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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bob Barr Condemns Bungled Police Raid as Example of Unaccountable Law Enforcement Agencies

“We typically make fun of bungled police operations by saying they were conducted by the gang that couldn’t shoot straight,” notes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “In this case they could shoot straight—as a result, they killed a family’s two dogs in the midst of a misguided drug raid.

In the case in Berwyn Heights, Maryland, county police raided the mayor’s home, in a case in which he appears to have been victimized by drug smugglers, who shipped marijuana to the addresses of a half-dozen unsuspecting families. “Rather than carefully checking the facts, including talking to the local police department, the county authorities acted rashly, illustrating how the drug war threatens the liberties of all Americans,” notes Barr, a former U.S. Attorney. The police broke down the door rather than knocking and charged in with guns drawn. They killed the couple’s two Labradors, one while it was running away. Mayor Cheye Calvo spent two hours in hand-cuffs while in his boxer shorts; his mother-in-law was hand-cuffed in another room, left beside one of the dead dogs.

“Absent exigent circumstances, not present here, so-called no-knock raids are an affront to the Constitution,” explains Barr. “So is a shoot first, ask questions later philosophy by the police. Yet the Prince George’s police have done this before—last fall they invaded a house at the wrong address and shot the family dog. All Americans are at risk when the police behave this way. Just ask yourself what might happen if a suspicious package is delivered to your home and the cops bust in,” says Barr

“But there is an even larger point. Law enforcement agencies have become more arrogant and less accountable in cases other than those involving drugs. Most people are aware of well-publicized examples like Waco and Ruby Ridge, but similar abuses are common across the country, though they usually receive little or no public notice,” notes Barr. “We all want police to do their jobs well, but part of doing their job well is respecting the people’s constitutional liberties.”

“As president I will ensure that federal law enforcement agencies set a good example for the rest of the country,” says Barr. “In a Barr administration, government officials will never forget that it is a free people they are protecting.”

Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA. Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.
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