"None of the items listed as having been found in Guerena’s home are illegal, or indeed, unusual, particularly for a former Marine who had served two combat tours. One reason that the warrant information has not been released is likely that it was non-specific. In other words, the grounds for searching Guerena’s home may have been shaky at best."
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
On the 4th, SWAT, and Guerena
Very informative piece if you want to understand how SWAT works, what's the deal with "no knock warrants," and former Marine Jose Guerena:
"Note the Navy SEAL who took out Osama Bin Laden with two rounds and two rounds only, one to the chest, one to the head. This is a classic example of cool, perfect shot placement under stress, and is precisely the sort of thing SWAT troops are supposed to be able to do. After all, if they are no better at this sort of thing than the average street cop, all that has been done is to give average street cops more destructive, longer ranged weapons.
"UPDATE 052911, 1329 CT: According to a more recent local news story, the medical examiner has reported that Guerena was hit not 60 times as originally suggested by doctors, but only 22 times. This is far more in line with common results of police shootings where most rounds fired do not hit their intended targets. This is also far more in line with what would be expected of the wild and uncontrolled fire of the SWAT shooters in this particular incident, particularly those firing on full-auto. Highly skilled operators can control fully automatic fire in a submachine gun or light carbine such as the AR-15, untrained operators cannot. In any case, carefully controlled and aimed short bursts are always preferred. Police officers are directly responsible for each and every bullet they fire. In this case, nearly 70% of the rounds fired by the police missed. This might make more likely my contention that the officer's vision was compromised and that at least some of them had no real idea of their target or why they were shooting at it, other than the knowledge that one of their number was initially shooting at something. As shocking as all of this might be, the hit rate is about average for police shootings. SWAT teams should do much better. Knowing this, it is even more incredible that the officers did not shoot Mrs. Guerena, her child, themselves, or anyone else in the neighborhood.
"Notice that there is no information to indicate that any drugs or money were found in Guerena’s home, or that Guerena or his home, were in any way directly related to criminal activity. In fact, the police have, to date, not released the search warrant affidavit, warrant and return for Guerena’s home. However, there is no evidence to indicate that they found anything at all illegal in Guerena’s home. If they had, considering the public and Internet attention this case is generating, they surely would have made it public. Any drug case they were working has long been blown. Secrecy is no longer an issue.
Oh, and of course consider all of this in light of my post on the 4th Amendment just a few days ago...it's feeling eerily like the editor's first cut from John Ross's "Unintended Consequences," to keep that now out-of-print 20th century alternate reality under 1,000 pages.