A man heard a gang of men break into his house at around 4:30 in the morning. He grabbed a knife.
There is no mention in the new reports about him seeing one of the intruders and attacking him with the knife.
The intruders were the police, of course.
A federal jury has awarded $250,000 to the father of a Maryland man killed by a SWAT team serving a search warrant at his home.
The Baltimore jury last week found that four officers from the Cambridge police department violated Andrew Cornish’s constitutional rights by failing to “knock and announce” their presence.
The officers entered Cornish’s apartment at 4:30 a.m. on May 6, 2005 to search for evidence of illegal drugs. The lawsuit says Cornish was awakened by the intrusion, grabbed a knife for protection and was shot in the head.
Terrell Roberts, a lawyer for Cornish’s father, Andrew Kane, said it was an abusive practice to send SWAT officers early in the morning to execute a search warrant.
A SWAT team has full body armor. As far as I can tell from the news stories, they never even warned their victim that they were the police with both armor and arms. The way the facts are laid out it seems they just shot him for grabbing a knife.
I don’t know if the warrant was founded on good evidence or not. I don’t even know if there were drugs in the home (and as much as I hate drug abuse, I don’t really think it makes a difference in how we should evaluate what happened here). I do know there are plenty of stories of SWAT teams going to the wrong address.
It is certainly doubtful that he was any kind of career drug dealer if his only weapon on hand was a knife.
It took eight years to get this settlement. A quarter of a million dollars seems low to me.
What good is the Second Amendment if, before you touch your weapon, you have to find some way to learn whether or not the police are the ones breaking in your door?