Los Angeles County Sheriff's sued for $50 million for killing 80-year-old man in "meth raid" that found no meth


#1

[Permalink]


#2

Why did they have to sue? Shouldn't murder charges be brought against the shooter? Last I checked it was legal to defend your home from invaders. Without being served a warrant, Pate had no idea who was entering his home. Since the no knock warrant was invalid, the police illegally entered Pates home and murdered him.
BTW how much marijuana was found that the police believe it justified a botched raid? Also, doesn't a warrant have to list exactly what is being searched for? If marijuana justified the warrant, what did it specify? "illegal things"?


#3

even law-and-order types should be concerned with reckless and murderous police tactics that lead to innocent citizens' deaths, because they can be expensive for local governments (that is, for local taxpayers) when aggrieved citizens fight back their only legal way: with lawsuits.

Meh, they'll just grab a bunch of money in some more bogus drug raids.

/bitter snark


#4

There are several reasons to seek damages. For one, that man's family deserves some kind of compensation for the way they were wronged. For another, punitive damages might help prompt the Sheriff's department* to change their tactics in the future. This case wasn't a matter of one murderous cop going rogue, it's a matter of several cops acting on standing policy.

*Yes, it's ultimately the taxpayer's money. But taxpayers and government officials are more likely to demand change and fire some bad cops when they get hit in the pocketbook.


#5

If not pot, they would have found some other justification. When have you ever heard about the first words from a police dept, after such a tragedy, being, "We made gross errors in judgment and execution, no one should have been shot, this man's home shouldn't have been raided. We deeply regret our actions"?


#6

The Whitmore in the quote below is a spokes-thug for the law-enforcement themed gang that committed the murder.

“Age does not preclude somebody from being aggressive toward
deputies,” Whitmore said. “The lesson here is… don’t pull a gun on a
deputy.”

Read more:


#7

Even if they lose the $50 Million lawsuit, the unequivocal apology you proposed would categorically NEVER be issued.


#8

I think you cut out the best(?) part of that statement:

Blockquote “The lesson here is, and obviously forgive me for stating the obvious, but don’t pull a gun on a deputy.”

This guy is the spokesman for a city of 12+ million people? Obviously.


#9

This time it was actually the Sheriff's department, not the LAPD. The shooting took place in L.A. county (which is pretty huge) near the City of Palmdale.


#10

If finding marijuana constitutes a drug operation,
Does finding a 6pack of beer constitute a moonshining operation?
Does finding a socket wrench set constitute a chop shop operation?
Does finding a gun constitute an arms dealing operation?


#11

Part of the settlement will be that the PD/sheriff dept admits no wrong-doing. No one sincerely apologizes anymore. It's a lost art and a loss for humanity.


#12

Ah--thanks for the clarification. I'll skip my related rant about how I see communication being driven to ever loftier heights of rhetoric resulting in an indirectly proportional value of meaning. "Beautiful" or "True" just doesn't suffice anymore--it's gotta have a "very" tacked on for that extra oomph.


#13

If they need it to, Yes


#14

“There was a drug operation that was certainly going on in this house,”

Rad spin, Sheriff PR guy. Man, LA County/City are dead broke right now. Any time a lawsuit like this is won against the cops they should fire the Sheriff/Chief.

Better yet, do the obvious and legalize/tax drugs. End this kind of raid activity AND make more money. Double problem solved.


#15

But don't a lot of depts make money on raids by confiscating property and then auctioning it off? There's money to be made in them thar raids, going directly into the budget of LE agencies and not just into a general tax which covers school and municipal budgets.


#16

Man they hire some incompetent mother fuckers.


#17

It sounds like they comitted a home invasion and gunned down an innocent man without setting any accidental fires, crushing nearby vehicles with their SWAT APC, or having to bring in automatic weapons. Unfortunately, that places them above the bottom of the ladder when it comes to competence...


#18

the widow said “He would never point a gun at officers,”

sorry for her loss but thats not exactly good evidence to base a lawsuit on. If the widow can prove that he did not point a gun at the officers then maybe


#19

Why would she necessarily have to prove that? It would certainly help; but in any jurisdiction where use of deadly force is permitted to defend yourself from imminent and not otherwise escapable harm, pointing a gun at people who break down your door by surprise at some ghastly hour is an entirely legal (indeed, frequently valorized) activity.

Conducting a no-knock raid (and on such dreadfully flimsy "evidence" no less, is deliberately and knowingly creating a volatile and potentially lethal situation in a way that just knocking on the guy's door, or calling him and telling him to come outside, or hailing him with a loudspeaker, or about a zillion other not-terribly-difficult approaches aren't.

Cop-immunity is a hell of a drug, so it wouldn't surprise me if they get off with a slap on the wrist; but that doesn't change the fact that the cops knowingly and deliberately created a situation indistinguishable from armed home invasion(because, for the most part, it was...). The resident doesn't have any special duty to not self-defend because the gunmen he can probably barely see might be cops rather than robbers, and it's the cops who knew full well, before they went in, that their behavior was virtually certain to trigger a self-defense response in anyone who has one (that's why they always bring the flashbangs, body armor, and overwhelming force to the no-knock raids).

As noted, it would certainly help their jury-appeal if evidence turns up that they just pumped a harmless old guy full of bullets; but the police conduct in that situation would still be deplorable even if (by some probabilistic quirk) the victim had managed to terminate the entire raid team without taking a scratch.


#20

if the old guy did point a gun or something that looks like a gun to the officers then self defence applies and the officers are not guilty of homicide, and this only applies to the killing of the poor old guy. The issue of how the raid was conducted is a separate issue.

Maybe the raid was invalid in the first place, maybe the raid should have been conducted with the officers yelling POLICE!!!. I dont know but its a separate issue