Drug War

The Vegas Solution to Fatal Drug Raids: SWAT Teams

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On Saturday a coroner's inquest cleared a Las Vegas police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man, Trevon Cole, during a June 11 drug raid on the apartment the 21-year-old shared with his pregnant fiancée. Det. Bryan Yant testified that he kicked in the door to Cole's bathroom and found him squatting by the toilet, apparently flushing his pot stash. Yant said Cole then rose to his feet and "made an aggressive act toward me," moving his hands in a shooting motion while holding something metallic. No such object was found in the bathroom after Yant shot Cole, although the dead man was holding a yellow tube of lip balm. The position of Cole's body and the downward trajectory of the bullet as it pierced his cheek before lodging in his neck indicated that he was still crouching when he was shot, suggesting that Yant's gun may have gone off accidentally as he came through the door.

The inquest also highlighted errors in Yant's search warrant application. "Despite having a copy of Cole's California driver's license, complete with a physical description and date of birth," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, "Yant confused Cole with a Trevon Cole from Houston and California, who was seven years older, at least 3 inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter." Yant also erroneously claimed that the other Trevon Cole had a history of drug trafficking, when in fact his record was limited to possession charges. The Review-Journal reports that the same detective is "under investigation for apparently lying about drugs he didn't seize and actions he didn't take during a 2009 police raid that never happened."

The seven-member inquest jury nevertheless concluded that the shooting was justified. "Of about 200 Clark County coroner's inquests in officer-involved killings since 1976," Phil Smith dryly notes in the Drug War Chronicle, "only one has resulted in a finding of criminal negligence. Whether that near-perfect percentage of acquittals results from exceptionally good police work in Las Vegas, or an inadequate process and institution, depends on who one asks."

The fatal raid was embarrassing enough that Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie promised a thorough investigation. "Until our internal processes are thoroughly reviewed," Gillespie said, "all forced entry search warrants will be served by the department's Special Weapons and Tactical Unit (SWAT), which trains regularly and is well-qualified and suited for high-risk operation." Now there's a solution to the problem of police storming into people's homes and shooting them dead in an attempt to prevent them from selling pot: have SWAT teams do it. Why hasn't anyone else thought of that?

The Drug War Chronicle has more on the Cole case here and here.

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  1. The seven-member inquest jury nevertheless concluded that the shooting was justified.

    How can the shooting of a crouching, unarmed person, in his OWN home, be “justified”?

    1. He was black, so he must have been doing something illegal. Next question.

    2. Because it was done by a COP – didn’t you RTFA? It was necessary – you know, for “officer safety.” He didn’t have time to tell whether that was lip balm or a LAAWS or Stinger rocket launcher. I mean, it’s easy to confuse the ChapStick with a Beretta 92FS – hell, they’re nearly identical. Particularly in the heat of battle in a toilet.

      1. He didn’t have time to tell whether that was lip balm or a LAAWS or Stinger rocket launcher.

        +1, well done

      2. There’s only one thing a black man could have in his hands that could be mistaken for a bazooka…

    3. Dude, he was trying to flush his weed down the toilet, and you’re going to sit here and ask how the shooting was “justified”? What planet are you people from?

      This hero was just doing his job and keeping dangerous drugs out of the hands of children. By preventing them from being flushed down the toilet. Or something. Whatever, fuck it, they got their man.

      1. Some of these cops are trigger-happy cowboys who need to be roped, tied and drug behing a horse at full gallop until they confess their crimes. The poor man got shot over a stash of marijuana? The stuff shouldn’t even be illegal for goodness sakes! This cop needs to be riding a desk for a long time to come, if he is allowed to stay on the force at all. John W. McAlister
        http://www.ethical-universe.com

      2. Wait a minute, time out! Do you honestly believe that a suspected drug dealer heard the Pigs kicking in his door, grabbed his stash, ran to the bathroom, then paused for a moment to pick up a tube of lip balm so that he could flush his stash down the toilet with one hand while holding his lip balm in the other? OBVIOUSLY he was not flushing any stash down the toilet; the Pig shot him either while he was squatting ON the toilet or after the Pig had ordered him onto his knees.

    4. maybe the cop thought he was a dog. we all know cops hate dogs.

  2. No dogs to shoot. The officer had to improvise.

    1. Hah seriously, we should be praising the quick thinking and improvisation.

  3. Dammit Radley, must you always ruin my Fridays with a nice hard tick to the…

    ::looks up::

    Wait, now I need to worry about someone else doing it? Dangit.

    1. Jacob dabbles in this because of its strong connection to the Drug War.

    2. I was thinking the same thing. This is the kinda shit you’d expect from Balko, but Sullum?

  4. I’m too tired to attempt to say something funny. Fuck, I hate cops.

  5. Of course he as cleared. Of course he was. After all, who cares about one more dead, drug-doing black guy? The cops have to do their job and protect their safety. The guy shouldn’t have had drugs in his house if he didn’t want the cops to kick in his door and kill him. He had it coming. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time – or, don’t do the crime if you don’t want state-sponsored thugs crashing through your door and capping you while you’re in the can.

    1. Sarcasm overkill = fail.

      1. I disagree. Because there are actually people out there who think like that about ‘drug users’.

      2. BP is right; a lot of people do actually think like this. H&R linked to a story last year about at college kid who was shot during a raid (Grand Valley St?). The comment section was split between WTF?! and “he got what he deserved”.

        1. And then they go pour themselves a stiff drink to “relieve stress”.

          1. Not to get drunk though. People use alcohol socially, and use other drugs to get high.

            1. Now that’s subtle sarcasm.

      3. (Sarcasm overkill = fail) = fail.

  6. dunphy? dunphy? We know you lurk. C’mon, give us the “insider’s” take on why this was a Good Shoot.

    1. Because the bullet hit the target?

    2. Because a jury who heard all the facts found him innocent.

      1. Dunphy’s response: Show me the poll where the majority of Americans think this was a problem!

      2. The jury heard one side of the story. It wasn’t a trial, it was a coroner’s jury. Add in the fact that government goons are very unlikely to be very active in presenting the facts about a crime committed by another government goon and you have a “good shoot”.

        1. But but but, JURY!

  7. Testilying isn’t going to stop until cops are wired for sight and sound, with everything being uploaded to a nongovernmental watchdog organization.

    1. You think that would stop it? They’d claim the ‘watchdog organization’ edited the tape. Most people would believe them. And nothing would change.

      1. Testilying isn’t going to stop until cops are wired for sight and sound, with everything being uploaded to a several nongovernmental watchdog organizations, all of which must make the footage public.

        Happy?

        1. I once talked to David Brin about his book, The Transparent Society where he suggested that all of this public surveillance be made available to everyone–not just to government–in order to give us something back for the privacy we’d be losing and to make the world a more transparent place.

          I thought that was an interesting idea. Certainly, if a tape is running in a cop car or on a street corner, the idea that the government should have the ability to keep that secret seems problematic.

        2. Rodney King

      2. Editing leaves evidence of editing.

    2. Now you’re invading their right to privacy.

      1. Didn’t the 9th circus just declare that there was no expectation of privacy?

        1. And? The cops are still pretty sure the 9nth is incorrect, so they’re going to keep doing things their way.

        2. Yeah, put GPS on a cop car and see what they charge you with. My guess is ‘attempted murder.’

          1. I know you’re being (somewhat) facetious, but you’d probably get slapped with obstruction of justice and a good pistol whipping.

            1. Mmmmmm, Pistol Whip.

    3. “Testilying” – I like that. Well, not THAT, but the term…you know what I mean…

      1. Oh, it’s not original with me. In fact, I seem to recall that it was a term that some cops used to joke about their testimony when making sure bad guys got convicted.

  8. It is also another death caused by Detective Yant. The killing of Cole marked the third time Yant has controversially used his police firearm. In 2002, he shot and killed a robbery suspect, claiming the suspect, who was on the ground, aimed a weapon at him. But although the suspect’s gun was found 35 feet away, coroner’s inquest took only half an hour to find the shooting justified.

    The following year, Yant shot and wounded a man with a baseball bat, saying he mistook the bat for a shotgun and that the man had attacked him. But the man said he never threatened Yant and dropped the bat before Yant fired. Since he wasn’t killed, there was no coroner’s inquest, but Yant was exonerated in a departmental investigation.

    Clearly, all honest mistakes.

    And that Coroner’s office. Doing God’s work, clearing the names of these obviously good cops.

    1. Yant shot and wounded a man with a baseball bat

      How the hell do you shoot someone with a baseball bat?

      1. You aim the gun at him and pull the trigger. It’s not that hard.

      2. You’re talking about a guy who just shot a guy sitting on the crapper.

        1. Poor comprehension fail on my part.

      3. Y’all are missing my humor attempt there. The structure of that statement makes it sound like the cop used a baseball bat to shoot the guy. “He shot a man with a baseball bat,” reads like “he shot a man with a shotgun”.

        1. Sounds like this will only end when Officer Yant is found in some alley or ditch or buried in the desert.

          1. Yep. And when I hear about it, I’ll buy the first round of drinks for everyone.

    2. Perhaps I’m just being dense, but why is the coroner’s office the one making these investigations? Wouldn’t they just be able to say “Yeah, he was killed by a bullet from Yant’s gun. The angle of entry suggests he was laying on the ground when he was hit.” What would the coroner know about him holding a gun when he was killed?

      1. What would the coroner know about him holding a gun when he was killed?

        Clearly, you have never watched CSI. Those crime lab types have god-like powers to go with their hawtness.

      2. Two things come to mind:

        1. The coroner’s office would have to be involved just as you say, and this way the police aren’t policing themselves. (Yeah, I know, the offices are uncomfortably close in at least some jurisdictions…)

        2. Long ago in merrie olde England it was the coronor’s task to judge whether a death constituted a crime or not, so custom could come into it.

  9. It’s so fucking depressing that the only solution to this, at this point, is like dealing with the mafia: don’t get on their radar, don’t interact with them, don’t even have them know you exist.

    1. Don’t be black, don’t live in the wrong neighborhood or apartment building, don’t have the same name as anyone else…

      I fucking hate the police.

      1. White? Check
        Rual Iowa? Check
        Kinnath? Definitely Check

        1. Don’t the first two give probable cause to search your place for meth?

          1. Yup. Like Seanbaby would say, None of You Are Safe!

    2. i’ve come to the same, unfortunate conclusion…sigh…

  10. Clearly, arresting him on the next undercover drug buy was too dangerous to even consider. I mean, he wouldn’t be sitting on the toilet and them there negros are like exploding ninjas outside of the john. Everyone knows that.

    1. I resent your use of the exclusionary word “negros.” I’ll have you know we have Mexicans and white trash meth-heads in our ranks.

  11. Of course the cop was found not to be at fault when it was obvious that he was.

    If police were found to be at fault then that would erode the public’s faith in their ability to combat crime.

    It’s the same idea with convicting people who are obviously innocent.

    Truth and justice be damned.
    It’s all about keeping, maintaining and expanding power.

    1. If police were found to be at fault then that would erode the public’s faith in their ability to combat crime the self-perpetuating drug war and potentially turn them against a lucrative revenue source.

      How’s that?

      1. It’s not just the drug war, it’s crime in general.

        Some people actually trust the police.
        If police were found to be at fault when they go around killing innocent people who are no threat to them, then the general public might start to rightfully fear those who are sworn to serve and protect.

      2. fyi – when you strike stuff in a post your supposed to bold what you add.

        1. It’s not a requirement.

          1. It looks better.

        2. We use underline for the adds in union negotiations.

          I’ll let them know we have to change that to bolding for 2011. Thanks!

          1. Your union negotiates on a message board in html?

            1. 21st century, baby

              1. Right? Why can’t a web forum provide just as good a venue, if not better, than in person meetings or scattered correspondences.

        3. At least he figured out how to strike & italicize. I haven’t figured that out yet.

            1. Thank you

        4. fyi – when you strike stuff in a post your you’re supposed to bold what you add.

          Like this?

          1. exactly!

  12. This website has seriously depressed even my cynical view of life. I gotta stop surfing here, and reading stories like this. Seriously. Can’t turn on the TV without seein’ some police drama, which just reminds me of this reality. Wife and I watch TV in separate rooms now. Yeah, Reason.com has changed my life.
    Jesus. F*cking. Christ.

    1. Bad boys, bad boys
      Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
      When they come for you

    2. How do police dramas remind you of reality?

      Those dramas generally about people in search of the truth.

      In reality they just want to put someone in jail with no regard to guilt or innocence in order to prop up statistics and maintain their image.

      1. In reality they just want to put someone in jail with no regard to guilt or innocence in order to prop up statistics and maintain their image.

        I’ve seen a number of episodes where Stabler or that bitchy redhead DA do just that.

        Plus, they’re always willing to “bend the rules” as long as they can catch their perp.

        1. Perhaps you missed the previous sentence when I used the word ‘generally’.

      2. Precisely. The fact that every cop on TV is a “hero” willing to bend the rules to get the bad guy. Justice triumphs! When the reality is some guy dying on his bathroom floor, shot by a state sanctioned murderer.

      3. How do police dramas remind you of reality?

        Perhaps a better way to phrase it is that they remind one of the disconnect between popular conception and reality.

        Have you guys ever watched those “Real Policewomen of X County” shows? Holy shit, I couldn’t believe it when my girlfriend was watching it. People find this shit entertaining. We are proper fucked.

        1. We are proper fucked.

          Ayuh

        2. yes..the disconnect…thought that was implied…shouldn’t someone choosing the handle sarcasmic grasp sarcasm….now my brain just hurts…can i go home now

    3. Interesting – same here. Used to love cop shows – can’t watch ’em any more. My wife loves them…I’m in another room now when she has the TV on (unless, of course, it’s football, something we both love).

      1. Yeah, since I started familiarizing myself with this sort of stuff — mostly through Balko of course — I just can’t watch crimed dramas or procedurals or whatever you call them. The CSI forensics porn is maddening too.

        So I always end up scoffing like the arrogant asshole I am every time some blatant misrepresentation occurs, which is about once every 6 or 7 seconds. It seems to bug the girlfriend quite a bit. Understandable, but fuck I can’t just watch that shit and enjoy myself.

  13. WHERE THE FUCK IS DUNPHY???

    1. fap, fap, fap – Huh? What?

      1. You ain’t him. But if he ever comes here again the only question you should ask him is — “Have you ever seen a fellow office breaking the law and if so, did you arrest him?”

        1. office = officer

    2. ‘Batin. Go away.

    3. You have no empirical studies that this is common.

    4. Damn you, capital-D Dunphy! Damn your sticky fingers to hell.

    5. I’m wondering where those 10 good cops that contrast to this bad one are?

      1. 1) They have shot anyone… yet.

        2) They work behind desks.

        3) Too busy filling their quota of speeding tickets.

        4) At the range working on their itchy trigger finger.

      2. I think you got the ratio backwards.

  14. Cops killing a dog = national outrage by people normaly unconcerned about police brutality

    Cops killling a ‘civilian’ = who cares, next story

    This country has fucked up priorities

    1. “Dogs more important than niggers, News at 11.”

      1. =O

  15. If SWAT teams couldn’t use their armament against un-armed non-violent suspects they’d be out of a job. When the suspect is actually armed and violent they send in robots.
    With the SWAT team using robots to break his door down, the suspect, identified Wednesday only as a black man, was found dead just before 10 p.m., Ritter said.

    1. First the drones in Iraq/Afghanistan, now here.

      The wars are a blueprint for domestic police.

      1. “The wars are a blueprint for domestic police.”

        Shit, you think the Army could get away with doing half of the stuff SWAT does?

        1. Shooting unarmed civilians is a violation of the rules of engagement.

        2. I’ve stopped using the term “militarization of the police” because it’s an insult to the military.

  16. It’s hard for me to say anything that hasn’t already geen said, but I feel like I should say something. Det. Yant is obviously either not good at his job or flat-out corrupt. How many different times must the same cop get investigated and how many mistakes can he make during one “bust” before his own department considers it unacceptable? Even the sheriff has a half-assed idea that it’s messed up (using S.W.A.T. strictly for forced-entry raids right now).

  17. At the risk of your heads exploding, check out the story of Roni and Charity Bowers. They were missionaries in South America, flying in a single engine airplane, when a Peruvian Air Force fighter assumed they were drug trafickers, and opened up with the .50 caliber guns. Killed the mother, Roni, and the baby, Charity, took one of those bullets in her head. No charges filed against anyone, no drugs in the plane.

    1. Pfft, they flushed the drugs, obviously.

      Cesnas have toilets, right?

    2. Was that the one where the CIA observers started freaking out when they realized they just killed innocents?

    3. They shouldn’t have made that “aggressive move” toward the Peruvian fighter jet.

      Plus, the pilot mistook the baseball bat for an air-to-air missile so…

      Justified shooting. NEXT!

    4. A better thing to complain about in the Bowers’ case is the large amounts of U.S. aid subsidizing that Peruvian air force mission, and the CIA/U.S. military elint/sigint presence directly involved with the Bowers’ shootdown. Sounds tin-foily and like something from Coast to Coast, but it’s all true. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/…..id=9737718

  18. If drugs were decriminalized what would be the pretext used by the cops for stopping and messing with (and killing) so many people?

    1. failure to buy an obamacare insurance policy, failure to recycle, etc.

      1. Emitting carbon. Loading or unloading in a White Zone. Putting salt in your eye.

    2. I don’t know, perhaps Protecting and Serving?

    3. Flying an American flag.

      Only paranoid domestic terrorist militia members do that.

      1. In some parts of England, the Cross of St George is used so much by nationalist racists that anyone who flies it is assumed to be one of them.

        No, really, I’m not shitting you. Do some Googling for “st george’s cross racist”.

        1. The South will rise again!

          1. The South Moon will rise again!

            FTFY.

            1. If you had been paying attention you would have seen that I was replying to a post about the English flag being interpreted as racist.
              I made a reference to the Confederacy and the Confederate flag which is also interpreted by some to be racist.

              So no, you did not fix that for me.

              1. “The Moon Will Rise Again” is a Futurama reference lampooning the fever dreams of the post-Confederacy American South.

                1. I did not know that.

                2. Riffed (on) it for you.

                3. Thank you, SF.

      2. But NOT flying an American flag would indicate a subversive mindset, which would clearly indicate that the person living in the house was a terrorist. So they’d have to be shot as well.

        1. Would the hammer and sickle be acceptable?

        2. …and I see you’re not wearing an American Flag Lapel Pin?…

          *phoning Vegas SWAT frantically*

    4. Failure to signal a lane change.

    5. possessing lead ammunition

    6. Driving while human

    7. Excessive eye blinking.

    8. Re: MNG,

      If drugs were decriminalized what would be the pretext used by the cops for stopping and messing with (and killing) so many people?

      Failing to comply with commands, better known as Contempt of Cop.

    9. That’s easy – don’t you read Balko? Filming them with a cell phone.

  19. Nobody seeks out a job where they carry a club and a gun unless they have a desire to bash heads in and put holes in people.

  20. “His testimony was taken in high regard,” said Shannon, 35, the forewoman who asked that her last name be withheld. “His (testimony) was very important to what we were being informed about. He was the only one who witnessed the entire thing.

    Looks like I’ll need to start taking blood pressure medication after all.

    1. moral of the story? leave no other witnesses

      1. OK, that forewoman just sounds stupid or naive.

    2. Come on, it’s totally logical! Hell, on this precedent anyone can get away with murder.

      1. It’s Rule #1 of Cold Blooded Murder.

        1. Reminds me of Richard Pryor (PBUH) telling the story about the guy he met in prison who had gone into a house and killed all eleven people.

          Pryor, “Why did you kill eleven people?”

          Killer, “They was home.”

    3. It’s actually a downside to our legal system. Evidence is needed for a conviction, not just beliefs.

      Per the legal definitions, Manslaughter is probably a better charge than homicide.
      Per the NV laws.
      Manslaughter must be voluntary, upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a provocation apparently sufficient to make the passion irresistible, or involuntary, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act without due caution or circumspection.

      I really have to question if busting down a door to prevent someone from flushing pot down a toilet with a “reasonable suspicion” that the person may be armed, can be justified as “due caution or circumspection.”

      1. “According to the medical examiner and homicide detective who investigated the case, Cole turned in Yant’s direction while crouched over the toilet. Based on how Cole’s body was found, the medical examiner found it highly unlikely that Cole took a step toward Yant, as the detective claimed.”

        That seems like evidence to me. A Pig kicks in someone’s door, finds him *over* (not next to) a toilet holding a tube of lip balm in his hand, and shoots him in a posture that demonstrates the victim was taking no threatening action against his murderer. The murderer then lies adamantly about what happened. The evidence supports a charge of at least Murder 2, and could abide a charge of Murder One.

  21. These sorts of articles are making me abandon sketches of a custom home to look more and more at Cold War underground missile silos.

  22. So lets say I broke into a cop’s house and filled him full of lead while he was on the toilet because he “forced me” to “act in self defense”. Would I get off so lightly? Personally I don’t think the tube of lip balm would look so dangerous if I was the one being charged.

  23. It all started with President Dimwit Reagan.

    1. It started way before that, sparky.

    2. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!

      1. Actually, Max sounds more like a dog pissing on a hardwood floor.

        1. HITHSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

          1. EXACTLY the sound of my pomeranian pissing on hardwood.

            1. I didn’t rent it shoes. I’m not buying it a fucking beer. He’s not taking your fucking turn, Dude.

            2. I didn’t rent it shoes. I’m not buying it a fucking beer. He’s not taking your fucking turn, Dude.

            3. I didn’t rent it shoes. I’m not buying it a fucking beer. He’s not taking your fucking turn, Dude.

    3. Wrong, it was Tip O’Neil who was looking for an issue for the Dems to “look tough” on.

    4. Tell me this “Max” is a sockpuppet.

      1. You wouldn’t know a sockpuppet if it bit you on your libertarian-sucking asshole.

        1. This is way too clever. This one must be a sockpuppet.

          1. I wouldn’t really bite you on the asshole, you know. But I will nibble your asshole. Delicately. Or roughly.

            Please let me lick, nibble, nuzzle, or bite your asshole.

            1. Whoever is sockpuppeting Max is doing a great job.

    5. Re: Max,

      It all started with President Dimwit Reagan.

      It actually started with Dimwit Nixon, a Progressive.

      It has become much worse under Obama, the uber-Progressive, despite his promises.

  24. And screw you, Jacob Sullum – my balls still hurt from Balko’s latest, and you spring THIS gourmet shit on us…

    *shakes fist*

    1. Pulp Fiction FTW!

  25. Yant said Cole then rose to his feet and “made an aggressive act toward me,” moving his hands in a shooting motion while holding something metallic.

    Trevon Cole could not be reached for comment.

    “Until our internal processes are thoroughly reviewed,” Gillespie said, “all forced entry search warrants will be served by the department’s Special Weapons and Tactical Unit (SWAT), which trains regularly and is well-qualified and suited for high-risk operation.”

    You see? It’s for the public’s safety. What could possobly gp wrong?

  26. I would be interested in knowing what the complete jury instructions were as relates to the laws covering Justifiable homicide. For a shooting (any shooting) to be “Justifiable” it needs to be “in necessary self-defense” and that “Bare fear insufficient to justify killing; reasonable fear required”. From the article it sounds like Det. Bryan Yant and the other officers knew exactly the correct key words and statements needed to get this result. The statement that all warrants are served with “heightened awareness” pretty much means that any shooting meets the threshold.

    On a side note, WTF were the police doing throwing a 9 month pregnant woman in the closet?

  27. Horrifying.

    One quibble, though, that happens to be a huge pet peeve of mine. Firearms almost never “accidentally” go off. I can count the number of true accidental discharges I’ve heard of on one hand. When someone says “accidental” as pertaining to guns, they almost always mean “negligent”. This murdering thug’s gun didn’t “accidentally” go off. It went off because his booger hook pulled the bang switch.

    1. I find if odd when they claim that thought object were guns. A NYPD cop shot a kid when he thought the candy bar was a gun. That made we wonder if he had ever accidently tried to holster a candybar, or tried to eat his gun.

    2. You’ve hit the nail on the head. I have personally put more than 60,000 rounds through my .45ACP combat pistol, and it has never accidentally discharged. Between me and all of my shooting buddies we have fired literally millions of rounds, and in all of our experience only one of us has witnessed an accidental discharge. There is one reason and one reason only that the Pig shot this man; he squeezed off a round with his trigger finger.

  28. The problem is, in part, that they are allowed to assume the worst, and not held accountable if wrong.

  29. The inquest also highlighted errors in Yant’s search warrant application. “Despite having a copy of Cole’s California driver’s license, complete with a physical description and date of birth,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, “Yant confused Cole with a Trevon Cole from Houston and California, who was seven years older, at least 3 inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter.” Yant also erroneously claimed that the other Trevon Cole had a history of drug trafficking, when in fact his record was limited to possession charges. The Review-Journal reports that the same detective is “under investigation for apparently lying about drugs he didn’t seize and actions he didn’t take during a 2009 police raid that never happened.”

    Citizen Taxpayer Cole’s survivors should be pleased that Mr. Cole helpfully gave his life to fight The War on [Insert Scary Noun] by dying on his knees in a bathroom. Especially when he wasn’t even the person the Drugstapo was looking for.

  30. the Drugstapo

    Thanks. I’ll be using that.

  31. “Whether that near-perfect percentage of acquittals results from exceptionally good police work in Las Vegas, or an inadequate process and institution, depends on who one asks.”

    **********************************

    It’s the New Professionalism in action. Just ask Justice Scalia.

  32. $113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand.

    According to the ONDCP, two-thirds of the Mexican drug cartel’s money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., and they protect this cash flow by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering thousands of innocent people.

    If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so now, but if we can’t then we need to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes – no business can withstand the loss of two-thirds of its revenue!

    To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 “foot soldiers” and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and the longer they’re able to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they’re going to get and the more our own personal security is put in jeopardy.

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