“The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room. We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.” – Billings Police Department spokesperson, Grenade burns sleeping girl as SWAT team raids home [via billingsgazette.com] [h/t MC. Swarf]

51 Responses to Quote of the Day: Generally Speaking Edition

  1. SOMEONE NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL. This whole SWAT CRAP is out of control, the “so-called” police behave more like Gestapo.

    The family needs to sue the City of Billings, Montana, the Mayor, the City Council, the Billings PD, the Chief,ALL the officers on the raid, the judge who signed the warrant (if there even was one) — everyone involved from the top to the bottom. Hopefully it will bankrupt the city. Yes, the taxpayers will have to pay and MAYBE next time they will pay more attention to the people they allow to run their lives.

    • The story says that they were looking for a meth lab but none was found an no arrests where made. In other stories other than the link, the city is already looking to pay for the damages. Sounds like check list they uses is missing an item to check its the right address. Also, all the stories are saying owner was already opening the door when the flash bang went off.

      At least the city has a law that says if the cops screwed up, the city has to pay because most cities have complete immunity from screw up unless you can show gross neglect

      • Did you say that they thought this was a meth lab? They threw a grenade into what they thought was a METH LAB? Seems to me that they’re lucky that they hit the wrong house, otherwise there might have been a little boom followed by a big BOOM.

        When your only tool is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail. When your only tool is a SWAT team, what does everything start to look like?

  2. Oh yeah, “The only ones” who should have a monopoly of of force.
    This whole war on drugs has in the end been a war on our civil liberties.
    This “war” has only enriched the gangs while corrupting the police, the courts and making us all less free and less safe.
    ” Those who give up essential freedom for safety and security will get neither”. tell us again Benjamin.

    • Amen. It will get much worse before citizens realize what is wrong and begin to push back. Alternatively, it may be too late to push back by then, and we wake up in Snake Plisskin’s world.

  3. “The warrant was based on some hard evidence and everything we knew at the time.”

    “No arrests were made during the raid and no charges have been filed,”

    “The information that we had did not have any juveniles in the house and did not have any juveniles in the room.”

    So, they had enough intel and enough “evidence” to get a judge to sign a warrant for a no-knock, flash bang, SWAT team dynamic entry. But somehow didn’t recover anything substantial enough to charge anyone with a crime and didn’t even know there were kids in the house. They had SOOOOOO much fvckin intel, that they didn’t even know who was in the house. But a judge still signed off on it. How bout they sue the pants off the judge while they’re at it.

    • Oh yea, I forgot this dandy little gem;

      “However, the officer didn’t realize that there was a delay on the grenade when he tried to detonate it. He dropped it to move onto a new device, St. John said. The grenade fell to the floor and went off near the girl.”

      He didn’t know there was a time delay on the grenade? I’m assuming this isn’t a feature unique to the particular flash bangs they’re using sooo… Has he never used one before? Has he never been trained on how to use one? Is he stupid or is he a liar?

      I wouldn’t mind hearing the Cop worshippers explain how policing is such a dangerous job and this was all necessary for “Officer Safety”.

    • For example, we don’t know why that girl was sleeping in her bedroom. Or why a police department that would happily hold a press conference in front of a table of guns and drugs if they had found any did not hold said press conference in this case. And it failed to mention that the SWAT team did not kill the dog (assuming they did not). Definitely a one sided article.

      • How many sides do you need in a story about blowing up a little girl sleeping in her own bed? Nothing the cops could say would make it ok.

    • Seriously. I assume you are an LEO. When the spokesperson says “they have strict controls” out of one side of his mouth and “we didn’t know there were children there” in what scenario is this ok?

      • Why is it that the media is full of lies, distortion, and liberal bias…

        …except when it agrees with our own bias–then it’s The Word of God.

        And nice attempt at a pigeonhole, you could assume I was the Chief of Police, it still wouldn’t address the fact that the article is woefully biased.

        • Very good point, except for the problem that there are case after case where, after the dust settles and the facts are in, the police got the wrong address, killed an innocent person/s and thier dog.
          I’ve had good experiences with police in OCing for three years here in NM, but the reality is that if I encounter a human predator, I have a better than even chance at defending myself; but with no knock warrants, rendition, asset forfiture, denial of habeus corpus, the seizing and destruction of ones home if the city has a plan to generate more tax revenue; the constant assaults on all of our freedoms is not coming from criminals in the street.
          The police are a visible face to these assaults; they are the ones enforcing all of these laws at the point of a gun; if I defend myself from a common criminal, I will probably be exonerated, defend myself in a no knock warrant because they picked the wrong house, I’ll probably be a dead man.
          History will not look kindly upon our government of the last 50 years or thier designated agents.

        • The police were negligent. A lot of people could have died, as has happened in the past. And, the police were in complete violation of the constitutional rights of the home owner. The standard for police conduct is expected to be much higher that what has been demonstrated.

        • For clarification;
          History will not look kindly upon this government of the last 50 years or it’s designated agents but especially it will not look kindly upon the people who put them into power and then allowed them to stay in power.

        • Shawmutt, you really are ignorant of the facts of the on going war on some drugs aren’t you? There are only dozens of web sites with THOUSANDS of documented stories about failed drug raids. You must have somehow missed them. Not paying much attention are you?

          Not to mention the FACT that IF they did have the right address, what kind of MORON detonates a flash bang grenade in a METH LAB?

        • Yes Bill, I’m ignorant and not paying attention.

          It still doesn’t make this article any less biased.

        • @ThomasR

          “History will not look kindly upon our government of the last 50 years or thier designated agents.”

          History is written by the winners. If the faschists win, there will be no mention of it.

  4. I have heard people ask the question, “Who polices the police?” A few people spouting off on a blog isn’t going to change anything. So how do we actually change law enforcement behavior?

    I like the idea of basic behavior modification theory for children. Tell law enforcement what “we the people” expect and what the consequences are if law enforcement doesn’t change their behavior.

    In order to do that, “we the people” have to decide exactly what we expect to change in law enforcement and what the consequences are for failure to comply.

  5. If you think this is egregious, wait till the Alabama campus cop shoots (and kills) the unarmed naked guy outside the police station is put up. Don’t worry, he’s in no immediate trouble, it was a good shoot that followed procedure. There will be an “investigation” though…

    • That is not a similiar scenario.

      The dead student was naked, banging on windows at night, and charged at the police officer. Those who know the officer will testify that he is just the nicest guy. Never had an issue. When an individual drugged out of their minds decides to attack you, you have the right to use deadly force to defend yourself. Even if you are a police officer.

      Had that young man (who will be described as an altar boy) gotten his hands on the police officer, there would be an ambulance ride or slow hearse ride for the officer.

      Not appropriate to this thread at all.

      • Thanks, I’ve read the story. That you are backing in anyway that use of deadly force was somehow appropriate in that scenario is exactly why it is completely to germane to this thread.

        It’s a college campus, the kid was obviously high, and he was naked as a jaybird and unarmed. If officer doofus mc panty waist wasn’t trained on how to deal with high people (which he should have been) he could have, at most pathetic, Tased the kid.

        This attitude is what fosters the growing cadre of cop-haters
        out there. Anything in the world that could possibly get an officer a bruise is now supposed to be considered fair game for application of deadly force.

        Had this incident involved anyone other than a sworn officer, the shooter would have been arrested and the press would be having a field day with their latest “insane gun owners just kill everybody” story.

        • This is why I love this site. National scope, disection of logical points instead of emotion and a decent representation from both sides of events (both credible sides).

      • I have read multiple accounts of that story and not a single one says he charged the officer. Every article states that he was standing there naked with his arms out stretched, palms open.

  6. I live in Billings, this happened less than a mile from my house. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. In follow-on articles, the police say they suspect this house had a meth-lab. Does it seem like a good idea to set off flashbangs in a meth-lab? Lots of flammable chemicals around.

    There is a reason we don’t allow military units to be used on US soil for law enforcement. No American should ever allow the police to become their own military.

    • +1000

      This is a really good point that I have never heard anyone ever say before. By law our own military cannot legally operate on U.S. soil against U.S. citizens. So why is it legal for militarized “police” officers to operate on U.S. soil against U.S. citizens?

    • “Does it seem like a good idea to set off flashbangs in a meth-lab?”

      In short, NO. Meth cookers don’t exactly adhere to OSHA
      standards, so hard telling what your going to find for
      chemicals and equipment. I’d also like to know if the LEOs
      were wearing chemical gear (me thinks probably not).

      I teach HazMat to Fire, EMS and LE and use articles like
      this to point out what can go wrong (especially if it was a lab);
      and that acting without thinking makes you nothing more than a
      canary and puts lives at risk.

  7. Okay – wrong house, SWAT raid, no knock, and flash bang tossed basically on a kid. All we need for this to be a parody is to learn that they shot the dog….

  8. You guys are being unfair to the Billings police. They just got a little confused is all. The kid they blew up looked exactly like a meth lab. It’s a mistake anyone could have made.

    Really, the resemblance is uncanny. The kid looks like a meth lab, and the cops look like horse’s a$$es.

  9. “We generally do not introduce these disorienting devices when they’re present.”

    Which implies that there are some occasions when they would use the devices when they know children are present.

    • And I’d like to point out if your kid picks up the flashbang they chucked through a window/door prior to detonation, your kid is going to lose fingers (at least).

  10. apparently these morons never learned the concept of “recon,” let alone “investigation,” or hell, a Mapquest search.

  11. So let’s add up the “total fail” of the Billings PD SWAT team here:

    1. They were using a flash-bang on what they were oh-so-terribly confident was a meth lab.

    Knowing a little about the precursor chemicals used by meth labs in the US, I hereby pronounce this right here as a heaping truckload of stupid. Some of the little gems found in the typical meth lab are: red phosphorous, propane, anhydrous ammonia and ether (often in the form of starting fluid) – none of which you want to help ignite or break loose of containment.

    2. The officer shoving the flash-bang through the window didn’t know there was a delay on the device.

    What, he wasn’t paying attention during the 10 minutes they went over this during training? Too busy enjoying a donut break at that particular moment during training? Since when is it uncommon knowledge that grenades have fuses on them?

    3. Now we come to the sort of mendacity that passes for competence among public employees:

    “It was totally unforeseen, totally unplanned and extremely regrettable,” St. John said. “We certainly did not want a juvenile, or anyone else for that matter, to get injured.”

    OK, rocket scientist cop, here’s a clue: A flash bang will injure someone. Period, full stop. It will cause hearing damage. If you’re putting a flash-bang into a building, where the over-pressure wave will be contained and reflected, you intend to cause injury to the hearing of the parties in that room. They planned on causing hearing damage to the occupants of the household. That’s how it works. It isn’t just a big flash bulb. The disorientation of the flash-bang is the result of this concussive over-pressure wave hammering the inner ear of the occupants of the room.

    Oh, and lest we forget, people with heart conditions have died as a result of flash-bangs:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/29/nyregion/city-to-pay-1.6-million-in-fatal-mistaken-raid.html

    This sort of weasel-mouthed mendacity is what really makes all cops look crooked. The fact that they mouth such lies with a straight face means that they’re classical sociopaths. They’re not just telling a bold lie that they think the rest of us are too stupid to see as a lie. They actually believe their own lies. The supposed “honest” cops don’t need to know the “facts of this case” to call BS on this. All they need to do is tell the truth of what they know of flash-bangs and what they’ve been taught about how they work and why they use them. Cops and FBI agents have injured and burned themselves with flash-bangs. More than a few military veterans have permanent hearing loss as a result of flash-bangs. But cops won’t tell the truth or even admit knowing it. The ‘thin blue line’ will continue to be maintained at all costs to their credibility.

    4. They walked out with no arrests and no seizures. Translation: They never had real intel. They had nothing.

    If the BPD had done actual “homework,” they could have checked the property records, the tax collector’s office, the local school records, animal control, etc. They could have pulled credit card records, checking account records, etc, looking for purchases of meth pre-cursor chemicals, unexplained deposits, etc. They would have known that there were two children at that address. They would have known that the old man had serious health issues. They would have known that with a woman and two young girls in the house, a SWAT “dynamic entry” would never have been needed.

    But no, that would be too much work and probably cut into their quality time at the donut shop. Much easier to call SWAT and start playing with their military-type toys.

    As the cops sow the wind, one day they shall reap the whirlwind.

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