Cory Maye Catastrophe Copied in Canada

Basile Parasiris is the latest seemingly innocent person to fire on police who he mistook for burglars during a drug raid on his home. He's now charged with 1st degree murder among other things, for the apparent act of attempting to defend his family. From The Montreal Gazette:
Lawyer Frank Pappas said his client was trying to defend himself and his family when he grabbed a loaded gun and shot Laval Constable Daniel Tessier - whom Parasiris mistook for a crazed thief.

"If he would've believed it was the police, do you think he would have taken them on?" Pappas said in an interview. "They have more firepower than him."

According to Pappas, police didn't find anything in the Parasiris home.

"There was no body, no drugs, no large quantities of firearms," he said. "They may have found one or two pills of Viagra that he didn't have a prescription for.

According to Pappas, the son called 911 after the police barged into the family home and bullets started flying.

"Do you think that if they knew they were police officers, they'd call 911?" Pappas said.
Much remains unknown at this point. But the apparent absence of drugs and the 911 call sound like strong indications that we're looking at another terribly misguided prosecution. Unfortunately, as we've learned from the Cory Maye case, there seems to be a mental block that prevents police, prosecutors, and judges from understanding that normal people are prone to shoot at intruders who burst into their homes.

The otherwise forgivable instinct to defend one's property becomes totally unacceptable when the intruders turn out to be police who mistakenly believe you've got drugs in there. It's mind-boggling that despite all the evidence to the contrary, police continue to insist that they must raid homes suddenly and unexpectedly…because doing otherwise would be dangerous.

How many innocent people must be tricked into shooting police officers before law-enforcement figures out that behaving like burglars is not a safe way to initiate contact with citizens?

As Radley Balko has often pointed out, these deaths occur in the course of a completely unsuccessful effort to stop people from getting high. As the frequency of these raids-gone-wrong increases, it's chilling to think that this ongoing theater of unnecessary death and destruction won't stop until the pile of bodies is too tall to ignore.


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