The Phaserl


Cops Had Time For Food But Not a Warrant Before Tear Gassing and Sniping Suicidal Man

by Amanda Warren, Activist Post:

A judge ponders 4th Amendment rights…

Even a 6th Circuit judge is questioning the story of a SWAT-style raid whose legion said they didn’t have the time to get a warrant before engaging in a brutal, 12-hour stand-off with a suicidal man in Interlochen, Michigan. But the Circuit noted that they apparently had time to get snacks and beverages. This unfortunate case shines light on lesser-known practices during raids that happen on persons in distress.

This incident, which happened November 2007, has bounced around quite a bit in the court system until finally receiving some scrutiny in the 6th Circuit.

The family of Craig Carlson called Grand Traverse County police department because Carlson was threatening to kill himself. The family did tell the police that Carlson had arms and was alone in his home. Indeed, that information would be insightful in any instance of trying to help someone. Do you think 60 police officers could handle that? Because that’s how many descended on Carlson at around 9 pm. Carlson would not leave his home.

Courthouse News reports:

He fired one shot into the woods shortly after 10 p.m., but it is unclear if he was aware of the police presence near his property at that time or if he was just trying to get attention, according to court records.

In the morning, after attempts at negotiation failed, the police broke the windows and flooded the house with tear gas, but Carlson still would not leave. When he finally reacted, hours later, he began shouting and threatening the officers in his yard.

A sniper soon shot and killed Carlson, believing that Carlson was about to shoot an officer. During the entire 12-hour standoff, the police never obtained a warrant to permit them to use tear gas on the house, or enter it to seize Carlson, court records show.

One tired excuse used in tragedies like this is “exigent circumstance.” The 6th Circuit found that this was not one of those times, given that “the officers had time to call for coffee and snacks.”

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