Tuesday, January 08, 2013

More Info On The "Botched" 12/20/12 Hill Family OPD Raid

Whether punitive action will be applied once the smoke clears is anybody's guess

The Standard-Examiner is johnny-on-the spot this morning with new information on the "botched" 12/20/12 Hill family OPD raid, first with hearsay statements from Tina Billmire, mother of  Derek Billmire, the subject of the defectively-served arrest warrant, which was successfully served "about an hour later," by the same officers at a home Mr. Billmore "share(d) with his wife and three children" in Harrisville, Utah. Among the various notable aspects of Ms. Billmore's statements are these:
“It was the same thing — six officers, pounding on the door, hard and loud, with the guns and everything."

Derek never lived at the Hill home on Harrop Street. Her sister Kathy owned it for 26 years before selling it to the Hills in July. Tina Billmire said she had sometimes lived there with her sister’s family, but Derek had not.
“That surprised me,” she said. “His Harrisville address should have been on the warrant, the documents. It’s on everything else with the Army.”
By our own analysis, Ms. Billmore's statement corroborates the Hill family's report that the officers were indeed heavily armed, although it sheds no light upon the question of whether the officers brandished rifles and shotguns, as the Hill family contends.  As to the mistaken address, it's clearly indicative of sloppy investigation, we'll suggest.

As an added bonus, this morning's SE story links to a responsive letter from Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell, which is encouraging, we suppose, at least in the sense that he's aware of  the public relations nightmare which has been unleashed due to the disastrous Hill family raid:
On the bright side, Mayor Mike says "we intend to reevaluate police policies, practices, and training to ensure we are using best police practices for the safety of our citizens and our officers." Moreover, in apparent recognition of the demand by local media for an independent outside investigation, Caldwell astutely assures Ogden citizens that "We may use other outside resources to help us analyze and resolve these issues." And then there's this: "I am especially interested in an analysis of whether this type of contact should be made at such a late hour, and under what circumstances."

Whether punitive action will be applied once the smoke clears, however, is anybody's guess, although we'll remark that "we won't be holding our breath," as Caldwell offers not the slightest hint that he'll go after police agents who may have violated already-existing policies in this instance.

Needless to say, we'll continue to follow this fascinating story as it develops... and assume that the Hill family (if they're smart) will be lawyering up very soon.


Ernie The Attorney said...

This isn't that complicated.  Most Ogden Citizens don't want heavily over-armed Ogden City Cops beating on their fellow citizens' doors in the middle of the night, and humiliating and terrorizing their families.

The OPD officers who authorized and conducted this fiasco should be fired immediately.

Does Mike Caldwell have the sack to accomplish this?

Short answer: NO!

blackrulon said...

The bar for a  truatworth mayor was pretty low after the Matthew Godfrey reign of error. But it appears that Caldwell might not clear the lowered competency threshold.

Danny said...

I found Caldwell's letter in the newspaper to be reasonable.

I say let's give the guy a chance.  Better to fix the problem than lynch the guy.  Better to fix the problem than anything, for that matter.

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