SWATting ‘Prank’ Illustrates Lethal Consequences of Automatically Believing Accusations

This isn’t the only video. Where are the others? (Wichita Police bodycam screenshot)

Right now there are more questions than answers over last week’s deadly officer-involved shooting that appears to have been precipitated by a fake SWATting call to police. According to news accounts released so far, aside from having the misfortune of living at the address the caller gave police, the unarmed victim had nothing to do with an argument an online gamer had with another after which he made a fake call to police. The cowardly piece of …work…  pretended to be a killer who had shot his father, was holding his mother and brother hostage, and was threatening to set the house on fire.

Lost in all this is a fundamental presumption of innocence until proven guilty. No doubt about it, responding officers were primed to expect the worst. But that does not give them license to ignore the reasons they are employed by the public in the first place. And there are contradictions that need to be resolved.

“Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim,” Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston asserted. But what he said next was calculated to “justify” the decision to shoot an unarmed man he just said was innocent.

“Livingston said officers gave [victim Andrew] Finch several verbal commands to put his hands up. But, Livingston said Finch lowered his hands toward his ‘waist area’ multiple times, eventually leading an officer to fire a shot for fear that Finch had reached for a weapon.”

Did Finch? Do we automatically believe that, just as the fake 911 call was apparently automatically believed? Even though the caller clearly told the dispatcher his house was “one story” and the house at the address clearly has two stories and an attic window? That gave no one on site a clue that all might not be as “reported”?

Should we automatically believe claims by authorities that suspect movements warrant a lethal response?

Have we seen instances where bodycam recordings leave reasonable people room to dispute the report of hands going to waistbands? Does the name LaVoy Finicum ring a bell?

And have we seen other recordings where a “suspect,” scared out of his wits, was repeatedly screamed at and given contradictory “Simon Says” commands that the soberest among us would have trouble surviving?

Speaking of bodycams, the video released makes it pretty much impossible to tell what happened or if the citizen answering his door was merely too overwhelmed with confusion and fear to understand that he was an instant target for escalation to deadly force. And the department’s case is not helped by its historical resistance to providing such footage for media review – a newspaper has had to sue them over noncompliance with the Kansas Open Records Act.

Author Michael Z. Williamson pulls no punches when he writes “No One Cares If You Go Home Safe at The End of Your Shift.” Read more than the headline – he’s not saying that just to be a smart @$$. He’s walked the walk and has more than a point when he says:

“I … did walk into the Middle East and prepare to take fire while keeping expensive equipment functioning so our shooters could keep shooting. There’s not a single set of orders I got that said my primary job was to ‘Come home safe.’ They said it was to ‘support the mission’ or ‘complete the objective.’ Coming home safe was the ideal outcome, but entirely secondary to ‘supporting’ or ‘completing.’”

Ostensibly people sign up to be peace officers to serve and protect, and swear an oath to the Constitution obliging them to protect the Bill of Rights as much as anything else. The rest of us want to make it home at the end of their shift, too.

And it’s not like this is the first time “SWATting” has come up. I’ve heard of it many times over the years, haven’t you?

Remember the poor guy who got killed because a fraudulent “ex-Marine” saw him handling a pellet gun being sold at WalMart and called it in? Or the Orwellian-named Coalition to Stop Gun Violence putting this bit of SWATting set-up out there for the public to summon the shock troops?

Talk about an Opposite Day “progressive” way of guaranteeing more so-called “gun violence”…

And let’s not forget the SWATting potential of those ubiquitous snitch programs, some that even promise rewards for anonymous tips.

The suspect calling himself SWAuTistic reportedly bragged ““Bomb threats are more fun and cooler than swats in my opinion and I should have just stuck to that. But I began making $ doing some swat requests.”

Police have arrested the “alleged” twisted, malevolent and cowardly serial criminal (hardly a mere “prankster”) who set things in motion, and let’s hope that a full due process trial results in severe punishment to the full extent of the law if he’s proven guilty. Over a $1.50 “Call of Duty” bet … and the probable psychopath has shown absolutely no remorse or sense of responsibility.

But that won’t bring back the killed man or relieve his mother’s agony. Nor will it prevent further outrageous future tragedies from being inflicted on other Americans.

So what can be done?  Raise police awareness? More training? What about when hesitation proves a fatal mistake?

What’s certain is the worst thing the police could now would be anything that impedes transparency and full accountability. The primary goal, before coming up with any remedial plans, must be to determine the unvarnished truth about what happened and who did what.

For starters, we know the name of the victim and the name of the suspect arrested for making the call. But all too typically, the department appears to be in CYA/limited information-sharing mode. What compelling reasons, aside from liability damage control,  are there for withholding the names of all public employees involved, including the shooter (they wouldn’t withhold the name of a “civilian”), and releasing all bodycam recordings, some of which have still, inexplicably been kept under wraps?

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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”

About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (WarOnGuns.com), and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.

Comments

  1. DirtyMurray 3 January, 2018, 12:52

    A few things – the cardinal sin for a cop is to testify against another (presumably dirty) – result is cops thinking and believing (and acting like) they are above the law and untouchable. Cops lie all the time about everything. Are they trained and expected to do it? Most judges never bat an eye at ridiculous testimony, as long as it comes from a cop. Additionally, most, not all, cops use the “Intimidate then Escalate” method to provoke a desired response; they are all amped up and ready for a fight. Keep blindly backing the badge and you get a bunch of untouchable, wannabe fascist storm troopers keeping the police state alive. I do not believe there should be any exceptions for “law enforcement” to any laws, and we need to convict these worms and make them accountable.

    Reply this comment
    • Pistol Pete 4 January, 2018, 15:48

      Every word you said is dead on, could not agree more.
      I am tired of politicians with a different health care system than us, a different retirement plan.
      I am tired of dirty cops that get away with murdering people and their pets. One dirty cop does ruin a whole department. Thus all cops a crooked.
      No exception.

      A big problem is most citizen do not understand “The consent of the governed”. The people of Wichita have a choice, clean house at the PD or deal with the consequences. Same with everyones community.
      I voice my opinion at City meetings. Everyone get involved, put an end to this abuse in your home town.

      God Bless that poor mans soul.

      Reply this comment
    • Steve Warren 5 January, 2018, 10:47

      I haven’t been a Police officer for a long time and people have changed, but as a Police officer years ago this is not what I experienced. I found a majority of cops to be gossiping, backstabbing snitches that would not cover for their own mother.
      I always thought the “thin blue line” was a myth.

      Reply this comment
  2. anarchyst 3 January, 2018, 12:55

    As it stands now, police have no “rules of engagement”. This lack of accountability makes situations for both police and the public more dangerous. In fact, military veterans operate under much more restrictive “rules of engagement” than any American police department. It could be surmised that American police departments operate under NO “rules of engagement”–they don’t exist in any police department as unjustifiable killings by police are routinely “excused”. Behavior that would get an ordinary citizen prosecuted and incarcerated is routinely “excused” by police-friendly prosecutors and prosecutor-steered, police-friendly grand juries.
    It is long overdue to establish “rules of engagement for American “law enforcement”. Bring them under “the rule of law” just like the rest of us.

    Reply this comment
    • Cal 5 January, 2018, 08:52

      Actually you are incorrect in your assumption that “American police departments operate under NO “rules of engagement”; they don’t exist in any police department as unjustifiable killings by police are routinely “excused”.” There are, and they are found in the Bill of Rights, in the Oath that is required of all who serve within our governments.

      What we actually have is “law enforcement” being USED against the American people, against our nation. and those who serve as “law enforcement” being too dumbed down to know it or enjoying the “power” they use unlawfully.

      This being said, the person who sent them there must be charged with the highest degree of murder that can be applied to this case. This crosses state boundaries. But, make no mistake, if the law enforcement had done their LAWFUL duty, there would not be a dead innocent man.

      Understand that there is no “immunity” for any who serve within our governments, EXCEPT for the specific immunity given to those who serve within the Congress when they are debating. Period! No one who serves within our governments – state and federal have any immunity beyond that the people have. This, much like welfare, is just a way to buy and sell “law enforcement”, etc. It’s used to divide and conquer, to create a police state where those that serve domestically, and soon the military also – as already on occasion has/have been- used against the American people in the destruction of our nation. Your Oath requires that you say “NO”, to those unlawful actions and color of law enforcement.

      No person who serves within our government has any authority to invade a persons home without a warrant that is NOT third party generated. (I remember when the worse thing we had was corrupt judges signing a blank warrant – loved by cops at the time and not one of those judges was arrested.

      AS I have said here, and elsewhere, multiple times, THE DESTRUCTION of our nation cannot happen without your willing assistance – current serving law enforcement, military.

      We cannot be in wars in foreign nations because those who serve within the Congress has NOT declared war. SWAT teams cannot exist LAWFULLY, and their actions of breaking and entering actually without following the supreme LAW of this nation makes it a LAWFUL defense of the person whose home is being invaded when an officer is killed committing that action against the American people. Yes, LAWFUL.

      This was all “given” to them by those working to use law enforcement, etc to destroy our nation from within. Yet, all that has to be done is the Oath kept by those that serve to stop most of the destruction of our nation from within. Seriously. Read the Oaths for yourself. Read Article 1, Section 8, all the clauses found there. Read Article 2, Section 2, and do not leave out the words “WHEN CALLED INTO THE ACTUAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES” (military). Read the Bill of Rights which are restrictions and forbiddens placed upon those who serve within our governments. Those things were NOT delegated by the people, but are being taken by those who serve within our governments.

      Yet, keeping that Oath may be the most dangerous thing you will do because those who are working from within to destroy our nation MUST use you, active LE and active military, to do so and will send “your brothers” against you to stop those actions. That, btw, shows that you are NOT in the US Military or in Law Enforcement, but verifies that you are in a government run gang being used against our nation from within.

      Brookfield Construction Company V. Stewart 284 F Sup. 94: “An officer who acts in violation of the constitution ceases to represent the government.”

      Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
      For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.
      The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any. (18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law)

      Color of law. The appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right. Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because wrongdoer is clothed with authority of state, is action taken under “color of law.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, page 241.

      It is important to understand that those who serve within the judicial system is under the US Constitution also. They (judges) break their Oaths – felonies, Perjury – pretty consistently now a days, yet are never charged with the crimes they commit as they should be.

      This really is up to us, do we stand up and KEEP our Oaths, or do we continue to assist in the destruction of our nation? In my lifetime I have seen when cops did NOT do these unlawful things committed today, but the military always has. Now we see the feds unlawfully blending state law enforcement and federal. Worse, we see UN troops on US soil, starting at our elections when Ron Paul was running for US President – they were here to see that our elections ran as already decided by the PTB. WE allowed that invasion of our nation by foreign troops, and has continued since then, still being allowed.

      Those “officers” who do many UNLAWFUL things based on an “attitude test” of the people they are confronting read this.

      Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972): “Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”

      THAT is what makes America great, not your actions against this.

      Mack and Printz v. United States: “The Framers rejected the concept of a central government that would act upon and through the States, and instead designed a system in which the State and Federal Governments would exercise concurrent authority over the people. The Federal Government’s power would be augmented immeasurably and impermissibly if it were able to impress into its service – and at no cost to itself – the police officers of the 50 States… Federal control of state officers would also have an effect upon the separation and equilibration of powers between the three branches of the Federal Government itself.”

      Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: “The Constitution does not protect the sovereignty of States for the benefit of the States or state governments as abstract political entities, or even for the benefit of the public officials governing the States. To the contrary, the Constitution divides authority between federal and state governments for the protection of individuals. State sovereignty is not just an end in itself: “Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power.”

      Mao Tse-tung, 1938, inadvertently endorsing the Second Amendment: “Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

      LE’s, military, YOU are the “barrel of the gun” for those communists.

      Harry Browne, 1996 USA presidential candidate, Libertarian Party: “…The Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn’t say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a ‘compelling interest’ in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn’t say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t say you have the right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances.”

      Ramsey Clark: “A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.”

      Plummer vs. State: “You may go to the extreme of taking an officers life if he is committing an unlawful arrest.”

      “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306

      “An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction, and one who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf the arresting officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the killing will be no more than an involuntary manslaughter.” Housh v. People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621.

      “When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.” Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

      “These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

      “An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

      “Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

      This decision was upheld (Plummer vs. State) by the Supreme Court in: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529 where the Court stated: “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

      “Right of property antedates all constitutions. Every person has right to enjoy his property and improve it according to his own desires in any way consistent with rights of others.” People v. Holder (1921), 53 C.A. 45, 199 P. 832.

      “To say that one may not defend his own property is usurpation of power by legislature.” O’Connell v. Judnich (1925), 71 C.A.386, 235 P. 664.

      “Constitutional guarantee securing to every person right of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property refers to right to possess absolutely and unqualifiedly every species of property recognized by law and all rights incidental thereto, including right to dispose of such property in such manner as he pleases.” People v. Davenport (1937), 21 C.A. 292, 69 P.2d 396.

      God Bless, Stay Safe All!

      “If men, through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.” Samuel Adams – helped organize the Boston Tea Party and signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

      The rules are there, the Oath requires of them that serve to “support and defend” the US Constitution, and that is done by keeping the supreme Law, keeping the highest Law of the state – the Constitutions to which you are bound.

      Reply this comment
  3. recoilless_57mm 3 January, 2018, 13:13

    Lets not forget the woman in the twin cities killed by police. She too is still dead and no word as to what has been done to the shooter and or anyone else connected with the killing. There were conflicting reports in this shooting as well.

    Reply this comment
  4. Shaft 3 January, 2018, 13:19

    I would love a one on one with the punk that made that fake call, REST-IN-PEACE for the victim, praying for his family and all else involved.

    Reply this comment
  5. Oathkeeper100 3 January, 2018, 13:28

    This man in the doorway was targeted by a LEO with a rifle probably one with powerful optics so why didn’t he wait a second. It was obvious the guy in the doorway didn’t have a rifle. One slight move and the police open fire that’s irresponsible and dangerous.

    Reply this comment
  6. thc0655 3 January, 2018, 13:40

    I’m a police Sgt on street patrol for nearly 20 years in a big east coast city department. That shooting looks clearly like manslaughter or homicide to me, depending on how the DA wants to charge. Only one shot was fired because no one but that one idiot saw any reason to fire. We get these “swatting” calls on a regular basis and they all describe just two or three scenarios. We try to call the caller back to confirm the details but it always fails to go through (probably because they spoofed the call). So we go in prepared just in case this one turns out to be real, but we’re EXPECTING it to be a dangerous prank. Just in case something ultra violent is actually going on, we surround the house and have one or more officers armed with rifles on scene. Then we knock on the door (usually the Sgt and one or two officers), calmly explain why we’re there without unholstering pistols, and we don’t shoot the first person to answer the door! We certainly don’t shoot without taking fire or at least definitely seeing a weapon pointed at us, especially from over 100 feet away while we’re behind hard cover!! Sometimes I think these horrible incidents happen because officers work in low crime jurisdictions where they almost never get 911 assignments involving guns and ultra-violent crimes in progress, about 94% of which turn out to be fake or completely over by the time we arrive. So they show up, jacked up on adrenaline, half out of their minds, and eagerly looking forward to being in an “exciting” gun fight. Other times I think poor front line supervision on the street must be the problem, like that travesty in Mesa, AZ. Hopefully a successful prosecution will result from this one and it will serve as a deterrent to other idiots and hotheads. (Not holding my breath.) And the tired, old excuse of “He was reaching for his waistband which is where he MIGHT have had a weapon,” has got to be drummed out of officers in training after training after training. That’s not good enough, especially if I already have my pistol in hand and can easily beat him to the first shot (or two or three) IF I clearly see he does have a weapon.

    Reply this comment
    • Dan 4 January, 2018, 09:30

      Tanks for your service sir. Refreshingly candid and transparently honest.

      Reply this comment
    • Kjpd 6 January, 2018, 15:49

      Your not a police sgt nor an officer, ever, anywhere. The way you describe how you approach a house with a potential armed person is completely out of the movies and not even close to how it happens. I happen to be a “real” retired officer who had 12 years on a SWAT team. I responded to many barricades and hostage situations and we never treated them with such disregard even if they turned out to be false. We also never just shot anyone who opened the door. First and foremost we are there to protect anyone in the house and save their lives, not take them. You’ve also probably never been around real police officers, except for being pulled over, since none that I ever knew in all my years were “looking for a gun fight” EVER!!! I’ve had co workers shot by deranged criminals and none of those officers ever went looking for it. Stop watching tv and movies that don’t ever come close to depicting what it’s like to actually be a police officer. And if you actually are a cop, I’m sure your a complete moron of an officer or sgt and shouldn’t be anywhere near firearms.

      Reply this comment
  7. Jeanette 3 January, 2018, 14:24

    Is it mere coincidence that the shooter looks like he might be Arab (and thus likely Muslim)?

    Reply this comment
    • Jimmyz 3 January, 2018, 23:26

      The “shooter”? The shot was fired by an officer. Who has not been identified.

      Reply this comment
  8. Tim Allen 3 January, 2018, 20:50

    Three things are required for use of deadly force. Minus any one of them and it is an unauthorized kill.

    1. Means – does the suspect have the means to kill or seriously injure? Must be no doubt.

    2. Opportunity – does the suspect have the opportunity to kill or inflict serious injury? i.e. is he in reasonable proximity to do harm.

    3. Intent – has the suspect displayed clear intent to use the means and opportunity to kill or seriously injure? i.e. pointing a weapon, not just having one.

    In this case, 1 and 3 were missing. He had opportunity because he was in the vicinity of the incident. He displayed no clear means or intent.

    “I thought he was reaching for a weapon” is pure speculation. I served in the first Gulf war under strict rules of engagement and I had my butt puckered tight a few times with the slack out of the trigger, but I could not pull the the trigger until all three of the required items were clearly present. Remembering those three things probably kept me out of Leavenworth prison, because there was danger and likely ambushes 24/7. The times I withheld fire, the threat passed and I was relieved that I would not have an unnecessary kill investigated for being trigger happy.

    Reply this comment
    • WGP 3 January, 2018, 23:46

      It works both ways now days, just replace the word “suspect” with “LEO.”

      Reply this comment
    • rev_dave 4 January, 2018, 15:43

      “Unauthorized kill”? Is that military or LEO talk for “murder”? Sure sounds like it might be. Just another way to excuse the killing by so called professionals that would get a civvy drawn and quartered. ‘Oh, he reached for his wallet to show ID but he might have had a gun there so I shot him, in the heat of the moment.’

      Reply this comment
  9. WGP 3 January, 2018, 23:01

    1188 people were killed by police in 2017 that we know about (http://www.killedbypolice.net/kbp2017). Between the police and a doctor, I’m not sure which is more dangerous. I can defend myself from thugs and criminals.

    Reply this comment
  10. Al 3 January, 2018, 23:36

    Reading such stories reminds me of how lucky I am to be alive. On 10 June 2017 at 10:30 AM I heard a heavy knock on the door. After turning off the alarm I opened the door, the local police chief and a deputy as backup presented a warrant for my arrest. The deputy jerked me out of the house and cuffed me. My mistake was that I had two handguns in my pockets. The results, I went to jail on $103,000.00 cash only bond which I couldn’t pay. I had to fire my original lawyer and hired a second who finally after 34 days in one of the worst jails in Ray County, MO got me out on $50,000.00 bond. I go to trial on 19/20 March 18 for my life. They charged me with 13 charges including 8 class A felonies each with a potential 10 to 30 years each. I am 74 years old, conviction on just one would be life for me. Several counts of armed criminal action with intent to kill police officers and much more. Someone made a false charge that I was pretending to be a police officer. I am lucky they didn’t shoot first and ask questions later.
    I am 100% innocent of all charges but that does not count in todays corrupt legal system. I am bankrupt now and cannot even renew my membership in Oath Keepers. My story is a long one and is one like they make movies about. I brought corruption within our city to light, thousands of dollars unaccounted for between the road district and the city, Police corruption, FEMA grant corruption, and much more. An audit of the city has been performed, and an investigation by the state police into money theft, and fraud to gain city loans and much more. My situation is payback in an effort to shut me up. I have been warned by a Desert Storm Contractor to watch my six because the Sheriffs Dept is out to shut me up. There have been at least six questionable suicides in our county of people who cross the sheriff here (men found hanging in trees with their hands tied behind their back, obvious cases of suicide).
    All my money and my families money has gone to legal fees which I can never payback at my age and my limited retirement pay. But hey, at least they didn’t shoot me down like a dog (yet) and I’m alive, thank God.

    Reply this comment
  11. American Patriot 4 January, 2018, 00:28

    David,

    I have read your article posted to Oath Keepers. First and foremost I want to say that I have been rabidly pro gun for most of my soon to be 62 years. I am also a retired Correctional Lieutenant, former Correctional Sergeant who has taught the law, policy, procedure, arrest and control, weaponless defense, chemical weapons, less lethal, as well as lethal weapons. I say this not as bragging but rather to show where my thoughts come from.

    The 911 call that came in stated that the victim was armed! The call further stated that the father had been killed and that the mother was a hostage, gasoline had been doused all over the house and the mother. The caller who was masquerading as the victim stated that he intended to incinerate the house thereby killing the mother. The police responded immediately because of the imminent emergency. These were street cops that were on high alert due to the severity of the call.

    Monday morning quarterbacking does nobody any good. While you cover many points you miss the obvious in my opinion. First is the fact that our world and more importantly our society has changed. One hundred years ago the average person/American was born, raised, lived, and died within a five square mile area. This began to change after WW1 and significantly changed after WW2. We have evolved to a highly mobile society. So the ability of law enforcement to know everyone in his assigned area is virtually impossible. Without knowing them individually they lose the ability to recognize any abnormal behavior and more importantly they lose the ability to communicate meaningfully, especially in a stressful situation.

    These are real facts that cannot be disputed. So back to the recent “swatting” episode. The immediacy of the situation negated the use of swat and dictated that regularly trained street cops be pressed into a situation that they were untrained for. They were operating from a last/best information. Monday morning quarterbacking these situations can always show could of would of. However the fact that the initial report was that there was one dead and another soon to be. The victim was reported as armed and the house had been soaked in gasoline. Knowing this as a police officer you arrive, backup arrives, and orders the soon to be victim out of the house. He begins to exit then stops. He then reaches for his waist. The argument can be made that a reasonable person should not believe that anyone would have a gun or other weapon in his underwear but, how about a match or lighter.

    The issue in my mind is that the officers were operating with good intention. The officer was aware that there was another restrained person in e house, there was gasoline and the probability that the victim who was not complying had bad intentions. To save lives the officer fired!

    So now there are more questions. Why is the media simultaneously vilifying the prankster and the police? Why are the police always being vilified? Time to think outside the box. I have done enough internal affairs investigations to know that not all cops are good. However the vast majority are and operate in a world that you cannot understand. While you have the luxury of hindsight they operate in split seconds of life and death. So why are the police vilified? This is a slow and deliberate attempt to influence the public perception of all police. This is part and parcel of what many of your article have railed against. Eventually if left unchecked the public will call for help. That help will be the end of us all in the form of martial law, loss of all rights. They military or God forbid another country or the United Nations will be called upon to bring order. New world order.

    Lastly your reference to LaVoy Finnecum is apples and oranges. LaVoy was assassinated but that is a whole other can of worms.

    Always remember this, law enforcement is a tool of the taxpayers. They perform in a job that the average person cannot or will not do. As a tool they do not get paid to get hurt even though there is a strong possibility that they will. They get paid (not enough money) to keep the peace. Keeping the peace is a dirty job. Instead of focusing on the evil police would it not be better to educate the public to comply? Had the victim complied he would still be alive and the prankster would still be in custody.

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    • Chris Mallory 4 January, 2018, 09:44

      1) Citizens have every right to “Monday Morning Quarterback” the actions of government employees.
      2) Cops are quite well paid and yes, they should expect the risk of getting hurt. Better 1000 cops be injured than one citizen be harmed by a cop.
      3) No, the cop was not “aware” that any of the stuff you state was happening, unless they can be “aware” of a reality that did not exist. Have a cop sneak up and peek in the window.
      4) I am a free white man over the age of 21. NO man has any authority to expect me to comply with his commands.
      5) No, cops are tools of the state not the tax payers. They exist only to protect the state and to carry out the edicts of a group of men of such low morals and suspect character that they became Legislators.

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    • Greg K 4 January, 2018, 09:59

      “Always remember this, law enforcement is a tool of the taxpayers. They perform in a job that the average person cannot or will not do. As a tool they do not get paid to get hurt even though there is a strong possibility that they will. They get paid (not enough money) to keep the peace. Keeping the peace is a dirty job. Instead of focusing on the evil police would it not be better to educate the public to comply? Had the victim complied he would still be alive and the prankster would still be in custody.”

      Actually, our Constitutional Republic was designed so that “We the People” would stand up and be our brother’s keeper as necessary. In fact, the Second Amendment was written for times just like these. I could list “Compliant” individuals that were put upon through out history, but let’s use the go to group, the Jews in Hitler’s Germany. They were habitually, and continually, “Compliant” all the while the Nazi agencies Regulated their lives, separate from the uber class elites. We know where that got them with the Einsatzgruppen, right? Have you ever wondered, at what point the Jews thought, “If we just wouldn’t have been so willing to COMPLY for our own safety?” If not, you should. Our country was founded on the notion that we should look out for each other, because help was too far away, and that Compliance was deadly.

      According to your assessment as it stands, you would have the citizens of this country “Stand Down” every time an invading force hit our shores. Even worse, your notion is to wait 15 minutes for the police to armor up when a gangster is getting up in your face right now! Give it another look American Patriot and actually weigh the “Compliance Vs Individual Capability.” We can do much better, and we don’t need another Government licensed agency to achieve it, we need good citizens to be their “Brother’s keepers.” We need to follow the guidelines of the Constitution and have people stick up for themselves and Break Glass on the SWAT option, only in case of real defined emergencies, and even then with great oversight Patriot.

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    • Dan 4 January, 2018, 09:59

      Just another rogue cop apologist coming up with irrelevant excuses why he should be able to get amped up and wired to blow away someone because he felt “ threatened”. Effing snowflake. Why are the police being vilified? Because they gunned down an innocent unarmed man. We cannot understand your world? Then you can’t understand ours,,, as innocent dead citizens. I’m they get paid not enough money? Get a different job crybaby. No one put a gun to your head and made you become a cop. Monday morning quarterbacking is essential as a tool to teach proper behavior in the next situation. What’s really scary is there are guys like you that are teaching young cops that it’s OK to do this. Scary.

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    • Linda 5 January, 2018, 05:05

      (quote): “…would it not be better to educate the public to comply? Had the victim complied he would still be alive…” (end quote).

      Respectfully, you cannot possibly be serious?!

      If I am innocent and some leo tries to tell me to ‘comply’ and thereby be harassed, cuffed and/or taken by force against my will there is no God-given-reason-on-earth I would simply comply with such ridiculous expectations by an out of control leo. Why doesn’t the leo talk to me about what’s going on first? Why doesn’t the leo try to get the facts from me first? Why doesn’t the leo show me some respect as a human being who is innocent until proven guilty?

      Leo’s work ‘for’ the people and that means they work ‘for me’! I am so sick and tired of leo’s trying to tell the public to ‘just comply’. That’s crap.

      Also, in the first paragraph of your explanation/rationalization you state the leo’s in this case ‘were not trained’ for this type scenario. That’s the exact point and is specifically what should be emphasized…not blaming the innocent person for not complying with untrained leos.

      This type attitude is why people are fast losing (or have already lost) respect for leos. I was raised and have always respected those in uniform who are there to keep peace and to help Americans and their community. But, I will NOT bow down to them on their so-called-orders-to-comply!

      That’s an erroneous attitude of superiority. They must earn my respect just as I earn theirs. Human being to human being. The only way to do that is to talk and find out the facts, not be a bully and shout ‘comply or I’ll kill you’. Which is in essence what you are saying. Shame. Just shame.

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      • Bill Mullins 5 January, 2018, 21:02

        Linda wrote: “If I am innocent and some leo tries to tell me to ‘comply’ and thereby be harassed, cuffed and/or taken by force against my will there is no God-given-reason-on-earth I would simply comply with such ridiculous expectations by an out of control leo.”

        While I agree with you pretty much across the board, Ma’am, there very much a very practical reason to comply – if you do not you may be summarily executed and your killer stands an outstanding chance of getting off scott free! They know very well that, far from being held to a higher standard than you or I (remember they are the ones with all the specialized training we lowly “civilians” have not received), they are held to a much lower and far more lenient standard than would you or I. I am convinced that “Only Ones” should be held to a HIGHER, STRICTER standard. Anything which would be a regular defense for you and I should be an ALTERNATIVE defense requiring the defendant/LEO to prove in open court before a jury of regular people, by a preponderance of evidence that the shooting was justified. The day of a presumption of righteousness on the part of a badged shooter should end – IMMEDIATELY! Put the burden of proof upon the LEO where it belongs.

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        • Linda 8 January, 2018, 04:53

          “…there very much a very practical reason to comply – if you do not you may be summarily executed…” I hear what you are saying and this is exactly what must change in the world of LEOs. They had better realize there are Americans who will not go along with their terrorist tactics, which means, they better be prepared to kill a bunch of Americans if that is their desire. I hope and pray the good guy LEOs will take a serious and long hard look at what their fellow LEO is doing and what their attitude is on the job and take a stand against the bad guy LEOs.

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  12. Tucson Rick Anderson 4 January, 2018, 08:04

    This post once again reflects much ado about nothing. The “nothing” in this case is the fact that law enforcement, like all professions, has its share of bad apples, or at least questionable individuals. Unfortunately, we in the public are in much greater danger of harm as a result of law enforcement’s bad apples. The other “nothing” is the fact that nothing will be done to the puke who created this situation. Every individual who creates one of these “swatting” actions must be held to account both legally and financially for their actions. In this case, the piece of shit should be charged with murder for causing the death and the officer who shot the “suspect” should be tried for manslaughter or murder. Quit being nice to pieces of shit who deserve nothing but harsh treatment. Until EVERYONE is held accountable for ALL OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS, nothing is all we can expect.

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  13. Flavius 4 January, 2018, 10:03

    I am a retired LEO and at one time was a patrol supervisor. One of my favorite shift brief train8ng sessions was on John Bad Elk vs US. Short and sweet, an officer came to arrest John without a warrant. John killed the officer and was later convicted of murder. The Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the grounds that a warrentless arrest is in fact kidnapping which may be resisted with lethal force regardless of the fact that it was a sworn police officer committing the crime. That case stands to this day. Officers need to be reminded that we are under NO obligation to subject ourselves to a false arrest. Pick your battles wisely, but if you feel your life is in danger, fight. Uniform or no.

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  14. G, Giant 4 January, 2018, 11:21

    .This world is full of evil people who have no concern for others
    This world is full of cops who are cowardly and will shoot at the first opportunity.
    Sometimes, it is possible that if their background was war zones, they are already primed to shoot first.
    We have seen hundreds of innocent people killed by the negligence of others. It is much worse when it is not negligence but outright inability to DO THEIR JOB.

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  15. WGP 4 January, 2018, 18:57

    The modern day mindset is that any challenge to police authority is a threat to them that needs to be “neutralized” It is a dangerous LEO mindset that is part of a greater nationwide trend that sets law enforcement officers beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment. Equally problematic are the courts that acquit officers involved in such shootings, letting them off with barely a slap to the wrists. Sounds like Joe citizen lives under one rule, while a protect group is just that…protect. A warning to the LEO community, read your history. It’s just not one video on Youtube and elsewhere, it’s many videos of police and other so called authorities abusing “We the People” which millions up millions around the world are viewing. You weren’t drafted, you volunteered, so market yourself as a friendly or you might disappear like other bad products of the past.

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  16. Curtis 11 January, 2018, 23:08

    This is what reaching for your gun, in your waistband looks like:

    https://thirstyville.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/cops-another-case-of-he-reached-for-his-waistband/

    Scroll down.

    So you have some guy thinking WTF. He raises his hands, and then drops them back down, and they claim they shot him because he “was reaching towards his waistband.” Guess what… when I raise my hands to any position, then drop them back down, guess where my hands are in the vicinity of? My frikkin waistband! Did I “reach”?

    Do I need to tell anyone here why there is no justice?

    Because it doesn’t cost them anything.

    And to many cop-suckers.

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