Florida Police Pound On Wrong Door Looking For Suspect Without Identifying Themselves . . . Then Shoot And Kill Innocent Man Who Answers The Door With Weapon

Sheriff deputies in Lake County, Florida are the focus of public outcry after they went to the wrong home to arrest an attempted murder suspect, did not announce they were officers, and then shot and killed Andrew Lee Scott, 26, when he pointed a gun at the strangers at his door.

Scott went to the door armed after he heard pounding on his door at 1:30 a.m. Since the officers did not identify themselves and Brown was not expecting someone at such an early hour, he clearly thought it was trouble. It was.

They were looking for Jonathan Brown who is suspected of attempted murder. Brown had been seen in the complex and his motorcycle was parked across from Scott’s front door. So the only connection to Scott was that the motorcycle was across from his door in a large complex. Yet police still did not announce that they were officers.

This is technically not a “no knock” search. In such searches, there is no knock but the officers are supposed to announce their identities in going into the property. We have seen tragedies like this one involving such searches. Indeed, I have criticized the increasing use of “no knock” warrants. Police now routinely ask and receive warrants that waive the constitutional requirement to “knock and announcement.” Not only is this requirement codified in the U.S. Code, but it is viewed as a factor in determining if a search or seizure is reasonable under the fourth amendment. In 1995, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Wilson v. Arkansas that the requirement was indeed part of the constitutional test and in Richards v. Wisconsin the Court later rejected categorical waivers for “knock and announcement” for cases like drug investigations. Police must show on a case-by-case basis that they have reasonable suspicion of exigent circumstances.

In this case, it would seem that police should have been more careful to announce their identities since they had no clear evidence that the suspect was in the apartment. Given the time of night and the large number of lawfully held guns, the chances that the owner would be in fear of the visitors was great — particularly in a crime ridden neighborhood. I understand the fear of letting the suspect know of the presence of the officers but, given the dangers, the balance of considerations favors identification by the officers in my view. What do you think?

Source: WESH

66 thoughts on “Florida Police Pound On Wrong Door Looking For Suspect Without Identifying Themselves . . . Then Shoot And Kill Innocent Man Who Answers The Door With Weapon

  1. Is Florida a complete zoo or something? (rhetorical question)

    Presumably, the victim would have walked free had he simply opened fire immediately on the people banging down his door – and killed them.
    He wouldn’t even have needed the ‘mobile’ version of SYG. He was inside his castle.

  2. Isn’t there still an exception to the warrant requirement when actively seeking a fleeing felon…. Still the evidence suggests they had no logical connection…… I suppose a blank check is in order for this man’s family…..

  3. I have no doubt there will be a thorough (PR word) Internal Affairs investigation, after which the officers will be found to have “acted appropriately” (PR phrase). Then their liability carrier will write the family a check for an “undisclosed sum” (lawyer words) and the whole thing will be forgotten as soon as a new shiny thing appears to distract the public.

    Then……sometime in the next few days or weeks it will happen again somewhere. With the same outcome.

  4. While I still believe in the right to bear arms, it is situations like this that are the reason I personally not own a firearm. To me there are other defensive options available that afford me protection with lesser risk. This instance is one that bears my feeling out. Owning a gun Mr. Scott naturally went to his door armed and I would have done the same. The police, single mindedly looking for a killer, responded by shooting this innocent victim. They are definitely to be blamed for the entire exercize of stupidity and bad procedure. An innocent man is needlessly dead.

    OS, correctly reveals the outcome of this sad affair. If the facts presented stand, I believe that these officers should be summarily fired, though we know that will never happen, as OS has explained. For this continued slaughter of innocents to change our nations LEO’s need a change of culture, better training and the need to feel they are in an us vs. them situation with them public. Right now the chances of that happening are slim and none. Not as long as we have effete politicians proving their manlihood by “getting tough on crime”; repression of people of color; the ridiculous “war on drugs”; and a punitive culture reinforced by misinterpretation of religious values.

  5. Mike, I have a tactical flashlight to use when I go to the door under those circumstances. First I have bright porch lights I turn on, but that small flashlight has a 17,500 candlepower high beam as well as a fast strobe function that will disorient anyone and can even cause seizures. Furthermore, it looks like an ordinary flashlight and not a firearm. On the other hand, most people do not care to spend upwards of $150 for a flashlight.


  6. OS,

    That sounds good. My measures differ but also would not leave me vulnerable to attack, or mistake of my intentions. One can never be safe from a well-armed and well thought out intrusion, but those are quite rare. Burglary on the whole is not a smart criminal profession, but because of that they are potentially dangerous. One also needs a mindset that understands that allowing the intruder to get the upper hand, by being tied up for instance, makes you more vulnerable to lethal attacks. I would rather take a chance at being shot, than let someone bind me.

  7. SlingTrebuchet
    1, July 17, 2012 at 7:56 am
    Is Florida a complete zoo or something? (rhetorical question)

    I have been here for about 15 years and have watched the ongoing rape and selling off of one of the most beautiful and unique places in the USA. The crap that goes on here is getting worse and the decent Floridians are being sold out as more and more the gross cretinish underbelly suns itself batantly in the light of day. I have ‘made friends and influenced people’ by pointing out the obvious for years naively thinking it was not the intent to completely destroy this place. Silly me.
    Anyone that thinks these exponentially increasing, lawless, aggression mongering events are not the by-product of a failed and corrupt economic ‘plan’ are living in a bell-jar.

    Sadly I hear it may be like this everywhere now?

  8. but owning guns makes me safer!!

    It is hard to fault the police response when confronted with a man with a gun. Particularly since they thought they had a murderer in front of them. If I were that guy I would not have trusted a voice on the other side of the door saying they were police anyway. I would have told them I was on the phone to 911 (and I would have been).

    We keep ratcheting up the violence and then are supposed to be shocked when the inevitable happens. A very large part of this is the panicked paranoia fueled the NRAs gun nuts and “if it bleeds it leads” amoral news media. The police are just as vulnerable to this thinking (maybe more so since they are in a position much more dangerous than you or I) but at some point we are going to have to figure out how to walk back from here & start understanding that the danger we fear is not nearly as great as the danger we have created.

  9. Woosty,

    As a fellow resident I sadly know what you mean. Florida minus warm climate is on a par with countries like Brazil. Surface flash, but a seamy underbelly, where inequality reigns. Rick Scott may rank as one of the most disgusting governors in U.S. history.

  10. Frankly, in the past year, there have been two home invasions in our semi-rural county. Victims were elderly men in their 80s. Perps were young men, apparently looking for money or something to steal–law enforcement suspects both crimes were drug related. Neither home invasion turned out well for the bad guys. Both were met by the homeowner wielding a 12 gauge shotgun. One was killed outright, but the other made eligible for a Darwin Award because he was removed from the gene pool. Seems a 12 gauge round to the groin at close range guaranteed he will not propagate.

  11. Mike Spindell, obviously it’s an issue with guns in civilian hands – if one were to execute such a warrant upon a household without firearms the police would have no cause to shoot and kill the homeowner/occupant.

    Mileage Varied http://jonathanturley.org/2011/01/20/utah-police-execute-no-knock-warrant-on-home-and-shot-and-kill-man-holding-golf-club/
    for one such homeowner.

    The other, perhaps more palatable option, is for Citizens to be compelled to avert their eyes, face a wall, placing their hands upon their heads upon police approach. Of course that means that the 100,000 or so State Security Police who operate plain-clothes can beat, Tazer®, or gun you down with impunity for violation of the Prime Directive.

    The problem is with the Citizenry, not the State, nor the methods of policing. We need to repeat, instill, and never-ever lose this message, until these rogue elements like Andrew Lee Scott (oh, sorry… I meant Jonathan Brown) are brought to justice.

  12. What is especially appalling here is the police action after the shooting. First, they blame the victim:

    Police spokesman Ryan Perry, “He was the wrong guy and he got shot and killed anyway. There’s fault on both sides.”

    This is total BS. The man was completely within his rights to answer loud knocking on his door at 1:30am by strangers with a gun in hand.

    Then later, they smear him with an entirely irrelevant disclosure:

    Drugs and other paraphernalia were found during a search of Scott’s apartment. The victim has a criminal history of drug-related arrests, the sheriff’s office said.

    From http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2012/7/16/deputies_say_they_di.html

    What would be more relevant is the name of the shooter and his discipline record as a deputy, but you can bet they won’t release that information any time soon.

  13. OS – I did not mean to imply that gun ownership was always a negative (I own & shoot for instance) but as a society we have way over-inflated the danger and responded with inappropriate levels of paranoia. This has impacted both civilians and law enforcement which has led to an escalating arms race with many unintended, but completely predictable, consequences.

  14. FritzMuffknuckle: Clarence Dupnik and his SWAT team mastered that defense in the Jose Guerena shooting.

    Now lets read how the S.O. has used the art of conflation and spin.
    Note the use of “opinion” and “suspicions” in the following text.


    “…Investigators said all along they weren’t going after Guerena, just serving a search warrant—not an arrest warrant—looking for evidence in a drug investigation that involved Guerena.

    The affidavit is a detective’s sworn statement to a judge to convince that judge to issue the search warrant.

    In it, he outlines the Sheriff’s Department opinion that Guerena, and some of his family show ample signs of dealing in drugs.

    The detective told the judge of nine people being probed, seven had been arrested, most of them for drugs.

    The family’s assertion that Guerena had no charges against him is true, but the affidavit outlines an arrest that did not lead to charges, and other contacts that raised investigators’ suspicions.

    There was a Pinal County arrest in January 2009. A DPS officer reported he stopped Guerena and two other men, found a gun and a small amount of marijuana. The Pinal County Attorney’s Office did not press charges.

    Investigators say in September 2009 Guerena was stopped in a truck that had a large roll of the plastic wrap often used to package drug loads like this one.

    Earlier in April 2009, investigators say they tracked cars leaving a stash house to another house where Guerena was. Agents from ICE—U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say they questioned Guerena but he would not cooperate. He remained what they called a person on interest, as they saw his car at the same house several times.

    The affidavit outlines how cars are part of investigators’ suspicions, they say members of the Guerena family often swapped into a new car after police pulled them over, as if to cover their tracks.

    Investigators also question how nine people mentioned in the affidavit, could own 32 cars among them, worth more than $344 thousand dollars. While of the nine, only four seemed to have paying jobs.

    According to the documents Jose Guerena was one of the people with a real job, making $41,000 a year at the ASARCO mine.”

    BTW, I know that most shipping/packing companies have “large rolls of plastic” – not to mention the crop farmers who use “plasticulture”.
    Plasticulture is where you place a 3 foot or wider roll of black plastic on a tractor-mounted device and plant your squash, tomatoes or other crops through the plastic in a weed-free area. (note the avatar)

    OMG! Look ^^^ he admits that “plastic” and “growing” – (obviously “tomatoes” is a code-word for marijuana) – ARE linked practices!

    “Grab your guns boys… we’re off to shoot a farmer… someone bring some rolling papers to drop at the scene as presumptive evidence”.

  15. yankeefarmer: The main difference between these two cases:
    In Arizona they got a warrant and used a large SWAT team to look for some marijuana.
    In Florida it was two deputies without a warrant to apprehend a suspected armed murderer.

  16. Frankly makes a good point. Our culture pushes us more and more towards keeping a gun in your house for safety sake, but ultimately it creates an arms race…

    Just look at how our police dress up like spec. forces units and carry large fully automatic rifles.

    I know a narc cop from the state next door and they have free reign to borrow police guns and full access to a storage locker full of ammo… He’ll bring a fully auto AR-15 (which I suppose is actually an M4 at that point) to our range and let us shoot it on fully auto… I LOVE shooting that gun…but I’ve asked him… “Why in the world do you guys need a fully auto rifle?” he said “Because, the bad guys have semi-auto rifles”

    I personally keep a 12 guage with a short barrel and a stock shell bandolier with 2 in the rack in our bedroom closet in case of real emergency. I have a bright flashlight (I want one of OS’s stinger’s though) and a hockey stick near the stair way into the main part of the house… A buddy who keeps handguns in ‘strategic spots’ in his house asks me what I’m going to do with a hockey stick and I show him this video…

    I hope I never have to use the hockey stick, let alone the shotgun.

  17. I’ve had police knocking on my door. Sometimes they knock soft, sometimes they knock hard. What is a warrant for? What is a 41 magnum revolver for?

  18. Also, reading the news report of what the ‘attempted homocide’ was… Does simply picking up a cinder block in a fight and then dropping it, truely count as ‘attempted homocide’?

    Its unbelievable that the police knew who the perp was and had to execute a no knock invasion because the guy picked up a cinder block…are you kidding me?

    Was he really a threat that just HAD to be dealed with in that manner?

    How dense do those police officers have to be to think that simply because the motorcycle was in front of apartment b, that must be the perps’ apartment? Why would they not check with management…the name of the on call manager HAS to be posted on the premise.

    A guy is dead because of some really really stupid police work.

    I have two fraternity brothers who became police officers…they also happen to be two guys we ALMOST kicked out because of bad grades. Seems the trend is “those who can’t, police”

    sorry for the double post, but this is just unbelievable.

  19. @JCtBT – Re: Cinderblock – Why don’t you ask Reginald Denny?

    Re: Florida – Read Dave Barry and even better, Carl Hiaasen; they may make it funny, but many a truth is said in jest.

  20. The helmets and kevlar won’t do any good. I saw some of them walking around in my back yard. I was upstairs. I could have dropped them like stones. The morons were walking around with their rifles up like they knew what they were doing.

    I could have killed at least half of them before they knew what was happening. I just went back to sleep.

  21. Remind to stay away from Florida.
    I agree with Frankly that we are too much in love with guns as a society. I was confused why someone would take a gun to door when the people outside are knocking on the door? Do thieves and murderers knock loudly on the door before they attack? Why not call the police first? That being said the officers involved should be in a new line of work, maybe behind bars.

  22. JCTheBigTree,

    I tried to post this with a link to the appropriate Amazon page, but ‘WordPress sent it to moderation limbo. Let’s try without the link.

    I got ours at the local uniform shop that caters to law enforcement officers. Some gun shops also sell them, or you can order directly from places such as Amazon. Be sure to check the specs before buying. If you want something special, be sure to get the C4 LED light with at least 17K lumens and has the strobe feature. For some real muscle, you can get one of the more muscular lights, but they also have a correspondingly bigger price tag.

    If interested in ordering from Amazon, type “Streamlight Stinger DS LED” in the search bar.

  23. Do federal managers deserve greater consideration than everybody else? Can they intimidate local law enforcement officers? Guess.

    Is there equal justice, or not.

    I still need a second for the McDonald’s joke. Some people won’t like it. It’s out of flavor.

  24. JCTheBigTree: I think this topic has been discussed on this blog not so long ago, but fyi, read: http:nyletterpress.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/police-reject-candidate-for-being-too-intelligent/

  25. I fail to see why folks who write scribes and when they describe cops in shorthand use the term LEOs when they could just as easily employ the term PIGS. In my neck of the woods a Leo is a redneck without a hairpiece and needs one. If the pigs come to my door unannounced, not in uniform, no knock, enter, and aim a gun at me I will fire first and ask questions later.
    This story gives me the justification. I will keep a light on for ya.

  26. Legalize drugs and most cities could make substantial cuts in the number of
    police. Take some of the money saved and use it to hire better-qualified personnel who can be trained to be much more professional than what is the norm on police forces throughout the fruited plains.

    Encourage large businesses to purchase old police cars and park them outside convenience stores & thereby cause would-be criminals to re-consider any plans to rob or burglarize the stores.

  27. BarkinDog sez, “I fail to see why folks who write scribes and when they describe cops in shorthand use the term LEOs when they could just as easily employ the term PIGS.”


    Hey sport, the dog act is getting tiresome, but that comment pursues a trail you do not really want to follow. Seriously. I have multiple personal reasons, but take my word for it, just don’t go there when I am around. ‘K?

  28. I dont know what ‘K means and you might have multiple personal reasons and when you are around I wont go there. But where you go is neither here nor there and Leo says he ain’t been there either. We got a dog in our pack named Otter and he aint no scribe.

  29. wedge56,
    I’m sorry your stunned. Perhaps if you re-read the article and the comments upon it you might realize that your comment seems out of context, almost robotic.

  30. I read the article. I understand if the homeowner didn’t have a gun, then he wouldn’t have been shot. I also understand that if that hadn’t been the police at his door and actually was someone trying to break in, he could have been killed by an armed intruder. I also understand that the police shouldn’t have been at his door in the first place. I also understand that one of the slipperiest and major steps to allowing tyranny is to disarm the populace.

    No easy answer, but a couple of the responses seemed basically like they were saying it was the homeowner’s fault. I find that baffling.

  31. I am simply stunned by those that think this world would be a better place if we just disarmed our citizenry and capitulated to every person in authority in our lives. Y’know…cuz those guys don’t ever do anything wrong nor do they ever take advantage of that authority.

    Sounds like a quick and fast way to an Orwellian future to me.

  32. BDog,
    I use LEO rather than pig because all law enforcement officers aren’t bad and to imply that is unfair. We have had many LEO’s comment here and many were/are people whose opinions I respect. I’ve also worked with police at times in my career and respected some of those I worked with. I find the term pig a rank generalization that does more harm than good.

  33. Thanks Mike. My youngest daughter is interviewing for a new job with the largest police department in the area on Tuesday. I think she is a shoo-in for the job–she has all the qualifications, is personable and dedicated. She can also shoot. She did gain some weight after her mom died last September, and is going to the gym to work that off before going to the Academy. I have not shown her the article about the guy getting on disability. She is not looking forward to the PT anyway and no need to stir the pot. She liked her most recent job, but the pay was lousy and no chance for advancement. No one in that department had a raise in six years.

    One of her friends, a long time deputy sheriff and canine officer was shot in the face by a nutcase with a deer rifle. Blew part of her face off, but even after having several long heart to heart talks with the (now disabled) female deputy, she is not deterred. Service is in her blood.

  34. Fortunately, the balances are still weighed in favor of the guys who really try to do right most of the time. There are still more cops trying to do right in bad circumstances than there are lunatic Zimmermanites and Gestapo Wannabes; there are still more decent people than abusers and still more loving parents than molesters, and etc. and etc. And there are still more honest devout people who really believe in their faiths than crass opportunists or over-controlling tyrant thugs. There may even be more righteous judges trying to rule with the law than corrupt sonzobees — although on that one I’m not sure.

    But I think the problem is that when somebody breaks down your door and shoots you dead, it kind of makes the whole scene look wrong. And people with too much power can do stuff like that and get away with it, and the whole thing takes on a quality of wrongness that is hard to live with and hard to escape. And it’s a damn shame. And the people who should feel the most shame about it are those who “don’t shame easy.”

  35. First of all I do not believe for one second that this innocent man “pointed his gun at a deputy” .. more than likely he did not, that statement is fabricated propaganda in a vain attempt to justify killing an innocent man in cold blood. And having a gun was fully justified when, at 1:30 AM (with your girlfriend to protect besides potentially having to protect yourself) unknown, unannounced people are pounding on your door, not willing to identify themselves. And blurred in all this is the fact that this was the wrong house in the first place with blatant incompetence running wild. What are incompetent cops and their decision makers doing running around with all this high power weaponry when they are so incompetent they can’t even go to the right location? There must be charges filed. I’m an anti-lawsuit person, but this is one reason to sue to the hilt and I hope his traumatized girlfriend and his family get good lawyers and do just that.

  36. If these police officers were competent (which, clearly, they are not) they would have instituted a “stakeout” of the suspect’s motorcycle. Once the suspect for whom they were actually looking (Mr. Brown) exited whatever residence to use his motorcycle, the officers would have been able to positively identify the correct individual, and arrest him.

    Unless the officers (or an informant) had actually witnessed Mr. Brown enter a specific door, they had no business presuming that to be the correct residence simply because the suspect’s motorcycle happened to be parked nearby.

    The officers in question should be banned from future police work, as they are clearly not capable.

    Their town/county is going to get sued big-time by the heirs/estate of the individual who was killed (Mr. Scott).

  37. Pravda is at it again. It’s amusing to see the elite of you trash Florida (anything south of PA will do) when they know full well this crap happens in New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit and probably more often than not in the North than the South.


  38. Me,
    You’re right it does happen everywhere, but if you use the search button at the top right of the home page and type in Florida, you will be directed to numerous articles describing police problems. If you google the subject you will also see that Florida is also prominent. As far as your charges of “snobbery”, I think it is the reverse and that Southerners and Midwesterners see themselves as the “real Americans” and the people from the Coasts as not. Of the three states that played the biggest part in creating this country, two were northeastern. Those two also stayed true to this country, while the South seceded.

  39. ME, We in the Northern Climate have fewer of those nasty bacteria that turn ordinary homosapiens into homofecalocephalus and for this reason, certain kinds of illnesses present more consistently in one geographical (and even geopolitical) region than in others. There is, however, a certain “post hoc ergo propter hoc” quality to many historical perspectives that eschew the contingency theory of history in favor of something more primitive (in my humble estimation) arriving at at sort of, “Yeah, well, we never put on white sheets and ran around drunk burning crosses neither, so there!”

    It’s interesting to view this from various analytical angles. But I must go now for my tea and crumpets.

  40. For you LEO subscribers:

    Law Enforcement Officer:

    What some Policemen call themselves to sound more professional, fancier, or somehow more important.
    -Or because they’re ashamed to be cops.

    Denotes certain Federal-Agents, Fish & Wildlife Officers, Park-Rangers, Border-Patrol, and other such sworn & commissioned professionals who work in important fields of law-enforcement, but who are not necessarily traditional street-cops.

    Also used by those Officers who do not want to thought of, or referred to, as Policemen.

    Abbreviated as LEO (singular) or LEO’s (plural).
    “When a cop calls himself a Law-Enforcement Officer, it’s like a garbage-man calling himself a Sanitation-Worker, or a clerk calling herself a Sales-Associate.”

    –From Police Officers Association Manual, 2010

    As a frequent customer of the grocery chain Piggly Wiggly, I am stickin with the pig.

  41. OS, You said,”Furthermore, it looks like an ordinary flashlight and not a firearm.” Be very careful. It may look like a flashlight to anyone else but what does it look like to a man with a badge and gun who is looking for trouble and glory?… People get shot for “brandishing a weapon” when they have a cellphone, tea and skittles, garden hoe, or even nothing.

  42. BarkinDog 1, July 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I dont know what ‘K means and you might have multiple personal reasons and when you are around I wont go there. But where you go is neither here nor there and Leo says he ain’t been there either. We got a dog in our pack named Otter and he aint no scribe.
    The Otters crack shellfish on their bellies with rocks while they’re floating on their backs. Then the seals eat them.

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