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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Story Underscores the hideous Nature of Redevelopment Used Against the Poor. The Victory is Sweet but Unique and Exceptional: Boxing Gym Scores Knockout Blow for Property Rights

Posted at Cato.org By Ilya Shapiro On April 25, 2011 @ 8:43 am, In Government and Politics,Law and Civil Liberties
Last month, I wrote about [1] a major eminent domain struggle in National City, California. City officials had decided to declare almost seven hundred properties blighted even before conducting any sort of blight study, which eventually turned out to be riddled with errors.

At the center of the fight is a private, nonprofit boxing gym that has helped keep hundreds of at-risk kids in school and off the streets. The city wanted to bulldoze the center so a wealthy developer can build luxury condos and stores.

In 2007, the Institute for Justice teamed up with the gym and filed suit to stop the city from taking the property, and here’s video about their legal fight:


Four years later, IJ scored a knockout blow against eminent domain abuse: Last Thursday, the Superior Court of California struck National City’s entire 692-property eminent domain zone and found that National City lacked a legal basis for its blight declaration.

This is a major victory for California property owners, and the first case to apply the property reforms that the state enacted to counter the 2005 Kelo decision.
Click here to learn more about this story and this issue.
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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

Key

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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