In Iraq, I raided insurgents. In Virginia, the police raided

BernieP

Resident PIA
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/in-iraq-i-raided-insurgents-in-virginia-the-police-raided-me/ar-AAdtsd2?ocid=ASUDHP

I got home from the bar and fell into bed soon after Saturday night bled into Sunday morning. I didn’t wake up until three police officers barged into my apartment, barking their presence at my door. They sped down the hallway to my bedroom, their service pistols drawn and leveled at me.

It was just past 9 a.m., and I was still under the covers. The only visible target was my head.

In the shouting and commotion, I felt an instant familiarity. I’d been here before. This was a raid.

I had done this a few dozen times myself, 6,000 miles away from my Alexandria, Va., apartment. As an Army infantryman in Iraq, I’d always been on the trigger side of the weapon. Now that I was on the barrel side, I recalled basic training’s most important firearm rule: Aim only at something you intend to kill.

I had conducted the same kind of raid on suspected bombmakers and high-value insurgents. But the Fairfax County officers in my apartment were aiming their weapons at a target whose rap sheet consisted only of parking tickets and an overdue library book.

My situation was terrifying. Lying facedown in bed, I knew that any move I made could be viewed as a threat. Instinct told me to get up and protect myself. Training told me that if I did, these officers would shoot me dead.

In a panic, I asked the officers what was going on but got no immediate answer. Their tactics were similar to the ones I used to clear rooms during the height of guerilla warfare in Iraq. I could almost admire it — their fluid sweep from the bedroom doorway to the distant corner. They stayed clear of one another’s lines of fire in case they needed to empty their Sig Sauer .40-caliber pistols into me.

They were well-trained, their supervisor later told me. But I knew that means little when adrenaline governs an imminent-danger scenario, real or imagined. Triggers are pulled. Mistakes are made.

I spread my arms out to either side. An officer jumped onto my bed and locked handcuffs onto my wrists. The officers rolled me from side to side, searching my boxers for weapons, then yanked me up to sit on the edge of the bed.

At first, I was stunned. I searched my memory for any incident that would justify a police raid. Then it clicked.

Earlier in the week, the managers of my apartment complex moved me to a model unit while a crew repaired a leak in my dishwasher. But they hadn’t informed my temporary neighbors. So when one resident noticed the door slightly cracked open to what he presumed was an unoccupied apartment, he looked in, saw me sleeping and called the police to report a squatter.

Sitting on the edge of the bed dressed only in underwear, I laughed. The situation was ludicrous and embarrassing. My only mistake had been failing to make sure the apartment door was completely closed before I threw myself into bed the night before.

I told the officers to check my driver’s license, nodding toward my khaki pants on the floor. It showed my address at a unit in the same complex. As the fog of their chaotic entry lifted, the officers realized it had been an unfortunate error. They walked me into the living room and removed the cuffs, though two continued to stand over me as the third contacted management to confirm my story. Once they were satisfied, they left.

When I later visited the Fairfax County police station to gather details about what went wrong, I met the shift commander, Lt. Erik Rhoads. I asked why his officers hadn’t contacted management before they raided the apartment. Why did they classify the incident as a forced entry, when the information they had suggested something innocuous? Why not evaluate the situation before escalating it?

Rhoads defended the procedure, calling the officers’ actions “on point.” It’s not standard to conduct investigations beforehand because that delays the apprehension of suspects, he told me.

I noted that the officers could have sought information from the apartment complex’s security guard that would have resolved the matter without violence. But he played down the importance of such information: “It doesn’t matter whatsoever what was said or not said at the security booth.”

This is where Rhoads is wrong. We’ve seen this troubling approach to law enforcement nationwide, in militarized police responses to nonviolent protesters and in fatal police shootings of unarmed citizens. The culture that encourages police officers to engage their weapons before gathering information promotes the mind-set that nothing, including citizen safety, is more important than officers’ personal security. That approach has caused public trust in law enforcement to deteriorate.

It’s the same culture that characterized the early phases of the Iraq war, in which I served a 15-month tour in 2006 and 2007. Soldiers left their sprawling bases in armored vehicles, leveling buildings with missile strikes and shooting up entire blocks during gun battles with insurgents, only to return to their protected bases and do it all again hours later.

The short-sighted notion that we should always protect ourselves endangered us more in the long term. It was a flawed strategy that could often create more insurgents than it stopped and inspired some Iraqis to hate us rather than help us.

In one instance in Baghdad, a stray round landed in a compound that our unit was building. An overzealous officer decided that we were under attack and ordered machine guns and grenade launchers to shoot at distant rooftops. A row of buildings caught fire, and we left our compound on foot, seeking to capture any injured fighters by entering structures choked with flames.

Instead, we found a man frantically pulling his furniture out of his house. “Thank you for your security!” he yelled in perfect English. He pointed to the billowing smoke. “This is what you call security?”

We didn’t find any insurgents. There weren’t any. But it was easy to imagine that we forged some in that fire. Similarly, when U.S. police officers use excessive force to control nonviolent citizens or respond to minor incidents, they lose supporters and public trust.

That’s a problem, because law enforcement officers need the cooperation of the communities they patrol in order to do their jobs effectively. In the early stages of the war, the U.S. military overlooked that reality as well. Leaders defined success as increasing military hold on geographic terrain, while the human terrain was the real battle. For example, when our platoon entered Iraq’s volatile Diyala province in early 2007, children at a school plugged their ears just before an IED exploded beneath one of our vehicles. The kids knew what was coming, but they saw no reason to warn us. Instead, they watched us drive right into the ambush. One of our men died, and in the subsequent crossfire, several insurgents and children were killed. We saw Iraqis cheering and dancing at the blast crater as we left the area hours later.

With the U.S. effort in Iraq faltering, Gen. David Petraeus unveiled a new counterinsurgency strategy that year. He believed that showing more restraint during gunfights would help foster Iraqis’ trust in U.S. forces and that forming better relationships with civilians would improve our intelligence-gathering. We refined our warrior mentality — the one that directed us to protect ourselves above all else — with a community-building component.

My unit began to patrol on foot almost exclusively, which was exceptionally more dangerous than staying inside our armored vehicles. We relinquished much of our personal security by entering dimly lit homes in insurgent strongholds. We didn’t know if the hand we would shake at each door held a detonator to a suicide vest or a small glass of hot, sugary tea.

But as a result, we better understood our environment and earned the allegiance of some people in it. The benefits quickly became clear. One day during that bloody summer, insurgents loaded a car with hundreds of pounds of explosives and parked it by a school. They knew we searched every building for hidden weapons caches, and they waited for us to gather near the car. But as we turned the corner to head toward the school, several Iraqis told us about the danger. We evacuated civilians from the area and called in a helicopter gunship to fire at the vehicle.

The resulting explosion pulverized half the building and blasted the car’s engine block through two cement walls. Shrapnel dropped like jagged hail as far as a quarter-mile away.

If we had not risked our safety by patrolling the neighborhood on foot, trusting our sources and gathering intelligence, it would have been a massacre. But no one was hurt in the blast.

.....
 

BernieP

Resident PIA
.... continued
Domestic police forces would benefit from a similar change in strategy. Instead of relying on aggression, they should rely more on relationships. Rather than responding to a squatter call with guns raised, they should knock on the door and extend a hand. But unfortunately, my encounter with officers is just one in a stream of recent examples of police placing their own safety ahead of those they’re sworn to serve and protect.

Rhoads, the Fairfax County police lieutenant, was upfront about this mind-set. He explained that it was standard procedure to point guns at suspects in many cases to protect the lives of police officers. Their firearm rules were different from mine; they aimed not to kill but to intimidate. According to reporting by The Washington Post, those rules are established in police training, which often emphasizes a violent response over deescalation. Recruits spend an average of eight hours learning how to neutralize tense situations; they spend more than seven times as many hours at the weapons range.

Of course, officers’ safety is vital, and they’re entitled to defend themselves and the communities they serve. But they’re failing to see the connection between their aggressive postures and the hostility they’ve encountered in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and other communities. When you level assault rifles at protesters, you create animosity. When you kill an unarmed man on his own property while his hands are raised — as Fairfax County police did in 2013 — you sow distrust. And when you threaten to Taser a woman during a routine traffic stop (as happened to 28-year-old Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail this month), you cultivate a fear of police. This makes policing more dangerous for everyone.

I understood the risks of war when I enlisted as an infantryman. Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety can’t always come first. That is why it’s service. That’s why it’s sacrifice.
THoughts
 
C

Chuckt

Guest
.... continued


THoughts
I can show you the news reports in the news of police getting injured by criminals. My wife's uncle was bitten by someone he had to arrest and the man chipped the bone in his hand and he had to get antibiotics for months.

POLICE ID OFFICER WOUNDED IN SHOOTOUT WITH MURDER SUSPECT IN NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA
http://6abc.com/news/suspect-in-pregnant-womans-death-killed-officer-wounded-/871572/

Philly police ID officer shot in arrest raid

http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/philly-police-id-officer-shot-in-arrest-raid/zsJogx---859momYF1Ssd2/

Make sure you look at his victim in the second link. She was pregnant to someone we know.


Think of the war aspect of this all because in order for one side to win, they have to have better methods or be better armed. The British sent troops here so then the Colonists got guns. They got bayonets and then we get cannons and they brought their ships and we had to build our own ships. Where does it stop? Then they build tanks and aircraft and new stuff.


The police get a lot of recruits out of the military and then you basically have the militarization of the police force so when society is out of control and hurting police, you have the police trying to stay ahead and the thugs are trying to get one up.

Until society has no toleration for your next door neighbors acting like criminals, it won't stop. Until you teach right and wrong and until you teach absolutes it won't stop.

What is the consequences of wrong speech? You can go to google news and find church arsons in the news every month and it won't slow down until the old ones are burned and new churches are built according to the new building codes.

The consequences of wrong speech and there being no right and wrong means that there are no authorities because they hurt those in positions of respect.

Teach love and respect. Support jobs at home and a living wage. Bring taxes under control so that people can pay for health care and food.

The rich really are in control and they are Democrats and Republicans but since they tell you what the issues are, we think that being taken care of is for the poor when they aren't creating jobs and I'd rather have thugs focused on making a living because there was one.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
I call bull$hit on the scenario.
Based on....what, exactly?

I have to say that I'm skeptical the police would mount that kind/type of an effort in response to a complaint about a "squatter"....I'd more expect that to be something attended to by a couple regular duty patrolmen as a lower priority "we'll get out there when we can" kind of thing.
 
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Larry Gude

Strung Out
Police are OUT of Control ....
No. WE are out of control. WE chose to support a ####ed up war and all the stupid crap that came with it. WE chose to accept the idea of security over ALL, including liberty and freedom. WE chose to accept presumption of guilt and piss all over OUR Constitution. WE choose to just accept this insanity of destroying freedom in order to protect it.

WE are out of control. Cops are people, too and can #### up same as any of us. Or be a bad cop, same as any of us. That said, they work for US and WE demand security above freedom and liberty and this is what that looks like.

We are out of control.
 

Inkd

Active Member
Based on....what, exactly?

I have to say that I'm skeptical the police would mount that kind/type of an effort in response to a complaint about a "squatter"....I'd more expect that to be something attended to by a couple regular duty patrolmen as a lower priority "we'll get out there when we can" kind of thing.
Based on the fact that someone is woken up out of a sound sleep and can know that the officers "sped down the hallway to my bedroom, their service pistols drawn and leveled at me" He was "lying facedown in bed" yet he could almost admire 'their fluid sweep from the bedroom doorway to the distant corner. They stayed clear of one another’s lines of fire in case they needed to empty their Sig Sauer .40-caliber pistols into me."

Seriously, he was woken up out of a sound sleep, presumably after a night of drinking, and he was able to process all of that in an instant? Bull$hit. I'm not saying the cops didn't come in, I'm calling bull$hit on his writing style and agenda driven "writing".
 

LightRoasted

If I may ...
If I may ...

In 2014 over 1100 civilians were killed by police. So far in 2015, that number is over 500. I remember when one cop was all it took to subdue a homeless man without anyone being hurt or harmed. Now?!...... It takes half the police force and a scud missile to subdue a homeless broken down old drunk.......... They can capture a man alive after he blows away half a grade school with an arsenal of weapons but they can't handle a homeless man? They can capture a man after he kills people at a Batman movie but the homeless drunk?.... He's a home grown terror cell so we better blow him away. Get the picture? It's not just police are out of control, it's the system that supports it ... us.

Even if the fellow's story is not true, it represents and portrays actual events that happen everyday in this country at the hands of "law enforcement". You can see for yourself the attitude of "law enforcement" by the way they dress for patrols locally right here at home. Military style battle dress uniforms. Sidearms strapped to their thigh. Bullet proof vests worn over shirts. Booga booga booga. Bow down and fear is the message being sent. What we have now is basically at standing army right here. Respect has been replaced with animosity, contempt has replaced reverence, appreciation is all but gone, (except under the guise of public support). ie say one thing but to seem supportive so you're accepted but actually loath and fear to say what is needed for fear of retribution.
 

Inkd

Active Member
If I may ...

In 2014 over 1100 civilians were killed by police. So far in 2015, that number is over 500. I remember when one cop was all it took to subdue a homeless man without anyone being hurt or harmed. Now?!...... It takes half the police force and a scud missile to subdue a homeless broken down old drunk.......... They can capture a man alive after he blows away half a grade school with an arsenal of weapons but they can't handle a homeless man? They can capture a man after he kills people at a Batman movie but the homeless drunk?.... He's a home grown terror cell so we better blow him away. Get the picture? It's not just police are out of control, it's the system that supports it ... us.

Even if the fellow's story is not true, it represents and portrays actual events that happen everyday in this country at the hands of "law enforcement". You can see for yourself the attitude of "law enforcement" by the way they dress for patrols locally right here at home. Military style battle dress uniforms. Sidearms strapped to their thigh. Bullet proof vests worn over shirts. Booga booga booga. Bow down and fear is the message being sent. What we have now is basically at standing army right here. Respect has been replaced with animosity, contempt has replaced reverence, appreciation is all but gone, (except under the guise of public support). ie say one thing but to seem supportive so you're accepted but actually loath and fear to say what is needed for fear of retribution.

Just out of curiosity, out of the 1100 citizens killed, how many were actively participating in a crime at the time the were killed?

Here's a link to a site I'm surprised none of our regular Monday morning quarterback cop haters have ever posted.

http://www.killedbypolice.net/kbp2014.html
 

tblwdc

New Member
.... continued


THoughts
My thought is it is a nicely written flowery story about how he got drunk, passed out with the door open and people called the police to tell them a home was burglarized. The cops went into the unsecured reportedly unoccupied residence and found a person sleeping there. They conducted their investigation and found there was no crime and left.

Good job on the part of the cops!
 

tblwdc

New Member
Just out of curiosity, out of the 1100 citizens killed, how many were actively participating in a crime at the time the were killed?

Here's a link to a site I'm surprised none of our regular Monday morning quarterback cop haters have ever posted.

http://www.killedbypolice.net/kbp2014.html
I just pulled four at random and got four out of four.

DOLTON, Ill. (WLS) --
A man fatally shot by Dolton police after a car chase Saturday night has been identified as 22-year-old Maclolm Franklin, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Franklin was shot after a police chase that ended on the 500-block of East Sibley Saturday night. Eyewitnesses said that after the chase, two men jumped out of the car and began shooting at police officers. The officers returned fire and fatally shot Franklin. He was pronounced at the scene.

One officer was taken to St. Margaret's Hospital in Hammond, Ill., but he was not injured, just shaken up, officials say.

Dolton police have not yet said why they were pursuing the car.

Witnesses indicated that an adult male subject had been at the gas station for several hours before police were called. Witnesses said during that time the subject was behaving erratically which they described as throwing outdoor furniture, striking a nearby fence with a metal object, and yelling obscenities and screaming. At one point the suspect went to the area of the gas pumps where a woman was pumping gasoline into her vehicle that was occupied by her young children.
Witnesses said the suspect removed the gas nozzle from the fuel filler on the woman’s vehicle and poured gasoline on the ground and on the woman’s pants and attempted to ignite the gasoline with a lighter. Shortly thereafter the officer arrived. Witnesses said the officer confronted the suspect who was armed with what some witnesses describe as a u-shaped bicycle lock and others describe as a black metal object and ordered the suspect to the ground. Witnesses said the suspect ignored the officer’s commands and rapidly approached the officer. Witnesses said the officer fired one shot when the suspect was within five to ten feet of the officer. The suspect went to the ground and medical aid was summoned to the scene.

A man who led Lexington police on a chase into Madison County died after an exchange of gunfire on the Eastern Bypass in Richmond Saturday night.

Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats said the deputy involved had been called out to help when deputies were having trouble with a suspect at a home on Hillside Drive.
"The suspect was armed with a knife and a bat, and came at the officer," Moats said.
The officer shot the suspect, who died at the scene, according to Sheri Lang of the GBI.
The suspect was identified as 18-year-old Levi Weaver.
 
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