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It appears no one will be held criminally accountable for ATF’s botched March 19 raid, during which 53-year-old Little Rock airport executive Bryan Malinowski was shot and killed in his own home. The post-shooting investigation is as flawed as ATF’s choice of tactics, which caused the killing.

Whenever a law enforcement officer kills someone, two separate investigations take place. The first is usually conducted by local officials who determine whether the officer should be charged with murder. The second investigation is conducted by the officer’s employer and determines whether the officer violated policy in any way.

The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division (CID) investigated the Malinowski shooting. However, Arkansas State Police Director Col. Mike Hagar made a chilling statement late last month after his agency finished its investigation and sent the case to Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Will Jones.

“We do not have the authority to address methods and tactics used or whether agency protocols and policies were followed,” Col. Hagar said in a statement. “Any administrative oversight of tactics would fall to that agency’s – in this case, the U.S. Department of Justice – internal review and is not part of the scope of what ASP is authorized to review.”

Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Will Jones confirmed on social media that the case is now “under review.”

Col. Hagar’s statement appears almost apologetic in nature. He must know nothing will happen now, because his CID did not address ATF’s flawed raid tactics, which directly caused the shooting.

If it is distilled down to the base level, the shooting is simple. Malinowski shot at ATF agents, one of whom returned fire and shot him in the head. However, in order for justice to be served, a host of extenuating circumstances should have been addressed in the investigation, since this is far from a typical officer-involved shooting.

To be clear, ATF’s flawed tactics forced Malinowski to defend himself. He believed he was under attack by armed home invaders. But if investigators and now prosecutors didn’t address this, the case is over. No one will be held accountable for Malinowski’s death.

Col. Hagar’s claim that ATF will conduct some type of administrative review of its own raid tactics is laughable. The ATF has never held any of its agents accountable for civilian deaths. Fast and Furious, Ruby Ridge and Waco taught us that. Besides, agents didn’t even have an arrest warrant for Malinowski. All they had was a warrant to search his home. Agents listed a host of allegations in their search warrant affidavit, but Malinowski had yet to be charged with any crime.

Poor Tactics

ATF has been widely criticized for their tactics used during the Malinowski raid.

House Judiciary Committee Chair, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has ordered ATF to turn over all documents related to the case.

The Arkansas Attorney General and both of the state’s Republican Senators have demanded answers, because ATF had a host of less-lethal tactical options available, which they did not use.

For example, ATF could have arrested Malinowski at the Clinton National Airport, where he served as executive director. They could have pulled him over on his way home and arrested him in his vehicle. They could have called his attorney and told him to turn in his client. Or, once the home was surrounded, agents could have contacted Malinowski on his cellphone — they knew the number since they had a warrant to search his phone — and ordered him to come out with his hands up. If he didn’t answer his phone, a bullhorn would have sufficed.

A video from a neighbor’s doorbell camera shows that agents arrived at Malinowski’s home in 10 separate vehicles. If they would have activated the emergency lights in all of these squad cars, Malinowski’s entire neighborhood would have been bathed in red flashing lights. Malinowski would have known immediately there were law enforcement officers stacked outside his home and not criminal home invaders.

No Comment

No one was willing to discuss this case.

Arkansas State Police Director Col. Mike Hagar was unavailable to be interviewed, according to his staff.

Arkansas State Police Major Stacie Rhoads, who commands the Criminal Investigation Division, did not return emails or messages left with her staff.

Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Will Jones did not return calls or messages left with his staff.

Neither Caroline Tabler nor Patrick McCann, communications staffers for Senator Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, returned calls seeking comments for this story.

Joshua Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s New Orleans Field Division, did not return calls seeking comment for this story or messages left with his staff.

 

Story courtesy of the The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project.  Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. the atf is the new brown shirts and no one up the line will question them or they will loose the government money. The lawlessness of the government is almost to the breaking point of the people

  2. Its hard to fault the agent that actually did the shooting. It was the hare brained brass that set it up to fail. I may get flamed for this but..
    He might not even know why theyre going in or be privy to the details of the case.

    • Only reason I dismiss this idea completely is the disabling of the ring camera while not wearing body cams.

      • All feds must be trained to do that now. Agents were seen doing the same thing on a recent (over the top display of force) FBI raid on the African People’s So_shall_list Party. I know it sounds like someone they would be aligned with, but these people recently disagreed with the Regime’s policies.

        “It was horrific,” Ona Zené told St. Louis on the Air, describing the raid on her home in St. Louis. “When I reached the bottom of the stairs, it was like a war zone. I thought that they were gonna kill us.

        • Little early for the useful idiots to get ditched….. even for crossing the tptb unless they put some asset or agenda at risk……or maybe look a distraction time mixed with see we oppress everyone equally.

    • Unlikely. SOP is to brief all participants prior to a raid. Least ways that is what police agencies are supposed to do, and even that is no guarantee that a raid will be properly performed.

  3. This kind of behavior starts at, and is sanctioned by, the Oval Office. You won’t find any paper trail about it, but that is the source.

    • On the contrary a paper trail exists but will be deemed sensitive classified communications and sealed away for 50 years like they did for obama.

      • Ah, shades of Fast & Furious, where all paths lead to AG Eric Holder, and were stymied by a refusal to turn over anything from him on up.

        • Eric is privileged, found in contempt of Congress, did he go to prison,,, nope and alot of people died with F&F arms. On the flip side Peter Navarro claimed Exec. privilege (he’s a finance guy) and now sits in prison.

  4. Will anything happen to the killers? Remember Randy Weaver? Or the Branch Davidian slaughter?? The usa secret PO-leece still celebrates killing children. And it doesn’t matter if republicans are in charge🙄

    • Sure the feds were known to be corrupt many years ago, but they wouldn’t abuse power now.
      Sure Other Agency is known for creating situations in other countries that overthrow governments. They would never do that here.

    • Been going on longer than that. The CIA was involved in the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Agent Kiki Camarena. No one done a thing to prevent it, or bring the killers to justice.

    • The Weaver family received $3.1MM from the DoJ for the deaths of their wife/mother and son/brother. Not enough, but something.

  5. “We do not have the authority to address methods and tactics used or whether agency protocols and policies were followed,”

    That’s true, the state AG does not have that authority – but whats at question here is the wrongful death by murder or manslaughter. The state AG does have the authority to investigate and prosecute murder or manslaughter in the state no matter the cause or if its federal government employees or not. The only thing which could stop that from happening is if the government invokes the concept ‘immunity for federal law enforcement in the line of duty’ (e.g. the doctrine of sovereign immunity) and the state backs down because of that.

    But here’s the thing – not every thing federal law enforcement does in the line of duty is qualified for ‘immunity’.

    Negligent conduct that falls outside the scope of ’employment’ (or negligent conduct by the government) is not covered under the doctrine of ‘sovereign immunity’. So far the evidence points to: the ATF agents did not identify their self as law enforcement – did not have authorization in the search warrant for a ‘no knock’ entry or for an arrest – had no justification for arrest and did not have an arrest warrant – had no evidence or indications Bryan was a high-risk or flight-risk or violent-risk person, or that any ‘evidence’ was going to be disposed of, for which ‘no knock’ search warrants are reserved – the ATF tampered with and ‘destroyed’ evidence by covering the ring door bell camera – plus, the ATF lied in official statement about why they did not have body cams while at the same time violating their own policy to have body cam. Not only were these ATF agents negligent in their conduct, they have lied and destroyed evidence, and acted as if conducting a criminal home invasion.

    This raid was intentionally carried out in hours of darkness in a manner that looked exactly like a criminal home invasion and Byran acted to defend his home and wife from the criminal invaders this looked exactly like. The ATF ‘murdered’ Bryan Malinowski for, in the context of the ATF’s own claims, the civil equivalent of ‘driving without a license’.

    One of the worse things we ever did was allow the federal government to determine if it acted properly or not or if they are responsible or not for wrongful damage/injury/death (e.g. has ‘sovereign immunity’). Its akin to letting people in prison for murder determine if they are guilty or not by their own internal determination. There is nothing in the constitution that allows the federal government (and by extension its ’employees’) the power to determine if it (they) acted properly or not or if they are responsible or not for wrongful damage/injury/death by an internal determination.

    The state AG needs to proceed with the investigation and prosecution.

    • Keep in mind that before the GCA of 1968, these guys were NOTHING but Tax Collectors. Since then their scope of authority and power has grown, and is growing, exponentially. It is one of THE most duplicitous and dangerous agencies in the Alphabet Soup Group.

    • There is currently another case in federal court (9th circuit federal appeals court in Seattle) in which a federal law enforcement officer (DEA) (i.e. ‘the government’) is claiming this ‘immunity from state prosecution’. Basically this DEA agent got separated from his group and was speeding to catch up and he ran a stop sign, then ran over and killed a cyclist. The DEA is claiming ‘immunity’ from state prosecution for this by claiming, basically, ‘acting as federal law enforcement’. He was charged by the state and arrested but the case got moved to federal court so the DEA agent could claim the immunity. So the issue here (for this DEA case) for the federal court is if the case should be in federal court or state court, if the federal court says it should be in state court the DEA agent can be prosecuted by the state.

      Now why do I bring this up? Its because this is similar to the ATF case in the ‘negligent’ sense because – as there was not for the DEA agent, there also was not for the ATF here, a ‘necessity for the action’ and there was ‘neglectful activity’ on the part of this DEA agent like there was on part of the ATF here.

      Anyway, the DEA case…

  6. So the incompetent actions of the atf is the sole cause of a man minding his own business and not posing threat at the crack of dawn to legally defend his home and family and the atf is innocent of murder?
    Next time some incompetent driver runs a Stop sign and kills someone they are innocent too? atf owns the train wreck and they are responsible for murder…In this case “he shot at us” is the kind of pathetic excuse one would expect gutless criminals to use.

  7. biden. mao. hitler. stalin. All thugs that use their .gov agencies to murder and harass their enemies.

    Trump is in trouble for having .gov docs at home but hillary walked away from her unsecured servers, no harm, no foul.

    Nuremberg 2.0 is past due.

  8. They’ll investigate themselves and find out they did nothing wrong. Just like Uvalde, The Pulse, Parkland, Waco, Ruby Ridge, the second Bundy Incident etc.

  9. Who writes this garbage?

    “For example, ATF could have arrested Malinowski at the Clinton National Airport, where he served as executive director. They could have pulled him over on his way home and arrested him in his vehicle. They could have called his attorney and told him to turn in his client. Or, once the home was surrounded, agents could have contacted Malinowski on his cellphone — they knew the number since they had a warrant to search his phone — and ordered him to come out with his hands up. If he didn’t answer his phone, a bullhorn would have sufficed.”

    the article itself says why they didn’t arrest his somewhere else, it was a search warrant not an arrest warrant.

    “Besides, agents didn’t even have an arrest warrant for Malinowski. All they had was a warrant to search his home. Agents listed a host of allegations in their search warrant affidavit, but Malinowski had yet to be charged with any crime.”

    If they arrested him at work or driving to work it would have been completely illegal since they had a search warrant.

    • Partially correct, the call to the phone or attorney was still an option. Also, show up in the daytime and announce yourself properly as he’s leaving for work or knock on the door. The show of force in the dark was way, way, way over the top. I’m sure they’ll promise to do better next time though. They always do.

    • You don’t arrest an individual on a search warrant. You do that with an arrest warrant. All BATFE had was a search warrant for his home. That COULD have been done, in broad daylight, and via a call to the house and a knock on the door, WITHOUT the gentlemans presence.
      WHY in the dark. WHY while the guy was home WITH guns? WHY the raid at the very minimum start time allowed by Government Rules of 0600 hours. Why cover the RING camera like he’s a member of a drug cartel? WHY no body cameras? WHY not do it in daylight and follow the subject home from the airport, then stopping and detaining him down the road from the house; then proceeding with him to the house to execute the search warrant?
      I could go on but this whole OP smells like another BATFE conducted FUBAR operation.

  10. For the ATF, this was “mission accomplished.” The desired message was sent: “Comply or die.” It couldn’t have been any clearer. Just so you’ll, know, they will not change their tactics, under Biden, this is what they’ve been directed to do.

  11. The headline said,
    “ATF Likely to Dodge Accountability Bullet in Arkansas Shooting Death”
    Correcting the headline:
    ATF Likely to Dodge Accountability in Arkansas Breaking, Entering, and ATF Murder of an Airport Executive who was Never Charged with any Crimes.

  12. Will God once again send an atheist to blow up a government building???

    Yes I went there.

    Also the “gun community” is very comfortable with government agents killing you. In order to protect government property.

    But they are against the private property owner killing in order to protect his private property.

  13. A lot of people keep saying to ‘arrest’ the guy off property, but my understanding is that the BATFE only had a SEARCH WARRANT, not an arrest warrant. I don’t think I need explain the difference between the two, but a pre-dawn RAID on a dwelling via an apparent no knock entry is NOT justified unless there is a risk of destruction of evidence or some reason to expect violence on the part of the occupants.
    BATFE wanted a high profile raid on a ‘gun trafficker’ as part of their press in Congress for money in Congress, and to push support for their changes on the administrative definition of ‘gun dealers.’ Well they got their raid [same plan as Waco BTW] and a man with no history of violence or criminality is dead.
    The FACT is BATFE could have followed and detained the subject away from the property [away from ANY guns] and THEN done a less ‘hostile’ approach, in daylight, to the property subject to the search warrant. Then it’s probable nobody dies. But then too no dramatic press coverage to show how impotent, sorry, IMPORTANT the BATFE is. This was grandstanding that unnecessarily cost a man his life.

  14. Keep in mind that before the GCA of 1968, these guys were NOTHING but Tax Collectors. Since then their scope of authority and power has grown, and is growing, exponentially. It is one of THE most duplicitous and dangerous agencies in the Alphabet Soup Group.

  15. While they are bad guys, the ATF was not involved in the kinetic part of Ruby Ridge. That was the US Marshalls and the FBI. Quit pushing this or get discredited.

  16. Hey Joe , How many ATF agents have lied on the same form as the accused !!!! The majority of them ! If they ever bought a gun just like most parents in this country . An gave it to their sons or daughters for Christmas or Birthday . You committed the same crime , falsafieing on background check form . How many people have done them same for the children
    Come on wake up people , stand up for what is true an right .

  17. Hey Joe , How many ATF agents have lied on the same form as the accused !!!! The majority of them ! If they ever bought a gun just like most parents in this country . An gave it to their sons or daughters for Christmas or Birthday . You committed the same crime , falsafieing on background check form . How many people have done them same for the children
    Come on wake up people , stand up for what is true an right .

  18. I concur that it was a bad search warrant plan, one clearly weighed towards achieving a violent encounter. However, since it was NOT an arrest warrant but search warrant for home/property/communication devices: He could have been approached/stopped to acquire his phone but the home was the primary warrant location. All those officers could have done simultaneous Stop/Serve. “Who” decided this Use of Force ZERO Dark Thirty SWAT Raid was the minimum needed to accomplish serve/execute the Warrant on a guy with no prior criminal record or propensity toward violence?
    It seems the BATFE delibertly tries to put a notch in their collective gun every few months while dragging drafted LE into their deadly plans. Obviously they don’t want to risk only their own agents.

  19. The first media report I read started with a bright, daylight picture of what seems to be an ATF agent in a black nylon windbreaker with yellow caps “ATF” — very familiar and somehow comforting.

    I have read one report , unverified, that the team that attacked the victim (sorry, Executed the Warrant) was garbed completely in civilian clothes, no badges, no cameras. Sounds like execution squad stuff to me!

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