (#197)
by tekue on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 08:58:35 AM EST

There are people who get addicted to sweets and I think that those bad, dangerous sugar dealers should be stopped at any cost. Morover, we should develop a kind of sugar that would not be sweet, but just provide you with the most needed elements, or we should abandon sugars completely.

An interesting fact: mental addiction simply means, that you like something very, very much. That's it.
--
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]

WTF are you babbling about? (4.00 / 1) (#168)
by Kintanon on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:08:34 PM EST

What the hell? Do you think the FDA is going to allow just any ol' drug to be tossed into any ol' food item in any concentration you please? FUCK NO! Drugs in foog products would be regulated the same way caffeine and alcohol are regulated. Now, stop being such a stupid shit and go troll elsewhere.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Yes, of course they do. (4.45 / 11) (#49)
by MalcolmCleaton on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:24:13 PM EST

Drug dealers have no regard for life; their livelihood depends on ruining it, and they are rarely afraid to take it -- even the lives of bystanders, whether they believe that killing witnesses strengthens their cases or simply for vengeance against suspected "'narcs."

Of course they do. By definition, a "drug dealer" is a cynical, evil and murderous person, ready to sell or shoot dead their own grandmother given half a chance, if they've got spare time after their gun-wielding turf war outside your kid's primary school. Everyone knows that. What are you, stupid? Never seen Miami Vice?

Of course, in order to establish that somebody should be raided as a drug dealer, one only has to demonstrate it's possible they might be selling drugs. What are you, stupid? Anyone who deals drugs is a "drug dealer"--it's right there in the name, can't you read?

And thus, by giving two definitions to the same phrase, the association is made and our work is done. Anybody who sells drugs is a vicious murderer! Let's not worry too much about reality.

Thanks,
Malcolm



[ Parent ]
Idiot (1.42 / 7) (#51)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:29:16 PM EST

To get a warrant, the police must be able to prove probable cause to a judge.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
The black market is worse than the drugs (4.78 / 14) (#50)
by FlipFlop on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:25:57 PM EST

Drug dealers have no regard for life; their livelihood depends on ruining it...whether they believe that killing witnesses strengthens their cases or simply for vengeance against suspected "'narcs."

Drugs may be bad, but the problems most often cited to continue the war on drugs (violence, people stealing to pay for their fix, gangs recruiting kids to help them sell drugs, drugs with dangerous additives) are caused, not by drugs, but by the war-on-drugs itself.

Drug dealers kill suspects and "'narcs" because the maximum sentence for possessing a large amount of drugs is life in prison without the possibility of parole. The sentence for possessing a moderate amount of drugs is upwards of ten to twenty years.

Drug dealers settle their disputes at the point of a gun because it is impossible to settle their disputes in court.

Drugs cost a fortune because of the expense of smuggling, losses due to law enforcement, the risk of getting caught, and because dealers won't deal unless they can make a large profit.

Gang leaders recruit kids so they don't have to personally take the risk of selling. Of course our civilization locks the kids up for twenty years anyway.

If drugs were decriminalized and regulated, they would be made in clean, government regulated laboratories. They would be affordable so people can pay for them without committing other crimes. Disputes could be dealt with through the legal system. Drugs would be packaged in a container with warning labels, and a URL to get more information. Gangs and other criminal organizations would lose their revenue stream, as well as their motive to recruit new members.

Don't get me wrong. Drugs are bad. But the black market surrounding those drugs are worse than the drugs themselves.

...and I didn't even mention the civil liberties that have been destroyed as an excuse to fight the war on drugs.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

drug dealers... (3.80 / 5) (#66)
by El Hober on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:52:28 PM EST

...at least the small time ones I have encountered, don't seem any different than regular people. I have a good friend who deals sometimes, and he's a good guy just trying to make some money.

[ Parent ]
Drug Dealer ... Good Guy ... (3.25 / 4) (#82)
by mgarland on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:30:51 AM EST

Do you mind elaborating on what drugs your friend deals? Does he deal "harder" ones like heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine? Does he care about what they do to addicts (or, more importantly, family/friends of addicts)? If he does, but still deals, how good a guy is he?

[ Parent ]
What difference does it make? (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by Silver222 on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:43:38 PM EST

I know a ton of people who do drugs without slipping over the abyss into addiction.  Almost everyone I know has done some type of illegal drug at some point in thier life.  I know no addicts...Unless you count the poeple who seem to want whatever new drug they see advertised on TV.  Selling drugs to kids I would have a problem with, but selling drugs to an adult of sound mind I have no issue with.

Why should he care?  If the addict has no regard for his actions and the effects on his family, why get a third party involved?

Do you think the grocery store manager or the guy running the corner store cares about the effects that Albertson's brand vodka has on the family of the addict?

[ Parent ]

Re: What difference does it make? (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by mgarland on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:09:11 PM EST

Why should he care? If the addict has no regard for his actions and the effects on his family, why get a third party involved?

Well, I guess it depends on your view of 'morality' as it relates to the sale of drugs that can have such an impact on people. Personally, I think that the potential destruction (or call it what you will) of a person caused by what the dealer provides means that the dealer/"third party" is partly responsible. And if that person doesn't care, that's morally repugnant to me.

Depending on the morality you believe, ymmv.

-matt

[ Parent ]

not possable (2.50 / 2) (#118)
by pyro9 on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 05:58:00 PM EST

It is not possible to know if the person is or might become an addict or just have a good time. Sort of like with alcohol. Just like the drug store can't be sure you're not going to ignore the lables on OTC products, drive on antihistamines or even try to commit suicide with those sleeping pills.

Casinos in Vegas aren't expected to watch out for gambling addicts (though at least when they were owned by the mob rather than corperate they'd buy you a meal and a plane ticket home if you wiped yourself out). They can't really know if you're spending a heap of disposable income or your life savings.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
re: small time (2.66 / 3) (#107)
by cicero on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:50:06 PM EST

Small time dealers aren't the type of people that these tactics are used against. when you're dealing in weights, like more than that 8-ball you can get from your local coke dealer (ie. you're the guy that sells the coke to the guy that sells you the 8-ball), you'd better believe that you've got a gun and that you'll be prepared to use it. People in that situation have an awful lot to lose, so on the flip side, they have an awful lot to gain by shooting back.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
the real problem (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by Gargan on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:12:23 PM EST

the problem isn't even whether these tactics are used. the problem is that they will treat that good guy that only sells to make a little money on the side the same way they would treat his dealer, no matter what the drug is.

[ Parent ]
Mhhh america is rather violant (4.00 / 2) (#148)
by toadi on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:05:03 AM EST

Know bigger and smalltime dealers. No-one has a gun. Theys just want to do bussines. No dealer i know wants to get a prosecuted for killing someone. They just do their best not to get caught and live regular lives.


[ Parent ]
Small-time dealers. (none / 0) (#180)
by haflinger on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:28:32 PM EST

Often these tactics are used against them. Yes, the tactics are designed with the big boys in mind, but search warrants are fairly routinely gotten for small-timers too, and the SWATs are used against them "just in case."

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Laws are tough to enforce, so let's get rid of law (3.66 / 3) (#130)
by Demiurge on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:21:35 PM EST

Do you have any idea how much money is spent every year on murder investigations? I don't know, but it's a lot. All that time and effort could be saved by just legitimizing murder. Besides, everyone knows killing someone isn't as bad for you as smoking a cigarette.

[ Parent ]
A proposal (5.00 / 1) (#173)
by pyramid termite on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:05:21 PM EST

Do you have any idea how much money is spent every year on murder investigations? I don't know, but it's a lot. All that time and effort could be saved by just legitimizing murder.

The results of this policy seem unclear to me. I suggest we experiment by first making murder legal in your neighborhood and see how it works.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Cost/Benefit ratio (none / 0) (#230)
by Dyolf Knip on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 11:30:24 AM EST

It's not a matter of "Let's not enforce laws that are difficult to enforce", it's the fact that we have yet to hear a legitimate reason why the anti-some-drugs laws are there in the first place, much less one that justifies the copious amounts of time, money, freedom, and blood already thrown away on this crusade. Deterring murders and other violent crimes is a Good Thing since it's pretty clear that people are being hurt against their will. Grinding the Bill of Rights to dust under a boot heel in the name of protecting us from plants is stupid beyond all reason.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

wow (4.16 / 6) (#5)
by fhotg on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:34:07 AM EST

$country's law enforcement elite vandalize property and put people at risk for own amusement.
film at 11.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

no film, sorry (4.75 / 4) (#13)
by Arthur Treacher on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 09:47:24 AM EST

How about some links instead?

http://www.madison.com/captimes/news/local/4154.php

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/4243257.htm

http://www.activedayton.com/ddn/local/daily/0929shooting.html

"Henry Ford is more or less history" - Bunk
[ Parent ]

More disturbing (5.00 / 7) (#14)
by thejeff on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:01:18 AM EST

Ok, I can see that the police could get the wrong house and it might even be appropriate, in some cases to break the door down, but the following quotes from the article are, if true, entirely unjustifiable.

the officers stomped in, flinging punches, kicks and profanities

Both said they fell to the floor without resistance and covered their heads as officers hit them at least 20 times.

Procedure involves physically attacking unresisting suspects, rather than covering them with firearms and shooting if they resist? Why? It even seems more dangerous for the police.

It doesn't (2.50 / 8) (#19)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:13:56 AM EST

Procedure involves physically attacking unresisting suspects, rather than covering them with firearms and shooting if they resist? Why? It even seems more dangerous for the police.
It doesn't, but physically restraining someone in the most efficient (that is, safest) way possible may seem like it. The idea is that the suspect doesn't get a chance to try anything; he can't take an officer or third party's life and he can't throw his own away.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
how would you justify this? (4.20 / 5) (#22)
by Arthur Treacher on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:37:15 AM EST

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2314441.stm

or this?:

http://weeklywire.com/ww/07-19-99/tw_feat.html



"Henry Ford is more or less history" - Bunk
[ Parent ]
Justify? (2.14 / 7) (#25)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:50:11 AM EST

What do I have to justify? A search warrant is not issued without probable cause, and the details of those cases are not mentioned. If probable cause exists, the police are not required to compensate someone for damages, even if nothing is found. If a warrant was improperly issued, the officers themselves are not responsible if they carried it out in good faith.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Aye. (4.33 / 9) (#38)
by valeko on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:05:54 PM EST

If probable cause exists, the police are not required to compensate someone for damages, even if nothing is found. If a warrant was improperly issued, the officers themselves are not responsible if they carried it out in good faith.

To say the least, that's pretty fucked up.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Which aspect? (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:17:48 PM EST

The first is perfectly reasonable; in the second, the state could probably be held liable in a civil court, although I'm not sure of the precedent. Incidentally, I do know that the "Good Faith Exception" to the exclusionary rule would allow any evidence seized during such a raid to be allowed.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Warrant specifies the address. (5.00 / 1) (#177)
by haflinger on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:06:41 PM EST

The officers in this case went to the wrong address. That makes this a warrantless search. They could be criminally liable for assault.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Amusement? (4.23 / 13) (#15)
by jabber on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:07:51 AM EST

How was any of this for amusement? I didn't even get that from your write-up. Fact is, the cops screwed up. It happens a lot. Shame, pity, shock and horror, but a -1 as well.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

The title (4.00 / 4) (#17)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:09:33 AM EST

addresses a similarly-named article that was voted out of the queue a few hours ago.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
I was about to post a similar new thread (2.50 / 2) (#83)
by Silent Chris on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:44:01 AM EST

Yes, it was stupid, perhaps ethically wrong (more just stupid).  But amusement?  I didn't see that anywhere, at any time, in the article.

[ Parent ]
I was about to post a similar new thread (1.00 / 1) (#84)
by Silent Chris on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:44:26 AM EST

Yes, it was stupid, perhaps ethically wrong (more just stupid).  But amusement?  I didn't see that anywhere, at any time, in the article.

[ Parent ]
Meets the definition of Libel (2.50 / 2) (#151)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:39:50 AM EST

As defined here.If the officers involved decide to sue, Rusty (or k5 and the cmf) is toast.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
My thoughts. (2.54 / 24) (#26)
by kwsNI on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:52:27 AM EST

"For the past decade or more, we've seen a shift from the notion of community-oriented police models to a militarized model, where the police operate with a siege mentality," he said.
If military-style raids save police officers lives and get criminals off the street, I'm all for it.

I also believe it's an honest mistake that they made - what would the have to gain by going into the wrong house? If they pay the damages and apologize, I don't see what the issue is

kwsNI
What if the hokey pokey really IS what it's all about???? --SpyderFaerie

It's poor practice (4.78 / 14) (#27)
by RyoCokey on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 11:26:58 AM EST

I'm very much against no-knock warrants. If they are worried about a gun fight or flight risks, they should cordone off the area with multiple officers, then attempt to serve the warrant.

When officers just rush in, there's a good chance either the officers will be shot by the owner thinking they are robbers or (much more likely) the homeowner will have his gun out, and get shot by the officers.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
Right. (3.87 / 8) (#31)
by kwsNI on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:05:05 PM EST

Have you seen a raid? Seriously, do you have any clue about police or military tactics? "Shot by the homeowner?" I'd like to see a homeowner actually get a gun out in the 15 30 seconds it'd take to clear a 2000 sq. ft. building after firing flashbang grenades into it. Hell, the tactics are effective against heavily armed terrorists when they are expecting a full assault, how do you think they won't be effective against an unprepared, untrained homeowner?

kwsNI
What if the hokey pokey really IS what it's all about???? --SpyderFaerie
[ Parent ]
Irrelevant. (4.85 / 14) (#45)
by kitten on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:52:33 PM EST

I'd like to see a homeowner actually get a gun out in the 15 30 seconds it'd take to clear a 2000 sq. ft. building after firing flashbang grenades into it.

Right. Except they usually don't fire flashbang grenades. For example, in this story, they just knocked the door down. This is the usual method of raiding a private residence - kick the door in or knock it down with something.

And what's the homeowner going to think? He'll think he's being robbed.

The police may be faster, and the homeowner probably won't have a chance to do anything, but he's sure as fuck going to try, at which point the cops scream "He's got a gun!" and blow him away.

So no, the cops aren't likely to be shot or killed by the homeowner. Instead, the homeowner - before trial, before even being offcially arrested, is likely to be shot, trying to defend his home against what he sees as a sudden and violent attack.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Hmmm. (3.33 / 6) (#67)
by jmzero on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 11:47:04 PM EST

He'll think he's being robbed.

Robbers kick the door down?  I know if I got my door knocked down I wouldn't be thinking robber.  I would be almost 100% sure it was police.

Personally, I don't see the point of these raids unless they have reason to believe the suspect would pose a direct threat if confronted normally (ie. he would bring his gun to answer the door).
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Either way (4.16 / 6) (#68)
by evilpenguin on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:22:14 AM EST

If I'm just sitting here, typing away at this comment, and I suddenly hear my front door cave in, my reaction is that I'm being threatened by someone. It could be a robber with nothing to lose, it could be some psycho who followed me home after a car accident, it could be any crazy person with a vendetta. I don't know, and at that point, I wouldn't care. My first reaction is grab my gun and be ready for anything.

Now, if they were to yell "POLICE!!" or some such as they kicked down the door... I don't know what I'd do; but I certainly wouldn't grab my gun (maybe I would? What's to say the aforementioned crazy person wouldn't try this to catch me off guard?) If they do not identify themselves, I am not responsible for shooting one in self defense.

That makes me wonder... are there any notabele cases where a someone has shot (and killed) a cop in self-defense, and then walked? I would think not, as a pig's life seems to be held sacred in comparison to an "ordinary" citizen's.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]
Actually (5.00 / 4) (#72)
by Ndog on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:47:57 AM EST

There are cases where people have shot police officers and walked, though I don't know about actually killing officers. The only specific one I can think of offhand is rapper Tupac Shakur's shooting of two off-duty police officers in Atlanta. Charges in that case were apparently dropped because witnesses said one of the cops shot at Tupac first and Tupac shot back to defend himself. Regardless, there was no dispute whether Tupac actually shot them. I believe the officer who opened fire first resigned from the force soon after.



[ Parent ]
Walk? (4.00 / 3) (#75)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:35:53 AM EST

If you can posthumously. Let's see you walk when you shoot a cop and the other cops swiss cheese you :(.

I bet my scenario is far more likely so it won't be surprising if you haven't seen many cases of courts freeing people who shoot and kill cops.

[ Parent ]

check old bad parts of a city.. (4.50 / 2) (#80)
by rkh on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:09:43 AM EST

you may find something known as a "sleeping policeman." This is a large, vertical deadbolt that (in theory) keeps your door from being kicked in. Of course, I've also heard of robbers showing up with a chainsaw or crowbar to drop the door which is why I believe many doors in bad areas are either steel or contain a steel core.

[ Parent ]
Stupid cops aside ... (4.66 / 3) (#115)
by LegionDaMany on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:51:12 PM EST

... as I have read your post about your experience with lame cops, stupid kids and a DA out to make a name for themselves. Though I had to both laugh and groan at the "You'll never take me alive!" comment.

Procedure is in place to control the situation. There are typically a number of things that you don't usually see on TV shows or in movies.

  1. Police serving a no-knock warrant are still required to identify themselves. This is typically done by wearing blue or black bullet-proof vests with a bright yellow "POLICE" on the front and back and shouting "Police!" bunches of times as they enter and move through the house.
  2. Even in dangerous situations such as a drug-dealer of unknown competency, thought to be armed, the officers are supposed to be bringing in the suspect alive and protecting any innocent bystanders. This is achieved by not shooting first and warning people to throw down their weapons.

I am not so foolish as to think that there are cops that do not follow procedures, but this is what there is in place, in many municipalities, to protect both innocents and the people that the police are attempting to apprehend.

And how many robbers kick in both the front and back doors, armed with semi-automatic weapons and armored with bullet-proof vests saying "POLICE"? How many robbers shout "Police! Police! Drop your weapons!" as they move into your house?

As to the armed homeowner shooting first and asking questions later ... it is a crime (at least here in California) to fire a weapon at someone who is not posing a direct threat to one's life or property. (Defending someone else's life or property is a very gray area that I won't get into.) If someone breaks into your house and picks up your TV ... they hear you cock your gun, they drop the TV and you shoot them ... you will be arrested too and possibly charged with (in California) battery or voluntary manslaughter (§242 and §192(a), respectively).

All people under the law are expected to give someone the chance to surrender or even to flee before resorting to deadly force. This includes police officers and private citizens.

So yes, if the homeowner shoots before being able to identify their target, without thinking, without taking due precautions ... they are going to get shot.

Perhaps we should be taking a look at the "militarization" of both sides of this? People so insistent about defending their homes and property that they'll shoot whomever comes in unannounced ... as well as cops with itchy trigger fingers.



Call me Legion for I am Many ...
[ Parent ]
That sounds like a problem, then. (4.80 / 5) (#129)
by kitten on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:17:28 PM EST

And how many robbers kick in both the front and back doors, armed with semi-automatic weapons and armored with bullet-proof vests saying "POLICE"?

Picture this. You're sitting at your computer, minding your own. Suddenly and without warning, your door is knocked down with a loud crash, and a couple men waving guns around come flying in.

You have a gun within easy reach. What do you do?
Options:

1. Examine their guns to see if they are police-issue, and check their clothes for "POLICE" written on them (which not all departments and precincts have, btw). You hear an awful lot of shouting, noise, the screaming of your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/kids/whatever, but you attempt to listen to the actual words, to see if they're saying "Police!" or not.

2. Take your gun and attempt to neutralize the violent force which has just invaded your home, is threatening your life, the lives of your loved ones, and your property. You'll shoot first if you can - you're scared and the situation isnt' allowing the time to coolly think about what you should do.

Be honest.

The point to my long-winded example is, under a sudden, unexpected and violent attack, nobody is going to think, they're going to react. Robbers probably don't kick down my door, but for chrissake, their method of entry isn't what's on my mind at the moment. What's on my mind is the fact that armed men are in my house.

, if the homeowner shoots before being able to identify their target, without thinking, without taking due precautions ... they are going to get shot.

Exactly. But I'd argue that in the sort of situation we're discussing, that's the polices' fault, not the citizen's fault. If they've got the exits covered, there's no reason I can see why they can't at least attempt to knock and state their business before acting like they're storming Normandy beach.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
To be completely honest ... (4.33 / 3) (#160)
by LegionDaMany on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:15:53 PM EST

I would choose something much more akin to option #1. If my home is being invaded by several shouting people, how effective am I going to be running in with guns blazing? Whether they're robbers or not, I'll get shot and won't be any help to my wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/kids/whatever. If I stay calm and keep my head about me ... I'll be in a much better position to do something useful. Oh, and not get shot.

Though I realize the average person is simply going to react, that does not mean that everyone is going to.

If they've got the exits covered, there's no reason I can see why they can't at least attempt to knock and state their business before acting like they're storming Normandy beach.

Perhaps because they have reason to suspect the person knocking on the door will have his chest blown in by a shotgun through the door? Perhaps because there might be innocents inside that could easily be converted to hostages? There are a number of reasons that no-knock warrants get issued, good reasons even.

But I'd argue that in the sort of situation we're discussing, that's the polices' fault, not the citizen's fault.

It's not the police's fault that this hypothetical citizen made a choice to become a mindless, reaction-only killing machine. Let me give you an example ...

A home catches on fire down the street. A young girl is running from home to home, yelling for help. She picks a door and starts knocking on it, wanting to call the Fire Department. The knocking and yelling awakens Mr. Hypothetical Citizen, who doesn't think, just reacts. In desperation, she tries the door and it isn't locked ... she runs in to call the Fire Department and gets a load of buckshot in the chest, because Mr. Hypothetical Citizen didn't think, he just reacted.

Whose fault is it then? The little girl's? Did little Suzie deserve to die?

My point, albeit melodramatically stated, is that we are all responsible for our own choices. If Mr. Hypothetical Citizen chooses to be the type of person who simply reacts ... and do so in a situation where deadly weapons are involved, then they are going to get the short end of the stick most times ... and I would argue, deservedly so.



Call me Legion for I am Many ...
[ Parent ]
Now wait a second.. (5.00 / 2) (#171)
by kitten on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:55:57 PM EST

Though I realize the average person is simply going to react, that does not mean that everyone is going to.

No, but "average" is what should be standard operating procedure.

Perhaps because they have reason to suspect the person knocking on the door will have his chest blown in by a shotgun through the door? Perhaps because there might be innocents inside that could easily be converted to hostages? There are a number of reasons that no-knock warrants get issued, good reasons even.

Indeed there are, but this was not one of them, nor are any of the other dozens upon dozens of "storm the castle"-style raids upon citizen's homes. The police should be held very accountable for their actions, and be required to demonstrate to the relevant officials, exactly what made them believe that a simple knock on the door wouldn't have worked.

Vague "suspicions" aren't cutting it anymore. A cop can always claim he was 'suspicious' and it's like a free-for-all for him. He wants to search your car for no reason with no warrant? No problem, he'll just tell the judge he was "suspicious" of the vehicle and driver. So on and so forth.

I demand concrete facts. Why, exactly, would a standard served warrant not have sufficed in this case or any other hypothetical case?

she runs in to call the Fire Department and gets a load of buckshot in the chest, because Mr. Hypothetical Citizen didn't think, he just reacted. Whose fault is it then? The little girl's?

Did Little Suzie kick the door down, giving Hypothetical Citizen cause to believe a violent act was in progress? Did she come in screaming bloody murder (the war cry of a full-grown man is different than panicked screaming of a little girl)? Did she come in waving a gun around, pointing it at Hypotheical Citizen and Hypothetical Family? Did she burst into the door with a small army of stormtroopers behind her, similarly waving fiendish-looking weaponry around?

I submit to you that the situation is not analogous. The Hypothetical Citizen is going to react based on the situation, and he perceives it to be a violent attack - such as heavily armed, scary-looking men forcibly entering your home with an arsenel of firepower, then he'll react accordingly. Period.

Storming the compound is a situation which creates danger, to both officer and citizen, and should only be used as a last resort or when it is clear - from demonstrable, concrete evidence - that other, less violent, more conventional methods would have worked.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
I submit to you ... (none / 0) (#208)
by LegionDaMany on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 01:36:35 PM EST

... that you are splitting hairs. Is the Hypothetical Citizen going to simply react or is he going to think? Is he going to listen to little Suzie's pleas for help and stop to think what they mean? Or is he going to simply react to someone who he did not give authorization to enter ... in the dark, in the middle of the night?

You can't have it both ways. If Mr. Hypothetical Citizen is cognizant enough of the situation to tell the difference between little Suzie and a single potentially dangerous intruder, then I submit to you that he is cognizant enough to determine the difference between police and several dangerous intruders.

Storming the compound is a situation which creates danger, to both officer and citizen, and should only be used as a last resort or when it is clear - from demonstrable, concrete evidence - that other, less violent, more conventional methods would have worked.

Agreed. But you may have noticed by now that I never argued the merits of the case mentioned in the post. I simply argued that there are procedures in place to protect people during these raids, even the people who are intended to be apprehended and that people who simply react without thinking are at much higher risk of getting shot ... and that it's their own fault.



Call me Legion for I am Many ...
[ Parent ]
Non-Firearms (4.25 / 4) (#70)
by Kintanon on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:53:50 AM EST

I enjoy guns, and I'm a pretty good marksman, but I don't own any guns. My house is, however, filled with weapons. A Katana (Not battle ready, but certainly enough to kill someone with) a Wakizashi (battle ready, razor sharp) a bo staff, various knives, and othe random bits of weaponry. I'm trained to use all of them and I can use the staff while blindfolded against multiple opponents. If some random people smashed into my house I'm certainly going to TRY to take some of them out. Most likely with my wakizashi since I know it will go through a tough leather jacket, or damn near anything else. My wakizashi is almost always within arms reach (Because it's pretty, I keep it at my desk most of the time) so I'm going to have it.

My parents own probably half a dozen or more firearms. There is one in almost every room of the house ranging from a .22 pistol up to a Winchester .280 rifle, including an israeli Uzi. If someone kicked in their door the attackers would almost certainly be victim of a hail of bullets immediately.

So there are plenty of ways that a homeowner could kill one or more cops if they smashed in unannounced. And if they want in my house without the risk of death I want to see badges, a warrant, and a POLITE muther fucker at my door. Otherwise they can fuck off.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

samurai or what (2.25 / 4) (#81)
by fhotg on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:19:41 AM EST

So there are plenty of ways that a homeowner could kill one or more cops if they smashed in unannounced. And if they want in my house without the risk of death I want to see badges, a warrant, and a POLITE muther fucker at my door. Otherwise they can fuck off.
so you prefer being killed after taking out some cops to being humilated and maybe injured but alive ?

I recommend other tactics to deal with your local law-enforcement.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Say what? (4.00 / 3) (#85)
by Hektor on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 09:44:52 AM EST

Just how the fuck are you supposed to identify them as police, when they don't identify themselves? You hear someone bust in your door, and you catch a glipse of a weapon. I don't know about you, but I'm sure as hell not going to think "oh, it's just the police here to ask me some questions" - nope, I'm going to think "holy shit, these motherfuckers are out to kill me!"

And if I had the weaponry for it, I would sure as hell attempt to take at least one of them out before they take me out.

Though I'd love to just trap my house completely.

Door smashed in and people running in? Floor just behind door caves in opening up into a pit filled with nice spikes.

Windows smashed in and people entering? Same thing.

Would sure as hell make it interesting to see them get out of that one. Passive defences are nice.

Maybe even set up a minefield in the kitches. That should keep the fat ass brother-in-law from raiding the fridge as well.

[ Parent ]

Remind me never to visit your house (n/t) (4.00 / 3) (#93)
by Three Pi Mesons on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:35:16 PM EST

n/t

:: "Every problem in the world can be fixed with either flowers, or duct tape, or both." - illuzion
[ Parent ]
Preferences. (none / 0) (#181)
by haflinger on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:41:39 PM EST

I prefer to take out some of the people who may be trying to kill me.

Look at it this way. You live in a bad neighbourhood. Possibly, some of the people on your block have been killed by burglars. You hear an explosion, and your door is knocked down. Do you (a) hide and hope they don't kill you or (b) fight for your life?

I would only pick option a if I had an excellent hiding spot.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

WACO Texas (4.00 / 2) (#109)
by mmealman on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:29:48 PM EST

WACO was just such an incident. An ATF assault resulting in dead officers and civilians.

They could've gotten the local sheriff, drove up and knocked on the door to serve the warrant without guns drawn, but instead it went straight into a conflict situation.

Ruby Ridge is another example.

[ Parent ]
Crappy doors... (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by ttsalo on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:55:05 AM EST

You need to get better doors over there. Over here (.fi) the police would need at least 15-30 seconds just to break through an average apartment door. All the doors open outwards so battering rams are useless. Many have add-ons to prevent them from opening even if hinges and locks are destroyed. Making a hole in the door itself will take at least 15-30 seconds depending on how sturdy the door is (equipment needed would be something like this.)

Explosives would be faster, though...

[ Parent ]

Poorly considered (3.20 / 5) (#32)
by gibichung on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 12:09:34 PM EST

No-knock warrants generally have to be specifically requested (I guess it depends on jurisdiction), and they protect the suspect and anyone who might with him as much as they do the officers. If this doesn't seem self-explanatory, I elaborated more fully in this comment.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
how about this (4.44 / 9) (#37)
by speek on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:01:03 PM EST

If military-style raids save police officers lives and get criminals off the street, I'm all for it.

What if it results in more police officer deaths, but gets criminals off the street; results in more innocent deaths, and creates a never ending stream of would be criminals for the next round? Would that all still add up to a positive?

Of course, I'm talking more about the war-on-drugs than just military-style raids, but they seem tightly related.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Uh huh. (4.83 / 12) (#47)
by kitten on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:59:48 PM EST

If they pay the damages and apologize, I don't see what the issue is

Don't bother telling me you'd be just fine and dandy if it happened to you. You would most certainly have a problem if a SWAT team broke into your house, lobbed explosives in, damaged your property, endangered your life or the lives of the people you live with - apology and compensation or no.

If military-style raids save police officers lives and get criminals off the street, I'm all for it.

Sometimes, maybe. An awful lot of these seiges are against nonviolent drug offenders, though, who are not a menace to anyone but themselves. There's absolutely no reason to go in with metaphorical (or literal) guns blazing, trashing the place, unless you have cause to believe that if you don't enter immediately, the evidence will be gone. And if that's the case, you can knock and announce your intentions before knocking the door down and blowing things up.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
You're biased, of course. (4.00 / 2) (#89)
by it certainly is on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:25:17 AM EST

Because you know how idiotic and unjust the cops can be.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

haha. True true. (4.00 / 3) (#111)
by kitten on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:36:14 PM EST

But seriously. The point stands. All the high-and-mighty, above-the-fray rumblings that certain people do around here about how this is "no big deal" is absolutely absurd. They'd be singing quite a different tune if it happened to them.

A raid on the wrong house is one thing - but regardless, I'm wondering when it became standard procedure to blow the door down before even trying to knock, and to start lobbing explosives into the room before any threat presents itself.

Just another example of the incompetence and stupidity of cops, as if I needed another one.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
You're obviously white (3.11 / 9) (#62)
by paraphenyl on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 07:49:55 PM EST

If you were the one to have been assaulted, have his home broken into, etc, you would be singing a very different tune; in fact, I can almost guarantee that "Lawsuit!" would be the first thing on your lips. This has to do with a fundamental lack of respect for the dignity and humanity of the victims (who happen to be spanish-speaking and poor).


(Global capitalism causes poverty)
[ Parent ]
what bugs me... (4.00 / 5) (#65)
by El Hober on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:49:35 PM EST

...is that they then arrested the REAL suspect without any violence. Do they only resort to nonviolence when they accidentally use up their flashbangs on innocents?

[ Parent ]
Now how'd that go? (3.20 / 5) (#64)
by scruffyMark on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 10:03:23 PM EST

Something about giving up essential liberties to achieve temporary safety, and how it never really works...

[ Parent ]
Obviously No Bootprints on Your Door (4.70 / 20) (#69)
by Peahippo on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:37:09 AM EST

What a well-defined philosophy you have, rigorously compiled inside a white suburban home. You'd better dispense with innocent-until-proven-guilty too, since that particular principle lets the occasional guilty person loose and leads to another criminal on the streets, endangering police officers. I can't help but postulate you are middle-class and white. There's then a good chance you've never had to be jacked up by cops in your neighborhood or confronted in your own home. Dignity is part of the equation of citizens and cops ... obviously you can't see that.

A relative of mine went through a police raid. They came at night (their favorite time of day to assault citizens), and poured into his home once he opened the door (which they threatened to knock down otherwise). This group -- the pride and joy of Allentown, PA -- then proceeded to knock him to the floor of his living room; they obtained his children from their rooms and pointed guns at them many times; and then brought out his wife. They stripped her naked in the room in front of her open front door. But, hey, that was all a mistake. Some elderly neighbor's complaint about a smell (it turned out to be the catbox) led a prosecutor with a history of (shall we say) "over-exuberance" decide that a raid on a "potential crack house" was what would be told to the authorizing judge. Viola! Then my relative was eating carpet while his wife was put on exhibition for the neighborhood.

One previous reply to your post has it dead on right: the police are developing a military, us-vs-them attitude towards the populace and that is leading to outright attacks. Police increasingly approach stopped vehicles, citizens and domiciles with drawn guns. This over-regard for their own safety is only leading to provocative situations and outright firing on citizens, and it broadens the scale of firing triggers. Police fire when they see a gun; then a knife; then when a hand moves into a pocket; then when somebody "moved alarmingly"; then when somebody "moved after being ordered to freeze". Then, all it will take to get shot is to be in shadow inside your car that some cop will think is hiding a weapon.

If you still can't see what the issue is ... well, let's ask Ahmed Diallo what it is. Oh, crap, we can't, since he was effectively executed for it. Diallo knew in a few seconds all about officer safety, since he ate 19 bullets of 41 fired and died on the spot. But, hey, so what, he's just another dead nigger, right? The police weren't even bruised, and that's the important thing.


[ Parent ]
The issue (3.66 / 3) (#108)
by mmealman on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:23:02 PM EST

The issue is that the raids themselves create a dangerous situation and should only be used in severe situations.

[ Parent ]
okay how about (4.00 / 1) (#150)
by pantagruel on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:28:15 AM EST

if military-style raids save police officers lives and breaks somebody's bones?

If they pay damages and apologize? This sounds like a good idea, now there will most likely be a lawsuit to determine what exactly those damages should be.



[ Parent ]
Limiting violence (4.05 / 17) (#40)
by godix on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:21:27 PM EST

A quote from the article:
"An uncle, Jose Luis Alvarez, 40, said his nephews planned to contact an attorney"

Now I'll be one of the first to argue about wasteful lawsuits and companies using lawsuits to stifle legal actions, but I do have a bit of pride that I live in a country that resorts to legal measures before violence. In another country this incident could easily have either left the three cousins dead from police brutality or would have had mob violence in response to the action. No matter what else you think about the legal system, at least it doesn't leave 100 people dead from rioting over a beauty pagent or a decades long internal racial/religious fight over occupied territory.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.

good thing you're not a libertarian (1.87 / 8) (#43)
by speek on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:29:01 PM EST

Else, you'd be unable to make this distinction between violence and collecting money via lawsuit.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Actually I am a libertarian (4.14 / 7) (#46)
by godix on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 01:55:26 PM EST

but I'm also a realist. Realty beats ideals in almost any contest between the two.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
I know (2.33 / 6) (#48)
by speek on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 02:00:40 PM EST

I was being ironic because many libertarians are big on the "taxes is violence" thing. I'm glad to see you're a realist rather than idealist.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

i'll bite (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by strlen on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 01:45:12 AM EST

taxes aren't necesserily violence, they're force. in case of a law suit, the force, however is directed by due process, and is dispended by a court, rather than is arbitrarily exerted by the government upon an individual who has done no wrong.

however, in reality, taxes are much less violent than other forms of exertion of force (such farm seisures in zimbabwe), yet that point isn't necesserily applicable. before we ask the question 'what sort of force should be exerted', we should ask the question 'should force be exerted at all?'.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

I am also fond of Realty (4.00 / 3) (#71)
by RyoCokey on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 01:08:05 AM EST

Renting out property is a great way to profit on it while covering upkeep at the same time.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
I'm an American high school graduate (2.33 / 3) (#103)
by godix on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:15:28 PM EST

so of course I can't spell worth a shit......


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
More Vandalism News (2.37 / 8) (#52)
by mideast on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 03:24:11 PM EST

Rich Canadian teens vandalize school, cause gas leak.

Call PETA at 757-622-PETA (7382) and tell them how much you like to eat meat!
Dear mideast (2.50 / 2) (#60)
by Meatbomb on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:51:28 PM EST

Is BinaryTree your duplicate account?  Both of you seem to have a real fetish for this silly little tidbit of news...

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
No. (3.00 / 2) (#127)
by Namagomi on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:03:11 PM EST

This is my only duplicate account.

----
There is no #nekomimi cabal.
[ Parent ]
The problem (4.50 / 10) (#59)
by Betcour on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 04:28:59 PM EST

The problem is that every city, no matter how small/peaceful, wants to have its SWATS team. Bigger cities have too much of those as well.

What happens when there's way too many SWATS ? They get sent on jobs that obviously don't require their "talents". They blow up doors and windows for someone who is smoking pot in his home or who made an illegal copy of Windows (or uncapped his cable modem as of late...).

How many cops does it take to shove a black guy (3.62 / 24) (#63)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Nov 23, 2002 at 08:15:47 PM EST

down a flight of stairs?

None, he fell! And you didn't see nothing.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

it's the opposite (4.44 / 9) (#74)
by demi on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:29:41 AM EST

where the police operate with a siege mentality

It's the reverse, actually; the police have adopted a lightning assault mentality. No knock on the window, no warning beyond an unintelligible shout an instant before the door is disintegrated, no negotiation, no nothing - it's really fucking scary. And it's the commonplace adoption of these tactics by local authorities, helped along by funding from the execrable 1994 Crime Bill, that elicits the snide "film at 11" retorts. Oh, it's no problem that municipal LEO's have become what amounts to a standing army. Oh, it's no big deal if the FBI-HRT and Army Rangers are training them. And forget Orwell, the Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves.

Every time some nutcase or crack head wants an armed standoff with the cops (which actually would be a siege), that's another department that wants vests, helmets, NVG, and HK mp5's.

Use correct terminology (2.40 / 5) (#86)
by ElPresidente1972 on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 10:04:31 AM EST

It's the reverse, actually; the police have adopted a lightning assault mentality.

The term isn't "lightning assault", it's Blitzkrieg. Sure, it's scary to use that word, but the techniques involved were developed by the Nazi regime and were later adopted by others because they are effective. If we - as a society - are using something evil because it's effective, let's have the intellectual honestly to call it what it is.



[ Parent ]
Yes, let's use correct terminology (4.60 / 5) (#87)
by nicodaemos on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 10:29:49 AM EST

As Merriam-Webster defines it:

war conducted with great speed and force; specifically : a violent surprise offensive by massed air forces and mechanized ground forces in close coordination

It's etymology is: German, from Blitz lightning + Krieg war.

Now these assaults do not meet this definition. The original poster had it correct in my opinion that they should be called lightning assaults.

The fact that you wish to drag in all kinds of connotations of Nazism and oppressive regimes into this discussion doesn't change the fact that blitzkrieg is not the proper term in this case.



[ Parent ]
Besides (4.50 / 2) (#104)
by ksandstr on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:26:31 PM EST

I'd think it would be quite hard, even in the promised land of warfare, for the police to mount a proper blitzkrieg. You know, complete with the bombers, tanks and infantry. :-)


Fin.
[ Parent ]
It might fit (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by pyro9 on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 05:43:23 PM EST

The police are known to use helicopters and assault vehicles these days in support of SWAT.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
"Used by Nazis" != "evil" (4.00 / 3) (#110)
by smithmc on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:35:35 PM EST

Just because something was used or developed by the Nazis doesn't make it evil. The Nazis also developed the rockets that ultimately led to man on the Moon, and the first practical jet-powered aircraft. Are those evil, too?

[ Parent ]
The designs were largely copied from Goddard [nt] (4.00 / 1) (#119)
by Kalani on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:19:07 PM EST



-----
"Images containing sufficiently large skin-colored groups of possible limbs are reported as potentially containing naked people."
-- [ Parent ]
Also seen in feudalistic Japan (none / 0) (#222)
by dread ed on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 06:11:53 PM EST

Go Rin No Sho, the Book of Five Rings written by Miamoto Mushashi, a samaruai, describes the attitude of a policeman/law enforcement official entering a home with speed and authority to apprehend the offender.

It's a great idea whoever thought it up. Dosen't make it evil just because someone evil uses it.
When the only tool you posess is a claw hammer, everything begins to look like the back of someone's skull.
[ Parent ]

No. Blitzkreig was a particular tactic (4.00 / 1) (#228)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Nov 28, 2002 at 10:26:51 AM EST

Involving high speed armored assaults. Unless the cops are using panzers and rolling thru Belgium, I don't think the term applies.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Regardless of terms... (3.00 / 1) (#232)
by rtechie on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:03:34 AM EST

The point is that it's inappropriate for THE POLICE to use "lightning war" tactics. The reason for the body armor, helmets, masks, assault weapons, assault vehicles, etc. is to protect the police from possible threats like armed opponents or (more likely) friendly fire.

But this is not the job of the police, the job of the police is to "protect and serve" THE PEOPLE, not to cover their own ass. There is an inherent risk in being a police officer, and it is NOT acceptable to increase the risks to civilans to potentially protect officers or increase the arrest rate.

Weigh these two things against each other: In the assault reported the police could have easily killed or injured everyone inside the wrong apartment, especially if there were young children involved (who didn't know to like down on the ground and beg for their lives). OR They could knock on the door, identify themselves, and the suspect MIGHT hop out the back and get away.

This is why police shouldn't do high-speed chases EVER. The risk to civilians is too high.

[ Parent ]

Am I missing something somewhere? (3.50 / 4) (#76)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:46:11 AM EST

I don't get it.

Drug pushers who'd shoot policemen would also shoot anybody who kick down their doors.

Drug pushers who may not normally shoot policemen may shoot people who kick down their doors.

Also I doubt drug pushers would just shoot everyone who quietly knocks on their doors. Bad for business or personal relationships right?

Heck just get a druggie to knock on the door - some would do anything for drugs. Sure that could be illegal (esp if you fulfill your end of the deal), but hey it seems more likely to work. And if they start keep their doors shut to customers, isn't that what you want anyway?

Sure the cops could be frustrated, but if this door kicking is standard procedure I'm not surprised they'd be frustrated.

The reasons are fairly obvious (3.75 / 4) (#77)
by Tau on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:06:03 AM EST

If you knock on the door and they see there's a cop there, they'll typically flush their entire stash down the toilet. Any drug dealer worth his salt can do this in a matter of seconds. Whereas if you bust the doors down and storm from all directions you scare the crap out of the dealer and he won't have time to destroy any evidence. As for shooting police officers, a dealer might have a pistol of some sort, certainly nothing more powerful than an ak-47 (and I'm finding it really hard to imagine some bloke in his house whipping out an automatic weapon). Neither will do much damage to a SWAT man decked out in body armour, especially if smoke and gas grenades are thrown in before anyone even sticks their head round the door.

Whether or not the police force is getting more militarised in the US I don't know, as I don't live there. Certainly in the UK there seems to be a big emphasis on having the police work with the community, and I feel I can really respect the police force here (seems to something of a rarity these days). Militaristic or not, if you've got a bloke dealing hard drugs, such methods are nothing if not effective (though I don't know the context of this particular case so I can't really comment).



---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]
Curious (3.50 / 2) (#90)
by vile on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:04:36 PM EST

Your cops don't carry weapons, do they?

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
UK police (5.00 / 5) (#92)
by Three Pi Mesons on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:32:34 PM EST

Historically, "normal" police on this side of the pond are unarmed. There are specialist units who have training in firearms, but the average constable will carry only a large truncheon and maybe a spray canister. Perhaps surprisingly, this system works rather well almost all of the time. I've heard it said that in some of the nastier areas of London and Manchester there are armed police walking the streets, but I've never seen any outside of airports or Whitehall.

I asked a police officer about this a few years ago; he said that the feeling was that firearms would hardly ever help, and would mostly hinder. Once a policeman draws his gun, the situation becomes confrontational and dangerous when it need not be. It also makes it more likely that someone will be shot accidentally, and increases the incentive for criminals to go armed. Contrary to Daily Mail opinion, hardly any criminals have guns either - though this number is growing, especially in the aforementioned nasty areas. I don't think we'll see habitually-armed police here for a long time to come, if at all; the culture against it is just so strong.

:: "Every problem in the world can be fixed with either flowers, or duct tape, or both." - illuzion
[ Parent ]

I'll agree (4.00 / 2) (#147)
by toadi on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:28:35 AM EST

someone stealing/dealing. Just want to get away with what he is doing. He won't use a gun for it.
Dealer just want to make money. If he gets busted and he waived a gun the felony could increase!!! heb probably don't want this to happen.

Only people using guns are car/home-jackers. But they use the same strategy as that swat time. Before you got time to react they have you under control. So the reason for wearing a gun as citizen is plain wrong.


[ Parent ]
Cool (2.00 / 1) (#154)
by vile on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:03:07 AM EST

Imagine every cop wearing a gun like they do over here in the U.S. It's interesting to consider the statistics of our two nations.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Armed Police (3.50 / 2) (#161)
by protogeek on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:25:00 PM EST

It's worth noting that even in the U.S., where most (all?) cops are armed, very few police officers ever even draw their weapons, let alone fire them. Obviously it varies by region and whatnot, but I've seen statistics along the lines of 90-95% of officers go their entire career without using their gun outside of the firing range.



[ Parent ]
Incorrect (5.00 / 2) (#126)
by Namagomi on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:58:16 PM EST

A 7.62 round fired by a AK-47 would go quite neatly through all but the thickest, heaviest, and most constrictive of body armor. Normally, SWAT teams would not be geared up to block anything more powerful than a small-caliber handgun in the chest region, and would probabily not have any body armor covering the arms and legs.

----
There is no #nekomimi cabal.
[ Parent ]
Why the hell... (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by nnw on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:47:06 PM EST

don't you go in while everybody (or nearly everybody) is out? SWAT teams are only needed when some group or individual barricades itself in a building. Or the target is a bar.

community policing (3.00 / 4) (#96)
by turmeric on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 12:53:40 PM EST

is actually going the other way or so ive heard. in LA for example, dismantling of the paramilitary junta of gates. PS not all cops are bad

Good cop/bad cop (4.33 / 3) (#112)
by Otto Surly on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 03:39:21 PM EST

I know two cops personally, and they're both Good People off the job. On the other hand, my experiences with cops (supposedly) on the job are as follows:

  • Completely failing to track down a random neighborhood kid who stole a Walkman out of my friend's hands.
  • Completely failing to track down a guy who pulled a knife on me and that same friend for throwing snowballs at each other.
  • ...and many, many incidents of hassling me or my friends for being in the "wrong" neighborhood at the "wrong" time, or looking at them funny, or whatever.

It's not like I expect cops to magically swoop down and catch the bad guys, but if they're not going to bother doing that, the least they could do is stay the fuck off my back.

I don't really have a conclusion, beyond the fact that policing communities can suck too.



--
I can't wait to see The Two Towers. Man, that Legolas chick is hot.
[ Parent ]
mmmm (3.00 / 1) (#157)
by turmeric on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:17:32 AM EST

its true, but what can they do? they say
they are powerless against their bosses.
we say we are powerless. wtf is everyone powerless?


[ Parent ]
How did this pass? (4.40 / 10) (#105)
by ZeeJay on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:29:30 PM EST

It's one thing to note a story- It's quite another to add your own commentary and accuse cops of breaking down doors and assaulting innocent people for their own "amusement." It was an honest mistake. With national coverage of their mistake do you honestly think any of them would have wanted what happened to happen? My friend had a party thursday night and I accidently took out his brick mailbox. I didn't do it for amusement, however, I thought it was on the other side of the driveway and couldn't see it in my rear-view. It happens though. I'm sure the cops didn't break down the door and damage the house so they could entertain themselves.

Please, (4.42 / 7) (#106)
by gibichung on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 02:37:59 PM EST

Can't you see that we're trying to fight The Man here?

Take your "voice of reason" elsewhere.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

why dont you try listening to some voice of reason (4.33 / 3) (#142)
by ZeeJay on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:06:07 AM EST

Dont get mad at these guys for at most botching the address. It's not their call on who they're going to raid- they just do it. Why not focus on the real problem which is departmental policies and the such- something I can almost gaurentee you NONE of them have any control over.

[ Parent ]
Indeed (4.66 / 3) (#117)
by 90X Double Side on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 05:44:09 PM EST

I want to know if this happened because the judge wrote the wrong address on the warrent or if the police went to the wrong house. I remember we had a case in denver a few years back where a no-knock warrent was issued with the wrong address, and the police broke into the wrong person's house. Of course, the only thing they damaged was the door, and the city bought them a new one.

OTOH, if the warrent was correct and they didn't double-check the address, the police have some serious explaining to do. But if they were executing a warrent with a bad address that said the guy had an automatic weapon, you can't blame the officers. This article seems to not be interested in the facts of the case.

“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity”
—Alvy Ray Smith
[ Parent ]

necessary evil (2.33 / 6) (#114)
by wildmage on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 04:33:10 PM EST

I think most people can't help but be offended and shocked by the tactics used by police in their apprehension of suspects. In fact, you'd feel down right violated if it happened to you.

The fact of the matter is: these tactics save lives. If a police officer knocks on the door and politely asks the suspect to surrender themself, the suspect has time to think and decide if he wants to fight back or not. By rushing him, yelling at him, you simultaneously startle and scare the shit out of him at the same time while the police are busy putting the cuffs on.

The most powerful weapon a police officer has is his voice. And they often use it because it's a much better alternative to a gun. Although it's reprehensible, I can't help but see the logic in it.

-------------
Jacob Everist
Memoirs of a Mad Scientist
Near-Earth Asteroid Mining

Read article? (4.80 / 5) (#120)
by paine in the ass on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 06:56:22 PM EST

Apparently when they eventually went to the correct house, they did just knock and ask the suspect to surrender himself. Seems incongruous, doesn't it?


I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]
Saving lives no justification (4.00 / 1) (#206)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:54:57 PM EST

"The fact of the matter is: these tactics save lives."

One can justify great extremes of a police state if saving lives is the criteria.

Allowing LE to routinely violate the right of Americans to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" in order to save lives preserves the bathwater by throwing out the baby.

While SWAT tactics are certainly necessary in some cases, when they result the rights of innocent people being trampled, anyone who thinks the Constitution is more than a scrap of old parchement should demand the officers responsible be severely punished.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
You're mostly right (3.00 / 1) (#220)
by LobsterGun on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 01:18:39 PM EST

The officers did have the right to enter and arrest. They had a search warrent, issued by the court.

But, that didn't give them the right to beat the shit out of the residents. That is where they err'd. (That flash-bang grenade was a little over the top too.)

The thing that really concerns me about the whole event, though, is the reaction of the Deputy Police Chief, "Everything was done by procedure". Personally, I see that rationalization as in the same league as "I was only following orders". In that it doesn't absolve anyone of any wrongdoing, It is clear that the Deputy Chief thinks that as long a officers followed department procedure (no matter how corrupt) they are absolved of all wrong doing.

[ Parent ]

MY House (4.75 / 8) (#121)
by SwampGas on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:01:39 PM EST

Had they done that to my house, I would be dead right now because I would have drawn on them and fired.  

Men in black clothes breaking into your home don't exactly take the shape of law enforcement so I wouldn't know the difference.  It's a threat and my duty to myself and my family is neutralize a threat in my home.  Obviously as soon as they saw a firearm in my hands they would take me down.

Something to think about for fellow armed citizens.

That's correct,... (4.75 / 4) (#123)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:34:57 PM EST

you'd probably be dead right now, if you'd drawn a firearm and tried to defend your divine right to walk around inside of whatever structure occupies the developed lot at your home address.

You know, there are countries where the police act differently and follow different customs. Rather than continually resolving philisophical disputes with guns, why not move( or at least consider moving ) to Canada so you can continue to resolve your philisophical differences with your fellow man by disscussion and negotiation. I am not trying to say that our law enforcement is any more competent than it's US counterpart, we're just a bit less trigger happy.

There _IS_ fire arm registration requirement, that you may find distasteful, however no one will dispute your right to actually own or use fire arms, provided you follow some minor safety regulations and take a short eductaional course to demonstrate competence and safety with a fire arm.

.
Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]

Do canadians have a right to self-defense? (3.50 / 2) (#136)
by Dee Kaos on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:33:55 PM EST


Dee Kaos

[ Parent ]
no, they don't. [n/t] (none / 0) (#204)
by Quietti on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:37:17 PM EST



--
The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky
[ Parent ]
Subject above (3.50 / 2) (#137)
by Dee Kaos on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 11:34:53 PM EST

If I understand correctly, you cannot use a firearms in self defense against an Intruder in Canada. Do I have that right? Doesn't that seem a bit off?
Dee Kaos

[ Parent ]
Proportional response (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by lunatic on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 01:37:59 PM EST

You are not permitted to use deadly force to protect property. You are allowed to use deadly force to protect your life or the lives of your family.

[ Parent ]
INCORRECT (none / 0) (#194)
by SwampGas on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:47:07 PM EST

For Pennsylvania, that is INCORRECT.

In PA you're not allowed to use lethal force to protect MOVEABLE property.  Your house is not moveable.  You are NOT required to retreat in your dwelling, however if the threat is retreating (as in, he's no longer a threat since he's running away), you cannot use lethal force.  Although once he commits a felony, you are allowed to pursue him...so if he shoots someone in the house, sees your firearm and runs, you are permitted to use lethal force to stop him from fleeing.

Either way, if you use a firearm to defend ANYTHING, you're going to get sued and have multitudes of legal hassles.  It'd be in your best interest to keep it holstered until you're about to die.

Each state has different laws regarding judicious use of deadly force.  We all know that you are not permitted to seriously injure or kill someone.  AT ALL.  "Self defense" is a legal defense saying you were justified in doing something illegal, as in killing or hurting someone.  Lookup your state's local laws and memorize them before you even touch a deadly weapon.

[ Parent ]

You cannot fire at an intruder in Massachusetts. (none / 0) (#231)
by jforan on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 01:42:30 PM EST

The use of deadly force (that by a deadly weapon) is not allowable in massachusetts, unless there is a legitimate fear of imminent, serious bodily harm.

Jeff

I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]

you do know that..... (4.00 / 2) (#139)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:16:23 AM EST

1)gun laws are a state by state basis. in Michigan, because of the new CCW laws, you need to take a firearm saft course before you can buy a weapon.

2)cops could try diffrent tactics, like surounding the house and knocking on the door nicely.

[ Parent ]

Totally off-topic, but.. (3.00 / 2) (#144)
by kitten on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:36:15 AM EST

why not move( or at least consider moving ) to Canada so you can

I live in Atlanta and have been considering moving to Vancouver at some point within the next few years, but am having enormous difficulty finding any tangible information about what the immigration process involves. Do you know of any links you could point me to?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
immigration process (4.50 / 2) (#158)
by coffee17 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 11:21:14 AM EST

Try looking at the canadian site: Canada's Citizen and Immigration page.

I'm currently going thru this, as I've fallen in love with (and even married) a Canadian girl. For me, the process involves a medical exam to show one doesn't have contagious diseases (or for independant immigrants, to make sure they don't have a cost-prohibitive disease), getting security checks from the FBI/all states you've lived in, filling out some forms.

Since you'd likely be an independant candidate, it *really* helps if you can get a firm to give assurance that they'll hire you. Also, as an independant applicant, I'm pretty sure that you need to have $10,000 in canadian funds, so that they can feel safe you're not going straight to welfare. In addition to the savings account, to become a permanent resident requires about $1500 CDN in fees ... perhaps you might want to consider just trying to get a work permit and see how you like canada.

My impressions are that it's quite similar to life in the states, except that consumer products are more expensive (in terms of actual buying power), and things seem a little bit friendlier. Granted, I wasn't one of those living in fear in the US (well, except for maybe fear of the US government), so maybe to some it would be quite a bit friendlier.

-coffee


[ Parent ]

Just another I'll never own a gun. (3.33 / 6) (#124)
by Namagomi on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:45:24 PM EST

Guns for "self-defense" seem to do little except escalate situations and put the owner in even more peril. Perhaps you should rethink your position on gun ownership.

----
There is no #nekomimi cabal.
[ Parent ]
well..... (3.33 / 3) (#138)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:12:13 AM EST

actualy, if we would be allowed to carry our guns in the open on our person, criminals would leave us alone. texas has open carry and vilent crimes while still existent have been significantly reduced.

the fact that you think an agressor with a gun is more dangerous if you have parity with him in the situational power structure shows you are an idealist. try talking down a person holding you up, or a person who wants to beat the crap out of you for the joy of it, or a person who wants to kill you for your shoes. as soon as you talk, you will get shot.

when you are accosted, especialy in your home, strike first and strike to kill (NOTE: you do not need a gun to strike first or strike hard).

[ Parent ]

No, no (5.00 / 3) (#145)
by SwampGas on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:42:26 AM EST

NEVER strike to kill.  NEVER strike to wound.

ALWAYS strike to neutralize the threat.  If the person dies, tough...they started it.  If the person is wounded but is unconscious or about to undergo several hours of reconstructive surgery, tough...they started it.

Not only are you degrading your own performance by having a goal in mind, but you're also opening yourself up to legal trouble.  You did whatever was necessary and legal to neutralize the threat because you believed your life was in imminent danger.

Besides, when it all goes down you'll forget everything you "think" you'll do and revert back to your default training.

Those with firearms will fire at COM until the target is no longer a threat...those with knives will dodge and strike...those with clubs will bash away.  Disregard whatever you THINK you'll do and focus on what you SHOULD do so when it happens, you'll just do it.

[ Parent ]

Firearms vs Threats (4.50 / 2) (#165)
by Kintanon on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 01:12:57 PM EST

Every firearms instructor I've known that has taught the use of firearms for self defense tells people to pretty much empty the gun into the target. Always aim for the body because it's easier to hit, and always for at least 3 shots before you consider stopping. If the person is still on their feet consider firing a few more. If you have a low calibre pistol like a .22 then you fire every bullet you have at them, throw the gun at them, then run!

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

I'm pretty sure... (none / 0) (#185)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 07:46:11 PM EST

...lawyers would have some different advice.
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[ Parent ]

Nah, (none / 0) (#195)
by Kintanon on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:17:12 AM EST

This is rural Georgia. The local cops will tell you, "If someone is trying to break into your house go ahead and shoot 'em, then drag 'em on inside and call us, aight?"

Heck, some of the guys in the class WERE lawyers.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Mhhhh (3.00 / 1) (#146)
by toadi on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:19:58 AM EST

Mhh sometimes when i'm really angry because someone did me something. It would be best not having a gun easy to grab.

Else you could do something you'll regret.

Self defence??? I'll take my chances without a gun. chances that you'll cross paths with a psychotic killer that only kills for fun are very small.
But chances that in a bar when somebody is drunk and rude, therefor you have to shut up because the idiot is wearing a gun are very big... Don't want to die in bar fight...
Or maybe a guy who's wife is cheating him, in a fury he'll shoot both. If he hadn't a gun close, the fury would pass without a killing.



[ Parent ]
I can not help the fact that you are irresponsable (4.00 / 2) (#169)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:36:49 PM EST

don't tred on my rights because of it.

[ Parent ]
Violent crime reduced (4.00 / 1) (#166)
by lunatic on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 01:26:53 PM EST

"texas has open carry and vilent {sic} crimes while still existent have been significantly reduced." Bzzt. Red Herring. Violent crime has decreased across North America, regardless of the presence of open carry, or the proportion of armed citizens. You _are_ vastly more likely to accidentally shoot a family member or have your gun used against you by an intruder than you are to fend off an intruder with your gun.

[ Parent ]
Guns (5.00 / 2) (#170)
by BadmanX on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:40:10 PM EST

Bzzt. Red Herring. Violent crime has decreased across North America, regardless of the presence of open carry, or the proportion of armed citizens.

This, in spite of the fact that before we passed the carry laws, everyone was sure they would cause Texas to devolve into an Old West-style apocalypse, with daily gun battles in the street. Nothing of the kind happened, of course.

While the reduction in violent crime in Texas may not prove that having an armed citizenry reduces violent crime, it does prove that having an armed citizenry doesn't increase violent crime.

And your "statistic" about being more likely to shoot a family member or have the gun used against you has long, long been debunked; see http://www.tsra.com/Lott7.htm and related pages.

I don't currently own a gun, but as a geek I don't like the idea of a potentially valuable tool being taken away from everyone because a very small number of people misuse it.

[ Parent ]

My problem with the current gun laws (none / 0) (#205)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:43:38 PM EST

is the lack of training: a guy buys a gun and becomes instantly dangerous. But without basic gun use and safty training, he's probably more dangerous to himself and his family and friends than to evildoers.

With some basic training required of gun owners, widespread gun ownership probably would greatly reduce crime (think Switzerland, where they actually have that "organized militia" thing).

With the current situation, we require training and insurance for dangerous tools like cars and airplanes, but leave gun owners to their own devices regarding training, which seems to me is neither logical nor in the spirit of the 2nd Amendment.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
And it has decreased more in states (none / 0) (#175)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:32:17 PM EST

that passed right-to-carry laws.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

The short answer. (none / 0) (#233)
by rtechie on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:14:54 AM EST

Firearms, particularly handguns, remain the only truly effective means of stopping a physically stronger attacker or multiple attackers. This is a fact.

Self-defense training is of limited value if you are small, or physically weak man or a woman. It also isn't an option for the handicapped or elderly.

Tasers are worthless. In practical application, they merely cause pain and do not incapacitate in any way. Particularly hand-held tasers. This is why the police do not use them to disable, but for purposes of torture.

Pepper spray (and similar chemicals) is more effective, but it requires a direct hit to the eyes to incapacitate (not exactly easy at any sort of range) and is of litte value against multiple attackers. It also is far from 100% effective at disabling attckers even if a direct hit to the eyes is scored. The most basic protections (eyeglasses, sunglasses) can effectively neutralize pepper spray.

The best defense is to travel and live in a group, with at least one reasonably fit adult man. However I belive that it is unreasonable to insist that no one should live alone, or should not leave their house without escort. Particularly for women.

Therefore, the only practical means of home and personal defense available are firearms. A shotgun for the home, and handguns when traveling. Unless you happen to be a young, physically fit, male martial arts expert.

[ Parent ]

Agreed. (4.00 / 1) (#192)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:33:03 PM EST

 Police should be in easily identifiable uniforms, with badges, and with their faces visible.

 Paramilitary "police" with ski masks aren't exactly up to the high standards of civility and openness that any sane person would expect of a modern liberal republic.

 Of course, if they weren't forced to enforce counter-productive and misguided drug laws in the first place, there wouldn't be any need for such tactics.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

Man, this could have been avioded if... (2.50 / 4) (#125)
by Namagomi on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 07:49:56 PM EST

...the SWAT team would have taken THIS key advice: "I think they should have investigated before they came in," he said in Spanish. "With pleasure, people are welcome to the house. Just knock on the door." Yes, of course. Why go to all the trouble of busting down doors under the cover of darkness, when all SWAT teams need to do is politely knock on the door and ask nicely if they can arrest you? Honestly folks, I'm sorry you guys are all divine beings that never make mistakes. SWAT teams use such brutal tactics in order to minimize possible casualties. If someone is on the ground, covered by 5 SWAT team members, they aren't a threat to anyone. What troubled ME most about this story was "The third cousin, Vicente Huerta, 17, fled out the front door and was not harmed." Weren't they covering the front door? If this raid was on the correct address, could one of the suspects have gotten away? Seems like shoddy planning to me.

----
There is no #nekomimi cabal.
understatement (4.00 / 1) (#209)
by Happy Monkey on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 02:21:07 PM EST

Seems like shoddy planning to me.

Well, they did get the wrong house.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Nigeria? (none / 0) (#226)
by Wulfius on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 11:48:56 PM EST

Well funnily enough this is what other police
forces do in more civilised countries on this planet. They KNOCK on the door of the suspect.

Someone said before that these valiant men
make US better than Nigeria.
I say pull your head out of your sphincter and look around. The USA today is one of the most represive
of the 'civilised' countries on this planet.

Your Police behave like thugs (generalising).

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

And if... (4.80 / 5) (#131)
by NoMercy on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 08:35:39 PM EST

There was a small child playing in the hall way when they bashed down the door and threw the grenade in? These tactics are blatently dangerous.

Hey! (none / 0) (#184)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 07:31:50 PM EST

I got news for you: criminals are dangerous to children too.
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[ Parent ]

Axiomatic (5.00 / 1) (#217)
by Rogerborg on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 08:22:05 AM EST

But it signifies what, exactly?  That two wrongs make a right?

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Let's try some... (none / 0) (#221)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 04:10:30 PM EST

...root cause analysis: which came first, the criminal or the cop?
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[ Parent ]

What *really* surprises me... (3.25 / 8) (#133)
by SPYvSPY on Sun Nov 24, 2002 at 10:31:09 PM EST

...is that brave people are willing to put their lives on the line in order to maintain law and order (and keep the USA from looking like Nigeria or Colombia). Don't forget that you owe your cozy little beds to SWAT teams, ingrates.
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Uh, no... (4.60 / 5) (#164)
by Kintanon on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:51:53 PM EST

I don't owe anything to the SWAT team, or any other cop. I owe my peaceful life to the fact that most people don't really want to go fucking with anyone else. Only the truly desperate or deranged or the incredibly greedy. And if one of those people enters my home *I* will take care of it thank you very much and the cops can go fuck themselves.
the police are under no obligation to help you if you are being attacked, if you call 911 and tell them someone is in your house with a gun, it might take half an hour for a unit to come down to check things out even if the station is only 5 miles away. And if you get cut into small, evenly sized chunks before they get there well too bad. They'll clean up the mess and look for the guy who did it, but you're still dead.

People should take responsibility for their own defense whenever possible and stop begging the government to take care of them. Bunch of whiny bastards.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

What planet do you live on? (none / 0) (#174)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 04:29:41 PM EST

It sounds nice.

Have you ever read a history book? Do you really have any idea what people do to each other when left to their own devices?

Ever read "Lord of the Flies"?


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

It sounds like my planet (none / 0) (#176)
by Lenny on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 05:58:00 PM EST

The SCOTUS ruled that the police are not responsible for protecting citizens. THat means you are on your own. He is saying what I totally agree with: If someone breaks into your home, a lot can happen in the time that it takes for the police to respond. Self Defense is paramount.


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
Urges... (none / 0) (#182)
by Kintanon on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:52:46 PM EST

Unlike you most of the rest of the world manages to repress our desires to kill and rob each other. Even in the chinese countryside where there isn't a cop within 100 miles theft and murder are relatively rare and certainly performed by a minority of the population. I DO NOT need protection from the majority of people, certainly not enough to justify the massive police force that is kept by most states/cities.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Right. Okay. Let's try this in other areas of life (none / 0) (#199)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 10:43:59 AM EST

For example "We don't need handicapped accessiblity laws because most people aren't handicapped".

Or, how about "We don't need affirmative action because most people aren't racist."

Hmmmm.... Ever hear of the 80/20 rule? Just because most people don't want to hurt others doesn't mean we don't need protection from the few that do.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

LoL. (none / 0) (#200)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 10:44:24 AM EST

You've really never read any history have you?


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Regarding the militarization of domestic (none / 0) (#203)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:34:07 PM EST

law enforcement, coupled with the leadership dropping republican principles when they get in the way of world domination, a I'd suggest read of the history of the fall of the Roman Empire.

One could also look closer to home, of course, for instance at the old story of the Boston Massacre...


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
We weren't regarding militarization of the cops... (none / 0) (#218)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 09:41:32 AM EST

Last time I checked we were referring to kinaton's assertion that (s)he personally has never needed police and no one really does because most people are "reasonable" and don't break the law.

We need cops for the same reason we need guard rails on cliff side roads - to deal with the few who can't stay inside the lines, not the many who've never brushed against them.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

History does not support you (none / 0) (#215)
by riptalon on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 07:21:23 PM EST

That's just government propaganda though. In reality police forces only became necessary during the industrial revolution when in the space of a generation or so the rural peasants had their land confiscated ("enclosure acts") and were herded into the cities to work eighteen hour days in factories. Unsuprisingly they weren't to keen on this and a full time police force plus a standing army (garrisoned near the factories) was needed to keep them from overthroughing the government. The police exist to protect the rich elite from their "slaves" not the "slaves" from each other.

For the majority of human history nothing resembling modern police forces has existed and there is no evidense to suggest that their advent has reduced "violent crime" in anyway, if anything the reverse. The rise of the "police force" was necessitated by the rise of capitalism in the last few hundred years and was then given an extra boost by the advent of "victimless crime" such prohibitions on various substances (alcohol, drugs etc.) in the 20th century. The tactics the police presently employ would have been unthinkable only a hundred years ago and the whole concept of the modern police force would have been unthinkable a couple of hundred years before that. Given the present trend it is difficult to imagine what levels it will have reached a hundred years from now.



[ Parent ]
My, oh, my. (1.00 / 1) (#219)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 09:45:55 AM EST

Right. No, there was never any need for a group of individuals who (on paper at least) are dedicated to protecting the lives and liberties of all people.

For example, I'm sure being a serf on some Baron's farm was just a case study in implementing human rights. No one ever stole, raped or murdered them. Nosirreebob! No norse raiders looking for a quick drive-by pillage, no, such things were invented by The Man to convince those idle and idyllic farm boys to flee to the cities and work in factories for filthy money.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

A few points (4.75 / 4) (#223)
by riptalon on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 07:18:58 PM EST

The problem is that you are make assumptions based on the way that things work today, that are not applicable 500 years ago. Medieval nobels actually obtained very little in the way of material benefit from the titles they held to large areas of land. The main benefit they recieved from it was one of status. They would earn some money but the taxes the church levied on the peasants were far higher than anything the nobels recieved and even that was fairly small by todays standards. You have to realise that peasants were not wage labours, in general, and therefore after a certain point where they are producing enough food to feed themselves and pay their taxes it is very difficult to make them work a lot harder. Even if you demand more taxes all they can give you is food and since they grow their own food there is a very limited market to sell it for profit.

I am not saying being a serf is a case study in implementing human rights. I am just saying that being a factory worker is even worse and this transition in the 18th century was what led to the requirement for a full time police force. A serf might have to work from dawn till dusk for a very limited period of time around planting and harvest but in general they they would have a much larger amount of free time than we do today, let alone an 18th century factory worker. At some point (as is always to way with these things) the elite realised that if they exported the new practice of wage labour that had appeared in the cities to the countryside (where the majority of the population was) they could extract a much larger amount of "value" from the peasants, i.e. make them work harded for less and pocket the difference. But to do this it was necessary to remove the peasant's means of support, the land, since no one in their right mind is going to work for some one else if they have a choice.

Hence the "enclosure acts" which paved the way for the introduction of wage labour in agriculture by forcing the peasants to choose between starving and working directly for the landowners for wages. Since the peasants can then be forced to work harder, you need less to work the same amount of land and so you introduce the concept of unemployment which allows the wages the landowner pays to be a fraction of the worth of the food produced, since there is strong competion not to be unemployed and starving. A draconian system of internal passports was also introduced to help keep wages low by not allowing peasants to move from areas of high to low unemployment, except when it was in the interests of the landowners. The surplus peasants were eventually funneled into the cities to work in the new factories and the net effect was to go from majority rural, "self-employed" to majority urban, wage labourers.

The point is prior to this massive transition there was nothing that remotely resembles the police we have today. There were judges and courts but no police or for that matter any standing army. The nobility and their servants had weapons (to protect themselves from their subjects) and in time of war a noble was expected to "join the army" and provide a certain number of troops from his retainers but the ordinary people were not involved in this. They were neither conscripted to fight or for that matter generally in any danger as the result of a war. Wars involved nobility and their servants fighting large set peice battles in the open countryside or about fortifications (castles). Unlike today, since there was no attempt to involve the general population, there was no need to pretend that war was anything other than it was, a fight between elites over land and resources.

To give you some idea of how different things were consider the make up of the approx. 10,000 french casulaties at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Charles de Albert, the Constable of France and leader of the french army (the king was not present), 3 dukes, 5 counts and 90 barons were amoung the 5,000 men of noble birth who died on the french side. Even though the english lost no more than a few hundred men, the Duke of York and the Earl of Suffolk, the two deputy commanders of the english army, were amoung the dead, and the english King Henry V fought in the front line throughout the battle. Fast foreward half a millenium and not only has the level of exploitation of the common people increased enormously but they are also forced to fight the elite's wars for them, while someone like Bush directs from the back in perfect safety.

All this stuff about dedicated to protecting the lives and liberties of all people is just a modern post facto justification of the status quo and have nothing to do with why things like police forces were originally created or why they still exist today. In some ways it also links back into the previous paragraph since the elite itself is no longer a heavily armed and well trained fighting force (Bush and his cronies wouldn't stand much chance in a fair fight) and firearms have closed the gap to some extent (it is trivial to learn how to use a gun whereas medieval weaponry required extensive training, both in skill and strength, to use effectively), it is therefore necessary for the elite to have a large force of professional police and soliders to protect themselves. This is doubly important given than the system has changed from basically "self-employed" peasants who if they pay minimal taxes will be left alone, to wage labourers plus the unemployed, who see about 80% of their work going to their employers and half the rest going to the state, if they are luckly enough to have a job at all. The level of discontent this generates needs large amounts of repression to control, or though, in the last few decades television and the like has been very useful in managing discontent.

You are also mixing up very different periods of time and confusing war with "crime". The medieval period approx. 1000-1500 A.D.is very distinct from the so called "dark ages" approx. 500-1000 A.D. In the past "civilisation" has gone in cycles with society becoming more centralised and hierarchical until it gets so top heavy it collapses. The end of the last cycle (it europe anyway) was the collapse to the Roman empire around 500 A.D. The "dark ages" that followed were a relatively free period with weak or non-existent government, hence the reason they are portrayed by the elite as bad, "dark", since it wasn't a good time if you wanted to be rich and oppress lots of people.

You are mistaken when you imply that "norse raiders" and the like are equivalent to modern "criminals" and required the solution of stronger "policing". In fact the opposite is true. The "norse raiders" are equivalent to the modern elite and they did not content themselves with just raiding for long. As a case study consider the norsemen who after raiding for a while decided that going to and fro from Scandinavia every year to get plunder was inefficent and settled in what is now northern france so they be right next to the people they were stealing from. With a constant presence, violence is not normally necessary, simply the threat of violence, and you quickly establish as system of nobility (the Normans - a coruption of norsemen) taxing peasants. The Normans later crossed the channel in 1066 A.D. and after defeating Harold of Wessex at the Battle of Hastings, founded the beginnings of the modern english state.

This pattern, involving different peoples in different parts of europe, progressed throughout the dark ages and by the beginning of the medieval period the majority of europe was under the control of an elite of nobility (i.e. bandits). There were notable exceptions however that held out long into the medieval period: the medieval free cities. While small villages are easy to attack or intimedate with a small band of men, cities are another thing entirely and by the time certain nobles (bandits) had aquired a sufficent power base in the countryside to consider attacking a city, many cities had grown large enough to be able to construct significant fortifications to defend themselves.

The kingdoms of early medieval europe were therefore generally confined to the countryside and small towns, with the cities free of their control. An effect of this can be seen in the placement of the capital cities of many european states. For instance both Paris and Moscow were in the middle of nowhere, reatively speaking, when they became capital cities. The Kremlin was built in the centre of some villages on the banks of the Moskva river. Much larger cities existed inside the borders of both France and Russia at the time, such as Lyon and Novgorod, but they were not under the control of the kingdoms. Even in England the capital was founded in the village of Westminster outside the gates of the City of London and to this day the Sovereign is forbidden to enter the City of London without the permission of the Lord Mayor.

Throughout the medieval period these kingdoms slowly chipped away at the independence of the free cities and the cities were also slowly corrupted from the inside becoming more heirarchical and less free. Still the last hold outs, particularly in Italy, were where the flowering of art and science of the renaissance was most concentrated e.g. Florence. Eventually however the modern state gained control of all the people within its borders and has been ratcheting up the level of that control ever since, as discussed above. Whether events are heading towards another catastrophic collapse as befell the Roman empire or whether new techonologies will allow a "boot stamping on a human face - forever" as in 1984 is unclear.

In any case the clear lesson from history is when the bandits come to you village to pillage, if you don't stand up and fight them they will return and once they have got into the habit of expecting free stuff they will soon become your masters. Even the cities that built walls and hid behind them for a while eventually sucumed, since if you stand by and allow your neighbours become slaves, you will be next. A thousand years later and SWAT teams can burst into your home at will to investigate every little facet of your life and make sure you are no threat to the elite. The "norse raiders" have traded the horned helmet and axe for the flack jacket and Heckler & Kock MP5 but they as much a threat as ever, and now there is little chance of any resistance. At the same time what started as stealing some food has evolved into a hugely complex system of oppression designed to extract the maximum amount from each one of it's little cogs.



[ Parent ]
where did you learn this? (nfm) (none / 0) (#236)
by freality on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 11:30:23 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Sounds like... (none / 0) (#190)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:31:34 PM EST

...you might end up on the wrong end of a SWAT member's MP5 with that attitude.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Law enforcement "elite"? (4.33 / 3) (#140)
by nsgnfcnt1 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 01:44:23 AM EST

What an interesting choice of words. While I can hardly say I hang out with cops on a frequent basis, I can honestly say that the ones I've met (including a good friend's father, his colleagues, cops that have pulled me over for speeding, and cops that helped my buddy bump-start his motorcycle one day on the street) have been, without fail, fairly humble and nice; but "elite"? Since when does making sub-standard wages for a high-risk job classify one as elite? I personally don't have the balls to take that as a profession and I commend anyone who has the dedication and selflessness to choose it. I'm sure if you ran the risk of being on the business end of gun everyday you would use stun grenades too.

And I certainly don't expect them to be perfect like I don't expect perfection from the medical profession or anyone else for that matter. EVERYONE makes mistakes. This ludicrous ideal of perfection that we demand from certain professions is what makes lawyers rich and insurance high. It's absurd to think that, in a country of 290M+ people you have zero tolerance for such a volatile profession.

SWAT (5.00 / 2) (#163)
by JatTDB on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 12:38:43 PM EST

SWAT team members are supposed to be better trained and more disciplined than their fellow officers, due to that whole bit about them having military-class armaments and training.  What's wrong with describing them as the elite of law enforcement?  If they're not worthy of that designation, then I certainly don't want them to be in charge of said armaments.

I work around a lot of cops, and you're right...generally speaking, they're good people.  And yes, everyone's entitled to make a mistake every once in a while.  But when you're going to be busting down a door, tossing in concussion grenades, and doing the whole sweep-the-house thing, is it so much to ask to double (maybe even triple) check the fucking address?


[ Parent ]

Elite. (none / 0) (#191)
by Korimyr the Rat on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:25:27 PM EST

 I'd say it's their willingness to do such a job, with the risk incurred, and the training they undergo to do that job, that makes them elite.

 Their payscale is an afterthought.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

*FWAP* (3.00 / 6) (#143)
by Luminion on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 02:31:34 AM EST

I am frankly amused with the disgusting generalization that is used in the headline. While the article describes 1 (one) particular incident of 1 (one) law enforcement unit mistakenly breaking into 1 (one) wrong appartment, the title openly suggests that this is not only what American police does routinely, but that they also get away with it because they are elite. Moreover, the headline calls to believe that the police officers do it for amusement.
"Oh, the humanity" whining detected.
The author gets a fwap.
FWAP
---------
<spanisman> you are really a dork and I'm going to complaint against you in the undernet society for you to get lost the op status
Once is one time too many (NT) (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by Wulfius on Wed Nov 27, 2002 at 11:45:37 PM EST



---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
Allow me to explain the stupid title... (4.25 / 4) (#149)
by Demiurge on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 08:05:31 AM EST

Right before this story was posted, someone had submitted as a "story" some tidbit news at 11 piece about how some girls from a rich private school(not well known to any but the author) had gotten into some trouble, and how the school was supposedly sweeping it under the rug. Why the author felt this trivial local humdrum merited a story, I don't know. It was, however, entitled "Canadian elite vandalize property and put people at risk for their own amusement". Now, predictably, the story was shot down rather quickly, but not before, in a stunning breach of common sense, its title became the inspiration for the title of this article, in what was a not-so-subtle dig at the original story.

Exactly correct (4.00 / 4) (#156)
by Arthur Treacher on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:47:16 AM EST

I'll even go with the "stunning breach of common sense" statement.  The only defense I can muster is that I did not expect this story to end up on the front page, or anywhere else except the trash bin.  I should have known better; there is a low-level fear in America these days among a large percentage of its citizens (of which I am one), a fear of their own government.  Probably not a bad idea to discuss it, whatever the proximate cause of that discussion might be.

"Henry Ford is more or less history" - Bunk
[ Parent ]
Here's some thoughts (none / 0) (#193)
by FL180 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:34:29 PM EST

Consider that we are, perhaps, judging the PD a bit too soon for their mistake. The mayor has not and will not respond before reading the report, and I would suspect that the PD will not respond quickly either. In any case, we don't know what the response is yet, so the postings comparing this event to police brutality events (such as in NYC) are, at this point, unwarranted speculation. It may turn out that way, but then the PD/City may take responsibilty for their actions. We'll just have to wait and see.

Also, it occcurs to me that a number of readers seem to believe that the Constitution will protect them from abuse. It will do no such thing. Realize that the rule of law only works when a government and people recognize and subject themselves to those laws. I mention this because of all of the references to government gone amuck, turning into a police state, etc.

Consider that if this happens, the Constitution is a moot point because it's already been thrown out by the people who have power (a very small amount of people, when one considers all of the facts, anyway, and, in my opinion, not to be feared by the public as a whole, but that's a different discussion). In the event that this becomes reality, the only deciding factor is force, exercised by the populace. This requires, in our present age, access to, *gasp*, guns...

Just a couple of thoughts...

Yeah right (none / 0) (#202)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 12:20:18 PM EST

In the event that this becomes reality, the only deciding factor is force, exercised by the populace. This requires, in our present age, access to, *gasp*, guns...

"Access to guns" is desperate and foolish thing to talk about as a response to a police state that would have Abrams tanks and Predator drones. "If this happens" it would be much smarter for folks to apply the 'force of the populance' while excercising their right to hold bouquets of flowers...

Guns are for hunting and self defense from criminals, but it's completely irresponsible to put them out as any kind of solution for an American political problem.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Abrams tanks and Predator drones. (none / 0) (#214)
by DuckSauce on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 07:17:56 PM EST

"Access to guns" is desperate and foolish thing to talk about as a response to a police state that would have Abrams tanks and Predator drones. "If this happens" it would be much smarter for folks to apply the 'force of the populance' while excercising their right to hold bouquets of flowers...

Guns are for hunting and self defense from criminals, but it's completely irresponsible to put them out as any kind of solution for an American political problem.

While I agree with you that flowers might be a better decision, you cannot forget that simple pea-shooters can be very effective against a modern military (Somalia, Vietnam, probably soon to be Iraq - the only thing really necessary is a determined populace).

.

[ Parent ]

Sure, if they commit suicide (none / 0) (#216)
by michaelp on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 09:20:06 PM EST

I think things would have to get very very very bad for American civilians to see Somalian level kill ratios as "very effective".

In any event, drone planes and drone tanks are pretty quickly making the point moot: future military excursions will probably be mostly conducted by proxy, from basements in Va and DC.

Hence my point that folks who think that their AR-15s are going to keep them safe from the police state are dreaming.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Ok (none / 0) (#237)
by Citori on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:39:39 AM EST

There is nothing wrong with commiting suicide for a cause in which you truly believe.

I realize that the currently in vogue line of thought is to lie back and take whatever is hammered your way in the interest of keeping yourself in one piece (that or talking a lot about what you could do to change things) but there are quite a few people who would be more than happy to sacrifice their lives in an attempt, however futile, to bring about some change. As opposed to living in a constant police state anyway.

Predator drones and heavy armor are nice, there is no doubt, but the current situation in many parts of the Middle East should serve as proof that staying alive in the face of those things is not difficult regardless of access to technology.

If you don't believe that small arms can make a difference I suggest you check in with the Kennedy family.

[ Parent ]

Does anywhere collect these stories? (none / 0) (#210)
by bee on Tue Nov 26, 2002 at 03:44:25 PM EST

I've probably seen at least a dozen of these kinds of stories: cops busting down the wrong door because they have the wrong address, cops busting down the door of a couple stoners who maybe have an ounce of pot or two at the most, cops shooting the dog that was in the back yard barking at the officers, etc. And this isn't even counting the ultimate police action of this kind, in Waco, Texas several years back.

What I want to know: is there a website or such anywhere that's made a collection of these stories? They're as ubiquitous as the out-of-control airport security screeners, and it would be nice to have a list of them to throw at the naysayers that always say 'you can't draw any conclusions from an isolated incident like this'.

American law enforcement elite vandalize property and put people at risk for own amusement. | 237 comments (220 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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