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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

READING EVIDENTIARY VIDEOS: Point #1

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

After a discussion that began here in late April when I mentioned that cops were not only training for terrorist attacks on the ground in the US, but citing positively armed citizens’ response in some such incidents, the matter morphed into a debate about whether the cops themselves were terrorists. Several who took that position cited YouTube videos, and I said that a tutorial on the topic of how to analyze such videos for the truth they contain might be in order. Several who commented here endorsed that idea, so here’s the first segment.

I was going to start with a non-police case, but since my last blog entry some have suggested that the recent fatal shooting of Jose Guerena in Pima County, Arizona would be a good place to begin. Fair enough. A good synopsis of this incident appears at Wikipedia, and should be read for background.

Prior to the recent release of a video of the incident from a camera mounted to the helmet of one of the SWAT cops, an aggregate of the myriad accusations against the police ran as follows.

Supposedly, the evil police (1) came silently like thieves (2) in the night, (3) wearing masks like burglars or home invaders, and (4) without identifying themselves, and opened fire on the homeowner (5) for no reason. It has also been alleged that they (6) shot him 60 to 71 times, (7) conspired to deprive him of emergency medical care until it was certain he was dead, (8) and made an illegal warrantless entry in any case, (9) should have known they weren’t in danger because the fully loaded rifle of the homeowner was recovered “on safe,” and (10) didn’t have grounds to make the raid to begin with. Oh, and they supposedly (11) “attacked” the wrong address, to boot.

Six of those eleven accusations, more than half of the allegations, are proven false on their face by the helmetcam video.

We see and hear that the SWAT team (1) announced their presence with a high-decibel siren wail that lasted for several seconds. (2) It all takes place in broad daylight, shortly after 9:30 AM. (3) Several have no gear obscuring their facial features, and all are in readily identifiable SWAT uniforms. (4) If you listen for it, you can hear the cops verbally identify themselves. (5) The body language and movement patterns of the officers are consistent with people in fear of their lives, and one officer is seen to fall, giving others the impression that he has been shot.

Other points are refuted by other documentation released from the investigation. (6) The autopsy lists 22 gunshot wounds, not 60 or 71. (7) It is common custom and practice for emergency medical personnel not to enter a shooting scene until it has been searched and secured for other armed perpetrators; if you don’t believe the cops, ask any paramedic or EMT you know. (8) Newsmen have independently investigated and confirmed that they indeed had a warrant. (9) Seen from the front (as when it is pointed at you) the AR15 rifle can’t be visually determined to be “on-safe” or “off-safe.” (10) The continuing investigation indicates that there were indeed grounds for the search warrant to be issued by the officers. Read it here (in detail, please, if you’re going to comment). And note from both film and warrant that (11) Mr. Guerena’s home was indeed the designated, judicially approved target site for the warrant service.

The lesson? Ask yourself if the evidence of your own eyes and ears confirms the allegations in question…and do the same with documented reports as soon as they are released.

Until the investigation is complete, Jose Guerena should be considered innocent until proven guilty insofar as the drug and home invasion allegations…and the police who shot him should be considered innocent until proven guilty of having done so wrongfully.

 

192 Responses to “READING EVIDENTIARY VIDEOS: Point #1”

  1. Robert Says:

    Mas, do you think the cop that ran up on the left at around 40 seconds in and emptied his pistol into the house had a legitimate target that he could see (transitioning from bright sunlight to darkened house) and wasn’t just doing a “spray and pray?”

  2. Fred Says:

    Infantry tactics lead to infantry results.

  3. Gary Foster Says:

    “Cops” you say? They don’t look like cops. They look like “Storm Troopers”
    What required a full on assault with a minimal amount of time for the occupant to submit? I am not buying it Mr. Ayoob.
    This was legal murder.

  4. Kevin Says:

    The issue I’d raise here not that they didn’t have a valid warrant (though the warrant is different interesting topic), it’s that the SWAT team looks like a joke. To be honest I think SWAT team isn’t the right phrase. Perhaps SWAT acquaintances? They acted like a bunch of randomly picked armed guys who all are wearing the same color gear. “Hey lets go meet up and go kick in some doors. Umm, Steve, how about you breach and Jack you want to take the shield today?”

    It appears that they have never been trained or ever practiced. 4 guys wedged into the doorway, back-lighted? How long should an entire well trained team stand in a back-lit doorway? So it does seem to true to say they acted like a group of home invaders, not like the well-trained police tactical team that they claim to be.

    The various statements of the team members also suggest some pretty serious issues.

    To cite one rather obvious one, how they announced themselves, from an email I sent to the Star last night:

    I don’t think that Deputy Kenneth Walsh’s statements here match the physical evidence:

    ‘Walsh told investigators he issued at least two sets of commands in English and Spanish before he and another officer were ordered to open the door.

    ‘The order to open the door came during his third set of commands, he said.

    ‘”It took at least a minute to issue the commands before they knocked down the door, he said.”‘

    To look at the video, at 26 seconds it appears someone lightly knocked on the door.

    Then they stood back.

    At 29 to 31 seconds you can hear someone shout “police [unintelligible] warrant [unintelligible]’. Do you hear someone yell something similar in Spanish?

    At 32 seconds someone starts to say that again, but before he can complete it…

    At 33 seconds you can hear to door being forced open.

    Even giving the most generous possible interpretation to the video, nobody gets out of the vehicle until about 5 seconds in and the door is broken open at 33 seconds. I do not think that it is possible that this took “at least a minute”.

    I’m unclear that the time they waited was the amount of time legally required by the US 4th amendment, AZ law or the written policy of the PCSD. Could you or the Star clarify this?

    Did their at most 8 second announcement comply with the law and the PCSD policy governing service of search warrants? Did their method of announcing comply with the law and PCSD policy governing service of search warrants?

    What is the law and policy?

  5. Jason Says:

    Home invasion squads in Arizona have been known to impersonate police. From within a home, what would you see? Mind you, this is in a home in a bad neighborhood, and your wife’s relatives have already experienced a home invasion. Armed men in some kind of uniform through the window. Then a brief siren. (Who can get sirens? Only police? Is it even a police siren, or a car alarm set off by being bumped by those people outside?) Somebody shouts something. Maybe you can make out the word “police”, but anyone can say that word. Then your door bursts open, and you see a black figure silhouetted against the bright Arizona sunlight. Before you can even take the safety off your rifle, the shooting starts.

    I don’t see a good solution to this problem. If good people don’t defend themselves when they hear the word “police” or see a men in camo, then home invasion squads will have a high incentive to… wear camo and shout “police!” In fact, they already do. Bad guys won’t stop acting like cops, so maybe the good guys should stop acting like bad guys.

    It worked for many, many years. These sorts of raids are a relatively recent invention. Maybe we should go back to those days again.

  6. Richard Says:

    Mas,

    1. The link to the search warrant affidavit is broken. The period at the end or the URL needs to be removed and then it works fine. I hope people take the time to read it.

    2. The more evidence that is released, the more obvious it becomes that the decedent was certainly surrounded by criminal elements if not directly involved. If I read correctly, he had five prior felony arrests and was a suspect in an ICE investigation for drug smuggling. What’s the old saying about looking and sounding like a duck?

    3. While I applaud your efforts to bring reason to the topic, I am worried that reason and evidence do not have a place with many of the people who have been most vocal on the incident.

    There seems to be an number of citizens who are so disenchanted with the government, that ANY action taken by a government employee is seen as wrong, regardless of what evidence may exist. Whereas most of us are of a liberty midset, those screaming for the heads of these SWAT cops are much more akin to the butchers in the French Revolution than the Founding Fathers.

    Again, thank you for a reasoned approach.

    -Richard

  7. Phelps Says:

    I hope it is not the case, Mr. Ayoob, because I respect your opinion, but this looks like an attempt to defend an obviously unprofessional raid resulting in a likely case of excessive force (at the least, the add-on over the back pistol shooter.)

  8. Tim from CO Says:

    Nice break down of the incident Mas.

    I can’t believe people were citing the “On-Safe” thing. Even wiki implied a loaded gun on-safe is “safe” and not a credible threat… well actually I can believe it. I recall in CA a knife wielding individual that was shot and the press was asking why didn’t the Police just shoot the knife out of his hand…

    Hey it happens in Hollywood so it must be true right? TV or the Internet wouldn’t lie…

    In all seriousness, any idea where the 71 shots came from Mas? Pretty sure I read 71 shots on a Police site as well. Maybe 71 was the shots fired? Or the Police site was just using the same “source” everyone else was?

    Anytime I hear something on mainstream news, I take it with a bucket of salt. I knew someone in a self-defense incident and the news made it sound like the attacker was the actual victim. But just from hearing about the Guerena incident on mainstream made it sound like SWAT got the wrong address and Guerena was shot for no reason. Of course the warrant and AR involved were conveniently left out. Some mentioned “drugs” but none mentioned the home invasion. Checking actual news sites does wonders.

    Thanks for the summary Mas!

  9. Boris Says:

    Mas,

    I have not seen anyone claiming that the police officers were evil. I saw claims that they were negligent. And this is a fair accusation.

    You don’t think so?

    Well, this is too bad. I do strongly believe that a police in this country has no right to apply military tactics without good solid evidence that they are facing well-armed opposition willing to do battle.

    I have yet to see any in this case.

    Now, note Guerena’s actions and contrast them with the actions of the police. He was the only one who acted highly professionally all the way – and take into account he was able to get it together moments after he was awaken. He hid his wife and kids first. He armed himself. And he never took his rifle off safety, – obviously not willing to shoot someone by accident.

    It is impossible to claim that he knew he was facing police and had designs to shoot at them. If he did, – he would have taken the safety off. (Not just that. He could have harmed them very seriously. You of all people should be able to see that – just look at the tape and imagine yourself on the other side, and what you would be able to do in Guerena’s place with an M-16 if you wanted to – and the police were silhouetted like that in the door)

    If police acted as professionally as he did, – he would have been alive now.

  10. Mags Says:

    It doesn’t look like the best planned entry but we have to let the facts speak for themselves and not let the emotions get the best of us.

  11. Joshua Says:

    Regarding the “on-safe” claim, the first time I heard that mentioned was as a response to the police’s original statement that Mr. Guerena fired upon them first. I agree with the commenters here that a person has no way of knowing whether his assailant’s weapon is on-safe or not, and so that fact should not be relevant in the decision to shoot. The point was that the police’s original story did not match the facts of the case and was deserving of scrutiny.

    Regarding not letting the EMTs on the scene until the scene was secured, the time I have heard passed around is something like an hour and fifteen minutes. I have no way of determining whether that claim is accurate, but if so, I don’t think the “securing the scene” argument holds water. If it takes a highly-trained SWAT team over an hour to clear and secure a small home, something’s wrong.

    It’s my understanding that this was not a “no-knock” warrant. The police were obligated to identify themselves. They ran the siren, although when I heard it in the video, I didn’t know what it was, even with all the context I had going into the video. If I heard that siren coming from outside my house, I would assume it was a car alarm. Then, the police knocked on the door and announced themselves. Eight seconds later, they made entry. Is eight seconds, or 2-3 seconds if you assume that the person did not recognize the siren’s relevance, a reasonable amount of time to expect a person to answer the door?

    A neighbor of mine once was arrested for stealing a car. (He apparently took it for a “test drive” and then never returned it.) I became aware of this when I heard, out the window of my townhome, a voice coming over a megaphone, “This is the Cobb County Police.” Now that was a clear and unambiguous announcement.

  12. sofa Says:

    “Infantry tactics lead to infantry results.” -Fred

    Our previous British government tried similar methods. How’d that work?
    Did the ‘lesser privileged subjects’ sit still for military subjugation?

    Consider how a warrant was served years ago…
    Now a standing army of enforcers has been created in our midst.
    What insanity has morphed America into such a viscious self destructive military prison camp?

    Break out your Bastiat, Locke, Paine, Jefferson, and Solzheneitzen- to see where this invariably leads.

  13. Curtis Cope Says:

    What a mass cluster puck on the part of the Dudley SWAT Team.

    And leave to your high intelligence and gyrating loins to cite Wikipedia as a responsible source Mas.

    And wow! Guilty by association! His family is involved in criminal activity, so he must also be too!

    And remember everyone, if you hear a cop siren at any time, cringe in fear. It is probably the Dudley SWAT Team getting ready to tap on your door, meekly announce their presence, and cluster puck at your door capping off 71 shots in your direction after just being awakened by your wife (who tells you there is a armed man pointing a gun at her at the window) from a deep slumber after a few hours of hard work.

    And remember, the warrant was not for Mr. Guerena … it was for his house and whatever they could … find … that may or may not indict Mr. Guerena or a family member in a crime. Nothing indicted Mr. Guerena in a crime.

    They were SNIFFING. And ended up SNUFFING.

    You are pathetic Mas. Pa-the-tic.

    The Guerena Shooting: Initial Analysis
    http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/316833.php

    Guerena’s wife Vanessa pleading for help
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSXi6Oq49ro&feature=player_embedded

    This wasn’t a highly trained SWAT Team, but a bunch of wannabee yahoo’s … on a fishing expedition.

    Man up Mas.

  14. dsd Says:

    considering the now dead guy just came home from a 12 hour shift at the local mine – couldn’t a day or two of surveillance/research have provided a much easier takedown as he exited his car dead exhausted from a long night at work? or if he was the determined “threat” just pick him up at work and escort him home for the warrant search.

    it unfortunately seems to me too many swat teams look for reasons to do these type of entries. it is the “if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail” mentality.

    there will be a day when there will be a swat team that gets completely obliterated by some competent citizen when they attempt some bumbling entry like this. while the citizen will most likely still be killed by the sheer number against him/them – i expect there will eventually be mass casualties on the swat side that may be the final straw that makes departments stop and rethink the necessity of these kinds of entry tactics…

    that or an event like that will be the final nail the anti-gunners (and the current administration) will use to outlaw citizens having firearms completely – all in the cause of making the country safer for armed police entries of course…

  15. Rick Says:

    I too have trouble with the no-knock or restricted notice warrants.

    I watched the video three times.

    Assuming that this happened at 9:30 am in OUR home, In the time from the first announcement to the time the door was broken open, my wife literally would not yet have gotten to her bedroom door. She is moderately dis-abled and does not move fast.

    By the time the first shots went off, she would be at the bedroom door with the double barreled 19 inch 20 gauge at low ready, and probably shouting “Stop or I’ll shoot!”

    That’s the drill she’s been trained to. I assume that means that she would be dead.

    There’s a pair of conflicting demands here. You can (although in this case they did not) do a low notice warrant on the wrong house.

    You can do a low notice warrant on someone who is not guilty of anything you’re investigating, but you have a reasonable basis for the warrant. (as in this case)

    And you can have a situation where if you serve a warrant “politely” the people inside can destroy evidence and arm themselves and shoot cops.

    So, we take a chance of killing innocent citizens as a price for reducing the risk to the cops and a price for the better retention of evidence.

    Mas, in your widely experianced opinion, have we made the correct balance choices? Are we careful ENOUGH that my wife doesn’t get shot while capturing enough of the bad guys?

    That’s the problem many of us have with these tactics. It’s not that they’re “paramilitary” It’s not that they’re really all that much different than invasive warrent service has been for a half-century. It’s that, it FEELS like there is too much chance that innocents go down, and it’s certainly true that some have.

    So, I ask again, do you think the balance is currently appropriate?

  16. sofa Says:

    “Until the investigation is complete, Jose Guerena should be considered innocent until proven guilty insofar as the drug and home invasion allegations…and the police who shot him should be considered innocent until proven guilty of having done so wrongfully.”

    Let’s do the same with the enforcers, as you suggest, and put them on trial. What are their names and home addreses? What are their complete professional and private histories? Which judge did not sign the warrant? What is his history? We already know the history of Dupnick. Let’s consider them innocent until proven guilty, in precisely the same way. Or did we previously hold them to a higher standard? [Mas asked us to consider them equal. I'm pointing out that he does no for one minute consider the victim equal to the perpetrators. It is a rectal cranial inversion to suppose that the perpetrators have special extra-legal rights, while the deceased only had the privileges of not yet being proven guilty.]

    Turns out the enforcers are new age Pirates with a ‘letter of Marque’ authorizing theft, kidnap, and murder. Hessians, Huns, Mercenaries, hired to do this very thing. Or do you think every community suddenly needed militarized enforcers to defeat jihadis? In rural Iowa? In Arizona? In every county, everywhere? And given special emergency powers? This is a new national army of occupation.

    And here’s the truth to the lie-

    If Jose Guerena “was considered innocent until proven guilty”: Then an innocent man was executed without trial, on the spot, in his home. So when will we see the killers on trial?

    Which makes my point: Murder of an innocent, presumed guilty.
    Executed by mercenaries created for this very purpose.

  17. Don Says:

    I am an EMT and have had to wait for the Sheriff’s deputies to clear a scene with an active shooter. All three of my patients died before I could render any service. The time listed in the scenario is about the same as I experienced.

    Mas as usual, your calm rational analysis set the record straight. I look forward to our next meeting.

  18. Azreel Says:

    I have just one question:

    Would you feel safe with that SWAT team conducting operations in your neighborhood?

    Would you feel safe if they raided your house?

  19. Jack Zeller Says:

    People, stop making judgements…if this ends up a court issue, the courts will decide. What IS clear, is that there was several times the necessary PC for the cops to make the search. What went right, or wrong, in the execution of it has NOTHING to do with whether the cops had ample reason to go there and take the place down (they did). Not sure what some of your readers understand about probable cause Mas, but methinks some of them never heard the term. In any case, the fine upstanding citizens in the house will have their day in court. The cops should be afforded to same. Jack

  20. Mas Says:

    Richard, link is fixed, thanks for the catch.

    To those who say the siren sounds like a car alarm: that’s the “yelp mode” used at intersections, etc. because it has been deterined to be louder and more readily heard and recognized at close distances, as opposed to the “wail mode” that seems to carry farther, advantageous in, for example, high speed pursuits on highways. If anyone wants to seriously tell me that they, and Guerena took the police siren for a car alarm, please explain:

    1. Why everyone gets out of the way when our patrol cars and the ambulances use it at intersections, and no one seems to mistake it for a car alarm THEN?
    2. Why, if Mr. Guerena thought it was a car alarm IN HIS OWN DRIVEWAY he didn’t look out the window and see uniformed officers with police vehicles and flashing police lights, instead of grabbing his rifle and hunkering down inside?

    For those who think a SWAT entry is overboard for a suspect known to be a combat-trained Marine, who has been arrested for weapon violation/drug possession in the past, if your son or daughter were cops, would you want THEM to politely knock on his door while wearing nothing more substantial than a business suit and carrying only a holstered snub-nose .38…the “old way” some of you want to return to?

    Those who’ve gone from “the cops are murderers” to “we know more about tactics than the SWAT team” are free to send their resumes to the department in question and offer them your improved SWAT training. In any case, that’s not the issue here. You are free to send me videos of YOU reacting while a suspect points a loaded AR15 rifle at YOU, so we can sit at your feet and learn.

    dsd, are you EVER going to read the testimony presented to the grand jury in the Las Vegas case, or the other materials that have been suggested to you, or are you too fixated on your “pirates” thing?

    I can only say: “Pirates…Arrrrr….”

  21. Mas Says:

    Boris, if you haven’t seen anyone calling the cops evil, you haven’t seen some of the links that have been sent here by critics and haters alike. (Yes, I do try to distinguish between those two categories.)

    In just this comments page, you see folks calling the involved officers murderers. Murder is distinguished from manslaughter by the key ingredient of malice — evil intent. When you call someone a murderer, you’re calling him evil.

    Azreel, you ask if I would feel safe with this SWAT team raiding my house. The point of raiding in force is to make those being raided feel so unsafe that they won’t attempt to kill the raiders. USUALLY, it works. It would be interesting if the authorities in Pima County could publish statistics on how many such raids they carry out that DON’T end in shooting, because those being raided are sufficiently intimidated to submit without bloodshed.

    Sofa, you say “an innocent man was executed without trial.” No, a man pointing a loaded AR15 rifle at police who were performing their duties with a lawful warrant was predictably shot by said police. Those are facts that simply can’t be disputed by anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty.

    Rick asks where do we find the balance? There are too many variables involved to answer that question. Each case is different. When you are the one who has to “go through the door” on criminal suspects, you will want every advantage on your side. When you are the law-abiding citizen protecting your home, you will want every advantage on YOUR side. We have to take each case on its specific merits with its own specific set of facts and circumstances, as we are doing in this case.

  22. Tim Says:

    This is the same county sheriff (and SWAT team) that let Jared Laughner go seven times. So I think it IS reasonable to assume they are, at a minimum, incompetent. Going beyond that, the “militarization” of our police force has gone too far, plain and simple. For some reason, the argument is always made that the officer just wants to go home alive, but seldom does the citizen’s rights come into play. Why is that, Mas? Is it because it is assumed that the officer is of a higher moral character simply because he is police? I respect police very much, but most policing is now conducted with full-throttle military tactics in the name of their lives and not the “suspect”. I am actually surprised and saddened that you fell on the side of the issue you did.

  23. Curtis Cope Says:

    Lawful warrant my arse. Funny how “lawful warrants” have metamorphosed over the years into more power for the State and the cops who serve it. Ya know, like like the original intent of the 1st., 2nd., and on through to the 10th amendment have metamorphosed over the years to become meaningless?

    Face it Mas, you hate the constitution. But you sure do love it that way. Of course, you won’t admit it.

  24. Mas Says:

    Curtis, come up from under the babble and Cope with reality, and explain yourself with specifics. Debate requires more than insult.

    Tim, where did you get the idea that the SWAT team had anything to do with Laughner falling through the cracks of society and “the system”? Or that “most policing is now conducted with full throttle military tactics”? Tomorrow, count how many cops you see performing the routine tasks police have always performed in this society…and how many SWAT vans you see conducting raids. Feel free to get back to the rest of us here on that.

    I’m open to debate on the issue. That’s why your comments are still here. But, in the name of reason, people…think before you post.

  25. Mark Says:

    Mas, it is obvious that the problem here is a mistrust of governmental authority. There are a lot of voices in our society anymore who are pushing this agenda. Men like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, and Jesse Ventura are three such examples. I think there is a healthy and an unhealthy mistrust of government. The revolving door between wall street and the government vs. main street is a healthy mistrust for the average citizen for example. The so- called assault weapons ban is another area. It is clear these anti gunners do not know or wish to speak the truth as to what an assault weapon really is. Unhealthy mistrust sees tyranny behind every action and intent without examining the facts. I heard a European spokesman state that he could not understand why Americans mistrust their government so much. My answer to him is America has never had an Adolf Hitler, Stalin, or Napoleon, and we do not want one. This is Healthy. We want our citizenry armed. Yes there are forces out there that want to limit our freedoms, but every police department is not necessarily a part of that. I blame our politicians and political machine much more than I do the police. I know many will say that the police are the arm of the government, but it is the policies that the police are forced to enforce that are the root of this problem. What are all the complainers doing to bring about a change in our society and politics? The police must do whatever it takes to end a potentially violent situation. This may require overwhelming force. The key is for the citizen to not put the police in such a situation. If the police are corrupt and breaking the law, then there have been more cases than not where the long arm of the legal system has fallen on police officers and departments. Yes some police do slip under the radar, but so does corrupt citizenry. We must take a stand against both such situations. Do not just blame the police, lets get to the root of this problem; a corrupt political system that devours politicians, military, police, and citizens alike. The love of money which corrupts and leads to all manners of evil.

  26. Bob from Illinois Says:

    Beware of judging an incident based solely on a video you see on the internet. Perspective is everything and something that cannot be known from just one video.

    Want proof? Watch the video at the link below. If we were to judge from just the first camera shot we would all agree that the cops in the video were evil men who killed an innocent person. Then in comes camera number 2 and a whole new perspective…

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4780043034404553451#

    Sure, cops over step their bounds and do bad things but it is the exception, not the rule. For those of you who believe all law enforcement is just waiting to trample your rights there is no amount of proof for you to the contrary and any little thing you find is just more proof that they’re all out to get you.

    I couldn’t be a cop in today’s climate. The law is very clear on how I am to react but the people who make up jurys believe Hollywierd instead and expect you to shoot guns from peoples hands and have no fear when a loaded semiautomatic rifle is being pointed at you because of the huge red flag sticking up telling you the weapon is on safe and therefore couldn’t possibly be a threat.

    Remind me again how many morons shoot themselves every year with unloaded weapons or shoot friend because they thought the safety was on?

  27. Tim Says:

    Mas,

    The SWAT team is part of the same organization run by Sheriff Dupnik (of “political vitriol” fame), and it always starts at the top.

    As for the tactics, it used to be you would not be “proned-out” unless you made some sort of furtive gesture or ran. Now, simple car stops can entail proning. Perhaps “most” was a stretch, but certainly the tactics of the police have certainly gone beyond the 4th and 5th amendments original intent. I actually have a few LE friends who take great glee in the “broken license plate light” excuse to search a car or the profiling they use. They have just become smarter in their report writing.

    Personally, I understand the need to profile at times – but this SWAT team’s tactics are what killed the Marine. I believe the Sheriff’s office even said it was his OWN team’s ND that caused the panic. These guys were not professional in the serving of the warrant. It just seems that a ten or 12 man SWAT team was overkill (pardon the pun) to serve that warrant. Maybe we should be looking at Judge who signed the warrant. Maybe the issue is larger than the police work being done. Patriot act anyone? At what point is sacrificing liberty in the name of security is enough?

    Maybe this type of stuff has been happening longer than I realize. With YouTube’s and Internet’s proliferation of videos and quick-reaction news reporting, we are just now seeing it. I wish I could recall some of the other videos, but they are all out there on Youtube with the over-reaction of police. I believe one was a SW being served at 2 am and the owner of the home came out of a hallway, out of a dead sleep, with a golf club and was double-tapped. Sorry, there has to be a safer way to conduct these raids! Perhaps a little intelligence-gathering prior to the raid? But with cuts all over the US in LE, it seems the only budget we keep is the tactical units and not the community policing and detective work. Let’s just go in in force and shut them down quickly – if a few people are killed in the process, so be it.

    I realize you will almost always come down on the side of LE, being one yourself and your cadre of friends, trainers and trainees are most-likely from the LE community. But I come from the perspective that our system was designed, largely, to set a guilty person free rather than send an innocent man to his death (the whole presumption of innocence thing). And I think if you extrapolate that out, the same should apply to, what appear, to be “auto-signature” signed warrants anymore.

    In any case, I am still a fan of your books and training – we just disagree on this case (for now). Only time will tell who is actually right. But the system seems pretty rigged in favor of LE on this one already.

  28. Kevin Says:

    The warrant is interesting too, but I think the video is what is under discussion.

    My understanding is that it was taken by the helmet cam of the team leader. Who appears for some reason to be sitting in the back seat of a police vehicle while the team made entry. Don’t most police vehicles have quite loud and effective PA systems? It would appear possible to make use of that. I know it has been done by other jurisdictions, as I’ve seen references to the use of a police PA system to provide 15 seconds of announcements be accepted as part of the valid way to provide notification by the federal courts.

    This would seem like a much more successful approach to actually informing everyone inside that the police were outside than tapping on the door and shouting though a closed door from several feet away.

    Did you hear the team identify themselves as police after forcing the door? I did not. It would appear logical that the occupants would be much more likely to hear and understand police announcements once the door was open.

    We certainly know that multiple members of the swat team said they clearly saw Guerena shoot at them. We also know that these statements fail to match the physical evidence.

    We know that the statements of how the team provided notification fail to match the video evidence.

    At this point I would suggest that an other statements by the SWAT team that are not supported by physical or video evidence by considered as highly questionable.

    I would further suggest that the video shows an untrained and poorly lead team behaving in a totally casual and undisciplined manner. Their shooting skills and judgement, as shown by the multiple rounds fired into the door frame, multiple officers shooting themselves dry, officers shooting into at least two other residences (at least some bullets appear to have exited the back of the residence at or above 7 feet high), and the one-handed blind fire, appear far from the expert and well-controlled fire that is typically expected of a specialized tactical team.

    Mas: “Why, if Mr. Guerena thought it was a car alarm IN HIS OWN DRIVEWAY he didn’t look out the window and see uniformed officers with police vehicles and flashing police lights, instead of grabbing his rifle and hunkering down inside?”

    My impression from his wife’s statements is that Jose Guerena could not see what was going on his driveway because 1) he was asleep until his wife woke him up when she heard a loud noise in her house and saw people entering and 2) he was running to the front of the house to see what was going on when he was shot. I don’t know of any contradictory evidence, do you?

    What I images I have seen of the house would appear to have the bedrooms in the back with some sort of living room in the front. I’ve never seen a floor plan, have you? I would expect that a competent and well trained tactical team would have obtained a floor plan, hence I expect that this team did not and so it isn’t in the documents released.

  29. Tommy Sewall Says:

    Mas,

    On the original point of interpretation of the video: It clearly refutes several/most of the allegations against the police involved in the raid. However, it creates questions about the tactics used.
    My take: 1) siren on from 6 to 11 seconds with unintelligible talk 2) as siren ends “move out…do it” 3) officers approach door and take position, one says “bang, bang, bang” 4) breaching hammer is visible 28 seconds and an officer tries door 5) 33 seconds door is breached and officer moves back 6) officers enter, nothing is said, first shot occurs at 40 seconds followed by 6 more from the same gun 7) multiple shots fired as entering officer crouches or falls 8) 42 seconds officer says stay close..the floor (door?) come on out here.

    What I’m missing is the announcement of the warrant and I think this is important since there was no mention of this being a no-knock service of the warrant. I did read the warrant and it seemed reasonable under the circumstances if no-knock language was there, either asking for it or obtaining it, I missed it.

    Also, if you pull up the sound in an editable format you can count the shots and distinguish the signatures of several weapons. The first 7 were most likely fired by the same gun. The reports of 60 or 70 shots with 22 hits seems reasonable.

    The bottom line is that this incident is scary as hell to me in two ways.

    First my son is a deputy and routinely serves warrants “the old way” and the new. I don’t envy him. Do I think he will try his best; definitely. Do I think he will make mistakes; definitely.

    Secondly, I recently served on a jury trial where one of the officers lied (and was subsequently disciplined) in order to obtain the warrant. The warrant on the apartment was determined by the jury to be illegal. It didn’t leave me with a good feeling about the system by which warrants are issued and served. With in a couple of months of this, my wife and I had an attempted home invasion. I was able to convince the fellow kicking in my door that he should prone out on the porch and wait for the police rather than me shooting him. No shots were fired and he was arrested. (I thank the many of you who have written about the use of cellphones, flashlights and establishing communication with responding officers.)

    One comment I did want to make at the beginning of the original blog was about the change in police officers at shooting events. Thirty years ago I shot bullseye competition with many police officers and found it very pleasant and informative to talk to them. I don’t shoot competitively anymore but at the range there seems to be much more an “us” and “the rest of you” attitude. I don’t understand this change but I’m not the only one to notice it. Its certainly not good PR.

    Keep on writing away. I always enjoy and learn from your columns and blogs.

  30. Glenbo Says:

    Mas, I’m just curious about SWAT, or any sector of law enforcement, wearing masks to obscure their identity. What’s the deal?

  31. Douglas Uhlmann Says:

    BRAVO Mas! I think that many on here would tell you that you had just shown them a pink elephant when it was actually gray. I challange anyone of these gun experts to stare down the barrel of my AK from 25 to 30 feet and tell me if the safety is on or off. As a LEO I will tell them this, I will do everything possible to come home to my family. You point a gun at me I will only tell you once! This individual paid his nickle and went for the ride…

  32. dsd Says:

    mas says
    “I’m open to debate on the issue. That’s why your comments are still here. But, in the name of reason, people…think before you post.”

    no you are not – you cherry pick the tinniest small segment of any reply that you may be able to wiggle in – the rest you completely ignore. just like these increasingly dangerous tactics ignore the “innocent until proven guilty” part of our law.

    if they did determine this guy to be “dangerous” as you and others are so afraid of – then there are far better ways to search his house then they chose as their “best” option. as suggested pick him up while at work! (i’ll add the crickets sound here for you mas…)

    there are multiple better scenarios for approaching a potentially dangerous suspect – duh! these are wannabe tough guys that want to invent reasons to play super SWAT cop. – sounds just like our current administration and DHS… gasp! a trained military veteran! well golly heez gotsta be dangerus to us – weez betta protects us! gosh golly! the safety of the officer is so important (the citizen, eh not so much…) lets make sure they all get to go home after executing someone and then courts will decide after the fact if he was indeed dangerous. (wink, nudge…)

    mas also says

    “Those are facts that simply can’t be disputed by anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty.”

    i guess this is why you ignore so much of the replies – as you can’t seem to dispute the overwhelming facts with a shred of intellectual honesty. smile and denial – that’s a good boy!

    you said it yourself yet again

    “Debate requires more than insult.”

    yet you ignore most chance to debate, stick to your story and that’s it – like you were “trained” – won’t even put in print that there could have been a better way – just smile and nod mas, good job! then stoop to insults – you are exactly what you attack as juvenile. cherry pick and insult with babble… “arrrgh! mas” ha! what a joke…

    i LOVE it hearing how this guy will get his day in court by these people here… i can only hope they get assaulted in the same way.

    this guy is dead. so lets see how much it helps if they don’t convict him… oh and the police have never lied to cover their asses after such an blunder right? sealing the warrant a few days AFTER the raid? seems SOP to CYA. they will bury him so deep in manufactured charges that any normal human would probably choose death over fighting it… i guess the case is already settled then right? (wink, nudge)

    even IF this guy was guilty… this was a complete travesty of our legal system. any idiot like that SWAT wannabe who runs up to a pack of active shooters and gangsta style shoots a few from his handgun ” to get in the “me too” of the action should be exiled from the force. instead it’s go home and get your medals boys!

    i wish someone could role play this at mas’ house (with airsoft) and see how he fares- run a siren for a few seconds outside while mas is sleeping, meekly knock then 8 seconds later kick the door in and start shooting… you think you’d survive mas?

    i know it would take me about 10 seconds to get to the front door from nearly anywhere my house – hearing the siren from further back then anywhere else but the front door or window would not indicate it was at my residence – guess i’m guilty then right?

    frequently i hear sirens go by here and can’t tell if they are on my street of the next one over or just passing by – the sound bounces around off buildings and trees etc – so if i went to investigate and walked into a doorway stuffed with armed guys – yeah i’d probably pull my CCW gun too – as i would not know what was going on… (gasp! i exercise my second amendment! i must be guilty if i carry a gun – why else would i need one?!?) oops! guess i’m guilty – so then execute me on the spot so they can look justified and we’ll let the courts figure out i was innocent later… phew!

    mas, you are a shill is all you are. not even once have you dared comment against “your” side. (and it is beyond obvious you have a side) so much for no intellectual bias.

    how about at the very least a comment on their pathetic fatal funnel tactics mas? probably perfect in your eyes right? some new super secret cops only speciality ninja tactics!!! arrrrghhhh, corrrrect matey!

  33. Tom in Orlando Says:

    The initial reports I heard from the media gave me a bad feeling about the incident. Knowing the media gets it wrong so often, especially with rapidly evolving incidents, I am happy to see that the PC was a lot more solid than initially indicated by the media.

    I am sure there is a lot of room for disagreement on the methodology of using SWAT for routine search warrants, even warrants for someone known to be armed in the past. Even so I do not believe this incident is nearly as bad as originaly reported. It reminds me of the Diallo incident that looked so bad in the media until you read the “rest of the story” that came out after the trial.

    Bottom line a legitimate warrant was met by perceived force and the ensuing onesided firefight killed a person that might have been innocent of criminal wrongdoing. Sad but understandable. I hope it does not happen again but I fear it will.

  34. paradox Says:

    From the last articles and now this, Mas. has clearly lost his objectivity. He will make any excuse for those in blue. He can’t not see evil at all. Well not everyone in blue is a good person. If fact German found out those in uniform can end up being very oppressive.

  35. Jim Patterson Says:

    “Rick asks where do we find the balance? There are too many variables involved to answer that question. Each case is different.”

    Mas, you are uncharacteristically dodging the question. Yet you have already, in so many words, come up with the same answer that Police everywhere have: I minimize the risk to myself, by maximizing the risk to the citizen.

    Everyone wants to go home to their wife and kids at the end of their shift; however this is a risky job that nobody is forcing anyone to do. It used to be understood that innocents were more valuable than criminals, now the risk burden is consciously shifted such that citizens are placed in the position of eggs to be broken for omelettes.

  36. Jim March Says:

    Mas,

    You’ve missed a few points here.

    1) Law enforcement knew that Jose Guerena was a gun owner and recent two-tour Iraq war vet, USMC.

    2) They knew they would be catching him while he was asleep. That was the plan. Yes, this was in fact broad daylight – but by design, it was Jose’s “midnight”. Just over 2 hours earlier he’d gotten off-shift at a mine, where he’d put in 12 hours. They had to know that, given the potential danger Jose posed. If not, they were complete blithering idiots.

    3) Given those facts, it was very, very likely that Guerena was going to die that day. It was entirely predictable to any of the department managers who knew how that SWAT team “operates” (so to speak – we’ll get to that!). Worse, this event basically nullifies the 2nd Amendment in AZ – if you think your home is being broken into and you arm yourself on that basis, if it turns out to be police doing their best imitation of “gangstas” then you are going to die – period, end of discussion. That is a pre-planned decision on the part of this agency and all too many others.

    4) Now let’s talk about the competency of the “team” involved. Here’s some hard evidence: pictures I took myself of the Guerena family home’s front door and back wall a week ago:

    Front door:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2799/5798366227_df133051d0_b.jpg

    Gee Mas, was this a modern police action or a drive-by? Because I’m finding it hard to sort out, you know?

    Hole 1 is an exit – the door was fully open and the entry was in the edge of the door not seen now that it’s closed. Direction of travel is, of course, into the home. Holes 4 and 5 are similar, except that here the two entries came through doorframe first (holes 2 and 3) so with the door closed, we now see both entry and exit holes. And we also see a pretty sharp downward angle, which I think is important.

    Here’s the back of the home. Now granted, bullets can do some funky things after hitting people or objects within the home, but…this is still a pretty wild spread:

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5028/5798366223_cd542de5e6_b.jpg

    Two rounds cleared the 6ft brick wall I shot this over and did visible holes in the next house to my rear as I took that pic. I’m told more strays went elsewhere and that at least two other houses besides the Guerena house were hit.

    You need to understand that this was densely populated suburbia:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3642/5798366235_392447929d_b.jpg

    Kind of a crappy place to try and stage WW3, no?

    One more key detail – go back to the video you posted and pause it at 30 seconds in. You see the back of the helmet and torso of one of the SWAT team who later walks all the way up to the front door and is one of the guys shooting. But at 30sec in, he’s much closer to the camera. Look at his helmet: there’s something round and dangly off his left ear, and something mounted top-center in black on the helmet. It seems very likely one of those things is a camera, in which case there’s footage from much closer to the action that Sheriff Dupnick’s agency hasn’t released. Well gee Mas, I wonder why? Could it be that the extreme downward trajectory of at least two rounds was basically part of a “finishing burst”? Because that’s certainly what it looks like, no?

    I really, really want to see that closer video.

    In the meantime, what I get out of this is that the “war on drugs” has turned into an absolutely full-fledged war on ME. On any AZ gun owner, including one like me who’s never even tried pot let alone anything wilder. I’m one bad snitch away from Jose’s fate, living in Tucson with a CCW permit so if they ever want to raid me, they’ll know to do it in just as trigger-happy a state as they did here.

    We’re down to a choice: we can support the 2nd and 4th Amendments to the US constitution, or we can support a program of price supports for drugs at gunpoint as we’ve been doing in a failed fashion for generations now.

    No. We’re done. People want to screw themselves up on drugs? Let ‘em. I don’t give a crap anymore. It’s a war on US, dammit. We have to end it, one way or another.

    ———–

    Oh: as to the comments about the lunatic that shot up Gabby Gifford’s party: said lunatic had issued a long series of death threats previously, all of them classifiable as “terrorist threats”. One guess whihc agency blew off most of the reports? Yeah. Sheriff Dipstick. We’re not real happy with him. And yeah, we get that SWAT wasn’t involved in both incidents…but this sheriff’s department sure was.

  37. paradox Says:

    Mas, please just go back to writing article about guns.

  38. sofa Says:

    Mas said Jose Guerena was innocent, but needed to be killed. So that’s how it is now. Set up a Catch22, and kill anyone who does not quickly bow down and genuflect before their masters.

    After one comes to the conclusion he or she is already a slave that can be murdered by its master at any time, then things become much clearer.

    The fight Mas is bringing into our homes and streets is destroying what we recognize as America. The troubles are being forced upon a people that yearn to be left alone, yearn to be free. But the troubles are being forced upon them against their will.

    Call me “Tank Guy”, standing here with my groceries, asking it to stop.
    You all know he was ‘re-educated’ later that day, right?
    Targetted for daring to speak.
    They sent a team to his home.

    After one comes to the conclusion he or she is already a slave that can be murdered by its master at any time, then things become much clearer.

    Jose Guerena and Scott Walker were innocent men, murdered by people who see it as their duty. How sick is that?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis.

  39. Matt, another Says:

    Mas,

    I was one of those that based on initial reports took the opinion that the PCSO got it wrong. As more information has come to light I am relooking my initial biases. It does appear that the PCSO SWAT team could stand some additional training so their operations work smoother. I would also like them to get a decent PR person assigned. Haveing the SWAT lawyer talk to the press made the lawyer look like a flamin *hole and mad the SWAT team look callous and that they might be hiding something.

    Tucson is possibly the most liberal city in the state of AZ. It is also highly sensitized to anything that looks like it might be racial in context. It is normal for TPD and PCSO to be criticized if they do anything, or do nothing. Criticized for taking down an armed drug suspect, criticized for not taking down an unarmed (at the time) lunatic. No wonder Dupnik seems frustrated.

  40. Matt Says:

    “Home invasion squads in Arizona have been known to impersonate police. From within a home, what would you see?”

    That’s a key issue, if not the key issue – as, in at least one home invasion robbery in Texas, the robbers were verified by police to have been posing as officers doing a search warrant.
    ANYONE can yell “Police! Search warrant!” ANYONE can buy “raid jackets” – at least if what I’ve personally seen is any guide. Police *routinely* arrest “fake cops” who appear to be real officers – in every context from “blue-light rapists” to the guy who was busted at a federal building saying he was an officer and showing his badge – all over America.
    Fake “officers” doing home invasions appear to be a trend in border states – such as Arizona and (documented) Texas.
    On the other hand, there’s no excuse for the media erring so hopelessly in its initial reporting of whether the location raided was an error, the number of shots, etc.

  41. Steve Says:

    I think Mark’s comment about trust is the big issue. You can run a democracy by trust or by fear;we have slid down the slope to fear, especially since 2001. Police make people feel nervous, not safe, and the number of mistakes by heavily armed police appears to be on the rise, from my casual reading, anyway. Instances like this are certainly reported more frequently:

    http://www.pixiq.com/article/MIami%20Beach%20Police%20Ordered%20Videographer%20At%20Gunpoint%20To%20Hand%20Over

    As the U.S. declines into a kind of corporate fascist banana republic and the middle class become crushed, police are going to be asked to “keep order”, not “protect and serve.” “Keeping order” leads to excesses IMHO, with frustrated cops and dead citizens.

  42. Tim from CO Says:

    Funny thing happened yesterday, Police knocked on my door looking for someone. I’m not sure what happened but I’m guessing they were looking for a someone who did something bad (there were a few Officers). I could see their squad cars from inside so I opened the door. One Officer politely asked me a few questions and I politely responded, then we went our merry ways.

    I’m going to guess Officers are pretty good at reading people. If you’re honest with them, they can probably tell. Same goes if you’re up to no good, they can probably tell that too.

    Had I answered the door with a handgun or rifle, that might have given the Officer the impression I was hiding something or was guilty of something.

    Even to me, going for the gun when the Police knock seems like a guilty mind to me. I know bad guys imitate Officers but do they really do such good imitations that you can’t tell? Maybe I’ve never seen an imitation and just assume it’s someone in a bad Halloween costume.

  43. Steve Says:

    Mas:
    The competence of the SWAT officers is a seperate isssued from whether or not the warrant/shooting was justified but it has kept coming up over the last couple of days
    My only experience with SWAT was watching the show of the same name as a kid so I’m very curious to know: What does this video tell you about the level of competence of the officers involved?

  44. Dave Says:

    Mas, thanks for making the points you’ve made.

    I’ve heard talk that there was a negligent discharge by a SWAT officer, but I don’t believe it after seeing the video. There is a bang when the break the door in, then the first shots are bang-bang-bang-bang. I don’t think that you would have a negligent discharge four times in a row. It would be bang, pause for surprise, bang bang bang. So either the suspect fired those shots, or an officer did. Apparently the suspect hadn’t fired, so it was an officer.

    If I was initiating a dangerous situation like that, and the bad guy pointed a gun at me, I’d shoot him four times as well

    Mas, don’t worry about the trolls. There have always been unbalanced angry people, the internet has made it possible for them to talk to anybody.

  45. Rob R. Says:

    As usual, great job and great analysis, Mas. There are just so many people out there that want to hate on police and will never listen to reason because that will shatter their little bubble of hate and conspiracy. Those people cannot be reasoned with because they have no reason. They also have no clue as to what they are talking about.

    I would suggest that anyone that wants to debate any of this should go serve a warrant on a felony suspect wanted on weapons and drug charges. No armor, nothing but the aforementioned holstered .38 snub. They can knock politely and request the suspect come along peacefully and please don’t bring anything sharp with you. After all, they know what’s best in the world of pastel skies and people that just need a good hug.

  46. EN Says:

    I’m not going to plow through all the comments. Just a few observations to Mas. Cops in California will joking tell you that the vehicle code exists for probable cause and has nothing to do with keeping our highways safe (I’ve heard that probably 5 times in the last year from different LE officers).

    The second is this door kicking business isn’t necessary in the vast majority of cases since the suspect will always leave his house in the morning. But overwhelming force is the order of the day. At Waco the sheriff could have gone to the front door, knocked and arrested Koresh. Instead BIG LE had to do the door kicking. At one time deescalation was the order of the day for LE. Now it’s all about overwhelming force, which is a nice way of saying violence. Reason isn’t always returned with reason, but unreasonableness is guaranteed to get the unexpected result. More and more law abiding citizens like myself feel the unwanted object of government affection. The police may in fact be just trying to do their job but any reasonable man can see what their job will soon entail. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all if within a couple of years they come for Mas.

  47. EN Says:

    BTW, I call bullshit on the comment above mine. I’m so glad Mas brought this up. It’s been eating at me (and obviously others) for a very long time. I shoot with cops, watch football games at each others houses, know their wives and kids, we go to BBQs together, they give me a heads up on family members dancing on the line (and I’ve had some major successes intervening in individuals heading wrong), and yet there’s this thing going on that’s rapidly separating us. I think it’s always been the intention of government to keep LE from the Prols and as I watch cops with 29 years on the job worry about their pensions and jobs its obvious they are also under a lot of pressure to conform to city/county/state/fed edicts which assume that we’re all guilty of terminal stupidity and only our betters in guv can safe us. As the economy gets worse the line between legal and illegal will be a matter of survival for some. And a lot of those individuals will be family and friends. Unless we discuss this openly there’s going to be some major problems in our all our futures.

  48. TomcatTCH Says:

    Would you feel comfortable with that sort of SWAT activity at your home?

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get out of it alive?

    Are we to believe that we are being targeted by a SWAT raid just because person unknown shouts “POLICE, SEARCH WARRANT”?

  49. Bill B Says:

    Once again, the idea of officer safety means that the life of the government’s man in blue will ALWAYS be valued more highly than that of the lowly civilian whether guilty of innocent. Cops have a rather low incidence of mortality or injury on the job per capita than the fisherman, logger, farmer or construction tradesman. Combine this with the idiotic and counterproductive drug war and you have a perfect recipe for furthers atrocities against civilians.

  50. Kevin Says:

    Autopsy report released. 22 entry wounds, 69 exit wounds. In yet another demonstration of the firearms expertise of Dupnik’s clowns; and another demonstration of his “strenuous selection process” and “high standards” he expects from from his most highly trained officers; virtually all were peripheral hits.

    “– one wound to the head, which the report describes as a graze;
    – one wound to the right upper chest;
    – one to the right lower chest;
    – one to the left upper abdomen;
    – three to the right upper arm;
    – one to the right elbow;
    – one to the right hand;
    – one to the left upper arm;
    – one to the left elbow;
    – one to the left forearm;
    – one to the left hand;
    – two to the right thigh;
    – one to the right calf,
    – one to the right foot;
    – four to the left thigh;
    – and one to the left foot.

    “According to the report, neither bullet to the chest penetrated the heart; nor does it note an impact on major blood vessels. But the wound to the abdomen traveled through the spleen and left lung, where it caused hemorrhaging.”

    So yeah, it looks survivable. Except that Dupnik’s clowns ensured he bled to death.

  51. hb Says:

    Mas – thanks for your fair and honest report. Mr. Guerena could have surrendered peacefully, but when he decided to use deadly force he got what he deserved.

  52. ExCop Says:

    Mas, I agree with you and have – since the outset of this – maintained that under the circumstances, this will be determined to be justified.

    As such, I have been blasted, called every name in the book, excoriated, and crucified.

    Bottom line – they had a legal warrant, they were in the right place, they were justified based on the probable cause statement in the warrant to make the warrant service “high risk,” and they responded appropriately to a direct threat.

  53. ExCop Says:

    TomcatTCH Says: Would you feel comfortable with that sort of SWAT activity at your home? Do you have any suggestions on how to get out of it alive? Are we to believe that we are being targeted by a SWAT raid just because person unknown shouts “POLICE, SEARCH WARRANT”?”

    I suppose if I was someone like Guerena, I would NOT feel comfortable with that sort of SWAT activity at my home.

    Guerena was expecting trouble – both from rival criminal idiots *and* from the good guys.

    I admit that SWATers have served high-risk warrants at the wrong place and innocents were harmed/killed. Cops are NOT infallible and DO make mistakes. Just because of an 0.0001% error rate, you do not abandon a process and method that works in 99.9999% of situations.

  54. ExCop Says:

    Criticizing the tactics used and perhaps marksmanship are separate issues and may be items for discussion.

    Criticizing the nature of high risk warrant service and the militaristic ‘appearance’ of modern-day SWAT teams may be items for discussion.

    But…those items should not be used to cloud the fact that cops responded appropriately to a direct threat.

  55. Ralph Says:

    Mr. Ayoob,

    First of all, this is my community. I am a life long resident of Pima County, Arizona. So I feel that I can speak with some expertise on the climate and culture of this area.

    Did Mr. Guerena have a history of resisting arrest? Was he mentally unstable? Short of one of these being true, I can not understand why the millitary tactics were needed. Stop him as he is leaving work (he worked the graveyard shift the previous evening), call him on the telephone or, perhaps, knock on the door. If this former Marine has always behaved as a gentlemen, treat him as one.

    Why did 71 shots need to be fired? Why was Mr. Guerena shot 21 times? Why did “professional” swat team members miss a man sized target at close range 2/3 of the time, putting the lives of innocent bystanders in danger?

    I could go on and on. Look, life in Pima County the last few years has been a bit stressful. We have large numbers of illegals and drug trafficers pouring through our county on a daily basis. I see them from my window frequently. Law enforcement and civilians alike are on edge. But, this does NOT excuse this type of militarlistic, unprofessional, deadly behavior. I am sad that you, Mr. Ayoob, are attempting to excuse it.

    As a voter in Pima County, I will be showing my displeasure at the ballot the next time Sheriff Dupnic comes up for reelection.

    May God have mercy on the soul of Mr. Guerena.

  56. Tim from CO Says:

    @hb- That’s right Guerena had a choice. Surrender peacefully or start a gunfight in his house. And sadly his choice left those Officers with only one response.

    On a side note, I find it kind of funny how people credit with Guerena keeping his rifle on-safe. Unless someone here is psychic, we can’t read his mind. It might have been intentional or he could have forgotten to take it off-safe or maybe he wasn’t even aware of the safety. Each is likely as the other and we’ll never be able to know for sure.

  57. Drake Says:

    Mas, I love your blog. You usually hit the nail smack on the head, but quite frankly you dissappoint me here.

    You wonder how he didn’t look out and see police? He’d just worked a friggin’ 12-hour shift at a mine the day before and the man was in bed. What he heard was his wife freaking out that armed guys were pointing guns in the window. Put yourself in his shoes – you and I both know that you or I would have grabbed the nearest gun and run out to see what the heck was going on.

    Guerena did what any real man would do – grabbed his rifle and ran out to protect his family from a possible threat. The SWAT goons didn’t give him time to surrender. I have nothing against police in general, but I have quite a bit against incompetent morons in government uniforms shooting down a man who didn’t even open fire.

    It should be obvious to anyone that, if Mr. Guerena had wished to kill anyone, he could have easily fired from cover within the house.

    Also, you wonder why people don’t mistake the police siren for a car siren at an intersection? It may have something to do with the fact that it is nigh impossible for anyone to miss a police car at an intersection, in addition to the fact that car alarms generally don’t operate when the car is being driven. However, car alarms are not in the least unexpected in a place like a neighborhood.

    To Tim from CO – do you seriously think a soldier who has served two terms in Iraq would forget to take the safety off if his plan was to kill? If so, you have issues and should probably seek proffessional help. Only an utter moron would forget such a critical action.

    Those “SWAT” officers are truly undeserving of the title. As many others have pointed out, why on Earth did they even need to use military force?

    Here’s what I know – if I were in Mr. Guenera’s position, I would probably not have paid any attention to who it was – if there’s a guy pointing a gun in my house, silhouetted against the doorway, I would shoot first and ask questions later. Mr. Guenera behaved like a proffessional and died for it.

    He died on his feet, with a rifle in his hands and his face to an unexpected enemy. The government that he had served overseas betrayed him.

  58. Drake Says:

    Just re-watched the video. It just gets better – the BLINDS WERE CLOSED. My guess (which I’m sure doesn’t mean anything – what does a teenager know about common human habits?) is that Mrs. Guenera was in bed at the time, and was awakened by the car alarm – sorry, “siren.” The ONLY way she could have identified the officers as SWAT would be through the door, but it’s hard to identify a silhouette. So she did what any reasonable person would do.

  59. Proud cop Says:

    Mas,

    I got your back on this one 100%. I also suspect that most of the haters and critics are either outside of law enforcement and ignorant of our ways, or else they are hostile to law enforcement due to prior arrests or an inability to become one of the finest.
    That said, until the investigation is completed, I’m giving my brothers in AZ the benefit of the doubt. Sure, Dupnik is a slug, but that brush doesn’t reach down far enough to tar the selfless men and women who put their lives on the line for everyone in Pima County, including any of the above posters who happen to be passing through.

    PS, when you coming back to DC again? I’m looking forward to shooting with you again…standard challenge: I’ll shoot standing on ONE LEG. (Know who this is now?)

  60. Reed Says:

    I’m willing to give the cops the benefit of the doubt for the time being, Mas, but I do have two comments which I think apply regardless of whether they were in the right or not:

    1. I didn’t see any any “uniformed officers.” I saw guys in combat gear. I understand there is a purpose behind vests, helmets, etc. but let’s not pretend that these guys look like the fellow who writes tickets. Civilian LE should not look like Seal Team 6, in my opinion. They need “POLICE” more prominently displayed on whatever gear they are wearing. If they are so recognizable already (some contend), what would it hurt?

    2. Personally I wouldn’t recognize the siren yelp as the police announcing themselves. Yes, it would pique my interest but it would not immediately cue me that the police were outside. When I hear such a sound in my vehicle I think “police, ambulance, fire engine” and look around. In a parking lot or alongside a residential street I might mistake the yelp as a car alarm initially. It is about context. Sitting in my home the context would not cue me to “police outside my door with a search warrant.”

    Right or wrong, this video doesn’t increase my trust in the cops and I’m a pretty pro-LEO guy. That’s a failure that should require tacticians to re-evaluate their current strategy.

  61. Kevin Says:

    Considering that:
    1) the only adult inside who survived Pima Regional Tactical Rescue’s (yes that is the formal name of Dupnik’s killer clowns) told her interrogators that she became aware of them when they knocked open her front door, and that she then she woke up her husband,
    2) Dupnik’s killer clowns never identified themselves after they forced the door,
    3) It’s unclear that he ever saw them before he was shot,

    Can you explain how he was supposed to surrender peacefully?

    Oh, and bear in mind that his sister-in-law and her husband were killed by home invaders inf front of their kids a few months earlier.

  62. Dave Says:

    @TomcatTCH Says:
    June 6th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    “Would you feel comfortable with that sort of SWAT activity at your home?

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get out of it alive?”

    For one, don’t point a rifle at the SWAT team. . . . . .

  63. Kirk Says:

    hb wrote:
    …Mr. Guerena could have surrendered peacefully, but when he decided to use deadly force he got what he deserved.

    Tim from CO commented:
    That’s right Guerena had a choice. Surrender peacefully or start a gunfight in his house. And sadly his choice left those Officers with only one response.

    Amazing how the story has morphed.

    At what point did Mr Guerena “decide to use deadly force” and “start a gunfight in his house”?

  64. Vince D Says:

    Mas,

    While the deceased did things that led to his demise I too think you should stick to writing about guns in this case.

    Yes, the SWAT Team was serving a valid search warrant, and from all indications the entire family is a piece of fecal matter, but lets look at this from another angle. They knew what time he went to work. Why not wait until he leaves his house to go to work and have a marked unit pull him over and restrain him for officer and subject safety. Then have a couple of detectives go knock on the door and serve the warrant.

    If the SWAT Team needs a justification for existence they can be waiting around the corner in case things go bad. I think SWAT is over used and the methods are a disgrace and affront to the Constitution. I have to agree with the respondent that said something about dressing up your LEO’s like the infantry gets you infantry results.

    I’m not disputing the warrant, the shooting, or anything else, I just think it’s a poor use of the SWAT Team to be serving most warrants and it places more innocent and not so innocent people at risk. SWAT is something that should rarely be used, not a first line of approach.

    Stupid is as stupid does, and the over use of the SWAT Team is STUPID. Other than that, take care and stay safe.

    Vince D.

  65. Matt Says:

    “Right or wrong, this video doesn’t increase my trust in the cops and I’m a pretty pro-LEO guy.”

    That’s the key word here – “TRUST.” The level of trust between the “normal” public – adults without rap sheets, not convicted felons or ghetto nonwhites – is at an all-time low. Everything from all-too-common (and reported) scandals involving officer misbehavior (everything from on-duty attempts to sexually assault women motorists to drunk driving) to seatbelt checkpoints has done a lot to diminish trust of officers among the “normal” public. Well-known incidents such as when a suburban Washington department “proned” many white motorists at gunpoint during the search for the “D.C. sniper” even while having from day one a description of the sniper as black also destroy trust.
    This isn’t about whether MOST individual officers are good and competent.

  66. McMike Says:

    Proud cop, ex cop, douche cop… Of course you have his ‘Back’, that’s how LE ‘Gets their story strait’

    As for LE making mistakes 0.0001% or something, you must really be hitting the bottle pretty hard after (hopefully after!) your shift… You see? Like your idiotic and lightly veiled insults ‘Couldn’t join a Gov sponsored death squad’ Um…. I mean. ‘Police Force’… Your insults just don’t hit home; why would Anyone aspire to be a Thug if they could actually do something Productive?

    The majority of police in this country are well into the Idiot range when it comes to mental abilities not to mention the thug/bully/power trip mentality they develop if they didn’t join up with it. then to put the Cherry on top of that Anti-Mensa sunday the SCOTUS declares that Cops have NO requirement or responsibility to protect anyone or to put their life in danger for anyone… Hmmmm….

    Here is a clip that demonstrates the mentality of the average beat cop… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtVAMNivQMk

    Maybe you might suggest a different door motto for the patrol cars, something like South Park police’s motto ‘To patronize and annoy’ or maybe Sgt Shultz’s ‘I see Nothing!!!’, Maybe “You can finish the Mag but he’s already dead.” or (My fav) How about just simply put “Because were Cops!”.

    Mas, I do respect your opinion, but now only as it pertains to firearms and the like, you are too blinded by the blue wall to see anything clearly.

    In just the past few years we had a Police Chief quit to avoid an investigation into his planting evidence, another Chief quit the same way but for assaulting his men, the assistant chief was let go for ‘Property room improprieties’, the police were sued, and Lost when they tried to say a handicapped man assaulted them; luckily there was a State Trooper there that didn’t ‘toe the blue line’ and told the truth because both of the Officers lied about the situation, but they still have their jobs! Thanks to an out of court settlement.

    Why is that??? Why should a cop be allowed to break the Law, not be punished, and continue as a cop? Should or Shouldn’t the PoPo’s be held to a Much higher and more Rigid standard? Shouldn’t they be punished more harshly for breaking their Vows to uphold the Law, the Law that they are ‘supposed’ to know?

    When the cops can pick and choose which laws to follow, when they can lie, get caught, and then still keep their job after spending a week or two on PAID leave, when an officer can plant drugs, get caught, quit to avoid an investigation and then work elsewhere as a cop, when a respected SWAT cop robs stores on his way to and from work ‘for the thrill’, When the list of BS keeps going almost endlessly and anyone can see and hear the evidence all over the net.

    When these atrocities happen, (yesterday, today and tomorrow) What message does that send to the children? to the teens just starting an adult life or even to the middle aged who were raise to trust our police and Government but are finding out that you just cannot trust them to have your (the Tax paying citizen, in essence, The Boss!) best Interests in mind when they are incompetent, so quick to shoot, but so poorly trained.

    I can’t wait for the day when some gung ho Swat team breaks down the wrong door and gets annihilated. Not that I want to see anyone slaughtered uselessly, they will be Martyrs; Martyrs for the Cause of redefining the police policies and tactics, and just maybe the extraction of a few heads too!

    Wouldn’t it be nice if this happened without the slaughter? Yes it would, but unfortunately, Americans have thick skulls and it takes a Pearl Harbor to get us off our collective ashes and do something!

  67. Skip Says:

    Mas, get off the blue line. You used to be better than that.

  68. Rammrodd Says:

    This raid is just further proof that the “War on Drugs” has become a war on Americans…

  69. Tim from CO Says:

    @Drake- As you said he just finished a 12hr shift. He could have been tired. Regardless of his background, humans can make mistakes even Marines. Just because he was in the service doesn’t automatically make him well trained. I’ve seen both highly trained service guys and some that need a field manual for a MRE. The only thing we can do is guess at this point.

    @Kirk- “At what point did Mr Guerena “decide to use deadly force” and “start a gunfight in his house”?”

    Aiming a rifle at Police Officers?

  70. Ralph Says:

    Proud Cop:

    “outside of law enforcement and ignorant of our ways, or else they are hostile to law enforcement due to prior arrests or an inability to become one of the finest.
    That said, until the investigation is completed, I’m giving my brothers in AZ the benefit of the doubt”

    You have pretty much summed up for me why we have a problem in Law Enforcement. The arragence of this statement is overwelming to me personally. Let me break it into two parts:

    1. If we disagree with the tactics in this situation we can only be ignorant, jelous or revengful? So what you are saying is that unless we have put on a badge we have no say as to how the police operate in our community? Wrong sir. The source of the authority the police operate under is the people. It is the citizenry, through the representative process, that regulate the police. Any member of law enforcement who forgets or dislikes this fact should find a new line of work.

    2. Your loyalty should be to the People of the United States. Your “brothers” are all Americans. You job is to protect and serve us. To me, your statement shows and elitist attatude. There is no place for this in law enforcement. A cop should be a servant. Humility should be a prime characteristic of a cop. Arragance should be a trate that leads to a carear change.

    The “Thin Blue Line” concept that came out of LAPD in the 70′s has just about ruined the police in this nation. God help us all if something doesn’t make the police change soon. We very well may end up in a true police state.

  71. Kurt P Says:

    Mas mentioned that police siren that was on chirp mode that everyone recognizes on the street.
    Of course you’d expect it there, especially when you look in the mirror and see a squad car. I don’t think I’d recognize it as such in my driveway through my house walls.

    As far as that warrant- which standard of evidence did they use to get it?
    -Proven facts with evidence?
    -An informants evidence (Reasonable cause)?
    -Or the latest required evidence handed down from the Supreme Court…The Sheriffs hunch?

  72. whosthelittlecommie? Says:

    Oops, is not an acceptable excuse when it comes to killing an innocent human being in a law enforcement setting. Which is exactly what they did. The bad part is that I don’t even think they care that they did it. They only care about getting away with it. You can bet the brass will be “actively” involved in a re-training program for their “team.” Unfortunately a bit too late for the dead guy, a combat Marine who served his country and came home only to be killed by obviously UNTRAINED assholes. Did we mention that NOTHING ILLEGAL WAS FOUND….? But because cops did it, it’s all OK? Cops should be and are, held to a high standard and SWAT cops a very high standard, which this agency did not come even close to meeting in either regard.

    Oh yeah, my creds, I’m a x-cop too but I still remember what the constitution and bill of rights were. Not that that matters anymore. Oops…. How pathetic and useless is that?

  73. EN Says:

    This is getting depressing. I guess my view has to do with actually knowing a few cops well. They try hard under a very tough bureaucracy to fight crime. None of them are geniuses but I’d hardly say they are below average intelligence. One in fact is very sharp. He refers to the local SWAT team, of which he was a member at one time, as “Seal Team 6″. He doesn’t mean it kindly. It’s a chance for the more aggressive cops to get more training and excitement. He agrees that they get called out far too often. However, one of the reasons they get called out so often is the legal and police bureaucracy that insists on no screw ups. Dead cops and civilians are very expensive for the city and county and there’s no way these government agencies want anyone to die, civilian or police officer. The feeling is that the more force used the less likely someone is to resist.

    The problem is these infantry centric units, which came out of the drug wars to fight heavily armed dealers, are now standard policy being used on (suspected) tax cheats, chronic parking ticket violators, and anyone suspected of anything. At one time we had peace officers who were charged with keeping order. Now we have Law Enforcement officers who work for an increasingly out of control government bureaucracy.

    Then there’s this business of the Blue Line getting their story straight. Having seen this work to protect civilians from the government I’m a bit more sympathetic to this view than others may be. I’ve seen cops go out of their way in reports (“creative writing”) to cover for civilians who were not innocent to the letter fo the law, but did the right thing. I’d be very careful about blaming cops for the civilian insistence on a rigid and uninformed bureaucracy.

  74. Mike in VA Says:

    Hi Mas, Wow what a threat this is. My 2 cents are that public perception is reality despite the facts. My own perception is that a paramilitary team raided the house of a military veteren and killed him using excessive force after he worked a 12 hour day to support his household. I do not believe that any one of those cops is evil or bad, but I do feel that collectivly once the badge goes on the uniform, it’s an us agianst them mentality. I see the use of SWAT in this case as excessive. I am a veterean of the Army infantry, so I guess that means if Police feel the need to come to my That scares the hell out of me.

  75. Dave Says:

    “1. I didn’t see any any “uniformed officers.” I saw guys in combat gear. I understand there is a purpose behind vests, helmets, etc. but let’s not pretend that these guys look like the fellow who writes tickets.”

    You’ve never seen a SWAT team before? SWAT teams have been dressing this way for at least 20 years now. You’ve never watched television or seen an action movie in the last 20 years? And you are so positive that the entire nation has your same level of recognition that the reasonable man’s reaction at the sight of a SWAT team is to grab your rifle and prepare to fend them off?

    Or do you just believe that the police are bad, and shouldn’t be entitled to protect themselves in the course of doing a dangerous job?

  76. BambiB Says:

    Time line:
    Sec Event
    6 siren starts
    14 siren stops
    26 seconds – cop knocks on door
    34 seconds – cop forces door open
    40 seconds – cops begin to shoot
    49 seconds – shooting stops

    So the sleeping, innocent man, is supposed to recognize that the ruckus outside his home is aimed at him by criminals in uniform (as opposed to the other kind of criminal) in the 8 seconds that the siren is blaring, and welcome the police into his home in the 8 seconds between the knock on the door and the door being forced?

    He’s supposed to recognize that the gang invading his home is a police gang in the 6 seconds between the time the cops force his door and begin shooting him? Conversely, if he were a criminal going to fight the cops, wouldn’t he have been the one shooting first?

    In fact, when you look at this, the police spent more time killing him than they did any other single phase of the operation on the video.

    Now let’s look at an alternative scenario: Guerena hears the ruckus outside. He doesn’t know what’s going on, but he hears a siren (which might have been a passing police car – or one chasing a bad guy right onto his property). He hears shouting. He (prudently) arms himself and goes to investigate. At this point just 28 seconds have elapsed since the siren began to sound.

    As he approaches his fron door, the police gang forces the door and within 6 seconds begins shooting Guerena. But does Guerena know that? Or is this the guy the cops are chasing who has just knocked his door in?

    Can you make out what the cops are yelling before they breach the door? I can’t. And they are only about 30 feet away with no obstructions between the microphone and the police up front. How much harder to hear and understand what’s going on through a closed door? But suppose they’re yelling “Police! Police!” Have you ever heard of criminals yelling “Police!” during a home invasion?

    Did you hear any warnings given AFTER the door was breached? Did you hear someone yell, “Put down the gun”? Because if you listen, it’s probably the quietest part of the entire video. You can actually hear the auto-gain on the camera step up around the 38 second mark because it’s so quiet. Right up until the cops start shooting.

    Six seconds from the time you kick in a guy’s door until you gun him down? And you think that’s reasonable?

    You can try to contest any of THESE points, but the problem is, they’re all in the video where anyone (even you) can see them.

    What I don’t get is why you would defend this sort of irresponsible, aggressive, pointless murder of an innocent man… and over what?

    Yes, I’ve read the affidavit in support of the issuance of a warrant. It has holes in it so huge you could drive all the vehicles mentioned through it. Numerous times the police cite things they didn’t observe as rationale for what must be the case. The didn’t see Guerenea go to work – therefore he must not work. But wait, didn’t he work nights? Is it possible that the cops knocked off work at the end of their shift and weren’t around to see him go to work?

    And how much of the affidavit (a document that is supposed to consist of things the affiant SWEARS ON OATH are true) are simply his opinion? Bring facts. Leave suppositions behind.

    I got quite a laugh at the “counter surveillance”. When the cops follow people around, it’s legitimate surveillance (to find out what people are doing) but when citizens follow suspcious unmarked cars, it’s because they’re drug dealers.

    And why isn’t the affidavit in support of search warrant signed and dated? Did the paperwork catch up with the facts AFTER the murder? What you have shown is NOT legal authority for the cops to storm Guerenea’s house and murder him. And of course, you’ve never, ever known the police to lie, have you?

    I lost respect for police a long time ago over cases like this. And after the bilge you’ve pumped out in support of this criminal police gang, I’ve lost ALL respect for you.

  77. BambiB Says:

    Hey McMike.

    Years back in Miami, “no knock” raids were in vogue.

    One night a bunch of police thugs broke down the wrong door. Wrong address. The occupants were an elderly couple who thought they were being invaded by a gang.

    The elderly gent leveled his 12 gauge down the hall and blew the head off the lead invader.

    The cops wanted him tried for murder, but since the cops had no legal authority to be in his home, and he had been in fear for his life when he fired, no prosecution.

    The cops were incensed. Somehow they’re less incensed when they’re the ones doing the killing.

    On a happy note, for years thereafter, “no knock” raids were much less popular with the cops. See? They can learn!

  78. Kevin Says:

    Wow, what’s with the cop hating? I would guess that nobody on that team failed to behave exactly as they were expected to do by their leadership. The problem is almost certainly not with the cops at the front line, it’s with the police leadership.

    My impression is that the old truism about bad soldiers is almost as true for cops: There are no bad soldiers, just bad leaders. And I’d argue that there is clearly not a shortage of bad leaders in Pima County. Staring with Sheriff Clarence “I blame Palin” Dupnik.

    It appears to me that there were enough ‘coincidences’ that the police searching Jose Guerena’s house isn’t obviously unreasonable.

    What seems obviously unreasonable was the way it was carried out.

    I’m going to make whole lot of guesses here based on little data and minimal experience, so it’s quite possible I’m totally wrong, but I’ll step out on that limb and see if this explains what you see in the video.

    My belief, based on the behavior demonstrated, is that the “Pima Regional SWAT” ‘tactical element’ as a whole is Unconsciously Incompetent. Essentially they all think they are superstars while in reality they are screwing up by the numbers. They are not the professional tactical team they think they are; they are killer clowns with badges.

    Nobody in charge of this team has any idea how a competent entry team operates, how to plan an operation in a residence, or even what information they need gather. They don’t understand how to effectively notify anyone inside the target residence to avoid fatal confusion or that their half-assed approach is bad. They don’t understand how a competent team breaches and enters a potentially hostile building, or how to rapidly and effectively clear the house. Instead they are just bumbling their way through the building like a random group of airsoft players given real guns for the first time.

    The team members clearly have never been trained in how to use their weapons effectively at close quarters. The whole idea of assessing that a targets is actually a threat, challenging someone making a threatening looking action early, then using your sights and firing carefully controlled rounds only until the threat is no longer threatening; these guys clearly don’t understand how to do this or even understand that they should. The fact that you see a supposedly highly trained officer run up and blindly fire his pistol one handed “in the general direction” is astonishing. This isn’t a rookie, this is a guy who underwent “a strenuous selection process” and “must maintain high standards to remain active with the team.”

    I would suspect that the team training records would show that they have not recently practiced in a shoot-house as individuals or as a team, much less participated in a well-run force-on-force exercise as a team. They have nobody internally who is actually qualified to conduct or assess training, and they will not bring any anyone for the outside to do it. Their “strenuous selection process” is also probably a joke, it’s likely all who you know.

    Really guessing here, but I would strongly suspect that nobody in a position of leadership on this entry team here has gone to a well-respected SWAT school, certainly not recently. I would guess that nobody on the team has either. I wonder if there is any stability or it’s always a pickup team.

    You might ask why how and why this team of killer clowns got created and my guess (and it’s only a guess) is a combination of ego and money. Too much ego and not enough money.

    Sheriff Dupnik’s list of accomplishments has this as the fifth:

    “Oversaw the creation of the Pima Regional SWAT team. This accomplishment resulted in the largest, most capable tactical team in the state of Arizona and the only FEMA type 1 tactical team in the southern region of the United States. …”

    He wanted a huge team so he could beat his chest, but he couldn’t find anyone that wanted to pay for NYPD’s ESU in Pima County. (460,000 population excluding Tucson – and Tucson PD isn’t part of Pima County Regional SWAT.) So he got a bunch of little PDs to join up with him to create a regional team.

    But sending people to training is expensive in time and money. Effective firearms training of the type that a competent and well-trained tactical team considers adequate (much less optimal) requires a lot of ammo purchased and fired and a lot of time spent on the range. Ensuring team stability in a regional organization like this is hard and takes someone who cares and is willing to argue with police chiefs. Training as a team is expensive in time and/or overtime dollars. Ensuring that team members show up to train as a team again requires someone who cares and is willing to argue with police chiefs.

    Nobody really cares. Nobody wanted to spend the money. But they wanted the prestige of having “one of the largest, most capable tactical team in the Country”, and they got one out of two.

    Hence you get Dupnik’s killer clowns; a bunch of poorly trained, poorly led cops who respond per “training” and people get unnecessarily killed.

  79. Mark Says:

    It seems that no one here is interested in getting to the root of these matters. We want to talk about whether the fruit of the tree is ripe or rotten, but not what type of tree it is in the first place. Lets get to the root of this tree and stop discussing the fruit it produces. The moral collapse of a society manifests it self most obviously in the mechanisms of its government. There is a powerful machine that is fueled by big money in this country. This machine is a revolving door between politicians and corporate moguls. The policies that they create in this country are self serving and are financed off the backs of the middle class. How is this pertinent to the discussion on this blog you may ask. Well, any corruption that you see in the citizenry or the police are energized by the culture that these powers that be have helped to create. For example, why do you think the illegal alien issue has never be solved in this country? Why are the Mexican drug cartels in virtually every city now? Why are there corrupt politicians, police, and citizenry? Why have we had a major recession and so few wall street thieves been prosecuted. Many of these men walked away with millions of dollars while so many people lost their homes. The answer is that legislation is enacted that serves the Corporatocracy by politicians who are on their payroll so to speak. Corruption abounds and the illegal alien workforce is to important economically. Drugs are a cash cow for the corrupt elements, and some politicians turn a blind eye while they line their pockets. The same holds true for police and citizenry. Since this culture of corruption is so prevalent mistrust abounds. Mistrust from the police against the common citizen, because they do not know who the next bullet might come from and they cannot take any chances in order to live. The police are then understandably more aggressive and suspicious for their own protection. Mistrust from the citizen toward the police then is magnified because they are perceived as the arm of a corrupt government. The aggressiveness of the police also fuels the fire of mistrust and misuse of authority. We are all first Americans before anything else despite our occupation. We are now fighting amongst each other over this incident or that. We are a divided people and do not stand with one voice against this culture of mistrust that has been perpetrated on us by a corrupt system. There are good and bad police just like there are good and bad civilians. It is the political machine that has allowed us to be blinded as well as ourselves. I seen an interview of a Mexican drug cartel leader that told the reporter that if you want to stop the drug problem you must start with the Mexican government. A house divided cannot stand. I see bickering over the fruit that make up these issues e.g. are the police our enemy or friend. By doing this we see the fruit produced by this problem. We see the symptoms of the sickness. The root of this tree must be challenged, otherwise we end up in this endless division amongst ourselves. They then get what they want; an America too divided to challenge their system. Our liberties are going to be at stake more and more if we do not wake up in this country and have the backbone and insight to challenge the beast. Is there anyone on this blog that gets what I am saying? Is there anyone that cares? Police are citizens also, and we must ban together with one voice. The so called shot heard around the world when the American revolution began was due to The British attempting a gun confiscation. Neither Mas nor anyone else on this cite would not stand side by side as our freedoms evaporate without a fight. Not if we are truly Americans who love this country. So let us stop this senseless squabble over the fruit of the tree, and focus on the root of the tree.

  80. BambiB Says:

    Hey Bob from Illinois?
    I remember this shooting from when it happened.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4780043034404553451#
    The guy had been running from police. When he finally got out of his car and started walking away, the cop on the right tries to grab him.

    At the 49 second mark of the video, you can quite clearly see that the “weapon” you mention is, in fact, a cell phone, something that the cops both quite clearly realize is NOT A GUN. The cop clearly knows it’s not a weapon – he has his own gun out and pointed at the guy’s head. If he sees “gun”, he shoots.

    It isn’t until the victim breaks contact with the cop, and six seconds have passed, that the cops gun him down – apparently for the crime of “disrespect of cop.”

    Had the cops fired at the 49 second mark, yeah, one might argue that they thought the cell phone was a gun. But to shoot him in the back as he was walking away, with no one in danger and clearly NOT armed – that’s just murder.

  81. BambiB Says:

    A solution for SWAT raids:

    Claymore mines embedded in the walls on either side of the door, wired through a switch and sensors on the front door. Someone kicks the door down, the claymores clear the front porch and all the way out to the street. Or if you’re queasy about having to mop up all the blood and little tissue bits, chlorine gas in abundance. That will back the little Fourth Amendment stompers right out into the street where they can consider their futures… if they haven’t inhaled too hard.

    These sort of circus attacks remind me of the massacre at the Davidian Compound. Codenamed “Operation Hollywood”, the ATF was up for a big funding review and wanted to document a spectacular raid against a nefarious figure. They chose David Koresh.

    There are a lot of things that people don’t generally know about Koresh. He ran the same course for exercise every day at the same time and could have easily been picked up then (Much as Guerenea could have been arrested leaving work) – but that wouldn’t be splashy enough. No, the five cameras brought along on the raid to record the events (all of which “malfunctioned”) had to have something exciting to record.

    Rewinding just a bit, in the days before the raid, the FFL who sold Koresh most of his firearms was visited by the BATF. When the FFL asked them what they were looking for, they told him they wanted records on Koresh’s purchases. The FFL said he knew Koresh and was sure it wouldn’t be a problem for the BATF to just go take a look. The BATF declined, but the FFL called Koresh anyway. Koresh said, “Tell ‘em to come over. I’ll show them everything I’ve got.” The ATF declined.

    It’s also important to understand that Koresh had been arrested before – on the charge of attempted murder. The circumstance were bizarre (It involved a contest over who could do the best job of raising a woman from the dead), but when the charges were filed and the police went to arrest him, it took just two deputies. One knocked on the door, the other held the clipboard. The deputies asked, “Are you David Koresh? We have a warrant for your arrest.” What was Koresh’s response? “Let me get my hat and coat and let’s go.” Koresh was acquitted.

    Some will recall that Koresh was accused of child molestation. In fact, the earliest “justification” for the raid was that Koresh was molesting children and was arming to take over the city of Waco. But the Texas child protective services folks had investigated Koresh TWICE in the preceding year on child molestation accusations – and both times found them without merit. What you have is a smear campaign against a dead man. Sort of like Guerenea.

    So the ATF declined every reasonable option to engage Koresh and saddled up in a couple of horse trailers and headed off to wage war.

    No one knows who fired first at the Davidian compound. The best explanation I’ve yet heard is that one of the ATF goons had an AD as he jumped out of the horse trailer. What’s not in dispute is that within minutes, the ATF hit squad was pinned down behind automobiles in the yard, out of ammo, defenseless, baking inside their black Nazi-style uniforms in the hot Texas sun with no backup in sight.

    Koresh could have taken them prisoner. He could have killed them all. Instead, in what would ultimately be a huge strategic blunder, he let them go. You don’t see replays of the video of the ATF agents walking away from the compound, their hands in the air, carrying out their wounded, their firearms left behind on the ground. To my knowledge, THAT video only aired once. (It doesn’t look good for the police state minions to be controlled by the prols.)

    One final comment on the Davidian massacre. Whatever the FBI/ATF says, I’m inclined to think they’re lying. Two pieces of evidence make the case. One, an incendiary tear gas cartridge found among the rubble – when the FBI claimed they didn’t use any such projectiles (which might have started the fire.) Second, and most telling is this question: When the fire was out, when there was no threat, when all that remained was to sift through the rubble and file reports – what does a legitimate, law-abiding police force do at the site where 20 children, 2 pregnant women and 54 others have just died in a fiery inferno?

    Most would cordon off the area for forensic investigation.

    The FBI?

    They bulldozed the scene.

  82. Long Island Mike Says:

    I personally agree that any police officer serving is a hero and they never do anything that is wrong. Here is one example from this morning of how these brave men and women saved a nation from desperate criminals yesterday. God bless these folks and keep up the good work !

    http://www.news10.net/news/article/141072/2/Dept-of-Education-breaks-down-Stockton-mans-door

  83. b2370b Says:

    Ayoob. You are an idiot. I used to think you had a brain & morals. Put up a new pic with your jack boots & face mask. Jerk! You & your type of law enforcement will cause whatever may come your way. This Marine brother of mine was murdered. Another, under questionable circumstances in Mi. last week. I say questionable because like Az. they can’t tell the same story twice. I think the Hells Angels have more integrity than cops do. At least they don’t lie about being outlaws.

  84. Mike in VA Says:

    http://www.news10.net/news/article/141072/2/Dept-of-Education-breaks-down-Stockton-mans-door
    Mas, In the news today, Police SWAT team breaks down door to serve warrant to woman who was delinquent on her student loans, cuffs her estranged husband becasue the poor Bastard still resides there.

  85. Matt Says:

    “No one knows who fired first at the Davidian compound.”

    Americans’ fast-declining TRUST in police isn’t driven by Waco – as Koresh was the kind of guy impossible to see as a fellow “normal” American who was a victim.
    Americans’ fast-declining TRUST in police is driven further up every time it makes the news – or, worse, YouTube – that some TSA cop-wannabe type groped a kindergarten-age kid. Sure, TSA people aren’t “police” – but they are the uniformed authority figures that “normal” Americans are most likely to have had an encounter with turn into a horror story.
    Mas, we are on your side. But the growing lack of TRUST in police among the “normal” American public – that vast majority without rap sheets, who aren’t in some aberrant subculture such as radical hippies or the black slum youth or illeg aliens, is a fact.

  86. Tim Says:

    Long Island Mike beat me to it… nice catch – I live only 30 mins away from Stockton.

  87. EN Says:

    I try very hard to defend cops but LI Mike’s link is the problem. I defy any of you police offices to defend using a SWAT team, which would have killed him without hesitation should he have resisted in any way, to kick down his front door to and take him in his underwear out on the front lawn where they pin down and arrest him in front of his family. Too many cops are now “Statist Thugs” just doing their jobs. I’m also sick of hearing, “I’m going home at the end of the day”, as if that explains it all.

    After talking to two of my supposed cop friends about this it’s obvious we’re not that close of friends. I was sickened by their attitude that everyone submits or else. When the law only protects the actions of agents of the state then it will be a matter of justice and LE may find themselves on the other side of that equation. Cops had better speak up. I would call LE if I saw my neighbors acting Moronic with ARs, but who do you call when the morons are the cops?

    A guy from the local “Community Patrol” could have driven this guy down the local PD to be arrested, but nope, during a time of dwindling resources they call out a SWAT team. This was clearly an attempt to intimidate others, through violence, who haven’t paid their student loans. Boiling this action down to its essence we have cops acting as muscle for private banks in civil matters. Is that what you signed up for?

    “STOCKTON, CA – Kenneth Wright does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

    “I look out of my window and I see 15 police officers,” Wright said.

    Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts as a S.W.A.T team barged through his front door. Wright said an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn.

    “He had his knee on my back and I had no idea why they were there,” Wright said.

    According to Wright, officers also woke his three young children ages 3, 7, and 11 and put them in a Stockton police patrol car with him. Officers then searched his house.”

  88. EN Says:

    And Just so we’re clear, in the above case they had the wrong person. No harm, no foul, the SWAT team’s going home at the end of the day, right?

  89. b2370b Says:

    Gee, Mas, deleted me. Didn’t like the truth? Screw you!

  90. dsd Says:

    read this

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/education-secretary-duncan/ed-department-buying-27-shotgu.html

    government link here

    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cb68cf9f3fa2fe18a83d1c3dee0039b2&tab=core&_cview=0

    then read this

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001010/SWAT-team-launch-dawn-raid-family-home-collect-womans-unpaid-student-loans.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    NOTE – the original news story was taken down… that did not last long… how’s that for hiding the truth. sure we can trust our government and the media… sure….

    original news link was here

    http://www.news10.net/news/article/141072/2/Dept-of-Education-breaks-down-Stockton-mans-door

    i’m sure many are upset the swat team did not blow the guys head off… after all he was in just boxer shorts so he had a concealed weapon on him.

  91. JS Says:

    Beat me to the punch LI Mike. Local SWAT team now farming out to the Dept. of Education over loans…

  92. Bill Jackson Says:

    Out of the eleven (11) points, it doesn’t matter….dead is dead.

    Thanks goodness my HOA doesn’t have this same set of rules of engagement.

    Dead is dead….and wrong is wrong.

    Shame.

  93. TomcatTCH Says:

    “Dave Says:
    June 7th, 2011 at 12:39 am

    @TomcatTCH Says:
    “Do you have any suggestions on how to get out of it alive?”

    For one, don’t point a rifle at the SWAT team. . . . . .”

    We only have the word of known liars that Jose pointed the rifle at them.

    Or do you forget the “He shot first” lie?

  94. TomcatTCH Says:

    “ExCop Says:
    June 6th, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    I suppose if I was someone like Guerena, I would NOT feel comfortable with that sort of SWAT activity at my home.

    Guerena was expecting trouble – both from rival criminal idiots *and* from the good guys.

    I admit that SWATers have served high-risk warrants at the wrong place and innocents were harmed/killed. Cops are NOT infallible and DO make mistakes. Just because of an 0.0001% error rate, you do not abandon a process and method that works in 99.9999% of situations.”

    You aren’t Ayoob, but I guess you’ll do.

    You didn’t answer the question.

    What would you do if your significant other wakes you up saying someone was pointing a gun at them?

    Hey, if you are comfortable having that SWAT Team do an “entry” just like that one on your occupied home, that’s on you.

    Me, I’m NOT expecting the cops to show up at my house, so I would arm myself and expect the worst, shouts of POLICE or not.

    So how do you get out of it alive? Remember, wrong address raids are pretty common.

  95. BambiB Says:

    And the basis for search warrants is always so rock solid!

    Good thing this couple was “on the road” when the police came calling. Might have been another “Guerenea”-style massacre.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110608/ts_alt_afp/uscrimechildren

    A psychic? Really? A psychic???

  96. Evan Weldon Says:

    Yep – that’s all settled. The cops are all the saints of God, even if they sometimes make a teensy mistake; Mas will defend them no matter what.
    And a Marine is dead and leaves a widow and a child because, well, oops. Too bad. But the woman and kid will be just fine fine fine, because, after all, the cops are the saints.
    And of the citizens don’t like a few dozen beatings, tasings and shootings of unarmed kids, dogs and Marines, well screw them – they’re just people who exist to pay the salaries of their betters, like the TWAT teams. So let’s not upset any muslims or illegals, but let’s disarm those bad American citizens so that the saintly cops won’t get injured when they kill the next few dozen.

  97. Evan Weldon Says:

    BTW -
    How about a TWAT team breaking down a man’s door, holding im ( in his ripped up underwear) in a car for six hours, scaring his children – all at six in the morning – because his estranged wife who did not live there, had not paid a student loan. Why do TWAT teams work for the Department of Education? Are the DOE also saints? Here is a newsclip. Notable is that the cops all deny everything in spite of the man’s door being smashed in form outside, and the paperwork naming the wrong person, the non resident wife. So – does TWAT now do loan collections for Obama?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vvhBI63BO0&feature=player_embedded

  98. Mas Says:

    Evan, do you and some of the other new folks here really think terms like “TWAT” and “thugs” give you any credibility?

    On the surface, a SWAT raid for a defaulted loan, and the “psychic” thing, seem as stupid to me and the other cops as they seem to you. However, speaking just for myself, almost 40 years in the criminal justice system have taught me not to make a decision about a two-sided incident until I’ve seen both sides. Both of these cases should be interesting in that regard.

    Tomcat, your statement that “wrong address raids are pretty common” is simply incorrect. They happen, as all sorts of mistakes happen, but tend to be uncommon enough that they make regional or even national news when they occur.

    b2370b, I try to clear comments here daily, and contrary to your apparent belief, the rest of the world doesn’t sit waiting breathlessly for your every word. As you could have seen by looking at the edit lines, no comment sent after your first one had been approved by the time you sent your second. Thanks for showing us your real personality, though.

    By the way, in the hundreds of comments in the course of this heated debate, I’ve only deleted two. One was the guy who said he’d “see me in Hell,” not because he said that, but because the rest of that particular post was dripping with too much obscenity to allow here. The other was a guy bad-mouthing another commentator to an unacceptable level. I’m fair game; all who post here are guests here, and they are not fair game for that sort of vitriol.

    You haven’t reached that level of punkishness yet, b2370b…not quite, anyway.

    And, for those who actually had meaningful comments:

    I think it’s absolutely valid to ask why Guerena wasn’t scooped up separately if he was the one the cops were worried about. God knows, many of us in law enforcement have speculated that this should have been done in the Waco matter.

    I can’t speak for the regional SWAT team that acted in the Guerena case. However, it is clear that they did not have an ARREST warrant for Guerena, only a SEARCH warrant for his home. Therefore, they could not have scooped him up elsewhere and kept him in custody (i.e., arrest) before searching the premises. They could have asked him nicely, but had he refused, he would have been in a position where he could have phoned those at the premises and had them destroy the evidence the police had the warrant to search for, along with other undesirable possibilities. Just an educated guess.

    Another logical question was why the police didn’t shout “Drop the weapon!” before they opened fire. The reason is that in the last 30 or so years, law enforcement (and private citizens who’ve sought out this sort of training) have learned a lot more about action/reaction paradigms than was known when Jack Webb was filming Dragnet. When the suspect’s gun is turning toward you, there simply isn’t time to speak; if you are serving a lawful warrant signed by a judge and a person you have reason to believe may be armed and dangerous is already pointing a high powered rifle at you, the logical conclusion is that it’s time to shoot, not time to talk.

  99. Long Island Mike Says:

    Mas says: “if you are serving a lawful warrant signed by a judge and a person you have reason to believe may be armed and dangerous is already pointing a high powered rifle at you, the logical conclusion is that it’s time to shoot, not time to talk.”

    OMG…Mas do you realize the implication of what you are saying? The converse is that a citizen whose house is being broken into by police NEEDS to shoot first to stay alive. If the owner in the confusion of multiple people breaking into his home, flash bangs going off, screaming, family members being threatened, strange men moving into childrens bedrooms, appears armed he will be gunned down. Better to be shooting thru walls, whatever necessary to stand off the assailants. Better a “hostage situation”, wounded or dead police, than to “confront” them and die without a word being said. Now I understand how the FBI could shoot a kid and a woman with a baby in her arms at Ruby Ridge and not bat an eye. Sounds more like My Lai or Ruby Ridge. My God what has this country come to.

  100. Mas Says:

    Mike, why don’t you rethink your last paragraph…add the fact that it was known to both law enforcement and Mr. Guerena that he had been arrested in the past on drug and weapons charges…and get back to us on that.

  101. Long Island Mike Says:

    Mas, I hate the disembodied web for carrying on a conversation. So many times what you say gets all screwed up. You are right. Let me apologize for what I said if you read it as regards specifically to Guerena. I haven’t digested all the detail on that yet. I was being more generic, wrapped up in the Dept of Ed raid (it is Orwellian to even be putting those words together – Dept of Ed raid).

    Look I am probably the most mild mannered guy on the block. I want everyone to go home at nite. I also want to be left alone and feel safe in my home.

    Here is my point. I fear the police breaking down my door on some drug addled tipster who got the address wrong or some unpaid bill. In the middle of the nite in my neighborhood it is highly likely I am grabbing a firearm and putting myself between wife/kids and the “danger”. So that makes me a dead man. Yes I know about how on a raid police are supposed to announce themselves. I also know reality Mas. I know that from the time some guy mumbles something outside my house to when the door gets pounded is like 4 milliseconds. With my windows closed, air conditioners on, there have been car accidents right outside my window I haven’t heard. Ok so all I hear is crash and screaming. I’m a dead man then. That makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me sad. It puts you into the Kobayashi Maru scenario for Star Trek fans. No win.

    I don’t have a grudge against the police whoever they are. I worked in LE for several years. I know how flawed people are also. Police are no different. Add poor training, poor screening of applicants, poor monitoring, poor management, corruption. I left LE cause of what I saw. Put that together with the Colin Powell Doctrine of policing and you have trouble. That is what I am seeing.

    For the civilian there is no good solution. Long ago I realized that the power of the state is overwhelming. All the bluster is meaningless. The state can just keep pumping more bodies into the situation. More guns. More of everything until they win. Remember the Philadelphia situation when the police literally dropped a bomb on the house of some cretins? The state will always win and there is no recourse. And that results in a deep frustration. That is what I am hearing in the hundreds of posts you’ve received.

  102. F. Cantrell Says:

    Mas, Not being a trained lawman I can’t say how I how I would react in that stituation. Being a two tour, twice wounded Vietnam Veteran I can tell you that if I’m in a dark hallway trying to make a legal arrest and the suspect raises his weapon I’m through talking. I plan on going home to my family at the end of shift. God Bless you and all the others that do the work that must be done.

    Cantrell

  103. Evan Weldon Says:

    Mas – with all due respect ( respect for you, not for the armed thugs with badges to whom I referred as TWAT teams) – you seem to overlook one key factor. You said, yeah, mistakes were made, we all make mistakes. But – if I screw up, one of my clients gets PO’d, maybe I lose an account, or a sale. If my staff screws up, there will be a reprimand or even an ass chewing depending. When sadistic bastards with military equipment ‘make a mistake’, they leave corpses, orphans, widows, traumatized children in their wake. Do you see a difference?
    When I lose a client, no children grow up with the imprinted memory of their little dog screaming as its blood spurts across the carpet while nazi-dressed cowards stormtroop in with HKs waving in all directions; when my salespeople screw up, no woman stands at a graveside watching her husband being lowered into a hole.
    Can you imagine just how wonderful an image these people have, of the uniform wearing scum who made a ‘little mistake’ and destroyed their lives? Can you imagine the contempt and loathing that they will have toward cops afterward?

    Add to that the fact that the cops will never be condemned by other cops; they will typically get a free pass. Maybe desk duty for a while. Maybe suspension with pay. But they see themselves as far above the law and above accountability. What ever happened to Lon Horihuchi? Remember him? After murdering a woman holding her baby in a doorway, how did the LEOs react? Ho hum. He never served a day in prison. “Waco Jim” Cavanaugh? How much time did he serve for his part in murder and coverup? Oh, right… none.

    Now if I shot a woman dead in her doorway, or shot her teenage son as he went to rescue his dog, whom I had also shot, would I get a free pass and a pat on the back? We know the answer.
    Ironically, before Ruby ridge and Waco I was all out pro-LEO. But after seeing their actions since then, no respect for them at all.
    You don’t have to print this, I know it is long and rambling, but I did at least want you to know that these are not the random thoughts of a hothead. Two tours in SE Asia and 40 years in managing a business have taught me not to make snap judgments. But they also taught me not to turn a blind eye to the madness of paramilitary death squads like those I’ve witnessed in other countries. Just because the badge is different, the utter corruption and immorality are still the same.
    I’ll shut up now. and wish you the best.

  104. Mas Says:

    Mike, thanks for your reasoned response.

    Kobayashi Maru about covers it. There can be the situation where two good guys find themselves at cross purposes, neither realizing the other might not be a bad guy. We see it in “blue on blue” shootings every year.

    There are lessons in the “blue on blue” shootings that translate to armed citizens confronting police. I go into them in depth in classes, and should probably do so here.

    best,
    Mas

  105. Evan Weldon Says:

    @@ F Cantrell – First, God bless you for your service, and Semper Fi.

    You said- “I can tell you that if I’m in a dark hallway trying to make a legal arrest and the suspect raises his weapon I’m through talking. ”

    But now – to look at your statement from the other direction – what if you are the one coming out of your bedroom and into your own hallway, when a few masked guys just smash the door off the frame and enter with THEIR weapons pointed at YOU…. what do YOU do? Take the time to ask for ID? Hope it is not a drugged up home invasion team wearing those cheap ‘raid jackets’ you can buy online for twenty bucks – and that they are not going to shoot you dead then rape your wife or kids before slitting throats?

    Just sayin’.

  106. Steve Too Says:

    Mas,

    Just a curt and simple question for you with no commentary or remarks so as not to distract from the question. After reading all 103 comments posted here so far, as well as many other posts and commentary elsewhere I really would like your answer to the following question:

    Is the life of a police officer more valuable than that of a citizen?

  107. Mark Says:

    Long Island Mike, if you had gotten the jest of my earlier blog you would see that the only solution against the power of the state is the power of the people. The problem in this country is that the people have become too apathetic. Everybody is to worried about themselves and there is no sound unity of purpose. Can you imagine a grass roots movement that encompasses multiple millions of people with one thing in mind? The people can take back their government and bring an end to these mistrusts. I do not mean violent takeover either. I mean the assembly of political power and pressure that refuses to accept Washington as usual. If the government tried to violently smash the peaceful will of the people it would be their undoing. It is called the second amendment. My friend we can talk about Tuscon Arizona and police tactics all we want, and it changes nothing. I appear like someone who is speaking off topic, or someone who has a political agenda that I am trying to force into the conversation. Anyone who thinks that is missing my point big time. I am not anti government, I am just for government that is for and by the people. Any element that exists in government that does not have this should be changed. Otherwise we will endlessly wander in these debates that display frustrations, but accomplish nothing in the real world. Mister Ayoob, I know you are a defender of American liberties including the right to free speech and the right to bear arms. This blog seems to prove that. There are far to many people here mistrusting the police and government for it to be just a cop hating trend. The police should be viewed as the defenders of our liberties on the civil and national level much like the military should be on the international level. Just tell me what has gone wrong in this country that this does not seem to be happening in the minds of people. Is it the media focusing on the bad police incidents more than the good ones? Is it the focusing of shootings that make armed citizens look untrustworthy in the public eye? The police cannot trust what they run into in the public because they fear it might be a nut with a gun. The public do not trust the police because there is far more emphasis on bad incidents than good ones. The so called militarization of the police then becomes viewed as something to be used against the public instead of for the public protection. The public and the police must be on the same side in a free society. The minute men of early America were citizens. Police are also citizens. The military are citizens. The government is made up of citizens. A free society is therefore judged by the union between these groups , or the division between them. I am seeing more division than unity. What does that say about the current foundation of our freedoms? A pretty house cannot withstand the storm without a good foundation no matter how pretty it looks. Iran, Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc. we are seeing extreme examples of such a division between the public and police/ military/ government. I know our complacency says it cannot happen in America. Gradually generation by generation I believe we are seeing the beginning of such an erosion. Someday our national identity may be swallowed up altogether by the monster of globalism. Then our worst fears will become realized. The lack of unity on this site saddens me, because I think it is reflective of our nation as a whole. It is no longer healthy debate, it is downright division with the lack of moral will to reverse it. Healthy debate is what made us strong. The gradualism of division will someday destroy us, and nobody seems to believe it enough to even address it here.

  108. Kevin Says:

    I’ve heard that it’s kind of hard to dispose of bales of marijuana. At least I couldn’t flush a bale of hay down my toilet very easily.

    MAs: “They could have asked him nicely, but had he refused, he would have been in a position where he could have phoned those at the premises and had them destroy the evidence the police had the warrant to search for, along with other undesirable possibilities. ”

    You are over-complicating it. You don’t have to arrest him or even make contact with him, you just need to know where he is. For example, you could have someone wait for him to drive into the parking lot at work, then serve the warrant. Most people working hourly blue collar jobs reliably arrive at work (and leave) at the same time every day.

  109. Ralph Says:

    Mr Ayoob,
    my father taught me that oftentimes what finally causes a fight isn’t always the root cause. I think that is what you are seeing on this subject. I think reasonable folks are so frustrated with the way the government and law enforcement in particular have been behaving that this just set them off.

    I live in Pima County Arizona. It’s been pretty rough here the last few years . We are overrun with illegal aliens, drug smugglers and the associated crime. In response LE precence has been increased. We have ICE agents all over. Road blocks are routine. People feel intimidated and harassed from both sides. Home invasions are common. Couple all this with a bad economy and folks are on edge.

    Those of you in the east may read about this incident and think, “this guy was into drugs. He had it coming.” Those of us on the ground out here think, “that could have been me.”

    There has to be a better way. No man deserves to die the way this man did.

  110. boris Says:

    Mas,

    this was not a “blue on blue” shooting. “Blue on blue” assumes the sides are equally responsible for making sure people are safe.

    Guerena was not in the field, he was at home. He had no responsibility to prevent “blue on blue” situation. He had no responsibility to make sure an innocent person does not die.

    And, I have to remind you yet again, – he was the only one who DID make sure that an innocent people did not die. He safed his rifle, – and he did not take it off safety and he did not shoot.

    In a situation where his only responsibility was the defense of his own home, – he made sure not to kill the idiots, who were storming it.

    I agree with you that it was not murder. But criminal negligence it was. I think we should do away with a notion of immunity in the cases like this.

    It’s pretty simple, – we are always saying things like “it is better a guilty to go free than to put in prison an innocent man”. Well, this same principle means, – police MUST make sure that they do not shoot an innocent man. A mistake may be excusable when there is an unplanned encounter with no chance to gather information and split seconds to make a decision. But not in this case.

  111. Matt Says:

    “How about a TWAT team breaking down a man’s door, holding im ( in his ripped up underwear) in a car for six hours, scaring his children – all at six in the morning – because his estranged wife who did not live there, had not paid a student loan.”

    Read the UPDATE: that investigation wasn’t about a defaulted student loan – but about a criminal case.
    Also, ask yourself about how the resident claimed he saw 15 officers – and the local police said only 1 had been sent with the Education Dept. people. Somewhere between 1 and 15, somebody’s lying; this sure doesn’t sound like an innocent mistake. And – being that no local police force has 15 officers to send to the home of everyone who just defaulted on a student loan in this economy – I think we know who that was.

  112. No Threat Says:

    Police need to be held to the same standards as ‘ordinary’ citizens. End of story. Legitimate acts of law enforcement? Fine.
    Mistake?

    If I make a mistake and kill a police officer, I suspect I’m going to experience something a bit more unpleasant than ‘departmental discipline’ or ‘administrative leave’ pending the outcome of the investigation.

    Does anyone have any stats on the incarceration rate of police officers who ‘mistakenly’ kill innocent civilians, regardless of the situation?

    Mas, the reason for the distrust and mistrust (and even what some have called ‘cop-hating’ here) is the deteriorating relationship between citizen and state (and the state’s enforcement arm, the police).

    Yes, there are angry voices here. What shocks me more are the simplistic views of those who say they back the cops, or see this as a simple, cut-and-dried case of the ‘perp’ being 100% responsible for his untimely demise. Bullshit. You know what you’d do if you thought you were experiencing a home invasion. (Not that I know what was going through Guerena’s head, but that’s the most likely explanation, and Occam’s razor applies — until someone provides *solid* evidence that Guerena had mens rea, and wanted to off some cops.)

    Based on what I can read here, the police ‘supporters’ seem to be implying (if not flat out stating) that the only action that you can take is to submit, even if you have no idea that the intruders are police performing legitimate duties. And that’s the problem. Because the pressure is on the citizen to roll over and just take it (even if a reasonable man would think his home was being invaded by a gang of criminals intent on doing him and his family harm).

    And it’s this (apparent) black-and-white refusal to see the other side of things, this (apparent) mentality that as long as they have a warrant, as long as it’s ‘legal’, that the ‘good guys’ did no wrong, that’s the problem. “We’re just doing our jobs” doesn’t cut it, if you want to be on the right side of things.

    If you wish to see that trust restored (and I know I do), I’m sorry to say, the police will have to start behaving differently even in the face of potential violence. Average citizens aren’t creating the hostile us-vs.-them atmosphere. Police tactics and violence are escalating in response to a perceived and real threat from a growing number of violent criminals.

    But who and what creates the growing army of violent criminals?

    The insane (yes, it is insane) and failed ‘war’ on drugs is the prime mover here. Our new ‘enemy’, domestic terrorism, is waiting in the wings to fill in should America come to its senses and end the war on drugs.

    Police officers (and their chain of command) who support the ‘war on drugs’ are, at least in part, supporting the thing that is creating the growing distrust, the growing militarization of civilian police action. I find it hard to understand why police organizations and heads of police departments want to see this farce continued.

    Sadly, I don’t see a simple solution.

    Good luck to you all. We’re going to need it.

  113. Bill Says:

    Another murder by cops. And Mas approves…

  114. TomcatTCH Says:

    Mas, and how would you know that they all make even the local news? I know they don’t all make the national news.

    Would you be comfortable with such SWAT activity at your house Mas?

    It’s an easy question to answer. I know it’s a very telling question, that’s why I keep asking it.

    Not answering it leads me to believe that you wouldn’t be. Why not?

  115. Tim from CO Says:

    Just a note to those saying Police should be held to similar standards as citizens. In terms of use of deadly force, we are pretty equal.

    For those of you worried about home invasions, you still have a responsibility to positively ID the suspect if at all possible. What if it is a family member up late or a friend that had a key who dropped by? Maybe it is a repairman a family member or landlord called?

    I’ll admit I’m still having problems with the whole “didn’t know it was Police”. Maybe there are some real good imitations but I keep thinking of really bad Halloween Costumes and that most people could tell the different from fake or real in a second or two.

    @ No Threat-

    Regarding genuine accidental shootings. I believe citizens and Police are judged pretty much equally. One case comes to mind is in Alaska an elderly gentleman shot a teenager who had come over for an unannounced visit. While I don’t recall all the details, the teenager entered the house without knocking or anything, slipped pass a dog, and had a ski mask on. While it was a terrible accident, the gentleman did not serve any time.

    Having read a fair amount of Police and Citizen shootings, I don’t believe the badge influences the outcome. It’s usually differences in the circumstance that affect the outcomes in my opinion. Another difference is responsibilities, we as Citizens are not given the task of tracking down suspects, the Police are.

  116. Mike in VA Says:

    Mas, Something bigger is at work here. The sentament directed toward “authority” is simmering, and from this thread and other media type outlets it would seem that in the future it could easily come to a boil. It seems as though this is manifesting into “something”. What do you think ?

  117. Gus Says:

    This whole thread is perfect illustration of why the general public is becoming more distrustful of the police.

    The response of the police offers commenting including Mr. Ayoob seems to be that if you don’t submit, you die, and you deserve it regardless of the situation or the action of the police. If you question those actions, you are a police hater, a criminal, an idiot, or all the above.

    Many of the non-police officers commenting seem to resort to name calling and have made the assumption that all police are evil and of course this stance isn’t helpful either.

    So what is a non-criminal, armed home owner to take away from this situation? It scares the crap out me, because given the video I would also probably be dead. I have no reason to expect SWAT assault on my home, so if awakened from a dead sleep, I too would be hunkered down with a weapon trying to figure out what is going on in less than 1 minute. And I would probably be dead now, and many of the folks commenting on this would say I deserved it and all that matters is that the police went home alive.

    I don’t have any answers, but it seems to me the more we militarize the police, and the more we rely on these types of tactics, the more mistakes will be made and the divide between citizen and police will grow.

  118. Lee Says:

    I have just one thing to say, with all respect to Mas as an instructor and person-

    “I was just following orders” didnt work at Nuremburg and it shouldn’t be allowed here…support your police if you want too, but stop supporting the murder of individuals by SWAT and police across the globe- INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, when SWAT/police are given the license via a SEARCH WARRANT, to be judge jury and executioner in a situation like this- something is wrong.

    I am educated in the criminal justice system, I have college degrees, I have practical applicable experience, best of all I can and have done the research that shows this happens far more then it should…besides Mas and other supporters of Pima County, having actually BEEN to the house in question AT same time of day as the incident, SWAT could not have seen him fully and he them fully thanks to the sun- they FUBAR’d period…

  119. Spirit of '76 Says:

    Thus spake the LORD thy God:

    “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

    “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”

    “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

  120. Kevin Says:

    The Department of Education sent a team of guys with machine guns to break his door down and seize a guy and his kids at gun point because of the inherently dangerous nature of college transcripts, letter of acceptance, notice of financial aid awards, high school diplomas, etc. You don’t believe me? Look at the warrant. Tell me what about this suggests that most reasonable way to serve this an armed team breaking down his door at 6am.

    http://www.news10.net/news/pdf/Ed-dept-Wright-warrant-060711.pdf

  121. Spirit of '76 Says:

    Part II:
    “Thou shalt do no murder.”

    This is the only law that matters, Ayoob. Not self-justification and the Phariseeism of a corrupt state.

    DO NOT FORGET: you shall answer (as will all killers and other sinners) on the terrible day of judgement when our Lord returns to judge the quick and the dead.

    He will not credit you for a “clean” or “within department policy” kill.

    May the LORD God almighty have mercy on your soul.

  122. Tam Says:

    Matt,

    Also, ask yourself about how the resident claimed he saw 15 officers – and the local police said only 1 had been sent with the Education Dept. people.

    Stockton PD sent one officer with a squad car.

    US Dept. of Education OIG sent over a dozen guys with shotguns and raid jackets and a battering ram. They weren’t using local cops to serve a federal warrant.

  123. Proud cop Says:

    All I’m hearing here is the same thing I always hear from the so-called “pro-gun” community–Envy and jealousy because other men and women have worked hard and become police officers and now supposedly have it better than the carpers who could not make the grade due to background, education or physical fitness issues. The vast majority of America’s police officers do their job every day and every night, taking the bad guys off the street without thanks or credit, but when one news story blows up and one side–the criminal’s–comes out, then every cop-hating Walter Mitty jumps on the internet before the facts are even out, and all the more so if the criminal was someone who liked guns. Supposedly liking guns makes you automatically a good guy, and having a badge automatically makes you a bad guy in the eyes of the internet commando army. Well the reality is that criminals like guns too, and most police officers these days are better vetted and trained than the average gun-toting citizen. That doesn’t make them better people, but it shows that they had the good intentions and the ability to make it to the top of the hiring list and get through months of full-time training and even more field evaluations, something that I suspect that many here could never hack. I’m proud of the people that I serve with because I know how solid they are on and off the job. There’s a little thing called “honor” and another called “integrity”. You need those to be a cop, but sadly there’s no requirement that a person have either one in order to jump on the internet and start blathering.

  124. Mas Says:

    Tomcat asks if how I’d feel about a SWAT team breaking down my door. It’s been answered before, but I’ll answer again: I wouldn’t like it one bit. (Duh.) And if there had been a siren blast and shouts of “police” and “warrant” I would damn sure hope I wasn’t pointing a gun at something I hadn’t positively identified as OTHER THAN law enforcement serving a warrant.

    Of course, if I had previous arrests for drugs, or an illegal weapon charge, I would have all the more reason to believe it was in fact the police at my door, and not home invaders.

    The Stockton matter does sound absurb on its face, but I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve heard the law enforcement side of why they felt a SWAT team was necessary. The whole “hear both sides before the rush to judgment” thing and all…

    Whose life is more valuable? I answered that when they pinned the badge on me and I swore the oath to lay down my life if necessary to protect the innocent. However, the innocent and criminal suspects are not the same. Does anyone here seriously think they are?

  125. Steve Too Says:

    Mas, thanks for at least answering the questions directed at you this time around.

    As for “Proud Cop” here’s an alternate point of view to this comment posted by him when he said “that most of the haters and critics are either outside of law enforcement and ignorant of our ways, or else they are hostile to law enforcement due to prior arrests or an inability to become one of the finest.”

    Become one of the finest…please!!! The reality is that most cops want to play Rambo without the REAL sacrifice; the dirt, hunger, thirst, sleeplessness, cold, heat, fatigue, exhaustion, loneliness, family separation, horror, and all around general misery that soldiers and Marines endure on a daily basis during both peace and war for a quarter of the pay of police. I constantly hear how stressful the job is in order to justify ever more money, perks, and benefits but the truth of the matter is that most cops have never even heard a shot fired in anger let alone had to deal with snipers, mortars, rockets, IEDs, ambushes or fire fights. The finest…give me a break! The finest are those who volunteer to serve their country for next to nothing and willingly put themselves in harm’s way without concern for their compensation package. I have served with the finest and boy let me tell you, NONE OF THEM WEAR BADGES! I would stand shoulder to shoulder with a combat vet over a cop any day of the week because they are men of honor, not finger-pointing blame-dodging whiners.

    What cops want is the power to intimidate, coerce, bully, and shoot without anyone shooting back at them (that whole monopoly of force thing) so that they can make sure that they go home at the end of the shift. The “finest” huh? Can you say “self-inflated sense of importance.” I’d like to see “Proud Cop” and all of his type walk a mile in a soldier or Marine’s shoes and for their pay too without coming home for 12 to 15 months. I bet Mr. Finest would be sniveling like a little girl the first time he got lit up and couldn’t go home to mama to change his drawers.

    You want to know why many of us vets no longer care for cops? The attitude exhibited in “Proud Cop’s” comment quoted above is a perfect example why. By the way, my record is as clean as fresh snow so your ad hominem about being a criminal doesn’t cut it here…but your attitude is just another reason to justify the contempt I have for your type of cop.

  126. James Says:

    “All I’m hearing here is the same thing I always hear from the so-called “pro-gun” community–Envy and jealousy because other men and women have worked hard and become police officers and now supposedly have it better than the carpers who could not make the grade due to background, education or physical fitness issues.”

    I’m on the side of judging the police in this incident as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law (like the rest of us), and have been before this incident sparked the heated debates and flames here.

    With that said, however, your comment here is WAY out of line. Some of us are not cops because that is not where our talents lie and we are happy with that. For you to assume that all the detractors are embittered wannabes who couldn’t hack it is taking things way too far.

    You, as a participant in this debate have a responsibility to fairly represent both your side as well as not misrepresent the other side. Even when they engage in misrepresentation and other spills into emotionalism, that doesn’t mean you are free to do so. This applies to EVERYONE. Otherwise it’s going to be like those faux-debates on television where nothing is debated but all the talking points talked about. Debate is about each side presenting its case (either positively or negatively according to the debate topic), answering the other side, and then examining the other side.

    I abjure ALL those who are serious about debating this topic to check themselves to see if they have been unfair towards the other side, and to present solid arguments, NOT emotional rants.

    That is how civilized people used to go about debating in the past. Now, I wonder where civility and civilized discourse have gone. It sure isn’t here in american culture any more. Makes one wonder if this culture is even worth saving.

  127. Mas Says:

    Welcome, James. Your call for civility is appreciated. My experience in this debate over the last few weeks is that some will heed it, and some will not.

  128. Tim from CO Says:

    “I also suspect that most of the haters and critics are either outside of law enforcement and ignorant of our ways, or else they are hostile to law enforcement due to prior arrests or an inability to become one of the finest.”

    I agree with you Proud Cop. Think a problem for some people is just understanding of the how and the why. Any armed citizen who spends some time training, instantly gets a taste of what an Officer sees everyday. And that’s just the tactical side. That’s not considering the fine “customers” you guys have to deal with either…the one who felt speeding was okay because he was in a hurry…or the guy who just happened to be holding someone else’s property for them….

    For the record Proud Cop, Pro-2A and Pro-LEO as well :p. Some of us 2A people will help out your brothers and sisters when they need it.

    @James- Indeed a lot of emotions are flaring up and getting the better (worse?) of some people.

  129. LEE Says:

    It is interesting how Mas and others continue to refer to the “suspect’s” “Of course, if I had previous arrests for drugs, or an illegal weapon charge, I would have all the more reason to believe it was in fact the police at my door, and not home invaders”

    What is more interesting is they also fail to address the FACT that NO charges were kept, and he was cleared- wait, doesn’t that mean INNOCENT?

    Mas- seriously, you are losing your Arizona support fast, and national support of everyone except copsuckers even faster.

    Respond with something other then, but they were cops and were following orders/ had a right because they had a SEARCH warrant based on shaky evidence after TWENTY months/ they didnt know he worked nights (lol lol TWENTY MONTHS- in 24 hours I can get you more information on anyone in this nation then that useless police department obviously can.

    Wake up, the respect I once afforded you is fast evaporating with every terrible argument you use Mas- as for the other cops/copsuckers who cannot see the VERY obvious wrongs being committed DAILY in this nation by cops “following orders-standard response for Nuremburgians” well I feel for you…as for being jealous, I enjoy being more intelligent, better trained and all around nicer then the jack boots that inhabit my corner of Arizona…

  130. LEE Says:

    Oh and James, I have presented facts FACTS- Mas and his blue line supporters fail to respond…because there is NO response.

  131. Cassierina Says:

    “Whose life is more valuable? I answered that when they pinned the badge on me and I swore the oath to lay down my life if necessary to protect the innocent. However, the innocent and criminal suspects are not the same. Does anyone here seriously think they are?”

    If they are “criminal” suspects, aren’t they supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty?” What is a “criminal suspect?” You seem to be assuming that Mr. Guerena is guilty of something and that he deserved what he got. He had been arrested, sure, BUT NEVER CONVICTED. Except in your mind, Mas, except in your mind. Thanks for showing us all how you really think. We’re all just potential cop killers who must be guilty of something, after all why else would the police be there?

  132. Mike in VA Says:

    to Proud Cop, Your comment shows eliteism over the citizens you “protect” and serve. Guess what, we don’t all want to be cops. Some of us make a pretty good living in the private business sector and oh by the way, Alot of us are Army vets who can EASILY pass the background, psychological , phisical fitness and marksmanship quals. Your comment confirms what some of us believe, which is when you put on the badge, you look down on the citizenry. We are not all want- to- be’s.

  133. Heather Says:

    The biggest problem I see is the identification of police. Mas, is it not entirely possible that, given that the man was asleep in a bedroom (which may not have any view of the driveway), that he did not have time to identify the police as police? If the video is accurate, there is not a lot of time between the initial siren and the firing. I just know that if I’m in my bedroom with the door closed, I’m lucky to hear my own doorbell half the time. No way could I have heard them identifying themselves.

  134. Mas Says:

    Lee, you missed the point here. Mr. Guerena was not a suspect because he had been arrested in the past, and the matter dropped for whatever reason. He was a suspect because of the investigation that led to the search warrant in question. He was shot by police because he pointed a rifle at them as they attempted to serve that warrant. You claim to be a better person than the “jack boots” who inhabit your corner of Arizona…exactly how many of them do you know, enabling you to make that statement?

    Cassierina, if you stop and think about it, every person ever shot by police — or armed citizens in self defense — had not yet been proven guilty in a court of law in the incident that forced the cop or the citizen to shoot them. By your standard, you would not be able to shoot your would-be rapist in self-defense until after he had been tried and convicted for rape. You ARE aware that the man in question was pointing a rifle at the police when they fired at him, are you not?

  135. sofa Says:

    Mas’ argument regarding “suspects” was also used by Stalin and Mao.

    The Torries used the same approach, when creating a long train of abuses. Then we constituted a government to protect our rights. We consider those rights to be inalienable and granted by God (not a privilege from some guy in a black robe or a blue suit).

    History looks like this.

  136. Kevin Says:

    Mas, actually there isn’t any believable evidence or testimony yet presented that he “he pointed a rifle at them”. The cops who said he “he pointed a rifle at them” also said he fired at them. You may choose to believe the cops, I believe the physical evidence. Which is that the rifle was on safe and had not been fired. If your defense of the police story means you will ignore the physical evidence when it contradicts police then that says something about you that I was hoping was not true.

    Heather “If the video is accurate, there is not a lot of time between the initial siren and the firing.”

    Well, the police statement said that they spent over a minute giving verbal notification. Who are you going to believe, the police or your own lying eyes?

    http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_3a30b78e-3afa-5d62-bf4e-9b7fdc5f753c.html
    “Deputy Kenneth Walsh was the officer who gave the commands for Guerena to come out of the house.

    “Walsh told investigators he issued at least two sets of commands in English and Spanish before he and another officer were ordered to open the door.

    “The order to open the door came during his third set of commands, he said.

    “It took at least a minute to issue the commands before they knocked down the door, he said.”

  137. Tim from CO Says:

    “You may choose to believe the cops, I believe the physical evidence. Which is that the rifle was on safe and had not been fired.”

    Honestly, I wouldn’t focus too much on the “on-safe” part. I can think of at least several other ways the safety could have been moved. If the rifle was on a sling, sometimes clothing can move the safety. When Guerena was shot, his hand could have jerked and moved the safety. Or before that Guerena just accidentally hit the safety when he didn’t mean to.

    Another possibility is maybe once the incident was over, whoever was collecting evidence took pictures of the rifle where it was then collected it and placed it “on safe”for safety concerns. In a situation like that I don’t know what the normal procedure for forensics is. On one hand you’d have safety on the other hand you’d have unaltered evidence (but you could just as easily write in your report it was found off-safe and you placed it on-safe for transport etc).

  138. Massad Ayoob on talking to the police - Page 5 Says:

    [...] his defense of Dupniks Death Squad who killed Jose Guerena. He caught hell with the readership: Backwoods Home Mas Blog __________________ Fit. Tanned. Rested. Unmasked. Ron Paul [...]

  139. Bob H Says:

    After reading all of this as well as the posts by other bloggers (Especially Freeholder’s work @ http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/317393.php) That SWAT type entries should be cut back to the absolute minimum. They should be approved by a judge or maybe a senior police officer who knows his job is on the line if something goes wrong. The problem is that these raids are used when officers could avoid the whole problem, if they had been willing.
    I am frightened by this case and others like it simply because that could be me dead on the floor of our house. The video shows inept Keystone Kops including one officer who appears to run forward and fire a handgun into the house right in front of the other officers face.
    Had that been my home, two or more police would be dead. I would either be dead or in jail awaiting trial for killing police officers. Why? Because someone decided that instead of waiting until I and my wife had left the house (on a predictable schedule) they needed some hours in as SWAT.
    SWAT type entries are insanely dangerous for homeowners (and their pets) and should be banned in all except the most egregious cases.
    Mas, the point you and the other LEOs are making is that it was a good shoot. From a police standpoint I can see that. A man with a gun was spotted during the entry. case closed.
    From a homeowners POV, it is insane that SWAT tactics were used and therefore the police killed a homeowner who was doing exactly what most homeowners would have done.
    Both are right from their POV, and I don’t see a way to reconcile the difference.

  140. Kevin Says:

    Tim from Co: The fact that the safety was on doesn’t come from a photo. It comes from a press release on May 10 by PCSD where they reported that the safety was on and the rifle had not been fired and that their initial report that he had fired at officers was incorrect.
    http://pimasheriff.org/bulletins/update-officer-involved-shooting/

    Of course, the critical point isn’t that it was on safe, it is that it was unfired. Why is this critical? It’s critical because multiple members of the police SWAT team stated for the record that not only did he fire at him, they clearly saw the muzzle flash. As the weapon was not fired they were either lying or totally wrong about a really important fact. Whether lying or wrong, that was the most important fact of the entire event. If you can’t trust their statement on that you cannot trust anything else about the raid that they might say.

    I would be quite interested in seeing more of the 1300 photos that PCSD released last week than the 12 or so that kgun9 showed, but not enough to drive to Tucson to get them. In particular, if his rifle was hit and where was it hit. I’m expecting that if it was hit there will be no impacts generally parallel to the barrel, as you would expect if someone fired 71 shots at a guy standing 20 feet away holding a rifle aimed at you.

  141. David Says:

    Officers in Tucson SWAT shooting of ex-Marine cleared of wrongdoing

    “The five SWAT officers who shot and killed 26-year-old Jose Guerena while serving a search warrant May 5, have been cleared of any wrongdoing.”

    http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_0b5f1624-961f-11e0-a6fd-001cc4c002e0.html

    Apparently, this is what we can expect from now on. Commando cops senselessly raiding homes and shooting people that could have been picked up on the street without any violence…but what fun would that be.

  142. captain Says:

    “The five SWAT officers who shot and killed 26-year-old Jose Guerena while serving a search warrant May 5, have been cleared of any wrongdoing.”

    And who was it that “investigated” the shooting ? …
    {crickets chirping} ….
    The Pima County Sheriff’s Office.

    Look real surprised that they were cleared of any wrongdoing by their own investigators.
    What was that term ? … conflict of interests? Yeah that’s the one.

    This really needs an Independent Investigation by a “Civilian” investigation service.

    Boy do I begin to dislike that word ….”civilian”.
    Until the peace officers of this country [IF there are any left] refuse to use separatist terms like “civilian” and “Brother officers” there will continue to be a gulf between the people of the community and the Public Servants that we hired to patrol our streets. [Not to run our lives]
    That “blue line” is separating the peace officers from their communities and that is exactly opposite to the original intention.

    I highly recommend this to all. Especially those few peace officers still serving their public with respect.
    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/search?q=Chose+this+day+whom+you+will+serve

  143. jerry Says:

    The killings(strike that) …..The reasonable and justified use of force will continue until attitudes improve.

  144. RAG Says:

    Yep, you anti guys are right. The cops just randomly picked a house and decided to “Stormtroop” into it and kill a guy for absolutely no reason.

    Oh wait, after convincing a judge there is probable cause for the warrant they go to the house and arrive with the siren blasting, the necessary knock and notice, the multiple shouting of “Police” then enter to find the greatest person in the world pointing a rifle at them.

    You people who are anti LEO will always find some way to bash the cops no matter what they do. What a bunch of crap.

  145. ron Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx9Mt4krDtc&feature=player_embedded

    I think a majority of the problem here is the “official reaction” being understated, or the offending cops being cleared by the “internal investigation”
    Witness the video linked.
    Kudos to the “partner” who told his side of the story even though it would bring harm to the PD.

  146. A Critic Says:

    “Until the investigation is complete, Jose Guerena should be considered innocent until proven guilty insofar as the drug and home invasion allegations…and the police who shot him should be considered innocent until proven guilty of having done so wrongfully.”

    1. Mr Guerena is dead and a dead man can not be proven to be guilty.

    2. The police are the police and they are in cahoots with the investigating authorities and are almost certain to be immune from prosecution. Your statement is as valid as saying “Stalin should be considered innocent until he is convicted of the alleged crimes.”

    Your pro-cop bias shows that you Mr. Ayoob are corrupted by your membership in the power elite’s iron fist. Your argument is a complex strawman – you carefully picked and chose which arguments you argued against while ignoring the more substantial evidence that damns the cops involved. Your conflict of interest clearly prevents you from thinking clearly when the police are the ones accused of a crime.

    If Mr. Guerena was innocent this raid was obviously unnecessary. If he was guilty of the alleged crimes then it would have been far more prudent not to raid him. Damn few people give armed resistance to the police once they know that they are surrounded by the police. Those that do can usually be waited out by holding siege where the police are behind cover and innocent bystanders are evacuated. The other far superior option as another commenter said is to wait for the suspect to leave the safety of their home. There is no need to try to go all Hollywood on criminal suspects. It must be fun to play the part of the bad ass paramilitary commandos, but it endangers everyone involved and leads us further into the totalitarian police state.

    “(5) The body language and movement patterns of the officers are consistent with people in fear of their lives,”

    Indeed, these men are cowards which is a dominant characteristic of the new breed of cops. They were heavily armed, heavily armored, vastly outnumbered their opponent, and had the element of surprise and they were still shitting their pants with fear. Why were they so afraid? It’s because they lack the courage and confidence that comes from knowing ones actions are moral, legal, and absolutely necessary. I see much bravado amongst the new stormtroopers, but I do not see any bravery.

  147. A Critic Says:

    @ RAG

    “You people who are anti LEO will always find some way to bash the cops no matter what they do. ”

    So long as the LEOs wage an illegal war against our inalienable rights of life, liberty, property, and the rule of law – then it won’t be very hard to find fault with their criminal actions.

  148. BigTex Says:

    All I can say is keep plugging Mr. Ayoob, all you do is not in vain even though sometimes it may seem like it.

    I know full well how tough it is trying to move forward against the headwind of ignorance, prejudice and outright craziness some people have, but it has to be done, and these “comments” that pop up whenever you say anything about Law Enforcement are proof of it.

    That doesn’t mean the people of the Republic have no right to criticize the people they pay to keep order, not only do they have they right, but it’s also a responsibility, but if you’re like me, you wish the people would do more to truly educate themselves about the issues, and then temper that knowledge with the understanding that OTHERS are actually doing what they are just talking about.

    It saddens me to here all this talk of police state this and tyranny that from people who have no historical or even modern context. LE today is TAME compared to in the past, any serious student of American Criminal Justice knows this.

    But fringe personality individuals (such as, sadly, some of the commenters here) NEED to think they are the good, righteous hero, and any Good Righteous Hero NEEDs an enemy and some injustices to rail against. The Government and it’s police are that enemy to them.

    For sure their are people among the 850k LEOs in this country who should not be police. Their are whole bad Police Forces (which is bound to happen when a country has 18,000 Law Enforcement Agencies spread out across a country so incomprehensibly vast as the United States). But just once, just for a little while at least, I wish the majority of people would learn to to judge each LEO each agency, each situation itself individually.

    But they can’t do that, prejudice requires a blanket……

  149. Zan Says:

    The public release of helmet cam footage from one of the entry team members would do a lot more to clear up the situation than the helmet cam footage from an officer that never saw Mr. Guerena’s actions first hand. I’d reserve judgment until such footage is released.

    And if it’s been available all this time but not released, that would be…an interesting choice on the part of the sheriff’s department, given that entry team helmet cam footage has been released before by other departments.

  150. Sheepdog Says:

    And the ignorant sheep just keep complaining and complaining… pathetic…

  151. sofa Says:

    “And the ignorant sheep just keep complaining and complaining… pathetic…”-sheepdog.

    Denigrating information and questions from knowledgeable concerned citizens is another data point, evidence of what we’re saying: Many enforcers hold themselves apart and above the citizens, separate and more equal.

    Be happy that people keep trying to reason; ‘complaining’ in your words.
    The Torries found out what happens when the complaining stops.
    Initiating violence & threatening innocents makes for a long train of abuses, which invariably leads to

    Yeah, I’ll keep pleading.
    Because I want my country to avoid what you are pushing so hard to create. Please acknowledge crime even when the perp is wearing a costume. Rejoin America, rather than making yourselves ‘more equal’ and separating yourselves from the rest of the country.

    ***

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, …”
    -sorta relevent

    hmmm, Governments instituted to secure the rights of the people?
    And taking rights and lives under color of law de-ligitimizes the courts, legislatures, and invariably leads to something or another…
    It was the foundation of a country, now long dead; But the words still ring true. …is it a case of those ignorant of history, rushing to repeat it?

  152. BigTex Says:

    @Sofa

    “Denigrating information and questions from knowledgeable concerned citizens is another data point, evidence of what we’re saying: Many enforcers hold themselves apart and above the citizens, separate and more equal.”

    No, it’s “evidence” of one person making a comment on the internet. Prejudiced people (like cop haters) always have this need to present 1 incident or 1 comment (or a small amount of such incidents or comments) as “evidence” of their pre (and ill) concieved notions.

    You have no clue whether or not the person you quoted (Sheepdog) is a cop or not, how then can his post be “evidence” of what “enforcers” think? No, the truth is, that is what you WANT to imagine Law Enforcement Officers think. In other words, it’s evidence of your prejudice. There is no scientific way to determine what 850,000 human beings “think”.

    This is why so very much of what you cop haters say is so irrelevant, it isn’t based on facts but rather fallacious perceptions. All currently available facts point to an American Law Enforcement establishment that is less dangerous to society now than it had been in many points in the past.

    But as it usually works in human societies, perception and reality are usually seperate. It’s a shame really.

  153. John Says:

    I’ve always supported Law Enforcement. I’ve had family and friends serve in many different types of organizations. I know Military Police, US Marshals, Local PD Officers and even Correctional Officers. From them, I have been told about things that would probably be considered abusive. But never anything public or that resulted in someone’s death. Lately, I have been seeing more issues with Law Enforcement around the country. Whether it is ignorant cops in Philadelphia that don’t know the law and treat citizens (who do know the law) with complete disrespect, while threatening his life. Or the raid on a home in Tucson, where the “suspect” had no history of violent crime, in fact had no convictions whatsoever. Or the officer in New Jersey who was in a car accident and used his undercover ID to attempt to avoid responsibility. It seems the last is the only one to receive any reprimand, over a year later.

    Maybe all the guys out there claiming that everyone who questions these events is a “cop hater” should take a moment to think about these events. I know I don’t view them in a vacuum. They illustrate a general arrogance that I have heard expressed by even the friends I have who are LEOs. When they get in a car accident, they brag how they will be taken care of. When they have a “problem” they are able to get it “fixed”. It starts with the small stuff people. How can I trust these individuals to act in truth and fairness when it is a common practice to stack the deck?

  154. BigTex Says:

    ” Lately, I have been seeing more issues with Law Enforcement around the country.”

    This is one of the reasons why some of us apply the cop-hater tag so liberally. Because cop “haters” are different from true critics of Law Enforcement.

    Cop haters rely on perceptions rather than facts. Cop haters see youtube vids or news stories about cops doing wrong and take that to mean some trend is going on. I shouldn’t have to remind people that the VAST majority of America’s 850,000 cops NEVER make the news, the media is a business and the average day/career/life of the average cop is never news worthy.

    That should not be taken to mean that their aren’t problems or abuses in specific places, but like all prejudiced people, cop haters take what little information they get and blow it up into a massive national problem that truthfully doesn’t exist.

    In this, the Cop hater is like the anti-black racist who sees black folks doing bad things on TV but doesn’t understand that those folks are a tiny portion of the 50 MILLION blacks in America. The VAST majority of black males (for example) will never have a problem with the law worse than a speeding ticket, but you can’t tell a racist that , now can you?

    Here is an example that i’ve posted here before. One anti-cop group puts out a publication called “The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project” they gather information from every source they can get their hands on. Here is the abstract:

    http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/?page_id=4135

    ” * 4,861 – Unique reports of police misconduct tracked
    * 6,613 – Number of sworn law enforcement officers involved (354 were agency leaders such as chiefs or sheriffs)
    * 6,826 – Number of alleged victims involved
    * 247 – Number of fatalities associated with tracked reports
    * $346,512,800 – Estimated amount spent on misconduct-related civil judgments and settlements excluding sealed settlements, court costs, and attorney fees.”

    Despite spending ALL YEAR tracking police misconduct, the best they can come up with is “6,613 – Number of sworn law enforcement officers involved”

    6600, out of 850,000. NOT EVEN 1%. Of course the cop haters will say “well, those are just the ones that get caught”, to which I reply “well, yea, but not all of those reported are guilty, so it balances out.

    ———-

    I’ll give you an example form my neck of the woods. I live in Dallas (I am not a member of the Dallas Police Department). Last year after a police shooting I overheard a friend say “wow, the DPD is killin up everyone”. There had been 2 police shootings in 2 weeks.

    Dallas PD has 3200 sworn officer, most unformed, most in patrol or posistions where they interact with the public frequently. DPD answers some 300 to 400 THOUSAND service called per year, each time a cop interacts with a citizen, it’s a potential gun fight (because every gunfight needs atleast 1 person with a gun lol).

    And out of these 3200 gun carrying cop having litteralyl hundreds of thousands of oppurtunities to kill them some civilians, how many police shooting fatalites does Dallas (a city of more than a million people) average per year?

    5. Every year 5-10 Dallas Police Officer end up in shooting situations with people, in which, on average, 5 citizens die.

    5 out of 1 million.

    How in the #$%^ is an average of 5 equal to “wow, DPD is killin up everybody these days”? It only does if the speaker is kinda stupid lol. If Dallas PD were the jackbooted fascists people want to believe they are, wouldn’t that 5 be 5000? 50,000?

    Standard disclaimer, that does not mean that when a cop does something wrong or even criminal he should not be punished, he should, and more severly than regualr citizens because that cop swore an oath in order to become a peace officer. And sometimes the truly bad cops don’t get punished enough or at all, and that’s an injustice.

    But the VAST majority of us have nothing to do with that, and everyone who for some reason thinks it DOES have something to do with the rest of us is, indeed, a cop hater.

  155. John Says:

    Bigtex, you know, I don’t think you and I are as far apart as it might seem on this. I don’t think the majority of police officers are bad people, but they are put in a position where an elitist attitude can develop quickly. Maybe the perception would be better if more cops stood against those abusers more firmly. The knee-jerk reaction of ” the perp had it coming” and “I’ll do whatever it takes to go home at the end of my shift”, without examining what occurred only benefits those who do break the rules. I want you guys to make it home too, but I also would like to know that I could survive a law enforcement encounter if I were accused of something.

  156. Guard Duck Says:

    In an incident, you tend to think first of your survival, and only after it is over does one consider the law. Considering that there were a bunch of guys breaking and entering, the Homeowner had every right to shoot them in self defense. ‘Tis indeed unfortunate that he did not. Below are 2 quotes I think are pertinent to this issue…

    “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” ~Lord Acton

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? [...] The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!” —Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (Chapter 1 “Arrest”)

    The gov should always be suspected of wrongdoing since by their mere existence they are violating the ZAP… A bunch of guys acting as this swat team did violated all 3 rights at once; Life, Liberty, and Property.

  157. Mas Says:

    Guard Duck, you say it’s unfortunate that the drug suspect did not shoot the police officers who were executing a lawful search warrant?

    Do you think he should have shot him with his stolen gun?http://www.kold.com/story/14964867/stolen-gun-found-in-dead-mans-home

    And you compare the officers shooting a suspect pointing a rifle at them while they’re serving a lawful warrant, with Stalin’s minions carrying out mass murder on their own people?

    Guard Duck, you sound like a quack-pot.

  158. SamT Says:

    My father was LEO until the day he died. I have a lot of respect for those LEOs who put themselves in harms way for us non-LEO citizens.

    “I’ll do whatever it takes to safely go home to my family.” paraphrased?

    And a similar sentiment form an ex LEO GF, “They don’t pay me enough to get shot.”

    And I told her, “That is exactly what we pay do you for, to take the bullet, so we don’t have to.”

    The first quote above strongly implies that the speaker is willing to shoot a good guy rather than risk being shot by a bad guy. In my ex GF’s case, she quit the force a week later.

    We, as a society, hire LEOs to protect us. As individuals, we expect them to take risks for our safety, not risk our lives for theirs.

    While Specail Weapons And Tactics are now a necessary part of law enforcement and will continue to be so for as long as the Paper and Chemical industries can keep hemp illegal.

    IMHO, a siege tactic is far better than a blitzkrieg tactic in those cases where the LEOs have not yet been conclusively fired upon. The only rationales I have heard for prefering a blitzkrieg over a siege is that the perps may dispose of evidence and that the monetary cost of a seige is too high.

    The presuppositions in those rationales is that an innocent life is not as worthy as convicting a bad guy and is worth less than money. In particular to the Guerena case, any of the wild shots made could have hit the wife or son.

    An acceptable tactic to me, would have been to quietly surrond the house from cover, turn off the water at the curb to prevent massive flushing of evidence, and send an entry team to remove the electric meter. Only after that, would I have loudly and clearly, with a PA system directed Mr. Guerena to leave the house. I would have given him warning that if he did not exit in 1 minute, I would fire tear gas into the home. Then I would have counted down the time in ten second intervals.

    This strategy would protect my officers, protect the occupants of the house, unless they definately shot first, and intimidated any non psychotic from losing their life. (sic, I know.)

    Mr. Ayoob, I think you have painted yoursdelf into a corner, effectivley paraphrasing President Nixon, “If the police do it, it’s not wrong.”

    Any police tactic that can be easily copied by the bad guys, which also gives the badguys an overwhelming advantage against their victims is morally wrong in that it places the citizen in the untenable position of having to either defend himself against the police, (and dying,) or not defending himself against the bad guys, (and dying.)

    In a society where Blackstone’s ratio, “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”, is considered the law of the land, why is it that it is better that an innocent be shot by police, rather than one guilty escape (conviction?)

  159. Mas Says:

    Sam T:
    First, thank you for the reference you kindly supplied to the young couple attempting to adopt. They are following the blog comments and I’m sure they’ll pick up on it.

    Second, while we do indeed take an oath to, in essence, stand between an innocent citizen like you and a criminal’s bullet, there’s nothing in the oath that says we’re supposed to let a suspected criminal shoot us with a rifle (which we now know was a stolen gun) after we have identified ourselves as law enforcement officers and are in the act of serving a lawful warrant.

  160. BigTex Says:

    -”An acceptable tactic to me, would have been to quietly surrond the house from cover, turn off the water at the curb to prevent massive flushing of evidence, and send an entry team to remove the electric meter. Only after that, would I have loudly and clearly, with a PA system directed Mr. Guerena to leave the house. I would have given him warning that if he did not exit in 1 minute, I would fire tear gas into the home. Then I would have counted down the time in ten second intervals.”-

    Ah, Monday morning Quarterbacking at it’s finest. Like the MMQ (sitting in his easy chair watching a real quarter back run for his life because 300lb armored dudes are trying to take his head off), YOU would suffer not one ill consequence if you ill-concieved “tactics” didn’t pan out. The people potentially getting shot at trying to turn off water and electricity might have something to say about that.

    Do you think police were “born yesterday” so to speak? Does the outsider never take into consideration the idea that perhaps the things they believe would somehow be a good idea have been tried before and found lacking? Law Enforcement Tactics are a matter of trial and error and actual human beings have BLED trying to get it right.

    What people who, you know, actually do the job have learned is that the faster you can bring a situation to an end, the less likely it is to end with someone hurt. Also, containing someone in their home is usually better than trying to catch them at large where potential innocents are int he way (that’s another cop-hater favorite tactic, “just wait till he comes outside and grab him on the street, again, it’s not the cop hater that gets killed or sued if that goes wrong).

    The intelligent outsider, rather than playing MMQ, understands that their persepctive is limited and should strive to learn more about a subject (and learn more about how their own biases with skew their perceptions) before he comments.

    No one is saying “take our word for it”, we’re saying “learn how to think 1st, comment 2nd”.

  161. John Says:

    “What people who, you know, actually do the job have learned is that the faster you can bring a situation to an end, the less likely it is to end with someone hurt. ”

    If this is true, and I would tend to agree that it is, why did they take more than an hour to clear the house?

    So the answer is the police are right regardless of what they do, from the point of Mas and BigTex. It is good you are here to protect the police from all the “cop-haters” here. Haha. I am sure you will tell me wrong I am, but it seems any line of thought that tends toward questioning a police tactic bring ” think first, comment 2nd” quotes from you and the boys, while any possible string of cover for these “operators” is immediately broadcast to the masses. The gun was stolen three years ago = Jose is a thief about to go on a murderous rampage.

  162. BigTex Says:

    -”So the answer is the police are right regardless of what they do, from the point of Mas and BigTex.”-

    See, when people either lose an argument or realize they are wrong (but can’t admit it), they try to turn the tables of the original speaker. Point out the post where I said any such thing as “police are always right” please. I’ll wait….

    ….still waiting, take your time…….

    Ah, so you got nothin lol. Police officers are fallabile human beings. But those fallible human beings are in the situation, unlike you. Long history and experience drive what we do, and as time goes on the technology and society change, so will what we have to do. But as it is now, we know that some things work and some things don’t.

    It’s all theoretical for people like you John. It is not for the people you are “suggesting” do things differently. I’m sorry if you cannot understand the concepts I’m talking about.

  163. Country_Mike Says:

    Just curious, how much say in these matters do the taxpayers have? I realize we can vote out a sheriff, but what about forcing changes in policies?

  164. Guard Duck Says:

    Mas Says:
    June 25th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Guard Duck, you say it’s unfortunate that the drug suspect did not shoot the police officers who were executing a lawful search warrant?

    Do you think he should have shot him with his stolen gun?http://www.kold.com/story/14964867/stolen-gun-found-in-dead-mans-home

    And you compare the officers shooting a suspect pointing a rifle at them while they’re serving a lawful warrant, with Stalin’s minions carrying out mass murder on their own people?

    Guard Duck, you sound like a quack-pot.
    ====

    Just because some old dude in a black dress gives you a paper doesn’t mean you can break in someone’s house and murder him. If you break in someone’s house it’s a given they’re going to point a gun at you. Seriously, anybody can yell “police” and break a door down. That’s how the gangs here break in. They dress up like cops and break the door down, then they shoot you and take your stuff.

    As to the stolen gun, police could have planted it. They plant “evidence” all the time. I’ve seen it happen many times in my old neighborhood.

    Quack-pot LOL… good one.

    Funny how cops always show themselves as bullies.

  165. Mas Says:

    Duckie, you’ve chosen an appropriate pseudonym. In Stephen Pastis’ comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” the “Guard Duck” character is funny because of how grotesquely it overreacts and exaggerates. You are doing those things here, and in this context it makes you more sad than funny.

    You can’t answer simple questions, you call a judge issuing a warrant based on probable cause an “old dude in a black dress,” you don’t seem to grasp the distinction between murder and homicide, and you feel those who question you are bullies.

    Here’s a little mentoring as opposed to bullying for you. Take a basic civics class. Read a book or two on how the criminal justice system works in this country. Then get back to us.

    Happy Independence Day,
    Mas

  166. Guard Duck Says:

    You been going on about my nickname I got for having a huge weapon collection. It has nothing to do with why the duck is funny. I use that nickname here because it’s what Claire knew me as on TCF/TMM forum. Since you’re so keen on comparing me to a Pearls character, that would make you the pig right? Or are you rat? Just saying. I called you a bully because you called me a “quack pot” not because you questioned me.

    I suppose a judge could be an old biddy in a black dress too. YMMV.

    I know how the system is supposed to work. I also know that it doesn’t work. Been broken a long time. There is no justice in America except for the justice the victim doles out to their attacker in the form of 1.5 oz of lead. Sadly, in this case, justice was not carried out.

    “Happy Independence Day”? LOL The irony here is intense. A cop is telling an an-cap “Happy Independence Day”… A holiday that celebrates rebellion against authoritah of the day. ROTFLMAO

  167. Mas Says:

    Weak deflection there, Duck. Anyone who can read our short dialogue above can see I’m not harping on your self-chosen net nickname, I’m harping on your inability to back up your position and answer logical questions.

    An inability you continue to display in the above post.

  168. Guard Duck Says:

    Mas Says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Weak deflection there, Duck. Anyone who can read our short dialogue above can see I’m not harping on your self-chosen net nickname, I’m harping on your inability to back up your position and answer logical questions.

    An inability you continue to display in the above post.
    ==========

    ORLY?

    ==========

    Guard Duck, you sound like a quack-pot.

    (and)

    Duckie, you’ve chosen an appropriate pseudonym. In Stephen Pastis’ comic strip “Pearls Before Swine” the “Guard Duck” character is funny because of how grotesquely it overreacts and exaggerates. You are doing those things here, and in this context it makes you more sad than funny.

    ==========

    Sure, you haven’t said a word about it occifer. No harping at all… :rolleyes:

    I totally thought you would get the connection that the US and the USSR are both totalitarian police states, and that their respective forces terrorize the population into submission through excessive violence. The US has the highest prison population per capita, and the vast majority are for mala prohibita cases where there was no victim. Protests at political conventions become riots when cops attack otherwise peaceful people who assembled without state permission. Cops raid families at night over a tiny amount of a harmless plant simply because it’s hard to tax. Cops stole people’s guns after hurricane Katrina. They steal and murder with impunity, and as George Bernard Shaw said, “All government is cruel; for nothing is so cruel as impunity.” a 10 minute google search will back up everything I just said.

    ==========
    Guard Duck, you say it’s unfortunate that the drug suspect did not shoot the police officers who were executing a lawful search warrant?
    ==========
    The only difference between cops and the mob is that the law supports one and tries to stamp out the competition from the other. Pirates and Emperors ya know….

    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.” ~ John Locke

    “No law ever written has stopped any robber, rapist or killer, like cold blue steel in the hands of their last intended victim.” ~W. Emerson Wright

    I doubt those were the answers you wanted, and you surely could have figured it out for yourself.

    “Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-… That’s all, folks.”

  169. Klapton Says:

    Note to self:

    Next time I empty my magazine into another human being, I should investigate MYSELF. That way I can say I acted according to procedure, and not have to deal with tedious things like courts, judges, and especially JURIES.

  170. Mas Says:

    Klapton: it sounds as if you have the strange idea that officer-involved shootings are NOT investigated by the prosecutor’s office at a minimum, and often also by LE agencies with overriding jurisdiction, ranging from state police to the FBI. Who on earth gave you such a strange idea?

    Duck: “Th–Th–That’s all, folks?” You have cleverly morphed from a sophisticated cartoon character to an earlier, more primitive one? And in between, your attempt to answer questions (thanks for trying at last, anyway) is that cops and criminals are the same, and there was no difference between the USA and the USSR?

    You, uh, DO know that the USSR ceased to exist like, oh, 20 years ago, right?

    In such a fantasy world, it’s no wonder that you default to cartoon characters.

    Sad for you…

  171. Guard Duck Says:

    I wasn’t referencing myself when I quoted porky pig. Darn, why do I smell bacon?

    ===
    You, uh, DO know that the USSR ceased to exist like, oh, 20 years ago, right?
    ===

    Yup. And the Third Reich ended in the 1940′s. Yet for some reason I still am expected to carry my identification papers around so if one of you guys want’s to know who I am, all you have to do is demand them. Reminds me of this phrase: “Ihre papire bitte.”
    ===

    In such a fantasy world, it’s no wonder that you default to cartoon characters.
    ===

    lol

    Says the guy standing up for murderers who also keeps attacking my nickname instead of my actual arguments. Needless to say, I find this thread amusing.

  172. Klapton Says:

    Dupnik’s department investigated Dupnik’s Sturmabteilung. Other “LE agencies with overriding jurisdiction” are also not trustworthy, because they are just as interested in hiding the misdeeds of their underlings and protecting the thin blue line as anyone else.

    All large organizations and heirachies do it. In the Catholic church, the “agencies with overriding jurisdiction” simply moved the pedophiles around rather than allowing their entire organization to be shamed by them.

    And when these organizations cannot hide their shame, they find a scapegoat. For example, BATFEces gun running scheme. They are going to pin it on someone below Holder, they will resign, and we are all supposed to be content and STFU.

    It’s all part of how authoritarian structures work. And your denial of these organizational dynamics can only be explained one of three ways:

    1) You are too immature or stupid to recognize these basic patterns of human behavior. (You are not a child, so that leaves stupid.)

    2) You are a liar. You know very well that police shootings are RARELY ever properly investigated, and that the first instinct of every organization is to cover up. This one in particular has NOT been taken over by any other agency.

    3) You are in denial because if you admit that these pigs are indeed a bunch of JBT asshats, that you too must bear the shame of being their brother.

  173. Mas Says:

    Klapton, you seem to be projecting your own weaknesses on others here, and it’s obvious that you’ve never been closer to an officer-involved shooting investigation than reading the hate blogs.

    Duckie, you continue your grotesque and cartoonish exaggerations of something you don’t understand, and ignore explanations you’ve been given. Perhaps a re-read of the thread is in order.

  174. Klapton Says:

    “Klapton, you seem to be projecting your own weaknesses on others here, and it’s obvious that you’ve never been closer to an officer-involved shooting investigation than reading the hate blogs.”

    I guess I was wrong. You really ARE stupid.

    Let’s try this again…

    THIS SHOOTING THAT WE ARE DISCUSSING WAS “INVESTIGATED” BY THE SAME DEPARTMENT THAT DID IT. THERE HAS BEEN NO OTHER INVESTIGATION FROM STATE OR FEDERAL OFFICIALS.

    I am not talking about all the OTHER flim-flam cover-ups that happen all the time that you are in denial about. I am talking about THIS ONE.

  175. Guard Duck Says:

    You know, I did reread, and I found that you never tried to argue against the Lord Acton quote:

    “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

    オイ。 あほ豚、今あなたがまごまごするですか?
    分かりましたか?あなたの脳が論理学の欠乏です。

  176. Mas Says:

    Duck, do you take from the quote that all in authority are automatically corrupt?

    Klapton, do you seriously think police shootings are not reviewed by prosecutors’ offices?

  177. Guard Duck Says:

    Mas Says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Duck, do you take from the quote that all in authority are automatically corrupt?
    ===

    Those in power are mentally corrupted. Lording over others is mala en se. You’d have to be touched in the head to think otherwise.

    “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” ~James Madison

    “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.” ~Robert Lefevre

    “The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.” ~Max Stirner

  178. Mas Says:

    So you feel anyone having authority over anyone else is evil in and of themself?

    The parent, the teacher in charge of the classroom, the owner of the shop supervising employees, are all evil in and of themselves?

    That is, in essence, what you just said.

    Duck, do you by any chance describe yourself as an anarchist, or a “sovereign citizen”?

  179. Klapton Says:

    “Klapton, do you seriously think police shootings are not reviewed by prosecutors’ offices?”

    You are avoiding the point. Dupnik’s thugs “investigated” Dupnik’s thugs. They changed their story several times from the very beginning. If a perp does that, it is presented to a jury as evidence of FALSEHOOD. But you conveniently ignore these things, because cops lie all the time. It is one of many double-standards that statists like you just accept as being just.

    Prosecutors cover up cop criminality all the time. Or they administer the slaps on the wrist that would have meant hard time for a mundane. If a prosecutor’s office “reviewed” Dupnik’s cover-up (aka “investigation”), they are just as untrustworthy as any other government stooge.

    Why have YOU not called for a state level or FBI investigation of this incident?

    Regarding your question about “authority” to guard duck, if you cannot discern the difference between the coercive “authority” of the State vs. the voluntary “authority” of an employer or teacher, you are more stupid than I thought.

  180. Guard Duck Says:

    Mas Says:
    So you feel anyone having authority over anyone else is evil in and of themself?

    The parent, the teacher in charge of the classroom, the owner of the shop supervising employees, are all evil in and of themselves?
    ===

    In business:
    “The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionary possesses who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.” ~Friedrich von Hayek, Road to Serfdom, 1944

    The Teacher may be “in charge” but she can’t just shoot a student for being disobedient, and most punishment handed down by her is often taken voluntarily because of a guilty feeling. The kid can refuse to be punished as my brother and I have both done on occasion. In fact, rather than accept an unjust punishment in High-school, I dropped out and got a GED… Long story there, maybe tell you some other time.

    A parent can raise a child without violence. People do it all the time. Some very good friends of mine have not laid a hand on their kids but the kids are perfectly behaved on their own because it is recognized as a benefit to them to be in their parent’s good graces. Being good results in getting to help out making dinner or some other privilege.
    ===

    Duck, do you by any chance describe yourself as an anarchist, or a “sovereign citizen”?
    ===

    One can’t be sovereign and a citizen. That’s just silly.

    See the last paragraph in this comment:
    http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2011/06/05/reading-evidentiary-videos-point-1/comment-page-4/#comment-9149
    I clearly stated my political persuasion but I hear doughnuts aren’t very good for memory. So you may need to read it again.

  181. Mas Says:

    Klapton, the county prosecutors had “boots on the ground” while the shooting scene was still fresh, and followed the investigation throughout. The misperception that the first shot was fired by Guerena instead of SWAT was understandable to anyone who has ever reconstructed a shooting, and as soon as discovered, was announced by the sheriff’s office, not covered up. Those of us with experience know that prosecutors’ offices don’t “cover up cop criminality all the time,” quite the reverse in fact.

    You ask why I don’t call for an FBI investigation of the Guerena shooting? Because (1) I see no reason for it, and (2) people like you would just call it a cover-up anyway.

    Duck, your most recent statement contradicts your statement of the 9th, that “Those in power are mentally corrupted. Lording over others is mala en se. ” You might want to spend a little less time dissing people who do a job you’ve never done and which you obviously don’t understand, and a little more time putting your own thoughts in order.

  182. Klapton Says:

    You are correct that “people like me” who have watched as government thugs cover up and make excuses for other government thugs (gee… kinda like this thread?) won’t trust what the other government thugs say.

    Nice going ignoring the “slap on the wrist” issue. If you deny that criminal cops get off easy, you are completely full of crap. But rather than reveal yourself as the liar you are, you’ll probably just avoid that point again.

    There’s a REASON We The People don’t trust JBTs like you. There’s a REASON that Our anger is building. When you and your JBT brethren continue to ignore and deny those reasons, you are feeding and building that anger.

    An explosion IS coming, and payback WILL be a bitch.

    I have nothing more to say to you.

  183. Guard Duck Says:

    How so? You can quit your job, you can drop out of school, and you can run away from home. Staying is a choice. Government is everywhere. You can’t leave it all behind. Refusing to follow orders results in death, imprisonment, or fines. The US charges expats income taxes on money earned overseas. So even leaving the country does you no good.

    It’s apples and oranges.

    Nice try though.

    PS: I’m not dissing you Barney, I’m cop bashing. You insulted me first, and unlike the average folk you’re used to dealing with, I’m not afraid of the Aynasız. You dish it out, you better be able to take it too.

  184. Mas Says:

    Ducky, I’m afraid you lost your standing to quote “apples and oranges” when you first said any authority was evil in and of itself, and then tried to distinguish between whether compliance was voluntary or not. You also conveniently fail to connect how any of your regurgitated rhetoric makes it unjust for police officers serving a lawful warrant to shoot a suspect pointing a loaded rifle at them.

    Encouraging to see that brief flash of honesty when you admit you’re cop-bashing, though.

  185. Guard Duck Says:

    I would tend to agree with Klapton. Talking to you is pointless. It’s not that I’ve failed to connect anything, it’s that you refuse to consider the possibility that the fuzz are the bad-guys here.

    I have come to the conclusion through this conversation, that to be an LEO requires that you supplant your mores with the heady sensation of arbitrary state power.

    So “I have nothing more to say to you” also.

  186. SteveInSD Says:

    Mas, most of what I wanted to say has been covered in one post or another. There are good points on both “sides.” I have a military background, but I have received training from LA SWAT, San Diego Sheriff’s SWAT, and Navy Seals dealing with dynamic entries (and other topics). I was point on a 6-man entry team. I had always assumed my training was brief compared to that received by those who are on SWAT teams, but the video made me begin to doubt that.
    There are some things that I think most can agree on:
    1. The SWAT team in the video is in DIRE need of training, both for their own safety, and that of the citizens of the county.
    2. The shooting, once the police and citizen are facing each other with guns, is almost inevitable given the level of violence these days. Unless further evidence comes out that incriminates them, I would not charge the police. Likewise I would not have charged the citizen if it had gone the other way, up to the point where he knew it was police.
    3. This incident should be reviewed, separately from any attempt to assign blame, to possibly develope better tactics for the welfare of all concerned. I believe it is always possible to improve.
    4. Our society as a whole needs to take a look at whether crimes that do not deserve the death penalty, should have tactics used that can so readily result in death if things go wrong.
    5. For the future of our country, we need to lessen the gap (chasm?) between citizens and LEOs. Didn’t there used to be a bumper sticker something like: Support your local police, and keep them local. Or something like that. Our LEOs need to remain part of our communities, not become paramilitary outsiders.

    That’s my two cents.

    Also, good book – In the Gravest Extreme. Wife is reading it next.

  187. Justin Says:

    Mr Ayoob,

    have you studied the shooting, in Toccoa Georigia, of Jonathan Ayres?

    And if so, would you share your opinion?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZFlzvt0w7Q&playnext=1&list=PLA9BF6C5B3B1B3DDC

    http://www.thenortheastgeorgian.com/articles/2010/03/19/news/top_stories/01topstory.txt

    http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=547544

    http://www.independentmail.com/news/2010/jun/17/stephen-county-deputy-charged-felony-ayers-case/

    http://www.independentmail.com/news/2010/jun/17/stephen-county-deputy-charged-felony-ayers-case/

  188. Mas Says:

    First I’ve heard of that case, Justin, thanks for sending it along.
    Cordially,
    Mas

  189. Lee Says:

    Mas you asked the following and being a busy person I failed to follow up, “Mas Says:
    June 10th, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    Lee, you missed the point here. Mr. Guerena was not a suspect because he had been arrested in the past, and the matter dropped for whatever reason. He was a suspect because of the investigation that led to the search warrant in question. He was shot by police because he pointed a rifle at them as they attempted to serve that warrant. You claim to be a better person than the “jack boots” who inhabit your corner of Arizona…exactly how many of them do you know, enabling you to make that statement?”

    I do want to point out three errors ON YOUR side, first YOU made the claim originally that he had been arrested in the past (which according to you is reason enough to be READY) I than showed you how you were wrong, after all charges dismissed MEAN innocent and that those same charges SHOULD not be used against you…you than stated “search warrant” and SADLY failed to again show WHY a SWAT team was being used on a SIMPLE SEARCH warrant- and WHY after 20 months an ARREST warrant had not been issued, again of course failing to show how at any point this man had shown to be a bad person, (his brother maybe and father- but not him, or is it you are bad now by virtue of who your family is?)

    As for the last comment, I know personally and shoot with 22 of the local sheriffs, 3 DEA, and between 15-25 BP agents every two weeks – I like and am friends with exactly 3 of these men/women, and the reason for that is, I trust them- the rest of them 68 sheriffs, 48 local PD, over 2000 local BP and more I dislike and distrust as they have made it clear in more than one conversation (several hundred in fact over the course of 4 years of shooting every two weeks) that they prefer the BLUE line (as you obviously do) to the citizens they are “sworn” to protect.

    Mas, I respect you for what you offer to the shooting community, however, I cannot respect your approach to the police and their many indiscretions, I mean are you seriously going to tell me that the SAME prosecutor who SIGNED off on and approved the use of the SWAT team should be the one reviewing the case? WAKE UP!

  190. Doug B Says:

    Mas, this seems like one huge apology for violent behavior. What evidence did the police have that this guy was harming someone? Where is his alleged victims? Was he about to harm someone? Did he harm someone in the past? Do you really believe violent force is moral if there is no immediate victim to protect? Is it justified to break in and shoot someone just to go looking for “evidence?” Because some judge in a room somewhere decided that it was okay, so that makes it moral? Why does his opinion matter when it comes to private property and the right to be left alone?

    And do you really expect me and other “taxpayers” to be happy about having our money taken from us by force to pay these thugs’ salaries? Seriously?

    I’m sorry, but there is NO EXCUSE for this raid. Period. I won’t call these police terrorists–I’ll call them what they actually are: thugs, no better than Mafia hitmen.

    Shame on you for apologizing for them. They are crooks and they should pay restitution to the family of their victim and resign in disgrace.

  191. WarrenG Says:

    This subject has exposed a huge number of cop haters, and not just here, I never suspected. While I’m all for prosecuting cops who cross the line, this shooting was 100% justified and caused entirely by Guerena’s actions. While you can argue the search warrant was unjustified, though I think it was, or criticize the way SWAT went in the fact is they had a legal warrant and identified themselves. When Guerena raised his rifle they had every right to shoot.

    And for those wanting a civilian investigation, here’s one:

    http://kold.images.worldnow.com/images/incoming/webdocs/SWAT%20justified.pdf

  192. Z Says:

    I think this article on dynamic entry from 2009 applies quite a bit to the incident:

    http://www.combatshootingandtactics.com/published/Push_or_Hold_8July09.pdf

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