Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - Radley Balko: Senseless Overkill - Opinion

Senseless Overkill Yet another case of cops relying on bullshit to perform a military style operation on a pot suspect and one of them getting killed as a result.

What's clear, though, is that Chesepeake police conducted a raid on a man with no prior criminal record. Even if their informant had been correct, Frederick was at worst suspected of growing marijuana plants in his garage. There was no indication he was a violent man — that it was necessary to take down his door after nightfall.

The raid in Chesapeake bears a striking resemblance to another that ended in a fatality. Last week, New Hanover County, N.C., agreed to pay $4.25 million to the parents of college student Peyton Stickland, who was killed when a deputy participating in a raid mistook the sound of a SWAT battering ram for a gunshot and fired through the door as Strickland came to answer it.

So in the raid where a citizen mistakenly shot a police officer, the citizen is facing a murder charge; in the raid where a police officer shot a citizen, prosecutors declined to press charges.


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