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posted by azrael on Friday July 11 2014, @02:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-rethink dept.

A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.

  • 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
  • $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
  • 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
  • 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
  • 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war

The article goes into further details on the number, including:

On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.

In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".

Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Horse With Stripes on Friday July 11 2014, @02:52PM

    by Horse With Stripes (577) on Friday July 11 2014, @02:52PM (#67601)

    Fact #6: no amount of money or good intentions can make a poorly thought out policy work effectively. The only winners are the individuals & third parties who profit from the violent oppression of "suspects" and the commercialization of prisons. The amount of overtime paid in this "war" is criminal and pads the pensions of any LEO who takes part.

    There are a lot of foot soldiers in this who are simply doing their jobs according to the current laws and policies, but there are many - and many others - who don't want the gravy train to end ... even at the cost of other's lives, freedom and rights.

    We can do better. We need to do better.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Immerman on Friday July 11 2014, @03:20PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:20PM (#67623)

      >The only winners are the individuals & third parties who profit from the violent oppression of "suspects" and the commercialization of prisons.

      Don't forget the drug lords - nothing like violent oppression to keep the black-market prices sky-high. Sure, their foot-soldiers have a rather poor life expectancy, but that's just the price of obscene profits.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @08:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @08:13PM (#67805)

        "What's easier to get: booze or pot?"
        Answer: "Pot. They ask for ID for booze".
        When you make stuff illegal, you lose all control.

        Now, ask a doctor which is worse for human health: alcohol or cannabis?
        Hint: Cannabis has been used medicinally for 3 millennia.

        The 2nd item in the Related Stories portion above shows that when you control it and TAX IT, it's not only no longer a resource *sink*, it's now a revenue SOURCE.

        Down in the thread, [soylentnews.org] metamonkey has a real firm grasp on how this is part of the Southern Strategy [wikipedia.org]
        One item that bears repeated mention is how Reagan started his post-convention campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a touchstone for racial prejudice. [wikipedia.org]

        Baby Boo Boo's story has me outraged.
        I'm reassured now that this story finally made the front page.
        My previous attempt [soylentnews.org] at getting attention for it was deleted from the queue.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:38PM (#67635)

      Fact #7: The "war" against drugs is bullshit anyway. If they were really serious about clamping down on drugs then those people in banks that were involved in laundering BILLIONS of dollars of drug money would have ended up in prison. But NOBODY ended up in prison - the banks got away with paying fines - which means the Gov is just taking its cut of the profits.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs [theguardian.com]
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal.html [bloomberg.com]
      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213 [rollingstone.com]
      http://www.justice.gov/criminal/pr/speeches/2012/crm-speech-121211.html [justice.gov]

      Don't believe the bullshit that the banks were just sloppy and couldn't track all those transactions:

      From 2006 to 2010, the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, the Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia, and other drug traffickers laundered at least $881 million in illegal narcotics trafficking proceeds through HSBC Bank USA. These traffickers didn't have to try very hard. They would sometimes deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows in HSBC Mexico's branches.

      If that sort of thing doesn't raise a red flag to you about "money laundering" then you're not really serious about stopping money laundering.

      In contrast small-timers caught laundering thousands of dollars across the border end up in prison - I suppose no small timers or "independents" are allowed to cut in on the lucrative state sanctioned monopoly over money laundering?

      Fact #8 without those laundered billions of dollars the drug lords won't be able to so easily fund their armies and wars. Fewer people would be dead.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @09:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @09:40PM (#67854)

        In the same way that the banksters who are known to be complicit in the illicit drug trade should be jailed--same as the traffickers (if we're going to continue with this stupid failed War on Drugs), jailing the people who HIRE undocumented laborers would stem the "illegal immigrant" problem.
        I don't see that happening either, however.

        metamonkey is really on a roll in this thread: [soylentnews.org]
        the purpose of the US government[...is...]to funnel wealth from the middle class to the upper class.
        ...though he missed a minor point: the rich get their money from *everyone* (even the poorest); ever hear of bank fees[1] or payday loans?

        [1] Ah, for the days of proper banking regulation, when banks PAID YOU for the use of your money and crooked bankers went to prison.

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Friday July 11 2014, @02:52PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday July 11 2014, @02:52PM (#67602)

    The US population is over 300 million. 1,100 people dying per year in drug-related violence sounds like a lot until you realize that is .00037% of the population, and less than the number of people who die of choking or drowning [listosaur.com]. Somehow I don't see us spending $51 billion a year on SWAT teams to keep us safe from swimming pools.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Friday July 11 2014, @03:18PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:18PM (#67620)

      That's a significant percentage of murders committed in the US. It's not a trivial number.

      But you're right to keep it in perspective: The most common kind of murder by a wide margin in the US is women killed by abusive current/former boyfriends/husbands. If you want to know why women have all sorts of support networks for abuse victims who are trying to get away from their abuser, that's why (this does happen to men too, but it's much less common).

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by VortexCortex on Friday July 11 2014, @05:12PM

        by VortexCortex (4067) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:12PM (#67704)

        I call bullshit.

        The primary victims of violent crimes, including murder, are men. [wikipedia.org]

        Victimization rates for both males and females have been relatively stable since 2000.[8]
        Males were more likely to be murder victims (76.8%).[9]

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:30PM (#67717)

          More total men are murdered, but they're murdered for many different reasons: robbery, drug dealing, sports rivalries... Thexalon is pointing out that when you break murders down by motives, the most common motive is "make me a sandwich, bitch!"

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12 2014, @09:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12 2014, @09:37AM (#68034)

            Women are significantly more likely [nih.gov] to engage in non-reciprocal violence than men (approximately 70%). Women are significantly more likely (approximately 84%) to use a weapon and as a result, around 74% of those men are likely to be seriously injured requiring medical attention, in domestic violence.

            Men are significantly more likely to be the victim of domestic violence than women. Men are significantly more likely to be arrested for domestic violence than women, particularly in cases where the woman was the aggressor.

            On top of all of this, women are twice as likely to be raped by same-sex partners. This means that, once strength is removed as a factor, women are bigger rapists than men. Source: The Gender of Sexuality, Rutter and Schwartz.

    • (Score: 2) by AsteroidMining on Friday July 11 2014, @04:24PM

      by AsteroidMining (3556) on Friday July 11 2014, @04:24PM (#67672)

      Does that number include any of the ~ 1500 people killed per year by Police in the United States?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by bziman on Friday July 11 2014, @04:38PM

      by bziman (3577) on Friday July 11 2014, @04:38PM (#67678)

      That's not 1,100 drug violence related deaths... that's 1,100 people killed by the militarized police. See http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/2012/01/police-involved-shootings-2011-annual.html [blogspot.com]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:43PM (#67724)

        > That's not 1,100 drug violence related deaths... that's 1,100 people killed by the militarized police.

        Bingo.

        For what it's worth, this AC's understanding is that the majority of gun-murders are drug related. Either directly as in turf wars and transactions gone bad or indirectly as in robberies to get drug money being escalated or just people getting all tweaked up and shooting someone for a minor slight.

      • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Friday July 11 2014, @07:59PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday July 11 2014, @07:59PM (#67790)

        Actually, TFA does say those 1,100 deaths were due to drug violence. Your link says 607 people were killed by police. Whoever modded you informative must not have read either TFA or the first sentence of the link you posted.

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
        • (Score: 1) by bziman on Friday July 11 2014, @08:57PM

          by bziman (3577) on Friday July 11 2014, @08:57PM (#67835)

          Sorry... mistyped... I was thinking "casualties" which includes wounded, but inexplicably typed "killed". My bad.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Kromagv0 on Friday July 11 2014, @05:59PM

      by Kromagv0 (1825) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:59PM (#67737) Homepage

      This is the same logic used to justify the war on terror. A while back there was the claim that the NSA's efforts had stopped something like 50 terrorist attacks. I don't remember if the article pointed out if that was over a year or ~10 years but the math I used was 50 attacks in a single year. It turns out that assuming that each attack was as deadly as the 9/11 attacks the body count would still be lower than other preventable causes of death like smoking and obesity. If it was over 10 years and as each attack was as successful as the Boston bombers were (both of these are much more realistic numbers) then the deaths from terrorist attacks would be very minor statistical noise.
       
      Both are used as methods to extend the reach and power of the state. Too bad none of my elected representatives care or are willing to take any bold stances.

      --
      T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:32PM (#67774)

        > A while back there was the claim that the NSA's efforts had stopped something like 50 terrorist attacks.

        It was a bullshit claim anyway.

        During testimony to the overisght committee Keith Alexander walked it back to "only one or perhaps two." [washingtontimes.com]

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday July 12 2014, @03:53PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday July 12 2014, @03:53PM (#68132) Homepage
      It may not be a huge number, but you have to weigh up the cost of decreasing it. To decrease it costs nothing. Less than nothing - you just have to stop doing the expensive thing that nobody apart from a minority want. Preventing 1000 other deaths would have some nett cost. This is a low-hanging fruit.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by karmawhore on Friday July 11 2014, @02:54PM

    by karmawhore (1635) on Friday July 11 2014, @02:54PM (#67604)

    I still haven't seen names. Who did this? Who threw a grenade into that boy's pack and play? I know this is exactly the kind of kneejerk reaction they're trying to get out of me, but I can't help it. If someone did that to my child, there would be hell to pay. I would spend the rest of my days getting every bit of revenge I could manage.

    --
    =kw= lurkin' to please
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @02:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @02:59PM (#67606)

      I'd hunt down the members of the SWAT team and kill their children.

      • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Friday July 11 2014, @03:05PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:05PM (#67611)

        So killing children is acceptable to you as long as it's not your child. Good to know.

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
        • (Score: 1) by karmawhore on Friday July 11 2014, @03:18PM

          by karmawhore (1635) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:18PM (#67619)

          I think AC was making a joke because I said "revenge." Violence is not actually what I had in mind.

          --
          =kw= lurkin' to please
        • (Score: 1, Troll) by BsAtHome on Friday July 11 2014, @03:21PM

          by BsAtHome (889) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:21PM (#67624)

          It is the "eye for an eye" mentality which is very prevalent in the states. They only preach to forgive, on sundays, then they practice revenge the other days.

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday July 11 2014, @03:48PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:48PM (#67647)

            Except that the kid is still alive and recovering. So it's gouging out the eyes of everyone in town hall for getting poked in the eye.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
            • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Friday July 11 2014, @05:21PM

              by Alfred (4006) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:21PM (#67711) Journal

              poked in the eye != hole in the chest
              Those responsible being shot in the chest from point blank would be a much more equal force.

              This event will be haunting that cop until his dying day or I recommend much worse should happen to him.
               

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Friday July 11 2014, @03:50PM

            by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:50PM (#67649)

            Yeah, it's prevalent but not universal. So I'd appreciate it if you don't over-generalize. (I live in the United States.)

            --
            [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tibman on Friday July 11 2014, @05:30PM

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 11 2014, @05:30PM (#67716)

          Is revenge/vengeance on the chaotic good side of things?

          --
          SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:54PM (#67733)
        NEVER go after the families of your targets. That just gets used as a rationalization to make the rest of your family targets.

        Be precises, focused and selective in your targets. Don't waste time with the thugs, go after the ones giving the orders.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by CirclesInSand on Friday July 11 2014, @03:16PM

      by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:16PM (#67616)

      Well the first person's name you are going to want is the judge who signed the warrant. You want to look at what evidence the judge had to decide if this was a dangerous situation that justified sending a militarized swat team into a family home. The officers trust the judge, so the judge is the first person to go after.

      The next set of names you are going to want is pretty much everyone in the entire country. Because everyone had decided that it is the police's responsibility to protect us rather than our own responsibility to protect ourselves. Being angry at police for doing what the public expects of them is about as sensible as being angry at children for doing what their parents tell them to do.

      The police themselves? They do what they are told to do. You might want to put their name on the list, but pretty close to the bottom. If everyone wasn't begging the police to protect us from boogie-men then I doubt the police would have just gone into a family home with grenades out of their own volition. Be mad at the police when they are acting against the public and policy.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hubie on Friday July 11 2014, @03:56PM

        by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 11 2014, @03:56PM (#67657) Journal

        I'm not well versed in the warrant process, but I don't think the judge has any input on how the arrest will be done, in other words, I don't think it is up to the judge to say "I'll grant you this warrant if you're going to knock on their door, but I won't if you are sending in a SWAT team."

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by karmawhore on Friday July 11 2014, @05:15PM

          by karmawhore (1635) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:15PM (#67707)

          They had a "no-knock warrant," so it was up to the judge to make that call.

          --
          =kw= lurkin' to please
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:46PM (#67726)

        This "no-knock" warrant was issued on the strength of testimony from a confidential informant that he had just bought drugs from a particular man. The object of the warrant had a long record, although details have been a little fuzzy whether that includes violence against police. One way or another, the individual was well known to the cops. He was also not in the home at the time of the attack. The people who were there, including the baby, were almost all out-of-town guests, sleeping peacefully at 1am. I guess the informant neglected to mention all the tourists.

        Police in and around Atlanta love their no-knock warrants, although they do tend to get a little out of hand [wikipedia.org]. Which is kind of the point. I mean, a nice battering ram, flash-bang, storm-the-castle attack always looks great on Law and Order, but in real life, nobody gets the script ahead of time and there's no rehearsal.

        The notion that a drug dealer poses such an immediate threat to society that he must be arrested, right this second, even if it means discharging firearms in a densely populated housing complex is completely antithetical to public safety. You can arrest him in the morning.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mrider on Friday July 11 2014, @08:10PM

        by mrider (3252) on Friday July 11 2014, @08:10PM (#67800)

        The next set of names you are going to want is pretty much everyone in the entire country. Because everyone had decided that it is the police's responsibility to protect us rather than our own responsibility to protect ourselves. Being angry at police for doing what the public expects of them is about as sensible as being angry at children for doing what their parents tell them to do.

        There's a pretty damn big difference between "Someone is trying to harm/kill me, please come and protect me" and "That random dude looks suspicious, so please kick his door down and arrest everyone inside". Yes I expect the first. For the second one, the police had better be pretty darn sure of themselves first.

        --

        Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

        Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

      • (Score: 2) by chromas on Friday July 11 2014, @09:31PM

        by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 11 2014, @09:31PM (#67848) Journal

        You want to look at what evidence the judge had...The officers trust the judge, so the judge is the first person to go after.

        You do know who brings the 'evidence' and filled-out warrant to the judge, right?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by BradTheGeek on Friday July 11 2014, @03:02PM

    by BradTheGeek (450) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:02PM (#67607)

    That asset forfeiture that the cops seem tho thrive on from drug cases, could be better used helping people suffering form their 'mistakes' rather than buying more guns and SWAT toys. But, when you put people with a bully mentality in that position, they aren't going to buy hugs and medical care. Nope they have to 'protect' with more stun guns and flash grenades.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by CirclesInSand on Friday July 11 2014, @03:02PM

    by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:02PM (#67608)

    In this particular case, no drugs were found.

    In this particular case, police threw a grenade at a child's crib.

    In this particular case, there might be some prosecution and some scapegoats.

    But that is not is important. What is important is that there is a policy that allows police to engage in raids with no reliable evidence. What is important is that police have a policy of throwing grenades blindly into people's houses. What is important is that people allow the police to do this, not that in this one case the outcome was this enraging.

    Policy has to be changed. This is reckless endangerment, and every drug raid like this where someone wasn't injured is also reckless endangerment. Everyone from the officers present to the officers managing to the judge signing the warrants should be answering to charges of lethal reckless endangerment. Every one of them that isn't tried by the courts should be tried by a mob. In every case, not just the one where someone was injured.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snow on Friday July 11 2014, @03:17PM

      by Snow (1601) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:17PM (#67618) Journal

      Furthermore, it's despicable that the family is forced to rely on donations after the state barged in and ruined their lives. The police should be charged with terrorism.

      • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Friday July 11 2014, @04:49PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Friday July 11 2014, @04:49PM (#67691)

        Didn't you hear? "Terrorist" is the new team name for the "them" in "us vs. them". You can't be a terrorist working for the government, any more than you can be a square circle. You can, however, be a terrorist without actually engaging in activities to terrorize people. You just need to be wearing the other team's jersey.

        • (Score: 1) by NickM on Friday July 11 2014, @06:32PM

          by NickM (2867) on Friday July 11 2014, @06:32PM (#67758) Journal
          Wait, there is a way you can be a square circle!!!! But you must be ready to abandon Euclidean geometry and project yourself unto the correct Riemannian space:P
          --
          I a master of typographic, grammatical and miscellaneous errors !
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12 2014, @04:28AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12 2014, @04:28AM (#67976)

          You just need to be wearing the other team's jersey.

          And, sadly, team jerseys are determined by skin color.

      • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Friday July 11 2014, @05:33PM

        by Alfred (4006) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:33PM (#67719) Journal

        It is a wonder that there aren't more Keyser Soze types out there.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyser_Soze [wikipedia.org]
        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114814/ [imdb.com]

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Friday July 11 2014, @03:39PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:39PM (#67638)

      Since at least the early '60s when SWAT was invented, the trend has been for politicians to curry votes by being "tough on crime." This is the result. This is what previous generations voted for.

      If you're unhappy with the current state of affairs, please realize that we didn't get here overnight. It was fifty years of incremental change. There is plenty of blame to go around, from the media who sensationalize violence in order to get ratings and destroy the public's sense of proportion, to the politicians who are supposed to safeguard civil rights but find it easier and more profitable to play to that fear, to the voters who are fine with police kicking in doors and throwing grenades as long as they do it in another neighborhood, to people of a different color.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
      • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @10:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @10:24PM (#67873)

        the media who sensationalize violence in order to get ratings and destroy the public's sense of proportion

        People who consume lamestream media AND THINK THEY ARE GETTING USEFUL INFORMATION are the problem.
        Since Helen Thomas retired, all that the White House press corps^W^W steno pool will ask is softball questions; they don't want to be barred from the 5 o'clock follies. [google.com]

        Ad-dependent media won't do ANYTHING that jeopardizes their revenue stream.
        They won't do ANYTHING that might offend a potential advertiser (read: megacorporation).
        You'd have to be a fool to think that when you plop down in front of your TeeVee that you have any chance of getting any truth.
        TeeVee became mindless entertainment decades ago, yet it is still the primary source of "information" for many people.

        The vast majority of "journalists" are simply presstitutes.
        They are more than willing to bend over for the gov't. [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [rall.com]

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:58PM (#67736)

      But that is not is important. What is important is that there is a policy that allows police to engage in raids with no reliable evidence. What is important is that police have a policy of throwing grenades blindly into people's houses. What is important is that people allow the police to do this, not that in this one case the outcome was this enraging.

      Six years ago, Atlanta police mistakenly invaded the home of Katherine Johnson using a no-knock warrant. She was alarmed by strangers entering her house, and fired a "warning shot" over their heads. They shot her 39 times, winning a great deal of negative press. I'm sure the good officers of Habersham county, just up the road, came to the conclusion that stunning or disorienting the invadees before entering would reduce the chance of such accidents. Injuries due to explosive devices are certainly a better outcome than 39 bullet holes.

      Somewhere, there's a committee of good officers secure in the belief that they have a good policy with occasional, regrettable incidents of collateral damage. Each incident of collateral damage is an opportunity to improve the flawed execution of an excellent policy.

      Tyrants never think they're evil.

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday July 12 2014, @12:29AM

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 12 2014, @12:29AM (#67911) Journal

        I'm not sure about that. I rather think that Stalin thought he was evil, and enjoyed it. But I'll agree that it's unusual.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday July 12 2014, @02:51AM

      by sjames (2882) on Saturday July 12 2014, @02:51AM (#67951) Journal

      In this particular case, the police ignored the obvious signs that there was a child in the house (toys in the yard).

      In this particular case, the person they were seeking did NOT live there.

      In this case, they severely burned a baby.

      In this case they haven't even said they were sorry and haven't even attempted to pay for any of the medical costs.

      Some of that is important. It shows that they have no sense of responsibility whatsoever when they harm the people they're supposed to protect and serve. It shows that they're nothing but goons in uniform. To me it demonstrates that they aren't fit to be police officers at all.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:20PM (#67622)

    Why isn't the department paying for this and those who did the paperwork that was incorrect jailed for wrongful something?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by CirclesInSand on Friday July 11 2014, @03:35PM

      by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:35PM (#67634)

      If someone threw a grenade at my family, I would not accept any money from them. Not for hospital bills, not for an apology, not for anything. And when the culprit is police officers and judges, I wouldn't even care if there was a court trial. Because the outcome of that trial won't be the same as the outcome of a trial where the defendants aren't members of the court/law-enforcement racket.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:54PM (#67654)

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096257/ [imdb.com]

      A film that successfully argued that a man was
      wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt
      justice system in Dallas County, Texas.

      It looks like it will be tough sledding for the
      family with the gravely injured baby to get
      'real justice' from a system stacked in the
      favor of 'Law And Order' and profit via
      asset forfeiture laws and a corrections/penal
      system ultimately run for profit at the highest
      levels for the benefit of the 'moneyed elite'.

      Hopefully, that family will get the help they
      need from other people willing to help them
      because it appears 'the state' isn't willing
      to spend the/any money to fix this terrible
      mistake.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Zinho on Friday July 11 2014, @03:30PM

    by Zinho (759) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:30PM (#67629)

    Apparently the long leash given to drug police has led to a culture of tolerating police corruption. A pair of journalists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania just won a Pulitzer [npr.org] for uncovering years' worth of abuse of authority on the part of the Philly drug police. The police were routinely rolling in to family-owned convenience stores (bodegas), disabling the security cameras, then stealing money, destroying property, and (in one officer's case) molesting and sexually assaulting the women present. The alleged crime? Selling ziplock baggies.

    When we created a class of police officer who operated outside the rules so that they could "combat drugs" we created a system tolerant of abuses like these.

    There's a bright side to this story, in that the investigation gathered enough hard evidence to prove the allegations were valid and attract the FBI's attention. This forced the Internal Affairs department's hand and brought several bad cops to justice, including the sexual predator. Several innocent store owners were released from prison and their records cleared after their cases were reviewed. I'm hoping that stories like this will help shift National attitude away from "always trust the police" and closer to "better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man go to prison".

    --
    "Space Exploration is not endless circles in low earth orbit." -Buzz Aldrin
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @05:49PM (#67728)

      > A pair of journalists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania just won a Pulitzer for uncovering
      > years' worth of abuse of authority on the part of the Philly drug police.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but they just won it 4 years ago. And while shining a light on that particular case made it too egregious to ignore, there were no lessons learned. Nothing has really changed except to get worse.

      • (Score: 2) by Zinho on Saturday July 12 2014, @02:07PM

        by Zinho (759) on Saturday July 12 2014, @02:07PM (#68097)

        You got me there; the interview I linked to was broadcast the day before my post, so I assumed the award was recent, too. I missed the tiny detail of which year it was awarded.

        It sounds like you've got a personal perspective on the Philly situation, care sharing? I'd love to get more up-to-date info on the aftermath of the report.

        --
        "Space Exploration is not endless circles in low earth orbit." -Buzz Aldrin
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by metamonkey on Friday July 11 2014, @03:32PM

    by metamonkey (3174) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:32PM (#67632)

    Given that Nixon started the DEA and the War on Drugs to drive a wedge between the underclass of blacks and the white middle class in the response to the unity of these groups in the civil rights struggle and anti-war efforts, I'd say the War on Drugs has been massively successful. Generations of blacks have grown up impoverished, in destroyed communities, without fathers in a never-ending cycle. Non-violent teenagers who make mistakes with drugs wind up with felony records and relegated to second class citizens, and lose their ability to vote. In prison they become hardened criminals and become violent repeat offenders on the outside. The tax dollars of a terrified white middle class has been funneled to the private prisons and the weapons and tactical equipment manufacturers. The massive profits from the drug trade have turned Mexico and other South American countries into blood-drenched narco states, destabilizing their governments and driving their honest and hardworking citizens to flee across the border to escape the violence, thereby providing cheap and easily controlled labor for agribusiness and construction interests.

    All-in-all, mission accomplished.

    --
    Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @04:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @04:00PM (#67659)

      Given your first and last sentences, it is rather disappointing to see your comment modded positively.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @07:45PM (#67784)

        > Given your first and last sentences, it is rather disappointing to see your comment modded positively.

        It is a common error to see intent in results.

        What really happened is negligence in not correcting the problem because the people most hurt by the policies had the least say in changing the policies. That's the non-judgmental way of saying that it didn't get fixed because the rich whites in charge just didn't care about or even really notice what happened to the poor brown people.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday July 11 2014, @07:55PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday July 11 2014, @07:55PM (#67787) Journal

        Positively correct on the (ugly) reality rather.

  • (Score: 2) by AsteroidMining on Friday July 11 2014, @04:17PM

    by AsteroidMining (3556) on Friday July 11 2014, @04:17PM (#67667)

    The SWAT team explosion is largely funded by Federal money and equipment, and a lot of that is some combination of the DOD seeking to unload old gear and the DOD seeking to make favored vendors happy. Shut off the Federal spigot, and I predict the vast majority of the SWAT teams would disappear (look for the makers of all of those shiny toys to squeal like stuck pigs in that eventuality).

    The Federal involvement in local law enforcement has been uniformly value-subtracting and frequently disastrous. I would vote to shut the entire system down, which I think would be better on Constitutional grounds anyway.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by caffeinated bacon on Friday July 11 2014, @04:24PM

    by caffeinated bacon (4151) on Friday July 11 2014, @04:24PM (#67671)

    What kind of barbaric country tries to blow up little kids and then sticks them with the bill?
    I used to think it was bad when China executed prisoners and then billed the family for the bullets, but this is too far.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by kaganar on Friday July 11 2014, @04:48PM

    by kaganar (605) on Friday July 11 2014, @04:48PM (#67690)

    Look, I know I'm unobjectively whining here, but as a US citizen I feel powerless no matter who I vote for when I see these kind of statistics. If I had to choose between "the war on drugs" for $51 billion a year and (ending world hunger [google.com] (by some accounts) -- or heck, just ending hunger in the U.S. for a fraction of the quoted figure, well then.. It's not that hard of a choice.

    I'm sure the war on drugs is doing something good, however any middle-school student I know can find drugs, so it's certainly not keeping drugs out of citizens' hands. Maybe it's only about keeping it "off the streets" (quite literally), in which case that's just ordinance enforcement -- policemen and fines.

    And looking at military expenditure -- we'll pay 10x the price to help ensure we can blow you up rather than making sure you get enough food. No wonder why we're viewed as pricks. (I propose we direct 10% of our military to feed the hungry in the world -- as a propaganda mechanism for national defense purposes.)

    I love my country, I enjoy many freedoms, and I have a good life here. But man, our national priorities hurt the soul.

    Alright, enough venting -- come poke numerous holes in my rant. ;-)

    • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Friday July 11 2014, @05:27PM

      by metamonkey (3174) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:27PM (#67715)

      There's no hole, you just don't understand the purpose of the US government. It is not to aid US citizens, or anybody else, really. It's to funnel wealth from the middle class to the upper class. This is the military contractors; the weapons manufacturers. Bombs are profitable, especially when they pave the way for kleptocracies friendly to American corporations who can then exploit their oil and mineral resources. Food for the hungry is not profitable.

      --
      Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12 2014, @04:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12 2014, @04:38AM (#67979)

      No wonder why we're viewed as pricks.

      No, we're viewed as pricks because Americans are universally assholes. Go spend time in any other country, preferably someplace where you can interact with people from many different countries, and if any of them are jerks or even slightly rude, its almost certain they're American.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Geezer on Friday July 11 2014, @05:02PM

    by Geezer (511) on Friday July 11 2014, @05:02PM (#67697)

    The war on drugs took the hick speed trap mentality, gave it federal teeth, and proceeded to expand into the monster it is today. The feds were already experienced with the drug trade by the time Nixon came around, thanks to your friendly neighborhood CIA in South and South-East Asia. Now everybody (the feds, banks, cartels, and Andy & Barney down in Mayberry) are into the act. There's big bucks in money laundering, private prisons, asset forfeiture, and hush money. Nobody with a badge wants to miss their piece of the pie, all brought to you by the war on drugs.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @06:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @06:05PM (#67742)

    Drug lords have a lot of enemies but there is only one thing they're actually afraid of: that the war on drugs might end.

  • (Score: 1) by takyon on Saturday July 12 2014, @01:37AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday July 12 2014, @01:37AM (#67933) Journal

    Prohibition [pbs.org]

    --
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