WaPo: Opinion: Little Rock’s dangerous and illegal drug war

WaPo: Opinion: Little Rock’s dangerous and illegal drug war by Radley Balko (with security video of the raid) (and this is a product of Hudson v. Michigan, which we can thank SCOTUS for):

There are three main areas of concern. First, the narcotics unit appears to be routinely violating the Fourth Amendment by serving nearly all of its warrants with no-knock raids. It’s asking for no-knock warrants without demonstrating why each suspect merits a no-knock entry, as required by federal law. Worse yet, Little Rock judges are then signing off on these warrants.

Second, the LRPD is serving many of these warrants by using explosives that SWAT veterans I’ve interviewed say are reckless, dangerous and wholly inappropriate for use in drug raids. I’ve also spoken to at least two people who say there were children in the home when the explosives were used.

Finally, and perhaps most troubling, there’s clear evidence that one informant whom LRPD drug cops have been using — the informant used to obtain probable cause against Talley and others — has been lying to police about his drug buys. At minimum, the detectives who worked with him have been inexcusably sloppy in their handling of him. But there’s also evidence that raises questions about their own truthfulness.

Some of these raids haven’t turned up any contraband at all.

I see these affidavits, too, and I’ve heard the stories, and we’ve all seen the pattern. The City Attorney says they are complying with state law and the civil rights laws. He didn’t mention the Fourth Amendment. In addition, the judges rubberstamping these things need judicial ethics complaints filed against them.

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