Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rough Men Stand Ready to Kill You in Your Bed

“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm,” wrote the late Richard Grenier decades ago. The murderous reality behind that oft-recited authoritarian aphorism – generally mis-attributed to Orwell – was made tangible on the morning of June 27 when at least a dozen L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies traveled to Littlerock, California, a village of roughly 1,200 people about an hour northeast of Los Angeles, to attack an 80-year-old man named Eugene Mallory in his bed.

Mallory woke up to find armed men in his home. The elderly man’s glasses were on the nightstand beside him. His handgun was also within easy reach. After the panicking man reached for his gun, the intruders shot him six times.

The deputies who had invaded Mallory’s home weren’t responding to an emergency, nor were they pre-empting a criminal plot. They were serving a narcotics warrant issued in response to a claim that someone who had passed by the property smelled ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine.

After shooting the helpless old man in his bed and leaving him to die, the intruders assaulted and bound his terrified wife, Tonya Pate, then ransacked the property. Although they found no evidence that Mallory was an aspiring Heisenberg, they did locate an insignificant amount of marijuana – something not listed in the search warrant, but seized upon as validation of the murderous home invasion. 

The Fourth Amendment, which was rendered irrelevant long ago, requires that in order for a warrant to be valid it must specify the items being sought. Additionally, a vague report of a suspicious smell doesn’t meet the Fourth Amendment’s standards for probable cause. This was acknowledged by the California Supreme Court in a decision announced a few hours after LA County deputies slaughtered Mallory. The Court ruled that police were not permitted to search a closed shipping package because it reeks of marijuana. 

In that case, which arose from a 2010 arrest of a man accused of trying to ship pot to Illinois via FedEx, the police insisted that what they call the “plain smell test,” coupled with “exigent circumstances,” justified a warrantless search and seizure of the package. That argument didn’t pass the Court’s smell test.

If police aren’t permitted to seize a package that exudes the aroma of marijuana, it can’t be considered permissible to mount a daybreak no-knock raid of a residence on the basis of an unsupported claim that something in the surrounding air made an informant’s nostrils twitch. 

Since the warrant was invalid, and the search was illegitimate, Mallory was within his legal rights to use lethal force to defend himself. However, department spokesman Steve Whitmore insists that “The lesson here is … don’t pull a gun on a deputy.”

A more suitable lesson is this: We live in a country where criminals in uniform feel entitled to gun down elderly men in their beds.

Shooting terrified people in their beds is a familiar practice to the Berserkers employed by the LA County Sheriff’s Office. 

(LACSO via LA Weekly)

In October 2010, two members of a specialized unit of the sheriff’s office called the Community-Oriented Policing Services High-Impact Team – known by the exquisitely appropriate acronym COPS HIT  – barged into a backyard shack occupied by Angel Mendez and his pregnant girlfriend, Jennifer (whom he later married). 

The deputies – Christopher Conley and Jennifer Pederson – didn’t have a warrant, nor were they in hot pursuit of a suspect. 

Both of the intruders had their guns drawn. Neither said a word. After Mendez sat up in his bed, the deputies opened fire, shredding his body with more than a dozen rounds. His  girlfriend, who was five months pregnant, was also hit, suffering a shattered collarbone. 
Angel Mendez lost his leg the following day.

Bleeding profusely from multiple wounds, Mendez was dragged from his bed to be interrogated. Paramedics arrived, ripped away Mendez’s clothing, and worked frantically to save his life. Nude, traumatized, and lying in a puddle of his own blood, Mendez was harangued by Sgt. Greg Minster, who tried to manipulate the victim into saying that he was at fault.

“One more time,” Minster snarled at Mendez in a video-recorded interrogation, “why did you point the gun at my deputies?”

“I didn’t, sir,” gasped Mendez as he struggled to survive the assault.

The “gun” in question was a cheap toy BB rifle that had been on Mendez’s bed when the officers barged into the shack where he and his expectant girlfriend were living. He moved to set the rifle on the floor so he could get out of bed.

Deputy Conley – reciting from the killer cop’s catechism of self-justification – insisted that he feared for his life and reacted instinctively. 

However, in an interview with Sgt. Patrick Kim, Conley admitted that the encounter with Mendez lasted “maybe 15 seconds” before he attempted to kill him. This means that the shooting was not the product of a split-second decision, and that Conley had ample time to recognize that Mendez didn’t pose a threat.

The harassment of Mendez continued after the victim was taken to the hospital. Sgt. Robert Gray demanded that Mendez admit that he had pointed the BB gun at deputies Conley and Pederson.

“I did not aim it at them, sir,” Mendez insisted. “I was like, `No, please, stop, don’t shoot me!’ And they shot again and again and again after I dropped everything.”

On October 1, 2010, Mendez was charged with “assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer” – despite the fact that the intruders had no legal cause to be in Mendez’s home, and didn’t bother to identify themselves as deputies. On the following day, Mendez lost his leg to amputation. After it became clear that the LACSO couldn’t get away with describing a BB rifle as a “deadly weapon,” it withdrew the original charge and attempted to have the victim prosecuted for “brandishing” what was called “an imitation firearm,” but Deputy DA James Garrison declined to pursue the case. 

Last August, a federal judge awarded Mendez and his wife a $4.1 million settlement to be paid by the tax victims of Los Angeles County. In announcing the award, Judge Michael Fitzgerald ruled that the shooting was the result of an unlawful search – which means that it should have been prosecuted as an act of attempted criminal homicide.

Deprived of an opportunity to send the man they had nearly murdered to prison, the Sheriff’s Office had to settle for ruling that his assailants had acted “within policy” by invading his home and mutilating him. They are still plying their criminal trade, and the department continues to insist that the marauders had an unqualified right to murder Mendez.

“This individual did pull a weapon on our deputies, forcing them to respond because they feared for their safety,” snivelled department spokesliar Steve Whitmore. Given that the search was illegal, the deputies were common home invaders. Mendez had an unqualified right to kill them in self-defense, if he had been able to. 

Because the department continues to pretend its operatives have a plenary entitlement to terrorize people, the COPS HIT unit continues to carry out home invasions. “They just storm these places and do whatever the hell they want,” complained attorney Gerald Ryckman in an interview with LA Weekly. This behavior isn’t limited to Los Angeles County, of course.

Last July, just a few weeks before Mendez and his wife were awarded compensation for their suffering at the hands of a state-sanctioned hit team, Auburn, Washington Dustin Theoharis filed a $20 million tort claim against Officer Kris Rongen of Washington Department of Corrections. Theoharis had previously been awarded a $3 million settlement by King County to indemnify the criminal actions of Deputy Aaron Thompson. 

Theoharis was asleep in his bed on February 11, 2012 when two armed strangers entered his room and started to give him orders. Understandably startled, Theoharis reached for a flashlight. This prompted the two intruders to open fire. Theoharis – while still in bed -- was shot sixteen times, but survived.

The assailants who shot Theoharis had arrested his roommate, Nicholas Harrison, an ex-convict who had failed to report for community supervision. They had barged into the bedroom to find if Harrison had a gun, which would have allowed them to charge him with a parole violation. They had no warrant or probable cause for the search. Since Harrison was already in custody at the time of the incident, there was no need for a “safety sweep” of the residence. This illegal search was conducted solely for the purpose of seeking an enhanced charge against a suspect who was already in custody. 

Immediately after the shots were fired, Detective Benjamin Wheeler – one of four other officers on the scene – raced to the downstairs bedroom, where he found Theoharis bleeding from multiple entry wounds and the two officers who had shot him in what appeared to be a “state of shock.”

When Wheeler asked what happened, Thompson claimed that the victim “told us he had four guns, and then he started reaching for one.” This was a lie. No gun was found in the bedroom. A rifle was found in a locked gun case in the room next door. Theoharis was asleep when the officers went into his darkened bedroom and began barking orders at him, and within ten seconds he had been perforated with sixteen shots.
Rongen receiving an "Officer of the Month" citation.
By any reasonable definition, Detective Thompson and Officer Rongen committed the crime of attempted homicide. The King County Prosecutor declined to file criminal charges against either assailant, insisting that the shooting was justified because of a “perceived risk” to officer safety. 

An internal review of the incident by the Sheriff’s Office found that neither Thompson nor Rongen had asked “anything about the occupant of the room, if there were weapons present or if the person permanently lived at the residence.” The officers were faulted for not taking the time to “determine a safe course of action with four other detectives who were present.”

Rongen (r.) conducting a stop-and-frisk.
For its part, the Department of Corrections simply ruled that Rongen’s actions had followed department policies. Rongen, invoking the Fifth Amendment, refused to cooperate with the investigation. 

Rongen is a former football standout with Washington who made it to the NFL long enough to get cut during training camp. When Rongen violated the rules of football, he and his team were penalized. He has suffered no such sanctions as a law enforcement officer who attempted to murder a man in his bed.

People who recite Grenier’s line about the “rough men [who] stand ready in the night” will sometimes pair it with Kipling’s reproach against those who are found “making mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep.” The thought of being “guarded” by such pathologically violent people is sufficient to banish sleep permanently, and mockery is the mildest treatment they deserve.

My earnest thanks to everyone who has contributed to keep Pro Libertate up and running. We still need your help -- and anything you send is deeply appreciated.

It is no exaggeration to say that I am
inundated with messages from people whose lives have been blighted -- or ruined -- by criminal violence committed by police, and find that "professional" journalists aren't interested in telling their stories. I devoutly wish I could get a Wayne Foundation grant to fund my work. Pending such a development, I'm dependent on the generosity of readers, and I want you to know that I'm not the only one who appreciates your help.

Thanks again, and God bless!


Be sure to tune in every Saturday evening at 8:00 (MST) for Freedom Zealot Radio on the Liberty News Radio Network

Dum spiro, pugno!


John Boanerges Redman said...

I'll just say God bless Will Grigg, Jonathon Turley (res ipso loquitur)and brave and talented people like them.

Chris Mallory said...

I think your keyboard isn't working correctly. It seems to be signaling for a "t" when an "f" is needed. "Detective" should read "Defective".

Anonymous said...

Will -

When I first read the line that indicated the name of the specialized unit or Community-Oriented Policing Services High-Impact Team, I will confess that my mind went into the gutter and I figured the acronym would be COP SH*T. That would seem to be more appropriate.

Love the articles - keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

The deputies involved need to be arrested and tried for murder. When they are found to have "acted within department policy" and are cleared of all wrongdoing, the family of the victim should be allowed to hunt them down and seek justice. No, it's not right, but this conduct will ONLY cease when law enforcement is forced to face the reality that such acts will cost them their lives.

MoT said...

The long train of abuses continue day after day. And people wonder why I call for secession and an end to police forces entirely. That seems to set their eyes all bugged out. What happened to me last year with cops pushing themselves into my home on the mere pretext of having an anonymous "call" in the middle of the night by the self-same anonymous passersby to my home at midnight of all times. A call prompted by some cries of a child that not a single neighbor heard not even after my screaming at the top of my lungs for the badged vermin to depart. Mr. Mallory was clearly murdered on the so-called tip by some vindictive swine.

Dublinmick said...

There is a saying out there made into a song.

"We do what we want, we can't be stopped, we're Americas favorite cops ...LAPD ... LAPD

This is what you get when laws are upheld that police agencies can refuse to hire people if their I.Q. is too high.

GunRights4US said...

Families of cop victims should dedicate themselves to bloody revenge and hunt these bastards down and slaughter them!

kirk said...

they're 'tough guys' when the power of the state is reflected thru them, up to and including murder. this is particularly true because those upon whom they are inflicted cannot act in kind without bringing more of the killers down upon them.

question: what will this exalted class do when the state evaporates and there is no longer any power reflected thru the members of the 'tough guy' cabal?

answer: the same thing all bullies, cowards in their hearts with tyrannical darkness in their minds, do when faced with a foe who will not yield. they will run and hide.

these murderous quislings are a disgusting collection of human refuse that are in their true mode of action when shaking down the innocent, acting as intimidators and killers for the state.

quisno son of the Republic said...

sent this to the CSOA and the Constitutional group led by Keith broaders. i dont think the tea party of the conservatve sits need it as those people only believe intheir servitude.

quisno son of the Republic said...

People! either they, these Sheriffs, will learn their responsibilities or they wont. the people must be the determining factor and it rides on their shoulders for if they want an end all they need to do is to say stop!. but it wll take a very good percentage. we re so unindated with the Hegelian Dialectic that the problem is we are under constant missinformation.

Bevin Chu said...

Richard Grenier's declartion that "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm”is long overdue for a rewrite.

It should be revised to read,

"We sleep soundly in our beds because we don't realize rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on us and do us harm.”

Anonymous said...

Seems to me you have a corrupt judiciary that can't use common sense combined with a police force that is out of control. But this only happens because the court system allows the police to ignore the warrant provisions, along with our elites who now allow indefinite detention.

So I found this article inconsistent in the extreme.

The question should be who were the individuals involved, who sanctioned the raid, and what action will be taken against the officers involved?Other than that, the article sounded like an Obama speech.

Anonymous said...

I try to be charitable to all, but this event crosses the line. One can reason with and win the affection of a cat or a dog, but not a rattlesnake. The police in America are a swarm of deadly dangerous reptiles, cold-blooded poisonous vipers. There is nothing to be done with rattlesnakes in order to make the public safe, but to crush their heads or chop them off. Such an act would be a service to humanity.

Start now, people, to note when a cop car is parked outside a family house overnight. If you can, take telephoto images of cops in uniform or at their social events, as many as possible. When the Day of Atonement comes, you will then know who they are and where to find them.

As for what you do then, try a little experiment. Buy a can of anti-wasp Raid, and a cigarette lighter. Get the lighter going, and direct the jet of Raid through the flame. Make sure it is the jetting anti-wasp kind which shoots a jet of liquid for about 12feet, and not the ant-and-bug kind, which comes out in a cloud. Direct the flaming jet at a pile of trash, (by which I do NOT mean a police officer) and see what happens. If you have a scarecrow in the neighborhood, you could practice aiming for the face of the dummy, (by which I am NOT referring to a tax feeder in blue,) and watch the effect. Now, use your imagination as to what else this silent little flamethrower could be used for.

Just remember the necessity for an element of surprise, which should turn out to be quite considerable, if you ever have the cause to use this device against, say, a colony of wasps.

Eagle Feather said...

Read that story above. White men are all bullies. Bullies are cowards. All I hear from you is a lot of clucking and hooting, like a flock of prairie chickens or turkeys. Only we First Nations, who fought you turkeys for our land, are real men who will stand up and fight for our honour and dignity. You white people are grasshoppers who talk and talk and talk like singing insects, and want to rape your mother, the Earth, and commit incest against your brothers. When will your balls descend, and when will you behave like men and not meek obedient children?

Anonymous said...

Eagle Feather wrote, "White men are all bullies."

Give it a rest, Eagle Feather. You come across as no different than the other goons who rule us all. And those who support them.

An individual is Not the group.

Eagle Feather wrote, "Only we First Nations, who fought you turkeys for our land,..."

According to what I know about history, the Native Americans are conquistadors like all the rest. They pushed out a people that were in North America long before them.

So don't go around calling the kettle black. Will ya?

You discount "talk" as if it were not an effective means for change.

I think you are mistaken.

- IndividualAudienceMember

Tom Wolff said...

"Eagle Feather"?
Please shut up, you're making us rational 'skins look really bad, dude.

Eagle Feather said...

Cluck, cluck, cluck, gobble, gobble, baa, baa, baa.

W. Tecumseh Sherman said...

Hey "Eagle Feather,"
I read your article. I especially like the photo of your braves facing down a line of unarmed RCMP cops dressed in blue cloth uniforms. Very impressive. Why don't you come down here and face off against one of our SWAT teams in body armor with automatic weapons and tanks? You try to pull a stunt like that here and our Gestapo would eat you all for breakfast. Come on, give it your best shot, and your best shot will be met with a hail of machine-gun bullets, tear gas and sonic weapons. Count your blessings that you live in a semi-civilized country, and now, be quiet.

Matt Bracken said...

Killer cops are now a far greater threat than cop killers. And killer cops just LOVE the fact that America is morphing into the USSA.

Anonymous said...

The "police" are the scum of the earth. As is eveyone who supports the murdering child raping Badge Nazi trash. May God curse them all into the deepest pit of hell. At best they are thieves, perjurers ,rapist ,murder's, drunk's and perverted swine. They are Vermin, no better than lice or cockroaches and should be dealt with in the same way.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Mr. Grigg,
You are one of the true public servants. I only wish you had a larger readership, but I see your articles on, and hope they get a lot of readers there. It is a sad state of affairs, when it is more dangerous to call the police for help, when oneself or one's property is being attacked, than to face down the attackers oneself. The police are most likely to shoot the victim, long after the criminals have left the scene. (If there ever were any criminals to begin with, which often is not the case.) Same phenomenon in Guantanamo, where 90% of the inmates were turned over to the Americans in Afghanistan for the cash bounty, by neighbors who had a grudge against them. Or by warlords who had kidnapped them off the streets at random and sold them to the US. (The bounty BTW was $25,000, a considerable sum even here, and a fortune in Afghanistan.) This has become a Nazi State, the USSA, where the corporations rule, and the Gestapo thugs oppress the public. I think it has now gone too far to be turned around, except by a violent insurrection. I pray to God I am wrong.

Eagle Feather said...

To all turkeys, baa-baas and dummies in Das Amerika:

Well said, General Sherman. Gestapo is exactly correct. Here is a link to another news story - it is a 4-minute video filmed in your wonderful country, of your prairie chicken citizens signing a petition "To support an Orwellian Police State like in Nazi Germany". You don't believe me? I challenge you to watch it for yourself.

I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

This is why I moved OUT of COMMIEfornia. The cops are absolutely out of control. Six cops pointing guns at you, and when the first trigger happy cop fires a round into you, it is a demand that ALL cops EMPTY their weapons, "in the interest of officer safety." They are THUGS WITH BADGES, and nothing more.