Questioning raid’s ‘success’
December 9, 2005
What Sheriff Braudis, the Cooper Street manager, and others feared could happen when police officers get gun-happy just happened in Florida. A mentally ill man who had not taken his medicine was shot and killed by anxious air marshals when he freaked and ran from a plane. I get claustrophobic on RFTA, especially during Christmas and X Games. I’d hate to get shot while struggling to get off by a “bus marshal.”
Fifty-seven officers involved in a seven-month investigation for nine arrests amounting to three ounces of cocaine, and the DEA says everything went smooth and calls it an overwhelming success. The public doesn’t agree. Shouldn’t it be up to the citizenry to decide what “success” means in its community?
As a taxpayer, I would like to know what the total cost of those “successful” raids were. I’m guessing the police could have offered all nine guys fat “relocation packages” and had a lot of money left over. But what fun is it to be a cop and never get to raid anything or fiddle with your gun?
Joking aside, in the course of a seven-month investigation, the task force should have come to the realization that the “party scene” in Aspen is extremely nonviolent and relatively unintrusive to the broader community. It is a resort, after all. Most locals and tourists, I am guessing, expect and accept a little partying, but not gun-charged raids during dinner.
I’ve filled out police comment cards describing our officers and deputies as the coolest and most friendly in the country. As it should be. I call on City Council to make sure they stay that way. What if we made our town gun-free, police included?
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