Wrong-person arrests: “Mistakes happen”

“Shannon Renee McNeal was torn from her screaming children by police who were seeking a woman with a similar name — a woman who they should have known had been murdered seven months before.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Radley Balko]

More of the week’s awful-police-happenings coverage: Atlantic City beating and canine attack [Tim Lynch, Cato]; Ames, Ia. police shoot and kill son after dad calls to report he’s taken truck without permission [Des Moines Register]; “Man Dies In Jail Cell After Misdemeanor Pot Offense” [Snohomish County, Wash., severe allergies; Radley Balko again]; New Mexico man’s lawsuit alleges “worst traffic stop ever” [Jalopnik, Popehat, Lowering the Bar and more, Orin Kerr, Michelle Meyer/Faculty Lounge]


  • I’m sure the arresting officers are all “Boy, was I embarrassed!”


  • Look at the picture of the ‘stolen’ truck, and read how the son crashed it into the cop car before you jump to the conclusion it was unjustified.
    Deliberately crashing into a police vehicle tends to generate serious responded, like gunfire.
    The claim that son would not exit truck after it was forced to stop…

    My only remaining question would be if the hands were visible and not holding a weapon, or below line-of-sight. Unfortunately police seem to lie so often I would not take their word, unsupported, as to that element of the situation.

  • According to the Popehat discussion thread, the Eckert “worst traffic stop ever” incident in New Mexico wasn’t the first for those same cops.

    One report of the earlier one is in The Blaze.

    Same cops. Same dog. Dog’s name is Leo.

    PS — heard you on Michael Krasny’s KQED forum. Excellent!

  • Re: anal probes in New Mexico:

    I would be shocked by this even if the drug dog had been right. I’m also pretty shocked that not only did the police insist upon this, they got medical professionals to go along with it. This far:

    “8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.”

    And a prosecutor OK’d the entire thing?