Cops Given Pass For Shooting Innocent Man In His Own Home

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Bob Unruh:

There was no warrant and no reason to suspect the apartment resident in Lake County, Florida, of a crime. But police officers who said they were investigating a speeding motorcyclist, to which the man had no links, pounded on the door at 1:30 in the morning.

When Andrew Scott, 26, answered the door, carrying a weapon for defense because of the vigorous knocking at an unlikely hour, an officer shot and killed him.

Now, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given the officer a pass for the killing, prompting an outraged dissent from four justices on the panel.

The judges contend the outcome “makes it more likely that tragic police shootings will continue to occur.”

Stop right there.  At issue in this case isn’t whether these shootings by cop will continue in the future.  They will, and this case just makes that more likely, but judges should not be deciding cases based on their social import.  In other words, there is an objective standard against which their actions should be judged in this particular case, and that doesn’t change one iota based on what may or may not happen in the future.  Judges aren’t social workers, soothsayers or witchdoctors – or at least, they shouldn’t be.

The warning, written by Justice Beverly Martin and joined by Charles Wilson, Robin Rosenbaum and Jill Pryor, said: “Andrew Scott and his girlfriend were in their home playing video games late one night when police arrived outside. The police had no warrant and no reason to suspect Mr. Scott or his girlfriend had committed any crime. The officers acknowledge both of these things to be true.

Even so, the police tactically surrounded the home’s only exit, drew their guns, repeatedly slammed on the door without identifying themselves as law enforcement, and then shot and killed Scott when he opened the door, as he was stepping back into his home, they wrote.

Stop again.  Consider what just happened.  If you bang on my door in the middle of the night, more than likely you’re going to be met by the muzzle of an AR-15, and you might just get shot.  Furthermore, consider what we’ve witnessed concerning people who bang on doors, even those who announce they are the police.

A man, woman and cable repair worker were tied up as two young children witnessed two armed men raid a home in Miami-Dade on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Jennifer Capote, with the Miami-Dade Police Department, said a Comcast cable worker was inside the home at 2203 NW 104th Terrace doing repairs when the robbers, claiming to be Miami police and dressed in body armor, stormed into the home about 3:30 p.m.

Police said the intruders tied up the cable man, mother and father as their children, ages 3 and 12, looked on.

To which I said the following.  “For those of you who are LEOs, do you understand?  Does this ring any bells with you as home owners and family members?  Does it make any sense to you that this is number 18,399 on the list of reasons not to conduct home raids, even if they are intended to find evidence of wrong-doing?

Well, does it?  I hope a LEO weighs in, because it’s crystal clear to me and most readers.  In addition to your felt need to “go home safely at the end of your shift,” we have an equivalent need to be safe in our own homes, to prevent flash-bang grenades from being thrown into our toddler’s cribs, to prevent your reflexively shooting our family dogs, and to prevent street thugs like this from raiding our homes under the guise of being police officers.

You see, we can’t just lay down and let people screaming “police, police, get the fuck on the floor, police, police” … come into our homes without countering those efforts with close quarters battle.  Because they may not be police.”

Continuing with our report from Bon Unruh, where he details the problems the dissenting judges had with the decision.

First, under no standard was it reasonable for the police to kill Mr. Scott when he answered the knock at the door to his home. He was not suspected of any crime (much less a violent crime) and he was standing inside his own house without threatening them. Second, the police were not engaged in a permissible ‘knock and talk’ when they killed Mr. Scott.

In other words, there was no warrant, and this wasn’t a “Terry Stop” in the open.  That’s all well and good, but the dissenting judges are still missing my fundamental point (other than these actions were and are and will always be unconstitutional).  Even if a warrant had been issued – after all, this means nothing more than a phone call and rubber stamp from worthless judges – I cannot entrust the safety of my family unless I first know who is at the door and what their intentions are, and I have verified all of this via independent means.  I don’t give a shit about officer safety.  I’m concerned about my own and that of my family.

The judges who voted to give cops a pass for the killing were Ed Carnes, Gerald Tjoflat, Frank Hull, Stanley Marcus, William Pryor, Adalberto Jordan and Julie Carnes.

They concluded, in the shooting by officers from the Lake City County police, that, “No clearly established federal law gave clear and fair notice that Deputy [Richard] Sylvester’s conduct was unlawful.”

William Pryor is on Donald Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court.  So here’s a note for Mr. Pryor concerning the laws that have been broken.  The officers violated the fourth amendment and the fifth amendment (right to due process), and at the state level are guilty of at least second degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, trespassing, breaking and entering, brandishing a deadly weapon to the terror of the public, disturbing the peace, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Finally, note that by granting them a pass, along with hundreds like it every day in America, police in America are operating under rules of engagement and rules for the use of force not even given to Soldiers and Marines in war. Murderers are free and running around Lake City County, Florida, shooting peaceable men in their own homes.  If you needed any other indication that the police are at war with the public, I don’t know what it would be.  And here’s a quick note to the police.  You aren’t heroes.  When the public treats you like the enemy, you’ll know why, and you’ll know why no one cares any more if you get to go home safely at the end of your shift.

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Comments

  1. On April 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    Yup. The magic-black-robed ones are as bad as the magic-blue costumed ones.

    Also: “For those of you who are LEOs, do you understand?” I wouldn’t bet the house on it. In fact, odds are that, no, they don’t understand.

  2. On April 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm, Blake said:

    Whenever I see an officer involved shooting article, my first thought is what would have happened to me if, as a private citizen, I would have been the shooter? Invariably, I would be in jail, for good reason, while a cop walks.

    I find it absolutely appalling that I, as a private citizen, am held to a higher standard than a police officer.

  3. On April 4, 2017 at 10:58 am, hummus abedin said:

    The rule of law and equality
    of justice is long dead in America.
    It breaks my heart and brings
    tears to my eyes that so many
    former American (Constitutional Republic) citizens
    keep twisting themselves into confused
    knots, while rationalizing away this reality.

  4. On April 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm, Todd said:

    Anyone in Lake City empaneled on a grand jury? Grand juries can investigate and indict ANYTHING they wish. They get led around by the nose by the DA because they don’t know any better (grand juries largely do the DA’s bidding because they are usually new to the process and don’t understand the scope of their power. I squandered my time on one, but we did manage to save a lot of citizens from being tried for non crimes, mostly possession of mj offenses.

  5. On April 4, 2017 at 11:01 am, hummus abedin said:

    The same goes for your pretzeled naivety.

  6. On April 4, 2017 at 10:39 am, Michael said:

    Well said. Agree 100%.

    Absolutely disgusting that this man had to die.

  7. On April 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm, Tactics for dealing with bad cops? said:

    The family, friends, and community should enact vengeance. But they will not. Sign of the times.

    So if that does not happen, how can one avoided that instance or at least delay or maybe defer? Do not open the door! Probably do not even announce one is home if possible, take a tactical posture. Give the situation time to develop. Call friends and the highest ranking sheriff if need be. Moreover, hide your posture and conceal your firearm. Bullshit them.

    Perhaps some of the tactical gurus can put out some tactics on dealing with ‘bad’ or suspect law enforcement. Know each situation is different, but being honest and a responsible citizen is not going to get it done in all cases.

    Great example was the Minnesota guy that got it. He’d probably be alive if didn’t tell the cop he was armed or at least delayed disclosing until he had to and in a better position, eg outside the car.

  8. On April 4, 2017 at 2:40 pm, Longbow said:

    “No clearly established federal law gave clear and fair notice that Deputy [Richard] Sylvester’s conduct was unlawful.”

    What the fuck?

    So the Court is saying, “No one has shown us that there is any Federal Law mandating that policemen NOT shoot citizens in their own home.”

  9. On April 5, 2017 at 11:00 am, Archer said:

    Nope, no established federal law.

    Except, y’know, the Fourth Amendment. Oh, yeah, and 18 U.S.C. 241 and 242:

    The police had no warrant and no reason to suspect Mr. Scott or his girlfriend had committed any crime. The officers acknowledge both of these things to be true.

    Those are acknowledged facts of the case — no warrant, no reasonable articulable suspicion. The officers should not have been there pounding on the door at zero-dark-thirty. They absolutely should not have been there pounding on the door at zero-dark-thirty with weapons drawn.

    Both 18 U.S.C. 241 and 242 would seem to apply, and incidentally, since a death resulted from their deprivation of rights, either could be a capital offense.

  10. On April 5, 2017 at 4:46 am, DAN III said:

    ALCON,

    Until Amerikans decide the tactics of the PIRA are applied to the badged thugs, the cloud of tyranny will continue to darken over what once was the United States of America.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police and was published April 2nd, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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