Drug Policy

Another Isolated Incident

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Two Rutgers students are suing the New Brunswick, New Jersey, police department, claiming they were beaten during a mistaken drug raid:

"I didn't hear anyone say 'police' or anything, I thought we were being robbed," said Jake Kostman, a Rutgers University student.

Two Rutgers roommates say they were sleeping in the early morning hours of December 10th and had no idea who was barging into the basement room they share in an off-campus house in New Brunswick.

"I got hit in the face; I got hit in the ribs. That's basically what happened," said Kareem Najjar, a Rutgers University student. "I remember basically waking up to being hit, on the side of my face, on my back I got kicked a couple of times and stepped on," Kostman said.

Pictures show boot marks left on Kostman's back. "One person was standing on my back another was standing on my head," Najjar said. "It's really scary, really intimidating when there are people just yelling at your and hitting you, you don't believe that it's something that cops would do," Kostman said.

The roommates say it wasn't until they were handcuffed that they were told this was a raid by New Brunswick Police who apparently had a warrant for someone else in the house.

"You were never arrested?" Eyewitness News reporter Sarah Wallace asked. "No, and we asked why we were being arrested and they said, 'you're not being arrested you are being detained'," Najjar said.

Once they were finally released, they say the cops had ransacked their room, and left them sitting for nearly two hours in their underwear in the cold. Kostman claims his handcuffs were so tight and on for so long, he now has permanent nerve damage in his thumb. "I don't think anyone should ever be allowed to just come into your house and just beat the crap out of you," Kostman said.

That does seem like a pretty sensible rule of thumb. The link above includes a video with photos of the injuries. According to this article, police found ecstasy, pot, and LSD elsewhere in the house, but the fact that these two weren't arrested or charge suggests they rented the basement separately.

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  1. As long as no one called them nappy-headed…

  2. Ah, this is the Balko I know.

    1. wait right there vermont & we’ll do you right

  3. “I don’t think anyone should ever be allowed to just come into your house and just beat the crap out of you,” Kostman said

    You’d think, but the pigs have other priorities.

    1. “It’s really scary, really intimidating when there are people just yelling at your and hitting you, you don’t believe that it’s something that cops would do,” Kostman said.

      I see somebody hasn’t read enough Balko articles.

  4. Light the dunphy-alert!

    I would be interested to know more about the warrant, here.

    Was it

    (a) fatally defective, in that it did not specify which part of a multi-residence building the cops were to search? or

    (b) violated by the police, who B & E’ed a residence they did not have a warrant for?

    I don’t see a third alternative.

    1. I haven’t seen anything from Dunphy in ages.

      1. He was posting last week, in a very specifically non-cop thread.

    2. Dunphy doesnt come into YAII threads, for some reason.

      1. Too predictable. It’s been done.

    3. I just got an image of that scene from LotR where it shows them lighting the fires from mountaintop to mountaintop, but at the end it’s dunphy rushing out “The beacons of Minas Tirith! The beacons are lit! The police call for aid!”

      1. Perhaps a certain scene with the Denathor, Steward of Gondor might provide a bit more…oh what’s that German word?

    4. I’ve been handling his retorts. I think I have the format boiled down to 3 sentences or less for every cop kils/beats/shoots/stands on/ assaults/lies/fucks/molests/does… Balko thread.

    5. Haven’t courts allowed such leniency on warrants that you can put almost anything on them and as long as you’re in teh right city you’re okay? I swear I’ve read some atrocious mistakes being made on warrants and by police serving warrants and courts still holding that the police were in the right.

    6. The third option is that it was an illegal second unit and as such it would appear to officials to be a SFR. They wouldn’t have know it to be anything but a basement and covered under the warrant.

  5. And a Happy Valentines Day to you too, Mr. Balko.

  6. The roommates say it wasn’t until they were handcuffed that they were told this was a raid by New Brunswick Police who apparently had a warrant for someone else in the house.

    They should be gratefull that the jack-booted fascists are there to protect us!

    Why, those ingrates!

    1. “”They should be gratefull that the jack-booted fascists are there to protect us!””

      They should be thankful that they were awoken and brave enough to fight the robbers breaking in.

      1. They should be thankful they don’t have a dog.

        1. That was my first thought!

        2. They should be thankful they don’t didn’t have a dog.

          Since they wouldn’t still have it.

  7. Well, obviously violence is necessary to stop the proliferation of consensual, non-violent crime. in the WoD, everything the cops do is necessary and proper.

    Their names are probably going in a database for this.

    1. This will teach them not to live near suspected criminals. Soon no one will, so the cops can find them easy by looking for the only ones living on an empty block.

      1. But then it won’t be an empty lot.
        *strokes invisible goatee*

  8. These officers weren’t trained to be able to determine the difference between the rented address of a residence and the another address of the same building. (Fuckin’ addresses, how do they work?) They also weren’t trained in the proper detention of citizens. These poor police departments only have so much money for training and they cannot produce experts in such esoteric areas of law and law enforcement. Right Dunphy?

    (burst through an exterior entrance unannounced in the middle of the night, win a door prize or 30)

    1. Fuckin’ addresses, how do they work?

      You seem to be doing some unlicensed navigating there… That’s Post Officer level work. You’ve been reported.

    2. And you asshole want to force states to make even more cuts. How will the cops ever receive such needed training?

      1. Simple. Budget accordingly.

  9. He was posting last week, in a very specifically non-cop thread.

    He (gun-toting baboon dunphy) made some derogatory comments about “statists” which I found to be not merely unironic but completely unamusing. What a worthless fucking jackbooted shitbag.

    But the pigs are completely overworked and underpaid, so they cannot be expected to actually find their way to the right apartment.

    1. The word you’re looking for is “Copsucker”.

  10. You would think the cops would’ve realized their mistake as soon as there wasn’t a dog to kill.

  11. And besides, with a name like Kareem Najjar they needed to check and see if that kid had some improvised explosive devices under his bed.

    That’d be like a two-fer!

  12. Whatever. These kids clearly were knowingly renting space in a drug den. Cohabitating with drug users/dealers is just as bad as hiding a jewish family from the nazis. They should know the consequences of their actions and enjoy that they got off easy.

    Everyone knows that just one dose of lsd or ‘ecstasy’ can cause parkinson’s disease or be fatal. These kids should be so lucky to just get roughed up a bit. Better that than paralysis.

    1. You really cheapen whatever political ideas you have when you try to be funny and compare legitimate law enforcement to nazis.

      1. You know who else tried to be funny?

        1. Charlie Chaplan?

          1. No, Susan Korneberg…

      2. Legitimate law enforcement beats up people in their beds at night?

        Fred Hampton agrees, but some around here might argue about that being legitimate.

      3. An example of what I was taking about below. “pancakes” is the anti-libertarian alter-ego of the commenter “waffles.” “pancakes” is therefore to be read as extreme sarcasm.

        1. Fucking hell, I didn’t know that.

          This place has got layers.

          1. We’re like a funky onion, yo.

            1. You know, a lot of people don’t like onions.

          2. Yeah, I’m hoping to buy the Korneberg Guide to Hit & Run as soon as it’s released.

      4. Re: Susan Korneberg,

        You really cheapen whatever political ideas you have when you try to be funny and compare legitimate law enforcement to nazis.

        Sure, because jokes change the cogency of ideas – as if by magic.

        1. What is this “cogency” of which you speak? (Use big words like that around a cop, and that’s a ‘taz’n)

  13. Being detained is being arrested.

    1. Killing IS scaring!
      /Master Shakes

    2. One difference: When you are arrested, you actually have rights.

      /snark

      1. AFAIK, there is no difference legally between “detained” and “arrested” in regards to rights. That’s why the first words out of your mouth when being questioned by a cops should be “Am I free to leave?”

        If the answer is “Yes,” then you leave. If the answer is “No,” you ask for a lawyer and then shut the hell up.

        1. I agree.

          I was being snarky and putting in the distinction that the cops play with so that they can question you without reading you your rights.

        2. Hard to make that play in your own house.

    3. Actually it isn’t. Generally there are three levels of police/citizen encounters:

      1. Voluntary–cop has no reasonable suspicion or probable cause but initiates contact anyway. Citizen (at least in principle if not reality) is free to leave at any time.

      2. Investigative detention–cop has reasonable suspicion, but NOT probable cause to believe a crime was/is being committed. (If the difference is unclear to you you’re not alone.) Cop can detain and harass for a brief time (maybe 20-30 minutes) and then must either arrest or let citizen go. This is problematic since one is not free to go, but is also not under arrest, so Miranda rights do not apply. This is where most people get into trouble, by talking rather than remaining silent.

      3. Arrest–cop has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. Triggers Miranda.

  14. Without trying to make light of this, the rate at which these “isolated incidents” are occurring is probably recruiting more libertarians than the Koch brothers ever could.

  15. Everyone knows that just one dose of lsd or ‘ecstasy’ can cause parkinson’s disease or be fatal.

    Are you sure? I read that the studies were faulty propaganda. I know that drug abuse should be a priority for law enforcement, but mistating the facts helps no one.

    1. Fucking sarcasm, how does it work?

      1. Is every libertarian as polite as you?

        1. I’m an individualist anarchist, my dear. Please don’t paint any of the libertarians here with my brush. That wouldn’t be fair.

          1. I’m an individualist anarchist

            Ha ha ha ha ha!

        2. In the immortal words of Captain Virgil Hilts “Oh, about 99% of ’em.”

          Nah, that’s more of a H&R thing, and I really love that scene.

        3. Epi is from the worst place on the internet.

          He’s funny. But you have to put up with a certain amount of internet-culture.

          It gets better once you get your decoder ring.

          1. Epi is from the worst place on the internet.

            He’s from CopTalk?

            1. SOMETHINGAWFUL.COM

          2. So you mean Episiarch is a 4channer? I guess that makes sense. I’m doing a bit of research on the decorum and ettiquete of various online communities. I found this site through feministing and have to say the lack of moderation really shows.

            1. I found this site through feministing and have to say the lack of moderation really shows.

              Paging NutraSweet. Paging NutraSweet. You are needed here at this time. I can’t do this alone, man.

            2. Yea, we kinda hate telling people what they should and should-not say.

              Blah blah, freedom, blah.

            3. But it’s fairly easy to tolerate if you don’t take it too seriously.

            4. I found this site through feministing

              Collywobbles! You’re one of those Femmes-N-Fisting types…my ovaries just withered.

              1. Oh, I loved Banjo-Kazooie!

                Anyway, I find the oppressive feminazi comment approval creates a stultifying echo-chamber. I am actually arguing for anonymity in online discussion. Some of the higher-rated commenters I’ve seen at huffpo and kos are some the worst pissant politically correct people I have ever seen.

                This. Is. Refreshing. Thanks for acknowledging my comments!

            5. We have moderation. I use incif (as do many others). Others use something called reasonable.

              While there is some moderation by the squirrels, most of us believe in TAKING CARE OF IT FOR OUR OWN FUCKING SELVES.

              And really, you need to learn to recognize sarcasm. The Nazi joke above was very funny.

            6. 1. Sand
              2. Vaginas
              3. Profit!

            7. I found this site through feministing

              Quick, everyone! < / malegaze >

            8. Teacher! Teacher! I’ve been offended!

            9. In-jokes take a while to get a handle on, Ms. Korneberg. The politest thing might be to lurk for an extended time before commenting. Episiarch was replying in a fairly polite manner with an in-joke, by our standards.

              And, as Lurker notes, we do not have moderation because it is intellectually coercive. But we do police the comments with “social pressure” to modify behavior.

              I think the differences between our community and Feministing will will be quite stark, but most articles here have a minimum of fifty comments per, what’s Feministing at? 5? On a good day? Feminisiting has moderated itself into a echo chamber hardly anyone even bothers to shout in any longer.

              1. And SF knows, he spends far far far too much time on feministing. And links to it too often.

              2. Sugarfree,

                I’ve been lurking for almost a week now. I’ve been careful to note # of comments and time of day at which they occur. I will say most of the comments come from retard back and forth between probably fictitious trolls. I suppose Episiarch is real, but I guess it doesn’t matter.

                The 9-5 crowd here has it fairly well together, but most of these threads devolve rapidly into shit-flinging name calling.

                You chauvinistic pigs!

                1. I’ve always considered the day-shift to be the heart and soul of H&R. By the time the West Coast wakes up, it’s all downhill. I think it has something to do with them all being lazy hippies.

                  1. —“By the time the West Coast wakes up, it’s all downhill.”—

                    Hey, fuck you 😉

                  2. Not all lazy people are hippies, yo!

                2. Devolve into shit-flinging name calling? Don’t most threads start there and just get worse?

                3. fictitious trolls

                  I have about 95% of them on my incif list. I dont see their posts or the responses to them.

                4. You chauvinistic pigs!

                  Ahem, there are girls here, TYVM; I like the “chauvinism”, as you erroneously call it. I find it refreshing and, quite frankly, honest. I don’t like wimpy PC man-children.

                  1. I like the “chauvinism”, as you erroneously call it.

                    Come for the chauvinism, stay for the homoerotic banter.

                5. I’ve been careful to note # of comments and time of day at which they occur.

                  So, how do you like your temp job at the FBI? Do they give you free donuts?

                  -jcr

              3. And, as Lurker notes, we do not have moderation because it is intellectually coercive. But we do police the comments with “social pressure” to modify behavior.

                Which we all admit is not a panacea for douchebags. For example, Tony still comments here with his Rah, Rah team blue ignorant bullshit when he’s not busy fellating Barack Obama and he’s been called just about every disparaging name in the book.

            10. Awesome troll, or sad reality? You decide.

              Fuckin’ moderation, how does it work?

            11. An authoritarian feminist cop apologist?

              Check that one off the list.

            12. Fuckin’ 4channers, how do they work?

              Apparently like Epi, which will probably upset a lot of /b/’s cause well you know, it’s Epi.

              Troll or no not please don’t stop posting Susan, the material you will provide will be priceless.

              1. Epi is far, far worse than a 4 channer. He’s the bastard son of a thousand maniacs for starters.

                1. Never, ever associate me with Natalie Merchant. Ever. I’m dead serious.

                  You know who else liked Natalie Merchant?

            13. You should definitely hang around here a bit more then. Looks horrible at first, but it really is interesting and engaging once you figure a few things out.

          3. Epi is from the worst place on the internet.

            #atheism on undernet… I remember.

        4. Polite?

          My dear, you are dealing with crazy unreasonable Reasonoids, so go fuck yourself…

        5. You are very, very, very new here.

          1. (Directed at the lovely and talented Miss Korneberg)

    2. I know that drug abuse should be a priority for law enforcement

      No, it should not. I would prefer to leave medical matters to medical professionals; the pigs can’t even get an address right, much less differentially diganose.

    3. You “know” that, huh? Please, do tell, in your ever-so-certain knowledge, what qualifies a barely-literate jackbooted thug to determine what substances I should or should not put in my body? I’d love to hear how drug abuse is any of the police’s business.

  16. We selected Episiarch as our spokesman at the last meeting.

    We get laid a lot more often now, but the quality has suffered a bit.

    1. Fucking nested comments, how do they work?

    2. Lower your standards and raise your average.

  17. Is THIS yet another fine example of that “New Professionalism” of which Scalia writes?

    Where is that dunphy fellow?

  18. I know that drug abuse should be a priority for law enforcement

    If, by that, you mean they should all do a hit and mellow the fuck out, then yes.

    1. Brooks wins the thread. Well done.

      -jcr

  19. I found this site through feministing and have to say the lack of moderation really shows.

    GERONNNNNNNIMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO111111

    1. Then there was the time Geronimo jumped out of an airplane and yelled “Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

      1. Hot Shots 2, IIRC.

        1. Top Secret.

          1. Multicultural Dirty Dozen

    2. How could someone find this site through Feministing?

      Does Feministing have a Bizarro SugarFree, who dispenses outrageous Reason content to all the chubby Womens’ Studies majors like fish tossed to a herd of Prozacked walruses?

  20. You really cheapen whatever political ideas you have when you try to be funny and compare legitimate law enforcement to nazis.

    Yes, Teacher.

    *hangs head*

  21. I am going to see to it that meme gets driven farther than lolcats!!

    1. My mission in life has been found.

  22. A cock-punch on Valentine’s Day? Have you no shame, Balko?

  23. What strikes as most strange is that no dogs were killed…

    1. Maybe Susan can volunteer…

  24. An authoritarian feminist cop apologist?

    Haha, really? I swear, defending the actions of law enforcement is like a dog whistle around here. And to the women of H&R, I like the jokes here too. I am a feminist in the sense that I strive in equality of opportunity between sexes. Humor is equal-opportunity.

    I think I’ll lurk more. Nutrasweet, you’re absolutely right, during primetime there are some swell commenters here. Thank you Reasonoids for the chatter.

    1. Waiting for the humor, my dear…

    2. Awwww, don’t go away mad.

      Just go away.

    3. Re: Susan Koerneberg,

      I swear, defending the actions of law enforcement is like a dog whistle around here.

      But that’s only when law enforcement officers acts no differently than police state thugs, Susan… I mean, that’s not 100% of the time, or is it????

      I am a feminist in the sense that I strive in equality of opportunity between sexes.

      I also strive for equality of opportunity between sex.

      I think I’ll lurk more.

      You mean like an old maid?
      And to the women of H&R, I like the jokes here too. I am a feminist in the sense that I strive in equality of opportunity between sexes. Humor is equal-opportunity.

      I think I’ll lurk more. Nutrasweet, you’re absolutely right, during primetime there are some swell commenters here. Thank you Reasonoids for the chatter.

    4. Pay attention to Balko long enough and you’ll hear the whistle too. You can also check out his site theagitator.com

    5. I swear, defending the actions of law enforcement is like a dog whistle around here.

      Law enforcement just beat two kids senseless without a legitimate reason, even ignoring the fact that the War on Some Drugs itself is an illegitimate reason to bust into homes in the first place.

      You’re defending that.

      Do you find something wrong with calling you a cop apologist? What do you think should have happened?

  25. I’m hoping to buy the Korneberg Guide to Hit & Run as soon as it’s released.

    I think Epi already gave us the Reader’s digest version.

  26. I am a feminist in the sense that I strive in equality of opportunity between sexes. Humor is equal-opportunity.

    I think I just developed diabetes.

    1. We are a diabetes support group, at least SF thinks so, so you got that going for ya.

      1. I would say that most people here support me having diabetes.

        1. It allows me to be safe simply by carrying a candy bar in my lead-lined belt.

    2. I don’t like diebetes, everyone always so sad, moping around cause they got diebetes. I say we call it LIVEbetes so everyone knows they can live!

  27. “rule of thumb.”

    Feminist Propagandista!

  28. “I don’t think anyone should ever be allowed to just come into your house and just beat the crap out of you,”

    If only we had some kind of legal framework that laid down rules to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures…

    -jcr

    1. But WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. The cops will beat the kids too.

  29. In the event there is no dog, the regulation order of pets to shoot is:

    1. Cat.
    2. Kid’s pony.
    3. Guinea pig.
    4. Gerbil.
    5. Goldfish.
    6. Chameleon.
    7. Teddy bear.
    8. Other stuffed toy.
    9. Paper mache animal (assuming it hasn’t been smashed while looking for drugs.
    10. Barbie doll.

    1. Are felched gerbils still a target and if so are they still number 4?

      1. Um, no?

    2. Nice! I actually lol’d.

  30. If they were soldiers in a foreign country they would be subject to prosecution for war crimes.

    It’s a violent crime regardless of the costume and tin badge and should be treated as such.

    1. That’s why they call it a “War” on Drugs, with the police as the occupation force and the people as “enemies”.

  31. I’ve been lurking for almost a week now.

    More than long enough to write your doctoral dissertation on monocled misanthropic sociopaths. I eagerly await.

    1. My MEng report was supposed to be on nutation damping controls of CMG controlled spacecraft, but I decided to go for gold plated space monocles instead. I think I’m gonna get an A.

  32. America FUCK YEA

  33. If only we had some kind of legal framework that laid down rules to protect us from unreasonable search and siezure….

    Wow JCR I just squirted my afternoon coffee through my nose! Good one….but your sarcasm is making light of this very important victory in the war on drugs!

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