Violent Week in Giuliani's New York Drug War 3/6/98

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In New York City, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's new "zero-tolerance" Drug War claimed the life of one suspect and nearly claimed the life of a cop in a "buy and bust" operation in Brooklyn. Also, police acting on an anonymous tip kicked in the door of the wrong apartment in the Bronx and fired over 30 shots. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Police taking part in a "buy and bust" operation, which netted a single $20 vial of crack-cocaine, walked into a narrow hallway where one suspect was confronted. In the ensuing struggle, apparently over the officer's gun, the suspect was killed, and the officer, 13 year-veteran Sgt. Dexter Brown, was shot in the lower back by a bullet from the gun of a backup officer. Brown's life was saved by his bulletproof vest. He was hospitalized but is expected to recover fully. Mayor Giuliani told the Daily News that it was an "'excellent job' by officers exposed to 'tremendous danger'".

In the Bronx, 44 year-old Ellis Elliot was asleep in his bedroom at 8:15 Friday morning (2/27), when he heard his door being kicked in. Assuming that he was being robbed, Elliot grabbed his (unlicensed) gun and fired once in the direction of his bedroom door. That shot was answered by a barrage, possibly as many as 30 shots from the police. After the barrage, Elliot told The New York Post, the police finally identified themselves, at which time Elliot came out with his hands up. At that point, he was cuffed and, still naked, dragged from his apartment through the new hole in his front door and into the street. Elliot told the Post that while he was being cuffed and dragged from his home, police cursed at him, called him "nigger", and refused to let him put on clothes. When police finally went back into the house to retrieve clothes for Mr. Elliot, officers brought out pants and a blouse belonging to Elliot's girlfriend. Elliot was forced to wear the woman's clothing to jail.

Elliot, who has no criminal record, is being charged with possession of his unlicensed firearm. The New York City Police Department has indicated that it will reimburse the building's owner for the damage to the apartment.

The Week Online called the New York City Police and spoke to a representative in their press office. That office indicated that the police, out of the Bronx Narcotics Unit, were executing a search warrant at the time of their entry, but could not confirm what exactly was being searched for. We then asked whether it was standard procedure to execute warrants at an hour (8:15 am) when it was likely that any children in a given home would be awake and preparing for school, the press rep responded, "er, no. I mean, you execute it when you think... when you do. I mean, did this guy have kids?" (Editor -- He might just as easily have had kids, since they broke down the door of the wrong apartment.)

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Issue #32, 3/6/98 Legislators Blast Mexico Certification: Resolutions to Overturn Introduced in Both Houses | US House Panel Approves Resolution Against Medical Marijuana | Newt Gingrich Calls for Lifetime Ban of Drug-Using Athletes Who Refuse to Snitch | Violent Week in Giuliani's New York Drug War | Medical Marijuana Initiative Filed in Washington State | Federal Agent Cleared in Shooting of Candy Bar-Holding Teen: Plus -- An Interview with Robert Godosky, the Teen's Attorney | Professor's Penn State Pot Protest Continues | California Inmates Get Ruling -- but no Justice -- in Sexual Assault Case | Industrial Hemp Legalized in Canada! | French Artists, Intellectuals Sign Petition Challenging Drug Laws | Irish Priest Urges Legalization | Quote of the Week: Who's the most "silly son-of-a- bitch" in Colorado politics? | Editorial: A real live shooting war in America

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