War on Drugs

A Correction to My Coverage of the Chesapeake Raid


This morning, I drove down to Chesapeake to do some reporting on the drug raid in which Det. Jarrod Shivers was shot and killed while serving a drug warrant on Ryan Frederick.

I spoke with friends, co-workers, and neighbors of Frederick, as well as some people around Chesapeake. Lots of interesting stuff came out. I'll have more on my trip in a bit, but first I need to make a correction.

In this post, I wrote that the police at one point said Det. Jarrod Shivers was crawling through Ryan Frederick's lower door panel when he was shot. In this one, I referred to that same scenario as if it were undisputed. Actually, exactly where Shivers was when he was shot is a major point of contention right now. Reader Loren Collins emailed me on Friday to say he couldn't find in any coverage of the raid where the police, city, or prosecutor say Shivers was coming through the panel when he was shot. Looking back, I can't either. It's mentioned several times in comments threads, both at Hit & Run and at the Virginian-Pilot. But it hasn't been reported by any local media.

The unlikely "crawling through the door" scenario seems to be a twisted version of events culled from Ryan Frederick's jailhouse interview, in which he said someone was pushing through one of the lower door panels when he fired his gun. That seems to be consistent with the fact that police left a battering ram at the scene. I also spoke with a neighbor of Frederick's today who told me the lower panels to Frederick's door were indeed broken in (the police confiscated the door shortly after the raid).

But it was incorrect for me to attribute that account of events to the police or city officials. Moreover, even Frederick's account of events didn't identify the officer coming through the panel as Shivers, nor did he describe that officer as "crawling"—he said they were "pushing through" the panels.

I don't think this really effects affects the debate over Frederick's justification in shooting Shivers one way or the other. But I would like to correct my error.

So my apologies. I should have been more vigilant about double-checking an assumption that somehow crept into my understanding of the case before I reported it. In addition to this post, I'll add an addendum to both prior posts.