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Cops Raid House, Kill 72-Year-Old Woman Who Was Asleep, Woke Up, Tried to Defend Herself with a Pellet Gun

"You killed my mother."

CopsScreenshot via Tulsa WorldPolice officers in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, killed a 72-year-old woman during a raid on her home. According to her 50-year-old son, who was arrested on drug charges during the raid, Geraldine Townsend was sleeping when police entered. She woke up, grabbed a pellet gun, and shot at the cops—and one of the cops shot back.

Two of the officers suffered minor injuries, Bartlesville Police Captain Hay Hastings told local reporters. Townsend was transported to the hospital where she died from the gunshot wound to her chest.

The body camera footage of the altercation is blurry, but the audio is revealing. The raid began in the dark, at 9:30 p.m. Officers knocked on the door and said, "police department, search warrant." Five seconds later, they entered the premises. Townsend's son, Mike Anthony Livingston, immediately surrendered. He was the target of the raid, suspected of distributing marijuana.

Livingston warns the officers, "That's my mother, man." An officer is heard to shout "put that fucking gun down!" presumably at Townsend, who fires. Livingston insists "it's a BB gun" as additional shots ring out. At this point about 10 seconds have elapsed since the cops entered.

Over the next few minutes, Livingston repeatedly says, "You killed my mother, it was a BB gun." Eventually, one of the officers snaps at him, "She shot me, shut up!"

The officer who shot Townsend explains his actions to the officer wearing the body camera: "I fucking saw her pointing that fucking gun. It looked like she stopped and shot Steven, and then I come back around to cover him, she pointed it at me again and then, blam, I fucking shot her."

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations will look into whether there was any wrongdoing on the part of the officers. The agency may well conclude that the officers had cause to shoot Townsend, since she fired a weapon at them. But where is the logic in conducting the raid at night, when no one can see anything, and shouting "put the fucking gun down" at a confused, half-asleep old woman? Police put her in a position where she might have reasonably thought she was fighting for her life against robbers, giving her no choice but to fire and them with no choice but to retaliate with deadly force—all to bust her son for selling some weed.

Photo Credit: Screenshot via Tulsa World

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  • Hugh Akston||

    The raid began in the dark, at 9:30 p.m. Officers knocked on the door and said, "police department, search warrant." Five seconds later, they entered the premises. Townsend's son, Mike Anthony Livingston, immediately surrendered. He was the target of the raid, suspected of distributing marijuana.

    Obviously there was no other way to serve this warrant.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Not without putting in some sweet overtime.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It wasn't even an arrest warrant!

  • Paloma||

    Like in the AM. Or waiting 3 minutes so the old lady could wake up and see what's going on.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Or just, like, knocking on the door and waiting for someone to answer it.

  • Kivlor||

    It's conversations like this that make me hate the Conservatives that I know. A lot of them support the 2 second knock and enter BS. Because if they cops wait someone might shoot at them from inside. It doesn't matter that by not waiting, and barging in so fast the police definitely increase the odds of someone shooting out of fear for their life from what seems to be a legit home invasion.

    It's kind of horrifying to think that we'd all likely be better off if we asked the Marines to run the police for the entire country.

  • Cyto||

    I don't think that most people understand that the difference between a "no knock" warrant and a "knock and announce" warrant is a couple of seconds of banging on the door and yelling incoherently.

    The courts really need to intervene on this point. If a no-knock raid requires a higher level of scrutiny, there should at least be a practical difference between that and a normal knock and announce raid.

    No human being could possibly process the jumbled noise coming from the front door before someone is in their face with a gun. And with pretty much any movement providing carte blanche to the police to open fire, it is a recipe for people getting killed for no reason.

  • Vernon Depner||

    The courts are loath to recognize that a citizen defending himself against the police could ever be reasonable or justified.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Cops rule and citizens drool!!!

    Ya got a "problem" with that, honored "citizen"?!?!?

    Please explain... As you would, to a child...

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Are you calling me commander Taggart?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Awesome, Galaxian Questerian!!!!

  • croaker||

    Because Fuck You! That's Why!

  • Leader Desslok||

    So speaketh all agents of the Imperial State.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "if you're not cop, you're little people". (Blade Runner)

  • some guy||

    Any warrant that involves property damage should be treated with the highest level of scrutiny and should only be even remotely considered when it comes to subjects with a documented history of violence against cops or innocent people.

  • SQRLSY One||

    No, we'd be better off if the anti-illegal-human jack-booted thugs ran the nation! What if this brown-skinned granny was an ILLEGAL HUMAN?!?!? WHAT THEN??!?!?

    (She might have flushed some evidence down the toilet, had they given her more advance warning, OR, worse yet, she might have sent some MORE money to those EVIL humanoids who PUT WATER OUT IN THE DESERT IN ARIZONA, FOR THE ILLEGAL HUMANS!!!!)

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing you might want to keep in mind is that the Liberal lies so often and so outrageously about the other side of this issue that many people are programmed by experience to simply disbelieve all stories of police wrongdoing. And then people like yourself hear so much bone headed defense of stupid (or brutal) police that you are programmed to disbelieve any defense of cops. It's a vicious cycle, perpetuated by both sides going over the to far too often.

    For what it's worth, I don't think ANYBODY here comes out smelling like a rose. Sonny boy is apparently involved in the drug trade (at least I freaking HOPE they weren't raiding him over possession!). I wish the drug war would end, but while it rages there are smarter things to do than involve yourself in it Granny is shooting home invaders with a weapon designed to annoy rather than kill. And the cops are playing out the inevitable Drug War idiocy.

  • Vernon Depner||

    A woman was murdered. That makes how anyone else involved "smells" insignificant.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Why hate conservatives for this? It's progressives and social conservatives who are all for arresting people for weed. Many constitutional and limited government conservatives are against it. How about Eric Garner, who was killed via a police choke hold for trying to earn some money by selling single cigarettes in NYC?

    What's horrifying, are those who want to use government force against individuals, for merely offending someone; mostly people making a living enforcing government laws making it a crime to do things where there's no victim being harmed.

  • Gretz||

    It's probably not worth much at this point to say that conservatives are hardly lock-step on this, blindly trusting the police at every turn. Many have the opinion that law enforcement is more interested in revenue generation than it is the rule of law, protected from consequences by a powerful public sector union and a prosecutor's office with a huge conflict of interest, and, like much of the other government bureaucracies, contemptuous and belligerent toward the people they're suppose to serve.

    Like a lot of problems, it's not going to stop until there's reason for it to stop. Prosecutors won't make it stop, judges continue to minimize and rationalize it, and taxpayers end up stuck for the settlements.

    FWIW, If you wanted to undermine any serious effort towards police reform, especially incidents like these, you couldn't do a better job of discouraging interest and polarizing people than BLM has done, especially with the people they've decided to focus on, and engaging in petty racism of their own.

  • Mark22||

    It's conversations like this that make me hate the Conservatives that I know. A lot of them support the 2 second knock and enter BS.

    Well, I'm sure you "hate" all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons; perhaps it's just the kind of person you are. But the fact is that, even though Republicans generally have positive views of police more than Democrats, the majority of all political orientations have positive feelings towards police. And that shouldn't be surprising, given that most people simply don't encounter police at all.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    But then the suspect will have time to flush drugs down the toilet, which means, of course, that no one will ever be harmed by them.

  • Brendan||

    Let's not also forget that detective can be lazy cowards too.

    A few years ago, I was listening to the scanner and caught a stakeout. They were watching an apartment where at least one of the occupants was suspected of non-violent thefts (credit card/purse if I remember right).

    When they were satisfied that the suspect was in there, they got a warrant over the phone and were discussing how to get here into custody. They were talking about "SWAT qualifiers" and initially thought she didn't have any priors that qualified. THEN they found that she has a misdemeanor assault conviction from 1993. That was the qualifier. The arrest was put on hold, SWAT was called up and the 4 detectives involved in this stakeout sat tight for the better part of 75 minutes while SWAT got ready (their radio traffic was mundane - who, where, why, etc.).

    Unfortunately for everyone involved, she left the apartment with some guy. The detectives followed for a bit, then pulled the vehicle over and arrested her without incident. They were only slightly concerned as to whether either one of them might have called the people in the house to warn them in some fashion.

    Everyone involved seemed dejected, though only slightly, when talking about cancelling SWAT, serving the warrant on the residence and the others that were still inside, etc.

  • silver.||

    A police department is gathering members for their new SWAT unit, so the chief asks the room, "who here wants to be on SWAT?"

    "Alright, everyone with their hands down is SWAT."

    That this is only a joke and not reality is a big part of the problem. The gung-ho, itchy-fingered younguns' are the least qualified to handle tense, dangerous situations.

  • some guy||

    And obviously only police are allowed to yell "police department, search warrant" as they break into a house. And obviously a sleeping person should have no trouble hearing and understanding that statement with complete lucidity.

  • Ron||

    this happens several times a year where I live where trimigrants comback to the pot growers and claim to be police and barge in.

    I'm norammly in bed at 9:30 and if I don't see police lights and police cars anyone coming in the door will be shot.
    I don't grow or use but with the police propensity to raid the wrong homes anything can happen

  • Naaman Brown||

    Locally.

    We have had people claiming to be state licensed bounty hunters raiding houses, when they were common thieves and not bounty hunters at all.

    And a rapist with a Ford Crown Victoria with fake police flashing light pulling women over on the highway.

  • Vernon Depner||

    There have been cases of actual cops raping women by the side of the road.

  • Arcxjo||

    Yeah, but most rapists don't have the patience to sit through a 6-week course.

  • modurhead||

    serve the warrant in the day time, even king george's men had to

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Eventually, one of the officers snaps at him, "She shot me, shut up!"

    Hey, pellet guns can leave nasty welts. When i was a kid i'd have bruises from bb gun fights that wouldn't fade for days. Blowing a hole through a sleepy old lady's chest was definitely a proportionate response.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Could have put an eye out!

  • some guy||

    To be honest, once the raid is underway, it's hard to fault officer friendly for responding to the sight of a weapon with deadly force. He had no way of knowing it was a BB gun. It was all the decisions that led up to the raid that are to blame. The ultimate cause of this murder was someone seeking a violent raid against a non-violent suspect and someone else approving that raid. Those are the people who should take most of the blame for this. The cop that sought the warrant and planned the raid. The judge who signed the warrant. They should be on trial for manslaughter. They're the ones who released the hounds on this poor family for no good reason, fully knowing that something like this might happen.

    And every cop in Oklahoma should refuse to participate in any further raids until those two lose their respective jobs and are brought up on charges. Otherwise, every cop who continues to do these raids under the current, obviously failed, system becomes complicit.

  • Cy||

    Fookin AYE RIGHT!

    Results like this are completely avoidable. Everyone in this long line of "justice" knows that. If all they have to stand behind is some thin blue line bullshit, I have no sympathy for what becomes of them for not addressing these obvious issues before they come to a violent head.

  • Calidissident||

    The guy defending himself by saying she shot him implies that he knew it wasn't a real gun. Unless he can't tell the difference between a pellet gun and a real one.

  • Arcxjo||

    He had no way of knowing it was a BB gun.

    Except, you know, that the projectiles hitting him weren't doing any damage.

  • modurhead||

    +1

  • DajjaI||

    Matricide-by-cop?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    He was the target of the raid, suspected of distributing marijuana.

    I take solace knowing that we're still a nation of laws.

    The officer who shot Townsend explains its actions to the officer wearing the body camera

    Man, Rico got radicalized while he was away.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Maybe that's its preferred pronoun, shitlord.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The body camera footage of the altercation is blurry, but the audio is revealing. The raid began in the dark, at 9:30 p.m.

    Cop: The purpose of the raid is to confuse and surprise the residents of the home.

    Lawyer cross examining: Was it possible Livingston's mother was confused and surprised?

    Cop: No, that's not possible.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Sadly, our farce of a justice system literally doesn't care if she was surprised and confused or if the cops caused it. All it cares about is whether in the moment, the cop had reason to fear for his life.

  • Paloma||

    As if the woman didn't have reason to fear for HER life.

  • Cyto||

    By definition she was not justified in her actions. Because they work for the police.

    You only evaluate things from the point of view of the officer on the spot. This is the way it works. So if a guy in a black hoodie pulls a gun on you and starts screaming at you, you'd best just start complying until you can figure out if he works for law enforcement or not.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    When the cops can kill you just for being afraid of you but you can't kill them for being of afraid of them then you know you live in a police state.

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe this is the cops tell us we should always obey criminals. Because the criminals could be cops.

  • Jerryskids||

    But where is the logic in conducting the raid at night, when no one can see anything, and shouting "put the fucking gun down" at a confused, half-asleep old woman? Police put her in a position where she might have reasonably thought she was fighting for her life against robbers, giving her no choice but to fire and them with no choice but to retaliate with deadly force—all to bust her son for selling some weed.

    Dude, you just answered your own question right there.

  • Rhywun||

    she might have reasonably thought she was fighting for her life against robbers

    C'mon, it's her responsibility to correctly make that split second decision, while half-asleep, that the strange man busting down her door and shouting "Police!" actually is the police. Otherwise she deserves to die.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I haven't watched the video, did anyone shout "Police!"?

  • some guy||

    Apparently they shouted "Police department! Search warrant!" five seconds before busting down the door. So they might as well have not shouted anything.

  • operagost||

    So what you're telling me is, police who have supposedly received training can't be expected to make reasonable split-second decisions, but sleepy civilian grandmothers are?

    Sounds legit.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Psst. He was being sarcastic. You can tell.

  • Cyto||

    You could also have gone with "Yes. That is precisely how the law works."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Welcome to Hit & Run where the jokes don't always come with a roadmap.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Ableist!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations will look into whether there was any wrongdoing on the part of the officers.

    To find wrongdoing, the state would have to find the purpose of the raid and very tactics used to be unwarranted. Since that won't happen...

  • some guy||

    Manslaughter for whoever drew up the raid and requested the warrant. Manslaughter for whoever signed the warrant. They both knew this was a possible outcome of their actions. They obviously didn't care.

  • XM||

    That's not how manslaughter works.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm sitting here trying to think of something interesting to say, and all I can think of is "An innocent person died needlessly, and there is almost no chance anyone will be held accountable or that any of the institutions or policies responsible will change." Fuck it all.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    It's hopeless, it's all hopeless.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It honestly seems that way. The body count includes adolescent kids playing in the park, guys walking around a store with something they picked up off the shelf in the store, grandmothers, men literally crawling on their hands and knees weeping and begging for their lives. Black, brown, white. If that's not enough to motivate change, what is?

    I actually already know the answer to that question. If the kid of someone in the ruling class got gunned down, you can bet things would change. I guess the rest of us will just have to hope for the best.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "If the kid of someone in the ruling class got gunned down, you can bet things would change."

    I don't think so. The parents would be asked to take one for the team.

  • Zeb||

    It's possible that the parents might refuse to do that.

  • Paloma||

    My hope is that Gorsuch could help shift these raids on homes in the middle of the night. But you know what they say about wishing in one hand.....

  • Griffin3||

    It didn't work for a mayor's dogs.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But where is the logic in conducting the raid at night, when no one can see anything, and shouting "put the fucking gun down" at a confused, half-asleep old woman?

    The policy is not on trial here. It will never be on trial.

  • LynchPin1477||

    How about the policy makers?

    *sigh*

  • Vernon Depner||

    The policy makers on trial? Never. Swinging from lampposts? Unlikely, but possible.

  • Finrod||

    The problem with lampposts is that you might not have enough lampposts to do the job. Whereas with a woodchipper, you don't have to worry about that.

  • buddhastalin||

    Policy makers would care if the general public did, but this is not even on the general public's radar, in spite of all the dog killing, the mom killing and the crib bombing we hear about on Reason.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Dammit, I forgot about the crib bombing.

  • NYC2AZ||

    Obviously it's going to be a clean shoot after the investigation is completed. The policy of how, when, or why the raid was conducted won't even be questioned.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The local county attorney has an exoneration template on file, just need to fill in the names.

  • silver.||

    Qualified immunity mad libs!

  • Lachowsky||

    And people say marijuana isn't dangerous. This ought to show em.

  • Paloma||

    What do you want to BET the police blame the kid for his mother's death because he had pot in the house?

  • croaker||

    Yes, they could quite possible turn this into a felony murder charge.

  • Tony||

    Well this makes me want to vomit.

    The thing that confuses me that underlies all of these cases is the notion that society is chock full of small-time weed dealers and such who are just itching to murder a cop and who think they can get away with it. How often do cops get into bona fide firefights?

    Or are they just fucked up morons who can't control themselves and actively look for opportunities to pop their murder cherry?

    Fuck the BB gun. This whole situation was an abomination at conception.

  • barfman2018||

    Or are they just fucked up morons who can't control themselves and actively look for opportunities to pop their murder cherry?

    Yes.

    *barf*

  • Cyto||

    You have to understand the world through the front-line cop's eyes. He sees the videos where some fine officer knocks on the front door and is met by gunfire. Or where the highway patrolman walks up to the car window and suddenly a gun pops out and he gets shot. Sure, it might only happen once in 10k stops, but that doesn't change his perception.

    They've been trained to see every situation as a potential death trap. Both as a matter of official training and colloquially through the culture of the squad. So then you give him a mission that has a high chance for something to go wrong... like busting some small-time pot dealer. He isn't the one putting the plan together, but the guy who does put that plan together is thinking about saving police officers, not protecting the public. Because shooting this old lady doesn't get anyone in trouble. Getting your officers shot because you didn't plan for grandma to have a 357 under her pillow does end your career. Nobody anywhere in the chain has an incentive to dial back the aggression. Quite the opposite.

    So until we stop sending them on the wrong mission with the wrong training, this is going to continue happening. It doesn't require racists or murderous sociopaths. Just normal humans put in a position to fail.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Yes, as the Mesa PD cop testified, "his training taught him to kill at the slightest provocation/fear for his life" instance.

    So, the jury said, well since you were trained to murder we can't blame you for doing it when you did.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "I was only following orders."

  • sarcasmic||

    Normal humans? Cops are completely devoid of humanity. Calling them humans is overly generous.

  • Gretz||

    I've worked in a police station for weeks at a time. (Ironically, installing a system to pull video from police cars so the officers aren't handling evidence).

    The degree of contempt that officers have for civilians is disgusting and alarming. (Well, save for when they can 'white night' for a photo op and a medal.) There is nothing there to defuse the situation, no one there who doesn't hype the constant paranoia about when someone's going to jump out at them with a gun in hand. Murphy's first rule of combat, "When in doubt, empty the magazine" is the unspoken part of the 'First Rule of Policing': "Fuck due process. Make it home for dinner."

    Sure, sure, not everyone. When half a dozen bust through the door, you can count on there being at least two who do.

    The actual numbers don't show this to be a viable threat, though. In 2017, 44 officers were killed by firearms, down 33% from 2016 (66 killed). More officers are killed in traffic accidents than are shot, with 2016 being a rare exception. The overall trend in officer deaths is down, almost half what it was in 1979, with firearms deaths dropping to a third of what they were.

    http://www.nleomf.org/assets/p....._FINAL.pdf

    Out of a national pool of 900,000 officers, 45 deaths due to firearms is not sufficient cause for this mindset

  • Lachowsky||

    According to fbi.gov

    According to statistics collected by the FBI, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2016. Of these, 66 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 52 officers died in accidents.


    My fucking job is more dangerous than a cops.

  • Cyto||

    There are only a million cops in the USA. 66 is a huge percentage of a million.... something like 20%. Every year. It is super serial.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Some of them are killed in the line of duty, defending us from the depredations of those who would blow on a cheap plastic flute w/o a physician's prescription!!!

    I was busted for the crime of blowing on a "lung flute" without a physician's permission… To learn about the "lung flute" (a cheap, simple plastic flute), see www.churchofSQRLS.com … And use "lung flute" as search string.
    My body has now been possessed by Government Almighty… Sometimes I find my neck swiveling 360 and then 720 and more, and I spit up pea-green-and-gray, split-pea soup. Profusely, projectile vomiting and all… And then my body is FORCED to sing the praises of Government Almighty!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    THESE are the Praises that I am being FORCED to sing... HELP!!!!

    Scienfoology Song… GAWD = Government Almighty's Wrath Delivers

    Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,
    Little ones to GAWD belong,
    We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
    Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
    Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
    And gives me all that I might need!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    DEA, CIA, KGB,
    Our protectors, they will be,
    FBI, TSA, and FDA,
    With us, astride us, in every way!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

  • Arcxjo||

    93 million cops are killed during traffic stops every day.

  • some guy||

    If only you were willing to direct this level of skepticism at the motivations of all government employees and policymakers.

  • ||

    How many times have I seen a cop show on tv and they pull the "freeze, police!" when they're across the street or halfway down the block and we get the obligatory 90-second foot chase that always ends with the perp being pulled from the top of the fence and shoved into the chain link? I snort and mumble about cops not being stupid enough to do that. Then a real life incident like this one happens.

    And I still think, cops really aren't that stupid. But shit like this happens all the time. So I'm left guessing: do they like it this way? Is it how they're trained? Is it just for the rush?

  • Cyto||

    It is an old trope that probably got its start during the era of "fleeing felon" laws, which allowed police to open fire on unarmed fleeing felons. During that time period, taking off running might just have gotten you shot.

  • Cyto||

    So we covered a lot of ground with our bitching here.

    But what we skipped was the post-game analysis on the raid. The ostensible go in hot like that to prevent destruction of evidence and to use the element of surprise to prevent shots being fired at the police.

    Well, this raid was a total fail. The old lady in the bedroom managed to grab a gun and score a few hits. They are lucky that she was toting a bb gun instead of a .357. Had she used a real gun, they'd be looking for an extra body bag.

    So this was a total operational fail. They created a dangerous situation out of thin air, killed an old lady, and only managed to live through the night by sheer dumb luck.

  • Vernon Depner||

    So, get your Mom a .357 so she doesn't have to rely on a pellet gun. At least she might take one with her.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Even when cops do die in situations like this (I know only of 2, Radley Balko covered both of them some years ago), the police never learn, never admit that their own stupid Rambo fantasy's are what got one of their own killed.

    So rather than re-think their police work they just determine to ratchet it up another notch the next time.

    I don't have a .357 by the bed, but 20 rounds of .308. Not even a chest plate is going to save them.

  • chemjeff||

    Awful. Just awful.

  • Room 237||

    I blame TV for this. I like police proceedurals (I am an attorney by training, though in tax, not criminal law). And what makes better tv then Lenny banging on the door shouting "Police open up" and then 2 seconds later telling the SWAT team to break it down.

    I am an Italian kid from Long island, so I grew up with a lot of kids that became cops. Most ofthem are good guys (one guy is someone who if I was in danger I would want to be the person to save me, even as a kid you just felt safe around him). So I am not anti-police. I just think they need a culture change

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The police are like Muslims.

    The good ones won't get rid of the bad ones.

  • sarcasmic||

    There are no good cops. If they were good then they might tell the truth once in a while, instead of hiding behind the blue wall of silence.

  • Curt2004||

    So...do you know a single cop who thinks civil asset forfeiture is a bad idea?

  • Gretz||

    At present, I would not call the police if I were under fire.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ.

  • Joirep||

    Crazy to think that this mother lost her life over a plant that I can legally buy here in California. Do these officers not realize they're killing ppl over something that is now legal in some parts of their country? I often wonder if I can call these departments and let them know that they killed someone over a plant that anyone over the age of 21 can now legally buy/grow/sell in most of the country. What would they think? I wouldnt go thru with the call though cause I wouldn't want to become a target for these assholes or for them to try to drum up some charges against me for calling them since I know how vindictive and petty some LEOs can be.

  • ignorance=bliss||

    The militarization of our police forces from small rural towns to major cities is the root cause of this mentality, no citizen should be put to death cause they sold, traded, used drugs of any type, raiding houses over drugs is sickening. Very few people stay in their homes every hour of every day, there are other avenues of detaining the accused without such violent and murderous methods. All police lie, none of them would speak the truth in a court room and not appease their saviors in the ag's office across this nation. No taxpayer should be flipping the bill for their mistakes and misdeeds. All violations that result in payouts should come from their budgets and pension programs, and make the unions pay fines for not fixing it before hand.

  • Cbalducc||

    I predict exoneration of the cops and a financial settlement.

  • ThomasD||

    You'd think an actual professional would be able to recognize a pellet gun. Maybe not upon first glance, given that many are made to appear like actual firearms.

    But once they saw her fire it?????

    "Lady, dropped the damned pea shooter before you ruin the mirror..."

    It is absurd that the courts will grant such extreme deference to people trained for such circumstances, people who have chosen the date and time of their presence, people who have the advantage of prior preparation, strength of numbers, and surprise, against the snap judgement of the untrained person caught unaware and in their own home.

    If judges thought there was even a remote chance that they or their own might one day face a night time raid/home invasion I suspect things would be a tad bit different.

  • Joirep||

    "If judges thought there was even a remote chance that they or their own might one day face a night time raid/home invasion I suspect things would be a tad bit different."

    Doubt it, they probably would say that they aint got nothing to hide so they'd gladly let police search their homes.

  • ThomasD||

    They might say that, but they surely would not mean it.

    What they really believe is that it is exceedingly unlikely that anyone else would ever approve such a warrant against them.

    They are not concerned with that which does not concern them.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Just like the cops, the judges don't care if you go home at the end of their shift either.

    Most judges are former prosecutors, and police are the prosecuter's partners.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    Don't worry. There will be plenty of bootlickers who will come out to defend these "heroes" and their tactics.

  • Hank Phillips||

    At least it was for a good cause. We can't have people possessing leaves the "pro-life" and infallible Pope mystics disapprove of, and you have to kill a few individuals to make a leaf-free omelet, right? The Republicans and Democrats have prohibition in their platforms, so it must be good, right?

  • Ron||

    99.9% of raids can be avoided by just walking up to them in the day while they are leaving the house. The raids are for show and overtime.can request more money if you do your job during work hours with normal day equipment.

    I've watched LivePD and the Sherrifs always have full gear with multiple magazines as if every night was a fire fight patrol in mogadishu, when in reality it never happens and when it does theres always time to get your equipment when needed. its a joke the way they dress up for the camera.

    may be time to limit police to a single revolver with no speed loaders

  • Calidissident||

    I was right about to post this. What is the point of a raid in this situation when they can just arrest the guy whenever he leaves the house?

  • Vernon Depner||

    It wasn't even an arrest warrant. It was a search warrant.

  • markm23||

    What makes this even worse is that, when the cops truly think someone is dangerous, they will wait for him to leave the house and arrest him on the street where he has no cover or home-field advantage. They'll only break in on an armed killer if he knows the cops are around and is _not_ going to come out.
    But they'll stage a home invasion to bust someone with no record of violence for a bit of pot. It's _fun_ breaking into people's houses and tearing up the place - if you're a sociopath.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    LIke all bully's they don't like a fair fight.

  • silver.||

    Unfortunately this really seems to be true.

    The cops saw a bong and a big baggie of weed in the back seat of a car in my friend's alleyway, so they figured that this idiot car-own must be dealing to a nearby house (they weren't; they were in a nearby bar). They knock on his door and push their way inside as soon as he opens it. They detain him on the couch while they search the place. About a half-hour in they finally get a search warrant when they found his girlfriend's lidocaine powder from a compounding pharmacy. The warrant is for coke and weed. They pull out all the bottles of ketchup, etc from the fridge, walk back down the hallway, and start squeezing them out on his bed. They are playing with his girlfriend's undergarmets and rubbing them into the mess on the bed.

    This has been going on for an hour when my friend needs to pee, so the cop goes in the bathroom with him and watches him take a piss - literally staring at the stream, not just in the tiny bathroom with him where he could tell if he was trying to dispose of anything.

    Afterward, the cop decides to search him anyway and finds a single Adderall in his wallet that my friend had forgotten he even had.

    It's now been 10 months of constant drug tests, court appearances, and lawyer fees over a single pill of something that they never obtained a warrant to find. They're damn convinced that the lidocaine is cocaine, so they've tested it with a mass spectrometer three times - of course all negative.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Unarmed Bobbies would be more eager to join Law Enforcement Against Prohibition than to murder old ladies over plant leaves. The only reason British cops began packing was because American criminals fled there when on the lam of looking to reinvent themselves after FDR copied the repeal plank from the goddam Liberal Party. The Go-Pee and Prohibition Party have always pushed murder as sumptuary law enforcement.

  • Gretz||

    If you're not using the SWAT team for everything you can, it's hard to justify the budget for it.

  • Fucksake||

    I have no words that would not put me in prison.

  • ace_m82||

    The Lord is a God who avenges.
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
    Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
    How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?
    They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
    They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
    They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
    They say, "The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice."
    Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
    Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
    Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
    The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.
    ...
    Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.
    Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
    ...
    Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
    The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
    But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
    He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.
    (Most of Psalm 94)

  • Hank Phillips||

    It's mystical bigots that pressure politicians to pass Comstock and prohibition laws! The Prohibition party platform: "We, the delegates to the 37th Quadrennial Convention of the Prohibition Party, assembled on June 20, 21, and 22, 2011 in Cullman, Alabama, recognizing Almighty God as the Authority from Whom all governments receive their power, and with faith in the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ,do hereby pledge to preserve the freedoms and rights of the several States, and of individuals who are citizens of the United States of America..." There are the murderers whose spoiler votes control the DemoGOP.

  • Jburnes||

    I'm all for ending the war on drugs and getting rid of victimless crimes...but this dealer knew what he was getting into and knew the risks. He should be tried for her death as HIS actions are the cause of this. And author, if you had to catch a criminal, would you do it in broad daylight? Are you that stupid? You blame the cops for executing a warrant at night but put no responsibility on the drug dealer? Not very libertarian but directly in line with Reason's recently unreasonable streak of obviously biased cop hating.

  • Vernon Depner||

    You think an old lady being shot to death by police in her own bed is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of selling a little weed, and you're accusing others of "biased cop hating"? Sounds to me like your opinion of cops is abysmal.

  • XM||

    Selling weed (without a license) is still illegal everywhere. Cops bust pot farms all the time. One of them caused a major fire in CA last year.

    Setting aside the questionable decision to conduct a raid at night time, would you seriously convict the police officers if you a member of the jury at their trial? A confusion is understandable, but the cops had the search warrant and the proper command was given. Robbie is aware of this, that's why he shifted the discussion a bit to whether raids like this are appropriate for just selling drugs. That's a another discussion.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "would you seriously convict the police officers if you a member of the jury at their trial?"

    Yes. The dangerous situation which resulted in the killing was entirely the making of the police.

  • Crymoricus||

    The problem here wasn't the cops. The problem here was the system. What a fucked up thing it is to raid anyone's home over marijuana. This is the new dark age.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Sorry, we can't let the cops off that easy. They had the option of simply knocking on the door and announcing they had a search warrant. It was their choice to break in with weapons drawn.

  • Cy||

    The cops could've taken the suspect in transit. They could've knocked on the door and taken him on the run or even after politely serving the warrant and searching the house. This is an abomination that any citizen, regardless of their government status can commit the atrocities.

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