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Bellevue family sues FBI over 'terrifying' raid
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW ^ | June 16, 2011 | Brian Bowling

Posted on 06/17/2011 8:24:23 PM PDT by george76

The lasting impact of the raid on Gary Adams' home became clear in a comment from his 3-year-old granddaughter during a recent trip to the pharmacy.

"She said, 'Granddad. Police. Hide,' " Adams, 57, of Bellevue recalled Wednesday while discussing the federal lawsuit he filed against the officers who burst into his home March 3.

Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter Adams' rented Orchard Street home in a search for Sondra Hunter, then 35. But Hunter hadn't lived at that address for almost two years, while Adams and his family had been living there for more than a year, according to the lawsuit filed by Adams and 10 other family members...

The lawsuit says that officers knew, or should have known, that Hunter no longer lived there. By executing an arrest warrant at a residence that wasn't Hunter's, they violated the family's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, and their Fifth Amendment right to due process, the lawsuit says.

...

Duquesne University law professor Bruce Ledewitz said arrest warrants don't give police carte blanche to enter any building because they think a suspect is inside. Instead, such warrants only authorize police to go to the person's residence.

Police usually enjoy "qualified immunity" from lawsuits even when they make mistakes, as long as they were carrying out their duties responsibly, he said. Entering a residence without probable cause, however, would strip the immunity away from those officers.

University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris said the family faces several obstacles in winning. In particular, he thought it would be tough for them to overcome the officer's qualified immunity because the Supreme Court has repeatedly raised the bar for suing police officers.

(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: batteringram; biggovernment; donutwatch; federalterrorists; jackbootedthugs; jbts; leos; policegonewild
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1 posted on 06/17/2011 8:24:26 PM PDT by george76
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To: george76

Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter Adams’ rented Orchard Street home in a search for Sondra Hunter, then 35.
///
i assume Sondra must have been “armed and dangerous”, to need a dozen FBI agents doing a no-knock?
...i am curious what she was accused of, but i don’t see it anywhere...


2 posted on 06/17/2011 8:31:33 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: george76
Police usually enjoy "qualified immunity" from lawsuits even when they make mistakes, as long as they were carrying out their duties responsibly,

I seem to remember that a war was fought over this very issues...It was so long ago that schools no longer teach it in history class.


3 posted on 06/17/2011 8:33:00 PM PDT by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: george76
The police make lots of people nervous not just small children. The sheer terror exists that you might be accused or arrested despite being innocent let alone if you have inadvertently violated the countless laws. That the police and the FBI serve an important function is beyond doubt, but power is seldom without the potential for abuse. There is an old saying that if a country makes too many laws eventually they make everybody a criminal.
4 posted on 06/17/2011 8:38:50 PM PDT by dog breath
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To: george76
I guess now "acting responsibly" includes not finding out who actually lives in the house the door of which you're kicking in. That's what passes for "responsible" behavior on the part of the FBI these days.

Think about that for a minute. Then get angry.

5 posted on 06/17/2011 8:39:54 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Elendur; All

ahh. finally found it here. Sondra is finally mentioned in about the 15th paragraph:

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/11063/1129584-53.stm

Nico “Cheeks” Nixon, 20, of Lower Lawrenceville, was still on the run and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin. And Sondra Hunter, 35, of Manchester was wanted for heroin possession.

Read more: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/11063/1129584-53.stm#ixzz1PauXM8iS

so like the Marine killed in Arizona, they were simply looking for drugs.
...i think way too many innocent people are being hurt in the “War on Drugs”.
all it seems to do, as per basic economics, is make drugs more expensive, which results in addicts mugging innocent people for money.
with unintended consequences of innocent citizens getting hurt, AND having their rights trampled by the government...


6 posted on 06/17/2011 8:41:15 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: george76

A battering ram to the door for a single woman. Never mind the fact checking and the half-dozen other ways to find out whether or not she lived there. SOP is terror - don’t mess with law enforcement, be good little citizens and comply, now! The family is lucky their pet wasn’t shot.


7 posted on 06/17/2011 8:41:36 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: george76

I’m constantly amazed at how many mistakes police operations make in entering the wrong home, often killing its innocent occupants. There is no reason for it.

A competent police department, FBI, DEA, ATF, SWAT squad is supposed to do extensive surveillance of the building to be entered, to know exactly where it is located on a map and in photos, what other structures are on either side of it and their numbers, etc.

The same for who is living there via phone numbers/names, owner or renter of the building, names on water, phone, electric bills, car registrations/licence plates, etc.

Also there should be photo surveillance and installed surveillance cameras when possible.

This screw-up is indicative of what the Left has done to police intelligence capabilities, and as one who was involved in them, I know what I’m talking about. Actual lawsuits filed by both innocent and guilty raid persons have forced the police to cutback their surveillance operations, staff, intelligence files, etc.

The Communist legal network has helped to file many successful lawsuits (some with merit) starting since the successful MayDay 1971 suits, COINTELLPRO suits, and local attacks that led to the destruction of Police Intelligence Units (often CIDs) in the major cities of the U.S. - New York, Baltimore, D.C., Chicago (red-led fronts did the attacking), Los Angeles (again red politicians and fronts), Detroit (The Mayor was a Communist Party member); etc.

Unfortunately, with Eric Holder as the Attorney General, and his hate-America, anti-white, and anti-Intelligence personna, there is little chance that any meaningful reforms in police surveillance/raid tactics will be enacted.
The same with the incompetent Janet Napolitano of the Dept. of Homeland Security, the leadership of ICE (Immigration & Customs), the leadership of the Border Patrol police, etc.

I’ve been in and around various types of intelligence/information gathering operations as both a former undercover operative, working on an Organized Crime Task Force, and as an investigative journalist for 40 years covering terrorism, domestic subversion, hate-groups/crimes, and local criminal problems. I had hoped that the police and govt would have finally gotten their acts together by now, but I was wrong.

Sheer incompetence, stupidity, inside-the-box mentality, and timidity are responsible for this, as well as politically correct operational attitudes.

FYI: My family (and by marriage) includes one police officer, one former police officer, one undercover operative, two lawyers, two paralegals, one police forensics agent, a former very high ranking military intelligence officer, and one great friend, a former career NYPD officer/intelligence officer. We’ve been there, done that, and seen it all. It is not a pretty sight and there is no reason for it.


8 posted on 06/17/2011 8:47:16 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Elendur

and here is the official FBI press release:

http://pittsburgh.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel11/pt030311.htm

kind of ironic. they burst in and terrorized an innocent family with children, instead of the flunky they wanted who might have had some heroin:

“”We want to advise violent criminals who tyrannize the neighborhoods and towns in our district that we know who you are; we are coming for you, and it is only a matter of when not if we catch you and disrupt and prosecute your criminal activity,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton.”


9 posted on 06/17/2011 8:47:54 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: Elendur

What I don’t understand is sending in SWAT without bothering to talk to neighbors or check other sources to see if it was the right address.
Officials THINK it MIGHT be right, so go in guns blazing, instead of low risk questioning.


10 posted on 06/17/2011 8:50:45 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

i certainly know, there are MANY good officers. My Dad worked with the Mesa PD in AZ.

...but the War on Drugs, simply is a cure worse than the disease, even if the cure worked, which it doesn’t.

i wish the good officers, could all be concentrated on terrorism, and making our country safe from other crimes (not to mention a secure border would be nice...)


11 posted on 06/17/2011 8:51:47 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: tbw2; MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

agreed.

...and MadMax, the Grinning Reaper probably gave as good an answer to “why” as we are likely to get.

i think arrogance is also a part. the police i grew up with, still believed they were serving the people, and protecting them...
a LOT has changed in this country, in just a few decades...


12 posted on 06/17/2011 8:57:44 PM PDT by Elendur (the hope and change i need: Sarah / Colonel West in 2012)
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To: george76
This goes on, unendingly, simply because there are no consequences.

Give every cop involved a mandatory five year felony sentence no parole, confiscation of all assets, forever proscribed from government employment, and loss of pension, and you'd see a host of fact checking cops, and the paperwork to prove it.

13 posted on 06/17/2011 9:06:57 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Holy flippin' crap, Sarah rocks the world!)
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To: dog breath
That the police and the FBI serve an important function is beyond doubt

I'd say, "They used to."

Obama is an obvious felon. Nothing is done. But they serve search warrants with battering rams.

ML/NJ

14 posted on 06/17/2011 9:12:52 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: george76

whatever happened to knocking on the door?


15 posted on 06/17/2011 9:16:06 PM PDT by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a SECOND party.)
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To: Elendur

Interesting, the cops form a 12 man unit to bust in to get a person wanted for possession only.

Kind of sums up “Out of Control”


16 posted on 06/17/2011 9:17:08 PM PDT by packrat35 (America is rapidly becoming a police state that East Germany could be proud of!)
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To: george76

I no longer care at all if idiot goon agents like these all get blown away raiding the wrong homes and terrorizing innocent people. In fact it might be the best thing for the country because it might make idiots like this go over their intelligence one or two more times and value their stupid lives a little more.

These are the people who have ALL the resources and claim to be the only ones who can do this kind of stuff properly. Same folks who look down on regular folks that aren’t “trained” and couldn’t possibly be as intelligent as they are. Also they have no fear of any serious consequences for screwing up like this. Show me the long list of any members of any of these kinds of teams getting fired or jail time for crap like this. None.


17 posted on 06/17/2011 9:27:47 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: packrat35

Lots of departments are using swat and tactical teams on such missions for “training purposes”.


18 posted on 06/17/2011 9:28:52 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Terry Mross

Whatever happened to confirming your intelligence you’ve gathered to make certain it’s correct before using deadly weapons on people?


19 posted on 06/17/2011 9:30:29 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: george76

Doesn’t anyone do any scouting and intelligence work before busting into a place?

You know, like confirming their suspect is actually there?


20 posted on 06/17/2011 9:33:02 PM PDT by Vendome ("Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it anyway")
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To: Elendur
Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter Adams’ rented Orchard Street home in a search for Sondra Hunter, then 35.

I guess they didn't want Sondra to dive head first into a toilet and flush herself down.

Since Hunter hadn't lived there in 2 years, this also seems like a criminal act with negligence to me. FBI had 2 years to "figure out" she didn't live there. Breaking and entering with damage.

21 posted on 06/17/2011 9:38:58 PM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: george76

If the attorney was competent, he/she named all plausible tortfeasors in the same lawsuit, not just the individual occifers. That would include the US gummit itself, which means the tax payers, or in this case the guy who turns the crank on the money printing machine. A jury verdict could easily go against the Feebs even if the judge hierarchy excuses individual occifers from liability.


22 posted on 06/17/2011 9:46:01 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: ml/nj
But they serve search warrants with battering rams.

Yes it is unbelievable. And now the U.S. Department of Education (ie. Re-education) now has a SWAT Team. Imagine the insanity, it could only be possible in our new Communist government.

23 posted on 06/17/2011 9:47:23 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: george76

I wonder how many of those destroyed doors are repaired by law enforcement? I was looking at estimates for replacing the door and the repair to the frame. The cost starts at $500 and go up to $1600, depending on the door. It would be like the police walking up to your car and whacking it with a sledge hammer. The problem with a house, is you need that door replaced very quickly.


24 posted on 06/17/2011 9:53:29 PM PDT by jonrick46 (2012 can't come soon enough.)
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To: Texas Fossil

You’d think people of almost any political persuasion would want to eliminate waste and duplication by having one “SWAT central” for a given government entity, e.g. all Federal agencies have to use “SWAT central” if they want SWAT. This is like being raped once and being told to pay for it a dozen times.


25 posted on 06/17/2011 10:04:38 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: jonrick46

Shoot, you’ll likely get fined for a “public nuisance” if you don’t get it boarded up yourself pronto.


26 posted on 06/17/2011 10:07:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Elendur
"I think way too many innocent people are being hurt in the “War on Drugs.” All it seems to do, as per basic economics, is make drugs more expensive."

When the price of drugs goes up, people will take more risks to profit from it. When there are huge profits to make in the drug industry, people who are not usually attracted to it, will get into it. Such wealth can touch the entire fabric of society. The policy makers can make us think that by impacting the supply, they can protect society from drugs. Their action sows the seeds of corruption. Those same policy makers could also benefit from the climate of corruption they create. If I were in the drug industry, I would be encouraging the law makers to keep drugs as illegal as possible with nice campaign contributions. You don't want the price going down.

27 posted on 06/17/2011 10:20:30 PM PDT by jonrick46 (2012 can't come soon enough.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Maybe they need to train each other how to find the RIGHT address.


28 posted on 06/17/2011 10:24:14 PM PDT by packrat35 (America is rapidly becoming a police state that East Germany could be proud of!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Yep. But it is total insanity for the U.S. Dept. of Education to have a SWAT team.. Totally Insane.


29 posted on 06/17/2011 10:27:59 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Elendur

“A federal grand jury on Feb. 15 indicted 20 people on drug and gun charges. Sixteen are under arrest but police are still searching for the other four.”

Sondra Hunter was one of them.


30 posted on 06/17/2011 11:33:23 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Release Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and let him and his family get on with their lives.)
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To: Elendur
But Hunter hadn't lived at that address for almost two years,...

A fact that could have been determined by any ten year old newspaper delivery kid in about twenty minutes. Or ask the mailman or call and pretend to be a telemarketer or fifty other cheap and easy ways to find out if your target actually lives there.

31 posted on 06/17/2011 11:35:57 PM PDT by TigersEye (Who crashed the markets on 9/15/08 and why?)
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To: packrat35

Interesting, the cops form a 12 man unit to bust in to get a person wanted for possession only.

Kind of sums up “Out of Control”

***************************************

No, that would be Waco.


32 posted on 06/18/2011 12:05:40 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: george76
Wouldn't a "smart bomb" or a cruise missile have been more effective - and left fewer witnesses? /s

Regards,

33 posted on 06/18/2011 12:10:29 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Flesch-Kincaid score: post-doctoral level)
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To: Elendur

“which results in addicts mugging innocent people for money.”

Whether legal or not, they won’t be able to afford their habit and they will still mug people. This is a ridiculous precept for making drugs legal.


34 posted on 06/18/2011 3:11:14 AM PDT by Puckster
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To: george76

“..police SWAT teams..have fewer restrictions on conducting forced entry raids than do US forces in Afghanistan.”


35 posted on 06/18/2011 3:11:44 AM PDT by wolficatZ (Somebody once wrote "Revenge is a dish that has to be eaten cold".)
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
“A competent police department, FBI, DEA, ATF, SWAT squad is supposed to do extensive surveillance of the building to be entered, to know exactly where it is located on a map and in photos, what other structures are on either side of it and their numbers, etc.”

50 yrs ago a clusterf**k like this would have been sufficient to cause the agents in charge to be stripped of authority and responsability. Welcome to the world of “Special Agent Karen Springmeyer”.

36 posted on 06/18/2011 4:21:03 AM PDT by TalBlack ( Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: george76
Slip sliding away, slip sliding our way to a Police State!

Mike

37 posted on 06/18/2011 4:36:13 AM PDT by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: Elendur

“conspiracy and heroin trafficking” according to the article.


38 posted on 06/18/2011 4:47:20 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: Elendur
we know who you are; we are coming for you, and it is only a matter of when not if we catch you and disrupt and prosecute your criminal activity

Billy Ayers must be laughing again:

"Guilty as sin, free as a bird. What a country."

39 posted on 06/18/2011 4:47:24 AM PDT by hellbender
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To: george76
FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer

Female affirmative action hire overdoing things to prove how tough she is?

40 posted on 06/18/2011 4:49:06 AM PDT by hellbender
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To: Elendur

FBI

Famous
But
Incompetent


41 posted on 06/18/2011 5:31:06 AM PDT by Tahoe3002
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To: AD from SpringBay
Pet hell! They are lucky they themselves were not killed. I bet that they at least got smacked and tossed around. The little girl was probably put in placti cuffs and threw head first to the floor.With a pistol muzzle held to her head. But at any rate, she got the message. The message: You will rear and respect our authority. I have watched them on COPS

Contrast that to a Florida State Trooper's comment I witnessed when I was young[long before Noah came off the ark]. I was at a country restaurant, back then they were called truck stops or coffee shops.There was a State Tpooper at the counter drinking coffee. Thete was a family at one of the tables with a child that was misbehaving. The mother said to the child, " See that policeman over there? If you do not behave, I will get him to take you to jail." The Trooper said, "No I will not" and got off his stool and went over and picked the child up and held him in hs arms. He spoke to the patents and said, "We fight this all the time, please do not threaten your child with the police".

42 posted on 06/18/2011 5:57:05 AM PDT by sport
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To: Navy Patriot
It seems we (US Govt.) have no problem seconding guessing, sending to trial and imprisoning, our troops in Iraq or Af’stan who might have killed innocents or bystanders while in action against hostiles.

Why do we not insist on the same level of accountability for our Fed, State and Local law enforcement.

As a BTW, I am all for ending the ineffective and costly War on Drugs, and as a second good gesture, the War on Poverty. Both, IMHO, are vast wastes of taxpayer money which speak volumes of the gross inefficiency of government to “fix” anything.

43 posted on 06/18/2011 5:57:37 AM PDT by Tahoe3002
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To: Terry Mross
whatever happened to knocking on the door?

Oh' come on now...what fun would that be not being able to use all their paramilitary toys by simply knocking on the door.

44 posted on 06/18/2011 6:06:15 AM PDT by Popman (Obama. First Marxist to turn a five year Marxist plan into a 4 year administration.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

“I no longer care at all if idiot goon agents like these all get blown away raiding the wrong homes and terrorizing innocent people. In fact it might be the best thing for the country because it might make idiots like this go over their intelligence one or two more times and value their stupid lives a little more.”

Wrong! They will simply crack down even harder, go in with more weaponry blazing, killing more people and believe the entire time that they are justified because of all the “bad guys” that are shooting their agents when they come through the door.

Then again, maybe that’s what needed to arouse the citizenry.


45 posted on 06/18/2011 6:12:27 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: TalBlack

FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer would not have been there 50 years ago.


46 posted on 06/18/2011 6:12:31 AM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: george76
Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter Adams' rented Orchard Street home in a search for Sondra Hunter, then 35.

One has to really question the tactics used by these JBT.

You are looking for "one" person supposedly in a house

So instead of surrounding the house with your 12 highly trained elite JBT's so that no one person can escape, you do a no knock dynamic entry with all types of potential negative outcomes instead of walking up to the door and announcing:

"This is the FBI, the house is surrounded, we have a warrant. Open the door"

47 posted on 06/18/2011 6:13:41 AM PDT by Popman (Obama. First Marxist to turn a five year Marxist plan into a 4 year administration.)
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To: sport

Had the same thing happen to me and a couple of other cops at a greasy spoon years ago. Reamed the parents for it.
I arrested hundreds of people on all kinds of arrest warrants. Never pointed a weapon at a child and never kicked in a door to do it. One guy went around back and I knocked on the front door and stood to the side. If the suspect was a known badass there’d be two of us at the front and two at the back, and we’d knock at the door.


48 posted on 06/18/2011 6:19:32 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: george76
"They had guns on my wife, my babies. I'd like to know how they would feel -- the people in my house -- if that happened to them," he said.

Denise Adams, 58, said seeing the red dots from the officers' targeting lasers crawl across her children's faces also has cost her faith in law enforcement.

That only means their guns were pointed directly at the children.

I wonder if they teach that intimation protocol at JBT training schools.

What type of bastard would do that?

49 posted on 06/18/2011 6:32:09 AM PDT by Popman (Obama. First Marxist to turn a five year Marxist plan into a 4 year administration.)
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To: Mouton
“FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer would not have been there 50 years ago.”

Exactly. And the Men who were there would have had, along with all the authority, RESPONSABILITY for the Op. They would have been expected to protect the Constitution as well as society in the execution of their duties. None of those Men are likely even to have participated in a girly Op like this.

PC IS the feminization of a thing.

50 posted on 06/18/2011 7:10:02 AM PDT by TalBlack ( Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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