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William Norman Grigg

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Asset Forfeiture: A Cop Shopping Spree

Undercover police monitoring a bar in Las Cruces, New Mexico were giddy with covetousness when they saw a man drive up in a brand-new Mercedes. As city attorney Harry S. Connelly later explained, the cops were delighted to find that the man had been drinking, exclaiming: “We can hardly wait.”

Under what Las Cruces calls the law, vehicles can be confiscated from suspected drunk drivers through civil asset forfeiture – a process that doesn’t require a criminal conviction, or even criminal charges.
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'Comply Or Die’ is Not The Law

In 1975, as the elected sheriff of Utah’s Davis County, William "Dub" Lawrence helped organize one of the state’s first SWAT teams. On September 22, 2008, his son-in-law, Brian Wood, was killed by that SWAT team outside his home following a 12-hour standoff.

After suffering a breakdown of some kind, Wood called 911 to report (falsely) that he had beaten and raped his wife. SWAT operators used chemical weapons to force Wood from the pickup truck in which he had taken refuge, then treated him to a barrage of rubber bullets, projectile bean bags, and pepper-spray rounds, in addition to tear gas and flash-bang grenades. While Wood was prone and helpless, he was shot with a Taser at least eight times by one officer, and an unknown number of times by a second — before being shot at point-blank range by another officer wielding a .308-caliber rifle.
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Is It A Crime To Insult the Police?

Arena, Wisconsin is a village of roughly 800 people, most of whom are white, politically liberal, and materially comfortable. Despite having a very low crime rate, the village has a police department that, like every other, exists primarily to collect revenue.

Two years ago, police arrested three “out-of-state juvenile males” on suspicion of burglarizing a business. Two of the suspects “were detained by residents until law enforcement arrived,” the department noted in its Facebook page. The three unfamiliar black men were conspicuous in a tiny village with a nearly all-white population, and by the time the police arrived all of the difficult work had been done. Perhaps as a way to compensate for its deserved sense of worthlessness, the Arena PD arrested someone whose only role in this affair was to publish a derisive remark on the department’s Facebook page.
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