Todays episode of...What the?
This is a discussion on Todays episode of...What the? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Arisin Wind
"A Lakeville man says he feels violated after two police officers woke him up at 3 a.m. to tell him ...
June 20th, 2008 03:05 PM
I disagree with this completely. If a thief enters my home I can shoot him and not go to jail, not have it on my conscious, and not be a cop-killer. If a police officer is walking down my hall way all that changes.
Originally Posted by Arisin Wind
Nobody has the right to enter my home without my permission. That includes some nanny-state police officer that wants to protect me from myself.
I'm still riled up about when a similiar situation happened to me. I left my garage door open on accident. My dog started barking at about 2 a.m. and woke me up. I took my shotgun to find out what was going on and I saw somebody driving away. When I went to my garage I found a note on the door from the police about how I should shut my garage door to prevent people from coming into my home. I was livid.
In the last few months there have been several shootings because an unidentified person was in somebody's tool shed or garage.
Well intentioned or not, it is royally stupid.
June 20th, 2008 03:18 PM
Just because I happen to decide to leave my door unlocked or even cracked open (which I don't do in reality), doesn't give ANYONE(not just LEO's) Carte Blanche to enter at will. If I decide to take the risk...that's my choice so stay the heck out. It's individual and property rights being attacked under the same concept as seat-belts.
You'd better be darn sure that you can articulate from ICU why you and/or your partner came into my home in the middle of the night and shot my dog as she attempts to rip you limb from limb and it better be good.
What next? Barge in on folks in the middle of the night and take their TV's and Twinkies because someone in office feels that a gluttonous, sedentary lifestyle is unsafe and might cause heart attacks, high colesterol, and a gluteus-maximus the size of Mount St. Helens?
My AC burned up last week during the hellish storms that spawned electrical outages and tornado's everywhere during the 98 degree weather. I left windows cracked open, fans on, and the main interior door cracked open(outside storm door still closed) while I slept, knowing full well that if anyone or thing attempted to enter, he/she/it would get eaten by the dog(a very protective pit) and at that point I would be plenty wide awake enough to finish the job with the 1911 that I sleep with.
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June 20th, 2008 03:26 PM
Conversely, most of you would be screaming bloody murder if these same two cops had knowingly driven or walked past this house while there was something bad going on inside.
Sure, the homeowner screwed-up, but look at it like this.. there is a truck 'ready to go' in the driveway. The garage door is wide open. And the door is ajar. At 3am. Anyone else curious about a home invasion? I'd rather some home owner get frazzled about being called out for this then hear about another Connecticut home invasion story. Its easy to MMQB these guys but put yourself in their shoes. I don't think violating anyone's Bill of Rights was high on their agenda.
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June 20th, 2008 03:29 PM
These officers weren't attacking anyone's rights or looking to attack anyone's rights. They were checking out a situation that seemed suspicious to them. If they'd have found a person in need of medical attention and/or the victim of a crime, they'd be heroes. If it was me or a relative of mine, I'd be very thankful for their actions.
They did announce their presence and received no response--suspicion enough to enter an open door (considering other suspicious factors, such as two doors open and keys in the truck, presumably unusual for the given neighborhood).
Again, a call to dispatch to make a phone call to the homeowner would have been a better first move IMHO, but it doesn't invalidate what they did.
June 20th, 2008 03:36 PM
sixbravo, it's not about a violation of the bill of rights. It's about placing the homeowner in a postition where he might unintentionally kill a police officer.
In the middle of the night with my wife beside me, I KNOW that if anybody else is in the house I can fire because I KNOW they have no business being there. I sleep with my bedroom door locked. If somebody tried to open my bedroom door I shouldn't have to think about whether it's just somebody checking on me. In short, I might fire through the door rather than wait for them to get in.
And it's not fair to me that the partner of the officer I might have killed gets to fill out the report. It's not fair to the officer, and it's not fair to his partner.
June 20th, 2008 03:51 PM
I can understand why they came in. As they said, they knocked and no one answered and they were making sure everything was okay. I can appreciate that. Especially when the kids said they were afraid to go and wake up the Dad.
Do I think it was too smart? No. If I woke to two men standing in or entering my bedroom the first thing I'd do is grab my gun sitting on the night stand while screaming and rolling out of bed. It's very possible that the police officer's would find themselves trying to convince me they really were police officer's while my finger caressed the 3 lbs trigger of my Wilson. Then they'd have a VERY ANGRY woman to deal with. ESPECIALLY if those two men were between me and my baby!!
(P.S. JD would probably still be asleep..lol.. The man sleeps like a rock!)
I would probably calm down and thank them for looking out for my safety, but only after I got a good look at my children to make sure they were okay and confirmed with 100% certainty that they were officers. I would also emphasized just how devastating it would have been for all parties involved if I had shot a helpful cop in the middle of the night because I mistook him for a home invader.
I agree that a phone call or maybe a yell up the stairs would have been more prudent than just going into someone's bedroom.
At very least they should have stayed in the hall way and yelled into the bedroom. Entering someone's bedroom while they are sleeping is a pretty dangerous thing to do.
And I can't be too hard on the home owner. He very well may have locked everything up before he went to bed (other than leaving his keys in the truck) and the kids could have unlocked them.
I've been a kid. I've had sleep overs and I can't tell you how many times we went outside in the middle of the night when my parents were asleep. We went out and climbed trees, jumped on the trampoline, explored the garage, barn and shed, went bike riding, you name it. Heck, sometimes we just slept outside.
You think we remembered to lock the doors back up when we came in? I can bet you a cream soda we didn't.
How terrifying for the father if he DID lock everything up and went to bed with the idea that everything was locked up nice and tight and his kids unlocked the door while he was asleep. Suddenly he's awoken by two men in his bedroom only knowing that they have gotten through locked doors and the kids downstairs.
YEAH, I'd be ticked!
Nice of them to check and make sure everything was okay, but they should have gone about things a little differently.
June 20th, 2008 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by Knuckledrager
That's very nice of you!
June 20th, 2008 04:25 PM
Door shaking on third shift is what you do on slow nights. You’d be surprised at how many businesses leave things wide open.
Residential we don’t shake doors, but we do look for criminal activity of all kinds, and an open door at a residence screams that there is something wrong. Add in the other factors that the officers noticed, red flags are flying everywhere.
Do I think they should have gone into the home owner’s bedroom? Absolutely not. Did they violate rights or break any laws? Debatable, but I think not. Was it the correct way to handle the situation? No way.
I have more than a few very similar situations so far in my career, and each time it was resolved safely for both parties by either a simple phone call to the residence, or hollering into the home telling them that an officer was on the front porch, and to come on out to make sure everything is OK. The one time I had to enter the home in a situation like this, I happened to know that the homeowner was deaf. Proceed with caution and find another way to get the attention you need, but don’t enter a unsuspecting persons domain… that can to easily spell disaster for all involved.
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June 20th, 2008 05:18 PM
First off it irritates me when I hear a man say he “feels violated” but that aside because they didn’t get a response from their knocking they decided to check to make sure everything was OK. I did not get the impression from what I have read it was to deliver the “close your door” message, they were concerned something may have happened to the homeowner. If they had made the kids go wake him up and he was dead from a heart attack they would have caught hell for that. I am not in favor of going into people’s homes for no reason but I think they had reason to suspect something was wrong and check it out.
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June 20th, 2008 08:13 PM
The problem at my house would be simple.... the instant they came in my dog would alert me and I would be awake with gun in hand. Police come in the bedroom doorway.... I will have a gun pointed at them (not knowing who it is and it will be very dark ... so I see 2 figures at the doorway).
Ok... now what ?
I'll give them a warning... "don't move or I'll shoot"....
Now what ?
Bad, bad , bad idea... unless they are yelling at the top of their lungs... this is the police, and even then.... I would tell them not to advance as I am armed and will be until I see PROOF they are the police.
June 20th, 2008 09:11 PM
I think before any of this got that out of hand, the police will have realized that the homeowner is indeed home and alive.
June 20th, 2008 09:18 PM
Throwing a wrench in things, lets say the homeowner is a heavy sleeper, passed out drunk or whatever. Lets say they did holler "Police" did all the things we think they should have... now what?
"Just blame Sixto"
I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.
June 20th, 2008 10:30 PM
Lesson learned? I'm neutral on the home entry. Cops got a bad rap of darned if you do, darned if you don't on that. 'To serve and protect'. I think they pretty much did that in this case.
Going inside after knocking and getting no answer seems sensible.
If nothing else, the homeowner will now know better than to leave his house open like that at night, and even during the day.
I have one question to ponder though---what would have happened if they found a bag of weed laying on the night stand? Just a what if---you know.
June 21st, 2008 12:52 AM
Another they did their job guy thogh perhaps it might have been better to have done it another way.
Lets not forget that the press might have left out the other ways we'd all prefer.
There's a saying, "right to be, right to see," as in when the cops have a legal right to be (there), then they have the legal right to see (evidence). An arrest for the baggie would be a good one and said baggie admissible in court.
June 21st, 2008 10:13 AM
This was one of those "danged if you do, danged if you don't" situations.
I don't fault the Officers for checking things out. They may have used an approach that I may not have used, but they were doing their job. The homeowner messed up by not locking things up, but we've all done that once or twice. I went to bed one night and left the front door unlocked. I was so tired that I forgot to check it.
"Violated"? This doesn't even come close to a violation. If the homeowner wants to feel violated let him go get a prostate exam from Dr. Sausage Fingers, M.D.
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