Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Adding Up the Cost of Bad Ass Law Enforcement
The Harris County Commissioners have agreed to close the books on a lawsuit relating to their "Tough" Sheriff's deputies--wrongful arrest and deprivation of the rights of Harris County residents, Sean Carlos and Erik Ibarra. That'll be $4 million dollars, thank you citizens of Harris County.
According to the Houston Chronicle report Harris County Commissioner voted to approve final payment of attorney fees stemming form the incident, well let me quote the Chronicle: "sheriff's deputies stormed the [brothers'] home, drew their guns, arrested them and seized their cameras after one of the brothers photographed a drug raid on a neighboring house. The county paid a $1.7 million settlement to the brothers. A judge also ordered the county to pay $1.4 million in fees to their attorney. Additional bills related to the case brought the tally to more than $4 million."
As I said before, this is one of the unanticipated results that the taxpayers get when they fall for the demagoguery of the "tough" law enforcement-bs. Like Arpaio and his boys in Arizona, stealing legal documents from public defenders deprives the rights of criminal defendants who can challenge any subsequent conviction based on this misconduct with the result that they are free to commit crimes they would not have committed if Arpaio and his deputies had played by the rules. We give up our ideals in exchange for violating rights, and worse paying the attorney fees of victims of the abuse of police power.