Police Hold Contest To See How Many Constitutional Rights They Can Violate In One Home Invasion

‘Gun’ Tattoo Mistakenly Brings Heavily Armed Police To Maine Man’s Home

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine (AP) — Police armed with assault rifles descended on a Maine man’s home after members of a tree removal crew he’d told to clear off his property reported that he had a gun. Turns out the “gun” the tree crew had seen on Michael Smith of Norridgewock was just a life-sized tattoo of a handgun on his stomach.

‘Gun’ Tattoo Mistakenly Brings Heavily Armed Police To Maine Man’s Home « CBS Connecticut

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8 Responses to Police Hold Contest To See How Many Constitutional Rights They Can Violate In One Home Invasion

  1. gator69 says:

    If anything should require a 24 hour waiting or ‘cooling’ period before purchase, it is tattoos.

  2. Gamecock says:

    “armed with assault rifles”

    OH, MY !!!

    Why is this in the article?

  3. Chip Bennett says:

    Clearly, he failed to prove that he had a Concealed-Carry Tattoo permit.

    There are essentially only two possibilities here: one, the tree-trimming crew lied by claiming that the homeowner threatened them with his gun tattoo; or two, the police carried out an unconstitutional search and seizure, based on lack of probable cause (SCOTUS has consistently held that mere possession of a lawfully possessed gun does not constitute probable cause of any unlawful activity).

    In either case, the police response was far exaggerated. The tree trimmers who called to report the homeowner made their call after already having left the site – meaning that they were in no imminent danger, and the police had no reason to suspect that the situation at the person’s home would be escalated to the point to necessitate a SWAT response. A phone call or knock on the door from a patrol officer would have sufficed.

    Maine is an open-carry state. The homeowner was on his own property. Even if the tattoo had been a real gun, a shirtless person employing “Mexican-carry” is openly carrying that weapon. In any case, carry on his own property would have been lawful.

    I’m also assuming that there was no warrant obtained for this SWAT response?

    • Gail Combs says:

      SWAT teams are now ROUTINELY used often on “misdemeanors and nonserious felonies.” AND WITHOUT IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES AS POLICE!!!

      This is the Horrifying Conclusion of the following article on the completely botched-up raid on the home of the MAYOR of Berwyn Heights. Note that a police investigation cleared the officers of any wrong doing. “Jackson’s office would conclude another investigation, again clearing his deputies. Neither outcome was surprising, given that Jackson had been defending his deputies since the night of the raid. It’s probably also worth noting that the father of Det. Shawn Scarlata—the officer who initiated the investigation leading to the raid— was on the internal affairs team that conducted the investigations.” Sounds like Penn State isn’t the only group conducting useless ‘internal investigations’

      CONCLUSION

      For the last half of 2009, SWAT teams were deployed 804 times in the state of Maryland, or about 4.5 times a day. In Prince George’s County alone, which has about 850,000 residents, a SWAT team was deployed about once a day. According to an analysis by the Baltimore Sun, 94 percent of the state’s SWAT deployments were to serve search or arrest warrants, leaving just 6 percent that were raids involving barricades, bank robberies, hostage takings, and other emergency situations. Half of Prince George’s County’s SWAT deployments were for what were called “misdemeanors and nonserious felonies.” More than one hundred times over a six-month period, Prince George’s County sent police barreling into private homes for nonserious, nonviolent crimes.

      Here are excerpts from the rest of that article:
      Militarized police overreach: Local law enforcement’s often using SWAT teams to do regular police work. The results are frightening — and deadly

      ….Calvo’s mother-in-law was face-down on the kitchen floor, the tomato-artichoke sauce she was preparing still sitting on the stove. Her first scream came when one of the SWAT officers pointed his gun at her from the other side of the window. The police department would later argue that her scream gave them the authority to enter the home without knocking, announcing themselves, and waiting for someone to let them in.

      Rather than obeying the SWAT team demands to “get down” as they rushed in, Georgia Porter simply froze with fear. They pried the spoon from her hand, put a gun to her head, and shoved her to the floor….

      …Calvo remembers the sound of his mother-in-law screaming. He ran to the window and saw heavily armed men clad in black rushing his front door. Next came the explosion. He’d later learn that this was when the police blew open his front door. Then there was gunfire. Then boots stomping the floor. Then more gunfire….

      …He was instructed to walk downstairs with his hands in the air, the muzzles of two guns pointed directly at him. He still didn’t know it was the police. He described what happened next at a Cato Institute forum six weeks later. “At the bottom of the stairs, they bound my hands, pulled me across the living room, and forced me to kneel on the floor in front of my broken door. I thought it was a home invasion. I was fearful that I was about to be executed.” I later asked Calvo what might have happened if he’d had a gun in his home for self-defense. His answer: “I’d be dead.” In another interview, he would add, “The worst thing I could have done was defend my home.”….

      Calvo and Porter were held for four hours. Calvo asked to see a search warrant. He was told it was “en route.”

      ……Berwyn Heights officer Amir Johnson knew this was his mayor’s house, but had no idea what the commotion was about because the Prince George’s County Police Department hadn’t bothered to contact the Berwyn Heights police chief, as they were required to do under a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies…..

      …[Berwyn Heights police chief] Murphy was put in touch with the supervising officer, Det. Sgt. David Martini. Murphy recounted the conversation to the Post: “Martini tells me that when the SWAT team came to the door, the mayor met them at the door, opened it partially, saw who it was, and then tried to slam the door on them,” Murphy recalled. “And that at that point, Martini claimed, they had to force entry, the dogs took aggressive stances, and they were shot.” [Dog was shot in the back while running away]

      If that indeed was what Martini told Murphy, he was either lying or repeating a lie told to him by one of his subordinates.… [The entire raid and the reason for it was a complete botch job from the get go. Calvo was INTENTIONALLY set-up by the police. They KNEW the drug delivery scheme was to send packages to innocents and knew some packages had been delivered to residences unbeknownst to the people who lived in them!]

      this isn’t a problem that can be laid at the feet of the police officers who raided his home. This problem can’t be fixed by firing the police involved. This is a political problem. It’s a policy problem.

      Calvo understood all of this almost immediately. Someone sent him a copy of “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America,” the paper on police militarization I had written for the Cato Institute two years earlier….

      he recognized that what had specifically happened to him was part of a broader problem of policy, not of individual cops.

      “The reality is that this happens all the time in this country…

      As Calvo continued to advocate for reform, he started to hear from other victims of mistaken police raids,….

      A series of police raid horror stories from Howard County, Maryland, also emerged…
      The police first met the family dog, a twelve-year-old lab/rottweiler mix named Grunt. According to the lawsuit, one officer distracted the dog while another shot it point-blank in the head. When one of the couple’s sons asked why they had shot the dog, one officer pointed his gun at the boy’s head and said, “I’ll blow your fucking head off if you keep talking.”

      Armed with these incidents, Calvo went to the Maryland legislature to push for reform. The bill he proposed was modest. It required every police agency in Maryland with a SWAT team to issue a quarterly report—later amended to twice yearly—on how many times the team was deployed, for what purpose, and whether any shots were fired during the raid. It was a simple transparency bill. It put no limits or restrictions on how often or under what circumstances SWAT teams could be used.

      Yet it was the only bill of its kind in the country. And it was opposed by every police organization in the state.….

      it is important to underscore that this bill is about much more than an isolated, high-profile mistake. It is about a growing and troubling trend where law enforcement agencies are using SWAT teams to perform ordinary police work. Prince George’s County police acknowledges deploying SWAT teams between 400 and 700 a year— that’s twice a day—and other counties in the state have said that they also deploy their special tactical units hundreds of times a year. The hearings on these bills have brought to light numerous botched and ill-advised raids in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties that also have had devastating effects on the lives of innocent people and undermined faith in law enforcement.

    • Gail Combs says:

      It should be noticed that older policemen are ‘unhappy’ at the recent trend in police work. New hires are often straight out of the military where they see American citizens as “THE ENEMY” as they were trained to think that way. SEE: Who’s to Blame for Battlefield America? Is It Militarized Police or the Militarized Culture?

  4. Gamecock says:

    Had the homeowner brandished the gun, while telling the crew to leave, then calling the cops would be okay. Now I can’t help but wonder if the crew told the police the man brandished the gun, and what a good laugh the cops had. If that happened, then someone in the crew should be charged for filing a false police report. Let the judge get a good laugh, too.

  5. Bob Knows says:

    Obviously these Gestapo pigs were not defending his constitutional rights to won and bear arms. There is evil in our land, and it wears blue (or black).

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