The War on Okra

The War on Okra October 9, 2014

Heavily armed drug cops raid retiree’s garden, seize okra plants

If we let the elderly fry their okra, we might as well just give Hezbollah our whole freaking Navy. – Reader Michael Lichens

In other “Georgia police invading homes to kill and maim for nothing” news, this man was killed, in his drug-free home, by a SWAT team on a drug raid. In this, he strongly resembles the innocent Georgia pastor who was also killed in a drug raid on his home in 2009.

And that pastor was only the beginning for that illustrious group of cops, who then went on to hurl a grenade at a dangerous baby in a crib in yet another drug raid.

Funny story: the people who permanently disfigured and possibly brain-damaged that baby in his crib will face no charges.  Let that be a lesson to them!  Here is their handiwork.

Now you might be the sort of person who thinks that the way to deal with this is change the policies and training regimen governing police behavior, as well as vote out the morons who architected this insane policy and vote in people who will create sane policies so that cops can’t simply burst into your home and start shooting you on the basis of nothing.  But no, that would be too sensible.  So instead various states like Indiana and Georgia are passing or contemplating laws authorizing homeowners to shoot cops, while doing nothing to stop no knock raids.  Because that certainly won’t lead to a completely foreseeable escalation of bloodshed or anything.

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  • Pete the Greek

    Drugs r baaaad! We have to fight the drugs! Drugs are coming for our children! It is far better that this man died than to even think about slowing up on our drug war. If you think differently you’re not a good American and definitely not a good Christian! If we even save ONE CHILD from a life of drugs, it will be worth it!

    I’m just going to go ahead an post that to preempt some of the responses.

    “So instead various states like Indiana and Georgia are passing or contemplating laws authorizing homeowners to shoot cops”
    – Regarding the Law, from the link:

    (i) A person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant
    if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to:
    (1) protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably
    believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;
    (2) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on
    the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or
    (3) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal
    interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in
    possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a
    person whose property the person has authority to protect.

    That’s actually pretty reasonable. The main reasons such laws are being considered is that when innocents hear someone kick in their door in the middle of the night screaming with a gun, a reasonable man with children with gun that intruder down. Only after he’s pulled the trigger does he find out it was a cop on a raid who got the wrong address.

    The problem is that these same innocent people were being imprisoned and/or having their lives destroyed because of this. This type of law is an effort to give them legal protection.

    Notice, which I don’t think Mark or 99% of his fans did, that this is not some hunting license for cops. If Barry the methhead hears his door smash in and he come up from his meth law blasting away with a 12ga and kills a cop, he doesn’t get this protection, just based on the definitions in the law.

    I would very much like all this no-knock stuff, in fact just drug raids in particular to stop. But…. there’s money in it. Police departments get certain rewards from the Federal Government based upon their drug seizure quota.

    But hey! At least we’re stopping those evil drugs from getting to our kids, right?

    • Ken

      Okra is a gateway drug. Seriously, I agree with a lot of what you are saying but even if the average citizen had the ability, and in my mind, the right to defend themselves against this type of aggression, they will be totally outgunned. These cops have tanks, body armor, high powered rifles etc… If a person were to defend their property with even the most powerful firearms they will be going up against a large group of heavily armed cops with itchy trigger fingers. They’d be lucky to get a shot off before getting torn apart. We need to put an end to the over militarization of our police and, as you said, this idiotic, failed war on drugs.

      • Pete the Greek

        “They’d be lucky to get a shot off before getting torn apart.”
        – You may agree, but I don’t think you understand what the law is about or why it’s being pushed.

        This is not something so you can stand in your doorway and blast away an State Police APCs. The application is actually very narrow.

        To REALLY understand what the law is trying to do, don’t try to conjure up pictures of civilians standing line abreast facing cops and exchanging volleys like some silly version of 17th century line infantry.

        Instead, think of it like this: The law is simply affirming that if you, as a cop on or off duty, cross into felony assault, robbery, rape or what have you, telling your victim “Whatcha gonna do about it, huh? I’m a COP!” is not a magical ‘get out of jail free’ card (or rather, ‘get out of getting shot free’ card, as the case may be.

        Really it doesn’t put anything NEW out there. It simply reiterates what is common sense: Cops are civilians like the rest of us, and being a cop doesn’t give you the right to rob/rape/whatever with impunity.

        • Ken

          Got it. Thank you for taking the time to clarify.

        • jroberts548

          But if you don’t also fix the legal standard for when cops can use force, then a law like this won’t fix anything. The only change that will fix excessive use of force by cops is for the courts to be less deferential to the cops.

          • Pete the Greek

            I would agree. My observation wasn’t intended to be a ‘one or the other’ situation. Both would be optimal.

          • Joseph

            That’s exactly the point of this law: they have no intention of fixing the legal standard for when cops can use force…
            I don’t think the law makers are stupid (they usually have Ivy League degrees and connections to old money). They’ve already thought of that. They just aren’t going to budge on the issue. It’s much more fun to have aggressive military-like cops who operate at your beck and call and are willing to assault any citizen. This just proves that they look at their little mindless henchmen as expendable heroes in the first place (we won’t take their power away… hehehehe… but we’ll make it interesting by letting the proles shoot ’em back).

  • Marthe Lépine

    A few days ago, it was about legal theft. Now we also see legal murder. What a great freedom-loving country your are living in…

    • Pete the Greek

      Because there are lots of people who are more concerned with ‘fighting drugs’, in a totally stupid, failing way, than they are in protecting their freedom.

      Instead of addressing social and cultural problems, too many people want a technological or legal solution, even if that doesn’t work.

      People around here often advocate the same mindset when it comes to crime.

    • Joseph

      Umm… we fly drones over villages and wipe out hundreds of innocent people. We fund and arm Islamic extremists who just love murdering innocent people, we have GITMO, we abort babies in the womb by the millions out of convenience, etc. You think that suddenly *now*, after reading this post, is the time to say such a thing? Legal Murder is part an parcel of being American, would you deny that right to its citizens and leave it only to the police? Freedom demands that if one person can legally kill, then all people should be able to. It’s only fair.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    So … what happened to the Fourth Amendment? Has the Bill of Rights been suspended in order to fight the War on Boogabear of the Week?

  • PalaceGuard

    Any of you out there who love houseplants, best keep yer false aralias out of the your windows!

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Renaming Columbus day got an order of magnitude more comments.

    This country is so screwed.

    • Joseph

      Cops are still, in general, viewed as heroes. Most people are uncomfortable with their new powers but are unwilling to gripe about them and usually don’t until something happens to one of their own family members or friends.
      Unfortunately, the hero cops that do exist work alongside thugs that have tarnished the badge. And bad behavior is institutionalized in law enforcement now so the hero cops really don’t have a voice and, if they want to keep their jobs, they have to keep their lips firmly sealed. It’s like the NYPD of the 70s and the LAPD of… well… they’ve always been corrupt.

      • Mark S. (not for Shea)

        Most cops I know are fine and decent public servants. I have met a thug with a badge a time or two in my life, but at least in my own experience they are the exception that proves the rule. Which is why I’m so dismayed at the rise in news stories such as these. What is going on in this country????

        • Pete the Greek

          I don’t think there is a massive spike in actual incidents. They are just getting a LOT more national media attention then they were before.

          The topic is trending right now, which means that national outlets will up their ratings/click-through if they push these stories.

          Getting more attention is probably a good thing, but it won’t last. The next trending topic will bury it.

          • Joseph

            It’s pretty hot though. Most cops nowadays are just revenue generators (traffic ticket machines), so most people actually hate the sight of them. This type of stuff justifies that position and God knows we’ve become a society that is constantly looking for justification for thoughts and actions that we know are disordered. Not only that, the American way is *the cowboy way*. Our culure is probably most defined by anti-establishment thinking (hence the importance we place on gun ownership). This type of stuff only validates what is inherent in our culture. So, I don’t think it’s going to fade away like you say. I think it’ll increase and eventually come to a head. More people are becoming increasingly defiant, confrontational, and filled with intestinal fortitude with police now so long as someone is recording with their smartphones.

        • Ken

          I’m convinced the arming of the cops with these weapons has some sort of negative psychological effect on the officer. Throwing all this armor on and putting on masks seems to make them more aggressive and less concerned about the citizens they are going after. It’s like it turns them into soldiers and they seem to lose any sort of logical/moral thought. In the end, all of this seems to be bad not only for the citizens but also for what happens to decent and honorable people when they get into these situations with these weapons.

    • S. Murphy

      Or it’s easier to have an opinion about something that costs nothing one way or the other, but pisses people off, than a well-thought-out solution to something so damned sad.
      Although ‘restore the frickin’ 4th Amendment’ seems simple enough.

    • jroberts548

      No one in these comments is taking the pro-cop position. Disagreement drives comments.

  • Benjamin2.0

    It seems to me that these things happen because the policemen who do these things are immune to prosecution. They’re immune from prosecution because they’re acting on orders for the sake of an office. To have police second-guessing command decisions is a formula for disorganized operation in potentially deadly situations, some would argue. Perhaps the people who give the orders — whose authority is being acted out and for whom the responsibility of the actual perpetrators is being deferred — should be charged with manslaughter. That sounds like a pretty good legal solution. Remove the legal immunity. I mean, the next best thing would be vigilantism. Any solution better than vigilantism has to be great.

    As for the war on drugs, the acceptance of one principle would put things where they belong: the ends don’t justify the means. I think that might solve a lot of problems, actually. “People who kill children have arms, so we have to sever everyone’s arms for the children” is sensible without it, and that sentiment probably will cease to be parody in twenty minutes or so.

  • Jonk

    This is what happens when government is empowered to violate people and property, rather than simply following its duty to protect people and their property.

  • Joseph

    Hmmm… this should be looked at another way, Mark. By Indiana and Georgia ‘passing or contemplating’ laws that would allow homeowners to shoot cops without fear of reprisal, I think what the government is actually saying is, ‘there’s no way in hell we’re going to strip law enforcement of their relatively new rights to burst into your home and start shooting for no reason… so, here’s a bone for you complainers out there’. I honestly don’t believe that voting out morons results in anything more than the election of other morons to take their place. I think the government is ossified in their relatively new police state policies so there is no chance stripping those through democratic means.
    Therefore, though I don’t like the idea of people shooting at each other, I don’t see a problem with legally protecting a homeowner who pops a cap in a cop’s @ss that wrongly raids his home and threatens him or his family. What this new policy tells me is that mister cowboy cop who likes to break in and enter homes (either through raids or simply to unconstitutionally ‘check in’ on a domestic violence call that was placed by a disgruntled neighbor) now has to ‘double check’ his sources and not be so quick to draw a weapon and point it at someone or their kids (there are tons of YouTube videos of this by the way). If he knows that it could be him heading home in a body bag instead of the proletariat that he’s so used to pushing around, he may actually decided to act like a cop instead of a special ops assault team member. If the constitution and the laws protecting the individual rights of the people cops are assaulting, maiming, and murdering, then the knowledge that those potential victims of police brutality can actually make them late for dinner themselves… permanently… will. When tattling on the bully fails to yield positive results, the only thing that will work is if you fight back.
    So, I kind of actually agree with that idea.

    • Ken

      How are you going to fight a tank? These cops have superior fire power. They’re getting this equipment from the military. The military has equipment to destroy things without regard for human life and are reselling it on the cheap to our police departments who are using it against the citizens. It’s a total fantasy to think a citizen with a gun is going to stop this. This law will only get more citizens killed.

      • Joseph

        It has little to do with fighting a tank. Some fathers would rather die shooting at a cop about to throw a grenade into his son’s crib (me, for example) for no f*cking good reason. It has more to do with the stupid cop on the other side of the door thinking about whether his warrantless raid on my house will result in him never being able to look at his son sleeping in his crib again. At least give the people the chance to fight back.
        So, I go up against the tank, blow the cop’s head off who’s getting ready to pull the pin on the grenade he plans to kill my son with, then I get riddled with bullets by the other stupid cops ‘just do’in der jobs’. The investigation takes place. It’s found that they raided my house without a warrant and it was the wrong house to begin with. My family was innocent. My wife gets to sue the sh*t out of the precinct, police force, swat team, city, state, etc (shotgun lawsuit) and make more in reparations than I could ever earn in a lifetime. Our son is safe and healthy, the cop that should be dead is dead, and my family has enough money to move to another neighborhood (a white one where the cops never do this sort of thing) and pay for private tuition for my son so that he has a chance at making a good future for himself. It all works out.
        The other option is… drumroll please… the STATUS QUO!!!! . More blacks and hispanics getting shot up for no reason and no murderous cops paying the price for it.

  • Morgan Wolff

    What an asinine plan. If anyone thinks a person will shoot a cop in their home and live to tell the tale, they’ve got another thing coming. If you, especially if you are young, male and black, can be shot because a cop thinks you might have a gun, what happens when you really do and have just used it on another policeman/woman? It won’t matter why the cops are in your house at that point, I can tell you that. Why don’t we cut to the chase and write some law that declares an ongoing war between the citizenry and the police? This amounts to just that.

    • Ken

      The NRA pushes the narrative that gun owners can defend themselves from the gov and/or the police. Like some guy is going to stand on his porch with a shotgun and fight off twenty heavily armed cops in body armor who are driving a tank. A tank! They would run the house over while bullets bounce off the armor. We have to stop the militarization of our police force. It is a horrible infringement on our liberty. This narrative is not only silly but it allows for the overarming of the cops to continue.

      • Joseph

        I’m *no* defender of the NRA… at all. But this kneejerk comment is really stupid. Did the NRA pass this law? No. People need to leave the Michael Moore mentality behind. He’s an idiot, don’t be Michael Moore. Think about the message the government is sending by passing this law: we aren’t going to change our current unjust policing policies. That’s what is being said here. This is no more pro-NRA than it is pro-innocent citizen.

        • Ken

          No, one of NRA’s talking points for gun owners is that they are not only providing themselves with personal protection but that they are part of a larger movement that is protecting America from the tyrannical government. Somehow these people believe that if the gov or police or whoever is going to overrun our liberties that somehow all gun owners are going to band together and fight off these people. The problem with this obvious nonsense is that the NRA is a very powerful lobby that is opposed to any legislation the prohibits weapons from anyone. The NRA makes money by having individuals join it’s membership but a lot of their money comes from them lobbying on behalf of weapons companies that make a lot of money selling weapons to police departments. Therefore, the NRA is against laws that would stop the selling of these weapons to police departments. It is also very good at getting it’s members to follow it’s lead and to put pressure on politicians that oppose it’s views. So, yes the NRA is involved in this.

          • Joseph

            The NRA didn’t pass the law. The NRA isn’t a political party. You need to think about what the message really is. It doesn’t *empower* the people, it just simply a means to avoid doing what is supposed to be done: stripping law enforcement of their legal protection and rights to constantly use excessive force. This law is actually about protecting the cops by pretending that the lawmakers are concerned about it. Michael Moore is an idiot. Don’t start wandering off sniffing after one of his urine trails and expect to find answers. He creates an enemy for you so that you can waste your time focusing on it while his buddies in government push things like the NDAA through. He’s no better than O’Reilly.
            It’d be best to drop the *NRA* talking points. Makes you sound like a Michael Moorebot.

            • Ken

              You can call me names all you want and I don’t know anything about Michael Moore or have ever listened to anything he has ever said about the NRA or anything else.

              Politicians are influenced by lobbies. There is a reason that companies pay millions and millions of dollars to lobbies if it didn’t work they wouldn’t bother. One of the most powerful of lobbies is the NRA. That’s a fact. They may care about a person’s right to own a firearm but they are equally invested in making sure gun companies can sell their weapons without restraint. That’s what they are being paid to do. Therefore, they are against anything that will stop it. Gun companies make tons of money from contracts they form with police departments so they don’t want any laws to stop this relationship. These things are all facts. I’m just presenting one of the reasons that we can’t pass laws to stop the craziness of police departments having powerful weapons that are being used against it’s citizens. I’m not really even attacking the NRA. I don’t really even care about the NRA. I’m just presenting the obstacles to stopping this nonsense

              • Joseph

                I’m telling you that the NRA was irrelevant. The message being put out by lawmakers is that they have no plans to change their current corrupt policing policies. That’s it. It was so brilliant that they got everyone focusing on the *letting the citizen shoot back* aspect of it. I have to hand it to them on this one. Manipulation +1. What a trick.

                • Ken

                  Okay, I did some research and here it is. You can get to this by going into the link within the story if you want to but here is the quote:

                  “Indiana is the first U.S. state to specifically allow force against officers, according to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in Washington, which represents and supports prosecutors. The National Rifle Association
                  pushed for the law, saying an unfavorable court decision made the need
                  clear and that it would allow homeowners to defend themselves during a
                  violent, unjustified attack. Police lobbied against it.”

                  The NRA’s job as the lobby for the gun industry to make sure no laws are passed that stops anyone from being able to get guns. In fact, they want more guns. So they want citizens to go buy more guns to fight the cops that they are supplying guns to. Not a crazy Michael Moore conspiracy but a fact.

                  • Joseph

                    Honestly, I don’t care about the NRA and if they had anything to do with it. You’re missing the point. The correct thing to do would be to restrict the powers law enforcement currently has… that is the cause of all of the excessive force capers. You know it, I know it, the government knows it. Instead of doing the *correct* thing that will most certainly stop or at least reduce the amount of excessive force cases that go unpunished, they chose to allow the innocent people getting shot up and/or killed to shoot back.
                    The NRA and their under the table dealings is actually irrelevant to the fact that the *government* is declaring that they will not rollback the protections it has put in place for law enforcement who use excessive force and kill or maim innocent people in their wake.

                    By passing this law, the government has not only succeeded in protecting their currently unjust laws, but has also successfully hookwinked the gun control zealots. The NRA was involved in making this law through lobbying. Guess what happens? Gun control zealots spend their time focusing on that and the horrendous fact that it’s now legal for an innocent person to *off* an aggressive cop with a gun and *completely miss the point*… that the government is still in favor of excessive force by law enforcement and will continue to protect them.
                    Let’s be honest, if you’re an innocent law abiding citizen, are you going to shoot at a cop even if he’s banging your door down? Probably not. The only ones who will be shooting at cops will be the ones who would shoot at them anyway and are probably guilty as sin… and they won’t be covered. See where this is going? Status quo, baby. You’ve been fooled because you’re simply so invested in the *gun control* way of thinking that you completely missed the actual point.
                    Don’t take this to mean that I’m *for* allowing the average citizen to shoot cops legally. I’m not. But, if they aren’t going to fix the real problem, then why not? At least it will put the fear of God into the bullies who like to play soldier against an enemy that they’ve been fairly certain up to now won’t fight back. I don’t like it.

                • Ken

                  Here’s an article that spells out the NRA’s involvement in more detail.


                  Originally the law allowing the homeowner to defend themselves was vague and couldn’t be used against law officers. The judge in the case used the specific example of an officer raping someone in your house that you couldn’t use force to stop them. The NRA pushed, yes they did it’s in this article and the other one I posted, to get it to be more specific that a homeowner can defend themselves against anyone including police officers. The NRA doesn’t pass laws but they influence legislation. That’s what they are paid millions and millions of dollars to do and they’re really good at it otherwise the gun industry wouldn’t waste their money year after year. So, it stands clear that my original statement wasn’t “really stupid” as you put it.

    • Joseph

      If you’re the cop at point, would you think twice about bursting into the house knowing that they guy on the other side no has the legal right to blow your head off for threatening his family? Look, by legally protecting the homeowner the government is basically saying that they aren’t going to change their current police state policies. So they’ve left it up to the cop to decide… is he willing to risk his life on a bust that isn’t well planned or based off of bad intel?

      • Marthe Lépine

        On the other hand, the cops might choose to bring even more lethal power to protect themselves from the homeowners trying to protect themselves… Drones, maybe? But drones could probably come equipped with cameras capable to see the difference between pot and Okra, that might help…

        • Joseph

          Well… if they plan to use drones then they don’t plan to collect evidence and make arrests, which is sorta why they’re performing drug raids in the first place. They may be dressed in heavier gear for sure, but they’ll need cops on the ground.
          But the use of drones domestically is inevitable anyway. The laws are currently ambiguous enough to allow it, especially the ones pertaining to domestic terrorism. It’s just a matter of finding the politician/law enforcement agency willing to use them to eliminate targets.

  • Petey

    that poor little kid

  • virago

    I have, in my shaded and drug-addled past, been intimately acquainted with marijuana in all forms and verbage. I also picked and ate okra from my grandmother’s richly abundant vegetable garden. It was good, as well, but also had negative consequences.

    Even when I was deliriously high I never, ever, mistook a okra pod for a joint. And, really, the leaves are different. If the drug cops can’t figure that out themselves, then take it to an old grandma gardener and she’ll sort it for them.

    Unfortunately, these raids are going all over the country resulting in tragedy. I dot know how the cops get such poor information but but no reforms seem to be happening. One day they may start using drones, now that really scares me. (Maybe that’s just libertarian hysteria, we’ll see.)

    At least, the cops apologized. (That made it all better.)

  • virago

    Seriously, it seems all citizens are the enemy and the goal of the cops are to protect themselves.

    I know, I know, I get it. This is an overly simplistic view of the police bug it only takes a few incidences like this to unfairly taint the profession.

    I know how this happens. I’m a nurse, one story in the media about a stupid nurse makes me cringe.