Militarization of Police

Update on Drug Raid Shooting in Grand Rapids; Another Drug Raid Shooting in Florida

|

Grand Valley State students held a rally today in support of Derek Kopp, the 20-year-old student shot in the chest during a drug raid on his off-campus apartment Wednesday night. Kopp was unarmed, and according to police accounts, there was no struggle or fight. According to the Grand Rapids Press, Kopp is a film and video major, and identifies himself on his Facebook page as "a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal." No doubt the sort of kid paramilitary police tactics were made for.

Thus far, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department has said only that the raid was part of a drug investigation, and that Kopp was shot by one of its deputies. They haven't said what drugs they were looking for, what probable cause they had against Kopp, what if any drugs they found, or why Kopp was shot in the chest.

Also on Wednesday, police in Pinellas County, Florida say they accidentally shot 45-year-old Brenda McKay shortly after tearing down her door during a drug raid. McKay was shot in the thigh, and is expected to be okay. Police made no arrests after that raid.

Advertisement

NEXT: Friday, March 13: 20/20 & Reason.tv Team Up!

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. When government funded drug stores are distributing all drugs, as in the vision of the great Charles Rangel, these accidents will stop.

  2. Stop reporting these unpreventable, isolated incidents.

    When you put them all together they stop sounding so “isolated.”

  3. No doubt the sort of kid paramilitary police tactics were made for.

    Probably an element of truth there. No doubt it’s what Nixon intended with the drug war.

  4. I have to admit I have a hard time sympathizing with someone who self-identifies as “a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal.” I mean, that guy must be really obnoxious.

  5. “See?!? I’m meeting you halfway, you stupid hippies!”

  6. I have to admit I have a hard time sympathizing with someone who self-identifies as “a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal.” I mean, that guy must be really obnoxious.

    No doubt. I mean, I can see myself beating the fuck out of him and stealing his stash, but I wouldn’t go so far as to shoot the little commie twat.

  7. That hippie was probably a fan of big government.

    I bet today he wishes the government was a little smaller.

  8. Was the Florida shooting an isolated incident? Just curious.

  9. Damn little hippie shit stain.

  10. I have to admit I have a hard time sympathizing with someone who self-identifies as “a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal.” I mean, that guy must be really obnoxious.

    I do sympathize, because he is a human being with unalienable rights. He could be a very DEAD hippie right now, but he’s still someone’s son.

    First, they came for the drug addicts, and I said nothing . . . then they came for the left-wing hippies, and I said nothing . . . and so on.

  11. Kopp is a film and video major, and identifies himself on his Facebook page as “a left-wing hippie peace-keeping liberal.” No doubt the sort of kid paramilitary police tactics were made for.

    Yes, because cop killing drug dealers are well-known for identifying themselves as such in their Facebook profile.

  12. Look, hippies can be infuriating…

    But a hippie who is peaceably going about his business on property he has rented does not deserve to be shot anywhere, let alone in the chest.

    But hey, on the other hand, the drug war is important. The Congressmen sponsoring marijuana prohibition in the House in the 19330’s were correct if we allowed them to smoke marijuana darkies would start to think that they were as good as white men, and that would be a disaster. Remember, the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  13. Kopp was unarmed, and according to police accounts, there was no struggle or fight.

    I’m willing to bet that the reports will conveniently change later when one of the deputies “suddenly remembers” that there WAS a struggle, and that the kid deserved to eat lead.

  14. The Congressmen sponsoring marijuana prohibition in the House in the 19330’s were correct if we allowed them to smoke marijuana darkies would start to think that they were as good as white men

    d’oh!!

  15. BTW, I want to get a shotgun for home defense. Which is best? Pump action, 12 GA? Semi-automatic? The traditional 2-barrel is much cheaper, but I don’t know if having only two shots will be enough to take a whole paramilitary team, especially the one that Il Duce has in the works – the “Green Shirts”.

  16. I would bet good money that this is another case of accidental (yet still criminal, though they’ll never charge that) discharge by yet another idiot cop who has no idea how to properly handle his weapon. He has his finger on the trigger, they bust through the door, he’s excited, BANG.

  17. FTG, a shotgun won’t penetrate body armor. Get the trifecta: a semiauto shotgun, a .357 Magnum, and an SKS or AK variant.

  18. Has anyone seen the news about sending troops down to the border?

  19. Epi,

    Nice firepower – thanks!

  20. “They haven’t said what drugs they were looking for, what probable cause they had against Kopp, what if any drugs they found…”

    1) Drugs they were looking for: “The kid was a hippie*, and probably had some.”
    2) Probable cause: They haven’t made that up disclosed that yet.
    3) If they’d found a microgram of pot, we’d of heard about it by now.

    *Hippie? WTF? The sixties are long gone.

  21. “*Hippie? WTF? The sixties are long gone.”

    So are the eighties and yet we still have rappers.

  22. Epi –

    Bah, I say! Now THIS is a gun:

    http://www.defensereview.com/article623.html

  23. BTW, I want to get a shotgun for home defense.

    I’d go pump, and get the aftermarket stock with fittings for pistol grips fore and aft, and an attached flashlight. Also, get the extended magazine.

    For loads? The classic 00 buckshot, and if you aren’t too concerned with overpenetration of walls, alternate load with slugs. There are some saboted copper slugs that just might make it through body armor, although I doubt it. Still, worth a try.

  24. Be patient gentleman!

    We have to give the cops time to create their story and plant evidence before we can get to the truth.

  25. Epi, Epi, Epi……

    Pump, 12ga. Loaded 00 buck, slug, 00 buck, slug, etc.

    Aim for the head, that makes body armor a moot point. A slug round impacting on body armor, even if it doesn’t penetrate, will knock the wind out of someone.

    The other aim point is to aim low – about the thighs. Body armor doesn’t cover the legs.

    Mossberg 500 is a good, economical choice. I like the 24″ rifle sighted slug barrel.

  26. I do sympathize, because he is a human being with unalienable rights. He could be a very DEAD hippie right now, but he’s still someone’s son.

    Yeah, I know, I wasn’t being entirely serious there.

  27. Oh please, like any of us would be doing anything other than firing at center mass when shooting at people that have suddenly broken into our home. Shotguns are great, but they don’t clear body armor, and pump is reliable but frankly I wouldn’t want to have to worry about pumping, hence the semiauto.

    SKS is semiauto and penetrates body armor, making it a good choice if overpenetration is not an issue.

  28. Mossberg 500 is a good, economical choice. I like the 24″ rifle sighted slug barrel.

    Since you will probably be using it indoors, I’d go with a shorter barrel, personally. They are a little quicker on target.

    Totally a matter of personal preference, as is:

    pump is reliable but frankly I wouldn’t want to have to worry about pumping, hence the semiauto.

    A jammed auto is basically a club. They jam very infrequently, though, so . . .

    My personal home defense lineup consists of two “tripwire” dogs, a high-capacity .45, and, in about a week, an M1A Scout.

    Note that the firearms are all automatics, and .45s are famous for being somewhat finicky about jamming unless tweaked out.

  29. It is sad that this thing has to happen, unfortunately being a hippy and all he kind of made himself fit the profile. If people would just stop taking the pot we could end the war.

  30. “taking the pot”

    awesome

  31. If people would just stop taking the pot we could end the war.

    Right, that’s what’s preventing us from ending the drug war.

  32. Be patient gentleman!

    We have to give the cops time to create their story and plant evidence before we can get to the truth.

    One thing that frosts me about these “investigations” of cop misconduct/foulup is that the cops involved are invariably allowed to get together and
    talk about what happened plan and coordinate their perjury if necessary.

    It has been far too often demonstrated that cops often lie to protect their “brothers in blue”. Any competent investigation after a police shooting would involve immediately seperating the witnesses and taking sworn statements from them.
    You know like the cops do in any shooting incident where a non-cop pulled the trigger.
    —————————————–
    Read the comments section in the GrandRapids Press on this story. More and more people are treating police statements as skeptically as libertarians do.

    There are still the cop apologists who ignore the point I made above, but they are definitely a minority of commenters. I’m aware that self selection makes for unscientific data. It’s still a positive sign.

    P.S. Mother fucking shit! I wrote all of that without using a single goddam obscenity. Who’d have fucking thought I’d do that?

  33. Similarly, if people would just stop being infidels, Bin Laden might end the jihad.

  34. My kid sister attended the protest for a while between class and work today. She updated her Facebook status exhorting her friends to come show their support, and a few took the trouble to comment and say it was “stupid.” She held her ground, and I’m really proud.

    The campus community is sort of ambivalent, according to her: “it really sucks. a lot of people don’t get it or don’t care. :(”

    She said about 40 students showed up, which isn’t bad for a Friday afternoon when many kids have left for the weekend. There were faculty involved, too, and another protest is planned for Ottawa Co. sheriff HQ.

  35. And what’s with all the hippie hate here.

    Non-iniation of force? ??”
    Ending the War on Drugs Liberty? ??”
    That puts hippies two up on the GOP and the Dems.

    Yeah, they’re for the immoral redistribution of wealth nonsense. I don’t know if y’all are keeping up with the news lately, both major parties are for that one too.

  36. How can cops not ever wonder to themselves “Why do so many people hate police or not like to cooperate with police?” You’d think that just once they would look in the mirror and acknowledge they might be doing something wrong.

  37. IANAGO, but I’ve always wondered, wouldn’t it be better to have two shotguns, one loaded with slugs and the other with buckshot? I could imagine situations where you’d want one or the other but not both, and there’s no sense wasting ammo (and capacity).

  38. IANAGO, but I’ve always wondered, wouldn’t it be better to have two shotguns, one loaded with slugs and the other with buckshot? I could imagine situations where you’d want one or the other but not both, and there’s no sense wasting ammo (and capacity).

    Nah. You won’t know which to use until too late, and you won’t have time to dither over which to pick up. Alternate load, extended magazine, and you’re covered either way.

    If you can’t handle a home defense problem with eight 12 gauge shells (if memory serves, the longest practical extended magazine), you need to move to a better neighborhood.

  39. Read the comments section in the GrandRapids Press on this story. More and more people are treating police statements as skeptically as libertarians do.

    I’ve noticed this as well, on a few stories, including the VA paper carrying most of the Frederick story. When I was working as an early voting team lead in August, I was talking to two of my team about cops, and how I thought they were getting worse (inre: trust issues) and they both agreed.

    How can cops not ever wonder to themselves “Why do so many people hate police or not like to cooperate with police?”

    There was a good quote on this on an old House episode. A cop being treated by the Omar Epps character said that “in my experience, people who don’t like cops have done something wrong”. The cop in that episode, btw, had a pot garden in his apartment.

  40. I was gonna clean my room until I got shot
    I was gonna get up and find the broom but then I got shot
    My room is still messed up and I know why
    Because I got shot
    Because I got shot
    Because I got shot

  41. For self-defense, try opening a dog day-care business and live on premise.

    When they bust your door down they might run out of bullets by the time they get to you.

    And you’ll have not a small number of pissed off former dog-owners to help you fight the law in the aftermath.

    Just an idea.

  42. Just in case, here are a few new local TV stories…

    “Mom: shot GVSU son ‘never had chance'” (WOOD-TV)

    “Students protest shooting of unarmed man in Allendale” (WZZM)

    (It looks like the correct spelling of the name here is “Copp”, not “Kopp”.)

  43. “Another drug raid shooting.”

    Does this officially replace the “isolated incident” cliche?

    I hope so.

  44. Guys, guys,

    Lighten up. He’s a ‘today-hippie’. What could be wrong with that?

  45. Shit EJM, did you have to give me those links. He said “Give Peace A Chance”. Why not, “I want that fucker’s badge, Now!”

    I guess he’s so bought into the ‘We-have-to-trust-the-authorities’ fantasy that he’s actually willing to be a martyr for that concept. Poor kid.

    It’s really tragic. As tragic as a bullshit raid.

  46. The traditional 2-barrel is much cheaper,

    Not really. With a double barrel shotgun you’re essentially buying two firearms. Plus, the two barrels have to be lined up so they both shoot to the same point of aim. Pumps tend to be less expensive for the same quality.

    A semiauto is easier to shoot, particularly if you don’t regularly practice. OTOH if you don’t have a pretty expensive one they can be picky about which ammo will make them work. Since you pump the pump action, it’ll shoot about anything that will fit the chamber.

    Either 12 or 20 gauge will work just fine. However, the popularity of 12 gauge means you have much greater ammo selection and availability.

    wouldn’t it be better to have two shotguns, one loaded with slugs and the other with buckshot?

    This would constitute an “arsenal” to the media, leading to a presumption of guilt.

    If people would just stop taking the pot we could end the war.

    And if pot didn’t make people high, they wouldn’t take it. Reality check, please.

  47. And, for the sake of completeness, here’s the “Holland Sentinel” story concerning Friday’s protest (with video at the bottom).

  48. In other news, Japanese fishermen trapped innocent dolphins in their nets. Fat people ate lots of food over the weekend, tipping international scales of economy. And this just in…Radley Balko, lost in the smarminess of his own fear-based smear campaign, realized that attacking grandmothers with bad cookie recipes was an underreported sector in journalism. Another Isolated Incident in Cookies tomorrow after the Cop Report.

  49. After reading a police report on a car accident I was involved in, I told my lawyer, quite seriously, that it was not the right report. There must be a creative writing class at the Police Academy. I have two cops in my family, my brother, and my uncle. My little brother was a liar and a tattle tale his entire life, so the job fits him to a T. My uncle is also a complete asshole. These traits were evident in both men LONG before they became “keepers of the peace”. It must be a prerequisite for admittance to the force.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.