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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. BDog,

      Use whatever term you want, I was merely explaining why I prefer LEO and why I think using pig is a generalization that doesn’t work.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


    1. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

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