Friday, December 09, 2005

Another WOD "victory"

Those that know me personally or have visited here before know that I oppose the War on Drugs (WOD). This story from Instapundit last Thursday is one of the many reasons why I take the position that I do.

The story recounts the events one tragic evening that lead to the death of a young police officer and the arrest, trial and conviction of the Mississippi man who shot him. The shooter, Cory Maye, sits on death row, convicted of murder.

The basics are that police raided Maye's duplex apartment at around 11:30 PM around two years ago. Maye, not knowing it was the police breaking in, grabbed a pistol and fired at Officer Jones who had charged in. Only after firing did the other officers identify themselves as police. Maye immediately slid the gun away from himself after he learned it was the police. This is Maye's version of events, as the officers claim to have identified themselves before entering.

Radley Balko of The Agitator blog has all the details in the following posts, in chronological order:

As you can see, Mr. Balko has been rather busy here.

While I'm certainly sorry that Officer Jones was killed that night, it seems to me, given all the facts surrounding this incident, that Cory Maye acted reasonably under the circumstances.

Put yourself in Maye's place that evening. You are sitting at home asleep in a chair. You are startled from your sleep by someone entering your duplex apartment. Fearing for your safety and that of your daughter, you grab your gun. A person enters your daughter's darkened bedroom and you open fire. After firing, someone yells "Police!" and you stop shooting and give up your weapon. If you don't know the intentions of strangers entering your house, would you have acted differently than Maye?

Here's an excerpt from Balko's Dec. 11 post Maye, Self-Defense, and Paramilitary Drug Raids :

And therein lies the problem with hyper-militarized, highly-weaponized drug raids. Citizens on the other end of these raids are expected to behave perfectly rationally. They're supposed to be cognizant, alert, and aware that it is police, and not illegal intruders, who are storming their homes. At the same time, police typically justify the tactics used in no knocks -- including raiding late at night or just before dawn, and deploying dangerous "flashbang" grenades designed to confuse and bewilder a house's occupants -- for the precise reason that they catch drug suspects off guard, and disorient them. How, then, can they turn around and say that the innocent victim of a no-knock who shoots back should have known better?

The residents in these raids are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. If you act to defend yourself in one of these raids and are injured or killed by police it's considered your fault. Conversely, if you injure or kill a police officer in one of these raids acting in self-defense, it's still your fault. Folks, when the police behave like the bad guys, bad things are going to happen.

Whatever happened to the notion that a man's home was his castle? Two words, the toilet. Before the advent of these "no knock" or "knock and enter" raids, the police announced themselves and waited at the door. While waiting, the occupants could quickly flush the contraband down the toilet. The police then are let in and no evidence is found. Thus the advent of these types of raids. As blogger M. Simon once put it, authorities have decided that securing the evidence (if any) is more important than the safety of the residents or the police.

One man lies dead, and another awaits death. The reason? Because a majority of us some how can't live with the idea that some folks like to use drugs recreationally, like millions do with alcohol. The injustice continues.......

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