Introduction to the Shooting Sports

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In the effort to promote responsible gun ownership and rights awareness, I make the following open offer to any resident or visitor in the Evansville, IN area:

If you have never shot a gun and would like to try, I am willing to take you shooting free of charge. I will provide the firearms, ammunition, eye/ear protection and I will cover your range fees. I guarantee if you are on the fence about gun ownership and usage, you will not be at the end of the session. You will have fun and learn a little in the process.

Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to meet at one or the other!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ryan Frederick Verdict Announced

Sailorcut over at Captain of a Crew of One has been following the Ryan Frederick case, and the verdict was announced yesterday.  For those of you who haven't been following case, or don't even know about it, Ryan Frederick is the man who stood accused of murdering a police officer when the cops broke down his door as part of a drug raid.

As far as I've been able to tell, and I wasn't there, so this is all after the fact, a confidential informant told the cops that Ryan Frederick was growning marijuana in his house.  The cops got a judge to sign a search warrant, and the raided Ryan's house.  Supposedly Ryan was asleep in the back room when his dogs woke him up.  Ryan grabbed a pistol and when he saw the front door of his house being broken in, he shot through the door killing one of the detectives attempting to serve the warrant.

While I absolutely believe that it was a tragedy that Detective Jarrod Shivers lost his life in the process of doing his job, I think the responsiblity for the situation that caused him to lose his life should be carried soley by the police department.  Please don't misunderstand me, I think that police officers do a very dangerous and very stressful jobs, and I am proud to call some of them my friends.  That being said, as a general rule, police departments in this country are getting more and more militarized, and have more and more an opinion of "us and them."

As a factor of that militization of the police deparments, more and more SWAT teams have been formed.  Now with budgets being tightened, departments are attempting to keep their teams active, because the taxpayers don't want to pay for the units if they aren't being used.  This actually leads to SWAT teams being used for routine warrants and other incidents that do not require the use of a SWAT team.

SWAT teams often use a dynamic entry method, which leads to incidents like the one that cost Jarrod Shivers his life, and has now cost Ryan Fredericks his freedom.  To compound the problem, there numerous incidents of police going to the wrong address, and invading the home of an innocent person.

I'll say that I think Ryan should have been found guilty of the marijuana posession charge, then again, I don't exactly agree with the War on Some Drugs.  That being said, I hope he appeals the involutary manslaughter charges, and is acquitted.


Sailorcurt said...

Thanks for the link(s).

The excuse the police use for these raids is that they don't want the criminals to be able to get rid of the evidence while they are standing outside the door knocking politely.

In this case, Frederick was suspected of growing pot in his DETACHED garage.

How, exactly, do they suspect that he was going to destroy the evidence of a "sophisticated hydroponic grow operation" that wasn't even in the same building with him???

The "informant" that was the sole justification for the search warrant (they conducted NO investigation other than driving by the house a couple of times...during which they "noted no unusual activity") knew Frederick and had reason to be holding a grudge against him.

The informant was a known criminal under indictment on several charges. Frederick had no criminal record whatsoever, had a full time job and was well regarded in the neighborhood.

Finally, the information that the informant gave to Police was obtained by burglarizing Frederick's home a couple of days before...a fact that the Police knew at the time of the raid and may have even encouraged.

Part of the reason Frederick was on edge enough to be ready to defend himself when his door came crashing in was BECAUSE of the burglary a couple of nights before...that the police knew about, used illegally to obtain the search warrant, and may have even solicited.

Frederick is no angel. He admitted that he had been growing pot in his garage but had gotten rid of it after the burglary. However he denied ever selling it and, based on the size of his growing operation, it is implausible that this was anything more than someone growing pot for their own personal use.

The problem isn't that he was busted for possession, or that the police tried to bust him for his grow operation. I don't agree with prohibition, but that is the law and the Police are charged with enforcing it.

The problem is in how the police got the information they had, in how little investigating they did before the raid (none), and in the fact that they conducted a "raid" rather than just knocking on the door and waiting for Frederick to open it to serve the search warrant.

This was a Cluster Hump from the get-go. And this is a typical law enforcement operation. Most of the time they're right and the guy they bust is a we don't hear about it.

That doesn't make it right. We are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Breaking down one's door in the dark of night at the first sign of movement hardly seems like a presumption of innocence.

Anyway, sorry for rambling...thanks again for the links and for your interest in this story.

There is going to be an appeal so the link to Frederick's defense fund is going to stay up on my blog for the foreseeable future.

firefighter4884 said...

Thanks for setting it straight. I knew I was missing part of the details, and I appreciate the input.

It aggravates me in the worst way to see how some of the operations are conducted.

Travis said...

The prosecution desperately wanted Ryan Frederick convicted of some kind of crime. Prosecutors asked the jury to find him guilty of Capital Murder, if not that then First Degree Murder, or at least Murder. If not that then Voluntary Manslaughter. Ryan was convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter, meaning that the jury (according to the judges instructions) believed that he did not know that it was police officers breaking into his house.

Fredrick still got 10 years.

In police testimony; (not hard to look up on Google) Police claim they wanted Ryan to answer the door (as opposed to breaking it down). They were not in a hurry because the grow operation was in the garage, so no evidence to destroy. Yet police also testified that they only gave him 25 seconds to open the door (Ryan was asleep). Furthermore police had a code word which was to be shouted if anyone from the inside of the house discovered them. If discovered the police were to immediately break through the door.

Let me correct a few things that were said in a previous post. Ryan shot through the door. Yes and no. Ryan shot through a hole in the door that the police had made. In other words there is no bullet hole in the door. Minor point maybe.

Sailorcurt says, "Most of the time they're right (these raids by SWAT) and the guy they bust is a criminal."
Some of my reading suggests that these SWAT raids find nothing at all 30% of the time. When they do find guns and drugs the are small guns and small amounts of drugs. Mostly personal use amounts. Of the guns that are found, many are legal and are returned later.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the Security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.