Drug War

Deadly Police Raid Over Meth That Wasn't There Based on Tip From Car Thief


family photo
family photo

In Georgia, Laurens County deputies raided the home of David Hooks on a search warrant claiming there could be meth at the house. Why did police believe there was meth there? Because someone who stole a car from Hooks' property told them so. Via 13WMAZ:

Rodney Garrett reportedly told investigators that he took a plastic bag from the pickup [on Hooks' property], believing that there was money inside,and a set of digital scales.

Then he stole another vehicle from Hooks' home, a Lincoln Aviator SUV, the warrant says. After he drove the SUV to Dublin, Garrett said, he realized that the bag contained meth instead of cash.

Garrett told officers that he "became scared for his safety," and turned himself in to Laurens deputies, the warrant says.

Garrett's now been charged related to the burglary and motor vehicle theft. Deputies searched Hooks' home for 44 hours, according to his family's attorney, and found no drugs. Cops claim Hooks pointed a gun at them "aggressively" before they fatally shot him, but won't say how many times they shot or how many times Hooks was hit.

Rodney Garrett booking photo
Laurens County Sheriff's Office

Cops claim they investigated the Hooks home in 2009 over meth allegations but won't say what the disposition of that investigation was.

It's the not the first time a drug raid's been executed on wrong information. Anti-narcotics police often rely on information from highly questionable sources. In July in Habersham County, Georgia, police raided a home with an infant in it, tossing a flashbang grenade into his crib, based on an informant who said he bought meth at the home from an individual who wasn't present. Police said the informant told them there were no children in the home and that they didn't see any during an alleged drug buy.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is running an investigation of the raid and doesn't comment while it's open.

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  1. Deputies searched Hooks’ home for 44 hours

    As if anyone could find drugs in that little time!

    1. A *dog* could!

  2. 44 hours and they still couldn’t plant any meth…how incompetent are these guys?

    1. Well, they did get to exercise their SWAT boners and kill a guy, so all in all they did get something out of that night.

  3. Mr Burns, I think we can trust the president of Cuba a car thief!

    1. The film explains how in 1945, Europe struggled to rebuild after the war.

      President Truman authorised the one time printing of a trillion dollar bill to help Europe.

      The man set to deliver the bill was America’s richest,therefore must trustworthy, man — Mr. Burns!

  4. The previous investigation indicated probability of drugs that plus informant info, turning self in, the totality of circs indicates valid warrant he deserved to get shot if he was armed because he was clearly a threat in short GOOD SHOOT

  5. Here’s the problem:

    The 5A says this:

    no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    We have left the plain meaning of this phrase crumpled up and sobbing in the corner.

    First, (starting at the end), this clearly means that the warrant is only valid for the persons or things to be seized. This was very intentionally drafted to block the use of “general warrants”, which the Brits used to just go through people’s houses. Thus, if the cops have a warrant to search your house for, say, a murder weapon, that warrant does not allow search for or seizure of drugs.

    Second, the requirement for an “oath or affirmation”. It makes no sense to me that this would allow warrants to be issued on the basis of inadmissible evidence, but we do it all the fucking time, since hearsay is inadmissible and most warrants are issued on hearsay. Every warrant that recites “a confidential informant told us X” is based on hearsay. No warrant should be issued on the basis of a statement by a cop unless the cop is a direct witness.

    There’s more, but those are the big pieces.

    1. And also and particularly describing the place to be searched means a specific, very particular place, not just the whole fucking dwelling and every random place in it. Which goes back to the requirement to have particular, specific knowledge to get the warrant issued in the first place.

    2. Yep, and this is why the judges who approve warrants based on hearsay need to be sent packing. I just got my absentee ballot, and all the questions of the form “Shall judge X be retained in office?” get a big NO until this shit starts to change.

  6. He says Teresa Hooks, David’s wife, looked outside and saw people with hoods during the evening of the drug search. He says she woke her husband up, thinking the burglars were back. He says Hooks then armed himself.

    Shook says there was no knock and announce, unlike what the initial release from the Sheriff’s office stated.

    “The task force and the SRT members broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered, firing an excessive sixteen shots. There is no evidence that David Hooks ever fired a weapon” said Shook.

    Good shoot, right Dunphy?

    1. Pretty sure dumphy will say yes, since the guy was armed and therefore presented a threat. Just like the guy who answered the door holding a gun deserved to be murdered.

    2. Dunphy doesn’t post here anymore. But I’m sure Mary/Tulpa will answer you soon.

      1. Dunphy was here yesterday, AFAIK.

        1. There are various theories floating around about the true identity of the returned dunphy. I tend to think it is the same person, assuming it was a real person in the first place.

          1. The tl;dr postings say “Dunphy”, but the lack of indecipherable acronyms says “faux Dunphy”

        2. Never mind, he’s right down there VV

          1. It’s not him. 100%.

  7. The best states have strict standards for informant testimony to support a search warrant eg Aguilar spinelli

    In any individual case, The fact that drugs end up not being present does not invalidate a good warrant any more than the presence of drugs validate a bad one

    Setting aside the fact that there should never be a warrant for drugs because they should not be illegal in the first place, it’s all a matter of having a good process

    In my agency all wind affidavits get approved by a supervisor trained in that specific area and by a prosecutor as well

    Generally speaking saying he saw drugs in the house should never in itself be probable cause for search warrant

    In my opinion any warrant issued solely based on such a statement is prima facie invalid whatever the signing of the warrant by the judge says to the contrary

    I have written scores and scores of warrants many of which are for drugs and thankfully we have a much higher standard here as well is much stronger requirements as to Nexus when you wanna get into a house

    For example if an informant can make 3 controlled buys from the residence and by controlled I mean with very strict standards as to searching him before, proving he has no drugs and then he has them when he exit the house etc

    1. In this case you’re dealing with a car thief so you are already dealing with the person who commits crimes of dishonesty and thus should have very little reliability as to PC


      and of course again as to Nexus I don’t care how much drugs you find in a car outside the house that should never be probable cause in itself to believe there are drugs inside a house

      Of course the typical reason bigot who spends time wanking here has probably never even reviewed his local agency’s specific policies and procedures in regards to drug search warrants nor attended community meetings or otherwise offered inputs as to how to effect positive change

      If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem and every citizen in my not so humble opinion has an absolute duty to monitor his local police and get involved since this is a government of the people and by the people

      Do a ride along go to meetings talk to your local City Council members etc etc etc get educated so you cease being an ignorant bigot and make a difference

      Of course I have little doubt that the ignorant bigots will remain ignorant bigots and ineffectual in promoting positive change


      1. “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem and every citizen in my not so humble opinion has an absolute duty to monitor his local police and get involved since this is a government of the people and by the people”

        So, people who trust the police and rely on them to do the right thing are to blame for failing to be more suspicious about cop misbehavior? What does that do to all your polls of people showing that they trust cops? You’re saying those people are misinformed, and it’s *their* fault if cops do bad things because they weren’t monitoring the cops enough?

        1. Well, duh. The cops who actually commit all the crimes? Blameless. They just can’t help themselves. Also, all the other cops who stand around and scratch their nuts while they watch other cops commit crimes? Blameless as well.

    2. Good for you. Seriously.

      But I still question your decency if you are willing to enforce drug laws at all. I pretty much know what your response will be, so don’t bother. But I will repeat, there is a line beyond which “just doing the job” is no excuse. I happen to think that enforcing drug laws crosses that line.

      1. Similarly, everytime you see a video of a group of cops beating the shoot out of someone, no other cops step in to arrest the perpetrators for felony assault.

        1. shoot = shit

          I don’t know why I keep inadvertently censoring myself.

      2. You mean “I was just following orders” is not a valid excuse?

        1. Not when you can quit the job anytime you want.

    3. Setting aside the fact that there should never be a warrant for drugs

      I have written scores and scores of warrants many of which are for drugs

      I think I know all I need to know about TAKD’s ethics and morals.

      1. Just. Following. Orders.

  8. There seems to be quite an epidemic of homeowners without a prior record of violent crimes who choose the very time their house is being broken into to say, “you know what, I think I’ll threaten someone I recognize as a police officer with a gun today!”

    I mean, they kept their homicidal urges in check *until* they were in a situation where the Reason bigorati would be able to make up some excuse about “he thought they were burglars” etc.

    This is devilishy clever on the part of the perps – keeping their violent tendencies hidden until a scenario arises when anti-cop bigots could present them as some kind of victims.

  9. Something that is not made clear in the post (unless I missed it). Did the car thief actually produce any actual drugs for the police, or were they just going on his word?

    1. Let’s take a guess: no actual drugs.

      1. That would be my guess. But I’m trying to think of why the guy would have turned himself in if he wasn’t afraid that some meth dealer was after him. Of course, the police could be embellishing that as well. Or the guy somehow knew he was about to get caught anyway and was looking for a deal.

  10. Here’s how you can tell that this particular CI was never put under oath and never signed an affidavit to support this warrant:

    He isn’t charged with perjury.

    So this warrant was issued based on inadmissible hearsay by a cop, I’m pretty sure.

    And since when is the uncorroborated hearsay of an admitted petty criminal “probable cause” for anything?

  11. One more, then I’ll stop:

    Since this was an invalid warrant, the cops executing it had no legal authority to break into the man’s house. They were, effectively, armed robbers at that point, and they shot a man entitled to defend his house and home with deadly force.

    In a just world, they would be facing multiple felony counts. In this world, paid vacations and the congrats of their fellow cops will be the sum total of their punishment.

  12. You know, I predict there will be an uptick in cops being shot because the real desperate criminals are just going to conclude they’re going to be shot anyway, so they might as well take a few cops out with them. In turn, that will be the impetus for the cops to say, “See? We’re outgunned and it’s a war zone!” causing cops to get more violent.

  13. “Anti-narcotics police often rely on information from highly questionable sources.” Of course they do, this is the perfect “in” to try to steal money and stuff in civil forfeiture. Of course they will pretend to believe questionable characters, they may be able to make a few bucks.

    1. You’ve hit the nail on the head, I think. Civil asset forfeiture and muderboners are the two main reasons the police kill.

      1. I really don’t think the murders are related to forfeitures. Forfeitures are the meat and potatoes, while the murders are the deserts.

  14. So cops can do their job poorly, lie, and break the law while on the job AND get away with it. Sounds like every other government employee! Thankfully the media is holding them accountable, because we all know their supervisors and the politicians aren’t doing it!

  15. I’m sure that after searching the house for 44 hours (desperately trying to find an excuse for invading this family’s home and shooting an innocent man) their belongings were put back neatly and were not destroyed! So not only were their civic rights violated and they lost a family member, their home and belongings are destroyed.

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