Rad Geek People's Daily

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Oops. Our bad.

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 17 years ago, in 2007, on the World Wide Web.

In Lawrenceburg, Indiana last week, Kayla Irwin, a young single mother, got served and protected by a paramilitary police attack squad:

A SWAT team raids the wrong home in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, now the homeowner wants some answers.

Police said they were led to the Village Apartments on the trail of fugitive Sean Deaton.

Convinced he was inside apartment 407G, the Lawrenceburg SWAT unit surrounded the building.

It looked like they were ready to go to war, one neighbor said. Some of the ones out here had AR15’s and shotguns.

Neighbors said police spent hours, ordering Deaton to surrender.

But when that didn’t work, they responded with tear gas and forced entry.

— NBC News: SWAT Team Mistake Leaves Woman’s Home Wrecked

Only one problem. It turns out that the reason he didn’t come out to surrender is because he was never fucking there in the first place. They had the wrong apartment.

It looked like my apartment was on fire. The smoke was just blowing out of my windows, Kayla Irwin, the tenant of 407G said.

Irwin, a single mother of two, said she is unable to live in her apartment and didn’t even know the man police were searching for.

Now, she said, she has been left with the mess and no apology.

It’s all covered with poison. I don’t know where to start over with two kids, said Irwin. How do you start with replacing the items that your kids have had since the day they were born?

— NBC News: SWAT Team Mistake Leaves Woman’s Home Wrecked

You can see what the assault squad left when they were done in the video news story. The windows are all boarded up. The inside looks like a disaster area. The reporter who did the story still couldn’t stay in the apartment for long before the lingering tear gas residues made it intolerable to stand inside. Ms. Irwin’s neighbor, Emanuel Brightwell, a soldier who had just come back from clearing landmines in Iraq, said that he’d never seen anything like it, and that while the cops were ransacking her place, it looked like they were enjoying what they were doing. They did not need to do all this.

Irwin said she appealed to the police, but hasn’t gotten anywhere.

They basically just said, sorry for the inconvenience. Go ahead and clean it up. Clean up our mess, Irwin said.

She said she’s had to borrow everything from family in the week since the incident.

She also said she can’t stay in the apartment because of the acrid gas residue.

An assistant chief and another officer were at the Village Apartments talking to Irwin telling her that they would try to get some money so she could clean her clothes and furnishing on her own.

This is the first time this has happened. I’m surprised the incident has not been remedied. We will take care of it the best we can, the assistant chief said.

— NBC News: SWAT Team Mistake Leaves Woman’s Home Wrecked

Note that the boss cops had refused to do this, and barely even offered an apology for the damage that their own employees had caused, until the local TV news got involved. Once a reporter called the police department for a statement, it took about 30 minutes for an assistant police chief to make his way down to her apartment complex and make some vague offers to try and rustle up some petty cash to help her get her clothes and furniture cleaned.

In the real world, outside of statist power trip la-la land, when you fuck up somebody’s life like that and trash their house, all due to a mistake, you pay for what you did. That’s how civilized people step up and try to make it right. At a minimum, that would mean paying her expenses and her rent for the time she was unable to live in her own home, paying for a professional cleaning of the apartment, paying to replace anything that their goon squad destroyed, and paying restitution for the family pet that they killed in the process. Also, in the real world, when you have make this kind of thing right, you pay for it; you don’t just get to send a bill to a bunch of unwilling third parties who never agreed to get involved. Here, the people who pay for it should be the cops who trashed her house and the police commanders who ordered them to do it. And I mean pay for it out of their own personal accounts. Of course, public servants that they are, they will instead pass along whatever costs their fuck-up may incur straight to a bunch of innocent taxpayers who had nothing to do with the raid.

If you want to know why cops keep forming heavily-armed elite goon squads, and keep on indulging in this sort of macho paramilitary dick-swinging exercise, no matter how many times they end up ruining, hurting, or killing innocent people in the process, well, that’s the reason right there.

(Story via Karen De Coster @ LewRockwell Blog 2007-11-21.)

9 replies to Oops. Our bad. Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. chris lempa

    The police are the real threat to our security. Stories like this are becoming more and more common, to the point that people don’t even think twice.

    BTW – I am a guest editor at Strike the Root. I linked to one of your posts today.

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2007-12-07 – Law and Orders #4: Wichita cops take control by shocking a deaf man for not following orders he couldn’t hear:

    […] But since these guys are on the State’s official goon squad, some crocodile tears and an Oops, my bad will have to […]

  3. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2007-12-23 – Law and Orders #5: Daytona Beach cop takes control at Best Buy by shocking an unarmed, “retreating” woman:

    […] the city government will settle the case out of court, have the police department send Beeland an Oops, our bad along with some petty cash, and then—public servants that they are—send the bill to a […]

— 2008 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-01-27 – Someone must have slandered Thomas W….:

    […] you strap on a badge and a gun, suddenly some sanctimonious buck-passing and excuse-making, with an Oops, our bad tacked on along the way, is close enough for government […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-05-10 – Cops are here to protect you. (#3):

    […] that most victims of police violence can realistically ever hope for by way of compensation is an Oops, our bad, and a Fuck you, civilian is what they are far more likely to get. No matter how many times these […]

— 2009 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-02-23 – The Metro Police Beat:

    […] clearly posed a threat, so they shot the dog dead. The cops took responsibility by issuing an Oops, our bad to the bereaved family — along with a self-serving claim that the cops just had to shoot the […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-04-16 – 13 shots to kill a puppy:

    […] and Protectors were busy saving their own skins from a 7 month old puppy, expecting even an Oops, our bad would really be a bit […]

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