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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:04 PM

WTF? ...... Billings, MT, meth lab raid.....except there was no meth lab


from HuffPost:



Billings, Montana police say the 6 am raid they conducted in October 2012 was part of an investigation into a suspected meth lab. But there was no meth lab. And the 12-year-old daughter of Jackie Fasching suffered severe burns after the SWAT team used a broomstick to drop a flash grenade through a window into a bedroom where the girl and her sister were sleeping.

Police Chief Rich St. John told the paper, “It was totally unforeseen, totally unplanned and extremely regrettable. We certainly did not want a juvenile, or anyone else for that matter, to get injured.”

A photo the girl's mother provided to the Billings Gazette shows red and black burns down her side.



Fasching wasn't satisfied with that explanation. “A simple knock on the door and I would’ve let them in," she said. "They said their intel told them there was a meth lab at our house. If they would’ve checked, they would’ve known there’s not.” Fasching's husband, who suffers from congenital heart disease and liver failure, was in fact attempting to open the door to let the cops in just as they knocked it down. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/raid-of-the-day_n_2568491.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009



32 replies, 4555 views

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Reply WTF? ...... Billings, MT, meth lab raid.....except there was no meth lab (Original post)
marmar Feb 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Feb 2013 #1
Recursion Feb 2013 #2
Ikonoklast Feb 2013 #3
tjnite Feb 2013 #32
BlueStreak Feb 2013 #4
think Feb 2013 #5
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #23
think Feb 2013 #25
Democracyinkind Feb 2013 #27
dballance Feb 2013 #29
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #31
LisaLynne Feb 2013 #6
Initech Feb 2013 #7
NickB79 Feb 2013 #8
Glassunion Feb 2013 #11
NickB79 Feb 2013 #13
Glassunion Feb 2013 #16
azurnoir Feb 2013 #20
hatrack Feb 2013 #9
NickB79 Feb 2013 #14
AtheistCrusader Feb 2013 #17
pediatricmedic Feb 2013 #19
hootinholler Feb 2013 #22
barbtries Feb 2013 #10
Glassunion Feb 2013 #12
Cleita Feb 2013 #15
valerief Feb 2013 #18
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #21
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #24
Historic NY Feb 2013 #26
Socal31 Feb 2013 #30
packman Feb 2013 #28

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:07 PM

1. Domestic terrorists. (nt)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:11 PM

2. That war on drugs sure is working (nt)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:19 PM

3. When every tool you own is a hammer, every problem gets treated like a nail.

The militarization of this nation's police forces is just one step closer to total fascism.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #3)


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:24 PM

4. You have to practice your badass SWAT skills if you want to stay sharp

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:25 PM

5. How hard is it to make sure you have the right house?

Maybe they should hire a detective.......

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Response to think (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:08 PM

23. I know it's not the same, but I raided my share of wrong houses when I was in Iraq

we'd plan these elaborate large-scale raids where we'd target 6-10 houses in a smallish community and hit them all at once with 400+ Soldiers and all of their accessories. On more than one occasion I remember getting the neighbor's house or being a block or two off from the intended target.

I really felt like crap for doing it, but we'd kick int he doors, throw stuff all over the place, segregate the the women, children, and men and start to process the people we thought we should detain. Kids and women would be crying and all hell would be breaking loose in the houses. Then, the battalion intelligence guy would say that we got the wrong house, we'd cut the zip-ties off of the wrists of the men and leave as fast as we came and hit the supposed correct house.

Talk about winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis... I always felt terrible for panic I caused - especially after having kids of my own. I couldn't imagine how I would feel to be woken up in the middle of the night to a group of 20-40 heavily armed Soldiers with Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles ripping up my house, scaring the crap out of my kids, and arresting me and taking me away from my family.

Actually, I really feel like crap for most of the stuff I did in Iraq. I had a lot of opportunities to display compassion and to soften my presence and I blew most of them. I really could have made a difference at least to the small sector that I worked out of as a Platoon Leader and been a much kinder and gentler person. The sad truth is that I was probably just as scared doing what I was doing in Iraq as the Iraqi people were of me and I was just trying to survive long enough to get home. "Violence of execution" is a major tenant of operations and how the military functions and, as a younger and more naive guy, I executed all too well without enough restraint.

I know that this is starting to turn into a lengthy rant now, but my experiences in Iraq in 2004 really shifted me hard to the left and made me a much kinder and gentler person.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:24 PM

25. I appreciate you sharing your experiences.

It must have been horrific to have to be part of those events.

It's good that you were able to reflect upon those experiences and change things about your life for the better.

May the days ahead of you be filled with happiness and joyful events that help put the war far behind you.



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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:33 PM

27. Thank you for sharing this!

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:48 PM

29. I Know Those of Us Who Haven't Served Can't Understand What It's Like to be in Combat

Last edited Mon Feb 4, 2013, 06:04 PM - Edit history (1)

But I try to understand that you were in a situation and situations not of your own making and not within your control. While there were and are some bad apples out there I believe 99.9% of our troops are over there trying to do the best they can with the intel and the tools they have. You were a soldier. You job was to neutralize the enemy. That's what you tried to do.

Sure, maybe command could have implemented some policies and some procedures for our troops to try and make amends to the innocent civilians like the ones in the wrong house your team raided. And they probably should have. But as a foot solider executing raids on suspected terrorists that is just not something that you could have, or should have done. In the situation you describe you can't really question your orders or commander. If you had and it had been the correct house rather than the wrong one you could have endangered and gotten other soldiers killed.

I have to agree with Sen. Chuck Hagel that the Iraq war was the biggest blunder since the Vietnam War. You didn't create it though. You bear no responsibility for it nor for being given the wrong house to invade.

I'm glad you've had a sort of enlightenment. I believe it will continue to make you a better person.

I appreciate your sacrifices and service to our country.

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Response to dballance (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:45 AM

31. Thank you for what you wrote.

I started to write a rather long rant, but I realized after reading through it that I was just feeling sorry for myself. I'll spare you from it

I always get kind of choked up when someone thanks me for my service. I never know how to react or what I'm supposed to say. What my service ended up being wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be. I (as well as many/most of my peers) offered to give everything to our country with the intention to make the world a better place (although that obviously isn't how the last couple of wars have turned out), and along the way to maybe move up ourselves in the world. On the good side of things the Army gave me a 4 year college education and years of real leadership experience that most guys in their early 20s ever have. It also taught me some very good life lessons and made me a much kinder and gentler person.

Anyways, thanks again for your words.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:33 PM

6. This is a non-apology from the police force:

St. John added, “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it . . . When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”


If we were wrong? Yeah, you were wrong since there was no meth lab. And there were children in there when your "hard evidence" said there wasn't.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:38 PM

7. Maybe it was Vamanos Pest?



This is not the meth lab you are looking for!



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:39 PM

8. The SWAT team is lucky no one was shot (civilians or SWAT members)

I always think back to this local story from a few years ago when I hear of these botched raids:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317398,00.html

With her six kids and husband tucked into bed, Yee Moua was watching TV in her living room just after midnight when she heard voices — faint at first, then louder. Then came the sound of a window shattering.

Moua bolted upstairs, where her husband, Vang Khang, grabbed his shotgun from a closet, knelt and fired a warning shot through his doorway as he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He let loose with two more blasts. Twenty-two bullets were fired back at him, by the family's count.

Then things suddenly became clear.

"It's the police! Police!" his sons yelled.

Khang, a Hmong immigrant with shaky command of English, set down his gun, raised his hands and was soon on the ground, an officer's boot on his neck.


I also read later that the police confirmed that, if it weren't for their vests, two officers would have likely received life-threatening wounds from those shotgun blasts he fired. If he'd had a rifle, those officers would have been killed.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:13 PM

11. IIRC the PD members received awards for that raid.

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Response to Glassunion (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:21 PM

13. WTF?

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:34 PM

16. Dunno. Here is a link to the story.

http://www.startribune.com/local/36059839.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

"A sour note for the family in the aftermath of the raid was a decision by the department to award medals of valor to the eight officers who participated in it. Mayor R.T. Rybak later criticized that decision."

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:08 PM

20. Not a first for MPD in 1989 they killed an elderly couple doing the same thing

In 1989, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, conducted a drug raid at the home of an elderly couple, Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weiss, after receiving inaccurate information from an informant. The flashbang grenades police used in the raid set the home on fire. Police were certain no one was inside, and so, at first, made no attempt at rescue. Smalley and Weiss died of smoke inhalation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stun_grenade

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:42 PM

9. Gosh, a few less AR-15s in the budget for these clowns post-lawsuit

Unbelievable. "Oh look, it's a meth lab - let's throw in an explosive!"

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Response to hatrack (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:22 PM

14. Hahahaha!

I didn't think about that at first, but holy shit you're right! Meth labs and hot, burning things generally do not mix well.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:52 PM

17. Well, we have it on good authority that flashbangs are not incendiary or pyrotechnic devices.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:03 PM

19. Do you honestly believe their budget will be cut?

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Response to hatrack (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:40 PM

22. It's like they've never seen an episode of Breaking Bad

Even if there is no explosion, what about scattering chemicals? Did the officers have on breathing apparatus?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:49 PM

10. they're going insane.

this, what's going on in NC...i tuned in to DU for one minute (i'm working) and my BP's shooting up behind all the crap that goes on.

i hope this family ends up very well off. and the police learn a couple important lessons about homework and civility.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:14 PM

12. This is normal. The tree of safety needs to be watered from time to time.

Or something like that...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:28 PM

15. Sounds like a raid of mistaken identity, of going to the wrong address.

My DH and I woke up to the sounds of a loud knock on our door at 4 am one morning. He barely made it to the door to answer it before they were almost ready to break it down. We let them in and they trashed the place. They made us stand outside in our pjs in handcuffs until they were done and while the neighbors who were awakened by then looked on. They didn't find anything they were looking for and left without an apology. I filed a complaint with the City Attorney and subsequently found out that they had raided the wrong address. We got a stiff letter of apology a few weeks later from the Police Chief.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:59 PM

18. The acts of a fascist state. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:28 PM

21. All you have to do when you get a report of a meth lab is to stake it out....

....the SMELL is unmistakable.

There was a junk yard in Anaheim where they had dug an underground meth lab. You could smell it sometimes at night.

Maybe cops should drive with the windows down. Since the advent of suburbs you just don't hear about foot patrols.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:17 PM

24. Seriously pathetic. Hopefully this family wins millions

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:28 PM

26. Wait a minute a flash bang grenade in a meth lab.....really.

if it was a real one they would have possible been blown to kingdom come...

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:35 AM

30. Just..plain...irony.

If they had picked the correct home, there was the real possibility of an explosion that could have killed people. Their stupidity possibly saved their lives from their own stupidity.

Remember when police would knock on your door, instead of pretending everyone, even paranoid tweakers, was ready to detonate a nuke?

Or maybe even wait for them to come out and confront them. (as long as you dont kill them unarmed, like my PD did to my friend, which led to the suicide of another friend very recently, but I digress).

The feds pumped all that "anti-terror" cash into counties and cities, and they have to do something with it, right?

I can almost pin-point when Americans decided that police should carry more than a shotgun in the cruiser and a sidearm:

North Hollywood. Bank of America.



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:34 PM

28. Yah, a grenade?

Not the brightest thing, is it? What with vapors, fumes, and everything associated with a meth lab. Someone needs to educate those bozos, starting with basic reading of street addresses and then what happens with explosive devices and explosive fumes.

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