Appeals Court To Cops: If You 'Don't Have Time' For 'Constitutional Bullshit,' You Don't Get Immunity

from the they're-rights,-not-privileges dept

A disabled vet with PTSD accidentally called a suicide prevention hotline when intending to dial the Veterans Crisis Line. Within hours, he was dealing with DC Metro's finest, dispatched to handle an attempted suicide. This brief quote from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals opinion [PDF] -- part of veteran Matthew Corrigan's first conversation with responding officers -- sets the tone for the next several hours of Constitutional violations.

The officer who had asked for his key told him: “I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit. We’re going to break down your door. You’re going to have to pay for a new door.” Corrigan Dep. 94:15–18. Corrigan responded, “It looks like I’m paying for a new door, then. I’m not giving you consent to go into my place.” Id. 94:19–21.

This is as much respect as the responding officers had for Corrigan's Constitutional rights. The rest of the opinion shows how they handled the supposed suicide case with the same level of care.

The opening of the opinion recounts just how dangerous it is to talk to nearly anyone linked to the government about your personal problems.

Matthew Corrigan is an Army Reservist and an Iraq war veteran who, in February 2010, was also an employee of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the night of February 2, 2010, suffering from sleep deprivation, he inadvertently phoned the National Suicide Hotline when dialing a number he thought to be a Veterans Crisis Line. When he told the Hotline volunteer that he was a veteran diagnosed with PTSD, she asked whether he had been drinking or using drugs and whether he owned guns. Corrigan assured her that he was only using his prescribed medication and was not under the influence of any illicit drugs or alcohol; he admitted that he owned guns. The volunteer told him to “put [the guns] down,” and Corrigan responded, “That’s crazy, I don’t have them out.” Corrigan Dep. 56:2–5.

Despite Corrigan’s assurances that his guns were safely stored, the volunteer repeatedly asked him to tell her “the guns are down.” Id. 56:2–14. When asked if he intended to hurt himself or if he intended to “harm others,” he responded “no” to both questions. Id. 69:6–18. Frustrated, Corrigan eventually hung up and turned off his phone, took his prescribed medication, and went to sleep. Id. 56:10–14; 70:6–7. The Hotline volunteer proceeded to notify the MPD.

The MPD picked up the case, drawing in new hunches and "facts," picked up from the world's most direct game of Telephone.

At approximately 11:13 p.m., according to the February 9, 2010, Barricade Report from Lieutenant Glover to the MPD Chief of Police, officers from the MPD Fifth District were dispatched to Corrigan’s home for “Attempted Suicide.” Barricade Rpt. 1. Certain undisclosed “information” led them “to believe the subject was possibly armed with a shotgun.”

"Undisclosed" may as well mean "imaginary." The only thing relayed by the Hotline was that Corrigan owned guns. And owning guns is not the same as being armed with them, as Corrigan tried to make clear to the hotline operator. This wasn't the only thing the MPD imagined into existence to justify its Constitutional violations and destruction of Corrigan's home.

Upon arrival, the officers thought they detected a “strong odor” of natural gas and contacted the gas company, which turned off the gas to the row house.

Police officers have the best noses. The greatest. Perhaps the MPD should have spoken to someone who knew Corrigan and the place he lived FIRST.

[H]is landlady, upon being advised that the reason for the police presence was Corrigan’s attempted suicide, had insisted that was “outrageous” and repeatedly told the MPD officers that there was “a big misunderstanding” because she had known Corrigan for two years and had “never felt more comfortable with a neighbor in [her] life.” She had explained to the officers that Corrigan had guns because he was in the military and that his home had electric, not gas, appliances.

So, the police -- faced with a possible suicide intervention -- did what police do best: turned a neighborhood into a war zone and an "intervention" into a standoff where the police were the only willing participants.

The officers contacted Lieutenant Glover at home and he, in turn, gave orders to declare a “barricade situation...”

[...]

At 2:00 a.m., the ERT assumed tactical control of the situation. At 2:10 a.m., the MPD began to secure the perimeter around Corrigan’s home, including evacuating his neighbors.

Inside of this "barricade" was a sleeping war veteran. After being awakened by cops kicking at his front and back doors, Corrigan decided to retreat from the impending confrontation by moving to his bathroom and attempting to return to sleep. When it became apparent sleep wouldn't be an option, he checked his voicemail -- helpfully filled with demands of responding officers -- and placed a call to one of the MPD's "negotiators."

He told the officer he was coming out of the house, that he was unarmed, and that he would be carrying his cellphone in his left hand so it wouldn't be mistaken for a gun by trigger-happy suicide prevention "negotiators." He exited his house, locked the door behind him (both to keep his dog in and the MPD out), and laid down on his back. Police zip tied his hand and told them they only wanted to talk to him. He had committed no crime. Corrigan voluntarily agreed to check in at the Veteran's Hospital for PTSD treatment.

But he refused to give the "negotiators" permission to search his home. That's what triggered the "fuck you and your Constitution" outburst from the MPD's specially-trained suicide prevention unit. The MPD remained convinced Corrigan's house was loaded with IEDs, weapons, and whatever else they could dream up to justify their unconstitutional invasion.

After Corrigan was in MPD custody, Lieutenant Glover ordered the ERT, led by Sergeant Pope, to break in Corrigan’s home to search for “any human threats that remained or victims.”

Screw the Constitution. There might be any number of lives to be saved. How do we know this? Because the DC Metro Police firmly believes this is always the case in these situations, despite any information gathered that points to the contrary.

As a matter of course, Glover explained, if an ERT unit is called to a scene it goes inside 99.9% of the time, see id. 18:12-14, because “[s]tandard protocol” assumes “if there’s one [person inside] there’s two, if there’s two there’s three, if there’s three there’s four, and exponentially on up,” id. 13:18-21.

In the MPD's eyes, every individual is an army. With this being the MPD's "standard protocol," one wonders how it deals with the constant disappointment.

Upon breaking in Corrigan’s home, the ERT encountered only Corrigan’s dog; no one was found inside and no dangerous or illegal items were in plain view.

Frustrated by the lack of plain view dangerousness, the MPD decided to take it out on Corrigan's uncooperative residence. It did this five hours later and, again, without a warrant.

During the second MPD search, EOD officers cut open every zipped bag, dumped onto the floor the contents of every box and drawer, broke into locked boxes under the bed and in the closet, emptied shelves into piles in each room, and broke into locked boxes containing Corrigan’s three firearms.

But wait, there's more:

Upon returning home, Corrigan found his home in complete disarray: the police had left the contents of his bureau drawers and shelves scattered on the floor, his electric stove had been left on, and the front door of his home was left unlocked.

Recovered in the two unconstitutional searches were some weapons, smoke grenades, and fireworks. Corrigan's mistaken call to the wrong hotline resulted in the ten weapons and ammunition charges. That evidence has been suppressed. And because the Appeals Court doesn't find any of the MPD's actions remotely justifiable, the officers performing the searches will have to face Corrigan's lawsuit.

Even assuming, without deciding, that the initial “sweep” of Corrigan’s home by the MPD Emergency Response Team (“ERT”) was justified under the exigent circumstances and emergency aid exceptions to the warrant requirement, the second top-to-bottom search by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (“EOD”) after the MPD had been on the scene for several hours was not. The MPD had already secured the area and determined that no one else was inside Corrigan’s home and that there were no dangerous or illegal items in plain sight. Corrigan had previously surrendered peacefully to MPD custody. The information the MPD had about Corrigan — a U.S. Army veteran and reservist with no known criminal record — failed to provide an objectively reasonable basis for believing there was an exigent need to break in Corrigan’s home a second time to search for “hazardous materials,” whose presence was based on speculative hunches about vaguely described “military items” in a green duffel bag.

And assuming, without deciding, that the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement applies to a home, the scope of the second search far exceeded what that exception would allow. In the end, what the MPD would have the court hold is that Corrigan’s Army training with improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”), and the post traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) he suffers as a result of his military service — characteristics shared by countless veterans who have risked their lives for this country — could justify an extensive and destructive warrantless search of every drawer and container in his home. Neither the law nor the factual record can reasonably be read to support that sweeping conclusion.

Better yet, the "screw your Constitution" officers have had their immunity stripped.

Because it was (and is) clearly established that law enforcement officers must have an objectively reasonable basis for believing an exigency justifies a warrantless search of a home, and because no reasonable officer could have concluded such a basis existed for the second more intrusive search, the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity across the board.

"Objectively reasonable" is not a high bar. But the MPD never had any intent of reaching it. The officer's statement that there was "no time" for the Constitution made that very clear. The failure to find anything in plain view during the first sweep was treated as an excuse to turn a cooperative man's (cooperative except for consent to search) upside down until officers could find something to excuse their steamrolling of the Fourth Amendment. They figured what they uncovered would save them after the fact. That's the ends justifying the means and that's precisely what the Fourth Amendment is there to protect against.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 3:14pm

    Constitutional Bullshit

    "I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit."

    Can we just tattoo this phrase right on the faces of officers that say or do this shit? And when they scream for their "constitutional" rights regarding cruel or unusual punishment, how about we just tell them, you already said you didn't have time to play this constitutional bullshit!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 16 Nov 2016 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Constitutional Bullshit

      Well, the president of the U.S. also doesn't have time to play this constitutional bullshit and orders extrajudicial executions by armed drones.

      Can you blame the officers for getting the memo?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 6:40pm

        Re: Re: Constitutional Bullshit

        Yea, and both the past two administrations loved them some drones. Now neither side has any right to complain if Trump goes crazy too!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 16 Nov 2016 @ 6:51pm

        Re: Re: Constitutional Bullshit

        *ouch*
        Empire is above morality, beyond morality, in fact, amoral...
        Empire is a psychopath, and we are all enablers...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 5:29am

        Re: Re: Constitutional Bullshit

        That makes it right

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Michael Whitetail, 17 Nov 2016 @ 8:10am

        Re: Re: Constitutional Bullshit

        I want to make it abundantly clear that I am against drone strikes into sovereign countries without their knowledge or consent. Or for that matter the long-term incarceration of people who have not been convicted of any crimes whatsoever at Gitmo.

        With that having been said, we have to face the fact that the Constitution has observed (in these drone strikes, at least) as the NCA, using the rights granted by the War Powers act, has declared those persons as military combatants AND direct threats to National Security or the security interests of the United States.

        As the laws are currently written, this declaration makes the acts technically legal. We can hate that it's legal, we can strive to force Congress to change the laws, but we cannot in truth claim the incidents are unlawful.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 8:17am

        Re: Re: Constitutional Bullshit

        Well, the president of the U.S. also doesn't have time to play this constitutional bullshit and orders extrajudicial executions by armed drones.

        Not that I like it, but how is that a constitutional issue?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Hephaestus (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 9:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Constitutional Bullshit

          You are right, it is more like a war crime or terrorism. I mean if some foreign government flew drones over the US and blew up a couple hospitals that is what we would be calling it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 3:54am

      Re: Constitutional Bullshit

      "I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit."

      Says Theresa May when faced by the Judges opinion on parliamentary approval for Article 50. The Daily Mail and the Daily Express scream in wild support.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 3:15pm

    Prowreck and Screw

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jean, 16 Nov 2016 @ 3:52pm

    The suicide hotline ratted him out?

    Seriously? They need to be added to the suit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:02pm

      Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

      To be fair to the suicide hotline, they deal with all manner of people who are not in a communicative state of mind.

      He called them, accidentally or not, and said that 1) he had PTSD and was ex-military, 2) was on medication, and 3) had firearms.

      False alarm or not, anyone working at such a hotline should feel obligated to act on such a call. Not to mention that he only accidentally called the suicide hotline, but was genuinely trying for the Veteran's Crisis Line.

      No excuse whatsoever for the police, but the suicide hotline acted in a manner that I think should be expected of them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Groaker (profile), 16 Nov 2016 @ 5:29pm

        Re: Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

        To reply is one thing. To invade is another. Violating Constitutional rights is a tremendously serious step, which may only be taken under the most exigent of circumstances. Particularly that of a forced entry into a person's home. Especially when there was no evidence that a crime was committed or about to be committed. Except of course by the police. Their punishments should have been for solid felonies for home invasion and terrorism, not a mere civil judgment.

        Have you never heard of swatting? It is simply justified homicide to the DA. And responses like yours help to perpetuate such actions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

          Yes, except the suicide hotline has absolutely no power, ability or resources to do any of that?

          The hotline operator contacted the police about a potential suicide. The police took it far beyond any reasonable action.

          The actions of the police does not reflect on proper response from phone line operators.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        PRMan, 17 Nov 2016 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

        Lesson:

        Calling suicide hotlines is not safe and will make your problems 10× worse.

        Got it!

        Never calling a suicide hotline again, unless I need the cops to keep someone busy for a day or two....

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:02pm

      Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

      Actually, it sounds like the hotline did exactly what they were supposed to, unless they also passed on the "put the guns down" comment out of context.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 9:21am

        Re: Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

        I wouldn't say the hotline did exactly what they were supposed to do. It sounds like the person he was speaking to was slavishly following a script with all the 'put the guns down' stuff despite him saying that he didn't have them out. If they'd been doing their job correctly, the conversation probably would not have ended on a note that required them to call the police about someone at risk for a suicide.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:20am

      Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

      If they felt concerned and needed someone to check on him, that was the right thing to do. It's not their fault that American police officers are apparently incapable of talking to someone without trying to escalate it as far as possible toward violent confrontation and won't leave without an arrest.

      In most civilised countries, this would have been a polite 5 minute conversation followed by an apology for the misunderstanding. You can't blame a suicide hotline for uncivilised cops.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Stephen, 18 Nov 2016 @ 2:15am

        Re: Re: The suicide hotline ratted him out?

        "It's not their fault that American police officers are apparently incapable of talking to someone without trying to escalate it as far as possible toward violent confrontation and won't leave without an arrest."

        Anyone would think this was the first time US police officers escalated matters beyond all reasonable bounds.

        This latest example just goes to show that calling American police for ANY reason whatever is a BAD idea.

        At least Mr Corrigan isn't dead, an all-too-likely outcome nowadays when tangling with American police forces escalating an incident.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:02pm

    The only surprising thing about this...

    ...is that the cops didn't shoot his dog.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:04pm

      Re: The only surprising thing about this...

      It's a good thing his dog was well trained; it not only didn't attack anyone, but didn't attempt to run away when they left the door open.

      I still can't figure out why they turned the oven on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:22pm

        Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

        I still can't figure out why they turned the oven on.

        I've two theories on this:

        1. They were still hoping the electric oven would produce the claimed smell of gas with the chance of destroying his place via gassy fireball an added bonus, or

        2. To rack up a utility bill for the perp cough victim.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 7:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

          Or burn the house down to hide the ransaking

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          PRMan, 17 Nov 2016 @ 10:09am

          Re: Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

          Extra-judicial punishment, of course, for making them look like the idiots that they are.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Matt Corrigan, 6 Dec 2016 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

          It is possible the tried to move the stove and bumped the dial. We were all fortunate it did not start a fire as I did not return for almost a month.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Oblate (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

        Some electric stoves, when on, will cause the stove top to heat up hot enough to start a fire. The only possible reason I can think of why they left it on is they wanted to start a fire there (or possibly to show off their burning level of incompetence). A little bit surprised they weren't charged with attempted arson.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:57pm

        Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

        Dude, they were there for 5 hours. Do you expect them to go that long without eating?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ralph, 18 Nov 2016 @ 2:02am

        Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

        To reheat a donut

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 2:03am

        Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

        I still can't figure out why they turned the oven on.

        They made doughnuts.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Nightshade1972, 20 Nov 2016 @ 8:05pm

        Re: Re: The only surprising thing about this...

        "I still can't figure out why they turned the oven on."

        If they thought he had gas appliances, it's a nice cover to say "See? We had to break in, he was trying to kill himself!"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 8:03pm

      Re: The only surprising thing about this...

      It's unfortunate to think that this is immediately where my mind went when reading the article.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    ALL YOUR INTERNET IS BELONG TO ROBERT POULSON, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:12pm

    RCMP CANADA WANT WARRANTLESS ACCESS TO ISPS

    RCMP boss Bob Paulson says force needs warrantless access to ISP data to properly investigate

    WOW consideringthe current govt was SUPPOSED TO CURB BILLC51 it not only hasnt it looks like the intenet will be a freefor all for cops spying on granma and all your dirty lil poron habits meanwhile as yet NOT ONE CASE OF THIS TECH BEWING USED TO STOP TERRORISTS

    WHY CAUSE THEY ARENT AS STUPID AS THE RCMP THINK
    HECK EVEN BIKERS AND THE MOB LEARNED IT
    NO ONE DOING CRIME BUT RETARDS USES PHONES OR INTERNET

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:35pm

    Countdown

    Countdown to the union claiming this violates the officers' rights and the city should appeal the decision begins in three...two...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Éibhear, 16 Nov 2016 @ 4:36pm

    Back to school for them boys!

    'because “[s]tandard protocol” assumes “if there’s one [person inside] there’s two, if there’s two there’s three, if there’s three there’s four, and exponentially on up,”'

    Those guys need to go back to school. That a geometric progression, not exponential.

    The constitution is *waaaaaaaaay* to hard for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 11:13pm

      Re: Back to school for them boys!

      A geometric progression is where you repetedly multiply with a certain factor to get to new elements. It is either constant, exponential growth or exponential decay, each possibly alternating between positive and negative depending on the factor between two consecutive members.

      What they really described, is a linear progression with the common difference 1.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 6:16am

      Re: Back to school for them boys!

      Good job - you fail at math and grammar...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 6:17am

      Re: Back to school for them boys!

      I thought it sounded like some warped DR. Sues theory:
      One fish, two fish , red fish, explosive fish

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 5:30pm

    Searching for drugs

    I guess they were hoping to find drugs in the house. Then they could confiscate the stove, home contents, the guns, the house, the dog and probably the neighbours too. Drugs: The Excuse For Any Situation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 16 Nov 2016 @ 5:38pm

    911 is now what you call to have your minority neighbors shot and/or deported. Keep those calls coming White Folk!

    Trumps New American Rulebook

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 17 Nov 2016 @ 1:47am

      Re:

      It's too early to blame Trump for the U.S.A yet. Currently it is still by far more accurate to blame the U.S.A. for Trump.

      Fear the day when this changes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 5:59am

        Re: Re:

        "It's too early to blame Trump for the U.S.A yet."

        If you follow the Left's example in blaming Bush every time Obama failed at something; We would need to blame Obama for everything Trump does wrong until Trump leaves office, THEN we can blame Trump for whatever the next idiot does until they leave office...etc

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rasmus, 17 Nov 2016 @ 7:45am

      Re: Amen

      Amen brother!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 1:10pm

      Response to: AnonCow on Nov 16th, 2016 @ 5:38pm

      Interesting that you're trying to tie this into Trump when he hasn't even taken office yet. Better be careful you're letting your prejudices show...And yes, that is exactly what it is. Prejudice. Just because it's directed at something you don't like does not change the fact it is still prejudice.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2016 @ 6:44pm

    District court...Fail

    One of the facts that bothers me most -- other than the officers behavior -- is that this comes from the APPEALS court. The District court apparently found no problem with the violation of his constitutional rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Matt Corrigan (profile), 6 Dec 2016 @ 9:00am

      Re: District court...Fail

      The Appeals court first held that we were going to trial, then right before trial changed based on some recent 2015 Supreme Court rulings. That ruling is a very dense read...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bàn thí nghiệm (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:39am

    In the MPD's eyes, every individual is an army. With this being the MPD's "standard protocol," one wonders how it deals with the constant disappointment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:54am

    Are We Learning?

    Any communication with gov't agencies at any level may place your life at risk. Shoot your own dog.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Kal Zekdor (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 3:44am

    Disturbing

    This is one of the more disturbing stories that I've read in a long while... And, after this past election, that's really saying something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 5:02am

    Bad math

    "if there’s one [person inside] there’s two, if there’s two there’s three, if there’s three there’s four, and exponentially on up,”

    Uh... no.
    1 2 3 4 5, that there is an arithmetic progression.
    1 2 4 8 16, now we're talking geometric.
    2 4 16 256 65536, that's exponential!

    The main difference being the amount of time it takes to see that your argument is complete bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 5:32am

    So, the moral of the story is ...
    do not call the government

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Maughtner, 17 Nov 2016 @ 5:45am

    Good lord how disgusting

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Occams, 17 Nov 2016 @ 6:55am

    Sadly, NO VET' HAS 'RISKED HIS LIFE FOR THIS COUNTRY' since WW2.

    We are not under attack, never were, and ALL this phony and fraudulent 'war on terror' nonsense has led to people being used as cannon-fodder for US government/banker schemes, and 'Greater Israel', and to the Police State and THIS EXACT SCENARIO - or similar - being played out almost daily, across the country.

    ~ Occams

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Kal Zekdor (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      What are you talking about? He's a vet with PTSD. You don't get PTSD without trauma (hint: it's in the name), and trauma implies danger. Doesn't fucking matter whether we were at war at the time, or whether or not military action was the ideal course of action. He was serving his country, and his country ordered him into danger. Ergo, he risked his life for his country.

      If you want to criticize the elected officials involved in the "war on terror", I'm right there with you, but don't be dismissive of his or other vets' sacrifices. It's just disrespectful.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re:

        I think he's saying all those wars we've gotten into haven't protected the US or really done any good, thus the soldiers' efforts haven't been "for" the country. I'm not sure I agree and I certainly wouldn't phrase it that way, but I get what he's trying to say.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Kal Zekdor (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I get that, but it's still disrespectful to the troops. They didn't choose to get involved in the messes in Afghanistan/Iraq. They serve as directed, and it's not their fault how they were directed. Even many vets feel that Iraq, in particular, was bungled mess, but that's no reason to be dismissive of their personal sacrifices.

          Following orders under a failure of leadership is one of the hardest things that can be asked of soldiers, but it is important. We can't have the entire military deserting because they disagree with the leadership.

          Like I said, if you want to criticize the civilian leaders involved, please, be my guest. Just don't belittle the sacrifices made by those who bore more consequences from those decisions than anyone else in this country.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 7:16am

    The real irony is had he been suicidal, he wouldn't have been cooperative, and the police would have shot and killed him, and then their search wouldn't have been an issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    shawn, 17 Nov 2016 @ 7:40am

    Very surprised his dog wasn't killed. Officer safety and all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 8:50am

    Police State of America

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 9:13am

    From the responses and interactions the victim had, it sounds like he's one that believes in the government and puts trust in it.

    And then this episode comes along to disabuse him of that.

    The government is worried about ISIS turning people against it, when the police force is doing a much better job. Maybe they're jealous?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2016 @ 10:22am

    "I don't have time to defend my bullshit rights" - average citizen

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pete, 17 Nov 2016 @ 10:30am

    At least he's not...

    Had a suspicion so I did a google search. Confirmed: he's white. Lucky him. Had he been Black there'd be all sorts of character assassination attempts or at the very least rationalizations because some others who look like him may have done something in the past so he shouldn't expect anything better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Matt Corrigan (profile), 6 Dec 2016 @ 9:07am

      Re: At least he's not...

      Pete,
      You are absolutely correct. It has been almost 7 long years at this point. But if they did this to me with this finesse and ease, they do this to many others who cannot stand up for themselves. The Veterans the minorities and those with real mental health issues are overrun by these tactics with no resources to stand up for themselves. The Constitution are the rules by which I have served and fought for. That night those rules were not followed and I am grateful to use those rules to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Philly Bob, 17 Nov 2016 @ 12:55pm

    Sadly, Now his PTSD level has been raised exponentially...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 17 Nov 2016 @ 9:19pm

    Math Is Hard

    “if there’s one [person inside] there’s two, if there’s two there’s three, if there’s three there’s four, and exponentially on up,”

    er...incrementally. Alternatively

    “if there’s two[persons inside] there’s four, if there’s four there’s sixteen, if there’s sixteen there’s 256, and exponentially on up,”

    or, how about

    “if there’s one [person inside] there’s two, if there’s two there’s three, if there’s three there’s five, and Fibonacci on up,”

    or the primary option

    “if there’s one [person inside] there’s three, if there’s three there’s five, if there’s five there’s seven, and primes on up,”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 6:45am

    Comedy of errors gone wrong.

    I don't often defend the cops. But I can see some circumstances as to how this may have progressed, that make some of it understandable.

    First, we don't know all of the nature of the conversation that went on. But I expect the victem is likely to have been knucklehead towards the cops during at least part of this episode. So the description above doesn't account for the various "fuck you copper!", or equivolent outbursts during the process.

    Second, part of PTSD stems from the victem being so acclimated to high stress situations, that they feel more comfortable in them, than in regular daily life. Which is to say that there is a good chance that the cops were being antagonized. If they were, it is because the victem, was in a way, relieving his stress by making the overall situation more stressful. (It is a fucked up thing, but, yeah, that is sort of how it happens sometimes) The description of the guy trying to get some sleep while he was surrounded by cops, sounds a lot like that. He was just trying to cuddle up in his foxhole, because that's what felt normal.

    Third, the cops were right to be scared. If somebody like this goes way off the rails, it could go VERY bad. This guy may have not been as bad off as some, but there was no way for the cops to know the full extent of the situation until it is over.

    Fourth, the cops job in this circumstance is to see that the PERSON is brought into a way were they are unable to harm themselves or others. In terms of due process of the law, in this case a lot of the shit that went on might seem extreme. But in the case right before, or right after this one, their actions may have been exactly correct.

    Sometimes you do the wrong thing for the right reasons. And sometimes you don't get to know it was the wrong until afterwards. That is why doctrine changes.

    My hope, is that if the victem gets some therapy for a few years. After that he will probably end up visiting the police, apologizing and buying them a round a beers. Making a big faff out of this, may be an indicator that the guy still isn't recovered.

    The tragedy is that winning in court, may help convince him he doesn't need help. If that's the case, he will likely do something like this again, and it won't go as well next time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 7:02am

      Re: Comedy of errors gone wrong.

      First, you completely made all that up with no evidence at all. Second, absolutely none of it justifies the unconstitutional searches of his home in the slightest.

      >After that he will probably end up visiting the police, apologizing and buying them a round a beers.

      That is really messed up that you want the victim to apologize to the police who violated his rights.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re: Comedy of errors gone wrong.

        "First, you completely made all that up with no evidence at all."

        Which is why I said "may". The OP doesn't really reflect what happened at the scene, it reflects what happened in court.

        But I think it is fair to say that the guy didn't comply when first approached, and that the dialog in the OP and the attachment, doesn't really contain much about what the victem said. So yes I'm speculating, based on the guy having PTSD, being sleep deprived, and probably becoming agitated, (or perhaps even excited or happy, if that is how his PTSD manifests). And because this went as far as it did, I speculate that the guy is hard headed. So it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was shit said through the door that his mother wouldn't approve of.

        What's important, is that the guy gets help. I'm not saying what the cops did was right. I'm saying: the cops had imperfect information, and probably some experience dealing with situations that look a lot like this. So I can understand some of what they did.

        I'm also saying: mistakes made consciously, may not be mistakes to the subconscious mind. The guy may discover in therapy that his "accidental" call wasn't as accidental as he thought it was. And if that is the case, he may find himself understanding that he created some this conflict to fulfill a need that he wasn't consciously aware of. If that's the case, then yeah, I can see him trying to square himself with the other people involved.

        I'm not saying he "should" apologize, I'm saying he "might". The mind is a funny thing. American culture celebrates the anhilation of self awareness. Maintaining self awareness is even more difficult when your fucked up from trauma.

        So I feel for the guy. But I also feel for the cops. They _may_ be complete dicks. I don't know, I never met them. But the way I read the story they may be victems too. I don't know either case to be true, but I don't discount the possibility.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 18 Nov 2016 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Comedy of errors gone wrong.

          They may be complete dicks.

          They certainly acted like complete dicks, by trashing his apartment for no good reason. Remember, the judge said no reasonable officer could have decided to do what they did.

          But the way I read the story they may be victems [sic] too.

          Victims of WHAT?? In what way could you possibly see the cops in this story being victimized?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Nov 2016 @ 10:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Comedy of errors gone wrong.

            Maybe the guy was holding a mobile phone, a TV remote or a walking stick, which the officers mistook for a loaded weapon and instantly feared for their lives, rendering them incapable of rational thought or adult function.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2016 @ 1:57pm

      Re: Comedy of errors gone wrong.

      Upon returning home, Corrigan found his home in complete disarray: the police had left the contents of his bureau drawers and shelves scattered on the floor, his electric stove had been left on, and the front door of his home was left unlocked.

      My hope, is that if the victem gets some therapy for a few years. After that he will probably end up visiting the police, apologizing and buying them a round a beers.

      Yes, I'm sure he's up for buying a few beers for some assholes who had no respect for his property, left the door unlocked, and the stove on. (still trying to figure that one out, especially since they were concerned earlier about a gas leak)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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