Archive for the Category » Stowers «

December 17th, 2008 | Author:

The Bovine has posted a statement issued by a legal group representing the Stowers family. The short version is that Ohio officials went beyond the scope of their administrative jobs by invading this farm and holding the mother and her children at gunpoint for several hours. The complaint also states that their Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Here’s an account of the raid:

December 06th, 2008 | Author:

On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized. At some point, the “bad cop” SWAT team was relieved by another team, a “good cop” team that tried to befriend the family. The Stowers family has run a very large, well-known food cooperative called Manna Storehouse on the western side of the greater Cleveland area for many years.

There were agents from the Department of Agriculture present, one of them identified as Bill Lesho. The search warrant is reportedly suspicious-looking. Agents began rifling through all of the family’s possessions, a task that lasted hours and resulted in a complete upheaval of every private area in the home. Many items were taken that were not listed on the search warrant. The family was not permitted a phone call, and they were not told what crime they were being charged with. They were not read their rights. Over ten thousand dollars worth of food was taken, including the family’s personal stock of food for the coming year. All of their computers, and all of their cell phones were taken, as well as phone and contact records. The food cooperative was virtually shut down. There was no rational explanation, nor justification, for this extreme violation of Constitutional rights.

So begins another story of self-important bureaucrats joining forces with over-zealous cops who wanna play soldier with real guns. This story nauseates me. It makes me furious. And I fear that it’s just another taste of things to come.

[note: As of this post time, which is FIVE DAYS after the raid, I couldn't find ONE media outlet that considers this story newsworthy. However, it shows up on 310 different blogs. You might want to consider changing your news sources.]