Saturday, November 15, 2003

A woman in Indiana is on trial for defending herself. But you won't hear much outrage at this from the mainstream media becase A; the mainstream media generally looks down on a citizen defending his/herself & B; the person this woman was defending herself from was a cop.

"...Jillian D. King, 30, is charged with criminal recklessness resulting in injury in connection with the Jan. 14 wounding of Muncie police officer Steve Cox. He was one of 11 SWAT team members about to raid King's home when she allegedly fired shots out of a window. Cox has since recovered."

Now what it seems like is the cop in question was part of a S.W.A.T. team who was attempting to serve a warrant on Ms. King's house. But Ms. King saw a bunch of masked people with guns trying to breech her house & opened fire.

But here's where things get interesting:

"Under Indiana law, unless they have exigent circumstances, police are required to knock, announce their presence, and wait a reasonable amount of time before they storm a home.
In April, The Star Press published a series of stories examining the SWAT team's rules and procedures after the team was involved in a police-action shooting. At the time, police officials acknowledged that the team generally waits about 5 seconds before breaking down a door but that there were occasions where exigent circumstances caused the SWAT team to raid a home without knocking.
In court Thursday, three SWAT team members testified that they didn't remember a time when someone actually answered the door."

5 seconds??? They wait 5 seconds between the first knock & breaking down the door??? & they wonder why no one has ever answered the door! I suppose they think the theme music should alert you to their presence & you should prepare to submit accordingly..
Personally it takes me at least 10 seconds to answer the door, but that includes a redundant loaded weapon check.

I would love to pay a visit to the person's house (with a group of masked cops & a warrant) who decided that 5 seconds was "reasonable". If that person has a large house a two story house, or a house with more than one room, odds are 5 seconds isn't gonna be enough time to answer an unexpected knock. & what if you're in the back of the house with the t.v. or radio on & don't hear the knock?

It gets better though:

"All of the team members testified that they are trained to wait. But they said there is no set time.
King shook her head several times while the officers testified.
At the end of testimony Thursday, the jury was shown a video of Cox being shot. In the video, SWAT team members can be seen on a well-lit porch trying to open up doors before knocking.
SWAT team members explained that the doors were storm doors and didn't lead to the inside of the home."

A video of the cops opening up doors prior to knocking. & since it mentions the porch was "well lit" we can safely assume this raid happened at night. Tell me, what would you do if you saw someone with a mask & a gun opening up one of your doors at night? Would you think it must be the cops & prepare to cooperate, or would you think it's time to repel boarders?

But storm doors don't lead to the inside of the home so they don't count? That's like claiming that since a hall way door doesn't directly lead to the inside of a bedroom you weren't attempting to invade someone's privacy. I wonder how the officer who said that thinks one gains access to doors that do lead inside a home? Perhaps by opening up a storm door to get to the main door or a window? A lot of homes have porches with doors. There are a number of reasons for this, but it cannot be discounted that adding another level of security, another step before you have access to the main door of the house, is a legitimate & common reason for having a door on the porch. The porch is part of the house itself, whether it's enclosed or not. & breaking & enetering is not limited to breeches of the house proper, but includes gaining unauthorized access to the porch of a house.

But the jury in this case couldn't make up its mind.

"After five hours of deliberation late Friday, Delaware Circuit Court 3 Judge Robert Barnet Jr. declared the jury hung and dismissed them.
Prosecutors said the jury was split 7 to 5 in favor of a guilty verdict."

So at least 5 people on the jury recognized that self defense trumps police privilege. But 7 thought that any assault on the King's soldiers is an assault on the King. Luckily a jury usually doesn't abide by democratic rules to decide outcomes.

"On Friday, a videotape of King being interrogated moments after the shooting was shown to the jury.
King kept insisting to detectives that she didn't know that two people she saw outside wearing camouflage and black masks were police officers. She said she thought they were would-be burglars.
'They never said they were the police,' King said in her videotaped statement. 'If I knew they were the police, I would have opened the door'. "

Personally it wouldn't matter to me whether or not the people outside were cops. It makes absolutely no difference whether the person trying to break into your house is acting in his/her own interests or acting in the interests of the state. Breaking & entering is still breaking & entering. Until I read the warrant & make sure it's proper, then no officer of the state has any authority to break into my home or seize people &/or things from it. Now if it's determined that the warrant is indeed valid that's another story. But I simply do not know of a police department anywhere that will knock & wait patiently for the owner or occupant of the dwelling to read through the warrant before bursting inside with guns drawn (guns that are mostly verbotten to us peasants I might add) & acting out there favorite scene from Miami Vice.

But most people aren't as "radical" as I am. They feel if the cops come a no-knocking the best thing is to suffer the invasion & fight it in court later. Which is why this kind of thing persists.

But in Ms. King's case, she didn't know the armed, masked people who were trying to break into her house were cops. At least 5 jurors agreed that her actions were justifible under the circumstances.

"In the videotape, detectives told her that the SWAT team didn't need to knock and announce.
'The law doesn't say you have to,' Muncie Police Investigator Jeff Lacy said while questioning King on video tape. 'They are going to sneak in.'
During the trial, Lacy testified that he had lied to King in the videotape as an interrogation tactic."

Wouldn't common sense dictate that if an officer is going to lie to a person at the scene of an incident, especially concerning police procedure, that the officer would also lie in court? What's the difference? If a cop at the scene is going to lie about the law for his or his department's benefit, how the hell can he be trusted to give accurate testimony in a trial?
If your girlfriend or boyfriend lies about being monogomous while y'all are dating, then what makes you think that "I do" at a wedding ceremony means anything? & how arrogant of a judge to think that a cop will be truthful in his/her presence after having admitted to lying to a ctizen about the law. Does the judge truly believe that lying to us peasants is acceptable, while it is impossible for an officer to lie in the presence of a court?

"On Friday, King testified that she fired the shots as a 'warning' to whoever was outside. Crying during most of her testimony, King told attorneys that she was afraid that the people outside were going to kill her and her three-year-old son."

First of all, warning shots are to be discouraged. They often do not cause the desired effect. If a criminal (in or out of uniform) was worried about armed resistance, they wouldn't attempt a confrontational crime in the first place.

Secondly, I urge all mothers (& fathers) out there who are in a similar situation, where unidentified armed intruders are attempting to break into where you & your child are at, that you shoot to kill. Phrase it as "shooting to stop" or "shooting to incapacitate" if you like, but a potentially mortal wound is the only way to ensure that a person is no longer a threat to you.

"Earlier in the trial, a videotape of the shooting was shown to the jury. In the tape officers are seen opening outer doors before shots are fired. One officer is seen getting ready to use a door ram before knocking."

I suppose the battering ram prevents injuries to the officer's knuckles that could be caused by knocking? After all, the law never said you couldn't use a heavy object to knock now did it?

"During closing arguments, Alexander compared the SWAT team to the military and said they didn't follow the law and his client was defending herself against an unlawful entry.
'Who created the circumstances that led to this problem? They did because they didn't follow the law,' Alexander said. 'They were in fact breaking into her house'. "


"Prosecutors argued that King could have done several other things - including placing a call to 911 - besides grabbing a gun and shooting it 'blindly' out a window.
'Frankly, folks, she has an itchy trigger finger,' Deputy Prosecutor Mark McKinney said."

A call to 911? Armed, unidentified persons are attempting to break into your house & this guy wants you to make a phone call? Richard Stevens wrote a book addressing this particular subject called Dial 911 & Die. It's obvious the, I mean prosecutor in question has never read the book, but sorely needs to.

I will agree though that Ms. King shouldn't have shot blindly under the circumstances. She should have used aimed, accurate fire to ensure her & her child's safety.

But "itchy trigger finger"? I wonder if Mel Blanc knows that a prosecutor is stealing his lines for use in closing arguments? I'm surprised he didn't steal a direct argument. It didn't say if he addressed the judge as "...Doc..." or the more formal "...monsiuer le physician...". Or if he referred to the defendant as that "...lily livered, bowlegged varmint..." or a " good bushwhackin' baracuda". but giving the intellectual level of the "itchy trigger finger" statement it wouldn't surprise me. I wonder if he got his degree from the Daffy Duck School of Law?

"After the jury was declared hung, McKinney said he was prepared to try the case again."

Heh. Seems he might have.

So this woman who was trying to defend herself from armed, masked unidentified intruders gets to go through a second trial because the prosecutor wants to have another go at winning.
Lovely. That's just lovely.

Edited to replace &/or remove some dead links.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I ran across this amazing editorial about a woman's metamorphosis from an ardent anti-gunner to an advocate of freedom and a defender of Second Amendment rights.

"...I’m not sure which is more embarrassing – the ignorance I displayed in my previous attitude, or the speed at which I was convinced how wrong I was by someone I barely knew. Oh, I tried to put up a fight with the person who started all of this, but I found out quickly how truly unarmed I was. I found nothing on the Internet to support my arguments, and everything to support his.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I tried to bluff my way through the debates, but I realized I was doomed when it wasn’t long before all I had left was "well, I’m against guns because, um, because, well, I just am!"

So, eventually I grudgingly admitted hell had indeed frozen over, and I was wrong." ...

This woman's epiphany was the visible result of what we all already know. There is absolutely no evidence to support the mantra that gun control saves lives. None. Nothing.

The anti-freedom movement has to manipulate its data in order to effectively push its agenda. Their research is full of misrepresentation, and their arguments are full of holes.

The British gun control experiment has been a complete disaster, making Britain the most violent country in Europe, and rendering its subjects defenseless against armed criminals. According to a 2001 report, a quarter of all English are victims of crime. Overall victimization in Britain ranked second in the world after another gun control "utopia" - Australia.

How much more proof do they need?

Allison Brown got it. When will the rest of them?