Friday, November 24, 2006

Yet Another Tragic Casualty Of The War On Drugs

More War On Drugs Tragedies. Also, some follow up on Hit and Run.

How many deaths in the war on drugs are too many?


Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

I don't want to sound like a complete jackass here, but did you read this story clearly? Something doesn't add up with the conclusion you're making and what really happened. First of all, the police arrived minutes before this happened and announced themselves. The story goes on and says that as the door was opened, the old woman immediately started firing. How many 92-year-old women are waiting by their doors with guns drawn late at night? Further more, she shot 3 officers before they could get her. Think about it, all the police officers had POLICE on them, and so did their vans. If she was able to shoot them that quickly without return, and if she knew they were coming in, well you have to assume she knew they were police. Also, the officers found suspected narcotics in the house and they are certain that it was the house. They had a legal warrant, an officer bought drugs from the house, an old woman was able to wound 3 officers and suspected narcotics were found in the house. This sounds legit to me. Just because a 92-year-old woman was involved doesn't mean there could be no possible way she was involved.

3:07 PM  
Blogger QU 3L said...

I'm not saying there was no way this women was involved- but shouldn't the officers known there was a 92 year-old women living there? Even if this women was selling drugs do you think this was the best way to go about this?

According to the reports, the police had a no-knock warrant- they announced themselves and then knocked the door down. How likely do you think it was that this 92 year-old woman heard the announcement and knew it was the police barging down her front door?

There are an awful lot of no-knock cases where drug suspects have fired on police- cases in which you're talking about individuals with no criminal records and no history of violence. Why would such people- like this 92 year-old woman choose to get in a shootout with police?

You assume this women knew they were the police- but you're just assuming that- it's entirely possible they arrived, and the woman first heard them outside and then heard them knocking her door down.

This was a tragedy- it would have been even more of a tragedy if any of the officers had been killed. I'll continue to ask, why do we insist on creating these violent situations?

9:25 AM  
Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

You know why these raids are necessary. Because you don't know what is inside the house. Also, if you sit outside and knock, that gives anyone inside time to arm themselves or dispose of their drugs. Think about it. If the police knock and you have narcotics in the house, you're going to get rid of the drugs because you know the police are there. And guess what, you start with a knock, but if no one answers what are the cops gonna do? Bust in. So now, not only did the police waste time, but there could be fully armed people inside and there could be less narcotics. Great job. No knock raids are necessary.

3:36 PM  
Blogger QU 3L said...

First- you seem to be confused about what a no-kock warrant is. No knock warrants allow the police to bust down a front door without announcing themselves- If the police show up and knock, and have no one answer, they are permitted to break down a door- they only need to wait a reasonable amount of time for the person to answer.

What you say could be true for all contraband situations- please tell me situations in which police should be required to knock and announce when executing a warrant. (You seem to be in favor of a world where police never have to announce themselves when exercising a warrant.)

Also, if police have probable cause to know that contraband is in someone's home, shouldn't they be able to assess, with some degree of probability, the dangerousness of a situation?

Again, you seem to be missing my point- I don't think no-knock raids and the use of SWAT teams should be banned in all situations- but they should only be used- and traditionally those sorts of warrants were only granted- for situations that are highly dangerous.

This sort of policing has increased throughout the 70's and 80's as the war on drugs has intensified- we never had these sorts of raids to apprehend non-violent criminals in our past, so I don't see why we need them today.

Your answer to my question about why such raids were needed was an example- because police don't know the situation inside the house and because the people inside could be getting rid of the contraband. I'll reiterate what I said above. If police are supposed to have probable cause for this warrant, surely they should have some idea about what's going on inside the house. And if the drugs inside the house is so small that it can be disposed of in a matter of minutes leaving no trace behind, this takes away from the argument that a whole SWAT team is needed to break down the front door.

6:36 PM  

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