Police Abuse

Brickbat: This Just Smells Bad


Matthew Heller returned to his truck after attending a concert to find someone had broken into it and torn it apart. He also found a note from the Tampa, Florida, police department claiming credit for the destruction. The cop who left the note said they notice a strong smell of marijuana coming from the truck, though they did not actually find any. A police spokesman said the search was perfectly legal.

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  1. It’s worth clicking through to see the note.

    Not sure what’s more surprising: that cops don’t have a printed form letter for this, given rights violations are so common, or that they have such childish handwriting.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. You would think some kind of official document would be in order.

      1. “Oh, it’s my ‘funny’ friends again! Assholes!”

        *** crumples & tosses note ***

  2. Mr. Heller and his attorney have asked for documentation on the search but have not heard back. Meanwhile, they believe the Tampa Police Department should pay for the damage they caused.

    Oh, I’m sure they’ll get right on top of both of those requests right after they apologize and hold the offending officers personally liable…

  3. The more damage they cause and find nothing to justify it, the more damage they will cause looking for something to justify it. The guy is probably lucky he had any interior left.

  4. Make the individual officers personally liable for any damage caused during a search, even if they find evidence, and they’ll start treating people’s property nicer. Even if this means a murderer gets reimbursed for their couch, I’m okay with it because it’ll protect the people who shouldn’t be harrassed.

    1. Except that these officers get paid with the same pilfered funds that pay out the settlements under the current system. As long as the people being harassed get stuck with the bill either way, the problem will continue to get worse.

  5. This guy doesnt seem to have a clue man.


  6. “I like to call it vehicular discrimination” Wow, you’re all sorts of clever there dude.
    Vehicle othering!!!1!

    1. He thinks he has it bad? Try driving a VW bus.

  7. When the police do it, that means it is not illegal.

    Sometimes I get tired of having to explain this stuff to you people.

    1. I, for one, thank you for your patience.

      But I have a question: if the cops thought there was pot in the car, presumably they would have waited around after finding it to arrest the guy. So why didn’t they just wait around for him to come back and then search the truck?

      1. There was a jacked-up, expensive truck at a Juicy J concert, and a bored cop decided to roll the dice on the chance that there would be some sort of contraband inside that they could mark off their monthly civilian-harassment quota. He’s probably done it a hundred times, and this time he was unlucky enough to hit the media jackpot.

        I do enjoy the fact that the “strong odor [was] coming from the passenger side of the vehicle.” Because, when you catch a whiff of pot, you immediately know which two-by-two area it’s wafting from.

        1. Especially when *no one* was in the (presumably-locked) car! 8-(

      2. Think about it man, they wouldn’t have been able to SWAT his house later! Duh!

      3. “if the cops thought there was pot in the car, …why didn’t they just wait around for him to come back and then search the truck?”

        LOL.. You think this was about arresting him? I bet there was a tow truck already hooked up to that dudes truck, just waiting to seize the moment they found so much as a seed…

  8. So this was a K9 unit? So why was anything torn up? I thought those dogs could smell pot a mile away, and direct the officer to the appropriate hiding places. Things that make you go “hmmm.”

    1. Who said it was a drug sniffing dog? I think they just sent in their most claustrophobic attack dog and told him to have a nut.

      1. After smearing peanut butter over the stereo speakers, etc.

  9. High fives and bum-tappings all around ensued I’m sure.

    1. Free Shit wins in Ontario….

      1. Yeah. Incredible.

  10. One time my wife witnesses Border Patrol tear up a car that was coming in from Canada. They got out knives and cut open anything that they could. Completely destroyed the car’s interior. Didn’t find anything either.

    And nothing else happened.

    1. And Rogus J wonders why I’ve never been to Canukistan. I don’t want to cross that border coming back.

      1. I would love to see how things would be without the War on Drugs in terms of border patrolling.

        1. Sorry about the typoes in your name.

          1. Bah. Not one to get ruffled over such things. Someone kept calling me Andrew years ago.

            My name is NOWHERE near Andrew territory. But I took it in stride. I was Andrew for a few days.

        2. I believe the guy made a wisecrack about Cuban cigars, and that’s why they destroyed his car.

          1. But without the Bullshit WoD, they wouldn’t be there with the sorts of assholes who wouldn’t just laugh it off or say something like “Let me have one and I’ll wave you through”.

        3. Reminds me of the time in 1998 when my family and I came back from Canada at Niagara Falls. My cousin in NY had given me a few bottles of wine as we headed north, and I’d honestly forgotten about them being in the trunk. Border guard asked me about cigars and wine and I answered in the negative, as I’d forgotten about the wine and did not want him to know about the cigars I’d just bought in Canada — even though they were sticking up out of my shirt pocket! He waved us through. I like stories with happy endings.

        4. WoD has been going on a long time, but from Canada they were always looking for duty-able goods or illegal immigrants rather than drugs. Now they’re probably looking for terrorists stashed away in your glove compartment.

  11. Meanwhile, they believe the Tampa Police Department should pay for the damage they caused.

    *That’ll* learn the TPD to plant some drugs next time!

  12. Old-fashioned corruption would be better. Pay some bribes to the right people in lieu of taxes. In this case, a de facto vehicle tax. Then his truck would be undamaged.

  13. I hope he sues, and gets into discovery. I want to see the cop who smelled the pot demonstrate his superpowers.

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