Criminal Justice

Officer Seth Brundle Was Justifiably in Fear of His Life

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Police in Woodland, California break into a couple's home to serve a search warrant, then tase the home's owner. They say they had no choice because the man was cursing and menacingly brandishing . . . a flyswatter.

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  1. I have come to the conclusion that Radley is a sadist who hates our enjoyment of the weekend and seeks to ruin them for his sick enjoyment.

  2. Hey, fly swatters are deadly…to flies.

  3. The comments to that article tend to be disgusting. I swear their are cops/cop-wannabes to spend all their time looking for stories like that just so they can promote their fascist views of right and wrong.

  4. The officers were completing a search related to Thompson’s then-16-year-old son, who was in police custody at the time of the Nov. 28, 2006, search.

    Tedral and Patricia Thompson recounted the incident Wednesday, before attending their son’s trial on a charge of rape.

    According to court documents related to the charge, the officers entered the house announcing: “Police department, search warrant!”

    So they were doing a no-knock search on the house of a rape suspect. Well I can certainly see how Officer Seth Brundle would be afraid of a cursing Tedral Thompson brandishing a flyswatter. What the hell was the man thinking? Asking if his wife could get dressed. She might swallow he son’s used condom she’s been hiding in her dresser drawer.

  5. Ladies and gentlemen, the face of America today:

    I suspect that the police may not have done everything quite as they should have, but the Thompson father and son seem to be trashy humans, so I stop caring if their rights get a little violated. Run-ins with the law seem to be a regular occurrence for them. Tasers are a huge help to police. They allow a peaceful end to confrontations a large majority of the time. The ‘victim’ gets up and can continue to flap his gums and bitch and moan, rather than cool off in the morgue. He should be thankful that the police have a HUGE amount of patience for taking crap from rotten people without blasting them or beating them senseless with a night stick. The only injury was that his ego got bitch slapped. Yo, Thompson: Take your lumps like a man and start making better choices in the future… Embarassment[sic] shouldn’t garner you a payday at taxpayer expense.


  6. So they were doing a no-knock search on the house of a rape suspect.

    At least the warrant was for an actual crime with an actual victim, not for some victimless ‘crime’.

  7. If your accused your guilty.That seems to be the feeling of many.Fact is almost EVERYONE has broken some law.There are too many laws,covering too many aspects of life.In this case the man was not accused of a crime.Hell he could be a witness of sort.Good luck with that now.

  8. True. But the suspect was already in custody. Not sure why a forced entry with guns drawn on the guy’s parents was necessary.

  9. At least the warrant was for an actual crime with an actual victim, not for some victimless ‘crime’.

    Not to feed trolls, but just in case this comes up, please note that they had the actual suspect in custody BEFORE they conducted the raid…

  10. “They say they had no choice because the man was cursing and menacingly brandishing . . . a flyswatter.”

    All pests fear the flyswatter so we can understand why these particular police officers would feel the need to tase.

  11. If your accused your guilty.That seems to be the feeling of many.Fact is almost EVERYONE has broken some law.There are too many laws,covering too many aspects of life.

    So I suppose that means each and every one of us must devote our lives to memorizing the 10’s of thousands of laws on the books so we can be sure to be in compliance. I don’t see how the old maxim, “ignorance of the law is no excuse” can possibly, logically apply anymore. Doesn’t this invalidate mens rea? It often takes DA’s months of studying the laws to come up with something to charge someone with. If a lawyer needs that to know the law, how the hell can we all know it?

  12. Woodland Police Lt. Charlie Wilts, however, said the department did nothing wrong.

    That’s good enough for me.
    Move along….

  13. “””Ladies and gentlemen, the face of America today:”””

    I don’t know, sounds a lot like the face of southern America in the 50s and 60s.

  14. I don’t know, sounds a lot like the face of southern America in the 50s and 60s.

    That’s the sad/scary part…

  15. “”Not sure why a forced entry with guns drawn on the guy’s parents was necessary.”””

    Sure you do Radley, 😉 It’s about having a procedure and following that procedure regardless of circumstance. It’s all about officer safety. To serve and protect is still part of their motto. To serve and protect the uniform.

  16. “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

  17. Someday, when we citizens have robot servants, it will be the cops who get tazed mercilessness when they come barging in. We’ll offer to call off the robot once the cops stop their silly writhing on the floor and show us some ID.

    And if they send in robot cops, then the gloves come off.

  18. And if they send in robot cops, then the gloves come off.

    Why are robots wearing gloves?

  19. ProGLib,

    Your future sounds both wondrous and scary.

  20. Thanks, Pro Lib, for ruining any chance now that we’ll ever have robot servants.

  21. “Why are robots wearing gloves?”

    Rock ’em Sock ’em!

    But, really so they don’t scratch my stuff when they clean. Have you seen the Terminator without the skin?

  22. Taktix?,

    To cover the spinning blades that come out of their hands, natch.

    highnumber,

    If we can’t have liberty through political processes, we’ll have it through technology. Yes, we shall.

  23. Woodland Police Lt. Charlie Wilts, however, said the department did nothing wrong.

    “Our position is we didn’t do anything illegal or inappropriate,” he said, declining to comment on the details of the case.

    Charlie, you are so full of shit yor eyes are brown.

    What valid justifications do our overlords use when they invade a house?

    1) Protect/save a hostage/bystander.
    2) Prevent destruction of evidence (I know, I know, that’s debatable).
    3) There is no #3.

    Lt Wilts, you’re lucky that one of your officers didn’t take a round. The option of knocking on the door, presenting the warrant was rejected because ________________?

  24. 3. Fight the War on Drugs.
    4. Fight the War on Terror.
    5. Intimidate the little people, and no, we don’t mean leprechauns. Well, maybe sometimes we mean them.

  25. You leave my leprechaun be!

    Ya big bully!

  26. 3. Fight the War on Drugs.
    4. Fight the War on Terror.
    5. Intimidate the little people, and no, we don’t mean leprechauns. Well, maybe sometimes we mean them.

    Pro Libertate –

    I already wrote that there is no valid #3. Thanks for buttressing my point. Ditto yopur #4. #5 is valid only if you’re a cop.

  27. 6. To test the cool new gun the cops got from the Army last week. Bang, bang! Bang, bang, bang!
    7. Actually, you left one out–in “hot pursuit”.
    8. To impress the girls.

  28. 2) Prevent destruction of evidence (I know, I know, that’s debatable).

    Without the element of surprise the occupants could have flushed the rape down the toilet.

  29. I have to slightly fault Radley on the headline. Cops are allowed to use tasers for non-compliance. A threat need not be present.

    Tasers have become a way to avoid physical takedowns.

  30. Not that I’m advocating the use. I can’t trust a cop to operate a shovel properly.

  31. Given the reams of research on electroshock therapy, I believe that the police can use their tazers as a force for good. Modifying behavior through negative reinforcement. And, perhaps, a, say, “good cop” could come in after the tazing with some cookies. These will be used to reinforce correct behavior.

  32. 6a. To try on your fancy new duds that you got from the tactical gear shop, possibly compliment your team members on how they look and give them a playful slap on the rear while polishing and lubing your new gun.

  33. FWAP-FWAP-FWAP….OW! QUIT IT! THAT HURTS!

    “OK Frank, Tase ’em. And hey! Check out the titties on that thing!”

  34. Pro Lib,
    Ask and you shall receive. Tazing Robots.

  35. See? The future is coming. Sure, the cops and the military will have all the tazing robots to begin with, but we’ll have our own, soon thereafter. Later, when we all have cyborg body parts and built-in body armor, the cops will have bigger problems to deal with than a few drug users or jaywalkers.

  36. “Tasers have become a way to avoid physical takedowns harrass, annoy, intimidate, torture and ensure the proles know their place”.

    FIFY

    /see THX 1138

  37. ProGLib,

    Stop asking for things!

    Or ask for Salma Hayek equivalents to be delivered to everyone.

    The ladies can have their Jack Nicholson equivalents, or whoever the gals are thinking is sexy these days. Probably still Nicholson.

  38. If tasers are used more frequently to avoid physical takedowns then we should see a decline in worker’s compensation claims. Also there should be less missed days for injury which result in overtime pay for the replacement officer. This could result in monetary savings for the various departments.
    On the other hand, the taser uses batteries and needs recharging with electricity that probably comes from a coal fired plant. So this escalation in taser use is bad for the environment because of a net increase in greenhouse gasses.

  39. Spankin the monkey
    chokin the chicken
    poundin the pud
    jerkin the gherkin

    swattin the fly?

  40. darn, I was really hoping to see Jeff Goldblum and especially Geena Davis when I went to the article

  41. hellllllp me bro!

  42. Jesus, some of you people drive me absolutely mad. Look, it’s very, very simple:
    your – possessive, as in Your mother should have taught you how to spell.
    you’re – contraction of “you” and “are,” as in You’re obviously fucking ignorant.

    I’d also like to address the various and frequent indignities suffered by “there,” “their,” and “they’re”, but I’ll leave that for another rant.

    Also, cops are jerks.

  43. Seth Brundle and Cthulhu references in the space of 2 days … this really is my favorite blog.

  44. Spelling Nazi –

    Perhaps I should just use “yer” for both.
    I want to boof yer sister.
    Yer an idiot.

    It works for me, what’s yer opinion?

  45. Balko you bastard, you dug this up just because I said California may piss me off, but at least I don’t live in Mississippi, didn’t you?

  46. “So this escalation in taser use is bad for the environment because of a net increase in greenhouse gasses.”

    I can see it now;

    Berkley, California is the first city to charge its TASERS with clean, carbon free, solar power.

    Think of the earth awareness the citizens will learn when they are tased with clean, renewable electricity. After tasing, the victim can be presented with a card which states;

    You have been temporarily incapacitated by clean, renewable, electricity. Have a nice day.

  47. “”””Tasers have become a way to avoid physical takedowns harrass, annoy, intimidate, torture and ensure the proles know their place”.”””

    Harrass, annoy, and intimidate are in full affect before the taser comes out. Cops don’t need a weapon for that.

  48. J Sub D

    “Yer” is spelt “Yur”, you dip. Didn’t you go to scool?

  49. it’s ‘skool’ didn’t you ever see invader zim

  50. Sometimes they’re not monsters:

    Mourners Gather for Slain SWAT Officer
    February 15, 2008 1:50 PM EST
    LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of police officers from around the country joined mourners Friday at a huge church to remember a man so dependable on the job he was nicknamed “The Rock” – the city’s first SWAT team member ever killed in the line of duty.

    The 10,000-seat Crenshaw Christian Center Faithdome was expected to be completely filled for Randal Simmons’ service, making it the biggest police funeral in recent memory, said Mary Grady, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Simmons, 51, was killed last week as he tried to raid the house of a gunman who had gone berserk and slain several family members.

    Those who worked with Simmons were shocked that he had fallen. He was considered a perfect tactician at the top of his game who risked his life for others during a raid and worked hard to stay in peak physical condition. Fellow officers called him “The Rock.”

    What went wrong in the early hours of Feb. 7 is still being investigated. Simmons was shot as he entered the home of Edwin Rivera, 20, who had called police to report that he had killed his father and two brothers. The hours-long standoff following the shootings ended with a police sniper killing Rivera.

    SWAT officers are trained to enter a structure when they believe civilians inside are in peril.

    Simmons was known to some in his community as “The Reverend” and was a mentor to many children. He also was a husband and a father, survived by two teenagers.

  51. Contrarian,

    That, too, is a terrible story, just as sad as the deaths that Balko reports on.

  52. 2) Prevent destruction of evidence (I know, I know, that’s debatable).

    Without the element of surprise the occupants could have flushed the rape down the toilet.

    They made this joke on the second season of the wire. (“What are they going to do, flush the hookers down the toilet?”)

  53. Contrarian

    SWAT officers are trained to enter a structure when they believe civilians inside are in peril.

    Even though Randal Simmons, and LAPD SWAT in this instance acted as they were trained to act (believing civilians were in peril) there seems to be a shortage of evidence that this is the default procedure in many, if not most SWAT operations.

    That may be their training, but how often do actual operations use it as the basis or reason for action? Or is it a general assumption that any entry is a potential “civilian in peril” – and anyway, who so very often puts civilians in peril anyway?

    In other words, is it possible this is more of “an exception that proves the rule”?

  54. In other words, is it possible this is more of “an exception that proves the rule”?

    This is what SWAT teams are for. I doubt any sane posters have argued that there is “no” purposes for a SWAT team. But we know how it goes, you get a new drill and everything needs a hole. You’d expect the adults in our LEO community would resist that childish temptation to treat tools as toys. Too often they don’t.

  55. FWAP-FWAP-FWAP….OW! QUIT IT! THAT HURTS!

    I watched the South Park re-run last night where the boys teepeed a house. Kyle was feeling guilty and was going to squeal, so Cartman brought him to the lake, took him out on a boat, and tried to kill him with a whiffle ball bat (it was all he could afford).

    (Cartman begins hitting Kyle with the whiffle ball bat.)

    Kyle: “Cartman… What the hell are you doing?”

    Cartman: “Hold still, Kyle. It will only be a few hours before your consciousness subsides.”

  56. HEEEEEEEEEEELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…

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