Unarmed invalid shot in his bed by police - Bad police procedure, or just bad luck?

Could this have been prevented if police entry procedures were followed better, or is this just horribly bad luck?

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Based on your quote, I’m not sure that I really see where it’s more than just horribly bad luck. Once the police enter a residence after some kind of altercation, they’re on a hair trigger, and for good reason - they have no idea what the intentions of the people in the residence may be. I’m not trying to say that the man being killed deserved what happened to him, but given what’s in your quote, I don’t think that it’s precisely negligence on the cop’s part that the man was shot.

Of course, last time I got questioned by a cop I made damned sure my own hands were away from my body, open, so it was clear I had nothing in them and stood quite still. I do everything I can to avoid scaring people who carry firearms. :smiley:

I think it was more than just bad luck-- it was bad procedure and carelessness.

The police had a description of the offender. 200lbs+ They knew that the woman was safely out of the house. They knew that the invalid uncle was in bed upstairs. The complainant said that she told police her husband was unarmed.

Why the hell were they climbing in through a window, anyway? Especially if they were uncertain about who was in the room. It was dangerous and stupid.

Of course, more information will be available to us after the inquest, but on the face of it, it appears that an old man died because of an officer’s recklessness.

On the other side, the old guy looked a bit menacing, and was supposed to be in drug rehab, so maybe he made some wild gesture or something that was misinterpreted.

This is not clear enough for me. Was he already being covered and THEN he suddenly moved? Or was it as the raid was occuring?

Because, I’m sorry, but what the heck on earth do you EXPECT a guy to do after you kick his door open and point a gun him? I would “move suddenly” too.

Hmmmm, now I have a question, what where ot happend if the cops did this in my home not looking for me (they got the wrong house) and I defended myself and killed oneor more of them? Woudl I get in trouble?

And if cops got a million for every time an unarmed person shot them, they’d be rich. Certainly if I were going into a house, I’d take that kind of information with a large grain of salt.

I don’t see it as being unsure who was in the room, just uncertain of his harmlessness. Consider, if the hand with the can of soda was covered by a blanket, how would you interpret it? Would you assume it were a harmless somthing hidding by accident, or would you shoot, afraid if you don’t shoot you’ll be singing with the angels? Again, I’m not entirely sure that procedures couldn’t be improved - but coming through an unguarded entry is much preferred to a frontal assault, so the act of coming through a second story window is something I have no prima facie objections to raise.

And more information can come out to convince me that it is completely the fault of the officer. Just too soon, yet, to say one way or the other.

on preview: Kinthalis, I agree. As it is, there’s no way to judge. But, let’s say this much, they do seem to be being upfront about the investigation.

As for your hypothetical, I think the stickler is not whether they’re entering your house by mistake, but whether you knew or believed them to be police officers performing their legal duties. If they failed to ID themselves, you’re golden. If they did ID themselves - you’re in trouble, whether they’ve made an error, or not.

It’s doubtful you’d be here typing at us.

Mena did take a shot at the police. The officers were not charged.

I can’t find an actual news story about the incident, sorry.

I would point out, that the concept of a ‘no knock’ raid implies that the man had no reason to believe they were officers performing their legal duties. I think that’s the important legal issue, not whether they had the right address or not. However, IANAL.

I wonder what would have happenned if Mena had killed the officers? More generally, let’s say you happen to have a gun to hand (for whatever reason), when someone breaks down your door. You fire and when the dust has settled, you have see a number of dead police officers. What now?

At this point we’re starting to talk about various local laws and attitudes about firearms getting involved. I will say I don’t know for certain, but… here in NY, and certainly in Massachuesetts, the two states I’m most familiar with, I suspect that Mena would have been hammered by a combination of wrongful death suits, maximum punishment for discharging a firearm illegally, and other legal ills. That is, of course, if he evaded the charge of being a cop-killer. Whatever the right or wrong of it, I have to confess I suspect that once Mena opened up on the police his best possible outcome was to miss them all, and be wounded, himself. :frowning:

Assuming you really didn’t know they were cops doing their job what should happen is you are cleared of all wrong doing, especially if they had the wrong address. But I’m betting you’d be prosecuted anyway.