Skip to comments.Elderly Man Dies In Gunfire Exchange With Undercover Officers
Posted on 01/30/2007 1:12:56 PM PST by FreedomCalls
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An elderly man is dead and two Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives are on administrative leave after an undercover narcotics investigation ended in gunfire late Saturday.
According to the JSO, detectives Donald Maynard and James Narcisse had been working undercover for about three hours in the 2300 block of Westmont Street when 80-year-old Isaac Singletary approached them with a gun just before 6 p.m.
The officers said they ordered the man to put down the gun. However, Singletary did not drop his weapon and gunshots were exchanged.
Singletary was shot several times. Paramedics rushed him to Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center, where he died.
Less than 24 hours after the fatal police shooting left his uncle dead, Gary Evans told Channel 4 he's mad.
"Eighty-years-old, and they had to shoot him twice or more in order to subdue him. I'm very upset about it," Evans said.
He said his uncle was territorial and mad about the drugs on his street, and would often take his gun and try to scare the drug dealers away.
On Saturday, things went terribly wrong.
"My uncle asked the officer, which he didn't know at the time he was a police officer, to leave his property and he didn't," Evans said.
Neighbors told Channel 4 that Singletary was very protective of his property.
"You don't expect somebody to come pointing a gun at you, and once they do that, the officers will tell them to drop the gun," JSO Chief Dwain Senterfitt said. "We're still investigating what statements were made, but obviously, at that point, the officers' lives were in danger."
Police said they are still trying to figure out if the undercover officers had time to tell Singletary they were undercover officers. They said the detectives had to hid behind a tree to avoid being shot by Singletary.
According to police, the officers had been in the neighborhood since about 2:45 p.m., and had made five drug-related arrests.
"In the course of our undercover activity and making several arrests in this neighborhood, a man we now know to be a resident of that area, Mr. Isaac Singletary, was shot by officers," said Director of Investigations and Homeland Security Micheal Edwards.
Saturday's shooting was the third JSO-involved shooting in three weeks. Unlike last week's case at the Sable Palm Apartments, there is no dispute whether Singletary had a gun.
"There was a confrontation between them and an exchange of gunfire," Edwards said.
However, the question of who fired the first shot remains unanswered.
"He shot at my uncle first. He was the first one to shoot, and my uncle returned fire," Evans said.
"As you know, our investigation into any shooting must be thorough and methodical. At this time, there's a limited amount of information we can share," Edwards said.
As the details of the shooting are being hashed out, scared neighbors and sad family members remember Singletary.
"I looked in his eyes I saw his pain. I felt the pain for him. He never bothered anybody. He's never done anything to anybody. He didn't want anybody in his yard," said neighbor Antionette Douglas.
People dealing drugs in your yard is a threat to you.
Florida follows the "reasonable man" standard, so the answer is "yes" in the correct circumstances.
Not good enough. If you have nothing to hide why not just surrender?
He didn't die of natural causes did he? He died from bullets shot from the undercover drug squad. The police admit that much. You can't put your head in the sand and deny facts in the hope that they will go away.
Sage advice < /snicker >
We're talking about the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office here...you'd be amazed at what they get away with by putting their heads in the sand and denying facts.
Sure.. if someone in plain clothes asserts that they are police you better do exactly what they say.
You would be an easy mark.
I asked whether the homeowner had the right to shoot anyone and your reply is that he would only have the right "in the correct circumstances". The article does not provide information sufficient to show whether the circumstances at hand would establish the homeowner's right to shoot in this case. Therefore you were wrong when you stated previously that the officers are shown by the known facts to be culpable.
It is also against the law to trespass. If they were on his property they need to face manslaughter charges. One thing is for sure they should be finished as cops.
You are completely irrational. I knew you were a "libertarian".
you're confusing posters...that wasn't me.
A related question, is would or should someone believe them, especially considering so many cop impersonators.
I have had detectives come to my door to gather information. I would ask for ID and every time I would be handed a business card. Some became hostile when I would ask for a police ID.
The dead gentleman in question was doing none of these.
The cops were doing their jobs in arresting people
They were "doing their job" impersonating drug dealers.
Grandpa drew down on the wrong guys.
What a disgustingly callous statement. They quite easily could have identified themselves, since clearly they weren't dealing with a "target".
This story makes me completely, totally ill.
Just because the cops were (presumably) on this guy's property, does that give the resident the right to shoot them in all circumstances? What if the resident came out, yelled at them and then started blazing away? It seems to me pretty clear that there aren't enough facts here to draw conclusions but that doesn't stop some people, obviously.
"Irrational"? What is "irrational" about saying that he was shot by the drug squad? Are you seriously saying that he died of natural causes or that he isn't actually dead?
What if the resident came out, yelled at them and then the undercover police started blazing away?
"What if's" don't work very well in arguing either side of this.
The issue here is whether the police were justified in shooting the guy. Stop playing grubby dishonest games.
It's called a hypothetical question. Sane intelligent people use this device frequently in logical discussions. You are completely unmoored here.
What if the resident came out, yelled at them and then the undercover police started blazing away?
While this is not true, of course, what IS true is that there are never any consequences for those mistakes. The cops lie (or maybe don't even have to lie), the internal "investigation" clears them, and they're free to make more mistakes with guns.
Trust me on this one RY...the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office does NOT deserve benefit of the doubt.
"Another grandpa dead because of an undercover drug squad." The issue is excessive police force against innocent citizens which results in their death.
It would depend on the rest of the facts. The resident was apparently brandishing a gun. It is possible to do this in a way that is illegal and threatening and would give the cops the legal right to shoot first in self-defense. Possible, I say. I have no idea whether that is what happened in this particular case, but neither do any of the others on this thread who are condemning the officers.
Once in a while we get lucky.
The Sherrif's son was allowed to leave without consequences a couple of years ago after he got caught beating a confession out of an innocent kid one third his size.
Maybe it's something new, a parenthetical conjunction.
I understand that some law enforcement agencies are dysfunctional and that some cops are criminals. I'm not intending to give these or any other cops the benefit of the doubt, but rather I am reserving judgement altogether and encouraging others to do the same. Often when there is a police shooting the initial articles provide few facts and feature unsupported accusations by the deceased's next-of-kin like this article does. Often when such articles are posted on FR the "libertarians" show up on the thread and make cynical, irrational accusations against the cops and all who refuse to join in prematurely condemning the cops. I think this kind of "libertarian" activism is bad for FR, bad for conservatism and bad for America. Therefore I consider it a public service to try to throw some cold water on irrational, dishonest cop-hating.
"Good question. I don't think that undercover officers are above the law. If they didn't have a warrant, would they be trespassers? If the elderly gentleman thought they were a threat, was he within his rights to use deadly force (point a gun at them) to make them leave? (Think Castle Doctrine in Fla.) If they were criminally trespassing, did they even have a right to self defense? (I thought that one generally didn't have a right to self defense if one was committing a crime and that crime lead to violence).
Finally, in the end, could these cops be looking at manslaughter charges? If they didn't have a right to self defense, that sure looks like a possibility.
I think that at the least, a humongous civil suit might be filed against the city.
Any legal eagles got any answers to these questions?"
Well, I am no legal eagle but these two undercovers are likely the only witnesses to how they approached the house and were asked to leave before the shooting started. I assume they will stick together, such charges as manslaughter carry heavy prison sentences and of course, let's not forget that these men probably saw how the Border Patrol agents were treated...
Undercover Officer = Secret Police maybe the cop should have been carrying a badge and LEFT the man's property when ordered to.
You do not have sufficient information to reasonably conclude that the force was excessive or that the citizen was innocent.
"Hey, if incidents like these prevent just one American adult from smoking a joint, it's worth it.'
The day an American can plant a seed in the ground and smoke whatever comes up, the terrorists have won.
"I have had detectives come to my door to gather information. I would ask for ID and every time I would be handed a business card. Some became hostile when I would ask for a police ID."
No doubt. Anyone can print up cards at home.
Certainly a conclusion can not be drawn from the evidence as we have it at this time, but it is simply disingenuous to claim the narrative as we have it doesn't weigh heavily against the police.
We're talking an octogenarian with a prior reputation (which the police seem to be oblivious to) and undercover police officers on a productive assignment.
P.S. as the police are agents of the state, this man deserves the presumption of innocence and it is not your place to strip him of it.
They seem to like killing dogs too.....
Seems kinda sad when you get killed by the "good guys"< /sarcasm>.
Well, they did get administrative leave at least....(kill an innocent, get a vacation!)
If cops would wear uniforms and drive marked vehicles when doing cop work, there would be no need for more information, and grandpa would probably still be alive.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just because the state attorney and the Jacksonville's sheriff work together to incarcerate criminals doesnt mean the two always see eye to eye.
Previously private disagreements between state attorney Harry Shorstein and Sheriff John Rutherford have become more public since recent shootings involving undercover narcotics detectives.
Shorstein is openly critical of Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's undercover drug operations such as the one that led to the fatal shooting of an 80-year-old man, who family members said thought he was confronting drug dealers who were actually officers, on Saturday.
exerpt from news4jax.com...it's the lead story
"Whether the cops properly identified themselves is a big question."
Whether I or anyone would or should believe them is an even better question. Anyone can yell "Police!", and flash a "badge" that looks real in the dark wearing 'hood gear.
Excessive? The elderly man is dead. Innocent? Of what defending himself from rouge 'undercover narcotics' cops who most likely looked like junkies about to rob him.
I do believe that if you do a little reading you will find that it is stated he told them to leave two or more times. And unless the tree one cop was hiding behind was in the street, it is a safe bet it was on the man's property.
One evening last week, about sixty miles from where I live, a lady was driving home. A cop car blue lighted her, she pulled over, then she was raped. Now the cops say it wasn't really a cop, just someone acting like a cop.
So ladies if you haven't done anything wrong , just follow unknowns advice and surrender. "Sac. Off"
I guess the officers in this case should have done that. But then again Mr. Singletary was armed, so that complicates the manner.
Then again, as someone stated earlier, there are a lot of impersonators out there now.
Apparently he did take responsibility for his behavior. It seems you are suggesting that a citizen has no right to bear arms on his own property. Where in this situation did the cops take responsibility for their behavior?
No of course not. But in these circumstances he would have been perfectly justified.
What if the resident came out, yelled at them and then started blazing away?
What if a giant grasshopper from Mars came and started killing everyone in sight?
(As long as we're makin' sh!t up might as well make it interesting.)
Dude! You seem to be genuinely trying to figure this out rationally, but you are doing a crap job. Let me try to help you:
The most important point is that, as you say, "a conclusion can not be drawn from the evidence as we have it at this time". This is the most simple, obvious and important point and most people on this thread can't seem to grasp it. You have, so congratulations to you for this. But then you immediately go off the rails by talking about the "evidence as we have it". We have almost no evidence except the statements of the next-of-kin which in this context (in the immediate, emotional aftermath of their relative's death; in absence of supporting evidence; not given under oath; not based on first-hand knowledge; etc., etc.) are worth exactly nothing. This is a pattern that repeats itself nationwide and wherever our troops are in action. Something occurs involving American authorities. Immediately the usual suspects make the usual charges. An investigation occurs and in most cases the American authorities are found to have acted mostly or entirely reasonably. There are exceptions, to be sure, but this is what usually happens. And what else happens, in almost every case, is that those who hate the American authorities are shown to have been lying their faces off even in those cases when the authorities acted wrongly. There is no reason to think this case will necessarily turn out differently.
Do you really think that the police and FBI should be forbidden in all cases from conducting undercover domestic operations? Please tell me that you are not so insane!
Gun fire was exchanged? Wouldn't both parties need to fire their weapons, for that to be the proper terminology?
This comment is worthless garbage. You are trying to be reasonable but you are also being lazy and sloppy and just plain dumb. The deceased is not on trial, which is where the presumption of innocence comes into play. Your writing is poor, but you seem to be saying that the officers (who in fact are under investigation) are not entitled to the presumption of innocence because they are "agents of the state". This is retarded as a matter of law (of course they enjoy the same legal presumption as private citizens) but also is wildly impractical. Imagine trying to recruit officers while telling them that their every action would be reviewed under a presumption of guilt. Good luck filling those assignments!
poppycock. was this guy in fear for his life? were these officers advancing on his house with the intent on completing a violent crime? i am not all too familiar with this doctrine you speak of but i assume it is not carte blanche to shoot someone standing on your lawn.