Opinion Columns & Blogs

No accountability for botched drug raid

Washington Post blogger Radley Balko is dumbfounded that Johnson County sheriff’s officers raided the home of Robert and Addie Harte in 2012, holding the couple and their children at gunpoint for more than two hours. And that it took the couple $25,000 in legal fees and more than a year to find out the reason for the raid (officers mistook used tea leaves in the couple’s trash for marijuana). And that U.S. District Court Judge John W. Lungstrum recently dismissed the Hartes’ lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office. “Most people on the receiving end of these raids aren’t white, aren’t middle-class, didn’t once work for a federal intelligence agency and don’t have $25,000 to fund a fight in court,” Balko wrote. “If even those advantages can’t help the Hartes win some accountability, you can imagine the long odds faced by the typical victim of a botched raid.” – Phillip Brownlee