Waco Texas raid (courtesy thepoliticalwarzone.blogspot.com)
By Sgt. Patrick Hayes

Could there be another Waco? Or a Ruby Ridge? Of course. There is always a chance and today there seems to be an even bigger chance.  First, let’s make a distinction. The BATFE, FBI, DHS and others are NOT POLICE officers. They are FEDERAL agents. They work for Federal agencies with political agendas ran by political appointees. This worked for gun owners when President G.W. Bush ripped the BATFE apart shortly after being elected. It worked against us with Clinton and more so now with Obama . . .

Many comments I get are against the “Militarization” of Police officers. I carry three firearms on duty. My Glock 22 sidearm, A Mossberg 500 police shotgun and an M16 patrol rifle.  Each agency I listed above has FULL military gear and vehicles. Armored vehicles with large bore weapons, full auto M4’s, MP5SD’s, Grenade launchers, Armed aircraft etc.

This was the problem at WACO. Too much firepower, no control of the agents, too much aggression and no restraint. If the wanted Koresh or Randy Weaver they could have easily waited for them to leave. In WACO I am willing to bet if two agents walked up to the front door and rang the bell they would have been let in. If the called Koresh and told him about the warrant he would have come out. Instead the stormtroopers attacked. Brilliant plan. Dead bodies everywhere.

In Ruby Ridge the Feds lied to a US Magistrate, set up sneak and peek surveillance and started a war. The “Rules of Engagement” Were “suspended” by some Fed and an sniper killed a woman holding nothing but a baby. Brilliant plan. More Americans dead.

The main problem is these agents are ordered to do the bidding of the party in the White House. These agents have NO connection to the communities they are working in. The closest BATFE agents to my county are 85 miles away. Im sure many are farther than that from where they act.

There are times when force is needed. Sometimes heavy force. These are rare cases where lives are in danger. Those might be the lives of innocent people or police officers acting on legitimate cause. It should never be used because two BATFE agents entrapped a veteran by asking him to saw off a shotgun barrel.

I have served hundreds of warrants. Most times we simply knock on the door. Drug warrants use more force and if we have information of possible armed resistance we bring out the long guns. These are rare occasions, not the norm. With Feds it is the Norm. They always go big.

Please note that I didn’t include two Federal agencies. The DEA and the US Marshals Service. The nature of what they do usually justifies a higher force level. They are also the ones who get shot at the most.

What about State Police? That depends on where you live and the role the State police play. In Georgia we have the Georgia State Patrol. They are essentially traffic enforcers and accident investigators. They have full police power but not general police responsibilities. Some states give theirs more authority.

Could there be another WACO? Yes, but look Federal for the ones coming to do it.

73 Responses to Could There be Another Waco? A (Local) Law Enforcement Perspective

  1. The “Could there be another Waco” question is not an “if” question, it is a “when” question.

  2. Not a bad article, but it comes from the guy that said “Tell the cops everything, they’re your friends! They’ll help you out.” in his last piece.

    • i read that article, and i disagreed with most of it, but youre making a bit of an exaggeration.

      • I am sorry you disagree John, but that doesn’t change my opinion of the author’s terribly bad advice. Pair that up with the underlying “Don’t worry about the local cops (even though we have bigger and badder sh*t than you,) it’s the feds you need to watch out for!” theme and my eyebrows rise just a little higher.

        I’m prone to exaggeration though.

        • True, I enjoyed him saying that we should be afraid of the Feds and not the police due to grenades / MP5SD’s / M4’s / MRAP’s / etc while ignoring the fact that most police departments have the exact same equipment and use it more frequently out of sheer boredom.

        • I do see the disconnect with Feds enforcing rules in other places, but I don’t know any of the local cops. Theoretically them being local should offer some buffer between trigger pulls, but in places without an elected Sheriff there is no respected face to the boys in blue. State police are way worse, just look at Austin Texas. Complete disconnect from the people.

    • The article you refer to was about lawful defensive gun uses. This article is specifically about whether the FEDS would repeat Waco or Ruby Ridge. It’s not saying the locals couldn’t do the same but we don’t have the resources to do any of it. If there was a legitimate siege of some kind the Feds would likely be called in anyway. I would hate to see that. I do not trust them in that capacity. They always screw it up.
      The FBI has the worlds best crime lab and some crack investigators. They have the budget to track folks all over the world. They just don’t do well when bullets fly. I guess that happens when they take business degrees over criminal justice degrees.
      The BATFE is nothing more than a political tool. I won’t say what other cops call BATF agents. If they choose to work there then they are part of the problem.

    • That is such a complete mischaracterization of that article that hope no one takes your comment seriously at all.

      What he said was: After a DGU, it’s better to communicate your side of the story as early in the investigation as possible (cooperate with police) rather than shutting up completely.

      Now, you can agree or disagree with that as advice…your choice…but it’s not fair to thoroughly re-cast what even said in order to set up your own straw man.

  3. as i recall from reading the report on waco there were multiple undercover officers in the compound already. a little before the raid koresh pulled them all aside and very politely explained that there agency was about to preform a raid and they needed to leave so they didnt get hurt in it. from what i understood at the time, and this was nearly 20 years ago so my memory is fuzzy at this point, he was polite and professional about it. told them who they worked for, who there supervisors were, and that he was sorry to see them go. it probably still would have worked had the agencies knocked and asked politely, but that was one of the decideing factors at the time for why they hit so hard to start with. there operation was ‘comprimised’ and they couldnt risk evidence being destroyed

    • WTF evidence could be destroyed? Yeah, it was 20 years back, but it so infuriated some that we still remember it. All explanations for more than a week were about Koresh having sex with little girls. I see. So the ATF raided the compound with 100 men fully equipped for WAR, machine guns blazing, as child abuse is the foremost assignment of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. So, at that point, they were afraid that the little girls would be incinerated to “destroy the evidence”? Or was it later, when they said there were reports of guns firing very fast, they had to race in there to prevent automatic weapons from getting loose and attacking innocents? Let’s see, there was a Class 3 dealer in residence, and it’s pretty difficult to destroy the evidence of tool steel anyway. Boosht. And, BTW, unless I am mistaken, we have never yet seen evidence of select fire weapons, 20 years later. ATF (or FBI) later claimed they were found, but they just couldn’t show them to anybody. Still afraid they might get loose? And of course, the little girls really were incinerated (by the FBI), so how would we know?

      A really sick episode, whether Waco or Ruby Ridge was worse, I cannot even address, both were so horrible.

      • To this day the FBI and BATF has not released evidence showing that Koresh had illegal firearms. They have not responded to Freedom of Information requests.

  4. Waco and Ruby Ridge.

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master’. (attributed to George Washington)

    No truer words were written. It is not the common criminal that an armed, aware and free human has to fear (much); it is the Government dogs unchained and let loose upon the people.

    .

  5. When the writer says big bore weapons and armed aircraft he loses me. Has anybody ever actually seen a armed police helicopter. Are a armored vehicle with a actual integrated weapon. Are any weapon bigger than a 50cal sniper. Or belt fed machine guns. Or a 40mm HE grenades.

  6. I wish it wasn’t so hostile-seeming to throw a sign up telling officers to just knock, but if i ever lose my way and stray into criminal territory, or the police mistakenly think i have, i have a request. After the California registry informs the warrant serving officers that I’m armed, they should show up suited up in body armor, with heavy vehicles, useful rifles and plenty of friends. Stack on my doors in the middle of the night. Then just knock.knock and see if maybe when Not surprised by home invaders If i don’t just go with. Because with all those advantages towards the police, only the insane would shoot, and not every warrant is going to be for someone who’s insane

  7. Waco and Ruby ridge type situations are isolated and nothing ever comes from them..It’s when A Waco or Ruby ridge happens on a city level that will finally bring things full circle… Anything less is Just an incident with another “Nut”.

  8. Just a couple of things: Don’t let the US Marshal’s service off the hook, Sgt. Hayes. Altho BATF entrapped Weaver, it was the Marshals who went to his house to serve the warrant when he didn’t show up for his first court date They shot his son in the back after jumping him and the family dog, wearing camo and black masks and not identifying themselves, and shooting the dog. After Weaver and company managed to hole up and create a standoff, the FBI took over the siege. Re Waco, you are exactly right, the McClennan County Sheriff had already served Koresh with FELONY warrants on a previous occasion and had encountered no problems

    • That is correct. The Marshals were all over Ruby Ridge. I was referring to most cases like Fugitive recovery units and such operations. The FBI shot Vicky Weaver and the sniper, who had to know he was shooting an unarmed woman with a baby walked away scott free.

      • Lon Horiuchi, home schooled his kids because he didn’t care for the government schools. Go figure. And the ATF jackass who headed up the Waco operation was supposedly demoted to a position where he would not be leading armed agents in the field. Instead, he was placed in charge of gathering evidence for trials. Pretty ironic, given that he and his guys fabricated evidence of drug-manufacturing in Mt Carmel so they could “borrow” those Bradleys. Don’t know that his “demotion” involved any loss of pay or rank either.

  9. “Each agency I listed above has FULL military gear and vehicles. Armored vehicles with large bore weapons, full auto M4′s, MP5SD’s, Grenade launchers, Armed aircraft etc.”

    Most police forces do not have this full list, but thanks to the federal government they are getting some of it. Concord, NH just defied the wished of the people of the city and purchased a BEARCAT armored vehicle. This in a city with a total of 2 murders between 2004 and 2011. There is NO justification for them to have that vehicle, but since they will have you can bet they’ll find a reason to use it.

    • Calling a bearcat a military grade vehicle is stretching it. Those things are not designed to any military specs. Thing couldn’t take a 10 pound bomb. Even if they start getting MRAPs, unless they got the associated 50cal and RWS system to go with them, it wouldn’t be truly different than any other armored vehicle they have had showing up in police forces since the 80s.

  10. I think the problem isn’t nessescarily individual agents, it’s the political appointees in charge of the agents. The agents who give everybody else a bad name are the guys who take themselves too seriously and have an overl intense personality.

    • I really think it has to do with two things:
      1. An aire of superiority.
      2. No connection with the citizens they serve.

      This is what makes Feds different than other LEO’s.
      I have met many and some are OK. Most are full of themselves.

  11. While I don’t disagree with the some of the ideas you put forward, you seem to recognize a political line that is not there.

    Yes, the Federal Agents work for agencies that are led by political appointees. So are too, local law enforcement agencies and the officers that work for them – ran by political appointees or elected officials.

    Same issue.

    • True. Sheriffs are elected and police chiefs are appointed.
      I was just pointing out the history of using Federal agencies to further political agendas. We see it every day. The only elected official in the executive branch is the President ( and his vice president ). He controls a couple hundred thousand agents across dozens of agencies.
      Obama has forced the BATFE on us. Obama has stopped the Border Patrol from effective enforcement.
      Obama has set the IRS on conservative groups.
      Total abuse of authority.

  12. I’ve read books from the FBI profiler and the FBI hostage rescue team member. From what they both said there was a serious lack of communication between the two sides. Just fyi

    • I’ve read “Cold Zero” which was a memoir of one of the HRT guys. Let’s just say it did not reaffirm that the feds are out to serve and protect.

  13. I see no-knock raids as useful for hostage situations, hot pursuit searches of fleeing suspects, and against barricaded violent felons. That’s about it. Unfortunately, we now get no-knock raids for baby deer, naturally growing plants, and a host of other bullsh!t. I’ve heard raids have gone up to 70,000 / year. That’s unacceptable.

    I’ve met a whole host of LEOs, and those with the highest level of arrogance have been Feds. My least favorite, and the one I’d eliminate if I could, would be the BATFE. The NSA and DHS being gone would also save a lot of taxpayer money and add some significance to the 4th Amendment.

    There are too many SWAT teams, too many MRAPs, and too many LEOs completely out of touch with the communities they serve. While I generally appreciate the LEOs I work with, the rise of the police state is a disturbing trend, and something that LEOs and citizens should work together to put into check.

    • Im not sure about other places but my county (GA) has reduced the number of raids we execute.
      One way we did it was arming patrol officers with shotguns or patrol rifles and letting them handle most barricades and arrest warrants. We no longer have a dedicated SWAT or SRT team. Patrol officers are trained to handle the calls. Patrol officers work the drug warrants with the detectives. When I started SRT did that.
      If a case arose that we couldn’t handle we would use the State team. That happens rarely.

    • Compared with Federal storm troopers in black helicopters; relatively speaking, they probably are.

      In general, the further removed they are; the less accountable and more likely to cause harm agents are.

      Hence, Deputized Civilians from local community > Local Cops > State Troopers > Feds > US Military Forces > Foreign Invading military > Aliens.

  14. You’re ignoring several things here. 1) The overwhelming majority of police these days have no connection to their communities. 2) State / local police are run by people just as concerned with political agendas as Federal agencies. 3) SWAT teams smashing down doors (more often than not, the door of an innocent person) is almost a daily occurrence.

    Nothing that the DEA does justifies using hit squads – making / selling / using drugs is not the governments business morally OR constitutionally. It is no different from any other good or service and murdering people simply because a politician says you should makes you a bad guy. Now, I’m sure you’ll point out that drug lords and such use violence to maintain control – that’s true, but only because you (and the politicians you serve) force them to….just like during Prohibition when bootleggers had to use violence to defend their product. End prohibition on drugs and you end the need for violence among drug manufacturers and sellers – if it’s legal and someone tries to steal their product and attack them, they can call the police and have the aggressor arrested…while it stays illegal, their only method of recourse is to use violence.

    I forgot, you also ignored a fourth thing – the police’s energetic martial law on the entire city of Boston, as well as dragging countless innocent people out of their homes at gunpoint during illegal searches. You might legitimately be a good person, Mr. Hayes, but the people you work for most assuredly are not friends of the American people.

  15. For the most part, I’m a big believer in the idea that when the next Waco hits it will be at the hands of the alphabet soup.

    That said, many larger urban departments are starting to get the special toys and become much more politicized like the federal agencies the author wrote of.

  16. PDs in big cities are just as disconnected from the people as are the Feds. Yes, there will be another Waco or Ruby Ridge, but it’s just as likely to be in a city as in the countryside and be led by big city cops.

    Or have we already forgotten the 1985 “Move” disaster in Philadelphia, when the Philly cops bombed a tenement building from a helicopter and roasted five kids and 65 homes?

    • I have seen spots of police overkill if you will…..Using SWAT for every call is unnecessary from my point of view but I don’t work in a major city. I work in a county of around 100,000 people and we don’t even have a SWAT team anymore. I just wasn’t needed. I can’t say what some of the cities face, but I know over 100 cops die each year on the job.
      I don’t carry anything that any citizen couldn’t buy a version of. Pistol, Shotgun, rifle.

      • I can’t say what some of the cities face, but I know over 100 cops die each year on the job.

        And with such “high” (that’s sarcasm, FYI) numbers, being a cop STILL doesn’t come close to being the most dangerous job in the US. When your job doesn’t crack the top 10 most dangerous professions, you don’t need tanks and two dozen men with guns blazing to go arrest a guy for growing a marijuana plant.

      • Most officers killed in the line of duty die in traffic accidents–significantly more than die at the hands of criminals. I don’t have those stats at hand–should look them up I think they are on the FBI web site.

        • You are correct for the most part. The most dangerous thing we do each day is start our cars. The numbers vary year to year.
          These are the 2013 numbers:

          Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
          Line of Duty Deaths: 105
          9/11 related illness: 1
          Aircraft accident: 1
          Automobile accident: 25
          Boating accident: 1
          Bomb: 1
          Drowned: 2
          Duty related illness: 1
          Electrocuted: 1
          Fall: 4
          Fire: 1
          Gunfire: 30
          Gunfire (Accidental): 2
          Heart attack: 10
          Motorcycle accident: 4
          Stabbed: 2
          Struck by vehicle: 8
          Training accident: 2
          Vehicle pursuit: 4
          Vehicular assault: 5

          Source:ODMP

    • One of the largest “armies” in the world, the NYPD is as disconnected from the people as Kim Jong-il is from life itself….

  17. “…and an M16 patrol rifle” When a “local” Law Enforcement Officer is carrying an assault rifle, and the plebeians are not “allowed” to exercise that right, the “comments” about the “Militarization” are well founded….

    • You can carry anything I do. Class 3 weapons are available and most officers carry the same AR15/M4 varients that citizens do.

      • Actually I cannot carry anything manufactured after 1986, because it isn’t already in the registry. Whereas a Police department probably pays $900-$1400 for a select fire AR variant, a thirty year old weapon similarly configured would cost me about $10,000-$20,000, depending on condition and market variables.

  18. I have served hundreds of warrants.
    For minor crimes, have you ever just phoned a warrant suspect and told him to come down to the station? I’ve heard from a rural sheriff that it works quite well.

    • That is a common practice in many cases. A letter is sent or we simply arrange for someone to turn themselves in. The warrant is still served, but there is no arrest so to speak. Saves time and money and allows folks to arrange time to come to the jail.

  19. When one reviews the history of Progressive Presidents one finds it replete with examples of Federal mass murders in every tenure

    • The “States” that can’t even protect their residents from Obamacare related confiscations? Fat Chance!

  20. And these FedGov alphabet agencies and their troops are ten times batshit crazier now than they were at the time of Ruby Ridge and Waco……and Holder is 10 times more cold blooded than even Uncle Janet Reno…..All this is compounded by the fact that virtually every agency is armed up now.

  21. I admire Officer Hayes for continuing to post here in spite of the anti-cop fanatics who always show up on these threads insulting him and every other LEO.

    Kudos, sir.

  22. I, too, applaud Sgt Hayes for continuing to write articles for TTAG. Taken in context, Sgt. Hayes’ observations and conclusions illustrate how some PD’s work with the Communities they serve to avert WACO’s and Ruby Ridges’ and minimize the occurrence of needless violence between LEO’s and Citizens. We need to support this kind of police work, not condemn it.
    For a long time I have believed the most egregious incidents happen in the hands of Federal Agencies and that some ‘big city” PD’s have mistakenly adopted policies that mirror the Feds out of either political agendas or a misguided sort of “penis envy” originating with the politicians who command them.
    Yes, there will be more WACO and Ruby Ridge incidents, because there are isolated persons out there who will choose to initiate violence with the so-called “Authorities” and garner the attention of the Feds. Nowadays, the Feds, regard any resistance to their sense of social order (and political agenda) as some sort of “terrorist” activity which must be crushed ruthlessly.
    Given the number of people in the population, the social stresses of joblessness, an increasingly impoverished “middle class”, political divisiveness, the health care disaster, educational malfeasance, moral deterioration, and overall “stupiding-down” of the average citizenry ( a short list of what’s killing the USA), there will never be a time when we can do without formalized law enforcement agencies at the local level. So. our best course of action is to consider, and act upon, ways we can make this work better for Citizens and Citizen LEO’s. I think this is what Sgt. Hayes is trying to illustrate and advocate, as I read it, and I agree with him.

    • Thank you.
      I will continue to write as long as Robert wants me to. There will always be those who dislike or hate the police. I usually pay no attention to them unless they cause a real issue and Robert is great about taking care of those.
      My articles are designed to cause dialouge and debate. This is where we, the gun owners, discuss issues if importance to our cause.
      We will never all agree….
      Example: GLOCKS ARE BETTER THAN 1911’S………..( Now duck )……lol

  23. I hate to be “that guy”, but “Waco” is a city in Texas. It’s not an acronym. Don’t capitalize the whole word. Or if you do, be consistent, and spell it RUBY RIDGE, too.

    • Hey stinkeye, I think your comment was directed at my post. Actually, I did not even recognize the mistake where “Waco” is concerned until I read your comment. Doubly frustrating since I read my post a few times before submitting to check for punctuation, spelling, etc, and just overlooked the “WACO” thing.
      So, don’t “hate to be ‘that guy'” because you are right and I appreciate the correction. Thanks! I will remember that in the future for certain.

  24. The state and local goverements need to inform the Feds that if they use Gestapo tactics on their turf , then they can expect ZERO assistnace/ support from them. No fire, EMS, bomb squad. If Feds know that they could have to go it alone , they might be less over zealous.

    • If they do, the Feds will just answer “OK, no more fed funds paid to your favorite union boss’ minions to do make work until you reconsider”. And then Hoffa will call The Gubernator, and everything will settle back to normal. Meaning Fed Funds for nothing and Gestapo tactics. “Welcome to Dystopia. You can (whether you want to or not) leave your gun and wallet at the door. Where our experts will take better care of them, than little you yourself can.”

  25. Realistically the odds of being killed by local law enforcement (LE) is much greater than being killed by federal law enforcement. Local LE has more contacts with more people than the Feds consequently the ikelihood of things going bad is much greater as the number of contacts increase. As for local LE not being political, I think one simply has to look at the NYPD, Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Mass. State police, most big cities and state police agencies to know that isn’t true. So I guess that it is okay for us in local LE to point our fingers at the Feds and say “they’re the bad guys’ but that really isn’t true. We are ‘more badder’, more often than they are.

  26. In regards to present day fashion, the fitness world has created a craze of certain items such as gym tank tops and yoga pants that are worn as casual wear by many people on a daily basis, whether they attend a gym or not.

  27. “But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their DUTY (em. mine), to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.” – Declaration of Independence

  28. If only this were still the “home of the brave” we might actually do something effective about the fact that LE HAS BECOME the STANDING ARMY the founders feared for the people.

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