Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Man Who Hired Deadly Swatting Gets 15 Months (krebsonsecurity.com)
56 points by hsnewman 28 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 107 comments



Given the way SWAT currently seems to work, you should know that a fake SWAT call is going to cause serious harm up to and including death, in which case 15 months is far too little. It is up there with “lock someone in a cage with a lion”; sure, technically you didn’t kill them but you knew they would die because of your actions so what is the difference?

Also, let us take a serious look at every other charge in existence in cases like this. If 15 months is the sentence for something resulting in death, every other lesser offence should be capped at 15 months. Illegally voted? Caught with drugs? Why are those things “5 years” then?

Finally, clearly SWAT itself needs reform. If you’re going to pack a dozen armed guys in a truck and drive over to somebody’s house to blast down the door, YOU NEED a system of double-checks and triple-checks to assess the damned situation first! Given such checks, it should be literally impossible to assault someone that is not actually a threat.


Being devils advocate here.

> it should be literally impossible to assault someone that is not actually a threat.

The swatting person usually claims that there is armed person with intent to kill. The SWAT guys come in quick and into potentially very serious situation with no time for 'surveillance'.

But that's not really all that strong of argument. edit: layout


This.

Is there a lawsuit against the SWAT team? And if not, why?


This doesn't feel like enough to discourage others from doing this, so what's even the point? Accessory to murder is 15 months now? Someone died from this! Also, what about the cop who shot him?


The person who actually made the call was sentenced to 20 years: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/03/man-behind-fatal-swattin...


Yeah, the police officer should really be facing some sort of punishment as well. They were responding to what they thought was a hostage situation, and shot the first person to walk out of the house. Even if it was a real hostage situation, why assume the first person out is the hostage taker, and not a hostage?


Also, must you always shoot the hostage taker at first sight?

1) if possible, shouldn't the court mete out the death sentence, instead of Judge Dredd, I mean, the police.

2) even from a completely tactical viewpoint, if you are dealing with more than one hostage taker, and you shot one of them, wouldn't you suspect the remaining hostage takers could get a little spooked?


Yeah, pretty much every part of this was mishandled.

With all the blame being placed on the person who placed the call, I don't have any faith that this same situation won't be repeated in the future either.


It does to me.

The person who made the call was sentenced to twenty years. The person who got 15 months is the one who paid the other person to make the call, not the person who made the call.


He didn't pay him. The guy did it for free because the kid didn't believe anything would happen. He said he loves to do it for free when people don't believe anything will happen.

The guy got 20 years. When he was in the temporary holding jail he gained access to the internet and was still tweeting about swatting people. This was BEFORE his sentencing. Absolutely moronic and showed zero remorse.


That's my mistake - I must have misread. I think twenty years is reasonable in this case.


Really? I think it does.

"Hmm, this guy in Call of Duty made me mad because he kept winning. Should I do something that puts me in prison for 15 years to get back at him? nah... Should I hire someone to do something that puts me in prison for over a year to get back at him? nah..."


It's 15 months, not years.


Did you stop reading halfway through?

"Should I hire someone do something that puts me in prison for over a year to get back at him"


The person that actually carried out the SWATing got over 15 years. The person that hired the SWATer got just over a year.


Wrong. The person that actually carried out the swatting, is unnamed and does not face charges (the SWAT team member who shot and killed an unarmed, unidentified person).



Do you think people thought this was okay prior? Obviously not, but what do you think they were assuming the worst case scenario was for them?

Prior to this whole case playing out, I would have assumed "going to jail" would be an extremely likely outcome for the crime of swatting, especially if it had the (intended?) effect of killing the person involved.


The right question is not why it was punished so lightly, but rather why it was even possible in a first place.


Remind me what the sentence was for the police officer in Wichita who murdered Andrew Finch?

When the police are trained to de-escalate first instead of shoot first, swatting will stop.


"No officer was charged with a crime for the event."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Wichita_swatting


There's tons of room to improve the police. However, in a country with so many weapons, they're always going to be a bit more quick to fire due to a fear for their own safety.

You can downvote all you want, but the statistics are that police are much more likely to face someone with a weapon in the US.


> the statistics are that police are much more likely to face someone with a weapon in the US.

Absolutely. And one reason we're supposed to respect the police is that they take these risks. If they instead start shooting people first, they aren't taking the risks, they are creating them.

Being a police officer interacting with citizens is more dangerous than being a citizen...but is it more dangerous than being a citizen interacting with the police?


A swat call is someone telling the police that there's an armed and dangerous person on the other side of the door.

That's not one of the instances of police, say, choking a guy selling cigarettes to death. It's a situation where even someone courageous is going to be pretty amped up.


Have you even watched the video of the shooting? Being amped up wasn't an excuse here.

There was multiple cops aiming rifles at this guy, who was raising his hands when he was shot. The officer that shot him said he saw him move his hands at that's why he shot him.

Even if the guy had a gun, there was no way he would've had time to raise it, aim it accurately (at cops who were behind cover) and take a shot without police being able to fire at him first after clearly seeing it was a gun. Plus, at that distance, he wasn't likely to hit a cop who was behind cover with a pistol anyway, even if he was able to shoot many shots.


I wasn't writing about this specific case so much as commenting on the fact that cops are far more likely to be nervous and twitchy in the US because of the very real threat that the prevalence of arms represents. Re-run a scenario 100 times and the more nervous people are, the more bad things will happen in some % of cases.

Cops aren't saints in Italy where I lived for many years, not by a long shot. And yet this stuff happens less.


My understanding of the militarization of police relative to the actual NEED for such implies that the amping up is the problem.

However, I can certainly be wrong about this detail. Nonetheless, if police are deciding that an anonymous claim allows them to move to kill-first mode, then they are forfeiting the respect that taking risks for the greater good entails.


> choking a guy selling cigarettes to death.

Please don't spread misinformation about a tragedy that's been used to create so much division in this country.


Good point - there's no evidence that he was actually selling cigarettes. They choked a guy just standing on the sidewalk to death.


Seriously?

1. He resisted arrest. He clearly stated his intent to resist arrest. He was given the option to be peacefully arrested, which he declined. In the resulting forcible arrest he was choked, which is wrong, he shouldn't have been choked, but he absolutely wasn't "just standing on the sidewalk" - he was resisting arrest.

2. When you say he was choked to death people might get the impression that there was intent to kill him or that he died on the spot from asphyxiation instead of later from a heart attack. (edit: roughly a heart attack. The coroner listed several pre-existing conditions that contributed, including heart disease, but didn't say "heart attack")

Since we've had literal riots over things like this I think it's appropriate to ask that we all try to stick to the facts.


1. There is no such thing as a peaceful arrest. Arresting someone is violence. He was just standing on the sidewalk when they started attempting to arrest him.

2. The choking caused his death. He was therefore choked to death.

We have riots because people like you keep defending murderers and they keep getting away with killing people.


> There is no such thing as a peaceful arrest. Arresting someone is violence.

When you expand the use of a word so widely, it ceases to have meaning. You could say a traffic stop is violence. Court-ordered searches and seizures could be violence.


I'm not expanding the definition of the word. Tying up a person's hands, dragging them into a car, and locking them in a cage is most definitely under the definition of what most would call violence.

The only reason most people don't resist is the threat of more violence if they do.

Is kidnapping someone at gunpoint not violence?


You've had to change the definitions of several words in order to keep your narrative going.

You refuse to admit the difference between a peaceful and by-force arrest because you're expanding the definition of the word violence and apparently would like to talk about it.

You've expanded the definition of the word 'murder' to no longer require intent.

You've expanded the meaning of "choked to death" beyond what any reasonable person would expect it to mean.

If the police had gone out there and violently murdered somebody by choking them to death I would be very angry. That's simply not what happened and if you believe it is maybe you should examine exactly how you came to that conclusion.


They choked a guy to death who had just broken up the fight they were called there for.


https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/money/careers/2018/...

Police are on the list... at #14.

Occupations more dangerous than being a police officer in the USA:

Logging.

Fishing.

Aircraft pilots and engineers.

Roofers.

Garbage and recycling.

Iron and steel workers.

Commercial truck drivers.

Farmers/ranchers.

Supervisors in construction and extraction.

Agricultural workers.

Grounds maintenance.

Supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers.

Construction labor.

And then police.

Police aren't quick to fire because of their fear for their own safety. Police are quick to fire because they've been trained that way. Culture tells them that they are heroes, and then gives them guns.


It's not like they were knocking on the door. They'd established a perimeter like across the street from the house.


The cops shoot us because we have so many guns, but you can't take away guns, because the cops will shot us.


Actually it may be true. I don't know what to advocate to fix the US. Years ago I thought I did, now, not sure actually.


Can you point to any instances in which having a gun prevented someone from being killed by the police?

It seems like part of the problem is that there's an arms race. The cops need SWAT teams because citizens have Uzis, etc. Then the criminals get even more Uzis because now the cops regularly have them. On and on.


It seems like for a brief period, when the Black Panthers in California started carrying rifles in public, the police relented in their attacks for a while. Of course, gun laws were then swiftly made stricter to make up for it.

Also:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/03/18/us/texas-no-k...

Impossible to know if it saved the person doing the shooting, or his girlfriend. Maybe. Given how incompetent everything else was done, it's not hard to imagine.

About the arms race, I agree. It's very unfortunate.


should the state implement mental health screening for police officers? if a cop has this much fear and anxiety dealing with civilians they should consider another profession (let alone carry a weapon).


> should the state implement mental health screening for police officers?

Yes, for a very good reason. Currently, incentives are such that police are rewarded with long careers and large pensions for avoiding mental healthcare.

Despite having excellent access to healthcare, police notoriously avoid accessing any type of mental health resources. They're afraid that they'll lose their jobs for it, which makes sense.

A cop's testimony is pivotal to most criminal cases, and if it is called into question because of the cop's mental health status, that can be a liability. Many places have strict policies concerning mental health and policing, as well.

It's absolutely necessary that the state implements mental health screening for police officers, because they refuse to implement it themselves.


> Barriss falsely claimed he was at the address provided by Viner, that he’d just shot his father in the head, was holding his mom and sister at gunpoint, and was thinking about burning down the home with everyone inside.

Who would not be more than a bit stressed if they believed this was the actual situation?

I don't know all the facts, and maybe reasonable people would conclude the cop acted in an unprofessional or even criminal way.

That's not the point: the point is this kind of thing will keep happening because of the mix of nervous people with lots of guns.


I agree with you. We need to supply police with both lethal and non-lethal weapons. Anyone who thinks otherwise should strap on a vest and knock on a door tagged with a 911 "shots fired" situation. Go talk to someone on the front lines and tell them they are doing it wrong. They are scared shitless and just want to get home to their family too.


> Go talk to someone on the front lines and tell them they are doing it wrong.

Sometimes, the people on the front lines aren't great at looking at things from a system-wide perspective.


I think it's possible to be empathetic with some cops - being young, nervous and maybe not dealing with the nicest people day to day - and think that systemic fixes include better training, mental health programs, fewer guns or whatever else.


>We need to supply police with both lethal and non-lethal weapons.

Less-lethal weapons leads to them just tazing more people for contempt of cop (people who would generally not be shot). The net amount of violence increases because police use less lethal weapons to force compliance in situations where they had not previously had that option.


... even for intent of contempt of cop.


>When the police are trained to de-escalate first instead of shoot first, swatting will stop.

Apparently he attempted to by asking Finch to raise his hands, and instead the hands went to pull up his pants instead.

If true, and police/swat are called to the scene of a murder with additional hostages, then a person leaving the residence reaches for their waist area instead of complying with a request to raise his hands...its simply tragic.

But I assure you, if the officer didn't shoot Finch, swatting wouldn't stop. Its not like these guys would have said well we swatted the address and swat didn't kill the guy...so lets stop swatting. They would have sat in the safety of their own home laughing and virtual high-fiving each other for a job well done and planning the next.

Its become a scapegoat for mass shootings, which is unfortunate, but people who do this are some combination of psychopath, mentally ill, and/or on drugs. Society simply has no interest in acknowledging or managing these people.


Society simply has no interest in acknowledging or managing these people

Are you talking about the police?


Society marginalizes these people, making them even more isolated and dangerous. Society doesn't allocate enough funds to identify and treat these individuals...so it only makes sense this filters down to government institutions and individual employees who are not equipped to handle them, this certainly includes schools/teachers; police; and courts.

A lot of fingers are pointed at the officer, which may or may not be useful here. At the end of the day someone was shot and killed, and all we have is the officer testimony that he asked the person's hands be raised but the hands went to his waistband. Maybe it is bullshit (I hope there was video to at least confirm the testimony and it wasn't an outright lie), but the reality is the officer was responding to a hostage situation with 1 alleged death already. I get it we all want to see some officer magically save the day and stop these tragic events from unfolding. Maybe their training confirms this isn't a real hostage situation, its kids swatting someone over a stupid video game, but society doesn't train officers for that, they are trained to respond, and if you have responded to a hostage situation, demand to see hands, demand hands be raised, and instead the go to a waistband, what follows is what they trained to do.

I see this stuff every day in mental health court, and mental health court (in my jurisdiction) is new and its voluntary...and I can confirm no one has been trained to deal with these people and you can't expect more from teachers/officers/judges/attorneys without that training...and that training only comes from society demanding funding, but they don't.


If swatting continued but it was merely an embarrassment and annoyance it wouldn't be such a problem. The police are 99.9% of the problem here and thus that is where the solution lies.


Great. When do we lock up the cop who shot an innocent, unarmed man?


Which cop?


We don't know because they won't release his name now that they declined to press charges!

Evidently after they declined to release his name he testified in the case. Name below is correct. Justin Rapp. Coincidentally, there's a videographer in the search results for the name. The blurb below the URL says "About Me Justin Rapp 2019-05-16T13:29:49-07:00. BORN TO SHOOT THE WORLD AROUND ME" Bad luck there bud...


[flagged]


That's quite a conclusion. This relationship between a programmer and a man who was shot during a swatting seems off. Would it be the gas station's fault who provided gas to the police vehicle en-route? A police officer using deadly force without any potential to be harmed himself is where the failure lies.


His point is that guns don't kill people, people don't kill people, people telling people to tell people that there's people killing people are who kill people.

It is a very weak point to make.


Yea, we don't get this crap anywhere else in the world. You read a story like that and you're waiting to read which U.S. state it all happened in. And this isn't just anti-American rhetoric. I feel so very sorry for the vast amount of people who just want to live their lives happily in the USA, but are forced to share their home with such horrible, often institutional, violence.


Are you okay?


The anti-cop sentiment in this thread is disturbing.

I live in a bad neighborhood where gunshots are common. Since I've lived here there have probably been dozens of homicides within a .5 mile radius. Living here has changed my perception of officer involved shootings.

People don't realize how quickly things go from a slightly weird situation to bullets in the air. It goes from somebody standing funny, maybe they have a hand behind their back or they're holding a towel in a weird way, then bullets. Fast. A quarter of a second separates "that's weird" from "oh no somebody's shooting."

If you've ever dropped your phone and had to figure out what to do before it hits the ground that's about as much time as police have to make these life-and-death decisions.

In this particular situation, the police believed they were arriving to a hostage situation where somebody had already been killed.

What happened is tragic. If you've ever dug into this story it's heartbreaking. At the same time I don't think the anger at police lines up with what happened here at all.


Game wardens routinely interact with (write tickets, arrest) heavily-armed males in the middle of the woods with no witnesses and no backup, and they do it day in and day out without shooting an innocent.


He was standing in the door blinded by a massive light while a bunch of police and SWAT were taking cover behind cars and trees. He could not have hit anyone with any gun in the world.


There was no SWAT, only police.

Pointing a gun is a deadly threat and it's hard to believe (assuming this was a real hostage situation) he couldn't make out even one outline of a human to take aim at.

The police thought they were at the scene of a murder/hostage situation. They weren't just protecting their own lives, they were there to protect the life of the hostage from somebody who they believed had committed murder just minutes before.

Given ten minutes to think about the situation maybe the officer who fired the shot would take a different course of action. But he didn't have ten minutes, he had half a second.


You clearly didn't watch the video of the shooting.

You really think a police officer was in danger in that situation, even if the guy did have a pistol?


I've watched the video several times, still don't know what he was doing with his hands.

Obviously in retrospect the police were in zero danger, there was no hostage, the house wasn't really doused in gasoline. There was no way for them to know that. We've had 20 months to think about what happened that day from the safety of our homes. They had seconds to deal with the situation unfolding in real time while believing their lives and the life of a hostage were in danger.


While there are people who think all cops are bad (ACAB group), most people are upset that most departments are using military gear simple because they can. A hostage doesn’t require a SWAT team most of the time.


The victim is a father of two. Oh my God. What a terrible tragedy.


This is a lot of America's problems in one story.


Another noteworthy but unmentioned fact is that the victim's niece recently committed suicide, an event which the family claims was caused by her witnessing the shooting.


More context: she had been living with the victim since 2002. So they likely knew each other well at least.


12 months 3 weeks after good time and probably 2-4 months in a halfway house. If he's been without bail then he will get time served and go from there. Otherwise he'll be out in less than a year from when he self-surrenders to federal prison.


That part is actually a good thing, you should encourage things that reduces recidivism.

Edit: I meant getting out before the full sentence is served, is a good thing. (I don't know anything about federal halfway houses.)


I am in a federal halfway house. Nothing about federal prison reduces recidivism.


Does anyone have any suggestions for how we should actually handle situations like these?

Kids playing video games and getting very angry at other players online, is going to happen. Is there something that can be done at this level?

I remember hearing things back in my high-school COD days. Kids are brutal, and terrible at coping with their emotions. Saying things like "I'll stab you! You ....", at the drop of a hat. I always wrote off these types of threats as a form of venting. But then again, I never shared any personal information with people online. So I wasn't worried.

Swatting... This has been going on for quite some time now. Maybe we can start here? Train responders to be aware of these potential scenarios - that the whole thing _could be_ BS, and you should approach the situation open-mindedly, rather than expecting a battle. De-escalation training, etc. Why are police not showing up and assessing the situation first hand these days? Before taking a 911 caller's word as gospel. Assess the situation, on-site.

Giving some kid more prison time will not dissuade others. There's a lot of research done to show that negative reinforcement like this doesn't work.


> Does anyone have any suggestions for how we should actually handle situations like these?

Mandatory country wide minimal training standards for all LEOs, automatic investigation when a shot is fired, demilitarization, getting rid of trigger happy or clearly racist officers, lowering qualified immunity to a remotely sensible level, it's not like there wouldn't be approaches that work in other countries. Oh and of course doing something about America's gun culture on the other side would be another good start but that's never going to happen either.

The best response in the US so far seems to be registering on potential victims lists like in Seattle (https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-stop-swatting-before-it-h... - HN discussions exist if you're interested).


The victim list is a good idea, but it wouldn't have prevented this shooting - the victim in this case was simply the hapless individual living at the former address of the intended target (who gave that address to the swatter).

The victim list did recently prevent the attempted swatting of Seattle author Ijeoma Oluo: https://www.newsweek.com/author-so-you-want-talk-about-race-...


Sure, I didn't want to imply that the list itself is a bad idea, it's surely a necessity that works. The "best response" part was merely to point out that more substantial preventative actions, like better training, would be preferrable in my view to shift the paradigm to a world where "swatting" isn't a realistic thing in the first place.


> Does anyone have any suggestions for how we should actually handle situations like these?

You shouldn't be able to call in a hit on someone by calling the cops on them.


It's very simple. Swatting is not a thing in most other countries. Where I live, I'm pretty sure the police would survey the situation and first seek verbal contact (via phone, through the door, through a window, etc.) before storming in. Maybe they'd even nicely knock and ask what's going on. The problem really is the US police. The US police needs to be demilitarised and trained in deescalation. That's all there is to it. The man who died in the case referred in this article was shot for no reason at all except that someone was a bit too trigger happy. No policeman was in any danger at all.


I expect cops to not shoot unarmed, innocent men but clearly that's too much to expect and I live in a fantasy world. How come this doesn't happen in other countries despite their police also carrying guns? Are US police that evil? Stupid? Scared? Scum? Or all of the above? Because there is no excuse for this officer doing what he did nor for the prosecutor not prosecuting. This is what we call justice in America?


This happens in every country. Its rate varies.


Yeah but the rate is what matters. The US kills more people in days than some other countries do in years. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/09/the-counted-...


And the cop who shot a man who was no threat gets what? At the very, very least it's a gross failure to do his job the way he's paid to do it and his employment should be up for review.

Don't get me wrong, swatting is bad for a bunch of obvious reasons and the swatter is the one with the malicious intent here but if we had a more professional police force (you'd think the swat team, supposedly the most highly trained cops, would have a little more restraint with the trigger finger) it would end this way a lot less often. Cops showing up expecting something where there is nothing should not result in anybody dying, it should result in confused cops and little more. This is very much a two part problem. If the cops didn't have an itchy trigger finger swatting wouldn't lead to outcomes like this.


> Cops showing up expecting something where there is nothing should not result in anybody dying, it should result in confused cops and little more.

I completely agree. I also think the man who "hired deadly swatting" should be immediately released with an apology from the society.


The person who did this clearly did something that they knew was wrong, and that ended in somebody dying.


Jaywalking is wrong. Should you get 15 months or even 20 years for it?

I doubt that either the guy who made the call or the guy who hired him wanted to kill someone. Having been around a number of cops and military personal though, I've seen plenty that are just in it to harm others.


> Jaywalking is wrong.

There’s discussion about whether this was criminalized by the auto lobby, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

> Should you get 15 months or even 20 years for it?

In any case, it’s a minor crime and the punishment, if any, is usually quite light.

> I doubt that either the guy who made the call or the guy who hired him wanted to kill someone.

In any case, I think we can agree that the people who were involved in making the call knew they were doing something wrong. At the very least, they were wasting police time and harassing an innocent person, which is a medium-level crime even if nobody got hurt. In this case we have a tragedy: I think it’s reasonable that the caller knew that this was a possible outcome and the results would make the case one for “accomplice to murder” or something similar. If we accept that the caller did not have an intention or expect for armed police to show up and start shooting (which is somewhat unlikely considering what he called for) this could be a manslaughter charge. (FWIW, I am not providing an opinion on what the sentencing for something like this should be, or whether the police officer should be charged with murder, as those are separate issues.)


> The person who did this clearly did something that they knew was wrong, and that ended in somebody dying.

Whether they did it knowingly or not does not matter in this case. I still think this exposes a systemic problem that we need to address at a systems level.

This feels like monkey patching

  if (x !== null) {} 
to "fix" a null pointer exception on something that should never have been null in the first place.

In this case. there should have been no shots fired at all. I am not even saying the officer who shot should go to prison. I am just saying maybe the officer who shot shouldn't have had a gun or been there in the first place. They clearly didn't have proper training.

Sending the person who made the phone call to prison solves nothing. We have blameless postmortems for us. Why can't we have blameless postmortems in these cases which are more life and death? We don't live in an "eye for an eye" society, do we?


> We don't live in an "eye for an eye" society, do we?

I disagree strongly with your characterization of this. The caller clearly knew what he was doing wrong (we can argue whether it was reasonable to assume that it would be responded to with lethal force, but that is not what you’re discussing). Likewise, the reaction of the police officer in this situation may have been a problem, but again it’s not relevant to the issue of willfully lying about a hostage situation to, at the minimum, waste the time of law enforcement and the SWATed person.

Consider, for example, a residential street where the speed limit is 5 mph: it’s pretty hard for anyone to get seriously injured in an accident if vehicles follow the rules. But if a car decides to barrel down the road at highway speeds, I’m not off the hook if I push you in front of the it. I can’t just say “I’m innocent, because you couldn’t have died if everyone followed the rules” and get out of it. I’d probably still be liable if I didn’t see the car coming. Just because someone may have done something illegally that made my actions worse does not absolve me from wrongdoing; it just makes it so there are two problems to deal with.


» Consider, for example, a residential street where the speed limit is 5 mph: it’s pretty hard for anyone to get seriously injured in an accident if vehicles follow the rules. But if a car decides to barrel down the road at highway speeds, I’m not off the hook if I push you in front of the it. I can’t just say “I’m innocent, because you couldn’t have died if everyone followed the rules” and get out of it. I’d probably still be liable if I didn’t see the car coming. Just because someone may have done something illegally that made my actions worse does not absolve me from wrongdoing; it just makes it so there are two problems to deal with.

This is still treating a symptom and not the root of the problem. I don't care so much about "justice" for the victim as much as I care about the systems problem.

In your example, why was someone driving well over the speed limit? Could we make it less likely or even impossible to speed that much? What can we do to make these events less likely to happen in the future?


I had a friend whose dad took a shotgun blast to the face entering a home serving a search warrant. It's not uncommon. The officer is acting on the facts that are presented to them. This isn't a domestic violence call or an assault call. It's a call instructing the police that someone is armed and a threat to those around them.


Sure, but it seems weird to prioritize the life of the police officer over the people they are sworn to protect. Policing is inherently dangerous. Sitting at home playing video games should not


This is one of the most important points to me, and I rarely see it discussed. Defenders of killings by police usually point to the officer's feelings of safety and right to defend themselves using what seem to be the same standards as any average civilian. If you gave me a gun and put me in a dangerous situation I might pull the trigger when I didn't absolutely need to out of fear, and it might be totally reasonable for me to do that. That's why I'm not a police officer. We have a profession where part of the job description involves the possibility of shooting civilians to death, and we are somehow unable or unwilling to get tough and establish a bar of professionalism commensurate with such an extraordinary job description.


>Sure, but it seems weird to prioritize the life of the police officer over the people they are sworn to protect.

If the officer doesn't engage out of caution and an innocent person in the residence (non officer) dies is that still ok?


How often does that happen? I can make the same argument about killing literally anyone because they might kill other people.


>I can make the same argument about killing literally anyone because they might kill other people.

This feels like a slippery slope fallacy.


That’s my point


Was it a no knock raid? Context matters. If you break into someones home then it's perfect legal for them to shoot you in most states. It doesn't matter if you're a police officer or not.


It's actually far less common than the various narratives would lead you to assume.


To me it seems that the police who killed the civilian is not any better than the one who killed the father of your friend. (In fact, he seems worse because at least the dude that killed your friend's father could use the "castle doctrine" defence)


Knowing a situation is dangerous is not an excuse for opening fire on an unidentified target.


The fact that it's a "serious call" doesn't excuse shooting him on sight. Shooting people on sight is totally inappropriate ROE for a civilian police force in any situation.


If soldiers in an active war zone can follow their rules of engagement and resist shooting civilians even though they're scared, so can cops.


is there evidence that soldiers follow their rules of engagement?


This is what I've always heard. I am sure the amount of violations is higher in absolute numbers, given that it's war and a lot of things. Anecdotally I've also heard former military police officers are the best de-escalators.


... and thinking about it, I think the difference is this:

"At home", the police already has control over the land. They have "won" almost by default. No opponent can challenge them, or have any interest in seriously taking them on.

The military, on the other hand often operates where they are instructed to "win the hearts and minds" and if they don't get local support, things can go very badly for them.

Which gives, it's unfortunate police not more often tries to "win hearts and minds".




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: