Cultural Baggage, September 20, 2009

Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.


It's not only inhumane it is really fundamentally Un-American... "NO MORE" "DRUG WAR" "NO MORE" "DRUG WAR" "NO MORE" "DRUG WAR" "NO MORE" "DRUG WAR"

My Name is Dean Becker. I don't condone or encourage the use of any drugs - legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on eternal drug war.


Dean Becker: Hello my friends. Welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. As this show first airs, I am either in El Paso, Texas or Juarez, Mexico, the most violent city in the western hemisphere. I am lucky that we do have today a recording from Lou Rockwell telling us why we should never talk to the cops.


Lou Rockwell: I was invited to give you a taste of a typical law school class room experience here today and I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity to do something that has been on my mind for a while. To stand up and to proudly say god bless America, god bless the Bill of Rights and thank god for the Fifth Amendment. I am not ashamed to say I am proud of the Fifth Amendment and I am proud to admit on camera and on the internet that I will never talk to any police officer under any circumstances, with all due respect, sir.


I am doing something really extraordinary here today. Something you will almost never see another law professor do as long as you live. I am really putting myself on the spot here. This was my idea. By my invitation, I have given up half of my time approximately. I am giving equal time and the last word to an expert who really knows something about what I will be talking about. So I am opening myself up to the possibility that he will contradict me.

I was a criminal defense attorney when I was in private practice. So I want to make sure in fairness to you if I am misleading you or giving you a slanted or one sided presentation you will be able to get the last word from somebody else. I am sure he will have a lot to teach all of us, including myself.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States constitution provides no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. And this unfortunate amendment has gotten a bad rap in recent times. Much of it, tragically and unnecessarily, through as you may have heard, the headlines.

There was a recent Regent law school graduate who was in all the news for a couple of weeks. She was an outstanding former student of mine. And she really got a lot of undeserved flack from the fact that she chose to exercise her right to remain silent when the senate wanted to ask her certain questions that arguably might have tended to incriminate her. All the world was aghast. The Christian community in particular looked at this and said, how could a Christian do such a thing? How could a good Christian take the Fifth Amendment?

And I said, you go girlfriend. I would do the same thing. I will do it every time. And I want to talk to you about why that is true but first a quick listening test.

Let me read to you something that was taken out of the newspaper this morning and I want you to listen to it closely. And I am giving you a heads up, I am warning you in advance which is not fair to you, not fair to me. But I am giving you warning that I will be quizzing you on this in just a few minutes. This will test your aptitude for legal study and legal practice. Listen closely, it won't take long.

Last night, agents of the Norfolk police department found three victims of an apparent murder dead in an apartment in East Oceanview area. The apparent victims of a gang land style slaying and possibly the victims of gang related violence. The police are investigating this as a possible murder and suicide but right now suspect that the three were all killed by the same individual.

No suspects have yet been identified in the slaying but veteran police detective George Bruck has confirmed that police are following up on evidence pointing to the possible involvement of an off duty naval officer as the perpetrator. The bodies which were found by the apartment manager about eight o'clock in the morning appeared to have been slain sometime earlier in the same evening, probably some time between midnight and two o'clock in the morning. That's it.

That's it, those are all the facts I will ask you to remember and it won't be for very long either. Let's see how well you do. I will be quizzing you in just a few minutes.

Now, here is the easiest question you will ever get from a client in all the days of your life. Question: Hey, the police are here. They want to talk to me. What should I do?

Well, I could give you my answer to that question in case you haven't already guessed it but why don't we go to a real expert? Justice Robert Jackson, a prosecutor's prosecutor. Like me, he began his private practice in Buffalo, New York years before I did and after that he served as general counsel for the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the US Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, assistant US Attorney General of the tax division, later the Solicitor General and the Attorney General of the United States and then the chief US prosecutor for the Nuremburg trials. That is an impressive resume.

Years later, when he was a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Jackson stated quote, any lawyer worth his salt - today we would say his or her - will tell the suspect, his client, in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances. That is the title of my talk. I am here to explain to you the surprising and somewhat counterintuitive, and admittedly unlikely reasons why Justice Jackson was right.

I remind you of this because I am amazed, we are all amazed by the frequency with which see newspaper articles coming out all the time from people who really ought to know better who say, well I'll talk to the police. I mean, after all, I am a senator, I am a, I'm OJ Simpson, I am an experienced, highly polished individual... I have got a lot of experience with public relations. Even criminal defense attorneys.

There was a local news story here in the Virginia Pilot just a couple of months ago about an experienced criminal defense lawyer who ended up getting convicted of criminal assault because he talked to the police. He was accused of having assaulted another attorney in the hallway. There were no other witnesses to this. A woman said that he grabbed her by the throat during an argument over a case. He denied it.

At trial it was his word against hers. He said I did not even touch her. But unfortunately for him, when the police had approached him earlier and said would you be willing to answer some questions, he said, sure. Why not? I am an attorney. I am a criminal defense attorney. I am savvy, I am sophisticated. I have got oratorical prowess. I am accustomed to dealing with the police, by all means.

And then there was a conversation that was not recorded. When the case went to trial, it was no longer his word against hers. Because when he testified at trial I never touched her, the officer took to the stand and testified, well when I met with him, he said he did put his hands on her throat, but just as a joke. Then he had to take the stand again to say that is not true, I never said that. I never admitted to you that I... Now it is his word against two people. Who is telling the truth? We'll never know for sure but he was found guilty.

Now, here is part of the problem. The heart of the problem, as Justice Briar on the US Supreme Court explained in 1998, is quote the complexity of modern federal criminal law cut up by several thousand sections of the United States code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law make it difficult for anyone to know in advance just when a particular statement might later appear to a prosecutor to be relevant to some investigation.

One expert on criminal law recently noted that estimates of the current size of the body of criminal law vary although it has been reported that the congressional research service can no longer even count the current number of federal crimes. That's right. Even the federal government has lost count.

These laws are scattered over all fifty pages of the US code encompassing roughly twenty-seven thousand pages. Worse yet, these statutes often incorporate by reference to the provisions of administrative regulations. Estimates of how many such regulations exist are even less well settled although the ADA thinks there may be ten thousand.

Here is one of those ten thousand federal criminal statutes on the book that you have probably never heard about. It's called the Lacey Act. Sixteen us c section 3370 says it's a federal offense for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in the violation of any law, treaty or regulation of the United states or any Indian tribal law or any state or any foreign law.

People have been convicted in federal court because they brought back a bony fish from Honduras not knowing that Honduran law, not American, but Honduran law forbade the possession of the bony fish. People have been convicted under the Lacey law because they were found in possession of what is called a short lobster, a lobster that is under a certain size. Some states forbid you from possessing a lobster if he is under a certain length. It doesn't matter if he is dead or alive. It doesn't matter if you killed it or it died of natural causes. It doesn't even matter if you acted in self defense. Did you know that?


Did you know it could be a federal offense to be in possession of a lobster? Admit it. Raise your hand if you did not know that. There's the problem. And that is only one of ten thousand different ways.

You know the government gets pretty upset when people like me instruct the client - people like me and Justice Jackson. Don't talk to the police. Don't answer any questions. But you know they can't have it both ways. You people. You have got ten thousand different ways of convicting us. Good for you. But you know with the bitter comes the sweet, with the good comes the bad. That is ten thousand different ways my client might unknowingly implicate himself in some sort of a criminal transaction.

What are the reasons I decided to give this talk? I recently received a phone call from a former student of mine, a Regent Law school graduate who may be watching this online. We are putting it on the internet. And he told me, hey I have been approached by the Internal Revenue Service. They want to ask me a couple of questions; they asked me if I would be willing to. But they say that I am not a suspect and I know in my heart, I don't think I have done anything wrong in violation of the Internal Revenue Service provisions. Lord, have mercy.

There is no man on earth – there is no woman in this country who can honestly say with complete confidence I know I have never violated any provision of the Internal Revenue code. He said, but they say I am not a suspect and I know I have done nothing wrong. It's ok if I talk to him. I said, no. No you tell them you will not talk to them without immunity. I explained to him why that was true and they never – he never heard from them again.

OK, why you should never talk to the police. Let me just spell it out for you. Let me make it plain to all of you. These are the top ten reasons. I don't – I shouldn't really lie to you, I don't really have ten. I don't have time for ten. But I have got time for eight and that will be close enough.

Number one, and this really ought to be good enough. Contrary to what you laymen instinctively and naturally suppose, it can not help. There is no way it can help you. Plenty of folks think that it can and they are always wrong. You cannot talk your way out of getting arrested.

Officer Bruck, you have interviewed thousands of criminal suspects. How many times in your experience have you approached someone, asked if you could ask them some questions because prior to the interview you had some evidence pointing to his possible guilt. And because of the extraordinary persuasiveness and eloquence with which we articulated his innocence, you said, oh, sorry, never mind. Bad call, my bad, I won't... and he talks you out of arresting him.

[background voice]

Never. Never. It never happens. I have often asked other criminal defense attorneys, in all of your experience have you ever once had a case where you looked back in hindsight and said thank god my client talked to the police. They laugh at me. They laugh at me. They say you have got to be kidding me. It cannot help you. You cannot talk your way out of getting arrested.

And contrary to what you might suppose if you never studied the rules of evidence, what you tell the police even if it is exculpatory cannot be used to help you at trial because it is what we call hearsay. Under the rules of evidence, specifically rule 801 D2A, if you want to look it up, everything you tell the police, as the saying goes, can and will be used against you but it cannot be used for you.

From time to time I have known attorneys who tried to call to the stand a police officer and say, officer would you tell the jury what my client told you because what my client told him was actually good for my case. If you try that at trial, the prosecutor will object to that, it's hearsay, and the judge will agree. The police will not be allowed at your request to tell the jury what your client told him no matter how good it may be for your case. It can not help and that ought to be good enough reason. That ought to be reason enough to keep your mouth shut.

But if you are not persuaded let me talk about a couple of others. Number two, obviously one of the most obvious. If your client is guilty, as many of them are, but even is he is not – even if he is innocent, he may well admit his guilt with no benefit in return. Now of course many of you are thinking to yourself, well what is so wrong about that? I mean shouldn't guilty people be confessing? Confession is good for the soul. It is good for law enforcement. It is good for the prisons.

Yes, yes, sure, all those things are true and like the rest of you if I or anyone close to me is ever the victim of some sort of a serious crime I hope they get the right guy. I hope they convict him. I hope they put him away. We all feel that way. Hey but what is the rush, friends? You don't have to admit your guilt the first time they come by to meet with you.

In federal court, eight-six percent of all defendants plead guilty at some point before a trial. If your client is guilty and really ought to be to punished and really ought to have a – go through some sort of a cleansing act of contrition and fess up and admit his guilt, there will be plenty of time to do that. They almost always do. No need to rush. No need to tell the police something.

Wait and see perhaps your client can't work out some sort of an arrangement where maybe he will make some sort of compensation for the alleged victim. Or maybe he will be able to get some sort of a discount in his sentence. And he will be treated fairly then, like everybody else who had the benefit of a good lawyer who said please do not talk to the police.

And don't forget by the way, even if – even if your client only admits things that the police already knew, you might think, well what harm can it do? He says he wants to talk to the police, all he wants to do is admit that he was there but the cops know tat he was there. Alright, go ahead and tell them. How can it hurt? It might hurt.

If the police officer becomes transferred to Minnesota or deceased or injured or comatose or cannot be located by the time of the trial, the case will be dismissed if there is no confession but if your client admits to things, that confession is freely admissible against him and it can be a basis for getting him convicted all by himself. Senator Larry Craig can explain all of this to you.



Dean Becker: You are listening to the Cultural Baggage program on the Drug Truth Network. We are listening to a recording from Lou Rockwell about why you should never ever talk to the police.


Lou Rockwell: The Innocence Project of the United States has confirmed that in more than twenty-five percent of all the cases where an innocent man was convicted and then later released from prison after he was exonerated by DNA evidence, in more than a quarter of those cases these innocent people, people who we know to be innocent, made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or plead guilty. How do they do that? He'll tell us all about it, I trust.

Here's a couple of famous examples, you can just ask them, you don't have to take my word for it. There on the left of us, Eddie Joe Lloyd. He was convicted in 1984, the murder of a sixteen year old girl in Detroit after he wrote to police with suggestions on how to solve various recent crimes. During several interviews, police fed details of the crime to Mr. Lloyd who was mentally ill and they lied to him and convinced this mentally ill man that by confessing he might help them smoke out the real killer. He later signed a confession, gave a tape recorded statement.

The jury deliberated less than one hour before convicting him on the basis of this confession. There was no other substantial evidence against him. The judge said I would hang you if I could but the death penalty was not available in Michigan at the time. But after almost two decades in prison he was released after DNA evidence proved that this man was innocent and had falsely confessed to a crime that he did not commit.

On the right is Earl Washington who was release from prison just a few years ago here in Virginia after spending eighteen years behind bars after being committed of a rape and a murder that we now know he did not commit, after having been exonerated by DNA evidence. But his man, Mr. Washington who was in fact confirmed to be mentally retarded was able to confess to several crimes at the request of the police some of which we know he could not have committed.

That is the problem. Some of you are thinking to yourself well, none of this concerns me because I am not guilty of anything and I never will be and I will never represent people who do. OK. Talk to you people, you innocent folks – those of you have never committed a crime and never will and none of your clients will either; and you wouldn't go out with a girl who did. Fine. You had better not talk to the police either. OK? Because number three, we'll put the guilty behind us, forget about them. Let's talk about innocent people.

Number three: even if your client is innocent and he denies his guilt and almost entirely tells the truth, odds are good he will easily get carried away and tell some little lie or make some little mistake that will hang him. This is human nature. He gets in there, it is a stressful situation. Imagine, a perfectly innocent client, the police he is guilty of a murder. He is totally innocent, as innocent as any one of us.

So he goes in there, he meets with the police. He says, I have no idea what you are talking about. I was no where near there. I didn't kill them, I never killed anybody. I don't have a gun. I have never had a gun. I have never touched a gun in my life! I was no where near Virginia Beach that night. Oh – errr, errr... that last line was a lie.

He went over the top. He was getting carried away. He had gotten into this groove; he started saying all kinds of things – almost all of them true – that he knew would tend to exculpate himself and then he got carried away, just said one thing that wasn't true and unfortunately for him, they can prove that it wasn't true. He may be convicted on that basis alone.

But let's say that all that's not a problem. I'll tell my client only to tell the truth. I met with him; I know he won't lie to the police. He won't make any mistakes. OK. That is still no guarantee he wont get into trouble because even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth and doesn't say anything that is false.

Now already, mind you, we are pretty well nigh into fantasy land. The odds of this being - anybody being able to pull this off are really quite slim no matter how innocent they may be but, let's just say, just pretend. Let's assume he gives the police nothing but the truth and he is totally innocent. He will always give the police some information that can be used to help convict him. Always.

For example, suppose you tell this to the police. Here is what your client tells to the police in his denial of guilt: I don't know what you are talking about. I didn't kill Jones. I don't know who did. I wasn't anywhere near that place. I don't have a gun. I have never owned a gun in my life. I don't even know how to use a gun. Yeah, sure I never liked the guy, but who did? I wouldn't kill him. I have never hurt anybody in my life. And I would never do such a thing.

Let's suppose every word of that is true. One hundred percent of it is true. What will the jury hear at trial? Officer Bruck, was there anything about this your interrogation, your interview with the suspect that made you concerned that he might be the right one? Yes, there was. He confessed to me that he never liked the guy.

And then the prosecutor will put that up in big letters and he will say, ladies and gentlemen of the jury it is pretty clear that we have got the right guy here. We have proven that he was in Virginia Beach that night, that's opportunity. And remember Officer Bruck admitted that after extended questioning, he was finally able to get the defendant to admit that he never liked the guy. There is your motive. Motive plus opportunity: wham bam! Please.


But juries eat it up and innocent people get convicted this way sometimes. How often? Hopefully not too often but we know it happens. The United States Supreme Court, don't take my word for this, in Ohio vs. Reiner, the supreme court of the United States said quote: one of the Fifth Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances, truthful responses of an innocent witness as well as those of a wrong doer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speakers own mouth.

See, it's not just some criminal defense attorney telling you this. Even the Supreme Court says I am right. And the fact is, under the facts of that case by the way, in Ohio vs. Reiner, a child tragically was dies, apparently a result of shaken baby syndrome. The question was who had shaken this baby to death? And one of the possible suspects was a baby sitter who had spent some time with the child that week. The baby sitter's story was: I don't know what you are talking about. I did not kill the child; I did not see it happen. I don't know who shook the baby. It was never me. I never did anything of any violent nature to the child.

The Ohio state court said, well you have got no Fifth Amendment privilege, by your admission told the investigators that you have done nothing wrong, that you were not involved so obviously your answers can't incriminate you. The United States Supreme Court reversed and said, well that is not true. Even though this baby sitter denies shaking the child, denies seeing the child die, denies knowing how the child died – this baby sitter by her own admission apparently was being... the government wanted to ask whether the baby sitter might have been with the child at some point that week, during the week prior to the death. And that answer, although by itself not sufficient to convict anybody could help convict her. That means she has got a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer the question the court held because it could be used to help convict.

Allman vs. the United States, the supreme court said more than fifty years ago eerily prophetic... they said too many Americans, even those who should be better advised, view this privilege as a shelter for wrong doers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury and claim the privilege. That is not true and it never has been.

But it gets worse. Can it get worse? It can. Number five: even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth and does not tell the police anything incriminating, which by the way is almost impossible to pull this off. I mean imagine talking to the police for two, three, four hours and somebody like him can't somehow manage to extract from you something that they can use to help convict you. That would be extraordinary. I don't think anybody has pulled it off.

But even if you could pull it off, there is still a great chance that his answers can and will be used to crucify you in a court of law if the police, no offense, don't recall his testimony with one hundred percent accuracy. Alright now this brings us back to that pop quiz I warned you about. I told you earlier, remember. It has only been a few minutes and you weren't up all night and you weren't the subject of physical duress. You were in the relaxed setting of a classroom here. You were given heads up advance notice that you would be quizzed on this.

Question. We'll start with a couple of easy ones. Remember that article I read you about that... How many people did the police find shot to death last night at that Oceanview apartment that I told you about? A: one, B: two, C: three, D: four. Who says A? B? C? Get this... get that with a camera. Look how many hands we have got there for C. OK, D? You are all wrong. Everybody who raised their hand, everybody who raised their hand... you are the kind of people who should never talk to the police under any circumstances for as long as you live.

Why is C not the right answer, by the way? If you know, raise your hand. Yes. Excellent. I didn't say anybody was shot. I didn't say gun, bullet, shooting, firearms... didn't use any of those words. But I don't blame you if you thought that I did. This is the way the human mind works. We hear things, we fill in details. I said gang land style slaying that may or may not imply something but it doesn't mean that anyone was shot and that is the problem.

You see, even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth and doesn't tell them anything incriminating and his statement is video taped, his answers can be used to crucify him. You might say, wait how can that happen? I insisted, at my insistence, I called the police and said, look if you want to talk to my client, you can talk to him but only if you video tape the whole thing. I don't want there to be any debate between the two of you over what happened. OK. Well, video tape the whole thing.

If the police don't recall their questions with one hundred percent accuracy, he'll be convicted on that statement alone. For example, suppose a man goes to the police, they say we are investigating a possible murder, a shooting. And the guy says quote I don't know who killed Jones, Officer Bruck, with all due respect. It wasn't me. I have never touched or fired a gun in my life.

How can that help incriminate this man? How can that possibly be used against this man, to help convict him? You would think it's inconceivable but it's as easy as pie. All the officer has to do is read the statement to the jury and then prosecutor says Officer Bruck was there anything about that statement that confused you or surprised you? Yes there was, he says in a moment of sinister high drama in the court room. And what was that? And then Officer Bruck turns to the jurors and he says, I never said anything about a shooting. I said we were investigating a murder. He was the one who brought up a gun.

Then you turn to your client and your client says, that's not true. That's not true. I remember, he was the one, or one of the cops. I was with them for three hours. One of them in the car said something about that they said they had a witness that I was the shooter. OK, I'll put you on the stand. And then your client testifies, no, no, no. They did tell me shooting. I mentioned it, they mentioned before I said anything about a gun, they brought it up first. And then the police said that is not true. And now what? It's your word against theirs? For what? You are gambling with your client's life.

And police officers can very easily make a mistake like that just as so many of you did just a few minutes ago, about whether you recalled having heard me say something about somebody actually being shot. Police make mistakes, innocently, inadvertently, unintentionally. Any statement, no matter how exculpatory it may seem on its face can be used to crucify you all by itself if the police are either willing to lie, not likely, or if they just have an innocent mis-recollection of the details as to what they did or did not tell you before you told them what you said. All of these by the way, all of these problems disappear if you take Justice Jackson's advice and say, thank you very much, officer, but no thanks.

How about this one? Here we go. Now here is the most surprising of all. I have saved the most surprising one for last. Let's suppose you have got the following scenario. Your client is thinking about talking to the police, he says, I have got nothing to hide. They think that I killed somebody in Virginia Beach last night.

And this is what your client tells you in confidence. I don't know who robbed that store. It wasn't me. In fact, I have a pretty good alibi. I wasn't even in Virginia Beach that night, last night. I was four hours away visiting my mother in law in the Outer Banks. Unfortunately, no, I did not pay for gas with a credit card. I used cash and so I have got no witnesses who can prove I was there except my word and of course, mamma, for what that is worth, which is nothing.

So your client says so the police want to talk to me and I want to seem cooperative so what I'll do is I'll tell them that I was in the Outer Banks last night. Now there is nothing on its face incriminating about any of that. Let's assume by the way that you believe with all you've done. You have given yr client a polygraph exam. You have known him for years. You have been going to the same bible study for thirty years. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is telling you the truth.

And he is not admitting anything. He is not admitting motive. He is not admitting opportunity. He is not admitting he was there. How on earth could this come back to haunt us? How on earth could this come back to be used against us? Be honest; raise your hand if you really think the answer to that question is, I really can't see how it could possibly be used against me. You are afraid I'll call on you, right? I won't call on you. Well, you are wrong. You are dead wrong. You are always wrong. Everything you say, every time you talk to the police you will regret it. You see the problem is, here it is.

This is the last point. I think it is almost over. Even if you client is innocent, and only tells the truth and doesn't tell the police anything incriminating and the entire interview, questions and answers are video taped, your - even his truthful answers can be helped to use crucify even an innocent man if the police, through no fault of theirs end up in the possession of any evidence, even mistaken and unreliable evidence that anything your client told them was false even if in fact it was true.

Again, going back to this example from a moment ago. Let's suppose, I tell, I go ahead and meet with the police. I think I have got nothing to hide. I tell them I was in the Outer Banks last night, officer. How could that be used to convict me, by itself, it cannot. It cannot help at all by itself.

But what if I later find out, to my horror, after I put my cards on the table that they have got a witness, a girl that I went to high school with – an unimpeachable witness – we have never been enemies. She had no reason to lie. She swears she thinks she saw me in Virginia Beach last night a couple of blocks away from that store about an hour before it was robbed.

Now, her testimony, by itself, isn't going to help the prosecutor. Hell, if she is all they have got, I'll get this case thrown out before trial. But, if like an idiot, I talk to the police and I told them the truth. I told them I was in the Outer Banks and now, lo and behold tragically it turns out they have got a witness – a false, mistaken, confused but sincere and credible witness who can testify that I was here in Virginia Beach, now they are likely to get a conviction.

Because what they will do, I have just turned this cop and this witness into the government's star witnesses. They'll put her, they'll put Officer Bruck on to testify about how my client lied to him about being in the Outer Banks and then they'll put on this girl – this girl who would have otherwise not even have helped the case at all who will testify, no that is not true, that was a lie. I saw Mr. Blaine's client here in Virginia an hour before the robbery not so far from the store. By herself she would not have helped the government in any significant way. But what I have just done, you see, is given them another part of the puzzle and now I am doomed.


It's time to play Name That Drug by Its Side Effects!

Nausea, stomach pain, indigestion, vomiting, constipation, gas, weakness, tired feeling, increased appetite, unpleasant taste, headache, insomnia, unusual dreams, deranged behavior.

Time's up!

The answer: from Pfizer Laboratories, Chantix.


This is Phil Smith of the Drug War Chronicle with this weeks' [ ] story for the Drug Truth Network. Well, in Philadelphia we have got a police dope squad corruption scandal that just keeps on giving. This week another victim of a Philadelphia police drug squad run amok has filed a federal law suit against the city. His name is Jose Duran. He was the owner of a Super One Market and he is suing over a September 2007 raid in which members of a narcotics field unit entered his store, arrested him for selling small plastic baggies sometimes used by drug dealers and proceeded to take what they wanted and trashed the place.

Part of the raid was captured on store video cameras before one of the officers was seen climbing towards a camera and grabbing the wires before the screen went black. The lawsuit contends the police destroyed video equipment to quote cover up illegal search and seizures, end quote and that narcs quote intentionally and maliciously destroyed property, consumed food and beverages, stole money and merchandise and deliberately caused food and other items to spoil by their illegal search practices, end quote.

Duran said that fifteen thousand dollars worth of video equipment was destroyed and that the narcs stole or ruined another ten thousand in cash and merchandise. The Duran case is one of only many being investigated by a joint police internal affairs FBI task force after one of the drug officer's former snitches publicly alleged that some of the officers made up information to get judges to approve search warrants.

Four veteran drug officers Jeffrey Kuzdik and his brother Richard, Robert MacDonald and Thomas Tolstoy have been put on desk duty pending the outcome of the inquiry. Both Kuzdiks, Tolstoy and three other police drug officers are named as defendants in the Duran suit. Jeffrey Kuzdik, MacDonald and two other are named in a separate lawsuit filed by another immigrant store owner who suffered the same fate as Duran.

Now this is going to keep going and there is no telling how far it is going to go. It started off with bad snitches and lying on search warrants and since expanded to this rogue behavior by this narcotics unit. Something is rotten in Philly once again. As always, there are more cop stories this week. Check them out online at


Dean Becker: To quit smoking cigarettes... We are flat out of time. I remind you once again that because of prohibition, you don't know what's in that bag, please, be careful.


To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the Unvarnished Truth.

This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.

Tap dancing on the edge on an abyss.