Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Goose Creek cops get away with armed school invasion

We spoke to you before about this miscarriage of justice in Goose Creek, here and here where the local police force staged a commando style drug raid on the students during school hours.

South Carolina's Attorney General Henry McMaster agrees that it was "grossly inappropriate for police to have terrorized the student body of the local high school with drawn guns and handcuffs but declined to bring criminal charges against the officers involved.

The state's chief prosecutor said school officials had probable cause to conduct a search, but he criticized police officers' decision to draw their weapons as a highly dangerous tactic that could have been deadly.

"The tactics were good tactics for a crack house, a drug den or a methamphetamine lab, but highly inappropriate tactics for a school house," McMaster said.

One wonders what constitutes probable cause in South Carolina when absolutely no drugs were found and the only weapons in evidence were the guns the police had trained on the students who were forced to lie face down in the hallways.

The mayor of Goose Creek, Michael Heitzler also said he saw, "no reason for the police department to punish the 14 officers who took part in the raid."

There are at least three separate lawsuits with multiple plaintiff's pending in the courts. Badge Humphries, a lawyer representing some of the students states this ruling will not affect those cases. One can only hope the civil remedies will offer some compensation for the indignities these students suffered at the hands of taxpayer-funded civil servants.


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