Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More on SWAT Raids

Not a pretty story here, folks.

A Lima, Ohio jury has acquitted officer Joseph Chavalia of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 26-year-old Tarika Wilson. Chavalia shot and killed Wilson and wounded her infant son during a drug raid last January. Wilson was unarmed.

During the raid, one of Chavalia’s fellow officers shot and killed the two dogs owned by Wilson’s boyfriend and the target of the raid, Anthony Terry. Chavalia testified that he mistook his fellow officer’s shots at the dogs for hostile gunfire coming from the bedroom where Wilson was standing with her child. Chavalia then fired blindly into the bedroom.

The jury concluded that Chavalia reasonably feared for his life when he heard the gunshots. I guess they were then willing to overlook Chavalia’s mistaking an unarmed woman holding a baby for an armed drug dealer, and the fact that he fired blindly into a room without first identifying what he was shooting at. It’s too bad that that same sort of deference isn’t given to the people on the receiving end of these raids when they too
understandably confuse the police officers who wake them from sleep and invade their homes for criminal intruders.

There are Four Commandments of gun use, as accepted by all serious folks who own guns.

The third one: "Make Certain of Your Target."

Unless, of course, you're a SWAT officer, eh?

I'm certain that Atty. Adent is happy he's not trying this case in Lima, Ohio.

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