The initial warrant claims a confidential informant told police Frederick was operating a sophisticated marijuana grow operation in a detached garage near his home. The warrant says the informant first informed police about the operation in November, and that the informant was in both the garage and Frederick’s bedroom within 72 hours of the raid. The raid seems to have been conducted solely on the word of the informant. It makes no mention of a controlled buy at the house, nor does it mention any surveillance or other corroborating investigation.
Let’s assume the informant was telling the truth. Why in the world was the forced entry necessary? If this guy was running a sophisticated grow with hydroponics and a watering system, there’s no way in hell he could have disposed of the evidence. Why not wait until he wasn’t home to execute the search warrant? Why force confrontation? Frederick had no prior criminal record. Even if he were growing plants, it’s hard to fathom that a guy would knowingly kill a police officer over some marijuana plants.
Here’s where it gets weird. After the initial raid, the police obtained a second search warrant to go back into the home. The return sheet for that warrant lists a gun, some ammunition, a "shoe," a TV, and few other items. It says nothing about any drugs, hydroponic equipment, or drug paraphernalia. Perhaps the police only searched the house on the second sweep, and didn’t search the detached garage. But it’s been more than four days now, and police have yet to say anything about finding any drugs at all in Frederick’s home, much less a major marijuana operation in his garage. When police legitimately find drugs in one of these raids, that’s generally one of the first things they release to the public. It makes the raid appear justified. And it makes the suspect appear guilty. Perhaps they’ll come forward with all of this in ensuing days. But right now, it’s odd that they haven’t.
The article also mentions that the court had to postpone Frederick’s arraignment because he hasn’t been able to find an attorney.
Note: Please refrain from making disparaging remarks about Officer Shivers in the comments section. The man left behind a family. We also don’t yet know what happened. Criticize the policy and tactics all you like. There will be lots of time to figure out what happened in this particular case. But let Officer Shivers’ family mourn. Going forward, comments calling for the death of cops–or celebrating the death of this one–will not be tolerated.