Drug War

Unarmed, Shirtless Man Killed by Florida Cop in Pot Raid


Last November, 57 percent of voters in Florida voted to legalize pot for medical use (though the measure required 60 percent and failed).

Earlier this week, a Volusia County, Florida, SWAT team who found contraband amounts of that almost-legally-a-medicine raided a home at 6:30 in the morning and shot and killed 26-year-old Derek Cruice, for "advancing" on the deputy, according to police.

"Cruice's actions caused the deputy to perceive a threat," said the sheriff's department in an official statement.

Roommates wonder whether the shooting was justified, as summed up by Huffington Post:

One of the men inside the home, 24-year-old Matthew Grady, contradicted deputies' claims that Cruice had resisted arrest.

"There's a couple of seconds between opening the door, walking out, getting to my knee and halfway out there's gunfire," Grady told My News 13. "I look back as the guy's grabbing me, and my friend is dead or dying."

When asked if Cruice resisted, Grady said: "No."

Roommate Steven Cochran said Cruice wasn't wearing a shirt at the time of the shooting, and didn't pose a threat of carrying a concealed weapon.

"It's kind of hard to conceal anything or hide anything when this is all you have on," said Cochran. "They entered the house and fired."

Neighbors report that the dead Cruice and his pals used to play warrior games with foam weapons in the yard; he was a fan of Dagorhir role playing battle games.

The shooter, 10-year veteran Todd Raible, is on, wait for it, administrative leave.

Police claim to have found 217 grams of pot in the residence.

NEXT: How the DOJ Contributed to the Awful Ferguson Police Culture It Condemns

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  1. “Neighbors report that the dead Cruice and his pals used to play warrior games with foam weapons in the ya”

    Uh, I don’t know what you do with foam weapons in the ya, but it is none of my business, really.

    1. Playing with foam weapons indicates training to murder cops. Obviously. That’s why the cop had to shoot fast and shoot first!

  2. How many people will point to this as another example of why drugs are dangerous. Smoking pot got this guy killed, kids.

    1. I’ve always assumed that a drug dealer getting killed was labeled as a drug-related crime, but the robbing of a liquor store was not considered an alcohol-related crime. Am I right?

    2. Pot didn’t kill “this guy”, the police did.

  3. The shooter, 10-year veteran Todd Raible, is on, wait for it, administrative leave.

    Ooh, another paid vacation for shooting somebody! Fucking A, I wish I was represented by a cop union. I couldn’t kill anyone, but they’d probably let me steal from client trust accounts without punishment!*

    * It goes without saying I’d never do such a thing, even if I could get away with it. But most officers seem to have no conscience or empathy.

    1. My conscience does not suffer at the thought of getting away with it with certain people with very specific jobs.

  4. How outraged would the populace be if a SWAT team raided a house and killed one of its occupants because they were storing a 24 pack of Budweiser in the refrigerator and 5 bottles of hard liquor in the closet? For fuck sakes, what have we become?

    P.S. Thanks for the Friday nut-punch Doherty!

  5. Police claim to have found 217 grams of pot in the residence.

    Couple of things: 1, WE MEASURE POT IN ENGLISH STANDARD UNITS. All other drugs, metric is preferred.

    2: Holy shit, that’s a lot of pot.

    1. People I know (not me, of course) regularly purchase pot in grams. It’s a standard unit of sale. A gram (AFAIK) goes for $15-20. The next highest unit is an 1/8th of an ounce, of course, and goes in units of ounces after that.

    2. less than half a pound. party house with a bunch of 20-somethings. it’s not that much pot.

    3. Meh. Just under 10 oz. Probably a years worth for a daily smoker. I have more than the equivalence of alcohol in my home right now.

      1. Only a year’s worth of alcohol?


        1. I don’t have room in my house for a year’s worth of alcohol.

          1. Solution: build your house out of beer and liquor cases. Like an igloo, but more drunky.

          2. Your neighborhood liquor store doesn’t have room for a year’s worth of your drinking, sarc.

        2. 90% of the alcohol I’ve had in my house for the past 30 years, is still here. Does that make me an amatuer?

    4. Marijuana tends to be measured in both, often times with grams being used as the lowest unit, followed by ounces and pounds. (Canadian experience)

      Source: Um, a friend of mine told me…

    5. 217 sounds a lot scarier than the actual number, 7.75 oz. And really, who the hell measures that weight in grams as the final answer? Thats like saying i have to walk 5280 ft to work rather than saying 1 mile.

      1. None of it sounds scary at all. 900 lbs of weed isn’t scary or dangerous, unless it falls on you.

    6. It is enough that it seems likely that they are casual, small time dealers who sell to people they know. But so what? There is nothing any more wrong about selling pot to consenting adults than there is possessing or smoking it.

    7. Um, it’s barely over half a pound. That’s not a lot and certainly not enough to be killed over.

      1. oops. it’s UNDER half a pound. I used 271 instead of 217.

    8. Tisn’t. 28g per ounce, or 7 and 3/4 ozs. The article confirms at least three people in the house and implied there were more.

      Less than eight ounces split three (or more) ways is not a lot of pot. It’s cheaper to buy by the ounce than by the gram. Sounds to me like a houseful of young party guys went together on a group buy.

  6. “Advancing” can be a justification to get you killed now? I don’t even know what to say anymore.

    1. As one that is impossible to verify or deny minus video evidence, and probably often arguable even with it, it’s likely the BEST justification a cop could have….

      1. Jesus, now it is acceptable to blow away someone they KNOW to be unarmed just because he (allegedly) walked toward them? This shit will never stop, the peasants are subject to summary execution at any time by the King’s Men.

      2. Well, courts started questioning cops when they claimed that a suspect “reached for his waistband”. This may be a more believable and less questionable thing to claim somebody did before they’re shot by a cop the officer’s weapon discharges.

        1. Stupid me failing to close my strike tag. You mess with commenting and you still can’t give an edit button?

          Here, let’s try that again.

          This may be a more believable and less questionable thing to claim somebody did before they’re shot by a cop the officer’s weapon discharges.

          1. An obviously unarmed man “advancing” on a group of heavily armed and armored cops does not, in any sane society, justify deadly force. What would happen to a citizen with a CCW just firing on an obviously unarmed man because he was “advancing” toward him?

            1. That’s the pathetic part. “We had to kill an unarmed dude that weighed a buck-twenty cause there was only a dozen of us with tactical gear.”

              1. The thin brown streak.

            2. I don’t disagree with you. But to the extent that anything a cop says is going to be believed and used as justification for murder, that’s their best bet right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it used as an excuse in more shootings going forward.

              1. “going forward”

                I see what you. Did there.

            3. How do you know this guy wasn’t a Bruce Lee like martial arts master?

    2. Gale: All right, ya hayseeds, it’s a stick-up. Everybody freeze. Everybody down on the ground.
      Feisty Hayseed: Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if’n I freeze, I can’t rightly drop. And if’n I drop, I’m a-gonna be in motion. You see…


    3. If you don’t immediately drop your pants and get down on your hands and knees, they get to shoot you now.

    4. He probably was heading towards the commotion to see what it was, and couldn’t stop before the cops killed him. This is what the drug war has become. It’s just like that flash bang grenade that killed a baby in its crib.

  7. Cruice’s actions caused the deputy to perceive a threat

    Haven’t we learned that that is the standard. Not what a reasonable person would perceive as a threat, but whatever was in the cop’s mind, reasonable or not. And you can’t disprove what was in someone’s mind.

    I can’t find it now, but there was that incident in New York where the cop told the photographer, don’t make me feel threatened. They are trained to say the right incantation e.g. furtive movement, stop resisting, perceived a threat. That’s why they must hate someone who asks, am I being detained. Civilians aren’t supposed to know the magic words.

    1. It goes both ways too. Remember a while back there was a video of a guy standing up to a couple cops who wanted to search his home for some suspect? One of the cops said “I can just grab you and drag you out here if I want” to which the guy replied “You do that and I will fear for my life.” The cop relented. I guess it helps to speak their language.

      1. That’s why selling videos from Flex Your Rights is considered suspicious. Remember that was a pretext for raiding a head shop….why would anyone need to know their rights unless they were up to no good.

      2. “You do that and I will fear for my life.”

        Beautiful. A perfectly veiled threat, that can’t be held against you.

  8. It’s a bit less than half a pound. More than personal use (for most people). Street value eleventy gazillion dollars.

    It’s not surprising the deputy felt threatened. He could’ve put an eye out with that moustache.

    1. The deputy was afraid that “hipster” is contagious.

      1. “The deputy was afraid”

  9. Let’s look on the bright side. At least this killing is helping to remedy the disproportionate proportion of black victims of police killings. If this had happened in Ferguson, DOJ would have seen this as a step in the right direction.

    1. [Narrows gaze at Seamus]

    2. It’s not disproportionate, actually, it’s just that one gets publicized and the other generally does not. I forget where I saw it, but there was a statistic that indicated white guys got shot at a rate of one every X police contacts, while black people got shot at a rate of one every nearly 2X police contacts. I don’t remember the actual figures, but it indicated that the overall difference in total shootings was due to a higher overall number of contacts, so the cops are actually equal opportunity racial shooters.

      1. So there would be no racism implicit in police stopping or detaining blacks at twice the rate of whites? Even assuming your data is correct it does not meet the requirements of your argument.

  10. Looks like the cops busted in, shouted conflicting commands, and then opened fire.

    Makes me wonder if they do this on purpose.

    “Alright, you tell him to put up his hands and I’ll tell him to lie on the ground. Now which one of us gets to shoot him? I’ll flip the coin, you call it. Damn. Maybe next time.”

    1. It sure as hell seems that way.

    2. I picture them more like a football squad getting pumped up before taking the field. Get the adrenaline going. Get in there and shoot some dope dealers. NOT shooting someone is inconceivable.

    3. No, you are the coin. If you obey cop A and put your hands up, cop B gets to plug you. But if you get on the ground like cop B said, then cop A gets the vacation ticket.

  11. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8012 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…

  12. Yes, Deputy Dumbfuck, he was advancing on the door that you presumably just came through, just like his roommates. If, instead, he moved away from the door, your excuse would likely have been:

    “Cruice’s actions of fleeing the scene caused the deputy to perceive a threat.”

    1. I think they decide before they go in that they’re going to kill someone. If the person moves towards them then they’re threatening by advancing, if they run away then they’re threatening by going for a weapon, and if they don’t move then they’re threatening by standing their ground. So no matter what, they’re dead, and the cop is exonerated as a hero.

      1. “If they run, they’re VC! If they stand still, they’re disciplined VC!”

        1. “How do you shoot women and children?”

          “Easy: you just don’t lead ’em so much.”

  13. (looks at photo)

    uh, good shoot?

    1. I’m kidding… please.

      I really wish the people who continue to agitate for the ongoing criminalization of Weed were repeatedly required to defend bullshit like this as being ‘in the public good’. Because its not like these people were dangerous criminals plotting their next violent spree.

      I’ve personally known a few people who went to jail and had their lives destroyed over “owning too much pot”. They were all harmless college kids. its fucking ridiculous.

      1. I wasn’t kidding with my earlier comment. An awful lot of peopel will look on this as an example of why we should keep drugs illegal. Because if you smoke pot, you could get killed by the police.

        Doesn’t make sense but there you go

        1. I don’t know about that. Lots of people use that argument to convince their kids that they shouldn’t do drugs, but I’ve never heard anyone use that as a justification for continued prohibition. That’s too directly circular for all but the stupidest prohibitionists.

    2. Don’t feel bad, that’s the first thought I had, too. “shot for having a stupid facial piercing and lame tattoo? Case dismissed”.

  14. Who will be the last man to die for a mistake ?

  15. Oh my god, they killed Reason’s Millennial Guy!

    1. OK, that gave me a chuckle.

  16. my buddy’s half-sister makes $84 /hour on the computer . She has been without a job for ten months but last month her check was $12581 just working on the computer for a few hours. check this site out…..

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  17. Where’s Warty?

  18. To be fair, the cops saw that guy with no shirt and were terrified that Zangief was going to spinning piledriver them.

  19. He should have been wearing a shirt!

  20. And cops can’t understand why the everyday citizen hates them and roots for their demise. Live by the gun, die by the gun MF.

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