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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...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Judge refuses to halt demise of California redevelopment agencies - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

By Peter Hecht
Published: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

A Sacramento Superior Court judge Friday refused to stave off the elimination of more than 400 local California redevelopment agencies, rejecting arguments that the Legislature violated the state constitution by cutting off their funding.

Judge Lloyd G. Connelly's ruling on two lawsuits by 12 cities means the agencies stand to be dissolved by Wednesday. His refusal to grant a stay in the cases handed another victory to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has counted on the elimination of redevelopment agencies to deliver more money for schools and public safety.
Read more here:  Judge refuses to halt demise of California redevelopment agencies - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee
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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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