Another Fed Court Rules that Exercising 2A Could Diminish Other Rights

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A panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Thursday that a police officer will not face civil penalties for shooting and killing an innocent man because he was holding a handgun when the officer knocked on his door.

The full circuit court declined to review the case, meaning the panel’s decision stands.

As Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern notes in an excellent analysis of the case, the Eleventh Circuit Court’s ruling followed a Fourth Circuit Court ruling from January that effectively held that the exercise of Second Amendment rights diminishes Fourth Amendment rights.

In other words, possessing a handgun in your own home could subject you to police actions that would not otherwise be permissible under the Fourth Amendment.

The incident in question took place late one night in 2012. Andrew Scott and his girlfriend were playing video games in their Florida home when they heard loud banging at their door. No one yelled or called to them. Scott, unsure why someone would knock on his door without identifying themselves, retrieved his legally-owned handgun and went to investigate.

The facts of the case get a bit fuzzy at this point. Deputy Richard Sylvester, the police officer who was banging on the door, says that Scott pointed a handgun directly at his face. Scott’s attorney presented evidence at the trial that indicated his client actually retreated, keeping the gun down the whole time.

In either case, Sylvester, without identifying himself as a police officer, fired six shots, three of which hit and killed Scott.

Sylvester was at Scott’s home looking for another person suspected of armed assault and battery. He had reason to suspect the man answering the door might be dangerous, and, if his account is true, had even better reason to believe his life might be in danger.

But, as David French at the National Review points out, the Eleventh Circuit Court was required in this case to assume that Scott’s version of events was true. The court ruled, in other words, that a police officer can kill a person in his own home simply for holding a gun at his side.

They justified their decision using a legal principle called “qualified immunity.” Essentially, qualified immunity bars individuals from suing the government for violating their rights unless those rights were “clearly established.” This requires the plaintiff’s lawyers to find another case with almost identical facts in which the court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor.

Scott’s attorney could not find a similar case and could therefore not prove his client’s rights were “clearly established.”

In her dissent, Judge Beverly Martin pointed out the huge, Second-Amendment-sized holes in the court’s argument. Sylvester’s decision to shoot Scott for holding a handgun violates his “clearly established” right under the Second Amendment.

The “conclusion that deadly force was reasonable here,” Martin noted, “plainly infringes on the Second Amendment right to ‘keep and bear arms’”:

If Mr. Scott was subject to being shot and killed, simply because (as the District Court put it) he made the “fateful decision” to answer a late-night disturbance at the door to his house, and did so while holding his firearm pointed safely at the ground, then the Second Amendment (and Heller) had little effect.

Both French and Stern call upon the Supreme Court to reverse the Fourth and Eleventh Circuit Court rulings, which, if Judge Neil Gorsuch is confirmed this week, could happen in the near future.

{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Andrew N. March 31, 2017, 1:28 am

    There are 2 sides to every story. The cop was wrong, period. He did not identify himself, and seemed hell bent on shooting somebody. The other side of the story is that a lot of LEO’s seem to be targets nowadays, especially with the extreme elements of the BLM movement. (Does anyone else notice that the phrase “BLM Movement” looks a lot like Bowel Movement? Strange coincidence or actual similarities? You make the call) I don’t blame cops for shooting quicker nowadays, but at someone’s front door in the circumstances described above? The cop should be facing murder charges.

  • Alan March 30, 2017, 9:23 am

    Folks, if it’s NOT a uniformed cop at your door, you have NO obligation to open the damned thing!!!!!!
    Having said that, the idea that I ‘give up’ or have a ‘lessoned’ right by exercising another is pure poppycock, and smacks of fascist tendencies by this Court.

  • Pat March 25, 2017, 12:07 pm

    Why not just call the person in question first before approaching the door? No more of a loss of element of surprise than knocking on door and if it’s the wrong address or person answering is wrong person it would shed light on such before events spiral out of control. If it is the person being sought it provides the opportunity for him to submit peacefully without a knee jerk reaction. If he doesn’t submit he wasn’t going to anyway and removes the danger to officer of putting himself in compromising situation where emotion and adrenaline rule the day

  • nate March 25, 2017, 12:01 pm

    TRAINING….I can’t say enough about that word….whether it’s in law enforcement or civilian established….I’ve seen and read where the information that was missing in the training that would surely be the demise of an individual due to critical information missing during that training. That’s why ALL trainers should be checked and re-certified with approved updated information as per all new laws applied as well. Perhaps their will be a lot less needless deaths caused by improper or faulted training procedures

  • Scott Syverson March 25, 2017, 11:57 am

    This ruling cuts both ways with as yet un-discussed ramifications. Since the officer was not uniformed and it has been established that he did not identify himself as a police officer, then his status as a police officer has no bearing on the case. For all intents and purposes, he was simply an armed man on the porch of a home owner’s home who felt threatened. The court ruled that it is permissible to shoot a man in his home from a position outside the home based on the perceived threat. This now expands the Castle Doctrine. Previously, the courts held that in order for the Castle Doctrine to be active, the threat had to be within the domicile. Under this ruling and by extension of qualified immunity, it someone can shoot you in your home from without, you now have the ability to shoot anyone on your property from within your home if you feel threatened. This removes the requirement of a threat being within the domicile in order to use deadly force in the face of a armed threat under the Castle Doctrine. So now if a police officer comes to your front door at night and you don’t have a porch light on and cannot identify them as a police officer due to insufficient light but see a gun in his silhouette, you now have the right to use deadly force and shoot them through the door if that weapon is perceived to be brandish in your direction. Even if they announce themselves as police, but you did not hear them because you were in another part of the home before coming to the door, again, by qualified immunity, you are within your rights to use deadly force thru the door because this ruling is based solely on perceived threat with no inclusion of police status or authority. Under this ruling, if a uninvited person, like a burglar is carrying a baseball bat, crowbar, or bladed weapon and comes within twenty feet of you in the doorway, you now have the right to use deadly force under the Castle Doctrine. (Police are trained that if a bladed weapon comes within twenty feet of them, they are under imminent threat and deadly force is authorized. This is the current legal established standard.)

    Even though this is case presented as a new policing authority, it is actually an expansion of the 2nd Amendment. Given this new, vastly increased, definition of the threshold of use of deadly force for an American citizen exercising their their right to self-protection, do we really want this case over-turned? I can assure you that as soon as the liberals discover that through the Law of Unintended Consequences that they have inadvertently expanded 2nd Amendment rights, the officer involved in this case will be thrown under the bus, the lower court rulings will be overturned, and the police office will be sacrificed as an unwilling, but deserving, dupe.

  • Rocky March 25, 2017, 11:47 am

    I’m sorry, but for some reason there is simply a whole lot of this story that doesn’t wash… Why was the law there looking for an armed fugitive to begin with? I honestly don’t have any friends that would go out and pistol whip someone, then run to my house seeking shelter, because they know I don’t tolerate such B_S_, and I’m not going to hide them from the law.

    How many people answer a disturbance at their door, in the middle of the night, gun in hand, ready for a fight, then “retreat”, “gun in hand”, “pointed at the floor”? Doesn’t this make you ask… WHY??? I mean seriously, someone bangs on your door middle of the night, doesn’t identify as a police officer, you open the door to find them standing there gun in hand, and you’re going to back away with your “gun pointed at the floor”. You aren’t going to raise your weapon in a defensive stance? You aren’t going to assume a defensive stance?? If you ask, “why???” doesn’t that constitute reasonable doubt? Isn’t reasonable doubt grounds to find an innocent verdict?

    Florida has Stand Your Ground, retreat is not mandated by law. The man went to the door carrying a gun expecting a fight, and then retreated… WHY??? It’s a simple question, it demands simple answers. There is only one reason, he identified whoever was banging on the door as a law enforcement officer by the uniform he was wearing. Wherein, proper protocol would have been to surrender his weapon to the officer, lay it on the floor and back away slowly, hands raised. Backing away, gun in hand, with someone in uniform, gun in hand pointed at you, screaming for you to drop your weapon, suggests you’re seeking a position of better tactical advantage, and may get you shot.

    Personally, I’m going to assume this another case of, “This could have very easily been averted by simply following the officer’s orders”. And, not try to second guess the court with this flawed internet article.

    • BulSprig March 26, 2017, 11:55 am

      Officer did not ID himself as a LEO, AT NO TIME. WONDER WHY NO BACKUP.
      AS alluded to, this case expands Castle Doctrine. You may now shoot someone outside the home. Since LEO NEVER I’D HIMSELF, HE WAS A JOHN DOE.

  • Mark Wynn March 24, 2017, 10:37 pm

    But … but … the officer didn’t identify himself??
    So, you retreat in your home from a stranger that came through your front door, he shoots you … and you’re to blame?
    I’m thinking of the incidents that get reported all the time about law enforcement identifying the wrong house and busting in … and if you defend yourself you’re to blame?
    Errr, excuse me, unidentified intruder in my home, I’m going to drop my gun now, but I’ll pick it back up if you’re a bad guy and going to shoot me ….

  • DaveGinOly March 24, 2017, 7:52 pm

    SCOTUS has long maintained that a citizen “cannot be forced to give up one right in order to exercise another.”

  • matthew martinez March 24, 2017, 6:51 pm

    why dont we teach the common cop advanced hand to hand? just another trigger happy cop.

  • Joe nobody March 24, 2017, 4:40 pm

    http://www.thetallahasseenews.com/index.php/site/article/police_shoot_and_kill_innocent_man_in_lake_county_sheriff_claims_it_was_jus

    Copy this link to your browser and read. Much interesting info here regarding this case.
    The deputy was not in uniform, did not identify himself as police, and shot this man through the door.

    Extremely reckless use of lethal force, to say the least.

  • Mark Are March 24, 2017, 2:25 pm

    Dear Mr. Police Officer, can you answer these following questions for me?

    THE FIVE QUESTIONS
    1) Is there any means by which any number of individuals can delegate to someone else the moral right to do something which none of the individuals have the moral right to do themselves?

    2) Do those who wield political power (presidents, legislators, etc.) have the moral right to do things which other people do not have the moral right to do? If so, from whom and how did they acquire such a right?

    3) Is there any process (e.g., constitutions, elections, legislation) by which human beings can transform an immoral act into a moral act (without changing the act itself)?

    4) When law-makers and law-enforcers use coercion and force in the name of law and government, do they bear the same responsibility for their actions that anyone else would who did the same thing on his own?

    5) When there is a conflict between an individual’s own moral conscience, and the commands of a political authority, is the individual morally obligated to do what he personally views as wrong in order to “obey the law”?
    PLEASE…help me out! I need to understand your mindset for future response.

  • Ranger March 24, 2017, 1:31 pm

    Wow ! Aren’t we brave, sitting behind a computer and passing judgement on a situation you know nothing about. This entire, sad event has NOTHING to do with the Constitution and everything to do with common sense. If the homeowner truly believed there were bad guys on the other side of the door, did he really believe he was going to confront them and shoot it out….really? But you are right about one thing, this kneejerk reaction and article are all playing into the hands of the anti-gun crowd and they are learning more and more with every ignorant response.
    By the way, I suggest some of you take the FREE home course on the U.S. Constitution from Hillsdale College, then maybe you’ll see that the 2nd. or 4th. amendment have no place in this unfortunate story.

    • Slingblade March 24, 2017, 3:14 pm

      Don’t you have some boots to lick somewhere? The grown-ups are talking!

    • Chris March 24, 2017, 3:15 pm

      Actually he has every right to handle a firearm at any point of any day on his own property. The FACT that he didnt commit a crime and was killed for it is absolute grounds for a clear case against the trigger happy officer infringing upon the mans civil rights. The ruling is rediculous.

      • jrw March 24, 2017, 8:31 pm

        Ranger was commenting on the tactics or lack thereof by the homeowner, not whether he had a right to handle his gun in how own home. Why answer your door (without a peephole and no light on the porch) at 0100, with or without a gun without identifying who is knocking? Trigger happy cop. I’d like to see how you would handle a contact at 0100 looking for a suspect wanted on armed forcible felony charges. Easy to monday morning quarterback.

  • Dexter Winslett B,ham. PD Retired March 24, 2017, 1:26 pm

    It is time to water the tree of liberty.

  • Marion Fedrick March 24, 2017, 1:07 pm

    This is a case of someone just making up procedure and someone backing him up. Since when does a single cop go after a wanted felon who is armed, if he had the address where was backup. If this police officer was so scared then maybe he should get a job at WalMart of something because we don’t need for any body else dying just because someone was scared.

    • jrw March 24, 2017, 8:38 pm

      Read the article and you will see he had back up. Me thinks someone is speaking about something he has no knowledge of. I would love to see how you, as a tactical expert, would have handled the situation knowing what the deputy knew and seeing what he saw.

  • Frank March 24, 2017, 11:57 am

    Never open the door. It could have been a group of horassing JWs. LE turned away from an unopened door is fine. Let them go get a warrant and in the company of other LE they will most likely id themselves for entry. Solo LE often want the element of surprise for their safety. That usually involves snooping around and failure to properly id themselves. More than a few LE have been shot at thought to be burglars. More civil suits need to be brought against law breaking LE. Think of the FBI at Ruby Ridge.

    • darrenp1976 March 24, 2017, 5:20 pm

      Good comment, the way I trained my son first was to do everything you can first and foremost not to interact with police,ie… wear seat belt, replace cracked windshield, stay away from individuals whom always seem to bring police around, things like that. Next, if he must deal with them SHUT THE FUCK UP, that cops job is to get you to talk, your job is to stay quite and not VOLUNTEER INFORMATION. I had a girlfriend leave my house upset one late night doing the types of things outside my house that gets the wrong attention, I just shut and locked the door, little while low and behold the police came knocking, I just shut off the tv and went to bed. Nothing ever happened. It’s a lesson I pass on as much as possible. God bless you all!

  • JerryB March 24, 2017, 11:40 am

    This is another case where somebody need to do an hour show to detail “the rest of the story” in memorial of the late Paul Harvey. The police lawyers say what they want the court to believe, and the lawyers for the beneficiaries of any judgment against the department aren’t going to include any information that puts a negative light on the man who was shot.

    It is like when they kept showing pictures that were several years old of a very young Treyvon Martin and pointed out that he had only gone to the store to buy skittles. You don’t find out from the controlled media that the child they are showing you had since grown up big, got tats and facial hair, and was doing drugs. They never want to tell you that skittles are used by people who abuse prescription cough syrup to make a palatable drink, or “drank” as it were, and they certainly aren’t going to volunteer the information that “purple drank” has hallucinogenic effects and can disrupt normal inhibitions against excessive aggression. That stuff is in it’s effects similar to the now infamous “bath salts” of the Miami cannibal.

    That’s not even “the rest of the story” at all, it’s just part of it…

  • Larry March 24, 2017, 11:02 am

    I couldn’t agree with Jay a few comments below & I’m retired LEO! What I think I am seeing now-a-days is a cowardliness among some recent LE hires. Back in the good old days, if you were a cowardly cop you didn’t remain a cop for very long.

    • Slingblade March 24, 2017, 3:19 pm

      EXACTLY!! and they are TRAINED to be that way!

  • cisco kid March 24, 2017, 10:19 am

    In the uncivilized world of the U.S. the law is set up to make it just about impossible to indict or convict a cop of any crime whatsoever. We have a totally corrupt Court System that is worse than many 3rd World Country’s. The deaths of 1,500 people by cops in 2015 as opposed to just 4 in China that has 4 1/2 times the population and the deaths in Germany, (just 12), who have 3 years of advanced training in law and tactics also prove the U.S. has basically no training for Cops before unleashing them on the public. The U.S. Cop is taught the solution to all violations including spitting on the side walk is immediate execution on the spot.

    • jrw March 24, 2017, 8:40 pm

      what a load of BS

  • Robert McCallum March 24, 2017, 9:54 am

    I know the police have a hard job and deal with a lot of nasty dangerous people. That said, they also are very quick to shoot these days, often times not warranted.. I don’t believe this guy pointed his gun in the officers face after seeing it was a cop. I think the cop freaked out and over reacted. In Iraq, I dealt with a LOT of armed people. (infantry) Most with AK’s. I never shot at someone until they raised the weapon to shoot at me. This was a bad situation for everyone, I hope I’m never in. Out of self preservation , I would have to return fire, especially since he never even identified himself.

  • Jay March 24, 2017, 9:52 am

    Wow, like legal and legit firearm owners don’t have enough hoops to jump through already! If this story is factual then I can guarantee you knock on my door late at night without identifying your self a guns not going to be your only problem! Who, who, who let the dogs out! Even then that proof with badge and ID card better be the first thing I see when it’s opened! No officer any where has the right to violate another persons rights especially in their own home!

    • Jim March 24, 2017, 12:30 pm

      AMEN BROTHER! I concur 100% My home is MY castle.

  • Stuart Nuss March 24, 2017, 9:46 am

    In Terry vs. Ohio, police are not allowed to detain you for participating in a legal activity (such as open carry of a firearm, where legal), without some other justification. A person holding a firearm in his own home (not brandishing it) should meet that same standard, IMHO.

    • La March 24, 2017, 9:56 am

      In thes situations then if I was say sitting in my home and the police just stormed in I should have The leagal right to shoot who ever walks through my door may it be a thug or a police officer

    • Oaf March 24, 2017, 10:26 am

      “You keep using that word Terry. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
      Supreme Court Justice Inigo Montoya

      Terry says a cop can stop and search a person for a weapon with just reasonable suspicion, not the higher standard of probable cause that’s needed for arrest. Terry has no bearing on this case.

  • Mark Are March 24, 2017, 9:23 am

    Rights can’t be diminished. They are not rights if they can. The cop was a murderer if the evidence that was presented was true. If Scott retreated, and the cop never identified himself, what exactly made him so special that murder is OK? Oh, besides the fact he is part of the gang in blue with “qualified immunity” to murder. This has GOT TO CHANGE folks, or eventually it will get real nasty and a lot of people are going to end up in a box. Like the guy who was executed when he brandished a knife in front of about 8 cops that were many yards away from him. Or the kid who was shot in the back because he didn’t respond quick enough to the vaunted blue clothed angel of death to get his hands out of his pockets. Oh, and the kid was listening to music with hearing plugs on so he couldn’t hear the cop in the first place. I think cops need a class to learn how to quit being pussies and stop shooting everything that “scares” them.

    • jrw March 24, 2017, 8:45 pm

      Biased aren’t we.

      • Blasted Cap March 27, 2017, 7:07 am

        JRW, are you the pot or the kettle when it comes to calling someone biased?

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn March 24, 2017, 9:01 am

    It’s why the police are given the benefit of the doubt on matters involving traffic tickets, why wildlife officers are awarded huge leeway while entering private property, why law enforcement officers cannot be compelled to testify in official misconduct investigations if their comments risk losing their jobs (The federal Garrity Rule and upheld repeatedly by courts at every level)… The only way these things can change is for people to seek legislatively at every level of government that law enforcement be held accountable and that full use of vehicle and personal body cameras be required. It is also why people must understand the onus is on them to do whatever is necessary to avoid conflict with a law enforcement officer. If such an officer breaches the law, crosses the line, disobeys departmental policy, there is in most cases opportunity to address such matters. Later, that is… Perfect? Of course not, but nothing else in this life is, either…

  • Mort Leith March 24, 2017, 8:53 am

    So I guess that means that if we see a cop with a gun,,

    we can legally shoot them as well..

    Because a cop should NOT have any more rights re guns than honest legal firearms owners….

  • Paul March 24, 2017, 8:37 am

    Ain’t that some shit…… Complete BS

  • Eddie Nunez March 24, 2017, 8:25 am

    there are a number of remarkable devices a home owner or resident could have employed here like a peep hole, or front door bell camera, wrought iron exterior door ,intercom, and others that could have been very useful in this situation-
    because opening the door and standing there with a gun in your hand may not be the best option.

    • Ronald Wright March 24, 2017, 12:43 pm

      Don’t open the door UNTIL the person identifies himself. IF you don’t like the response, CALL 911 FIRST and then WAIT until an officer arrives.

      Banging on your door late at night. NO identification? NO way do I ever open a door to that scenario. More likely a DRUG addict or drunk who is lost!

      This court is trying to rewrite the Constitution, just like the 11th court that started this nonsense. You can’t take away a right in the Constitution because of another one. These “judges” are supposed to be “intelligent”. What a mockery of the law!

  • Glenn61 March 24, 2017, 8:15 am

    Yet another good argument for why “Concealed Carry” is what an armed citizen needs to be focused on.
    The fact that a cop, who doesn’t identify himself as law enforcement can gun down a man in his home that he had no real connection to, (the wrong guy), and be cleared is why I keep my gun concealed until I need to justifiably use it.

    If a stranger knocks on my door, my 38spec is behind my back until I know that it’s a cop, then I’ll put away the gun and open the door.
    But if it’s a gang of criminals trying to breach my door, then I guess it’s gun out and ready.
    I don’t agree with the ruling by the court, but that’s why nobody should just open the door to their dwelling just because somebody is knocking,
    Ask who it is and give Law Enforcement an opportunity to ID themselves,,, the blame goes both ways here, that may be why the court found in favor of the police…. (just my feelings on the mater),, I’m not a legal expert, just trying to employ common sense. Let’s face it, it’s a dangerous society we live in and getting more so every day.

    • JerryB March 24, 2017, 11:53 am

      That the government is required to respect a citizen’s rights does not relieve the citizen of the responsibility to think rationally, to behave sensibly with due care for the well being of others, and to be reasonable in their responses to any actions when interacting with people, including police. I grow very tired of hearing of some jerk act the complete fool and then complain that his rights were violated.

      • Slingblade March 24, 2017, 3:26 pm

        Get back to work…all those boots are not going to lick themselves!

  • Mar March 24, 2017, 7:57 am

    and they wonder why more and more people distrust Police,and find them more and more disgusting,then they wonder why more and more cops are getting shot or ambushed,,decisions like this one is WHY,,and it wont stop anytime soon,sad,,but true,

  • larry March 24, 2017, 7:53 am

    When the police have rights and privileges we do not, we live in a police state.

    It’s unfortunate that so-called ‘limited government’ conservatives continue to worship the armed agents of the state: policy and military. They have fallen to the brain-washing propaganda of the state.

    • Glenn61 March 24, 2017, 8:16 am

      Those “so-called ‘limited government’ conservatives” are the only reason you’re even afforded the oppertunity to legally purchase a firearm……. RNC, NRA, etc

      • Slingblade March 24, 2017, 3:30 pm

        Like it or not, Larry is right on! BTW your idol Ronnie Reagan took away gun freedoms!

  • srsquidizen March 24, 2017, 7:49 am

    The exact truth of this sad case will never be known since only one party survived to tell their side of the story. Exercise of 2A by simply owning a gun, or even carrying one, should not compromise any other right in any way whatsoever. But once you have taken the gun in hand and look like you’re about to use it, then unfortunately the whole landscape changes for both LEO’s and other armed citizens who might possibly misjudge what your intentions are. So getting yourself into that situation should only be chosen out of absolute necessity.

  • Manshooter March 24, 2017, 7:26 am

    This could possibly be the dumbest thing I have EVER heard! (And I LIVE IN NY!! So that is saying a LOT!)
    Some of my best friends are LEOs, as is my brother in law, (that I love a great deal and do not want to see his little children become orphaned!)
    I don’t know who these nitwits value LESS? The morons that VOTE to put them in office, (better yet DO NOT vote to keep these morons OUT of office!) OR, the Poor LEO that made a mistake and banged on the wrong persons door?
    As NO ONE would answer their door AT ALL NOW, not with this stupid Court action in place!!
    They will just wait until their door is knocked down, then as G. Gordon Liddy said for them to do, “Aim for a head shot, because criminals use body armor these days too! It is a well known FACT that ANYONE can yell out police officer!! Even if they are or not!” (Maybe Liddy knew more than we ever gave him credit for..??)
    In the case of this poor man, WHY WOULD HE BELIEVE it WAS actually the Police? He had done NOTHING WRONG, so WHY would the police be beating on HIS door? It MUST be a home invasion!!
    Either way, an innocent person or even two or more, WILL more than likely end up dead, for no Good reason at all.
    I VOTE they send in these JUDGES FIRST, to tell the home owner he no longer has ANY RIGHT to defend himself, his family or his home! THEN the poor LEO can proceed to find out that it’s the wrong damn house!
    I don’t understand, I thought THIS is WHY we DIDN’T vote for Hillery!!!

  • Chuck Roast March 24, 2017, 7:07 am

    It is asinine decisions like this, and the never ending stays issued against the Executive Order travel bans (the only E.O. in history I know of to actually protect Americans, and CLEARLY be Constitutional) which makes me wonder why we even have the spineless Congressmen representing us in the first place.

    Congressmen keep saying there is nothing they can do about Federal Judges legislating from the bench because Federal Justices are …”appointed for life.” This is simply untrue, and they know it, relying upon their imagined “collective ignorance” of The People. Judges are granted a lifetime appointment, but only if ….”acting in good conduct.” Impeachment is the manner in which a “lifetime” appointment is a ticket to spending more time with their families.

    Clearly, ruling an innocent person may be shot down for exercising a God Given right (which just happens to be set forth in writing in the Bill of Rights, but doesn’t change the fact that this right emanates from God) is NOT a demonstration of …”acting in good conduct.” And ruling that an innocent, non-threatening nation may not protect her people from a clear and direct threat, (when the power of the President to issue such a ban is one which arises from Congress’s powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution) is not acting in …”good conduct” either. When is our spineless Congress going to begin impeaching Federal Justices who continue to re-write law, ignore law, or find non-rights …”emanating from the penumbras” of the Constitution? Have Congressmen no political courage at all? Or are they simply too stupid to read a twenty seven word sentence which was purposely written in (at the time) fifth grade level language? The very right they said could be diminished for exercising it, states very plainly that the right itself …”shall not be infringed.” I will never understand why we continue to let a bunch of lawyers who were appointed to the Federal bench mainly for political butt kissing, tell us that blue means red, and yes means no. Amazing.

    • mike360000 March 24, 2017, 9:30 am

      Thank You Chuck. Best post on here. You completely spoke for me. I appreciate your understanding and devotion.

    • Jay March 24, 2017, 10:00 am

      Thank you for the truth in print!

  • Zach March 24, 2017, 6:22 am

    I think that the writer of this article has oversimplified the facts of this case and wrote it in an incendiary manner in order to elicit a certain response. This muddles an already grey issue by introducing emotion and eliciting responses like the ones above mine. This kind of article provokes the thought that a reader should be better off to just shoot a police officer standing on their porch.

    The incident is much more complicated than stated above and mistakes were indeed made by both the officer and the homeowner. The court decision, to use such an overgeneralized manner as the writer of this article, simply states that the officer is not “civilly” liable. The officer was given qualified immunity for any intentional wrongdoing. This was a tragic accident. Not sticking up for the officer, not agreeing with the court, bot blaming the deceased victim, just making light of a poorly written and ill intended article that inappropriately depicts the facts.

    • Big Kahuna March 24, 2017, 8:58 am

      the irrational and inflammatory article is where the idiots on the left get their info to try and disarm us. an attorney who wasn’t there and who is trying to get paid a large sum off the backs of a grieving family says some nonsense and and everyone jumps on board. who doesn’t look outside first and see the uniformed officer and marked car and then holster the weapon. if you don’t and the weapon is out pointed or not, your a threat. this isn’t 2nd amendment this is I do what I want when I want anti government people. not much different than the snowflakes protesting at the universities or black lives matter where they believe they can do what they want and the police can’t tell them what to do and if a firearm is pulled then ask why did you shoot him.

  • K.R March 24, 2017, 5:52 am

    An “on duty”? LEO was investigating the whereabouts of an assault and battery suspect alone,(let’s keep in mind the wording and a little thing they call due process) not in pursuit of an assailant where eminent threat would apply (I’m assuming) as it was in an hour later than could be considered reasonable for normal social/business calling, loudly pounded on the front entry door of the home and waited for a resident to open door (giving an open view to LEO would be the same as consent of visual search, in which case an officer mistaking a cigar for a controlled substance would be enough to constitute forfeit of 4th) and not in possession of a warrant and failing to identify himself as an officer at any time, felt the resident who at time of first contact and only his own visual recognition began showing submission to the LEO authority (or as the only LEO at scene stated “pointing the weapon to his head” ) with all of his training in law enforcement felt it either necessary or best option for survival to and still without any expression of authority on his part, unholster his sidearm and exercise the use of deadly force upon a citizen within said citizens residence.
    Seems to me this particular LEO owes his life to the CITIZEN who showed amazing CQ/LV assessment abilities and respect for the uniform and those who wear it by not exercising Floridas “shoot first” law.
    His job however he owes to the judges that viewed this not infringement.
    This country’s loss of its CITIZENS to obvious abuse of power and oppressive policing tactics which seem to be supported by those in place to insure checks/balance in the best interest and safety of said Citizens lays on each of us……OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE!

    • Pseudo March 24, 2017, 7:17 am

      Touché

    • joebob March 24, 2017, 7:52 am

      Well said.

  • Very Concerned March 24, 2017, 5:46 am

    My God, this I beyond Outrageous and disgusting!! WTF has happened to this Land we call America? Folks, if this is not a wake up call I surely do not know what is…

  • T.K. Anderson March 24, 2017, 5:43 am

    Legislation protecting police from disobeying the Constitution and grossly violating the rights of the people are one the rise and just more proof that our Constitutional form of governance is being replaced by our government and a citizenry seeking government dependence.

  • Richard Escareno March 24, 2017, 4:50 am

    This is troubling, if the defendent who was shot because the officer didn’t identify himself as a police officer & the weapon was facing down for the safety of the officer should be sufficient evidence that the officer acted negligent & the officer should be convicted for a bad shoot. Mistakes are made in the line of duty. I think a body cam on a officer is crucial or maybe the defendent could have had camera’s inside the home.

  • Don M March 24, 2017, 4:50 am

    This is a classic example of judges making up law as they go. I hope all of the parties involved in this miscarriage of justice get duly compensated for their blatant disregard for MR Scotts life and his rights as a citizen in his own home.

  • SuperG March 23, 2017, 12:45 pm

    I think this ruling is great… for the Orwellian state that apparently is coming. It never is just one decision that tells you what is to come, but it is additive though, and you can extrapolate from that one decision what will come. One day the Department of Homeland Security will announce the formation of neighborhood “protection centers” all across America, then they’ll create a program that will allow you to bypass security checkpoints if you get an implant, then once all the sheeple get their implants they will make it mandatory for the rest of us. They’ll tell you it is for your own protection too. History, we can record it, but we can;t learn from it.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude March 24, 2017, 11:25 am

      Henry Magee from Burleson county In. had a similar but not quite equitable situation when a swat team did a flash bang no knock smash through his front door without ‘really’ announcing themselves and startled from his sleep he grabbed his gun and fired at the noise thinking these were home invaders wanting to rob him or after his small bedroom pot grow room, which they were…in a way, and he hit one of the cops and killed him. The jury acquitted him on the cop killing charge because the warrant was way to ‘doctored’ and the jury reasoned that the ‘bust’ was way to overly excessive to effect a simple pot arrest, especially when they knew the suspect’s identity and could have picked him up anytime during the day or outside in public without launching an inherently dangerous raid. And it was therefore entirely justifiable. legal, and reasonable for a person to defend their home during a genuine ‘home invasion’, until he realized it WAS the police and ceased fire and surrendered. This is one way to start changing this bad police behavior around. Jury nullifications.

      And these incidents are not that rare. This exact same scenario has happened many times before over the years. In fact, in my early days one of the precincts I worked was so bad that all the old or vulnerable people came to the door , or peered through their windows with pistols or shotguns in their hands. So common, in fact, that we always said BEFORE we came in or as they were taking the chain locks off to “…okay, now go ahead and put the gun down so you don’t accidentally hurt anyone.” and then we’d come inside. Gun’s not even drawn at ready often times. And I’ve been in dozens of situation where people came to their doors with a gun. Never had a problem discerning whether or not my life was in danger. But Just the presence of a gun, NEVER was a main criteria for automatically making me shoot for fear of my life. Because sometimes, the worst grubby looking characters coming to the door smelling drunk or like pot with a chrome 1911 sticking out of their waistband in their jeans…were Cops! The only difference is that some of us don’t have to shoot everybody they see with a gun

      Police are of two kinds, the stupid kind, and the better kind. both being subjective assessments until the /Rule of law is applied. However, the problem is that the rule of law in police action is too often ‘compromised’ in their favor for the abstract notion of ;Good Faith’ on the part of officers. While not entirely a bad thing, considering we should err on the side of good intent and noble endeavor, notwithstainding the fact that more bad situations have resulted from ‘good intention’ than any other cause in the real world. Police have serious abused this advantage, especially in violating the 4sth amendment.

      Remember cops come from the same social gene pool as most of us. So there will always be an element of officers who never should have been on the job in the first place in terms of emotional content and reasonable objectiveness.

      Until we can devise a judicial system that precludes the wide susceptibility of cops to corruption by asset forfeiture/seizure scams from the 20 Trillion dollar failed fiasco of the so-called War on Drugs, this will not get better.

      • Slingblade March 24, 2017, 3:40 pm

        EXACTLY!!!

  • Will Drider March 22, 2017, 8:49 pm

    So the Courts Rulings basical better to shoot the cop that knocks on your door because then you have a better chance of survival and let the criminial justice system determine your fate. These are horseshit Court decissions. Can anyone tell the difference when your door is smashed in: if its a home invasion robbery or a No knock LE Warrant?

    Why is it that Game Wardens (variously titled) approach hunters holding firearms and may be suspected of violations, and don’t shoot them?

    • ron March 24, 2017, 6:00 am

      You can be sure there’s a lot more to this story that the alleged victim’s lawyer “forgot” to elaborate on.
      And, no – I am not any big fan of cops.

    • Gomer March 24, 2017, 6:01 am

      I can see even contact with Game Wardens becoming dicey as time goes on. In Virginia and apparently in numerous states, the Game Wardens are dropping their traditional title in favor of Conservation Police. I notice from the various television programs showing these officials going about their duties, that they are expanding their traditional emphasis on fish and game issues to somewhat more general law enforcement type activities. This follows the transition of our policing agencies from “peace officers” to “law enforcement officers.”

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude March 27, 2017, 12:44 pm

        …and then from LEOs to Police State Gestapo. Like the FBI lapdog BLM who decided that to teach any future Constitutional Revolutionaries who stand to defy tyrannical Totalitarianism when the time comes at the Malheur Wildlife refuige protest where they summarily executed one of the leaders in an illegal road block for no justifiable cause. Hell, it worked at Wounded Knee, why not anywhere else as long as we can’t get our act together as Constitutional Patriots and force our POS representitives to repeal or nullify all current gun laws and purchase data bases, and stop the spying on citizens without a bonafide warrant?

        If WE don’t kill these laws, they’ll continue to KILL us with them.

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