April 30, 2013

"I have seen a lot of post search residences but this one is quite disturbing."

"The agents removed art from the walls, broke the frames and tore the artwork. Mr. Curtis offered his keys but agents chose to break the lock. Mr. Curtis’ garbage was scheduled to be picked up Thursday, the day after he was snatched from his life. A week later, the garbage remains in his home, along with millions of insects it attracted."

Paul Kevin Curtis is the Elvis impersonator who was falsely accused of sending ricin in letters to the President and others.

51 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Gestapo tactics by the Feds? Surprise, surprise.

Their are just irritated that their crazy orders for 1.5 billion rounds of wad cutter anti personnel 40cal ammo is late.

TML said...

What are the responsibilities of law enforcement in searches? Obviously, here, not a level of respect and decency commensurate with the prevailing notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. maybe that doesn't count anymore.

MadisonMan said...

The story would have benefited from pictures of the damage.

Freeman Hunt said...

I've heard of this kind of thing, police tearing apart people's houses. That's outrageous. Houses should be left as they are found.

TML said...

Freeman Hunt: concur

Tim said...

The answer, obviously, is more government.

lemondog said...

Is the meaning 'uninhabitable' the same as 'inhabitable?'

Seeing Red said...

Did U read Drudge about the kid being taken away cos the parents didn't check him out properly from 1 hospital, wanted a 2nd opinion and took him to another hospital?

EMD said...

Can this guy not seriously sue the government for wrongful somethingorother?

Tim said...

TML said...

"What are the responsibilities of law enforcement in searches? Obviously, here, not a level of respect and decency commensurate with the prevailing notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. maybe that doesn't count anymore."

Exactly.

I'm all in favor of public safety and tough on crime laws, as necessary and appropriate, but that seems to lead to the seemingly irreducible problem of law enforcement viewing all civilians as suspects.

And, the increasing paramilitary status of the doughnut eaters is troublesome too.

Why all the military paraphernalia and equipment?

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't put this in the post: but my mind went straight to the question: What kind of "artwork" did he have? (Velvet Elvises?)

Aridog said...

No no no...pay attention! The threat is paramilitary activity in Boston! What is wrong with you people?

Aridog said...

Tim said ...

I'm all in favor of public safety and tough on crime laws, as necessary and appropriate, but that seems to lead to the seemingly irreducible problem of law enforcement viewing all civilians as suspects.

Good. When you are King you can define that necessity.

And, the increasing paramilitary status of the doughnut eaters is troublesome too.

Man, I just can't understand why cops might disrespect you?

Why all the military paraphernalia and equipment?

Uhm....maybe because without it these days cops wind up like Officer Sean Collins, shot dead sitting in his patrol car, wearing his regular police uniform.

Oh, I get it...you want cops chasing guys with guns and bombs to just wear jeans and tee shirts. Hell of an idea that.

Hagar said...

He may get a promise of compensation. Whether he lives to actually see it is another question.

Shanna said...

There need to be clear standards on what is and isn't allowed when searching a house (anything that destroys needlessly should not be allowed). Anyone who violates those rules needs to be punished, up to and including firing and being sued.

Æthelflæd said...

Aridog said...
"No no no...pay attention! The threat is paramilitary activity in Boston! What is wrong with you people?"

It is all of a piece, Aridog.

edutcher said...

And they've shutdown some place in CA to look for a missing kid.

As I said after the "election", Constitutional rights has become a contact sport.

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't put this in the post: but my mind went straight to the question: What kind of "artwork" did he have? (Velvet Elvises?)

Does it matter?

Really?

Balfegor said...

Re: TML:

What are the responsibilities of law enforcement in searches? Obviously, here, not a level of respect and decency commensurate with the prevailing notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. maybe that doesn't count anymore.

Yes -- your house shouldn't look like it was ransacked by movie mobsters after the police get through with you. You'd think that, just as a matter of basic professional competence, they ought to be a bit more meticulous about the search process too, since exactly where and in what condition evidence is found could potentially be important for the investigation. Did they videotape or otherwise take before and after photos to record their search?

TML said...

Tim, it seems that we now need Dept of Education and FDA SWAT teams. Nothing about this surprises or shocks me. Bigger, larger unionized police forces everywhere. We allow it to happen and then are stunned when it does. I've gone from trusting the police 20 years ago to not trusting them at all anymore. Pretty drastic change for me to have to admit. But I've seen too much abuse and bureaucracy and idiocy to change me. Makes me sad and worried.

Seeing Red said...

We watch L&O SVU reruns in our house and I certainly have changed my perspective over the years.

It's troubling.

aronamos said...

Captain Renault to Rick in "Casablanca," on the search of the cafe: "I told Strasser that he wouldn't find the letters here. But I told my men to be especially destructive. You know how that impresses Germans."

Amartel said...

Police State is fine as long as it's a Progressive Police State.

No worries!

virgil xenophon said...

I'm investing in a hobnail boots factory..

Sam L. said...

Not velvet Elvises. Musta been those Keene kids with the big eyes.

virgil xenophon said...

On a serious note, KATRINA was my revelation--everyone should Google "Hurricane Katrina Fire-arms Confiscation" (too lazy/drunk to link) and watch them physically throw a 70-yr-old female to the floor in her own home and drag her away even as armed "thugs"
(gotta be PC here) are raiding homes all over town.

Rob said...

They should throw the book at the current arrestee, Dutschke, if for no other reason than that he has a MySpace page.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: And remember, after lawful N.O. firearms owners took the city to court to establish a) such seizure was illegal , and, b) get court to require the return of their weapons--and won at the SOCTUS level--the city found that it had somehow "lost" 2/3rds of the seized weapons..

Larry J said...

virgil xenophon said...
I'm investing in a hobnail boots factory..


That wouldn't be a good idea. As a joke that I read in 1978 pointed out:

Q: What's the difference between liberals and fascists?

A: Liberals don't wear jackboots.

ken in sc said...

The Federal Tort Claims Act should cover this. If the Air Force crashes a plane on your property, the first or second person to show up is an Air Force Jag officer with the forms to make a claim.

CatherineM said...

Aridog - I don't know how you can take someone's objection to the militarization of local police as wishing them to be at the mercy of lunatics. I would like every policeman to have a bullet proof vest and hat/helmet, but I am against them busting down a door, using flash bombs and killing family dogs all for a pound of pot. Or worse, they break down the door, kill dogs, terrorize children only to find they had the wrong house. This happens far too often and leaves the impression that they are careless.

In NYC they have a motto on the cars - CPR, Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect. In the last few years, I have seen little of that here and if you tear apart a suspects house? I see little of it there too.

Besides, if you thought this guy was such a nutjob that he sent ricin to the POTUS, wouldn't you be more CAREFUL while searching the house in case it had explosives or more deadly poisons? It seems not only did the police lack "CPR" in this case, they used poor judgment when it comes to their own safety.

Cedarford said...

Why all the military paraphernalia and equipment?

Aridog - "Uhm....maybe because without it these days cops wind up like Officer Sean Collins, shot dead sitting in his patrol car, wearing his regular police uniform".

Police "Heroes" are pretty keen on Show of Force Theater.

And the excesses do need to be questioned.

1. Why 9,000 paramilitary, city shut down and people told to shut inside their houses with implication that anyone outside the homes, even unarmed, would be targeted by the "Heroes" All when they could have sent tracker dogs and a single SWAT squad to follow the blood and scent trail of the bleeding, wounded suspect 24 hours earlier?

2. Considering they failed to use dogs and a single 4-man squad to find the guy, the 9000 Heroes and all their armored vehicles and planes failed and it was an alert citizen that located the Islamoid..should things be reconsidered?

3. Will the Heroes do similar 9,000 man "Show of Force Theater" costing 50-60 million each time a non-cop is killed by a presumed armed and dangerous suspect ? No? Why? Are government employees lives better than those of the proles?

4. Apparantly the "Heroes" riddled the boat and nearby houses with bullets despite the suspect being unarmed and basically lying in the bottom of a boat, bleeding.. Head Cop Heroes call it "sympathetic gunfire" explaining the neighborhood and boat being hosed down with 40-60 cop pistol bullets and rifle rounds.
Can anyone say that the "lockdown" was really voluntary. I think people wisely stayed in not from fear of the Terrahist Evildoer, but fear trigger happy cops were going to shoot at anyone in public not in Hero Uniforms.

5. Apparantly guns were waved in the faces of some homeowners that hesitated to consent to the Heroes coming in and combing their homes.

6. Apparantly, there was similar negligence like with the Elvis impersonator, about property of owners..some homes were tossed good by the "Heroes" doing door to door searches, sheds and garages had doors or windows broken by the "hero" cops. There was also some confrontation between cops and critical services workers (medical, utility, EMTs) who were non-"heroes".

Not saying I expect perfection and a dead cop and a bombing suspect on the run realistically will generate more police involvement than 3 dead restaurant employees and finding the black thug shooter...but the questions of "Heroes of Security" excesses need to be able to be freely discussed without people getting huffy and declaring "How DARE you Question the Heroes Who Keep Us All Safe, the Brave Who Run Towards Danger While Mere Civilians Run From It!"


CatherineM said...

Agree with Cedarford.

Also note that United 93, the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber and the boston bomber were all civilian prevention or the reason for capture. Yet Napolitano declaires, "the system worked."

Really, they shut down a city and supposedly comb a small neighborhood and it's after they remove the "hide in place" a civilian finds the guy a few blocks away from the shoot out the night before.

CatherineM said...

Another example? The recent "Rogue LA Cop" disaster that ended in Big Bear. LA Cops unloaded on a truck that was the wrong make, wrong model, the wrong color, ridding the truck and two women with bullets (the wrong gender and wrong sex) as the women were delivering newspapers. Thank fully the women survived. The cops? Paid leave.

CatherineM said...

I meant to say wrong ethnicity and wrong sex.

CEO-MMP said...

I really hate having to agree with CFudd.

Ari, you're letting your blue tinted specs blind you, I think. But we've gone around about this before with nothing gained.

As someone who's been a victim of some overzealous copness (for absolutely no reason, and said cop was dressed down by his sergeant--but by then the abuse had already happened, and on a public street in the middle of the day no less), I can say for a fact that there are far, far too many cops these days who're getting their jollies by being the equivalent of internet tough guys.

James Pawlak said...

KRISTAQLLNACHT

Big Mike said...

@Aridog, purely as a matter of interest, when did the police decide that ordinary American citizens are the enemy, instead of the people they are sworn to serve and protect? Because there's no question in my mind that this attitude shift is real, and I am troubled by it.

Mark Jones said...

I recommend that every search warrant be served with a blank (signed) check from the treasurer of whichever jurisdiction approved the search. The homeowner is then entitled to fill in whatever amount is necessary to repair/replace the damaged or destroyed property. If he chooses to, maybe, replace his working tv with something a little better, well, that's the price of freedom. Or something like that. (Or the government can ask for a trial and present evidence--if they have any, specifically excluding the unsupported word of the cops--that the tv was working when they got there and working when they left. Otherwise, shut up and pay up.)

That might curb such behavior just a little.

Aridog said...

Big Mike said...

@Aridog, purely as a matter of interest, when did the police decide that ordinary American citizens are the enemy, instead of the people they are sworn to serve and protect?

About the same time the people, of which they are part of and come from, decided cops are the enemy. Or are cops hatched and bred off site?

Because there's no question in my mind that this attitude shift is real, and I am troubled by it.

So am I. Are you also troubled thinking about what has changed in our society to cause such a shift?

Aridog said...

CEO-MMP said...

Ari, you're letting your blue tinted specs blind you, I think.

What are blue tinted specs and how do they effect my point of view?

Aridog said...

Cedarford said ...

Police "Heroes" are ...

What is it with you and the term "heroes?" That appears to be your ultimate insult. It certainly is the reason I read nothing you write beyond citation of that term.

Big Mike said...

Are you also troubled thinking about what has changed in our society to cause such a shift?

Hell yes. But I will be blunt about saying that for nearly all of us we don't see cops as the enemy. Or we didn't, until the police decided that kicking down the door of people in the middle of the night is just good tactics.

Big Mike said...

I didn't put this in the post: but my mind went straight to the question: What kind of "artwork" did he have? (Velvet Elvises?)

That level of snark is unworthy of you, Madam, utterly unworthy.

CEO-MMP said...

Blue tinted specs. Like rose colored glasses only worn by those in the "thin blue line".

I get that you think cops are wonderful, and even if they ever were to make a mistake, it's okay because they're cops and are serving the public etc. I think that covers it more or less?

But like I said, we've gone over this already. Doing it again won't change either of our minds. Have a pleasant evening!

CEO-MMP said...

So am I. Are you also troubled thinking about what has changed in our society to cause such a shift?


Sure enough. But the little town next to my little town has a full auto M4 in each of their 4 cruisers. The biggest crime in recent memory was when a bunch of kids from a private school had a party at one of the parents vacation house.

Why the firepower?

To be like all the big city cops they see on tv?

TWM said...

Been on a ton of searches with the Bureau, a couple of which including terrorism allegations. Never once saw them do this. The one search that I was on where property was damaged - a K-9 soiling the carpet - was cleaned at the government's expense.

No, I'm saying photos or it didn't happen.

Bryan C said...

What happened is that cops decided that the safety of cops trumps just about everything else. At that point they stopped caring, institutionally, about inconveniences like civil liberties or property rights.

I don't want cops, or anyone else, to be hurt or killed unnecessarily, but putting other people in danger and treating their fellow citizens like their inferiors because they're unable to cope with their job is not an acceptable alternative.

Aridog said...

CEO-MMP said ...

Have a pleasant evening!

Same to you. I am only sorry that among some of us here we can't seem to define what turned our police forces paramilitary.

My bias is that I was born and bred in Detroit, when many of my buddies were becoming cops I became a soldier. As a tactic, surprise and overwhelming force is prudent (even the mild Gen Colin Powell would agree) and somehow it became prudent for police as well. Based upon my local experience I know why it did here, but I can't really fathom why in other places, unlike Detroit in so many ways, why it happened as well.

Aridog said...

TWM said...

No, I'm saying photos or it didn't happen.

I must agree with that.

There have been tragic missteps in various places, but this *war story* meme pops up entirely too quickly....almost like an unwritten gospel. As with any charge, I'd like to see the evidence.

Kirk Parker said...

"Agree with Cedarford."

Dear G*d, what's this world coming to?

kentuckyliz said...

I have cheesy paintings hung up that a cop with taste would gladly knife up, thinking some art needs rippin'.

They were painted by english great aunties who used to lead painting tours in different places in the world early 20th c. I have a photo of them in proper English dress, covered neck to ankle, inthe heat of the Arican bush.

These were shtrong women. I love those cheesy paintings. They are rare precious crumbs of family history that have survived and made it over here to us.

So, Madame blogress, are you in the "this art needs rippin'" camp?

Or do you acknowledge that entirely apart from taste, people might be quite emotionally attached to their stuff?