The abuse cited in the March 30 story, “Futile pot raid spurs lawsuit,” is far more common than the public is aware. We hear about convictions that are reversed because of malicious prosecutions, withholding exculpatory evidence or confused eyewitnesses, but cases of illegal search based upon irresponsible police work, lying informants or illegal fishing expeditions rarely come to public attention.
People have been killed in these kinds of confrontations. Family members are threatened with weapons brandished by men in military uniforms who have already decided their guilt, homes have been damaged and reputations tarnished.
Victims have been shot while reaching for a cellphone, pets have been killed and the psychological damage to children can be enormous. For every case like this that results in a lawsuit there are hundreds never reported because the victims have no money to hire attorneys or are so humiliated they just want it to be forgotten.
Moreover, when victims sue they are up against governments with unlimited resources to pay lawyers, claims of qualified immunity and police organizations with lawyers who specialize in protecting their members.
The public is not protected by outrageous police conduct. When law enforcement cannot be trusted we all lose.
This has no place in a free society.
Olathe Violated liberties
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is out of line and should re-evaluate its priorities. The 2012 raid on Robert and Adlynn Harte’s home was a gross affront on civil liberties and should not be the focus of an agency that is intended to protect citizens.
How many more times will law enforcement officers infringe on civil liberties of innocent people like the Harte family — with 7- and 13-year-old children — before they begin treating drug abuse as a health problem instead of a criminal problem?
The Sheriff Department’s misguided efforts in targeting families that purchase indoor gardening equipment has proven to be ineffective. Rather than concoct creative “traps” to catch potential marijuana growers, such as monitoring gardening purchases, law enforcement should focus on keeping drug users out of harm’s way.
Johnson County, one of Kansas’ most progressive and populous counties, should lead the way in our state’s drug reform. Rather than take a stab in the dark at potential “growers,” our county law enforcement should consider decriminalization.
Not only will they not have unnecessary blunders like the raid on the Harte home, but they will have more resources to focus on what’s important — keeping our residents safe.
Stilwell Attack on teachers
As a retired, veteran teacher of the state of Kansas I am appalled at what is taking place regarding HB 2027. This bill reminds me of dictatorships that take away rights of individuals regarding their daily life.
Why does the state of Kansas seem to beat down the very people that we want to do “what is best for children”? Isn't it important that we make sure that we do “what is best for teachers” as well?
I dedicated 34 years to the teaching profession in Kansas and I say “shame on anyone” who sees this as the right thing to do. It is outrageous and unbelievable.
We live in the 21st century, not in the Dark Ages. Please stop this nonsense.
Olathe Republican blocks
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is a bigot for ramrodding through his own misguided views. Some people seem to think that the views of Democrats in Kansas do not matter.
As I recall, President Barack Obama won the 2012 election in a landslide, but Republicans don't think he should be able to lead our country in getting more jobs by putting money into infrastructure projects.
Democrats and independents elected President Obama to do just what he is trying to do. But as usual, Obama gets no support from Republicans in Congress.
Olathe End U.S. giveaways
Do we need once more to give assistance to another country? Haven’t we learned our lessons yet that by doing so we are taking away money from the American people who are desperately in need of help?
It’s no wonder that our own country is in such financial trouble. Other nations have survived on their own, and that is the way it should be.
The pledge of $200 million to Jordan by President Barack Obama is definitely outrageous and wrong. There must be a stop to this.
Leawood Running headaches
Kansas City Running Co., which manages local running events, claims to provide a worthwhile experience for racers. For those who live on race routes, the experience is not positive.
The recent Diva Dash routed through a residential area with no warning. By 8 o’clock on a Saturday morning, residents exiting the subdivision found two out of four exits blocked by cones, including the only traffic-light controlled exit.
Traffic had to exit onto a very busy Roe Avenue.
During the race, a Roe Avenue exit was also blocked by the runners, leaving residents with one way into and out of our neighborhood. This is a safety issue and caused substantial inconvenience — and not for the first time.
Our homes association has asked Kansas City Running Co. repeatedly to give us warning when it intends to take over our neighborhood. Kansas City Running Co. manages to publicize its races in time to register participants but can’t manage to let those along the route know in advance.
While I am sure the charities that use Kansas City Running for their events are worthy and well-intentioned, I will never donate to one whose events are managed by a company that continually plans routes through neighborhoods without warning.
Clara Van Draska