31 August 2005

Police Not in a Good Light

Sometimes it's just obvious that an officer is wrong.

Other times the individual officers may not have been wrong but whoever authorized a raid on a bunch of kids, who may very well have been in compliance with law, in full combat gear, needs to answer some serious questions.

In the end the second is more dangerous than the first. There will always be officers having a bad day or making a stupid decision, but their effect will be limited. However, when those in control start authorizing combat raids against citizens dancing, even if they are violating a trespass statute or licensing ordinance, the potential effects are disturbing.

Originally found on PDD and WP.

5 comments:

loraksus said...

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Countdown-looting-in-Walmart.wmv
Police (in uniform) caught looting (shopping cart and all) by a reporter.

Anonymous said...

Well the first video shows an overreaction, for which the foul mouthed employee came out $60,000 richer.

The second clip is courtesy of a moronic leftist site whose authors cannot spell "fascism" correctly yet throw the word around.

I didn't see anything disturbing with it; I would need to hear why the police devoted so much manpower to the operation. I have to believe that there was a motive beyond hassling the youth. Drugs? Trespassing? Disorderly conduct? Where was this "party?" In a residential area where all the neighbors would be victimized by it (noise, drug use, used condoms, the usual phenomena at these "raves")?

Sorry, on the last clip I don't see any overbearing police activity, unless you reveal that it was a meeting of the Mormon church youth choir or some such.

Ken Lammers said...

Like I said, the first is troubling but whenever you give people power there will be someone who screws up or abuses it. However, this episode is limited by its one-on-one nature.

There's no doubt the sites which link to the party raid are biased, but that doesn't mean it's not troubling. Go read some of the stuff the Salt Lake Tribune wrote about this. It was on a private ranch, apparently it was advertised, and the people running it got a permit 3 weeks prior (but apparently missed another - easy enough to do when dealing with the government). If the police were worried about possible lawless activity at the party they should have contacted the organizers and required them to have a police presence and maybe even drug dogs in order to get the second permit; they could also have informed them that they didn't have a permit, couldn't party, and had police at the party location to make sure the party didn't even start. They didn't do either - they chose to organize a raid. And the officers involved in the raid didn't arrive in regular uniform, they came dressed in military gear. Why? Did they expect to confront an armed paramilitary band? Wouldn't the fact that they were in the dark without readily recognizable uniforms put them more at risk by increasing the chance that people might misunderstand what was going on and try to fight back?

There may be other explanations but I see two possiblities: First, the police wanted to make a big splash and thought they could both get good press out of this and send a message. Second, somebody in the chain of command really screwed up and needs to answer for this. The two aren't mutually exclusive. If someone has a better explanation for how the police acted here and why they couldn't have used their advance notice to act in a preventative manner, please tell me why I am wrong and shouldn't find this disturbing.

markm said...

The second permit was only required for events that go on for over 12 hours. This was scheduled to end in 9 hours. Apparently the police used ESP to determine that it wasn't going to end on schedule, because the raid went down before the scheduled end time.

Anonymous said...

I do find it difficult to believe that the police needed armed-response teams for a dance that they knew was happening weeks in.

Send a message, if you like, but I don't think this is the one you wanted to send. I hope the police there are sued into the ground. Bankrupt them. Let law send a message back to those who abuse it.

The rule of law applies to the enforcers, too.