When does "POLICE" mean police?


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F4GIB
October 28, 2004, 01:25 AM
Couple Beaten After Home Invasion By Men Posing As Law Enforcement Officers

Shelby County, TN - Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for at least four, possibly five men today, who barged their way into a couple’s home in south-east Shelby County.

The couple was severely beaten. The couple told Sheriff’s Deputies they awakened about 4:30 this morning when several men banged at the back door at their home, which is located in the 9400 block of Plantation Lake Road near Collierville. The men wore ski masks and black shirts that said “POLICE.” All of the men, armed with pistols, were yelling, “Police! F.B.I.! Open Up!” As the couple answered the door, the men barged their way inside the house demanding money.

They forced the lady to take them through the house ransacking various rooms. Not finding any money, the men beat the woman and her husband with their pistols and a cue stick from a pool table. The couple was then taken to a bathroom where their feet were bound with duct tape.

The man was able to free himself and call for Sheriff’s Deputies on a cell phone that was lying on a bedside table not far from the bathroom. Investigators say the couple had no idea who the men were or why they would come to their home. * * *

http://www.wreg.com/global/story.asp?s=2481157&ClientType=Printable

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nico
October 28, 2004, 01:48 AM
That's a really tough situation, but at 4:30AM, I'd be answering the door with a gun in hand and noone claiming to be a cop would be allowed into the house until I had called 911 to confirm (not to say they wouldn't/couldn't kick down the door, just that I wouldn't willingly let them in). The ski masks would be a hint that they weren't cops.

davec
October 28, 2004, 01:53 AM
The ski masks would be a hint that they weren't cops.

since when?



http://www.roseville.ca.us/police/images/swat.jpg

http://www.roseville.ca.us/index.asp?page=592

nico
October 28, 2004, 01:56 AM
I'd (like to) think at least one person wouldn't have had their face covered. You'd (I'd?) think they wouldn't send in a swat team with helmets, ski masks, and all that other stuff if they had anything less than a no-knock warrant. Still, at 4:30AM, anyone knocking on my door is going to have to kick it down or wait for me to verify who they are.

Sindawe
October 28, 2004, 02:59 AM
Present the warrant to the window for inspection and wait for a corroborating call the cop shop. If it passes muster, then the door opens.

As I've said before.

Door kickers are hostile borders, and will we dealt with as such.

NO EXCEPTIONS

sendec
October 28, 2004, 08:14 AM
:rolleyes:

Balaclava or hood is the correct name. They are occasionally worn to protect the identity of the wearer. They are normally worn to protect the otherwise exposed skin of the face from burns due to pyrotechnics, chemicals or gases.

Shovelhead
October 28, 2004, 08:21 AM
Balaclava or hood is the correct name
to-may-to, to-mah-to
same difference.


0400 hours knocking at my back door, it ain't likely to be a girl scout sellin' cookies. :scrutiny:

R.H. Lee
October 28, 2004, 08:26 AM
They need to catch these lowlifes and quick. Hopefully the FBI is on the investigation. It's probably too much for Shelby locals to figure out.

TallPine
October 28, 2004, 08:30 AM
Same old story ...

Can't tell if they are criminals pretending to be cops, or cops pretending to be criminals.

What's the difference, anyway :confused:

feedthehogs
October 28, 2004, 10:00 AM
Years back I was served a subpoena for a law suit at 4:30am by a plain clothed detective.
I made him call the dispatcher and have her call the house to verify who he was.
When asked for my number, I said your the police, you can get it.
He was not a happy camper but complied.

I told him you can't be too careful.

AZRickD
October 28, 2004, 10:17 AM
This has been reported multiple times in Phoenix newspapers (not including the fake cops who pull over drivers).

Since I am not a felon, I can logically assume that these are crooks not cops.

I wouldn't be answering the door with a pistol. I would take a long gun, preferably a FAL or AR.

And if they breeched the door before I could answer it, I would take offense.

Rick

Carlos Cabeza
October 28, 2004, 10:23 AM
Say hello to my lil' friend !..............................................................

Yooper
October 28, 2004, 11:33 AM
That's a tough call! Not everyone has the presence of mind at 4:30 in the morning to put the intruders to the test, especially under stress.
Here in Michigan, handguns are submitted to local police departments for a "safety" inspection after purchase, long guns are not inspected (I guess they're all safe enough!). This lets the police know that the homeowner will likely be armed if they respond to a call at that address. Still, even being aware of all this, I might hesitate to pull the trigger on something marked "POLICE", and that's what the intruders are counting on.
Mandatory doubling of sentences involving police impersonation are only effective after the fact, if at all.

Chipperman
October 28, 2004, 11:49 AM
The first clue should have been when they shouted "Police" first, followed by "FBI". :scrutiny:

DRZinn
October 28, 2004, 12:30 PM
Years back I was served a subpoena for a law suit at 4:30am by a plain clothed detective.
"Go away, *sshole, and come back at a reasonable hour."

artherd
October 29, 2004, 01:17 AM
They said "POLICE" ***AND*** "FBI"?

Yeah, and there's no legitimite need for machineguns in public citizen's hands...

tc300mag1
October 29, 2004, 01:24 AM
Hum thats a true answer the door with a heater handy. Ive had a cop knock on the door at 2:3 am one time he was in uniform and i could see the car and still didnt open the door they were looking for escaped prisoner but still at 230 in the morn i wasnt taking chances i had the 45 in hand when i opened the wood deviding door

sendec
October 29, 2004, 08:39 AM
Many "non-police" use the phrase "police" in a situation like this as it is generic, understood by almost everyone, and sounds roughly the same in a couple different languages. Bellowing out "United States Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Special Agent!" as you are booting the door can lead to confusion.

Maybe not so oddly, and relevent to this case, the FBI is one of those that dont usually, probably because, hey, they are the FBI and not real cops anyway, (Snirk:p)

Double Naught Spy
October 29, 2004, 08:47 AM
I get a good laugh every time one of these threads gets posted and the testoserone starts flowing, chests start getting beaten, and the sensationalized bravado comes out, and for many when this happens, good reasoning goes right out the window.

Sindawe provides a great example of this. Of course the cops are not going to come to the window and display the warrant for visual inspection and then wait while Sindawe confirms things with 911, but he has put us all on notice that those are his terms and if the police or anyone else isn't operating on his terms, then he used the really big font size to let us know that there will be no execptions.

While it is a tough call for any of us who might have a home invasion happen and while we all may react with a display of force, if it is the cops when this happens, then there is a very strong likelihood that we may all end up dead, potentially along with some of our loved ones.

I know, about this time there are those who are thinking that "Well, at least I will take a few of them with me." Good logic, sort of Vietnam body count logic. What does it matter to you just how many you take with you if you or your loved ones end up dead?

Sindawe, the cops won't be there on your terms. That is why they have a warrant. It means they are not interested in your terms and the court has backed them on making entry on their terms. If they have a warrant for your address, mistaken or otherwise, they aren't coming to your window and presenting it for your inspection, regardless of whatever big font post you make here. With a warrant, your terms don't mean squat to them at that time and they will continue to operate with you as they would the felons they perceive to be within your address. Of course, they will be there in full body armor, rifles, shotguns, and pistols at the ready, flashbangs, hearing protetion and com gear, and you will be caught off guard, with no armor, and not ready when the event starts. Remember, they are anticipating an armed response and have prepared for it. You probably don't camp out at each of your entrances 24/7, waiting on high alert, for just such an invasion.

In the example story of the start of the thread, the bad guys yelled both Police and FBI. As pointed out, obviously they would not do this if they were who they claimed to be, right? Maybe, maybe not. I have seen joint operations where members of each announce their branch on entry, as if all the names matter. I guess it is just what they are used to yelling when they serve warrants. Even if it isn't a joint or multi-department task force serving the warrant, but bad guys, yelling different names serves a very good purpose. It introduces confusion to the people within the abode. That extra half second, full second, or couple of seconds the mind is engaged in reasoning out why different names are being used by the invaders are amounts of time that are lost to the brain where the brain could be performing other functions relative to survival.

BSlacker
October 29, 2004, 09:22 AM
Well lets see here. The couple had time to respond to banging sounds at the back door of the house. In a professional raid with you asleep or in another part of the house you won't have time to respond to banging at the back door the common back door will explode and entry will follow about the time your feet hit the floor. That is the why the Police train for this so they will prevail in the common arena. Almost all but the most poorly equiped departments will have the means to shred the back door. BTW it is Aholes that will bang around at the back door awhile before gaining entry. If you hear banging around go full tilt to the door armed and angry cause it is not the local PD banging around out there. On the other hand if you wake up to the door exploding and a bunch of funny dressed people around you before your feet hit the ground, it don't matter who they are your theirs. :)

hammer4nc
October 29, 2004, 09:27 AM
This does pose a dilemma. Thugs posing as SWAT. Double naught spy is invited to post his recommended response to this situation. Feel free to use any size font, other members will infer testosterone level accordingly.:eek:

Carlos Cabeza
October 29, 2004, 10:17 AM
It's pretty sad when we're so divided we can't even define the "nuances" between thugs posing as FBI, SWAT etc. and the real deal legitimate agencies in a hypothetical scenario. F*** it! I refuse to sit back and be victimized no matter who it is ! The real agents need to MAKE SURE they are at the right address AND their warrant has merit and validity. Given some of the responses, I'm thinking the only real protection an innocent family might have is a heavily fortified door and a trip charge underneath the welcome mat. I aplogize if my post is a bit emotionally charged but there sure is an extremely obvious line that has been drawn.

Edited for language not suited for viewing by Art's grammaw

CannibalCrowley
October 29, 2004, 10:28 AM
Double Naught Spy While it is a tough call for any of us who might have a home invasion happen and while we all may react with a display of force, if it is the cops when this happens, then there is a very strong likelihood that we may all end up dead, potentially along with some of our loved ones. And if it isn't the cops and you allow them in, then you and your family will be just as dead. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Of course if one hasn't been a part of any major illegal activites, then the cops shouldn't be invading one's home. This means that the resident would be justified in believing the intruders were not police.

Guntalk
October 29, 2004, 04:38 PM
How about . . . .

When you hear banging at the door at 4:00am or so, first, call 911. Tell them what's going on, and that you are armed, and will wait for the police to get there.

If they say, those ARE the police at your door, then you can go open your door.

Otherwise, DON'T GO TO THE DOOR.

Lock the bedroom door. Stay on the phone with 911.

Take whatever action you deem necessary if anyone tries to break down the bedroom door. Remember that there is a 911 tape rolling of the event. You may want to provide narration.

Mark13
October 29, 2004, 05:10 PM
It seems that this isn't a police or not police problem, but an inadequate door problem. The stronger the door the more options you have. Sure, real law enforcement has the explosives to take out any door, but I've never heard of bad guys using explosives to gain entry?

Ryder
October 29, 2004, 10:57 PM
Strangers come and go at my place without the door opening all the time but especially so at night. My property my terms has not been a problem even with the police as far as I can tell.

Pounding on my backdoor is a good way to get off to a bad start with me! :scrutiny:

F4GIB
October 30, 2004, 12:44 AM
It is possible to successfully fight off a botched raid.

If the unidentified men are beating in your door, and you can't think of a reason why cops would be beating in your door, you are justified in defending yourself.


Yes, you are.
See: State v. Housley, 322 N.W.2d 746, (Minn.,1982).

In this case the homeowner walked away but unfortunately Officer Mack did not.

Strings
October 30, 2004, 03:11 AM
sounds to me like a darn good reason to be on good terms with your local po-po...

"Ok... here's the house"
"Wait a sec... ain't this Joe Sixpack's place. The guys that pays for the department subscription to SWAT?"
"Um... yeah. Funny... never heard anything about him being bad. MAYBE we should check with dispatch..."

Of course, that only works with smaller towns (KNEW there was a reason I liked small towns)...

CannibalCrowley
October 30, 2004, 03:24 AM
Hunter Rose "Wait a sec... ain't this Joe Sixpack's place. The guys that pays for the department subscription to SWAT?" In other words, pay off the cops and they'll try not to invade your home on accident.

Strings
October 30, 2004, 03:39 AM
> In other words, pay off the cops and they'll try not to invade your home on accident.<

Nooo... although I suppose you could read that into what I posted. I meant what I actually said (gee... what a concept): be on good terms with them. Do you know any of your local cops? Talk with 'em? Say "hi" when you meet up with them at the local stop 'n' rob? Little things like that...

And I wouldn't consider offering back issues of SWAT "paying them off"... :rolleyes:

Sindawe
October 30, 2004, 04:00 AM
Its too much to expect the police to abide by the rules of the culture? Its too much to expect the police to abide by the plain language of the Constitution? Its too much to expect the police to have a measure of human decency?

I live in "small" town, yet I see the police maybe once or twice a week. And thats ALWAYS in a patrol car unless *I* call 'em. They never wave back, they never have time to chat for a few, they never do foot patrol no more....

So strong doors, wall and windows are the order of the day anymore.

Double Naught Spy:

Sindawe, the cops won't be there on your terms.

No, but they WILL deal with me on MY terms in MY house. I break no laws, so the police have no cause to invade my home with force of arms.

I know, about this time there are those who are thinking that "Well, at least I will take a few of them with me." Good logic, sort of Vietnam body count logic. What does it matter to you just how many you take with you if you or your loved ones end up dead?

All men die, not every man lives. Death holds no fear for me. I've been here before this life, I'll be here again after this one. Shall we dance? :scrutiny:

Gameface
October 30, 2004, 12:44 PM
I really have to agree with Double Naught Spy on this one.

It comes up a lot. People are always describing the way in which they will defend against multiple attackers busting through the front (or back) door in the middle of the night. The twist that they claim to be (or are) police doesn’t really change things that much.

If people are coming into your house by force at 0DARK30 in the morning and you are so well prepared that you can stop them, then by all means, stop them. I live in the real world and I know that I will have little chance at staying alive if I wake up at the same time that several armed men are in my living room. There is no amount of preparation that will give me the required edge in this one.

If the intruders are inept (not likely if they are real cops) then you might have a chance, and I say take advantage of any chance you get, but like Double Naught Spy said, if your feet hit the floor at the same time that your bed is surrounded by armed men, well… I think survival has more to do with cunning than force at that point. If your only survival skill is your ability to shoot then I think you’ve worked yourself into a corner in certain situations.

Gameface

DMF
October 30, 2004, 02:33 PM
All men die, not every man lives. Death holds no fear for me. I've been here before this life, I'll be here again after this one. Shall we dance? http://glocktalk.com/images/smilies/crazy.gif Dude, I love the internet tough guy routine you've got going here. Especially you're little reincarnation line here. Keep flexing that keyboard tough man.

Do you have one of these stickers on your truck?
http://www.greatlynx.com/pogs/images/nf_red.jpg

sendec
October 30, 2004, 03:37 PM
Wow

Does it hurt to come up with that crap?

Look y'all are middle class suburban / rural white dudes who probably would'nt recognize crack if it was in the sugarbowl - quit trying to apply your standards of conduct in these scenarios. We blow up bad guys doors at 4 AM 'cause that is the safest time to do it. On very rare occasions we make mistakes. The last time I checked the only guy who never made a mistake in opening a door rolled a stone from the entrance to a crypt. If we come to your door by mistake we'll buy you a new one. Keep your hands in plain sight and everything'll be copacetic, not that it matters to the Off the Pigs bunch here

:rolleyes:

Shovelhead
October 30, 2004, 04:00 PM
I guess the other side of the point could be that while I'm "keeping my hands in plain sight", the guys that yelled POLICE when they broke in my door will be tying me up with duct tape,(If I'm lucky) and dragging my wife into the back room.

Helluva choice to have to make in a split second at OMG it's early in the morning. :uhoh:

kngflp
October 30, 2004, 04:41 PM
I live in Memphis,which is in Shelby County, and I had thought about this possible scenario before i saw it on the local news. Someone on this forum has a link in their sig line to a webpage for the victims of the war on drugs, it is full of people getting shot up in the middle of the night while they try to protect their home from who they think are criminals. When it's actually the local PD doing a a no knock raid on the info they get from a crackhead informent. In the middle of the night if some one is trying to come into my house Im comming out of bed with my 870, Im thinking if the police see me coming with said 870 theres a decent chance I'll be getting shot. That short amount of time when Im at one end of the house in boxers 870 shouldered with the surefire pointed their way and they stand there in their tac gear with their whatevers shouldered with their surefires pointed at me, thats what im not sure of, I know this is the time they should be identifing themselves but If Im a cop Im gonna be more worried about the angry naked man with the shotgun pointed at me. Would some LE types inform me of what great training the police get to not kill homeowners thinking they are protecting their home, just so I'll sleep better tonight.
Oh and not to long ago in Memphis some sheriffs got shot on a drug raid in Memphis so I kow when things like this are happening the police are gonna be alot more juiced when they are hittin the door.

Sindawe
October 30, 2004, 05:00 PM
Do you have one of these stickers on your truck?

No, I don't drive a truck. Nor do I have one on my car.

Does it hurt to come up with that crap?

No, does it hurt you parrot back this bit of theological fantasy? *

The last time I checked the only guy who never made a mistake in opening a door rolled a stone from the entrance to a crypt.

DMF, sendec, you guys are missing the point. The home owner has no way of telling if the door kickers are cops or not UNTIL the documentation (the warrant) is presented and verified. ANYBODY can, and HAS obtained clothing that looks like a police uniform, get a shiny badge and yell out "POLICE! SEARCH WARRANT!!" while invading a home with ill intent. I take it you guys want non-LEOs to meekly submit to anybody with the color of authority, legitimate or not.

We blow up bad guys doors at 4 AM 'cause that is the safest time to do it.

Safest for who? Oh, right. "Officer Safety" :scrutiny:

You guys are CIVIL SERVANTS. Civil Servants with additional powers of detainment, arrests and use of lethal force, but still Civil Servants. Servants of the people. Don't like the risk inherent to the job? Get a different freaking job!

Sure, the resident of the home who does not put up a fight USUALLY is safe when the cops bust in. 'Cept for the 12 y/o boy who was shot in the back with a shotgun due to a ND. 'Cept for the woman who was shot in the neck and died pleading with cops not to hurt her children. 'Cept for the chap in New York who was killed while pulling out his wallet/ID as ordered.

For MY safety, and that of my loved ones, I MUST operate under the presumption that door kickers at O-dark thirty have ill intent, until proven otherwise. I've said before, if the warrant is legit, there'll be no further obstruction and we'll fight the matter out in a court of law. Why is that so tough for you guys to comprehend?

* On the matter of theological fantasy, I'm a firm believer that one man's faith is another man's belly laugh. Christian mythos is no more/less silly than that of the Hindu, the Jew, the Animist or the Pagan. Stories of gender/shape changing Gods who give birth to eight-legged horses from my faith is on par with changing water to wine, rising to life three days dead, and dancing, four armed, black skinned creators/destoryers.

F4GIB
October 30, 2004, 05:28 PM
Posted by kngflp
Would some LE types inform me of what training the police get to not kill homeowners thinking they are protecting their home, just so I'll sleep better tonight.

Good question. It has been asked repeatedly on this forum and on CopTalk.

No LEO ever provides an answer, though.

P. S. "An officer's life is worth more than an innocent civilian's" is not an acceptable response, IMHO.

Guns_and_Labs
October 30, 2004, 05:38 PM
It does sound like the best course is to have all doors strengthened such that only explosives would take them down quickly, and have upper or non-obvious windows with good vantage points of the door and surroundings. Then you presumably have time to properly identify the parties.

Of course, even if they did get through the door, they have to get past the dogs and through the toys/shoes/backpacks/lunchboxes minefield that my kids seem to leave at every door....heck, I'd probably have time to brew a pot of coffee.

sendec
October 30, 2004, 10:19 PM
Really, out of the thousands and thousands of warrants that are served every year, how many are served at your houses?..Dont you have real problems to think about? I suppose beating your chest over the perils posed by the POlice beats watching "Red Dawn" again.

DMF
October 30, 2004, 11:33 PM
I suppose beating your chest over the perils posed by the POlice beats watching "Red Dawn" again. :D http://glocktalk.com/images/smilies/goodpost.gif

Coronach
October 31, 2004, 01:51 AM
I take a three day vacation and this is what happens?

MODERATOR NOTE:

The death-spiral that is this thread will straighten out immediately and the discussion will return to the highroad and not further digress, or appropriate sanction will be visited upon whichever knucklehead pulls the thread back into the gutter, regardless of sworn-LEO status.

I trust I'm being plain enough?


On to the discussion.

Here are the issues we have:

1. No knocks are evil- no, wait. This has nothing to do with no-knocks. This could apply to any brand of warrant service, be it via high-speed low drag ninja types, or by a handful of patrol officers in their street uniforms.

2. It is not illegal to buy any and all of the gear that these Bad Guys are using to make them look like Good Guys. So, there's really no way to stop them, besides the 'specific incapacitation' method. If someone wants to dress up and play cop, they can and will.

3. A cop with a warrant has the legal authority to kick down a door. He does not have to wait for the homeowner to peruse the paperwork before gaining entry. The warrant gives him the legal authority to enter the house, right now. The homeowner can make whatever chest-thumping vows he wishes to make, but once the warrant is issued he has no say. If he resists the service of the warrant, well...thats why some of them are served the way they are. This is done because *gasp* a lot of people exercise their second amendment rights by shooting at the police and also destroy evidence (for you anti War on Drugs types, consider that non-drug paper evidence can be burned as easily as dope can be flushed. Its not all about the green and white contraband).

Now, is this a conundrum? Of course it is. Someone shows up on your doorstep claiming to be the cops with a warrrant. What do you do? Let them in and they're bad guys, you're screwed. Don't let them in and they're good guys, you're screwed.

The problem is that there is no way around this, really. The cops cannot just cool their heels while the homewoner satisfies himself that this is on the up and up. Its a warrant. They're coming in. The Constitution allows this.

Mike

chaim
October 31, 2004, 01:57 AM
I don't want to get into the chest beating "if they knock on my door" stuff, none of us know how we'll react unless/until it happens. Many of the most testosterone laden posters when in a "real" situations become paralized with fear and inaction, while the more "thoughtful" of us sometimes become raging maniacs. This is true for all the "what if" scenarios that come up here. I also don't see where one more "cops are bad", "no we aren't" thread will do any good.

What I do want to say is these situations seem to be getting all too common. If the cops on the board don't like it when people say anyone crashing their home gets greeted with lead unless they produce a warrant, and given that more and more bad guys are posing as cops, what can we do? It is obvious that not many people here like the "hope for the best" mentality- if we did we wouldn't be gun owners.

BTW- there is a maniac out there in Baltimore right now who drives a Crown Vic with a cop light and has been pulling over women in broad daylight and raping them. Anyone in MD, make sure that if an "unmarked" car tries to pull you over, you call 911 immediately (and don't pull over until the 911 operator tells you there is a real cop behind you and/or there is a marked car there too). An email warning went out at work last week to be sure everyone knew about it (state govt).


Oh, one comment here did catch my eye:

If we come to your door by mistake we'll buy you a new one. I have a friend who used to live in a rather ugly Balt City neighborhood. One day the SWAT team comes and breaks down the door of the person across the street from him. They leave without arresting someone, but what really shocks him is that 30 min later a maintenance type van with "POLICE" written on it pulls up and puts up a new door. It appears breaking down the wrong door is pretty common in Baltimore. :eek:

DMF
October 31, 2004, 01:58 AM
. . . for you anti War on Drugs types, consider that non-drug paper evidence can be burned as easily as dope can be flushed. Its not all about the green and white contraband . . . Don't forget formatting hard drives, running magnets over disks. A little extra time and the evidence is gone.

Shovelhead
October 31, 2004, 08:14 AM
I'll concede to the fact that the Law Enforcement community needs to be able to move quickly when they serve a warrant to prevent destruction of possible evidence and to ensure their safety.

I think you would agree that all WE'RE saying is that you guys need to do ALL your homework first to make dang sure you're kicking the right door down.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
October 31, 2004, 09:03 AM
Sure, real law enforcement has the explosives to take out any door, but I've never heard of bad guys using explosives to gain entry?


My philosophy is that there should be three really strong doors, dead bolted, between you, your family, and the street when you're sleeping.

A cell phone on the nightstand is good for when these home invasion thugs cut your phone wires.

A dog or two is heplfull.

Closed circuit security cameras seem to get cheaper every year.

Good exterior lighting around the house is a preventative.

An AR or AK would be a better home defense weapon han a shotgun in these cases?

Art Eatman
October 31, 2004, 09:19 AM
I don't think anybody really expects a mistake-free world, but Shovehead's "I think you would agree that all WE'RE saying is that you guys need to do ALL your homework first to made dang sure you're kicking the right door down." goes to the heart of the problem.

I guess I'm sensitized to this because of my memory: Back in the Nixon era, when AG John Mitchell first lobbied the "No knock" law through Congress as part of the War on Drugs, one of the very first DEA no-knock raids was to a wrong address (correct building; wrong apartment) and the resident thereafter spent his life in a wheelchair.

Cool Hand Luke's comments are as sad a commentary as ever I've seen about the reality of some parts of Good Ol' Modern America.

Art

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
October 31, 2004, 09:29 AM
Art Eatman:

Cool Hand Luke's comments are as sad a commentary as ever I've seen about the reality of some parts of Good Ol' Modern America

I agree.

Plus, I forgot to mention window bars.

Coronach
October 31, 2004, 10:50 AM
Oh, Shovelhead. I agree. Completely.

Also, CoolHandLuke: think about one thing.

If it prevents bad guys from getting in, it can prevent good guys from getting out.

In case of fire you will need to abandon your house pretty quickly. I can think of at least one instance where the homeowner died inside because he could not get out and the FD could not get in.

I'm not saying its a bad idea...just something to consider in your planning.

Mike

Sindawe
October 31, 2004, 01:19 PM
Please bear with me if I ramble a bit here.

Warrants:

IMHO, warrants serve three functions.

1) As documentation that the agents of the law have taken the time and effort to do their homework and have a sound enough argument to convince a magistrate of that fact. So the magistrate signs off on the warrant.

2) As temporary license for the agents of the law in the field to enter a location to search for the items or persons named in the warrant and seize them if found.

3) As notification to the occupants of the location to be searched that the holders of the warrant are legitimate agents of the law, have authority to enter the location named and search, and are held to the standards and conduct of the law. The holding and presentation of the warrant was sufficent to verify the legitimacy of the action to the occupants. They are not bad guys operating under the color of the law.

Point 3 seems to have been forgoten by agents of law these days, and looks to be the major point of contention here, at least by myself.

I've seen only a few warrants, and those posted on the net in relation to publicized contested cases. From what I've seen, a warrant can be easily duplicated by anybody with a cheap PC, a laser printer and a bit of time. In years gone by, most folks did not have easy access to printing presses, typesetting equipment and the like. Bad guys planning big jobs may have taken the steps needed to forge the documents to make the job run safer and simplify access to the desired booty. Average burglers and home invaders would not.

This is no longer the case. Bad guys now have at their disposal the means to make officical looking documents that pass a cursory examination, such that a homeowner or occupant would accept as valid when faced with a group of people dressed in the garb of police and demanding entry. This is why I've called for verification of the documention and its legitimacy, as feedthehogs did here.

Years back I was served a subpoena for a law suit at 4:30am by a plain clothed detective. I made him call the dispatcher and have her call the house to verify who he was. When asked for my number, I said your the police, you can get it. He was not a happy camper but complied.

LEOs here and their supporters have rejected this idea, and perhaps rightly so. I propose that its time to make warrants as impossible to duplicate as possible, and standardized across each state. Perhaps using the techniques similar to that our nation does with its currency, or software vendors do with holograms of authenticity.

Print warrants up on specialized paper that only the courts and their agents have access to. On the face to be printed on is a high color holographic watermark or something similar, bearing the seal of the state that is instantly recognizable and assures the occupant that these are indeed the good guys and not bad guys dressed up a good guys.

(I'm not going to address "knock and announce" warrants, wait times,'No-knock" warrants or the War on Some Drugs here. Those are whole other cans of worms.) :D

Evidence:

Based apon my limited understanding, (forensics is not my trade, nor a hobby) with advances in forensic science, its nearly impossible to totally destroy evidence of crimminal activity. Illicit chemicals burned will leave a residue, those washed down the drain will leave traces in the piping. The ancillary equipment can be smashed, but as yet not reduced to its component molecules and atoms in a short period of time. Paper documentation shreaded can be reassembled, and it takes time to burn paper, 'specially if there is a good chunk of it from an on going crimmial operation. Fire the building at a police raid, and there is the question of why the building was fired, 'specially if the building was rigged beforehand to be fired at a moments notice.

Data on hard drives can be recovered from formated/trashed disk unless the sectors containing the data is overwritten or the disk platters are physically smashed to bits. Smashing a hard drive to bits takes time, more time than waiting at the door for an answer.

F4GIB
October 31, 2004, 02:20 PM
What bothers me (and IMHO virtually all the civilian posters) is the "Ho, Hum" attitude displayed by almost every LEO on this board, GlockTalk, and other boards to the death, injury, and fear that the officers participating in these raids impose, all too often, on entirely innocent persons. Actually, it's more a reckless disregard for the potential harm and a sense of juvenile glee at the prospect of "action." Truely a bad combination for public servants granted such power over the rest of us.

"S**t Happens" is not a acceptable response to these tragedies.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 03:18 PM
Based apon my limited understanding, (forensics is not my trade, nor a hobby) with advances in forensic science, its nearly impossible to totally destroy evidence of crimminal activity. Yes and no, some evidence especially computer evidence is VERY easily destroyed. Beyond that even if evidence is not completely destroyed it may be destroyed, or altered, enough to make proof beyond a reasonable doubt impossible.

Sorry, but I'm not willing to let murderers, drug dealers, child molestors, identity thieves, rapists, theives, etc, etc, destroy the evidence while "pretending" to verify the warrant.

As for the 4 thugs pretending to be cops kicking in the door at 4AM, well if you've got time to mount a counter assault you've got time to quickly peek out any window. I guarantee, there is no mistaking a few thugs, for what will be outside your house on a real dynamic entry. On any warrant where there will be the likelyhood of a dynamic entry you will have tons of personnel present, not just doing the entry, but also securing the area around the dwelling. Not only will there be a team coming in the doors/windows, but there will also be a slew of people outside.

My most recent warrant service was three agencies. Like the vast majority of warrants it was being served in daylight, and was knock and announce. It was not considered a "high threat" warrant, so no SWAT team, but there were three marked cruisers, 4 uniformed officers, and over 15 plainclothes LEOs who had all the "colors" prominently displayed.

See the difference between the real thing, and the thugs?

Is it possible two, three, or four cops will serve a warrant? Sure, but they aren't doing that if they think there is even the slightest chance that entry will be refused, because if the SHTF they don't have enough people to control the situation, and maintain safety for everyone. So that scenario is extremely rare.

As for this: I think you would agree that all WE'RE saying is that you guys need to do ALL your homework first to made dang sure you're kicking the right door down." goes to the heart of the problem.We do, and the Nixon era mistakes that Art referenced have resulted in EXTREME caution to ensure the correct address. I can't change the mistakes from three decades ago, but I can tell you EVERY LEO I work with is extremely careful to make sure we are following the law, and keeping EVERYONE safe, not just the cops.

Contrary to F4GIB's claims that there is indifference to, or even glee about, the dangers presented to EVERYONE, what I see at work, across the board with fed, state, and local LEOs, is a desire to do things in a responsibile manner, that ensures we do not needlessly hurt or intimidate anyone, including the suspects. Some here will never believe that what I've described it true, but I've worked for two agencies, and done warrant service in three different states, working with dozens of different agencies (fed, state and local), and the attitude I've described is the attitude I have seen displayed across the board on the job. We are trained to operate that way, and that's how we do it.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 03:25 PM
This is why I've called for verification of the documention and its legitimacy, as feedthehogs did here.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Years back I was served a subpoena for a law suit at 4:30am by a plain clothed detective. I made him call the dispatcher and have her call the house to verify who he was. When asked for my number, I said your the police, you can get it. He was not a happy camper but complied.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In case you are not aware, there is a world of difference between a subpoena, and a search warrant. Two different beasts, two verify different avenues for getting compliance. You're comparing apples and oranges.

F4GIB
October 31, 2004, 04:28 PM
DMF,

It's not the mistakes from three decades ago that concern us. It's the ones from last week and the ones that are going to occur next week. Maybe even in our own neighborhoods. These raid related errors aren't limited to crime-prone neighborhoods occupied by marginal folks.

If you are going to quote me, you should do it accurately (use the <copy> feature in Windows). I don't think anyone is indifferent to the dangers presented to police. You say "Contrary to F4GIB's claims that there is indifference to, or even glee about, the dangers presented to EVERYONE, what I see at work, across the board with fed, state, and local LEOs, is a desire to do things in a responsibile manner, that ensures we do not needlessly hurt or intimidate anyone, including the suspects."

I won't deny your good faith but let's be real. For example, COPS is a Department Approved depiction of actual police activity (the Chief has total editorial veto power over what is shown) and what I describe occurs in almost every other episode, often more than once. Or, ride with inner city EMS (as I did for years) and sit around a police station and listen to the cops reel off one tale of this sort after another (or come by the firehouse at 3am for coffee and relate the evening's activities). Or watch (or read) the defensiveness or outright indifference of the police spokesmen when something like this occurs. BTW, has the INNOCENT young man (Jensen?) that FBI Special Agent Barga shot in the face in Baltimore (2 years ago) received either an agency apology or financial compensation for his greivious injuries? I'll bet you $5 that he has not.

There are a lot of LEO's out there who aren't helping you make your argument.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 04:49 PM
If you are going to quote me, you should do it accurately F4GIB, when I quote you I do cut and past, and either use the QUOTE wraps as I did here, or quotation marks (" "). Nothing I posted was a direct quote, but neither was it a misrepresentation of your comments. You spoke of indifference and glee, and I responded to that.

As for your claims of "fire station" boasts, and the "COPS" TV show. I haven't sat in the firehouse in question, nor do I watch "COPS." However, I do actually serve felony warrants. I have worked the investigations, done the "homework," participated in the planning, and stood at the door knocking. The folks I work with are NOT indifferent to the safety of anyone, and do not find "glee" in the potential for violence. Do we find satisfaction in doing a good job, and helping to seek justice? Sure do. However, there is no indifference or glee when it comes to the dangers to cops, suspects, or any innocent bystanders.

Will there occasionally be errors? Sure will, but I guarantee cops are doing everything they can to avoid them. However, NO person, or organization will ever be 100% error free. That's not indifference, that's the cold hard facts. Just like a retired fighter pilot used to tell me, "I could have guaranteed my wing wouldn't crash another plane or hit the wrong target, by simply never flying another mission. But that's not what the planes, and crews are for, and therefore I work to minimize the risk while still getting the job done." The same is true in LE. We can guarantee there will never be another error in service of a warrant, but that means never serving another warrant. That would mean no longer enforcing the law, and advocating anarchy. Sorry, but I'm not ready to surrender to the lawless thugs and allow anarchy. Are you?

Sindawe
October 31, 2004, 04:53 PM
DMF said:

In case you are not aware, there is a world of difference between a subpoena, and a search warrant. Two different beasts, two verify different avenues for getting compliance. You're comparing apples and oranges.

Yes, I am aware that there is a difference 'tween a supoena and a search warrant. I was using feedthehogs case as an example of my reasoning, not of the application of law. My bad, I should have stated such.

Can you point me in the direction where the process of search warrant execution is codified into law for your state, if it is? I've been searching Colorado's statutes for this (since I live here and fall under the jurisdiction of Colorado law) and so far I'm finding nothing that touches on the rules for serving warrants and protocol for "knock and announce" warrants. What happens if entry is refused, yes, but even that looks to only cover cases related to alcoholic beverages, and clearly excludes homes.

Source: Colorado Revised Statutes - as found on LexisNexis http://www.lexisnexis.com/

12-47-905. Warrants - searches and seizures.

...
(3) The officer charged with the execution of said warrant, when necessary to obtain entrance or when entrance has been refused, may break open any premises (other than a home), wagon, automobile, truck, vehicle, contrivance, thing, or device which by said warrant the officer is directed to search and may execute said warrant any hour of the day or night.
...

Granted, I may not be using the right search terms, and will take pointers there as well.

Sindawe
October 31, 2004, 05:01 PM
DMF said:

That would mean no longer enforcing the law, and advocating anarchy.

No, thats advocating Lawlessness. Anarchy is a different beast. The two are not the same.

F4GIB
October 31, 2004, 05:12 PM
Regarding fighter pilots, those who land at the wrong airport, soon become non-rated supply officers. Landing at the wrong airport is not considered an "acceptable" hazard of flying (bumping wings and off-target bomb falls are).

Raiding the wrong house and injuring the innocent should not be an "acceptable" hazard of law enforcement. Aircrew take risks, police take risks, Ma and Pa Simple sitting at home watching QVC on the tube don't take those risks. You think they should, I disagree.

EricOKC
October 31, 2004, 05:15 PM
I wouldnt even say it advocates lawlesness or anarchy.

IIRC, police departments are a relatively new invention. Prior to the mid-19th century, they didnt exist. In many parts of this country, eliminating them and relying upon the citizens to police themselves isnt such a bad idea.

Granted - thats probably just a bit too much responsibility for too many people to feel comfortable giving to the general public, but maybe its time to expect more from everyone.

Has the added bonus of reducing costs for the local government.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 05:20 PM
F4GIB, the risk to Ma and Pa watching QVC is no different than if the pilot punches out and his jet hits their house. Think it doesn't happen? In 1995 a T-38 at Sheppard crashed into an apartment complex when the pilots bailed out. Neither one ended up losing their wings and becoming a supply officer. The people living in that apartment didn't ask to accept that risk either. There are other examples, but I was at Sheppard when that one happened so it always sticks out in my mind.

EDIT TO ADD: 2 DIE AS AIR FORCE TRAINING JET CRASHES INTO APARTMENT COMPLEX

An Air Force training jet billowing black smoke crashed into an apartment complex Wednesday, engulfing one building and several cars in flames. At least two people were killed and 16 hurt.

The T-38's two pilots ejected just before the plane went down. They parachuted onto the athletic field at a high school and were not seriously hurt. . .

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1995/vp950601/06010433.htm

sendec
October 31, 2004, 06:02 PM
Has anyone bothered to do something radical, like valid and reliable research? Like how many warrants of what ilk are served annually and what number are at the wrong address?

Really, this problem is minute. You stand a better chance of being killed by your doctor or being probed by aliens than have 5-0 pop your door at 0430. Here it comes - "one is too many, blarg blarg blarg" Well If you want perfect cops have Omnicorp build ya some.

Having applied for warrants backed up with plat maps, photos of the place, and me swearing that all the facts contained therein are true and accurate, I am telling you, the "problem" is miniscule.

Strings
October 31, 2004, 06:56 PM
Hmmm... is it even possible to find out the numbers, Sendec? Not trying to be arguementative, just not sure where the heck I'd start lokoing for accurate, unbiased numbers to compare # of warrants issued v # of mistaken warrants. However, I WILL agree that this would be the place to really start...

Sindawe
October 31, 2004, 07:07 PM
sendec said:

Having applied for warrants backed up with plat maps, photos of the place, and me swearing that all the facts contained therein are true and accurate, I am telling you, the "problem" is miniscule.

Its not miniscule to those who's homes are invaded and searched 'cause somebody did not do their homework or flat out lied to get the warrant. Ask Ishmeal Mena about how miniscule the problem is. Oh, wait, you can't. He's dead as a result of this "problem".

Yes, mistakes happen. And you your line of work sendec, sometimes those mistakes end up with people getting killed who should not have been killed, and would not have if those mistakes had not been made. If my physician makes a mistakes that permanently damages me, or kills me, I or my family can sue for redress and maybe get him barred from practicing medicine. If I make a mistake and accidently kill you in a vehicular accident, I'll likely face severe punishment. From what I've observed over the years, when those in your chosen profession make a mistake that gets somebody killed, theres not alot of repercussions faced. Suspension, docking of pay, maybe termination in that location.

If this is not normally the case, I'm willing to listen to citations to the contrary.

On the question of statistics for warrants sendec, I've no clue where to start looking, but I'm open to suggestions. This deals with your line of work, which makes you the authority here. You assistance would be appreciated.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 07:22 PM
If my physician makes a mistakes that permanently damages me, or kills me, I or my family can sue for redress and maybe get him barred from practicing medicine. If I make a mistake and accidently kill you in a vehicular accident, I'll likely face severe punishment. From what I've observed over the years, when those in your chosen profession make a mistake that gets somebody killed, theres not alot of repercussions faced. Suspension, docking of pay, maybe termination in that location.

If this is not normally the case, I'm willing to listen to citations to the contrary.
Here is my favorite case cite on this matter. It involves an ATF agent who made a clerical error on a warrant, and is now being sued. Now keep in mind they went to the correct address, and no one was hurt. Had the agent attached the papers, that he faxed to the defense attorney the next day, to the flawed warrant they actually served, there would have been no problem.

Read this case, and tell me how if an agent can get sued over a minor error like this, where no one got hurt, how you think agents can get away with the claimed abuses we hear claimed on THR:

Link to the decision and opinions in Groh v. Ramirez et al (2004) (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=000&invol=02-811)

Please read both the decision and majority and minority opinions, as that will give you a clear picture of what happened in this case.

Here is some discussion of the matter over on GT - Cop Talk: http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=289843&highlight=warrant

Sindawe
October 31, 2004, 07:31 PM
Thank you for the citations. It'll take me a bit to read through and digest. When I've done so, I'll return to this issue.

F4GIB
October 31, 2004, 08:18 PM
What makes Groh v. Ramirez et al (2004) remarkable is that the agent was found liable.

DMF never mentions the hundreds (probably thousands) of cases where the innocent person is left without any remedy at all. Those cases aren't reported so maybe DMF doesn't "know" they exist. But they do. Notice that he hasn't taken up my bet regarding the FBI's refusal to compensate the young man in Baltimore whose life was ruined by an overeager FBI agent (one of the extensively trained SWAT team members).

The Air Force pays for damage caused by aircraft crashes and doesn't send out spokesmen who shrug and say "S**t Happens." With few exceptions, LE (from the top down) doesn't apologize nor do they pay compensation. Aircraft crashes are accidents not planned operations. Maybe that's the distinction?

P. S. There is no tracking system for botched raids. Most are in poor neighborhoods against inarticulate people who expect to be victimized by everyone. Unless a newspaper or TV station gets ahold of the story, it just disappears.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 08:38 PM
F4GIB, there are tons of law suits filed every year. The only remarkable thing about Groh, was that the District court ruled in favor of Groh, and therefore set in motion a case that went to the Supreme Court. However the majority of suits filed against LEOs are bogus, but agencies and individual lawyers still must pay the lawyers to defend against those bogus suits. There are other cases where agents are sued, and either the agency or individual agents settle, or lose in the courts. But again, the vast majority of cases are BS, and courts recognize that and throw out the suit, or worse the agents and agency are forced to spend time and money on defending bogus suits. You know as well as I do that just because someone files suit does not mean their was actually harm done.

More realistically, the cases are like that of Kenyon Ballew who was guilty of federal crimes, barricaded his door when agents knocked and announced when serving a warrant, then pointed and fired a gun at ATF agents serving the warrant. The agents fired on Ballew and he was paralyzed. Care to know what the court said when Ballew tried to sue the ATF? "Federal agents acted reasonably and in exercise of due care in procuring the search warrant, in planning the search, and in actually carrying it out . . . Plaintiff, who heard law enforcement officers at the door, and rather than admitting them and submitting to search of his premises, attempted to barricade the door and prevent entry and pointed a loaded revolver at the agents as they entered was contributorlily negligent. Judgment for the government."
- Kenyon F. Ballew v. US, Civ. No. 72-283-H, District of Maryland

Ballew was committing crimes, agents were serving a valid warrant, and they were completely justified in their use of force when Ballew attempted to shoot them. Yet they had their lives turned upside down, the the agents and the government spent time and money defending this suit. That is the kind of crap that goes on. Bogus suits filed, and the agents are forced to spend their time on that crap, rather than doing their jobs of enforcing the law.

With regard to any flight not being a "planned operation" I'm starting to think your username is a fraud. I've got over 1500 hours of military flying time, and every flight no matter how short or routine was planned, and briefed prior to take off. That included my sorties flown out of Sheppard AFB.

Snake Eyes
October 31, 2004, 08:50 PM
The only remarkable thing about Groh, was that the District court ruled in favor of Groh, and therefore set in motion a case that went to the Supreme Court.
Actually, what is remarkable about Groh v. Ramirez is that the plaintiff had the where-with-all (money) to ride the case all the way to the Supreme Court. Got any idea at all how much cash that is??

When I wanted to pursue the BATFE for my incident, my attorney told my explicitly that the US Government had way more money, time, and lawyers than I did and I couldn't hope to win, even if I was right.

F4GIB
October 31, 2004, 09:03 PM
F4GIB posted Aircraft crashes are accidents not planned operations.

DMF posted With regard to any flight not being a "planned operation" ... .

All "flight[s]" are planned operations. I know that (and IMHO you know that I know that). Unless one is talking about some kind of unusual test flight, no "aircraft crash" is planned. Certainly not in the usual sense of "planned." One can "plan" at the last moment to divert the aircraft in a safe direction before you eject but that's not the type of planning to which either of us is referring.

I wrote about apples, you replied about oranges.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 09:18 PM
Not apples and oranges, it's a good comparison. Hitting an apartment building after ejecting or dropping bombs on friendly Canadian troops in A-stan, rather than terrorists, is the equivalent of getting the wrong address. None of those were intentionally planned, and all are extremely rare.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 09:23 PM
Actually, what is remarkable about Groh v. Ramirez is that the plaintiff had the where-with-all (money) to ride the case all the way to the Supreme Court. Got any idea at all how much cash that is?? Not surprising at all, the lawyers knew they had a decent case and took it looking for the pay off. The Justice department made a decent argument that the Circuit Court and Supreme Court rejected. More often than not though, lawyers take cases and file suit even if it's not a viable case, because they are hoping that there will be a settlement because settling will cost less than a successful defense.

Now the only tort reform I think we need in this country is an easy mechanism to make the plaintiff's lawyers, not the plaintiff himself, liable for the costs of defending a suit successfully. If they made the lawyers pay then frivilous lawsuits would be reduced, because lawyers would be less willing to file longshot harrassment suits hoping to get a settlement from defendents who know it costs more to defend their position than settle.

Mr. Kook
October 31, 2004, 09:24 PM
I'm gathering from DMF and SENDEC and other LEOs on this board that it is extremely unlikely that LEOs would raid the wrong house. Still, this doesn't answer the question of what to do in the event that criminals posiing as LEOs are standing at our door at o'dark thirty.

Officers visit people in the middle of the night for a variety of reasons, many of which are perfectly non-confrontational. Example. My fiance was visited by a police officer at 2:30 in the morning two days ago (she's in college) regarding an act of vandalism on a homecoming project she had been working on. Some punks had destroyed the homecoming sign she was responsible for for her hall.

I am sure a couple of thugs could dream up a perfectly plausable reason for a police officer to visit a person in the middle of the night that would not necessitate a SWAT team or the whole resources of a department. And conducting business through a door, especially filing whatever reports a person needs to isn't particularly easy.

The problem is a thug can pose as a cop and use a variety of ruses to convince a person to crack the door.

How does a person know the fellow outside at o'dark thirty is a cop or isn't? Can we assume a man dressed as a cop who suddenly barges into the house is a thug, or do we have to assume he's a cop until he starts kicking our asses?

Me, I'm of the mind if it's a cop knocking on the door at o'dark thirty he's going to understand if I greet him with a 12 gauge handy until I verify he's for real. If the night time visitors are crooks they will leave the moment they see the gun. If they try something I can assume they are not cops and blast away.

As far as criminals pulling no-knocks. Well, any reaction I can manage in the four seconds or less it takes to get from my front door to my bedroom (apartment) will not be enough time for me to wake up. If a criminal pulls a no-knock my only hope is my neighbors are good enough to wake up and call the cops. If cops are pulling no-knocks, well they'll be asking how it is a my neighbors can sleep through the racket of my snoring.

sendec
October 31, 2004, 09:30 PM
F4GIB

What thousands of cases? What "no remedy?" Are you familiar with the Federal Tort Claims Act? Have you been privy to some of the settlements agencies have paid out? Do you know how much civil liability is addressed in police training, in everything from driving to use of force to cultural diversity?

Every once in a while there is a publicized mistake. They happen. No one is denying that. If we had the figures I am confident they would make up a tiny, tiny fraction of all warrants served.

Why does this horse get flogged so regularly? Hell, even the fire department and post office gets addresses wrong.

DMF
October 31, 2004, 09:38 PM
Mr. Kook, the scenarios you describe for late night contacts, which are not warrant service, do not give LEOs the authority to force entry. So feel free to call and verify legitimacy because you've got all the time in the world. Reference my earlier post about what warrant service will look like if you peek out the window - lots of cops securing the area, not 2-4 standing on the porch.

Mr. Kook
October 31, 2004, 09:50 PM
Thanks DMF. I think you just answered the original question of this thread. How to deal with thugs posing as LEOs.

Strings
October 31, 2004, 10:58 PM
kook just broke the mold. BRAVO, sir!

The original question (for those who have been sniping at each other over the "thin blue line") was essentially "how do we know if it's ACTUALLY the police knocking on the door, or crooks dressed as police?". Now, I'll trust the LEOs here to correct me if I'm worng, but there isn't alot of shouting "POLICE!" during the initial stages of the breach on a no-knock, correct? And they go down REALLY fast (hence the term "dynamic"). So no-knocks are NOT the subject of the thread (or, at least, the initial question)...


It would seem to me that, if there's somone pounding on the door at 0dark30 saying they're police, it wouldn't be THAT hard to look outside for squads, or to call dispatch for verification. Figure the call might go somethihng like this:

"911 emergency,"
"Yeah... I'm at 123 West 4th Street, and there's someone claiming to be an officer at my door. Can you verify that he IS such, and acting in an official capacity?"
"Hold on a moment sir..."

At that point, you already have 911 on the line. If it turns out that it is NOT a legitimate cop outside your door, you can then inform the operator that you need a squad at your address (or, if things escalate before the squad arrives, an ambulence or coroner)...

Then again, maybe I'm just being too reasonable...

F4GIB
October 31, 2004, 11:18 PM
Sendec asks "Why does this horse get flogged so regularly?"

IMHO, for two reasons:
(1) Because it happens too often (even if seldom).
(2) And "S**t Happens" simply isn't an acceptable response.

The posters who raise the issue are from the class of persons for whom this does present a significant threat. For example, most (all?) posters on THR have no worries about a proper search because there is nothing they do that could lead to one, but there is no way to protect one's self (by living a law-abiding life, etc.) from a botched raid. As the Baltimore incident (and others) illustrates, even full compliance does not guarantee you won't be injured. A botched raid is a paperwork nightmare for the officers involved. It's a life-altering disaster for the innocent victim.

Go back over some of the recent threads. In almost every wrong address case some officer did screw up. The last incident that I recall, the sole officer who knew the correct premises stayed at the office and sent out a raid team that had nothing but the wrong address to go on. If he'd gone along, there would have been no raid on the wrong house. In the Baltimore FBI shooting, the several agents were shouting contradictory commands at the terrified victim who obeyed the wrong agent. Apparently no one was exerting control over the team of agents.

In these situations, it's time to fess up and pay up. Not defend the screw-up on the basis that the disaster could have been worse. Or on the basis that usually we do better (which is true). Everybody else (doctors, lawyers, truch drivers,...) is liable for negligence. There is no "good faith" defense to removing the wrong breast or to missing a statute of limitations.

No one defends frivolous claims by drug dealers such as Ballew. Throwing them up is a smokescreen. The threads you complain of aren't about those cases. These threads and the civilian outrage are about the "frivolous" defenses when innocent persons are injured.

As to your request for data about the FTCA. There are no readily available public records regarding the FTCA (other that individual court files) that I know of. Like FTCA court filings, warrent data is available, if at all, in millions of individual case files in 10,000 courthouses in the USA. That's not readily available either.

The Real Hawkeye
November 1, 2004, 08:35 AM
Door kickers are hostile borders, and will we dealt with as such.

NO EXCEPTIONSExactly right. DNS said something to the effect that you will be dead, and what comfort is there if you take them with you. Well, when it comes to this kind of thing, it is about one's patriotic duty not to surrender to those who would transform this nation into a police state tyranny. A willingness to die in defense of American liberty is an honorable thing, and ought to be praised. I am an entirely harmless person to those who do not seek to violate my rights. As for anyone else, I am quite dangerous. That's as it should be. The more Americans there are with this attitude, the less likely this nation will become a police state tyranny.

The Real Hawkeye
November 1, 2004, 09:29 AM
A cop with a warrant has the legal authority to kick down a door. He does not have to wait for the homeowner to peruse the paperwork before gaining entry. The warrant gives him the legal authority to enter the house, right now. The homeowner can make whatever chest-thumping vows he wishes to make, but once the warrant is issued he has no say. If he resists the service of the warrant, well...thats why some of them are served the way they are. This is done because *gasp* a lot of people exercise their second amendment rights by shooting at the police and also destroy evidence (for you anti War on Drugs types, consider that non-drug paper evidence can be burned as easily as dope can be flushed. Its not all about the green and white contraband).The warrant was established for the primary purpose of informing the home owner that the person at the door is an official agent of the legitimate authorities. That is to say, it is designed to let him know that he doesn't need to repel him as an intruder, because the agent will conduct himself according to law. With a 4:00 AM raid, however, there is no opportunity to inspect the warrant to determine its validity, so there is no opportunity to know that this is not an intruder with evil intent. We are back to might makes right, every man for himself, the rule of law having been thrown out. The result is that innocent people are being murdered by cops for behaving rationally in the face of a home invasion. That's the problem.

sendec
November 1, 2004, 10:54 AM
Every single search warrant granted and returned is on file with the appropriate Clerk of Courts. (Some may be sealed as part of an ongoing investigation, to be unsealed when the case is closed). If you think this is a problem worthy of debate you're evidence'll be right there for your perusual. They are all public records. Have at it.

DMF
November 1, 2004, 10:21 PM
http://www.glocktalk.com/images/smilies/nono.gif sendec, shame on you for interrupting the rants with logic and facts. ;)

F4GIB
November 2, 2004, 12:34 AM
From the archives of the Baltimore SUN:

Judge lets suit against FBI agent proceed
Pasadena man was shot in the face
Case of mistaken identity
Victim, ex-girlfriend asking for $10 million
Published on: November 14, 2003
Edition: ARUNDEL
Section: LOCAL
Page: 1B
Byline: SUN STAFF
Allison Klein

A federal judge in Baltimore ruled yesterday that a $10 million excessive-force claim can go forward against an FBI agent who shot an unarmed Pasadena man in the face after mistaking him for a bank robber.

It was a key hurdle in the closely watched case involving Special Agent Christopher R. Braga, who shot Joseph C. Schultz with an M-4 rifle during a botched arrest March 1 last year.

Does anyone (especially those with LEO access) know whether the FBI ever compensated Mr. Schultz (the innocent driver) for being shot in the face by Agent Braga?

DMF
November 2, 2004, 02:12 AM
Does anyone (especially those with LEO access) know whether the FBI ever compensated Mr. Schultz (the innocent driver) for being shot in the face by Agent Braga? Quit acting like you don't know how the system works. First LEOs don't get "access" to everything going on in DOJ and the AGs office. :rolleyes:

Second if the the DOJ is defending the suit, then why would they have already compensated him? Geez, I thought you were a lawyer!

Finally, as much as you whine about Braga, and there being no remedy in that and other cases, from what you posted it sure looks like he will get to make his case in court, so there is a remedy available to him. Whether or not a jury will buy his argument is a different story entirely.

Sindawe
November 2, 2004, 02:23 AM
and let it simmer for a while. Yep, the agent goofed, and the warrant was invalid. Yes, it was a clerical error, but its an error non the less. Fourtune smiled and no one was physically injured or killed here. This is not always the case, sad to say. Sometimes the injured party has sufficent financial resources to pursue the case, from what I've seen, mostly this is not the case.

As I've said before, there is naught in my home or habits that would warrant forcing entry into my home. If the police have not done sufficent homework and research to deterime such, they are lax in their duties. I stand by my earlier statement.

DMF
November 2, 2004, 02:37 AM
Sindawe,

Please realize the only problem was the piece of paper Groh faxed to the attorney the next day should have been stapled to the warrant when they served it. Yes, it was an error (however small), yes it invalidated the warrant, and yes I'm sure SA Groh has and will suffer for it. However, that lack of a piece of paper did not increase the danger in that situation, they were still going to go to that house, still serve the warrant. I will be interested to see what, if any, award is given to Ramirez by a jury in the civil suit, because the actual harm in this case was almost non-existent.

Which is why I point this case out. Yes, there was a problem, but even one this miniscule, gets addressed by the courts, so I have a hard time believing the more outrageous allegations get brushed under the carpet.

Also, as to the resources to fight these cases, as I pointed out before there are plenty of lawyers eager to take these cases, in hopes of a big payoff.

Sindawe
November 2, 2004, 03:13 AM
so I have a hard time believing the more outrageous allegations get brushed under the carpet

Here I think of the Mena case ('cause it occured near where I live). Officer makes "mistakes" in getting warrant, warrant served to wrong address, innocent person is killed.

---
Cop pleads guilty in raid

Deal may allow Bini to keep his badge in failed drug bust that led to shooting death

By Sue Lindsay
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

Suspended Denver police officer Joseph Bini beamed after pleading guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge that may allow him to keep his badge.

Bini, 31, was headed for trial next week on three felony charges when prosecutors cut the deal, largely because of a judge's ruling that barred them from presenting most of their evidence to a jury.

Bini was the only officer charged in connection with a botched no-knock raid that claimed the life of Ismael Mena on Sept. 29, 1999, when officers struck the wrong house.

"Ismael Mena's family and his spirit have not received any kind of justice in this case," said LeRoy Lemos, spokesman for the Justice for Mena Committee, a group that formed in reaction to the killing.

Mena, a Mexican citizen and father of nine, was shot eight times after he pointed a gun at SWAT officers who had stormed his bedroom.

"Legal murder, that's what it is," said committee member Mary Miera. "Joe Bini should have to look Ismael Mena's nine children in the face and explain to them what happened to their father."

The committee has asked Mayor Wellington Webb and safety manager Ari Zavaras to fire Bini.

"He has shown that he is incapable of competently fulfilling his duties as a police officer," Lemos said.

Denver paid Mena's survivors $400,000 to settle a lawsuit.

Bini pleaded guilty to official misconduct, but still maintains he broke no law.

He was charged with making false statements on an affidavit and deceiving a judge to obtain a no-knock search warrant.

"We're just happy that it's over, and now I can get on with my life," Bini said as he left the courtroom, adding that he hopes to return to work as a police officer. "Absolutely. I love my job. Love my job."

Two felony perjury charges and one felony charge of deceiving the judge who approved the warrant were dropped as part of the plea bargain.

The official misconduct charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but his plea agreement does not require jail time.

Denver District Judge Shelley Gilman will sentence Bini Dec. 1.

Special prosecutor Charles Tingle of the Jefferson County district attorney's office said his office conducted an exhaustive investigation of facts behind the case.

"The disposition is one we believe is fair, equitable and holds the defendant accountable," he said.

A felony conviction would have barred Bini from returning to work, but the misdemeanor conviction means his future rests with Police Chief Gerry Whitman.

"Joe always admitted there were mistakes in the warrant, but a mistake is a far cry from perjury and there was no perjury here," defense attorney David Bruno said.

Last month Gilman barred mention of Mena's death during the trial. She also ruled jurors couldn't hear that no drugs were found at Mena's house but were at a neighboring house. They would also not hear that Bini made a similar error in 1998.

October 6, 2000
---

Source: http://home.pacbell.net/rsdotson/sources/Cop%20pleads%20guilty%20in%20raid.htm

Bini gets to plead guilty to a freaking misdemeanor, and is the only LEO brought up on charges. The warrant was served on the WRONG HOUSE.

OK, not under the carpet, but the words "wrist" and "slap" fit here. Sadly, this is not an isolated case. Do you know of Donald Scott, and the lies of him growing marijuana on his property? Marijuana that was not there, lies laid to get the property added to National Forest land? Lies that end up with Scott dead in his own house.

F4GIB
November 2, 2004, 11:15 AM
Sindawe posted:
Two felony perjury charges and one felony charge of deceiving the judge who approved the warrant were dropped as part of the plea bargain.

The official misconduct charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but his plea agreement does not require jail time [nor loss of LEO status].

What a sweet deal.

This shows one reason why it's not smart to shoot the masked intruders breaking into your home at 3am. If you are dead, there's only one version of the facts and it'll make the intruders look goooood.

The Real Hawkeye
November 4, 2004, 07:37 PM
This shows one reason why it's not smart to shoot the masked intruders breaking into your home at 3am. If you are dead, there's only one version of the facts and it'll make the intruders look goooood.You're not getting it. It's a catch 22 because if you choose to become passive it is just as likely (perhaps more so) that the intruder will turn out to be a bad guy who will do worse than just shoot you dead on the spot, though that might come in the end too. Best option seems to be to be heavily armed at all times, have the highest rated body armor next to your bed, have the most secure doors and window you can afford, and have a dog in the house at night who will bark his head off at the sound of someone approaching the house. Sensors built into the driveway might be a smart idea too, not to mention video surveillance cameras. It's a shame that it's come to the point in this nation where those who respect the rights and property of others need actually fear the police as much as (if not more than) the "bad guys."

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