Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Look, when they say "drop it", you probably should.

So a guy in Evansville, Indiana got a little sideways on some intoxicant or another and, along with a friend, was trying to break down a neighbor's door.

Understandably, the neighbor called 911.

When the cops arrived, our doped-up protagonist took a few pot shots at them, then ran back towards his own house, where he promptly cut his foot open climbing through a window and then shot himself in it with his pistol. (As an expert criminologist due to having watched several episodes of COPS during baseball rain delays, I could have told you that he would be barefoot. Possibly shirtless as well.)

Surprisingly, the cops did not let him call "Olly olly oxen free!" just because he'd gained the security of his domicile and tagged home base.

When he emerged on the front porch, they yelled "Drop it!" and he didn't drop it, so they dropped him.

As it turns out, the object he didn't drop was a cordless phone.

You know, once the bullets start flying, people are probably going to be a bit excitable, okay? Once you start shooting at the cops, you can't just say "Hey, I was only funnin' ya. Prank!" and expect everything to go back to status quo ante. If you want to call Time Out, you need to do exactly what the other very keyed-up dude with the gun, the one you were just shooting at, says.

Or you could get shot.

I'm normally a little critical of the whole cult of officer safety, but given that this guy had opened fire on police officers less than an hour before, I've gotta say that I can kinda see where they're coming from on this one.


Joseph said...

I've never had an incident with the police more severe than a traffic ticket. I have always figured that if the nice police officer says to do something, I will do just that. Better to sort it out in a courtroom than on the street.
But then I don't snort chemicals to get high or shoot at cops, so that's just me.

staghounds said...

"I didn't know what else he had. I saw he had that. I have seen men
badly tore up with things no bigger than a kingbolt."

Words to live by.

Maybe he could beat me into a wheelchair with a mobile telephone, maybe he couldn't. I wouldn't give him an opportunity to try.

TJIC said...

In general I hate cops, and think that 95% of them are rights-abusing thugs, but - yes, I agree with all of your conclusions here.

Shermlock Shomes said...

I agree with everything TJIC said except the part about 95% of the cops being rights-abusing thugs. I think it's more like 98%.

og said...

As someone who has had a relative guest star on COPS, and no, it was not a police officer, I can tell you, your chances of surviving an encounter with the po-po unscathed mostly depend on a few things:

1: Don't even ACT threatening.
2: Don't be doing anything that could remotely be construed as illegal
3: Don't have any contraband.

These three things will greatly contribute to your encounter with the Po-po being a friendly and uneventful one!!

or, you could follow Chris Rock's advice:


Robert said...

I can agree that, having seen a few episodes of COPS, is that you don't want to answer the door with no shirt on. Male or female, you're most likely going to be the one that gets arrested.

Jay G said...

There's a simple yet elegant phrase that covers this handily: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes...

Peter said...

As they say in the law enforcement business, this was a classic case of 'felony stupid'.

Stretch said...

Social Darwinism at its most basic.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

@Og: That video should be required viewing in all inner-city schools.

In fact, it probably ought to be required viewing in ALL schools, period. Even white boys often got no sense.

The Raving Prophet said...

Yeah, can't say I fault the cops. Normally, I think they're way to eager to tromp all over the rights of the citizenry in the name of "officer safety," but when bullets have recently been flying at them and it was YOU who sent them that way, you ought to expect a little trouble. In fact, I think the officer showed admirable restraint in giving the guy a chance to drop it.

Ferret said...

Hmm... Since the article says he was hospitalized recently for slitting his wrists, maybe he just opted for police-assisted suicide?

Bubblehead Les. said...

True Story: Right after I pulled the trigger during my Home Invasion, people were yelling over the phone (never hurts to stay in contact with the Cops during such incidents), and they told me to come out the door. But something I had read in one of Mas Ayoob's articles led me to ask HOW they wanted me to come out. I gave them MY description as the Home Owner, and told them ANYONE else was a Bad Guy. I then followed their rules EXACTLY, and I ended up not being shot by the Va. Beach Police Dept, whose speciality at the time was breaking up Bar fights on the Resort Strip.

But if your too scared when the Police are screaming at you, both hands EMPTY and AWAY from the body in PLAIN SIGHT should help keep bullets out of your body.

Unless you live in Pima County, AZ., of course.

Rabbit said...

I want to know what brand of cordless phone he had that sounded like gunshots. I can't get the volume up high enough on mine to hear over the TV.

Randy said...

The article said:

"McKnight's family said he was never the type to harm anyone"

So you see, even though he shot "at" the police he wasn't trying to hit them.

Seriously, it is amazing how some folks think the commands that the police are shouting at them are subject to negotiation.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, it is amazing how some folks think the commands that the police are shouting at them are subject to negotiation."

Depends, of course, but I've had friends ( respectable folk, not doing anything but minding their own business in an appropriate way, during daylight hours, seriously, I know these people. Think: middle class programmer duffers eating a sandwich lunch at a picnic table in the park) get yelled at in the "command voice" and guns pointed at them.

Why, because apparently some child told his mother that friend A "had a rifle" (one guy had a cane, leaning on the table) and she called the cops, who rather than observe, realize it was a screw up and then politely swing by and chat, went postal.

It took a very long few seconds for my pals to realize the cops meant _them_.

My point is cops have to realize that innocent people can be slow and dumb when caught by surprise.

(And of course they might have been a little more polite & apologetic afterwards too. Screwups happen, but the least you can do is say: "Sorry guys" They mightily pissed off a brace of middle aged white guys by just being rude and gratuitously nasty about it. Nice PR there!)

Of course in Tamara's case, if the events took place as stated, I have no sympathy for the fellow. Felony stupid indeed.

Anonymous said...


OK, yes, when the mouth-breather was ordered to drop whatever was in his hands, he should have.

However, an hour had passed. AN HOUR! No shots fired, no problems evident, and the guy walks (hobbles?) to his door wherein he is shot by a SWAT sniper.

And I call complete BS on the following:

""We prefer, when we have to call the SWAT team," said Police Chief Brad Hill, "that things get resolved in a way where there are no injuries, certainly no one killed. But we also understand the danger that's involved there."

The adrenalin junkies that comprise most SWAT team are there for the rush. And the SWAT team ain't there to talk the BG into surrendering.

The cops will be cleared in this

Tam said...

Anon 5:26,

"The cops will be cleared in this"

Yes, and rightly so.

Take the badges away from the shooters and you'd be howling that it was a righteous shoot as they were being locked away, n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

Chris Rock had an amusing but trenchant video about this some years ago. While aimed at minorities, it offered pretty good advice for everybody. Among the various tips:

(paraphrase) "When the police say, 'stop', then STOP. And don't try to run, 'cuz if the cops gotta come get you, they're bringing an a** kickin' with 'em."


mariner said...

I'm gonna disagree here.

If an ordinary citizen would be unable to shoot an unarmed citizen and walk away from it, neither should these cops.

Yes, he screwed up shooting at them. Shame on him.

But at the time he was shot he was posing no threat to these officers.

Cops should have to live with the same restrictions on use of deadly force as the rest of us.

Tam said...


Was the citizen shooting at me first?

Joseph said...

A. as a civilian, if someone shoots at me, he'd better be quick to get through that window, I will be returning fire.

B. as a civilian, if said shooter gets in the house, I take cover and call the police to come deal with his stupid ass. I don't hang around and try and coax him to come back out for more excitement.

Irishdoh said...

Concerning the deceased, I'm gonna have to quote Chuck Norris here... "Ain't life a bitch?"

The people who wish to add to the list of abundant cases of SWAT team abuse that plague this country should really stay away from this one. Using this as a complaint of unnecessary force is comparable to death penalty opposition that uses Mumia as their poster child. It really doesn't help the cause at all. Stick to the hijinks of the ATF, Pima County Sheriff and apparently the Department of Education Financial Task Force (California Division).

Crotalus (Don't Tread on Me) said...

I'm getting to the point where I distrust cops altogether, but, yeah, this time, they were right.

Billy Beck said...

No, Tam. I'm with the dissent.

I don't care what the circumstances are: you don't shoot a guy with a phone in his hand. And if you don't know what you're shooting at, then you don't.

Full stop.

og said...

I don't care what I have in my hand, be it a gun, a phone, or one of my testicles; if a cop is pointing a gun at me, and says drop it, I'm gonna drop it.

I don't care what you have, if I think it's a weapon, and I tell you to drop it, and you don't, I'mna drop you. You can think it's wrong all you want, after you're dead.

WV:dictangs. The condition of having one's male genitalia be bananna shaped, or shaped like a boomerang. "Monica spent a good deal of time playing with Bill's Dictang"

firefighter4884 said...


You stated: "A. as a civilian, if someone shoots at me, he'd better be quick to get through that window, I will be returning fire.

B. as a civilian, if said shooter gets in the house, I take cover and call the police to come deal with his stupid ass. I don't hang around and try and coax him to come back out for more excitement. "

In reference to subject B, unfortunately the police dept doesn't have the option of calling 911 and leaving it in someone else's hands, they are forced to deal with the circumstances they are dealt.

Considering the fact that rounds had been sent downrange at responding police officers and the fact that the subject in question did not drop the phone when told to, EPD was totally dropping him where he stood.

It's unfortunate that this situation played out like it did, but the fault lies squarely on the guy who didn't listen to orders from the po-po

GeorgeAtl said...

Commonly referred to as "Suicide by Cop."

Montie said...

Thanks for the defense Tam. As you know I am often the first one to jump ugly on my fellow cops for acting in ways that make them live up to TJIC's description, but in this case,I feel they were right.

Anonymous said...

Billy Beck: "And if you don't know what you're shooting at, then you don't."
Um, no, the trouble is that the cops don't know what the possible bad guy might or might not be shooting at them- again. The cops KNOW what they are shooting at- a guy who shot at them earlier and isn't following directions while not dropping SOMETHING in his hand. Billy, are you willing to lose your life over the chance that the guy who was SHOOTING AT YOU recently now has something other than a gun in his hand?