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chasineyes

Gotta love Government

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― On Monday, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan handed out honors to a team of officers involved in a botched raid at an innocent family's home more than seven months ago. The family is upset and their attorney criticizes the awards and questions the timing.

Just days before Christmas, the sound of intruders breaking into their home in North Minneapolis prompted Vang Khang to grab his shotgun to protect his six children. His terrified wife called 911.

Khang fired several shots at the "intruders" who turned out to be members of the Minneapolis Police Department's SWAT team. The officers returned fire. Their protective gear prevented them from being harmed by the bullets.

No one was hurt in the shootout last Dec. 16 and the Minneapolis Police Chief ordered an internal investigation. The house was left riddled with bullet holes and broken glass. Two days later, Dolan apologized to the family and launched an internal investigation to find out how the SWAT team wound up in an innocent family's house in the middle of the night.

The investigation determined that the team had gone there looking for a gang member's guns after an informant gave investigators in the department's Violent Offenders Task Force bad information. The investigation is ongoing.

On Monday, Dolan recognized members of the SWAT team for their bravery and how they handled the raid. With Mayor R.T. Rybak and other city officials looking on, the chief handed out medals and commendations.

"The easy decision would have been to retreat under covering fire. The team did not take the easy way out," Dolan told the crowd. "This is a perfect example of a situation that could have gone horribly wrong, but did not because of the professionalism with which it was handled."

The Khang family was upset when they learned of the awards given to the SWAT team.

"They were outraged and they were hurt. They were hurt. To this day this family continues to suffer," said their attorney, former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger.

Heffelfinger said the family has notified the city that they plan to file a lawsuit over the botched raid. He questions the timing and motives for the award.

"Why now are we seeing the police department honoring these men? In this context, I'm convinced this is an effort on the part of the police leadership to sanitize the conduct of their officers on December 16," he said.

"The officers put themselves in harm's way. They were shot at and shot and deserved to be recognized," said Dolan in a statement defending the awards to the SWAT team.

Dolan said an internal investigation conducted by his staff cleared the conduct of the SWAT officers who raided the Khang home.

More than seven months later, the internal review has not finished looking into how the officers and supervisors in the Violent Offenders' Task Force handled the investigative piece of the case which preceded the raid at the Khang home. So far, no one has been disciplined in connection with the mistaken raid.

IMO...We give awards for incompetance and why would they need an award for doing their job!!! Isn't that like giving a firefighter an award for putting out a fire??

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Except for SWAT did not do the investigation that lead them to the house. That was done by the Task Force. So, the incompetance is not on the member of the SWAT team.

They were given a warrent to serve at a specific address; they were shot at and returned fire with courage.

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It's good policy for any orginazation to acknowledge the good performers within the orginazation. This holds true for Fortune 500 companies, small business, police and fire depts, the VFW, the local pub, the militay gives medals, and on and on and on.

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I agree with BG. These guys went into a house they were told to go to. The guy in the house opened fire and they returned it putting their lives in danger rather than back down. If you do nothing wrong and swat comes into your home, here's a thought, don't shoot at them!!!

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Better things to argue about than this LOL, BUT......if my door was kicked in and a bunch of people came rushing in whilst I was in a sleepy haze....

I could very easily see myself laying down a base of fire.

After all, I've done nothing wrong, why would the cops kick in my door????(I know mistakes are made though). Not making excuses either way, just seeing that it could happen.

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Obviously our law enforment agencies need some more training or experience. How is it was can talk to someone in space, use GPS and satellite to pinpoint exactly where we/anyone is at any given time, heck even my local dentist can find me for a late payment on a bill...but we can't identify the location of known criminals??? Pretty pathetic!!! By the way your sure as helll I would fire at them also.

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The SWAT team did their job. Bad intel is at fault here, not the members of the SWAT team.

Interesting you should say that. Not trying to steel the thread but isn't this similar to the reasons we are in Iraq?

Bob

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Quote:
If you do nothing wrong and swat comes into your home, here's a thought, don't shoot at them!!!

Provided you know it is a SWAT team. Considering my state of mind when the moment I am wakened by the telephone and my guess is that I wouldn't be able to identify them in the dark either and I am not likely to hear or understand them should they have identified themselves upon entry. It takes a minute or two to get my senses in order to sometimes even know where I am much less identify someone that just busted down my front door in the middle of the night.

Bob

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I would think that the city would not want to bring more attention to this issue. Poor decision in my eyes. Maybe they are positioning themselves for the upcoming lawsuit?? Poor actions on both parties here with the SWAT team being the pawn.

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Good point about the intel Bob!

It also should be pointed out that these officers grabbed the children and sheilded them from fire while laying down covering fire to secure the house.

The family received $7500 to fix the damages in their house. I also think they were offered therapy if needed.

If someone broke into my home yelling with guns drawn I would most likely fire back. How many criminals could break into someones home and yell "POLICE."

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I agree it was the investigators who passed on bad info. Not the SWAT team's fault at all.

As to whether they deserved the awards or whether it was, as the attorney said, an attempt to sanitize the city's actions, I ask only one thing: Do all Minneapolis SWAT units get awards if they are fired upon and return fire (which demands courage)? If so, this is a routine award. If not, them perhaps the attorney is right.

And it's the middle of the night, and so let's assume the whole house is sleeping, so your door gets knocked in and you wake up disoriented and you have absolutely no clue they are cops instead of criminals. That man defended his family with courage. The cops defended themselves with courage (yes, that is their job).

Investigators get inaccurate information all the time. It's a devil of a job trying to separate the legitimate from the bogus, and even top investigators get it wrong sometimes. You can't be perfect at anything.

It's easy to point fingers. Best to put ourselves in our minds' eyes into the positions of the various parties and think it through before we start yapping about who is to blame.

We SURE do like to find someone to blame in this country. frown

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Yes, SWAT teams, as well as beat officers, get awards if they are fired upon and act with courage.

Do Hmong people celebrate Christmas? The lawyer made the statement "right before Christmas this happened" - I thought they followed animisn with shamanism; thus this statement would only be made to provoke the public.

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Yes, SWAT teams, as well as beat officers, get awards if they are fired upon and act with courage.

tealitup, I know it's common to get such awards in those situations. What I'm wondering is if all Minneapolis SWAT teams have gotten awards in similar situations or not.

As for the Hmong and Christmas, Hmong are individuals, just like you and me. Many of those who have moved to the United States have become or are becoming "Americanized," just like many who have come before. In fact, just like yours and my ancestors.

So you can't just assume they practice a certain religion because that was the predominant religion in the "old country." Could well be this family is Christian or, if not, celebrates Christmas anyway, just as many U.S. agnostics do.

Here's what Minnesota Public Radio has to say about traditional Hmong religion: From ancient times, the Hmong have practiced Ua Dab, a religion based on a spirit world. Traditionally "animist," followers of Ua Dab believe phenomena such as dreams, hallucinations and death are related to the spiritual existence of animals and plants, and the existence of the human soul. Their faith originates out of respect and homage to their living elders as well as to the spirits who influence the fortune of those living. Out of this strong belief, contact with the spirits through shamans - or spirit mediums - evolved as an important way for the Hmong to change their condition, correct an illness and to ensure good health and fortune.

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Sorry Catfish, I should have made it more clear that I did not know about this particular family and in know way was I trying to assume anything. My thought was that a lawyer did this for public preception more then anything. It should be noted that if this happened to me--- I would also file a lawsuit, as well as 99.9% of the population.

I can not say forsure, but yes, I do believe that ALL SWAT officer have received or would receive an award for similar situations. Minneapolis has a high turn over for officers and mid-public image of the department; they give citations (awards) whenever the situation arises.

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Quote:
If you do nothing wrong and swat comes into your home, here's a thought, don't shoot at them!!!

Provided you know it is a SWAT team. Considering my state of mind when the moment I am wakened by the telephone and my guess is that I wouldn't be able to identify them in the dark either and I am not likely to hear or understand them should they have identified themselves upon entry. It takes a minute or two to get my senses in order to sometimes even know where I am much less identify someone that just busted down my front door in the middle of the night.

Bob

Agreed, but I'm pretty sure they didn't come in just sneaking around. I'm sure they would be yelling SWAT!! or POLICE!!! as they come barging in.

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Quote:
Obviously our law enforment agencies need some more training or experience. How is it was can talk to someone in space, use GPS and satellite to pinpoint exactly where we/anyone is at any given time, heck even my local dentist can find me for a late payment on a bill...but we can't identify the location of known criminals??? Pretty pathetic!!! By the way your sure as helll I would fire at them also.

Tell us all how it feels to be perfect! Just remember where most of police intel comes from, informants! These are people, mostly with criminal records, that give police officers information. It is not all good info but you have to take the bad with the good.

The difference between your dentist finding you through public records and finding drug dealers is hilarious! Maybe you did not know but most drug dealers do not advertise or put their activities into public records. cry

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Originally Posted By: BobT
Quote:
If you do nothing wrong and swat comes into your home, here's a thought, don't shoot at them!!!

Provided you know it is a SWAT team. Considering my state of mind when the moment I am wakened by the telephone and my guess is that I wouldn't be able to identify them in the dark either and I am not likely to hear or understand them should they have identified themselves upon entry. It takes a minute or two to get my senses in order to sometimes even know where I am much less identify someone that just busted down my front door in the middle of the night.

Bob

Agreed, but I'm pretty sure they didn't come in just sneaking around. I'm sure they would be yelling SWAT!! or POLICE!!! as they come barging in.

A criminal would not come into your home yelling police? Did all of the criminals become ethical? And this man had limited emglish skills.

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I'm pretty sure they didn't come in just sneaking around. I'm sure they would be yelling SWAT!! or POLICE!!! as they come barging in.

No doubt that's right, but how many of us several rooms away or on a different floor and in a sound sleep will understand the first word they yell? I wouldn't. In that situation I'd wake pretty disoriented, as would most everyone. I might hear the shout but would not know what was said, and I'd probably hear the bang of the door going in, and that would be all the information I'd have upon which to decide whether to take up a weapon and defend my home or let the unknown intruders do what they wanted with me.

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Sorta happened to me last night, a strange noise followed by the low growl of my dog woke me up from a dead sleep. I sat up in bed for thirty seconds trying to get out of the funk I was in, and in that time figured out that the growl was the ol lady sawing logs. laugh But I couldn't figure out what made the noise, so I sat there listning for more, and also to give myself some time to wake up. Once I was sure I was out of the sub-concious, dreamy state I was in, I got up and checked out the house and doors. The cat must've knocked something over, but in the state I was in, it could've been SWAT, I was in no way able to figure out which dimension I was in shortly after the sound occured. wink

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Originally Posted By: BobT
Quote:
If you do nothing wrong and swat comes into your home, here's a thought, don't shoot at them!!!

Provided you know it is a SWAT team. Considering my state of mind when the moment I am wakened by the telephone and my guess is that I wouldn't be able to identify them in the dark either and I am not likely to hear or understand them should they have identified themselves upon entry. It takes a minute or two to get my senses in order to sometimes even know where I am much less identify someone that just busted down my front door in the middle of the night.

Bob

Agreed, but I'm pretty sure they didn't come in just sneaking around. I'm sure they would be yelling SWAT!! or POLICE!!! as they come barging in.

I must be a different cat. I usually use a radio alarm clock. The volume is set so low that you can't hear the radio if you are up and about but that's all I need to wake up. One day, my daughter was playing with my alarm clock and switched it to the buzzer/beeper mode. When that baby went off, I first had to pry myself off the ceiling then spend the next minute or two (so it seemed) trying to figure out where the fire was.

My reaction to the phone ringing isn't much different. One time when this happened my wife got a good laugh because I kept screeming out, "What the heck is that ringing noise?!"

If someone came into my house in the middle of the night yelling there's a pretty good chance that I wouldn't hear specifically what they were yelling to begin with. Then it would take a minute or two for me to get composure from the adrenaline rush. Who knows how I might react but chances are I wouldn't realize they were the police.

Bob

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