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Old March 20, 2009, 10:24 AM   #76
ilbob
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I totally disagree----- your rights have not been violated by the Cop's temerity to knock on your door in error while investigating a crime.
What crime was committed? As best I can tell the only crime in this incident prior to the cops knocking on the door was a false 911 call.

Everything that happened after that point was a series of mistakes that ended up with the people who made the worst mistakes arresting the people who made very minor mistakes.

BTW, just how does one get charged with public intoxication when you are in your own domicile?
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Old March 20, 2009, 10:36 AM   #77
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Its not surprising that despite a few safeguards in the system, sometimes things happen that should not. Human nature beings being what they are, its rare they will just admit to a screwup of this magnitude. Once the decision is made that they are not going to admit to a screwup, they will do what they have to to protect themselves from the consequences of their own mistakes or misconduct. At that point they care nothing about you, your rights, what is right, or anything else. Just human nature at work.


While this may be true in a small amount, I don't think it's fair to paint with such a broad brush. LEOs are, for the most part, good guys doing a tough job, and just want to get home safe.
I am not sure what broad brush you are talking about. Most times cops are indeed the good guys. Now and then they screw up. Sometimes when they screw up they don't want to take the heat for it. Human nature taking over.

The majority of the time if they just said 'sorry, we made a mistake", it would be over and done with. It always seems like it is when they screw up and then try to blame it on someone else that it blows up into a mess like this.
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Old March 20, 2009, 01:01 PM   #78
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Personally I think it was dumb to open the door at all, gun or not. I am not opening my door at 3 am for anyone unless I called for someone to come, or can otherwise verify just who they are.
And this is the core issue, and the reason I started this thread.

Quote:
the offender
Otherwise known as the homeowner, was awakened by a knock at the door at 0300, grabbed his weapon and went to the door to see what the problem was, when he opened the door to verify that it was indeed the police, he suddenly became...

Quote:
the offender
I dont think the question is what law he "offended" as much as whom he "offended".

Dash cam video would seem to indicate that there were no " Sparlky blue lights" and only a verbal assertion that it was the police after he asked who was there. Video also shows that he opened the door cautiously, with his gun at "low ready". Once he saw it was the police he asked them to step back and inquired as to what they wanted. This act is apparently what made him...

Quote:
the offender
I am as uncomfortable as anyone about this fact as I still do not see why this made a man a criminal, but hopefully as we continue to watch this and discuss it we will all learn something.
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Old March 20, 2009, 01:05 PM   #79
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What crime was committed? As best I can tell the only crime in this incident prior to the cops knocking on the door was a false 911 call
You know you are right, these guys just weren't at the academy the day we were issued crystal balls.

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Once he saw it was the police he asked them to step back and inquired as to what they wanted. This act is apparently what made him...
Why would you ask uniformed Police Officers who are investigating a crime to step back? That would be highly suspicious and the first step on the road to being an offender for acting like an offender.

Plus, just in the interest of philosophical karma. I have always stipulated that there is enough blame to go around on this PARTICULAR incident. My observations are made on a general scenario and MY reactions as a Police Officer

Last edited by Wagonman; March 20, 2009 at 01:16 PM. Reason: pulled trigger too early
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Old March 20, 2009, 01:08 PM   #80
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You know you are right, these guys just weren't at the academy the day we were issued crystal balls.
Crystal? I KNEW you guys were issued a set, just didn't know they were crystal
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Old March 20, 2009, 01:29 PM   #81
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bad

whell I got this far and I see some interesting things.the leo story was false in content.the accused did not point a gun at them,per the police video.never did find if any one investigated the call or if any one who called was arrested.as a prank call is a law violation.and as soon as the accused was disarmed the leos attacked them.In Boston theis kind of thing ended with at least 2 inocent people killed and the city paid millions to survivers.of course it was not advertised about the settlement and one was a minister.
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Old March 20, 2009, 02:17 PM   #82
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Sorry, just saw this one...

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Uh, no. Brandishing a firearm at police officers got two guys in trouble. End of story.
Really? And would counsel please elaborate on what is considered "Brandishing" under TCA ?


If you mean holding a firearm, inside your own residence, in a controlled and safe manner then show me where that is illegal.
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Old March 21, 2009, 09:01 AM   #83
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OuTcAsT, This has been a great thread. Kudo`s to you and everyone for the way its been handled. Been awhile since I tuned in and posted. Many new facts have come out(as always) from time thread was started. Doesn`t appear as though Chilton pointed gun AT officers and IF thats the case, the Chiltons have just hit the lottery the hard way. Big difference in having gun in-hand when answering door(esp. @0300) than opening door with gun pointed at person knocking. With the more innovative tactics used today by the scum of the earth (including posing as LEO,it happens more than some may think) for their assault`s against society, it makes people more edgy when having to deal with LEO unless you physically see them( Leo) climb out of a cruiser. Its a shame its that way today but thats reality. I`m not opening my door in the middle of the night to apparent LEO unless I see cruiser or have otherwise confirmed(called dispatch) that those standing on other side of door are LEO. If door is breached before confirmation the situation will be handled as though intruder is a bad guy meaning to do me/family harm regardless of what kind of uniform he/she is wearing. That said, once confirmation is made and door knockers are LEO there`s no need for me to open door with a gun period. Thats just simple respect for LE thats got a job to do. Been my experience that most LEO`s do a good job and are very frustrated by the very few 'bad apples'(every job has them) that pulls bonehead stunts and makes their(good cops) jobs alot harder. The 'bad apples' cost you and I thous. of $`s in tax payers money when justifiable lawsuits are filed and awarded. Too, the respect the public has for LE is sometimes damaged beyond repair. Lowering the qualification standards for a LE job for any reason, its been done in the past for minority hiring, is IMO a cancer in LE. With current facts coming out of this case, I foresee a big payout for the taxpayers and a big hit in the LE respect debt.
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Old March 21, 2009, 10:46 AM   #84
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Why would you ask uniformed Police Officers who are investigating a crime to step back? That would be highly suspicious and the first step on the road to being an offender for acting like an offender.

Wagonman I am going to interject a small bit of speculation just based on the facts as they have been reported, my knowledge of the neighborhood, and the limited knowledge I have of LE procedures. Bear with me but;

When you guys walk up to a door in a poorly lit area (these apartments entrances are mostly quite dark) and it appears that there were at least 3 officers, would you not possibly be shining your maglights, streamlights, etc. at the door to be certain you saw even the most slight details? I think I would.

I will assume that at least one of the officers would/could have done so.
I think it Might be possible that one of the cars might have had alley/spot lights pointed at the area, but judging from the small clip of video I did not see strobes or beacons in operation. and most LE and fire/rescue in our area, don't use sirens at 0300 unless absolutely necessary. with this in mind, I will also speculate that if I open that door in a dark room and look out, all I will see will be figures with lights pointed at me and little else.

Next, I am gonna speculate on "state of mind". This young man, a former MP, was just back from the sandbox, I can only imagine that his "spidey sense" is just as acute if not moreso, as any street copper, and certainly more than the average Joe. I will admit that I have no idea what procedures the active duty MP's use, but I will speculate that possibly when encountered by such a scenario his first command might be "Step Back" so that he can evaluate the possible threat before taking further action. ( mind you from a dead sleep only seconds before) I do not think any of this is beyond the realm of possibility, and likely was the way it played out. He wanted to ascertain who was in his yard, and why they were there before securing his pistol from "low ready".

Is this really that hard to imagine that almost anyone might do the same? And would that be unreasonable? I somehow do not think so. And once he secured the weapon, or disarmed completely, could this not have been sorted out by a bit of level headed conversation rather than charge a man for assault with a weapon for merely securing his own perimeter.


Quote:
I have always stipulated that there is enough blame to go around on this PARTICULAR incident
That may be true, and I will not totally disagree at this point in the game, but I am leaning toward the opinion that this MP might not have acted as irrationally or hell, even at all, had this been handled a bit more professionally. And his actions look less like those of an "offender" and more like an MP.
I think this mans training had a lot to do with the way he approached this situation. I am pretty sure these guys do not simply react the way an average Joe would. I will also posit that your training might lead you to react similarly if you were confronted with a similar scenario at, say a hotel room outside of your jurisdiction?
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Old March 21, 2009, 10:55 AM   #85
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OuTcAsT, This has been a great thread. Kudo`s to you and everyone for the way its been handled.
Thanks, Shortwave

I am anxious to see how this plays out, but so far it has made for some very good and educational discussion. I think there is room on both sides to learn a bit about this kind of situation, and I suspect you are right. As gun sales soar, and peoples reactions change, the possibility exists that the dynamic of an officer simply going to a door may need to change in order to keep everyone safe.

I can only hope that dynamic does not change for the worse.

Quote:
the respect the public has for LE is sometimes damaged beyond repair.
Sadly, in the city where this incident took place it is at an all-time low. As recently as last month a LT. with the same Dept. was charged with vehicular homicide and evidence tampering for hitting and killing a very young girl while intoxicated, and other officers were charged for looking the other way while he hid the bottle. Most LEOs Are good guys, doing a job I wouldn't want, and just trying to make a difference and a living, I respect that. It's a shme that some of their own make that harder for them to do.

And yes, thanks to all who have participated thus far, it is a great tool.
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; March 21, 2009 at 11:28 AM. Reason: more to say
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Old March 21, 2009, 01:15 PM   #86
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I have to second or thirdthe admiration for the way this thread has played out.

More L8r gotta go to work and force my way into homes uninvited
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Old March 21, 2009, 02:29 PM   #87
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Wagonman, thanks for the job you do. Make sure you turn your disco lights on.
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Old March 21, 2009, 04:32 PM   #88
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One of the things average law abiding people forget is that cops have to deal with scum of the earth on a regular basis. I suspect they lose perspective sometimes and start to think the whole world is that way because they see so much of it.

Add to that the unconscionable use of traffic and other citations as a major revenue stream by most levels of government and you have LACs who are already less then thrilled with cops and cops who may be less then thrilled with anyone who is not a cop. But them together and you are bound to have a few sparks now and then.

It does not help any that many police departments and police officers seem to feel any amount of force they use to enforce "compliance" is acceptable, while LACs feel like they should just be left alone.

There is little chance of the system fairly dealing with a LAC who is mistreated by police. Many police departments make it very difficult or even impossible to file a complaint against an officer, and frequently threaten those who try to file complaints with criminal prosecution. And no one seriously believes any government agency will fairly investigate a complaint against one of its employees from an outsider. The civil courts are not an answer either. The cost of litigating makes it tough to sue for anything other than the most serious and slam dunk of incidents.
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Old March 21, 2009, 06:20 PM   #89
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Great postb ilbob. You hit the bullseye with that one. From what I have read on this incident, the more I am convinced that the officers involved used very bad judgement once they found out it was the wrong address.
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Old March 21, 2009, 07:14 PM   #90
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More L8r gotta go to work and force my way into homes uninvited

Be Safe.
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Old March 21, 2009, 07:22 PM   #91
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As a 20 year Police Officer and a 16 year Army M.P. both sides screwed the pooch. The Police had a duty to investigate on the face of the 911 call. The M.P. was protecting his property at an early hour. However as pointed out previously there were other ways to handle it other than openining your door with gun in hand. First acertain who is there till you feel safe then respond in the apropriate manner. The police got their pants in a bunch because the residents were not following their script and got carried away. did they confirm the call prior to the door incident? 911 calls show and record the phone # called, from when the dispatcher picks up did they recall the # or find out who made the call and prosecute. Did the Police do B.A.'s on the father son as this is a large part of their case. If they didn't obtain B.A.'s I would be suspicious of the charges it's an old trick to charge drunk in public. It's also been used for good such as down & outers that have nowhere to go in freezing weather, book them as drunk release in the morning no court. The whole situation need's to be looked at closer.
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Old March 21, 2009, 08:31 PM   #92
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Y'all are missing an obvious step here.

The police have the right to enter a residence only if (a) they have a reasonable belief that a felony is in progress, (b) the homeowner invites them in, or (c) they have a warrant. OK, (b) and (c) are obviously not in play here, so the question is, did they have a "reasonable" belief that a felony was in progress?

Well, the onus is on them to be sure. When the homeowner ordered them to leave, not knowing for sure if they were police officers, and there was no on-site indication of a felony in progress, the LEOs had a responsibility to make sure that they had sufficient cause to enter, uninvited and without a warrant. At this point, they should have contacted dispatch and verified the address. Had they taken this simple step, all of this could have been avoided.
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Old March 21, 2009, 08:41 PM   #93
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both sides screwed the pooch. +10. If things are as they seem with no further details, the Chiltons are paying now and as Wagonman posted earlier, collecting later.
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Old March 22, 2009, 10:54 AM   #94
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The police have the right to enter a residence only if (a) they have a reasonable belief that a felony is in progress, (b) the homeowner invites them in, or (c) they have a warrant. OK, (b) and (c) are obviously not in play here, so the question is, did they have a "reasonable" belief that a felony was in progress?
I don't know about your state but I am pretty sure in my state I would change the word felony to crime. There are also what are called exigent circumstances that would permit them to legally enter. For instance your home is on fire.

I would also point out that police officers have no rights beyond what all citizens have. They are granted certain powers, but they are not universal, thus cannot correctly be called rights.

Another issue that is rarely even considered is that police departments have created procedures and policies they expect their police officers to follow. By and the large the courts just accept that if the cops follow the police department rules, they are free and clear. Since these policies and procedures are almost always a closely guarded secret, it is virtually impossible for citizens to have even a clue as to what is expected of them in an encounter.

When an incident occurs, you hear the police spokesman saying "they followed procedure". The thing is, there is no way for the average citizen to know what those procedures are so there is no way for them to know just what is expected of them in an encounter.
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Old March 22, 2009, 06:27 PM   #95
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When an incident occurs, you hear the police spokesman saying "they followed procedure". The thing is, there is no way for the average citizen to know what those procedures are so there is no way for them to know just what is expected of them in an encounter.
Yesterday 08:41 PM
This is an excellent point, since "Procedure" may or may not follow the letter of the law, I am sure they try to stay within the "Spirit" of the law, but at what expense.
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Old March 22, 2009, 06:53 PM   #96
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IL Bob

I believe you are right, although I am not sure about the "crime" vs. "felony."I think the standard is fairly high in most states, and a misdemeanor may not make the grade. I am pretty certain that a suspicion that someone may have removed a "Do Not Remove" tag from a piece of furniture would be enough for the cops to knock down a door at 3 AM.

As to "right" vs. "power," this is a technical legal point beyond my understanding, but it is unreasonable to me that the LEOs could violate someones "castle doctrine" rights (if they exist there) based on a phone call and a bad address, then arrest them for resisting a false arrest.

If my door is knocked upon at 3 AM, you better believe that I am not opening it, and I will be prepared to defend myself. A call from the cops to the 911 CDC, or from the CDC to the residence would have been a much more prudent solution than insisting on forcible entry.
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Old March 22, 2009, 07:27 PM   #97
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OK...IMHO you are doing well, but you are making a critical mistake in analysis at this stage of the game...

Thats is...you are focusing on each individual element of the incident instead of the totality of the circumstances....

Any individual element of any factual scenario can be attacked, twisted, digested, run up the flagpole and chopped down, but does that change the big picture?
How about this for critical thinking?
You have no more information than I do.
You're stating your opinion as if you have this case wrapped up.
You do not.
(half of the lawyers in court lose.)
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Old March 22, 2009, 07:27 PM   #98
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If my door is knocked upon at 3 AM, you better believe that I am not opening it, and I will be prepared to defend myself. A call from the cops to the 911 CDC, or from the CDC to the residence would have been a much more prudent solution than insisting on forcible entry.
I agree on not opening the door until you are sure who or what is there.

I don't believe there was a forcible entry in this case.

The average LAC does not expect a knock on their door at 3 am from the cops, so it is natural to assume that it is not the cops, given that criminals claim to be cops on a regular basis as a way of gaining entry.

The thing is if the cops were at the wrong address, chances are the 911 center might not realize where they actually are, and give the HO bad information. My guess is that the policy of most 911 centers is to give out no information at all in such cases.

I would also guess that most 911 centers are not notified in advance of any midnight calls that are scheduled. So even if you called, they probably would not know about a warrant being served, and if they knew, probably are not going to tell you.

Maybe there are some 911 operators who can comment with more authroity on my guesses.
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Old March 22, 2009, 11:28 PM   #99
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The thing is if the cops were at the wrong address, chances are the 911 center might not realize where they actually are
In this csae that would have been correct, the 911 call came from a different number, had he called to see if, or why the PD was outside, she ( the 911 operator ) would not have had a clue what the guy was talking about.

I suspect she did not have a clue anyways. She is on suspension for this little incident.
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Old March 23, 2009, 12:59 AM   #100
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LAC?


There is no set procedure for citizens dealing with the Police.

Just in the words of Jerry Maguire "help us Help you"

I understand the frustration felt in getting citations you don't agree with, getting stopped, having Police show up unannounced and lacking an invite.

That said, just cooperate on scene and save the beefing for later. Because,I guarantee you will lose on scene and the more vehemently you protest and complain on scene the less credible and successful your complaint will be later.

Remember, its nothing personal for the average Cop, just business.

I have bent over backwards for "badguys" after the fact and followed the law to the letter for "citizens" after the fact.

Why, because the BG acted like a gentleman and the "citizen" was a huge PITA.
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