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Drug War Chronicle, Issue #632 -- 5/14/10

Von: B Sellers (bliss@sfo.com) [Profil]
Datum: 14.05.2010 20:13
Message-ID: <hsk3sh$k1$2@news.eternal-september.org>
Followup-to: talk.politics.drugs
Newsgroup: talk.politics.drugs rec.drugs.psychedelic rec.drugs.misc alt.hemp alt.drugs
Drug War Chronicle, Issue #632 -- 5/14/10
Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psmith@drcnet.org
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632

A Publication of Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)
David Borden, Executive Director, borden@drcnet.org
"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

2010 is Important in Drug Policy -- And So Are You:
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/changing_minds_laws_lives_2010

Table of Contents:

1. FEATURE: POLICE OFFICER DEATHS IN US DRUG WAR A RARE OCCURRENCE,
DESPITE POPULAR BELIEF
Policing the drug laws is supposed to be dangerous work, but the numbers
year after year don't seem to bear that out. And too often when police
do get killed enforcing prohibition, the very aggressive tactics that
they claim keep them safe are the ones that do them in. The human (and
canine) targets of aggressive raids pay the price, too.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/police_deaths_swat_raids

2. FEATURE: THE GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCHES, PART II
The fever to free the weed burned hot in Rome and Buenos Aires and
Mexico City last Saturday as the second round of the Global Marijuana
March took place.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/global_marijuana_march_mexico_buenos_aires_rome

3. PROHIBITION: DRUG WAR IS A FAILURE, ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS
The Associated Press has just declared the war on drugs a failure. When
will the politicians admit the same?
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/associated_press_AP_declares_drug_war_failure

4. APPEAL: 2010 IS IMPORTANT IN DRUG POLICY -- AND SO ARE YOU
2010 is a critical year in the effort to end prohibition and the war on
drugs. The StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) "Changing Minds, Changing Laws,
Changing Lives" campaign is asking for you to pitch in -- your support
is more important now than it has ever been before!
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/changing_minds_laws_lives_2010

5. LAW ENFORCEMENT: MISSOURI SWAT TEAM GETS RESTRICTIONS AFTER OUTRAGE
OVER DOG-KILLING POT RAID VIDEO
Police in Columbia, Missouri, have endured all kinds of criticism in the
week since a video of one of their SWAT raids went viral. This week,
they issued new policies regarding SWAT raids. It's a start, but only a
start.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/columbia_missouri_swat_raid_video_dog_new_rules

6. CANADA: "PRINCE OF POT" MARC EMERY JAILED, ORDERED EXTRADITED TO US
Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson Monday signed the extradition
for "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery to begin serving five years in a US
federal prison for selling pot seeds over the Internet. He was jailed on
the spot in Vancouver, and could be in the American gulag by the time
you read this.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/marc_emery_jailed_extradition_order_signed

7. LAW ENFORCEMENT: THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES
The beat goes on. This week, we have a trio of ethically-challenged
cops, and, of course, another crooked jail guard.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/police_drug_corruption

8. LATIN AMERICA: MEXICO DRUG WAR UPDATE
El Chapo had the personal cell phone numbers of Mexican officials
charged with hunting him down? A seizure this week hints at the extent
of the Sinaloa Cartel's intelligence gathering and just why Chapo Guzman
always seems to be at least one step ahead of the authorities.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/mexico_drug_war_update

9. SOUTHEAST ASIA: NOT EXECUTING DRUG OFFENDERS SENDS WRONG SIGNAL,
SINGAPORE SAYS
Singapore's law minister justifies the mandatory death penalty for drug
offenders. Unlike the rest of us losers, Singapore hasn't lost the war
on drugs, he said.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/singapore_defends_death_penalty_for_drugs

10. AFGHANISTAN: FUNGUS AFFLICTS POPPY CROP, FARMERS BLAME US, NATO
Up to a quarter of the Afghan poppy crop could be lost to a mysterious
fungal disease especially afflicting Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
Suspicious Afghan farmers are pointing fingers at the US and NATO.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/fungus_disease_hits_afghanistan_opium_poppy_crop_f
armers_blame_US_NATO

11. LATIN AMERICA: PUBLIC SEES DRUG TRAFFICKING WIDESPREAD, ON THE RISE,
REGIONAL POLLING FINDS
In a series of public opinion polls last year in Latin America, the
Gallup organization looked at perceptions of drug trafficking. The
results may be surprising.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/gallup_poll_latin_america_drug_traffic

12. WEEKLY: THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/drug_war_history

13. FEEDBACK: DO YOU READ DRUG WAR CHRONICLE?
Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate
our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need
donations too.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/do_you_read_drug_war_chronicle

14. STUDENTS: INTERN AT STOPTHEDRUGWAR.ORG (DRCNET) AND HELP STOP THE
DRUG WAR!
Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a semester
fighting the good fight!
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/drcnet_internships_to_stop_the_drug_war

15. WEEKLY: BLOGGING @ THE SPEAKEASY
"Drug Czar Admits Failure, Pledges to Continue It," "John Walters Still
Thinks the Drug War is Awesome," "The Dog-Killing Drug Raid That Pissed
Off America," "Do Cops Get Drunk at Anti-Pot Conferences?," "Utah Cops
Create Website for Snitching on Marijuana Gardens," "Gary Johnson Talks
Marijuana Legalization on the Colbert Report," "DEA Accidentally Argues
for Marijuana Legalization."
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/blogging_at_the_speakeasy

(Not subscribed? Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org to sign up today!)

===============

1. Feature: Police Officer Deaths in US Drug War a Rare Occurrence,
Despite Popular Belief
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/police_deaths_swat_raids

Tomorrow is National Law Enforcement Memorial Day, a day to mark the
service of those law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Fortunately for drug law enforcers, last year did not leave a lot of
fallen officers to memorialize. And while it may cut against the grain
of countless pop culture depictions about dangerous drug dealers, last
year was not unusual.

Doing drug law enforcement is just not that dangerous. According to
statistics on police line of duty deaths compiled by the Officer Down
Memorial Page (http://www.odmp.org), only three law enforcement officers
were killed enforcing drug laws last year, and those three were not
undercover narcs doing drug buys or SWAT team raiders busting down
doors, but DEA agents who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
(One officer, Michael Crawshaw
(http://odmp.org/officer/20144-police-officer-michael-james-crawshaw) of
the Penn Hills Police Department in Pennsylvania, was killed responding
to a drug-trade murder in which one drug trafficker killed another over
a drug debt. This officer death was certainly related to the drug war;
we rightly or wrongly did not include him in the count because he was
responding to a murder, not a drug crime.)

By contrast, according to FBI preliminary figures
(http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel10/prelimleoka_051010.htm), 48 law
enforcement officers were "feloniously killed in the line of duty"--
none of them doing drug law enforcement. But that was less than half of
the 126 line of duty officer deaths last year. Auto accidents killed 34,
drunk drivers killed nine, heart attacks killed nine more, seven died
after being struck by vehicles, and four died in aircraft accidents
(including the three DEA officers). Duty-related illness, 9/11-related
illness, and motorcycle accidents accounted for three each, two died
after being shot accidentally, and one was beaten to death.

According to historical data provided to the Chronicle by the National
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (http://www.nleomf.org), which
also compiles statistics on police line of duty deaths, last year's low
death toll among officers enforcing the drug laws is not a fluke. In the
decade between 1978 and 1988, an average of 6.5 officers were killed
each year; in the following decade, the number was 6.2; and in the last
10 years, an average of 4.3 officers were killed each year enforcing the
drug laws. The single bloodiest year for drug law enforcement was 1988,
when 12 officers died.

In 2008, the number of police who died maintaining drug prohibition was
seven; in 2007, it was four; it 2006, it was five; in 2005, it was four.
When placed in the context of the more than 1.5 million drug arrests
made in each of those years, it is clear that only one in every several
hundred thousand drug arrests leads to an officer's death. During the
past 10 years, the odds were less than 1 in 350,000.

But while drug law enforcement is not in itself that dangerous for
police, certain police tactics raise the risk -- for both law officers
and the recipients of their attention. Of the 20 officers killed
enforcing the drug laws since 2005, nine were killed in drug raids and
five were killed doing undercover work.

Two of the 2008 officer deaths demonstrate the risks involved in
aggressive forced-entry raids. In Virginia, Chesapeake Police Detective
Jarrod Brent Shivers
(http://odmp.org/officer/19139-detective-jarrod-brent-shivers), who also
doubled as the door-rammer for the SWAT team, was killed by Ryan
Frederick, who shot through a door in fear for his life in reaction to
the home invasion. Frederick, who had recently been burgled, was
eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison. The cops were looking for a
marijuana grow, but found only Japanese maple trees which the informant
apparently mistook for pot.

FBI Agent Samuel Steele Hicks
(http://odmp.org/officer/19650-special-agent-samuel-steele-hicks) died
in another raid gone bad. While serving a forced entry narcotics search
warrant in Indiana Township, Pennsylvania, Hicks was shot and killed by
the suspect's wife, Christina Korbe, who fired blindly from a bedroom at
what she later said she thought were intruders. Although Korbe was not a
target in the investigation of an 18-year drug conspiracy, she has since
been charged with a string of drug offenses in addition to facing a
murder charge.

Aggressive law enforcement tactics, such as dynamic entries (kicking in
the door) and SWAT-style assaults have also left dozens of homeowners
dead. (See Cato Institute analyst Radley Balko's now famous report,
"Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Policing in America
(http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_idd76) and the police
militarization archive at his blog, The Agitator
(http://www.theagitator.com) for page after page of stomach-turning
reports.)

In November 2006, undercover Atlanta narcotics officers doing a forced
entry raid shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston after the woman
fired at the people breaking down her door in a high-crime neighborhood.
In this case, at least, the police were held accountable, in part
because their conspiracy to cover up their fabrication of evidence for a
search warrant quickly unraveled. Three of them went to prison.

* On January 6, 2008, police in Lima, Ohio, shot and killed a
26-year-old mother of six, Tarika Wilson, during a raid aimed at her
boyfriend. The police shooter was eventually found not guilty for
killing her.

* The following day in North Little Rock, Arkansas, a police SWAT team
raided the home of Tracy Ingle. Awakened by a ram battering his door and
thinking he was under attack by armed robbers, Ingle grabbed a broken
pistol to scare them off. Officers fired multiple shots, wounding him
five times. He spent a more than a week in intensive care before police
removed him, took him to the police station, and questioned him for five
hours. He was charged with running a drug enterprise even though no
drugs were found.

* In May, Connecticut police raiding an apartment after being informed
that people were smoking crack there, shot and killed Gonzalo Guizan,
who was unarmed. Police said he charged at them. All they found was a
crack pipe.

* This year, at least two people, Florida grandmother Brenda Van
Zweiten and Memphis resident Malcolm Shaw
(http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/624/drug_cops_kill_two_drug_raids_memphis_florida)
were killed in separate SWAT-style raids on their homes the same week in
March. In both cases, police claimed the victim was armed. Whether Van
Zweiten, who was raided over small-scale drug dealing out of her house,
or Shaw, who was raided over simple drug possession (!) intended to
attack police or were merely trying to defend themselves from intruders
breaking into their homes, will never be known because they are dead.

It's not just people. Dogs also seem to be a favorite target of
drug-raiding police. That has certainly become an issue in the February
SWAT raid in Columbia, Missouri (see related story here
(http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/632/columbia_missouri_swat_raid_video_dog_new_rules))
,
which has resulted in widespread outrage after a video of the raid found
its way to YouTube last week. In that incident, police executing a
search warrant over alleged marijuana sales killed one dog and wounded
another, and terrified the suspect's wife and child, but found only a
tiny amount of weed and a pipe.

Another infamous dog-killing SWAT raid occurred in 2008 in Maryland.
Cheye Calvo, the mayor of the Washington, DC, suburb of Berwyn Heights,
saw his two dogs shot and killed by a Prince George's County SWAT team
that burst into his home after his mother-in-law accepted delivery of a
package containing marijuana. Calvo and his family were twice
victimized, once by the pot traders who used his address to have their
dope sent to, and again by the gung-ho, itchy trigger finger police.

It is unclear how many people were killed by police enforcing the drug
laws in general or conducting drug raids in particular. Although in 1999
Congress authorized legislation requiring law enforcement agencies to
submit such data, it neglected to fund the program. The incidents
mentioned above are only some of the most egregious and well-publicized,
but they suggest that even if doing drug raids isn't particularly
dangerous for police, it is for their victims.

There is a better way, said a pair of former drug enforcement officers
consulted by the Chronicle. It might be succinctly expressed as: "Chill
out."

"There is no question that in the bulk of those raids, these are not
folks with any history of violence, said former SWAT team member US
Special Forces sergeant James Hanson, now communications director for
the veterans' group Warrior Legacy Foundation
(http://www.warriorlegacyfoundation.org). "That should be the first
hurdle: Does he have a propensity for violence? Drug warrants almost
never have that level of threat. The fears police claim to have are
overstated."

But, he suggested, those fears can come to fruition precisely because of
aggressive policing tactics. "If you dig deeper on the two or three that
happened in 2008, it was the dynamic entry that triggered the violent
incident," said Hanson. "Dynamic entry into a house is the most
dangerous thing about it. Just wait for the guy to go to the 7-11, for
goodness' sake," he exclaimed. "That way, you're not busting down doors,
endangering kids, and escalating the situation."

Cops didn't used to need paramilitary squads to do drug busts, said
retired LAPD detective Dave Doddridge, who had long experience enforcing
prohibition. "We weren't scared, we'd go knock on doors," he recalled.
We didn't need the overkill. When I first joined the department back in
1973, at roll call, they would read off the houses, and we would drive
up in a patrol car and knock on the door. We managed," he said.

"I spent several years down in South Central kicking in doors and
raiding homes, and probably served 50 search warrants," the former narc
added. "We weren't SWAT, just a couple of narcotics detectives with our
vests on, and none of us got seriously injured. There was seldom any
resistance."

SWAT was originally envisioned as elite squads designed for rare but
dangerous situations, such as hostage situations, barricaded suspects,
or terrorist attacks. But in a case of mission creep gone mad, they are
now used routinely for drug raids -- as noted above, to the tune of
50,000 or so a year.

"In a lot of these cases, because, thanks to funds from Homeland
Security, they have a SWAT capability, they have to have a reason for
having it," said Hanson. "Using SWAT to serve drug warrants allows them
to say it's worthwhile, and overstating the potential for violence is
part of that."

"SWAT definitely takes control of the situation, but that's not
necessary for a family home," said Doddridge. "Maybe if there's a gang
with a big drug house and they're manufacturing you should send in SWAT,
but if it's a house, just send in an informant, buy the drugs, and get
an arrest warrant. You don't need SWAT for that."

But the SWAT philosophy is well-entrenched in American policing.
Changing that mentality, or at least reining in SWAT's overuse and
abuses will be a difficult challenge. But it can be done.

In the Columbia SWAT raid case, public outrage led quickly to new
restrictions on SWAT team deployments and new rules for their use
executing search warrants. Similarly, public outrage in the case of
Cheye Calvo, the Maryland mayor, led to the passage of the first state
law in the country aimed at reining in SWAT. That law requires every
department that has a SWAT team to report regularly on its activities.

"The Maryland law is a perfect example of what needs to be done," said
Hanson. "There was no auditing of how many times these teams were used
in dynamic entries -- nobody from the civilian side was looking at it.
If we're going to ask police to serve drug warrants, we get to decide
how they do it. We don't want to put police at risk, but neither do we
want to put citizens at risk. There are too many instances of bad
warrants, wrong addresses, or lying informants."

Doddridge, who has become a member of Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition (http://www.leap.cc) since he retired from the force has
another idea. "We need a crack team of attorneys who are good at
lawsuits to just go around and start suing like crazy," he suggested.
"When they have to start worrying about paying money, that'll make them
start looking over their shoulders."

================  ...

___________________

It's time to correct the mistake:
truth:the Anti-drugwar
<http://www.briancbennett.com>

Cops say legalize drugs--find out why:
<http://www.leap.cc>

Stoners are people too:
<http://www.cannabisconsumers.org>
___________________


later
bliss -- Cacoa  Powered... (at sfo dot com)

--
bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco

"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cacoa that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
--from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.
















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