#366 Tallahassee Drug Cops Accessories To Murder

Date: Mon, 19 May 2008
Subject: #366 Tallahassee Drug Cops Accessories To Murder


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #366 – Monday, 19 May 2008

Another civilian alleged to be guilty of nothing more than possession
of ecstasy and 25 grams of marijuana has been killed while under the
watch of narcotics officers. This time, the dead woman is Rachel
Morningstar Hoffman, a resident of Clearwater FL and a 2007 graduate
of Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Hoffman, 23, was found dead in rural Taylor County early Friday after
two men suspected in her kidnapping and robbery led investigators to
her body. Murder charges are pending, according to the Tallahassee
Police Department.

Hoffman was last seen Wednesday night near Forestmeadows Park while
attempting to assist TPD vice investigators by buying drugs and a gun
from two men.

Though not yet convicted on the charges of marijuana possession and
possessing ecstasy with intent to sell, the Tallahassee drug cops
intimidated her into doing what should instead be the most risky part
of their job. Rather than expose themselves – while using their state
police training and their resources of being heavily armed and
protected – they sent in Hoffman unarmed to deal with drug and weapon

Neither Ms. Hoffman’s attorney of record nor the states attorneys
office was notified of her involvement in this dangerous, high risk
undercover operation by Tallahassee Police.

Further, Ms Hoffman’s participation in a court-ordered drug-treatment
program should have precluded her from buying drugs for police, legal
and treatment professionals have stated.

Our country supports drug treatment. People undergoing treatment are
required to avoid all contacts with anybody who uses or sells illegal
drugs. Thus we should demand that laws preclude the use of any person
undergoing treatment as an informant.

ONLY due to the insanity of drug Prohibition policies would such an
operation take place within our communities putting civilians at risk
of injury and death as they do jobs that should instead be done by
real police. But unfortunately, drug Prohibition guarantees that all
drug dealing will be covert – behind closed doors – carried out by
mystery players and participants.

This is in contrast to the sensible system in place for literally 99%
of drugs – notably alcohol, tobacco and Rx pharmaceuticals – where all
dealers are out in the open. Police and regulators can easily
investigate the how, when, where and who of all drug dealing that is
not forced on to the street by 21st century Prohibition.

Florida police, elected officials and voters all need to carefully
consider how much longer we will endorse such a policy that leaves
100% control of production and dealing for a short list of in-demand
drugs to street dealers, gangs and international cartels.

Despite the sad death of Rachel Hoffman ten days ago and despite any
number of future deaths that will occur among police and civilians
alike, the “War on Drugs” continues to be an abject failure for
reducing either the use of illicit drugs or the aggressive, violent
street sales of those same drugs.

Everyone needs to ask, “How many more police and civilians need to die
before we come to our senses and end drug Prohibition?”

Please consider sending a Letter to the Editor directed to the
Tallahassee Democrat, which is the location of this sad story, and
also the newspaper read daily by Florida State legislators and
Governor Charlie Christ.

Please also consider sending letters to other Florida newspapers which
have carried opinions about this murder.

Newspapers expect that the letters they receive be unique so please
insure that each letter you send is at least slightly different.
Letters of 200 words or less have the best chance of being printed.

Thanks for your effort and support. It’s not what others do it’s what
YOU do.


The first story from the May 10 Tallahassee Democrat may be read


MAP has archived almost 30 news and opinion clippings related to Ms.
Hoffman’s murder. New clippings are added each day:


Some of the best items to respond to are the Editorial and Opinion
clippings, with the most recent being:

US FL: Editorial: Rachel Hoffman Case Demands Outside
Review (Tallahassee Democrat)

US FL: OPED: Innocence Lost on Both Sides of the Law (Tallahassee
Democrat) http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n495/a01.html

US FL: Editorial: Why Was Informer Put At Risk? (St Petersburg Times)

US FL: PUB LTE: Blame the War on Drugs (Tampa Tribune)


Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:


Or contact MAP’s Media Activism Facilitator for tips on how to write
LTEs that are printed.




Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list ( sentlte@mapinc.org ) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list ( sentlte@mapinc.org ) will help you
to review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see



Prepared by: The MAP Media Activism Team www.mapinc.org/resource