Lock ‘em up
Toss key away. Do not let them see sunlight again. Say bye.
Three men were this week indicted for their alleged roles in a fatal police "swatting" of a home in Kansas, USA. Tyler Barriss, Casey Viner, and Shane Gaskill will all face charges after a district court grand jury ruled (PDF) to indict them on multiple counts related to the December 28, 2017 death of Andrew Finch – who was …
Don't worry folks! The trigger happy moron who actually pulled the trigger and shot an innocent, unarmed man in his own home as he answered the door won't face any charges.
Edit: Just like many other US cases, and a much smaller handful in the UK. Just as Cresside "Teflon" Dick has managed to become Commissioner of the Met, despite her team's incompetence that should have seen several of them (including her) sent down.
Clarification: Contrary to what many might think from this post, I do generally like and respect the police. But there's a tiny minority who seem to be persistently immune from the law.
There is controversy about it, but there is a continuing practice in our industry of rating people and ousting the lowest ranked n% each year. The same should happen for police depts.
In every crowd there is a small percentage that are responsible for the majority of misbehaviour. Getting rid of them, and being seen to do so, would go a long way to repairing the reputation of police depts.
We'd have to pay police better to get non-scum - I'm all for that. Insurance against riots...
The "moron" actually had wholly fabricated information - about someone who already killed, and held hostage other two people who were at risk of life.
Here there's been questioning when a divorcing cop killed his wife and two daughters - it looks the daughters could have been saved had the police tried to break into instead of waiting hours.
There are difficult decisions to take, and without the right information - often very had to obtain - it's quite easy to take the wrong one.
And what is really terrible everything started from a bunch of real morons and a videogame spat. Hope they will put in a cell without any electronic device for a long time.
Taking life-or-death decisions in split seconds is not easy*, not at all. It is something, however, I expect professional police forces to do with high accuracy. Just like I expect them to evaluate the reliability of their sources.
*In an earlier life I'd been trained to do exactly that. Luckily, I never had to apply - wasn't very good at it.
That's often the very hard part, unluckily - and in this case they were deceived explicitly - and it's hard to believe a gang of idiots could setup something like that.
Moreover, situations like that are also much more riskier - because there is a far higher risk of misunderstanding - a real murderer will act in ways that are more predictable, a person utterly unaware of the situation won't, won't understand quickly what's happening, and that's far more dangerous.
In the case I wrote before, the police was told and believed the daughters were already died. The autopsy revealed they were killed later. But verifying their situation was very difficult.
In too many of these situations there is only a right decision, and many wrong ones.
....Clarification: Contrary to what many might think from this post, I do generally like and respect the police. But there's a tiny minority who seem to be persistently immune from the law.....
I like and respect the concept of a force that polices with the consent of the people, operating within a tight legislative framework designed to ensure that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that justice is visible and seen to be done.
Trouble is, we don't have that ALL policement are effectively immune from the law - you just only notice it when they have to exercise that immunity. I suspect that the tiny minority are actually the policemen who are still operating under the old regime....
Is there no degree of indirect homicide, like the UK manslaughter, to cover such a case where the outcome was likely to be foreseen?
Yes, there is. For a full explanation and description of regional differences, see the Wikipedia article on "manslaughter".
IANAL but I don't think a manslaughter charge should apply in this case because, in all jurisdictions where the crime of manslaughter is recognised, the distinction between it and murder is that there was no intention of killing the victim. OTOH, its quite possible that when a SWAT team is set up to target somebody, the target will be killed. Especially if the SWATters are led to believe that he is an armed killer and this is happening in the USA: elsewhere the cops are less trigger-happy. If the target is killed in these circumstances, it seems to me that the person who made the call is guilty of murder and anybody else associated with the crime is guilty of being an accessory to murder or of incitement to murder.
You're slightly mistaken about your understanding of manslaughter and, certainly in a UK context, this situation would/could be prosecuted as manslaughter.
In the UK, it is sufficient if there is an unlawful act (eg falsely calling the police) and the act is one which "all sober and reasonable people would realise would subject the victim to the risk of some physical harm resulting there from, albeit not serious harm".
The defendant doesn't have to realise this and there only has to be the possibility that there is some risk of possible harm to the victim that any reasonable person could forsee.
I'm sure you'd agree that getting a SWAT team to storm another person's house would involve the risk of some physical harm to them? If the victim then dies then the person who made the call could be charged with manslaughter - at least in the UK.
it couldnt be manslaughter as they had no connection or correlation with the actual death. Accessory would be appropriate. The fact that the SWAT are trained would also be a defence of the manslaughter as the trained SWAT would have had an internal investigation as to why they had to shoot the person (justifying it). You couldnt charge the caller with manslaughter and let the SWAT off under UK law, that cannot happen. The killing would be "lawful" on account of the SWAT being let off.
The charges in the UK would be very slim sentencing-wise.
That is why, if you want to kill someone in the UK then get tanked up and run them over, 2 years if you have a clean record.
The UK has some shocking laws for these sorts of things.
"That is why, if you want to kill someone in the UK then get tanked up and run them over, 2 years if you have a clean record."
"Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink
You may get:
14 years’ imprisonment
an unlimited fine
a ban from driving for at least 2 years
an extended driving test before your licence is returned
It's also due to be upped to life.
Yes, but it is not what US prosecution does.
It piles a whole garbage dump worth of accusations on the target trying to get a guilty plea deal.
One of the favourites in this case is wire fraud which can cover everything from submitting wrong information to police and all the way to fake timesheets.
"Is there no degree of indirect homicide, like the UK manslaughter, to cover such a case where the outcome was likely to be foreseen?"
Two charges are appropriate here . Felony murder (murder in the compression of crime). 2nd degree murder. That's when you did not intend to kill some, but reassemble person could fore see that your actions might lead to some ones death.
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Multiple problems here.
1) Guns are so prevalent in this society that it's plausible that someone _would_ have been able to murder someone and hold hostages. Therefore in this situation the cops would be called in such a manner.
2) Cops decide to shoot this bloke when he steps outside, without him even yelling threats or certainly not brandishing a weapon. I have a mate who is an Aussie cop in a equivalent unit to US SWAT and when he does this sort of thing they never shoot until it goes pear shaped. At worst if the bad guy points a weapon at the cops he warns them to drop it then, and only then he would shoot. He, and those in jurisdictions outside of USA would never shoot until a threat was proven.
So - sort it out USA. Your affection with firearms and some right to bear them seems to be more important than all the people getting killed each day. There's been more yanks killed in school shootings this year than soldiers killed on active duty. Now someone totally innocent is dead because of a prank phone call. Can anyone not see the problem here?
Don't get me wrong, I quite like America and always have a good time when I'm there but this is a massive issue.
plenty of non-fatal alternatives
The correct term is "less lethal"(1). Rubber bullets (no matter that these days the term often refers to other things) are known for being able to hospitalise, maim, or even kill people. Tasers aren't likely to cause maiming injury, but can kill.
Even a water cannon ("fire hose") can kill people - some people have weak spots in their skulls, and if they fall just wrong, they can receive fatal head injuries. Even people without such spots can get serious, even fatal, head injuries.
But although you can't justify calling those things "non-fatal", they *are* less lethal.
(1) A curious example of what sounds at first like a euphemism being in fact a more accurate description. These things aren't "non-fatal" because they *can* kill, but they *are* less lethal than actual bullets.
Even in the UK it would be less likely that officers would go into a "reported firearms situation" with tasers drawn instead of firearms. I know the system is different but certainly in the US where is FAR more likely to be true (that the reported person has a boatload of guns and it going psycho) so the officers most certainly wouldnt be thinking "lets break out the tear gas and tasers" rather than "draw guns"
You don't bring a taser to a gunfight.
Guns are exactly what you need when confronting a (potential) armed psycho, whether you're a SWAT officer or a citizen acting in self defense. Guns don't murder people. Psychos do.
In this case, it seems several people went psycho, including the cop.
Guns are exactly what you need when confronting a (potential) armed psycho,
Why not some Howitzers? Or po-lice can learn from the Russians: Stich the entire building with a mobile 30 mm AA battery and let their god(s) sort the remains out (some assembly required, but, God is probably bored and likes a puzzle)? Flamethrowers? Space-junk dropped from orbit?
Soo much Potential to be afraid of that one can never be sure about having enough weaponry!
They had been told he had already killed.
So then - acting on false information (that they could have and should have verified - the guy who opened the door had no other resemblance to the purported shooter other than being white and male), someone shoots and kills someone who is guilty only of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Sounds pretty much like "they shot and killed an innocent man".
(And, even if he had already killed, the Police are not allowed to be judge, jury and executioner)
 In civilised jurisdictions
Apparently you like to comment without researching the entire facts.
The police didn't just shoot him when he walked out the door and there was resistance--likely based on the fact he wasn't exactly an innocent in the eyes of the law. Might want to find out why he was resisting and not following directions.
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Those are supposed to be the "elite" police forces? I shudder to think what the regular police are like.
Here in Europe, the training of special operations police forces can be summarised as "resolving dangerous / conflictive situations by containment, negotiation and no loss of life if at all possible". They are specifically trained to protect life, which makes them radically different to special operations military forces, whose speciality is ending life quickly and efficiently.
Somewhere in Youtube there is an interesting documentary about the French GIGN where this is explained and repeatedly stressed by the force's founding officers.
The incident a few months ago where a Lt. Col. of the Gendarmerie lost his life after exchanging places with a hostage illustrates well this ethos.
May I suggest the Merkins could learn a thing or two from the old continent?
And before anyone says anything, we're no strangers to firearms. Europeans are keen hunters and e.g., in Switzerland almost every household has at least one category A weapon anyway.
Those are supposed to be the "elite" police forces?
No, they are not. Most of those police SWAT teams are made from good, olde, regular, "Sheriff Dwayne Pickles and Mates", who liked the raise and all that military kit they get for free via the 1033 Program because they have a SWAT team. At some point, a long time ago, they obviously started scraping the barrel on the staffing.
And that's only the police: The Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all have SWAT teams.
Authorities acting like a bunch of kids: Everyone has to have a SWAT team! Everyone gets to be 'L33t and have a Real Soldier Gun and a Gold Star 'cause they are spechul! Amateur Hour all year around, basically.
Surely the NRA had something to say about the shooting?
Under Kansas 'stand your ground' laws, do law abiding citizens residing at home now have the legal grounds to assume that approaching Police officers are hostile and can be shot legally?
This is a serious question, would you open your front door in Kansas if there were police outside?
Actually, I would open the front door in any city, town, etc. But... upon doing so, it would be slow with my yelling "I'm coming out" and have my hands raised. I had a local cop pay us a visit last week do to a misdirected phone call. My wife called 911 instead of 411 (fat fingered the phone) but after explaining, they still sent a cop out to check. I did that.. slowly opened while telling him I was coming out, and hands in plain sight. He actually thanked me for doing so. We had a nice chat, he checked my wife to make sure she really was ok.. all was well.
So yes, I would do it the same way in Kansas, LA, anywhere, any country. Sidenote: I've done things this way for about 20 years just because.... Luckily, the police have only been at my door maybe 3-4 times total to check or followup on an issue.
Actually, I would open the front door in any city, town, etc. But... upon doing so, it would be slow with my yelling...
In your case, it might have worked. But I have to be super bias and presume your are not a person of colored skin.
My advice would be different as it's clear that those polices are extremely reactive, so everything you do or look like will increase your chance of getting killed. So
#0 Expect to be arrested and killed. There is no real justice and you could be blamed for murder. Kiss your family goodbye.
#1 Keep calm and avoid doing ANY Thing that changes what they see different seconds before. If your lights are turned on, leave it on. If you were asleep, stay on the bed. Let them break in it can keep the mood calmer. If you wanted to move toward the door to the police, do so slowly.
#2 Call the police again. No crime will re-call the police when there are already police on the scene.
#3 Put your hands where they can see your hand. If they are not in front of you yet, then put your hands behind your head. If they are in front of you, slowly turn your body around and then rise your hand and put them behind your back. Everything on your face will encourage them to shot you, including looking at them.
#4 Avoid talking at all if any in general, especially if they are yelling.
@ Mark 85. This is definitely an American culture thing. The fact that you feel the need to come out of your own house slowly, with warning and with hands in plain sight just to greet a police officer is, well, staggering.
I'm an Aussie who has lived all through Europe and Asia. Never have I ever felt the need when opening the door to police to act in that way. I have always simply treated them like normal people. And they have always responded in kind.
In no place that I've lived do I need to assume that the cops knocking on my door means that my life is in danger from those very same cops. It sounds like something you'd expect from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, or a hundred other corrupt third world countries. The fact you feel that way in America says that America has a major cultural issue there...
> It sounds like something you'd expect from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, or a hundred other corrupt third world countries.
Actually, no. By and large, police there live truly miserable lives but it's a vocational thing that's why they do it, and they're usually really nice chaps. Chances are they will be more afraid of you than the other way around.
I should explain some things. Yes, I'm white. But this goes back to several decades ago when I lived in a rather large city and not in the "best" neighborhood. The cops got the address wrong and came pounding on my door late at night. I came damn close to being shot because of my actions and theirs. I learned a bit since then. Like if the cops pull you over, keep your hands where they can see them. Once the initial contact is made, then I'll step out of the car and maybe have a smoke. Depends on the cop. So my actions say more about me than anything else as the local cops where I live now are actually pretty easy going.
Yeah, there's good cops and then there are those with a power trip. We do have issues with the cops in this country but also with some of the citizens. We have a real mess on our hands especially in the larger cities.
Yeah, so I have a VoIP home phone, and I administer my phone system (Asterisk). It has always been interesting to me that Law Enforcement agencies are getting away without liability when someone gets SWATTED. I can't use my home VoIP phone number to register for various services (take a look at Google Voice for example), so the technology to detect when a phone number is originating from VoIP exists. I would think that given the few SWATting events that turned out badly, the 911 call centers would get a red flag if the incoming number was a VoIP number, so that if they are reporting a SWAT call-out-able event, there would be some suspicion on the dispatcher's behalf, and some extra caution on the SWAT team's behalf.
Also, if the world was a wonderful place we'd try to apply the rule for both IP addresses and phone numbers - an ISP/carrier shall only pass out a packet/call when the IP-address/phone-number originates from one of their own customer accounts. Everything else is "dropped" and referred to fraud analysis and enforcement. Since all numbers are managed by a resporg (Responsible Organization), a master table of which carrier the call should be coming from is already available and distributed - all 911 calls should be vetted in general, but I actually feel the same rule applies in the reverse of the above: If you are an ISP or carrier and you see and IP-address/phone-number dialing in from the wrong ISP/carrier, that call should be dropped and the ISP/Carrier reported to the authority having jurisdiction. Even more obvious when you see an IP-address/phone-number coming in from outside of you that YOU own...
I'm personally really tired of these Neighbor Spoofing calls I get in Mandarin (which I don't speak).
The worldwide telephone system was built in the days when a gentleman's word could be relied upon. i.e. Everyone trusted everyone else. (i.e. you never needed to validate incoming numbers). But those heady days are long gone. It's so easy now to spoof calling numbers that they are practically worthless.
Add VoIP to the mix, and phone numbers can no longer be trusted to tell you anything. e.g. At work, we have a SIP connection with a major UK telco. The phone number that is presented to the emergency services is from a city 50 miles away. (And no, we can't change that!)
Um, because it's a huge and fascinating country where the vast majority of people are openly friendly and generous. Yes it's got some horrible problems (racism and misuse of firearms among them) but that's far from the whole story.*
* Disclaimer: I am not an American citizen, but have worked and holidayed there.
I have to say that I believe you *should not* have to react in this manner just because of a mis-dialed call. It says much about the condition of both your view and the police officers views on the state of your society. (I have relatives down there too. Several of them live in a similar manner, several are fortunate enough to *not* have to respond in such a manner)
Perspective is rather important.
Back *cough* some many years ago when I first moved in with my current spouse, neither of us had much financial leverage, and the apartment we (myself, her, her two boys) moved into was in a neighbourhood that was considered less appealing for quite a number of reasons. The building was rather regularly subjected to "special" services from the local constabulary. Oddly, in order to handle these cases quickly, calmly, and with minimum impact to the rest of the folks, the operations tended to be executed at 3:30 to 4:00 in the morning. However, in order to be at work on time in my then circumstances I was leaving at 4:50 or so in the morning. I rather regularly ran into the local swat team on my way out the building. In every *single* case they were inevitably courteous and as helpful as possible. Not once did any target of their operations get shot, nor any innocent bystanders. In one particular moment I came out my door, and clearly surprised the officer at the end of the corridor, which was the only moment when I've seen a weapon raised from "safe" carriage. (and man I hit the floor pretty damn fast).
I've had the police called to my residence (we've since moved on from the building, but having had boys in school, we're only a few blocks away) three times, once for a noise complaint, once for a witness to an incident event and once for a "firearms incident". in NONE of these cases was anyone in my household ever even remotely at risk to any issue from the cops. The noise complaint was at the tail end of our wedding (held in the backyard, on a saturday and well, yes the music was loud), the witness incident was our middle child standing up to a mouthy bully waving around a 3" penknife and suffering from testosterone induced assholeness, the firearms issue was the eldest popping off his airsoft in a quite stupid manner, rapidly corrected after spending the better part of an hour 'splainin himself to the officer at the door.
Up here however to become a police officer is a long, involved process and there are very substantial prerequisites to entry. Considering the calibre of responses from some of the *very* senior officers of police forces in the united states, and the verbiage I've heard from working officers in some interviews during and after some well covered events in the united states, I"m going to guess that the barriers to entry are *substantially* lower in the united states.
All of the above notwithstanding, the three twats that organized this dick waving episode to it's conclusion need to have their pee-pee's spanked hard. Preferably with several years in irons.
They're just now bringing charges in that? It cause quite an uproar in this area back in December. Here in SW Kansas all our news filters through Wichita, so it was all people were talking about for about a week.
Anyway, I hope they throw the book at these guys so hard that the next dumbass who thinks about SWATing someone feels it when they reach for the phone and decide not to do it.
I *knew* this would turn out to be a videogame-based spat gone large.
Now tell me again how a kid who makes threats over the phone to someone's wife is not a potential lethal threat.
These f*cking people have no connect. They seem incapable of working out the direct consequences of their actions, of if they can, they don't care.
Either way: to the organbanks with them. There must be needing people out there who won't be such a waste of organic matter.
A TV documentary some years ago told the case of a guy who wanted to be a cop in the US. He sat the civil service test but scored too high. He was advised that he would be better off selling cars or insurance.
If you set your testing standards low then you get what you test for. Just look at the present "leader" of you country; speaks Russian and used to work for the KGB.