Police shoot 7 year old girl during raid

Discussion in 'Horror Stories' started by Bruno@MT, May 18, 2010.

  1. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    http://www.detnews.com/article/2010.../Detroit-police-fatally-shoot-7-year-old-girl

    This sucks. This was literally a pointless death.

    From what I've read so far, I don't understand why this happened like it did. They knew there were kids on the premises, and they knew that their target may not have been at home (they raided both parts of a duplex). So why bust in with flashbangs and a 20 man SWAT crew AND a reality show camera crew?

    Personally, I am bothered by the presence of the camera crew. Why are they even present if the situation is indeed so risky as to warrant such overkill? I read in my local newspaper today that the police went for overkill because of the cameras. The producers probably wanted something sensational. Be careful what you wish for.
     
  2. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Don't worry. The police will be exonerated. A couple guys will be passed over for promotion. The city's insurance policy will take a hit. There will be a call for more money for training. Old timers will complain about the useless PC classes that get in the way of real policing.

    But the important thing is that the officers and the department will be defended. Nobody will go to jail. Odds are nobody will even be indicted. And all the tired old claptrap about the "Thin Blue Line" and "Call a hippie next time you're robbed" will get trotted out on cue. We will be reminded that police officers live terribly dangerous lives (less dangerous than construction laborers or cab drivers, but that doesn't matter). Unless we're cops we can't judge them. And of course, they're held to a higher standard.
     
  3. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    Sounds like someones finger was inside the trigger guard when he wasn't ready to shoot.

    If the warrant was valid on it's face and the cop did indeed have a negligent discharge (assuming that there isn't MORE to this story) what would you like? Public beheading? Who would you like to see flogged? The cop who shot? The Chief who agreed to allowing cameras? The judge who authorized the no-knock? I'd be pretty confident that the city will be paying out hefty civil claims. What would assuage your need to tar and feather the whole police profession? A teary eyed apology by the shooter on CNN? Perhaps the officer have his child taken from him as payback?

    Nothing like going off and broadbrushing the entire profession instead of addressing the specific incident...it's as cliche as all the yapping posted above.
     
  4. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    You will notice that I specifically did not blame the cop or ask for a public beheading. Honestly, I think it sucks to be the cop who fired. He'll feel guilty for the rest of his life. I know I would.

    In my unqualified opinion, tv crews should never be part of a raid. Because as soon as that happens, there are additional considerations that are not beneficial to the proceedings at hand. Cops start worrying about looking good, everyone is nervous because they know everything they do will be looked at on tv, police chiefs are worrying about what the viewers will think so they decide to go all out... and the list goes on.

    All these considerations are conflicting with what should be the primary goal: do things by the book, in a way that assures the highest chances of a successful and uneventful raid. since the presence of reality show tv crews work against that goal, they should not be part of the equation.
     
  5. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    Anytime an innocent person is killed it sucks. Hopefully, since it was supposed to be filmed (which I don't understand why you'd have a tv crew though) it is on film of the person trying to take the weapon.

    Just food for thought. How many of you have trained to go through a door? How many of you have gone through a door? Know anyone personally who has gone through a door?

    I have trained to do it and have fellow friends that are on the "swat team" (ours is called Emergency Response Team). But, I have not been a member since our dept. does not field it's own team.

    I have had one friend shot in the face attempting to kick in a door (luckily he lived and is still serving). Many other times they talk about how the houses they go into have barricaded doors. One they got lucky on because the door to the house led into a staircase to get into the main part of the house upstairs and at the top of the stairs was a large machine gun mounted (yes, highly illegal) and pointed at the front door.

    MANY of the houses that they have had to go in on, have a crib with babies in it RIGHT at the front door. The purpose of this is so law enforcement has trouble entering the house and they can escape, mount an assault and/or flush the drugs. What kind of person puts their baby in harms way like that?

    So, while it is a tragedy, those situations are highly dynamic and until the FACTS are out on the case, I'm going to withhold judgement of those officers actions and not try to armchair quarterback them.
     
  6. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    The camera crew may help keep Internal Affairs and further investigations of the incident honest. Already, there has been changes to the story to bring it more in line with what the cameras caught.
     
  7. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    Some interesting points made here after video of a drug raid in MO went public: More Militarized Than the Military

    I'm a civilian and I don't pretend any knowledge of police tactics, and I know that the LEOs get a lot of goofy suggestions like "why don't you shoot the gun from his hand?". But what I don't understand is the absolute need to get in the house RIGHT NOW. If the police believe a suspect is in a location, is it impossible to restrict access in or out until he comes out?

    The police have a difficult but important job and I appreciate that they are doing it. But look at the scenario - a man kills a 17-year-old, and this crime is so dire that the police had to use a tactic which killed a 7-year-old? And then they offer condolences. I dunno, if killing someone can be eased by condolences then it kinda makes me wonder why the first killing was so terrible that it required storming a residence.

    "We might be the target of anger," [Detroit Police Assistant Chief] Godbee said. "All we can do is stand ready to offer our condolences to the family, and any help we can give them."

    Would they have accepted that as an answer from the guy who killed the teenager?
     
  8. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    First -- I am not a SWAT operator. I do work with them frequently, and the unit I am a part of does low to medium risk entries. I've been in various positions on entry teams in more than 100 search warrants. In other words -- I do have some idea of what it's like to go into a house, over the strenuous objections of its residents.

    Second -- I am not automatically assuming that everything was done right or perfectly. I don't know why they banged a house with young kids in it, for example. Most SWAT units won't do that, without a very good reason.

    Third -- I've been way too close to being in a position much like that. We recently did an entry where we ended up compromised, meaning that they saw us approaching, and made a more dynamic entry than we usually do. As we cleared the house, one of my partners and I entered a room. As we cleared our areas, he came across a closet, and I suddenly heard him giving orders to someone. I turned to support him, and the person in the closet finally came out... It was a young girl, and yes, we were both pointing guns at her. Not a good feeling.

    OK... All that out of the way, this is absolutely a tragedy, and the cops involved are, I'm sure, tearing themselves up about what they could have done differently. I don't want to speculate on what could have happened; there are several possibilities, and it seems a good chance that there will be a pretty solid explanation after the investigation.

    It was asked why are SWAT entries done in that fashion, especially in a case where you know where the guy is. The whole goal of any SWAT operation to use the least force to take control of the situation necessary, keeping everyone -- especially the cops and innocent public! -- safe. But the rule of any entry is Speed, Surprise, and Violence of execution. In short... shock and awe. If everyone inside is caught literally or figuratively with their pants down, there is much less chance of encountering resistance that could get someone hurt or killed. On top of that, they rely on intelligence gathered about the target. In a perfect operation, they know exactly how many people are in the house and where they are, the layout of the house, and more. They go in with a carefully devised plan (ready to improvise when it falls apart!), and everything is over quickly.

    Why not wait the guy out? Depends on the circumstances of the case, and where it is. The ATF was, in my opinion, rightly criticized for their choice of tactics at Waco; everything there seems to have lent itself to snagging Koresh up as he left. I don't know the details of the case in Detroit, or the community where it happened. There are places where we won't even think about waiting for someone to exit, because there is nowhere safe in the community to set up for them; I'm quite confident that Detroit has quite a few places like that! Also, nobody wants a hostage situation, and that may have been a concern of the police in this case.

    It's certain that there will be an investigation, and I hope it's fair and impartial -- not a witch hunt to blame the cops, nor some attempt to cover up any mistakes or failures on the part of the cops.
     
  9. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    I really don't care how he feel. If someone else were under investigation for a homicide the police and Courts wouldn't care how they felt except as part of the sentencing process. I just care that cops see justice like anyone else.

    And no matter how "good" the police try to look for the cameras the TV crews didn't kill a seven year old girl and lie about it. You're just trying to deflect the blame from the putative criminal to someone else.
     
  10. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    Exactly what I was thinking.
     
  11. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Wow. Where did this come from?
    I am not deflecting blame. Blame will have to be decided by the investigation.
    I am merely saying that I don't automatically blame the cop. None of us here can say whether the discharge was his fault or not. If there was a fight for control of his weapon an accidental discharge is not necessarily his fault. I don't know any more details than you.

    However, you do agree that a raid is a high tension event, where the only consideration should be the results, right?
    And in that case, it makes sense that there is NO good reason for a reality tv camera crew to be part of the raid, right? Because the mere presence of a camera crew WILL have an influence on everyone involved that detracts from that 1 major consideration.

    EDIT: I don't know if you've ever watched those national geographic documentaries about disasters, you'll notice that it is very rarely that blame for a catastrophe can be pinned to 1 particular person or event. Usually they are the result of a cascade of issues that reinforced each other. In this case, there is no doubt about whose gun the bullet came out of. But there is a myriad of circumstances that set the scene. The involvement of the tv crew had an effect on everyone involved, from the decision makers to the people going in, just because of the mere fact that everything would by viewed, judged, and reflect itself in the opinion of the population of the mayor, the police, and the individual cops. The presence of the tv crew will always have this effect, so it should not be there.
     
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Master Black Belt

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    An update with some interesting allegations made by the lawyer suing for the family.

    I don't want to second guess what happened, other than that something obviously went very wrong. Very sad regardless of the outcome of the investigation.
     
  13. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    Interesting. From the article:

    Maybe this has contributed to the decision not to wait.
     
  14. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    I was a SWAT team member. I don't know if we would have done a dynamic entry in this situation. We had/have (I have been out of the tactical loop for a bit) a "call out matrix" that takes various factors into account before we would deploy. If enough factors were not met we wouldn't even respond. The detectives/patrol officers would have to deal with the situation using "routine" tactics/equipment. When it come to room entry...unless there was a MAJOR load of dope in the house that we were afraid of loosing or someone in the house was in immediate risk of death we wouldn't do a dynamic entry.

    What the planning cycle here was I do not know.
     
  15. Archangel M

    Archangel M Senior Master

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    Just a pointless tangent:

    A "smoke bomb"?? The technical accuracy of our media is pathetic.
     
  16. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    QFT! This is why I take pretty much anything I read by the media, with a grain of salt.
     
  17. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm going to guess that the camera crew showed up after the fact. I highly doubt they were there, filming the incident as it went down.

    I may be missing it, but where does it say that they weren't sure if the suspect was home? Given the nature of the person they were looking for, this sounds like the normal response. The flashbangs and the other assorted devices they use, are for the element of surprise. Gives the bad guys something else to think about. :)

    Given the nature of the situation, I'd say its prefectly natural to go in with guns drawn. Did someone in fact try to take the weapon from the cop? I will say that this is a shame. The kid can't control how her family is, and in this case, it sounds like they were less than decent citizens.
     
  18. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    From this:
    http://www.detnews.com/article/2010.../Detroit-police-fatally-shoot-7-year-old-girl

    To me that makes it look as if they were actually part of the raid.
     
  19. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Ahh...ok, I realize now that this was in one of the sidebar links. :) According to this link, the crew was supposedly not inside.



    Now, if the crew was not inside and the girl was supposedly sleeping on the living room couch, I'm not sure how this could've been caught on tape.

    And from the article:



    My thoughts exactly! Now, speaking only about the PD that I dispatch for...but when I go on a ride-along, with an officer, I stay in the car, if any of the calls we go on, are a potential high risk. High risk being defined as a domestic, active fights, gun shots, etc. I know that if it weren't for the camera crews, COPS probably wouldn't exist, but IMHO, a) those people are not officers, they're civilians, and b) anyone not directly involved in Law Enforcement, is a potential hazard to the officers that're trying to do their job.

    TV show or not, something like that, is a high risk. If you want to film, film from a safe distance, and then, and only then, when the scene is safe and secure, they can get closer.
     
  20. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37209647/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

    And if there was a criminal in the house or criminal activity in the house, then these people are no different than terrorists who run thru areas packed with civilians, in hopes that the military won't drop a bomb or shoot, so as to avoid civilian deaths.123
     

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