Derrick Foster Speaks

Foster, remember, is the former Ohio State University football player charged with shooting and wounding two police officers during a drug raid in Columbus. He had no prior criminal record, had a conceal carry permit for his gun, wasn't involved with any illicit drugs, and has a spotless record of employment as a code inspector for the city of Columbus. Foster admits he was at the house the police raided to shoot dice, but says he had no idea the raiding officers were cops.

From the article:

"What I heard was a boom," said Derrick Foster. "Like somebody was trying to kick in the door."

Foster, who played football at Ohio State, told 10TV News that he never heard anyone identify themselves as police officers.

"The first reaction from everyone inside was we were being robbed," Foster said. "We're being robbed."

Foster admitted that he went to the East Rich Street house to gamble. He also said he brought his gun - which he had a license to carry - for self-defense.

"My whole mentality was, if there were robbers, I want them to know somebody's in here with a gun," Foster said. "Go away."

According to Foster, someone else inside the home fired the first shot.

"Whoever was outside fired back in, and that's when I un-holstered my gun and I fired two shots," Foster said. "Basically, I was firing two shots, like a warning shot."

[...]

"They feel like, hey, this guy's a criminal," Foster said. "I'm not that. I'm not that -- and I want them to know I'm not that."

"I'm more remorseful than any person could ever be. This is something that has to stick with me for the rest of my life."

The police don't seem to have any such regrets.

Officers Garrison and Gillis did not comment on the pending court case, but said anyone who opens fire on another person needs to be held accountable.

"I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person," Garrison said.

I wonder if that would include the officers who blindly fired back into the house.

Incidentally, this was the third drug raid of the night for the Columbus narcotics SWAT team. The police say the house Foster was in was "a suspected crack house." That doesn't appear to be the case. No one in the house has been charged with any drug crime. The only charges stemming from the raid are the attempted murder and felonious assault charges against Foster and Michael Gravely for their reaction to the raid. It looks like there wasn't even enough gambling going on to merit a charge.

It would be nice to see the Columbus media ask some tougher questions, here. Upon what evidence did the police conduct this raid? Why was this "a suspected crack house?" Why no drug charges? What does the affidavit say? Where there any controlled buys at the house? Is it typical for the narcotics unit to conduct three raids in one night? Early reports described a witness who claims to have heard police give an order to smash in the house's windows just prior to the raid. Did that witness hear an announcement? Was it loud enough to be heard by the people inside?

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  • Other Matt||

    "I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person," Garrison said.

    I wonder if that would include the officers who blindly fired back into the house.


    You should ask. Seriously. Ask them if it applies to the officers, it would be interesting to see how they weasel that one.

  • Episiarch||

    I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person," Garrison said.

    See, "person" is the operative word here. It means "peon". Cops aren't persons, they are a higher class to whom these rules do not apply.

    You have to learn how to understand cop language.

  • Taktix&#174||

    If only us civilians would just shut up and continue watching from the sidelines, none of this would ever happen.

    It's our fault really, for not having X-ray vision to see through the door and determine the thug in the black mask is a cop...

  • Other Matt||

    When we hear "police" we should just know it's police, I guess.

    "Candygram"

  • Bingo||

    Ugh, its too early in the day to read something like this. Damn you Balko!

  • ||

    "Officers Garrison and Gillis did not comment on the pending court case, but said anyone civilian who opens fire on another person needs to be held accountable."

    It would never occur to the badge-wearing baboons that they are subject to the same rules as the rest of us.

  • Fluffy||

    Why was it a suspected crackhouse?

    Because more than one adult black male entered it, of course!

    Don't you know that any house that attracts "traffic" that consists of black males immediately goes on the list of crack houses?

    After all, if a bunch of white guys go into a house, they could be getting ready to play D&D or something. But black males don't socialize unless it's to smoke crack.

    [/sarcasm]

  • ||

    "I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person," Garrison said.

    I'll leave the response to that quote to others. I don't hunt at the zoo either.

  • Bingo||

    Seriously, what does it say about an organization when the actions of its members are indistinguishable from the actions a common criminal? Does it delegitimize the organization or does it legitimize the criminal?

  • ||

    they could be getting ready to play D&D

    Don't make me roll a D20 on your ass! I once fucked a Beholder in six of his eyes!

  • ||

    Columbus media. Tough questions.
    What's wrong with this equation? Anyhow, I've asked the only guys who might have the inclination and opportunity to ask those questions (and who actually have an audience) to take a look at the appropriate thread on The Agitator. (I try to cover my tracks over here.) Maybe they'll get some ideas.
    The rest is in God's, or maybe Mencken's, hands.
    Thanks again, Radley, for keeping on top of this stuff.

  • jkp||

    I feel bad for Foster...still, it's a shame he obviously hadn't trained much with his firearm. It was reckless and irresponsible for him to fire wildly as a "warning shot". When you get through the emotions on this, it does appear to me that he exercised poor judgment while attempting to defend himself.

  • Episiarch||

    Those cops are just lucky Foster was only carrying his gun and didn't have his vorpal sword with him.

  • dhex||

    "I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person," Garrison said.

    wow. that's a stunning level of contempt for reality, huh?

    [insert joke about the perils of ignoring g. gordon liddy's advice here]

  • ||

    I have to admit, back in my days as a cop reporter I probably wouldn't have blinked at the cops' story. Just another raid on another "drug house" in a flurry of raids that go on all the time. The Buckeye football angle would have been the only interesting part.

    It's only because the guy was a football player, and he's got an attorney who is smart enough to let him talk to the media, that this is getting any play at all.

  • ||

    So if it wasn't a police raid, but an actual robbery, what would Officer Garrison think that Foster should have done?

    I'm sure the answer is something like "Let them have what they want, hope that you're not killed, and let the professionals handle the investigation, even though the best case scenario is that your possessions wind up in an evidence locker indefinitely".

  • ||

    Other Matt,

    "Candygram, my foot. You get out of here before I call the police. You're the shark, and you know it."

  • Mad Max||

    The Cleveland police were much more proactive than that wimpy Frenchman, Capt. Renault.

    When Capt. Renault closed Rick's Cafe - because he was "shocked, shocked" to find gambling going on there" - he simply announced to the patrons that the cafe was closed. He was in his official uniform, and he was already in the cafe (didn't have to break in). And he would probably have been known by sight to the patrons and staff. He cleared out the whole cafe without having to fire a shot.

    In Cleveland, of course, none of that wimpy stuff applies. No need to show yourself in your uniform or to announce yourself - I mean, this is America, not a French province, and Americans are expected to be more docile than French colonials and foreign riff-raff.

  • T||

    See, "person" is the operative word here. It means "peon". Cops aren't persons, they are a higher class to whom these rules do not apply.

    You know the score, pal. You're not cop, you're little people!

  • ||

    I've said it before, but as I make a wish-list for the house I plan to build one day, the security I build into it will be engineered to withstand a police raid.

    I figure if I can keep the SWATters out, the non-state sanctioned criminals won't have a prayer.

    Not that all cops are criminals, of course, but when designing static security measures, you have to plan for the worst case scenario. And I'm sad to say that the worst case scenario for home security is the SWAT Team, not the street criminals.

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    Some sort of twisting entry way would be good. Just don't set up any shotgun traps.

  • robc||

    I was thinking a front door with a little porch with a wall fronting the street. In other words, not enough room for a battering ram. Not sure how the modern ones work though. Steel reinforced door and no room to swing a ram should hold up.

  • ||

    Columbus media. Tough questions.
    What's wrong with this equation? Anyhow, I've asked the only guys who might have the inclination and opportunity to ask those questions (and who actually have an audience) to take a look at the appropriate thread on The Agitator. (I try to cover my tracks over here.) Maybe they'll get some ideas.
    The rest is in God's, or maybe Mencken's, hands.
    Thanks again, Radley, for keeping on top of this stuff.


    This Columbus resident agrees that the print media here are pathetic when it comes to anything other than Buckeye football, but this does seem like the type of story the Other Paper might cover. They're suprisingly independent from time to time.

  • ||

    robc,

    I think about reinforcing my house occasionally. My wife talks me out of it by having me look in a mirror. There's not even much chance of them getting the wrong address. My neighborhood is so lily-white it turns red on a sunny days.

    The fact that people who can anticipate and afford reinforcing their houses are the ones who will likely never need it is one of the big reasons no-knock raids are so common. I would imagine two solid whacks of a battering ram not bringing down a door would cause the average cop to piss his pants. That's why they never go after doors that might be...

    Balko gets me down.

  • T||

    RC,

    If you're paranoid like me, you'll design the house to not only withstand a SWAT raid but also facilitate active resistance to same.

    Cooper's Notes on Tactical Residential Architecture are a great starting point, btw.

  • ||

    matt,
    Unfortunatly, the Other Paper is currently undergoing a regime change. Their long-time editor quit a couple of months ago, and I just learned their interim editor is leaving next week.

  • lunchstealer||

    If only those guys hadn't failed their listen checks.

  • robc||

    SugarFree,

    The police chase that ended in my front yard about 2 AM a few months back got me thinking.

    Also, Im a homebrewer, there have been a few cases of idiot neighbors calling the cops on homebrewers because they are "running a meth lab in the garage". Those truly are isolated incidents, and its sounds like the cops usual get a good laugh out of it, but, youneverknow.

  • robc||

    lunchstealer,

    Like this?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Does it delegitimize the organization or does it legitimize the criminal?


    It would de-legitimize the organization.

  • ||

    robc,

    Point taken. Also, if you ever figure out how to make meth out of barley malt, plz post.

  • ||

    matt,

    I found The Columbus Dispatch to be pathetic on OSU football, too. Too whiny.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...if you ever figure out how to make meth out of barley malt, plz post.



    You can sometimes make LSD out of rye. Of course, you then die a horrible, horrible death if you ingest it.

  • ||

    So matt, PL, you think the TV news in C'bus is better? Just curious.

  • ||

    I don't watch the local news. Too much scaremongering for my tastes.

  • T||

    You can sometimes make LSD out of rye. Of course, you then die a horrible, horrible death if you ingest it.

    Technically, you can grow ergot fungus on rye. The fungus produces ergotamine and some other alkaloids. You can get hallucinations, but you can also die horribly or dilate your blood vessels so much you get gangrene in the extremities. As always, dose determines toxicity and watch out for side effects!

  • ||

    I've considered doing a little home fortification, but I like my ground-floor windows. I know shotguns are a bad idea. Here's a good one.

  • ||

    I hit your link, Maurkov. Are you recommending a moat?

  • ||

    Moat? hmmm....

    I was thinking of the motion activated sprinklers. "Repels cats, dogs, deer, large birds, raccoons and other critters." Even if it fails to repel those "other critters," the startled cries and swearing tips you off that a raid is eminent.

  • ||

    And I'm sad to say that the worst case scenario for home security is the SWAT Team, not the street criminals.

    How about a mouse-trap filled with donuts?

  • ||

    So matt, PL, you think the TV news in C'bus is better? Just curious.

    I've never actually seen a whole segment of the TV news in this town, but I hear that it's less than amazing.

    I just assumed that TV wouldn't be the first to cover this story properly.

  • Paul||

    Radley (and all), forgive me if I missed this coverage somewhere else on Reason, but did you guys catch this today:

    Atlanta cop sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison
    By WALTER PUTNAM

    Associated Press Writer

    ATLANTA -
    A city police officer was sentenced Thursday to 4 1/2 years in prison for lying to investigators about a botched drug raid that ended in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman.



    Whole thing here.

  • T||

    I hit your link, Maurkov. Are you recommending a moat?

    I like the moat idea. The turtle needs someplace to live, anyway.

  • ||

    Can I establish a zone of death around my home? Kind of like Mordor, but without all the evil?

  • lunchstealer||

  • ||

    I was hoping for something more effective than a Libyan line of death.

  • lunchstealer||

    I hear you can get a good deal on a Maginot line. Barely used. It's got retro appeal with all those fixed positions and art-deco bunkers.

  • ||

    Well, okay, but only if you assure me that you won't invade my home via Belgium. In writing.

  • ||

    I was on the OSU football team with Derrick in the early 90s. He was always a stand up guy who treated every one the same whether you were a walk on like myself or the best player on the team. I have to believe his side of the story 100% as he always did his job and never caused any trouble. I believe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Good Luck Derrick.

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  • دردشة يمنية||

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