Skip to comments.Trash search led to deadly police raid
Posted on 07/08/2008 6:10:24 AM PDT by bamahead
What prompted Pembroke Pines police to conduct a dawn paramilitary raid that ended with the June 12 shooting death of homeowner Vincent Hodgkiss?
In its application for a narcotics search warrant, police cited an anonymous complaint of drug dealing, surveillance of high-turnover visitors and two searches of Hodgkiss' trash by detectives, who found scraps of paper with handwritten numbers and trace amounts of "green, leafy substance" that tested positive for marijuana.
Police conducted the raid with its Special Response Team (similar to SWAT) two days after Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen approved the search warrant.
As a result of the investigation, police recovered about an ounce and a half of pot and a 46-year-old father ended up dead.
Is this what America really wants from its War on Drugs?
The totality of the evidence could add up to a small-time pot dealer. Was an early morning raid with a mini-battalion really the best way to go about serving the warrant?
This wasn't some violent gang that moved into the neighborhood three months ago. Hodgkiss spent 14 years in the house, raising his family there. He had no previous felonies or history of violence. I bet two detectives approaching him when he made a trip to the corner store might have been more effective, and certainly less confrontational.
The attorney for Officer Javier Diaz, who fatally wounded Hodgkiss, said Diaz shot Hodgkiss twice after Hodgkiss pumped his loaded shotgun and carried it into his bathroom. The attorney said Diaz fired in "justified self-defense."
I'm not saying the shooting was unjustified. I'm sure Diaz felt threatened and compelled to shoot. The bigger point: Tragic outcomes like these are inevitable given our nation's drug policies and police procedures.
(Excerpt) Read more at sun-sentinel.com ...
Did they shoot the dog? Raid’s not complete until they shoot the dog. Raiding a couple neighbor’s houses by mistake before the real raid is also SOP.
You forgot to mention that the cop was working undercover and dressed as a homeless derelict/meth-head complete with long hair and a scraggly beard.
Yeah, maybe. I think the sheriff got antsy because the detectives he sent in there kept saying they didn’t see any suspicious activity and they would have to go back.
If he has no prior violent offenses, or is not being arrested for a violent offense, they have to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s still legally innocent, until after the trial, ya know.
“Dynamic entry” should be for a situation where life is immediately danger or for a known violent offender.
That brings up another issue, drug laws are not uniform, nor are they uniformly carried out. Some people receive a possession ticket, or politely jailed and released for trial and others get a SWAT raid. Same substance, sometimes even same amount, etc. It boggles my mind the way different cases are handled in different jurisdictions and sometimes even within the same jurisdiction.
In defense of LEO using SWAT type raids I have to say this came about when drug dealers started being willing to shoot it out with police rather than go peacefully. It was the violent responses by drug dealers that led to the SWAT type raids to begin with. In many places it would be suicide for a LEO to approach a drug dealer's house and simply knock to serve a warrant or even question the person about their activities. After LEO were shot at enough times, they came up with a way to approach drug dealers that provided them with more safety. Now it is the drug dealers or innocent civilians (in the case of mistakes) that have to worry about their safety. I honestly don't know what the answer would be to this problem.
Legalizing marijuana would solve some of the short-term problems, but marijuana is by far not the only illegal drug-are we willing to legalize all drugs? Often even in marijuana cases there are other drugs found. I know of a case where a woman had a joint of MJ in her purse, no big deal right? Well upon further inspection by LEO there was also more than 400 grams of cocaine concealed in the vehicle. None of this is a simple as it seems, so there really are no easy answers.
Nope, he had on personal armor, but it was a fluke shot by a .380
It’s still in court.
An ounce-and-a-half is *not* a dealer.
Long past time to end the no-knock in the WOD.
Uhhh, being a cop is a potentially dangerous job. If they're too much of pu$$ies to take that chance, they really shouldn't be on the force.
Oh, Jeez, the return of VaG boy to the WoD threads. I’m shocked you support wuss tactics like this.
LOL ah my trusty lil’truth hater. Here no doubt, to save the day with some A-brilliant quip or out of context quote meant to assuage to conviction inherent in being on the wrong side of God.
CONTRARIANS UNITE!! (at the WoD thread)
We have a winner.
Ummm, I don't think you meant to agree with my post.
A lot of people here seem to think we need to legalize all drugs, but most people who argue for marijuana legalization are not in favor of legalizing all drugs. I think we should legalize marijuana, but I would be strongly against legalizing drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin. You are right that marijuana is not the only illegal drug, but it is by far and away the most used of all the illegal drugs. More people use it than all other illegal drugs combined. The government believes many thousands of metric tons of marijuana are available on our streets after they seize all they will seize. I believe the last estimate was between 12,000 and 25,000 metric tons. A metric ton is a little over 2,204 pounds I believe. That's an awful lot of pot, and most of it is smuggled up from Mexico by major Mexican drug trafficking organizations, organized crime, real bad guys. The money involved is huge, billions and billions of dollars, and there is an incredible amount of activity in this market, smuggling the drugs, storing them for safekeeping, transporting them around the country, transferring them through the distribution chains from bigger dealer to smaller dealer until it reaches the guy with an ounce or two selling small bags to end consumers. Many thousands of loads are smuggled every year from abroad. Product changes hands several times before reaching end consumers. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of people involved in the marijuana trade in this country was in the millions.
Legalizing marijuana would be a huge blow to organized crime. Not only would it cost them billions, but it would hurt their ability to distribute. You talk about other drugs often being found with marijuana. A big part of the reason for this is that for the most part all drugs tend to travel through the same distribution networks. Someone wanting to smuggle cocaine across the border need only look for marijuana smugglers and he can get his product across. If the pot smugglers have a tunnel, cocaine and meth can go through that same tunnel. If a pot smuggler has a border guide they can bribe, they can bribe him to allow cocaine through too, or they can hide cocaine in the load of pot. In my area police have actually found bricks of marijuana in a vehicle on the highway that had packages of cocaine concealed in the middle of them. That was either done to rip off the people who transport the marijuana who would normally charge more for cocaine, or it was done initially to fool officials who were accepting bribes to allow marijuana through but not other drugs.
Anyway, the point is that when marijuana is taken out of the equation, with legal production and a legal distribution network similar to what we have for alcohol, it's going to make the other drugs less available to the average Joe. Not only is it going to make smuggling and transporting the drugs harder, but it's going to make it more difficult to find people at the bottom end to sell to end consumers, and probably make it less likely end consumers will break these drugs out in front of their peers and let their peers share. Often it's the small time pot deal in the suburbs who ends up selling the cocaine, ecstacy, LSD, or whatever. Since drugs tend to travel through the same channels his suppliers are going to come across these other drugs and if they get them they're likely to offer some to him. Why not? He's already selling marijuana. He won't tell on them. Then he gets it and offers it to his customers. Why not? They're already using one illegal drug. They won't tell on him for offering them another. Then when these end consumers are using that cocaine, if they want to include others who are they most likely to offer it to? Someone who doesn't use any illegal drugs or someone who already uses an illegal drug (marijuana)? Most likely they'll offer it to someone “cool,” someone who is not likely to tell on them because they already engage in the same sort of illegal conduct. They're a lot more likely to break these other drugs out in front of someone they know already smokes pot.
Legalize marijuana and treat it similar to the way alcohol is treated and this all changes. People who want to smuggle the hard stuff into this country will not have the vast marijuana networks available to them. They can't hitch a ride with all the tons and tons of marijuana that are already being smuggled. They won't have the marijuana distribution networks to rely on in country either. It will hurt them all the way down to the dealers who sell to end consumers. Who are they going to use to do that? All they will be able to use for the most part will be existing users, hard drug addicts at the end who tend to be the most unreliable types. Since they won't have the small time marijuana dealers with their built in clientele, they'll end up with fewer dealers to satisfy end consumers. People working at the “pot stores” won't be any more likely to sell the hard stuff than people who work at liquor stores. And eventually end consumers are going to be less likely to offer the hard stuff to their peers because their peers will no longer be members of that group of people who use illegal drugs, the “cool people” not likely to get offended and/or tell on you because they already engage in similar illegal conduct with their marijuana use. I really think we'll probably see hard drug use drop off some after marijuana is legalized.
Some people think hard drug use would go up because all the marijuana dealers would just switch to selling hard drugs. I don't think so. Like I said above, the existing marijuana import and distribution networks are in large part the backbone of the illegal drug business. It's going to be harder to smuggle the drugs in and get them, to end consumers. I don't think the little guy at the bottom is going to want to stay in the business either, not most of them anyway. The guy in the suburbs selling a little weed for some extra money or maybe just for cheap or free weed isn't going to feel the need to start dealing cocaine. He might do it on occasion when he's already selling weed, but it's a different matter altogether to go into that full time and deal with addicts all the time and likely become an addict yourself. Big time pot dealers in organized crime like the thugs we hear about in Mexico will probably want to switch to other drugs, but there is only so much demand for the other drugs. Only a small portion of our society use cocaine. A smaller portion use heroin or meth. That's not likely to change all of the sudden. What we'd have is more competition fighting to supply the limited demand. They won't do it with price wars. They'll do it by killing each other off, a different kind of war. A lot of gangsters will die, and those that remain will supply what limited demand we have for the other drugs. They'll still make billions, but the net effect will be that we'll have a lot less organized crime because there will be a lot less money to go around in the illegal drug business. Without the thousands of tons of marijuana coming over every year there will be a lot less smuggling activity, a lot fewer border guards and so on on the take. And on the whole there will just be a lot less law breaking eroding respect for the law general because those in the marijuana business and the end consumers will no longer be doing something illegal when they engage in this conduct that would have occurred whether we changed the laws or not. The more I think about it, the more good reasons come to mind for why we should just change the laws and stop spinning our wheels throwing good money after bad and causing more problems than we solve.
Too bad, so sad for the officer, but the kid should NOT be going to jail for any reason related to shooting an intruder. However, maybe the NEXT Barney Fife will think for a moment before kicking down that door. Maybe after a few more of these thugs get offed, the cops will actually start to THINK before they authorize these invitations to murder (which is what THEY do) or “suicide” which is what I would call it when their victims start shooting back and killing these jack-booted invaders.
Legalize all drugs. An upright citizenry, fit for self rule, doesn't put people in jail for what they consume.
I would legalize all drugs. Why not legalize, for example, heroin?
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