OK, the Trial is Over, What are we going to do about it?

Not about Ryan Frederick’s fate, that is his attorney’s job, but this trial has left us all at far greater risk than before.

Instead of learning form the experience, the police, if their FOP leadership is typical, feel vindicated in their dangerous tactics. The precedent established by this jury’s verdict will not likely be limited to those who are involved with drugs, so everyone will be inhibited in their willingness to aggressively defend their homes. Criminals engaged in home invasions will be emboldened by the knowledge that those upon whom they prey will have to consider the risk of prosecution if they do not allow criminals to enter their homes before resisting.  So, what do we do to set things right?

On the local level, we, as citizens, must reestablish our oversight over the police and demand that their actions be guided by a sense of proportion, that the tactics they employ in enforcing the law are not a greater danger to the public than the crimes they fight.

The first step in this process will be to hold accountable our elected officials. Our city council sets policy on our behalf, so it is through them that citizen oversight must be imposed. To that end, the Tidewater Libertarian Party has authorized me to present the following request at the February 17th, 2009, meeting:

In the months since the tragic death of Det. Jarrod Shivers in the course of serving a search warrant at the home of Ryan Frederick, many questions have arisen regarding procedures of the Chesapeake Police Department. These questions have gone unanswered by the department. The Tidewater Libertarian Party asserts that because all powers granted government to use force on the behalf of the people reside ultimately with the people, it is unacceptable for the agents of government force, the police, to deny the people explanations for their actions when there are legitimate questions as to whether that force has been used with due caution and within the powers granted by the people through our Constitution and law.

  • The tragic and avoidable death of a law enforcement officer.
  • The use of Confidential Informants is an unfortunate necessity in criminal investigations, and particularly so in drug cases, but we question whether it is good public policy to request or issue search warrants based on the unsupported and unsworn allegations of Confidential Informants without some corroboration through independent investigation.
  • Forcible entries in serving search warrants are acceptable police practice only when there is evidence subject to rapid destruction, hostages are in peril, or known, armed, and dangerous criminals are judged to be most safely taken by surprise. The recent trial of Chesapeake resident Ryan Frederick has revealed such forced entries to be the standard practice in serving all drug search warrants in Chesapeake. The Chesapeake Police Department has provided no acceptable explanation for choosing an exceptionally dangerous method of serving a warrant on a citizen with no criminal record over numerous safer and more Constitutionally acceptable methods.
  • We are further concerned by the lack of transparency and consistency on the part of the Chesapeake Police leadership regarding what policy changes might be made to avoid future tragedy. Because we believe the police have taken the position that they need not explain their actions to the public, we hold this that is unacceptable in a free society.

This is the City of Chesapeake, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States of America. The police are answerable to the people, not only to themselves. Our military and our police are subject to civilian control and review. Citizens are owed the truth. The proper first level of that oversight is through our local elected representatives on city council.

We understand that it may be necessary to withhold some tactical policy from the public at large for the protection of police officers, but what information can and cannot be made public is properly the choice of civilian authority, with expert guidance, and not that of those being overseen.

The Tidewater Libertarian Party therefore requests the City of Chesapeake establish a citizen review board consisting of trustworthy citizens chosen by council, but with no connection to the Police Department or city government, to investigate this matter. This citizen review board should have full access to all evidence, record, reviews, and testimony, and report to the City Council, and ultimately, with council approval of sensitive content, to the public, in order to restore the lost trust of the citizens in our police department and to ensure that our police officers and citizens are no longer placed in unnecessary danger.

At the State Level, we need new legislation to strictly limit the circumstances under which forced entry may be used in serving search warrants. Lacking such limits, it has become clear local police forces will escalate the level of force used until tragedy occurs. I would suggest something along the lines of:

Service of a Search Warrant on an occupied dwelling by forced entry shall be deemed reasonable and valid only if the occupants are provided adequate time and opportunity to confirm the officers executing the search are sworn police officers with a lawful warrant unless:

  • The judge or magistrate issuing the warrant authorizes expedited forced entry due to special circumstances limited to –  the suspected presence of easily destroyed evidence, hostages or others in the dwelling in peril, or armed and dangerous criminals reasonably believed to represent a danger to officers or the public if not taken by surprise. The special circumstances must be supported by the requesting officer in his affidavit and entered into the warrant.
  • If exigent circumstances require forced entry not so authorized, an affidavit explaining that change shall be delivered to the issuing judge or magistrate within 48  hours and those affidavits will be made available for public review.

Any warrant served contrary to these rules shall be invalid and all evidence thus obtained shall be excluded.
Such changes will no doubt be resisted by law enforcement, but it is our duty as citizens to place limits on the exercise of government power.

Finally, Virginia needs a Castle Doctrine law enacted. Though in theory, Castle Doctrine exists in Virginia through common law, its application is inconsistent and mounting a defense based on that principle can be crushingly expensive even when successful.

If we accept the jurors’ notion that we cannot resist an invader smashing our door in until after he (or they) have gained entry, so we can get a good look at them, then why bother having a door in the first place? It is unnacceptable that citizens be required to place themselves at such a disadvantage to home invaders. A person forcing entry to an occupied dwelling should be legally presumed to have malicious intent, unless they have confirmed their identity to  the inhabitants as police exercising their duties. Anyone can claim to be the police, and home invaders are known to do so in their assaults. Once they have gained entry, your tactical advantage in defending your home has been lost and you, your spouse and your children are the criminals playthings.

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63 Responses to OK, the Trial is Over, What are we going to do about it?

  1. CEH says:

    Seems reasonable. As far as a citizen review board, I think they should be familiarized, through ride-alongs or the cititzens police academy or some other fashion, with the police function and the realities of conducting law enforcement in Chesapeake today. Search warrants are just a small part of what a PD does. The more familiar a citizen is with police work, the better they can make a fair assessment of an officer’s actions. When you go before the City, remind them one of their core values, as listed on their website, is “Accountability”.

  2. Scooby Doo says:

    CEH,
    Just from reading your posts, I have an increasing distrust of police tactics. You express the deep seeded mistrust that the police have for citizens.
    The unintended consequences of your blunt force
    rhetoric do much to drive home Dr. Tabors points.
    Thanks.

  3. ktc2 says:

    Ultimately nothing will be done. There may be some temporary change such as with Atlanta’s PD which last just long enough for public outcry to subside.

    Look at this piece:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/washington/31scotus.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

    The take away really is “Professor Karlan said, ‘you are not going to see any dimension along which there is going to be an expansion of defendants’ rights in this court'”

    So what to do when an occupying army (police, FBI, DEA, etc., etc.) is placed above the law and allowed to run amock to terrorize and kill citizens?

    It seems that this very question came up 233 years ago. Things will continue to get worse until ultimately the same solution is finally applied. Right now Americans are still too fat and comfortable to care about much of anything but it’s changing.

    Of course there’s always the Jim Bell solution (which I do not advocate).

  4. CEH says:

    I can’t win for losing. “Police Tactics” and “Blunt force rhetoric”, I don’t get it. You’ve taken my comment and placed it under some sinister light. Makes you wonder why the police have little confidence that a group of lay citizens will give them a fair shake. Because I have disagreed with some of the conclusions some have had over the past few weeks/months (mainly that the CPD is corrupt) should not negate the fact that I agree things should have been done differently. I suggest you go back and re-read my posts.

  5. Jon Wong says:

    1. The law is, NOW, that when you use information provided by a confidential informant as a basis for a search warrant that the officer has to articulate that the CI’s information has proven reliable (correct) in the past.
    2. In most drug cases the evidence is subject to rapid destruction and under the current case law druggies are presumed to be armed and dangerous.
    3. The law is, NOW, that the police must get a special “no knock” warrant.
    4. Do you think that the police should publish in the newspaper all of their confidential investigative techniques?
    5. According to RF’s taped interview, he heard the knocking but complained that the cops didn’t give him enough time to answer the door. But he had enough time to get his gun and make ready to shoot.
    6. RF also admitted on tape he was distributing drugs to people and had a gun. Doesn’t that go to prove that the case law is correct,”that dope dealers ARE usually armed and dangerous”. RF certainly WAS. He killed the officer for what ever reason.
    7. The CPD didn’t try to kick the door in first. They knocked. RF didn’t answer the door. The raid commander yelled “8 Ball”. As a signal they were compromised. What did they do wrong?
    8. RF is damn lucky that the judge didn’t change venue for the trial because the jury pool had been poisoned against the prosecution by all of the sympathetic press. What was her reasoning anyway? Oh..I know…the prosecution can’t immediately appeal that decision to not change venue. Maybe she was chicken that she might get reversed on appeal later by the defense. When was the last time anyone was convicted of Capital Murder and given the death penalty in Chesapeake? (The 1930’s ?) Your fine jurors didn’t even convict and deal the death penalty to the vicious serial sniper killer Malveau, who took great joy in killing each of his victims. Could anyone reasonably think your jurors would convict RF or anyone else for murder for killing a cop?
    9. The CPD should think twice about ever putting their lives on the line to defend you, if they know the will be no JUSTICE for the killer!
    10. If you think that the Castle Doctrine will protect a home owner if the home owner blindly shoots through a door and kills anyone…Then you are smoking crack! You’ll be on trial for murder next!

    • Don Tabor says:

      Mr. Wong,

      Are you posting from someplace outside Virginia, like the moon?

      There are no no-knock warrants in Virginia. The method for serving the warrant is left to the police, which has proved disastrous.

      The CI in this case had been paid $50 for providing information on ONE prior case. Though the affidavit for the warrant speaks of previous buys and incidents, when you read more carefully, they refer to the Detective’s previous experience, not necessarily with this informant, and not in the course of investigating Frederick, though a careless reading by a compliant magistrate would not pick that up.

      So, though the magistrate was duped in the application for this warrant, there have been no consequences for the detective nor the CI for this tragedy.

  6. Scooby Doo says:

    All the sympathetic press? Hardee har har har! To the moon, Alice!

  7. ktc2 says:

    As I pointed out before there have been well documented cases of LEOs firing blindly, even through walls and killing and maiming innocents and they get off EVERY TIME.

    As long as this double standard exists where the law only applies to non cops none of us are safe and we should not be silent.

  8. Len Rothman says:

    Jon Wong,

    What did they do wrong when they yelled “8 ball”? You have got to be kidding. Did they mean for RF to come to the door and answer the knock or not? Were they compromised because he knew someone was at the door?
    The police tried very hard to conceal their identity and presence, but wanted him to come answer the door…don’t you see the paradox in that.
    The police panicked, and one of them yelled “8 ball” as he was coming to the door. A gross mistake.
    What they should have done was to make sure he knew they were police, with lights, bullhorns, etc.

    Of course, what they really should have done was serve the warrant to him as he went to work, on his porch.

    That would have been the smart, prudent and certainly safer method.

  9. ScottLee says:

    I’m certainly suprised no National Coverage has been involved on this story. Doesn’t this dramatically impact 2nd ammendment rights?

    • Don Tabor says:

      I think it does affect second amendment rights in the sense that having a firearm for self defense is of little use if the law is going to require you to give an home invader first shot, which is the result if we must wait until our doors have been defeated by unknown persons.

      Realistic law would allow us to presume someone breaching our door to have malicious intent unless they have clearly demonstrated otherwise. Anyone can shout “Police” as they force entry to your home. If you have to wait to stop them until you can determine otherwise, you are probably dead.

  10. Jon Wong says:

    Dr. T…
    Next time the Chesapeake Police need to serve a search warrant, they should give you and your coterie of whining, malcontent bloggers the papers to serve. ( Better yet, maybe some of the jurors in RF’s case should be the first ones in the door at the dope dealer’s crib?) Then if one of you all get killed, maybe the jurors in Chesapeake would return a verdict of guilty for murder. Cause it sure seems that the jurors don’t care about your police too much. I’ve been teaching use of deadly force to police departments for over 20 years. I would never presume to tell you how to drill teeth. Like I said, go ahead and shoot blindly through your door and try and use the Castle Doctrine as your defense. You’ll make Bubba a real nice wife.

  11. ktc2 says:

    Unless your a cop not even in your own home Jon Wong, in which case you’ll get off totally free. Of course, I guess you don’t see a problem there.

  12. ScottLee says:

    Jon Wong:

    What would’ve been an acceptable verdict to you?

  13. John Wilburn says:

    At this point in time, all of us, regardless of where we stand on the Frederick case, mourn the loss of Detective Jarrod Shivers.

    It is sad to say, but I believe that within 5 to 10 years, citizens will be dancing in the streets, whenever a police officer is shot and killed.

    And the police will have brought it on themselves…

  14. Len Rothman says:

    Jon Wong,
    You are defending the indefensible. No one is disputing the rare need for a police capable of making a forced entry in the rare and special circumstances that may warrant such action.
    What the police knew in advance, is what we all know now.
    He was not a big time drug dealer, had no record, the only evidence, absolutely the only evidence, was the word of Wright, who committed a burglary to get the evidence, which, by the way, never appeared anywhere.
    I could give the police your address and tell them I saw you committing felonies. I would be more credible.
    Then when they arrive at night, in stealth, knock on the screen door (no one heard the “announce”, even the cops around the house heard nothing other than the knock) and smash in your door panel just as you neared the door, I wonder what your reaction would be, armed or unarmed. You teach the stuff, I would bet you would at least be shocked, stunned and possibly fire at the visible people smashing in your door. And you are a pro, not a civilian trying to get from getting killed.

  15. Scooby Doo says:

    “coterie of whining, malcontent bloggers”
    I like that, I think I’ll put it on my business card.

  16. KennJ says:

    Police need to use common sense when they are performing the duties that the citizens pay them to do. Protect and Serve needs to become a reality rather than a slogan.
    Drugs need to be decriminalized and controlled by the state to end this foolishness. Until than we will see this type of thing happen over and over for no good reason poisoning the relationship between the citizens and authorities.
    Thank you Harry Anslinger

  17. Jones says:

    I think the title of this article should be “OK, the trial is over, What are we going to do now?” Tabor the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give you the right to shoot through closed doors at unknown people!! I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment however when you purchase a gun a serious responsibility is accepted. Does anyone who objectively looked at this case really think RF was a responsible gun owner? If people think because they are scared inside their homes, they have the right to shoot at something outside, that they can’t identify, we are endangering people everywhere.

  18. Jones says:

    Also while reading these blogs I noticed everyone likes to say we should save such raids for these super rare occasions. Occasions when bad guys are super bad or have flushable narcotics, or hostages. Well I think you’re all a little naive on just how often that occurs. The police due search warrants on gang members with guns and drugs all the time. It’s more often someone with a laundry list criminal history than it is someone like RF. RF was a uniquely non-threatening situation. Most however are very dangerous and these uses of force are going to continue for that valid reason.

    • Don Tabor says:

      No, the 2nd Amendment is not the source of our right to defend our homes, it merely guarantees the means. The right to defend your home arises from English Common Law, upon which much of Virginia’s law is based, and has its origins in the Magna Carta.

      We have right to defend ourselves if we have a reasonable belief we are in peril of serious harm at the hands of another. For most of the history of this country, it has been the common law presumption that a person breaking into an occupied dwelling could be assumed to intend serious harm. It is only very recently that this has been questioned. So, passing a Castle Doctrine law in Virginia is necessary in order to codify what, up until now, we could safely rely upon through common law.

  19. CharlesWT says:

    “It’s more often someone with a laundry list criminal history than it is someone like RF. RF was a uniquely non-threatening situation. Most however are very dangerous and these uses of force are going to continue for that valid reason.”

    I.e., the ends justify the means. Never mind a little collateral damage here and there.

  20. KennJ says:

    Jones wrote “f people think because they are scared inside their homes, they have the right to shoot at something outside, that they can’t identify, we are endangering people everywhere.”
    The point you are either missing or trying to ignore is that the people outside were coming into the house without the owners consent or knowledge thereby giving him the right to protect his home and person from unknown intruders. Also if you can flush several pot plants and the containers they are in more power to you. You have one heck of a commode.

  21. wtf says:

    Well put Jones.
    RF is certainly innocent as charged but none the less guilty of something.Involuntary manslaughter with a time served sentance due to the CPD handling of the entire case.
    There is always going to come a point in every case were people are going to have to make quick decisions.We as a whole have to come together to analize these fine lines and adopt new precedent.It sounds like this proposal would be a good start.

  22. Beth says:

    Dr. Tabor, these are excellent points and obviously well thought out.

    I’m not a police basher. I do have respect for them and in spite of being victimized myself by the police, I still want to believe that they are there for our protection. However, I can assure you, don’t look to internal affairs for help. So for that reason, I am totally in support of a citizen’s group.

  23. juris imprudent says:

    The CPD didn’t try to kick the door in first. They knocked. RF didn’t answer the door. The raid commander yelled “8 Ball”. As a signal they were compromised. What did they do wrong?

    That’s great Jon Wong – which is it, a stealth raid compromised or they just didn’t wait long enough for RF to answer the door having clearly made their presence known? You seem to think it is both, which is about as logically consistent as the rest of your thoughts on the law.

    No-knock and other “dynamic entry” was introduced not to save hostages, etc. – but to insure that dope was not being flushed down the toilet. Think about that for a minute – who could flush all the evidence in under a minute, a dealer or someone with a personal stash? Hell, that case was before low-flow toilets, it makes even less sense today!

    Vice cops are really the only ones I have a beef with, and only because they are doing a job that should not be done. F*&k the state and the phony moralists (who are mostly hypocrites to boot) using the state to enforce their cheap beliefs.

  24. Opinions do not matter anymore. says:

    Drug dealers should be able to dedend their homes, police should be able to defend our children. Why don’t you grab a real soapbox. This whole RF thing does not help your cause. Steven Wright said he had plants, RF said he had plants, between the two potheads the plants dissapeared. RF answered his door with a gunshot, tell us something we don’t know. RF backed the statement of SW. Move the chains folks. Just by stating drugs should be legal does not make them. Believe me if they were legal LE would be happy not to have to deal with drugs and guns. With that said why don’t you get a bus and put all 25 people on this blog on it and go change the laws. See the people on here don’t represent the 250,000 people of Chesapeake.

  25. Britt Howard says:

    I don’t get it………

    On THIS THREAD you have a post by CEH that is reasoned and he even agrees that review boards are a good idea. He makes a few other points suggestion wise but, for some reason CEH gets hammered for what he supposedly said elsewhere in the blog.

    Don’t punish someone for agreeing with you!

    Then you get the “Death Penalty” for Shivers crowd ignoring what really happend and writing a make belive tale about RF being about the same as the hardened criminals.

    While I disagreed with Jon Wong in previous threads, I never recalled any that were so far fetched and not connected to reality. Taught the use of deadly force for 20 years? Obviously you didn’t teach “no-knock” because you got that point among many others flat wrong.

    You know Jon Wong I’m no damn dentist but, if a dentist started drilling on me without novacaine/lidacaine there would be hell to pay! Yes, you CAN tell a professional how to do THEIR job if their behavior is beyond reason. Same goes for some holier than thou instructor.

    But guess what Jon Wong, not many dentists end up in shoot outs with people trying to go to sleep. No forced entry root canals! But you go ahead. You go and think that police bungling a warrant and a dentist are the same thing. There are sensible people on your side of this issue and you just ruin it with bizarre listings of non-sense.

    My frustrations aside, I’d like to re-iterate that eventhough I disagree strongly with how the RF case was handled, I am a strong supporter of LE. I do absolutely feel for Mrs. Shivers and family. Nobody deserved to die. Shivers was a good man trying to do his job and feed a family. I absolutely am concerned about citizens rights that have been highlighted but, I am also deeply concerned about needlessly endangering the lives of our Law Enforcement Officers. They deserve better.

    I personally want to thank each officer that protects us individuals from “Force and Fraud”. Thank you for saving lives and protecting our property every day.

  26. Price says:

    Well thought out proposal. I would not be in favor of a total citizen board there needs to be at least one active or even retired LE on the board.

    As for the 48 hours for the return of an affidavit back to issuing judge. There needs to be verbage for an extension if required.

    • Don Tabor says:

      Price, I would not argue against having someone with LE expertise participate in fact finding, though I would want to retain true citizen independence for such an inquiry.

      But I really don’t see any need for more than 48 hours for an officer to report the unexpected necessity of a forced entry back to the issuing judge. What circumstances would require more time? For example, if a hostage situation developed, or evidence developed that a number of unexpected gang members proved to be present, how long could it take to write that down and send it to the judge?

      If there are good reasons not apparent to me, then fine, but if we are talking about delaying till a trial is over or something like that, I would oppose that kind of extension.

  27. Scooby Doo says:

    You can behead drug addicts and you will still have drug addicts.
    The greatest success governments have shown in confronting drug addiction has been through medical intervention.
    LE is not even the right profession to deal with this societal problem.
    The war on drugs is a miserable failure.
    Why do some LEOs and their “coterie of whining, malcontent bloggers” refuse to acknowledge the documented successes of a benign drug policies.

  28. John Wilburn says:

    Scooby Doo –

    Probably because the wannabe storm-troopers within police departments like to play with guns, shoot dogs and rough people up…

    After all, they’re our heroes…

  29. Scooby Doo says:

    On deaf ears?
    January 14, 2009
    El Paso, TX — On Tuesday the El Paso City Council voted, 4-4, to sustain the mayor’s veto of a resolution calling for a national debate on drug legalization as a solution to the cartel violence problem plaguing sister city Cuidad Juarez, just across the Mexico border.
    Three of the four council members voting to uphold the mayor’s silencing of the discussion said on the record during council deliberations that they did so only because Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) and the city’s state legislative delegation sent letters raising the possibility that El Paso would lose federal and state money should it continue insisting that legalization is a debatable solution to illegal drug trade violence.
    More:
    http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php

  30. John Wilburn says:

    Price –

    Verbage – n. A deliberate misspelling and mispronunciation of verbiage that assimilates it to the word `garbage’.

    So, is this another of your witticisms, or do you need a proof-reader?

  31. Scooby Doo says:

    Using the word(?) verbage.
    One of the side effects of drinking the cool-aide in an echo chamber?

  32. Price says:

    John,

    Thank you for correcting my error, I was up late. Please accept my thank you. I hope I never see you dancing in the streets.

    Dr. Tabor,

    I would not allow a delay until a trial is over, that is if there is a trial. The extra time would only be accepted in extreme cases that might require further investigations. How about this, a judge can order extra days, if the judge feels that more information is required for a complete investigation relative to the warrant. As for the citizens review board, CEH is on the right track. People on the board should have to know how the job works. To many people base their opinions and beliefs on TV police shows.

    • Don Tabor says:

      Price,

      “To(o) many people base their opinions and beliefs on TV police shows.”

      I think the problem may be that too many police departments are basing their procedures on TV police shows. But certainly a citizen review board should have the benefit of expert advice.

      I think we may be talking about different things on the delay issue. What I am talking about would be exigent circumstances that were not known when the warrant was requested but would meet the criteria for a forced entry had they been known. Something like:

      “At the time the warrant was requested, we believed only marijuana plants were present in the home, but witnessed a sale of what appeared to be a soluble narcotic shortly before serving the warrant.”

      or

      “At the time we requested the warrant, we believed the occupant to be alone, but shortly before we arrived, and officer watching the home saw several known gang members with records of violence enter the home.”

      I don’t see why an exigent circumstance like those would require any investigation. They are simply observable events that would have justified the special warrant had they been known earlier.

      I included that phrase in the proposal specifically to allow law enforcement a way to be flexible and then provide justification after the fact.

  33. Jones says:

    Tabor I understand the right to protect your home, that’s not the point. I also understand the right to defend yourself. None of this is the point. It comes down to these fine lines where someone is in fear and you have to establish if he is in enough fear of his life that he can justify deadly force. We can’t make laws that so greatly protect our “Castle” that we can shoot anyone trespassing on it. There are just too many scenario’s where people can mistakenly get hurt because they are perceived to be a threat. Before someone shoots at anyone they need to have the courage to make sure they know what they are doing. RF didn’t have that courage and that’s why he prematurely shot through the door. I have guns and you better be damn sure if it seems like someone is breaking into my house I’m going to set up and aim that gun right at them. When I verify they are a true threat to me and my family, I’m unloading.

  34. Britt Howard says:

    I would think the review board made up of non-Law Enforcement would want to make informed judgements. Therefore, I would think they would need to understand the job. To understand as best as feasibly possible, I would think some of CEH’s suggestions and a non-voting advisory panel of LE should be made available to the Citizen Review Board as reference.

    Along with any conclusions the Citizen Review Board came to,they could also issue statements given to them be the advisory panel if desired.

    I agree with Dr. Tabor that the review board should be non-LE only. After all, what is the purpose of being accountable to the citizens, if the board is compromised of members that are part of the entity to be reviewed?

  35. Britt’s suggestion of a non-voting advisory panel is precisely what’s needed to address Price’s concern. On previous occasions, I expressed a solution of a LEO advisor, but a panel would, in many ways be better. I also suggested a non-voting attorney and a private investigator to be at the CRB’s disposal.

    Price, having LEO’s voting in a CRB would miss the point completely. The opportunity for the police commanders to exercise oversight is before a case ever comes under review of a CRB. The necessary citizen oversight needs to be free of those internal pressures, completely.

  36. Opinions do not matter anymore. says:

    You need some type of LEO involved, now I am not reaching. If you have no knoweledge base your subject to the opinions of, let’s say the retail clerk. Sounds like you want to form a jury. Pillars of the community are just as supseptible to coruption. Assuming a panel is formed and make a dicision you don’t agree with then what? See people always have their opinions….. A board is not concrete. No pun intended.

  37. Scooby Doo says:

    Subjecting citizens to the same authoritarian programming, rhetoric and hyperbole as the police defeats the purpose of citizens review.
    LEOs have plenty of spin doctors and FOP talking heads. Learn to listen and don’t be so defensive,
    it could save your life or even keep you from tazering
    a defenseless disabled woman.

  38. Price says:

    Doc,

    I think we were talking about different delays. I agree with what you said. Basically, if circumstances change the way the way the warrant was served it has be explained back to the judge with in 48 hours.

  39. CEH says:

    Scooby Doo, I don’t know what your profession is. Maybe there are no liability issues associated with it. If that’s the case, let any Tom, Dick or Mary review your performance, even if they don’t have a clue what you do, and you take their word as gospel if you want. There is quite a bit of liability associated with law enforcement (as we all know) and many other professions, such as dentistry. I’m sure Doc Tabor would not like for his actions to be judged by a group of citizens with no practical knowledge of dentistry. Why should law enforcement be expected to be judged by folks with no knowledge of a particular their procedures or the law? They don’t need to be indoctrinated, but they do need to be familiarized with policies, procedures, SOPs, local and state law, case law, and, most importantly, the practical application of all of them. That is the only way (maybe), in my opinion, you will get support for such an initiative from a local PD.

    • Don Tabor says:

      CEH,

      I would be delighted to have input from the Chesapeake police Dept. We have been asking them to explain their choices for over a year but have received nothing but stonewalling and criticism for even daring to ask.

      According to the Chief, they did nothing wrong and will make no changes other than buying better body armor. I’m sorry if it hurts anyone’s feelings but simply taking steps to insure that in such a confrontation it is the citizen who dies instead of the officer is not an acceptable answer to me or to any citizen I know.

      We cannot have any confidence that the police have learned anything from this tragedy when they will not even concede that they made some poor choices. No one expects the police to be perfect and never make a mistake, but we do expect that when mistakes are made, they be acknowledged and the public told what will be done to insure they are not repeated.

      Further, though I am not trained in police procedures, I do understand our Constitution and the relationship between government and its citizens, and apparently I understand them a lot better than anyone at the CPD.

      That does not place me at a disadvantage. I don’t know how the transmission on my car works, but I know when it is not functioning properly and where to go to get it fixed.

  40. Britt Howard says:

    CEH, Doc Tabor is judged every day by citizens that don’t know the difference between canines and incisors. They’re called patients. He also gets evaluated by insurance companies. Everyone gets reviewed by lawyers if they cause damage. How many lawyers can perform a root canal?

    Your point that any review board should be able to make informed decisions however, is well taken. I definitely would want every resource available. The board would need to be able to ask a LEO why this procedure is performed this way etc.

    For Scooby Doo and Opinions, yes your everyday citizen is just as corruptable as a politician. This is especially so after forming relationships and listening to the spin etc. Citizen boards can also just end up as rubber stamps. The review board should hold dear its ability to be objective and understand there will be attempt to influence. A board comprised of citizens informed of potential influence and corrupted objectivity should be at least a decent start. They should be able to handle some of the spin that comes with the education. With out some sort of presentation of the facts of police work how can they possibly make an informed decision? Rick makes some good points about attorneys and PIs.

  41. CEH says:

    Britt, I agree with you and you are correct. Police officers also conduct their daily activities in fish bowls, constantly under public scrutiny, their customers(or more appropriately employers)are the citizens who they serve. When something goes wrong or is alleged to have gone wrong, it is certainly nice to know those who will be in the decision making process have some basis on which to make a fair judgement.

  42. CEH says:

    Doc, I won’t disagree with you. The Constitution is the blueprint for what our government is supposed to be about. But (there’s always a but) you’ve got to remember the multitude of case law decisions and various laws that have been put into place by which many (all?) police department’s operate under. I don’t know that our society will ever get from under them, as much as Constitutional purists would like for us to. The small paragraph that makes up the 4th Amendment has been interpreted and transformed into reams and volumes of case law. Law enforcement procedures are geared around what the courts will allow the police to “get away with”. Libertarians may not like it, but that is reality. I am a proponent for always doing what is best (quality), not what is merely acceptable, but many are not. Being the best takes more time and costs more in resources ($$$). This is rhetorical (to us – Scooby), but why do more if the minimum is acceptable to the courts, politicians and those members of society (the vast majority of us) who have not been on the receiving end of only the “merely acceptable”?

    If you look at the RF case in that light, can you perhaps see why a Chief of Police is hesitant to say his department did something wrong? I think you need to change tactics and see if an admission that things could have been done better is possible. If all of their search warrants by special investigations are all done the same way, and only this one turned out so badly, I doubt the PD will ever admit they do it “wrong”. Statistically speaking, they would be foolish to do so. Getting them to admit things can and will be done “better” in the future is a much more plausible approach in my opinion, for what its worth.

  43. supercat says:

    Tabor the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give you the right to shoot through closed doors at unknown people!!

    RF shot through a hole in a breached door. He didn’t know the names of the people outside, but he did know:
    They had made no real effort to identify themselves.
    They were trying to bash their way into his house.
    They were in imminent danger of succeeding.
    People who would smash into an occupied dwelling without endeavoring to identify themselves would almost certainly assault him.
    Such people would be unlikely to break into an occupied dwelling unless they were armed and prepared to shoot him if he sought to defend himself.

    It seems to me that RF had every reason to believe his life was in imminent danger, and that his greatest chance for survival lay in shooting through the hole in the door. Even in retrospect, I’d say RF may have been entirely correct in his assessment. The only sequence of events that would have had a 95% chance of both Mr. Frederick and Mr. Shivers surviving would have been for Mr. Frederick to drop his gun even before he had any reason to believe the people breaching his door were police; for anyone in Mr. Frederick’s position to do that would have been stupid. Otherwise, the police would likely have noticed that Mr. Frederick was armed before he could identify them as police, and his murder would have been chalked up as a so-called “righteous kill”.

    What course of action should Mr. Frederick have taken that would not have greatly reduced his chances of survival?

  44. supercat says:

    The Constitution is the blueprint for what our government is supposed to be about.

    It’s more than that. It’s a guide for citizens to know whether the people in government are acting legitimately. Some people (especially those in government) seem to think it’s just some friendly advice. Unfortunately, that attitude allows totalitarian anarchists to flourish.

    If tyranny can be prevented without civil war, then by all means that should be done. Upholding the Constitution, however, is worth any cost. The millions that may die in a civil war would be a small cost to pay for the lives of the tens or hundreds of millions whose lives would be forfeit under tyranny.

  45. supercat says:

    If all of their search warrants by special investigations are all done the same way, and only this one turned out so badly, I doubt the PD will ever admit they do it “wrong”.

    I guess it depends whether the times that innocents are killed by cops get counted as “turning out so badly”. Or, for that matter, whether the times that cops wantonly destroy $100 or more of innocent people’s property get counted as turning out “badly” at all.

  46. Jumbo Jim says:

    I wonder. . .

    In thinking about today’s disasterous investment environment, I wonder if just anyone can go buy a life insurance policy on snitches like Wright, Turnbull, Skeeter, etc, because I imagine their life expectancies aren’t what they used to be.
    (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting anything illegal or harmful, just stating the obvious – that these guys have some nefarious enemies.)

  47. Scooby Doo says:

    Ryan Frederick had what you might call a citizen’s review of police procedure.

    • Don Tabor says:

      Sooby,

      “Ryan Frederick had what you might call a citizen’s review of police procedure.”

      You have a basic misunderstanding of the issue. Regardless of Frederick’s guilt or innocence, the method by which the warrant was obtained violates the soul if not the letter of the Forth Amendment and the means of serving the warrant were reckless and disproportionate to the danger his activities posed to the community. The citizens of Chesapeake have the right and the duty to review these matters and instruct their police on how our laws will be enforced.

      The police are charged with enforcing the laws as written, but there is no requirement that they do it in a manner that places both police and citizens at unnecessary risk. Further, that such methods are practiced in other jurisdictions is no reason why they should be used in Chesapeake. It is up to us to determine how much risk and intrusion on liberty we are willing to accept in the enforcement of laws on victimless crimes.

      Growing a small amount of marijuana is a crime under current law, and Frederick should have been issued a ticket and fined for doing so, if it could be done safely. But can any rational person argue it was worth placing a policeman’s or a citizen’s life at risk to prevent Frederick from growing a little marijuana for personal use?

      Our efforts in enforcing laws should be proportionate to the danger those crimes create for the community.

  48. Opinions do not matter anymore. says:

    If your transmission is not working you take it to a transmission shop, good point DT. You don’t take it to a panel of clerks, dentist, and police to see what’s wrong with it.

    Your asking for another jury if your desired results are not obtained.

    I have left the dentist in pain, I did not stop in the waiting room to form a panel of patients to play guess work.

    • Don Tabor says:

      Opie,

      I accidentally deleted your post about 8 to 10 pounds not being a small operation (the reply and delete buttons are both red) it was my mistake, you are not being censored.

      In any case, he had 8 or 10 immature plants which according to our independent experts would have yielded much less than that and according to those with actual experience, would not have supplied even one regular user. That estimate is confirmed by the fact that the small amount Frederick had in possession was purchased while waiting the several months he had left before harvesting his crop.

      The police expert used a per plant estimate based on outdoor plants grown in tropical locations.

      Which, of course, doesn’t really matter as had he had 8 to 10 tons, the method used to obtain the warrant still makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment and the means of service were still reckless and unjustified.

  49. Scooby Doo says:

    Dr.Tabor, I was being sarcastic. I agree with you on this issue 100%.
    I think Frederick acted appropriately, the warrant was bogus and “eight ball” is a contradiction of expressed intent by the police.

  50. Britt Howard says:

    CEH, I like your statements about “Best Quality” vs. the bare minimum. Everyone faces co-workers that rather do the minimum and collect their checks. Work ethic and pride escape some.

    I also appreciate your point that if we care more about reform then asking what can be done “better” to prevent the obvious cost paid might be a better approach. I have argued before in this blog that we need LE support to fix this. Nobody in the CPD wanted this and it is something they’d like to avoid in the future. I still insist that “they were wrong” in how the RF case was carried out. Shivers died. Ryan’s life was ruined. However, rhetoric certainly could be softened in the aftermath if that would facilitate getting a better quality performance that LE and the citizenry can be proud of.

  51. Booker says:

    I think, in terms of expecting CPD to admit that they made a mistake, we are missing an important point.

    Up until now, no mention has been made of any possible “wrongful death” lawsuit(s) which might be filed by, or on behalf of, Mrs. Shivers or the Shivers family. At this point, an admission from CPD that they did anything wrong would seem to be an extreme liability if and when such a suit is brought.

    To ask for a thorough review of current policy (I know, this supposedly has occurred; yet we may never get to see it’s conclusions), with room for “improvements”, might provide a path for positive change without the stipulation of admitting culpability.

    As much as I hate compromise, I think it is important to recognize the reality of the situation, and to try to enact change within the framework available.

    Thanks Dr. Tabor for your efforts on behalf of so many who will not speak up.

    • Don Tabor says:

      I really doubt that there will be a wrongful death suit, and I hope there won’t be.

      If there were, the CPD would be placed in the position of having to prove Det. Shivers was himself at least partly at fault. Its bad enough they have made RF a scapegoat, I would not want to see the same happen to a fallen officer who is not here to defend himself.

      I still believe a citizen review board inquiry, with the appropriately depersonalized results published at the end, to be the best way to exercise citizen oversight and control of our police department. In the end, the failures were not of incompetent individuals, but of individuals working within a deeply flawed system. The system can be fixed without trashing the individuals.

  52. Scooby Doo says:

    A wrongful death civil suit would allow for greater scrutiny of the CPD and the actions of Det. Roberts and Det. Shivers. Better think twice!

  53. supercat says:

    At this point, an admission from CPD that they did anything wrong would seem to be an extreme liability if and when such a suit is brought.

    While I can hardly speak for others who may end up on civil juries, I would certainly view rather more charitably a recognition that “We endeavor to have safe procedures, but unfortunately it’s not always possible to know that procedures need fixing until things go wrong; things did go wrong in this case, so we’ve adjusted procedures to prevent it in future”, than a claim that “What we did was completely reasonable, and only a moron or anarchist would think otherwise”.

    The police acted recklessly in this case. They have probably acted just as recklessly many times in the past and will continue to do so in the future. That they’ve escaped accountability for their recklessness in the past does not entitle them to any expectation that they’ll keep getting lucky.

  54. supercat says:

    If there were, the CPD would be placed in the position of having to prove Det. Shivers was himself at least partly at fault. Its bad enough they have made RF a scapegoat, I would not want to see the same happen to a fallen officer who is not here to defend himself.

    Like you, I would regard the scapegoating of Det. Shivers as an unpleasant and loathsome business–one which, on a gut level, I would rather not see happen.

    On the other hand, the tendency to regard fallen police officers as “heroes”, regardless of the circumstances of their death, probably contributes to the continued recklessness of police practices. While I highly doubt that most cops particularly want to be martyred, I suspect that many cops would fear martyrdom far less than they would fear an ignoble death. If cops were put on notice that unreasonable conduct will yield the latter result, I suspect strongly that they’d quickly clean up their act.

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