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
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.
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