Cops Mistakenly Confront a Judge, Her Family at Gunpoint

In Florida.

Broward Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes, her sister and her sister’s family says they were ordered at gun point by several Broward Sheriffs Deputies on Easter Sunday to come out of her sister’s home with their hands up.

It was no evening of peace for the Deerfield Beach family, who’d just finished dinner with friends and family, and sent extra Easter dinner to a needy family connected with their church. Then, at 8:20 p.m., police got a call about a possible burglary next door. But a bad address caused police to go to the wrong home.

“Do I feel safe?” asked Carmita Scarlett, the homeowner and sister of Judge Holmes. "No, absolutely not. No, no. So much confusion, so much anger. So much, almost like, resentment. You know, ‘you made the mistake and,’ I told them, ‘I'm the victim and you're upset with me?’”

The call to police said there might be a burglar inside 235 Southwest 4th Street. But there is no 235. Only 236 and 230.

Arriving police outside spotted someone inside 230 – Neville Scarlett was in the kitchen cleaning up the Easter dinner plates - and thought he might be the burglar.

He was not...

"There's a man with a gun and he's going to shoot me!!" yelled Carmita. “I thought it was the robber!" Her sister, Judge Holmes, came running to the kitchen. The judge carries a legal firearm and immediately pulled it out and held it in her hand.

"She said ‘Who are you!? What are you doing?!’ He said ‘this is BSO.’ She said, ‘this is Circuit Court Judge Ilona Holmes!!’” Carmita said.

"'I'm the owner of this home. I'm Carmita Scarlett. Why are you at my home?’ I kept saying that. They said ‘put your hands up and come outside,'" she said.

If this had been a drug raid and the police had actually broken into the home, we'd probably be looking at a body or two.

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  • Hank||

    If this had been a drug raid and the police had actually broken into the home, we'd probably be looking at a body or two.

    Reads like disappointment.

  • ||

    Maybe if the cops fucked up and killed a judge on one of these bullshit drug raids we would see some real change.

    Who am I kidding, nothing would change.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    They already killed a mayor's dogs and nothing changed.

  • Nomic||

    Maybe, but there's a big difference between a small town Maryland mayor and a circuit court judge.

  • ||

    Maybe, but there's a big difference between a small town Maryland mayor's dogs and a human circuit court judge.

    ftfy

  • zoltan||

    Also between a white man and black woman.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Wait, are you trying to imply or somehow insinuate that law enforcement officers - our public servants - might make some kind of distinction in how they treat or otherwise react with members of the general public, based purely on the color of their skin?

  • Otto||

    I don't know how she was prior to this, but I suspect cops going before the judge will not have an automatic assumption of truth in her court now.

  • Cyto||

    Libertarianism happens to people?

  • Otto||

    If a conservative is a liberal who's been "mugged by reality," a libertarian is a liberal or conservative who's been "mugged by government."

  • ||

    A NEOCON is a liberal who's been mugged by reality.

  • Gabe E||

    I like this game.

    A rastafarian is a liberal who was mugged by a bong.

  • ||

    Probably the only thing that saved her was being part of the legal industrial complex.
    Right now I am looking up what judges are called in Maryland and the names of any that appear similar to me.

    Hmmmm...Latiksha Washington Carver...cops might not buy that. Have to keep looking...

  • Joe M||

    Probably the only thing that saved her was being part of the legal industrial complex.

    "When someone asks you if you're a god, you say 'YES!'"

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'm "A" god, I'm not "the" God.

  • Nomic||

    Thank you, Mr. Zeddemore.

  • sarcasmic||

    “I know no one apologized, OK? And, to me, if you want to make amends for something, you want to make peace, you apologize, you shake, you leave, you say ‘I'm sorry,’" she said. "And, you know, the cop that had his gun on me, he said ‘well, I was fearing for my life.’ I said ‘really! You were fearing for your life? Really?’ He said ‘forget it - I'm out of here.'"

    Carmita says she just wanted someone that night to apologize.

    I wonder if the judge will have less sympathy for cops in the future.

    Naaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  • X||

    ‘well, I was fearing for my life.’

    I can't help but notice these guys are in a constant state of pant-pissing fear. must be the roids.

  • WTF||

    Not really - I think this is the rehearsed equivalent of "He's coming right at us!" or "Stop resisting!".

  • sarcasmic||

    That's exactly what it is.

    Now that the judge knows that when cops say shit like that they're just reading from a script, will she be less apt to believe them in court?

    I doubt it.

    She depends on the police for "protection".

  • Restoras||

    It's not teh 'roidz - it's them reverting to the cowards they are when confronted by someone else with greater power. They are bullies - nothing more.

  • ||

    Exactly. "Roid rage" is actually pretty much a myth. Why blame roids? It's the cops who are to blame, not steroids. They'll act this way regardless. And that's the problem.

  • James J.B.||

    Agreed. Lifted weights for years. Knew guys who took vitamin s and who didn't. Pretty much if you were a dick before - you just became a dick on roids.

    I never took the stuff though - but bunch of friends did.

  • Highway||

    Not even 'greater' power. More like 'anything approaching equal' power.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Not even 'greater' power. More like 'anything approaching equal' power anything with a pulse.

  • Warren||

    --The call to police said there might be a burglar inside 235 Southwest 4th Street. But there is no 235. Only 236 and 230.--

    So police procedure is to just pick another address and go from there?

  • Otto||

    I was wondering about that, too. Since the call was about an odd numbered address, if you're gong to choose, do you pick the nearest number, or one that's on the same side of the street?

  • Kristen||

    Or do you call dispatch for clarification and not just pick a house randomly?

  • sarcasmic||

    Or look for movement through a window, point your gun at it, and approach slowly.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Slowly? Why waste time? Run the fuck in there!!

  • Warren||

    There's crime here somewhere! Quick! To the Random Address Generator!

  • This||

    +1e26

  • ||

    Most of these guys are not very bright.

  • ||

    In most communities, odd- and even- numbered houses are on opposite sides of the street.

  • Cyto||

    Meanwhile, 3 days later the bodies are discovered in the garage across the street from the mistaken raid on a Broward County Judge....

  • Joe M||

    235, 236, whatever it takes.

  • Warren||

    A Mister Mom reference? Impressive.

  • Teri Garr||

    The whole time I had no idea my husband was Batman.

  • Warren||

    You used to be so cute-hot then you hit a wall. Just a pile of uggo now.

  • Shmenge||

    She did have a stroke, you know

  • Warren||

    How is that supposed to make her sexier?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    So what's Bridget Bardot's excuse?

  • Zeb||

    Not enough meat.

  • ||

    What knockers.

  • Michael Keaton||

    I laughed.

  • ||

    In the limit where everyone is a government employee, every time this happens it will be to a government employee.

  • WTF||

    I wonder if this judge has signed off on any 'dynamic entry' warrants.

  • rather ||

    Radley, are you sure this isn't some fantasy you're having?

  • rather retarded||

    I had a fantasy once. I was below 400 pounds in it.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    400 pounds of what? And why was it above you?

  • rather retarded||

    Are you trying to make fun of my weight small dick! Shut the fuck up little boy!

  • Nomic||

    Seriously dude, low carb works.

  • ||

    Does cat feces have carbs?

  • rather||

    I love your frustration helle

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder if the police bothered to look for odd numbered houses on the other side of the street.

  • Jim||

    STOP RESISTING YOUR HONOR!

  • ||

    If this had been a drug raid and the police had actually broken into the home, we'd probably be looking at a body or two.

    Honestly, I often wonder if the risk of getting shot by a cop because you have a gun in your hand or shooting a cop because you think he/she is a burglar outweighs the benefit of protecting yourself from actual burglars and other criminals.

  • sarcasmic||

    Honestly, I often wonder if the risk of getting shot by a cop because you have a gun in your hand or being killed by the police after mistakenly shooting a cop because you think he/she is a burglar outweighs the benefit of protecting yourself from actual burglars and other criminals.
    ftfy

    Last year round here police surrounded a home, guns drawn, without identifying themselves, and then killed the homeowner who armed himself after seeing guys with guns outside.

    Shooting was ruled justified.

    The officer said he felt his life was in danger.

  • ||

    While that is indeed more specific, I think I'm also afraid of going to jail for shooting a cop or even spending large amounts of money to defend myself even if I were to ultimately be found innocent.

    I suppose it's hard to quantify, but I would seriously be curious to see somebody compare the relative risks.

  • sarcasmic||

    You really think you'd live long enough to defend yourself after shooting a cop?

    Cop killers tend to die in a hail of bullets more often than not.

  • Cyto||

  • Cyto||

    “The one that first recognized her, he picked the gun up, opened it up, took the bullets out, he started giving her a speech: ‘Judge Holmes, you know, these guys may not know who you are. I know who you are. This could have been so different.’ And my sister said, ‘everyone of ya'll know me. Ya'll been before me’.”

    Because if he didn't recognize her, she shouldn't have been exercising her rights to self defense. As if the fact that she's a judge plays in to how they should treat a private citizen in their own home (or their family's home) when there isn't even an allegation of criminal activity.

  • Nomic||

    I suppose it's hard to quantify, but I would seriously be curious to see somebody compare the relative risks.

    If FOIA applied to the police like to most other government, it would be a simple matter to see which is more common. Meanwhile, stay off ladders.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Since there wasn't a address that matched the call. The police should've gone through the neighborhood knocking on doors. Asking if everyone was okay & if they had seen anything suspicious going on in the neighborhood. Instead of picking a house at random charging in guns unholstered.

  • ||

    Hey! They train that kind of common sense right out of you! Knocking on doors, acting like homeowners are real people - wtf?

  • Cyto||

    I think cowhead meant they should go around kicking in random doors and shooting dogs until they find the perp. Or a perp. Whatever...

  • ||

    A black person inside a house in a nice neighborhood=probable cause

  • Tman||

    What's crazy about this story is that they were ready to boot stomp this poor lady even though she had put the gun down until one of the older cops recognized who she was. If he hadn't have been there they would have ended up tackling the poor lady and cuffing her because SHE WOULDN'T STEP AWAY FROM THE GUN fast enough.

    And then they have the audacity to say "hey, we are trying to get home safe every night".

    Fuck these people sideways.

  • cynical||

    I kinda wish they had -- this shitstorm would have gotten a whole lot more interesting.

  • ||

    In other news, the burglar got away. And has hella fishing story to tell his buddies.

  • ||

    But keep in mind if you don't support the cops' actions 100% you're soft on crime.

  • ||

    Exactly. And gun-control quite literally is only a civilian thing. Guns-out-of-control for the fuzz is normal operating procedure.

    Oh, and to see what cops are like in a society with very effective gun-control policies may I suggest Syria...

  • Spoonman.||

    Maybe they should have looked in the creepy boarded-up building?

    Street View

  • Cyto||

    About 10 minutes from my house.... Our kids probably play together in the park. Glad to know we're so well protected.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    Holy crap, a judge lives in that neighborhood? Guess that job doesn't pay what it used to.

  • Spoonman.||

    No, her sister does.

  • rather ||

    I'd want to be shot if I lived in a house like that

  • rather retarded||

    I prefer one room apartments with cat shit all over the floor.

  • 'nuff said||

    I'd rather be shot for a blog like this http://rctlfy.wordpress.com/ (note, don't click on the link it just encourages her)

  • too late||

    reason.com 3,033

  • ||

    The judge carries a legal firearm and immediately pulled it out and held it in her hand.

    I'm surprised they didn't just start firing through the window.

  • ||

    Well, cops, if you're going to threaten people with deadly force, don't be all surprised when they feel like they've been threatened with deadly force and react accordingly.

    Every action gets a reaction. You go in heavy, don't surprised if somebody pushes back. You don't want people to push back, don't go in heavy.

    And if you're not comfortable unless you start the escalation yourself, then maybe you shouldn't be a cop.

  • sarcasmic||

    I am convinced that many who seek out an occupation that allows them to club people and shoot people do so with a desire to club people and shoot people.

    The want people to push back because it gives them an excuse to use force.

    Hello?

  • sarcasmic||

    *They*

  • Otto||

    And if push back isn't forthcoming, they'll invent it. Hence "stop resisting."

  • rather ||

    waiting, Mr. Dean

  • rather retarded||

    I don't think he has sex with obese losers.

  • ||

    waiting for what, rather?

  • rather retarded||

    Fuck me, small dick boy!

  • rather||

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....nt_2252957

    Of course, rather gets it wrong. Trust me on this one, I'm a hospital attorney in Texas.

  • rather||

    Rather's law

    Whenever anyone asserts rather gets it wrong or Trust me on this one, I'm a blah blah with a penis they are always wrong and Rather is always right

  • Arcaster||

    Sexist much, Rather?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Wait, I missed the part where the cops shot the dog.

  • Nomic||

    So common now it isn't worth mentioning?

  • ||

    I need to know where some judges are having Memorial Day parties. These sound like the bect crank calls ever. Somebody tape the next cop-judge shoot-out.

  • Obama Justice Dept||

    This is part of the populace-conditioning process for the fatherland security policy. Nothing wrong here -- just an honest mistake by brave public servants who are risking their lives.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    We really ought to organize national "anonymous tips" calls on homes where judges live. Until they see the shitstorm firsthand, SWAT will continue unabated.

  • ||

    This wasn't a mistake. This was the police with a shoot first, worry about if we got the bad guy later mentality. Standards have come way down since 911.

  • DCCTV ||

    I agree with your ideas.it was an accident. a series of wacky coincidences.

  • ||

    But nobody was shot. and 1 guy did have a gun. So that thory is not even close. What is so hard about letting them in to make sure nobody is hiding behind the door with a gun, or upstairs holding a family member hostage? I dont like bad cops any more than anybody. And I think the majority are good people enforcing stupid laws designed to get money for the state, not safety. But not every cop is out to get black people and some things they do like this actually has a good reason. serously i cant figure out why so many people think a cops job is not stop people, but still protect? god forbid this judge was really being held and robbed and the cop just left.

  • ||

    But nobody was shot. and 1 guy did have a gun. So that thory is not even close. What is so hard about letting them in to make sure nobody is hiding behind the door with a gun, or upstairs holding a family member hostage? I dont like bad cops any more than anybody. And I think the majority are good people enforcing stupid laws designed to get money for the state, not safety. But not every cop is out to get black people and some things they do like this actually has a good reason. serously i cant figure out why so many people think a cops job is not stop people, but still protect? god forbid this judge was really being held and robbed and the cop just left.

  • ||

    Ok it sux, and im glad nobody was hurt. but it was an accident. a series of wacky coincidences. just be glad it was over and nobody was hurt. what happens when there really is a burglar and cops are too afraid to do anything because it may not? cops dont know what to expect and its not entirely unreasonable to assume a burglar could be forcing someone to lie.

  • ||

    honestly this reminds me of that gates crap. the guy gets a call and was investigating and has to deal with an uppity ahole with a chip on his shoulder who was pissed that the cop dared questioned him

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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