Drug Policy

Mistakes Were Made. Guns Were Pointed. A Family Was Terrorized. Pets Were Threatened.

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The DEA has apologized for the wrong door raid in the Hudson Valley that I blogged about last week. Sort of.

John P. Gilbride, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, issued a statement Friday clearing Spring Valley resident David McKay and his family of anything to do with the series of drug raids that took place early Thursday in Westchester and Rockland counties.

"We sincerely regret that while attempting to execute an arrest warrant for a member of this drug trafficking organization, the innocent McKay family was inadvertently affected by this enforcement operation," Gilbride said.

"Though we take many precautions to prevent this type of incident from happening, drug investigations are very complex and involve many fluid factors," Gilbride said. "DEA will continue to pursue these criminal organizations to protect the public from the scourge of drug trafficking."

So . . . sorry McKay family. You're just more collateral damage. Gilbride's statement is also another wonderfully elusive use of the passive voice. (The DEA originally said the McKay family invited them in.) And to think we libertarians say government has a hard time admitting when it's wrong. The apology was also issued not to the McKay family themselves, but through a press release.

A few other items of note:

First, Journal News reporter Jane Lerner actually looked into some of those precautions the DEA claims to take before launching these drug raids. For example, she was able to determine that David McKay actually works for the local government, and that the McKay family is listed in property records as owners of the home. They've owned the place since 1998. She also found that the McKays are foster parents, which required them to complete an application process that included fingerprinting and a background check. These would be the sorts of easily findable, publicly-available clues that should have tipped the DEA off to their pending mistake, and that you'd think a federal agency would have taken the time to look for before going ahead with a volatile, violent drug raid.

Second, there's still the matter of threatening to kill the McKay family's dogs. According to McKay, the threat was because the dogs were barking, after the house was secured. Which means this wasn't even a case of cops dubiously claiming the poodle presented a mortal threat. The threat to shoot the family pets was pure intimidation. Again, this isn't how you treat citizens with rights. It's how you treat enemy combatants in a war zone. You terrify them, intimidate them, put the fear of God into them. You threaten to kill their pets right in front of them. That attitude also explains why, even after it was clear they had made a mistake, the police rebuffed David McKay when he asked for an explanation, telling him, "You'll read about it in the paper tomorrow."

Third, if there's a bright spot in all of this, it's the way local media is starting to cover these raids. Lerner did some more research, and was able to find documentation for a number of other mistaken raids in the area. (As often as I write about these raids here, I don't believe I've written about any of the other incidents that Lerner found.)

I now get a phone call every few weeks from a local reporter covering a botched raid. (I'm quoted in the story linked above.) They're seeking out critics, and they're starting to view the cops' after-the-fact excuses and explanations with more skepticism. That's a start.

NEXT: Frank Rich: White Supremacist Holocaust Museum Murderer Was an "antigovernment gunman"

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  1. I’m pretty sure that under current rules and the field manual military members can not overtly threaten or make promises when interrogating.

    So ya, we get less rights than enemies in a war.

    1. That is so profound.

    2. It’s what got Col. Allen West (D-FL) crosswise with the Army, as I recall. But when the enemy is the American public, all bets are apparently off.

      1. We’re a police state.

      2. um, R-FL, not D.

        1. at least scott is passing positive gun laws for the people!he understands who he works for!

        2. Damnit, I knew that and I still typed it. Thanks for the correction.

    3. You mean, they face consequences if they are caught doing that. These cops weren’t caught in the sense of having evidence beyond one person’s word against another.

      1. No I meant they cannot do it per their regulations, which of course means there are consequences.

  2. …easily findable, publicly-available clues that should have tipped the DEA off to their pending mistake, and that you’d think a federal agency would have taken the time to look for before going ahead with a volatile, violent drug raid.

    I wouldn’t assume that the DEA is more professional than the police and sheriff’s dept’s that regularly raid the wrong address.

      1. Still assuming?

      2. Hoo-hoo. I hadn’t seen that one in a while.

        So, if he were in a night club in NYC instead of in a room full of children, would he have gotten two years?

        Oh, nevermind. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

    1. sheriff’s dept’s that regularly raid the wrong address

      It is my understanding that they get it wrong more often than they get it right.

    2. “Though we take many precautions to prevent this type of incident …”

      Name two.

      1. What’s the training course for a PR rep these days, a six-week weekend course at DevRy?

  3. A bit of Icy-Hot for the previous nutshot. Absolute immunity is still ________ (I can’t think of an adverb strong enough) disgusting though.

  4. You forgot

    Orders were followed.

  5. “Though we take many precautions to prevent this type of incident from happening, drug investigations are very complex and involve many fluid factors,” Gilbride DEA Barbie said.

    1. Addresses are hard!

      1. They’re like the Keystone Kops!

      2. You owe me a buck every time you use the Barbie theme bitch. Copyright is a bitch

        1. Hi, Rectal!!!

          Bye, Rectal!!!

          1. I’m not surprised it’s you Ken-your such a fucking beta male-bend over baby

            1. I’ve always been called an ultra-alpha male by those that know me. Why would you think for a second I’d submit to someone named rectal?

              1. Is that while you are being fucked in the ass or after?

                1. That’s it? That’s your comeback?

                  Meh…I don’t know why, but I just expected better.

                  Work on your game, rectal. For all of us here, work on your game.

            2. I checked yer blog. No pics of you in undies.

              C-

              1. blog critic, send me yours bitch-I’ll add them to my collection of micropenis photos

                1. You collect… oh, never mind.

                  1. No man can ever size up to my Daddy, if you know what I mean.

                    Read my blog.

  6. “DEA will continue to pursue these criminal organizations to protect the public from the scourge of drug trafficking.”

    The McKay family differs on what scourge the public needs protected from.

    1. As I said in the original raid thread, I hope at the very least that having their doors kicked in and their pets shot at the very least turns these victims against the War on Drugs.

      But I doubt it.

  7. Bit by bit, we’ll end this war.

  8. The threat to shoot the family pets was pure intimidation. Again, this isn’t how you treat citizens with rights. It’s how you treat enemy combatants in a war zone. You terrify them, intimidate them, put the fear of God into them. You threaten to kill their pets right in front of them.

    That’s because it’s the poodles that are the enemy combatants – the people, instead, belong to the State and are treated accordingly.

  9. OK, I’m not a lawyer so as I sit here seething I have to wonder how this can be anything other than a frank Fourth Amendment violation? Will one of you erudite civil libertarians please explain that to me. And while we’re at it, with civil rights lawsuits for percieved marginal slights a dime a dozen, why aren’t these egregious SWAT violations generating gobs of the real deal?

    1. Well, I assume they are protected because they had a warrant. But then that raises the question of why they are still protected if they don’t hit the house listed on the warrant? I’m sure the Supreme Court’s reasoning is that it was an “understandable” mistake. All part of the new professionalism.

      1. Since they have immunity on the way to the house they are serving a warrant to (in case they kill a pedestrian’s dog on the way), they would likely convolute that statute to encompass anything that happens up to the execution of the warrant…including killing the neighbor’s dog when they kick in the wrong door.

      2. >>I’m sure the Supreme Court’s reasoning

        The SC has ruled on this?

        >>is that it was an “understandable” mistake.

        How very nice for the cops. I never once in 35yrs knew of a court being quite so magnanimous to my medical colleagues for their mistakes. Guess we should have gone to Police Academy.

        1. Even Judges tread cautiously when armed, unionized, orginized, and willing to use leathal force plaintiff’s appear.

          Tis called “Professional Courtesy”

  10. *sigh*

    Even the “corrections” and [not really] “apologies” are nut kicks.

    Back to football. I’m just leaving my front door wide open now. Which sucks. Cause it’s FREEZING outside. But the cops can just walk right in this way – saves buying a new door.

    1. Don’t forget to shoot your dogs.

  11. *sigh*

    Even the “corrections” and [not really] “apologies” are nut kicks.

    Back to football. I’m just leaving my front door wide open now. Which sucks. Cause it’s FREEZING outside. But the cops can just walk right in this way – saves buying a new door.

    1. You can say that again!

        1. Back to football.

          If the Jets don’t take their foot off the gas, they’re gonna be in Pittsburgh next week.

          1. I spoke too soon. Or did I put my foot in my mouth?

            1. HO! They just scored again.

              1. FumBUUUUUULLLLLL! But Pats get it back. It is looking unpromising for the Tea Partiers.

                HAH! Serves ’em right, for all that anti-government vitriol that got Saint Giffords shot. Thanks a lot for creating an envirnonment of hate and vitriol, “Patriots”.

                BACK TO THE GAME!

                1. I guess they were right about the tea partiers and their vitriolic speech having consequences. Wes Welker should be ashamed of himself.

                  1. When did Sarah Palin start playing quarterback for the Pats?

                    1. I wonder if the progs are secretly all Patriots haters?

                      Maybe I’ll climb out from under my bridge at HuffPo and find out.

                    2. Welker should be ashamed AGAIN. Just dropped another TD. Good thing Branch remembers how to catch.

                      OK, onside kick – let’s see what they got.

                    3. I seriously hope the Bears and Steelers don’t face each other in the Super Bowl, because I’ll probably be disemboweled by Steeler fan idiots who know my leanings in the week before the game.

                      On the other hand, I don’t want to see Footsies Ryan make it to the Super Bowl either. And I’m sure as hell not rooting against the Bears. A tight little pickle this is.

                    4. I still cannot believe a cameraman for foot fetish videos is only one game away from coaching in the super bowl.

                      Too bad for him my Steelers are gonna give em a good ass-kicking. Then he can go back to pimping his wife’s little piggies on the interwebs.

                      Steelers 31
                      Jets 17

                      Bears 13
                      Packers 35

                    5. Two weeks ago the Packers beat the Bears 10-3, in Lambeau, when they needed to win or else their season was over.

                      And now they’re going to light the Bears D up for 30+ points in Chicago? Sorry, I don’t think so. It’s going to be low-scoring and close. The Eagles and Falcons defenses are nothing compared to the Bears’.

                    6. You’re probably right Tulpa, but the Packers are just playing so well right now. I still can see the game being a lot higher-scoring than two weeks back…depending on the weather.

                      Hell, I personally hope the Bears win cause my Steelers match up better against their offense. Rodgers scares the hell out of me. Cutler, not so much. (And I know the Steelers winning isn’t a foregone conclusion, but I’m cautiously optimistic ATM.)

                2. Can’t we root against both teams?

                  Go Pack Go!

  12. You terrify them, intimidate them, put the fear of God into them.

    That’s not the fear of God.

    the police rebuffed David McKay when he asked for an explanation, telling him, “You’ll read about it in the paper tomorrow.”

    That would actually be reassuring, if such promises were binding.

    1. I know nothing!

    2. If God is coterminous with the State, then that is the fear of God.

  13. Fun fact: Google reader places an “Become a DEA agent” ad with this article

    1. I hope a lot of pro-liberty readers do. Maybe then we’d have fewer of such incidents to read about.

  14. Hey, I thought only anti-government, racist, militia-types believed in the immoral concept of “collateral damage”!

  15. Nuts were punched.

    [For the record, I hereby condemn this egregious abuse of federal authority.]

  16. How am I to respond to a fuck story like this without using anti-government rhetoric?

    Fuck it. I won’t even try. The government agents goons look upon the supposedly free citizens of this country as peons not even worth the dignity of a face to face apology when they treat them like dog shit.

    Fuck the War on Drugs.
    Fuck the agents that carry it out.
    Fuck the politicians who created and continue it.
    Fuck the judges who use it as an excuse to eviscerate the 4th and 5th Amendments.
    Fuck each and every person who even thinks I should be goddam polite about this fucking assault on liberty.

    1. It is rare that someone wins a thread within two hours.

      +a new front door.

    2. Do you even think of how many police are put in danger by your blathering, or do you just let it flow out of your piehole like so much bile?

      1. How exactly is anyone endangered by an opinion?

        1. Hobie’s never heard of “sticks and stones.”

          Hey Hobie, my ability to swing my fist ends when it hits your nose. My ability to speak my opinion does not suffer the same restrictions. Fuck off.

          1. “my ability to swing my fist ends when it hits your nose.”

            You need to put more force behind your punches, then.

      2. No. I rarely consider the consequences of speaking unvarnished truth and heartfelt emotions.

        Do you discount the consequences of sugar coating tyrannical policies by the fucking government or are you just too much a pussy to state what you really think?

        1. Battered wife syndrome. The government doesn’t mean to hit so hard and really he only does it because he cares so much and he’s only looking out for your best interests. He’ll do better next time, promise.

          1. ha!you couldn`t be more right!

      3. No that is a nice troll.

      4. And I think not enough are put in danger. Maybe if the cost was higher the infringement of rights would cease.

        As sick as that is.

  17. I wonder if there’s a smoking gun memo inside the Justice Department that authorizes federal and state law-enforcement officials to kill dogs and cats.

    1. If there is one, it probably has Nixon’s signature on it.

      1. I cannot tell a lie…I am not a crook…

      2. LBJ was a noted pet-abuser.

        1. LBJ was a noted pet-abuser.

          I never heard him deny he was a sheepfucker either. Makes one wonder…

    2. The Department of the Interior killed thousands of cats on Jarvis Island a few years ago.

  18. On his way to help serve a warrant last August, Officer David Bisard’s police cruiser smashed into two motorcycles, leaving one rider dead and two others seriously injured.

    A few days later, a blood test revealed a possible reason for the wreck: Bisard’s blood-alcohol level was still more than twice the legal limit hours after the crash. The local prosecutor filed charges, only to drop them a few weeks later, saying the blood test hadn’t been properly done and couldn’t be used in court.

    Charges have been re-filed.

    1. Notify me when the cop is convicted of manslaughter. Anytime, day or night, wake me with the news if necessary.

      Until then I’ll continue to treat this case as another example of the cop caste being above the law that we peon citizens are subject to.

      1. While most prosecutors and the general public are willing to let the cops get away with virtually anything in the name of “safety,” once stories like these hit the papers (or Nancy fucking Grace), prosecutors succumb to pressure and go after them almost as zealously as they would go after you or me.

        Of course, if the BAC results hadn’t somehow been released, the person being served with the warrant would have probably been charged with accessory to murder and the cop would have walked because of his immunity. Such is our cop-worship in America. They are heroes after all. Heroes, I say!

  19. Do you even think of how many police are put in danger by your blathering, or do you just let it flow out of your piehole like so much bile?

  20. Well communicating so much information can have some pretty endangering effects on law enforcement community.

  21. How exactly is anyone endangered by an opinion?

    GUUUUUUUUUUUNZ!

  22. Notify me when the cop is convicted of manslaughter.

    I merely noticed an update to story Radley covered last summer.

    1. And I merely responded with a bit of my well documented, usually event validated, cynicism.

      Still buddies?

  23. IT’S ALL OVER!! TEA PARTIERS LOSE TO THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD, 28-21!!

    That’ll learn ya, right wingers.

    J, E, T, S, Jets, Jets, JETS! I don’t fuckin’ care, I’m a Lions fan. We got nothin’. Should be good Conference finals and Stoopid Bowl anyway! WOOOOO!!!

    1. the new york times is as much of a joke as new york city mayor bloomberg!full of lies and misleading!

  24. buddies?

    Absofuckinlutely.

    1. Conspiracy.

      Lock ’em up.

  25. Exactly how the fuck is an address a fluid factor?

    1. The only fluid I see is the puddle of piss refusing to admit he screwed up.

      1. It was dark outside and they were too pumped up about busting perps to give a shit whether or not they had the right place. Wait, I mean “unfortunately, environmental conditions prevented the accurate verification of the address”.

        I’ll never forget the time I was buying a very late night 6-pack at the gas station and the ICE squad rolled up. The few guys that came inside were decked out for war and buying armfuls of energy drinks. The whole “War on Drugs” is a game for LEOs, just another extreme sport to get their adrenaline surging. I doubt they even see the occupants inside of the doors they bust down as actual people.

    2. The drug dealers were tipped off, obviously. They fluidly snuck in some of their associates, cleverly disguised as an innocent family, while they moved their operations right next door. Tricky bastards!

    3. You can’t expect a full team of trained DEA agents to get the right address when lives are at stake, even though a handful of Chinese born immigrants can figure it out to bring you $14 of lo mein and cheap stir fry.

  26. Sanity from north of the border?

    A charge of assault causing bodily harm has been recommended against RCMP Constable Geoff Mantler who was caught on video kicking Buddy Tavares during an arrest.

    The video triggered a public outcry, which led to a protest rally in Kelowna, Sunday.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com…..le1872105/

    1. Kelowna man kicked in face by RCMP during arrest
      Video

  27. OT, hey Radley- i can no longer access your other site (agitator) from my work. are you shut out of Federal servers?

      1. Don’t give me that “Indiana Jones carried a satchel” bit. That’s a fucking man with a fucking purse.

  28. The days of being secure in one’s person and effects are now over. In the name of “safety” we must submit to unconstitutional searches in airports, subway stations and public buildings. We cannot conduct private financial business without government oversight because we need to “stop the funding of terrorism.” We pay outrageous taxes for “the greater good.” Our First and Second Amendment rights are diminished in the name of “civil discourse.” Our smarter children suffer so there will be “No Child Left Behind.” We have to continue our “War on Drugs” or we will end up like Mexico City.

    Hell, I had to submit to a car search a couple of weeks ago just because I drove back into California from Nevada. I asked the agent at the “Agriculture Inspection” point what gave him the authority to search my vehicle without a warrant. He told me the state gave him the authority. I referred him to the Fourth Amendment and he actually said that state law allowed him to and that federal law was not applicable on California state highways. I corrected him and drove off as he went to get his supervisor. I never saw another officer. (Fortunately, I have a new car and the efficiency of the California DMV has ensured that I have not gotten a license plate after two months.)

    I guess what I’m getting at is that most of these guys don’t know what grants them the authority to do whatever they want with us, other than the badge sewn onto their military-like garb. Oh, that and the M-16, flash-bang grenades and pistols filled with armor-piercing ammo.

    1. Re: Sloopyinca,

      I corrected him and drove off as he went to get his supervisor. I never saw another officer.

      That is one big pair you showed there… In other countries (like Arizona) the officers would have shot your ass off.

      1. True story. I only did it because a CHP guy I know told me those guys actually have no arrest authority. Of course, I about pissed my pants till I hit the AM-PM in Baker.

        The rest of the drive I got to explain to my 10 and 12 year old kids why I did what I did and they actually understood it. Of course, they got yelled at by a cop on a motorcycle who almost ran them down at the Christmas parade after Thanksgiving for standing in the gutter instead of on the sidewalk, so they already know what “authority” is all about.

        1. u got a prob?…punk

          1. When you’re in Texas, look behind you… cause that’s where the Rangers are gonna be.

            NTTAWWT

  29. another reason not to trust government!look how they run this country,and you want them to get the address correct?i guess these people forget that it is we the people whom they work for,and we will hold them accountable!

    1. You got good intentions, but they don’t work for us and haven’t for a looooong time. Even looking outside of the oligarchical nature of the US Gov, the bulk of rules come from unelected regulators that are appointed or hired to various departments (the FDA and FCC come first to mind, and that’s ignoring the power of the Federal Reserve).

      The United States has a big problem. I hope we do hold them accountable, but experience tells me cynicism is the best answer.

      1. Accountable for what? Not hiring negligently? Following the affirmative action personnel managment plans that US Government agencies are required to have means reading skills and recognizing house numbers is considered optional as long as you are the right person to fill the balance of diversity needed for the job. Now the only skill you may be required to attain is that of firing a gun; however accuratley hitting the intended target is optional.

        Reading, recognizing numbers, making logical deductions from known facts, writing comprehensible reports and articulate dissemination of information is considered optional in the Federal Service. Regurgitation of propaganda is mandatory.

    2. I’d like whatever drugs you’re on, please.

  30. Gilbride’s statement is also another wonderfully elusive use of the passive voice.

    This gem should be surfaced once more.

  31. By the way, I ALWAYS have problems loading the H&R page, with IE6, taking forever with all those pics and links and facebooks. And NO, I don’t want to change browsers: Lewrockwell.com and Mises.org load smooth as silk, yours does not.

    1. It’s the sharing links (Facebook, twitter, etc) along with everything Flash related (YouTube vids and ads). Oh, and they archive a huge number of posts on the front page in addition to the ENTIRE WEEKS if you click back. Their web guy needs to take a look at some optimization ASAP.

      You gotta upgrade OM, IE6 is old as shit. I mean the page still loads slow on a newer browser, but you should be using something like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera.

      1. no, it’s slow on Firefox too

        1. Yeah its slow on Firefox too, but it’s a hell of a lot slower on a browser that was released 9.5 years ago (IE6).

          As I said, the main web guy needs to look at optimization. Getting a decent HnR mobile website or app would be a nice idea too (hint hint).

        2. It’s been hella slow in firefox lately. Like a taco bell shit in january slow.

      2. The funny thing is…it’s fast as hell when you use Lynx. However, all comment nesting is removed and you can’t use the “reply to this” buttons. Also some people’s handles don’t show up for reasons I’m not quite sure of.

        1. HnR looks awesome in Lynx, I used that as my primary browser for a couple of years at work. SSH tunneling owns for bypassing proxies. If I remember, you just gotta hold down the spacebar to get past the ads when you load comments, other than that it’s a perfect text-based experience.

          1. Unfortunately, you also miss out on the alt-text jokes since all you get is the alt-text…

            1. I surf with only cached images on, and plug-ins like GD Flash turned off, so I always get the alt-text first. In fact, when I see an empty box without alt-text, I find myself asking, “I wonder how long it will take before somebody bitches about this in the comments.” 😉

              Loading doesn’t seem to be too bad for the original page, but when you get a lot of comments to a post, that can slow things down.

        2. I get the same thing at times with IE8. So, go figure. I notice that it’s always handles in red (those with email addys).

      3. You can Adblock all of the sharing BS along with the Ads in Firefox. Dunno about Krome.

        1. I use ad block and it still loads slow.

    2. Who knew that IE6 was optimized for paleotarian websites.

  32. Slightly OT. My old P2120 Transmeta Crusoe processor laptop runs fine with Opera but the more recent firefox uses all the memory and most of the cpu. Sucks because that is one beautiful machine.

  33. John Ross in his book Unintended Consequences suggests the solution to this kind of activity whether it be by the DEA or BATF.

  34. It is rare that someone wins a thread within two hours.

  35. I use ad block and it still loads slow.

  36. I use ad block and it still loads slow.

  37. Well, it’s heartening that the media is starting to get bullshit fatigue, on this one issue at least.

  38. Check out how that press release begins:

    issued a statement Friday clearing Spring Valley resident David McKay and his family of anything to do with the series of drug raids

    See, he’s clearing their good name. Going out of his way to do them a favor. Because that’s just what kind of guy Gilbride is. The kind of guy who, after overseeing the killing of an innocent man, will make room in a press release touting the drug war to squeeze in an admission that the dead man had, in fact, been cleared of involvement.

  39. I doubt they even see the occupants inside of the doors they bust down as actual people.

    500pts for any dogs, 1000pts if you shoot a nigger. 5 niggers gets you an extra life. Hit LLRRUUDDAABBABAB on the trigger to unlock invincibility.

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