Police Abuse

(UPDATE: Narcotics Unit Captain Resigns) Mississippi Cops Use Threats of Violence and Prison to Recruit College Kids as Informants

First-time drug offenders are coerced into becoming informants on the campus of Ole Miss.

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Students on the Oxford, MS campus of Ole Miss are reportedly being threatened

Mississippi Drug War Blues Redux
Flickr/Ken Lund

 with physical violence, and the prospect of spending their adult lives in prison, by agents working for a local drug task force.

Buzzfeed's Albert Samaha, who has written extensively on this subjectgot his hands on 20 minutes of audio where members of the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics unit can be heard "intimidating suspects and exaggerating the potential legal consequences they could face" in an effort to get them to agree to join their ranks of confidential informants (CIs). These tactics, commonly used on college students who are frequently first-time offenders implicated in low-level drug crimes, are the modus operandi of Metro Narcotics, so much so that "in Oxford, the use of CIs is so prevalent that it has created an atmosphere of paranoia."

In this case, a female college student at the University of Mississippi was approached by a classmate who asked her to sell a few pills of adderall (for which she had a prescription). The classmate was an informant working for Metro Narcotics, and the student was soon brought in for questioning. Her boyfriend joined her at the meeting with the agents, secretly recording the goings-on with his cell phone.

The meeting started on a contentious note, with one of the agents accusing the boyfriend of making a threatening phone call to the department the day before. The boyfriend denied making any such call, to which the agent replied, "I don't give a fuck where you at — I'll turn this shit in and I'll come beat the fuck out of you."

Later in the meeting, the boyfriend offered to possibly work as a CI in place of his girlfriend, who was pregnant with their child. The agents seemed game to allow this, even though the boyfriend told them that he doesn't even use drugs recreationally and that his social network around the town was aware of that fact.

The agents suggested he make some new contacts among the town's drug-dealing class, approaching them on the pretense that he was looking to get into selling drugs to make some extra income. As reported in Buzzfeed:

He also asked what consequences his girlfriend faced if they didn't take the deal. The man identified as Davis told him she would be charged with sale of a controlled substance, for a schedule two drug.

"It's about a 30 year charge, that's what it means — maximum penalty," the agent said. "But since you're a first time offender, I seriously doubt you will get maximum penalty."

UPDATE: Minutes after I published this post, Buzzfeed reported that Captain Keith Davis, lead officer of Metro Narcotics, resigned his position last week. Davis said "nine years was enough" and denied any link between the recent media scrutiny on he and his unit and his decision to quit. 

Once again, Albert Samaha is on the case:

But according to one local source with ties to the law enforcement community, the University of Mississippi had pressured Davis to step down in response to an April BuzzFeed News investigation that revealed the drug unit's tactics in pressuring college students to turn informant. The university provides $100,000 of the unit's $425,000 annual budget.

"His quotes in there had this cavalier attitude that caused a response from the university and the university wanted to see some change in the way they have done things in the past," the source said. "He didn't care about that and so they were going to allow him to move jobs and try to get somebody in there who is more open to changing the way they have done things in the past. His resignation was just fallout from somebody calling them out on what they were doing."

College students who have never previously been involved with the criminal justice system can become understandably flustered when threatened with prison, and presented with an under-the-table option that is deliberately depicted as their only way out. Many are so bewildered by the situation that they don't tell their parents of their predicament or even ask for a lawyer.

Drug cops bullying young people into becoming CIs has had tragic consequences, notably in the case of Rachel Hoffman, who was murdered after police compelled her to make a gun purchase.

Earlier this year, I reported on the case of Andew Sadek, a 20 year-old North Dakota college student who was threatened by a local drug task force with 40 years in prison unless he agreed to work as a CI. When he turned up dead in a river with a bullet in his head, wearing a backpack filled with rocks, the same agencies that busted him didn't even bother investigating his death as a potential murder.

Watch below:

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  1. Law enforcement need these tools to keep young people safe.

    1. ..from fulfilling their potential, so they can keep others from fulfilling theirs, thereby feeding the insatiably demanding black hole of our criminal justice system.

  2. Government is what we do together.

    1. Unless we want to get put away for 30 years.

    2. No, Govt is what SOME do to many others by threats of and use of force.

  3. It’s a shame that this “war on cops” thing isn’t actually true. As a professional class of people, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being on the losing end of a war waged against them.

    1. If our collective public body were composed of well-educated, psychologically sound, moral individuals who naturally and unfailingly responded to police brutality with defensive violence, I suspect law enforcement would become considerably softer, and very quickly.

      1. I would go with Possibility Number Two, which is the cop equivalent of martial law.

  4. So I missed that thread about the ridiculous structured recess and just had something to add:

    Forest Elementary in Robbinsdale Area Schools spends $14,500 for an on-site coordinator to spend one week a month at the school.

    At the school, recess is made up of clear adult-facilitated activities.

    On a day last week, a kindergartner said he wanted to play basketball. A recess coach explained that wasn’t a choice at the time; he decided to play another game.

    NOTHING LEFT TO CUT

    1. There’s no method more effective for the obliteration of a child’s concept of, and capacity for, individuality than to compel attendance by law and enslave them to a retarded, sanitized, drone-like schedule. Fuck public schools.

  5. Drugs and drug users make the world a dangerous place.

    You gotta shatter a few lives to forge a safer planet.

  6. Anybody who still thinks–for a second–that the cops have *any* interest in serving any other purposes but their own is functionally retarded. The cops could not give less of a shit about the general public. Dipshit students getting murdered because the cops were trying to use them to win one of their cop games? Why would they care at all? Other than maybe caring that their cop game got derailed a little.

    1. True Epi this is all a game to them.

      1. I’d guess there’s only one winning move.

        1. Oh! Oh! Is it the crane kick from final fight in the Karate Kid?

          1. no, but if you want to really know what a “winning move” is you should check out the film me and your mom made last night. I have some legal hoops to jump through but it should be coming straight to beta max in the coming months.

            1. I already watched it, dude. I review all her dailies. Wait, did you think you were special or something?

              Oh, she is a cruel one.

              1. Whatever dude, she told me she was a virgin before we met.

                1. Sigh. She does this every week to various schmucks. I’ve asked her to stop, but she just beats me and won’t let me watch TV for a week when I complain, so I’ve stopped.

                2. You know it’s Epi’s mom and yet you think she’s a virgin.

                  Care to buy some FL real estate?

          2. “Sweep the leg!”

    2. Self-interested thugs conducting themselves in a manner most advantageous to their own ends in an environment virtually designed to safeguard them from the consequences of their despicable crimes?

      You’re right. It’s pretty much retardation to think that there’s any benevolent impetus behind this bullshit at this point.

  7. I’ll come beat the fuck out of you.

    This cop should be fired immediately for making a threat like this.

    Naturally, though, nothing else will happen.

    1. I’m sure he was speaking hyperbolically

    2. Don’t worry. Preet Brahahahahaha is on the case.

      1. Oh come on, in no way does that amount to a true threat. The cop didn’t say he hoped the student would burn in hell or anything. Be serious.

  8. Is this an example of “collaboration” approach between local Po-Po and Feds?

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/J…..laboration

    1. But now, as some police departments contend with both rising violent crime rates and decreasing public confidence, more are turning to federal agencies for help.

      * Citation needed

      1. The crime rate is always rising. Any drop in reported crime rates is due to police underfunding. /circularlogic

  9. Stasi, stasi, wherefore art thou, Stasi?

    Maybe Werner von Braun wasn’t the only Nazi imported in operation paperclip.

    1. It’s over at the Daily News have a pants-shitting conniption because guns.

      1. Jeebus that is some fantastic derp. I hope it’s a parody site, with a columnist named Beautiful Secret Police. The current column calls the NRA a terrorist organization responsible for all gun deaths in the US.

  10. The police have become the largest criminal organization in the country . . . .

    1. They’ve been that way for a while.

    2. The other day I came upon an entry on Neflix called “The World’s Most Dangerous Gang” and was somewhat surprised/disappointed it wasn’t about American police.

  11. The boyfriend gets a point for recording the meeting, but loses 100 points for not insisting that a lawyer accompany her instead.

    In this case, a female college student at the University of Mississippi was approached by a classmate who asked her to sell a few pills of adderall (for which she had a prescription).

    So the woman the police tried to flip may not be a dealer at all, but just a person willing to help out a peer? Everything about this is despicable.

    1. Does that rise to the level of entrapment? I’m not too familiar with that area of the law.

      1. It reads like she was coaxed by another police informant who was looking for someone to turn in. If it was the cops approaching her, maybe it could rise to entrapment… except there was that undercover cop that kept pushing an autistic kid to sell him some weed, and I don’t think that department was ever sued for entrapment.

        1. “Multi-level snitching”

  12. Whoa!!! ALT-TEXT ALERT

    Shouldn’t that be the “grays”? In fact, what the heck is the south doing with any kind of blues since 1865?

    I am disappoint.

  13. “These tactics, commonly used on college students who are frequently first-time offenders implicated in low-level drug crimes, are the modus operandi of Metro Narcotics”

    I’m not a big fan of government sponsored financial aid, but getting rid of the stipulation that everyone found to be consuming cannabis loses their financial aid eligibility and has to start paying their loans back might make it a lot harder to intimidate college kids into becoming narcs.

    I believe that stipulation was put on back when it was still possible to work your way through college on something less than a stripper’s salary. Inflating the cost of college with cheap financing so much that kids can’t go without financial aid and then taking their aid away for doing something most college kids do at some point, that might not qualify as cruel and unusual, technically speaking, but it’s definitely mean as hell.

  14. Without police tactics like this, we’ll be living in a libertarian paradise like Somalia.

  15. Hey, this wouldn’t happen to be a part of the same government that mouthbreather in the previous thread assured us should have sole authority in protecting public safety, is it? Because it would be awfully disappointing if we’re meant to have unquestioning faith in these knuckleheads not only to vouchesafe our lives but execute the inevitable gun confiscation policy he desperately wants to inflict on the country.

  16. With all of the concern and counseling services offered on today’s modern campus you’d think Ole Miss could offer some legal advice both as orientation and post-arrest.

  17. Captain Keith Davis, lead officer of Metro Narcotics, resigned his position last week.

    Has he announced his Congressional campaign, yet? Seems like a gimme.

  18. Why is Ole Miss contributing $100K to the drug unit’s budget?

    I would be slightly upset if I was paying tuition to Ole Miss only to find out that I’m helping fund the WOD. I’m already pissed when I see commercials on TV telling me how my tax dollars are going to be used for extra seat belt (or DUI) enforcement this weekend.

  19. Just imagine the size of the cop funeral parade you’d see if this guy’s headless corpse were found in a dumpster.

  20. “He didn’t care about that and so they were going to allow him to move jobs and try to get somebody in there who is more open to changing the way they have done things in the past. His resignation was just fallout from somebody calling them out on what they were doing.”

    Don’t they call that the Dance of the Lemons or something? They don’t like what he’s doing but it’s too damn hard to fire him so they just pay him to go do the something to someone else somewhere else. Naturally, the guy can expect a letter of recommendation for his next employer and, depending on where he goes, can expect an enthusiastic hiring if he lets it be known he left his old job because they for some reason didn’t want a hard-ass prick torturing the law to treat every suspect like Osama bin Laden and every minor crime like 9/11. Of course, Ole Miss needs to be careful of the next guy they hire – he may very well be somebody else’s lemon.

  21. When he turned up dead in a river with a bullet in his head, wearing a backpack filled with rocks, the same agencies that busted him didn’t even bother investigating his death as a potential murder.

    I’m quite sure that the cops know exactly who did it, but because it would embarrass them if it became public, they will pretend it never happened. So nothing else happens.

  22. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

    http://www.HomeJobs90.Com

  23. It’s probably not a good idea to place evil psychos in a position of authority over our children. I could be wrong but I guess only time will tell…………..smdh

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