Blackwater Guards on Steroids: Suit

Shooting victim's kin accuse security firm of fostering lawless culture
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2007 4:29 AM CST
A lawsuit from the families of victims of a September shooting claims up to a quarter of the firm's guards use steroids or other 'judgement-altering' substances   (Getty Images (by Event))
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(Newser) – Private security contractor Blackwater fosters a "culture of lawlessness" among its guards, who are revved up on steroids and other "judgment-altering substances," claims a lawsuit filed by families of Iraqis killed by the guards. Plaintiffs include two survivors of a September shooting when the guards opened fire on a busy Baghdad intersection; 17 Iraqi civilians were killed.

The lawsuit accuses the guards of ignoring orders and abandoning their posts, and charges that the company sent men armed with heavy weapons onto the streets of Baghdad without testing them for drugs. Blackwater officials have strongly denied the accusations and insist that anyone known to be using illegal drugs would be immediately fired.