13 responses

  1. DaveL
    March 16, 2017

    None of this explains why “breaching windows and doors” of a home to which officers had keys need involve ripping off or shattering said doors, nor why the legitimate presence of SWAT vehicles need entail destroying 90′ of fence, much less what purpose is served by knocking a wall off its foundations.

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    • Lou Hayes, Jr
      March 16, 2017

      Breaching windows is how you get the tear gas inside. Breaching doors is how you get robots inside, but also how you get a door open (and KEEP it open) so the cops can enter after a long delay. The breaching of both windows and doors allows for perimeter officers to see inside & locate the hiding man. The fence *might* be damaged so officers could safely approach the home to drop the robot at the threshold of the rear door. (I say might because I wasn’t there.)

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      • DaveL
        March 16, 2017

        You do not establish why it should be necessary to rip a door off in order to open it. “That’s how you do it” is not a justification. Nor is it any explanation to claim that breeching allows officers to see inside, seeing as how glass is transparent. The same applies to doors which are merely open, as opposed to destroyed.

        90′ of fence to deploy a robot? How big is this robot? And what’s the point of it if it’s so immobile it has to be dropped off at the doorstep?

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      • Lou Hayes, Jr
        March 16, 2017

        Window glare. It’s possible the doors were breached from an extended boom on an armored vehicle. And getting the robot deployment team up to the house might have required driving the armored truck over a fence. Remember, confronting what cops believe to be an armed man results in that man being shot…& probably killed.

        Reply

  2. Brad
    March 16, 2017

    DaveL brings up some good points.

    Moving past that tho, even assuming that there were sound tactical reasons for all the damage, I think it would lead to better outcomes if police were required to pay for damage to property in these situations. Hope that courts will someday re-visit Takings Clause and/or 3A jurisprudence in this context and find a right to fair compensation.

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    • Lou Hayes, Jr
      March 16, 2017

      Most departments/cities/counties do pay for damages to (and/or cleanup of) the property of innocent third parties.

      Reply

  3. Rick
    March 16, 2017

    55 vehicles? Seriously? That means at least 55 people and I assume more since SWAT teams usually arrive in one truck. A rural house with no near neighbors, the house surrounded, no possible way for the guy to escape and keys to the house. Two or 3 cops stationed there could have waited the guy out with no damage. But, that wouldn’t give the cops a chance to try out their new toys and techniques. Bust a wall or fence down? Sure, no consequences for them. This kind of stuff is stupid!

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    • Lou Hayes, Jr
      March 16, 2017

      The concept of the bread truck where all the SWAT members arrive is pretty much isolated to 1970s television shows. That rarely happens in American policing. Genuinely curious…how long are the two or three cops supposed to wait this guy out? What is the guy barricading while he’s inside the house? What else is he finding inside the home? (I could wait out the cops for a few days in my house. And these homeowners were farmers – who typically have extra rations on hand.)

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  4. SCG
    March 16, 2017

    That is an appalling amount of damage! Sweet weeping baby Jesus, calling the police for assistance in no way means I or anyone else finds the complete destruction of private property acceptable.

    Two SWAT teams?? No. Just no, stop trying to explain the inexplicable…

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    • Lou Hayes, Jr
      March 16, 2017

      If you tally up actual financial damages, it’s a whole lot less expensive that the defense attorney fees for a lawsuit for killing a man.

      Clovis’ SWAT team was called in for relief – as in backing up the first Fresno team. Good team leaders and incident commanders take into account the fatigue of their officers. Fatigue is extremely accelerated in these sorts of high stress events, but I’ll save the lessons on human physiological & hormonal adaptions to stress for another day…

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  5. Lou Hayes, Jr.
    March 16, 2017

    Window glare. It’s possible the doors were breached from an extended boom on an armored vehicle. And getting the robot deployment team up to the house might have required driving the armored truck over a fence. Remember, confronting what cops believe to be an armed man results in that man being shot…& probably killed.

    Reply

  6. DaveL
    March 16, 2017

    Again, why bother with a robot at all of you need to bring it all the way up to where it needs to be? Again, 90′ of fence? Not 15′, not 20′, but 90′?

    Sure it’s possible they breached the doors with an armored vehicle – but why? It’s clear from the complaint and news articles they weren’t treating the scene as if they were afraid of gunfire from the house: civilians walking up the driveway, walking in through the garage, a couple construction workers chilling in the field next door.

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  7. BG
    March 20, 2017

    Both sides of this argument tacitly accept the premise that it was necessary for LE to “do something” to accelerate resolution of the standoff, and then debate the relative merits of the tactics used. The decision to “do something” is the proximate cause of all damage to the home (and would have been the proximate cause of any casualties if the suspect was forced to exit the home but did not want to surrender).

    The boring but safer, cheaper and easier alternative is: do nothing. It is a rural home. Set up a perimeter and wait him out. Cut off the electricity and wait. Eventually it will come to a very boring end. He will fall asleep at some point. Or he will get bored at some point and surrender. Or he will kill himself if that is what he has decided to do. In any case, LE is safe, LE does not destroy the home, resources are not wasted. The suspect is probably in a calmer state of mind and more likely to just give up if he is only looking out the window at 10 police officers 500ft away, instead of worrying about robots and helicopters and flashbangs. Does LE prefer dealing with calm armed suspects or jumpy/paranoid armed suspects?

    There is no reason for LE to force a standoff to end in a bang if it can end in a whimper.

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