Drug Policy

More Possible Police Misconduct in Ryan Frederick Case

|

Frederick is the 28-year-old Chesapeake, Virginia man facing capital murder charges for killing a police officer during a drug raid on Frederick's home.  Police found only a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, not the massive grow operation alleged in the search warrant.

Now, WTKR TV reports:

The hands of six Chesapeake detectives present at the botched marijuana raid on Ryan Frederick's house have tested positive for "primer residue," meaning they had traces of chemicals on their hands sometimes left behind when a person fires a gun, according to a lab report filed in court. The lab report also said the residue can be left if a person is near weapon as it fires, or if a person handles a weapon with primer residue already on it. Police have insisted no officers fired during the Jan. 17 raid where police went looking for marijuana. Police contend Frederick alone opened fire, with one bullet killing narcotics detective Jarrod Shivers.

That's at least suggestive that the police haven't been truthful about the raid. And then there's this:

Meanwhile, Frederick's family revealed a bullet hole inside the home they say was caused by police fire. The hole passes through a corner by Frederick's back bedroom. Family members said, and Frederick's attorney confirmed, that police went to the home days after the shooting and plugged the hole with some kind of putty or filler. Defense investigators have pictures of the hole before and after the filler was added, according to attorney James Broccoletti.

And this:

The state crime lab also did some testing on a .223 Remington cartridge found in Frederick's home. However, the lab did not do DNA testing on the cartridge nor is there any indication what kind of weapon fired the round, according to the paperwork. Police search warrants do not show officers located any weapon in Frederick's home capable of firing a .223 round. Chesapeake police spokeswoman Christina Golden confirmed some officers are issued Bushmaster M4 Patrol Rifles, which shoot .223-caliber ammunition.

Prosecutor Paul Ebert will announce on Friday whether or not he intends to seek the death penalty. I'm still attempting to get in touch with Ryan Frederick's attorney James Broccoletti for comment on my report last week about a possible second informant in the case, who stated that he and a man named "Steven" broke into Frederick's house prior to the raid to gather evidence.

Prior coverage of Frederick's case here.

NEXT: Is the Habeas Ruling Really One of the Worst Decisions in American History?

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.

  1. Radley, thanks for keeping the heat on these idiots.

  2. They’ll probably try to explain away the primer residue by claiming it was left there by training/practice. Of course, that will lead the defense attorney into reviewing the records of their training, and gives him the opportunity to go into all kinds of detail about how much/little training these guys actually have.

    Plugging the hole in the wall just smells bad. Really bad. I don’t know how they’ll explain that one away.

    It all opens up very interesting lines of inquiry for the defense.

  3. So, what charges get filed against the cops for lying to the investigators? Is it perjury or some other charge, like obstructing justice?

  4. Hahaha, robc. That was supposed to be a joke right?

  5. Prosecutor Paul Ebert will announce on Friday whether or not he intends to seek the death penalty.

    I don’t mean to be crass, but I kinda hope they do seek the death penalty; it might be the cherry on top needed for the mainstream press to notice this bullshit.

    Ideally, the prosecutor should be announce on Friday that he intends to file a motion to dismiss the charges, but there’s a war going on. If Ryan Frederick hadn’t been suspected of having drugs in his home, none of this would have happened, so in the drug warriors’ eyes, it’s all his fault.

    What pisses me off even more is that there are still people on The Left championing the “Free Mumia” cause when there are literally hundreds of more valid cases of injustice.

    When is this issue going to come to a head?

  6. Haha, robc. Cops don’t get charged with crimes.

    How evil must Paul Ebert and the rest of these guys be to do all this? Its mind boggling to me.

  7. um… “Ideally, the prosecutor should be announcing“.

    I shouldn’t type when I’m pissed.

  8. Reason and bullshit like this that have turned me away from beeing a death penalty proponent. I really dont know how anyone can read stories like this and continue to be a supporter of capital punishment.

  9. 1. Yes, it was a joke in the sense that I dont expect anything to happen.

    2. Hell no, it wasnt a joke. Im serious.

    3. Only a tiny percent of cops are bad, so all the good ones are going to call out for a huge smackdown on these guys, right?

    4. There I go making jokes again.

  10. BTW, is there any actual evidence that the shot that killed the cop was fired by Frederick? Any chance that it was friendly fire? There didnt seem to be any doubt about it before, but this evidence of AT LEAST 1 cop firing makes me wonder.

  11. there are still people on The Left championing the “Free Mumia” cause when there are literally hundreds of more valid cases of injustice

    Don’t lie. There are literally thousands.

    But the victims in those cases aren’t stereotypical lefty myth-hero comfort-objects, like a black warrior poet who doesn’t live in their neighborhood, so fuck them.

    And it won’t change. Can you get laid via proxy danger-lust in FREE RYAN shirt? No. The end.

  12. Mister DNA, you are absolutely right about the Mumia case. The guy killed a cop in cold blood. When celebrities and activists point to this case as an example of unfairness in the criminal justice system, they discredit the cause for anyone who’s paying attention and considering the evidence. (Same with Leonard Peltier.)

    Massive police and prosecutorial abuses are happening all the time. But the PC crowd focus on a few trendy cases where actual killers also happen to be far leftists. They make it a lot harder to convince ordinary people of how far off course the system has really gone. Drives me crazy.

  13. I don’t understand how there could possibly be anything but at least some police malfeasance here. How can a reporter like Radley find so much dirt without at least some of it being legit? Even if one was to give the CPD the benefit of the doubt, the stench here is unavoidable.

    And if they continue to simply ignore the dirt, and push forward as if the police are spotless…that’s just sickening.

  14. Unfortunately, it’s just as bad on the other side of the aisle. Michelle Malkin and that douche Glenn Beck will defend Joe Horn, but not Ryan Frederick. All cops are heroes since 9/11, so if they busted down your door without announcing themselves, you must have done something really bad.

    I still support the death penalty, but if cops are going to use the same MO as home invaders, shooting a cop on your property should fall under the Castle Doctrine.

  15. I would like to say there is no way a jury could not find reasonable doubt now, but then I see what juries do all the time and I can’t say that.

    That .223 casing could be crucial if they can pin it to one of the cop’s M-4’s. They can’t just ditch an M-4 (I would think) because of the paper/ownership trail that would follow it. So either they test all the M-4’s, or a cop “loses” one, both of which are massive helps to the defense.

    Unless of course the casing matches nothing. But I doubt that.

  16. and please – if there were, what, 16 cops? like they said there were, and they heard a gun shot coming from inside the house and were alerted to Detective Shivers condition, do you think for one moment that they wouldn’t all just open fire on the house?

  17. Defense investigators have pictures of the hole before and after the filler was added, according to attorney James Broccoletti.

    IANAL, but if that isn’t obstuction of justice and concealing evidence, I’d like to know what is.
    Standard cop sycophant disclaimer #1,

    Most cops are good cops who would never commit perjury or destroy/conceal evidence taht casts their “brothers in blue” in a criminal light.

    goes here.

  18. Cops no longer get the benefit of the doubt. To me they are ALL corrupt individually and directly or by complicity with silence.

    Given the choice of believing the word of an LEO or a crack whore . . . it’d be a toss up.

  19. Reason and bullshit like this that have turned me away from beeing a death penalty proponent.

    A-fucking-men. I’ve no moral objection to the death penalty other than a corrupt/incompetent justice system wields it,

  20. Still, it’s good to see that the defense has many things to investigate to disprove the cop lies. Hope this case does what Katherine Johnston’s case should have but didn’t.

  21. That .223 casing could be crucial if they can pin it to one of the cop’s M-4’s.

    I think they can match cartridges to firing pins with some degree of accuracy.

  22. Given the choice of believing the word of an LEO or a crack whore . . . it’d be a toss up.

    Hey, that’s my line.

  23. I think they can match cartridges to firing pins with some degree of accuracy.

    Yes they can. But they have to get the right M-4’s into the lab, and if the cops can play musical rifles successfully enough, it’s no good.

  24. There is also the question of the source of police ammo. Do the involved officers get ammo off the shelf or from a special source?

    Epi, with serial number assignments, the musical guns thing should’nt be a factor.

  25. At least you can refuse to pay the crack whore if she performs badly, so she’s got some incentive to stay on your good side.

  26. The firing pin itself could be an issue. Not that hard to swap at home with an Ebay unit.

    As for six cops with residue on thier hands, that’s easy to explain: They all picked up Ryan’s gun. You know, the only gun that was fired. Yeah, they formed a line and passed it hand to hand into the evidence bag. THAT’S how they got the residue.

  27. Epi, with serial number assignments, the musical guns thing should’nt be a factor.

    Except the serialized part of an M4 is not the part that contains the barrel, bolt, firing pin, or anything else other than the magazine that contacts the cartridge.

  28. brotherben,

    The AR series of rifles are modular. So the receiver may be serialized but the firing pin, extractor, ejector, etc are not and are really easy to replace from off the shelf parts. You don’t even need any tools to replace most parts on an AR.

  29. The guy killed a cop in cold blood.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQyWqm1l4KM

    I still think Mumia more likely than not did it, but I can see why some feel otherwise.

  30. Mister DNA, I’d prefer if the “Free Mumia” crowd stays out of this. Credibility is vital.

    Robc, the legal answer to your question is that they could be charged with perjury for lying on any sworn statement (warrant hearings are held under oath). Obstruction of justice would also be possible for willfully misinforming investigators but its only a misdemeanor.

  31. “The AR series of rifles are modular. So the receiver may be serialized but the firing pin, extractor, ejector, etc are not and are really easy to replace from off the shelf parts. You don’t even need any tools to replace most parts on an AR.”

    Back in the day, when I was a unit armorer in the Army Reserves, we kept our bolts separate from our rifles in locked containers and inscribed the serial # for the rifle on the bolt. The rifles were in a safe in the armory and the bolts were locked in a locked tool box in a locker in the same safe. This was done to prevent someone from just breaking into the safe and grabbing a rifle and using it.

    /this was in 1983

  32. d) all of the above,
    Thank you all for pointing to the error in my thinking. I have had enough experience with firearms,(though not with the gun in question) that I feel rather stupey for my suggestion.

  33. Except the serialized part of an M4 is not the part that contains the barrel, bolt, firing pin, or anything else other than the magazine that contacts the cartridge.

    True. One would hope that moral courage would survive such an attempt to do this, but unfortunately it is a possibility.

    The hole plugging thing does look bad.

  34. Unfortunately, real change in the justice system would require for cops to actually speak out against it. This isn’t going to happen and the lies and deceit will continue.

  35. val,

    He hasn’t even been convicted, let alone sentenced yet, so this is hardly evidence of the supposed evils of the death penalty.

    And pardon me, but the prospect of an innocent man getting sodomized in prison for the last five decades of his life, which would be the case if the death penalty isn’t applied, doesn’t give me much comfort.

  36. Playing the devils advocate for a moment, how do we know the bullet hole wasn’t already there before the raid? To me it would seem like the relevant evidence would be pictures of the area around the bullet hole before and after the raid, and I doubt they have such pictures from before. Evidence that the police actually did attempt to cover it up, beyond the family’s saying so, would be important as well.

  37. He hasn’t even been convicted, let alone sentenced yet, so this is hardly evidence of the supposed evils of the death penalty.

    My disagreement to the death penalty stems not from a moral objection, but from a “I wouldnt trust the corrupt and incompetent peieces of shit that comprise the various level of government to get me my morning coffee, much less put a man to death” point of view.

  38. To me it would seem like the relevant evidence would be pictures of the area around the bullet hole before and after the raid, and I doubt they have such pictures from before. Evidence that the police actually did attempt to cover it up, beyond the family’s saying so, would be important as well.

    That evidence would be more important once the cops go on trial (haha). In the defense of Ryan Fredricks, I imagine, they can be very useful tools to cast a reasonable doubt, even if they dont constitute completely unrefutable evidence.

  39. val,

    But you have no problem with those same people locking someone up for life?

    This is the prob I have with this argument against CP. You say, the justice system is convicting innocent people, we have to get rid of the death penalty. Isn’t that like saying, there’s an epidemic of influenza, we have to make sure everyone has handkerchiefs? Yeah, obviously it would be a terrible thing if an innocent person was put to death (which there’s never been any proof of happening), but dumping capital punishment doesn’t actually address the problem you’re concerned with.

  40. A .223 round is going to put more than one hole in a wall. If its jacketed it will go through a 2×4 and out the exterior wall. If it’s a soft point there is a 2×4 or an exit hole that needs to be admited as evidence I hope people are digging into the wall behind the puttied entry hole.

  41. And as I’ve said before many times, the govt doesn’t hand out death sentences, juries do.

  42. val,

    On the bullet hole, I don’t see how it can even be admitted without some type of corroborating evidence that it actually occurred during the raid. Lots of homes have bullet holes in them. Or perhaps a family member shot a hole in the wall and then called reporters to show them the “evidence”. Without corroboration, I don’t even see how it could contribute to reasonable doubt.

  43. Ah, Radley. Always putting the silver lining on my day.

  44. Lots of homes have bullet holes in them.

    Dang, Chris, you must live in a rough neighborhood.

    On the bullet hole, I don’t see how it can even be admitted without some type of corroborating evidence that it actually occurred during the raid.

    Shouldn’t be too hard. Just get people who had been in that room to say “Nope, no bullet hole before the gunplay on the night in question.”

  45. “””Playing the devils advocate for a moment, how do we know the bullet hole wasn’t already there before the raid?”””

    “””On the bullet hole, I don’t see how it can even be admitted without some type of corroborating evidence that it actually occurred during the raid.””””

    Cops don’t play home improvement. If it had nothing to do with the raid, they wouldn’t have given it a second look. The mere fact that they gave the hole some attention means they were concerned with it. There may be no smoking gun, pun intended, as to how the hole got there. I’m curious how the cops will answer the questions of why patch it at all.

    “””Lots of homes have bullet holes in them.””

    Let’s say, for the moment, that’s true. How many of them are patched by cops?

  46. “””On the bullet hole, I don’t see how it can even be admitted without some type of corroborating evidence that it actually occurred during the raid.”””

    If the cops didn’t take time and effort patching the hole, I’d agree. But since it was something they did during the investigation, it should be fair game.

  47. Someone show me the caselaw or code that says it’s a crime for a cop to kill an innocent person because the, or any other, cop made a mistake or the appearance of a mistake.

    I’m conviced there is no criminal law that holds a cop responsible for killing an innocent person acting within, or remotely within, their official capacity.

  48. I’d be more worried about the argument that the bullet hole is irrelevant because it is something that happened after the alleged murder. I think the judge will be looking to keep the whole imbroglio over the bullet hole away from the jury, and irrelevancy may be the legal path to that outcome.

  49. “Plugging the hole in the wall just smells bad. Really bad. I don’t know how they’ll explain that one away.”

    Cops always come back to the houses they’ve raided and repair all the damage they caused. That’s standard procedure. You didn’t know that??

  50. But you have no problem with those same people locking someone up for life?

    dang dude, I dunno where you got this, I was just commenting on how stories like this and reading Reason and H&R changed my outlook on the death penalty.

    Ok ok, I must have missed a disclaimer in the original post; while I have always been skeptical of authority, Reason has casued me to undertake the assumption that any goverment representative is by default a liar and a douche or must prove otherwise.

  51. Lots of homes have bullet holes in them.

    Damn RC Dean – I wanted to say “glad I don’t live in your neighborhood Chris”.

  52. http://www.nationalreview.com/19jun00/cannon-full061900.html

    NATIONAL REVIEW

    June 19, 2000

    The Problem with the Chair

    A conservative case against capital punishment.

    By Carl M. Cannon, reporter and essayist for National Journal.

    … “The judicial system commits errors,” commented Prof. Protess, in a classic understatement, “because it’s run by people.”

    This simple observation shouldn’t come as a bolt from the blue – least of all to conservatives. It just shouldn’t be a surprise that civil servants take shortcuts on the job, that juries drawn from the citizenry that gives Bill Clinton a 60 percent approval rating get swept up in the passions of the day, that political hacks appointed to the bench ratify those mistakes, and that bloated state-run bureaucracies are loath to correct them. “Criminal-justice system” is a high falutin phrase, but the courts are just a branch of government, and one that by design has less accountability than the other two.

    In other words, if ideology and experience lead one to the conclusion that government is by nature inefficient and inept, then why should it be astonishing that the actions of one branch of government – the judicial branch – are so routinely wrong?…

  53. WAVY 10 in HR is reporting prosecutor will not see DP

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.