Militarization of Police

Another Curtain Measurer Safely Taken Off the Streets; Or, Another Isolated Incident

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Tom's River, New Jersey:

A Toms River man, who claimed he was in an apartment to measure for curtains when he was kicked and stomped on by law enforcement officers during a drug raid four years ago, has won a $350,000 settlement in exchange for the dismissal of his excessive force lawsuit, his attorney said.

Jon Caldwell, 54, suffered chest trauma and fractured ribs after law enforcement officers "put their boots on his neck and started beating him by kicking and stomping on him," according to the lawsuit, which attorney Eugene Melody said was filed in September 2006.

The lawsuit contends that on Dec. 17, 2004, the then-Dover Township Police Department and the Ocean County Narcotics Strike Force were executing search warrants on a pair of apartments in the Park Ridge Apartment complex on Walnut Street. The raids were part of an ongoing investigation into the distribution of marijuana in the Toms River area, according to the suit.

Caldwell had signed a lease to rent an apartment in the complex beginning in January. The superintendent of the complex had given Caldwell a key to the apartment so he could measure for window treatments and furnishings, the suit states.

On a tip that a person was in an abandoned apartment, law enforcement also raided an apartment that they did not have a search warrant for, the suit claims. Caldwell was in that apartment.

"Several men in SWAT-type gear broke down the door to his apartment and tackled him, slamming him face first to the floor. These men, . . . members of the Narcotics Strike Force, put their boots on his neck and started kicking and stomping on him," the suit states. "None of these men ever identified themselves as "law enforcement' to Mr. Caldwell or asked him what he was doing in the apartment."

After law enforcement realized Caldwell had nothing to do with the drug raid, they let him go, the suit states. The next day, Caldwell was admitted to Community Medical Center, Toms River, according to the suit. His medical bills total nearly $100,000, according to the suit.

Even they'd had the right guy, was the beating and stomping really necessary?

Note too the lack of an announcement.

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  1. That darn 99% of cops making the good 1% look bad again.

  2. After law enforcement realized Caldwell had nothing to do with the drug raid, they let him go, the suit states.

    See, this is where the cops went wrong. They should have arrested him, trumped up the charges to elicit a plea bargain, and swept the whole thing under the rug.

    I’ll have to send the department a few copies of my new book: For the Children: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining the Post-9/11 Police State

  3. Measuring for curtains? Ha…a likely story. Besides, if you aren’t doing anything bad, you have no need for curtains. Toms River is only about 190 miles from the White House. Most likely, he rented the apartment as a sniper’s nest from which to shoot our Fearless Leader.

  4. This was just one incident
    You act like this kind of thing happens all the time

  5. What would have happened if they had killed him? Plant an unmarked gun, and sprinkle crack on his corpse?

  6. and sprinkle crack on his corpse?

    Ala the Dave Chappelle show, I think that would only work if he were black.

  7. Reinmoose,

    I like to think that police abuse doesn’t let a little thing like race blind them to their greater goal of creating a police state.

  8. In their eye’s all are unequal.

  9. Ala the Dave Chappelle show, I think that would only work if he were black.

    yeah, seriously, he should have had meth sprinkled around.

  10. I don’t think the police overreacted…the tape measure probably looked like a pistol.

  11. “Knock and announce” endangers the safety of police, so you can’t ask them to do that!

    “Truthfully admitting you didn’t knock and announce” endangers the jobs of police, so you can’t ask them to do that!

  12. Let’s see how this worked out for everyone. Mr. Caldwell got the crap beat out of him, completely humilated and terrorized, 100K in medical bills and three and half years later a 350K settlement of which after legal fees and interest on the medical bills he will end up with I bet around 100K. Would anyone here volunteer to have a bunch of cops beat the shit out of them for 100K? Not me. The tax payers get stuck paying the 350K plus who knows how much in legal fees to make up for the actions of a bunch thugs carrying badges. Oh and the cops? They no doubt got promotions for the whole thing.

    This shit is never going to stop. There needs to be a national ban on all police unions. There needs to be a national “law enforce licensing program” whereby every cop in every town is issued a license. If they are ever a part of something like this, their card gets pulled and they never work as a cop again. This shit happens because the cops have nothing to lose. The tax payers pay to clean up the mess and they at most go on paid vacation or administrative leave for a few weeks and move on. Until cops start facing real conisquences, they will continue to do this shit.

  13. Collateral Damage. A small price to pay to rid this country of the scourge of illegal drug use.

  14. NEIL!!!!!

  15. This just in from the re-write desk:

    Collateral Damage. A small price to pay to rid this country of the scourge of illegal apartment curtain fitting.

  16. Neil-You josh I trust.

  17. Thats not the real Neil. The real Neil would be totally serious.

  18. Any word on any punishment doled out to the police officers involved in the assault?

  19. A small price to pay to rid this country of the scourge of illegal apartment curtain fitting.

    Did he have a license to measure those curtains? I don’t see where it says he was a licensed interior decorator, ergo the cops were justified to assault him without provocation. Better show those cops your interior decorator permit.

  20. So the taxpayers are out 350K, and nothing changes.

    Except taxes go up, I’m guessing.

  21. There needs to be a national “law enforce licensing program” whereby every cop in every town is issued a license.

    No kidding.

  22. John, this is a great idea:

    There needs to be a national “law enforce licensing program” whereby every cop in every town is issued a license.

    They like to call themselves “law enforcement professionals”. Well, real professionals are licensed, and can lose their livelihood if they fuck up.

    I’m just dying to see the cops puff up and turn bright red, sputtering about how it would be an intolerable burden to them, because. . . well, it just would.

  23. “Did he have a license to measure those curtains? I don’t see where it says he was a licensed interior decorator, ergo the cops were justified to assault him without provocation. Better show those cops your interior decorator permit.”

    Unlicensed interior decorators are some of the most dangerous street criminals out there. The police have no choice but to come after them with as little warning and much force as possible. Their lives are at stake here.

  24. Neil-You josh I trust.

    It’s a straightfoward business case. The cost of a few isolated instances versus the benefit to society as a whole. Wanton drug use has enormous societal costs. Beating up the wrong guy, or killing an old women, every now and then is just a minor cost compared to the overal benefit.

  25. RC,

    If you are lawyer and you screw a client out of a few thousand dollars or get a couple of duis you get disbared. But, if you are cop you can shoot an innocent person or violate someone’s rights and nothing happens to you. I would love to do a national licensing program and sell it as a bait and switch. Sell it as a “means to recognize the professionalism and service of law enforcement officers” and then once it was enacted use it as a means to ruthlessly rid the world of bad cops.

  26. It would turn into just another rent-seeking organization John. No good would come from it.

  27. There needs to be a national “law enforce licensing program” whereby every cop in every town is issued a license.

    I’ll settle for a heart plug a’la Dune, or maybe a small explosive charge at the back of the head. 3 strikes and you’re *really* out.

    I’m guessing our peace officers might start taking a bit more pride in their work.

  28. I think that’s a really good idea, John, but for some reason, I think the police unions would be against it.

  29. A. The reason the cops can get away with what they do is because there are still a shitload of people who think the cops are mostly good and are protecting them. They have never been hassled or abused by the police.

    B. As the cops get away with more, and have more things they can bust people for, they get more arrogant and feel they are above the law.

    As B increases (as it has been), the people in A shrink. It will take a lot more of B to make A small enough to create change, but at the rate the cops are going it won’t take that long. Cop arrogance and unaccountability seems to be going up exponentially instead of linearly, and as they become more arrogant they are less careful to be nice to the people that will eventually make the difference: white middle class people.

  30. This Neil guy. Is he serious? Or just looking for some sport?

  31. This Neil guy. Is he serious? Or just looking for some sport?

    Sport. He is a unified alter ego, of a few posters here.

  32. “As B increases (as it has been), the people in A shrink. It will take a lot more of B to make A small enough to create change, but at the rate the cops are going it won’t take that long. Cop arrogance and unaccountability seems to be going up exponentially instead of linearly, and as they become more arrogant they are less careful to be nice to the people that will eventually make the difference: white middle class people.”

    That is very true. It is the same thing with the drug war. You want to end the drug war right quick? Appoint me AG and I will tell the FBI and DEA to concentrait on the demand for drugs rather than the supply. In doing so I am going to go after white middle and upper class drug users to the full extent of the law. I am going to stop worrying about people who sell drugs and only go after those who use drugs regardless of their social class. Bust a bunch of middle and upper class drug users and give them 10 or 20 years in the can, kick down a few doors in NW DC rather than Anacostia and all of the sudden prohibition won’t seem so great anymore.

  33. Liberty mike,

    Depends on whether it’s the real Neil. He can get quite shrill. He comes to do battle about every other week or so.

  34. Naga must not have been present when “Neil” as outed as an alter ego of “Cesar” to provide a platform for espousing the hard right point of view. There has never been are “real Neil”.

  35. Naga, Neil was a sockpuppet powered by Cesar, who used to be a regular commenter around here. Jesse outed him a few weeks ago. That Neil is dead because it’s pointless for Cesar to play him now.

  36. Synchronicity strikes again

  37. I am increasingly of the opinion that all cops should be eunuchs.

  38. Police work is highly dangerous and the pay often is low relative to the education and training required by many departments. In view of that, what would motivate an adult male to volunteer for that kind of work?

    Perhaps readily available, free pussy–cops are notorious poonhounds and brothels treat them as VIPs (sort of like convenience stores giving away coffee and soft drinks)–and a license for beating up people they don’t like.

  39. Most cops are good cops. This is evidenced by the good cops in this misunderstanding reported and testified against the bad apples who needlessly brutalized an innocent man.

    Oh wait …

    Cue Emily Litella – “Never mind”.

  40. What would have happened if they had killed him? Plant an unmarked gun, and sprinkle crack on his corpse?

    No, they’s have put the crack in little resealable bags. Don’t you know anything about proper police procedures?

  41. Police work is highly dangerous
    You got anything to back that up?
    and the pay often is low relative to the education and training required by many departments.
    Six weeks of academy isn’t all that much training. I’ve never known any uniform cop to have more than an associates degree. I don’t know what cops make. If they make over $30k/yr they’re making market rate for the training and education they have. I’m under the impression that they have exceptional benefits.

  42. This shit is never going to stop. There needs to be a national ban on all police unions. There needs to be a national “law enforce licensing program” whereby every cop in every town is issued a license. If they are ever a part of something like this, their card gets pulled and they never work as a cop again. This shit happens because the cops have nothing to lose. The tax payers pay to clean up the mess and they at most go on paid vacation or administrative leave for a few weeks and move on. Until cops start facing real conisquences, they will continue to do this shit.

    You know there is a real problem when I’m agreeing with John.

  43. Police work is highly dangerous and the pay often is low relative to the education and training required by many departments.

    In Detroit you need a high school diploma and a minimum of 440 hours training (less than recieved in boot camp). Sing it girl!

  44. I wonder what an LEO who regularly visited this site thinks about the

    left/right/libertarian
    religious/atheist/agnostic
    young/middle aged/old

    posters here.

    If any of y’all are lurking, the word is getting out. We are not fucking amused.

  45. Suffolk County, Long Island, cops start around $50k, but with overtime and special jobs, they on average make over $100k (plus a benefits package that is truly sweet). To be considered, a 4 year college degree is required. Walking without tripping and firing your weapon is not a job requirement.

  46. Apparently, if Neil didn’t exist, “Hit & Run” would have to invent him.

  47. They like to call themselves “law enforcement professionals”.

    That’s really part of the problem. I would be for going to a neighborhood watch model, where the only authority a sheriff had was to call up the local militia, which would consist of local residents who trained the way that volunteer fire departments do.

    If you can’t get the posse to arrest a cancer patient for smoking a joint, then he doesn’t get arrested. Paid deputies can be threatened with the loss of their jobs. Volunteers can’t.

    -jcr

  48. Last week, some poster called me the new Neil or bizarro Neil because I had the temerity to demand that Colin, CHris Doherty and others establish, by clear and convincing evidence, the veracity of the government’s 9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORY.

  49. J sub D-

    “Most cops are good cops.” To quote the 1981 Wimbledon champ, “you can’t be serious.”

    From a true libertarian perspective, i.e., government, in and of itself, is evil, most cops cannot be good cops. How many cops do you know who stood up and helped Ed and Elaine Brown? How many cops went to Waco in order to defend the Branch Davidians? How many Texas cops attempted to stop the seizure of all of those children from the church? How many cops have gotten in the face of ANY other cop who has arrested a person for possession of MJ? How many cops have taken up arms against the IRS? How many cops have refused to take their salary, knowing that its source was obtained by terror/COERCION?

    I respectfully disagree. Parasite city. Leechville. Anybody with any common sense knows that the real motivations for becoming one of Bolshevism’s blue bellied bullies do not include “public service” and ‘serving and protecting.”

  50. It isn’t the “real” Neil, for the “real” Neil pimps out his idiot website on his name link, whereas this thread’s Neil joker does not.

  51. liberty mike,

    Did you read my whole post?

  52. J sub D-

    My bad. No excuses. I just didn’t get the reference. And, to be fair, the rest of your posts on this thread do not indicate that you are a cop lover.

    I was not an early SNL fan. I came aboard with SNL’s greatest-Reggie Hammond. I know most folks think that distinction belongs to Belushi, Murray, Martin or Gilda, not me. Second would be, hands down, Chris Farley.

    My perspective on cops stands.

  53. I would have settled for nothing less than $1 million and the right to come into those cops homes and beat the fuck out of them once a year.

  54. Most cops around here (Los Angeles) earn over six figures. Probably like that in most major cities.

    The drug war is welfare for cops.


  55. They like to call themselves “law enforcement professionals”. Well, real professionals are licensed, and can lose their livelihood if they fuck up.

    Nah, problem is there would end up being sub specialty licenses, so you’d have door bangers, announcers, crack sprinklers, gun planters, drivers, etc. Would end up costing us a whole bunch more.

    It seems like they’re hot on doing this shit, why cant’ they do it in a way that helps the world, like beating the fuck out of joe or something?

  56. Well, real professionals are licensed, and can lose their livelihood if they fuck up.

    Yeah, just like those quack doctors … who end up at the VA.

  57. If you are lawyer and you screw a client out of a few thousand dollars or get a couple of duis you get disbared. But, if you are cop you can shoot an innocent person or violate someone’s rights and nothing happens to you.

    So why aren’t we all cops?

  58. So why aren’t we all cops?

    Because most of us are decent human beings that don’t need to have our boots on others’ throats to feel good about ourselves- in fact, most of us would find that kind of work repulsive.

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