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Oops, Wrong House. Sorry We Threw Grenades and Kicked You in the Crotch.

Via Radley Balko, yet another wrong address drug raid disaster:

This one's got it all. Terrified immigrants who don't speak English, a roughed-up pregnant woman, a man kicked in the groin, another woman with a heart condition, flashbang grenades, and assurances from the cops that this kind of thing happens "not very often." Fortunately no one was killed. Only terrified.

The police never contacted the landlord of the residence to verify. And when they raided the "right" address, the place was empty.

Of course, throwing grenades and kicking people in the nuts are highly questionable activities even when police invade the correct location. This issue goes way beyond just getting the address correct. Even when the police get it right, anyone inside is innocent until proven guilty, and should never be brutalized arbitrarily. When police conduct becomes remarkably similar to that of dangerous criminals, we've got a major problem on our hands.

As Radley so often points out, the purpose of these raids is to stop people from getting high, which isn't a legitimate or achievable goal to begin with. The failure of prohibition is never more obvious than when police enter the homes of innocent people and beat or kill them in order to protect us all from drugs.

United States
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local police

I remember when we kids considered the cops our friends.

Generations ago, of course, before the dopey (pun) War on Drugs was used as population control of minorities and the poor. That peaceful time was in the 1930's; by the 70's, community after community had been militarized under the aegis of the WoD. In the once quiet and peaceful community of Santa Monica, California, we suddenly had helicopters disrupting neighborhoods with absolutely unnecessary hovering. We called it "cowboying."

One night, I called the police (again) to protest the helicopter racket, which bounced off a neighboring rooftop and simply brought to a halt all conversation in our apartment. Of course, "law and order" claimed that there were lurkers in the area, and that we were simply being protected. I went out in my nightclothes and carefully scoured the neighborhood. Not a single patrol car in the vicinity, and certainly no wigged-out druggie, as they'd have us believe.

Fear and complacency and bigotry, in conjunction with the convenient war on drugs, have allowed local keepers of the peace to morph into authoritarian bullies of the worst order, armed like invading armies and apparently comprising an army of bullies and sociopaths for whom military-style invasions and abuse of citizens are a kick. That, along with government policy, allows such people to crush--in so many ways besides the actual assaults--as many of the vulnerable as possible. I wonder why?

Any answers?

Mickey Shell

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