Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today's rant on LE: do these effing morons not realize

just what they've done? And what it looks like? And what it's done to attitudes towards them?
I'm referring to the Evansville PD, who I wrote about yesterday; made a SWAT raid that turned out to be an "Oopsie!" A little more on this: it seems they based their raid on the IP address involved in posting some threats, but apparently didn't investigate beyond that.
Ira Milan, whose house ended up targeted by the authorities, tells the Evansville Courier & Press that she thinks the author of the posts used her granddaughter’s Internet connection from an outside location. Police Chief Billy Bolin says it is much more cut and dry, though.

“We have no way of being able to tell that,” Bolin tells the Courier, adding that the messages “definitely come back to that address.”
It appears you also have no way of being able to prove THE ONE WHO MADE THE THREAT LIVES AT THE ADDRESS YOU DECIDED TO RAID. Which is kind of something you're supposed to do BEFORE you decide to throw grenades and break in to a house. Especially since there've been so many cases of people using someone else' wifi to access the 'net.
Police reps tell the Courier that they obtained a search warrant for computer equipment at Milan’s house so that they could collect whatever devices may have been used to make the anonymous posts. Responding to an inquiry from the paper, though, the Vanderburgh County Clerk’s Office was initially unable to locate a copy of the document; Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nick Hermann also refused to comply with the request. When Bolin was asked by the media to materialize the warrant, he deferred their plea and insisted that producing the paper could compromise the investigation. What Bolin did have to say, however, was that the document did not contain the names of any suspects.

“We have an idea in our mind who it is, but we don’t have evidence yet, Bolin explains to the Courier.
What The Effing Hell? "We have an idea, but no evidence" and a bloody easily-spoofed IP address is good enough to put on the ninja suits? AND call the local tv weenies to shoot video of your 'dynamic entry'? Really? And the prosecutor couldn't redact anything sensitive? Anymore, they pull something like this and 'can't show the warrant' makes me think they skipped some of those troublesome legal preliminaries that are supposed to be done before you do crap like this; something else for a lawyer to dig for, and the paper if they're worth the title 'reporters'.
Even still, the department says that the hunch was enough to throw two flash-bang stun grenades into the front window of Ira Milan’s home. The Courier Press reports that the front door was open at the time of the incident.

“To bring a whole SWAT team seems a little excessive,” says Milan.
Especially when everything's considered, yeah. Except I'd say 'unnecessary and possibly criminal'.

But for the real RCOB moment, read:
Authorities say it should prove their point, though.

“This is a big deal to us,” Sgt. Jason Cullum, a police department spokesman, tells the Courier Press. “This may be just somebody who was online just talking stupid. What I would suggest to anybody who visits websites like that is that their comments can be taken literally.”
Got that? Sgt. Cullum, and presumably Chief Bolin, think that raiding THE WRONG DAMNED HOUSE and THROWING IN GRENADES WHEN THE DOOR IS OPEN and TEARING UP THE HOUSE and CONFISCATING SOMEONE'S LAPTOP is worth doing because IT PROVES THEIR POINT? Their point being, apparently, that if you say something threatening or 'talking stupid' the Evansville PD thinks that's sufficient reason to put on their ninja suits and raid WHERE THEY THINK YOU MIGHT BE?

And, just for the icing on the cake, it's been known for quite a while that 'IP does not equal physical address or particular computer':
As several courts have ruled recently, though, that isn’t enough to exactly single out a certain home, let alone a person. While an Internet Protocol address can be linked to a computer, any person who accesses that network’s WiFi — with or without authorization — can be linked to that IP. Only last month, in fact, New York Eastern District federal court magistrate Judge Gary Brown ruled that IP address logs can’t be used on its own to link a suspect to a crime, writing “a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals.” District Court Judge Howard R. Lloyd made essentially the same ruling one month earlier in a Northern District of California courtroom.

I hope the family gets a lawyer and sues the PD. I know, it'll be the common citizens paying any award, but just maybe "We're paying HOW MUCH because these idiots raided the wrong house?" might cause enough problems to cause the PD to decide "Sending a Message" isn't sufficient reason to put peoples' lives at risk.

1 comment:

Thornharp said...

Unless that subscriber has a static IP, the IP itself will change from time to time, usually when the subscriber power-cycles the gateway/router.