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Old December 15, 2021, 08:15 AM   #1
Spats McGee
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Andrew Coffee acquitted

On or about the same day that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted, one Andrew Coffee IV was also acquitted. His charges included murder and attempted murder. I bring this up because there are some differences between this and the Rittenhouse case that raise some interesting questions.
  1. Mr. Coffee claimed SD as against deputies who were raiding his house.
  2. The murder charge (I believe) stemmed from the death of his girlfriend, who was shot 10 times in the crossfire.
  3. Mr. Coffee was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Here are some internet articles:
https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/1...empted-murder/
https://reason.com/2021/11/22/man-fa...v-rittenhouse/
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Old December 15, 2021, 08:19 AM   #2
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Looks like the jury got this one right also.
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Old December 15, 2021, 09:18 AM   #3
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I read about this one. What crossed my mind is OK, a murder was committed and Coffee was found not guilty.

So, now the police who shot her will be charged with the murder... right?

/sarc
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Old December 15, 2021, 11:28 AM   #4
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One of the points I want to make with this one is that even a felon-in-possession doesn't necessarily lose his right to SD.
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Old December 15, 2021, 12:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
One of the points I want to make with this one is that even a felon-in-possession doesn't necessarily lose his right to SD.
I don't think this case actually proves that. He's facing 30 years.

FTA:
Quote:
Coffee still faces 30 years in prison, because the jury found him guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon—a firearm he used in self-defense when officers burst into his home for a drug raid that had nothing to do with him.
As far as the 2nd part of the quote that the drug raid had nothing to do with him, that doesn't make sense. The drug raid was on the house he lived in, his father's. That doesn't make him a drug dealer, but it does mean he placed himself in jeopardy. I saw nothing showing that it was a mistake for the police to treat the father's house as a drug house. So he's a convicted felon, residing in a drug house, holding a gun. That's what he admitted to in court. That doesn't make him a murderer, but it doesn't mean he was wrongly accused. I think if this trial occurred at a different time, he might have been convicted of the causal death of his girlfriend. Either way, he's going to be doing real time.
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Old December 15, 2021, 12:49 PM   #6
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I don't think this case actually proves that. He's facing 30 years.
I disagree. He was acquitted of shooting at deputies based on self-defense. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Different issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
....Either way, he's going to be doing real time.
No question, but it was for the felon in possession charge, not for shooting at officers.
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Old December 15, 2021, 04:44 PM   #7
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Understood.

This is another case where IF the po-po had been recording w/audio, it wouldn't be a hearsay argument in court. Either the cops came in announcing who they are and he'd be guilty of attempted murder of a police officer, or they didn't and he was clearly defending himself from armed intruders.
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Old December 15, 2021, 04:49 PM   #8
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I agree that a recording of the incident might have cleared things up a bit. A trial might still have been necessary on some things, but it might have narrowed the issues.
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Old December 15, 2021, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanc
Understood.

This is another case where IF the po-po had been recording w/audio, it wouldn't be a hearsay argument in court. Either the cops came in announcing who they are and he'd be guilty of attempted murder of a police officer, or they didn't and he was clearly defending himself from armed intruders.
Anyone can yell, "Open up! Police!" There have been numerous reports of home invaders using that ploy to gain entry. It's not hard to buy police uniform clothing, and anyone can go on-line and order a badge that will look real enough through a door peephole or on a doorbell camera.

This is why I believe that no-knock and so-called "knock and announce" dynamic entries should be outlawed. There have been far too many cases of police smashing their way into the wrong house -- sometimes resulting in injury to or death of one or more residents, and occasionally resulting in injury to or death of a police officer. These days, I'm not willing to believe that someone standing on the porch hollering "POLICE!" are really the police.

I've even been a victim, in a very minor way. Some years ago, a couple with the same last name as mine lived about a mile down the street from me. My last name is not a common last name, like Smith or Jones.

One evening I was sitting at my computer and the telephone rang. I answered, and a voice on the other end said something like, "This is [___] police dispatch. Secure your dogs and let the officers into your house." Well, this was all news to me, because I had never owned a dog, and there were no police cars in my yard. Which I told the dispatcher in no uncertain terms. Of course -- the cops were at the house down the street, the other household with the same last name, but my town's sterling detectives couldn't figure out that the first telephone number listed for My Street under [Last Name] wasn't the right party just because the last name was the same.

It could have been worse -- they might have BEEN at my door even though they were looking for the other dude. It's a sobering thought.
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Old December 15, 2021, 08:59 PM   #10
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Regardless, the guy is a criminal, and all his rights should be forfeited. I hope he gets a lengthy jail sentence.
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Old December 15, 2021, 09:13 PM   #11
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This is why I believe that no-knock and so-called "knock and announce" dynamic entries should be outlawed.
I don't think they should be outlawed. No statute is needed. They should be abandoned as a routine practice though.

What was the original point of the "no-knock"?? Supposedly to avoid giving dope dealers time to flush their stash. No evidience? No bust!

However, I think the reality is that it was done to allow the cops to bust people CHEAPLY. Doors are pretty cheap. Digging up a septic system and then having lab techs go through hundreds (or more) gallons of sewage to find the drugs isn't.

Because the dope doesn't magically disappear when its flushed. Any place with a septic system, its going to be right there. And any place connected to a municipal sewer system can be isolated from that system. IN ADVANCE of the bust. Of course, that also costs more money than a door. And it takes more work and advance planning than a "here's the address, go raid the place" does.

you can't flush a gun. You can't flush a lot of physical evidence, nor can you burn it and make it disappear. Traces will always remain. So, balance the "need for speed" in a police raid against the potential harm mistakes cause.

Lives, including innocent lives have been lost because of "O dark thirty no knock" police invasions, sometimes at the wrong address.

As far as I can see, the two "wars" America never had a chance of "winning" are the war on poverty and the war on drugs /war on crime. Bad generals, flawed battle plans and stupid tactics cancel out even the most brilliant and professional acts by the troops in the trenches.

Personally I feel we have taken the militarization of the police, and their "qualified immunity" too far, and society is paying the cost. Every day.

I can understand why so many people are angry. Doesn't give them a right to riot, loot and commit other crimes though. Two wrongs don't make it right.
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Old December 16, 2021, 12:05 PM   #12
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I don't think they should be outlawed. No statute is needed. They should be abandoned as a routine practice though.
Quote:
Bad generals, flawed battle plans and stupid tactics cancel out even the most brilliant and professional acts by the troops in the trenches.
The tactic has been overused and abused by the militarization of the police. The "defund the police" folks want to put a camera on every cop because they're convinced they're all criminals. I think it keeps everyone honest. The Chicago police were against bodycams until they found it severely limited the number of police brutality complaints. At the same time, it also eventually helped convict Jason Van Dyke of murder.

Qualified immunity is nowhere in the constitution. It's my understanding it was created out of whole cloth by judges. My idea of criminal justice reform is severely limiting qualified immunity, no-knock raids and civil forfeitures. These practices have become a corruption of justice.
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Old December 17, 2021, 12:07 AM   #13
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For those of you that need a hero, here you go.

"The Sheriff's Office says the Coffee family has had a long history of violence against law enforcement. In December 2015, Deputy Chris Lester was shot by Andrew Coffee II, a "career criminal" who is still being held at the IRC jail.
Coffee III has been arrested more than 57 times, and his son, Coffee IV has been arrested more than 36 times. Both will be in first appearance at the Indian River County Jail on Monday morning

It was also revealed that the grandfather also previously shot a cop as well during a traffic stop."
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Old December 17, 2021, 06:45 AM   #14
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who would like to live next door to that familey, NOT ME.
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Old December 17, 2021, 03:08 PM   #15
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I've read a couple of internet opinion pieces (yah, I know...) about this verdict and the Rittenhouse one. Seems those people only wanted to focus on how the Rittenhouse acquittal was huge national news and the Coffee acquittal was ignored by the media, because he was black.

Personally, I don't think it was because of his ethnicity, I think it was ignored because he's a career criminal from a family with a history of being career criminals.

I think the jury was right to acquit him of murder charges, and come down to it, without other evidence (such as a video) who shot first is a matter of who you believe, and I'm not upset at him being found not guilty for shooting at attackers who he "didn't know" were police.

The felon with a gun charge is a slam dunk. Guilty, no way around that. That's been the law since 1968.

Prior to 68 a convicted felon, who had served his entire sentence and was released having "paid for his crime" could possess a gun without breaking any laws just for having it. That hasn't been the case for over 50 years now.

What bothers me most is that the poor woman who was killed was reportedly asleep in her bed (and one report I saw said "in another room) and was hit by 10 bullets. TEN BULLETS HIT her. Almost certainly from the police, though I never saw where it was said none of them came from Coffee's gun. They just kind of left that out. No mention of Coffee being shot.

Ok, so its dark, you enter with a flash bang grenade, and then...someone shoots at you! Seems to me the police return fire was a bit beyond...indiscriminate...

And no fault was found with the police.....seems to me that ought to be changed. the officers apparently followed their training and police procedures so the "did nothing wrong" but it seems to me that ten hits on the wrong target ought not be ignored or approved of.

Anyone know how many rounds were fired in total??
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Old December 17, 2021, 08:45 PM   #16
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As far as I can see, the two "wars" America never had a chance of "winning" are the war on poverty and the war on drugs /war on crime.
They aren't wars, they're challenges that need to be managed. And you'd think that given our post-WWII record we'd come up with a better metaphor.
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Old December 17, 2021, 11:06 PM   #17
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technology

One of the things that annoys me is "the police weren't recording", or, "the lack of audio in the recording". The implication frequently being that the police are trying to hide something.

Maybe,.......... but my experience with body and car cams is that sometimes, the gear just plain doesn't work, or at least, work like it should. Ever not have a cell signal or drop a call? Technology is not foolproof. But the lack of police recordings these days is frequently an indictment on the agency or the officer or both.
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Old December 18, 2021, 02:17 AM   #18
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Maybe some of you are old enough to remember when computers weren't 100% completely dependable...oh, wait, they still aren't.

Some of the things I learned in the early days of home PC's were that "fully compatible" meant "probably will work" and that if a program didn't run right the software company would say its a computer problem and the computer company would say "its a software problem".....

Its better today, but its not perfect. Today it seems that "update" is code for "screws up what you like and use and adds tons of crap you don't want and won't use"

I might be wrong but that seem to be the case most of the time.
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Old December 18, 2021, 03:44 AM   #19
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One of the things that annoys me is "the police weren't recording", or, "the lack of audio in the recording". The implication frequently being that the police are trying to hide something.
I've said this before, I'd like my elected officials to wear body cams so we could monitor what they are up to. Gosh that is a GREAT idea.
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Old December 18, 2021, 09:30 AM   #20
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One of the points I want to make with this one is that even a felon-in-possession doesn't necessarily lose his right to SD.
This is a good point.

Here is another similar case from years gone by...
https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...fense+new+york

We have seen several rulings similar to this over the years, not necessarily with felons, but of people who had guns illegally (e.g., Chicago, New York, D.C.) who used them in self defense and (usually) were not charged in the shootings, but were charged for possession.

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d+self+defense
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Old December 18, 2021, 12:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bamaranger
One of the things that annoys me is "the police weren't recording", or, "the lack of audio in the recording". The implication frequently being that the police are trying to hide something.

Maybe,.......... but my experience with body and car cams is that sometimes, the gear just plain doesn't work, or at least, work like it should. Ever not have a cell signal or drop a call? Technology is not foolproof. But the lack of police recordings these days is frequently an indictment on the agency or the officer or both.
I don't accept the "It's the equipment's fault" excuse.

Even the laptop computers the police have in their cruisers today are ruggedized, basically military-grade equipment, even though they're set in a cradle and just ride around in the vehicle. Their body cams cost big bucks -- a lot more than Billy Joe Bob's GoPro. Every YouTuber in the known universe is shooting with an off-the-shelf, consumer-grade GoPro (or clone), and their cameras seems to work despite sometimes being subjected to incredible abuse. Knowing that, when a police body cam video isn't available "due to technical issues" -- I just don't believe it. That just means they're covering something up.
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Old December 18, 2021, 03:37 PM   #22
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A similar one out of Tennessee, not a lot of information in the article but it sounds like the store owner detained a robber then shot him when the robber attempted to run. He is being charged with being a felon in possession.

https://www.wreg.com/news/convenienc...cused-burglar/
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Old December 18, 2021, 04:08 PM   #23
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Unless your personal philosophy is "Die if you must, but never fight back" I believe everyone has a moral right to defend their life.

And it's usually a legal right as well, but prohibited persons don't have the legal right possess a gun to do it with, Right or wrong in one's opinion doesn't matter it is the law, until and unless it is changed.

As noted, cases where a prohibited person acquired a gun and used it during the process of defending themselves, and surrendered it immediately afterward have not resulted in conviction for illegal "possession".

Had Coffee used a baseball bat (or anything other than a gun) to defend himself from his "attackers" he would have not faced gun possession charges.

Since the felon in possession of a firearm were the only charges he was convicted of, if he hadn't used a gun, he'd likely be on the street today, all else being the same, of course,,,

Realistically, had he not had a gun and used it, things would almost certainly turned out differently than they did.
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Old December 18, 2021, 07:59 PM   #24
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A few thoughts. I am a cop, and was a narcotics detective for years, and I will say there is absolutely a time and place for a no-knock entrance. With that being said, it is very rare. The overwhelming vast majority of search warrants I´ve served or been a part of where knock and announce, everyone in easily identifiable police gear, a marked squad car with blue lights on in front of the house... just doing everything we can to never run into a situation where someone could argue they thought we were ¨intruders¨ breaking into the house. We rarely served anything in the dead of night, because that was known as a time when you are most likely to be mistaken for stick up boys trying to rob dealers for their dope. I always liked to make sure any kids in the house were at school, also. There are tons of risks to serving warrants in the middle of the night. If this police department did not take these types of precautions... well honestly I could see the acquittal for murder charges and I believe the case agent or supervisor in charge should be held accountable.

That being said, there are tons of times that people refuse to open the door as they´re trying to figure a way out of their situation. When it is very obvious that this is what is going on, it is then time to act. The longer you let them think about it, the longer they have to barricade, attack out, etc. There is a time and place to realize that you won´t have the door opened for you, so you have to open it yourself. No issues being mistaken for an intruder if you do your job the way you should. I have seen a ¨raid¨ of criminals dressed up in police vests though. I do know it happens. These are sensitive issues.

Forced/dynamic entries should not be banned, but they should still be clearly announced in almost every single case.


Legitimate self defense vs PFBF. In my county, a legitimate self defense usually results in no charges. Not even possession of firearm by felon if the defender used a firearm and was a felon. I know that may seem weird, but that´s our district attoreny´s practice. I am not against it personally. Especially if it happens at the person´s home where they used a gun for self defense. It´s a slightly different thing if a thrice over convicted felon gang banger walks the street armed and gets attacked by rival gang members and he has a gun. The guy with a minor felony conviction shoots someone with a hunting rifle as they broke in his house, though? Not getting charged.


Lastly, I also don´t really accept ¨it´s the equipment´s fault¨ excuse on body/in car cameras. I have found them to be largely reliable. Sure occasionally a microphone goes down or something, but it´s not all that common. What I will say is people expect body/car cameras to show everything in context. It does not in almost every circumstance. So body cameras and car cameras aren´t this end all be all of evidence. A lot of it can be used to corroborate stuff, but things still take place outside of the frame of the camera that can be crucial evidence. Tons of times people expect camera footage to tell the complete story, when it almost never does. Prosecutors are probably have the most unrealistic expectations of all, IMO.
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