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Cigarettes Can Kill: Florida Deputies Shoot Man Looking for a Smoke in His Own Driveway
Reason ^ | Jul. 29, 2013 | Jacob Sullum

Posted on 07/30/2013 3:37:37 PM PDT by neverdem

Escambia County Sheriff's OfficeEscambia County Sheriff's Office

Early Saturday morning, Roy Middleton was rummaging through his mother's car in the driveway of his Warrington, Florida, home, looking for a cigarette, when he heard someone bark, "Get your hands where I can see them!" Middleton initially thought it was a neighbor playing a joke on him, but when he turned his head he saw Escambia County sheriff's deputies standing in his driveway. The next thing he knew, he says, they were shooting at him. "It was like a firing squad," Middleton told the Pensacola News Journal. "Bullets were flying everywhere." Middleton was lucky the deputies were terrible shots. His injuries were limited to a leg wound. "My mother's car is full of bullet holes though," he said. "My wife had to go and get a rental."

The deputies came to Middleton's house around 2:42 a.m. after a neighbor saw him reaching into the car and called 911. What happened after that, from the cops' perspective, is unclear. But let's say they were unnerved by Middleton's slowness in obeying the command to show his hands and feared that he was armed. Maybe he even moved in a way that suggested to the deputies that he might be reaching for a weapon. That scenario is in some ways similar to the one confronting Merritt Landry the previous night, when he shot a teenager who had hopped the fence in front of his New Orleans home. Landry said he shot the intruder, Marshall Coulter, because he seemed to be reaching for a weapon. Coulter was in fact unarmed, although there is little doubt, given his history of burglary arrests (his brother called him "a professional thief"), what he was planning to do after climbing the fence.

There are some important differences between these two situations, of course. Middleton was standing in the driveway of his own home, where he had every right to be. If anyone was intruding, it was the sheriff's deputies, who had a lot more firepower than Landry, more training in dealing with scary situations, and less reason to be afraid. Unlike Landry, they were not awakened in the middle of the night by a dog barking at a would-be home invader. But probably the most important difference between these two cases is that the deputies were acting as armed agents of the government, while Landry was an ordinary citizen anxious to protect his pregnant wife and baby daughter. That helps explain why Landry was immediately arrested for attempted murder, while the Florida deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. Although the fusillade they fired could easily have killed Middleton—an unarmed, innocent man standing on his own property—I will be very surprised if any of them face similar charges.

I am not sure Landry was justified in shooting Coulter, although he seems to have a pretty good defense under Louisiana's law allowing the use of deadly force to repel home invaders. But it seems even less likely that the deputies were justified in shooting Middleton. Assuming that both shootings are attributable to errors, the outcomes should be similar. If Landry ends up going to prison while the deputies remain free, it will confirm the double standard that lets cops make deadly or potentially deadly mistakes without facing criminal charges while giving regular folks no such leeway.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; US: Florida; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: banglist; donutwatch; guncontrol; newcenturians; rogueleos; secondamendment; warriorcops; wearetheonlyones
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1 posted on 07/30/2013 3:37:37 PM PDT by neverdem
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: TurboZamboni

LEOtards....”To protect (our pensions) and to serve (our unions).”


3 posted on 07/30/2013 3:40:46 PM PDT by clintonh8r (white Caucasian)
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To: neverdem

Well, Stand your ground is obviously to blame here. /s


4 posted on 07/30/2013 3:42:52 PM PDT by ReeseBN38416
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To: neverdem

Well, that just proves that smoking is bad for you!


5 posted on 07/30/2013 3:43:50 PM PDT by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: neverdem

Is it even possible for this country to get more insane and retarded? Satirical comics will be going out of business!


6 posted on 07/30/2013 3:45:38 PM PDT by Wanderer99
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To: neverdem

The skin color of the victim is going to make this another big story.


7 posted on 07/30/2013 3:45:39 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: neverdem

Jesus, Mary and Joesph.


8 posted on 07/30/2013 3:46:13 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: neverdem

I’m just so undecided about this. Maybe if Traydmark’s Mother chimed in with her reasoned, learned opinion I would be better informed and make a reasonable decision.


9 posted on 07/30/2013 3:47:55 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: neverdem

Bookmark


10 posted on 07/30/2013 3:48:10 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: neverdem

Even if it was a thief attmepting to steal my car from my driveway, I should think that the way the LEOs handled this situation was inappropriate and unacceptable. I do not want cops or deputies conducting themselves in that manner anywhere near my neighborhood. Let’s face it, their actions were unlawful, and constituted reckless disregard for human life. Yeah, they have a hard job. It must be very hard to scream commands at strangers and then fire at them for unknown reasons.


11 posted on 07/30/2013 3:48:45 PM PDT by Unknowing (Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.)
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To: neverdem

Obama’s Brown Shirts. R U still wondering who he will use to fire on citizens after he declares martial law?


12 posted on 07/30/2013 3:49:03 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: neverdem

Bookmark


13 posted on 07/30/2013 3:49:18 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: neverdem

The pack syndrome.

One LEO who got scared fired a shot and the others joined in. They didn’t know, nor did they care, why they joined in , but they did, this man was lucky none of them could hit what they aimed at.


14 posted on 07/30/2013 3:49:27 PM PDT by Venturer ( cowardice posturing as tolerance =political correctness)
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To: neverdem

See how hazardous smoking is!


15 posted on 07/30/2013 3:49:59 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: neverdem

Bookmark


16 posted on 07/30/2013 3:51:15 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Venturer

Every officer involved should lose his badge and be cleaned out in a civil suit.


17 posted on 07/30/2013 3:52:39 PM PDT by dinodino
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To: neverdem

Well, maybe so, but we’re still not a police state: nobody’s dog got shot to death.


18 posted on 07/30/2013 3:55:02 PM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: neverdem

Everyone is talking about the ever-growing cop-military. It’s the real deal.


19 posted on 07/30/2013 3:56:24 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Support Free Republic!)
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To: dinodino

That won’t change the behavior. They are trained that the only important thing is that officer safety comes first, before everything else.


20 posted on 07/30/2013 3:56:56 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: neverdem

In the old days the neighbor would have yelled out, Hey Roy is that you!

These days they hide in their house and call 911 and have you shot.


21 posted on 07/30/2013 3:58:21 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: neverdem

Wait there is no way this story is true. The cops response time musta been 30 seconds which aint gonna happen.


22 posted on 07/30/2013 3:59:20 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: editor-surveyor

There are a couple of FReepers who would be quite happy to see smokers shot on sight.

On second thought, that’s an exaggeration. They would rather that smokers were taken to education facilities and convinced to quit. Only if the reeducation didn’t take would smokers be lined up in a ditch and shot.


23 posted on 07/30/2013 4:00:12 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: neverdem

Good thing his dog wasn’t around.

Friggin Jack Booted Thugs!


24 posted on 07/30/2013 4:00:52 PM PDT by unixfox
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To: neverdem

I have read that many psychos start on dogs and move up to people.


25 posted on 07/30/2013 4:04:26 PM PDT by jospehm20
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To: Don Corleone
Obama’s Brown Shirts.

It's the Nudge Squad in action. Government gotta stop people from smoking, y'know.

26 posted on 07/30/2013 4:10:40 PM PDT by MAexile (Bats left, votes right)
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Jeez, more small manhood cops. I guess they didn’t have a dog to shoot so they blasted away at the innocent resident getting some cigarettes out of the car.

And what happens to them-—that peculiar government thing called “administrative leave”. Yes, more paid vacations for the government class.


27 posted on 07/30/2013 4:18:42 PM PDT by House Atreides ( D)
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To: neverdem
2:42 a.m
28 posted on 07/30/2013 4:20:14 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: neverdem

Cops should stick to their primary duty:

Raising money for the welfare state from innocent citizens attempting to lawfully go about their day.


29 posted on 07/30/2013 4:22:01 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (The Tipline for Zimmerman's Inquisition is: Sanford.florida@usdoj.gov ... Use it.)
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To: dinodino

I agree


30 posted on 07/30/2013 4:22:11 PM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: neverdem

Not all that different from George Zimmerman; “If only he had stayed in the car, none of this would have happened”.


31 posted on 07/30/2013 4:27:12 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (When America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: neverdem

I imagine it went something like this:

http://klipd.com/watch/apocalypse-now/river-boat-massacre-scene


32 posted on 07/30/2013 4:31:49 PM PDT by Dogbert41 (Thy Kingdom come!)
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To: neverdem

Another example of militarized cops in action.


33 posted on 07/30/2013 4:32:18 PM PDT by ZULU ((See: http://gatesofvienna.net/) Obama, do you hear me?)
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To: neverdem

Serves him right for not having a dog.


34 posted on 07/30/2013 4:33:18 PM PDT by null and void (You don't know what "cutting edge" means till you insult Mohammed.)
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To: neverdem

I read somewhere that cops are now trained to yell “drop the gun” while unloading their high capacity magazine at the perp. If so then what happened would make sense as the minute on of them yelled at the perp it triggered an automatic response in the cops to unload their gun in the general direction of the perp. That said the cops will be cleared and the guy shot will get whatever the going rate is for being shot (but not killed), here in LA it appears to be around $2M or so depending on how helpless the victim is (say a pair of little old ladies delivering newspapers versus some guy looking for a smoke).


35 posted on 07/30/2013 4:34:04 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: Shimmer1

ping


36 posted on 07/30/2013 4:38:41 PM PDT by null and void (You don't know what "cutting edge" means till you insult Mohammed.)
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To: neverdem

Nest time this guy wants to go look in the car at night, he is going to have to call the cops first and let them know the address, the time he expects to be outside, and what clothing he is going to wear.

Even so, they might still kill him.


37 posted on 07/30/2013 4:53:57 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: driftdiver
The cops response time musta been 30 seconds which aint gonna happen.

Only way that happens is if this guy is across the street from the donut shop.

38 posted on 07/30/2013 4:55:51 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: onyx

Did you accidentally post to the wrong thread?


39 posted on 07/30/2013 5:08:19 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Nah, he just needs to bring a dog with him to draw off the fire.


40 posted on 07/30/2013 5:08:52 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Unindicted Co-conspirators: The Mainstream Media)
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To: neverdem

41 posted on 07/30/2013 5:23:43 PM PDT by BlueDragon (if wishes were fishes it would be a stinky world)
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To: neverdem

These deputies were not on the ball. At 2:42am, unless the vehicle was strongly illuminated, which is unlikely, a typical police approach would be to shine their bright flashlights on him, announce that they are the police, and that he should *not* move.

If he is rummaging around in a car, even if he was holding a gun, he is at a distinct disadvantage.

Police should not have said “Keep your hands where we can see them”, unless he was *seated* in the front seat where he could put his hands on the steering wheel or front dash.

You see the advantage of ordering him to freeze?

At that point he should have blurted out his business, and that this is his home, and the car is his mother’s car.

In any event, these cops need to be sent back to the minors for some seasoning.


42 posted on 07/30/2013 5:50:45 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!)
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To: dinodino
Every officer involved should lose his badge and be cleaned out in a civil suit.

And THAT'S just for not being able to hit a bull in the butt with a base fiddle

Jail time for shooting an innocent civilian.
43 posted on 07/30/2013 5:58:39 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
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To: Right Wing Assault

>>Nest time this guy wants to go look in the car at night, he is going to have to call the cops first and let them know the address, the time he expects to be outside, and what clothing he is going to wear.

All of which would never get passed on the cops responding to the call anyway.


44 posted on 07/30/2013 6:00:50 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: House Atreides

THEY shoot somebody, they get three days to sort their story out.

YOU shoot somebody, you’re in the box until you confess.


45 posted on 07/30/2013 6:06:35 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Support Free Republic!)
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To: neverdem

More Pig violence. These people should lose their jobs and pensions.


46 posted on 07/30/2013 6:51:07 PM PDT by gotribe (Vladimir Putin is MY President)
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To: neverdem

Time to go back to the old standard for LEOs: No shooting at ANYONE unless they shoot at you first. Period.


47 posted on 07/30/2013 7:04:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: neverdem
Florida deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave

Woo! paid vacation time, in Florida.

48 posted on 07/30/2013 7:17:35 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools - Solon, Lawmaker of Athens)
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To: Oztrich Boy

I’m one or two counties east of Escambia,
depending on which of my properties I’m
visiting. The Escambia Cty sheriff is one of
the better ones and I would bet money these
deputies are toast for their current employment.

Dang if I can recall his name. Morgan I think.

Next sheriff east, Wendall Hall, outstanding.

Next sheriff east Ashley, scary self promoting
politician.

Time will tell where the good deputies will be employed
next. I’m guessing some small Alabama city.


49 posted on 07/30/2013 8:26:44 PM PDT by theneanderthal
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

In any event, these cops need to be sent back to the minors for some seasoning.


Better a public viewing of the ‘Hempen Jig’ in 2:2 time.


50 posted on 07/30/2013 8:47:04 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Case back hoe for sale or trade for wood chipper...........ENFORCE THE BILL OF RIGHTS! It's the Law.)
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