Drug Raids On BART Anger Civil Libertarians

Drug Raids On BART Anger Civil Libertarians
Posted by FoM on December 18, 2001 at 16:42:27 PT
By Josh Richman
Source: Dublin Tri-Valley Herald 
Random sweeps of BART trains with a drug-sniffing dog led to about a dozen marijuana citations and an arrest this week, but they also have some civil libertarians howling mad. BART Police officers and U.S. Customs Service agents began walking a drug-trained Labrador retriever through the trains Wednesday. When the dog smells drugs on a person, she stops, sits down and points with her nose, alerting officers to make a search. 
"It's unconstitutional," said San Francisco attorney John G. Heller, who has helped the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California fight cases of similar random sweeps in public schools. "A dog sniff is a search of a person under the Fourth Amendment, and you can't do that unless you have some particularized suspicion a person has contraband on them. "Above and beyond that, I think it sends a terrible message at a time our civil liberties are already under siege," he said. "I'm certainly looking forward to challenging the program on BART if there are passengers interested in pursuing such a challenge." BART Police Commander Wade Gomes said passengers haven't lodged "any complaints at all. In fact, most of them are happy to see the dogs. Some say, 'You might consider getting some bomb-sniffing dogs.'" The dog sweeps started Wednesday, nabbing three people with small amounts of marijuana on East Bay trains at Richmond, Hayward and San Leandro; they were given citations and released. But John Patrick Mallon, 37, of Concord, was found on a Pittsburg/Bay Point train at the Walnut Creek station with 13 bags of marijuana. He was booked into Contra Costa County's Martinez Detention Facility for possession of marijuana for sales. More marijuana citations were handed out Thursday. Gomes said Friday it's a good start, although not quite what they'd hoped for. "We didn't detect any large amounts," he said -- the sweeps didn't catch the "kilos of cocaine or large amounts of heroin" that federal, state and local police have said could be moving via BART. It's tough luck for people caught with small amounts of marijuana, Gomes added: "A narcotics-sniffing dog can't discriminate among narcotics. He's going to alert on any kind ... no matter what the amount is." Other law enforcement agencies are worried about the new San Francisco International Airport BART station opening late next year. Police worry it will be "a new gateway to the Bay Area via rapid transit, so (drug) couriers could get off planes and go directly to trains," Gomes said. "It's a noble cause but you've got to do it without violating constitutional rights," Heller retorted, adding there's a high percentage of "false positives" in which dogs point officers to people holding no drugs at all. "So you have this situation arising where passengers might be subjected to a follow-up search -- a pat-down or other search of their person -- based on an unreliable dog alert. That adds to the constitutional concern." Gomes said BART Police will evaluate this week's sweeps and take public input before deciding whether to do it again. They might work with other law enforcement agencies, he said, and if the sweeps prove fruitful enough, perhaps they'll eventually try to get their own drug-sniffing dog. Source: Dublin Tri-Valley Herald (CA)Author: Josh RichmanPublished: December 15, 2001Copyright: 2001 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG NewspapersContact: herlet angnewspapers.comWebsite: Article: Drug-Sniffing Dog Prowling BART Cars
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Comment #13 posted by QcStrt on December 19, 2001 at 20:15:35 PT
The Dog just found a Kind person to be petted by 
hahaha dumb a** DEAth.
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on December 19, 2001 at 16:39:33 PT
How much business has BART lost I wonder? People with illegal drugs will just use different modes of transportation from now on. BOYCOTT BART!
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Comment #11 posted by krutch on December 19, 2001 at 13:16:53 PT:
The Difference Between Us and Them...
Morgan,Unfortunately there is no difference. Except for the fact that we lie and say we are a free country. We promise freedom. The Taliban never made this promise.
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Comment #10 posted by Morgan on December 19, 2001 at 08:53:28 PT
American Taliban
This is just the American Taliban at work here, enforcing their moral ideals upon all who are unlucky enough to have to live in the same country where 'Christianity' is the official religion. Hey, people of San Francisco... maybe if you raise enough stink about this practice, they'll back off from arresting you for a joint, and just give you a public beating with a rubber hose to teach you the error of your ways. It sure beats having your whole life taken away from you.But seriously... what's the difference between us...and them?
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Comment #9 posted by jose melendez on December 19, 2001 at 08:50:29 PT:
caryophyllene oxide
You want false positives? We'll give you false positives. Here is a link to a bulk supplier of Lemon Balm. They also seem to do research on essential oils.
Arrest Prohibition - Drug war is TREASON
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Comment #8 posted by krutch on December 19, 2001 at 08:08:58 PT:
Civil Liberties
The people of the Bay Area should have the right to ride the transportation system that their tax money funds without being subject to illegal searches.Congratulations to the US customs service. While foreign a-holes terorize our citizens they are hard at work, making sure that nobody carries any harmless green leafly material on to trains.Is just me, or does everyone believe that our government has it priorities completely F**ked up.
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Comment #7 posted by greenfox on December 19, 2001 at 07:59:20 PT
Order now! Only 19.95 + tax, shipping & handling.
And what are you ordering? Silly you! A police state, of course! And all proceeds will go to the WTC relief fund..-gf
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Comment #6 posted by Dark Star on December 19, 2001 at 07:51:40 PT
Once more, the olfactory triggering substance in cannabis is not THC, but caryophyllene oxide.The dog is doing her job, and will attempt to please her pack (human handlers). Perhaps she would be happier doing something more truly helpful to humans, such as sniffing out plastic explosives. 
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on December 19, 2001 at 07:37:08 PT
The Dog
The dog is doing her job. 'False Positives' are her way of saying that she is tired of doing such a stupid ass job. She is loyal to her master by doing her job, but also true to her conscience by leading them astray. The dog knows that people are being harmed or mistreated in some way.It's wierd, I know, but I think the dog is trying to communicate that something is not right about what she has been ordered to do. It may also be a manifestation of what her masters may do or say prior to when the 'sniffing' session begins. I might be all wet here, I may be crazy; I wonder though.I just see the dog sorta snickering about it all at the end of the day, she may even howl with laughter. The DEA should take a hint from her.  
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on December 19, 2001 at 07:20:06 PT
Hows about a rename
From BART to, BARK or BARF.
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on December 19, 2001 at 06:31:30 PT
i420, they are only concerned with the safety of the top ONE percent of the population. Ok, maybe TWO percent. You know, the RICH. The ones who are pulling their strings, the ones who are un-touchable, thus far. The rest of us are expendable, including the politicians. Does anyone doubt the CIA was behind the Anthrax scare? I just wonder what tactic they will use next to keep the sheeple living in fear? You can't think very well when you are afraid. The Anthrax scare has all but passed. We adopted to that one pretty quick. I suggest the CIA are the ones who stole the suitcase size nukes from Russia, and will detinate one some time in the very near future, to complete the distruction of the Constitution, and grab the remaining power they have yet to acquire, and create a PERMANENT FEAR. We are helpless, people. Unless...Nevermind. Sheep don't rebel.dddd, I stopped watching Bill Maher right after his pathetic apology. He has clearly been reeled in. Now, with all these new terrorist laws, we will ALL be reeled in. Democracy is dead in America. The only political party strong enough to do anything about it, you know, the other side of the same coin, is totally spineless, and capitalism-whipped. It will be up to the people to change this Fascism back to Democracy. What event will trigger our rebellion? Nothing has happened so far, to do that. The Presidency has been stolen, the Constitution semi-abolished, Nazi stormtroopers run rampant in our country, our own government is suspect in allowing the WTC attack, fear tactics are part of our everyday lives. I can only guess that there will be some kind of resistance when they ask for our GUNS. If we refuse, we will be branded with that all purpose term, terrorists, then they will TAKE our guns. Any resistors will simply be KILLED. THAT has become the MO of our Nazi Federal Government. "They refuse us? Then KILL them. Problem solved."Sorry. I really do try to keep my thoughts optomistic. it's just that, lately, I'm running out of optomistic thoughts.Peace. Realize, then Legalize.  
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Comment #2 posted by i420 on December 19, 2001 at 04:36:48 PT
Yada yada yada
Yes BART should be more concerned about finding bombs than drugs could you just see the headlines now "Bomb explodes on BaRT..drug dog saves pothead removed from train just prior to explosion" could you see the lawsuit????
I would sue that is for sure at least if I lived to take em to court. Who's safety are they REALLY concerned about???
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on December 19, 2001 at 00:50:45 PT's this for off topic........
...I think Bill Maher must have had some sort of "visit",from some very persuasive elements,,,because it seems to me,that he has either been "convinced",to parrot the pro-war agenda,,,or perhaps he's gone off the edge somehow......I've watched Politically Incorrect for years,and it used to quite good at living up to its' name,,,but ever since the big thing about his comment concerning the military,,,he's been towing the party no one has to worry about making off topic comments.....dddd
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