Levelland, Drugs and Official Oppression
Posted in the Levelland Forum
Since: Dec 07
#1 Dec 21, 2011
A whole calendar year and a few months have passed since Levelland’s drug scandal burst onto the national scene and became a topic on the national press services. We read the local papers and note that there now seems to be as many drug busts as ever in Levelland. Levelland has long been a haven for the abusers of drugs and alcohol. There seem to be far more arrests for such crimes as DUI than one would expect in such a small town.
Before the scandal involving former Hockley County Sheriff David Kinney and some of his deputies, we used to see a lot of charges dismissed in Levelland courts because the defendants “moved out of town.” District Attorney Gary Goff testified in court that Sheriff Kinney had sent deputies to pressure him to dismiss charges against some of the people involved in drug trafficking. This brings back memories of old days, back in the forties and fifties when Sheriffs often gave small town troublemakers the option of enlisting in the military or going to jail for a long period of time. That option and ploy is no longer available to small county sheriffs, for the standards of enlistment in the military have gone up and every potential enlistee is thoroughly investigated. Also, the mental requirements have increased somewhat, and there is generally a higher intellect in today’s enlistees than sixty years ago.
However, Kinney was not trying to get rid of any troublemakers; he was trying to protect them (and maybe himself) by pressuring the DA to dismiss charges against some of his apparent confederates in crime.
We can tell just how far crime has come to be institutionalized in small towns when we see many “constituents” step forward to support a corrupt and/or incompetent sheriff (the two defects usually go hand in hand ) when he becomes embroiled in scandal and there is strong evidence of malfeasance. Only civil charges were brought against Kinney, even though the evidence pointed toward criminal activities, as a co-conspirator, along with his two deputies, Bohannon and Quintanilla. Bohannon testified in court that he was a scapegoat for Kinney.( http://lubbockonline.com/stories/032610/loc_5... ).
Unfortunately, once charges are brought against a defendant, he loses credibility as a witness. It’s the way our system works.
A recent scandal in the small town of Tenaha, Texas was another example of where the wrong people went to jail as a result of corruption and incompetence--from the DA down to the town marshal. Corrupt law enforcement is like an autoimmune disease; it feeds upon itself and upon the innocent. Those who have the power of arrest can use it oppressively to intimidate and discredit would-be whistleblowers. As an inveterate whistleblower myself, I can attest to the fact that the only safeguard our society provides against official oppression is trial by jury. Any law enforcement officer can file charges against anyone; but fortunately, it takes a jury of one’s peers to convict him. However, the ignorant among us do not do research and do not have the power of discernment; they still look with a jaundiced eye upon those who have been “arrested,” even though the charges were eventually deemed trumped-up and later either dismissed by a prosecutor or by a jury.
#2 Dec 27, 2011
I agree with your comments that show corruption goes from the DA down. No way Goff didn't know about the corruption. Wonder why he and the good sheriff are not running in the upcoming election? I hear attorney Richard Hanes has taken them on. Interested to see what happens.
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