At the beginning of last month, I asked How Much Do You Trust The Police? Last week, we examined the explosion of SWAT teams. TTAG commentator reaganmarine84 defended their use. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty: what would you do if the cops bust in without knocking? The whole point of a SWAT raid is speed, surprise and violence of action. So even if they did shout”Police!” you might not hear it. Not to mention the possibility that armed attackers could do the same thing. Or that you might not care if it’s the cops—at least in the heat of the moment. Before you answer, here’s an example where a SWAT team swooped on a homeowner based on hearsay evidence, he responded with three shots, killed a cop, went to Death Row and served ten years in prison (via reason.com) . . .
Cory Maye had settled into a chair in front of the television and was drifting off to sleep. It was around 9 p.m. on the day after Christmas, 2001, and the 21-year-old father had put his 18-month-old daughter, Tacorriana, to bed an hour earlier. Her mother—Chenteal Longino, Maye’s girlfriend—had left for her job on the night shift at the Marshall Durbin chicken plant in Hattiesburg, more than an hour away. The three shared half of a small, bright yellow duplex on Mary Street in Prentiss, Mississippi, a depressed town of 1,000 people in Jefferson Davis County, about halfway between Jackson and the Gulf Coast.
Later, in court, Maye would testify that he awoke to a violent pounding at his front door, as if someone was trying to kick it down. Frightened, he ran to his bedroom, where Tacorriana was sleeping. He retrieved the handgun he kept in a stand by the bed, loaded it, and chambered a bullet. He got down on the floor next to the bed, where he held the gun and waited in the dark next to his little girl, hoping the noises outside would subside.
They didn’t. They got worse. The commotion moved from the front of his home to the back, closer to Maye, and just outside the door to the room where he and his daughter were lying.
“Thought someone was trying to break in on me and my child,” Maye testified.
“And how were you feeling?” an attorney asked.
“Frightened,” Maye said. “Very frightened.”
One loud, last crash finally flung the rear door wide open, nearly separating it from its hinges. Seconds later, someone kicked open the bedroom door. A figure rushed up the steep, three-step entrance to the house and entered the room. Maye fired into the darkness, squeezing the trigger three times.
Maye says the next thing he remembers is hearing someone scream, “Police! Police! You just shot an officer!” He then dropped his gun, slid it away from his body, and surrendered.
One of the three bullets had found its way around Officer Ron Jones’ bulletproof vest, pierced his abdomen, and ripped through several vital organs. Jones would die of massive internal bleeding on the way to the hospital.
The Huffington Post reports that Maye’s being released after pleading down to Manslaughter. Meanwhile, would you have done anything different? Does this possibility make you hesitant about using lethal force to defend your home from armed aggressors? Could that hesitation kill?
[Also, does anyone have some guidelines for SWAT teams that members of our Armed Intelligentsia could take to the City Council to limit their activities?]