Texas Cops Raid Farm Commune, Mistaking Tomato Plants for Marijuana
Reported by the RAWSTORY:
Police in Arlington, Texas are being criticized for their tactics during a drug raid on a local farm that came up empty while allegedly damaging both the property and the crops.
“They can’t even tell the difference between tomato plants and a marijuana drug cartel,” farm resident Quinn Eaker told KXAS-TV. “That’s just really bad intel.”
Eaker said to KXAS that he and several residents at the “Garden of Eden” sustainability garden were handcuffed at gunpoint by officers during the Aug. 2 raid, which also involved a SWAT team, after an undercover officer and helicopter surveillance allegedly gave authorities probable cause to believe there was marijuana being grown on the premises.
“They came here under the guise that we were doing a drug trafficking, marijuana-growing operation,” owner Shellie Smith told WFAA-TV. “They destroyed everything.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that the farm’s account of the raid, which accuses police of destroying plants and removing needed materials from the farm, has spread online, while police counter that they conducted themselves professionally during the action.
“Yes, they were initially handcuffed,” police spokesperson Christopher Cook told the Morning News. “However, once it was determined it was secure they were taken out of handcuffs. Typically we wouldn’t do that, but they were compliant.”