They Always Cower and Pee Like That Before They Attack

What can you say about cops who burst into an apartment, kill the family dog, hold the residents at gunpoint, and handcuff two terrified children, ages 11 and 12, all over a few marijuana sales with a total value of $60? Well, at least they didn't kill the kids.

Radley Balko, whose report on paramilitary police tactics was recently published by Cato, considered SWAT teams' antipathy toward dogs in the April issue of Reason. In the current issue, he details the case of Cory Maye, who was sentenced to death for shooting a police officer during a botched raid in Mississippi. Maye says he thought the cop was an armed invader who posed a threat to his family. How could anyone make that mistake?

[Thanks to Adam Scavone for the tip.]

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    What can you say about cops who burst into an apartment, kill the family dog, hold the residents at gunpoint, and handcuff two terrified children, ages 11 and 12, all over a few marijuana sales with a total value of $60?

    Four simple words: First against the wall.

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    A police strike team raided a woman's Prospect Street apartment and handcuffed her children and killed her dog early Tuesday in a $60 pot bust.

    Why didn't they just pay the $60?

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    Well, at least they didn't kill the kids.

    This time, anyway.

  • Chuck||

    "The moral of the story is: If you don't want officers barging into your house with their guns drawn, don't let drug dealers stay with you and deal drugs out of your apartment," Frisoni said.

    So I guess this fine public servant thinks the SWAT team should be called out against anybody whose children commit misdemeanor offenses and still live at home.

    I agree with Ayn Randian.

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    See Radley's updates on the Maye case-good news at least for know: Maye's off death row for some time at least; they found the informant, who's apparently a racist, illiterate piece of work.

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    "Go to sleep, America. Your government is in control. You are free to do as we tell you."
    - Bill Hicks

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    I'm only about half-way through Radley Balko's report, and I'm finding it too disturbing. I'm rethinking my plans. Why do I have the 1911 at the bedside, and the AR-10 in the safe?

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    Be afraid ....very afraid.

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    My dogs are pits, so they are goners if we are ever invaded by the cops.

    I'll kill any motherfucker who hurts my dogs, so I figure I'm a goner, too.

    Seeing as the SWAT guys wear body armor, I'm off to the range tomorrow to practice my head shots. Glad I got the laser on the .45. Glad its a high-capacity .45, too.

    The Founders would weep. And keep their powder dry.

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    If you do not want a military unit invading your home, then kick your high school kid who has a joint hidden in his underwear drawer to the curb. Even if you do not know about the joint.

    Sounds reasonable to me. For the record, I welcome our law enforcement overlords. Please do not shoot me, my family, or my dogs. Thanks much.

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    The dog, a pit bull terrier named Precious, urinated on the floor in fear and tried to run from the police before it was killed, Woodyear said

    How does he know the dog was urinating in fear? For all he knows, the dog could have been urinating in preparation for a jugular lunge. If police are going to execute their duties effectively, they can't operate in that kind of risk-heavy environment. And those kids? They could have been trained to go for the ankles. I'm surprised they didnt take them out with flashbangs, then hogtie them after a good dose of pepper spray in the eyes. A teenager sleeping in an apartment with his mother and siblings is not, like, some walk in the park. Soon you'll be expecting cops to say, 'freeze' before firing! I mean, isnt that like a giveaway?

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    mediageek - your dog, or your 14 year old daughter, or 8 year old son..etc etc etc.

    R C Dean - Just a suggestion.

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    Scavone, I don't know whether to cry or to kill someone.

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    RC - yup, there be a dead cop or two and my ass would be in prison or 6 feet under if any of those pricks burst into my crib. And I can't say I'd feel sorry for the dead cops or their families. "They were just doing their jobs" doesn't cut it.

    When this drug war is finally over, a lot of people should be tried for war crimes and then executed.

    Damn, I hate feeling this way, but it's just such a vile thing I can't help it. Good thing I've got a real nice weekend planned.

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    No-knock warrants, dynamic entries, yada-yada-yada. All of it should be illegal. The surest way to end up with dead innocent citizens and dead cops is for them to continue with this nonsense. It is flat out the worst thing going in law enforcement in this country.

    The cockamamie thinking that kicking in doors in the middle of the night while dressed like ninjas is the only way to arrest people is like hunting flies with a shotgun: ineffective and dangerous. Even David Koresh could have been easily arrested when he left home - if that would have worked with a guy who lives in a compound, it should work with ANYONE.

    No offense to law enforcement officers, but since I'm a law-abiding citizen I don't expect the people kicking in my door to be cops. I expect them to violent criminals. That's why I would fire on anyone forcibly attempting to enter my home, which would be tragic if it's a simple case of mistaken addresses. But when they can't get the address right, why should the blame fall on the person defending their home?

    And AGAIN, no offense, but once you've kicked down my front door, yelling "Police!" isn't very believable. If I were a criminal and I wanted someone to stop shooting at me, that's the first thing I would do...

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    Sorry, guys, bravado only gets you a six-foot deep farm.

    Stay cool. Pay attention. And call your lawyer as soon as you can.

    THEN sue the ############# & the people who employ them for every penny they have or will ever earn. Plus 50% for your legal fees.

    We cowards may not be popular, but we live longer.

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    ""No-knock warrants, dynamic entries, yada-yada-yada. All of it should be illegal."""

    It would be illegal in a free society, Unless that free society decided to let it happen. And who's fault would that be?

    """But when they can't get the address right, why should the blame fall on the person defending their home?""""

    The cops get to live under different rules than the rest of us. If you were drunk and walked unarmed into your neighbors house that belongs to a cop and he shot you. He would claim intruder and nothing would happen to him. He would have done the right thing. But it's so wrong when you do it to them.

    Aresen, what would you do if it was the CIA? Your ability to sue them is going out the door. If it ever existed, but it must have since Bush finds it necessary to immune them.

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    Aresen - You may be right. But if you're a law-abiding citizen with no reason to suspect that the guys conducting a home invasion in the middle of the night are cops, why would you surrender to them?

    ID'ing themselves, in the middle of the night, to a highly skeptical and terrified homeowner (who is armed if he/she has ANY sense at all) is dodgy at best. That's why these sorts of raids end in tragedy so frequently - for cops conducting them and homeowners being raided.

    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier." - R.A. Heinlein

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    Aresen - yeah, it's not necessarily bravado, but the simple fact of the matter is that if someone kicks in my door, I will being discharging my firearm in their direction. By the time I figure out whether or not it's the police it's much too late, of course.

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    It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion.

    In this context, being a live lion would seem to presuppose that you have a truly impressive amount of firepower (both ballistic and legal) and the will to use it. In the unlikely event I survive the firefight, I would almost certainly lose the court fight.

    THEN sue the ############# & the people who employ them for every penny they have or will ever earn. Plus 50% for your legal fees.

    You will lose. Sovereign immunity and institutional conflicts of interest will see to that.

    Seriously, has any innocent victim of the police ever made a recovery against them? (I am ruling out gross violations of civil rights laws here, which provide an exception to sovereign immunity.)

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    In the early 90s there were a rash of no-knock raids gone wrong. At about the same time there wer a rash of "home invasions" by ninja-clad guys claiming to be cops (they were usually trying to steal drugs or drug proceeds).

    In one on Florida's east coast the homeowner shot and killed one of the cops. The case went to trial and the jury aquitted the homeowner. Several people who helped raise money for his defense were harrassed by cops from every agency in the county for at least a year after the case was concluded. One guy was arrested for "unpaid" tickets that had been paid years before. Luckily he had documentation but it took weeks to clear it up.

    The informant for the raid was a neighbor with a grudge. No action was ever taken against him.

    When the search was complete the took away two vials of pain medication and a joint that was found in a teenage son's room. The pain medication was completely legit and had been prescribed for back pain from a construction accident.

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    And cops wonder why fewer and fewer people care
    if they die "in the line of duty". I find it hard
    to muster any sympathy for dead police. And it's a
    sad state of affairs to feel that way.
    Vicious circle I guess - we care less, they feel
    more threatened and do even more stupid, evil shit,
    we give even less of shit, rinse lather and repeat.

  • Jason Sonensehein||

    They Always Cower and Pee Like That Before They Attack

    Before I read the full post, I thought the headline referred to Senators McCain, Graham, and Warner

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    "In this context, being a live lion would seem to presuppose that you have a truly impressive amount of firepower (both ballistic and legal) and the will to use it. In the unlikely event I survive the firefight, I would almost certainly lose the court fight." - RC Dean

    Imagine this scenario: All of my firepower is legal, I'm comfortable with my skill level in using it against mutiple attackers and I definitely have the will to use it. The intruders are either dead or seriously injured. I survive.

    The key to the above is the last sentence: "I survive." I'll take a jury of my peers over a casket, and even if I lose in court, I'm still alive and still have the hope of an appeal, a pardon, parole, etc.

    I can't do that if I drop my firearm on the floor because a home invader is clever enough to shout "Police! Freeze!" so that he can safely shoot my voluntarily now-disarmed self.

    In other words, yeah, it may be a no-win scenario, but it's better to survive to fight it out in court than be murdered after seeing your family abused and killed in front of you.

  • John M. Joy||

    So...

    Why is nobody (anonymously, of course) posting the names, home addresses, wives' work addresses, ... of these creeps, on some suitably public though shady corner of the Web (along with a link to the story)?

    In my town, at least - shield laws be damned - it's still pretty easy to discover the intimates of the members of the local constabulary.

    JMJ

  • John M. Joy||

    Seriously, though, just when exactly are we - (L/l)ibertarians, Americans, ... - going to grow a pair of balls? Exactly what is it going to take?

    JMJ

  • Robert||

    If it's so dangerous, why do they do it? Are they fools?

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    Update on the Cory Maye case referenced in this month's issue. The judge threw out out the death sentence at a court hearing on Thursday, and will examine other issues related to the guilt phase at a later hearing. Details of the hearing can be found at:

    http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060922/NEWS/609220382/1001/news

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    "If it's so dangerous, why do they do it? Are they fools?"

    The only reason I can think of is because it's like being in your very own movie. It's not like it would be easier to arrest a guy outside of his home, on his way through the fast-food drive-through, or in his driveway, etc.

    The only time these sorts of raids would be reasonable is when they have reliable information on the person they're hoping to arrest from someone inside the house who can tell them who is in there, who's a threat, who's not, and where the booby traps are. But when you knock down the wrong door, it's pretty obcious that you don't have good enough information for a warrant...

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