Drug Policy

Another Isolated Incident


Drug raid in New York City. Police got the right house, found their suspect, and found a supply of heroin. But during the raid, one officer apparently accidentally shot the suspect's father, 76-year-old Jose Colon, in the stomach. Colon is expected to survive.

Strangely, when someone first sent me this story last night, I actually thought it was an old story. I vaguely remembered writing about another New York raid involving someone by the name of "Jose Colon". Sure enough. In 2002, a graphic arts student named Jose Colon was accidentally shot and killed during a drug raid in the Long Island town of Bellport. According to police, that Colon was killed when an officer tripped over a tree root as the raid team approached the house. Police say he then fell into the officer in front of him, causing that officer's gun to fire three times, striking Colon in the head as he emerged from the targeted house. Colon was not a suspect, and had no criminal record. The police found eight ounces of marijuana in the house.

NEXT: An Afghan Mess

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  1. Finger off the trigger you fuckheads!

    1. Remember that part about never pointing a weapon at something you don’t intend to shoot? Well, at least he got that one right…

  2. Was this not the same state where that Long Island Railroad Shooting happened? Why is not Carolyn McCarthy demanding that the police be disarmed, or at least banned from using high capacity magazines?

    1. If she disarms cops, there isn’t anyone she can send after us.

  3. Police say he then fell into the officer in front of him, causing that officer’s gun to fire three times, striking Colon in the head as he emerged from the targeted house.

    If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

    1. Agreed. That’s not only horrible trigger discipline; it’s also very, very light trigger. One shot is possible. But 3 shots? They use semi-automatic pistols, not automatics. That means the “bump” would have caused him to pull back on the trigger three separate times! I call bullshit.

      1. It was a 9mm submachine gun, according to the linked article.

      2. “Officer Gonzalez, who was temporarily placed on administrative duty as a firearms instructor, has expressed remorse.” So he was sorry, and went on to teach others how not to kill innocent people.

        1. I’m impressed that the statement is in the active voice. Normally the police would just say, “Remorse was expressed.”

          1. Normally the police would just say, “Remorse was expressed.”

            Laughter was emitted, just now.

    2. At least they didn’t claim that Colon accidently, tragicall cut off his head while shaving…

  4. Police say he then fell into the officer in front of him, causing that officer’s gun to fire three times, striking Colon in the head as he emerged from the targeted house.

    Time out!

  5. The cops in New York have full-auto weapons?

  6. causing that officer’s gun to fire three times, striking Colon in the head

    Not merely fully automatic, but self-targeting; and self-aware, too.

    1. Jose Colon isn’t Spanish for John Conner is i?t….

  7. Officer McCormack has earned at least five medals since joining the force in 1998

    Make that six, after this incident. What a hero.

  8. On a happier note, I am about to watch the Bears shit kick the Packers.

        1. Keep repeating it: It’s early, it’s early.

          1. On a happier note, I am about to watch the Packers shit kick the Bears.


            1. I do love the taste of crow. On the other hand, we managed to be in it at the end despite Todd Collins, who I’m pretty sure is worse than Stalin, because at least Stalin intended to be horrible.

              1. Good game, two excellent teams. Packers defense prevailed.

                1. Hey, if we have to lose, as big a rival as the Packers are, I’d rather lose to them. A classy organization all around, and much less annoying to lose to than say, the Giants.

                  Plus, we hopefully avoid the post-Superbowl funk that all teams who go there seem to fall into (winning the Superbowl would have been great, but losing it would have been awful, because not only do you lose, but you often suck the next season).

                    1. I know you are.

        2. RAJI RODGERS RAJI RODGERS SHIELDS! Good game, Bears.

  9. So do we give them partial credit for not killing any dogs?

    1. Yes. They just didn’t trip over me this time.

  10. Remember, only trained law enforcement professionals should have access to guns.

    1. Them and the military, right? Except when I was in the military, we didn’t carry weapons. You only carry weapons if you’re in the field or you’re an MP, from what I can remember. Police get to carry off-duty. Military do not.

      1. You can carry your own personal weapon in a place where it’s legal, right? May sound like a stupid question, but this is the government we’re talking about.

  11. Hair Triggger Cop Plugs Colon

  12. I don’t know why you are blaming this on the police; duh, they are all named “Jose Colon”. It is obviously a case of termination to prevent the birth of a hispanic messianic figure who will lead the Resistance to defeat an empire of ‘Terminators’ amassed by a rogue super-military computer…or it could be a scavenger game by the cops to decide who gets the two tickets to an execution in Carson City, and they get triple points if they shoot anyone named “Jose Colon”.

  13. …joke fail…

    1. you don’t like girls, do you? 😉

      1. No he doesn’t like whores with sour cunts.

      2. Rather|1.23.11 @ 5:15PM|#

        you don’t like girls, do you? 😉

        … change of subject fail…

      3. Please leave your toaster on….

      4. Your homophobic shtick is getting tiresome, rather.

        See, if one believes that there is nothing wrong with being a homosexual then to call them one isn’t an insult.

        You on the other hand think that is a crushing insult to call someone a homosexual. Why? Do you think that gay people are horrible?

        In reality your insults are the rejoinders of an awkward adolescent male, and not the bons mots of a sophisticate, as you undoubtedly imagine.

        Oh well, you’ll always have dick jokes, and incomprehensible ramblings to fall back on.

        1. I have no clue where that comes from-I respond to Heller in kind. I love gay people. I think we should eat them for breakfast. Jack Lalanne just died; there goes another potential husband.

          1. capitol l, you take life to seriously-I’ve always wanted to tell you that.

      5. Are transexuals “girls”?

  14. Hey Radley, any word on what happened in the wrongful death suit of Jose Colon (I)?

    I mean, not that it’s a particularly hard guess…

    1. I thought the exact same thing. Here’s what I came up with


    2. No charges, of course.

  15. Officer McCormack’s weapon discharged one shot, said a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

    How many investigations are needed into those cop weapons that keep “discharging”. Dang, I’ve had guns since I was 10 years old and not a single one has ever “discharged” unless my finger was on the trigger.

    A Real world report would go something like this: By applying the laws of physics to our own investigation we have determined that the discharge was caused by pressure of a finger on the trigger of Officer McCormack’s firearm. Further investigation determined that it was officer McCormack’s index finger that applied the aforementioned pressure to the trigger, causing the firearm to discharge one round which struck Mr. Jose Colon in the abdomen. Extended investigation resulted in the finding that there has never been a confirmed historical example of any firearm, of any kind, at any time, being discharged without external input. That external input has generally been applied by a human action.”

    1. Out of curiosity, if anyone knows, if you drop a gun on to a hard surface, will it go off sometimes/always/never/depends on …?

      1. in my pants

      2. Depends on a lot of factors. Does it have an external hammer? Is it designed to handle being dropped (by using internal safeties, for instance)? Is it cocked? Is the safety on (if it has one)?

        The point is that it is the user’s responsibility to follow proper gun safety rules, and when one follows those rules, even fucking up one rule will not cause injury if the rest are being followed. It’s when you break more than one that bad shit happens. The cops tend to break at least two by 1) having their finger on the trigger and 2) not knowing their target or what’s behind it.

        1. Plus, the dropped weapon example isn’t outside Nor West’s assertion – the dropping of the weapon is the external influence, as is the deceleration impact when it hits something, like, the ground.

        2. This is an example of a basic rule of safety engineering: always have at least one physical and one administrative layer between normal operations and hurting people.

          That’s why you tag-out *and* stand on a non-conduction mat.

    2. This explains the lefty pantswetting about firearms. The people they trust to operate them have accidental discharges all the time, so they assume all discharges are accidental and that’s why people shouldn’t have guns around other people.

      “Holsters and safeties won’t protect us! Aaaagghhhhh!”

    3. I keep telling ya – its not the guns, its the rogue bullets. I mean, for the civilian (the first Jose Colon) to get shot in the head after a policeman bumps into another police officer, the bumped police officer had to have the gun jarred directly at the head of the victim, and with the bumped officer with his finger on the trigger. Obviously, the only plausible explanation are rogue bullets spontaneously firing, and than adjusting their trajectory to hit innocent civilians in the head. As presented, what other explanation could there be???…

  16. Set aside the issue of enforcing prohibition with military tactics. It’s painfully evident that the state of firearms training in the law enforcement community is abysmal.

    There are four rules of firearms safety that are drilled into every kid (or adult) who attends any kind of training class. They are:

    1) Every gun is ALWAYS loaded…no matter what you think.
    2) Never point your gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
    3) Never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to fire the gun.
    4) Know your target and what’s behind it.

    You have to violate at least two of these rules for something bad to happen. From the above post (and many, many others in various forums) cops have a difficult time managing to comply with rule #3.

    1. Your faulty assumption is that the police reports are correctly stated facts, although I wouldn’t doubt that some of the discharges are a result of a failure of those rules. (Although technically I guess a cover-up would be a failure of 4)

    2. During a discussion on the “Hose Nozzle” slaying, one cop told me that cops didn’t have to identify their target or know what was behind it. Since “why” they were shooting was more important than the “who”. Of course the “why” was officer safety.

      1. Cops don’t have to follow gun safety rules. Those are for little people.

        1. They’re the only ones professional enough to carry guns in the first place.

          1. Where is dunphy to defend me?

          2. Actually, they’re the only ones professional enough to use flashlights.

            From an NYT article on the incident,

            “As the detective tried to adjust a flashlight attached to the gun, the 9-millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol discharged accidentally”

      2. Of course they don’t. The resulting capital murder will be charged to the person the cop is shooting at, not the cop.

  17. Colon got shot in the colon.

    1. I was trying (not very hard) to resist making an insensitive crack about this. Thanks for getting there first.

      1. it’s okay, because colon means colon in spanish, too.


        1. Nope. Colon certainly means a human colon in Spanish IF spelled that way (which gives the word a grave accent), but the guy’s family name should have been spelled “Col?n”, with an accent mark which makes the word acute.

          [And no, it does not make it a-cute word, so don’t even start…]

  18. The NYT article linked spends almost as much time discussing the officer’s father as it does the actual event where the officer shot an innocent person (either accidentally or by mistake).

    Ridiculous article.

  19. ‘Accidental Discharge”.
    That’s funny. When I was in the service, it was always referred to as a “Negligent Discharge”.

    1. ^^^ THIS ^^^^

    2. Ditto. The only “accidental discharge” I am aware of is nocturnal.

      1. ^^^ This also ^^^

      2. ^^^ This also ^^^

      3. And there was never a question of innocense . If it went off, you were responsible.

      4. . . . in your pants

  20. You got to wonder what Balko would do if he actually lived in a plolice state. He’d probably shit his pants and turn informer.

    1. That makes sense…

    2. I’d turn you in, Edward

    3. You’ve likely already reported Balko to the AG’s office.

    4. We sitting round cool
      with my dibby dibby girl
      Police knock my door – lick up my pal
      Rough me up and I can’t do a thing
      Pick up my line while the telephone rings
      take me to the station
      Black up my hands
      Trail me down cause I’m hanging with the Snowman
      What I’m gonna do, I’m bloggin’ and I’m trapped
      Slap me in the face and took all of my gap
      They have no clues and the want to get warmer
      But Balko won’t turn Informer

    5. Re: Max,

      You got to wonder what Balko would do if he actually lived in a plolice state.

      You silly goose! What do you mean “if”? America IS a police state.

      1. Come now, OM. It’s only a police state when the other team is in charge.

        1. Right on, SWAT raids, fuck the dead victims — and their dogs.

          1. We must give the SWAT teams practice in case a real emergency arises.

        2. The other team is always in charge.

  21. Hello…! He, and the rest of us, already do live in a police state, or as near as dammit. I don’t have to wonder what Balko would do, he’s already doing it.

    I do however, have some amusing ideas about Max having “interactions” with authority, and most of them would have “R” and “X” ratings if they were movies.

  22. “Jose Colon”? Finally our immigration laws are being properly enforced.

  23. Won’t somebody think of that poor traumatized cop, moping around on paid vacation while Internal Affairs rewrites the report in order to commend him for his quick thinking in the face of a mortal threat to his comrades?

  24. I celebrate our brave warriors in the War on Drugs.

    1. Don’t let the perfect be enemy of the good.

  25. say he then fell into the officer in front of him, causing that officer’s gun to fire three times, striking Colon in the head as he emerged from the targeted house.

    Clearly, gun ownership is dangerous when the owners (and users) are the police, not the civilizans. The anti-gun statists have it all wrong!

  26. 4 cops shot in Detroit.

    I wonder if it was preemptive self-defense.

    After all, how many people would those cops go on to shoot?

    1. Woman arrested after shooting dog that almost mauled her 2-year-old toddler.


      Only uniformed, armed thugs in the public dole are permited to shoot dogs, not mere civilizans.


      The most dangerous shooters in the U.S. are the police, as you cannot defend yourself from them nor can you demand (or obtain) reparations from their employer – the State.

      1. Uh, that article about protecting yo baby isn’t exactly what I would use to justify armed citizens and dog shootings.

        It looks like Ms. Tasheka Laquon Beatty shot the dog a day after it supposedly bit her kid, and not only that didn’t kill it, but left it to die suffering in the back yard.

        You’re almost mauled child and the shooting seem to have some time between them.

        1. Solution:

          Make an anonymous call to the PD about a smell of marijuana at a neighbor’s house.
          Then put your dog in their back yard.

          They’ll be there in 4 minutes.

        2. Re: Hmm,

          Uh, that article about protecting yo baby isn’t exactly what I would use to justify armed citizens and dog shootings.

          The “armed citizens” situation requires NO FURTHER justification than private property rights. The point of the note is how government hates competition – only government gets to shoot dogs/innocents.

    2. See, this is what happens when you give people the right to lob around vitriolic rhetoric like “the police kill people all the time and commit countless other crimes, without being held accountable in any meaningful way”.

  27. Good thing for me that it’s Conference Championship Sunday, and I already had my cup on.

    1. I was thinking “Shit, it’s Sunday, WTF has Radley got lined up for us on Monday?”

      The phrase “Another Isolated Incident” is Radley’s way of warning you he is going to kick you in the nuts.

      1. He’s probably just still sore that the Colts were so bad this season.

  28. Thank you squirrels for bringing back the H&R link on the ‘archives’ button. This will greatly enhance my commenting experience. I can once again know the joy of participating in a main page story thread.

    I hereby put everybody on notice that I will not be canceling my (nonexistent)subscription to Reason magazine.

    1. I, for one, am reqlieved, capitol – welcome back to the fold!

    2. Yeah, I’ve threatened to cancel my free subscription a few times, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect. Nor did my threat to use the Reason shopping bag as a portable toilet.

      The truth is that we the people have very little leverage against this Koch-funded juggernaut.

  29. You know, watching football when I’m getting kicked in the nuts by Balko doesn’t help at all. Thought it might – nope. Nuts still hurt.

    1. Great, the Steelers are in the Super Bowl again. Luckily I have some plywood to board up my windows with in two weeks. As Big Ben said, “God is great.”

      1. I cannot wait to get out of the fucking hell that is “America’s most livable city.”

        Of course you fit right in here, Tulpster.

        1. I moved to Pittsburgh when I was 14, spent my high school years in that unspeakable cesspit, and swore to never live there again. Not that Cleveland is much better, but at least no one calls me yinz.

          And apparently my decision to spend this evening getting punched in the face instead of watching football was the correct one.

          1. I like Pittsbirgh (city) – to visit, not live there. Cleveland? As the tourism video says, at least it’s “not Detroit”.

            I hate the fucking Penguins, however. Especially Sod “The Bitch” Crosby. I wish Vladimir Konstantinov were still around to jack up that little prick just once.

          2. Yinz in Cleveland be in poor hap deez pass few yurz. No need to get nebby n’at.

        2. Maybe they meant “America’s most leavable city.”

          I’m from Rockford, so Pgh fits perfectly into the burned-out-shell-of-a-city zeitgeist I grew up with. Except for the goddam hills, of course.

  30. My wife is a huge Packers fan (grew up in northern WI), and a Steelers fan, too. That, plus the Superbowl being in Arlington (Where my brother lives) make this Super Bowl a total home run.

    Tickets, unfortunately, start at $2,600 (yes, that’s two zeros after the 26). Apiece. If you want decent seats, expect to pay $6,000. Apiece.

    So, no Super Bowl for Mrs. Dean.

    1. I think they have a bunch of NFL-related events during the week before the SB that you can easily get tickets to. So you might want to go anyway.

    2. Apparently the NFL and Jerry Jones have a solution in mind – you pay to stand around outside JerryWorld to watch on a big screen. This will be the affordable alternative to being in the stadium.

    3. Leaving her at home, R C?

  31. and a Steelers fan, too

    Your wife is scum. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, dude.

  32. WEC and UFC were pretty awesome this weekend. And Villapoto winning the Supercross for Team Green.

    The football – meh. I can wait for the Stupid Bowl – just don’t give a fuck. Although I took a shit in Arlington, once…

    Just a few weeks till the Daytona Five Double Aught….WOOOOOOOOOO!!! Get yore NASCAR on, boyz!!!! Fuck, I don’t even care about that.

  33. Prosecutorial discretion can sometimes be a good thing, but when cops are involved it clearly doesn’t work. What’s the solution? Should the discretion be removed when law enforcement is involved? Is there some other method that could be used that would get the prosecutor off the hook but still force a real investigation and, if necessary, prosecution of the offenders? Maybe that would be a good subject for Radley to write about. I’m curious if there are any real world possibilities for making police more careful when making these raids. (Realistically, stopping them is something that just isn’t going to happen any time soon, if ever.)

  34. What is this “Super Bowl” you speak of? Is it some sort of National Government Funded Vomitorium?

    *Runs. Pursued by horde of fanatics screaming “Heretic! Burn the Heretic!”*

    1. The Super Bowl is the event that precedes March Madness.

      Just don’t bet with any of your ‘buddies’ in Fairfax, VA on either.

    2. Well, it’s got to be at least 20% government funded if you count the stadium subsidies. God, I hate the NFL.

      1. I thought Cowboys Stadium was privately financed.

    3. Think of it as the World Cup of Hockey of Football.

  35. First thing you do when you go through infantry training in the military is stand in front of a ten meter target with a rifle. You then spend like 500 rounds doing nothign but raising the rifle firing and lowering it placing the safety on each time you lower it and selecting it to fire each time you raise it. The idea is to build muscle memory so that you put the safety on when you are moving every time. That way you don’t shoot your own people. The biggest sin you can commit during such traingin is flagging or sweeping your weapon accross your own people. IF you do that, you will under stress pull the trigger and shoot someone. So there are two checks, one you don’t sweep your weapon and two you keep on safe until right before you fire.

    You have now recieved page one of how to handle a weapon in a combat environment. These fucking baboons didn’t even get that. They apparently just charge around with their safeties off and no dicipline about how to handle their weapon. Their training standards are just pathetic. They all need to be charged with negligent homicide, including their superiors who allow such poorly trained baboons to terrorize the public.

    1. I don’t think you understand the chaos that a typical SWAT team has to be ready to face.

      1. Chaos they create. But then, you know that.

      2. A typical SWAT team is not facing any chaos that the US military would find unusual. The problem is that said SWAT team doesn’t have military training, thus they shoot innocent people “by accident” during these stupid raids.

        Sadly, people are more outraged at the lack of professionalism from the SWAT team stormtroopers than they are that we have SWAT team stormtroopers to begin with, and that’s the bigger problem.

      3. They face me.

      4. Has to be a joke.

  36. So many nice doggies and useful people get murdered by pigs, but no one ever shoots Dan T. There is no justice on this Earth.

    I smiled. “It’s over for today, Otis. But we cannot be sure that the transmissions have ceased. There could be more.”

    Otis was silent. I opened the door to find him back behind the counter.

    “Finding everything okay?” he asked.

    “Sure, I just needed to take a shit,” I told him.

    The tall man was gone. I looked down at my thumb. It had stopped bleeding.

    1. So many nice doggies and useful people get murdered by pigs, but no one ever shoots Dan T.

      Well, duh! Those jackboots aren’t going to lick themselves.

  37. Police say he then fell into the officer in front of him, causing that officer’s gun to fire three times, striking Colon in the head as he emerged from the targeted house.

    Ahh, the Rube Goldberg defense.

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