Drug Raids: Virginia Man Found Guilty of Manslaughter in Shooting of Police Officer Battering His Door Down

A Virginia jury on Wednesday convicted Ryan Frederick (see his MySpace page here)
of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a police officer during a no-knock drug raid. Prosecutors asked for and the jury recommended a 10-year prison sentence for the 28-year-old resident of Chesapeake. The trial judge will make a final determination in a May hearing.

The jury did not convict Frederick of capital murder as prosecutors had sought. Nor was he found guilty of marijuana production -- the police raid was in search of an alleged grow -- but only of possession of a small amount of pot.

On January 17, 2008, local police executing a search warrant based on the word of questionable snitch -- who admitted burglarizing Frederick's home days earlier -- began breaking down Frederick's door. Saying he thought he was under assault from violent unknown intruders, he picked up his rifle and fired a shot through the door, killing Officer Jarrod Shivers, whose job it was to break down doors during raids. As Frederick put it himself in a jailhouse interview shortly after the incident:

Frederick said he was sleeping in a back bedroom because his job as a soft drink merchandiser required him to get up early. His dogs, Dora and Bud, were in the house. He woke up because his dogs "were barking like crazy. They're going like really crazy, so I grab my gun. As I'm walking through the hall, someone comes busting through my door."

Intruders were pushing through the bottom panels of the four-panel door, he said. The lighting in the house was dim. Frederick said he didn't hear anyone say "police" or see identification.

"I was like, 'Oh, God, if I don't shoot, then he's going to kill me'... I think I shot twice. I can't remember. It happened so fast. All I know is the gun jammed."

Frederick said he then went back to the bedroom to get a telephone. When he realized police were outside, he walked out of the house and surrendered.

In tears at times, Frederick said he doesn't grow or sell marijuana. He had a smoking bong and a small bag of marijuana, he said.

The raid and its unfortunate outcome for all involved added to rising concerns among civil libertarians and drug reform advocates about the apparently routine resort to SWAT-style tactics employed against small-scale drug offenders and, all too often, completely innocent parties.

The particulars in this case also raise serious questions about the quality of justice in that particular part of Virginia. For a closer look, try Radley Balko's detailed coverage for Reason magazine's Hit & Run blog here.

The case isn't over yet. Frederick's attorney said an appeal was definite.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Pointless Raids- Cops deserved it

Maybe it will teach the rest of them a lesson. Was the bag of pot worth dying for, is ten bags worth dying for, how about 1000, NO! No knock search warrants promote death as We The People have a right to bear arms and defend ourselves. The shooting was justified. I just wish he had a grenade instead of a rifle.

To the judge that issued the no knock search warrant: How do you feel now? You sent an Officer of the law to his death over a $10 sack of ditch weed. You sir should blow your brains out but only after you free the innocent man you let a bs jury prosecute. It is this mans constitutional right to pursue happiness in which he found in marijuana.The prohibition of marijuana is a direct violation of the constitution folks. Figure it out people, although you shouldnt have to as these truths are held to be self evident.

Citizen

VA. Manslaughter Conviction for Drug Raid Gone Haywire

The points already noted are valid and well stated. This case certainly deserves further airing at the appellate level, and may also prove a worthy candidate for a Federal case regarding denial of Constitutional rights. Unfortunately, while the case (based on the facts as presented here) would appear to have considerable merit for reversal, the fact that it went to court to begin with, and then resulted in a conviction does not bode well for any significant chance of successful appeal in the State criminal appeals process. Hopefully, Frederick will be fortunate enough to have secured excellent legal counsel and perhaps also the probono interest and support of the American Civil Liberties Union. Best of luck to Mr. Frederick-- he's going to need it.

4th Amendment Violations

This travesty was the result of no-knock warrants which are clear violations of the 4th amendment. That the courts have rationalized the use of these warrants shows how the judicial systems favors the police over the people.

kjs420's picture

What a load

Drugs are not the problem, the war on drugs, is the problem.
Just goes to show how fu*cked this country has gotten, and how dysfunctional the "judicial system" is.
The Constitution has been completely rewritten by the "supreme court" to be meaningless.
Oh, did I say, BRAVO, too bad he only got one, and more people need to do the same.
The fact this even went to court proves the judicial system isn't in it for "justice", this is clearly an abuse of power, a violation of constitutional rights, and knocks the US back about 10 years on the evolutionary scale, boy, what progress.
Amerika has gone down the toilet, America is a toilet. Well, maybe not America, but the terrorist government that rules it.
This man had every right to shoot at someone breaking down his door, I would too. As far as I'm concerned, that cop committed suicide plain and simple. the search warrant was bogus, the judge that issued it is incompetent, and the cops that served it got everything they deserve. That courthouse should be decommissioned since it violates, and conspires to commit crimes on the citizenry. The government started this terror campaign against the people, and it's bull shit that they change the rules to fit their need's. No wonder we're a prison nation, what a corrupt piece of sh*t "legal system we have.
Our government is no better than Saddam, or Hitler, or Stalin, in fact they bear quite a striking resemblance
This "war on drugs" is a war on the people's civil rights, constitutional rights, and human rights. It's the biggest failure, and waste of money, in history, yet we let them get away with it.
It's sad, that such a well planned "blueprint" of our nation could be destroyed by the same people that swore to defend it, but we have no one else to blame but ourselves. But, then again, it's hard to defend our rights when they're being dismantled in secret.
When all a government does is lie, break laws, disregard's the people it serves, it's time for that government to go.
With me people?

Notice how it is the cigarette states

Amen!

The courts in such states should be decommissioned and many of their officers brought before constitutional citizens' tribunals for trial for numerous constitution violations and criminal conspiracy.

Anyone notice how the crime correlates with a state being a cigarette pusher?

Particularly the criminal entity of Virginia which invented the bright leaf poison that has the interesting psychedelic properties bred out some users have to continually puff puff puff, promoting addiction and death and the criminal's profits?!

Why should the name of 'Virginia' be allowed to continue to disgrace this nation's map?

kjs420's picture

Exellant point

Why should a terrorist state be allowed to remain. But then aren't all states that allow DEA activities to continue, terrorist sympathizers?
The US government is just another Al-Quada, or Taliban, in other words, a hypocrite. And a danger to the people.

Virginia!

Did you know that we Virginian's are the proud owners of the only flag in the world -(other than the Jolly Rogers)-that has a guy proudly standing over his dead victim? Isn't that great?!

Insane

What a travesty of justice. I have a VERY hard time understanding why a JURY of citizens would convict this poor guy. Who the hell was on this jury? What kind of defense lawyer couldn't argue this case successfully. For God's sakes, the guy is sleeping, and someone is kicking in his door, and he doesn't have the right to defend himself???

Ourageous. A true travesty. If this doesn't get turned over on appeal, I will have been stripped of any hope for our legal system and the concept of justice completely.

Ryan Frederick, I wish you the best of luck. Call the ACLU and have them send you the best lawyer in the country.

To Officer Shivers' family I am sorry for your loss, but don't blame Mr. Frederick, blame Jerrod's superiors for putting him in the line of fire needlessly.

To Officer Shiver's superiors: This blood is on your hands. You should be the one(s) on trial. You have taken one life and ruined another. For nothing.

I'm surprised

that the cops didn't shoot frederick and his whole family dead after he fired on them.

Welcome to Amerika2K where the cops can bust your door down at any time for any reason, and the DEA can invade your medical caregivers' place of business, ransack it, take all the money and medicine, rough everybody in the place up, and then leave without so much as a good day sir.

Seriously, how the hell did we get here?

drug raids

I am certainly no gun nut and have never owned a gun in my life (age 62). However, I believe that all swat team members in the U.S. should be either fired or killed. Swat teams are for movie fantasies, not the real world. Czars are for Russia not for the head of an insane "reefer madness" prohibition agency. I find it extremely troubling that the populace of the U.S. cannot see through this "drug problem" foisted upon us by an insane president (Nixon) and others (especially the extreme right wing evangelical bible thumping gun nuts who would surely take away as many of our rights as possible if they could). By the way, that is maybe the best reason to allow greater immigration into the U.S. because these immigrantsa actually believe in the constitution and their increasing numbers can hopefully water down the influence of the far right fundamentalists. The people of this country should look very closely at the Taliban because if we look closely enough it might look just a little bit like a mirror.

Bible thumper.

Problem is, the Bible thumpers you refer to, don't even know that neither alcohol nor cannabis is prohibited by that same Bible. I guess thumping on it takes the place of reading it! Real conservatives are fighting for the elimination of un-Constitutional laws. Why do you think alcohol prohibition was an amendment? Because, it was illegal to tell people they could not drink it! Although you may be justified in your righteous indignation, not all of us Bible thumpers and conservatives deserve your wrath. You will accomplish a lot more, by including us, not by continuing to insult us!

The Constitution party had a preacher as it nominee! He was also a supporter of the Libertarian ideals of Ron Paul. (MD/congressman who opposes the drug war) Those ideals include getting rid of everything in the law that does not follow the Constitution. You know, that ragged old piece of (hemp) paper!

Don't get me wrong. I would likely end up in the same predicament as Ryan. But, instead of the police killing him, he gets to waste ten years of his life in prison. At least he is still alive! It is real lucky they did not just kill him! He was completely justified to fear for his life! Yet the jury did not see it that way! Serving drug warrants, in the manner in which it was done, serves to escalate the danger level. The warrant was not even "no knock". But then neighbors testified they heard nothing! I guess because the cops just spoke it loud enough that the guy standing next to him could hear it, and no one else! That is the way the cops get around their totally illegal behavior. The cops are, too, in love, with their SWAT gear!

Hopefully the bill introduced by Cheye Calvo will encouraging LE to take a real close look at the way they are putting theirs, and other peoples' lives in danger, just so they can play SWAT!

p.s. There are also a couple of errors in the story, but it is close enough to get a good picture of what happened.

kjs420's picture

Just a little?

The US government is the superpower terrorist regime.
Face it, what the DEA does is terrorist activity, plain and simple.
And to be backed by the government, has really changed my allegiance. Our forefathers gave us the right to bear arms, for just this reason, to protect ourselves from a tyrannous government. Only ours has morphed into a terrorist operation.

ryan is a hero

hero hero hero as far as that cop goes one less nazi crimnal to worry about.

SCUM!!

The jack booted thugs, the DA, the judge, and the jury need to swing by their neck from a rope for this one.

Welcome to fascist Amerika. Hitler would be proud to see what Amerika has become.

kjs420's picture

My friend,

Couldn't have said it better myself.

A ten year prison sentence?

Ryan Frederick should get a medal of honor.

Marijuana prohibition is a Joke & Ryan Frederick is a Hero!

Only joking about prohibition being a 'joke'. Those that dare to care know and understand how deadly serious illegal marijuana prohibition is to our lives, liberties, happiness and legally aquired property, which by the way, used to be the founding principles of our republic.

During election cycles we often hear rhetorical homage paid to these... our inalienable rights... then something goes horribly wrong... the unregulated legislative process!

And the perfect example is marijuana prohibition, currently under the guise of regulation by the nixonesque Control (of some) Substances Act.

The original crime spree actually started over 70 years ago by harry anslinger, a well known racist, religious fundamentalist, and propagandist - just like the teatotalling methodists before him that brough us alcohol prohibition... and organized crime... outside of government anyway!

Harry was making his living as a 'righteous' drug warrior during alcohols prohibition and when that fiasco ended... well... harry just created another drug war fiasco by bearing false witness... to a complacent congress!

So the drug war that started with lies to congress, evolved with lies from congress, and remains a lie today!

I hope DRC.net keeps us posted on Ryan Fredericks case and lets us know how to correspond with him.... so I can give him my thanks... and to help him and his family monetarily.

As for the cop that got shot... don't care anything about him/her... just another soldier in a war of their own making.... that got killed while invading another mans home... sounds like justice served to me!

The Forgotten Right

You wrote:
"Those that dare to care know and understand how deadly serious illegal marijuana prohibition is to our lives, liberties, happiness and legally aquired property, which by the way, used to be the founding principles of our republic."

You are correct, those ARE the Founding Principles of our Republic and they are all based on what has become "the forgotten right":
http://www.dailypaul.com/node/81680
Everything hinges on this one basic, unalienable right -- the right to property.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Truth Is Treason... In the Kingdom of Lies - Ron Paul

A fellow libertarian is a friend indeed... if only there were more americans in amerika... who knows what we could accomplish?

Had I owned a gun . . .

on May 21, 2003, I most certainly would be dead. Because if I had owned a gun, it would have been for self-defense, and would have been loaded and within easy reach of where I was sleeping when 11 brave cops broke through my front door at 6:30 a.m. and I would have shot the brave son-of-a-bitch who was running down my hall long before he kicked in my bedroom door. I never heard the word "police" until I was face-down on the floor with an assault rifle to my head.

Sometimes I still wish I had owned a gun.

What right do they have to do this to people?

anon a mouse

That guy is lucky to be alive. But this is modern Amerika- land of the unfree. So many people in this counry today have been conditioned by the public school system, TV, and movies to believe that the police can do anything to you and its just fine.

Maybe the NRA is a lot of crazy rednecks but they have a point about the right to bear arms.

Wacko

Try commenting about the misdeeds of the police force on another site. There are plenty of "republicans" that will call a fellow conservatives "wacko" for wanting this type of thing to stop. Anybody who believes the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, has to be "wacko" according to some I have encountered there!

They have forgotten that piece of paper only defines our rights. They are ours no matter whether or not there is a Constitution. It was written to protect those rights, from tyrannical despots! I wish it was working better right now. The officers carrying automatic weapons, while patrolling airports, make me feel like I am in another country, and no longer free!

And the second amendment was written for just that purpose, stated above, as well. The founding fathers have a lot of writing on why the 2nd amendment, and the others, were established. One of the, most cited, reasons was to protect us from tyrannical power of an out of control central government! Our fellow Americans now see it as crazy to believe in the Constitution? What an upside down world we live in!

Filthy

This is sickening. It sounds like a bunch of idiots created a scenario which left one idiot dead and one man convicted of 10 years because of these idiots mistakes. Good luck Ryan.

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