Ryan Frederick Trial, Day 10

John Wilburn will report in stages this evening, I will post his accounts as they become available.

John’s Report post begins with Jury instructions at 9:35 PM – Part 2 Conway’s closing added 11:10 PM Part 3 Mr. Broccoletti’s closing added 1:45 AM. Ebert’s rebuttal added 2:05 AM

The Judge gave the jury their instructions on the law applicable to this case, and the Prosecution and Defense gave their closing arguments this afternoon. I got there just in time for Prosecutor Paul Ebert’s rebuttal before the jury was sent home for the night. With the prosecution having the last word, it is critical what the jurors will take to bed with them.

They will lay their heads down on their pillows thinking “Huh?”

He did not build toward any conclusion, he just made a bunch of unrelated statements that presumably answered some assertion Broccoletti made before I arrived, but it sounded as though I had dropped these notes I have been taking for two weeks,  picked up an handful, and read a paragraph from each.

I’m not going to waste anyone’s time with excerpts from that prattle, I’ll wait for John’s account like everyone else and comment later.

So, that’s how this trial ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.

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138 Responses to Ryan Frederick Trial, Day 10

  1. Don Tabor says:

    While we are waiting for John’s account, here are some observations from another citizen (I do not have permission to use his name as yet) who has been sitting with John and I several days.

    Here are my thoughts from today:

    1. The judge was reluctant to accept anything from the defense (motions)
    2. The prosecution was very weak with their closing.
    3. They were weak because the facts did not stand up to what they were trying to say.
    4. Mr. Conway had several good points but the other 89 minutes made you forget about anything good he had to say.
    5. Mr Brocoletti was brilliant.
    6. I wanted to applaud when Mr. Brocoletti was finished.
    7. Everyone I spoke with during the breaks (even pro government/police people) felt he would be found not guilty.
    8. When the judge read the jury instructions it didn’t seem like we even needed closing arguments since I couldn’t find any of the 5 murder/manslaughter charges that applied.
    9. Brocoletti grouped witness and then exposed the flaws in each group. It was a very calculated and successful tactic.
    10. He explained a theory of how the police could concoct a story without demonizing them or calling them liars.
    11. 50% of the jurors seemed like they were listening intently the entire time where the other 50% weren’t
    12. It was nice to see the courtroom packed.
    13. There were new faces in the courtroom every day.
    14. Mr. Brocoletti spent 10 minutes explaining the duty of the jury and what their job is. He did this in a very effective manner.

  2. Kt says:

    The headline from the Virginian Pilot’s web site is disturbing. “Frederick is a Jeykll and Hyde, prosecutor says.”

    I am waiting anxiously to read your report of todays events!

  3. mack520 says:

    thank you Dr.Tabor and Mr. Wilburn. I think you folks have a problem in your area with the police, the District attorney’s office, and Judge Arrington. Everyone else has the same problem, nationwide.

  4. Marty says:

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting updates all day- thanks!

  5. TPB says:

    Greetings Dr. Tabor:

    I was wondering if you had read Kerry Doughtery’s column today in the Pilot?

    Thanks Again,
    Stay Gold,
    TPB

  6. bigmike says:

    I’ve got to agree with Mack, THANKS Dr.Tabor and Mr.Wilbun. Without your reports on this case, we would not have heard the whole story, just the slanted view of the Pilot. I can’t quite understand why the media here can’t remember to tell the whole story. To top that, I’ve only seen one article on the Daily Presses web site on this trial. Again Thank You.

  7. Don Tabor says:

    TPB – Has there been another one since the “Honey Bun” catastrophe?

  8. @mack520,

    Judge Arrington has done a very fair job.

    On the south side of Hampton Roads, it it has been long and widely known that Chesapeake has the most overeager, gung-ho police. Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach have their own sort of problems with their police, but they at least make an effort to apply common sense to the job.

    The prosecutors aren’t from southeastern Virginia at all, thankfully. All three are from northern Virginia, and Ebert is actually retired.

  9. Kerry Dougherty Is Beneath Contempt…

    Really? Kerry? Fat jokes? I’ll come back later to your despicable column from the weekend.

    Right now, I’d like to turn your attention back to 26 February, 2008, when you lectured the blogosphere to wait until we heard the facts. By “facts”, you mu…

  10. Chris M says:

    Thank you for the updates and for the work of this blog.

  11. TPB says:

    Greetings Dr. Tabor:

    Not that I am aware of. The Honeybun article is the article I was referring to.

    Thanks Again,
    Stay Gold,
    TPB

  12. Jones says:

    Tabor, You’d think you would save judgement until you got your report on the closing arguments. The reason a rebuttal sounds all over the place is because it’s rebuttal. It’s purpose is to patch up holes the defense shoots into a case. It has to be short and should be focused on the defense’s closing statements. For someone who wasn’t there for all of it you have a strong opinion. Maybe you should get brief’s from both sides so your not so blinded by your own disposition.

  13. mack520 says:

    My thought on the warrant is that if you can hire criminals to commit crimes to establish probable cause thats kind of strange- if you follow me . I believe this should have been thrown out because there was no justification for the warrant.
    As to the prosecutors, based on personal experience and considerable research, it is my own opinion that the vast majority of DAs and asst. DAs are completely interchangeable, all having in common a complete disregard for the law, and a total disregard ( perhaps I mean “unawareness of “) for human decency.
    As to the cops…………..

  14. juris imprudent says:

    I will be truly stunned if the jury can find malice in RF’s actions.

    I’m a little torn as to why the judge didn’t toss the manufacture/distribute charge as that hinged entirely on the word of one (not very credible) witness. I can’t decide if she is bending over backward for the prosecution or letting them get hoisted on their own petard. Obviously I’m hoping for the latter.

    Thank you Dr. Tabor and Mr. Wilburn for your ‘eternal vigilance’.

  15. TPB says:

    What does the jury consist of? Men, Women, Age Groups, etc.?

    Thanks Again,
    Stay Gold,
    TPB

  16. rob says:

    I can’t see them convicting of anything.

  17. rob says:

    Then again I may be a little biased. My history with police is horrible. From the time I was a teenager and was beaten savagely, to every time I have read a police report or watched police testify. My back and arm were broken by a city policemen, who also crushed my nosed. It was done merely for the pleasure of the cops. They were bored, and I refused to play their psychotic game. My life since then has been a living nightmare. Alcoholism, to opiate addiction,to prison and then to recovery.

  18. cem says:

    Dr Tabor, thanks once again for your blog and commentary throughout this ‘trial’. I appreciate your thoughts on keeping it civil on your site. I am
    sure also that the cpd testified truthfully as to the events that evening as they experienced them. I do
    hope this timid little man is allowed to go home soon. Though I fear he will not. Take care…..

  19. Cue Ball says:

    According to John’s report, “[Conway] said it was not a ‘No Knock’ entry, that the police did everything they could to ensure that Mr. Frederick knew that it was the police, and gave him ample time to answer the door. He said that the CPD are well-trained, well-experienced professional police officers. They noticed a light change in the left front window, and announced ‘eight-ball.’”

    How was the term ‘eight-ball’ defined for the jury? My understanding is that it means the secrecy and surprise of the raid was compromised, which, as has been pointed out before, means the police were not patiently waiting for Mr. Frederick to answer the door. Either my understanding of the term is wrong or the police are trying to have it both ways.

  20. John Wilburn says:

    Cue Ball -

    Just sent the last part (Eberts Rebuttal) to Dr. Tabor so everythings here, as soon as he gets it put up on the website.

    To answer your question – as near as I can figure – and I’ve attended the whole trial – it means whatever the particular cop that’s speaking thinks it means – this may explain their confusion…

    Sorry for being flippant – it’s 1:45 in the morning, and I don’t know where my parents are…

  21. KBCraig says:

    In the original post, are “a.m.” and “p.m.” reversed?

    I’d be very surprised if the defense was giving a rebuttal in the courtroom later than 0200!

    • Don Tabor says:

      Those are the times that John finished writing, and I finished formatting and publishing the accounts to this blog. I included those time stamps so someone who had read part of his account before it was all there would know more had been added.

  22. Firstlanding says:

    About Eight Ball

    I don’t follow this either. If you are the CPD and you’ve knocked and announced loudly several times that you are the Police… how could you then, by announcing “Eight Ball” broadcast that the raid “secrecy” had been compromised… theoretically you had already seriously compromised the “secrecy” by knocking and announcing… at least if you did it the way you said you did it.

  23. mikey says:

    And if the police truly saw a figure behind a Navy blue curtain then what would make them think it was a hostile movement and not someone coming to answer the door peacefully? I guess when they call Eight Ball it means to bust the door in.

    The part where the prosecutor said that the police had to have RF in the house so they could tie him to the drugs was pretty ridiculous. The guy lives there and pays rent for crying out loud. What if RF was not in there, but his girlfriend was? Would the police try to pin the drug charge on her instead?

    I would be really surprised if the jury found him guilty of anything greater than involuntary manslaughter. I did not see any malice or pre-meditated actions. It’s all going to hinge on whether the jury believes he knew it was the police or not.

    The drug charge is a stretch as well. Admitting you grow pot for personal use is not admission of guilt to distribution. Having sophisticated grow equipment is a moot point as well since he was growing other legal plants. The brilliant performance of the informant breaking into RF’s garage and causing RF to throw away what he had pretty much blew the charge of distribution out of the water.

  24. Dave in Texas says:

    I just discovered this blog and appreciate what you are doing. When I first heard about this story last year, I had my doubts about any malice on Ryan’s part. At least here in Texas, you are allowed to protect your own property (the castle doctrine), even if it means using deadly force.

    Discovering your blog today is the first update that I have had in some time. I hope and pray, for Ryan’s sake, that the jury finds that he was just defending his property.

  25. John Doe says:

    To Juris Imprudent’s comment about the Judge tossing out a charge because it was based upon only one witness: The credibility of the witnesses is solely up to the jury to determine. If the testimony is not incredible on it’s face (e.g., I was in Kentucky but I saw what happened in a dream), then the Judge BY LAW must allow the jury to determine what they believe and who they believe. I only mention this because from what I’ve heard the Judge has done a pretty good job, and I don’t want any to think ill of her for the reason that she did what you said. Great job covering the trial all!

  26. This whole trial is a sad commentary on what the “war on drugs” has done to our country.I hope the jury sees that the police have as much if not more to loose in this case than the defendant and take it into consideration as they deliberate on the charges.

  27. Ganja Blue says:

    “He [prosecutor] also said that Mr. Frederick is as much of an expert (about marijuana) as Det. Meinhart. Meinhart says 1 plant produces 1 pound of salable marijuana. 1 pound is 16 ounces, and at $400.00 per ounce is $6400.00 times 10 plants is $64000.00.”

    Show me the money! If RF was running a commercial operation for the better part of a year, where is all the money?

    From a previous comment thread we determined that if RF was growing 10 plants at a time, 50% of those would be female. The “expert” detective’s used estimations from plants grown outdoors, not in a hydroponic garden. The detective did not factor that the plants were not mature (there was no smokeable bud). The “expert” also did not account for the fact that half of all marijuana plants are male and have to be discarded. The “expert” did not factor in that it takes at least four months to produce marijuana from an indoor garden.

    (10 (plants) / 2 (sex)) * 8 oz / 8 weeks (grow cycle) = 1 oz per week

    I’ve been more than generous to the prosecution in this estimation. I did not account for drying time, plant disease, or other factors that would lead to a crop loss. I’m not an experienced grower. The numbers I pulled from several different grow sites and their related publications. http://www.hightimes.com http://www.cannabisculture.com http://icmag.com If the guy’s garden was producing, at best, one ounce per week is this really a commercial garden? I think defense attorneys need to start hiring their own marijuana experts.

    P.S. I work cheap.

  28. Michael says:

    Whether or not Ryan Frederick is convicted, it seems to me, hinges on his judgment before pulling the trigger.

    But the “fault” for the incident, I am now convinced, is with the police.

    The “eight ball” thing is what did it for me. The reason is I had unexpected company last night — a friend who was in town and had car trouble at 12:30 midnight. She rang the bell twice and knocked on the door. It took me a couple minutes to get up and about and a robe on and head toward the door.

    Bu the police in this case said that’s all they waited. Less, even. 25 seconds. And they treated movement inside the house as spoiling the element of surprise? What? You just said you knocked on the door and gave him a chance to answer!

    The truth as this case reveals is that the police now serve EVERY warrant “like” a no-knock warrant. Oh, they call it a knock and announce warrant, but they show up with ZERO expectation that they will actually give the occupants time to answer the door. They’re all dressed up in their “tactic-cool” gear and BY GOD they’re going in.

  29. ktc2 says:

    Adding the availability of the extra charges really muddies the waters at this point. That’s unfortunate. I think he had a much better chance of acquittal when he was only facing murder one because he was so obviously not guilty of that.

    This just seems a desperation measure, “A cop is dead! Convict him of something dammit!” by a losing prosecution.

    Not being an expert of Virginia law (or any law) I can’t comment on involuntary manslaughter as it applies in this case.

    One concern of mine is that in our “justice” system if a man is found guilty on ANY count that he is facing in a trial he can and often is sentenced for ALL the counts including the ones he is found not guilty of. This of course is one of the more egrigious evils in our “justice” system. It concerns me that he could be found guilty of some petty crime just to have the judge legally though completely immorally sentence him to the max for all.

  30. ktc2 says:

    To clarify by that standard he could be found guilty of only possession of marijuana and still be sentenced for the maximum of that PLUS murder one.

    This is somehow, mindnumbingly legal.

  31. John Doe says:

    And let’s not forget that it is not just cops who suffer when cowboys go busting in front doors. A little lady out in Middlesex Co had her front door busted down when the cops went TO THE WRONG HOUSE. All for a 1/2 lb of pot that was found when they finally went to the right place.

    http://www.theagitator.com/2006/03/04/botched-drug-raid-of-the-day/

  32. Zargon says:

    ktc2, can you cite an example of that happening? I can totally see, for example, if RF were convicted of possession and nothing else, the judge imposing the absolute maximum sentence she possibly can (which, for almost all crimes is orders of magnitude too much) if she thinks RF was guilty of more, but actually sentencing a person for a crime he was found not guilty of? Never heard of that before.

  33. ktc2 says:

    United States v. Watts

    Question

    May sentencing courts consider the conduct of a defendant’s underlying charges of which she or he has been acquitted?

    Conclusion

    Yes. In a 7-2 per curiam opinion, the Court held that a jury’s verdict of acquittal does not prevent a sentencing court from considering a defendant’s conduct underlying the acquitted charge, so long as that conduct has been proved by a preponderance of the evidence. Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen G. Breyer concurred. Dissenting, Justice John Paul Stevens argued that the additional offense should have been required to have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt for sentencing purposes, where a defendant’s sentence was lengthened. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, also dissenting, expressed the view that the cases should have been set for full briefing and consideration.

  34. ktc2 says:

    To me this is an absolute travesty and it was learning this more than any other single factor that lead to my complete and total loss or faith and respect for our legal system (I refuse to call it a justice system).

    When you can be found not guilty by the jury and the judge can still sentence you for the crime the system is completely broken and just a sham.

  35. If you want to vote in the poll, you’ll find it in the left sidebar of the local category page.

  36. Zargon says:

    Well shit. The conclusion listed was rather obtuse, with the lawyer-speak, so I googled it, and sure enough, the two underlying cases were clear-cut examples of a jury convicting on one count, acquitting on another, and the judge saying screw you, I say he’s guilty of both, and what I say goes. Sadly, I can’t express outrage, because though I didn’t believe it initially, I find myself unsurprised.

    So let that be a lesson to you potential nullifiers. Convicting for anything opens the door for the judge to do whatever he wants.

  37. ktc2 says:

    Yup, welcome to the immoral travesty we call our “justice” system.

    Not only are the rules so horridly stacked that the conviction rate is roughly 98%, but even if you should manage to prove you are innocent of some of the charges they can still make you serve time for them anyway.

    Our whole legal system needs a hard reboot requiring the exclusion of all it’s current personnel in the new one.

  38. Ken Barlow says:

    The door, the tape, ???? I wonder if the jury is going south or just will see things differently than all of us? I think we are all going to be suprised if the jury convicts I for one will be shocked, But I have seen some real wierd jury verdicts this year. It only takes one very controlling juror and this thing could go badly for Ryan.

  39. ktc2 says:

    Yeah, or as we say in the windows world, “It’s time to use the FDISK password recovery tool”.

  40. Tim says:

    Ryan is guilty, guilty of shooting a police officer whom he though was a perpetrator. It is a terrible and avoidable experience for both parties. I believe that Ryan deserves to walk away from this. I also believe the jury comes back with an involuntary manslaughter charge, and hopefully it concludes with time served. A tragic situation that we all hope will cause the Chesapeake Police Department to review there practices and standards in accordance with raids, search and seizures and knock and announce.

  41. mack520 says:

    Hey ktc2- I confess to being one excessively paranoid character, what are you replying to in the above? I remember what I wrote- but I don’t see it- I do see your reply suggesting you saw it

  42. Zargon says:

    Well, I was well aware that our “justice” system is anything but. I simply wasn’t aware of this particular avenue of disgusting abuse that’s available.

    Unfortunately, as strong as the defense sounded, and as plainly disgusting as the prosecution was, I’ll not be surprised if RF is convicted. I think it’s more likely than not that he’ll get one of the manslaughter counts (even though manslaughter in this case seems logically impossible) instead of murder, but I don’t think I’ll be surprised if they give him capital murder. On the flip side, RF has a much better shot than your average victim of the state, given how everything played out. I’ll be surprised, but not shocked, if he’s acquitted.

    The drug charge will follow the murder charge. If he’s acquitted on the murder, he’ll get possession for the drugs. If he gets murder, he’ll get drug distribution. If he gets manslaughter, he’ll probably get distribution.

  43. ktc2 says:

    mack520

    Your post was for some reason deleted. I don’t see it now. I wont repeat it in case for some reason it’s against somebody here’s rules but it was the linux command for file system check with an option.

  44. John Sutton says:

    Having now seen the instructions the Judge provided the jury, I believe RF should be found guilty of manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary). I lean towards voluntary because he fired his gun at someone; hence intentional. The impassioned part involves fear for his life / desire to protect his home. I could be persuaded to convict on involuntary manslaughter because his firing ‘blindly’ through a hole in the door at an unseen target constitutes callous disregard (IMHO).

    Any charge greater than voluntary manslaughter requires malice; and I don’t belive that RF acted with (the legal definition of) malice.

    I don’t believe that the prosecution proved a felony was committed; hence NG on the fire arm charge.

    The drug charge is an attempt to justify the raid and not enough marijuana was found to prove distribution; therefore NG.

    What the jury will conclude is anyone’s guess. We can second guess them at a later date.

  45. ktc2 says:

    Perhaps a moderator thought it was an error and didn’t realize you were commenting on my “hard reboot” of the legal system comment.

  46. ktc2 says:

    John Sutton,

    I thought that too but it was pointed out to me that RF could see the target but only his blue jeans and nothing else. He was either firing at the guy battering his door down, or the guy standing behind him. Either way there is sufficient evidence IMO that he truly believed he was being burgled and his life was in danger, thus self defense.

    So to clarify, he did not fire blindly (although this apprently is not a crime when cops do it and murder and maim but that’s o/t). He fired at what he thought was a burgler bashing in his door and intending to do him harm (or the burgler’s partner standing behind him).

  47. mack520 says:

    gracias

  48. mack520 says:

    Moderator. I apologize for typing code. I will refrain from doing so in future. The code I typed is harmless’ in fact it is beneficial. Please accept my apology.

  49. John Doe says:

    Lost in the discussion is that the gun jammed. That’s why I keep a .357 revolver for personal protection. It has never jammed.

  50. mack520 says:

    Mr. Doe, You suggest that you might have been more effective than Ryan . what, may I ask, would be the result of that?

  51. CEH says:

    Just to keep this one-sided discussion going:

    “Eight-Ball” per Conway’s closing arguments = they know we are here (as intended) but ARE NOT coming to the door. That will raise a flag to the officers.

    He did fire blindly, per his own admission “I don’t know what I shot at, I just shot!”

    “Someone, no, no one knocked” Which was it?

    “I heard what sounded like a shot gun!” Only on the witness stand, a year later, not in the first 2 interviews.

    “Shivers reached through my door!” Again, a year later, not in the first 2 interviews. Not very tactically sound either.

    He did look and sound pitiful in both interviews, but hell, he just killed someone and just maybe he knew what he was shooting at and maybe he knew he was in BIG trouble. Alot of prison time in his future, I’d puke too. I don’t know.

    The neighbors didn’t hear the police announce, from what I understand they didn’t hear the ambulance’s siren either. I don’t think they’re lying, perhaps they really didn’t hear, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Frederick admitted, on the stand, to giving marijuana that he grew to his friends to smoke with him. Distribution.

    Again, before I get blasted to bad, things could have been done differently by the CPD. Someone described their actions as “misdeeds”. That implies intentional wrongdoing, there has been no proof of that, only speculation by folks who despise drug laws and the efforts law enforcement takes to enforce them. Mistakes, maybe, intentional misdeeds, not in my humble opinion. Their “mistakes” (which unfortunately are accepted practices that I DO NOT agree with, such as the uncorroborated use of criminal informants and being prepared to force entry on most, if not all, search warrants) should not be used to hold Frederick harmless. He also made some mistakes, one of which MAY have cost a man his life, and I find it hard to believe most posters on this site refuse to see them.

  52. mack520 says:

    CEH/ you are one asshole I have considerable respect for.

  53. ktc2 says:

    I guess that’s because if most of us heard someone breaking into our home, came downstairs to find them battering the door down we’d probably shoot too. What would you do, lay down on the floor and pray it’s semi-honest cops (and not the Atlanta kind)?

  54. Zargon says:

    There were a few inconsistencies between his testimony and his initial interviews. Whether this is due to RF changing his story after knowingly shooting a police officer or the extreme stress he was under during those interviews is open to interpretation.

    Some of the neighbors didn’t hear a thing, but it’s illogical to expect all the neighbors to hear the same thing. The one six doors down didn’t hear anything, including the ambulance, I believe. Totally understandable, especially if the ambulance didn’t drive in front of his house. The guy across the street heard nothing until the door was broken in with a sound the neighbor described as a shotgun. That’s kinda important, if that’s the first thing he heard and he heard it loud & clear.

    For the love of god, it’s been pointed out repeatedly that the law as written does not make passing a joint distribution. Everybody here, including you, knows what the law means by “distribution”, so stop playing stupid.

    Okay, so mistakes were made by both sides. If CPD higher ups made a mistake, by approving these kind of tactics that results in police officers being placed in dangerous situations, and the police made a mistake, by applying these dangerous tactics to a previously peaceful man, and RF made a mistake, by shooting at an intruder that turned out to be a cop, and all these mistakes came together to result in a dead cop, then why is RF the only mistake-maker getting his life torn apart? The line “mistakes were made” is a cop-out. If “mistakes were made” and “mistakes deserve punishment” are both true, then the heads shouldn’t stop rolling at RF.

  55. CEH says:

    So, ktc2, you think Ryan just happened to have the gun in his hand when the ram went through the door and a second later he fired toward the hole? Just like that? What prompted him to get up from where he was (not sleeping), get the gun and be in a position to fire within a second of the ram coming through the door. Perhaps he heard the knocking (what else would have caused him to get the gun)? Perhaps he heard the 3 different officers announcing themselves and their intent to peacefully serve a search warrant? You are placing a great deal of credibility on the word of an admitted liar. Something prompted Ryan to get up and arm himself. 25 seconds. That’s a long time.

  56. CEH says:

    Zargon, how about Detective Jarrod Shivers paying the ultimate price for the “mistake”! Are you missing that! As for distribution, it is not just me, but the judge that ruled for precisley the reason I mentioned that there is prima facie evidence for the charge. If there were not, the charge would have been dismissed at the defense’s motion. Rick even mentioned the judge was doing a good job, so please don’t reply she’s part of some conspiracy. Mistakes of a criminal nature deserve punishment. If Ryan knew or should’ve known it was the police, his criminal mistake should be punished accordingly. The CPD’s “mistakes” need to be learned from and hopefully changed, but they are not criminal in nature. Of course, opinions will vary on that as I’m sure ours will.

  57. ktc2 says:

    Have you been paying attention? The dogs woke him. That keen canine hearing seems to be capable of picking up the “announce” that even other cops outside the house couldn’t hear.

  58. CEH says:

    Something else, for whatever it may be worth, police departments, and I’m sure this applies to the CPD, are under enormous political and societal pressure to be both efficient and effective at combating criminal activity. The efficient part is what has helped to contribute to our current situation. A desire for efficiency means quicker investigations meeting the bare minimum standards to establish probable cause and make a case. Efficiency makes it difficult to justify a prolonged surveillance operation (costs manhours and takes officers away from other investigations) for “simple” grow operations like RF’s. A desire for efficiency means the search and arrest must be made on the PD’s time table, not the target’s (hence no waiting for him to go to work, can’t chance it’s a sick day or unexpected day off for him). Testimony indicated this was the fourth narcotics search warrant service done by CPD that week. Seems they had the efficiency thing down pat. I don’t know how effective they were on the other ones, but obviously this one wasn’t effective at all.

    I would much rather see effective, quality police work trump efficient police work every day of the week. This will result in longer, better investigations, fewer arrests, fewer search warrants for all types of criminal activity (not just drugs), fewer seizures, etc. It will make it safer for everyone involved, police, suspects, bystanders, everyone. Will the politicians allow this? Will the citizenry allow this, especially if they are in a neighborhood with a drug problem and police are tied up with a more thorough investigation elsewhere and do not have the resources necessary to quickly address the concern? Law enforcement is a double-edged sword: you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I’ll stop rambling now.

  59. CEH says:

    ktc2,

    Says an admitted liar. My dog barks at the slightest noise. I don’t automatically grab my gun. Do you? Haven’t you been paying attention?

  60. ktc2 says:

    There’s no point discussing with you. You have your mind made up and all you keep saying is RF is a liar based on differences in statements made over the course of a year’s time.

    Might as well be talking to my 5 year old daughter when she puts her hands on her ears and starts shouting LALALALALALA. We will just have to hope at least one person on that jury has a functioning brain and sufficent balls not to back down to the mob mentality.

  61. CEH says:

    We both have our minds made up, so yes, I agree, no need to continue discussing it with you. To you, the police are lying. To me, RF is lying. Who will the jury believe?

  62. supercat says:

    Zargon, how about Detective Jarrod Shivers paying the ultimate price for the “mistake”! Are you missing that!

    If someone decides to cross a busy freeway at night while covered head to toe in non-reflective black velvet, should that be punished by execution? No, but if the person gets fatally struck by a car, the death should be regarded as a natural and predictable consequence of the road-crosser’s actions. Motorists should not be required to consider the possibility that someone dressed head to toe in black velvet might try to cross the road in front of them. Rather, people who wish to cross roads without being killed must exercise reasonable precautions on their own.

    Anyone who wishing to force their way into an occupied dwelling without being shot, no matter how legitimate their reason for entry, must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the occupant knows their identity and intentions. If someone attempts to conceal his identity while forcing his way into an occupied dwelling, the occupant cannot be blamed for not knowing if the person was entering legitimately.

    The cops clearly did not use all reasonable means at their disposal to ensure that RF knew who they were. They had a working megaphone and squad cars with flashing lights available, but they did not use them until after Det. Shivers was shot. Whether or not anybody ‘deserved’ to get shot, the shooting in this case was a natural and foreseeable consequence of the way the raid was conducted, and RF should not be blamed for the cops’ failure to even try to minimize that risk.

  63. John Doe says:

    Mack, Don’t get me wrong. I’m saying for personal protection, a revolver won’t jam. In this instance it might have resulted in more unfortunate deaths. But if it was bad guys and he needed to kill them or be killed, I’d ruther have the revolver. You want to have a gun that jams and leaves you defenseless??

  64. CEH says:

    Well supercat, in law enforcement, sometimes being clearly identified doesn’t matter and criminals still want to shoot at you. Go to officerdown.com. I’m sure most of those cops killed by an act of violence were clearly identifiable as police officers. 7 people, in tactical gear (helmets and vests) on a lit porch, knocking and announcing for 25 seconds (if you believe them) isn’t reasonable to you? I guess it might not be, to others it might.

  65. John Doe says:

    And CEH, it is not the standard for murder that the defendant “knew or should have known” it was the police. The defendant is presumed to be unaware that it was the police, and the CW has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he DID know it was the police. And yes, if my dog barks at night while I am asleep, I DO grab my gun.

  66. supercat says:

    CEH: How much could the defendant see of the people on the porch? He knew that at least one person was trying to break in, and that unless that person was stopped he would be successful. He knew that the people outside did not identify themselves as police sufficiently loudly as to ensure that they were audible, and he knew that there was no sign of flashing red and blue police lights (the effects of which would most likely have been visible inside even without his looking out the window).

    Some time ago, when I was in my apartment, the police conducted a search on the apartment next door. I don’t know how many times they knocked before starting to kick the door, since I first became aware of their presence when the building shook from the kick. As I went to the door, however, I heard them shout “POLICE”, loudly, between each kick. After a number of kicks (maybe half a dozen or so) the occupant of the apartment called out that he was coming, and the police stopped kicking long enough for that person to let them in, whereupon they showed him the warrant.

    Is there any reason why a prudent police officer shouldn’t repeat his announcement as loudly as possible (using a megaphone if his voice isn’t up to the task) with every attack on the door, or why such a person shouldn’t also whenever practical position a car so its flashing lights would be visible to the occupant of the property being searched? Is there any reason not to regard a failure to take such actions as imprudent? Is there any reason to protect cops who behave in such an imprudent fashion, rather than telling them that any such behavior will be at their sole risk?

    As I see it, there are two resolutions to the problems illustrated in this case:

    -1- Require that homeowners yield tactical advantage to intruders who might try to kill them, for fear that the intruders might happen to be police.

    -2- Require that police make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the occupants of any building they’re searching know who they are, and make clear that any officer who gets shot as a result of failing to make such effort shall be deemed responsible for his own death.

    Can you explain why #2 would not be the better scenario for any and all honest persons (obviously #1 is the better scenario for robbers, but I see no reason to favor them).

  67. Ethan says:

    Okay, here it is.

    They should have nailed down the fact he had the weed plants. Informant was lame. They goofed.

    Second, RF knew it was the cops. He acted too quickly, shot the dude, and now regrets it. It’s the problem with a gun society. He lucked out they don’t have the evidence.

    Third, dude is a joke. His operation was sloppy. They found books? All that information is available for free on the internet. So it’s obvious his game wasn’t tight. (No I don’t use drugs, never have, and I look down on those that do).

    C.P. messed up and are going to eat this one. R.F. is a joke, not a hero.

    I agree with the opinion that they should have snatched him when he came out. But people love being mean to each other (it’s in our deep down nature) so they probably wanted the adrenaline rush of the raid.

  68. Jon Wong says:

    RF admits in his first statement he fired blindly at the door out of fear. Let’s say RF was in Alaska. He walking through the tag elders illegally hunting. He knows there are large dangerous bears around. He hears a loud noise in the bushes. Out of fear, he fires blindly without first ID’ing the target. He kills another hunter who made the noise, not the dreaded bear. GUILTY!!! MANSLAUGHTER!!! If Virginia had a “depraved act” murder statute, RF would be guilty of Murder beyond any doubt. Ask any competent gun owner if they would take a “sound shot” at a noise in their house. He still might be guilty of 2nd degree murder, if the jury finds he was using deadly force to protect his pot growing operation. If he wasn’t doing anything illegal but fired out of negligence, GUILTY!!!INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER!!! It might not be Capital Murder…But he’s guilty of something. Don’t like the law…..The legislature is in session…Get it changed.

  69. Jones says:

    The “8-ball” announcement to the rest of an entry team (not to the suspects) that someone is aware of they’re presence AND is disregarding they’re commands to open the door. This command was given and called off because the SGT on scene felt the requirements were not met for the immediate entry. There is nothing wrong with that. And the people in the rear of the house would have not heard “8-ball” because the person saying it would not be yelling it in the same fashion as the knock and announce commands.

    CEH makes good points that the police are in a no win situation. It is a statistically driven occupation. Commanders want more and more as far as stats and want to be constantly improving on last months or last years. This creates an environment that when a small grow op comes to their attention. They quickly gather intel do what’s needed to get a warrant and make it happen. They’re not going to dedicate tons of man hours investigating a little pot grower like RF. I can imagine all cities are buried in “my neighbor has tons of traffic coming and going” types of complaints that they have to clear things up. Get the arrest and go. The CPD shouldn’t be critisized for not working enough on this investigation. They should be better funded and given more manpower so they can take as much time is needed in the situations that arise.

    Does anyone realize that the independent review of the CPD showed that the Investigations Bureau of the CPD has the same number of people assigned to it as it did in the mid-80′s. Any idea what the population of Chesapeake has done since then? No ones upset about that though. They’re just gonna try and pass laws further restricting an under-staffed stressed out department. GOOD JOB

  70. mack520 says:

    @John Doe- Do I understand you to be saying you would act in the same fashion Ryan did? @all( that ain’t linnux/ thats good ol BSD UNIX)

  71. mack520 says:

    CEH, thank you for taking the time, sir. I think you are utterly wrong. I thank you.

    • Don Tabor says:

      Statistics Driven? Really??

      That’s supposed to be an excuse for endangering officers and citizens with poorly planned and executed raids to serve warrants based on the unsupported claims of known criminals?

      How about following the prime rule we in healthcare have to follow, to above all, do no harm?

      There is no excuse for initiating force on a citizens home without more basis that the unsupported and un-investigated word of an informant.

      There is no excuse for executing a forced entry without making absolutely for damn certain sure the occupants know it it the police at the door.

      Buy a freaking bull horn. Turn on the lights and sirens for 5 seconds to start the knock and announce sequence, and then wait a few minutes in case the occupant is in the john when you arrive. Phone the house if you know the number. The list of better ways to do this is long, and the valid excuses for not making sure do not exist.

      25 seconds??

      People in the private sector resist job pressures to do the wrong thing every day. You guys put them in jail if they don’t. And their lapses don’t result in dead people.

      Are you really expecting us to accept the notion that putting people’s lives at risk to avoid pressure form the public is acceptable?

  72. CEH says:

    supercat,

    “He knew that the people outside did not identify themselves…” Therein lies the problem with your theory, you’re taking every single thing the defendant or his attorney has said as fact and are basing your opinion on that. I choose not to do that. I choose to believe the police and feel they gave what a reasonable person (not a marijuana manufacturer obviously) would feel was ample announcement of their presence and intent. Ryan disregarded it and chose to shoot at the police as they lawfully forced entry because he did not willingly come to the door to have the warrant served.

  73. CEH says:

    supercat,

    As for your #2, all any dope dealing thug (or dope manufacturing pilar of the community) will have to do is say, “I didn’t know it was the cops!” and fire away, each and every time. I feel sorry for you.

  74. The Johnny Appleseed of Crack says:

    Jon Wong,
    Do you hold cops to the same standard that you hold RF to? When the NYPD shot and killed Sean Bell and seriously wounded Joseph Guzman, did you protest? The police in that situation had a much, much, weaker claim of self-defense than Ryan Frederick does.

  75. Zargon says:

    Supercat, I had a much longer response drafted to that exact statement, but you said most of what I wanted to in about 4 times less words. Thanks.

    CEH, the fact of the matter is that Shivers participated in creating a situation that was more dangerous than necessary for all parties involved. He did this knowingly, intentionally, and unnecessarily. No matter what the details of what happened after the situation was initiated were, Shivers and the other officers and the CPD higher-ups all bear responsibility for initiating that extra-dangerous situation. The details of the situation might lead us to conclude that RF is *also* at fault for what happened, but CPD and the individual officers on that raid are the ones to initiated the situation, when additional prudence would have defused the situation, regardless of what kind of person RF turned out to be.

    Did he deserve to die? No, it takes quite a lot to deserve to die. But he intentionally, knowingly, and unnecessarily placed himself (and RF) in a more dangerous situation than was necessary.

  76. Scooby Doo says:

    The Va Beach bust sure shows a light on proper police procedures as opposed to the actions of those fellows in Chesapeake. Garbage in, garbage out.

  77. mack520 says:

    CEH- Hey know what- the defendant always knows what happened, Thats a fact. The /. /cops will say “you did this- you did that” but know what? The fact of the matter is, the incontrovertable fact is, the alleged perps know what happened. Shine up your badge and practice your draw. I had formerly been impressed, I hope you might excuse my error.

  78. CEH says:

    Again, I beg to differ on who initiated this incident. What came first, the violation of the law or the attempt to enforce it? And, since arm chair quarterbacking a tragic incident is always easy, could it have been done different? Absolutely, I’ve said it over and over. Should the fact that it could have been done differently negate the possibility of a jury finding that RF’s actions were not lawful? I certainly think they’ve decided against capital murder, but it will be interesting to see how culpable they hold him, if at all.

  79. CEH says:

    mack520, I agree they do always know. Does that mean every defendant that claims innocence is being truthful? If so, our jails are way more crowded than anyone possibly imagined.

  80. mack520 says:

    ceh- The United States has the highest incarceration rate on this planet, I am a criminal. I am proud to live outside the law.. I am an honest man. You?

  81. Jon Wong says:

    Readers of this forum. This is not a “civil case”. So what…. if the cops were contributory negligent to Shivers getting shot. You seem to think under the law that means RF gets off. WRONG. No one can fire a weapon without first ID’ing the target. This is not a “civil case” where under Virginia law, if the other party is somewhat negligent too, it is a defense to liability. Johnny, it’s irrelevant what happened in NY. This is Virginia. We got Virginia Rules. I’m in no way defending the CPD. I don’t think we need to kick down anyone’s doors. The a__holes at BATF could have arrested Koresh when he was out jogging. They didn’t have to dress up like a bunch of “ninjas” and storm the religious compound with the women and children. Law enforcement needs to work smarter not harder. But the reality in this case is the reality in this case. Whether you like it or not. No reasonable person uses deadly force unless they can articulate what the threat is. Shooting blindly out of fear is not the act of a “reasonable” person under Virginia law. That means ID’ing the target before pulling the trigger. The cops are held to the same standard. RF is guilty of something. It’s up to the jury to decide what.

  82. CEH says:

    Doc,

    I’m not disagreeing with you, here’s a scenario (showing the double-edged sword thing I mentioned earlier):

    The defendant is in the bed, head phones on, listening to some music, loud music as some folks are apt to do. His dog is up there with him. PD’s outside, rolls up in a marked car, as well as the van for transportation purposes. Hit the lights, hit the siren, few blasts of the air horn. All the neighbors are awake now. Okay, let’s bull horn it now. Two minutes go by, heck even 3 (what amount of time is reasonable?). No answer at the door or the phone. Well this time the warrant is good. Buys were made. Marked money used. Neighbors complained this time around as well. PD’s going in…knock, knock, now the dog’s up running to the door. Bad guy, jumps up grabs his gun, enters the hall…guess where we are now? Are we still pissed at the police when he’s arrested for shooting the guy at the hole in the door? Hell, he honestly didn’t know, couldn’t have known. Look at the burden you’re placing on a lawful action. The police can never be 100% sure in 100% of the situations that people will know what they intend for them to know.

  83. mack520 says:

    Mr Wong
    Do I understand you to say ” I’m in no way defending the CPD. I don’t think we need to kick down anyone’s doors. The a__holes at BATF could have arrested Koresh when he was out jogging. They didn’t have to dress up like a bunch of “ninjas” and storm the religious compound ” Are you some kind of nut?
    Does Mr. Sutton still think your backstop matters? Sometimes I get so depressed

  84. The Johnny Appleseed of Crack says:

    Jon Wong,
    Cops are held to the same standard? I disagree with that. How about the Sal Culosi case, which was in Fairfax, VA? A police officer accidentally fired his gun while exiting his vehicle, and the bullet hit and killed Sal Culosi. There was no reason for the officer’s gun to be drawn in the first place. And yet the officer was never charged with any crime. If you’re not familiar with the case, check out the link below:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032301117.html

  85. mack520 says:

    ceh- can’t you see it man- you are the problem. You. CEH.

  86. CEH says:

    mack520, yep, gives the social sciences a reason for being doesn’t. We also have more freedoms than any nation on this planet. All that freedom provides greater opportunity for criminals to take advantage of the rest of us. You want us to be like some former Soviet Bloc nation? Oh yeah, they got crime. God help those criminals though.

    Do I need to be self-righteous and “live outside the law” to be an honest man like you? I’m not sure what that means. I am human and I have done some boneheaded things in my time, but I do not habitually choose to undertake criminal activity.

  87. mack520 says:

    Sir-as I am sure you are aware- you can be wherever you want and be whatever you choose. I think it is really cool you make your opinions known here. I think you are a cop, maybe an honest one. Would it be appropriate for you to come out? Looking at cases (plural) like these, people want to eliminate cops. There is an argument on the other side.

  88. CEH says:

    Mack,

    You have no idea how wrong you are. It’s guys like me that can make a difference in the profession you so like to malign. But I live in the real world and the police will always be second guessed when things go wrong. Always. Not only is it my desire to help the profession improve, it is also my desire to attempt to get some understanding out of a very often misinformed public.

  89. Jon Wong says:

    Johnny,
    I’m familiar with the case. There shouldn’t have been a SWAT team to arrest some penny ante gambler, which was all that Sally was. The ruling was that the Fairfax cop accidentally discharged his weapon and killed Sally. The cop was not intentionally shooting blindly out of fear. Did RF “accidentally” trip and discharge his weapon? Or did he, as he first stated, fire it intentionally at an unknown target out of fear? Your best hope is “jury nullification” where the jury disregards the law and the facts and finds RF not guilty for some unknown reason, such as sympathy or to punish the cops for acting stupid. The jury has taken a sworn oath to follow the law and the facts and give an impartial verdict. If they do, in my opinion, RF is going to be found guilty of something.

  90. ktc2 says:

    Here’s a good one. SWAT officer FIRED BLINDLY – THROUGH WALLS and murders an innocent woman who was on her knees as ordered, and also COMPLETELY BLOWS THE HAND OFF HER INFANT DAUGHTER.

    So what was that cops sentence? NOTHING!

    http://www.theagitator.com/2008/08/05/lima-ohio-swat-officer-acquitted-in-the-killing-of-tarika-wilson/

    Cops are supposed to be trained professionals. They SHOULD be held to a higher standard than your average joe.

  91. CEH says:

    ktc2,

    What’s the whole story in that tragic incident? He was acquitted. Did a jury do that? Hell, he was at least charged, we both know sometimes that doesn’t even happen. The difference in many of the cases you site is accidental vs. intentional. Hey, look at those 2 Border Agents that shot the unarmed guy running away from them and then hid the evidence and falsified their reports…Presidential Pardon! Always something going on to bring a black eye to the profession.

  92. mack520 says:

    ceh- I have a considerable understanding of how wrong I am
    Not only is it my desire to help the profession improve, it is also my desire to attempt to get some understanding out of a very often misinformed public. what kind of person writes stuff like that> ? Are you aware sir, of the guy that wrote a compelling paper differentiating Peace Officers and Law Enforcement whatever> he is now in the springs but google it yourself.
    Yeah- Im wrong. Maybe i’m not but I can always hope.

  93. CEH says:

    Good night. Maybe the jury will put us out of our misery tomorrow. Or, we can continue to discuss and debate. I’m a glutton for punishment. Mack, honestly, you confuse the hell out of me. Oh well.

  94. mack520 says:

    And sir- I malign cops because they are mostly sick perverted assholes. I will say that as a whole, Cops are a lot better class of people than da’s are

  95. mikey says:

    If the sirens were blaring and the bullhorns were roaring then there would be no reasonable doubt that the police tried to make contact. The neighbors would be outside watching the spectacle unfold before their eyes.
    There was a person sitting on their front porch the night this happened. Why didn’t she hear their attempts to make contact? Five other neighbors didn’t hear any announcements either. This throws reasonable doubt into the picture. That lame recreation video did not help their case either.
    How do we know that the police didn’t exaggerate the time line a little. Maybe the 25 seconds was more like 15 seconds. The police are a tight band of brothers and I do think that going against the flow (e.g. disagreeing with what actually happened) is not encouraged especially when one of their own has been shot.

  96. mack520 says:

    I don’t know what is considered appropriate in this forum (but I talked to a cop and I am not in jail)( ceh, I’d love to continue this Joe Pelle would be a reference for me

  97. ktc2 says:

    mikey,

    Why didn’t the OTHER COPS outside the house hear the announcement?! At least those cops were honest about the announcement being inaudible.

    Generally speaking if I have to pick between a cop and crack whore on credibility I’d have to flip a coin, or I might just give the edge to the crack whore. Cops are trained liars. They do it professionally as part of their job.

  98. mikey says:

    I really don’t think RF’s shot was as blind as some would like to belive. He did get the bullet through the opening in the door. Compared to the size of the door, how big was the hole the officer made? RF was known to go to target practice. I think he saw his target through the hole in the door and shot at it. At this point his instinct just took over.
    If you have ever taken martial arts you may know what I mean. You practice and practice the same moves until you just naturally react to a threat. You don’t think about it you just do it.

  99. mack520 says:

    yes i had, but thxs, May I ask you sir, Sorry – AST you sir, what can we do? How may I help?

  100. mikey says:

    I’ve been looking at the requirements for the murder convictions. It seems that malice is the common denominator amongst the different flavors. I don’t think that anything that RF did constitutes malice. From Merriam-Webster, “malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer.” Just listening to his audio recording after the incident disproves that. He is apologizing, throwing up, asking about his dogs, throwing up again, etc. If he truly wanted a cop dead he probably would have been proud of what he did.

  101. Jones says:

    Sorry Doc, but no amount of restraint or caution will ever make you happy. I personally think their downfall was waiting 25 seconds. They should have been in their in 5 seconds. He would have still had the bong at his lips. When you put a stupid (I saw his testimony, he’s definately pretty stupid) kid with gun in a situation. You need to take away as much time as possible. I know this is retrospective, however it’s obviously true. As far as the public pressure goes, I’m differentiating between the Detectives and the Commanders. The Detectives are trying to keep the community safe and work as hard as they can on an out of control work load. It’s the City Council and Commanders that are forcing them to spend less time on things then I’m sure they would choose.

    Most of their time is spent dealing with crack and cocaine dealers with guns and violent criminal histories. However I just can’t imagine you all supporting a suspect with the same circumstances and same self-defense argument if he had a kilo of crack. All things being the same you would be supporting the CPD and demonized the crack dealer. Poor little RF just seemed so darn “boy next door” and everyone came running to defend him.

    Oh yeah and Scooby Doo- The whole VBPD comparison is quite lame. CPD has succesfully conducted all kinds of investigations that are not heard about everyday because it doesn’t partake in the wonderful PR machine that VB has. CPD has always been hush hush with good and bad news.

  102. Jones says:

    Doc, Do people like KTC2 kinda mess up the whole cause?

  103. mikey says:

    But saying they didn’t evaluate the situation a little better and come with a safer plan because the brass is breathing down their neck for stats is out of line. Tell that crapola to Mrs. Shivers.

  104. ktc2 says:

    Jones,

    Why bust in at all?

    To preserve evidence? Nope, can’t flush a grow op.

    I’ve yet to see one valid reason why these arrests can’t be carried out in another place, in a less confrontational manner.

    Do you guys just get off on the adrenalin and your own authority?

  105. mikey says:

    And if the contraband was in the detached shed, why were they busting the door down in the house? If they went in there first they would have seen there was no contraband.
    Their informant really screwed things up for them. He gave RF a reason to get rid of his plants.

  106. price says:

    Have you ever wondered why police use the tactics the way they do? This is just to change the topic a bit. After watching TV tonight I looked at all the shows listed on Cox cable. I swear at least 30 to 40 % were about law enforcement, 30 % about medical and the rest were reality TV, i.e. biggest loser. How many people do you think have based their real life perceptions by watching all the LE police shows?

  107. mikey says:

    But what about the real-life SWAT shows and Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Cops (bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do…).

    Then there are the BS ones like CSI Miami.

  108. mack520 says:

    You are not very good at this, are you Mr. Jones?

  109. price says:

    I watched Dog once and I thought he had a water jug, but it was 4 gallon can of pepper spray:) Those real-life shows can get edit to the producer.

  110. price says:

    by the producer.

  111. juris imprudent says:

    What came first, the violation of the law or the attempt to enforce it?

    CEH, is there ANY drug law you wouldn’t love to see someone killed over? Maybe just imprisoned for a long time? Your hard-on for a poor dope-smoking, peaceable, productive citizen is amazing. I sure as hell hope you aren’t a raging hypocrite smoking tobacco and swilling booze while knocking down prescription meds – because if you are there is precious little separating you from RF.

  112. juris imprudent says:

    Hey Jones, how many beer dealers been killed in turf disputes or shoot-outs with cops lately? The War on Drugs is stupid and violent. Make drugs legal, tax them and regulate them – just like booze. And shut up before you tell me how much worse drugs are. Part of my time is spent voluntarily dealing with people on drugs (including psychedelics) or drunk, and the drunks are worse 99% of the time.

  113. Len Rothman says:

    Jones,
    Evidently you would prefer assault team invasions for every search warrant. After all, you never know who might answer the door, regardless of the suspected activity.
    The police said that they knocked, waited, then battered the door panel in when he was visible. Didn’t they want him to come to the door and ask “who’s there?”.
    Or did they purposely avoid announcing clearly so they could smash in the door?
    Why on earth did they smash the door when they saw his silhouette (according to the testimony) coming to answer the knock?
    They didn’t know he had a gun. I am sure if they did, they certainly wouldn’t smash the door into a blazing pistol.
    Putting officers at risk for what they knew was at best a penny ante marijuana bust was reckless and unprofessional.

  114. Jones says:

    KTC2, I’m not a cop, so I don’t get the “you guys” crap first of all. I know it might sound crazy to you, but just because someone isn’t a lemming and jumping on board with all of your anti-cop sentiment doesn’t mean they are one!

    Secondly they stated at the trial that they try to catch people in close proximity to the operation. That way they don’t have to use the informant in the trial to tie them to the illegal items. If they did that on a regular basis they would get much fewer convictions because they would be gambling on admissions of guilt.

    As far as the raging Juris Imprudent, I didn’t mention anything about booze or how bad drugs are so I’m a little confused about your rant. You do however need to smoke some marijuana and chill out a little. My comment was about the fact that this a self-defense case so the amount of drugs or type of drugs found is really irrelevent. However becasue it was a small amount of marijuana everyone takes that irrelevent fact and throws it in the face of the PD. If it’s self-defense it’s self-defense no matter what narcotics were in the house!

  115. ktc2 says:

    That’s crap.

    So they couldn’t arrest him outside of his house on his way to or from work? What he could come out of his house and then deny the stuff in his house was his? Sorry, not buying it. Just sounds like an excuse to play soldier to me.

  116. ktc2 says:

    mack520,

    What can we do? Well I gave the Jim Bell option careful thought but rejected it as 1) I’m not an anarchist and 2) I don’t believe in the death penalty (No, not for bleeding heart liberal BS reasons. Some crimes DESERVE death, but I do not trust our legal system at all so I can’t trust them with permanent irreversible penalties).

    So that kind of put me at a loss. I’ve seen some great ideas on reason.com and theagitator.com including (not claiming credit for these):

    1) Prohibit all forced entry raids unless there is an immediate threat to someones life such as a hostage situation.

    2) Make the public defender and prosecutors offices budgets equal by law. Currently the situation is ridiculously asymmetrical and unjust.

    3) Require prosecutors/public defenders to rotate sides periodically or every so many cases.

    4) Remove (or greatly lessen) prosecutors absolute immunity. No person should be able to KNOWINGLY prosecute an innocent person, or intentionally withhold exculpatory evidence and be immune from liability.

    5) Obviously legalize, tax and regulate marijuana use for adults in the manner of alcohol. 80% of the war on drugs and it’s abuses are really all about marijuana and that’s just stupid beyond comprehension.

    That’s just off the top of my head, and I’m tired. Going to bed.

    Let’s hope there is a good, just, result to this farce soon.

  117. supercat says:

    CEH:

    Therein lies the problem with your theory, you’re taking every single thing the defendant or his attorney has said as fact and are basing your opinion on that.

    The cops themselves said that all the marked police cars were parked out of sight. They also said that the guy who ‘announced’ the raid had a voice that was so feeble that even some of the other cops on the raid who were listening for him could not hear him. Further, the cops testified that RF’s house was sufficiently soundproof that they couldn’t immediately recognize the report of RF’s pistol as a gunshot.

    Explain why, if the cops had wanted RF to know that they were cops, they would not have parked their cars where the lights would be clearly visible, and made announcements with a megaphone between strokes of the battering ram?

    As for your #2, all any dope dealing thug (or dope manufacturing pilar of the community) will have to do is say, “I didn’t know it was the cops!” and fire away, each and every time. I feel sorry for you.

    If the cops were acting reasonably and legitimately when they got shot, I would be unlikely to favor the defendant (I could formulate hypotheticals where I would, but doubt they would occur in practice). If cops are shot while unreasonably acting in a manner similar to robbers, however, I would see no reason to blame the shooter for the cops’ own negligence or recklessness.

    Given a choice between:

    -1- Cops make all reasonable efforts to demonstrate their identity and legitimacy before forcing entry.

    -2- Cops force entry without really trying first to demonstrate their identity and legitimacy, and they get away with it.

    -3- Cops force entry without really trying first to demonstrate their identity and legitimacy, and they get killed as a result.

    I would vastly prefer #1 to either #2 or #3. On the other hand, I would see no reason to regard #2 as preferable to #3. If cops are told that their choices are #1 or #2, a lot of cops might pick #2. But if told that their choices are #1 or #3, they’ll pick #1. Since the goal should be to have cops pick #1, I see no reason to offer them choice #2.

  118. supercat says:

    1) I’m not an anarchist

    ktc2: Sometimes obedience to the rule of law requires recognizing that some parts of the government are infested by totalitarian anarchists. I don’t know if Shivers was a totalitarian anarchist, but one or more of the persons involved in the raid almost certainly were.

  119. TC says:

    http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/Local_Virginia_Beach_Marijuana_Bust_Revelstroke_Court_Wavy_20080203

    How to conduct a VALID police operation and bust a REAL grow operation..

    {clip]
    According to search warrants, detectives got a tip about the operation last July. After watching the home for several months and compiling evidence, officers decided to go in.
    [clip]

  120. juris imprudent says:

    I didn’t mention anything about booze or how bad drugs are so I’m a little confused about your rant.

    Then allow me to clarify. I’ll start by reminding you that you posited that if it had been a kilo of coke we would react differently. My answer is no. It isn’t called the War on Pot, it is the War on Drugs. I don’t think it is the business of the State to tell me what I can or can not put into my body. Dope, transfats, sea-kitten, whatever – it should be my choice. I absolutely hate moral busy-bodies who think they know what is best for me; I hate them even more when they actually have the power of govt backing them up.

    Remove the illicit nature of manufacturing and distributing, and pot is NO different from alcohol, nor are the other “hard” drugs. Prohibition is inherently corrupting. It cannot stop human desire and it nurtures disrespect for the law and those who have the task of enforcing the law. It also often corrupts those who are trusted to enforce the law, and I am still not convinced that CPD is entirely on the side of the angels in this case. They KNEW about the burglary and the ONLY one who could’ve told them was the guy who did it, their CI.

    I apologize if I mischaracterized you. It sounded like you were defending the War on Drugs and whatever excess happened along in it’s wake. I usually hear that crap from people with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of booze in the other, and the audacity to lecture me on a moral life.

  121. mack520 says:

    wait- calm down, What crime deserves death? Actually I can tell you one. I believe its-I believe I will now shut up

  122. mack520 says:

    hey ceh / make a difference. Sir, I rattle ,your chain. Evfer have grey matter in your mouth

  123. ScottLee says:

    I appreciate such a detailed account of the closing arguments. It seems somewhat lopsided. . . to the point that the Judge would’ve stopped things and said the prosecution has not proven anything. The defense seemed quite methodical.

  124. The Central Scrutinizer says:

    1. The Police cannot protect you from being harmed by a criminal.

    2. The neighborhood in question just experieced a murder during a home invasion.

    3. The defendant had recently been burglarised. By a criminal working with the police.

    4. The police found it necessary to invade the defendant’s house like he was a terrorist instead of a small time pot smoker that grew a little on the side.

    5. The defendant excercised his Constitutional rights by protecting himself against an obviously unannounced threat.

    6. The powers that be do not want us to protect ourselves.

    6. A cop is dead as a result of the over reliance by police in general on violent methods often way out of line with the actual threat.

    7. Instead of admitting their tactics led to the death of one of their own, the powers that be try to convict the defendant of a capital offense.

    8. The biggest victim here is the public and our continually eroding Constitutional rights.

    I would hope more people would excercise their right to defend themselves from such intrusions.

    I plan on smoking a fat cigar when this man is acquitted. He, however, will have to move away from tha area I am sure.

  125. Marty says:

    I could hear ‘Joe’s Garage’ in the background as I read your rant!

  126. Ganja Blue says:

    So I guess the jury is still out? That’s a good sign they aren’t convicting on capital murder, however, I think it’s a bad sign that he won’t be acquitted of all charges.

    I don’t like the term “totalitarian anarchist.” The word “anarchist” means “without ruler.” Police that operate outside the law in order to enforce the law are simply petty tyrants. Anarchists, like me, don’t believe that any man has the right or authority to govern another man. RF, had a human right to defend his person and his property regardless of “the law.” He has no obligation to “the law” and he’s not bound to it by contract. Even you statists will say that government exists by the consent of the governed, yet I never consented to the laws that I’m compelled by threat of force to follow. The jury should not acquit based on any legal basis. It is the law itself that is arbitrary and immoral. They should not acquit because the police were in the act of initiating force against a man who did them no harm, who meant them no harm. There was no victim, there was no crime, but yet law enforcement took the word of a man who was accused of stealing from another man to invade the home of a peaceful human being. Any person advocating this systematic, state-sanctioned violence is a danger to his fellow man.

  127. ktc2 says:

    It be great if we got a final jury statement a la “Murder in the First”. Of course that just wont happen.

    For those who haven’t seen it, the jury acquits the defendant and then goes on to read a statement that though it will have no effect they find his accuser (Alcatraz prison / Warden) guilty of the crime.

  128. ktc2 says:

    Realistically the best we can hope for IMHO is a hung jury. It only takes one juror with brains and balls. Is 1 out of 12 too much to hope for?

  129. Ganja Blue says:

    I realized there was a critical typo in my previous post. It should read:
    “They [the jury] should acquit because the police were in the act of initiating force against a man who did them no harm, who meant them no harm.”

  130. Jumbo Jim says:

    I saw an earlier comment that I think makes a very valid point… If the search warrant was for a grow operation in the detached garage, why were the CPD detectives busting down the door of the house? I’m sure the warrant was valid for the entire property (house and garage), but if the CPD are hanging their hat on the grow operation being the reason for the raid, then why wasn’t the detached garage the primary target for them, to be sure they could secure the plants they were after?

    Also, I find it telling that Ryan searched for his telephone after the shooting so that he could call 911 to ask for help against the intruders, etc. Obviously if he was trying to call 911, then he didn’t know it was the police outside.

  131. The Central Scrutinizer says:

    we used to jam in joes garage

  132. supercat says:

    Anarchists, like me, don’t believe that any man has the right or authority to govern another man.

    The absence of an effective organized government does not guarantee freedom. Rather it guarantees that the weaker men will be enslaved by the stronger ones. Read the Declaration of Independence. The legitimate purpose of governments is to protect people’s liberties. How do you propose to protect liberties without government?

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