Skip to comments.Women says police went too far in drug raid
Posted on 10/28/2006 11:27:01 AM PDT by traviskicks
A Sugar Land woman says police went too far when they burst into her home and arrested her boyfriend and son on drug charges. The raid left her dog dead and caused thousands of dollars in damage.
"It was bang, bang, bang, then there was a boom as they broke the door in, threw the fire grenade, and then shot the dog," said homeowner Margot Allen. "This all happened in anywhere from five to fifteen seconds."
That's how Allen's son and boyfriend describe what happened that day. Sugar Land police acted on a tip. They say they found traces of marijuana and cocaine in her trash after a month-long investigation.
"There's no crack done in my house," she said. "There's occasional marijuana in my house. I don't do it because I don't happen to like it."
Based on the evidence in the trash, a regional SWAT team arrived at the home. Police say they knocked, waited 30 seconds, and then broke in with guns and a concussion grenade. The house suffered $5,000 damage and one officer shot and killed Margot's golden lab, Shadow, when police say it charged toward one of the officers. What did officers find inside?
"A joint half the size of my pinky fingernail and then one about this big," she said, showing a length on her finger. "And not anywhere near this big around."
The Sugar Land Police Department declined an on-camera interview, but they are defending their actions, saying they followed protocol to the letter.
The department says it was determined that the bust would be of a moderate risk. Even though they had no specific threat, they were prepared for firearms in the house and felt obligated to anticipate any resistance or violence. They say killing the dog was regrettable. They also say Allen's boyfriend has a history of drug convictions. But for Allen, it was overkill.
"They treated us like we were terrorists," she said. "They broke the door down. They shot my dog. They set my house on fire."
Both Allen's son and her boyfriend were charged with a Class B misdemeanor for that small amount of marijuana. That's punishable by up to six months in the county jail or a maximum $2,000 fine. Both of them will be in court on January 9.
You got that right.
Land of the free, my ass...
Can you explain to me why the police need to wear black ski masks when they make these raids? Why don't the officers making traffic stops wear them?
If the police have a search warrant, know I have weapons in the house (which I do), and have some reason to expect a violent response to their entry. But comparing entry into a home for theft, is often a whole different thing then entering a home looking for drugs. Where drugs are involved the likelyhood of armed resistance is significantly higher. Again, if the police had credible information that they might encounter armed suspects that would likely resist with gun fire....the tactics they used are totally proper.
It sounds like they used a no knock entry....which to me implies they were expecting armed resistance along with a strong concern about evidence being destroyed.
Just because a raid doesn't turn up everything you are looking for doesn't mean the raid was carried out improperly. There are many factors that are outside of the control of the police that can have an impact on the success of such a raid, not the least of which is someone tipping off the bad guys so they have time to get rid of evidece, so they can claim they were poor victims of an overy aggressive police force.
To condem the police, as many of you seem do be doing, without knowing more about the subject, is just wrong.
"Sorry....the cops were doing their damned job...."
Sorry we killed your dog mam, we were just doin our job snuffing out uhm uhmmm I mean sniffing out a pot smoker to kill maim mutilate or anything within his range. Just be thankful you weren't home mam. Heck we might have snuffed you too.
Well, we gotta go now. It's time to head off to the local LEO watering hole to celebrate another successful raid. Got some serious beer drinkin and some high fivin to do. Still, sorry about your dog, course it's better off now you know, and so is Sugarland with your pot smokin boyfriend and son behind bars for a few hours. Yea, that's right mam, we are human too. Hey, you can probably get another golden lab down at the shelter. You should check with them.
I don't think one can infer that those against the failed WOD (War on Drugs) are against or disrespectful of cops. IMO, there are good and bad cops just like there are good and bad people from all stripes and backgrounds. Personally, I have a great deal of respect for the police. It is the laws that I'm against and it is horrible that government puts the police in a position of enforcing immoral laws. Pointing out abuses under the law and the ridiculousness of various actions of the police is not done to attack the police, but the law.
The police did the right thing. They arrested drug uses/dealers. Change the laws to allow crack and marijuana use if you don't like it.
That will never happen.
Land of the free, my ass...
If I had shot a police dog...it would be just like shooting a real cop.
Why shouldn't this dog and this circumstance be reciprocal against the cop that shot the dog?
How many grams is that?
I agree. I was simply commenting on the remarks made in this thread.
The reason for the search may have been solid, though the article makes it sound like small potatos in the world of crime and drug dealing. The reason for the SWAT team and the violence by the cops hasn't been explained at all, at least not in the article. It may have been justified, or not, but the small amount of drugs produced by the raid is not justification.
As for the assumption that such tactics are justified because there may have been guns inside, well, our founding fathers assumed "that every man be armed." Therefore if guns are suspected, police protocol should call for the same violent police tactics for all search warrants. At least as long as we have the RKBA.
Yeah, I can imagine the dog may have attempted to defend its masters - that is the nature of dogs and one of the reasons for owning them...that's probably why it has apparently become police protocol to shoot them immediately.
I happen to agree with you that the invasion of Iraq was justified, on several levels, but I'm not too convinced that drawing a parallel with this particular SWAT action makes a very good case for our action in Iraq.
"Land of the law. Don't like it? Move to Waziristan."
I see little difference between your beliefs and the Taliban. You should go to another country more suitable to your primitive and dogmatic beliefs.
You can say this to justify any action. "prepared for firearms" In Texas? go figure. Moderate risk? Is there ever a low risk? probably not. This is legalese to cover their actions. I fully appreciate the dangerous nature of police work. However I'm afraid that after prolonged exposure to the worst elements of society, some forget that most of us aren't violent criminals. Now if they thought they were busting a major drug dealing operation, that might justify the fear of an armed response. But some guy with a bong watching NASCAR doesnt justify the force in my opinion.
i'm curious how you come to the conclusion that a person who is a drug user (a non-violent misdemeanor offense) is more likely to present armed resistance than a burglar (felony offender).
oh, well I'll have to agree with you, sometimes the 'cop bashing' does go overboard, and in those cases it does nothing to advance our agenda. But I think most of the time those comments are meant to be against the laws.
I would presume to protect their faces from flash burns, a clawing suspects' fingernails, or other hazards. That's just a guess. I don't know their policies and procedures.
Why don't the officers making traffic stops wear them?
Perhaps there is no reason to.
a judge may have issued the warrant, though I doubt it specified the manner in which the search/arrest was to take place.
I don't think I'd want to meet the woman who was friendly with that...
"we raise up our glasses aginst evil forces saying, Whiskey for my men and beer for our horses"
Your sacrasm is entertaining, sort of, but wrong headed. Again, the cops were doing their job until the facts become clear about what info they had prior to the raid, what info was given to the judge to get the warrant, what procedures were followed vs. what were appropriate for the info they had.
If, for some reason, they used a no knock entry and a dynamic entry where it was not warranted or reasonable...then I would agree that there should be some heads rolling. But we don't have information on that do we? Just an article where the allegeg criminals are whining about the mean police. Hardly unbiased reporting...hardly fair....and very likely there is another side to this that you have not read. Time will tell....if the cops were wrong, I'll say so.....but I if the facts support the actions of the police I doubt if you'll admit to acting like a knee jerk liberal.