John Adams, 61, was shot and killed by police in a drug raid on the wrong house. His wife Loraine, 70, was also handcuffed and forced to the ground.
Officers Kyle Shedran, 25, and Greg Day, 24, were placed on administrative leave with pay following the shooting.
John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police.
"I thought it was a home invasion. I said 'Baby, get your gun!" she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday's funeral.
Police say her husband fired first with a sawed-off shotgun and they responded. He was shot at least three times and died later at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
The 70 year old widow said, "They need to get rid of those men, boys with toys." She also told the men, "Y'all have got the wrong person, you've got the wrong place. What are you looking for?"
Something about the police officers' claim that Adams shot at them first gives me cause for thinking here. Adams was in possession of a sawed-off shotgun according to the report. This means the blast would probably be wide and in close quarters, such as his home, if he fired first, surely he would have hit at least one, if not both, of the officers entering the house. The story does not indicate whether officers were struck in any fashion or whether they were attended to medically.
Adams' wife though tells a different story. In the book, Bad Trip: How the War Against Drugs Is Destroying America, Joel Miller writes about how Mr. Adams sat down to watch a little television around 10:00pm on October 4, 2000. After hearing knocking at the door his wife went to answer but there was no reply when she asked for identification. The door was then kicked in and five officers stormed the house, immediately cuffing her.
While the police claim Adams fired first, family members believed the incident to be a home invasion and that when Adam's wife cried out for him to get the gun.
Obviously they were looking for drugs… at the wrong house. However listen to Lebanon Police Chief Bill Weeks' lame excuse regarding the incident:
"We did the best surveillance we could do, and a mistake was made. It's a very severe mistake, a costly mistake. It makes us look at our own policies and procedures to make sure this never occurs again."
Really? You did the best surveillance you could do? This is far from a mistake or even a serious one. You were at the wrong house! Weeks then went on to say that the two policemen were not at fault. Well pray tell, who is at fault Mr. Weeks?
But then the race issue came up. While family members and Police Chief Weeks agreed that race was not a factor, they did agree that this shooting would be "a major setback" for police relations with the black community. I'm guessing that assessment is correct, since the officers were white.
"We know that, we hope to do everything we can to heal it," Weeks said.
Now the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), an organization that I consider to be quite racist themselves, had their local official, Johnny Crudup, claiming that he wanted to make sure that Weeks words become reality and would be conducting an investigation on his own.
Weeks turned over the search warrant and all other evidence to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and District Attorney General Tommy Thompson.
However, as this went to trial, one detective, Tommy Maggart, said he suspected it was the wrong address. According to Miller, "After a final drive-by shortly before the raid he told his superior he thought a mix-up had occurred - to no effect. They went forward with the raid. Detective Steve Nokes, the head of the narcotics unit, surveilled the actual house where the drug purchase occurred and also participated in the raid at the wrong house as the lead officer. How did he miss the mistake? Curiously he testified that, like Maggart, he tried to stop the raid beforehand. Nokes was fired shortly afterward and was later indicted in the shooting but acquitted."
I was unable to find out what happened to the two officers who actually shot Adams.
While the majority of police officers are good men, reports like raiding the wrong house and subsequently killing the individuals inside are becoming more common place and the officers that are involved rarely face any sort of consequences. One that comes to mind was when Jose Guerena was shot and killed by several members of the Pima County Sheriff's Office on a drug raid that yielded no evidence that he was doing or selling drugs. He was an Iraq veteran and these officers let him bleed to death over the course of an hour after being shot 60 times, as the deputies denied him medical attention. As of today, not one of the officers has lost their job. In fact, some have even been promoted.
Ah yes, the War of Drugs is what this is all about. Isn't turning out for the better for many innocent American citizens as their rights are being violated along with the ultimate rights violation being implemented, death.
UPDATE: Fischenbach provided some updated information on the case.
1.) Lebanon to pay widow of raid victim $400,000
Publish Date: May 24, 2002
Word Count: 502
Document ID: 1004009C20AA3A46
NASHVILLE -- The city of Lebanon will pay at least $400,000 to the wife of an elderly man killed when police raided the wrong house.
In the settlement made public Wednesday, Lorine Adams, 72, has received $200,000 in a lump sum and will receive $1,675 per month for life, or for at least 10 years, whichever is longer. If she should die before the 10 years is up, the balance would go to her beneficiary.
Some have asked why this is relevant today. They've said "This is old news" and that we have "sunk to" some "level" to put this out. Well, we are a small outlet and a lot of times things that are important are not read or seen by others. However, this article is relevant because of the fact that these things are constantly going on in the war on drugs. How many innocent people have been killed like this? Apparently a lot. For some people this is "old news" and it doesn't matter, but I question, just how much was this man's life worth? Four hundred thousand dollars just doesn't seem to cover it.