A man in Sentinel, Oklahoma won't face charges after shooting a police officer entering his home during a raid. At about 4 in the morning cops received a bomb threat against the city's Head Start program. They found no explosives there, but traced the 911 call to the man's house and decided to raid it. The man is known to authorities as a "gun enthusiast" and police were apparently aware of posts the man made comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and making a reference to ISIS (none of which is yet a crime) just before the 911 call was placed.
Dallas Horton, 29, of Sentinel, blasted Police Chief Louis Ross three times in the chest and once in the arm as Ross and his team swept through Horton's home early last Thursday. Ross survived thanks to his bullet-proof vest. But Horton, whom Sentinel's mayor described as a gun enthusiast and neighbors told reporters is a survivalist, is not facing any charges because an investigation by state police revealed he wasn't behind the threat and he did not know he was shooting at cops.
"For the past several hours, OSBI investigators have extensively interviewed the man," the state Bureau of Investigation said in a statement on its Facebook page. "Facts surrounding the case lead agents to believe the man was unaware it was officers who made entry."
Sentinel's mayor says he's known Horton his whole life, and doubts he's joined ISIS. The near tragedy ought to be a cautionary tale about trawling social media to follow weak leads and imagined threats.
The story caught the attention of liberal outlets like Gawker, which framed it as a white gun nut (and possible white supremacist) "getting away" with shooting a black cop. The race of the shooter and the cop, of course, ought to be irrelevant. The laws that protect residents when they exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves in their own home aren't contingent on the race of the resident or the potential invader. That majority black polities tend to have far stricter gun laws in place is a separate, but related problem. It makes it harder for residents of mostly poor communities to defend their homes. Coupled with drug laws that disproportionately affect the same communities, it makes the residents low-hanging fruit for an increasingly militarized police force.