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January 2012
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Things I didn’t expect to see

Progress?

1. Police advisor says we need to reconsider use of forced entry warrants.

In light of police deaths, training is scrutinized

“It’s time to change our thinking,” says Pat McCarthy, who advises police agencies across the country. “Cops are exposing themselves to increasing danger many times over, and it’s just not necessary.” […]

McCarthy said the deadly confrontation underscores a need for police to rethink their tactics.

The days of knocking down doors in drug cases should be over. Given what’s going on now, you have to consider other options,” McCarthy said.
He said law enforcement officials should focus more on attempting to lure suspects out into the open or simply “wait them out.”

[H/T Radley Balko]

2. An intelligent piece in the Daily Mail opposing sniffer dogs and random tests in the classroom.

Sniffer dogs and random tests in the classrooms are NOT the way to protect schoolchildren from drugs by Damon Barrett

Not only do these invasive and enforcement-led measures not work, they are counterproductive. Labelling those tested as ‘drug users’ is likely to reduce their confidence, happiness and self-esteem at school. Drug testing cannot distinguish between occasional, recreational drug use and more problematic patterns of use.

So youngsters at very little risk of harm will be ‘labelled’ and drawn into the net of counselling services, ‘treatment’ centres and the criminal justice system. The consequence of a positive test result can also involve suspension or school exclusion. Ask any parent if they want this for their child.

Drug testing also runs the risk of diverting some young people to substances which are likely to be more harmful but less easily identifiable than cannabis, such as alcohol, amphetamines or volatile substances. Some may also play truant to avoid the possibility of being tested. Gyngell herself is concerned about absence from school and it is a key risk factor in initiation into drug use and developing more risky behaviours. Why make matters worse?

Drug testing and running sniffer dogs through schools is at best an expensive waste of time and at worst money spent on harming our own children.

[H/T Transform]

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20 comments to Things I didn’t expect to see

  • claygooding

    See my last post on preceding thread. :<)

  • kaptinemo

    WRT the first article: Given that the horrendous conditions in most US prisons are common knowledge, I am surprised that we haven’t had more SWAT shootings, as the targeted ‘perp’ decides that it isn’t worth going through that kind of Hell by surrendering. But there’s something else at work, here, and it goes to the heart of the paramilitarization of police; this is just another example of the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.

    The (laughable) rationale for it was the belief that the drug dealers would be packing military-grade heat. Patent BS, of course, but that’s what led to the rise of SWAT drug raids.

    In response to the militarization of police, the dealers who had not been packing military-grade heat decided to get themselves some, thanks to the DrugWarrior’s ramping up.

    The DrugWarriors, frightened by a office waste-basket fire, poured petrol on it and threw in some explosives for good measure. Now they point to the mess they made even worse and say they need even more ordnance to put it out? Again, I am reminded of Pete’s observation about putting out house fires with grenades and machine guns. When the arsonists who started the fire make this kind of demand, it’s long past time to step back and look at them with more than a little skepticism.

  • Nunavut Tripper

    I wonder if the cops in Utah are thinking to themselves privately ” All this tragedy over houseplants ?”
    It was bound to happen and will happen again before the drug warriors smarten up and realize LEAP was right all along.

  • Steve

    Does anyone appreciate that this is only coming about because the “officers” got hurt? Not even a thought until THEY start taking hits – no pun intended…

  • Francis

    Well, the fact that they’re talking about using LESS violence is certainly progress. I wonder how long before they make that crucial next leap.

  • Duncan20903

    The only conclusion that I can draw from the sniffer dog/whiz quiz story is that someone must have hacked into the Mail’s servers and planted it.

  • Dante

    From the article:
    “It’s time to change our thinking,” says Pat McCarthy, who advises police agencies across the country. “Cops are exposing themselves to increasing danger many times over, and it’s just not necessary.”

    Sigh. Not a mention about the innocent citizens they keep killing and wounding (not to mention their poor dogs). I guess the glass is still half empty.

  • Peter

    There seems to have been a black out of most information about the SWAT raid on the “grow.” There was mention of a controlled explosion at the house but no details of what it was. Could it have been fertilizer (something to be expected at a grow site) which could, if you were looking to justify a paramilitary raid, be described as “explosives?”
    There are no details that I have seen about the number of plants or how the raid was conducted. Did the occupant of the house know that he was facing police? Could this have been another tragedy like Jose Guerena, only this time he got off some shots? The longer the police delay in giving the full story the more suspicious the raid becomes.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      The poor man does seem to have gone Rambo from his PTSD. It wouldn’t shock me at all to find that he had actual explosives. I didn’t hear what kind of gun he used to repel the SWAT team, bull I’ll bet it wasn’t a Derringer.

      Technically bullets are explosives.

    • darkcycle

      Actually, I’m with Clay on this one, I’m betting the cops had unexploded ordinance. That’s one of the things they do, paint the guy with the blackest brush they can find. I bet they never file an explosive charge, but I bet they do bring the bomb squad response front and center in the press, then just clam up.

    • claygooding

      A dud flash grenade cannot be moved without a robotic device,,which I am certain Ogden,Ut police do not have.

      It may be why the home defender did so well against the SWAT team,they ran into the room with eyes closed to avoid the flash and it didn’t go off and blind the defendant.

      • darkcycle

        Rule No.1: You do not run in before the Flash-Bang goes. It will temporarily blind you through your eyelids!… and deafen you too. They likely threw several, front window, side, back of the house. Maybe one more through the door after they busted it. They love those things. They’ll even use ’em to help clear rooms once inside.

    • claygooding

      I just can’t get how killing people is measured as winning.

      Another thing I can’t wrap my head around is the fact that the DEA laundered money for the cartels,,many millions of dollars,,the ATF has been selling guns to the cartels for years and Calderon is still talking to the US drug warriors,,,how much money does that smell like?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Thomas Edison liked to say that there is no such thing as failure, just different kinds of success. If you try something and it doesn’t work, you’ve succeeded in proving that it does not in fact work! Señor Calderon is swimming in a veritable sea of Edisonian success.

  • warren

    Their worried about the improving marksmanship on the other side of the door. Nothing else.

    • Duncan20903

      Sounds like more trips to the firing range are in order. What difference does it make why they stop as long as they stop?

  • Duncan20903

    We’re seeing a lot of unusual stuff this year. Interesting times indeed.

    The Moral Case for Legalizing Marijuana
    Posted: 1/11/12 04:40 PM ET

    /snip/
    Many associate pot advocacy with the “anything goes” counter-culture of the 1970s that they blame for the decline of personal responsibility. Others worry that the logical extension of the philosophy could lead to legalizing “harder” drugs, prostitution, even polygamy. All of them — liberals, moderates, and conservatives — believe that there must be some moral standards established to guide public policy.

    I’m part of that moral majority. But unlike Jerry Falwell’s version, my values system is based on the multi-religious mandate to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I’ve even written a book, The Compassionate Community, which applies Bible lessons and other religions’ texts to advocate for progressive policies that promote the common good.

    And I’ve recently concluded that these same enduring moral values compel me to support legalizing marijuana.
    /snip/

    • Windy

      Well, when considering freedom/liberty and what is right for all people, legalizing all drugs, prostitution, polygamy, homosexuality, gambling and all vices and natural human behaviors is right for everyone (all of those I named and more I didn’t are in no way real crimes, crimes require victims, but vices are solitary or consensual, so no victims, and criminalizing natural behaviors is just plain nuts). In a free society the default is: its legal as long as no one’s rights are violated.

      If your religion tells you one or more of those things is a sin, then don’t participate in those vices/behaviors, but your religion does NOT give you the right to impose your religious beliefs on all your fellow citizens, especially not in a country based on individual freedom.

      Most of the laws criminalizing natural human behaviors are there because of religious people using their influence and the power of government to impose their personal “morality” on everyone; and every one of those blue (“morality”) laws violates the Constitution.

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