Civil Liberties

Maryland Man Killed in Violent Police Raid

The usual SWAT nonsense


What happened inside that converted barn Jan. 10 is the subject of an upcoming Frederick County grand jury hearing, but there is no mystery to sheriff's office officials.

They say deputies served a search warrant on the home after Vail was allegedly involved in a home invasion that featured a shotgun and a baseball bat. They say he pointed a shotgun at deputies and refused orders to drop it. The deputies eliminated the threat, Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins said, and both of them remain on the job.

Vail's family and its attorney tell a very different story. If Vail was holding the shotgun, they say the flash-bang left him too confused to hear the orders to drop the weapon, which was later found near his body. And they say a bedroom drape with apparent bullet holes in it suggests Vail was looking out the window to see what had exploded when the shots were fired, not confronting the deputies.