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Shaq raids the wrong house for child porn

Old 10-24-06, 01:10 AM
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Shaq raids the wrong house for child porn

http://techdirt.com/articles/20061023/123049.shtml

And you wonder why they say truth can be stranger than fiction? We all know that IP addresses are notoriously unreliable in tracking down who may have committed an online crime. Most of the time, we see this in civil cases filed by the entertainment industry where they accuse someone without enough evidence or (better yet) without a computer at all. However, sometimes, the myth that an IP address identifies you has bigger consequences. A year ago, reminiscent of the computer bug in the movie Brazil that created a mixup over whether or not someone named Buttle or Tuttle was responsible for a crime, a Cox Internet employee gave police the wrong info about an IP address, leading a completely innocent couple in Wichita, Kansas to be accused of distributing child porn. It seems that a similar situation has again happened, this time in Virginia, where another wrong IP address resulted in a family having their house raided in search of child porn. This was pointed out by Radley Balko who notes that the story gets even weirder when you realize that basketball star Shaquille O'Neal may have been a part of the raiding team. The original report doesn't mention the Shaq connection, but others do, and a separate report does say he participated in an attempt to execute a child porn warrant that weekend in that county. So, beyond the question of why Shaq is apparently participating in such raids, can we ask no one does things like double check IP addresses or, say, look for additional evidence that a particular household is guilty of a crime before sending in people with guns drawn? The same report that suggests Shaq was a part of the raid also notes that "Shaq did some computer work" with the team. Anyone know if Shaq is familiar with the way IP addresses work?
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Old 10-24-06, 01:27 AM
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Some more info

This from a 2002 SI story:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/bas...aq_cleared_ap/
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office says it's cleared Shaquille O'Neal of any wrongdoing when he rode along with deputies during a Sept. 3 drug raid.

WBRZ-TV reported Tuesday that O'Neal was the subject of a complaint filed by a drug suspect.

The television station was told that O'Neal roughed up a suspect.

O'Neal is a commissioned officer in the Los Angeles area and sometimes accompanies local deputies on raids.

Col. Mike Barnett said O'Neal is welcome to join deputies on future drug raids.

This is a letter to the editor from the victim of the recent raid:

http://www.wpcva.com/articles/2006/1.../opinion01.txt
Do ‘computer police' have too much power?

I am a local farmer; my wife teaches elementary school; our three children are well-adjusted, “A” students.

We go to church, work hard, and pay our bills and taxes.

We are law-abiding, responsible members of society; we have never had reason to fear the law.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 23, 2006, many police vehicles appeared in our driveway. Men in black with flak jackets ran to and around our house.

My wife was at home alone. I drove up and asked, “What's going on?”

Men ran at me, dropped into shooting position, double-handed semi-automatic pistols pointed at me, and made me put my hands against my truck.

I was held at gunpoint, searched, taunted, and led into the house. I had no idea what this was about. I was scared beyond description. I feared there had been a murder and I was a suspect.

My wife and I were interrogated about Internet crime. We are not avid computer users; we do not even e-mail. We knew nothing of what they were speaking.

After seemingly convincing them of our computer “illiteracy,” we were questioned about our children and made to doubt their innocence.

Our home was searched by a para-military search-and-seizure team.

Our computers, digital camera, disposable cameras, DVD's, and VHS tapes were seized.

We were held in our home under guard for five hours.

Our children came home and were also interrogated.

It was awful. We were accused of horrible crimes, crimes that even the mention of would ruin our reputations.

The investigation was to be complete within six to nine months. We were in shock.

At 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, the chief investigator of Pittsylvania County returned our possessions and said that the wrong IP (computer) address had been identified. We would not be charged.

Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Department, Bedford County Sheriff's Department and Blue Ridge Thunder invaded our peaceful lives with military force based on one piece of wrong digital information.

The investigators did not do their jobs. They did not even know that we had children.

Incompetence? Apathy? Do these computer police have too much power?

No innocent United States citizen should be subjected to this based on so little evidence.

Inexcusable. Civil rights laws have been established to protect the innocent. Our ancestors fought and died for these rights.

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause...”

Invading our home with one bit of incorrect evidence was totally unreasonable.

I support the police and their efforts, but I believe every United States citizen should fear and be angry about these tactics.

I will not rest until I know what went wrong in this investigation. I pray that you will not either.

A.J. Nuckols

Gretna
More info over at The Agitator
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Old 10-24-06, 02:10 AM
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wow. that's scary.
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Old 10-24-06, 07:23 AM
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That's a scary and FUCKED UP story that becomes absolutely hilarious when you remember that SHAQ was one of the raiders.
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Old 10-24-06, 01:39 PM
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I for one think the police screwed up big time here, but only because they were given wrong information by the ISP (at least that's what it seems). I think in cases of child pornography the police should err on the side of caution. These people weren't thrown in jail and they had been cleared of charges within 10 days. I don't think they suffered irreperable harm and their civil rights certainly weren't violated.

Plus they got to meet Shaq. That's gotta be pretty cool.
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Old 10-24-06, 02:25 PM
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Looks like they're about as accurate as Shaq's free throws.
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Old 10-24-06, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred
These people weren't thrown in jail and they had been cleared of charges within 10 days. I don't think they suffered irreperable harm and their civil rights certainly weren't violated.
Amazing stuff. I can't believe someone actually wrote that.
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Old 10-25-06, 03:18 PM
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The local PD has now confirmed Shaq was part of the raiding party.

http://www.wtvf.com/Global/story.asp?S=5587098

Shaquille O'Neal at botched raid while working in Va. as reserve deputy

ORLANDO, Fla. Shaquille O'Neal may have been off his game when he took part in a botched child pornography raid in Virginia while working as a reserve sheriff's deputy.

Bedford County Sheriff's Lieutenant Michael Harmony tells The Associated Press that the Miami Heat center was present when a search warrant was served last month at the wrong house.

O'Neal pursues his interest in law enforcement during the offseason. He has denied being part of the mishap.

Residents who were mistakenly confronted at their home have filed formal complaints.

Authorities blame the Internet provider for pinpointing the wrong address.

A man briefly held by police says he heard O'Neal was present but he didn't see the seven-foot-one, 325-pound All-Star in all the commotion.
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Old 10-30-06, 12:57 PM
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That department should be sued and the family that was wrongly accused should get a hefty sum for the damages done to them.

Thats what happens when you put idiots in charge.

And although I like Shaq, he needs to stop running around like a nutcase busting evildoers on raids.

Shaq the Bounty Hunter.....Go with Christ..
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Old 10-30-06, 01:52 PM
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He went through all of the training, so I don't see why he can't do this if he wants. Unfortunately his raises the profile of everyone he works with, but I'd rather him doing this than getting into trouble like his NBA bretheran......Jackson firing off shots, other guys hitting their wives, etc.

-p
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Old 10-30-06, 05:58 PM
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Fuck, I'd piss myself if Shaq raided my house.
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Old 10-30-06, 09:54 PM
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Holy God, the thought of the punishment being watching Steel and listening to Shaq CDs endlessly for a week makes me want to strangle a cat.
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Old 10-31-06, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by foofighters7
That department should be sued and the family that was wrongly accused should get a hefty sum for the damages done to them.

Thats what happens when you put idiots in charge.

And although I like Shaq, he needs to stop running around like a nutcase busting evildoers on raids.

Shaq the Bounty Hunter.....Go with Christ..
Not to single out your post, but it's kinda silly to think that Shaq was the one who orchestrated the bust. Guarantee that full-time detectives targeted and planned and they brought a reserve (Shaq) along for the raid itself.

I have no problem at all with Shaq doing this. He's a real cop. CJ degree and went through a real academy to be commissioned as a peace officer. Let him do it.
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