Skip to comments.Deputy Dilemma: Wrongful police shooting deserves serious review(FL)
Posted on 07/17/2012 7:30:13 PM PDT by marktwain
Imagine its 1:30 a.m. and youre in your apartment. You hear a knock on the door.
If you own a weapon, you would probably grab it, just in case.
For 26-year-old Andrew Lee Scott of Lake County, Fla., that decision would lead to his death.
On Sunday, Lake County Sheriffs Office deputies were pursuing an attempted murder suspect when they mistakenly knocked on Scotts apartment door. Scott answered the door with his gun drawn at the deputies, who then shot and killed him.
Unfortunately, Scott was not the suspect deputies were chasing. Deputies knocked on Scotts door because the suspects motorcycle was parked across from his front door.
Scott likely approached his front door with a gun because the deputies did not identify themselves, according to Lake County Officials, for safety reasons.
This was a tragedy that could have easily been avoided. When the deputies chased a suspect into the complex, they should have known that they could be knocking on anyones door. It seems like knocking on a random door unannounced is less safe than yelling, Police!
Lt. John Herrell told WESH Orlando, The bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police officer, youre going to get shot.
While that might be the case under normal circumstances, this should not be used as an excuse to justify the deputies actions. Scott was likely startled by the unannounced knock, and its not a crime to be cautious in your own home (or at least it shouldnt be one).
Scott was not suspected of any crime and police did not have probable cause to enter his apartment unannounced. Central Florida News 13s coverage of the story makes Scott appear more worthy of his untimely demise its story leads with A Lake County man with a criminal history is dead after a confrontation with deputies.
While its true that Scott had a criminal history and that drugs were found in Scotts apartment, those facts have little to do with his death.
The deputies who killed Scott are currently on administrative leave, and if the events transpired as stated, the deputies should be fired and charged with his death.
While police are there to enforce the law, their badges do not make them above the law. If police wrongly kill someone, they should face the same consequences as anyone else.
Nothing will happen to these morons - bet on it.
The minimum they should be charged with is manslaughter - but they won’t.
The police are NOT our friends.
In neighboring areas, there had been recent reports of people driving fake police cars and pulling over women and raping them, as well as, gangs conducting robberies disguised as no knock warrants.
Even though I lived in a very rural area (my house sat 1/8 back from a dirt road and was surrounded by woods on three sides), someone had already attempted to break in once before while I was home. My Mossberg 500 answered the door. The sheriff's office responded to the call and THREATENED TO ARREST ME for "brandishing" because I had pointed a shotgun at someone trying to breakdown my door at 3am, with my doberman trying to eat through the other side and my wife and kids in the house.
So, the sheriff's office had already been to my house, including one other time (we were having a get together/shooting competition), with both incidents involving firearms. They KNOW I am heavily armed. I have Purple Heart license plates; they know I have combat experience.
Still - at around 2am, they decided to roll up my driveway lights out for "tactical advantage" while responding AT THE WRONG HOUSE to a report that woman that had fallen and couldn't get up.
My 115lb Doberman alerted me to their presence. They did not announce themselves as law enforcement. They did however, hit the glass on my front door. I drew my weapon (I could only see their faces at this point; no uniforms) and popped around the corner.
Both of their eyes went wide. The first deputy screamed "Sheriff's office. Put the gun down."
The second deputy displayed his empty hands. I held my gun on them and approached until I could identify them as law enforcement. I then lowered my weapon, called off the dog, and answered the door.
Both deputies were obviously shaken. They informed me someone had made a 911 call of a woman that had fallen and was yelling for help she couldn't get up.
I will say the deputies were polite and friendly and apologized for startling me. I reminded them I had a previous attempted break in and that, honest advice, for their safety blue lights and announcing their presence might save their life the next time they find themselves at the "wrong house".....especially when responding to a 'fallen and can't get up call.
I get they have a difficult job, but many don't seem capable of putting themselves in the shoes of the public.
Oh, good grief. If I was a cop and someone opened the door with a gun pointed at my head, I`m not going to stand there and ask questions.
The victim is the wrong race for anyone in power or the media to care. Yes, that’s how far we have fallen...
The guy was an idiot for opening the door with a weapon at the ready. The cops were idiots for not identifying themselves. IMHO, they are both at fault.
There is just no good to be found here. The lesson I get is don’t open the door and don’t let the cops in once they ID themselves unless they have a warrant.
The mentality of the no knock warrant is going to lead to more of this sort of thing as overstretched cops try to deal with the ruthless gangbangers Obama lets in this country to garner as many votes, legal or illegal, as possible. They are just the unwanted dross that comes with the more well behaved new Socialist voting bloc.
More citizens will arm themselves and treat every unannounced contact as a potential deadly threat. Cops will stretch the rules as much as possible to get “tactical advantage” to try and live through another shift, and in the end, the government will demand that we disarm to keep this sort of thing from happening.
I don’t see a way out of the spiral.
It appears that law abiding Joe Sixpack is getting it from all sides. Can’t protect himself from violent criminals and trigger happy cops will blow you away if your dog is unavailable.
Cops acting ‘tactically’ have to expect to be treated as a tactical threat. Someone knocking on my door at 2 AM will need to do something other than knock and bluster to get in. No cop car, no trust on my part. And I mean a MARKED cop car, not some POS with grill lights!
What you said. Well done IMHO.
Would you be so kind as to explain to me what, exactly, is the “tactical advantage” of responding to a call of a woman that had fallen and couldn’t get up, silently, and with lights off? Because I’m just not seeing it.
I dont see a way out of the spiral.
Here's a way out. When told to disarm, don't disarm. Treat anyone trying to disarm you as a mortal threat. What do you think?
From the article:
While its true that Scott had a criminal history and that drugs were found in Scotts apartment, those facts have little to do with his death.
I beg to differ. Drugs lead to paranoia.
Sounds to me like: Darwin knocked....and he answered.
“The police are NOT our friends.”
Boy, it that the truth!
I’ve answered my door many tines off-duty with a gun in one hand, hidden behind the door and pointed at the ground.
Never once have I answered my door with a gun immediately pointed at someone. I might only do that if I know it’s a person who has a grudge against me.
If I’m out doing knock & talks, canvassing a neighborhood for whatever reason, and someone answers the door with a gun pointed at me I’m going to draw down and defend myself.
If they are all moron police then explain to me exactly how the police should’ve known (in a split second) that the guy aiming the gun at them wasn’t going I shot them?
The idiot could’ve easily had the gun in hand concealed by the door and he’d still be alive. It was his responsibility to assess the threat before he aimed in.
If I hear a noise in my front yard in the middle if the night I don’t just run outside and immediately start shooting randomly.
Wow. Your cogent post changed my mind on this one. Still think the cops were being too agressive, but your points are VERY well stated and taken!
Fire prosecute and jail all officers involved. They always talk about being so much better trained, well then hold them to that when they f*ck up majorly.
Dido, once someone was banging on my garage door and i hit the open button and he was looking at the barrel of a 357. lol, scared the &&&& out of him. I invited him in for beer and told him not to do that ever again. One beer and then ok, bye. Have not seen him since.
First they came for the dogs...
Good grief. Where in the world did you get the idea that happened?
Good point, the article says the man answered the door with “his gun drawn at” the deputies.
I take it to mean he aimed in on the police, and that’s just asking to be shot. If the perceived threat is that severe, then don’t open the damn door.
However, my faith in the media to get the story right is pretty low. What if they just saw a gun in hand, not pointed at them?
The story also says the police didn’t self identify. Did remain silent to a “Who’s there?” query? Did they say anything?
There are many scenarios that might make things murkier than it appears as reported.
We don't know if the guy pointed a gun at anyone and if someone has a gun pointed at you and you decide you are going to draw and shoot, you'll get two slugs through you before your firearm clears the holster.....unless of course you have extraordinary draw and fire prowess.The cops version of this doesn't pass the smell test and conveniently, the only one that can dispute it, they killed.
“Did remain silent to a Whos there? query? Did they say anything?”
(knock, knock, knock)
Who is it?
It’s me, Dave, open up, man, I got the stuff.
(knock, knock knock)
Who is it?
It’s me, Dave, man, open up, I got the stuff.
It’s, Dave, man, open up, I think the cops saw me come in here.
The idiot couldve easily had the gun in hand concealed by the door and hed still be alive.....
If it had been two gangbangers intent on robbing him and he held the gun behind the door he’d probably be just as dead as he is right now.
Me neither.........but they did it. Which is why they were met with guns instead of "can I help you officer?"
They must have expected it. They walked away and the guy that answered the door didn’t.
Are you crazy?
If you encounter a hostile homeowner, surrendering is far safer than drawing a gun. Apologize for bothering the homeowner, and leave. Drawing down would only benefit you in the very unlikely event that the homeowner would shoot you if you tried to surrender, but--despite their having the drop on you and wanting to shoot you--you can manage to draw and shoot before they can shoot you. Drawing down would get you needlessly killed in the far more likely scenario where the homeowner would quite reasonably react to such a gesture by shooting you, but would have been more than happy to let you leave had you simply revealed your identity and the reason for your visit. Of course, drawing down also has other risks, like being prosecuted for murdering a perfectly innocent homeowner and getting a jury who recognize that an action cannot be legitimately claimed as "self-defense" absent a reasonable belief that the action would in fact make the actor vastly safer than he would be without it. And in the scenario you describe, I see no basis for such belief.
How the hell do you know that 99.9999% of the time it’s not going to be the bogey man? This was a ghetto appartment building. The guy opening the door could have been expecting some drug dealers. He was expecting someone that was not good for him or he wouldn’t have had the gun.
What I’m saying is if a gangsta comes into your house for an armed invasion, he won’t start shooting immediately. But if you’ve a gun in your hand behind the door when the gangsta, WITH GUN IN HAND, pushes way in you raise up the gun and POW!
I am in favor of police clearly identifying themselves before engaging in armed confrontations. If they are afraid of getting shot, they can identify themselves from behind cover.
I didn't surrender in the Marine Infantry and I'm not going to surrender to some lipshitz who is stupid enough to answer his door with a gun aimed in at me for no reason.
If in the process of canvassing a neighborhood you knock on a stranger's door and find a woman pointing a gun at you, which of the following is more likely:
Indeed, even from an 'honor' standpoint, I would suggest that obsequiousness is far more likely to result in an honorable result for all concerned than would aggression, as the woman who is afraid of her ex's return would likely be relieved and apologetic when she realizes you are not the person she was expecting.
Because with those kinds of SOP's you'd be real dead real quick.
With the SOPs you seem to favor, the homeowners end up dead real quick.
So under the law I can walk onto your porch and knock on your door to make contact with you but I can't just walk inside.
Indeed. And, under the law, if you knocked on my door and I unprovokedly pointed a gun at you, you could--after establishing your bona fides as a police officer--arrest me and press charges for assault. Your odds of surviving to do that, however, would be greater if you try to demonstrate that you are a threat, than if you act as an aggressor.
Answering your front door with your gun aimed in on the person standing in front of you, either maliciously or out of stupidity is just bad judgement and bad gun ownership, and now there is definitive proof it'll get you dead.
I never said such behavior is wise. On the other hand, I maintain that such behavior are far more often the result of fear than aggression. Acting aggressively toward someone who is fearful is likely to prompt a must more hostile response than is acting submissive.
Brent also commented on someone pointing a gun for no reason. That is incorrect. Just because you don’t know the reason, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Cops have forgotten we are people who want to live too. But only officer lives matter to him.
News flash to the pigs and bootlickers, when you don’t identify yourselves, you are a clear threat. How would you react to banging on your door and refusal to identify? But I guess the pigs are more equal than the other animals.
“I would assume then, that you’re a fan of themselves.”
I would rather cops died over innocent citizens. You chose your job. We didn’t volunteer to be victims of pig paranoia.
Suppose that an officer were to knock on the door for in canvassing or other similar situation, and the door was answered by someone with a gun in a low ready position. What would be SOP?
Suppose the officer was searching for a dangerous fugitive, but the door was answered by a stranger (not the fugitive) with a gun in a low ready position. What would be SOP in that situation?
Also, I'm curious if you can offer any insight as to why the shooters in this situation, by their own admission, didn't want to be recognized as cops? Was there any particular reason to think that a fugitive who would be willing to shoot a cop who was exercising his legitimate duties would courteously answer the door for a random stranger?