Undercover, above the law
November 30, 2006
Dear Editor:Recently re-elected Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis ran for office partially on the claim that he does not utilize undercover investigations. The guy could be onto something.Within the past week, police in Atlanta, acting on an informant’s tip he had bought crack cocaine in the woman’s residence, shot and killed the 88-year-old grandmother in a no-knock SWAT team raid when she opened fire on them with a handgun after they broke two front doors down and barged in after dark screaming “Police.”And in New York City, undercover police officers fired 50 shots at a fleeing vehicle outside a strip club under surveillance, killing the driver on his wedding day and wounding the other two occupants, one shot 11 times. One officer fired 31 rounds alone.The informant says Atlanta police told him to lie about the tip, which he claims he never made. A small quantity of marijuana was found.Police shot at the New Yorker’s moving vehicle in violation of police department standard operating procedure. Nobody seems to know what happened or why.There are a lot of unanswered questions concerning both incidents. Questions Sheriff Braudis will never have to answer, or evade, like officials in Georgia and New York.Ah, to live in Aspen and not have to answer any questions. Must be every U.S. law enforcement official’s dream tonight, with the exception of Bob Braudis.Bob StumpDeRidder, La.