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A Cop is Dead Because An Informant Mistook Japanese Maple Trees For Marijuana

Submitted by smorgan on
This is one of those stories that is simultaneously so unbelievable and yet nauseatingly familiar that you just know our deeply flawed drug laws are behind it.

Ryan Frederick is an amateur gardener who grows tomatoes and Japanese maple trees, which look like marijuana. An informant told police there was pot growing at the residence and a warrant was issued. Frederick, who had been burglarized earlier in the week, mistook the police for thieves and sought to defend his home by firing on the unexpected intruders. Police officer Jarrod Shivers was killed.

Now, as we learned in the strikingly similar case of Cory Maye, law-enforcement does not take kindly to people defending their homes during mistaken drug raids. Ryan Frederick has been charged with first-degree murder on the theory that he knew the intruders were police and fired on them anyway.

Frederick had no criminal record and no marijuana plants. The informant was just wrong. Although a few joints were found in the home, it just doesn’t make much sense to contend that Frederick would provoke a shoot-out with police over a misdemeanor. Nonetheless, he's being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and can only hope the jury understands the horrible situation he's been placed in.

This is still a developing story, but at this point it seems pretty clear that the only reason this raid ever happened is that some idiot mistook Japanese Maple trees for marijuana. That's all it took. There are no safeguards built into the drug war to prevent this type of thing. If you call in a suspected marijuana grow, you are assumed to be a botanist capable of accurately identifying plants. Police will even risk their lives to investigate your idiotic claims.

Prosecuting Ryan Frederick for murder will do nothing to curb the inevitable result of continuing to raid homes based on informant testimony. This is all just one more injustice stacked atop a precarious edifice. Like Cory Maye, Ryan Frederick is lucky to even be alive, which begs the question of how many dead innocent people would have been unfairly charged with attempted cop-murder if they'd been fortunate enough to even survive the raid.

Much more at The Agitator and DrugWarRant.

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