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Let’s see if we can place their own problems here 😛 TAGEND

Much of America ferociously believes that A) every citizen should have the right to defend their own home with deadly army, and B) that police should kick in the door of any residence that might have drugs inside. You know, to keep our children safe.

This means that raids occur in predawn hours, with police sometimes swarming disoriented, paranoid armed suspects who often have no idea what the fuck going on here. If you’re about to say that it’s a miracle these people don’t wind up hitting the policemen in a blind anxiety, well, we have two narratives to tell you.


You’re Awakened By An Detonation And The Sound Of Someone Smashing Through Your Door. What Do You Do ?

First, let’s talking here Ray Rosas. Up until 2015, he had never been arrested in his life. He was a law-abiding 42 -year-old man who took care of his elderly mom and mentally ill older brother. He lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, and generally did nothing that would ever get him into a Cracked article. However, he did let his nephew crash with him, and he turned to be a low-level drug dealer. Then, one night, this happened 😛 TAGEND

“Ray was asleep in his bed by the window on the morning of the raid. He was watching TV. A flashbang grenade came in through the window and hit him in the face, or at least the explosives sent window shards into his face. We don’t know what hit him in the face, because no one took him to get medical care.”

That’s from Rosas’ lawyer, Lisa Greenberg. We’ll admit she has a bias, but you should know that a jury wound up agreeing with most of what she’s going to say here. The police stormed the home, but, like roughly half of Texans, Rosas was a legal artillery proprietor. He responded to his window exploding by opening fire on the resources of said explosion. If that answer sounds crazy to you, it should be noted that Rosas had been the victim of drive-by shootings before. It was that kind of neighborhood, and he had previously witnessed against a local gangbanger( meaning he had been expecting reprisal ). Rosas reached three police officers — Steven Brown, Andrew Jordan, and Steven Ruebelmann. All would live their injuries.

That was not true in the case of Henry “Hank” Magee, another Texan. Unlike Rosas, he was guilty of a crime — he owned a couple of tiny( six-inch-tall) marijuana plants, and several more seedlings. An informant had told police that Magee ran a sizable develop operation and was armed to the teeth. A Burleson judge issued a warrant, and his trailer was raided. Magee woke up to a terrifying noise, and like Rosas, he had no way of knowing the dark shapes storming through his entrance were cops and not home invaders there to murder him and his pregnant girlfriend.

We talked to his attorney, Dick DeGuerin( he’s a big-time lawyer whose past clients include the Branch Davidians and Robert Durst ). “He and his girlfriend say[ they] didn’t hear anything before there’s this large explosion and a guy garmented in black ran inside.” Magee went to his bedroom and grabbed his firearm. “[ His girlfriend] actually get burned on her neck from the muzzle flash from Hank’s gun. She could very easily have been shot herself.” Magee shot and killed a deputy, 31 -year-old Adam Sowders.

The combined amount of drugs grabbed in these cases could fit in your pockets. Question: Have we as a society lost our fucking heads?


Dogs And Cameras Can Paint You As A Dangerous Criminal

As we mentioned, in Rosas’ case, he wasn’t the target at all. The police were serving a warrant against his nephew, who wasn’t even home at the time of the goddamned raid. Some narcotics were found in the nephew’s chamber, and by “some drugs” we mean “roughly half of what you’d bring for a long weekend at Burning Man.”

Corpus Christi Police Department

Wondering what’s with the webcam? Well, Rosas had it on the exterior of his house, and the police decided that was the marker of anti-retroviral drugs den( rather than of someone who lived in a dangerous neighborhood ). See , no-knock warrants require a certain amount of “points” to be granted in advance. The police have to be able to make a suit that the person or persons they’re raiding is so dangerous that it’s simply not safe for them to announce themselves first. And what are the standards for issuing a no-knock warrant? It’s hard to say. It took Greenberg two years in courtroom to get the department to acknowledge some of the things that factored into their decision.

“Nobody wanted to give me that info. But if you have a dog and they call it a dangerous dog, you get like 20 degrees on this scale. And you need like 30 to get a no-knock warrant. I asked the officer what’s a dangerous bird-dog. ‘A barking dog.’ I asked, ‘Well what kind of dog doesn’t bark? ‘ If you have a gun in your house, you get like five. Everybody in Texas has a gun.”

We talked about this to Chris Gebhardt, a 15 -year veteran SWAT officer from Utah. He explained that the level system is called a “Risk Matrix”( a search of IMDb shows that, unbelievably, there has never been an activity movie with that title ), and it’s differences between every department. “I can see how they justified. Covered windows[ are] obstructive, a loud dog,[ since] because he barks he dedicates alert, again taking away this element of amaze. So you’ve got to think about it in those words … There are some places where they’ll actually take out a Bb gun to take out the lightings … It’s about: How do you save that part of astound? “

We likewise asked Grant Whitus, who led the first Swat squad into Columbine. He spent 25 years on the job, and he was adamant that no-knock warrants were the way to go, claiming that they reduce the risk of violence. “Honestly, everybody prefers a no-knock warrant, simply because of the time it takes to get up there, it’s very fast and fluid once you get in there, and it doesn’t allow the bad guy to have time to react to what’s happened. So it’s much safer for law enforcement to employ no-knock warrants. Believe me, I’d get ’em all the time if I had to.”

But if a suspect happens to be exerting their Second Amendment rights and is able to get to their gun, tragedy seems inevitable. Not because the suspect doesn’t want to be arrested, but because they don’t want to die. And believe it or not, juries sometimes agree.


Police Often Act On Incomplete Or Bad Information

Gebhardt and Whitus were both insistent that no raid should ever occur without a huge amount of homework. According to Whitus: “We’re going to go and look at the house, we’re going to watch the house for a number of hours … we’re going to do now background checks on who lives there and then we’re going to develop a programme … we basically set up a taunt field where we practice around two or three times, to make sure everybody was on the exact same page, in terms of who is where and doing what.”

In Rosas’ case, they didn’t properly surveil the home or make sure the actual subject of the goddamned warrant was even there. In Magee’s case, the police drove around the trailer once. Otherwise, they were working off the information given to them by the informant, and no real steps were taken to verify the story of a guy who was, again, trying to reduce his own criminal charges by acting like he was giving up a kingpin.

“[ The informant] told them that Hank had said he wasn’t afraid to use a gun in case there was a raid. Well that was whole cloth too, ” says DeGuerin. The police even had some indication that was bullshit. They’d been to Magee’s home before, responding to noise levels complaint due to him hitting off his guns for the hell of it( we understand that in many parts of Texas, if neighbours don’t hear gunfire, they assume you’re either on vacation or have fallen into a deep depression ). On that occasion, Magee spoke to the officers and cooperated without the specific issues. There was no indication that the man was willing to go down killing to avoid incarcerate, aside from the word of their full-of-shit informant.

It’s hard to say exactly how often the police under-prepare for dangerous forced-entry raids, but it’s likely worth noting that the vast majority of these raids turn up nothing. The ACLU found that only 35 percent of SWAT drug raids produced anything illegal. In forced-entry raids, like both the cases in this article, the police “hit” rate is a mere 25 percentage. The other thing to recollect is that a lot of so-called SWAT teams are in fact groups of normal policemen with fancy gear. The DA of Burleson described the training of the team that raided Henry Magee as “minimal.”

“They’ll put together these ad-hoc tactical procedures, ” says Gebhardt. “They’ve done some training … they wear the gear, they look like a Swat squad … they play one on Tv, so to speak, and that’s where the danger comes in.” For example, in both cases in this article, there were questions about whether or not the flashbang grenades were used properly, or at what phase in the process the officers announced themselves as police. But even if you don’t wishes to get bogged down in procedure, it seems like the risk of misfortune is high even if it goes perfectly.

In Rosas’ case, he says that if they yelled “Police! ” as they stormed in, he didn’t hear it. This was a man who had been sound asleep and then awakened by an detonation , abruptly bleeding from the psyche. He assumed he’d got shot. Remember, his elderly mother was in the house, too — it wasn’t only his own life he thought he was fighting for.

In Magee’s case, he had been asleep next to his pregnant girlfriend, Kori White, on the living room sofa. The officers hurled the flashbang into the wrong aim of the trailer, and the couple didn’t even wake up until they heard somebody banging on their front doorway, trying to break in. They insist that they even asked who was there, and got no answer before Hank operated to get his artillery. A figure volley through the door, and Magee opened fire.

It was a perfect recipe for disaster, and for that, Adam Sowders paid with their own lives. He wasn’t a jackbooted agent on the part of states; he was a guy doing his task. It’s simply that his occupation was to set himself and his co-workers into an extremely dangerous situation in order to seize a bunch of hypothetical marijuana plants before, god forbid, someone became them into joints and smoked them while watching animal bloopers on YouTube all night.


Police Are Forgiven For Mistakes, While Civilians Are Expected To Act With Perfect Discipline

Henry Magee is kind of a legal unicorn, in that a grand jury refused to even indict him for killing a police officer( they would still get him with the marijuana charge ). Ray Rosas was eventually declared not guilty for burning at and wounding the three officers, but had to go to trial and expended virtually “two years time” in jail before being exonerated. He lost pretty much everything.

And here’s the thing that makes all of that especially hard to swallow: In the chaos during Rosas’s raid, one of the officers outside the window( Steve Ruebelmann) shooting back and grazed Ross Murray, another officer who was already in the house. Then Rosas was charged with assault for the policeman getting hit by the stray bullet. “Ray was charged with six different counts, ” says Greenberg. “Three of attempted assassination on a police officer, and three of aggravated assault. He was also charged with shooting at the second policeman in[ Murray ]. “

Rosas spent 22 months in jail during the course of its trial. Officer Ruebelmann, who also shot and wounded a policeman, was given an award for courage. Everyone understood he’d made a mistake in a tense and chaotic situation — he’s only human, after all. But why wouldn’t that same standard apply to Rosas, who didn’t have Ruebelmann’s training, or the advantage of knowing what the fuck is was even happening?

Greenberg brought this up during the course of its trial. “I said to[ Ruebelmann ], ‘Did you feel fear? Did you reek gunpowder? Did you not know what was happening? Did you hit to try to protect your brothers in blue? Did you hit to try to protect yourself? ‘ He said yes. I said, ‘How is that different from Rosas? How is that any different? Why aren’t you sitting here? You reach Ross Murray. Why aren’t you sitting here for attempted capital murder? ‘”

And it’s not like it would have been better if Ruebelmann’s bullet had found its intended purpose — that being Rosas, a terrified, half-asleep boy who thought he was fighting for their own lives. In fact, according to a New York Times investigation, civilians appear to die much more often than officers in these kinds of raids. But our data here isn’t very good, because departments aren’t required to report about any of this.


Getting Off Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Get Punished

By the lane, this really is Ray Rosas 😛 TAGEND

Gabe Hernandez/ Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Or that’s how he appears now. Here’s how he looked after his arrest 😛 TAGEND

via Talk Real Solutions

His attorney says that some of those injuries are from the flashbang, while some were delivered by police during the arrest. Yes, Rosas eventually was detected not guilty, but the events of that night ruined their own lives. “He’s this policeman shooter, right? ” says Greenberg. “So when they are apprehended everybody, they took his elderly mom and called protective services on her. Ray had two animals, two puppies, we never knew what happened to one. We think they killed[ it ]. Because we heard on the videotapes, the dog barking and then kills, and then nothing. The home, they condemned the home and then sold it. The city sold it. This is his family home. And it’s by no means beautiful, but it’s what they owned. I think they get, like, $17 k for the family home.”

Rosas’ mother attempted to use that fund to bond her son out of prison and spare him nearly two years of incarceration. Yeah, that wasn’t happening. “[ A] t the bond hearing, there were at least 70 policemen in that chamber looking the judge down, like, ‘If you reduce this bond’ … and glaring at us, and the judge created his bond. So it was like$ two million. ” Rosas was put in solitary confinement for the entirety of his time in jail, which can mess with your brain so badly that the effects can last a lifetime.

“The saddest part of it all to me is I can’t induce him whole. I can win the case but I can’t make this humankind whole again. I check in with him and he’s had a hard time adjusting. He was in isolation for two years.”

Hank Magee, after being charged with capital slaying, was simply is guilty of the crime of possessing more than four ounces of marijuana( 4.4, in fact) while employing a deadly weapon. He pleaded guilty and get 18 months in jail. He and Kori White split up; their relationship didn’t live the ordeal.


It’s All A Big, Dumb Machine That Eats Fear And Spits Out Tragedy

In detailing all of the consequences, we have gone too long without mentioning Adam Sowders, a guy who had wanted to be a policeman since he was a teenager( before that, he was a firefighter ), and who was awarded Officer of the Time in 2011. Maybe the other players in these two cases will retrieve, perhaps they won’t, but Sowders is move forever. He didn’t pass the laws or write the department’s procedures. Both Sowders and the man who shot him dead can only be got a couple of guys. Two human being, only a few years apart in age, set on a lethal collision course by generations of crass political leaders and frightened voters.

This will happen again.

In the 1980 s, the U.S. realized approximately 3, 000 SWAT raids per year. Now we’re at 50 -8 0,000 raids per year( that’s the whole “militarization of police” thing you’ve been hearing about ). This means that in the U.S ., got a couple of hundred homes are raided every single period, in a country with 300 million privately owned guns. All because this ferocious cultural defense of one liberty( to own a handgun) doesn’t appears to translate to any other. It wasn’t Magee’s ownership of an AR-1 0 assault that built him dangerous to the country, but his growing of several plants.

If you don’t am worried about the lives of drug users or traders( and we know for a fact that lots of people don’t ), then what about the lives of police officers? Or spectators? How easily could this have ended tragically for Rosas’ mother, or Kori White, or her unborn newborn? Or are their lives likewise worthless due to proximity?

If you think so, are you able please stop and ask yourself the same question we elevated earlier: Have we lost our fucking heads?

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