22 June 2012

Is it o.k. to put a gun to a child's head?

From a story reported by Reason (via BoingBoing):
At 7 a.m. on January 20, 2007, DEA agents battered down the door to Thomas and Rosalie Avina’s mobile home in Seeley, California, in search of suspected drug trafficker Louis Alvarez. Thomas Avina met the agents in his living room and told them they were making a mistake. Shouting “Don’t you fucking move,” the agents forced Thomas Avina to the floor at gunpoint, and handcuffed him and his wife, who had been lying on a couch in the living room. As the officers made their way to the back of the house, where the Avina’s 11-year-old and 14-year-old daughters were sleeping, Rosalie Avina screamed, “Don’t hurt my babies. Don’t hurt my babies.”

The agents entered the 14-year-old girl’s room first, shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl, who was lying on her bed, rolled onto the floor, where the agents handcuffed her. Next they went to the 11-year-old’s room. The girl was sleeping. Agents woke her up by shouting “Get down on the fucking ground.” The girl’s eyes shot open, but she was, according to her own testimony, “frozen in fear.” So the agents dragged her onto the floor. While one agent handcuffed her, another held a gun to her head.
The Ninth Circuit Court has ruled that putting a loaded gun to an 11-year-old girl's head was not proper:
While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals defended the agents' rough treatment of Thomas and Rosalie, it also declared that yanking the Avina children off their beds and putting guns to their heads did, in fact, constitute the “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
This occurred during the Bush administration, and has been defended by the Obama administration.

And, disproving the old adage that "if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear," this closing note:
After two hours, the agents realized they had the wrong house—the product of a sloppy license plate transcription—and left.


  1. And don't think that it's the bad behavior of a few "loose canons". This is how our Stoßtruppen are trained. Everyone's a suspect.

  2. Americans now live in a police state. A citizen can be stopped for simply looking like an illegal, stopped and searched on suspicion alone, electronically stripped at airports or patted down for wanting to board an airplane or tazered - that is tortured - for resisting or refusing to follow police instructions. And like sheep they submit. Sad.

  3. I feel that any government agent saying "fucking" in any context whatsoever is utterly inexcusable, so you can guess what I think of the gun thing. We're paying these guys to behave as thugs? (Mock dismay).

  4. It's worse than that. Look up stories about bondmen's breaking into homes and terrorizing people.

    Just Google "Bounty Hunters Wrong House", and you will get story after story of bounty hunters smashing down doors and terrorizing the occupants. These are not law enforcement. They are private civilian wannabe cops. Yet, they are allowed to do this.

  5. This just the continuation of the militarization of our police forces. We are being "trained" to ignore or become less sensitized to the corporate enforcers suppressing the little people to help consolidate corporate take over of our country. There once was a time when the job of our police was to "protect and to serve" public safety. Now, it seems, their job is to squash and stomp all who disagree with the politics of the right. Even here in Podunkville, a traffic stop can be dangerous to the driver and passengers. I have a difficult time talking to some one who has his hand on his gun, for a speeding ticket. I understand the dangers involved with approaching a stranger....one with local plates, a kid in the back seat, and my wife. I was just wondering if I was going to be summarily executed for being late to a doctor's appointment.

  6. Do they do cocaine before these raids? I see nothing else that could even explain the inhumane over the top psychotic rage these "officers of the law" show in raids like this.
    Everyone involved in this is too low a form of human to even care about how horrible their actions are.

    The ONLY proper recourse for a situation like this (and it happens every day) is for everyone, top to bottom, even remotely involved in this case to be fired immediately, and barred from any further police, or governmental work.
    Some will say this is over the top.
    Can you imagine if a homeowner thought it was a group of criminals breaking in (technically it is an unlawful entry, therefore it IS a gang of criminals) and tried to defend himself and his family?
    I'd bet half the family would wind up dead, and drugs would be planted.


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