Another Drug Bust Gone Bad

Cops can’t get their story straight in the killing of Eugene Mallory.

Reason TVReason TVOn a sweltering summer morning in the California desert, deputies looking for methamphetamines and bearing automatic weapons barged into the home of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired engineer living a quiet life in the small community of Littlerock. Moments later, Mallory lay in his bed bleeding to death from six bullets fired from an MP5 9mm submachine gun. The murky circumstances that led to the shooting are now the subject of a federal lawsuit. The officers found no meth on the property.

The raid took place on June 27, 2013, after deputies received an anonymous tip alleging meth production on Mallory's property. Patrick Hobbs, a detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LACSD) and a self-described narcotics expert, came by to investigate and later said that "he smelled the strong odor of chemicals" downwind of the house.

As deputies announced their presence that fateful morning, Tonya Pate, Mallory's wife, emerged from the trailer where she'd been sleeping to escape the heat. Mallory's stepson Adrian Lamos and a couple of his friends emerged from another trailer and surrendered-as did a handyman tinkering with a car on the property. But Mallory remained asleep in the house.

The deputies approached the house, and what happened next is disputed. Hobbs and his team say they announced their presence. Upon entering, they claim, they encountered Mallory in the hall wielding a gun and stumbling forward, which led them to open fire. So then why did investigators later find Eugene Mallory's corpse in his bed with his .22 caliber pistol on his night table? Deputies told the coroner at the scene that paramedics had moved Mallory on to the bed and attempted to revive him. Pate disputes that account, saying that Mallory would never point a gun at an officer and that it was more likely that her elderly husband remained asleep and unaware of what was happening.

The deputies later changed their story. Massive bloodstains on Mallory's mattress indicated to investigators that he'd most likely been in bed at the time of the shooting. Deputies revised their account and said that Mallory had sat up in bed and pointed his gun at them. An audio recording of the incident revealed another discrepancy in the original narrative: Sgt. John Bones told investigators that he warned Mallory to "drop the gun" prior to the shooting, but the recording revealed that his command occurred immediately after the shooting. (It was Bones' submachine gun that killed Mallory.)

The officers did discover two marijuana plants on the property belonging to Lamos, who claimed he had a medical marijuana prescription. LACSD touted the marijuana discovery as evidence of a successful drug bust. "There was a drug operation that was certainly going on in this house," LACSD spokesperson Steve Whitmore told local news station KTLA.

"How is that a justification for coming in and killing a man?" says Pate, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging Fourth and 14th Amendment violations. "To justify that through marijuana just makes it even more wrong."

LACSD officials declined to talk with Reason TV for this story, citing the pending lawsuit.

Pate, who's still awaiting an initial hearing in the case, knows that no amount of money or punishment will undo her husband's violent death at the hands of cops looking for drugs that weren't there. "Every day, he'd get to tell you a joke, tell you something, tell you you're beautiful, and now he's gone," she says. "I just want him back."

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  • ||

    Related; Inches from this comment box is a Newmax headline that says "USDA Looking to Buy Submachine Guns".

    It is difficult not to think that the political class sees disaster ahead and is preparing for a shitstorm.

  • Harvard||

    Which is why some are making a list of low hanging fruit deemed responsible. You know, like your local thugs..... or your local Tonys for instance.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I wish our political class had that kind of vision. If they did there would be a chance of turning back on the path of destruction that they are leading us all on. This is simple empire building on the part of the USDA. They are doing it because now they can, and in DC the fastest way to get more money is to spend as much as possible. The iron law of bureaucracy at work.

  • Bill||

    The police in this case seem really brave and honorable.

  • ||

    Also, thanks Zack for screwing my mood. This story was enough of a nut punch the first time around. It is just as bad now. Jesus, what a heartbreaking story. What a craven goon John Bones is. Hanging is too good for him.

  • Hyperion||

    Tie him to a fire ant mound and spray him down with sugar water.

  • Rich||

    Or, as one of the regulars occasionally suggests, treat him to the boats.

  • Hyperion||

    LACSD touted the marijuana discovery as evidence of a successful drug bust

    Found 2 pot plants and shot to death an innocent man in his bed. Success!

  • LLizard||

    "We didn't find a meth lab, but we found one vehicle with an expired inspection sticker, two overdue library books, and a computer with several apparently unlicensed mp3 files. So, overall, this raid was a successful operation to uphold the law."

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Massive bloodstains on Mallory's mattress indicated to investigators that he'd most likely been in bed at the time of the shooting."

    So they thought they could tell a story about confronting and shooting an armed man in a hallway, even when his blood was all over the bed? Did they just assume there would be only a slapdash investigation?

  • Hugh Akston||

    They probably assumed that nobody would challenge them on their blatant lie because the only alternative to police running amok is baby-eating anarchy.

  • croaker||

    What do you think will happen when the police start eating babies?

  • Paul.||

    If you've ever been near a baby, you'd know they're the very definition of 'furtive movement'.

  • Robert||

    What do you think actually went down? Hey, we can shoot somebody dead in their bed! That'll keep the people afraid of us; maybe the entire town will surrender all their goods to us as soon as they hear we're coming to kill them all.

  • Paul.||

    What's most interesting, if I were their commander, I'd have them all walking the plank.

    They lied in their reports. To me, that makes their command look like gullible pussies unfit for command.

  • Firstname||

    The problem is that in most of these cases "the fish stinks from the head" and they will do everything to protect that head.

  • Rich||

    a self-described narcotics expert, came by to investigate and later said that "he smelled the strong odor of chemicals" downwind

    Probably Tonya's nail polish remover, but anything to help "justify" a raid. 8-(

    OT, but on a more positive note: Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce what would have been the highest minimum wage in the world

  • Hyperion||

    OT, but on a more positive note: Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to introduce what would have been the highest minimum wage in the world

    That's the story right before this one. But I don't advise to look at it. The picture is racist in typical H&R fashion, depicting Swiss folks as standing on some alpine slope, in funny clothes, and blowing some long horns. Probably yodeling also, but there's no sound track.

  • Rich||

    Thanks, Hyperion. I'll go check it out.

    "Little old lady, who?"

  • Dweebston||

    Analysis: Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, Geneva

    This was the third referendum on pay in Switzerland in the last 18 months, reflecting concern that the gap between rich and poor is growing here too.

    Is that right, Imogen? From where I'm standing it looks like a measure brought about or at least advocated primarily by unionists, and overwhelmingly rejected by voters. Yeah, the Swiss are utterly flummoxed by the pay gap.

  • Specail Sauce||

    Must. Stick. To. The. Narrative.

  • ArbutusJoe||

    RE Swiss vote:

    In another sense, it's terrible news: that would have been one hell of an eye-opening social experiment.

    Everyone has a gut intuition that legislating a wage rate won't work, but gut intuitions have to duke it out with emotional attachments to poorly-defined terms such as "living wage", "fairness" and "social justice". In this case, the proposal was wacky enough to tip the scale in favor of gut intuition. Next time....

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    If it hadn't worked, it would have been because of neighboring countries that do not have the high minimum wage, i.e. externalities.

    There is no shortage of excuses.

  • Paul.||

    So the Koch brothers are active in Switzerland too.

  • jdfinct||

    Where's the Punisher when we need him.

  • GILMORE||

    OT = James Yeager, firearms trainer and frequent media-darling (often used by the press as the iconic 'gun nut', he having just the right haircut* and accent), explains to his viewers Why We're All Libertarians

  • Christophe||

    Guy needs a Nolan chart. The "center" has libertarians, but it also has Mr. Bloomberg.

  • Virginian||

    James Yeager is an asshole who needs to shut the fuck up.

    I did not watch the video, this is just a general opinion of mine.

  • GILMORE||

    You may still be over-reacting to his over reaction to the failed gun legislation. Or not.

    Most people who are avid Yeager-haters seem to chart back to that post-Sandy Hook stuff.

    I've followed him for years prior. I think he's got more to him than most give him credit for. But, opinions. To each their own.

    Apropos = "More Reasons to Hate James Yeager", pt 1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYF5jKYKmVE

    between this video and the part 2, he pretty much nails every issue in a way I think most people here would end up agreeing with (with maybe the border issue satisfying no one entirely; which is normal)

  • Paul.||

    The problem with James Yeager is that I strongly agree with 50% of everything he says.

  • DJF||

    How many times does an “officer of the law’ get to change their official story before it become perjury?

  • Christophe||

    Trick question. The only people who get charged with perjury are witnesses whose story is different than whatever the officer ends up with in the end.

  • croaker||

    Which is why if you have video of a cop fucking up, don't immediately post it to YouTube or send it to the press. Wait a week for the cop to file the "official" report under oath, then show that he's testilying. Apparently you do more time for "filing a false official report" than you do for the actual mayhem that was the subject of the official report.

  • Paul.||

    Yes, yes, yes, this yes this this yes... yes this yes.

    This

    Yes.

    This this yes.

    That's what happened when that cop shot that woman's dog. She went to them, asked them what happened, let them spew their bullshit, then at the end of their official statement, she said, "Mmmyeah, except I have this video."

    The cops immediately put their hands up in that 'whoa whoa' gesture and asked to have a copy of the video before anyone else saw it. She said "too late, bitches, up on Youtube" at which point the cops says, "So, will ya take $15,000 for the dog?"

  • Agent Cupcake||

    That is excellent advice.

  • sarcasmic||

    Perjury is a crime against the state. Officers are agents of the state. It is impossible for them to commit crimes against the state. That's like you stealing from yourself. You can't do it. Neither can cops commit crimes against the state, since they are the state.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just another egg in the world's largest, most expensive omelette.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Thank you for that nutpunch on a beautiful Sunday morning.

  • Hyperion||

    This damn music is stuck in my head, I hate it when that happens. It can only mean beer this afternoon. Lots of beer. Have to ... make .... it ... go ... away!

    Get out of my head!

    It's that damn polka slinky thingy, it's of da debil!

  • sarcasmic||

    This song always helps when I've got something crappy stuck in my head.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umeZtszNShk

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Megadeth would be a far better band if it weren't for Dave Mustaine's voice.

  • Thomas O.||

    But... he would make a perfect Oscar The Grouch! :D

  • Almanian!||

    So - procedures were followed. Check. Officers got to go home to their families. Check. Teh Druggzz were kind of present. Check.

    And nothing else happened.

    Therefore - good shoot, IMHO. hth SMOOCHES

  • Wandering Texan||

    OT: Amanda Marcotte has thrown her hat into the gun control ring.

    I'm looking forward to the fireworks.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's one heck of an appeal to emotion combined with switching the burdon of proof with a good dose of ad hominem.

    I'm sure the average leftist will consider the multiple fallacies to be a compelling argument.

  • Wandering Texan||

    AM is a small-time noisemaker. I don't think she realizes that assuming her usual attitude toward her opponents in this arena is like poking a hornet's nest with a blunt stick while naked. The humbling will be highly enjoyable.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Assuming she isn't just completely ignored, anyway.

  • phandaal||

    Comparing guns to dildos: So edgy. So liberated.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    Don't get them mixed up Amanda!

  • phandaal||

    I've heard a story of a friend of a friend who did just that with a young Israeli soldier and his weapon. Evidently she had quite the experience. Somehow I doubt that's what Marcotte is going for, though.

  • Jerryskids||

    At what point are people going to wake up to the fact that these drug raids aren't really about finding drugs but about justifying the massive amounts of money being spent buying the toys that allow these cops to play dress-up GIJoe superhero and go around lawlessly terrorizing and killing innocent people? Cops aren't protecting us from violent drug gangs, they are a violent drug gang. Too many people have bought into the nonsense that the drug wars is the good guys versus the bad guys, but they're both on the same side. Both are in it for the money and the thrill of it - it's just that drug dealers actually produce something that people want and are condemned for it whereas cops are somehow praised for fucking people over.

  • Robert||

    You think if the police shoot & kill some people, taxpayers will think, wow, must be dangerous out there with all the gunplay, gotta put more money into policing?

  • Gene||

    it's just that drug dealers actually produce something that people want and are condemned for it whereas cops are somehow praised for fucking people over.

    Great rant. You're preaching to the choir however, I'm sure you already know that.

  • ULOST||

    Bones was quoted on the scene as saying, I love the smell of meth in the morning.

  • ||

    The deputies later changed their story.

    Whew, that was unexpected.

  • Mock-star||

    "Deputies told the coroner at the scene that paramedics had moved Mallory on to the bed and attempted to revive him."

    Yeah, this never happened. Even the lowliest first aid certificate holder knows that you dont put someone on a bed to revive them, you take them off a bed and onto a firm surface. It is damn near impossible to perform CPR on a soft yielding surface like a mattress.

    In reality, Mallory was shot in bed, and then paramedics either a) made no effort at reviving him, or, more likely, b) were prevented from doing so.

  • Paul Pot||

    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.
    Ernest Hemingway

  • ||

    What's next? A no-knock raid with automatic weapons to see if someone has Tylenol in their house?

  • Ben1234||

    I am so sick of the "We don't comment on ongoing investigations" excuse. You murdered someone! As public servants you damn well better start commenting, or go ahead and turn in your badge and stop acting like you care about protecting and serving anyone but yourself.

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