Look, I absolutely affirm that being in law enforcement today is a brutal calling. But… this sheriff displays the attitude that is making matters immeasurably dangerous. This situation also betrays that many officers and agencies no longer see their first priority as to “protect and serve” the public, but to protect themselves.
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — A recent college graduate is waiting to hear the words “I’m sorry” from two Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies.
Conner Guerrero said the deputies were sneaking around his house, forced him on his knees on his lawn, and handcuffed him in front of his neighbors.
But deputies had the wrong house and the wrong guy.
“Just trying to enjoy my evening. All the sudden, I see a flashlight shining through my doors…” said Guerrero. “I’m thinking this could be a dangerous situation for me.”
Guerrero said he assumed the two men outside his house were burglars.
“I come over to my door and I slap it to say hey someone is in this house and they’re not going to let you come in here.”
He said he then got the scare of his life.
“Right as soon as I opened this door, and it’s dark outside – it’s very dark and all I can see is a pistol.”
As Conner ran for cover, he heard a man yell ‘Sheriff’s Office’ and asking him to come out. Guerrero said he immediately complied.
“I’m wondering why the hell is a gun being pointed at me right now!”
Conner said the deputies accused him of being an intruder on his own home.
“They directed me to take a knee, well both knees,” he said. “The gun [was] still drawn.
The deputies then reportedly took his ID, proving Guerrero lived there.
But he claimed when the mistake was realized, he was the one apologizing while the deputy said something that gave him chills.
“’You’re lucky I didn’t [expletive] shoot you,’” Conner said.
Notice this quote from later in the story: “You don’t pound on a door, open it and slam it that way. Put yourself in the deputies’ position,” said [Spokane County Sheriff, Ozzie] Knezovich.
That sounds somewhat reasonable until you read the context. The deputies were responding to a call and went to the wrong house, shining lights in the windows where this man lived.
I say to Sheriff Ozzie: Put yourself in the homeowner’s position! Ozzie, in the same circumstance, you probably would have had your weapon in your hand, and would have gotten yourself shot. Would that make the officers right?