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Officers, You’re Doing a Heck of a Job.

The [edit: Minneapolis,] Minnesota Police Department has given medals to eight officers who participated in the botched raid last December of a family home. They were at the wrong house; the homeowner, there with his wife and six kids and thinking he was being robbed, shot at them, and the police shot back.

Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said Tuesday the department has acknowledged the raid was a mistake and has apologized to the family. But he said the officers “performed very bravely under gunfire and made smart decisions.” Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said that he knew giving the award might get negative attention but that “we’ve never not recognized an officer shot in the line of duty.” Three officers received shrapnel damage to body armor and their ballistic helmets, Palmer said.

The police said it wasn’t their fault (WCCO) that they went into the wrong house; they blamed the informant. Asked if they would make changes to prevent future mistakes, a police spokesman replied:

“I don’t think it was a mistake on our part, you know, we did everything correctly. We did everything in good faith, we followed the search warrant, we did everything correctly. It turns out some of the information that was given on the front end from the informant, just wasn’t right.”

Cops routinely take credit for decisions they make based on anonymous information. In fact, in many kilo-plus drug cases the police are concealing the very existence of an anonymous informant by describing the seizure as the result of police work and luck. Even where the police admit that there was an anonymous informant he is, well, anonymous.

How about this: the buck stops with the cops. If the cops trust the wrong informant and make the wrong call, they didn’t do everything right. In fact, they screwed up. And if there ever was a time to “not recognize an officer shot in the line of duty”, it’s when the cops screwed up and put eight innocent people’s lives at risk. Thankfully, nobody was killed. But medals? Sheesh.

(h/t Windy Pundit). (Also from the Star Tribune: shooting Winnie-the-Pooh.)


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