This blawg post by a West Virginia attorney, John Bryan, hits the nail on the head (as does the Fourth Circuit in their opinion).

Use of Force Source

In November of 2013, the Fourth Circuit examined a North Carolina case where approaching police officers shot and wounded a homeowner who was investigating the source of a disturbance outside of his home.  The approaching officers HAD NOT announced their presence and identified themselves as police officers prior to shooting.  The case was George Cooper, Sr. v. Jamess Sheehan, et al.

Read the Opinion here.

Listen the oral argument audio here.

On the night in question, police officers responded to a call involving two men allegedly screaming at eachother outside a residence.  The dispatch call did not indicate whether either of the two men were armed, or unarmed.  Two police cars arrived – one a standard marked car, and the other an unmarked vehicle.  Neither of the officers activated his blue lights or siren.  They apparently were wearing uniforms.  They parked at the end of George Cooper’s property…

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