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Ear to the Ground

Drug War Claims Life of 92-Year-Old Woman

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Posted on Nov 22, 2006

Confused and panicked by plainclothes police officers attempting to serve a warrant, the elderly woman shot three police officers before being killed herself. A new Cato Institute report estimates that 40,000 such paramilitary-style raids take place each year—courtesy of America’s criminally wrongheaded approach to drug control.


Tony Newman at the Huffington Post:

This summer the Cato Institute released a disturbing report entitled Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. The report found that, “These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongfully targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary unites dressed not as police officers, but as solders. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of who were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.”

When will law enforcement put an end to brutal police tactics that result in wrongful deaths and the perversion of justice? Join the Drug Policy Alliance and help us find an exit strategy for this violent and unwinnable war.

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By Spinoza, November 23, 2006 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have to end the stupid drug war. We have to end capitalism and its ideology that might makes right and greed is a good thing.

In other words we have to do away with right wing ideology. iIt is the only way to make life better for everyone.  And note, it is the ultra liberal right wing CATO Institute that is making this argument.

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By MARIAM RUSSELL, November 23, 2006 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, all of us who have been crying ¨Hark! Is that the distant….sort of distant….not so distant….sound of jack boots I hear????Have not been just librul fear mongers and talkin thru our hats??????

THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES, LOCALIZED, VISABLE, UNCOMFORTABLE, SCARY, CONSEQUENCES TO BEING GULLIBLE AND PREFERRING NOT TO KNOW.

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By MITZI M, November 23, 2006 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was my understanding that the officers were plain clothed, which makes it more understandable to me why she would shoot these men.  If they were wearing paramilitary uniforms then she was wrong, but being 92 years old she may have just been frightened. She probably couldn’t hear well so if they were yelling, identifying themselves, she possibly could not have heard them.

IF someone was dealing drugs out of her home, then whoever that person was, in my opinion, is the one to blame here.

It also teaches us that safeguards should be created and implemented to prevent events like this, and I’m not talking about gun control. I think this woman had every right to defend herself and her home.  A more thorough investigation on the police’s part may have served to prevent all of this. Surely they could have figured out who lived there and for how long, before they conducted this raid and finding a 92 year old woman lived there, could have managed to get her out of the house before the raid.

One word sums this up, tragedy.

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By Allen, November 23, 2006 at 12:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Was there no other choice available to these officers?  I respect their need to protect themselves, but this instance does seem very sad in so many ways.

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