Sunday, February 20, 2011

How to get people off the fence in the War On Drugs

You might remember this video of the Columbia Missouri SWAT raid, the one where they bust in, terrorize the family and shoot the dogs for a trifling amount of weed? 

....and maybe wishing they would have the balls to try that idiotic stunt in some more upscale neighborhoods? Maybe try breaking into some well-connected politician's residence in the name of The War On Personal Freedom? 

Well, it finally happened.  Here's the Cato Institute:

The SFPD and DEA found no piles of marijuana money at 243 Diamond St., one of six addresses raided simultaneously in San Francisco that morning. Instead, they found Clark Freshman, who rents the penthouse at the two-unit building. Freshman, a UC Hastings law professor and the main consultant to the television show Lie to Me, was put into handcuffs while in his bathrobe as agents searched, despite Freshman's insistence that they had the wrong place and were breaking the law…

Soon they may be called defendants in a lawsuit. A furious Freshman has pledged to sue the DEA and the SFPD for unlawful search and seizure of his home…

[Officer] Biggs describes 243 Diamond as a "two-story, one-unit" building in the warrant. There's no mention of Freshman or Larizadeh's son-in-law or seven-months pregnant daughter who were detained in the downstairs unit that morning. But property records — and a quick visual scan of the property — reveal it to be a three-story, two-unit building. That mistake alone may be enough to invalidate the search warrant.

Here's the San Francisco Examiner on what will probably happen next:

But Peter Keane, dean emeritus of Golden Gate University's School of Law, says there appears to be a problem. "There's been cases like this in the past where police have a warrant to search [a single residence], then they get there and it's a multi-unit building and they search the whole building. In those cases, people have sued and collected substantial settlements. I think whomever is representing the government better get out his checkbook."

I disagree.  The people of San Francisco shouldn't have to pay for this lawsuit.  Most of them would probably say that they don't approve of our version of Sharia Law.  The thugs who broke the door in and tied up the family should have to pay.  Here's a parting shot from someone who is no longer a neutral party in The War On Personal Freedom:

"I've been on the fence for years about the legalization of drugs ... and now I'm a victim of this crazy war on drugs," says Freshman, who pledged to sue until "I see [the agents'] houses sold at auction and their kids' college tuitions taken away from them. There will not be a better litigated case this century."

They really, really, need to stop doing this.  No matter how much we want to save and create jobs for narcs and SWAT teams.  No matter how much we want to support the private prison lobby, the counseling industry, the parole officer cartel, the urinalysis industry, the Department Of Homeland Security, the people trying to stamp out Afghan Opium production, and the people we're paying to ride around and monitor probationers' ankle bracelets.  They can eventually find other jobs where people WANT their services. 

And isn't it about time that we end the monopoly that the Mexican Drug Lords are enjoying?  Haven't we screwed up that poor country enough? 

So, good luck, Clark Freshman !  Sue 'em until that have a bright, radioactive glow. 

No comments: