Virginia Cop Killed in Drug Raid; Suspect Says He Was Defending His Home

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Officer Jarrod Shivers was shot and killed while executing a search warrant in Cheseapeake, Virginia Thursday night.

The suspect had no criminal record (at least in the state of Virginia). And he says in an interview from jail he had no idea the undercover cops breaking into his home were police. The suspect, 28-year-old Ryan David Frederick, also says a burglar had broken into his home earlier this week.

Thought the raid was apparently part of a drug investigation, police aren’t saying what if any drugs were found. They won’t even confirm that police had the correct address. But they have arrested Frederick and charged him with first-degree murder.

More to come, I’m sure.

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50 Responses to “Virginia Cop Killed in Drug Raid; Suspect Says He Was Defending His Home”

  1. #1 |  Herr Morgenholz | 

    Money quote:

    “Our work is inherently dangerous,” said Jack Crimmins, president of the Chesapeake Coalition of Police. “I think a lot of people take our work for granted. Unfortunately, these types of events are increasing instead of decreasing. And it’s a very sad trend.”

    I’d agree with him there.

  2. #2 |  Bad | 

    When a citizen shoots a police officer, they are immediately arrested, no questions asked, and their guilt or innocence is determined later.

    When an officer shoots a citizen, however, they are virtually never arrested on the spot, or even immediately detained for questioning by neutral investigators. They are offered free psychological counseling, and often the worse penalty they get is desk duty and the temporary loss of their gun while the department waits for the press to lose interest.

    That’s not to say that people shooting police are just as likely to be innocent as officers shooting people. But the difference in de facto treatment right off the bat is vast and troubling.

  3. #3 |  Mikestermike | 

    It is interesting that the reason SWAT is said to be used is to minimize potentially dangerous situations. Here, UNDERCOVER officers played commando and busted in. Where was SWAT? Do these police departments want us to believe SWAT can raid poker games, but it situations like this they aren’t to be used?
    And why can’t they just knock on the door and issue the warrant just like in the ol 60s police shows? What happened to courtesy?

    Just like the like in Empire Strikes Back:
    “Luke: What’s in there?
    Yoda: Only what you take with you.”

  4. #4 |  Balloon Maker | 

    My heart goes out to the family of the officer killed. Perhaps the policies that put him in the line of fire should be scrutinized (of course, they won’t). I hope this tragedy isn’t compounded by Mr. Frederick being thrown in jail for life or worse.

  5. #5 |  Pat Lynch | 

    This officer rolled the dice and lost. I don’t really think what he did was defined in any proceedure. He was feeling kind of like a tough guy, and now not all the murder trials in the world will bring him back. Police everywhere cringe when they hear a someone say a mans house is his castle.

  6. #6 |  Bill | 

    These guys think that not only are they above the nation’s laws they also think that they are above nature’s law. When you behave in a dangerous and reckless way you suffer the consequences. On the cop websites there are a lot of cry babies right now writing things such as ‘Rest with the angels, my brother. Let’s kill the guy who did this.’ They need to get with reality.

  7. #7 |  Persona non grata | 

    Tragic and 100% preventable.

  8. #8 |  Primus | 

    The cop lied when he said their job is inherently dangerous. The fact is, they are not even in the top 10 for dangerous. Therefore, everything that flows out of that statement is wrong. SWAT squads busting into peoples’ homes because they might destroy some pot is going too far. The day that thug cops can enter your home with guns and grenades in the middle of the night is the day that you yanks have gone right back to the way things were before your ‘revolutionary’ war. Then, it was the King’s men, now it is your own government. Same Same.

  9. #9 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    One down, how many more to do before even the police, who benefit from asset forfeiture laws, finally decide losing lives is not worth another Camaro for DARE campains?

    I have NO sympathy for the dead officer. He chose to be a city-sanctioned revenuer and gang member; no one compelled him to do it.

    His family, on the other hand, yeah. Only if they don’t get his pension.

  10. #10 |  thorn | 

    There seems to be some debate as to whether or not the officers yelled “POLICE” before entering… so, what if they did?

    *Anyone* can yell “POLICE!” while knocking down your door. Criminals *have* done this in the past to catch homeowners off-guard. The police want the surprise of a no-knock entry? Well – there ya go: Surprise! The homeowner didn’t know you were a cop and shot you.

    I cannot find a single reason that the accused could not have been arrest on his way to work in the yard.

  11. #11 |  Ochressandro | 

    Well, fuck.

    I was going to try to write something witty and coherent, but ultimately, it all just boils down to that.

  12. #12 |  Ochressandro | 

    Also, some of the comments on that story make me weep for my country.

  13. #13 |  volney | 

    Kneejerk defenders of Fascisti Cops will deserve what they get when it’s their turn. Been weeping for my country for decades.

  14. #14 |  Bill | 

    It is not the same as pre-revolutionary days. We had more rights back then (well, unless you were black or a woman).
    Take a look at my blog. I need contributors to the site. Anyone want to exchange links or RSS feeds?

  15. #15 |  Bill | 

    Also, digg this:

    I created a digg link on the reason blog post. Let’s expose this to the masses.

  16. #16 |  Shannon Love | 

    When someone kicks in their door without warning, a law abiding person’s first thought is that they are under attack from criminals, not the police. Only criminals expect assault from the police.

    If somebody kicked in my door suddenly and yelled, “police!” my first thought would be, “Yea, right. Why would the police be kicking in my door? It must be some criminal impersonating the police.” Given the ease of impersonating a police officer in such a context, it would seem the obvious tactic for a home invader to use.

    I live in a duplex in an upscale neighborhood and actually had a drug raid by plain clothes police on a bunch of meth heads living in the duplexes other unit. Fortunately, they just showed up in force and knocked. However, looking back, if they had assaulted my unit by mistake with a SWAT I would have assumed that they were criminals targeting the addicts next door and I would have resisted with lethal force. It could easily have been me in Fredireck’s shoes.

  17. #17 |  PatHMV | 

    I’m usually with you on these stories, but I’m not sure about this one. According to the account of the paper’s interview with Frederick, “Frederick said in a jailhouse interview Friday he had no idea a police officer was on the other side of the door when he opened fire.”

    If the door was still closed, that’s murder to shoot through it, unless you’ve got a reasonable belief that the person on the other side is about to burst through it.

    Also, this wasn’t 3:00am like some of the notorious bad raids. This is 8:30pm, a time when most people are still up. I have no problem with arrest warrants being routinely served at 8:30pm.

  18. #18 |  ThomasD | 

    Can’t wait to hear the details of the warrant, anyone want to place bets whether this is another death-by-no-knock?

    Yep, if it had been SWAT doing the entry no cop would have died, more likely that SWAT loses some body armor and the resident loses his life.

    I have no problem with legally obtained warrants being executed at whatever time seems appropriate. I do have major problems with ‘policesearchawarrant’ getting mumbled just before they start kicking down the door.

    The first degree murder charge really takes all though. A man firing at somebody in the act of kicking down his homes’s front door is considered a premeditated crime? That charge is as much an abuse of the legal system as anything else that has occured.

  19. #19 |  Dan Palmer | 

    I’m not a lawyer, but doesn’t first degree murder require planning and intent?

    How could Frederick’s actions rise to the level of First Degree? Involuntary Manslaughter maybe, but first degree, not a chance.

  20. #20 |  Jack | 

    Many of today’s police forces–local, state, and ATF behave more like Hitler’s Gestapo, esapecially if there are camera’s present. The whole mass murder at Waco, Tx committed by ATF, was for the benefit of the cameras. They could have arrested David Koresh while he was off site many times before the mass murder. However, when they made the big raid for the cameras and started getting their butt shot off, they proceeded to plan and committ the biggests mass murder by law enforcement in American History. There are cases all the time where police raid the wrong house and committ crimes against the occupants, most of the time they don’t even bother to apologize.

  21. #21 |  John | 

    They’ll charge first degree murder just in case they can convince a jury to go along with that. But the jury will be able to convict on one of multiple lesser degrees of murder after hearing the evidence. That seems to be the way it works, at least judging by the way things worked when I was on a jury recently in a murder trial. I don’t like it either.

  22. #22 |  JOHN | 

    Police Officers do their job and do it well everyday. Trying to keep bad people from influencing your kids with drugs, guns and violence. To comment without knowing the whole story is just typical liberal and idiotic thinking. ‘DONT BE SUCH STUPID IDIOTS WE NEED LAWS AND PEOPLE TO ENFORCE THOSE LAWS SO IDIOTS LIKE YOU CAN MAKE STUPID REMARKS’ LIKE “ONE DOWN HOW MANY MORE TO GO” Search warrants are not about money they are about putting in jail people that break the law MORON

  23. #23 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    AND allows idiots like yourself to also post John. And we have the POLICE to influence our kids with guns and violence to add to your list…if they can keep from shooting the kids they are protecting or shooting the kid’s dog in front of them.

    I guess the mounting innocent civilian casualties are just the small price we pay for being safe from poker games and pot smokers and are acceptable…as long as it isn’t you or your family….moron.

    John must be a cop. How’s that teeny weeny peeny? Carrying a gun make you feel better about it?

  24. #24 |  Nick T | 


    Assuming very bad facts for the accused, it would likey be 2nd degree murder. Involuntary manslaughter is only when a person is killed by an act that is not voluntary, but is done recklessly. E.g. if a gun is accidentally discharged or an item accidentally dropped off a building.

    The accused here seems to have unquestionably deliberately aimed and fired his gun. If he was justified then he is completely innocent, but if not there is no way to view what he did as involuntary.

    Regardless, this case is very sad. I don’t know how anyone could imagine that this man actually decided it was a good idea to shoot at invaders he KNEW to be police, or that he was recklessness in his not figuring it out. Just absurd.

    Oh, and JOHN, hopefully you’re a caricature, but if not: please figure out a way to contribute less to this discussion with even MORE irrelevant and reactionary comments… oh and be more naive too, if possible.

  25. #25 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    “Police Officers do their job and do it well everyday. Trying to keep bad people from influencing your kids with drugs, guns and violence. ”

    Let me pass on a true story to you John. When I lived in WI, I went with my friend to his neighbor’s house to play poker with him and some buddies (yes…for money!) Anyway, there were 6 of us. Me, my friend, his neighbor and 3 of his neighbor’s friends. We sat at the table drinking beer, playing cards and soon a joint (yes…a marijuanna cigarette!) starts passing around. Good stuff too. Then another guys pulls out a baggie and starts another…then another. I eventually go to the bathroom and my heart stops when I see a Sherrif’s Deputy uniform hanging in the hallway. Turns out, the neighbor and his 3 buddies are ALL FOUR cops. Sherrif Deputies…each and everyone. They laugh at my amazement and one says, “Well where the fuck do you think we get all this good smoke?”

    Sorry to rain on your parade.

  26. #26 |  Tim in TX | 

    The article says “shot while trying to enter”; we’re talking about someone NOT wearing a regular police uniform, trying to gain entry to someone’s home. Pretty much anywhere I can think of, you may use force to prevent entry to your home, so shooting through the door in that case might well be irrelevant.

    Given the home invasion threat, no amount of shouting “police” is likely to effectively cover your ass if you don’t LOOK like a police officer. We had a number of home invasions like that in the city I just moved from last year, and it’s a small place.

    A previous poster is correct – only criminals expect the police to try and break into their home.

  27. #27 |  SSG Jeff (USAR) | 

    ““Our work is inherently dangerous,” said Jack Crimmins, president of the Chesapeake Coalition of Police. “I think a lot of people take our work for granted. Unfortunately, these types of events are increasing instead of decreasing. And it’s a very sad trend.””

    Yes, it’s increasing – along with the number of police home invasions (aka no-knocks and wrong address raids).

    I wonder if there is a connection?

  28. #28 |  JOHN | 

    Nick T

    According to the Virginia Code
    § 18.2-31. Capital murder defined; punishment

    6. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101 or any law-enforcement officer of another state or the United States having the power to arrest for a felony under the laws of such state or the United States, when such killing is for the purpose of interfering with the performance of his official duties;
    9. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of or attempted commission of a violation of § 18.2-248, involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance, when such killing is for the purpose of furthering the commission or attempted commission of such violation;

  29. #29 |  straightarrow | 

    The best way to stop this nonsense is to consider every officer involved in a no-knock raid an expendable asset. If he gets killed or injured, no charges will be laid against his killer, no civil suit may be filed. This should just be considered a cost of doing business. There should be no action by any authority against the killer of anyone forcefully breaching a home’s door.

    Then we would see just how valuable this tactic was considered to be by those employing it. I suspect we would see them using more sensible, effective, efficient and safer tactics once legal protections are removed for this misbehavior.

    I further suspect that those with a ninja attitude would leave the force in droves once they realized the playing field was now more level.

  30. #30 |  Jim | 

    I hope we are kept up to date on this story. I suspect there is a lot more to the story, but it will take a good reporter to dig out all the facts; don’t expect the police to tell the whole story.

    Anyone who sees or hears anything about this, please post what you learn.

  31. #31 |  Brutus | 

    Looking at the news story through the Instapundit link, the officer looks like the prototypical law enforcement cowboy with his tough guy, shaved-head-and-goatee look.

    They say a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. I say a libertarian is someone, like me, who has had law enforcement officials draw down on them while they’re in their own home! In my case, it was because the getaway car in a local bank robbery was the same make and color as mine.

    My wife’s uncle, a 30-year veteran on a small-town police force, took early retirement last year instead of continuing to work with “the type of person becoming cops these days”. According to him, he drew his gun 4 times in 32 years, and he was working with guys who did it 4 times in a week!

  32. #32 |  JohnMc | 

    What I don’t understand with a SWAT drug raid what is the purpose? Get the drugs, or the perp? Ok, you can charge in and snag drugs, possibly get a low level middleman and lose a trained officer in the bargain. Not a good trade of tax payers dollars.

    Better for SWAT to surround the house, yell ‘Drug Raid’ knock on the front door then wait 10min. By then the perp has flushed the evidence sure. But the perp eventually gives up in a less dangerous situation. Sure the case will crumble. But you keep it up. Probable cause will present itself again and again is they are a seller. Lose too much stuff, and their suppliers will either off’em or not sell to them anymore.

  33. #33 |  Laika's Last Woof | 

    “… David Koresh …”
    How dare you compare the victim of a no-knock home invasion with a religious fanatic who KNEW the police had a warrant and CHOSE not to obey the law. David Koresh was a criminal. Home defenders of no-knock raids are victims.

    No law-abiding citizen chooses to defy the police with force. The tragedy of the no-knock raid is that it turns law-abiding citizens into innocent cop killers. Think about that: could there be anything so terrible as a policy that leads innocent people to kill police officers?

    Those of you angry at the police and claiming they “got what was coming”, let me ask you: would you really want to pull the trigger on someone you knew was just doing his job but simply had the wrong house? If you shot an officer in a no-knock incident and were rightfully acquitted, would you, given the chance, pull the trigger all over again? If you could re-live the moment of decision would you choose to have that death on your conscience?

    If we’re going to convince law enforcement that no-knock raids are a bad idea we need to show sympathy to officers killed by this dangerous policy.

    No-knock raids aren’t just the enemy of law-abiding gun owners but of the police themselves. We should be on the SAME SIDE here, or at least we should always take the position that we are.

    The police are not your enemy, even if they’re no-knock-raiding your home. If you shoot a police officer in an innocent case of mistaken identity the police officer didn’t “get what was coming to him”, he was a tragic victim of politicians’ support of the laws and policies that promulgate no-knock raids in the first place.

    If there is an enemy here it is a policy, and it is that policy we should focus our efforts on eliminating.

  34. #34 |  Don Meaker | 

    I had the police come to my door to serve a warrant.
    (Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.) They tried to smash through first, but the door was too strong. I asked who they were. (Thud. Thud.) “POLICE!”.

    I said “You can’t be the police! Show me a badge!”

    “Open the door, and we will show you a badge.”

    I opened the door, but kept the little chain on.

    (Thud!) but I saw the patch on his shoulder. Still foiled by the chain!

    “I saw your uniform. If you stop pushing on the door, I will open it.”

    “I opened the door. They rushed in. Back then I didn’t wear pajamas….

    With my hands in the air “What can I do for you officers, I obviously have nothing to hide.”

    They were looking for a black man. I am white, with blue eyes and red hair. With a couple of stripes I could be a flag.

    They had cracked the frame of the door. They had also gotten the wrong building in the apartment complex.

    I can see where, if you didn’t have a heroically strong door, that you could reasonably be threatened by someone trying to smash through your door without notice.

    I think I would rather have drugs sold at Walgreens and Walmart than have the police dashing about trying to smash in people’s doors based on the self serving testimony of a criminal trying to get a plea bargain.


  35. #35 |  alopekos | 

    In the first minutes of 2007, Philadelphia police shot an unarmed man who was merely running from the sound of New Year’s revelers shooting guns into the air. The investigation goes on, the officer has not been disciplined or even identified. After one year, the shooting has not even been ruled unjustified by the department.
    In the first minutes of 2008, Philadelphia Police blindly shot numerous rounds into a crowded house party after responding to report of a man shooting into the air. Police say that the suspect pointed his weapon at them, giving cause for them to shoot at the fleeing man. The police killed one innocent bystander and wounded three others, including a child in the home. The latest investigation goes on and.. well you get the idea.
    A police officer is shot and the murder charges are filed almost immediately. I suppose the takeaway message is that a civilian’s life is not worth as much as that of a cop.

  36. #36 |  Joshua | 

    Here’s what gets me about cases like this one, and the Cory Maye case. By all appearances Frederick was justified, but since the man he killed turned out to be an on-duty cop carrying out his duty in good faith, he will have a very tough time finding a jury willing to acquit. A “not guilty” verdict would be tantamount to saying Shivers somehow brought his death upon himself – which obviously isn’t what the verdict should hinge upon, but jurors being human, it will be very hard for them to get past that nonetheless.

  37. #37 |  Tom | 

    One thing I wonder, if the courts (Michigan v. Hudson) and legislatures (in most places, California doesn’t allow no-knock raids) sit on their hands with this issue, is if insurers will start looking into the risks of protecting Rambo cops? Think about it: municipalities and police departments have to carry liability insurance, not to mention life, disability and workers-comp for their employees. Maybe they can start carrying language in their policies, something along the lines of coverage being contingent on policies contingent with “best practices”, enough room to lead to a fight over some of these cases, law enforcement will get the message.

  38. #38 |  NordicOnTheEdge | 

    Its a darn shame.

    A darn shame that Ryan David Frederick did not kill MORE of the home invading goons with badges. “Only doing their job” = “Ve vere only following ORDERS”, I’ve no sympathy for cops who get their fool selves killed executing “No knock” warrants. Such go against the very basis of rule by law that is one of the foundations of this Republic.

    David Koresh – was on friendly terms with the local police, had even called them for assistance to clean up a drug lab that the previous occupants of Mt. Carmel had left behind. That mattered not one wit to the buffoons at ATF who executed a standard “knock & announce” warrant as if it were a no-knock and who LIED to bypass Posse Comitatus in order to get military support for their “Operation Showboat”.

  39. #39 |  Jeremy | 

    Tony Patterson was a Topeka Kansas cop killed in 1995 executing a NO brain search warrant. The jury was not stupid. His killer was acquitted.
    IN the 1960’s, the cops knew they had to do something when they went after drug dealers. They arranged for the water to get shut off prior to the raid. No water, no flushie. When the cos did a raid they ran straight to the bathroom and recovered the dope floating in the bowl.
    Big guns = smaller brains. The evolution of law enforcement has cops no longer thinking, except thinking they are supermen that is.

  40. #40 |  D. Mason | 

    A toilet will still flush, once, after water has been turned off. The water for that flush is already in the tank, and is not affected by the lack of water pressure.

  41. #41 |  Laika's Last Woof | 

    “David Koresh”

    He knew he was wanted by the police. The men he and his subordinates fired on were in uniform in broad daylight in clearly marked police vehicles. Koresh even had advance warning the police were coming.

    If I were on David Koresh’s jury — assuming his suicidal martyrdom had failed — I would’ve found him guilty of whatever charges would’ve sent him to death row.

    With all the people wrongfully prosecuted for defending themselves in no-knock raids in tragic cases of mistaken identity — a list of names that grows every year — the last person who needs to be poster boy is David Koresh.

    Who’s next on our list of heroes? O.J. Simpson? You people need to get some perspective.

    I also agree with most of what everyone else is saying here, don’t get me wrong: no-knock raids kill. They’re a terrible idea.

  42. #42 |  G | 

    I actually know Ryan and alot about the story, as well as one of the many reasons he thought he was being broken into. 3 weeks prior one of our friends mothers that lived nearby to ryan had a home invasion happen, Our friends mother was in the house with others when two armed gunnmen kicked in her door and robbed her at gunpoint. Then a week or so later Ryans house had been broken into. So when the cop did not knock on the door and announce himself and ryan heard them prying at the door he immediatly thought about the other incidents and thought he was being robbed. i’m not making excuses for him but i understand where is mindset was. Ryan was not into drugs really or anything major. He did smoke pot but only personally and did not deal it or use other hard drugs. so he would not have thought about being the police. This is very unfotunate and my heart goes out to the officers family but this incident could have been avoided and handeled differently. I don’t beleive he should be charged with what they are charging him off. involuntary manslauter would be more correct i believe.

  43. #43 |  Laika's Last Woof | 

    The drugs in the house do complicate things. A regular user of illegal drugs has a reasonable expectation of a police raid which counterbalances the reasonable expectation that unidentified intruders are criminals.

    Were the police looking for the specific kind of illegal drugs the guy was in possession of?

  44. #44 | » Blog Archive » It IS happening here | 

    […] an undercover cop in self-defense when the cops broke into his home for a drug raid. Here is his first post about it and here’s a recent update about this sad story. Balko sums it up nicely: Ryan […]

  45. #45 |  Random Nuclear Strikes » What I fear | 

    […] at The Agitator via […]

  46. #46 |  Random Nuclear Strikes » What I fear | 

    […] at The Agitator via […]

  47. #47 |  Revolutionary | 

    The War on Drugs is simply America’s version of Hitler’s war on the Jews. If you don’t believe me, read “Drug Warriors and Their Prey” by Richard Lawrence Miller.

    I for one am damn tired of the subhuman filth who call themselves “The Police” waging a brutal campaign persecution against people whose drug of choice differs from that of the alcohol-imbibing majority. Mr. Piggy Policeman, if you don’t want your goddamn snout blown off in the war on drugs, then stand down and get a real fucking job.

    Rot in Hell, Copper. And may many more join you.

  48. #48 |  You All Disgust Me » Blog Archive » Ryan Frederick Update | 

    […] can read about how this tragic saga all started here. The long and the short of it is this: cops executed a no-knock warrant on Mr. Frederick’s […]

  49. #49 |  edog | 

    im sorry for family but thers no money in the world that will pay me or allow my family getting paid breaking people door down who wake every morning trying to protect the people the love in ther home stupid maybe they should get a rel job because cops never cross my mind unless there ther buggin me

  50. #50 |  Onmiscience… | Free The Animal | 

    […] (Balko) […]