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Testimony: Elderly man shot 123 times had gun

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 2dogs, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. 2dogs

    2dogs Well-Known Member


    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.
  2. nsf003

    nsf003 Well-Known Member

    Why were the JBTs raiding a 72 year old man?

  3. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

    123 shots?!? This was a 72-year-old man, not a Greyhound bus!
  4. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Well-Known Member

    123 Shots! 123 hits? How many shots?
    OOPs. Shoulda checked, guys. Good luck in stir.

    TFL Survivor
  5. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    That's two and a half boxes of ammo, folks. :eek:
  6. 2dogs

    2dogs Well-Known Member

    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 Police.html


    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.

  7. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    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.:(
  8. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    It's nice to know that I'm not paranoid anymore :uhoh:
  9. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Well-Known Member

    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:
  10. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

    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.
  11. Waitone

    Waitone Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. David Park

    David Park Well-Known Member

    Wow, a 6.5% hit ratio. :scrutiny: Great shooting, guys. :barf:
  13. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    David, may all our enemies be on full auto!:D And, poorly trained.
  14. OF

    OF Well-Known Member

    Well said, len.

    - Gabe
  15. 2dogs

    2dogs Well-Known Member

    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:
  16. CZ-75

    CZ-75 member

    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."
  17. Navy joe

    Navy joe Well-Known Member

    And occasionally, even in death, it pays to be left-handed... :D
  18. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

  19. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    More great victories in the war on drugs.
  20. moa

    moa Well-Known Member

    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.

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