Thursday, July 06, 2006

Man shot by Bessemer police in fair condition

A man shot by Bessemer police during the execution of a search warrant Wednesday night was in fair condition today. Police served a search warrant at the home of Willie Frank Collins at 433 First Ave. North.

When police knocked, identified themselves and entered the home, they were met by gunfire.

Officers returned fire, striking Collins. Collins, 67, was treated by paramedics and transported to the hospital.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting.

Robert K. Gordon

I have some serious doubts that things happened the way the police say they did.

1. Police on a drug raid rarely knock and announce themselves as police because that gives whoever they are after a chance to run for the toilet and flush whatever evidence there might be. The general rule is to kick in the door, charge into the domicile and scream like a wild mob out of control all at the same time...making it very hard to understand just exactly what is going on. This is done to throw everyone off guard in hopes that their surprise will be so great they will just freeze where they are. As this incident points out...not everyone freezes when they think they are about to be killed.

2. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 15 that police no longer have to knock when entering a dwelling. They can just charge in screaming like banshees, scaring the hell out of the occupants and doubling if not tripling their risk of getting shot. So why the hell knock and announce if you don't have to?

Think about it for a minute...whether you use drugs or not. Suppose the police have the wrong address like they did with Alberta Spurill in New York, and say you are in bed at three in the morning and you hear someone kicking in your door and yelling like mad, tossing flash-bang grenades and so forth. They have not identified themselves as police officers so you grab your gun and start shooting at these unidentified intruders in order to protect yourself and your family. You hit one and he/she dies. You go to prison. Think it can't happen to you? Check out this story of Corey Maye over in Mississippi. Look at this list of people both cops and innocent civilians, who were victims of the wrong address or a no-knock raid.

I hold that this decision by the Supreme Court will cost more innocent lives of both civilians and police officers in the line of duty.


No comments: