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Two Deputies Shot in Child Porn Case September 26, 2012

Posted by Sobek in News.
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CP busts are some of the most dangerous things our law enforcement guys can do. If you arrest a gang member, it’s just a bump in the road at worst – sometimes it’s more of a career-enhancer than anything – and anyway, they’ve often as not been through the jail system before.

But CP guys know it’s all over, so they’re more inclined to do something awful when the cops come.  Like shoot two San Diego County deputies before turning the gun on himself.

Libertarians sometimes complain about the militarization of the police.  Although I understand where they’re coming from, I think they have a too-naive attitude about the dangers that cops can face out there.

Comments»

1. kevl - September 26, 2012

I don’t see anything in this story that would upset a libertarian.
I would not have minded if they had arranged an impromptu firing squad on the front lawn for this animal.

2. OBF - September 26, 2012

Sorry but what is a CP burst?

3. OBF - September 26, 2012

Opps! Never mind. I just read the title. I have to start getting more sleep.

4. geoff - September 26, 2012

I think Sobek is referring to the unfortunately all-too-common “no-knock raids at the wrong address or using outdated information,” as well as the proliferation of SWAT teams. Those, at least, are the primary concern of people like Radley Balko. And me.

5. geoff - September 26, 2012

Sorry but what is a CP burst?

Errr…I think you mean “bust.” Otherwise the meaning is a little unsavory. Or, more accurately, unsavorier.

6. daveintexas - September 26, 2012

ew

7. Sobek - September 26, 2012

That’s what I was referring to, Geoff, and I was thinking specifically of Radley Balko, although I had forgotten his name.

Maybe it’s just a semantic problem, but I don’t think the scenario you (and he) describe comes under the rubric of militarization of law enforcement. It’s more a problem of law enforcement incompetence, at least in the case of hitting the wrong house, or shooting dogs instead of restraining them. In those cases, the lethal consequences weren’t caused by SWAT weapons and training, and the mistakes would have been equally lethal if all of the officers had pistols instead of rifles.

None of which addresses the valid point about no-knock raids.

8. daveintexas - September 27, 2012

I prefer knockers.

9. geoff - September 27, 2012

It’s more a problem of law enforcement incompetence…

Doesn’t matter. Since there will always be an element of incompetence, or some unfortunate circumstances that lead to an unavoidable mistake, innocent people will always die. So the question becomes:

Do we structure law enforcement so that you can enjoy your 4th Amendment rights unless there’s a mistake, or do we structure it so that no mistake can violate your 4th Amendment rights? If you choose the former, knowing that mistakes will happen, you’re really condemning people to die.

A corollary of the old Blackstone adage: “Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”

10. geoff - September 27, 2012

The problem with the proliferation of SWAT teams (I think Balko noted that 90% of municipalities with population > 50K have one now), is that they’ll be used inappropriately, since appropriate uses are rare. 92% of SWAT raids are to serve warrants. Using them when they’re not needed unnecessarily escalates the potential for violence.

Even as a kid, loving the show SWAT back in the 70s, I realized how hard they had to work to come up with SWAT-worthy scenarios every week. And I wondered how any city could afford a unit that would be used so infrequently. Even LA or New York. The answer is, they can’t, so they use them in situations that don’t really call for SWAT teams.

11. daveintexas - September 27, 2012

because knockers are awesome

12. Sobek - September 27, 2012

“If you choose the former, knowing that mistakes will happen, you’re really condemning people to die.”

No, you’re condemning people to die by pistol shot rather than by rifle shot. If ten cops with a warrant hit the wrong house, and the innocent homeowner thinks it’s a home invasion and starts shooting, the cops will return fire whether they’re on a SWAT team or not. Cops don’t serve warrants unarmed, or armed with sticks.

13. daveintexas - September 27, 2012

don’t get me wrong, I’m basically a leg man.

14. OBF - September 27, 2012

daveintexas – you aren’t paying attention. Makes me wonder if you’ve been hanging around some Obama campaign office?

15. daveintexas - September 27, 2012

Don’t get me wrong now, I can appreciate the boobies as much as anybody.

16. geoff - September 27, 2012

No, you’re condemning people to die by pistol shot rather than by rifle shot.

I think we’re talking at cross-purposes here. Law enforcement competence only comes into play during no-knock raids, not in the choice of which type of unit should serve a warrant. Certainly the operating procedures for both types of units should be designed to maximize the protection of citizens and their rights in all circumstances, and with some provision for mistakes and incompetence.

The question of rifles vs. pistols is this: Do you believe that replacing conventional police units with paramilitary units for routine police work (such as serving warrants for nonviolent crimes) leads to heightened prospects for violence? In general, I do.

17. Sobek - September 27, 2012

I’m arguing there isn’t a substantive difference between what you’re calling conventional units and paramilitary units, beyond the equipment and training they get. You’re not arguing that better tactical training is a net negative. That leaves the issue of equipment – i.e. helmets, rifles and flash-bangs. If you take away those pieces of equipment, you don’t make anyone safer during a no-knock raid.

The issue is about the no-knock, not about the kind of unit performing the raid. So we seem to agree on that point. But “no-knock” =/= paramilitary unit. Whether the officers have to knock depends on whether the judge issues a no-knock warrant, not on whether it’s a SWAT team.

I may sound more certain on this issue than I really am. The idea of a police unit coming into a home – even if it’s the right home – and shooting someone who’s terrified by the mode of entry is just awful. So is the idea of cops getting shot by some pedophile with a deer rifle.

And to your last question, keep in mind that possession of kiddie porn is a non-violent crime. But those guys know how much they have to lose when the handcuffs get locked into place.

18. Michael - September 27, 2012

SWAT teams here should be trained on pool water chemistry and equipped with AquaCheck test strips. Then they could do an armed no-knock entry of my property, confiscate my chems for use on site, and take care of my pool. While they are here, they could clear out the skimmer baskets, backflush the filter and reseal it with diatomaceous earth. This would keep them busy, and I swear I would not open fire (unless they were fucking up the free chlorine level).

19. geoff - September 27, 2012

The issue is about the no-knock, not about the kind of unit performing the raid

Not really. There are two issues: no knock raids, which I think should be outlawed no matter who conducts them; and excessive deployment/use of paramilitary units throughout the US, which I think should be pared down considerably.

If you have no knock raids, you’d best go in with a SWAT-like team, because you’re asking for people to freak out and resist.

And to your last question, keep in mind that possession of kiddie porn is a non-violent crime.

Let me amend that to include situations where it is reasonable to anticipate violence. Look, we have police officers getting shot during routing traffic stops – that doesn’t mean they should go commando on drivers.

20. daveintexas - September 27, 2012

Kinda goes without saying that “leg man” means legs and backside, but in case anyone wondered..

21. sandy burger - September 27, 2012

Dave, I just read this thread, and, honest to goodness, I was wondering about exactly that. I’m glad you clarified; I was beginning to have my doubts about you.

22. sandy burger - September 27, 2012

As for cops, I think using heavy duty SWAT equipment puts them into a more militaristic attitude which is not usually appropriate for deputized citizens interacting with their neighbors. I don’t think amped up stormtroopers are a generally positive influence in a community. (When I lived in a somewhat high crime neighborhood, what I really wished for was more bicycle cops.)

This is a terrible post to be having that discussion in, alas. Thank God, these brave men survived.

23. daveintexas - September 27, 2012

Look I’m just sayin is all.

The hips.. fine.

24. Sobek - September 28, 2012

Let me bring this back to the original post, rather than the more abstract issue of SWAT teams. When Geoff said “Let me amend that to include situations where it is reasonable to anticipate violence,” my whole point in posting this was that the police need to consider child porn offenders in that list. It’s not just gang-bangers who might pose a threat.

“…I think using heavy duty SWAT equipment puts them into a more militaristic attitude…”

That’s an excellent point. I’ll have to mull that over a bit.

25. daveintexas - September 28, 2012

pretty amazing what heels do to the shape of a pretty gal’s legs isn’t it?

26. Lipstick - September 28, 2012

What happens when home invasion guys burst into your house and yell “police!”? It would make the homeowner hesitate to shoot, I imagine.

27. Retired Geezer - September 28, 2012

We even have Home Invasions here in the Spud State.

I remember in Vegas, there was a home invasion with guys dressed in black like Ninjas.

28. Lipstick - September 28, 2012

Idahoians have those too?! I thought a lot of cops retired up there. . . that could make it interesting.

29. daveintexas - September 29, 2012

*sigh* Legs.

30. Sobek - September 29, 2012

Guys are generally divided into either boob, butt or leg men. But I’d like to point out that a nice flat tummy is seriously awesome.

31. daveintexas - September 29, 2012

point taken.

but softly round tummys have somethin goin on.

Just sayin

32. BrewFan - September 30, 2012

This is why we can’t have nice poats around here.

33. daveintexas - September 30, 2012

shut up cheesehead

34. TXMarko - October 7, 2012

<— Leg Man who:

Believes there is a major problem with incompetence/misconduct/attitudes on today's police forces, and

Understands that the occupation of Police Officer is not even in the Top 10 List of most Dangerous Jobs in America, and

Finds that reading the website below regularly will raise your blood pressure and understanding on the subject significantly (Cops, not Legs, DiT, sorry).

http://www.policemisconduct.net/


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