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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laneco View Post
As it is a duplex unit, mistaken address is VERY possible. Also, in a situation of shared walls, if the neighbor may be armed, it would seem prudent to get the good neighbor out of harms way, especially if there are children in her unit.

On the other hand, if LEO was out of line, an apology is the very least that should be offered. Very dangerous situation to enter a house forcefully - for the LEO and for the resident. Someone is likely to be killed...

Be interesting to see how this pans out as more information comes to light.

angela
My thoughts exactly. Glad that they did not open the door but now the LE will start covering things up to explain why they were there in the first place.

Cannot wait to hear, as Paul Harvey would say.... "The rest of the story!"
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:24 AM
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Grady - Your employee should contact an attorney and have them contact the police chief (or captain in charge) asking for a written explanation. If she has no money, then she should contact the ACLU.

This might save the Police Dept. from having to pay out more money in the future.

She should next contact her city council member and the mayor or city manager.

Do it all in writing; does not have to be a formal complaint, but describe her fear, note the previous problems you mention above, and ask why they did this.
Old 01-05-2012, 08:38 AM
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Well, after all the straw, things still seem to be as I reported:
There was 3:30 AM banging on the door.
There was demand for entry “Police, open the door”, not a request to open the door and talk.
There was no forced entry.
The discussions took place through an adjoining window per my instructions.
Yes, the daughter called me after the police started banging on the door but before opening the adjoining window.
Yes, I’m on ‘speed-dial’ on their phone.
Yes, the police determined that they had the wrong address and went away.

I’m just glad the homeowner wasn’t armed and some gun nut.
We would have dead police and machine-gunned through the door dead homeowner (VA student with a video game control).


I am more disturbed by the command officer reporting to me ‘facts’ from his officers that I know first-hand to be less than truethful.
His report was that his officers merely requested the door be opened for discussion.
His report was that the officers ‘knocked’ on the door with their hands.

My observation (over the open cell phone) was a police demand “Police, open the door”.
The ‘knock’ was loud enough to be from a baton or boot. (I’m going to inspect the door today.)

The command officer claims this disparity is simply a request to open the door. Anyone listening would interpret this as an official demand. Had I not been on the phone, I suspect the police would have entered the house if the door was opened.

There is the crime of ‘failing to obey an official demand’. This seems to me to be a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for the homeowner. If I had not been on the phone telling them to not open the door and asking if the police had a warrant, who knows what would have happened.

A few years ago, the Denver Police entered a house under a similar situation (wrong address) and shot dead the homeowner in bed with an aluminum pop can “It looked like a gun”.
To me, this is not just a ‘casual incident’ but one where two of my students could have been shot dead for a pop-can-lethal cell phone and LEGO.

So … trusting in the system, I’m going up the chain-of-command. Yes, even to the DOJ.

Yes, I suspect this was a ‘wrong address’ or some other SNAFU.
Yes, I suspect police on duty at 3:30 AM are a bit tense knocking on unlit doors.
Yes, I suspect when sleeping residents aren’t immediately aroused the ‘knocking’ becomes intense.
Yes, I expect the truth from the police.

More to come.

Best,
Grady

flatbutt, yes, neither an invasion or an assault but I think the homeowners (7-YO boy, 16-YO girl and single mom) would disagree.

sammyg2, good questions. I’m awaiting an official response from our new Denver Police Chief. See above for the phone call time-line.

Z-man, There were two lit patrol cars on the street so there was no question (in my mind) about who they were. Within 10 minutes I was on the phone with the Command Officer.

KC911, yes NC. I'll research the results of that tragity.

G.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:19 AM
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Seriously? The 4th & 14th amendments have been abolished thanks to Obama and his signing of the NDAA on 12-31-2011. We are a police state now get used to it...
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Last edited by futuresoptions; 01-05-2012 at 09:52 AM..
Old 01-05-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Grady Clay View Post
KC911, yes NC. I'll research the results of that tragity.

G.
I was incorrect in the amount....they settled for 2.45 million. I remember very well SammyG's take on that one too...Sammy, did you ever send Wilmington some $$$? These were college kids living in an upscale rental (next to a country club), and was a "show of force" to teach a lesson when a simple summons to appear would have sufficed imo. It would have been swept under the rug if Peyton Strickland's father wasn't a prominent attorney with "connections". BTW, the officer that was fired....it wasn't his first "encounter" . My ex-g/f's kid lived in Wilmington at the time...that one hit close to home for me...

New Hanover County settles with Strickland family | StarNewsOnline.com
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyg2 View Post
zackly. there is more to this that we are not getting.
BTW they don't need a warrant if they have probable cause .....................
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyg2 View Post
Logic and rational thinking are totally foreign to them.
Demonstrates a serious lack of intelligence in my opinion.
I question yours on a daily basis. As Dueller pointed out, in our world cops need probably cause to get the warrant.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Questions for Grady:



1) Why did the police respond to that address?

2) Was it a mistaken address, of was there a complaint or was it part of a criminal investigation?

There had to be a reason why they knocked on that door. What was it and why did you leave such a vital and important piece of information out of the story? Was that simply an accident or was it an intentional ommission?



3) Why were you talking on the phone to an employee at 3:30 am?

4) Did she call you when the police showed up? Naw, can't be. If she did that you wouldn't have heard them knock on the door and tell her to open up. Based on your description, you were talking to her on the cell phone BEFORE the police showed up. Is that correct?

Is that normal for you to be talking on the phone to an employee at 3:30 am or was something going on that particular morning that she needed help or support with? Was it simply a coincidence that you were talking to her when they knocked on her door or were the two related?



Once these questions are answered we'll be able to understand the situation a little more clearly.
Well now all of these questions have been answered, and the answers are a lot closer to my assumptions than to yours.

"There had to be a reason ( the police) were there." Yeah, they had the wrong address, numb nuts.

Grady "had to have been on the phone already" with the employee at 3:30 am". Nice attempt to impugn someone with a spotless reputation and make an absolutely asinine deduction, all at the same time. Classic Sammy. All of the rest of us assumed that she called him for advice when the cops were banging on her door at 3:30 am for no apparent reason. Which is exactly what happened.

And on and on....nice going as usual.
Old 01-05-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Rot 911 View Post
I question yours on a daily basis. As Dueller pointed out, in our world cops need probably cause to get the warrant.
I could easily train a dog to "signal" upon a hand command, bingo..."probable cause" on the side of the road...it's just gotten ridiculous imo .
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:06 AM
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And they will continue to knock on the door if you don't open it. That is how he heard them knocking. No mystery to anyone but you.
Old 01-05-2012, 10:06 AM
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Hard to hear anything in here over the sound of all the knees jerking :-)

Cops banged on the door because they wanted to talk to someone they thought was in the house. I didn't read anything in the "facts" about forcible entry or home invasion. Unfortunately they had the wrong address so they left.

They may not have had a warrant but cops go to people's houses all the time to talk to them, without having a warrant. People are free to let the police in, or not. Most are cooperative. If they aren't the police can get a warrant or in exigent circumstances, enter anyway and explain it to a judge later.

As shocking as it may have been to the homeowner and her family, I really don't see a million-dollar lawsuit here or really anything much to get excited about. But then again I am from Canada and we tend to have a bit of a different relationship with police here.

Regards,

d.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:17 AM
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most people are asleep at 330 am so maybe they were "pounding"on the door to make sure they woke them up.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:26 AM
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In all sincerity, it must be awful to live in a place where you are all so paranoid and frightened.

And Grady, with all due respect (and I mean that because you are a great contributor to the technical forum and obviously a stand up guy), I don't think the police chief or the DOJ would give a hoot about your complaint. Why would he?
Old 01-05-2012, 10:43 AM
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3am. I'd make them a cup of tea

You guys have got it easy. When they suspect drugs in this country, and most countries, they yell "Police, open the door". They wait about 5 seconds then use the "big red key" to smash down the door then point guns at everyone to dissuade from flushing drugs down the toilet.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:48 AM
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No 4th amendment rights were violated here so I'm not sure where you're going with this. Sorry they got woken up in the middle of the night but there was no search or seizure.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:00 AM
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LEO here

As a LEO, it tough to comment as there is limited information....but here goes

Yup, sound like not a great situation.... dealing with the police at 3 am is not fun.....that's why in Canada anyway, if we are even asking for a search warrant between 9 pm and 6 am in the evening, we have to justify it to the judge why we need to do it at night, otherwise we have to wait until day time.

As to the hard knocking on the door, the police are not dealing with a single lady with two kids that were sleeping – they are at the door to deal with the situation that they got sent there for (unfortunately not there but somewhere) – at 3 am I would like to assume it is a serious enough situation that needs for the people to know that the police are there….

Been to a number of wrong address on calls...most because of being provided the wrong information from a witness, but certainly some because of my own mistake.....wrong street..wrong house..wrong car...yup..not an exact science when you are dealing with real people...witnesses or police

Actually just the other day attended the wrong address on a notification of the someone's passing....four houses on the street - Pine Street - I turn the corner onto Pine St and look over and there is the house number I am looking for on the Pine St side. But the house belongs on another street Anderson.....the house I am looking for is three houses up.....realized my mistake and went to the right house....at 3 am in the morning in an emergency situation...not quite as easy.....

Been to a number of houses at 3 am...but never for a parking matter-always something at least fairly serious....so I can assume that is the case....but none of us know...so ask the question....why were they there? My guess in a non-crime ridden area....something like a domestic dispute where violence may be brewing or has been committed but now it has settled down so does not merit the police entering immediately...but does need an immediate response to the door……..and yes, if it was an assault in progress, then they would enter without warrant - 911 operator or police can hear an assault occurring, yelling, etc.. – exigent circumstances

Does she need lawyer to get this information...probably not. As a police supervisor, I would answer the question. I may not be able to tell her everything if it is an ongoing investigation or file, but it sounds like exigent circumstances - so they probably can tell her certainly what she needs to know. So I would have her call the police station and ask for the supervisor....trust me, the mayor and the city counsel won't know squat....and if she is not happy with what she is told, tell her to move on to the next level until she gets the information that she needs and she s satisfied...she may end up at the chief's or mayor's office....but may not be necessary. And eventually she may even need a lawyer if she wants to find out. In Canada, she can make an application under the FOIP - Freedom of Information - to find out what happened - no lawyer needed..simple form to fill at our front counter. She gets the info she wants with all the names of the actual parties removed for their privacy....

And if I were the police supervisor, I would be knocking on her door at the beginning of the next shift (before 3 am) and explaining to your employee what happened. To me it only makes sense. We make mistakes - whether it was misinformation or not...a mistake was made. Let people know.....then we don't have to deal with all the aftermath...her telling her friends, who go on their automobile forums and get everyone all riled up : )

I have apologized to people for things I have done, things my members have done, and even on behalf of the whole department if I think we have messed up. Police Departments have always been so scared of litigation that no one will even apologize if they mess up. Over the past few years, they enacted legislation that allows police, hospitals etc to apologize without that apology being used in civil or criminal matters later on....to me it makes sense...if you mess up - apologize...

And NOTA, as one of those pigs you are referring to, I can tell you I have been a LEO for 17 years with only one complaint, which I deserved and corrected with a well-received apology which the people deserved. So maybe if you can open up your mind a bit and not paint every police officer (one million in all in America) with the same brush, I will do the same thing with you too, because I immediately thought you to be a no mind, piece of garbage by your comment – my bad. And trust me, you don’t speak for the people. In my little town the people spoke for themselves and the police received a glowing report last time the “people” were asked….

And I am certainly in agreement with dienstuhr – just a tad different here in Canada…as I am really starting to notice...not perfect either...but certainly different....

Well Grady, hope your friend finds the answers she wants….

Cheers
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Last edited by Burkie61; 01-05-2012 at 12:08 PM..
Old 01-05-2012, 11:37 AM
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...And Grady, with all due respect (and I mean that because you are a great contributor to the technical forum and obviously a stand up guy), I don't think the police chief or the DOJ would give a hoot about your complaint. Why would he?
If Grady is able to prove shenanigans - then before he is done, both will give a hoot.

angela
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:10 PM
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Prove what?! Nothing happened! They went to the wrong address and left. It's just not that important.
Old 01-05-2012, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for all the (mostly) useful input – particularly from Pelican burkie61. Paul, your analysis is probably ‘spot-on’. There is no ‘Grand Conspiracy’ here, just a simple mistake. As you note these are commonplace when people are involved.

I suppose my concern is this was ‘too close to home’ for me. This is a family I care about. I mentor and tutor the kids. The mom is my part-time housekeeper and caretaker. Yes, they live in a ‘less-than-desirable’ neighborhood – something I’m concerned about.

When they rented this duplex, I queried the local police officers, the mail carrier and many others as to the security of this premises. I never expected a 3:30 AM “Police – Open the door” situation. I looked to the police to protect them from neighboring drug gangs and other criminal elements.

Yes, I (and my employee) were not oblivious to the neighborhood situation. I have great concerns.
I am thankful that there are Denver Police securing the neighborhood at 3:30 AM.

The other side of the equation is about how DPD responded and how information was presented to me.
That is the area that concerns me the most.
I will not tolerate ‘official’ lying.
I understand confused situation and the inability for perfectly accurate information in real-time.
On the other hand, I’m intolerant of official mis-information, apparently covering-up mis –deeds of our sworn officers.
I look to our officers to be the hallmark of integrity.
What do I tell my Cub Scout den?


Thanks for all your very informed offerings.
This is a very useful discussion. I want to hear every side of the argument. Flail away.

Best,
Grady
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:05 PM
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A "cover up" of knocking on the door? Seriously guy?
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:38 PM
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My $.02.

A knock on the door at o'dark thirty gets a response with a handfull of attitude......

'Police'....is the same as "Landshark'......

Crank up the siren, turn on the lights, I wanna see the front of the house on the 'Breaking News', slide the badge and the CV under the door WITH the warrant.

I fear the ass-hats running the place.....
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:02 PM
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