GUN Update in VA no knock case DA may push for death penalty

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Wednesday, March 12, 2008
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,336850,00.html
    Imagine you're home alone.

    It's 8 p.m. You work an early shift and need to be out the door before sunrise, so you're already in bed. Your nerves are a bit frazzled, because earlier in the week someone broke into your home. Oddly, they didn't take anything; they just rifled through your belongings.

    But the violation weighs on your mind. At about the time you drift off, you're awakened by fierce barking from your two large dogs. You hear someone crashing into your front door, as if he's trying to separate it from its hinges. You grab the gun you keep for home defense and leave your room to investigate.

    This past January that scenario played out at the Chesapeake, Va., home of 28-year-old Ryan Frederick, a slight man of little more than 100 pounds. According to interviews since the incident, Frederick says when he looked toward his front door, he saw an intruder trying to enter through one of the lower door panels. So Frederick fired his gun.

    The intruders were from the Chesapeake Police Department. They had come to serve a drug warrant. Frederick's bullet struck Detective Jarrod Shivers in the side, killing him. Frederick was arrested and has spent the last six weeks in a Chesapeake jail.


    He has been charged with first degree murder. Paul Ebert, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, has indicated he may elevate the charge to capital murder, which would enable the state to seek the death penalty.

    At the time of the raid, Ryan Frederick worked for a soft drink merchandiser. Current and former employers and co-workers speak highly of him. He also recently had gotten engaged, a welcome lift for a guy who'd had a run of tough luck.

    He lost both parents early in life, and friends say the death of his mother hit particularly hard — Frederick discovered her in bed after she had overdosed on prescription medication.

    Friends and neighbors describe Frederick as shy, self-effacing, non-confrontational and hard-working. He had no prior criminal record. Frederick and his friends have conceded he smoked marijuana recreationally. But all — including his neighbors — insist there's no evidence he was growing or distributing the drug.

    According to the search warrant, the police raided Frederick's home after a confidential informant told them he saw evidence of marijuana growing in a garage behind the home. The warrant says the informant saw several marijuana plants, plus lights, irrigation equipment and other gardening supplies.

    After the raid, the police found the gardening supplies, but no plants. They also found a small amount of marijuana, but not much — only enough to charge Frederick with misdemeanor drug possession.

    Frederick told a local television station that he was an avid gardener. A neighbor I spoke with backs him up, explaining that Frederick had an elaborate koi pond behind his home and raised a variety of tropical plants. He'd even given his neighbors gardening tips on occasion.

    One of the plants Frederick told the local television station he raised was the Japanese maple, a plant that, when green, has leaves that look quite a bit like marijuana leaves.

    So far, Chesapeake police have given no indication that they did any investigation to corroborate the tip from their informant. There's no mention in the search warrant of an undercover drug buy from Frederick or of any extensive surveillance of Frederick's home.

    More disturbingly, the search warrant says the confidential informant was inside Frederick's house three days before the raid — about the same time Frederick says someone broke into his home. Frederick's supporters have told me that Frederick and his attorney now know the identity of the informant, and that it was the police informant who broke into Frederick's home.

    Chesapeake's police department isn't commenting. But if true, all of this raises some very troubling questions about the raid, and about Frederick's continued incarceration.

    Chesapeake's lawyer, Paul Ebert, said at a recent bond hearing for Frederick that Shivers, the detective who was killed, was in Frederick's yard when he was shot, and that Frederick fired through his door, knowing he was firing at police.

    Frederick's attorney disputes this. Ebert also said Frederick should have known the intruders were police because there were a dozen or more officers at the scene. But some of Frederick's neighbors dispute this, too. One neighbor told me she saw only two officers immediately after the raid; she said the others showed up only after Shivers went down.

    What's clear, though, is that Chesepeake police conducted a raid on a man with no prior criminal record. Even if their informant had been correct, Frederick was at worst suspected of growing marijuana plants in his garage. There was no indication he was a violent man — that it was necessary to take down his door after nightfall.

    The raid in Chesapeake bears a striking resemblance to another that ended in a fatality. Last week, New Hanover County, N.C., agreed to pay $4.25 million to the parents of college student Peyton Stickland, who was killed when a deputy participating in a raid mistook the sound of a SWAT battering ram for a gunshot and fired through the door as Strickland came to answer it.

    So in the raid where a citizen mistakenly shot a police officer, the citizen is facing a murder charge; in the raid where a police officer shot a citizen, prosecutors declined to press charges.

    Over the last quarter century, we've seen an astonishing rise in paramilitary police tactics by police departments across America. Peter Kraksa, professor of criminology at the University of Eastern Kentucky, ran a 20-year survey of SWAT team deployments and determined that they have increased 1,500 percent since the early 1980s — mostly to serve nonviolent drug warrants.

    This is dangerous, senseless overkill. The margin of error is too thin, and the potential for tragedy too high to use these tactics unless they are in response to an already violent situation (think bank robberies, school shootings or hostage-takings). Breaking down doors to bust drug offenders creates violent situations; it doesn't defuse them.

    Shivers' death is only the most recent example. And Ryan Frederick is merely the latest citizen to be put in the impossible position of being awakened from sleep, then having to determine in a matter of seconds if the men breaking into his home are police or criminal intruders.

    How many people can honestly say they'd have handled it any differently than he did?

    ----

    Lesson learned: If the police no knock you and you end up taking one of them out may as well go for broke and see how many of them you can get.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
  2. Dumbstixlars

    Dumbstixlars Ron Paul/AR-15/Glock/old car/Scooby/R/C croo OT Supporter

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    Decent article, thats bullshit though, they are railroading Frederick.
     
  3. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    But if a cop kills someone in a no knock warrant and it is the wrong place, they get placed on paid leave :coold:

    Our justice system is SO fucked.
     
  4. mattsb2000

    mattsb2000 OT Supporter

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    Scary. :sad2:

    Isn't first degree murder premeditated?

    http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/murder_first_degree.html



    How the fuck are they charging him with that?
     
  5. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    When will the gov't finally learn that no knock warrants get people killed.

    The guy had no history of violence. I can see using them on violent offenders, but fuck.
     
  6. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Didn't the original news story first say no plants, then turn into plants being found? I still don't feel like we're getting a straight story here and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
     
  7. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    Did the police get charged in the story where they were serving a no knock warrant on the wrong house. The one SWAT member thought the battering ram hitting the door was a gun shot, shot through the door and killed the kid trying to answer?

    Oh of course not.
     
  8. Thunderbear

    Thunderbear Yggdrasil's Forester.

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    Wait, wait, wait.. he fired when the other SWAT guy rammed the door? Jesus Christ, :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    I never heard that..
     
  9. Irvin Washington

    Irvin Washington New Member

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    During the trial, won't the Chesapeake Police Department have to include the information on as to why the warrant was obtained in the first place? If the police department got the warrant by having or letting someone break into Frederick's house, the shit is going to hit the fan.
     
  10. Irvin Washington

    Irvin Washington New Member

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    So because the police fucked up twice, they'd rather have the guy on the receiving end to be executed? What kind of shit is this?
     
  11. Yeah, but I'm sure the DA who decided to press charges has been talking to the police. They must have told him where the information came from. If it was obtained illegally and the DA decides to prosecute the case, then he's fucking the PD. I doubt that would happen.
     
  12. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    And the guy thought it was the informant trying to break into the house

    this case is all kinds of fail
     
  13. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    i'll look for it. it was a story on how much no knock warrants have been a fail
     
  14. GarandBobcat

    GarandBobcat New Member

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    It's mentioned in this article too...


     
  15. 007

    007 Riden, sliden, whipin and dippin, my chrome strips

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    [email protected] raiding the house for weed, its just a bunch of stupid things, any jury that convicts this guy, should get the death penalty themselfs.
     
  16. Burmonster

    Burmonster OT Supporter

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    No knock warrants really, really need to go. Way too many screw ups.
     
  17. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    too bad im not on that jury
     
  18. Buzz Killington

    Buzz Killington nunc fortunatus sum

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    Fuck, I hate reading about shit like this.
     
  19. Blip

    Blip Active Member

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    Koi pond!:noes:
     
  20. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    god what the fuck is wrong with these people
     
  21. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

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    when they break into a house of some guy that shoots IDPA and tactical rifle competitions, and he wipes every single one of them out.
     
  22. smartypants

    smartypants New Member

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    Just making sure all the cop haters are in one thread...
     
  23. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    What is the ruling in VA law, do they have to be in the house or can deadly force be used if they are attempting to unlawfully force there way into the house? (granted unlawful is going to be a key item there)

    Seriously how can the DA's office decline to prosecute a person who knew what has going on (that the door was being rammed) and should have known the difference in sound, not even with something like negligance. But then charge a person who believed his home was being forcefully and illegally entered and had no reason to think otherwise?

    Murder one? I doubt that is going to stick, after all that would have to be premeditated. "Why yes your honor, I planted fake pot and let someone break in to inform the cops. Then I waited for them to pull a no knock so that I could shoot them." Give me a break, if you were going to throw a murder charge at him wouldn't it be murder 2, after all they showed up and he shot them, if you can prove intent to kill. Murder 1 seems like a way to barter, it is only one step from murder 2 to manslaughter, but it is 2 steps and a larger change in sentences from murder 1 to manslaughter. Sounds like a scare tactic to try and get a plea bargain to me.

    I have to hand it to the other officers there, personal regardless of how much training I had, I do not think that I could do anything other than return fire and kill the person who had just shot and killed a co-worker. That is unless all the officer did return fire and when they ran out of ammo arrested him.

    Its annoying because no knock are an idea of politicians, the officers on the ground are just following orders. I want to know what they thought justified a no knock raid. Was he such a high risk of violence that a couple officers couldn't go to the door and one or two around the side of the house to prevent him form running and asked him to step outside? Or was it simply just less of a "hassle" to do a no knock?
     
  24. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    I wonder if one of his neighbors will be kind enough to feed his fish for him.
     
  25. mattsb2000

    mattsb2000 OT Supporter

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    I would if I were his neighbor. Koi are fun to watch.
     

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