Funeral, Puppycide, Mistaken Gunfire, Wounded Cop, Threats, Ransacking

Monday, June 11th, 2012

If this account is true, it’s a police ineptitude first-ballot hall-of-famer.

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, police in Minneapolis showed up at a home in search of a sex offender. The home was full of people, in town to attend a funeral. The police spotted the family’s pit bull, and opened fire on the dog. In the course of killing the dog, they shot the family’s other dog. In the hail of gunfire, a bullet fragment ricocheted and struck one of the officers. The police on the scene apparently mistook the ricochet for hostile gunfire, so they called in for backup. “Approximately 30″ cops responded to the call, and then retaliated by trashing the house and threatening the people inside.

This account is one half of a lawsuit, so all the usual caveats apply.

This one ranks right up there with the Hmong raid from a few years ago, which also took place in Minneapolis. If the fallout from this one is similar to the fallout from that one, within a few months we can expect the city to honor these officers for their courage.

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50 Responses to “Funeral, Puppycide, Mistaken Gunfire, Wounded Cop, Threats, Ransacking”

  1. #1 |  Personanongrata | 

    Funeral, Puppycide, Mistaken Gunfire, Wounded Cop, Threats, Ransacking

    The “professionals” of the Minneapolis Police Department are no better than street gang members.

  2. #2 |  Whim | 

    If police show up at your door, ask them to produce either a search warrant or an arrest warrant.

  3. #3 |  Anthony | 

    Don’t they teach these meatheads to positively id targets before opening fire?It seems like all they know is spray and pray.

  4. #4 |  celticdragonchick | 

    @whim

    Since they were pursuing the brother who fled out the back, they could probably enter without the warrant.

    As for all the other bullshit…wow. At least the sergeant who took the complaint seems to be on the side of the family.

  5. #5 |  StrongStyleFiction | 

    A normal, reasonable person will see this and say, “this is probably why it’s best not to open fire unless you are already being fired on.”

    A demented, twisted person would see this and say, “this was obviously the mourners’ fault, these cops are heroes.”

  6. #6 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “The following afternoon, on March 31, several officers who did not have a search warrant returned to Anderson’s home, the suit says. They threatened the home’s occupants, used a racial epithet and told one person that it was lucky it wasn’t dark outside or they would put that individual in the hospital, according to the suit.”

    If true, it sounds like these officers decided that “the gloves are coming off.” If LEO’s opt for that approach, then citizens may just have to do the same.

    Barricade the entrances, stay low and away from windows (block windows if at all possible in case they shoot CS canisters through them), turn off the lights and arm yourself with whatever you have (you can use almost anything as a weapon if necessary). Contact friends, family and the media if you can. Record events with a camcorder or your cell phone if you are able. You will want witnesses and video documentation, of course. Then just see how far they want to proceed if you refuse to lie down and take it. Use violence only in a defensive manner. If they back down, you do the same.

    As the saying goes, I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Or, as Malcom X said of defensive violence: “I don’t even call it violence. When it is self-defense, I call it intelligence.” Sometimes saying “yes sir” is not advisable.

  7. #7 |  Thoreau | 

    If this is accurate, I would not just sue. I would also move to another jurisdiction to (hopefully) reduce the risk of retaliation.

  8. #8 |  The Late Andy Rooney | 

    Dumping out the aquarium was particularly charming. Officer safety and all.

  9. #9 |  Roho | 

    Wow. I can *definitely* see some consequences from this one. Specifically:

    “She said she then met with Minneapolis police Sgt. Jerry Wallerich to complain. According to the lawsuit, he told her that the police action was done out of revenge due to the police officers’ mistaken assumption that someone in the house had fired at them and advised her to sue the department to recover her losses.”

    And:

    “Anderson then called Wallerich, who told her to hand her phone to one of the officers. Anderson claims in her suit that she could overhear Wallerich telling the officers that they didn’t have a warrant and should leave the home immediately.”

    Sgt. Wallerich is clearly in need of punishment and/or re-training for not immediately joining the blue wall in their harassment and obfuscation efforts.

  10. #10 |  Don | 

    Omaha, Nebraska paid out big to settle a lawsuit with similar facts back in the 80s.

    Plainclothes cops show up at a house to serve a warrant. Kid playing outside sees armed white men approaching and panics, runs inside the house. Everyone in the residence takes off out the back door. Cops split up, one group bursts in the front door, others circle around back. When the cops who went in the front door pursue the residents out the back door, one of them is shot by another cop.

    The cops go wild, end up firing into the second-floor windows of an apartment where a prayer meeting is taking place, and hold the Bible-thumpers at gunpoint for some time.

  11. #11 |  Roho | 

    Also:

    “Anderson’s husband said he would collect the dog and called for it, but the officers called out “Pit bull!” and began shooting”

    Sounds like the police version of trap shooting.
    “Pit bull!”
    “You mean ‘Pull’?”
    “I’m not picky.”

  12. #12 |  Zargon | 

    Was I the only person reading that and expecting a huge pile of bodies after reading about the ricochet and before getting to trashing the house?

    Does it count as good news if you expect to read about a dozen murders and instead read merely about 2 dead dogs, a bunch of property damage, and the standard threats and intimidation?

  13. #13 |  el coronado | 

    @#12 –

    Naw, it counts as terrible news. The low body count, human & critter, was just dumb luck, and therefore is not part of the equation. The reason it’s terrible news is that the cops in Mpls – and pretty much everywhere else – continue to show a LOT less fire discipline and respect for (non-cop) life and property than we expect from the greenest and/or most bloodthirsty grunt serving in the sandboxes. Any serviceman pulls shit like that over there, in a genuinely hostile environment among a genuinely hostile populace, would find his ass in a world of hurt ASAP.

    Yet when cops pull shit like that on *American Citizens*, folks shrug or write comments on Balko’s blog. It’s terrible news because there _should be_ gigantic marches against it; massive riots in the streets; cops hunted down and strung up; all that. But we just sit here and take it. And so they get deadlier and bolder, year after year.

  14. #14 |  Mario | 

    Let me start by saying that I don’t like pit bulls. I’m prejudiced. I know that’s not a popular opinion around here, but hear me out. As much as I don’t like them, I have to wonder: what’s the “threat” of a pit bull whose owner is taking action to secure the dog compared to armed police officers in tight quarters firing away like Barney Fife on a ‘roid rage? It seems like a good deal of the time, the greatest threat to police are other police. They should get that through their thick heads.

  15. #15 |  demize! | 

    Funny I mentioned the MOVE shooting in Philly the other day. Same deal, Cop gets one in the neck by one of his own trigger happy lunatics firing into a house full of kids and dogs and the cops go apeshit. This happens quite a bit I would surmise.

  16. #16 |  M | 

    “and dumping a fish tank onto the floor, killing the children’s pet fish and hermit crabs.”

    To be fair, the fish were advancing towards the officers in a threatening manner and would not stop when called.

  17. #17 |  demize! | 

    #13 I dont like this villify the cops, glorify the grunts type of thing. Its one step towards “Rah Rah’ing” our “brave boys in uniform” In fact I think you don’t know wtf your talking about. In the field, in a conflict zone there is even less of an incentive to control your fire since insurgents dont wear uniforms, officers determine free fire zones, theyre all hajis, sorry if we shot your son maim he looked like a haji, sorry about shooting your father son he was prolly a haji anyway. Get my point? Unless you think that like American police, its all good, its just that there are just endless numbers of mistakes of good intention. This is where the Libertarians tend to show the cryto conservatism. That’s just an observation, I admire and defend Libs and Ancaps because they do the lions share of Police accountability work, so it pisses me off when lefties diss them. But lets not fall into this trap, most of these cops were in the military so lets not kid ourselves.

  18. #18 |  Marty | 

    I’ll chip in for the plaque… where’s the hall located? I’m guessing it’s pretty fucking big…

  19. #19 |  croaker | 

    Since we now know how things like this are treated by the chain-of-command, any lawsuit settlement should include wording that precludes any awards or merit promotions for the officers involved.

    I look forward to the day when a clusterfuck like this ends with dead cops, and a restraining order preventing a hero’s funeral is filed on the basis that felonies were being committed by said cops at the time of death.

  20. #20 |  Jess | 

    That’s nice to imagine Croaker, but I expect most funerals will be over by the time the plaintiffs have a chance to file anything.

  21. #21 |  Dimline | 

    @el coronado
    I was in the Marines in Iraq when I first heard the phrase “It’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.” It means shoot first and assess the threat properly later. If you were overly aggressive the worst you could expect is a court martial, assuming your buddies couldn’t trump up some BS to justify your actions. It might make you feel a little icky inside, but it beats dying because you gave somebody the benefit of the doubt. Does this sound familiar to Agitator readers?
    @Helmut O’ Hooligan
    No matter how thoroughly in the right and justified a homeowner is when defending his/her family from midnight raiders, there is no “winning” a violent encounter with the cops. If you miraculously killed the SWAT team to a man, the media would demonize you, the DA would prosecute you (and probably get you convicted for multiple counts of murder), and the police would start serving their no-knock warrants by driving an M1A1 through the front door.
    I recommend extremely thick doors, super bright lights for interior and exterior (use reflective paint for your house number-wrong address raid?), and recording equipment. While they batter down your 4″ thick hard maple door, get your dog into its crate and call the fire department. Get your wife and kids into the living room and assume the position (at this point everything should be getting recorded and uploading to remote servers). When they shoot Fido and kick the shit out of you, sue their balls off.
    Make it publicly known that you will donate half of your settlement back to the city if the officers involved are fired and their records permanently marred for conduct unbecoming. The unions won’t take the deal, and maybe–just maybe–when people get sick and fucking tired of having to endure bake sales for school books while the Fallujah PD is hemorrhaging settlement money, they will demand change.

  22. #22 |  KPRyan | 

    The more ‘unbelievable’ the story of police corruption/malfeasance/or abuse,

    The more believable it is.

    Coffee pots in police stations across America must be laced with a secret stupidity potion.

  23. #23 |  supercat | 

    #17 | demize! | “I dont like this villify the cops, glorify the grunts type of thing. Its one step towards “Rah Rah’ing” our “brave boys in uniform””

    I interpreted the earlier comment not as glorifying soldiers, but rather noticing that the level of outrage when a soldier overseas kills a person who may or may not have deserved it far exceeds the level of outrage when domestic cops murder without justification someone who is clearly and unambiguously did not deserve it.

    Incidentally, many people seem to misunderstand the Geneva Conventions. Among other things: (1) they are only binding with respect to signatories’ treatment of the soldiers and prisoners *of other signatories*, and is explicitly not binding with regard to signatories’ treatment of non-signatories; (2) non-uniformed combatants are recognized by the Geneva Conventions as spies, to be handled as the capturing army sees fit; (3) the Geneva convention’s requirements applied in cases where *applying them wouldn’t change who won*; in World War II, some captured Germans were held incommunicado for the duration of the war, because letting the Germans know we had captured them alive would have severely compromised the Allied war effort. Many people who complain about present-day violations of the Geneva Convention have no idea what it actually says.

  24. #24 |  Jesse | 

    I live in the Minneapolis suburbs. Minneapolis cops are among the most thuggish and corrupt in the nation, and likely, on earth.

  25. #25 |  el coronado | 

    demize #17 –

    You might wanna reread what I said before you burst in breathlessly about how I’m glorifying servicemen. I ain’t, and I don’t. They’re just people. People who sometimes crack after 3-6 tours in indian country and snap and kill a haji just because he’s a haji. And shame on them.

    Having said that, they STILL exhibit 1000x more fire discipline – and marksmanship, if you wanna be technical – than the average US copper. And pretty much every single army in the world. If you were a pretty, defenseless female refugee trying to get away from a battle zone, and some soldiers came upon you, who would you rather they be? Chinese? Russian? Paki? Iranian? Syrian? Or US?

    If you need help with the answer, find a German who lived through WW2 and ask them about how the Red Army celebrated their Glorious Victory. So “rah rah” that, sunshine.

  26. #26 |  John P. | 

    HOLY FUCKIN’ CASH MONEY….

    Man, the cops lost their minds on this one…

  27. #27 |  omar | 

    Lots of violence being advocated today. let it be known, at least one agitator reader is advocating non-violence. social stigma, yes! violent retaliation, no.

    It doesn’n matter if they commit violence; nobody deserves violence back. we should be better than them.

  28. #28 |  Christopher Swing | 

    Speaking of ineptitude, about time for a Bisard update?

    http://www.indystar.com/article/20120607/NEWS02/120607042

    Ah, and the FBI can’t prove the IMPD isn’t just stupid, so no accountability on the mishandling of evidence. That just happens to help the cop’s case.

  29. #29 |  Dan O | 

    On Facebook:

    Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Declassified

  30. #30 |  Lawman_45 | 

    Every time the police do this they lose the support of another 1000 middle class supporters.

    The Hmong guy in Minneapolis taught 10,000 homeowners the need for a battle rifle at the top of your stairs, not a 12 ga. shotgun (which he had). As the cops freak out (and the crooks play copycat), America’s homeowners seek more effective defenses.

  31. #31 |  Burgers Allday | 

    If you thought what Jones County did to the Freedom Winnebago guys was bad, just wait til you see what Mr. Wamble says they did to him:

    http://police4aqi.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/jones-county-police-strips-arrestee-and-then-chills-him/

  32. #32 |  Bobby | 

    #9 | Roho | June 11th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
    Wow. I can *definitely* see some consequences from this one. Specifically:

    “She said she then met with Minneapolis police Sgt. Jerry Wallerich to complain. According to the lawsuit, he told her that the police action was done out of revenge due to the police officers’ mistaken assumption that someone in the house had fired at them and advised her to sue the department to recover her losses.”

    And:

    “Anderson then called Wallerich, who told her to hand her phone to one of the officers. Anderson claims in her suit that she could overhear Wallerich telling the officers that they didn’t have a warrant and should leave the home immediately.”

    Sgt. Wallerich is clearly in need of punishment and/or re-training for not immediately joining the blue wall in their harassment and obfuscation efforts.

    Heh, I dunno. It didn’t say he punished anyone yet, and the tax-payers foot the bill for the lawsuit, so what do they care?

  33. #33 |  Jefferson | 

    @ M

    Guppycide!

  34. #34 |  Steve Miller Band | 

    Wow…this is becoming quite a trail of dead dogs. It’s truly sad.

    Last September the Atlanta, GA PD stopped me, arrested me for no reason (wasn’t DUI, nothing in the car,) and sent me to jail. Innocent. Spent a month there, lost my job. On the ride over, they told me they’d have me sent to prison, where they’d make sure I was murdered. I can’t find an attorney who will take the case, so as of now, I’m stuck with the Public Defender, whom I really trust…

    The cops in this country are now officially and completely out of control, crazed dog-murderers. I really think it would be reasonable to assume that 80% are crooked, comitting crimes worse than those they arrrest. People with bad character typically want to be surrounded by people like themselves. It started with a few bad cops hiring a few more, etc. etc. Soon there will be no honest cops left, and we’ll be in a very bad situation.

    Seriously! How don’t more people realize how quickly we’re sinking into tyranny?

  35. #35 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Innocent. Spent a month there, lost my job. ”

    C’mon, even in good ol’ boy Jo-gia there have to be some
    charges, and bond …no?

  36. #36 |  Bill | 

    Sadly, everything about the story rang true until they got to the part about the cop advising them to sue–and then I got suspicious. Maybe he was being sarcastic…then it would make more sense.

  37. #37 |  Juice | 

    #31 – This is all perfectly legal after the recent SC ruling. The case is Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington et al.

  38. #38 |  Burgers Allday | 

    #31 – This is all perfectly legal after the recent SC ruling. The case is Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington et al.

    I don’t think that case dealt with “chill rooms.” Even moving beyond that, I don’t think the case counts for qi purposes because it was not decided at the time.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY:

    (i) Wamble was not admitted to gen pop, making Florence categorically inapplicable; and

    (ii) they tried to cavity search Wamble, again making Florence inapplicable.

  39. #39 |  demize! | 

    #25 opening up with a MK19 and or M60 is barely fire control at all.

  40. #40 |  el coronado | 

    As opposed to the rigid fire discipline exhibited by the Mpls thugs? You wanna bash servicemen, knock yourself out. Who knows, maybe you were/are one & consumed by self-hatred. Don’t know, don’t care. My point all along is that US cops operating on American soil, surrounded by American citizens, are trigger-happy dipshit goons.

  41. #41 |  el coronado | 

    As opposed to the rigid fire discipline exhibited by the Mpls thugs? You wanna bash servicemen, knock yourself out. Who knows, maybe you were/are one & consumed by self-hatred. Don’t know, don’t care. My point all along is that US cops operating on American soil, surrounded by American citizens, are trigger-happy dipshit goons.

  42. #42 |  el coronado | 

    As opposed to the rigid fire discipline exhibited by the Mpls thugs? You wanna bash servicemen, knock yourself out. Who knows, maybe you were/are one & consumed by self-hatred. Don’t know, don’t care. My point all along is that US cops operating on American soil, surrounded by American citizens, are trigger-happy dipshit goons.

  43. #43 |  Linda | 

    I am very new to your site. I had not heard of the Hmong raid and the medals of honor that followed until reading it here now. WOW! Is there no shame anymore? How can they stand up there and get those honors awarded to them with a clear conscience? Seriously, where is their pride?

  44. #44 |  demize! | 

    #42 uhh I heard you the first time chief. You’ll get no argument from me about American cops acting like goons, now go to the thousands of house raids we did in Iraq, and are doing in Afghanistan and amp it up to about ELEVEN. That’s with,more license, cover , flimsier intel, and worse imformants than right cheer at home. Save the psycho-analysis, and apply it to yourself, like why cant I be consistent. Does the non-aggression principle only apply to citizens or is it a natural right to be left alone in ones abode.

  45. #45 |  varmintito | 

    Omar @27:

    In my heart I agree with you, but for this to work there needs to be reliable and severe non-violent consequences. Intentional, arrogant wrongdoers who violate the public trust need to personally suffer. It can be financial destitution, it can be imprisonment, it can be disqualification from ever working in that field again (I’m thinking here about disbarment of rogue prosecutors), it can be public humiliation, but it has to be something, or else the message is that you will get away with it. None of those things happen with any reliability, and they all depend on the diligence and honor of third parties. Violent retribution, though, the victimized individual can control. I may not be able to see to it that the guy who terrorized my family, shot my dog, trashed my house, beat me up, framed me, etc. gets fired, declares bankruptcy, is shunned by those closest to him, but I can probably fill him full of holes if I am patient and strategic.
    This, by the way, is a really great reason why the average person’s legal means of redress against those who betray the public trust should be made more reliable and more severe.

  46. #46 |  Bergman | 

    Re: Dimline, #21:

    > I recommend extremely thick doors, super bright lights for interior and
    > exterior (use reflective paint for your house number-wrong address
    > raid?), and recording equipment. While they batter down your 4″ thick
    > hard maple door, get your dog into its crate and call the fire
    > department. Get your wife and kids into the living room and assume the
    > position (at this point everything should be getting recorded and
    > uploading to remote servers).

    All good advice, though you can take it a bit further. A 1/2″ thick steel door with tasteful wood veneer is a good bit sturdier than a 4″ maple door, and probably cheaper too.

    Better still would be the same door as a pocket door, rather than a hinged one. Most police entry methods rely on the vulnerabilities of a standard door, and a pocket door eliminates all of them.

    There’s a company in Florida that sells an armored window for resisting storm damage (their ads involve high speed bowling balls), but that would also keep someone from launching a CS canister or flash/bang through the window pane. If the window is set up to only open a little way (smaller than the diameter of a grenade) you can get air flow and security.

    Aluminum siding doesn’t just reduce your need to paint, it also toughens the outer walls of the house.

    Build a fence out of prison-spec or mil-spec chain link. Install a locked gate in it. Rig the fence poles to collapse under a man’s weight if anyone tries to climb it. Weave the fence with fragile wires connected to line break sensors. Nobody can climb it, and forcing your way past it turns on the lights, the audio recorders and the video cameras.

    You can also disguise a tank trap as an ornamental pond, install slate roof tiles, and have a hidden backup recorder imbedded in the foundation for if they cut off your internet/phones. Depends on how security conscious you are, and your available budget.

  47. #47 |  el coronado | 

    And the difference between these suggested protections against *US police force* action against *US citizens in their own homes*…….and a full-on assault by the FSB or the Iranian basij thugs is…what, exactly?

    That’s the point, gang. Sherff Taylor an’ Deppitty Fife have morphed into doggie-shootin’, perjury-slingin’, blood-crazed killing machines. And it gets worse every year. And we accept it.

  48. #48 |  Burgers Allday | 

    by the way, George Hitcho, the man who fatally shot the policeman to prevent the policeman from killing his dogs, has been sentenced to death and is appealing:

    http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2012/05/george_hitcho_appeals_murder_c.html

    and, no, I don’t believe for a second that it was really a stun gun in Lasso’s hand.

  49. #49 |  I’d like to see some racial outrage from @CSGV and @TheRevAl on this nonsense | Guns For Everyone | 

    […] will tell you that the only people who should be trusted with guns are the cops. Except time and again we can see that cops are not really to be trusted with any kind of weapon. Or even a […]

  50. #50 |  Dustydoggy | 

    Vigilant Citizens are needed across this land … a segment of the population is increasingly “out of control”, continually protected, consistently “justified” in their actions and suffer absolutely no consequences for their actions. Citizens MUST, begin holding those accountable for their actions, just as we are held accountable for ours.

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