Thursday, November 17, 2011

Manatee education patrol leads to $1 million marijuana seizure

You can't make this stuff up. From the government press release:

A routine patrol by police on Wednesday on Boynton Beach’s Intracoastal Waterway to educate boaters about the start of manatee season led to the discovery of nearly 1,300 pounds of marijuana valued at more than $1 million. As Boynton Beach Police Marine Unit Officers were patrolling the Intracoastal near the Boynton inlet, they observed a 30-foot center console boat heading north at a slow speed with two men aboard. The boat struck two sand bars, and one of its outboard engines was tipped up and not running. The officers headed toward the boat, which docked at the ramp in Harvey J. Oyer Jr., Boat Club Park. The defendants supplied the officers with Florida driver licenses, but could not produce valid registration for the boat. After the officers obtained verbal consent to go aboard, the defendants fled on foot. They were quickly apprehended after a short foot pursuit by Marine Interdiction Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection who were in the immediate vicinity.

Meantime, the feds are investigating state police shootings. From the AP:

The U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation Thursday into whether Miami police officers engaged in a pattern of excessive use of deadly force in the fatal shootings of seven African-American suspects over an eight-month span.

Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, and Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the probe will focus not on the individual officers but on whether the Miami Police Department's policies and practices on use of force led to violations of constitutional rights. The investigation is not criminal in nature.

"We're looking at systems. We're not looking at individual culpability," Perez told reporters. "We will follow the facts where the facts lead us. We will peel the onion to its core."

The shootings in inner-city Miami, from July 2010 to February 2011 and including two others that were not fatal, sparked outrage in the African-American community and led to protests at City Hall. The NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union, among others, demanded a federal investigation.

The former police chief, Miguel Exposito, defended the shootings as justified and said they resulted from confrontations caused by more aggressive police tactics in high-crime areas plagued by gangs. Exposito was fired in September for disobeying orders from the city manager, but the uproar over the shootings was a factor in his ouster.

In a written statement Thursday, Exposito said during his tenure people in many inner-city neighborhoods were demanding action against crime and gangs, leading him to double to 130 the number of tactical officers focused on those areas. Exposito said crime went down as a result.

"I trust that this is not an attempt by the U.S. attorney's office to politicize what should otherwise be an apolitical process," Exposito said.

1 comment:

Rumpole said...

I can (make this stuff up,) It will all be in my forthcoming novel: "Marijuana and the Manatee" or "Stoned Sea Cows!"