Stop and Seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
"Alex White, Professional Snitch: What do you do when the cops you work for are dirtier than you are?" Metafilter previously on Kathryn Johnston.
Jose Guerena, 26, was a Marine veteran and father of two. He served two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. On May 5th, he was killed in his home by a SWAT team looking for narcotics [more inside]
"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
A SWAT team in Maryland raids a city's mayor's house and kills his dogs. Oh, and the warrant was wrong.
Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. Radley Balko (also mentioned here and here) has released a year long study of the militarization of police departments across the United States. Cato has a corresponding interactive map to track and filter botched paramilitary raids.
The Drug War Goes to the Dogs. SWAT teams (usually the young ones) seem to commit a lot of puppycide. (Via The Agitator, who is also a MeFite.)
Terry Bressi's long saga "I was stopped, threatened with lethal force, dragged out of my vehicle, and detained for several hours for no reason - other than requesting to know what law authorized the police to stop me and demand ID after admitting I wasn't suspected of violating any law and I wasn't being detained. Instead of answering my inquiries, the 'peace officers' preferred to initiate force against me."
High school kids. Doing drugs! A 23-year-old female undercover agent posed as a student at Milford High School. The investigation culminated Friday with the arrest of 16 students on drug-trafficking charges. Twelve are juveniles. Public opinion is running 20 - 1 in favor of the sting. Sandy Howdyshell, a 34-year-old Milford graduate who has an elementary school student in the district, said she was undecided on the school district's $108.6 million bond issue that will appear on ballots May 3 - until she heard about the undercover investigation... "I think it was a brilliant idea to put an undercover cop in the high school," Howdyshell said. "This event certainly has made an impact in my eyes. Now I know I'll be voting to support Milford schools."
City officials to give away weed. A Santa Cruz councilman wants to show solidarity with those arrested in a recent federal raid on a medicinal growing operation. Apparently "the whole community is up in arms about this." This, being the raid, not the medicinal use of marijuana. Is the general public's attitude finally starting to sway?
Cops Abuse New Anti-Terror Law. The raid was perhaps the state's first known instance of law enforcement officers using new anti-terrorism police powers in a case unrelated to terrorism... Ahh, yes. The War On Drugs meets The War Against Terror.