Archive for the 'Police' Category

Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

News from Connecticut:

A New Haven man claims a SWAT team wrongly invaded his home and took him into custody for hours, according to a lawsuit filed against the New Haven Police Department, Chief Dean Esserman and the city of New Haven.

The lawsuit states that a New Haven SWAT team entered the Peck Street home of Joseph Adams on Oct. 21, 2013 throwing “flash bombs” and kicking in doors.

“So, I looked over the balcony and I saw two gun barrels and I was like, oh my God, I’m being robbed,” Adams said.

According to Adams and the lawsuit, he was taken into custody for two and a half hours while officers searched his home. Adams claims that he and a neighbor informed police that they were at the wrong apartment and needed to go to the apartment next door.

“I was like, ‘I think you want the guy next door.’ And they’re like, ‘why would you say that?’ I was like, ‘because I talked to him a while ago and he has a criminal record,’” Adams said.

The lawsuit states that Adams was released and the SWAT team took his next door neighbor, Bobby Griffin Jr., into custody under suspicion of murder. Several days later, Adams sought out an attorney.

“It feels like you’re living in a police state suddenly. The people who are supposed to be there to protect you are, you know, stomping down your door, throwing flash grenades into your house and goose-stepping their way over your freedom,” attorney Max Rosenberg said.

Adams told FOX CT that he filled out a form to request payment from the New Haven Police Department to repair damages in his apartment from the incident. He claims the department said there was no record of the incident ever happening.

We’re not suddenly living in a police state.  It happened gradually while the American public dumbed down their education, focused on football and dumb ass sitcoms at night time, and elected totalitarians to rule them and “take care of them.”

How nice, though.  This one has a new twist.  There is no record of the incident ever happening.  Of course there isn’t.

Michigan Cops Raid Wrong House And Shoot Beloved 15-Year-Old Dog

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

News from Michigan:

Authorities who went to the wrong house in search of a wanted fugitive and shot a beloved family pet are refusing to take responsibility for their actions, according to a Michigan attorney who has filed a lawsuit against them.

“These officers came into the wrong house, shot this dog, told the owners they would take care of it and then never returned their calls,” Royal Oak attorney Chris Olson told The Huffington Post.

Olson is representing Erica Moreno and Katti Putnam. The couple’s 15-year-old mixed breed dog, Clohe, was shot in the face during the mistaken police raid, Olson said.

Clohe survived the shooting, but has had to endure three surgeries, and lost part of her tongue and a canine tooth.

“Clohe’s not been the same since,” Putnam told HuffPost. “It really angers me and makes me concerned for the system and how things work.”

On Oct. 3, Olson filed a federal lawsuit against Michigan Department of Corrections investigator Ron Hughes. The lawsuit alleges that in shooting Clohe, the defendant violated Moreno and Putnam’s Fourth Amendment rights.

According to Putnam, the events leading up to the shooting began on June 18 when Hughes, along with several Michigan State troopers, went to Moreno and Putnam’s home to recover a wanted fugitive.

“It was a hot day, the windows and back door were open, and I was sitting inside reading a book,” Putnam said.

The peaceful summer day was interrupted by a loud bang at the front door.

“The next thing I knew there was a tactical team surrounding our house,” Putnam said. “I went onto the front porch and they said they were looking for a fugitive. I was answering their questions when an officer looked at the address on our house and said, ‘We’re at the wrong house.’”

According to Olson, the tactical team had mistaken Moreno and Putnam’s house for that of a neighbor’s home — where the fugitive they wanted was allegedly staying.

“I went inside to get my identification and I heard a pop,” Putnam said. “I looked out the door to the back yard and there was an officer with his arm raised and a gun in his hand. I immediately realized Clohe had gone outside.”

Jimmy Armstrong, a neighbor who witnessed the shooting, wrote in a signed affidavit that he saw Clohe enter the backyard. He said she was not attacking or threatening any of the officers.

“[Hughes] shot Clohe for no reason at all,” Armstrong wrote in the affidavit, according to the lawsuit.

Hughes allegedly fired a second shot, which missed Clohe, prompting Putnam to place herself in harm’s way — between the officer and her now injured pet.

“I was yelling at him,” said Putnam. “I said, ‘Why are you shooting my dog? What are you doing? You’re at the wrong house.’”

During the exchange, Clohe made her way back inside the house, leaving a trail of blood in her wake.

“I followed the blood trail into the bedroom, where my partner was cradling Clohe and crying hysterically,” Putnam said.

According to the lawsuit, a Michigan state trooper told Moreno and Putnam, “We’ll take care of this” and urged them to get their wounded pet to a veterinary clinic.

[ ... ]

“They should not have been in our backyard,” she said. “Clohe did not charge them or anything. She is old. She has a hard time getting on our couch as it is and she hobbles down the steps when she goes outside. She does not run or charge.”

I am always loath to disarm people (note my defense of the so-called “mentally ill”), even the police.  Law enforcement has as much right to self defense as I do, but this has become an epidemic.

As a side note, I’ve said before that if you are in law enforcement and cannot handle animals, you are unfit, unsuited and unqualified for the job.  Go spend some time at a farm or ranch doing the things you should have learned to do as a little boy.  If you are a pussy around animals, you surely shouldn’t be hunting for felons.

But to the main point, one by one, police force after police force, if you prove that you cannot handle yourselves with maturity, decency and respect for ordinary folks, you should not be armed.  You should forthwith turn in your weapons to your superiors, and if you don’t, you should be forcibly disarmed by the National Guard (or the unorganized militia).

Lawful Open Carry In Ohio

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Via Eugene Volokh, here is Northrup v. City of Toledo Police Div., 2014 WL 4925052 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 30, 2014).  I’ll cite extensively, but not as extensively as Eugene.

On the evening of June 16, 2010, Northrup was walking down a street in his neighborhood, with his wife, daughter, grandson, and their Yorkshire terrier, and a handgun holstered on his right hip, when Alan Rose drove by on a motorcycle. Northrup and Rose did not know each other, but Rose stopped his motorcycle and began telling Northrup that he could not walk around in public while openly carrying a handgun. Northrup and his wife told Rose that open carry of a firearm is legal in Ohio, but the conversation quickly devolved into an argument. After a few minutes, Northrup and his family continued walking while Rose called 911. A dispatcher with the Toledo, Ohio Police Division sent Officers Comes and Bright, as well as Sergeant Ray, to investigate.

Officer Bright arrived first. He stopped and exited his car and approached Northrup and his family from behind, while on foot. The parties dispute the exact sequence of the events that took place next. Northrup testified his daughter informed him when she saw Officer Bright’s car driving down the street. Northrup’s cell phone was clipped to his belt, next to his holster. He took his cell phone off of his belt and accessed the camera feature in order to record the impending encounter with the officer. When Officer Bright approached, he said “excuse me” to get Northrup’s attention. Northrup then turned toward Officer Bright with his cell phone in one hand and the dog’s leash in the other.

Officer Bright testified he said excuse me and asked Northrup to hand the dog leash to his wife. At this point, Officer Bright states Northrup reached back to remove his cell phone. Officer Bright thought Northrup had made a “furtive movement” toward his handgun. Officer Bright then placed his hand on his holstered weapon and ordered Northrup to hand his cell phone and the dog leash to his wife. He ordered Northrup to turn around and place his hands above his head while he removed Northrup’s gun from the holster.

Officer Bright asked for and received Northrup’s driver’s license, before handcuffing Northrup and placing him in the back seat of his police cruiser. While Officer Bright entered Northrup’s personal information into the computer in his cruiser, Sergeant Ray arrived. Sergeant Ray and Officer Bright discussed the situation before Sergeant Ray contacted the Detective Bureau to determine if Northrup could be charged with committing an offense. Following this phone call, Officer Bright issued Northrup a citation for failure to disclose personal information; this charge ultimately was dismissed following the request of a City of Toledo prosecutor.

So Northrup sued the Toledo Police.  First of all, I observed that Northrup was acting within the boundaries of the law.  The Judge says the same thing.

While Ohio law forbids individuals from carrying a concealed weapon without a license, there is no prohibition against the open carry of handguns. Northrup was acting within the bounds of Ohio law at the time a then-anonymous person called 911.

My second reaction was to note that Ohio has a stop and identify statute, but it has to be a legitimate “Terry Stop.”  This wasn’t.  The Judge concludes by saying:

I concluded above that there is a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the Defendants had reasonable suspicion to support a Terry stop or probable cause to support an arrest. If a jury concluded the Defendants lacked a reasonable suspicion or probable cause, they may draw the inference that the Defendants’ actions were motivated by malice. Therefore, statutory immunity does not apply to Northrup’s state law claims against Officer Bright and Sergeant Ray [including the punitive damages claims -EV].

And thus it is important that “statutory immunity” doesn’t apply.  Unfortunately, if Northrup wins the case it will redound to more monetary damages to the city, while the police will walk away unaffected by any of this – and they will have been the perpetrators of the crime.

Grand Jury Recommends No Charges In Georgia Police Raid That Severely Injured Toddler

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago


HABERSHAM COUNTY — A grand jury recommends no criminal charges in the Habersham County SWAT raid that critically injured a toddler.

Bounkham Phonesavah, affectionately known as “Baby Boo Boo,” spent weeks in a burn unit after a SWAT team’s flash grenade exploded near his face. The toddler was just 19-months-old and asleep in the early morning hours of May 28. SWAT officers threw the device into his home while executing a search warrant for a drug suspect.

In their 15-page presentment, the grand jury found no cause for criminal charges against the any deputies involved in the botched SWAT raid. but they had plenty to say about the investigation.

The jury called it “sloppy and hurried” and “not in accordance with best practices.” The grand jury said while they want law enforcement to pursue drug dealers “the zeal to hold them accountable must not override cautious and patient judgment.”

They went on to say “there should be no such thing as an emergency drug investigation.”

A sheriff’s task force said they had a witness to drug sales at the home and expected to find a known drug dealer inside. They obtained a no-knock warrant. Instead, they encountered the child and his parents sleeping just beyond this door.

To that point, the grand jury recommended “that every effort should be made in determining presence of children.”

“What stood out to me is how hard they worked and struggled,” said District Attorney Brian Rickman.

Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh asked Rickman, “A lot of people have said throughout this that if a flash bang, a grenade, exploded inside a child’s crib, something went wrong. A lot of people were hoping that someone would be held accountable.”

They wanted someone to be held accountable, they just didn’t want to be the ones to do it.  So here is the summary.  In Georgia, and perhaps in many states around the nation, cops can go into a man’s castle on sloppy police work (rather than spend their time chasing MS13 and other gang activity), throw a grenade behind a door they hadn’t breached so without knowledge of who or what was on the other side, injure a toddler for life (sentencing him to multiple painful surgeries and recoveries), and get off without so much as a slap on the wrist.

And this, from a jury of people who could suffer the same fate tomorrow at the hands of the police.  Welcome to Amerika!

Related: Man Who Defends His Life In No-Knock Raid Now Faces Death Penalty

Okra In Garden Mistaken For Marijuana Leads To Police Raid In Georgia

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago


A Georgia man says drug suppression officers mistook his okra plants for marijuana.

Dwayne Perry of Cartersville tells WSB-TV that he was awakened by a helicopter flying low over his house Wednesday and then some heavily-armed deputies and a K-9 unit showed up at his door. They were from the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression and they were out looking for marijuana plants.

What they had seen, apparently, were Perry’s okra plants and a shrub at the end of his house.

Perry says the officers ended up apologizing to him.

Cops think they’re doing something good for society, as some sort of heroes, by spending resources (helicopter pilot time, aircraft fuel, wages and benefits for the officers, etc.) hunting for a plant.  In the mean time, MS13 continues to cross the border unmolested, black gangs are roaming Atlanta, and real crime goes unnoticed.

Your tax dollars at work.

Denver Police Department “Knock And Talk”

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

News from Denver, Colorado:

Denver is about to pay up again after a confrontation between civilians and police. This time, it’s a wrongful prosecution case.

A jury awarded a family $1.8 million Friday evening for a mistaken raid on their home back in 2009. While 9NEWS awaits the officers’ account of what happened, the family involved is speaking out about the events of that night.

Jan. 27 is a date Daniel Martinez, Jr. and his family have been reliving for five years. Martinez’s son, Daniel Martinez III, says at around 11 p.m., four Denver Police officers came pounding on their front door.

“They pushed through the door and pushed my dad against the wall. Then I saw them grab my little brother and saw them slam his head through the window. I screamed, ‘you can’t do that. You can’t do that, he’s a minor,’” Martinez said. “Then, they put me in a chokehold, had taken me outside, body-slammed me onto the concrete, put a knee in my back and handcuffed me right there.”

The family’s attorney, Kathryn Stimson, says that night DPD was conducting what law enforcement refers to as a “Knock and Talk.”

She says they were following up on a tip they received that two felons were selling drugs and running a brothel inside of a home located in the 1200 block of Stuart Street. Stimson said those tenants had moved out over a month before. About two weeks later, the Martinez family moved in.

Martinez says when the officers broke into his house, he was confused and afraid for his kids.

“I felt helpless, helpless and confused, scared. I didn’t know what was happening,” Martinez said.

Martinez was later charged with resisting arrest. His sons were charged with assaulting an officer. In 2010, all of them had either been acquitted or had their charges dropped. Stimson says that is when the family filed the lawsuit.

After being awarded the $1.8 million, Martinez says he’s glad that justice has been served, but still worries for his family.

“I’m constantly looking out the window, I’m still in fear,” Martinez said. ” I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Stimson says the jury upheld the claims of wrongful prosecution against the officers but not the claim of excessive force.

So let me get this straight.  A “knock and talk” is where cops come and bust in your door and beat the hell out of the occupants of the home, and you have to fight it all in court, and you have the community ignore your bruises, and then the community has to turn around and pay for what the cops did while the cops go unmolested and without responsibility or accountability, as if it was all some sort of obscene, bizarre, reality-horror show that costs obscene amounts of money the community doesn’t really have?

Okay.  I think I’ve got it now.

Man Who Defends His Life In No-Knock Raid Now Faces Death Penalty

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

Mint Press News:

On Friday, May 9, 2014, just after 5:30am in Killeen, Texas, Marvin Louis Guy was the target of a no knock raid.

The officers were looking for drugs, yet none were found in the home.  There was some questionable paraphernalia, but nothing indicative of drug dealing- or anything damning enough for a reasonable person to feel the need to take an officers life.

Unfortunately the danger of no-knock raids is real. just ask the parents of baby Bou or the family of Detective Dinwiddie.

Detective Dinwiddie was one of the SWAT officers who broke into Guy’s house on May 9th, based on a seemingly bogus informant tip off about drugs being dealt from the home.

Likely alarmed by the men climbing through his windows at 5:30 in the morning, Guy and his wife sought to protect themselves and their property and fired on the intruders- in self defense.

Dinwiddie, along with three other officers were shot while attempting to breach the windows to the home, according to the department’s press release.

“The TRU was beginning to breach the window when the 49 year old male inside, opened fire striking four officers.”

Since the shooting occurred during the break in, a reasonable person would assume they had not yet identified themselves as police officers.  How on earth is this not self defense?

Prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty against Guy. He is charged with capital murder in Dinwiddie’s death, as well as three counts of attempted capital murder for firing on the other officers during the shootout, injuring one other officer. Body armor protected others who were hit.

This announcement, given by the prosecutor in open court, comes one day after Governor Rick Perry presented  Dinwiddie’s family with the Star of Texas award.

Rick Perry apparently wants to chat-up the listening public over the Oklahoma beheadings, but he’s got a situation in his state where a man defended his castle and now has the prosecutors wanting to put him to death.  What does the governor have to say about that?

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep pressing on the issue.  My home is my castle, and I don’t care what judge has signed what piece of paper.  If you come at my home, especially in the middle of the night, you’re going to get shot, cop or not.  I won’t differentiate because I cannot trust uniforms and announcements.  Criminal gangs have now taken to wearing uniforms and making announcements.

My home is my castle.  It doesn’t belong to you, and it doesn’t belong to the state.  If you are law enforcement and want to come in my home, call and make an appointment.  Got it?  If that isn’t good enough for you, if you think there is evidence of something or other you want to see, then put good detectives on the job (like you did at one time in history), watch for me to leave, detain me, and then take me back to the home and let me use my key to the front door.  Or get a locksmith.  In other words, use your brains to gather evidence.  Otherwise, I don’t care if you lose that evidence.  I only care about my safety, and the safety of victims like Mr. Guy.

I hope the grand jury levels charges at the prosecutors for the evil they are about to perpetrate rather than Mr. Guy.  Holding police, evil prosecutors and evil judges accountable by whatever means necessary seems to be the only way to handle this overreach in authority and force.

Cops Wearing Cameras

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

It’s in the news, cops wearing cameras.  A recent Washington Post editorial presses the issue with D.C., and even the New York Times has jumped into the fray.

Color me skeptical.  If cops want cameras in order to protect themselves, I couldn’t care less.  If the video will be live-streamed to a third party and controlled separate from the police, I’m all for it.  This is especially true of SWAT raids, in which the cops may not wear the cameras because of some bogus claim to OPSEC or for the safety of the officers.  In other words, it needs to follow certain rules like wearing cameras all of the time, third party control, and mandatory release of the information.

This follows what reader Ned Weatherby calls Herschel’s Law.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis: Gun Confiscations Will Cause Civil War

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago


Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis’ views about how to enforce the stringent gun laws Maryland passed last year have gone viral.

In a video and print interview with a student journalist, published to YouTube on Aug. 21, Lewis says he’s no fan of government intervention in limiting the constitutionally-protected right to possess firearms.

“As long as I’m the sheriff in this county,” he says in the video, “I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”

In another video on YouTube, from Delaware television station WRDE, Lewis offered a clearer critique of Maryland’s latest gun control law, the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, which was passed in the wake of the December 2012 massacre of elementary school students in Newtown, Conn.

“Who am I to tell them what they should or should not protect their families with?” Lewis asked on WRDE. “Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home? … If you start coming into people’s homes to disarm them solely because you believe they don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, you better stand by. It will be, without a doubt, a civil war.”

The number of Sheriff’s deputies any county has cannot possibly wage civil war on anybody else.  As for everyone else (i.e., gun owners), that’s a different story.  And yes, gun confiscations will cause civil war.

I think the Sheriff gets it.  All county Sheriffs are advised to take a lesson from Sheriff Lewis.  It may save you and your deputies from heartache in the future.


Chicago Police Raid Settled Out Of Court

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Chicago Tribune:

The city of Chicago is expected to pay $150,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a woman who accused police of hitting, threatening and berating her during a July 2013 raid at a North Side tanning salon.

Jianqing Klyzek sued 10 Chicago police officers in May, and the city decided to quickly settle the case in light of video that included “comments from police that we believe could inflame a jury” and lead to a considerably larger judgment, said Leslie Darling, first deputy corporation counsel for the city Law Department.

Police raided Copper Tan and Spa in the Noble Square neighborhood after an undercover officer working as part of a vice squad was allegedly offered sex for money. Video surveillance footage from inside the business showed Klyzek on her knees and handcuffed within seconds of the officers entering. The footage showed an officer standing behind the petite woman slapping her in the head while another threatened to hit her with a Taser “10 f—ing times.”

Another officer then got in her face and began to shout at her, according to the video. “You’re not a f—— American,” the officer yelled at Klyzek, according to the video. “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from!”

Police officers can be seen on the video searching for the surveillance tape, but they were unsuccessful because it was recorded off-site, according to the federal lawsuit Klyzek filed accusing the Chicago Police Department and the officers of brutality and a hate crime.

One of the officers who took part in the raid, Frank Messina, was relieved of his police powers in May when the surveillance video that came to light allegedly showed him striking Klyzek. Messina remains on desk duty as the Independent Police Review Authority continues to look into the incident, according to police spokesman Martin Maloney.

The City Council Finance Committee endorsed settling the lawsuit. The panel also recommended approval of a $1.25 million settlement with the family of Jamaal Moore, who was fatally shot by police in 2012. An officer shot Moore after police chased a vehicle in which the 23-year-old was a passenger, suspecting that the occupants of the vehicle had just committed an armed robbery.

When the vehicle crashed and Moore got out, a squad car struck and dragged him on wet pavement as he tried to get away, Darling told aldermen.

Nice guys.  It’s ironic that police will threaten Asians with deportation (even when they are legal) and yet leave Hispanics and Latinos alone.  In any case, a peace officer can only fight – with hands or weapons – when life or health are at risk.  It’s doubtful that this cop can prove those conditions, even if he stipulated to the requirements (which is doubtful).  And no one needs to be hit with a Taser ten times.  This is the behavior of uneducated, knuckle dragging thugs.

Remember boys and girls.  “To protect and serve.”  I’ll bet they thought a jury would have become “inflamed.”  I wish the victim would have pressed the issue into court.

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