19 Cops Respond to Suspected Santa Monica, CA Burglary, Guns Drawn…Fair Enough?

Fay Wells (washingtonpost.com)

“I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window,” Fay Wells [above] writes at washintonpost.com. “I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it. I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me.” Question: was the man with the gun in police uniform? Ms. Wells doesn’t say. But what happened next was scary enough . . .

I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer.

Although drug thugs have pretended to be police to invade homes, I reckon any sensible person would do what Ms. Wells did: come out of their dwelling slowly, with their empty hands in plain view. Most of us would be equally shocked to discover nineteen armed cops waiting, two of whom with guns pointed in our direction.

“What’s going on?” I asked again. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?”

I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on. I confirmed there were no pets or people inside.

Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID.

It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation. It didn’t matter that I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket. It didn’t matter that I calmly, continually asked them what was happening. It also didn’t matter that I didn’t match the description of the person they were looking for — my neighbor described me as Hispanic when he called 911.

What mattered was that I was a woman of color trying to get into her apartment — in an almost entirely white apartment complex in a mostly white city — and a white man who lived in another building called the cops because he’d never seen me before.

Oy vey. Ms. Wells offers no proof that she was a victim of racial profiling by the police. No one called her names. She doesn’t mention the racial identity of any of the officers involved (not that it would matter). I can only assume that her assumption of racial prejudice by the police is based entirely on her own prejudice against them.

Perhaps the Santa Monica police should have knocked on Ms. Wells’ door to assess the situation, rather than arrive in force with guns drawn in a SWAT-style raid. Perhaps not. The 911 caller who triggered the police response (available at the link) tells the operator there’s been a break-in with “a guy and two girls” who had “tools” they used to enter the apartment. The neighbor describes a male (with a hat) and says the male had two female accomplices. So the cops were responding to a report of a robbery involving multiple suspects.

To their shame, neither Ms. Wells nor the Post make any mention of this call. Nor did the Post investigate whether or not there had been prior break-ins in that neighborhood and, if there had been, if they’d been violent. So what we have here is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the police response to a 911 call to further an anti-cop agenda. And a neighbor with a grudge who should be prosecuted for filing a false report. Nothing more, nothing less. IMHO. Your thoughts?

comments

  1. Who opens the door to a “loiterer”?

    In any case, it seems at best a questionable citizen call to 911 but people see what they want to see in every situation nowadays.

    Personally, if I wasn’t sure it was a cop; I would have called 911 myself.

    1. avatar CTstooge says:

      “I say, you there, stop that loitering. Take this tuppence and move along, there’s a good fellow.”

  2. avatar Don says:

    My guess would be simply the usual big city police knee jerk response to any call. The just love to go full retard whenever they can, all swatted up with dogs drawn and guns on leashes (yes I said that right). Used to live in Portland, Oregon where the police regularly dispatched people with minor mental issues and were always (ALWAYS!) justified when they reviewed their own actions.

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      No, not a big city thing. More like a suburban thing that I have seen so many times. Big cities do not have enough cops to dispatch 19 for every burglary called in.

      I have never had a problem with big city or small town cops. The suburban operator wanna-bes are the worst.

      To clarify, by big cities I mean, NY, Chicago, Dallas, etc. Portland and Santa Monica and all of OC are glorified suburbs in my eyes.

      1. avatar Kevin says:

        To clarify, by big cities I mean, NY, Chicago, Dallas, etc. Portland and Santa Monica and all of OC are glorified suburbs in my eyes.

      2. avatar Other Tony says:

        There are rough parts of Santa Monica. I used to live on its South side. One guy got shot around the corner, I saw the getaway car zoom past. Another guy got shot near the high school, I saw him twitching as he died. Probably both gang related incidents. So if I were a cop there, responding to the supposed three intruders, probably I would want plenty of backup too.

        That said, I am disappointed by the number of racist-sounding things TTAG readers are writing about this article.

  3. avatar Trixie True says:

    Agreed. This was the fault of the yahoo who called 911. The fact that he was likely a racist has nothing to do with the cops.

    Personally, I’m still angry that Ronald Ritchie, the guy who called the cops on James Crawford III, isn’t sitting in jail. The FBI tape comparing the 911 call to the surveillance camera footage ought to have been enough to get him arrested for reckless endangerment, murder in the second degree, *something*, because he was lying through his teeth and got that kid killed.

    Not to say there weren’t other mistakes made, but Ritchie is the one who set the whole situation up, and it kills me that he got off scot free. People are more about the pay off than justice anymore, and the cops are presumed to have deeper pockets than the guys who’re actually doing wrong.

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      Link to said comparison? I’ve often wondered, but only heard things 3rd or 4th hand..

      1. avatar Trixie True says:

        It was posted by a local TV station. Dunno why it isn’t all over youtube.

        Well, I have my suspicions why…

        http://www.wlwt.com/news/surveillance-video-and-911-audio-of-walmart-shooting/28228506

  4. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Sounds like a member of the black lives splatter gang. Really? Call the cops over skinny black gal entering her own apartment? Been there 7 months? I call BS. Waste of a click…

  5. avatar Droopalong says:

    Yeah, you lost me at “a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman.” Blacks whine more than a teething 2 year old.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      You lost me at your blanket generalization.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        You lost me at you lost.

        100% Pure CALI BS
        This is their recipe, and their playbook. It’s not even karma, this is just phase 1.35 of what they’ve bred there, all the way around. They can’t wait to play this game where you live.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          I guess through those dark and cloudy racist spectacles of yours that you missed the part about MBA and vice president at a major multinational, not a person you will find in the typical BLM rally. On top of which, Santa Monica PD is infamous for “driving while black” traffic stops, so this incident hardly surprises me. In a typical city, two cops would have been dispatched, maybe some back up, but never 19 cops. Get a hold of your anger, man. BLM is hardly as representative as they think they are.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          I’m coming to the conclusion that Joe R is a very skillful Troll who comes here pretending to be POTG but posts ridiculous racist drivel so the Anti-2A folks can point accusing fingers at TTAG and the rest of us.

          While it is possible that this woman is exaggerating the story for political purposes, it HAS been done before, after all, the dispatch of 19 cops and a dog to a suspected burglary does seem a little much, especially if the gy who called in the false report did not claim to have seem any weapons.

        3. avatar Joe R. says:

          I’m from Oklahoma (not originally, but it’s where I am happy to now call my home). We have our rednecks (love them) and our ‘crazies’, but most of the STIG (“[stuff] THAT ISN’T GUN”) you find her on TTAG are problems found or caused ELSEWHERE. This case in point.
          The STORY is the troll, it is more repetitive nonsense that we get from the big (D)ynamo’s of sh_t, THAT IS NOT GUNS. It’s not my fault we’re talking about a socio-political issue. I didn’t raise the black lady to be unequal, I didn’t SWAT her with an excessive amount of edgy cops. This is only a tangential gun story because we feed into it. But hey, you want to argue the finer points of it, I ain’t stopping you. I’ll pause until we get back to the regular programming.

  6. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

    Another well educated executive playing the race card. Critical facts omitted but always that psychic ability to read a white mans thoughts. Rom Emanel ‘s legacy to our culture.

  7. avatar Roymond says:

    I think the big issue is that she had lived for there quite some time and the neighbor had no idea who she was, an the question is if she had been white would he have decided it was a break-in?

    The second issue is why the cops paid no attention to her offers to prove she lived there, and didn’t bother to contact the locksmith to verify what the entry had actually been. We know from statistics that a black person will often be arrested for something when a white person gets a pass, and that’s my guess as to the cops’ motivation: if a white person offers proof, the cops will check it out, but a black individual is obviously lying.

    1. avatar David C says:

      Obviously. But what about Asians?

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        They’re rying.

        I’m going to hell…

        1. avatar AdamTA1 says:

          Maybe but I laughed so we can hang out.

    2. avatar Cincinnatus says:

      This account is clearly only part 1 of the complete story. Part 2 would include the investigation and deescalation by the cops (where her residency, but not the other social factors would come into play. Her education and social status are utterly irrelevant to a burglary investigation.) and the part where they hand her a business card and tell her to have a nice night and to be safe.

      If part 2 went differently and included an arrest, booking, and arraignment I would be simply amazed and aghast…but of course we only have part 1 to judge by.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        “Part 2 would include the investigation and deescalation by the cops “

        Right, where all they had to do to verify she lived there was check her DL…or, barring that, some mail or something inside.

        It’s not rocket surgery to verify someone’s address. We used to do it in some cases by running the address with the local utilities. That’s maybe 100% foolproof, but it’s a good start in the vast majority of cases.

        Something about her story rings false…or at least very incomplete. Once that had the scene “under control,” it would take 60 sec. tops to confirm it was her residence and all was ok.

    3. avatar Dev says:

      I bet the “neighbor” is just some random person SWATing her.

  8. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I call BS on the whole story. 19 cops? Really? She counted? (While staring down the barrel of a pistol).
    This is just her doing a bit of anti-police, race baiting.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “I eventually received a list from the SMPD of 17 officers who came to my apartment that night, but the list does not include the names of two officers who handed me their business cards on the scene.”

      No counting at gunpoint necessary, it seems.

  9. avatar William Burke says:

    Ms. Wells’ only problem is that she failed to call 911 and verify if a raid was taking place at her appointment. If there was not, she could have asked the PD to contact the SWAT and inform them that only the homeowner was present.

    1. avatar David C says:

      Thanks for telling all the burglars here, that all they have to do when the PoPo and K9 show up is lock the door, call 911 and ask them to leave because “there’s nothing illegal happening here”. Damn! Now who are the SWAT going to SWAT!?!

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        For the benefit of anyone who isn’t being sarcastic, the idea is that if you believe someone is trying to home invade you by pretending to be police, a call to 911 can verify if the people at your door are actual police. If they are, then you should probably come outside, or follow whatever commands are being given. Or not, as long as you’re comfortable with whatever happens next. Depending on the type of call, it may well be nothing.

        If it’s not actual police outside, then you’re already on the line to report someone possibly trying to home invade you while impersonating law enforcement. I don’t think anyone would try to imply that calling to say nothing was wrong would result in police just leaving.

        1. avatar David C says:

          I was in a very sarcastic mood last night.

  10. avatar Unknown Prosecutor says:

    Good to see the “Freedom for me but not for thee” brigade is out in force tonight… The howling if this had happened to a OWFG would be heard 3 counties over… Love the suggestion that she should have called 911 to verify a raid was happening… Really!?

    1. avatar Ebby123 says:

      Actually that’s pretty standard advice – call 911 to verify the identity of an officer if you are at all uncertain. That’s the same advice we give to OFWGs, single mothers, and businesswomen like the subject of this article.

  11. avatar Don says:

    The OFWG (like me) would be either in the morgue or still in jail pending trial on whatever the DA can think of for charges to elicit some kind of plea bargain. Third degree drudgery and resisting arrest, that is arguing with a cop while he was trying to arrest you for being in your own apartment.

  12. avatar Mk10108 says:

    I’m not a fan of the blue crew nor to I care about the whitey comments. Giving the information…three burglars, the PO’s are inbound and tooling up. What’s the problem?

    1. avatar Galtha58 says:

      @Mk10108: One of the problems, in my view, is sending out (and paying) a 14 man swat team for a suspected burglary call. Who else does that ?

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        The text copied from the original article, and after checking, the entirety of the original article, does not mention SWAT. RF mentions a ‘SWAT-style raid,’ but there is no specific information that an actual SWAT team was involved.

        Most likely, there was nothing else significant happening in the city at that moment, and everyone available just attached themselves to the call and went. That’s what my agency does, even if you don’t need everyone to clear an apartment, if it turns out to be a legit call you may need everyone for a K9 track on perimeter spots.

  13. avatar TTACer says:

    The exact same thing happened to a white, male, Iraq war vet in the DC area. He wrote it up for the Washington Post. The only “race” that matters here is blue.

  14. avatar Hasdrubal says:

    Something people don’t understand is that even though they know who they are, people who haven’t met them before don’t. That sounds stupid, doesn’t it? But especially for someone educated and gainfully employed, most of the local police force hasn’t met them, and has know idea who they are.

    Ms. Wells somehow expected that the police, who had apparently been told that someone was breaking in, would know her life story and recognize her on sight. Or, failing that, ignore the potential hazard of a felony crime in progress to listen to her life story and accept it at face value, because nobody has ever lied to the police before. And likely, she expected this to happen in the doorway, or on the staircase, places that the people of the gun also know as ‘fatal funnels.’

    On first reading this article, I started to get angry at the Santa Monica PD- the lack of discipline and training shown by pointing a drawn firearm at anyone is embarrassing. And then I remembered a complaint someone made against me a few years ago. I was parked at the side of the road waiting for backup on a DV call, and a car came flying up behind me. When it stopped, a man got out and started speed walking towards me with a hammer in his hand, yelling as I opened my door about why was I harassing him, and detouring just barely enough that it didn’t turn into a real bad day for both of us. Walked past me, took down his garage sale sign, got back in his car and drove off. Yelling at me the whole time.

    I had my hand on my pistol the whole time, and flipped the retention strap forward, but never cleared the holster. The complaint was that I had pointed a gun at his face, called in to the supervisor several hours later. I won’t speculate as to whether he was flat out lying, or if his perceptions were so warped by hatred of police that he honestly believed what he was saying, but it certainly makes me look at this story with a skeptical eye.

    1. avatar David C says:

      So all i have to do when i am creeping up behind a police officer with a hammer, is pretend to start hammering shit around me if he turns around ? Like i wasnt going to hit him in the head a second ago? Awesome! Thanks. And for a machete ? Just start whacking the weeds and bushes ? Slick man. Thanks again !

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        Right. For the benefit of anyone who isn’t being sarcastic, this could be taken as an example of quick decision making in a rapidly changing situation. See a car approaching fast, focus your attention on it. See a person get out with something in their hand, get out of the car and turn to face the (potential) threat. Observe a weapon, prepare to access your own weapon while trying to figure out if it is an attack or not. If you believe there is an attack happening, respond with appropriate force. If not, refrain from using force.

        There are several ways it could have turned out, and I believe that if I had shot him dead on the spot, I would have been found completely justified in doing so. Yes, it could have been an attack, and yes, I was within the almost meaningless 21′ of the Tueller drill. But it also could have been what it actually was, a black man who hated police, was very loud about it, and who had just finished his garage sale. All in all, I’m glad I didn’t shoot him. Even if he wasn’t a good person, his family would have to live with the aftermath. As would I.

        Use your judgement, observe the body language, and don’t assume that a maniac trying to disguise themselves by swinging a machete at dandelions won’t be very obviously still a maniac. Thanks for completely missing my point, though.

    2. avatar GusMac says:

      I haven’t had the pleasure of being served by Santa Monica LE but I have had my tax dollars go towards having other cops point guns at me for the crime of existing on my own property. I am not lying whether you want to believe it or not.

      During this time I also saw the angry and scared look on the faces of multiple cops and I didn’t need to be a person of color for it to happen. I am not saying race is never a factor but “people of color” do not have a monopoly on having angry and scared cops aiming guns at them while not committing a crime on their own property.

      I find disgust with both sides of this story as given so far. Her bringing up her education is despicable. She is trying to show how she is a better version of a black person, not the kind that probably should be treated that way. That is what she is saying whether she knows it or not.

      I also find the idea of it being okay to send 19 cops for this because they have nothing else to do as worse than TV police tactics. This wasn’t even a SWATing involving a claimed murder. This is poor management from the top down, definitely including the down.

  15. avatar Farmer Dave says:

    I’ll call bullsh*t. She’s a rabble rouser strait from the current regimes school of “make it up, we’ll help make it true!”
    Oh, and consider black lives “splatter” stolen. That’s great.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      You’re welcome. How about Bury Soetoro?

  16. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I dunno, I once heard a voice outside my boat at a marina and popped my head out of the companionway to see who was there. It was five Mexican marines with rifles in hand and two civilian agents of some sort. They wanted to see my boat’s temporary import permit. I was baffled – do many people choose to shoot it out rather than show them the permit? In total there were twelve marines and 29 agents at the marina that day.

    1. avatar MeRp says:

      There are probably cartel “employees” who do, yes.

  17. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    So, she was SWATted, and as a result accuses the police of racism?

    So much fail.

  18. avatar Galtha58 says:

    So many things wrong with this story: Why did they send a 19 man swat team for an attempted burglary report? Why didn’t she ask for ID before coming out of her apartment? Why didn’t the policeman in charge ask for an d accept her ID to show that she really lives there? How does she know that the guy that called in the report is white? Guessing that the part about racial profiling might be true but how does she know that? If this happened to me I would be very upset and might even sue the Police Dept.. The Police procedures in Santa Monica for a reported burglary seem way out of line. And how can a city like that even afford to send a whole swat team out for a burglary report?

    1. avatar David C says:

      Spoken like a real OFWG. I agree ! YFWG here ! When the cops come beaten down my door with K9, Im not doing shit until somebody shows me some damn ID. Badges. Cre-den-tials NOW! But if you were not white?

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Asking an amped-up, adrenaline-rushed SWAT team to show you their badges seems like a real quick way to get your home “dynamic entried”. At the very least, you’ll probably get first-hand experience with the effects of flash-bang grenades and OC spray.

        1. avatar David C says:

          But that was my point. I was trying to sarcastically show how stupid it is to talk about white criminals vs black criminals, and what we would do when SWAT shows up at your house. I guess people think they are some absurd form of racial superhero, and when the time comes, they will whip out their Caucausion or Afro card, and get a steam rolling Swat team to stop in the middle of a forced entry, because you locked your door OR you demanded to see some ID. Its all so ridiculous how people are ao full of themselves. I was being sarcastic. I was being absurd.

    2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      See my other comment, I don’t believe there was an actual SWAT team there. See another comment for why to call 911 if you don’t think it’s real police at the door- if you’re close enough to examine a badge or ID card, you’re too close should it turn out to be a home invasion.

      Police generally will ask for ID to confirm someone lives there, but probably, only after the residence is cleared. If it turns out to be a legitimate burglary in progress, talking about ID at the door may give enough time for the other suspects to prepare an ambush inside or bail out the back. If I’m going to a residential alarm, I’ll usually knock and ask for ID. If I get dispatched to ‘multiple subjects seen forcing entry with tools, believed to still be inside,’ it’s a different story.

    3. avatar Julio says:

      In the article, the police ID’d her neighbor who called in the complaint. She then introduced herself and proceeded to lay on her own line of questioning. He wasn’t exactly kind or apologetic. I will point out that she had a locksmith come to let her into the apartment–so a report about a guy and “two” girls breaking into a place with tools is not so far-fetched. Yes, it escalated quickly and both sides could have handled things better.

      1. avatar LordGopu says:

        One of the major problems with modern policing is that they make no attempt at detective work anymore.

        How is taking a phone call, that could be made anonymously by anyone from anywhere, as evidence even a thing? A phone call like that should just alert them that something may be going on and they should investigate. Investigating does not include immediately stacking up on someone’s door.

  19. avatar Bruce L. says:

    I have to learn to read better. Somewhere I missed all the facts you all are using to reach your conclusions.

  20. avatar Hannibal says:

    “It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation…”

    I’ve heard this line before. http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20151028-dorothy-bland-i-was-caughtwalking-while-black.ece

    Why do these wonderfully educated people think that “I went to X school!” is somehow supposed to be a magic phrase that eliminates all suspicion of criminality? Could it be that they are as classist as they claim police are racist?

    1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      She went to Duke. Where the black ladies are prone to making false accusations. Nuff said?

  21. avatar Stuki Moi says:

    These officers behaved seemingly well enough. But 19 armed cops, pointed guns etc. because some “neighbor” ballbes about a burglary? I know Santa Monica cops don’t lead very exciting lives compared to their movie portrayed LA neighbors, but that kind of a “response” to what is essentially a prank call, could very well have led to the death of some innocent woman who just returned home. If it did, of course nothing would have happened to the cops.

    If people are so childishly bent on wasting tax money on militarized “swat style” “commando” cops; they should at least never, ever, leave the station until the person owning the supposedly burglarized place has been contacted, and is OK’ing the official home invasion. Who gives a darned toot about a cold burglary, anyway? That’s a crime to be dealt with after the fact. Noone wants to be “protected” from burglaries, if to do so means they have to put their lives at risk.

    Santa Monica is a very white, very racially prejudiced city. Very similar to San Francisco in that respect. Talk tall about how “tolerant” you are of the “coloreds”; then pay double-triple-quadruple to ensconce yourself behind a zoning wall, lest your kids may catch glimpse of one of “them” in the hallways.

    That being said, Ms. Wells is likely very much mistaken if she thinks the response would have been less over the top silly in a “black” LA neighborhood. Which is most likely why she lives in Santa Monica rather than Compton to begin with. The problem is police militarization, and police meddling in general. Nothing racial. Just progressive. Like essentially all evil of the past few centuries.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Any time 17 or more cops see no need to assault somebody with a deadly weapon it casts serious suspicion upon the two cops who did feel that need.

      Aside from those two Rule 1 violators I don’t see all that much wrong here, assuming there wasn’t a plainly marked locksmith’s truck parked close enough by to automatically associate it with the ‘break-in’.

      1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        19 cops is a $10-100K operation. That could well be a backfire or kid with a firecracker away from state sanctioned murder. Over prank call. All because idiots who believe it is the duty of indoctrinated taxpayers’ toy army to act as first responders to a burglary, rather than the one being burglarized. Good on SM cops for being responsible, but still bad in the kind of society that dispatches and primes them to possibly kill over what is essentially nothing.

  22. avatar Paul53 says:

    Thoughts? “The caller sent you to my apartment to divert you from the meth lab in his apartment. He’s paranoid and has lots of guns!”

  23. avatar Anon says:

    Shit happens.

  24. avatar foo dog says:

    You lost me at WAPO…

  25. avatar Dustin says:

    You tricked me into clicking on bullshit. You owe me a new trackball.

  26. avatar Michael says:

    Remeber to tell the police about any degrees or certifications you revived in collage (^o^) lol

  27. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    “… because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun.”

    So, again, still, the best way to move into a post-racial world is to bring race into every situation. All the racial tensions will go away if we just focus on race hard enough.

    1. avatar Tal says:

      I don’t understand her logic.

      The officer has his gun drawn because he DOESN’T know what he’ll find. What? He should put his gun away so that her thug boyfriend can pop out of the apartment and shoot him? (Alternative scenario I know)

      A 5 foot nothing 125 pound black woman is perfectly capable of shooting an officer, stabbing him, pushing him down the stairs etc.

  28. avatar js says:

    So much education, and so stupid. Who opens the door for a loiterer? A dog? Any unknown person?

    I think she’s lying, though I have no idea about what or why. But the story (as processed through the “lens” of the reporter’s interpretation and description) doesn’t add up.

    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      Her angle is obviously to gain celebrity for being harassed by the police because she is black. The fact that the story left out some important details in order to help out the narrative they were trying to push tells you all you need to know about what’s going on.

  29. avatar Gary says:

    1. To the extent you were the subject of racial profiling, sorry.
    2. But, your conclusions are, well, conclusory. I can’t arrive at them with the info you’ve provided.
    3. And your description of events seems artful, too artful.
    4. It shouldn’t matter a wit that you went to Duke or got your MBA from Dartmouth. Irrelevant. Not sure why you brought it up.

  30. avatar Tal says:

    “It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation”

    Why exactly should this matter? Also how would officers know this? What exactly is she trying to suggest? That people with degrees don’t commit crimes?

    “In his eyes, I saw fear and anger.”

    Nonsense. And even so, what do you expect to “see” in an officers eyes when responding to such a call? Normal human emotions? For shame.

    Your neighbor is an idiot but that’s about it.

  31. avatar Roscoe says:

    I say this without having read any of the comments in this string:

    Per the Washington Post article, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks released the following statement.
    “The 9-1-1 caller was not wrong for reporting what he believed was an in-progress residential burglary.”
    “Ms. Wells is not wrong to feel as she does.”

    A very accurate and correct assessment as far as it goes.

    The officers responded as directed based on policing protocols established as a result of experience from prior incidents and encounters with burglary in progress. Some officers may have responded, or piled on, on their own initiative as back-up. Same argument here as having a large enough fire extinguisher or plenty of ammo can be made; you can never be too prepared.

    Impressions, or ‘feelings’ are not near as important as securing the facts, the scene, and eliminating as much risk as possible through immediate control of a potentially violent event that could include victim casualties and or hostages. Those who repeatedly claim “overreaction” should paste that to their forehead and read it daily.

    The lead officers’ actions based on the 911 information provided was cautious, intentionally meant to be overpowering, and absolutely correct based on the 911 information the coppers were supplied. Their decisions and actions were further supported and justified by initial contact with Ms. Wells and her own actions/reactions, innocent as they were.

    Could the officers have been a little more empathetic with Ms. Wells’ traumatic experience after the area was secured and the facts of the call determined? Maybe.
    Could Ms. Wells by then have started to become angry because of her ‘unnecessary’ experience? Maybe.
    Could the officers, decompressing from their adrenalin rush, have at that point started to become defensive after realizing the call was not accurate, and purposely avoided Ms. Wells? Maybe.

    But I guarantee that if Ms. Wells’ was being held by a home invader who had entered her apartment, the same 911 caller made his call, and the P.D. responded as it did, she would be very grateful for the coppers actions to interrupt the burglary, no matter the race of anyone involved.

    1. avatar Champ_Ion says:

      You’re common sense is greatly appreciated, given the multitude of racist and bigoted comments above.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        Your mother should have raised you to be equal to you. If that ‘you is worth equating themselves to, people will. Better, though, to be the ‘you’ that people can only aspire to be (to someday try to be equal to). Until then, if you’re asking people for equality, they can’t give it, you don’t need it, and the answer to the begged question for the ~ average, and especially the lazy is “no”. It might be too late for you, but don’t raise your kids so that they need equality from anyone. Let them be the great equal that they are. Personally, I always tried to teach my child to seek out (their) ‘betters’ and to assess and espouse or aspire to attain that, but that [again, ‘they’] will always be equsl to themselves, and that is always = to 1 human (the maximum number of people anyone can be). [Loosely paraphrased, J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012]

    1. avatar Chuck in IL says:

      Seems like a good take on the episode. The important thing is nobody did anything stupid and nobody got hurt. Miss Wells would do well to recognize that and let it go. The fact that this has ended up in the Washington Post is a good indication that she isn’t going to do that, which is sad.

      1. avatar Roscoe says:

        Fanning the fire of hate?

        Couldn’t imagine who might be egging her on.

        If Wells is as her self described persona depicts, she would be of a mind to “let it go”.

    2. avatar Champ_Ion says:

      “From my perspective, the 9-1-1 caller was not wrong for reporting what he believed was an in-progress residential burglary. Put yourself in his place. Ms. Wells is not wrong to feel as she does. Put yourself in her shoes. And, the Santa Monica Police Department’s response was not wrong. Put yourself in the officers’ shoes.”

      This is the most accurate depiction I’ve read thus far.

    3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Wow, that’s actually pretty cool. That’s gotta be one of the coolest Police Chief statements as a response to something like this that I’ve read.

      Kudos to Chief Seabrooks.

  32. avatar CH says:

    Sometimes you just cant win. Either way this gal would have probably written an article. This one was for too many cops she probably has one ready to go for too few or no cops at all.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Agreed.

      Listening to the audio the Chief posted, and it sounds like she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder.

      Upset? Understandably.

      But…she was awfully confrontational. She’s not totally “wrong” here (as the Chief said in her statement), but it smacks of her not even trying to be reasonable.

  33. avatar Eric J says:

    It was a misunderstanding, but everyone acted “correctly,” or at least reasonably for the circumstances.

    It’s just too bad that the Washington Post and Miss Wells are trying to play this up into a racial “issue,” when race has little or nothing to do with it. That aside, their attempt to play the race card falls flat, from their own admission. Miss Wells’ citing of her education, employment are obviously meant to say “I am a middle to upper class black woman, not a poor, lower class black woman who would be more likely to commit a crime (and thus legitimately profiled.) The officers ignored my credentials and only paid attention to my skin color!” Except that by her own admission therefore, skin color plays a big part in identifying the sort of people likely to be associated with crime, and she herself says that she lives in a very “white” area, and hasn’t lived there long. So really, what does she expect is going to happen? I am sure her “white” neighbors would be happy to get to know her and learn what a lovely, charming new neighbor they have, but it sounds like she has not made much of an effort to introduce herself around the apartment complex. So, in the absence of personal knowledge to the contrary, neighbors and police are quite naturally going to default to the common-sense stereotyping which helps us to identify possible trouble.

  34. avatar Jake says:

    This place reads more and more like Stormfront these days, especially in the comments, and it is quite depressing. Americans should be able to walk in to their places of residence without any of the results from this situation. If that was a similarly proportioned white woman and she provided adequate proof that she lived there it would likely be “sorry ma’am”s all around and a good story, nearly guaranteed. Last I checked, the fourth was for every citizen.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Did you listen to the audio the SM Chief posted?

      They TRIED what you are suggesting. Seriously, she was not listening; whenever they would explain something, her “ire” would switch to something else.

      She brought race into it mighty quickly.

  35. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Stormfront huh?I thought I was the only one who called anyone Stormfronters… I’ll have to tell my pretty brown wife and 2 grown caramel colored sons I am now “raciss” because I call this gal into question. They just charged a cop in Chicago with 1st degree murder for shooting a 17yr. old black kid 16 times. Never mind he was on pcp,brandished a knife,broke into cars and slashed cop tires-and refused to drop the knife. I think the cop still had no business shooting him but 1st degree is a gigantic political overreach. And the family already received $5000000…THIS woman’s story is BS.

  36. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    My thoughts…17 more cops than was needed and how many 911 calls had late or no response because of this over reaction.

  37. avatar int19h says:

    >> To their shame, neither Ms. Wells nor the Post make any mention of this call.

    Do you guys even read the stuff that you re-post? It’s right there, literally two lines above:

    “What mattered was that I was a woman of color trying to get into her apartment — in an almost entirely white apartment complex in a mostly white city — and a white man who lived in another building called the cops because he’d never seen me before.”

    As far as racial profiling goes, she’s not blaming the cops for it so much so as the guy who called 911, presumably because he assumed that someone black in a white neighborhood = burglar (since she wasn’t doing anything else that would warrant such a conclusion). I don’t see much cop blaming here, other than the arguably excessive use of force from the get go (19 officers, guns drawn from the get go).

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