Jose Guerena Evidence: Don't Buy Your Kids the Jesús Malverde Bobblehead

How weak is the evidence tying slain Iraq war veteran Jose Guerena to the drug ring and/or home invasion gang whose existence has been asserted (though not alleged – no arrests have been made) by the Pima County, Arizona Sheriff? 

Here is the full text of a press release [pdf] offered Thursday by the department: 

The investigation that lead [sic] to the service of the search warrants on May 5 is a complicated one involving multiple people suspected of very serious crimes. Sometimes, law enforcement agencies must choose between the desire of the public to quickly know details, and the very real threat to innocent lives if those details are released prematurely. Sheriff Dupnik has made it a departmental policy to be open and forthcoming with information released to the news media. When the decision is made to withhold information, as it has been in this case, there is a legitimate reason for that decision. The day the search warrant was served, we reported to the media that Mr. Guerena fired at SWAT officers. This is what was understood at that time. After a more detailed investigation, we learned that he pointed his assault rifle at SWAT officers, however, the safety was on and he could not fire. This is a clear example of erroneous information being provided without careful investigation. Rather than risking the release of further information, it is imperative that we complete all aspects of this investigation.

Complicating matters is the fact that multiple agencies were involved in this incident. The criminal investigation must be completed, in addition to the investigation by the County Attorney's office, prior to any administrative review of the actions of the officers involved in the shooting. By mutual agreement, that administrative review will include officials from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the Marana Police Department, the Oro Valley Police Department and the Sahuarita Police Department. Each of these agencies had officers involved in the shooting as members of the Pima Regional SWAT Team.

Since the Sheriff's Department has had such a long-standing practice of open and timely communication with members of the news media, it is understandable that questions are asked about when more information will become available. However, it is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a cover-up, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge. As a law enforcement professional with decades of experience, Sheriff Dupnik will make the decision to release the information when the investigation is completed, the danger to innocent lives has been mitigated, and all agencies involved have been given the opportunity to review the actions of their personnel.

Deputy Jason S. Ogan

Public Information Officer

Pima County Sheriff’s Department

(520) 351-3121

Jason.ogan@sheriff.pima.gov

pcsdpio@sheriff.pima.gov

www.pimasheriff.org

The self-exculpation on display in the first paragraph, blamethrowing in the second, and arrogance in the third don’t really need any commentary. 

As I noted the other day, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s Department is not the only source attempting to discredit Guerena, who was shot 60 times by a SWAT team shortly after 9am May 5, then left to die as police for more than an hour refused to allow paramedics to work on him. According to Michael Storie, attorney for the five shooters, a search of Guerena’s residence turned up firearms, body armor, a portion of a “law enforcement uniform,” and a picture of Jesús Malverde. 

More about Malverde in a moment. Storie’s claim differs from the search results reported in a televised interview Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Michael O'Connor gave to KGUN days after the killing. O’Connor used the phrase “may have been” rather than “was” in reference to material supposedly found in some of the four residences raided on May 5. O'Connor's list included: “drug ledgers, narcotics paraphernalia, any other connecting material between the residences, in addition to a large sum of money – somewhat larger than what you would normally expect to have in anyone’s home” 

However, O’Connor conceded that these things had been found at homes other than Guerena’s. In Guerena’s residence, he claimed only that police had found “connecting material to the drug conspiracy.” 

Keep in mind that this televised interview occurred about a week after the raid, and concerned only the material found during the service of a search warrant. It’s not about the circumstances of Guerena’s death. There might legitimately be confusion over the play-by-play in a fatal military-style engagement during which one side – consisting of five armed men – discharged 71 rounds, while the other side – consisting of one man with a safety-locked weapon, one unarmed woman and one unarmed four-year-old child – discharged zero rounds. But there is no reason, and certainly no excuse, for confusion about what was found in Guerena’s home. Reconciling O’Connor’s claims with Storie’s suggests the only item potentially linking the Marine veteran to a drug conspiracy was the picture of Jesús Malverde. 

Jesús Malverde, a probably mythical Robin Hood figure who is said to have died at the hands of Porfirio Diaz’s dictatorship in 1909, is the subject of a cult centered in Sinaloa, Mexico. Malverde tchotchkes can be found throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

While both English and Spanish media associate the Jesús Malverde cult with narcotraficantes, Malverde’s powers of intercession extend far beyond the drug trade. With judicious use of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, the official prayer to the non-church-approved Malverde is said to be effective for immigrants and people who have been ripped off. There’s even a story of supernatural malfunctions of Caterpillar machinery during an attempt to knock down a chapel consecrated to the popular bandit, though Caterpillar equipment has performed up to specs against Malverde-fortified locations in Kelseyville, California and the lovely but gang-troubled Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Maria Alicia Pulido Sanchez, a Mexico City acolyte, told AP in 2007 that she built the capital's first public shrine to Malverde after her son recovered quickly from injuries sustained in a December 2005 car crash. That Guerena had a picture of Jesús Malverde tells us two things: He had a family to worry about and he shared the belief of most Americans that a supernatural being or beings can influence earthly circumstances. 

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  • rather||

    and a picture of Jesús Malverde
    Does this mean we should dump my pictures from the JFK grave or the Secret Service will come after me? .... the Auschwitz camp pics or Nazi hunters will be after my ass?

    ...Oh fuck! I still have my real naked Barbies

  • Attila the Huh||

    Rather than risking the release of further information, it is imperative that we complete all aspects of this investigation.

    Huh?

  • ||

    Rather than risking the release of further information, it is imperative that we complete all aspects of this investigation.

    Translation: We're still working on the lies, cut us some slack. This one will be a doozy.

  • ||

    Even a pretentious dick can agree with this.

    Look for some serious mental gymnastics from the PCSD in the near future.

  • ||

    I agree with it, so yeah, I see your point.

  • rather||

    I propose we call a Sloopybyrd any pretentious ass who wants a meme named after him

  • Cyto||

    Additional translation:

    "The information we released was prejudicial against the decedent. This is different.

    There could be information here that might not look so good for our guys, so we're going to make sure that whatever does come out, it is minimal and delayed as much as possible to ensure that the story dies on the vine and nobody cares any more."
  • Um||

    Guerena...was shot 60 times by a SWAT team

    Shot or shot at?

  • ||

    Shot. They discharged 71 shots, IIRC.

  • Um||

    left to die as police for more than an hour refused to allow paramedics to work on him

    A quibble, but if he was hit 60 times, I doubt he was alive for more than a few minutes, not an hour.

  • ||

    You're wrong.

  • KingTaco||

    I was thinking the same thing. I know it's a small piece in an ugly story, but someone being shot *60 times* (at close range no less) is most likely going to be literally shot to pieces.

    I don't know what the ragin' redneck SWAT team was armed with. But anything more than .22 pistols (and it wasn't .22 pistols) is going to seriously rend a body. 9mm and small automatic rifle rounds are more often than not designed to do piercing damage, rather than messy expansive tissue damage. Even so, *60 rounds*? Again, a body would be torn apart. And frankly, that's a hell of a lot times to be shot at and hit. Even by demented SWAT members.

    I've been sadly shocked by how many people have been killed by relatively low powered, semi-auto handguns at several school shooting (such as VT), so I could be wrong here. But 60 rounds, and still being alive for awhile? That just doesn't sound right.

  • Were all doomed||

    They were using BB guns.

  • ||

    that's because AZ is israeli trained

  • ||

    it doesn't say he was alive for an hour. it says police refused to allow paramedics entry to work on him for that period of time. it's your assumption (or not) that he was/wasn't alive and/or was able to be saved.

    i agree with your point that 60 scattered rifle shots over a human body is about 99.9% chance of a certain fatality, with no chance whatsoever to save him.

    i used to be a firefighter/EMT (and some SWAT guys are also), and there is still a duty to render medical assistance enough to at least check, though.

    the family of one of the guys in the famous bank of america robbery (LAPD) that was all the headlines for a long time, sued the cops for not getting medical assistance fast enough to the guy. it certainly happen.

    SWAT ime often carries .223. 9mm is also not uncommon (for carbines). snipers (obviously not an issue here) tend to use a variety of different rifles.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    His widow said he was still making noise when she was dragged out of the house.

  • JD||

    When choking on your own blood, your last breaths frequently are noisy.

  • ||

    "making a noise" would SUGGEST he was alive, but not dispositive. I've dragged a corpse before. it makes noise.

  • Um||

    My point being that the "left to die as police for more than an hour refused to allow paramedics to work on him" part of the story seems intended more as propaganda (or at least supposition) than fact. How do paramedics "work on" a dead man? How does a man survive for more than an hour with 60 gun shots? As I said, it's a quibble, but only if accurate, bias-free reporting is a quibble.

  • ||

    Propaganda nothing. He was alive, no matter how many times he was shot. Police denied aid. That makes it murder pure and simple.

  • Cyto||

    Give the 911 tapes a gander. They'll dispel you of the myth of the valiant public servant. The wife is begging for an ambulance and they spend 15 minutes quibbling over protocol before dispatching one.

    Meanwhile, the officers on the scene didn't allow paramedics in to help someone that at the time they believed to have fired on them - there was even some immediate confusion that one of them had been shot (debris from another officer's round hitting their helmet). Simplest explanation is that they were jacked up on testosterone and emotion and didn't want to render aid.

    This is not exactly an unthinkable reaction. We are talking about human beings after all - they tend to do irrational things in high stress situations. The place to focus ire is with the commanders who put these people in this kind of situation. And then they compound their culpability by not providing the kind of level-headed oversight that would have at least seen a paramedic checking vital signs and applying pressure to visible wounds as our homeowner breathes his last breath.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Assuming for MP5s with 9mm cartridges, they probably cut this guy up into dog food before he hit the ground.

  • Um||

    But they denied him aid! For an hour! After he was dead!

  • ||

    If he's dead, I guess it wouldn't have hurt anything to have an EMT come out to confirm it, would it?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, cops are judge and jury now.

  • foo man choo||

    I posted this on the last thread on the topic, it bears repeating:

    http://www.kgun9.com/story/146.....fatal-raid

    Useful idiot of the month award goes to Craig Smith at KGUN9. "911 tapes back up SWAT account of fatal raid". You see, after being made swiss cheese by the SWAT team because of their own negligent discharge, the victim rolled off the bed. At this point he was "barricaded" so they had to refuse him life saving medical attention and turn away emergency services.

    See? Vindicated.

    Disgusting. That reporter should resign for being such a stooge.

  • foo man choo||

  • ||

    "The case of former Marine Jose Guerena, killed in a SWAT raid more than two weeks ago, is still stirring controversy."

    Still ? After more than two whole weeks ? The police who killed him are looking into it, people, time to move along now.

  • Officer Barbrady||

    Listen to Mainer, people! Nothing to see here! Move along, moooove along, moo moo moooooooove along!

  • Jennifer||

    Guerena would've been better off killed by an IED in Iraq; at least then, the government would give his wife a pension rather than postuhumously slander him.

  • Whoa, Nellie||

    the government...slander him

    "The" government? Or just the Pima County Sheriff’s Department?

  • Jennifer||

    Unless and until the Justice Department spends at LEAST as much effort stopping murderous SWAT teams as it does arresting cancer patients who smoke pot, they are complicit.

    If a Mexican last name and ownership of a Malverde picture implies membership in a Mexican drug gang, shouldn't an Italian last name and ownership of a rosary imply membership in the Mafia? Mafiosi tend to run Catholic.

  • Almanian||

    shouldn't an Italian last name and ownership of a rosary imply membership in the Mafia

    Yes. You can't be too careful these days. Thin blue line and all that...

  • Il Papa||

    Non venite mai a vederli ....

  • Paul||

    Mafiosi tend to run Catholic.

    Myth. Most are 7th Day Adventist.

  • ||

    Actually, for a long period most of them were Jewish.

  • Obama's and his DOJ||

    Whoa NELLie. You haven't seen Obama's DOJ investigate any of these pot-house or wrong-address raids, have you?

  • ||

    "The 'government? Or just the Pima County Sheriff's Department?"

    OK, "Whoa Nellie" you are one of those fucks that When someone mentions the "State" you ask Which one!?!

    FUCK YOU, IT wAS THE GOVERNMENT/STATE/POLICE

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It bears repeating: You, John or Jane Q. Citizen, have a higher probability of being gunned down by a police officer than killed by a Muslim terrorist.

  • Jennifer||

    Plus, if a terrorist tries to murder me, I can defend myself without having my own government slander me after the fact.

  • Whoa, Nellie||

    So the entire "government" of the United States--federal, state, local--is guilty of "slander" in this one case? And you expect people to take your words seriously? You come across as just another hyperbolic crackpot. Nothing personal.

  • Cyto||

    Right! Don't use the words "my government" to describe your government, lest you be deemed a crackpot! Be specific about the agency in question! Wait, that's too broad a brush - narrow it down to specific individuals. And be careful not to run afoul of any libel laws - be sure that you fully research any allegations or conjecture before posting.

  • ||

    As the police are agents of the government, acting on the authority and with the blessing of the government, then yes, it is the government doing the slandering.

    Go Google "agency law" before you post something idiotic again. Nothing personal.

  • Almanian||

    Jeebus H, people! Is EVERYONE going to miss the REAL story here?!

    The Po Po shot the victim citizen alleged suspect perp SIXTY TIMES out of SEVENTY ONE shots!! That is AMAZING accuracy for a police department (who are, let us remember, "not experts" at lots of stuff, per duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunphy, oh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunphy)

    So - good shootin', boys! When you're threatened by a man with an ZOMG ASSAULT RIFLE!!!!!one!!!, a suspect woman and an anchor baby, even one "accidental death" is worth the police lives saved.

    Good job!

  • Hugh Akston||

    They were taken by surprise, acting in self defense. The fact that they called off the airstrike before it leveled the entire neighborhood is an example of the new professionalism of Arizona's Finest.

  • ||

    it's not "per" me. it's simply a fact. line officers are not firearms experts. i have testified as an expert, but not in firearms. and i'm far more qualified than the average cop, being an instructor and a much better shot than average

    it is not ACCORDING to me. it is a fact. it may be a truth almanian is too childish to admit, but it's true. the average cop is in no way a firearms expert.

    that of course says ZERO about this case, anyway.

  • Wind Rider||

    What speaks loudest about the case is that them there cowboys panicked - and they just began firing until the expended just about all their loaded ammo (i.e. emptied the clips). Fully auto weapons? If they functioned like actual mil weapons, 'auto' would mean a three round burst per trigger pull. Plus, except full auto, with constant trigger pull, how in the FUCK do you get that many rounds off even from multiple guys by doing it three at a time, without having at least ONE of them call cease fire?

    Sure sounds like they panicked. I'd bet a dollar that at LEAST one of them also lost bladder control and wet himself when they got 'in the shit'

  • SFC B||

    The M4A1 and the M16A4 both have full-auto firing modes. 3 round burst ended with the M4 and the M16A2.

  • Amakudari||

    This is the biggest load of bullshit.

    No, I don't expect cops to be firearms experts, insofar as they're experts on their inner working and physical properties. But I do expect them to be experts in when to use firearms, because that's the riskiest part of their job.

    Is it really to much to ask that they have some expertise? If not, why do we even have them around?

  • ||

    In my experience at the gun range, cops are lousy shots. I haven't been shooting nearly as long as most cops have (just a few years), but I've yet to see any at the range (and there are always two or three there) who could considered anything more than an amateur. The sad thing is, they don't seem to *know* that they aren't very good. I'm lousy compared to the guys who enter NRA target competitions, but I can put half of my shots in the black at twenty yards. The cops I've seen can't do it at more than seven, and have been so inaccurate at longer distances that it's damned scary. It was quite an eye-opener for me. And remember, that's not even in stressful conditions.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...the safety was on and he could not fire.

    This phrasing seems odd to me. Is the use of the word "could" meant to suggest that he would have fired if he had remembered to switch off the safety? Trying to plant the idea of the combat veteran who forgot to remove the safety on his weapon.

    I think Dupnick is finding out that even those who give law enforcement a wide latitude give much greater deference to Iraq veterans. If those SWAT members didn't quite wet their pants that day as they bungled their assault on that groggy Marine's home, they might just be pissing themselves now with the unusual media scrutiny. And wishing they'd fired that AR-15 into the door frame a few times before investigators showed up.

  • ||

    it's also irrelevant to whether it was a justified shoot or not. were they supposed to be able to discern that his gun had the safety on?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Dunphy is right. The police have a difficult enough time telling the difference between wallets, radios, cell phones, soda bottles, and firearms.

    Expecting them to be able to tell when a safety is off is just beyond the pale.

  • ||

    actually, the police do excellently in such risk assessment, anon coward. when you consider how rarely despite thousands of situations that cops actually DO shoot people with wallets, etc. mistaken for firearms, they make the correct decision the vast vast majority of the time

    but given n, where n is massive, it does happen

    and always will. such is the nature of imperfect humans in tense situations (like Repo Man!).

    the average cop goes 12 yrs in between firing his gun (apart from range, etc.) and it's only such bad shootings in a tiny %age of cases.

    when we have untrained civilians use our FATS system, they tend to do MUCH worse and be more trigger happy than cops. not surprisingly

  • Anonymous Coward||

    when we have untrained civilians use our FATS system, they tend to do MUCH worse and be more trigger happy than cops. not surprisingly

    Most people just play laser tag for recreation. They don't get credit for it on the job like the boys in blue.

  • ||

    except it's not for "recreation". it is to give actual concerned citizens (not hysterical, largely ignorant blogerati) an understanding of what it's like to be in a shoot/don't shoot scenario.

    the overwhelming response I have seen from people involved in such, even with SOME preperatory training, is that it was much more difficult, stressful than they expected. and that's with them KNOWING that it's a simulation and they were in no actual danger.

    we "get credit" for FATS training because it leads to better decision making in shoot/don't shoot scenarios which benefits everybody - suspects, cops and innocent bystanders.

    as well as municipalities and government bodies who are thus faced with less civil liability

  • Anonymous Coward||

    the overwhelming response I have seen from people involved in such, even with SOME preperatory training, is that it was much more difficult, stressful than they expected. and that's with them KNOWING that it's a simulation and they were in no actual danger.

    Well golly gee dunphy. Unless a person was some sort of savant, the same could be said for ANYTHING someone does for the first time. Trying to get laid in new or unusual circumstances can be stressful.

    Wouldn't an old Lethal Enforcers machine be a cheaper simulator on how to not shoot unarmed people?

  • ||

    considering that many agencies never use FATS or any other realistic training simulation, for many officers, an ACTUAL shooting is just as "new" to them as FATS would be to a non-cop in a citizen's academy.

  • Cyto||

    Knowing whether there is a deadly threat is extremely difficult in a non-combat situation. In combat situations it is much simpler - almost anything in your field of engagement is a threat. That's why it is so exceedingly dangerous for the police to transform ordinary exercises (such as searching a building) into a combat situation. Under combat conditions everything is a deadly threat - even a man in his underwear stumbling down the hallway from his bedroom armed with a golf club.

    The answer to this is simple. If the citizens have not pulled weapons and started pointing them at police (or others), don't kick their doors in and start pointing guns at everything that moves. Whatever you are looking for, it can wait a couple of minutes for the homeowner to wake up and answer the door.

  • ||

    Just curious, dunphy, what would happen to a "civilian" who claimed to have mistaken a wallet for a gun and shot someone to death?

  • ||

    depends on the circumstances, just as it does with the cop. how many times do you think people have pulled out a wallet while speaking to me and NOT been shot?

    2000? 3000? 4000?

    probably somewhere around there.

    if you are referring to the diallo shooting, there were a # of factors involved, among those that the cops (and this was later reinforced by comparison of diallo to the victim sketch of the accused violent rapist) were confronting a person who they suspected was a violent wanted felon. it was obviously, an exceptionally rare, and awful confluence of events that led to his shooting

    they WERE indicted for murder by a grand jury.

    no "cover up" by the state.

    and a jury did acquit them. i guess your problem is with the jury, not with the cops, then. i'm not aware a civilian would have anything other than a grand jury indictment and a trial.

    the SAME EXACT THING that happened to the cops

    oh, and as for a civil settlement - NYPD paid one.

    hth

  • ||

    There's that, and the Pittsburgh case where the cops beat the shit out of an art student who had a soda bottle in his pocket.

    And I seriously doubt a non-cop would have a prayer of getting acquitted if they shot someone holding a wallet.

  • ||

    well, first of all, a non-cop would rarely be in the situation of investigating a person they believe to be a violent rape suspect, in a dark largely unlit location for the purposes of identifying him.

    so, again, the situations must be ANALOGOUS.

    as for the acquitted thing, you can blame the jury. regardless, as a libertarian, there is no more libertarian method than resting the ultimate power in a bunch of "non-cops" who are not agents of the state.

    that's the point. you can call the jury wrong, and maybe they were, maybe they weren't. but THEY, not the evil cops, or the evil city of new york etc. etc. made that decision that they had not been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

    the EXACT same 'deciders' were involved as if you were accused of murder - a jury

    deal with it.

  • ||

    excellent story btw on the aftermath with Ofc. Boss...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05.....p6a9LIFkUQ

  • ||

    as for the acquitted thing, you can blame the jury. regardless, as a libertarian, there is no more libertarian method than resting the ultimate power in a bunch of "non-cops" who are not agents of the state.

    Yeah -- a trial in Albany, far removed from the community of the slain kid. So it becomes a case of cops vs. black ghetto kid 200 miles down the Hudson. That was a fucking joke.

  • ||

    ah yes, lets throw out the race card here and blame that darn Albany jury. apparently, the concept of "fair trial" by a jury not (as ) tainted by a metric assload of local 24/7 media coverage isn't important to you

    apparently, a kangaroo court sucks when it's some drug dealer getting railroaded, but if it's to convict a co-, it's A - OK

    love your double standard.

    they got a fair trial. they were acquitted

    for me, rule of law should apply to cops TOO

    that means - FAIR trial. as far as i know, they got one

    and were acquitted

  • ||

    ""and a jury did acquit them. i guess your problem is with the jury, not with the cops, then. i'm not aware a civilian would have anything other than a grand jury indictment and a trial.

    the SAME EXACT THING that happened to the cops""

    The outcome of the SAME EXACT THING depends if you wear a badge.

    Show me a guy that accidently shot a cop that was tried and aquitted.

    Thinking a wallet is a gun is confusion, thinking a cop is breaking into your house is confusion too.

    If you take a situation where confusion leads to incorrect situation analysis, there is a HUGE disconnect between the outcomes of someone with a badge and someone without.

  • ||

    Well, he wouldn't have a badge and a police union to hide behind. Nor would he have a department spokesmonkey to poison any potential jury pool.

  • ||

    Dunphy has made a good point about the juries. It easier to get at least one person on the jury that will defer to your authority if your a cop. Cops are always good, their job is hard, the person shot was a victim of their own actions, ect. Take your pick.

    I've mentioned before that NYC has no problem charging officers. Just about every questionable cop shooting you've heard, and then some, the officers were charged, and the jury aquitted. I've been saying for a long time, based on observations of cops being aquited in NYC, It's not against the law for a cop to kill you if you did nothing wrong and they are confused about the facts. Call it death by confusion.

    The sad part is people who advocate that cops shouldn't have to think before they pull the trigger because they would endanger the cops life.

  • Another JH||

    It is relevant to the US Marine's actions. It also means that the SWAT Team messed up.

  • ||

    it's irrelevant. the SWAT team may or may not have messed up, but assuming arguendo he had this rifle, whether or not the safety was on is almost certainly irrelevant.

    are you saying they should have been able to notice it )depending on how the firearm was oriented, it may or may not even have been visible, let alone obvious) while assessing the threat in a shoot/don't scenario?

    seriously?

    try this experiment. go point the same gun at any # of CCW'ers and/or cops with the safety on and see if you get shot at about as often as with the safety off.

    wear body armor!

  • Vaccine||

    "whether or not the safety was on is almost certainly irrelevant."

    Exactly. So why is it highlighted in the letter?

  • ||

    because it's offered as a counter to the previous release that he fired. he did NOT fire and the safety was on

    great.

    but it's still almost certainly irrelevant as to whether the shoot was justified.

    i am sure that if the gun was unloaded, they also would have similarly highlighted THAT

    it also would have been completely irrelevant as to whether the cops were justified in shooting him. grok it?

  • WasabiPeas||

    If someone breaks into my home, am I not justified to defend myself with a gun?

  • Jennifer||

    So here in America, when an innocent man is awakened from sleep by gun-toting men shouting their way through his room, he is forbidden to even think about defending himself, on the off-chance the home invaders are actually cops on a rampage, as opposed to garden-variety criminals on a rampage. Got it, Dunphy. If it makes you feel better, tell yourself you and your ilk make ordinary Americans safer than they'd otherwise be. Tell yourself the Blue Wall of Silence is necessary to protect innocent Americans from thugs who have the audacity to murder people without getting a shiny police badge first.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Offered as "counter" to a claim that the PCSD itself made.

  • ||

    correct. i'd be curious to know how soon after the incident, that first reveal was made. because imo, whether it's obama and navy Seals, or your local PD, any on-the-scene release is likely to be fraught with inaccuracies.

  • Apogee||

    on-the-scene release is likely to be fraught with inaccuracies.

    I'd say the inaccuracies on that scene killed an innocent man.

  • ||

    I suspect the point of this discussion is that the SWAT version of the story has more holes in it than Guerena's corpse. The "safety on" claim allows them to reconcile the fact that Guerena fired 0 shots with the claim he was pointing a gun at them when they fired...and it makes little sense to think an experienced gun handler would point a weapon at armed intruders with the safety on.

    The point is -- it seems likely that they are lying.

  • ||

    in your opinion. there's all sorts of other answers to it.

    i recall one shooting inquest i went on where the officer claimed that he saw the pre-ignition push as the suspect's gun barrel went down (consistent with trying to pull the trigger when the safety is on or the chamber is empty) and that the suspect was racking a round as the officer fired.

    investigators actually found the suspect's blood inside the chamber which corroborated the officer's story (lucky for him) since as he was getting shot and racking the slide, the blood spray got inside the gun.

    we had a shooting where an officer I work with (who was later executed by a BGD fuckstick while investigating a fight) had a gun pull on him and the barrel lowered (preignition push) as the guy apparently depressed the trigger but the gun didn't fire. the guy turned and ran, and the officer (for a reason I will never understand) didn't shoot him. unloaded? safety on? dud? we'll never know

    if you've been to enough inquests and seen as many shooting investigations as i have, you would not think that it "seems likely" that they are lying

    otoh, if your bias is reflexively anti-police, it would.

    i have no idea if this was a justified shoot or not, but it is hardly some amazing circumstance that the Marine's safety was on. shit like that happens.

    and despite the "omg he's a marine. there is nothing more dangerous than a marine and his rifle' type stuff we see from people who watched full metal jacket 36 times, ... i work with a lot of former (note: not EX) marines. trust me. they are human. they make mistakes

    like leaving the safety on is not at all unbelievable

  • ||

    otoh, if your bias is reflexively anti-police, it would.

    Ask some people around here whether I'm biased against the police. It might take them a while to stop laughing.

  • ||

    I'm still laughing!

  • ||

    i can hear you down here in the outskirts of enumscratch, epi!

  • Jennifer||

    The point is -- it seems likely that they are lying.

    Indeed, if the bastards had any proof that the shooting was justified, they'd have plastered it all over the media by now. They invaded the wrong home, murdered an innocent man and then, rather than feel remorseful and act accordingly, they chose the sociopath's method of handling it: feel no guilt for what you did to your victim, and try convincing everyone else that your victim deserved everything you gave him.

  • Apogee||

    Indeed, if the bastards had any proof that the shooting was justified, they'd have plastered it all over the media by now.

    Agreed. They killed him by engaging in military style tactics that are completely unnecessary.

  • rather||

    I can't help but think of Emmett Till's photo released by his mother to visualized the brutality of her son's murder.

    Mrs.Guerena should demand any pictures or video be made public

  • ||

    Hell, if the PCSD doesn't even have the balls to release the warrant, the odds of them willingly releasing any photos are approximately zero.

  • rather||

    she could sue for them or do a FOIA request

  • WasabiPeas||

    I find it suspicious that a Marine, a combat veteran, in a combat situation, would point a gun at someone with the safety on.

  • ||

    i find it not at all unbelievable, but it's certainly *a* concerning data point.

    whether or not the shooting was justified, i of course have no idea.

  • Apogee||

    whether or not the shooting was justified, i of course have no idea.

    Then you're a liar. You've expressed an opinion that assault style raids should only be conducted in situations with exigent violent circumstances.

    There's a million ways to go about apprehending suspects without storming into houses armed to the teeth.

    The methods used were unjustified.

    Period.

    This is murder.

    Period.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Fucking bin Laden didn't get shot 60 times. You don't get to create the situation and then whine that the situation was chaotic.

    Back in the day, I used to give the cops the benefit of the doubt. Not so much now that they seem to me to be more of an occupying force than people who are supposed to protect and serve.

  • Cyto||

    I think he means "justified shoot" for the officers who pulled the trigger. From their point of view at that exact second (dark room, man with rifle bursts in) there's not much room for guessing if he's about to shoot or not.

    From the point of view of the dickless commanders who put them in that room with a dynamic entry this was certainly not a justified shoot. They claimed that they thought he wouldn't be home - yet they burst in with safeties off and a round in the chamber. Why? To ensure that the toddler couldn't get to the evidence before they did? Jackasses.

    At a minimum they should be charged with negligent homicide. And no, I won't hold my breath.

  • Amakudari||

    whether or not the shooting was justified, i of course have no idea.

    Uh, the raid itself was not justified, ergo...

    If the SWAT cowboys aren't at fault, their superiors and the "impartial judge" sure as hell are. They escalated a clearly non-violent situation, when they could have a) served him the damn warrant in measured tones, or b) apprehended him at his place of work. Instead they send in the clowns.

  • ||

    The position of the safety most certainly *is* relevant, as it speaks to his state of mind. As a Marine, he'd certainly know the state of his own weapon. And with the safety on, it indicates that he had no imminent intent to fire. Should the cops have been able to notice? Of course not. You can't see the state of the safety on an AR-15 from any significant distance. But it does call into question some of the things the cops have implied about the situation. We already know that it was a misfire by the cops that set off the barrage of fire.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I know it's a stupid question, but did anyone at the Pima County Sheriff's Office ever think to maybe just knock on the guy's door and show him the warrant before entering?

  • Mouth of Sauron||

    The purpose of a no-knock, forced entry SWAT raid is to confuse and disorient the residents.

    What? You're asking me if it's possible the residents were confused and disoriented?

    Yeah, no. Not possible.

  • Jeffersonian||

    These raids have become so common these days that maybe a bit of reverse psychology is in order, i.e. just calmly knock on the door and the occupants will naturally assume that it's not the fuzz since they always come in like the Seventh Panzer Division.

  • ||

    except that's of course typical of reason blog myopia. do you have ANY idea what %age of police warrant services are no-knock vs. knock and announce?

    of course not/. but you sassume they are SO common, regardless.

    heck, i've been on at least a couple of hundred warrant services. only two no-knocks that I can recall.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Given the number we read about here that wind up with either innocent or non-threatening people shot and/or killed, they aren't nearly as rare as they ought to be. I would add that the militarization of our law enforcement seems to be drawing adrenaline junkies to police forces and SWAT teams in particular.

    These raids are producing the very thing they are supposed to prevent.

  • ||

    If the no-knocks are as rare as you say, that means the excuse that the Balko nutpunches represent "isolated incidents" flies out the window.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Precisely. Either they're common and we're seeing a tiny minority that go bad and someone innocent is gunned down by mistake, or they're very rare indeed and a significant portion of them end up with lead flying.

    It just seems to me that the pretexts for carrying out one of these raids seems to be so thin, so transparently lame so as to be almost whimsical.

  • ||

    again, when in ANY of balko's articles has he ever mentioned WHAT PERCENTAGE of warrants ARE no-knock?

    that would be a useful piece of info to put these IN PERSPECTIVE (god forbid) vs. just gratuituously feeding your desire for "dumb cops r bad n shoot peepul" narratives.

    again, wouldn't that be a relevant and helpful piece of data to fight the ISOLATED incident "canard" that you accuse me of using? and note that i have said NUMEROUS times, i think SWAT is
    1) overused

    and that the war on drugs is wrong.

    but that's tangential to the issue that a relevant piece of data in making an EVIDENCE based assessment of ANY problem is to determine HOW common the problem is.

    again, what % and how many total?

    1%
    5%
    10%
    do you have ANY idea.

    i can just state going on two no-knock warrants out of the scores and scores and scores of warrants i have been on. mebbe my dept is super extra cautious, but if you are going to make blanket indictments, I suggest facts should precede rhetoric

    hth

  • ||

    Either way there's something wrong. As Jeffersonian put it, either they're common and usually nonviolent, or they're rare and usually violent. You can't claim they're rare and usually nonviolent when we have numerous examples of them becoming violent.

  • ||

    again, let's get some HARD #'s. why is that so hard to ask of a journalist. dunphy et al have written a metric assload of articles on these raids. i don't ever recall such a discussion of these #'s. why? how could that not be helpful?

    of COURSE it would. see, that's what we do in my dept with stuff like pursuits, etc. because we WANT to
    1) get a complete picture
    2) improve policy

    it's just a massive hole in the reporting here. it's meta, but it's important.

    if i say X police dept. shot 20 people and Y police dept. shot 5 people last year and they are both similar sized cities, that would sound like X has a big problem

    but i'd want to know what was the ratio of felony arrests and relative crime rates between the two cities.

    people repeatedly come to conclusions with such a dearth of data, and fall prey to selection bias.

    i can show a metric assload of cases of cops shooting guys armed with knives.

    but wouldn't it be relevant to know how often cops arrested people with knives and DIDN't shoot them?

    i've disarmed AT LEAST a dozen knife wielders without shooting one

    not a single incident made the paper

    i can GUARANTEE you if i ever have to shoot a knife wielder it will make the paper and be yet another example of "cop shoots guy with knife"

    and then the blogerati go "omg, cops always shoot people with knives" a la this stuff

    maybe it's because of my background in stock and futures trading, but i like to have DATA before i make a decision

  • Cyto||

    Dunphy has a great point. Where is the data? It doesn't exist. That's where. Very few police departments report such data. That's why Maryland made Balko's articles - because they actually reported data on the number of SWAT deployments.

    And no, I do not assume that the failure of our government agencies to collect this data is entirely benign.

  • Jeffersonian||

    What difference does it make if the criteria they use to make the decision to go in this way are so broad that they include this guy and, say, that Columbia, MO family with nothing more dangerous than a barking dog on the property?

    If there's a real, provable threat that attempting to serve a warrant will be met by deadly force, okay. But given the number of these raids that turn out just like this one, there must be hundreds of others that do not but have as their targets people who are just as terrified and harmless as this family was.

    Like I said, these raids are producing their own justification for the violence they use.

  • ||

    so again, WHERE's the DATA?

    that's what reporters are supposed to get.

    information.

    fwiw, most warrants are public record. how about ... wait for it... printing (or linking to) some warrant affidavits that were used to justify a "no-knock" entry, thus giving (god forbid) perspective ... from the source.

    i've written scores of warrants and been on well over 100. i've never written a no-knock and only been on two

    heck, even my local news hacks often link to warrant affidavits, PC statements, etc. it's good info

    3 of my partners were shot on a warrant once. they can be dangerous. we tried to learn as much as possible from it

    we (and I) also strongly believe there is a time and place for a no-knock warrant.

    but there must be strong justification

    if the sole source of my knowledge was this blog, i'd probably think much the same as many of you do. except i have access to other sources of data, including being on actual warrants, being shot at, etc.

    i suggest at a minimum, if you can't even bother to find out how many happen, etc. vs. just reading cherry picked examples of warrants gone bad (and i'm not even sure THIS warrant went bad. frankly, i have no idea) then you have a skewed perspective

  • Um||

    you have a skewed perspective

    Ya think so?

  • Highway||

    Maybe the data's not there, because the police don't want it there. How hard did Cheye Calvo have to work to get a law passed in Maryland to force the police to report their SWAT deployments? Took him over a year, and he was a very sympathetic victim, in a very progressive state. So how many other states have laws that are supposed to force reporting? Maryland was the first. I don't see any articles saying other states have followed suit.

  • ||

    ""that's what reporters are supposed to get.""

    They get what they are given. If the cops don't record, or don't give that information, the reporters are not going to have it.

    http://baconsrebellion.com/201.....e-secrecy/

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    again, when in ANY of balko's articles has he ever mentioned WHAT PERCENTAGE of warrants ARE no-knock?

    It doesn't matter what fraction of warrants are no-knock.

    It only matter that there are two claims related to these abominations:

    (1) That they are executed with the explicit intention of catching the people present unaware, unable to assess the situation and understand what is happening

    and

    (2) That if (a) they resist the fucking thugs making the entry are entitled to blast them to kingdom come without having to answer for there actions and (b) if the poor befuddled victim should actually harm one of their attackers that constitutes a knowing assault on an officer of the state.

    These two claim are simply not reconcilable with the idea that we live in a land with a responsible government subject to the rule of law.

    Not no-way, not no-how.

    Cain't be done.

    No-knock can only be justified when you know (not are pretty sure, but know) that there will be a fight anyway.

    Otherwise, walk up to the door and present the fucking warrant. Do it in armor if you feel you have to. Do it with a battalion in street to make the point if that is needed.

    But do it in daylight, because you are supposed to be the fucking good guys.

  • ||

    except it DOES matter.

    that's the problem with your analysis.

    i am not of the school that no-knock warrants are never justified. in fact, they are

    the question is - what are the criteria used to get them?

    judges should require strict criteria, as should prosecutors (in most police agencies, we are required to have prosecutor's review our warrant affidavits)

    no-knock warrants must be looked at via a balancing test, just like any other extreme measure.

    extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

    extraordinary measures require extraordinary justification.

    the *vast* majority of warrants can and should be served "knock and announce"

    without you knowing exactly what %age ARE and ARE NOT, you are spitting in the wind. you are ignorant

    i can say i've been on 2 out of well over 100 warrants.

    i've also been on warrants where THREE of my partners were shot in one incident

    so, don't tell me warrants aren't dangerous.

    it needs to be a balancing test

  • Cytotoxic||

    I kind of agree with Dunphy hard numbers please.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Did you miss the point or did you avoid it?

    These raids are based on a fundamentally authoritarian dictum: that a free citizen must not defend him or herself from armed intruders in their own home for fear that they might be the police.

    There is no getting around that conclusions because the raids are designed to prevent the victim from being able to tell if it is or is not the police.

    So, now I am to lay back and let lawless thugs have there way with me and mine lest The Law does it instead.

    Well, fuck you very much.

  • ||

    and do YOU understand that there are LITERALLY armed fortresses etc. where there is a NEED to do a no knock entry, because without such tactical advantage, the cops getting shot and.or having to shoot a bad guy are MORE likely than without it?

    no. of course you never considered it.

    it is often hard to prove a negative iow prove if cop X hadn't done Y, then he WOULD have gotten shot, but there are also things that are strong indicators. like a guy reaching for an area of the trunk, officer grabbing his arm, and then finding a loaded gun just under what the guy was reaching for. couldn't even charge him with a crime, wasn't enough to prove intent, but at least you get to go home safely.

    if, 1%of all warrants were no knock, or it was 10% wouldn't that be a relevant distinction?

    of course it would

    even if one believed that cops should NEVER do a noknock warrant, (which is ridiculous but i am sure some believe it) it would still be relevant to know HOW OFTEN they do and don't

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    What percentage of raids occur at these literal armed fortresses, dunphy?

  • Apogee||

    and do YOU understand that there are LITERALLY armed fortresses etc. where there is a NEED to do a no knock entry, because without such tactical advantage, the cops getting shot and.or having to shoot a bad guy are MORE likely than without it?

    Bullshit. Those perps aren't homebodies or shut-ins. Tactical advantage occurs by capturing people outside of their "armed fortresses" - unless you want us all to believe that crime occurs solely in the closed system of said 'fortress'.

  • ||

    ""and do YOU understand that there are LITERALLY armed fortresses etc. where there is a NEED to do a no knock entry, because without such tactical advantage, the cops getting shot and.or having to shoot a bad guy are MORE likely than without it?""

    Do you have any numbers to back that up?

  • Wind Rider||

    When constant indications of unnecessary fatal outcomes, regardless of rate or percentage, show up as the result of an overlax use of what is basically an elective procedure, then do you really need numbers on a piece of paper to let you know there's a sure fire setup for failure in progress? No, not really.

  • Wind Rider||

    Oh, and in general, dunphy, it's a piss poor situation in general when there's the possibility that a worst possible scenario (the armed barricade that you ref) is a tactic needed for the toolkit, but then that approach seems to become the one size fits all template, with the worst outcomes seeming to have the common thread of such an approach being a cover for lazy and sloppy police work.

  • ||

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"? How can you type that with a straight face with all the examples of completely innocent people getting targeted for no-knocks?

    the *vast* majority of warrants can and should be served "knock and announce"

    Knock and announce at 3 AM is little better than no-knock. Why can't warrants be served with some radical procedure like "knock, wait for someone to answer the door, then present warrant"? Yes, not as pithy or sexy, I know, but there just might be some benefit we don't yet comprehend.

    i've also been on warrants where THREE of my partners were shot in one incident

    so, don't tell me warrants aren't dangerous.

    Yep, warrants are dangerous. The problem I have is that in their quest to lower the danger to themselves, police have shifted that danger to innocent people swept up in these raids. If you can't take the danger of police work, maybe you should pursue a career as a florist.

  • Trooper Jones||

    "i've also been on warrants where THREE of my partners were shot in one incident"

    That's what is supposed to happen. Cops are supposed to get shot by criminals instead of shooting innocent people.

    Kind of like soldiers and war. We're supposed to risk our lives so others don't have to.

    You apparently seem to think that the first thing the police should think of is protecting themselves, not the citizens. I get the impression that your motto is "To serve and to protect myself."

    Stop being such a pussy and risk your lives for the citizens rather than asking them to risk theirs for you.

  • ||

    Dunphy, here you go:
    http://www.cato.org/raidmap

    The percentage, while interesting, is not really the point. As a law abiding citizen and gun owner, these raids make me wonder that if my door is broken down in the middle of the night if I will be firing on criminal home invaders or police home invaders.

  • adam||

    Try doing a FOIA for that info and you'll get nothing. In Maryland, the legislature had to pass a law to get the police to turn over that info.

  • ||

    I think dunphy is counting "have a half dozen guys scream something at a door in the middle of the night, then smash it down two seconds later" as a "knock and announce" raid.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    do you have ANY idea what %age of police warrant services are no-knock vs. knock and announce?

    The number of no-knock raids has increased from 3,000 in 1981 to more than 50,000 last year, according to Peter Kraska, a criminologist at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

  • ||

    awesome, now THAT is good data. the other salient one i want to know , as mentioned is 50,000 out of how many TOTAL raids?

    that gives, wait for it... a ratio

    but i will say right off the bat - 50,000 sounds like a fucking assload.

  • PantsFan||

    then find out and tell us, o great Dunphy. we're not doing your homework for you.

  • ||

    And if 50,000 cops were killed in the line of duty last year, you'd be dismissing that figure too. Right?

  • Pasty White||

  • mad libertarian guy||

    About 150 a day nationwide.

  • ||

    They couldn't risk having him flush the Malverde picture down the toilet.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Given that it seems to be the only peg the cops are hanging this raid on, they're right to be concerned about its well-being.

  • ||

    Here's an idea: instead of assaulting his "fortress" with him in it, why not wait for him to come out and pick up the newspaper?

    Do cops not understand the basic concept grasped by every soldier everywhere, namely that you don't assault your enemy at his strongest point? The only alternatives are a) cops are dumb, or b) SWAT teams get their jollies by shooting people.

    "To protect and serve" my pasty, white ass.

  • WasabiPeas||

    Wait. Are you telling me that a Marine goes into battle with his safety on? Something stinks.

  • ||

    well, the cops always lie to help their cause in such shootings, and alter evidence. thus, a guy on the SWAT team must have set the Marine's rifle safety to "on" after shooting him. because this would clearly benefit the cops' case and make the Marine look like a homicidal ... wait a second...

  • ||

    The safety being on reconciles the lack of fire from Guerena with the claim that he was pointing a gun at them.

  • rhofulster||

    Can't say for sure, but to me, the most plausible explanation is that the safety being on means he was being careful and deliberate. This makes it plausible that the cops story that he pointed at them or vocally threatened them is hogwash.

    Again, can't say for sure, but I think this is the maximum likelihood scenario.

  • ||

    whether or not it is the MOST plausible explanation, it is hardly the only one.

    that's my only point. i have no idea if this shooting was justified or not. but i do know that i personally have seen shoots, etc. where people faced cops with both unloaded and or safety on weapons. some were probably suicide by cop, and some were "oopsies"

  • Oopsy!||

  • Oopsy!||

    Yeah, getting burned to death kinda sucks, but we were able to insure officer safety.

  • Amakudari||

    Just to be clear here, those officers have not been charged with any wrongdoing. The suspects they sought were have already been charged, tried and convicted.

    But seriously, thank God they came home safe.

  • ||

    It seems the most plausible explanation to me as well, given his experience as a Marine. It makes me question the cop's story about the threat, and confirms what the wife says happened. Given that neither the wife nor the cops could see the safety, it tells us about his state of mind. You can come up with other possible reads on the situation, but they come off sounding like justifications, not explanations.

  • WasabiPeas||

    Cops don't always lie

  • ||

    True. Sometimes they are asleep.

  • PantsFan||

    or dead

  • kinnath||

    The safety is always on until the moment before they pull the trigger -- been discussed in H&R threads before.

  • ||

    The gun's probably pointed elsewhere until they're ready to pull the trigger, too.

  • ||

    yea, but cops invariably lie and doctor evidence, so if it's so "probable" and cops are such liars why didn't they take the safety OFF and lie about it?

    darn these conundrums!

  • Jennifer||

    Maybe because the cops weren't very bright. Here in Connecticut, home of the infamous Robert Jordan v. New London case, a judge ruled that police departments are justified in refusing to hire cops with above-average intelligence, lest the smart cops grow bored with police work. And I have no difficulty believing a bunch of hyped-up C students drunk on adrenaline will have trouble keeping their stories straight.

  • ||

    i remember that case. i PURPOSEFULLY answered a few questions wrong on my stanford binet for exactly that reason

    police dept's tend to distrust extremely high Iq's. they see them as likely troublemakers, hard to manage, etc.

  • Amakudari||

    Of course, the most amusing thing about that case was that the officer scored 125, which is certainly good, but I'd guess most people I took AP classes with in high school would score around there. Connecticut was shooting for a 100, which is a terrifyingly low target.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    yea, but cops invariably lie and doctor evidence, so if it's so "probable" and cops are such liars why didn't they take the safety OFF and lie about it?

    Being a liar and being smart are mutually exclusive.

    Reference: United States Congress. Pick one. Any one.

  • BigT||

    Dunphy - most cops I've interacted with are not as well spoken and civil as you come across here and your blog. That's my concern. I saw a couple of cops hit a 15 yr old kid with their sticks after he jumped out of a grandstand after a HS football game - he was the ONLY kid on the field. These were two wealthy suburban teams, with no history of trouble. I started hating cops that night.

  • WasabiPeas||

    It still stinks

  • WasabiPeas||

    Before they aim?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Clarence Dupnick is a piece of shit -- this is the guy who blamed Tea Partiers for the Giffords shooting. It's not shocking to see him behind something even more odious. Sometimes I hate living in Tucson.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    The black velvet portrait of Joe Arpaio that I keep under my bed will absolve me of any crime I may be accused of committing.

  • ||

    So is my Obama Chia pet something I should point out to the SWAT team after they kick down my door or not?

  • ||

    It is really tooo bad that Marine didn't get a few rounds off. Nowhere have I seen any comment re: the storm troopers IDing themselves. Wife talking to the 911 dispatchers just seems confused as to what is going on . . .

  • WasabiPeas||

    Wow, are you serious? You wanted the cops to be shot at? Fuck you.

    The police say they had sirens and lights going, and knocked before busting door, then were screaming "Police" or whatever.

  • Whappan?||

    And we all know police never lie to cover their asses...oh wait, they do it routinely.

  • ||

    whenever a particular aspect of the narrative is in a cop's favor, it's a lie

    whenever it is in the Marine's favor, it must be the god honest truth

    funny, that bias

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    After Marines steal from me on multiple occasions, attempt to frame me for a crime I didn't commit, and point a deadly weapon at a loved one or myself as a literal joke or a threat, I'll shift my biases accordingly.

    I live in AZ and I know just how christing awful AZ cops are. I don't see why I should give them the benefit of the doubt, especially considering the information thus far presented.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    I'm still waiting for you fuckers to fix the potholes in my neighborhood.

  • ||

    Yeah, because we all know police never lie and Marines do.

    Pot, kettle, etc.

  • ||

    Let's try to establish a baseline here dunphy:

    Has a police officer, ever, in recorded history, done anything wrong?

    Give an example, we really need to know where the line is..

    You talk of others and their bias, yet all you do is apologize for people that already have a compliant media and supportive unions to do that for them.

  • ||

    The police wrongfully entering the dwelling of another person should be subject to the dangers faced by any other burglar. If they don't want to be shot at by innocent homeowners, they should get their shit together and not kick down the wrong doors.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    ^^THIS^^

    If you don't wantto be shot at, make sure you do real police work before you play Special Forces commando on the wrong fucking house.

  • ||

    Wow, Marlee spent the entire CA season saying she wanted to be treated like anyone else, and now when the rubber meets the road, she's saying "I'm deaf" every other word.

  • BoscoH||

    However, it is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a cover-up, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge.

    Unacceptable, huh? So you're gonna come shoot our dogs if we dare ask any questions, right?

  • ||

    Sometimes I hate living in Tucson

    At least we can still say we don't live Maricopa county.

  • Sacre Bleu||

    it's a good thing there's still public education.

  • ||

    Yes, otherwise we'd have barely literate boobs like Deputy Ogan in places of authority over others ... oh, wait ...

  • ||

    Reconciling O’Connor’s claims with Storie’s suggests the only item potentially linking the Marine veteran to a drug conspiracy was the picture of Jesús Malverde.

    Living just outside of South Tucson, I can take you to any number of stores within a mile of my house that sell this stuff. Should I expect no knock raids on half the businesses around my house?

  • ||

    Hell of a precedent ...

  • rather||

    I have a feeling they will find more than a picture ;-)

  • ||

    Hell, they've had two weeks to plant something, so I bet they'll "find" all sorts of things.

  • PantsFan||

    Wait. Is Rand the Dragon or is Viserys the Dragon?

  • ||

    Basically the cops can break down your door and murder you with impunity. The BART cop out in Oakland went to jail. But he just pulled a gun and walked up and shot the guy. It was as obvious of cold blooded murder as you could get, and he got two years with double credit for time served and no gun enhancement. He is already out of jail. Yes, your family can and usually will get a big settlement. But that doesn't bother or deter the cops. It is not their money and since they are unionized they can't be fired.

    Here is the reality in 2011 America. Cops have a license to terrorize and kill anyone they want for any reason. That sounds stark but it is true. They can pull you over, drag you out of your car, kick down your door, and murder you for basically any reason they want and the chances are very slim that any of them will ever be held accountable.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Let's not forget the charming "ignorance of the law is only an excuse if you are tasked with professionally enforcing it" court cases.

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    The first time I saw that BART cop video what immediately came to mind were those moments when I accidentally put the silverware in the trash and my napkin in the sink.

    Except instead of the silverware in the trash, it's his pistol and a bullet in some poor bastard.

  • ||

    In every other incidence trained professionals are held to a higher standard. If I am a doctor and I stop at an accident and start working on an injured person, I am held to a higher standard of care than someone with no training.

    Cops are supposed to be trained. We send them out into society armed and put them in confrontational situations. They ought to be held to a higher standard. If you or I or someone with no training got into it with someone and panicked and grabbed a pistol rather than a taser, you could maybe forgive us, although the courts wouldn't. But a cop is supposed to be trained. No way did he just accidentally grab his pistol. And if he did, his training makes the negligence all that more culpable.

  • Amakudari||

    I had a bet with a guy at my last company, back when I was living in the Bay. He was from Jersey, living in NC, FWIW. He said the cop would go down for murder, I said he'd get a slap on the wrist, which he said was "fucking retarded" (he's really quite charming).

    As it turns out, Mehserle's getting out this summer with only a non-violent offense on his record. So I got to call him a bootlicker. But I wish he were right; I'd take that over bragging rights any day.

  • ||

    Wikipedia article on the subject the cop was in tears on the stand. One of the victims relatives yelled "save your fucking tears" and they arrested the guy for contempt of court. What a joke. And the judge ignored the fact that the jury found him guilty of a gun enhancement that should have gotten him a lot more time. The ruling class takes care of its own.

  • Lucy||

    I believe he is sorry (I also believe he's terrified of Oakland. You know he's moving the hell away when he's out.) I also believe he was at the very least a criminally negligent moron who deserved a lot more than he got.

  • rather||

    Why is it we never see SWAT raids is in wealthy neighborhoods? It isn't as if they don't have drugs, guns or criminal activity but there must be a silent rule similar to the surrender through your lawyer in a suit.

  • ||

    They did in PG County Maryland. They raided the house of a local mayor terrorizing the guy's wife and mother in law and shooting his dogs. There was hell to pay over it. But ultimately no one lost their jobs. Just sort of a "hey keep this kind of stuff among the white trash and the darkies" sort of message. But don't think for a moment they can't kick your door down and murder you just because you live in a white neighborhood. They can. They just can't make a habit of it like they can in the black neighborhoods.

  • Highway||

    John, Berwyn Heights is not a 'wealthy neighborhood'. It's better than some in PG County, but it's really not what anyone in the DC Metropolitan Area would call a 'white' or 'rich' neighborhood.

  • ||

    For DC Berwyn Heights is not wealthy. For PG county it is. And the mayor certainly fit the profile of hapless white suburbanite. The message the PG county cops got was "keep this stuff down among the colored people".

  • ||

    One could argue that, as a practical matter, wealthy people are less likely to violently resist as they have a great deal more to lose.

    Once you open fire on a cop your life is fucked, even assuming you survive the raid itself. For a relatively poor drug dealer whose life depends on keeping his trade going that's less of a loss than it would be for a wealthy person who can recover from a little setback.

  • ||

    You could argue that but you would be stupid. No drug dealer wants to turn a drug pinch into a capitol murder case. The best insurance of safety for a cop doing a drug raid is clearly identifying himself as a cop.

    They kick down the doors for two reasons. They don't want the evidence destroyed. And they enjoy the adrenaline rush of terrorizing people. It is fun. Their tactics have nothing to do with safety. In fact they make cops less safe since the dealer is more likely to think he is being robbed and open fire. And most SWAT teams are so poorly trained and disciplined they are just as likely to shoot each other as the odd dog or drug dealer.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I wish that it were so. If they shot as many of each other as they do dogs or innocent folk, they might actually give a shit.

  • ||

    They shot each other in that infamous Atlanta raid.

  • ||

    ...and let's not forget that the first reason (evidence destroyed) doesn't makes sense at all. Someone with so little drugs they can flush it all in one flush is by definition not a big dealer. So that just leaves reason number two, the fun of playing Special Forces.

  • JD the elder||

    That's generally true but not always. Donald Scott was a millionaire who owned hundreds of acres in Ventura County, CA; the cops raided his house on a bogus narcotics charge and shot him to death. No drugs were ever found. Subsequent investigations suggested that the police were motivated at least partly by the fact that they would get to seize Scott's house and land. Scott's family finally won a wrongful death settlement, after many years, but of course the police still refused to admit any wrongdoing.

  • ||

    Ah, civil forfeiture. That's the greatest scam the cops ever came up with.

  • ||

    The guy was a drug dealer but still worked a shit hard job at a copper mine for entertainment value I guess. These people are fucking baboons.

  • ||

    If I were AG, I would get an indictment for civil rights violations against every member of the SWAT team who fired a shot. Then I would lose the dogs of war in the form of FBI SWAT teams and serve the arrest warrants in a series of coordinated pre dawn raids complete with media. I would kick down their doors, terrorize their kids and wives and drag them out of their house in handcuffs for a perp walk in front of the media. I would do everything these fuckers do to people sans killing their dogs. It would be fucking perfect.

  • ||

    How I would love to see that!

    You gotta remember though, that "thin blue line" stuff would make it really hard to get cops to terrorize other cops.

  • ||

    Some of the comments on the stories about this case say that this dipshit sheriff was on a raid and arrest for unpaid traffic ticket kick. I wonder if they did this raid for an unpaid ticket and are now making up the drug part to cover up the fact they killed this guy for an unpaid ticket.

  • ||

    And oh this Sheriff is the same dipshit who let the crazy guy who shot Giffords go and then tried to blame it on the Tea Party.

  • Amakudari||

    Well, it was the effect of a violent climate. Which, of course, has everything to do with Tea Party posters and nothing to do with Arizona's hyperaggressive law enforcement.

  • ||

    Palin put a target sign over the City of Tuscon where the Marine lived. And as a result, the cops couldn't help but shoot him 60 times.

  • rather||

    If it is over an unpaid traffic ticket, the sheriff would be guilty of a cover-up, and the public will never give him a pass

  • ||

    The real recklessness of this home invasion and the criminal liability for it should rest upon the police supervisors who authorized this home invasion upon the home of an unsuspecting citizen. This should include the judge who issued the warrant as well.

    They were the ones who placed everyone in an impossible situation - a man trying to defend his home and family against home invaders who turned out to be police officers.

    Maybe we can make a deal that the officers were just following orders but those who gave the orders are criminally responsible for the consequences. At the present moment, NOTHING HAPPENS TO ANYONE. The taxpayer ends up paying compensation to the survivors.

    I wonder if with 60+ hits, if the home invaders were using full auto rifles or sub machine guns. The average would be about 15 hits per officer in a narrow hallway, which is achievable with semi auto firearms, I suppose.

  • ||

    The 60 shots shows that the officers involved were poorly trained with no fire discipline and just emptied their clips at the first sign of trouble. That alone is depraved indifference.

  • Typical Cop||

    Wrong.

    That alone is due diligence.

  • And||

    Sarcasm is impotent.

  • Typical Cop's Sidekick||

    Exactly. Keep firing until he stops twitching.

  • SFC B||

    What this tells me is, if the police invade my drug house, you take cover for the initial fusilade. They will shoot their entire magazine. At that point you return fire.

    This is a TTP, that if used by Soldiers in combat, will get them killed. Reading this report it is clear to me that the officers had no concept of disciplined fire. They started shooting until they couldn't any more. There is, to me, an indication they viewed any possibility of a threat beyond the man in front of them.

    The police using military tactics is ignoring a very important part of the "military" portion; that these sort of tactics are what Soldiers will train for daily, and as part of an over-arching strategy. As a leader, if you asked me to use a breaching team that composed of Soldiers from multiple units and minimal time training together (as a SWAT consisting of officers in various agencies would be), I'd assess its risk so high as to be undoable except under the most extreme of circumstances.

    In the span of 6 seconds five police officers entered a room, and shot 71 bullets in the direction of one person. That baffles me. Why were they all bunched at the door? In six seconds I can have 4 Soldiers break down the door, shoot three targets, clear and cross the room, and be ready for the next room.

    Not only are police using military tactics, but they are doing them poorly.

  • ||

    They're not using military tactics. They're using MMORPG tactics.

  • SFC B||

    Even people who play Call of Duty know to be careful about anything which funnels, like a doorway.

  • Mr Whipple||

    In Soviet Russia, head bobbles you.

  • ||

    That actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

    www.privacy-online.us.tc

  • Jeffersonian||

    No-knock, dynamic-entry raids do create confusion amongst the residents of the raided building, but it's not always of the "oh man, where's my gun?" and "Oh dear, they have the drop on me!" variety. In this case and that of Cory Maye, we see that it also creates ambiguity as to who is doing the raiding since the cops are behaving exactly as criminal home invaders would be expected to (yes, dunphy, even they can shout "POLICE!!!!" as they break down doors).

    I can see a need, at the very outer margins, for raids like this. When a warrant has to be served on suspects that are almost certainly disposed to respond violently to even a polite service of the warrant, police shouldn't have to risk their lives by approaching suspects openly. But the dynamic entry is clearly being abused these days, as we can see from raids such as these and those on that excellent map from Cato.

  • Cyto||

    If you have a violent suspect and have the time to seek a warrant and assemble a SWAT team for the raid, then you have time to wait around for him to come out to go to the store, or the movies, or work, or to visit a prostitute... anything. Then you just walk up and politely arrest him. Even if he resists and pulls a weapon, you've got much better firing angles when he's out in the open. Less chance of friendly fire too...

  • ||

    You know, you can listen all day about how tough it is to be a cop and the life and death situations and difficult, split second decisions and all, but the fact is, it is not a rare occurrence that cops harm or kill completely innocent people which is a sickeningly bitter irony when it is supposed that their purpose for existing is to "serve and protect". There is just no excuse for it and there is just no excuse for the fact that many, many people, myself included, are far more apprehensive about being harmed by the police than by "criminals".

    Dumphy can give all the examples he wants of the difficulties involved in police work and how he and all the cops he knows go out of their way to do their jobs properly, but it doesn't change the fact that, frequently, the very worst gravitate to law enforcement precisely because it gives them the cover of authority to abuse others. Just exactly how many examples of corruption, brutality, special treatment and above the law type of behavior does it take before cops are held to the same standard of decent human behavior as are the people who write their paychecks?

  • Spartacus||

    The self-exculpation on display in the first paragraph, blamethrowing in the second, and arrogance in the third don’t really need any commentary.

    Tim, I must disagree. The first paragraph is blamethrowing, the second is the standard bureaucratic dissembling when caught out.

    We can predict the final report now: all procedures were followed, nobody is at fault except the deceased, who should have known better than to defend himself and his family.

    Excuse me while I go puke.

  • ChrisO||

    What's the big deal? In order to win the War on Drugs, you have to break a few eggs.

  • ||

    If you have a jumpy, paranoid personality, you SHOULDN'T BE A COP!

  • dunphys mouth||

    pardon me, i can't talk, i'm full of LEO jism

  • ||

    Radley Balko plagiarized your work today in an article on Huffington post. Thought you might want to know.

  • ||

    This is why everyone hates cops. They're cowards. Plain and simple. Every one of the pigs involved with this should be fired, sued and put in jail for the rest of their lives. They are scum. Their families should be destroyed like they destroyed this poor man's.

  • ||

    All over pot? Wow! How pathetic. These "officers" are cowards and don't deserve a job. Why haven't they all been fired yet? I want to see them homeless and begging for pennies on the side of the road. That's all they deserve.

  • ||

    http://pimasheriff.org/contacts/

    Feel free to send them a letter.

  • ||

    http://pimasheriff.org/contacts/

    Feel free to send them a letter.

  • ||

    im glad this story,is still getting press until the whole story,is brought to the table,and can betold,this should never rest....too much power to local gov,(look at sherif joe's guys,?) who says they were right in their actions...

  • CE||

    ...in addition to a large sum of money – somewhat larger than what you would normally expect to have in anyone’s home

    So what sum of cash do police consider evidence of potential criminal activity?

  • Conway193||

    So what sum of cash do police consider evidence of potential criminal activity?

    @CE:

    It varies - but pigs will take most any sum they can steal, usually over $100.00 and up.

    The pigs arrogantly consider any money they seize to be "alleged drug proceeds".

    I should know, the pigs seized a sum of money from my person decades ago, accused me of being a drug dealer - with no evidence of a crime AT ALL. They searched my vehicle and found nothing, not even a fucking aspirin - but they did steal a box of tools from the trunk.

    I was not charged with anything other then a trumped-up traffic violation, which I beat in court. It took me over a year and $1000.00 in attorney fees to get my cash back - after those porcine bastards forced me to sign a form releasing them of any liability - or they would have KEPT MY MONEY.

    Incidentally, I have no criminal record, unless you want to count traffic violations like "speeding"; five or ten MPH over the limit.

    Seizure of property without cause is nothing but legalized thievery promoted by despots that will do anything to further their ends. As far a pigs go, every time one of those jackbooted Nazi bastards catches a slug and dies from their injuries, I laugh like a goddamned jackal.

  • ||

    Just because someone was a former Marine does not give them a free pass to break the law. A judge found probable cause to issue search and arrest warrants. There are thousands of veterans in federal and state prison who broke the law.

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