Archive for January, 2008

Another Delay In Case of Alleged Police Brutality – The Bahama Journal

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Another Delay In Case of Alleged Police Brutality
The Bahama Journal, Bahamas - Jan 31, 2008
By Juan McCartney The police officers accused of beating a now deceased father of six were back in court Thursday, but their case did not proceed. ...

4 protesters sue Olympia for $10.4 million, claiming police brutality – The Olympian

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

4 protesters sue Olympia for $10.4 million, claiming police brutality
The Olympian, WA - Jan 31, 2008
Each claimant is seeking damages of $2.6 million for alleged Olympia police brutality because of the use of batons, pepper spray and pepper bullets, ...

Bad News From Chesapeake

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Today, officials in Chesapeake announced that a special prosecutor will be handling the murder case against Ryan Frederick, they say because the local prosecutor worked too closely with the deceased Det. Shivers on prior drug cases. I find that reasoning odd, unless the DA’s office itself was complicit in the series of bad decisions that led to this raid.

The bad news is that the new prosecutor is Paul Ebert, the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William County. If you read my personal blog regularly, you’ll know Ebert as the prosecutor who has steadfastly refused to investigate the allegations of rampant corruption by public officials and police officers in Manassas Park, Virginia in the Rack ‘n’ Roll Billiards case. He’s also the guy whose constituents were so upset he didn’t have an opponent last election, they started a write-in campaign for a ham sandwich.

Cops launch probe into Kensington brawl that drew complaints of … – Philadelphia Daily News

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Cops launch probe into Kensington brawl that drew complaints of ...
Philadelphia Daily News, PA - Jan 31, 2008
Ross acknowledged that some people who have complained of police brutality were hurt in the confrontation. But he said it had not been determined how they ...

Back to Chesapeake

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Ryan Frederick was arraigned today. He was charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and . . . simple possession of marijuana.

That’s right. Though police still haven’t told us how much marijuana they found, it wasn’t enough to charge Frederick with anything more than a misdemeanor. For a misdemeanor, they broke down his door, a cop is dead, and a 28-year-old guy’s life is ruined. Looks like the informant mistook Frederick’s gardening hobby for an elaborate marijuana growing operation, and those Japanese maple trees for marijuana plants.

The parallels to Cory Maye are pretty striking. You’ve got a young guy minding his own business, with no criminal record, whose worst transgression is that he smokes a little pot from time to time. A bad informant and bad police procedures then converge, resulting in police breaking down his door while he’s sleeping. He fires a gun to defend himself, unwittingly kills a cop, and now faces murder charges.

Here’s hoping Frederick escapes Cory Maye’s fate. This guy shouldn’t be in jail. He should be compensated by the City of Chesapeake. As should the family of Detective Shivers. And these raids need to stop.

You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes.

Back to Chesapeake

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Ryan Frederick was arraigned today. He was charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and . . . simple possession of marijuana.

That’s right. Though police still haven’t told us how much marijuana they found, it wasn’t enough to charge Frederick with anything more than a misdemeanor. For a misdemeanor, they broke down his door, a cop is dead, and a 28-year-old guy’s life is ruined. Looks like the informant mistook Frederick’s gardening hobby for an elaborate marijuana growing operation, and those Japanese maple trees for marijuana plants.

The parallels to Cory Maye are pretty striking. You’ve got a young guy minding his own business, with no criminal record, who’s worst transgression is that he smokes a little pot from time to time. A bad informant and bad police procedures then converge, resulting in police breaking down his door while he’s sleeping. He fires a gun to defend himself, unwittingly kills a cop, and now faces murder charges.

Here’s hoping Frederick escapes Cory Maye’s fate. This guy shouldn’t be in jail. He should be compensated by the City of Chesapeake. As should the family of Detective Shivers. And these raids need to stop.

You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes.

Charges dropped against man who claims police brutality – Newsday

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Charges dropped against man who claims police brutality
Newsday, NY - Jan 30, 2008
BY MICHAEL FRAZIER | michael.frazier@newsday.com 1:54 PM EST, January 30, 2008 Charges have been dropped against a Hempstead man who claimed Nassau police ...

$100 million lawsuit filed over police brutality claim – Baltimore Sun

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

$100 million lawsuit filed over police brutality claim
Baltimore Sun, United States - Jan 30, 2008
A Baltimore police officer who was charged last week with assaulting an undercover internal affairs detective was named yesterday in a $100 million civil ...

News From Chesapeake

Monday, January 28th, 2008

The Chesapeake city manager will apparently announce tomorrow that…

…the [police] department will undergo a top-to-bottom examination including looking into procedures, policies and equipment used by the force.

She did not want to get more specific because the City Manager is expected to announce the move Tuesday during a news conference at City Hall.

At that point, he may go into greater detail about it.

However, Willis does say the idea of reviewing the police department is not new, and has been lfloating out there for a while. However, the death of Detective Jarrod Shivers might have accelerated City leaders to make the idea a reality.

The timing of the announcement is certainly interesting. Makes me suspect we’ll soon be hearing more about the Shivers-Frederick raid.

One of Shivers’ colleagues recently told the Virginian-Pilot that if they were to conduct the raid again tomorrow, they’d do it “the exact same way.” I suppose he was driven to say that in part by feelings of defiance in the wake of his friend’s death. There’s also the matter of liability. Admitting police error could both hurt the criminal case against Frederick and could put the department and individual officers at risk should Det. Shivers’ family decide to sue.

But damn. You just conducted a raid that ended with a dead cop and a man with no prior record sitting in jail on murder-one charges. You’ve got a life ended, a life ruined, and two families in mourning. And you found what I think we can now safely say was no more than a user’s amount of marijuana. The vast marijuana grow operation described in the search warrant is nowhere to be found. And you wouldn’t do anything differently?

Georgia Sheriff Pattons Up for the War on Drugs

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Just in case you thought talk about how the drug war has "militarized" our police departments was exaggerated:

Officials in Clayton County have intensified their efforts in the war on drugs. Sheriff Victor Hill announced he is planning an invasion into drug-infested communities.

The ACLU said the question of whether or not the so-called invasion is legal, is a troubling one for them.

[…]

Deputies have identified five known drug houses, that they want to investigate. Thursday night, deputies set up a road block, and checked each car coming into or out of the street in question for drugs.

The operation has been dubbed Operation Jericho. Mobile police checkpoints have been set up outside suspected drug houses in the neighborhood. Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill said the plan is to occupy suspected drug territories with deputies — one house, one location at a time.

[…]

Hill said the conventional method of warrants and arrests are not working, and that military-like occupation of deputies is necessary.

[…]

"The war on drugs in Clayton County, as in most jurisdictions, I liken it to the Vietnam War," Hill said. "Hit and miss, there is no clear win — we don’t know if we’re gaining ground or not. What we want to do is we want to change our strategy. We want to make this more like a Normandy invasion."

And of course when you’re fighting a war, you can’t really concern yourself with collateral damage.