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Police at wrong address kill man who had gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by epijunkie67, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    Don't confuse this issue with the fact that they didn't announce and were at the wrong house. These both allowed the unfortunate circumstance to come about but were not deciding factors bringing about the actions that followed. Proper announcement would have likely stopped this from happening but the fact that they didn't didn't MAKE it happen.

    If he did in fact open the door muzzle first, he was in the wrong. It is illegal to confront anyone that way when they have shown no aggression or given you cause to fear for your life or safety.
    If this was the case the officers responded properly to illegal use of force.

    Take to cops out of the situation. If a civilian knocks on someones door and is greeted with the muzzle of a gun they (could/would/might) be justified in shooting the homeowner. The homeowner used illegal force.

    Again just because an action could have made the situation better doesn't mean that action was the reason it went bad.

    I believe the cops could be acquitted of any wrong doing if the were met with an aggressive homeowner with a gun pointed at them.
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    The problem with that assessment is twofold.

    1) There were several things the Sheriff's Deputies admit they did or did not do, any one of which would mean this man would still be alive. That's indisputable.
    (The same can be said about the deceased, of course.)

    2) We are all speculating about them meeting the muzzle of his gun. That's an easy thing to claim and impossible to prove or disprove. MAYBE he acted unlawfully. Maybe he just had a gun and they saw it when they pushed the door open, and panicked. We can't know, and we won't know.

    Seems like he was party to causing a tragically mistaken, but justifiable homicide (if he had the gun trained on them), but they perpetrated a negligent homicide by the cavalcade of THEIR mistakes that lead to his death.
     
  3. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    This is a sad story and the 2 LEO should get a 30 day unpaid vacation and IMO lose their Badges for this over reaction.

    Seeing bad cops personally for over 30 years and having to tell Chiefs and Sheriffs that they need to let the guy go and revolk his abilty to be an LEO anymore had lowered my once absolute trust I once had for LEO's.
     
  4. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    As Sam said we will never know what really happened. This incedent is a problem because of improper training & attitude on the part of Administration.Proper training would prevent most if not all of these incidents. ( There will all was be some human error! )But if citizens demand more accountability from those in charge then we will see less of these problems! The Citizens are in charge of the Police and we must make sure they are teaching LEOs how to do that job in a leagle & proper way.And as citizens we must find a way that we can prevent these things from happening to us. I know I will react in a different manner next time I hear a knock on the door!
     
  5. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    As I said I do think many things could have lead to a better end, but those actions didn't force anyones hand or make them do anything. All those things that were mistakes only helped bring about the situation. Hindsight shows they should have announced themselves.

    True, although its not speculation as the officers said that's what happened, we may or may not believe them. It is a huge IF though.

    We do get hung up on details that are not important though. If the mistake they made meant they were committing an illegal act that would be one thing. Mistakenly knocking on someones door is not illegal at all.
    Their actions should have been the same wether they had the right house or not. Justifiable use of force should not be dependent on what you think of a person before the event transpires. I'm sure they were on high alert though.

    Would they have been justified shooting the real bad guy if he pointed a gun at them when he opened the door? If so why? And why would the situation with the other guy be any different. They are going to argue self defense.
    If they would have been justified shooting the real bad guy in the exact same circumstances then they will be exonerated. Again we will never know more than what they tell us happened.
     
  6. Hossfly68

    Hossfly68 Member

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    Here's one to think about, especially if the address was out in the boonies like most of the ones I go to. Wrong house is not a stretch, even with 911 and GPS.
    Four or five mailboxes at the end of the driveway/road. You go down the road and there are several houses or trailers. None are marked. Which one is the bad guy and which one is the neighbor that answers the door with a gun because he lives near a jerk?
    Like others said... Never answer the door without knowing first.
     
  7. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Let's all shoot first, then sort it out later. I think that is what the police did. You might think I'm being a little harsh, or expecting too much restraint from the police. I am. I was a cop for 20 years, and I think they were negligent, or reckless, or poorly trained, or all the above. Sad that the victim can be said to have operated with more restraint than the cops.
     
  8. CAPTAIN MIKE

    CAPTAIN MIKE Member

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    Common sense is okay

    Answering your door armed is a GOOD Thing. It is a common tactics of gangs in my city to SAY they are the 'Police'. Call 911 - and ask if police officers have been dispatched to your home for any reason.
     
  9. bhesler

    bhesler Member

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    The thing that bothers me about this is that there are large numbers next to the door. How did they come to believe it was the right one? Did they bother to verify the address, or did they have the wrong address?

    Also, I could not tell for sure, but it did not look like there was a peep hole in the door.
     
  10. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I go to people homes every day. Every few months I get a wrong address. Someone wrote down the wrong info or some times people misspeak and give us the wrong number. I almost always end up knocking on the door of the wrong house before I figure out that I have the wrong place. It happens and it's not really a huge deal. What you do once the door opens is the main issue.
     
  11. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    I thought it was SOP that all the officers microphones are keyed to record in their cruisers for felony level contact? If their mics were recording the answer may well live in a memory card secured at the scene.

    Might very well end all the speculation about what took place at that door as it happened in real time.
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Well, we agree on one thing. Right or wrong I wouldn't bet against it.
     
  13. Greenmachin3

    Greenmachin3 Member

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    I know there are many LEO and former LEO on this forum. I don't post often, mainly because I don't feel as though I can contribute often. The troubling issue that I see becoming more and more prevalent is a simple one. The situation that is the topic of this thread is a perfect example. The word Police and any associations with it has come to mean untrustworthy in a general sense throughout the population. It's not just here and there or amongst minorities anymore. It's very obvious, too. Heck, my wife will look for a populated well-lit place to stop if pulled over at night because of the lack of trust. I know many current and former LEO will dispute this, but the so called bad apples are not the exception anymore. Mainly because these bad apples are not only defended but also sometimes praised by their straight shooting counterparts for their morally ambiguous actions. There is rarely any recourse. It is a seldom occurrence in my life anymore that I run into someone who regard police with any positive emotions. Personally, I'm rather neutral on how I feel towards the LEO, having known some quite well. I used to hold them in high regard, and I know some are good men and women. It's just a very hard thing to see someone who you think is your friend support a guy who clearly murdered another human being merely because they are in the same "club".

    Both parties, the police, and the private citizen, in this case were at fault in my opinion. Due to the high probability of there being no recourse whatsoever, this situation will make the police look even more untrustworthy in the eyes of the public. It's terribly frustrating because I want the men and women who serve their communities through law enforcement to be trustworthy, educated, and just. It's disheartening especially when I know more than a few departments have hired the dishonorably discharged.

    This unfortunate incident is a perfect example of what not to do, for both sides, and a perfect example of why the disconnect grows.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  14. 2DREZQ

    2DREZQ Member

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    And you give them your name and address, which, of course, is NOT the one the cops are supposed to be at, the dispatcher tells you that, no, no police have been sent to your house and...

    You see where this scenario winds up at?
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    It certainly may seem that way, but I earnestly believe something rather different.

    There have been real and perceived and alleged abuses of authority and inappropriate shielding of wrong-doing ever since the first civilization established some form of peace-keeping body. Many of these abuses have been real, a great many have been false claims or misunderstandings.

    This is certainly true of every era of American history just as it has been true of every other society, from medieval England and the tales of Robin Hood fighting the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham, through countless stories of travelers having to bribe law enforcement officials for safe passage in every place and age the world over, through the Prohibition beat cop "on the take" providing protection for the local speakeasy, and right up to the "ripped from the headlines" stories of a few bad cops trafficking drugs or covering up a bad shooting as is the supposition here.

    Again, some is very real, some is just legend and rumor, some is grossly unfair false allegation.

    But we live in a society now that has greatly empowered the average citizen to take action, to be heard, and to hold their public servants accountable. Between voice recorders, I-phones and YouTube, hungry investigative reporters willing to chase ANY lead to get a juicy police corruption story in a 24-hour-a-day news cycle, elected officials looking to make a name for themselves as "reformers" -- there has never been a time in history where it was easier (and safer!) to fight against such abuses. And it is harder and harder for any person in a position of authority to get away with ANYTHING untoward. They're in a spotlight! If the Chief of Police jaywalks it will make the front page.

    But all this coverage and empowerment makes the (relatively few) abuses that do happen far more visible, and nationally visible. And that, perversely, makes it look like things are getting worse instead of better. They aren't.

    When no one has the power to go digging through the manure pile, the worms thrive. When everyone's got a shovel, it is a lot harder for the worms to hide and thrive ... but you do see more worms than you did before.
     
  16. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Best post, yet.
     
  17. gotigers

    gotigers Member

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    The home owner shouldn't have opened the door.

    The homeowner shouldn't have point the gun without being ready to shoot.

    However, the officers killed an innocent man in his home. Negligence at best. Someone should have to go to trial and let a jury decide if this was criminal. SOMEONE DIED. It is without a doubt a homicide. At the very least someoone should lose their job. oh yeah and pension.

    The local municipality is also responsible and should pay up.
     
  18. Greenmachin3

    Greenmachin3 Member

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    SAM1911,

    I agree with most of your post. I certainly agree with the public's empowerment as of late and the perceived increase in unjust police incidents. I guess what I was trying to convey was that real or not, much like the various financial markets, the explicit truth doesn't matter as much as the public's perception. And that perception has gotten worse, whether justified or not.

    I think a lot of it has to do with people's daily encounters with police officers as well as their growing knowledge of government coupled with their notion of ethics. This post of mine is getting way off topic, but I feel it is certainly an important backdrop for the topic and so I'm very compelled to write it.

    Here's an example that happens to be true. Since I own and operate three companies, I don't have time for much in my life and workout late at night. My wife and I were on our way home, which passes through a party/drinking hotspot by the university. Long story short, police were screening for drunk drivers and pulled us over. The officer suggested that we were speeding 10mph over the limit, which was a lie since we were actually complaining being stuck behind someone who was going at least 5 under the limit just before he turned his lights on. As soon as he realized we weren't drunk he dropped the whole speeding thing and told us to leave. It made me wonder how often a similar kind of thing happens on a daily basis to people. Lying about some violation because the police officer thinks he can get away with it. Couple that with their already somewhat negative outlook towards LEO due to media/internet/etc. attention and it comes together to give a very negative impression.

    Also, I think people are becoming more aware of their government's structure and are starting to think that municipal budgets ought not be tied to how many tickets and fines their departments can write as it's an immediate logical conflict of interest. Besides, it drives a wedge between the classes in the US. Wealthy people are quite literally privileged in that misdemeanors and traffic violations don't even dent their pocketbook or record due to competent lawyers afforded by their wealth. However, a good, but poor person who screws up in a brief moment of stupidity can be financially ruined for the month or worse. Considering that combined with the statistics of wealth in this country and how people are living paycheck to paycheck, I would say this reason also contributes to their negative attitude towards the police.

    Like I said, way OT, but I think it supports a very strong negative perception, regardless of whether the perception is supported by truth or not. I think this latest shooting, regardless of the truth of it, regardless who was at fault, will add to the negative emotion people feel about law enforcement. Is it possible to kill a horse twice by beating an already dead one? I think I just did that.

    You're right in that the last 15-18 odd years since the internet has been in full bloom is when I've noticed the overall change in perception turned negative.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    ^
    These days, half of everybody has a GPS that'll show top speed, average speed, yadda. Everybody should realize this if falsely accused of "speeding".
     
  20. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    i live next door to a person who has mental issues. she refuses to put numbers on her house for some reason. the cops have come to my door on several occasions, at all times of the day and night. i also am armed at all times. there is always a pistol (minimum) in my pocket. honestly, i am relieved when i see it is the cops. most of them i actually know (its a small community) by sight anyway, so it lowers the chances of an altercation. i have never told any of them i was armed, as i have every right to be armed on my own property at any time of day or night. but if i were to answer the door with a long gun, i would set it aside before opening the door. if they wanted to come in, i would tell them before they entered. the only down side i see about hollering thru the door, is if it was a bad guy, and if they are armed, they know right where you are, and could easily open fire thru the door on you. not many residential doors will stop bullets (even steel doors), unless they were actually designed to do so. the best scenario would be a security system with an intercom. but few of us are really paranoid enough to install one.
     
  21. brboyer

    brboyer Member

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    These two statements are mutually exclusive.

    The first one is a felony in Florida, therefore the second statement cannot be true.
     
  22. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Being armed at home is prudent. But why would you open your door at 130am to unidentified men?

    A simple "Who is it?" could have saved his life.

    There is fault to go around though. Why didn't police knock and announce "Police!"

    What about the logistics. Some officers must have had their guns drawn to shoot him. Was there a conversation? Was it split seconds, he opens the door, they see the gun and shoot or did they have to draw, or order him to put down the gun and he refused???

    Similar situation occurred in my home town. Police got a tip that a guy was drunk driving and they went to the guys house. Knocked and the guy answered the door, drunk. As they were arresting him, the father (who owned the house, and a Vietnam vet) came out of the bedroom carrying a 1911 at his side - he was awoken by the noise and came out to investigate. The police shot and killed him. Neither cop was charged. It was a real tragedy.

    Curious and off topic:
    Say YOU were armed and stranded/lost/whatever and went to someone's front door and rang the bell, and they answered the door with a gun in your face. Setting aside the logistics of drawing and such, would you be justified in using a gun to shoot him in self defense? Who is in the right? Seems that a homeowner cannot just point his gun at anyone coming up to the front door without committing a felony.

    Also off topic, but interesting:
    I wonder if the original offender could be charged with this homicide as a natural and foreseeable consequence of his crime(s). For instance, if during a bank robbery, the police shoot and kill and inncent person by mistake/accident, the robber could be charged... I think it's a stretch, but the argument could be made that while looking for the murder suspect, it's foreseeable that someone might get injured at 130am.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  23. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    You hit it on the head! They was wrong. They was told that the man they was after was known to be dangerous So they had quick fingers more than likely they had there guns in hand out of there hostlers.
     
  24. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

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    If a citizen did this, what would he have been charged with. THere is my answer.
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    That seems to be a question, not an answer.

    IF the deceased pulled a gun on you and you shot him, it would likely be considered lawful self-defense. (Even though you were on his property.)

    Pointing a gun at someone is a felony in FL, and IF that's what the deceased did, any person has a right to use force to stop that threat.

    The problem here is that there is no way (yet, for US) to know if that's what happened or if the man was merely armed but not threatening anyone and was shot anyway.
     
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