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January 2010
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And no lessons are learned

The town of Lima, Ohio uses the instruments of war against its own citizens in a destructive effort to achieve something that exists only in their fantasies — a drug-free world. And so, a young mother named Tarika Wilson is shot to death in her own home while holding her 1-year-old son, who is also wounded.

Sergeant Joseph Chavalia, who shot Tarika, is cleared of wrong-doing — after all, he was only doing his job. Because he is white and the victim is black, people in the town think it’s a racial issue, so nobody examines what led to the decision to conduct the raid in the first place.

And now the insurance company for the town is settling the lawsuit for $2.5 million, which is a good thing for the Wilson family, but since it’s done without the city’s agreement or admission of fault, the city has no reason to examine what really led to the tragedy, and since the increased insurance premiums will happen over time and not just in Lima, the taxpayers won’t feel the pinch of the $2.5 million and demand investigation.

So a young woman dies a tragic, needless death at the hands of the government as part of a horrible public policy… and no lessons are learned.

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16 comments to And no lessons are learned

  • claygooding

    Our goal,sadly,will not end this kind of situation,nor be the end of cops being able to get away with murder.
    That the citizens and town council are allowing the police officer to continue working as a police officer
    just tells us how deep the problem runs.

  • Clay… Our goal will dramatically reduce this kind of tragedy. Most SWAT raids are drug raids. I don’t blame the officer nearly as much as I blame the policy.

  • Cannabis

    We need more civilian oversight of law enforcement.

  • skootercat

    I wrote a letter to the Toledo Blade at the time of the shooting. Apparently, my city name was placed under my name when printed and I received telephone messages (2) from people in Toledo chastising my comments not in line with the police. The telephone tough guys took a few seconds to realize they were yelling at a machine, none left their name or contact information. Rabid talk about how I don’t know what I was talking about and the police were taking on “the worst of the worst” for us. My 1-7-08 letter:

    Dear Editor,

    Deepest sympathy to the family having lost members in a recent SWAT police raid in Lima, Ohio. When will this domestic civil war end that gives police carte blanche executing search warrants via SWAT resulting in the horrors just inflicted in Lima? It is happening across America. Also happening across America are police involved with drugs and crime and never is a “dynamic entry” utilized when dealing with bad cops. Never. The division between the common man and police are widening each day this is allowed to happen. Senators (Ted Stevens-R-AK) get a telephone call notice before a raid and the common man gets guns and flash grenades. Citizens of Lima, hold your elected to the fire and remove them from office ASAP if they do not line up for change. Having cops investigate cops does not work. Take every elected to task on this issue and remove them if necessary. Police in charge of such practices should also go and I don’t mean by promotion. We fight and die in foreign lands for freedoms we cannot get at home.

  • DdC

    Citizen Oversight is good in theory,
    Usually they have no authority.
    Ours keep writing reports but I have yet to see any action taken.

    Google: Citizens’ Police Review Board

    The Final Fig Leaf Falls
    Formed in 1994 to handle allegations of police misconduct, the CPRB agreed in over 90 percent of cases with the findings of the police, which led to its own supporters calling it “a fig leaf” that was “structured to be a rubber stamp.”

  • DdC

    The Universal soldiers are to blame. Policy that undermines the Constitution doesn’t excuse anyone from abusing citizens, even if its policy they follow. Anymore than blaming the war for war crimes. Cowardice among the sheople not only write these draconian policy’s, but they continually excuse the “officers” actions because of the fraudulent policy. If they get paid in taxes then they should know the Bill of Rights and when the law is against the rights of people. But they don’t learn because then they might have to enforce it and not get gold stars of statistics and reasons to continue the war. Same asshole Daryl Gates starting the DARE brainwashing, same that fathered the SWAT jackboots. Both totally against the grain of Americana. Those who put these shortcuts in place are covert Nazi’s in army suits keeping their swastika’s hidden. This is the only crime in History that requires snitches to even know a crime has been committed. To then obtain a warrant or not, to justify kicking down doors and killing old ladies and young mothers suspected of what? Illegal enjoyment? Bad policy never justifies bad policing.

    New Year’s Resolution for the Americas:
    End the Drug War; Give Peace a Chance
    Government Policies Secured by Violence Have Proven Only to Empower Narco-Barons
    By Bill Conroy Via the Narcosphere January 1, 2010

    News About the US Drug War in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Throughout South and Central America

    Save $16 Million: Stop Arresting Adults for Possessing Marijuana; from ACLU of Washington State, Jan 2010

    OpEd: The Deadly Ignorance Of “Drug Warriors”; from Huffington Post (US), 1/7/10

    Court Spectator Sues Judge For Drug-Testing Him ‘On A Hunch’; from Raw Story (US), 1/6/10

  • DdC

    Then again, All policy should have an author sign off on it before implementing UnConstitutional draconian or over zealous racist, classist legislation. Then if it is enforced we have someone to hold accountable. Tried as Traitors. Put some responsibility back in the politicians lap before they make oppressive laws for profit or ego trips. Cops thinking about what’s right or wrong may be too presumptive. First thing is hang the schmuck who told the cops it was their sole responsibility to stop adults from reforming gravy train laws. Then set an example with renegade arapyho’s about citizens wearing badges re-writing Constitutional rights and the harm to society being much more deserving of capital punishment than Guv W Boosh killing mentally ill matching his 62 IQ in Texas.

  • Just me

    One thing is for sure, those who wish to dominate over people will do so with zeal, even glee, even if it cost others lives.In some cases because it costs a live. Who knows what really goes through the minds of men.

  • BruceM

    … you know, for the children.

  • Paul

    Has anyone in Lima city government expressed remorse about the shooting and discussed changes, or are they defiant and telling the press she got what was coming to her? (I really don’t know–can anyone enlighten me?)

    If you were the insurance company, and the city’s attitude is defiance, wouldn’t you drop them as a customer after this? Who wants to pay for their swat team’s next mistake?

    One problem with poorly managed cities is that ultimately, the only accountability falls back on the city citizens. And if their city is hit by massive lawsuits and goes bankrupt, it will just be taken over by the state. Residents may hardly notice a difference.

    If taxes must be raised to ruinous heights to pay for the lawsuits, people will just leave town rather than pay. Ultimately, governments really cannot be forced to be responsible if they’re hell bent on reckless behavior.

  • Paul, from the insurance company’s perspective, all they care about is how much they’re going to have to pay. Their decision to settle is a financial one and they don’t care what the city thinks about it or even whether the city has an opinion about it.

    Now if the Wilson family had held out for an apology, or promise of better policy, etc., as part of the settlement, it would have been a different story.

    As far as the town goes, they did invest in 8 hours of training for officers.

  • DavesNotHere

    NYTimes article on this. Protesting against SWAT style raids as acceptable police tactics is not their first priority is what I can gather. Let alone the drug war.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/us/30lima.html

    Black people in Lima, from the poorest citizens to religious and business leaders, complain that rogue police officers regularly stop them without cause, point guns in their faces, curse them and physically abuse them. They say the shooting of Ms. Wilson is only the latest example of a long-running pattern of a few white police officers treating African-Americans as people to be feared.

    “There is an evil in this town,” said C. M. Manley, 68, pastor of New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. “The police harass me. They harass my family. But they know that if something happens to me, people will burn down this town.”

    Surrounded by farm country known for its German Catholic roots and conservative politics, Lima is the only city in the immediate area with a significant African-American population. Black families, including Mr. Manley’s, came to Lima in the 1940s and ’50s for jobs at what is now the Husky Energy Lima Refinery and other factories along the city’s southern border. Blacks make up 27 percent of the city’s 38,000 people, Mr. Berger said.

    Many blacks still live downwind from the refinery. Many whites on the police force commute from nearby farm towns, where a black face is about as common as a twisty road. Of Lima’s 77 police officers, two are African-American.

    Tarika Wilson had six children, ages 8 to 1.

    ——-

    The drug war sure looks like it is still a war on minorities.

  • Osborne Perry Anderson

    When will good cops realize that nothing sullies them more then the drug war and the bad kops it helps create… or do they really care?

    In a more libertarian world law enforcement agents would not have the immunity they do today… neither would politicians or judges for that matter.

  • Paul

    My, 8 hours of training. That ought to make a difference.

    The insurance company take on the situation is not trivial. True, they only care about how much they are going to pay, but they must be wondering if they will have to pay AGAIN if the police department goes berserk. If they have any sense at all, they (and all other) insurance companies ought to refuse to sell insurance to a city with that kind of attitude.

    @Davesnothere: I think the pastor’s comments about cover it. Does not sound like the police are friendly to the black community.

    @Osborne Perry Anderson: Agreed. Police in less zealous jurisdictions are often horrified to hear of the negative relationship American police often have with the citizens.

    A friend of mine told that he and some friends were vacationing in Amsterdam and they decided to go into a restaurant. They lit up a joint while they where waiting for their food, but the police were walking by outside the window and came in to talk to them. They sat down at their table.

    Police: “It is against the law to smoke marijuana in public.”

    My friend: “Oh? We thought it was legal everywhere in Amsterdam.”

    Police: “Oh! You’re Americans! No, it’s against the law. You have to put it out. So where are you from in America?”

    My friend: “Hollywood.”

    Police: Hollywood! I’ve always wanted to visit Hollywood. Hey, tell me, we hear that people in your country are afraid of the police, is that true?”

    My friend: “Yes, lots of people are.”

    Police: “That’s terrible. Why?”

    My friend: “Well…”

    And that was pretty much it. He said they talked about movie stars for another 10 minutes, and the police smiled, shook their hands, and returned to their patrol.

  • DdC

    8 hours of tax paid salaries and instructors salaries to teach a cop to not shoot a mother holding a baby and especially to not shoot the unarmed baby? Maybe they could think about instructing that when they’re rookies, before giving them actual loaded weapons. What is also strange is when they buy drugs several times and record it to make a case, then sneak around busting down doors in the middle of the night to bust them. Especially crackheads and cranksters who ain’t gonna be sleeping period. Why don’t they bust them when they buy it? Do they let bank robbers rob several banks before kicking their doors in at night? How many murders do you get before they storm troop your home? Practice runs? Each (non crime) buy should be considered a separate (non)crime, not cumulative. So it makes no sense to jeopardize the public with these macho BS raids. But then it makes no sense anyway.

    “We the People are the rightful master of both congress and the courts – not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    Tulia: Tip of the Drug War Iceberg
    January 2005

    Book Review: Dorm Room Dealers
    Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class;
    from Drug War Chronicle (US), 1/8/10

    PREJUDICE: MARIJUANA AND JIM CROW LAWS

    “They fabricated all the right answers to persuade a magistrate to give them a no-knock search warrant. By 6 p.m., they had the legal document they needed to break into Kathryn Johnston’s house, and within 40 minutes they were prying off the burglar bars and using a ram to burst through the elderly woman’s front door. It took about two minutes to get inside, which gave Johnston time to retrieve her rusty .38 revolver. Tesler was at the back door when Junnier, Smith and the other narcotics officers crashed through the front. Johnston got off one shot, the bullet missing her target and hitting a porch roof. The three narcotics officers answered with 39 bullets.”
    ~ Drugwar Victim Kathryn Johnston, 92 – R.I.P.

    Thank You Miss Rosa

    DAREyl SWAT Gates LAPDog Perversions
    Ashley Villareal, 14, shot to death in her car outside her home by DEA agents. Xavier Bennett, 8, shot to death in his home. Veronica Bowers, 35, and Charity Bowers, 7 months, shot down and killed in their missionary plane over Peru by drug enforcement operations. Patrick Dorismond, 26, shot to death by undercover drug police on the streets of New York. Tony Marinez, 19, shot to death while sleeping on the couch. Lynette Gayle Jackson, 26, shot to death in her bed by a SWAT team. Alberto Sepulveda, 11, shot to death by SWAT while lying face down on the floor in his home. Esequiel Hernandez, 18, shot to death by drug war Marines on U.S. soil while herding his family’s goats, Tom & Rollie Rainbow Farm, Peter McWilliams.

  • DdC

    L.E.A.P. are probably the best known cops against prohibition recently. But Joe has been speaking out for a while, as was Gil before he died.

    The Joseph McNamara Collection 02/04/01
    Joseph McNamara is a former police chief in Kansas City, Mo. and San Jose, Ca.. He holds a doctorate in public administration and is
    presently a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

    * Stop the War – A Former Police Chiefs Plea to the New Drug Czar

    * America’s Plague of Bad Cops

    * Anguish in Blue Needn’t Become Deadly

    * Bombs and the Bill of Rights

    * Cops on the Dole

    * Cop’s View of the Drug War

    * End the War by Anthony Lewis

    * Has the Drug War Created an Officer Liar’s Club?

    * Reinventing the LAPD

    * The National Guard is Not a Police Force

    * Code of Silence Must Come to an End

    * Holding the Line Between Pursuit and Punishment

    * Drug Peace

    * Shootings by Police – Broken Trust

    * NY Times Letter to the Editor – April 18, 1999

    * cops against the drug war

    * police chiefs question merit of drug policy

    Gil Puder, R. I. P. 02/04/01

    “The judge agreed that marijuana was harmless
    and that prohibition was racist,
    but ruled that pot is still illegal.”

    ~ Justice Denied 01 Nov, 1997