Newsbrief: Paramilitary Drug Raid Tactics Anger Eugene Residents 12/13/02

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Eugene, Oregon's, Whiteaker neighborhood sounded like a war zone around dawn on October 17, and residents are fighting mad. It wasn't a terrorist attack, though, just another example of a drug war run amok. Police serving a search warrant for an alleged marijuana grow enlisted an armored personnel carrier and 45 SWAT team officers armed with shotguns and automatic rifles to raid a cluster of houses in Whiteaker.

But after throwing flash-bang grenades, kicking in doors, and handcuffing four people -- including one nude woman and one woman dressed only in underpants and a t-shirt -- for hours in a room in one of the houses, police came up empty-handed. Police also admitted to placing a black bag over one of the women's head until she agreed to cooperate with them, the Eugene Register-Guard reported on December 5.

Neighbors are not impressed. Since the raid six weeks ago, resentment has only mounted. "It was completely inappropriate to have that kind of militaristic action there," said Whiteaker Community Council president Majeska Seese-Green. "We don't want it to happen in Whiteaker again, or any other neighborhood," she told the Register-Guard. The community council will issue a formal statement condemning the raid, she added. Seese-Green and three other residents also took the complaints to the Eugene Police Commission, where they questioned the wisdom and safety of such raids.

Not that the police are listening. Instead, officers involved trotted out their tired old excuses for treating the people they are supposes to serve and protect as if they were enemy combatants. "We rely on the element of surprise and speed," said Captain Steve Swenson, head of special operations for the Eugene Police Department. "The third element is the overwhelming display of force when you come through the door," he added, sounding more like Colin Powell preparing to invade Iraq than a police officer making a marijuana bust.

Except it was a marijuana bust that wasn't. No drugs were found, nor any weapons, nor have any formal charges been filed against the victims of the raid. Police have returned all items seized, and the county DA told the Register-Guard the case won't go to the grand jury unless more evidence is developed. Oops.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #267, 12/13/02 DRCNet Needs Your Help! | Editorial: O, Canada! (Oh, the Embarrassment!) | Canadian House Drugs Committee Calls for Cannabis Decrim, Safe Injection Sites, Heroin Maintenance | Canadian Justice Minister Calls for Cannabis Decrim "Early Next Year" -- US Opposition Could Pose Obstacle | Britain Drops Old Drug Strategy Targets, Goals Were "Not Credible" -- New Strategy a Mixed Bag | Michigan Legislature Repeals Draconian Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences | New Jersey Court Declares State's Civil Forfeiture Funding Scheme Unconstitutional | Newsbrief: Santa Cruz Deputizes Medical Marijuana Providers | Newsbrief: Massachusetts High Court Blocks Arrest of Needle Exchange Participants | Newsbrief: Colombia -- It's Drug War -- No, Oil War -- No, Terror War | Newsbrief: British Ex-Minister Calls Ecstasy Law "An Ass" | Newsbrief: Israeli Green Leaf Party Eyes Knesset Seats | Newsbrief: Illinois Supreme Court Limits Use of Drug Dogs in Traffic Stops | Newsbrief: Paramilitary Drug Raid Tactics Anger Eugene Residents | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: SAMHSA Says Treat Drug Abusers' Mental Illness | Media and Resources: Medical Cannabis Conference Tapes, WOLA Report, Jacob Sullum in Reason, Deborah Saunders in SF Chronicle | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]