86-year-old veteran terrorized by police raid over marijuana

This report from the FOX News affiliate in Washington, DC, also played on my local FOX affiliate’s news here in Portland last night:

(MyFOXDC) WASHINGTON – An 86-year-old D.C. man got a surprise visit earlier this month. Robert Smith heard someone banging on his apartment door on Randolph Street on the evening of March 4. But before he could unlock it, a group of D.C. Police officers battered the door down and knocked Smith onto the floor.

Smith said officers quickly realized they had the wrong apartment and called for an ambulance. Doctors treated Smith for contusions to his head and back.

FOX 5 viewed the search warrant which stated police were looking for marijuana, drug paraphernalia and anything related to drug trafficking.

Cops break down door of your apartment looking for weed? It's not "one in a million", Mr. Smith.

I get so sick of reporting these stories.  At least this time it wasn’t reported as a “botched drug raid” or a “drug raid gone awry”.  It wasn’t even a drug raid; it was a marijuana raid.

I also get tired of the framing that terrorizing a citizen in their own home was just a mistake because they had the wrong address.  What is it about smoking pot that makes your home the right address for state-sponsored terrorism?

Let’s dispense with the stock answer: duh, it’s illegal!  OK, you got me, pot smoking in your own home is illegal.  Can you explain then what about pot smoking in your own home justifies the breaking down of doors, the shooting of pets, the terrorizing of children, the killing of innocents, and here, the abuse of an elderly veteran?  It’s not like you have to rush in to prevent the flushing of large amounts of illegal vegetable matter; it doesn’t exactly flush well.

Beating your wife in your own home is illegal, but unless police have a report that the assault is happening right now, or unless the wife decides to press charges (she doesn’t, usually), the cops will knock on the door and politely ask the husband to step outside (in some states, he will be arrested on the domestic abuse call alone, since she won’t press charges).

The retired federal government worker has lived alone in the same apartment for more than 30 years and said police never offered an apology for the mistaken raid.

Again, not a “mistaken raid”.  There was no mistake about what the police intended to do: burst into a citizen’s home on nothing more than the suspicion that somebody may have been smoking and selling pot, find that somebody and physically abuse them into subservience and compliance, trash the home by tearing apart any conceivable place where pot may be found, and confiscate any cash and valuables for the profit of the police force.  The only “mistake” was knocking down the wrong door.  This wasn’t a “mistaken raid”, it was a “raid at the wrong address”.

So sadly, the piece they showed here in Portland featured the WWII veteran saying his experience was “one in a million”.  No, sorry, your experience was just one out of the 100-150 citizens who were terrorized by police just that day and every day in America.

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