Texas cops mistake actual weed for marijuana, spend hours doing yard work

It’s a good thing this was in a park and not someone’s yard; they probably would have gone to jail for a while until the cops realized their mistake.

From Raw Story:

Like the old song goes, one of these things is not like the other…

However, remind a police officer in Corpus Christi, Texas of those famed Cookie Monster lyrics and they’re likely to give you an annoyed look.

That’s because a recently discovered cache of plants, initially pegged by officials speaking to local news as “one of the largest marijuana plant seizures in the police department’s history,” turned out to be a relatively common prairie flower of little significance.

Texas officers ultimately spent hours laboring to tag and remove up to 400 plants from a city park, discovering only after a battery of tests that they had been sweating over mere Horse Mint, a member of the mint family — effectively turning their ambitious drug bust into mere yard work.

The plants, which bear very few aesthetic similarities to cannabis, were reported by an unnamed youth who came across them while riding a bike in the park around 8 p.m. on Thursday. Upon visual inspection, police apparently agreed that the inoffensive plants had to go.

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Ultimately, officers were reduced to conducting chemical tests to learn their “weed” was really just that: an actual weed.

marijuana Texas cops mistake actual weed for marijuana, spend hours doing yard work“That shows exactly the caliber of police work that is done in Corpus christi, Tx,” commenter Derick Sillers opined in a local NBC affiliate’s comments section.

“The resident of corpus and nueces county should seriously be concerned with how their tax dollars are spent,” he continued. “[This] is the same police department that serves, protects and investigates you…. does it really take that long to find out you don’t have marijuana.”

“Officers did not explain how their big ‘drug haul’ will be disposed of, now that they’ve spent untold hours and plenty of taxpayer money clearing weeds of the the city park,” writer Steve Elliott summarized for News Junkie Post.

The tale is, at very least, a compelling argument for accurate, non-fear-based drug education in public schools, which advocacy groups say is sorely lacking.

This video is from NBC affiliate KRIS News 6, published May 21, 2010.

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Video of SWAT Raid on Missouri Family

You have to wonder how much it cost the taxpayers to capture these “dangerous” criminals?

From Reason.com:

In February, I wrote the following about a drug raid in Missouri:

SWAT team breaks into home, fires seven rounds at family’s pit bull and corgi (?!) as a seven-year-old looks on.

They found a “small amount” of marijuana, enough for a misdemeanor charge. The parents were then charged with child endangerment.

So smoking pot = “child endangerment.” Storming a home with guns, then firing bullets into the family pets as a child looks on = necessary police procedures to ensure everyone’s safety.

Just so we’re clear.

Now there’s video, which you can watch below. It’s horrifying, but I’d urge you to watch it, and to send it to the drug warriors in your life. This is the blunt-end result of all the war imagery and militaristic rhetoric politicians have been spewing for the last 30 years—cops dressed like soldiers, barreling through the front door middle of the night, slaughtering the family pets, filling the house with bullets in the presence of children, then having the audacity to charge the parents with endangering their own kid. There are 100-150 of these raids every day in America, the vast, vast majority like this one, to serve a warrant for a consensual crime.

But they did prevent Jonathan Whitworth from smoking the pot they found in his possession. So I guess this mission was a success.

I’ve exchanged emails with the mother of the family, who was in the home at the time of the raid. I’m waiting on her permission to publish her account of what happened.

Virginia State Police Help With Budget Crunch

Police are now part of a government’s revenue generation machinery. They aren’t here to Serve and Protect anymore, they’re here to issue tickets and arrest people.

From TheTruthAboutCars.com:

A federally funded ticketing blitz in the state of Virginia landed a total of 6996 traffic tickets this weekend. The blitz, dubbed “Operation Air, Land & Speed” coincided with frantic efforts by state officials to close a$2.2 billion budget deficit. Supervisors ordered state troopers to saturate Interstates 81 and 95 to issue as many tickets as humanly possible over the space of two days.

“The safety of Virginia’s highways begins the minute a vehicle is put in ‘drive,’” Virginia State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty said in a statement. “Those split second decisions to choose not to drive drunk, to choose to wear a seat belt and to choose not to speed or drive aggressively really do make a difference in preventing and/or surviving a crash.”

Officers had no trouble delivering the requested number of speeding tickets with a total of 3536 ordinary speeding citations written. In addition, another 717 “reckless driving” tickets were filed, although these most often are simple speeding tickets that happen to carry a fine of up to $2500. Driving as little as 10 to 15 MPH over the limit can qualify for this enhanced punishment. On the other end of the scale, some 310 tickets were handed to drivers who either forgot to wear their seatbelts or made a choice not to do so.

Activists with the National Motorists Association pointed out that enforcement efforts may have concentrated on areas where speed limits are expected to rise to 70 MPH following Governor Bob McDonnell’s signature on legislation raising the state’s maximum speed limit (view law). This would mean a significant number of tickets were issued for conduct that will be perfectly legal in a matter of months. The group also indicated that state police tactics may run afoul of state law.

“All officers making arrests incident to the enforcement of this title shall be paid fixed salaries for their services and shall have no interest in, nor be permitted by law to accept the benefit of, any fine or fee resulting from the arrest or conviction of an offender against any provision of this title,” Virginia Code Section 46.2-102 states.

Under the federal grant application process, state officials explained that they would pay officers overtime — at least one-and-a-half times their normal salary — to participate. This special reward for ticketing operation participants appears to violate the spirit of state law.

Since 2006, a total of twenty-three ticketing blitzes have taken place, generating 120,977 traffic tickets.

Woman, 61, arrested for asking ‘why’

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Four women, two of them well into middle age, were discussing funeral plans for a friend when an Atlanta police officer told them to move.

Three did but one asked “why.” In answer to her question,  Minnie Carey, then 61, was handcuffed, put into a police wagon and taken to jail, where she was held for nine hours.

The Citizen Review Board found that Atlanta Police officer Brandy Dolson had violated APD policies and had falsely arrested Carey.

“I was blown away,” Carey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I had heard about people in the community being harassed by the police … It really didn’t shock me as much as it probably would have if I had not heard of people going to jail for no reason. I figured I was just another one.

“But I had the right to ask ‘why’ I had to move,” she said.

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Even guns made of Lego can look real

We’ve all been taught to be so afraid of guns that you can’t even possess a toy gun made of Legos without having some neutered brainwashed neighbor rat you out for possibly possessing one. And the cops, after throwing him against the wall and cuffing him, blow it off by saying “Hey, at least you got a good story.” WTF!!

From CBC.ca:

A Toronto man learned a hard lesson this week about the real danger of fake guns. Jeremy Bell found himself staring down the barrel of a police assault rifle after a neighbour spotted Bell in his office handling what looked like a genuine semi-automatic pistol.

It turns out Bell was putting the finishing touches on a handgun made entirely of black Lego bricks.

After showing his creation to a co-worker, Bell put the toy away.  But the neighbour had already sounded the alarm, and a short time later the Emergency Task Force arrived with weapons drawn.

Bell was thrown up against the wall and slapped with handcuffs.  After a quick investigation, police set him free.

The 29-year-old Bell says he’s a lifelong fan of Lego and that won’t change.  And there’s no bad blood with the neighbour, either, who tweeted an apology to Bell and posted a note in his apartment window.

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Arkansas Officer Who Tasered 10-Year-Old Girl Fired

Amazingly (or not, if you’re a cynic like me) he wasn’t fired for tasing a 10 year old, but for not following proper procedure while doing it.

From CNSNews (via AP)

 

Police Officer Uses Taser On 10-Year-Old Girl

From 4029tv.com:

Ozark police said they were called to a home where a mother asked for help with her unruly child, but the 10-year-old’s father said he’s outraged at the force police used against his daughter.

“I would like to say Ozark police Tased this little girl right here. Ten years old and [they] shot electricity through her body, and I want to know how the heck in God’s green earth can they get away with this,” said the girl’s father, Anthony Medlock.

Medlock said his daughter was at her mother’s house when Ozark police Officer Dustin Bradshaw shocked her in the back with a Taser and arrested her.

“If you can’t pick the kid up and take her to your car, handcuff her, then I don’t think you need to be an officer,” Medlock said.

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