National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Police Throw Grenade into Home and It Lands in Baby’s Crib

From the Associated Press:

Officers raiding a Georgia home in search of a drug suspect used a flash grenade not knowing children were inside, severely burning a toddler who was sleeping just inside the door, authorities and the boy’s family said.

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell said the officers were looking for a suspect who may have been armed and followed proper procedure by using the device, which creates a bright flash and loud bang to distract suspects

“It’s a tragic incident,” Terrell said. “The baby didn’t deserve this.”

Alecia Phonesavanh told local media her son was sleeping in his playpen when the raid began Wednesday morning.

“The cops threw that grenade in the door without looking first, and it landed right in the playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face,” Phonesavanh told WSB-TV.

No one thinks the police set out to hurt this child.  But were the tactics sloppy, reckless, and unnecessary?  Yes.

These raids and injuries are more common than many realize.  Check out the Cato raid map.

NY Cop Frames Two Men on Drug Charges; Makes Up a Story

From the New York Daily News:

A city housing cop was convicted Wednesday of falsifying reports in a 2012 drug bust after prosecutors confronted him with a smoking-gun video that proved he was lying.

A Manhattan Supreme Court jury found NYPD Officer Isaias Alicea, 29, guilty of 10 felony counts of offering false instrument for filing and one misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.

What if there was no videotape?  It would be your word against the police officer.  Who would the judge/jury believe?  Scary.  That’s why vigilance against police misconduct is so important.


 

Undercover Narco Befriends, then Busts, Autistic Teenager

From ABCNews.com:

“Our son was a new kid in August, and this undercover cop befriended him,”  Snodgrass said. On the second day of school, Snodgrass said, Daniel asked the boy to buy drugs. “He asked my son if he could find marijuana for $20,” Snodgrass said. ”Three weeks later my son was able to bring back a half joint he received from a homeless guy.”

Later, Snodgrass said, “he asked to purchase my son’s prescription medication, but our son refused.”

It took the 17-year-old three weeks to procure a half joint of marijuana, according to court documents filed later in Riverside County juvenile court. After he was pressed again by the police officer, the student retrieved another joint for $20, from another homeless man, the documents said.

“During that time, he received more than 60 text messages from this undercover officer,” Snodgrass said. “Our son has a real problem reading social cues and social inferences because of his various disabilities. It would’ve been hard for him to figure to out that he was talking to an undercover officer.”

Snodgrass said his son had been diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome  and various anxiety disorders.

Temecula police arrested Snodgrass’ son, along with 21 other students, on Dec. 11. Snodgrass told ABC News that his son was interrogated, booked and held for two days without having contact with his parents.

Federal Agents Riding to the Rescue to Protect Us

From the Wall Street Journal:

Peter Gleason was a psychiatrist who devoted much of his professional life to caring for what government officials call “underserved populations.” He would have been thrilled to learn that on Dec. 3 in New York, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a ringing opinion that vindicated the conduct for which he was indicted and arrested in 2006.

Unfortunately, Gleason did not live to see this welcome reversal of the federal government’s crusade against him and the promotion of Xyrem—a drug widely used by physicians, including Gleason, to treat a number of medical conditions beyond what the federal Food and Drug Administration approved it for. Hounded for years, he saw his career and finances ruined by the relentless war waged against him by FDA bureaucrats and Justice Department prosecutors. Gleason committed suicide on Feb. 7, 2011.

Harvey Silverglate is a Cato adjunct scholar.

Drug-sniffing Dogs and their Handlers

H/T  Radley Balko at Huffington Post.

Please remember this video the next time someone says, “Well if you have not done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.”  The officer admits putting illegal narcotics on cars randomly around town–enough to have a dog “alert” to anyone’s car, whether they have ever used drugs or not.  This isn’t an officer “caught on tape.”  The officer readily admits that this is what he does.

To fully appreciate the video above, you should watch this video first.   This victim of police misconduct filed a lawsuit against town and officer.  A year or two later, his attorney gets his opportunity to question the officer in a deposition.  That’s what the above video is all about.

There is a drug detection dog case pending before the Supreme Court this term.  Read the Cato amicus brief in that case to learn more about the law on the matter.