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« NICE TRY | Main | OOPS THEY DID IT AGAIN »

December 04, 2006

Comments

William Casey

First, let me say this is a tragic incident. Tragic for both sides, but to me it seems you are letting your differences with Sid Causey affect the way you are looking at the situation. Let's take away the after effects of what happened and look at it from the beginning. I am an eleven year veteran of law enforcement and safety is first and foremost in my book. Given the fact the kid was an armed robbery suspect, awaiting trial for a previous assault and his buddies/accomplices posted pictures of themselves on the internet with guns (need I mention the guys from Columbine did the same thing) then I believe that the SWAT team was justified. Forgive me if I'm reading more into what you said than what you meant, but it looks as if you are second guessing the brothers that walk the thin blue line just because you don't like the Sheriff of New Hanover County.

To me this was no different than a drug raid. You always expect there to be guns where there are drugs, so why would you not expect or assume the possibility of an armed confrontation when arresting someone for armed robbery?

Only time will tell what really happened, so lets wait to hear both sides before we make judgement.

Thanks for the show and website.

Will Casey

Tre Benson

Mr. Casey thank you for your comments. You are right I have let my disdain for Sid Causey tint the emotional delivery of my comments. And remember these are my comments and not Marc's. But in what I have learned about this shooting, which began with phone calls 30 minutes after it happened, have me outraged. I have been very careful to let this play out for a day or two before saying anything. Most of what I know I dare not even reveal publically. Not that it is some big secret, it is just that people are a little on edge and I wouldn't want to fan the flames with a new item to upset people. Maybe Saturday.

But I do want you and everyone else that reads my comments to know that every one of those guys there that night with hearts pumping just before they pounded on Strickland's door has my respect and support. They were all doing their job.

My problem was their call to be there in the first place. Who hasn't got a gun in their house now a day? What teenage kid doesn't have some stupid picture of themselves taken after a beer or ten. I have an 8mm home movie of Marc and I at 16 or so faking a shootout with real guns. We certainly would never have robbed anyone or shot an officer of the law.

Most of the forced entries by LEO happen because you want to have the element of surprise. No one can reach for a gun, dump drugs down a toilet or attempt to flee. The warrant clearly states that it was Mills in the picture with the gun and not Strickland. And Mills was known to not be in Strickland's house at the time of the entry.

At best it was sloppy work, but at worst it is much more serious and someone needs to be the fall guy on this one to save the respect for 99.9% of all the other men and woman wearing a badge.

A friend in law enforcement called me last night and said, "Tre you got to do something" he had been eating n a pizza place while in uniform and a table full of frat brothers kept giving him the stink-eye.

The house at 533 Long Leaf Acres Drive is littered with beer bottles and graffiti. One such piece of Graffiti says something along the lines of Wilmington Police are Assassins.

Our job at the Blue Line is to hold everyone accountable. Job number one is to weed out the poisonous few that infect the public's perception on those who place their loves on the line everyday to protect and serve.

Thanks for commenting, like I said, even though Marc and I are brothers sometimes we are at odds over things such as this, so please understand these are my comments not his.

ME

I am retired from New Hanover County, and was previously employed with the Wilmington Police Department for 10 years, and the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department for two years. I HATED every day that I worked at the NHCSD, and was thrilled the day I was hired by another county agency. I have worked in law enforcement for 20 years. I have never been arrested, never received a citation, and was only stopped once by a Wilmington Police officer, when a rear taillight blew out on my car. He followed me to an Exxon station so that I could get a new bulb. I feel like I am the only person in Wilmington who observes the 45 mile per hour speed limit near Echo Farms. I have had several encounters with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department in the last year. Twice was when the Sheriff's department was investigating two burglaries in my neighborhood, one which was two houses from me around midnight. On that particular night, I walked down and asked the deputy and the crime scene tech what happened, and they would not tell me. So, I didn't know if it was a B&E, sexual assault, or etc.....I'm home everyday. I observe what is going on around me everyday. I was in law enforcement, and I pay attention to more things than the average person. The deputies did not ask me if I saw anything or anyone. The second incident was on Shawnee. I later asked a deputy at the Moose Lodge, who was writing the report, and the only answer I got from him was, I can't tell you what it was, only that you need to "keep your doors locked." What kind of an answer is that? The third incident was a couple of months ago on Carolina Beach Road, near the entrance to the Monkey Junction Post office. Some of the traffic signals were knocked down, and the lights were being reinstalled. I left the post office, and went to Carolina Beach Road to turn right to go to Lowes Foods. A deputy walked over to my car, and he said " didn't you see that traffic cone in the road" in a very sarcastic manner. I said yes, I did, but I thought you were blocking traffic that needed to turn left, and I'm going right. He told me to back up my car, and go thru the Taco Bell Restaurant. His attitude was awful. It took thirty minutes and two phone calls to the sheriff's department before this deputy put up two orange cones to show that the road was closed. My point is that, these deputies lack the ability to communicate with New Hanover County citizens. Not all citizens are law breakers, drug addicts, thieves, drunks, or assaultive. I am a 53 year old retired county employee with a left leg that has nerve damage from a herniated disc, and currently awaiting surgery now on a torn rotator cuff, who deserves to be treated with respect. I am a strong supporter of law enforcement. My brother is still at the WPD. But there is a problem at the Sheriff's department with their mindset, and I hope that there attitude changes soon, because they need to learn that the property owners in this county DO pay their salaries, and we are all not habitual criminal offenders. The shooting of the lady in Atlanta, and now the shooting here concern me. I am beginning to fear what would happen if the Sheriff's department received information on a house in my area, and stormed my house, accidently. I'm scared they are out of control, and that I may be killed in my living room for holding a laptop, shopping on EBAY.

William Casey

Tre, thanks for your repsonse. I don't doubt at all that there is information to support your contentions that the Sheriff's dept. did something wrong. In fact, their zipped lips scream they did something wrong. When I heard this news the first place I thought to look was your website since I knew you'd have the inside scoop. I guess my hangup is that you seem to imply the Sheriff's dept. should not have been called in the first place. Unless things have changed the UNCW campus police aren't equiped to make high risk arrests or entries. Maybe it's a matter of opinion, but to me under the circumstances I consider that situation to be high risk.

Again, thanks for the website and keeping us informed. I can't wait for Saturday to learn more about this.

Will Casey

WPD342

This was a bad shooting. The rest of us are having to pay because Causey will not step up and say we made a mistake. I work with a guy that used to be a deputy under Causey. The bad thing about working there is you have Causey that is just semi-retired and full of crap and then you have his Adolph, Tom Parker who is a lunatic. Both make my job pretty tough.

We run into their drug unit all the time inside the city and they never let us know what's going down, all of a sudden we have doors getting kicked in while we are next door invesigating a B&E.

Time for this cancer to get yanked out of commission.

Bob L.

Comments so far seem to all be from people with background or current law enforcement experience. As "just a citizen" I cannot specifically comment on how Sid Causey runs his department. What I can say is that, like the men and women defending me in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have the deepest respect and admiration for law enforcement officers who risk their lives to "serve and protect" me. But when their personal attitude or training or protocols cause them to view any citizen they have to confront as the enemy, something has crossed a line.
Even if this kid did do the robbery and might have had a gun I have to think bashing down his door, shooting his dog and shooting him when he, at 18, didn't know how to react quickly enough was way over the top for me to be comfortable with for my police department. I can probably come up with ten different things that could have been done to serve the warrant without endangering deputies or citizens. I just hope the sheriff's department can implement changes before this happens again.

Relan

I've only been here a couple years, but I am continually shocked at the lack of leadership and organization with this Sheriff Causey fellow. His on-air appearance on WECT tonight was enlightening as to his ignorance and disdain for public records law, and cronyism. After the last couple interviews of the Sheriff on TV I will not only not vote for him, I will work hard for his opponent next time. What a pompous jerk. I get the feeling that if this wasn't a huge public interest story, he would be covering up for his officers in a second. Somebody needs to tell him that PERCEPTIONS ARE EVERYTHING...

Concerned citizen

Looks like Tre was right on this one. Apparently shots were fired THROUGH the closed door:

=================

http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061206/NEWS/612060416/1002

"Law enforcement officers may have fired through a front door Friday night as sheriff's deputies and University of North Carolina Wilmington police officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Peyton Strickland in connection with the Nov. 17 robbery of two PlayStation 3 game stations from a UNCW student.

Strickland, 18, was shot in the head and right shoulder area and fatally wounded in the house he lived in at 533 Long Leaf Acres Drive. Strickland's death is attributed to a gunshot wound to the head, said Charles L. Garrett, the pathologist who performed the autopsy.

Garrett said Tuesday that the state medical examiner's office in Jacksonville is working with the State Bureau of Investigation in trying to determine at what range the bullets that struck the Cape Fear Community College student were fired from.

"Some of the bullets went through intervening targets, probably the door," Garrett said. Both bullets that struck Strickland passed through him into the house, he added."

=====================

If they were fired before the authorities even made entry, it makes his dog and whatever he was holding in his hand at the time completely irrevelant. It's hard for guys in body armor to be threatened through a closed door.


William Casey

It may make the dog irrelevant, but if the officers bullets can pierce the door then the suspects bullets can pierce the door too. They may have been looking through a window and saw him with the controller in his hand. Maybe the controller looked like a gun. Who knows at this point. I can't wait to hear the officers' side of the story.

Regarding treating him like the enemy I will have to say that law enforcement officers have the right to go home at the end of their shift. To ensure that right every suspect they come across has to be treated as if they are going to kill the officer. Officers cannot pick and choose who to drop their guard against because the very one they do may be the bad one and shoot them in the back of the head. I can tell hundreds of stories about officers dropping their guard because they knew the person, or because the arrestee/suspect was some cute little young blond, only to have a bullet put through the back of their head when they didn't search her. So unless your willing to tell your husband, wife, child, parent who happens to be a law enforcement officer that they should only be cautious around the mean looking ones don't say these officers shouldn't have done what they did because the kid was only 18.

Bob L.

Come on, Mr. Casey. There is a difference between not letting your guard down and sending a volley of high powered rounds through a closed door. A kid who stole a Playstation is not the same as drug dealers. Maybe the kids was violent, maybe he had a gun, maybe his dog was in attack mode, maybe maybe maybe. But one thing that is for sure is that this kid was not supposed to get shot. He was supposed to have been served a warrant, not killed. Policies, procedures, training, stress or whatever led to this has to be changed. What went down that night not IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! Not for the suspect and not for the officers sent to serve the warrant.

support your local sherriff

MARC BENSON IS A BITTER SPOILED RICHBOY THAT COULDNT BUY HIS WAY INTO OFFICE SO HE AND HIS FATASS DOOPE SMOKIN BROTHER HAVE DONE THEIR BEST TO RUIN THE LIFE OF A GOOD CHRISTIAN MAN AND ONE OF THE BEST SHERRIFFS WE HAVE EVER HAD. IF PEOPLE WOULD JUST LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB AND NOT LIE ON HIM AND MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE LIES ANDF GOSSIPS THEN NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN BAD LIKE THIS. IT WOULOD JUST BE A STORY ABOUT A VIOLENT GUN POSSESING DRUGIE SICKING HIS DOG ON A LEO AND GETS HIT IN SHOOTING BY OFFICERS. NOT SOMETHING LIKE WHAT HAS BEEN SAID.

AND IT IS THE BENSONS FAULT AND THEY WILL SURE AS HELL PAY FOR IT TOO.

YOU WILL SEE PEOPLE THESE BENSONS ARE JUST FULL OF HATE. RICH CRY BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

amazed

The person who wrote the above article is absolutely psychotic. Please ban that immature individual from this forum.

Steve

This is quite a storm, Tre. It even made the local news here in Houston. God, if this is an example of the state of legal authority in the Wilmington area, then it explains a lot in regards to that "movie" situation!

Concerned citizen

That's rich coming from someone who lives in Texas - the execution capital of the United States.

Don't mess with Texass

Right Concerned.

At least these Houston cops didn't shoot the striking janitors, they just trampled them with their horses:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/17/224946/56

mig

A death is a sad thing but I hope everyone is reminded that we ARE the company we keep. Choose your friends and the company you keep wisely. Choose the people that you hang out with and the people you work with carefully. And don't read more into this. I am not saying only bad things happen to bad people blah blah blah. I'm just saying... Be alert. Be aware. Be responsible. Don't be a nitwit. On either side.

leo1

Not going to comment on the shooting until all the facts come out. Being in law enforcement for over 18 years, if you just read everything the media reports, then you might as well convict the deputies, like some have already done. Obviously, with Causey keeping quite, it reeks of a cover up, BUT, the more info. he gives out, the more questions there will be. Let the outside agency, SBI, handle it. Once their report comes out, then people can make a determination of who did what wrong and where and why. Media has only reported whats known at this point and of course, added their own twists. Regardless, it's a tragic situation. Even if Strickland had a gun and shot at the officers, those who think it's fun to takes someones life, even if justified, have obviously never been involved in a shooting or killing someone. I've discharged my weapon before, and it made me re-think being in law enforcement, for a long time, even today. The gun is a tool, one that 99.9 percent of us hope we will never have to use, but if needed, I would do it again. Just wait for the facts. If someone needs to be punished, I'm sure they will. Unless you were there, I'd keep my mouth shut, because it'll make some of you look more stupid than you already do.

Steve

Dear Folks:

While this is a serious discussion, involving as it does questions of legal authority, police procedures and, last but not least, life and death, it appears that I now must stop in to answer some spurious charges about TEXAS, for God's sake.

First of all, if Texas is the execution capital of America... fine. Unlike some other states and nations, we're less inclined to tolerate murderers, rapists and child molesters in our midst. Whether you believe in capital punishment or not, whether you believe that it's a deterrent or not, one facet of it cannot be disputed. It prevents that criminal from ever commiting such crimes again. Permanently.

Also, I was there when those janitors pulled their little stunt at the Galleria. They actually chained themselves right across Westheimer as a publicity stunt. A cop told me later that the lawyers and bail bondsmen had already gathered downtown before the event actually occured.

Just about every office building in town had their security on the lookout because of the unions aggressive recruiting tactics. They were coming right onto private property to put a hard sell on these people as they went to their cars in the late evening. People can gather and associate as they like... only so long as they don't make a nuisance of themselves to others.

DOUG PRICE

IT'S EASY FOR YOU DOPE SMOKING BROTHERS TO SIT BACK AND CRITIZIZE LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR PUTTING OUR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERYDAY! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO GO UP AND KNOCK ON A DOOR TO SERVE WARRANT, NOT KNOWING IF THE SCUMBAG IS GOING TO BLOW YOU AWAY OR IF YOUR GOING TO GO HOME AT THE END OF THE SHIFT OR END UP FACE DOWN IN YUR OWN POOL OF BLOOD. WHAT WE DO IS WAR. WE HAVE TO GO OUT EVERYDAY INTO THE JUNGLE TO SURVIVE WHILE YOU PEOPLE GET TO SIT AT HOME AND BE ARMCHAIR QUARTER BACKS. WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES AS THE COMMANDER OF THE BEST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN THE COUNTY BEFORE YOU CRITIZE! THANK YOU.

Tre Benson

The real Doug Price would know that Marc Benson spent 10 years on the ERT. He has worn those shoes, walked more than a mile in them and proudly respects of all those who have done the same.

I will pass your IP address on to the real Doug Price so he will be able to personally thank you for speaking for him.

I believe you will have 3 seconds to answer the door when he knocks.

WilmMan

I have a question about the so called search warrant. From day one, when I read the StarNews, it was listed as a search and arrest warrant. When did it become just a search warrant. Or was the StarNews wrong from the beginning. I think I saw the same thing from the N&O.

I would have to agree with Mr Casey as far as the use of the ERT team. I don't know why the City wasn't used instead of the County, but with the evidence given, I definately can see the use of the ERT team. Also, wasn't the other suspect arrested at the scene of the shooting? Didn't he show up afterwards and UNCW police arrest him as he arrived? I heard they found a loaded shotgun, a blunt object like the one suspected of being used in the armed robbery, and a face mask?

Peyton and Blaze

Don't forget Peyton and Blaze

Candlelight Vigil Dec. 1, 2007

6:00 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday on the riverfront behind Water Street at Cape Fear Community College

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