Newsbrief: And the Killing Continues 10/4/02

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Even as El Monte settles with the family of its latest drug raid shooting victim, at least three more questionable drug war police shootings occurred in the last week. In Perkins, OK, on Saturday, a reserve police officer shot and killed 22-year-old Kenneth W. Bailey. Bailey was one of four men police encountered as they staked out an oilfield where meth cooks had been stealing anhydrous ammonia. He was shot after the pickup truck he was driving ran over police "stop sticks," but continued to move. There is no indication that Bailey posed a threat to police officers.

A day earlier, Clayton J. Helriggle, 23, of West Alexandria, OH, was shot and killed by a Lewisburg, OH, police officer during a drug raid on a farmhouse. Police SWAT team members had entered the house and encountered Helriggle coming down the stairs when he was shot. Preble County Sheriff's Captain Mike Simpson told the Dayton Daily News that Helriggle was armed with a pistol, but Helriggle's father, Michael Helriggle, said his son was carrying a glass of water, not a weapon. He also accused police of "high-fiving" each other after the raid.

"They were so busy celebrating and everything," he said. "It was like a carnival to them. They all got to use their new guns and stuff." And Helriggle faulted the police for their SWAT assault tactics. "There was no reason for them to come in there that way," he said. "I lost my son over this. It's turned my family upside down. He absolutely wasn't a drug dealer."

Captain Simpson said police were executing a marijuana warrant involving another resident of the house. Police seized a small amount of pot, some unknown pills and drug paraphernalia.

By this Monday, local newspapers reported dozens of people protesting the killing at the Montgomery Courthouse. Helriggle's roommates carried blue plastic cups similar to the one he was said to be carrying when shot. Roommate Ian Albert described to the Dayton Daily News how Helriggle was killed: "They threw me down onto the stairs with my head on the second step up. I wanted to yell at Clay, but I looked up and saw him, rounding the stairway, and he had this look on his face, like, 'What's going on?' and the cops yelled, 'Get down' and then 'boom,'" said Albert. "The cops are smoking and joking, high-fiving each other. Wow, I think, they took down a farm of unarmed hippies. "If they would have come to the door and said, 'Give us your dope, hippies,' we'd have gotten about a $100 ticket."

And three days before Helriggle's killing, a Pinellas County, FL, sheriff's deputy shot and killed "suspected drug dealer" Dustin Dean, 21, of New Port Richey. Dean and a companion, Jonathan Whitlatch, had agreed to sell cocaine to an undercover deputy, but when police converged to make the arrest, both men fled. Dean ran into a wooded area, where he was spotted by Deputy Kenneth Kubler. According to Kubler, Dean "didn't cooperate" and Kubler could not see one of his hands. Then, also according to Kubler, Dean lunged forward, forcing Kubler to shoot him. Dean was unarmed.

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Issue #257, 10/4/02 DEA to California Medical Marijuana Patients: Drop Dead | Federal Parole Bill Orphaned with Death of Sole Sponsor -- Activists, Prisoners Look to Other Bills, Other Sponsors | Canadian Government Announces Parliament to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization -- US Worries, Blusters | Widely Hyped Ecstasy Study Full of Holes, Critics Say | In Brazil, "Parallel Power" of the Narcos Flexes Muscle on Eve of Elections | Montana Drug Policy Task Force Calls for More Treatment and Prevention, War on Meth | The November Coalition Hits the Road: Journey for Justice Aims to Mobilize Support for Freeing Drug War Prisoners | Newsbrief: Peruvian Coca on Rise as Country Revamps Coca Eradication Effort | Uribe Wants to Recriminalize Drug Possession in Colombia | Newsbrief: California Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Syringe Sales, Vetoed Industrial Hemp Study Earlier | Newsbrief: California Town to Pay $3 Million, Apologize for Drug Raid Death | Newsbrief: And the Killing Continues | Newsbrief: Nevada -- The Survey Says... Legalize It! | Newsbrief: University of Missouri SSDP, NORML in Marijuana Decriminalization Petition Drive | Newsbrief: US Explores Drugging Rioters | Newsbrief: Drug Warrior Maginnis Leaves Family Research Council | Newsbrief: DPA Campaign Provides Tools to Fight School Drug Testing | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Do You Read The Week Online? | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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