Newsbrief: No Criminal Charges Against Cops in Goose Creek High School Raid 8/27/04

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The US Justice Department announced August 20 that it has ended its investigation of Goose Creek, South Carolina, police officers involved in a raid on the town's Stratford High School last November without finding any federal civil rights violations. Combined with last month's decision by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster that he will not file state criminal charges against the police, the Justice Department decision effectively means the officers involved will face no criminal charges.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy's Dan Goldman and a Stratford High parent
The Stratford High School raid electrified the country last November, when televised images of police storming into a school hallway with weapons drawn and threatening students with them and menacing drug dogs were beamed nationwide. Some students were handcuffed for complying too slowly with shouted police commands (

The raid was called by Stratford principal George McCrackin (since reassigned to defending the school district in civil lawsuits arising from the raid) because he thought he had espied an increase in "drug activity" as he monitored the school's 70 video surveillance cameras. No drugs or weapons were found.

Attorney General McMaster said that while police created "a dangerous tinderbox situation" with their Ramboesque raid, such tactics were not illegal.

The Justice Department agreed. In a letter to Goose Creek Police Chief Harvey Becker, the department wrote that "the evidence does not establish a prosecutable violation" of federal civil rights laws, and that "accordingly, we have closed our investigation."

The city of Goose Creek, the police department, individual officers, and the Goose Creek school district still face at least two separate civil lawsuits. According to the Charleston Post-Courier, negotiations in those lawsuits have broken down.

Visit and for earlier DRCNet coverage of the Goose Creek incident.

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Issue #351, 8/27/04 Editorial: Prohibition Itself Must Go | Timely Intervention Helps Block Student Drug Testing: The Case of Oregon's Lebanon Community School District | Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiative Hands in More Signatures, Drive to Make Ballot Still Alive | Two Web Sites Now Online Are Naming Names and Seeking Info on Narcs and Snitches | Newsbrief: No Criminal Charges Against Cops in Goose Creek High School Raid | Newsbrief: Baltimore Needle Exchange Hailed on Tenth Anniversary | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Virginia Judge Jails Woman for Taking Prescription Methadone | Newsbrief: Minneapolis City Council Rejects Medical Marijuana Initiative | Newsbrief: Seattle Hempfest Endorses Kerry | Newsbrief: DPA Reaches Out to GOP Conventioneers | Newsbrief: Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Pulls Out of NYC GOP Anti-Drug War March, Broader Event Will Go On Instead | Online Petition on Marc Emery and Canadian Marijuana Law Reform | Keith Cylar Activist Fund | Media Scan: Kunstler Rockefeller Video, Counterpunch | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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