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Old November 27, 2011, 03:02 PM   #1
secret_agent_man
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Night Of The Undead Court Case

The original thread http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...guerena&page=7 has been closed, but the recent Tuscon shooting of ex-Marine Jose Guerena Ortiz, killed in a SWAT raid on his home, is back in the news with a lawsuit now filed against the local Sheriff's Dept.

The original flawed logic of the law enforcement agency remains flawed. Sort of along the lines the next person you encounter walking down the street could kill you. Be that as it may, it is hardly a reason to kill them.


Quote:
"What reasonable person comes to the front door and points a rifle at people?"
I find this statement to be completely ludicrous. Who DOES NOT come to the door with a gun these days? Martha Brady, for one. Barrack Obama, Eric Holder and Nancy Pelosi for others.

But in Tuscon, AZ, when a guy whom you know in advance is a Marine combat veteran comes to the door armed, this is a reasonable response in the context of the times and the place, and does not justify a homicide.

This is a case that may rightfully endanger Pima County, AZ and it's liability insurer financially if it doesn't settle out of court, which it will. It's going to be an interesting one to follow.

http://news.yahoo.com/swat-teams-sho...172246257.html

Last edited by secret_agent_man; November 29, 2011 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Mo' Better Headline
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Old November 27, 2011, 03:09 PM   #2
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FYI, no such animal as an ex-Marine.
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Old November 27, 2011, 03:13 PM   #3
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1. The issue of no-knock raids is of interest and how this case relates is of interest.

2. Please for the sake of the mods - don't do general political rants. I don't care if politician X Y or Z comes to the door armed.

3. To be preventive - no general cop bashes. I'm sure YOU are a better warrior, etc. .

Let the games continue.
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Old November 27, 2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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I do two things before I answer the door bell:
  1. Call, "Who is it?"
  2. Put my pre-agreement Smith & Wesson model 60 in a trousers pocket and keep my hand on it.
I sincerely hope I never need to pull the gun out of the pocket, but if criminals show up at my door, I'm prepared.
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Old November 27, 2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
. Who DOES NOT come to the door with a gun these days?
I don't
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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I typically don't answer the door armed. But then, I can pretty much watch whoever's knocking from the time they step onto my sidewalk.
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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Who is Martha Brady?
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Old November 27, 2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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If you read the the story, HE NEVER MADE IT TO THE DOOR!

The swat team broke down the door, he was down the hall.

His weapon was on safe,IMHO the swat team was in a big hurry and screwed
up by being triggerhappy when one of their own tripped over his own feet.
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Old November 28, 2011, 12:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Who is Martha Brady?
Good question...
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Old November 28, 2011, 03:16 AM   #10
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His fatal error was arming himself and not realizing the danger in doing so. Now, he just woke from his sleep, has a wife and young child, and was reacting to the fear his wife relayed to him. All of this added to this tragedy.
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Old November 28, 2011, 05:03 AM   #11
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shooting

There have been several cases of people impersonating police officers around the country and southern AZ or all of AZ for that matter. If you read any south of the border news the mexican mafia uses this tactic alot,I dont know about this one though sounds weird as all get out. An AR-15? he was ready but no single man is a match for several. That only happens in the movies. All this swat team did was follow orders from someone above in the chain., sounds like bad,bad intell on there part, then again there have been bad cops. Personally i tend to give them the benefit of doubt until after the hearing or trial. Dont give me the crap about being an ex-marine their squeaky clean either,when i was in the Army we had a guy arrested for doing breaking&entering into people homes today called home invasion. Didnt take long for the Colorado
Springs PD to arrest him. turned out he had a very high end business going, i lost a TV from the gig that i had bought from him and it was hot and didnt know it,the cops took it though.Another GI got into some big hassles buy buying a pistol off of him that he had stolen out of someones apt. Like everything else today they lawyer up real quick, Im 57 and it wasnt like this 50 yrs ago. The whole thing is real,real sad.
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Old November 28, 2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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I think it's disturbing that the department asserts "that high-powered rifles and bulletproof vests that were found in Guerena's home after the shooting back up investigators' belief that Guerena was involved in drug trafficking"

This is a factoid that no one has challenged. They're making an assertion that having a bullet proof vest equates to having drug paraphanalia, lab equipment, processing chemicals / drug lab etc...

And a high powered rifle? What exactly is a high-powered rifle? That could be any hunting rifle, and probably is...

In northern climates, in the winter, I think a bullet-proof vest would be a good thing to have. I know that they are normally very hot to wear, but in the cold, they're not that bad.

I hope no one begins accepting that having body armor means you have criminal intent.

On the other hand, the claim that a stolen shotgun was found in the home - if true, is disturbing.
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Old November 28, 2011, 08:58 AM   #13
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Incidentally, I wonder if he had grabbed a bullet proof vest along with his AR, if his outcome might have been a little better.
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Old November 28, 2011, 09:36 AM   #14
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I would be willing to bet that the family wins the lawsuit. With that said, this is one of those sorts of no-win situations for both sides. The officers had a valid search warrant, correct address, their subject was inside at the time. They executed the warrant legally. Unfortunate for both sides is that suspicions about the suspect may have turned out to be unfounded.

Quote:
His weapon was on safe,IMHO the swat team was in a big hurry and screwed up by being triggerhappy when one of their own tripped over his own feet.
I don't know that the SWAT Team screwed up based on the information provided from several articles. The response was typical for encountering an armed gunman moving aggressively towards them during an entry. Just because the guy's rifle might have been on safe really has no bearing on the fact that he would have appeared to have intent, opportunity, and ability to cause severe bodily injury or death of the officers. So the shooting is likely justified in terms of criminal law.

Quote:
An AR-15? he was ready but no single man is a match for several. That only happens in the movies.
Actually no, this does happen in real life. Here is a fine example...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuhKCiY-lu0
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Old November 28, 2011, 10:25 AM   #15
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In the article linked in the original post, the SWAT consultant's statement may strike to the heart of the issue:

"It's a horrible, horrible tragedy, but if they walked in the door and somebody came at them with an assault rifle, that would be a justifiable response," said Drago. "It doesn't matter whether he's innocent or not."

But after examining elements of the search affidavit, Drago questioned whether the sheriff's office truly had probable cause.

"When you back up and look at why they're there in the first place and whether the search warrant was proper, my mind starts struggling," Drago said. "There are a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense."


The shooting may have been justified, but if the warrant was improper, then, justified or not, the sheriff's department should not have been in that house. But even if the warrant was proper, it seems to me that, rather than a confrontational, violent search of the house, the SWAT team could have come when Guerena was at work and the kids were at school. Then, if justified, the arrest could have been made away from the house and without putting the deputies and the family at risk.

It's Monday-morning quarterbacking, but it seems to me that not enough thought was put into making the raid as safe for everyone as it could have been. And I think that Pima County is going to end up with the short end of the stick on this one.
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Old November 28, 2011, 11:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
The shooting may have been justified, but if the warrant was improper, then, justified or not, the sheriff's department should not have been in that house. But even if the warrant was proper, it seems to me that, rather than a confrontational, violent search of the house, the SWAT team could have come when Guerena was at work and the kids were at school. Then, if justified, the arrest could have been made away from the house and without putting the deputies and the family at risk.
Sounds like a similar conclusion quite a few folks made about the Branch Dividian raid in Waco, TX.
ATF, FBI or the local LEO could have taken David Koresh into custody while he was in town getting the paper or ice cream.
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Old November 28, 2011, 02:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Who DOES NOT come to the door with a gun these days? (...) Barrack Obama, Eric Holder and Nancy Pelosi for others.
Yep, because they have people who answer the door armed on their behalf. The rest of us are left to rely on ourselves.
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Old November 28, 2011, 02:35 PM   #18
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Seems like "no-knock" warrants are pretty dangerous. I mean, any state that adheres to the castle doctrine and allows no knock warrants is setting its police and citizens up for a lot of sticky situations.

If someone kicks my door down without identifying themselves as police first are getting shot. When that ends up being the police, who is at fault? Me for shooting at a police officer while obeying my constitutionally guaranteed right to self defense. or the law enforcement agency for putting them in the position?
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Old November 28, 2011, 03:41 PM   #19
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Reality Check: Food for Thought

This is a tragic occurrence and happens more frequently than you realize. As far as the impending wrongful death suite that will occur, here's my thoughts on the term "justice". If my logic is flawed, sock it to me!

The federal, state, and local governments do not produce one barrel of oil or one bushel of wheat, they have no money. They must confiscate wealth from the productive and distribute it to the politicians choice of beneficiary's (taxes).

Bear with me here, we're getting to the meat of the matter.

The victims family receives a large settlement from the sheriff's department, police, SWAT or whatever LEO agency. That will show them and prevent another occurrence, right?

Well, that money will come from you and me from higher taxes to pay the settlement / judgment and higher department insurance premiums. In reality, you and I are being punished for someone else's mistake. It diminishes your ability to provide for yourself and your family. Is that justice, or the price you pay to live in a civilized society, and is that even civil?

I would propose holding the offenders personally liable for their actions, both civil and criminal. Explain to me why last week I was happy eating hamburger, and now I got my new tax bill and have to settle for oat meal, or lose my home if I still want to eat the same way I did.

Is it fair, is it JUSTICE?

justice

jus·tice [jústiss] (plural justices) noun
1.fairness: fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made
2.LAW application of law: the legal system or the act of applying or upholding the law
3.LAW validity: validity in law
4.good reason: sound or good reason
5.judge: a judge, especially of a higher court

[12th century. Via French, from Latin justitia, from justus, “ JUST.”]

bring somebody to justice
to arrest somebody to be tried in a court of law
do justice to somebody or something
1.to deal with somebody or something fairly
2.to convey the true qualities, especially the merits, of somebody or something
do yourself justice
to display your own abilities fully or perform to your full potential (often used in the negative)

Encarta® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1999,2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
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Old November 28, 2011, 04:46 PM   #20
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Who in the world ever told you life was fair? And perfect justice is only found in the dictionary.

So why did the guy, this well trained former Marine, forget to hit the safety? Lack of training or what? He wasn't too sleepy to pick it up and point it at the cops.

Still not enough info. The devil is in the details.

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Old November 28, 2011, 05:26 PM   #21
maestro pistolero
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What's more dangerous, a suspected drug dealer, or a SWAT team slinging lead in a residential area?

I contend there are better ways to deal with this. One being grab him while he on his way to or from work, secure him, then execute the search. No reason to endanger the entire family and neighbors.

LE is too quick to choose dynamic entry. I believe all other options deserve consideration before this approach is chosen.
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Old November 28, 2011, 05:53 PM   #22
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Give a child a hammer,,,

And he soon discovers everything needs a good pounding.

Give the cops a SWAT team,,,
You can guess the rest.

I'm starting to fear the para-militarization of even my small college town police force.

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Old November 28, 2011, 06:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Give the cops a SWAT team,,,
You can guess the rest.
Pima County Sheriff's Department is hardly using the SWAT team for everything.
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Old November 28, 2011, 06:13 PM   #24
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If my wife and baby were threatened, the odds are irrelevant and I doubt Ortiz had much time to compute them. I would be shooting as the door came down, I guess. I don't know. Hope never to be in that situation.

That his AR15 was safed, in his dead hands, is a tribute to the Marine inside him. Hard to believe he made a mistake he didn't have time to fix (going to fire if he thought he should). More likely he went to safe, or not from safe, before or about when he saw the first uniform and took the first rounds and took the first rounds.

It's hard to hold police to the Hippocratic oath, but 60 rounds? They can't do better than this?

God knows.
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Old November 28, 2011, 08:00 PM   #25
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"You point a gun at police, you're going to get shot". I'm not sure that's quite the right attitude to have. Any number of scenarios could occur where an innocent person might end up pointing a gun at a cop. Scary premise that owning a firearm and accessories makes you a likely drug-runner.
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