Testimony: Elderly man shot 123 times had gun


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2dogs
March 6, 2003, 06:46 AM
http://www.orlandosentinal.com/news/local/state/orl-locpolice05030503mar05,0,3455142.story?coll=orl%2Dhome%2Dheadlines

Testimony: Elderly man shot 123 times had gun

The Associated Press
Posted March 5, 2003



MIAMI -- Police and medical members of a SWAT team testified Tuesday that they saw or heard a gun fire before officers returned 123 shots that killed 72-year-old Richard Brown in 1996.

"When we started to enter the room, I saw the gentleman holding the gun," former SWAT team member William Jones remembered of the March 12, 1996, incident. "I yelled out: Gun, gun! He's got a gun!"

During the prosecution's caseagainst 11 officers, the jury heard Richard Brown's great-granddaughter, Janeka Brown, testify that while Richard Brown had owned a gun, he wasn't holding one during the raid.

Janeka Brown, who said she survived the raid by hiding in a bathroom, also said that the gun police said they found at the scene was not the one owned by her great-grandfather.

Prosecutors have said officers planted the gun in the right hand of the left-handed man.

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nsf003
March 6, 2003, 07:45 AM
Why were the JBTs raiding a 72 year old man?

nsf

Tamara
March 6, 2003, 08:27 AM
123 shots?!? This was a 72-year-old man, not a Greyhound bus!

Leatherneck
March 6, 2003, 08:30 AM
123 Shots! 123 hits? How many shots?said officers planted the gun in the right hand of the left-handed man. OOPs. Shoulda checked, guys. Good luck in stir.

TC
TFL Survivor

Sean Smith
March 6, 2003, 09:54 AM
That's two and a half boxes of ammo, folks. :eek:

2dogs
March 6, 2003, 10:04 AM
Guy A. Lewis, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Hector M. Pesquera, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today the unsealing of a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Miami, Florida, against Jose Acuna, Ralph Fuentes, Arturo Beguiristain, Eliezer Lopez, and Alejandro Macias. Acuna, Fuentes, Beguiristain, Lopez and Macias are charged with conspiracy with intent to prevent communication to law enforcement officers and judges of the United States of information relating to the possible commission of a federal offense, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and knowingly misleading the State of Florida law enforcement investigators, and others, with the intent to prevent them from communicating to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and judges of the United States of America, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1512(b)(3) and 2.

Acuna, Fuentes, Beguiristain, Lopez, and Macias are employed as police officers with the Miami Police Department and were part of the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team. The S.W.A.T. team is a unit of the Miami Police Department and is responsible for, among other things, gaining entry into private dwellings to serve search warrants. All of the officers are veterans of the City of Miami Police Department. Their service record is as follows: Jose Acuna, 17 years; Ralph Fuentes, 12 years; Arturo Beguiristain, 18 years; Eliezer Lopez, 12 years; and Alejandro Macias, 13 years.

On the evening of March 12, 1996, in the course of serving a search warrant, Acuna, Fuentes, Beguiristain, Lopez and Macias, and other police officers, discharged from their firearms, approximately 123 rounds, which resulted in the death of Richard Brown, an occupant of the residence they were searching.

The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in misleading conduct towards law enforcement authorities of the State of Florida with the intent to hinder, delay and prevent the information relating to the possible commission of a federal offense. The defendants are charged with fabricating physical evidence and agreeing to make false statements regarding the true circumstances surrounding the death of Richard Brown.

The maximum statutory sentence each defendant is subject to upon conviction is 10 years as to each count and $250,000 fine.


http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls/Miami%20Police.html

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Hector M. Pesquera, the FBI'S special agent in charge in Miami, said Friday that more indictments are anticipated. The probe zeroed in on a series of shootings that federal officials said followed a suspicious pattern. Three people were killed in those incidents, and one was wounded.

Lewis said that none of the shooting victims were carrying firearms. But guns later were brought to the scene by officers, Lewis asserted, to make it seem as though they had been armed.

According to the indictment, the weapons had been taken by Miami officers during earlier arrests and had not been logged into the police property room.

On March 12, 1996, a SWAT team -- which included four of the officers now under indictment -- raided the home of Richard Brown, 73, in response to reports of a drug sale. The officers blasted the tiny two-room home with 123 bullets, eight of which hit Brown.

The officers said Brown had fired first, and still had a gun in his right hand when he died. But Lewis said the weapon was a plant, and the officers' statements were lies.

http://www.sptimes.com/News/090801/State/13_Miami_officers_fac.shtml

El Tejon
March 6, 2003, 10:06 AM
Sean, no, that's 4-5 mags from 4-5 HK54s. They give the mall ninjas the gear but not the education. Herd mentality shooting just like a cop range.

If these allegations are true, it will not help the reputation of Florida law enforcement.:(

TallPine
March 6, 2003, 10:17 AM
It's nice to know that I'm not paranoid anymore :uhoh:

DeltaElite
March 6, 2003, 10:23 AM
Aye Carumba :what:

If the allegations are true, I hope they all serve a maximum sentence.

I do find it funny that the Feds are investigating a series of questionable shootings. :scrutiny:
Aren't they the experts on questionable shootings anyway? :evil:

Marko Kloos
March 6, 2003, 10:32 AM
I keep hearing about the terrible effects on drugs on our society, but I find it hard to accept that the possession of the pharmaceutical equivalent of a bottle of vodka can ever excuse raiding someone's home with submachine guns and pouring 123 rounds of ammo into it. No non-violent "felony" justifies an armed response by the State, let alone the indiscriminate use of full-auto weaponry.

The War on Drugs has caused more damage to this country and to our civil liberties than any drug ever made. This society is slowly and painfully relearning the lessons of the Prohibition.

From a pure tactical standpoint, the "militarization of Mayberry" article comes to mind. Adrenaline and submachine guns don't mix in a non-military setting. These "mad minute" type shooting incidents, where every officer on the scene unloads the contents of his magazine at the suspect, would be a lot less common if the brass in charge stopped thinking of the mission as a "war". That would require trading the military hardware for guns that are more compatible with the police officer's mission.

Remeber C.R.Sam's comments on revolver vs. autoloader? "Revolver for defense, auto for offense". I think in the last 20 years or so, the mindset and equipment of many PDs has switched from the former to the latter, presumably as a response to "heavily armed drug dealers". The police weapon of choice used to be the revolver, and police doctrine for weapons use used to be of a defensive nature. The gun was to be used as a last resort, as a response to lethal violence initiated by others.

These days, the LEO weapon of choice is the high-capacity autoloader and the submachine gun. Police are all too often the initiators of that violence by kicking down doors and storming in with guns deployed in an offensive mode, ostensibly justified by the suspected presence of narcotics. The gun is now the first tool of the trade, not a last resort. I realize that the nature of SWAT teams makes an offensive weapons use almost inevitable, but I strongly disagree with the way these SWAT teams are employed. They're no longer primarily busy with violent felons and hostage situations, but with revenue generation via no-knocks and asset forfeiture.

Police work is dangerous, difficult, and often thankless. It would be a lot less so if the guys in blue didn't have to spend most of their days concerning themselves with substances that the .gov does not like. That is, of course, a matter for legislation, but the politicos are right in line with the majority of the population: the 21st Century version of the self-righteous church ladies from the Board of Temperance. The War on Drugs is destroying our liberties and turning law enforcement and citizenry against each other, and the ones who are to blame are driving us apart by keeping up the charade at the ballot box and in the Legislature.

Waitone
March 6, 2003, 10:40 AM
These "mad minute" type shooting incidents, where every officer on the scene unloads the contents of his magazine at the suspect, would be a lot less common if the brass in charge stopped thinking of the mission as a "war". That would require trading the military hardware for guns that are more compatible with the police officer's mission. It will also take a change in mindset. LE is not military. Seems to me all the mall ninja garb and military-lookin' weapons serves to reinforce into the psychie that their job is military-style and not law enforcement. I am conviinced the confusion between two minds directly led to the fiasco at Waco.

I'm begining to believe there needs to be extensive and intensive instruction in the constitution and bill of rights for all LE and maybe a little less instruction on "law."

I'll stop now since I need to breath deeply.

David Park
March 6, 2003, 10:51 AM
The officers blasted the tiny two-room home with 123 bullets, eight of which hit Brown. Wow, a 6.5% hit ratio. :scrutiny: Great shooting, guys. :barf:

El Tejon
March 6, 2003, 11:02 AM
David, may all our enemies be on full auto!:D And, poorly trained.

OF
March 6, 2003, 12:30 PM
Well said, len.

- Gabe

2dogs
March 6, 2003, 12:37 PM
LE is not military. Seems to me all the mall ninja garb and military-lookin' weapons serves to reinforce into the psychie that their job is military-style and not law enforcement. I am conviinced the confusion between two minds directly led to the fiasco at Waco.

If I was paranoid I might be tempted to say that this is exactly what the "powers that be" want- domestic troopers to use when the crunch comes.:uhoh:


Luckily, I'm not.:scrutiny:

CZ-75
March 6, 2003, 12:57 PM
The War on Drugs has caused more damage to this country and to our civil liberties than any drug ever made.

I'm in full agreement with that assertion.


Whenever the fed. govt. wants to wage "war" on something that isn't an opposing army, the first thing that should enter everyone's mind is BOHICA.

Even worse, when they appoint a "Czar."

Navy joe
March 6, 2003, 01:02 PM
And occasionally, even in death, it pays to be left-handed... :D

Blackhawk
March 6, 2003, 02:19 PM
:cuss: :cuss: :cuss: :fire: :fire:

Standing Wolf
March 6, 2003, 10:15 PM
More great victories in the war on drugs.

moa
March 7, 2003, 02:10 PM
Probably another implication on the War On Drugs is 2,000,000 people in prison or jail, and 4,000,000 people on parole or probation nationwide.

In many cases, peoples lives, careers and families ruined or near ruined.

But it our fault too. Some of us elected the clown shows we call Legislatures.

By the way, it was not all that long ago that the Miami police were so dangerous and corrupt that city officials told citizens not to answer the door if they appeared at the door, and to call the appropriate police station for verification of the officers need to be there.

Reason is that, in order to foster diversity on the police department, many Cuban Americans were hired to replace the retiring Anglos. Background checks were sloppy, and a lot of bad apples were hired.

Porter Rockwell
March 7, 2003, 03:19 PM
Hello, wasn't this incident almost seven years ago and the "officers" are still employed?
It's more than interesting that there's rarely any local arrests of crooked cops and the many juristictions around the country that are rotten to the core have little worry of the Feds. The Feds have their own skeletons exposed almost daily on the boob tube yet they're apparantly above prosocution as well as the local crooks...errr cops!

NewShooter78
March 7, 2003, 04:16 PM
Yeah, that's a bit of overkill. And the dumb***es didn't even plant the gun in the correct hand. Good lord, its no wonder that people don't trust the police. :barf:

PWK
March 7, 2003, 10:06 PM
Police work is dangerous, difficult, and often thankless. It would be a lot less so if the guys in blue didn't have to spend most of their days concerning themselves with substances that the .gov does not like.

(rant on)

It would be a lot less thankless if police would use a little common sence and take a second to think before acting. There are too many cases of police abusing the citizens for lack of a seconds consideration of the situation.
I am mainly thinking of the situation involving the family whose dog was shot on a botched arrest for a crime that never happened. Led, I suggest to you that it wasn't the war on drugs that got this 72 year old menace to society murdered, it is poor police training even more poorly executed.

And don't give me the crud about taking a second may get the officer killed. When you are supposed to be so well trained and in this situation so vastly better armed, and with all the personal protective gear swat teams wear a seconds thought could have been given.

(rant off)

Drjones
March 7, 2003, 10:19 PM
Acuna, Fuentes, Beguiristain, Lopez, and Macias are employed as police officers with the Miami Police Department and were part of the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team

This was a race crime.

A hate crime.

Look, it was a bunch of mexicans shooting a white guy!!!

Oh, but that doesn't qualify as a racially-related crime....:rolleyes:

LostOneToo
March 7, 2003, 10:41 PM
Edited by Coronach
Let me rephrase please...I'd have toasted those guys with a 12 ga Dragon's Breath if I'd had my way!!!!:eek:

Don Gwinn
March 7, 2003, 11:34 PM
Well, that's really, truly not funny.



I don't understand why these idiots are not being charged with murder? If I killed someone, even honestly believing he had a gun, and then put a drop gun in the wrong hand, they'd surely charge me with murder, right?

But then, I'm not a member of The Club.

JeepDriver
March 8, 2003, 11:05 AM
We had a shooting around here a couple years ago where the guy was shot 23 or 28 times in the head by the SWAT team.

He had killed 4 or 5 people, including a baby, in a week long crime spree. He finally took some hostages in an apartment. They were held for 3 or 4 days before the hostages druged him and escaped, SWAT went in and ended the crime spree.

I'll try to find a link to the story.

tetchaje1
March 8, 2003, 11:48 AM
The officers blasted the tiny two-room home with 123 bullets, eight of which hit Brown.


Good shooting, guys... :rolleyes:



This is complete horsecrap. 123 rounds for a 72 year old man.... :banghead:

Soap
March 8, 2003, 11:58 AM
Lendringser,

Well said.

TheeBadOne
March 8, 2003, 01:45 PM
Sensationalized reporting? 8 hits to the victim, but the title points out (shot 123 times)?

DeltaElite
March 8, 2003, 07:34 PM
LostOneToo,
"Tacos"? Nice way to refer to Hispanics. :rolleyes:
You should be proud of yourself and you pal. :rolleyes:

Don,
I too wonder why they weren't tried for homicide if the gun info is true, but then again most DA's lack the courage to indict. ;)

Coronach
March 8, 2003, 10:36 PM
What DE said.

There is enough fodder for discussion about this, uhm, raid without bringing the ethnicity of the SWAT members into it. And even if ethnicity was an issue, it is still not acceptable to use racial pejoratives on THR.

Do, continue.

Coronach

clem
March 9, 2003, 12:05 AM
Wow, they must of been using a M-60!

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