A Call for Police Cover and Suppressive Fire

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Anyone who has been in the military, particularly the Infantry should be appalled by this.  At PoliceOne, retired Wisconsin police leiutenant Dan Marcou has noted that “The military would have no qualms about laying down cover fire to rescue a downed soldier” and lays out a hypothetical situation where a shooter has taken a hostage and wounded a police officer by firing shotgun slugs through a closed door.

Lt. Dan, as he is known, is disappointed that police cannot lay down cover fire to support the extraction of the downed officer.

OK, that seems reasonable, until you actually look at the facts.

The shooter is behind a closed door with at least one innocent hostage.  To provide cover fire, other officers would be firing blindly through the door.  There would be no target identification, acquisition, or isolation, just blind shooting through a door or wall.  There would be no way of knowing where the innocent hostage was located, whether they would be in danger or not, and despite Lt. Dan’s acknowledgement that officers are responsible for every round fired, that is not reality.

Don’t believe me?

Look at the following cases:

  • NYPD officers hit two innocent bystanders while shooting at an unarmed man who they believed had a weapon.  No officers have been charged.  Sept. 2013.
  • Boston police shot an officer while shooting at the bombing suspects.  The officer almost died.  They also shot up an empty black SUV.  Multiple homes were damaged by gunfire.  No charges against any officer.  Apr. 2013.
  • LAPD officers fire over 100 rounds at two innocent women during the Dorner manhunt.  No criminal charges were filed.  Apr. 2013.
  • Las Vegas Metro officers hit an innocent bystander while shooting an armed shooting suspect.  No charges were filed against the officers.  Feb. 2013.
  • NYPD officers shot an armed suspect near the Empire State Building, hitting him 10 times and killing him.  Nine innocent bystanders are also hit by police.  Mayor Bloomberg defended the officers’ actions and no charges were filed.  Aug. 2012.
  • San Francisco PD officers shoot at (and miss) an armed suspect, striking an innocent bystander.  No criminal charges were filed against the officer.  July 2011.

We could go on.  In 10 years, from 2002 t0 2012, NYPD shot 30 innocent bystanders without filing criminal charges on any of the officers involved.

Allowing police to use cover and suppressive fire is a ludicrous idea.  In the military, the idea of suppressive fire is to put enough firepower into an area to keep the enemy from engaging your own forces.  The military is not concerned about collateral damage.  They are not concerned about citizen safety as opposed to officer safety.

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A Real Police Hero

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Stafford, Texas Police officer Ann Carrizales stopped a car just before 4:00 AM.  Within minutes, the driver’s side passenger had shot her twice, once in the vest and once in the face.  Most officers would just call it in at that point, but Carrizales returned fire and then pursued the car at high speeds into Houston.

That takes real cojones – big brass ones at that.

The shooter was captured at the scene by other responding officers, and there is a $10,000 reward for the other two MS-13 gang members involved.

In the meantime, for those who do not think that police deserve any respect or merit any consideration from the general public, this is why you are wrong.  Well done, Officer Carrizales.

 

The Windypundit’s Review of “Rise of the Warrior Cop”

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The Windypundit has a series of posts reviewing “Rise of the Warrior Cop.”

Part 1, part 2, and part 3 are at the links, Mark does an excellent job of reviewing the book.

 

Semi-Open Carry Arrest in Tennessee: What Happens When You Don’t Know the Law, Part II

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Well, Leonard Embody has given me further information for my blog.

His preliminary hearing was held recently.  A preliminary hearing is solely for a judge to make a determination if there was probable cause for the arrest.  That’s it.  A couple of other matters can be addressed, like a motion to suppress evidence or a motion to dismiss, but those are based on factors surrounding the stop and the arrest, not general law.

So Embody shows up, pro se and is representing himself, and makes a motion to suppress.  Of course, he has no clue about what he is doing, so when he is arguing his motion, he starts to offer testimony and the prosecutor objects.  Eventually the judge decides to hear the testimony of the officer, who states that as soon as he saw Embody, that he could see an AR-15 slung across his back.  As he got closer, he could tell that there was what appeared to be a silencer attached to the rifle, and the officer did not yet realize that the rifle was in a form-fitted kydex case.  At that point he had reasonable suspicion to stop based on Tennessee law, since the possession of a silencer is a felony.

That would pretty much do it for the motion to suppress and motion to dismiss.

Of course, Embody brings up all sorts of irrelevant issues during his cross of the officer, the prosecution objects, and the judge sustains the objections.  Embody then tries to introduce the ATF documents which would show that the silencer was legal, but has no idea how to lay the foundation nor how to authenticate the documents so he could get them admitted.  I was actually very impressed with the patience that the judge had with Embody.

So now the prosecution has a finding that there was probable cause for the arrest and it will go to a grand jury for indictment.  And if Embody does not get much better at the legal issues, he’s going to be convicted.  He really needs to hire an attorney.

And the best line from the video is from the judge, near the very end.  “I don’t think Mr. Embody is crazy, I think he’s stupid.”  I will defer to the judge’s wisdom and leave that determination to my readers.

Apparently Embody has a copy of the recording of the hearing and put it up on YouTube.  I’ve linked to it below.

 

Zach Horton, Part II

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Well, about a month ago, Zach did something that may hurt him in the long run.  He was running around south Texas, open carrying his AK, and apparently thought it was a good idea to have his picture taken with the rifle in front of local police stations.

This went well until he got to McAllen.  They didn’t like the idea, so they told him to leave (apparently giving him a trespass warning, it’s not clear), which he did.

Then he thought about it.  And went back.

But only after calling them and telling them he was coming back.

Yeah, that’s a good idea.  It’s legal, don’t get me wrong, but poking a sleeping mountain lion with a sharp stick has never struck me as being especially bright.  But, hey, if that’s your thing…

So of course the police are there and when he doesn’t comply with their commands, arrest him for having a firearm where prohibited, see Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 46.03.  That’s a felony.

Now granted, from what I’ve seen, it’s a BS charge, because you have to actually go into the building to be charged with it, and the AK never left his car.  So Zach sees the inside of a jail cell, then a judge, who sets bond at $25K (meaning a bail bondsman will likely charge $2,500, and maybe twice that, since he’s not from the area).  You don’t get that money back, either.  Of course his rifle and cellphone are now evidence, and the last I saw, they had a hold placed on his truck.

Of course the DA should drop the charges, but this is Hidalgo County, where the niceties of the law haven’t always been observed, like the sheriff’s son (head of a local drug task force) who was indicted and pled guilty for stealing drug loads.  Or the eleven recruits in the academy fired by the sheriff last year for trying to cheat on tests.  Or the previous sheriff and county commissioners in the 1990s. Or – well, you get the picture.

 

Semi-Open Carry Arrest in Tennessee: What Happens When You Don’t Know the Law

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Leonard Embody is a registered nurse, a licensed federal firearms dealer, and a gun rights activist.  He also, in my opinion, is somewhat of a whackjob.

In 2009, Embody carried an AK-47 pistol into a state park.  For some reason he painted the tip of the pistol orange.  He also dressed up in camouflage gear before doing so, becoming known as the Radnor Park Rambo.  He sued over being detained in the incident and lost on summary judgment, the court holding that the detention and temporary seizure of the gun was reasonable.  Embody v. Ward, No. 3:10cv-00126, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79153, 2011 WL 2971055 (M.D. Tenn. July 20, 2011).  He then appealed and lost that appeal when the Sixth Circuit affirmed.  Embody v. Ward, 695 F.3d 577 (6th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 770, 184 L. Ed. 499.  This was also covered by “The Volokh Conspiracy“, with Embody participating in the comment section (which has over 600 comments).  As Volokh noted, it is rare when the Brady anti-gun people and the Second Amendment Foundation are on the same side, and that was against Embody.

Embody has carried a loaded black-powder pistol in his hand (i.e., not in a holster) while in Belle Meade, TN in  2010.  Tennessee law preempts local regulation of guns, but grandfathers in existing local gun laws.  In Belle Meade, there was a provision of the law that stated “except the army or navy pistol which shall be carried openly in the hand.”  Belle Meade Mun. Code § 11-602 (1987), repealed Ord. #2010-7, Sept. 2010.  Obviously the city did not like the idea of individuals carrying revolvers around in their hands.  This also caused the Belle Meade police to request that the state revoke Embody’s concealed carry permit, alleging that he was a danger to the public.  The State Police did revoke his permit and his administrative appeal failed, launching a new lawsuit, this one challenging the constitutionality of the Tennessee firearm statutes.    The trial court granted the state a summary judgment, and the appellate court affirmedEmbody v. Cooper, No. M2012-01830-COA-R3-CV, 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 343, 2013 WL 2295671 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 22, 2013).

Now the whackjob has gotten arrestedar15caseHe was walking around downtown Nashville handing out flyers while wearing body armor.  Slung on his back, he had a rifle that was in a kydex case, which means that it was form fitted to the rifle and that it was obvious that it could contain a rifle.  And Tennessee does not allow a person to openly carry a loaded rifle.  So when police officers were called, saw the case, they immediately had reasonable suspicion to check if he was in fact carrying a rifle.  So when they opened the case, they found that it had a silencer on the end, which is a felony in Tennessee.  There is a defense, but since Embody was not talking to the officers, he couldn’t prove that he had a National Firearms Act license for the silencer.  It also was hilarious that Embody was screaming that they needed probable cause to detain and search him, which was not correct.  The arrest affidavit is here.

 

 

One of the Reasons Police Officers Don’t Speak Up & the Blue Wall of Silence

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In 2008, the Phoenix Police Department claimed that it had 358 kidnappings, making it the kidnapping capital of the United States.  It asked for help from the federal government, in the form of grants.  The problem was is that the PD was classifying everything as a kidnapping in its database to arrive at that number.  All in an effort to obtain millions of dollars in federal funds.

Sergeant Phil Roberts knew that the information was incorrect.  He was a supervisor in the department’s kidnapping unit.  So in 2009, he began to write memos stating that the information was incorrect.  And in August of 2011, the Chief of Police, Jack Harris, had enough.  He ordered an internal affairs investigation into Roberts activities.  This resulted in the termination of Roberts.

Roberts claimed that he was being retaliated against for being a whistleblower.  The city said that he was not, and had violated numerous policies.  They fired Roberts.  So in 2011, Roberts filed suit in U.S. District Court alleging wrongful termination and retaliation.  On July 25, 2013, in court ordered mediation, the city offered Roberts his job back.  It is unclear if he will receive back pay.

How many actual kidnappings were there?  According to the log kept by a PD lieutenant over the kidnapping unit, 49.  A federal immigration officer determined there were 48.  A review by a local TV station of the records showed that charitably there might have been as many as 82.  The other 300 (+ or -, dependent on which number you use) were other offenses, kidnappings from other jurisdictions (like Houston), vehicle impounds, and cases where there was no offense at all.

After this came to light, Chief Jack Harris was relieved of duty the next day and forced out.  The IA lieutenant over the investigation resigned suddenly, after it became apparent that she provided false information to federal investigators.  The department finally admitted that the data might not be correct.

Note that the entire power of the police department and the city came down on Sgt. Roberts.  It took almost 3 years for him to clear his name and win his job back.  How many officers are willing to do the same?  They have bills, wives or husbands, families, and need to have a job.  They aren’t willing to take that kind of risk.

 

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