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. 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.

  2. 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/

  3. pete,

    why do you need another walmart. isn’t the one you have good enough already?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. @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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yvt0B4RXWc

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

  12. 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.

  13. FritzMuffknuckle: Clarence Dupnik and his SWAT team mastered that defense in the Jose Guerena shooting.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/jose-guerena-arizona-_n_867020.html

    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.

    Source:
    http://www.the-two-malcontents.com/2011/06/warrant-request-says-guerena-in-drug-ring/

    “…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”.

  14. 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.

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