Back to Chesapeake

Ryan Frederick was arraigned today. He was charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and . . . simple possession of marijuana.

That's right. Though police still haven't told us how much marijuana they found, it wasn't enough to charge Frederick with anything more than a misdemeanor. For a misdemeanor, they broke down his door, a cop is dead, and a 28-year-old guy's life is ruined. Looks like the informant mistook Frederick's gardening hobby for an elaborate marijuana growing operation, and those Japanese maple trees for marijuana plants.

The parallels to Cory Maye are pretty striking. You've got a young guy minding his own business, with no criminal record, whose worst transgression is that he smokes a little pot from time to time. A bad informant and bad police procedures then converge, resulting in police breaking down his door while he's sleeping. He fires a gun to defend himself, unwittingly kills a cop, and now faces murder charges.

Here's hoping Frederick escapes Cory Maye's fate. This guy shouldn't be in jail. He should be compensated by the City of Chesapeake. As should the family of Detective Shivers. And these raids need to stop.

You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes.

Prior posts on this case here

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  • ||

    Christ, I am angry.

  • Bingo||

    Ruining the lives of 2 men, killing one, and screwing up 2 families.

    All because of a plant.

    Hahahahahahhaha. Ugh.

  • GILMORE||

    good work radley. keep it up.

  • ||

    Simple possession + time served. The fact that a cop is dead will likely override an obvious case of self defense.

  • ||

    Have any national organizations with serious lawyers taken up his case?

    Where's the ACLU? IJ?

    Hell, the NRA should wade in on this one, except, of course, they're hopeless morons on the WOD. If the NRA had any strategic sense at all, they'd recognize that a WOD that has trashed the 5th Amendment is on a collision course with the 2d.

  • ||

    God's work, Radley. Keep it up.

  • ||

    This country will rip itself in half over 1% on the top tax rate, and the drug war victims just go under everybody's radar.

  • Dave W.||

    You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes. As Machievellian as it sounds, I think it would be healthier for society if the murder charge gets tried to a jury.

  • Bingo||

    RC Dean:

    It's already doing pretty well at nipping off parts of the 2D. A couple of places have banned SKS's (cheap Soviet-era semi-auto rifles) under the pretenses that only drug dealers have them and they use them to murder cops.

    http://www.vpc.org/graphics/sksfactsheetfinal.pdf

  • Bingo||

  • SIV||

    It still smells like the cops had the informant break in to gather evidence for the warrant. Nothing was taken, right?

    If that is so Shivers' family deserves nothing and the surviving cops should be charged with felony murder.

  • GILMORE||

    Bingo =

    Those rifles are semi auto - why do they call them 'assault rifles'?

  • Bingo||

    They look scary? I don't really know. I think they had to be banned specifically by name in California because they actually comply with most of the ridiculous Cali regs. (The magazine isn't detachable, you need to load it with stripper clips in the top, most models come with 10-round magazines, no pistol grip)

    But its a semi-auto that is fairly reliable and affordable for the folks in poor areas, and apparently you can't have that.

  • SIV||

    If the Chesapeake drug squad was running a warantless "sneak and peak" before getting the rubber stamp on their warrants this is more like the Kathryn Johnston case(or worse) than a wrong address/bad tip sort of thing.

    Am I being a paranoid cop-hater... or is this exactly what it looks like?

  • ||

    Great journalistic work!

  • ||

    Keep us updated and spread the word on how to help this guy. If he has a legal defense fund or something post it.

  • Allen||

    Radley--

    I don't know why I would thank somebody for depressing the hell out of me...but thank you.

    Excellent work. Again.

  • ||

    Does he have an attorney yet?

    I'd volunteer except I've been a lawyer for all of a week and I would imagine he'd want good counsel.

  • SIV||

    Dave W,

    As much as I dislike our justice system I would rather see it "work" with this no-billed by the grand jury than go to trial.

  • ||

    "You wonder how large the pile of bodies will need to grow before the cops stop breaking down doors and invading homes to enforce consensual crimes." -Balko

    Whenever I hear Mr. Bush and his drug warriors talk about "The Culture of Death," when speaking of their opposition to abortion, I am almost overcome by the absurdity. If there is a culture of death in this country, the attitudes and actions of our intrepid Drug Warriors are among the best examples. It seems that they feel obliged to destroy the village, in order to save it. What else is there to say?

    As your litmus test for both common sense and simple human decency, find out how relevant candidates and incumbents stand on the war on drugs -- at least the war on pot. Don't re-elect any drug warriors. Don't elect any new drug warriors. Repeal of the Controlled Substances Act -- a cancer in our system -- must be the goal, and it will only be possible if the drug warriors are swept away and replaced with people who have their heads on straight with respect to this issue in particular, and the idea of individual liberty in general.

  • Jennifer||

    I'm even more depressed by the results of the Google news search I did for Ryan Frederick's name; it turned up less than two pages of results: other than local Virginia news outlets, Radley's posts and a mention in the Drug War Chronicle.

  • Chuck||

    SIV--

    My theory is that the burglar somehow caught a glimpse at some earlier time of what he thought were pot plants (maybe he just saw the boxes the grow lights came in when they were put out with the trash). When he broke in and found no plants or quantities of weed, he left empty-handed, and then when caught by the cops, decided he could get the charges reduced by, um, being a bit loose with the truth.

    By no means does this let the cops off the hook. If true, this means they accepted at face value the tall tale of some guy they had just busted. And they either lied to the judge about their evidence to get a warrant, or the judge's hands are not clean either. Judges are supposed to be a check in this process to ensure there really is probable cause. They should be held accountable as well.

  • Jasonomics||

    Is there a Pulitzer Prize for blogging or does this qualify under journalism?

    I'd say journalism, and Radley deserves his for the work he's done following this sad case.

    This once again demonstrates the exponentially bad effects that bad policies have on private citizens.

    Radley, thank you again for you commitment to this issue.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    thought I had something to say......

  • ||

    Some day...I hope I should live so long...some day enough people will listen and end all of this stupidity. Keep the stories alive. Keep telling the truth. Thank you, Radley.

  • Kolohe||

    As Machievellian as it sounds, I think it would be healthier for society if the murder charge gets tried to a jury.

    Dave W-
    If it were 12 people from around this board, you'd be right.

    But twelve virginians? esp 12 tidewater virginians? Cop is dead, and drug user killed him. Case closed. And doubly so if Frederick is brown-ish and Shivers was white-ish

  • DavidS||

    anyone dared venture over to that cop site to see what they think?

  • ||

    Sorry, I call bullshit on the weed. C'mon! An enthusiastic hydroponic gardner that smokes weed but doesn't grow it?

    Plus, the whole notion of a dynamic entry or no-knock raid for an indoor grow operation is ludicrous. It's not like someone can flush a bunch of pot plants down the toilet.

    I hope this dude gets enough legal help to get some serious jury-selection help.

  • DavidS||

    Sorry, I call bullshit on the weed. C'mon! An enthusiastic hydroponic gardner that smokes weed but doesn't grow it?

    Good point - but why didn't they charge him for anything more?

  • Richard||

    What kind of person reads Reason? Not one comment supporting the police on this one. Cool.

    Remember the 1970s "SNL" skit(s) where police break in on a couple sharing a joint and end up shooting them … saying, "Another marijuana-related death"?

    This discussion begs a comparison between the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror." Throw in our war against Bush's "axis of evil," and you have to wonder how soon it will be before our police state implodes.

  • ||

    you have to wonder how soon it will be before our police state implodes.

    you have no idea what it's like to actually live under a real-live "police state", and I would never wish it upon anybody.

    Hyperbole doesn't help this tragedy one iota.

  • M||

    1) Whatever happened to the burglary investigation?

    2) How could we avoid taxpayers footing the bill for the citizen's being, as Radley rightly suggested, "compensated by the City of Chesapeake"?

  • ||

    Buzz Kill - Reading a Balko story.

    New name - Balkill.

    Thanks for the Balkill, Radley.

    Keep up the great work. Please keep us posted as this winds it way through the courts. I've got enough free time I may need to head to Virginia for the ultimate trial. That should be an eye opener.

    CB

  • M||

    Not one comment supporting the police on this one.

    Lots of comments, on previous threads about this incident, supporting the right of individual police officers to be protected from the predictably tragic consequences of such foolish policies and practices.

  • ||

    "Not one comment supporting the police on this one."

    That depends on whether you mean "police" to refer to the law enforcement establishment or are using "police" as the plural of "policeman." It seems people are genuinely upset that a cop is dead and are angry at that institution for creating mortal danger where it needn't exist.

  • Adam||

    Not a peep thus far from the ACLU of Virginia?

    Have they lifted a finger in any of these cases?

  • Elemenope||

    ...you have no idea what it's like to actually live under a real-live "police state", and I would never wish it upon anybody.

    Hyperbole doesn't help this tragedy one iota.


    Police states are not a binary affair; they occur on a continuum. When someone describes what these cops did (kick down a person's door on *rumor* of an illegal substance/activity, using extralegal methods to gather evidence, and using tactics in a manner so as to produce maximum terror and increase the likelihood of a confrontation), police state is certainly the correct descriptor.

    Using that descriptor should not automatically imply that the situation is equivalent to the infamous and far more total police states of Stalinist USSR or Nazi Germany. e.g. "Torture lite" is still torture, even if the prisoner's balls aren't being electrocuted...if you know what I mean.

  • ktc2||

    Now how does this factor in to the equation?

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,326885,00.html

    "Robbery Ring Disguised as Drug Raids Nets Convictions for Former LA Cops"

    Actual cops PRETENDING to do drug raids to rob people!

    So, now in light of that story, even if it is the cops busting down your door you still don't know if they are there to raid or rob.

  • ||

    Actual cops PRETENDING to do drug raids to rob people!

    Reminds me of the movie "Training Day".

    I'm a cop-hater in general so it's hard to be objective, but the stupidity of this situation is astounding.

  • adrian||

    one day a presidential candidate will come around who will stop this kind of thing and won't have a past of mismanaging a 100-person circulation newsletter. That will be the guy we here at reason will vote for. Until then, tough shit for everyone caught up in the WOD.

  • ||

    Once more... These raids will not end until politicians families and friends have their homes raided. Call in tips about a local politicians son-in-law making a meth deal at 1234 Skippy Lane right now but you better hurry. Once they lose a few of their loved ones via these tactics shit will change quick.

    Not till it affects them do they react why is this not obvious when it is demonstrated all the time.

    Unfortunetly the cops are to stupid to stop and think about it themselves to change anything even though they are the ones getting shot over these policies and laws. How do you explain to your 3 kids that daddy lost his life over simple possession of marijuana?

    Sorry but my definition of hero doesn't include someone putting themselves in a dangerous situation on purpose only to put another person in a dangerous situation in which they have to react instantly in self defense.

    If you cheap shot someone with a punch and they turn around and beat you to a pulp should we feel sorry for the cheap shot giver? I don't fucking think so. I make no distinction between that and these raids that end like this.

    ONLY person I feel for is the guy in jail on murder charges because he decided to fight back.

  • nonesuch||

    Elemenope: "Police states are not a binary affair; they occur on a continuum."

    Well, we're still pretty far toward the "not a police state" end of that continuum (though we are something of a prison state; we incarcerate an ungodly number of people). But, if we want to win the war on drugs we will have to move toward the "is a police state" end of the continuum. We are clearly not far enough down that road to effectively fight the war on drugs.

    I don't agree with the anti-drug-warriors in at least one respect: I think that the war on drugs is winnable. China set the template a long time ago, and if we were serious about winning we would follow that template. If I ran things, and I wanted to win the war on drugs, I'd order the cops to put a bullet in the head of anyone caught possessing controlled substances. On the spot. I'd also order them to conduct a lot of random searches. No muss, no fuss, and a lot less expensive than trial by jury followed by three hots and a cot. Then I'd send the bill for the bullet to their family- and it would be a ruinous bill. This would actually save so much money that there would be a lot left over for interdiction- we could just blow any ship or plane we didn't recognize out of the water or the air, and since every incoming passenger on a recognized vessel would be subject to strip search and summary execution the amount of drugs getting into the country would be pretty small. So, drug war won, at least against the drugs that sneak over the border and displace native drugs.

    I wouldn't want to see us follow this policy, but I think it is useful to recognize what winning the war on drugs would require. I'm not a pacifist- extreme violence has its uses. But you should never start a war if you can't stomach the measures needed to win it. You'll wind up doing whatever it is that you initially shrank from, eventually, but too late and too half-heartedly for it to be effective. The last thing we want is a police state full of drug addicts.

  • ||

    One more thing- What would the odds be we would know anything at all about this case if the homeowner was killed?

    I hear you can bet on anything in Vegas. Wonder if there is a bookie to set the odds for that.

  • ktc2||

    As someone who has been to China I can assure you it is not "drug free". Not sure why you think they "won" the war on drugs there.

    Perhaps you should go see for yourself.

  • ||

    nonesuch - "I'd order the cops to put a bullet in the head of anyone caught possessing controlled substances"

    And I would summarily hunt you down and put one in yours. Next.

  • DavidS||

    one day a presidential candidate will come around who will stop this kind of thing and won't have a past of mismanaging a 100-person circulation newsletter. That will be the guy we here at reason will vote for. Until then, tough shit for everyone caught up in the WOD.

    Paul is not going to end the war on drugs. He's just going to leave it up to the states to fight it how they like.

  • ||

    Are there no anti-drug war lawyers out there? It seems someone could become quite famous by fighting for Frederick in this case. Self-defense is winnable even if it seems like an uphill battle. Turn Frederick's fear of the burglary that occurred the week before into his reason for firing his weapon in the middle of the night. If he is telling the truth about growing Japanese Maples instead of drugs, he has a real chance. It only takes one juror to be sympathetic to his real fears of having his home broken into.

  • nonesuch||

    ktc2: China was pretty successful at eradicating opium, when they were willing to do what it took. They also managed to clamp down on prostitution and gambling to a remarkable degree- where there's a will there's a way. The problem is that it required really extreme measures, and as soon as they loosened up just a bit drugs, prostitution, and gambling came right back- were you in China before, say 1982, or after? If we want to win the war on drugs we will have to be more a police state than modern China is.

    and Dee: I think you have missed my point. I posed a hypothetical: "If I ran things" (I don't, and never will, though I've always liked the idea of naming a small ship the "I do") and "If I wanted to win the war on drugs" (again, I don't) "this is what I would do". Probably a lot of people wanted to hunt down Mao- none succeeded in doing so.

  • Episiarch||

    I just can't see how Frederick can be convicted. It was justifiable self defense. If he had a brick of hash for sale I could see a jury hanging him out to dry. But a joint or two? Oh noes, was there a six pack in the fridge too?

    Maybe I'm being optimistic (I have next to no knowledge about Virginia jurors), but I just can't see 12 people agreeing to convict here. Hung jury at worst.

  • Dave W.||

    Dave W-
    If it were 12 people from around this board, you'd be right.

    But twelve virginians? esp 12 tidewater virginians? Cop is dead, and drug user killed him. Case closed. And doubly so if Frederick is brown-ish and Shivers was white-ish


    That is what I meant by Machievellian. I think it would be healthier for society, even if he convicted. Maybe more so.

    Although, frankly, I don't think he would be convicted assuming that the policeman had the panel out of his door. I think Virginia is gunnutty (I mean in a healthy postive way) enough to understand that if someone is removing your door panel then that is enough to justify reasonable self defense.

    Besides raising self defense, that Broccoli lawyer should also raise the 4th Amendment right to resist unlawful arrest & seizure. It is about time that that forgotten nugget of old time law be dusted off and brought back into the mainstream. Tell Judge Scalia that when he talks about sufficient remedies against rogue cops that this was traditionally understood to be one of them. The seizure was clearly unlawful here because the warrant should have been for the garage, not the house.

  • robc||

    DavidS,

    He's just going to leave it up to the states to fight it how they like.

    Without a federal WoD and without fed money funding SWAT teams, how long do you think the state WoD will last? Especially in states that have already tried to legalize or decriminalize some things?

  • ||

    As Machievellian as it sounds, I think it would be healthier for society if the murder charge gets tried to a jury.

    Of course, even if the jury acquits, Mr. Frederick will have been punished by the process by being jailed pending acquittal, by having the charge on his record, and by all the costs it entails.

  • nonesuch||

    Episiarch: Good luck with that one. Compare to the Maye case. At least Frederick is white.

    and adrian: electing one president or another is about the least useful thing in this case. The War on Drugs is a perfect example of the problems with democracy. It is pursued because a significant chunk of the electorate wants it pursued. We were getting somewhere with this in the 70s, but then crack came along and woke every racial bugaboo from the 30s. I know nothing gets through to fervent Paulites, but you might stop to consider the idea that the drug war was reinvigorated by exactly the people those newsletters pandered to- people who consider blacks "animals".

  • ||

    One more thing- What would the odds be we would know anything at all about this case if the homeowner was killed?

    Radley would ferret it out and report. He's real good at that.

  • Dave W.||

    Of course, even if the jury acquits, Mr. Frederick will have been punished by the process by being jailed pending acquittal, by having the charge on his record, and by all the costs it entails.

    Yeah, I am kinda saying that it would be nice to have a Rosa Parks type figure. Easy for me to say. I am not volunteering for the role.

  • Dave W.||

    Radley would ferret it out and report. He's real good at that.

    Ummmm. First of all the police would have shot someone with a gun pointed at them. Second, a lot, lot more drugs would have been found in the house and garage.

    There are plenty of stories that show up on the Cop boards that Mr. balko steers clear of.

  • Episiarch||

    Episiarch: Good luck with that one. Compare to the Maye case. At least Frederick is white.

    As unfortunate and shitty as it is, being white is why I think he would get acquitted. Also, he is a little guy who looks relatively harmless and liked gardening (i.e. NERD). As I said, I just can't see all 12 people deciding to convict.

  • Dave W.||

    Radley would ferret it out and report. He's real good at that.

    as just a random example out of 100s I could choose:

    remember Rigoberto Alpizar, the man shot for running off a plane. Witness said that he was not shouting that he had a bomb. Investigators said he was shouting that he had a bomb. Alpizar was unavailable to testify. Case closed. Not much that Mr. Balko or anyone else can do with that.

    This is part of the reason that I fear that police departments will end up putting a higher priority on killing people like Mr. Frederick or Mr. Maye in the future. They like how the Alpizar thing or the daniel Castillo thing went down a lot better.

  • LarryA||

    Those rifles are semi auto - why do they call them 'assault rifles'?

    Violence Policy Center definition of "Bullet Hoses:"
    4. However, this is a distinction without a difference in terms of killing power. Civilian semiautomatic assault weapons incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly. They are arguably more deadly than military versions, because most experts agree that semiautomatic fire is more accurate-and thus more lethal-than automatic fire.
    5. The distinctive "look" of assault weapons is not cosmetic. It is the visual result of specific functional design decisions. Military assault weapons were designed and developed for a specific military purpose-laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone, also known as "hosing down" an area.
    (Emphasis in the original. Note that the two points contradict each other.) VPC is the Brady Center on steroids.

    C'mon! An enthusiastic hydroponic gardner that smokes weed but doesn't grow it?
    Good point - but why didn't they charge him for anything more?


    On the second search, an ounce was all they could "find" without getting caught? They could hardly claim to have missed five pounds during the original search.

    A more reasonable answer might be, if I was proud of my plants and wanted to show them off to the neighbors, I might not want weed among them.

  • Rimfax||

    I'm trying to keep up with the Ryan Frederick posts at the unofficial wiki. It may be easier to follow than Radley's search results.

  • ||

    I nominate Radley Balko for "Greatest social activist of the millennium"

    Keep on agitating.

  • nonesuch||

    Dave W. "remember Rigoberto Alpiza..." vaguely.. I think. Much as I admire Radley's reporting on this subject (while disliking his take on the Duke three), he isn't going to Rambo the war on the war on drugs. It's too big for one man ;).

    But yeah, once the cops shoot you you are less likely to tell your side of the story well- and the boot-lickers aren't going to do it for you. I'm reminded of an old joke (one appropriated by Terry Pratchett) about the nature of the Universe... the punchline is "You're very clever, young man, but it's turtles all the way down." Well, it's boot-lickers all the way down, and don't forget it.


    Dave W.: "I fear that police departments will end up putting a higher priority on killing people"

    I had the same thought about police priorities. Dead men tell no tales. In one post an officer was quoted saying they wouldn't have done anything differently. I was skeptical. I think that, knowing what they know now, they would have chosen to shoot first ;). One less dead cop, one more dead perp, that's a win, statistically.

    Epeisiarch: well, maybe the publicity will help Frederick, but the main difference between black guys who justifiably shoot cops and white guys who do so is what they wind up pleading to. The normal course for this case would be to point out to Frederick that he's facing a capital case and suggest that he might be better off taking the 25. With good behavior he could be out in 12.

    That 12 is a chimera. Having killed a cop is not the crime you want to come before a parole board with, and being white might even make it worse. The board will have some liberals and some conservatives. Both will understand that it is natural for a black man to shoot up some po-pos.

    The conservatives will want to punish the black man further for that, while the liberals will find it cruel to punish a man too much for his natural inclinations. Neither side will question whether or not it might have been reasonable to shoot that particular police. But Frederick is white- he has no excuse. Killing cops is aberrant behavior for a white man, and that means that even the liberals on the board will want to hang onto him.

    If I were Frederick, I think I'd want to go to jury trial, but it's easy to say that when you aren't facing a death sentence.

  • skoal||

    How's the weather up there, Ayn Randian?

  • ||

    A more reasonable answer might be, if I was proud of my plants and wanted to show them off to the neighbors, I might not want weed among them.

    During that several day period that the police department went dark on this, I'll bet you anything they talked to a few neighbors who said they had seen the "grow operation" and they never saw anything but maple trees.

  • ||

    Somebody used the term "Drug War Victims". I would like to see some numbers on how many Americans have been truly victimized by our governments war on drugs, which at this point is nothing more than a very big business. If so many lives wern't being ruined it would almost be comical.

  • noesuch||

    LarryA: "civilian semiautomatic assault weapons incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly"

    I suppose that being able to "hose down" an area might make weapons deadlier for people who can't shoot straight. But I'd be willing (hypothetically- in reality I'd rather not) to duel someone carrying an "assault rifle" with even a child's 22. At 20 paces the outcome might be uncertain- at 50 it wouldn't.

    Full disclosure: I've never shot another human being. But I sure as hell have killed some deer- more than any normal hunter has. When I was a kid we were allowed to take as many deer as we wanted, buck or doe, any time of year- our hunting season started on 1 Jan and ended on 31 Dec. I was taught a "one shot one kill" policy, mainly because it is a pain in the ass to track down a wounded animal.

    The truth is that a good rifle is still a lot more dangerous than an "assault weapon" if the man holding the rifle can shoot.

  • ||

    "A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the first-degree murder case against Ryan Frederick, a 28-year-old Chesapeake man accused of killing a Chesapeake police detective.

    Chesapeake Commonwealth's Attorney Nancy Parr said this morning that she requested a special prosecutor because her office worked closely with the detective in the prosecution of drug offenses and the forfeiture of money and property in such cases. Parr made the request for an outside prosecutor to avoid any perceived appearance of conflict or bias by her office."

  • ||

    The story was printed on another board I frequent. Unfortunately, this was one of the min sentiments:

    Pot-head loser. Kill him.



    And unfortunately the jury is more likely going to be made up of 12 people who think like that than it is with 12 people who think like the majority of people on this blog do.

  • ||

    The Tidewater area has a large African-American population. As racist as it sounds, if I'm Frederick's lawyer, I make sure that's who sits on the jury.

    What will it take to end this horrific crap? When non-marginal and/or prominent people start being victimized in large numbers. In that way, it's no different than the '60s anti-war movement. Apart from a few "lifers," it didn't start in earnest until the draft boards started plucking nice white college boys to go to Vietnam, rather than just blacks and white trash. (Note the sarcastic tone here--some folks don't seem well attuned to that, and I don't want to get into a tedious discussion about it).

  • ||

    This is the first I have heard of this story, this has become a troubling trend lately by police forces. Waiting until it's reasonably certain that the home occupant is sleeping, then conduct a no-knock raid. To me this is all the proof I need that the police forces do this to maximize the danger and risk to both the police officer and the subject of the raid.

    It would not surprise me in the least if the departments who conduct these raids also have an acceptable police casualty figure as well. They have to know that they will be shot at by a percentage of the raided 'suspects'.

    While I am no fan of lawsuits, a few families of the slain detectives successfully suing some police departments for reckless raid policies leading to the loss of a father/son/etc. would put an end to these raids quicker then any legislative action. The trick here is for the families to realize what really cost them their loved one.

  • nonesuch||

    "A special prosecutor has been appointed..."

    This is probably good news for Frederick. Parr is right to do this- the local prosecutors probably knew the deceased too well to be allowed to bring the charges. If Frederick is lucky the outside prosecutor will not hit him with a capital case- it's a lot easier to negotiate when you aren't facing the death penalty. That said, I think this guy is looking at some time. Andrew's right- if this comes to trial it is unlikely to involve 12 angry men. It will be 12 bored burghers, and they will convict. He shot a cop.

    Rachel: well, if I wanted to calculate the number victims of the war on drugs, and if I wanted to restrict that to residents of the US, I'd start by setting a threshold. How victimized must you be to be counted?

    Absent that, I'd say that we should assume that all citizens of the US are victims, to one degree or another. From that number I would subtract everyone who gains more than they lose... this would include most politicians, most cops, all correction officers, and many dealers.

    Call that 5% of the population. The population of the US recently passed 300 million. So, I think that we can safely say that at least 285 million US citizens are victims of the drug war.

    Here's a better question: how many victims of the drug war are happy to wage it?

  • ||

    As racist as it sounds, if I'm Frederick's lawyer, I make sure that's who sits on the jury.

    You underestimate the universal human desire to see people who aren't "us" get fucked. Individuals who should know better, assembled into a group (of, say, 12), will always regress to it. Sympathy - and maybe even reason - is only personal.

    You'd have to strategically split that jury's makeup very carefully to avoid a group-reactionary conviction. The best you could reasonably expect is to hang it.

    This guy's boned.

  • ||

    We're all primarily victims of the drug war because A) we pay for it through excessive taxation and B) it takes away from finding, prosecuting, and imprisoning legitimate criminals such as murderers, rapists, thieves, child molesters, and politicians. It actually creates murderers, thieves, and politicians in many instances, so it's doubly worse in that regard.

    If you like to partake in certain vices, you are further victimized.

  • ||

    "You underestimate the universal human desire to see people who aren't "us" get fucked."

    I wonder how a black juror would view this case. Would s/he view it as "OK, time for a white man to pay for a change" or "fuck the cops." Considering jurors are made up of voters, any black folks on the jury are probably the community church going types and might side with the police and/or think the drug pusher needs to be rehabilitated.

    Frederick's best hope is for an intelligent gun rights advocate on the jury, and that brings up my next question. What happens if there is a hung jury? Do they re-try the case? If all it takes is one...

    I so wish I was on that jury.

  • ||

    "Here's a better question: how many victims of the drug war are happy to wage it?"

    snitches = vichy

  • ||

    Nonesuch, I'm willing to bet China is not drug-free. It's probably deep underground. But I'll agree for arguement's sake. You give a great example of how much like our enemies we must become to win.

    To win (if possible), we must abandon everything we stand for. Why fight that war.

  • ||

    Living in Colorado, my home is my castle is not only a slogan, but also written into law, as it is in Texas I understand as well, probably other states, but I don't know.

    Anyway, I can't help but wonder, why you don't hear about this kind of things in CO. I can't speak for TX, as I don't live there, so anything would have to be national news for me to hear of it.

    Anyway, in my town, there have been a rash of 2 AM forced burglaries involving busting down of a door and multiple suspects entering the residence armed. As a result, we keep one of our handguns out of the gun safe and next to our bed. If I were startled awake by armed strangers, I am quite certain I would open fire, shoot first ask questions later, my wife and kids safety depend on it.

    I am also sure that even if they strangers were shouting POLICE POLICE, in my heightened state at the moment, with adrenaline pumping and still half awake, I wouldn't even recognize the word, and there would certainly be dead people in my house, probably including me.

    Maybe thats why we don't have many no knock raids here in Colorado, the cops know that people shoot to kill when someones breaking in at night.

    Maybe more states should adopt the castle doctrine.

  • ||

    I wonder how a black juror would view this case. Would s/he view it as "OK, time for a white man to pay for a change" or "fuck the cops." Considering jurors are made up of voters, any black folks on the jury are probably the community church going types and might side with the police and/or think the drug pusher needs to be rehabilitated.

    Frederick's best hope is for an intelligent gun rights advocate on the jury, and that brings up my next question. What happens if there is a hung jury? Do they re-try the case? If all it takes is one...

    I so wish I was on that jury.


    You're right, it depends on the jury. But in the Tidewater area, I would rather take my chances with a black juror, who could have either direct or indirect acquaintance with police misbehavior, over a gun-rights type that is likely also to be military or ex-military, who I'm guessing would have a strong "law 'n order" stance. Trust me, after trying to talk about the drug war with my Navy uncle, I wouldn't want him on Frederick's jury, and there are a lot of guys like my uncle living in the Tidewater.

    Also consider that the special prosecutor may be more likely to offer a "reasonable" plea agreement, since he won't be part of the local political process. Regardless of the injustice, such a deal might be tempting for Frederick, given the uncertainty of the situation.

  • Ken Hagler||

    SIV asked:

    "Am I being a paranoid cop-hater... or is this exactly what it looks like?"

    It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

  • nonesuch||

    TrickyVic SAYS: "Nonesuch, I'm willing to bet China is not drug-free"

    Well, not anymore, and that's part of my point. They got soft ;). Trust me on this one- they really did make opium use rare for a while. They proved that it is possible to eliminate the underground- you just have to shoot them on the spot.

    But, thanks for understanding what I am getting at. The truth is that China got fucked with China's permission. The war against opium is a small part of that.

  • nonesuch||

    If I were doing jury selection I would do my best to keep blacks off the jury. I'd be looking for people with macbooks- maybe people who own Subarus. Blacks won't empathize with a suburban white guy.

  • ||

    I'd post bail if possible and take off. You'd never hear from me again. I would not even hope my 5% chance of aquittal succeeded. I'd be in South America so fast, your head would spin. Even if I thought I had a good chance at victory in the case, why risk it? I'd send incremental payments to the bail bondsman if I felt he could find me and I'd just keep moving. Like Kaiser Soze, I'd be gone.

  • Paul||

    Not a peep thus far from the ACLU of Virginia?

    It involved a firearm. ACLU steers clear of anything related to that.

  • nonesuch||

    Lamb: "I'd post bail if possible and take off."

    My mom was nuts enough to register my existence under a few names, in a few countries. This makes me a citizen of more than one nation, under more than one name. I'm _still_ not sure where I was born.

    But, I don't think you get out on bail when you shoot cops. I'm pretty sure they are going to keep you. No Costa Rica for you, motherfucker,

  • ||

    """Trust me on this one- they really did make opium use rare for a while. They proved that it is possible to eliminate the underground- you just have to shoot them on the spot."""

    Make opium use rare? I agree, but not end drug use. I doubt it was ever drug free. However, if you want to say that's good enough to be called a victory for your example, I'll play along. Besides the most important thing to take from your post is how far we would have to go to get remotely close to a drug war victory. It's not worth it.

  • ||

    Then break me the fuck out, nonesuch!

  • nonesuch||

    TrickyVic: My point is that they won their war on drugs. It can be done. You just have to decide to give some shit up to win it.

    and, On the Lamb: As a matter of fact I have given money to a few people fleeing drug charges. They get to hang out on pristine beaches and swim in blue waters. Good! I'm not rich, but I have enough money that I can put a bit of it toward my ideals.

  • ||

    Speaking of similar cases...this was on Channel 3 news site:
    http://www.wtkr.com/global/story.asp?s=7805833

  • ||

    Ryan Frederick should not be charged with any crime for defending his home. Here in the bay area there are several brutal home invasion robberies every month.

    Doors are broken down, victims are tortured, robbed and murdered by vicious crooks. Like SWAT teams they do not knock. These merciless thieves crash in, take the household prisoner, steal everything worth taking and force victims to give up pin numbers so they can close out their bank accounts.

    When the police behave like dangerous brigands, they have to accept the risk that an innocent resident will shoot first when they smash in the door rather than risking death at the hands of outlaws.

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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