Police Abuse

Weekend Police Killing of 107-Year-Old Man Won't Be Investigated by Arkansas State Police Because Request Was Too Broad, Came Too Late

Prosecutor asked for state police to investigate totality of the circumstances


shot by cop

Centenarian Monroe Isadore was killed by SWAT officers in Pine Bluff, Arkansas during a shoot out. Isadore refused to leave his bedroom, and according to police, shot at them when they tried to approach the room. The police say they tried and failed to negotiate, and then tried to smoke him out, leading Isadore to shoot again.  Cops say they were responding to an aggravated assault at the residence, but have not commented on what role they might suspect Isadore to have played in the incident.

The killing led to a town hall meeting Monday, and the city prosecutor, Kyle Hunter, was assigned to investigate, saying his job was to determine whether the actions were justified. Hunter requested an investigation by the state police, who were not called in following the killing of the 107-year-old Isadore, but, the Arkansas Times reports, state police declined Hunter's request:

With the lapse in time, [Arkansas State Police's Bill] Sadler said, the crime scene has been compromised, the local law enforcement agency (the Pine Bluff PD) has already processed the evidence, and the witnesses were (long since) no longer sequestered. "It's a credibility issue and a forensic issue," he said.

"APB routinely responds to those requests when they come in in a timely matter," he said. He said that requests typically come within 30 to 40 minutes after deadly force was used.  Sadler said that there was no law or protocol requiring local authorities to call in the state police in a situation in which an officer uses deadly force. "That is the choice of the local jurisdiction," he said. If called, they could have arrived within half an hour, he said. "We would have immediately responded."

The state police spokesperson also said the request was too broad. Hunter had asked state police to investigate the "totality of all circumstances." The cop who shot and killed Isadore is on paid leave.

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  1. The guy makes it to 107 only to be killed by the police. Way to go, pigs, you gunned down a really, really old guy.

    1. Yet one of the best arguments for gun freedom is that a gun is the great equalizer. It’s valuable because it can be highly effective for the weak, the disabled, and the old. By that same logic, this guy was a formidable danger that may have already assaulted two people.

      I’m all for gun freedom and all against cops, but if their story is decently accurate, I don’t know how many good alternatives remained. Wait the guy out more, perhaps. But would any gun owners here do that if they had a shooter cornered but still armed?

      1. If you read the details of the story the old man had signs of dementia. He started shooting after accusing family members of breaking into his house. Instead of having members of a swat team scream at him and gas him, which likely made him more paranoid, they should have just waited him out.

        1. Does the dementia make him less dangerous?

          Do we know that SWAT was screaming at him? It wouldn’t surprise me if “police negotiator” was a euphemism for “roided pig screaming contradictory directions,” but I’m not going to just assume it.

      2. But would any gun owners here do that if they had a shooter cornered but still armed?

        Go all George Zimmerman on them?

      3. Read Will Grigg’s account.

        You do realize that, implicit in your question is the premise that the murderous Pine Bluff, Arkansas cops, who had the house surrounded and had already thrown tear gas into the place, represent “any gun owner here”.

        Pretty fucking stupid, right?

        1. No… I don’t think I realized that. The premise is that gun owners here are interested in using their gun to protect themselves. What are you saying?

      4. What we would do and what the cops are supposed to do are completely different things. The cops are paid to (supposedly) de-escalate situations. If they wait the guy out, they’re waiting on the clock, and this is what they are supposed to do anyway. You’ll note there is no detail about the shot(s) that killed him. Did they see him through a window and snipe him? Did the just get him with a “lucky” shot?

        This is just more evidence that if you resist the police at all, your life is forfeit.

        1. You’ll note there is no detail about the shot(s) that killed him.

          Yet you’ve already made up your mind as to what went down.

          I agree that the cops’ duty is to de-escalate things. I agree that this duty holds even if it means putting themselves in great danger. That’s their job. But how long did they wait? How much info did they have to be confident that containment would be effective?

          I guess I’m starting from a different point in the timeline. I assume, perhaps too generously, that the escalation was not done with the intent to shoot Isadore. I’m taking it as a given that the SWAT is already there, they’re trying to pacify Isadore with gas, and Isadore starts shooting for a third time. Perhaps cops are closer and there is more danger, compared to the past two shootings. At that moment, the cops start firing. I don’t know how angry I could get at that.

          Rewind further, it does sound pretty ridiculous to be so aggressive against a 107 year old man. But an aggressive man with dementia has a loaded gun and a willingness to fire. “Well, just wait him out, stupid!” strikes me as slightly naive. Not outrageous or obviously wrong, but closer to the naivety or always-anti-cop attitude than some of the more clear cut situations we see every other day. And I say this as someone who skirts with pacifism. I can see the argument for the police to be more active.

          1. See, I see it differently. Granted, there could have been circumstances where shooting him might have been warranted, such as his shots are going into populated areas, and need to be stopped right now before a bystander gets hit. But absent that, there is no reason not to back off and try and talk him out, or gas him out, or let him run out of ammo.

            This is their job. But they sure don’t seem to see it that way; we have seen countless examples of SWAT teams escalating rather than de-escalating. And as far as I can tell, we see the same thing here, once again.

            The kind of people who join SWAT teams do not want to talk a guy out of a building. They want to take him out. It’s what they signed up for and they’re not going to let an opportunity go to waste.

            1. Well, I just wrote a post going on and on about what the circs could be to lead to this moment, and why it may be understandable when we have those circs in their totality. Then I reread some of the accounts. I forgot about the flashbang, or whatever it is they used. Most of my scenarios fell apart.

              Keep the explosive devices in their holsters, you fucks!

            2. The kind of people who join SWAT teams do not want to talk a guy out of a building. They want to take him out. It’s what they signed up for and they’re not going to let an opportunity go to waste.

              That’s about it. I’ll never forget overhearing a drunk cop lamenting to his buddies that he’d never had the opportunity to kill someone, and his buddies consoling him that he’d eventually get his chance. En vino is some sick fucking veritas.

              1. That’s some truly sick shit there, but I know exactly what you mean. Too many times I’ve watched a cop start telling a cop story and the cop look comes on their face and the cop tone enters their voice. It’s this look of vicious, brutal satisfaction as they tell you how they smashed some guy in the face or broke some dude’s arm for resisting. It is utterly repulsive and I’m pretty sure they have no idea they do it, but every one of them does it as soon as they talk about on the job violence. They also do it when they talk about “outsmarting” a suspect, like by lying to someone being interrogated or the like.

                The job attracts these type of people like flies to shit.

                1. In one of my tours as a waiter I worked with a young lady who was the daughter of a cop. When she noticed my disdain for people who choose that profession, she was like “It’s just a job. Like any other job.” My bullshit detector rang so loud I decided not to answer.

                  Then one day a year or so later I ran into her in a stairwell at college while I had neglected to remove the badge that got me in and out of a federal building. She saw and recognized it, and did a fist pump saying “Power!”

                  The mask slipped.

          2. Yet you’ve already made up your mind as to what went down.

            When people die in mobster custody, I make a few similar assumptions there too. Facts don’t just occur in a vacuum.

      5. “But would any gun owners here do that if they had a shooter cornered but still armed?”

        Yes. If all he can do is tick the gun around the corner and blast away, then just get the civilians out of the way, take cover and hunker down until he gets tired.

        No reason to risk *anyone’s* life in an assault – you get paid by the hour and overtime is coming.

        1. And he was 107 years old. It wasn’t like he was going to wait them out.

  2. With the lapse in time, [Arkansas State Police’s Bill] Sadler said, the crime scene has been compromised, the local law enforcement agency (the Pine Bluff PD) has already processed the evidence, and the witnesses were (long since) no longer sequestered.

    With the statute of limitations on murder being only a day or two, coupled with how tough it is to investigate other cops when there are traffic violations that happen every day for easy pickings, it’s just not worth it.

    But hey, local coppers, be sure next time you kill someone suspiciously you give us a call immediately, or we won’t be able to investigate you.

  3. William Norman Grigg wrote about this on Tuesday and his story was picked up by LewRocwell.com early this morning.

    No offense to Ed, but when one compares Mr. Grigg’s writing on the story to Ed’s, its like comparing Joe Montana to Joe Pisarcik.

    1. So mike do you post at LewRockwell about how shitty their writers are compared to reason, or is that something you just do here?

      1. Steve Chapman?

      2. First, why not compare Mr. Grigg’s account and his writing on this story and that of Ed’s?

        Second, Reason could feature writers such as Mr. Grigg or Butler Shaffer or Tom Woods or Eric Peters or Prof. DiLorenzo, as LewRockwell.com does, but Reason does not.

        Third, no Reason scribe can match the aforementioned writers LewRockwell.com features.

        Finally, Hugh, to answer your question:

        No and yes.

        1. Reason is not in the business of pure, fact-bending polemics. I like Shaffer and enjoy Woods, but all of those writers are interested in a different kind of work. Maybe they could tone it down a bit for Reason’s sake, but then I imagine many of them like their current style just fine.

          1. Ah, but none of the writers I cited are in the business of pure, fact-bending polemics.

            In fact, the writers I cited are more apt to include more facts than the average Reason scribe. For example, read Grigg’s account of the Pine Bluff incident and compare it to what Ed wrote here. After you have done so, tell me who provided more facts and more background?

            1. You are one funny dude.

  4. I guess killing house pets finally got boring….

    Why do I feel cops are like escalating serial killers?

    1. That’s a really chilling and apt observation.

    2. Serial executioners. They have the law on their side.

  5. you guys are just being dicks. do you have any idea how hard it can be NOT to gun down a 107 year old man? have you even TRIED? from a process analysis standpoint, we don’t have enough evidence to say whether this was handled appropriately or not.

  6. Ooh, sorry guys. This court order came in on the wrong color paper and this font is no good at all. No investigation for you.

  7. Since it hasn’t been said, this dude was a STUD. No homo. Not only did he survive over a hundred years, he still went down fucking shooting.

    1. Damn straight!

    2. Not as much of a stud as Samuel fucking Whittemore:

      On April 19, 1775, British forces were returning to Boston from the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the opening engagements of the war. On their march they were continually shot at by colonial militiamen.

      Whittemore was in his fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade under Earl Percy, sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore loaded his musket and ambushed the British Grenadiers of the 47th Regiment of Foot from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols and killed a grenadier and mortally wounded a second. By the time Whittemore had fired his third shot, a British detachment reached his position; Whittemore drew his sword and attacked. He was shot in the face, bayoneted thirteen times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found alive, trying to load his musket to fight again. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 98.

      1. Congratulations! The SPLC now considers you an extremist.

  8. From the CNN link:

    In 2010, there were about 53,000 people over age 100 in the United States, according to the latest Census numbers.

    See? As always, you libertarians are overreacting. There are thousands of guys over 100. It’s not like the cops killed the last one.

  9. The article says they had a camera on him. He was 107, which means he probably falls asleep every couple of hours. No reason they couldn’t cordon the area and wait for him to pass out.

    1. Exactly, doesn’t Matlock come on at 8:00?

  10. That’s how I want to go – 107 years old and he goes down fighting. Good for him.

  11. Piece of shit pigs couldn’t just wait until he fell asleep? What a bunch of pussies!

  12. They could have just locked the doors and left for the day. Maybe leave one guy to keep an eye on the place to be sure nobody goes in and bothers him. Then wait a few hours until, oh, let’s say 2:00 AM, and sneak back in.

    Can anybody pretend that this 107 year old guy was going to flee the state? Go on a rampage? If he wasn’t taking pot shots at random people there was no reason to have to press the issue then and there.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the SWAT team just followed the book with no regard for the fact that a 107 year old guy is not the risk that some 20-something meth-head or 30-something ex-con might be in a similar situation.

  13. Legal observation:

    Murder by cop. Statute of limitations: 30-40 minutes.

  14. This makes me very angry. I have half a mind to go to that town and protest.

    Is it because he’s black? Our law enforcement institutions have notoriously bad customer service with AAs. Another example of statist crap getting people killed and then not caring about it. March on Little Rock!

    Fucking pigs.

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