Saturday, June 30, 2007

Derek Hale's Murderer Is Back On The Streets

Lt. William Browne of the Wilmington, Delaware Police "did not violate police department policy or procedures" when he gunned down Derek Hale (left, in Iraq with a Marine buddy) on the front porch of a friend's house last November 6. This was the long-anticipated and utterly predictable finding of the Wilmington Police Department's Office of Professional Standards.

The supposed exoneration of Lt. Browne came after Delaware state Attorney General Beau Biden cleared him of violating state law when he shot Derek twice, at point-blank range, after the decorated Marine combat veteran had been hit with seven taser blasts in a little more than a minute. Derek, a retired Marine sergeant, was not the subject of an arrest warrant at the time, although he did belong to the Pagans, an "outlaw motorcycle club" that included several people under investigation for suspected narcotics and firearms offenses.

So Lt. Brown is now free to kill again. He will not be stopped unless the civil suit filed against him and others implicated in the murder and cover-up succeeds. On previous experience, it's doubtful that such a lawsuit will produce that result, given that the murderous Lt. Brown has been "cleared" by the hierarchy of the gang that employs him.

Are there any Marine veterans in Wilmington who know Lt. Browne? If you're out there, could you take him aside and have a friendly chat with him, expressing your opinion of someone who would gun down an unarmed, unresisting combat veteran, leaving his wife a widow and orphaning his stepchildren?

(My thanks to Anthony Gregory for alerting me to this infuriating, if predictable, development.)


Anonymous said...

This is disgusting.

Fearing that he had a weapon in that pocket, the officers repeatedly shouted to Mr. Hale to remove his hands from the pocket. Mr. Hale, who had every opportunity to bring this incident to a peaceful end, chose not to remove his hands.

It was unsafe for officers to approach Mr. Hale so long as there was a possibility that he held a weapon in one or both of his concealed hands. Officers decided, therefore, to deploy TASERS in an effort to get Mr. Hale to remove his hands from his pockets and thus allow them to detain him without risk of injury to themselves or others. Mr. Hale continued to refuse to remove his hands from his pocket even after officers deployed their TASERS. Instead, Mr. Hale turned abruptly toward a nearby officer who at that time was defenseless. It appeared to officers at the scene, including Lt. Browne, that Mr. Hale was about to shoot. Faced with a split-second decision Lt. Browne had no alternative but to shoot Mr. Hale in order to protect the life of his fellow officer.

(Emphasis mine.)

So it couldn't have gone any other way. Yeah, right.

Notice there is no mention that Hale was given not even two seconds to remove his hands from his pockets before being electrocuted. Nor is there any consideration of the fact that, having been hit by multiple taser blasts, he would certainly have lost muscular control -- a predictable outcome, clearly described by the manufacturers of these deadly weapons -- and thus would have been unable to remove his hands from his pockets.

The police, and the government they serve, are murderous criminals. No other conclusion can be drawn from this "report," which is nothing less than a defense of malicious, brutal murder.

May God help us.

Anonymous said...

If the eyewitness accounts are true, and I secretly wish it's not as bad as Will portrays, then I can only hope Brown is soon killed by some real criminal thug in the line of duty before he kills another innocent person.

zach said...

The police cannot and should not be expected to police themselves. We need rule of law, not of men.

nhforester said...

Although this is a sad story with a deeply troubling ending - justice was at least served in the state of Arkansas. Yesterday I watched a video of an Arkansas State Trooper take a high powered rifle and shoot, in cold blood, a young man who was milling around on an interstate highway with his hands in his pocket. the rational given by the murderous thug masquerading as a public servant was that the "suspect" refused to remove his hands from his pockets when commanded to do so. It turns out the victim had cerebal palsy and numeorus other mental difficulties. Fortunately the video footage of this murder was too damning and the creep trooper was convicted of murder and will be sent off to the slammer. I am sure their are a few convicts that will be waiting for him with open arms. It is always a great day when real justice is served.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the 99% of bad LEO's have to tarnish the name of the other 1%.

Oh, wait...

Taylor Conant said...


Have you seen the TV series "The Shield?"

I just watched the pilot episode today (rented it via Netflix) and there is a great quote from one of the female police detectives when she is arguing with her super about the outlaw cop the district employs. I don't remember the whole thing but basically she had this utilitarian-type philosophy, saying that maybe a few peoples' rights get trampled in the process, but at the end of the day, this roughneck cop provides people with the kind of security and peace of mind they're looking for.

What makes it a great quote is the irony-- the system of law and law enforcement create the environment in which only a guy going around putting his boot in everyone's face can get the job done. It isn't as if things are just NATURALLY so unruly that it takes a thug to beat the thugs... no, the system has conditioned things in such a way that the people cry out for a little abuse if only to stop the other abuse going on by people without badges.

The show also features drug dealers and users as hopelessly foul human beings who are deserving of the abuse they receive from law enforcement (the last scene of the pilot depicts the renegade strike team executing a warrantless break-and-entry style massacre of a drug dealer within his private residence). The use of force is always clear cut and garnishes results, too, and it's always used against the most despicable members of society. Hmmm, we can break this obviously guilty pedophile the slow way and risk his 8-year-old kidnapping victim and sex slave dying in his basement, or we can send in meathead cop to torture him with the cameras off until he breaks quickly and we rescue her just in time.

However, it's a TV show, and like 24, despite my disagreement with some of the characters and elements of the plot, it was still pretty entertaining. My point is, there are a lot of people who think like this these days (sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet) and the irony of why it is that people like Derek Hale are "accidentally" being killed in the course of "law enforcement" seems to escape them completely.

Anonymous said...


I've seen all of the Shield thus far, and I actually don't think it glorifies police abuses.

Vic Mackey and team end up doing some very evil things (including murder) and their personal lives are a shambles; their families are broken. Their lies and coverups necessitate further lies and coverups. Innocent people get killed. I won't spoil any of it for you, but suffice it to say that Strike Team's actions come back to haunt them in some truly horrible ways.

The show does a good job at illustrating the concept of "blowback," albeit in domestic policing rather than foreign policy.

What I really like about The Shield is its unvarnished portrayal of the self-serving political dealing that goes on behind the scenes.

Compare that to shows like CSI, Law & Order, etc. that portray the police as selfless, flawless, good guys (and gals) with great bodies and perfect hair who always catch the bad guys when the hour is up. Those shows are propaganda for the police state. The Shield, while not beyond criticism, has a lot more truth in it than most shows.

Taylor Conant said...


Interesting and noted. I'm not about to make my mind up about a show based off the pilot, but certainly some of the elements I have seen so far screamed apologia.

I've got my fingers crossed that you're right, though. It will make me feel less guilty if I continue to enjoy watching it.

Al Newberry said...

I love the Shield, for probably other reasons.

I like the fact that the characters are shown as being flawed, and not glorified as being unquestionable heroes. It's also entertaining in the fact that the "obviously vile" criminals are getting the crap beat out of them.

That said, it does tend to bias the audience toward abusive police work since the impression left is that the ends justify the means in most cases.

So I love the show, but hate much of the moral premise.

liberranter said...

I've been a regular viewer of The Shield for all six of its seasons and generally enjoy it as entertainment. I've also heard firsthand from cops who claim to enjoy it as well. How ironic that a show that portrays cops as inept half-wits, at best, or murderous criminal thugs, at worst, has the ringing endorsement of a professional demographic that is constantly struggling (fruitlessly, I might add) to erase the negative stereotypes of itself that it has so justly earned.

drizzt said...

Ok it is easy for you chickens to sit at your computer and second guess, when you are not the ones going out and putting your life on the line for ungreatful people such as yourselves. I challenge any of you to apply for your local law enfocement jobs and go out and do it. O wait you are to chicken to. If he would have complied with the commands to take his hands out of his pockets we wouldn't be haveing this conversasion. Even after being tased several times he still did not comply, ( wich leads me to believe he was doped up, if you don't believe me go to your local law enforcement traning center and let them tase you, it will drop you, unless you are severly doped up). Also the is another training you could go do its called gun retintion, in it you learn a man can cover over 15ft and kill someone with a knife before he can draw and discharge a lethal round. With some comments that I see about in the article it is obvious that a criminal minded person wrote when they hinted at maybe someone could find officer Browne and well you read it, again why don't the author of the article find him and do it himself o wait he is a coward. So before you jump up and start bashing go put on a uniform and put your life on the line for people like you if you are man enough and it obviouse you ain't. It is a split second discsion out there. I wonder if the feelings would have been the same if Mr. Hale would have been some child molester instead of a former drop out marine.

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree that the asshole cops who murder this Marine should be held accountable, the sad truth is the reason some people let this crap go and why some cops get this way is because diehard dirty criminals are dumped on the streets again and again by bleedingheart asshole judges and Commie ACLU types they get sick adn tired of the bad guy winning. Problem is they picked a good guy to murder instead of using that bullet on some 3 strike asshole who probably deserved a double tap in the chest

Anonymous said...

wrong is wrong and i live in delaware and i must say this is a corrupt enforcement covers up for themselves even if they are wrong but when judgement day comes those involved will answer to god for thier behavior.THOU SHALL NOT KILL!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a combat veteran, a Marine Sergeant at that. This Marine can survive a foreign war and honorable years of service, however he cant survive a trigger happy, incompetent, under-trained waste of a life with a badge looking for a reason to use his firearm.

I will politely state this officer is damn lucky to not live near me. You want to kill off combat vets, good, you can fight for your own rights. Pray we never meet, civilian.

Anonymous said...

I normally don't support vigilante justice, but I really, really hope this dirtbag "cop" will be found dead by the side of the road, with no witnesses ever coming forward.