Chad Perrin: SOB

27 May 2008

The police are doing it wrong.

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 01:33

Police officers mount a no-knock raid, then blame the victims when the shooting starts.

That’s pretty much how it always happens.

On April 30, police launched a raid at a suspected crack house on East Rich Street, located on the city’s east side, 10TV’s Maureen Kocot reported.

In the course of the forced entry of the residence, where some friends had gathered for something like a “poker night”, two police officers received gunshot wounds. Both will live.

one of the accused gunmen said he believed robbers were breaking into the house — not officers serving a warrant.

This is the obvious result of no-knock raids: confusion over the event of people literally breaking into a home leads the people inside to mistake police officers for robbers. We’ll ignore for a moment the fact that in some cases robbers pretend to be police officers, and the fact that in some cases police officers have broken into residences to steal things, and focus on the common case — police officers serve warrants without any reasonable announcement of their identities and presence. When someone inside gets his or her first hint that someone’s trying to get in is when that person starts breaking in the door, that person is well within his rights to fire on the intruder. In fact, doing anything else is just stupid, because sitting around waiting to see if there’s a badge on the other side of the door is a great way to end up killed in a home invasion.

Maybe, sometimes, there’s a chance to shout something like “I have a gun! Identify yourself!” Most of the time, however, what amounts to combat conditions doesn’t exactly allow one the luxury of conversation with an assailant.

“What I heard was a boom,” said Derrick Foster. “Like somebody was trying to kick in the door.”

Foster, who played football at Ohio State, told 10TV News that he never heard anyone identify themselves as police officers.”

The first reaction from everyone inside was we were being robbed,” Foster said. “We’re being robbed.”

I’ve read the article three times. Nowhere does it say that the police announced their presence with anything other than violence. That being the case, it’s no surprise at all that the people inside thought they were being robbed — and, with that understanding of events, their response was entirely justified.

According to Foster, someone else inside the home fired the first shot.

“Whoever was outside fired back in, and that’s when I un-holstered my gun and I fired two shots,” Foster said.

I guess the police in this particular incident hadn’t learned their lessons at the academy worth a damn. See, there’s this rule police are supposed to follow for how to return fire; always check your background. In layman’s terms, that means that you should always make sure a shot that doesn’t hit your intended target has no chance of hitting an innocent bystander.

In this case, whoever fired into the home in response to the shots at the home invaders (because, in point of fact, a “home invasion” is exactly what the police are doing in a no-knock raid) not only didn’t check his background, but couldn’t, because there was no way to see who had even fired at him or her. In other words, the cop(s) in question not only didn’t know whether there were any innocent bystanders present, but apparently didn’t give a shit.

“I’m more remorseful than any person could ever be. This is something that has to stick with me for the rest of my life.”

That should be the cops saying that — not Foster. Foster is the victim in this case.

Officers Garrison and Gillis did not comment on the pending court case, but said anyone who opens fire on another person needs to be held accountable.

“I think any person that has a firearm and is willing to shoot at any person is a dangerous person,” Garrison said.

Tell that to every police officer with a gun, Garrison — and make sure they know you mean them. What you said isn’t justification for shooting at civilians, nor is it justification for giving civilians reasonable justification for shooting at you then prosecuting them as criminals for it.


If you don’t want to get shot, stop giving law-abiding citizens any reason to shoot at you.


I forgot to mention an interesting fact indicated in the article . . .

It was the third raid of the night for Columbus police.

That suggests some disturbing things to me about how police conduct their business in general.

Brian Martinez points out the (likely pervasive) attitude this event suggests the police have toward law-abiding citizens who take the responsibility to defend themselves seriously, in What the police think of gun owners.

Nobody was charged for any crimes (link via Reason) after the raid, other than the shootings themselves. In other words, a raid on a house where nothing was happening that warranted arrest and prosecution led to two men being charged of “crimes” of self-defense. One must wonder what paltry “evidence” led the officers to suspect it was a location ripe for a raid.


If someone’s breaking down your door to get into your home, and nobody announces they’re police, shoot. Don’t hesitate, unless you deem it safe to hesitate long enough to announce you’re armed and demand the people breaking in identify themselves. Find a safe way to verify their identities before letting them in, though.

  1. You don’t want to be the victim of a home invasion, dead because you hesitated.

  2. Even if the home invaders are police officers, you could be killed if you don’t defend yourself. Being near a gun, just in case they aren’t cops, can get you killed even if they are. Shooting, however, at least ensures they’re likely to hesitate in the midst of breaking in long enough for someone to shout “Police!”

  3. Don’t feel sorry for the police who put you in this position of having to defend yourself in the first place. They chose this job, then they chose to participate in a no-knock raid. They chose to put both you and them in danger through these decisions, and you — as the victim — are more entitled to keep your life than they are to keep theirs, under the circumstances.

When it’s all over, though, remember — Don’t talk to the police.


  1. Thanks for the linkage. I have another post on a different case, which I use to argue that we are, de facto, living in a police state. The no-knock power plus the extremely limited accountability of the state (for every cop busted for killing a Kathryn Johnston, how many get away with shooting other innocent people?) leads to a lose-lose situation for most citizens whether they choose to defend themselves or not.

    Have you followed the Ryan Fredrick case? He is, like Cory Maye, another person caught up in a botched drug raid and is now facing a possible death penalty for killing a cop.

    I’ve also been keeping track of some of these cases on my (regrettably) not-frequently-updated public blog, A Thousand Cuts.

    Comment by Brian Martinez — 27 May 2008 @ 06:59

  2. I have commented on the Tracy Ingle case, too — and even donated money for his defense.

    We don’t just live in a de facto police state — we live in a police state per se, as I hinted (particularly with respect to the death of habeas corpus) in I am Joe’s howling despair.

    I haven’t been following the Frederick case very closely, but I’m generally aware of the particulars. The high points came up during a period when I wasn’t really inspired to post about that general subject area, so I don’t think I commented on his case here.

    I do stumble across A Thousand Cuts every once in a while. You’re doing good work — keep it up.

    Comment by apotheon — 27 May 2008 @ 09:23

  3. Ugh is all I have to say. Ugh.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 29 May 2008 @ 09:12

  4. I have long followed the Cory Maye case and others of this sort, and generally agree that it’s time to do away with the “no knock” raid debacle. But there is a bit more to be said, and although unlikely any reading this may have occasion to use it, here is a bit of advice:

    Don’t ever fire a gun through a door. Period. Think about this a bit. You don’t know what you may hit, and what damage you may inflict if any. It could be some lost, beligerant drunk(s) on the other side. Plus, it’s not effective defense. You have no knowledge of the adversary(s), his firepower, number, etc. You have no certainty that the action you take (firing through door) is effective against said adversary. If there is some reason to fire a warning shot, fire straight up if possible or in some direction that will likely not hit someone.

    Instead, take cover and wait, then if it is necessary, aim carefully and shoot to kill.

    In other words, gather data, make decision, take action. Now, what if there isn’t enough time? Again, I would argue that taking cover and waiting provides you with some moments of time in which to gather more information and to act on that info. Might set a camera or mobile phone on video record, if time allowed, too.

    Side Note: The main problem with the Cory Maye case, not sure about the others you have mentioned, is a law on the books that prescribes capital murder when a policeman or fireman is killed in the performance of their duties. Protecting them when they knock down the wrong door….

    Comment by Mike H. — 2 June 2008 @ 02:17

  5. I agree 100% with your advice, with the exception of the bit about firing straight up. Generally, down is a better option. When firing upward, it’s important to remember that the bullet eventually has to come back down again.

    Always know what’s in the path of your bullet, right up to the point where it stops, to the best of your ability — and plan accordingly. If you don’t know what’s there, don’t fire.

    Side Note: The main problem with the Cory Maye case, not sure about the others you have mentioned, is a law on the books that prescribes capital murder when a policeman or fireman is killed in the performance of their duties. Protecting them when they knock down the wrong door….

    . . . which is an absurd law (and depends on jurisdiction, of course). It might be circumvented, however, with a good lawyer who can make a case for the officer having acted outside the proper performance of duty. That’s not a likely approach to make work, but it’s at least conceivable.

    Thanks for commenting, Mike.

    Comment by apotheon — 2 June 2008 @ 03:57

  6. This is the most stupidest shit i have ever read… If these guys went to a “crack house” to play poker, that is the first wrong move. Second, don’t be a cowboy and start shooting to “defend” your self, if the you take the first shot without knowing for sure who is at the front door then yes you should be charged with a crime, first take into consideration that the chances of being raided by police in a “crack house” are far greater then if you were home minding your business. I believe these guys should be charged, and don’t think “self defense” is justified in this situation. Now, if the cops fired the first shot without saying whom they were then YES that could be “self defense”. But these morons decided to be cowboys and shoot without thinking of the consequences, so yes they should be charged.

    Comment by raf — 3 August 2008 @ 07:57

  7. This is the most stupidest shit i have ever read

    That’s an ironic choice of words.

    If these guys went to a “crack house” to play poker, that is the first wrong move.

    I guess you aren’t familiar with the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”. How do you know it’s actually a “crack house”, rather than just a suspected “crack house” that, after evidence is gathered, turns out to be completely clean? What makes you think that people going there to play poker are aware it’s a “crack house” according to some police informant anyway?

    Second, don’t be a cowboy and start shooting to “defend” your self, if the you take the first shot without knowing for sure who is at the front door then yes you should be charged with a crime

    I take it you didn’t read the article — or perhaps that ironic choice of words in your first sentence is actually indicative of your “most stupidest”-ness, and you just weren’t able to understand the explanation of events.

    I’ll spell it out for you: the guy being charged with shooting the officers isn’t the guy who fired first.

    Now, if the cops fired the first shot without saying whom they were then YES that could be “self defense”.

    So . . . as long as they announce they’re police, you think it’s okay for them to open fire even if the people at whom they’re shooting aren’t resisting. Is that the case? That’s what the phrasing of this sentence implies.

    Anyway, you completely ignored the majority of what I had to say (including things like the matter of checking one’s background — after all, if there were a young child present, he or she would apparently be just as guilty as everyone else, according to your estimation — and the commentary on how stupid it is for cops to launch home invasions without announcing themselves as police officers and somehow expect that nobody will ever shoot at them).

    Comment by apotheon — 3 August 2008 @ 11:59

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All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License