Tucson SWAT Team Kills Armed Homeowner in Drug Raid

[Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is trying to track every death directly attributable to drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at psmith@drcnet.org.]

The Pima County SWAT team is under the spotlight. (Image courtesy Pima County Sheriff's Office)
In a mid-morning drug raid May 5, a Pima County SWAT team executing a search warrant shot and killed a 26-year-old Afghan and Iraq war veteran after he confronted the intruders with a weapon in his hand. Jose Guerena become the 27th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. (Actually, he was the 25th, but the Pima County Sheriff's office has been so dilatory in releasing information that we logged two more drug war deaths before we were able add this one to the list.)

According to the initial police account, when SWAT officers broke down the door of Guerena's home, which he shared with his wife and young child, he confronted them and opened fire. "The adult male had a long rifle, opened fire on the SWAT team. The SWAT team returned fire and the male is pronounced deceased. The woman and the child are unharmed," said Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ogan.

Six days later, police admitted that while Guerena, a former Marine, was holding an AR-15 assault rifle, the safety was on and he had not fired it. They also admitted that SWAT officers fired 71 rounds at Guerena in seven seconds. It was also later reported that even though Guerena's wife called 911 as soon as he was shot and that EMTs arrived two minutes later, deputies never allowed them to treat Guerena, citing security concerns. (Recall that in the Jared Loughner mass killing in Tucson earlier this year, EMTs were allowed to treat the wounded in a matter of minutes despite the chaos of that scene.)

In an interview with KGUN9-TV, Guerena's wife, Vanessa, explained that her husband had worked the night shift at his job at a mine and been asleep only a couple of hours when the raiders arrived. When she saw armed men in her house pointing guns at her, she said, "Please don't shoot, I have a baby... and I yell 'Jose! Jose! Wake up!'"

The SWAT team didn't identify itself before breaking in her door and entering her home, Guerena said. "You're saying [they] only yelled SWAT after the shootout?" KGUN9asked. "Oh, yes! Yes," said Guerena.

Her husband grabbed a gun to protect himself from what he thought were home invaders, she said.

Police said Guerena's home was one of four targeted in simultaneous raids and that a large amount of cash was found in one of them. It wasn't Guerena's. All they have said about what they found there was that it was "evidence pertinent to the case."

But at a Wednesday memorial service for the veteran of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, an attorney retained by his family, Christopher Scileppi, told FOX11-TV that Guerena was not part of any drug conspiracy. "What I do know is that they collected phones, computers the family has conveyed to me that they're confident that there is nothing that will be of inculpatory incriminating information," said Scileppi.

No lawsuit has yet been filed, but Scileppi is laying the groundwork. "We'll be sending our investigators out to find out what the neighbors saw, what mutual observers saw because this was obviously a big deal certainly to the Pima County sheriff's office," he said.

Tucson, AZ
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Ruthless Police State.

Ruthless Police State. That's what this country has become. No one is safe from the "Shoot first,ask questions later" policy of the Federal and State Police forces. To me it looks a lot like Bahrain, Syria, and Yemin, only on a smaller scale for now. Jose Guerena, an American Veteran of 2 wars, squashed like a bug and left to bleed out. So wrong on a major scale. Being a Vet myself,I dread the day when the swat team will knock down my door and kill me. Land of the free,what a joke.

Sad

This is really sad.

This is our government not doing its homework.

Shoot first then ask questions? Is that there motto?

I think all these police officers should lose there job, lock them up in jail.

They yelled SWAT after the shootout

Re; "The SWAT team didn't identify itself before breaking in her door and entering her home, Guerena said. "You're saying only (they) yelled SWAT after the shootout?" KGUN9asked. "Oh, yes! Yes," said Guerena."

Was he supposed to not do anything if they yelled SWAT before the shootout?

If so, this means that bandits can yell swat and the homeowner is not to do anything to protect his family.

"Hey lets yell swat. Then we can rape the woman in front of her husband!"

Obviously a Justified Shooting

 

 

My prediction: after the SWAT team is investigated by their fellow officers, the shooting will be declared justified.

I agree.

I agree.

Shoot to kill drug busts

71 shots and his safety wasn't even off? Seriously? I too agree that these murderers will get off scott free. It makes me sick. We have serial criminals in our Congress and the cops are out here killing citizens over pot? When will the true thugs (Republicans) and murderers (cops) start getting held accountable? This is not the country I learned about in my history and government classes. This is some third world dictatorship, where they can come into your homes without knocking and shoot you or your family or your pets dead and there isn't anything you can do. Sue? Yeah, good luck with our right wing nincompoop judges.

Drew B's picture

PTS

If the poor guy didn't have Post Traumatic Stress issues from being in so many wars, it sure seems like they were trying to give it to him.

Instead they decided to ensure his family gets it and will wake up in terror every time something goes bump in the night.

Seriously ill people run our institutions!

"What he thought were home invaders"?

LEAP, meanwhile, is holding a vigil to honor police officers killed enforcing drug laws . . .

SWAT

That's akin to honoring German Soldiers for rounding up Jews.

Hey!  They were just following orders.

My sentiments

exactly.  I used to support LEAP, as I thought they were our best hope to end prohibition.  But somehow I don't think supporting the drug war is the way to end prohibition.  Once a cop, always a cop, I guess.

LEAP

LEAP does NOT support the drug war! They've fought hard and continue to fight trying to STOP the drug war! Yes, they support their fellow officers, but they also contend that those officers are being used in the Drug War, and are conditioned/brainwashed, and they themselves don't get anything like the truth. They tell people what a waste of dedicated lives the deaths of police officers are when they're killed enforcing these worse-than-useless Drug War laws. The needless deaths of citizens are another thing they continually point out as more reason to legalize drugs, then tax and control them that way, just as we do alcohol.

 

When you start badmouthing LEAP like this, you've misread or misinterpreted something somewhere!I


an 

I wanted to add that you

I wanted to add that you should go to the LEAP homepage and read a little. These people are about as anti-Drug War as it gets, and they're seriously dedicated!

 

Ian MacLeod

1940 Poland

American citizens need not be concerned about being raided and murdered by drug gangs. What Americans need to be concerned about is being raided and murdered by local law enforcement. The picture that accompanies this story  looks like a picture of soldiers from Vietnam. When you militarize law enforcement and send them out at 3 in the morning to serve questionable warrants, this is the end result. Hopefully these crooked cops will see their unit abolished just as Atlanta saw their Red Dog unit get crushed for similar atrocities. What did Pres. Obama say about the country not waging a drug war anymore? 

More

Victims , a child a young mother ,a mother , a father , and who knows  if he had any siblings . This is a War against every citizen in the country , no the World If you didn't notice the picture look again these Police are not police they are soldiers highly trained and very deadly . Sure we should have people like this in case of emergency;s but to go out and raid some one's home ? why not just arrest them when they are driving home from work , if they are part of some big investigation surely they have been under surveillance for a day or too ? naw no drama ! lets kill the poor sleeping criminal , Opp's I'm sorry veteran  . Who the *//*** is in charge of these Troops and how long are they going to run rampant thru our World ? Who will raise this fatherless child  and who will pay for this horrible mistake not the shooters.

Speculators

 

 

So just because Guerena said says they didn’t yell SWAT, means that’s the fact?

 

Our Law Enforcement Officers are paid to fight crime, not take on innocent people. They are highly trained people who do their research prior to acting.

 

IF someone is pointing a shotgun at you, do you think you would feel that you were going to be shot at? Are you going to ask if the gun is loaded or the safety switch is on prior to being shot?

 

 

Read ARS 13-405 : 13-405. Justification; use of deadly physical force

 

2. When and to the degree a reasonable person would believe that deadly physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly physical force.

 

Just because the guy served in the military, and Iraq, doesn’t mean that he is innocent.

 

Just because they have children and she denies or is unaware of any criminal activity doesn’t mean there was not any.

 

If you were not there then don’t put facts into the scene as if you were, just by hearsay.

Nice bootlicking

What you fail to realize is that the problem is with the "no-knock" and "dynamic entry" tactics employed. Whether people are guilty or not, some will take action to defend their home when they hear their door kicked in not knowing it is the police (myself included).

The other related problem is the immunity that police officers enjoy. Make them liable like every other citizen and these things will occur less.

And how about the disparate show of force for a nonviolent crime? And the proliferation of SWAT deployments?

Facts

The sheriffs dept said initially that the Marine had fired...which was changed to he never fired was pointing his weapon with the weapon on safe at men who had just broken down his door in the kneeling position...last time I checked when a room is cleared...5 guys don't just stand in the door way...highly trained law enforcement...a joke.

    if u are so sure about

    if u are so sure about highly trained officer's,  would u mind explaining the 71 round fired!  A highly trained officer would be able to process information rapidly and able to determine whether to fire or not..  Jose guerena,  a highly trained marine was able to withhold from firing!  highly trained doesn't mean pulling the trigger for 7 seconds.  think to yourself 7 seconds is a long time.  one shot is all it takes!!!

You are one sorry sack of

You are one sorry sack of sh*t. Apparently you are a very strong supporter of cops murdering innocent people. You claim they always do their homework and are very professional. You are dead wrong there. Many, many mistakes have happened over the years. Cops have raided wrong houses and have killed innocent people on numerous occasions. It would have been better if the victim had 20 soldiers living in his home so they could kill the bastards who broke down the door and illegally invaded his home.

How about the poor guy who was murdered when the cops broke into his home and found him holding a golf club? I imagine you'd say they had the right to kill him because they couldn't know if the safety was on or not and didn't know if he would actually shoot one of them with the golf club.

Again, you are a very sorry sack of sh*t. Go back to living under that rock.

Have some dignity and respect for a fallen soldier...

Evidently, the person that wrote this article has no clue what it is to be a SOLDIER, weather you are ARMY,  MARINE,  NAVY OR AIRFORCE, you served to make a your country for the freedom that we all seek. 

From what I have always believed "YOU ARE INNOCENT, until proven guilty"

Just because he served in IRAK, he deserved to be treated like a VETERAN.  Those cowardly DOGS that killed him shall forever remember the day that they KILLED a "family". 

I owe my life to the many Marines that fought the front line in Vietnam before I got there.  They were the ones that cleared the field for me to guard.  MARINES LIVE FOREVER!  LONG LIVE THE MARINE CORPS.

Response to Speculators

If they're so highly trained and do their research, why the hell did they not know that the mother and child were at home, eh?  If someone comes charging through your door, I guess you'll just let them have their way with you and your family.  You think he got shot because he had a gun?  How about the guy that got shot to death because he was holding a golf club?  There's something seriously wrong with the system when cops can get away with or at worst lose their jobs for doing things that the rest of the population would spend years in jail for.

Cops gone wild

asshole- 71 rounds!!!! Really. These brave cops were scared shitless!

Explain to me then, why

Explain to me then, why medical aid wasn't allowed to this man almost a hour after the shooting? When Jared Loughner went on his shooting spree, medical help was on the scene in minutes. The only people shooting here were the cops. What security issue was there that made it unsafe for medics to treat a guy bleeding out?

I agree. Everyone LOVES to

I agree. Everyone LOVES to jump in the "Let's hate the police" bandwagon. It's ridiculous. I 'm sure they didn't just send the SWAT team out there for friggin' target practice on an INNOCENT man.

Sick & TIred:

It isn't cop bashing to call a cop a murder, when the cop is in fact, a murderer. The man was left on the ground to die. The SWAT team doesn't get to decide if he's guilty of anything. I don't give a damn what you're "sure" of, there is no legal or moral justification for killing a man merely suspected of a crime. 
 

Defendants VS Big J

It was in black and white, they stated "absolutely did not do a 'no-knock' warrant." I think that means they knocked.
However, we all are just getting the info from the media, so this is second hand.

When the person killed was a suspected criminal, why do people automatically criticize law enforcement for how they handled it? Ever think that these professionals might have a good idea of what is going on?

What would we do without them here? Start defending ourselves with guns? How many criminals and innocent would be killed then? I think a lot.

Negligent Discharge

Well it seems this is all the result of a SWAT officer who doesn't know how to carry a weapon.

"A deputy's bullet struck the side of the doorway, causing chips of wood to fall on his shield. That prompted some members of the team to think the deputy had been shot, [PCSD spokesman Michael] O'Connor said."

Negligent Discharge

Still think he deserved to die anonymouser?

YES

Yes, we defend ourselves, with guns no less! Granny wasn't doing anything unlawful when red Dawgs kicked in her door and shot her.

Self defense

What the cops are painting here is a picture of America that is scared of the government and scared of the cops. Even innocent people are scared of the cops because they never know if they will be next. If this continues, Americans will end up in a civil war, civilians against cops. Raids on homes should be done only in extreme cases where the individual in the home is a known threat on society and will most likely be killing someone if not dealt with. Anyone who is suspected of having any type of evidence for anything in their home or if they are a known criminal but not dangerous, should be arrested like anyone else, during the daytime and without a dozen soldiers doing it. I doubt if anyone would have ever had to protect themselves from this war vet.

Swat teams and the like

Swat teams and the like addopted these aggressive raid tactics just to stop people from destroying evidence. So it boils down to being ready to murder people in the blink of an eye, just, JUST, for the sake of gathering evidence. Door busting raids should be illegal. It's not worth risking peoples lives just to keep people from flushing their drugs down the toilet...

 

This sounds to me like an assassination...

 

They will reap what they sow. May they rot in hell...

Why did the SWAT let him die?

 

Guerna never fired a shot; the marauders who invaded his home fired no fewer than seventy-one. As is standard procedure in such events, the invaders claimed that Guerna had fired on the officers, as he had every moral and legal right to.

"Tucson is notorious for home invasions and we didn’t want it to look like that," insisted PCSO spokesman O'Connor, exhibiting the dull-witted refusal to acknowledge the obvious that typifies tax-feeders of his station. He also maintained that the death squad "went lights and sirens and we absolutely did not do a 'no-knock' warrant," a claim refuted by the only surviving witness, Vanessa Guerena. Such details are morally inconsequential, since there was no reason — apart from the institutional vanity of the PCSO and the indecent eagerness of the armored adolescents who compose its SWAT team — to conduct a paramilitary raid to serve a routine search warrant.

"I never imagined I would lose him like that, he was badly injured but I never thought he could be killed by police after he served his country," lamented the wife of the murdered ex-Marine, who died on his feet, a rifle in his hand, and his face to an unexpected enemy. The grim but unavoidable truth is this: We shouldn’t be at all surprised that a Regime capable of sending Americans abroad to terrorize Iraqis in their homes would employ the same state terrorism against Americans here at home.

Okay, boys --

Any one of you who has ever been the target of a drug raid, cleaned up the aftermath of a drug raid or lost a loved one to police violence, stand up and speak up.  The rest of you, sit down and shut up.  You don't know what you're talking about.

Okay retard --

rita, you need to STFU. You think it really takes getting a bullet in the head to understand what these innocent people are going through? If any of us commenting on this article were ever the target of a drug raid, we wouldn't be here now to make these comments. Thanks for letting us know you support the murder of innocent people here in the USA by our own supposed protectors/guardians. You should hope you are never the victim of a false drug raid.

Rita, that is stupid

That is ridiculous. People with all kinds of different experiences can contribute to all kinds of discussions. I wasn't in the Army and never traveled to the Middle East, so by your "logic" I should keep my opinions (or judgments, or questions, or conclusions) about Israel's West Bank policies to myself. Total malarkey. I have a lot to contribute to the discussion of the growing American police state -- and would like to do so before I get shot in a botched drug raid or stripped of my citizenship for one of the many new sedition crimes we'll see any day now. That really is one of the most intellectually vapid statements I have encountered at this site. Read a freakin' book or something. Jeez.

I was speaking

mainly to the people who want to defend those "highly trained officers," so highly trained that they mistake a piece of a door frame for a bullet.  Notice, however, that I didn't feel the need to personally attack ANYONE for their opinions.  But if you've never been there, you don't know what it's like.  

And I'm sick and tired of reading about "botched drug raids."  Drug raids, all of them, are engineered to terrorize, demoralize and dehumanize human beings.  To do the maximum harm to the public with minimum risk to police.  And since drugs are found only AFTER the shooting stops, ALL of this violence is being done to constitutionally innocent people and their factually innocent families.  And only after they've trashed your house do they bring in the drug dogs.  Because THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT FINDING DRUGS.  All they care about is doing violence.  To them, unless one of their own is killed, there's no such thing as a "botched" drug raid.

Dead is dead.  Whether there are illegal drugs in the house or not, dead is dead.  And dead at the hands of a police officer is dead at the hands of someone who will be back on the street tomorrow, gun in hand and license to kill firmly pinned to his chest.  

Illegal

I would not point a gun at cops or anyone with a gun and not expect to get shot or killed for that matter. When you pick up a gun and point it at someone else with a gun, you should have 2 expectations, to be shot and or to shoot. Safety on? He probably forgot to take it off. If we all knew the facts then things would be a lot different. I am not saying the cops were right or wrong, I am just saying that a  lot of criminals get themselves killed for the stupid things they do, such as pointing  guns at cops. Let's see, should the cop go ask him if his safety is on first? Should they call out to everyone in the house to evacuate to safety except the criminal, or suspected criminal. Do you think he just ran and got his gun without seeing the cops outside?

If he really is a criminal, then he knew what he was getting himself and family into beforehand. It is really sad that his wife and family will suffer from this and I feel for them, however, he is the one responsible by pointing a gun at cops? No?

1st degree murder - planned

Miguel, your explanation is fairly accurate for the circumstances you described. But, at 3:00 in the morning, who is going to jump out of bed and know exactly what to do if someone is breaking into your house? The first instinct is to grab your gun and defend your home and family. Since that is the basic instinct, the SWAT team has to take that into account. If they don't think about a homeowner protecting themselves from home invasion, then we have morons enlisted to protect us. With that in mind, I believe the SWAT teams break down the door knowing the odds of confrontation are going to be extremely high and they also know that there is an almost 100% guarantee they will shoot someone and when they do (notice I said "when", not "if"), it will almost always be fatal.

So, the way I see it, since the plan involves an almost 100% certainty that there will be gunfire, and more than likely a fatality, the SWAT team is guilty of premeditated murder. There's nothing accidental about firing 71 rounds at a man who is intent upon protecting his home. Every fatality on home raids is due to the police force using extreme measures to incorporate their will upon the people. We the people have lost our freedom and liberties. They have all been flushed down the toilet. We live in a police state that resembles Nazi Germany. Our own government has decided that they will tell us how to live and what we can and cannot do or say. If we disagree, we are subject to their wrath which can be distributed in any manner, one of which is to break down the door of innocent people and kill them. No need for judge, jury or executioner there. The SWAT team will take care of all that red tape for us.

No

The officer who negligently discharged his weapon is at fault, with the only exception being that if he knew it was the police entering his home. This is a hard exception to carve out, from www.policeone.com: "“Dynamic Entry” is a tactic where surprise, speed and domination are key. ". You could probably add confusion to the list. I imagine with that going on in a just a few seconds it can be hard to tell who is entering your house, and it appears the Marine was better trained having shown restraint with his firearm (forgot the safety... really?).

"Should they call out to everyone in the house to evacuate to safety except the criminal, or suspected criminal."

Again from policeone.com: "3. Surround and call out: Set a perimeter and call out the suspect from the objective and then effect the arrest. " So yes this is a viable option. Along with arresting outside of the house using a couple of different tactics.

"Do you think he just ran and got his gun without seeing the cops outside?"

Possibly, but I doubt he had to "run". It is pointless to put a home defense weapon in a remote location. If I heard my door get kicked in, why would I go to the window instead of the door?

"I am just saying that a  lot of criminals get themselves killed for the stupid things they do"

I am not sure you were speaking generally or calling the target of the raid a criminal. If it is the latter, he has not been convicted.

The issue that I have not seen raised in this particular case is why was this particular residence a "high risk warrant service"? Because he was a Marine? Because he may have had a firearm? Because drugs allegedly were involved? The first two are not a crime and the third had not been proven. This should really be traced back to the judges who rubber stamp these violent raids, and the police should be held liable when they go wrong due only to their negligence.

"he forgot". Another

"he forgot". Another perspective google Marine weapon safety rules. Specifically number 4- Keep the weapon on safe until you intend to fire. He has been taught that since boot camp.

America, truly a horrific

America, truly a horrific state to be trapped in.

Point Fingers Where They Belong

The SWAT team should have known every little detail of the plan down to variances of the indoor circumstances. After 71 rounds, it wasn't an accident. It was premeditated murder. America isn't safe from their own government or law enforcement.

The most response I have ever seen on an article

I am proud to read all of this response, it is by far the most I have ever read for an article. People need to start fighting back against the SWAT terrorists of this nation.

Guns for for home protection

I've refused to own or carry a gun because I figure that a gun is more likely to get me into more trouble than it would ever get me out of.

SWAT teams are trained to believe that every "drug suspect" is a crazed and dangerous.  Dynamic entry is there tactic; where are the days of "Joe Friday"?

It's time to legalize drug possession.

Your government hates you and

Your government hates you and wants you dead or in one of their for profit private prisons .

Fight back end the "war on Americans"

Thoughts and Prayers . . .

go out to this Family of a fallen Brother.  Being a Veteran myself, this is a tragedy.

 

Now then, lets take a look at some things.  Your article mentions "It was also later reported that even though Guerena's wife called 911 as soon as he was shot and that EMTs arrived two minutes later, deputies never allowed them to treat Guerena, citing security concerns. (Recall that in the Jared Loughner mass killing in Tucson earlier this year, EMTs were allowed to treat the wounded in a matter of minutes despite the chaos of that scene.)"  Being an EMT for 22 years you are comparing apples to oranges, two ENTIRELY different scenarios.  One is in a public setting where private citizens had detained AND unarmed the assailant and the other is in a private home, confined space with an unknown shooter(s).  We are trained that when the threat is unknown and/or uncontained we DO NOT place ourselves in danger less we become a victim.  So based on the facts the EMT's responded according to protocol appropriately in both scenarios.

However, with regards to the SWAT team, they should of had a medic with the entry team whose sole responsibility is to attended to wounded officers and anyone else who is wounded.  Also, IF the accounts are correct, that the officers reported shots fired and in fact the victim DO NOT fire ANY shots then those officers who fired should be held accountable for those actions.  Just because someone appears with a firearm is NOT justification to fire.  Having worked VERY closely with law enforcement in the field, I can't pretend to know what they saw and felt at the time.  SWAT serving search warrants is by nature high stress.

This is a VERY good reason why ALL entries of this nature should be video recorded.  As I have posted in MANY other forums on this site, I am a firm believer of drug control and tactics.  I have seen first hand what drugs can do.  I have seen first hand what drug dealers WILL do to keep their illegal activities safe.  I have seen families torn apart because of drug abuse.  Wether you agree with drug enforcement or not, certain drugs are against the law and until those laws are changed there will be law enforcement, EMT's and other response teams that will continue to enforce the laws of the Great Nation.

Some thoughts on your comment.

IMO comparing the EMT response to the Jared Loughner mass killing with the alleged SWAT murder of Guerena is more likely to show the SWAT knew they were not under public scrutiny and so could get away with denying medical aid. I too was once an EMT. Like you, I was taught not to place myself in danger because incapacitated EMT(s) mean no one gets immediate medical aid. Good point, but the facts shown here say SWAT did not allow the EMTs to administer to the victim. So that argument is outside the pale of this discussion. How long does it take for a SWAT to clear an single family dwelling? A hour is not the right answer. Unless there is a lot of really unusual circumstances we are not privy to, and if there were, I am sure the police would have written them into their after action report. A report mind you, the police lied on (or were mistaken due to shoddy investigative work.) A report, even an immediate after action report should have indicated Guerena had not fired a shot, that his weapon was on 'safe'. I wonder if the cops are not kicking themselves for not hustling the wife and kid out of the house and then taking Guerena's weapon (while wearing gloves) and firing several shots in the vicinity of the door they stormed the house through. As for stressful situation the SWAT placed themselves in; why is a no knock, break the door down entry necessary? Would there be that much loss of macho face if a suspect (and other violent people involved) were quietly surrounded when they left their residence and moved to a neutral area. While the violent suspects were taken down, another group could simultaneously knock, identify themselves and present a search warrant. For all those cracking the bones in your fingers and warming up to hit your keyboard with the "what ifs" that would doom my suggestion, consider this; it would probably work in a case like Guerena's. Such arrest would have left Guerena's wife and child in the house. The SWAT did not seem to afraid of them; at least they did not feel the need to shoot them 77 times. If you wonderful readers would put up with me a little longer; I would like to make two points before I sign off. I have supported police my whole life. I have withdrawn my automatic support of all police because the bad apples seem to be increasing along with a slacking of oversight from their hierarchy. Of the 'good cops' that remain many maintain the blue wall of silence and provide cover for their errant brothers & sisters. Corruption in the police forces has started to snowball. Keep an eye on the news; review the Jeremy Marks mistreatment in Los Angeles; Christopher Harris tazered to death in Seattle (police say sorry, wrong person.) Read up on on police brutality in the last several years and the absence of corrective or punitive measures - see if you can spot a pattern. Mr. Gerald L. King you say you have "seen first hand what drugs can do." I have too. There is hardly a citizen in the US that could not say the same. With your indulgence; I ask you to review the literature on decriminalizing drugs. Ending the War On Drugs seems counterintuitive; it was for me for a few years, but it makes sense. For all the years and all the money poured into the War On Drugs where are we? Losing the war worse the ever. Much of the violence and criminality connected with drugs are a result of the War On Drugs. It is a failed policy, like alcohol prohibition was; turning many upright Americans into criminals. The 'bad guys' will not win if the US drug policy is changed to a saner one. What will happen? A youngster arrested with a marijuana cigarette will not serve a 20+ year felony sentence (at a taxpayer cost of ~$50,000 a year, per person); many thousands of people in Mexico will not savagely be killed to protect gang monopolies on exporting illegal drugs to the US. There are many good reasons to support changing the drug policy. Please look into them, you may be surprised. Thank you for your time Pinky

This is the Banana Republic

This is the Banana Republic of America. There will be a cover-up, just like at the start. I was once proud of this country and enlisted in the Marines. Now I am in my 50's and I have seen it steadily decline to become a police state. The government of the United States fear ex-military more than any other citizens because they know we will be the first to rise up against them. Semper Fi and rest in peace brother.

KILL THE ADDICTS

      It's sad how many of you are blind to the truth. Do you know what the DSM-IV is? It's the Medical book used by psychiatrist and therapest to diagnose psycological illnesses. Did you know way back in the 1950's and 1960's addiction was put in it as a brain disorder??? An illness?? So why are our fellow Americans willing to KILL Someone with a disease? It shows just how bent,twisted,and simply uncompasionate these people are!!!  Let's take away any form of assistance for the poor because they have an illness that is treatable,you know like the states that are trying to drug test reciepents to be able to take away all help for them!!! Let's not consider getting them psyciatric help to become a more productive person and to beat their addictions. This would be wrong to open up more jobs for social workers and trerapist. Now you're jumping to conclusions,,,,, I'm not for leagalizing all drugs,anyone with a lick of sense,even the hard core heroin,crack,meth addicts would rather be getting help than living the life they are caught up in. But let's get real about the Marijuana issue shall we?? I have been a master electrician for over 20 years, I've worked in many secure computer rooms, IRS buildings, Procter & Gamble,Macy's,Tiffanays,Power Plants that service Major cities,and too many others to name. Of course I can't identify myself yet because of stigmas and sterio types put on those who choose to use Marijuana instead of alcohol as their form of after work and weekend relaxation. But soon in the near future I will fully identify myself and challange anyone to find someone that has anything to say in a negative light on my work ethic or abilities. The only negative affect I've had from using Marijuana for 35 years is getting busted!!!  I even had a chest x-ray a few years ago and it came up clear!!!  So much for a joint having as much tar as a pack of cigarettes you filthy liars. And forced rehabilitation for failing a marijuana drug test is such a waist of resources and time especially for the insurance companies that have to pay for it. I never once talked to a Psyciatrist while in rehab until I paid for a private one myself,, You won't believe what he said,,, "Wow, they're still teaching 1980's cariculum " . Since there is only ONE cannibanoid that gets you high why are all the others included??? It's a dirty money game set up by our government to  get out of paying BWC claims mainly. Get a clue people... There are real medical uses for Marijuana and most recreational users are productive members of society. How else can we afford it??? It's time for all of you doctors,lawyers,and other professionals to stand up and admit that you don't agree with the way things are being handled now. We're not just a bunch of burn outs.

I'll Admit It

I too am a long time marijuana user (from 1973-2000) and now suffer from chronic pain & can't use the one thing that helps because I don't live in one of the states that have legalized it.

I worked in many positions of authority from 1989-2000 with the State of Arizona and never had any complaints on my work ethics, attendance or anything else.  As a matter of fact, there was one Deputy Director that chose to take me from state office to state office when he changed positions.  The only reason I have quit smoking is like I stated, OK hasn't approved it for medical use and I have to take a UA for my pain management doctor.  I'm not a doctor or lawyer but I was just as important in what I did for Arizona.  Thank goodness I never lived in Tucson!  One of my daughters just moved out of Tucson & I'm sure glad she did -- at least she has a better chance of being safe from police.

Oh yeah, I have a brother, nephew, & ex-SIL in law enforcement so I hear the stories that others don't always know about. I guarantee this story has a lot of 'unpublished' reasons for this raid &  the cops will never be held liable, unfortunately.

Tired of the non sense.

Unlike those tail between there legs swat team members I have engaged enemy combatants. Long story short my fire team carried thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition. When we were fired upon and returned fire we didn't put 71 rounds in anybody. What the hell was this "swat team" doing or thinking? Sounds like a bunch of trigger happy wanna bes who were just trying to get in some trigger time. Guess what, they killed an innocent man.   Living in the country is getting scarier and scarier everyday.

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