SWAT team murders burglary victim because burglar claimed he found meth

The Laurens, GA County Sheriff's Dept broke down David and Teresa Hooks' door and fatally shot David Hooks on a tip from Randall Garrett, a burglar with multiple felony convictions, who said he saw meth while robbing their house.

The cops say Hooks pointed a gun at him. The widow Hooks says they woke up in the middle of the night to find masked men in their yard, just a few hours after they'd been burgled, and assumed the burglars had come back. The cops spend nearly two days searching the Hooks's house without finding any evidence of drugs or drug manufacture.

In between these two periods of 40+ hours was a flashpoint: the raid itself. The task force shot Hooks dead in his own home, pursuing the self-serving pipe dreams of a meth addict. The SWAT team broke down the back door and fired "no less than 16 shots" at David Hooks, some blindly through an adjacent wall. Hooks had every right to pick up his weapon and investigate this second home invasion. But in doing so, he gave every raiding officer all the justification needed to shoot first — and shoot often.

He's too dead to be charged with forcing law enforcement weapons to discharge (because they fire themselves so often in official police statements), and he died as the result of a speedy judge-jury-executioner process that hinged on the arbitrary credulity of the Sheriff's Department and its drug task force. To call this willing suspension of disbelief an "investigation" is to strip the word of all meaning. (And beat it. And send it naked and bruised into the harsh winter, etc.) A late-night raid has all sort of deadly implications that could have been avoided by an actual investigation. Now, the department has blood on its hands and a lawyer on its trail — all because a burglar told some law enforcement officers whatever came to mind during his interrogation.

SWAT Team Raids House And Kills Homeowner Because Criminal Who Burglarized The House Told Them To [Tim Cushing/Techdirt]