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Considering how much shorter a six year old is than an adult, the officer would even have to adjust the aim before a kill shot is made unless he is using a shotgun.
The fact that the first replies immediately blame Bush and the US. WTH? Seriously. Other countries have their problems as well. I do not see how this ties into Bush and the US.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Originally posted by jackinthebox
What if the police got the wrong house that happened to be occupied by someone who was a hair-trigger gun enthusiast, who only owned legal firearms, and opened fire when his house was stormed by unidentified militants? Who would be to blame? Who would be legally accountable? If he survived, would he be facing charges for protecting his own home? Probably.
At dawn in your own apartment, you lay in bed petting your two cats as you ponder what you'll make for breakfast. Suddenly the door explodes into the apartment, followed closely by a stun grenade that catches your carpet on fire, then a herd of yelling, armored local and federal agents burst in waving guns, ordering you not to move and to lie on the floor. At 68 years of age, now forced to use a walker to make your way around your neighborhood, you struggle to comply hoping all the while that none of these armed, screaming home invaders shoots and kills you for not moving fast enough. You think this can't be happening as they cuff your hand behind your back as you lie there on the floor, not in the USA, you haven't done anything illegal, there must be some mistake. You are right- the police end up admitting after a fruitless search of your apartment that it's an "oops, wrong address" drug raid.
The raid was a mistake, but this is not a fictional account. This raid really happened at 7AM on May 14, 2003, in the Northeast Bronx, at the apartment of former US Marine and retired construction worker Timothy Brockman. "The police - they're all right with me," Brockman told the New York Times (06/29/03). "I suffer from seizure. A lot of times I have fell out on the street, and they picked me up. You have people who say, 'The police are dirty, this and that.' I can't find any fault with them that I know of. They got a job to do. But I don't know why they came and broke into my house. I don't see any right in that. If they have me under surveillance, they would watch me, and see who's coming in and out. Not to come in like storm troopers."
Brockman's neighbors were so frightened by the raid they fled their apartment, thinking terrorists had set off a bomb, and Brockman's cats disappeared for hours. As his fellow officers questioned Brockman about drugs and guns, one officer, assigned to guard the window during the raid, spotted the yellow ribbons hanging outside Brockman's window sill in honor of the US troops fighting on foreign soil, and only then began to suspect something was wrong.
The Times outlines what comes across at best as a frighteningly sloppy police investigation, at worst as an example of a deeper problem when it comes to police investigations of drug crimes- the feeling on the part of police that they are at war, and in all wars there will be collateral damage. Brockman is exactly that, collateral damage in the War on Some Drugs and Users, but he's lucky in that he survived, which is not always the case for these innocent victims.
Federal agents with the Justice Department told the Times that the Brockman raid was based "entirely" on the information gathered by the NYPD, but the police allege that the feds was involved as well. Both reportedly gathered information that was so completely wrong that they not only raided the wrong apartment but went so far as to raid one in the wrong building. The US Attorney's office would not divulge what the feds knew, if anything, about the major contradictory evidence gathered by the NYPD and the feds.
The NYPD based the raid on Brockman's apartment partly on the word of a confidential informant who'd proved herself reliable in another investigation. The informant told investigators that she had entered building number 1159, but had actually entered a different building, visiting an apartment she said resembled a "crack mill" where she also alleged she saw guns. The informant returned secretly to the apartment in the wrong building 5 days later to mark the door with white tape, which police subsequently found after the raid.
The raid in Chesapeake bears a striking resemblance to another that ended in a fatality. Last week, New Hanover County, N.C., agreed to pay $4.25 million to the parents of college student Peyton Stickland, who was killed when a deputy participating in a raid mistook the sound of a SWAT battering ram for a gunshot and fired through the door as Strickland came to answer it.
You are completely right Jon, at least she wasn't killed. Another thing I think is important, She got a public apology. It seems, according to the article) that the police were honestly sorry for the mistake they made. Here in the States the cops try to cover up a mistake like this and rarely (if never) apologize for it. Oh, wait, that's might because some innocent was killed trying to protect their family and the cops think they can do no wrong!
- J., USA
They made a mistake, and have to answer for that. But they didn't arrest the poor woman, they apologized, and are making reparations. In the USA they would've hauled her off anyway, said nothing, and she would've been left with a home in disrepair.
All said, it could've been worse if she was across the pond.
- Andy, Texas, USA
I think it's nice they at least apologized and left someone to comfort her, and even repaired the window. Here in the states, they might've slapped the cuffs on her and hauled her in for questioning, "just to be on the safe side".
- Joe Shmoe, USA
Well at least they didn't do what American cops are famous for when entering an elderly woman's house during a botched drug raid and shoot her multiple times.
- Jon, Yes
But I promise you, should anyone kick in my door at 6 AM, while I am asleep in my bed with my wife, screaming "Police! Raid!", chances are someone will die that day. In a slumber state, I doubt seriously I would be able to understand what was being said, and in such a moment of perceived attack, my impulse would be to shoot first and ask questions later.
Saturday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this article, by Bill Torpy and Rhonda Cook: Few results from no-knock warrants, critics say. The Atlanta PD even raided the house next door to Mrs. Johnston's house about 18 months ago, finding no drugs, but the raid was eight days after the buy (which is the point of the staleness requirement, maybe?).
In March 2005, a team of Atlanta narcotics officers, armed with a "no-knock" search warrant, arrived at a northwest Atlanta home looking for a marijuana dealer known only as "Black."
The door was open so the officers didn't have to smash it down; they simply walked in and searched the home, said a resident of the house who was confronted in his living room by armed officers.
The officers found plastic bags and a small scale but no drugs, according to a police report, a point that the resident disputes. Police also did not find "Black" and made no arrests.
The house at 929 Neal St. is next door to and shares a driveway with the home of Kathryn Johnston, the elderly woman who was killed last week in a shootout with Atlanta narcotics officers who came to search for drugs.
The fatal raid, in which three officers were wounded, has shined a spotlight on how the narcotics officers target houses to raid and the tactics used in those raids.
According to police reports, warrant applications and search warrant inventories:
• In each of these two cases, police said a confidential informant made a single, small drug buy at the target house.
• In each case, officers had a no-knock warrant that gave permission to bust down the door.
• In each case, police were looking for a man known only by a nickname who also was not found; last year it was a man named "Black," last week it was "Sam."
• And in each case, members of the same narcotics team were involved.
But these aren't the only cases in which the team served no-knock warrants and came away either empty handed, or with little to show for their effort. Though the legal standard requires police to show special circumstances — that evidence will likely be destroyed or that weapons in the house put officers at risk — these cases and others show that short, routine descriptions and the trust of a judge is all that veteran officers need to obtain such warrants.