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.
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.
Let’s flash back to December, in Texas, for a moment.
On December 19, also just before 6am, Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders, led a team in a no-knock marijuana raid on Henry Goedrich Magee’s mobile home in Somerville.
Also startled by these intruders, Magee opened fire, fearing for the safety of himself and his then pregnant girlfriend.
Sowders was unfortunately killed among the chaos.
In February, just a few months before the fateful raid in Killeen, all charges against Magee were dropped when a Texas grand jury refused to indict, based on them believing he feared for his safety and that this was a reasonable act of self defense.
With such similar circumstances and such intensely opposite repercussions one cant help but try to find the differences.
Most obvious? Guy is black and Magee is white. Also, take note of the difference in photos used in the press.
Self defense is a right for all, and no knock raids not only pose a danger to dogs, children, and communities in general- but officers as well. Maybe its time to
re-think that strategy.
We need to end the war on drugs and put an end to this violence.
Estimates show that the total number of SWAT deployments across the country has increased from a few hundred per year in the 1970s, to a few thousand per year in the 80s, and in 2010, the Washington Times reported estimates being as high as 50,000 per year.
Many of these are for nonviolent misdemeanor drug offenses, not big time drug kingpins. Should we really be risking lives of citizens and officers, over what someone chooses to put into their own body?
A drunken Massachusetts police officer choked and put a gun to the head of a woman in his house. Earlier on the same day the officer was cited for drinking alcohol while driving.
Now, four months later, Dalton police officer James Scace has been charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and battery, strangulation and witness intimidation.
Stemming from a criminal investigation of a July incident, a criminal complaint against Scace was filed on Nov. 18th. Scace reportedly received a civil motor vehicle infraction for consuming alcohol while driving in July.
A few hours later on the same day, Scace in a drunken rage began choking a unidentified woman that was a guest in his house. Scace also began destroying property, including the woman’s cell phone.
The woman attempted to run, but Scace caught up with her throwing her to the ground and kicking her in the ribs; he also began to strangle her more.
In fact, court documents state that he has had, “a pattern of assaultive behavior” because there was another incident in which he prevented a woman from using her phone to call for help, although there are no details from the first incident.
A woman posted a video to Facebook showing officers at Saturday's game between Ole Miss and LSU acting forcefully with her husband; one of the officers can be seen hitting him.
The woman, Holly Barnes, explained in her post how the officers arrested her husband, Chris Barnes, after they hit him. They did not give him medical attention, but when he later went to the hospital, doctors diagnosed him with a concussion, fractures to his orbital wall and maxillary sinus and contusions to the tissues of his eyes, she said.
Holly Barnes said the incident occurred because the officers believed her husband was responsible for something someone else did.
The officers were not with the University of Mississippi Police Department but rather officers from other jurisdictions who serve as security during football games, Ole Miss Police said in a Facebook post. The department is investigating the incident.
Chris Barnes was released from police custody when he posted bail four hours after the incident. It was then that he went to the hospital for his injuries.
Chris Barnes is an Army National Guard veteran, Holly Barnes said in her post.
A newly sworn in police chief in Farrel, Pennsylvania said that he planned to make a public apology on Monday after he was caught using the N-word during a book drive fundraiser.
WICU reported that the email was discovered just days after Thomas Burke was sworn by the City of Farrell as the new police chief last Monday.
He is scheduled to begin the job in January.
“Good morning,” the email begins. “Please click and review. Even $1.00 will be greatly appreciated. Them [Town of] Sharon n****s gotta learn how to read.
”Burke reportedly sent the letter to about a dozen friends and colleagues while working in the security department at a local steel mill.
City of Farrell Councilwoman Stephanie Sheffield said that Burke showed up at her home with a written apology after the letter became public.
“I immediately said dismissal,” Sheffield told WICU.
“He came and knocked on my door this morning with an apology letter, and how he is very familiar with our community and our area with some of the issues that we have going on here.
Sheffield said that Burke explained “that he does use the N-word very often because that’s just the way that it is here our area.”
“He should not stand in that position if he’s going to use the N-word,” she insisted.
Farrell Mayor Olive McKeithan, who is black, stood up for Burke’s character.
“Until you get to know a man’s character, you can’t judge him by one off-the-cuff remark, or else we would have to judge all white people as equally guilty,” McKeithanremarked to WKBN. “I have spoken with Mr. Burke and consider the matter as closed.
”Farrell City Manager Michael Ceci said that Burke would give a public apology at 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the rotunda of the city’s municipal building.
According to Ceci, Burke was not expected to take any questions during his remarks.
A white Chicago police officer who a squad car dashcam video showed fatally shooting an African-American teenager 16 times last year will be indicted on murder charges on Tuesday, according to multiple news reports.Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, will face first-degree murder charges for the Oct. 20, 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, according to theChicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, who cite anonymous sources. The Tribune says Van Dyke will appear for a bond hearing around midday.The charges against Van Dyke come as Chicago braces for the court-ordered release this week of the dashcam video....
For months, Emanuel resisted releasing the the video, citing ongoing federal and state probes into the shooting death of McDonald.The city was sued for violating state open record law by independent journalist Brandon Smith, and Judge Franklin Valderrama on Thursday issued the Wednesday deadline.
...Attorneys for McDonald's family and Van Dyke have viewed the footage and described the content as graphic and unsettling. Police had said they were pursuing McDonald after receiving a 911 call from someone who said that a knife-wielding man had threatened him and appeared to be trying to break into cars.A police union official also said shortly after the incident that McDonald, who had PCP in his system at the time of his death, was acting erratically and that Van Dyke felt his life was in jeopardy.
While Van Dyke repeatedly fired at McDonald, five other police officers at the scene did not fire their weapons. Michael Robbins, an attorney for the McDonald family, said that the video shows the teen was walking away from the officer when gunned down.Chicago's city council in April approved a $5 million settlement be paid to the McDonald family. Van Dyke has been stripped of his police powers and placed on desk duty since the incident more than a year ago.
Michael D. Schwartz, who represented Cincinelli, likewise insisted that the pitiless assault on Thomas was carried out in strict fidelity to the “training” the officers had received.
“The officer has the right to pursue the suspect until the suspect is controlled – that’s how my client was trained,” Schwartz told the jury. From his perspective, this explained and fully justified Cincinelli’s use of his Taser as a club, with which – in the assailant’s own words – he “smashed [the victim’s] face to hell.”
“See these fists?” Ramos gloatingly said as he snapped on a pair of latex gloves. “They’re getting ready to f**k you up.” Ramos lit into Thomas, eventually enlisting the help of five of his comrades as the bewildered and brutalized man, profusely apologizing for offending his uniformed overseers, struggled desperately to remain alive.
Addressing the defense argument that Thomas had precipitated the beating by putting up resistance, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas acknowledged in a remarkable closing presentation to the jury that Thomas had the legal right to defend himself against a criminal assault by the police.
“There is no legal authority for a police officer to use force to punish someone,” Rackauckas told the jury. “There’s no authority to use force for `street justice.’ A police officer cannot get mad at somebody and start punching him around, or use any kind of force on him at all.”
When a police officer uses “unreasonable or excessive force, he is not lawfully performing his duties,” the prosecutor continued. Section 2670 in California’s Criminal Jury Instructions explains that defendants accused of resisting arrest cannot be convicted if the arrest was unlawful, and that “a person may lawfully use reasonable force to defend himself or herself.”
The threshold question is whether the victim “reasonably believes he is in imminent danger of unreasonable or excessive force by a police officer.” Of course, the mere presence of a police officer is probably enough to satisfy that condition, at least for well-informed people.
“A lot of people don’t understand this idea – but the police know,” Rackauckas continued. “They know if they are not lawfully performing their duty … [and] are using excessive force, that a person has the right to self-defense – that a person has the right to resist. You have a right to resist an unlawful arrest.” (Emphasis added.)
There was no ambiguity regarding the identity of the killers, and the law was on the side of the victim. But Karch’s “expert” assessment, combined with numerous appeals to authority, provided the conservative Orange County jury with an excuse to acquit the officers. By doing so they validated the privilege of police to kill without cause or consequences – except to the taxpayers who are compelled to pay for such “services,” and then indemnify the resulting victims.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona has been arrested and charged after state troopers found 110 pounds of cocaine in his rental car that he planned to transport to Chicago, authorities said Monday.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court shows Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers stopped agent Juan Pimentel, 47, on Nov. 18 near Marana, just north of Tucson.
The complaint says Pimentel was driving a rental car and identified himself as a Border Patrol agent when he was pulled over.
He consented to a search that resulted in the seizure of about 50 bundles of cocaine weighing 2 pounds each, the complaint states. The bundles were in four black suitcases.
The document says Pimentel initially told a state trooper the drugs weren't his, but later said he was going to be paid $50,000 to transport them to Chicago.
Pimentel has been charged with possession with intent to distribute. He remains detained in Arizona.
His attorney, Eric Manch, said Pimentel hasn't filed a plea because he has not been formally indicted. Manch noted his client is entitled to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske announced the arrest during a news conference in Phoenix while talking about corruption within the agency.
"Let me tell you that when he is convicted or pleads guilty to that charge that the badge that he had as a United States Border Patrol agent will be destroyed - it will never be worn again by another Border Patrol agent," Kerlikowske said.
"So we have all of these significant and important issues that we're dealing with, plus making sure that we have the integrity and the trust and the credibility of the people we serve by addressing as aggressively as possible the issues of corruption."
Art Del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol union in the Tucson Sector, which comprises most of the Arizona, said agents normally take their oaths very seriously and are dedicated to protecting the border.
"The corruption always rears its ugly head, but it's not a direct view of the way all other agents are," he said. "Agents don't want to work with corrupt agents."
township police officer who accused a fellow officer of inappropriate behavior - including lying to a judge and targeting minorities - is fighting for his job after what his attorney says has been a series of retaliatory action by the department over the past four years.
Officer Kyle Pirog, a 16-year veteran, was initially demoted after going to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office with his concerns when his superiors failed to act. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay, pending his termination following an Internal Affairs investigation that his attorney says was initiated as further retaliation.
Pirog has filed a civil suit in Morris County alleging the township police department violated the Conscientious Employee Protection Act in its retaliatory actions against him. He's seeking unspecified damages.
"Police and police departments are entrusted to protect the well-being and safety of the public and most of them do it admirably," said Claudia A. Reis, Pirog's Morristown-based attorney.
"But every once in a while you have someone who steps out of that role and targets people. When that happens, you need people to step forward and out of the blue code of silence to report those instances. To then target those very people for retaliation undermines what police and police departments are entrusted to do."
The suit was filed in Morris County because the judge his former co-worker allegedly lied to serves in Somerset County Superior Court.
Bedminster Township Police Department officials said in a preliminary notice of disciplinary action that they are seeking to terminate Pirog because he committed five violations of department's rules and regulations, including remaining stationary in various township parks and businesses for long periods of time without performing any police functions, falsifying his daily blotter and running radar for long periods of time without making any motor vehicle stops.
Attorney Arthur Phibault, who is representing the township, didn't return a call seeking comment.
Modern day hunting: a bunch of grown men suit up in full body armor and protective shields. They then find the animals den and enter. They shoot the animal for sport -- not using the meat, nor even a trophy. Just street cred.
An unarmed man was shot by a South Florida police officer and said there is no way the officer should have ever fired upon him.
The man, who was taken into custody on a drug charge, was on one of the busiest roadways in South Florida when he was stopped. He said he was fully cooperating with both officers when one decided to shoot him for no reason.
Michael Gavins was pulled over by two officers in South Miami, didn't have a weapon, but ended up being shot in the chest.
"You can check me. You can check the car, you can do whatever you want. Please don't shoot me. He paused maybe 30 seconds and the next thing I hear, 'Boom,'" Gavins explained.
Gavins showed NBC 6 the wound he suffered after being shot by a South Miami officer a week ago. He was pulled over for an alleged traffic violation at a gas station on U.S. 1, near the University of Miami.
He was ultimately charged with possessing marijuana with an intent to distribute and resisting arrest without violence.
Gavins and Coral Gables Attorney Paul Layne exclusively told NBC 6 that Officer Aryo Rezaie was way out of line when he fired his weapon.
"I just thank God that it wasn't worse than it is. It could have been worse. I'm just glad to be here, be alive, you know," Gavins said. "I could be gone right now."
"It's just outrageous conduct by law enforcement. We have another instance of an unarmed black male being fired upon by law enforcement for no good reason. Mr Gavins' civil rights has been violated and my job here at Silva & Silva is to make sure that the light is shined on the story," Layne said.
The police report said after Gavins was out of his vehicle: "Officer Rezaie then observed Gavins reaching into the front of his waistband... Gave Gavins a verbal command to take his hands out but with negative results."
"Gavins began to act in a nervous manner... refused once again and began to walk towards Officer Rezaie," the report said.
"If the overt action is putting my hands up, telling him I am not a threat, then I don't know," Gavins said.
The officer was placed on a three-day administrative leave, but South Miami Police told NBC 6 he is now back on the street.
Gavins hasn't been convicted of a crime before. The officer hasn't faced any disciplinary actions in his three years on the force.
One lawyer told NBC 6 he witnessed all of this and that Gavins was cooperating and he was very surprised he was shot.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is investigating.
Daniel Holtzclaw is a former Oklahoma City police officer now standing trial on 36 counts, including rape, sexual battery and stalking. Twelve women and one 17-year-old girl have come forward, saying Holtzclaw assaulted them while on patrol. Most of the victims were black, poor and embroiled in the criminal justice system for things like prostitution and drug use—a precarious state Holtzclaw allegedly used to threaten and coerce them.As the 17-year-old put it in her testimony, “What am I going to do? Call the cops? He was a cop.”The alleged crimes are disturbing; so, too, the evident lack of media interest. Outside of Oklahoma, the case has so far garnered little mainstream attention. A Nexis search indicates neither the New York Times nor Washington Posthave printed any original reporting; nor has broadcast network news addressed a story that brings together emergent questions of police violence and rape culture.An Associated Pressinvestigation showed around 1,000 police officers fired over a six-year period for so-called sex crimes, including rape—certainly an undercount of abusive cops, given that it only includes those who actually lost their badges. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, which collects data on police, doesn’t track officer arrests, and states aren’t required to collect or share that information.Holtzclaw evidently selected his victims because he believed no one would care about them. Media shouldn’t prove him right.