Indiana SWAT Units Raids Wrong Home After Seeing Internet Posting Threatening Local Police

Police in Evansville, Indiana were alarmed to find threatening comments from someone on the Internet toward local police. They responded by sending a SWAT team to a home to capture the person who left the Topix postings. They invited a camera crew to watch them take down the villain — and it did not exactly turn into the camera-ready moment that they had hoped for.

When police arrived, the door to the home was reportedly open and found Stephanie Milan, 18, sitting inside watching television. Rather than conduct a standard knock and announce, the SWAT charged the home as the invited camera crew and reporter filmed the operation. SWAT team members broke windows and the screen door as flashbang grenades were thrown into the home.

The message is seems was sent on an open WiFi router by a teenage kid outside of the house and the family was released. Nevertheless, the reporter that night, according to the article below, reported how this raid was “an investigation that hits home for many of these brave officers.”
The officers later went to the right house, but this time simply knocked and left the SWAT team at the station.

They found a teen who admitted to having a “smart mouth” and a dislike for the police. Here is the message sent by smartphone:

The chief of police is standing by the raids as good police work and the mayor stands by the actions of the police.

Source: Arstechnica and Daily Mail

36 thoughts on “Indiana SWAT Units Raids Wrong Home After Seeing Internet Posting Threatening Local Police”

  1. There is all sorts of evidence that the police hate the civilians they are supposed to protect. They hate the Occupy movement. They hate young people , etc. The Boston police chief spells it out, the hatred of the radical right wing toward all the rest of society is common among police department. They need training to end this.

    There should be training to change this attitude instead of inflaming this attitude to the point where they are our enemy. They should NOT be allowed to entrap people, usually by targeting some weak minded person and directing their actions and then arresting them as terrorists.

    All this deception should stop, it should be illegal to entrap people, plant contraband on people, and arrest people who have done nothing illegal. There should be punishment for lying about what happened when they arrest innocent people.
    The cops shows should be shut down, no press is needed during these raids, just a camera recording the whole event that will be released to the public if the police kill someone for no reason. Then they should be charged and convicted of murder just like anyone else.

  2. PS Exposure time is much greater factor in enemy territory than in “friendly” USA. Breaking down doors of villagers is seldom if ever met with booby traps. Wonder if the resistance to entry stats are available for forceable entry in Afghanistan. Should be, but classified probably. Isn’t it all?

  3. Re: SWAT team tactics.
    I am convinced in this case they were certain there were no resistors inside, and that the door was not mined or boobytrapped. The presence of cameras makes that conclusion certain.

    Generally, police, SWAP or no SWAP, would not attack a possibly boobytrapped door with their bodies They are not hired on the terms (alleged) of the SS.

    Solution: Siege. negotiations. Seek unprotected entry points, etc, Count on fatigue factor, ev gas opportunities. etc.

  4. Darren,

    I am glad you are here. You present yourself in a fashion, through your writings, in a way that makes it clear you support police wholeheartedly.

    Alwasy good to see clear stance taking, even if I don’t agree with them.

    As for the feeling that police are no longer neighbors, but members of an occupying army, let’s
    hope the police don’t feel that way and hope thay left those feeliings in Afghanistan.

    I had a police detective who lived next door, out of matrimony—usual in Sweden for all persons—sith the houseowner. He appeared to be normal, but was corrupted by his position. Part of the job, probably.

    Let’s leave it diffuse like that. Being specific is not important, as it proves nothing but possibly only about a single person.

  5. And people ask me why I hate police, why I refuse to cooperate with them in any situation. Ever. They could be asking me about a missing child, and if I’d seen anything from next door, and my answer would be “Go fornicate with yourself.” Followed by me slamming the door in their face. I hate police profoundly, it’s just a fact. I wouldn’t piss on a cop if they were on fire. I might bring marshmallows though. I have no sympathy at all for police who are killed in the line of duty. I just giggle and laugh and cheer. Am I crazy? I think I am, probably. It’s most likely a fear of police (in a ***-phobia kind of way) giving rise to anger towards them, and news stories like those don’t help. I would never advocate actual violence against police (because that would be potentially illegal) but I certainly wouldn’t lose any sleep over the death of every cop involved in this incident.

  6. Still does not explain the complete lack of investigations that result in the wrong houses being targeted and innocent people being roused and human rights violations.

    If the police lose in court – as they are in case after case of Occupy arrests- when they charge people, they are doing something wrong.

    Either lying about the actions of people or breaching the rights of people. They should address this in a national forum and cut down on these incidents in any way possible.

  7. Mike & Pete

    Mike: Thank you for your compliment, nice it is to hear. Glad to have you here as well. Here is my perspective on your concern of the militarization of the civilian LE agencies.

    For a super brief history. LE agencies have in several occasions had to balance the request of city officials and citizens to have their LEOs appear more “civil” and not so gung-ho along with the need to protect the public and the officers from becoming out gunned. The Charles Whitman incident at the university in Texas during the 60s had long term effects on LE. Essentially it was the case where Whitman holed up in a tower and shot at people with a scoped high powerd rifle. Local LEOs were only armed with small arms and shotguns with a few ineffective rifles. They had to borrow hunting rifles to help address it and it wasn’t until officers stormed the tower at great risk to bring him down. There were others over the years since then including the following which you can google: The Bank Robbery in Norco California, the High Incident Bandit shootout with LAPD, the Newhall incident with CHP, The San Yisidro McDonalds tradgedy etc. These incidents gave rise to many changes in tactics, increasing weapons acquisitions and the formation of SWAT teams themselves. Going against a well armed sniper, active shooter, etc with a pistol? not going to work. So how to balance this with a more approachable, traditional officer, not an easy thing to do.

    Concerning the purchase of more and more weaponry which could be argued is it necessary. Part of this is due to several factors. First is actual need, which is obvious. But other less needed reasons are at play. 1, Agency’s budgets are often as such that any money not spent by the end of the fiscal year goes back into that municipality’s general fund. This causes LE agencies to sometimes buy equipment on the Spend it or Lose it type of issue that many other city departments abuse. 2) The funding of some of the equipment can often come from Federal or State grants that specifically call for certain equipment be bought in exchange for the grant. 3) Some agencies do become awash to a limited or even great degree from the forfeiture and seizure laws/policies that you, and for the most part I, agree upon. There has been many incidents on a national scale where departments have instructed officers to be pretty aggressive on seizing money even if no vio of the law was at all made. To me this is just theft but it is for the topic of another discussion. I share your view on this.

    Pete Wrote:

    “Do swat team officers perform other police duties or are they exclusively swat oriented?”

    For the most part SWAT officers are regular officers who perform regular duties until a serious incident arises. They carry pages with them off duty if called upon to mobilize. Very large municipalities sometimes have full time SWAT officers where all they do is SWAT activities and mostly otherwise take high risk situations such as meth lab entry, serving warrants on dangerous felons, or training in the slow times. It’s usually a matter of resources and need on this one.

    Pete Wrote:

    “in the picture they seem a bit bunched up to be going after someone suspected of having explosives.”

    In general you see them bunched in lines etc is because if the suspects approaches the front person in the line and opens fire or detonates a bomb, the line facing the suspect has a smaller target picture as opposed to the officers flanking out and forming a larger target with more opporginity to hit more officers. Plus, if the suspect fires on target to the officers, the first two officers’ bodies or their armor preferrably, will absorb the bullets allowing the other officers behind a “shield” of sorts so that they can be protected and return heavy fire against the suspect. I imagine this would be the case with a bomb detonation. If you must make entry, for whatever reason, flanking out wide would make all of the officers vulnerable to the overpressure and shrapnel that might be mitigated somwwhat by approaching in a tight line.

  8. This is what the police think of civilians:

    “The editor of the Boston Police Department’s union newspaper has a message for Occupy Wall Street: you’re a bunch of ignorant idiots — and your kids are stupid too.
    Officer James W. Carnell, a veteran of the Boston PD and the managing editor for Pax Centurion, has penned a scathing op-ed in the latest issue of the official newspaper of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association. Responding to a letter to the editor sent in from a world-renowned college professor and activist, Carnell calls out the Occupy Wall Street movement and its protesters for seemingly being responsible for everything that is wrong with the country today.
    Carnell’s crusade against Occupy took a harsh turn earlier this year when the officer opined in the paper’s January/February 2012 edition that the protesters demonstrating against corporate greed in the heart of Boston were “deranged rich kids and aging hippies” who led “stupid marches through downtown,” took drugs, stole from others and engaged in sex with “stupid college girls who offered themselves willingly to the poor and downtrodden victims of oppression”
    His sentiments did not sit well with protesters.”

    when they show this sort of distain for the people they have vowed to ‘Serve and Protect’ is it any wonder they are constantly violating our human rights? Making false accusations is par for the course now, along with bashing in the wrong doors because they are too lazy to do their job with due diligence . They know there will be no consequences and they do not care.

    They should spend more time doing their job well, taking the time to get investigations right before they cause death and destruction to innocent people. We are sick of this abuse.

  9. Look up the Chamberlaine case, the cops took an hour breaking down an old mans door and killed him for no reason. He accidentally set off his medical alert alarm, the alarm companey told the cops to LEAVE, but they killed this man anyway!

    NO CHARGES, no punishment, they killed a man, taunted him and called him degrading names and they all walked like little lambs. It is bu11sh*t. Those cops should be in JAIL. Just like any of us would be in jail if we did that.

  10. Not take away, ekeyra, just train them better, hire more detectives for investigative work, put rogue cops in jail, etc.

    Punishing cops who break the law would be a good start.
    Civilians are sick of them getting away with murder and no consequences. If we did the things they do, the hammer would come down, no doubt!

  11. Am I the only one amused by the random smiley emoticon in the middle of a threatening letter to the police?

    More to the point though, is anyone else ready to take away the automatic weapons, body armor, and impenetrable sense of impunity from these guys? Not just the ones in this article. All of them.

  12. in the picture they seem a bit bunched up to be going after someone suspected of having explosives.

  13. do swat team officers perform other police duties or are they exclusively swat oriented?

  14. Darren Smith:

    I’ve come to appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments on law enforcement issues on this site. Part of the reaction to this story is based on its result and on the absurd comments by the mayor and the chief of police. Issues of liability will eventually be resolved in a courtroom.

    But in my view part of the reaction is also based on the fact that SWAT teams have become symbolic in the minds of the public not only for the dangerous work that they do, but for the increasing militarization of law enforcement agencies, a trend that frankly concerns me. I recently saw a display of hardware owned by the police department in my community and I thought I was back at boot camp. The widespread use (and abuse) of civil forfeiture statutes has resulted in huge windfalls for many agencies and the subsequent purchase of expensive and unnecessary equipment. This trend has also produced changes in attitudes and a sense of police departments as occupying troops rather than friends and neighbors.

    I don’t know the solution, but wondered if you shared the concern.

  15. The NYPD = out of control – losing every Occupy court case.

    Same with Oakland. All these big operations against the citizens is thrown out of court again & again. They need to stop wasting our money doing this and busting pot smokers. Just stop it.

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