Drug Policy

20/20 Looks at the Rachel Hoffman Case

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ABC's 20/20 looks at the sad case of Rachel Hoffman, the 23-year-old college student murdered after police recruited her to be a drug informant.  The show does a good job of not letting the police paint the woman as a hardened pusher (by all accounts, she wasn't).  When the police chief says Hoffman was caught with a "quarter pound" of marijuana, the reporter asks him to illustrate about how much that would be.  He's forced to reply, "about a baggie."  When he says they found a felony amount of "Valium and ecstasy" in her apartment, he's forced to admit the felony supply comprised all of six pills.

Faced with four years in prison for that "stash" under Florida's aggressive drug laws, Hoffman agreed to work as an informant.  Police in Tallahassee had Hoffman contact two major drug dealers with whom she had never previously met and arrange for the hippie college chick and small-time pot dealer to purchase cocaine, 1,500 ecstasy pills, and a handgun.  The thugs must have smelled the setup from a mile away.  It was some astonishingly stupid police work.

It's good that the case is raising questions about the use and abuse of drug informants.  It's too bad that it took the death of a pretty white college girl for those questions to be asked. 

This has been going on for a long time.

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  1. The commentors at the Orlando Sentinel blog were sadly predictable. The majority take was like in Airplane!, i.e., “they bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into, I say, let them crash!” Oh, and of course, the implication was the the cops always know what they’re doing….otherwise they wouldn’t have a badge.

  2. Astonishingly stupid police work indeed. Did TPD actually think street-saavy dealers would buy this? Did the narcs not take into consideration that this naive 23 year old pot peddler might be in over her head? No,of course not. Drug war logic dictates that we think in terms of stats, not human beings. They used her, now she’s dead. RIP Rachel.

    As a potential police recruit, I am especially troubled by this case. Look at what drug prohibition is doing to the profession of law enforcement and the relationship between citizens and their police. In the ghetto, there is no real relationship between police and the people, and you can thank the drug war for that. What about problem solving? What about quality investigations leading to arrests of major offenders? These and other areas of the job are suffering because of the drug war. It’s all a big dog and pony show. I will not, under any circumstances, work in a narcotics/vice squad if I am hired by a police agency. I encourage any currently serving officers reading this to make the same pledge. I know the work may be exciting, and the training, particularly in surveillance, is probably pretty good, but its not worth it. I’d much rather walk a beat or work a crime scene. If you work in these areas you can help people resolve REAL problems. Not so in drug work. People want to get high. Deal with it. People own their bodies, so let them make the decision. Check out the website of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) for more info on that.

  3. Patiently waiting for Neil (or the latest performance artist imitating Juanita) to explain why young, white co-eds must be sacificed to make an omelette.

  4. I hope someone offers Mr.O’Hooligan a free lifetime script for zoloft. I think he’s gonna be real depressed.

  5. Rachel Hoffman is a good object lesson for potential snitches.

    Good nominee for a Darwin award as well.

    If she was a Black male would her resume qualify her as a “hardened pusher” ?

  6. brotherben: I don’t think I’ll need Zoloft. I support legalization, but I don’t think there is a pill for all of life’s dilemmas. I am not going into this field in a naive manner, and hopefully my comments made that clear. I don’t think a career in policing would lead to depression (though regular exasperation is a possibility). What I do need is for people, both in and out of law enforcement, to wake up. It didn’t work with alcohol and it won’t work with any other substance that people smoke, inject, ingest, etc.. If people can get that through their thick skulls some time in the next 20 years or so, we might see a revolutionary change in the way law enforcement functions. I remain hopeful, but realistic.

  7. The show does a good job of not letting the police paint the woman as a hardened pusher (by all accounts, she wasn’t).

    Even if she was-Big deal! It still doesn’t provide justification for the unjust drug laws that led to her death.

    With the exception of laws germane to youth drug use, the people in drug law enforcement should be so ashamed of themselves. Look at all the tragedy that comes from drug prohibition. I hope that the government goons who oversaw this horrible episode are punished

    .

  8. It was some astonishingly stupid police work.

    Was it stupid for General Grant to send thousands of men into battle when he knew that most of them would die? I don’t think so. She was on her way to wasting her life in a drug-induced stupor anyway, so the fact that she died for a good cause is a net positive.

  9. A quarter pound?!

    That’s only half of what we medical marijuana patients here in California can legally possess (the law states we get up to 8oz).

    They’re insane claiming she was a dealer. She was a gullible young gal who enjoyed some weed sometimes, and they put her in the ground for it. Taught her lesson. She won’t be making that mistake again. Go pigs!

  10. Joni: I sincerely hope you are being sarcastic, perhaps mocking the mentality of drug war hard-liners. If not, then comparing the civil war (which freed black slaves) to the current drug war (which imprisons blacks disproportionately) is pretty damn sick. Also, I think it’s extremely debatable that Hoffman was going to spend her life “in a drug-induced stupor.” More likely, she would have moved on or simply remained an occasional pot user. Either way, who gives a fuck?

  11. Let’s see, wearing a wire, carrying $13,000 of cash, and wanting to buy considerable amounts of cocaine, extacy and a handgun from career criminals.

    For those who aren’t going to watch the 20/20 link, I provide for you this teaser:

    Reporter: What kind of training did she receive?

    Police chief: Brian, as far as the training…her… the… she, she received as far as training for as a CI? We don’t provide training for a C.I.

    These cops are so fucking busted. A C.I. died while under their care. This should be a serious charge leveled against the police leadership.

    It’s one thing to call someone a C.I. who sits in an office and tips cops off to other drug activity. It’s an entirely different thing to enlist someone into dangerous police work undertaken solo, in city parks with strangers the C.I. has never met. If I were the mayor of this town, I would put that chief on indefinite leave and open an investigation with the likely outcome of firings all around.

  12. “She was on her way to wasting her life in a drug-induced stupor anyway, so the fact that she died for a good cause is a net positive.”

    You’re right. Having a little fun with some low-level drugs is wasting your life. So is having sex if it doesn’t produce children or anything else that is pleasurable and does not contribute to economic productivity. Long live the protestant work-ethic.

  13. And alcohol induced stupors are bad for society, too, so let’s try prohibiting alcohol. Oh, wait…
    JMR

  14. Rachel Hoffman is a good object lesson for potential snitches.

    Good nominee for a Darwin award as well.

    Wow, SIV, you’re a dick-and-a-half. Way to show some compassion. I hope someone hit hits you in the nuts with a golf club.

  15. brotherben: I don’t think I’ll need Zoloft. I support legalization, but I don’t think there is a pill for all of life’s dilemmas. ”

    I’ve been in law enforcement over 2 decades and I support legalization/decrim. There are a fair # of us, believe it or not. I get a little peeved when people (especially) leftists blame cops for the drug war. Last I checked, congress makes laws and presidents can veto or not.

    But the legislators get a pass.

    I find it AMAZING fwiw, that she was facing FOUR YEARS for 1/4 lb of pot and afew pills? for a first time offender?

    In my jurisdiction, that would net probation, if not a deferred sentence.

  16. Six Valium and X warrants a felony?!?

    Florida: come for the weather, stay because we put you in jail after finding a few Vicodin in your bag.

    I would hope her family drops a civil suit on these scumbags’ heads.

  17. At least the police officers were able to go home to their families at the end of their shift.

    Isn’t that what’s really important?

  18. He’s forced to reply, “about a baggie.” When he says they found a felony amount of “Valium and ecstasy” in her apartment, he’s forced to admit the felony supply comprised all of six pills.

    Maybe this is what people need to see. Most people hear “drug dealer”, think of Tony Montana, and lose all sympathy. If things were broken down so they could the cost of prosecuting & imprisoning a person for a baggy of weed and some pills, they might realize what a waste this all is.

  19. I pray that this case will teach people to take their legal lumps and never cooperate with the cops on drug cases. That was one of my personal best decisions I’ve ever made, at nineteen, no less!

  20. Patiently waiting for Neil (or the latest performance artist imitating Juanita) to explain why young, white co-eds must be sacificed to make an omelette.

    The elected representatives of Florida passed the laws this young, white co-eds chose to break. She could have chosen differently.

    The police offered her another choice, become a CI or go to jail. She could have chosen differently.

    While this case plays well in the media, the true tragedy is all the young, white co-eds whose lives are destroyed by indescriminate use of unlawful substances.

  21. I find it AMAZING fwiw, that she was facing FOUR YEARS for 1/4 lb of pot and afew pills? for a first time offender?

    In my jurisdiction, that would net probation, if not a deferred sentence.

    That may be SOP at the moment. However, I’d bet dollars to donuts that the laws are more than adequate for a DA that wanted to push it.

    And that’s another aspect of this tragedy. The DA was only able to flip this girl because she wasn’t a hardened pusher. Players in the drug game know better than to work with the police. Most will do their time no matter how many years they’re facing. If they do turn informant, they need witness protection.

  22. dunphy: If you enforce immoral laws then you are immoral. You cannot be a hypocrite and not expect others to call you out on it. I do not do work that goes against my convictions. You are as much to blame as anyone in congress.

    Would you have arrested “colored” people for drinking from white water fountains? Would you have forced Japanese citizens into internment camps? Would you have ****ed some **** if it was the law? (*’s to prevent godwin)

    you make me sick

  23. adrian,
    Do you buy things? Cause you know they charge a sales tax most places, and they use that money to pay police to fight the drug war. In fact just trading in US Dollars pretty much makes you a financier of to the WODs. Better switch to Euros if you don’t want to be a hypocrite.

  24. Adrian, smoking dope when it is forbidden is not morally equivalent to breaking laws that discriminate against a class of people, such as blacks drinking out of whites-only drinking fountain. Get some perspective dude.

  25. I get a little peeved when people (especially) leftists blame cops for the drug war. Last I checked, congress makes laws and presidents can veto or not.

    Do you make your thoughts known to the higher-ups? Do you let people go who aren’t harming anyone, or only when you’ve already met your quota?

    You’re going to have to do a lot better than “we’re just doing what the politicians say”.

  26. Most people hear “drug dealer”, think of Tony Montana, and lose all sympathy. If things were broken down so they could the cost of prosecuting & imprisoning a person for a baggy of weed and some pills, they might realize what a waste this all is.

    perhaps. or perhaps they’ll think “gee, i never realized that drugs were so compact. compact and evil.”

  27. It’s too bad that it took the death of a pretty white college girl for those questions to be asked.

    Come on, Balko. I thought we’d long since established this. There’s only 2 things people care about: puppies and pretty white girls. You might be able to push a story with a black college girl, but she’d have to be excessively hot, and it still wouldn’t sell as well.

    And even with all that, most people will look at the story, see “Florida” and not get too excited about it. Now, if this happened to a pretty white girl in Des Moines, that would spark a story that’ll get plastered all over CNN.

  28. You’re going to have to do a lot better than “we’re just doing what the politicians say”.

    The last thing that we need is for the cops that are out on the street to be making value judgements about which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore.

    We should expect the police to apply the laws as written to all people regardless of race, gender, economic status, etc.

  29. I wish you were wrong, dhex.

  30. Move over Juanita, Joni is here.

  31. I get a little peeved when people (especially) leftists blame cops for the drug war. Last I checked, congress makes laws and presidents can veto or not.

    Agreed, it would be nice if the DEA was having recruiting trouble. Regardless, an alarmingly high percentage of those LEOs who join narcotics and SWAT-type units seem to have a misunderstanding regarding the who-works-for-who relationship between the police and the citizenry. I am only doing my job is no excuse, the fact that you took the job means that you endorse the policy. If not, pursue legitimate police work.

  32. The 20/20 summary leaves out this information:

    “Hoffman . . . was last seen by police about 7 p.m. Wednesday near Forestmeadows Park, where she was to go undercover during a drug sting. She left the area to meet the two men she was to buy the drugs and a gun from, despite a vice officer’s efforts to stop her.
    http://tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080515/NEWS01/805150348/0/COMP

    I’m not saying that the police are completely exonerated here, but why leave out that piece of information?

  33. She left the area to meet the two men she was to buy the drugs and a gun from, despite a vice officer’s efforts to stop her.”

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  34. The last thing that we need is for the cops that are out on the street to be making value judgements (sic) about which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore.

    Bullshit. They already do this constantly. What do you think a CI is anyway? It’s a criminal who they don’t bust so they can get info on other criminals. Not busting a guy with a joint is not only less of a value judgment, it also is less harmful.

    I can’t believe you even offered this idiotic argument (I realize you are a sockpuppet, but this argument is raised by others and needs refuting). Cops make value judgments every time they interact with someone.

  35. I’m not saying that the police are completely exonerated here, but why leave out that piece of information?

    I don’t know, maybe they tried to stop her like this guy
    swerved his bike?

    -K

  36. What do you think a CI is anyway? It’s a criminal who they don’t bust so they can get info on other criminals.

    CI’s are a big part of the problem. Who would trust a criminal to provide useful information? CI’s have a huge incentive to lie to keep their handlers happy.

    Like I said, the police should enforce the laws and throw potential CI’s in jail where they belong.

  37. Dunphy the NRO columnist?

  38. Warren: I try to avoid paying tax as much as i can but point taken.

  39. Policemen in this thread: what are the consequences for you if you choose to look the way when you catch drug offenders? I assume you’re taking a personal risk if you do so.

  40. Warren:
    No. Sorry. I’m not morally responsible for taxes forcibly extracted from me.

  41. I don’t know, maybe they tried to stop her like this guy swerved his bike?

    The police should have stretched a rope across the street and taken out the whole lot of miscreants.

  42. Citizen: Good point.

    Warren: I take back taking your point.

  43. Abdul,

    I’m not saying that the police are completely exonerated here, but why leave out that piece of information?

    Who left it out? It was a big topic of discussion the last time this was discussed here.

  44. I’m not morally responsible for taxes forcibly extracted from me.

    So why are the police morally responsible for enforcing laws enacted by the legislature? Is being a policeman immoral unless all laws are moral? Or do you think a moral policeman would pick and choose which laws he thought should be enforced? Would that be the moral thing to do?

  45. robc,

    20/20 appeared to have left it out. I couldn’t watch the video at work, but I read the ABC news summary.

    One of my peeves is “advocacy” journalism that really only tells one side of the story and won’t acknowledge weaknesses in the narrative.

    In fairness, I do remember Balko including the information in his first post on the topic. But if it’s unfair for the police to “paint” Hoffman as a drug dealer, then it’s just as unfair for 20/20 to omit that Hoffman ignored the cops’ advice that would have saved her life.

  46. Or do you think a moral policeman would pick and choose which laws he thought should be enforced? Would that be the moral thing to do?

    The policeman can always quit if he objects to the laws he has to enforce. You cannot quit paying your taxes if you object to where that money is going. See the difference now?

  47. Epi,
    Read my comment more slowly.

    So you are saying that as long as prohibition is the law, all police officers are immoral people.

  48. BTW,
    You can quit paying taxes, but there are consequenses. Just as there are consequenses to having only immoral people in law enforcement. See the similarity now?

  49. So you are saying that as long as prohibition is the law, all police officers are immoral people.

    If they arrest people who harm no one, then yes, they are immoral. Even if they don’t like doing it, they are enforcing immoral laws. As I said, “just following orders” doesn’t cut it.

  50. Let’s not forget teachers and administrators. It is clearly immoral to teach so long as schools enforce zero-tolerance policies on over-the-counter drugs.

  51. In Amsterdam, they don’t sell you a quarter pound of pot because they don’t know what a pound is. They’ve got the metric system. Instead, they sell you a Royal With Cheese.

  52. Let’s say a known killer stops you on the street, sticks a gun in your face and demands money so he can buy more bullets. You could, of course, refuse. He’d then shoot you and take your money and the results would be the same, only you’d also be dead.

    You quit paying taxes, the gov seizes your property and you go to jail or worse. They’ve still got your money. That’ll show them, Warren.

  53. Criminal, crime ? Rachel Hoffman??.. off the streets ?

    There are an infinite number of rational intelligent people regardless of if they use marijuana or not – that believe it should be legal. At the very least such a fact should help society understand ???. Marijuana or weed is certainly not a hard core drug. More destroyed lives and more violent crimes are related to crack, powder cocaine, or heroin intra-venous users and yes even alcohol???. then plain old mellow weed.

    Unfortunately, Rachel Hoffman broke the law – she got caught up in the nonchalant attitude of her peer group. It may very well be a dumb law but it’s still the law. Maybe the senseless death of Rachel will help educate people to the reality of what a dumb law this really is.

    Let’s face it – without some kind of law and order we’d all be in big trouble but this law that bans marijuana needs to change. So until we actually change a law that many say is wrong, even ridiculous – our police must enforce such law. Police got a rough job. However, sometimes within their own peer group – they get carried away with the task at hand

    Hindsight is always easy after the fact; but it’s truly bizarre beyond belief that this even happened. It’s tragic that more precautions were not taken beforehand. For cops to pit a little girl against two thugs in a drug sting operation that involved a gun is sickening.

    What crime did Rachel really commit to deserve this? Rachel Hoffman, caught twice with a “baggie” of marijuana. A drug that many feel should be legal; and certainly not punishable with even one day in prison?? let alone 4 years. Ironic, isn’t it ? ?. That it cost Rachel her life. Rachel a criminal involved in a crime ? That would be laughable if this wasn’t so tragic. Now, Rachel is off the streets forever and that’s a long time; and for what ?

    Many people realize there are bad hard core harmful drugs out there – but weed ain’t one of them. Weed has a make love not war effect. Medical marijuana relieves pain and suffering. Even the late night comedy shows goof around with pot jokes – explain the worse crime of taking a few tokes is raiding the cookie jar afterward. Celebrity guests on the shows readily admit to use of cannabis and many of the audience likewise. It’s a given that most of the musicians do inhale. It’s abundant everywhere including college campuses and in social settings virtually anywhere there’s a party. Good people, productive citizens literally millions of them – roll a joint, light up, toke, pass it around, relax and enjoy life. They hurt no one. Socially weed is more acceptable then ever before. Weed has a relaxing aura of “Peace on earth.” Rachel Hoffman was one of those peace loving people.

    Rachel Hoffman a beautiful human being, a young college graduate with plans for even more education and tangible career goals is gone. The world lost a fine young lady.

    Society needs to re-evaluate marijuana. American people should be outraged over the absurdity of these marijuana laws and methods to enforce them.

  54. From my point of view, any (directly) tax-funded job is morally suspect.

  55. From my point of view, any (directly) tax-funded job is morally suspect.

    I don’t disagree. Indeed I think the police are the number one crime problem in the country. I don’t know if it’s possible for a moral man to be a cop. I think most cops start out moral but are corrupted by the job. At any rate, I definitely think too many cops are immoral, and I don’t think it helps if only immoral people go into law enforcement.

  56. Rachel Hoffman is a good object lesson for potential snitches.

    Snitchin is Bitchin!

  57. I think it can only be moral if the cop is not a hypocrite. If they agree with everything they enforce then that is fine, once they stop agreeing they are immoral.

  58. Keep Dope Alive

  59. As I said, “just following orders” doesn’t cut it. – comment by Epi

    You know, this zero tolerance “morality” bullshit drives me up a wall. I would bet that everyone commenting here is living in their own glass house. Please tell me what industry, profession, etc… is so clean and pure that the same moral indignation leveled at LEOs, could not be leveled at any one of us.

    For example:

    Work as a payroll clerk at the local Nike – you must endorse foreign sweatshop labor.

    PS – I also believe that the WOD is a waste time and resources.

  60. Work as a payroll clerk at the local Nike – you must endorse foreign sweatshop labor.

    HAHAHAHAHA – good one. That was a joke, right?

  61. “Hoffman . . . was last seen by police about 7 p.m. Wednesday near Forestmeadows Park, where she was to go undercover during a drug sting. She left the area to meet the two men she was to buy the drugs and a gun from, despite a vice officer’s efforts to stop her.”

    And we have to take the cops word for that because Ms. Hoffman is not around to say otherwise, right. If you doubt that immediately after Rachel’s body was discovered the cops got together to concoct an alibi refresh their memories you are too stupid to be walking around without a guardian.

    Google Kathryn Johnston and tell me again that I should believe the drug cops when the only other witness is dead.

  62. You know, this zero tolerance “morality” bullshit drives me up a wall. I would bet that everyone commenting here is living in their own glass house. Please tell me what industry, profession, etc… is so clean and pure that the same moral indignation leveled at LEOs, could not be leveled at any one of us.

    It’s not bullshit at all.

    Many people make decisions like this all the time. Lot’s of people don’t take offers from or apply for jobs where the employer does morally questionable stuff.

    Sure some people rationalize it, but it is hypocritical.

    As to the question of making value judgements — cops do it all the time. How many cops let speeders go with a warning? Isn’t that a value judgement? I know people that have been caught with weed and been let go after being told to throw it out. Isn’t that a value judgment?

    And many if not most are fucking hypocrites. How many cops break laws or use the fact that they are cops to avoid accountability? They don’t respect “civilians” but go ahead and try to infringe on their rights to privacy and see how they get their panties in a bunch.

  63. Epi – I really don’t care to get into an endless pissing match with you. However two seconds of googling would yeild:

    “Mr. Jordan has always had the chance to use his influence to do something wonderful for the well-being of human beings in Nike’s sweatshops (overseas factories where workers are subject to extreme exploitation) whose work has helped make him a multi-millionaire. He chooses not to support justice for those people.” (Ralph Nader letter to LeBron James)

    Now granted Mr. Jordan isn’t just any employee at Nike – but you truly don’t think, that if I actually spent some time on the net, I couldn’t find some moral indignation aimed at all Nike employees?

  64. “Let’s say a known killer stops you on the street, sticks a gun in your face and demands money so he can buy more bullets. You could, of course, refuse. He’d then shoot you and take your money and the results would be the same, only you’d also be dead.”

    Only if he still had a few bullets left. Based on your story, he might be out.

    I live in the ghetto and a good many of the Lil’ Thug Wannabes jack folks with fake guns. In fact, that is most often the case. If a Lil’ Bitch ever draws on me, I’ll tell him to go fuck himself. Even if the gun is real, statistically speaking, he likely won’t be able to kill me. So fuck the little useless piece of shit bitch. And his whore mamma too.

  65. “For cops to pit a little girl”

    23-year-olds are adults, not little girls..

  66. Another tragic example of the complete and utter failure of the misguided, expensive, ineffective ‘war on drugs’.

    The blame should be put squarely on Florida’s criminal justice system: the cops who essentially black-mailed this poor girl, the legislature which wrote the decidedly draconian laws, and the courts who allow this sort of nonsense to continue unabated. They all have blood on their hands.

  67. Well wadda yah know, Nemo. One buwwit weft…

  68. “Mr. Jordan has always had the chance to use his influence to do something wonderful for the well-being of human beings in Nike’s sweatshops (overseas factories where workers are subject to extreme exploitation) whose work has helped make him a multi-millionaire. He chooses not to support justice for those people.” (Ralph Nader letter to LeBron James)

    Oh boy, a Ralph Nader letter. I’m soooo impressed. So tell me, is Nike still going into the countryside of SE Asia and abducting folks to work in their factories?

    Or do they have waiting lists full of folks who think making sneakers would be a step up in life?

    Sheesh!

  69. Cops like to compare the danger of their profession with that of the military.* They also like to dress up as soldiers and terrorize McDonalds restaurants.

    Going with the soldier analogy, what would Americans think of sending 23 year olds to wage war (It’s a WAR on Drugs, right?) in Iraq and Afghanistan without training?

    * I know it’s all bullshit, being a cop is safer than driving a taxicab.

  70. “Cops like to compare the danger of their profession with that of the military.”

    Except the danger the cops face is often the result of their needless escalation of force in busts on peaceful pot smokers or poker players or 90 year old grandmothers and the acting on the lack of good intelligence or no intelligence at all or on some CI. That is so freakin’ weak, words fail me.

    True professional soldiers / warriors would be turning their weapons on their brothers in blue at the first opportunity, because they would recognize them as wanna-be’s who pose an actual danger to society.

    //”Captain America” (Generation Kill) is who I think about when I see LEO’s go all tactical and stuff.

  71. (Ralph Nader letter to LeBron James)

    HAHAHAHAHAHA — you weren’t joking. That’s even funnier.

  72. Well at least Tallahassee drug dealers can rest easy knowing that one scatterbrained hippie cunt won’t be setting them up.

  73. “despite a vice officer’s efforts to stop her.”
    J sub D You hit the nail on the head. Is there a record of the cop trying to stop her? And bless any cop who is at least trying to be a good cop.

  74. “That may be SOP at the moment. However, I’d bet dollars to donuts that the laws are more than adequate for a DA that wanted to push it.

    And that’s another aspect of this tragedy. The DA was only able to flip this girl because she wasn’t a hardened pusher. Players in the drug game know better than to work with the police.”

    this is SO laughably demonstrably ridiculously false that it is proof positive how so many idiots get their knowledge of police and criminals from watching teevee.

    Players in the drug game FREQUENTLY work with cops. Many very experienced criminals actually enjoy it (kind of like cop wannabe’s). Others do it for money even if they aren’t working off a case. Again, this laughable ignorance is astounding. What possible evidence do you have to make this ridiculous statement.

    the wheels of the drug war are greased with career criminals who act as CI’s.

  75. “If they arrest people who harm no one, then yes, they are immoral. Even if they don’t like doing it, they are enforcing immoral laws. As I said, “just following orders” doesn’t cut it.”

    that’s colossally stupid. no sentient cop (and there are a few of us) could possibly agree with every law. heck, i think TONS of laws are wrong.

    I think the violence against women act has grossly violated right to free association (mandatory protection orders against the will of the “victim”.)

    I disagree with the war on drugs.

    I disagree with lots of laws.

    But there’s pesky little thing called rule of law. It is ridiculous conclusion to say – you can’t be a moral cop because you will be enforcing immoral law.

    Just because a law is terrible policy doesn’t make it immoral, and certainly doesn’t make it unconstitutional. i am 100% against the drug war, which is 100% the fault of legislators, and voters frankly.

    But there is no constitutional right to sell drugs. These laws are bad policy.

    Who exactly are the cops supposed to be? if nobody can be a cop if they disagree with ANY aspect of the penal code, then nobody can be a cop.

    Trust me. We need cops.

    I don’t have to seek out druggies. I can spend my time looking for thieves, etc. and helping bring criminals to justice who have victimized others. That’s how I do my part.

    Whinging about the drug war on H&R might make you feel good, but it doesn’t make the world a better place, and doesn’t take a bad guy off the street.

    If the drug war were repealed tomorrow, I would breathe a sigh of relief, as would many cops.

    But i can easily look myself in the mirror and know I am a moral (if flawed… aren’t we all) person who has helped many people, saved many lives, and gotten some real scumbags off the streets.

    I’m also happy I live in a state that doesn’t put somebody in jail (barely EVER) for first time possessory offenses), and has a fairly laissez faire attitude towards weed.

    fwiw, i think it’s ridiculous that somebody who commits a felony like check fraud or some piddly felony crime can’t carry a firearm. does that mean I look the other way when I catch that felon with a gun? no. I don’t have discretion with stuff like that. a small mount of weed, cops do (in many agencies), and you would be surprised how many people stopped by cops in possession of weed get given a warning. it happens all the time

  76. dunphy,

    If you have ever given a fellow cop a pass on immoral, corrupt, criminal behavior, then you are not moral- you are complicit in their behavior.

    As long as there are bad cops, there are no good cops. Don’t like being viewed as a corrupt piece of shit? Too bad- you should clean your own house before judging others.

  77. dammit- I put the primary addressee in the name field- that last one was from me.

    *preview is your friend*

  78. “If you have ever given a fellow cop a pass on immoral, corrupt, criminal behavior, then you are not moral- you are complicit in their behavior.

    As long as there are bad cops, there are no good cops. Don’t like being viewed as a corrupt piece of shit? Too bad- you should clean your own house before judging others.”

    what makes you think i have?

    and of course the same applies to you. whatever job you are in, if you have ever given a fellow coworker… same applies.

    goose and gander and all

  79. It’s not my job to enforce the laws, nor did I swear to protect and uphold the Constitution against all enemies, blah, blah, blah (at least not in my current job).

    I am, however, a licensed professional who is ethically bound to act to protect the public health and welfare, and in that capacity I have called out other engineers who I felt were endangering others with their work. There’s no “thin white pocket protector” that is in any way equivalent to the “thin blue line”- I don’t feel any duty to perjure myself to protect my colleagues- quite the contrary, I’ll call out bad actors if they act in an incompetent or unethical manner.

    This gander is on top of his shit, you silly goose.

  80. way to evade the issue. the point is we all have duty to act ethically and morally. what relevance that has to this thread is zero. but usually when cop bigots enter a thread, it’s instantly “but cops are corrupt”. well yes. some are. how is that relevant to this? it’s not. it’s similar to bush or clinton derangement syndrome. you can’t discuss clinton without mentioning THE PENIS, and you can’t discuss a police issue without saying CORRUPTION EVUL IMMORAL HALP

  81. And jackasses like yourself immediately have to chime in on every police fuck-up thread with “They were following proper procedure. Blame the legislature.” In this case, the cops (without the help and advice of the state attorney’s office) tried to use an unsophisticated low order pot user/peddler to entrap professional drug dealers. The outcome is something that anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have foreseen.

    There’s plenty of blame to go around- cops, prosecutors, legislators, and the dumb-as-a-bag-of-rocks electorate that fall for the bullshit that all of the above are peddling. Don’t try to evade the blame just because you usually let all the pretty white girls slide when you bust them with a couple of roaches in the ashtray.

    The war on drugs would probably wrap up a bit sooner if cops like you weren’t letting the middle-class white kids slide. Enforce the laws blindly and maybe the public will demand a change.

  82. except you are wrong. i did NOT excuse the cops for their PROCEDURAL decisions. it was COMPLETELY retarded to use some garden variety minor druggie to attempt to make that kind of buy.

    it was COLOSSALLY stupid.

    so, yet again if it’s not irrelevancies, you are completely fabricating.

    nowhere did i ever say I supported the cops judgment here.

    what i SAID was that those who thinkthe drug war sucks (including myself) first and foremost should blame the legislature. only they can change it. (or citizen initiative)

  83. “The war on drugs would probably wrap up a bit sooner if cops like you weren’t letting the middle-class white kids slide. Enforce the laws blindly and maybe the public will demand a change”

    just for the record, we have officer discretion and on MISDEMEANORS we can and should use it. it has ZERO to do with class or race, but that’s your incendiary fabrication.

    heck, I once had a police chief who told me “*name here* i don’t care WHAT fucking drugs people are enjoying in the privacy of their home. if they aren’t bothering anybody and they are adults, I don’t fucking care!”

    note he did not say “but only if they are white and middle class”

    also, fwiw, in my experience minorities and lower class are arguably MORE likely to be cut a break for a joint, etc. that’s because busy city cops who work high crime areas are more likely to not want to waste their time with that crap. small town hick cops with more time on their hands are more inclined .

    also, when a cop cuts somebody a break on the street, it often pays dividends. I once cut a break to this one driver who had a suspended license and some brass knuckles (minor crimes). she led me to a wanted fugitive (and no he wasn’t wanted for drugs. he was wanted for rape).

    discretion works well in situations like that.

  84. I know. You’re the one good one. Keep up the good work.

    And keep exercising that discretion in favor of your fellow cops, ’cause they ain’t little people.

  85. why is everyone still saying that these two men were big time drug dealers…..let me shead some light on this….there were not big time drug dealers rachael sold way more then they did there were 2 money hungry young men who would have never even took this on if the police would have informed rachael they want actual big time drug dealers instead of droping 15 grand dead in there laps all they were thinking is there a good come up and i can take care of my family with that did yall ever think of it that way or does everybody still belive everything they hear

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