2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment

I wish all the 2nd Amendment nuts cared as much about the 4th Amendment as they do the 2nd. Many of them say they need their guns in case the government turns oppressive.

Yeah, I don’t believe it, either. Personally, I think that America’s love of guns is to enforce white supremacy (what tool did the slave-owning southerner or Native American-slaughtering colonist need more than any other?) but can we call them on their delusion of resistance, yet? When cops are kicking in the doors on “no knock” warrants and putting bullets into stoners, the “government turns oppressive” inflection-point has been passed.

As reported: [mhn]

Paraplegic for life, shot 9 times in a “no knock” warrant

Although there’s no body camera or dash cam video of the shooting, Betton’s surveillance video depicts what happened outside the home. The video shows the officers directing one of Betton’s neighbors to get on the ground. One officer then opens a screen door before another rams Betton’s front door. The video does not show an officer knocking. The video has no audio, so it’s unclear what, if anything, was said.

However, the neighbor who was on the ground told state investigators that the drug agents never knocked or identified themselves as police.

Betton has said he had a gun in the waistband of his pants that day, but he denies drawing it and shooting at the police.

Why was there no body camera or dash cam video of the incident? After all, the cops were prepared to go charging in to someone’s house. It’s not like they were going to suddenly realize “Oh, oops, we forgot our pants” and have to turn around and reset the raid. But, if they did, so what? They could have gone in the next day, or telephoned the guy and said, “please come out and talk to us?”

I hate to say it, but that gun he had, didn’t protect him from oppression very well.

A State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation determined Betton told the truth: He never fired his weapon.

Yet an independent prosecutor who reviewed the case concluded that the men who shot Betton – Belue, Frank Waddell and Chris Dennis – acted in self defense.

Who was the independent prosecutor and who paid their paychecks? Did the prosecutor get donations from the police union? Was the prosecutor Sam Harris? In order to “defend yourself” you need to be attacked.

Police can obtain no-knock warrants, but agents had a standard warrant when they raided Betton’s apartment that day, which means they would have been required to knock and announce themselves before entering.

The shooting led former Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall to raise questions about why the DEU’s policy manual didn’t address procedures for officers entering private property.

Three months after Betton was wounded, Gall emailed DEU Commander Bill Knowles and told him he couldn’t find a policy in the DEU’s manual for executing search warrants. The city police department has such a policy. Knowles responded that he didn’t believe the unit had any policy outlining search warrant execution.

“It appears that the search & seizure policy follows our policy verbatim, until it reaches the search warrant section…then DEU’s policy has nothing,” Gall wrote. “I thought maybe I missed something or it was not copied to my file. If it’s absent, it’s certainly a concern.”

Certainly a concern.

------ divider ------

Why did the police feel they had the right to tell the neighbor to get on the ground?


  1. jrkrideau says

    Mano had a posting about Graeber’s new book Bullshit Jobs that should be out next month.

    Why do I get the feeling that the DEU’s are bullshit jobs but these doing them at least get an adrenaline as they smash down doors and shoot people?

    BTW what is a DEU—I understand the acronym but apparently they are not police officers? Here, drug raids are carried out by the police.

  2. jazzlet says

    I think DEU will be Drug Enforcement Unit, and will be a specialist department of the police, like Homicide etc. but even more violent.

  3. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Why did the police feel they had the right to tell the neighbor to get on the ground?

    Because they knew in advance that bullets would likely be flying around, and it’s trickier to justify shooting a bystander than a suspect?

  4. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 jazzlet
    I am not reading that link as “police” as I understand it. They clearly don’t report to the local chief of police, but they clearly have police powers. They may even be seconded police officers?

  5. says

    Someone can’t be in favour of gun ownership for defense of one’s home and get outraged if a cop gets shot while executing a no knock warrant.

  6. says

    Tabby Lavalamp@#5:
    Someone can’t be in favour of gun ownership for defense of one’s home and get outraged if a cop gets shot while executing a no knock warrant

    Unless one is a cop.

    There are a lot of gun owning cops. I wonder how they sort all that out in their brains?

  7. jrkrideau says

    @ Jasslet and Marcus
    I realize that DEU is “Drug Enforcement Unit” but where does it sit it the alphabet soup of US law agencies? It clearly is not reporting to the chief of the city’s police. I guess I’m trying to figure out if it is an interagency taskforce, a bunch of armed vigilantes recruited by the local D.A. or some sideline of Eric Prince.

    My first internet search suggests “Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) is a branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force” which does not seem right in this instance. A couple other hits in the USA are not a lot more helpful.

  8. jrkrideau says

    Thinking about Tabby’s comment, I wonder what happens when a DEU or similar gets the wrong address, effects a no-knock entry and, rather than some startled minor drug dealer, disturbs one or more highly trained and heavily armed Afghanistan returnees who suffer from PTSD?

    I think their business model could be improved.

  9. says

    Quick google for an older article:

    Last week in Fitchburg Massachusetts the FBI conducted a ‘no-knock’ raid and chainsawed through the door of Judy Sanchez’s apartment. They held her at gunpoint in front of her three year old child for 30 minutes.

    About then they realized they had busted through the wrong door.

  10. jrkrideau says

    @ 11 LykeX
    These things happen. I got a pizza delivered by mistake one Halloween. No chainsaw though.

  11. ridana says

    To me, “no-knock” and “chainsaw” are mutually exclusive. The idea of the former is purportedly to keep suspects from disposing of evidence, but by the time you get through a door with a chainsaw, I think the occupants know you’re coming.

  12. says

    Someone can’t be in favour of gun ownership for defense of one’s home and get outraged if a cop gets shot while executing a no knock warrant.

    There are a lot of gun owning cops. I wonder how they sort all that out in their brains?

    Because they are “good” cops and don’t make mistakes like that. Of course, there are “bad” cops but theyre over there, not here.

    Or so ive gathered from family and friend of friends LEO’s.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To jimmf
    Odds are pretty good that it was a sovereign citizen who was refusing orders to step out of the car, very probably at least for several minutes. I have very little sympathy for such persons and their antics.

    Whereas, I have the utmost sympathy for victims of no-knock raid warrants. No-knock raid warrants are an abomination, and they should be banned in every case whatsoever short of actual rebellion or invasion.

    The primary difference is thus: The sovereign citizen had at least several minutes to weigh their options. They did not have a police dog sic’ed on them because they made a wrong move while they were startled. They were able to take some time, think on it, and prepare a (wrong-headed response). For a no-knock raid, if you twitch the wrong way, then they shoot you. You have absolutely no time to prepare yourself, to think about it, and to prepare a rational response. Instead, you just have to hope that you don’t twitch the wrong way and the assholes who are breaking in are cops on the lower-end of the likelihood that they’ll shoot you for their jollies.

    Search warrants should have a strict announce and presentation requirement, where they have to knock, wait several minutes for someone to respond, and show their warrant, give a copy of the warrant, and give at least a few more minutes for the person to read the warrant, issue some basic challenges to the warrant (i.e. “you have the wrong address”), and only then may the pigs force entry under the power of the warrant.

    I can imagine certain exigency exceptions, but exigency exceptions would survive on their own merit, and if there’s time to get a warrant, then there’s not an exigency exception.

    There also needs to be explicit rules that the cops shall never skip the announce and present requirement to prevent possible destruction of evidence, nor to protect the safety of the cops or the persons inside the target search space.