Gut Rumbles
 

February 11, 2006

the strong arm of the law

Here's a good example of why I love my country, but I fear the government.

In building their case, prosecutors attempted to show that Tausan was part of a ``criminal street gang,'' which could add three years to any sentence. To prove it, they obtained search warrants to gather any evidence that demonstrated membership in the Hells Angels, including anything that had names, slogans or symbols on it. None of the members whose homes were targeted had been charged in the Sullivan case.

Call me a skeptic, but we're talking about a MURDER case here. I cannot believe that the police committed 90 officers to a series of home invasions raids intended to gather evidence that might prove that this guy was a Hell's Angel, simply to tack three more years onto a prison sentence for murder. That's a ridiculous waste of money and manpower.

I see it as a pure scratch and sniff operation, with the criminal street gang excuse used to justify it. I think the police just wanted a reason to raid the Hell's Angels. If they happened to find a meth lab, some illegal drugs, a few guns, or a big bundle of cash just laying around, well... that would be a remarkable bit of providence, considering the fact that they weren't really looking for that kind of stuff.

In executing the search warrants, officers collected clothing, paperwork, clocks, sculptures, motorcycles, a mailbox, a piece of sidewalk on which members' names had been written and even a refrigerator door that had a Hells Angels decal affixed to it. They needed to rent storage space to house it all.

No meth. No drugs. No guns. No cash. Just a bunch of crap.

The end result was that "Tausan argued the killing was in self-defense, and a jury acquitted him and another defendant on all counts in 1999." The "evidence" gathered was worthless. (Doesn't that kinda remind you of "Alice's Restaurant," where Officer Opie had all the 8 X 10 glossy photographs with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, only to learn in court that the judge trying the case was blind? Pretty funny, right?)

Actually, not a damn thing is amusing about this case. It's a fine example of how "to protect and to serve" can mean "break into your home and steal your stuff" when law enforcement chooses to abuse its power. In MY humble opinion, that's what happened here. And the sad part of the story is that the police actually abetted the REAL criminals in this case.

Lawyers got more than half of the settlement money.

Comments

You following the case in Illinois where policemen are charged with illegal possession of machine guns? That's a family-busting 250K fine and ten years prison, along with loss of voting rights, gun rights, et, et..MANDATORY sentence. Courtesy of the Feds.

Of course TEN police chiefs and some State Senators signed a letter saying: "Yeah, they did it, but they are REALLY good officers...so we hope these laws are only applied to scum-sucking civilians and NOT our good old boys here."

Posted by: robert on February 11, 2006 02:52 PM

Here locally, the Oklahoma towns of Roland & Muldrow have had a mafia drug operation running for years. There's hundreds of bodies buried over in the bottom lands by the river. The FBI just moved in to investigate (again). Both town's police depts are shut down as of this writing.

Let you know what comes of it.

Posted by: Richthofen on February 11, 2006 03:25 PM

You can thank the drug laws for shit like this. Nobody cared cause it was "druggies" when they suspended our Fourth Amendment rights in the name of the war on some drugs. Then came forfeiture, where the cops get to keep the stuff they seize if there's so much as a joint in an ashtray. They can't use the money for more cops but they can buy stuff like armored tanks and SWAT team equipment and buildings and fitness centers. They don't even have to prove a crime to take the stuff. Gives em a big incentive to go fishing... Now they're using the precendents against everybody. Mark my words, they'll be coming for your guns when they're done with us.

Posted by: Libby on February 11, 2006 04:29 PM

If you want to read scary police stories, check out The Agitator, he's been collecting those for a while now.

Posted by: V-Man on February 11, 2006 05:58 PM

and the guy couldn't even use his refrigerator after that since they took the door with them.

Posted by: Circa Bellum on February 12, 2006 08:59 AM
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