Daily Archives: August 3, 2008

SWAT team awarded medals for shootout with innocent family

Vang Khang points to bullet holes in the stairwell of his home on Dec. 18, 2007, which ended up hitting the ceiling of his bedroom on the other side of the wall, put there when a SWAT team entered the wrong house during a raid in Minneapolis. (Janet Hostetter/AP PHoto)

ABC | Jul 31, 2008

Botched SWAT Raid Officers Given Medals for ‘Bravery Under Fire’

By LEE COCHRAN

A Minneapolis family is outraged that members of the SWAT team that mistakenly raided their house and fired upon them last December have been awarded medals for their bravery under fire.

Vang Khang and his family had the fright of a lifetime when they believed their home was being invaded by burglars, or worse. It was actually a SWAT team, conducting a high-risk search warrant — on the wrong house.

Acting on tips from a gang informant, police forced their way into the North Minneapolis home in the early morning of December 16 and traded fire with a terrified Khang, police said.

“The fact that the city of Minneapolis would give medals of valor and commendation to this SWAT team is shocking and outrageous,” the family’s attorney, Tom Heffelfinger, told ABCNews.com

Related

McCain suggests Iraq war military tactics to secure American neighborhoods

Because the house is located in a part of town known for gang violence, Khang said he feared an intrusion when his home was forcefully entered. With his legally owned hunting shotgun, he fired at what he thought were unknown invaders from behind the second-floor bedroom door where he, his wife, and four of their six children huddled for safety, according to Heffelfinger.

When police responded by firing 22 rounds, bullets landed within inches of the family’s heads, Heffelfinger said.

On Monday, Police chief Tim Dolan awarded all eight SWAT team members medals for “bravery in action under fire,” police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia told ABCNews.com.

Based on information given from the unnamed former gang member, police had successfully raided three other houses earlier that evening, resulting in multiple arrests of gang members and the discovery of illegal drugs and weapons, Garcia said.

According to Garcia, the informant claimed to have lived in the final residence, Khang’s home, with many high-level gang members.

“We had the right house and right address — according to what the informant told us — but it’s unclear why she gave that address, since the family had no ties whatsoever to the gang,” Garcia explained.

Full Story

McCain suggests Iraq war military tactics to secure American neighborhoods

Are neighborhoods in this country in need of an Iraq-style “surge”?

Military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods

ABC World Newser | Aug 1, 2008

Surge At Home?

ABC’s David Wright checks in after Senator McCain’s appearance at the Urban League.

“Answering a question about his approach to combatting crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods here in the US. McCain called them tactics…

‘somewhat like we use in the military…You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement.’

The way he described it, his approach sounded an awful lot like the surge. As part of his argument, McCain praised the crime-fighting efforts of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Urban League president Marc Morial countered that while New York did experience a drop in crime under Giuliani, there were several major instances of police misconduct. To which McCain promised aggressive prosecution of civil rights violations and a Justice Department free from political cronyism.”

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McCain: U.S. Neighborhoods Need Iraq-style “Surge”

Defense appropriations bill gives soldiers domestic responsibilities