#1 By: Cory Doctorow, July 26th, 2013 19:17
#2 By: Patrick Hutchison, July 26th, 2013 19:55
Well, you lie down with dogs and should expect to get up with fleas.
Any prudent informant should know that.
#3 By: Flugfrei_Jones, July 26th, 2013 19:57
...denied his investigators purposely framed the suspect.
i just .. the only reason i'd begin to believe that this wasn't done on purpose is that it is so incredibly amateurish, i mean .. what the fuck man? is this maybe just the idiot narc trying to settle a score with the guy.. or..? it would be laughable if it was in any way funny. i hope the guy sues the pants off whoever was involved.
#4 By: Guy Incognito, July 26th, 2013 22:55
The front lines of the culture wars. I hope they find the informant and that he rats out whoever gave him his marching orders...
#5 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, July 26th, 2013 23:04
The procedure for recruiting 'informants' is more or less a textbook implementation of "How to get unbelievably shoddy evidence, up to and including outright lies, planted evidence, wacky entrapment fun time, etc. without having to specifically request any wrongdoing"
You catch somebody doing something that you could put him away for a sufficiently scary amount of time for.
Then you suggest that his cooperation, especially his fruitful cooperation could really help in terms of what charges actually end up being sought.
You then either give him 'get us results along these general lines'(if you suspect that he is familiar with the sort of people you want dirt on, and you are just fishing) or point him toward a specific target(if you have reason for that target, or you suspect that the 'informant' is basically a noob who you are just using to do something you don't want a cop doing, these noob type informants end up dying on the job and embarassing amount of the time, but they aren't sympathetic characters so nobody does much about it.)
There you go. Unless you are a real idiot, you never tell the informant to do anything illegal(and if you do, you definitely do it verbally, 'cause who are they going to believe, Officer Hero or Scumbag the Perp?); but you've just created a very strong incentive for your hapless informant to do whatever it takes to bring in the results you request.
(Please note, I don't mean to deny the possibility that this specific PD was actually stupid and/or arrogant enough to order an evidence plant, hell, they might have provided the crack, especially if their informant was some pothead who wouldn't even know who to get the harder stuff from, and if this was the case, I hope the lot of them fry. My point is, though, that using coerced informants in this fashion is one that, overall, might as well be designed to produce such abuses without anybody ever having to give illegal instructions, or even suggestions, to the informant. This is really much more serious than a hypothetical system where it takes illegal instructions to get abusive behavior.)
#6 By: fuzzyfuzzyfungus, July 26th, 2013 23:05
I'm not a prudent informant; but I didn't know that pigs carried fleas. I thought the mud kept them off or something...
#7 By: fireshadow, July 27th, 2013 00:50
Why does catching the informant on tape mean that the investigators were not behind it? Just because the informant was not smart enough to notice the cameras? Remember that the police were very happy to arrest the owner because of the drugs on the counter. This shows how incredibly easy it is to frame someone ... just need to make sure that there are no cameras.
#8 By: Flugfrei_Jones, July 27th, 2013 01:32
Why does catching the informant on tape mean that the investigators were not behind it?
it doesn't, obviously, and i didn't intend to imply that it didn't, but the fact that they had no idea that there were cameras in a freaking head shop, i mean come on, it's been a while since i was in a head shop but they've been stacked with surveillance equipment since the late 80's at least.
my point was, the only bit of doubt in my mind that the pd is not completely full of shit is the fact that apparently nobody had any freaking clue what they were doing. you would expect that a pd that could provide an informant and provide said informant with crack (of course..) to plant would have some vague notion that the whole place was probably on camera. again, laughable stupidity if it wasn't so fucked up.
#9 By: billstewart, July 27th, 2013 01:39
So did the informant tell the police that he'd planted the crack, or not? Are the police going to issue an arrest warrant for him (if they're claiming he didn't tell them)? And where did he get the crack - the black market, or from the cops? Will the prosecutor charge them, and will they tell the truth in court (yeah, right...)
#10 By: Flugfrei_Jones, July 27th, 2013 02:23
hah, yeah, i'd be surprised if the informant isn't dead in a ditch somewhere, and the cops.. what cops?
#12 By: Stephan, July 27th, 2013 07:24
If the informant is working for the police, isn't the police responsible for what he does while doing his job in any case? I just can't imagine how the whole system could possibly work otherwise.
#13 By: Snagglepuss 62629, July 27th, 2013 09:10
To me, THIS is the amazing part of the story:
"By phone the Sheriff acknowledged proper procedures were not followed but denied his investigators purposely framed the suspect.
The Sheriff blamed the informant, who has taken flight."
Really ? Gee Willikers, Mr. Friendly Policeman - Exactly WHY would a police informant wander into that particular shop and attempt to plant a bag of evidence, evidence with a much higher street value than anything the policemen might be paying/coercing the junkie to plant ? If the bag of evidence belonged to the informant, and he just happened to drop it in that nice man's store, how did the nice policemen find out about that ? How can the word of an informant who is obviously SO stupid that they would just LOSE a valuable bag of drugs, let alone be unaware that they on camera, be reliable enough to get a search warrant ? Are the stories I hear about what prisoners like to do to dirty law-breaking cops true, or are they just scary stories ? I sure HOPE they're true, because bad cops shouldn't get away with stuff like this. Don't you agree, Mr. Friendly Policeman ?
#14 By: Jardine, July 27th, 2013 10:26
He's lucky it was an informant planting the evidence instead of the cops themselves. If they sent in an undercover cop to plant the crack, they'd have seized the security camera footage when they arrested him and it would be mysteriously lost.
#16 By: Jardine, July 27th, 2013 10:49
No it's not. It's in Scotia, New York. Not Nova Scotia.
#17 By: greggman, July 27th, 2013 13:01
So what this shows is ubiquitous surveillance might be a win as long as we can access all of it?
#18 By: Rich Tintera, July 27th, 2013 17:30
Am I the only one who finds this story incredibly scary? How lucky he was to have that footage- otherwise big jail time.
#19 By: Andy, July 27th, 2013 18:20
This makes me think; If the cops told the crack-dropping informant to disappear so they couldn't be implicated in anything, AND the crack-dropper is still alive, he will probably commit a crime somewhere else... Oh boy, will he ever have some information for THAT prosecutor to sell to save his ass...
#20 By: Ygret, July 27th, 2013 22:40
Except its possible the cops didn't know about the cameras. In fact its likely, because they would've deleted the footage anyway, regardless of whether it was them or the informant who planted the drugs. Either way, the cops had to know the informant was planting drugs. Otherwise what did he say to them after he left the store? "Hey, I just saw some crack on that guys countertop, go bust him!" Laughable. The cops definitely knew and planned the whole damned thing.
#21 By: Jardine, July 28th, 2013 03:30
If a cop had gone in undercover, I assume they'd be a lot more likely to see the cameras. Especially since they were in plain view. And if they noticed the cameras when arresting the store owner, they might have decided to throw the informant under the bus instead of bothering to "lose" the footage. Losing the footage has its own risks.
#22 By: Ygret, July 28th, 2013 06:00
Cops destroy video on a regular basis if it serves their interests: they confiscate/steal video phones regularly without even hiding the fact. Surreptitiously stealing or deleting video is hardly a difficult or risky thing to do for the police. And the "disappearance" of the informant is highly suspect as well. This case stinks to high heaven, and do we really need to debate whether law enforcement is capable of dissembling and corruption at this late date?
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