19 July 2006

CATO: Map of Bad Police Raids

Don't let your eyes get drawn to just the red (death of an innocent). After looking at it for a while, the thing that kinda hit me is how many of these are raids on innocents.


KipEsquire said...

"raids on innocents"

Don't fall into Balko's trap: that should read "raids on those not convicted" or "those for whom the prosecution could not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." As every lawyer knows, that does not mean they're "innocent."

Juries don't make findings of innocence, only findings of "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a trap in very many cases.

Some of these raids are made against the wrong address--the people involved are as innocent as it is possible to be. Others are based on very questionable informants, or on error-riddled warrants. Often no charges are even filed.

Yeah, sometimes small amounts of marijuana are found. The question is, are these high-risk, high-cost operations justified for such small potatoes?

Anonymous said...

Take a look at some of the examples and you'll see that the categories are stretched just a bit. For example, one gray flag listed as "Raid on an innocent subject" describes an incident in which a bystander was injured during a drug raid. There is no underlying evidence in the supporting news account to indicate that the subject of the raid itself was "innocent" -- merely that someone who happened to be in the apartment at the time of the raid was inadvertently injured.

Meanwhile, a red flag listed as "Death of an innocent" describes an incident in which a person inside a home being raided allegedly pulled a gun on police officers and was subsequently shot and killed. There is certainly a factual dispute about whether or not the deceased person actually pulled his gun or not (the police say he did, the people playing cards with the deceased say he did not), but to assume one version of events and label the person "innocent" betrays a level of bias in viewing these incidents that taints this project for me.

(BTW, this was just out of the first several flags I clicked. Goodness knows how many other similar examples are present in this project.)

Anonymous said...

Kip, you geninus, wouldn't it qualify as "innocent" when the police *admit* they got the wrong address? That's what happened in the vast majority of incidents pegged by gray markers. Your snide jabs in comments sections are getting more and more ridiculous.

Anonymous -- I'm guessing you clicked on the John Adams case in Tennessee. There, again, the police admitted they raided the wrong address. If cops in ski masks break down your door in the middle of the night, and you, believing them to be intruders, come out with a gun, how does the fact that you defended your home make you less innocent? They police were in Adams home illegally. He had every right to defend his family. It's not the least bit misleading to call him an innocent.