Botany Bay Raid: I'd like to report a crime.
In the cliff notes, I alluded to a police raid on Botany Bay, a good friend's head shop. Details follow. Two requests, please: #1 Listen to the IJ podcast on predatory policing. Policing for profit is a gross abuse of power and a direct result of the drug war. You and I pay police to PROTECT us, but the evidence is overwhelming that our cops now see us as opportunities. (Except cops who are members of Oathkeepers -- that would be evidence that a cop still knows who s/he serves.) #2 If you are on Facebook, please like Decriminalize Kentucky. (You'll also find the video on that page.) Our voices need to be heard on this topic! Only we can stop the insanity.
I witnessed an armed robbery in broad daylight. The thieves were bold, armed, wore no masks, didn’t hurry. They weren’t afraid of being caught. Although, it turned out they sure didn’t want anyone watching.
The Herald-Leader reported this robbery. They got a couple of facts wrong, starting with calling the looting of a retail store an “enforcement action.” To the handful of us recording the siege, it was hard to distinguish this “enforcement action” from a 7/11 smash and grab.
I arrived just after nine grown men had swarmed into the Botany Bay on Winchester Road.
After they handcuffed the four young unarmed employees, aged 18 to 24, the looting began. Much of it is on video shot through the front window. The entire raid would have been recorded except that the first thing the vandals did was rip out the security cameras.
(They also stole the modem and router. Why? Did they feel compelled to further punish the tax-paying law-abiding business owner? They appeared to be all in for that enforcement action.)
The safe was open so they took the few hundred dollars there. They must have been disappointed they didn’t get to actually break into the safe because they destroyed it anyway.
Although the warrant was for alleged contraband that would have fit into a Sponge Bob lunch box, the team arrived with their own large packing boxes into which they deliberately dropped fragile glass merchandise wiped from the store shelves. No bubble wrap. As boxes of glass were taped shut, other heavier boxes were dropped on top of them.
When asked if they were taking an inventory as required by law, they answered, “No.” They seemed pretty pleased with that answer.
Only one alleged cop identified himself by name, yet refused to show any credentials. No one wore a badge except a lone uniformed officer. The rest of the gang were dressed in either street clothes or SWAT gear.