Prince George's County Police Chief Henry Stawinski
courtesy and AP
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Nine Prince George’s County Maryland police officers burst into a Forestville apartment Wednesday night to serve a warrant against a suspected drug dealer who’d been fingered by a confidential informant. Unfortunately the cops had the wrong address.

“We served the search warrant at the address that we identified through the investigation, however the investigation led us to the wrong address,” (Police Chief Hank) Stawinski said. “The individual that we are targeting does not live at that address . . . a law-abiding, hard-working citizen of Prince George’s County and his daughter were home at the point where we were executing that search warrant.”

The homeowner and his daughter were asleep at the time.

Hearing no response from inside, police began using a device to pry open the door to the unit, Donelan said. The man inside fired a shotgun at the team “as soon as they were able to open that door,” Donelan said.

An officer fired back but didn’t strike anyone inside the apartment, Donelan said. Two officers were wounded, one in the shoulder and one in the hand.

Two cops were wounded, neither seriously. It’s a minor miracle that the nine officers didn’t open fire, killing everyone in the house.

As soon as officers entered the apartment, the man inside immediately surrendered when he realized police were on the other side of the door, Stawinski said.

The man yelled, “‘You’ve got the wrong address! Don’t shoot my daughter!’ ” according to Stawinski.

Perhaps more remarkable has been the response of police and prosecutors following the incident.

“That individual acted to protect himself and to protect his daughter from what he believed to be the threat of home invasion,” Stawinski said. “I am confident that he did not intentionally fire that weapon at police officers because they were police officers . . . this man was devastated when he realized he had fired upon police officers.”

Stawinski said that he conferred with Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and that both agreed that the resident would not be criminally charged in the shooting.

In addition, Chief Stawinski has stopped executing all search warrants in the county until they conduct a review of the process used in gathering information and confirming the addresses of their investigative targets.

The chief said he wants to see a “broader representation of those methods than what we saw in this case.” … The chief also said disciplinary measures and departmentwide policy changes could result from the review.

This is how all of these wrong-address situations should be handled. A homeowner facing a night time invasion of his home has virtually no opportunity to determine who it is that just kicked in his door. The individual here reacted naturally and prudently in defending himself and his daughter. No one should be charged for shooting police officers when defending his life and family in good faith.

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  1. No knock raids are unconstitutional, or if not at the very least stupid. They should be banned in all but the most egregious circumstances.

    • I agree how many of us wouldn’t be ready to start shooting if we heard somebody breaking into their house?

      • I personally think all police depts n the U.S. should be shut down and the officers let go permanently. Law enforcement should be privatized and every state should have it’s own laws in which everyone of them voted on by the citizens. Police are getting away with whatever they feel like. Just like them shooting people’s dogs when they try to protect their yard. Any damn cop that would shoot a dog deserves to have his or her asses shot right back. If police was privatized the applicants could go through an extremely strenuous psychological screening process and know the state’s laws that they are employed in front and back. At present I would estimate that 85 percent or more of the police in this nation are out of control and use their guns and badges to do whatever crosses their minds.

      • All raids are no-knock if you want them to be.
        Just tap lightly on the door and whisper ‘police’.
        Nobody will ever challenge your perjured description of how you pounded and yelled loudly.

          • Not always! I had a guitar delivered during the dead of winter. I specified signature required so they wouldn’t leave it on my porch, especially since I was managing a project and worked long hours and my wife was away. Sure enough I got home at 10 PM one night and what was sitting in the snow?

      • Yeah, but for a lot of warrants have you seen how they knock?

        In a lot of cases they knock and then knock the door down within literally five seconds. If you tried to answer the door you end up with the door smashed into your face…

        Not saying that happened here but that is a common tactic.

      • Yes, raid in the middle of the night and wonder why someone doesn’t come to the door immediately. The police knew EXACTLY what they were doing and got what they deserved.

        • I wouldn’t say they got what they deserved. Only because it is department/Law Enforcement wide issue. Sure, the officers are participating in it, but it isn’t like the actions of one rogue team or officer lead to it. When it is endemic, you’ve gotta blame the system more so than the individual. Or at least the system is much more to blame.

          For a lot of this stuff, officers can choose to wait around and arrest the person as they are leaving, which is significantly safer all around. But, nah, don’t want to waste 6, or 8 or 10 guys time for maybe a night sitting around waiting for the perp to come out the door the next morning. A lot sexier to just bust down the door with guns drawn and hope he doesn’t reach for a gun (or figure you can pretend he did).

          Or if you’ve gotta knock, do it nice a loud and long. Use a baton if you don’t want to be standing right in front of the door in case they decide to shoot through it. But a knock and 5 seconds later a battering ram isn’t a “knock warrant”. My wife sleeps like the dead. It would probably take several minutes of pounding on the door yelling “Police, open up” before she’d wake up and be out of bed. Heck I sleep light as heck, but it would still probably take me 20 or 30 seconds to wake up enough to understand what I was hearing and make my way to my front door unless I am trying to sprint to it.

          Let alone from about May till October I tend to sleep in my boxers or nothing if hot enough. Yeah, I don’t care if it is the cops knocking, I am going to take half a minute to pull on some pants and maybe a shirt before I open the door. Especially since I am probably thinking there is a good chance if cops are pounding on my door in the middle of the night it means I am likely sitting around or standing around answering questions for an hour or two and they might not be polite enough to let me grab some pants to put on, or grab some for me.

          So figure 2 minutes to answer the door in the middle of the night if “police open up” is heard. Sure, I’ll probably yell back, “One minute, I am putting on pants”.

          Also, TBH, also not unlikely I am going to grab a piece just in case it ISN’T the police pounding on the door, claiming that is who they are. Which adds a few more seconds, both to grab it out, check it and then slip it in to a drawer in the cabinet by my front door when I look through the peep hole and see it is the cops.

          *edit* To add on the no knock, correct house, wrong house it doesn’t matter. Most cities, counties and states aren’t going to compensate a home owner for any damage caused from a police home invasion, I mean warrant search. Probably won’t even get a “sorry we busted down your door”. A lot of people aren’t handy enough to go to home depot or wherever, buy a new front door and install it themselves. Even if they are, figure out of pocket at least a couple of hundred bucks because the cops were eager. If they have to hire some, figure probably $1000 out of pocket because the cops wanted some action that night.

    • Reads like it was not “no knock”, but they couldn’t have tried very hard to wake him up. It would be enlightening to hear how you have an “investigation” centered on a wrong address. But good for the cops, sounds like a good response.

    • Seconded. No knock is just plain dumb and arguably unlawful. To unilaterally escalate a search warrant to destruction of property and violence is wrong no matter how you put it…with the exception of life being on the line (perhaps such as in a kidnapping). If you really thought the suspect was dangerous, you’d take him on the road, not in his castle.

      Its insanely dangerous to cops, suspects and innocent bystanders…no knock ought to be as rare as bombing suspects.

      • I listened to a officer once explain why they do warrants late at night. As I listened to him, my first thought, it is a disaster waiting to happen. He claimed it was so that they would catch people asleep and not exactly thinking clearly when rudely awakened from that sleep. Is that a good idea? Seriously. If a cop is going through a door, do they want them to be able to think about surrendering or not? When a person is woke up that way, it is more about instinct than thought. A very dangerous person, a serial killer or escaped felon as examples, is going to use that instinct and would likely be sleeping with a weapon under his pillow. That bad guy’s first instinct is going to be grabbing that gun and shooting anything that moves. He’s not going to sit for a bit and think on it, he’s going to go on instinct. Problem is, he has a instinct to do bad things.

        I might add, a innocent person would likely do the same thing if they have prepared themselves for such a situation. I’ve seen police videos of those types of raids. With all the yelling going on, you can’t understand what is even being said. They could be yelling “bug man” for all they would know. You add in that sometimes people bust in a door claiming to be police, even dressed like them, and they are bad guys there to rob, rape and maybe even kill someone. Given the right circumstances, they could be there all night doing whatever they want. Yelling police doesn’t do enough. They need to prove they are police and that they have a legal right to be there.

        I’m all for cops doing their job and doing it safely. I just want them to also consider the safety of the innocent people as well. Serving warrants at night, especially no knock warrants, is not a good idea.

    • No knock entry are useful if the criminals know you’re coming and are in the process of destroying crucial evidence, or obviously if the situation could develop into some sort of barricades subject/hostage if you knock on the door, wait and let them prepare. One of the issue I see as a cop, in this country any LE unit labeled as “tactical” can gear up and serve warrants. In other countries, only the real elite units do this kind of job. If you look at the French GIGN, RAID, GIPN they are pretty darn good. Of course we are a much bigger country and that might be harder to organize. I am not saying this is cool proof either.

      • “Useful” does not equal “constitutional” or even smart. You can justify damn near anything as useful to law enforcement purposes, but as a taxpayer, I want to start seeing more LEO’s applying some consideration for their place and purpose in our free society as it was founded and less time attempting to justify blatantly unconstitutional bullshit like no-knock warrants and civil asset forfeiture.

        I’m not a libertarian, but I’ve become increasingly convinced over the past few years that we’ve allowed law enforcement too much leash, and I’m not alone. Policing reform is going to come sooner or later and LEO’s aren’t going to like what it entails, but they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves.

        • You are correct, sir. In the interests of full disclosure I will say that I have been personally involved in a significant number of “no-knock” search warrants, many as the supervising, ranking officer. At the time I was so involved I had bought into the validity of the ‘war on drugs’, and had taken the attitude that if a citizen didn’t want to to have the police knock down their door unannounced in the middle of the night then they shouldn’t sell drugs from their home. Having retired from the police service a number of years ago my view has changed dramatically, and I regret my prior involvement in such egregious, dangerous, harmful and traumatic behavior for the citizens. “No knock” places everyone involved in extreme danger for the sale and/or possession of pharmaceuticals or plants. The police response is disparate to the crime. I have come to realize that “no knock” warrants are unconstitutional, and should not be permitted except in the rarest of circumstances in which a life may be directly and clearly in immediate danger.

      • “…. police began using a device to pry open the door to the unit, Donelan said. The man inside fired a shotgun at the team “as soon as they were able to open that door,”….”

        More then likely the destruction of the door woke the citizen. I’m pretty sure doors don’t bust down as in the movies.

    • Except this wasn’t a no knock raid. They said at the beginning because the people were asleep and they didn’t hear a response they started to pry open the door with an entry tool

  2. Just because someone announces “Police open up!” doesn’t mean there are real police at your door. Criminals are not dumb and if they can use this as a subterfuge to get into your house you’re screwed.

  3. This story must be fake news. They didn’t cap his dog, tie up them both, toss the apartment and charge him with attempted murder?
    In M.D. no less?
    And they are going to suspend NKR while they review their procedures?

    • I have to agree. I worked on a cse where the police had a warrant to search a single wide mobile at the end of a country road. When they got there, there was not just a single wide, but a double wide occupied by the ranch caretaker and his family. They decided to raid that too, even though they did not have a warrant for that location. They knocked on the door, waking the caretaker, who, knowing that he lived next door to a couple of heroin dealers, and having had druggies pounding on his door in the middle of the night, approached the door, shotgun in hand. a cop, seeing this, shot at him through the window, striking him in the arm. They then entered in force. They handcuffed the caretaker and held him and his family at gun point for almost an hour while they “tried to sort things out.” It was alleged that the officers also interfered with the EMTs called to render aid for his wound.

      Yeah, that cost the two involved public entities a pretty penny. The case settled VERY quickly. Oh, and by the time the raiding party showed up, the drug dealers had fled.

  4. Idiots playing wanna-be military having fun playing with night vision toys and try to justify the toys with night raids. Azzholes.

  5. I’ve never held back my support for local cops here on ttag. But this was a case of self defense and a good resolution to the event. I am not good with no knock entries and tho this was not such an entry it was still sloppy work that resulted in a near tragedy.

    Cops should look like Reed and Malloy and, with few exceptions involving hostages and death threats, warrants should be served in a polite and professional manner. I would rather see some drugs flushed than people killed any day of the week.

    Our war on drugs has been a total failure and the funds and manpower needs to be used in a more beneficial manner.

      • Even the Gestapo knocked on the door before gaining entry,,,
        Sorta tells you something…
        The militarization of American police departments and Israeli training doesn’t help, either.
        “We are all Palestinians, now.”

    • “Cops should look like Reed and Malloy”

      Man, you want to put a bunch of bald, tatted up, roid freaks out of work. But on the positive side, this might lead to a growth opportunity for regional wrestling promotions.

      • Some of these cops are tatted up like Samoan or Maori warriors.

        “What’s that tattoo?”

        “It’s tribal.”

        “What tribe do you belong to?”

        H/T Howie Mandel.

        • Yeah. I encountered a young man who was working at a Whole Foods. Dread locks, big wholes in his ear lobes and tats all over. White boy. I asked him about the tats and he said they were ‘tribal’.

          I wasn’t aware that Northern European Honky was a tribe.

          • I personally don’t “get” tattoos, but as the saying goes, you do you. I know a cop down south (I’m a yankee) who retired as a sergeant IIRC after 20 years, so he’s still young(ish). Full sleeves (not tribal, but art I guess), the whole nine. When he heard that I was going to be in his area he invited me to meet him and he would take me bar hopping. I politely declined, telling him my liver couldn’t take a night of drinking with him.

    • jwm,

      … with few exceptions involving hostages and death threats, warrants should be served in a polite and professional manner.

      Truthbomb #1

      I would rather see some drugs flushed than people killed any day of the week.

      Truthbomb #2

      Our war on drugs has been a total failure and the funds and manpower needs to be used in a more beneficial manner.

      Truthbomb #3

      And JWM wins the Intertubez this month!

    • My question is why was the confidential informant not charged with attempted murder? At least that will open up an investigation on the validity of the warrant and level charges as appropriate. If you want to issue and act on warrants, then deal with the consequences if they are bogus and blow up in your face.

    • I truly believe that some search warrants are served at the time they are in order to provoke a response that will allow LE to provide as an excuse for a preplanned shooting! Opinions will differ but mine comes from 30yrs of Police service including Narcotics, Narcotics task Force and SWAT.

      • So, you are complicit in illegal raids? So what’s your point?
        If you come to my house to do an illegal raid, you will be shot in the back as you try to enter. Because I’ll know when you get here, I’ll be in position, and ambush your ambush. And hopefully, it’s an outgoing tide, because that’s where your bodies will be floating.

    • Public records, such as property tax assessments, recorded real estate transactions and voter registration records are readily available to get a fairly good idea of who owns/lives at a given address.

      LE agencies also have access to driver’s license and state ID databases to match names and addresses.

      Checking such easily available data should be standard due diligence before any police raid in the middle of the night. Lives and public dollars could be saved.

  6. I don’t know how you can get the wrong house unless intel was bad to begin with. For something as serious as serving an active warrant, you better double or triple check before you run head first.
    Enough folks hate us cops, we don’t need this kind of non sense, which technically is a violation of the constitutional rights of the individual in the “wrong” house.

    • I have work in EMS in both emergency response and private transport. even with all the time in the world and no pressure it is incredibly easy to get the wrong address if you’ve never been there before. now having said that, the police have access to a lot of resources that I do not. There would have to be a damn good reason for me to accept that they served a warrant at the wrong address, especially if it was my house

      • That’s a pretty stupid response. Hey, I want to help you, or Hey, I want to kick your house in and tear it up. Dumb.

    • I live in NY, and one day came home from work at around 7pm in the summer to 6 police cars parked in my driveway and on my neighbors lawn. I panicked as my wife works for the state and specifically has to deal with all sorts of individuals that have shown a propensity for violence on the other side of the table, and she had been threatened more than once. When I got to the first cop I saw and asked what was going on he apologized and said “wrong house, we’ll be out of here in a few minutes.”
      Luckily it was light out and my wife had been outside gardening with our dog. We have a pitbull rescue, and we were lucky that we have a fully fenced front yard, and my wife grabbed her when she started seeing all these police cars pulling up.
      Turns out they were trying to serve a restraining order on some guy that we had never heard of, and couldn’t have lived at the address for at least 15 years, as that’s how long we had lived there. We had access to Lexis Nexis so we looked up his name. We had just gotten a new landline installed with a new phone number, and it turned out that our new number was this guy’s old cell phone number, and at a completely different address. According to all sorts of policies and procedures they should not have used that method to get an address, especially since it showed restraining order targets name terminating association with that phone number at least a year previously, and my name associating with that number about a month before the cops showed up at my house. Thank God, nothing bad happened as it easily could have, and thank God, I hadn’t been home because I guarantee you they would have thought I was the guy. In retrospect, we should have raised absolute holy hell over this, but we live in a small town, and with my wife working for the State she didn’t want to make enemies. She talked to a few people of authority, and supposedly it would never happen again. I got rid of that brand new landline the minute I connected those dots.

  7. The modern sporting rifle ban may have just saved a life in MD. Had the owner had one instead of a shotgun it is entirely possible this would have escalated into a general firefight, and or penetrated an officers vest severely wounding or killing them. I do not support the ban, but i can see antis holding this up as a situation in favor of the ban.

    Also Good to see police responding in an appropriate manner rather than trying to pin something, anything, on the homeowner

    • Are you saying that we need an AW ban to protect cops who screw up so they don’t get shot by an innocent homeowner? What logic.

    • I don’t follow you. Shotguns are no less lethal than rifles for home defense. Those cops got injured because he missed their body armor and hit less vital areas.

      If someone is breaking into my house, give me a shotgun and 00 Buckshot any day.

      • Curtis in IL,

        Your shotgun will NOT send pellets through a ballistic vest. You need a rifle to push bullets through a ballistic vest unless your attacker happens to have a vest with a plate carrier and you hit their ceramic/steel plate.

        That is why some people prefer a rifle over a shotgun for home defense.

        Now, if you were specifically targeting your attacker’s arms or legs, a shotgun might give you a slightly higher probability of striking your attacker as the pattern will obviously cover a larger area than a single bullet from a rifle. Just keep in mind that your pattern will still be quite small/tight at inside-home distances.

        (I hear that shotgun patterns expand about one inch for every three feet after the pellets leave a barrel with a cylinder choke. Thus, if your attacker was 15 feet away, your pattern would be about 5 inches in diameter.)

        • I use #4 Buck, more and smaller pellets, a bit more spread. Head shots people, no matter what you choose to use in home defense. Anybody can shout police as they smash the door, anybody can buy vests and armor. A 12 gauge round to the head at close range does the job admirably, avoids ballistic defenses, and sure as hell will cause any home invaders, badged or not, to hesitate while you chamber another greeting card.

        • Don,

          As far as I can tell, all of the police invasion squads warrant execution teams wear bullet resistant helmets with full-face transparent shields. If those transparent shields are thick enough and made of the right material, they will stop your #4 pellets.

          Do you know for sure whether or not #4 pellets at shotgun velocities will sail through those transparent full-face shields? (I honest have no idea. I am hoping that someone on this forum knows for certain.)

  8. Police execute search warrants at the wrong address way, WAY, WAY too often. This garbage HAS to stop. Period.

    The simple solution: all police officers who participate in a search warrant at the wrong address should be imprisoned AND fined under United States Code 18, Section 242 — Deprivation of rights under color of law.

    Note that 18 U.S. Code Section 242 specifies a 10 year prison sentence and fine for threatening deadly force. And if the police kill someone in the process, 18 U.S. Code Section 242 allows for the death penalty.

  9. As far as knocking and yelling waking up,folks . I worked for the FD 30 years, countless times we’ve pulled up lights and sirens , knocked yelled, hit doors with tools , finally entered to find folks sound asleep . Very common.

    One fumes call just prior to my retirement , we knocked on an apartment door quite hard and yelled “fire dept “, many times ,my ladderman found the back door unlocked , we entered , yelling “fire dept “ over and over , nothing . While pulling out the gas stove to shut it down , my irons man heard snoring….

    Smoke detectors going off pot on the stove burning, and folks asleep / passout , not a guy on the job that can’t tell countless of these stories .

  10. What are the chances that the resident is/was a Federal LEO (maybe DEA or something)? This seems to have been cleaned up far too quickly. Judging by the reaction of the resident they seem to have experience with tactical entries and “Professional Courtesy” would have gone a long way to make this go away as far as the DA is concerned.

  11. The teenage boy in Oklahoma who used his father’s AR-15 rifle to shoot home Invaders only fired two rounds and killed three criminals. Obviously his bullets to pass through one or two people and entered the third Criminal who was outside of the home.

    Many “gun experts” promote the AR-15 rifle for home defense instead of shotgun. How many rounds can you squeeze off from your AR-15 in two or three seconds????

    I would guess you would probably be able to fire at least 20 rounds in that very short period of time. That’s a lot more wounded and Dead Cops who made the mistake of not checking for the correct address.

    This is 70 miles from my house and I’m still angry about it.

    “Man Dies in Police Raid on Wrong House Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door”.
    The family claimed the police never knocked or announced who they where.

    Another wrong address or evidence not found to make an arrest.

    • My home defense( if there is such a thing) is a .410 with number 6. Yes I’ve got other firearms but I don’t want anyone I don’t intend shooting shot…… Yes on these accidental address shootings. Pisses me off too. No need for busting in doors, gung ho shootem ups

      • I use a Judge revolver with a combination of 00 buckshot, Winchester PDX and Honady 410 self defense ammo. Its my night stand gun. I don’t want to try and clear a jam at 3am just waking up. But I do have an AR15 and a mossberg 590, next to the bed as a back up, when I’m wide awake.

        Buck and bird shot are outstanding defensive ammo. check out You Tube.

        • I do my own testing, PDX wasn’t what I’d hoped for, the buckshot is good, and at real close range( like 2 inches) .410 number 6 will go through a car door.

    • Yes, it is a clear case of liability. His damages are property damage (if he owns the place, which seems unlikely) and emotional distress.They did shoot at him after all. There was a case here where the City paid $100K to a woman who was shot at by a rookie police officer after leaving her driveway, one bullet going through her side view mirror, the other through her back window. The police had been pursuing an armed car thief who had been shooting at the sheriff’s deputies as he fled. He ducked into my neighborhood, and unfortunately for this poor woman, her car kinda matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle, and the police immediately pulled her over as shes= left her driveway to go to work. Rookie cop got too excited. The car thief was actually just a couple of blocks away, and the police soon found him hiding in some bushes. He fired again, stupidly, and the police “terminated” the encounter with an M-16. Quite a surprising sound at 5 o’clock int he morning.

  12. How can you expect anyone to respond in the middle of the night to a knock on the door? Even Bad Guys go to sleep. But to break into the wrong house and not expect to get shot is downright irresponsible if not just plain STUPID!
    And in MARYLAND? Where you have to ask PERMISSION to even BUY a handgun? And you can’t even get a permit to carry it?
    I am totally surprised they are not going to charge the homeowner. This is not normal for Maryland.

  13. How ’bout we just legalize drugs and thereby take away the incentive to deal in them? This so-called “war on drugs” is only digging us in deeper and we’re not winning!

    • Any time prisoners can get drugs in JAIL, that tells me the ‘war on drugs’ is a joke…and a total waste of money and time…

  14. Why does it have to be an entry raid at all? All this over some drugs? Are they are really “taking a bite out of crime”. What a bunch of crap. I’d at least attempt to sue the ever living hell of them.

  15. No he won’t be charged with shooting the poleece, he will be arrested for jaywalking and shot dead while trying to escape. His daughter will be placed in an orphanage, where she will learn to survive by using her tricks. The home they lived in will mysteriouly burnt to the ground. The dog will be neutered. And his woman sent tto Syria. Because nobody shoots a cop red handed and gets away with it.

  16. As a former LEO , my guts just twisted when I read this story.
    As a former LEO, i am suprised ar the restraint of these officers, and it not ending in a blood bath.
    As a former LEO, I personally would unleash fury on someone waking me from a dead sleep by kicking in my door in the middle of the night, probably resulting in the death of myself, and probably a few officers.
    And finally, as a former LEO, after processing all of this information, I’m thinking, “WTF were these guys thinking”??!! What kind of INTEL were they basing this raid on? The confidential (a snitch making a deal for his own crimes)informant’s word? If you use enough properly trained personnel, cover all exits, and don’t send everything you got through the front door, this could have ended with an apology and minimal reparations. Now, it may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a few cops, who were just doing what they were told, their livelihood, unable to get another LE job, resulting in them not being able to support a family. For them, it’s just a downward spiral. For the victims, insurmountable mental anguish. As a former LEO, I’ve been in gunfights. I know the emotional strain in the aftermath. But I knew it going in. I knew it would be part of the job. But an INNOCENT VICTIM??!! I can’t even make myself fathom that kind mental pain. I thank God that no one was seriously injured or killed. But the emotional trauma? All of my shoots were clean and cleared, but I still think about them. It does get better, but it never goes away. At least not in the 30 some odd years I’ve been retired.

  17. The resident was devastated when he realized that he’d been firing on cops. What? Why? Any bunch of bums who bust into your home deserve to get what they get.

    Maybe he had to say so to get a pass.

  18. The $64,000 question:

    Was there a confidential informant AT ALL?

    The Atlanta PD murdered Kathryn Johnston during a raid premised on a perjured warrant affidavit which cited the testimony of a NONEXISTENT “confidential informant”.

    When they discovered that they’d murdered an innocent woman in an illegal drug raid in which NO DRUGS were found, they PLANTED drugs in her house, then kidnapped and suborned perjury from a REAL confidential informant.

    I can’t help but wonder whether in this case, the cops issued a mea culpa because the raid ITSELF was bogus and prosecuting the victim would have revealed that… and possibly much, much more…

    • The Kathryn Johnston murder is a good case that everyone should review. In the investigation it was revealed that:

      1. Detective Junnier told the FBI that the information used to obtain the search warrant on Johnston’s home was false.

      2. The federal probe into the police department revealed that Atlanta police routinely lied to obtain search warrants, including often falsifying affidavits.

      3. The police sergeant in charge of the narcotics unit plead guilty to charges surrounding the shooting.

      4. Another officer admitted to extortion.

      5. Planting drugs and lying to obtain search warrants is routine in the police department.

      6. Smith admitted that he had planted bags of marijuana in Johnston’s house after the shooting.

      7. Tesler, who had been stationed at the back of Johnston’s house and had not fired during the raid, testified that Smith and Junnier had planned the cover-up.

      8. Tesler said that he had participated in the cover-up out of fear that the other officers would frame him if he did not.

      9. According to court filings, the three officers involved in the shooting got together to get their stories straight.

      10. The informant denied having gone to her house and said that after the shooting, police pressured him to lie and say that he had.

      11. The US attorney announced that prosecutors would investigate a “culture of misconduct” within the APD, including common practices of making false statements to get warrants and submitting falsified documentation in drug cases. (The feds said the same thing about the New Orleans PD and how they routinely violated citizens’ civil rights).

      12. The officers involved in the shooting testified that they had been under pressure to meet performance requirements of the APD, and that the APD had never trained them not to lie on their reports, requests for search warrants, or plant evidence.

      • Oh yeah, one more thing:

        13. The sentences of Junnier and Smith were reduced after they turned state’s evidence against other cops.

      • I remember listening to the ongoing news reports from when that happened. Atlanta still has problems with corruption in the APD, and AFD, and in the rest of the government as well. I almost never go inside the crime line, AKA I-285.

        • What corruption would the AFD have? Seems odd. My son is a firefighter in Raleigh, NC. He’s now a lieutenant. Other than the good old boy network down south, the FD is pretty highly regarded and the Raleigh PD routinely asks the RFD to intercede for them on things like raises, etc. because the city council (and public) like the FD but do not like the PD.

        • Danny. Decades ago when I lived in WV a local FD was busted by, I believe it was feds, for all sorts of corruption. One of their schemes was that if a business had fire insurance and wanted to collect on it they contracted with the FD to burn their business down and then handle their paperwork.

          I believe that what got the feds involved is that the local FD and PD were involved in trafficking drugs in a big way.

          People see fire fighters, and rightfully so, as heroes. But even the FD’s have their fair share of folks willing to play by their own rules.

  19. “It’s a minor miracle that the nine officers didn’t open fire, killing everyone in the house.”

    especially in PG County.

  20. The audacity of this department to think they could charge this individual in the first place is the real issue. How do we prevent cops from overstepping boundaries and what do we do when they do? You can see from some of the other results of these raids that these fuckers get off easy and the taxpayer ends up footing the bill for their illegal and disgusting behavior. We as citizens need to remind the police that they work for us and that that is the only way that equation is written. How we do that, I don’t know. I’m not saying round up the ones who were involved in some of these similar events throughout the years and administer justice. Or perhaps that would send a message to the other ones that do this to American citizens. How can we fix this? One person killed wrongfully, by any member of law enforcement is one too many. Please do not pigeon hole me as anti-cop. Many of my greatest friends, ones that I will have for life, are cops or former LEOs. I just see some of these shootings and the aftermath doesn’t reflect what it should. They walk away with their jobs or get bumped down to some administrative bullshit, while still keeping their pensions. It just pisses me off.

    • “Please do not pigeon hole me as anti-cop.”

      To the police unions and the fanbois, ANY criticism of police is “anti-cop”.

      Remember, according to Patrick Lynch, the criminal assault on James Blake wasn’t actually a criminal assault, because that criminal assault was done with technical virtuosity. I suppose that according to this theory, if Jonathan Aledda, the cop who shot Charles Kinsey had instead made a six hundred yard headshot on a toddler, that would be justified by the shooter’s ability to read the wind.

      Never forget, to the police unions and the fanbois, the cops are the Japanese army, we’re the Chinese and it’s always 1937 in Nanking.

  21. Well that settles it. Since Nazis were so polite we’ll have all our police conduct themselves in the manner of gestapo for everyone’s delicate sensibilities.

  22. I’ll never understand why they don’t opt to execute warrants when they see the occupant of the dwelling leave to get the mail or walk the dog. It’d be much easier to avoid mistaken identity as well as easier, simpler, and safer to detain the dude while your guys rifle through his underoos.

  23. Here are solutions that would bring police under the same rules that apply to us mere mundane citizens…of course, they will never be implemented, but here goes…
    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
    2. Eliminate both absolute and qualified immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be bonded by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond=no job. You can bet that insurance companies would be more diligent in weeding out the bad apples than our present system.
    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds, NOT from the taxpayers.
    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizenno exceptions.
    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers bulk up with the help of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
    6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers, NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
    7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established a blacklist of abusive (former) police officers.
    9. Most people are unaware that police have special rules that prohibit them from being questioned from 48 to 72 hours. This allows them to get their stories straight and makes it easier to cover up bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired…no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel on the cloud for public perusal.
    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police fair? I think not.
    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
    13 Asset forfeiture is a form of legalized robbery under color of law and must be abolished. We must return to Constitutional principles when it comes to crimefighting. The so-called war on drugs is actually a war on the citizenry, and has had an extremely corrosive effect on the Constitutional principles that our country is (supposed to be) founded on.
    14. No-knock raids must be abolished as they put both police and (especially citizens) in harms way. Even the Nazis knocked on the door before gaining entry.
    15. SWAT teams must be reigned in on their dynamic entry techniques. Utilizing SWAT teams for routine situations is dangerous to both police and citizens. Smashing everything in sight just because they can, blaming it on an adrenaline rush must end. There is NEVER a reason for destroying property.
    16. The 21 foot rule must be modified or abolished. American police training assumes that ANYONE that gets within 21 feet of a police officer and is deemed a threat, even a non-life-threatening situation is fair game for the use of lethal force. Persons with rakes, sticks, knives, or even their fists have been executed, even when non-lethal means would have been more appropriate. Police hide behind the 21 foot rule in order to justify questionable police shootings. Their excuse, when brought before a prosecutor or grand jury is that they feared for their life or that is the way they are trained. THAT has to change. Police have a greater responsibility NOT to use deadly force against those that they could easily subdue by other means.
    17. Clear and concise rules of engagement must be established for ALL American law enforcement personnel. Any deviation from these rules must be severely punished. It is interesting to note that American military veterans in combat zones operate under more restrictive rules of engagement than American law enforcement. In fact, American “law enforcement operates under NO rules of engagement. They have total carte blanche to destroy whoever they want. THAT has to change.

  24. “Escalation of force” is a doctrine that is NEVER used by American “law enforcement” today. Any American police officer can say that “he feared for his life”, even from a suspect many yards away, and his use of deadly force will be considered “justified”. Police have murdered individuals holding a cell phone or other innocuous object and have “gotten away with murder”. Even with incontrovertible video evidence, charges are routinely dismissed. It could be surmised that American police departments operate under NO “rules of engagement”–they don’t exist in any police department as unjustifiable killings by police are routinely “excused”. Behavior that would get an ordinary citizen prosecuted and incarcerated is routinely “excused” by police-friendly prosecutors and prosecutor-steered, police-friendly grand juries.
    It is long overdue to establish “rules of engagement for American “law enforcement”. Bring them under “the rule of law” just like the rest of us. On the other hand, supreme court decisions have stated that police have NO DUTY to protect individuals–only “society at large”. One only has to look at the recent school shooting where cops SAT ON THEIR HANDS, afraid to do their jobs, while two courageous SWAT team members were punished for going in.
    American “law enforcement” has also adopted Israeli methods for dealing with the citizenry, demanding immediate compliance to commands, which many times are conflicting as they are “barked” by multiple police officers. This, in itself, is a recipe for trouble. It turns out that “we are all Palestinians, now”.

  25. What would the response be if the homeowner was a better shot and canoed the pointman instead of grazed two.

  26. a while back the cops did a knock knock ( no knock just break in ) at a residence looking for someone who had a long record. of course they really should have went to the address around the corner and maybe have a better chance of finding that person, you know, since that is where the person actually lived. but instead they burst into the wrong address, where a minister lived, who upon seeing Nazi like militants bursting into his home collapsed and died from a heart attack. now if you or me did that we would face a long list of charges varying from murder to things we never heard of before and go to jail. but what do you think happened to those cops? if you guessed nothing you got it. cops are supposed to be people too and should be held to the same standards of the law that we are, but are they? and the communist we called the demokratics keep making them more and more like the military. like that is what we need right? people in this country really need to get there head OUT of their asses and WAKE UP before it is too late.

  27. I cannot speak to the “devestation” of the homeowner, who clearly acted in his own defense. I will note the following. Were I the householder/homeowner, I would be seeking legal counsel, especially given the past performances of Law Enforcement Agencies and their operational methods, what appear to be the ongoing problem of their Wrong House Raids, and the seemingly unacceptable sloppiness of Law Enforcement. Heads need to roll and not the heads of aggrieved civilians.

  28. Why do we have so many websites with incompetent headline writers who can’t even take time to read the article before writing the headline they put on it?

    Why do we have so many incompetent editors who fail to notice that their headline writers are grossly incompetent?

    And finally — why do the incompetent fools in the two questions above keep calling this a “Wrong House” raid when it was NOT?

    The police did NOT raid the wrong house — they raided the exact house they were supposed to raid — the part that was wrong was that the narcotics squad detectives LIED to get a search warrant for a house where they actually had no probable cause and where there was no criminal activity.

    There is a world of difference between incompetent police going to a different address from the address on their warrant (an actual “wrong house” raid) compared to dishonest police getting a warrant issued with no probable cause.

  29. Re the supposed nonprosecution of the aggrieved party, THE HOMEOWNER, amazing, absolutely amazing, especially in Maryland. I do wonder regarding the future safety of the guy, should he remain in that jurisdiction. Do I take an overly dim view of things, possibly so, though I tend to call things as I see them. Circumstances can, of course, correct any errors in judgement that I might well make.

  30. Honestly. The cops who break the door down to the wrong house. And kill the innocent owner who was defending himself. Should be prosecuted. This is a rare occasion that the home owner was not charged with anything. Or something magically appeared to give the cops cause. . Cops have to many protections from mistakes that kill people. . The hole system is corrupt. I’ve seen people who showed the d.a. proof of innocence, and they dont care. They will still try to prosecute you. Or try to have your evidence dismissed. This happens way to often. . It’s not about guilt or innocence anymore. It’s all about numbers and money. the cops and people who are actually good and try to do the right thing and to few. The power that comes with the badge. Goes to Theresa heads. And corrupts. When they have to deal with scum for awhile. They cant turn it off. And treat good people the same way. And then minor things into a bad situation. I have alot of friends In law enforcement. But even they tell me it’s all corrupt. The hires up telling them to do shady things. Not many people care enough anymore. It’s a shame. Eventually it will come to a head. And unfortunately the police will be on the losing side. Hopefully not in my time.. people are getting sick of it. It’s worse now. Because we have instant news, cellphones and cameras everywere to show all the cover ups and corruption that’s been going on for ever.. . Ty to all the good cops out there.
    But unfortunately there’s isnt that many.

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