This is a discussion on I don't even know what to say to this within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/637859.html First off, I haven't seen this posted here. If it is, I'm sorry. Second off, I'm not really questioning the tactical response, what bothers ...
First off, I haven't seen this posted here. If it is, I'm sorry. Second off, I'm not really questioning the tactical response, what bothers me is the whole cyber-stalking by police issue, and using that to form an guilty until proven else-wise opinion on this guy. I find this disturbing on so many levels it's not even funny.
Basically what happened was these students put pictures of themselves at a firing range on facebook. Police, investigating a stolen PS3, went to the friend of the guy who owned the firearms proceeded to do a knock-less entry because they checked his facebook and feared he could have his buddies guns. One officer mistook the sound of the battering ram his buddies were using for a gun shot, and then emptied his magazine of .45 caliber rounds through a closed door, striking the unsuspecting friend and killing him.
Let me point out some highlights:Hmmm...get better body armor? Level III or IV can stop a .223 round.Long's team, he said in the affidavit, had been briefed that the "AR-15 firearms that we had seen in the photos and which were believed to be in the residence were capable of penetrating our body armor."Stickland is the friend, Mills owns the firearms that were pictured.It is not clear why officers thought those guns would be in Strickland's house. Strickland is not in the photo. Mills did not live with Strickland. He lived in a townhouse three miles away; the address appeared in a campus directory.Wow...are you serious? What happened to privacy laws, and what happened to using police resources wisely? Every day you go around checking up on students just because you can?! There are SO many slippery slope arguments that can be used here..."As students have migrated to electronic communication, we've had to adjust to that," said N.C. State University Police Sgt. Jon Barnwell. "Day to day, we peruse these sites. It's part of our job now because that's where students are."Last I recall, it was his dad's firearm. Yet they still charged him.Nationally, police and university officials turn to these sites to make drastic decisions. Last year in Colorado, police arrested a 16-year-old boy pictured on MySpace with a gun and charged him with juvenile possession of a firearm.Yet another reason I refuse to get into the social networking scene.In April, officials at the State University of New York in Cobleskill suspended student Tharindu Meepegama and sent him to a mental hospital after finding a Facebook photo of him posing with a shotgun and reading a comment they found troubling.Of course not.UNC-Wilmington police have been unwilling to discuss their investigation into the PlayStation 3 robbery and the Dec. 1 raid of Strickland's house. They were unavailable Friday to discuss how their department uses sites such as Facebook to investigate student behavior.
I seriously can not tell you how much this bothers me, this is wrong on so many levels. I'm not one for questioning police actions much, and I don't question the execution, I question the entire thought process leading up to it. I think this is wrong on so many levels, and people accuse me of being paranoid for not having any social networking webpages.
Murder by cop. No excuse for this kind of misuse of power, ever!
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
All that over a possible stolen PlayStation 3?????? Which they DIDN'T FIND!!!!
Who decides to do this type of raid over petty theft?
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I don't know what to say about it, either.
sucks. i'm all for giving cops the benefit of the doubt, and even some leeway given their job. but, this goes beyond that. given that the article is accurate, there needs to be accountability on this one.
War is not the ugliest of things. Worse is the decayed state of moral feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which he cares for more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free. -J.S. Mill
does "Identify your target and what is beyond" ring any bells?
Sad. Very sad.
Once again...Sorry I have to say it...For all those here that seem to be for No-Knock warrants (and there are quite a few here for it), This is YET AGAIN another reason NOT to have them. It is also why I believe we need to quit using the dog-gone SWAT/Emergency Response teams for suspicion of petty crimes. :RANTOFF:
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What bothers me isn't so much the execution, though that's definitely going to be questioned. What bothers me is the decision to do this, because the decided to cyper-stalk him.
I don't know the entire story behind this, if they were charging strickland with the theft, or even if they were, if he actually did it.
What bothers me, though, is how many of us have pictures like that online somewhere? If our buds got in trouble, would we get the same kind of response for a minor crime too, and end up the same fate? Why are the police so concerned with social networking sites, that they feel the need to browse them day to day, keeping track of people?
More importantly, if a local university police department is keeping track of it's students using facebook, what aren't they telling and what about the larger departments...what are they using?
That is nothing short of disturbing. All over a stolen PS3, which they never found.
I'm with goawayfarm: who makes these calls? You'd think the kid was leaning out the window with a cigar in his mouth, blazing away with a tommy gun, and shouting "you'll never take me alive, coppers!!"
I believe they call that "restraining the suspect for officer safety." Good thing we've got the sharpshooting SWAT team to back up the top notch investigators. I wonder if they cross-train with the FBI and ATF?
This is stupid on so many levels. It makes me wonder who was calling the shots on this one.
I've participated in many investigations and "raids", as the story reads this operation was flawed from the start. I've used facebook and myspace for peices of information or clues, but you can never ever base the entire investigation on that! Jeese.
Then again, the story does read with a little antigun bias, so who knows what really happened.
"Just blame Sixto"
I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.
You can make them cops, swear them in, and train them; but you cannot issue an idiot common sense.
And now for the rest of the story.....
What that article didn't mention was that the man (that is correct, man not boy) and his friends savagely beat a student with clubs etc. and took his playstation. As I understand it, they didn't just hit him take it and leave, once they had it they kept on beating him while he was down on the ground. I also understand that this man had a history with being on the wrong side of the law (I don't know the details).
I completely understand the no-knock warrant under those circumstances. As far as the myspace thing, I'm not saying cops should look up folks on them to prepare, however, you are going in to arrest him for theft and attempted murder, aggravated assault etc. and you now see the picture and know he has experience with weapons, I completely understand the no-knock. The error comes in with the one cop who had his finger on the trigger before he was aimed at his target. If he had followed what I 'm sure his training was (keep finger off trigger until aiming at target and ready to shoot) then his reflex from the noise wouldn't have caused him to shoot.
It is important to note, the N&O is a VERY liberal rag in the Raleigh/Durham area, and the father of the man who was shot is a prominant attorney in Durham.
Thus the spin....