Friday, June 13, 2008

Subcontracting civil liberties violations

As part of his continuing coverage of the case of Ryan Frederick, the Chesapeake, Virginia, man who is charged with murder for shooting a home intruder who turned out to be a police officer, Radley Balko has uncovered information suggesting that the Chesapeake police have been bypassing search and seizure protections by sending informants to break into people's homes.

Because they were regularly working with the police, the two men seem to have started to think they were above the law. Last January, just a few days before the Ryan Frederick raid, Steven was arrested and charged with credit card fraud and grand larceny for some credit cards police say he stole last December.

Reggie told me Steven contacted him shortly after that arrest, and told him about the charges. He says Steven told him he had worked out a deal with the police where they’d help him with the credit card charges if he could bring back evidence that Ryan Frederick was growing marijuana.

Reggie says he and Steven then broke into Frederick’s detached garage to obtain evidence against Frederick. Once again, I asked if the police knew about the break-in. Reggie again refused to answer, and again explained that he was afraid of possible retaliation from the police.

Full story here.

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