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Police believe thief's claims meth was in car he stole, leading to death of innocent

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  • Police believe thief's claims meth was in car he stole, leading to death of innocent

    Really? That was enough to obtain a warrant?

    http://newstome.blog.ajc.com/2014/10...ges-meth-find/

    Man killed by cops after car thief alleges meth find

    A Georgia man was killed by police executing a search warrant obtained after a car thief told police he stole methamphetamine from the dead man’s vehicle, media reports say.

    According to WMAZ in Macon, the car thief broke into a pickup truck in Laurens County, near Dublin, and stole some items on the night of Sept. 22 or the predawn hours of Sept. 23.

    The thief then stole an SUV from the home, a Lincoln Aviator, and drove to Dublin, according to police.

    The homeowner, David Hooks, a 59-year-old grandfather and businessman, reported the missing SUV.

    At about 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 24, police arrested Rodney Garrett, who admitted stealing the SUV and said the 20 grams of meth police found on him were not his, but had been stolen from Hooks’ pickup truck.
    Would police believe such a story?

    Apparently so, because at 10 p.m. the same day Laurens deputies got a non-attorney deputy magistrate to sign off on a search warrant, according to Mitchell Shook, the attorney representing the Hooks family.

    An hour after getting the search warrant, Shook said David Hooks’ wife saw camouflaged men in her yard with guns and told her husband.

    David Hooks’ final act was to arm himself with a shotgun.

    “The [deputies] broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered, firing an excessive sixteen shots. There is no evidence that David Hooks ever fired a weapon,” said Shook, who also says the warrant did not have a “no-knock” clause and therefore required law enforcement to identify themselves.

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting but said it would make no comment until the investigation is complete, says The Macon Telegraph.

    The sheriff’s department also refuses comment.

    Police searched the home for 44 hours and found no drugs, says Shook, who says the “true facts of this tragedy are in stark contrast to … reports released by law enforcement.”

    Shook told the Macon Telegraph that Hooks owns a construction company that does work on military bases and has passed background checks by state and federal authorities.

    “This is not a person who needs to be involved in criminal activity for financial gain. He did very well financially,” Shook said.


    http://www.macon.com/2014/10/01/3338...lems.html?rh=1

    Attorney alleges ‘invalid’ warrant led to Laurens deputies killing East Dublin man

    Family members of an East Dublin man shot and killed by Laurens County deputies are breaking their silence about what happened.

    An attorney representing David Hooks’ widow said Wednesday the shooting did not go down as law enforcement authorities stated in initial news releases, and the “true facts of this tragedy are in stark contrast” to official accounts.

    Authorities have said that Hooks came to the door of his home with a shotgun after deputies serving a drug search warrant knocked on the door and repeatedly announced, “sheriff’s department, search warrant.”

    Hooks allegedly pointed the gun at the deputies, who ordered him to put it down. Instead he pointed the gun at deputies in a more aggressive manner, authorities said.

    Vidalia attorney Mitch Shook, who is representing Hooks’ family, called the search warrant “invalid.” He said deputies did not have enough probable cause but rather took the word of an informant, who was arrested in connection with a burglary at Hooks’ property two days before the fatal raid.

    “It’s a true tragedy,” Shook said. “It’s hard to imagine how this could happen to these people who have been married 25 years.”

    According to the family attorney’s account, Hooks was asleep when armed deputies arrived at his house at 1184 Ga. 319 just before 11 p.m. Sept. 24. His wife, Teresa, was upstairs in her craft room when she heard a car drive fast up the driveway, and she looked out the window.

    “She saw several men all in black and camo with hoods on,” Shook said. “She ran downstairs, woke David and said, ‘The burglars are back.’ ”

    Hooks retrieved a gun and headed out of the bedroom as the officers broke down the back door, Shook said. He said Hooks was not wounded at the door but behind a wall in his house.

    “They may have seen him with a weapon, but it appears at that point in time it was chaos,” Shook said. “They were shooting everywhere. There’s a lot more to it than law enforcement has reported.”

    He believes deputies fired 16 to 18 shots from multiple guns and assault rifles. Shook also questioned the wisdom of serving the warrant so late at night.

    The GBI is investigating the shooting, as is customary when officers are involved in wounding or killing a suspect.

    The GBI has conducted an autopsy, but the report is not complete pending additional testing, said Sherry Lang, a GBI spokeswoman. She said she would not release any additional details until the investigation is complete.

    Laurens County Sheriff Bill Harrell indicated last week his department would not be releasing any information beyond the initial news release. He also did not immediately return Wednesday’s inquiries concerning the attorney’s allegations.

    Shook is calling on the sheriff to suspend all the deputies who took part in serving the warrant.

    Shook alleges the man arrested in a burglary at the Hooks’ property Sept. 22 claimed he took methamphetamine, a digital scale and firearms from a car during the burglary.

    Shook said the GBI did not find any contraband in the 44 hours they held Hooks’ property after the shooting.

    Shook said Hooks was a devoted husband and father, not a drug user or distributor. He had passed multiple background checks to work on military bases and was financially stable.

    “This is not a person who needs to be involved in criminal activity for financial gain. He did very well financially,” Shook said.

    His office is continuing its investigation and will await the GBI’s results before determining whether to file civil action or a wrongful death suit.

    To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberfoot; 10-04-2014, 02:13 PM. Reason: first version was a little harsh

  • #2
    Lets wait till the investigation is finished before picking sides and guessing whos wrong or right.

    You would think after Ferguson people would stop always jumping to conclusions instead of always taking just the medias accounts.

    If they did this then they will pay for it.Alot will.
    Then again if im going thru a door on a "suspect" no matter how old he is,and again " if he turned towards officers with a weapon"

    Bad things happen quickly.

    Comment


    • #3
      A Judge read and signed the warrant. I think there is more to this...
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment


      • #4
        911 is there for you

        Comment


        • #5
          I wonder if a "non-attorney magistrate" is a justice of the peace?

          Comment


          • #6
            Did they have a marked unit at the scene with them? I believe that was policy where I used to work and where I work as a reserve now (because they're constantly asking us to assist on raids for my dept and others). Seems like that should have stifled confusion.

            I think people need to stop getting their panties all in a wad over the "lack of information" when stuff like this happens. It is within the department's best interest to not release information until they know the information is correct. Otherwise, they look foolish retracting statements, like they're trying to hide something. Which most idiots can't seem to wrap their tiny minds around.

            ETA: I find it hilarious that the "financial stability" and passed "background checks" seem to have relevance in this story. Could he have gained some of that financial stability through selling drugs? Hmmmm....
            Last edited by Aerohead; 10-04-2014, 04:29 PM.
            Originally posted by RSGSRT
            We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
            Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

            Comment


            • #7
              I can't say whether the officers had sufficient P.C. to get a search warrant, the article certainly makes it sound bad.

              To answer some questions about Magistrate Judges in Georgia:

              1) In the vast (like 80% or so) of the 159 counties in Georgia one does not need to be a lawyer to be a Magistrate Judge or even Chief Magistrate Judge. There are still a number of Georgia counties that do not even have a lawyer which lives inside them, and one must be a resident of the county to be a Magistrate.

              2) Most, if not all, Chief Magistrate Judges are elected every four years by a county wide vote. Most, if not all, Assistant Magistrate Judges are selected by the Chief Magistrate Judge with the approval of the Superior Court Judges for the circuit in which the county is located (these judges try felonious offenses and are required to be attorneys)

              3) There are a few counties, mostly those with large populations of more than 96,000 or so, where Magistrate Judges must be a lawyer.

              4) Since the revision of the Georgia Constitution in 1984, Georgia no longer has justices of the peace. By law they became Magistrate Judges once the new Constitution went into effect.

              Certainly the tactics used in the raid sound bad in the article, but the writer seems to be trying to inflame passions by highlighting that the Magistrate Judge is not a lawyer and making is seem atypical. It is actually the norm in Georgia for a Magistrate Judge to not be a lawyer.

              Personally, I have full faith that the GBI investigation will reveal what really happened in the raid. I always took a uniformed officer, in a marked car, when executing these type of search warrants to try to reduce any claim of not knowing who was there. I also had a rule against using officers wearing masks on the initial entry of the team, if we needed a masked officer for some reason they were brought in later. I'm sure there are occasions when a masked face is necessary or desirable (maybe a raid in a raid in an area with hazardous fumes I don't know but that came to mind), but in general they should be avoided just to reduce any claim of "I didn't know it was the police"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jdthor View Post
                Lets wait till the investigation is finished before picking sides and guessing whos wrong or right.

                You would think after Ferguson people would stop always jumping to conclusions instead of always taking just the medias accounts.

                If they did this then they will pay for it.Alot will.
                Then again if im going thru a door on a "suspect" no matter how old he is,and again " if he turned towards officers with a weapon"

                Bad things happen quickly.
                This.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Putting the concerns about media accuracy of this case aside for a moment, how can private citizens protect themselves against this sort of thing? If you have no reason to believe you might be subject to a potential raid, wouldn't it be logical to believe that people barging into your home are a threat?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by velobard View Post
                    Putting the concerns about media accuracy of this case aside for a moment, how can private citizens protect themselves against this sort of thing? If you have no reason to believe you might be subject to a potential raid, wouldn't it be logical to believe that people barging into your home are a threat?
                    It's a helluva pickle. If it's the local PD serving a warrant and you pull a gun, one of 3 things will happen:

                    1. You try to defend against a home invasion and get dead.
                    2. You try to defend against a home invasion and in the course of this one or more officers get dead, and you do too.
                    3. You try to defend against a home invasion and in the course of this one or more officers get dead, but you survive, only to face murder charges. I have only heard of one case where a homeowner shot an officer and was not charged. I heard it 3rd hand, but I believe it was in TX, and the LEOs were serving a warrant and the homeowner thought it was a home invasion. I looked briefly for the article but couldn't find it.

                    If it's real home invaders pretending to be cops and you don't take action, you could end up just as dead.
                    Last edited by JustAJ; 10-10-2014, 08:00 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow. You have be have 10 years' experience as a practicing attorney to even be eligible to be a judge in California. Most judges have 20 years + experience before getting a robe.
                      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is man people should have been marching for. Michael Brown was a turd, this was a truly innocent man who died for nothing.

                        I know many will disagree with me here, but I think every no knock drug bust ever made doesn't justify this single death. In every case where there isn't an imminent threat, I can never comprehend how they can possibly be justified under our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

                        http://www.13wmaz.com/story/news/loc...back/20213383/

                        David Hooks was shot in the back and head as he was lying face down on the floor during a drug raid by Laurens County deputies.

                        That's according to the lawyer representing his family.

                        It's been nearly four months since David Hooks was shot to death during a drug raid at his East Dublin home.

                        13WMAZ's Paula Rotondo spoke to his wife, Teresa Hooks and the family's lawyer, Mitchell Shook.

                        Hooks died Sept. 24 while deputies served a search warrant at his home.

                        They were looking for drugs, but didn't find any.

                        Shook, who is representing his family, says the raid was illegal and has asked the FBI to investigate.

                        He says officers were looking for drugs in the home, but didn't find any. Shook says the officers fired 17 shots inside the home and struck Hooks.

                        He says Hooks had four wounds, two of which he says are very problematic. Shook says that's according to the Laurens County EMS records. He says the same information is found in the medical records from Fairview Park Hospital.

                        "One was to the side of the head, the other, was in his back, the back of his left shoulder, based on the evidence we see, we believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he received those last two shots," says Shook.

                        Shook says they have not received the autopsy yet from the GBI.

                        Teresa Hooks, David's wife, remembers the night clearly.

                        She says, "Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked up the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, 'Who is it?,' and I said I didn't know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was gonna come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over."

                        She says, "Initially, I thought that I was going to die, I thought I was going to be shot, I thought a gang had broke in, and up until I heard the radios the dispatch radios, I had no idea."

                        Hooks says she sat outside in handcuffs for two hours after her husband was shot to death.

                        She says during that time, she had to watch her husband on a stretcher without a word from officers about what was going on.

                        Hooks says she appreciates all of the support from the community.

                        She says, "Our community has supported us for the most part and we really appreciate that. I think there's been a misconception of us being anti law enforcement, that's not true, we realize there has to be law enforcement and we respect law enforcement but this was wrong."

                        Shook says, "We hope that the district attorney will take all of this into consideration and take this case before the grand jury and do it in a matter where the grand jury hears everything, not just the officer side of the story."

                        County Sheriff Bill Harrell has declined comment on the raid since turning the investigation over to the GBI.

                        In September, authorities say Hooks responded to the search by getting a weapon before he was shot. But according to the return search warrant, the shotgun Hooks had in his hands had no ammunition.

                        A GBI spokeswoman says they are still awaiting lab results before completing their investigation.

                        Then the case will be turned over District Attorney Craig Fraser for possible prosecution.

                        Friends and supporters of David Hooks plan a rally to protest his killing. It's scheduled for 2 PM Saturday, at the Laurens County courthouse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jdthor View Post
                          ...Then again if im going thru a door on a "suspect" no matter how old he is,and again " if he turned towards officers with a weapon"...
                          I certainly understand that, which is why I am vehemently opposed to no knocks unless there is a threat of imminent physical harm. Even then, things better be double checked at multiple levels before the button is pushed. People who know that they've done nothing wrong should be able to defend their homes in the US, and LE should never be put in the position to ever, ever kick in an innocent man's door. A 0.01% failure rate is completely unacceptable.
                          Last edited by Carbonfiberfoot; 12-11-2014, 02:20 PM.

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