Drug Policy

Botched Raid Bonanza

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Rather than clutter Hit & Run with maddening stories of drug raids gone bad, I'll just link to the red meat for those of you interested in this stuff. Three new botched drug bust stories here, here, and here .

All three cases point more to general drug war and police excess than the misuse of SWAT teams specifically (though there have been plenty of those stories recently, too).

Still, it's pretty depressing just how reliably regular these stories are, and how commonly the same elements show up (abuse of the informant system, home invasion, the lack of accountability from public officials when thing go wrong). Also depressing: How rare it is that these stories gin up enough public protest to inspire any real reform.

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  1. Thank you, Radley for your work!

  2. On Saturday, Lisa Dinkins was arrested during a drug bust on her sister’s home. Police claim they were chasing an 18-year-old nephew, whom they suspected of drug activity. They say he ran into the home, that they followed him, and that they then arrested Dinkins when she refused to cooperate with the officers inside.

    …Dinkins’ sister claims that she was the one who was argumentative, not Dinkins, and with good reason:

    “I was irate because they charged into my home without a warrant. When I told them I was going to call the supervisor, they got angry,” she said. “I was the one yelling at them because they came in my house and broke down my door.”

    Does anybody know the actual facts of the story? If the nephew was actually running from the cops and ran into the house, then I would assume no warrant is required. As to whether or not they had good reason to chase the kid, that’s another story. However, in the process of “chasing” a “criminal”, which they “suspected” this kid of being, then no warrant should be required.

    I’m not siding with the cops here, and it seems like obvious retaliation towards Ms. Dinkins, but just want to be sure on the facts.

  3. And, yes, good work Mr. Balko.

  4. “We’re not afraid of the bad guys as much as we’re afraid of the good guys,” Brad Thompson said. “Do I call 911 again, and who do I call now that I’ve complained about them?”

    A sentiment I echoed a couple of weeks ago. I’d be more comfortable with a criminal pointing a gun at me than a trigger happy cop who knows he can easily justify shooting me.

  5. Radley, in a better world you’d be getting awards for this kind of coverage. Anyone who reads your site and doesn’t get a chill is an idiot.

  6. While I think that the cops in Baltimore went beyond what they could legally do, just from my own observations and anecdotal evidence a 7 year-old with an unregistered dirt bike on Baltimore streets = drug mule. “It was turned off when you caught me!” was a lousy excuse.

  7. I can’t be bothered with this insignificant crap! You people should be investigating the big coverup of Anna Nicole’s murder! And- who’s that adorable little baby’s daddy? And besides, we’ve got to keep the lines clear in case some precious little girl scout wanders off into the woods and can’t remember which leaves to wipe her (not pruriently interesting in the least) bottom with.

  8. Yeah, but these are all just individual incidents. They’re hardly indicative of a trend. Everything’s fine, move along. Move along.

  9. ChrisO:
    Anyone who reads your site and doesn’t get a chill is an idiot.
    check out the comment right below yours.

  10. The story about the ex-marine made me sick to my stomach…I sincerely hope that the witness accounts are wrong, just because I don’t want to fathom such cruelty being bestowed upon anyone. However, if these cops are guilty of this, they deserve the electric chair…with just enough juice to make it hurt…while simultaneously having their genitals sliced open with a dull razor blade…they don’t deserve death by gun (too easy).

  11. a 7 year-old with an unregistered dirt bike on Baltimore streets = drug mule.

    I don’t live in Baltimore, or MD, for that matter. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid on a dirt bike and thought “drug mule”.

  12. Malcolm j, huh? “Drug mule” wouldn’t even cross my mind. Oh, I see, the kid is black. .

    Almost all my friends and I were at one point “busted” for riding dirt bikes in town. Being white kids, the cop drags us home where parent and child pretend to really give a fuck about what the cop has to say and he eventually leaves once he is happy everyone is respecting his athoritay.

  13. i read this stuff and i wonder if there’s any actual recourse, or is the only real answer lawsuits from the families of the departed? the psychotic fuckfaces in the marine story – how is that not at least 2nd degree murder?

  14. it’s a well known fact that Baltimore’s pickaninnies are in on the drug trade

    jeez

    don’t you people watch “The Wire”?

  15. i read this stuff and i wonder if there’s any actual recourse, or is the only real answer lawsuits from the families of the departed?

    You can’t even bring lawsuits, most of the time. The state has sovereign immunity, and individual officials have “qualified immunity,” which is a strong barrier to liability.

  16. “Clutter” away Radley…IMO there’s not much reported here of greater importance than this.

  17. Since when do we have to register bicycles?

  18. I’m obviously a racist; it can’t be because Bodymore, Murderland, heroin capital of the US and birthplace of the “stop snitching” movement, is actually that bad.

  19. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur – what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! “If. . . if . . . We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure! . . . We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    (Note 5, page 13, Vol. 1, The Gulag Archipelago

  20. Radley, why do you want our children to become crack addicts? Do you hate children?

  21. Malcolm, I think if there had been even the smallest amount of evidence that this kid was running drugs for someone, the cops would have mentioned it as a justification for their actions.

    I don’t think you’re a racist, but it’s still important to remember that even with such a huge crime-rate (which might have something to do with an incompetent and misguided police force), most Baltimore residents aren’t criminals.

  22. I’d be more comfortable with a criminal pointing a gun at me than a trigger happy cop who knows he can easily justify shooting me.

    The most dangerous weapon a criminal can have is a badge.

  23. Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door

    At least the NKVD knocked.

  24. It’s better to catch a 7-year-old is caught sitting on an unregistered dirtbike than to catch him sitting on a registered sex offender.

  25. It’s better to catch a 7-year-old sitting on an unregistered dirtbike than to catch him sitting on a registered sex offender.

  26. Cops are great.
    Cops are good.
    Cops are the local terrorists in our neighborhoods.
    With a taser here and a botched raid there.
    Innocent people they do snare.
    With a no knock warrant and a bogus informant.
    Killing people without any cares.

    Could be a new childs song.

    Gee the cop says “why do people not like and respect us,”. Gee cops I wonder why?

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