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Thread: What can be learned from this?

  1. #1
    Regular guy. Cory's Avatar
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    Jan 2016

    What can be learned from this?

    It appears that a 1am raid was conducted on an apartment. It resulted in a woman killed, an officer wounded, and a man arrested. The man arrested doesn't seem to have been the intended suspect. Apartment owner claims to have not known his home was being raided by police, and as a result he fired on them.

    This seems like a bad raid, bad shoot, and bad charge. There is a fair amount of things in the article that make it appear that way. Time will tell.

    This particular event asside-
    What can be learned from this?
    And scenerios like it.

    From a citizen's perspective, someone suddenly kicking in my door in the night and rushing in with guns is very likely to be shot at. If these guys didn't announce themselves, or were dressed in street clothes... I'm not certain many of us would respond much different. Meeting a police raid with gunfire is a recipe for losing loved ones and life. Not meeting armed home invaders with gunfire is a recipe for absolute horrors unknown.

    I do not want this thread to devolve into an anti-police bash. I fear that it may. It is my sincere hope to learn whatever can be learned from this from a micro to macro level. Tactically, what could be done different when the door bursts open to men with guns and you don't know who they are? Strategically, what can be done to ensure this doesn't happen to you, or to make you more aware of who/what is happening BEFORE the problem? Socially, is there anything that can be done to better deselect yourself as a victim? Politically can what can be done to minimize mistakes - or take to task law enforcement leaders who create environments where this can happen? Is that even remotely a solution?

    It's kind of like the first time I saw a video with an omplata taken all the way to the break, saw Dave Sevigny's FAST video, or read about the "Todd" opponent. Frankly, my reaction to this is "I can't beat that, or prevent it, and it's fucking terrifying." So how can I work on that to minimize it?

    Last edited by Cory; 04-07-2020 at 06:25 PM.

  2. #2
    they don't think like us blues's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Blue Ridge Mtns
    There are so many moving parts in these operations that when any one of them is not properly executed, you're basically in "for want of a nail" territory.

    What's surprising is that it doesn't all go to hell more often.

    I've been on both sides of the gun in raids...and I can tell you there's not much time to make it right if a mistake has been made. In my own case it was a near miracle that neither I, nor the police doing the raid without announcing upon entry, were killed. (I was the defending party in that event.)

    I'd like to say that there are solid steps to be taken, but once the door is taken, in low light, and (God forbid) without an announcement, the odds are against it being bloodless. (That doesn't mean it can't or won't be.)

    If there's a way to lock bedroom doors, that might be a solution...unless there are children or other dependents in another room which might make that untenable.
    The only difference between our taliban and theirs are the duds.

  3. #3
    happy sharps enabler Totem Polar's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    I will be interested in seeing what comes of this.

    Of note: Police have said there is no body camera footage of the shooting because the officers involved were members of the departmentís Criminal Interdiction division, who do not wear body cameras.

    Iíd also be interested in hearing from active LE as to any policy consensus on body cam recording whenever making forced entry raids on occupied premises.
    ĒIt's important to remember that ALL news media is a consumer product. Just like soda and fast food, they don't have any incentive to make it good for you, just addictive enough for you to keep coming back for more.Ē

  4. #4
    This is basically every lawful gun ownerís worst nightmare, whether itís a search warrant looking for someone who isnít there or a warrant executed at an incorrect location. Itís because of situations like these that itís difficult to get a night time or no knock search warrant granted in many jurisdictions. Youíre expected to articulate, in detail, why itís unreasonable to serve the warrant using the default method: knocking and announcing your presence, authority and purpose, between the hours of 6am and 10pm and giving the occupants of the location time to open the door.

    Itís frightening to imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of your front door being broken open or your alarm blaring and seeing men with guns coming into your home. Even if theyíre in plain clothes, the officers should be wearing some kind of obvious police markings such as large patches or placards in their body armor but is it reasonable to expect someone just waking from a deep sleep to be able to see and observe those marking with everything else going on. Imagining it from both sides, I feel like Iíd be screwed either way. If Iím the person in bed, Iím putting my hands on an AR I donít even need to get out of bed to take hold of and racking a round in. Would I have enough time to realize the armed people entering my home are law enforcement before Iím shot or I shoot one of them? If Iím one of the officers in the stack during the execution of a night time warrant, meaning Iím expecting more danger than normal, and I round a corner to a bedroom and see someone racking a round into an AR, how much time am I willing to give them to drop the gun before I start firing?

    I think we had a thread about this type of thing either last year or the year before in which one of the very experience LEO members (Chuck Haggard maybe?) had good advice on differentiating between a robbery and a search warrant and some options for giving yourself more time to get oriented before people are inside your sleeping area. I wish I could remember it.
    My posts only represent my personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or official policies of any employer, past or present. Obvious spelling errors are likely the result of an iPhone keyboard.

  5. #5
    An alarm or camera system that would let the homeowner know that there were people on the doorstep/in the yard might help give time to get awake and oriented.

  6. #6
    Not enough information known to draw any conclusions.

    I will say that Iíve been on over 100 search warrants as a SWAT officer, a SWAT team leader, a narcotics detective, a narcotics sergeant, and a special agent. Iíve been on scene when federal tactical teams have served search warrants. Iíve never been on one where law enforcement wasnít yelling ďPolice, search warrantĒ the entire time. Even on ďno knocksĒ, youíre still identifying yourself the whole time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidheshooter View Post
    I will be interested in seeing what comes of this.

    Of note: Police have said there is no body camera footage of the shooting because the officers involved were members of the departmentís Criminal Interdiction division, who do not wear body cameras.

    Iíd also be interested in hearing from active LE as to any policy consensus on body cam recording whenever making forced entry raids on occupied premises.
    We never used video on SWAT entries. After I got our narc unit body cameras, we used them on the search warrants that we served ourselves, which were always knock and announce. I was more concerned about having video of the actual searches for evidentiary purposes than anything else.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
    I find it interesting that the defendant's attorney declined comment for the article. Since criminal defense and plaintiff attorneys usually use public opinion to sway prosecution, judicial, and jury decision (and the likely settlement), I wonder if he is concerned the newspaper may ask questions he is not prepared to answer.

    While I know nothing about LMPD, knocking and announcing is fairly standard. Surround and callout has become somewhat standard nation-wide and, while NTOA doesn't really have doctrine, seems to be their recommendation. While some people sleep through knock and announce, I will remark that many bad guys don't answer the door in the hope that the police will just go away (which we might). It only takes a couple of episodes of "Live PD" to see this bad guy tactic.

    Our county SWAT team does not utilize body-worn cameras. There was an uproar from people I would classify as Second Amendment extremists after a suspect was shot and killed by SWAT during a search warrant that was assumed to be a red flag law warrant. The reasoning is that bad guys will learn and study SWAT tactics and use that study to endanger officers. I have somewhat mixed feelings on this, but I grew used to dash and body cameras when I was still a real cop.

    I will also note that police are well aware of the risk of being mistaken for a bad guy, especially on a raid like this. Again, I know little about LMPD, but most agencies ensure an entry team is very obviously law enforcement with marked body armor, raid vests, or uniformed officers.

    Law enforcement agencies frequently clam up after use of force incidents on the advice of their attorneys. LMPD seems to be doing so since a "Public Integrity" entity is still investigating. I think that silence is very often a bad idea (ask me how I know) and that quick disclosure, even with a risk of being mistaken, would quell criticism of lawful and smart police actions/

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Erick Gelhaus's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Far more questions than anything before I'd consider offering much commentary.

    What was the want on & the history of the Bad Guy they were looking for? What led them to that location? Search or arrest warrant? Or both? Hard to tell given the lack of info in the article. Training of the officers, unit? Preparation for warrant service?

    The chief's lack of comment doesn't help.

    My preference goes to Surround & Call-out for warrants unless there's a valid concern about the destruction of evidence - beyond just flushing it. Granted, a multi-unit, multi-story structure can be problematic in terms of containment and that can lead to concerns about flight.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2011
    One concern is that residents on the receiving end might have a media-driven impression that an entry team will be made up of SWAT officers all wearing the same uniform (with 1 or 2 detectives thrown in wearing shirts, ties, and vests). Thatís not often what entry teams actually look like.

    The last search warrant I participated in had a pretty eclectic mix: The entry team was composed of agents from four different organizations (three federal, one state). Most were in plainclothes with marked vests (of different colors and styles), and one was wearing the tactical team uniform of his organization.

    One method we used to help mitigate the risk of being mistaken for criminals was having several state troopers, in uniform and with their marked vehicles, parked in such a way as to be close to and visible from the house as we knocked and announced ourselves, and as we searched the house.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    The Gunshine State
    I'm a detective in plain clothes 99% of the time. But whenever I execute a search warrant on a residence, I wear a clearly marked police vest with bodycam and marked patrol units positioned outside. Knock and announce is standard. I don't know anything about LMPD, but agencies in my area all use pretty common sense tactics to avoid these situations.

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