Thursday, January 10, 2008

Raid gone wrong

Lima, Ohio, remains tense after police Sgt. Joseph A. Chavalia killed a 26-year-old woman and shot and injured her one-year-old son during a drug raid. Tarika Wilson and her child were cut down during a SWAT raid targeting her boyfriend, Anthony Terry. Terry was arrested on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine.

This doesn't appear to be a wrong-address raid -- cops burst into the house named on the warrant. But a violent raid for drug possession? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't possession of an illegal substance a non-violent "crime." In the absence of evidence that Terry intended to go down shooting, knocking on the door would seem to be the appropriate means of serving the warrant.

Some people would argue that police need to kick the door in to avoid danger to officers. But what about danger to innocent people -- like unarmed women and infants, for instance? It seems to me that if anybody should shoulder the risks of police work, it should be police. Not every interaction with the public should be conducted like D-Day on the off-chance that somebody might start shooting. That's especially true since SWAT tactics all-too-often make it certain that somebody does get shot.

That police knew there were innocent people in the house is clear; according to the Toledo Blade, "[Chief Garlock] said officers were aware that children were inside the home because there were toys in the yard outside and on the front porch." That means police can't feign surprise at the presence of people other than the one named in the warrant.

The FBI has joined a probe into just how this raid went so fatally wrong. That's no guarantee of justice, but it means the guilty department won't be investigating itself.

Radley Balko (then of the Cato Institute) on the rise of often-fatal paramilitary police tactics here.

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Blogger Henry Cate said...

I wonder if Tom Shiflett can get the FBI to investigate the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team.

January 11, 2008 11:42 AM  
Anonymous GoyimAmericanLibertarianAtheist said...

The sooner Al Qaeda nukes this Christo-fascist/zio-marxist PoS gov`t off the face of the Earth, the sooner all mankind will be better off. (just my opinion;)

January 11, 2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

Ummm ... I'm gonna differ. I'd rather reform law enforcement in the U.S. than blow the whole place up. (Just my opinion)

January 12, 2008 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they were doing the raid for drug trafficing and selling out of the house. they do the high risk raid because generally when there is drug sales involved, there are guns involved.... Until what really happens comes out, I dont think we can speculate on why she was shot.
One thing you have to take into consideration is that the officer was a veteran of 31 years, and on SWAT for 22. Which means if he shot, he probably had a good reason to, and didnt go off half cocked like a rookie may.
just my two cents...

January 12, 2008 8:55 AM  
Anonymous GoyimAmericanLibertarianAtheist said...

You`re right, of course, JD. My over-the-top rant was fueled by a mix of vodka and a long-running frustration with the direction this
formerly-Free Republic has been taking for as long as I can remember. Sorry if I`ve upset anybody with my drunken rant. I just needed to vent.

January 12, 2008 11:26 PM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

No problem, GoyimAmericanLibertarianAtheist, it's usually bourbon that helps push me over the edge.

January 13, 2008 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Ginny said...

Well I live in Lima, Ohio and have been here all of my 55 years. Today the Ohio Attorney General, Representatives from The Ohio BCII (beaureu of criminal investigation and identification)and and FBI are also here for a a question and answer session occurring right now at our Civic and convention ctr. I am watching it while I am writing this.

First, this was a known drug house. Second, the mother as well as the boyfriend had both done prior prison terms on drug charges, and third the boyfriend had in the past tried to use deadly force against police officers. Also is the fact that both dogs (pit bulls) had their larynx removed. This is common among drug dealers where as they prefer the cops to be surprised and attacked upon entering a home rather than a barking dog giving away the fact they are there.

Further if you would do a search on the Lima Minicipal Court website for all these people involved you would come across years of drug abuse, selling, domestic violence, assualt. You name it these people had done it. This isn't speculation its all right there in court records for anyone to look up. Also, look up the girls father "Ivory Austin" on that same website. Being a reporter I'm surprised you didn't do all this before you posted such a story.

Now you want to tell me why any good upstanding unmarried mother of six, would have those six children living in a home where drugs were being sold out of it?She put her children in that environment the cops didn't.

Oh, there is still much that hasn't come out yet about all this. If this cop was in the wrong then he will certainly be fried for it. Also he is a 31 year veteran of the LPD with 22 of them on the SWAT team. He also is the very cop who wrote the excessive force policy for the department.

Now JD, my money is on the cop with a clean record who has served 31 years trying to enforce the law. You keep right on supporting the drug dealers all you want, but you ought to try and atleast give impartial reports and do a bit of research if you are to be taken seriously.

January 16, 2008 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anyone who actually sides with the police, GET REAL! There are far too many cases of innocent people getting wounded, animals getting shot, property getting destroyed, and warrants being obtained based on BS for evidence. The problem is that too many of our country's leaders ram this crap down our throat that people who use drugs are evil. Then you get these hard-ass cops who think they're saving the world by killing pets and children in the house during a drug raid of a non-violent drug dealer. The last time I checked, the constitution gaurentees our right to privacy. Our body is our own business and what we put in it shouldn't be decided or regulated by the government. The cops involved in this should be charged with involentary manslaughter and sent to prison. You know what the funny thing is, though, even for murder they would most likely serve less time than a non-violent drug offender.

February 11, 2008 2:08 PM  
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March 18, 2009 11:46 PM  

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