Drug Policy

More on the Castillo Shooting

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• Though a family spokesman (a representative of the Hisapnic advocacy group LULAC) claimed in a Houston Chronicle article yesterday that no drugs were found in the Castillo home, the DA continues to maintain that there were, though won't say what type of drugs, or how much was found. The local paper in Wharton claims two men, including Castillo's father, were arrested at the scene on drug charges. But that was Tuesday, and I've yet to see any subsequent reports of any arrests. I plan to make some calls today. Of course, the presence of drugs in the home wouldn't make the kid's death any more acceptable.

• Several people have emailed to say that the Castillo raid and shooting took place in the congressional district of Rep. Ron Paul. While Paul is as eloquent a drug war critic as you'll find in Congress, there doesn't appear to have been any DEA or federal law enforcement involved, so I'm not sure there's a federal angle, here. I generally have no problem with the federal government getting investigating these types of cases if its clear that there's a 14th Amendment violation of a suspect's civil rights, and if it's clear that local authorities aren't capable of conducting a proper investigation. I could be wrong, but I suspect Rep. Paul disagrees with me, here. But it'll be interesting to see if he or his staff has any interest in the case.

• I found the following passage from a newspaper in nearby Victoria interesting. The speaker is Wharton County Sheriff Jess Howell:

Howell added that in addition to providing a Texas Ranger for the investigation, the Department of Public Safety also sent in one of their critical incident teams, specially trained counselors.

"If any one involved needs to talk to someone about what happened the incident team is there for them," Howell said. "Back when I started in law enforcement 30 years ago we didn't have anything like this. We didn't abandon our people but we'd suggest they go to their clergyman or someone similar to talk to about what they were feeling. We didn't just tell them to 'suck it up.' And while that was effective, the incident team is trained to address these kinds of issues. It is a definite improvement."

The kind of taxpayer-funded care and counseling they give to the police who shoot citizens is great and all. But compare that passage to this one :

Daniel Castillo Sr. said no one with the district attorney's office or police department has talked to him since the shooting.

NEXT: The Ron Paul Code

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  1. As is frequently seen when police shootings occur, there is no justice for the victims or the family of the victims. If it goes to courts, the officers will be found not guilty, the civil rights advocates will throw a fit, rightfully so, and a month or two later, all will be forgotten.

    Our judicial system is, always has been, and will probably always be fucked up…

  2. To add to my previous post…how can we expect local law enforcement to follow all the rules and obey the law given the fact that our nation’s leaders get away with all sorts of crimes. Monkey see, Monkey do.

    Hardly anybody is held accountable anymore. There are all sorts of loopholes, interpretations of the law, and excuses (insanity, etc.) as to why people shouldn’t pay for their crimes.

  3. Something I read about this case from Agitator really struck home with me. One of the reasons given for issuing the warrant was that the house had high traffic. In the year or two after I graduated from college and I was trying to hold on to that life, I would return to college town and crash at a house of 3 guys who were still there. There were several other guys who would do the same thing so on some weekends we could have 8 or 9 guys coming and going from this house.

    I was working for the government in my M-F life and had occasion to meet with a police officer from college town. He looked at me for a few minutes and then blurted out, “you’re from the pink house.” It turns out that with all the guys coming and going usually with duffle bags or backpacks that we had been under surveillance for several weeks. The officer told me that they finally decided that people stayed at the house way too long after they got there for it to be a drug house.

    It is frightening to me to think what could have happened had they decided to kick the door down at 3 a.m. instead. One of the common interests that I shared with this group of guys is that we were all hunters and shooters. That house was full of guns, mostly shotguns but a handful of pistols at any given time.

    Mike in fort worth

  4. Plain and simply out of control. A better system for handling “incidents,” what a crock of shit. How about some better POLICE SYSTEMS ones that don’t involve killing those your sworn to protect all in your justification to protect them from themselves. Where is the logic in this system. Protect and Serve, yeah they protect themselves and their best interests while serving no knock warrants and shooting innocent people. Then they act surprised that someone would come out of their bedroom at 3am shooting at the cops who just kicked their door down. Gee I wonder what the cops would do if their door was kicked down at 3am with their family in bed and everyone alseep, not get a gun and shoot no no that is the last thing they would do.

    You said it all though. How and who do we expect to hold anyone accountable as it has to be driven from the top down and our top is not exactly fond of being held accountable. Or when they are they come out and say I take full responsibility for whatever and then walk away. As if saying I take the blame makes it all ok and nothing more comes from their own acknowledgement of guilt. To them just admitting guilt is punishment enough that is their version of accountability. Ask Janet Reno about Waco.

    When a Rep. in Congress can be bribed on film by the FBI and have his home raided with the bribe cash in his freezer and not have any charges pressed but also still get re-elected afterwards we are truly fucked.

    With the Dems and Repubs its just a matter of which position you would like to get fucked over in that makes them different. Either way your going to get screwed. But for a mere 10% pleasure tax they will throw in some lube.

  5. If they say they found drugs but won’t say what kind or how much, that probably means they didn’t find bricks or kilos. My guess is that right now they’re looking up synonyms for “residue”.

  6. The kind of taxpayer-funded care and counseling they give to the police who shoot citizens is great and all.
    Is it?

    In this case it’s the criminals rather than the crime victims who are getting the ‘counseling,’ but this probably still applies:
    http://cjp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/17/4/387
    The Efficacy of Victim Services Programs
    The major finding of the study adds to those of previous studies: There is no significant difference between service and nonservice users when it comes to improvement in the psychological functioning of crime victims.

    ‘Counseling’ is just another scam.

    Daniel Castillo Sr. said no one with the district attorney’s office or police department has talked to him since the shooting.
    He’s lucky.

  7. “Of course, the presence of drugs in the home wouldn’t make the kid’s death any more acceptable.”

    For too large a portion of the population, This DOES make the death acceptable. (the “if they hadn’t have been breaking the law in the first place this wouldn’t have happened” mentality)

  8. Isn’t it possible that they had to shoot preemptively if they suspected there was drugs there. If the drugs were there it implies that guns were too and that means the kid was going to shoot them.

    Mistakes can happen, but an ocassional shooting is the price we pay to live safe in a drug free society.

  9. Lard Drug Raid At 4 AM lyrics

    Sheets off
    Flashlight in your eyes
    FREEZE!
    Guns in your gut
    Strip down
    Body search
    Cough up
    Or stomach pump
    To fight the war on drugs
    You must give up your rights
    You blink, you die
    I hate you more than my job
    CHORUS
    Drug raid at 4 a.m.
    Random neighborhood sweeps
    Copters break up house parties
    Zero tolerance for pot
    Easier to get hard stuff
    Costs over 3 times more
    To keep an addict in jail
    Than to treat those trying to quit
    But no drug war funds for clinics
    NO!
    Stop!
    Please!
    NO!
    CHORUS

  10. Bob

    I assume you are trolling. This isn’t the time.

    A boy is dead.

    Lay off.

  11. “… the Department of Public Safety also sent in one of their critical incident teams, specially trained counselors.”

    Maybe I’m just insensitive, but if that cop actually wants to accept responsibility for what he has done, and eat one out of remorse for shooting an unarmed teenager, I have no problem with that, and see no compelling reason to talk him out of it.

  12. Aresen – that was probably the latest incarnation of Batshit Insane Chick, aka “Jane, Juanita”.

    Her problem is that her left brain channels Calgary while the right channels Edmonton.

    All in the casing of a Newfie.

  13. But, just in case he’s not trolling…..
    Fuck you, Bob.

  14. Does the deployment of the “counselors” mean the officer who shot the kid feels bad because he shouldn’t have shot the kid in the first place? I mean, if it was self-defense, the officer would probably be a little more at ease with the situation, no?

  15. Actually, Bob is correct. If we want this kind of security from drugs, we have to give up some of our liberty.

    So. . .maybe we shouldn’t be so concerned about drugs. . .


  16. So. . .maybe we shouldn’t be so concerned about drugs. . .

    It is the governments job to protect us from dangerous drugs. That is why all intoxicants are illegal, except alcohol because it has a long history of safe use in western society.

    Also, the govenment has to criminalize anthyng that is imorral, basicall anything that is enjoyable. This is what God wants.

    If Jesus were alive today, he would support the prosecution of the drug war.

  17. vm

    “Her problem is that her left brain channels Calgary while the right channels Edmonton.

    All in the casing of a Newfie”

    Let’s translate that for our American friends:

    “Her problem is that her left brain channels Pittsburgh while the right channels Boston.

    All in the casing of an Ozark hillbilly.”

  18. Nice!

    The ghost of Dief the Chief shall haunt them evermore, too!

  19. If the rationale of no-knock raids is to increase the safety of cops and residents, why not require any govt. employee who applies for a no-knock warrant to post a cash bond that no deaths will occur during the raid? If the raid is non-fatal, the govt. empoyee gets his money back; if there’s a death (regardless of fault), then he loses the money.

    This would up an incentive structure to reduce the amount of no-knock raids and to encourage cops to be careful in the raids they *do* conduct. I expect that we will see “defensive” shootings to continue under such a reform, but only where there’s a clear danger.

    I would suggest that requiring govt. employees to post a cash bond would also be a solution to many other situations where said employees currently incur no penalty for being wrong (eg, prosecuting unpopular defendants; what if courts could require cash bonds from prosecutors in dubious cases, promising convictions?)

  20. It could be argued that the ultimate example of exchanging freedom for safety would be, say, the US prison system. The inmates are surrounded by high walls, fences, bars and 24-hour armed security. And yet, as I understand it, drugs still manage to find their way to the prison population. Since we will, obviously, never “win” the drug war, what is the plan? Or do we even have one? Some sort of surge, perhaps?

  21. Jesus was a hippie for christ sakes. He drank da wine remember and no telling what else he might have experimented with.

  22. YGBJC- Exactly! what better example of failed war do you need than drugs in PRISONS. If they can not keep them out of prisons they must know they don’t have a rat ass chance of getting them off any street corner and bedroom in the USA. It also points to the easy corruption factor in that many of the drugs are brought by the keepers themselves. That is for small time crap, just think what the potential for making money looking the other way during a true large scale distribution must pay out. Those guys are no less susceptable to being bribed than the prison guards are to wanting to make a few dollars muling drugs into a jail.

    It is either a FREE country or its a DRUG FREE country but it can’t be both. The obvious reason as we have seen more and more over time is that attempting to become drug free they have begun to remove all our freedoms. Yet still no more or less drug users overall than when they started this moronic moral war on their own citizens. WTF is that anyway what kind of free country fights a decades long war against its own population in a democracy?

  23. Bumper sticker I saw today:

    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will accidentally shoot their kids.

    The author of that pearl of wisdom obviously never considered cases like this.

    It could be argued that the ultimate example of exchanging freedom for safety would be, say, the US prison system.

    And they have gun control in prison, so violent crime rates must be much lower than on the outside.

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