Rachel Hoffman's Family Issues an Urgent Call for Change

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The mother of slain drug war victim Rachel Hoffman has started the Rachel Morningstar Foundation to advocate legislation requiring legal counsel for prospective drug informants as well as decriminalization of marijuana in Florida. You can make a donation here.

For anyone still catching up on Hoffman's story, this heartbreaking video is a good starting point:


Rachel was involved in NORML and SSDP. She was one of us, and while I wish she'd thought better than to become an informant, we still don't know what threats police used to coerce her into assisting in the operation that took her life.

Rachel is someone we might have met at a conference someday. Someone who might have posted a comment on a drug policy blog or responded to an action alert. For whatever reason, that simple thought bothers me in an uncomfortable way that the drug war atrocities I cover daily often do not. It's a feeling I've had to shake off as I type, reminding myself that I've seen too much of this already to be rattled by the inevitable.

Every drug war victim has a story, each of them upsetting and important in its own way. We know all too well the common thread that binds these tragedies together and we'll stand without hesitation behind the Hoffmans as they've so bravely stepped forward so that their loss can become something positive, something Rachel would be proud of.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Micah Daigle's picture

Thanks Scott

Great post.

SSDP

Once again, you guys found the right way to respond. Thanks for the video. It hurts to watch it, but it helps to show that this is real.

This is what the drug war does to people. What really gets me is that the police actually blamed Rachel for what happened. It's unscrupulous. They're completely out of their minds.

informants

tallahassee police have announced that they have "used"414confidential informants since 2000.by my illogical extrapolation that means one out of 500 americans must be a narc not quite up to east german standards but quite shocking to me.the worst part of this story are the concerted and orchestated efforts of police and law enforcement sycophants to smear rachel's name.repeated attempts to portray this beautiful child as a large scale narcotics dealer were printed in the local paper.at one point a local lawyer's blatant propaganda in support of police was given front page space, at the request of an unnamed police official.the coverup is ongoing as is the barrage of pro-police inanities in newspaper.the mass of citizens here are outraged at this police incompetence and coverup.many posters to local blogs are directly confronting posters whose anti-drug stances are unsupportable

why has everyone already forgotten about rachel?

this is bullshit that everyone is over rachel passin on most of you dont care it was just a place for u to say ur two cents about why u can still smoked

Micah Daigle's picture

Donating

For some reason, the video keeps getting stuck at the end, so the donate link is unable to be seen. Donations to the Rachel Morningstar Foundation can be made here: http://www.ssdp.org/donate/rachel

Hey Scott, Here is a letter

Hey Scott,
Here is a letter to the editor we wrote

http://tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/OPINION02/805...

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The continuing efforts by the offending police officers in the Rachael murder case to cover up their negligent role in her death will have consequences, and the consequences will not be the ones the police appear to expect.

In a truly healthy society, a full disclosure of facts leading to changes in policing methods would be the appropriate approach to Rachael’s tragic role in the drug/gun sting.

Unfortunately, depending on who one talks to, a political strategy (or delusion) that maintains that the state can do no wrong is common throughout the U.S. judiciary.  This arrogant stance is likely to anger and radicalize those with a conscience who view the facts in Rachael’s murder.  The anger will be a good thing if it can help create a movement to reduce police violence and the deliberate misrepresentation of facts and evidence in these cases.  The bad thing is that there will be many more Rachaels before the drug war is finally scrapped.

It’s when what has been done in Rachael’s case is extended to a nation at large that things begin to get really ugly.  To demonstrate how ugly it can get, it is useful to remember Benito Mussolini’s formula for Fascism as a political system in which ‘all is for the state, nothing is outside the state, nothing and no one are against the state’.

Giordano

Good, Bad & Ugly = Libertarian, democrat & republican!

Libertarian ideals & principles seem to be winning most drug war battles these days. Hopefully the rule of legal laws will triumph over the usurpers on the left & right.

Thank yahwah Mussolinis and Hilters push to global socialism, the 1st step to communism, was defeated... and it only took several million innocent lives to end that delusional polical theory!

Just say NO to the purveyors of gods & gov'ts...
they are always more problem then solution!

Rachael should be alive today....

How could Florida (USA) not have any decency to admit a mistake? Drug informants are not professional law enforcement people and should not be expected to know how to be confident in the field to carry a gun and engage in a criminal action. Rachael (a beautiful child and NORML supporter) had been forced into slavery.

Modern society does not allow professional people to be amatures. Yet this stupid drug war allow civilians to be put into harms way just because they are detained? Informants should be at least put thru training to reach a compency level, for law inforcement as an example! Rachael could be alive today with resume and possible carrer opportunities in law enforcement if she had the training and willingness to participate. Instead, in these mad dark ages of illegal marijuana, 'slaves' are sacrificed to cavemen stupidity. The drug war must be honest to succeed to protect us from dangerous drugs, not DRUG authorities pretending to be dangerous, and pretending to have dangerous drugs.

The best to the Hoffman family for trying to start the healing. Please, lawmen, make a difference for someone else's child. Rachael for an enternity....

I smell a law suit and great embarrassment for these police

Seems to me closely monitoring your informants benefits them and the police. It sure doesn't look good for police to have "criminal" informants escaping from their custody. Anyways, the state has a duty to protect people in state custody. It's beyond me why these narcs would push this girl into a situation that most cops themselves wouldn't dare venture into without body armor, automatic rifles, five to ten backup police and an armored car? If $13,000 in "buy money" comes into the equation, we are not dealing with street-level dealers in front of the 7-11.

Informants

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada This is a sad story and it's sop for narcotic officers.People that allow themselves to become entangled in such a scheme are either paid pro's or first time offenders like in this case.This woman made the choice to sell the freedom of others to save her own.The people she was to meet were probably two strike dealers that had nothing to lose as their lives were forfeit either way.That's the truth of this drug war.It eats up the innocent and corrupts all others involved.To be in a position where it makes sense to kill another person as your choices have been stripped from you is tragic.For the police it's all good as they get two dealers off the street for life.If you think for one second that they will lose one minutes sleep over this you are sadly mistaken.Narcs that bust you think they own you.It's only true if you let it be.If this woman was involved in NORML she knew what their stance on dealers is.They get their dope from magic spells or something.Their position is untenable. That people have to live in such conditions and suffer such consequences is why this drug war is so wrong and misguided.This is not the first nor will it be the last case of someone being manipulated out of a terrible fear into doing something they themselves despise and end up paying the ultimate price for their naivete.

i wonder

if a police officers child was sacrificed every time one of us civillians child was lost in this drug war how much longer would they butcher our children .i bet it would not take long .to end thier crimnal war against their own peolpe is war realy what police want

why in the world

is the tallahassee police department still standing why are those crimnal narks still sucking air .what the hell is wrong with the people of florida .how much longer will you allow the police department to kill your children one by one.till their all gone burn baby burn will that become the cry of the people?

TPD as corrupt as can be

Im terribly upset that it took a young womans LIFE for our community to realize the Tallahassee Police Department is full of corrupt, vulgar, and repulsive officers. TPD told my cousin that if he didnt tell on someone else when he was arrested for a simple marijuana under 20g, that he would "live to regret it and that "Tallahassee is only so big so he had better watch his back."
When will the intimidation from our "protectors" end and what more will it take?

Much love and respect to the Hoffmans...

I understand their sorrow

I've had a relative forced to help in setting up dealers, after being set up by police. We learned later that the woman they had setting men up had been doing so for about two years. My relative met her and they went out a couple of weeks later. They were stopped and drugs were found in the back of her car. He had no idea they were there, but was arrsted and charged with possession and delivery, due to the amount.

This woman later admitted to me that she had been forced to set men up like this for police for a couple of years. They create their own dealers and drug busts.
He was then told by officers that he would just get probation if he would not contact any attorney about his case, and would help them set up a suspected drug dealer.
They waited over a year to bring his case to court, but he was not informed of his court date and so missed it, and his bond was forfeited. This is a tactic the DA and officers use togather to force a person to stay in jail and be forced to take a guilty plea instead of have a trial. That way there's less chance of the illegal activities of the officers being brought out and investigated. This tactic is used in all areas of the legal system, not just drug cases.

His life was threatened by the dealers the officers involved him with. He was told he'll be killed before or while he's in jail. There was someone on the force that was playing both sides, and gave the information about his involvement to organized crime members.

He lives in great fear for his life now and is in hiding and running for his life. He tried contacting the DA and explained the situation, asking for an attorney to be appointed so his legal rights would be somewhat protected while in jail awaiting trial.
His request for an attorney was denied and they didn't care that his life had been threatened.
I've seen so much of the dirty underbelly of the entire legal system I don't trust any part of it and never will again.

rachel even be4 using marijuana was quite the loving person

she didnt care if u were fat ugly smelly she was nice...to the poor the hungry

we miss her

and love her
all of temple ahavat shalom
signed with love
bryan silverstone

A GREAT CARING GIRL

I KNEW HER FROM AGE 9 TO AGE 13 AND KEPT IN TOUCH WITH HER TIL NOW IM 23 OF COURSE AND HER BEST FRIEND WAS MY BEST FRIEND FROM HEBREW SCHOOL AND I WAS A FAT KID BUT EVERY BAR MITZVAH OR BAT MITZVAH I COULD COUNT ON DANCING WITH THE NICE PRETTY REDHEAD RACHEL HOFFMAN AND SHES YOUR AVERAGE PERSON THE PPL COMMENTING ON HER SELLING GOOD MARIJUANA ON YOUTUBE ARE PATHETIC WHO CARES IF SHE SOLD DANK OR DIRT IT WASNT COKE WAS THE MAIN THING SO IF UR BRAGGING CUZ U BOUGHT POT FROM HER AND SHE WAS SWEET STILL WHAT BECAUSE SHE SOLD POT SHOULD SHE OF BEEN MEAN TO YOU? PPL ARE STUPID TALLHASSE POLICE BETTER DO A BETTER JOB BECAUSE MY SIS IS A JUNIOR AT FSU STARTING THIS WEEK AND ILL FUCK A COP UP ESPECIALLY AFTER HOW I WAS TREATED THIS WEEKEND IN CLEARWATER I WAS WALKIN TO MY LINCOLN LS WHICH IS A BLACK ONE WELL I GUESS ONE HAD BEEN STOLEN BY A GUY IN A RED SHIRT REPPING THE GANG THE BLOODS WELL I HAD A SKIN TIGHT POLO SHIRT ON RED AND MY BLACK LINCOLN LS I WAS WALKIN TO AND SOME COP IS HEY HEY HEY HEYIN ME I FIGURED OUT ONCEI WAS GRABBED AND SLAMMED INTO HIS SIDEVIEW MIRROR AND THEN SLAMMED ON HIS HOOD FOR HIM TO OPEN MY LINCOLN LS UP NOTICED MY WALLET CHECKED MY ID THEN I TOLD MY REGISTRATION LOCATION AND HE APOLAGIZED AND LET ME GO...SUCH BULLSHIT

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