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Westcott, those close to him said, was left with a word of advice from the investigating officers: If anyone breaks into this house, grab your gun and shoot to kill. Source
A 50-year-old felon and drug addict, Coogle was the principal Tampa Police Department informer against at least five suspects this year. He conducted nine undercover operations. In their probable-cause affidavits, his handlers called him reliable. Even Tampa's police chief praised his "track record."
Coogle said they were all wrong. He said he repeatedly lied about suspects, stole drugs he bought on the public's dime and conspired to falsify drug deals.
One of those he lied about, he said, was Jason Westcott, a young man with no criminal convictions whom a SWAT team killed during a drug raid that found just $2 worth of marijuana. Critics from across the country condemned the Police Department's handling of the case as an example of the drug war's lethal excesses.
"They're making statements that are lies, that are absolute untruths, that are based on shady facts," Coogle said of Tampa police. "Everything they're saying is based on the informant. And I was the informant."
"He's just the scum of the f------ earth. I hate to say that. I hate to cuss. But it's the truth," said his brother, Mike Coogle. "He is nobody to give information about nothing to nobody, because everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie."
All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.
Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.
As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.
originally posted by: jrod
This is not the first time something like this has happened and it will not be the last.
Apparently some informants can make a career out of snitching. The DEA does a poor job of accounting for informant expenses and my understanding is the local PDs without the budget to pay informants will let them sell drugs and even pay them with confiscated drugs for information, however most become informants to avoid jail time and some of those continue to inform, especially when they get immunity for selling drugs and a paycheck.
There is a thread somewhere on ATS where an informant planted crack in a smoke shop so the police could raid it. Had the store not had good surveillance, he would have got away with it.
originally posted by: shaneslaughta
when police take the words of criminals and scum as evidence.
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