Posted by lex, on January 2, 2007
Young soldier from southern Maryland – a veteran of Afghanistan – returns from the fight,
joins the reserves finishes out his tour in the IRR – non-drilling, tries to get on with his life. Gets married and then gets recalled for active duty – Iraq this time.
He has a problem with that, feels despondent, calls his mom. She’s concerned, calls the cops. They send a SWAT team.
Want to guess what happens next? *
‘‘He said he was not going to come out [and] that he intended to commit suicide,” Cameron said, which began the lengthy confrontation that included gunshots fired at police cars as communications deteriorated. ‘‘We got into a repetitive kind of conversation,” the sheriff said, and ‘‘he said someone would die that night.”
Maryland State Police Special Tactical Assault Team officers in a military-type vehicle fired tear gas canisters into the house early Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement commanders said, as additional officers approached the back of the house. Dean appeared, carrying either a shotgun or rifle.
‘‘He came to the front door of the house,” state police Col. Thomas E. ‘‘Tim” Hutchins said. ‘‘He began to raise that weapon.”
The single shot that struck Dean was fired by Sgt. Daniel M. Weaver, 46, a 17-year veteran of the agency who had served 13 years with the tactical team, police officials said.
‘‘The officer had to take that action to protect the exposed officers,” Cameron said.
Yeah. I guess. Serve and protect, etc.
It’s usually not in my nature to second guess police officers in the performance of their duty. Call it: “professional courtesty,” from one kind of sheepdog to another. Still, it seems to me that the only person who Jamie Dean meant to hurt was himself, and the only reason why the police were called in by his absent family members was to stop that from happening. Seems like when the police realized things were going south, they had two choices: Ease back a bit and work on a new approach – including, oh, I don’t know – a psychiatric professional? A concerned family member? His Wife?
Or go in there forcefully and try to root out a potentially suicidal veteran with tear gas.
This was private property mind, his own folks’ residence – on a farm. The SWAT team – complete with military-style fatigues and a ghillie suit for God’s sake, literally approached the hazard, and then took aggressive action to defend themselves against the hazard that they had approached.
It seems to me that there ought to have been an overarching mission statement here that put everybody’s head on right, something like: “We have a situation wherein a man is potentially suicidal and armed. He’s alone in his family’s property. He hasn’t committed any crime. Our mission is to stop him from hurting himself, or anybody else, including ourselves.”
Once you define the mission that way, it’s kind of hard to talk yourself into going in there “hut, hut, hut” with weapons drawn and tear gas cannisters flying.
Oh, yeah: And snipers.
I hate this story.
**09-21-2020 Link gone; replacement found – Ed.