Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cops Play Wii During Undercover Drug Raid

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the a-250-average-doesn't-just-happen dept.

Games 251

An anonymous reader writes "Guns drawn, cops busted down the door of a suspected south Florida drug dealer, then proceeded to kick some ass on Wii bowling. A security cam captured some playing video games while others searched for drugs and weapons. Clearly they just misunderstood when they were told to search the house for Weed."

cancel ×

251 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Time for a raise? (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516699)

Maybe cops dont get paid that good after all, if they only get to play Wii when they're busting their owners.

slashdot users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517053)

Slashdot users
Get their knowledge
From many years
In junior college.

Re:slashdot users (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517457)

Burma Shave!

Re:slashdot users (0, Offtopic)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518577)

Please mod the above funny!

Least of our problems (2, Insightful)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516745)

I think a couple of police officers getting paid to goof off is the least of our problems with the police in general here in the U.S. Things like corruption, abuse of power, illegal searches, etc. are of more concern to me. Personally I think that when you become a police officer you agree to be monitored 24/7 and have all the video/ transcripts made publicly available.

Re:Least of our problems (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516769)

Monitored while on duty is fine. Off-duty, no way. Officers aren't slaves and they can have a personal life.

Re:Least of our problems (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29516817)

If they have nothing to hide, they shouldn't object to being monitored 24/7.

The bigger problem is them beating the shit out of people when they are just trying to surrender.

Re:Least of our problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517021)

If they have nothing to hide, they shouldn't object to being monitored 24/7.

The bigger problem is them beating the shit out of people when they are just trying to surrender.

Same could be said of everyone. Slippery slope kind of thing. Not a good idea.

Just make sure violators are brought to justice.

Re:Least of our problems (1)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518251)

Slippery slope is a logic fallacy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope [wikipedia.org]

Slippery Slope is Not Necessarily Fallacious (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519051)

No. A slippery slope argument can be fallacious. Inductive reasoning is not necessarily (in the formal sense) wrong. An argument that takes the form of a formal fallacy is demonstrably wrong, but arguments both good and bad take the form of informal fallacy all the time. And it would be nice if more Slashdot readers realized this before thinking they'd delivered a devastating blow to an argument by pointing out that some informal fallacy might be in play.

Re:Least of our problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517143)

So says the person who was scared to post publicly, that or to dam lazy to logon, like me :0

Re:Least of our problems (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516899)

I kinda think that was a given, AC.
Seems like a good idea to me. People aren't as God-fearing as they used to be, but now we have the tech to make sure the ones in power _are_ constantly watched by higher-powers now.

Re:Least of our problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518553)

Who watches the watchers, whom are watching the watched, when they watch those who need watching.

Re:Least of our problems (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517853)

This presents an interesting argument: in the vast majority of communities across the US, police officers are always considered "on-duty" ... that is, they are allowed to carry a concealed weapon, make arrests, etc. during "personal" hours. Since they are still exercising their powers, it seems that they should be monitored 24x7, even if "off duty".

Re:Least of our problems (1)

TheCowSaysMooNotBoo (997535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518003)

I hate to quote an overused quote, but who watches the watchmen?

Re:Least of our problems (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518907)

The police.

Re:Least of our problems (4, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517201)

a couple of police officers getting paid to goof off

This isn't like the library staff caught playing Rock Band. These were investigators at the scene of a drug raid playing a Wii owned by the person being arrested while evidence was being collected on the premesis. This could potentially be a pretty big problem. A defense lawyer could use this to their advantage when attempting to invalidate the evidence collected.

Re:Least of our problems (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517901)

My imagination is failing me.

How could this be used to advantage by the defense?

Re:Least of our problems (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518189)

My imagination is failing me. How could this be used to advantage by the defense?

Try imagining the fourth amendment. It unambiguously requires a warrant to describe specifically what is to be searched. I'm quite sure the Wii was not mentioned in the warrant.

Re:Least of our problems (1)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518257)

Precisely. The officers' use of the Wii could technically be considered a seizure, but, IANAL, so can someone who knows a bit more please elaborate? Thanks in advance.

Re:Least of our problems (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518763)

Try imagining the fourth amendment. It unambiguously requires a warrant to describe specifically what is to be searched. I'm quite sure the Wii was not mentioned in the warrant.

So, how about if they sat on the couch, or used the bathroom? Does that count as them "seizing" the couch, or "seizing" the toilet paper? And does that invalidate the entire search warrant? No. Flat out, no. They didn't "seize" the Wii any more than they "seized" the front door when they opened it or "seized" the floor by using it to walk on. Turning something on does not count as searching it nor seizing it. Did they search and seize the lights when they turned them on? Not the most professional behavior to use the Wii, but it doesn't invalidate the search warrant like the defense attorney would dream...

Re:Least of our problems (1)

Thruen (753567) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519233)

Your comparisons are ridiculous. A search warrant grants officers access to anything that is valid to the search. Meaning, when they search your house for a gun, they can reasonably search through your physical possessions, anything that could contain or be hiding said gun. They absolutely can not, however, search data on my hard drive for a gun, as it wouldn't be a reasonable place to find an actual gun. If the warrant states that they're searching for evidence of a gun, and they have reason to believe said evidence is in digital form and sitting on my hard drive, then they can search it.
So let me clear this up for you. Believe it or not, officers shouldn't be using the bathroom or sitting on the couch in the house they're searching, as they could potentially be contaminated or destroying evidence. Nobody wants to be the a-hole that flushes the last of the guy's coke down the can. The doors and the floor, they require access to those in order to conduct the search for the drugs. The wii... where does the wii fit in... Oh, right, the Wii had to be searched so the officers could determine if he was on drugs while playing in the past, so they had to create comparison scores by themselves, both on and off drugs, and then... Don't be an idiot. If your house is being searched the officers do not have the right to use your stuff, they have the right to conduct the search and that's all. Even if they didn't use any of his things, the simple fact that officers were playing games while conducting the search shows them to be unprofessional and arguably irresponsible, so irresponsible in fact that they can't be trusted to accurately document evidence. Or so any half-wit lawyer could argue, and likely win.
What they did was wrong in a number of ways, and the officers who were playing the game as well as their superiors should be reprimanded. Sure, they're just people too, but they're people who chose to become officers of the law, they chose a life that holds them to a higher standard, and they need to meet that standard or step down.

Re:Least of our problems (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518817)

If the Wii doesn't have any evidence, then there is nothing to exclude.

I don't think that warrants get voided en toto, due to one (rather trivial) error. Even if it's argued that the Wii was "seized", does this mean anything at all, since there was no evidence on it (nor much expectation for there to be)?

Re:Least of our problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518517)

IANAL, but they could probably make a pretty good argument that the police were unprofessional while conducting the warrant, so they were probably unprofessional when conducting the investigation that led to getting the warrant. If they can't even search a house without stopping to play games, they probably couldn't be bothered to spend the time to correctly investigate.

All the defense needs to do is give reasonable doubt to one juror that the police screwed up, this gives them a good opportunity to do that.

Re:Least of our problems (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518885)

Well, yeah, I guess it could be used to influence the jury into making unwarranted assumptions and generalizations. I wouldn't call that a "good argument".

Re:Least of our problems (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519231)

Just read the article (the actual article [tbo.com] rather than the linked blog); this is already being used by the defense attorney to claim the whole search should be invalidated:

Not just inappropriate, but Tampa defense attorney Rick Escobar would argue the moment detectives turned on that video game and effectively seized it, they turned the search warrant into an illegal search.

"I've never seen anything like this," Escobar said after he viewed some of the video. Escobar does not represent Difalco and has no connection to the case.

"All the citizens are thinking, 'Wait a minute, we are paying these people to go out and protect us and here they are playing bowling on our time,' " he said.

"The real question here is have they seized property that wasn't described in the search warrant?" Escobar asked. "Clearly if they're using it, they've seized it and for totally improper purposes, because it's for entertainment. Investigations are not for entertainment."

Re:Least of our problems (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517943)

Not a problem on a global scale which /. would be...

Sorry, (-1, Troll)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516805)

But that is AWESOME!

Would have been funnier if they had sat down at a computer and fired up a game of DopeWars [treadon.us] ...

Apologies to Training Day (4, Funny)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516807)

Hey, don't hate the player, hate the game.

Should have played Wii Boxing (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516859)

Might have been able to pass it off as Physical training on the job.

Completely unacceptable (5, Informative)

vehicle tracking (1357065) | more than 4 years ago | (#29516959)

Having been a police officer for five years, I can comment on this one. I support the job they do when it's done right, but this is completely unacceptable. These officers should be suspended for this. Unfortunately, this kind of stuff, and worse, happens every day. There are a few bad apples in every department. We need more whistle blowers out there.

Re:Completely unacceptable (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517077)

On an interesting question, how many police officers play Grand Theft Auto?

Re:Completely unacceptable (4, Funny)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517347)

On an interesting question, how many police officers play Grand Theft Auto?

Hey, they could always be playing the 'police missions'!

Re:Completely unacceptable (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517103)

Why? why should they be suspended?

After entering a premises and doing their highly stressful job, they played some Wii. Big Whoop.

The real story is that attorney are trying to say this counts a seizing property. That's the abuse here.

Re:Completely unacceptable (1)

juan2074 (312848) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517409)

The real story is that "law enforcement" can seize property at all.

It's your government. Do you really condone property seizures?

Re:Completely unacceptable (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517435)

So their jobs are stressful. So what? Mine is too. But I don't come in and check out a GOV for joy-riding. Nor do I go to the lab and fire up the lasers to burn smiley faces on things. And those are government assets - Abusing personal assets is far worse.

You wanna play Wii? Fine - Buy one or befriend somebody who has one. Breaking into somebody's house (warrant or no) is NOT grounds for just playing around with their stuff.

Should this invalidate evidence found on the premises? Hell no. Should those officers be suspended for taking control of and playing with property that was completely aside from the investigation? Hell yes. They're probably short of theft, but if they're just playing in the guy's house - Charge 'em with trespassing.

Re:Completely unacceptable (4, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517475)

Because their search warrant was for search of premises and an arrest warrant for suspect, not to "chill out after a hard day and play suspect's video game system"?

Are you dense?

Here's an analogy, I'm an EMT. If I come to your premises, after /you/ call 911, and you decide you don't want treatment, but I think "No, this guy's messed up, I'll just have a look at this", I'm committing criminal assault and battery. If I stick around in your house, after, you can call 911 again, and have me arrested for trespass. Let alone pull up a pew and decide I'm going to have a few games of Wii Bowling, especially against your consent.

I am staggered that you think the real issue here is that the suspect thinks that this is inappropriate or unacceptable behavior. Don't even start me on "after doing their highly stressful job". So what? You go back to the station, to your home, you don't de-stress there. How could you ever think that was acceptable? Maybe they should have pulled a few brews out of the fridge too? Hell, maybe rolled themselves a joint from the evidence!

Re:Completely unacceptable (2, Insightful)

vehicle tracking (1357065) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517545)

It's Wii this time. Next time it will be something more serious.

uh oh... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519267)

It's Wii this time. Next time it will be something more serious.

Guitar Hero?

Re:Completely unacceptable (3, Insightful)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517895)

After entering a premises and doing their highly stressful job, they played some Wii. Big Whoop. The real story is that attorney are trying to say this counts a seizing property. That's the abuse here.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

That's the word on the street anyhow. Also known as the fourth amendment of the US Constitution. Entering someone's private residence with a warrant is serious business. There's a time to blow off steam, but it's not during the execution of a search warrant.

Re:Completely unacceptable (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29519149)

I did not know there was limit to what cops could do for the bounds of executing a warrant.

I had a search warrant executed against my when I was living in San Gabriel for a minor hacking charge. SGPD officers not only broke several of my decorations, but ate food out of my kitchen and made it clear they were enjoying the abuse they were delivering. When I left the room to talk to my lawyer over the phone, several of them harassed my fiance to the point where she called off our engagement, but still won't tell me what they said to her.

Not a day goes by I don't think about killing myself in the station lobby.

Re:Completely unacceptable (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517351)

--We need more whistle blowers out there.--

What good would that do without oversight? But anyhow, I don't think he will get out of it just for videoing that. He'll just get 15 minutes of fame. The real question that I have to ask that I didn't se an answer for: Did he give them permission to play or not?

Can the defense now get the search thrown out because of it? If so, then no they didn't do their job right. I'm really hoping that there is less "bad apples" among the police than there is among the general population. I would think that to be true, yet I also hear of guards getting caught smuggling dope into prisons for money. I have some family members that tell me this happens even more than reported as they are guards. The retirement is good but man I don't think I would want either job. You will probably be criticized pretty often no matter what.

Re:Completely unacceptable (1)

vehicle tracking (1357065) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517931)

Doubtful they could through out the search because of it; assuming they had a warrant. It's usually what happens before the search that gets the case tossed. It's just bad police conduct.

Re:Completely unacceptable (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518479)

That was exactly my thinking as well, but I wasn't sure, but still it just seems a little bit unprofessional. Maybe there is no more to it than that and the problem will be fixed in the future at least with that department. What the head said about the supervisor, not supervising might be more of an issue.

Re:Completely unacceptable (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518047)

I think there are more then a few or at least the bad apples cluster together, before you can get more whistle bowers you need an environment where it is ok to blow whistles. Although this is bad behavior and coming from the private sector myself I would say they should get fired not suspend for such actions, but for someone to risk the quality of their life, harassment from other cops, Possible retribution, etc... It would need to be more serious then cops playing video games when they should be working.

Dear Police, (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517025)

Wii would like to play.
Now if they were playing Muscle March [youtube.com] and going after the Stolen Muscle Milk everything would be fine.
warning, if you are not familiar with the strange world of Nippon, don't click.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517067)

As a former resident of South Florida, and a lawyer who used to be involved in police civil rights cases, believe me, it's a good thing they're doing this and not all the other stuff they frequently get caught at.

cops (2, Insightful)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517069)

I think most people realize that cops are just bullies fulfilling their dream of getting paid to be a bully.

Not only that, but anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics.

Re:cops (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517131)

Sound a bit bitter here.
Talking from experience?

Re:cops (1)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517197)

No, I've never been arrested. Actually, I've heard cops say similar things - "oh you must have been on the end of charge"...

Re:cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517319)

but anyone willing to ruin their life over a little pot (like this suspect) has a serious lack of intelligence.

There fixed that for you.

Re:cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517431)

Which part of smoking pot is the part that makes it worth criminalizing?

Re:cops (3, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517681)

Which part of smoking pot is the part that makes it worth criminalizing?

The part where we are a democratic country full of stuffy neo-puritans.

Statistically, a majority of Americans have tried pot.
Also, a majority of Americans are opposed to legalization.

Which means there are a significant number of assholes in this country who think it's perfectly fine if they use pot and get away with it, but YOU should go to jail if you get caught doing the same thing.

Most libertarian crackpots like me are painfully aware that "live and let live" is not actually a majority philosophy, and we've got an uphill battle to sell our political views to the rest of society.

Re:cops (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517521)

Know that whole 'protect and serve' thing? You don't think that maybe the majority of cops are in it for that? Obviously a field of work like law enforcement is a draw to power hungry bastards, but you may as well say that all soldiers serving in the military signed up solely to carry a gun and shoot people. There are, of course, a small percentage of soldiers that might apply to - but the majority of soldiers are there because they believe they are helping to keep our country safe. (except for blackwater or whatever its new name is - mercenaries are mercenaries and can only be in it for money and power. I mean soldiers - those people who volunteer to serve our country whatever the circumstance)

Re:cops (3, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517771)

>Not only that, but anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics.

The police are the enforcers of the law. It blows my mind that people blame the lowest guy on the ladder for laws and policies. Joe Cop isnt writing state and federal law. Considering you are in a democracy you are just as guilty as anyone else for these laws being in existance. Perhaps having a scapegoat makes you feel better about yourself, but youre 100% wrong to target the police on these matters.

If you ever got off your high horse and talked to some cops you might have many share the same attitudes you do.

What about some basic personal responsibility? If owning pot is such a legal nightmare that it can ruin your life if arrested, as you state, why dont these people move to countries where it is legal instead of pretending they have immunity and then blaming the police for getting caught?

Re:cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518233)

Yes, cops are just people, like everybody else.

Except "People" fuck up, a lot. If the Taco Bell guy happens to be a dick about his job and decides not to offer me service because he doesn't like my face, the worst that has happened is I don't get my taco bell.

If a cop happens to be a dick about his job because he doesn't like my face, he can come to my house 'under cover', murder me, and lie about it.

www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/13/brooklyn-man-shot-to-deat_n_230487.html

I'm new to slashdot, and have no idea how to put that into the handy 'citation' thing that I've seen people do. If someone would let me know, that would be awesome.

Re:cops (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518295)

What about some basic personal responsibility? If owning pot is such a legal nightmare that it can ruin your life if arrested, as you state, why dont these people move to countries where it is legal instead of pretending they have immunity and then blaming the police for getting caught?

The same reason the North didn't up and leave instead of fighting the civil war. Running away is not the right way to fight unjust laws.

Re:cops (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518373)

And you realize that no matter what you say, you're a pimply fat dude who lives in his parents' basement and has only been laid by his right hand.

Turn about is fair play.

Re:cops (2, Informative)

sponga (739683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518409)

Actually, the guy was running a chop shop and had a house of stolen goods that will easily be traceable.

These are the scumbags who collect all the stuff from your car that had its window smashed in to grab that thing that is worth $5, still doesn't justify this though. Although this happens all the time where officers go through these drug deals houses and they have all the latest expensive gadgets and toys.

Although to be truthful, I have seen silly stuff like this even on the show COPS. I remember they did some Miama drug raid and found all these silly toys this guy had, everytime they would pull something out they would play with it and set it down.

9 hours of searching though the house, something like a year of previous surveillance leading up to get the warrant for the raid and the operation they listed cost about $4,000. I was surprised they listed the actual cost of the operation, but the previous surveillance had to involve lots of paid man hours of just sitting watching in the car.
Which basically makes the warrant voided and illegal as soon as the cops turned on that Wii.

Shitty ass article on Slashdot cannot even link to a Youtube link or comment by the police, here all of 10 seconds it took me.

Link to video
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8bc_1253652224&c=1#comments [liveleak.com]

Link to article and comment by the Department
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/sep/21/undercover-drug-investigators-embarrass-polk-sheri/ [tbo.com]
_____

  With guns drawn and flashlights cutting through darkened rooms, Polk County undercover drug investigators stormed the home of convicted drug dealer Michael Difalco near Lakeland in March.

As investigators searched the home for drugs, some drug task force members found other ways to occupy their time. Within 20 minutes of entering Difalco's house, some of the investigators found a Wii video bowling game and began bowling frame after frame.

While some detectives hauled out evidence such as flat screen televisions and shotguns, others threw strikes, gutter balls and worked on picking up spares.

A Polk County sheriff's detective cataloging evidence repeatedly put down her work and picked up a Wii remote to bowl. When she hit two strikes in a row, she raised her arms above her head, jumping and kicking.

While a female detective lifted a nearby couch looking for evidence, another sheriff's detective focused on pin action.

But detectives with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the Auburndale, Lakeland and Winter Haven police departments did not know that a wireless security camera connected to a computer inside Difalco's home was recording their activity.

The recording obtained by News Channel 8 showed several members of the county's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force entering the house shortly after 8 a.m. According to the search warrant, their mission was to search for drugs, stolen property and the fruits of any illegal drug activity.

Now there are questions on how the impromptu bowling tournament might affect the case against Difalco.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd denies it will have any effect.

"That absolutely is not true; that doesn't invalidate the search at all," Judd said. "Now the defendant would like for it to invalidate the search, but unfortunately for him, it won't."

Judd, who watched the video during an interview last week, called the situation an embarrassment.

"I'm not pleased that they played that Wii bowling game," Judd said. The sheriff's office oversees the drug task force. Judd said he initiated an internal administrative investigation of the incident.

"That is not appropriate conduct at a search warrant," he said. "But I am less pleased with the supervision that didn't walk in and say, turn that off. That's what supervision should have done."

Task force members played the video game at various times during the day, for a total of a little over an hour of playing time. The competition proved to be quite competitive at times. A task force supervisor from the Lakeland Police Department, gun at his side, pumped his fist after picking up a strike on the first ball he threw. The video showed he continued bowling frame after frame, competing with another undercover detective.

"Obviously, this is not the kind of behavior we condone," Lakeland Police Chief Roger Boatner said. "There was a lot of down time, but that does not excuse the fact that we should act as the consummate professionals."

"Certainly this was a case of bad judgment," Auburndale Police Chief Nolan McLeod said. "We will handle it appropriately."

Winter Haven police Sgt. Brad Coleman said Chief E.C. Waters had not viewed the video. "If there is any indication that someone did something inappropriately, we will do something about it," Coleman said.

Court records show detectives placed Difalco's home under surveillance as far back as December 2008.

"We knew he had weapons," Judd said. "He's a bad guy."

His history includes an extensive arrest record dating back to 1995. Difalco, 43, served three years in state prison from 2002 to 2005 for trafficking drugs, owning and operating a chop shop, and grand theft.

In what Judd called "brilliant police work," the task force placed Difalco under surveillance and took him into custody, away from his home and weapons, during the early morning hours of March 6, in the parking lot of a Circle K convenience store on Highway 98.

Documents filed with the court say, in the March raid, detectives removed methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, weapons and more than $30,000 in stolen property.

The 11 charges against Difalco include trafficking methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and operating a chop shop.

According to sheriff's office records, 13 detectives and three sergeants spent nine hours searching Difalco's property, for drugs, stolen property and signs of any illegal drug activity.

The raid cost taxpayers more than $4,000.

Judd, Boatner and McLeod agree the bowling was inappropriate. But they challenge the notion that taxpayer dollars were wasted.

"It was an expansive scene, a lot of searching to be done, a lot of waiting," Boatner said.

"The nature of a search warrant is hurry up and wait," Judd said. "Am I trying to defend the fact that they were bowling, not at all. That was inappropriate."

Not just inappropriate, but Tampa defense attorney Rick Escobar would argue the moment detectives turned on that video game and effectively seized it, they turned the search warrant into an illegal search.

"I've never seen anything like this," Escobar said after he viewed some of the video. Escobar does not represent Difalco and has no connection to the case.

"All the citizens are thinking, 'Wait a minute, we are paying these people to go out and protect us and here they are playing bowling on our time,' " he said.

"The real question here is have they seized property that wasn't described in the search warrant?" Escobar asked. "Clearly if they're using it, they've seized it and for totally improper purposes, because it's for entertainment. Investigations are not for entertainment."

Difalco's attorney declined comment.

Chip Tulberry, a spokesperson for the Polk County State Attorney, declined to comment on the video, or the validity of the search warrant.

"That's a discussion that will occur in court," he said.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/sep/21/undercover-drug-investigators-embarrass-polk-sheri/ [tbo.com]

Re:cops (2, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518647)

I think most people realize that cops are just bullies fulfilling their dream of getting paid to be a bully.

That falls into the same category as believing the earth is flat or only 6,000 years old. It's horseshit.
 
 

Not only that, but anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics.

Ah. Now I understand - you think it's unethical to enforce the law, and thus those who enforce the law must be bullies.

Re:cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518729)

"anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics."

100% correct. i'm terrified of anyone who is anti-pot because there's a person willing to ruin peoples lives over a plant

Re:cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29519253)

I think most people realize that cops are just bullies fulfilling their dream of getting paid to be a bully.

Not only that, but anyone willing to ruin someone's life over a little pot (like these cops) has a serious lack of ethics.

Sounds like someone did something illegal and then cried like a baby when caught. If you did somethign wrong then you pay the price when caught. Thats called being an adult, you make a decision and accept the results of your actions.

Felonwii or misdewiinor? (4, Insightful)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517135)

This will be a good test of our juctice system (cough) to see if the drug dealers get a lesser sentence because of some completely un-related shenannigans. I'm not saying the officers shouldn't be reprimanded to acting unprofessionally but this should in no way affect a judge's decision as how to punch the criminals.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517159)

Sorry grammar nazis, *PUNISH the criminals*.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (3, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517673)

Sorry grammar nazis, *PUNISH the criminals*.

I don't know, I think a public bitch slap from a judge would be pretty cool.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518539)

You say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-toe.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517179)

If they are criminals. Remember in the U.S. that is determined by a court of law, not bozos like us reading summaries of news reports.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517991)

Unless it gets a jury in which case it goes to people seriously worse than the /. average.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (4, Insightful)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517525)

Look, the cops have a job to do, and that is uphold the law. they are NOT supposed to interpret it how they see fit, but uphold the currently written law.

If they can't execute a drug raid to the tee of their procedures (IE NOT using the suspects property), then they should get reprimanded and the suspect should have the charges dropped.

If the cop can't follow one simple procedure (playing Wii in a suspects premise during a raid is NOT part of their job duties at all), who is to say they are doing the rest of their job correctly?

How do we know they didn't plant the drugs there? how do we know they didn't steal some of his money or his weed?

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (2, Insightful)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517877)

Having the charges dropped is ludicrous. Because they played his gaming system does NOT invalidate the paraphernalia they were searching for and seized. This is an after-the-fact issue, that should be dealt with by internal affairs.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517881)

We know because there is a camera there. Also, picking up a Wii controller and bowling a couple frames does not suggest that the same officer planted drugs or stole money from the alleged (you're welcome Mickey) criminals. The burden of proof is not on the officer to say he DIDN'T do those things. The burden is on the alleged (you're welcome Mickey) criminal to prove that he wasn't dealing the drugs they found (or didn't find - you're welcome Mickey) in the home.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (4, Insightful)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29519041)

No it's not ludicrous.

The Officers were NOT doing their jobs correctly, not following procedures, etc.

If the police officers did NOT include their usage of the Wii on their raid report or whatever it would be called, that is example #1 of the police officers not reporting exactly what they did.

If they lied about that, who is to say they haven't lied before in other cases or other parts of the report for this one?

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517665)

Misdewiinor? If the cops open fire, I sure hope they do.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (2, Funny)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517807)

I'm not saying the officers shouldn't be reprimanded to acting unprofessionally but this should in no way affect a judge's decision as how to punch the criminals.

This is akin to arresting you and taking your car out for a joyride spin. Sure you can argue they waste gas for the car, but they wasted electricity for their entertainment.

Besides, this is unlawful search. I would like to think that unless they had a warrant for this specific task, they could NOT search digital devices. Seeing how it was a drug deal, they could only search physical items (like maybe take apart the wii at the very worst case, but they could NOT digitally open it, or go through all their movies/home movies and watch them all)

Oh.. IANAL, but I use morality to make my decisions.

Re:Felonwii or misdewiinor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29519097)

I believe that they are not criminals until found guilty.

READ TFA!!!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517163)

If you would have read TFA, you would know this guy had an EXTENSIVE criminal record (Big time meth dealer, possession of over $60,000 stolen goods, grand theft auto)

Im sure if someone watched your job 24/7 like people do the police they might catch you slacking off every once and a while.

Its 11:34, not time for lunch break yet...

These police deserve our thanks for their service.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (2, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517247)

Slacking off every once and a while is one thing. The police chief even admitted that most house searches have "downtime." Still, playing Wii Bowling for 9 hours is a bit excessive.

Grand Theft Auto isn't available on the Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517275)

If you would have read TFA, you would know this guy had an EXTENSIVE criminal record (Big time meth dealer, possession of over $60,000 stolen goods, grand theft auto)

idiot.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (1, Flamebait)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517377)

No, police do NOT deserve our thanks. They are immoral bullies enforcing ridiculous laws, and they usually enforce them with an excess amount of force. Any person with an ounce of integrity would refuse to do the job that police do.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517633)

Which of the laws are ridiculous? I kind of like the laws against theft, murder, rape and other things.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (2, Insightful)

stdarg (456557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518495)

If cops put the same effort into those laws as they do into useless laws, it would be a better world. Why do they bust "johns" who hire prostitutes, and not go after the pimps who coerce and abuse the prostitutes? Why do they spend thousands of man hours setting up undercover drug operations, and not thousands of hours infiltrating gangs that go around raping and murdering?

When it comes to the good laws against rape, murder, theft, etc, the police are almost 100% REactive. With bullshit like drugs and prostitution the cops become PROactive.

I know street cops don't get to set policy at that level. I think it's understood that when people complain about cops and laws, they're including the whole system, of which cops are the face.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (1)

jihiggs (1611261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517687)

I feel sorry for you, based on this post and others by you I can CONCLUDE that you harbor a great deal of pain and anger, and are the type of person that attributes the worst possible example to anything else that looks similar. I will give you that there are a great number of police officers out there that get their jollys by being a bully, but I can promise you it is not the majority. it is a difficult job emotionaly, some of them are unable to deal with it properly and become hardened. it is unfortunate, but 90% of the police I have met are very nice people and do the job cause they like to help people.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518921)

Based on your post, I can CONCLUDE that you jump to CONCLUSIONS and emphasize your assumptions using ALL CAPS.

Re:READ TFA!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518973)

I disagree. I think most cops just see it as a job. They don't care about helpign people any more than anyone else. They are often in a position to do so and therefore may be more prone to helping others.

I've worked with lots of cops, and most just want to do what they ahve to do, keep their job, and go home.

So... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517293)

This must be more of that "New Professionalism [cato-at-liberty.org] " that Scalia was fantasizing about.

9 Hours? (1)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517395)

According to the Engadget story [engadget.com] the Wii bowling session lasted 9 hours. That's pretty excessive. I bet someone woke up with a sore arm the next day.

Re:9 Hours? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517745)

I'd be willing to bet they stole some of the weed they were there to confiscate and had to play for 9 hours to sober up before returning to their head quarters. Seriously, there are far worse shit out there (drug wise), which is a growing problem (from the reports I read--too lazy to link you).
 
Please take care of the life-changing (and life-debilitating) drugs in trade before we go after something almost legal. Hell, marijuana is legal by prescription in California and completely legal in personal quantities in Mexico. Let's stop wasting our tax money on non-problems and stop cocain and heroin and anything else out there ruining lives, please.

Re:9 Hours? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517793)

Clearly they *did* find some pot - I wonder how much made it back to the evidence locker...

Something is missing... (1)

plastick (1607981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517419)

If only they had virtual donuts.

New CSI Miami Episode? (2, Funny)

NYMeatball (1635689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517465)

Looks like the dealer... .... [series of long dramatic pauses] .... ...had more than weed up his sleeve. (Yeeeeeahhhhhh!!)

Re:New CSI Miami Episode? (1)

blakedev (1397081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518205)

You forgot to put on the second pair of sunglasses.

not suprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517601)

I live in the county where that happened and its really not a surprise to me, how childish the officers act. I mean these are the same guys that unloaded 180+ rounds into a guy that shot and kill a police k9( DioGi) and one other officer (Matt Williams). http://www.uspca1.com/html/____matt___diogi.html

Wii while high (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517659)

That or they found the weed, smoked some and then proceeded to play some Wii

To be fair... (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 4 years ago | (#29517927)

Wii Sports is a lot of fun... and a lot of good cops have fallen to its dangerous and seductive powers. What can society do when Wii is in the hands of the very people sent out to protect us from it?

Re:To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29518799)

So time to update the Serpico quote?

Ten percent of the police in this city are totally corrupt, ten percent are totally clean, and the rest wish they were playing Wii Bowling.

Tag this story 'Wiid" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29517977)

someone tag this story with "wiid" please :-)

Captcha: interest

Lesson: get a camera in your house, just in case (1)

alohatiger (313873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518049)

But make sure to conduct yourself properly in front of the lens (keep your fetishes private!)

Maybe . . . (5, Funny)

jointm1k (591234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518327)

Maybe they were on strike.

Wii (2, Funny)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518639)

the new Crack

WOW (0, Flamebait)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29518687)

This goes to show that the drug laws in our country are a joke and pigs only does it for funding so they can go around harassing people and f*ck off on tax payer money

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>