"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tidewater Toker Provokes Police, Potheads

A blogging police officer complains of a manslaughter conviction for a dope dealer who killed a police officer attempting to serve a search warrant at his Chesapeake, Virginia house. (lots of the backstory here). Now, this pot head, Ryan Frederick, has been written up cloyingly in Reason and has become somewhat of a poster child for the 420-loving crowd, who see this drug bust gone awry as more evidence of the failure of the drug war and the evils of the supposedly gestapo-like tactics used by police to persecute these peace-loving pot smokers. Example: Windypundit in turn getting upset with the blogging officer, says this:

Alright Scott, here's something for you to think about: All this happened because Ryan Frederick was suspected of growing marijuana, a crime which has no victims. The next time you or your police buddies decide to do an armed home invasion because you think there might be evil plants inside, remember that there are hundreds of thousands of potential jurors out here who won't mind too much if you get your ass killed. Maybe that will make you stop and think about what you're doing.
Right. So on one side we have an angry officer, upset that a jury in Chesapeake, Va. (a very conservative community) did not find Frederick guilty of murder. On the other side, we have the dope heads and their ideological friends trying to make a Joan of Arc out of this Tidewater Toker.

While it appears that the police might have been more cautious about using the particular informant in this case, there was evidence presented that Frederick, despite denials, knew the police were coming to his house, and indeed had been operating a grow room in the preceding weeks (not to mention the trivial fact that police knocked and yelled "Chesapeake police--search warrant" five times before having to force entry). And the bottom line is that the jury clearly rejected his claim that he was acting in self-defense from an unknown intruder-- self-defense is an absolute defense, if believed, to the offense they convicted him of, manslaughter. They likely concluded he was lying about at least part of what happened. By the same token, the jury apparently was hesitant to condone the way the police investigated this case and chose to execute the search warrant.

A modest suggestion: if the police work in the case was less than optimal, it can hardly excuse the Tidewater Toker, who had no justification to fire a shotgun pistol at a Chesapeake police officer.

That neither "side" is entirely happy probably means the jury got it just about right.

By the way, the fascist Nazi drug cop who "got his ass killed" was Jerrod Shivers, a Navy vet and a decorated police officer with a wife and three children.
May he rest in peace.


Sailorcurt said...

there was evidence presented that Frederick, despite denials, knew the police were coming to his house

Um...What evidence was presented that Frederick knew the Police were coming?

The sworn testimony of a professional jailhouse snitch and known liar?

The sworn testimony of one of the criminals who broke into Frederick's home that he called them several times, threatened them and indicated that he knew the Police were coming...testimony that was unquestionably proven false by phone records?

What other "evidence" was there?

I mean, it does make perfect sense for such a hardened Soda Salesman with such a long and sordid history of not being in trouble with the law to intentionally try to kill Police Officers and risk being killed himself or getting a capital sentence, all to protect his misdemeanor stash of pot, now doesn't it?

not to mention the trivial fact that police knocked and yelled "Chesapeake police--search warrant" five times before having to force entry

Funny how none of the neighbors heard the Police yell before the entry (Oh, and the Police testified that they yelled it four times, not five)...even though they could hear the dogs barking inside the house.

Even funnier (funny strange, not funny ha-ha) is that the second assault team, which was supposed to serve the warrant on the garage at the same time as the first team served the house, didn't hear the house team yelling either.

But you're SURE that Frederick heard it from inside his house, while dozing in bed, over the dogs barking and the TV that was on?

it can hardly excuse the Tidewater Toker, who had no justification to fire a shotgun at a Chesapeake police officer.

Um...actually, it was a .380 caliber handgun...but heck, you got almost everything else wrong too, why should I expect you to get that right?

Your obvious superior knowledge about this case CLEARLY demands that your opinion be taken as gospel does it not?

By the way, the fascist Nazi drug cop who "got his ass killed"

I'm not sure Detective Shivers' fellow officers or his family would appreciate you characterizing him in that way. No one else of whom I'm aware that's been following or blogging about this case has ever been so disrespectful, so I have to assume that those sentiments are your own.

Tom McKenna said...

The jury could easily have found the informant credible, which would explain why they did not let the dope head walk entirely. I don't know, I wasn't in the jury room, but it was competent evidence they could have relied upon.

The police knocked and announced. I don't know if the doper heard, I wasn't there, neither were you; the jury could have concluded he heard, and that his denials were simply self-serving lies, which again, would explain why they did not buy his self-defense schtick.

Ya got me, it was a .380, not a shotgun. My point was not to review in detail the evidence in the case, but to suggest some of the reasons the jury may have found the way they did.

I suppose I should have realized that some extremely dense people might miss the sarcasm and irony in my description of the detective, which is really of course how the pothead lobby would describe him.

I would call him a hero.

Sailorcurt said...

Roger that.

In other words your entire screed was based upon assumptions, inaccurate information and bias.


I should have realized that an extremely dense blogger would have missed the sarcasm and irony in my attempt to point out the fact that he seems to be the only one using such descriptives.

The fact is that your implication that the other bloggers you oh so ineffectually attempted to scold had expressed such sentiments was a patent falsehood.

Contrary to the little strawman that you so painstakingly constructed, one doesn't have to believe that Detective Shivers was a bad person, or that the Chesapeake Police are Nazis, to believe that it is reasonable that Frederick didn't realize it was the Police breaking through his door...that, in not knowing that it was the Police breaking through his door, it is reasonable to believe that he was in fear for his life and perceived imminent danger in an unknown number of people with unknown numbers and types of weapons, forcibly attempting to gain entry.

Furthermore, one does not have to believe bad things about Detective Shivers or the Police Department in general to believe that they royally screwed this one up and got one of their own killed over a misdemeanor amount of pot in a baggie.

Good job of work there. Wouldn't you say?

BTW: Your insistence upon using cutesy pejorative terms for anyone who disagrees with you on this issue doesn't come across as witty as I'm guessing you intended; it comes across as infantile. But, hey...if that's your style...

Tom McKenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom McKenna said...

Let's try this again.

The cop-blogger was bent out of shape about the lesser-charge conviction. Was I not clear enough that the jury probably found fault with the police, which is why they did not come back for murder? Try reading closely and you'll see it right in my posting.

On the other hand, a dope-advocate very casually threw out a challenge to the cop-blogger that included talking about "armed home invasion" and the police "getting their ass killed." There are plenty of folks on the left comparing the war on drugs to fascism (one example: http://www.serendipity.li/wod.html. Another example from a libertarian like yourself: http://www.nolanchart.com/article5199.html). This is all the sort of overblown rhetoric which, when read by minds feeble enough to be hooked on dope, might actually result in harm some day to a police officer. So I have a problem with it. Sorry you don't.

So again: my posting was geared to explaining why a jury might have ruled the way it did-- because the Toker was at fault, and, to some degree, the police were too. Unlike you, I'm not a arrogant enough to assume the jury saw it simply as the police at fault from start to finish as you attempt to portray it.

Now, take a deep breath, in, out, in, out... you'll be fine, sir.