SWAT

Tampa SWAT Team Attempts to Serve Drug Warrant, Unarmed Man Shot and Killed

Two grams of marijuana reportedly recovered.

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We're coming for your 2 grams
Sgt. Tracy R. Myers/Wikimedia Commons

SWAT teams, which were created for hostage situations, terror attacks, and other exceptionally dangerous environments, are by a wide margin mostly used to serve warrants for drugs.

Such was the case in the Tampa, Florida area yesterday morning, when a SWAT team attempted to serve a warrant on a house following a "month-long investigation" into Levonia Riggins, who had a long rap sheet of petty non-violent drug crimes, as well as for burglary and grand theft. Bay News 9 reports, "Officials said the SWAT team was called in because of Riggins' criminal record and reports that he owned guns."

According to the Tampa Bay Times, when officers attempted to execute the search warrant, all the occupants exited the house save for Riggins, who was reportedly commanded to leave several times.

After the SWAT team entered the house, Deputy Caleb Johnson found Riggins in a bedroom. A police spokesperson said in a news release that "Johnson perceived Riggins as an immediate threat and fired one shot, striking Riggins."

Riggins later died at Tampa General Hospital. Johnson has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office later released a statement which noted, "While the investigation is ongoing it does appear at this time that Riggins was unarmed."

The Times reports that a Riggins family friend "said they believe investigators confiscated about 2 grams of marijuana from Riggins' body." The Sheriff's Office has yet to comment on the amount of drugs they recovered as a result of the raid.

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  1. Nutpunch day doesn’t have the same ring to it as Hump day.

  2. A police spokesperson said in a news release that “Johnson perceived Riggins as an immediate threat and fired one shot, striking Riggins.”

    This is why we need the DoD surplus equipment program, so police departments like Tampa can afford more high-tech weaponry that shoots in the passive voice.

    1. Well, if they don’t have this technology, what will they do when ISIS activates Mecha-Godzilla to terrorize Tampa?

      And, well, you don’t expect them to defeat Mecha-Godzilla without a little practice first, do you?

    2. Hammers whose jobs depend on there being loose nails everywhere are going to find loose nails everywhere.

    3. That spokesperson is now fired. C’mon, man, law enforcement spin 101!

    4. Naturally, it’s never reasonable to perceive a police officer as an immediate threat, even if they’re spraying piss and bullets all over the place.

  3. Sadly this is now common-place. My nuts are already numb.

  4. “According to the Tampa Bay Times, when officers attempted to execute the search warrant, all the occupants exited the house save for Riggins, who was reportedly commanded to leave several times.”

    Reminds me of the two stories I ran across earlier this year. A cop passed a guy on the highway who looked at the cop, and the cop called this suspicious and therefore pulled him over. Another cop passed a guy on the highway who did NOT look at the cop, and the cop called this suspicious and therefore pulled him over.

    In this case, someone who did NOT run away was considered a threat.

    It’s almost as if the deck is stacked against “civilians.”

    1. Officer: Git some! Git some! Git some, yeah, yeah, yeah! Anyone who runs, is a threat to officers. Anyone who stands still, is a well disciplined threat to officers! You guys oughta do a story about me sometime!
      Tampa Bay Times Writer: Why should we do a story about you?
      Officer: ‘Cuz I’m so fuckin’ good! I done got me 157 dead people killed. Plus 50 dogs, too! Them’s all confirmed!
      Tampa Bay Times Writer: Any women or children?
      Officer: Sometimes!
      Tampa Bay Times Writer: How can you shoot women or children?
      Officer: Easy! Ya just don’t lead ’em so much! Ain’t the drug war hell?

      1. Thread winner. Shut it down, folks!

      2. Easy. You lead them just a little and don’t jerk the trigger.

  5. Maybe Kaepernick has a point?

    1. But he wore a Che t-shirt!

      1. Thank God he didn’t wear a Make America Great Again hat.

    2. You know, you’re right. I was not aware of this issue until Colin Kaepernick brought it to my attention.

      1. And next week, he’d going to cure cancer!

  6. Good deal, they got the 2 grams of marijuana out of the house, so it wouldn’t be a danger to the kids.

    Whose dad is now dead, btw.

    Hey, but trade offs…

  7. It’s okay though… all officers went home safely!

  8. Two whole grams of TEH DEVIL’S WEED?! Totally worth a man’s life! /sarc

  9. Riggins later died at Tampa General Hospital. Johnson has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.

    The video doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Which reminds me, Seattle PD just lost 2800 dash cam videos due to a “glitch in the short term to long term storage transfer”.

    SPD assured everyone that it didn’t matter, because the videos that were lost generally don’t have a big impact on any ongoing investigations.

    My first thought was, “uhh, excuse me?” Then reality took over and I realized the spokesperson was being 100% truthful. How many videos do we see of cops shooting unarmed civilians from 900′ away in the back while prostrate on the ground after falling out of their wheelchair where nothing happens to the cop? So yes, I doubt very highly any video would have any meaningful impact on any ongoing investigations. Well played.

  10. So what you’re saying is, if these free-thinking anarchists didn’t violate the law, which they well knew they were doing, nothing bad would have happened to them.

    I say this is entirely their fault, and the rest of them that surrendered should be sent to the Philippines with tattoos on their foreheads identifying them as drug users/dealers.

  11. “While the investigation is ongoing it does appear at this time that Riggins was unarmed.”

    this is remarkably candid.

    1. Because it doesn’t matter anymore. They don’t need drop guns nowadays; all they have to say is they perceived a threat and they’re golden.

      1. I suspect Deputy Caleb Johnson would have percieved a budgie as a threat.

        1. Deputy Johnson would perceive a paramecium a threat. Each cillia is longer than his penis.

      2. They have to perceive the threat “in good faith,” none of that nasty mohammedan shit, then it’s chitty chitty bang-bang all the way to the bank. Under asset forfeiture those 2 grams of weed can be sold in Colorado or Washington, proceeds for the Deputy Caleb Johnson defense and vacation fund. Kush, baby!

    2. Well, the investigation is still ongoing. Presumably, they’ll come up with something. Like: After further investigation we determined that the suspect was rapidly consuming a bag of flakka with the clear intention of chewing off the officer’s face.

  12. 2 grams?! That’s less than the weight of a penny.

    1. Sounds better if you say “TWO MILLION Micrograms”.

  13. I’m holding judgment until the investigation of the races of those involved is completed.

    1. If NPR starts covering it, the investigation has been completed.

  14. Frankly I’m shocked at the lack of passive voice.

  15. Holy cow! Two grams of hemp!! This was clearly one of them kingpins our godly President George Holy War Bush wanted the death sentence for. Give that brave officer a raise, paid vacation and a retreat with Solicitor Chrissy Adams to prepare his defense and secure his bonus for ridding the State of a drug negro.
    The Democrats and Republicans both, in their 50-page platforms, want SWAT teams to kick in doors and kill people over two grams of marijuana.

  16. WAR ON COPS.

    1. WAR FROM COPS

  17. RE: Tampa SWAT Team Attempts to Serve Drug Warrant, Unarmed Man Shot and Killed
    Two grams of marijuana reportedly recovered.

    Kudos are due to the Tampa SWAT team for numerous reasons. First, they have once again engaged in the wise policy of population control by shooting an unarmed man. I am sure the readers of this article are glad to know the Tampa SWAT team have spent enough time at the firing range to be able to shoot an innocent person. But then, they should since they undoubtedly have pop up targets of unarmed people they are trained to shoot to kill. Tax money well spent because there is nothing more dangerous to a law enforcement official than an unarmed citizen. Secondly, the Tampa SWAT team more than vindicated themselves by recovering a full two grams of that highly addictive and potentially lethal weed, MJ. Everyone in the Tampa area can now sleep well tonight knowing that an unarmed man was killed by their elite special police team and a couple of ounces of MJ was recovered.

  18. the christian jihad against plants continues, what true heroes to freedumb these cops must feel like. Uhmerica is starting to look like the philippines

  19. I think it will be funny when the coroner report says that they fired rounds into the immenent threat that was an already deceased person. If not this time, maybe next time.

  20. it does appear at this time

    … but may appear differently at a later time.

    1. After they determine if there is any video that contradicts the police report.

  21. I wonder how long it will be before they say fuck it and just call in an air strike or artillery barrage. I mean, why risk the lives of the brave officers if you can just eliminate the threat from a safe distance?

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