Archive for the 'SWAT Raids' Category



Criminals Perpetrate A No-Knock Raid Claiming To Be Police

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Salt Lake City:

HOLLADAY, Utah – Unified Police are looking for four suspects in a home invasion robbery overnight.

Police said four Polynesian men dressed in all black kicked the door in at a basement apartment in Holladay.

According to the two victims who were home at the time, the men said they were police officers and began searching the home and taking electronics.

One of the victims was able to run down the street and call 911.

The suspects chased him a few blocks and then ran before police arrived.

Police set up roadblocks and began searching for the men but didn’t find them.

“It’s very disturbing that someone would go out there and announce themselves as police and commit a crime like this,” Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said.

“Very disturbing,” huh?  This certainly isn’t the first time this type of thing has occurred.  So just how disturbed are you?  Enough to stop all no-knock raids by your department because you and the criminals are using the same tactics against powerless home-owners?

In another part of the country the police are worried about SWAT raids too.

Online video game players may be strangers who live across the country or around the world, but the Internet offers them a window into each other’s homes. Some have taken advantage of that window, calling police to report fake crimes for the amusement of seeing a video game foe faced with real law enforcement.

Triangle law enforcement officers say the prank called “swatting” – prompting a SWAT raid of the home of another gamer, either as revenge or for amusement – is dangerous and potentially deadly.

When Woody Woodworth’s wife told him someone was lurking in the dark outside their Apex home, he armed himself in self-defense.

“She’s like, ‘There’s people in the yard dressed in black, scurrying around,'” Woodworth said.

After spotting two men behind a tree, Woodworth grabbed his gun.

“I grab my shotgun and I head down the stairs,” he said. “I headed down the front stairs and they’re like, ‘Put the gun down. It’s the SWAT team.'”

So how was he supposed to know this was a police SWAT raid instead of a criminal home invasion (I know, that’s redundant, but bear with me for a moment)?  How was he supposed to know even after the police announced themselves?  The hoodlums do that too.

If you are a LEO and you’re reading this, do you see why we cannot allow home invasions of any kind, LEOs or not?  Do you see why home owners cannot trust announcements, orders or ultimatums to lay down our means of self defense?  Do you see how immoral that would be of us, to abdicate all means of protection of our families because we hear someone barking out orders?

Recent SWAT Antics In The Service Of Our Great Country

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 4 weeks ago

SWATting prank terrorizes family:

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Josh Peters knew what was happening the instant he heard his mother’s frantic voice.

It was around 1 a.m. on Feb. 4, and Peters, 27, was hosting an online stream as he played a video game, “Clash of Clans.” Peters makes a living as “Koopatroopa787,” the host of a channel on the website Twitch.tv, where more than 50,000 gamers watch him play and interact with him.

He had noise-canceling headphones on, so he only barely heard the commotion upstairs, hurried footsteps to the basement, and his mom shouting to him that the police were at the house. But Peters, who returned from a tour of duty with the Air Force in Kuwait last November, stayed calm and paused his stream. He knew why they were there.

“Right away, I knew I was being swatted,” he said.

St. Cloud police had received an anonymous call reporting an active shooter incident with a woman’s life in danger at Peters’ address, according to Lieutenant Jeff Oxton. It’s called “swatting,” and is a prank growing more common in the gaming community. Oxton said this was not the first swatting call St. Cloud police have responded to. Peters had heard of it happening to plenty of others, but never imagined he would be the target.

Kristin Darnall, Peters’ mother, was asleep when she heard pounding on the door. She looked out the window and saw police lights flashing. She went downstairs and saw through a window on the door several officers with weapons drawn.

Her husband came downstairs to let the officers in, but when he reached to undo the complex lock on the door, police yelled at him to keep his hands in the air. Peters was upstairs by this point. When the door was finally opened, Darnall said, police threw her husband and Josh to the floor. She stood with her back pressed against the wall, trying to ask what was happening … Oxton said police have to respond to these types of calls as if they are real.

Darnall said her 10-year old son, in the days since the incident, had suffered a migraine, had been play-acting the scenario with Nerf guns, and had woken with “night terrors.”

Police pull weapons on six year old autistic boy:

A Jackson couple says Ridgeland police pointed a weapon at their 6-year-old autistic son while serving a warrant on a family member in the home.

Paul and Angela Thompson Roby told WLBT that Ridgeland officers arrived in an unmarked car at a home owned by Angela Roby’s mother on Brisbane Lane. They were looking for Carneigio Gray, 23, who is Angela Roby’s brother.

Ridgeland spokesman Lt. John Neal said officers had received information that Gray, who has an outstanding warrant for contempt of court for failure to appear on a three-year-old paraphernalia charge, was staying in that house. When they entered the home, he resisted arrest.

That’s when the Robys said their son asked officers not to hurt his uncle. They told WLBT that officers then drew their weapons on the child.

DEA agent shot in pre-dawn “drug raid”:

— A criminal trial expected to be closely watched by law enforcement and gun owners around South Carolina opens Monday in federal court in Columbia.

At issue: whether Joel Robinson, 32, is guilty of a crime for shootinga DEA agent in the first few seconds of a surprise federal law enforcement raid last October at his Orangeburg house.

Agents expected to find a cache of drugs, but a search of the premises found nothing but a small amount of marijuana for recreational use, according to legal records in the case.

Robinson is expected to claim self-defense, saying he did what any citizen would have in assuming he was the target of a home invasion – grabbing a gun and firing a half-dozen shots in the direction of those he assumed were home invaders.

But the person struck by a Robinson bullet was DEA agent Barry Wilson, one of more than a dozen law officers surrounding the house. The bullet broke bones in Wilson’s right elbow and forearm. His recovery likely will take more than a year and he is expected to lose some use of that arm, according to testimony in a pretrial hearing.

During the trial, the prosecution is expected to claim that law officers on the scene announced themselves loudly, initiated flashing blue lights and sirens as they broke a side window in the house, and that, in any case, it is against the law to shoot a federal law officer in the performance of his official duties.

In the first case, the only real danger that night was from cops who pointed weapons at innocent people.  No muzzle discipline is characteristic of this kind of tactic, and if this kind of lack of self restraint occurred on any range we regularly visit, most of us would beat the hell out of the perpetrator(s), or at least disarm them and make it clear they were never invited back.

In the second case, what is there really to say, except that the autistic boy was probably about as dangerous as the 95 year old man who was shot to death by cops in a nursing home.

These aren’t even all of the instances of such tactics, just three of the more prominent and recent.  It’s as if reporting of this gruesome tactic is becoming dull and tedious.  But in spite of the poor little autistic boy who was probably scared to death and certainly didn’t need this terror, the most legally interesting is the last one.

The salient observation here is that it is illegal to shoot a cop in the performance of his duty.  And note that his “duty” is anything they want it to be, including home invasions in the middle of the night (with the cops looking like gang hoodlums with their faces covered) where the victim knows nothing about the event except that he and his family are in danger.

What this does – the notion that we cannot shoot home invaders for fear that we will shoot a cop in the performance of his duty, even if it is a wrong address raid – is effectively disarm innocent people.  You can have all of the guns and ammunition you want, but if you can be hauled before court at any time for using them to defend your home, you may as well have nothing unless you’re willing to shoot back and accept the consequences.  It’s almost as if this is all designed to create a passive class of sheep, no?

A man’s home is his castle … indeed!

Racine, Wisconsin SWAT Kills Tiny Dog

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

Grab your britches.  You won’t believe this one.

NY Daily News:

A SWAT team sent to handle an alleged neighborhood dispute over dog waste ended up killing the dog, and igniting a firestorm of criticism against the local police force.

In dramatic video capturing the end of Saturday’s hours-long standoff involving Racine, Wisc. police, a small dog is seen being shot dead by a line of approaching officers moments after set loose.

Neighbor Kim Polk described the shooting as the result of one irate resident refusing to pick up after his dog when confronted by her, and then violently threatening to kill her own pooch.

It was that threat, first with a bow and arrow and then with a machete, that she said led to her family calling 911 and a SWAT team approaching the man’s home.

“When he finally decided to come out of the house he was irate upset and was telling the cops to get off his property that he was going to harm them, he was going to shoot at the cops,” Polk told Fox6Now.

Racine Police Chief Art Howell, in a statement released Sunday, said the unidentified dog owner threatened to kill the officers with an armor-piercing crossbow and to release his dog.

“After several hours of dialogue with crisis negotiators, the barricaded subject ultimately made good on his threat to introduce the dog into the active standoff,” said Howell in the statement obtained by Racine County Eye.

“After the dog was released, the dynamics of this encounter changed. Officers, who for over three hours were focused on peacefully resolving this crisis through dialogue, were now forced to deal with the distraction and unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving through the scene of this active encounter at a critical time,” Howell continued.

The homeowner behind the dog’s release was reportedly arrested but his name and charges have not been immediately released. A request for comment from the police department was not returned.

Armor piercing cross bow.  The dynamics changed.  Unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving.  It all sounds so serious according to the police chief.  Now take a hard look at the subject dog.

Racine_SWAT_Kills_Dog

What do you think the dog weighs?  Five pounds, perhaps?  Sure enough, the owner sounds like a loser, as much of a loser as the cops.  But it gets even better.  The cops shot the puppy while it was running away from the cops.  Don’t believe it?  Watch the video.

And the police chief is defending the actions of his force.  I have previously called cops who are frightened of farm animals (and who are afraid to be trained on them) pussies.  I stand by that charge.  But we’ve reached a point where cops are shooting animals for the pure love of violence, not much different than Latino gang members who behead for the fun of it.

Parents Of Baby Bou-Bou Say SWAT Raid Crippled Their Family

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 weeks ago

WSBTV:

The parents of a little boy critically injured when a police grenade landed in his crib are speaking exclusively with Channel 2 Action News.

They’re talking about a grand jury’s decision not to press charges against any of the deputies involved in the accident.

Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh has been following story for months.

She traveled 800 miles to the boy’s new in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the family says they will continue to fight for justice.

The family told Kavanaugh that they felt like victims all over again when a grand jury announced they would not file criminal charges. They have been home in Wisconsin since July. Much has happened in the case since they left Georgia.

The family says they don’t believe the grand jury got the full story.

“It’s a relief to know we still have him alive,” his mother, Alicia Phonesavanh, said.

Two-year-old Bounkahm Phonesvanh, also known as baby “Bou-Bou,” is happy and energetic.

The toddler was burned and disfigured May 28 when a police grenade exploded in his crib during a mistaken SWAT raid on a Habersham County home.

“We want justice. We want fair justice for our family,” Alicia Phonesavanh said.

Alicia Phonesvanh and Bounkahm Phonesvanh said they feel a grand jury denied them that justice when they declined to criminally prosecute any of the deputies involved.

“The grand jury should have known the real, whole truth story before they make decision,” Bounkahm Phonesavanh, the boy’s father, said. “We read the report and when we had read that the grand jury had stated our children were in danger from the moment we moved in, my mind was blown. That’s a complete fabrication.”

The family doesn’t believe the jurors got the whole story.

“When we first saw him, I thought he was going to die,” Alicia Phonesavanh said.
Alicia Phonesvanh says that was five hours after the explosion.

“They had taken my son away in an ambulance without us knowing. They had told my husband and  I, ‘Your son is fine. He lost a tooth,’” Alicia Phonesavanh said.

Bou-Bou was burned and disfigured.

“It wasn’t a drug house. That’s why they didn’t find any drugs, no weapons, no suspects,” Alicia Phonesavanh said. “They’ve crippled my family physically; they’ve crippled my family emotionally. They’re crippling us financially.”

The family says Bou-Bou will have to have surgeries every couple of years because he has so much scar tissue.

They say doctors will also have to monitor his brain because he suffered a traumatic injury.

Queue it up.  No accountability even from the public via a grand jury, lies at the time of the raid (“He lost a tooth”), failed goals from the raid, a baby almost blown up, lies and coverup by officers of the court during the presentation of facts (i.e., the lawyers), and financially crippled innocent victims.

There you have it – that sounds about right for our corrupt and worthless criminal justice system.

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

Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 3 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.

U.S. Court Will Not Block Lawsuit Over Connecticut SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

Reuters:

A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Connecticut police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages from a botched 2008 raid by a SWAT team that severely injured a homeowner and killed his friend.

The decision by the U.S. 2nd Court of Appeals in New York clears the way for a judge to decide whether five suburban Connecticut police departments violated the constitutional rights of homeowner Ronald Terebesi by using excessive force.

On May 18, 2008, a heavily armed SWAT – or special weapons and tactics – team unit knocked down Terebesi’s door, threw stun flash grenades into his Easton home and fatally shot 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan of Norfolk as the two men watched television.

Guizan, who was visiting the home, died after being shot a half dozen times.

“The court ruling here is going to be relied upon in other courts throughout the country,” Gary Mastronardi, a Bridgeport attorney who represents Terebesi, said on Tuesday. “They set up the parameters that define the extent to which qualified immunity can be asserted by police in SWAT cases.”

In a 51-page ruling that upholds a lower court decision, the appeals court said the police responded with unnecessary and inappropriate force and under the circumstances, are not protected by “qualified immunity” from the lawsuits.

Good.  Like I’ve said before.  If you are the police and you want to come into my home, call and make an appointment.  Otherwise, you may get shot.

This is the way it should be.  Engineers don’t get immunity when bridges collapse or systems malfunction, and doctors don’t get immunity when they leave surgical instruments inside of your body.

I hate incompetence.  I truly do.  And the incompetence in many SWAT teams we see today (piss poor rules for the use of force, no trigger discipline, no muzzle discipline, wrong addresses, etc.) is compounded by the indifference of police to the rights of citizens, as if no one has the latitude to press the issue of safety except law enforcement (for their own safety rather than yours).

One can only hope this ruling is used as precedent across America.  Now, if we could only get what reader Ned Weatherby calls Herschel’s law passed across these United States?

Police Departments Weigh In On The Use Of Military Gear

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 3 weeks ago

LA Times:

The department has posted the list, complete with pictures, on its SPD Blotter website. It includes floatation vests and binoculars, signage and gloves, pistol holders, a radiation detector and rifle sights “used by the approximately 130 officers who have passed the department’s rifle-certification program.”

“We have equipment that we feel is necessary for a city of our size,” Whitcomb told The Times. “The equipment we have serves a police purpose. Our No. 1 priorities are protecting people’s lives and looking after their well-being. Our second most important is looking after possessions and property.

“The gear that our department employees use … is primarily defensive in nature,” Whitcomb said. “Our equipment is police specific. We don’t have any military weaponry. The weapons we do own are specific to our profession. … No rockets, no predator drones, no cannons, no tanks.”

The department’s SWAT team does use a BearCat – an armored truck for situations where there may be gunfire, Whitcomb said, but such a vehicle is standard operating procedure for modern police departments.

“It’s used to get our personnel in and out safely, so we can rescue people and evacuate if necessary,” Whitcomb said. “You cannot do that in a sedan. Though we have put some armored plating on the doors in our cars. We also have purchased ballistic shields. It all goes back to the problem of gun violence in our country. … But ultimately we are a police service. We are not the military.”

This is a red herring.  Only seven percent of all SWAT deployments are for hostage, barricades or active shooter situations.

So here’s the deal.  To the Seattle Police Department, you are liars.  I don’t believe you since you invoked a rarely used justification for having SWAT.

What you really want to do is use SWAT to save evidence by busting in doors and invading homes.  Frankly, I don’t give a damn about your evidence collection.  Find another way, including the old fashioned use of detective work.  Or in other words, be thinking men and women rather than knuckle draggers.

You promise me that you’ll never use SWAT in incidents unless it involves hostages or active shooters, and I’ll take back my charge that you’re liars.

Any takers among the PDs who read these pages?  I’m waiting.

And by the way, that picture of the police “sniper” shows it to be absolutely the goofiest setup on a rifle I’ve ever seen.  I certainly wouldn’t use that setup.  You can read more here if you wish.  I’m just not interested enough to elucidate the details for you.  Readers may wish to weigh in.  And I wonder how the U.S. Marine Corps feels about this jerk wearing MARPAT?

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claims They’re Private Corporations, Immune From Open Records Laws

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Radley Balko:

As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.

As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. In 2012, for example, the Tewksbury Police Department paid about $4,600 in annual membership dues to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC. (See page 36 of linked PDF.) That LEC has about 50 member agencies. In addition to operating a regional SWAT team, the LECs also facilitate technology and information sharing and oversee other specialized units, such as crime scene investigators and computer crime specialists.

Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.

The reddit comments are priceless:

If they are private corporations, then they shouldn’t have immunity from being sued. That’s just bullshit.

I believe the bigger issue is that if they claim themselves to be “private corporations” then they should have zero access to surplus weapons of war. If they want their tanks, they have to pay full price like everybody else. It’s cool, they’re a corporation, so you know they can afford it.  While we’re at it, we should probably get rid of their public funding. Nobody likes a Wellfare Queen.

Not to mention liscenses for all of those personally owned automatic weapons. Also demolitions licenses for all of those personally owned explosives.

Also, as private corporations if they show up at my doorstep with ill intent I can safely stand my ground.

Can you say “secret police?”  Or Gestapo?  This argument is the most crass, brazen, insulting thing SWAT could have done concerning truthfulness in law enforcement.  Not even Soldiers and Marines get to claim secrecy like this if they get charged with violation of the ROE.

And this certainly doesn’t comport with Herschel’s law (named by Ned Weatherby).  As for the Massachusetts SWAT teams, they have long ago lost the mandate of heaven.  When that happens, it’s not immoral to treat them like the criminals they are.

A SWAT Team Blew A Hole In My Two Year Old Son

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

By now you are all aware of the SWAT raid where in Cornelia, just outside of Atlanta, where cops threw a flash bang into a crib.  Here’s an update and first hand account, a perspective you need to hear.

After the SWAT team broke down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade inside. It landed in my son’s crib.

Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.

There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.

My husband’s nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn’t there. He doesn’t even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.

I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.

[ … ]

As of the afternoon of 6/24/2014, Baby Bou Bou has been taken out of the medically induced coma and transferred to a new hospital to begin rehabilitation. The hole in his chest has yet to heal, and doctors are still not able to fully assess lasting brain damage.

So the officer prevented a mother from assisting her screaming child who had just had a hole blown in him, and lied to her about the condition of her child.  The man who did this deserves to be hung by his scrotum until it decays and falls off.  And unless you repent, you sorry sack of shit, God will not forget your actions.  You will pay for your sins.

But hey, the cops got to push around some folks, blow a hole in a child, perhaps inflict TBI, and go home safely at the end of their shift.  Mission accomplished.  I hope their mothers are all proud of what they’ve become.  Make sure, cops, to tell your mothers what you did that night.

Houston Police Department Raid Grandmother And Autistic Boy In Wrong Address Operation

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

The video has the complete story.  Notice the same elements I point to every time I link one of these sorry tales.  Lack of muzzle discipline (if you or I pointed rifles at someone we would be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon), lack of discernment, assumption that everyone is a criminal, destruction of private property, lose of confidence in the police, and refusal of the police to apologize or explain.

In fact, notice at the very end of the video.  The Houston Police Department obviously lied to the press, claiming that police never entered the home.  As I’ve said before in the context of the reflexive shooting of family dogs in SWAT raids (parroting one of my commenters), “if you need to speak with the occupant of the home, make an appointment.”  I don’t give a damn about your evidence-gathering.

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