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Old March 23, 2012, 07:55 AM   #76
Spats McGee
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Originally Posted by btmj
As was mentioned earlier, we are not talking about split second decissions. We are talking about defective / negligent planning, or negligent strategy. . . .
True. That being the case, a potential plaintiff is probably looking at something even stronger than qualified immunity. If the affidavit in support of the warrant is reviewed and signed off on by the prosecuting attorney, who is entitled to prosecutorial immunity. The judge who signs the warrant is entitled to judicial immunity. Qualified immunity is just that, qualified. Judicial and prosecutorial immunities are absolute immunities, giving prosecutors and judges immunity for any actions they take in those respective roles.
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Old March 23, 2012, 09:00 AM   #77
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When in the last 40 years did the police get to be the bad guys? Is everyone here an ex-hippie?
Not at all sir. I have several close family members who are Police. Also a retired Federal judge in the family who was once a Prosecutor. I am very sympathetic to the issues facing cops, from rookie patrolman to the captains and chiefs.

Nonetheless, it is my belief that because Law Enforcement is granted a great deal of power (necessarily so), we the people have a right to expect a great deal of professionalism in the use of that power.

An excellent analogy is an Air Force pilot who drops a bomb on the wrong target. He will have is actions reviewed in great detail. If it is found that he was negligent, he can be imprisoned. Negligent in this case meaning that he made a mistake that a reasonable pilot in the same situation would not have made, as judged by other Air Force officers.
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Old March 23, 2012, 09:48 AM   #78
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It is most unfortunate that those who have to make split-second decisions, including policemen on patrol, will have those decisions reviewed by boards that will take hours and hours deciding if the on-the-spot decision and action was correct.
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Old March 23, 2012, 10:00 AM   #79
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BlueTrain, that is precisely one of the reasons that officers have qualified immunity. It's very easy to second-guess officers from the comfort of my chair.
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Old March 23, 2012, 10:00 AM   #80
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Quote:
When in the last 40 years did the police get to be the bad guys? Is everyone here an ex-hippie?
Quote:
...I am very sympathetic to the issues facing cops, from rookie patrolman to the captains and chiefs.

Nonetheless, it is my belief that because Law Enforcement is granted a great deal of power (necessarily so), we the people have a right to expect a great deal of professionalism in the use of that power.

An excellent analogy is an Air Force pilot who drops a bomb on the wrong target. He will have is actions reviewed in great detail. If it is found that he was negligent, he can be imprisoned. Negligent in this case meaning that he made a mistake that a reasonable pilot in the same situation would not have made, as judged by other Air Force officers.
Well said btmj. Since when does questioning authority, esp when civil liberties are concerned make one a "hippie"? Requiring the extra step to make sure the door that is being kicked in is the right one is reasonable; and, holding the individual, or individuals, responsible accountable when they get it wrong is the right thing to do.
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Old March 23, 2012, 10:40 AM   #81
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I am making these comments from observing what was considered conservative over the last 50 years and what it is that people want. Perhaps you don't remember the questioning of authority that was taking place in the late 1960s.
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Old March 23, 2012, 11:57 AM   #82
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Blue Train I was born in 1956 and well remember the late 60s and early 70s. I also understand that "hippie" was then, and apparently still is, used derisively to label any who question the role of government. I am a social conservative by most any definition; but, I still think that when it comes to government involvement in my personal affairs, whether it is guns, religion, or the role of the police, we need to be vigilant that our personal liberties are not stepped on in the name of "the greater good".
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Old March 23, 2012, 12:28 PM   #83
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I was born in 1946. You would have been 12 years old more or less in 1968, the year of a few upheavals in our society.

I consider myself a social liberal but most people who call themselves conservative, I'd consider radical. There was a real shakeup in society around 1970 and the old guard was very upset at the changes there were taking place or being attempted. That fight is apparently still going on and liberty (and liberals) are taking it on the chin. It hasn't worked out the way a lot of people wanted it, to be sure, and it isn't like nothing else has happened in the last 40 years but, mostly, we're getting what we either deserved or wanted.
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Old March 23, 2012, 12:46 PM   #84
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Once again, we are not talking about split second decisions, such as whether or not to pull a trigger. Cops are already subjected to review boards when they pull a trigger, and the process is sometimes fair, sometimes not.

We are talking about deciding which house gets the door kicked in. If the wrong house gets selected, innocent people can be killed, as detailed in many posts above. This is the kind of decision that is made well in advance. I am certain that there are procedures to be followed, and the only way the wrong house gets picked is because procedures were ignored.

Ignoring established procedures is one of the key elements of criminal negligence among professionals. Convictions that result in prison are very rare, but there is always the possibility, and that tends to sharpen ones attention.
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Old March 23, 2012, 02:40 PM   #85
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Well, with all the legal immunizations on the LE side of this situation and little likelihood of that changing, i guess what we need is some oversight that could grade the need for a "no-knock"-type entry or similar tactics by comparing the risk to officers and the risk to citizens (bystanders, kids, etc.) to the value of what could be lost during the more standard type of warrant-serving procedure or evidence-gathering procedure.

IOW, a judge (or somebody else if the judges don't have time...) should evaluate whether or not it is worth it to preserve a felony case for selling cocaine by preventing possible evidence destruction through the use of a "dynamic entry" (or similar tactics) when the suspect has eight small children in the home to be raided. At risk = lives vs. at risk = loss of evidence leads to only charges for smaller quantities of cocaine.

Now, i honestly assumed that judges and/or the planning officers were already evaluating situations and risks like this. If that is so, then why are we having mistakes as simple as hitting the wrong address?
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Old March 23, 2012, 02:41 PM   #86
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In Minneapolis (or maybe it was St. Paul, it was a couple of years ago) the police raided the wrong house, and the Hmong homeowner had them outgunned and successfully repelled them. Miraculously nobody was injured, although the house was shot up pretty bad.

Afterwards, the officers involved were given medals for their bravery under fire. IF any charges were filed against the homeowner, they were quickly and quietly dropped.
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Old March 24, 2012, 08:17 AM   #87
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Once again, we are not talking about split second decisions,...
IMO,politics, whether liberal or conservative has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. This isn't Russia, we have a Constitution and laws which are supposed to be designed to protect the innocent from each other as well as 'over zealous' government....and FWIW, both the Constitution and most of these laws were in effect long before the 60's....yes, I remember the 60's well. Not only the Vietnam demonstration's but the civil rights riots as well. Again, nothing to do with the topic at hand.

As far as the topic at hand, I would think that whichever your political preference's are, as a US citizen, it wouldn't matter to anyone who unjustly knocked your door down(BG or LE) and murdered a member of your family. Again, we have been talking about organized, long term investigated LE raids on homes in which LE screwed up and raided the wrong house and whom should be held accountable. Not the split decision's a beat cop out on the street has to make daily. Big difference!

Last edited by shortwave; March 24, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old March 24, 2012, 10:55 AM   #88
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And yet the person who's door is being breached has to make a split-second decision and we insist that he gets it right every time -- else he ends up dead, or in prison on death row like Cory Maye.
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Old March 24, 2012, 11:44 AM   #89
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^^^YEP^^^

...and all for something there is just no excuse for.

IMO, it really doesn't matter who(LE or BG) unjustly enters my house and the results are either a member of my family or myself shot, the person unjustly shot is just that...shot.
I know it does/has but...'Oooops' or 'legal immunization' should NOT come into play when the wrong house is raided. There's just no excuse for this kind of error, Period! And whomever dropped the 'address' ball in the process, up to and including the judge, should be liable and subject to prosecution.

Course again, at the end of the day, if someone from the investigative team that had actually been to the suspect address prior was with the breaching team at the time of the raid, maybe the wrong address would never be raided regardless of what address was printed on the warrant.
Just think how easy it would be for the breaching team leader to look over to the undercover person that had been to the suspect house many times prior and say "Is this the right house?"
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