Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Completely out of control...

First, I'm late to this party. Tomato 7 has been covering it from the jump-off, so go read his stuff for the full breakdown.

What it boils down to is this: An adolescent ne'er-do-well and his delinquent college buddies beat the crap out of some other guy to steal his PlayStation 3's.

In order to apprehend the junior thug and budding felon, did the university police:

A) Call him to the office over the intercom, where he found a deputy waiting with handcuffs.
B) Pull him over on the pretense of a traffic stop and stuff him in a cruiser.
C) Call out the local Sheriff's Department's SERT team, complete with ram and ninja gear, bust through the door of his house after a perfunctory knock, and gun him and his dog down in the front hallway of his home.

Everybody who guessed "C)", you get a cookie.

It gets better, though.

The deputy who actually mowed down the video game controller-armed hood has apparently been accidentally no-true-billed by the grand jury.


Brandon said...

SWAT for a college kid that beat somebody up and stole his game console? Kee-rist.

At least the trigger man's out of a job, and the DA seems determined not to let the matter drop. It doesn't address the absurdity of using a tactical team to arrest a typical punk kid, but at least there may be some measure of justice yet. One can hope.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, we need to ban Play Station 3s as they are assault video games


Lizard said...

One less violent idiot in the world.
Soon, a few less trigger happy cops on the force.

I'm not seeing the real downside here. The world is improved two ways. It's a lot better that cops who shoot without cause be found out when they do it to someone who will not be missed, as opposed to, say, 92 year old grandmothers.

I'm not saying cops SHOULD bust down doors and shoot to kill when they're going after petty crooks (esp given how often they're wrong), but my limited reserves of compassion aren't going to be spent mourning one less thug in the world.

Lizard said...

PS: I do feel sorry for the dog, though. It's not his fault his owner was a scumwad.

Tam said...

It ain't death of the juvie punk I'm mourning; it's the death of any sense of proportion in broad swathes of the modern LE community.

SWAT came into existance to deal with barricaded suspects holding hostages. Any time now they'll be using flash-bangs to give you a parking ticket.

Ben said...

Lest we forget, the "juvie punk's" or "violent idiot's" parents are still mourning the murder of their son. I don't care if he stole 15 game consoles, the justice meted out by New Hanover SWAT was beyond the pale.

Sheesh, people.

Lizard said...

To Tam: I've seen a lot of stories on SWAT-overkill...there was one about a year ago where they sent out the SWAT team to get someone who was suspected of embezzling. Because, you know, he might charge them with a fully loaded calculator. (Might have been tax evasion or gambling. It was a non-violent, financial, crime, though, which is the main point.)

People use the tools they're given, even if they're the wrong tools. All that fancy high-tech SWAT gear lying around, sooner or later, someone's going to say, "Aw hell, let's use this stuff for once!"

Ah, it was gambling. Here's the link:

Marko said...

The problem with the "barricaded hostage" mission is that it's a comparatively rare scenario. If they did nothing but, you'd have a whole platoon of well-armed, well-trained, and amped guys sitting on their duffs most of the time.

What better way to employ them in those quiet times than to use them to serve drug warrants (and fill the coffers of their employing agency with asset forfeiture funds?)


Tam said...

"Lest we forget, the "juvie punk's" or "violent idiot's" parents are still mourning the murder of their son."

Ben, I'm a misanthrope.

If a violent thief comes to a bad end, be it via getting hit by a bus or struck by lightning, I'm unlikely to tear up over it. Why should I now?

My only regret is that the trigger-happy goon who shot him didn't then step in front of a Greyhound, thus making it a twofer.

Matt G said...

This'd be a lot easier to get behind you on, Tam, if the deceased hadn't been someone who should have caught a double-tap to the chest during his strong-arm robbery in the first place.

Too bad about the dog, though.

Anonymous said...

Let me repeat myself:

"It ain't death of the juvie punk I'm mourning; it's the death of any sense of proportion in broad swathes of the modern LE community."

Porta's Cat said...

The kid wasn't a "juvie punk" until after the fact. At the time of the incident, he was likley a scared, half a joint into neverland, walking to the door to see WTF the commotion was, and why are my stupid roomates acting like they are the cops at my door Playstation 3 addict.

Could just as easily been his brother, a friend, or some guy thinking he was getting ready to get jacked.

That he met his karma is one thing. That they were "lucky enough" (??) to dust the culprit and not some other dopey kid is proof that people do win the lottery in spite of the odds.

Ninth Stage said...

Folks, punk thief kid was innocent under law when he killed. We have a branch of government completely separate from the police whose job is to determine guilt and punishment. The problem here is that the police skipped all that judge and jury business and executed him for the "crime" of holding a game controller in his hand.

Anonymous said...

As mattg pointed out, the person who should have shot the kid was the guy he assaulted,at the time of the attack...

Marko said...

By the way, the shooter apparently fired through the closed door because he "thought he heard gunfire" when his fellow team members knocked on the door with a battering ram. The bullet that killed Mr. Punk Thief impacted sideways, suggesting that it had gone through a barrier before hitting him. The rest of the team stated that they did not hear any gunfire coming from the residence.

It seems like it was pure luck (if you can use the term in this case) that the actual punk was wasted instead of one of his roomies, because it appears that the officer fired through the door at a perceived threat without positively ID'ing the target first.

David said...

To me "I thought I heard a shot" ranks right up with "I thought I saw a deer" after a hunting accident. Firing through a closed door at an unknown threat was stupid. Since the theft was 'strongarm robbery' not 'armed robbery' the force used for the arrest was excessive. Seems "Police Force" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Anonymous said...

SWAT= Several Weirdos Armed to the Teeth

Matt G said...


Marko, that one's BAD juju, if verifiable. Shooting through doors is utterly unjustifiable unless we're talking about bullets coming in through door of the closet or small interior bathroom that you happen to be in.

It could have hit a little kid, someone's visiting mother or girlfriend...

Hell. This is the Best of the Worst Case Scenarios. Time to hang the shooter out to dry, I'm afraid. But Tamara raises a good point-- the tactic was unnecessary. We're not talking about evidence that could be destroyed, or a hostage that has to be rescued. It's a thug with a glorified Atari system. Damn, if you need him right frickin' now, knock on the door and prepare to gas the place to smoke 'em out.

Anonymous said...

A couple things:

1) If the idiot cop shot through the door at something he could not see, he was in the wrong (and really stupid) and should be dealt with accordingly.

2) The police were dealing with someone who was accused of violently beating someone, including breaking the victem's jaw.

3) The suspect has a previous felony assault on record.

4) The house where he was located, was known to have large groups of people there at times.

Based on those last 3, if I had to serve a warrant there, I would bring some backup. Not a S.W.A.T. team, but definitely some other officers.

This sounds like they handled it correctly (to ME) up until the point where the cop goes and opens fire. I could even see kicking in the door if the guy was seen inside and not responding to civil attempts to get him to come out.
Buy, hey then again I'm not a cop.

What it all boils down to is the "juviee punk" was accused of a VIOLENT FELONY and had a HISTORY OF VIOLENT FELONIES

This wasn't about a "punk kid" this wasn't about a PS3. This was about a repeat violent felon being arrested with a legal warrant, and an idiot trigger-happy cop.


Sigivald said...

Tam: And to deal with crazies in clock towers with rifles. My impression of the history of SWAT teams, as reported to me, was that the first big push came after Whitman took to that clock tower in the early 60s down in Texas.

The local police force were dismayed by not having any rifles and having to rely on armed civilians to keep him pinned down, IIRC.

(A sensible reaction, and one more good reason to have SWAT teams; like you say, the problem's their over-zealous use, not their existence.)

Diamondback said...

"Hey, that guy's Jaywalking...Quick get the .50 cal!"

Chuck@PodunkOutpost said...

The problem with the "barricaded hostage" mission is that it's a comparatively rare scenario. If they did nothing but, you'd have a whole platoon of well-armed, well-trained, and amped guys sitting on their duffs most of the time.

Sounds alot like being a member of a peace-time combat unit...