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Monday, July 11, 2011

Excluding The Public: The Redistricting Commission Goes Dark | Fox & Hounds Daily

By Tony Quinn
Political Commentator and Former Legislative Staffer
Mon, July 11th, 2011

Running out of time, beset by rebellious consultants, and manipulated by partisans, the Citizens Redistricting Commission has decided to exclude citizens from the process. The Commission is going dark.

On Saturday, the Commission voted not to release a second set of draft redistricting maps to the press or the public on July 14 as promised. They also voted not to post maps of the districts they are drawing on their own redistricting website. Despite a $3 million budget and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to their consultants, the consultants told them they had no time for public maps. Outside groups are being recruited for that task. Click here to read more.
(Tony Quinn joins me on Gadfly Radio Tuesday, July 12, at 8PM. Our other guests include Former CA State Senator, Gloria Romero, and Citizen liaison, activist, Lydia Grant)
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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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