February 11, 2015
” Let’s start in Prentiss, Mississippi on the night of December 26, 2001. Police carried out a no-knock raid on the home of Cory Maye during a raid on his neighbor Jamie Smith, a known drug dealer who lived on the other side of Maye’s duplex. Upon hearing a crash at his back door, Maye rushed to grab his .380 caliber pistol, unaware that the intruders were police. Maye fired 3 shots into Officer Ron Jones, killing him with a final fatal shot. About a gram of marijuana was found. In 2004, Cory Maye was sentenced to death by lethal injection. However, after 2 retrials and 10 years in prison, Maye signed a plea agreement pleading guilty to manslaughter and was released in 2011.
Now let’s fast-forward to January 17, 2008 in Chesapeake, Virginia. 28-year-old Ryan Frederick heads to bed at 8:00 pm to be ready for his morning shift just to be immediately awoken by crashes at his front door. Frederick grabs his pistol, looks out of his room, and sees unknown intruders smashing in his door. In defense of himself and his home, he fired his gun at the front door, striking and killing Officer Jarrod Shivers. It should be noted that 3 days prior to the police raid, Frederick’s home had in fact been invaded. It would later be revealed that the intruder was actually a police informant that broke in and searched his home for probable cause for a raid. In February 2009, he was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison for manslaughter.
Then more recently, we have the case of 49-year-old Marvin Louis Guy. In the early hours of May 9th, 2014, police executed a no-knock raid on Guy’s home. Upon their forced entry, they were greeted with gunfire from Guy, resulting in the death of Officer Charles Dinwiddie. A warrant for the raid was issued after a police informant claimed to have seen cocaine being trafficked through Guy’s apartment. After the raid, only a glass pipe was found and nothing to suggest he was trafficking drugs. Marvin Guy is awaiting trial but is facing charges for capital murder which is punishable by death.
See a pattern here? A SWAT team aggressively invades somebody’s home in a no-knock raid based on information from a snitch, officer gets killed in an act of self-defense, the information turns out to be illegitimate, and then the people defending themselves and their property from unknown invaders are charged with capital murder or manslaughter. And coincidentally, they all happen to be drug-related cases. But a grand jury in Texas broke that pattern when they dropped all charges related to the shooting and killing of Deputy Adam Sowder during another botched no-knock raid.
On December 19th, 2013, 9 Burleson County Sheriff’s Department raided the home of Henry Magee and his pregnant girlfriend in. Magee believed that his home was being robbed, so to protect himself and his girlfriend, Magee grabbed his gun and opened fire on the unidentified intruders, resulting in the death of Adam Sowders.
The SWAT raid was executed based on information from yet another police informant. Officers believed they would find a major marijuana grow operation consisting of over a dozen six-foot plants and several firearms, including one that had been stolen from the department. Instead, they found 2 6-inch plants, under an ounce of marijuana, and 4 guns all legally owned by Magee.
“ It was a tragic accident, but it wasn’t a crime,” Magee’s attorney Dick DeGuerin tells the press, “Hank did what a lot of people would have done under the circumstances[…] When awakened by a loud boom and somebody’s kicking in the door, they defend themselves.”
The grand jury found that Henry Magee acted in self-defense and dropped the murder charges. He was however indicted for possession of marijuana, and possession of a deadly weapon and illegal drugs is a felony (which in itself is completely outrageous). But aside from the ludicrous weapons charges and the absurdity of general US policy on marijuana, what’s important to recognize is the breaking of a cycle. The police fucked up, one of them got killed in the process, and a grand jury recognized that enough for a man to avoid manslaughter or capital murder charges which are, as mentioned earlier, punishable by death.
Now, before anybody starts getting all bent out of shape, allow me to clarify: this story isn’t good news to me because somebody got away with shooting a cop. This story is good news because in regards to the murder charges, I believe unconditional justice was served. These officers stormed into this man’s house where he and his pregnant girlfriend were sleeping, did not identify themselves as police officers, and got shot at. Aside from the basic fact that Magee himself pulled the trigger, it’s quite clear to see who is at fault: the unidentified intruders.
Still, the dropped murder charges don’t change the fact that Magee is being indicted on drug and weapons charges which also happen to be victimless. Henry Magee growing marijuana did not result in an officer being shot. Unnecessary force, lack of investigation, and senseless drug policies resulted in an officer being shot.”
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Tag Archive: No-Knock Raids
” To the casual observer it appears that Virginia is run by violent psychopaths. That’s the takeaway from the recent report of an anti-poker SWAT team raid in Fairfax County, in which eight assault rifle-sporting police officers moved against ten card-playing civilians. The police possibly seized more than $200,000 from the game, of which 40 percent they eventually kept.
There was no indication that any of the players was armed. As a matter of fact, it appears that a gambler is more likely to be shot without provocation by the Fairfax Police than the other way around. The heavy firepower at the Fairfax raid was apparently motivated by the fact that “at times, illegal weapons are present” at such poker games, and that “Asian gangs” have allegedly targeted such events in the past. This is, then, a novel approach to law enforcement: as a matter of policy, Fairfax police now attempt to rob and steal from people before street gangs get around to doing it.
It is a mystery why we put up with this obscene police behavior. Gambling itself is not illegal in Virginia; it is simply controlled by the state. So the Fairfax police department did not bust these hapless poker players with guns drawn for doing something truly immoral and fully outlawed, merely for doing something in a way not approved by the state legislature. Were gambling actually forbidden in Virginia, then a crackdown could at least be understood, if not condoned in so paramilitary a fashion. Yet Virginia’s stance on the matter is not to treat gambling as malum in se, but rather as an instrumentum regni: our government prefers to funnel gambling money into its own coffers for its own ends, outlaw the same thing when it’s done outside of the state’s jurisdiction, and then steal the money of the poor fellows who happen to get caught. “
” Following a drug tip, nearly 20 cops stormed a small apartment outside Atlanta in 2010. Invading officers found only a little weed, but managed to seriously injure resident Treneshia Dukes with a flashbang grenade—a police device that’s drawing increasing attention and controversy, Pro Publica reports. Cops often toss the flash-and-bang devices to disorient suspects during drug raids, but critics note that the grenades’ flash is more hot than lava.At least 50 Americans, including children and cops, have been killed, maimed, or injured by flashbangs that landed near them or went off too soon. Even Bill Nixon, an Arkansas man who used to make flashbangs for police (before an officer lost a hand demonstrating one to Boy Scouts) doesn’t get why cops use them regularly. “It boggles my mind,” he says.”
” Police in Little Rock, Ark., used them on 84% of raids from 2011 to 2013, although the raids usually just turned up minor drug paraphernalia. But a police rep defends flashbang use, saying that “what we see is a large service of warrants without gunfire.” Still, horror stories include a 19-month-old Georgia baby who suffered severe facial injuries during a drug raid when a flashbang landed in her crib, WOKV reports. A grand jury didn’t indict the officers involved but suggested two ideas that are going around: better police training (there are no national flashbang training standards) and fewer “no-knock” warrants that permit police raids. Meanwhile, Dukes—who suffered second-degree burns over her body—has filed a civil suit alleging excessive police force. “My skin is ugly, and I feel like I’m ugly,” she says. “When I talk about it, I just get angry.” “
Thanks to Newser
” The New Haven SWAT team must have been pretty amped up: It was midnight, and they were getting ready to bust down the door of a man wanted on charges involving weapons violations, robbery — and murder. They were not sure how many people were in the house, or how they’d react. After a volley of flash grenades that set fire to the carpet and a sofa, they moved in, guns drawn. A minute later, they had their man zip-tied on the floor.
If only they’d double-checked the address first.
Bobby Griffin Jr. was wanted on murder charges. His next-door neighbor on Peck Street, Joseph Adams, wasn’t. But that didn’t stop the SWAT team from knocking down his door, setting his home on fire, roughing him up, keeping him tied up in his underwear for nearly three hours, and treating the New Haven man, who is gay, to a nance show as officers taunted him with flamboyantly effeminate mannerisms. If the events detailed in Mr. Adams’s recently filed lawsuit are even remotely accurate, the episode was a moral violation and, arguably, a crime.
And when Mr. Adams showed up at the New Haven police department the next day to fill out paperwork requesting that the authorities reimburse him for the wanton destruction of his property — never mind the gross violation of his rights — the story turned Kafkaesque, as interactions with American government agencies at all levels tend to do. The police — who that same night had managed to take in the murder suspect next door without the use of flash grenades or other theatrics after his mother suggested that they were probably there for her son — denied having any record of the incident at Mr. Adams’s home ever having happened.
This sort of thing happens with disturbing regularity. The New York Police Department killed an older woman in Harlem when they mistakenly raided her home in 2003. In that case, too, “flash-bang” grenades were deployed, and the concussions sent 57-year-old Alberta Spruiell into cardiac arrest, killing her. The NYPD was acting on information given to them by a local lowlife drug dealer they were leaning on. It was the first information he’d given them as an informant, and based on nothing more than that they went in hard — no-knock raid, grenades, the whole circus. As it turns out, New York dope-slingers turned rat are not entirely trustworthy. “
” A Youtube style montage exposing the everyday horrors which innocent citizens are met with when dealing with law enforcement.”
The above video barely scratches the surface on the subject of State violence against the people who pay the bills . Some of those unfortunates died while some where permanently disabled and some just injured to some degree or another , while all of them , their loved ones and anyone with a conscience who has witnessed these brutal attacks have lost their respect for authority .
The filmmaker(s) are to be commended for taking the time to amass these horrific tactics in one place and the video deserves to be spread far and wide . To go along with these shocking scenes we thought it appropriate to include some links to the hard numbers of citizens of the US suffering and dying at the hands of those charged with the task to “protect and serve ” .
Below are some links to those killed by police in the past few years …
” The lists below are incomplete, as the annual average number of justifiable homicides alone is estimated to be near 400. Although Congress instructed the Attorney General in 1994 to compile and publish annual statistics on police use of excessive force, this was never carried out, and the FBI does not collect this data either.”
So we see that despite an order from Congress there is , to this day , no official record of the abuse and death heaped upon the citizenry by their “public servants” in law enforcement . It is left up to the more than 17,000 individual police departments throughout the US to police themselves and as the reader can predict most killings and brutalizations are found to be justified when investigated by the offending parties .
The use of SWAT teams on what has become a very commonplace , tyrannical tactic , reminiscent of the jack-booted thugs kicking in the door in the middle of the night in some totalitarian dictatorship is more appropriate behavior to be attributed to the Stasi or the KGB and far from something that should be acceptable in the “land of the free” .
The exponential growth of the no-knock raid has undoubtedly fueled the drastic climb in police killings over the past couple of decades . For those less well-informed Wiki offers these facts about paramilitary home invasions :
” In the United States, a no knock warrant is a warrant issued by a judge that allows law enforcement officers to enter a property without immediate prior notification of the residents, such as by knocking or ringing a doorbell. In most cases, law enforcement will identify themselves just before they forcefully enter the property. It is issued under the belief that any evidence they hope to find can be destroyed during the time that police identify themselves and the time they secure the area, or in the event where there is a large perceived threat to officer safety during the execution of the warrant.”
If the justification for the tactic of no-knock raids is to prevent the destruction of evidence then the authorities are already admitting that these raids are not about stopping an “imminent threat” to the innocent , but to prevent some pot leaves from being flushed down the toilet , for what other evidence can be destroyed in a matter of minutes ? Certainly not murder weapons . Wiki continues:
” The Department of Justice writes:
Federal judges and magistrates may lawfully and constitutionally issue “no-knock” warrants where circumstances justify a no-knock entry, and federal law enforcement officers may lawfully apply for such warrants under such circumstances. Although officers need not take affirmative steps to make an independent re-verification of the circumstances already recognized by a magistrate in issuing a no-knock warrant, such a warrant does not entitle officers to disregard reliable information clearly negating the existence of exigent circumstances when they actually receive such information before execution of the warrant.
The number of no-knock raids has increased from 3,000 in 1981 to more than 50,000 in 2005, according to Peter Kraska, a criminologist at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. Raids that lead to deaths of innocent people are increasingly common; since the early 1980s, 40 bystanders have been killed, according to the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.“
The Cato Institute has referred to botched paramilitary police raids as an “epidemic of isolated incidents” and offers an interactive map of these “isolated incidents” which you can access by clicking on the graphic below :
Just a brief perusal of the above map , even without benefit of the interactive feature , demonstrates that these nazi-like tactics are hardly “isolated incidents” . The number of no-knock raids , erroneous or not , now exceeds 40,000 PER YEAR . Think about that figure . It staggers the imagination that for every murder committed in the US the police are conducting over three SWAT style paramilitary raids .
That’s right , with an average of 16,000 murders annually the police can still find reason to conduct three times that many life threatening raids on private citizens . That figure averages out to a staggering 109.5 raids PER DAY , every day , year in , year out . In pursuit of what ? Murderers ? What crime could possibly justify the use of overwhelming “military” force on the citizens besides the danger of imminent threat ?
The numbers get even worse when one considers the fact that no insignificant number of the murderers are caught in the act while others commit suicide . That means that the ratio of SWAT raids to violent crime apprehensions is even more abhorrent than our initial calculations would indicate .
This behavior is unworthy of the country alleged to be a beacon of hope and liberty to the world and must be stopped before our liberties are gone forever , assuming it’s not already too late . It is too late for these poor souls . Have a look at some of the casualties of the war on drugs , which is in reality a war on us all , and see the faces of some of those that paid the ultimate price for our burgeoning Police State .
John Adams64 years old
Shot to death during a SWAT drug raid while watching TV. The house didn’t match the description on the warrant.
Rev. Jonathan Ayers28 years old
After meeting with a parishioner who was under surveillance by drug cops, the pastor went to a Convenience store ATM. Coming out, he was confronted by men waving guns. He didn’t know they were undercover cops, and was shot to death while driving off, fearing for his life.
Xavier Bennett8 years old
Xavier was accidentally shot to death by officers in a pre-dawn drug raid during a gunfight with one of Xavier’s relatives.
Read and learn about some of the others here . And hang your head in shame .
Iraqi insurgents have killed around 3,500 Americans in Iraq since 9/11 in Operation Iraqi “Freedom.”
” The police are getting paid with our money to go on shooting sprees and they are killing more of us than the terrorists from whom they “protect” us. In fact, you are eight times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist.
This is the most disturbing domestic trend in the US and is a direct result of Federal policies on the “War on Drugs” and the subsidization of military hardware for domestic law enforcement . Innocent people are being killed by our police every week . Radley Balko has chronicled the rise of the militarization of the police in his book : “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces” and it is required reading .
” On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart’s former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.
The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom.
In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn’t a suspect in the investigation.”
” After leaving her operating room scrub nurse duties at Sarasota’s Doctors Hospital on Wednesday, Louise Goldsberry went to her Hidden Lake Village apartment.
Her boyfriend came over, and after dinner — about 8 p.m. — Goldsberry went to her kitchen sink to wash some dishes.
That’s when her boyfriend, Craig Dorris — a manager for a security alarm company — heard her scream and saw her drop to the floor.
Goldsberry, 59, said she had looked up from the sink to see a man “wearing a hunting vest.”
He was aiming a gun at her face, with a red light pinpointing her.
“I screamed and screamed,” she said.
But she also scrambled across the floor to her bedroom and grabbed her gun, a five-shot .38-caliber revolver. Goldsberry has a concealed weapons permit and says the gun has made her feel safer living alone. But she felt anything but safe when she heard a man yelling to open the door.”
- Florida Nurse Terrorized by US Marshals (rinf.com)
- Florida Nurse Terrorized by US Marshals in Warrantless Raid (libertyup.wordpress.com)
- Warrantless Raid or Home Invasion (dailybrowse.wordpress.com)
” Take careful note, too, what they say concerns them: “BATFE also expressed concern that since the law was adopted, various new rifle-caliber handguns have been invented.”
I wonder how many Department of Justice employees are equally concerned when SWAT teams raids the homes of unsuspecting and incorrect targets, such as Mr. Eurie Stamps, or Ms. Zaelit, or Mr. Tuppeny, or Ms.Lloyd, or Thomas and Rosalie Avina, or Mr. Kenneth Wright? Statists will be statists. Can a leopard change its spots?
Finally, this issue of the sporting purposes test is laughable. The ATF didn’t listen when I pointed this out before, and they aren’t likely to start now. It isn’t that the test is difficult, or convoluted, or hard to apply, but necessary nonetheless because it’s the law. The issue is that it is self referentially incoherent. It cannot be logically applied because it presupposes the consequent.
The ATF must decide what is the “sporting purposes” category by populating the list with examples, and then make the claim that such-and-such an example is deemed to be or not to be a “sporting purpose” because it is or isn’t on the list. It reasons in a circle.
Not that the ATF will care. And not that they will care what we have to say about ammunition either. ”
From The Comments :
“On December 11, 2012 at 10:33 am, SDN said:
So the ATF is going to rule that non-lead bullets aren’t legal, while the EPA rules that lead bullets aren’t legal either.
Well, the President did say gun control was going to be under the radar; may be the first campaign promise he’s kept.”
- ATF Whistleblower Fired in Denny’s Parking Lot For Exposing Corruption (townhall.com)
- Fast & Furious firings coming: WSJ (hotair.com)
- ATF Withdraws Additional Agents Brought To Flint (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Nita Ghei’s Column On BATFE’s New Asset Forfeiture Authority…. (forfeiturereform.com)
- Gunwalking: Vince Strikes Back (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- SWAT Team Fires Semi-Automatic Weapons At Unarmed Teenage Girl (infiniteunknown.net)
- Orchid Advisors – Company Launch Targets Firearm ATF and FCPA Regulations as DOJ Pressure Heats Up (prweb.com)
- ATF Fires Managers over Fast and Furious, Obama and Holder Get Off Scot-Free (americanthinker.com)
” Clinton also said that even if the drug cartels were driven from the drug trade they would find other areas in which they could make money:
“When you’ve got ruthless, vicious people who have made money one way and it’s somehow blocked, they’ll figure out another way.”
This reply seems to admit that legalization would block the cartels from making money drug trafficking and actually grants critics one of their points in favor of legalization.
“We are formulating our own response to the votes of two of our states as you know — what that means for the federal system, the federal laws and law enforcement.”
- Hillary Clinton Reminds a Hurting Latin America That She Is Opposed to Drug Legalization (reason.com)
- Drug Treaties Do Not Empower Congress To Override Or Repeal State Referenda Legalizing Marijuana (volokh.com)
- Calderon: ‘Impossible to end drug trade’ (washingtonpost.com)
- From Mexico to Moscow, the World Turns on to U.S. Marijuana Legalization (world.time.com)
- Marijuana Legalization Could Cut Cartels’ Earnings By As Much As 30 Percent, According To Mexico-Based Study (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Lords Of The Global Drug Trade (panoffolin.wordpress.com)
- Feds Worry That Legal Pot Will Be Too Cheap and Too Expensive (txwclp.org)
We are indeed living in the age of thuggery . While the crime rates continue to fall we are left to worry about the typo by an tired clerk or the false testimony of a petty crook trying to save his bacon . Thanks to the “War on Drugs” and government growth in general the police state is upon us . No knock raids , police departments nationwide arming themselves as if for war and the ever present threat of the president’s Kill List should provide ample proof of the authorities intentions .
Add to these most physical of threats the endless attempts on the State’s part to take over the internet , control our speech , taking over our freedom to choose regarding our healthcare , dictating what and how much we eat and you have the foundation being laid for an authoritarian regime far worse than the rule of King George III .
The fact that the court ultimately ruled against the DEA in this case is small consolation for the terror those innocent girls have been made to live with . And they are some of the lucky ones . At least they weren’t killed by mistake as has happened and continues to happen to innocent citizens regularly .
” The agents entered the 14-year-old girl’s room first, shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl, who was lying on her bed, rolled onto the floor, where the agents handcuffed her. Next they went to the 11-year-old’s room. The girl was sleeping. Agents woke her up by shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl’s eyes shot open, but she was, according to her own testimony, “frozen in fear.” So the agents dragged her onto the floor. While one agent handcuffed her, another held a gun to her head.
Moments later the two daughters were carried into the living room and placed next to their parents on the floor while DEA agents ransacked their home. After 30 minutes, the agents removed the children’s handcuffs. After two hours, the agents realized they had the wrong house—the product of a sloppy license plate transcription—and left. “