Another drug war victim

Via Radley Balko and Philip Smith: Meet 59-year-old David Hooks, the latest drug fatality

This has all the classic features. With just a modicum of investigation, police could have learned that Hooks “was a successful businessman who ran a construction company that, among other things, did work on US military bases. Hooks had passed background checks and had a security clearance.”

Instead, the took the word of a burglar.

And, if the police had possessed an ounce of intelligence, they would have considered that someone who just had their place burglarized would not be thinking “police” when…

His wife, Teresa, was upstairs in her craft room when she heard a car drive fast up the driveway, and she looked out the window.

“She saw several men all in black and camo with hoods on,” Shook said. “She ran downstairs, woke David and said, ‘The burglars are back.’ ”

Hooks retrieved a gun and headed out of the bedroom as the officers broke down the back door.

And now he’s dead.

Police apparently searched for 44 hours and failed to find any drugs.

I can just imagine the conversations that were going on by police radio… “But Chief, there’s nothing here.”…”Keep searching until you find something.”

Again, this case (while we admittedly don’t know everything yet) appears to show so many problems with the system — problems in the law, in policy, in decision-making, in judicial oversight, and in training.

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28 Responses to Another drug war victim

  1. Dante says:

    The solution to this problem is putting the police in jail whenever they do this.

    Next day, no more bungled raids. It would literally stop overnight.

    Won’t happen, though, because the inmates (police) run the asylum.

    Protect & serve (themselves!)

    • C.E. says:

      A little accountability for magistrates who rubber stamp these ridiculous warrants would put the breaks on this nonsense as well. But with absolute immunity, there’s no incentive for judges to wield that power responsibly.

  2. Howard says:

    From the Balko article;

    “…Other things that have triggered raids after police mistook them for pot: tomatoes (many times), loose leaf tea, sunflowers, fish, elderberry bushes, kenaf plants, hibiscus, ragweed, yellow bell peppers, daisies, the scent of a skunk, the scent of guinea pigs and a plastic plant purchased for a pet lizard’s terrarium.”



    While I don’t have any fish, I do have tomato plants growing in my backyard (and occasionally pepper plants). And because my property is a certified wildlife habitat, there are ragweed plants, wild sunflowers and many other native plants/grasses, etc. Sometimes a skunk gets a little too excited (thank goodness I don’t own guinea pigs).

    But what worries me most now is that there are rocks on my property. If fish (!!!) can be mistaken for an illicit plant, couldn’t rocks also be mistaken for a Schedule I controlled substance? [/snark].

    As ludicrous as it sounds, I actually feel like calling the local sheriff’s department and asking them to come out and pre-inspect my tomato plants (and rocks). Unbelievable.

    • darkcycle says:

      The first year in this house, my wife and I were at a loss where to grow some tomatoes. We are fully treed in on the east, west and south sides, with only one spot of all day Sun- right next to our driveway by the street. I now have raised beds, but that first year we used pots. It was early spring, and the pots only went out on warm sunny days. One of those days I had just put four tomato plants in 7 gal buckets out by the street by the fence. I went in and watched a sheriff deputy come to a screeching halt and get out to look. He looked genuinely confused for a few minutes , then got back in his car looking quite disappointed. I laughed, then I thought about it, and it stopped being the least bit funny.

  3. Servetus says:

    Without informants, drug enforcement wouldn’t get off the ground. Informants are used in the drug war because police are unable to find voluntary accusers who are actual victims of an alleged drug crime, and who are willing to function as plaintiffs. Typically, no victims of drug crimes exist until the law intervenes.

    The average drug consumer doesn’t invite the police to intervene in their lives to save them from drugs, any more than a religious apostate would invite the Inquisition into their lives to save their souls. The concept of the soul becomes irrelevant if the citizen ends up persecuted throughout their lives as a former heretic, or one’s corporeal being rots away for years in a penitential prison.*

    Informants exploited by the Inquisition were just as treacherous and deceitful as any drug informant we see today. The informant could be someone exhibiting a grudge against the alleged heretic, or they might want that particular person out of the way for political or financial reasons. Under torture, or threat of torture, an accused heretic acting as an informant would toss out any name to stop the torment, beginning with people they barely knew, and ending with public figures they never knew.

    Informant credibility was a disaster at every level of society. The ongoing threat of coerced informants prompted the wealthy and powerful to donate money to the Holy Office of the Inquisition to counter spurious charges of heresy made against them by unknown informants or known enemies. Later on, different and more sophisticated types of secular law enforcement required evidence beyond the words of dubious informants under legal duress before conducting a raid and arrest. That particular legal sophistication doesn’t appear to exist in the sad case of David Hooks.

    *(Historical trivia: inquisitorial ‘penitential prisons’ were a source of the word ‘penitentiary’, as well as being the origin of physical detainment as a means of punishment. Before the use of imprisonment for punishment by either ecclesiastical or secular legal authorities, the non-lethal punishment meted out to convicts involved cutting off their hands or ears or noses, having their eyes gouged out, their tongues cut out, etc.)

  4. NorCalNative says:

    And guys like KevCon Sorbet still wonder why we’d like to see ALL drugs legalized.

  5. allan says:

    grrr… so when does this shit become TOO MUCH? Hello? What was Radley’s count this year? 11? WTF?

    This is the part that Mr K Lieman and Sebat won’t touch. And it needs to be plastered (or nailed, whatever works)(metaphorically speaking only, of course) on their foreheads. FTS, seriously.

  6. Dave in IL says:

    “Police apparently searched for 44 hours and failed to find any drugs.”

    Now that’s desperation. Find something, anything, we can use to smear the guy we just killed so we can justify it. What will they do now, try to find an old traffic citation. Disgusting, but they know they fucked up now. Here’s another story that needs to be shoved in the face of drug war dead-enders.

  7. Servetus says:

    Speaking of drug war victims, here’s an odd one, something that demonstrates once again the DEA, in setting up a sting operation on Facebook, has little or no regard for basic decency or human rights:

    A DEA agent [Timothy Sinnegan] commandeered a woman’s identity, created a phony Facebook account in her name, and posted racy photos he found on her seized cell phone. The government said he had the right to do that.

    The Justice Department is claiming, in a little-noticed court filing, that a federal agent had the right to impersonate a young woman online by creating a Facebook page in her name without her knowledge. Government lawyers also are defending the agent’s right to scour the woman’s seized cellphone and to post photographs — including racy pictures of her and even one of her young son and niece — to the phony social media account, which the agent was using to communicate with suspected criminals.

    “It reeks of misrepresentation, fraud, and invasion of privacy,” said Anita L. Allen, a professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School.” Sondra is also protected by a common law copyright regarding the pictures of her she owns and that were stored on her phone, regardless of whether she’s on probation. Under the copyright statutes, the government cannot own a copyright on anything, including what it publishes itself. The pictures belong to Sondra, and not some douche-billy drug agent such as DEA-SA Timothy Sinnigen.

  8. Yes. The root of evil behind it all: money

    • Hope says:

      It’s the “Love of money”… not the money, itself. And it’s the “Root of a great deal of evil”, not necessarily all of it… if you’re looking at the Biblical saying.

      • Not being biblical- sorry. Just plenty of incentives and perks for those willing to do their part. Drug war didn’t get popular by accident.

        • Hope says:

          🙂 I thought you probably weren’t… but I couldn’t resist it. Like anything else… it’s an inanimate object… but people do awful things for the love of it.

  9. Duncan2003 says:


    Good grief. It certainly appears to me that the prohibitionist parasites have decided that they’re going to emulate their favorite expert in military tactics and not go gently into that good night.

    Gov. John Hickenlooper: It Was ‘Reckless’ For Colorado To Legalize Marijuana

    For crying out loud, will these people ever stop saying that the States are violating Federal law? OK, now it’s mandatory for all prohibitionists to repeat 11th grade civics. This time don’t go to class drunk!!

    Holy cow! Look at all those fr*ckin’ indians!!
    ~~ The last words of General George Custer

    • allan says:

      mmm… some tribal friends say it was a much simpler exclamation, “crap…” but then they love a good joke better than most.

      You know why cowboys roll the side brims of their hats, yeah?

      So they can ride 3 in a pickup!

      • Duncan2003 says:


        allan, that was the punchline of an old joke which featured a rich guy commissioning an artist to paint a picture of Custer’s last stand. The painting consisted of a cow with a halo chewing its cud in a field with several dozen stereotyped North American aborigines having various types of sexual relations.

        It appears to me now that this particular joke is not as ubiquitous as I thought.

        • allan says:

          with your description that sounds mighty familiar… damn near gave myself a veja du over all again.

          In some parts of Indian country, Custer jokes are ubiquitous (but then a lot of my relations are AIM types). Heck I bet Malcolm could work that into one of his physics lessons – Custer’s last Custard or some such!

    • strayan says:

      ‘We don’t have enough data to demonstrate that this type of plant life should exist’

      Literally madness.

  10. Hope says:

    It’s stunning that they just keep doing these horrible, insane raids. We have too many police and they are causing great harm. They are outrageously “Reckless”.

    • Hope says:

      Prohibitionists, their supporters and enforcers, are completely blinded and deluded by their own iniquity. That iniquity that tells them that somehow they have the right to do these heinous deeds against some aspects of humanity for some kind of imagined good.

      They are sick and deluded. And terribly dangerous and expensive as well.

      It’s like that other parable… they are trying to “Remove a splinter from someone else’s eye while they are blinded” by a dang log in their own!

      That damned log is deceiving them into thinking what they are doing is, somehow, to them, right in some convoluted way, because they have been so brainwashed and indoctrinated into believing that they are fighting some sort of drug scourge… for everyone’s good.

      • thelbert says:

        you’re right, Hope. that’s the lie you have to believe to be a nark. after that everything else is easy. because it is a lie, the drug war is doomed.

  11. primus says:

    Citizen oversight committee with powers to detain and press charges against the officers who do wrong and their superior officers who supervise and train the wrong-doers. Also, remove police prosecutorial immunity in all cases of death of a citizen.

    • Windy says:

      I would amend that to say death of or injury to a citizen, and also in the case of death of or injury to a family’s dog(s).

  12. DdC says:

    Top 20 Anti-Marijuana Crusaders Fighting Against Pot Legalization via @mainstr

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