Another SWAT Raid, Another Flash-Bang Thrown At A Baby

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

Remember that we extensively discussed the idiotic and immoral raid on baby Bou Bou’s house in search of someone who wasn’t there?  The horrible and inept “criminal justice system” didn’t even hold the people who perpetrated that evil act accountable for it.  A grand jury couldn’t even convince themselves that they should have continued legal action against the police, and the raid ended up crippling the poor child and causing multiple surgeries.

The police state in America is so screwed up that it can’t even learn from such a disaster as that.  “Officer safety” must return home at the end of his shift, and the war on drugs must go on.  True to form for the police state, I missed that yet another flash bang was thrown at a baby in Indiana after the raid on baby Bou Bou.  This time, at least the court had doubts and threw out the evidence collected in the raid.  Fortunately, no one was harmed.

The Evansville (IN) Police Department has seen a drug bust go up in a cloud of flashbang smoke. A search warrant for drugs and weapons, based on an informant’s tip, was executed perfectly… if you’re the sort of person who believes it takes a dozen heavily-armed officers, a Lenco Bearcat, and two flashbangs to grab a suspect no one felt like arresting when he was outside alone taking out his trash. (via FourthAmendment.com)

The state appeals court decision [PDF] hinges on the deployment of a flashbang grenade into a room containing a toddler. Fortunately, in this case, the toddler was only frightened, rather than severely burned. But it was this tossed flashbang that ultimately undoes the PD’s case. The evidence is suppressed and the conviction reversed.

Scattered throughout the opinion are some amazing depictions of the PD’s SWAT team at work — and how those officers seem to believe the violence of their entries during warrant service are somehow just the new normal.

Things like the following paragraph. First: some background. In some cases, it’s (theoretically) more difficult for law enforcement to obtain no-knock warrants. Facts need to be asserted that show that warning the occupants of a residence in any way would most likely result in the destruction of evidence and/or an armed response. Some judges are more willing than others to hand these out, but either way, the standard warrant boilerplate can’t be used.

So, here’s the difference between a “knock and announce” warrant and a no-knock warrant, as deployed by the Evansville PD.

The SWAT team rode in a Lenco Bearcat that followed a patrol vehicle to the residence. At least a dozen officers were involved. Upon arrival and prior to entry, three officers and a police vehicle approached the rear of the residence and at least nine officers, most armed with assault weapons, approached the front of the residence. At 10:30 a.m., the police knocked on the residence and one of the officers announced, “Police – Search Warrant – Police – Search Warrant,” and another officer announced over a loudspeaker “Search Warrant. 314 Illinois.” State’s Exhibit 1 at 3:55-4:00. One second later, the SWAT team knocked down the door with a battering ram.

ONE SECOND. Technically, still a knock-and-announce warrant, even though the residents had been given no chance to respond.

Within the next couple of seconds, a flashbang grenade was tossed into the front room, which contained a playpen and a baby’s car seat. The toddler was in the playpen.

After the flash bang grenade was deployed, Detective Gray entered the residence and picked up a nine-month old baby crying on top of blankets in a playpen just inside and “very close to the door.” Id. at 332. The room also contained a baby’s car seat and a toddler’s activity center in the line of sight of the front door. One of the officers moved the car seat with his foot to proceed further into the residence.

The officer who tossed the flashbang said he could see more than what was captured by his helmet cam, but still admitted he could not see everything in the room into which he tossed the grenade. This grenade was thrown within two seconds of the officers’ announcement that they had a warrant and roughly one second after the door was breached.

Officer Taylor testified that his perception of things involved a much wider view than what the camera could see. At a time stamp of 4:01 on the video, a member of the SWAT team rammed the door open several inches with a battering ram. From an angle to the right, Officer Taylor tossed the flash bang into the house at 4:02, and it detonated at 4:04. The video at 4:02 shows only a portion of the right rear of the couch and the wood floor on which it sat. The video reveals that about five minutes after the initial entry someone stated: “Make sure you get a picture . . . are you taking a picture of that?” State’s Exhibit 1 at 8:50-8:55. This appears to be a reference to a charred stain on the floor. The person then stated: “Because the baby was in this room, but I put it right there for a reason.” Id. at 8:55-9:00.

The lower court found these tactics unreasonable on the whole and granted suppression of the evidence obtained during the search. The state argued that suppression wasn’t the proper remedy and anything resulting from the “unreasonable” use of a flashbang grenade in a toddler’s room was something to be addressed in a civil lawsuit.

The appeals court disagrees, finding nothing justifiable about the SWAT team’s violent entry into the home.

The video shows almost no time lapse between when the door was battered in and the tossing of the flash bang. The door was barely opened when the flash bang was immediately tossed into the room, and the angle at which Officer Taylor was standing to the door did not allow him an opportunity to see what was inside the room. Indeed, Officer Taylor acknowledged that he could not see portions of the room in which the flash bang was placed. Specifically, he testified that he could see “from the couch over to the left, I can’t see the corner, the left corner inside the room and I can’t see the hallway in front of it, that’s why the flash bang goes in the threshold.”

That’s the flashbang, delivered two seconds after the police announced their presence. This is only part of it. The attempt to salvage the fruits of the search with a claim that the house potentially contained dangerous criminals also receives no judicial sympathy. The state makes assertions, but cannot back them up.

The State does not point us to any other evidence indicating the criminal history of Watkins or the other occupants of the house. The record contains no evidence that law enforcement could not have safely presented the person matching Watkins’s description with the search warrant during the time that he was outside the house and before he re-entered it.

The court basically gets it right in terms of the correct way to do this kind of police work.  Observe the residence, proceed with entry when no one is at home, and then present an arrest warrant to the perpetrator when he returns.

Or better yet, we could give up this ridiculous war on drugs.  Either way, it will never be necessary to throw grenades into homes towards babies for any reason under the sun, unless you’re immoral and a coward.  As for the objection that they didn’t know a baby was there (if that is indeed the objection), that is no excuse.  They should have done the rudimentary investigative work to find out.  That’s what detectives are for.

The smart people are supposed to work as detectives.  Call them first.  They can think about smarter ways of doing this sort of thing.  Finally, rather than just throw out evidence, the court should have imprisoned the officers who did this and the judge who approved it for violation of the Fourth and Fifth amendments to the constitution.  They deserve to be in the state penitentiary with the general prison population.

The constitution is a covenant under which stipulations we are all supposed to live.  Failure to do so means that the covenant has been broken, and breakage of the covenant means that punishments are supposed to ensue.


Comments

  1. On January 17, 2017 at 1:07 am, Steve Parker, M.D. said:

    I’m old enough to remember when people said, “It’s a free country.”

    You don’t hear that much anymore.

  2. On January 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm, FrozenPatriot said:

    I say that sarcastically whenever an opportunity presents itself to show that Amerika is now a police state. Sadly, opportunities abound…

  3. On January 17, 2017 at 7:14 am, Frank Clarke said:

    …and they wonder why people shoot them.

  4. On January 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm, Col. Douglas Mortimer said:

    As blunt as your statement is Frank, I am inclined to agree with you. What happened to good police training and freaking common sense in this country? Common sense is so rare these days it should be classified as a superpower.

  5. On January 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm, Michael said:

    Unfortunately, “Common Sense” among the police isn’t common at all. Because they aren’t held accountable for, well, anything, why should they have to exercise any restraint or common sense? They know they’ll get off, and they act accordingly.

  6. On January 28, 2017 at 10:44 am, DAN III said:

    Douglas,

    “What happened to good police training…?”

    You answered your own question. Those who exercise the authority of the state, the badged thugs, are no longer police. They are “Law ENFORCEMENT”. They enforce the diktats of the state no matter how asinine the law may be. In fact, quite often the badged thugs will charge one with a violation that isn’t even a correct charge. If challenged the district attorneys back up their enforcers.

    Law enforcement, DAs/ADAs, and the Judiciary. They ALL deserve the hemp necklace.

  7. On January 17, 2017 at 8:41 pm, DG said:

    SOF wanna beeeeezzzzz or SOF’rzzzz that didn’t re-up..ie $$$$

  8. On January 18, 2017 at 12:22 pm, Archer said:

    These actions by SWAT teams will continue until they run across someone with the tools and training to shoot back, with a firearm capable of piercing their armor (any rifle round will go right through soft body armor) and/or the accuracy to hit faces/necks/hips/knees (which aren’t covered) at “hallway” range (>10 yards).

    Something tells me, if/when that happens, rather than rethink the over-reliance on no-knock raids, they will ramp it up. Do it again, only HARDER!

  9. On January 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm, l2a3 said:

    Because the Police are no longer Policing the law (police man), they are now Enforcing the law without the benefit guilty finding (LAW ENFORCEMENT). Anyone see a problem here?

  10. On January 19, 2017 at 8:44 am, UNCLEELMO said:

    1960- Peace Officer
    2000- Law Enforcement Officer
    2017- Government Enforcement Officer

  11. On January 18, 2017 at 11:09 pm, Paul X said:

    These hateful louts will rue the day they became blase’ about invading homes like this. Even today, if a whole swat team was wiped out, I can imagine a great cheering going up among the dirt people.

  12. On January 18, 2017 at 11:35 pm, GenEarly said:

    The Sheriff in Habersham County, Ga. has lots of children on his website now????? It is all about the children isn’t it, Sheriff Joey Terrell?? Baby Boo Boo has vacated the county and the state. Sheriff Joey expects many more reSelections with such promising propaganda.
    http://habershamsheriff.com/

  13. On January 19, 2017 at 9:28 am, SWIFT said:

    I can’t imagine being an attorney, for the prosecution, to try and justify this over-the-top dynamic entry. The immorality of the act would force me to decline. The fact that it did happen, shows that society has some real dirt bags on board. Low life scum who would do anything for a paycheck. Lists need to be kept for eventual justice.

  14. On January 25, 2017 at 4:30 am, Obama's boyfriend said:

    I do love cop hhaters, especially when they call the cops for help.

  15. On January 25, 2017 at 9:43 am, DAN III said:

    Bonehead, errrr “….boyfriend”,

    There are few males with masculinity who call the badged thugs for help. Rather when we call it is to keep the badged thugs from accusing us of unnecessarily shooting the bad guy dead or at a minimum kicking his sorry ass into the next decade.

    Hark….the Huffington Post calls you.

  16. On January 25, 2017 at 10:18 am, Herschel Smith said:

    That’s amusing. Your advocating calling the cops for protection or “help” is promulgating a myth, namely that the cops are there for your protection rather than national stability operations.

    I don’t think you’ll find me or any of my readers calling the cops for “help.” Mostly that would be the womenfolk among us. Say, you’re not a cop’s wife, are you?

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "Another SWAT Raid, Another Flash-Bang Thrown At A Baby", entry #16410 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published January 16th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (31)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (8)
Ammunition (28)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (98)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (55)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (56)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (7)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (27)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (8)
CIA (25)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (215)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (132)
Department of Homeland Security (17)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (6)
Donald Trump (1)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (11)
Featured (177)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (666)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (41)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (525)
Guns (1,162)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (58)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (48)
Islamists (73)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (3)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (49)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (246)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (37)
Memorial Day (3)
Mexican Cartels (24)
Mexico (30)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (18)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (17)
NATO (15)
Navy (21)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (54)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (35)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (264)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (320)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (123)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (200)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (25)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (19)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (3)
Survival (14)
SWAT Raids (53)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (92)
Thanksgiving (6)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (14)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (43)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (212)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (19)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2017 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.