Patterico's Pontifications

1/11/2007

Anonymous Law Enforcement Source: Cops Lied in No-Knock Atlanta Case

Filed under: Crime,General,Scum — Patterico @ 6:53 pm



It is an old Internet trick to decry the “suspicious silence” of your ideological opponents regarding news that appeared a couple of hours ago. This trick was used by John Cole when the Terri Schiavo autopsy came out. But the pinnacle of the format was achieved by our friend Thomas Ellers, known by some as Glenn Greenwald, who excoriated a few of us for not denouncing a blogger calling himself “Emperor Misha” — for comments made while most of us were asleep, getting ready for work, and/or working. When Greenwald pulled this trick, I called him a “douchebag.” That was neither restrained nor civil of me, but many have called it accurate.

For reasons unknown even to myself, I’ll be more civil to commenter “Frank N Stein,” who this morning left the following comment:

In other, more important news, turns out the Atlanta cops lied about the drug buy that cost an old lady’s life. Cue the chirping crickets…

The commenter was referring to this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a paper I do not read. The story came out this morning, and I was not aware of it when I left for work at about 7:15 a.m. My friends, the comment from “Frank N Stein” was left at 10:51 a.m. Pacific time. Evidently he was upset that I didn’t take time out of my workday to troll the Internet, stumble across the story, and post my reactions.

Well done, “Frank N Stein.” Well done indeed! Rick Ellensburg himself would be proud.

Of course, perhaps Mr. “Frank N Stein” simply meant that he believed I would never get around to commenting on the story. I await his apology with bated breath, because here is my post — written up as soon as I got a chance.

The story deals with the investigation into the killing of that elderly Atlanta woman who shot three cops as they executed a no-knock search warrant on her home. This morning’s story carries a revelation that, if true, is extremely disturbing — that one of the cops lied about the probable cause for the warrant:

An Atlanta police narcotics officer has told federal investigators at least one member of his unit lied about making a drug buy at the home of an elderly woman killed in a subsequent raid, according to a person close to the investigation.

In an affidavit to get a search warrant at the home Nov. 21, narcotics officer Jason R. Smith told a magistrate he and Officer Arthur Tesler had a confidential informant buy $50 worth of crack at 933 Neal St. from a man named “Sam.”

But narcotics officer Gregg Junnier, who was wounded in the shootout, has since told federal investigators that did not happen, according to the person close to the investigation. Police got a no-knock warrant after claiming that “Sam” had surveillance cameras outside the Neal Street residence and they needed the element of surprise to capture him and the drugs.

If the anonymous source is correct, then a terrible tragedy has likely occurred here. If the probable cause for the warrant was manufactured, that is strong evidence that the woman was firing at the police because she believed that they were criminals breaking into her home. If the allegations of the anonymous source are true, then I urge prosecutors to go after the lying cops — hammer and tongs. If a murder prosecution is viable under applicable law — and the story quotes a former federal prosecutor suggesting that it might be — I think it should be pursued. We can’t tolerate behavior like this from law enforcement.

P.S. I know that there will now be a pack of libertarians in the comments screaming that I was wrong and I owe an apology. I sense that it will infuriate them to know that I do not apologize for saying that we should wait for the facts before forming concrete opinions. If you form a firm and unswerving opinion before all the facts are in, sometimes your opinion will prove to have been wrong, and sometimes it will have been right. But the fact that your opinion was right doesn’t prove the wisdom of leaping to unswerving opinions before the facts are in. By that logic, a man who risks his life savings on a spin of the roulette wheel and wins has necessarily done a wise thing. After all, he won, didn’t he?

Those of you inclined to jump down my throat and scream that I was WRONG! WRONG! EVER SO WRONG! might stop for a second and ask yourself whether you were wrong about any aspect of this. For example, did you doubt that an investigation would do anything to get to the bottom of this? Did you ever say: “there’s no point in waiting for further facts, because all that will happen is that there will be a giant cover-up”? If so, then — if the source quoted in the article is correct — you were WRONG! about that. The investigation sounds as though it is yielding results — and if the cops truly lied, and there is proof of it, I’ll betcha there will be a prosecution.

P.P.S. The observant reader will note that, in this post, my opinion is conditioned on the statement “if the source is correct.” That’s because the source is anonymous, so there is a chance we are being fed bad information. I know that not a single libertarian will see this as a possibility. It’s a natural human impulse to be less skeptical of evidence supporting a position that you already agree with. My guess is that libertarians who might normally be skeptical of an anonymous source are likely to display little or no skepticism regarding the statements of this particular anonymous source.

P.P.P.S. I may stop blogging about libertarian topics generally, because people become so personally nasty with me that it becomes no fun running the blog. I said to someone the other day that nothing makes people more unreasonable and nasty than the emotion of self-righteousness, and this (like most libertarian topics) is an issue that arouses extreme self-righteousness in people. (Case in point: a guy I previously banned somehow got through this morning and called me a “filthy apologist for murderers.”) Still, having discussed this topic in the past, I felt an obligation to blog it, and I feel an obligation to leave comments open. One simple rule will be observed: comments that make disparaging comments or references to my job will be summarily deleted. However, comments that merely call me an idiot will remain.

48 Responses to “Anonymous Law Enforcement Source: Cops Lied in No-Knock Atlanta Case”

  1. Idiot.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  2. I just thought I’d get that out of the way. It’s a joke somebody was bound to make.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  3. As expected, The left, and I care not what they call themselves seem to read only what supports their POV!

    You callsem like ya Seesem, Keep up the Good work!!:)

    mike (f84a09)

  4. “[N}othing makes people more unreasonable and nasty than the emotion of self-righteousness.”

    How true that is!

    I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me. – Anonymous

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (bfbfee)

  5. Speaking as a libertarian, albeit usually a lurking one…

    What the Hell are my comrades doing asking a prosecutor to leap to conclusions? “Innocent until proven guilty” isn’t just a technicality, it’s an ideal, and one I thought we embraced.

    roy (784e3e)

  6. You’re shocked that a policeman would lie? Naivete does not become someone in your position.

    [First, I didn’t say I was shocked. Second, you violated the rule. The only reason I’m not deleting your comment is that someone has already responded to it. It’s a very clear rule, and you knowingly violated it. Do not do it again. — P]

    People will always lie if they think it is necessary and that they will be able to avoid negative consequences, and last time I checked, policemen were people. Also, being people, they are liable to succumb to the lure of power that comes with the job of policeman. Every policeman I’ve ever had enough dealings with to form an opinion seems to have succumbed to that temptation, to some extent (including those whom I knew as friends of my parents in childhood). These cops in Atlanta may have succumbed more deeply than most, but they are far from exceptional. This was the same police force that apparently thinks jaywalking deserves a night in jail, after all.

    But while you chide us for not being skeptical enough of anti-police information, we can just as honestly chide you for not being skeptical enough of information that emanates from governmental sources. (Which means, I suppose, that since yourself are a sort of governmental source, you should be skeptical about your own information :)
    You are a prosecutor: that means you are part of the same governmental enforcement machine as these dishonest cops. And since libertarians think that governmental enforcement machine is corrupt and destructive of civic values in a number of ways, they view you as participating in that corruption and destruction, and that you are at best a “useful idiot”. And by government enforcement machine, I mean not just the “war on drugs” but the entirety of goverment. In the ideal libertarian world, your job wouldn’t exist. (Although you might make a healthy living as a plaintiff’s lawyer specializing in intentional torts like assault, fraud, appeals of felony, etc.)

    Hence the libertarian suspicion of what you or any other governmental person might say in defense of government,and the libertarian suspicion of anything the police might say in defense of their actions.

    And this libertarian expected something like this to come out, and did not expect a coverup. Although I never said anything to that effect in this or any other fora.

    [In the ideal conservative world, my job wouldn’t exist either, because there would be no crime. It’s not the ideal world. People like you should be grateful for law enforcement. If someone robs you, who are you going to call, Mr. Libertarian? — P]

    kishnevi (fbfac3)

  7. I did not suspect this when you first blogged about it. There was nothing there to suggest it. If you’ll remember, I took the side of Kathryn Johnston, strongly, for other reasons — basically her red-blooded American gumption. I took the warrant and affidavit at face value. This is a sad case. If the new allegations are true, the police officers are liable for capital murder. Home invasion and in many states (probably Georgia too) the murder of a person over age 60.

    My last search warrant case involved a made-up informant. We got it quashed and the evidence suppressed because it did not meet the three-prong test. I found out, quite a while later, that the police actually had a reliable informant but they were afraid that they would burn him. So they made up a fictitious one but they were not good enough liars not to trip over their assertions on the afidavit.

    nk (ca8012)

  8. The circumstances of the no-knock entry certainly makes one wonder if the police had bad information, or worse moved on suspicion rather than facts. I have tried try to give the police the benefit of the doubt after the 1950’s once strong arm tactics were suppressed but since the War on Drugs started and SWAT teams were formed in just about every town, I’ve had a bit of a change in opinion. Unfortunately any organization needs to justify its budget and personnel needs with results and it becomes all too easy to push the envelope on taking action before all the facts are in. And that is not limited to police organizations. It is just that they do more personal harm than your local CEO or politician. I find our posts balanced, for what it is worth.

    amr (a90377)

  9. “In the ideal libertarian world, your job wouldn’t exist.”

    In the ideal libertarian world, libertarians’ lives would be nasty, brutish and short. Because some non-libertarian baron would say “Do what I say you SOB or I’ll chop your head off”. Kishnevi, I share your pain. If only Eve had not eaten that apple. (Sarcasm)

    nk (ca8012)

  10. …We got it quashed and the evidence suppressed because it did not meet the three-prong test. I found out, quite a while later, that the police actually had a reliable informant but they were afraid that they would burn him….

    Respectfully: NK So how did you feel about that? Any more inclined to overlook a similar situation? Any attempt to make up for it? (I suppose that would depend on what type of offense the warrant was related to.)

    Dubya (c16726)

  11. Probably shouldn’t have asked that — ignorant fool that I am. 8(

    Dubya (c16726)

  12. I don’t understand. He’s already had a full hour and a half and Frank N Stein hasn’t responded yet.

    Crickets?

    aunursa (e99702)

  13. dude, chill out! i’m not going to scream at you or demand an apology. i encourage you to continue blogging on libertarian topics and don’t worry about the commenters, we’re just ghosts on your monitor.
    i knew i was right all along. i knew that old lady wasn’t a dope pusher, she was a heroic martyr to the cause of citizen empowerment over the state, a very quick hand with a shooting iron, particularly for her age, but unfortunately not a lethally accurate hand. if it turns out those cops lied to get the warrant, i hope they’re convicted of capital murder and get the death penalty they so richly deserve, and which they escaped at the time of their crime.
    in defense of “frank n. stein”, his “cue the chirping crickets” was not necessarily directed at you personally, it’s equally susceptible of interpretation toward a more general object of bloggers and journalists. not every potentially offensive remark in your commentspace is directed at you, some of them are directed at me. i do not furiously compose pre-emptive defenses to ghosts on my monitor.

    assistant devil's advocate (2c422a)

  14. No, Dubya, you’re right to ask. My clients were as decent people as you could meet, solid businessmen, who liked guns in a jurisdiction which has made most gun ownership illegal.

    I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for my biography for the rest of the details.

    nk (ca8012)

  15. Phew! I can get out of this hot Nomex suit now! 8)

    Dubya (c16726)

  16. Patteruco:”People like you should be grateful for law enforcement. If someone robs you, who are you going to call, Mr. Libertarian?”

    The Police, because they have the legal monopoly on violence in our society.

    And only because of that. The fact that I would have to do that, instead of relying on my own resources, is a sign of how unfree this society actually is.

    And you think I denigrated your and your job? My dear, boy, I was being polite and diplomatic. And I provided a clear explanation of why you meet the reaction you do from libertarians that you would do well to actually consider, instead of dismissing it with cavalier comments.

    NK: “Because some non-libertarian baron would say “Do what I say you SOB or I’ll chop your head off”

    In a libertarian world, the non-libertarian baron would very quickly find HIS head chopped off.

    kishnevi (48b514)

  17. And only because of that. The fact that I would have to do that, instead of relying on my own resources, is a sign of how unfree this society actually is.

    If you shot a robber during the robbery, you’d never be prosecuted. Uh, unless an incompetent like Nifong was the D.A.

    And you think I denigrated your and your job? My dear, boy, I was being polite and diplomatic.

    My dear, anonymous person:

    You said: “Naivete does not become someone in your position.” After I said: “comments that make disparaging comments or references to my job will be summarily deleted.” I really don’t care whether you think you’re being polite or diplomatic as you criticize my qualifications for my job. I will simply not allow it, and I will delete any future comment by anyone that makes any such reference.

    Regular commenters know I brook a lot of dissent. I pretty much draw the line in one place, and this is it. It’s a simple rule. If you can’t follow it, your comment will disappear, and you may be banned.

    Comprende?

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  18. The Police, because they have the legal monopoly on violence in our society.

    The law recognizes an individual’s right of self-defense.

    The Atlanta shooting is under investigation by state and Federal authorities. Let’s wait until the investigation is complete.

    Stu707 (5b299c)

  19. The Atlanta shooting is under investigation by state and Federal authorities. Let’s wait until the investigation is complete.

    You Nazi scum! You apologist for murderers!

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  20. NK,

    In your case, what happened to the police officer(s) who lied about the informant?

    DRJ (51a774)

  21. Three things:

    1. I came hear as a direct result of this issue when first blogged by “theagitator” and your and his ensuing tussle over the matter.

    I continue to be a regular reader of your site.

    2. You do much for me to help restore my faith in law enforcement and the government side of criminal procedings. We have obviously never faced each other in a court room. Those that I have were summarily lying, false police report filing, charge cheat padding, exculpatory evidence burying, convict at all costs, unaccountable thugs, and bragged openly about it. Please continue to hold your peers accountable for their perversions of justice. You will continue to have my support.

    3.You mentioned:

    …and if the cops truly lied, and there is proof of it, I’ll betcha there will be a prosecution.

    I might be inclined to take this action.

    A Gentlemen’s bet of course as I certainly don’t want to end up like Sal Culosi.

    How are we defining “proof?” Certainly less compelling “proof” has been used to secure an indictment…you know ham sandwich and all.

    bear (9810b7)

  22. DRJ # 20,

    They got into a lot of trouble over other issues a few months after my case was over. That’s when I found out about the fictitious informant and who their real informant probably was. During our suppression hearing, we attacked the sufficiency of the affidavit for the warrant on its face. We did not challenge the existence of the informant, only the allegations about his reliability and the alleged information he had provided to the police about my clients.

    nk (06f5d0)

  23. Patterico you run a great blog – that’s why you see these annoying comments. It’s incredibly easy to criticize people, and the more you talk, the more opportunities there are to criticize.

    Many criticisms of “the right” that lump you into the pot are dead wrong when applied to you specifically. It goes both ways though . . . personally, I could do without a lot of the general comments you make toward “the left” and “lefties” without specificity, based on the actions of some.

    But overall your blog is excellent and strives for objectivity and reasonableness. I often disagree with your underlying assumptions and opinions, but find you tend to play it pretty straight with facts.

    I say all this because of the obvious frustration in your post regarding the criticisms that fly around in the comments section. I think these criticism are there becauase, at this point, your audience is so diverse (that’s a great thing) that many posts have just about every possible opinion in the comments.

    In sum, just ignore the crazies — you’ve got a good enough blog that you’re never going to get rid of them unless you stop blogging.

    Phil (88ab5b)

  24. Phil,

    I appreciate that. For me, the difficult thing is balancing my desire to have an open forum with my desire not to provide a forum for people who are so upset with my political opinions that they want to make it personal — something that can escalate given that they know my name and what I do for a living.

    This is why I am very sharp with commenters who tie hostility to me with commentary about my real name and/or my job. (I think you’ve experienced some of that sharpness before, for a comment that you no doubt intended innocently.) Neither is a secret, but people who want to get personally nasty with me and start talking about my real life get sent to moderation pretty quickly, or banned.

    Then they and others complain that they’re being repressed!! because of their viewpoint.

    I am trying to balance this by letting people call me stupid all they want; not letting them run down my qualifications for my job, period; and demanding proof when they call me dishonest (since honesty is key to my job).

    By the way, if you ever think I’m not being completely straight with the facts, I want you to come on here and tell me why. I genuinely try never to monkey with the facts.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  25. We share something in common – we both stand corrected! Although #13 is correct, my comment wasn’t solely directed at you. I just can’t think of anything more irrelevant than the continuing discussions regarding Jamil.

    I will have to read your blog more often. Don’t shy away from “libertarian” topics (however it is categorized, it seems to me just a consideration of individual sovereignty against others who wish to rule over them, whether they be common thugs or elected thugs). What is the Law and what is Justice are not the same thing, never have been and likely never will. It’s not Utopian to be a libertarian; it’s Utopian to think this is the best of all possible worlds.

    If I wanted to only read blogs of people I agreed with 100%, I wouldn’t have come here and definitely wouldn’t have come back. For instance, I think you are wrong on jury nullification, but the posts about it and the resulting comments were interesting to me. You put this out on the internet, in public view. Some people stop and take a look. Simple as that.

    Frank N Stein (bf276f)

  26. See, I told you so, “according to a person close to the investigation”. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    Painting with a large brush, “a person close to the investigation” usually means a someone’s lawyer.

    IF the source is true, raises alot more questions then just a cop lying to get a warrent. And someone’s lawyer is positioning for a better plea deal.

    Gerald (14a324)

  27. People only attack what you didn’t say when they have no way to attack what you did say.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  28. When I first heard of this story, I recall thinking:

    a.) old lady living in house where drug dealing was (allegedly) going on probably had no options for getting out of the situation due to poverty
    b.) being basically helpless as to her living situation and fearful that rival drug dealers or addicts would pull armed invasion took steps to arm herself for defensive reasons
    c.) police who made the raid were likely in civilian clothes (although they likely had body armor with the word POLICE visible on it, an old lady may have poor enough eyesight to not see that)

    ergo: old lady acted in self-defense and started blazing away at the invaders.

    Then I thought 90+ shots?! Given that the handguns police carry typically have 15-round magazines, this would mean:

    a.) three cops emptied and reloaded
    b.) six cops emptied
    c.) there were a hell of a lot of cops jammed into a small living room or bedroom blazing away

    The old lady would likely have been no threat after 1st 3-6 rounds (unless the cops were REALLY bad shots — anybody know how many shots actually hit the old lady?). The obvious conclusion is the adrenelin-hyped cops over-reacted (not that that is a fault or crime — I’d certainly want to make damn sure anybody shooting at me was down and permanently out).

    In Nam, when VC would infiltrate positions at night, the resulting shootout would be termed a “cluster-fuck” and several on both sides were likely to go down to friendly fire. In the situation where there were a hell of a lot of cops jammed together, the old lady would not have much difficulty hitting one or two of them.

    Conclusion: really unfortunate but understandable situation. I won’t comment on the warrant issue.

    [Do you have a link to support the assertion that the cops shot 90 some-odd times? That strikes me as possibly being one of those rumors that everyone “knows” is true, but that nobody can prove. I have not seen that number documented in any reliable source. — P]

    Dubya (c16726)

  29. Patrick–

    I think it might be good if you didn’t lump all libertarians into the “crazed attack dog” category. I’m pretty sure that there are rude people of your exact political stripe (which appears to be center-right, mildly statist), and I could probably find some examples on this blog if I tried.

    This case was an extreme example of everything that libertarians dislike about the War on Drugs, which strikes them as something between cynical and evil. They view vice cops as cynical, evil, corrupt stooges; something along the line of James Elroy’s novels. And these cops lived up to every inch of low expectation. And a woman is still dead.

    Into this you set out endless plates of red meat. Don’t be quite so upset that the crazed attack dogs swarmed in to eat.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  30. I think it might be good if you didn’t lump all libertarians into the “crazed attack dog” category

    They view vice cops as cynical, evil, corrupt stooges

    Oh the irony…. Don’t lump me in with those other bad guys, but I don’t have to play by the same rules when talking about a different group. At least that’s the impression your comment give.

    patrick (d928f7)

  31. Goes to show ya – drug laws usually do more harm than the drugs.

    Gbear (6a100c)

  32. I think that the “War on Drugs” is somewhat a waste of resources also. Humans will always want to get high on something at some point in their lives.

    I have a hard time understanding the dichotomy between the way alcohol, tobacco and gambling are dealt with versus how pot, coke, and opiates are handled. It seems to make sense to legalize, regulate and tax drugs and use the saved resources and additional revenues to address problem drug use and inevitable tax-evasion black market activity.

    I’m not one to criticize cops for doing the job the law requires of them though, and I certainly don’t think of them as jack-booted murderous thugs.

    Dubya (c16726)

  33. …address problem drug use…

    Uh, don’t take that as an endorsement of “nanny government” either.

    Dubya (c16726)

  34. “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” Can we please hurry along and get to the farce, where there are pratfalls rather than funerals?

    htom (412a17)

  35. First let me say that we live in a Republic the rule of law is the highest priority and every Police Officer who puts his life on the line is a Hero and frankly so are the Prosecuters they also put their lives in danger because of who and what they deal with daily and kishnevi your world would look like Afghanistan, Iraq or the Balkins no thanks bub.
    Frankly this glosses over the real issue here and that is why did the Police obtain a no knock warrant? Did they have any indication of a violant reaction if they served a regular warrant? The militerization of our Police forces is getting way out of hand and it needs to be addressed.

    Joe (d2275a)

  36. …The militerization of our Police forces is getting way out of hand and it needs to be addressed….

    There is a reason for this: the bad guys are getting more “militarized.” Just as cops quit carrying revolvers when bad guys started carrying 15-shot semi-autos, the general availability of body armor and assault rifles force cops to adopt military equipment and tactics. On the other hand, the 2nd ammendment isn’t about what’s “appropriate” for hunting either.

    Dubya (c16726)

  37. the general availability of body armor and assault rifles force cops to adopt military equipment and tactics.

    True, but have you ever watched one of those COPS rip-offs? Court TV has about a million of ’em these days, I was watching one last night, and they brought in the SWAT team, with an ACP, with numerous regular uniformed officers, surrounded a house and used the ACP to knock open the front door, all because a neighbor called in and said that her neighbor had shot at her house with what the police believed was a .32 caliber pistol.

    Now I’m no libertarian (I find them fairly repugnant, but that’s just from my contact with the “rabid attack dog” version), but an APC and dozens of police officers, many of them armed with shotguns and assault rifles, that seems just a bit excessive for a single man with a .32. Of course, they didn’t know what he had in his house. But still, it just seems that the police these days go more and more straight for the biggest guns in their arsenal.

    Chaos (9c54c6)

  38. Dubya,
    I would agree with with you except the numbers just don’t show that crimes are committed using so called “Assault” weapons and the use of body armor by criminals is so low as to be non-existent but I have no problem with the police using these things if they are called for. My point is you do not call in the swat team or use a no-knock warrant unless the there is clear and compelling evidence that it is called for as Chaos points out the Police are using swat and no-knock for more and more cases.

    Joe (3a9b84)

  39. Oh the irony…. Don’t lump me in with those other bad guys, but I don’t have to play by the same rules when talking about a different group. At least that’s the impression your comment give.

    Well, no. Let me expand. Many libertarians view the Drug War and drug laws as evil. Not just bad law, but evil law. Something like the Nuremberg laws. And, like the folks that chose to police the latter, they think that anyone who _chooses_ to specialize in policing the drug laws has serious moral impairments.

    Even libertarians who do not feel that way (like me) are rarely surprised to hear that some of those cops are crooks, and not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. In this case that appears to have been correct.

    In any event, considering some of the commentary that is posted here on other topics (say, illegal immigration), what I hear is:

    “I’m shocked, shocked to find such strong opinion is being posted here!”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  40. The “Anonymous Law Enforcement Source” is named Gregg Junnier. This could be picked up from a cursory reading of the linked AJC article.

    Ninth Stage (8e2e86)

  41. Patrick–

    Let me expand some more, in light of some of those updates which I went back and read.

    I don’t defend anyone who makes ad hominum attacks on you, just because you inhabit the same system as these Atlanta cops. Nor even for hoping that the initial reports were overblown. Nor for much any other reason, as personal attacks are rude.

    But that doesn’t mean that people who are hostile to the Drug War and view drug cops as an unnecessary evil (and no-knock warrants as an abomination) should have done anything other than jump on this case. It’s a fairly perfect reducio ad absurdum, and you were pretty plainly grasping at straws.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  42. But that doesn’t mean that people who are hostile to the Drug War and view drug cops as an unnecessary evil (and no-knock warrants as an abomination) should have done anything other than jump on this case. It’s a fairly perfect reducio ad absurdum, and you were pretty plainly grasping at straws.

    It’s perfectly fine for them to have jumped on this case as an example of bad consequences of drug laws. But not to have assumed, without waiting for all the facts, that the cops hit the “wrong house” and that the old woman was simply defending heself against what she thought to be criminals.

    It’s not grasping at straws to say: let’s wait for the facts to come out.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  43. I know that not a single libertarian will see this as a possibility.

    Wrong. :-)

    Please don’t assert so dogmatically that Libertarians are always so dogmatic about their dogmaticism. This induces ideological catalepsy.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  44. Please don’t assert so dogmatically that Libertarians are always so dogmatic about their dogmaticism. This induces ideological catalepsy.

    But they ARE! 😛

    OHNOES (3b3653)

  45. “it’s perfectly fine for them to have jumped on this case as an example of bad consequences of drug laws. but not to have assumed, without waiting for all the facts, that the cops hit the “wrong house” and that the old woman was simply defending herself against what she thought to be criminals.”

    bullshit. in the immediate aftermath, there was a tidal wave of assumption in favor of the proposition that the deceased was a dowager drug-house doyenne maliciously, evilly trying to snuff three of atlanta’s finest in her last seconds of life, reinforced by what are now known to be lies from atlanta police spokesliars.

    in order to stand against this tidal wave, we the contrarians had to articulate a reasonably plausible alternative scenario to support our conclusion. at least in my neighborhood, it is more likely than not that a woman age (88 or 92, can somebody nail this down please?) shooting at intruders who have forcibly entered her home at night without warning would be doing so in self-defense. whether they had the “right house” or the “wrong house” pales in importance beside the facts: the law of their state bestowed upon them the role of perpetrating unconstitutional violence against an elderly woman sleeping alone in her home; as intelligent, moral beings and free americans they presumably had the opportunity to reject this role and find more satisfactory employment, but they nevertheless undertook it, acquiring with it the personal responsibility some folks like to go on and on about.

    those of us who assumed the cops had the “wrong house” were being unduly optimistic. i don’t remember anybody outright and expressly assuming the worst: they had the “right house” all right, but they lied on the affidavits to get the warrant they needed to do a paramilitary attack op on an elderly woman.

    concluding on a lighter note, how about the part of the ajc article where the informant has just bailed out of the car and he calls 911 on his cell “there’s two dirty vice cops comin’ after me” yes, i would characterize that as an emergency, a little surprised he didn’t uh, commit suicide or accidentally get run over by the cop car.

    assistant devil's advocate (d057ce)

  46. but they lied on the affidavits to get the warrant they needed to do a paramilitary attack op on an elderly woman.

    Because that’s what Atlanta’s finest are want to do: Kill old ladies CUZ ITS FUN!

    OHNOES (3b3653)

  47. ada,

    On my blog, I saw a tidal wave of assumption that the cops were the bad guys. I didn’t see any other tidal waves, and I felt like the contrarian by suggesting that we get the facts before opining.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  48. I may stop blogging about libertarian topics generally, because people become so personally nasty with me that it becomes no fun running the blog.

    Gee I wonder why?

    Oh could this be it?

    The observant reader will note that, in this post, my opinion is conditioned on the statement “if the source is correct.” That’s because the source is anonymous, so there is a chance we are being fed bad information. I know that not a single libertarian will see this as a possibility.

    You sure are quick to cast disparaging comments on an entire class of people, but when they get a little annoyed with you you turn into some sort of shrinking violet.

    As for “waiting for the evidence” that is of course the ideal. The problem is that cops are held to a lower standards than civilians when it comes to screw ups with their guns. I believe you yourself have said you’d give a cop the benefit of the doubt as opposed to a civilian (I could be wrong about this, I can’t find the post where I read that so my memory could be off). Further, this is precisely the same argument many of us libertarians are demanding of the cops. Get all the information first before running it with your machine guns locked and loaded, tossing flash-bang grenades and hurling people to the floor and shooting the family dog.

    Steve Verdon (4c0bd6)


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