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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sad, A Moderate Democrat may be gone from the CA State Legislature

Anthony, this piece was excellent journalism! Thank you.

Shame To See Wright Go
-Anthony Pignataro
SEPT. 17, 2010

You don’t find the words “state senator” and “indicted” in the same headline very often. But when I saw this Sept. 16 Los Angeles Times story on the eight-count felony indictment of Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, for perjury and voter fraud, I was surprised. I didn’t know much about him, beyond the fact that he’s only been in the Senate a couple years and was known as a moderate, so I rushed over to the Capitol to find out more about his allegedly living outside his district.

Considering the publicity, the building was eerily quiet. Up on the fifth floor, there wasn’t much in Wright’s office beyond a few staffers and a Capitol Television News Service camera crew hoping they could get Wright on tape (he’s in Southern California right now). When I asked for a comment on the indictment, the receptionist referred me to Cine Ivery, Wright’s press aide in Inglewood.

“We have not put out a statement,” Ivery said by phone. “We are not going to put out a statement.” Click here to read more.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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