Hey, ATF?

You’re doing it wrong:

  • [ATF] Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.

…there’s a lot more here about the ATF and their, ah, earnest methods of making the sale, and by ‘sale’ I mean ‘flashy arrests.’ most of the rest of it is going to get fought over, or tried to be justified, or even outright dismissed because after all sting operations are intended to shake loose the people who want to get into law-breaking*.  But I’ll say this: we have those safe zones for a reason.  The agents involved claim to be unaware that they were in those zones when they were doing their ethically dubious law enforcement activities.  That’s an… interesting argument; will it be available for the general populace?

Moe Lane


PS: Don’t even get me started on the stings of developmentally disabled people.

*I understand that argument about sting operations.  I generally even agree with it.  But the feds sometimes shake too hard.

8 thoughts on “Hey, ATF?”

  1. The article just reads like a list of wrongness (that’s a word, right?). I’m having trouble getting past this one:

    “ATF agents befriended mentally disabled people to drum up business and later arrested them in at least four cities in addition to Milwaukee. In Wichita, Kan., ATF agents referred to a man with a low IQ as “slow-headed” before deciding to secretly use him as a key cog in their sting. And agents in Albuquerque, N.M., gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a “tutorial” on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.”

  2. I hope no one is surprised by this. While I have no theoretical problem with government having larger powers than the absolute minimum necessary to run a government, those need to be coupled with openness and accountability to ensure that as few rights as possible are violated through the exercise of those powers.

  3. This goes along with some of the more generally disturbing trends in law enforcement ..
    Police (including local, state, and fed) are increasingly conducting themselves as though they are outside the community .. not lawless, but .. as though they aren’t “mere citizens”.
    What’s interesting is the .. strange bedfellows .. that are likely to result from this continuing trend…
    This particular incident hit close to home as I have both a nephew with a hot temper and a niece at Iowa State.

  4. http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/cops-if-we-have-to-get-a-warrantwere-gon

    Cops: “If we have to get a warrant…we’re gonna shoot and kill your dogs”

    “I said, ‘I have no idea who you’re talking about I’ve never heard of these people before,’” he said.

    To prove it, he said police asked to search his house, Crinnian refused multiple times. He said they needed a warrant.

    Then he said one police officer started threatening him saying, “If we have to get a warrant, we’re going to come back when you’re not expecting it, we’re going to park in front of your house, where all your neighbors can see, we’re gonna bust in your door with a battering ram, we’re gonna shoot and kill your dogs, who are my family, and then we’re going to ransack your house looking for these people.”

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