New Orleans Police Kill Unarmed Man During Pot Raid

On Wednesday night a New Orleans police officer shot and killed an unarmed 20-year-old man, Wendell Allen, during a pot raid. Police, who had a search warrant, say they recovered about five ounces of marijuana, bags, digital scales, and a handgun from the house. They arrested two men for possession with intent to distribute. Allen, a former high school basketball star who was given a five-year suspended sentence for that offense last year, escaped charges this time around, what with being dead and all. The New Orleans Police Department is investigating why Officer Josh Colclough shot Allen, whose mother told a local TV station:

His police title, that's just a title. He's still a man just like the next man that commits a murder. So my child's crime should be treated the same if he'd gotten killed by a regular man.

Should be, but certainly won't. A regular man who breaks into a house and kills someone, even accidentally, would be guilty of murder. But the drug laws authorize police officers to do things that otherwise would be considered burglary and armed robbery. In this case, the cops charged into the house with guns drawn, knowingly endangering everyone inside:

"All the children said that when they came in and they heard the boom, they put guns in the children's faces and asked them to back up. They proceeded upstairs and all they heard was a pow and Wendell screaming," said [Crystal] Butler [Wendell Allen's aunt]. NOPD confirms that 5 children were inside the Gentilly home when the search warrant was executed ranging from ages 1 to 14.

"We have not been able to yet completely understand what exactly occurred,” Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said yesterday. No matter why Colclough fired his gun, the crucial error occurred long before he ran up the stairs, when legislators decided this was an appropriate way to deal with a plant they did not like.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Warning: Do not read the comments on the linked article unless you are trying to induce vomiting.

  • Joe M||

    Oh my god, I did anyway. Now I've got to go get a mop and bucket for all this vomit. People are fucking morons. In essence, "dealing drugs" (5oz of weed?!) with kids in the house means you deserve to die.

  • juris imprudent||

    Care to bet how many of them are good solid Republicans? And we ever thought Paul could drag them along had he won the nomination?

  • ||

    As I type, Fox news is defending the FBI for spying on mosques in New Jersey.

  • Sparky||

    They've been doing that since Fox & Friends was on this morning.

  • Dylboz||

    Geraldo was verbally fellating Bloomberg and Kelly so hard, I even gagged. The guy even made apologies for "stop & frisk," and said he trusts those corrupt scumbags. He was stumping for Kelly to succeed Bloomberg as mayor. Gerald Rivers is an embarrassment to both my town and my Alma Mater.

  • KDN||

    The NY Post had their panties in a twist over it too. Seems that the NYPD deserves free reign in other states since their tiger-repelling rock has been successful thus far.

  • np ||

    Rage inducing how people are freaking out about it. A tiny bit of weed is different from having tobacco in the house, how?

    Sadly it was same sickening reaction to the other story about one cop who decided to do the right the thing and warn the target about an impending pot raid.

  • elian||

    Im a single bisexual girl,but i am confident, Ijust wanna to find people who like me,be friends,start a relationship,dating,even marrige....and my friend recommended===datebi.c/o/m'It is the best place for looking for bisexual men & women dating relationship or marriage.Hope you all find your true love..

  • ||

    If only katrina could have finished the job on that shithole of a city.

  • ||

    seriously, wtf Global Warming, way to drop the ball.

  • ||

    Sharon, I was deeply involved in the Katrina disaster. I worked 14 hrs a day for a month helping to shelter refugees, salvage medical, and court records and equipt. from the city......

    If you werent there then I want to know how you can.......be so right?

  • ||

    I do retract my statement, it was quite rash. Still the city is one of the lowest common denominators in my book.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm pretty sure he was agreeing with you.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Were it not for Katrina and the fedgov saving it, NO would be 3/4 of the way to being Detroit by now. Katrina delayed the ineveitable.

  • ||

    You should try Jackson,Ms. They received a large influx of of refugies during Katrina and a large percentage never left. It was not a good city to begin with. Now, it's revolting. I live in a bordering county; might as well be another planet.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. At some point, people need to accept that a sinking city that is in the middle of a huge swamp and already below sea level doesn't need to exist for ever. If they must rebuild, they should have done it 20 miles inland.

  • Dan||

    Zeb,

    Don't you understand we must spend billions to keep the earth in a completely constant state... from 1900. Not before then in the ice age... Or when there were dinosaurs and the whole place was a tropical jungle. 1900. That is where the earth should stay.

    You MORON.

  • burnt||

    or fill in the canals for shipping. Fuck detroit, st. louis, and chicago anyway. the subsidence became an issue after the army corps expanded the port and shipping channels in the middle 1900's.

  • Sparky||

    "We have not been able to yet completely understand what exactly occurred,” Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said yesterday

    Nothing else happened.

  • Joe M||

    "We have not been able to yet completely understand what exactly occurred,” Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said yesterday.

    It's called willful ignorance.

  • ||

    hey, how do you know dude doesn't live with a intercranial 2"x4" or pipe fragment installed by hurricane force winds. I mean, it's at least a valid possibility.

  • ||

    Don't forget the death rays. You can't forget those. lol

  • Anonymous Coward||

    On Wednesday night a New Orleans police officer shot and killed an unarmed 20-year-old man, Wendell Allen, during a pot raid. Police, who had a search warrant, say they recovered about five ounces of marijuana, bags, digital scales, and a handgun from the house.

    For those unfamiliar with their weights and measures, Mr. Allen was summarily executed over enough weed to fill a small carton of milk.

    Awesome.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...Mr. Allen was summarily executed over enough weed to fill a small carton of milk.

    It's been awhile (12 years) since I bought any weed, but 5oz. is worth what, maybe $600? Fucking shame.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Maybe not even that. He was probably selling ditch-weed.

  • Pip||

    5oz. = $2,000

  • ||

    $800-1000 CDN, decent quality

  • Pip||

    Top-shelf, grow-house. Why settle for less?

  • ||

    escaped charges this time around, what with being dead and all

    soft-on-crime pussies.

    they put guns in the children's faces and asked them to back up

    *cocks eyebrow questioningly*

    "We have not been able to yet completely understand what exactly occurred,”

    but yeah, making police wear recording devices while on duty would, like, violate their privacy, hurt their feelings, and lower their sperm count, so, no, can't do that.

  • Loki||

    making police wear recording devices while on duty would, like, violate their privacy, hurt their feelings, and lower their sperm count

    If only. Then at least the cocksuckers wouldn't be able to reproduce as easily.

  • Sparky||

    Wait, if they're cocksuckers wouldn't that also cut down on reproductive possibilities?

  • Loki||

    Perhaps I should have trusted my initial instinct and gone with "motherfuckers" instead. Thus implying that if they do reproduce the offspring would be the result of an insestuous relationship. Clearly I still have a lot to learn about quality commenting.

  • Sparky||

    Although a pedant might have even picked that apart because at some point their own wives would be mothers thus making motherfucker acceptable too.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    making police wear recording devices while on duty would, like, violate their privacy, hurt their feelings, and lower their sperm count

    I'm sure there's a problem somewhere in there, but I'm not seeing it.

  • Joe||

    This is sad.

    He did break the law, this is what can happen. There was a gun present. How else should drug raids be done, assuming we need a war on drugs?

  • ||

    There was a gun present.

    it nearly got loose and killed 'erebody!

  • Zeb||

    Did they even know that there was a gun before they searched? I mean, if they could at all plausibly say that they were threatened by the gun, I imagine that would come out pretty fast. "Were not sure what happened" is never a good sign.

  • sarcasmic||

    All the cop has to say is that he thought the guy had a weapon.

    That's it.

    He'll be getting a medal before the decade is out.

  • Dan||

    He'll be getting a medal before the decade month is out.

    There, fixed it for you.

  • Sparky||

    Honestly, I don't know why the cops just didn't kick in the door and charge in guns blazing. Seems like they were the very models of restraint this time.

  • Brian||

    didn't hear any dogs barking inside

  • ||

    Good point, Joe. SInce we do are having a war on drugs, we should have ourselves a fucking WAR, right?

    I mean, spark a joint, take a dirt nap. What else is a cop supposed to do?

  • ||

    He did break the law, this is what can happen.

    As far as I can tell, Wendell Allen WASN'T EVEN A SUSPECT. And even if he was, he was unarmed at the time he was shot.

    If you are going to give cops carte blanche to kill anyone they feel like killing, you are beneath contempt.

  • ||

    He's still a man just like the next man that commits a murder. So my child's crime should be treated the same if he'd gotten killed by a regular man.

    True enough.

    But somehow, even though the Media-Industrial Complex loves, loves, loves, to give a mother who has lost her child the mantle of unquestionable moral authority, not to mention plenty of exposure, this story will just. . . . disappear.

    Funny, innit?

  • ||

    Being familiar with N.O. I can confidently say that most of you probably have no idea just how bad the criminal culture there is, or that the cops there are proportionally as bad. Sharon had it right. I pray for another Katrina every year.

  • ||

    And....I dont know if any other states have this, but our state constitution has all kinds of exceptions and special laws for Orleans parish.....that is how different the culture there is.

  • Zeb||

    Louisiana does seem pretty special. Isn't the court system still based on Napoleonic codes or something?

  • ||

    Alot of that has been done away with, but we still have some of it. Most interstingly, we have some spanish land grants that are still intact. What is interesting about them is that under spanish law a landowner can own land that is under water, thus riverbeds and lake-beds etc.
    I have some land on catahoula lake, and the guy next to me has 120 acres, 40 of which are on the lake bed.

  • ||

    40 of which are on the lake bed.

    So, have you been to his underwater supervillain lair, yet?

  • Houstonian||

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! At least NOLA keeps the crime and corruption out of our city.

  • Zeb||

    Just like Iraq.

  • burnt||

    There were several hundred murders in 2004 in just a couple of months after they demolished one housing project and moved all of the folks from there into several others. Instant gang war!

  • Loki||

    The New Orleans Police Department is investigating why Officer Josh Colclough shot Allen

    In the heat of the moment, he mistook Allen for a dog. Soory, couldn't resist.

  • ||

    Fox news story on now.....
    Woman gamboling over forest and plain for one month barely survives. She lost 1/3 body weight and only lives because she had a city-statist sleeping bag and was lost near a stream.

  • Loki||

    Oh, but the primitivist lifestyle is so superior to our agricultural city-statist ways. At least I heard that somewhere once...

    /sarc

  • Sparky||

    It's because she was a domesticated poodle and didn't know how to live like a true primitivist.

  • Loki||

    Scarfing down Doritos while laying around on the sofa in my mom's basebent blogging on sites I claim to hate but for some reason can't stop trolling?

  • Sparky||

    Something like that.

  • ||

    The New Orleans Police Department is investigating why Officer Josh Colclough shot Allen

    "Goddammit, Josh was supposed to be in the kitchen, throwing down a gun and some baggies of pot! I want to know what the fuck he was doing upstairs shooting the perp! That was supposed to be Officer Roidnut's job. Where the fuck was he?"

  • Loki||

    Officer Roidnut was busy going full STEVE SMITH on the other people in the house.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    One of these days a little kid will try to blow off an intruding cop's cunt's head. A coward cop will shoot the kid. A reasonable one would back the fuck off.

  • sarcasmic||

    A reasonable one would back the fuck off.

    No such thing these days.

  • ||

    they aren't "intruding" if they have a warrant.

    duh

    heck, even jerryberry knew that

    (cite: casey jones)

  • Zeb||

    The mother of the victim is so right. Especially when the cops can't even get a story together, he should be arrested and tried just like any other person would who just shot someone dead under questionable circumstances. Maybe it was justifiable. Let a jury decide.

    I know this is just crazy talk, but wouldn't it be good if part of the job of the state police was to police the local police when things like this happen?

  • sarcasmic||

    Cops are taught not to think, but to act on their training, knowing that they will face no consequences for their actions.

  • ||

    bwahahahahahaha!

    love it

  • ||

    In their defense, the state police here have arrested two sheriffs in the last few months....one for being an outright drug-dealer and the other for stealing money.

  • ||

    Oh, and one got a six month suspended sentence for animal cruelty. He left his K-9 partner in his patrol car for several hours during the summer - dog died.

  • Britt||

    ........

    He should be turned over to the TASER company for product testing.

  • Teve Torbes||

    Yes, New Orleans is a shit hole, just like most other urban areas in the US. I've lived here 10 years and can say with authority that the NOPD is a law unto itself. What they did to me during Katrina was unpardonable and I got a sizable settlement because of it.

    Unfortunately, New Orleans is owned and occupied by black and white trash so nothing will happen to this murderer. This is yet another reason to add to the huge list of reasons why I am moving out of this town soon.

  • ||

    everything i have heard about NOPD is that they are (or at least historically have been) corrupt as fuck.

    i certainly would never want to live in new orleans for that reason ALONE

  • Nola Anarcha||

    The murders of Allen and Sipp are only slightly more extreme examples of the daily, de-facto "New Jim Crow" (to quote Michelle Alexander's book) police state we are living under in New Orleans. An apartheid system engineered mainly through the policies of the "War on Drugs."

    Time to stand UP for our kids, and for the idea that JUSTICE and equality makes a city safer, not a POLICE STATE!

    "Justice is what love looks like in public." -Cornell West

    more: http://nolaanarcha.blogspot.co.....assic.html

  • Gus||

    Oh come on. I've been in the Quarter during the Bayou Classic and folks are smoking weed right next to cops.

  • Nola Anarcha||

    oh come on. i've been in OPP and in OPCDC and at LEAST 50% of the people there are in there for weed. and they are ALL, 100%, black. read The New Jim Crow before you guffaw any louder and embarrass yourself.

  • Tim||

    Because BANG! that's why!

  • ||

    I used to live uptown - there is so much to love about NO, but the NOPD and "justice" system there are as corrupt as any third world country. Sadly, the only way a cop there will get justice is if he shoots his partner.

  • ||

    Sure, that's justice for his partner. But what about the cop who shoots him?

  • ||

    When I lived there a cop shot her partner while she was robbing a restaurant. She also killed two of the restaurant employees. Last I heard she was still on death row (probably been 15 - 20 yrs now.).

  • burnt||

    Me too, remember the bumper stickers - NOLA, 3rd world and proud of it?

  • ||

    All together now:

    "That's what he gets for resisting, suicide by cop; hth."

  • ||

    troll-o-meter: .01

    i have no idea if he resisted. i have no idea if the shooting was justified. unlike you, i don't jump to conclusions pro OR anti police.

  • ||

    "Superintendent Ronal Serpas said yesterday. No matter why Colclough fired his gun, the crucial error occurred long before he ran up the stairs, when legislators decided this was an appropriate way to deal with a plant they did not like."

    word to Mr. Sullum. btw, i have HEARD NOPD has done some housecleaning, but they have a rep, largely deserved imo, of being corrupt, poorly managed, poorly trained, thuggish, and in general - not a good police dept.

    again, i have HEARD they have gotten somewhat better, more accountable, but at least the NOPD of old, i would not trust as far as i could kick-em.

  • Katherine Mangles Wards||

    Why did you pull down your facebook page, Joseph..err..dunphy? Get too hot for you?

  • ||

    "...O'er the land of the free.....and the home of the brave..."

  • nobody||

    Citizens must start forcing the consequences of police actions back on the individual police officers who commit them. This means that cops who behave this way are a legitimate target for being themselves killed - by anyone - a friend, relative, or just any regular citizen with an interest in justice . Start killing these cops who kill citizens, and the behavior will stop. Its really that simple folks. You want the cops to stop killing us? Then start killing them. There are way more of us than there are of these murderers, and the sooner we decimate their ranks, the faster they will comply.

  • dunphy / Officer Joseph||

    Cop hater!!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement