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Cops Play Wii During Undercover Drug Raid 251

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-250-average-doesn't-just-happen dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Guns drawn, cops busted down the door of a suspected south Florida drug dealer, then proceeded to kick some ass on Wii bowling. A security cam captured some playing video games while others searched for drugs and weapons. Clearly they just misunderstood when they were told to search the house for Weed."

*

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Cops Play Wii During Undercover Drug Raid

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  • by Killer Orca (1373645) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:09PM (#29516745)
    I think a couple of police officers getting paid to goof off is the least of our problems with the police in general here in the U.S. Things like corruption, abuse of power, illegal searches, etc. are of more concern to me. Personally I think that when you become a police officer you agree to be monitored 24/7 and have all the video/ transcripts made publicly available.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:10PM (#29516769)

    Monitored while on duty is fine. Off-duty, no way. Officers aren't slaves and they can have a personal life.

  • cops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BigHungryJoe (737554) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:30PM (#29517069) Homepage

    I think most people realize that cops are just bullies fulfilling their dream of getting paid to be a bully.

    Not only that, but anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics.

  • by Stenchwarrior (1335051) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:34PM (#29517135)
    This will be a good test of our juctice system (cough) to see if the drug dealers get a lesser sentence because of some completely un-related shenannigans. I'm not saying the officers shouldn't be reprimanded to acting unprofessionally but this should in no way affect a judge's decision as how to punch the criminals.
  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:36PM (#29517179) Homepage Journal

    If they are criminals. Remember in the U.S. that is determined by a court of law, not bozos like us reading summaries of news reports.

  • by The Moof (859402) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:37PM (#29517201)

    a couple of police officers getting paid to goof off

    This isn't like the library staff caught playing Rock Band. These were investigators at the scene of a drug raid playing a Wii owned by the person being arrested while evidence was being collected on the premesis. This could potentially be a pretty big problem. A defense lawyer could use this to their advantage when attempting to invalidate the evidence collected.

  • Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:39PM (#29517247)

    Slacking off every once and a while is one thing. The police chief even admitted that most house searches have "downtime." Still, playing Wii Bowling for 9 hours is a bit excessive.

  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:42PM (#29517293) Journal
    This must be more of that "New Professionalism [cato-at-liberty.org]" that Scalia was fantasizing about.
  • by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:49PM (#29517435) Homepage

    So their jobs are stressful. So what? Mine is too. But I don't come in and check out a GOV for joy-riding. Nor do I go to the lab and fire up the lasers to burn smiley faces on things. And those are government assets - Abusing personal assets is far worse.

    You wanna play Wii? Fine - Buy one or befriend somebody who has one. Breaking into somebody's house (warrant or no) is NOT grounds for just playing around with their stuff.

    Should this invalidate evidence found on the premises? Hell no. Should those officers be suspended for taking control of and playing with property that was completely aside from the investigation? Hell yes. They're probably short of theft, but if they're just playing in the guy's house - Charge 'em with trespassing.

  • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert AT chromablue DOT net> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:51PM (#29517475)
    Because their search warrant was for search of premises and an arrest warrant for suspect, not to "chill out after a hard day and play suspect's video game system"?

    Are you dense?

    Here's an analogy, I'm an EMT. If I come to your premises, after /you/ call 911, and you decide you don't want treatment, but I think "No, this guy's messed up, I'll just have a look at this", I'm committing criminal assault and battery. If I stick around in your house, after, you can call 911 again, and have me arrested for trespass. Let alone pull up a pew and decide I'm going to have a few games of Wii Bowling, especially against your consent.

    I am staggered that you think the real issue here is that the suspect thinks that this is inappropriate or unacceptable behavior. Don't even start me on "after doing their highly stressful job". So what? You go back to the station, to your home, you don't de-stress there. How could you ever think that was acceptable? Maybe they should have pulled a few brews out of the fridge too? Hell, maybe rolled themselves a joint from the evidence!

  • Re:cops (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:54PM (#29517521)

    Know that whole 'protect and serve' thing? You don't think that maybe the majority of cops are in it for that? Obviously a field of work like law enforcement is a draw to power hungry bastards, but you may as well say that all soldiers serving in the military signed up solely to carry a gun and shoot people. There are, of course, a small percentage of soldiers that might apply to - but the majority of soldiers are there because they believe they are helping to keep our country safe. (except for blackwater or whatever its new name is - mercenaries are mercenaries and can only be in it for money and power. I mean soldiers - those people who volunteer to serve our country whatever the circumstance)

  • by zero0ne (1309517) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:54PM (#29517525) Journal

    Look, the cops have a job to do, and that is uphold the law. they are NOT supposed to interpret it how they see fit, but uphold the currently written law.

    If they can't execute a drug raid to the tee of their procedures (IE NOT using the suspects property), then they should get reprimanded and the suspect should have the charges dropped.

    If the cop can't follow one simple procedure (playing Wii in a suspects premise during a raid is NOT part of their job duties at all), who is to say they are doing the rest of their job correctly?

    How do we know they didn't plant the drugs there? how do we know they didn't steal some of his money or his weed?

  • by vehicle tracking (1357065) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:55PM (#29517545) Homepage
    It's Wii this time. Next time it will be something more serious.
  • Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:59PM (#29517633)

    Which of the laws are ridiculous? I kind of like the laws against theft, murder, rape and other things.

  • Re:cops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Golias (176380) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:02PM (#29517681)

    Which part of smoking pot is the part that makes it worth criminalizing?

    The part where we are a democratic country full of stuffy neo-puritans.

    Statistically, a majority of Americans have tried pot.
    Also, a majority of Americans are opposed to legalization.

    Which means there are a significant number of assholes in this country who think it's perfectly fine if they use pot and get away with it, but YOU should go to jail if you get caught doing the same thing.

    Most libertarian crackpots like me are painfully aware that "live and let live" is not actually a majority philosophy, and we've got an uphill battle to sell our political views to the rest of society.

  • Re:cops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:07PM (#29517771)

    >Not only that, but anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics.

    The police are the enforcers of the law. It blows my mind that people blame the lowest guy on the ladder for laws and policies. Joe Cop isnt writing state and federal law. Considering you are in a democracy you are just as guilty as anyone else for these laws being in existance. Perhaps having a scapegoat makes you feel better about yourself, but youre 100% wrong to target the police on these matters.

    If you ever got off your high horse and talked to some cops you might have many share the same attitudes you do.

    What about some basic personal responsibility? If owning pot is such a legal nightmare that it can ruin your life if arrested, as you state, why dont these people move to countries where it is legal instead of pretending they have immunity and then blaming the police for getting caught?

  • by SeeSp0tRun (1270464) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:13PM (#29517877) Journal
    Having the charges dropped is ludicrous. Because they played his gaming system does NOT invalidate the paraphernalia they were searching for and seized. This is an after-the-fact issue, that should be dealt with by internal affairs.
  • by mypalmike (454265) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:14PM (#29517895) Homepage

    After entering a premises and doing their highly stressful job, they played some Wii. Big Whoop. The real story is that attorney are trying to say this counts a seizing property. That's the abuse here.

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    That's the word on the street anyhow. Also known as the fourth amendment of the US Constitution. Entering someone's private residence with a warrant is serious business. There's a time to blow off steam, but it's not during the execution of a search warrant.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:22PM (#29518047)

    I think there are more then a few or at least the bad apples cluster together, before you can get more whistle bowers you need an environment where it is ok to blow whistles. Although this is bad behavior and coming from the private sector myself I would say they should get fired not suspend for such actions, but for someone to risk the quality of their life, harassment from other cops, Possible retribution, etc... It would need to be more serious then cops playing video games when they should be working.

  • Re:cops (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:37PM (#29518295)

    What about some basic personal responsibility? If owning pot is such a legal nightmare that it can ruin your life if arrested, as you state, why dont these people move to countries where it is legal instead of pretending they have immunity and then blaming the police for getting caught?

    The same reason the North didn't up and leave instead of fighting the civil war. Running away is not the right way to fight unjust laws.

  • Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stdarg (456557) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:46PM (#29518495)

    If cops put the same effort into those laws as they do into useless laws, it would be a better world. Why do they bust "johns" who hire prostitutes, and not go after the pimps who coerce and abuse the prostitutes? Why do they spend thousands of man hours setting up undercover drug operations, and not thousands of hours infiltrating gangs that go around raping and murdering?

    When it comes to the good laws against rape, murder, theft, etc, the police are almost 100% REactive. With bullshit like drugs and prostitution the cops become PROactive.

    I know street cops don't get to set policy at that level. I think it's understood that when people complain about cops and laws, they're including the whole system, of which cops are the face.

  • by zero0ne (1309517) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:18PM (#29519041) Journal

    No it's not ludicrous.

    The Officers were NOT doing their jobs correctly, not following procedures, etc.

    If the police officers did NOT include their usage of the Wii on their raid report or whatever it would be called, that is example #1 of the police officers not reporting exactly what they did.

    If they lied about that, who is to say they haven't lied before in other cases or other parts of the report for this one?

  • by Alaren (682568) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:18PM (#29519051)

    No. A slippery slope argument can be fallacious. Inductive reasoning is not necessarily (in the formal sense) wrong. An argument that takes the form of a formal fallacy is demonstrably wrong, but arguments both good and bad take the form of informal fallacy all the time. And it would be nice if more Slashdot readers realized this before thinking they'd delivered a devastating blow to an argument by pointing out that some informal fallacy might be in play.

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:44PM (#29519405)

    The defending attorney simply claims that this proves the police were either poorly trained, or often deliberately went against training. Then the prosecution is caught in a forking argument where trying to prove the police aren't incompetent makes them look wilfully malicious instead, and vice versa. Anything else a cop says afterwards that relates to following procedures, why should the jury believe them?
          Here, let me nudge your imagination. Under defense cross-exam, a police witness says "I took all the seized narcotics directly to the evidence room. I watched as the evidence locker custodian weighed the drugs, and logged the ticket showing that weight, and made sure he gave me a copy for the record book." The attorney simply asks "Is that standard procedure?". "Yes". The defense attorney than says "Are you sure you know standard procedure - Earlier, with the Wii, you indicated you didn't?.", and maybe makes closing remarks about how the police have flip-flopped on how well they follow procedure to where their testimony is 'deeply flawed'.
          Alternately, the attorney asks "And do you always follow procedure?" knowing that the policeman in question has already admitted he didn't with the Wii, and is going to have to say "No." or perjure himself.
          That last is one of the biggest advantages possible for the defense if they can get it. It's great to cross-examine witnesses who are constantly worried they are going to sink their careers, make their whole department look like fools when the press gets hold of it, or actually get themselves charged with perjury (although the last is very rare for cops, even if occasionally deserved.).
            Those particular cops can expect to be cross examined at least twice as long as the others, and if the defense is any good they will pounce on anything else said that can be used to make it worse for the prosecution. That's another advantage for the defense - they already know of some witnesses that are particularly likely to screw up, and to look bad to the jury.

  • by lorenlal (164133) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @03:34PM (#29520199)

    Actually, I commend you on solid negotiation, and getting away with it. He could've agreed to the trade, and given you the speeding ticket anyway.

  • by Achromatic1978 (916097) <robert AT chromablue DOT net> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @06:33PM (#29523161)
    Bad analogy? What part of the concept of personal and private property do you not understand? You have a specific warrant, and are permitted on the premises for that purpose ONLY. It is not a carte blanche to play video games, to raid the fridge.

    You can bet your ass if my chief found that I had done similar, I would be looking for a new job.

    What relevance does his Wii have to their ability to execute the warrant? None. Ergo you have no right to do as you wish beyond the scope of the warrant. You are on private premises without consent, a right only granted you by virtue of the court allowing a warrant. Like my mention of me being an EMT - even if you call 911, it doesn't necessarily grant me access to your property. Why do you think a warrant is needed in the first place? Because one of the tenets of our society is that property is sacrosanct unless something makes it worthy of forfeit.

    That means you don't goof off and do whatever the hell you feel like. For 9 minutes or 9 hours.

    What if it was someone else's property? A housemate? What if it was broken?

  • Re:cops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brooklynoid (656617) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @07:48PM (#29523823)
    You said: Statistically, a majority of Americans have tried pot. Also, a majority of Americans are opposed to legalization. Which means there are a significant number of assholes in this country who think it's perfectly fine if they use pot and get away with it, but YOU should go to jail if you get caught doing the same thing.

    Have you considered the possibility the majority of Americans who've tried pot and are now opposed to legalization are opposed because they've come to the conclusion that it should be illegal as a result of their experiences with it and not because they're assholes?

    Just a thought.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:42PM (#29524525)

    Suspension is basically meaningless...they need to be permanently barred from public service. That should be the standard punishment for all public servant infractions.

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