Textbook Case of Police Retaliation

Textbook Case of Police Retaliation September 21, 2011

Via Balko, as usual, here’s an appalling story of police retaliation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2009, an informant who worked for the police there admitted that he had helped an officer frame a father and daughter for drug trafficking, leading to their release from prison. They are now suing for wrongful imprisonment and another daughter testified on their behalf in the case and in a corruption trial against the officer.

Not only did the informant testify that he had lied about a drug deal that never took place, a former ATF agent testified that he had helped them frame the father and daughter as well. The officers were acquitted in criminal trials but remain suspended and the civil trial is still going on. Two weeks after the second daughter testified, the police stormed her house and arrested her on several misdemeanor traffic warrants.

Five Tulsa police officers – including one who accidentally fired his weapon – served misdemeanor traffic warrants and arrested a key witness Thursday in a police corruption lawsuit against the city.

The officer who fired his weapon is under internal investigation, and police refused to release his name.

Kelie D. Barnes, 32, was arrested Thursday on outstanding municipal warrants, Tulsa Jail records show.

Barnes’ warrants are all misdemeanors involving failure to wear a seat belt, expired tag, no proof of insurance, no driver’s license and speeding, according to jail records.

Yeah, because it’s perfectly normal to send five armed officers to bust down someone’s door and arrest them on traffic tickets. It has nothing at all to do with trying to intimidate her or retaliating against her for testifying against her, nosireebob. Nothing to see here, move along.

""...It’s just like when you cast a demon out of a person, which I’ve done ..."

Wallnau: God Says Trump Will Win ..."
"Yeah, they're supposed to bend over in the name of 'bipartisanship'.I'm kinda surprised they didn't ..."

Trump Undermines His Argument for a ..."
"... which his own fucking republicans wouldn't give him when they had the majority."

Trump Undermines His Argument for a ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • unbound

    “The officer who fired his weapon is under internal investigation, and police refused to release his name.”

    Er, why are all of the officers involved not being investigated by IA?

    To your point Ed, since when do traffic tickets warrant the police breaking down your door? Or is that normal police procedure for Tulsa?

  • dugglebogey

    Accidentally my ass. He fired his weapon to intimidate her, and is using “accidental discharge” as an excuse when the shit hit the fan.

  • Ben P

    I’m of two minds about this.

    On one side, it’s pretty clear this is flat out intimidation and I don’t think anything short of a top down housecleaning in the police department is sufficient to remedy it. I think the intimidation by itself could be a basis for a civil suit as well. I’d also be sure as hell interested in learning what the attorneys defending the cops knew about this.

    On the other hand, as a lawyer, I have both had witnesses get called out on similar things, and called out a witness on that. It’s a breach of ethics to turn them over to the police, that’s threatening criminal proceedings to gain an advantage in a civil action. But you can sure as hell ask them about it, but when a witness is sitting in open court and you point out that he’s got an open warrant, the witness gets very nervous.

  • plutosdad

    There is a second point to this. The daughter who was framed had done drugs in the past, but had cleaned up (or claimed to). So, the police officer using his informer to try to sell them drugs, was knowingly trying to undermine a citizen’s efforts to stay clean, knowing she was a former addict.

    Staying clean after an addiction is hard enough, but police actively try to sell you drugs knowing they can make you cave in. How the hell are people supposed to get their lives together when police are trying to ruin them? This is one of the most disgusting things police do, and they are given one incentive after another to try to undermine former addicts.

    I read about a similar case of a guy who had quit and was doing well, but a cop wanted an arrest to pump up his resume. So he had the girlfriend try to sell him drugs. The man refused to buy over and over, until finally after months of this pressure he caved in and was promptly arrested. Thankfully the judge not only threw the case out saying it was a clear case of entrapment, but ripped into the cop.

  • dochopper

    Zip Code Law some places it happens others they wouldn’t dare try.

  • bmiller

    Being “ripped into” by the judge, sadly, doesn’t mean much except for a brief moment of embarrasment. especially not to the kind of self-justifying authoritarian personality that gravitates to police work. (I know, I know. They are all heros who join the police only to serve.)

  • The man refused to buy over and over, until finally after months of this pressure he caved in and was promptly arrested. Thankfully the judge not only threw the case out saying it was a clear case of entrapment, but ripped into the cop.

    Pressuring sales for months for a case of clear entrapment? IANAL, but I’d certainly look into having that cop and co-conspirator tried for drug dealing for the sake of irony and/or poetic justice.

  • Tim DeLaney

    No person with extensivem firearms training could credibly claim “accidental discharge”. The fact that he had the gun out of its holster is damning; the fact that he fired it is conclusive. At the absolute minimum, he should be fired. I think the D.A. should give serious consideration to ADW.

  • Tim DeLaney

    For a legal definition, see

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault

    The incident certainly fits the definition af ADW.