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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Authorities target pot grows in southwest Santa Rosa sweep | PressDemocrat.com

Authorities target pot grows in southwest Santa Rosa sweep | PressDemocrat.com

Mejia, who wasn't being detained like many of her neighbors, said officers had indicated they weren't going to arrest her. She had paperwork to grow medical marijuana and said her garden was legal, with 30 plants, as is locally allowed. But Mejia, who held a receipt issued by officers, was upset her garden still was yanked.
Groups of neighbors gathered to watch. Several called the officers' tactics “overkill” and questioned the value of ripping out the gardens, saying there were other more serious crimes to pursue.
“It's a big bunch of crap,” said Lora Wilson, as she leaned against some mailboxes. “How much taxpayer money did we just waste doing this?”

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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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