Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games Idle News

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."

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cops Play Wii During Undercover Drug Raid

Comments Filter:
  • 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.

      • I kinda think that was a given, AC.
        Seems like a good idea to me. People aren't as God-fearing as they used to be, but now we have the tech to make sure the ones in power _are_ constantly watched by higher-powers now.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:12PM (#29517853)
        This presents an interesting argument: in the vast majority of communities across the US, police officers are always considered "on-duty" ... that is, they are allowed to carry a concealed weapon, make arrests, etc. during "personal" hours. Since they are still exercising their powers, it seems that they should be monitored 24x7, even if "off duty".
        • No, they are not always considered on duty, otherwise they would always be in uniform.

          They are not "still exercising their powers;" it's just that they retain the ability to exercise them in the case where they see something illegal in the same way that an EMT retains his ability to help out in medical emergencies. If I'm not mistaken, they (police) don't have the same legal protections when doing police work while off-duty, nor are they acting as a representative of the police while doing off-duty things

          • by Ironica (124657)

            No, they are not always considered on duty, otherwise they would always be in uniform.

            They are not "still exercising their powers;" it's just that they retain the ability to exercise them in the case where they see something illegal in the same way that an EMT retains his ability to help out in medical emergencies. If I'm not mistaken, they (police) don't have the same legal protections when doing police work while off-duty, nor are they acting as a representative of the police while doing off-duty things like going to the bar, making love to their wives or, yes, playing Wii Sports.

            You *do* know that in TFA, the officers playing Wii Sports were on duty in the middle of conducting a raid?

    • 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.

      • by retchdog (1319261)

        My imagination is failing me.

        How could this be used to advantage by the defense?

        • by mypalmike (454265)

          My imagination is failing me. How could this be used to advantage by the defense?

          Try imagining the fourth amendment. It unambiguously requires a warrant to describe specifically what is to be searched. I'm quite sure the Wii was not mentioned in the warrant.

          • by 2names (531755)
            Precisely. The officers' use of the Wii could technically be considered a seizure, but, IANAL, so can someone who knows a bit more please elaborate? Thanks in advance.
            • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
              They probably also used the floors to stand on.
            • by nomadic (141991)
              Precisely. The officers' use of the Wii could technically be considered a seizure, but, IANAL, so can someone who knows a bit more please elaborate? Thanks in advance.

              I think it probably could be considered a seizure, but since nothing evidentiary was gained from it I don't think a defense attorney can use it too much. Maybe, if the judge allowed it in, he could use it to sort-of attack the credibility of the officers involved, but that's kind of doubtful. Then again, IAAL, but not a criminal defense o
          • Try imagining the fourth amendment. It unambiguously requires a warrant to describe specifically what is to be searched. I'm quite sure the Wii was not mentioned in the warrant.

            So, how about if they sat on the couch, or used the bathroom? Does that count as them "seizing" the couch, or "seizing" the toilet paper? And does that invalidate the entire search warrant? No. Flat out, no. They didn't "seize" the Wii any more than they "seized" the front door when they opened it or "seized" the floor by using it
            • by Golddess (1361003)

              So, how about if they sat on the couch, or used the bathroom?

              I don't know about "seizing", but surely it could count as contaminating a crime scene?

              No, seriously. Personally I'm not really sure why GP brought up the 4th amendment, as a defense lawyer would probably have a better chance at arguing that by "goofing off", the chain of evidence was broken, so any evidence gathered is suspect.

              Hell, even the 3rd amendment would probably be easier to argue for than the 4th. But IANAL.

          • by retchdog (1319261)

            If the Wii doesn't have any evidence, then there is nothing to exclude.

            I don't think that warrants get voided en toto, due to one (rather trivial) error. Even if it's argued that the Wii was "seized", does this mean anything at all, since there was no evidence on it (nor much expectation for there to be)?

          • by natehoy (1608657)

            I imagine the warrant covered the premises, of which the Wii was most certainly a part. It would have no material effect on the submitted evidence, but it might be embarrassing enough to the police that the DA might want to take a pretty lenient plea bargain to keep the tape from being shown in the courtroom, because that lack of professionalism would speak volumes about character to a jury.

            Plus, the cops can always say that they didn't understand this technical mumbo-jumbo and thought the drugs might be h

        • Just read the article (the actual article [tbo.com] rather than the linked blog); this is already being used by the defense attorney to claim the whole search should be invalidated:

          Not just inappropriate, but Tampa defense attorney Rick Escobar would argue the moment detectives turned on that video game and effectively seized it, they turned the search warrant into an illegal search.

          "I've never seen anything like this," Escobar said after he viewed some of the video. Escobar does not represent Difalco and has no conn

        • 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 Ironica (124657)

          My imagination is failing me.

          How could this be used to advantage by the defense?

          Ok, I'm not a lawyer, I just hang out with lawyers sometimes... but...

          How about tainting the warrant by arguing that the *real* reason the cops wanted in the guy's house when he wasn't there was to play with his toys? Especially if the probable cause is at all weak or disputable, the attorney *might* be able to get the warrant thrown out, thus invalidating all evidence gathered.

      • Not a problem on a global scale which /. would be...
    • So I guess you aren't against any company installing security cameras and keyboard loggers to make sure their employees don't goof on on company time. I may pay a cops salary through taxes, but I also pay a developer's salary when I buy software. I should have the RIGHT to make sure the developers aren't posting on /. on company time.
  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:13PM (#29516807) Homepage Journal
    Hey, don't hate the player, hate the game.
  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:16PM (#29516859) Journal

    Might have been able to pass it off as Physical training on the job.

  • by vehicle tracking (1357065) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:24PM (#29516959) Homepage
    Having been a police officer for five years, I can comment on this one. I support the job they do when it's done right, but this is completely unacceptable. These officers should be suspended for this. Unfortunately, this kind of stuff, and worse, happens every day. There are a few bad apples in every department. We need more whistle blowers out there.
    • by sopssa (1498795) *

      On an interesting question, how many police officers play Grand Theft Auto?

    • --We need more whistle blowers out there.--

      What good would that do without oversight? But anyhow, I don't think he will get out of it just for videoing that. He'll just get 15 minutes of fame. The real question that I have to ask that I didn't se an answer for: Did he give them permission to play or not?

      Can the defense now get the search thrown out because of it? If so, then no they didn't do their job right. I'm really hoping that there is less "bad apples" among the police than there is among the general

      • by Ironica (124657)

        The real question that I have to ask that I didn't se an answer for: Did he give them permission to play or not?

        As he was being detained elsewhere at the time, I doubt it. But maybe so. Maybe the cops on the scene called in to wherever he was being detained and asked him "Mind if we bowl a few rounds while we're here?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      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.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Thanks for doing your good job and taking it seriously. There are some really good cops like you in every city and town in the country, and that's important to remember whenever a story like this comes up.

      As a serious question, do internal affairs squads help prevent this sort of thing? Are there other official measures besides whistleblowers that can help? And what do you recommend the general public do to stop the bad cops that doesn't put good cops at risk?

  • cops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BigHungryJoe (737554)

    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.

    • 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 netruner (588721)
        I don't know what country you are from, and /. does have readers from many countries, but in my country there are 3 sections of government that presumably operate in a "checks and balances" configuration. The cops are not the lowest on the ladder - they are the Executive branch, whose check on the Legislative branch is to say: "No, I won't enforce that ridiculous law". The remaining branch is the Judicial, whose check on the Executive is to say: "there was no law broken here - leave that man alone".

        When
      • Re:cops (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:29PM (#29521239)

        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.

        You're missing a key point. Legalise marijuana and at least 25-35% of all North American police officers will be redundant. They are fighting for their jobs.

        In Canada there is only one association of legal professionals who oppose decriminalisation. Guess who? Yup, the police associations.

        So yes, they are to blame.

        Ask any dealer how many times they have purchased confiscated material. They have us coming and going. I also happens to provide a convenient excuse for discrediting people whose political views upset the status-quo. Enforcement is totally at the option of the police. Don't you see anything wrong with that?

        Marijuana use is so common that they have the option to cherry pick their victims. The intention is not to eliminate marijuana use. It is to exploit it.

        This kind of short-sightedness depresses me and tells me that this device of oppression will not be defeated without violent revolution.

        CARNIVORE that you fuckers. They know we're not going to take this forever, but the only language they understand is blood. So let it be theirs.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

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

        That's true. And as an example of how it can work, the Travis County Sheriff's Department lobbied for a Texas law that would allow them to simply write tickets for misdemeanor possession rather than having to arrest the off

    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      And you realize that no matter what you say, you're a pimply fat dude who lives in his parents' basement and has only been laid by his right hand.

      Turn about is fair play.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sponga (739683)

      Actually, the guy was running a chop shop and had a house of stolen goods that will easily be traceable.

      These are the scumbags who collect all the stuff from your car that had its window smashed in to grab that thing that is worth $5, still doesn't justify this though. Although this happens all the time where officers go through these drug deals houses and they have all the latest expensive gadgets and toys.

      Although to be truthful, I have seen silly stuff like this even on the show COPS. I remember they did

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

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

      That falls into the same category as believing the earth is flat or only 6,000 years old. It's horseshit.

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

      Ah. Now I understand - you think it's unethical to enforce the law, and thus those who enforce the law must be bullies.

      • Ah. Now I understand - you think it's unethical to enforce the law, and thus those who enforce the law must be bullies.

        Is it ethical to enforce an unethical law?

  • 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.
    • Sorry grammar nazis, *PUNISH 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.

      • Unless it gets a jury in which case it goes to people seriously worse than the /. average.
      • 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.

        Replace "court of law" with "corporate lobbyists and corrupt judges," and you'll be correct. Every law should be criticized and scrutinized. Every arrest should be investigated. Remember innocent before proven guilty?

    • 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?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SeeSp0tRun (1270464)
        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.
      • We know because there is a camera there. Also, picking up a Wii controller and bowling a couple frames does not suggest that the same officer planted drugs or stole money from the alleged (you're welcome Mickey) criminals. The burden of proof is not on the officer to say he DIDN'T do those things. The burden is on the alleged (you're welcome Mickey) criminal to prove that he wasn't dealing the drugs they found (or didn't find - you're welcome Mickey) in the home.
        • 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?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by VeNoM0619 (1058216)

      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.

      This is akin to arresting you and taking your car out for a joyride spin. Sure you can argue they waste gas for the car, but they wasted electricity for their entertainment.

      Besides, this is unlawful search. I would like to think that unless they had a warrant for this specific task, they could NOT search digital devices. Seeing how it was a drug deal, they could only search physical items (like maybe take apart the wii at the very worst case, but they could NOT digitally open it, or go through all their m

    • by Artifakt (700173)

      What if one of the cops who violated procedure was also in custody of the evidence at some point. Maybe he didn't follow procedure there either? If you were on the jury for this case, would you still take that particular cop's word over the supposed perp's? Would you, knowing the cop either wilfully ignores proper procedure, or is so poorly trained he ignores it randomly?
      It's not a case of a lesser sentence, it's a case of complete acquittal if conviction rests on these particular cop

    • 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.

      The fourth amendment requires otherwise.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        The fourth amendment requires otherwise.

        Only if the only evidence they got was from the wii, and it was not listed on the search warrant.
  • 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.
  • According to the Engadget story [engadget.com] the Wii bowling session lasted 9 hours. That's pretty excessive. I bet someone woke up with a sore arm the next day.
  • Looks like the dealer... .... [series of long dramatic pauses] .... ...had more than weed up his sleeve. (Yeeeeeahhhhhh!!)
  • Wii Sports is a lot of fun... and a lot of good cops have fallen to its dangerous and seductive powers. What can society do when Wii is in the hands of the very people sent out to protect us from it?

  • Maybe . . . (Score:5, Funny)

    by jointm1k (591234) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:39PM (#29518327)
    Maybe they were on strike.
  • Wii (Score:2, Funny)

    by xednieht (1117791)
    the new Crack
  • ..and the guy controlling the camera was arrested, then why is the camera seeming to move whilst the Wii game is played ? Scroll to 2:10 in the raw video here [tbo.com] and then back to the start ; I don't remember seeing the ceiling in the first frames, and it doesn't seem particularly zoomed in in those first frames, so why is the ceiling there at 2:10, unless the camera was moved ?

    Seems fishy to me.
  • It this gets the case thrown out, then all a drug dealer needs to do is put a couple of fresh boxes of doughnuts on the table in his place and put a hidden camera on it.
  • An ex-cop I know once told me that during a search they would compete with each other to see who could find the vibrator first. Apparently there was always, without fail, a vibrator somewhere in every home.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.

Working...