Militarization of Police

More From Chesapeake

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Over the weekend, I'll put up a more thorough review of the last few days in the trial of Ryan Frederick, the Chesapeake, Virginia man charged with capital murder for shooting a police officer during a botched drug raid.

But here's one item of note: Earlier this week, we heard the unlikely testimony of Steven Wright, the police informant in the case. Wright gave damning statements about buying marijuana from Frederick dozens of times over about a six month period, and state that Frederick threatened to kill both him in his family. Wright also admitted to both illegally breaking into Frederick's home three days before the raid (to collect probable cause for the search warrant), and to lying to the police about said break-in for months. His testimony was not only harmful to Frederick, it helped assuage allegations that Chesapeake police officers were sending informants to break into private homes in order to look for evidence for search warrants.

Wright has been in jail since last October on several charges stemming from his theft and use of credit cards, including a charge of grand larceny. He was supposed to appear in court last December on those charges, but that appearance was delayed, rather conveniently, until two days after his testimony in Frederick's trial.

Yesterday, Wright was released on bond. He still hasn't been charged for breaking in to Frederick's home, nor has he been charged for obstructing the investigation of Frederick and the raid by allegedly lying to police about the break-in for months.

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  1. I don’t care about no ‘evidence’ to show his ‘innocence’. The dude was a pothead and he killed a cop, he deserves life in prison, period, end of discussion.

  2. Jambalaya just got spewed all over my screen.
    Thanks, whore.

  3. You’re right, Juanita. People should not be allowed to defend themselves or their homes from intruders when it is LATER learned that the intruder collects a government paycheck.

    If I have trouble sleeping at night, I’ll just count Juanitas.

  4. Relax. It’s just a regular poster posing as Juanita. Though we should really get J sub D to check himself. He’s in love with her and claims he can tell the difference between spoofers and the “real” Juanita.

  5. Did Ryan’s lawyer make it clear for the jury on cross-examination that Wright was never charged with burglary or obstruction?

    This seems like one of the few issues in the case that might actually change the mind of the the type of person who might otherwise be inclined to convict. To put it another way, this lack of charges seem to bug some people who aren’t that bothered by the rest of what happened.

  6. No Dave, he merely grilled him about his consumption of HFCS. That tactic sort of confused me, I’ll admit.

  7. I forget – when you say he lied to police about the breakin for months, what do you mean? He obviously told them that he broke in, right? Because the day they got Frederick they told him they knew that someone had broken into his house.

  8. You’re right, Juanita. People should not be allowed to defend themselves or their homes from intruders when it is LATER learned that the intruder collects a government paycheck.

    While the no knock tactics are meant to suprise and confuse the criminal, the police do announce that they are police.

  9. Did he actually admit being on HFCS, or did the label say: HFCS and/or sugar? That is usually the loophole they use on the stand.

  10. Who needs witness tampering when you’ve got the indictment of Damocles hanging over their heads?

  11. Dave, amazingly enough he brazenly claimed to avoid all HFCS, and I think the jury bought it. Frederick is screwed if they believe that.

  12. I forget – when you say he lied to police about the breakin for months, what do you mean? He obviously told them that he broke in, right? Because the day they got Frederick they told him they knew that someone had broken into his house.

    Wright told them that someone had broken into the house, but repeatedly denied it was him.

    Oddly, the police apparently found nothing amiss in that.

  13. OK, so he told them that someone ELSE broke into Frederick’s house, and then proceeded to tell them what he…er.. I mean the other person found there? I’m getting confused..

  14. “While the no knock tactics are meant to suprise and confuse the criminal, the police do announce that they are police.”

    Yes, the one announcement of “POLICE” through a closed door and then breaking down the door while I’m asleep makes perfect sense. I always act completely coherent in the middle of the night when I’m dreaming about Rainbow Puppy Island.

    Perhaps NOT surprising the SUSPECT would mean Shivers would still be alive. Frederick could have been picked up on his way to his mail box in broad daylight and served the warrant then. That would have been much safer and smarter (less likely to be packing on his way to see if Landscapers Quarterly has arrived) for everyone involved.

    “The dude was a pothead”

    Juanita, you must be one of those people who can justify casting the first stone.

  15. Nick, Juanita is a regularly reoccurring sockpuppet. Don’t waste your energy, just enjoy the performance.

  16. Nick,

    Or write love poetry to her. Juanita seems like the type that just needs lovin’.

  17. It’s just a regular poster posing as Juanita. Though we should really get J sub D to check himself. He’s in love with her and claims he can tell the difference between spoofers and the “real” Juanita.

    Nay, nay NS. ‘Tis indeed the anti-drug siren who has won my heart.

    E-mail me, my love.

  18. Nah – Juanita’s too conservative to experience “lovin'” She’d only accept intercourse after marriage, and only for the purpose of creating a baby.

  19. “””While the no knock tactics are meant to suprise and confuse the criminal, the police do announce that they are police””

    It’s reasonable to conclude a surprised and confused person can’t comprehend the annoucement because he’s surprised and confused. Confused and surprised cops kill innocent people every now and then and they usually escape punishment.

    PROTECT THE KING’S MEN!!!!

    Frederick took the stand yesterday and corroborated Wright’s testomony about plants stolen. Frederick told the jury that he knew Wright broke into his garage and stole some of his plants and then he decided to destroy the remaining plants. How many plants? We won’t know since Wright interfered with the police raid by stealing would be evidence. But Frederick’s own words make Wright look more believable. Not good for Frederick.

    The real issue is the murder charge. While I still believe Frederick didn’t intend to kill a cop, and he was concerned by a recent and close by home invasion, the idea that Fredrick thought the person breaking in when he shot the cop was related to his garage break in is out the window, becuase he knew who broke in. Did he think he was shooting at Wright?

    To add to Reinmoose’s comment, The break in was only three days prior to the raid. Therefore Wright had to have told the cops within 72 hours of his breaking in.

    All evidence presented about Frederick wanting to kill a cop is BS, nothing I’ve seen presented would make me believe that. The cops did the least they could to make Frederick know it was them. But his actions were still wrong under VA law. My understanding is the castle doctrine in VA requires you to retreat. They have to be in your house for you to shoot them. Therefore it boils down to whether or not the jury can consider less charges. Anyone know anything about that? If the jury can only consider the charge, Federick may get a hung jury on the murder charge. If lesser charges are available, he will probably be found guilty on one of those.

  20. We all know that this trial is going to end poorly for Frederick. Appeals, and hopefully a USDOJ lawsuit or criminal investigation, are the only way this is going to be resolved in anything resembling a satisfactory manner.

    Radley should keep reporting on the outrageousness of this all, of course.

    I really get the sense that in this, and similar cases, that the police and prosecutors are really going all out. If anyone anywhere gets acquitted, the whole house of cards will start to fall.

    Regardless of whether the 12:48 comment is from the “real” Juanita, there are many people in our society who do feel just that way. This is the root of the problem. Fear. Unthinking trust of the government. Complete lack of understanding of even the most fundamental concepts of our legals system. It’s going to be a long, hard slog to reclaim our rights.

  21. Frederick took the stand?! Why? With a decent cross-examination of the witnesses who already testified, the prosecution’s whole case seems like it could be destroyed, at least for one juror. Why give the prosecution a chance to cross examine Frederick? I’m beginning to question the intelligence of the defense attorney.

  22. Nick, my take is that it has become a game of credibility with respects to the murder charge. Frederick did appear credible. The issue of the snitches is being looked at today. If the defense can show that the prosecutor is deceiving about Fredrick knowing killing an officer then the prosecution loses credibility over the central issue. That’s why I expect a hung jury on the murder charge.

  23. Nick,

    I think it was to show the jury that he’s not some sort of feral madman drug kingpin who asassinates police and kicks puppies.

  24. It’s come down to preventing a guy from doing a life sentence.

    Not really sure why the defense is doing what they are, but the above makes some sense.

  25. It will be curious how today turns out. Radley’s lagging, 😉 so I’ve been going to Tabor’s blog and the VA Pilot online site regularly.

  26. Man, I hope the jury sees it that way. If he’s got 12 Juanitas on his jury, he’s so screwed. Their minds would already be made up.

  27. i disagree with balko’s characterization that wright’s testimony was harmful to frederick or that it assuaged allegations of police misconduct at all. he admitted breaking into the house three days before **to collect probable cause for the search warrant**(!) juror brucie goes “lol wut!”

  28. If someone threatened to kill me, the first thing I would do would be to break into his house, where he could do it legally.

  29. Bruce, that’s incorrect, Wright was not sent there to collect probable cause, he was sent to verify it still existed prior to the raid. Which makes it all the more funny that Wright did take some of the plants. Wrights actions made sure the plants WERE NOT there at the time of the raid. I would think the cops would be pissed about that. But since Ryan shot the cop, my guess is that the cops are not that concerned about the pot charges.

    Dogzilla, two things, 1. The threat allegedly occured after the break in. 2. Wright didn’t break into the house, only the deattached garage. The threat might have been made but since the prosecutor has enlisted false testomony about Ryan boasting and such, I believe Wright’s claim is also coached.

  30. Here’s a link to the pilot online’s article about Frederick’s testimony.

    http://hamptonroads.com/2009/01/defendant-frederick-testifies-he-didnt-intend-kill-officer

  31. Here’s the link to Taybor’s blog.

    http://tidewaterliberty.wordpress.com/

  32. I know Ryan; he’s a really tiny guy, and about the least threatening person I ever met. I refuse to believe he would ever threaten to kill anyone’s family, especially after what happened to his mom. I hope he gets out of this OK.

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