Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If the ninja-suiters don't have more self-control

and trigger discipline than this...
The Pima County Regional SWAT team fired 71 shots in seven seconds at a Tucson man they say pointed a gun at officers serving a search warrant at his home.
Being a standard-issue citizen with some slight familiarity with firearms, that sounds pretty bad; then it gets worse:
Jose Guerena, 26, a former Marine who served in Iraq twice, was holding an AR-15 rifle when he was killed, but he never fired a shot, the Sheriff's Department said Monday after initially saying he had fired on officers during last week's raid.
Three other homes within a quarter of a mile from Guerena's house, were served search warrants related to the investigation that morning. The addresses and the names of people who live in the other homes have not been made public.
I don't know about you, but that combination of things causes several suspicions to pop into mind.

Vanessa Guerena says she heard noise outside their home about 9 a.m. Thursday and woke her husband who had just gone to bed after working a 12-hour shift at the Asarco Mine, she said. There were no sirens or shouts of "police," she said.

Guerena told his wife and son to hide inside a closet and he grabbed the AR-15 rifle, his wife said.

The department says SWAT members were clear when identifying themselves while entering the home.

"Tucson is notorious for home invasions and we didn't want to look like that," said Lt. Michael O'Connor of the Pima County Sheriff's Department. "We went lights and sirens and we absolutely did not do a 'no-knock' warrant."

So they say. They also claimed he fired first. Maybe just confusion, maybe a no-knock they don't have the integrity to own up to. I'll let you read the whole thing, but I will point to this:
The family's 5-year-old son was at school that morning and deputies say they thought Guerena's wife and his other child would also be gone when they entered the home.
The thought. Ok, say you thought he'd be home alone; what were you after that demanded putting on the ninja suits and kicking in doors?

I realize as I type this that my attitude toward a lot of LE has really gone downhill; it wasn't that long ago that I'd have figured they made the raid this way for good reason, but I don't have much confidence in that anymore, I've read of too many wrong-address raids, too many that should not have been a 'dynamic entry' action in the first place.

Couple of weeks back Ayoob had that post on the possibility of a Mumbai-type attack in the US, and some people got a bit heated in the comments whacking on LE; his responses here and here. I do think he either misses or glosses over a couple of things:
1. I think few have a real problem with LE having a rifle in the car; they have a problem with average patrol officers in some places having a select-fire weapon. Especially when they lecture us that the commoners can't be trusted to own such.
2. Most agencies have indeed had a 'military-type' organization with sergeants and such; that isn't the gripe, it's LE acting like military units in their normal activities, arming up and acting like troops instead of LE officers.
3. Yeah, good cops do indeed have a problem with bad ones. But the bad ones generally couldn't get away with being bad as long as they do if so many of the good(at least better) ones didn't either turn a blind eye or actively protect them. It's been a big problem for many years.

He mentions the miserable excuse for a lawman in Chicago caught on tape beating on a female bartender. That guy had a past record that should have gotten him thrown off the force long before that incident, and even with that crap on tape it took a lot to get him canned. And I read far too many "She wasn't hurt that bad, he shouldn't have faced that serious a charge"-type crap from cops. Doesn't matter how badly she was hurt, or that she had whatever in her background: what he did was inexcusable and yet an awful lot of people with badges were making excuses for him. That kind of thing really screws with being able to trust the police.

I'll pass along something: one day at my old job I wound up riding to lunch in a LE unit with four officers, none of whom had less than 15 years on the job, I think all but one 20 or more; when you sit and listen to a group like that talking about the bad attitude the new officers have, it makes an impression.

4. This touches on the kick-in-the-doors actions: how many cases have been found of them not bothering to make sure they had the right address? Where they shoot the family yorkie or something for barking at them? Where the public is then informed- if you put it bluntly- "Yes, they fucked up, but they were following department guidelines so screw you; we're not going to punish them for fucking up." That does NOT cause people to look on you as Officer Friendly. Especially when it turns out the mess was over something that would've been much better handled by somebody watching the back while somebody in a proper PD uniform knocks on the door and says "We have a warrant to search."

Some of the comments Ayoob got were downright nasty, some were pointing out something like what I've noted above; dismissing them all equally doesn't help the case.

Speaking of shame and disgusting bastards, combined with either idiot politicians or politicians demonstrating their contempt for LE officers, what level of either one is required to invite this jerk to the White House during the same week that lawmen from across the nation, including Jones, make their annual trek to Washington to honor their fallen comrades at the National Law Enforcement Memorial. ?


Anonymous said...

Having worked for an LE agency in a non-sworn capacity for a number of years, in which I dealt with nearly all local LE agencies, I absolutely do not trust any of them.

Cops protect their own, and will go to any extreme to do so. They only "dump" on a cop when public awareness of misconduct is so great they can't hide it.

Government, at all levels, with federal the worst, but not to ignore city, county and state, has become the enemy of the average American. Cops are the power-implementation side of government.

Sorry, Ayoub, I respect your gun teaching ability (I've met him on a few occasions), but when you defend cops with the "there are only a few bad apples" line, you're protecting the enemy. I don't think a wife, mother, father or child will feel better knowing it was "only one of the bad apples" that killed a family member.

Which includes the dog.

AM said...

More Americans die here every year due to Police misconduct than we have lost in ANY year in Afghanistan.

I don't care that if even 9 out of 10 cops are honorable people. When there are over 800,000 in the US that means 80,000 bad apples.

Keith said...

I've heard a few people saying that the "good" cops are a bit like the much trumpeted "Moderate" Moslems, they're either very, very quiet about all the shit, or, they don't exist.

I've read a couple of good articles over the past few days.

The first is criticising the high price and poor service which we get from the state monopoly of law and policing - just as we do whenever there is a monopoly.

It also partly explains the incentive for a monopoly to do a very poor job, then to use the resulting increase in unsolved crime as justification for increased funding to do an even worse job. Turkeys don't pray for Christmas, and cops don't pray for an end to crime.

Other article reviews a book pointing out how the gradual changes in Nazi Germany lulled too many people into a sense of complacency until it was too late.

The reviewer draws a parallel to the increasing para-militarization of policing which we are seeing (on both sides of the Atlantic).

I hope Ayoob is just out of touch, I wouldn't want to think of him justifying fatal recklesness on the part of The Only Ones

Shy Wolf said...

I'd left a couple comments on those blogs of Mas', no way intimating I hate cops- though after reading the comments left by LEOs, I'm beginning to wonder of my son's choice of career. If those commentors can be believed, there isn't one good cop around because a good cop wouldn't defend the bad ones by keeping their mouth shut when they know a compatriot is bad. By standing silently by, they're giving approval for the action, so they have no excuse.
There are no good cops.

Phelps said...

On #4, we don't know. Occasionally someone will start tracking it, it will become obvious that the numbers are hideously high, the police will stop cooperating, and then we are back where we started.

Thanks to a law in Maryland, we do know that their SWAT teams are sent out about 94% of the time for the standard sort of warrants that were served just fine 30 years ago by a detective in a blazer. And they still aren't tracking how many of those manage to knock down the right door.

I work in litigation. I agree with the first commenter. Cops lie. Even in civil cases like I handle, if a cop is testifying, he's lying. He's lying even if the truth suits him better. It's even more frustrating when he thinks he is lying for you. We know what the truth is. We know what questions we want answered, and we know how to deal with the facts that hurt us. We would be better off if they just answered the questions truthfully (so we knew what to expect) but they can't help trying to wrap things up for whoever they think should win.

markm said...

If they want to run around with military gear and call the rest of us "civilians", shouldn't they be subject to the UCMJ?