Los Angeles County Sheriff Sued for $50 Million for Killing 80-Year-Old Man in "Meth Raid" that Found No Meth

As I've written before, even law-and-order types should be concerned with reckless and murderous police tactics that lead to innocent citizens' deaths, because they can be expensive for local governments (that is, for local taxpayers) when aggrieved citizens fight back their only legal way: with lawsuits.

As Daily Caller reports today:

The widow of an 80-year-old man who was shot dead by police during a drug raid on their home is suing for $50 million.

On the night of June 27th, Los Angeles County deputies raided the home of Eugene Mallory and Tonya Pate. Authorities claim they had probable cause to search the premises because they could smell chemicals used to make methamphetamine while standing outside the house. Police suspected Mallory of being involved in an illegal meth ring.

Mallory was asleep in bed when police entered his home. Pate said her husband has bad eyesight, and couldn’t tell that the men entering the house were police officers without his glasses.

What happened next is disputed by police and Pate. The deputies claim that Mallory pointed a gun at them, requiring them to take defensive measures. They shot him six times, and he died...

But Pate maintained....“He would never point a gun at officers,” she said. “He was taken from me for no reason.”

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.

  • Paul.||

    As I've written before, even law-and-order types should be concerned with reckless and murderous police tactics that lead to innocent citizens' deaths, because they can be expensive for city governments when aggrieved citizens fight back their only legal way: with lawsuits.

    Why is it concerning to law and order types? The lawsuits are a feature, not a bug. There's a few people I could think of that I'd like to bump off if I could literally buy my way out of a murder rap.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I've made this observation to people, who either treat it as mind-blowing or as complete bullshit:

    We've returned to a system in America that was prevalent in the Old World. Theft is a crime...except when the government does it (asset forfeiture). Breaking and entering is a crime...except when the government does it (sneak and peaks). Murder is a crime...except when the government does it (too many examples to list completely).

    So why are we surprised when thieves, burglars, murderers, and generally lawless people seem to find their way into government jobs (most notably, the polce)?

  • sarcasmic||

    Limited government failed.

  • ||

    If you create a position of power, the worst people possible to be in that position will gravitate to it. The more powerful the position, the worse the people who fill it. And then they will work to expand their powers even more, thereby attracting even worse people as successors. This is government. This is how it works, and is its inevitable result.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yup. And unfortunately there will always be some sort of government because some group of violent assholes will have the last word in violence, giving them license to steal so they can hire more thugs who will steal some more and then hire more thugs... that's just how it works. It sucks, and it's unavoidable.

  • Paul.||

    As sad and pessimistic as it sounds, I can't find any disagreement with the above.

  • sarcasmic||

    they can be expensive for city governments

    That's just the cost of law and order.

  • SugarFree||

    Anyone who cares about law and order should be horrified by the death of an innocent man based on over-zealous cops trespassing on bogus probable cause. If these so-called law and order types are OK with this, then they are just bootlickers.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Unless the law and order types are completely unwilling to tolerate the idea that it's better to have strict search requirements which allow some criminals to get away than it is to have loose search requirements, total police authority, and the occasional murderous whoopsie-raid.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm arguing that they are not law and order type if that is the case. They are merely badge bunnies looking for any case to fall to their knees.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes and no. Some people really do equate drug use to rape and murder. They really do. So when drugs are involved, anything goes. Anything at all. Because drug users deserve the same treatment as murderers and rapists. They're criminal scum. They're not even human. They're just drug users. And once you've dehumanized them, anything is justified. Even murder.

  • Hyperion||

    They're not even human. They're just drug users.

    So are those Teabaggers and anyone else who doesn't agree with us.

    /the progtards

  • sarcasmic||

    They found marijuana in the house! Marijuana! See? It was all justified because there was marijuana in the house!

  • SugarFree||

    But they smelled meth and there was no meth. What they experienced was a gateway odor...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Let's see, taking money from taxpayers who vote in the leaders who enable the policies that result in innocent lives being lost doesn't seem to be doing the trick. How about taking money directly from budgets? How about taking money directly from bad actor state agents?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Take it straight out of their fucking pension fund and reduce the output accordingly. I doubt even the shaved head, Oakley-wearing, roid heads can miss that connection.

  • Paul.||

    All these lawsuits should come directly out of the Police pension fund.

    Watch how quick the police would start... policing their own.

  • JW||

    Mandatory body cams they can't turn off or "lose." Obscuring the picture through any means is met with immediate suspension with repeated offices grounds for immediate termination.

    Watch how fast these baboons become angels.

  • CE||

    Sue the killers for all they're worth. Then call the state attorney general and have murder charges filed.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    They do raids when people are asleep because the people will be disoriented, and then they see themselves as justified for having to defend themselves from disoriented people?
    Isn't purposely creating the circumstances for an accident no accident?

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't purposely creating the circumstances for an accident no accident?

    Accident? Come on. They volunteered to do raids like this because they want an opportunity to kill. That's the whole point.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "Officer safety is paramount!"

    Based on the construction of that sentence, if officer safety is paramount, your rights must naturally be secondary.

  • Hyperion||

    Why should the authorities give one bit of a fuck about killing innocent people and destorying the lives of others? There are no consequences for them. The tax payers pay the costs of any lawsuits, and the worst that can happen to those responsible is a paid vacation.

    This is never going to change and will continue to get worse until enough people want to take action to stop it.

  • sarcasmic||

    How exactly do you take action against people who will be rewarded with a paid vacation if they kill you?

  • Harvard||

    Depends on how pissed you are. FOIA nets you the supervisor who approved the raid, the judge who authorized it and the names of those who carried it out.
    You start at the top. It's solely your benevolence that determines if your visits result in fatalities or simply kneecappings.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    What do meth chemicals smell like? I imagine they smell exactly like someone cleaned their garage floor, painted their house, or polished their nails.

  • Drake||

    It smells like your kid looks like a stoner.

  • Tim||

    " Authorities claim they had probable cause to search the premises because they could smell chemicals used to make methamphetamine while standing outside the house"

    Apparently Meth smells like old people.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

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

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement