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