Drug Policy

Rachel Hoffman: More Collateral Damage

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Earlier this year, police in Tallahassee, Florida raided the home of college student Rachel Hoffman, who friends say was a bit of a hippie-ish free spirit, and concede that she shared and sold small amounts of marijuana and MDMA within her social circle. Hoffman was at the time undergoing state-forced drug treatment after police found 20+ grams of marijuana in her car during a traffic stop. The raid turned up another five ounces of marijuana, plus six ecstasy pills and assorted pot-related paraphernalia.

From this, Tallahassee police apparently threatened Hoffman with prison time, then agreed to let her off easy if she'd become a police informant, and set up a deal with her supplier. They never informed Hoffman's attorney or the state prosecutor of the arrangement. They wired Hoffman, and asked her to arrange to purchase 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun—a deal that would have run well over ten thousand dollars. Hoffman's friends and family have told me that all three purchases would also have been drastically out of character for her. Which means the dealers she was buying from were almost surely on to her.

Tallahassee police found Hoffman's body last week. The first thing they did was call a press conference in which they blamed Hoffman for her own death, stating that the arrangement she made with the police was consistent with department protocol, and that she agreed to meet with the dealers in a different location than the one previously agreed upon.

After public outrage, the city is now walking that back a bit, and has asked Florida's attorney general to look into the Tallahassee Police Department's procedures for dealing with drug informants.

Chalk it up as collateral damage, and add Hoffman's name to that of Isaac Singletary and Anthony Diotaiuto, three deaths of non-violent, non-threatening Floridians in just the last few years, thanks to the drug war.

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  1. The cops push informants to buy drugs “and a gun” because the gun will increase the sentences of anyone convicted in the sting. Some dealers must be wise to the fact that anyone looking to buy their drugs with a side order of gun is probably wired, especially when they look like they just stepped out of a sorority rush.

  2. You mean hippie chicks don’t always want a gun to go along with their drugs? Who knew??
    JMR

  3. Can’t a suburban white girl buy a handgun easy as pie in Florida? The people she was buying from would know this. She was over 21, after all. What an utterly obvious, and deadly, attempt by the police to crank up charges.

    They should be held accountable for manslaughter at the least. But of course they won’t.

  4. Can’t a suburban white girl buy a handgun easy as pie in Florida?

    She had a previous drug charge, so she might not have been able to get past the background check.

  5. Way to start off what promises to be another Tuesday.
    Thanks Radley

  6. She had a previous drug charge, so she might not have been able to get past the background check.

    But would the people she was buying from know that? If you’re going to send someone to buy drugs and a gun, you send somebody who looks like Nick Nolte on a bender, not a 23-year-old girl.

    It just shows craven indifference to her fate.

  7. This makes me angrier than the usual “isolated incidents.”

  8. Another dangerous criminal off the streets. Good for the Tallahassee police.

    Just wanted to see if that looked as stupid in print as it sounded in my head.

    You’re bound to hear that (or a close variant) from someone, though.

    It’s for the children, you know.

  9. Episiarch is absolutely right. I’d think the dealers thought it was more than a little odd that this girl who usually buys a little weed was now asking for $10,000 worth of cocaine and guns.

    But this is what the drug war begets. The drug warriors can’t tell the difference between between an ounce of weed and $10,000 worth of cocaine. Unfortunately in this case, violent dealers can.

    I guess they can stop claiming the drug war is “for children” now that they are sending them into situations significantly more dangerous that smoking a few joints. But of course they won’t do that either

    1. Actually, Rachel didn’t know her murderers. They were not her dealers. They were given to TPD by another informant and then Rachel was introduced to them by this informant. She had no previous connection to these people AT ALL before TPD asked her to demand rare firearms, cocaine, and ecstasy. Who wouldn’t be suspicious of the brand new white girl wanting all that?

  10. This makes me angrier than the usual “isolated incidents.”

    Why?

    Is there something about Katherine Johnson or Cory Maye that make them less deserving of your sympathy.

  11. eh.
    She was probably going to overdose on marijuana anyway. At least she died trying to do some good for the rest of society.
    As a hippie drug user, she was also probably gay, which means she probably had AIDS too.
    So the police shouldn’t be charged since she was so reckless with her own life anyway.

    1. I hate people like you. That is a sad comment to read. Such lack of compassion must leave you miserable, posting mean comments online to satisfy your depression.

      1. I’m sure they were being sarcastic, but then again, I shouldn’t explain the joke.

      2. People like you without the presence of mind to recognize sarcasm make me sadder.

  12. Don’t’cha know, the blame falls on the people who killed her. Or on her, for dealing drugs. Or on, uh, the gun manufacturers maybe, since guns kill and all that. Anyway, nobody could possibly ever fault the police. The police protect us against all these mean and nasty and murderous criminals, don’t’cha know? Anyone who even suggests otherwise must be an America-hating commie. Or something.

    Besides, she looks like she must be a closeted muslim anyway. Can you say “sleeper cell”? OMG! Better off dead no doubt. Bush saves the world again and all you can do is blame blame blame.

    1. Are you joking? Cause if so, I laughed the whole time.
      If you’re being serious….then you are one ignorant soul.

  13. Tragic. Back in college a professor described how, during the vietnam war, students would “run the pigs”. The police were always on guard to stop demonstrations, so small groups of students would make it look like a major deal was coming up, resulting in total mobilazition of the cops. It is time to run the pigs in the drug war. If we could produce enough tips to dry holes, cops might have to rethink how to best use their resources. Beaumont Low has plenty of false tipsters that would help for a small fee.

  14. I know it sounds horrible, but this sort of incident will probably get more attention and outrage from the general public because she was white and college-educated. It’s nice to see that they’ve asked the AG to look into it because of the outrage, but this is no doubt in large part because of her race and social status.

  15. Apparently this case has raised questions about law enforcement’s use of confidential informants.

    No word on when the real debate will begin.

    On the serious side of Bramblyspam’s comment that the blame falls on the people who killed her it is worth noting that the guys who killed her are probably violent thugs. And the cops almost certainly knew it. It was the height of irresponsibility for them to expose this girl to this kind of danger.

    Will anyone be held accountable? You guess.

  16. Why isn’t this story all over mainstream media? It seems at least as newsworthy as the girl missing in Aruba. Is it possible that that the media are “influenced?”

  17. It’s nice to see that they’ve asked the AG to look into it because of the outrage, but this is no doubt in large part because of her race and social status.

    I don’t think it’s particularly terrible that it’s going to be more highly-profiled because of race/social status/she’s a cute white college chick.

    I say that meaning that it IS terrible that this is what it takes, but I am not going to condemn people for having more empathy/outraged reserved for something that strikes a little closer to home.

    The country is primarily white and middle-class, so it might take a tragedy to befall that group before that large group feels it’s necessary to take action.

  18. They never informed Hoffman’s attorney or the state prosecutor of the arrangement.

    One might think there are rules requiring some sort of tracking and oversight of these bozos, but I seriously wonder if there is even a law they *could* be charged with, despite the fact we all know they won’t.

    Cops: baboons with guns.

  19. Is there something about Katherine Johnson or Cory Maye that make them less deserving of your sympathy.

    I wouldn’t say less deserving. However, no-knock wrong door raids can (weakly) be described as an a mistake. This was a planned initiative. There’s no valid “oops” excuse here. They knew they were putting this girl in harms way.

  20. Why?

    Not sure, really. Maybe the fact that the cops pressured her to turn informant without advising her lawyer, then sent her out on an uncharacteristic drug buy. I know thats probably typical of folks turned informant, but it really adds a layer of outrage for me.

    And by the way, the Katherine Johnson and Cory Maye cases make me pretty fucking angry too, as do all the “isolated incidents”. I have plenty of sympathy for all the victims of the god-damned WoD.

  21. Mmmm-hmmmm, she wanted that gun for Russian Roulette.

  22. Ayn_Randian –
    Agreed. I’m not condemning them either, I just think it’s a shame. It’s totally expected though that people have more empathy for someone they can more easily identify with.

  23. Why does this make me more upset than the usual drug war excesses? I dunno, what do you think violent drug dealers do to pretty young hippie chicks when they catch them with a wire? “Found the body.” I hope I’m wrong, but I’m glad I don’t know the details that I’m afraid are there

  24. Typical cops: send a little unarmed woman into the danger zone because those gun-toting cowards won’t.

  25. I feel really awful about the outcome of this, and I extend my sympathy to the girl’s family and friends.

    Still…why would anybody attempt to make a deal with cops? Anyone with any common sense knows that they are underhanded and dishonest. I think it’s wrong to mitigate your own sentence by busting other people, anyway, even if the people in question are “thugs”.

  26. Is there something about Katherine Johnson or Cory Maye that make them less deserving of your sympathy.

    No, but in those instances, we had “only” incompetence and a callous disregard for innocence to compeletly and thoroughly screw the pooch for their victims. Now, you add malice into the equation and you get this result.

  27. Anyone with any common sense knows that they are underhanded and dishonest.

    This is exactly right; I am guessing the cops told her specifically not to talk to her attorney about the deal, or they would cancel it. Because they thought they could use her to put some big points on the board. Now they have to find some other dupe to intimidate.

  28. Still…why would anybody attempt to make a deal with cops?

    If you’re 23 and have a few cops screaming at you, pressuring you to turn rat and if you do they’ll stop screaming at you and will make the drug charges (which they exaggerate the effects of) go away, many people will make that deal.

    Yes, it is stupid–just sit there and ask for your lawyer–but it is totally understandable.

  29. Epi,

    It’s not understandable to me. Narcs are not cool.

  30. Jesus fucking Christ.

  31. I dunno, what do you think violent drug dealers do to pretty young hippie chicks when they catch them with a wire?

    It is now past the point where, if you find your kids using drugs, the best thing you can do for them is teach them how to hide it.

    After you kick them out of the house so the rest of your family will be less likely to get caught in a SWAT raid.

  32. It’s not understandable to me. Narcs are not cool.

    Maybe you could put yourself in the shoes of a scared, (probably) naive 23-year-old girl who is getting the full court press from the cops. At that point, I doubt quite seriously she was worried about being “cool”.

  33. They never informed Hoffman’s attorney or the state prosecutor of the arrangement.

    You know, that’s a good point. Say that the deal hadn’t resulted in her death. Without a shitload of paperwork documenting why she’s making the buy, they could have denied sending her to do the deal and added more to her charges.

  34. Episarch,

    “Cool” is interchangable with “right” in the way that I was using it. It is unquestionably wrong in my mind to ruin other people’s lives to save yourself. Scared has nothing to do with it.

  35. Hoffman was not taken to jail at that time, and the State Attorney’s Office was not notified, McCranie said. McCranie said police often keep confidential informants out of the judicial system, so as to limit the chances of someone finding out they work for police.

    Or so that there’s a convenient lack of information about how, exactly, they were coerced into being a narc. Or, if they happen to get killed and they don’t have a family or anyone to miss them, it’s that much easier to toss their existence down the memory hole and ensure plausible deniability.

  36. Florida police seem to be particularly degenerate offshoot of the species.

    Whattsamatter, no 8 year old girls to handcuff in English class?

  37. “Cool” is interchangable with “right” in the way that I was using it. It is unquestionably wrong in my mind to ruin other people’s lives to save yourself.

    I agree with you. But:

    Scared has nothing to do with it.

    is incorrect. It has everything to do with it, since your question was “why would anyone make a deal with the police?” And the answer is: because they are scared shitless.

  38. It has occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, all of the “isolated incidents” are purposeful exercises in state terror. They can’t come out and say “if you are involved with drugs we will knock down your door and shoot you . . . sometimes” but if it continues to happen again and again, then like LarryA said, people will be so afraid of a disproportionate response to one’s pot hobby that they will decide to quit out of fear.

  39. Still…why would anybody attempt to make a deal with cops? Anyone with any common sense knows that they are underhanded and dishonest.

    Because she’s terrified of being kidnapped and locked up in a cage again? Maybe she thought her dealers were he friends and wouldn’t hurt her while the other prisoners in the jail would hurt her. Maybe the cops didn’t threaten her with only jail, but with rape (American love of prison rape disgusts me).

  40. jesus smacky..you sound almost like the cops. She didn’t do this to herself.

  41. PR,

    Well, obviously she wasn’t planning on this, but she did make herself an instrument of the state. I’m not saying the outcome isn’t sad and regrettable, and I’m not saying the cops aren’t responsible.

  42. Part of the tragedy is that much of the larger society still won’t see this the way the people on this board do. They won’t be upset with the basic idea of what the Tallahassee police did, just that they did it so incompetently.

  43. This would make a good topic for a McCain/ Obama Presidential debate.

    Hah
    Hah

    “We will be returning to earth shortly; please return your seat back and tray tables to their upright and locked positions.”

  44. It is unquestionably wrong in my mind to ruin other people’s lives to save yourself.

    Really? Let’s change the crime. Let’s say it was theft, and the girl got legitimately busted as an accessory. Why is it wrong for her to give-up the criminals who planned and executed the theft?

    Don’t let your belief that drug use should not be a crime cloud the issue. It is a crime, and most people buy into the drug warrior bullshit and believe that it is a legitimate act to criminalize. So for those who have bought into the lie that drug use is criminal, I don’t see how they are making a moral breach by giving-up other criminals.

  45. Maybe the cops didn’t threaten her with only jail, but with rape

    Mandatory sentencing laws mean that cops don’t have to lie (and risk that coming up at trial). Usually the true legal consequences are a big enough threat without embellishment. The only mitigating factor that can be considered in most jurisdictions is whether the defendant cooperated. Cooperation usually means either giving testimony or being a confidential informant and setting up a sting.

    Smacky, yoru dedication to the principles of omerta has earned you honorary goomba status.

  46. much of the larger society still won’t see this the way the people on this board do.

    I don’t know about that. Let’s face it, when things like this happen to pretty white girls, it changes everything.

    That’s cynical, of course, but like many cynical things, it may be true.

  47. Let’s face it, when things like this happen to pretty white girls, it changes everything.

    Let me tell you a story about that…

  48. It is a crime, and most people buy into the drug warrior bullshit and believe that it is a legitimate act to criminalize. So for those who have bought into the lie that drug use is criminal, I don’t see how they are making a moral breach by giving-up other criminals.

    So ignorance is something I’m supposed to sympathize with now? No one ever told me that drug use is ok and that the war on drugs is dishonest. I figured it out for myself. That’s all good and well if other people decide to get in on ruining other people’s lives over drugs because they’re too intellectually lazy to inspect their own values and lives, but you can’t fault me for not sympathizing with that point of view.

  49. So they turned her into a even larger drug dealer (if that is what she was) in order to fight drugs. So, using this logic, we would take a murderer, make him a bigger murderer, in the name of fighting murder. Or take a rapists, let him or convince him to rape 10 times more, in the name of fighting rape. Is there something I am missing here?

    And these stupid pigs probably have the audacity to claim the moral and intellectual high ground.

  50. Smacky is like a law-and-order type except that he’s on the other side of the fence. She violated a social tenet of his group and therefore needs to be immediately purged by any means necessary.

  51. Smacky, yoru dedication to the principles of omerta has earned you honorary goomba status.

    Grazie.

  52. So they turned her into a even larger drug dealer (if that is what she was) in order to fight drugs. . . Is there something I am missing here?

    Well, what you’re missing is that the cops would have locked the contraband in an evidence room until the trial and destroyed the contraband after all appeals had been exhausted instead of putting it through the usual chain of distribution.

  53. Smacky is like a law-and-order type except that he’s on the other side of the fence.

    Isn’t smacky a broad?

  54. That might be taking it a little too far. I can see smacky’s point, in that selling out others to spare yourself is a pretty “cowardly” thing to do. On the other hand, a group of police can be pretty effective at intimidating a person into doing whatever they want.

  55. Part of the tragedy is that much of the larger society still won’t see this the way the people on this board do. They won’t be upset with the basic idea of what the Tallahassee police did, just that they did it so incompetently.

    I’m even more cynical… most folks won’t care because she had previous drug offenses against her already. The “don’t do the crime if you don’t want the time” mentality.

  56. Isn’t smacky a broad?

    A broad that won’t roll on you. You can count on Smacky to do her time.

  57. Epi –
    I believe the distinction needs to be made that she was probably more scared of what the police could do to her than the drug dealers.

  58. PR,

    More like jailbreak.

  59. If smacky had been in her place, she would have been all “Fuck you, pigs, I want my lawyer!”

    And if she had been at Virginia Tech, she would have been all “BAM! Ka-POW!”

    And if she’s lived in Germany in the 30s, she would have totally found some Jews to hide in her basement.

  60. So ignorance is something I’m supposed to sympathize with now? No one ever told me that drug use is ok and that the war on drugs is dishonest.

    You dodged my question. You implied by your statement that under no circumstances is it morally permissible to rat on someone. Maybe you meant that it’s not morally permissible to rat on someone who committed a criminal act that you believe should not be criminal. But that’s not what you said.

    And yes, you are supposed to sympathize with someone who was wronged by the authorities, even if they have come to a different conclusion about their moral set of values than you have, instead of simply writing them off as not being as enlightened as you are.

  61. Really? Let’s change the crime. Let’s say it was theft, and the girl got legitimately busted as an accessory. Why is it wrong for her to give-up the criminals who planned and executed the theft?

    Except that for the theft analogy to work in this case, you’d have to assume she got busted for petty larceny — shoplifting cheap plastic jewelry or a couple candy bars, say — and the cops decided to use her as bait to bring down a violent grand theft auto ring.

    Also, if she HAD in fact committed theft, her actions would have caused actual harm to another innocent person, but you can’t expect cops to make such distinctions. They’re just following orders.

  62. Oh, fuck! The authorities are responsible for this young womans death, and I’ll wager nobody in the Talahassee police department recieves any punishment. The War on Drugs Youth continues.

    Fuck, fuck, fuck! I’ll be a busy internet beaver today over this.

    I decided to stop posting and saying “Fuck the police” about a year ago. That decision is not irrevocable.

  63. @ Smacky

    Personally, I agree with you about turning narc.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Rachel Hoffman, before being busted, wouldn’t have agreed herself. But let’s think about how the cops worked on her. No attorneys, alone, frightened. They probably good cop/bad cop’d her, emphasizing how she’d spend a lot of years in very scary prison versus sending some evil coke dealers to jail. Probably let her spend the night in the clink to mull it over. Made it sound easy, safe, the right thing to do. In short, they used all the psychological techniques at their disposal to make her turn narc.
    So, I agree, narcing is wrong, but I understand why it happens.

    The other lesson I take away from this is one that continually infuriates me: schools do not teach practical civics. The Bill of Rights is given passing mention and examples of practical application (like in the various videos about what to do if you are busted – and how to avoid it in the first place) are not taught. Of course, I don’t really expect the schools of the State to teach citizens how to resist the depredations of the State?

  64. Maybe you meant that it’s not morally permissible to rat on someone who committed a criminal act that you believe should not be criminal.

    I meant, that, too. And the reason I didn’t answer your hypothetical is that it is not analogous.

    And yes, you are supposed to sympathize with someone who was wronged by the authorities,

    She wasn’t wronged by the authorities, she was complying with them. Anyway, I don’t know why you are accusing me of being unsympathetic. If people don’t want comments on a news item, don’t blog the fucking thing.

    even if they have come to a different conclusion about their moral set of values than you have,

    I find it deliciously ironic that you would be telling me how I should be responding, and that the “proper” response is moral neutrality, unless it’s ire directed at the authoritahs.

    instead of simply writing them off as not being as enlightened as you are.

    I didn’t write anyone off; apparently you are reading deeper into my observations than you should be. It’s ok though, I all but expect hotheaded irrational anger from most H&R
    commenters anymore.

  65. This makes me angrier than the usual “isolated incidents.”

    Why?

    Is there something about Katherine Johnson or Cory Maye that make them less deserving of your sympathy.

    Or Ryan Frederick? Or Jerrod Shivers?

    Dispassionately, no. But pretty young women bring out the chivalry inherent in most American men.

    Publicize, publicize and publicize some more. If the drug war is not evil, evil has no meaning.

  66. I’m from Tallahassee and new of Rachel from the local jam band scene. She was a kind soul who loved music and would not have hurt a flea. Did she make some mistakes? yes. Did she deserve to die for them?

    From talking to others who knew her on a more personal level the Tallahassee police department threatened her with 30 years in prison if she did not turn someone over and promised her a way out if she did work for them. In most circles they call that unscrupulous extortion.

  67. Can’t help but wonder if this is part of that “new professionalism” that Scalia was talking about.

  68. Also, if she HAD in fact committed theft, her actions would have caused actual harm to another innocent person, but you can’t expect cops to make such distinctions. They’re just following orders.

    Again, you’re bringing in your beliefs about what should be criminal while discounting what actually is criminal. For people who have bought into the (il)logic that it is legitimate to criminalize drug use, I don’t see how it is immoral for them to rat out people who have engaged in similar criminal activity.

  69. It’s ok though, I all but expect hotheaded irrational anger from most H&R
    commenters anymore.

    Speaking of irony…

  70. Abdul,

    Well, what you’re missing is that the cops would have locked the contraband in an evidence room until the trial and destroyed the contraband after all appeals had been exhausted instead of putting it through the usual chain of distribution.

    Good one. I needed something to laugh about.

  71. Correction to my last post: She was wronged by the authorities, but working with them isn’t going to make them go away any sooner. Any interaction with the police pretty much ensures that they are going to do you harm.

  72. She wasn’t wronged by the authorities, she was complying with them.

    After multiple gun-toting bullies threatened to lock her away for 30 years.

    Smacky, you’re starting to remind me of my insane childhood Sunday-school teacher back during the “Satanic panic” days: if you’re ever kidnapped and tortured by a gang of Satan worshipers, do not under any circumstances let them torture you into saying something like “Hail Satan” or “to heck with Jesus” because the second you make such a statement, regardless of the circumstances, you WILL condemn your soul to hell forever and ever, and extenuating circumstances are NOT to be considered.

  73. Comfort to Rachel Hoffman’s family and friends.

    Enforced drug prohibition allowed terrible judgment on the part of cops to result in death of a girl who had harmed no one and should not have been subject to the coercion of the police in the first place.

  74. “We don’t twist arms to get people to do this,” McCranie said. “We have people tell us no all the time.”

    And you sir, are a cocksucking lying bastard. I fucking KNOW you’ve committed perjury, so lying to the press must be second nature to you. Fucking immoral, evil, lying killer.

  75. Again, you’re bringing in your beliefs about what should be criminal while discounting what actually is criminal. For people who have bought into the (il)logic that it is legitimate to criminalize drug use, I don’t see how it is immoral for them to rat out people who have engaged in similar criminal activity.

    So we need to stop criticizing Eliot Spitzer for his anti-hooker crusades, then.

  76. Jennifer,

    The character assassinations aren’t necessary. If you want to equate having principle with being a hysterical religious person, that’s your right.

  77. So we need to stop criticizing Eliot Spitzer for his anti-hooker crusades, then.

    I don’t see the comparison. Spitzer was a hypocrite because he was prosecuting prostitution while engaging in it himself. I think that’s entirely different from being a criminal, getting caught, and then telling the truth about other known criminal activity in order to lessen your punishment for your own activity.

    I don’t see how ratting on your fellow criminals is a hypocritical action.

  78. If you want to equate having principle with being a hysterical religious person, that’s your right.

    No, the problem with my old teacher wasn’t the fact that he was an “hysterical religious person,” the problem is that he — and you, apparently — have decided there is one and only one way to behave regardless of the circumstances.

    But let’s take religion out of this and use another example: funding al-Qaeda is an evil thing, we’d all agree. Despite this, if Bin Laden breaks into my apartment, holds a gun to my head and says “Give me all your money or I’ll kill you,” I’ll admit that I’d give him whatever money I have on hand, despite my strong objections to everything al-Qaeda claims to stand for. And then when I get arrested and charged with funding terrorist groups, you can argue that giving money to such people is immoral, and I should’ve known better, and whatever penalties I face are likely what I deserve.

    The fact that I was terrified and under much duress shouldn’t be taken into consideration; funding terrorism is just plain WRONG.

  79. I all but expect hotheaded irrational anger from most H&R commenters anymore

    Uh, eh…. a beautiful 23 year old hippy chick is dead (with Katherine Johnson, Cory Maye, Ryan Frederick, Jerrod Shivers still fresh in my limited memory banks) because of some weed. No, I think my anger is completely rational and justified.

    I would much rather live in a world populated by non-violent hippie chicks, elderly black ladies, and doting fathers than gun toting cowards….any day.

  80. I don’t see how ratting on your fellow criminals is a hypocritical action.

    Actually, it is the only smart option according to game theory.

  81. I’d like to think I’d tell the cops, if faced with similar pressure, to go fuck themselves.

    Don’t know though.

  82. Jennifer,

    Your analogy is unapt.

  83. Your analogy is unapt.

    How so? If I give money to Bin Laden, I know damned well that money will be used to harm innocent people. What gives me the right to endanger other people just to save my own ass?

  84. Well, for one thing (since I apparently have to point out the obvious)…you know what…nevermind. This is just distasteful to me.

  85. smacky –
    To a 23 year old college grad, the prospect of ruining your future is about as scary as it gets. Kids at Ivy Leagues commit suicide over bad grades. I recognize that she was probably not quite this type, but it is something to consider.

  86. Well, for one thing (since I apparently have to point out the obvious)…you know what…nevermind. This is just distasteful to me.

    Almost as distasteful as I find the notion “I would never do Action X as I sit here in my safe, quiet apartment free of threats to life and liberty; therefore, I condemn a scared young girl who does Action X when facing a cadre of gun-toting bullies with the legal authority to force her to spend the next several decades in a hellhole where she can expect to be raped and beaten on a regular basis.”

  87. smack’s point (at 10:55am) is well taken. Cooperating with the cops in drug cases when they’re holding a threat over your head is fraught with peril.

  88. Jennifer,

    I know we can always count on you to bring the blog drama.

  89. At first I wasn’t with Smacky on this morally ambiguous situation. After reading the thd, I am with Smacky. Thanks for the teaches, Smacky.

  90. Cooperating with the cops in drug cases when they’re holding a threat over your head is fraught with peril.

    True, but I won’t condemn a naive and terrified young girl for not behaving with the calm wisdom of her non-terrified, non-threatened elders.

  91. Actually, it is the only smart option according to game theory.

    Unfortunately for her, the expected utility of cooperating and not cooperating were both negative.

  92. I know we can always count on you to bring the blog drama.

    You want to try actually addressing my points, or do you think merely saying “You’re wrong, blog drama queen” is sufficient argument?

    Well, it is sufficient to win Dave W. over to your cause.

  93. Any cops who work in drug law enforcement reading about this tragedy might want to consider a more ethical occupation.

  94. Any cops who work in drug law enforcement reading about this tragedy might want to consider a more ethical occupation.

    If they had ethics, they wouldn’t work in drug enforcement in the first place.

    No, let me rephrase that: I can see how somebody might start out truly believing that arresting Teh Scary Coke Dealers is a noble and necessary job. But anybody with an ounce of sense or conscience will soon figure out “Hey, I’m not arresting murderous Colombian drug lords; I’m arresting college kids getting stoned while watching South Park in their dorms!”

  95. Smacky,

    If you consider these cops to be corrupt and unethical, that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t have complied when threatened. If anything, it suggests that she might have believed that she had no choice but to comply.

  96. I won’t condemn a naive and terrified young girl for not behaving with the calm wisdom of her non-terrified, non-threatened elders.

    Yeah, she’s the victim here-A victim who picked the worst of two bad choices foisted upon her, but still certainly the victim of the enforcement of these insane and unjust drug laws.

  97. being a criminal, getting caught, and then telling the truth about other known criminal activity in order to lessen your punishment for your own activity.

    I don’t see how ratting on your fellow criminals is a hypocritical action.

    If we were discussing a movie about an international ring of cat burglars, you might have a point. Unfortunately, it’s complete and utter bullshit in the context of the actual story here.

  98. fsugrad and other friends and family. It is terrible that your daughter was murdered, especially in this way.

    This was no accident, maybe some dumb cops did things that are bad PR for the drug war, but going back to the Opium Wars and the British East India Company. Drugs prohibition in countries has been understood by the world’s leading drug trafickers to greatly increase prices and therefore profits. The worlds leading profiteers from this industry have not lost this knowledge. In fact they are more aware of it than ever, their interests are represented in the highest levels of government and it is a known fact that the CIA has long roots in trafficking drugs into this country to fund numerous black ops…this is KNOWN. The rumors and unknown is likely to be even worse. The hundreds of billions of dollars in annual profits that are derived from the drug war and the resulting high prices, prison complex etc are known to also fund media efforts to promote the drug war adn co-opt so called moralists to cross promote the drug war. Your beautiful daughter/friend/human being is viewed as simple collateral damage by the promoters of this evil war.

  99. As sad as it is there is one less snitch out there helping out the stupid pigs.

  100. As sad as it is there is one less snitch out there helping out the stupid pigs.

    Fuck you.

  101. The police really screwed this up, and I can’t believe they thought this setup was going to end well. Those responsible for this should be disciplined, but a manslaughter prosecution would be totally unjustified.

    However, if you’re 23 friggin years old, whether you’re an ugly male or a pretty female, you’ve got to be able to be held accountable for your own decisions. Especially in this case, where she was obviously familiar with the consequences of drug possession and still chose to possess them. I don’t agree with the drug laws either, but you live in the legal system you have, not the one you wish you had. She chose to do this buy so as to avoid the punishment that was due her. You win some, you lose some.

  102. Cigars | May 13, 2008, 11:51am | #

    As sad as it is there is one less snitch out there helping out the stupid pigs.

    What Warty said. Squared & doubled.

  103. As sad as it is there is one less snitch out there helping out the stupid pigs.

    Gota be one of the most insipid comments in the history of H&R.

  104. What Warty said. Squared & doubled.

    The magnitude would be greater if you doubled first and then squared it. 🙂

  105. I find it highly amusing that the same smacky who’s anything but rational in it-is-for-the-children cases has the nerve to accuse others of being irrational in this one.

  106. That “snitch” comment smells like baboon droppings.

  107. NP,

    Maybe you should address her points instead of engaging in pointless ad hominems.

  108. I am facing up to 25 years in prison. They keep offering me better and better deals to lie about my knowledge of crimes commited by others. The DEA raided my house and threatend to sodomise me in front of my two year old daughter. It seems to me that if every “CI” met with the same fate as this girl a lot of innocent people such as myself would be spared the hell I am facing. The only evidence they have is the the lies others, some I have never met or even heard of, who are trying to save their own skins. It reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. She got what she deserved.

  109. NP,

    What are you talking about? *Everything* is considered a for-the-children case these days, and I’m opposed to most of it. Being morally opposed to child pornography doesn’t make me a for-the-children nanny when it actually is about the children. Seriously, you may want to consider S’ing TFU.

  110. A – it’s past time for exemplary executions, it really is.

    B – someone is dead. I know the temptation to purity of principle is strong in libertarianism, but show some compassion. Please.

  111. There sure are a lot of brave individuals posting on this item. Willing to stick to their principles even when faced with what amounts to extortion and torture. Just try not to wet your pants when it is your turn, jerks.

    This is a very sad case and the reason people might find it so is that the person involved was clearly not that bad and stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place for real. Unfortunately, it often takes a case where the facts are ultra clear for people to understand what really happened.

    The cops should be ashamed of themselves. They clearly got someone killed just as surely as if they had done it themselves. In a true “justice” system, they would fair badly, but alas, I’m sure it will be found that they “followed procedure”. More evidence that we the people should put a stop to the WoD.

  112. she was obviously familiar with the consequences of drug possession and still chose to possess them. I don’t agree with the drug laws either, but you live in the legal system you have, not the one you wish you had.

    Would you say the same thing about, for example, a Saudi facing execution for promoting Christianity? I mean, I don’t agree with Saudi anti-missionary laws either, but you live in the legal system you have, not the one you wish you had.

  113. CP, I’m not the one who first accused others of being irrational, so you wanna direct that criticism to smacky.

    And smacky, what a nice straw man you’ve got there. I’ve never said being morally opposed to child pornography makes anyone a for-the-children nanny. And yeah, that particular issue was about the children–and the freedom of speech. You argued that McClellan guy should be punished for a crime he had yet to commit, while instead you could’ve argued that we citizens should exercise our own First Amendment rights to keep vigilance on the self-proclaimed child pedophile and disseminate any info that should keep him from actually realizing his sick fantasies. You can disagree if you want, but that didn’t strike me as very rational. And no, I’m not gonna return your childish use of profanity.

  114. There sure are a lot of brave individuals posting on this item. Willing to stick to their principles even when faced with what amounts to extortion and torture. Just try not to wet your pants when it is your turn, jerks.

    Now, now, I’m certain that if such people ever found themselves facing a cadre of gun-toting bullies with the legal authority to lock them away for multiple decades, they wouldn’t let the slightest tinge of fear color their response. No, they’d stand tall and shout “I KNOW MY RIGHTS!” This would make the cops weak-kneed with fear, and since we all know cops never engage in acts of brutality, plant evidence or tell lies to convict people, the abashed cops would slink out of the house and look for an easier target.

    Or perhaps the cops would go ahead and arrest them anyway, and they would be sent to prison and serve their sentences with pride, telling their fellow inmates “I am a martyr for the cause of liberty!”

  115. You argued that McClellan guy should be punished for a crime he had yet to commit,

    No, I didn’t. Reread the thread, numbskull.

  116. i largely agree with smacky on this one – trusting drug cops is probably the worst of all possible bad choices. she made her choice, and unfortunately paid the price for it, but her choice was throwing other folks to the wolves for the sake of her own ass.

    of course, in a decent world those same cops would now be facing some kind of manslaughter or reckless endangerment charges, but we don’t live in that world either.

  117. Dear Jennifer and robin; I have found myself “facing a cadre of gun-toting bullies with the legal authority to lock me away for multiple decades” I did not “let the slightest tinge of fear color my response.’ I did “stand tall and shout “I KNOW MY RIGHTS!” The cops did tell lies. They did go ahead and arrest me anyway. I may be sent to prison and serve my sentences with pride, telling my fellow inmates “I am a martyr for the cause of liberty!” And not only that but I know of six others who are indicted as well who have done the same. And because you will wet your pants when it is your turn, you are the “jerks” not those who have pledged to do as I have.

  118. Things I’d like to see: A full-page newspaper ad (or 60 second tv ad) run around the country just before the November election, listing name after name of non-violent drug users who were killed or injured in this “war.” Next, a plea: “If you have ever been put through the system on a non-violent drug charge, or know someone who has, or even if you think this list is just too damned long, vote for these candiates:”

    Finally a (probably short) list of candidates, of any and all parties, or independents, who will be on ballots in the newspaper circulation region or broadcast coverage area, and who have pledged to end the drug war and add no more names to the long list of casualties.

    I can’t afford much, but I’d certainly chip in for that.

  119. But you see BobDobbs, if we were reading about how your body was found after such a deal, the thread would be very short, probably just a “Gee, that didn’t work out so good for that guy.”

    It it a fine thing that you stood your ground in the face of criminal acts by the police. Good for you, er uh, too bad for you. But your complaint seemed to be that the snitches were lying about you. Nothing in the story about Rachel Hoffman suggested she had turned into a professional snitch or lied about anyone. So your lack of compassion just highlights the fact that you lack compassion. Have fun in prison.

  120. My, my. First smacky flat out contradicts what she said on the thread, and then she tosses in another mighty imaginative ad hominem. Ok, so you wanna review your own words instead of engaging in actual argument? Here’s what you said.

    First you made the highly rational argument that “McClellan can fuck off” (your own words), and then you produced this gem:

    As I said in a previous thread, the proper thing for the community to do would be make McClellan’s life a living hell, because he is clearly asking for it. Making allusions to burning down his home if it were legal, shoving a hot poker up his ass if it were legal, or other sundry tortures isn’t illegal, either — and if it is, then he is guilty of the same thing: harassment and/or menace.

    Now again you’re free to disagree if you want, but that sounds pretty much like punishment to me. Perhaps I should also mention that punishment need not be prosecution and/or persecution by the state, ’cause otherwise I don’t know how one can argue that the above does not qualify as punishment. And no, I’m not interested in a childish tug-of-war.

  121. Police = Criminals and cowards hiding behind badges

  122. Robin,

    I don’t know if BobDobbs’s story is true, but if it is I wouldn’t hold what he said against him. I doubt many people in his position would be able to look at this issue from an objective standpoint.

  123. Smacky wrote:

    “Still…why would anybody attempt to make a deal with cops?”

    Right or wrong, about 90% of felony defendants cut a deal with the cops. It may be stupid, but it’s the norm. People who refuse to cooperate are very rare.

    “Any interaction with the police pretty much ensures that they are going to do you harm.”

    I admire your stance and have no logical argument against it.

    BTW, when you see cop lights flashing in your rear view mirror, do you start shooting right away or do you lead them on a high-speed chase first?

  124. And no, I’m not interested in a childish tug-of-war.

    Somehow, I seriously doubt the veracity of this, considering you’re dragging completely non-related discussions into this thread, for what purpose, I know not.

  125. The poor woman (not a girl) made a terrible mistake and it cost her her life. That said, she really should have known better than to say or do ANYTHING before seeing her lawyer. Also, ratting people out is morally wrong and inherently dangerous. When you choose to be a drug dealer you accept certain risks and rules. One of these rules is that you DO NOT RAT.

    And yes, I have been in a position much more serious than she was in. No, I did not speak to the bastards.

  126. If this girl was so willing to sell her immortal soul to the police to save her own skin there was nothing to stop her from telling lies about the involvment of others to further reduce her time. Then those would tell lies and so on and so on. I belive this is what usualy happens when someone does not keep their mouth shut. How manny people would have had their lives destroyed because of her actions? See the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. I pray that her death may searve as an example to those whould take her path. P.s. You will never read about how my body was found after such a deal. I would never make such a deal. Oh and Robin, “Gee, that didn’t work out so good for that guy.” and “Have fun in prison.” just drip compassion.

  127. I do not know if this will help you belive what I say is true but here is the latest injustice in my case.
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/may/09/moncier-tries-to-stay-on-cases/

    Julia C. Newman, is one of people I will be going to trial with, who the police want me to lie about.

  128. Has anyone seen that new show DEA on spike TV? The tactics that they use are out of control.

  129. smacky,

    Much as I’d like to take the easy route of just saying “I pwned you” and letting this go, I’ll explain why I made my previous comments, as you asked why I brought up these “completely non-related discussions.”

    When you first accused others of being irrational, I couldn’t help but think of that separate thread where you let your emotions overrule your reason, so I brought that up. (I’m guessing even you now agree with me on this, since you didn’t refute any of the points I made above.) And I did that because you didn’t seem eager to give half the concern you showed for children to this young woman who became yet another tragic casualty of the drug war.

    Now you said that she made herself “an instrument of the state” of her own accord, and you’re right, she did just that. But that’s not the main issue here. The issue is that she was forced to become an instrument of the state by her circumstances. The girl was threatened with prison time and thus lost student benefits and scholarships and possible expulsion from school, not to mention a permanent record which very well would’ve spelled the end of her upward mobility. I think most of us would’ve took the path she did if we were in her position.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s no evidence thus far suggesting that she lied and put innocent parties in danger only for her sake, unlike many other informants. (I know you’ll disagree, but even if she did lie I’d still consider that a reasonable action based on her circumstances.) And contrary to your assertion, not all cops are “underhanded and dishonest.” I see that even you agree narcs are bad, and the cops may very well believe that anyone who deals in narcs, professionally or not, is a threat to society and deserves to be prosecuted accordingly.

    So if I were you, I’d take shots at the main source of this problem–the drug war and the use of informants–rather than at this (late) woman, whose life, along with many others, would’ve been saved had the government set their priorities straight. And I think that was other H&Rers’ criticism of your comments as well.

  130. I just left a scathing screed of my thoughts about the TPD on their Web-site.

  131. I take exception to some of the derogatory comments made about police officers. Were these vice officers the worst example of LEOs? Yes, but it’s unfair to paint all cops so negatively.

  132. BobDobbs,

    It is possible to wish that individuals would be strong enough to resist the police or other goons without suggesting that anything that happens to them they had coming. There are human failings common to us all.

    I used you as an example of why Rachel Hoffman might draw a more compassionate response than another person. Your lack of compassion for her reduces my compassion for you. Thanks for reinforcing my point.

    Just remember that the code of “no snitches” works both ways. The cops won’t snitch on one another either. Focusing on the snitch aspect loses sight of the problem: the police shouldn’t be allowed to extort cooperation with their sting operations or prosecutions. That is wrong and leads to the sort of lying witnesses you claim you are subject to and the possible death of people like Rachel Hoffman.

  133. One of the things that’s been said in the local media from the start, was that this was a join operation involving not only the Tallahassee Police Department, but the DEA as well.

    The controlled buy in fact was set up outside the Tallahassee city limits where TPD has no jurisdiction. They did not inform the County Sheriffs office about the investigation. They claimed they didn’t have to since the DEA was involved.

    This is not only a matter of a small town police department screwing up a buy bust, but the Federal Government was in on this from the beginning. Why haven’t we heard any explanation from the DEA?

  134. BobDobbs,

    I didn’t mean to imply that you were not telling the truth. My point was that since you are very personally involved in your ordeal your own account of it may not be 100% objective (without your realizing it).

    As for Rachel Hoffman, I don’t blame you for being hostile to her and other informants, but I do hope you’ll recognize that the fault lies not with her but with the government and misguided cops.

  135. And I did that because you didn’t seem eager to give half the concern you showed for children to this young woman who became yet another tragic casualty of the drug war.

    Again, what are you going on about? You didn’t “pwn” me in any way. I stand by my comments on the other thread, even if I was clearly angry about McClellan. Too bad for you if you don’t think I’m exhibiting the “appropriate” level of mourning for this particular instance of so-called “collateral damage”. Maybe you can decide for the rest of us what is and isn’t allowable discussion, is that it?

    Could you possibly be a little more condescending in tone, by the way? I didn’t “refute” any of the “points” you made up because you didn’t make any points, unless your sole “point” was pointing out that I get angry like anyone else.

    The issue is that she was forced to become an instrument of the state by her circumstances. The girl was threatened with prison time and thus lost student benefits and scholarships and possible expulsion from school, not to mention a permanent record which very well would’ve spelled the end of her upward mobility. I think most of us would’ve took the path she did if we were in her position.

    You can project and speculate all you like. That’s worth absolutely nothing, of course.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s no evidence thus far suggesting that she lied and put innocent parties in danger only for her sake, unlike many other informants.

    See, you’re missing the larger point I’m making, NP. What makes drug users and/or drug dealers inherently “guilty” other than the existing WOSD? Either you’re a troll or you’re just incredibly dense. Regardless, I’m through engaging you.

  136. I would never do Action X as I sit here in my safe, quiet apartment free of threats to life and liberty; therefore, I condemn a scared young girl who does Action X when facing a cadre of gun-toting bullies with the legal authority to force her to spend the next several decades in a hellhole where she can expect to be raped and beaten on a regular basis.

  137. Right or wrong, about 90% of felony defendants cut a deal with the cops. It may be stupid, but it’s the norm.

    Well, there is that old adage about how 90% of everything is crap.

  138. it’s unfair to paint all cops so negatively.

    No, it isn ‘t.

    When “good” cops start arresting the “bad” cops, and testifying against them in open court, we can revisit that assertion.
    When a “good” cop looks at a situation such as this, and says, “You guys are crazy- this is a stupid plan, and I’m not going to let you do this to that girl,” and then goes public with the story, I might reconsider.

  139. This is not only a matter of a small town police department screwing up a buy bust, but the Federal Government was in on this from the beginning. Why haven’t we heard any explanation from the DEA?

    Obviously, I don’t know what the case is here, but a lot of times the DEA only provides money for the local task force. The day-to-day stuff is run by local law enforcement who should know the drug scene better.

  140. Well, well, smacky. I’m sorry you felt so condescended to, but what do you expect from me if all your responses have been irrelevant name-calling or glib dismissal?

    First you said I only accused you of being intemperate and inconsiderate on the McClellan thread (and this one), whereas I clearly made the point that the thread was also about freedom of speech and that it would be far better to use that freedom to keep vigilance on him and disseminate any info that could keep him from acting out his pedophilic proclivities. You can stand by your comments if you want, but you’re the one who’s “incredibly dense” (does this count as name-calling?) if you fail to see that abusing our speech rights to harass and punish McClellan will bear little to no fruit.

    As for the second quote you used above, anyone remotely familiar with the drug war knows that a drug conviction, especially one serious enough to lead to prison time, does result in lost student benefits and scholarships, possible expulsion from school, and future employment difficulties. And as Tommy_Grand pointed out above, most felony defendants cut a deal with the cops. So yeah, you’re again free to dismiss my comments as mere projection and speculation, but I know they’re supported by facts.

    And no, I didn’t miss your larger point, as I made the same point above. My other point was that you cannot denounce Rachel Hoffman or other informants as “guilty” especially when you don’t know if they endangered innocent parties or even what they believe regarding the use of drugs. This has nothing to do with how much or even whether you feel for Hoffman.

    All these are fair points; I’ll see if and how you can refute them this time.

  141. NP, Thank you. I do recognize that the fault lies with the government and misguided cops, but with her as well. Ro, if nothing happens to them for not resisting why should they? The reason code of “no snitches” works both ways, is because the police punish the good cops who stand up for what is right. Can you name an instance were this is not true? The police shouldn’t be allowed to extort cooperation with their sting operations or prosecutions. I wish it were not so, but untill my wish comes true, who would say “I think most of us would’ve took the path she did if we were in her position.” and “even if she did lie I’d still consider that a reasonable action based on her circumstances.” If it would lead to their death? It is possible that people without honor may rember this death before putting on a wire or lying abought others. If one person considers that not lying about another to save themselvs

  142. “even if she did lie I’d still consider that a reasonable action based on her circumstances.”

    Where does it say that she lied?

  143. about others. If one person considers that not lying about another to save themselves is the reasonable action I will consider her death toward the good.

  144. Jennifer,

    We do not know that she lied. That was one of the points I was trying to make.

  145. Typical cops: send a little unarmed woman into the danger zone because those gun-toting cowards won’t.

    Jennifer wins the thread. Hands. Down.

  146. We do not know that she lied. That was one of the points I was trying to make.

    Yes, I’m aware of this. It’s your (and my) detractors on this thread saying that she either lied, or was just a vile coward who lacked the balls or ovaries of steel that would’ve ensured other posters on this thread would’ve been all “Hey, your threat of 30 years in prison doesn’t scare me, piggy-pig-pig!”

  147. BobDobbs,

    No problem. And you make a number of good points, and I’d certainly agree that most informants aren’t blameless, either. That said, I still think the Rachel Hoffman case is a bit different. As Balko noted above, she arranged to purchase 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun, which suggests that whoever was dealing in this case, no matter what you feel about the drug war, was by no means an innocent party. This dealer was clearly professional, and many of those who oppose the use of corrupt informants but still support the drug war would say that he/she deserves to be prosecuted. Again I understand where you’re coming from, but I still think Hoffmann “got” more than she deserved.

    Jennifer,

    On this we agree. BTW, this may be the first time I’ve ever seen the phrase “ovaries of steel.” 🙂

  148. BobDobbs,

    Sorry, I don’t subscribe to the “pox in snitches” attitude that you seem to hold dear to.

    To back up ro’s point, if no one ever snitched, the institutions of power would be hardened beyond anything we can imagine now. For instance, I can guess that a snitch in the police department might actually help your case.

    There is truth and there is untruth. “Snitches” can be effective in uncovering that truth. People who tend to want to remain in power understandably don’t like snitches. And a snitch who lies isn’t a snitch, they’re simply a liar.

    I don’t hold snitches with any absolute positive or negative view. They are to be valued on a case-by-case basis.

  149. Jennifer; just because you are craven do not suppose thst all are. I am scared that I will lose my daughter, but I will take the easy path and destroy others. I pitty you and those like you who will not stand for what is right.

  150. Jennifer; just because you are craven do not suppose that all are. I am scared that I will lose my daughter, but I will not take the easy path and destroy others. I pitty you and those like you who will not stand for what is right.

  151. Paul; you are correct.

  152. Right or wrong, about 90% of felony defendants cut a deal with the cops. It may be stupid, but it’s the norm.

    That’s probably prosecutors, not cops. Anyway agreeing to wear a wire to catch drug dealers for the cops is off te scale as far as danger is concerned.

  153. It seems to me that she was asked to arrange a purchase of 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun. It seems that there is an asumption on your part that “this dealer was clearly professional.” and able to supply what she asked.

  154. Got Dam It Balko! I’m going to start filtering you out. This is the most depressing shit, and it isn’t even Monday morning. You’re supposed to do this to us on Monday–not all week.

  155. BobDobbs, it did cross my mind that there might have been multiple dealers involved, but I doubt there was a lot more than one or two parties involved. Again as Balko said above, this particular deal would’ve cost her over $10,000, and I doubt she would’ve consented to her arrangement with the cops if she had been asked to deal with any suppliers that she didn’t already know or couldn’t easily get to know. But I don’t think this is relevant, because in any case I don’t think she deserves as much blame as, again, the government or the misguided cops. You’re free to disagree, but that’s what I’d argue.

  156. Np; I agree. Bearing what I have said before in mind. If it had been someone from the government or the misguided cops who died in her stead, I could not be happier. I still wonder if this purchase of 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun was greater than anything that her dealers had ever done before.

  157. but if it continues to happen again and again, then like LarryA said, people will be so afraid of a disproportionate response to one’s pot hobby that they will decide to quit out of fear.

    That’s not what I said. Please cite one case in human history where a government successfully shut down a black market even with the most violent “disproportionate response.” OTOH there are numerous situations where otherwise decent, law-abiding people lost all respect for authority and joined in the black market created by prohibition. Look at the number of smokers who avoid tobacco taxes in the U.S. today. Or compare it to alcohol prohibition in the Roaring Twenties.

    I don’t see how it is immoral for them to rat out people who have engaged in similar criminal activity.

    There’s quite a bit of difference between, “Tell us who sold you drugs or bought drugs from you so we can go bust them” and “Even though you don’t have a clue as to what you’re doing, put on this wire and use our obviously bogus story to set yourself up as a dealer with violent drug gang members who would torture, rape, and kill their own mothers over $50.” If I sent my daughter (or anyone else’s daughter) into a situation anywhere near that dangerous, if I even let my daughter walk into such a situation, I would justifiably be prosecuted for it.

    I don’t agree with the drug laws either, but you live in the legal system you have, not the one you wish you had.

    See: Revolution, U.S. and Declaration of Independence.

  158. Good Riddance. She is worth more as an object lesson.

  159. BobDobbs,

    That’s a fair question. And I wouldn’t cheer for the death of anyone (besides the biggest a-holes), but I understand your sentiment.

  160. Would you say the same thing about, for example, a Saudi facing execution for promoting Christianity? I mean, I don’t agree with Saudi anti-missionary laws either, but you live in the legal system you have, not the one you wish you had.

    That analogy is inapposite. In your example, her death would be the work of the Saudis, not some third party as in this case.

    A better analogy would be if the Saudis threatened the missionary with 30 years in prison and offered the missionary a reprieve if she infiltrated an al-Qaeda cell with a history of beheading Christians with rusty knives. In that case, her death would be unfortunate, but the Saudis would not bear prime responsibility for it, since she chose to take the risk.

  161. I would never do Action X as I sit here in my safe, quiet apartment free of threats to life and liberty; therefore, I condemn a scared young girl who does Action X when facing a cadre of gun-toting bullies with the legal authority to force her to spend the next several decades in a hellhole where she can expect to be raped and beaten on a regular basis.

    Let Action X be “put a revolver with five chambers loaded in your mouth and pull the trigger”. I’m not saying I’d have the balls to tell the cops to go to hell. I’m saying I wouldn’t have the balls to do what they’re asking me to do.

  162. Let Action X be “put a revolver with five chambers loaded in your mouth and pull the trigger”. I’m not saying I’d have the balls to tell the cops to go to hell. I’m saying I wouldn’t have the balls to do what they’re asking me to do.

    Yeah, no kidding! I’m not trying to make myself out to be some badass; just questioning the wisdom of entrusting the government with my own life. If they’d asked me to do the same thing, I probably would’ve offered both of my wrists to the relatively merciful handcuffs.

  163. I would never do Action X as I sit here in my safe, quiet apartment free of threats to life and liberty; therefore, I condemn a scared young girl who does Action X when facing a cadre of gun-toting bullies with the legal authority to force her to spend the next several decades in a hellhole where she can expect to be raped and beaten on a regular basis.

    If she were a British sailor, she probably would have failed to withstand torture, to!

  164. I’m really sorry I came back to this. Really. Sorry. That girl looks a little like my old friend Brian’s first girlfriend, Krista, so maybe that’s the hook.

  165. I hate the WoD and I feel for her and her family; she did not deserve to lose her life. With that said, after reading the article, this does seem like a Darwin Award candidate. For example, she was busted the first time with 25 grams of weed while she was speeding. Unfortunately, stupidity can lead to death. Luckily, she didn’t take anyone else with her to the grave.

  166. Typical cops: send a little unarmed woman into the danger zone because those gun-toting cowards won’t.

    Jennifer wins the thread. Hands. Down.

    I dunno. This seems more than a bit sexist. In a bad way.

  167. Eat a dick. She could have done her time if she didn’t want to take the deal. The easy way to avoid this shit is… DON’T FUCKING PISS ON THE LAWS!

    I say again… eat a dick!

  168. she was texting her BF telling him is was about to go down..

  169. To Ms. Hoffman’s family and friends, please accept my deepest condolences and heartfelt regret for your loss. The pain and suffering Ms. Hoffman and you have been forced into by those sworn to protect us is inexcusable. This heinous and absolutely unnecessary tragedy will not be forgotten. There is no excuse for this. The shameful unfounded defense offered by the authorities attempting to shift the tragedy of their own incompetent actions to the victim is nothing short of reprehensible.

    This story should outrage all of Florida and all the USA. Florida has some of the toughest drug laws in the country. I’ve seen our ridiculous drug policy cause tragedy, corruption, waste of resources, harm to citizens and society beyond imagination and once again needless death. There’s a growing movement to change this but we must all take action or tragedy will continue. Visit the site referenced below and get on their mailing list. Take civic actions that will make a difference when they notify you. Sending an email or making a phone call to your elected representatives can do more good than you might think. If not now, when? If not you, who? Enough is enough! “Just Say Know” is working on your behalf and they deserve your financial and civic action support. Just shaking your head and saying “that’s a shame” will not stop this.
    If you’re using Internet Explorer web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home
    If you’re using any other web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

  170. im from tallahassee. born and raised. as ive gotten older i have realized that TPD is full of idiots. I have family that is in law enforcement and i respect what they do very. my uncle does drug bust all the time. TPD screwed up. I had a friend they tried to make an informent. He refused to do it. They tried to scare him saying he would go to jail for years. He has been on house arrest for 6 months now. He didnt break. She did. She had gone to the Leon County Jail for 3 days and was scared shitless. They tell her shes going away for years if she helped them. She did not lie. She didnt know what to do. She thought she was doing the right thing. She sold pot. Herb. Something that SHOULD be legal but isnt legal because she government cant make any money from it since we can grow it in our back yards. She died because the cops made a mistake. Whether or not you would become a “narc” in that situation it doesnt matter. you shouldnt judge her for her decision because she was scared and everyone is differnet. Rachel was one of the coolest nicest girls i have met in a long time. She made mistakes. But she did not “get what she deserved.” she deserved nothing but goodness in her because she only ever tried to spread joy. All of youll who think other wise can go to hell. She deffinently deserves better than how youll are speaking about her. Show some respect.

    RIP Rachel

  171. This was a clusterf*#k beginning to end.She made the mistake of trusting TPD,LCSO,FDLE &DEA to protect her when she had $13,000 dollars of THEIR money, to buy what THEY told her to.The search warrant says that there was 4oz of cannabis,2 pills of ecstasy and 4 valium. It’s quite a stretch to graduate from 4oz of pot to 2oz of coke,an even further stretch from 2 pills of ecstasy to 1500,and,to seal the death warrant, buy a gun. They were just doing their job….poorly & deadly. They lost track of her in this ‘controlled buy-n-bust’ with 4 agencies involved while a Huey and 2 Apache helicopters sat on the pad at TLH airport. For $13k, you’da thought there could have been Air Coverage. Not to mention that they set this buy up in a City Park. Why not the parking lot at FSU?.

  172. All of you who claim you would never narc and that Rachel Hoffman (R.I.P.) was a bad person for doing so: I have a suggestion. Why don’t you go to your local police station carrying a dime bag of pot and see how well you fare under their questioning and intimidation?

    Further, deponent sayeth not.

  173. fuck da police fuck authorities shit on every mother fucka in a badge “PUSSY CRACKAS”

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  175. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!! Not only did Rachel and I share a name, we share very similar characteristics in social and physical aspects. I saw an episode of 20/20 on ID on Rachel Hoffman. I was APPALLED by the responses by the Tallahassee Cheif of Police. It is so dishonorable to coerce a young, beautiful lady fresh out of college after being caught with A FUCKING QUARTER and six ecstacy pills. This murder was a part of the drug war, but it was the fucking police force who brought murder upon Rachel Hoffman. I could say SO much more but fuck those fucking pigs!!!

  176. “she deviated the plan” are you fucking kidding me?!?! The 20/20 investigation said the drug court contact states that no one under the drug court reign is to be in contact with any drugs!! Rachel has no experience with weapons-and they didnt plan anything for her! they rushed it! what the fuck!! this could happen to anyone, I feel so awful for her. SHE WASNT EVEN WATCHED BY ANY OF THE OFFICERS!!!! THEY DID NOT FOLLOW HER!!! “Not that I’m aware of…” cheif says. POLICE SHOULD HAVE CALLED THE WHOLE THING OFF ESPECIALLY WHEN THE DEALERS WANTED TO GO TO ANOTHER LOCATION! THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT SAFETY!! WHY DIDN’T THEY ABORT THIS DEAL?!?!? I CANT FUCKING BELIEVE THIS FUCKING PIGFACED FUCKER!!! HE DOES NOT DESERVE HIS POSITION AS A CHEIF. HE WAS QUICK TO LABEL HER AS A KNOWN DRUG DEALER!!! SAID THAT SHE HAD SEVERAL FELONIES BUT NONE OF THEM WERE EVER CONVICTED!! THEY DIDN’T KNOW RACHEL!! SHE WAS RECKLESSLEY USED, AND MANIPULATED AND COERCED!!! THEY MADE HER OUT TO BE THE NEXT AMERICAN FUCKING GANGSTER!!!! SHE WAS CONVICTED OF NOTHING!! POLICE BRING NO JUSTICE THEY PLAYED A SHADY GAME WITH THIS POOR GIRL, THE POLICE SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AT FAULT FOR HER MURDER! FUCK THEM!

  177. Im floored the cops keep trying to say it was her fault. Its the COPS fault for sending a girl,who only had 4 pills, to go buy 1500 and a handgun. Fools. An idiot could see it as a set up. You could have watched her all you want, but you set her up to die with that buy. It was obious she was just a small time pot dealer that took E some times.

    I cant beilive they raided her house over 4 ounces of pot and 4 pills. Less then $500. I bet it cost tax payers more then that to drive to her house for the warrant

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