The more things change, the more they remain the same. Or something like that. On December 19th (last month), a SWAT team entered a manufactured home with a "no-knock warrant." The warrant was to search for drugs and illegal guns in the home. Henry Goedrich Magee, the owner of the home, was there with his pregnant girlfriend when the 8-member SWAT team entered unannounced as they knocked down the door. Magee grabbed a nearby rifle and fired at the intruders, not knowing they were law enforcement at 6AM. Struck was sheriff’s deputy Adam Sowders who was killed. No one else was injured. Magee was taken into custody and charged with capital murder, which is punishable by life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection. Ironically, and tragically, it was deputy Sowders who requested the no-knock warrant on the residence of Magee. According to Magee's lawyer, the only thing the SWAT team found was four guns, three legally owned by Magee. The other gun was owned by his mother. They also found a small number of marijuana plants which would have amounted to a misdemeanor offense. District Judge Reva Towslee Corbett is the judge who issued the now hotly debated no-knock warrant on Magee. Magee does have a felony conviction for drug use. In Texas, a resident may own and keep a firearm in his house if five years have lapsed since his conviction. There was no word if Magee has served that five year window for owning a firearm.
To begin, Magee is obviously a low-life scum. He has convictions for DUI and drug use. But, was a no-knock warrant really necessary to arrest this man? He was no real danger to the general public. There was no evidence that he was violent (as of this posting). So, why did Deputy Sowders request the no-knock warrant? What was the foundation for Judge Reva Towslee Corbett to issue the warrant in the first place? This no-knock warrant was issued in Texas, of all places, where everyone is armed. What did they expect to happen? What could possibly go wrong with breaking into this man's house, without announcing who they were, by breaking down his door? We have the answer now with the life of one Sheriff's Deputy. I have always been highly critical of law enforcement on this blog. I see a militarization of our police in this country since the attacks of 9-1-1 and the Patriot Act. This warrant was totally unnecessary to take down this man. It seems police today suffer with an acute amount of what I refer to as the "John Wayne Syndrome." They think they are complete badasses and no one should ever want to cross them under any circumstances. That attitude cost Deputy Sowders his life as much or more than anything else. If Magee was a terrorist, a member of the Mexican drug cartel, then that no-knock warrant makes sense as dangerous as it still seems. But, the SWAT team thought this would be an easy take-down with minimum risk. In short, Magee was seen as an easy target. I've seen this attitude from police several times over the years. They would rather hassle law abiding citizens then take the time to truly go after the real criminals out there. Magee is NOT a law abiding citizen. But, he isn't a terrorist either.
This will happen more often as the USA becomes more of a police state than it already is. A man has a right to defend his life and property. Was busting into a home, whether or not he had illegal drugs or guns, worth the risk of someone losing their life? Was it worth a pregnant woman being shot? The judge who issued this warrant should be questioned about allowing this to happen. The police should be questioned about the evidence presented to the judge that necessitated the no-knock warrant. I suspect that evidence is now "lost" for all of eternity. If the man was a danger to the public, I agree about the no-knock warrant. But, a couple of MJ plants is not a risk to the general public. As usual, law enforcement overreacts. Only this time, it cost the life of one of their own.
1/07/2014 06:38:00 AM David Weldy No comments