Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day

Friday, May 25th, 2012

A few readers have sent me this post from Patterico.

Dear God. I hadn’t been following all of this. Patterico and I have had some heated, downright ugly exchanges in the past, but let’s be clear on this: What’s happening to him right now is terrifying. It’s an attempt to terrorize political opponents into silence.

A couple commenters here have suggested there’s some sort of lesson in all of this about SWAT teams or police or something or other.

No. There are no lessons here. The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.

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67 Responses to “Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day”

  1. #1 |  AjP | 

    The link does not seem to be working, or the post has been taken down.

  2. #2 |  David | 

    From what I understand about Kimberlin, it’s not even a “political opponents” thing. It’s a “Brett Kimberlin has decided that, for whatever reason, he doesn’t like you” thing. Like Crystal Cox only he has a history of attempted homicide.

  3. #3 |  croaker | 

    On the plus side, he got to feel what it was like to be an innocent man on the wrong end of a SWAT tean, on which subject he’s been a real Backpfeifengesicht.

    Too bad he won’t learn the right lesson from it.

  4. #4 |  Burgers Allday | 

    The lesson is empathy. Not “something or other.” Empathy.

    I have been terrorized, had my life and my family’s lives threatened (by a drug dealer we were helping the police to deal with). I can empathize and do. Terror is bad and it is nothing to take lightly or make fun of.

  5. #5 |  EBL | 

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant…

  6. #6 |  Dan Z | 

    Check out Aaron Worthings experience as well Radley.

  7. #7 |  EBL | 

    Kimberlin is a very bad individual. Beyond this incident.

    I am no fan of SWAT tactics, but I can understand the cops being at “hightened” alert (and trigger fingers) when getting a call about some guy murdering his family. Obviously this is not absolutely Kimberlin, but it seems likely. This is very malicious.

  8. #8 |  Burgers Allday | 

    The link does not seem to be working, or the post has been taken down.

    It is interesting to ponder whether his post helped or hindered any police investigation that might have been taking place.

    If the police really weren’t investigating then maybe they are now, which would be a good thing.

    If police were investigating, then the post probably seriously compromised that investigation.

    We may never know.

  9. #9 |  SJE | 

    Kimberlin’s activities are far more malicious and dangerous than those that get more media attention, such as saying nasty things on Facebook.

  10. #10 |  Peter Ramins | 

    I had to refresh several times but I did eventually get served the page Radley linked to. I think Patterico’s server/account are being swamped with requests, or weakly DDoS’d.

  11. #11 |  Rune | 

    I read the story, but got the same ‘database connection error’ when trying to click links from the page as I get clicking the link now. Unfortunately I have navigated away from the page or I would have been happy to grap it and upload it as a .jpg

    Mayhaps somebody fired up the Low Orbit Ion Cannon to silence Patterico

  12. #12 |  Rune | 


    You’re correct, sir. I managed to get the page to load after 8 refreshes, so probably not the LOIC

  13. #13 |  CharlesWT | 

    This link seems to work.

  14. #14 |  CharlesWT | 

    But not all the time either… :( Maybe the server is being overloaded. Quite a few websites are linking to it.

  15. #15 |  GT | 

    Yeah, boo hoo… guy makes his living putting disproportionately poor and black folks in cages – often with a similar (but more horrifying) encounter with SWAT-tards as part of the horrifying prelude to the victims’ ordeal, which includes their ENTIRE LIFE being fucked if they ever get out. And all paid for by taxes (plus debt).

    Reframe this, and make the whiner an Auschwitz kapo who was terrorised in his home – by whoever-the-fuck, not necessarily one of their own victims.

    I don’t care who terrorises cogs in the tyranny machine – the important thing is that they get to feel what their victims feel before they go back to their role helping the political class manage its livestock.

    And their families are directly supported by their complicity in the machine, and should get some small taste just to be going along with.

    You can’t be a prosecutor and not be a cunt. Same as being a cop: you can pretend to be a good apple, but to do your job you have to do things that are inherently supportive of tyranny. That makes you beneath contempt.

    So if the guy is looking for sympathy, there’s an entry in the OED somewhere between ‘shit’ and ‘syphilis’.

    Karma’s a bitch, bitchez.

  16. #16 |  Psion | 

    Wow. That’s one of the most horrific things I’ve read about. And now that “SWATTING” is getting more publicity, I worry that copycats will use it more and more.

    Good luck to Patterico … regardless of his politics!

  17. #17 |  bear | 

    Classy post Radley. All the bad blood over the years and here you are raising the bar on compassion and concern. Nicely done.

    What a completely horrifying chain of events!


  18. #18 |  libarbarian | 

    “It’s an attempt to terrorize political opponents into silence.”

    No – it’s an attempt by some disturbed guy to exact some sort of personal revenge on a guy he think “attacked” him online.

    This isn’t liberals vs. conservatives or any sort of political thing.

  19. #19 |  BenSix | 

    Disgusting stuff – I hope the bastards responsible are put away.

    One detail that perplexed me, though: the thug claimed Patterico shot his wife so the cops turned up and cuffed him – fair enough (in a sense) – but then they went on to push around and frisk his wife. Hadn’t it struck them that there had been a mistake somewhere along the line? Were they checking to see if the woman was alive?

  20. #20 |  Burgers Allday | 

    but then they went on to push around and frisk his wife. Hadn’t it struck them that there had been a mistake somewhere along the line? Were they checking to see if the woman was alive?

    When Kathryn Johnston shot at cops (or, more precisely, at the ceiling when cops were coming into her house), Patterico made point of saying that the cops might have made a good announcement and that it therefore might have been wrong for her to shoot. The woman was what 88? 90? And he laying that suggestion on her?!?!?!

    When Professor Gates got arrested for yelling on his porch after having his privacy violated in a serious way by cops who would not show their badges after he showed his id, Patterico made it clear that this arrest (not just a frisk, but an arrest!!!!) is okay because he shouldn’t have been mouthing off (despite what had just had happened to him).

    I guess Patterico should disclose what his wife said or did that caused them to be reasonably suspicious that she was a present danger. That is called “taking hard look at the victim’s behavior,” Patterico style. It means putting the burden on the victim of police violence to show they did nothing wrong at all. Hopefully the term “Patterico style” will come to have a different meaning on a going forward basis.

  21. #21 |  mad libertarian guy | 

    The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.

    No. They deserve to be SWAT Teamed at Zero dark Thirty.

  22. #22 |  SJE | 

    #21: no, we need to use good, old fashioned police work. Do the research, establish a case, arrest him at work.

  23. #23 |  Charles | 

    “A couple commenters here have suggested there’s some sort of lesson in all of this about SWAT teams or police or something or other.

    No. There are no lessons here. The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.”

    Respectfully, you’ve overstated your (fundamentally correct) point here. The people whose abuse of the system results in a paramilitary raid on an innocent family are evil. But there is time enough to look at the system that makes such raids easily achievable by unscrupulous men.

  24. #24 |  Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day « ricketyclick | 

    […] Radley Balko commented: What’s happening to him right now is terrifying. It’s an attempt to terrorize political opponents into silence. […]

  25. #25 |  contrarian | 

    What I think is rich are his comments about how the police have not followed up on the leads he has given them. My experience is that in most places if you are an ordinary citizen and are the victim of an ordinary crime, the police have zero interest in actually investigating or solving your crime. I guess Mr. DA is seeing how the other half live.

  26. #26 |  Belle Waring | 

    This is totally unwarranted psycho stalking, and the person involved should be charged with a serious crime. I really loathe Patterico and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good word come out of his mouth, but there you are. I do agree that this sounds like an internet psycho thing rather than a political thing, although perhaps the guy is nuts on both angles. Writing on the internet garners people devoted followers but also nutcase stalkers–this really sounds like the work of the latter, not a vicious attempt to silence the Right online (and I’ve heard of quixotic, but really.)

    One can only hope Patterico gains some sympathy and understanding for fellow innocents subject to nighttime SWAT raids. Hopes are not high. As I recall he was one of the few willing to come right out and say Kathryn Johnston was a drug-dealing grandma after the cops threw the baggie down on her dying body.

  27. #27 |  David | 

    #23: Sadly it looks like run-ins with how the justice system treats peons haven’t been enough to take the blinders off Patterico or Worthing – who was falsely accused of assault by Kimberlin and now is shocked, shocked that the DA won’t prosecute him for making false statements to the police after video of the incident (which his lawyer had to fight tooth and nail to get turned over, of course) showed that the charges were a pack of lies.

  28. #28 |  John | 

    I dunno about the “just nuts or political nuts” argument. He pisses off Occupy, Occupy seems to be a younger and more tech savvy following than the average movement. To clarify, I don’t think he has a watertight case for “this is because of my politics,” but I wouldn’t throw it out, and this comes from a liberal who hates Patterico’s guts.

    What word is appropriate for the crime, supposing it is political? Certainly harassment and slander. Is it terrorism? I have no idea of the legal sense of the word, that is posed as an honest question. Dictionary definition of “The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims” seems to be met

  29. #29 |  CyniCAl | 

    Thank you Radley for telling us what to think about this.

  30. #30 |  CyniCAl | 

    I am always on the lookout for interesting wrinkles on old news. This development of using a SWAT team as a proxy army is quite intriguing. I think what’s striking is just how easy it is to get a SWAT team to do one’s bidding. Certainly that’s a bug, not a feature? Does it matter to the State who the target of a SWAT team is? Or is any deployment a good deployment?

    Funny thing is, if there were no SWAT teams, they couldn’t be “misused” this way. Might the solution be to dissolve all SWAT teams? Of course not. Just like one cannot rid the world of guns, so now the world cannot be rid of SWAT teams.

    I imagine a not-too-distant future where there are round-the-clock deployments of SWAT teams responding to bogus calls. I smell full employment!!! God bless America!!!

  31. #31 |  celticdragonchick | 

    But isn’t this exactly the sort of police response state that Patterico wants? I should think he would be pleased at getting what he has been fighting for.

  32. #32 |  Anti Federalist | 

    I’m not inclined to show too much sympathy, really.

    I’m assuming this man has been a long time police state enabler, and even after this assault on his family, can still not bring himself to say anything cross against his attackers.

  33. #33 |  Weekend Links | Liberal Media Books | 

    […] was apparently subjected to some horribly dangerous, terroristic harassment. As Radley Balko says, disagreements aside, the people responsible “need to be arrested and charged with about a […]

  34. #34 |  Burgers Allday | 

    As I recall he was one of the few willing to come right out and say Kathryn Johnston was a drug-dealing grandma after the cops threw the baggie down on her dying body.

    He claims that all he was doing was asking people to reserve judgment until the facts were in. Unfortunately, during the time he was asking people to reserve judgement, the three policemen were chasing around Mr. White* and trying to get “corroboration” for their lies, instead of sitting in a jail cell where they belonged. He was too patient with the justice system, as opposed to his lack of patience here.

    Then there is the fact that even when he had to admit that the police did bad vis-a-vis Kathryn Johnston, he still made the point of saying that maybe she shouldn’t have shot at the police because they might have made a good announcement. This is the “blaming the victim” aspect that bothered me. like i said above, woman was late 80s, early 90s. to even suggest she knew she was shooting at cops (after the full facts came in) is insulting. Insulting to the victim of a SWATting, which is effectively what Kathryn Johnston was.

    His summary and pro forma condemnation of the sweetheart plea deal that two of the Johnston raiders got was arguably too little, too late, especially given his higher degree of interest in the case when it looked like the policemen were clean. What was more sickening was his deafening silence after what happened in Tesler’s case in which prosecutors (prosecutors like him, yup, yup, yup) prevented Tesler from being brought to justice by conspiring to “accidentally” mess up.

    What happened to Patterico was not poetic justice. It was too harsh to b considered as that. Patterico, and his family, deserve empathy and justice. However, it is not inconsistent with that to say that he should also reflect on his past critically in light of what has happened to him and his family here.

    World could always use another Popehat.


    * Not Popehat. I seem to recall that the first name was maurice, like the EWF guy, but it has been many years now and his first name might have been something else.

  35. #35 |  Graduate Student | 

    There’s no doubt that Patterico is a piece of shit, but that doesn’t mean he should be harassed by the police and threatened with death for his moronic opinions.

  36. #36 |  Fascist Nation | 

    While I agree this is a nasty thing to do, in this particular case it is using the tools of the state against the state.

    Patterico is the state. He worships, obeys, supports and directs the state—specifically its iron fist.

    He supports the SWAT teams that kick down doors and terrorizing people at 4 in the morning with yelling, shoving, gun waiving, hogtying and dumping on their front lawns for the world to see, frogmarching, RICO robbing, clubbing, electroshocking, pepper spraying and downright machinegunning, who execute dogs, stomp cats in the name of “Officer Safety”, and more.

    He defends all of these actions. He defends them being used on the basis of a phone call made and not well checked. He isn’t a victim, he is a cheerleader.

    Does the rapist have a right to complain about getting raped? Apparently. He not only defends his fellow rapists but he blames blames the facilitator for tempting with a too short of dress.

  37. #37 |  Juice | 

    in most places if you are an ordinary citizen and are the victim of an ordinary crime, the police have zero interest in actually investigating or solving your crime.

    So consider that iPhone gone, man.

    But seriously, there was a guy around here going around breaking into houses to feed his dope habit. Lots of people in the neighborhood knew exactly who it was. There was evidence linking him to the break ins as well. The last victim called the cops. They came out and filed a report, but after telling them who the guy was and when asked if they were going to investigate further, the reply was “Hey lady, this isn’t CSI.”

  38. #38 |  perlhaqr | 

    There’s part of me that wants to see this as chickens coming home to roost. That if you support the war state, you don’t really have a right to complain when it rolls over you, too. But far, far too much of me is thinking about just how poorly I would fare if this happened at my house, and I can’t wish that on anyone.

    (I live in a not-so-great neighborhood. If it’s after dark, and I’m not expecting someone, I answer knocks on the door with a gun in my hand. I’m not pointing it at the door or anything like that, but it’s there in case I need it. Home invasion robberies are just another fact of life now, like SWAT raids I guess. And I foresee answering a SWAT call with a gun in your hand as being not very conduicive to a long and healthy life.)

  39. #39 |  Juice | 

    Oh this Patterico is a prosecutor? I didn’t realize that. In that case, a little cosmic justice has been served.

  40. #40 |  Michael Chaney | 

    I was born in west-central Indiana in 1968, so I was 10 years old when Kimberlin had his little bombing spree. Let me first say that there are a lot of odd “facts” here. Speedway is not a “small town” nor is it a “suburb of Indianapolis” as I keep reading. It’s one of Indy’s 5 boroughs and is a very urban area. It is predictably named after the major feature of the area – The Speedway.

    What Kimberlin did was basically a terrorist attack that had no apparent target. He set off a series of bombs over the course of a week or so. This wasn’t just a one-off event – you can imagine people’s terror growing as more bombs were found. And they were impressive bombs. He had forged DoD documents in order to get his hands on better explosives.

    He had only one direct victim of which I know. The guy was so maimed that he had limbs removed and later killed himself. (The widow won a hefty judgement against Kimberlin and he has been avoiding paying it ever since.)

    My first thought when I saw his name in the news was “holy shit, the speedway bomber is out of prison?” Seriously. We talk a lot about unjust sentences and malicious prosecution and all of that here, but the bottom line is that prisons are made for keeping people like Kimberlin away from people like us. This is a very legitimate function of the state. After what he did there is no reason he should ever get out. His original sentence was long enough to keep him there essentially for life, it should have been honored.

    The other aspect of this that was truly mind-boggling to me is that he’s raked in nearly $2,000,000 from fellow left wing lunatics like Barbra Steisand and George Soros. I also find it interesting how the left and liberals in general are willing to ignore the past of people like Kimberlin and Ayers. It’s just creepy. These people are criminals, and I can’t even imagine them being welcomed into polite society, much less treated like this.

    I find the whole thing strange.

  41. #41 |  CyniCAl | 

    You shouldn’t be surprised Michael. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Google Menachem Begin and King David Hotel for some instruction on how a bomber can rise above his crimes.

  42. #42 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Radley: “The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.”

    Yeah, sounds like it. The behaviors on display here pretty much mirror some of the common tactics of stalkers. Harassment at the workplace, frivolous legal tactics, threats against family. Gavin De Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” details these patterns in depth. I’m with you, Radley. I don’t care for Patterico’s politics at all, but when you go to the point of involving someone’s family, then it has gone too far. Involve my family in a political dispute and that is when I start to spend more time sharpening my skills at the gun range.

    Those who believe that this behavior is justified based on “Karma” or “cosmic justice” would of course be horrified and morally outraged if they were treated like this by people that did not like their politics. But, of course, people who speak glibly of this incident probably have never see someone they love targeted by a stalker. I have, so I know this is not a joke.

    This incident shows what happens when people lose their humanity due to their ideology. Ideology is mostly a trap, anyway. It allows people to rationalize despicable and even violent behavior. And the age of blogs has given these true believers–or sociopaths who simply enjoy fear and chaos–a new weapon.

  43. #43 |  Whahappan? | 

    While I agree that it’s a shame this has happened to Patterico, and Kimberlin and his accomplices should be prosecuted, I don’t think it’s out of bounds to point out that Patterico is OK with similar actions by the State’s enforcement arms against people he doesn’t like. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it’s OK to to acknowledge the first wrong without excusing the second.

  44. #44 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Actually, cynical, that’s the weird thing about Kimberlin. He didn’t bomb for any political motive (like the Unabomber) – he apparently was trying to shift attention from a murder where he was a suspect. So he was nobody’s freedom fighter, he was/is just a thug.

  45. #45 |  Tybalt | 

    “The other aspect of this that was truly mind-boggling to me is that he’s raked in nearly $2,000,000 from fellow left wing lunatics like Barbra Steisand and George Soros.”

    That figure seems wrong, but regardless, all of that will now, thankfully, stop because of the publicity on this, for which the blogosphere will be able to take a lot of credit, especially the right-wing bloggers with whom I so often butt heads. They’ve done themselves and their fellow citizens proud on this one.

    And thanks, Radley, for doing your bit as well. More light.

  46. #46 |  Tybalt | 

    Regarding Soros funding. I did a tiny bit of digging after reading this. The money to the Kimberlin-affiliated group Justice Through Music is alleged to have come from “George Soros’s Tides Foundation”.

    The Tides Foundation is a donor-advised fund. It is not Soros money that is being distributed – a DAF allows donors to nominate the recipient of their choice. Meaning Soros has nothing to do with the funds being directed to Justice Through Music – those donations are directed from the individual donors that donate to the fund. It may be that Tides Foundation is taking Soros donations that are earmarked for JTM, but it’s much more likely that the two have zero to do with each other. FYI.

  47. #47 |  Fremdfirma | 

    I’m sorry folks, but I am going to have to agree with Fascist Nation here.

    That’s NOT to say the actions taken in Pattericos direction are not reprehensible, malicious and offensive, not one whit – just that he wouldn’t be too put out, if at all, about them being directed at someone he has issues with, and that should not be overlooked.

    H.L. Mencken had some words about defending scoundrels in the cause of human freedom which are oddly applicable here.

    That said, it’s not too much of a stretch to envision Patterico doing something pretty close to exactly this, and the ONLY difference in the matter is the notion of perceived legitimacy and the sanction of the almighty state, so one can possibly forgive me for not getting all misty.

    Kudos to Mister Balko for taking the moral high road, and in that vein rather than any other, I think the focus of our interest should be on the tactics themselves instead of whom they are used against, because some things shouldn’t be done TO anybody, BY anybody, be it an outraged activist, nutter with a personal grudge, or an agent of the state.

    And how to prevent it – that’s a notion that trumps any moral character of the participants, is it not ?

  48. #48 |  perlhaqr | 

    Fremdfirma: [H]e wouldn’t be too put out, if at all, about them being directed at someone he has issues with, and that should not be overlooked.

    I’m not certain that’s precisely true. I’m not Patterico’s biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination, and if he’s ever “legitimately” raided by the SWAT team for a crime for which he has advocated the use of SWAT tactics, I’ll frankly laugh my ass off, but I don’t think Patterico would cheer anyone being SWAT teamed just for speech he had engaged in, and certainly not under false pretences like this fake murder he was raided for.

    And that’s the big difference, as I see it, in “he’s getting what he deserves” vs: “this is bullshit”. Someone set in motion events that could have very well killed him simply because they disagreed with the content of his speech.

  49. #49 |  Burgers Allday | 

    but I don’t think Patterico would cheer anyone being SWAT teamed just for speech he had engaged in, and certainly not under false pretences like this fake murder he was raided for.

    No, but his support of [i]Dunphy[/i] suggests that he thought that being SWAT teamed is not really a big deal. Now he knows better, I hope. I really do.

  50. #50 |  demize! | 

    #41 @cynicAl you raise a great point there pal.

  51. #51 |  Christopher Swing | 

    SWATting is a bullshit tactic, but it only exists because there’s a pool of over-militarized, overly-deployed SWAT teams to take advantage of.

    And Patterico appears to be one of the supporters of creating that pool in the first place.

    Strangely, I don’t feel a great deal of sorrow for him.

  52. #52 |  johnl | 

    Right #51. The problem is that there are many SWAT officers and that an anonymous tip is enough to get them deployed. And it doesn’t look like Patrick

  53. #53 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Dealing with already violent situations such as what they were informed they were facing is what SWAT teams are for. Should they check out more in those situations? Unfortunately they are urgent and usually this option would not be available in a legitimate case. What is the solution? There is no good solution. That is why Patterico may not learn much from this, because it was in fact a proper use of such teams. He did nothing wrong in this incident and the police did nothing wrong, The responsibility is wholly that of whoever made the false call and I can’t think of a way of preventing this that would not endanger the public by slowing necessary response.

    But what people here rightly see as improper is the use of surprise forced entries for evidence preservation. That is reckless and irresponsible. Perhaps this might bring that home to Patterico but because the police reasonably thought their actions were justified I suspect it will not. Perhaps he will learn something from the lack of interest by the FBI but will he learn the right ones. I think his self image is involved in the rightness of what he does and protecting that is what is driving his more indefensible positions.

  54. #54 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    If I’m reading the posts here correctly, there seem to be some people on the fence about it being wrong to threaten to take a shit on the face of someone’s wife?

    At least that means I’m not on the lowest rung of the evolution ladder.

    There are more effective ways of dealing with fascists and bringing about change.

  55. #55 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Sorry if my last post offends some people, but all those listed actions in the link are actions of cowards. If you want to play tough guy (and those actions listed indicate they do), meet in the middle of the street and hammer away.

  56. #56 |  Belle Waring | 

    Involving someone’s family is always over the line. If anyone has been led astray by feelings of cosmic justice on this point it is only because Patterico is a maximalist police-action supportive prosecutor first and foremost. (Really, you have to have been there and read the back and forth over the past…7? years…to understand; this guy is pretty much getting measured for his jackboots.) And much of what the police do is mess with people’s families, and put guns in their spouse’s faces, and shoot their dogs, ad infinitum. But no, it’s not acceptable to wish this kind of harm on innocent bystanders.

    So let’s confine our imaginary vengeance to Patterico’s being pulled over and having his lawful gained cash seized from him, OK? And let’s condemn this actual thing which took place, and was not acceptable no matter who one member of the household was. Would it be OK if the wife were a prosecutor? The son, and his parents lived with him? Patterico, but the cops had killed all three of his dogs? No. As to this guy being the Speedway Bomber and being supported by lefty groups, it’s the first I’ve heard of either. Let’s grant a little interpretive charity to people who didn’t know who they were financing. I doubt he put “Bomber” on his resumé, right? But, since “the Left” is always being asked to condemn things, and norbizness isn’t here, I hereby condemn the motherfucker. So say we all.

  57. #57 |  CyniCAl | 

    This Patterico kerfuffle reminds me of the recent case where a Pennsylvania State convict, who was the son of a Philadelphia police officer, was tortured to death in prison.

    Was that wrong? Have you stopped beating your wife? Of course it’s wrong.

    Was what happened to Patterico wrong? Of course it’s wrong. Stupid question.

    The appropriate question is: why should I care?

    Or more to the point, when I get through caring about all the innocent victims of State oppression, if there’s even a nanosecond remaining in my life, no I won’t care.

    Karma is the ultimate bitch.

  58. #58 |  CharlesWT | 

    [I]t was not technically a SWAT team at my front door, but rather several uniformed sheriff’s deputies. Nobody was in body armor; they had no battering ram; they had no rifles that I saw — none of the accoutrements of the typical SWAT raid. My memory is seeing several patrol deputies with handguns. They knocked on my door within 18-19 minutes of the call, and my house is in a remote area, so they evidently just sent whoever was on patrol when the call came out.

    What a Day Friday Was

  59. #59 |  Exrith | 

    well looks like i need to be a County prosecutor seems much safer then being a regular citizen or a member of the military ………Why? you ask…..well at no point did the cops put over 50 rounds in is body, at no point did the cops kill his dog or his neighbors dog, hell they even rang his door bell and waited for him to answer the door……..i am outraged that he got special treatment and was treated so nicely by the cops and a 19 min response time even

  60. #60 |  What a Day Friday Was | FavStocks | 

    […] was especially heartened to see this from Radley Balko: A few readers have sent me this post from […]

  61. #61 |  Burgers Allday | 

    The position that Patterico seems to be developing is:

    The police* did nothing wrong in his case** so his situation holds no lessons for other sorts of police encounters.

    This is not correct. As he reflects on his experience, he should realize that when police do do wrong and raid somebody wrongly then it is a big fat stinking deal. Bigger than he used to think it was. Bigger than he thought it was when he wrote about the guy getting pulled out of the (hypothetical) Hupmobile at gunpoint. Hopefully by realizing what a big stinking deal these kinds of armed police encounters, he will realize a couple things: (i) more should be done by police to prevent incorrect raids;*** (ii) more should be done to quickly and completely compensate victims of incorrect raids, false arrests, etc.; (iii) the compensation for the wrong raids, false arrests, etc. should be bigger than he previously seemed to think it should be; and (iv) policeman should be punished harder than they are now for wrong raids, false arrests, etc. That is four good lessons. It doesn’t mean that the police should compensate him in his case, or be punished in his case. In his case we all agree that police did real good.**** But the experience should impact and color how he feels about other cases, those being cases where the police didn’t do so good. He should be able to empathize with the victim’s pain more than he used to be able to do. And that should include backing off criticism of people like Kathryn Johnston and Professor Gates.


    * As Patterico’s post points out, it wasn’t a SWAT team. It was a few police with handguns, like the Kathryn Johnston raid. Except police did him the courtesy of knocking.

    ** Patterico’s latest post suggests that police should have called first. He should suggest that at a cop board and watch the merriment. Police really, really, really, really don’t get this.

    *** This already seems to be dawning on Patterico. See, previous footnote.

    **** Cf, footnote **, above.

  62. #62 |  Christopher Swing | 

    “As police stations become more familiar with the phenomenon of swatting, I recommend that they react to anonymous weird calls like this by calling the homeowner before knocking on doors and pointing guns. But my cops probably never heard of swatting before, and I don’t blame the police for what they did.”

    What rock have they been or are they living under that they don’t know about it by this late date?

  63. #63 |  Rod Boyd | 

    Can any of the people here who have a profound problem with Patterico based on his choice of career point to a single thing he has done to warrant your scorn?

    If he was a math teacher or tech entrepreneur would it be ok to extend him sympathy then? (Wait, let me walk math teacher back since most schools are gov’t funded)

    I don’t agree with Frey on much but there is nothing he does in putting away gang members for violent crimes–not smoking a fattie or catching a hummer below the age of consent, mind you, but for violent crime against people, many of whom are collateral damage–that makes it “ok” to happen to him (but not you.)

  64. #64 |  May 29 roundup - Overlawyered | 

    […] in Montgomery County, Md. and elsewhere: you should know it’s not every day Radley Balko calls for tougher law enforcement. Earlier here and […]

  65. #65 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Okay thought about this over the weekend.

    I agree this is a horrible situation.

    However, that it has happened to Patterico….sorry, can’t muster much sympathy. I agree these stalkers need to be prosecuted and locked up if for no other reason so that non-douche bags are not stalked.

    I think Patterico can learn something from this, but I doubt he will.

    1. That the police are totally ambivalent about this should be a learning experience for him. Will he learn this lesson? Doubtful

    2. That wrong door SWAT raids are not a good thing and more needs to be done about preventing them. Granted in Patterico’s case they had the “right door” but in the end it turns out to be the “wrong door”–i.e. the system can be gamed. Will Patterico learn this lesson? Doubtful.

    3. That our criminal legal system has got some very serious flaws in it when it comes following up on very serious issues. Will Patterico learn from this? Doubtful.

    A person who cannot learn from their own experiences are people I like to classify as stupid. These are the people who run around doing the same dumb stuff over and over expecting different results.

  66. #66 |  Bohemond | 

    Patterico isn’t the only one- so all of you who love seeing a prosecutor get this might note that a CNN contributor was SWATted over the weekend, and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has had to move to an undisclosed location based on what the FBI consider to be credible death threats against him and his children from Kimberlin.

    Kimberlin is a psychopath. Whether you consider him part of the Black Bloc of Occupy or just another Charles Manson, he is a murderous, conscienceless bastard who should never have been released from prison (he only served 8 years of a 50 year sentence).

  67. #67 |  Rollory | 

    “all of that will now, thankfully, stop because of the publicity on this”


    Anyway, Balko’s wrong. The fundamental point is that the system that allows itself to be abused in this manner should not exist in the first place, and defenders and advocates for that system are part of the problem. One might think that Balko would understand this given his typical focus, but apparently one would be wrong.