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Old November 22, 2001, 06:31 PM   #1
bastiat
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Followup: Lubbock TX swat fiasco

From AP, via the Amarillo news:
Quote:
Officer fired for shooting another officer


The Associated Press

LUBBOCK (AP) - A Lubbock police officer who authorities say accidentally shot a SWAT officer during a July operation was fired Tuesday.

Police Cpl. Wade Lee was cited by interim Police Chief Claude Jones for violating departmental policy regarding firearms safety and falsifying a written report about the shooting of Sgt. Kevin Cox by a fellow officer.

"Today I have taken actions to assure Lubbock's citizens and members of the Lubbock Police Department that this administration will be proactive in providing professional police protection of the highest quality and maximum support and leadership to our police officers," Jones said in Wednesday's editions of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Lee can appeal his termination to the City Civil Service Commission or an independent arbitrator. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Jones issued letters of reprimand to 12 other officers involved in the SWAT raid. The officers were cited for violating department use-of-force guidelines and lapses in judgment, Jones said.

"Be assured these personnel actions are serious, and in my view, commensurate with the violations," Jones said. The department said it could not legally release the names of the officers.

Officer Tracy Taylor, who investigators initially considered the most likely source of the fatal gunshot, will return from paid leave to work in the department's accident investigation division.

Taylor and Lee had been on paid leave since the shooting.

Jones removed three officers, including Taylor, from the SWAT team. Four others, including team commander Lt. Randy Franklin, resigned from the team. Six of those officers received letters of reprimand, Jones said.

Assistant Police Chief Randy McGuire stepped down and will assume his previous rank of lieutenant. McGuire was the senior officer commanding the SWAT operation.

Former Police Chief Ken Walker was placed on administrative leave during the shooting investigation, as city officials accused him of mismanaging the Police Department. He resigned Nov. 8 in exchange for a $130,000 settlement.

Lee, a team sniper, accidentally fired his rifle, prompting other team members to fire at least 160 shots.

Cox suffered a fatal wound to the head, which Jones said was caused by Lee's single shot.

Initially, Lee misrepresented that he fired deliberately at a specific target, according to the suspension order.

Lee later told investigators that he did not have a target and fired accidentally, the suspension order says.

The investigation did not determine how Lee's shot, fired from across the street toward Cox's back, hit Cox in the forehead.

"I can't explain that. I don't understand all the physics involved, and to this point I don't know a ballistics expert who can explain that right now either," Jones said.
Originally discussed here
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Old November 23, 2001, 11:33 AM   #2
C.R.Sam
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"...The investigation did not determine how Lee's shot, fired from across the street toward Cox's back, hit Cox in the forehead..."

Seems the more we know about this, the less informed we become.

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Old November 23, 2001, 11:52 AM   #3
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It appears the city did the right thing. A few people fired, several demoted, and many taken off the SWAT team. Letters of reprimand for many. The term "covering fire" removed from the SWAT policy and procedures manual.

I think they are doing just fine.
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Old November 23, 2001, 12:10 PM   #4
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KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE 1/2 POUND TRIGGER!
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Old November 23, 2001, 02:33 PM   #5
paratrooper
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It would seem that the smart thing at this point would be to disband the SWAT team . So many small towns along with big cities are forming big time SWAT teams when they are not necessary . For the amount of time that passes during a siege before a SWAT team moves in they could bring in a team from an area that has some real knowledge and expertise . I may get some flak on this but I do not believe that the average cop is qualified to function in a combat situation . This statement comes from someone that did 3 tours so spare me the redirect .
Most situations end without problems . The majority of the time the BG falls asleep or gets gassed out . The West Hollywood bank robbery is the only time I can remember where SWAT was really needed . In a city like L.A. I believe there are enough officers to form a decent SWAT team . Many of them have seen combat . Somalia , Desert Storm etc.. So many local PD's just pick 4 guys and call them SWAT . I'm not saying that they don't try . I would trust them in combat as a newbie but when any collatoral damage is an innocent there must be a higher bar . This is not the first time someone has been killed by accident . The cover up is not even worth discussion .
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Old November 23, 2001, 05:10 PM   #6
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Well, there's an easy answer to that, paratrooper. Training.

Lubbock is like so many places they buy all the Dreaded Demon of Darkness go-fast tactical gear then had Deputy Cledus and Officer Toothless an HK54 and declare them "SWAT" or "SRT" or whatever.

Training, training, training. This is good for us non-mall ninjas too for the more they train, the less they shoot.
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Old November 24, 2001, 01:23 AM   #7
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"For the amount of time that passes during a seige before a SWAT team moves in they could bring in a team from an area that has some real knowledge and expertise"

I have two questions.

1)In most cities is it legal for cops from city "B" to enforce the law in city "A"?

2)Which city would be responsible when the bad guy sues?
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Old November 24, 2001, 03:41 AM   #8
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160 rounds!
GEEZ!
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Old November 24, 2001, 12:34 PM   #9
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Notbubba, depends on how the state statute is written as to question #1. I don't know much about Tejas law (other the the requirement to wear elf boots, tight jeans and silly hats while carrying a pistol); however, most states have long abolished the "stop at the city limit" jurisdiction of LEOs. Indiana did it in `76.

As for question #2, that depends on who did what and how the jury will assign blame. In Lubbock, both cities, both departments and all the individual officers will be sued. Don't know if they have joint and several in Tejas. How it shakes out will depend on a lot of different things. Potentially? Yes.
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Old November 24, 2001, 01:33 PM   #10
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As for question #1, some places have a mutual aid agreement with neighboring jurisdictions. Sometimes a smaller agency will call on the larger one for help.
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Old November 24, 2001, 04:30 PM   #11
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Don't all LEO's initially get their power from the State ? I think that many have to attend a State enpowered academy to get their clearance . In this case perhaps any LEO from any jurisdiction can be called to perform at the bequest of any agency to the State . De Facto permission could even be written into the law . "If the Sheriff of Smalltown asks the Sheriff of Bigtown for help it is automatically State sanctioned" . Or some such language .
The legal ramifications can be addressed after the SHTF . The first priority is to the citizens without worrying about who gets sued . As far as BG or his family filing a suit there is way too much of that . This disgrace should be abolished . Remember , I said "BG or his family" not citizens wrongfully harmed. Decent people have a right to sue . Scum killed trying to hurt , rob or otherwise deprive others of their civil rights should be considered along with their sue happy families as devoid of this right .
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Old November 25, 2001, 01:45 PM   #12
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Paratroop, as I said it depends on how the state statute is written. If there is a state-wide jurisdiction, then yes different agencies do and have helped each other out. Some agencies here even "rent" out their SWAT teams.

Bring in LEOs from other states? Sure, raise your right hand and swear. "Oh, d***."

As far as BGs suing, depends on the facts. In the Lubbock CF sounds like you'll have multiple civil suits going. BG suing the agencies and mall ninjas for shooting up his house and attempted murder possibly. As well, the estate of the officer killed will be potentially suing the city, department, supervisors, and individual officers who were spraying lead around.

On the criminal side, up to the District Attorney there whether he will prosecute the mall ninja for manslaughter, crim reck, pointing a firearm, et al. The BG's attorney will probably ask for a special prosecutor to sort the criminal charges out agains the police.
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Old November 25, 2001, 06:10 PM   #13
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"In the Lubbock CF sounds like you'll have multiple civil suits going. "

The gentleman who was the subject of the call-out. Already has had a financial settlement. No charges were filed.

BTW, Lubbock is a LARGEST city in the area 193,064.
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Old November 25, 2001, 08:06 PM   #14
Jeff Thomas
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All this because of a family spat during which the husband burned his wife's clothing, right?

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Dam* shame an officer died over this, and the only saving grace is they didn't kill any innocent civilians. I remain generally disgusted with the proliferation of SWAT teams.

Regards from AZ
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Old November 26, 2001, 10:39 AM   #15
Dennis
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I visited DPS HQs and, during class, heard the results of the DPS investigation. It's worse than I had imagined....

As I understand it, the sniper got antsy and accidently touched off a round. That was negligent discharge number one.

Two men were at one window of the house. One man was experienced and the other man was a newbie. When the sniper fired, the newbie touched off a round (possibly a burst) which hit his (experienced) partner in the head. That was negligent discharge number two.

The team tried to blame the incident on the subject inside the house but that scheme failed when it was determined he had no firearms.

The DPS Lieutenant who told the class about this seemed (to me) sad, angry, disappointed, frustrated and embarrassed.
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Old November 26, 2001, 11:15 PM   #16
Jeff Thomas
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And, that is my source of hope.

I strongly believe that most of our LEO's are fine, brave, decent people. We're damn lucky to have them.

That being the case, I've got to believe that many of them are disgusted with the too common SWAT screwups and darn near murders. I still have hope.

Regards from AZ
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Old November 26, 2001, 11:29 PM   #17
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The latest I heard here in Lubbock, second sniper on south east side of home touched of first round. That was the round that killed Officer Cox.

Robinson settled out of court. Came out well on the $. Chief of police was fired. Commanding officer was demoted. Officer that fired fatal shot was fired and will file suit if not already for wrongful termination.

I want to know what brought this to a level of having SWAT at the scene. The last I heard burning funiture in not a capital offense.

It is a big mess and hopefully will be an issue for the next local elections.
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Old November 26, 2001, 11:32 PM   #18
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By the way, was not 160 rounds.

WAS 368 ROUNDS FIRED. Fourteen houses were hit.

(sorry should have read the whole thread before my last post)
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