When Alameda County sheriffs obtained a warrant based on an anonymous tip, to search paraplegic Jason Rivera’s home for marijuana, they came to talk to Rivera at his recording studio first. Rivera, a medical marijuana patient, was shocked when deputies threatened to kill his dog if he didn’t cooperate with the search:
“We can do this the easy way and you can take us to your house to look around,” Rivera recounts the deputy saying, “or we can detain you for six hours while we get a warrant and go to your house and shoot your dog.”
The killing of family pets by SWAT officers during marijuana raids has generated numerous headlines recently, including chilling video of a raid in Columbia, Missouri, where a man’s dog was shot seven times while the man’s seven-year-old child slept in the next room. In these cases, police spokespersons defend the actions of the officers by explaining that in these no-knock raids, securing the premises and eliminating immediate threats to officer safety is standard operating procedure.
Of course, in Rivera’s case the police were obviously aware of the dog ahead of time so it in no way posed a threat to them – at least not one that required them to shoot the dog. Then again, the use of marijuana especially by people suffering from chronic pain poses no threat to the rest of society. So we have layers upon layers of absurdity at work here.
Which, again, is no real surprise given that we’re talking about the War on Drugs.
Note: As of this time, I can find no other accounts of this story, and no statement from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. So take it all with a grain of salt until more details emerge.
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