4 Shady Ways Police Bust People For Drugs
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“This course is designed to assist law enforcement and prosecutors in understanding the intricacies of the ever-evolving legal arena of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Cultivation sites,” a CNOA advertisement said, offering loophole advice.
“This course will focus on California’s medical marijuana laws and how they apply to illegal storefront sales (Dispensaries) of medical marijuana and Cultivation sites claiming exemption under California Law. Investigative techniques and methods of shutting down Dispensaries and Cultivation Sites that were developed and tested will be discussed. This is truly a necessary class for anyone who must deal with the issues of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.” Never mind what patients must deal with without their medicine.
3. Body Cavity Searches
Cops looking for drugs are sometimes so desperate for a bust they will search not just people's pockets or cars, but inside their bodies.
Angel Dobbs, 38, and her 24-year-old niece Ashley Dobbs know this firsthand. They claim Texas trooper Kelly Helleson, who has been indicted on sexual assault charges, used her fingers to search their anuses and vaginas (with the same latex glove) while on the side of the road, completely visible to passing traffic.
They say state trooper David Farrell pulled them over after seeing them throw cigarette butts out of the window, then questioned them about marijuana he claimed to smell, and called the female cop who ended up with her hands down their pants.
As retired lieutenant commander of the Redondo Beach Police Department, Diane Goldstein, told AlterNet, "The Texas Department of Public Safety has been caught on video not once but twice using roadside body cavity searches on young women under the pretext of searching for drugs. Though officers have been disciplined, there has been little discussion of the drug war's role in justifying significant violations in civil liberties. Bad policy produces bad outcomes."
Apparently, intrusive body searches are not that uncommon. Dozens of young black and Latinos who have been stopped and frisked by the NYPD have told AlterNet that cops regularly put their hands down their pants and feel around their genitals and backside.
Milwaukee cops appear to go even further. Alex Cossi, the defense attorney for Milwaukee police officers who conducted unauthorized body cavity checks, said his cop client Michael Vagnini was just conducting normal police work. Vagnini, he said, "had a reputation" for forcing suspects he thought had drugs to bend over, naked, but so what? "This was not a rogue happenstance. This was a tacit acceptance of strip searches without proper procedures or supervision," Cossi told the Milkwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The police report said Vagnini found cocaine"between (their) butt cheeks.” Vaginni was sentenced to 26 months in prison this June.
4. 21 Jump St For Real
In December, the Riverside County Police Department sent undercover cops into high schools where they befriended students (many of them struggling socially) and then asked them to buy weed. One special-needs student, for whom parents Catherine and Douglas Snodgrass have requested anonymity, was targeted by a police officer who “hounded” him for marijuana until he finally agreed to buy it for his new friend.
The Snodgrasses say their son has Aspberger’s and that the school was aware of the boy’s condition, but nonetheless allowed the police officer to prey upon him. Their son struggled to make friends, they said, and they were thrilled when they thought he had made one. The "friend" ended up making the boy's senior year a nightmare, including the humiliating experience of being handcuffed and arrested in school in front of his peers.