On the morning of June 27, 2013, 80-year old Eugene Mallory was shot and killed in his own bed by police executing a search warrant for methamphetamines.
The raid was based on a no-knock warrant, meaning deputies enter the home literally without knocking. As events unfolded, the circumstances under which the shooting occurred are the subject of some dispute.
Deputies approached the house, and what happened next is where things get murky. The deputies said they announced their presence upon entering and were met in the hallway by the 80-year-old man, wielding a gun and stumbling towards them. The deputies later changed the story when the massive bloodstains on Mallory's mattress indicated to investigators that he'd most likely been in bed at the time of the shooting. Investigators also found that an audio recording of the incident revealed a discrepancy in the deputies' original narrative:
That discrepancy was the timing of when the instruction to "drop the gun" was given. Upon listening to the recording, the command from shooter Sgt. John Bones appears to have come after he opened fire, fatally shooting Mallory six times.
Mallory never fired a weapon, and no methamphetamines were found in his home.
The video above paints a frightening picture of an average citizen with no criminal record who ended up dead in a situation that should not have occurred in the first place. This raid was initiated by a self-proclaimed expert who determined the home was the site of illegal drug manufacturing based on the "strong odor of chemicals" he detected coming from the area.
As Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com says: "No-knock raids should be executed at the government’s peril, and only when someone’s life is reasonably believed to be in immediate danger."
Mallory was a retiree. An elderly man, hard of hearing, who apparently did not understand who was invading his home armed to the teeth. It was a highly tense and very dangerous situation.
The L.A. County Sheriff's department declined to respond to requests for comment from Reason.