Qualified Immunity and Special Privileges Drive Wedge Between Gun Owners and Police

Who thinks “America’s cherished gun rights” will be high on these guys’ priority list should they catch you bearing arms prohibitionist politicians say you can’t have? (ATF/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “When cops and America’s cherished gun rights clash, cops win,” Reuters reports.

A police officer raiding the wrong apartment while searching for a suspect was deemed “legally justified to use deadly force” on a resident who, startled by pounding on his door at 1:30 a.m., answered with a gun in his hand. It doesn’t matter that the citizen was within his rights. The sight of him armed was enough to prompt immediately opening fire. And “qualified immunity,” a legal doctrine created by the Supreme Court, “shield[s] police and other government officials from civil liability for actions undertaken on the job.”

A look at recent headlines shows that wrong house raids and tragic, outrageous outcomes are becoming more frequent. You can get similar results by looking up stories on qualified immunity for all kinds of abuses.  And good luck to survivors who are forced to pit their meager means against the overwhelming resources of police unions and the state.

What are the incentives for change when shielded from accountability, and in some cases, like one I addressed several years back, police perpetrators were even awarded medals by the department because they “performed very bravely under gunfire and made smart decisions”? The incentives actually can go the other way when we see officers suing citizens for “severe trauma, mental anguish, and emotional distress.”

The thing is, by nature, most “law-abiding gun owners” and “conservatives” are supportive of police, and that’s reflected in their political leadership. White House Press Secretary Kelly McEnany has called reductions in qualified immunity a “non-starter,”  and “the Ending Qualified Immunity Act … so far has 64 cosponsors, all but one of whom are Democrats.”

There is a reason why the term “Only Ones” has gained traction ever since a DEA agent told a classroom full of children he was “the only one professional enough” to be armed, and then shot himself in the leg while holstering his Glock. As I’ve tried to explain to those who dismiss the term as “cop bashing,” that’s not the purpose of using it.

I do it to amass a body of evidence to present when those who would deny our right to keep and bear arms argue that only government enforcers are professional and trained enough to do so safely and responsibly. I also use it to illustrate when those of official status, rank, or privilege, both in law enforcement and in some other government position of authority, get special breaks not available to we commoners, particularly (but not exclusively) when they’re involved in gun-related incidents. And that includes things like nationwide concealed carry for retired cops but not for citizens, “gun-free zones” where they can carry but we would be arrested, guns they may own but are forbidden to us, and a host of other areas of unequal protection, including qualified immunity.

That power – and common inclination – to arrest citizens merely for exercising a right they have no legitimate authority to infringe upon, is why a recent NRA promotion practically screams “Cognitive dissonance!” to anyone with an eye for irony. “Come and take it” messages on two NRA hats defiantly dare all comers. Scroll down a bit and members can also purchase an NRA “Thin Blue Line” t-shirt and hat. You have to wonder who anyone wearing both thinks it will be carrying out confiscation orders to go and take them.

But most police are “pro-gun,” some argue. No doubt many are. But that’s very different from being “pro-rights.”

I could make a good case that FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi is “pro-gun.” That doesn’t mean he won’t shoot your wife in the head while she’s holding your baby if the rules of engagement say “Take the shot.”

As for police who put their oaths to the Constitution first, the number that actually will is unknown, and police officials actively go after officers who show signs of conflicted loyalties, to weed them from the ranks and to hold them out as examples to intimidate others. Consider the hysterical and chilling reaction to an Anne Arundel County officer who left an Oath Keepers hat in the cruiser, and the Orwellian smearing of those who take their oaths seriously as being “anti-government.”

There are no easy answers because the Founders’ idea of what was “necessary to the security of a free State” has been all but abandoned, and an unfolding police state has become the de facto “standing army” they warned against. As the Republic breaks further apart, citizens need to ask themselves “What price order?” and what responsibilities they are willing to assume to achieve it and to safeguard against it morphing into tyranny.

And the police? At some point, individual officers are going to have to decide what orders they will obey and what orders they won’t. At some point, with no “professional” exemptions to fall back on and just like the rest of us, they’ll have to choose whose side they want to be on.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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When I was a young man my father admonished me that the less I had to do with the Police, the better off I would be. He was as usual 100% correct!


Here is what I have to say to all LEO’s…No “law” should exist for a crime unless there is a victim involved. If you are willing to cage or kill me for keeping the fruits of my labor, YOU are the criminal, not me. If you are willing to cage or kill me enforcing a law telling me that I cannot smoke, eat or drink what I want, YOU are the criminal not me. If you are willing to cage me or kill me while enforcing a law that says that I can’t own a certain type of gun or because… Read more »


Welcome to 21st century America.

Capn Dad

I’ve always said that cops will ultimately become America’s worst enemy. And keep in mind that the left’s clamoring for defund the police is actually a call to replace the police with minions who are willing to do the unconstitutional beck and call of the Marxist left…in other words a National Police Force. But for the time being cops always fall back on “I’m just doing my job” or “I don’t make the laws I only enforce them” or “Tell it to the judge”. All those responses didn’t work for the Nazis at Nuremburg and they shouldn’t work here. In… Read more »


a National Police Force. One of Obama’s wishes.


now brought toyuo by Biden and his Whorizontal Sidekick Harris.


The police will need to take a knee while Patriots clean the Democrats out come the New Year. They can respond to home calls but they should stay off the streets during “peaceful protests.”


Always wondered why cops are allowed to point their guns at us, even with no threat present and in violation of all gun safety rules and even common sense, yet if we even accidentally point a gun at them, we get arrested?

Dubi Loo

Arrested hell, here you’d die of lead poisoning right quick. Otherwise I wish I could give your post a Yuge thumbs up.


To a certain extent immunity puts officers at risk. I am lucky enough to live somewhere where I don’t fear being gunned down by cops for being armed. In fact I am more likely to be treated better, as they know a legal carrier is a positive contributing member of society. There are places where I would fear for my life if cops noticed me carrying. When there is no recourse for police misconduct, eventually people take their own self defense into their own hands. When cops can shoot someone merely for possessing a firearm, it would not be unreasonable… Read more »


I’ve often said…


“At some point, individual officers are going to have to decide what orders they will obey and what orders they won’t.” And there are no signs of that happening. In all our “summer of love” blue cities, police chiefs made the choice to toe the line drawn by their communist political masters, rather than to serve the public welfare… and those under them toed their chief’s line. Their masters had them ignoring actual rioters and looters, instead arresting innocent citizens who defended themselves against those rioters. And to a man, they went along with it. Katrina, writ larger, all over… Read more »


I agree. Here were their choices: o  Follow orders and be hated by good people o  Disobey orders and be hated by bad people (and maybe lose their job) o  Quit and take a LEO job in a jurisdiction that valued good LEOs o  Quit and get a different type of job For all those who followed orders when you shouldn’t have, when the actors on Fox News say “99.99% of LEOs are good, they are heroes, we should all thank them for their service,” the good people no longer believe that and will evaluate each LEO much more critically than in the past.… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

Cops already enforce every unconstitutional and/or unjust law. If you think they’ll stop at the next one then you’re either lying, delusional, or suffering from some severe cognitive dissonance. They don’t serve us. They serve the politicians and beauracrats who give them orders and sign their paycheck. The vast majority will do whatever they’re told in order to make sure that paycheck keeps showing up in their mailbox. A few may draw the line at some point and quit but you can guarantee almost zero will come to your defense against their fellow tyrants in blue.

Dubi Loo

Great article David. Thank you for having the courage to say what most won’t. The oath of office, for some, has become just a formality


Unfortunately, it has become for MOST a formality. How can they take an oath for something they don’t have the slightest idea what it is? I’ve quizzed cops on a number of constitutional questions and they have ALWAYS failed. 100%. They aren’t TAUGHT the constitution so it’s like getting an atheist to sweat to uphold the 10 commandments but never having read them.


The choice is clear. Lawful orders. Lawful. An order that is contrary to law is not an enforceable order in any environment. Rules of Engagement and Policy serve to defend both shooters and the potentially shot. Drilling on those issues prevents spontaneous “mistakes.” This is true whether you are pointing your Glock or you are controlling a battery of 8″ howitzers or 8″ naval rifles. Adolf Eichmann established an international legal standard when he attempted to use the “I was just following orders” defense when on trial in Jerusalem for the holocaust. We don’t buy it. But here is the… Read more »


Totalitarian states pass laws to support Totalitarianism and then have government employees with guns enforces those laws. If “lawful orders” are those merely consistent with the law, that is the wrong standard.

Totalitarian governments implemented by Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Chavez, the Kim family, Mussolini, etc. were all made possible by government employees with guns enforcing laws.

Many LEOs will say any and all laws are Constitutional unless the Supreme Court says otherwise. That mindset is going to cause problems.


Think about the totalitarian 1934 NFA BS. The GOVERNMENT can have short barrel rifles, shotguns, any other weapon up and to nuclear and full auto. WE THE MUNDANE have to jump through hoops and pay out our labor to have any of the hand held restricted weapons “they” have deemed off limits. They are willing to shoot your kid in the back, your wife in the head and burn your church down with 17 little children inside if you refuse to pay a $200 tax stamp. And nobody really seems to care…


I believe some percent of LEOs are willing to make the right call.
Further down in the comments, I asked TStheDeplorable what he thought about Lon Horiuchi. This is a great time for some of the LEOs to chime in and let us know what they think.
LEOs: What laws won’t you enforce and what percent of LEOs do you believe have the same view?


Hear hear, well said!

Ansel Hazen

This is a good time to be bringing this up with the recent events at Mac’s Public House in NY. Every one of those NY City Sheriffs deputies are the perfect example of the kind of LEO we should NOT be supporting. One could only hope they all find their ass hanging in the breeze when this country takes it upon itself to correct this new problem we have with voting.


It all goes back to a fundamental tenet of leadership. Good people, bad processes, bad leadership equals bad outcomes. We very often focus on the wrong target. The patrol officer or deputy is living under a mountain of policy and that policy is often created by political hacks posing as Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs. When policy does not reflect real law and real circumstances in the community it no longer serves the officers nor does it serve the general public. It serves the political needs of the politicians. In the class of politician I place the Chiefs. They are… Read more »


Bad individual LEOs follow bad orders given by bad leadership.


And since when do I, if I were an LEO have to follow bad leadership? I have a choice and my choice when I was in my early 20’s wanting to be an LEO and working for Hollywood PD in Florida was to quit the profession before it turned me into an ogre.


I thought that leo s were supposed to enforce only lawful and constitutional laws, not ones that are plainly, purely political in design. Masks and lockdowns anyone?


Masks and lock downs are decrees by psychopathic control freak mayors and governors. They are NOT laws. And police agency that treats them as laws are your enemy.


I’ve been wondering where the “Oath Keepers” are in all of this. I’m sure there are many that are close enough to help Mac.


Good article David, but you know this is going to be a shitstorm in the comments.

“We” want to continue supporting LEOs. Some percentage of LEOs have been making that difficult. The rest of the LEOs have our respect and gratitude.

No carveouts from gun control laws – all LEOs should support that if they want support from those in the firearm community who are not government employees. The California roster exemption is a good example of why carveouts should always be rejected.


No carveouts from gun control laws”
Rights are rights…period!


No gun control laws!!! Rights are rights!!!

Matt in Oklahoma

Yeah and the LEOs will say “we want to support The People but some percentage of them are making it difficult….”


Which people – murderers, rapists, armed robbers, arsonists, and looters? We understand. Arrest them.

People playing catch with their daughter in a vacant field or a guy trying to run his bar? Those people are not difficult. Just choose to not enforce “the law” against them (like so many other laws are not enforced when it suits certain LEOs).


then DEAL WITH the ones making trouble.. housebreaker,s muggers, car thieves, muggers, etc. If LE do not to it, WE the people, armed or not, will be forced to. Whaddya think we PAY you guys todo anyway? Drive around the cars WE bought for you, playing with the fun toys WE bought for you? DO YOUR JOB.


Seems like a reasonable suggestion.


Well thought out thesis, well said!


For those who are saying ‘lawful’ be very careful. Laws are hierarchical.

The SUPREME law of the land is God’s Law.

The whole point of the Republican Compact is that we consent to be governed by Man in exchange for their promise never to alienate us from our Creator or our Natural Rights.

If the break their oath then the Compact is void.


The Democrat traitors will need to drive a wedge between police and citizens,so that they have people they can USE to enforce their nazi policies


Agreed. Good LEOs may want to consider banding together and rejecting bad orders. They band together for other reasons.

The sheriff in the county I live in made a public, written statement indicating he would not enforce mask orders. He has also made it known if BLM/Antifa come to the county and start shutting down roads, committing arson, looting, etc. the deputies will arrest them. Earlier this year when people peacefully protested the health orders he waved and smiled. If he keeps this up, he will be re-elected in a landslide.

Get Out

IMOA, No warrant, do not open the door, do not allow LE inside and don’t answer their questions until you can get a lawyer present. Begin recording the event from start to finish.


The qualified immunity is exasperated by the increasing incidences of “swatting someone”.
This is the increasing amount of faults police calls of people calling in that someone has been killed in a house and the perpetrator is still there. This has police arriving at a completely nonviolent home fully drawn and ready to kill any adult answering the door


Finally something we all can agree with. Reform the police departments across the nation and get rid of qualified immunity


Many do not agree with that statement.

Qualified immunity protects good LEOs from inappropriate civil actions. Unfortunately, it has become almost “unqualified immunity.” It needs to be refined, but not eliminated.

Also, there needs to be more criminal actions against LEOs who have committed crimes. “We have investigated ourselves and found no wrongdoing” needs to be changed because it has been abused.


How about stripping qualified immunity from the political hacks first. They are the ones that constantly abuse the Constitution without any repercussions then have the audacity to go on air and gloat about their latest triumphs. Here is the thing I see from my chair as a retired LEO. The citizenry routinely asks the police to do things that are too hazardous for them to undertake, responding to emergencies is a good example. Removing qualified immunity removes any and all incentives to use their sirens and lights because all it takes is somebody not hearing or seeing them and getting… Read more »


Also, what I am seeing regarding police across the country, but especially in Democrat controlled cities and states is a push to defund and marginalize police to the point that good officers retire, move, or quit. This will result in fewer circumspect and mature officers and more officers who would tend to abuse there power. Essentially, the departments will be staffed by people solely dedicated to their political and corporate bosses and less concerned with their oaths to the Constitution and their obligation to the public. Basically they could become mercenaries. I think this is what the democrats want. The… Read more »


I think there is going to be some social pressure put on LEOs who don’t arrest bad guys and who do arrest good guys, especially in smaller communities. Scenario: Bad LEO comes home – wife is crying. LEO: What’s wrong? Wife: Are you still doing that BS? LEO: What BS? Wife: Arresting people for refusing to follow BS laws. LEO: Just following orders. If they don’t like the laws, the voters should have elected better legislators. Why? Wife: Well, no one came to little Johnny’s birthday party today and he was in tears all day. Also, I went to the… Read more »


I really hope that starts happening.


I think some LEOs are fairly tuned-in to how pissed-off normal people* are getting. Other LEOs continue to flex their authority and are laughing their asses off, oblivious to the ill-will that is being created with people that previously supported them.

*Normal people = non-criminals (construction workers, corporate executives, real estate agents, nurses, farmers, dentists, retail clerks, engineers, etc.)

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

As a former police officer I can tell you this as a fact not a baseless opinion. LEO’s are just like any other work sector. Some are anti gun liberals and others are pro 2A. Labeling them all as one or the other is foolish. Should the time come when Americans have to fight each other to protect their constitutional rights they will pick their side just like everyone else. It’s not us vs them. I’ve known very few LEO’s in my life that would take the side of the radical left. It’s a demographic within law enforcement the same… Read more »


Do you support having exemptions (“carveouts”) from various gun control laws for LEOs and former LEOs? Such exemptions could include certain types of firearms (e.g., the California handgun roster), magazines with a capacity over a certain amount, etc. Most people acknowledge there are good and bad LEOs. It is the percent of each that most people debate. In 2020, we have seen a lot of LEOs not arrest bad people (violent rioters who were committing arson, beating people, looting, etc.) and we have seen a lot of LEOs enforce ridiculous and inconsistent health orders against good people. I don’t know… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

Here, I’ll help…


I understand the sentiment, but I would like to hear from Beobear regarding his own thoughts on carveouts.

Higgs indicated all LEOs have agreed to enforce all laws, but will all LEOs follow through and actually enforce those laws? From what he wrote, it sounds like Beobear believes a certain percentage will not enforce some laws.

It is a good time to have the discussion and I hope it does not get derailed.


Thisis good, but….. ‘consider that the Constituion declars that all laws enacted CONSISTENT WITH THAT CONSTITUION are the supreme law of the land, AND that any laws not consistent with that document as ammended are null, void, and of none effect, in short no law at all. There ARE cops good enough to not enforce those that are “null void, of none effect, no law at all”.Rare, but they exist. And soem shriffs have decided to ONY enforce those laws conssistent with the US and STate constitutions. Thus they refuse, for xample, to confiscate firerams deemed “unlawful” by their wretched… Read more »


You are correct of course. The problem is that it is a crap shoot. You have no idea who is going to enforce or not enforce what. And that becomes an issue because it becomes “every man becomes a law unto himself”. NO GOOD COP would enforce a single gun control law at all. We need to get back to CONSTABLES voted in by the people and beholden to the people that are PEACE officers instead of professional LAW ENFORCEMENT officers.


all right and good, and accurate. BUT.. what Mr.Codrea is exposing here is the gross hypocrisy of this certain class of citizen (LE as a whole) has obtained a position UNDER THE LAW that puts them on a different footing vis-a-vis everyone NOT in theirclass. Had those coppers breached the house, and the resident therof come out into the hall firing on the as yet unidentified intruders, HE would have gone off in chains, if they hadn’t managed to send him to hospital to be fitted for his own perosnalised toe tag down in the basement. “The issue in view… Read more »


As a retired LEO, I do not have in extra rights in my state, Missouri. There are no guns that I may own that other citizens may not own. That’s because Missouri is not NJ, NY, IL, or CA et. al. Also, according to the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act, retired LEO’s may conceal carry, only if they are qualified by their agencies yearly. Most agencies will not allow retirees to qualify at their ranges under their instructors. Therefore to conceal carry in Missouri, I had to get a Missouri concealed carry license. Not a big deal in this state,… Read more »


JohnBored, Thank you for sharing your view. Assume the Biden administration writes a law (like he has promised) to ban the manufacture and sale of broad categories of semi-automatic rifles and all existing rifles must be registered under the NFA of 1934. Further assume that all LEOs are authorized to enforce this law. If the local dentist (who’s criminal background consists of 1 speeding ticket over the last 25 years) takes his AR15 to the range and states he has not registered it, would you arrest him if you were still in law enforcement? If no, would you arrest him… Read more »


Fortunately, I am retired, so that is a hypothetical question. But given the situation you described, I would consider myself off-duty and not respond. Also, I did not retire from the ATF or FBI, therefore, not my wheelhouse. But to be honest, early in my career, can’t say with 100% for sure. But, I was also in the Army, and we were trained about legal orders versus illegal orders. And as a Christian there is man’s law and God’s law, unalienable rights. Unless the democrats can repeal the 2nd Amendment, Biden’s law would be unconstitutional. But, we may all be… Read more »


Thank you. I appreciate your response.


About 95% of NORMAL LAW ABIDING AMERICAN CITIZENS of Maryland CANNOT get a carry permit! The current AMBIGUOUS laws PREVENT the RIGHT to carry in maryland.


The ignorance of this piece is amazing. Qualified immunity applies only to the officer himself, not to his agency. And, it never applies where the officer is acting illegally. So, in virtually every case of an accidental shooting, or accidentally raiding the wrong home, significant damages were paid by the agency for what happened. (Breonna Taylor’s family got $12 million). What is worse is that the writer is basing his opinion on the scope of the problem on the number of youtube videos and news reports he has seen. That is as ignorant as BLM claiming (wrongly) that black suspects… Read more »


I agree. Qualified Immunity exists for many reasons, one of which is that police are constantly confronting very difficult situations. If police can be sued by every criminal there will be no police. Sensational anecdotal stories cannot be the basis of law and policy. This writer is very wrong in his opinion. Focusing on anecdotal events leads to foolishly bad decisions.

Watch um

Second arrest I made as a peace officer I was sued for one million dollars by a drunk who didn’t even know what highway he was driving on when I arrested him. He lost and I won.


Do you support having exemptions (“carveouts”) from various gun control laws for LEOs and former LEOs?

Such exemptions could include certain types of firearms (e.g., the California handgun roster), magazines with a capacity over a certain amount, etc.


@Watch um,

Are you special?


@Watch um,

What are your thoughts on gun control carveouts for LEOs/Former LEOs?


so much of your comment is just wrong, i felt it necessary to respond. your comment is the kettle calling the pot black. i will be talking only about leo’s in this response. other government officials are also a big problem. leo’s use qualified immunity as a shield while committing crimes that we would end up in prison for. the department may get sued, but that is suing we the people. there cannot continue be a two tierred justice system in America, i.e. hilary clinton, or it will cease to be America. i believe you referenced the tuttle murders in… Read more »


If you think that the leo s from Minneapolis will be acquitted (whether they should be or not) you’re simple. Those cops will be sacrificial lambs to THE CAUSE.


What do you think about Philip Brailsford receiving lifetime disability for the PTSD he suffered when he killed Daniel Shaver?




There is seldom much outrage from a significant percentage of LEOs when a rotten one does not get fired and does not get arrested, or is later reinstated. By the way, settlements are paid by taxpayers.

What are your thoughts on Lon Horiuchi, Philip Brailsford, Brian Miller, Joshua Stambaugh, and Edward Eason?


I know what my thoughts are on all five of those. And I know what Randy Weaver’s thoughts are on Horiuchi. He told me in person. My thoughts are that all five should be taken out in front of a good backstop and die by firing squad. Randy will gladly be on Horiuchi’s firing squad. I’d join him too.


You can’t be serious… “Breonnas family got 12millon” … ANNND?! they also lost their family member, because those pieces of shit couldn’t conduct a simple Leaders Recon… Map Recon, Recon on any type… These are the people “we trust to up hold laws and righteousness”… ?! THE WRONG HOUSE?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! HEY, guess what? If it been US Service Members making that mistake, perpetuated on IRAQI citizens; they’d be spending the rest of their lives rotting in Leavenworth. If Service Members perpetuated a fraction of what goes on, of what is routinely dished out to AMERICAN CITIZENS; they… Read more »


For sure!

Last edited 1 year ago by CourageousLion

Wasn’t the wrong house, the address was on the warrant.


the raid on the Taylor house was NOT a mistake… I’ve seen evidence recently released that shows she was still activly involved with the nasty boyfriend drug dealer, who had been driving a car SHE had rented, (he not on the list to drive it) that was found abandoned with a dead guy inside it. She was still receiving packages for that deadbeat at her house, and the place was known as a drop house. Her new boyfriend had also been heavily implicated in drug trade, and it would seem that, since the two were in a narrow halllway, SHE… Read more »


The Taylor case was an odd one for TStheDeplorable to interject into this discussion. A better one, for the purposes of this discussion, would be the two newspaper ladies who the LEOs in LA mistook for a very large man (Dorner). They also mistook the vehicle they were driving. They also mistook the sound of a newspaper hitting the pavement for the sound of a gunshot. They also fired over 100 rounds at the newspaper delivery ladies (wounding one of them). The other bullets? Well, who cares? The LEOs all went home safe, none were terminated, none went to jail.… Read more »


Try doing a search on what cops have gotten away with because of qualified immunity and then get back to us. Your screed is mainly BS.


If you are critical of David Codrea, what have you to say about Radley Balko?

The case against qualified immunity


Do you have any idea of how many people want to give LEOs the benefit of the doubt, but when so few LEOs will come out and condemn even the most egregious cases, people start re-evaluating the premise they have held their whole life?

It’s almost like most LEOs want to be hated by everyone other than other LEOs (and Sean Hannity).


Don’t pee down my back and try to tell me it’s raining. “The doctrine isn’t just a shield against liability — it protects police and other officials from having to go to trial in the first place. Since 1967, the Supreme Court has gone on to say that plaintiffs can’t advance their claims unless they show that officials violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” In practice, they have to find a prior case similar enough to theirs that the officials should have known their conduct was illegal. The high court has even held… Read more »


The sight of him armed was enough to prompt immediately opening fire. And “qualified immunity,” a legal doctrine created by the Supreme Court, “shield[s] police and other government officials from civil liability for actions undertaken on the job.”

This has to be a violation of policy. The only other thing it could be would be is stupidity on the part of the inhabitant.


Look into the details, and remember this was a “excessive noise” complaint: “When he opened the door he was confronted by two Phoenix police officers and they were surprised by the sight of his firearm. Just three seconds later Phoenix Officer Jeff Cooke shot Whitaker in the back at least two times at point-blank range, killing him.” -The Daily Mail (also has video). Whittaker was getting on his knees when he was shot. See: “Ryan Whitaker: Five facts you need to know” at Heavy.com. The only “stupidity” on the part of the officer shooting. You hear a strange knock on… Read more »


More detail: the complainant was asked by the dispatcher if he suspected domestic violence, and got an answer that clearly indicated, “Fine, if that’s what it’s going to take to get you guys out here.” The cops on the scene were aware the complaint was falsified. The “noise” was nothing more than the couple getting verbally excited while playing video games. And now the husband is dead.


If more LEOs would just come out and condemn people like Cooke, Brailsford, Horiuchi, and others they would start to improve relations with good people. By not doing that they are not only hated by criminals (as always), but also good people.

The silence is both deafening and edifying.


HOW can you hold that theinhabitant acted out of stupidity? Ruckus on the front porch, no clue who is there, zero dark thirty hours, not yet awake……. HOW coud he have known the coppers were so stupid as to be knocking up the wrong door? What clues did he have? From what I’ve noted, most such incidents involve sloppy or wilfully corrupt “work” by government agents. HOW did they get theaddress wrong? Reminds me of the poor ex marine in New Mexico, José Gueraña I believe, wife and baby asleep, hears his front dor braached. hunkers down in hall with… Read more »

Xaun Loc

So the inhabitant has to be stupid to be armed when investigating someone pounding on his door in the middle of the night?

I’d say that stupidity would be NOT being armed.

Of course you could argue that the smartest thing would have been to not answer the door at all but just stand back and shoot the first person who broke in the door. At least that way he might have taken one of the incompetent nitwits with him.