Twenty-five Seconds

I know the title is somewhat cryptic, but since this will be largely about confusion and uncertainty, that is as it should be.

Prior to bringing in the jury, Judge Arrington dealt with motions filed yesterday. The ruling on the  mistrial request was delayed at request of the defense pending upcoming testimony.The Jury view of the house is scheduled for Monday.

The Prosecution began its case today by calling Det. Shivers’ wife, Nicole, to testify about her life with her deceased husband and about his education and experience. She had no information to offer relevant to the case, but perhaps testifying will help bring her peace of mind, and it was certain the prosecution would find some way bring emotion into the case.

The bulk of the day was made up of testimony from officers who participated in the raid or were supervisors.  First was Capt. James Dunlap, commander of the Special Investigations unit which handles Chesapeake’s drug enforcement and who was Shivers supervisor. He pretty much repeated the history Mrs. Shivers had chronicled, but did reveal under cross examination that the raid on Frederick’s home had been carried out by the Special Investigations unit and not SWAT because Frederick was not regarded as dangerous.

After his testimony, Det. Kylie Roberts testified both about the warrant and the service of that warrant which led to Det. Shiver’s death.  I will leave reporting on the Warrant for later, as I suspect more facts on that topic will come out tomorrow and proceed with the events leading up to the evening of Det. Shiver’s death.

In addition to Det. Roberts, other officers at the front door testified, including Det. Michael Barone, who wielded the battering ram, Det. Sgt. Scott Chambers who was the team leader at the site (though the planner of the raid was Roberts), Det. Jennifer Walker, who gave the most clear and precise testimony of the group, and Det. James Duncan.

Their testimony was very similar, and I do believe they factually reported the incident as they saw it, so I will summarize their testimony as a group and only specify names where there was a discrepancy or unique insight. Though I believe they reported the facts accurately, they did so from their point of view, and thus, their interpretation of the facts is inherently faulty, as self defense must be determined from Frederick’s point of view.

About an hour before the raid, Det. Roberts briefed the officers on his plan for the raid. I’m not going to play nice and call it ‘serving the warrant’ because it was, from the beginning, a raid. In fact, the van which they used to carry a portion of the team the the raid was referred to by Det. Jennifer Walker as “the Raid Van” because that’s what they used it for. The raid was divided into two teams, nine officers for the front door and seven for the detached garage. The plan was to conduct simultaneous “Knock and Announce” entries in case there was also someone in the garage.  Roberts made a point of saying that they knew Frederick owned a firearm and that there was no easily destroyed evidence in the house, so there would be no need to rush and Frederick could be given plenty of time to answer the door and for them to be certain he knew it was the police.

They arrived in the Raid Van and one unmarked and one marked car. None were parked where they could have been seen by Frederick. The two teams stealthily got into their positions. At the front door, Roberts and Barone were on the porch with Shivers three steps down at the base of the steps and six other officers lined up behind him.  A great deal was made of what they were wearing, including helmets with police printed on them. I don’t see what difference that makes since Frederick was never given the opportunity to see them.

Roberts started the knock and announce process by knocking on the glass storm door, not the wooden door itself, knocking three times and shouting “Chesapeake Police Search Warrant Open the Door.” Prosecutor Ebert had Roberts demonstrate the process and I noted that when Roberts shouts, his voice breaks (if you heard him on channel 10, you will know what I mean) even shouting, his voice is not penetrating. Even the female Det. Walker has a much louder shout. At this point a problem was becoming clear to me. The first two knock and announce cycles were knocking on the closed storm door, which got the dogs barking to cover Roberts high pitched, non-penetrating voice. Under those conditions, I seriously doubt Frederick could have heard anything other than the dogs. Roberts must have been aware of that possibility, because he then opened the storm door but was unable to reach the door to knock on it again while holding the door on the narrow porch, and knocked instead on the vinyl trim outside the door, also unlikely to be effective. Barone lowered the battering ram so he could knock on the door itself. That was likely the first effective knock.There were five knock and announce cycles altogether.

The team leader said he counted seconds and that 25 seconds elapsed between the first knock and the battering ram striking the door. With the first three cycles being ineffective and the dogs by that time going nuts it is unlikely that Frederick could have heard anything until 10 seconds or less before the ram came through the door and then only the knocking, never Robert’s voice.

Shortly after Barone’s knocks, one of Frederick’s dogs poked his head through the curtains in the window to the right of the door. Det. Walker saw the dog, but Det. Roberts interpreted the movement of the curtain as someone looking out but not opening the door. Det. Duncan saw a change in the light coming through the window to the left and interpreted that as someone looking out the window, though other officers only saw that as a shadow falling across the curtains from an undetermined distance within the house. Duncan shouted “8-ball” a code that the operation was compromised but the team leader Chambers ordered the others to disregard the code and “give him more time” though he gave the order to breach the door himself only five seconds later. Confusion had overcome judgment.

Barone then attempted to breach the door, but missed the lock and instead knocked the lower right panel, just less than 1/4 of the total area of the door into the house, with the ram following it partway into the room. Barone withdrew the ram but before he could strike a second time, he and several other officers heard a ‘soft pop’ which they were initially unsure was a gunshot. That round came out through the opening of the shattered panel and fatally wounded Det. Shivers. A few seconds later, they heard a second soft pop, which was Frederick’s accidental discharge of a second round (which made the previously unexplained hole in the wall) as he retreated toward the rear of the house.  Both Walker and Duncan saw Frederick’s bare feet and blue pajama pants running toward the door as the panel was knocked out and Duncan saw Frederick’s retreat through the broken out panel.

The police then withdrew to tend to Shivers and set up a perimeter to prevent Frederick’s escape while waiting for the SWAT team to arrive to assist. Five minutes into the wait, with Walker and others shouting “Police, come out with your hands up.” Frederick came out and was arrested.

It is tempting to look for a villain in such tragedies. If we can find and punish a victim, then we can believe we have solved the problem and it will not recur. The police have certainly pegged Frederick as their villain. Many want to find a villain in Roberts or other police on the scene. But it is not going to turn out to be all that simple.

The truth is that something like this was going to happen sooner or later. Knock and announce searches are inherently dangerous. Even if you are careful and you can make them 99% safe, but then you do hundreds of them every year, it is only a matter of time before the numbers catch up. Even the least experienced of these officers had participated in over 150 such searches. Sooner or later, someone makes a mistake and someone dies.

We don’t know what was in Frederick’s mind. The police are assuming what they think SHOULD have been in his mind, but they don’t know. If the walls in Frederick’s house were able to muffle the sound of a gunshot sufficiently that experienced police officers were unsure they had heard a gunshot, even with the storm door open and the hole in the door, then what could Frederick have heard with the doors intact and two large dogs barking furiously in the small house? The police assumed that because they could hear each other outside, he could hear them inside, but the muffling of the shots makes that unlikely.

So, where is our villain? The police officers followed the procedures they trusted and trained in, and which are practiced by police all over the country, though perhaps with more restraint in other locales.

Frederick reacted in fear and confusion, perhaps a bit more precipitously than wisely, but probably without malice.

The problem is that we have allowed these “knock and announce” searches to become routine, when they should be reserved for the very limited circumstances where they are necessary and the risk is justified.

We gave Frederick only 25 seconds to recognize the situation for what it was and get the door open for the police. But with no evidence there to be destroyed(you can’t flush an entire marijuana plant), no hostages to rescue, and no danger presented to anyone outside the house by Frederick, the search could have waited for 25 minutes or 25 hours and yielded the same results. There was simply no reason to knock down that door EVER. If he holed up in there till he starved, the search would have been just as effective and no one would have been placed in peril.

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92 Responses to Twenty-five Seconds

  1. Jack Justice says:

    Can you imagine if I wrote a blog about dentistry? Then I had all these idiots write in about root canals, bridges, and the like. Imagine that scenario and then maybe you can get a feel for how I feel reading the blogs on this site. I can tell that you have an understanding for the law. But, the post are rediculous. Does anyone know what can invalidate a search warrant? No one on here has even been close to the correct answer. And what about the bloggers sayindg the PD keeps changing it’s story? What story? The PD never gave their version of events. They correctly waited to present the facts in court. I am a libertarian, but the individuals who post here are making me consider question my beliefs. Truth and Justice is an american ideal that I support. Maybe the Ryan Frederick case has less to do with the freedoms we cherish and more to do with a andividual who made a poor decision and shot another person who happened to be a police officer. And I read all the post from supposed Libertarians who said they would have done the same thing if the police breached thir door. I dont think so. Police breach hundreds of doors everyday, where are all the shootings? Fellow Libertarians dont let this criminal hide behind our cause. Get the facts. Doc, you made me proud today by writing what you feel is the truth. The detectives who testified today told the truth. Is it possible that after sorting out the facts in the case you might side with the PD? Truth and Justice are as inherent in the Libertarian Cause as Freedom.

  2. mack520 says:

    Dr., Thank you, you do a wonderful service here. This case deserves a lot more attention than it is getting. I believe it would be beneficial for people to Digg and Reddit the newspaper and TV station stories, as that may make them realize the national importance of this story when their servers go down. This story is not about a hero trying to serve and protect, this story is about a police state.

  3. claude says:

    Thankyou for the update.

  4. Missy says:

    I have followed this case from the VERY beginning and have found your posts on the Pilot (and here) to be very informative and factual. You report what happened in court, and and you do it without sensationalism. If I was able to take off work and sit in the courtroom, I would be there every single day. I’m glad you’re there reporting the events and I’m really looking forward to your evening posts.

    Thank you!!

  5. Bill says:

    Jack Justice, I understand your feelings. However, here is a quote from the HamptonRoads.com coverage of the trial which demonstrates why libertarians have a strong interest in lining up on the defense side of this case:

    “Defense attorney James Broccoletti tried to show that police relied on little more than Wright’s word before conducting the raid. Detectives acknowledged they had no other evidence that Frederick was dealing marijuana.”

    I recall from previous articles and interviews, particularly by Radley Balko, that the informant, Wright, was apparently involved with Ryan Frederick’s sister, and that this had caused a confrontation between Frederick and Wright. If all that is needed to cause two vans full of heavily armed people to assault your home is the word of a disgruntled burglar, then there is a big problem with our system that needs to be addressed. Do you want to live in a society where angering the wrong person can bring this down on your head?

    Did Ryan Frederick, as you suggest, “make a poor decision”? Maybe. But by the police testimony, he had a maximum of 25 seconds to make that decision under difficult circumstances–made difficult by the people who were assaulting his home on the basis of the testimony of one man of questionable character. Based on the events that led up to the shooting, it might not be unreasonable to believe that Frederick might have been dead if he hadn’t done what he did.

  6. dreamer says:

    Much appreciation for the updates and insight.

  7. claude says:

    “Truth and Justice are as inherent in the Libertarian Cause as Freedom.”

    Frankly, i dont see any truth or justice in what was done to Ryan.

  8. Kt says:

    This is tragic in every way. It has been important to focus on the injustice that Ryan Frederick has suffered, but only a zombie could overlook the devastating loss the Shiver family has endured.

    I keep shaking my head. The police are the good guys.

    They come to save you FROM the bad guys that break down your door!!!!!!!!

    I am angry that 2 families have been devastated. For what?!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Burt B says:

    God Bless Det. Shivers and his family. There will never be a winner in this case. That said if I understand correctly the CPD using a new informant used at least 17 police officers to do a forced entry warrant search on someone that had no criminal record and had a set pattern of going in and out of the house. I simply do not understand why, assuming as the detectives said they did not feel he was a threat they could have either called into the house and ordered him outside first or simply waiting for him to leave for work and arrested him?

    I know during a high risk warrant search that tensions and emotions are high for officers. Anytime this occurs the potential for a mistake is great. I believe these officers were simply doing their job so the failure rests on their superiors in this case. Also while I do not doubt as of now that Mr. Frederick honestly believed his home was being broken into he should have waited to identify who was attempting to enter his home. I have no issue with defending my home from a threat. I would not however fire my weapon until I had identified the target. Firing blindly thru the door simply is not acceptable to me.

    Mistakes were made oth ways here. As I said before sadly there will never be any winners here.

  10. KBCraig says:

    The battering ram (which naturally takes an upward trajectory) penetrating through the door panel would explain Ryan’s earlier statements that he saw someone reaching through the door towards the lock. Battering rams are typically made of a 3-6″ steel pipe, which would look much like an arm reaching through the broken panel.

    Thanks for the update.

  11. Pat Kane says:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
    It would appear to the casual or more specifically, the educated observer, the warrant was not properly administered according to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. The key phases are: “supported by oath or affirmation” and also the “place to be searched”. The validity and necessity of the CPD warrant, which the Prosecution’s case is largely relying upon, rests upon the shallow shoulders of a convicted criminal. One should hope the Defense will remember to recite this fundamental Constitutional American Right soon after the Prosecution rests. By the law, they should not have broke down his door since this is not where the offending articles were believed to reside based on the afore mentioned testimony of stated criminal. Unfortunately, there is no “Castle Doctrine” in VA, (why? ask your Senator…) so, it’s up to the Defense to prove these injustices. CPD should accept their responsibility as much as the defendant. Recommend: Involuntary manslaughter. 4 years. Since the charge is 1st Degree Murder, the Jury would expected to acquit.

  12. Reid Greenmun says:

    Thanks for the updates. The media is not offering equally sufficient coverage.

    As others have writen here, the question i have is this:

    If the police knew there wasn’t any evidence to be destroyed and they now admit that they think this citizens grew pot for his own use and not to sell, why didn’t they just arrest him outside when he was going to walk to his vehicle to go to work?

    What was the need to break down his door and assault him using an army?

    There must have been many better options then the decision that was made to break into his home.

    This tragedy could have been avoided.

    Americans have a right to defend their own homes from people breaking into them.

    This citizen had already had recently expereinced a break in into his garage.

  13. mack520 says:

    @ Jack Justice, in response to you question ” Police breach hundreds of doors everyday, where are all the shootings?” here is a map with an extensive listing. http://www.cato.org/raidmap/

  14. Noonan says:

    Jack Justice, how would you feel if the police raided your home in the middle of the night (as a result of a tip from a known criminal)?

  15. Don B. says:

    When I first moved down to Virginia Beach, I bought a condo. About a month afterward, my doorbell rang. There stood a uniformed Sheriff’s Deputy, with some papers in his hands. He asked for some strange named person. As far as I know, there’s no Italian guys named Rashad in Virginia, or back north were I came from. I told him who I was, and voluntarily showed him some ID. He apologized for bothering me, and was on his way in a couple of minutes. A totally professional Officer. A credit to the Sheriff’s Department.
    I wonder what would have happened in Chesapeake. Would they have sent a dozen black-clad guys to bust my door down in the middle of the night, thinking I was someone else? They have to start using better judgment in these forced entries in Chesapeake.

  16. mack520 says:

    This is a national problem that is routinely swept under the rug. Nowadays, every small town needs a swat team and small cities need APC’s to do what was done by a single officer before the War on Drugs. The big difference between a swat team and a street gang is that prosecutors lie for a swat team, and they lie against a street gang.
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/16291354/detail.html

  17. John Sutton says:

    Reid Greenmum – People have the right to defend their lives. There is no right to defend property (although I believe there should be). Trying to do so will get you into trouble almost every time.

    I believe that both parties (RF and CPD) are responsible for what happened. What would be the difference if RF’s bullet had travelled across the street and struck/killed an innocent person in their house/car? Would CPD be at fault then? I think not.

    He (RF) is responsible for the bullets he blindly fired. One struck and killed an officer, the other misfired into his bedroom wall and then…. who knows where it is. You pull a trigger, you had better know where the bullet is going to go; more specifically where it is going to STOP!

    If RF was trying to defend his house, then he missed the officer actually standing on the porch; the one that was actively trying to gain access to his residence.

    He’s guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He did not know where his bullet was going or who he was going to hit. He missed the *real* target.

  18. Erica says:

    Thank You once agina Mr. Tabor for your hard work and time reporting…

    e

  19. […] happening is contingent on reporting from the trial from the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and from local blogger Don Tabor, who is writing up reports from notes he’s taking in the courtroom (and whom I’ve found […]

  20. mack520 says:

    Mr. Sutton, you say ” You pull a trigger, you had better know where the bullet is going to go; more specifically where it is going to STOP!”. My understanding of that is that you have to see the target and see the backstop. Pulling a trigger is one of those things that is pretty irrevocable. In the Atlanta case linked above, three officers were wounded, yet the 90 year old victim fired once, to no effect. Thank you for reminding us all-“Know your target, know your backstop”.

  21. Vick2020 says:

    I agree with Mr. Sutton on one thing. It’s important to understand you MUST think before you pull the trigger. Having said that, I have heard time and time again that cops should not be required to think because the situation requires reflexes. Thinking would just get in the way. I find Mr. Sutton suspect, in that I’m not sure which side he would take if a cop killed someone because he did not consider where the round would land after he pulled the trigger. Would he want the cop to stand trial for murder? I’d put my life savings on no. My guess is he would call it an accident. I would too. That’s exactly what this case is about. I disagree with Mr. Sutton that someone breaking into your house doesn’t not equate a threat of violence of your person. I’m not a lawyer but I’ll bet there is much case law on home invasion defense that would prove him wrong.

    It’s very easy to see by the testimony presented so far the actions of RF do not rise to the definition of murder.

  22. claude says:

    “What would be the difference if RF’s bullet had travelled across the street and struck/killed an innocent person in their house/car? Would CPD be at fault then? ”

    Absolutely. Had the CPD not been there, he wouldnt have felt he had to shoot. In this case tho, officer shivers is a member of the same gang that was breaking in. If there is a group of people trying to break into my home and one of them is trying to breach the door, it doesnt matter which one of them gets shot. They are all equally guilty.

  23. mack520 says:

    Claude, maybe the issue is should assholes break into your home in the middle of the night or not?

  24. claude says:

    “Claude, maybe the issue is should assholes break into your home in the middle of the night or not?”

    Not unless they want to get shot.

  25. Jack says:

    Noonan- (F)-I am not engaged in illegal activities, nor do I associate with known felons. Therefore I have no fear of the PD breaching my front door. Besides, if come to my house to serve an illegal warrant, I’ll gladly let them in and then sue their balls off.

    Pat Kane -(F-) Try Again. I thought you were educated. Ever written a search warrant or read case law? Roberts swore it out, Place to be searched decsribed exactly as it legally should be. Dont waste our time.

    John Sutton-(D-) If you are robbing a bank and a Police Officer attempts to apprehend you and you shoot the little kid with the icecream cone, you probably think its the cops fault for doing his job. The police would not have gone to Fredericks house if he wasnt breaking the law.

    Mack520 – (C)-Do the math.

    KBCraig – (F)- What did the CPD Ram look like? Another person adding false info to the case. You are describing a particular brand of ram.

    Claude – I hope you not the same Claude who was involvedin the infamous VB case where individuals fabricated internet documents and introduced them as evidence.

    You people call yourself Libertarians. It seems like this site has morphed into a site for uninformed, justice hating, whiners. Is this guy really somebody you want to stand behind? Commit the crime do the time. Its because of people like him that the law makers keep cranking new laws out. Hang him high, so the rest of us can fight for our freedom.

  26. mack520 says:

    I apologize- I am not particularly clever-Mack520 – (C)-Do the math.

  27. mack520 says:

    I do not understand- I’d like to

  28. Jack says:

    #search warrants / number of shootings number is so small its not statistically relevant

  29. mack520 says:

    Hi Jack (somali greeting) ” I am not engaged in illegal activities, nor do I associate with known felons. Therefore I have no fear of the PD breaching my front door. ” very very utterly wrong and misguided. I would hope that at a minimum this thread has established you might check where your line of fire ends, ricochets count, and sit down and wait, cause you are on the list.

  30. mack520 says:

    Sorry- cross posting there- yes- the cops bust down hundreds of doors every day- it does however matter to the door owners and the people they kill.

  31. mack520 says:

    Not statistically relevant- are you really Mike Mann?

  32. VaMarine22 says:

    I think many are missing the underlying legal aspects behind this trial..

    The Knock and Announce type of search warrants are allowed by the US Supreme Court. If you feel they shouldn’t be allowed then we need to work on changing them by getting legislation passed that fixes that issue. But since they are legal we should bypass that at this point..

    Mr. Frederick fired a weapon at an arm that was inside his door.. He believed that arm was attempting to rob his residence, and if you go for a stretch he believed that the person attached to that arm may attempt to cause bodily harm to him. The self-defense defense he is attempting to build is not effective because a reasonable person would not be expected to think and arm was going to cause them grave bodily harm by itself..

    I’m not sure if a reasonable person would have done the same thing. I think if you were to put yourself in that same situation most of us would have done a couple of other things prior to initiating deadly force… In my mind i would have been calling the cops.. yelling i have a gun.. Doing anything I could to get the intruder to know that I was in there and planned on defending myself prior to them getting entirely through the door. At that point I’m not sure what the police reaction would have been but we will never know because Mr. Frederick did not attempt to do any of those things. In fact he fired 2 shots and never called the cops..

  33. JPC says:

    “I am not engaged in illegal activities, nor do I associate with known felons. Therefore I have no fear of the PD breaching my front door. Besides, if come to my house to serve an illegal warrant, I’ll gladly let them in and then sue their balls off.”

    Good luck with that. It is extraordinarily rare (i.e. only in truly the worst botched circumstances) that a municipality will pay for repairs to damages incurred by police. Couple hundred bucks for a door – it’s on you. If they tear holes in your walls or break windows – start looking for a good contractor, and have cash ready.

    If it was an “honest mistake” on their part, such as a typo in the warrant, or your address not being clearly legible so they picked the wrong house, or the warrant was served at the correct location but the person they were looking for no longer lived there, or they searched the house based on a bum tip and found nothing – you’re on the hook for repairing any damages. This is called “indemnification” – the officers are indemnified against any wrongdoing so long as they follow reasonable procedures, and the city will be damned if they’re going to pay.

    Unless they really, majorly, egregiously, screw up big time, you’re not getting paid (and even if you do, you will probably have to fight tooth and nail and wait months to get it – in the meantime you can lay out the cash in anticipation of possibly getting reimbursed (possibly for only part of it), or you can stare at a basketball-sized hole in your front door for the next 6 months).

    Oh, and lawsuits? Hope you have a couple thousand bucks to shell out for a lawyer. Hope you can take plenty of days off from work to attend court… and unless your damages were HUGE (like, half your house was destroyed), your legal fees will likely eat up most of whatever settlement you get (if you’re lucky).

    Also, do you have any pets? If your dog puts up too much of a fuss (as you’ll know they’re wont to do when things get crazy), they’ll shoot the dog. For their safety. (This has happened many times, including the infamous Cheye Calvo raid – google the name.)

    So even if they pay for your door, your window, your screen, the hole in the wall, the stains on the carpet from when they tracked mud inside… good luck getting your dead family pet replaced (or your kids’ memory of seeing Sparky whimper helplessly and bleed to death on the living room floor while they’re held at gunpoint by people who for all they know are armed intruders).

    And all of that, for what? Because maybe there were a couple of plants (which apparently weren’t bad enough for God not to make in the first place) in the house?

    Jack, the bottom line (I am not a LEO, but I do work EMS in NYC) is that raids of this nature by definition escalate the level of force.

    If you come running in, smashing the door down, guns drawn, screaming orders, there is more likely to be an exchange of physical force, by one side or the other, and much more likely to be mistakes made – possibly resulting in permanent injury or death – due to spur-of-the-moment confusion, than if you do so in a more sedate manner.

    In cases where the level of necessary force is very likely to be low (and a routine drug warrant on someone with no priors would certainly qualify), this unnecessary prior escalation of force places everyone involved at greater risk of injury.

    In cases where there is valid reason to believe that a high-risk warrant needs to be served, fine – that’s what these techniques exist for, and they are a valid tool (of many) in any law enforcement agency.

    It’s the borderline, and the excessive, cases, where many of us draw the line.

  34. JPC says:

    “In my mind i would have been calling the cops.. yelling i have a gun.. ”

    If he had done that, Mr. Frederick would have been the one on a slab.

    As soon as officers determine that someone has a weapon (particularly if they are verbally threatening to use it) the rules of engagement become quite different. They are far more likely to open fire on suspicion. This is a completely reasonable reaction on their part; if you believe that someone has a weapon and intends to use it against you, you’re not going to dilly-dally while working your way up the continuum of force.

  35. JPC says:

    “I am not engaged in illegal activities, nor do I associate with known felons. Therefore I have no fear of the PD breaching my front door. Besides, if come to my house to serve an illegal warrant, I’ll gladly let them in and then sue their balls off.”

    Good luck on that. It is extraordinarily rare (i.e. only in truly the worst botched circumstances) that a municipality will pay for repairs to damages incurred by police. Couple hundred bucks for a door – it’s on you. If they tear holes in your walls or break windows – start looking for a good contractor, and have cash ready.

    If it was an “honest mistake” on their part, such as a typo in the warrant, or your address not being clearly legible so they picked the wrong house, or the warrant was served at the correct location but the person they were looking for no longer lived there, or they searched the house based on a bum tip and found nothing – you’re on the hook for repairing any damages. This is called “indemnification” – the officers are indemnified against any wrongdoing so long as they follow reasonable procedures, and the city will be damned if they’re going to pay.

    Unless they really, majorly, egregiously, screw up big time, you’re not getting paid (and even if you do, you will probably have to fight tooth and nail and wait months to get it – in the meantime you can lay out the cash in anticipation of possibly getting reimbursed (possibly for only part of it), or you can stare at a basketball-sized hole in your front door for the next 6 months).

    Oh, and lawsuits? Hope you have a couple thousand bucks to shell out for a lawyer. Hope you can take plenty of days off from work to attend court… and unless your damages were HUGE (like, half your house was destroyed), your legal fees will likely eat up most of whatever settlement you get (if you’re lucky).

    Also, do you have any pets? If your dog puts up too much of a fuss (as you’ll know they’re wont to do when things get crazy), they’ll shoot the dog. For their safety. (This has happened many times, including the infamous Cheye Calvo raid – google the name.)

    So even if they pay for your door, your window, your screen, the hole in the wall, the stains on the carpet from when they tracked mud inside… good luck getting your dead family pet replaced (or your kids’ memory of seeing Sparky whimper helplessly and bleed to death on the living room floor while they’re held at gunpoint by people who for all they know are armed intruders).

    And all of that, for what? Because maybe there were a couple of plants (which apparently weren’t bad enough for God not to make in the first place) in the house?

    Jack, the bottom line (I am not a LEO, but I do work EMS in NYC) is that raids of this nature by definition escalate the level of force.

    If you come running in, smashing the door down, guns drawn, screaming orders, there is more likely to be an exchange of physical force, by one side or the other, and much more likely to be mistakes made – possibly resulting in permanent injury or death – due to spur-of-the-moment confusion, than if you do so in a more sedate manner.

    In cases where the level of necessary force is very likely to be low (and a routine drug warrant on someone with no priors would certainly qualify), this unnecessary prior escalation of force places everyone involved at greater risk of injury.

    In cases where there is valid reason to believe that a high-risk warrant needs to be served, fine – that’s what these techniques exist for, and they are a valid tool (of many) in any law enforcement agency.

    It’s the borderline, and the excessive, cases, where many of us draw the line.

  36. Wolfy says:

    Jack Justice: “Can you imagine if I wrote a blog about dentistry? Then I had all these idiots write in about root canals, bridges, and the like.”
    What Jack Justice is implying (which I mentioned on another forum) is that a police officer’s life (and insight) is more valuable (regardless of circumstances) than any other citizen. He is also implying that citizens are completely unable to make sound points concerning police procedure. Jack, you have never been so wrong. I work as a social worker with individuals who are severely mentally ill and have substance use issues. It is a very challenging and complex job. In my career, I have learned a lot about social work (and the many areas it covers) from my discussions with people who represent fields that are completely different from my own!
    I think it is a major cop-out (excuse the pun) to make such a dismissive comment. Moreover, I am actually shocked that (1) you identify as being “libertarian” (Have you ever read anything from Rothbard?). (2) That you seem to be so anti property rights (a HUGE element of libertarian philosophy – to say the least).

    One more point by me:
    Do individuals who have one of the top 5 deadliest jobs (1.Alaskan Crab Fisherman; 2. Logger; 3. Truck Driver; 4. Miner; 5. Firefighter – police officers are at 6) also get a pass when they “accidentally” kill other individuals while on the job? Does the truck driver get a pass when he experiences road rage and pummels another driver? When was the last time you heard a truck driver who was charged with negligent homicide say: “We have it tough – so before you judge me, get behind the wheel of my truck.” That last quote is actually as absurd (and irrelevant) as the one you made.

    Great blog Donald! Much appreciated!

  37. mack520 says:

    The underlying legal aspect of this trial is that the police should not kill harmless citizens, It is a credit to the Chesapeake not quite a Swat team that a lot of random non combatants were not killed. This man behaved in an appropriate manner.

  38. claude says:

    “Mr. Frederick fired a weapon at an arm that was inside his door.. He believed that arm was attempting to rob his residence, and if you go for a stretch he believed that the person attached to that arm may attempt to cause bodily harm to him. The self-defense defense he is attempting to build is not effective because a reasonable person would not be expected to think and arm was going to cause them grave bodily harm by itself..”

    So you think that if someone is breaking into your house and have their arm already thru the door, that its a stretch to assume the person attached to the arm may do u harm? U seriously think thats a stretch?

    I think we have a couple of badge licking republicans here trying to masquerade as libertarians.

  39. Wolfy says:

    “The elf-defense defense he is attempting to build is not effective because a reasonable person would not be expected to think and arm was going to cause them grave bodily harm by itself..”… the most absurd comment I have read concerning this case thus far. Wow. Claude, what about the banging on the door…and the actual breaking in part ? If that happened to me (and anyone with sense) at 3am, I would believe that the intruder very likely wants to do harm to me! Do you actually read what you write? lol

  40. Wolfy says:

    Opps. Claude.. no offense.. I misread your post.. you were quoting – not stating.. My bad..

    peace..

  41. Wolfy says:

    Claude, I agree completely.. Does Jack know what libertarianism really means?
    We are talking about property rights. I own my body.. I own objects (like a home)… self defense is right when another party tries to invade my dwelling.

  42. Wolfy says:

    For those who claim to be liberty lovers (I sure am): Do you honestly believe that any of the founding fathers would not be supportive of Ryan in this case? They would be 100 percent supportive of Ryan! Can anyone with sense imagine Thomas Jefferson saying: “I believe that using a gun to repel those who invade a man’s home is ONLY proper (1) once the invader has entered your property, (2) damaged your door to gain entrance and (3) you have been able to identify the invader as being an actual threat to your existence.” (4) You can make this decision by asking the intruder ‘Sir, are you a threat to my existence?’ Jefferson would have shot the invader – and shot again.

  43. mack520 says:

    I ain’t from here. I would suggest that people Digg and Reddit stories about this case, but not from this blog, as doing so would crash the blog

  44. Jack says:

    Hey Doc,

    You were at the trial. I realize you only have one side of the story to date. But, do you believe he really saw an arm coming through the door? If you do, that means that all 9 cops are lying. Did you really get that feeling? Ok.Ok, I’m sure it happens. But did your gut honestly tell you that’s whats happening here. Mr Wolfy, to compare the average citizens struggle against governmental infringement to the idealogy of Thomas Jefferson is absurd. Jefferwson was a legal purist. Frederick would have been hung several days after the event following a short trial.

  45. Wolfy says:

    Yes, I believe all 8 cops lied..because all 9 cops will come together (and have lied many many times before in other cases) to say: “Let’s all report in court that we had not even gotten to that point in the raid.” Or, “let’s all say that we heard from our trusty informant that Ryan was ready to kill every cop with his handgun if we raided him (never mind he was in his pajamas and then after making one shot he surrendered).”

    Mr Wolfy, to compare the average citizens struggle against governmental infringement to the idealogy of Thomas Jefferson is absurd.

    That’s what Jefferson was fighting for! Are you kidding me? You honestly believe that Jefferson would have sided with the cops in this one? lol (I can only chuckle)
    Jefferson would be supportive of the police busting into a citizen’s home at 3am because he may have been growing pot? (Never mind that there were no drug laws back then and no founding father ever said “We need a war on drugs to prevent people from using opium(used by Jefferson for his persistent diarrhea).”

  46. mack520 says:

    Jack- its not uncommon for all the cops to lie- 1, 5., 19- fact is – cops lie. do some research, its part of their job

  47. Don Tabor says:

    Jack – I have not accused the police of lying under oath. I reported that the police testified the RAM went partway through the door. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I will assume they are truthful.

    I have also heard, from secondhand, un-sworn sources that Frederick has claimed he saw what he thought to be an arm reaching for the door handle.

    Both can be entirely true.

    Frederick would be wrong that it was an arm, but that still can be what he thought he saw. When you put people in the position of having to make split second choices, while afraid for their lives and in the dark, you cannot expect them to make good choices or even to interpret things accurately. Under such conditions, people often see what they expect to see or what is familiar. Few people have seen the working end of a battering ram, so, when they see something black near their doorknob, their mind will tell them it is something familiar, like a hand. Given time, their minds will correct the image, but rush them and they will make a mistake. When they make mistakes, those mistakes are the responsibility of those who put a person in such a position.

    The police had hours, even days, to plan their search in a manner in which there could be no misunderstanding. They could have used a bullhorn to announce, They could have turned the lights and sirens on in the marked car for a few seconds before announcing. They even could have called his cell phone to tell him they were at the door. Any of those choices would have removed any uncertainty and saved Det.Shiver’s life. By there own testimony, they knew there was no need to hurry. They could have given him a few minutes, or an hour, to sort things out before acting. But the police chose to give Frederick 25 seconds or less to figure out what was happening, alone and scared, in the dark.

    Even the least experienced of the police had been on over 150 searches, this was Frederick’s first.

    So, I expect a lot more of the police than I do of Frederick. They chose when and where and how. They chose the single method of serving that warrant most likely to result in someone dying. And, they have refused to give any justification for those choices. Until the police give a rational reason for choosing the method they did, and not just a warrant saying they could, I will hold them responsible for the consequences of their choices.

  48. Jack says:

    Mr Wolfy,

    Have I read Rothbard? Lets pretend we live in a society without the intrusion of a State, purely free from governmental control. I am a landowner and survive on the product of my own labor. Mr X is my neighbor, he is also a landowner. He also survives on the product of his labor, which happens to interfere with my personal happiness. He sells marijuana and he hangs out with individuals who steal from others to exist. In my opinion he and his friends are morally corrupt. I have a private security force to protect my land and way of life. My security force and I go to his house to talk to him. He refuses to answer the door. I kick down his door. He shoots me dead. What happens next?

  49. John Sutton says:

    Jack said “If you are robbing a bank and a Police Officer attempts to apprehend you and you shoot the little kid with the icecream cone, you probably think its the cops fault for doing his job. The police would not have gone to Fredericks house if he wasnt breaking the law.”

    Absolutely WRONG. If I was robbing a bank and killed somebody, I would be 100% at fault. And I would probably be charged with Capital Murder.

    Mack520 said – Mr. Sutton, you say ” You pull a trigger, you had better know where the bullet is going to go; more specifically where it is going to STOP!”. My understanding of that is that you have to see the target and see the backstop.

    I agree with you 100%

    Claude said – So you think that if someone is breaking into your house and have their arm already thru the door, that its a stretch to assume the person attached to the arm may do u harm? U seriously think thats a stretch?

    I don’t think it is a stretch, but I would have waited until an intruder actually entered my home before firing. I would have called 911 while the door was being kicked in. It establishes a timeline that 1, B&E is happening now, 2. You believe your life is in danger, 3. Deadly force is required. Even if you dial and leave the phone off the hook, they record everything. You need to look at the rules of self defense and understand them less you find yourself in RF’s position. You want to make things easier for all. Write your state legislators and ask them to support a castle doctrine in VA.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine

    Wolfy said – We are talking about property rights. I own my body.. I own objects (like a home)… self defense is right when another party tries to invade my dwelling.

    I agree, but it isn’t the current law. That’s why VA needs castle doctrine as law.

    Wolfy also said – For those who claim to be liberty lovers (I sure am): Do you honestly believe that any of the founding fathers would not be supportive of Ryan in this case? They would be 100 percent supportive of Ryan! Can anyone with sense imagine Thomas Jefferson saying: “I believe that using a gun to repel those who invade a man’s home is ONLY proper (1) once the invader has entered your property, (2) damaged your door to gain entrance and (3) you have been able to identify the invader as being an actual threat to your existence.” (4) You can make this decision by asking the intruder ‘Sir, are you a threat to my existence?’ Jefferson would have shot the invader – and shot again.

    Unfortunately times and law have changed. I agree, if this had happened 200 years ago, 100 years ago or even 50 years ago, things would have been different. The law and America has been changing. And NOT for the better!

    Do not misunderstand me. I believe that the CPD botched this whole thing from the start. But I also believe that RF was wrong, according to current law as it is in VA. I can’t say with absolute surety that wouldn’t have acted as RF has. But that doesn’t make it right.
    “I would rather be tried by twelve, than to be carried by six.”

    From http://www.virginia1774.org/Page6.html
    — “Defense of the Castle. — In the early times our forefathers were compelled to protect themselves in their habitations by converting them into holds of defense: and so the dwelling house was called the castle. To this condition of things the law has conformed, resulting in the familiar doctrine that while a man keeps the doors of his house closed, no other may break and enter it, except in particular circumstances to make an arrest or the like – cases not within the line of our present exposition. From this doctrine is derived another: namely, that the persons within the house may exercise all needful force to keep aggressors out, even to the taking of life. As observed by Campbell, J., in Michigan, ‘a man is not obliged to retreat if assaulted in his dwelling, but may use such means as are absolutely necessary to repel the assailant from his house or prevent his forcible entry, even to the taking of life’ * *.”

    “…except in particular circumstances to make an arrest or the like…”

  50. Lima Charlie says:

    There is no justification for firing through a door at an unknown target. Virginia appelate courts have clearly ruled on the meaning of reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death. He knew it was the police….but if you assume for a moment that he did not, how could he know what the ultimate intent of the person was on the other side of the door? Did he (RF) give any warnings before he fired his weapon?

    Ryan Frederick is guilty of a criminal act. This jury should be able to conclude, based on all the evidence, exactly what RF knew, or reasonably should have known, and felt. They will also decide what he was doing just prior to the Entry Team’s knock and announce sequence. The evidence presented Friday suggests that he was packing a bowl to smoke on his scarface magazine in the front bedroom. Sleeping??? How many people sleep on top of the covers with an ashtray on their bed. Why would the pot head leave his green stuff lying loose on a magazine and go to bed. When dopers aren’t smoking dope, they keep it put away.

    There is know doubt in my mind that he heard the announcements. He panicked, vapor locked and made a tragically stupid decision for which he will be held criminally liable. Why would he do it? I think his hero is Scarface and that he played the “what will I do if the cops come?” scene in his mind so many times that he acted out his fantasy.

  51. John Sutton says:

    Lima Charlie said – There is no justification for firing through a door at an unknown target…

    Ryan Frederick is guilty of a criminal act. This jury should be able to conclude, based on all the evidence, exactly what RF knew, or reasonably should have known, and felt…

    I hear you and agree; Loud and Clear.

  52. JPC says:

    John and Charlie:

    Even given that all you say is true, I think there are still two valid issues that need to be addressed:

    1. What is an appropriate charge? Firing through a door may not be a kosher act, but I don’t think it qualifies as first degree murder. First degree murder indicates an aspect of pre-planning, of intent, of a deliberate attempt to cause harm to a particular individual or group of individuals. Firing through a door in a moment of panic, fearing an imminent armed home invasion, when you were robbed only a few days before, does not qualify. Perhaps it’s criminally negligent homicide, perhaps it’s some sort of reckless endangerment, perhaps even manslaughter (I don’t know how the definitions of all these crimes are given in VA law). But first degree murder it’s not.

    2. What about the situations that gave rise to this incident in the first place? A decorated police officer is dead, a woman is widowed, and a man who appears to have overreacted in a moment of panic potentially faces the death penalty. And all of this happened because of police department policies, and in this case for what purpose – because some nonviolent guy could potentially have a couple of a particular type of plant growing in his house? (Hey, God made marijuana in the first place -maybe we should go storm his house and arrest him…)

    (There is also the third issue, which is the details of the relationship between the Chesapeake PD and the informants, but I think the first two are the most relevant and the most generally applicable for now.)

  53. Lima Charlie says:

    JPC –

    RF was not “robbed.” A robbery is the taking of one’s property (directly from the person) through force, threat or intimidation. RF was not even home when the detached garage was burglarized. A burglary is alleged to have occurred which is a crime against property, not a violent crime.

    The pre-planning or pre-meditation can take place in an instant in the case of 1st degree or capital murder. You could argue that statements he is alleged to have made (Willet’s opening arguments) such as, “I know they’re (police) coming and I have something for them,” could be indicative of preplanning. We’ll see what the testimony produces.

    I happen to believe that RF heard the police warnings and that we was awake and aware of the presence of police. If someone on the outside of the door (assuming it was a home invader) had indicated some violent intent (not simple destruction of property), the circumstances would be different. I feel that RF had a duty to further understand the intent of the intrusion, give some type of verbal warning, retreat to the safest position and call for help. If at anytime RF could reasonably determine that someone had ENTERED his residence and there was the OPPORTUNITY, ABILITY and INTENT to kill or inflict serious bodily injury upon him, he would be entitled to use deadly force to protect himself or another occupant of the residence.

    RF does not have to worry about the death penalty. That aspect of the charge was reduced by the Commonwealth. The maximum punishment he can receive is life in prison.

    As for the informants, numerous cases (not just narcotics cases) are solved with the aid of informants. Most informants are involved or have been involved in criminal activity or, at a minumum, associate closely with those who are. That is precisely why they are in a position to provide helpful information to the police. The CI in this case didn’t disclose his involvement in the break-in until months after this incident. There is no defect in the warrant because the officers had established the reliability of the informant through previous cases (Roberts testimony) and had acted in good faith with the best information available to them when the prepared the affidavit for the search warrant.

  54. John Sutton says:

    JPC said – 1. What is an appropriate charge?

    As I said before, he’s guilty of involuntary manslaughter (IMHO) Same charge you would find someone guilty of if they had killed someone in an automobile accident (assuming no DUI, etc.). Strictly an accidental death.

    As for Q2, CPD should bear a significant part of the responsibility. Their actions contributed significantly to the outcome of the incident. There must be a full an independent review of this case. Mistakes were made; possibly criminal errors. We may never get a full resolution of this case. And not everyone will be pleased with the outcome(s) of this case. CPD need to review their policies concerning K&A warrants, when and where to use them. CPD overreacted in this case and contributed significantly to the death of Officer Shivers. But RF is the cause of the officers death.

    He is guilty of breaking the law (by his own admission, ie the marijuana stuff). Had he not been a criminal from the beginning of this, his chance of this happening would have been almost nil.

    Then JPC wondered aloud – (There is also the third issue, which is the details of the relationship between the Chesapeake PD and the informants, but I think the first two are the most relevant and the most generally applicable for now.)

    That will all come out in the reviews that will or may be happening now. I suspect (truly hope!) some changes will be made.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    JPC then thought……
    (Hey, God made marijuana in the first place -maybe we should go storm his house and arrest him…)

    God made apples too. You know where that got us?! (Kicked out of the Garden of Eden, just in case some out there don’t know much about the bible)

    God also made poison ivy, that doesn’t mean you should go and smoke it!

  55. Wolfy says:

    “He sells marijuana and he hangs out with individuals who steal from others to exist. In my opinion he and his friends are morally corrupt. I have a private security force to protect my land and way of life. My security force and I go to his house to talk to him. He refuses to answer the door. I kick down his door. He shoots me dead. What happens next?”
    First off Jack, I respect you because you are willing to discuss these issues (instead of using the “If you haven’t been a cop then your point is invalid” stale argument). Secondly, you would be completely in the wrong in the situation you mentioned. (By the way, if you are implying that RF is “morally corrupt” for possibly using marijuana you have a lot to learn about the concept of morality). You would also need to have clear evidence that the other landowner is in fact a thief (and who is he stealing from – and what is he stealing).

    Lima Charile: If you believe the officers “acted in good faith”..if you believe the officers did not know about the break in before it happened.. then you will probably except any explanation an officer provides to justify his or her corrupt actions.You probably thought the Bart shooting was completely justified?

    For all those who say that an intruder who breaks into your home at 3am is not an immediate threat to your safety then consider one huge factor.. it is 3am! Most people are home and in bed at 3am. It is not 3pm – when most people are away at work. It is 3am! Any criminal would have to know that he would have to likely use force to achieve his goal. And that means the criminal would need to have a weapon.

    I am assuming that Ryan had a legally registered handgun. He does not in any way sound like the “dangerous threat to society” that the prosecution (and some of you on this forum) is laughably trying to make him out to be.

  56. JPC says:

    >>RF was not “robbed.” <>We’ll see what the testimony produces.<>I happen to believe that RF heard the police warnings and that we was awake and aware of the presence of police. <>had indicated some violent intent (not simple destruction of property),<>retreat to the safest position and call for help. <>RF does not have to worry about the death penalty. That aspect of the charge was reduced by the Commonwealth. The maximum punishment he can receive is life in prison.<>Most informants are involved or have been involved in criminal activity or, at a minumum, associate closely with those who are. That is precisely why they are in a position to provide helpful information to the police.<>There is no defect in the warrant because the officers had established the reliability of the informant through previous cases (Roberts testimony) and had acted in good faith with the best information available to them when the prepared the affidavit for the search warrant.<<

    But what about the way in which the warrant was served. There is such a thing as the continuum of force – I can talk to you about something, I can yell at you, I can push you, I can punch you, I can hit you with a bat, I can stab you, I can shoot you, and so on. The higher up the continuum of force you go, the more likely it is that somebody, anybody, will get hurt, and the more severe that injury is likely to be.

    In fact, most of the differences between self-defense laws between states (and countries, for that matter) can be understood as differences between how quickly you are allowed to travel up the continuumof force, i.e. at what point does it become permissible to shoot or stab someone breaking into your home? Can you do it as soon as they come onto your property? Must they forcibly breach your door? Must you first retreat to the last room of the house? Must they verbally threaten you first? Must they point a weapon at you? Must they take the first shot before you’re allowed to fire back? Or is it never permissible (you just stand there while they kill you)?

    The key is always to strike a balance – you don’t want to legitimize excessively rapid escalation, or you risk having many accidental deaths (shooting the mailman, for example). If you don’t escalate quickly enough, then you are unable to properly defend yourself against someone who isn’t so squeamish about the use of force.

    The way I see it, every time the police choose to execute a warrant such as they did at the Frederick residence, they choose to escalate the level of force by many steps. This places everyone – the police, the residents, and even neighbors – at increased risk of injury. In a case where a warrant is being served against someone who has no history of violence, no prior convictions, is this increase in risk acceptable?

  57. Wolfy says:

    Think about this point..
    If Ryan happened to be an off duty police officer…in pajamas… and an intruder started breaking down his door.. and he ended up killing the intruder with one “lucky” shot…99 percent of officers would say: “Great shot! Good job officer.”

    And there you have it.. the lives of police officers are not in any way more valuable than the lives of citizens.. They certainly have not proven to be “morally superior” than your average citizen. Neither are priests and other clergy..But gullible people have excused crimes by members of clergy because of their perceived “noble” position.

  58. Wolfy says:

    Perhaps the silliest point made on this forum this week: “I think his hero is Scarface and that he played the “what will I do if the cops come?” scene in his mind so many times that he acted out his fantasy.” Does it even deserve a reply.. doubt it..

  59. JPC says:

    “As I said before, he’s guilty of involuntary manslaughter (IMHO) Same charge you would find someone guilty of if they had killed someone in an automobile accident (assuming no DUI, etc.). Strictly an accidental death.”

    In cases like these there is always a sliding scale – do you go on a greater charge carrying a heavier penalty but with a higher burden of proof, or a lower, “safer” charge?

    In this case I think the prosecutor strongly opted toward making an example out of Mr. Frederick, or kowtowed to political pressure, by charging him with something way beyond what he could possibly have done (even threatening capital punishment for a time). And in this case I hope that the prosecutor’s estimate fails miserably, that the jury (even if they think a lesser charge would have been appropriate) acquits the defendant and he walks. (Maybe he’ll think a little harder next time before attempting to railroad somebody.)

    “CPD should bear a significant part of the responsibility. ”

    Agreed there (as per the last few paragraphs of my previous post).

    “CPD need to review their policies concerning K&A warrants, when and where to use them. ”

    One can only hope. (And this is, after all, the era of “hope,” right?)

    But it seems like these cases pop up with regularity, promises are made to change things, but actual change is much less common. (But this is the era of “change,” too, or so I’ve been told.)

    “God also made poison ivy, that doesn’t mean you should go and smoke it!”

    But it’s also not a crime, nor does it make you a piece of criminal scum suitable to be railroaded by an overzealous prosecutor, if you happen to have poison ivy in your yard. Or if you smoke it, for that matter – that just makes you stupid. But not a criminal.

    “Not a good idea” and “illegal” are very different things, and we shouldn’t conflate the two.

    It certainly doesn’t justify sixteen heavily armed people knocking down your door and raiding your home, if you have some poison ivy growing behind your house.

  60. John Sutton says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express before……
    revising my charge for RF…..

    I guess he would be guilty of 2nd degree murder. Involuntary manslaughter appears to be reserved for death caused by vehicles or watercraft.

    from http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-32.html
    “All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years.”

    Capital murder defined
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-31.html
    Not premeditated, shouldn’t apply

    involuntary manslaughter defined
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-36.1.html
    No vehicle, shouldn’t apply

    First and second degree murder defined
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-32.html
    appears to be second degree murder

    Felony homicide defined
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-33.html
    appears to be the same as second degree murder above

    Shooting, stabbing, etc., with intent to maim, kill, etc
    http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc1802000/18.2-51.html
    may apply instead of second degree murder. I’ll need to stay at a HIE
    again to be sure.

  61. John Sutton says:

    In cases where a police officer is killed, I think it is almost an automatic reaction by the prosecutors to levy the charge of Capital Murder and let the jury sort it out.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I separated the following to indicate they were off topic by using ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “God also made poison ivy, that doesn’t mean you should go and smoke it!”

    But it’s also not a crime, nor does it make you a piece of criminal scum suitable to be railroaded by an overzealous prosecutor, if you happen to have poison ivy in your yard. Or if you smoke it, for that matter – that just makes you stupid. But not a criminal.

    “Not a good idea” and “illegal” are very different things, and we shouldn’t conflate the two.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’m not confusing the two. Personally I think both are stupid; only one is illegal. Don’t like it, change the law.

    This was intended as a sidebar discussion apart from the *real* discussion. It was intended as commentary only; related to your arrest God comment.
    I’m dropping it now.

  62. VaMarine22 says:

    Claude: “I think we have a couple of badge licking republicans here trying to masquerade as libertarians.”

    I did not realize that forum was for Libertarians only, in fact after reading the rules prior to submitting I was under the impression it was for all educated people who were willing to discuss things in civilized manner without the need to name call or label. However, if this is not the case I would be more than happy to take my points to a different forum. But I will only do that at the request of Dr. Tabor.

    JPC
    Q1 – I think the state is stretching with the 1st Degree Charge at this point, I however do not have all the evidence they have and choose to with hold my judgment on the facts until they have been presented. I do believe that RF may have inserted foot into mouth if it can be proven that afterward he boasted to inmates that he would have killed them all. But I see this being closer to voluntary manslaughter rather than premeditated murder.

    Q2 – I think that you cannot tell the Police how they must execute their warrants. The reason is in this situation a tragedy my have been avoided but that doesn’t mean in every situation this same thing would have occurred. I believe that CPD needs to have an independent investigation into there actions leading up to and during this raid and not one in the courts or played out in the media. But an honest and fair review of the facts to understand how to improve on this type of mission later on.

    Wolfy:I am assuming that Ryan had a legally registered handgun. He does not in any way sound like the “dangerous threat to society” that the prosecution (and some of you on this forum) is laughably trying to make him out to be.

    In the Commonwealth of Virginia you are not required to register a handgun. I do not believe prior to him willfully pulling the trigger and killing a person that he was a dangerous threat to society. But after he did that he now has shown that his poor judgment and impaired decision making process makes him a threat to society. With that being said I believe he never intended to kill Det. Shivers. But as the song goes the road to hell is paved with good intentions. He admitted to committing an act that took someones life and now he is having to face the music. If the jury of 12 decide that he is innocent then so be it. But if the jury of 12 find that he is guilty he is the only one to blame in the situation. He did not have to pull the trigger and he alone made that decision.

    • Don Tabor says:

      All persons of reason are welcome here, regardless of party or opinion. All I ask as that everyone conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen, or, if you prefer, that we were meeting face to face and everyone was armed.

  63. JPC says:

    “In cases where a police officer is killed, I think it is almost an automatic reaction by the prosecutors to levy the charge of Capital Murder and let the jury sort it out.”

    Which raises the ancillary question of whether it is appropriate to put defendants through this (especially if the jurors will hear highly prejudicial testimony, such as from family members of the deceased officer – jurors sometimes do crazy things when their emotions get in the way of the facts- or testimony from witnesses who have been substantially remunerated for their testimony, such as a reduction in sentence or the dropping of certain charges).

    And why do prosecutors do this? To boost their chances at re-election (if they’re elected), or getting elected to some other position? In the hopes of impressing politicians so that they may be appointed to some cushy job?

    And this justifies holding defendants’ lives in the balance?

  64. JPC says:

    “I do believe that RF may have inserted foot into mouth if it can be proven that afterward he boasted to inmates that he would have killed them all.”

    Agreed – no matter what the circumstances, that would be a pretty stupid thing to say.

    “But I see this being closer to voluntary manslaughter rather than premeditated murder. ”

    That seems to be the growing consensus, at least on this board.

    “I think that you cannot tell the Police how they must execute their warrants. The reason is in this situation a tragedy my have been avoided but that doesn’t mean in every situation this same thing would have occurred.”

    I don’t think anybody is arguing this; I certainly am not.

    If somebody is holding hostages, then yes, by all means you use the raid van, the SWAT team, the battering ram, etc. – that’s what these things exist for.

    But to serve a routine search warrant against a nonviolent offender with no priors using those things – No, that is not a reasonable thing to do. It is an unnecessary and unilateral escalation of the use of force, one which is likely to increase the probability and severity of physical harm above what it would have been had such tactics not been used.

    “But after he did that he now has shown that his poor judgment and impaired decision making process makes him a threat to society.”

    I’m not so sure. Perhaps many rational people would have done the same thing. As the title of the post implies, this is all about confusion and split-second decisions. it’s easy for all of us, sitting in the comfort of our own homes, with plenty of time to think about things, to decide what should and should not be done. But faced with a split-second decision, I’m pretty sure that many of us would have done just as Mr. Frederick did.

    So your allegation that Mr. Frederick presents some sort of imminent danger to society that none of the rest of us do, is rather suspect. But of course, this is the type of issue that juries exist for – what should be expected of a “reasonable person” in this case? Did the defendant act in a way consistent with that standard?

  65. John Sutton says:

    Wolfy said -If Ryan happened to be an off duty police officer…in pajamas… and an intruder started breaking down his door.. and he ended up killing the intruder with one “lucky” shot…99 percent of officers would say: “Great shot! Good job officer.”

    The officer would have known the rules of engagement, waited until he felt his life was endanger, waited until the intruder had actually entered the residence and then shot. The shot would have been directed at the intruder not through a door. He would have also noticed what was behind his target and considered that before shooting.

    Your situation is completely different. In your case a crime is being committed (I’m assuming your intruder is not an officer serving a warrant, but a B&E type criminal) and a trained individual is responding. Had the officer missed and killed a bystander, I would bet money he would face charges. A jury would be much less forgiving of a police officer wrongly killing someone than a private citizen.

    Wolfy, your premise is a “what if”. We can play that game all day long. What if RF had never smoked dope, had dope, grown dope,etc.
    Where would we be now?
    Who knows?
    Who cares?

    I only hope that if any one tries to break in to your house, you at least wait until they are IN the house before you shoot them. Otherwise you might not like the outcome of your murder trial.

  66. JPC says:

    “I only hope that if any one tries to break in to your house, you at least wait until they are IN the house before you shoot them.”

    Depends on where you are. Some states and some localities have further requirements of a “duty to retreat.” In other cases weapons must be stored locked and unloaded (such as pre-Heller DC), so you had better be prepared to explain how you found enough time, after determining that your life was in imminent danger from an armed intruder, to put on your reading glasses, unlock your weapon, retrieve the ammunition from its separate locked container, load the weapon and fire.

    In other places (e.g. much of Europe) you’re pretty much screwed, no matter what the circumstances of the shooting. For what it’s worth, the guy could have a butcher knife, your head between his knees and actively trying to decapitate you, and you shoot him, and you still go to prison once they reattach your head. 🙂

  67. VaMarine22 says:

    JPC:
    “I’m not so sure. Perhaps many rational people would have done the same thing. As the title of the post implies, this is all about confusion and split-second decisions. it’s easy for all of us, sitting in the comfort of our own homes, with plenty of time to think about things, to decide what should and should not be done. But faced with a split-second decision, I’m pretty sure that many of us would have done just as Mr. Frederick did.

    So your allegation that Mr. Frederick presents some sort of imminent danger to society that none of the rest of us do, is rather suspect. But of course, this is the type of issue that juries exist for – what should be expected of a “reasonable person” in this case? Did the defendant act in a way consistent with that standard?”

    The difficult thing in this is considering who the “reasonable person” is I know for a fact due to my weapons training (i am not a law enforcement agent) and training in Rules of Engagement and the Escalation of Force/Continuum of Force procedures I have a better understanding of what is expected of the person carrying a weapon. In addition the reasonable people in my realm may not be the same as what is in your realm.

    One last tidbit and shows how juries can effect things. I took a course last semester at ODU in Constitutional Law. The course spent the entire 16 weeks attempting to define the term reasonable by looking at rulings of the supreme court in the context of search and seizures. At the end of the 16 weeks I can only report that there is no clear definition and probably will never be.

  68. John Sutton says:

    JPC – FYI
    The internet is international; I agree.
    My comments relate to Virginia (VA). This case is in VA, I live in VA. Otherwise I agree with you. and your duty to retreat. (n/a in VA)
    Do not construe anything I say to be legal advice; no matter where you live.

    from http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/concealed-carry-issues-discussions/66455-virginia-castle-law.html

    Justifiable homicide can be your defense if you are totally free from fault and had no part in initiating the altercation. You have no duty to retreat in this case.

    Excusable homicide may be your defense if you were part of the altercation. You must attempt to retreat in this case before using deadly force.

    You may not use deadly force to defend property in Va. Deadly force is only for the protection of life or against serious bodily injury.

    Va. already has case law that’s better than a castle doctrine.

    Consult a criminal defense attorney, one who has experience specifically with self defense case law, for questions of this type.

    My lawyer has said that someone being in your home is not enough reason to shoot them, that is the law in VA. You must be able to articulate that you were in fear for your life or of serious bodily harm. While retreat would certainly strengthen your defense, it is not required if you cannot safely do so.

    See also http://www.virginia1774.org/Page6.html (VA case law)

  69. Wolfy says:

    “Had the officer missed and killed a bystander, I would bet money he would face charges.” …Yea, charges..but in many of those kinds of cases the officer is found not guilty of intentional harm when innocent people”are killed.

    “How many people sleep on top of the covers with an ashtray on their bed. Why would the pot head leave his green stuff lying loose on a magazine and go to bed. When dopers aren’t smoking dope, they keep it put away.” Nevertheless, they only found a bong. Nevertheless, why are our tax payer funds going to this kind of time consuming investigation (for weed)? And why do you use the term “dope head.” Seriously.. It is the equivalent of calling cops.. pigs.. So why do you engage in using derogatory names when it comes to those who smoke marijuana? (By the way, I have never used marijuana or any illicit drugs..However, I do not think I am superior in any way because my drug of choice happens to be a legal one-nicotine- and the deadliest by far).

    Actually, in my opinion, once they used the ram on the porch (and broke the door), they were technically in his home. Many people have enclosed porches and sleep in them (especially when the air conditioner breaks down). Would you say that a person who slept last night on his or her porch is not sleeping in their home? Now that would be absurd.

    A ram can definitely be considered a weapon. Ryan knew that whoever had broken his door (especially after installing a bunch of new locks) had heavy material items that could harm him. Again, at 3am – and while using that amount of force (and the noise it creates) – a burglar would know that he was going to have to subdue the occupant. In other words, the occupant would surely be awakened.

  70. Wolfy says:

    “The officer would have known the rules of engagement, waited until he felt his life was endanger”..are you sure?
    In the Bart shooting incident, the officer surely knew the rules of engagement and still opened fire.

    The thing is, if Ryan was an officer… with an unknown intruder breaking down his door.. I would say: “Officer, I don’t blame you..you defended your home.”
    At least I can be consistent on this issue.

  71. Jack says:

    Wolfy,

    Possibly it is you who is not versed in Rothbard?

  72. Vick2020 says:

    So Mr. Sutton, are you saying RF is not guilty as charged?

  73. Wolfy says:

    Seriously… Let’s ask everyone who has read Rothbard’s writings… How would he view this case?
    I am sure I am right on this one..

  74. John Sutton says:

    Vick2020 said – So Mr. Sutton, are you saying RF is not guilty as charged?

    If I were on the jury, and had the option to find him guilty of a lesser charge than Capital Murder of a police officer; I would push for second degree murder (based on what I know thus far). I don’t yet know what jury instructions the judge will give, if they will have the option of finding him guilty of a lesser charge. Again, that will have to wait until the end of the trial for “all” of the facts to come out. (all quoted because there will still be questions at the end of this trial)

  75. John Sutton says:

    Wolfy said – I would say: “Officer, I don’t blame you..you defended your home.”
    At least I can be consistent on this issue.

    And you would be (consistently) wrong according to VA law. You can NOT defend property. Period.

  76. Vick2020 says:

    If you don’t have a choice for a lesser charger, do you think he’s guilty as charged?

    Find people guilty of a crime (1st degree murder) when it doesn’t rise to the crime as charge for the sole purpose of not letting them get off the hook is miscarriage of justice. The prosecutor had the choice, if he didn’t want a lesser charge, that’s his fault for going overboard with the charges. You said in your own words, you believe he might be guilty of second degree. If that’s not an option, then you would have to vote not guilty to the current charge. This is under the context of evidence as presented to be fair, of course.

  77. Wolfy says:

    Murray Rothbard: “It need hardly be added that the State habitually builds upon its coercive source of income by adding a host of other aggressions upon society: ranging from economic controls to the prohibition of pornography to the compelling of religious observance to the mass murder of civilians in organized warfare.” The first thing Rothbard would likely note is that the police, as an extension of the state (and thus a criminal entity), were completely in the wrong. They invaded another man’s home to enforce a law ((which Rothbard would oppose) against possessing marijuana. In the process, they broke down the man’s door. Ryan made a warning shot that unfortunately killed an officer.
    If it is correct that the jury can only find Ryan guilty of first 1st degree murder, then this case should obviously produce a not guilty.

    Jack, do you believe that other forms of consensual activities ( sex work, gambling, ect) should be legal? If your answer is no, then you should consider using a different term to describe your political beliefs – than “libertarian.” Perhaps “moderate republican?”

  78. Wolfy says:

    This is a clear way that juries can override bad laws (such as are illicit drug laws):

    “Jury nullification is an act of a jury (its verdict) intended to make an official rule, especially a statute, void in the context of a particular case. In other words, “the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her.”

  79. Jack says:

    Wolfy,

    Ludwig Von Misses Institute? Are you kidding me?

  80. Wolfy says:

    No, I am not kidding.. They are probably the most established (and respected) libertarian group that is around today..
    You are so pro-state that you are distorting the whole definition of libertarianism (which, may be your intention here)..

  81. Wolfy says:

    A guy in another forum said: “Is there even a dilemma?

    A group of armed and dangerous thugs attempted to force entry into his home in the middle of the night in order to take possession of his marijuana stash. The man would have been withing his rights to gun down all of them.

    You see, there was no mistaken identity here. He thought he was shooting at a burglar and indeed he was shooting at a burglar.

    Unfortunately for him it was one of the syndicated, uniformed burglars.” You know what? He has a good point. I was watching 60 minutes today and they were covering the increase of marijuana cultivation in California. They showed a police raid. I said to my wife: “Look at all those criminals in that person’s home.” The criminals were wearing police uniforms.

  82. John Sutton says:

    Vick2020 –
    If Capital Murder was my *only* choice, I would go for a hung jury / mistrial. The prosecutor would then have to decide if it was worth re-prosecuting the case under a lesser charge.

    We will have to wait for the jury instructions to see what options (if any) they have. The sentecing phase will likely be contentious as well.

  83. John Sutton says:

    Wolfy,
    You obviously detest the police. As Dr. Tabor has asked in a subsequent column to this one, let’s stop calling the police officers names.

    If you don’t like the way they (police) operate, change the law. They were operating within the confines of the law (albeit an extreme end of the law).

    You may wish to describe the CPD as burgalars in this incident. I WILL NOT. They had a warrant (whether you like it or not) and they acted on it. Policies will have to change to protect citizens from this ‘excessive’ (my opinion) behavior.

  84. Wolfy says:

    Actually, I detest police officers who lie in order to get convictions (like in this case).
    “Policies will have to change to protect citizens from this ‘excessive’ (my opinion) behavior.” I agree..
    However, when it comes to issues of ethics and morality, the “I was just enforcing the law” is no excuse. It didn’t work for the nazis….and it should never be accepted by any citizen.

  85. Vick2020 says:

    Mr. Sutton, what do mean by “go for a hung jury”? If everyone else voted to aquit because it does not rise to the level charge, are you implying you would vote guilty to hang the jury, while not believing actual guilt of the charge.

    For a guy that claims to be a law and order guy, and willing to do research which you presented, I can’t believe you won’t admit you would find him not guilty if the prosecution fails to prove it’s case. Please keep in mind sir, that you are the one who posted the law and claimed the case , so far at that time of post, was more fitting of second degree murder. There has been NOTHING added in the trial at this point, that would cause an upgrade to your belief. As a matter of fact, the HAS BEEN somthing that may warrant a downgrade of the charge. The prosecutored lied about RF’ state of mind at the time of the incident. RF was not drug fueled and acting according to the prosecutor’s opening statements, well so says the officer that interviewed RF at the scene.

  86. supercat says:

    the confines of the law (albeit an extreme end of the law).

    Was the raid ‘reasonable’? The Constitution explicitly says that unreasonable searches and seizures are illegitimate. If the raid was illegitimate, the intruders were burglars, and Ryan Frederick had every right to regard them as such.

    Were there any people involved in the raid who could not have reasonably believed it to be ‘reasonable’? If so, any and all such people should be prosecuted for felony murder (note that not everyone on the raid was necessarily exposed to or involved in unreasonable parts, and thus not everybody should be prosecuted).

    While it is true that it is prudent to wait until intruders are inside one’s dwelling before shooting at them, I don’t fault RF’s actions here. There are two reasons why one should wait: (1) if someone is merely banging on the door but not breaching it, the person inside can’t be certain whether the door-banger is trying to force entry, or merely knock as loudly as possible; (2) when shooting through the door, accurate aim will generally be difficult, and one risks hitting someone other than the invader. Given that the people at the door were indeed trying to force entry, and given that Ryan in fact hit the invaders, I see no reason to fault his action in any way.

  87. John Sutton says:

    Vick2020,
    As I understood your original supposition was Capital Murder only or not guilty. My original supposition assumed (I know…) that 11 wanted to convict on Capital Murder, I would not. If 11 wanted to go not guilty, then I am not in a position right now to decide. Based on what I know right now, day 5 of the prosecution’s case, I would find him guilty of 2nd degree murder. I never stated that I would not find him not guilty. Much remains to be learned.

    Remember, your premise assumed we were at the end of the trial and would know much more than we do right now. However, IF Capital Murder was the only choice and the prosecution could not prove it’s case, then I would have to vote not guilty of Capital Murder. But I truly doubt that the jury will not be able to convict on a lesser charge. It’s just too expensive to retry a case like this.

    I would have a very difficult time finding someone not guilty when they shoot blindly, having no regard for where the bullet is going to go. You fire a ‘warning’ shot and kill someone, I would find you guilty of 2nd degree murder. RF fired through a door and could not see who or what was on the other side. To me, that is reckless behavior.

  88. John Sutton says:

    Supercat,
    If the raid was unreasonable…..
    The police had a warrant. Period. It was a valid warrant issued by the magistrate. It may have been obtained under pretenses that will (or should) be found highly questionable. But the warrant was still valid. I do not know the procedures involved or if a commonwealths attorney will ever press charges against any one involved in obtaining the warrant. I hope it gets investigated. I believe that policies need to be reviewed and changed; especially with regards to CI’s. I think somebody has some “splaining to do”.

    You also said –
    when shooting through the door, accurate aim will generally be difficult, and one risks hitting someone other than the invader. Given that the people at the door were indeed trying to force entry, and given that Ryan in fact hit the invaders, I see no reason to fault his action in any way.

    And in VA you would have a tough time avoiding being prosecuted. Again, you are not allowed to protect property. And that is what he was doing before someone actually entered his home. By law (as it was explained to me when I got my CHP), you actually have to fear that your life is in danger. A broken door does not constitute reasonable fear that your life is in danger. I do not know the laws in your state. Also, the officer he killed was not the one “breaking in” at that moment. He missed the ‘actual intruder’.

    There have been 2 previous cases (that I can recall) where 1) a drunk was pounding on a door he thought was his house and was either shot at (missed) or had a gun pointed at him and 2) a drunk actually entered the wrong residence and was shot (but not killed). In those two cases, the home owner with the gun (ie, the owner protecting his home vice his life) was prosecuted successfully. I do not recall the sentences. The reasoning is that he did (should) not have a reasonable fear that his life was in danger. (ie, unarmed, drunk and non-threatening) Both incidents occurred in the midnight to 3:00am time frame as I recall.

  89. supercat says:

    //The police had a warrant. Period. //

    A warrant authorizes police to conduct a search and/or seizure in reasonable fashion. It does not authorize them to conduct one in unreasonable fashion.

    //And that is what he was doing before someone actually entered his home.//

    He saw what he reasonably believed to be the intruder’s hand. Thus, even if the intruder hadn’t fully entered the house, RF had every reason to believe that he had made entry.

    //And in VA you would have a tough time avoiding being prosecuted. Again, you are not allowed to protect property. And that is what he was doing before someone actually entered his home.//

    Are you suggesting that RF should have considered it even conceivable that the intruder intended to steal RF’s property without doing bodily harm to RF? Almost any intruder who intends to steal the property of someone who is alert to his presence will also intend to assault his victim.

    As for the case where the drunk was shot while pounding on the door, there is a difference between pounding on a door and forcing entry. If the someone is outside the door pounding away, the person inside should retain some doubt as to whether the door-banger intends to force his way in. But when the door is breached, those doubts go away.

  90. Jeff H. says:

    I can’t believe some of what I am reading here. Anyone taking the side of the police in this case is either ignorant about drug users or has been sheltered and never had their home broken into while they were in it.

    My home has been broken into while I was in it, and it was certainly the most mind-rattling terrifying experience I have ever had. I’ve had bad run-ins with multiple people on the street. I’ve had knives pulled on me and have the person attempt to use it. I’ve witnessed people brandish pistols to others as a threat. Nothing short of someone aiming a loaded gun point blank straight to your face (I assume) is as scary as having your home broken into at night. This is your home, and as some have stated, your castle. It is the one place in the world you should and rightfully do feel completely safe in.

    The perp in my incident must have thought I was not home as my car was parked around the corner, unlike it usually is, because I had friends over earlier in the night and gave them the parking in front of my garage and house so that my neighbors wouldn’t wonder about strange cars parked around the corner of my home and in front of theirs. I was watching television in the family room (my family room is away from any front windows and I did not have the lights on as I enjoy movies/TV more without other light sources). I heard what could have only been kicking on my door and panicked, running to the kitchen to grab a knife as my door was being quickly destroyed by the violent bursts, thankfully it held for the few kicks I heard and I ran beside it and shouted “I have a gun!” even though I didn’t. The reason I was close to the door was because if whoever was doing it was armed, I was ready to rush and stab them rather than stand back and be shot. I didn’t even grab the phone to call the police, there was simply no time.

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the key here. He was given 25 seconds to figure out what was going on and make a decision that one could argue was more intelligent than the decision for the police to plan a raid. That is simply not enough.

    It is not unreasonable to assume that Ryan thought his home was being invaded by someone with the intent to rob him. His actions, while not perfectly thought through, were certainly reasonable to expect from someone. The only reason I shouted I had a gun was because I didn’t have one, if that makes any sense to you. My bluff worked. The kicking stopped immediately afterwards and I reported the incident to the police. If I had a gun, I am absolutely certain I would have fired.

    This man deserves to go free for this unfortunate mishap by the police. Charge him with involuntary manslaughter if you must, but I am unconvinced beyond reasonable doubt that it was a cold-blooded killing of an officer.

  91. rob says:

    “I only hope that if any one tries to break in to your house, you at least wait until they are IN the house before you shoot them.”

    It’s a good thing he didn’t wait for them to come in the house because as soon as the cops saw the gun they would have shot him.

    And common, anyone that thinks Ryan Frederick is guilty should stop posing as a libertarian.

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