This has always been one of my worst nightmares,
October 6, 2000 9:20 PM   Subscribe

This has always been one of my worst nightmares, even though it has always been much more likely to happen to my next door neighbor...
posted by donkeymon (6 comments total)
The worst part is, it is almost certain the the informant merely picked some aquaintance of his to set up after his own arrest and plea-bargain deal. Since he didn't even know who he was ratting out particularly well, he got the address wrong. The cops are unwilling to do even cursory fact checking on the tip because it would reveal that they let some thug of the hook for some crock-of-shit story that may have been somewhere between mostly and completely false. Still, you would think that the cops would at least look their target up in the phone book first.
posted by donkeymon at 11:01 PM on October 6, 2000

I believe a case can be made here for manslaughter. I believe that "manslaughter" is a case where due to negligence on your part, someone else dies.

"They intended to raid the home next door." They simply screwed up. It was gross negligence and as a result we now have a corpse.

The fact that the dead man fired first has nothing to do with it; they committed their crime when they raided the wrong house. "Self defense" protects against a charge of murder, but isn't sufficient defense against manslaughter in this case, for it doesn't remove the negligence.

I bet they both end up on trial.

Actually, considering it's Tennessee and the officers were white and the victim black, I bet they don't. And that's a shame.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:06 PM on October 6, 2000

"I thought it was a home invasion. I said 'Baby, get your gun!," she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday's funeral.

Police say her husband fired first with a sawed-off shotgun and they responded.

- - - -

I think this case says a lot about a) the war on drugs b) gun rights.
posted by Eloquence at 2:03 PM on October 7, 2000

As a native Tennessean, this tragedy is terribly sad but not shocking. It is no surprise to me that Tennessee's finest have erred and an innocent human life was the horrible consequence. Had this been in an upper-class, predominantly white suburban neighborhood, these "shoot 'em up" tactics would not have been used.

And about a trial for manslaughter, Steven is likely right.
posted by brittney at 2:59 PM on October 7, 2000

Don't think this can't happen to you. It can.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 10:56 AM on October 8, 2000

It can happen to anyone. My wife's grandmother was woken up one night by police banging on the door yelling to be let in. She refused and after a short argument, they realized they were at the wrong house. It's a good thing they didn't break down the door, but I'm surprised they didn't. Of course, it's a mistake not to live in a constantly guarded compound complete with electrified barbed wire fences and armed guards. But that's just the price we have to pay to be safe from the menace of drugs. Sorry, folks.
posted by daveadams at 8:41 AM on October 9, 2000

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