Pre-Crime Policing

Allegedly “disgruntled” man has his guns seized, and “voluntarily” surrenders to two SWAT teams and dozens of police officers for a crime that hadn’t been committed

To hear them tell it, the five police agencies who apprehended 39-year-old Oregonian David Pyles early on the morning of March 8 thwarted another lone wolf mass murderer. The police "were able to successfully take a potentially volatile male subject into protective custody for a mental evaluation," announced a press release put out by the Medford, Oregon, police department. The subject had recently been placed on administrative leave from his job, was "very disgruntled," and had recently purchased several firearms. "Local Law Enforcement agencies were extremely concerned that the subject was planning retaliation against his employers," the release said. Fortunately, Pyles "voluntarily" turned himself over to police custody, and the legally purchased firearms "were seized for safekeeping."

This voluntary exchange involved two SWAT teams, police officers from Medford and nearby Roseburg, sheriff's deputies from Jackson and Douglas counties, and the Oregon State Police. Oregon State Police Sgt. Jeff Proulx explained to South Oregon's Mail Tribune why the operation was such a success: "Instead of being reactive, we took a proactive approach."

There's just one problem: David Pyles hadn't committed any crime, nor was he suspected of having committed one. The police never obtained a warrant for either search or arrest. They never consulted with a judge or mental health professional before sending out the military-style tactical teams to take Pyle in.

"They woke me up with a phone call at about 5:50 in the morning," Pyles told me in a phone interview Friday. "I looked out the window and saw the SWAT team pointing their guns at my house. The officer on the phone told me to turn myself in. I told them I would, on three conditions: I would not be handcuffed. I would not be taken off my property. And I would not be forced to get a mental health evaluation. He agreed. The second I stepped outside, they jumped me. Then they handcuffed me, took me off my property, and took me to get a mental health evaluation."

By noon the same day, Pyles had already been released from the Rogue Valley Medical Center with a clean bill of mental health. Four days later the Medford Police Department returned Pyle’s guns, despite telling him earlier in the week—falsely—that he'd need to undergo a second background check before he could get them back. On Friday the Medford Police Department put out a second press release, this time announcing that the agency had returned the "disgruntled" worker's guns, and "now considers this matter closed.

That seems unlikely. Pyles' case has spurred outrage in the gun rights community. Kevin Starrett of the Oregon Firearms Federation has been advising Pyles, and helped get his guns back. Oregon-based syndicated conservative talk radio host Lars Larson has taken up the story. And Pyles is now attorney shopping for a possible civil rights lawsuit.

At root behind this case and others like it is our naïve, hopeful, and sometimes even dangerous belief that every horrible shooting spree or lone-wolf act of terrorism can be prevented. We seem unable to accept the idea that bad people will occasionally do bad things. Every new mass shooting spurs an urge to assign blame beyond the shooter: What political ideology inspired him? Who missed the “warning signs,” and why wasn't he apprehended ahead of time? Gun retailers are scrutinized and vilified, even when they've complied with the law. In ensuing days and weeks, politicians mull new laws, often both ineffective and constricting on our liberty.

There's nothing wrong with looking for signs that someone is about to snap, and if he's putting up multiple red flags, we'd certainly want law enforcement to investigate, possibly to chat with the person and his friends and family. And obviously if someone has made specific threats, a criminal investigation should follow. But that's a far cry from what happened to Pyles.

Pyles' problems began last June after a series of grievances with his employer, the Oregon Department of Transportation. "This was always a professional thing for me," he says. "It was never personal. We were handling the grievances through the process stipulated in the union contract." Pyles declined to discuss the nature of the complaints, citing stipulations in his contract.

On March 4, Pyles was placed on administrative leave, which required him to work from home. On March 5, 6, and 7, after getting his income tax refund, he made three purchases of five firearms. Pyles describes himself as a gun enthusiast, who had already owned several weapons. All three new purchases required an Oregon background check, which would have prohibited the transactions had Pyles ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving violence, or been committed by the state to a mental health institution. Pyles says he has no criminal record, and says he never threatened anyone in his office. (A specific threat of violence would have likely brought a criminal charge.) The Oregon State Police, the Medford Police Department, and the Oregon Department of Transportation did not respond to requests for comment.

"In my opinion, the apprehension of David Pyles was a violation of Oregon's kidnapping laws," says James Leuenberger, a criminal defense attorney who is also advising Pyles. "He definitely deserves to be compensated for what they did to him, but even if he wins a civil rights suit, that will just result in the officers' employers paying for their mistakes." That of course means the final tab will be paid by Oregon's taxpayers, not the offending cops. "I want these law enforcement officials held personally responsible," Leuenberger says. "I want them criminally charged."

It's hard to see that happening. Joseph Bloom, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University and a specialist in civil commitment law, says the police who apprehended and detained Pyles were likely acting under the cover of Oregon law. Bloom says the police are permitted to make a determination on their own to take someone in for a mental health evaluation—there's no requirement that they first consult with a judge or mental health professional. Bloom believes this is a wise policy. "It's important to remember that this is a civil process," he says. "There's no arrest, these people aren't being taking to jail. It's not a criminal action."

So SWAT teams, guns, and handcuffs...but not a criminal action? And what if Pyles had refused to "voluntarily" surrender to the police? "Well, yes," Bloom says. "I guess then it would become a criminal matter."

If what happened to Pyles is legal, in Oregon or elsewhere, we need to take a second look at the civil commitment power. Even setting aside the SWAT team overkill in Medford, there's something awfully discomfiting about granting government authorities the power to yank someone from their home and drag them in for a mental health evaluation based on a series of actions that were perfectly legal, especially with no prior oversight from a judge, or guidance from a psychiatrist. 

"The idea that Pyles turned himself in voluntarily is ridiculous," says Starrett, the gun rights activist. "There's nothing voluntary about waking up to a SWAT team outside your home, then having a police negotiator call and suggest you surrender. They had no arrest warrant. But Pyles only had one option. If he didn't come out on his own, they were going to come in to get him."

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  • Xeones||

    Well, if he wasn't disgruntled before he certainly is now.

  • ||

    He's probably redirected his anger towards the police.

  • ||

    Everyone should...

  • ||

    The police broke the law. They kidnapped and assaulted this man and robbed his home. The police involved in this should be in prison for life. Why are the names of the Police involved in this posted here. We need to know who these traitors are. Post their names all over the internet. Expose them for the jackels they are. They are violators of the Constitution. They are a danger to the safety and liberty of all Americans. They are not human. they are vermin.

  • ||

    Sorry, I meant why are the names of the police NOT posted here. Who are these police? We need to expose these police thugs for what they are, where everyone can see it. Instead, we post the name of the man who was harmed, and not of the police jackels who violated the Constitution.

  • ||

    Redirecting anger is bad bad for health.. i wouldnt recommend it..

    Instead i recommend
    Bigbooty♥

  • jamesb_bkk@yahoo.com||

    Wondering too if the good Dr. Bloom admitted the errors of his thinking toward the end of the noted exchange. Wow.

  • David||

    why are you calling him good?

  • ||

    They are a danger to the safety and liberty of all Americans. They are not human. they are vermin. how to give a bj | give head

  • ||

    I would definitely be filing as many suits as I could. Just because someone takes advantage of having the money from taxes to purchase weapons doesnot make them a criminal.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest. That could have made things less complicated.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest. That could have made things less complicated.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest. That could have made things less complicated.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest. That could have made things less complicated.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest. That could have made things less complicated.

  • Dubai Hospital||

    Why did they have to send a SWAT team like its a hostage situation or something worse? They could have just sent a bunch of police with a warrant of arrest. That could have made things less complicated

  • ||

    Well you have to admit that was pretty suspicious behavior by Pyle. The police were jsut doing hteir job, all these tea baggers who complain about this are the same conspiracy nuts that had problems with Waco and Ruby Ridge...you know the type... Timothy Mcveigh etc

  • ||

    If alien space creatures in UFOs can come and abduct people, why can't the police? It's only fair.

  • RM||

    And if you didn't have a problem with Waco or Ruby Ridge, you probably believe the ATF is the best thing since sliced bread.

  • ||

    Wow you are truly the definition of an idiot. Why are you reading at Reason.com? You may feel more at home with the other cretinous half-wits reading the drivel from the NewYorkTimes.com! How one can properly respond to such an asinine comment as yours is beyond me.

  • ||

    You guys are over reacting a bit me thinks. Over the last 15 years we have seen serious crime decrease dramatically, but that is only because of all the additional prisoners we have locked away to keep us safe. We have more police than ever...do you really think this is a coincidence? more prisons + more police = safer.

    It is these type of precautions that are helping give us record low crime levels. If were up to the police hating anarchist here we'd go right back to the record crime levels of the 1980's!

  • ||

    Real libertarians like Michael Moynihan and I agree that conspiracy theorist need to be locked up. They are destroying our shared history! This is a real threat, your imagined "violations of freedom" are ridiculous. We are the freeset country ever!

  • RP||

    Are you trolling or willfully ignorant?

  • ||

    yep real libertarians support arresting people for having an opininion. sure they do. and to top it off claiming to live in the "most free country ever" after calling for removal of freedoms is great. made me laugh. you must be new to this whole disinfo thing.

  • ||

    "conspiracy theorist need to be locked up." The only reason why an idiot like this would want them locked up is because of the truth. When one hears a truth they do not want to believe, they attack the person to make them sound like they are a nut and take the focus off the real issue. These are the ones that are a danger to those that have been awaken and they should be the ones who are locked up.

  • ||

    Cosmotarian. The reason crime has been down is because everytime you have a booming economy, the crime rates go down. Now that we've entered Depression 2.0, you will see crime skyrocket and it will have absolutely nothing to do with how many people are in prison. You are clearly clueless.

  • ||

    The local news in Memphis, TN. reports crime is down because of record numbers of new Gun permit holders.

  • ||

    Go ahead and keep living in fear, shill. Your government just LOVES people like you....easy to herd, no dissent, no resistance. You'll be very easy to haul off when the day comes.

  • ew_keane||

    I pray that the charactor behind cosmopolitan overlord gets leporacy, and that all his fingers fall off, and can never post provocative spam again. Trolls, what are you going to do with them?

  • d||

    No one is over reacting. I would completly agree with you if a crime had taken place. But there was no crime nor any intentions of a crime about to be commited.

    If I get fired from a job of course im gonna be disgruntled its part of being human. But when I go home there is still firearms in my house. Does this mean im going to take it out on my previous employer? NO. It means nothing other than the fact that I excerise my second ammendment. You probly have Elect Hillary stickers plastered all over your car and yell at the neighbors when they leave the lights on in rooms they arent using.

    Im gonna go out to the movies tonight probly hopefully they dont arrest me cause im wearing a shirt that says NRA on it.

  • joe absol||

    It means nothing other than the fact that I exercise my second amendment. You probably have Elect Hillary stickers plastered all over your car and yell at the neighbours when they leave the lights on in rooms they aren't using.

  • ||

    How about "More guns, less crime"?
    It's a well documented FACT that concealed carried laws, where citizens are there at the scene to prevent a crime from occurring, are much more effective than police officers who are not.
    It is also a fact that a majority of those "criminals" in prison are not there for violent crimes, but for violating the governments stupid position on marijuana laws.
    Conspiracy theories, really!?
    You mean like that one claiming FDR knew about Pearl Harbor before it happened?

  • ||

    Anyone who cares about civil liberties should have problems with Waco and Ruby Ridge! If you don't have a problem with those incidents, you're thoroughly in the wrong.

  • ||

    If you care about these "incidents" then you are clearly a conspiracy nut.

  • RP||

    And you're a parrot watching TV.

  • ||

    Pray tell, what makes one a conspiracy nut? The word 'conspiracy' doesn't necessarily make it "theory." Get off the mainstream media talking points and marginalizations and start thinking for yourself. I'll bet you'll probably tell me that 'new world order' is still a conspiracy too, won't you?

  • ||

    as was mentioned investigate okay - basically seize him without a warrant - not okay

  • ||

    Cosmo Overlord, you are wacked.

    In Ruby Ridge Weaver went free and was paid millions of dollars because the FedGov faked evidence, shot his dog, shot his 14 year old son in the back as he was fleeing, shot his wife in the head as she held his infant son in her arms, all over trumped up charges.

    Waco was the BATF trying to increase their budget. Fully automatic weapons are legal under Texas law, you have to pay a $200 transfer tax for each one. BATF is a TAX agency, i.e. they make sure the little tax stamp is on every pack of cigarettes, Rum, etc. The final charges brought to bear against the Waco Branch Davidian's was "Child Abuse" a non-Federal crime and not in the Jurisdiction of the BATF, certainly not justifying a raid with machine guns and flash bang grenades against a minor Christian Cult. Note, 96 Americans burned to death in the fire that swept through the Compound. Were they all guilty?

    I though Liberals were for civil Rights and equal Justice for all.

  • ||

    And let us not forget there were several children in that body count of 96. Which group was guilty of "child abuse"? the branch or the government.

  • ||

    All I know for is that its people like you that keep all of us under the boot of the government. If you would turn the dang TV off and read some books for a change you might learn something. Like, how our government is run by the banks for the banks. Learn some truth you dolt, go to INFOWARS.COM or conspiracyplanet.com
    WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • David||

    If they were just doing their job then what was the problem with getting permission from a judge?

    Surely if they were all legaled up a judge would have rubber stamped anything they had planned, no?

  • ||

    Yeah, I know the type...the signatories to The Declaration of Independence and the framers of the Constitution of The United States of America. And yes...I know your type, too!

  • ||

    Instant discredit. The moment you bring name calling into an argument it is proof that you are losing the argument (ad hominem). Commenters take notice Cosmo Over started name calling before he/she/it was even challenged.
    Those who except abuse, justify abuse

  • ||

    It is impressive that your freedom is being stolen right under your nose and you blame tea Partiers who are trying to stop it! Waco was a case of a false religious leader, and Timothy McVeigh was a nut job with low IQ. The 2nd Amendment was not created to defend your right to hunt. They knew how treacherous is a tyrant with power in his hands.You elecred an illegal alien, a muslim whose Q'ran tells him to kill Jews and Christians.

  • John||

    Just doing their job or just doing what they were told is not a valid legal defense for violating the law. This is well established in both the US and international legal system. The most popular example of this defense was with the Germans at the Nuremberg Trials, who claimed innocence due to just doing their jobs.

    All the police involved in this mess are obligated to abide by the LAW just the same as every other person. Being a police officer does not give an individual a free ticket to become a law breaker.

  • Aaron||

    Yeah, what a bunch of conspiracy nuts.
    The government should be able to burn people alive or shoot women holding babies without fear of retribution.

    Don't know what kind of nut would have a problem with that.

  • ||

    You mean, in your worldview, someone has to be a nut to have a problem with children being burned alive (Waco) or a mother being shot in the head by a sniper while holding a baby in her arms (Ruby Ridge)? Wow.

  • Troll-o-meter||

    hehehe...

  • ||

    The question I want answered is this: Was he a troofer? If so, then this is all completely justified.

  • jg||

    Ok, Janet. I guessing your starting the new pre-crime agency. Pre-crime slogan: "We arrest those who think of doing anything unlawful without any proof to keep you and your family safe from freedom."

  • Papa||

    KangTimeLord is that you trolling away from Youtube? Come clean, I know it's you. Everyone, he's a paid shill.

  • ||

    If you're NOT a 'troofer' then you're a bigger idiot than I thought! You are SO FAR beyond stupid it's ridiculous! SIX of the people on the 9/11 commission don't believe the "official" count! Man, go check this like with all these conspiracy kooks!

    http://georgewashington2.blogs.....erous.html

  • ||

    I guess I'm a bigger idiot...who has experience with explosives and the USAF, and knows for a fact that planes crashed into those buildings and led to pancaking.

    Go ahead, quote the stuff about "free fall velocity" and "jet fuel doesn't burn that hot" and all the other drooling idiocy, that I may mock you.

  • ben||

    How many planes have crashed through bulidings leading to the building to freefall an hour later?

  • ...||

    Governor Ventura was a Navy Seal with explosives training and he does not agree with your assessment.

  • ||

    Pancaking cannot account for a series of debris being ejected from the building, moving down the building at a rate that exceeds terminal velocity. But explosives going off in series are subject to the speed of the fuse, not gravity.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    We needed a second page for that?

  • The Realist||

    Hits = Ad Revenue

  • WTF||

    Even more imporant - was he left wing, or right wing? We need to know which particular group to vilify, as this one person clearly should be held up as a prime example, representative of all who share any iota of his political beliefs.

  • Nitori Kawashiro||

    "Lone nut with a gun": he must be rightwing! No, no, FAR rightwing.

  • ||

    Public worker union member who filed a grievance -- gotta be a left wing nut. (/snark)

    The guns are irrelevant -- lots of people in South Oregon who own guns regardless of political ideology.

    I'm guessing his CURRENT political ideology has taken a sharp turn toward libertarianism, at least where civil liberties are involved.

  • George||

    Pyles' problems began last June after a series of grievances with his employer, the Oregon Department of Transportation. "This was always a professional thing for me," he says. "It was never personal. We were handling the grievances through the process stipulated in the union contract." Pyles declined to discuss the nature of the complaints, citing stipulations in his contract.

    Union -- so must be left-wing nutcase, then ;-)

  • Nitori Kawashiro||

    Never! Look back at the 20th century: leftwingers didn't hurt a fly. They murdered 100,000,000 humans, but they never hurt any flies. If he's a lone nut with a gun he's rightwing. Period. Now my fingers are going in my ears *lah lah lah can't hear you!!!*

  • ||

    His political beliefs are irrelevant. What is important is that if the police can do that to him in his State, they can do it in yours, they can do it to you. A lawsuit in this case is not only necessary, it is mandatory to protect his and every other citizens rights.

  • ||

    Should the police be able to apprehend someone who has committed no crime and take them in for a mental evaluation without judicial oversight or consultation with a mental health professional?

    Not only no, but FUCK NO!

  • ||

    J sub, J sub, J sub (paternalistic sigh of exasperation) -- postemptively arresting people is SO 20th century.

    Pre-emptive use of force is the new conservatism.

  • ||

    Exactly whose "conservatism" are you referring to? It certainly is not mine. From reading some of these comments I gather that alot of moronic liberals seem to be on this website for some reason? So if you fit the bill, the term "Libertarian" does not mean "Liberal", in case you need to know.

  • ||

    "Moronic liberals" doesn't not even come close to adequately summarizing the insanely high levels imbecility here. These fkn robots are still in denial that anything nefarious goes on in govt. They're too busy playing the left/right game to realize that both parties are one in the same. Government LOVES people like this! They take any form of 'dissent' as radical extremism, but will happily go along getting financially raped as the police state builds up around them, while STILL demonizing anyone who shows dissatisfaction.

  • ||

    Some idiotic philosophy professor at Cornell once gave a speech about how society should reject the idea of personal responsibility for crimes and free will. I say idiotic, because the professor actually thought that this would lead society to be easier in its treatment of criminals, whereas I pointed out that under such beliefs a society would be perfectly justified in arresting people before crimes were committed, if the probability of crime were judged sufficiently high.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Some idiotic philosophy professor at Cornell once gave a speech about how society should reject the idea of personal responsibility for crimes and free will.


    Who was this professor?

    I say idiotic, because the professor actually thought that this would lead society to be easier in its treatment of criminals, whereas I pointed out that under such beliefs a society would be perfectly justified in arresting people before crimes were committed, if the probability of crime were judged sufficiently high.


    So true.

    Amazing how smart people can be so dumb.

  • ||

    Government preventing you from being a victim of a crime is considered a good thing by some people.

    But they never really think it through. More people would be falsely accused, thus victims of the government.

  • ||

    "Amazing how smart people can be so dumb."

    There is a difference between 'educated' and 'smart'.

  • wylde bill||

    There is a difference between 'educated' and 'smart'.

    Exactly. "Garbage in, garbage out." We should shut down all the state indoctrination centers above grade-school level so people can learn to think for themselves...

  • Ratko||

    Sometimes a very large amount of education is required before a smart person can be made stupid.

  • kiyo||

    +1

  • The Fourth Amendment||

    "Should the police be able to apprehend someone who has committed no crime and take them in for a mental evaluation without judicial oversight or consultation with a mental health professional?"

    NO!

  • T||

    Because a group of individuals with higher than average rates of alcohol abuse, suicide, and spousal abuse is the same group of individuals that should get to decide I'm not acting normal and haul me in for an evaluation. Mmm. Tasty, tasty irony.

    Do you drink to excess? Do you beat your wife? Do you have thoughts of suicide? No? We're taking you in, buddy. There's obviously something not right about you.

  • ||

    Or, we're hiring you. Your choice.

  • ||

    +1 Cops believe "civilians" are the defectives. This is why cops only friends are other cops.

  • ||

    Infuriating but not surprising. One of the tacks that the anti-gun wackos are taking is to turn gun owners into social pariahs. Even though the man was released and the guns returned, I imagine some neighbors and potential employers are skittish about him.

  • ||

    Of course they would be. An arrest without a conviction is enough to lose a job, or better said, enough to never get it in the first place.

  • ||

    There was a fellow on the news tonight who does private security for a local gated community. He was very clear about stating that not only do they BC all their residents, but if a current resident is ARRESTED (not necessarily convicted) he's evicted. Scary, huh?

  • Almanian||

    "It's important to remember that this is a civil process"

    Maybe "civil" in the legal sense, but certainly seems "uncivilized" when I try to envision being the gentleman holed up in his house on the phone with the Swatzis outside.

    Sumbitch this stuff is scary. As always, THANKS Radley, for brightening my day!

    Seriously, thanks for the excellent digging on these types of things, without which we'd be much less informed. Thanks

  • ||

    Ummm, this story didn't take much digging to find. It was one of the lead stories on my Roadrunner home page a day or two ago.

  • Joshua||

    I just had the entire first half of Full Metal Jacket run through my head. "What is your major malfunction numbnuts?"

    I wonder if this Pyle was ever a private...

  • ||

    We needed a second page for that?

    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who notices.

  • ||

    idiotic philosophy professor

    Is there any other kind?

  • Zeb||

    Yes. Those in fields that don't come in contact with social studies or politics can be quite reasonable and interesting.

  • ||

    One backfiring car or a neighbors' slammed door and this bastard's house might have been riddled.

  • ||

    Should the police be able to apprehend someone who has committed no crime and take them in for a mental evaluation without judicial oversight or consultation with a mental health professional?

    Just some background, from someone who deals with these periodically:

    The consultation with a mental health professional occurs when they are taken in for evaluation. Nobody will give an psych opinion on someone they haven't seen. So there's no way to get the psych eval before the person is detained.

    In Texas, a deputy can arrest someone if they have a warrant or probable cause to believe they are an imminent danger to themselves or others, and take them in for a psych eval (this is known as "emergency detention"). The eval has to be done within 48 hours. If the eval isn't done in that time, or the psychologist doesn't opine that they are a danger, they walk.

    Really, we're looking at a warrantless arrest based on probable cause, which is hardly limited to mental health cases.

  • ||

    A warrantless arrest still requires an actual crime. Small detail.

  • gritsly||

    Really, we're looking at a warrantless arrest based on probable cause, which is hardly limited to mental health cases

    Where is the probable cause? Am i missing it? Nothing he did seems to rise to that level.

  • ||

    "probable cause to believe they are an imminent danger to themselves or others"

    "imminent" in this case being defined as, at home asleep in his bed.

  • ||

    Buying 5 guns = probable cause.

    That's the jist I'm getting at least.

  • RM||

    Three guns.

    Also, I don't see them taking in everybody who's ever bought 3 guns at the same time.

  • Zeb||

    No, its buying 5 guns + just got fired from a government job = probable cause.

  • George||

    Adminstrative leave -- required to work from home.

    Not fired, RTFA!

  • ||

    Well, yeah, that seems to be the problem here.

    Just for grins, this is what the Texas statute says:

    Sec. 573.001. APPREHENSION BY PEACE OFFICER WITHOUT WARRANT. (a) A peace officer, without a warrant, may take a person into custody if the officer:

    (1) has reason to believe and does believe that:

    (A) the person is mentally ill; and

    (B) because of that mental illness there is a substantial risk of serious harm to the person or to others unless the person is immediately restrained; and

    (2) believes that there is not sufficient time to obtain a warrant before taking the person into custody.

    (b) A substantial risk of serious harm to the person or others under Subsection (a)(1)(B) may be demonstrated by:

    (1) the person's behavior; or

    (2) evidence of severe emotional distress and deterioration in the person's mental condition to the extent that the person cannot remain at liberty.

    (c) The peace officer may form the belief that the person meets the criteria for apprehension:

    (1) from a representation of a credible person; or

    (2) on the basis of the conduct of the apprehended person or the circumstances under which the apprehended person is found.

    I don't think this even comes close.

    Of course, I thought that the seizure of the fundamentalist Mormon kids last year didn't come close to the statutory standard. Of course, that time I was right.

  • ||

    because of that mental illness there is a substantial risk of serious harm to the person or to others unless the person is immediately restrained; and

    (2) believes that there is not sufficient time to obtain a warrant before taking the person into custody.

    At home asleep at 5 am -- hmmm, I'd say that leaves sufficient time to obtain a warrant.

    I could see posting a team of police officers to watch the residence while the warrant was obtained, (which should take all of 20 minutes or so to wake up a judge and get his signature) but fucking ASLEEP is not "imminent" danger by any reasonable standard I can think of.

  • ||

    "but fucking ASLEEP is not "imminent" danger by any reasonable standard I can think of."

    Maybe those cops should be given mental evaluations, after they take away the guns...

  • crenata||

    ...not that a warrant is always based on probable cause or any other so called exigent circumstance. Cops lie. A lot. I wonder how many warrants are just rubber-stamped pieces of crap.

  • ||

    "I wonder how many warrants are just rubber-stamped pieces of crap."

    All of them?

  • Greer||

    This says that we are counting on the police to determine the mental health of the population. It, like the entirety of psychiatry, it very subjective and based on opinion. And as was said before, a guy sleeping in his bed doesn't seem to rise to this level of response.

  • T||

    (1) from a representation of a credible person; or

    Hearsay may be inadmissable in court, but it's sufficient to get your ass locked up! Whee!

  • ||

    Well, since it's a law, it must be right. 'Cause, you know, there are no bad or unconstitutional laws.

  • ||

    first they came for the gruntled, and I said nothing
    Than they came for the merely disaffedted, and I said nothing
    Than they came for the truly disgruntled, and I said nothing.
    Than they came for disgruntled, and I said nothing.
    Than they came for the cantankerous, curmudgenlly innertube porn addict and sometime Reason reader, and I said, Ow! them cuffs is too tight!"

  • ||

    How's your mental health going to be after the swat team drags you into the hospital at 5AM?

  • ||

    ""How's your mental health going to be after the swat team drags you into the hospital at 5AM?""

    Angry.

    Well there you go, he's a threat.

  • TXLimey||

    Kudos to Mr. Balko for the great follow up work. I wasn't ready to condemn the police based on the scant information available when this story was first reported, but based on this what happened to this guy was outrageous in the extreme. While I wouldn't support criminal prosecutions of the officers who carried out the raid, whoever ordered it should lose their job at the very least.

  • T||

    Fuck that. Criminal prosecution from top to bottom of the chain of command. The only way you get people to change their behavior is to hold them accountable. If the cops don't want to go to jail, maybe they shouldn't engage in bullshit like this. Send a few of them down for 5 to 10 and the rest will get the hint.

  • ||

    They violated the law, as posted above. They should be subjected to criminal charges.

    Not gonna happen, but that's what SHOULD happen in a better, more libertarian society.

  • ||

    Not criminal prosecution, MENTAL EVALUATIONS just like any other irrationally acting government employee with access to guns.

  • hmm||

    "Well, yes," Bloom says. "I guess then it would become a criminal matter."

    Completely voluntary until you say no.

  • gritsly||

    'bout as voluntary as my "donation" to an armed mugger. :/

  • RM||

    +1

  • ||

    As voluntary as your federal income tax. And watch armed thugs take you down if you're four cents short.

  • ||

    .

  • JD||

    Two points to take away from this (which you should have known already):

    1. The police lie. Never trust what the police say.

    2. To our glorious masters, anything you do not literally physically have to be forced into, like having your arm forced behind your back so you can be handcuffed, is "voluntary". (See also "voluntary" filing of tax returns for a similar usage.) The term is meaningless when it comes to government.

  • ||

    "1. The police lie. Never trust what the police say."

    STFU conspiracy tinfoil hatter. There is no way they could keep a conspiracy like that secret. The media in this country is free and they are highly incentized to find the truth and make it front page news..your conspiracies also violate Occam's razor. Maybe the guy was a nutcase and needed to be roughed up to learn a good lesson.

  • ||

    OMG, you dumbass lemming robot! Please tell me you are not that clueless! Do you need a lesson in police corruption, government collusion/conspiracy, or false flag ops? Just keep paying your taxes, drinking your fluoridated water, and going through airport naked body scanners. Baaaaa......

  • ben||

    You mean like the gulf of tonkin incident, tuskgee experiments, the man-made global warming scam.

    Free media? The only free media is the internet and that is why governments want to regulate it.

  • FutureSerf||

    They probably did it for the children. That makes it OK, right....right?

  • Ratko||

    Children are potential adult humans, anything done in their name at adult human's expense is done equally to children.

  • ||

    Now I bet he's really disgruntled. They better go arrest put him in voluntary custody again.

  • hurly buehrle||

    See, this is why it's important to pay more attention to the minority reports of the pre-cogs. Mistakes can still be made.

  • ||

    """Bloom believes this is a wise policy. "It's important to remember that this is a civil process," he says. ""

    Since when does a civil process involve a SWAT team?

  • Joel||

    They're expensive, and sexy. You got'em, you're gonna use'em.

  • ||

    And apparently even when there's "no time" to get a warrant, there's still plenty of time to round up a dozen or so of these good old boys, have 'em gear up, lock and load, meet you outside of town for a little fun.

  • ||

    Minority Report would be a far better movie if it had ended thirty minutes earlier.

  • Mad Max||

    As long as we could still predict the ending.

  • ||

    So watch it, and shut it off 30 minutes early.

  • T||

    No, you're thinking of AI. Good lord, did that drag on well past the point where they should have killed it.

    Huh. Just like the Helliconia books, coincidentally written by Brian Aldiss. I gotta stop reading/watching him.

  • Greer||

    You are stressing the gun aspect of this story. It is the psychiatric aspect that is truly scary. Finding yourself in the hands of a psychiatrist who has not idea what mental illness is and has no idea what to do with it other than drug it would probably send me over the edge. And to be there involuntarily without recourse and without rights is truly a Kafka-esque scene. If he says I'm nuts, I'm nuts. Even if I'm more sane than he is, which is probably the case more often than not.

  • Zeb||

    You're nuts.

  • Greer||

    Come and get me.

  • ||

    Wait a minute...if, "There's nothing wrong with [the cops] looking for signs that someone is about to snap, and if he's putting up multiple red flags, we'd certainly want law enforcement to investigate, possibly to chat with the person and his friends and family," then what is the big deal here? The cops decided to treat Pyles' behavior as constituting the erection of several "red flags," and so they took him in to "chat" with him as part of their "investigat[ion]"; so what?

    I personally find Radley's frequent concessions to piggish authority a regular source of irritation. Personally, I don't want the cops to be empowered to determine that I am a "red flag" suspect and "investigate" me at their whim. I want the cops to be restricted to investigating actual crimes that actually occur in the infraction of legitimate laws. If they go beyond that even one inch, I not only don't want concessions made to their sensibilities, I want them smashed like a bug that wandered onto a blacksmith's anvil!

  • ||

    Police = Federal bailout of the donut industry.

  • ||

    """There's nothing wrong with [the cops] looking for signs that someone is about to snap, and if he's putting up multiple red flags, we'd certainly want law enforcement to investigate, possibly to chat with the person and his friends and family," then what is the big deal here?""

    Wasn't that the lesson learned from the Ft. Hood shootings? It's bad to ignore the red flags.

  • ||

    I thought the lesson of the Fort Hood shootings was that it was a bad idea to be caught without the tools to defend yourself. Especially on a military base.

  • Byron||

    This.

  • ||

    He surrendered voluntarily? It reminds me of Sen. Harry Reid's claim that taxes are paid voluntarily!

    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yWwg

    Orwell was clueless!

  • ||

    On Friday the Medford Police Department put out a second press release, this time announcing that the agency had returned the "disgruntled" worker's guns, and "now considers this matter closed.

    That seems unlikely.

    It seems quite likely that the Medford PD considers this case closed.

    The attorneys who Pyles is almost certain to hire will likely take a different POV on the closedness.

  • ||

    "I want these law enforcement officials held personally responsible," Leuenberger says. "I want them criminally charged."

    Not gonna happen, but I suspect the lawyer will get a bigger settlement in exchange for dropping the criminal complaint of kidnapping.

    Interesting opening offer for negotiations.

  • ||

    I agree it's not going to happen. Not because of a settlement, but because the system is gamed to cover their ass when they stretch the line.

    Cops kill innocent people often, yet they rarely are convicted of a crime when charged. Often they are not charged with a crime.

  • Asmodai||

    The most disturbing aspect of this to my way of thinking is how few members of the general populace think that there is anything wrong with the entire scenario.

    It should be completely irrelevant how you feel about guns - the man did not break a single law, statute, or regulation. And he was rousted out of his house at 05:50 by a friggin’ SWAT team.

    Unfortunately, the irrational fear of firearms that many individuals possess will shape their attitudes towards stories of this nature. Little do they realize that if the SWAT team can come to your door when no law has been broken in this case, they can come to your door when no law has been broken regarding virtually any situation.

  • ANON||

    America has lost its way. The new Rome shall fall just as the old.

  • ||

    well sure we have some problems now, but this is nothing new. The 30's were bad and look how we came back from that with keynsianism and WW2! we were awesome...adn the 70's seemed bad but then we had Volcker and Reagan who defeated the communsit by outspending them! we can do it again! If we have to start a really big war to get everyone working together again then god bless Israel! We can defeat these muslims! In it to win it, BABY!!! GO AMERICA

  • ||

    This is chilling. I don't have a link to the stats but I read once that about 40% of Oregon households have at least one gun, most likely a hunting rifle. That number is probably higher in southern and eastern Oregon.

    Also, OR is a conceal and carry state and I "think" - sorry, once again no link to stats - about 250,000 residents have a conceal carry permit.

    Throw in all the bow hunters, guys walking around with legal blades, and the high unemployment rate and that's a lot of "disgruntled" ex-workers bureaucratic rent seekers can target.

    Chilling.

  • Greer||

    Chilling is the best description.

  • ||

    You want chilling, I have three dogs who would have announced the presence of the SWAT team well in advance of any phone call I might have received.

    Imagine, if you will, peaking out a window and seeing a bunch of guys dressed in dark clothing moving toward your house...

    I don't think it would have ended well at my household.

    The cops were lucky with this one.

  • AJs||

    This really came down to someone looking to make a big name for themselves. If they were really concered about this guy and not about making headlines, they would have sent over a social worker to knock on his door and try to talk to him for a bit. This would have been a fraction of the cost of what they paid to the officers for thier overtime, hazard pay, etc - although not nearly as sensational.

    Truth is more likely that this action was not in fact not concern about his well-being or the saftey others, rather it was about making a sexy, splashy headline about xyz-sheriff/whomever is doing to protect your community. They probably had the press release typed up and sitting on the fax machine waiting to send BEFORE they drove over to his house. Clearly backfired.

  • ||

    All about making a headline? Doesn't that remind you of a guy named Koresh who could have been arrested as he walked the streets without BBQing a single kid?

  • HeadTater||

    Does anyone else find it interesting that he filed a grievance against his government employer and that is why he was labeled a disgruntled worker? Let's see, he files a complaint against a government agency then the police come and harass him. I see no coincidence.

  • crenata||

    My thoughts also, among many others.
    Grievance against gov agency automatically = disgruntled.
    It's part of the conditioning of the masses.

  • ||

    I bettha' there is not a single case that anyone could find, like this one, where it was a 'protected class' person that was treated this way!
    He's a non-protected class White middle-class male a.k.a., third class citizen now.
    Let's see just how many in Compton will be treated this way. Let me guess... ZERO!

  • ||

    Wasn't that the lesson learned from the Ft. Hood shootings? It's bad to ignore the red flags.

    No, the lesson learned was the officers protect other officers for behavior that would get enlisted men kicked to the curb. The Ft. Hood shooter should have been kicked out of the Army look before the shooting not becuase he was a potential threat, but becuase he sucked as an officer.

  • ||

    He would have been sent packing if he had been a line officer rather that a medical officer.

  • ||

    If this same sort of behavior by our government officials becomes prolific and habitual, whether it be by local, State, or Federal police agencies, we may find ourselves moving to Iran to find some sort of freedom. This mans political beliefs are irrelevant. A successful lawsuit is paramount to prevent this gross usurpation of power from happening again, whether in Oregon or any other State. I for once in my life hope that the tax-payers pay dearly for this one. With any justice the police officers involved will be convicted of kidnapping among other various offenses against Mr. Pyles.

  • CE||

    Forget the civil lawsuit -- press charges:

    Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
    Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

    This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S....

    Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both...

  • ||

    That would be so sweet!

  • crenata||

    Well yeah, it would be. Except regular folks like us can't "press charges." So good luck with that. Anyway, there are likely exemptions for the cops et al.
    That isn't sweet.

  • ||

    IF THERE IS ANY JUSTICE IN THE WORLD THEN THAT OREGON TOWN IS GOING TO LEARN THAT "SUE" IS ALSO A VERB

  • ||

    Damn. Even your name is loud.

  • ||

    Absolutely the definition of jackbooted thugs! What is the difference between this overzealous bunch of yahoos and the Nazis? Answer: NOTHING! Stand up for your rights before it is too late.

  • ||

    Great work, Balko.

    No, he hadn't committed a crime. Of course, he was not investigated for one, and that was not the purpose of the police presence.

    There was no search warrant nor one for arrest. Yet the courts and the mental health structures of the state still provide oversight as well as the services to the person in question, as the event transpires. So what we are left with is,

    No crime.
    No conviction or punishment.
    No incarceration.
    No Penalties.
    No Treatment.

    And no dead people. Not one. Which leaves me with two final questions, Balko:

    1. You know that the 2nd Amendment doesn't do me a damn bit of good when I'm a dead ODOT worker or mall customer, right?

    1. For all the bluster, omission and fill, you've offered nothing for remedy. Did you want to make mental illness matters criminal and part of a permanent record for people? You know, to protect our rights?

  • JV||

    No incarceration? What is being handcuffed, stuffed into a police vehicle, and subsequently held at Police HQ against your will?

    No penalties? Being scared out of your mind, the negative stigma of false accusations, the cost of legal representation to protect yourself and your rights. I could go on.

    A far less violent and far more civil intervention would have accomplished the goal of verifying the man was not a danger. For instance, the Psych doc could stop by during business hours for a chat over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Or, if the doc is uncomfortable with that, a phone call to schedule an appointment at his office. Or, ...

    In the end, the use of violence in this situation is obscene.

  • ||

    come on when did this nation turn into a bunch of wussies...we used to waterboard each other in my treehouse for fun when we were kids. DK is right, no harm no foul. We need to keep the precautionary principle in mind when it comes to conspiracy nuts running around with guns.

  • ||

    Spoken as one that was never accountable for the outcome.

    Seriously, if you've a better plan, the state of Oregon is listening.

  • ||

    "A far less violent and far more civil intervention would have accomplished the goal of verifying the man was not a danger. For instance, the Psych doc could stop by during business hours for a chat over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Or, if the doc is uncomfortable with that, a phone call to schedule an appointment at his office."

    Why are you taking this fool's bait? Not even the authoritarian coprophages who abused Pyles ever suggested that they suspected him of suffering from an adverse psychological condition of any kind. They were much more forthcoming, and even admitted that they had been put up to this by Pyles' employers. How is it that you would contemplate this fellow being harassed by a state psychiatrist as somehow appropriate?

    I am curious to know, JV, if I were to call the cops and describe you as "disgruntled" (or "purple," "triangular," "communist," "reductionist," "sauteed," or what have you) with DK, and opine that you may have the potential to "retaliate" against him, do you feel that the cops should be allowed to track you down through your ISP and force you to entertain a state psychiatrist in your home? Should you be summoned to a state psychiatrist's office for examination? Believe me, this is precisely how the state apparatuses used to work behind the Iron Curtain (for the "good" of their citizens, of course). I am disappointed to see you make such concessions to the mindless, abjectly moronic, Statist drivel offered by this DK.

  • ||

    JV is not statist. He is a pragmatist. You gun nuts and conspiracy mongers make the rest of us libertarians look like loons. You really think the DOT and the polic get together in smoke filled rooms and decide who they are going to do SWAT raids on....how many people would have to keep this type of illegal activity secret?! Occam's razor morons...study it. That guy deserved to be SWAT teamed.

  • ||

    No, Moron, they do not seek refuge in smoke-filled rooms; by their own admission, they merely call each other on the phone when they wish to finger someone. There is no need for them to keep this type of activity secret, for even when they pursue it without attempting any cover to their collusion, morons like you fail to find any significance in it.

  • ||

    Sure and the illuminati decides when someone is getting on their bad list and they make "the call" and that is how these SWAT raids come about. You people are so paranoid...you will come up with ANY theory no matter how crazy to avoid understanding that sometimes the police just make simple mistakes, no harm no foul.

  • jacob||

    That guy deserved to be SWAT teamed.

    Because....he was disgruntled?

  • crenata||

    Please...allegedly disgruntled. Decided by whomever. (Or whoever. Whatever.)

  • ||

    Does anyone else suspect it was the gradual encroachments like this which led to the 'disappearances' in Stalinist Russia and other totalitarian states being able to be kept quiet?

    Why is this not front page news in every newspaper in the country?

  • ||

    No, Tim, I do not suspect this; I know it for a fact! My extended family includes one of the earliest founders of the Solidarity Movement (who became a political prisoner under the first round of martial law in Poland), and two former inmates of Soviet gulags. My wife's cousin is now heralded as a Hero of the Polish Republic, after having wasting more than a decade of his life as a political prisoner in the Stalinist system. Two of my relatives were arrested in SWAT-style raids very similar to the one in which Pyles was arrested (let's not indulge any absurd pretenses about this; Pyles WAS arrested and incarcerated). Their arrests were purportedly for the purpose of performing psychiatric evaluations, but they soon became lost within the state's "civil justice" apparatus and did not breathe free air for many years thereafter. I agree with you, this should be front page news everywhere in the country.

  • ||

    I love how all these paranoid loons have delusions of grandeur because they are descendants of Thomas Paine or Thor or some mythologicl polish freedom hero. This country is the definition of freedom. We(along with Israel) are the throne on the hill, we spread democracy throughout the world. People hate us for our freedom. If you think we are not free then go live in Iran and see how "free" you are!

  • ||

    "Why is this not front page news in every newspaper in the country?"

    Because most of us aren't conspiracy gun nuts and have nothing to fear. If you don't like our freedom fries then go to Somalia and see how you like your anarchy.

  • ||

    This article leaves me disgruntled if I'm still allowed to say so.

  • Corkie the Dog||

    I recently finished watching the movie "The Changeling", where the Los Angeles Police Dept. forcibly sent a woman for "psychological evaluation", because she was embarrasing the local police. It's based on a true story, from the 1920's or so, and is directed by Clint Eastwood.

    I had thought that such things couldn't happen anymore -- guess I was wrong.

    Sincerely,
    Corkie the Dog

  • ||

    More than any other branch, I blame the US Supreme Court for its blatant disregard of the US Constitution/Bill of Rights. Playing "devil's advocate", I'd suggest that Terry vs Ohio might be stretched enough to cover Oregon's seizure of Pyle and his weapons by its swat team without probable cause, and the state's warrantless searches of his home and psyche. The PROBLEM here, and in many "elsewheres",is precipitated by the self-appointed "concerned" 3rd party "whiner"...such whiners inevitably hijack the coercive power of the state to further their own interests. I think justice requires including criminal proceedings against such 3rd party, as well as presentation of the psychiatrist's bill to them for payment!

  • wylde bill||

    The incident reflects what is essentially wrong with civil commitment in the first place. People are locked up for imaginary crimes, for an indeterminate period of time, simply because the person imagining the crimes happens to have a degree and is a member of a social elite.

    Who is Thomas Szsaz? Who is John Galt?

  • wylde bill||

    The incident reflects what is essentially wrong with civil commitment in the first place. People are locked up for imaginary crimes, for an indeterminate period of time, simply because the person imagining the crimes happens to have a degree and is a member of a social elite.

    Who is Thomas Szsaz? Who is John Galt?

  • ||

    Thomas Szsaz was a crackpot. Sure some people have problems they can fix, but nothing fixes things up better than some pills from pharmaceutical companies and we need to classify everyones mental problems as diseases so that people can get their insurance to cover them. With the outrageous health care costs we have to make sure everyone gets more insurance.

  • Ratko||

    A big black boot stomping on a disgruntled employee's face - forever.

  • ||

    The 1984 Thought Police have arrived.

  • ||

    These police think they can do anything. They live some where, their kids go to school somewhere, they step outside to barbque sometime. The system will support and and protect them at all costs. People should take a lesson at how police officers in mexico are treated.

  • Willard||

    Phil K. Dick was a true visionary...with pre-crime policing and all.....

  • ||

    There used to be that annoying little document called the Constitution that kept the authorities from this sort of behavior.
    The could of, would of, should of policy could apply to anyone of us and any particular point in time.
    We can be assured by our very nature of waking up in the morning we are violating some sort of federal, state, or local government law.
    Many Americans have become hysterical, terrified, paranoid individuals any time the see or hear anyone with a firearm.
    "!Heee haaaasss aaa aaaa guuunnnnn!" And before ya know it, this guy who had probably planned to use his income tax refund to purchase a number of firearms that he had wanted and had to wait till he got them money is put under suscpicon for "!Heee haaaasss aaa aaaa guuunnnnn!"
    Many people declare that Tea Party citizens are a paranoid lot. I'm sorry seeing Americans of the Liberal persuasion react when the see, "!Heee haaaasss aaa aaaa guuunnnnn!" is nothing short of mass induced hysteria. And all of a sudden some poor innocent sap has been charged, tried, and convicted in the court of public opinion even before the police show up on his doorstep.
    Should he now be upset, damn right, as an American he has that right, but there again, that nasty little document called the Constitution still gets in the way doesn't it.
    So I guess hysterical Oregonians will now go after some person burning leaves in their yard and hold them responsible for the mass murder of some bug.
    What crazy hysterical fools some people have been turned into.

  • ||

    I would say "Its starting!" Does anyone remember what happend in Germany? They chose "random" people, people they thought would be against them in some way, and they came to there house and took them away. Except it was never to be seen again back then. Are we going to allow this to happen to us? Are we just going to stand aside and let them come and tyake our neighbors? WAKE UP PEOPLE! The green coats are coming! The green coats are comming!

  • ||

    wow, being a biker, and being in a club, im just waiting to see how many other towns jump on this to justify raiding clubhouses. cops are sure quick to scare the public with the trumped up press releases saying "many weapons were seaszed" but neglect to mention that most if not all were legal and returned.

  • Henry Wright||

    I'm just glad that it wasn't me that they came after. I would be dead because I would have told them to get real, or some other words that I can't say here.
    That was a great miscarraige of justice. The person ordering that raid should be brought to trial. H/W.

  • Redpill||

    James Leuenberger is correct in saying that the police involved in this egregious violation of David Pyles constitutional rights should be punished. Unfortunately, the law as it currently is protects them. We need new laws that would have them stripped naked, put in a pillory, and perverts be ENCOURAGED to bugger them. Anyone giving them comfort would also receive similar punishment. After witnessing the first such punishment, the police would be careful to respect the rights of the citizenry.

  • ||

    Hey! No fair! Why should perverts be the only ones to get any satisfaction?

  • JP||

    I had something like this happen to me. I have a carry conceal license and I was actually detained overnight, but never actually arrested. By three teams of police aiming guns at me, after I was run off the road by a local drunk. My personal gun was seized and destroyed, and my service truck was towed and damaged. It was a case of complete incompetence by deputies. However, whenever a government employee is involved there is always the protection of immunity and coverup (destruction of the records).

  • ||

    This happened to me over a decade ago. During a lunchtime arguement with my former spouse. While I did not use violence against her. I did break a planter and tip over a chair, prior to leaving. This also occurred not in the same room as my former spouse, and yes I fully admit it was immature on my part. I then left and returned to my employer's. When I returned 6 hours later all my spouses belongings were gone as were all my guns and ammo, with nothing more than a police officers business card laying in my open gun cabinet. I called the number and got voice mail. I called 911 and explained that my guns were missing and that a business card had been left. I was polite, courteous, and professional. I was told they would contact the officer in question and have him contact me. I received no phone call again until 2:30 in the morning, when I heard a noise outside my ground floor apartment bedroom window, A Maglite hit the front door and the phone ring all at the same time. I went to the front door and opened it in nothing more than a T shirt and underwear. I immeadiately had a shotgun in my face, another officer was to my left and pointing a large caliber handgun at my head. I could also see another officer with a long gun with optics covering me from an elevated position across my parking area. The SWAT team had arrived with an armored vehicle and three to four other patrol cars. More officers than I could count. They placed me in the prone and cuffed me, searched my apartment, and specifically asked me about the location of every handgun that I had ever purchased in my life. Of which I had sold most over the years. They informed me I was not under arrest but that they would be taking me in for a mental health evaluation, they marched me in my underwear out to a patrol car and placed me in the backseat. They did grab some of my jeans which they placed in the trunk of the car. I was then driven to a local hospital, to a part of it I had never seen. I was taken to a room with a single gurney and large heavy metal door. The room contained about half a dozen of these doors, most of which were closed. I could hear one person talking to himself from one of the door followed by occasional wailing. I was told that if I was cooperative I would not be restrained to the gurney. My vitals were taken by a nurse under the supervison of the officer that transported me and hospital security. I was also administered a breath analyzer, which came out 0.0. Since I was not aggressive, nor displayed any "attitude", the police officer and security officer went about their way. The nurse was pleasant and allowed me to put my pants on, as well as leaving the heavy steel door open and conversating with me thru the night. By 7:00am a "evaluator" came by and started out "interview". after about 30 minutes of asking me why I thought I was there and if I thought I was a threat to civil society. I informed him that I need to notify my employer that I would not be arriving at work. they refused to allow me to speak to my employer, but would allow me to have the nurse contact them. Not exactly what I wanted, and somewhat frustrating but I lacked alternatives at this point. The interview continued, to the point they asked if I would give a blood sample. At this point I refused saying I gave a breathalyzer, I have answered all their question, and I have cooperated thru this entire process. I informed them I was just going to get up and walk out. The "evaluator, then told me they could hold me up to three days, I wished him luck with that, made it clear in no uncertain terms, with a rational and calm voice that my cooperation was over and to either lock me up as a loon or let me go. Soon they had a cab waiting for me to take me home. It took another week to get my guns back from the police. They made me come to them to pick them up. They took all my guns and ammo including some collectibles passed down from my grandfather, and just dumped them all on a metal cart in a big pile. from that I loaded them into my car. The nurse who called my employer stated everything she knew of my situation to my manager. about a month later, I was let go do to "downsizing". I honestly don't know if it was related, but I can't help thinking it sure didnt help. My apartment complex didnt wait so long. My lease was exping and I was notified within three days that they would not be renewing it. I called the police department involved to register a complaint. Their Internal Affairs group found no wrong doing and dismissed the complaint. I persisted, and eventually do to my attempts to contact them prior to the SWAT deployment, was allowed to meet with the scene commander, who apologized to me how things happened. Stating that they received my attempts at contact afterwards, but due to the circumstances of being deployed at another scene where they actually shot someone. They were unaware of my attempts to contact them before leaving the first scene and deploying at my house. The officer offered to call my apartment complex and try to straighten my lease out, but I refused, IMO the damage in the relationship with management and my neighbors was not going to be undone. As I left I realized this is normal operating procedure for the department, and that thru my stupid immature fit of anger at inanimate objects, I got exposed to a SWAT team that had just shot a guy not 30 minutes before they raider my home. There was no crime committed, there was no warrant, I have all my guns. Nedless to say it was an eye opening experience.

  • ||

    The Medford, Oregon, police department, the Roseburg sheriff's department and the Oregon State Police must have been spurred on by the "success" of Britain's Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997. After which: In the four years from 1997 to 2001, the rate of violent crime more than doubled.

    Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York.

    England's rates of assault, robbery, and burglary are far higher than America's.

    53 percent of English burglaries occur while occupants are at home, compared with 13 percent in the U.S., where burglars admit to fearing armed homeowners more than the police.

    In a [2002] United Nations study of crime in 18 developed nations, England and Wales led the Western world's crime league, with nearly 55 crimes per 100 people.

  • ||

    Its a damned shame that the author, like many others who've offered their own two cents to the pool of misinformation further drives this story into the realms of anger-promoting fiction.
    Following an employment related issue, Mr Pyles made comments to his employer of a nature that prompted further police involvement. They observed his behavior for a reason, and while doing so discovered the man had purchased 3 firearms shortly after he was disciplined by his employer.

    Based on the comments he made, law enforcement chose to confront Pyle by placing him into protective custody. The police then asked the man for his consent to take possession of the firearms. Pyles gave his consent, which can only mean that his so-called second amendment right was waived.
    In fact, the police had no warrant because they did not intend to arrest the man and furthermore, they had no warrant to seize his guns because no crime had been committed with those guns. They simply asked him if they could take them, he said yes.

    I suppose the alternative would be for the people who heard the comments of this man following his employment termination to simply hope Mr Pyle was of sound mind, and had no intention of doing harm to them with the guns he purchased shortly after being fired and making comments that had prompted them to call police in the first place?

    I am a gun owning american who supports and defends the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I also strongly support the police officers who've been assigned as moderators and their efforts to make sure those of us who do exercise our 2nd amendment rights are not a threat to any other law abiding free person.

    In my opinion, the decisions made by the police in this case were reasonable and in hindsight effectively demonstrate that a gun owner, despite adverse life-circumstances can keep and bear arms.
    The police confirmed this by returning the mans guns when a qualified mental health establishment released him less than 4 hours later with a clean bill of health.

  • N. Stahl||

    As far as the ossifers' misconduct goes: Fair trial followed by public execution. Committing multiple criminal acts (making terrorst threats, false arrest, false imprisonment, kidnapping, burglary)under color of authority must become automatic death penalty offenses. This is especially so for any situation where a legitimate peace officer would know he/she does not have the lawful authority to act.

  • N. Stahl||

    Cosmotarian Overlord, D2, and other trendy lefty goose-stepping trolls should join dirty badges on the gallows as well. Their mindset enables the cop criminality Mr. Balko exposed in his article.

  • ||

    Minority Report.

  • angelo ||

    you got that right free.but we aren't ready for that minority report thing. there are many crimes happening around us, instead of apprehending a man who has not done anything and "legally" purchased firearm. the police should get their donuts straight and capture the real criminals.

  • ||

    When I think about what our forefathers went through to secure their freedom, I can't beleave how far we have sunk. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor for freedom from this very kind of thing. The men who who signed the Declaration of Independance put everything on the line to stand up to a government that was less intrusive than what we have now. Do any of you know the facts about what happened to some of those men and their families at the hands of the British? Look it up sometime, it's scary reading, some of them were killed, some had their entire families wiped out, their homes destroyed...everything, to be free of this very sort of thing! (The British had a thing about nailing those who stood up to them and signed that famous document, much like some aspects of our current government have a thing about taking away our freedoms now)

  • ||

    Exactly how do we know that Mr. Pyles hadn't pissed off the wrong person/people, and the police were attempting to provoke an armed response from him, giving them an excuse to waco him?

  • Zachary||

    This is a clear violation of our civil liberties, and just shows how paranoid this country has become.

  • ||

    Shades of the movie Changling (w/ Angelina Joli) and the REAL LIFE events from 1928 Los Angeles on which it is based:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changeling_(film)

    Police pick up women (in that case) who is annoying them and deliver her to psychiatric hospital for 'evaluation' -- difference is that then the hospital doctors were IN ON IT with THE POLICE and kept her prisoner.

  • D WHITE||

    THATS WHY HEALTH CARE BILL SO IMPORTANT, THE GOVERMENT NOW CAN LOOK INTO YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS WITH OUT YOU KNOWING IT AND MAKE JUDGEMENTS ON WHO CAN AND CAN'T OWN GUNS

  • louboutinvips||

    Dick was a true visionary...with pre-crime policing and all.....
    http://www.christianlouboutinvips.com

  • Penis exercises||

    I hate people who just lose it and go around shooting people just because they are stressed out in life. Can you believe that there actually are sympathy groups around in the country that actually support these crazies!!!

  • Open Prison News||

    When are the people finally going to fight back? This is getting ridiculous!

  • Guest||

    I look forward to being able to expose the corruption in my town. The police made mistakes, but they are not the ones behind the persecution.

  • ||

    This is lunacy. Do you people still think you are free?

  • ||

    D2 you an a$$hat and a traitor. I hope you flee the USA when the Revolution comes, or stay and get your ticket punched

  • abercrombie milano||

    There was a problem posting your comment

  • ||

    Sorry I meant why are the names of the police involved in this NOT posted here. We need to know who these police are. What are their names? Where do they live? The information of the citizen who was kidnapped is posted. Why not the names and addresses of the police thugs who committed this atrocity.

  • ||

    Oh boy can I relate to some of this article. It seems that Medford, OR police can't understand why someone might be upset about being accused of threatening others with a weapon. I was minding my own business one evening when 2 cops knocked (I say knocked, it was more like shaking my door down) and said someone complained I was threatening others with a gun! I have never, ever even considered such an idiotic thing. The fact is, I don't even own a gun, but can you imagine what would have occured if I did? The cop demanded I calm down because I was upset about being accused of such a stupid act. I think all Medford cops need to undergo training on why some people may get upset when accused of committing violent crimes, especially when I've spent my entire life trying to assist cops with crimes I've witnessed. I know I was falsely accused by a neighbor I've had problems with over noise in the middle of the night, but the fact remains the cops simply have no compassion for people being upset when they are falsely accused! I am still seething over this accusation, it seems to me when someone falsely accuses another of a violent criminal act, the accuser should be charged!

  • surpa shoes||

    have a good job

  • ||

    Huge thanks a lot for such a wonderful information about Pre-crime policing. I was actually looking for these information for quite a long time and i believe i have landed at the right page. I really liked your ways of expressing thoughts. You write too well. Moreover your article contains some worthy information which i guess will help lot of people. Thanks a lot one more time for publishing these nice posts and keep up publishing ones in the future too. Sincerely, Kenny Peterson ( pariuri sportive ) from Montana

  • northface||

    thanks for sharring. you are good

  • Ed Lawrence||

    I don't understand how they can assemble two swat teams and seize his weapons with little to no evidence. Shocking. Poor, poor disgruntled man. airport parking

  • dolli||

    Police tyranny is horrible! Man hadn't committed any crime, nor was he suspected of having committed one. The police never obtained a warrant for either search or arrest.Publish commander!!

  • Heathrow Airport Hotels||

    The police system really does need a reform, sooner rather than later.

  • Douglas paul Christlieb||

    The state tryed to keep my father from buying riffles,because I have been convicted on a damestic violence,first they denieghed me when I tryed to buy my four boy,s hunting riffles,I didn,t know I couldn,t buy a gun,I thought you had to commit a fellony with a gun to lose your gun right,s,the gun shop owner sold them to my father anyway

  • ||

    I have been beaten three times by the medford or. police,two of the beating,s they took me to the hospital held me down and injected me with tracking chip,s,My family is now being harassed by police,for I am filing tort claim,s against them and plan on sueing them for injuries I sustained during last beating

  • ||

    I have been beaten three times by the medford or. police,two of the beating,s they took me to the hospital held me down and injected me with tracking chip,s,My family is now being harassed by police,for I am filing tort claim,s against them and plan on sueing them for injuries I sustained during last beating

  • soccer tips||

    The law is irrelevant if they have the power. They can just ignore and twist it whenever they see fit. There is only the here and now and the future. Freeman On The Land stuff has a lot going for it in my opinion, but it's not something I would rely on myself. If democracy doesn't have a significant number of citizens actively participating within it, then it will crumble. It means very little what the laws are. The most fantastic laws ever written wouldn't help. I'm sure the laws in Russia don't allow for a lot of what goes on there, but it still goes on. Think about what is happening to the U.S. constitution.

  • xerox colour printers copiers ||

    It's because power is given to certain individuals who then abuse that power. They should be there to enforce laws not create their own.

  • ||

    "Why is this not front page news in every newspaper in the country?" Because most of us aren't conspiracy gun nuts and have nothing to fear. If you don't like our freedom fries then go to Somalia and see how you like your anarchy.
    Fat People

  • pariuri sportive||

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  • wow macro||

    Haha, totally Minority Report :)

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  • Dubai SEO||

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  • Ionut||

    You should add a Facebook share button - this way more people could have access to this usefull information!

  • bet365||

    I really don’t understand why cops now seem obsessed with going after almost everything nowadays (drug users, this guy, random black people for walking around) except actual threats to the community.

    Is it making up for a lack of real competence or something?

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