The below was received anonymously.
The authors point, “that every family has problems and the police often make things worse by making a big scene” is something that many people learn the hard way. Perhaps through a needless assault, kidnapping and caging, or the death of a loved one by someone who may later claim to be “just doing my job.”
It is hoped that this post, and other similar outlets, will help make clear that despite the lip-service paid to “protecting and serving,” police employees, per the nature of their institution, are primarily motivated to gain compliance, and thus will escalate up to and including, the use of deadly force. Fortunately, because the author of the post knew and chose to exercise his rights, that’s not how this situation ended.
On August 20, 2013 the El Cajon Police Department S.W.A.T team surrounded my home and barricaded my neighborhood from residents coming in or leaving.
The back story is simply that me and my wife got into a heated argument the night before, she left, was gone all night and I called her sister around midnight (who lives in Rhode Island) because I was growing worried. Her sister hadn’t heard from her and didn’t know her whereabouts. I assured her sister I would keep her informed.
The next morning my wife arrived and we agreed to sit and discuss things calmly. I texted her sister and told her that she got home and was safe. Her sister demanded to speak with her but I informed her that we needed to speak to each other first but I would tell her to call her. Her sister demanded again, this time saying she was going to notify the local police department in five minutes if she didn’t hear from her sister. We thought that was odd and hasty but went on carrying on our conversation and as we were speaking the door bell rang…
I told my wife that it was the police (we saw them on our security cameras) and that we didn’t have to answer our door because police like to escalate situations and that was the last thing we needed…my son (toddler age) opened the blinds out of curiosity and the police officer noticed him and began to bang on my security door like a crime was in progress….then other officers arrived and began to bang on windows too.
At this point I was getting quite annoyed that they were persisting……next thing my phone rings…..I answer it and it’s the police officer outside…..he explained that they were called to a welfare check and needed us to step outside to see if everyone is okay and safe. I told him that they need to go away and our family matters were being resolved by us in a calm manner and no one is being harmed at all. My wife even spoke to him telling him we were all fine.
By this time, the neighborhood was closed off and the department had dispatched more officers, including SWAT. I told the officer via cell phone that we knew our 4th amendment right and didn’t have to comply with their orders. Me and my family were beginning to get agitated and my son was crying because he was tired at this point. It started around 9 AM and was now around noon, which is his nap time.
During the ordeal I spoke with an officer, dispatch officer and a lieutenant and they refused to leave citing they had to make sure everyone is safe. At this point they were treating the situation as a hostage situation and I sternly explained to them that they were being voice recorded, video recorded and I would not hesitate to file a lawsuit if they continued to harass my family.
I informed them that I was no stranger to the criminal justice system (although not a felon and have only had a minor DUI conviction which was expunged) and in fact I had a bachelors degree in that field myself. The officer tried being friendly with me as he noticed my USMC flag in the front of my home and stated he was a former Marine also. I didn’t take the bait as I knew what he was attempting and frankly I didn’t give a damn and didn’t know him anyway.
Four hours or so into the ordeal, I looked to my wife and said “maybe you should go out there and show them you’re safe so they will leave us the hell alone” I sat with her and schooled her a bit on her 4th and 5th amendment (she was not too familiar with them at all) and urged her to only give identification information and to use her right to remain silent to her advantage and to save us from further harassment.
She went outside (I didn’t want to go outside because they knew I had a gun (registered in my name) and would’ve tased me and kicked my ass at the first opportunity. So I felt it was a safer bet to have her confront them.
The were in my back yard, my neighbors back yard and had snipers and police set up all over our small neighborhood block and according to her made her climb a ladder to get to them outside of the yard. They did exactly what I informed her they would do which was interrogate her and ask her questions like “do you guys have drugs, sell drugs, does he have guns, did he hurt you?” etc…they weren’t satisfied and wanted me to send my son outside to and I told them he was sleeping and I wasn’t going to wake him up just to appease them in their little game.
At this point I was pissed off and getting irate with these ass clowns! They urged me to at least show him through the window and they would leave…..I woke him up and showed them my sleepy eyed son (who was awake now thanks to them) and they finally left.
The moral of this story is that every family has problems and the police often make things worse by making a big scene.
My next door neighbors were pissed off and the rest of the neighborhood was annoyed but mostly supportive. The next door neighbors asked me “why didn’t you just do what they said” to which I replied “because we have rights!”
BTW….this was our first year in our new home so you could probably understand how mortified and embarrassed we were at the event that took place. If I could do it again. I would probably do the same thing. I don’t interact with police officers and have lost so much respect for them because of this.