One can certainly understand why the Khang family is a bit confused. This week the Minneapolis police department gave awards to eight police officers who raided the wrong home last year and exchanged gunfire with the father of six who thought that the house was being burglarized. The police have apologized for shooting up the home containing Khang, his wife, and six children aged 3 to 15. It didn’t help much. The house was destroyed and they could not afford to fix it up — and ultimately lost the house altogether.
This is another case example why the growing use of “no knock” warrants is so dangerous. The SWAT team mistakingly raided the home thinking that they would find a drug felon. When the police came busting through the door, Khang thought he was defending his family when he shot through the door. The SWAT team responded with a torrent of gunfire. Khang immediately stopped when he understood them to be police but rounds tore through the small house as the children screamed.
In the course of the gunfire, the police received “received shrapnel damage to body armor and their ballistic helmets.” Shrapnel to their helmets and body armor would mean that it was not Khang’s actual rounds but the debris that was flying all over the place as rounds slammed into the wall and furniture.
I can see the police not reprimanding the officers if the mistake was not the result of negligence. However, to hand out award for a raid that almost killed a family of eight is a bit incomprehensible. I understand how dangerous these raids can be and that the police did receive gunfire from the father. These men deserve enormous praise for their daily work in protecting the public. Yet, the image of a family losing a home while the officers receive such kudos seems a bit callous and over-the-top.
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