KopBusters Hoax Looks Like It Was a Hoax Itself:
A few weeks ago, I posted about what was supposed to be a new reality TV show, "KopBusters," that showcased police misconduct. The first show was about a fake drug house in Odessa, Texas, that the police allegedly raided without probable cause based on a bogus warrant. I then added an update, to the effect that "[s]ome of the details about the show and the first episode seem sort of fishy at this stage, so perhaps it is best to approach this story with a healthy skepticism."

  I thought it would be interesting to see if there were any new developments on the story, and it seems that recent developments point in the direction of the show being a misrepresentation and the claims of police misconduct being false. In particular, it seems that KopBusters staffers themselves made an anonymous tip to try to cause the police to get a warrant. (The show director has declined to say whether staffers sent in the tip -- a weird position perhaps best explained by the fact that making a false crime report is a crime. However, a Google cache of the show's message board shows a post, since edited, indicating that it did. Compare a contemporary reference to the pre-edited version here with the edited version here.)

  In light of these developments, the KopBusters show is now taking the view that the episode doesn't show police misconduct but rather "judge misconduct," on the theory that the anonymous tip shouldn't have amounted to probable cause and the judge shouldn't have signed the warrant. (See here, at the bottom.) The problem with this argument is that as explained here, the anonymous tip had a number of details that would help corroborate the story and help create probable cause. It's hard to know without actually reading the affidavit whether its facts actually amounted to probable cause, but an anonymous tip can create probable cause if it's sufficiently detailed and the police corroborate those details, see Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983). I would need to read the warrant affidavit to know if that happened here. But at the very least the claims of police misconduct appear to be false, and all we seem to have left are some debatable claims that a judge may have signed a warrant that may have been based on less than probable cause.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. KopBusters Hoax Looks Like It Was a Hoax Itself:
  2. KopBusters Reality Show: